Hello. My name is Hugh W. Roberts and I am dyslexic. Once upon a time, that last word was very hard to say and for many years it stopped me from doing what I always wanted to do – write.
In February 2014, I discovered Blogging. On the day I published my first post, new doors opened for both my writing and I. I haven’t looked back since then and at the time of writing this am very proud to say that I am about to publish my first book of short stories.
I live in Swansea in South Wales, in the United Kingdom, with my civil-partner John and our Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Toby. I was born in South Wales but spent most of my life living in various parts of the UK, including London where I lived and worked for 27 years. We returned to live in Wales in…
For a fabulous girl’s week off four of us booked two suites at Diamond Resorts Los Abrigados Resorts in the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. Pronounced T-lockey-pockey, this 1970s Sedona landmark means “best of everything.”
We took this picture last March when the sun smiled through the sky’s blue eyes. Today the November’s sky’s mood turned mopey. The rocks tried to cheer it up in the morning, but by 2:00 they had lost the battle.
Determined to enjoy the fine rocks in spite of the drizzling rain, Darlene and I ventured back down the hill to scout out different rocks. We ambled into Renee Taylor’s art and jewelry gallery accepted a glass of orange juice and a chocolate cookie and started rock hunting.
The piece of paper attached a specific value to this rock that reached deeper into my pockets than I cared to delve. Therefore I cut it off. However, I did, enjoy learning about these rare larimar stones from Kristen.
“Larimar is …composed largely of pectolite, …(a combination of) calcium and sodium.”
The twenty paper dollar bill in my did not go far – even to start a lay-a-way program. So we meandered through the shopping center snapping pictures of Thanksgiving displays decorating the cement fountains.
“Cut it out, Marsha. You missed me smiling.”
“Sorry, Fountain Woman. I would cut the picture out of my post if I had a virtual pair of scissors.”
Great thoughts. Much as I enjoy stats, there are times to take a break. This morning my computer announced that it was also due a break. So if we can’t figure it out for ourselves, sometimes our electronics will lead the way! Happy holidays to all!
Are you looking forward to the holidays? I know I am. It is a time to re-connect with family and friends (in real 3-D life) and take a little breather from a blogging year well done. It was crispy at some parts and a little undercooked in others, but never the less done, D O N E.
I’m celebrating the upcoming publication of my first book, Glimpses, and from now until December 2nd, I’d like to invite everyone to my prelaunch blog party.
Here’s what you need to do.
In the comments section of this post, write a brief introduction of who you are and attach a link to one of your blog posts or your ‘about me’ page.
Mingle. Check out all the other comments and go meet lots of other bloggers and their blogs and introduce yourself. Don’t be shy, go say hello.
During the time the party runs, feel free to come back and leave up to two other links to blog posts. They don’t have to be blog posts from your blog; why not surprise a fellow blogger you follow, introduce them and leave a link to one of their blog posts?
If you’re an author and would like to promote up to three…
Did you wrack your brain to find musical chairs? A couple of antique stores in Prescott, AZ had some. Have you ever ridden on a merry-go-round?
Friends, Darlene, Jean and Mary Lou and I headed to Prescott to check out the antique stores. Musical chairs stumped me, so I scoured the stores for signs of them. See if you agree that these could be musical.
Don’t you love the old-fashioned figures riding this merry-go-round?
He looks like he’s having fun. the horse may be even singing to him.
The horses wore bright-colored outfits befitting their parts in the musical performances. Of course, the in first carousels, appearing in the early 1700s “the animals would hang from chains and fly out from the centrifugal force of the spinning mechanism. They were often powered by animals walking in a circle or people pulling a rope or cranking.” Wikipedia Germany has the oldest existing carousel made in 1779.
Platforms appeared in the 1850s, and by 1870 steam engines and organs adorned the amusement ride. The engineer Frederick Savage attached gears to the horses allowing them to glide up and down on the polls, and hoped to make the benches pitch and toss as if they were on the ocean.
This teddy bear picture reminded me of a Victorian poem, “The Swing,” that my grandmother used to recite to me.
Maybe it’s because the National Parks are 100 years old this year. Happy birthday, NPS.
Montezuma Castle National Monument, a thirty-minute drive in light traffic, south from Sedona, AZ surprised many tourists looking which way to go on Thanksgiving besides the dinner table.
Looking at the dry red rocks and desert landscape along the path at the foot of Montezuma Castle, it was hard to imagine anyone farming the area.
Yet productive Hohokam and Sinagua native settlers grew corn, beans, squash and cotton from about 1125 AD to 1425 when they disappeared.
The hole in the side of the limestone cliff was one of many openings or alcoves into which the Southern Sinagua carved pueblos into the cliff about 10 feet. Each of these open rooms housed a small family.
Darlene and I walked the short trail admiring these open houses and chatting with visitors we met on the path with us.
These early tribes used willow trees for implements and supports in their pueblos. In spite of being built in crumbling limestone cliffs, these homes held up for 800 years.
For more Which Way entries, find your way to Cee Neuner’s blog. This is an easy one to enter. There’s no weekly theme. Keep a lookout for any path or road, sign, bridge, stairs. See her site for details
Do you ever pick up and head out with old friends or family, and not know where you might end up? For the next few posts, I’ll share how my friends and I spent the week in Sedona, AZ.
Share this article if you know someone who wants to spend an hour exploring an 800-year-old settlement near Sedona, AZ.
Grandpa was crippled. All day he reclined by the front window at 1420 N. Denny Avenue staring out at the aging neighborhood. Grandpa rarely talked as my Grandmother kept a constant stream going. He stared out the window.
The only thing that has changed over the past 60 years is the color of the house and the size of the tree. He must have watched the grass growing.
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. Dale Carnegie
My mother’s cousin Hal, however, in September 2016, at age 91 and nearly blind, directed me to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA and where we found our Window Wonderland at Longwood Gardens Conservatory. We started our self-guided tour outside. After we passed through the first ivy covered archway, we found a creek with a wrought iron gazebo.
While the roof structure wasn’t a window, we felt like we were inside looking through a fancy window.
As we meandered by the river, we huffed and puffed past a meadow with some chairs meant for someone else who wanted to sit in the blistering sun. Unable to resist its call to my camera, I started walking towards a many-windowed house at the edge of the meadow under a large leafy tree. Hal made a beeline for the shady bench.
Did you see Hal waiting on the bench while I went inside to take pictures? The Canopy Cathedral is actually a tree house.
What you really want for yourself is always trying to break through, just as a cooling breeze flows through an open window on a hot day. Your part is to open the windows of your mind. Vernon Howard
Just so you know, even though there was a breeze blowing, it did not bear any semblance of coolness. If you have never been to the midwest and east in the summer and early fall, you may not have experienced 75% humidity.
“For example, if the temperature is 86° and the dew point is 70° it will actually feel like 91°! The reason it feels hotter is because it’s harder for our bodies to cool us off when there is higher humidity. Our bodies use a process of evaporative cooling, so if there’s a lot of water vapor in the atmosphere, it is much harder for our bodies to cool off, as compared to a day when there is less water vapor and lower humidity.
Hold onto your companion’s arm as you watch this next video. As I look at it with objective eyes, it seems like the videographer is a ghost floating through the unoccupied tree cathedral and not me. Turn the sound off, of course, and shut off the lights for added effect.
Sadly, once I got inside the treehouse, it felt like a hothouse and not a spectacular set of windows in a treehouse.
People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
It would be VERY DARK to be in the Canopy Cathedral after sunset. Who knows, the wood used to build the quaint treehouse, gathered from other locations might exude some misplaced spirits. We did not stay to find out. The mid-afternoon sun was hot, and Hal and I gravitated towards where we might find some air conditioning. I do not remember finding any.
This view and added humidity took my breath away. Even with failing eyesight, Hal enjoyed more of life than Grandpa Morris. Longwood Gardens is iconic to this area.
Wherever we looked, we saw views made more spectacular by the windows that framed them.
In spite of the window and the 83-degree day, the room seemed dark. Maybe I felt dark and sad inside after hearing the amazing two concluding minutes of the piano concert!
After missing the concert, we got lost wandering through the many rooms under the glass roof windows of the gigantic conservatory. Windows in this room filtered the light for these plants. By the way, you can find out the names of all the plants on their website IF you remember which room you were in. hehehe (You knew there would be a catch, didn’t you?)
The tropical room may have been one of the hottest. You can see that birds have dropped by this room hoping to swoop down to enjoy a bit of banana heaven. I doubt that birds like windows very much.
I’ll end with this chenille plant. I know you should not shoot into the sunshine, but the sky smiled it’s bluest grin and captured my heart.
Hal made sure I saw every exhibit in the conservatory. Exhaustion made my sandals feel like they had steel weights embedded in the soles by the time we went full circle and exited the conservatory.
I love this poem and the picture that goes with it. On the way to Sedona yesterday my friend Darlene and I discussed “being worthy” as opposed to being “either lacking in confidence or feeling proud that you are great or good at something.” As one who often cares too much what people think, this poem is a good reminder that we all have value because we are unique.
Magic is not on my mind when I take out this picture from some old albums and decide to post it. I took this during a visit to Sentosa Underwater World in Singapore in 2014. It had since been closed down in June 2016. I read that the animals are being transferred to another aquarium in China.
I found a poem online at random and post below to reflect both sides of life one may stand at the same time.Inside and outside.Which side are you now?
Feb 4, 2015
The world is an aquarium
We all have a tank
With a paragraph of information about us next to our tank
When people see you they notice your looks and move on
If you are a tall skinny blond boy with blue eyes the girls will stop and get to know you If you are a shorter boy…
You think nothing happens in a small town? Think again! Living in a small town is amazing.
In addition to attending classes, playing in sports, home and church activities, these young women have taken time to learn new skills that qualify them to compete for the title of Miss Woodlake.
Ms. Vasquez was the first to wow the audience with her version of “Salt and Light.” She sounds like the next American Idol to me. What do you think?
“Salt & Light”
Oh the beauty of our King
You make righteous those who seek
You have written and redeemed my story
Let my eyes see Your kingdom shine all around
Let my heart overflow with passion for Your name
Let my life be a song, revealing who You are
For You are salt and light…
“Salt & Light” by Lauren Daigle
Our new queen and her partner danced a traditional Mexican folklorico dance for us on a very small stage.
Alexis Brogan, the first runner-up to Miss Woodlake recited a poem illustrating her faith in God. Would she be considered the First Princess?
The audience gasped as Odalis Arteaga threw her father to the floor several times displaying her Tiquando ability. She amazed us when she broke a piece of lumber with a kick and a mini-chalkboard with her arm.
Technical difficulties marred the filming of this next contestant. Unfortunately, after the technical difficulties, I forgot to press the record button again. I apologize to Woodlake High School senior, Crystal Zaragoza.
Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, these five young women, mentored by Claudia Cabrera, will become an part of every aspect of the community. They ride in parades, take part in ribbon cutting ceremonies for new businesses and buildings, sell raffle tickets, and attend monthly Chamber of Commerce Board meetings.
All the service organizations in Woodlake sponsor events, and the court will help out with Lion’s Club and other organizations’ Rodeo Week activities, Kiwanis’ July Third Blast, and Woodlake Chamber’s July Car Show in the Park, to name a few.
Sometimes I felt badly for last year’s Queen because we worked her so hard, but when Sonni Hacobian crowned Lizette Castillo, she cried as she shared it was the best opportunity she had.
A beauty pageant displays and requires much more than beauty from its contestants.
Participants work hard, donate much time to the community, and work as team members.
They practice and hone their skills in addition to maintaining good grades in school.
They represent the town of Woodlake for a year in events across the county.
They attend meetings and assist in events doing whatever tasks are assigned to them.
They participate in sports, music, drama, leadership conferences, FFA, Key and Interact Clubs at school providing leadership there.
They are usually active in church or community work
Opportunities abound in a small town. Forgive me as I excuse myself to interview juniors who hope to attend the HOBY Leadership Conference in the spring.
Woodlake Valley Chamber of Commerce thanks Claudia Cabrera and all the Woodlake High School seniors who participated in this event. We are so proud of all of you.
If you loved this post, please share it as a thank you to the five talented young women who participated in the pageant, and their mentor, Claudia Cabrera.
It was morning; through the high window I saw the pure, bright blue of the sky as it hovered cheerfully over the long roofs of the neighboring houses. It too seemed full of joy, as if it had special plans, and had put on its finest clothes for the occasion. Herman Hesse
On this September day the sky, though blue, filtered through the trees until it became transparent, blending into the enchantment of the forest in the Winterthur Gardens.
I looked for the pictures I remembered taking on that magical day as I strolled with Hal, but they weren’t there. Have you ever had that happen?
You know, you just know, that picture is somewhere, but it’s not.
I am persistent. I found the picture of the medieval English-style roof I wanted to share with you. But it’s a video! Woe is me!
This quick post turned into a two-hour ordeal. I shortened the video (a new skill). Next, I added some beautiful bird sounds chirping after the rain cleared the air that I downloaded for free. Google helped me learn how to erase my own boring intriguing narration which I had already chopped to bits when I cropped the video. Finally, I uploaded it to YouTube.
If you are wondering about the woven branches, I’m not standing on a twig roof shooting this video. Hal and I are standing opposite the enchanted cottage in a gigantic roofless bird’s nest replete with three wooden eggs the shape of king-sized watermelons.
The little box on my YouTube channel tells me that I now have 56 videos. Guess how many followers I have of my YouTube channel?
Back to the thatched roof
Once I finished the video, I learned about thatched roofs. I looked for roof shapes so I could be more precise. After I searched through all the common roof shapes, thatched and cottage finally paired.
Thatched roofs are odd-shaped. Duh! No wonder they are so quaint.
Although they once denoted poverty, the wealthy put thatched roofs on their homes to be more eco-friendly. Did you know that thatched roofs can last up to 50 years? The English used thatched roofs from available resources such as dried vegetation like straw, water reed, sedge, rushes, or heather. Experts contend that thatched roofs do not burn as easily as some roofing materials.
Maybe it’s thatched, and maybe it’s not
This simple Woodlake home looks elegant with a cottage-style roof.
How often do you get inside a cockpit? Even though this small Leer jet is about 40 years old, it still looks pretty complicated. It is not odd to think of flying as being complicated.
As Simple As This?
This cockpit seems like it is missing a few things. Well, maybe a roof to start. It does have a windshield. If you come to Woodlake to the Runway Cafe and you meet George Benson there, then maybe… You can go for private a tour of his hanger.
Can you guess this plane’s birth year?
The American Pickers would love this plane. It actually flies.
If you have any posts showing the cockpits, please post a link. It would be interesting to see how planes have changed over the years. Have you seen a less complicated cockpit than this one?
These two brave vets, Angelica Cabrera & Angel Gomez, came back to Woodlake to start their new franchise business, Goin’ Postal.
Today they cut the ribbon, and made the grand opening official.
The office is beautiful and clean inside, and they will offer a variety of useful services. Since Woodlake is 20 miles from the larger town, Visalia, it will save residents a lot of time if they want to use Fed X or other services.
The new business will also have computers available for people to use, if they need a place to do business.
Angie and Angel offer notary and immigration services as well.
With support of two Chambers of Commerce Angie and Angel hope business will be booming for the holiday season.
Chambers of Commerce welcome the new business.
And finally, they cut the ribbon. Goin Postal has gone public.
“PurpleSlobInRecovery.com Melinda is funny and personable. She wrote, “I began blogging, in August, 2014, as a way to hold myself accountable for cleaning up my house, and forcing it to “lose weight”, by de-cluttering. Little did I know that 8 months later, I would embark on a journeyof forcing myself to lose weight as well!!” She lost a lot of weight and gained a lot of confidence because of blogging. “