Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

I am in Chicago for a few days visiting my daughters and their families. I arrived in the windy city around sunrise Sunday morning. My daughter’s partner picked me up at Union Station (you really ought to travel by MegaBus at least once! Great fun!) but instead of going straight back to their apartment, we did a little sight-seeing first. Chicago on a Sunday morning at sunrise, empty streets, wonderful colors, fantastic architecture . . . and Marilyn . . . is awesome! I was not thinking about this challenge when I was shooting, but early this morning as I was going through the photos, I thought this would fit the bill. Enjoy! (and I’ll throw in a few of Marilyn as a bonus! :-))


Five Question Friday: November 4, 2011

I’m back.  It has been a challenging few weeks, but I’m back and ready to go. I decided to keep 5QF, but to add “Point to Ponder” on another day of the week, like maybe on Wednesdays.  And I absolutely reserve the right to change a question if the powers that be list a question that is too banal, gross, intrusive, crude, or what have you. So far I’ve only done that once.  At any rate, let’s see what questions we have for this week! Enjoy.

1. What movie do you love to quote?

I don’t actually quote movies, but there is one movie that I can quote, almost verbatim, from beginning to end. I LOVE it! Sadly, I packed the video away in storage until we move into a house which could be months, or even a year from now. It is a quirky movie and it makes me laugh and smile so it’s great to watch on a “blue” day. :-) Ever hear of “The Princess Bride”? Great for children and adult alike…. Dorky as all get out, but that is its charm. :-)

Cover of "The Princess Bride (20th Annive...

Cover via Amazon

2. Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?
hmmm . . . a few! My parents belonged to a Harley Davidson club when they were in college. I rode around on the back of one when I was a small child. We owned a Honda dirt bike when I was in my early teens that we rode through cotton fields and on back roads . . . we (my twin brother and I) were too young for a license so we rode on the back roads and through the fields to avoid the traffic cops. A guy had a better chance of getting a date with me if he had a motorcycle…. sad but true. Haven’t been on one in a while, but have many memories of wonderful rides with the wind blowing through my hair (in the days before the helmet laws). I also have the burn scars on my calves from scraping against the exhaust pipe to attest to my motorcycle-riding days.
Harley-Davidson motorcycle

Image via Wikipedia

3. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
These days I read (academic stuff for class), write (academic stuff for class, and blogging) or sleep. But my favorite favorite thing to do, if it is not storming, is to grab the poncho, the umbrella, and the camera and take a walk! See here for what happens when I do that! :-)

4. Do you prefer a bunch of small gifts, or one really big, (expensive) gift?
I’m not one for big or expensive . . . but a gem or two here and there is appreciated now and then. ;-) On the other hand, the handmade gifts from my grandchildren (or children for that matter) or the sweet note from my husband written on the back of a PNC bank statement envelope are priceless, far more valuable than emeralds or diamonds.
multi-coloured lilies

Image by nicodeemus1 via Flickr

5. Do you ever lose track of days and show up somewhere wrong?
Duh…. I’m a middle age woman sliding toward 60 with ever-increasing speed. What do you think?

My "Good Morning" look with a cup of coffee, and Genevieve looking over my shoulder! :-)

So there you have another Five Question Friday. :-) Have a joyful weekend, and I’ll see you next week for 5QF!

Pele, My Sweet Cat

 

Pele has been with me for 18 years, since she was weened as a kitten. She has been a wonderful companion through thick and through thin. It was a sad moment last night when Richard and I met at the vet’s office and had to euthanize her.  I’ve had to euthanize pets before, but none as beloved as Pele. If any of you reading this are in the Cleveland area, specifically Cleveland Heights, I highly recommend Mandel Veterinary Clinic. The staff was as caring, respectful and sympathetic as any vet I’ve ever taken my pets to in my life. After a physical exam for Pele, we were escorted to a “grief room” where we could spend some time with Pele. There were several steps to the procedure, but I was allowed to hold her through the entire process. As much as I despise having to make these kinds of decisions, every vet I checked with in the last month (many) told me that her time had come. I finally chose the vet where we received the kindest, most tender conversations. I will certainly miss Pele, but I am thankful that her parting was handled in such a sensitive way. Thank you to all the staff at the Mandel Veterinary Clinic.

Nov. 2, 2011 -- photo taken around 1pm, deceased @ 6pm

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hidden

I’m a little slow with this challenge but here it is. I shot this photo a couple of years ago while visiting my daughters and their families in Chicago. Can you find the “hidden?”

L.J. & Pat; “He” and “She”; “They”

Pat and L. J. ~ November 2, 1951

L. J. and Pat

“He” and “She”

“They”

 

He was born in Louisiana and grew up on his parents’ cotton farm. She was born in Chicago and moved frequently from urban area to urban area, depending on where her dad found work. He was the younger of two boys with eight years separating them. She was the third of six children, each born two or three years apart. He wore a leather jacket with slicked back wavy hair and drove a Harley Davidson, the epitome of “cool.” She dressed demurely in modest dresses and sang in the church choir. Their paths converged at Louisiana Tech when he saw her across a room and was smitten. He asked her for a date, which she accepted on one condition: he had to attend church with her. He didn’t have to think long or hard for that was a small price to pay for a date with this gal. Yes, he was smitten. The rest is history.

They married on Nov. 2, 1951 in a small church wedding. He was heading to seminary in North Carolina, and they had stars in their eyes about what the future might hold for them. But whatever it was, together they would forge their path through life.

He became a minister for a while, and church remains a vital part of his life. Even after leaving the ministry, he ponders the deeper meaning of life, its joys and its vicissitudes as any true existentialist would. He wrote the stories of his imaginings, being the creative thinker and writer that he was and is. Eventually he became a bookkeeper at a nearby mission, followed by providing the same services at their church home, the place where they have worshiped for over 40 years. He finally retired during his 80th year.

She was the pragmatic one. In the early years she worked as a lab technician in local hospitals. Eventually she would leave that work to become a middle school life science teacher where she earned accolades for her creativity and enthusiasm in the classroom. When she retired from teaching, she became a naturalist at a state park until her retirement from that position when she was approaching her 80th birthday. Through the years she sewed her own clothes, reupholstered furniture to make others’ discarded junk a piece of art in her home, grew her own vegetables to preserve, and fed the family throughout the year. She sang in the church choir into her 80’s, teaches Sunday school, chairs the mission committee, and continues visiting friends and friendless alike. Today she makes doll clothes for dolls that are given to hospitalized children, hoping to alleviate each child’s fear . . . at least a little bit.

Through the years they relocated many times, reinvented themselves almost as often, raised four motley children, enjoyed the blessings of nine grandchildren and now three great-grandchildren with two more on the way. They traveled extensively and embraced life in all of its beauty and complexity—good and bad.

Camping was a salve for their souls as they hiked through woods, forged mountain streams, spelunked through caverns and repelled down cliffs.  As a young family, they began their camping “career” in an old, smelly baker tent (that was often sworn at . . . poor tent.) From that humble beginning, they quickly graduated to a full-scale teepee modeled after the Oglala abodes. They made the teepee themselves. She sewed, wearing out at least one sewing machine. He cut down tall Louisiana pines, then stripped the bark and dried the poles. They hauled the teepee throughout the country, east and west, north and south, on annual family camping trips. When they retired the teepee, back packing became their mode of camping and seeing the country. For years the two traveled when they got the chance, hiking with their packs to places most of the rest of us have only seen in photographs. When the two adventurers and life-long lovers finally hung up their packs, they converted their van into a makeshift camper so that they could continue their travels. The two did not slow down. But even the van eventually became too difficult to “camp” in. Not thwarted however, they bought a small camper trailer to pull behind their van and they continue their journeys, albeit a little slower and closer to home than in past years.

In addition to the adventures of travel and camping, the two spent their lives supporting the downtrodden, visiting the sick, grappling with issues of social justice, poverty, inequality, racism and more. They stood by their beliefs and their love of the human race when others wanted to silence them. They appreciated the simple things in life, were thankful that their needs were met, made do with what they had, and as a result their lives are far richer today than if filled with tawdry material things that eventually wither away and become burdensome objects for their children to dispense of.

You see, L.J. and Pat have spent over 60 glorious years building a life together and inspiring all who know them to be better people, to do better work, and to think better thoughts.

L. J. and Pat, the “he” and the “she”, his motorcycle “Fonzie” to her modest “Pollyana” created a masterpiece with their lives that we, the privileged observers, now celebrate.

 November 2, 1951 – November 2, 2011

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.

 

Assessments, Tests and Measurements!

Oy vey . . .  The title of this post is the name of the course that is giving me fits this quarter. Ugh! I am not a “measurement” type person. Until this course, I was perfectly content to leave the numbers and measurement stuff up to my husband. He’s the scientist. He measures everything, no exceptions. Every book he reads, house we look at, movie we see, etc., Richard will grade. Seldom does anything get an “A” in his book. When asked how he comes up with the grade, Richard will go into great detail about how he figured the numbers and assessed different values to measure an outcome that results in a grade. I kid you not!  He offered to tutor me in this course to which I replied, “NO NO NO!” He is a good man but when it comes to discussions about anything of this sort, he just can’t “dumb” himself down to a level that I understand. I am a measurement impaired person. I will probably have to go to the university tutoring site to get help (like today.) Although befuddled and confused by it all, I readily admit the importance of this particular course. In my field of endeavor, assessments, tests and measurements are essential in the process of diagnosing a problem. In addition, the ability to accurately and ethically use assessment instruments is addressed in the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics, and is required within the managed health system. Now I could say a LOT about managed care, but that is for another blog. As I was saying about assessments et al., use of the proper tool in the proper way for the proper results benefits future clients’ best interest. So I need to learn this stuff, even if it is turning my brain into a pretzel! So, back to the books I go!