Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Day

Help, I'm being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I'm going to have to learn to use video. One of my first lessons -- I can only post videos smaller than 100 MB! I was fairly pleased with my long video -- a tour of the front yard with Roxie, complete with snow crunching sound effects. The little one posted here is Roxie eating snow on her morning walk. Obviously, I've got a ways to go. I much prefer my comfort zone with still photos.

If you're looking out your window at snow, you're probably sick of looking at it. This post is mainly for my daughter Zoe who lives in Penzance, England. They don't get this much snow there.

The storm started out with freezing rain and sleet followed by snow -- about 6 inches worth. The next three pictures were taken at the beginning of the snow -- it had been snowing about 2 hours when I took them. The views from the windows were taken the next day.


Old Farm Lane -- looking south from just north of Echo Trail

View from the front window. Notice the Christmas lights which may be up until Easter.

View from the kitchen window.

Roxie takes a rest after her outing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Magic Places

When I was a kid I collected trading cards -- not baseball cards but regular playing cards with pretty pictures. Of course you could swipe a card from a full deck but we usually bought packs of cards at the dime store. We'd get a pack of ten or twenty cards with pictures of specific subjects like horses or flowers or an assortment, which meant potluck. We kept them in albums and traded with friends.

One of my favorite cards was a picture of Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida. It stood tall, reflected in a still pond framed with palm trees. I thought it must be one of the most beautiful places in the world. I didn't see it in person until my senior year in high school. The card didn't lie. It is one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. I've been back twice since then and it's still just as lovely.

It stands atop a 300 foot rise -- the Florida equivalent of a mountain -- and stretches 205 feet into the sky. It is made of Georgia pink marble and Florida coquina stone and decorated with colorful faience. Inside is a carillon of 66 bells. The music rolls regularly over the hilltop either in recorded or live concerts. The only entrance is through a magnificent brass repousee door.

I was there again last week. The weather had been useasonably cold -- the day we visited was the first day I'd ventured out without my longhandles! The air was fresh but the sun was warm. The landscape was lush with ferns, palms and bromeliads and brilliant camellias dotted the bushes.

I left the group to stroll alone through the gardens, my destination the bird blind called "Window on the Pond." It was noon and there wasn't a lot of avian action -- just a juvenile red-winged blackbird and a towhee -- but it was peaceful and quiet and a pleasant place to stop.

As always, my visit was too brief. Leaving the gardens, I looked up at the entrance and the motto emblazoned there. It was advice to Edward Bok from his grandmother. "Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it." She would be very proud.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Tacky Joke

Okay, here's one of my favorite jokes and it really describes my feeling about my day --
This guy dies and goes to hell and the devil is showing him around. "You have a choice as to where you want to spend eternity, so consider the options carefully," he counsels the new arrival. The devil opens a door and the newcomer looks in. Inside are hundreds of tormented souls being prodded by little devils with pointed pitchforks. Moving on to the next room, he sees a large group of people hopping up and down on glowing coals. Looking in a third door, he sees a room with, to be delicate, poo up to his knees. Small groups of people are sitting around picnic tables chatting, smoking and drinking coffee. It's not pleasant but, considering the alternatives, he says to the devil, "I think I'll stay here." "Are you sure?" the devil asks him. "Yes, " he answers, "this is my choice." "Okay," says the devil as he turns to leave. Just before shutting the door, the devil sticks his head back in and shouts, "Okay, everybody, coffee break's over. Back on your heads!"
I've spent the last week and a half frittering my time away. Did I work ahead so that I was not up against deadlines? Nope. So today, my coffee break was over.