Saturday, November 26, 2011

One Colorful Day

Let's hear it for the cooks, wearing special aprons, made by Terry of "My Journey With Candida."

On our special day of gratitude, I gave thanks to my wonderful Mac computer and all the technical mysteries that allowed me to meet so many beautiful people. Without this knowledge I never would have meet Terry and all the rest of you dear bloggy friends.

Sorry we have no runway or we would have come sashaying down it but the picture on our left shows my Granddaughter (Ashly) and Nana (Me), wearing our autumn-inspired colorful aprons by Terry. (You make cooking a joy, Terry)

Daughter Lisa, joined us, also wearing an apron made by Terry. This creation was worn in the fabulous film (joking, of course), "2 Old Broads" starring Manzanita and Marilyn.

We love your aprons, Terry. Thank you so much.

Here's a fun Christmas tree ornament, also made by Terry. On the L are tree ornaments in the shape of doggie bones with a little pocket that holds a doggie treat. Terry had made these for her daughter whose dog suddenly died. To avoid her daughter's reminder of a lost dog, Terry sent them to me (and Cody) to share with friends on our daily walk in the dog park.

I did just that and the reactions from the dog owners were priceless. The humans always greet one another while the dogs do their daily sniff greeting and I would add, "I have a present for you." Their look was skeptical with a heavy suspicion that a solicitation for money was to follow. After I gave them the doggie treat, one could feel our atmosphere change. They would break into a huge smile and there was love and compassion in the air as I explained how the gift came about. (That was sweet of Terry).

With that same fondness, I hope you all had a very special week.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alan's Song

Last night was the Montana PBS premier of my granddaughter's. Ashly's band, "Little Jane & the Pistol Whips" had been filmed as the first musical in this series, with the private showing at the University. Up to this point, no one had even a peep at the film and Ashly beamed all night, as she did in the picture to the left.

Ashly's mother ( my daughter) in the photo below, is sitting next to Ashly's Uncle. There was a lot of sniffling and blowing in that row.

One of my favorite songs is called "Alan's Song." I met Alan 9 years ago at a Sunday tea dance and much to my surprise, he was one of the best swing dancers I've ever met in Montana. If you're looking for a romance, sorry, we were just exceptionally good friends and dance partners.
He was kind, a true gentleman and put people at ease with his gentle conversation. He showed me pictures of himself when he was in the Navy during WW2, stationed in CA and dancing in a swing contest. No doubt he had no problem attracting dance partners for he looked like my ideal Heathcliff, wildly handsome with his black shining hair and strong Native American features.

Two years ago, Alan died quite suddenly and I haven't stepped on a social dance floor since. Ashly asked about Alan and his life. I told her what I knew and she disappeared for a couple hours, returning with "Alan's Song." Alan had a beautiful singing voice and was a yodeling champion. Ashly doesn't yodel but there's a similitude of yodeling in the song.

Below is a video of my son playing hockey in the Senior Mens League with the music of Ashley singing "Alan's Song." Hockey has no real connection to the song but I just made it a family affair. :) Son, Zonnie is #8 in red. The video is a little longer than most of mine so just give it a peek.
Adios Bloggy Friends.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Asteroid

Duck your head. An escapee from the asteroid belt is headed our way. Unaware to us, small carbon-rich asteroids, perhaps the size of our kitchen, pass by daily.

This asteroid is about the size of an aircraft carrier and could cut a 4 mile wide crater if it hit the earth. This spinning rock is traveling 200,000 from Earth and can't be seen with the naked eye. If it hit the Moon we could get pelted with Moon rock fragments.

Scientists assure us that this asteroid will not hit the earth. Only recently, with the advanced radar telescopes, science has been able to look back and realize the near misses. Whew, wipe your brow, safe this time, but the experts do assure us the big bang is inevitable to happen.

Until further notification, we can go back to reading about Kim Kardashians's divorce and whose knee Herman Cain is touching. Adios, my bloggy friends.

P.S. Anyway, it's time for chocolate.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Writing

I'm not a published writer nor do I have aspirations to be one. I enjoy blogging, but as truth be known, blogging "is" writing.

Hanging out with writers is interesting and I pick up a few writing tid-bits now and then. I don't participate in writer's workshops and although I read my writerly friends posts, I mostly don't know what the heck they are talking about.

I've been using the same handbook (published in 1939) as my writing source for 72 years. It's the one on top ...... Plain English Handbook. It's yellowed, weary and worn. The rules still apply but some of the phrases are archaic. I think.

Finally, after 72 years, it was time for an update and I bought "The Chicago Manual of Style." This is a big thick book and I was really going to get smart. Wrong.

I didn't understand most of it and it was sooo heavy, I had to take a nap after I carried it around for a while.

I went back to my frayed "Plain English Handbook."
It was a dear old friend, revisited with love.

But then, as if by timed magic, a blogging friend, JJ Botta, published a compact book, "7 Writing Tricks for the Clueless." It's directed at adults who can improve their writing skills with 7 writing tricks.

I love this little book. I was reminded of skills I once knew but had become careless with them throughout the years.

I will pay attention to what JJ writes because his posts serve as testimonials to easy reading. What a post-reading blessing it is to read his posts "once" and get the message. Have you ever read a post through 3 times and still wondered what the point was? These are the writers who could benefit from JJ's book.

I added JJ's book, 7 Writing Tricks for the Clueless to my flaking but spunky, Plain English Handbook and together they weigh 1/4 of the Chicago Style Manual and I can carry both around all day without having to take a nap. Good Deal.
Thanks JJ. It's a great little book.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Costume

Life is one Big Costume Party. All of my Halloweens have been spent at studio dance parties, so I've always tried to make my costumes "danceable."

Halloween. A night of spooks or funny bumbling clowns. I must have been them all . What fun to apply clown make-up. Wearing the clown make-up above, no one knew who they were dancing with. Now that I look at the picture, how did they even know I was a female. Oh maybe it was the hat.

Witches are a hoot. Make-up can do magic and set the mood for any kind of witch. One year I was the "Dead Bride" and that make-up was gruesome. A white lacy dress was covered with dead flowers but after an evening of dancing, I was left with a white lacy dress. (And a floor of scrunched dry flowers) :)
I think the cleaning crew wanted to give me the boot!

This year I'll wear a spooky prisoner costume to give out candy (yes, candy. I ate it and I still have all my teeth) and then drop in at a neighbor's open house.

And what is your choice of costume this Halloween?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Desoto

I had written a post about DWTS that was on my blog for as long as it took me to make breakfast. When I re-read it, I was bored with the trivial, silly media coverage I had so haplessly fallen victim to. Yes, I love ballroom dance. It has been my life but is it fair to inject a vial of it onto my followers? Of course not and I thank you dear bloggy friends who commented on that dreadful post. It shows your loyalty. :)

I always feel I should be adding a grabbing of intellectual musings or if the post is about my mundane, at least give my followers a good belly laugh. The truth is, my life has settled into a blissful existence and it amounts to, "Oh yeah, tofu and toast with honey for breakfast. Then I walk with Cody." Oh come Manzanita, at least you recognize "boring" when you see it.

Because I no longer rattle around in the social realm, memories are my next post choice. The vintage car above is a 1929 Desoto, replica of the car my Grandfather bought before the depression. It was my source of transportation as a child. The heater left much to be desired so I would huddle up in the back seat under a horse-hair blanket with my dog Schnitzer and let the melodious hum of the engine lull me to sleep after an evening's visit to friends. Did you ever sit on a horse-hair blanket? It's almost like sitting on a porcupine's quills. But what the heck, it was warm, as a South Dakota's night "is not."

Sorry about inflicting dancing on you. I'll slap my computer keys if it happens again. :)

The Respect

Today is my Grandmother's birthday (no, don't wish her B/Day greetings, as she's been dead for many years). But she raised me and I was thinking of how much I respected and honored her. Even when I was a young smart-ass who thought I knew it all, I allowed her the wisdom she had gathered in her many years.

The man on the L is Len Goodman, one of the judges of Dancing With the Stars. Here comes the tie in of respect and age. Len is 67 and has danced ballroom in England (the source of ballroom) since he was 19. Len is a purist in the dance world. He's fair, honest and an encyclopedia of dance. I've always respected Len for his knowledge and fairness in judging.

Anyone who has watched DWTS is aware that the show is part talent and part popularity contest. The 3 judges are all professionals BUT a no-talent dancer who has fans, can stay in the show by phone-in votes. It doesn't seem fair to contestants with talent, but Hey, it's the rules of the show and the audience loves it. That's entertainment!


Last night, professional teacher/dancer, Makim Chmerkovskly, lost it completely after hearing Len's comments on his dance partner and told Len he was too old to be judging. Then, with an egotistical, narcissistic attitude he said the show was "his." This maniacal statement brought gasps from the professionals because if Maks was all that astute about ballroom dance, he would recognize that his partner has minimal talent and it would take years of study to put her on any kind of professional level. BUT, someone with her limited talent could actually win if she had enough fans who called in.

Then Lacey Schwimmer, another teacher/professional announced to the press that the judges were making personal remarks about her dance partner, Chaz Bono. Very untrue. In fact, they were extremely kind to him.

Oh Dear, such disruptions in the paradise of dance is distressing. Or yea...... ME of little faith, perhaps it's all staged for the absorbed like me to further spread the word. And again, maybe it's not. Maybe it's just lack of respect.

I'm glad I gave my Grandmother the respect due her AND she was a pretty dang good dancer too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Today is my Grandmother's birthday (no, don't say Happy B/Day as she's been dead for many years). But she raised me and I was thinking of how much I respected and honored her. Even when I was a young smart-ass who thought I knew it all, I allowed her the wisdom she gathered in her many years.

The man on the L is Len Goodman, one of the judges of Dancing With the Stars. Here comes the tie in of respect and age. Len is 67 and has danced ballroom in England (The source of ballroom) since he was 19. Len is a purist and knows dancing. He's fair, honest and an encyclopedia of dance. I've always agreed with him and honored his judgment.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Uncle Oliver

I grew up during the 30's on a farm in South Dakota. Evidently my Mother dropped me off at her relatives when I was a tiny baby and returned many years later. In lieu of feeling abandoned, I was grateful for a wholesome upbringing, surrounded by caring, non-judgemental people.

As the Great Depression slumbered in the cities, all the siblings and their spouses (with the exception of my Mother) worked 80 acres of black fertile soil to feed them and others during this time of starvation.

Uncle Oliver was married to Aunt Dutch, my Mother's youngest sister. At my earliest recollection, they were still courting and I remember them holding hands and kissing when they were alone. After their wedding, Oliver moved his horses from his parents farm, to my Grandparents and with that came a pony for me to ride.

Aunt Dutch and I would get in the Ford coupe with the rumble seat and head over to Oliver's parents farm for honey. His Mom kept bees, who she declared, maintained perfect health. She'd catch 3 or4 bees and put them in her stocking. They'd buzz around and eventually sting her. She'd say this bee venom was like a shot of health. I never doubted it because she was still keeping her bees at 108.

Uncle Oliver and I had many conversations from the spiritual to the sublime as I was growing up. What a treasure to have someone like Oliver as a teacher.
As times got better, they moved to their own farm but never had kids of their own. The picture above is from their farm that I inherited. I no longer have it, but memories serve me well. Whenever I eat honey, the bees in the stocking tape rolls in my mind. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Evening Thoughts

Dear Bloggy Friends:

Do you use POST OPTIONS when posting on your blog? It's so handy. Click on it..... located on the Left bottom corner. I usually write my post at night, set the options for the next day at 2 AM and wake up to it already posted and catch followers on different time zones.
Today I had to go to a tiny town by name of Whitehall in Montana. (Sounds so British). But in truth, it doesn't even have a stop light. They did recently put in a 4-way stop. They THINK big. :)
Are you a one-book-at-a-time reader? Or do you begin 5 or 6 books and read from one to another? Would that be called multi-tasking-reading books? I start reading many books and usually drop the pitifully boring-books. I'm doing two re-reads (from ancient times and enjoying every minute). Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor and Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. History does repeat itself.
I have 2 dance classes going. East Coast Swing and Country 2-step. I had wanted to take videos at the beginning and again after 6 weeks but the students were going to smash my camera so I nixed it. Mob rule. :) I had to teach myself the 2-step from a tape so I can teach the man's part. Both classes are progressing but no Fred and Ginger at this point.
Are you betting people? Let's see your money. I bet that no one can watch this video and NOT get the tune stuck in their brain all day.
That's all that is on my brain. Adios Bloggy People.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pay it Forward Blogfest

Hello Bloggy Friends
This post is my contribution to the "Pay it Forward" blogfest. I'm going to give you the names of three blogs I enjoy following.
I have an enormous admiration for Zara's blog Gypsy Village . It is a blog of exquisite taste and sophistication, featuring fashion, travel, gardening and sometimes food. She leans toward exotic designs from Pakistan, Arabia and India. Pay her a visit.
Zara's other blog is Retro Lounge. This attractive blog features retro items from lifestyles from the 50's to the 80's. Her latest post headlines Piet Hein Eck, a Dutch designer of furniture, lamps, unique wallpaper, and ceramics.
Mellodee Musings is a blog of varied interests and surprise themes. Often the themes are cleverly centered around words of a song, of which Mellodee has a vast storehouse of titles. Pay her a visit and be amazed because you never know what you'll find.
Adios my bloggy friends. Have a Readable Week-end, reading blogs and ice skating (in case your autumn departs and your weather turns frigid.) Ha, perish the thought!

This linky list is now closed.