Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Clyde wants a flower

Clyde can get very demanding at times. So.....I went outside this morning and took a picture for him. Our first rose of 2011.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Today, remember those you've lost. Today, tomorrow and always, remember to love those who are still in your life. 

How is your Memorial Day weekend going? I hope you are enjoying your hot dogs, BBQ, potato salad, beer and (if you live somewhere other than Oregon) the beautiful sunshine. Oh wait! I just saw a patch of blue sky!! That was fun. Maybe there will be another one later. Like in July.

Perfect timing - here it is Memorial Day and just last Saturday I received my first mortuary postcard in a "What the ???" postcard swap on Swap-bot. The sender had a couple of good suggestions for what to write on this card. 

1. Wish you were here
2. Guess who died

Mottell's Mortuary, Long Beach, California

OK, time to hop on the train and go sightseeing! Let's hit a few art museums today.

I really want one of those mushroom hats.

Next is a 1990 work by Dutch painter Abraham "Ab" van Hanegem. Odd, yes, I know. Lemon modeling isn't much in demand these days, so these little guys will take anything they can get. One of them even agreed to pose partially nude.

Now Pablo Picasso's 1913 painting "Guitar and Violin". He seem to have ended up with a Viotar, or maybe a Guilin. Whatever...it's probably hard to find a good teacher.
And "The Breakfast Room" c. 1930-31 by Pierre Bonnard. After waiting around for hours while Pierre finished his painting, his family was finally overcome with hunger and headed for the Pancake House.

This is the Happy Pancake Dance!

Time to load up the car and go home. Don't forget your balloons!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trader Joe's mania

Can you do this? I can't yet, but I'm working toward it gradually. I'm starting by grabbing my elbows.

I received the above card from Russia, and the sender did a fantastic job of fitting nine postage stamps on the reverse.

From Belarus, I have a card showing some men who apparently had some sort of a disagreement. It must have been very hard fighting inside a tin can. I'd have been grumpy too.

Next, from Mexico, a mural of an Aztec market painted by Diego Rivera. It was Double Coupon Day at the market and there was also a big sale on cantaloupes.

Here's the site of the new Trader Joe's that's coming to Salem in June. Well, the actual location is going to be on Commercial Street but we are all so excited that we would probably climb a mountain if necessary. This scene was painted by the Italian Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506).

Quiz time! Do you know where Sabah is? Tick, tick, tick...... Wrong! It is one of the Indonesian member states and is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. Probably a very interesting, exotic place to visit, if you keep your head about you. Here's a map to help you get around, although it doesn't seem to include the Trader Joe's locations.

The last card for today was posted in New Zealand with a "glow-in-the-dark" stamp. A light beam shines from the lighthouse if you view the stamp in the dark. It's a good thing the sender told me about the stamp or I'm sure I wouldn't have noticed. Now I take all my stamps into a dark room to look at them.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Random image day

When I listen to music I usually hit "Shuffle" because I like not knowing what is going to play next. Mozart? Meat Loaf? Mariachi? Madonna? Today I'm doing a virtual shuffle of my post cards so I don't know where we're going. Better bring shorts and a parka. Maybe a snort and some vodka too.

Death of a Salesman (1951 film)

Want to read a Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by Arthur Miller in 1949? Want to be depressed? Here we see Fredric March as Willie Loman in the 1951 film version of "Death of A Salesman". This is mostly about a man in his mid-60s who suddenly realizes that he isn't, and never was, as good as he thought.

There is no evidence that Arthur Miller experienced any of these feelings of inadequacy, but if he did, marrying Marilyn Monroe probably helped a lot.

Next stop, North Carolina.

These Outer Banks lighthouses would have been much more helpful to sailors had they been built further apart, but the Lighthouse Keepers Union insisted they be within walking distance. Lighthouse keepers simply could not function without their nightly pinochle get-together.

Tomorrow, May 23rd, a new 2-week archeological field expedition will be underway off the coast of North Carolina. The object? To "help raise awareness of North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources’ goal to remove the remains of Blackbeard’s historic shipwreck to the safety of the laboratory and ultimately to public display.", according to the Queen Anne's Revenge web site.

I love these little Moomins, by Swedish-Finn writer and illustrator Tove Jansson. Trolls are not usually this cute.

A baseball triple play.

This, to me, is a very peaceful, calming scene. I do wonder though about the person in the picture. Maybe he/she is a criminal hiding out. Maybe he/she killed the photographer immediately after this picture was taken because he/she didn't want to be recognized. You just never know.

This is the brain of a person who spends more than 4 hours a day either watching TV or surfing the Internet. This person still knows which end is up, but is dangerously close to not having a clue.

So grab a rake and go rearrange the rocks in your garden. Or bake bread. I'm going to go knit now. I try to get at least one dish cloth finished each year.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Siberian cats, part 2

Almost a year ago, a postcard from Siberia prompted me to post a photo of a warm, cuddly pile of Siberian kittens. If you missed it, you can find it here. Although this was one of my shortest blog entries, it is so far the most popular one. So for all you cat lovers out there (of which I am definitely one) here's a 3-minute video on Siberian cats you might enjoy, taken from The Animal Planet's Cats 101 show.

Bill the chimp really enjoyed that video. In fact I had to play it for him twice.

You shouldn't spend all your time watching videos though. You might consider joining an aerobics dancing class such as this one. I wish I could hear the music these guys were dancing to. Show tunes probably.

Just don't overdo the exercising or you might become TOO thin. At least I've heard that this can happen although I personally have never come close to being too thin.

If you get in really good shape, you can go to the beach this summer with your friends. Imagine the fun!

Well! I can see that this idea does NOT appeal to everyone!

On that note, I'm going to fade into the sunset with this beautiful painting by Carl Rottmann.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oregon spring

This is the time of year I always discover that the batteries in my cameras are dead. Ironically, MY batteries seem to come alive. So, yesterday the camera batteries were recharged and Rusti and I set off to capture a little bit of the beauty of an Oregon spring day. First, a few shots taken at Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton.

This park used to be just a small man-made lake surrounded by grass and an upper middle-class neighborhood. It was always a fun place to go because of the mile-long trail around the lake and the hundreds of ducks, geese and other waterfowl that lived there. If you brought any type of food, you'd have a whole lot of company following you around the lake. Over the last several years, the park has been "naturalized" with indigenous plants, trees, and a marshy area. The birds just love it. I know this because I asked a couple of ducks. They aren't too crazy about the new "don't feed the birds" rule though.

Here's one of the many new duck moms (taking a well-deserved nap) and her pile of children. The ducklings were so tangled up with one another that it was hard to tell where one stopped and another began. Come to think of it, maybe it was just ONE duckling with many heads.

Here is Daddy Duck hiding out from Mom and the kids, wondering why he ever got married.

This is my favorite photo of the day, a very regal looking Blue Heron.

This morning I took a walk with my camera around our yard in Salem. Unfortunately, we have no ducks, but we do have some very colorful flowers.

We have a lot more color to look forward to when the rhododendrons and roses come into bloom.

Rusti has started a small herb garden with a packet of mixed herb seeds. It's growing nicely but of course we don't have any idea what's what. I suppose we'll look for recipes that call for a handful of mixed herbs, without any concern for what kind of herbs they are. Could make for some interesting dishes.

See you soon!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A big thank you!

Just wanted to say thanks to all you nice folks who have been reading my blog. This is my "silly" outlet - sharing my mail and my lopsided view of the world with you.

Today's post has no particular theme except that I find all the cards interesting in some way. I hope you do too.

When I got this next card I assumed it was from Russia and was surprised to turn it over and see that it was from Hong Kong. I think some people are just out to confuse me. From what I can tell, this card celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. If you missed this event, you can watch an old British black & white newsreel to see the festivities.

A great advancement for Australia's wheat farmers occurred when the new McKay Works Sunshine stripper-harvester was introduced and the laborious process of winnowing the grain from the chaff was automated. The Australian farmers celebrated and celebrated.....well, I can't even begin to tell you what they did.

Would you like to have your fortune told by Madam Furrpants? Just hold out your paw....

Madam Furrpants says you WILL take your medicine, and you WILL return soon to read more of this blog. Or else.