About Me

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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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Fences & Lilacs

Lilacs make even the plainest picket fences special when they first bloom in the spring.

For more Friday Fences check out Janis' site at Life According to Jan and Jer .

(Readers-noticed this morning that there's Blogger trouble with commenting here. If you had problems getting a comment to go through, sorry--will try to fix. Regardless, thanks for the visit!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Question

Ms. Robin asks: "does this camera angle make my butt look big?"

Monday, March 26, 2012


"Friendship is certainly the finest balm."
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Actually young Catherine Moreland says "friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love" when she fails to see her Mr. Tilney at the Pump Room in Bath. Instead, she meets a new friend who promises to be very amusing and will help take her mind off Mr. Tilney. In the modern age where words are often taken out of context --often with disastrous results--Jane's words are true in both quotes. My good friend and excellent needlewoman Sally embroidered this sampler for me because I'm such a fan of Jane Austen.

For more Monday quotography be sure to check out Kelly at Living Life in PA .

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Fences - the Lookout

Earlier this week we had two days when temps hovered in the mid-80s. That's hot for the middle of March in Kentucky. Still, who wants the air conditioner on that early? So, here you have the second best plan. Pop up the portable screen in the front door, install the baby gate and move the Senior Citizen's ortho bed to the lookout position. Now, he's ready to give the mail carrier a fright when he comes up on the stoop. Also, he can watch out for that dang grey cat Whenever it stalks across the yard. But mostly, when your 15 + years it just feels nice to nap in the breeze. (Did you noticed that this lucky dog gets bedside meal service?)

What about you? How are you coping with an early hot spring?

For more fences from all over go to Life According to Jan and Jer for a list of players.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Colors of Spring

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

In anticipation of the first day of spring I've been on the lookout for the color wheel of the season. Here are my favorite photos that just shout spring--like the masses of pansies above:

Yellow - forsythia
Green - the soft green of the weeping willow

Pink - saucer magnolias that so often bloom too early and then get nipped by frost or freeze

White - bradford pear blooms, like a spring snow storm

Purple and orange - someone described this sunrise as a psychedelic slurpee!

Purple - crocus

Red - Kentucky cardinal, our state bird and the perfect harbinger of spring around hereWhat says spring in your parts?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Fences - or Irish Garden Walls

Earlier this week I took you on a tour of Bantry Bay in County Cork Ireland for Watery Wednesday to visit the fabulous gardens of Ilnacullin on Garinish Island. Also promised more photos of the gardens for Friday Fences. Sl`ainte!

There are all kinds of fences, walls, and gates in Ireland--dry stone walls separating fields, simple stone walls or picket fences around brightly painted thatched cottages, or thrifty wattle(woven sticks) fences around the family vegetable garden. And then there are ornate ironwork fences or stone walls around some of Ireland's most well-known estates, gardens,and castles. At Ilnacullen we saw this impressive stone wall with its massive pediment gate which was designed by landscape architect Harold Peto in the early 1900s:

Once you walked through the garden gate, this is the stunning view, consisting of twin mixed shrub and perennial borders. The garden walls protect these sometimes fragile plants from the rough weather off Bantry Bay:
And here's a closeup of the most beautiful shade of pink hydrangea, one of the many flowering treasures in this border:

For more fences from all over go to Life According to Jan and Jer for a list of players.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Watery Wednesday - Across Bantry Bay to Ilnacullin

Still in Ireland for Watery Wednesdays in March--photos from a gardening tour. This week it's County Cork and scenes of Bantry Bay which we crossed by ferry to see Ilnacullin, a famous garden and historic site on Garinish Island. This is the first view of Bantry Bay coming off the Ring of Kerry:
At the holiday town of Glengarriff we boarded a ferry in the harbor for a short trip across the bay:
A bonus for the trip--a seal colony on one of the small islands in Bantry Bay. Did you know that seals actually bark?

Another view of Garinish Island:
This is the Italianate garden at Ilnacullin with its graceful reflecting pool:
Come back on Friday and I'll show you some fabulous flower-covered fences/walls in gardens at Ilnacullin.

Want to see some more "watery" photography? Click here for the players.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Signs of Spring in the Dark

When I stepped out the front door this morning at 7 a.m. into Daylight Savings Time darkness saw the first signs of spring in the viburnum by the front steps.

Willie hates Daylight Savings time. He could barely see his way to the newspaper box at 7 a.m. And worse, couldn't see well enough to make sure that unauthorized dogs had not been in his yard overnight:
What about you? Is Daylight Savings Time to your liking or not?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Fences -in County Clare

This month I'm featuring fences of Ireland like this wonderful red picket--and bonus thatched roof cottage in County Clare. This photo was taken by my late friend Lydia Wells on her '09 trip to the Emerald Isle.

For more fences from all over go to Life According to Jan and Jer for a list of players.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Watery Wednesday - Ireland's Mount Usher Gardens

It's March when everyone is a little bit Irish, so I'm celebrating with "watery" photos from a gardening tour of Ireland that I went on about 10 years ago. These three photos feature the River Vartry in Mount Usher Gardens in County Wicklow. The gardens are Robinsonian in style because of their naturalistic design. William Robinson was a late 1800s Irish garden designer who departed from the more formal plantings of the time and emphasized a more natural plan where many species of plants from all over the world are planted closely together. In the last two photos you see that the plants and trees almost meet over parts of the river creating magical shadows and reflections on the water.

Want to see some more "watery" photography? Click here for the players.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Untimely March Snow

When I stepped out the front door at 8:00 a.m. this morning this red cardinal was perched obligingly on a snow-covered tree branch in the front yard. A beautiful sight, but not surprising because this is what was happening at 3:00 a.m. this morning right before I went to bed:

Summit Court is in a little cul de sac and on a corner. Here is another view from my front door. You can see that this is a fluffy snow that's not going to last long, but is quite beautiful with the sun glow while it does: And finally, this is the sunrise view over the trees in back of my house. I photograph many beautiful--and sometimes dramatic--sunrises from here most days. This is the first snowy one of the season:
I called this post "untimely snow" because this past Friday devastating tornadoes touched down in Kentucky and neighboring Indiana and Tennessee. Small towns have been destroyed and 21 people lost their lives in Kentucky alone. While we marvel at the unexpected beauty of a late winter snow, those communities must see this as a piling on by Mother Nature.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

First of the Month - Creek Abstracts

This year I'm focusing on Louisville's wonderful public parks for the First of the Month photography meme. In January and February I featured Cherokee and Seneca Parks. After an extremely violent weather day yesterday with high winds, rain, and tornadoes, I decided to stay in my neighborhood and see what was interesting in the park where Willie and I walk. Frankly, it wasn't very appealing except for these shots of a small creek that runs through the park. I was trying to shoot at a terrible time when the light was all wrong--almost high noon.

Still, was lucky enough to get what I'm calling "creek abstracts". In this one the sun was making sparkles on the water and rocks:

Here I was hoping to get shots of some moss covered rocks with water running over that I'd spotted in the last week or so. Unfortunately, it rained just enough to muddy the water, but still I was pleased with the result:

And finally, I spotted some wildlife. . .
First of the Month: the idea is that we look at our surroundings and record the changes from month to month. The host for this meme is Jan at Murrieta 365 .