Thursday, November 30, 2006

Three posts today, in celebration of 30 days of continuous posting for nablopomo.

30 November, 2006









For two days, I've posted a photo of a little cherub. Questions naturally arose as to who, what, when, where, and how.

In this photo from left to right are the baby's mom...L., baby addison, D., and 2 cats (black baby, and cinnamon.)

Addison is our pseudo grandchild. L's husband, A, and our middle son, rel II (who lives in Texas with our true grand-daughters) grew up together and were best friends. A and L ive in the house that A grew up in and is across the street from our home. A and L are as much a part of our family as anyone. When L. went into labor, I put an epidual in her for pain control.
On this particular evening, L. came over to borrow some cat food. L. takes care of our cats when we are away. She brought Addison over for "grandma and grandpa " to play with and for a visit.

30 November, 2006

Day 30 for nablopomo!!!!





Here are the photos of my son J. and his companions for The World's Largest Disco.



K., J. (my son), E. and M.



E., M., and J.



Thursday, 30th November, 2006

Prompt: If these walls could talk....


If these walls could talk
I'd turn away my two ears.
No secrets to hear.

If these walls could talk
Reputations are undone
Gossip serves no one.

If these walls could talk
Would they tell only the truth
Or what we want told?

If these walls could talk
Let them keep silence golden.
What good the tattler?

If these walls could talk
Remember then the adage:
All talk is cheap!

Check out other talking walls here at poetry Thursday

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

29 November, 2006

Day 29 for nablopomo

On Saturday 25 Nov., 2006, my son J. and his belle attended a charity event in Buffalo, NY called The World"s largest Disco.

I received an e-mail monday with two pics showing J., K., and two friends in their 70's dress-up garb. I'll share these "sexy cats" with you all. That's all I know. Btw., I said that all j. needed was a wide brimmed fur hat to look like a pimp.

Unfortunately, Blogger is misbehaving this morning and I have to work-out. So I'll leave you with a generic image. ;-0

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

28 November, 2006

Day 28 for nablopomo

Yesterday my friend Catch asked the question: "If you could have dinner with 3 people, whether they are deceased or alive , who would it be?" My reply was:
1. My father's father
2. My father's father's father
3. Mary Magdalene


I never new my grand father, he died when my dad was thirteen. The stories I've heard were limited in detail. I know he owned a grocery store which he sold to his brother and then went on to be a traveling salesman for the Miller Paper Company.

I'd like to hear from him about his life growing up in the early 1900's. He could tell me about his wife, their 11 children, and the places they lived. They moved alot. I'd like to hear his perceptions of my father growing up.

My great grandfather was a civil war veteran. He joined the Union Army at the tender age of 16. He was a laborer, a shop keeper, and generally a jack of all trades. He and his wife raised a family of 14 in a small 2 bedroom house. What stories he could regale me with.

I want to know the real deal about Jesus. Was she really his wife? Did they have any kids? If you want the true story of a man's life...ask his wife. ;-) She could also offer the low-down on the apostles. Now, I imagine that would be a story unto itself.

If you could have dinner with any 3 people, living or deceased, who would it be, and why?


Generations pass
Take time, shared stories...life's Ode.
Bond with your history.






Monday, November 27, 2006


Week 26 - Legacy





A Haiga:



Monday 27 November, 2006

Day 27 for nablopomo.

haiku for monday; without a prompt:




November morning
New dawn on old memories
Now, frozen in time.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

26 november


#35 - Nemesis



Greek: goddess of retributive justice or vengence


arch-enemy: chief enemy, evil doer/satan

When I first read the prompt for this week's Sunday Scribblings (26 Nov., 2006) I thought this should be easy. I'd been exposed to many, many "nemesis'": Lex Luther vs Superman, The Joker, The Riddler vs Batman, The Green Goblin or Dr. Octopus vs Spiderman, and General Ross vs the Hulk. A nemesis is the enemy, an evil doer to be vanquished.

Enter that part of my psyche labeled "superego" by Sigmund Freud. "you'd better look up nemesis, just to be sure you have it right!" Ok, first we'll google Dictionary dot com, hmmm. Ok, next the thesaurus, hmmm, ?? a dilema. It would seem that somewhere along the way, nemesis became intertwined with the word arch-enemy. Sometimes simple things baffle me. In my mind I couldn't make arch-enemy and nemesis synonymous.

Another google search came up with NEMESIS,"The Importance of Being Hated
In this golden age of enmity, friends are for suckers. What you need are a pair of well-chosen foes."
an essay by Chuck Klosterman. In his essay, Klosterman presents a convincing explanation of the differences between the two terms; nemesis and arch-enemy.

I think a nemesis can be internal; your own hypercritical superego, always ready to punish you with feelings of guilt if you follow a path it considers risky or wrong. Your nemesis may not be your enemy per-se, but someone who will "punish" you, inflict justice upon you. You may not like them but you don't hate them. Hate, that appears to be a key word here. Hatred is reserved for arch-enemies; wicked persons who have evil intent toward you.

Now that I have a plausable concept of what a nemesis represents, I recognize a number of folks as my nemesis. I think I have had only one arch-enemy. Some thirty years after our initial engagement the putrid hatred I harbored for this man has dissipated. His ability to be my undoing has waned to zero. I no longer see myself dancing on his grave after he dies. Perhaps I'll become his nemesis and bring justice to him if not revenge.

A coward throned
inflicting enmity ad lib
old, weak, impotent

26 November, 2006

Day 26 for nablopomo.

Grandpa Waltons Christmas Wish.

On Dec 19th, 1971, CBS aired a Christmas special titled "The Homecoming." It was so well received that the creator and writer, Earl Hamner Jnr. went on to write a Series called the "Waltons." This show premiered on September 14th 1972 and the last episode showed on 20 August, 1981.

I've watched untold numbers of television programs since 1957 (when my family purchased our first tv set) and I can honestly say that the "Waltons" is by far my all time favorite. I don't think I missed any programs. Being so enamored of this show, it was a no brainer that I would buy their Christmas album which was publishd in 1974. For me, the most striking presentation on the album was a piece by Will Geer ( an actor who portrayed grandpa Walton on the tv series) titled "Grandpa Walton's Christmas wish." It's not a song per se, but a soliloquy of sorts, if you will. It expresses my feelings about this time of year perfectly.


Grandpa's Christmas Wish
Lyrics by Geer, Will - Grandpa Walton
Grandpa's Christmas Message

What is Christmas? It is a time when some of your dreams come true. Every year it roles around and takes you by surprise some of the time, especially when you’re as close to a 100 years old as I am. You think...it Can’t be time for another one, but there it is with all it’s hope and joy and the promise of the wishes granted. I bet you wonder what I wish for. What could an old man wish for? Maybe you think I would wish to be young again. I don’t want that. Being young is a painful thing. Being young and in love to boot, which most young people are, is even more agony. I’ll tell you what I wish. I’d wish for the power to return some of the love that’s been given me. I’d wish the time and place for all that giving could be commemorated like the heart I carved on the tree around your Grandmother’s and my initials. I wish too for more days to my life. Time...time to give to children some of the beauty of this Earth that has been revealed to me. A drop of water is a wondrous thing.

A spade full of earth is a kingdom in itself. A cloud is worth watching as it passes from one horizon to another. A bird building its nest is as wondrous as men building the Pyramid, and any green thing that grows is proof that God exists. It all comes into focus at Christmas. It is a tender time. We grow cautious because we open ourselves to love. We exchange gifts, but what those presents really say is "I love you." It makes some folks uncomfortable to say or hear these words. Maybe it’s because they’ve never learned the secret of the given heart. There are more takers than givers in the world. People, communities even countries spending their time grubbing and rooting for the goods of this earth like pigs after acorns in the Fall of the year. This is a country with a given heart and I pray it will always be so. It’s a good country and it’s part of our strength, something that we brought with us as pioneers that we can share with the fellow who is down on his luck, with those who suffered calamities: with the loss of their homes or land or their hope. This is a family with a giving heart. You children may squabble and bicker among yourselves but you’ve been taught to love and to give, and that’s the greatest present your Momma and Daddy could have given you. So take pleasure in the trappings of Christmas. Be merry like the songs say. Revel in the tinsel and the glitter and the sparkle and sing the old songs for all the joy that’s in them and the memories they bring back. But to touch the real Christmas, to feel the true spirit of the season, look to your own heart and find all the secret treasures that they’re there to give. There is one wish that I make every year. I never said it aloud before, but I’ll tell it to you now. I wish for all the seasons I have known, endlessly to come and go; the dogwood Spring, the watermelon Summer, the russet and gold of Autumn. I wish for Christmas to come again and for each of us to be here again next year at this time...together, safe, warm and loved as we are at this moment.

-- Blue Ridge Publications

If perchance you get a chance to hear This piece spoken by Will Geer, do so. It adds another level to this piognant message.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

25 November, 2006

Day 25 for nablopomo

On monday 13 November, my son J. sent me an e-mail titled: 2006 Holiday edition of getting to know your friends.

I've seen it in similar form around the blogsphere lately and so, that will be my post for today; mine not his ;-)


1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate for christmas. Egg nog with Armagnac for New Years. ;-)

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? The whole crew (mrs. Claus, elves, and Santa ) wrap, Santa and Reindeer deliver.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope, it didn't commit a crime.

5. When do you put your decorations up? When D. says it's time!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Hmmm..Meat pie (tourtiere), and ginger bread cookies with hot chocolate.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Going to mid-night mass. Then home to open 1 present before bed.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was five, and I saw him leave all the presents under the tree. (I was still awake when the adults came home from mid-night mass) I heard bells outside and scratching on the roof. I hid my head quickly under my pillow so he wouldn't know I'd seen him.
I've believed in him ever since. One time in the 4th grade my friends tried to tell me that santa was really our parents. Poor saps, No more surprises for them!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? (With Ornaments;-)) My job is to put the tree up in it's stand and to put the strings of lights on. D. proceeds to make it a magical creation of beauty with a combination of antique and newer ornaments.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it. I like to shovel snow, play in it, and exercise in it.

12. Can you ice skate? Mais oui mes amis!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No, no favorites per se. I'm always pleasantly surprised every year.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Kids! Mine in particular.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Pumpkin pie.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Everyone working together to prepare Christmas morning Breakfast.

17. What tops your tree? Rainbow lit star.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Of course I enjoy getting gifts, but I really like it best when I can give a real surprise gift that the receiver couldn't guess (for real).

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Too hard!!! I sing Christmas caroles all year long. I just sing louder at this time of the year. Ok Ok, I pick.... Bing Crosby's, White Christmas. Grand-pa Walton's Christmas message is high-up on the list too!

20. Candy canes! Yumm or yuck? Yum yum, plain and as a swizzle stick for hot chocolate.

P.S. Let me know if you've never heard Grandpa Walton's Christmas message.

Friday, November 24, 2006

24 November, 2006

Day 24 for nablopomo

D. and I went to B & D's yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner. An enormous spread of traditional favorites graced the table: roast turkey of course, candied sweet potatoes, mashed white potatoes, creamed corn, fresh asparagus, peas, and dressing. D. made a creamy gravy to season everything with. The wine was a-number one (our contribution). Dessert was pumpkin and chocolate pies. I've learned to limit my portions over the years, but I did try everything and so, was suitably stuffed. Although not so stuffed that I had to hold my arms out to tell if I was rolling or walking. The sad thing is that this morning while trying to come up with something erudite to post I find my brain still suffering from tryptophan overload. I did however spy this little item at wikiHow, and thought that perhaps the day after Thanksgiving would be a good day to post it.



How to be thankful:

Do you take many things in your life for granted? By looking at the world a little differently, you just might realize how much you have to be thankful for. Here's how to stop and smell the roses.

  1. Look around and pay attention to the people around you. You will find that everybody has something to worry or complain about, not just you. It's easy to focus on those who seem to have it all, but you never know what's going on inside. They might look happy, but they might be miserable as well. Don't look at others and think "I should have it like they do." Look at those who aren't as fortunate as you are and count your blessings.
  2. Practice acceptance. Stop dwelling on how things should be, what could've been, and what you don't have. Recognize what you do have--whether you like it or not, it's yours to keep or to change. Accepting your lot in life is not about resigning yourself to unhappiness. It's about not wasting time lamenting or denying your problems. Take them for what they are and...
  3. Become a problem solver. Use your lemons to make lemonade. Get in the habit of asking yourself how you can turn the negative into a positive. The most successful people in life, and those who have the most to be grateful for, are also those who've endured tremendous trials and managed to persevere and turn it all around.
  4. Learn to see hardship as a chance to develop character. Imagine yourself looking back ten years from now and recounting your difficult circumstances, and being proud of how you handled it and worked through it.
  5. Focus on what you can control. Stop concentrating on your situation, and on conditions and incidents that happened to you and that you have no control over. Instead, shift your focus on what you can control: your response, and your behavior.
  6. Take joy in the small things. Blow bubbles with your kids. Play with a puppy. Get lost in the park. Goof off and have a good laugh. Life's treasures are the small pleasures. Give thanks for each small gift you receive!


Tips

  • Avoid negative people whose social interaction consists of comparing their lives and competing for who has it worse.
  • Volunteering to help those in need will help put things in perspective.


Warnings

  • No matter how positive and thankful you are, remember that life will always have its ups and downs. You're going to have to take the good with the bad.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

23 November, 2006

Day 23 for nablopomo







The New-England Boy’s Song
About Thanksgiving Day

Over the river, and through the wood,
To grandfather’s house we go;
The horse knows the way,
To carry the sleigh,
Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To grand fathers house away!
We would not stop
For doll or top,
For ‘t is Thanksgiving day.

Over the river, and through the wood,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
With a clear blue winter sky,
The dogs do bark
And children hark,
As we go jingling by.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play —
Hear the bells ring
Ting a ling ding,
Hurra for Thanksgiving day!

Over the river, and through the wood —
No matter for winds that blow;
Or if we get
The sleigh upset,
Into a bank of snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To see little John and Ann;
We will kiss them all,
And play snow-ball,
And stay as long as we can.

Over The river, and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple grey!
Spring over the ground
Like a hunting hound,
For ‘t is Thanksgiving day!

Over the river, and through the wood,
And straight through the barn-yard gate;
We seem to go
Extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait.

Over the river, and through the wood —
Old Jowler hears our bells;
He shakes his pow,
With a loud bow wow,
And thus the news he tells.

Over the river, and through the wood —
When grandmother sees us come,
She will say, Oh dear,
The children are here,
Bring a pie for everyone.

Over the river, and through the wood —
Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurra for the fun
Is the pudding done?
Hurra for the pumpkin pie!

LYDIA MARIA CHILD
AMERICAN (1802-1880)


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

22 November, 2006

Day 22 for nablopomo



And so my fellow Americans
Ask not what your country can do for you
Ask what you can do for your country
My fellow citizens of the world - ask not
What America can do for you - but what together
We can do for the freedom of man



It's been 43 years since I stood in the barracks of Great Lakes Naval Training Center's Hospital Corpsman School. Alone with my mop, listening to the popular jive of the day, I was reminising about making-out under water with B.B. last summer. The music stopped and the announcer interupted regular programming to say that President Kennedy has been shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. At 18 (six feet tall and bullet proof) I was dumbfounded. It must be a joke, like Oson Well's, but no.............. it was true. I had tears in my eyes as I prayed (I was still a devoted Catholic then) that it wouldn't be a mortal wound.

I was overwhelmed, confounded, and stunned. My emotional being was bankrupt.
My outlook on life was shaped forever by this day. This was the day I grew up...the world was made real forme!


John Fitzgerald Kennedy

John F. Kennedy


35th President of the United States

In office
January 20, 1961November 22, 1963

Vice President(s)

Lyndon B. Johnson

Preceded by

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Succeeded by

Lyndon B. Johnson


Born

May 29, 1917
United StatesBrookline, Massachusetts, USA

Died

November 22, 1963
Dallas, Texas, USA

Political party

Democratic

Spouse

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy

Religion

Roman Catholic

Signature

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

21 November, 2006

Day 21 for nablopomo










by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconson
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the words turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

Monday, November 20, 2006



20 November, 2006

Day 20 for nablopomo





Week #25 Come to your senses-The Poetry





Nose hairs, stiff, tingle
Bare grey-black arms tickle clouds
Leaves crunch under foot



Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday 19 November, 2006

Day 19 for nablopomo








#34 - Hero

What is a hero? A mythological figure, a soldier, a freedom fighter. Rarely, a hero can be a villian, a dastardly lowbrow.
A sandwich.

Heros are ordinary people who rise to the occassion, not everytime, but sometimes, or at least once. I like to phrase it thusly; heroism is getting it right at the right time sometimes.

We identify with heros. They give us hope, ideals, and character traits to strive for. Usually, but not always, we dislike cowards, and mean, base villians.

Heros are gallant, courageous, chivalrous. They rise above the fray to reside on pedestals crafted by mere mortals. Their humaness is forgotten and we are always reminded to reflect on their heroic deeds.

But in real life, as opposed to myth, novel, and screen, heroism is transient. Only at death are humans memorialized; they can no longer exhibit human failings. Then we are allowed to remember them only for their good deeds.

Fiction, to a high degree, has framed our image of hero/heroine. Fictional characters are portrayed as brave, valiant, lionhearted, bold and mythical. They are often idolized, and popular figures. Ocassionally a

villian is imbued with heroic qualities; think, "The Godfather", or Darth Vader, or even Gollum. When I think of the "Godfather's" mafia. I see a romantisized image of what in real life is a tawdry, criminal band of churlish drug venders, and sex slave traffickers.

There is in each of us a hero, and forsooth, a villian. Most, if not all, of the time we get to choose which one is on display more often. When we exhibit our good side, we feel elevated. Vice versa, our bad thoughts and or deeds pull us down.

I accept the fact that permanent, everlasting heros exist only in fiction. Now I can recognize heroic deeds in the acts of imperfect people; myself included.