Friday, March 28, 2014

Catch up...

OK, I was able to download something from Fuji's website so I can get the darn pictures off my camera with Windows 8.  I'm able to use PicMonkey to resize pictures, so I'm back in business there. I still don't like Windows 8, but I guess I can live with it (as if Microsoft has given me a choice). 

I've avoided taking pictures over the past several months because they'd just have to stay on the camera.  Now I'm back in business!

Here we go...
Reid on his birthday, January 28, 2014

Keith and his new car...probably February 2014?

Baby waiting for dinner to be served.  (My cats live like Kings and Queens.)

Murphy napping in the laundry basket.

My sweet Grace looking out the window.  She will be 21 years old this summer.  (Unfortunately, I didn't realize the camera was on the wrong setting, but I still like this picture.)  She couldn't look out the windows at our old house because they were up too high and she couldn't easily get to them.  Now she can watch the world go by.

That takes care of all the pictures left on the camera!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"S" as in Oil SPILL for Alphabe-Thursday

Welcome to Ms. Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday.  This week we are studying the letter "S" as in oil SPILL.

Just so happens we were down in Galveston earlier this week and things were pretty quiet along the waterfront.  I'm sure you probably heard about the oil SPILL on the news.  I hate hearing about oil SPILLS and their impact on fish and wildlife, but I believe things weren't as bad as they could have been along the Galveston coast.  However, it brought things to a standstill.

Three cruise ships were unable to leave port for a while.  One left earlier on Tuesday and I heard on the news that a second one was able to depart after we left.  There wasn't much going on, but the tall ship Elissa was sailing up and down in front of the dock.  She was supposed to leave on Tuesday for the first time in two years, but they said an oil sheen in the harbor forced them to postpone their departure until Friday.
I was told that the people on the third cruise ship had boarded Sunday evening, but they had just been told they could get off and get a refund and a discount on a future cruise.  The newspaper said they were still cleaning the oil off the hull and couldn't depart.
We thought we smelled oil, but water looked good to us.  We didn't notice the sheen.
We saw some small black things floating in the water.  You might be able to see what I'm talking about if you enlarge this picture by clicking on it.  Overall we didn't think it looked too bad where we were.
There are always some off shore oil rigs in for maintenance.  I thought the oil rig and the old 1887 Elissa were quite a contrast. Normally she's docked at the Texas Seaport Museum and you can go aboard.
Some oil rigs can be moved and they're towed in by tug boats.  There's a really interesting museum call the Ocean Star where you can learn about the different types of oil rigs.  In fact, the museum is on an old oil rig that's been converted.  I went years ago and it was very interesting.  I didn't think to take a picture.

Most boats were docked and tours were canceled.

The Dolphin Watch tour wasn't running.  I sure hope the dolphins are OK.  You can see them when you take the ferry across to the Bolivar Peninsula.  We thought about taking a ferry ride, but they weren't letting anyone out of their cars on the ferry because of the spill.  I'm not sure why.

They said today that all marine traffic can now move to and from the Houston/Galveston ports.  However, the fishing industry is very concerned about the impact to their industry.  They now say the SPILL is drifting toward Matagorda Bay.  This time of year there is great concern for the migratory birds.

The weather was beautiful down in Galveston and we ate outside on a deck.  It wasn't snowing.  (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)  I think some of you have had snow again.  You'll get your revenge.  Soon it will be blistering hot here and we'll be hiding inside with the A/C while you're outside enjoying great temperatures.

Please head over to Jenny's blog for the list of Alphabe-Thursday participants.  Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"R" as in Norman ROCKWELL for Alphabe-Thursday

It's hard to believe that another week has rolled by and it's time again for Alphabe-Thursday.  This week we are studying the letter "R" as in Norman ROCKWELL.

I grew up with Norman ROCKWELL.  He was an artist/illustrator and did many covers for The Saturday Evening Post and Look Magazine during the time I was growing up in the 1950's and 1960's.  He also did additional work for the Boy Scouts of America.

My Dad used to commute to New York City by train.  He would pick up the Saturday Evening Post so he'd have something to read on the ride home.  I always looked forward to seeing the latest cover.  I'd study all the detail.  Normal Rockwell knew how to tell a story with his work and it was often humorous.  I was fascinated.

Norman ROCKWELL is the artist that did The Four Freedoms Series during WWII.  You've probably seen them before...Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.
 Freedom From Want

 I would love to go to the Norman ROCKWELL Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Although it's been number one on my bucket list for many years, I don't see myself going anytime soon.  However, in the early 90's the Boy Scouts of America had a traveling exhibition of some of the ROCKWELL works they own.  They came to Houston and the exhibit was held at the Houston Science Museum.  I thought that was a little strange (instead of the art museum), but I saw a small article in the newspaper and decided to head down there and take a look.  I don't think many people knew about it because when I got there it was just the security guard and me in the room for a while.  I was thrilled.

I walked around the room and took my time trying to study all the detail.  I talked to the guard and shared my story about Dad and the Saturday Evening Post.  Unfortunately, I was having trouble seeing because there was one of those velvet ropes and you could only go so close to each piece.  I couldn't decide if my reading glasses were helping and I turned to the guard and laughed.  I told him I was having trouble because I couldn't get close enough.  He smiled and said, "There's no one else here you can just go under the rope."  I'm pretty sure he wasn't supposed to let anyone do that, but I was ecstatic.  I ducked under and was able to see everything up close and personal.  I could have touched them, but I knew better.  It was the thrill of a lifetime for me.

I do own a few ROCKWELL prints, many ROCKWELL books, some ROCKWELL figurines, and a Christmas Village that is Stockbridge, MA.  There's even a little Norman ROCKWELL figure.  Am I obsessed?  I'm currently reading American Mirror, The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell by Deborah Solomon.  It's a controversial book, but I'm not that far into it to give an opinion.

This is one of his better known pieces done during the Civil Rights Movement called The Problem We All Live With.  I have the print hanging above my fireplace.
It really tells the story of what was happening at that time in our history.  I love the way he put the little girl in a white dress which symbolizes innocence.  This innocent child has to be escorted through hate just to attend school.  It really made an impression on me.

Now head over to Jenny's blog so you can see the list of other Alphabe-Thursday participants and visit  their "R" posts.  Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"Q" as in please QUIT!

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  This week we are studying the letter "Q" as in please QUIT texting and driving!

Back in the early 1990's I used to drive my husband to work.  It was less than ten miles and we'd hit the road sometime between 6:15 and 6:30 AM.  I used to be horrified by all the drunk drivers I saw on the road.  I kept seeing more and more cars driving very slowly or swerving into the next lane.  I thought it was kind of strange to see them on the road at this time of day since bars closed at 2:00 AM.  Then I realized what was happening.  People were talking on cell phones!  This was long before most of us had them and talking while driving was an unusual event.
(I don't know how many of you remember, but there was an aerial that had to be pulled up and they were kind of big and bulky.)  At the time I thought it was kind of dangerous.  Eventually, it became the norm and a few states enacted legislation to make it illegal to drive and use a cell phone. 

Then texting came into being.  I'm not sure exactly when texting began.  It seems like it's been around forever, but it's probably a relatively short period of time.  Could it be less than ten years?

Texting and driving is even more dangerous than talking on the cell phone while driving.  You have to take your eyes off the road for extended periods of time.  I think it should be illegal.  In Texas a few years back the legislature passed a bill to ban texting and driving, but the governor vetoed the bill. (In Texas cell phone use is only illegal in school zones.) It varies from state to state.  Personally, I'm in favor of any kind of ban on cell phone use while driving.  However, that's probably not going to happen in a lot of places.

I don't know what the law is by you, but at the very least please voluntarily QUIT texting while  driving!  It's not worth someone's life.
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be responsible for anyone having to put one of these on their car.

This one made me smile.
Please head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.

I hope Jenny will be back with us soon!!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  This week we are studying the letter "P" as in PARALYMPICS.

I spent a lot of time in front of the TV last month watching the Sochi Olympics.  NBC and NBCSN had hours and hours of Olympic coverage.  During that coverage I learned that they would also be broadcasting the PARALYMPICS from Sochi in March.  It's only 50 hours of coverage, but more than they've ever broadcast before.  You can read all about the athletes and events at the Team USA PARALMPICS website.

I'm looking forward to the coverage.  Unfortunately, most events seem to be broadcast live in the middle of the night and not rebroadcast later during prime time like the regular Olympics.  So, I'll have to make sure I record the events I want to see.  However, the Opening Ceremony will be broadcast live at 11:00 AM on Friday morning.  You can find the complete schedule at the Team USA site by clicking here and then clicking on the Media guide link on the left hand side.  It will bring up a schedule to download.

I heard someone say on television that these athletes train just as hard (if not harder) as the regular Olympic Athletes.  I'm looking forward to the Sled Hockey.  I've never seen it before and I think it's going to be pretty exciting to watch.  Will you join me in Sochi from March 7th through the 16th?  I think it's going to be very inspiring and lots of fun.  I'm glad that these athletes are finally getting some television exposure.

"P" is also for PRAYERS for Jenny Matlock.  I hope and PRAY her doctors are able to get some answers and find a suitable treatment so she'll be back with us soon.  In case you missed her post you can read it here.  If you would like to send her a card I have her snail mail address. Just let me know if you need it.

Jenny is a very special person.  She's been so supportive to us as my son has battled cancer.  When he had his first stem cell transplant she wrote about it on her blog and people from all over the country sent him cards.  She remembers both of us on every holiday.  I'm sure other people have similar Jenny stories.  That's just the kind of person she is.  Now Jenny needs our support and PRAYERS.

Please head over to Jenny's blog so you can see the list of other Alphabe-Thursday participants and join in the Alphabe-Thursday fun.