Saturday, June 27, 2015

Love vs. Hate - Love Won!

My thoughts about gay rights have not changed in nearly 50 years. Too bad those who oppose gay marriage haven't changed their minds either.

In 1968, I had just completed one of two years in the Peace Corps in Brazil. I was using my vacation time to take a bus trip from the northeast of Brazil, south as far as Buenos Aires.  Along the way south and back, I stopped to visit a Peace Corps friend in São Paulo. He was a lawyer and had set up a free legal-aide service for the poor in that ever-growing city.

I don't know how we got onto the subject of gay lifestyles, but I remember saying, "I wish people would worry more about who hates each other than who loves each other.  Lovers are not a problem. Haters are."

To me, gay rights should have been a non-issue, but of course, it wasn't in Brazil and certainly not in the U.S. despite our claiming to be the one country in the world that awards freedom to all.

At that time, I never thought it would take 47 years for marriage equality to become a reality. Yet, over the years, there were times when I thought it would never happen.

The Civil Rights Bill had recently passed. I never would have thought we'd still be dealing with deadly racial issues in 2015 either.  When 9 black members of a Charleston church were killed by a young man full of hate, who turned out to be the better people? Every family member I saw on TV said they forgave the killer. It must have been extremely difficult to say that, but they knew it was the right thing to do. So much for the racial war the killer expected.

So, let's worry about the people who hate, not the ones who love ---and that includes a lot of people who say they are Christians, yet are intolerant, hateful, and have no empathy for anyone who is not like them.

My hat is off to those religious people who have remembered to "judge not."
From the last page of the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilizations’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.

written by Justice Kennedy

This comment was found on The Daily Kos in response to an article: "Revolution and the right to discriminate: Republicans respond to marriage equality" by Laura Clawson

Can someone explain to me just exactly what right or rights we Christians lost today? We didn't. We still don't have to marry a gay person. We can still choose to marry another heterosexual. We can still go to the church of our choice. We can still live by the ideals of Christ. We just can't FORCE it on others. Because we choose to follow Jesus doesn't permit us to require everyone to. The Constitution is our governing document, not the Bible. If you really believe that "God's law" comes before Constitutional law, then you really never learned the basics of American History.

I might add that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality.  The law everyone refers to is from the Old Testament. That, of course, gives reason enough for many people to agree with the Bible that it is an abomination.  But that same Bible gives hundreds of other laws (I believe more than 600) and most people break many of them all the time. If you eat pork, lobster or crab, if you wear clothing made of two or more different fibers, or have ever cheated or lied, you have committed abominations. If you are proud, scheming, have a hard heart or have ever stolen something ---those are abominations. It's an abomination to wear clothes of the opposite sex. I stopped wearing dresses long ago simply because I hate wearing stockings and dress shoes, so I guess I'm in deep trouble. 

If you do not stone a disobedient child, you are breaking an Old Testament law.  If your daughter is raped, according to O.T. laws she has to marry her rapist and never divorce. If you use the same knife to cut both cheese and meat, you are breaking a Biblical law. Other O.T. rules and laws give you permission to own slaves and even to sell your daughter into slavery. If your brother dies without heirs, it is your duty to have sex with his widow to give your brother an heir.
It is interesting that there are no Biblical laws against lesbian activity. And because lesbians have the lowest rate of HIV, many have claimed they are God's chosen people.

Why have we rejected many of the O.T. laws, but cling onto the one about homosexuality?  According to the O.T. the main reason homosexuality was frowned upon was that gay couple do not reproduce.  At that time, teens were encouraged to marry and have as many children as possible. Why? First, the infant mortality rate was high, so even if one had 10 children, a couple was lucky if 5 survived. And since the life expectancy was around 40 for men and lower for women (due to childbirth complications) one had to reproduce at a young age and often.  But today, with world population exploding, there is no need for everyone to reproduce.  And even many heterosexual couples choose not to. My husband and I consciously chose not to have children.

If you want to site an O.T. law that you feel everyone should obey, then you better follow every one of the laws in the O.T. yourself.  Unfortunately, you would probably be going against civil laws and be in jail if you sold your daughter into slavery or killed your adulterous neighbor by stoning him or her. If the death penalty as described in the O.T. was applied to every abomination in the Bible, few would be spared.

We have evolved beyond many of the rules and laws of Biblical times, because we no longer think they are humane and/or they don't make sense in our time.  To keep people who love each other apart is also inhumane.

The reason everyone needs marriage rights is because there are benefits. Spouses can be on each other's healthcare plans, when one spouse dies the other won't have to pay inheritance taxes, they can save money by filing joint tax returns, they can visit each other in hospitals and receive medical information for a spouse who is unable to speak for him/herself. They can also make a public commitment to each other.  In other words, they can have the benefits open to heterosexual married couples that are not open to live-in partners.

I lived in Brazil for several years. There, church marriages are not legal marriages. Couples must be married by the equivalent of a justice of the peace for their marriage to be legal.  Then, if they wish, they can also have a religious wedding.  Therefore, all legal marriages are civil unions. They provide legal benefits to married couples.  Many European countries' laws are similar.

I think that would be a good solution here, too. All marriages would be civil unions --then if the church of one's choice chooses to marry a couple, be they heterosexual or homosexual or transexual, then the couple can marry in that venue, too. If the church does not respect the right to marry, then a couple will still be married in a civil union, which has to be recognized by local, state, and federal governments. They can, of course, choose a church that is more tolerant to marry them in a religious ceremony.
If you are still not convinced, I suggest you read this (written by a minister):

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Does Anyone Else Hate Steam-in Bags?

I hate paying more than is necessary for anything.

Vegetables in steam-in bags have less content and cost more than regular frozen vegetables.

I checked prices a few days ago.  A one-pound bag of frozen peas was $1.79 (11.19 cents per ounce.)

A 12-ounce steam-in bag was $2.79 (23.25 cents per ounce)  ---more than double the price.

Other vegetables had similar price differences.

Oh, but the steam-in bags are so convenient, you say.  Really?????

With regular frozen vegetables, I have to put them in a container, then microwave them.

With steam-in bags, I have to microwave them, then put them in a container.

Same work, different order.

But now, it is almost impossible to find some vegetables in regular bags.

Please complain to your grocery stores about steam-in bags. Demand the regular bags of frozen veggies that have been around for years.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer of Color 5, Week 3: Purple, Purple, Yellow

Summer of Color is back.  Click on the link to the left to view entries or to participate yourself.

See my image and others on the Summer of Color 5 Flicker page:

This year, instead of giving us three specific colors, Kristin is giving us two basic colors and we are supposed to choose our own shades of those.

For Week 3, we are supposed to choose two shades of purple and one shade of yellow.  I always end up with many more shades because when I overlap colors they create more tints and shades.

If you post your images to a blog or to Flickr I can see them. (If you posted to Facebook, sorry, but I don't have a Facebook account.)

Click on images for larger views. Textures and details are much more visible in a larger format.
"Dissonant Doors"
This composition began as three separate photos. Two were of doors in homes. The other was
a door and a window in the stone foundation of a barn. I cropped the three individual
images and rearranged them to create my composition. I then changed my image to black &
white and increased the contrast. I added separate color layers for my three colors. Finally, I
created a bas relief layer to give it a little depth and detail, then added a grunge texture layer.
(My grunge texture was from Graphic Stock with some of my own modifications.) 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Up, Up and Away - The Joys & Anxieties of Airline Travel

Compared to some of my friends, I haven't traveled a whole lot by air. I have several friends who take two or three trips a year and have been doing that since their twenties.

I will be 70 this year, and I figure I have taken a total of about 13 trips by air.  I say "about" because I'm not sure how to count those. For example, I flew to Brazil in 1967 and didn't return until 1969. Do I count that as one or two trips?  I decided that if there was more than a month between going and returning, I'll count it as two. Otherwise, as one.

If you count each take-off and landing as one leg, I've taken 52 individual flights.

Although I've heard horror stories from people who have lost their luggage or been forced to spend hours or days in airports, most of my travel has been relatively easy and enjoyable. The problem I've encountered most often are delays. Luckily they have never caused me to miss a connecting flight ---yet.

Below is my record of travel ---probably not of much interest to anyone else, but it serves as my own record of the trips and flights I've taken.

The more interesting parts ---the interesting travel stories ---are in this color of text below.

If I put a location in parenthesis, it was only a layover at an airport.
Locations without parenthesis are places I stopped for a least a few days.

1. 1966 Pittsburgh (to Chicago to San Francisco) to Sacramento  3 flights
    Stayed 8 weeks in Sacramento.

2. 1966 Sacramento (to San Francisco) to L.A. (to Chicago) to Pittsburgh   4 flights
     My only complaint about my first two trips is that the legs to and from Sacramento were on a very small commuter plane. Although these were my very first flights and I could barely imagine how a huge airliner could get off the ground, they seemed so much more stable than those small planes.

3. 1967 Philadelphia (to Miami to Caracus) to Rio to Salvador 4 flights
    We were on the plane in Miami ready to take off when we were asked to leave the plane because of a mechanical problem. I'm not sure how many passengers were aboard, but there were about 60 in my group. We waited in a lounge for several hours before taking off. 
     It was probably one of the most uncomfortable flights I ever took. My period had started and I was smashed in the middle of three seats. I don't think I caught more than an hour or two of sleep on the overnight flight.
     I spent about a week in Rio, then 6 weeks in Salvador, then took a bus from Salvador to Aracajú. 
     I lived in Brazil for 2 years. All of the travel I did while living in Brazil was by bus. 
     Besides Rio, Salvador, and Aracajú, I traveled to Recife, Maceio, Paulo Afonso, Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto, Brasília, São Paulo, Porto Alegre and on to Montevideo (Uruguay) and Buenos Aires (Argentina.) 

4. 1969 Aracajú to Rio (to São Paulo) to Lima to Cusco to Lima to Mexico City to Houston to Pittsburgh  8 flights
    I only paid for a few of the flights in the 4 trips above. I was sent to CA for Peace Corps Training and then to Brazil to serve in the Peace Corps, so most were covered by the U.S. government. 
    I had to pay the difference to take a side trip to L.A. (to visit relatives) on my way home from training,  
    I received an airline voucher to fly home from Rio to Pittsburgh, which I exchanged for flights from Rio to Lima to Mexico City and Houston (to visit a friend.) In Lima, I decided to take a side trip to Cusco so I had to pay for the flight there and back. (My favorite place on earth is still Machu Picchu ---Cusco to Machu Picchu by train ---- so I'm glad I took the side trip.) 
     I had planned on taking a bus from Houston to Pittsburgh, but when I compared time on the bus (and purchasing food for several days) to a flight, the price difference was minimal, so I paid for a flight home.

    I didn't fly again for more than 10 years, and for a while thereafter, my flights were few and far between.

NOTE ON INFLATION: When I left Brazil the one-way airfare voucher I received to fly me from Rio to Pittsburgh was worth $750. According to an inflation website, $750 in 1969 would have the buying power of about $4960 today.  In 2011 my round trip ticket from Pittsburgh to Rio and back cost me $1020.  I've checked recently and found round trip tickets for under $700 ---but they are creeping up again due to rising fuel costs. But still, isn't it amazing that airfare is relatively much cheaper than it was 46 years ago?????

5. 1982(?) Pittsburgh to NY City to Pittsburgh   2 flights
    Does anyone remember People's Airline?  I think the round trip flight cost about $49.00. Four friends and I took a weekend trip in December. Our flight was delayed due to snow --which was good because the roads to the airport were bad and we may have missed our scheduled flight to NY. In NY it rained a lot and we got soaked waiting in line for same-day half-priced tickets to shows.

6. 1989 Pittsburgh to Cincinnati to Pittsburgh  2 flights
     This trip was job-related and paid for by my employer.
     Find an amusing story about this trip here:

7. 1994(?) Pittsburgh to Minneapolis to Pittsburgh 2 flights
    I can't remember if we had layovers in Chicago or maybe Detroit, so I didn't count them.
    This trip was connected with a small business I owned so I was able to write it off as a business expense. On the morning I was going to return, I was several hours from the airport. I left in plenty of time, but a sudden torrential storm came up.  Driving on flat landscapes, the water had nowhere to go, so I had to drive slowly through deep puddles.  I had to refill the tank of the rental car and couldn't find a gas station. Finally, I saw a police car  & waved it down. The kindly officer escorted me to a gas station and then to the airport rental car entrance.  
     I expected in early June that Minnesota might still have a few patches of snow in shady places, but it was extremely hot. I was dripping wet after running through the airport to catch my flight ---which was delayed. I was so glad to be able to call home to tell my husband the flight would be late, sit down, calm down, and cool down for an hour before take off.

8. 1997(?) Pittsburgh to Raleigh/Durham to Pittsburgh 2 flights
     At that time US Air's headquarters was in Pittsburgh. Each week on Wednesday morning, US Air published bargain flights for the weekend.  A friend had moved to NC, so on my summer break from teaching, I checked every Wednesday morning and when I found a flight, I called to see if she would be available for that weekend.  
     My flight was delayed by about 2 hours. My friend is an early-to-bed, early-to rise person, so the flight that was supposed to arrive at 10 pm plus the drive to my friend's home in Wilmington was already going to put my arrival time near midnight.  I had to call to tell her from the Pittsburgh airport I probably wouldn't arrive until 2 am. She said she'd leave the door unlocked but she woke up when I pulled into the driveway.
     My round-trip flight was $79. My rental car was $99. And I was shocked at the price of gasoline. My husband usually filled the tank at home and I hadn't even noticed that the price had gone up everywhere.

9. 1999 Pittsburgh to Chicago to Pittsburgh 2 flights
     My friend who I visited in NC had moved to the Chicago area. She sent me an email saying a small airline (name?) was offering round-trip flights for $45.  It was January and who in their right mind would want to fly to Chicago?  But I wanted to visit my friend more than see the city. However, we did go to the city one day.  The wind chills were way below zero so we bundled up. We were still cold outside, so would duck into stores or coffee shops to get warm and then had to peal off layers and layers to keep from overheating.

10. 2001 Pittsburgh to St Louis (to Chicago) to Pittsburgh  3 flights
     My husband had to take me to the airport very early because he had a meeting he had to attend on that Thursday afternoon. (This was May so before 9/11, so I didn't have to be at airports as early as I was.)
     When I checked in, I was told my flight had been cancelled. So the attendant went to a different airline's counter to see if I could be put on another flight.  A flight was leaving several hours before the flight I was supposed to take and it was a direct flight. (The one I was supposed to take would have had a layover in Chicago.) So I actually landed in St. Louis before I was supposed to take off from Pittsburgh.  How's that for a bad situation turning into a good one?
     This was a memorable trip for several reasons. I was going to Missouri to attend the graduation of a girl who had been my neighbor.  Her mother was divorced and worked, so during the summer Beth would have been alone most of the time.  So she spent a lot of time with me because I was a teacher and was home during my summer breaks. Beth did all kinds of chores for me. 
     Beth liked art and I was an art teacher. We grew close and she often referred to me as her surrogate mother, so I wanted to attend her college graduation from the U of Missouri.
     I'm an amateur Mark Twain scholar but had never visited Hannibal, so I rented a car in St Louis and drove north to Hannibal. I spent all day Friday and early Saturday at Mark Twain sights. Then I drove to Twain's birthplace in Florida, MO and on to Columbia where the U of MO is. 
     I was supposed to share a motel room with Beth's mother Pam who had moved back to IL to be near her ailing mother. She expected to arrive around 4 pm, so I had lots of time to spare. I planned to visit several small art galleries in the town. But most of them were closed.  On my list was the Shelter Insurance Company garden, outside of town, so I headed there.
     The gardens were spectacular on that perfect spring day. So, I took dozens of photos ---which resulted in my first (but not last) photography-related injury.  I was so intent on taking photos that  I got too near to the edge of a sidewalk and turned my left ankle and came down on my right knee.  A nice young couple helped me hobble to a bench and I assured them that I was fine, just needed to sit for a while.  But I was not fine.  My ankle hurt like hell. I finally made my way to the car and drove to the motel even though I didn't expect Pam to be there yet.  But she was. She helped me get my luggage to our room, then asked the desk for plastic bags and filled them with ice.  I sat in my bed with my foot on ice for several hours that Saturday evening. When Beth arrived, we drove to a store where we purchased an Ace bandage and some cold pack pouches for my drive to the airport the next day.  
     I was able to hobble my way to a restaurant that night and to the graduation ceremony on Sunday morning. The graduation took much longer than expected.  The minute I snapped a few pictures of Beth receiving her diploma, I headed to the car and my drive to the St Louis airport.  The next day I discovered I had a small fracture in my ankle.
     During my layover in Chicago, I had to get off to catch my next flight. During my walk through the airport, I almost ran into David Carradine of TV's "Kung Fu" fame. I thought he looked familiar and only realized it was him a few minutes later. If it wasn't him, it was his doppelgänger.

11. 2005 Pittsburgh (to Minneapolis) to Phoenix (to Detroit) to Pittsburgh  4 flights
     This trip was taken with a friend to visit our mutual friend who had moved to Sedona. It was my first trip to AZ. Both of my friends had already been to the Grand Canyon, so I took the rental car there one day by myself while my friends did something I wasn't interested in doing anyway.    
     I don't mind traveling alone, especially when taking photos. I can spend as much or as little time as I want.  However, I only got as far as one can drive at the Grand Canyon. I didn't take the bus on the part only available by tour bus. But my husband and I did that 8 years later.
     The flights home were almost empty, so my friend and I each spread across several seats. Our flight was delayed so we almost missed the Detroit to Pittsburgh flight. Then, the plane taxied and taxied and taxied through the airport for about 40 minutes. I thought it was going to drive to Pittsburgh. 

12. 2011 Pittsburgh (to Atlanta to Rio) to Aracajú, (bus to Salvador, flight to Brasília) to Manuas (to Brasília to Curitiba) to Foz do Iguaçu (to Curitiba) to Rio (to Atlanta) to Pittsburgh 12 flights
     This was a 25-day trip to visit my old friends and former students from when I lived in Brazil more that 40 years earlier. After spending a week in the state of Sergipe (Aracajú and the small town in the interior where I served in the Peace Corps) I used a Brazil air pass to travel to other places.  I had always regretted not visiting the rain forest area and Iguaçu Falls so I was able to cross those from my bucket list, but I also stopped in Salvador and Rio (where a blogger friend and her husband hosted me for a few days.)
     My husband has never been to Brazil so we are planning a trip there for 2016. We will avoid August when the Olympics are taking place in Rio and elsewhere.
     Of the twelve flights, most within Brazil were delayed to some extent.  
     Rio often has early morning fog, so my flight from the U.S. had to circle the city until the fog lifted and we were given permission to land.  (My friend in Rio told me that often flights are redirected to Belo Horizonte and it takes hours and hours before they can return to Rio.) I was concerned about my connecting flight.  I had to go through customs, buy a phone card, call my husband from a pay phone so he knew I had arrived safely, check in for my flight to Aracajú, and meet the other woman who had served in the Peace Corps in the same town as I did. But, as with other delays, it ended up being no problem. Every flight landing in Rio that morning was late due to fog, so they were also late in taking off. We were supposed to arrive in Aracajú around 2 pm. We didn't arrive until about 4:00. We were expecting three people to meet us. There were about 30. Only a few people didn't wait for the two extra hours for our plane to arrive because they had to return to work.
     I often say that serving in the Peace Corps was the best thing I ever did. Returning to Brazil was number 2 ---and was one more thing to cross off my bucket list.
     Learn more about my return trip to Brazil here:

13. 2013 Pittsburgh (to Atlanta) to Phoenix (to Atlanta) to Pittsburgh 4 flights
     My husband doesn't like to fly so this was the only trip we have taken together by plane in our 30 years of marriage. We stayed in Flagstaff. From there we visited my friend who had moved to Sedona and the woman I had visited in both NC and Chicago who had moved into the house next door to my other friend. We also visited Walnut Canyon, the Sunset Volcano Fields, the Meteor Crater near Winslow, AZ, the Grand Canyon, the town of Williams, and visited many places in Flagstaff including the Museum of Northern AZ, the Pioneer Museum, and the Lowell Obervatory and hiked on Mt. Humphrey. We had a list of things we wanted to do in 10 days and were able to complete all of them with a day to spare. The weather in September was perfect. Pleasantly warm during the day and cool at night. Our first day there brought a brief afternoon shower. All other days were sunny and beautiful. The morning when we were leaving to return home, we found frost on the rental car. We were leaving at exactly the right time.
     Travel tip: If you are traveling to Phoenix and renting a car to go to Flagstaff, make sure you get a good-sized car with a powerful engine. Our rental was a small car that struggled on hills. It is almost all uphill from Phoenix to Flagstaff which lies at about 7000 ft. of elevation. Mt. Humphrey rises to 12,000.
     I knew that Oak Creek Canyon between Flagstaff and Sedona was quite steep, so I suggested we drive down to Sedona on that road and then take the major highway, which has a more gradual climb, back to Flagstaff. 

I enjoyed all of these trips for one reason or another despite some minor problems.

Here is a link to some travel tips from an airline pilot, that might make your airline travel more pleasant:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pink, Pink, Orange; Summer of Color 2015, Week 2

Summer of Color is back.  Click on the link to the left to view entries or to participate yourself.

See my image and others on the Summer of Color 5 Flicker page:

This year, instead of giving us three specific colors, Kristin is giving us two basic colors and we are supposed to choose our own shades of those.

For Week 2, we are supposed to choose two shades of pink and one shade of orange.  I always end up with many more shades because when I overlap colors they create more tints and shades.

If you post your images to a blog or to Flickr I can see them. (If you posted to Facebook, sorry, but I don't have a Facebook account.)

Click on any image for larger views.
"Spring Dawn"

Bonus Image
"A Scrap of Paper"
using the same pinks & orange

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"The Time Machine" for Try It On Tuesday - 6/9/15

Try It On Tuesday has a challenge every two weeks with a limit of five images per participant that can be rendered in any medium. Click on the challenge title at the beginning of this sentence to participate or view the works of others.

This week's challenge is Watches and Clocks.

Click on any image for larger views.
"The Time Machine"
I started with my own photograph of Kaufmann's Clock, a landmark in Downtown Pittsburgh.  I then added images of other clocks and gears, added some electric sparks and created a border.

Since 1913, "Meet me under Kaufmann's Clock" was said by one and all when meeting someone in downtown Pittsburgh. This clock has been added to the list of official local landmarks.

Kaufmann's was a large department store in the city then, and later built additional stores in the suburbs. The store is now owned by Macy's. The Kaufmann family was also famous for hiring Frank Lloyd Wright to design their vacation home in the mountains southeast of the city ---the home which became known as Fallingwater.
My original photo.

From an April 21, 2013 article on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website, marking the 100 year anniversary of the clock: 

"The current clock is... the second one at Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street. The original, four-faced clock was installed in 1884 and stood on a post at that intersection....

"The present clock was designed by Coldwell Clock Co. of New York City and weighs about 2,500 pounds. It was incorporated into the building's facade by the Pittsburgh architectural firm of Janssen & Abbott.

"In 1987, when the clock was dismantled for cleaning and restoration, more than 100 pieces were removed in a two-part process that took three days. The clock's works were tagged, numbered and photographed to ensure accuracy. Three teams of 15 specialists worked for 10 weeks on the restoration.

"The clock's surface was so heavily oxidized and coated with 74 years worth of soot, grime and pigeon droppings that chemical cleaners and solvents proved useless.

"Using bridge cleaning equipment, workers blasted 1,000 pounds of ground corncobs at the clock to clean it."

SUMMER OF COLOR 2015: Week 1 - 6/8/15

Summer of Color is back.  Click on the link to the left to view entries or to participate yourself.

See my image on the Summer of Color 5 Flicker page

This year, instead of giving us three specific colors, Kristin is giving us two basic colors and we are supposed to choose our own shades of those.

For Week 1, we are supposed to choose two shades of blue and one shade of green.  I always end up with many more shades because when I overlap colors they create more tints and shades. In this image, I combined two of my great loves ---art and quotations.

If you post your images to a blog or to Flickr I can see them. (If you posted to Facebook, sorry, but I don't have a Facebook account, nor do I want one.)

"The Function of the Artist 2"

I have always loved blue and green together.  They seem to be a perfect combination, like the green leaves of summer against a blue sky.

To the right are the three basic colors I chose for this week.

To see what I've been up to for the past three months click HERE.

What I've been up to March 4 - June 8, 2015

I've been busy.

I stopped posting to my blog for several months because I was busy with:

1. Taking photos and posting to Flickr and 500px.
These photos were taken at the W.A.Wright and Sons Machine Shop and Foundry, a shop that closed its doors, leaving everything as it was on the day it closed in 1969. I'm usually more into color photography rather than black and white, but the dusty old place just seemed to call for B&W and muted colors for most photos. Click on images for larger sizes.
"Rounds 2"
"Mystery Machine"


"Wire Wheel"
2. My local Photography Meetup group.
I'm now a Co-Organizer and this eats up a lot of my time.

3. Home renovations.
This old house is close to 100 years old and we've put off many renovations and repairs for years, but finally decided this was the year to do the work  We had planned a trip to Brazil but are postponing that until next year after the Olympic madness is over in Rio.

Although we have hired contractors to do the work, we still had to search for good contractors & arrange for dozens of estimates. Then we had to move things to make room for window installers, for example, to get at the window areas.  So far we've had 11 new windows, three new doors plus one garage door installed.  On our huge garage, we had 5 windows boarded up.  They are about 3 feet from the wall of a neighbor's garage so provide no view and little light anyway.  One old door from the garage was moved to replace our basement door.

We still need to move other things around in order to have a huge plumbing problem repaired, the house painted, siding installed on the garage, exhaust fans installed on both garage and house,have more windows replaced, and have the driveway and some sidewalks repaved.  We need bathroom fixtures renovated or replaced and a new shower stall in the basement. We want to add a bulkhead door to the cellar, and replace the basement windows with glass block. door.
Old door in the
garage is replaced by.....
One of our workers in an Amish man who brings several of his 5 sons and/or neighbors to help.  If we had unlimited funds, we could have him and his family move in for about 5 years.

There is so much more to do and we're already hemorrhaging money, so some of this might have to wait for another year or two.

I was hoping by now we could sell the house my mother left me, but she died when the housing market was terrible, so decided to wait. Meanwhile I allowed my niece to move in, and well, it's difficult to throw out a relative.  I thought she might be able to buy the house, but now she has one son starting college and two more children going to college within the next 3 years, so I figure it will be seven years before she can do that.  I've been charging her only enough to cover taxes and insurance, but I think I'll have to raise that, enough to bring in a little income but not enough to be a burden on her.

4. My left foot.
I mentioned that we need to have our concrete repaired or repaved. I was walking to the car one day and I turned my left ankle on an uneven patch where the concrete is broken. I fell, bruised and scraped my right knee, had a bloody thumb, & bruised my right wrist.

It was early in the morning.  No one was around and my husband was still in bed. Because I'm a night owl and sleep in the afternoons, we have disconnected the phone in the bedroom.

The problem getting up is that I have arthritis in both knees.  To stand up, I had to start in a kneeling position, which is hell on the knees. Then, when I need to get one foot on the ground to push up, it's painful to push off of either knee. I had my cell phone in my bag, so I could have called 911, but I was determined to get up on my own.

"My Left Foot"
Luckily, I had fallen right behind the car, so I used the key-remote to open the trunk.  I reached in and pulled out two huge padded/insulated Costco bags and placed one on top of the other on the driveway concrete.  I was able to kneel on those ---still painful, but not as bad as bare concrete.  With the trunk still open, I was able to grab onto the lower part of the opening to pull myself up.

It was only then that I realized that my knee wasn't the worst of my injuries.  It felt like a knife had been pushed into the bottom of my left foot. In severe pain, I hobbled to the house.

Often if I injure myself, it hurts like hell for a while, then the pain subsides, so I thought I'd be okay. I took a couple of Tylenol and went to bed in the afternoon. But when it still hurt then I got up that evening I decided to call the doctor the next morning. On my doctor's advice, I  headed to to the emergency room. There, it was determined that I had a broken bone in my foot.

So now I have a 'boot' on my foot and a walker.  I have an appointment to see my orthopedic doctor tomorrow.