Monday, August 20, 2007

Photo Prelude

September 1 update: The photo show is not working at this time. I am in the process of trying to repair it. I think the problem exists with the source itself which is the Walgreen's Photoshow site. (Well, whadda ya know, it is working now. How 'bout that!)

This is a short photo prelude, set to music, to the story about my grandfather and his twin brother when they were children.

The photo show, which is similar to YouTube, is a new element I am introducing to my blog. I am hoping my readers will welcome this enhancement. Personally, I am excited about its creative possibilities.

For those of you who rely on a dial-up connection, the load time for the photo show may exceed your connection capabilities. I hope not. High speed connections should be able to handle it fine. In any case, if after activating the photo show, you receive an error message and you are told to "try again", do just that and you will be taken to a larger screen where the load time should be tolerable.

The musical piece, Blessed is the Man, which I have selected for this photo show is performed by the St. Eliyah Children's Choir of Kyiv. Their young voices remind me of angels.

Please give me some honest feedback on the photo show enhancement so that I will know whether or not it is a good idea to incorporate it into a few of my posts now and then.

I hope to have the story itself completed by the weekend. I have been trying to do a little research on the early 1900's and farm life back then.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Twins' story delayed...

....due to problems with my high speed Internet connection. Again, for the umpteenth time! Consequently, I can't download those adorable photos of my grandfather and his twin when they were children until I get it fixed. Tomorrow a technician is scheduled to come to the house and fix it. I hope he is successful, because I am beyond sick of this.

In the meantime, allow me to indulge myself and let off a little steam that has built up inside of me due to my computer problems. Allow me to indulge myself by picking on a few TV cooks...specifically Sandra Lee of
Semi-homemade Cooking and Robin Miller of Quick Fix Meals.

These women are NOT believable. They are impostors who only claim to be in love with food. Now understand that I watch these ladies practically every day, and I have printed off I am sure more than 95% of their recipes some more than once, in fact, although by accident. But, come on, these women deal with food all day long in their profession. Yet I have seen rails that had more flesh on them than these two. They look like they haven't eaten since 1997. It makes you want to jerk them right out of that TV set and force feed them biscuits and gravy, ham and eggs, and cornbread soaked in honey.

No, these two women are not authentic cooks. Even Martha Stewart with her steel will could not resist eating what she prepared and putting on the pounds which she tried to conceal under those big shirts. Remember the big shirts?

Give me the real thing, the full-bodied, well-endowed real McCoys in TV cooks like Paula Deen of
Paula's Home Cooking and the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten. Paula Deen, for instance, isn't satisfied unless she's put a stick of butter in whatever she is cooking. She's my kind of woman. All about comfort. I know butter has a bad reputation and is sinful, but can you think of any food other than chocolate that can make you feel that happy? So maybe you can. Well.

These women are authentic cooks. There are others like them too, who proudly wear their profession around their waists and on their thighs...God bless them. When they say on TV that they can't wait to dig in and taste what they have just cooked, you know they mean it. Not so with the spindly Sandra Lee and the twiggy Robin Miller.

If these two want to be skinny, I suppose it is their business. But I wish they would not pretend to salivate on TV when they lift that fork to their mouth to sample their recipes. This is insulting to their TV audience. Don't you know that as soon as the commercial comes they spit it out.

Okay, I think I may have gotten it out of my system...all that built-up steam. Now tomorrow I will turn on the TV and watch Sandra Lee and Robin Miller and dream of being that skinny.

August 19 update: It occurred to me after some comments were posted that I did not make my actual intentions for writing this piece entirely clear. I meant it as a humorous piece with a a slight element of truth to it.
Then Nancy left her comment in which she pointed out how these super thin women on these TV cooking shows serve as poor examples to our young girls who may struggle with the notion that only ultra-thin is an acceptable body size. I realized that Nancy is right and my piece more true and serious than humorous. As it is with myself, I have several granddaughters. Three of them (ages 16, 10, and 7) are already too focused on their weight and body size when they have no reason to be at all.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I am late getting this final segment of my Sanctuary series published. What can I say in the way of excuses! Been busy, busy, busy with family, family, family. Last night for instance, we had my sister and her husband over for a steak dinner. Ooh! Those T-bones were to die for.

I am highly motivated to get this final segment published. Today I have been going through boxes upon boxes of family photos which belonged to our (my sister and me) parents who both passed away several years ago. After the funerals, which were weeks apart, my sister ended up with the boxes of photos. She brought them with her last night so that I could eventually sort through them and preserve the important photos on CD's for family members.

Well, I ran across three adorable photos of our grandfather and his twin when they were children. The twins were born in 1898 just to give you an idea of the time during which these photos were taken. Finding these photos brought to mind the story which I had heard again and again through the years about the day the twins came up missing on the farm during harvest time. My next post after this one is going to be about that incident. You will love the photos of Grandpa Leon and his twin Lionelle, and you will get a huge charge out of the story. And now to finish up with the Sanctuary.

Flowers, flowers, and more flowers. But these are potted ones on our deck. Be sure to click each photo to enlarge it so that you can get up close and personal with these beautiful flowers. The enlarged view is breathtaking. Let the show begin.

This is our deck. Want to stay for supper? There's a chicken on that rotisserie. Watch your step...don't trip on that extension cord you see laying across the deck floor.

Above: Supertunia Mini Blue Vein
Above: Euphorbia Diamond Frost

Above: Million Bells Yellow Calibrachoa hybrid by Proven Selections. This has been a very hardy and prolific flower this year. I have this particular flower in another pot in front of the house and the blooms just keep coming.

Below: Yellow Hibiscus and Impatiens

Above: Pink Geranium

Above: New Guinea Impatiens blended with Elfin Impatiens.

Note the small angels figurine sitting in the one pot. The spring after
our parents passed away, I discovered this figurine at a garden center. I was drawn to it, because our parents loved nature and all their flowers. I think of our parents every time I look at the angels.
Above: Begonia Elatior 'Kristy Fringed'

No one here gave any indication that they had spotted Woody our mischievous woodland gnome. Well, he was in a miff for a few days over that, but I was able to calm him down. I assured him that, indeed, he is a fascinating creature, but of course mostly just to children and grownups who are still children at heart.
Above: Woody says, "Hee...hee, come again!"

And please do come again!