Never Smile at a Crocodile

I met Barb Taub through the Happy Meerkatreviews who gave permission to publish their review of Barb Taub’s book, Do Not Wash Hands in Plates, on my other blog, Always Write.  After you have a taste of Barb’s writing style here, you will want to visit her blog and buy her book. She is not only talented and funny, she’s extremely personable.

Never Smile at a Crocodile

by Barb Taub

“Never smile at a crocodile
No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile
Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin
He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin”—Music by Frank Churchill and lyrics by Jack Lawrence for Peter Pan, 1953

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-00-11-26Our driver—I’ll just call him S for reasons to be revealed in their own post once I’ve calmed down and stopped kissing the ground—wanted an early start to get clear of Bangalore before the real traffic hit. Jaya, who never met an early start she didn’t love, wanted us to be out the door by six. Janine and I just wanted to get horizontal and sleep through the alarm and possibly the next day or two. But after knowing each other for more than forty years, the three of us have worked out a foolproof approach to travel: we do what Jaya tells us. It’s simple, requires absolutely no effort on our part, and it works. Always. We left at six.

Most perfect breakfast ever at Kamat Restaurant on road from Bangalore to Mysore. [Image credit: this and all photos (c) Jayalakshmi Ayyer & Janine Smith, 2017. All rights reserved.]

Most perfect breakfast ever at Kamat Restaurant on road from Bangalore to Mysore. NOTE: Jaya and I had eaten most of the jelabi before Janine got the breakfast picture, so we had to order another plate. I still haven’t come up with a reasonable explanation for that third jelabi order…
[Image credit: this and all photos (c) Jayalakshmi Ayyer & Janine Smith, 2017. All rights reserved.]

We’d only been on the road long enough to get clear of Bangalore before pulling into Kamat, a beautiful roadside restaurant with open-air pavilions sheltering under trees. The hostess sized us up and informed us that we wanted the full buffet. Jaya sized up the line of people waiting, and informed her that we’d be ordering a la carte. Surprisingly quickly, our food appeared and my tastebuds fell in love. There might be a better breakfast than a deep-fried spicy donut vada served up on a fresh banana leaf, followed by the slightly tangy sweetness of glistening lace-swirled jelabi, and accompanied by coffee as the day brightens under the trees. But if so, I haven’t had it yet.

On the road again, we headed for Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary north of Mysore. We’d barely cleared the entry when all three of us yelled “STOP!” Driver S reluctantly pulled over and the three of us piled out on our respective quests. Jaya had seen a tiny bird who needed spotting. Janine had seen a statue of Shiva in midstream which needed photographing. I’d seen a herd of goats scrambling over rocks and banks which needed to be amateurishly captured on my phone camera.

Entry to bird sanctuary. Or, in our case, the first stop.

Entry to bird sanctuary. Or, in our case, the first stop.

Lord Shiva (or stop #2)

Lord Shiva keeping watch from midstream (the second stop.)

kingfisher-at-bird-sanctuary

Kingfisher on waterlily. (Stop 3)

— Goats. Because, you know—goats. (Stop 4)

After a few more stops, we finally made it to the ticket booth. Of course, being India, the fees for foreigners (300 rupees) were five times the charges for residents (60 rupees).

Our entry fees duly paid, we wandered down to the water where we found rowboats waiting to take us on a tour of the sanctuary—at an additional fee-times-five for foreigners, of course. As the boat moved away from the dock, the ranger/rower pointed at a log and said a number of words, one of which sounded suspiciously like “crocodile“. I was just begging Jaya to tell me that meant large toothless bird in the local dialect when the log we were approaching opened one eye and grinned at us. I felt my need to view any more birds decrease with each stroke of the oars.

never-smile-crocodile-at-bird-sanctuaryThe family behind us had no such doubts. As the smallest kid ran back and forth rocking the boat, the father laughed, the middle kid demanded to know if that was a real crocodile, and the mother told him, “Why don’t you stick your hand in the water and see what happens?” I can only suppose either she thought her three kids were one too many, or they had started their vacation with several additional kids and were still winnowing the numbers down to acceptable odds.

Spoonbills performing amazing highwire balancing acts

Spoonbills performing amazing highwire balancing acts

I assume there were birds and bats around, but frankly, I was too busy watching for crocodiles to pay attention. I counted sixteen. No, seriously. Sixteen crocodiles that I could spot. But that might not have included stealth crocodiles lurking under the boat waiting for that kid to stick his hand in. I’ve seen Jaws

Several trees were home to flocks of large birds including egrets, storks, and heron. There was even a tree full of bats. But I was too busy measuring the distance back to the dock—and wondering if I could make it while the crocodiles chowed down on that kid with his hand in the water—to really pay attention so there could have been lots more bird-related activity going on.

img_0913-animation

Painted storks and spoonbills

Actually, I do know that there were flocks of amazing birds and things out there because Jaya and Janine are made of much sterner stuff, and they happily snapped away several photos which I saw after we made it back to the docks about a year and a half later (ten minutes by my phone clock).

But I was too busy trying to put distance between us and those crocodiles, and explaining to Jaya that the sign she just noticed for an even longer tour of the croc-infested lake was a mistake and should be ignored at all costs.

flyover-crocodile

Birds? Who notices birds where there are at least 16 CROCODILES waiting to chow down on chubby foreign tourists?

And that was just our morning. Wait until you hear what happened in the afternoon!

Author Bio from Amazon

Wash Hands
Author Barb Taub

In a former life before children in need of luxuries like food and college, Barb Taub wrote a humor column for several Midwest newspapers. When Child #4 joined her research staff, she veered toward the dark side and a career in human resources. Now an expat living in one corner of a castle with her prince-of-a-guy and the world’s most spoiled AussieDog, she enjoys travel, translating from British to American, and collaborating with her daughter Hannah on the Null City series.

Related Posts

Hilarious Book – Do Not Wash Hands in Plates

Source: Never smile at a crocodile #travel #humor #India

Thursday Doors: Painted Ladies

Featured Guest Blogger K.L. Allendoerfer

K.L is a neuroscientist, educator, geocacher, Unitarian-Universalist, amateur violinist, and parent. She has always been fascinated by how people’s brains learn, and especially why this process is easier and more fun for some brains than others. This led her to get a PhD in Neuroscience, work in biotech, and then become a science educator and writer. She is from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Painted Ladies

Most people seem to know these houses because they were in a show that I never watched. I found out about them through geocaching. My family and I went into San Francisco for New Year’s Day and one of our first stops was this virtual geocache.

Virtual caches are a special kind of geocache that doesn’t involve finding an actual container. Instead, you go to the coordinates posted on the site and answer some questions about what you find there, and maybe post a picture of yourself at the location.

In this case, the cache site was in Alamo Square Park, across from the houses but affording a good view (Alamo Square Park is also, I learned, the place where the family in the show I never watched had a picnic in the opening credits).

To read the rest of the article click the link: Thursday Doors: Painted Ladies. Thank you, K. L. Allendoerfer for allowing me to publish your post.

For more of Norm’s 2.0 posts on Doors click the link.

For additional Photo Challenges, click the link.

How Do You Justify Pavlova for Breakfast?

Friday Food Challenge #amblogging #amtraveling Australia trip #5

Australian Food Journey

The term breakfast originated from the Middle English words break and fast. For those of you who rarely fast never heard fasting, it is a noun or a verb, not an adjective to describe a guy in a bar or how one drives a Lamborghini on the German Autobahn. To fast means to go without eating. A fast means a period of time without eating.

Yikes! This is a foodie channel! Fasting is not an alternative!

Actually, the Middle English decided in the 15th century that everyone fasted while they sleep. They did not know about the American’s love of refrigerator raiding in the middle of the night.

Assume you awoke starving after your fast. You would not go hunt and kill a possum or a rabbit, cook it for hours to make it tender, and have rabbit stew for breakfast, would you?

No, you want something quick and fresh.

Justify pavlova
Justify Pavlova for Breakfast

Breakfasts have changed over time and places. I would not be a fan of eating locusts and butter spread on unleavened bread as the Arabs did according to a book published in 1843. The Austrians loved their croissants. I love those especially with scrambled eggs, cheese, and Canadian bacon inside. I’m not fussed on Australian Vegemite on toast and butter. Don’t ever let and Aussie offer you a spoonful of it!

But consider pavlova for breakfast. It has the essential food groups. Eggs for protein, cream or milk for more protein, fruit for energy, and of course, sugar for energy. You can get your grains anywhere.

I watched Carol, and it’s easy to make.

Carol’s Pavlova

Before you start preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C). You will turn it down when you start baking.

Ingredients: Egg whites, cornflour and vinegar and sugar.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 and 1/2 C caster sugar (This is a very finely granulated sugar.)
  • 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch in the USA)
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Separate 1/4 cup of sugar and mix together with cornflour. Beat egg whites while adding 1 and 1/4 C sugar gradually. Beat until the sugar has completely dissolved and is no longer grainy. Fold the cornflour-sugar mixture into the egg mixture and gradually fold in vinegar.

Spread pavlova on a tray with baking paper. Bake at 200 degrees F (100 degrees C ) for 1 and a half hours. Turn the oven off and leave pavlova in the oven until the oven is cold.

Put whatever fruit on pavlova you like. You can sweeten the whipped cream which covers the breakfast delight or not. Carol’s niece, Kate, prefers to sweeten the whipped cream. Carol prefers to leave the cream unsweetened. They are both teachers, so it made for quite a discussion. Which would you prefer?

justify pavlova
pavlova with fresh kiwi, blueberries and strawberries drizzled with canned passion fruit sauce

I argued that unsweetened cream was like butter. Carol disagreed. I had never tried unsweetened cream, so I lost the argument before it started.

I tried pavlova both ways. I admit to a little hesitancy about unsweetened cream but Carol’s pavlova is VERY sweet. It needed no extra sugar.

Carol had one more card in her favor for those of you who enjoy a good bet. She made quiche with the leftover cream for dinner.

That’s another story. I love quiche, so I’ll vote with unsweetened if you mix the whipping cream yourself. For lazy folks like me, a can of whipping cream will do.

Carol was not fussed with the idea of Cool Whip. (See how I’m picking up a bit of Aussie vocabulary? I wish I could get Carol to record this post for you, but she does not like to be recorded. Bummer!)

“Have you read what the ingredients are? Cream is much better than Cool Whip!”

I’m warning you right now, you don’t need to argue with Carol about the benefits of Cool Whip.

I’m sure I have made my case for eating pavlova for breakfast. One more convincing argument is that pavlova keeps very well in the refrigerator in an airtight container. As it ages overnight it develops a bit of a gooey sauce of its own on the bottom which makes it even better.

Carol served naked pavlova and let us put the fruit and cream on that we liked. I’m not showing you how much cream and how many peaches and banana slices I used.

What’s your favorite non-traditional breakfast delight?

For more food head over to Yvette’s Friday Food Challenge.

More About Australia

Upcoming Food Blogger Conference

2017 International Food Blogger Conference in Sacramento
2017 International Food Blogger Conference in Sacramento

2017 International Food Blogger Conference in Sacramento 

Ripper Aussie Names

I met Miriam through the Eternal Traveller’s blog. She posts frequently about Australia, so I thought you might enjoy this play on names. “I’ve been everywhere, man … I’ve been to Wollongong, Geelong, Kurrajong, Mullumbimby, Mittagong, Molong, Grong Grong, Goondiwindi … Cabramatta, Parramatta, Wangaratta, Coolangatta; what’s it matter?”

So goes the classic Aussie song penned by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959.

Whilst I definitely haven’t been everywhere I’ll be working on it this year. And I can vouch for Mr. Mack’s words. Within our vast land and our Aboriginal ancestry, we have some pretty bizarre place names.

P1160105 (800x600)

There’s a place in the Northern Territory where we’re traveling mid year called Bong Bong. Apparently, it translates in an Aboriginal dialect to “mosquitoes buzzing”.  Ah, not exactly inspiring.

mitta-mitta-800x600

We’ve traveled to some strange sounding places. But twice?  Mitta Mitta, Wagga Wagga, Baw Baw, Lang Lang, Dum Dum, Booti Booti, Colac Colac, Mundi Mundi and Nar Nar Goon. And that’s just for starters.

What’s with the double-barrelled names?

whoota-whoota-lookout-800x600

There’s even a place called Woop Woop in the outback of Western Australia. That’s our slang term for “in the middle of nowhere”.

And it’s not somewhere I want to get stranded anytime soon.

One of my favorite places is Yackandandah, known by the locals as Yack. A picturesque town in the valleys of the high country.

yackandandah-june2012-033-800x600

There’s a suburb in Perth called Innaloo.  It was originally called Njookenbooroo but was changed as no one could spell or say it right. Can you imagine if someone asked where you lived? Innaloo.

The wacky names extend beyond the towns and cities to the islands. Continued on Miriam’s blog

Source: Ripper Aussie Names

See more Name photos Weekly Photo Challenge.

Related Posts

Fun Flying from Melbourne to Toowoomba

Fun Foto Big and SmallTuesdays of Texture #loveMelbourne #loveToowoomba #loveAustralia

Australia Travel Series #3

Window Seat Carol’s Sacrifice

Mrs. ET and I flew from Melbourne to Toowoomba on Australia’s Air North. She suggested that I take the window seat. It was a short trip. I would not have to crawl over anyone during the duration. I thanked her, sat down, and buckled up as instructed. As we taxied, I watched the shadow of the plane.

flying high
The plane on the ground created a large shadow

The shadow did not stay large very long!

I do not like to kill birds, but I am proverbially killing two birds with one stone because there are two photo challenges I can do at once with these photos. And I love photo challenges.

In addition to size changes, there are several visible textures. The smooth metal plane, hard concrete, soft green grass, and prickly brown stubbles create a Tuesdays of Texture treat.

flying high
Barely off the ground

But we kept looking. Textures are mellowing out as the shadow continues. The landing gear is still visible, but not for long.

flying-high-in-2017103

Seconds after take-off, the landing gear clicked into place and our shadow streamlined away from the Tullamarine Airport (Melbourne to me). Carol shared that we would be flying into the new Brisbane-West Wellcamp Airport. The airport is located in Toowoomba, Queensland a city of about 120,000.

flying high
Can you still see it?

The plane crossed the highway below the dark rectangle (a parking lot in the middle of farmland???) That represents another change of texture.

The Story of the Brisbane-West Wellcamp Airport

The city of Toowoomba, Queensland has a new privately built airport. The airport is inappropriately named Brisbane-West Wellcamp. Wellcamp had a population of 302 in 2011. Not 302,000, just 302. Brisbane, with a population of 2 million is a two-hour drive from Toowoomba.

This distance might create a problem for bargain hunter travelers who do not know the area. Unknowing travelers might think that would be an alternative airport to Brisbane International find themselves a little farther out-of-town than they planned.

The joke at the time of naming the airport was, “Why not name it Cairns South?” Cairns is a large town north of Toowoomba in the state of Queensland. Never mind that it is an 18 hours drive from Toowoomba. Or maybe they should call the airport Perth-East, a mere 44-hour drive.

Who knows the minds of governments or airport namers?

I hope you enjoyed the shadowy flight of our ride into Brisbane-West Wellcamp.

To see more Fun Fotos or to take part in the Challenge click here.

CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.
CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.

For those who prefer Textures, try this link. This my first time to participate in the texture party.

Photo Challenges Help Bloggers

  1. Photo Challenges Online
  2. Better Blogging with Photography
  3. Australian Gold Rush Australia Travel Series #1
  4. Melbourne’s Walk in the Park Tour: Treasury Gardens  #2

     

Things I Learned Traveling Around Australia

Carol, the Eternal Traveller, travels incessantly. I think this is one of her funniest posts. In Melbourne I carried around the backpack you will see. It did not look like this! 🙂

Things I Learned

by the Eternal Traveller

Round Australia Road Trip #33

When doing something completely different from your usual way of life, there are certain to be some moments of self-discovery; travelling vast distances with a caravan for seven weeks around our amazing country revealed some new aspects of my character. Here are ten things I learned about myself on the Round Australia Road Trip.

1. I enjoy flying – but only in big planes. Our flight over the Bungle Bungles was in a 6 seater Cessna C10 and our very enthusiastic pilot Sam made sure we all got the best possible view …

Source: Things I Learned

Please take a second to visit Carol’s blog. Be sure to leave a comment. Tell her I said hi! 🙂

Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia in Spring

In mid-January, I awoke to a cool 69 degrees in Toowoomba at my friend Carol’s house. We toured several gardens around the city, but I missed the grandeur of the spring gardens. Her pictures of vivid September flowers will amaze you.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Changing Seasons

by the Eternal Traveller

The Queensland city of Toowoomba is perched on the crest of the Great Dividing Range, about 700 metres above sea level. Its location means that while much of Queensland has hot Summers and mild Winters, Toowoomba experiences four distinct seasons. For most residents, the favourite is Spring, which brings with it an unsurpassed floral display.

The rich volcanic soil of the area produces gardens vibrant with colour and Toowoomba is known across Australia as the Garden City. Each September, the city celebrates the Carnival of Flowers with a Grand Parade, arts and crafts exhibitions, garden competitions and a food and wine festival. The local parks and gardens, having been lovingly tended through the Winter months by a team of council gardeners, become a haven for locals and visitors alike.

Source: Weekly Photo Challenge – Changing Seasons

Please take a second to visit Carol’s blog and share this on social media or repost it.

Work Experience from the student’s point of view

This is a post by one of Leanne’s students who did some of the same things Carol and I did with Leanne. We did some night photography. Instead of a tripod, I used what anyone can use – a bridge, or fence post – whatever isn’t moving! You’ll see my pictures later. Meanwhile, enjoy Leanne’s and Alainne’s photos.

Alainne wrote about her experiences with Leanne.

Work Experience from the student’s point of view

This last week has been interesting for me as I have had a work experience student, Alainne. She has been great and very willing to learn.

The first photographs we took were around the Eltham Library. We took some photos of the building and photos of the trains as well. The train driver actually stopped the train to tell us that we were supposedly trespassing and weren’t allowed to take photos. Despite that, I still managed to get a good shot of the train.

On Wednesday we ventured into the city early in the morning to go to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show. I learned how to use the macro setting on my camera to take close up photos of the beautiful flowers that were on display. I got to see the effects of changing the ISO, aperture and shutter speed on the camera which helped me to understand what Leanne had taught me about them the previous day. I now know that to have a good photo you must have a perfect balance of all three settings on the camera.

We took long exposure photos of Flinders Street Station and photos of steel wool being lit and twirled in circles inside alley ways. It was so much fun and interesting to talk to that many photographers. It was good listening to them as they shared and compared tips and techniques. I used a tripod for the first time that Leanne was kind enough to lend me.

Read the rest of the post by clicking the link below.

Source: Work Experience from the student’s point of view

Taking to the Road

You have to pick when you visit Australia because it is so vast. Native Australians often travel around the country on holidays. Here is the first of Carol’s 33 posts on her trip circumnavigating Australia. If you have ever thought about going to Australia, be sure to visit her blog to see the rest of the posts.

Taking to the Road

by the Eternal Traveller

A couple of weeks ago my husband, aka Mr. ET, and our daughter set off on the first part of a great adventure.

They travelled from Toowoomba to Roma, Longreach, and Mount Isa, into the Northern Territory on the Barkly Highway, on to the Stuart Highway north to Mataranka, Katherine and Kakadu before arriving in Darwin. They covered 4046 kilometres in 11 days and saw many amazing sights along the way.

Source: Taking to the Road

Please take the time to go to Carol’s site to view the rest of her amazing photographs and read the entire story and reblog or share it over social media.

It’s been a funny time

Leanne Cole, Carol, Chris Wilson (follow Chris on Instagram) and I spent an afternoon and evening at the Docklands on the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia. Both Leanne and Chris are professional photographers, so Carol and I had a wonderful time picking up tips and snagging some of these same shots with our cameras.

Photos

The photos were taken in the city last week. We started late in the afternoon and we went until it was dark. We spent our time along the river, which is always a great place for photos, especially at night.

All images were taken with the Nikon 28-300mm lens.

Source: It’s been a funny time

Australian Gold Rush in Ballarat, Victoria Then and Now

Fun Foto Old and New, #loveballarat, #ballaratgoldmuseum Ballarat, Australia Travel Series #1

My friends in Australia, The Eternal Traveller, aka Mrs. ET and her husband’s family, escorted me to the Gold Museum in Ballarat. Not to pick up so loose gold, unfortunately, but to learn the history of the Australian Gold Rush.

Aside: We did some panning at Old Sovereign Hill, where I became enormously rich thanks to their generosity.

 

Fun Fotos Old & New, Ballarat Gold Fields

A famous artist at the time, Eugene von Guerard, sketched many pictures of the evolving mine fields in Ballarat. The museum displayed one of them looking in the exact direction at the distant mountain as the window. So I shot a picture of them both at the same time, the old and the new.

For more Old and New visit Cee Neuner’s Fun Fotos site.

CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.
CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.

Peace and Longevity

Will We Live Longer Via Pictures?

I’ve always loved Japanese gardens. We lived near Washington Park in Portland, OR in my first apartment I shared with a roommate. They are having snow there now. I doubt if those gardens are increasing anyone’s longevity if they have to shovel snow. It might be peaceful, though.

Peace and Longevity
Japanese Garden University of Southern Queensland

You are going to have to be satisfied looking at these serene pictures. I want to experience peace and long life in person. Does it get any better than this? I’ll let you know so you can plan your trip to Australia to live longer yourself.

Peace and Longevity

by Carol Sherritt

Peace and Longevity
Japanese Garden University of Southern Queensland

October: A Garden Portrait Japanese stroll gardens are places of contemplation and harmony where visitors can wander along meandering paths through thoughtfully planned landscapes.The Japanese Garden at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba is the largest stroll garden in Australia. Its traditional design includes large rocks, a tumbling waterfall and a central lake surrounded by sweeping lawns and sloping beds of Japanese and Australian native plants.

Source: Peace and Longevity

The Bush Chorus

Now That’s What I’m Talking About

The real Australia has to have a kangaroo or two. I can see Kalev in her eyes. She looks lovable, doesn’t she? But WAIT, Carol said it was noisy. What’s that next picture?

Bush Chorus Australia
Ms. Kangaroo

The Bush Chorus

by Carol Sherritt

Close to home #5

Bush Chorus
Cicada mom.

Sundown National Park, 45 kilometres south of Stanthorpe, is one of the more remote and inaccessible parks in south west Queensouth-wester leaving the New England Highway and travelling along Sundown Road, the dirt track into the park is four-wheel drive only. Driving through open forest, with glimpses of the mountain range up ahead, we feel completely isolated; midweek, the road is empty except for a lone kangaroo almost hidden in the trees.

Source: The Bush Chorus

No Photos!

California Winter to Gold Coast Summer

Manny is going on this trip. He’s been to Australia before. He is sitting on top of my clothes I’m going to pack. I’m debating about taking my tripod. It weighs about 8 pounds, 1/2 of my allowable weight on the plane from Brisbane to Melbourne. I definitely will not need it to kayak. This post is part of Carol’s series, Close to home #6.

No Photos!

by Carol SherrittKayaking with Straddie Adventures When I hear the words “Don’t bring anything you don’t want to get wet,” my plan to take beautiful photographs of the sea disappears with my camera. …

Source: No Photos!

What Could Be Worse Than Landing in a Bed of Roses?

Watch out for flesh-scratching cacti on a desert trail!

 Cee’s Oddball Challenge 

As Darlene and I hiked towards Courthouse Butte near Sedona, AZ, we came across these beds of cacti.

bed of cacti near Courthouse Butte in Sedona

They had no redeeming beautiful velvety flower!

close up of cacti near Sedona

Trust me these spikes are not kind to bare skin!

For more oddball pictures check out Cee’s Oddball Challenge.

Cee's OddBall

 

Relax the Old Fashioned Way with Musical Chairs

#NaBloPoMo Day 29 Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Musical Chairsprescott-musical-chairs167

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?

You sit in a seat, go up and down, and giggle to the sound of music.
You sit in a seat, go up and down, and giggle as the music plays and the platform turns.

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.

prescott-musical-chairs164

Don’t you love the old-fashioned figures riding this merry-go-round?

prescott-musical-chairs168

He looks like he’s having fun. the horse may be even singing to him.

prescott-musical-chairs167

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.

prescott-musical-chairs160

This teddy bear picture reminded me of a Victorian poem, “The Swing,” that my grandmother used to recite to me.

The Swing
How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
   Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
   Over the countryside—
Till I look down on the garden green,
   Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
   Up in the air and down!
The poem has been set to music. Here is one rendition.
For more musical chairs check out Cee’s Fun Fotos.
CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.
CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.

How to Bury Your Head in the Sand

#NaBloPoMo Day 27, Cee’s Oddball Challenge

Ignore the Nagging Question, “Why Bury Your Head in the Sand!”

At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes, she actually dug a hole and thrust her head inside and stayed there.

Her mom said, “Oh, she does this ALL the time!”

OK, but isn’t that unhealthy. I’ve heard of not breathing bad air, but bad sand?

But the reality is…

Avial Beach beckoned
Avial Beach beckoned

Kalev was disturbed by the digging.

“She looks like me, Dad. I don’t want sand in my nose! Do I HAVE to do that, too?”

head-in-sand101

Nonetheless, the digging continued.

Hard at work
Hard at work

Sandy Nose did not seem to mind that I took her picture.

The disturbing task finished.
The disturbing task finished.

It must smell fishy, clammy, or something delicious.

Did you catch that?
Did you catch that? Should I take a bow?

Yep, she really did it, and she wanted to know that we were watching her.

The final pose
The final pose

Sandy Nose looked at me for one final pose before she moved on to her next antic.

Dogs may be off leash at Avila Beach before 10:00 am and after 5:00 pm daily.

To make these pictures and my two short video clips into a video I used iMovie and Free Music Archive.

My friend Darlene and I walked the main street in Sedona this morning on our girl’s week out vacation. OH NO!

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For more Oddball pictures, See Cee’s Oddball Challenge.

Cee's OddBall

Did You Know Some National Parks Open Every Day Except Christmas?

Montezuma Castle National Monument for One

#NaBloPoMo Cee’s Which Way Challenge, #Sedona trip#1,

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.

Trail at the foot of Montezuma Castle National Monument off US Interstate 17
Trail at the foot of Montezuma Castle National Monument off US Interstate 17 in Verde Valley, AZ

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.

Darlene stops to read each informative sign along the path.
My friend Darlene stops to read each informative sign along the path.

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.

Visitors from China and Porterville, CA shared the path with us on Thanksgiving morning.
Visitors from China and Porterville, CA shared the path with us on Thanksgiving morning.

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.

Will ours?

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

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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.

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