Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Got Geeky Goods!


What geeks get for Christmas. My daughters teamed up to present me with a very nerdy holiday. A robe to cover my blogging jammies, and -- the best present ever!! -- a wireless gaming paddle. With dualshock, no less. A new look for the Little Pond is on tap for the New Year. I've asked Karen of Scottsdale to redo my colors and add a totally "pb" touch. More later. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 26, 2005

Note to my Jewish and Black readers

A very festive and Happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa to you all!

I want to mention
Inspired Lighting once again to my readers who use candelabra to mark holidays. These people are filling a real need for those of us with asthma and sensitivity to smoke. They want suggestions as they plan their new product for next year. I personally wouldn't mind a new table wreath arrangement for Advent.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

Quantify Holiday Cheer?

Well, you can try. Go to Five on Friday. The first question is the only one with a clear-cut answer for me.

It's been "Happy Holiday" or "Season's Greetings" ever since I became an adult. Starting at Elmira College, which usually has a goodly Jewish population, and later, when I worked for American Optical in Framingham, Massachusetts, where Asian and Indian ladies detailed their winter lights celebrations, it became a must. Seems all cultures have a celebration of lights for the darkest, longest nights of the year.

And, hey, if you're willing to share your holiday with me, I'm willing to share my holiday with you.

Season's Greetings.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blogging the Hedgehoglet


We are busy finishing our holiday shopping, so it's great when Husband RJ preps the post. He took dozens of shots. The winners are posted in the Little Pond. Have a look.

pb
Little PondPosted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The GrandHoglet


Meet the latest introduction to the Little Pond ecosystem. Her name is Ci Wei, an English rendering of "Hedgehog" from Mandarin Chinese, which we are further corrupting to ki-wi. Something sweetly exotic, so to speak. Her MamaHoglet, our very own VeggieGirl, loves kiwi fruit. Our new little friend bears some resemblance to the EnZedder kiwis. And just as shy and semi-nocturnal, too.

Why, yes. We do have a thing about names in the Little Pond, don't we?

pb
Little PondPosted by Picasa

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Blue Sky, White Snow


Friday, December 16, 2005. After a long night at the paper, I really didn't need a walk through the mess left by our little nor'easter. But the HuggaMutt insisted it would be fun, and good exercise. And why don't we take the camera on our walking tour?

pb
Little PondPosted by Picasa

Friday, December 16, 2005


At 7:45 this morning, December 16, 2005, our little Lovey, grande dame Sophia Nocturna, our sweet Spooky crossed the bridge ahead of us. Her last act was to claim a bowl of tuna water as her own. Dominant to the end. We caressed her face, because the rest of her was too frail. She spoke one last time, and then quietly passed amidst the hubbub of our usual weekday morning. We love her and expect to miss her dearly. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Awww, Gramma, not again...


Ellie's sick of blogging. And so am I. Got presents to wrap, then resting to do. Later.

pb
Little Pond
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Don't expect Designer-type Professionalism...


C'mon, fellas, you are not helping! Ellie and Bubba tussle among the boxes and wrapping. We are setting up the tree and other ornaments in the Little Pond. The place is a mess, but you're welcome, anyway. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Burnt Tail Alert!


Know what my first reaction was? "Get your tail away from the flame, dummy!" But no. These are from Inspired Lighting, and are battery operated. They are rescuing my Advent wreath. No more asthma attacks from our little Sunday ceremonies.

More photos coming Sunday night.

pb
Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 09, 2005

Go. To. Five on Friday.

Now, while you still have your bookmarks up.

I'm too embarrassed to say how much time I spend on the Internet. Or how long my list of bookmarks is. Or even mention that nearly all my bookmarks have links that I regularly follow. Or that I visit my own blogs to follow even more links, to some of my blogging buddies.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pearl Harbor Anniversary

My Grampa would always solemnly intone "A day that will live in infamy..." whenever we mentioned Pearl Harbor. When I was quite small, it seemed he was making up something wonderful for the occasion. After I had seen the clip of Roosevelt's speech, I "knew" the truth. Grampa never claimed the phrase. He was quoting the President, or even mimicking him. He was remembering. In the whirlwind of the ensuing war years, my father, and maybe even his entire generation, simply accepted the phrase as history, a part of the whole mess and glory that was World War II.

Grampa gave me something else. The shock and horror of the magnitude of the tragedy was made crystalline to me on September 11, 2001. Grampa had already gone to two wars, WWII was not to be his fight, except on the homefront. I was never even fit for the Peace Corps, but I adopted its philosophy on the homefront. And this also was through my Grampa's example. That's a whole other posting someday.

Funny how the anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor makes me remember and appreciate anew my Grampa's contribution to the war effort. Because that contribution surely lives on in all his children and grandchildren. Those left behind do contribute: it is up to each to decide if that contribution is positive or negative. Even if we only welcome our returning soldiers and congratulate and thank them for their sacrifice.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, December 04, 2005

If it's worth doing,


...it's worth overdoing!** Ellie's dressed for play in the snow. "More sweater than dog" was the verdict of a disapproving neighbor, but I insist on knowing for sure than she's not chilled. But the way, we are busily overdoing the Christmas decorating, and photos will follow later tonight. I promise! Click for link to our photo blogsite.

**Time Enough for Love, Robert Heinlein.

pb
Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Interacte

This week I was robbed twice and poisoned twice. The boss has been on vacation and I've been in charge. No fun, though, because it's still his department. The result is a week of anxiety, long hours and overworking. So tired, so very tired.

Twice, no, three times I left money, checks, check card, or a combination of those three in my car. I never do that, but I've been exhausted at work with no energy left for memory or good sense. In two raids, all three exchange media have been stolen from the front seat. And no, I didn't lock the damned car. That would have required enough psychic energy to engage brain, memory, and small motor skills, all of which are still spazzing out on me. The first theft would have been enough to prevent the second, except that I was convinced that I simply lost the checks. Already the memory was in shreds. The deja vue feeling of the second theft convinces me the check disappeared at the hands of a local walker. Expensive lesson at a time I'm too tired to absorb it.

Poisoning was surely part of the problem. Quiznos came to town. Their menu is extensive and somewhat differently focused than that of Subway. But similar to Charlie's, where I've never had a problem. Anyway, I had the steak sub. Just yummy, but apparently the sauces have some sort of MSG. Lost about five pounds in one long, hard night of work and running to the ladies' room (on the other side of the building). Like a dummy, the next day I celebrated feeling better with orange juice (I must remember the hives and sore throat...) and vodka. Did you know you can vomit bile from deep within the recesses of your bowels, like a cat? Once the stomach is empty, it has to come from somewhere.

But I'm better today. Just a little lighter and washed out and twitchy; the MS is flaring up from all the nerves. I'll live, but I won't like it for a while.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Happy Advent


Looking for winter in 60 degree heat? We got a start on decorating right after Thanksgiving. Nothing's really up to snuff outdoors, but I think that's just the lack of snow and cold. Besides, Husband RJ only just begun to hang the tinsel and lights. Go to the Photos blog for more. Or don't--if you are already soured on the season. Your own fault for insisting on doing the Black Friday thing.

pb
Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 28, 2005

First Completed Array of the Season


Advent in silver and blue. This is the one time of year I'm not fond of my wallpaper. Determined to decorate appropriately, yet regretting even my favorite selections.

The couple on the left are Cecilia and Stephen Baker, my folks at the wedding of yours truly and Husband RJ, June 1980. The duotone at right represents the Daffodil Mart in Virginia, I think, during the 1960's. Don't know the children.

Calling all cowboys (and cowgirls?)! Got a question for you on the MSCompanion site.

pb
Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 25, 2005

Get thee to Five on Friday


...immediately for your first official infusion of Christmas spirit in the Little Pond. Courtesy of Criminal Grace. We are hanging our wreaths today. Husband RJ has already decorated the stockade fence in the back yard. Nothing effusive, just a start that's not ready for photos. So get going!!

Spunky Spooky made it to Thanksgiving just fine. She eschewed the heating pad setup under the computer for a place in a sunny window. A few T-Day photos here, and yes, Bad Boy Bubba is on the freshly set table. He is very interested in all the niceties we accord the aging female, usurping even her heated nest under the computer desk. So naturally she's jealous of our fancy feast, thinking he's getting something special.

pb
Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Today is dedicated to hearth and home.

But the baked bread is going to the stuffing and I forgot to purchase cranberry sauce. A tiny one, since absolutely no one else is interested in eating it. I just have to have a touch of all the components of the traditional meal.

No problem: the people in the stores are in a festive mood. And I'm in no hurry.

What a lovely quandary! My biggest problem this year is how to have a touch of everything without indulging in too much.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hurricane Dogs


Let's start with a sweet photo taken by Jeff Richards to hightlight a followup to the SPCA Hurricane Rescue. Been linking to the Elmira Star-Gazette regarding our wonderful SPCA folks going to the scene of the disaster and returning with rescue dogs.

The latest installment is here, with a new batch of
puppies being born to a rescue GulfGirlie. You know you want one, but can't come to the SPCA in Big Flats, New York to claim him or her. But a donation would go a long way to "virtually" claiming one. They'll get mine, for sure.

Meantime, how about a
mini-pet-fix? Our StarGazette Online Gallery runs them regularly. All locally owned and loved by super Southern Tier pet lovers. I have the pleasure of seeing them as I tone the photos for the press. (The photos on the site are untouched by me.)

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Update on Spooky

To those who suggest I take my old cat to the vet: no thank you. I know she's failing, but she's just plain old, old, old. She still quite alive.

Picasa's giving me no end of problems today, so I'm sending you to Webshots. It just gets easier and easier to use. Too bad our Compaq is on its last legs. Oh, well, Christmas is coming.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, November 18, 2005

Different sort of pet fix

can be had at Five on Friday. It's up and it's fun. Keeps me coming back to Criminal Grace. So, which are you? Don't ask me: there are four very vocal cats and one extremely pushy dog here to grumble over either choice.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Summer Sqash Chowder

I still have a freezer full of Petit Pan and striped zucchinis. And it's taken me a good, long while, but I have finally concocted a decent meal with them. Just in time to be a side dish for Thanksgiving:

Four cups diced summer or petit pan squash. If using petit pan, puree the tough little fellars. I pureed the whole lot.

Baby peeled carrots, sliced the long way.

Large yellow onion, cut very coarsely. Maybe making rings, if you like that sort of thing in soup.

Large red potato, washed and diced. Leave some big chunks for the guys.

(If you insist, you can add celery and garlic. For VeggiGirl, nothing is soup without garlic. Heck, nothing is worth eating without garlic, in her book.)

You can throw them all into a crockpot and walk away for a few hours, or you can toss it into a microwave-safe, covered casserole and nuke them for about thirty minutes. Either way, start with a non-stick spray coating, and add about two tablespoons vegetable oil. I use sunflower or olive oil. (My mother would have started with salt pork and bacon, but hello....we're already on blood-pressure meds.)

Add a can of whole kernel corn, liquid and all. Some fresh ground pepper (and salt for you lucky, lower blood pressure people!) To make it pretty, thinly slice a baby-sized zucchini and drop it in. Let it cook until the zucchini is al dente. Yep, just like pasta.

Adding cream (or non-dairy creamer) is de rigeur for traditionalists, but I didn't really think it needed it. A sprinkle of sweet, Hungarian paprika makes it look fancy.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is anyone listening?

Afghan Warrior lets us know how much our efforts there are appreciated. Specifically the liberation of Kabul. And read the comments, too. I believe that Afghanistan today is a preview of Post-war Iraq.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, November 14, 2005

First of the Season!!

Posted by Picasa
A quick tour through the West Elmira neighborhood yields this, the first decorated home of the upcoming season. Generally the older folks will hang the boughs early, to avoid working in the bitter cold of late November.

Want something a little more seasonal? We walked along the levee to see the Chemung south of Water Street.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Most Elegant Ephemeral

Posted by Picasa
Classy-looking in a taupe tuxedo, one of my favorite birds is featured in Shelley's Birding post at Burning Bird. Husband RJ liked it so much, he insisted we set it as wallpaper. And then I had to give my two cents' worth on the Apple/Microsoft post.

But it's Sunday, and appropriately enough, our local Elmira Star-Gazette had a page dedicated to the unfolding controversy regarding gay priests in the Catholic church. Can't thing of anything that makes me angrier, or sadder. Centuries, of honest, holy service denigrated because the actions of sickos. Sexual abuse is never about sex, and always about power. Appalling.

Update: The local diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Courier, features a column by Bishop Matthew W. Clark. This week he addresses the situation is a carefully worded assertion of his own views, and how they relate to homosexual priests in our own diocese. The message resonates again and again: "We deeply value your ministry." Sexual maturity is the important issue facing seminarians, not sexual orientation.

Exactly so: celibate chastity is the commitment required of any Catholic religious, regardless of orientation.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My Everloving BlogMother

Sissy Willis wants to be the Queen of Hearts! Well, she already is for me, so here's the deal:
AaronsCC Deck of Bloggers is accepting votes. Please go vote for Sisu, in the left hand column. I already have, and will not be blogging today because that damned garage is still not fully cleared for winter.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, November 11, 2005

They Also Serve Who Stand and Wait

Eighty-seven years ago a young woman rejoiced to hear the bells ring out the news of the Armistice. World War One ended this day in 1918, and the Lamb family celebrated in anticipation of the return of their loved ones.

Josephine especially looked forward to embracing both her brother Henry and her beloved John. The bloodshed had ended and Europe was at peace.

Only my grandfather John returned safe. Henry died the day before the Armistice.

My father Stephen entered the Army Air Corps, during World War Two. One can only imagine my Grammy’s suppressed fears and hidden tears. He was so young he required parental permission to enlist. She must have only very reluctantly given hers.

What courage and grace in adversity! My gratitude and reverence grows as the years pass and my family becomes all the more precious to me.

Thank you, Grammy. And Grampa. And Dad. And Great Uncle Henry.

pb
Little Pond


Two links:

How about a hero from after the Civil War? The groundswell is building, especially around Elmira, New York, to recognise this extraordinarily unselfish man.

And a lighter note: visit this site for its latest "Five on Friday.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Friday is Veteran's Day

Posted by Picasa
My Grampa's engagement book. A gift from his widowed mother.

There's one entry that catches my attention today. Saturday, July 1 (1916):
"Saw the ocean again."

A young man, away from home, facing unknown, but certain, danger. A view of the ocean would be refreshing to the soul of a New Englander. All the more so for a young man from Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.

I will post again for Veteran's Day. Some links for the meanwhile:

Friday, start the day with Five on Friday. I found this when I was trying to locate my post on earworms. I intend to visit every week. Here's another that's lots of fun, especially for the bloggers. Thanks to LaShawn Barber.

It's not blogging, if I don't visit my Everloving Blogmother, Sissy. And she has a new subject! Or rather, Goomph does.

And if you want more of Veteran's Day, it's being celebrated to the max at the Cotillion. Because Elmira, New York is home to Woodlawn National Cemetery, we are always in touch with our military past. The price of freedom is always close at hand here.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, November 06, 2005

PeeBee Says:



You must click over to Shelley's lovely photo essay at Burning Bird! Lucky for us, she's been traveling again, this time by train. As always, you'll be able to click directly on a link for a Flickr slide show. But read the whole thing for what sounds like some very uncomfortable traveling conditions. More photos, too.

So how do you like PeeBee? My Avatar was born in 1999, created by Jon Miller, an online artist in Upstate New York. I believe he has at least one site, and I will post the link when I find it. Like many of my coworkers, he is an avid video game player and a lot of his artwork gives away his fanboy-ness. And I mean that only in the nicest way. Being a fan-girl and all.

I never did play online, though, so I've never before posted the avatar. Don't care to do battle with the game hackers, and I'm way too attached to my games to lose them to some addle-pated idiot who wants to show the world his hacking skills.

pb

Little Pond

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Blog Birthing Alert! Congrats, Darlene!

Preoccupied with my wetware, I neglected my own blogs and their links. While my back was turned, my friend Darlene of NatureInfo has begun her own new blog, Human Nature Nuggets. In the same forum style as NatureInfo, HNN deals specifically with the effects we as social animals have on the Biosphere.

I am especially pleased to link to Human Nature Nuggets on my walking-tour blogs. The forum style gives commenters the center stage and everyone is encouraged to contribute. Every little bit helps, and people are wonderful in their generous contributions. Congratulations, Darlene. Hope Human Nature Nuggets is as popular as NatureInfo.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, November 04, 2005

My Blogfather's Book

Mommy Knows Worst has been out a while now. I've read it a few times and can heartily endorse it. I give it four stars out of five. If you've never read any of James Lileks' books, go to his website to get the flavor of his work. When you buy, Mommy would be a good place to start.

Perhaps a little distance from the subject would have made me like the book more. Born in the early 1950's, I remember some of the stuff, left over from the Post-War period. Makes it a bit less hilarious, mixed with some bad memories, I guess.

But the Gallery of Regrettable Food left me helplessly giggling for days on end! I also remember some of that crap, but am somewhat less traumatized by it all. And Interior Desecrations was a hoot--an excellent followup: of course it helps to have a sister who is a professional decorator. All the above books are reasonably priced and shipped immediately.

If nothing else, spend a few hours on the website. My favorite is the section on the Gobbler.

See, BlogFather? I love you, even if you do not acknowledge me.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, November 03, 2005

De Facto Fall has finally arrived...

... and we are officially on the road to Thanksgiving Day. The asthma-like symptoms are receding, blood pressure is dropping. The side effects from all the new drugs are also abating. I am feeling better, thank you very much.

So naturally I am gaining weight again. The cure is exercise and activity. Both of which should no longer result in a huge coughing fit, followed by minutes of gasping and panting.

Primed the porch deck this morning. The sun was gorgeous, and awfully hot for November. The awnings are cleaned and tied up for the winter, and the light is streaming into the front windows unobstructed.

So naturally the streaks are painfully obvious: it's time to clean and wipe the windows. Fall cleaning is in full swing. Thank heavens I have my daughters who gladly take (nearly) anything I wish to toss. The rooms should be lightened of clutter before the holidays.

We are trying to divest ourselves of all the extras that were accrued for the sake of the girls. I am not a packrat, but Husband RJ is. Multiple Sclerosis makes me clumsy, and I find a sparer home is easier to navigate. Out goes anything we won't be using!

So naturally the garage remains stubbornly full of the (you guessed it!) girls' stuff. Let alone anything we would need to add. Oh, I don't know, maybe a car or something. Rain or shine, the garage gets it this weekend. If rainy, I will make a few trips to the recycling/milling center. If sunny, an impromptu garage sale is in the offing. With "Free--You Haul" items only. First come, first served. The garage gets emptied before the first snow. That's the drop-dead bottom line.

So naturally I'm getting tired just planning it. Ugh.

(But it's not all work: took some time for a pet shoot in the sunshine.)

pb
Little Pond

Monday, October 31, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Hardest Thing

We are losing her. She's comfortable and happy, even darting out the door when she can manage. But she's probably one-third the weight she was in the Spring. She's been nearly blind for quite some time now. And she's almost eighteen years old. We want to show her off while she's still pretty and lucid.

The Autumn of My Years


Spooky in her window. She's purring and eating everything I offer. The purring sounds familiar to Husband RJ and I. We've heard it before, with other kitties, now gone.

Sweet Little Face


I can't believe that someone once described her as "that ugly cat." My little Lovey, my Sophia Nocturna, Spooky is declining. We will keep her warm, listen to her wheezing, and remember that we haven't much time left with her. Thank goodness the tide seems to be going out easy. She's happy and comfortable, and not at all worried about the way we are.
We are hoping she will hang around for Thanksgiving. The turkey makes her eyes wide and wild, and she's the only one left who appreciates it. But kitty lives are short, and even November seems a long way off right now.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Help, anyone?

I took a few photos of GrammaDog and HuggaMutt, in hopes of changing the profile shot to include me. This is becoming a fool's quest. First there were huge problems with Picasa, subsequently solved by Gunner at Picasa itself. Now I am unable to edit my Profile photo. Blogger tells me the link to the new photo is broken, although if you like you can see the photo here, and here. Having tried both URLs (and others) I am more than a little frustrated, and am looking to change hosts, maybe. Suggestions?

Update: No sooner kvetched than cured! Time alone seems to have effected the needed change. What do you think of my new pic?

Other update: I forgot! I wanted to offer the rest of the shoot for your perusal.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Now She Belongs to the Ages

...to paraphrase what was said of Abraham Lincoln, appropriately enough. Rosa Parks has passed on. This little lady will always be the Great GrandMother of the Civil Rights Movement. Did I say "little lady?" She was a titan, the biggest woman in the world that day, now so long ago, when she felt tired. Her feet hurt and she was sick of the treatment blacks endured at the hands of a racist society.

I am extremely gratified to find and be able to present these eulogies in some of my favorite blogs:
http://vodkapundit.com/archives/008190.php
http://lashawnbarber.com/archives/2005/10/25/rosaparks/
http://weblog.burningbird.net/2005/10/25/the-heart-of-the-civil-rights-movement/

To a worshipful America, she became a National Treasure. A touchstone for human rights activists and for anyone who ever had to suffer any indignity, and finally struck back in a small, but decisive way.

Thank you, Rosa. Rest in peace.



This week my BlogFather, James Lileks, is birthing a new book. Gotta have one. I am, after all, a Mommy.

Cats! Cats! Cats! Always at Sisu, who directs us to the 83rd Carnival of the Cats!

And finally, it's time to get in the mood for Halloween. I'm grabbing my long, black Phantom of the Opera cape and heading to the Cotillion. Don't you just adore their way with graphics?

Who says there's nothing to do on a rainy, dark Tuesday in the Northeast? Not I.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Go to the MS Companion

to see Pat and Ellie. Well, sort of . Ellie, mostly. I wanted to post more photos, but I am having problems with Picasa. Too bad, because I adore Picasa, the way it displays and allows downloads of higher resolution. CAPTCHA, anyone?

And you can thank Karen at The View From My Chair. Or blame her.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Earworms

Autumn is responsible for this earworm when I arose at 8:45 today. For a total, technical rundown on earworms, go here.

Off to Da Glow! The dogs are home alone, and Willie is neurotic. Hope there's some furniture left when I get there.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

SPCA to the Rescue!

A number of our local SPCA heros shuttled down to the Katrina disaster area and back, with rescued pets. The local newspaper carried a full story here. And photos of the damaged darlings are here. Hat tips to both Jeff Richards, our head photographer, and Hency Yuen Eng, nightside editor and slotperson, who posted the photos, as promised.

This entire affair is a heartbreaker. These little fellows look hurt and hopeful. Don't you just adore Crystal, the Pink Pit Bull? And what about Cat2, eh? But I love them all, and send prayers through St. Francis of Assisi that they find their owners, either original, or new and loving.

Related note: I think it was Shelley at BurningBird who cautioned against taking all comers when offering aid to the Katrina refugees. Well, we got the local proof right here. Even the family of the impostor seem astounded.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, October 17, 2005

Moody Monday

Another sunless day here in the Southern Tier of New York. NO COLOR in the trees, either. Quick, cancel your leaf-spotting vacation!! Thank goodness I had Saturday with GrandDog Ellie and Sunday afternoon with MammaDog, before I left her in Da Glow with her step-littermates, Brie and Willy.

But... I spent a significant time on the Net. Even in Da Glow. So here are those that really spoke to me:

Get thee to the
Cotillion were all the cutey-pie guy-bloggers are having a beauty contest. Inner beauty, that is. You will be asked to vote. Please do so quickly; results will be posted tomorrow.

My favorite:
Citizen Grim of Right Hand of God posts a wet-yourself-laughing translation of the infamous Zarqawi letter of late. Definitely got my vote. Second choice was a touching tribute to a fallen friend by Danjel Bout of Thunder6.

Which got me thinking about old friends, so I wandered over to
LaShawn Barber who had gone GodBlogging and came back with a sort of Manifesto. This excellent document fits all Christians, and reminded me of my own lifetime conversion through the Catholic Church. So...

...I popped over to the
Happy Catholic, who's counting down to Halloween. The Catholic church prefers to emphasize All Saints and then All Souls, preparing us for our own special Saint's day, when we pass on to the loving arms of our Lord.

The date of our death becomes our own Saints' day when we pass on. But in the here and now, we'd rather celebrate our birthdays. So a very Happy Birthday to our Baby Sister in blogging, Karen of Scottsdale. She's feeling the weight of her years, poor baby. Stop by and log some encouragement in the comment's box.

Finally, Happy Sukot to (and from!) David at Rishon Rishon. Because it's already tomorrow where he lives. And because "Sukkoth," as I knew it, was the first Jewish feast I learned from the Synagogue next to my appartment complex in Annapolis, Maryland. My then-baby MammaDog would watch the children decorating the booth that faced our appartment. Happy Sukkoth to all my Jewish friends and neighbors.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Garage will NEVER get cleaned...

...if we don't get some sunshine. I don't regret my little trip yesterday, downtown with Ellie. After all, I also ran errands. Still, just one entire day without rain would make it possible to clean the garage (Are You listening, Lord?). Too much dirt and trash to clean on a rainy day (and track back into the house).

Yesterday I bought my
EQ2 heat booster at Chase-Pitken. I also picked up some of the weather-stripping and other winterizing supplies to start, at least, in the house. So putter, putter, putter it is. Either that or eat, eat, eat. And I already have a good start on that. But yesterday I also visited with Bill at Westside Wine and Liquors. He sold me a six-pack of K Draft Cider. Who knew that cider comes in six-packs? Perfect for sweet desserts or salty snacks. Hope to create a Thanksgiving drink with it. Hmmn...some experimentation, perhaps?

Never mind. Start with a nap, and take it from there. Probably clean out the treasure chests in the North Crater, Final Fantasy 7. Making sure all playables have their limit breaks before returning to the Battle Arena in the Gold Nugget amusement park. Gotta stop that psychotic, nearly-omnipotent Sephiroth!

pb
Little Pond

Ready to Ride! Ready to Run!


Let's go Gramma!! We did a short followup of our RiverFront Park tour. Then the rains returned...

pb
Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Live links, Saturday reading

Hooray in the short run! You have to go here and here to see another joy-filled milestone of democracy's birth in Iraq. Thanks to Indepundit and Michelle Malkin, respectively.

But freedom is not free. After a joyful birthing come the growing pains. It's important to visit with Afghan Warrior, to get a feel for the tough road ahead for the Iraqis. Still, it's Al Qaeda's worst nightmare: their very own Domino Theory coming true, courtesy of the Alliance!

And finally, because you are an avid reader--we all are!--the bibliophile's bible quotes. Love the Happy Catholic's slant on religion. The gift of tears is a holy and wonderful thing, but, Lord, I'd much rather laugh!

pb
Little Pond

Friday, October 14, 2005

Just go here. My everloving Blogmother, Sissy, is indulging in a little soulfilled pets-and-poetry blogging.

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Little Pond

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Links for a dreary day

Was supposed to shop Chase-Pitken and Lowes for my EQ2 today. But Consumer Square is the pits in this weather. Think I'll take the GrandDog for a long, rainy-day walk. That includes the ridiculous raincoat (that she hates to wear) and a rainhat for me. Heaven forbid I should head out of the house without headgear!

Expect traffic also around the local Jewish houses of worship today. Foot traffic, that is. Rishon Rishon almost always obliges with a needed explanation of why our neighborhood synagogue is busy. A related story can be found at Winds of Change. The older I get, the more I appreciate stories of conversion. Catholics have always been encouraged to view conversion as a lifetime endeavor. Apparently, some similar thinking circulates through the Talmud, too. The pith of this link is actually here, and is the most beautiful reflection on life and its cycles that I have ever read.

Speaking of conversions, Dr. Adams spells out his own, to Conservatism, that is. In many ways, his gradual conversion mirrors my own. And he is a pleasant and well-groomed young fellow, easy on the eyes, if somewhat prickly to the mind. Wish he'd blog more.

And finally a light note: Perils of the Webcam from Karen of Scottsdale! Why I will never, ever have a webcam or videophone in my home. Our home is too private, and I can get careless, too.

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Little Pond

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

When You/Do You for Petowners

WHEN YOU vacuum a room, DO YOU feel bad when the cats and dogs scatter in terror, even though you've never chased them with the darned thing?

WHEN YOU vacuum and they scatter, DO YOU try to herd them away from where you're vacumming next, even though that's where they invariably go?

WHEN YOU find a new chewed spot (on furniture, walls, woodwork), DO YOU let them "finish the job" before you repair it, even though you know that encourages them?

I feel like such a sap confessing these, but I expect I'm not alone.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bumper Stickers I Saw This Week

  • I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror, like the passengers in his car.
  • We child-proofed our house, but they got back in anyway.

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Little Pond

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Is anyone winning in Iraq?

Well, yes. The Iraqis are. Slowly, but very surely, they are taking over their own defense. Thanks to Winds of Change for the current status of the Iraqi takeover from the coalition. Scroll down to Rundown Levels to properly orient yourself for the militaryspeak of this item.

If there are sixty to seventy Iraqi battalions capable of fighting alongside coalition forces, and a few others who fight on their own, and even plan forays and strikes, well that sounds like progress to me. And these are people becoming self-sufficient, solid freedom fighters.

Hmmm, maybe WE really are winning.

And just a touch from the homefront: A short item from a new translation of the Bible. Hat tip to the Happy Catholic.

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Little Pond

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Can you stand yet one more KittyWalk picture?


Of course you can. Are you watching, Rachel? See the line coming off the upper left side? That's GrandDog Ellie snuggled under the KittyWalk and visiting with Bubba. I'm not imagining these things, or setting them up, I swear. Can't get a decent shot, because they heard me shoot and came towards me.

Okay, for the rest of us, especially the Medifans, Grand Rounds is up at GruntDoc! No permalink today for that, because I insist you scroll down to his other goodies.

Finally the Cotillion has lots of good partying going on. (And only one link for the new SCOTUS nominee, please.) Me? Off to Save the World from the evil industrial empire Shinra...

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Little Pond

Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 03, 2005

At sundown today...

I extend my wishes for a Happy Rosh Hashana to all my Jewish friends and readers.

Go here for something more authentic, and be sure to follow David's link to a previous post.

Peace and love. It's been quite a year, hasn't it?

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Watching the oncoming trainwreck.

Was it Fr. Andrew Greeley who was first publicly terrified of the possibility of Cardinal Ratzinger's elevation to the papacy? Any of his faithful readers would have the same horrible feeling as I did, hearing of the election. And yet I figured "Ratzinger the hatchetman could surely be softened and enlighted as Benedict the pope." How wrong I was!

But saints are not elected to the papacy, even though the papacy may occasionally carve out a saint. Can time ease this situation? Is there time enough?

When I was a young woman I considered leaving the Church, but it was just too painful to give up that part of me. There are lots of things I don't like about my country, and I will not leave. But the Church?

This post is full of question marks, but one thing is certain: This situation could ruin the Roman Catholic Church. At least for me.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Gay Ban Update

Headline from an Elmira Star-Gazette item on 7A today:

"Jesuit Official Protesting Vatican Ban on Gay Priests." Tells of "...the great harm this will cause many good priests and the Catholic faithful."

The New York Times has a link with a lot more information about Fr. Gerald Chojnacki's response to the proposed ban. Some very brave, morally strong protesters are going over to talk to the Vatican about its folly.

Listening, Rome? Hope so.

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Little Pond

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Can't find a link to

Today's Tom Toles editorial cartoon shows a man, marked "gays" standing on the stairs to a church. A man pokes his head out the door and says,

"You can't get married because you can't have sex.
And you can't be a priest because you can't be celibate either."

Pretty much says it all. It took 2,000 years for our Church to decide to exclude a very large number of its hierarchy and faithful?

Please say it isn't so.

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Little Pond


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Shame on the Catholic Church!

It should know better. We didn't suffer enough through all the sexual predator scandals. Now we have to watch a witch-hunt, initiated in the mistaken belief that homosexuality causes pedophilia.

Pedophilia is a crime of power abuse. Nearly all sexual abuse is. It is not about sex. It is about power.

Because the Church considers homosexual behavior to be a disorder, it is looking to clean out homosexuals. I have a question for the Roman Catholic (or is it the American Catholic?) leadership:

Shall we wipe out upwards of 10% of the church hierarchy? Shall we eliminate up to 10% of humanity from the Book of Life?

When our leadership gets over its homophobia, then maybe it will set itself to the true task. Then it can train priests to be protectors of their flock. Not leaders, but servants. Precious lives are not theirs for amusement and ego-glorification.

When I think of all the saintly priests who have gone before, dedicating their lives to service, I feel sick for their memories. A celibate priest is not a sexual abuser, regardless of his orientation.

Get some competent advisors and get over it. A witchhunt is not the answer.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, September 25, 2005


The Heavenly Blues are in their morning glory, and the roses have noticeably faded. The summer is truly over for me. Now is the time for cleaning house and taking stock of our position in the universe. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Soothing Thursday

Let's start with an update on the Ravenous HuggaMutt: The replacement part for the chewed shed arrived from Suncast. Husband RJ managed the job himself. It is very difficult to undo parts that snap together, but all is as it should be now. Glad I don't have to worry about snow-day heart attacks. Lost a friend's husband that way.

Both
Sissy Willis and Shelley at BurningBird alerted us to the dangers facing the pets victimized by Katrina. Got a forwarded note from an animal rescue organization at the scene:

Speaking of rescues, time is running out for animals still in the city. But we still look forward to more and more rescues - especially since many more people have now been finding their way into the
city on their own, and simply putting out food and water until more help arrives. That, in itself, is a major blessing for animals who have been struggling to survive
for just on three weeks now.

You can visit The Best Friends here. They have a really complete site to fill us in on all the operations. They need donations, too. Please remember that the easiest way to help may be to go through your closest SPCA. That goes for any donations to any efforts. If you donate local it will probably get there fastest.

Grand Rounds is up! Thanks to GruntDoc for the tip, as always.

Afghan Warrior has the local take on the Parliamentary Elections in Afghanistan. Looks like Al Quaeda being roundly ignored. Let's hope their glory days are over.

And save your last dance for the gals at the Cotillion. Their Late But Always Great Edition.

Ellie needs a walk, and I need breakfast.

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Little Pond

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

Can you stand one more blog?

I was all doped out on antihistamines Sunday, so I grabbed the GrandDog and camera, threw them in the Tracker and rode out to Personius Woods, where Tanglewood had Doggy Days a few weekends back. We also stopped at Harris Hill Dam on the way back. Ellie was whimpering with fatigue by the time we headed home for a nap.

For those of you who wanted my take on current events, scroll down: I'm ignoring them in my blog. Visit my Everloving Blogmother for just about the only dissenting view on the Crescent blooper. Keep scrolling; she's like a voice crying out in the wilderness. (Give'em hell, Sissy!) And almost all of my sidebar links will at least touch on the Porkbarrel/Katrina Aid outrage.

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Little Pond