Sunday, November 30, 2008

A *wintry* mix kind of day

It sure felt like winter today. Here are a few cold-looking photos from our ride to church (no, I wasn't driving).
This is heading down the first part of the hill.

This is further down the hill, on Elm Street. Coming up on the left is the birthplace of Gen. David Humphreys, who was a Revolutionary War hero, aide-de-camp to Gen. George Washington, teacher, poet, ambassador, and industrialist.

We drive past Humphreys' birthplace (above) many times a day. The house serves as the headquarters for the Derby Historical Society.
His father, the Rev. Daniel Humphreys, was one of the earliest pastors of the First Congregational Church to which we belong. (Below)

This last photo is a bit tilted. My excuse is it was sleeting out as I was trying to take the picture.

That's it for today. Stay tuned for more of Ralph and Patti's excellent Sunday.

Winter's here

And I thought I would document it this morning.

We're taking our children back to school this afternoon. They both have early morning classes tomorrow, so they have to be back today.

The flurries are pretty, but I'm not quite ready for this. It's too early. Brrr...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Taken from the driver's seat ...

...while at a red light.
I was trying to concentrate on the road, but the clouds got in my way.

That birthday meme ~

Duchess Linda posted this meme a while back and urged her readers to take part. It is from her friend, Jamie, of Duward Discussion. Here is what Linda posted from Jamie:

"Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to go to The Birthday Calculator and
This Day in History to find all sorts of interesting stuff about you and tell the world all about it."

Here goes:
29 December 1954

Your date of conception was on or about 7 April 1954 which was a Wednesday.

You were born on a Wednesday
under the astrological sign Capricorn.
Your Life path number is 6.

Your fortune cookie reads:
Hearts are not to be had as a gift, hearts are to be earned. W.B. Yeats

Life Path Compatibility:
You are most compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 3, 6 & 9.
You should get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 2, 4, 8, 11 & 22.
You are least compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 1, 5 & 7.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2435105.5.
The golden number for 1954 is 17.
The epact number for 1954 is 25.
The year 1954 was not a leap year.

Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 2/3/1954 and ending 1/23/1955.
You were born in the Chinese year of the Horse.

Your Native American Zodiac sign is Goose; your plant is Bramble.

You were born in the Egyptian month of Famenoth, the third month of the season of Poret (Emergence - Fertile soil).

Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is 4 Tevet 5715.
Or if you were born after sundown then the date is 5 Tevet 5715.

The Mayan Calendar long count date of your birthday is which is
12 baktun 17 katun 1 tun 3 uinal 1 kin

The Hijra (Islamic Calendar) date of your birth is Wednsday, 4 Jumadiyu'l-Avval 1374 (1374-5-4).

The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 18 April 1954.
The date of Orthodox Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 25 April 1954.
The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 3 March 1954.
The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 6 June 1954.
The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 13 June 1954.
The date of Rosh Hashanah in the year of your birth was Tuesday, 28 September 1954.
The date of Passover in the year of your birth was Sunday, 18 April 1954.
The date of Mardi Gras on your birth year was Tuesday 2 March 1954.

As of 11/29/2008 12:45:39 PM EST
You are 53 years old.
You are 647 months old.
You are 2,813 weeks old.
You are 19,694 days old.
You are 472,668 hours old.
You are 28,360,125 minutes old.
You are 1,701,607,539 seconds old.

Celebrities who share your birthday:

Jude Law (1972)Bryan 'Dexter' Holland (1966)Ed Autry (1954)
Ted Danson (1947)Marianne Faithfull (1946)Jon Voight (1938)
Mary Tyler Moore (1936)Andrew Johnson (1808)Charles Goodyear (1800)

Top songs of 1954
Sh-Boom by Crew-CutsLittle Things Mean a Lot by Kitty Kallen
Oh! My Papa by Eddie FisherWanted by Perry Como
Mr. Sandman by ChordettesMake Love to Me by Jo Stafford
Hey There by Rosemary ClooneySecret Love by Doris Day
This Ole House by Rosemary ClooneyI Need You Now by Eddie Fisher

Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 7.70802348336595 years old. (You old hound dog, you!)

Your lucky day is Saturday.
Your lucky number is 8.
Your ruling planet(s) is Saturn & Uranus.
Your lucky dates are 8th, 17th, 26th.
Your opposition sign is Cancer.
Your opposition number(s) is 2 & 7.

Today is not one of your lucky days!

There are 30 days till your next birthday
on which your cake will have 54 candles.

Those 54 candles produce 54 BTUs,
or 13,608 calories of heat (that's only 13.6080 food Calories!) .
You can boil 6.17 US ounces of water with that many candles.

In 1954 there were approximately 3.6 million births in the US.
In 1954 the US population was approximately 150,697,361 people, 50.7 persons per square mile.
In 1954 in the US there were approximately 1,667,231 marriages (11.1%) and 385,144 divorces (2.6%)
In 1954 in the US there were approximately 1,452,000 deaths (9.6 per 1000)
In the US a new person is born approximately every 8 seconds.
In the US one person dies approximately every 12 seconds.

In 1954 the population of Australia was approximately 9,089,936.
In 1954 there were approximately 202,256 births in Australia.
In 1954 in Australia there were approximately 71,229 marriages and 6,457 divorces.
In 1954 in Australia there were approximately 81,805 deaths.

Your birthstone is Blue Zircon

The Mystical properties of Blue Zircon

Zircon helps one be more at peace with oneself.
Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)
Blue Topaz, Ruby, Lapis Lazuli

Your birth tree is
Apple Tree, the Love

Of slight build, lots of charm, appeal and attraction, pleasant aura, flirtatious, adventurous, sensitive, always in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, scientific talents, lives for today, a carefree philosopher with imagination.

There are 26 days till Christmas 2008!
There are 39 days till Orthodox Christmas!

The moon's phase on the day you were born was waxing crescent.

That's funny about the moon. I've been waxing poetic ever since. Hahaha...

And one tidbit from history - on December 29, 1890:

U.S. Army massacres Indians at Wounded Knee

On this day in 1890, in the final chapter of America's long Indian wars, the U.S. Cavalry kills 146 Sioux at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.

So I memed. I hope you liked. Have a nice weekend!

I guess the holiday is over

The cats had fun clawing at the paper Thanksgiving tablecloth when it was on the table.

When I took it off the table this morning I didn't have the heart to throw it away. I thought there was still some fun left it in it.
And there was. For Rigby anyway.

Crinkle, crinkle.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vintage thanks

On our all-American holiday...

Gobble, gobble...

View more vintage postcards here.

Exciting holiday UPDATE

I did the raw turkey thing, and decided against photographing the fun. Almost did.

Before tussling with the turkey I dropped the kiddos off at our high school field for the big Thanksgiving rivalry game. They both are playing in their high school band as "alumni."

I've had way too much coffee this morning. I stopped and got a cup of decaf for my mother and got myself more regular coffee. Yum ... it was hazelnut.

That's it from here...

Exciting holiday post

Time: 7:30 a.m. or thereabouts

Scene: Yours truly at computer, sipping coffee. The kitties had breakfast, not to worry.

What I'm Doing: Breezing through tons of Thanksgiving clip art images, Cornucopias, Pilgrims, etc., to get just the right one for today's post.

Why I'm Doing This: Putting off doing that "raw turkey stuff" for a bit know how it is.

I'll be back...

P.S. That autumn leaf is supposed to be animated, but it's not moving. Darn.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quitting time ... not

As we enter this festive season of festive eating, I thought I'd share this little quote.
I received it in an announcement about an upcoming chocolate-themed fund-raising event:

"I'd give up chocolate but I'm not a quitter."

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Creative Photo # 15 - Week 4

Ah, Paris. The Louvre.
I wish I were back there.

But I was there...and so was our daughter. Yay for that. If I had known at the time I was going to be blogging four years in the future I may have taken more and better photos.
But that was long before I knew Roger at Idaho Photo, and his Creative Photography contest.

This photo of a skylight in one of the huge galleries of The Louvre is my entry in this week's competition.
To view some wonderful and much more creative entries, I urge you to visit Roger at Idaho Photo and click on the Creative Photo tab.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ruby Tuesday * Gobble, gobble

Ruby Tuesday is here again. This turkey made out of Legos and his Pilgrim companion will make up the table centerpiece for us on Thanksgiving. I may add a jar candle to the decor. We're kinda fancy around here, I know. Woo hoo!

The Pilgrim girl had a Pilgrim boyfriend, but he lost his head, literally. I haven't gotten around to gluing it back onto his shoulders.

Here's Mr. Lego Turkey next to the Christmas cactus, which is out of focus, I realize. That's because in this post we're focusing on Thanksgiving. Hahahahaha!

Ralph told me to say that.
Actually the turkey is rather out of focus too, now that I take a second look.
So I have a bit of red to offer for Ruby Tuesday. Mostly what I want to say is Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog friends. Have a great holiday!

To see lots of Ruby Tuesday entries, visit Mary T, The Teach, at Work of the Poet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A post for our son, who is away at college on his birthday

...which means a slightly belated celebration this week for his 18th birthday.Cameron was born 12 days late but healthy on the day after Thanksgiving in 1990, all 9 lbs., 1 oz. of him.
And for that Ralph and I have always been thankful.

Happy Birthday to Cam,

Happy Birthday to Cam,

You're 18 years old now,

Happy Birthday to You!

The other day I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. He said any kind, as long as chocolate is involved.
That's my boy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

100 years young

That may be a cliche, but it is the first thing that popped into my head after I met a centenarian Friday.
Jean is amazingly spry with a wonderful memory. She will turn 100 on Nov. 30 and our local senior center gave her a party, which I covered for the newspaper.

She was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and came to the United States with her family when she was three years old.

Her only surviving son was on hand to thank members of the senior center for the "companionship and friendship" shown to his mother over the 40 years that she has been a member.

She has taken many trips with the center, and still plays bingo there on a regular basis.

If you were to guess, you would say she was in her early 80s. It was hard to believe she was born in 1908.

When I got to the party, she was the only person in the room, besides the speaker, who was standing. She walks unassisted and, from what I was told, never complains.

I wish this lovely great-grandmother health and happiness as she celebrates a major milestone.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Can't find the time for more memes ~

I really don't know how some people are so organized to be able to do a different meme every day.
Must get organized.

I know there's the wildly popular Skywatch Friday meme and I've seen awesome photos of cloud formations, sunrises and sunsets posted. I've never played, and I figure once I sign up I'd be committed to play all the time.
That's just me, I guess.
I snapped all three of these earlier this month.

I do have plenty of photo fun doing Ruby Tuesday and Creative Photography each week. They're a great way to share photos and keep your creative juices flowing.
I recommend visiting Mary T, The Teach and Roger in Idaho to learn more and play along!
Thanks as always to both of them for hosting the memes.

The last photo here is a repost, but I like the feeling of 'chilly November getting-dark-way-too-early' that it conveys, so I'm posting it again. So there.
Happy November!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We love our cats, but...

we need our seven hours' uninterrupted sleep at night. And we haven't been getting that.
Boo hoo.

Having the kitties around is like having kiddies around, you have to get up during the night and do stuff for them, or find them like at 1:50 a.m. today.
We woke up to scratching sounds, and then it stopped, then more scratching. No mewing, so I thought somebody was just conditioning his claws.

I pulled myself out of bed to get whoever it was to stop. Linus was just sitting on a chair and he looked at me, like "what are you doing up?" Ah ha! It was Rigbert who woke us.
But I couldn't find him. More scratching...finally I opened the door to our daughter's bedroom and he skittered out.
If he had mewed, I would have found him sooner. I don't know how he got in there, the door was latched. But he did and he was stuck in a cold room. Traumatic.
Two minutes later Rigby was between us on the bed, purring and eventually sleeping, falling back to sleep before we did, of course.

We go back to sleep for two hours. At 4:30 Ralph yelled. Rigby's claw had inadvertently caught Ralph's lower lip. Yowch. Rigby ran away.
I got a wet paper towel and Ralph pressed it to his lip. Not much blood. OK, turn off light.
Rigby came back on the bed, followed by his brother. We went back to sleep.
Woke up at 7, no cats on bed.
One of those nights.
The thing is,when Ralph and I are working today, the cats will be lounging kinda like this:

Or this. --->

What a life they lead.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My Christmas cactus bloomed the other day! It was a lovely surprise. I had no idea if it would come back. I wasn't giving it any special treatment.

That's my news.If I treat it well, maybe someday it will grow up to look like the one above.

(Woo hoo! I posted about minutia two days in a
row. Although I'm sure some would say I post about minutia every day.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Some turkey giggles and gobbles

Getting into the Thanksgiving spirit early...

If the Pilgrims were alive today, what would they be most famous for?
Their age.

What kind of music did the Pilgrims like?
Plymouth Rock.

Should you have your whole family for Thanksgiving dinner?
No, you should just have the turkey.

What sound does a turkey's phone make?
Wing Wing.

When does Christmas come before Thanksgiving?
In the dictionary.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

I was just visiting Vinny Bond, and he was talking about the minutia he sometimes puts on his blog.

Well I'd hazard a guess that I have him beat on the minutia
stuff with this post.

Hope you liked the silly riddles you just read. I had an icky day and I needed something to cheer me up, so I am posting this now instead of next week.

Here's a special one I just found for our music expert, Vinny Bond:

Why was the turkey the drummer in the band?

Now think ... you'll get it ...

Because he had the drumsticks!

Tomorrow I shall be serious again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

I couldn't figure out what to photograph this evening for Ruby Tuesday, but it turned out it was right in front of my nose.
Ralph and I like to light a candle or two on the dinner table to create some ambiance. So as I was lamenting the fact I couldn't find anything red around the house, there was my Ruby entry waiting for me.
You can see the some of the letters of the words Yankee Candle in reverse on the glass.

And when I sat down at the computer I remembered photos I took last week of red, white, and blue blankets that a group of church women had knitted and crocheted.
I wrote a story about their efforts. They created 27 blankets which were to be blessed last Sunday and given to patients at the veterans hospital this week. They tied them to the balcony railings to display them.
To see many more Ruby Tuesday entries, or to post a ruby shot of your own, visit Mary T, The Teach. Thanks as always go to Mary for hosting this fun meme.

Some food for thought

Our small congregation recently decided to participate in Angel Food Ministries, and Ralph and I have gotten involved as volunteers.
We honestly have done very little, yet it feels good to be helping people in our church and community by being a small part of the process.
We attended a training in September at a church about 20 miles from here, to get an idea of what the program offers. The people there were so friendly and welcoming; they have been doing Angel Food work for a year already, and have a big following.
October was our church's first food distribution. I'm glad I wasn't in charge, because there were a few problems that needed to be ironed out.
All in all in went well.

This Saturday we will be at church to help with the November and Thanksgiving distribution. Mary, our very organized (and very pregnant!) coordinator, told us there are a lot more orders than the first time, so there will be more people showing up. Good thing the co-coordinator is her helpful hubby, David.

Even though Ralph uses a wheelchair, he is able to be the official greeter as members of the public arrive, and yell out the order numbers to the other volunteers.
A "regular box" includes groceries, eggs, frozen meats and vegetables for just $30. You also can select a senior/convenience box of microwaveable meals as well as a variety of "special boxes." The specials feature frozen meat combinations and fresh fruits and vegetables for $21 and $22. It is a good deal.

There is no income limit; anyone can purchase the food. I saw well-dressed people driving off in late-model cars and SUVs in addition to those who were less affluent.
We all need to eat, and why not take the opportunity to buy food at a good price?

This sounds like an advertisement for Angel Food Ministries. It's not, I just thought I'd post something about it, in case you live near a church that participates in the program
I'd recommend it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Creative Photo #15 - Week 3

Rigby is, as Ralph often says, a knucklehead. He thinks he can get at the leaves swirling around the patio on a windy day. He keeps trying and bumping into the window. He's doing that as I type this.

I liked this photo I took this morning because his sweet face is visible in the reflection.

It's my entry into Roger's Creative Photography contest this week.
To see more photos that are much more creative than this, visit Roger at Idaho Photo, and click on the Creative Photo tab.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

History + photography = fun

Taking another trip back to a simpler time...

Welcome to the 18th Century in southern New England.

When Ralph, my mother and I were enjoying ourselves Sunday during an open house I wrote about here at the historic David Humphreys House, headquarters of the Derby Historical Society in Ansonia, Ct. , I tried to get 'artsy' with the camera.

I snapped some pictures through the front windows that look out on Elm Street.
The only problem was there are dark plastic films covering the windows on the inside to prevent the home's contents from getting faded from too much natural light coming in.

This is the Old Town Burying Ground (also referred to as Elm Street Cemetery) directly across the street. Too bad about the telephone pole, huh? I like the street sign on the far left with an arrow that seems to be pointing straight into the graveyard.

And two more cemetery scenes taken through the window ...

Looks like November to me.

Below is my attempt at being artsy! I fiddled with the photo a bit, with our free Paint.NET application. I like the photo, just wish the sign were a bit clearer.

Here is the Humphreys' family crest, hanging over the mantel in the other front room, a parlor of sorts.
This fireplace was not being used on Sunday. A string of orange lights was wrapped around the logs to give the fireplace a bit of a warm glow. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of that.

I liked this autumn grouping of colorful gourds and squash that was displayed atop an old trunk.

I sat next to it for awhile to enjoy some classical music being played by a docent at the house, who is a senior in high school this year. He is an accomplished pianist; we've heard him play many times before, at school concerts and piano recitals our children also were a part of in years past. I just don't know if he wants me to post his photo, so I won't.

I have still more photos of our visit, but I hope you enjoyed those that I've posted today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dogs, cats, birds, hamsters ~ u name it, we luv it

I'm reposting this because there were no comments Sunday and I feel like nobody saw it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A new blog about the pets we love

One of my editors and friends, Helen, has just started a blog with her daughter, Kiley, to try to cope with the death of their family's beloved dog.

Tesla, a Bernese Mountain dog, died last weekend.

Helen asked me to contribute to the blog. I sent her a post I had written when our cat, Humphrey, died in June 2007.

Their blog is called Tesla's Love. I recommend going there to visit.

If you have a post about a beloved pet, let me know and I will get you in touch with Helen. She is looking for contributors.