Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Light Up the Zoo!

Nearly everything at the Phoenix Zoo is covered in lights.

It's time for the annual SRP ZooLights celebration at the Phoenix Zoo, a great holiday outing for out-of-town guests and Phoenicians alike. The event is fun for kids of all ages.

Many animals are featured both stationary and animated light displays.

The zoo is decked out in more than three million colored lights and 600 lighted displays, including a 3-D praying mantis and lion. The 160-foot polar slide is back for the second year. Another big hit is the music-in-motion dancing tree show. It's definitely worth seeing (and hearing).

ZooLights is open daily, 6-10 p.m., through Jan. 8. For tickets and more information, click here.

I'm linking to:


Till next time,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey, What Turkey?

Three of my grandchildren are engrossed by cellphone games as they wait for Thanksgiving dinner to be announced.
I am happy to report (belatedly) that I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My son James and his wife Aubrie hosted dinner for 20 people from both families and we all did justice to the feast.

We had the traditional turkey as well as ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, Jello salad, broccoli salad, candied yams, cranberry sauce and homemade crescent rolls (awesome, Aubrie!), followed by pumpkin and blueberry pies with real whipped cream.

When were able, we waddled away from the table to help with clean-up or just to visit. We all headed home with plenty of leftovers.

I hope your holiday was also full of family, food and fun. Now I can officially think about Christmas!

Till next time,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sail Along, Silvery Moon

View from the 52nd floor of the Westin Peachtree Plaza on a brilliant winter's eve.
I was so thrilled to be able to visit Atlanta. As a fan of Gone with the Wind since the age of 8, I experienced a literary thrill from staying at the Westin Peachtree Plaza. On Peachtree Street! Five Points! Aunt Pitty-Pat's house! Lawsy, Miss Scarlett!

My company was kind enough to book me into the 73-story hotel that defines Atlanta's skyline. My room was on the 52nd floor — the highest room I've ever been in — and one with incredible views such as this moonlit night looking west. Note the lighted Christmas tree near the lower right corner.

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday. Click here to see fantastic photos from around the world.

Till next time,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sailors Take Warning

Point aux Barques Lighthouse
The Point aux Barques (Port of Little Boats) Lighthouse is one of the ten oldest lighthouses in Michigan. There has been a lighthouse on the site since 1847. The original lighthouse keepers' house burned to the ground in 1849. The house and the tower were completely rebuilt in 1857 and survive to this day.

The lighthouse is located in Lighthouse County Park, north of Port Hope on the shores of Lake Huron. It is an active light, manned by the U.S. Coast Guard to keep boats away from a shallow reef that extends two miles into the lake.

I'm linking to:

Outdoor Wednesday logo

Till next time,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

Most people might wear a sombrero somewhat differently, but my youngest grandson has his own fashion style. And who's to say that his viewpoint isn't the right one? There's obviously something in there that piques his interest!

Grandchildren. I highly recommend them!

I'm linking to:
Smiling Sally

Until next time,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day

Proud Swabby

On this Veterans Day I'm honoring my very own vets. Shown above is my late husband, who served in the Navy during peacetime and became a radar technician.

 At left is my dad, who served in the Merchant Marine during World War II.

He had some horrible experiences in the Pacific, and there was one incident he would never talk about.

He would begin to tell a young man who fell overboard. My dad was the strongest swimmer aboard, so he was strapped into a life vest and sent over the side in a rescue attempt. The attempt failed, due to darkness and heavy seas. My father would always start to cry when he got to this point, even fifty years later, so we never knew who the young man was or how he fell off the ship. My dad could hear him calling for help, and that haunted him all his life.

However, my dad had million funny stories about his adventures as well and he seldom repeated himself.

This is my dad's brother, Uncle Harry. He got to know me (it is said that I took my first steps to him), but I never knew him.

He was killed during a training accident in England when his P-51 fell apart in the air. He is buried in a military cemetery in Tulsa, where his wife lived.

My dad had two brothers. He called the youngest by name, but Harry was always referred to as "my brother."

I had two other uncles who served in World War II. My Uncle Johnny was a sailor in the Pacific. Shell-shock was his souvenir for a job well done. My Uncle Harold (who married my dad's sister)  had the worst job of all. He was a tail-gunner. He told of men crying before they went up because they knew their chances of coming back were very slim. He made it, however.

Because I come from a family of veterans, I felt compelled to adopt some Marines during Vietnam. I didn't like the way returning vets were being treated by protesters, so I wrote to a squadron to let them know someone cared. All of my boys came home alive, but one had the misfortune to step on a mine and loose a foot.

We sometimes forget what veterans do for us. If you need a wake-up call, watch "Saving Private Ryan." When I saw it in the theater, I came home and cried. I can't watch it again, but I think everyone should see it once. You'll ask yourself, how can a man send other men to war, and how the men can go.

Thank you, vets, past and present, for your sacrifice.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's ...a COW??

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Skywatch: Worth Waking For

I'm usually awake when the sun comes up, but I seldom peek out my door so early in the day. I'm glad I did on this particular day or I would have missed this dramatic sunrise. This shot is straight out of camera, no enhancements needed except those provided by Mother Nature.

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday, where you'll find beautiful photos from around the world.

Until next time,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Got a Rock

I felt like Charlie Brown in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” getting rocks in my trick-or-treat bag instead of candy.
My first rock came when my interweb donned a ghost costume and disappeared into cyberspace. Oh, the horror! My (land line) phone’s screen read “R.I.P” at the same time. Spooky!
Fortunately I have a cell phone, without which I would have been doomed. I was able to get the phone company’s number from my son, only to be disconnected after half an hour of “please press this” and “please press that.” (Another rock.) So I went through it all over again and was finally able to start a repair ticket. The repair was supposed be done yesterday, but it didn’t get done until today. (Another rock.)
What I learned from this experience is how very much I depend on the Internet. I couldn’t read or send an e-mail. I couldn’t write a blog or read all the blogs I follow. I couldn’t check my bank balance or pay my bills. My granddaughter desperately needed a bus schedule, but I couldn’t access one for her. I couldn’t check movie times or play Jewel Quest (not life-threatening, but still...). I needed to pay my home insurance and locate property tax information. No can do.
What if I hadn’t had a cell phone? I would have no way of getting the phone company’s number unless I found a neighbor whose Internet was working or who at least had a phone book, something I no longer keep. I think I may make an exception when the next one arrives – just in case.
I think I’ll also write down all the phone numbers I need and keep the list in my desk. I’ll keep an electronic copy on my computer and my cell phone. Of course, a smart person would have done this already, but that’s beside the point, right? Maybe next year I’ll get candy.
Until next time,