Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thursday Theme Song: it's the ...

It's my theme least it used to be, when I still had my old Dodge, and before I drove my brother Rob's Mustang Cobra and scared my hair white...

© Photo by Richard Schear
at a car show in Florida (this car isn't a Dodge)

The little old lady from Pasadena
Has a pretty little flowerbed of white gardenias
But parked in a rickety old garage
Is a brand-new, shiny red, super-stock Dodge
And everybody's sayin' that there's nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard
She's the terror of Colorado Boulevard—
Wikipedia photo, '64 Super Stock Dodge Polara
If you see her on the street, don't try to choose her
You might drive a goer, but you'll never lose her
Well, she's gonna get a ticket now, sooner or later
'Cause she can't keep her foot off the accelerator
The guys come to race her from miles around
But she'll give 'em a length, then she'll shut 'em down

Posted for Hootin' Anni's musical meme
Thursday Theme Song
Click  HERE! to see what songs other bloggers are singing today.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ABC Wednesday: G for great things in China

Our guide, Arnold, calls the group together to climb the Great Wall of China.
Dick joined the climb, but I didn't go.

 We went through the Three Gorges Dam at night, but it was still very exciting.

 Dick gauges the water level as marked on the inside of the massive dam.

© Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear, 2010

Posted for Mrs. Nesbitt's alphabetical meme
ABC Wednesday
To see how other bloggers used the letter G, please click  HERE!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our World Tuesday: not yet, however

No, no tulips for at least two months around here, but it's nice to see these ones I photographed last year, to know we still have hope despite the big snowfall we had in Alberta this past weekend. This photo was taken in early May, 2011.

Posted for

For Real Toads: springtime in Paris

All that glitters
is not gold—
diamonds glitter, too,

© Photos Kay Davies and Richard Schear, 2011

although the streets of Paris seemed
to drip with gold when seen last spring,
and blossoms held more beauty
than we'd yet beheld before,

when comes our late spring here at home,
when breeze is soft and air is warm,
we won't begrudge Parisians
their golden domes and elegant homes
and softer, gentler seasons.

Gardens and apartments beside the Eiffel Tower.
Posted for
Open Link Monday at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
© Photos Kay Davies and Richard Schear, 2011

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Succinctly yours: extend

We'd like to extend a warm welcome to everyone attending ClownCon this year. Give yourselves a hand, now. We can't do it, we're just toys.

Posted for  Succinctly Yours
the microfiction meme over at Grandma's Goulash. Every week, a photo is posted for writer-bloggers to use as a prompt in writing a short story (140 words or less) or a micro-short story (140 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation).
Each week, without seeing the picture first, Grandma's daughter Calico chooses a word of the week. Its use is optional, but I like to be able to fit it in, if I can. This week's word is extend.
Above is my submission of 139 characters, including the word of the week.
Check out others by clicking  HERE!

Magpie Tales: buying soup

Each week, a Magpie Tales photo prompt arrives from Willow Manor, and each week we are given the opportunity to write something about it, or to write something inspired by it, or even to write a review of it (but few ever do that).

This week's prompt features a 1960s photo of Andy Warhol buying soup and paper towels.

Here is my submission to Mag 106:

Andy was young, and living alone, so his mom had given him a book for Christmas: 100 Recipes Using Cream of Mushroom Soup, and the book, in turn, gave him an idea. He would buy different kinds of soup, different colors of soup, different thicknesses and consistencies of soup, and pour a can of each onto the top of an open roll of paper towels, to see how each kind of soup behaved. Would the mushroom soup grow fungi? Would the tomato soup ooze like blood? Would the cream of asparagus soup run greenly down the paper-towel-slope like industrial waste? Would the alphabet soup get its letters together to register an objection to the entire process? He had to know, and he had to turn his results into a kind of art the public had never seen.

Winter arrives here at last!

Early-morning photos, which would have been sunrise shots if the sky hadn't been thick with cloud, show winter is not finished with us on the prairie. It might even have just begun.
Lindy and I will not be driving to the airport in the snow and the dark this evening to fetch Dick, who has been away for 9 days on his company trip with his daughter Randi. They had a super time in the Dominican Republic, and now they're coming home to snow, snow, and more snow. Do you hear a faint hint of gloating in my tone? You just might be right. LOL
Photo taken through the iced-over back storm door. These feathery ice patterns won't last long if the air warms up. And yes, that big lump hanging from the wire is snow, and I'll have to knock it down.
Dick's hot tub wears a cap of snow and a necklace of little icicles.
Of course, the ornamental crabapple tree attracted deer when Lindy and I weren't looking, as evidenced by the hoofprints they left after their dance was done (above, and below).
©  Photos by Kay Davies, February 26, 2012.
The neighbors across the street had their car out, but my car stayed home, like a good little car.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Real Toads Sunday challenge: Ella's photos

© Photo by Ella Wilson
I first put my heart on paper
when I was very small
and my parents smiled,
and told me it was good...
so I put my heart on paper
the first time I fell in love
and my loved one smiled
and told me it was sweet...
then I put my heart on paper
the next time I fell in love
but my lover laughed
and told me it was wrong...
oh, how could my heart on paper
be good and sweet, then wrong?
because my lover
couldn’t hear my song.
Kerry, doyenne of the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, chose several photos by Ellen Wilson, of Ella's Edge, as prompts for members and contributors to Real Toads today.
I admired every one of them. The heart-shaped parchment above, however, spoke to me and brought a new poem to my mind, just as a proper prompt photo should do.

Thanks for letting us use your photos, Ella, and thanks for the choices, Kerry!

Camera critters and shadow shots, Ecuador

To market, to market,

To buy a fat hog,

Home again, home again, jiggity-jog!

No, we didn't really intend to buy livestock at the Ecuadorian country markets after our trip to the Galapagos Islands some years ago, but if we had wanted any, it would have been easy to find. However, we went back to our Quito hotel (above) without buying a pig in a poke.

This little pig went to market...

© Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear    

And this little pig went to roam!

Posted for
Misty Dawn's
Thanks, Misty!

Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Friday, February 24, 2012

For Real Toads: a poet's first two lines

Over at the writers' group, Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Mary (In the Corner of My Eye) has offered us a way to get a poem going. Choose, she suggests, the first two lines of a poem by someone whose work we admire, and use those lines to jump-start a poem of our own.
Your timing is perfect, Mary, because my brain is not in gear atallatall and my head is still stuffed up with a cold. 
I decided to try one of the old-faithfuls from my youth, one of the balladeers for whom I've always had a soft spot. Their rhythms have almost always been able to get my rhythms going.
I chose the Scottish-Canadian, Robert W. Service, in part because his early works were first printed in a British Columbia newspaper, and I spent most of my life working for British Columbia newspapers.
The first two lines are Service's, the rest are mine.

Thy life is thine to make or mar, 
To flicker feebly, or to soar, a star; 
To live with honor or to die in shame,
The choice is yours, my darling, all the same.
Soaring means to thyself be true,
To be a star means nothing there to rue;
Living in honor means not choosing shame,
The choice is yours, my dear one, all the same.
You’ve been given a gift to use,
To use your talent well, and not abuse
The poetry that’s printed with your name;
The choice is yours, my daughter, all the same.
(This is written to an imaginary daughter, a poet-daughter I think I might have had.)

Weekend Reflections: Paris Opéra

Buildings and buses around the Opéra in Paris reflect its beauty.

© Photos by Richard Schear, 2011

Posted for
Weekend Reflections, hosted weekly by James in California.
Thanks, James!

Book Blurb Friday #52, congratulations, Lisa!

Lisa Ricard Claro, at her blog Writing in the Buff, has been hosting the Book Blurb Friday meme for a whole year now. I know she had thought about calling it a day (or a year) but I'm very pleased she has decided to continue with it. I might still have a bad case of writer's block when it comes to blogging about my travels with my healthy husband, but memes such as Book Blurb Friday have managed to get my creative juices flowing again when bashing my head against a wall just wasn't helping.
Thanks, Lisa!
So, if you haven't heard of Book Blurb Friday, Lisa posts a photo (this week by Lynn Obermoeller) as inspiration for writer-bloggers on Thursday evenings. We are to imagine the photo as the front cover of a book, then we are to write a short, zingy piece, or blurb, of 150 words or less, to persuade casual browsers to become serious buyers.
Think you can write one? Give it a try, you only need 150 words, or fewer. Don't want to try writing one yet? Either way, hop over to Book Blurb Friday to see what others are saying about a book based on Lynn's photo.

Here is my submission, of 85 words.

The judge banged his head on his desk. He had already thrown his gavel at the prosecutor and now found himself speechless. 
“Would the defense care to comment?” he asked finally.
“The defense most certainly would, if it please the court.”
“Nothing will please me today,” groaned the judge, “but go ahead and try.”
With that, Eliza Doolotts stood up and delivered the most astounding closing statement of her career. The judge and jury hung on her every word, and the defendant relaxed, at last.
85 words

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Weekend Writers' Retreat: some nonsense

I have been ill, with a very sore throat and partial laryngitis. One of my brothers phoned and didn't recognize my voice. A friend phoned to offer me a ride and, as soon as I said "Hello," replied "Well, I guess you aren't going out anywhere, are you?"
It's been that kind of week, so it should be no surprise to find out I can't write anything much worth posting.
So, for this weekend's Writer's Retreat hosted by Grandma's Goulash, I found some photos in our archives and wrote a little rhymelet with which to accompany them, just to cheer myself up. While my husband's photos may have some artistic merit, please be warned: my poetics have none.
When I first moved to Alberta, I was delighted to see, distinctly, from many different prairie vantage points, the curvature of the earth.
Imagine my surprise, then, when my husband took the following two sunset photos, which definitely show the earth curving in the wrong direction, like a bowl instead of like a ball.

the earth was tilting on its axis
at the start of this new year
were the mayans right in practice
and not just in theorier?

© Photos by Richard Schear, January 2, 2012
Also posting for the word "old" (Mayans are very old)
and the old rules seem to be contradicted here, for our friend Gattina's
Weekend Photo Challenge

SkyWatch Friday: all-around sunrise

© Photos by Kay Davies

Taken within five minutes of one another, these photos represent an almost complete circle of the sunrise at our house earlier this week. I wasn't dressed, so I didn't want to stand in the middle of the intersection to shoot due north, due south or due west.

Posted for
SkyWatch Friday
To see more skies from around the world, please click

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thursday Theme Song: Ma, he's...

Photos copyright Richard Schear and Kay Davies, 2010

Posted for Hootin' Anni's musical meme
Thursday Theme Song
To see and hear the tunes other bloggers are hearing this week
click  HERE!

Ma, he's making eyes at me
Ma, he's awful nice to me
Ma, he's almost breaking my heart
I'm beside him
Mercy! Let his conscience guide him!
Ma, he wants to marry me
Be my honey bee
Every minute he gets bolder
Now he's leaning on my shoulder
Ma, he's kissing me

Ma, he's making eyes at me
Ma, he's awful nice to me
Ma, he's almost breaking my heart
If you peek in, can't you see
I'm goin' to weaken
Ma, he wants to marry me,
Be my honey bee
Ma I'm meeting with resistance
I shall holler for assistance
Ma, he's kissing me

For Real Toads: Kenia's challenge: dialogue

Not a real toad

At the writers' group, Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kenia has asked us to write a poem as dialogue with someone else's poem. Now this not an easy challenge, but I'm going to try to respond to it because spoken dialogue is difficult for me today. My throat is so sore, I've almost lost my voice. Talking hurts. My niece phoned me, and was quite happy to do all the talking, and I'm sure a salesperson in a call center somewhere would be happy to talk at me, but that's about it for today, because my husband isn't here.
So, I will try to reply to Ella's question "do you listen?" which can be found by clicking HERE.

when I’ve walked in the evening
I’ve never thought
to listen
for the sound of a falling star
but from now on,
I will.

when a dove glides
toward spring’s light
and a feather flutters
to my feet,
I thank her.
when a friend asks
do you listen?
I say
I do:
Thanks, Ella,
and thanks, Kenia!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ABC Wednesday: F is in Hawaiian skies

Fotos copyright Kay Davies, 2010

How many times can you find the letter F in these Hawaiian clouds? Several?

Posted for Mrs. Nesbitt's alphabetical meme, hosted this week by Paula.
Thanks, Paula, and thanks, Denise!
ABC Wednesday

Monday, February 20, 2012

Our World Tuesday: how soon they grow up

A blogging friend e-mailed me, because I had mentioned "the little ones" in our family, and asked me how many little ones there are. Some of them aren't as little as these photos from my archives show, and yet I think about this summertime visit and it doesn't seem so very long ago to me. How long ago was it? Well, the young fellow in the first photo is now 10, and will be 11 later this year. He's the eldest of our four grandsons.
See the tiny little bush behind him? It is almost as large as the big one beside it now. The old board fence is a thing of the past, replaced by "Lindy's fence" of green chain link.
Our granddaughters in the next two photos (taken the same day) are getting to be pretty, sweet young girls now. They haven't been babies for several years. How time flies!
See the yellow chair in the foreground of the last photo? It has been in the living room for quite a while so I could see how I like the color. I've decided I like it, and some day I'll have my grandmother's rocking chair upholstered in that same yellow, and put it in the living room.
First, however, I'm working on (i.e. thinking and planning) a kitchen reno. Our world will be full of dust and debris for a while (soon, I hope).

Posted for
Our World Tuesday