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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Hedgehogs Two Ways

Which do you prefer, view one?  Or, view two:

Well, duh! Photo of the more than likely favorite was taken at a pastry shop in Lucerne, Switzerland-2008.

For more Wordless Wednesday photos be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Again .

Monday, August 27, 2012

Macro Monday - The People's Park

This closeup is of one of over 200 granite, bronze, and wrought iron sculptures in Frogner Park in Oslo, Norway (commonly referred to as Vigeland Park).  The sculpture figures all depict the human condition from birth to death--and many human activities from children running to couples embracing.  I call this the "people's park" because the sculptor, Gustav Vigeland, gifted his works to the city of Oslo in the mid-30s and since then has attracted visitors from all over the world.

Here's a view of the park looking back toward the city street (it was a very rainy day when we visited as you can tell from my photos):

This view is from walking into the park toward the Sculpture Monolith which is the centerpiece of the sculpture collection:

Some other examples of sculptures--some joyful, as with the Dancing Girl or children playing, others depicting more sorrowful human conditions--aging, conflict:

For more closeups from all over, or to enter your own macros, be sure to check out Lisa's Chaos here every Monday.


(Photos: August 2011 at  Frogner Park--commonly called Vigeland Park--in Oslo, Norway)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chet Gets Bad News

Citizen Chet here folks and you could say "borscht on my face"! Citizeness Roommate had just dropped a major bomb on me. Apparently in about a week she's dumping me at Camp Kennel Siberia and flying off to Russia for about 15 days. I'll tell you, have nobody but myself for getting caught unawares with this news. If I'd just looked up from my perch under the library stack and read some of the book titles--Russka, Dreams of My Russian Summers, Anna Karenina, Nicholas and Alexandria, Persian Boy--let alone that Russian phrase book and travel guidebooks for St. Petersburg and Moscow that's been taking up my spot on the sofa. . .

And the hints continue--this is our current screensaver and I see it every time I sit down to blog with you. And then there's this map that Citizen Roommate keeps studying and muttering about four days in St. Petersburg then cruising these Russian lakes and rivers before ending up in Moscow.

Meanwhile I have one lousy week to work on MY packing list for Camp Kennel Siberia in addition to trips to the vet for more shots so I won't be doga non grata at the kennel.  I doubt that I'll be able to send you any blog updates from this place.  We looked at my "room" on line here and it's pretty sorry--just six feet of floor and concrete walls.  Not a sign of internet cafe.  For sure I'll fill you in when we get home though. 

That's assuming we get home!  I've told the Roommate that I don't want to see her on the streets in Moscow protesting those punk rock girls being sent to prison for two years (we won't mention the band name since the Roommate doesn't like risque language on our blog).  Lest she end up in jail too.  Now I just have to hope my new neighbors at Camp Siberia will be fun or it's going to be a long two weeks. 

Chet reporting 8-26-12 (Wish the news were better folks).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Friday Fences - on 4th Street

I know promised to quit dipping into photo archives from a July gardening tour of Old Louisville, but life has interfered with me getting out to find new fences. Plus, there's just so many good examples of beautiful fences and homes in Louisville's old Victorian neighborhood. Just a few within a couple of blocks on 4th Street:

This beauty that looks like a verdigris green finish on wrought iron leads into a garden.  The flower scroll design is echoed in the side fence panels:

Why I do believe we could be in New Aw'leans! Not surprising that this house and fence would remind us of New Orleans since both cities share a deep French heritage that's reflected definitely in the architecture. Another fence closeup shows off the graceful wrought iron design and promise of a great garden behind the fence:

Now for more examples of unique fences from all over, or to share your entry, be sure to stop by our host Janis' place at Life According to Jan and Jer . And I'm sure she wouldn't mind if, like me, you need to dip into the photo archives for some fences!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Bubble Butt

Chet here--can you see why my rescue name was "Bubbles"?  However, I have this to say about the Roommate calling me "Bubble Butt". . .pot, meet kettle.

For more Wordless Wednesday photos be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Again .

Monday, August 20, 2012

Macro Monday - Pears & Plums

One perfect pear--well, almost--growing politely on an espalier wire in the Sofiero Palace Gardens in southern Sweden.

And then some sun-kissed plums, mostly green but with a couple of eager ones starting to ripen.  Notice the skillful pruning.  You could just reach out a hand to pick them when the time comes.

And finally, even wanna be photographers soon learn to look for the unexpected subjects that make good photos. These gardens were impeccably cared for, even to the fallen fruit collected from under the trees and tossed in the compost cart. Reminded me of some Old Master paintings where fruits and vegetables, and the odd dead fowl, were laid out on a table ready to be turned into a feast. The cycle of nature.

For more closeups from all over, or to enter your own macros, be sure to check out Lisa's Chaos here every Monday.


(Photos: August 2011 at the Sofiero Palace and Gardens in Helsingborg, Sweden)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Project Runway - Swedish Style

In the summer drought of TV viewing I'm always happy to see Lifetime's Project Runway start a new season. If you're not familiar with the show, about ten young designers gather in New York to design and sew--in a few cases some outlandish--fashions that hopefully will be featured in major fashion magazines and worn by people who get noticed. Each one hoping to hear Heidi Klum, the show's hostess, say "You're in." to that challenge "In fashion, one day you're in, one day you're out." A couple of weeks ago their challenge was to make something wearable out of candy from a candy shop. So you had models strutting the runway dressed in twizzle sticks, hard candy and jelly beans! It got me thinking about this fabulous ceramics exhibition that I saw at Sofiero Palace and Gardens in southern Sweden last year. Called "Cocktail Couture", the exhibit by artist Agneta Spangberg featured beautiful dresses made of ceramic pieces. Here's some other examples:

In addition to the cocktail dresses, the exhibit displayed a wonderful collection of more traditional ceramic pieces such as plates, plaques, and vases:

To get to the ceramics exhibit you walked though the Palace Gardens. Here's the semi-wild Mediterranean garden:

The sunken garden and steps leading down to the garden. Note the living monogram:

A green mossy passageway to the exhibit:

And finally Sofiero Palace, the summer home of Sweden's royal family earlier in the century and a wall plaque of young Princess Margarette who was instrumental in designing the garden with her husband while managing a large young family.

(Photos: Sofiero Palace and Gardens at Helsingborg, Sweden--August 2011)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Chet's Waterloo

Toenail Clipping Wars - Chet's waterloo at the Middletown Animal Clinic

He waits in the war room prior to battle.

The Roommate's hand after last week's skirmish (Chet insists that you be informed that this is a scratch
NOT bite.)

Opening skirmish back in June--battle score Chet 1, Roommate 0.  He felt secure enough to remove his riot gear--also note the long nails. . .

For more Wordless Wednesday photos be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Again .

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Macro Monday - Artichokes

Hi All - here's my first entry for Macro Monday.  Shooting macro has been one of the photography skills that I've been interested in developing and so far I get the best results by accident!  Would you recognize this strangely beautiful vegetable without the post title? For sure it's not grown commonly in my part of the southern U.S.

And here's the artichoke flower after it's past the harvest stage.  Looks like an exotic sea creature, doesn't it?

And finally, here's a whole bed of artichokes in various stages of growth.


(Photos taken August 2011 at Sofiero, royal gardens in southern Sweden.)

For more closeups from all over, or to enter your own macros, be sure to check out Lisa's Chaos here every Monday.