Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include:
1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes;
2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.
Two examples of Kentucky tobacco barns on Old Frankfort Pike between Midway and Frankfort. Sighting of these barns with tobacco hung in the ventilated structure so that it can cure until the proper moisture content to be ready for stripping is becoming less common as Kentucky farmers transition to other money crops.
Tomorrow night I'll be watching the Academy Awards. Well, I'll certainly be watching the red carpet part anyway so I can "vote" on best and worst dressed. Usually try to see all the major films that get Oscar attention, but this year I'm a bit behind. Still especially want to see "Silver Linings Playbook" to support local girl Jennifer Lawrence, "Amour" and "Quartet" on the big screen. The rest of 2012 films will be fine on Netflix.
Here's my very brief review of the ones I've seen and a favorite quote:
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - favorite, best ensemble of great character actors off on a culture shock of an adventure in India
Sonny Kapoor, young Indian innkeeper: "Everything will be all right in the end, and if it's not all right, then it's not the end."
Les Miserables - brave anthem to love, forgiveness and freedom; live singing a risk that was worth taking, adding freshness and power to much loved music
Marius, Cosette's young lover: "A heart full of love."
Skyfall 007 - great fun and Daniel Craig such an elegant James Bond
Bond, in his trick car with M (Judi Dench as his boss): "Are you gonna complain the whole way?" M: "Go on then. Eject me. See if I care."
Lincoln - the theater audience stood and applauded at the end, a primer of effective politics; a multi-faceted study of Lincoln the man and President
Lincoln, on amendment to free slaves: "Shall we stop this bleeding?"
Anna Karenina - irritating staging like comic opera, insipid characters that I couldn't care about, least favorite.
Anna Karenina, begging to be freed from her marriage: "I'd die for my son. But I can't live for him like this."
Argo - on the edge of your seat tension, heart attack inducing action, parallels to current events, great comic lines
Tony Mendez, an infiltration expert meeting with State Department on rescuing six Americans from the Canadian embassy during the Iranian hostage taking in 1979. Proposal by State Department that they bike to the Iranian border and there be picked up by military: "Or you could just send in training wheels and meet them at the border with Gatorade."
The Royal Affair - sometimes being a princess sucks. Young English noblewoman is sent to Denmark to marry its insane young king. She is humiliated, isolated and unloved until a German doctor and scholar joins the court to care for the king. They form an attachment, at first based on books and concern for the welfare of the Danish people, that soon becomes an ill-fated love affair. Much, much better than Anna Karenina if you can deal with English subtitles.
Queen Caroline Mathilda: "You recognized me.
Johann Friedrich Struensee: "I would recognize you blindfolded."
Well, that's my year in movie going. What about you? Any that you loved? hated? disappointed?
September 2012 - these photos of village fences were taken through a tour bus window as we traveled through the northern Russian countryside to the town of Kirillov to visit the 14th century Monastery of St. Cyril. This part of Russia is known for its traditional woodworking. That skill is reflected in the decorative designs on very simple village houses and fences, with this blue-green being a favorite paint color:
Sometimes in the poorer villages only the fronts of homes would be painted with rest of the house left to weather naturally. This is the back part of a village as seen from the White Lake:
Last week I posted some evening photos of Louisville's Crescent Hill Reservoir and the rather unexpected Gothic "castle" which serves as a gatehouse for the reservoir. Control valves for the reservoir are inside the gatehouse and determine the water level in the reservoir basin which is pumped in from the Ohio River. It is approximately one mile around and enjoyed by Louisvillians for walking, running and beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Last week the gates were closed, but this week I got there in time to walk around the reservoir and get some closeups of the Gothic gatehouse which was built in 1879:
~ click on images to enlarge ~
The gatehouse, stone steps and iron fence have some unusual Gothic architectural details, most notably grand water urns on each of the roof points:
Finally, I liked the way these leaves on the steps shone in the golden evening light:
Can you believe that this Gothic stone castle is actually the gatehouse for Louisville's water reservoir basin? Water from the Ohio River is pumped into the Louisville Crescent Hill Reservoir where sediment is filtered out before being supplied to local customers for drinking, residential and commercial use. All the filtration mechanisms are housed in this unlikely "castle" built in the late 1800s. The building has many Gothic architectural details like stone rosettes and water urns on the roof points. An ornate iron fence circles the reservoir:
I took these photos last weekend while chasing the sunset over the Ohio River. As you can see I got to the reservoir too late, but did manage to get these pics of the fence and water. I'll go back another day for the sunsets and sunrises. There is a walking/running path which circles the reservoir and is popular with residents of the Crescent Hill neighborhood for its elevated and unobstructed views of Crescent Hill Park. Finally, here's a bonus shot that I call "light and shadow" of leaves on the stone steps to the gatehouse:
This photo was taken in 2002 on a visit to Paris and before I had a digital camera. Appropriately for this Valentine's Day post you can see that "luv" themed graffiti decorated the construction walls around the Eiffel Tower. I was back in Paris in 2008 with a better camera, so decided to share some possibilities for spending the day with your sweetheart in this most romantic of cities. (Click on the collages to enlarge.)
Row 1 L-R: view the River Seine and city from the top observation deck of the Eiffel Tower; watch school children dressed in traditional French smocks playing in the park; take a city tour by bus.
Row 2 L-R: shop on the very fashionable Champs Elysees; view the city from the Eiffel Tower; have lunch in a cafe.
Row 3 L-R: walk through the park near Eiffel Tower; driver in Paris traffic; check out the cafe menu for a coffee and croissant break.
Late Afternoon and Evening
Row 1 L-R: men get a Parisian haircut; check out the sidewalk scene, including these gendarmes; take a cruise on the River Seine in a glass-topped boat.
Row 2 L-R: buy your sweetheart some flowers; enjoy the beautiful architecture; drive by the Eiffel Tower at night.
Row 3 L-R: buy some fancy French chocolates, browse the book stalls along the Seine; and, finally, end your day in the City of Love with an authentic cabaret show at La Nouvelle Eve (see the cancan and be prepared to be just a bit shocked!).
Hope you've enjoyed this little fantasy tour and that you have a great Valentine's Day where ever you are.
Photos from a 2012 river cruise of northern Russian. Thebirch trees were spectacular in groves, along the river's edge, or closeup, especially the silvery bark. Birch bark was used by local craftspeople to make everything from boats to slippers to decorative arts. (Click to enlarge.)
The Big Four Bridge for pedestrians and bicycles officially opened for traffic on Friday. This old railroad truss bridge spans the Ohio River, connecting Louisville, KY and Jeffersonville, IN. This old bridge has been a part of the Louisville waterscape since the late 1800s. I was at the right place, right time, with camera handy back in November to catch this sunset. Using these three shots to show how dramatically the scene changed in just a few minutes. (Click on collage to enlarge.)
Baringer Hill in Cherokee Park is a favorite spot for runners, walkers, and dog frolics all year round. And then in the winter when Louisville gets its rare snow the hill is full of sledders. Any time it's a beautiful high overlook for the park. On this day in late January the bare trees were wonderfully highlighted against blue skies.
Beargrass Creek branches through Cherokee and Seneca Parks in Louisville, Kentucky. Throughout the parks are several stone bridges designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture, when he laid out our parks system in the late 1800s.