Friday, February 28, 2014

Texas Skies

Campsis Radicans Flava against a clear Texas Sky.



Wish you folks in all the cold weather could experience the sweet aroma when walking by these plants.  For more Sky views, visit Skywatch Friday.  More macro pictures can be enjoyed at Macro Monday 2.


Sky Watch Friday


http://macromonday2.blogspot.fi/2014/02/like-fine-feathers.html

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mind Over Matter

Pain is such a monster.  It can surround everything in a person's life.  It spills over on all beings and objects in a person's life.  That is how she found herself in 1985, engulfed in pain.  Years passed with pain meds taken in prescribed doses.  There were good and bad days.  Most days were good.  The children were raised though at times the children had to help a little too much.  But, always, there was that unwelcome companion, pain.

She sought help from different sources.  Each in turn helped to alleviate the pain to a level of manageable discomfort.  Then came that one too many long auto trips.  She was trapped in a body once again engulfed in spasms of pain.  The doctors prescribed injections in the back and a pain clinic.  The prescription was approved by the insurance company.  A month's leave from work was required.  The leave was, likewise, approved.  With full pay.

The pain clinic was the most amazing buffet of pain management techniques.  Therapy to retrain the use of the body.  How to walk.  How to get in and out of a bed, a car, a chair ... everything.  Meditation and self hypnosis training set a new direction in her life.  She could actually control the pain instead of the pain controlling her.

She wanted to learn more.  Dr. Hagi, one of the therapists, told her of his experience in Tibet.  He saw monks with such mind control they could fill a cold room of the monastery with the warmth of their own bodies.  All in the room experienced such warmth, as if a huge fire were in the middle of the space.  The monks used their minds to overcome the matter surrounding them.

So she worked at the concentration of mind over matter.  She used breathing techniques to relax the tension in all parts of her body.  Rose petals she breathed in to envelope each area of pain.  The roses absorbed the pain.  She exhaled the thorns of pain and saw them turn to butterflies.  The pain transformed from an ugly, bitter being into flights of beauty.

Each morning she would lie in bed, stretching, relaxing muscles and visualizing.  Finally after retirement she could travel.  Long rides no longer meant excruciating pain, just viewing the Creator's beauty.  She traveled to Tibet to see for herself.  She studied under the monks.  Her mind grew ever greater at managing the matter of her being.

On days when she might have difficulty moving her mind and body into the state of relaxation, she would imagine beauty.  She would remember the beauty of the mountains of Tibet.  Her spirit would fly down the the valleys just above the green fields.  Then she would soar upward to the snow covered mountain tops.  Some days to relax she would imagine ice cream melting in a bowl.

As she lay on her bed stretching and relaxing she imagined a chocolate bar melting in the hot sun.  She told her muscles to relax like chocolate melting in the sun.  And her body melted into the sheets.  Her husband found her.  Nothing but a pile of chocolate melted onto the bed.  His thought was simply, "She always said she could never have too much chocolate!"

Chocolate melt down
This week's Spin Cycle prompt is tall tales.  Join the fun by sharing your tall tale with all us Spinners over at Gretchen's or Ginny's!  Or just enjoy reading our crazy tales!

Second Blooming

Today I Cry

Today I Cry

I awake
No sun today
Clouds bring moisture.

I read
Of full lives 
Awash with friends.

I miss
Time with friends
Sharing birthday luncheons.

I cry
Silent tears
Washing away loneliness.

The love
Of those friends
Still surrounds life.

I smile
The memory of my
Lifetime, friendship filled. 






Monday, February 24, 2014

Macro Monday 2

If you enjoy closeup pictures of life on this planet visit Macro Monday 2 and relish the beauty!

Lenten Rose, Helleborus x hybridus, 2013 early spring, Springfield, MO.



http://macromonday2.blogspot.fi/2014/02/like-fine-feathers.html

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Malware

Malware!

My life is very small these days.
New friends I have not found.
The blowing leaf holds my gaze.
To my easy chair I am bound.

A husband, son and 3 grandsons,
Those are the center of my life.
I watch Oldest and Middle's runs.
I've become a model better wife.

With few deadlines or demands
I watch dogs and owners walk by.
You know I have time on my hands.
But still each day seems to fly.

Yes, life is calm and good for sure.
Except for the technology glitch.
A malware cookie made things unpure.
That cookie has made me quite a bitch.

I can no longer stream my favorite shows.
That means no Downton nor Big Bang.
Why do people want to be such foes
creating programs making computers hang?

Here is the end of this sad tale of woe.
I downloaded drivers and other software.
I lost wifi connection for a day or so.
Restored the last backup now the wifi is there.

Registers were cleaned and hard drive defragged
In goes the the disk to make the print work.
Reloading software is easy I bragged.
CD drive crashed, I hate that malware jerk!






Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Legs Are Tired

Been watching all the speed skating and other Olympics.  The speed skaters are pretty amazing. Loved watching Apolo Ohno in the last Olympics.

Borrowed from www.csmonitor.com.  Ohno at 2010 Olympics.



And those legs on both the speed and distance skaters.  They spend so much of their lives in a half squat while moving on a knife edge on slippery ice.  Major thigh muscles.  Beautifully defined muscles.
The Netherlands are dominating the ice tracks.  Makes total sense to me with so much history of the sport in that nation.

Monique Angermüller on clap skates and in a full body-covering suit in 2008,
wikipedia.com


Then there is the figure skating.  A different type of physical requirement.  The need for leg strength is critical but it is a completely different sport.  It reminds me of the acrobatic floor exercises only on a blade on ice.  With no padded mat.  So, yes, I consider it a sport.

Bench press 100+ while standing
on ice, on a knife.

Ouch!

Double ouch.
I am just pooped watching all this hard work.  And it is beautiful, enchanting and for me sensual.  I love hearing the sound of the blades cutting the ice and watching the graceful moves.  Congratulations to all those magnificent athletes now and in the past!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Escape, The Spin Cycle

This week's Spin prompt is "Escape".  Gretchen had even included her version of the pina colada song video.  Beautiful beaches and cool drinks with a hint of coconut make me thirsty just seeing them.  I am not sure if that is necessarily my idea of escape at this point in my life.  Pretty sure I could enjoy it if we would just go for it, though.

Since I spend entirely too much of my life with a computer on my lap the first escape I thought of was that button labeled Esc.  With a computer that is having a few hiccups of late the escape button has been very useful.  But even the computer issue is being controllable what with backups available.

Escape as defined at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/escape
transitive verb
1:  to get free of :  break away from <escape the jungle><escape the solar system>
2:  to get or stay out of the way of :  avoid <efforts to escape poverty
3:  to fail to be noticed or recallable by <his name escapeme>
a :  to issue from <a smile escaped me>
   b :  to be uttered involuntarily by <a sigh of relief escaped her>

Three is the kind of escape I like.  To be someplace and not be noticed.  Just to be able to walk in someplace and do my business with no chit chat.  I am really not a very social person.  Sort of like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.  Sure I will lead groups, etc but it is real nice just to float along in a cloud of anonymity.  No demands or expectations that way.

The other side of this type of escape may be that I do not remember names.  I will recognize faces but it takes months for my mind to grasp another's name.  I will remember the number of children and grandchildren, sicknesses and maybe even occupations.  Names escape my mind.  I try the technique of repeat the name several times during the first meeting.  Occasionally that works.

Now, pass me that Pina colada and make a break for Ginny, Gretchen and The Spin Cycle.

Second Blooming

Thursday Challenge - Electricity

Iowa energy rising from corn fields.

For more electrifying pictures grab a buss over to Thursday Challenge

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Life

Today I placed a new, crisp 'Welcome" flag on my small flag holder.
A lady on the nearby sidewalk corralling a couple of dogs smiled widely and waved.
The dogs raised their heads, sniffed the air and wagged their greetings, too.
With joy I returned their greetings feeling refreshed by another's presence.

Next I placed the dish for the birdbath on the stand by the gate to my patio.
The Central Texas breeze was flapping the welcome flag to signal new friends.
Chair and table were placed at the perfect angle for visiting with folks.
The teakettle whistled a cheery hello for any who might wish to visit.

Next to the steps to the patio the earth is pushing up the grasses of spring.
The green fingers of plants reach toward the warmth of the sun.
For at least a few days the cold of winter is not controlling every moment.
My soul revels in the many small, precious moments of this new life.


For more Macro Monday 2 photos click here

Friday, February 14, 2014

Inspiration


The blue skies are painted with the wispy white vapors.
Warmth is still lacking in the air but that is to change.
The Sun will share a hot, passionate kiss with Earth.
The seed of new life shall be planted yet again.

My soul floats as gently as the clouds in the sky.
The warmth of true love engulfs my entire being.
Love's hand reaches across time and space.
I hold firmly and receive love's inspiration.


Submitted as a Valentine poem for my true love.

For more love fly on Cupids wings to Ginny's or Gretchen's The Spin Cycle.

Second Blooming

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Olympics

I grew up on a farm in North Central Texas.  Hardly ever even saw snow in my life before moving to Missouri in 1975.  I never snow nor water skied.  I never ice skated.  No sleds or curling or any of the other things of the winter Olympics.  So why do I absolutely love the winter Olympics?

It is the pure athleticism of the participants.  The jumps of the skaters when they land on a blade the width of a knife.  The skier that cuts a trail with the edge of a ski around a sharp corner of packed snow.  The snowboarder inventing a new move during an event.  The determination in the faces of people pushing a sled down an ice covered shoot then jumping in and gliding as one being.

Sure there will be misses, crashes and already a broken leg on the moguls.  It is risky business.  Politics really have no place here for this is about years of training, years of work, decades of sacrifice by the athlete and the families.  I hope no president ever takes that opportunity away from these deserving individuals again.

And Go U S A!!!!  And all the other amazing athletes throughout the world.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thursday Photo Challenge - Cold

I read the theme for the week and saw beverages.  Then I spent several hours dealing with a camera issue.  Since it is cold outside I attempted to get a picture of a cup of steaming tea.  Try as I might, I never could get the steam rising from the cup.  Even opened the door to let in quite a stiff breeze.  Messed with screwed around with Used Photoshop to enhance the pictures to have a variety of effects.  Fired up the blog site and there it was .... Cold.  As in (lots of options) and beverages.

Well, I can assure, the cup of tea in this picture is cold.  Had to reheat it in the microwave to enjoy with a cookie.  But if you would like to see pictures of really cold scenes and objects bundle up and slide on over to Thursday Photo Challenge!






Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WildBird Wednesday Mockingbird


Thanks to Stewart for hosting this meme!  Click the above picture to enjoy wildbirds across the world.


 Mockingbird stops by for a bite to eat on a cool, windy afternoon.





 Time to leave!


The Name Game ... Gretchen

In 1965 a song for rhyming names was a hit.
No matter how unusual the name, it always fit.
All the teens sang along including the fellas.
It was written and performed by Shirley Ellis.

I am forever doing these silly little rhymes.
Even did one right around Christmastime.
And in that rhyme I mentioned Gretchen.
A woman most folks consider quite fetchin'.

A gauntlet was laid down by Gretchen.
Words for this challenge sent my brain stretchin'.
Obsessed I became to rhyme words with Gretchen.
I rhymed while I cleaned and worked in the kitchen.

She inspires us each week to write our Spin.
She puts her nativity next to bourbon and gin.
She hails from Texas a fact I must mention. 
He folks with love gave her the name of Gretchen.

Gretchen
Gretchen, Gretchen bo bretchen,
Bonana, fanna fo Fretchen, 
Fee fy mo Mretchen.
Gretchen!

Excerpt of instructions for how to play The Name Game!
Come on everybody!
I say now let's play a game
I betcha I can make a rhyme out of anybody's name
The first letter of the name, I treat it like it wasn't there
But a B or an F or an M will appear
And then I say bo add a B then I say the name and Bonana fanna and a
fo
And then I say the name again with an F very plain
and a fee fy and a mo
And then I say the name again with an M this time
and there isn't any name that I can't rhyme
Arnold!
Arnold, Arnold bo Barnold Bonana fanna fo Farnold
Fee fy mo Marnold Arnold!
But if the first two letters are ever the same,
I drop them both and say the name like
Bob, Bob drop the B's Bo ob
For Fred, Fred drop the F's Fo red
For Mary, Mary drop the M's Mo ary
That's the only rule that is contrary.
Okay? Now say Bo: Bo
Now Tony with a B: Bony
Then Bonana fanna fo: bonana fanna fo
Then you say the name again with an F very plain: Fony
Then a fee fy and a mo: fee fy mo
Then you say the name again with an M this time: Mony
And there isn't any name that you can't rhyme
Every body do Tony!
Pretty good, let's do Billy!
Very good, let's do Marsha!
A little trick with Nick!
The name game




Football Terms and The Spin Cycle

The week following the Super Bowl finds us Spinners doing our take on football.  Oh, my!  Having grown up in rural Texas one would find your way to a game by looking for the lights of the football stadium.  Those lights and the town's water tower were usually the highest thing for miles.  I remember riding the bus dressed in my drill team uniform watching the lights approach.  As a teen on Friday night, the highlight was being able to walk your boyfriend off the field at the end of the game.  Second best thing was wearing his letter jacket. I
did both for one season.  Lost out the next year due to an interception by a rival team.

For years Sunday afternoons were spent in my Mom's home watching football.  That tiny living room would be filled with sisters, BIL's, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and eventually a husband.  There were days spent installing Cowboy antennas to receive the Ardmore station so the home games could be watched.  We watched for youngest sister to appear at halftime when the Tyler Apache Belles performed at the Cowboy games.

My Aunt Billie worked for the Murchison's when the Cowboys were started.  I mean Aunt Billie was the executive secretary/personal assistant for Mr. Pickens, a 'big wig' in the Murchison organization.  Clint Jr. started the Cowboy organization in 1960.  Aunt Billie put Cowboy stickers on her car as well as my folks car.  Aunt Billie actually attended the games!  She had breathed the same air as Dandy Don!  She and her late husband, A. G., were present in Green Bay, WI, for the Ice Bowl game Dec. 31, 1967.   She remembers being so very cold.  Aunt Billie could not believe a lady had an icicle hanging from her nose! That sort of foul would never be committed by a Southern Lady.  Then she looked at herself in a mirror.  She had a snotcicle, too.  Benched for the remainder of the season for un-Southern Lady conduct.

But this post is not supposed to be about how I grew up living, breathing and doing all things football.  Or maybe it is.  It is just that for this Texas country gal football was The Big Thing.  I did grow weary of all the hype over a bunch of guys beating the daylights out of each other.  And making more money for 'playing football' a couple of years than a teacher makes in a lifetime.  My son so loved/loves the game.  He begged to play Mighty Mites.  I would not allow it.  He said I ruined his life.  I was penalized for dream interference.  He did play junior high and high school ball. Now he says he was not built for football.  His size called for an option of either cross country runner or soccer.  Guess he is being a Monday Morning quarterback on how I reared him!

When I started this post my game plan was to use a series of pictures illustrating terms of United States football.  With readers all over the world (two outside the US) not all understand the terminology for our football game.

Terms like:
 
Face Mask 15 yd. penalty
Down and Out.  Extra 15 yards.



Hail Mary, when you make a pass and pray to score.

Hope I have not fumbled the pass from Ginny and Gretchen this week.  For more football fun, call a time out and dash to the sidelines for a The Spin Cycle!

Not so tight end.  Forfeit of game.

Second Blooming

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Sunday

I sit upon my butt so wide.
In spite of all the diets I've tried.
In the 60's the doctor gave me pills.
To fit the wedding gown with no frills.


The 70's brought the Weight Watcher plan.
Losing many pounds, I was really a fan.
Later I joined the belly dance craze.
Husband was embarrassed by that faze!


The 80's brought the Fonda tapes.
We jumped around like a bunch of apes.
In the 90's Atkins and South Beach had us counting carbs
While we wore mall bangs and shoulder pad garbs.



By 2000 the lost pounds had returned.
I knew the calories must be burned.
Richard Simmons and I danced each day.
I watched the pounds melt away.


But, alas, dear friends, my hips have been found
By each and every single, damned, lost pound.
I am covered with blubber from head to toe.
The enjoyment of food and drink is my biggest foe.

The fat that I have lost would fill a tanker car.
I want things to change from the way they are.
It will take determination, work and self control.
I shall start anew ...  right just after the Super Bowl!