Saturday, January 31, 2009

Splash (031/365)

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"O that I were a mockery king of snow, Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke To melt myself away in water drops!"

William Shakespeare (The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, King Richard at IV, i)

TIME: 3:59 PM
PLACE: The alley 
SUBJECT: Melting snow

We had a full day today.  Monkeyboy had a basketball game at 9am.  Then he and I had a Webelos workshop until 2:30pm.  (He earned his Citizenship pin)  After the workshop, we had to go pick up StellaDella, who was at the DramaQueen's basketball practice.  HandsomeHusband is DramaQueen's coach.  Their practice lasted from 2:30 until 4:15pm.  When I returned home with Monkeyboy and StellaDella, I managed to grab a couple of minutes to rush outside and snap a few photos of the melting snow.  I'm glad I captured it...because HandsomeHusband has the flu.  He got the chills and spiked a fever shortly after returning home from practice.  I've been nursing him ever since.  The poor man!  And it's his birthday today....this is not a fun way to spend it.  I feel so badly for him.  I hope he feels better soon - and that none of the rest of the family comes down with it!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Neon Reflections (030/365)

“Neon shines through smokey eyes tonight
It's 2 A.M., I'm drunk again
And it's heavy on my mind

I could never love again
So much as I love you
Where you end, where I begin
Is like a river running through

Take my heart, take my eyes
I need them no more
If never again they fall
Upon the one I so adore...

Excuse me please, one more drink
Could you make it strong?
'Cause I don't need to think
She broke my heart
My Grace is Gone
Another drink and I'll be gone

One drink to remember
Then another to forget
I think of every day to find
A love like you again

The Dave Matthews Band, "Grace is Gone", Busted Stuff, 2002

TIME: 11:36 PM
PLACE: Cutter's Bar 
SUBJECT: Neon light and ceiling

My cousin Lisa turns 50 on January 31st.  Her family had a surprise party for her at a local bar.  I arrived there a little after 7:30pm which was after the surprise.  It was nice meeting up with my Aunt and Uncle, and many cousins.  There was much reminiscing of the family vacations we took together when we were younger and my cousin Steven's tequila parties.  The party memories led to many of the party goers doing tequila shots, or as I like to call them "To Kill Me" shots.  I declined the shots as I have a Cub Scout workshop all day tomorrow.  I was fine with my 3 beers and 3 sodas that I drank during the course of the evening.  The bar had green neon tubing along the top back and it reflected off the tin ceiling. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snowman (029/365)

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"Snowmen fall from heaven unassembled"


TIME: 3:44 PM
PLACE: The front yard
SUBJECT: Snowman

The two older kids went back to school today.  They are off again tomorrow due to teacher's conferences.  StellaDella wanted to build a snowman so bad today.  I persuaded her to wait until her brother and sister came home from school.  Monkeyboy went out with her and built a snowman.  I provided the carrot, button eyes and bottle caps for the buttons.   Did you realize that snowmen are St. Louis Cardinal fans?  Spring training starts when the pitchers and catchers report in Jupiter, Florida on February 14th then work out the next day.   The first Grapefruit League game is February 28th, when the Cards host the Marlins.  Opening day at Busch Stadium is April 1st, vs. the Mets.  I'm ready to sit in the sun and enjoy some beer, a brat, peanuts and watch some baseball.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out (028/365)

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"Ralphie, you're lucky it didn't cut your eye! Those icicles have been known to kill people."

Ralphie's Mom, Mrs. Parker (A Christmas Story, Bob Clark - director, Melinda Dillon -  actress, 1983)

TIME: 3:57 PM
PLACE: The back porch
SUBJECT: Icicles

More snow fell overnight and we had another snow day today.  DramaQueen brought out the sled and took StellaDella for a ride around the yard.  The sun was out and shining all day and by this afternoon the icicles were starting to melt.  StellaDella wanted to eat one of the them, but I wouldn't let her.  I don't think they are as clean as they look.  I did end up cleaning two bathrooms and the master bedroom today, along with washing and folding several loads of laundry.  We also started painting DramaQueen's bedroom door with chalkboard paint.  I'm sure that will be another photo for the project! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day (027/365)

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"January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow."

Sara Coleridge (English, author, translator, 1802-1852)

TIME: 10:31 AM
PLACE: The front door
SUBJECT: StellaDella's snow-covered pants and red boots

We had a snow day today.  Monkeyboy was up at 5:00am this morning raring to go outside and play in the snow.  It wasn't his day, but he volunteered to take the dog out, just so he could get out in the snow early.  StellaDella and DramaQueen went out mid-morning.  They didn't stay out long - it was quite cold! 

I have to learn to stop freaking out about the footprints and melting snow on the living room floor.  The floor is just a thing.  The water can be wiped up and it really doesn't do any damage to the laminate.  A day off of school because of the snow is such a big deal when you are young.  I remember my own snow days, and they don't include my mother getting upset about the snow tracked in the house.  I want my children to have good memories of days like today as well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Drive-In (026/365)


"Ain't no use in complainin'
When you got a job to do
Spent my evenin's down at the drive-in
And that's when I met you yeah

Standin' on your Mama's porch
You told me that you'd wait forever
Oh and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life
Back in the summer of 69"

"Summer of '69", written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance

TIME: 12:27 PM
PLACE: 5700 North Belt West
SUBJECT: Skyview Drive-In Marquee

After work today, I drove by our town's drive-in theater.  It's right by the supermarket where I took the grocery cart picture on January 8th.  The marquee for the drive-in is very mid-century with it's neon rocket ship.  The drive-in opened for business in July of 1949 and was rebuilt twice; once after a tornado in 1955 that destroyed part of the screen and playground and then again after a windstorm in 1981.  It's still in business today.  In fact, it reopens for the season on April 3rd.

Once or twice during the summer in the early 1970's, my parents would dress my two older brothers an me in our pajamas and off we would go to see Herbie the Love Bug, or some other Disney movie.  I remember my dad parking the family station wagon backwards and opening the rear gate.  We would stretch out on blankets and eat popcorn and drink sodas from the concession.   After my sister was born in 1976, I remember enjoying playing on the playground that was in front of the screen.  It had a small ferris wheel and one or two other mechanical rides as well as swings and a slide.  When it would get dark, the screen would light up and we would scurry back to our parents and the car to watch the show.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dog Nose (025/365)


"A dog's nose is something for us to wonder at. It is perfectly remarkable and reminds us that there is a world out there that we can never know. At least not as human beings."

Roger Caras (American wildlife photographer, writer, wildlife preservationist and television personality, 1928-2001)

TIME: 11:53 AM
PLACE: Living Room Chair

Oreo joined our household the day after Thanksgiving, 2006.  My husband took the older two kids out for a drive, and when they returned Oreo was with them.  (Do you see a pattern here?  First Tessa, now the dog!)  She was from a town about 10 miles from here.  Oreo lived with her brothers and sisters at a home where apparently there was too many dogs and not enough supervision.    Her name was already bestowed upon her by the children who lived with the puppies.  Her name stayed with her.  She was about 6 months old when we got her.  She had housebreaking issues and ruined several rugs.  Now it seems like I've spent my life cleaning up dog hair, dog puke or accidents, wiping up paw prints and nose prints, and making sure any food we have is out her reach.

In spite of it all, she is a good dog.  Last December, when I had a migraine, I allowed her to lay by me in bed all afternoon.  Even when the kids and the husband came home and then made and ate supper, she didn't leave my side until the pain finally passed.  I think that says something about her.  

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Library Facade (024/365)

"I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution."

Andrew Carnegie (American Businessman, 1835-1919)

TIME: 12:29 PM
PLACE: 121 E. Washington Street
SUBJECT: Carnegie Library

Our town's library was established in 1836 by German immigrants. It was at first a private endeavor and was housed in several different locations throughout the city. The Carnegie Foundation donated funds and in 1916 the present building was dedicated. The Foundation stipulated that the city provide the land for the building and maintain the library. Then in 1973, the library added a two story addition.

I remember my mom taking us to the library on a regular basis, that is where my love of reading had its beginnings. I went today to return overdue books of my son's. (I really don't mind paying the late fees - I view it as a donation to the library.) It was very cold when I took the photo, about 22 degrees, but the sky was a beautiful blue.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tessa (023/365)

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."

Albert Schweitzer (Alsatian Theologian, 1875-1965)

TIME: 6:50 PM
PLACE: DramaQueen's Bedroom 

My oldest daughter and her daddy brought Tessa home about 3 months after StellaDella was born.  HandsomeHusband volunteered to pick DramaQueen from school one afternoon and made a side trip to Animal Control.  I was quite surprised when they entered the house with a small pet carrier and a tiny kitten inside.  We already had one cat, Sgt. Tibbs,  I had a 3-month old to contend with and I must say I wasn't too happy about the turn of events.  Nevertheless, I went online to find cat names for our female addition and DramaQueen ended up choosing "Tessa".  She is DramaQueen's cat and spends most of her time upstairs where the dog cannot annoy her. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Light and Shadow (022/365)

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"The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope."

Frank Lloyd Wright (American Architect, 1869-1959)

TIME: 4:14 PM
PLACE: The Study 
SUBJECT: Library card catalog

This card catalog was a birthday present to myself in 2006.  I purchased it at a local antique mall here in town.  My intent was to use it to keep my cardmaking supplies organized.  That never came to fruition.  Now it houses Nintendo DS chargers, photo CD's, paper for our HP photo printer, a comb and brush for making the kids presentable before they leave the house and many other miscellaneous bits and bobs.  This afternoon, the front door remained open after the two older children returned from school.  The late afternoon sun streamed in through the open door, casting long shadows from the drawer pulls.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Picnic Bench (021/365)

Nothing is more beautiful than the love that has weathered the storms of life. The love of the young for the young, that is the beginning of life. But the love of the old for the old, that is the beginning of things longer.”

Jerome K. Jerome (Novelist & Playwright, 1859-1927)

TIME: 1:38 PM
PLACE: Children's Playhouse: Backyard 
SUBJECT: Picnic bench

My dad built a picnic table and 2 benches 30+ years ago.  After we moved into our current home, he and Mom purchased a patio set and gave the table and benches to us.  The table has since fallen apart but the 2 benches remain.  The red stain is the original color and  then the set was painted gray.  The green blotches are from us using the benches as sawhorses when painting lumber for the rebuilding of the front porch.  This bench sits in the children's playhouse which has lattice work walls; thus the shadow patterns.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dust (020/365)

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"Excuse my dust"

Dorothy Parker (American short-story Writer and Poet, 1893-1967)

TIME: 2:53 PM
PLACE: My Bedroom 
SUBJECT: Dust on the chest of drawers

Isn't the sunlight streaming through the window radiant?  Doesn't it just illuminate the dust on top of the chest of drawers beautifully?  It's absolutely ethereal, is it not?

I can't believe that I just dusted 2 days ago and it's covered again!  Handsome Husband and I always marvel at the amount of dust that seems to build up in a short amount of time in our bedroom. The rest of the house doesn't seem to get so dusty so quickly, it's our room that is the dust magnet.  I don't even want to think of the dust bunnies under the bed!

Monday, January 19, 2009

This Little Piggy (019/365)

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"This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed at home.
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went "Wee! Wee! Wee!" all the way home "

Mother Goose Rhyme

TIME: 8:01 pm
PLACE: The Living Room

I have collected all different kinds of banks since I was about 9 years old.  These are just a small part of my collection.  The second pig from the left was the first bank I ever purchased.  I bought it at a local flea market and paid $20 for it.  At the time, that was quite a large sum of money for my 9-year-old self.  The flea market was (and still is) held on the 3rd weekend of the month.  We usually went as a family after church.  I try to hit the flea market about 3 times a year.  But now, my hunt for banks is mainly limited to thrift shops and yard sales.  My rule is not to pay over $10 for a purchase.  If I can keep it under $5 I am happy.  Also, I now look for the most forlorn and forgotten banks.  They need a home and usually cost less than 5 dollars.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Finish Line (018/365)

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"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games."

Ernest Hemingway (American novelist and short-story writer, Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, 1899-1961)

TIME: 1:16 PM
PLACE: St. Mary's School basement
SUBJECT: Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Race

Monkeyboy's Cub Scout Pack had their Pinewood Derby races today. He and HandsomeHusband didn't even start to work on the car until earlier this week. They had me stenciling gold flames and the number "6" on the car this morning. Apparently they did something right. Monkeyboy didn't lose a single race! (His car is second from the right) He is very proud of his 1st place trophy. Don't you love the Kool-aid grin? HH simply cannot get over how fast the car was this year. He has a silly grin on his face too. It's cute.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Trivia Night (017/365)


"Why is it trivia? People call it trivia because they know nothing and they are embarrassed about it."

Robbie Coltrane (Scottish, Actor, b1950)

TIME: 7:42 PM
PLACE: St. Augustine's Gym
SUBJECT: Trivia night answer sheet

We had a date night tonight, HandsomeHusband and I. We went to a trivia night at a local school. My grade school classmate, college roommate and very good friend, Denise, her husband and 2 other couples were at our table. We didn't win, but surprised ourselves with how we could pull some of the answers out of our behinds! I think the Bailey's Irish Creme helped.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A T-Rex Named Sue (016/365)

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"The world dies over and over again, but the skeleton always gets up and walks."

Henry Miller (American, Author, 1891-1980)

TIME: 7:02 PM
PLACE: Science Center
SUBJECT: Tyrannosaurus Sue

Sue is the largest T-rex specimen ever discovered and the best preserved. She is 42 feet long and 12 foot high at the hips. Her skull is 5 feet in length. They estimate she weighed 7 tons (6.4 metric tons) when alive. Sue's fossilized bones weigh more than 3,000 pounds. Sue lived 67-65 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous Period. She was discovered in the Hell Creek Formation of Western S. Dakota on August 12, 1990.

This was a very hard place for me to take a decent picture. It was crowded, the lighting stank and people kept getting in the way - the nerve! Didn't they know I had to get a picture for my blog for today? Don't they know it's all about me, me, me. me, me? Sheesh, people, get a clue!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shave and a Haircut (015/365)

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"Babies haven't any hair:
Old men's heads are just as bare;
From the cradle to the grave
Lies a haircut and a shave.

Samuel Goodman Hoffenstein (Writer, 1890-1947)

TIME: 12:23 PM
PLACE: Magic Comb Beauty Shop
SUBJECT: Glass Container of Combs

I had my hair cut and colored today at the beauty shop.  My hairdresser was able to get me in this week as she had a cancellation.  Woo-hoo!  It's been 8 weeks since my last cut.  I have a shorter layered style, so normally I get it cut every 5-6 weeks.  After that, it gets too long and drives me nuts!  I keep telling Carol, my hairdresser, (this is where StellaDella got the name for the Neighbor's picture) to stop putting more gray in every time she cuts it.  What's up with that?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"N" is for Neighbor (014/365)

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"I usually call my neighbor Carol because I don't remember her name. She lives across the street. She eats eggs every morning just like me. She's thirty."

StellaDella (Preschool extraordinaire, b2004)

TIME: 9:42 am
PLACE: Mother's Day Out
SUBJECT: "My Neighbors"

This week was the letter "N" week at preschool. Each week they are asked a question, the teacher writes their response then the kids draw a picture. They post the pages on the bulletin board strip. At the end of the year we get all 26 letters and the numbers 1-10 in a book to keep. The things the kids say always crack me up.

BTW - My neighbor's name is actually Marilyn and she is 66 years old. I have no idea if she eats eggs everyday for breakfast.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Single Leaf (013/365)

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“Some leaves hang late, some fall
before the first frost--so goes
the tale of winter branches and old bones.”

William Carlos Williams (American Poet, 1883-1963)

TIME: 9:24 am
PLACE: Driveway
SUBJECT: Leaf and rocks

So very, very cold today.  I was actually happy to stay in and clean the living room and dining room and do some laundry.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fresh Shrimp Daily (012/365)

“Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.”

Pvt. Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue (Forrest Gump 1994)

TIME: 12:37 pm
PLACE: West Main & South 11th Street
SUBJECT: Elder's Tavern

Another faded sign in my town. Before it was Elder's Tavern it was Geo. Krug Saloon. A quick search reveals that George Krug was born 1n 1849 in Darmstadt, Germany and immigrated to the USA in 1864. He married his wife, Lizze in 1873. By 1880, he and his wife had four children: Lizzie, Anna, Amilia and John. By this time, he was a saloon keeper for 2 months here in town. In 1887 another, son George was born. In the 1900 census, Anna and "Milia" were still living at home. George and Lizzie's son, John, who was born in 1880, had apparently passed away as the 1900 census does not list him and the census also shows Lizzie being mother of 5 children with only 4 still living. George was still running the tavern in 1900. By the 1910 census, George had died and his wife Lizze moved to a nearby town with their youngest son George. In the 1920 census, it appears Lizzie had moved in with her oldest daughter, Lizzie and her family.

This is where I have to stop, otherwise I'd be researching all night. I love this kind of stuff!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Coupons (011/365)

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“A man in love is like a clipped coupon -- it's time to cash in.”

Mae West (American Actress and sex symbol, 1892-1980)

TIME: 1:28 pm
PLACE: Dining Room Table
SUBJECT: Clipped Coupons

It is Sunday and that means coupons in the Sunday paper! WooHoo! I recently reorganized my coupon binder for the supermarket. I plan to track how much I save this year using coupons. The grand total so far: $14.00

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Popeye (010/365)

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"I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam."

Popeye the Sailor Man

TIME: 8:58 pm
PLACE: Elzie C. Segar Memorial Park, Chester, IL
SUBJECT: Popeye Statue

HandsomeHusband had a get-together for one of his organizations and the whole family was able to go for the fun. It was in Chester, Illinois, "Home of Popeye". According to Chester's website, this bronze statue is 6-foot tall and weighs 900 lbs. The park, next to the Chester Bridge, honors Popeye's creator, Elzie Segar.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Self-Portrait (009/365)

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“You use a glass mirror to see your face;
you use works of art to see your soul”

George Bernard Shaw (Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist. 1925 Nobel Prize for Literature, 1856-1950)

TIME: 3:14 pm
PLACE: My bathroom mirror

Here is my first attempt at a self-portrait. It was a whole lot harder than I thought it would be! I had the viewfinder open and kept looking down at the camera and took many shots that looked like I was sleeping. Looking at this picture, my first thought is: Lordy, do I look like my mother (which isn't a bad thing). My second thought is: Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln!... do I have dark circles or what!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To Market (008/365)

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety jog.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again, market is done.

Mother Goose Rhyme

TIME: 1:36 pm
PLACE: Grocery store parking lot
SUBJECT: Grocery Cart

I went to the grocery store today with StellaDella.  $161.42 before coupons. $147.42 after. I saved $14.00! Yeah me!
This is the only photo I snapped today. I took it right before we went into the store. I wish I would have taken a picture of the cart without anything in the background but the parking lot. Live and learn - Next time, I'll know better and isn't that what this is all about?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Headlights (007/365)

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"I replaced the headlights in my car with strobe lights, so it looks like I'm the only one moving.”

Stephen Wright (American Actor and Writer, b.1955)

TIME: 8:45 am
PLACE: The Backyard

Snow was swirling in the air as the kids were getting ready for school this morning. A light dusting covered the car. Soon the sun came out and melted it all away. The kids were disappointed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sodium Chloride (006/365)

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“Take it with a grin of salt”

Yogi Berra (American professional Baseball Player & Manager. b.1925)

TIME: 6:42 pm
PLACE: By the Desk
SUBJECT: Salt for the Sidewalk

Because of icy conditions, school was called off and the kids were home today. Handsome Husband spread the salt on the steps and sidewalk before he left for work.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Landau Grocery Co. (005/365)

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I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, "Hey, the sign says you're open 24 hours." He said, "Yes, but not in a row."

Stephen Wright (American Actor and Writer, b.1955)

TIME: 12:51 pm
PLACE: 212 West B Street
SUBJECT: Landau Grocery Co. Building

I pass this building every Monday, Wednesday and Friday when taking StellaDella to Mother's Day Out. Relatives used to live in a house across the street in the 1930's and ran a produce market nearby. I am trying to determine if the two are connected.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Not Over Until the Redhead Dances (004/365)

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When the music changes, so does the dance.

African Proverb

TIME: 6:52 pm
PLACE: The living room
SUBJECT: StellaDella

Change has begun...the tree is down...the ornaments and decorations are packed up....StellaDella is dancing. Life is good.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Laundry Mountain (003/365)

Jack, will you help me?

“I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don't have any clean laundry, because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?”


TIME: 10:34 am
PLACE: The kitchen
SUBJECT: Laundry & Jack
Where is the laundry fairy when you need her? The cat is of no help at all.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Birds on a Branch (002/365)

“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”

Victor Hugo (French romantic Poet, Novelist and Dramatist, 1802-1885)

TIME: 10:38 am
PLACE: The backyard
SUBJECT: Three birds

I was backing out of our driveway to go to my client's office when I saw the birds.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ringing in the New Year (001/365)

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“What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (American poet and writer 1850-1919)

TIME: Just after midnight.
PLACE: The living room.
SUBJECTS: Oreo and StellaDella

They crashed on the chair scant minutes after the New Year's countdown. The excitement was just too much for them I suppose.