Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This has been a typical New Year's Eve in Ansonia. Not unlike my favorite comic bird Shoe to our left, it has been more food than anything...
Like what we did last year, a platter of Chili nachos. I always enjoy making chili, as my mother did, since 1979. It is a simple and tasty recipe, and today I used ground turkey. And it worked well with those dip-able tortilla chips. Topped with shredded cheese, and broiled a bit on low, it is foolproof. Far from Haute Cuisine, but it works. This is of course not nearly as extravagant as Bond has prepared in his multi course extravaganza for this evening. But he is having guests, ant this New Year's Eve we are not...And it snowed today, so we wouldn't have gone out anyway.
I even had a chili dog - as long as I have been eating and making chili, I had not until today. But a perfectly grilled dog topped with chili an cheese was fine. Today was not exciting due to this day nor for the food and (non) partying. But all four of us were home, and that is what works for me. A family together for the day. Happy New Year to all, and hopes for a peaceful and wonderful 2009!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Ruby Tuesday meets the Redcoats. No, they have not just arrived to sack, loot and burn the fine burg of Milford, CT. Actually, it is a reenactment...and the actors aren't even Tories. American, actually. But red predominates here. And here, the great British Beer Company in Hyannis on the Cape. It is supposed to evoke an English pub. Since I've not been to the Isles, I can't say. But if the Union Jack motif means it is (kinda) authentic, that's good enough by me. I'll order a shepherds pie and a British pint (20 oz) of a Black and Tan (Bemis Stout and Double Diamond ale). The redcoats have arrived, whether by land or sea I cannot say! See Mary's excellent showcase of rubies...
Sunday, December 28, 2008
December 29 is a great day for obvious reasons: It is the birthday of my two special ladies, Patti and Allegra. It is special, indeed. Lady Allegra is 20 years old, and who could have thought up such a great kid. Her due date was
Patti was born in the 20th Century, and that is all that I’ll say about that! But I offer both a very happy day, and the continued blessings they deserve.
A lovely pair, they look fine in any setting, anywhere. Like the City of Lights, Paris.
It is fitting that we see them at the Musée du Louvre in front of Van Gogh's The Church at Auvers. A work of art on canvas, it is true.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
My family always gets together on Christmas Eve, this year at my sister Michele's house. I look forward to this,as it has always been a big day. Since 1963, my parents said we should buy for one othe kid. A sensible move, as with seven, who could afford to buy for all on a child's income (read: none).
We have continued through all the kid's kids. For the past three years and today, it is a Yankee Swap which is a blast. Too many rules to explain, but really fun. For food, it is pot luck, and I'm bringing the tomato bruschetta which will be served on a toasted bread (easy to make).
Finally, since we have a fake tree, I have decorated out potted Rosemary bush. We brought this hearty potted herb plant in in October, and it has a nice piney smell. So decorations were needed, and voila: a holiday plant with Christmas style. Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 22, 2008
I see the usual dilemma when choosing gifts for Christmas. I don’t believe in giving flashy gifts, but to give a gifts from the heart that are appreciated by the recipient. The thought matters more.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
That said, a view to my/our past is in order. The right card is from 1964, the one our family sent out. I am second in age from the top (9) and third from the left. I had five sisters and my brother/ally is only a few weeks old when this was taken, probably in October I don't know if holiday cards like this were as big then as now...
Of course, starting in 1990, we commissioned cards with the cherubic Allegra and Cameron on them. This is 1993, Allegra just about five and Cam just over three years old. As they grew, they were less cherubic but still posed for our holiday cheers and greetings. They aren't small any more, of course.
But they can still strike an affable pose when needed.
We may just make it work for the 2008 edition, we shall see!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
It snowed yesterday, not uncommon in the North, and it doesn't snow all that much if you live near Long Island Sound like we do. But the show is always impressive, especially with the blowing snow and reduced visibility. I was scheduled to be home yesterday, and glad to be. The wheelchair is not a fan of frozen precip...
These photos were taken about three hours apart, and taken by me from my 54" height from the front door. Snow has frosted my hulking Ford van and Patti's Hyundai. Patti was able to file her story from home, so all were all inside and warm.
The snow in the final view looks like fluffy orbs descending upon the entrance to our home. I used the night setting on our point-and-shoot with the flash. I didn't want to washout the flurry of fresh snow, and it seems to work. We have the feel of the snow from above and the aftermath on the ground and objects below. Snow can be a hindrance to me, yet when it is fresh it looks great.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I have been looking at the sky from below and above the horizon for most of my life. Thus, for Tish's great Looking at the Sky, I am re-posting this picture from decades ago onboard a Delta 727 between Atlanta and Philadelphia. This airplane departed 06:20 hours into a winter sky. I took this on film on only a 50mm rangefinder, and was not a staged photo. I see the bluest of a night sky in that last bit of twilight just before the dawn, which will shortly occur. Upon gazing on the orange glow, you are seeing the curvature of the earth in a gentle arc. I was tired with the airplane journey that began at 3:00, but this picture of early morn I never tire of...
Monday, December 15, 2008
It is the season for red, we all know. As the ruby red color permeates the Mary's famous Ruby Tuesday. I offer a few holiday reds this time, all in the tradition. Three day old Allegra is resplendent in this cartoon reindeer sleeper. Even tho her birthday was a few days after Christmas, she was a week late, and it wasn't like we would put it away until next year...As for Cameron, this is the holiday when he was six, looking resplendent in Santa's chapeau.
Not to be outdone, the always stylish Patti looks great, as always, this time in her red cap with fur trim. And her Christmas tree pin - can you spot it? And I am quite happy to be a recipient as well, and I did in 1996. I have the red up top, of course. But what the photographer captured well was the red stockings on the wall. With this perspective, the socks look as if they were sitting on top of my head...almost like the antlers of a reindeer. Unusual, to say the least. Follow the expanding trail of rubies by visiting her site!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
For this installment of Roger's fabulous Creative Photo, I am returning to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. This was taken at my favorite of all events, the equestrian show jumping. The horses were beautiful, with their beautiful coats and many with braided manes. The riders wore traditional English style wool riding outfits, despite the blasted heat and pollution at Santa Anita Park. And these riders and their horses worked as a team, the rider coaxing his hoofed team member who complied as the bar was raised, again and again.
This photo is as it was scanned, the motion natural. What I see, or don't see, is the rider's head as it is camouflaged by the shrubbery set around the obstacles. A 1980s version of The Legend of the Headless Horseman. Except my more modern take is on the West Coast, not in New York, and this rider did not lose his head literally, of course...
Visit Rogers site to see creative photo artists and their very creative artwork.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Looking at the Sky. I am intrigued, and ready to contribute. This is a scan of a view from a United DC-10 from LA to Chicago decades ago. Clear skies and the smoothest flight ever.
If I remember, This is probably the first in a sequence of pictures I took at the beginning of the long descent into O'Hare, probably over eastern Iowa. Just fair weather clouds underneath the 135 foot starboard wing. Rather wispy clouds in the light blue August sky. Unremarkable shots yet with a magical feeling: Being in a heavier than air machine while being in the sky...and looking!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I have been busily scanning, a few hundred down with a thousand to go, is feels like that. I have run across a few more photos and am posting a few more of these unearthed gems. Scenes that can only make a parent smile, such as a couple of sleeping cherubs aged 1 month and 2 years.
On the other hand, somebody named Ralph has has had enough of an arduous photo shoot, and demonstrably so. Yet parents Ralph and Eileen are keeping their smiles on while partaking in this memory.
Fast forward to April 21 1996. I have returned with my new used wheelchair van, a 1989 Dodge B250 RAM. It was huge, averaged 14 MPG (then about $1.40/gal), and handled like a barge. I drove VWs and Nissans prior, and liked smaller vehicles. But what price independence? I now had the ability to get around and figure out a way to pay for the gas later...
Finally, another of Grandpa on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. My guess is in the late 1940s, given the cut of the suit. As noted in the past, I think his idea of casual Friday was to remove the tie. A view of AC in its heyday, way before the casinos. It looks good, and the salty breezes of the Atlantic worked as well as A/C (maybe)...
I live for the day and the future. But I hope to complete archives of these gems soon. Even as I dig further into ancient history, it almost seems that I am if I adhering to the lyrics to the old Jethro Tull song:
"Oh, we won’t give in,
We’ll keep living in the past"
Monday, December 8, 2008
Finally, the ruby holiday trim is applied here to the fine cordials cabinet (XO Cognac, Grappa, single malt Scotch, etc). A stylish collection of bottles adorned with poinsettia and an angelic figure in red. A great day of food, wine and rubies was had by all. For more ruby views, go to Mary's excellent Ruby Tuesday site.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
However, what you see with the parents of these children, you see that they are not different than other parents we see: They are loving and doting parents that would do anything for their children, special needs or not. Challenges are met with not merely a sense of duty, but a sense of purpose that as parents they will do whatever they need to do for their offspring. Which is a wonderful blessing, tough work at times but never a burden.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I have been scanning away for the past week. Over 200 film photographs scanned, edited and filed since yesterday. These are images from before 2002 when we received our first digital camera. Naturally, I am unable to just process these images without memories of the past. Such as Cameron, jumping off the school bus after his first day of Kindergarten, his name tag swinging in the breeze. Or earlier the same first day of school, August 30, 1995.
Myself, Allegra (2nd grade), Cam and a doting grandma prior to the morning school bus. It is the last photo of me standing prior to the 'chair (11/17/95). Just an interesting pose on a nice day (I hadn't thought about college back then, of course).The last item was wheelchair related, the first day of house renovations to accept the 'chair. To construct the ramp in the front meant removal of the existing walkway for for the ramp excavation. The day was Halloween 1996. The entire sidewalk is being removed in one piece. There could be 10 more, but these three caught my attention. Memories of the way things were, so to speak...
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
1 – I prefer to sleep and rise early. Age related, I guess.
2 - I really love American cars from the late 1950’s, those with wild colors, fat whitewall tires, in-motion styling and large fins. I’d like a 1958 Chrysler New Yorker in turquoise and white. Install a hand control. And I’m set.
3 - I enjoy watching large jet airplanes take of and land. Across Route 75 from the
4 - I like many genres of music, from Disco to Tony Bennett to Big Band to Pink Floyd to Jazz to lots else. I’d love to have seen Sinatra in the mid-60s: the tight arrangements, Nelson Riddle Orchestra and the Chairman’s smooth phrasing.
5 - I like to cook, to create something out of nearly nothing. Not haute cuisine, but something where taste and texture rule.
6 - I was not a cat person until 1999 when we received Sir Humphrey. Since his passing last year, we have two oddball feline brothers named Linus and Rigby on hand for laughs.
7 – I accept the wheelchair and that it gets me around. But I’m not St. Ralph, I complain about it often enough. But I, like most, see people with far worse issues in their lives who don’t complain…and that stops the whining!
- Linda of Are we There Yet?
- Patti at Late Bloomer Boomer
- Tammy from Queen Size Funny Bone
- Dianne of Forks Off the Moment
a - Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
b - Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird.
c -Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
d - Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.
Monday, December 1, 2008
They say "Since 'tis the season". Kinda early, of course. That said, this week's Ruby Tuesday post is my vision of the holiday that falls on the twenty-fifth of this month. In my sometimes skewed vision, I offer last year's tree, a slanted view. As usual, symmetrical wheelchair photography is not my forté. But that does not stop me from chancing the shot. If you ignore the 20° slope and reorient your eyes to the subject, you will see that it is a tree, decorated for the aforementioned holiday. No, it is not real, the 'trunk' is steel tubing, the 'branches' are steel wire, and the 'needles' are polypropylene. But the affection of four people decorating the tree together makes for a perfect tree every time. I can even participate from the 'chair, but don't make me place that pointy ornament on top of the tree...It is slightly out of reach. Visit Mary's place for rubies galore.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
It has been a nice Thanksgiving, and nicer having Allegra and Cameron back for four days. We are driving them back a bit later today. True, at 46 miles and 55 minutes, they aren't that far away. However, they are growing in many ways in their college years, and we are happy for that. They will be back for a month in about three weeks. Not that long!
The fearless felines are going to be weirded out, naturally. They just got used to A and C, and will re-acclimate to their being gone. Only to begin the process again...
Note: I have enjoyed being part of th NaBloPoMo. Thirty posts in thirty days. I need to write more often, and this may be the impetus I need. Every day? I'll consider this as an attainable goal, certainly to pursue...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
This meme was prompted by our state royalty, also known as Linda, Duchess-of-Norwich-Upon-Thames aka: Are We There Yet? This was inspired by Jamie of Duward Discussion and a post she wrote about her birth year. A meme was the result, and I decided to play along. Simple is the rule that says to go to The Birthday Calculator and plug in your date of birth to find all sorts of interesting stuff about you. Away we go:
- I was born on a Tuesday, under the astrological sign Taurus.
- I was born in the Chinese year of the Goat.
- April 1955 is in the year 5715 on the Hebrew calendar
- Your fortune cookie reads: The skills you have gathered will one day come in handy.
- My age is the equivalent of a dog that is 7.66 dog years
- My lucky number is 6.
- Ruling planets is Venus.
- The average annual salary for American workers in 1955 was $4,128 (about $34,200 in 2008, per the CPI)
- In 1955, Gasoline cost 29¢ per gallon (about $2.35 in 2008, also per the CPI)
- In 1955 the
As of today, I am:
- 53 years old.
- 643 months old.
- 19,576 days old.
Celebrities who share my birthday:
Bobby Rydell – Singer (1942). Known for the song Wild One
I.M. Pei – Architect (1917)
Mike Scott – Pitcher,
Top songs of 1955:
- Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley & His Comets
- Ain't That a Shame by Fats Domino
- Maybellene by Chuck Berry
1607 - English colonists of the
1956 - First container ship left Port Newark for
1986 - Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster
I enjoyed this revue of history… and myself. Thanks to Linda and Jamie!
Friday, November 28, 2008
As I get older, winter just doesn't have the same draw as when I was younger. The snow didn't matter or the wind nor the gray skies. These days, I'm not really partial to that weather, and using the wheelchair I can't move around to keep warm, so the chill is not my friend. Since we live in a four-season climate, and home is here, I deal with it. The most redeeming thing about winter is that it is the gateway to Spring...
Should I want to imagine that it is warm when it is not, a longing view of Nantucket Sound in August might cure the cold that ails you. There is even a hint of Caribbean style turquoise in the water today. And the beach grasses and plants add color to the seascape. A nice reminder.