Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Blog Day 2005


   Today is Blog Day! I thought I would take a welcome break from hurricane updates to help celebrate in a Technorati kind of way.

     You can find out details on how to play along at Steven's Sometimes Photo Blog. Here's my list of 5 journals I want to recommend to the world.

     1. Albert's Artsy World of Fun. This is my all time favorite blog, no exceptions. NONE! Albert delights us with his frequent updates about the life of a big ol hairy gayguy, sprinkled with green and pink glitter.

     Albert is an artist, a writer, a movie star (ok, an extra), and an opera queen. Yeah, yeah, yeah ... so I'm secretly crushing on Albert, so is every other girl in this community! I'll stop now, just go HERE NOW!

     2. Jersey Girl Journal. I've watched Nettie grow from the new girl in town to one of J-Lands most popular bloggers. If you don't already know her, please stop by and take a look at life on the Jersey Shore from the eyes of a commercial fishing family and through the lens of this very talented girl's camera.

     3. Lotis Martinis. You can't help but laugh when you click on the link to GiGi's journal. This jaded party girl-cum-yoga-babe has the funniest way of letting you see things through the animated eyes of a martini sippin`cartoon.

     4. Ocean Simplicity. In this blog, Captain Chance gives us a glimpse into the life of a girl living her dream on a boat in Boston. Stop by and say hi to her and the Goddess, but be careful ... you just might learn something while you're there. 

     5 .This Sublime Dance . Jamey is a remarkably talented sports writer, poet, cartoon creator, songwriter and a he's also down to earth farm boy trying to make a name for himself as an actor in L.A.

     I love this journal, the writer never fails to surprise me when he shares with us the depths of his talent, quite amazing for one so young.

     Right now you will find details about the ups and downs of working on "Uncertainty."  Stop by and witness for yourself the beauty of This Sublime Dance.

     OK, this was fun! I hate that I only got to pick 5, my entire sidebar is filled with journals I would like to recommend to the world.

     For a while now, I've been adding a J-link du jour to the end of my entries ... it's like fast access to one of my favorite J-Land entries of the day.

      Technorati Scores are not such a big thing to me (kind of a guy thing, right)? but I do like to see the writers that I love reading, getting as much attention as possible so I will continue to link, link, link, link, link!

        My pick for J-Link du jour is the   Blog Day Journal . Not an AOL Journal this time but it's where you can look for the results from Blog Day 2005.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

No news is good news ... I hope!


     Thank all of you for your kind words and well wishes for Dad and Panda. As yet, I have had no word but that's not exactly surprising. With the amount of flooding and such going on there and the decision to do a mandatory evacuation, I'm assuming that it may be a while before they try to go home.

     They say that no news is good news, so ... I'll trust that wherever they are, they are surrounded by friends having a hurricane party, it would be much like my dad to take full advantage of a hurricane day or two.  

     They say that 80% of New Orleans is flooded. Dad happens to live just outside of the French Quarter which seems to be part of the lucky 20% less affected by the floods than the rest, making them prime target for looters, a sad but true reality of a disaster like this.

     Here in Florida there is a mandatory curfew instated after a hurricane that prevents people from being out on the street at all, unless it's an absolute emergency ...  people pretty much tend to abide by it here. Two different worlds, I know.

     BTW ... Panda is a black and white Cocker Spaniel, I couldn't find a photo of her to post so I've borrowed the one above from the Zim Family, I hope they don't mind. Awww ... how cute are they?

     My pick for J-link du jour is called ... "Todd Called"   and was written by my friend Kate from  The Life of a  Wolf Journal. Stop by and hear her story as she begins to find out how much damage there is to her apartment and to her life as she knows it in New Orleans (she's posted photos).


Monday, August 29, 2005

Now she's more than a little inconvenience ...

     Say hello to Stella (photo above). Like most everyone else, she I and kept a close eye on Katrina today while we were at work. That little inconvenience of a storm that passed through here a few days ago has now strengthened to a category 5 and is heading straight to my Dad in New Orleans.

     I called my Dad this morning and got his answering machine, I let Stella listen in to his silly message that says "no one's home but Panda, she can't come to the phone because she's been drinking. Leave a message and I'll call you back, unless I've been drinking." Ummm ... It's not a new message.

     My message to him was that I hoped that getting his machine was a sign that he had packed his bag and headed for the hills and to call me ASAP if he was still home. They tend to be pretty hard core about evacuating in New Orleans, they would prefer to gather together for a hurricane party instead. But not this time!

     You've gotta respect a category 5 storm that's headed straight for you when you live in a town so far below sea level that you've gotta look up at the Mississippi River. If you've ever been there you know what I mean. New Orleans is a giant bowl just waiting for the levy of the river to give way so it can fill to the top with water, predictions are a possible 18 feet of water, for some the only way out will be up.

     I did get a call back saying that his bags were packed and he and Panda were hitting the road ...  umm, I mean parking lot. Yep ... as you can well imagine, all of those people trying to leave at the same time could present a nightmare of a traffic jam. Eeek!

     I heard today that there were some hotels that were exempt from the mandatory evacuation so they could offer lateral evacuation for tourist and others that had no where else to go. (how scary is that)?

     The Superdome was built just for this storm. Yep ... they have done their best to provide all of the proper precautions to protect thousands from this storm. They were to let the ill and the elderly in first (it's the right thing to do). This may very well be the "Big One" that they've been waiting for all of these years.

     New Orleans has plenty of low income neighborhoods, people without transportation, people with no way out. Many of them will stay, some of them will not make it. Like everyone else, I am so dreading the headlines about tomorrow's storm. Unless some kind of miracle happens, this is going to be a catastrophic mess to say the least.

     Two of my kids are in North Louisiana, (Love you Angie and Joey) there should not be as much danger there but still like much of the South, they will be bracing themselves to see what exactly Katrina has in mind. (awww ... how I wish they were home right now).

     That silly look on Stella's face in the photo was taken as we kept saying to each other " Oh no ... where's Panda? ... where's George? ... Oh no, Panda can't swim!!! All joking aside, Dad where ever you and Panda are tonight, you are in my thoughts and prayers along with thousands of your neighbors. I love you Daddy!


  My pick for J-link du jour is a Katrina entry written by Connie of Thought Salad. Connie is in Alabama and will certainly be affected by Katrina to some degree. Thoughts are with you Connie, be safe.

     Oh, heres the link to the American Red Cross ... obviously there will be a great need for relief by the time this things over. 


A love story ...

 Photo from Kid Zone

     I went to see the March of the Penguins last night! It's a love story indeed. If you haven't seen it yet ... what are you waiting for?

      Ummm guys ... great way to score points with your girl. Mmmm Hmmm it's a love story. This National Geographic Documentary was certainly worthy of the big screen, the actors were as good or better than most in Hollywood these days. In my book it was one of the coolest films of the summer.

    I'm not real happy about the fact that I ended up going to see it by myself :[  but that's another story. Go see it, go see it, go see it!

      Oh, BTW ... my choice for J-link du jour is one written by our friend Andi from She Said What? re: J-land's 2nd Anniversary Party last week at the Journals Cafe. If you haven't seen it yet, go HERE now. Great job Andi.  


Friday, August 26, 2005



     So Hurricane Katrina paid us a visit last night, she was extremely tame compared to some of our visitors last year, like Frances and Jeanne. You can see from the photo of the parking lot at work this morning that there were few leaves and small branches spread around today compared to the other photo of Frances where gigantic trees were uprooted and laying on their sides.

     Most of the prep work of become hurricane ready still had to be done even though the storm was not very strong. The lines at the gas stations were miles long (yes even at today's prices), grocery store shelves were emptied, flashlights, can goods, batteries and water were in every cart. Some people put up shutters and filled their bathtubs with water (I did not).

     At work we made contingency plans for a few of us to fly to Dallas if we were to loose electricity. Rain, snow, sleet, hail or hurricane ... we are a 7 day a week operation, it's that simple. 

      The storm came with strong winds and hours and hours of rain ... still getting rain from the feeder bands now. We got off pretty easy here in Boca but there are a lot of people close by without electricity, some property damage and ... there were at least 6 lives lost locally.

     The hurricane season is really just getting started, hope it will not be anything like last year. <-- some of last years photos. Thoughts and prayers with those that have suffered a loss and with those still in the path of this storm.

       BTW .. my choice for J-link du jour is called Storm Stories: , written by Joe  from the Magic Smoke Blog.  Oh, and for those of you that don't already know ... he is also the journals editor.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Check ...

     Last week I started thinking a lot about how sedentary my life has become in the last year or so (pretty scary). Not only has my job that once included 45-50 hours a week of walking now turned into 40 hours behind a desk, I aso have about 6 hours commute time sitting in my car each week. I seem do a lot of sitting at home now too.

     I don't watch much TV, almost none. But I would not even want to start adding up the hours I spend behind my computer, both here in J-land and with photo editing, (eeek).

     The classes I take at night, although they do include a long hike through the parking lot and across the campus, still add up to another 2 hours a week of sitting, per class.

     Thinking about all of this made me start feeling pretty guilty about the gym membership I'm paying for at La Fitness and have not used on a regular basis in months (ok ... about a year). I know I'm not the only one out there doing this. 

     I asked my self what it would take to motivate me to get up and out and through the doors of that gym for the first few times, here's the what I came up with.

   check list

1. Call Sheila and see if she would consider getting up and out of the house before work in the morning so we could work out together.

    I called and YAY!!! she agreed to 3 mornings per week, (she is so not a morning person). check

2. Get my things together ... shoes, socks, sweats, t shirts, towel, blow dryer, lock, soap and shampoo, water bottle, etc ... check

3. Tell someone so I can't back out. Besides Sheila, I told Karen, Stella, my Sister and Mortimer ... Mortimer's gym entries are part of my motivation.  check

4. Call Sheila again and make sure she did not change her mind. check

5. Find out Sheila has been painting in her sweats and will need to go out to buy something new to work out in and decide that I too should go shopping for something new tonight.

     At first I was finding only odd unfamiliar colors (notice the peach and seafom in the photo above but YAY .. finally found old familiar black) I bought all three. check

6. Get clothes ready tonight for work tomorrow,  will be leaving for work from the gym after shower. check

7. Pack my bag and try to remember the combination to my lock. check

8. Set my alarm clock for 5:45 am check

9.  make a quick run through my favorite reads here in J-Land, and write this silly entry (first things first ya know). check

10. get a good night sleep ... soon to check that one. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

     BTW ... my pick for J-link of the day is called Confessions of a Breck Girl, written by Artsy Albert.

     Albert is going to be a star, (ok ... an extra) in the film Pursuit of Happyness and he's blogging about it HERE.

     Albert is always a STAR to me, have I ever mentioned that I ruv Albert

     Remind me to tell you sometime about the butterfly with the window in his throat on my signature below ;-)


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sunday, August 21

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

I'll meet you in the Journals Cafe, it's open tonight from 8:00 pm until midnight!

     BTW ... my pick for J-link du jour is Sassy's Anniversary poem, if you have not read it yet then go HERE now! 


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What do you suggest?

     Last month I posted a suggestion box asking you to make a suggestion about anything you'd like. It was so much fun to read your responses, here are a few of the suggestions that you left behind ...

Eat more ice cream!  Watch sunsets more often!   ~~Aunt Nub~~    

3 day weekends! * stop sweating the small stuff! *  drink more water! * take more photos! *  live passionately!   ~ Jersey Girl  

Yes, just love everybody. Judi Heartsong  ps... this delighted me  

Play more *Don't wait to tell people you love them *Diet less *Learn from each other *Sit in your bathtub and eat Pomegranates!  ~ Nancyluvspix 

Did someone already say, "Sit in your bathtub and eat Pomegranates"? Damn, that was gonna be mine. ~ Belfastcowboy  

and I can't forget my favorite ...  

I suggest that it stay permanently summer here. I am enjoying the 90+ degree days. Dogs should learn to use toilets, including to flush for themselves. Weeds should be pulled once, then that's it. Grass should get to the perfect height, and stay there. Clean house, it stays that way......    xoxo  suzypwr

Many more witty J-Land suggestions found here <--

     I thought that as part of our 2nd Anniversary celebration I would bring back the suggestion box and this time ask for your suggestions to other bloggers to help make our "boring blogs" (per Joe), less boring. I'll go first!

     If you are writing a blog, I suggest ... * Keep it short and easy to read * update often * find ways to connect with your reader * write what you feel passionately about * add photos if you can * use a print large enough for those of us with over 40 eyes to read.

    OK ... now it's you turn, what do you suggest?

     BTW ... my pick for J-link du jour is a related entry called What we want from blogs, written by Patrick from Patrick's Place.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Letting go ...


     Mandy spent the weekend here, on Saturday morning she went out and about with Karen and I to the Rag Shop and then Costco before Karen was off to her Mothers house in Ockechobee and Mandy and I were off to Hollywood.

     I asked if it would be OK to give Karen the wagon full of toys we've had around here for years, so that all of the grandkids at her Mothers house would have something fun and different to play with when they visit Grandma, and ... I could have a little extra space in my closet. I bought most of these toys at garage sales during the years Mandy was baby-sitting Ryan and Derek so I knew she might have some mixed emotions about it.

    She did agree to pass the toys on so the other kids could enjoy them, but you can see from the photo above, that maybe she would of liked to have held on to them for just a little bit longer, it's not always easy letting go.

     Ryan and Derek 04/17/04

     When Mandy was 14 she took on a baby-sitting job for her best friends sister, Derek was only a couple of months old and I must say that it made me more than a little bit nervous.

     They live very close to us and their mother only worked a few blocks from home, their Grand parents lived across the street so I guess we felt that we had Mandy covered in case of emergency. I do remember asking God how on earth I was supposed to trust my 14 year old child with the life of that new born baby.

     She never did have an emergency that summer and she worked at least 40 hours per week. In the fall she worked after school, she did that for a couple of years.

     Being with those boys taught her a lot about love, a lot about life and maybe it taught her how important it is to wait until you get your feet planted firmly on the ground before you start a family. I'm going to strongly hope it taught her that anyway.

      I'm still learning to deal with the fact that she's all grown up (well almost). I hate to keep calling it the Empty nest thing but, yeah ... that's exactly what it is and it's been a difficult time for me. It's just not easy letting go!


  My pick for the J-link du jour is called Powwow  <--by Judi Heartsong, it reminded me so of a Powwow that I attended not to long ago found --> here.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

J-link du jour ...

     In a few more days, J-land will be celebrating it's 2nd Anniversary and in recognition of that I am adding this updated/old-ish graphic to my journal and plan to use it as a reminder to link more often to my favorite entries that I read here. 

     Today it was easy to pick a favorite! Vivian has posted some Anniversary updates in her journal, if you haven't been there yet here's the link --> Anniversary Celebrations-Past and Present. While you're there you may get some ideas on ways you can start celebrating our anniversary in your own journal.

    Whether you've been around since the inception of AOL-Journals or you've just written your very first entry, this is your community too so get involved and enjoy the celebration!


Monday, August 8, 2005

Morning Pages ...

  I've written before about my love for the book called the Artists Way by Julia Cameron. I know that some of you are familiar with the book and with the process of The morning pages.

     I've always been a journaler, I kept a beautiful black leather journal with refillable pages for years. Since starting Rain, I no longer have time to coherently journal there, now it's where I practice my morning page exercises.

    I wish I could say I was disciplined enough to write there every morning at the same time as suggested in the book, I'm not. But ... when I  do have time, I jot down what's on my mind in run on sentences in no particular order. After all no one is really going to read this stuff but me.

     If I were a poet or a song writer and had a lot more time on my hands, I would take the words that I write there and turn them into something beautiful. But ... I'm not and I don't so for today I am just going to post some random words about last Thursday night using the apparently pointless process that Julia Cameron calls the Morning Pages.


The photo is part of the Muriel on the ceiling at the Cheesecake Factory.

A mad dash between rain drops at high school, with tool boxes on wheels.

A continued pursuit of parallel lines and variegated tulips with a darker behind.

Focused efforts on two renderings, to the rhythm of a storytellers tale.

About the art and life of Andrew Wyeth, in intricate detail.

Factory of Cheesecakes and artichoke leaves, sauces in perfect combination.

And in confidence girl talk over passion fruit tea that no one else could understand.

Then the long journey home one south and one west,  just before the stroke of midnight.


     BTW ... the entry last week about crying alone at the beach today, was also sort of random words of thoughts about my day. Words that could become poetic if only I had more time.

     Thank all of you for your comments of concern, it's always as surprising as it is comforting to get hugs from across the country when you find out I'm feeling a little blue. We should all give ourselves permission to cry more, when we feel sad. I've never been really good at expressing those kinds of emotions, I'm learning to be better at doing that here.

                  I love being part of this community!



Thursday, August 4, 2005

Over ambition, cubed ...

     Moving right along with my art class ...  cylinders, cones, spheres  no problem, then came the cube. It was hard and mine didn't come out the way I wanted it to, partly because I shared half my piece of paper with Karen so neither one of us really had enough room, and partly because, well ... "it was hard."

     I barely finished mine and did not leave that class knowing that I had a good grasp on drawing cubes before it was time to move on to the next project:-(

     We were asked to bring an object this week for a still life. It was suggested that we  bring in an object that we felt strongly about so we could later use it for a color project, I choose a box. Yep ... gotta conquer that cube.

      I brought the cutest box I own and robbed my poupori bowl of interesting natural objects to fill it with. Once I filled the box and started looking at all the lines and curves of the interesting but somewhat intricate objects, I knew that as usual ... I was being a bit over ambitious.


     After a brief discussion on proportion, composition and even a bit of anatomy, it was almost time to begin the project.  I was then saved by a pea green demo,  you know ...  color theory, mixing and warming dark greens with burnt umber, crimson, raw sienna, lemon yellow and eventually white for the highlights.

   I really like this instructor, he speaks slowly and thoroughly, he repeats himself until he thinks you've got it! I like when someone assumes that I know nothing and assumes also that I would like to know everything!

     Everyone seems to be a bit camera shy at this point but I guess they will get use to me and to my camera. Taking photos  is just what I do, otherwise I would have nothing to come back and talk about here.


     I have another class tonight, we are doing 2 classes this week and two next week because the instructor will be out of the country before the course is scheduled to be over. This is a minor inconvenience and a small price to pay for having this kind of instruction available for so little in the evenings in this community.

     Any of you with extra time on your hands may want to look into opportunities in your own community to take classes or to even teach classes like these.

     Ummmm ... anyone with more experience than I have, feel free to offer some cubic advice on drawing or painting this box and it's stuff. Better yet ...  try it yourself and show me.


You've got so many friends that care ...

    Just know our thoughts and hearts are with you Kat, <--

during this time of loss and as you embrace what lies ahead.


Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Round Robin ...

Oasis ...

   Wow how time flies, I didn't even realize that it was time for our round robin photo challenge again. Early this morning I happened to see Monica's beautiful Oasis entry and realized I better start thinking about what to post.

     Wednesday's I work all day and have classes in the evening, I don't usually get home until nearly 11pm, so ... I'm using an a photo that I took last July at the Sea Gardens Resort on Pompano Beach. This spot is truly an oasis, a man made oasis ... but an oasis nonetheless.

     I don't have the links for the other entries, I'll try to post them tomorrow. It's almost midnight, so I'll say good night!



Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Saturday ...

I drove to the beach in the rain today and I

cried, all alone in the rain I cried.


Not for the good things in my life like my family,

my friends and my beautiful daughter.


But for the void, the pain, the emptiness

where such bright light once shined.


While sitting alone in the rain at the beach today, I heard

that close by, a baby Sperm Whale had washed ashore. <--


The first thing that crossed my mind when I heard,

was how sad his mother must be.


I wondered if she too, cried alone in the rain at the beach

today and if her pain felt any different than mine?