* Weathered

I’m following Cee around the blogosphere (but not stalking!), amazed at her photographs and appreciative of her encouragement and patience.  You should see her terrific photos for this week’s WordPress Daily Post challenge: weathered.  Am I the only one who thinks her weathered chain looks edible?  And that old Caterpillar tractor?  Wow.

Sadly, the most weathered things around here are my hands.  I have always had old hands.  In all those recess games where we held hands, the kids on either side of me would stare and even cringe as I reached out.  Some kids would mutter unpleasant comments.  My hands have always been thin and bony, with nearly see-through skin and lots of veins.  The vein situation has worsened considerably over time  My nephews and nieces felt compelled to press on the bulging veins, even after I said they were worms.  (No one believed that for a second.)  I join them in being mesmerized by the witch-like appearance of my weathered appendages.


No, I was not hanging upside down or pressing the blood into my hands.  This is the way they are.  Period.

* Special buddies

Color Your World: Robin Egg Blue

Neti and Hunter 2

There are two sweet stories behind this photo.

One story is about school.  Neddy the Yeti was a version of Elf on a Shelf, only cuter and fluffier  He’s hugging Hunter the hedgehog, the school mascot.  Hunter is a bit immature and although he wanted Neddy to be his friend, he did not want to be supplanted in his student’s affections.  As long as Neddy agreed to leave on December 31 (and return next year), Hunter allowed the hugs.  Sort of.

The other story is from Cee’s Color Your World challenge post.  She created the coolest effect with indigo by changing the rest of the photo to black and white.  I told her I had to give that a try and she encouraged me to do so!  I tell you, Cee is a remarkable woman.

* What did one elevator say to the other?*

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge is a cool way to start your blogging week.  Here are this week’s questions and my responses.  Feel free to join in the fun!

Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator doors work faster?  As kids, my sister and I were in perpetual competition over who could get to the elevator button first.  Now, she and I find ourselves redirecting kids who are similarly obsessed.  It DOES matter who pushes the button first!  I am still intrigued by elevator buttons, but have been depressed to discover (pun intended) that jabbing the button repeatedly doesn’t make the doors open or close any faster.  Maybe your elevators are better than mine.  Now I’m stuck on elevator memories….

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneously (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)  Our daughter-in-law does all the heavy lifting on family trips, partly so that we will actually DO something.  When my dearest teaching widower and I go alone, we veg out.  Sure, for a trip to a major city, we want to see some highlights, like the Smithsonian or Holocaust Museum, but otherwise, we drift along.

Golden Gate bridge

My copilot makes sure we keep moving!

Describe yourself in at least four uplifting words.  Um.  (That doesn’t count.)  Patient, positive, funny (see answer to joke below), & divergent.

If you had a choice, which would be your preference: salt water beaches, freshwater lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert?   My dearest widower always says he wants to get to heaven before me so he can stake out a place at the beach or mountains.  He’s afraid we’ll get stuck in the middle.  And sometime I should blog about our ski trip, which was insane.  OK, back to the question.   I love deserts, but if I want company, I’d better take the beach.

Thank you, Cee, for your fun challenges!

*  I think I’m coming down with something. 

* Sharing my world

It’s time for Cee’s Share Your World challenge!  If you haven’t checked out her gorgeous site today, be sure to enjoy her photographs, tips, and other blogging challenges.  Now on to the questions.

If you lost a bet and had to dye your hair a color of the rainbow for a week, what color would it be?   Ooh, I’d love swaths of all the colors; that would be a perfect bet to lose!  But what does it say about us that the hair on the right is called a “rainbow afro wig” and related items are for clown costumes?  Just saying.


A clown wig?

If you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be?   Balance.  The correct balance between the important and the urgent.  Between my interests and those of others.  Between sleep and playing on the computer.  Between chocolate and kale.

What was one thing you learned last year that added to your life?  I learned more deeply that the opinions of others should not drive me, that I am loved just as I am, and that my identity is found in the how the Lord sees me.

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?  Oh pomegranate, pomegranate!  It’s my favorite fruit and the reason my next dental appointment will take longer.  Pomegranate juice has turned my teeth and nails pinkish.  No photos.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?   I am grateful for the beauty of snow, even with a layer of ice under it.  I look forward to working with my kiddos and maintaining their upward trajectory.  Love to teach and learn!

* Compose Yourself: Cee’s Tips

I’ve been playing around with a photograph of clouds, trying to examine it with Cee’s eyes.  What a task that is!  In her Compose Yourself Challenge #22, she shares tips on guiding the viewer’s eye where you want it to go.  The scene below took my eyes off the traffic.  Not a good idea, in retrospect.  The clouds appeared so unreal, undulating and heavy.  I thought maybe we were heading for a tornado.

clouds 1.JPG

Although my eye is guided upwards by the light, that traffic is in the way.  Here it is, below, without traffic.  I’m not sure why the color is so different.  I prefer the tones in the one above.

clouds 2

Without the traffic (above), all I really saw was that bright spot at the top right, so I tried again.clouds 3

I still didn’t get what I wanted.  The clouds in the center were the most amazing to see in real life, but there those brighter spots seem to guide my eyes away the curvy lines of clouds.  Hmm.  I’m not sure what to do.  Start over?

* Vote!

Sacha Black is hosting her second Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. There are all kinds of categories, from Kindest Blogger to Best Overall.  And much more.  Some of my faves are in the running:  Suzi Speaks, Cee, Ned Hickson, Steve Says, Sue Vincent,  Ronovan HesterSally Croninand Helen Jones.  It will take you 3 minutes or less to find them on the voting page.  There may be others you adore, as well.  Suzi and Cee are at the top of my list!!

  Suzi Speaks!!   best-overall                    Cee!    inspirational





* Travel theme: Breathe — Cee’s Photography

Here is my entry for Travel Theme Challenge for this week with is topic of Breathe. Alisa wants us to display photos that make us want to slow down and breath. I hope you enjoy my selection. Qi (energy) hugs Cee

via Travel theme: Breathe — Cee’s Photography

Doesn’t this make you want to peek around the curve, to see what lies ahead?   It’s also peaceful and still.  Cee has such a gift!

* Final Color Your World post!!!

OK, this is it!  Yellow orange.  Yellow orange.  What’s yellow orange?

My friends are probably getting sick of me taking pictures of everything.  I know my family is.  Everyone groans as soon as my phone comes out.  How serendipitous that I was eating lunch with a dear friend and noticed this electrical socket.  Seriously?  Before I started following Cee’s photography, I would never have SEEN that socket.  But now I see shapes and lines and colors everywhere.  Sure, I vaguely noticed stuff before, but now I want to grab my camera and take a shot.  Then I notice the power lines in the way, or I hear cars honking behind me.  Or my widower is hissing, “Don’t take a picture of that person!!”  You know the drill.

yellow orange.JPG


* La La La

Thanks, Cee, for this Share Your World challenge!  If you haven’t yet taken a look at Cee’s blog, you are missing out on incredible photography and tips.  Seriously, Cee’s tips comprise a terrific course on photography!  (She should charge!)  Here are this week’s responses to her questions.

  • My favorite food to cook is anything with pastry, from empanadas to tarts.  Yum!
  • Yes, I loved swinging as a child.  I would call it an obsession, really.  My goal was to swing over the top of the swing set, something I never achieved.  Which is why I am still alive.
  • What has surprised me about blogging?  How much fun it is!  What great folks I’ve met!  And mostly, how MANY bloggers are out here!  Whoa!  I had no idea!
  • My top five favorite desserts are tiramisu, apple pie, rich chocolate anything, scones, and pecan pie.
  • I am grateful that I’m out of Benadryl La La Land.  I had this rash on my face and neck (and total body itching) that mysteriously came and went last weekend.  Bummer, I missed a special Christmas event because half a child’s dose of Benadryl knocked me out for hours!  Oops, slipped out of gratitude mode.
  • I am looking forward to baking a ton of gingerbread house pieces and watching five kiddos fall into Candy La La Land!  More yum!


* First snow

No, we don’t have any snow…yet.  Yes, I am already praying for a snowy winter. This is another of Cee’s photography challenges!  Her black and white challenge-back-of-things.  Um, this is the backside of a tree.  Does that count? The backside of our porch as I eagerly watched the flakes fall?  Whatever, it makes me feel great to remember that night!
First snow