Piggles Again

Yesterday I got a comment from TOM, the other Marcia, and she told me I needed a tablet and a stylus to draw.  Since she is an artist, and I definitely am not, I decided to try it.  V dropped me off at Best Buy, and they told me that I needed a Bamboo tablet.  They were only $99.00, and I decided that would be worth the amount of entertainment I would get from it.  So it came home with me.

After going through the tutorial ad nauseum, I wondered if I could draw a house for Piggles.  It looked like a square with a triangle on top.  So, NO.  There are no images in my mind for houses.  I have to see pictures, I guess.  So I went back to Piggles, and drew her again, using the same photograph, but this time using the stylus, and coloring in a background color.

Piggles was my favorite guinea pig of all times.
Piggles was my favorite guinea pig of all times.

So here is the Old Piggles, drawn with the mouse

Piggles 2

And here is the new Piggles, drawn with the stylus.  You can see that I am still not an artist. I just don’t have the eye, but it was my best try for as long as I want to sit doing it.  You can tell me what you think.

Featured Blog

Featured Blog

This seems the perfect place to feature my new friend, Marcia, or T.O.M. as she calls herself. There must be something to the name because she is married to Mark, and my first husband was named Mark.  Very coincidental.  So it only makes sense that since she taught me about this product and gave me a mini-art lesson that I should feature her blog.  Like my other friend Darla Welchel, who I plan to feature later this week – warning Darla, I’ll be over camping on your site, Marcia loves to read and review books.  I get one book read, and they probably are reading 10.  The important thing is that the books get read and reviewed.

Marcia's site

The other interest that she and I are sharing is writing.  I am so new at this sport as well, in spite of writing for a living in my job, teaching writing to children, having a few articles published in journals and magazines, and even a few pieces of poetry.  Books are a different matter.  Marcia, however, is all over art work.  She emailed me some of her work, and they are astounding.  You are just going to have to discover T.O.M. for yourself.  She’s astounding.  Too bad she’s not single, Ralph!  She’s got a great sense of humor, too.

Book Review: The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony

This book, The Elephant Whisperer, kept me on the edge of my seat the entire two days it took me to finish it.

Considering that I was reading it on my cell phone the whole time because my Kindle needs to be emptied before I can load any more books, it’s amazing that I even stuck it out.   Out of forty-two chapters, there wasn’t a single dud.  I read it because I was intrigued when someone  wrote that when Lawrence Anthony died, the elephants mourned.

We all have problems and obstacles when we follow our dreams, but this man had more than most.  He bought a 5,000 acre game reserve in Zululand, South Africa called Thula Thula.  He had the ability to get, not only wild elephants to listen to him, but also local police, local political leaders including tribal leaders from warring tribes.  He conquered poaching problems, floods, and built a thriving lodge in the midst of this reserve full of all kinds of wild animals, the largest being the elephants.

These desperate, wild elephants uprooted trees weighing several tons and crashed through electric fencing to escape the reserve and run free in towns and countryside where EVERYONE from poachers to police wanted to shoot them.  The logistics of capturing, transporting and keeping animals of this strength and determination were mind-boggling.  His story of training and taming them without domesticating them kept me transfixed and absorbed for about two days.

One of the major characteristics that comes out about Lawrence Anthony besides his ability to work hard in horrible circumstances, is his humility.  He credited everyone for the wonderful ways they contributed to his project, and in so doing inspired immense loyalty.  Possibly just as amazing was his companion, Franςoise.  She combatted snakes, and nursed a dying 280 pound baby elephant in her spare bedroom – well the run of the house, actually.  She ran the lodge, made and served gourmet French cuisine, and finally after living with the man who didn’t mind having elephant slobber all over his body for 15 years planned and executed their surprise wedding.

Elephants and the Common Core

Remembering that the Common Core is all about non-fiction, and integrating science, social studies, and technology, this book will do it all – especially if students are reading it on their iPhones as I was.  In spite of it’s length this is an engaging read for upper elementary students and above.  It is also a great one to engage male readers, who statistically respond both to animals and adventure.

Anthony’s story of survival, love, adventure, drama, and caring for both animals, the environment and culture of the people will inspire and challenge everyone to meet their own challenges with courage and innovation.

Featured Blog

Featured BlogThe perfect blog to feature today is one of another adventurer, Amy at shareandconnect.  I have heaped awards on Amy’s shoulders, and I have enjoyed her company, her uplifting comments on my blog for many months, but tonight I spent time just thumbing through her blog, reading the back pages, and the more I read, the more I liked.  This wonder woman has been everywhere.  If it has a trail, she climbed it.  If it’s beautiful, she’s photographed it.

Here’s a peek.  You are going to want to set aside some time and just go browse in her museum of photos.

You can thank me later because you’ll be richer for it!  Enjoy Share and Connect, you’ll be glad you connected.  🙂  Marsha

 

Happy Ohio Star

A few months into retirement, my goals are slowly coming to fruition.  I started quilting with Carmen, my friend who retired last year, and wanted to bring My Ohio Star Quilt to completion.  That proved to be easier said than done.

Ready to Go Ohio Star

I proudly took my ready to go quilt to Barbara Graham, my wonderful quilter.  It was to be ready in a week.  In a little over a week, she called me telling me that there was a LITTLE problem, but it was correctable.  I sadly took my quilt back home, and ripped off the edge that unsquared my quilt.

Ripped Ohio Star

Now Ohio Star is back home, complete and beautiful, and Barbara Graham will be my quilter for whatever project I ever do from now on.  She took pity on me when I returned my quilt the second time.  When she put it together, she discovered that the back of my quilt was also not square.  So instead of calling me again, she didn’t want to discourage me, so she had her daughter fix it for me.

Belavista Bears001

Now Ohio Star is at home on the bed, but just for a while.  It is a summer quilt, and I just wanted to show it off to all of you.  I couldn’t wait until summer.

Belavista Bears002

As I started showing it off, the bears got rowdy.  First the two that normally sit on the headboard, that at one time got into a terrible row with each other – a story that is worthy of its own post.

Belavista Bears004

Nurse Rabbit and her baby jumped right in.  Notice that they sat right next to boy bear.  That’s part of the story.

Manny jumps in

Then of course Manny joined the fray along with his own little bear that came to keep him company.

Kalev is not pleased!!!

Somebody else was less than pleased about this bedlam.

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It wasn’t long before Sweetie Pie and her clan climbed on board.

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Then friends of friends, that hadn’t really been part of the original clan jumped off the mantle and came over.  Another certain someone still wasn’t impressed.

Belavista Bears018

However, one of them smelled like one of her favorite girls, little Miss Chloe, better known as Mono, Choco, or the Monkey.

Missy Kitty and her baby joined in

Missy Kitty heard the excitement from the spare bedroom, and she carried her baby over to crash the party.

Manny, the gentleman

But Manny, always the gentleman, always concerned for the one who’s left out, went back to the spare bedroom and carried Mary Louise into our room so she wouldn’t feel left out.  She was my Grandma Golda’s doll.

Dr. Manny

Unfortunately she’s seen some hard times, and at one point in her life she broke her foot.  Manny, typical to his sweet nature, brought her foot to my attention, but Mary Louise quickly covered it up again.  I tried to explain to Manny that Mary Louise’s foot has been broken for many years, and she’s been stubborn about going to the doctor to get it fixed.

Belavista Bears032

At some point the bears, rabbits and kitties, and even Kalev quieted down, ashamed that they had been so rowdy when poor old Mary Louise sat so calmly in spite of any pains she might have been having.  They all rallied around her, and then went back to their rooms.

Belavista Bears035

It couldn’t have been soon enough for the Little Miss Puppy Girl.

Featured Blog

Featured Blog

Guess who started a blog?  Sir!!!  I reblogged his first post, so that you would get to know him quickly.  http://wp.me/p31FPU-M

I’ve been reading stories about Sir for about 6 months now from his wonderful blogger daughter, the briny lass, Autty Jade.  His first story looks like a hit, and I’m sure we’re in for some real treats as he gets his Blog legs under him.  Welcome to the Blogosphere, Sir  🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Delicate suggests many diverse meanings. Curiously, now and again what seems delicate may actually be quite strong, and conversely, when something appears heavy, mechanical, sturdy or awkward may have delicate functions, characteristics, or aspects.  Here are some of my choices for the many meanings of delicate.  How many of them might at the same time be surprisingly durable, hardy, vigorous or unyielding?

1. Pleasing to the senses, especially in a subtle way,  and
2. Very subtle in difference or distinction.  With its delicate beauty this dainty, paper-thin blossom, tinged with a hint of pink, entices human admirers as it attracts and feeds tiny insects.
flower with delicate pink tinged petals.
flower with delicate pink tinged petals.
3. Exquisitely fine or dainty:  I am especially enamored with spider webs.  After a light rain, these delicate strings sparkle like diamonds.  All the while they seem delicate, spider webs capture insects, weather strong winds and rain, and even resist persistent humans who try to destroy them.
Delicate 4
4. Frail in constitution or health.  Like any elderly living thing, fallen leaves lose their suppleness as they age.  When they first fall, they are colorful, and easy to gather.  After a few months their delicate, frail forms crunch and break easily when touched.  Even in their broken condition, they function as fertilizer and conditioner to improve the soil and retain its valuable moisture.
Delicate2
5. Requiring tactful treatment: a delicate situation.  Most people consider a flag of the United States a symbol of strength, not something fragile or delicate, but I would argue that the delicate experiment of our democratic government is always only one generation from total collapse.  If citizens are not vigil, the rights and privileges we enjoy in the United States can disappear.
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6. Easily broken or damaged.  I took many pictures as workmen replaced our 30-40 year old furnace with an efficient new model.  One of the men asked for my pictures.  He told me that working on a roof with a crane swinging a heavy HVAC unit towards them was extremely delicate work.  One false move with the powerful arm of the crane, and the installers could be knocked off the roof, or the unit or roof structure ruined.  Until I talked to him, I would not have thought of this as a delicate task, but he changed my thinking.
installing a heating/air conditioning unit
installing a heating/air conditioning unit
Another delicate operation is archaeology.  In Jamestown students worked alongside experienced archaeologists to uncover secrets buried in the settlement established in 1607.    Nothing here looked very delicate, but once they dug a large area down to a specific level, they started working with brushes and spoons rather than shovels, being very careful not to destroy fragile artifacts.  
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7. Marked by sensitivity of discrimination:
a. Considerate of the feelings of others.
b. Concerned with propriety.
c. Squeamish or fastidious.
These students reenacted the giants in the women’s suffrage movement.  Although considered the delicate sex, the suffragists  showed amazing strength in the face of danger and harsh punishment.
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8. Fine or soft in touch or skill.  Although the dandelion seeds are delicate to the touch, the dichotomy is that these hardy seeds weather strong winds, travel great distances, and  reproduce many offspring.
Dandelions have delicate
Dandelions have delicate
9. precise, skilled, or sensitive in action or operation: Kalev got burrs stuck all around her mouth.  Taking them out was a delicate matter because they were so close to her sensitive mouth.  We didn’t have scissors, so we had to pull her tangled fur off each bur.  A park ranger came to our rescue with a pair of surgical scissors, but even that was a delicate operation.  Even if Kalev had been sedated for the delicate procedure, which she wasn’t, there was so little space between her skin and the bur that we could have easily cut her skin instead.  We had to cut the bur into pieces, then pull gently.  Success!!! 
Delicate- Kalev's bur removal operation
The dichotomy of delicacy intrigued me almost as much as the search for pictures to match the many definitions of delicate.
For more delicate pictures click here.
Featured Blog
Sydney Fong is a funny guy from Singapore.  I don’t mean he’s funny looking or acting or weird, but just plain funny.  If you’ve read my blog, you know that I dearly love humor at the expense of almost all other things – even history.  However, Sydney also has a soft spot in his heart as you will see with some of his posts.   He hates violence, and loves the environment.  What better combination can you get than that!  Go to his most popular posts first.  My favorite is, “Shall We Go for a Stroll?  Let me tell you, if you go for a stroll with this architectural artist, you’ll end up needing stitches – in your side from giggling. I also loved Paw Driving.
Kalev liked this picture from Sydney’s blog, so if you want to see more like this, go visit his site.

Christmas Sweater

When my first husband, Mark, went to Bible College, and worked, and worked some more, I worked at the college as a secretary, and had such fun with the other four secretaries that worked in the office with me.  They were the ones that refused to  bake me a birthday cake, but gave me the best birthday party ever.  During the long, cold Colorado nights while Mark worked, my neighbor, Lois, labored to teach me how to knit.  And finally I became pretty good.  One of my first successes was this sweater, which now is all stretched out of shape and pilled with age.  I keep it as a reminder of those days.

sweater 1

I think I wore this sweater on my birthday.  The other four ladies in the office said, “Make us a sweater for Christmas, Marsha.”  Since my birthday is November 7th, I knew THAT was an impossibility for newbie knitter me.  BUT they kept after me, “Have you started our sweaters yet, Marsha.”  “I want a pink one.”  “I want a yellow one.”   And on and on it went until Christmas.

So I came with a solution.  I DID knit a sweater – ONE sweater for all of them.  I got it done, too.  Well, all but sewing it together.  I gave one of them a beautifully packed arm, another one got the second arm, one got the front, and the last one got the back!  Were they every surprised when they opened their Christmas presents!   And I laughed out loud!!!

The anti-climax of that story was that I had to knit three more sweaters before my husband graduated in May.  I’ll tell you, I was so busy!!!  But all four women got their sweaters.  Then Harriette in the business office said, “I’d just like a vest, Marsha”  So I made her a vest.  Then Dorothy in the library said, “I’d like a sweater like your pink one.”  So I made her a pink sweater which was a much more complicated pattern.   I finished those after we had moved to California to take our pastorate, along with a cardigan sweater made from the beautiful Australian yarn that my friend Janet brought me back from her trip.  Finally my patient husband, Mark, said, “You’ve never made me a sweater.”  He wanted an Irish knit sweater which would have been beautiful.  I got the front, back, and one sleeve done, and put the button holes on the wrong side.  After that I never knitted again until two years ago.  And I’ve never made another sweater.

Would you have?

Featured Blog

Today’s featured blog,  Cycling Grandma, writes about her talented 3-year-old grandson’s first hair cut, and the hair is donated to charity.  Lisa Winkler is an amazing, active woman with a heart of gold.  In just a few clicks of a mouse you can see that this blog isn’t just about her, and selling her books, although she is an author. Besides writing books and a blog, raising kids, grandkids and cycling, Lisa worked as a reporter, taught middle school, and was a literacy consultant.  Yes, another teacher!  She also has a professional website advertising you books http://www.lisakwinkler.com/.  Black Cowboys Ride Across America looks like a must read for me.  There has to be some history in that book!!!!

Lisa Winkler's grandson
Lisa Winkler’s grandson

So check our Lisa’s  out, and tell me if I didn’t make a good choice for today’s featured blog.  So is Simon Isaiah really playing the violin at age 3????