30 November 2008

Manic Monday - Shop

The First Big Box

To tell the truth, I have always hated shopping, but as a child there was one store where EVERYONE went at some point or another if only for a small toy or that little necessary household item. You went to the five and dime - the chain that was everywhere - the first of the "big box store" concept. You went to Woolworths. Small towns or large cities, there was always a Woolworths.

The whole IDEA of Woolworths is so entrenched as a cultural image in the minds of a generation that even the mention can bring up memories such as the movie title, "Come Back To the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean" or that the heiress daughter of the family became known as the Poor Little Rich Girl because of her troubled life. When Billy Rose wrote a hit song in 1931, everyone knew that the title was inspired by Barbara Hutton.

Woolworths was different from "the department store". You had to dress up to go shopping there. I mean ladies put on hats to go to "the department store" whatever its name. Children were known to run barefoot into the five and dime. You could take your allowance once a week for a treat. My cousin and I would each order a coke: Hers with cherry syrup and mine with a real squeezed lemon. Now coke's are good from a bottle, but nothing tasted as good as those made from scratch when the weather was 100+ degrees outside and you were sitting under the revolving fan drinking an ice cold Coke.

Woolworths was so much a part of civic life that the catalyst for the sit-in movement of the 1960s took place at the Woolworth's lunch counter by a group of North Carolina A&T University students in Greensboro, North Carolina. That lunch counter is now part of an exhibit at The Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Woolworths doesn't really exist anymore though there are stores operating independently around the world that carry the name. The newer Big Box stores just aren't the same. They just don't seem as much a part of a community as when you could shop at the old "five and dime".

Don't forget to go shopping at The Wren's Nest owned by our Manic Monday meme host.

The annual Haggis Hunt season has begun. For those who like to surf the web, this is a great spot to hit in passing from now through January 25 (Burns Day in Scotland). There are weekly prizes, but the fun is in spotting the Haggis on one of the ten scenic or social web cams and playing the haggis games.

Be sure to brush up on your Haggis spotting talents by dispensing with any myths you might have about it being nothing up a sheep's stomach stuffed with oatmeal and gizzards. This noble beast is so much more.

Have a good time.

29 November 2008

Oh Drat!!!

I passed along the "Sexy Reader" award to Mary at Work of the Poet and forgot to include an instruction. "Don't put up anything I might want to read!". Well, she put up a little paragraph that is so descriptive that you think you are standing next to the woman thinking and saying to yourself, "I know that lady". Now I'm stuck with, "What happens next?".

Anyway, drop by and visit Mary if only because she has put up her Christmas decorations, and the place is absolutely lovely.

28 November 2008

First Vic .... Errrr Designate

If you take part in the Manic Monday Meme, then you are already acquainted with the wonderful computer design creations of Janna in the Jannaverse. If not, and you require a web page that is abosolutely you you you, she is the one to call. Now before you wander over there, one word of warning: Stick you tongue firmly in your cheek and set your brain on quirky. Now try blog reading in that position.

This time around, Janna is being almost serious (Almost being that she made it to the end of her "Sexy Reader" assigned meme with a serious subject and interesting history before the kittens in her cranium got into the catnip.

Just to get your holiday weekend off with a giggle, take the time to read some of the archives while visiting Janna.

27 November 2008

Sexy Reader Award

My Buddy Linda over at Are We There Yet presented me with this Vargas Girl of bookworms. Thank you Linda. Any resemblance between me and sexy up there is strictly in your imagination other than the book of course.

This award came along with a set of rules that I am apparently supposed to adhere to but they look pretty easy so I think I can handle them -

Rules: Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 46. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The closest book, not the coolest, or the one you think will sound the best. THE CLOSEST

As it happens, this is a book I just got in the mail and know nothing about other than a short synopsis: Storyteller by G. R. Grove.

So feasting and forgetting stayed we there, till at last one amongst us opened the door that looks toward Dumnonia, and with that opening memory rushed in, and we knew our loss, and felt the heavy burden of our grief fall upon us. On the White Mount, then, we buried Brian's head, as he himself had bade us, and it kept the coasts of Britain clear, until Arthur dug it up. And that was an evil day.

I stared at him, feeling the short hairs creep on the back of my neck, and a shiver go up my spine. It was not just the resonant storyteller's voice, or the finely phrased delivery. He spoke as one who had himself truly been there, and seen all that he described.
Now to pass along the award. I adore men in Kilts, so Travis at Trav's Thoughts can stop dancing and don a skirt long enough to tell us what he is reading. Mary The Teach at Work of the Poet because I know she has something good close to hand. Anthony North at Beyond The Blog for a little international flair and another man in skirts. Janna where she lives in the Jannaverse. One more award for Mags of Miss Maggie Moo Talks To You

No obligation folks, do it if you will enjoy it.

26 November 2008


Happy Thanksgiving

May all your roads be safe ones and may

you have loving hands to hold

Green Household

The REAL reason blonds have more fun.

I would like to tell you of the benefits that plain little ole bottle of 3% peroxide you can get for under $1.00 at any drug store... What does bleach cost?

Most doctors don't tell you about peroxide. Have you ever smelled bleach in a doctor's office? NO!!! Why? Because it smells, and it is not healthy! Ask the Nurses who work in the doctor's offices , and ask them if they use bleach at home. They are wiser and know better!

Did you also know bleach was invented in the late 40's? It's chlorine, folks! And it was used to kill our troops. Peroxide was invented during WWI in the 20's. It was used to save and help cleanse the needs of our troops and hospitals.

Please think about this:

1. Take one cap full (the little white cap that comes with the bottle) and hold in your mouth for 10 minutes daily, then spit it out. (I do it when I bathe...) No more canker sores, and your teeth will be whiter without expensive pastes. Use it instead of mouthwash.

2. Let your toothbrushes soak in a cup of peroxide to keep them free of germs.

3. Clean your counters and table tops with peroxide to kill germs and leave a fresh smell. Simply put a little on your dishrag when you wipe, or spray it on the counters.

4. After rinsing off your wooden cutting board, pour peroxide on it to kill salmonella and other bacteria.

5. I had fungus on my feet for years until I sprayed a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry.

6. Soak any infections or cuts in 3% peroxide for five to ten minutes several times a day . My husband has seen gangrene that would not heal with any medicine but was healed by soaking in peroxide.

7. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water and keep it in every bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic system like bleach or most other disinfectants will.

8. Tilt your head back and spray into nostrils with your 50/50 mixture whenever you have a cold, plugged sinus. It will bubble and help to kill the bacteria. Hold for a few minutes, and then blow your nose into a tissue.

9. If you have a terrible toothache and cannot get to a dentist right away, put a cap full of 3% peroxide into your mouth and hold it for ten minutes several times a day. The pain will lessen greatly.

10. And of course, if you like a natural look to your hair, spray the 50/50 solution on your wet hair after a shower and comb it through. You will not have the peroxide-burnt blond hair like the hair dye packages but more natural highlights if your hair is a light brown, faddish, or dirty blond. ** It also lightens gradually, so it's not a drastic change.

11. Put half a bottle of peroxide in your bath to help rid boils fungus, or other skin infections.

12. You can also add a cup of peroxide instead of bleach to a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them. If there is blood on clothing pour it directly on the soiled spot. Let it sit for a minute, then rub it and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.

13. I use peroxide to clean my mirrors. There is no smearing, which is why I love it so much for this. I could go on and on.

It is a little brown bottle no home should be without! With prices of most necessities rising, I'm glad there's a way to save tons of money in such a simple, healthy manner! This information really woke me up. I hope you gain something from it, too. I've known that with an infection, a bit of peroxide on that will fizz and help to cure the infection. I've also known that if you had a dog that's flea infested, a bit of peroxide in it's bath water will kill them immediately. But never thought of all the above uses. It is a very useful bottle to have in your home.

Pass this on to ALL your friends and family
I especially like the part about fungus.

24 November 2008

Where Or When

Right now we have a new President about to assume office. It looks as if the financial condition of the world is about to crash and burn. In individual lives homes are being lost on the bad end of things while others are giving thanks and others are falling madly in love.

Whenever something dramatic happens in the world or in our lives, we often think that somehow what we are living is different than what other people know. Fortunately for those going through such events, it helps to know that somewhere, sometime, to somebody, exactly the same things have happened and will probably happen over and over again. There is a whole bank of experience and wisdom to draw upon whether the events are tragic or happy.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
English novelist (1812 - 1870)

Dickens was telling us that all times are like all other times. At some point there will be events great or small that will elate or terrorize the individuals living in them. Shelly over at This Eclectic Life published a wonderful blog article about living in the present, but while doing it she gave me an idea.

If you could live in any time and place, where and when would you choose? Do not be bothered by language considerations. We will assume you are part of the population for this exercise.

Rome under Augustus

30 AD Israel

Shakespearean England

Gold Rush California

WW II England or United States

And to go along with the theme: The only song I know of that was written about reincarnation. Rodgers and Hart wrote this intro to the song that became one of the most recorded songs of all time, so it must be talking to someone:

Sometimes you think you've lived before
All that you live to day
Things you do come back to you
As if they knew the way
Oh the tricks your mind can play

The beautiful "Where or When"

23 November 2008

Manic Monday - Harvest

One of the nice things about the Manic Monday Meme created by our friend Mo is that it gives you a chance to think about all sorts of things. This time around I went looking for a visual, written, and musical way to say "Harvest". The first two were easy with a great painter, Peter Brueghel, and a great poet, Carl Sandburgh. For the third, "Shine On Harvest Moon" is a nice sing along, but I wanted something other than just the song so here is a fun version where Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy sing and dance to the song.

Pieter Brueghel the Elder c.1530 - 1569.
The Corn Harvest. Painted 1565.

Harvest Sunset
by Carl Sandburg

RED gold of pools,
Sunset furrows six o’clock,
And the farmer done in the fields
And the cows in the barns with bulging udders.

Take the cows and the farmer,
Take the barns and bulging udders.
Leave the red gold of pools
And sunset furrows six o’clock.
The farmer’s wife is singing.
The farmer’s boy is whistling.
I wash my hands in red gold of pools.

21 November 2008

Forty Five Years

This is a reprint from one of my earliest blog posts.

A child was born in February of 1963. Approximately 15 years later, a teacher gave him the assignment to write about the year he was born. Since he wasn’t, as yet, confidant enough to tackle a creative exposition completely on his own, he sought his mother’s assistance. After a little enforced research, he came home with, “I have an idea”. He and his mother sat down together to do an interview and then have him write about the year plus one month from October 1962 to November 1963. Starting Out was the result.


Had she or hadn’t she? Sleeping pills, yes, but what? Thalidomide – the name haunted her and every other pregnant woman in 1962. Those babies! – Her baby? She was scared and would stay that way until next year.

El Camino Real – beautiful as only Northern California can be in the October sun. The radio blared away with the Four Seasons’ “Sherry”. They were young, a baby on the way, and happy – at least on this day. The President interrupted the music, “Today I have ordered a blockade of Cuba!” Suddenly their bright world was dark. They waited. The world waited. Six days later the Russian ships turned around and the sun came out again, but for how long?

“You won’t have Nixon to kick around any more” sounded like as good a promise as any following the November elections. Vaughn Meader had them all laughing with his satire of the Kennedy White House, “Goodnight Jackie. Goodnight Bobby. Goodnight Ethel. Do you have your bear, Teddy?”

“Puff the Magic Dragon” welcomed a baby boy into the world on February 21, 1963. His mother counted fingers and toes in time to the music. He was beautiful, perfect, loved. She was politically aware and terribly liberal, but at this moment, it didn’t matter that the South was in an uproar over integration or that the Supreme Court had reaffirmed the right of peaceful assembly. Christopher Alan was here and safe. Let the world take care of itself. She had bigger responsibilities.

The baby went to the movies right along with mommy and daddy. An infant-seat made seeing “The Birds” and “Lawrence of Arabia” easy. And to think it wasn’t that long ago that she thought Hula Hoops were the greatest invention ever!

Divorce was becoming the great American pastime. She was just one more casualty that May. There were lots of casualties – her kind and the “advisors” in Viet Nam. It was a time of commitment and she was supposed to care about the Green Berets, care about the Peace Corps, care about LSD and Timothy Leary, care about so much, but there just wasn’t time. Being a single working mother took all of her hours. Given her choice of trends to lead, this wouldn’t have been it. She and Tony Bennett had both left their hearts in San Francisco. Rod McKuen might think that love had been good to him. She disagreed. Oh well, McDonalds sold 15-cent hamburgers. At least she didn’t have to cook.

JFK was a Berliner at the wall, and Camelot was in full swing. Pope John XXIII died; the world mourned a good man. Fanny Hill fought its way through obscenity trials, while Bob Dylan led the war protesters with “Blowin’ in the Wind”. Martin Luther King had a dream near the Washington Monument – too late for Medgar Evers murdered the previous June and not in time for the four young girls bombed to death in church the following September. The US/USSR hotline was installed, and the “red phone” became a symbol of the unthinkable. Could anything else happen in this crazy year?

Los Angeles baseball fans were in heaven, and Kofax and Drysdale were patron saints! A four game sweep of the World Series had the city pretending it was New Year’s Eve, as confetti and champagne rained down on the heroes! Those beautiful no-hitter bums!

Her child was ten months old now, but for three days he slept almost constantly as if he understood that this was no time for a baby to cry. The tears fell uncontrollably from much older eyes. The drums of November marked a national tragedy. “Where were you when you heard?” would become the question a generation could answer. Kennedy dead and two days later his accused assassin died “live” on TV. On the television: the flag, the riderless horse, and the constant pictures of a nation stunned by grief. She hovered over the sleeping infant, her tears dropping on the blond curls. What have we done to you? What will become of you? Was there any hope left for the world or this new person? They would have to wait and see – together.

For those curious as to “then what happened”, Christopher is now past 40. He retired from the U.S. Army and now lives and works in the state of Washington. He is divorced with one son. His parents remarried only to divorce again seven years later (another story). He has a sister and two beautiful nieces.

His mother is a retired writer and editor and is still happily single. As with most of the country, she is no longer a sixties liberal and has settled somewhere around fanatically moderate Democratic/Republican: Social issues left, fiscal issues right with more than enough exceptions in between to give anyone political schizophrenia

20 November 2008

Hail To The Chief

The original Hail to the Chief was set to music by James Sanderson using words by Sir Walter Scott in "The Lady of the Lake" . The President's Own, The Marine band, first played the song to entertain John Quincy Adams, but was first used to introduce James K. Polk. This was suggested by Julia Tyler wife of Polk's predecessor. Albert Gamse wrote new lyrics for the song though they are seldom sung. In case you want to practice for a sing along: Hail To The Chief

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.

Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, that's our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief!

Hail to the Chief song from Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott

Hail to the chief, who in triumph advances,
Honored and bless'd be the evergreen pine!
Long may the tree in his banner that glances,
Flourish, the shelter and grace of our line.
Heav'n send it happy dew,
Earth lend it sap anew,
Gaily to bourgeon and broadly to grow;
While ev'ry highland glen,
Sends our shout back again,
"Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! i-e-roe!"

Ours is no sapling, chance-sown by the fountain,
Blooming at Beltane, in winter to fade;
When the whirlwind has stripp'd ev'ry leaf on the mountain,
The more shall Clan Alpine exult in her shade.
Moor'd in the lifted rock,
Proof to the tempest shock,
Firmer he roots him, the ruder it blow;
Menteith and Breadalbane, then,
Echo his praise again,
"Roderigh Vich alpine dhu, ho! i-e-roe!"

Row, vassals, row for the pride of the Highlands!
Stretch to your oars for the evergreen pine!
Oh, that the rosebud that graces yon islands,
Were wreath'd in a garland around him to twine!
O, that some seedling gem,
Worthy such noble stem,
Honor'd and bless'd in their shadow might grow!
Loud should Clan Alpine then,
Ring from her deepmost glen,
"Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! i-e-roe!"

19 November 2008

Skidding To A Stop

The picture above was taken by my buddy, Linda, over at Are We There Yet?. Her blog is one that always makes me skid to a stop in my daily rounds simply because there will ALWAYS be something worth reading. Today she grabbed the little meme and wrote some interesting stuff about her birthday, but in addition you get a slice of cake and birthday wishes. There are always some great photographs (her latest obsession), a history lesson as she goes walk about the East Coast, amusing stories about her artist in residence, Amanda, and tales of heroism from the men and women who serve as our police, fire, and emergency personnel.

All of the above is served up with whimsey and humor. Do yourself a favor and drop by for an extended visit and then put Linda on your list as a a favorite place to think of when you want to stop surfing and just sort of bob gently on a nice little wave.

November 19, 1863


These modern prints showing the crowd around the platform at Gettysburg and a detail from that picture of President Lincoln on the platform were made from the original glass plate negative at the National Archives. Lincoln is in the center of the detail, head bared and probably seated. The photograph was taken about three hours before Lincoln gave his now famous address.

Known drafts of the Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a
final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the
unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave
the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

18 November 2008

Another Shout Out

Sherry Plummer of Sherrie's Stuff stopped by and grabbed the little meme. Sherrie's place is a window on the world of a loving woman, involved with her husband, son, and extended others. It is full of photos and gentle pleasures. Knock on the back door, say Jamie sent you, and sit down to visit for a spell.

17 November 2008

Whiskey Jack's Tater Soup

In another blog far, far away, we have been known to trade recipes along with the political slings and arrows. One of the most recent culinary presentations came from Whiskey Jack whose personality is almost as crusty as the bread he serves with this wonderful soup.


3/4 cups ham (preferrably trimmings from the bone left overs)
1 Medium chopped onion
2 inches of celery top of mixed leaves and stalk
2 large white potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes
Equal amount left over Jack O Lantern Pumpkin chopped
2 Cups water
1 Cup Heavy Cream or Evaporated Milk (for the dieters)


Peel , slice and dice the vegetables.

Put the chopped up ham in the pot and cook until some of the fat is rendered out of the meat. That way you don't get chunks of fat meat just the flavor

Add the onions and celery let them cook with the ham until the smell permeates the house.

Put all the remaining veggies in the pot add a cup or 2 of water to cover 2/3 of the veggies. You don't want too much liquid as you are going to add milk or cream later.

Bring to a boil then turn on low and simmer until every thing is cooked to pieces.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving add a cup of cream or can evaporated milk.

Serve with your favorite quick or crusty bread and lots of butter

Variations: Whatever suits your fancy. Curry garlic, or peppers can add a little zing to this wonderful fall soup while sour cream topping adds even more rich and cool texture. Be creative.

16 November 2008

Manic Monday - Season

Don't forget to visit the Manic Monday headquarters HERE to see links to other Manic Monday posts.

The instant someone mentions season, my brain starts playing the old English song, Scarborough Fair sometimes known as: Parsley (Forgiveness), Sage (Strength), Rosemary (Remembrance) and Thyme (Courage).

Just Staying with the English model, there is Brother Cadfael with his many plants in his garden that are grown, picked and used as potions for medicine or herbs to season food, all while solving the many mysteries written by Ellis Peters and dramatized in the "Mystery" series on PBS.

Coming full circle, no one does mystery or gardens better than the British, so naturally they had to have one that was named after herbs and seasoning with another couple of gardeners, Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme figuring out Who Dunnit IT while installing gardens in Rosemary and Thyme.

Long Cool Woman

To understand this, you have to understand my attitude towards clothes. If it takes me more than 60 seconds to get dressed, I'm not interested. Make up is a major chore, high heels were invented by Torquemada, and fleece anything is a comfy act of God. Oh like any woman, I can look at beautiful clothes or admire designs ... but wear them? Which whip and chair were you planning to use to make me shop? So it is with something approaching surprise, that I am having a severe attack of the trivial today. It must be the stress and strain of the recent unpleasantness known as a political campaign.

You can tell me that our soon to be First Lady is a brilliant woman, an accomplished attorney, a loving mother, a caring human being dedicated to her community and an expert in hospital management, but all I can see or hear is a hit song echo by The Hollies. From the way he still looks at her after more than a decade, I have a sneaking suspicion that our future President may have thought the same thing the first time he saw her:

Just a 5-9 beautiful tall
With just one look I was a bad mess
'Cause that long cool woman had it all

The song was written to mimic a film noir script in a song, so many of the lines don't apply to our newest first family, but that tag line is definitely Michelle Obama: That lady definitely has it all.

The Hollies - Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress Lyrics

Saturday night I was downtown
Working for the FBI
Sitting in a nest of bad men
Whiskey bottles piling high

Bootlegging boozer on the west side
Full of people who are doing wrong
Just about to call up the DA man
When I heard this woman singing a song

A pair of 45's made me open my eyes
My temperature started to rise
She was a long cool woman in a black dress
Just a 5-9 beautiful tall
With just one look I was a bad mess
'Cause that long cool woman had it all

I saw her heading to the table
Well a tall walking big black cat
When Charlie said I hope that you're able, boy
Well I'm telling you she knows where it's at

Well then suddenly we heard the sirens
And everybody started to run
Jumping under doors and tables
Well I heard somebody shooting a gun

Well the DA was pumping my left hand
And she was holding my right
Well I told her, "Don't get scared
'Cause you're gonna be spared"

Well I'm gonna be forgiven
If I wanna spend my living
With a long cool woman in a black dress
Just a 5-9 beautiful tall
With just one look I was a bad mess
'Cause that long cool woman had it all
Had it all, had it all, had it all...

15 November 2008

A Visit From Down South

Gemma of Greyscale Territory popped in on the little meme that could, and when you pop in on Gemma you are visiting Tasmania. As you can see from the photo above, it is a place of beauty complimented by more photos, music, and poetry. If you are missing the sun, it is summer down there now even though the stores are sprouting Christmas decorations.

How Long Has This Been Going On?

I've been aware of "memes" for a long because of taking part in the weekly Manic Monday invented by the marvelous Mo. Then there are the times when Her Royal Highness, the Queen of Memes residing at of Bloggingham Castle over at Mimi Writes often sees fit to drop her bejeweled scepter on my tender brow while issuing a royal decree.

Just for the record, those darn diamonds hurt.

Yesterday, I invented a simple little meme. Who knew that lurkers would drop out of wherever lurkers live and say, "Okay, I'll do that." Not only is there a feeling of accomplishment, but you get to chat with people who haven't spoken up before. It gives you an excuse to run out and discover some very nice blogs on the winding road of the Internet.

Keith Marshall over at Zen Mischief did it first and gives you a real idea of the power of the Internet. Tell me how in my non virtual life would I be likely to chat with a chemical engineer living in London who reads Anthony Powell? Just the titles of some of his blog articles are fascinating and will tickle your funny bone while giving your IQ a hefty boost, so do yourself a favor and drop in for a visit.

Next up was Hagar's Daughters who is almost a polar opposite of Keith. Her personal description of her blog says it all: For women who find themselves at the well...praying, crying, dancing, & pondering (& the men who join them there). She is a chaplain born in Louisiana now living in Los Angeles. If you need a dose of humor, confidence, courage, or just plain down home wisdom, this is the place to go.

One of my absolute favorite bloggers, Mary The Teach, over at Work of the Poet is jumping in on this one. If you like dropping in on a trusted friend to chat about anything and everything, this is the place to go simply because you never know what has captured her interest. She might as well hang up a sign reading "Eclectic R Us" just for the sheer variety you find at her space.

Now the title of this blog entry gives me an excuse to put up a wonderful video (as if I needed an excuse for another look at the wrongly cancelled by the rats at CBS "Moonlight" and Mick my favorite vampire. I bet the success of HBO's True Blood is killing them).

When that video comes with an amazing Gershwin standard and the incomparable voice of Ella Fitzgerald, what's not to love?

Contest Contest Contest

The inimitable Mags of Maggie Moo Talks 2 You is holding a contest. Since she is an honest to goodness chef and most people truly enjoy eating, this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

14 November 2008

Quote For The Day

"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."

Invent A Meme

I got this idea from one of my favorite bloggers, Wayne Hicks of Electronic Village. He has a feature called "Old School Friday" where he takes trips back to his youth. Today's was "Birth Year Songs" for which he did 1959 and Jackie Wilson with Lonely Teardrops.

Well anything worth doing is worth overdoing so I went to the The Birthday Calculator to find out what was going on in 1944.

I was conceived on or about 10 June 1943 which was a Thursday and born on 2 March 1944 when the moon was in its first quarter. This was also a Thursday. Certainly the old rhyme of "Thursday's Child has far to go" has been proven true.

Astrological Sign: Pisces with a birthstone of Aquamarine said to ease depression.

Chinese Astrology Sign: Monkey with a birthstone of Jade

Native American Zodiac: Wolf (Probably howling at that quarter moon)

Plant: Plantain (No wonder people think I'm Bananas. At least the Monkey won't starve while traveling)

Tree: Weeping Willow: Beautiful but full of melancholy, attractive, empathic, loves anything beautiful and tasteful, loves to travel, dreamer, restless, capricious, honest. (Hmmmm on the road again armed with the aquamarine to ward off depression and a banana pudding snack pack.)

Fortune Cookie: Your ability to juggle many tasks will take you far.
(Again with the traveling).

Top Song of 1944

Don't Fence Me In by Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters (More of the open road)

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. Just typing in your birth date and year in Google can turn up some truly interesting things such as this WW II letter written by Rae Patheal to his mother.

If you do this, let me know and I'll give a shout out to your blog.

11 November 2008

A Pittance of Time

National Veterans Foundation

On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the store's PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.

Terry was impressed with the store's leadership role in adopting the Legion's "two minutes of silence" initiative. He felt that the store's contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.

When eleven o'clock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the "two minutes of silence" to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.

Terry's anger towards the father for trying to engage the store's clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was later channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, "A Pittance of Time". Terry later recorded "A Pittance of Time" and included it on his full-length music CD, "The Power of the Dream".
While the uniforms are Canadian, the sentiment applies to all veterans everywhere. Remember them all on their day for just a pittance of time.

Quote For The Day

These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues.

Abigail Adams

10 November 2008

A Little Extra

After doing my "official" Manic Monday post, I remembered one of my favorite old movies. If your taste in motion pictures runs to wonderful acting, well written scripts, and excellent character studies, then buy or rent, The Trip To Bountiful starring the incomparable Geraldine Page who finally won her Oscar after eight nominations.

09 November 2008

Manic Monday - Bounty

Welcome to another Manic Monday with Morgen. Don't forget to cruise by MM HQ at the Manic Monday blog.

The HMS Bounty replica above is dedicated to preserving the fine art of square-rigged sailing. Known for a maritime mutiny that took place over 200 years ago, the name of the ship remains famous and infamous. Thousands cross her ample decks during port visits wondering what life was like then and now. You know her from her modern movies as well. In 1960, it was Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty. Today, it is Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man's Chest. This beautiful ship is both a movie star and a passport to adventure.

To read the story of the original Bounty, Captain Bligh, and the mutiny led by Fletcher Christian, you can visit Tall Ship History. One surprise in store for you in the short history above or here is that although Bligh has been portrayed in films as some sort of monster, he may have been one of the greatest seamen and scientists to ever command a sailing ship.

To follow in his footsteps, book an adventure cruise on the HMS Bounty replica by going to passages. Whether is it just for a day or for a full cruise to the mutineers' destination of Pitcairn Island, The Bounty will carry you to the magic and majesty of the sea.

08 November 2008

8th of November

If you have never seen the video that goes with the Big and Rich song "8th of November" here it is. Whatever you felt about Viet Nam then or Iraq and Afghanistan now, there are acts of unbelievable courage. Our military does what it is called upon to do and do their best to come home to their families safely or escort home and honor the ones who cannot speak for themselves. They always deserve our respect.

07 November 2008

First Family

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King

05 November 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem

Created by Mimi Lomax of Mimi Writes, the Blogblast for Peace occurs twice a year and has as its mantra Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace)

Below is a group of reminders of the high cost of war. Be sure whatever you are fighting for is actually worth this price tag.

02 November 2008

Manic Monday - Colorful

Recently one of my favorite authors passed away. Tony Hillerman wrote mysteries. What made them different was the setting and the incorporation of a culture that the average reader might never encounter.

The cases of Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee have given thousands of readers an insight into the cultural milieu of the Indian peoples of the Southwest, particularly the Navajo. Hillerman has always been extremely careful, making no claims for insider knowledge (he is a white man who grew up with Indians in Oklahoma) and maintaining respect and courtesy toward the privacy of the tribes his books focus on.

Blended within the mysteries are references to rituals and traditions. One of the most colorful practices used are the sand paintings. While these are tied in with the philosophical beliefs of the Navajo, they are also expressions of artistry of a talented people. Usually only temporary for the ritual for which they are created only to be wiped away by the forces of nature, now artists have found a way to preserve the designs. To buy or just view some of these wonderful paintings, here are the artists of Shiprock

Go to Manic Monday for information on how to participate.