Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ruby Tuesday ~ Early Autumn

Tuesdays sure come around fast. It's once again time for a new Ruby Tuesday!
This weekend I shot some photos of bits of red. The one above is a tree with leaves that are just starting to turn red. It's reflected in the Naugatuck River in Derby, Connecticut.
Below is a pretty shrub that is part of a row of them planted at a shopping center. I realize it's pink, but that's like a very light shade of red, so it's OK, right?

To see more Ruby Tuesday photos, visit Mary, The Teach.
Mary's idea really took off. It's easy and fun to do.
I'm late posting this and I'm afraid to look on her blog. I'm sure there are close to 100 participants already.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Back to blogging

It's Monday morning and I'm trying to fire up my blogging skills.
With the exception of participating yesterday in Roger's Creative Photography contest by posting a photo of my (our) cat, I haven't posted since Thursday.
Oh, the sadness. Oh, the incredible laziness. Oh, the burning eyeballs from using the computer all day for work and not feeling much like using it in the evening.
~ ~ ~
As for my job for the newspaper, most days I write the upbeat stories. Thursday wasn't one of those days.
I was assigned to write about an Army lieutenant from Connecticut who was killed on patrol Tuesday in Balad, Iraq.
He was just 26, with a bright future ahead. He graduated with a degree in government from George Mason University.
Sadly, he left behind a twin brother, who works as a border patrol agent in Arizona. Their father is deceased.
This hero will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
My heartfelt thoughts go out to his brother, his mother, and all of his family and friends.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Creative Photography #13-4


Does this kitty look relaxed, or what? I tried to get a bit of Rigby's reflection in the window.

This is my entry in Roger's Creative Photography contest. To check out some great photos, visit him at Idaho Photo. Thanks go to Roger and the contest judges.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

That looks familiar

You know when you see something and you don't know where you've seen it but you've seen it?
That's what happened to me when I was reading this account from Duchess Linda about her beach vacation last week with five of her blog buddies.
I was looking at her pictures from the first post she shared about the vacation and lo and behold she showed us Southeast Lighthouse which she photographed when the group visited Block Island.
I've never seen it, but I have a print of a painting of it hanging on the wall.
Several years ago I met a Connecticut artist and he gave me a print of the water color he had painted of the lighthouse. I had the print framed, back when I could afford such luxuries.

If and when I ever get to Block Island, I'll definitely visit this historic lighthouse.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Peaceful wishes

Having people share their hopes for "whirled" peace is what the creators of the Pinwheels for Peace project hope to achieve.
According to www.pinwheelsforpeace.com, two high school art teachers in Florida launched the project in 2005 to commemorate International Day of Peace, which is Sept. 21. And the idea has taken off throughout the United States.
On Monday I visited an elementary school that took part in the initiative. With the help of their art teacher, all of the 440 students made pinwheels and decorated them with colorful drawings and messages of what their wishes are for peace.

Pupils create pinwheels for peace

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
DERBY — Irving School pupils planted paper pinwheels in front of the school Monday with peace messages that ranged from the global — “I want peace in Africa” — to more local concerns — “I would like to see peace in the lunchroom.”

Read the full story here.

Fourth-grader Stephen Jette places a pinwheel in the ground in front of Irving School in Derby Monday as part of Pinwheels for Peace, an art and literacy project started in 2005. This is the second year Irving School has participated in the event.
Brad Horrigan/Register

Following this (peace) train of thought, I bring you Mimi, Queen of Memes, and her next BlogBlast for Peace.
Mimi has scheduled the blogosphere event for Nov. 6, and she hopes this BlogBlast will be bigger than ever.

Truth be told, I have yet to make a new peace globe. But Ralph (Airhead 55) and I will be taking part in this BlogBlast (as soon as we get our act together). We have participated in the past, and this initiative by Mimi has truly taken on a life of its own, thanks to all of her efforts. I tip my crown to her (she has dubbed me a princess, so I do indeed have a blog-crown).

So the message today is simple: get a peace globe template and get to work!
BlogBlast may be six weeks away, but as we all know, time has a way of flying by.

You don't want to be sentenced to the Queen's dark, dank dungeon in Bloggingham Castle now, do you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lazin' - Linus style

Ah, a morning cat nap. = ^. .^ =

Wouldn't it be nice to get up early, eat breakfast, sit in the sun for a while, exercise a bit, then go back to sleep?

Ruby Tuesday

I drove past this object every day for weeks when I dropped my son off at his summer job. It is on the ground behind a "water services" company. Not sure what they do, but it makes me wonder if it's a diving bell?
But it's too small for a person to get into. Hey, maybe it's for cats to use to go underwater!

For more Ruby Tuesday entries, visit Mary, The Teach.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Creative photo # 13 - Week 3


Today I offer up a photo I took last April. This lone duck seems content as he suns himself at the pond behind City Hall in Milford, Ct.
Is he looking for his feathered friends? Or just happy to be alone?

It's my entry this week in Roger's Creative Photography contest. To take part in the fun, visit Roger at Idaho Photo. There are always a lot of great entries. You won't be disappointed!


Friday, September 19, 2008

Thoughts on cats and hiding from reality

What does a cat have to do to get some service around this joint?
I'm w-a-a-a-a-i-ting ...

Linus (McSqueaky) likes to jump up on a chair to see what's going on at the table.

I'm constantly spraying everything off around here. The cats have taken over.

Rigby (McLoopy) likes to play hide-and-seek ...


And that brings me to this fun drawing and accompanying ditty, created by an artist named B. Andrews, or Anderson, or something like that, with a 1993 copyright. It's hard to read the signature on the print. By sharing this I hope I'm not guilty of some kind of copyright infringement.

It says: "I was never good at hide and seek because I'd always make enough noise so my friends would be sure to find me. I don't have anyone to play those games with any more, but now and then I make enough noise just in case someone is still looking and hasn't found me yet."

Ah, yes. Hide and Seek.

A friend gave me this framed print about 10 years ago and it has hung on the wall ever since. He thought it fit me to a T.
Sadly, I can no longer hide. But it was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fishing for a post ~ maybe fish oil would help

Some days I feel like talking, other days, not so much. I can go for hours and hours without uttering a word, or revealing myself in a blog post. Maybe I need some of that fish oil prescription that Empress Bee has been taking lately. She never seems to be at a loss for words.

She goes off on tangents, but they are interesting tangents, so it's all good. And she draws some great doodles. I love them. She has a whole cast of characters in her imagination that she shares with us.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Here are some pix I took last autumn in our backyard. I used a saturation effect on the third one, to brighten the colors or something. It's fun to play around.
I'm looking forward to seeing and photographing these beautiful colors again next month. October is beautiful, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Awards from, ahem, royalty

Mimi, Queen of Memes, had a Blog Appreciation Week a while back, and I only thanked her for one of the three awards she kindly bestowed upon me.

I hope I am not destined for the dungeon. It's dank, as we all know. And dark. And there is no electricity, just a few small windows with a northern exposure. You never get to see a sunrise or a sunset. Or anything pleasant. It's just not pretty.

Her Highness honored me with this award:

with this comment:
"Patti @ Late Bloomer Boomer- aka Princess Patti the Succinct Writer Extraordinaire who manages to maintain a quality blog and write for a New England newspaper. Patti is a person I greatly admire. She is not only of royal heritage but a kind and decent and lovely woman. I am proud to call her my friend."

Thank you, Mimi, for your very kind words. The check is in the mail.

~ ~ ~

The Queen of Memes (and I daresay of the blogosphere) also honored me with this:

It's from Chuck at Foster Me Up.

Apparently Chuck believes that Mimi is a VIXEN!

Looks like I'm in good company!

But I'm not really a vixen, am I? My mother wouldn't approve.

Thank you again, Mimi, for your kind words. Another check is in the mail.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

* Ruby * Tuesday *

These petunias are actually deep pink, but I red-ified them in the second photo so I could use them for Ruby Tuesday. I have spent more than half an hour trying to rotate the pix so that they are straight when I upload them, but no can do. And I thought I could fool the computer. Silly me.

To see more Ruby Tuesday photos and join the fun, visit Mary, The Teach.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Steeplechasing - this time in another Connecticut town

In August we attended a dedication for our niece's adorable baby daughter.
It was held at a Congregational Church 55 miles from our house.

While we were there I did a bit of 'steeplechasing,' just for fun. I found the exterior of the stone church we visited to be quite beautiful.

I thought the design of the entranceway was cool. I brightened the photo a bit, because there were some shadows when I snapped the picture.

The street scene below shows off the New England town's old-style architecture and stone buildings that have so much interesting detail. Certainly nothing like today's glass and concrete edifices and the ubiquitous strip shopping centers that litter the landscape.

Blecch. No character.

I really got on my soapbox today. Regular readers will wonder what happened, I imagine. :-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Creative photo #13 - Week 2

As you can see Rigby (or as I like to call him, McLoopy) is our water boy.

This is the original photo, taken with my (our) Canon Power Shot A550.

It's my entry in Roger's Creative Photography contest for this week. If you want to take part, visit him at Idaho Daily Photo.

Thanks for hosting, Roger!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Never, ever forget

Yesterday I visited a high school where students and teachers had created at flag display in front of the building to mark Sept. 11. I was assigned to write a brief story on the tribute. What I wrote was added to an article about local Sept. 11 commemorations, of which there were apparently just a few. I posted about it here yesterday, and my friend, Duchess Linda, asked me to share the link to the story.
Since it's short, I just copied and pasted it:

"Social studies teacher Jim Marrone organized an effort to create a flag display in front of Emmett O’Brien Technical High School in Ansonia.

"We thought about putting flags up because we wanted to have something simple, but meaningful," he said. A group planted mums in a memorial garden, and heating, ventilation and cooling department students fashioned two metal structures to symbolize the World Trade Center towers. The towers stand in the center of the garden. A larger American flag stands between the two towers and smaller flags are placed among the flowers. Marrone said they used 220 flags for the entire display. The school has held a remembrance each year since the terror attacks. "Every year we will do something, as long as I’m here," said Marrone, who was assisted by administration and colleagues. Art teacher Julie Criscuolo painted a picture of the towers with the Statue of Liberty on one side and a dove flying overhead. It reads: "Remembering those who died on Sept. 11, 2001." The painting is placed against a tree among the flags. "It came out really nice for the amount of time and money we put into it," said sophomore Jeff Glick, 15, of Naugatuck. Teachers and students donated money to purchase the flags, he said. Sophomore Megan Graft, 15, of Ansonia was in awe of the display. "It’s just unbelievable," she said as she gazed out over the rows of flags. Megan was in the third grade when the attacks occurred, but wasn’t told about it that day. "When I got home from school, my mom explained to me what happened," she remembered. "The students wanted to know what we were doing for 9/11," Marrone said. "I’m very proud of these kids."

* * *
I urge you to read this post about Sept. 11 that was beautifully written by Dianne at Forks Off The Moment.
I find it difficult to write about such emotional topics. But she did a great job with it, and made many of her readers cry, as they told her in their comments.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A simple remembrance on Sept. 11

I took these and other photos Wednesday at the technical high school near our house. I knew I was going to be writing about the school's remembrance today, and took some photos of their 220-flag display in case the newspaper didn't send a photographer. Luckily for me the paper sent a great photog to the school today. I can't wait to see the picture she took.

The teacher who organized the display, got the donations for the flags and for flowers for a memorial garden, vowed that as long as he is teaching there something will be done each year in memory of those who died that awful day.

it's hard to believe that the number of services to remember Sept. 11 has decreased greatly just seven years later. But sadly it has.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The first patch of leaves to change color in our yard. This is a mulberry bush, which is actually the size of a tree.
Autumn approacheth ...

Feline follies =^ . . ^ =

Both cats love this box that the printer came in, which is why I haven't thrown it out yet. They have fun ripping the cardboard and hiding...

I am featuring Linus in this post, I guess because I can. The other day I featured Rigby relaxing atop the box. These two cats are wacky! And that makes them fun to have around.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Freshman year is going great

After finishing a phone interview this morning for a story I'm writing, I said hi to our daughter who was signed on to Google talk. We chat online almost every day; it's so easy to keep in touch that way.

Just as I started to say hello to her, Kid Two signed on (for the first time!) and said hi to his Mumsie. I have only called him once, on Labor Day, to see how the first two days had gone. We had a brief conversation and he sounded fine. I didn't want to be a helicopter parent, hovering around.

He has been busy with classes, settling in, and going to not one, but two great shows offered (at a price) to freshmen who want to take part.

He saw the Blue Man Group in Boston, then this past weekend he saw "Spamalot" in Hartford.

He loved both of the productions.

Cam is a young man of few words. He told me classes were fine and that his roommate is "a great guy." Whew.

He's fine, he's happy. And that makes his parents happy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ruby Tuesday ~*~*~*~

A red barn. As soon as I saw it, I thought of Ruby Tuesday!

We attended a church picnic last month at one of the member's homes. His house is out in a country setting, with a big backyard with lots of beautiful old shade trees. An old-fashioned afternoon gathering is the best way to describe the event.

Pinwheel! It's red too.Bonus picture: Airhead 55 also was there. He is quite the partier, I'll tell ya.

(Large boy walking next to barn is Kid Two. I didn't even realize he was in the shot.)

To join in the photo-sharing fun, visit Mary, The Teach, our Ruby Tuesday hostess with the mostest.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saying thanks, a bit belatedly

I have been lax in recognizing awards recently given to me, and for that I feel bad. I'm not an ingrate, really!
Dianne, author of Forks Off the Moment, honored me and my husband, Airhead 55, with the Kick-Ass Blogger Award. That was Aug. 25, and now it's Sept. 7. Yikes.

Dianne (two ns) thinks I kick ass? Wow! Mary, The Teach, author of Work of the Poet, also thinks I kick same. Wowee!

This is what Dianne said about me and Ralph:

PATTI is one of the most positive, upbeat people – she makes me feel good just by leaving a short comment. Her creative photography is wonderful – she always spreads her wings and tries a new flight pattern. I admire her a lot.

RALPH gives good comment! He always has something funny or useful or helpful to say. He is thoughtful and knowledgeable. Ralph also comes up with great lines which I then steal and claim as my own.

Thanks, Dianne.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Creative photograph #13 - 1

A writer friend of mine, Sarah, got married four years ago this week on a perfect September day in Connecticut. The lakeside setting for the wedding was spectacular, as you can see.

Here I decided to put the bride and groom into an oil painting. Click on it for full painting effect.

Then I tried a Black & White effect, which reminds me of wedding photos from the '40s and '50s. Sarah, who is a stunning young woman, reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor in that classic 1950 movie, "Father of the Bride."

* * *

P.S. Please click on all of them to get a good look.

This is my entry in Roger's Creative Photography contest #13-1. (According to newly posted rules that have me a bit confused, but I am giving it a whirl.)

To join in the fun, visit Idaho Photo. Thanks as always, Roger, for hosting. And thanks to the judges for judging.

Ain't they cute?

Friday afternoon with our felines...

They continue to amuse!

Linus climbs around the desk and printer, while Rigby rests on the box from the new printer. They love that box, they get inside, rip the cardboard, hide, play, you name it. That's why I didn't throw it out. Just didn't have the heart.
I almost got a shot of Linus in the box. Maybe today will be the day...