Friday, October 31

Halloween Reruns

Click to embiggen.
Marzipan pumpkins, as seen in the shop window of a bakery in Zurich (October 2006).


Another great big thank you to everyone (all 38 of you) who stopped to wish me a happy birthday yesterday. You made this birthday among the best ever, and I appreciate YOU!


This is my froggy warlock/magician. He holds a book of spells and a magic wand and wears a witch hat on his head. He sits stop a wall cabinet the year around, since he's just too cute to be put away for the rest of the year.

Go here to see an old drawing.

And here to see some cards.

Have a Happy Halloween and Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Thursday, October 30


Now.......what will you give me for my birthday? (Virtually, of course.)


NOTE: Thanks to all of you who left birthday wishes for me yesterday!!

I certainly don't expect you to do it again today.

Wednesday, October 29

On the Eve of My Birthday.....

Thoughts turn to my birth parents (circa 1942).

My birth father, who died in the 70's, after their 30th anniversary.

My birth mother; still living, age 85.

My birth mother shortly after I was born. It didn't take her long to regain her girlish figure, I see. At 17, I suppose it wouldn't.

My birth mother as a baby. Lord only knows why she was sitting on a bench in a junk yard. Her mother died when she was 22 months old. I don't know exactly how old she was here, but she and I shared baldness in our first two years. By the age of three, my hair was only about 4" long, but it was in ringlets, so it looked even shorter.


If you are looking for ways to increase the number of hits on your blog through g*ogle searches, I have a tip for you. Post something about "kissing balls". Now get your minds out of the gutter - I mean the kind of kissing balls used as wedding decor. They are more formally called pomanders. It seems that hundreds of people all over the planet are interested in learning about them, how they look, how to make them and ways they can be used. I'm telling you - your stats will jump!!

Tuesday, October 28

Wedding Bouquets

DO click to embiggen! The detail is amazing.

Mel Day (my employer) made these bouquets back in the spring and I never got around to posting them. I love the colors; a mix of everything pastel except blue. Wouldn't a light blue iris or delphinium have looked great in these too?

The bridesmaid's bouquets had a little more color.


About 7-8 years ago, a friend who owned her own wedding flower business here in NC got fed up, sold her inventory and moved away. She had only been in the business about 20 years, and I couldn't believe she could just sell everything and declare that she'd never do flowers again unless it was for very good friends or her church.

It took me 7-8 more years to get to that point. I am burned out. I thought it would never happen - but here I am - admitting it. The doing of my small wedding this weekend held no joy for me, and that's really sad. I simply don't want the responsibility any longer. At my age, it's too stressful. A florist has to thrive on that stress, and I no longer do. (There are other stresses in my life, and they are enough.)

Unless something changes that in the near future, I will be selling my inventory and cleaning out most (if not all) traces of my business life. That thought brings me some of the joy I have been lacking here of late. Saturday's wedding was the last on my calendar. I did a proposal for a wedding next June, but I don't expect to book that one. From here on out, I will work.....for others.

Time will tell if I'll need to amend this post with a new title.......Famous Last Words!


We voted today!! It only took 20 minutes from the time we got in line. I am so glad we got it over with!

Monday, October 27

Auto Quandary + a Rant

I have been driving for many years... I should have noticed the little secret on my dashboard that was staring me in the face the whole time. Have you ever rented or borrowed a car and when arriving at the gas station wondered on which side is the gas cap? If you look at your gas gauge, you will see a small icon of a gas pump. The handle of the gas pump will extend out on either the left or right side of the gas pump. If your tank is on the left, the handle will be on the left. If your tank is on the right, the handle will be on the right (see photos). It is that simple!

Now THAT, my friends, was a useful email!

In my car, there is an arrow beside the pump that points in the direction of the gas tank.

EDIT: it was reported in the comments that this is false. I read the article and it says that the icons are not consistent. Mine is.
Permit me a small rant, please. I try to be ecologically aware. I try to use products that are touted as money-saving as well as earth-saving. But these new "screwy" looking light bulbs are just the pits! Yesterday, the overhead bulb in my pantry burned out, and the only bulb I had to replace it was a 75 watt regular one. My overhead fixtures say not to use bulbs more than 60 watts, but I thought for just one day it would be ok. I put the 75W bulb in there and voila! "Let there be light!!" It was wonderful. So today I run to the grocery and while there, I buy a box of two of those new energy-saving bulbs ($9.99.) They are supposed to be 60 watts (using only 13 watts of power). Well, I can see why they are energy-saving - it's because they put out so little light!! If I wanted a night light, I'd buy a night light. I'd swear this one only puts out about 20 watts. With this one in the pantry, I'll never be able to see what I have! I think I'll have to put a regular bulb in the pantry and use the newer ones in places that don't require bright light. How do you handle it?

Sunday, October 26


A great big thanks to all who have "followed" me. I get excited when I see a new face pop up!


I copied this from and it's a BEAUT!!

From: Michael Shpizner (mshpizner
Subject: palindrome

Apropos of today's word, you've probably seen this wonderful

Sarah Palindrome:

"Wasilla's all I saw."

(I wish I could take credit for it, but alas, I didn't create it.)

Regardless of one's political persuasion, that's a thing of beauty, is it not?

(BTW: Worsdsmith is where I steal most of my quotes!)

Saturday, October 25

A New Blog

Margaret and Helen have started a blog. I think you should check it out.


I realized tonight that the sounds I have been hearing every night around 9:30-10pm, which I thought were distant thunder, are fireworks going off at our State Fair, which is about twelve miles from my house. Too bad I can't see them, too.


I was supposed to work tomorrow, delivering wedding flowers, but my employer said he didn't need me after all. I was disappointed, as was my wallet. I suppose I should look at it as a blessing, though, because it gives me more time to do the wedding flowers I have to deliver on Sunday. It's an all purple wedding, and it's so small it's almost more trouble than it's worth: two bouquets and a handful of bouts and corsages. I know brides are cutting back on floral expenses, and you can't blame them, but it is hard on florist's bottom line.

Friday, October 24

Ephemera ~ Tobacciana

Click to embiggen - and see all the details. I love all these old ads. There is a signature on this one (unlike most), but I can't read it. The number 38 follows it. Can we assume that it means 1938? Or was it #38 of the prints? This kitten calls to mind the one I posted climbing on me!

So that's where the firefly's light comes from! LOL. CLick to enlarge and see the bug's faces.

There are nice colors in this one. If she's a really good tennis player, I doubt she smokes. Right?

I am working this week, through Sunday. Don't expect to see me commenting......I'll be back Monday.

Thursday, October 23

Quotes of Note

I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)


Almost all our faults are more pardonable than the methods we resort to to hide them.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld, writer (1613-1680)


I CRIED over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

Carl Sandburg, poet (writing in a poem about autumn.)


Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.

Guy de Maupassant, short story writer and novelist (1850-1893)


What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)


Let us enrich ourselves with our mutual differences.

Paul Valery, poet and philosopher (1871-1945)

Wednesday, October 22

Tiny Deer

This tiny deer was delivered by Caesarean section at a wildlife hospital after his mother was killed by a car. Little Rupert, who is so small he can fit in an adults hand, was born after vets failed in their battle to save his mother.At just six inches tall and weighing just over a pound, he is now in an incubator in the intensive care unit at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire. He has only recently opened his eyes. Les Stocker, founder of Tiggywinkles, said: Rupert's mother had very severe injuries.
We brought him out and got him breathing and then he went into an incubator on oxygen. He is now being fed by a tube. Staff are optimistic that Rupert, now five days old, will make a full recovery. Deer are very, very tricky but this one has spirit. He's an extremely feisty little guy and quite pushy, Mr. Stocker said.


Go here to see some fabulous photos!!!

Tuesday, October 21

More Odds and Ends + On Good Authority

NEWS FLASH!! I just reached 100k hits! I can't tell who the person was, but I appreciate it!

I have it on good authority that politicians really can work together for the good of the country!! Scroll down to see......

Now wouldn't this be a HOOT??!! Maybe we should ask all candidates to appear on Dancing with the Stars for one season. What say you? It might be a better way to select the winner without all the mess of campaigning and it would probably be a lot cheaper! LOL

Another photo of my aunt and her boyfriend, circa 1925-30. I think this is a different guy than in the other photo.

This gray kitten was given to my daughter by a co-worker back in the 80's, who had so many cats she couldn't keep any more. We had him just long enough to find him a new home. He was wild! He climbed everything in sight - even me!

Easter 1967 in Norfolk (VA) Azalea Gardens: Mr. kenju, his brother and their aunt and uncle, with our baby boy. He was 14 months old, and I bet every time he sees this picture he cringes!

Moonflowers growing on our pump house a few years ago. I think I'll plant them there next year, too, instead of in front of our house. That way, the deer can't eat them like they have this summer.


My daughter-in-law told me yesterday that she had received an email touting

"McLame and Failin"

I love it!!

We just found out we will be having out-of-town company for the next two days, so reading and commenting may be difficult. I'll do what I can.

Monday, October 20

Odds and Ends

Bullwinkle was my favorite!! Boohoo.

Lovely old-fashioned roses, in bloom at at Ayr Mount.

I call this one "panda-monium". It came in an email, and I don't know who took it.

I'm voting for That one!!

Sunday, October 19

Kay, at Kay's Thinking Cap has given me a wonderful award, which originated in Spain, I think. I'll have to post it here, since I don't know how to get the code for it, and if I did, I probably could not get it into the sidebar where I wanted it. . I will have to give some thought about who I should pass it on to; and I'll do that, as soon as I get all my computer troubles resolved. Meanwhile, thank you, Kay, for the award!

My new 19" LCD flat-screen monitor sure makes everything look GOOOOOOOD!! I guess I'm making the government happy by spending their giveaway money on this, instead of paying bills as I intended. We went to an office supply store, where I had seen a good sale on monitors. As luck would have it, they were already sold out, but another store had two of them, according to the clerk. We took his directions on how best to get to the other store - and that was a big mistake! What should have taken 10 minutes took about 30, through countryside we'd never seen before. It was a pretty drive, but at today's gas prices I'd rather have not done it.

It was hooked up and running in about 10 minutes. In fact, I had a harder time getting the old cables out of the computer tower than I did installing the new one. But can anyone explain why deciphering the directions on how to adjust a monitor has to be so difficult? It has 5 buttons to push, but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the sequence and the booklet is not much help. Oh, well. Like Vivian Leigh, I'll think about that tomorrow!

Saturday, October 18

Click to embiggen!

I will not admit to being at that point (yet) but I suspect it's in my future.


Today is my baby's birthday!! I can't believe it has been this long since my last child was born. I was just two weeks shy of thirty. She came home this weekend, and I will bake a pineapple upside-down cake, per her request. Last night we had pork chops, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and ice cream. Boy, was I full!

After dinner, we watched a movie - "Into the Wild". She had read the book, but she says the movie is not much like the book. The movie was directed by Sean Penn. The only actors in it that I recognized were Hal Holbrook and Vince Vaughan. I enjoyed it, but it seemed to me that the main character was off his rocker at least part of the time. It was sort of hard to figure out, not having read the book first. The scenery was fantastic, though, and Sage, I kept thinking of you and your wilderness treks all through the movie.

Friday, October 17

A Wedding at Ayr Mount

The table centerpieces. The newest color schemes for weddings are using orange and yellow predominantly, and sometimes in mixtures with other colors as well. This was Mel Day's wedding (Dogwood Tree Florals).

Look at these giant irises. I could hardly believe they were growing so well in October. Each blossom was about 5-6" tall.

This is Ayr Mount, an historic home in Hillsborough, NC., built in 1815.

Here is the chuppah that the groom made for the wedding. Their families and friends each decorated a square for the chuppah quilt and then the squares were joined together and edged with lace. It will make a nice keepsake for the couple.

These photos are from the house brochure. I took a few photos inside, until the caretaker told me they weren't allowed due to insurance restrictions. It is beautifully decorated in furnishings from the period during which the home was built.

Click to enlarge.

This view was looking from the back of the house. Our trees are just beginning to show some color changes.

If you'd like to know more about this and other historic homes, read Adventures with Old Houses by Richard Jenrette (2000).


Does anyone else find it amusing that "Joe the plumber" is not named Joe (it's Sam) and he isn't licensed as a plumber in Ohio? And he grosses nowhere near $250k? He is probably wishing that his 15 minutes of fame would be over in five minutes, since the news reported that he has tax troubles.

NOTE: Sometime this week, Imagine will reach 100,000 hits. I hope you'll help me celebrate!

Thursday, October 16

The Economy Explained! (and a Rant)

What say you? I think it explains the whole government, too!


We're still looking at a yellow/green screen and getting tired of that! I love both those colors, but not on my monitor, overlaying all the other colors. It's confooosin' me. Maybe I'll win the lottery and buy a new, huge, flat-screen. Wouldn't that be loverly? Of course, you have to play the lottery before you can win - at least that's what I heard.

Colors are not the only problem with my computer. Last Sunday I deleted the old virus software (the one that was driving me not so slowly crazy) and replaced it with something from PC T**ls and something else called Thr*atfire (I think). Everything worked well until this morning, when my Outlook Express decided it didn't want me to get any new email. When I hit send/receive, it would tell me I had 7 emails, and try to load them, but it timed out before anything ever got into the inbox. How frustrating! I tried web-mail, and that worked ok.

So tonight, I called my cable provider and asked for technical assistance. Of course, you know where she was, don't you? Somewhere in India or Asia (I really couldn't tell which from her accent). She said her name was Ann, but I wouldn't bet on that being the one on her birth certificate. Her conclusion, after putting me through hoops in "tools" and "settings", is that I need to de-install Outlook Express and then re-install it. And of course, I'll have to call Microsoft for the info on how to do that, as it isn't in her list of instructions. I simply could not bear the thought of staying on the phone for another hour (or more) to find out how to do all that. So I did a system restore, back to the day before I downloaded the new software. HOORAY! I got the email back - but now I am unprotected (virus-wise) and my computer needs protection, lest it get the viral equivalent of aids and Lord-know-what-all.

Several months ago, my daughter suggested I download the free version of AVG, and I tried. It told me I couldn't continue because I had something on my system called Ew*do, and since it is now a part of their virus software, I had to delete it before I could continue downloading theirs.
The bummer part of all that is there was no place on my computer that I could find where it said I could de-install that. I went to the control panel and opened "add or remove", but that program was not listed! I am just bummed out over all of this and since I can't really afford to pay anyone to look at it - I'm stymied! Seems I'm asking for a lot of help here lately. I hope someone knows what to do or try.

Wednesday, October 15

New Julian Beever Chalk Art + a Plea!

Note Julian kneeling on top of the bottle!

A self-portrait.

Isn't he just amazing?


Important Question: Do you have any idea why my computer screen suddenly turned yellow? This morning, I was opening email and the screen (normally white) turned a sickly yellow-green. The email looks okay, but photos on the internet look horrible.

Yesterday, I downloaded new virus/malware/adware software. I've wondered if the yellow-green screen indicates a problem with it?