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Monday, December 5, 2016

in our house we take the holidays serious ...

all boxes are thoroughly inspected

sized up

and wrapping details a must 
(stripes are a bit off with this one)

Of all the memes currently on Facebook with a picture of life without a cat versus life with a cat, there should be one that includes wrapping packages. 

 Ike has this thing for tape ... a paper ... and boxes. 

Oh yea, he is all about Christmas.

PS - Bows go on the package on its way out the house. 
(you cat owners know what I'm talking about)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

a few of my favorite things ...

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens 
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things. 

These are a few of my favorite things My Favorite Things

If you have followed this blog for any length of time you are well versed on our history of acquiring a herd of feral cats.  Try as I might I have never been successful in 'friending' the kittens, but that changed with this last litter.  Sitting in the living room I found myself questioning my hearing because despite it being nearly winter, I  heard kittens crying. The mother had placed them in an empty plastic trash container remaining out back after the end of summer clean up.  I laid the container over so it would serve more as a shelter than a receptacle to collect water, and started hatching an idea of a new approach to this whole circle of life situation.  Unlike earlier litters, this trio came just as cold/winter was to set in so I knew I would have to be more aggressive with making sure they were sheltered. I was also determined to get them comfortable with human contact, general rules of 'don't touch' be damned.
Several weeks in and after retrieving one from the pool area multiple times the consensus was reached that they were old enough to remove from mom and relocate in our laundry room.

Some among the ranks were curious.

Some were not.

The cute level simply over the top.

And much to my relief, homes were able to be found for all.

yea, a few of my favorite things!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

over the hills and through the woods ...

Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Just when I thought I had exhausted my trove of pictures from our trip in April - yes, April, 
I came to realize that travel photography is not based on the perfect pose, 
but rather on capturing the spirit of the moment and the magic of the location.
This holiday weekend in America will hopefully remind everyone how blessed we are to pack our bags and head over the hills and through the woods, 
where we may break bread with family and friends
and shop till we drop.

Have a blessed and safe holiday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

got game ...

and now we must all come together and play. together. 
be gone with the idle threats to take your ball and go to ... say canada. 
rise above the name calling, belittling, widespread assertions and labeling 
(it only comes across as condescending, bullying and profiling). 

Before you take a wide brush and paint everyone who didn't see things as you did as being bigoted, prejudiced,  sexist, homophobic, antiquated, or ignorant; remember the majority of these people are more than a political affiliation. They are family, neighbors, colleagues, and friends.  People who simply voted for a candidate or political agenda that better addressed what they felt was needed in  our country, or in their life.  Know that part of the privilege of voting is accepting that sometimes your candidate doesn't prevail. 
Become more involved if you feel strongly to the contrary of the elected result.  
Be the change you want to see in the world. (Gandhi)
Also, appreciate that winning isn't a free pass to voice your inner hate for anyone.  The majority vote was not to advance bigotry, prejudice, sexism, homophobia or intolerance.   

If I have done anything right as a parent, I hope I have successfully taught both of my children tolerance, compassion, and respect.  I am proud that both felt confident enough to find their own voice in this election rather than feel restrained to the views or beliefs of their father, me, or peer pressure.  Growing up in a household with one parent a staunch democrat, the other a steadfast republican, we learned to live, love, and survive together.  

Only when we work together do any of us win.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

suffrage ...

If liberty means anything at all, 
it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. 

George Orwell

Even as insane and hotly debated as this election has been, I am grateful and proud to have the freedom and liberty to cast my vote.  I will confess that it has tested my patience, though I suspect the true test of endurance will be with what follows no matter the outcome.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

all but the memories ...

September October  nope - November.
Time gone just like that, 
 all but the memories captured in photographs. 

 “Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.” 
— Anonymous

For a change this past weekend I did more than just snap pictures with my cell phone, I took the time to pull out the big gun and the tidy little backpack of spare lenses she rode in on. Quickly I remembered how using a DSLR camera takes patience, thought, and commitment. It is not for the spontaneous at heart, challenging you to give some thought to light, focus, and settings.  I soon appreciated the depth to which I had gotten lazy and fat with contentment with my cell phone's insta-shoot, light weight, and portability. 

This past weekend the law firm I work for had a family and friends weekend outing at the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV.  The weather, the location, and the company could not be beat.

I was itching for some Autumn 
(amid our recent outbreak of 60, no 80, no 60, err 80 degree weather)
and traveling slightly north in-state did not disappoint.

It being Halloween weekend, it only seemed reasonable to do historic and paranormal tours at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.


and if that wasn't festive enough 
- once home, we finally visited the "Pumpkin House"

We had an absolutely beautiful weekend so it seems selfish of me to even mention the rain that commenced as soon as we parked and started making our way to the pumpkins.  To my surprise, I managed more pictures than I would have guessed in the steady down-pour, feeling like a drowned rat by the time we made our way back to the car.
But oh so worth it - and something I would definitely do again 
(preferably on a week night when kids have to be home, 
and when we have checked the forecast).

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

legacy ...

Is greatness born or is it made?

"Be not afraid of greatness.  
Some are born great, 
some achieve greatness, 
and others have greatness thrust upon them."

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

- - -
Winston Churchill by all accounts was a very influential leader, 
voted the Greatest Briton at one point.
Born into politics, he aspired to the position.
The circumstances of his tenure was ripe for weeding out leaders versus followers, 
greatness versus pure evil.

"I felt as if I were walking with destiny,
and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour
and for this trial ...
I was sure I should not fail."

Winston Churchill


While in London we would have been remiss if we had failed to visit Churchill's Bunker.  He was made an honorary citizen of the United States after all.

Imaging what it would be like to live below, 
leaving the world you knew
unsure of what world
you would resurface to.

Without question, 
their very lives
relied heavily
on the attitude 
and greatness of 
their leadership.

but not without a little levity
(a pretty accurate caricature of Hitler)

Greatness may not be born or even made
but it takes the right person of the right attitude to
be sure he should not fail
and the character to inspire greatness in those around him.