Saturday, February 21, 2009


The last week in January, Dad finally got to leave the hospital. The day I was supposed to pick him up, we had an 8" snowfall that pushed his homecoming back to that afternoon. Since I had taken the day off work, and had already shoveled a path to my car, and de-snowed my car, I had some time on my hands.

I could have used it getting caught up on laundry. I know, how can one person get behind on laundry. It happens.

I could have used the time cleaning out the refrigerator, but oh darn, I was fresh out of hazmat suits.

OR -- I could use the time cleaning out the blog closet. *ding!* We have a winner!!

This past December, my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

During Dad's 4 week hospitalization, he experienced some ICU psychosis and generalized loopiness. To help him get oriented to space, time and location, I showed him some photos on my iPhone. When he saw picture of Mom taken over Christmas, he smiled softly and said, "If ever there was a love story, that's the one."

Here's the happy couple about 40 years ago on a family vacation on Galveston Beach.

The party was held at The Village and attended by family and Village Friends. (we call them the Village People)

I don't recall that there was dancing, but it sure looks like Dad and one of his friends are doing a fox trot.

Janice was reluctant to go back for seconds, being shy about people seeing her returning to the buffet table. Carol and I urged her to go right ahead and assured her that no one would notice. And then I got out my camera.

Stacey with her grandparents

The sisters: Moi, Carol The Golden Child, Janice


After the party, we went back to Mom and Dad's Apartment-Turned-Sauna.  Honestly, could it have BEEN any hotter? It also appears that it was standing room only.  Carol, The Golden Child, is behaving as Carol The Special Child

There are other "special" family members.

Rapper Notorious B.E.N.

Head-wrapped T.I.M.

OK, back to the party. During the event, I dashed out to run an errand for Meghan (that I had told her I would do early in the week, but time got away from me). While I was gone, they took a family photo and said they would photo shop me in. Seriously! They couldn't wait?!?!

So we re-shot the family photo in the Living Room Turned Sauna. (95 degrees, am I right?) It took awhile to get everyone in place.

And then we had to rearrange everyone.

I'd show you the final photo -- but my camera didn't get the shot and NO ONE HAS E-MAILED ME A COPY ALTHOUGH A ROOMFUL OF PEOPLE PROMISED THEY WOULD HINT HINT.

Tim hypnotized Huckleberry

Annarae latched onto her Papa Joe

Next up was a friendly family game of liar's poker. See Jesse over there on the right with the laptop? Cheater!! She had turned on the laptop's camera so she could see the card on her forehead.

Later, after several of us expired due to heat stroke, we went in search of cooler climes and found ourselves in The Lobby Bar at the Ritz.

The next day, Meghan and Ben had to return to Buffalo, after playing a game of "How Heavy is this Luggage?" This is a common event whenever Meghan travels.

I wanted to get a picture of Dad in his ugly hairy hat 'cause he looked so cute in it. But this was the only picture I was able to get on homecoming day.

But trust me, he could really rock that hat.

A few days after Dad came home, Jenni, Meghan, Carol, Stacey and Annarae came for a visit.

Oh, yeah. Huckleberry came for a visit, too.

By "HOME", we mean that Dad is in the health center at the retirement village. He's still needs some rehab to help him build up his strength before he can go home..... which is going down two hallways to his and Mom's apartment. But he can visit there quite often. Here he is enjoying being outside.

Someone gave Annarae some Valentine Day peeps and this was the result. Talk about bouncing off the walls!

When not busy with the family and work, I did get in some time hanging with my friends.....

....catching the Orchid Show at the Botanical Garden......

This is the Chihuly Chandelier at the entrance to the Botanical Garden

I had forgetten my "real camera" and had to take these pictures with my iPhone.... not too shabby.

During one of our snowstorms, I was able to get a few pictures.

oops. Someone forgot to close the umbrella. And I have no idea why that luggage cart is on the table. I think I used it to lug around some bags of I guess I forgot to put it away. You know, around the same time I forgot to close the umbrella.

Ok Ok, so the snow looks pretty in the trees. But I'm soooooo ready for spring!

Monday, February 16, 2009


In George Orwell's 1984 the citizens of Oceana were constantly under the watch of the government, Big Brother, via telescreens. Orwell created in us a paranoia about the government constantly peering over our shoulders.

And in reality? It's a fellow traveler who captures a woman doing what many of us have wanted to do when told that we'd missed a flight connection.

Or a fellow partier who captures a picture of an athlete taking a hit on a bong at a private party.

Big Brother? Bah! It's Little Brother or Little Sister with a camera phone who we really need to worry about capturing us in embarrasing situations.

Or Big Mother-In-Law.

My son-in-law; Rapper Notorious B.E.N.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Learning Curve

I've been inspired by some great photos I've recently viewed and have decided to take my point and shoot photography to the next level. That level for me is to read instructions about my point and shoot camera, a Canon PS3 1S. I've told myself that once I truly conquer it and will stick to it and actually do something with the photos rather than let them languish on a memory card, then I will reward myself with a digital SLR camera. That's on sale. With coupons. And after I win the lottery.

So I read up on my Canon PS3 1S that I've had for three years, then read a little about composition. With all of this new found knowledge knocking around in my noggin, I grabbed my camera and Huckleberry, my grand puppy that I'm puppy sitting this morning, and we went off on a walk.

Here are the photographic results of the walk.

Yup. That's it. Out of the 30 photos I took, all I can show you is that tree. All of the other photos are black, with fainter areas of black and an occasional dark gray. Several shots were taken from underneath an evergreen, shooting up through the green branches against at blue blue sky. It's black with streaks of dark black.

Why didn't I use the preview option so I could tell those didn't turn out?

"Someone" awhile back knocked my camera off the porch table, sending it to the concrete. This disabled the preview and zoom options.

Who did that?

I've been sworn to secrecy.

ANYway, back to the books and instruction manuals and looking up the meaning of that word...what was it? Oh, yeah. Aperture.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I haven't talked about my neighbors in a while.   There's a reason for that.  I like them.  

To refresh, that hasn't always been the case.  I mean, I like the ones who are there, now.  I just didn't like the ones who were here when I first moved in, J and his wife and son.  I live in a duplex and neighborliness goes a long way around here. But the neighbors then were the ones who activated my Gladys Kravits Gland. Quite often. They didn't seem to realize that other people, meaning me, lived here as well and yelled at each other, slammed doors etc etc all hours of the night.

And they wore black all the time.

All the time.

Even the toddler.

But then one beautiful day three years ago, they moved. Then the perfect neighbor, Greg, moved in. Perfect? Yes. He was an over-the-road truck driver and was home about 2 nights a month.

But then he moved.

Dave, Linda and Ann are there now and I like them. Very pleasant, very courteous.

Then this curiosity happened tonight. I received an e-mail from Dave.

Hi. In case you are wondering what that smell is, it's not pot. Ann someone over who is getting rid of evil spirits in the house and she's burning sage.

My reply: Sage? Is that what the kids are calling it these days? I get rid of evil spirits by divorcing them. (rimshot) ( Jenni & Meghan, you didn't read that.)

We exchanged more silliness about evil spirits and burning herbs.

And then it hit me.

Evil spirits.


What exactly did happen to J and his wife and son?

Monday, February 02, 2009


I thought the halftime show was GREAT, one of the best I've seen. But was Springsteen trying to join Steven Van Zant as a Soprano?

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Here is a story about today's bi-partisan (or tri-partisan) Presidential Super Bowl Party

Key quote: The group includes 11 Democrats, four Republicans and three women.

And a partridge in a pear tree.