Category Archives: sayings


May 18, 1980.  8:32 am in the southwest region of Washington State.

It’s been 31 years since the the old lady blew her top.

Her eruption was a real pain in the ash for those directly affected. You can see more photographs and read a good article from last year here.

Me at Mount St. Helens in 2005

Meet me halfway

Today is November 16th. I’ve passed the halfway point for NaBloPoMo, so I ask for your indulgence while I break a vow of silence about — wait for it —



It’s not that I want to start thinking about shopping for gifts. But I must, if I’m going to shop online, order items to be sent to my house, and then mail them out to their recipients. I’ve waited before, only to have things arrive too late to mail or, perhaps worse, the item is out of stock and I have no backup plan.

Catalogs have been arriving at my house by the mailbox-full, and already there are some dog-eared pages and items marked by wishful thinkers.

Since I have committed to posting every single day this month –no easy task for me, you can be sure– I hope you will meet me halfway by doing a little virtual early shopping. Maybe you will even find something you like! Today’s treats come from the Wireless Catalog:

This T-shirt is perfect for those Scandinavian relatives.

Humorous-Juniorous likes these two (above and below)

Procrastination. It’s what I’ll do…. tomorrow.

Perhaps I’ll even present you with more gift ideas… tomorrow.
But I think for today — because it is TUESDAY —  I’ve done enough.

You’re welcome. 😉


Thom participates in a meme called Weekend Funnies

and when a friend e-mailed me the following, I knew this fit right into that meme:


Yesterday I went to the doctor for my yearly physical.
My blood pressure was high ….

My cholesterol was high ………

I’d gained some weight, and I didn’t feel so hot.

My doctor said eating right doesn’t have to be complicated and it would solve my physical problems.

He said: Just think in colors. Fill your plate with
bright colors. Try some greens, oranges, reds, maybe something yellow, etc.

So I went right home and ate an entire bowl of . . .

And sure enough, I felt better immediately.

I never knew eating right could be so easy !!!

Oh yes, I did!

We came, we saw, we rallied.

EB came with us

We read a lot of terrific signs.
[Click to embiggen any photos]

Americans for... oh, look! A puppy!

We did The Wave with the guys from Mythbusters.

And then we realized that we hadn’t seen a porta-potty and we were going to need one. The crowd was…. well, crowded! and we were too far away to see or hear clearly. So as politely as we could, we swam against the tide and headed for a museum.

A little dose of FEAR…

Hey, the Newseum!

It was awesome.  Inside the lobby is a ginormous viewing screen which was showing the live coverage of the rally on the Comedy Central channel.  And there were already a bunch of other people who had the same idea.  They were cheering and clapping. (Not for us — for Jon and Stephen and guests.) It was like being at the rally, only less crowded and with clean bathrooms.  Although with the cost of admission, they were pretty expensive bathrooms.

From the windows and an upper story balcony, we could see the mass of people at the rally…

and those attempting to be at the rally. This is a view of a side street clogged with folks still trying to get in. But they were there. It counts.

Also, we had time to visit a real section of the Berlin Wall and a guard tower (only one in the USA and one of the few remaining left in the world — the rest were destroyed in the past 20 years).

After the rally was over, we headed back to the Mall for more photos of signs and a chance to photograph the [empty] stage.

porta-pottiesOh, look! The porta-potties we failed to find earlier in the afternoon —->

I  strongly suspect that the bathrooms at the Newseum were much nicer, even if we did have to pay a pretty penny to get into the building.


I’ve been asked why I went. Why would someone who admittedly doesn’t like crowds willingly go to a rally on the Washington Mall? What made me desire to be there?
Here, in part, is the answer I gave to a few friends on facebook:

I hadn’t really thought of it so much of being part of something big — although it certainly was! — but more a matter of standing up in support of what Jon Stewart was saying when he announced the rally. The whole idea of there being a small but LOUD minority drowning out reason, when really there *is* a large, quiet, and mostly reasonable majority out there — a majority that doesn’t agree on political issues but who also don’t think shouting is the way to get your point across. When Jon said, “If you are wondering, am I really the type to go to a rally? The very fact that you are asking that question…The answer is YES.” …that  got my attention.
The really wonderful thing, besides the huge show of support from the 200,000 people who showed up (hello, there ARE decent people on both sides!), was that everyone was just so NICE that day.   I was a little worried about the political climate there, because I am rather moderate  –neither extreme pleases me– and I have always voted independent of any political party, but there was no bashing of parties or individuals (well, fun was poked at Sarah Palin on some of the signs, but how can you NOT poke fun at her? She sort of begs for it. And there were a number of costumes with tea bags prominently featured).
All in all, Civility was the rule of the day.
That is what I observed in person.

Perhaps a part of me wanted to be a part of something big in Washington, D.C., while I was still living here — but only in pleasant weather.
Ultimately,  I went because I wanted to stand up and be counted as a voice of reason.

It was a beautiful day.

Smithsonion Castle

And then we walked all the way back to the parking garage at George Washington University in Foggy Bottom, loaded our tired bodies into the car and got into the mass of traffic to go home…

…where we watched the entire event that I had wisely recorded. It was the best of both worlds.  I can proudly say I WAS THERE but I could also enjoy watching the entire 3 hours of everything I’d missed being able to see… all while laying on the couch in my pajamas  and resting my aching feet.

Got pie?

In answer to Wednesday’s puzzler

It’s a “pi day” shirt. Every March 14th (3.14) the secondary schools that my boys have attended celebrate “pi day” — they get extra credit if they bring in round desserts: pie, cookies, etc. At their current high school, someone designs a shirt which they sell in advance to be worn that special day. The mathematical sentence reads: “i 8 sum pi” and on the back there is a cartoon figure of the math department head eating pie and saying, “I ate some pie!”

Congratulations to suburbancorrespondent and Thom — both of whom clearly surpass me in mathematics.

NYC, day 3 (final edition)

We didn’t get quite as early of a start on this day, which was a good thing — after coming home so late the night before, we needed a bit of sleep! Plus we needed to check out of our digs:

Where we stayed on Staten Island

Since a ferry was just pulling out from the dock when we pulled into the parking lot, I finally had my chance to visit a special site near the St. George terminal. I hopped out of the car and scurried over to the memorial for the Staten Island residents who died in the attack on the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.

Postcards from heaven

When you walk between the 2 “postcards” you see the names and birthdates of those who died, the company each person worked for, along with the profile of many faces… so very many victims. I focused on a firefighter who shared my year of birth.

Please click to enlarge this picture. The name on the middle row of the left column has an additional name listed. This was a mother and her unborn son.

The memorial is positioned in such a way that the site of the towers is centered between the 2 “postcards” from heaven. I hope this memorial brings some small comfort to the families and loved ones who wish they could have one more day, one more hug, one more chance…

And so I entered New York City in a somber mood today.

Manhattan skyline

We walked through Battery Park toward Ground Zero.

I don’t have much to say about visiting here. While I knew it was no longer an empty hole, I wasn’t prepared for it to be a construction site. Still… it might have been just me, but it felt a bit somber, as though everyone working there remembers that day.

I wanted to visit the nearby church, but it was nearing noon on Good Friday and I didn’t want to interrupt any church services.


A lot of things we did on day 3 were strange… different…
Next on the agenda was the Museum of Modern Art.

MoMA had a family-inappropriate exhibit happening on the 6th floor. Frankly, I think the “artist” is/was a bit crazy… the kind that gives modern art a reputation I cannot support. (Since when is self-mutilation and audience participation in harming the artist considered ART?) Luckily, there was plenty of other cool things on the other floors.

SuperDad makes art museums a fun adventure.

We sat in front of this piece for a long time. –>

So let’s play a little art museum game.

Click on this picture below to enlarge it and gaze at it for a little bit.

I’m curious if it has the same effect in photo form as it did in person.  Can you tell me which part of this large panel makes you feel hungry?  (Give your answer in the comment section.)

*I’m referring to the picture above, not the Andy Warhol soup cans!*

I’m rather fond of art deco, so this light sculpture made me smile –>

(It was only about 4 feet tall.)

Other things related to light were rather curious…

I was actually quite fond of this dining room chandelier.  It is called “Porca Miseria!” and it is a revolt against the slickness of contemporary design. Only 10 of these are made each year, and it takes 5 days for 4 builders to carefully break the dishes and then create the arrangement. I’d hate to dust it, but I thought it was pretty awesome.

(Please click on the photograph to enlarge it.)

On the other hand, I also thought this sign (below) was pretty awesome. I had noticed it and walked away, but then MusicMan saw it, laughed, and took a photograph. By then I was laughing, too, so I took a picture with my own camera. (You might need a quirky sense of humor to laugh about this one.)

Honeycomb vase

This vase made me think of Gordo and Gary… perhaps if they were one person? 😛

Cinema Redux: Vertigo

I think staring at this series of stills from “Vertigo” for too long will give me vertigo!

Ahhh… that’s more my style! I adore Monet (and a number of other impressionist-era artists).

Moving on outside and down the street…

Someone else’s kid. I didn’t even try to get mine to pose here.

You know the saying, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus“?  Well, here’s proof: We went to Mars for lunch!

When you start to wonder why you are paying so much for atmosphere (heh), it’s probably time to have a beer and just enjoy your stay.

Texting from Mars

And who knew? You can text message back to earth when you are visiting Mars!


After transporting ourselves back to April 2, 2010, we hopped on the subway for a final ride and caught the orange ferry back to Staten Island.  It was time to go home.

Farewell, Manhattan!

Goodbye, Lady Liberty

We pack up our memories and drive them home with us — to be shared via conversation, scrapbook, and blog.

NYC, day 2

Thursday morning we were back for more bag-sniffing from the dog and a free ferry ride (because we are all about FREE).

Good Morning, Ma'am

Well, mostly free. Some things do cost money (besides the subway, known as the thing I forgot to photograph).

Radio City Music Hall is not one of those specific “must see” places for me in NYC, but since it is a famous spot, I took the picture. The place we had tickets for is right across the street, with an address made famous by a TV show I have never seen.

The show is called “30 Rock” and the address is 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The building is The Rockefeller Center.

Rockefeller Center

The Swarovski "Joie" Crystal Chandelier

It also has a beautiful chandelier hanging in the lobby that is rather interesting when seen from the lower level.  It is made of 14,000 crystals, is 10.6 m in length and weights 2.3 tons. It stretches over 3 floors in height. Swarovski Crystal has an impressive shop (pardon me… “boutique”) at the basement level. My family did not let me walk slowly through there.  (They must think I’m distracted by shiny things.)

Please click on images to enlarge.

We already had our tickets, and even though we arrived earlier than the stated time, we were allowed to begin our tour.

After learning about the visionary Mr. Rockefeller and having our picture taken…

… ~~~ … ~~~ …

See this familiar famous photo?

Well, here’s us:

And then an elevator whisked us up to the Top of the Rock.

Views from Top of the Rock

And here is where I had my meltdown.

Vacation is hard work, folks.
Here is a little advice:

It is best to smile for the camera.
It is best if only one person has a meltdown at a time.

Turns out it is also best if the family photographer is given a little respect… and then given some space.

“All I wanted” was a family picture in front of the Empire State Building.  You know, THIS

But without the crying 10-year-old.  (Don’t believe me? Click on the picture to embiggen.)
He complained that the light was in his eyes. I hissed that it had been cloudy for the past 10 minutes when I had been trying to get everyone together for the damn picture.  Yes, literally — it took TEN MINUTES to round everyone up for a picture in front of the Empire State Building.
By the time I was done giving them all a piece of my mind (a piece that I probably shouldn’t have given away, because really? I’m not doing so great at remembering things these days), I was in no mood at all to have someone else take a picture of the 6 of us.

Don’t go off and cry in a corner when on the observation deck of a tall building. I’m pretty sure the security chatter was about the unstable person in the corner who might have been a “jumper” risk.  I wasn’t and I’m not. For starters, I couldn’t have climbed that glass wall. Then there’s the part about me being rather uneasy about unguarded heights. And finally, I’m fond of living.  But they didn’t know that.  MusicMan finally came over and gave me a hug.  He’s a compassionate guy.

Before we left the building, SuperDad did purchase the family picture of us all sitting on the fake beam (I posted it because we paid $30 for that picture). He obviously was placating me and I appreciate it.  I’m sure I didn’t deserve it after losing my temper.

And then we got coffee — because coffee often makes everything better — (the younger boys had hot cocoa), made a bathroom stop, and went outside.

Outside Rockefeller Center

Well.  [clears throat, changes subject]

After an experience like that, I needed to spend a little time in church. Luckily, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is just around the corner.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Of course, being New York City, we had to dodge taxi cabs to get across the street.

I’m not Catholic, so the raised fancy pulpit is a different sight for me.  Our visit occurred during Holy Week (Maundy Thursday, to be specific) and the organist was practicing a bit and showing off those pipes.  The Pieta was impressive, though not nearly as moving as the incredible Pieta at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

But let’s move on, shall we?  There’s plenty more to see.

The menfolk got sticker shock (and some smelly new fragrance on a card) in Saks Fifth Avenue.  I kept suggesting that they should NOT touch every single $3,000 item they could find.  It was embarrassing enough that I did not take any pictures there.  But at least they washed their hands.

NYC Public Library Lion

sign over doorway inside NYC Public Library

ceiling of a library reading room

We love libraries

After resisting the urge to stay put in one of those reading rooms, we trekked over to Grand Central Station for lunch in the lower level.  The ceiling of the main lobby is known for the constellations painted on it, but I wasn’t very impressed, so I didn’t take any pictures inside.  I did, however, have a delicious dish of Lo Mein, in honor of our future afternoon activities.

Oh, yes! We are only half-done with our day. We still need to walk past the Empire State Building, the flatiron building (no picture), and find a subway to take us to another part of Manhattan. Like I said, vacationing is hard work.  But nowhere near as hard as life was for immigrants to NYC…

Sadly this museum was closed.

We headed on into Chinatown to get some delicious ice cream: ginger, lychee, and black sesame, just to name a few flavors. It was delicious! I now want a recipe for ginger ice cream. YUM!!

Columbus Park

And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street! 😛

Every fire truck we saw had a list of fallen firefighters from September 11, 2001.

Please click to enlarge this picture.

After more walking that took us through Little Italy, we made our way up to New York University and Washington Square Park… where I collapsed on a bench and begged my husband to rub my feet. Which he did. At least one kid fell asleep on the cement bench. The rest of us did quite a bit of people -watching. We were there for at least an hour.

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

We were also ahead of schedule (which included “avoid a gang war”) and we needed to re-think the remainder of the day.
My feet still hurt, but they were no longer on strike. We checked our map, found a subway station and rode back to Times Square. Next stop, Toys’R’Us…

I was disappointed to learn that they charged to ride the indoor Ferris Wheel. The line to buy tickets was long and there weren’t many tickets left for the evening. I think SnakeMaster was disappointed, too, but he’s a trooper and said he didn’t mind. He did think the dinosaur was pretty cool; the 2-story Barbie house was not his favorite. 😛

And look! Gary‘s pal Georges Le Soq has friends who hang out in New York City!

We found a place to buy some New York style pizza (which was delicious) and waited for appropriate darkness outside. It was quite a sight to walk back to Times Square!

Then it was back to the ferry and “home” for the night.


Day 3 still to come…

The best laid plans…

If all goes as planned, we are now back from our trip and nestled into our own beds once again.  But since this post is a scheduled one, I can’t share pictures or stories quite yet.

I can tell you that last year we tried to go to our destination and it was an Epic Fail.

That was when we had a 2-day staycation and then we traveled to this city.
But if at first you don’t succeed, try again, right?


Don’t forget — tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day! 😀


I wanted to post this yesterday (Sunday) but the kids were in need of the computer for (gasp!) homework.

So here is my “Sunday musing” on a Monday morning…

Still waters run deep, or so the saying goes.

One of the challenges I face in life and with blogging is “keeping it real.”  I want to share who I am along with my joys and challenges, but sometimes I have trouble articulating it all. When it comes to sharing the faith-piece of me, I’ve got a Paul Problem; that is to say, no big conversion story in my life, just a quiet journey.

Today I am thinking about two things. One is from the passage in the New Testament gospel of Matthew, where Jesus is being questioned (with intent to trick) by the religious leaders who ask him,

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:36-40, New International Version [translation])

The other thing I am thinking about today is a quote from Martha Grace Reese:

“The heart of faith-sharing is one person giving another a vision of what it’s like to be in love with God.”

Your thoughts and reflections? Please comment.