Our New Excursion Coach notice what they call a shade tree!

Our New Excursion Coach notice what they call a shade tree!
Excursion & HHR tow car in Tucson

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sepia Saturday December 6 Horse rides

This weeks theme evoked many possibilities, but truth be told, where ever else can I share a photo of my first horse rides and where else would people would look at the photos?

So here I am with my first horsey rides; my grandpap, Teofil was not a woodworker but somehow somewhere with help from his friends he made this rocking horse for me.  It doesn't look like much  today but it was really all I needed to keep myself entertained and then some.   My Uncle Carl who was the artist of the family painted it.  

In this first photo I am on my premier ride, the year is early 1946, flowers  in bloom  to the side in this very Sepia small  print that  my grandparents and later my aunt kept framed over the years, though much is faded on it. They said I had just begun walking all about and this was my next challenge.  They said I had a grand time but they had to put the horse away into a corral else I would climb on it when someone wasn't around and they did not want me to hurt myself.    I was about 16-17 months old in this first photo.  It must have been a cool spring day because I was dressed in bonnet and coat. 

Funny thing is I remember having this wooden rocking horse, I wonder what  ever became of it?    It was quite rudimentary but no one could have convinced me of that.  
Me about 2 1/2 years old...1947, same horse
This  girl loved the ride  There were no
fancy get ups yet, no hats, no chaps.

1947 same as above, better view of the horse
Happy to have Sepia for my  own Sepian memories.  To see what others  have taken to theme from this weeks's prompt, go here to the primary site.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sepia Saturday 256 A parade from 1975

Prompt of a parade drew me  back to last week's album of our 1975 trip to the Calgary Alberta Stampede, Canada. 

 These photos are fading taken pre-digital era. While  there are no Swans dancing, there are plenty of horses, clowns, Scots,buckskin riders  and others of the wild west  parade shots we took from our bleacher seats.  I found the old program too and a poster. Sadly the list of parade participants is faded and did not scan  but I notice it was the centennial celebration for Calgary that year.
Stampede program

 I share some of our July 7, 1975 Calgary Stampede parade as we watched from our bleacher seats across the street from a multi story parking garage where folks  hung from the sides to watch.   I noticed I did not caption the photos, so now 39 years later, I try. 

Unidentified tribe Indian Buckskin rider, notice the parking garage observers across the street
more unidentified natives

Well it was a western days event, this bull float was a hit
Calgary Stampede poster of the event
Horsewomen with flags
Cowgirls  on the hood
Horse drawn wagon with dignitary

Scots bagpipers
This giant size clown shows the stories of folks across the street
in the parking  structure and those on the rooftop

This was my Sepia Saturday contribution to see others go to this link  there are sure to be many surprises and stunning photos from the international community

Sunday, November 23, 2014

First smattering of the voyage

While I promised further October cruise postings on the marvelous voayge we had with Celebrity Lines, two weeks North Atlantic sailing from Bayonne, New Jersey to mostly Canadian ports, I have been neglectful on posting, so finally have downloaded photos from phone and tablet and here we go for a few,,,many more to come...

Taken by ship photographer as we boarded
Our ports are listed and we are ready

October 5, 2014 we set sail and say adieu to New York Skyline,
Lady Liberty and World Trade Center

Under the NY Verrazono Bridge  
This was our welcome aboard , lovely
Notice the bottle of Champagne,... well
 see the last photo of this post where Jerry
rescues me he claims to save me from myself.

And here he is... imbibing on the champagne...he is a dedicated beer drinker.
He cannot abide the bubbly so I was surprised when he poured a glass.
He claimed to be saving me from myself first day out, o I would NOT drink the entire bottle alone...
Our veranda was lovely, two chairs and table and a respite from crowds.
Our cruise had the best venue a day in port a day at sea....

Our sailing found me deck top with the band...there were no photos but the ship videod me  and there after showed me enjoying....I am a dancer and saw no reason why I could not get out there on deck and dance to the beat....at first it was only me and the band a few a of the ship crew, but soon, I coaxed others, all women onto the floor and we had a blast.  I believe we need to celebrate and dance all the time and this was my time to cut loose and I did.  Jerry is an observer  but he did not have the phone to photo his wife in action and so no photos to share of  my premiere.  For the next two weeks  many would stop me and  comment on , "oh you were the dancer..."  "Oh you looked like you were having fun," I was folks and you should have joined me.  Some said they could never, well if not now when??
Life gives us little enough music take it and shake it while it lasts...tomorrow is too late.   

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sepia Saturday 254 Wading the waters 1975

Back after a long absence with a couple 1975 photos, from which  color is fading.  We took many camping trips over the years, especially while Steve was growing up because we wanted him to see a lot of the country.  In 1975, living in California,  we were on our way to the Calgary Stampede in Canada to meet friends who had gone a week ahead of us.  One of our stops was at Flathead Lake Montana where there had been overly abundant rain and lots of flooding.  However, this made for good swimming weather and as I recall it was mighty hot so we welcomed the chance to dip in and cool off. 

 I must have been quenching my thirst as well because you will see, I merely stepped in with glass in hand, ice clinking.  Steve was all of 11 years old at the time and  helped me wade out before he swam off.  Not sure where Jerry was while this happened, likely he was taking the photos from back onshore.  I don't know whose dog observed nor who the tube floater in the upper left corner was...nor what Steve found to  maneuver with later in the water after helping Mom

OK Mom, I've got ya

One of my chubbier times, drink in hand

Now what's this?
This is my  return to Sepia where we can share our photos to match the prompt or not.  I will enjoy reconnecting with everyone...it's been awhile but we have been travelling. To see what others have matched or not to this week's prompt, go here

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Different days different views and first snowfall

Dinah Washington sang it 

I just learned while googling that this was originally a Mexican folk song,  Who knew that?  The most successful early recording with English lyrics was in 1934 by the Dorsey BrothersDinah Washington won a Grammy Award in 1959 for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance with this song. Her version was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 and earned her first top ten Pop hit, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Just yesterday a rose in bloom faded but still blooming
This morning from the front window
What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours....you may know the song that suits  today..because yesterday while grey and cold at 44 some degrees I was outside shivering while pruning and pulling out geraniums and marigolds...today, I have stayed in mostly because overnight Mama Nature, that elusive old bag who rejoices when she rolls up her sleeves and releases various tricks onto the likes of us, dusted our area with white, about an inch or so of the stuff, just as we had been warned. Just what I did not want and I know sure it could'a been worse and more of it, but this is just too darned early for snow for me!  It's not yet my birthday and even growing up in Pennsylvania I never remember snow before my annual celebration. This is just why I was hesitant to move to Minnesota although I thank our lucky stars and  saints daily that we escaped from California, where we always thought we would stay the rest of our days. Not to be as with so many plans we thought we had made, but then there have been many mighty better turns too.  

Jerry grinding leaves to mulch rosebeds

I've spent today  on domestic chores and at the computer catching up on lots of information and financial work instead of my Y yoga class and the body building strength weight class I had planned to add today.. more weight bearing interval training...But no kidding, yesterday Jerry was grinding leaves to mulch the rose garden.  I said not to bother surely the weather prediction would be wrong!  Bah!  I was wrong and it is a good thing he persisted.  So the rose bed went from a coating of brown leaf mulch to a bed of white blanket overnight...with the pink ballerina bush protesting, "hey, what's with the mulch, can't you see I've still got my blooms going here?" 

Rose garden mulching
Rose garden view from our front window about 7:30 this AM

Some day soon I will share here some photos from our two week cruise to the North Atlantic Canadian ports, most of which  has already been on Facebook in real time.  It was a great trip, gorgeous weather, beautiful fall colors and more.  But for nowa big pot of chili is calling to  have cornbread accompany it and so off the keyboard again after a long absence.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The other day I was hungry after zumba class while out and about on shopping errands; there was a time I'd have driven straight to the nearest Culver's for a frozen custard, but that habit is long gone as I keep myself slimmed and trim.  My snck of choice is always pretzels but the Shopko had none, lots of other chips but I  prefer pretzels which are low to no fat.   I  was really feeling like I needed something to eat and spoted a bag of chocolate Cracker Jack.  I loved Cracker Jack as a kid and  amassed quit a collection of those little prizes that came inside the box.  The back of the bag said, "You loved Cracker Jack as a kid! ...There's always a prize unside... So open a bag and you'll feel like a kid again." I looked and was pleased to see only .5 fat grams in 1/2 cup and only 110 calories, so that was my hunger appeasement.  I don't know how many years it has been since I  last ate Cracker Jack.  

It satisfied my  hunger pangs but somehow it's not the same, well nothing tastes the same as it did when I was a kid but this was not all that bad.  However, remember Cracker Jacks came with peanuts, no more or at least not this bag of chocolate Jack.  I don't know it that's to keep the price which give me a break was $1.49 for this  4 ounce bag, but considering  that all other snack foods are just as much or more, so it went.  Maybe they leave out peanuts  because some folks today have allergies?  

After I got home and no I had not eaten the entire bag, just a few bites likely  that 1/2 cup, I couldn't wait to see the prize.  My anticipation was quashed when I found this tiny  1" + piece of paper with a sticker!  A sticker with red socks!  What kind of prize is that?  Now I did not feel like a kid again at all, where is my plastic trinket?  Ptooey!  Well I suppose kids today would not care, they are too busy on their pods, pads, swiping and would consider plastic gizmo a dud, or an insult.  But for  crying out loud,Frito Lay could surely spring for something more than a sticker.  Well maybe not.  But for a quick lower fat snack it was not bad, despite the false advertising.  It did not make me feel like a kid.  No way no how.   No nuts, no toy!

This is most minor in line with all the not so good news we've had nearly continuously  over the last couple weeks.  The passing of dear friend Geoff back home in Oregon, the cancer diagnosis of another local friend, MS diagnosis of that friend's wife (the dearest couple around town), and now hospitalization of my PA pal.   Surely good news will come about soon.  Why do bad things happen to good people?  This is why I know I am going to live to be  a very old lady, God does not want to answer my "Why this?  Why?  What were you thinking?"   I was in the Dollar Store yesterday and a woman stopped to talk to me, I have decided I must have a magnet across my face that says, "hit me with your bad news, why not?"  She wanted to talk and there I was, she shared that she was on her way to her best friend's funeral, her friend had battled and been cancer free for  6 sears but it returned with an aggressive fatal vengeance and death came within a month, her friend was only 53.  She said with tears that they usually went to lunch on Fridays and then stopped at the Dollar Store and Goodwill and so here she was on the way to bury her friend.  I gave her my condolences and told her to keep the good memories.  What more to say?. 

We depart Monday for PA where my friend is going to be fine, with her new pacemaker, totally unexpected but isn't life that way.....we never know. This is why I have no tolerance for the Facebook whiners; recently a cousin and another friend  have  removed themselves from FB.  They said, "too much BS drama."  So true.  And so looking forward  to a  great time back home visiting with friends.  That means I must get off this computer and get clothes out to the coach.  We roll out eastward Monday,   When we return we will have only a week to get ready for our  October cruise.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

BLOG on hiatus for busy times

4th of July rose blooms beneath cleome
We have not been on vacation but the blog has to be.  I have so little time to sit at keyboard and right now outside activities predominate with daily weeding, hauling, etc.  It has been a lovely summer of weather than cannot be beat.  Here in MN people say we have two seasons, winter and road construction and indeed this year it is an orange cone world as many highways and by ways are under repair, replacement or major disruptive reconstructive surgery.   

A couple weeks ago it came right  to our neighborhood as our main access street from this cul de sac was pulverized.  A new pipeline, sidewalk and new road are imminent and we are to believe it will be accomplished by  the start of school, but I am of the seeing is believing perspective on that.   Again  more info and daily progress are on Facebook which is easy to do from my phone and does not take  butt in chair time at keyboard. 
at the bottom of our So. 14th access street

 It all contributes to major time spent getting around and about so that my morning trips to the Y for my continuing physical activities consume the full morning.  If I plan errands I pack a change of clothes, shower there and then be on my way...sometimes I even take along my snack lunch because I will not be coming home in between.   I spend a lot of time driving cross town and around the "long way" to avoid the primary construction sites when I can.  The interstate I 90  nearby is under reconstruction across the Mississippi and will take two years to complete.  That said, I have been very nervous about where lanes merge and ever thankful to my guardian angels  whenever I drove there.  About a month ago a fatal accident confirmed my fears about construction zones and to avoid them..  A young man on his way to work was killed on the interstate that morning  as someone stopped to allow cars to access the interstate....what kind of idiot stops on the interstate?  Apparently some person thinking they were being kind to oncoming traffic, but none the less an idiot  who does not comprehend the meaning of "yield."  A tragedy occurred as traffic tried to stop and a construction dump truck loaded could not but ran over the last car which burst into flames.  Tragedy for all involved including the truck driver who now must live with that memory...the accident kept the interstate closed most of that day.  So I now avoid it altogether and go the extra 5 miles or so through La Crosse; actually I am astonished we have not had more accidents through that area with summer traffic and people who are either ignorant or illiterate or both and pay no attention to slower speeds or signs.  But I did not mean to get on that soapbox because I would continue a diatribe--why post speed limit signs when no one pays attention?  And why  not enforce speed limits, it certainly would generate revenue if enforced but again no consequences to refusal to comply means no change in behavior. 
Glory of sunset, doesn't it look like the
tree is smiling?

But what I checked in to say is business continues busily here....and the little time I have at keyboard is spent on trying to maintain our financial info as well as planning and pondering our October two week cruise  from Newark, NJ up around Maine, to ports there, Nova Scotia, Halifax, Quebec n return.    So far I have avoided being pulled into the county jury but am under a 4 month "notice."  Fortunately they have excused me and blocked out our travels,  the weeks in September when we will be in PA and who knows where else, our October cruise and our November departure for parts south, we hope.  But August so far I have not been chosen to appear.  I find this a major intrusion into life and will not be an amenable juror at the inconvenience. 

So this is all GLW&CDR (good Lord willing and creek don't rise) because as we are reminded life holds no promises, surprises can happen and well we plan and something changes it.  Meantime, see ya' on Facebook which continues to be my keep in touch mode these days.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Technology has not simplified life but neglect it at your peril

I have no photo of our first home PC  but it was an IBM and kind of looked
like this photo I  found on line...
    I remember our first home personal computer, clunker that it was with old floppy disks that really did flop, then replaced by floppy hard disks and finally wonder of wonders CD's and so it went, improvements all the time until today we have  plug ins and USB's and the Cloud for all that information storage.  That first home computer made me think we had the very world at typing fingertips and each information upgrade  requires adaptation and learning, just like life.  

Over the years I have kept up with techy changes computer, smartphone, tablet, laptop and you name it because it was essential in my career and then I  never wanted to be left behind in the dust, an anachronism as happens to many people too quickly now.  I have an old friend in CA who was  such a disaster with computers in the office way back when, all she could do was use them as a word processor and then barely;  she was the tech support staff's nightmare, she will know who she is when or if she reads this, but it is doubtful she ever will as she has become left behind for various reasons.  Today I tell her it is easier to reach her cross country by smoke signals because all she uses is phone and even then her old obsolete cell phone which she claims to carry around in her pocket at her home  where she is confined is always on the charger. Forget texting, she  doesn't know how or can't or won't learn.  Besides lacking time to really sit and  talk with her, I cannot begin to fill her in on day to day issues such as I can post on Facebook, another place she does not access. I advised her oh how many years back when she retired to enroll in adult education or community college courses on computer usage, at least software usage but she never did and has  gotten farther and farther behind until there is no catching up for her.  In many ways she reminds  me of my departed MIL who spent the last 60 years of her life living in the past, she neer kept pace with anything.  

Uncle Carl at 92 tackles  technology.  The little boy
wonders, oh will I ever get it back from him?
My late elderlies were behind the times but were quite satisfied with where they were but Uncle Carl maintained interest in any and everything despite declining mental capacity, when a  little boy allowed him to  use his mobile at the assisted living center, Carl did not want to give it back.  He was fascinated by first my digital camera and let alone the smart phones.

 Most people become old because they lose interest, have no curiosity and moreover stop learning. Some people have no interest in  learning ever and are satisfied to remain where they are in time.   I have an old school friend in PA, an educated man, an attorney who is helpless with computers, who relies on his adult son to show him what to do and who now suffers  the consequences of ignorance at not being able to access Bar communications  quickly on line. He's been dragged kicking and screaming and lamenting the  whole way.   Recently he sent me a Facebook request which prompted my phone call to him, could it be really?  Nah, he was trying to  read something and clicked onto his son's account and how could he get out of it?  I tried to talk him through it over the phone to no avail.  Our CA DIL and son are averse and uncurious about Facebook that she  will not approach it and discourages others including grand daughter who now avoids it.  Some of this I suspect is because of proclivity to hunker and hover and cling to family; she works in a business office and at least  has email and can text, but seldom does so. A person who is happy in her own cocoon and sees no need for technology I suppose. Different examples of people who  are out of the techy loop and who knows if they are better off for it?.    

Now I have another challenge activating webcam and or Skype account because grandson in CA has requested to chat live.  I was embarrassed to say I had not used it on any of our devices yet.  I know it will not be that difficult but I find myself almost dreading yet, another change another choice another challenge.  And then I remember the left behinds and know I will not join them. I will master that too. 

This cruise port, the first to be built in New Jersey in 40 years, provides the perfect setting to the beginning or end of any voyage. From the vantage point of the deck, you can look out over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and all of lower Manhattan. - See more at: http://www.celebritycruises.com/destinations/canada-new-england#sthash.vGTQWZmS.dpuf
Today though I started to write about how technology has really not simplified life, at least from my perspective. Life holds changes in many forms and technology today is a big one.   We have a  two week cruise planned in October from New Jersey up through and around Maine. Nova Scotia, Halifax, Quebec and return and I have been  using the online check in service with Celebrity Cruise lines to enter the necessary data as directed by our travel agent.  Holy cow, life was easier in the past when the travel agents handled it, did  what they needed to do, paperwork  arrived, we packed and off we went.  Nope, 3 hours this afternoon of my time and of course I no sooner completed one section than another required other information that was not here by my desktop, but was upstairs, and so it went.  I have a  lot of financial work to catch up on too as I keep our records on the Quicken system and am a couple months behind because I have not had time to sit at the keyboard. And you know I have not been blogging.  

Technology really doesn't make life easier I am convinced but has added a  new level of complication and busyness.  Today my smartphone creates chaos by anticipating what it thinks I want to text or enter and then does so, I usually do not catch these changes some of which may be hysterically comical though some of which are nonsensical which then necessitates post correction and editing afterwards.  Gone are the days of proof readers or particular spellers and all that stuff, here we are with swypos and devices that think they know what we want to say.  It's rather annoying but we are into technology.

October 2014 cruise itinerary
And the October cruise which should be an adventure aboard the Celebrity Summit, concierge class with verandah stateroom and all the top amenities will have me  at computer determining what off shore experiences to choose. After last years tour to Alaska I vowed never again to have a tour day arranged and herded  by others, so I am  working that out for us on my time.  Ahh it's great to have the devices to do this at home, or is it?  Otherwise, could I  gain personal assistance from an agent who could do the keyboard work, but  would it be at my convenience? Such is the price we pay for wanting to do things ourselves and there we have it with our own technology and time.  And lack of time. 

To learn more about our  cruise and Celebrity Summit, see this linkhttp://www.beyondships.com/Celebrity-Summit-Tour-1.html