Monday, March 31, 2008

Cold as Ice

I am waiting patiently for the tulips to bloom, however, the icy winds continue to blow and the sunny periods deceive us into thinking it might be warm outside. So what can be colder than an ice storm? We have had a few good ones over the years and I caught the clear skies at the end of one of them here. I was passing Hogan Park in the days when my camera was always at the ready, and snapped a whole film from late afternoon to sunset. Once in a lifetime would be true for the scenes I photographed.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


My daughter has always been very photogenic, but when I saw her cherub face peering out of the window, it was not only her cuteness that caught my eye, but the contrast between old and new. Even in full colour, the unpainted boards of this old house are in such contrast to the fresh soft look of a two year old little girl. She always beamed on cue when she saw her dad point his camera in her direction, just as her little boys do today.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Mushrooms are very interesting. They pop up overnight where yesterday there was nothing. They are either deliciously edible or horribly poisonous. They are very delicate and quite beautiful in their variety of colour , shape, and size. These are Shaggy Mane Mushrooms, edible at this stage, but only hours later, when the fringes of the caps turn black and shaggy, you had better not eat them unless you are close to medical treatment! I was feeling adventurous when I took this photo, for immediately afterwards, I picked them, tossed them into a frying pan, and ate them. I was fortunate that the information in the nature book was accurate.

* These are not Shaggy Mane mushrooms. If they are, they are very young. I researched my brains out and canont find out what they are but I know we ate them. Anybody out there who can help me with this?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Vintage Barn

This Kootney barn photo is an old favourite of mine. At the time, the barn was around 80 years old. It doubled as a machine shop for a mine in the area and was full of old machinery as well as the usual barn paraphernalia. I do not know if it still stands today, but if it does, it is now close to 115 years old! The history and character of this structure was evident in every corner and had I been more keen on photography in those days, I would have shot hundreds of photos there. Now that I am older, I see this as a missed opportunity. One of many, I am afraid.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


This photograph was taken in Yarrow around 30 years ago. It was with my Pentax Spotmatic 35mm state of the art single lens reflex camera. I had never seen one of these woodpeckers up close before and was quite proud that I had 'captured' it. I wonder if he ever did finish off that stump, one wood peck at a time. My days sometimes feel like that. The tasks are overwhelming and will I ever get done? In fact, my life is starting to feel like that. Will I ever get done? Of course, I will, and maybe sooner than I think, but in the meantime there is just so much to do and it is all getting a little repetitious. Like the poor little Woodpecker, it feels, at times, like I am banging my head against a tree.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Daffodils Down!

Spring was progressing nicely. The Daffodils were blooming, reaching for the sun on their slender stems, and looking quite glorious. But March, being the transition month that it is, threw a blustery storm with a bit of snow and lots of wind at our yellow friends, and today they were kissing the cold concrete instead of the blue skies. For those of you who have been knocked down, you know how difficult it can be to get up off the floor.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Moment of Sun

The sun did come out for a brief moment, even though slightly veiled. As photographers know, this is ideal lighting.The vibrant colours come alive under the grey skies and the scene suddenly becomes eye candy. What an incredible double blessing God has gifted us with. The miracle of vision and the miracle of creation that is beautiful and colourful beyond words. We are created in God's image and part of him is creativity. Thus, the ability of man to take the creative genius of God and arrange it into a breathtaking garden such as this. Surely this gives glory to God!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Same Only Better

Often a photo is OK but needs just a little help to make it better. Here, the elements of the scene are nice, but overly cluttered. Cropping the picture simplifies the scene as in "less is more". But right at the desired crop line, the out building beside the barn annoyed me. There is a tool in Adobe Photo shop called a clone tool. I was able to 'clone' the grey sky right over the out building and eliminate it. This photo would have been impossible without a bit of technological help. This really frees up the photographer to take photos that normally he would reject. Something can almost always be salvaged.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

He is Risen !

Women have not always enjoyed their present day status. In different times and in different cultures, women have often been suppressed, demeaned, and considered second class human beings. It was thus in the time and culture of the first century.

There have been many attempts, over the centuries, to discredit the Easter Story. One of the most popular ways has been to claim that the Resurrection story is a myth. It takes many years to develop a myth, indeed many generations. Eye witnesses have to have expired so as to not contradict the myth, a word which implies mistruth. As it turns out, the so-called myth of Jesus rising from the grave was written about and indeed copied many thousands of times, in the first generation, the generation of Jesus, eye witnesses to the event! But here is the clincher. Who in their right mind, in the first century, knowing that women were not even allowed to testify in a court of law because they were unreliable, would start a myth where the first eye witnesses to the resurrected Jesus were ....... women? They were the first to see the empty grave, the first to be told by an angel that Jesus was risen , and the first to see Jesus in his resurrected body. Matthew 28: 1-10.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sensory Overload

Have you ever had sensory overload? I can only think of two sites I have witnessed that have given me a true understanding of this expression. One of them is standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon for the first time. The other location is the Tulip fields at La Connor, near Mt. Vernon, Washington, during the Annual Tulip Festival. I should be paid for this commercial, but really, if you have never been, you should go this year. The human eye is not used to being surrounded by so much vibrant primary colour and you too will experience that unreal feeling of too much colour.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


As followers of Christ, we are not specifically asked to remember Christmas, but we have turned it onto the biggest production on the calendar. It has been secularized, watered down, and commercialized to the point where it is palatable to the politically correct world. Take Jesus out, turn it into 'goodwill' and 'peace on earth' and Santa Claus and there is something for everyone.
This process is not that easy with Easter. This is the most important 3 days for Christians because through the death and Resurrection of Christ, our sins were forgiven, our future was secured, and we have promise of Resurrection for ourselves. This is not politically correct because these benefits, although free gifts for the asking, are exclusively for true believers. This weekend is not as well observed and celebrated by the masses because it has not been that easy to take Jesus out of Easter. And maybe God knew that when He instructed us through his word, to remember. We cannot blame non-Christians for not observing Easter, it means nothing to them, unless they celebrate new life in the form of bunny rabbits and freshly hatched chicks.
In the next few days, let us remember, and then examine our faith. Do we really believe, and if we do, how is that impacting our lives. Easter is ALL about Jesus and no amount of Easter Lilies or chocolate can ever change that!

* The photo is not mine. It belongs to "dtcchc" a church media designer who posted this photo on Flikr.

Monday, March 17, 2008


We step out into the cool spring breezes and are fooled yet again. It should be warmer, but we pull the zipper of our coat up to the top, we tug our hat downward for protection, and we thrust our glove less hands into our pockets to preserve what little warmth is left in them. We long to put our faces to the sun, throw off the jacket, and soak up the warmth of the spring sunshine. So it is with these poor cold Tulips who were beckoned to new life by a few early rays, but have been fooled. It is simply too cold to open their faces and expose their inner workings. Perhaps another day.

Old and New

I was accused of 'pasting' these Tulips into the foreground of the picture. I assure you, this is one photo. I did manipulate the colour, obviously. To me, this picture represents the juxtaposition of old and new. How many new, fresh crops of spring Tulips has this old barn seen? Tulips peak very quickly and their glorious beauty can be missed by a day or two. The old barn, on the other hand, keeps on aging gracefully and its peak will last for many years to come.

Past Prime

Perhaps it was at the turn of the century, but there was a time when this barn was new. The site was carefully selected, the lumber sawn or purchased, and each board placed and fastened with care. Through the years and the seasons, it served it's purpose well until one day it was decided the effort and cost of maintaining it was not worth the effort. It has been left to the ravaging elements of wind, rain, and sun. It will collapse soon, or be torn down. My fascination with old barns lies in the stories that are untold and the character lines that show so well from a lifetime of giving shelter.

The parallels to a person's life are striking and obvious.

A Cold Day in spring

First the Snow Drops, then the Crocuses, and now the Daffodils, in spite of the very cool weather, are daring to peak out from the protective cocoon of their buds. The growth hormones of these early spring flowers are triggered by the few warm rays of spring sunshine, and actually thrive in the cool weather of March. An extended cool spring will give these flowers life well into April. Their stems, leaves, and petals are sturdy, unlike some of the very delicate summer blossoms. I believe I would still number these among my favourites even if they were not the first flowers of summer promise, but were to somehow show up in autumn.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Near Death

Today's post is another in my series on lessons of life I have learned in the everyday world of my work. I do not consider it morbid. At my age, I have seen and experienced enough to know that that cliche "Death is part of life" rings very true. All death related experiences we have help us to deal with our own inevitable demise. This trilogy may even help you, as it has helped me.

It is only natural that in the course of decades of dealing with people, that I would sooner or later have a brush with death, not my own, but someone for whom I was working. The mainstay of my business has been working for retired folks. These are people who have done decorating, for the most part, themselves, and as they age, they find the work too difficult, or they find themselves in a financial position where they can afford to hire out the jobs they used to do themselves. The statistics on death and dying indicate that women live longer than do men, and this has certainly been my experience over the years, judging by the number of widows I have had the pleasure of working for. I have always found them congenial, sometimes very lonely, and always appreciative of the fact that there was once again a man in the house, if only for a few days. There have been many times when I have been called upon to do those mundane tasks that the departed husband used to do, but have been neglected, due to his passing. Changing a light bulb in a difficult location, tightening knobs and handles, gluing loose drawers, lubricating squeaks and keyholes, moving furniture and or picture hooks and adjusting doors are just a few of the many tasks I have performed in this capacity.

I used to come across the odd widow that could not even write a cheque and had to pay in cash, as her husband had always done all the financial tasks and she was too old to learn the basics of household bookkeeping. Many times I have written out my own cheque and the widow had simply signed it. I always had a fear that these poor souls would one day be taken advantage of by some unscrupulous character.

It sometimes surprised me how soon after the husbands death I was called in to do some work. It was usually a case of the wife wanting a paint job, but the husband was holding back for one reason or another. In his absence, there was now no holding back. In other cases, there was now insurance money for the things the wife could never afford before. Indeed, one lady explained to me through teary eyes that it was her husbands wish that the home be decorated the way she wanted, after he died.

I first met the Friesens just after they had retired and moved from Manitoba to the west coast. It had been their dream and had been made possible by the fact that they had purchased a number of rental homes in Winnipeg and the extra income that this business venture provided, enabled them to make the move and also purchase a beautiful luxury townhouse in the nicest part of town. I worked for them for several weeks and got to know them quite well.
It was about 10 years later that I got a call from Mrs. Friesen informing me that they were down sizing due to their age and the fact they were having difficulty negotiating the stairs in their townhouse. Mr. Friesen had suffered a heart attack and because he had little strength, would need to be in and out of his bed throughout the day and stairs were not an option.
They still required something very nice so opted to move into the top floor suite of a new condominium, a corner unit facing south-west, the most desirable unit in the structure. The construction had been delayed, but because they had sold their previous home, they had to vacate so they were able to obtain a short term lease on a condo within eyesight of their new one. This was very handy as they came daily to the construction site to see to it that their unit was customized to their specifications. The building contractor's painters were relieved of their duties for this particular suite and I moved in to do a custom paint and wallpaper job. I saw her everyday, and him about every other day, only because the elevator in the new building was already operational.

I was doing the finishing touches one sunny afternoon, when I heard the sirens wailing. This was not an unusual occurrence, so I paid little attention, until I heard the sirens stop their blaring in the street just below where I was working. I put down my tools and went to the window, where I had a bird's eye view of all the proceedings. The attendants were in the older condo for some time. I was only mildly interested because I knew several people who lived there besides the Friesen's, and I was curious. There were people congregating in the foyer of the building and then I saw Mrs. Friesen. My blood ran a little cold as I saw her slowly walking beside the gurney that was being carefully wheeled out to the waiting ambulance. I recognized the snowy head of her husband. He had been carefully wrapped in a white sheet and was lying very still.

My first concern, strangely enough, was whether or not I should continue working. If the husband was indeed dead, or was no longer able to come home, would this suite still be their home? If someone else bought it, would they want these colours and wallpapers? I reasoned that the home did belong to them and they would not want to leave it in an unfinished state, so I continued working. It was eerie, because I was hanging the wallpaper in his room, the wallpaper he had chosen, and was looking forward to enjoying when they would move in, in a matter of days.

Several hours went by, and I heard someone quietly enter the suite. I was deep in thought and was surprised by Mrs. Friesen. She asked me if I knew who it was that was taken by the ambulance. I said I did and I inquired about her husband. She told me he was dead on arrival and the staff at the hospital had been unable to revive him.
It was awkward for me but she was gracious and assured me that this had been expected and she was prepared for it, as well as someone could be. She asked me to finish his room, and as it was the last thing to do in order to complete the job, she had a cheque ready for me and just like that, it was over.

There was a sadness that came over me as I took a last look around. The suite was beautiful, not only as a result of all the hard work, but because it was the culmination of a dream and plan, made by two people in the last years of their lives, a dream only she would be able to enjoy. She lived there for a number of years, by herself, and then I lost track of her. I still drive by that location now and then and always look up to that corner suite and the memories come back.
Another similar story unfolded in the Clearbrook Village, a very large retirement condominium complex built on the location of the High School I attended for the last three years of my formal education. The Hieberts were in their eighties but still quite perky and knowing what they wanted. Mrs. Hiebert had her heart set on a wallpaper for her kitchen that was a riot of bright red strawberries on a pure white background. She had apparently wanted something like this for many years and her husband had finally relented, and I was called to do the job. They were sweet on each other and he did a rare and wonderful thing for her the day I was to hang the paper. Because the kitchen would be slightly out of commission, he offered to take her out for the evening meal. Apparently this was an extremely rare occasion and she was giddy with excitement and anticipation. They left shortly after I did and I was eager to hear of her experience the next day.

The following morning as I arrived and buzzed the intercom, I sensed something was wrong when he answered the call and there was something different in his voice. As I entered their suite, he told me what had happened. As they were walking out of the main front door lobby, his wife stumbled on the door mat just inside the door, fell to the hard tiled floor and broke her hip. She was transferred to hospital where she underwent surgery and he was going to go immediately to visit her and come back with a report on her condition. I was grateful that it was not more serious as it would be shame for her to lose the joy of seeing her newly decorated kitchen. She had been truly excited about the prospect of being surrounded by strawberries.
When Mr. Heibert finally returned, he was dejected and related the sad news to me. His dear wife had trouble coming out of the anaesthetic and lost some brain function. The doctors were not sure what the long term issues would be.

Several weeks went by and the back-ordered wallpaper for the bedroom arrived. I made arrangement to come and complete the job and it happened to fall on the day that she was coming home from the hospital for the first time, but just for a short visit. Mr. Heibert was sure that coming home would be just the thing that she would need to jog her memory and get her back on the path to recovery. He knew that she had loved the strawberry wallpaper so much that the excitement of seeing it would perk her up and she would be fine. I remember the scene so well as the care givers wheeled her into the suite. I hardly recognized her. She was thin, frail, and there was a vacant look in her eyes. I had done extensive work at a home for the infirm and I saw that look many times, especially on the Alzheimer’s ward. I could hardly bear to see what happened next. Mr. Heibert lovingly wheeled her into the kitchen for the long anticipated ‘unveiling’. Her reaction brought tears to my eyes and a defeated slump to Mr. Heibert’s shoulders. She looked without seeing, and without any emotion in her voice simply said, “That’s nice”. His faint hope of her recovery was gone, and in its place came a sadness that was unmistakably written in his face.

She did not stay long, I was finished by the end of the day, and I only met him one other time about a year later. I asked him how he was doing. He told me that his wife had passed away and he was going into an old folks home soon. He was not the same man I had met a year ago. It was not long after that my sister, who was the director of nursing at the home he went to, told me that he too had passed away. All I could think about was that there might be a possibility the two of them could meet in a lovely field of strawberries in Heaven.
There is another story I would like to include in this chapter because it happened very nearby to the Friesen's original townhouse. That, however, is the only similarity. It involves a widow and how she resolved a very sticky problem.

In my travels around my community, I make observations of the various neighbourhoods and Strata Title Developments and usually make queries. I do this because I am sometimes asked questions regarding things like strata corporations, and which condo or townhouse development is well run and where are there problems and where is there good management and harmony. These are very important things to know before moving into a community such as this. It also makes for interesting conversation to pass the time as I am working.
This particular townhouse complex was very attractive, had an excellent location, and all units had a great view of a lake in the center of town and was in easy walking distance to the trails that surrounded that lake. But looks can be deceiving, as I found out when I asked a few pertinent questions of Mrs. Warkentine.

Apparently, there were quite a number of residents who were seriously considering selling and moving. That was difficult to understand, considering the location and beauty of the property. It seems that when neighbours are at odds with each other and there is no prospect of resolution of those difficulties, people lose hope and just want to leave. The problem was the president of the residents Strata committee. This development had no outside management, but took care of all their own affairs right on sight with an elected board. The president seemed all right, at first, but power went to his head and he was making life torture for the 30 owners in the complex.

I do not even know what the issues were and that was not the point of contention anyway. The personality clashes were the biggest problems. There was confrontation, anger, vengeance, gossip, and myriad of other sins going on in that place, all traceable to one man. The president.
As Mrs. Warkentine relates it, things came to a head one night at a council meeting that went long into the night and got very nasty. She had tried many times to reconcile, compromise, and forgive, all in the interests of keeping peace and holding on until they could vote this guy out when his term expired. She was at her wits end. After the meeting that night, with tears streaming down her face, she kneeled down at her bedside and prayed. As she tells it, “Lord, you know how we have all tried to get along with this man. You know who is right and who is wrong. You know that we are going to lose all our good people if something is not done soon. I can no longer do anything about this in my own strength, so I am giving it over to You, God. Please give a solution and give a solution soon. Please. Amen"

Apparently, she fell into a deep sleep, confident that the solution was at hand, as she is woman of strong faith. In the middle of the night, she was startled by the sounds of ambulance sirens, not in the distance as usual, but coming up the driveway which went right past her bedroom window. She arose, got partially dressed and raced to the front door to see where the vehicle would stop. It seemed to stop at the entrance to the presidents unit, but she was not able to confirm that until she actually walked to the location. There were several other neighbours gathered already and soon the stretcher was wheeled out. The body was completely covered, obviously dead. When she saw the president's wife, she knew immediately that it was the president who was indeed deceased. She was stunned as she made her way back to her home.

As she told me the story, her eyes welled with tears, and in a weak whisper, she said, "I didn't ask the Lord to kill him. I feel so guilty."

As this had only happened the previous week, her nerves were still raw and she had not fully processed what had happened. I tried to assure her that yes, her prayer was answered, but in a most unexpected way. She should not feel guilty, because if indeed it was an answer to her prayer, God made the decision to take his life, not her. She was not easily consoled.
Several years later, I returned to do some more work for her. I tentatively asked how life in the complex was. She answered with a cheery smile, "Just wonderful." She offered no details but her meaning was apparent.

I have learned from these incidents that our lives are not in our hands. Having plans and dreams are good, but does not guarantee that we will see them come to fruition. And we should be prepared for death at any time. That means that if we are to leave a positive legacy, we had better be working on it constantly or we could be snatched away in the midst of something negative, and who wants to be remembered for leaving this world when nobody liked them.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I see today that our first Daffodil blooms are evident. It is so cold and miserable out there that I thought I would search my archives for a spring Daffodil shot and post it instead of braving the elements and getting down in the mud and dirt for a photo of a single bloom. Last year, our spring fresh Daffy's got a dump of snow on them! It was later in the year too because the Cherry Blossoms were out at the same time. Will there be a repeat of this global warming event this year?

East Meets West

Don't ask too many questions about this photo. There is no hidden meaning or any significance whatsoever, other than I shot the scene, dabbled with it in photo shop, and thought it was a colourful abstract rendition of a row of statues with balloons hanging in the foreground. For those who seek meaning in everything, how's this? My nephew and his wife and child were in Thailand for a few weeks. This might be how I am identifying with them. Sorry, that's all you get.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Apple Shop

I know. It is spring and here I am posting an autumn picture, complete with apple harvest. I was not the only one who was out of synch with the seasons, because this was taken in Feb. at the Seattle Garden and Flower show. It was my favourite display, and it was all I could do to keep from jumping into the display and crunching into one of those beautiful apples. Is this where the expression "forbidden fruit" comes from? Before anybody corrects me, I know the source of this expression is Genesis Ch. 3

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Clean Sweep

I was quite taken by these cleverly made straw brooms, not all of which had single handles. The work is cut in half by using a forked handle and constructing a broom on each stem, thus twice as much sweeping power. The broom has fallen out of favour over the years. Curlers no longer use them, and built in vacuum cleaners have all but eliminated the need for them. Even outdoors, the leaf blower has negated the need for a good old straw broom. This very organic, carbon emissions free, and nostalgic tool can, however, still be used for sweeping things under the carpet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

River Wild

I thought it time for something entirely different. I was hiking in the Adam's River canyon last summer when I heard a lot of whoopin' and hollerin' coming from around the bend. I no longer had time to un-case my camera and aim it, when this bunch of crazies came scooting down the rapids. As you can see, every one of them was having the time of their life. I caught up with them later and got a few email addresses. After sending about a dozen photos, you would think I would get at least one acknowledgement. Had I been on this photo, I would have wanted to frame it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mellow Yellow

This lovely Garden scene is courtesy of the Seattle Garden show. I had a hankering to ease myself into that yellow chair and have myself a little snack after having had to trudge through the gardens all day. What is it with wine and cheese? Rotten and soured milk curds, together with rotten and fermented grapes? Too much of one will give you gastro intestinal distress, and too much of the other will make you dizzy, light-headed and slow witted. But in moderate amounts they will make you feel sophisticated and avant-garde.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fade to Red

After multiple attempts, I have finally succeeded in posting today's pictures. The red represents my frustration level. I had so much fun creating these two versions of the red Tulip bucket, and after finishing them, I was faced with the possibility of not being able to share them. Have you ever felt that you had something to share, but could not? A secret you promised not to reveal, an expression of love for somebody, a joy which might be an embarrassment to tell to others? The degree to which we open up to others reveals much about our character. Too much and it becomes annoying, too little and we are accused of being reticent, and just enough becomes endearing. I have been on the annoying end of the scale most of my life, I'm afraid.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Orchid Clones

This will be the last of my orchid orgy for a while. I have more, but I think you get the idea by now. Like many good things we find in life, we discover and then we indulge. How much better to ration out the pleasure, make it last, savour it, keep some for later, in anticipation. Maybe that is why the flowers only bloom in the summer.

Friday, March 7, 2008


For those of you who are puzzled, confused, dazed, unimaginative, or all of the above, a little clarification may be needed. Yes, a baby is on its way, but the bundle will not really belong to me, as in, well, neither I nor my wife is pregnant. Not that anybody really would have believed that anyway. Her name would have to be Sarah in order for that to happen, and mine, Abraham. But, we are not too young or too old to be grandparents again. That leaves only one possibility, and that is a sibling for our two grandsons. This is very exciting and changes things in a big way for all of us, but in particular for the new mom. There is much fodder for future blogs in this new development, but for now, a great big congratulations to Rachel and Keith, and lots more for us to pray about.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


There is something very special happening! In keeping with my love of floral photography, I am posting this picture today, and even though it is not one of my photographs, (I wish it was) it depicts the excitement running through our family this week. Look carefully, because a picture is worth a thousand words. (Click on it to make it larger if you have to)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Not sure if I really like this photo, but the original cried out for something other than what it was. In case it does not inspire you, as it does not inspire me, here is a line I read today that I thought was beautiful.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Orchids on Black

In case you were wondering why I have isolated the blossom on a black background, the reason is twofold. The well defined edges of an orchid can be lost in a cluttered background. Black always makes the elements of a photo 'jump out' and the eye can concentrate on the beauty and intricacies of this amazing flower without distraction. The other reason is that a photographer must always consider the background when shooting. The backdrop to the display of Orchids at the Seattle Flower show is rows and rows of potted plants with many gardeners milling about with shopping bags and carts and husbands in tow. Not always a pretty sight and certainly very distracting.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Funny thing about Orchids is that the plant itself is usually very spartan and ugly, with a few thick leaves at the base and one long spindly stem holding up a single blossom. But goodness, what a blossom! God's creation is characterized by variety and this is so evident in flowers, but of all the flowers, the Orchid is the one that demands close inspection. The intricacies of its construction, the various shapes and sizes, and the building materials, all make this a most unusual sight. Many Orchids, like this one, look like they are made of plastic as they glisten in the light and have a 'wet' look. And yet, they have a delicate quality about them that says, "Look but do not touch."

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

There is something sad about having to throw away an old pair of running shoes. I do not 'run' in my shoes, but I do put a lot of miles on them and in so doing, I get rather attached to them. There is nothing that feels or fits better than well worn shoes, especially the ones that never required that 'breaking in' period. I could list a dozen cliches that would fit (no pun intended) the picture above, but let it be said that when I wore the new ones for the first time yesterday, I almost threw them out instead of the old ones.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Surrounded by Gnomes

The 'Healing Hand Cream' lady was trying to get my attention, but so were the gnomes. There seemed to be thousands of them, but I'm sure there were only 900 or so. They all reminded me of the Travelocity gnome, beckoning me to a warm vacation, filled with sun, surf and Vitamin D. I was not sure if it was a good idea, but I turned my back to the gnomes. My 'itch' ruled the moment and I turned fully to the promise of healing cream for my woes. So convincing was she, that I yanked out the credit card and told her to 'lay it on me'. Actually, she applied the magic potion to my gardener wife's rough hands, but all the while, again standing on one leg, I was only thinking of slathering it on my 'itch'.