Thursday, February 26, 2009


Sheesh! I though we were done with this stuff. I guess mother nature has her own ideas, and has sent us that frozen pellet kinda stuff, which is going to be fun to drive on this morning, as I go to work.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Loveliest of trees, the cherry now..."

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

Whenever I see buds on cherry trees, I am instantly transported back in time, to sitting at a much used, kid initialed, wooden desk, in a classroom at an old school.

I clearly see, in my minds eye, my lesson book on the desk. This book, as were all others we used to write our lessons in, were about 8 X 10 inches, lined, the pages stapled to the cover through the center page and were covered, as was required, with wallpaper or some such material. Most of the kids used wallpaper, which, besides being attractive, made it easy to spy your book in the pile left by the teacher after she/he had finished grading your work.

Back to what I was seeing in my minds eye. I can see my lesson book on the desk in front of me, the poem written on the left side of the page, in what I thought was my very best handwriting, and to the right of the poem a beautiful drawing of a cherry tree in full bloom, with very green grass, and yellow flowers growing around the base of the tree. I am sure the flowers were daffodils, as we were also learning the poem The Daffodils, by William Wordsworth. This particular teacher was really into poetry, much to the disgust of some of the students, especially the boys.

Ahhh ! memories, aren't they grand?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Masks of the Borucan Indians

On Wednesday the 18th I was fortunate to get the last seat available, on a bus trip to the Flower and Garden show in Seattle. One exhibit showed the beautiful art masks of the Borucan Indians of Costa Rica.

These brightly-painted masks are carved from a single piece of locally grown cedar or balsa wood, and represent the brilliant flora and fauna of the Costa Rican forests.

The outline of the animals or plants of the masks is drawn on a piece of balsa wood.
Each mask usually includes the face of a Borucan shaman or forest protector, surrounded by orchids, birds-of-paradise, neon-colored frogs, exotic toucans and quetzal birds, and often a jaguar. After the objects are sketched, they are roughed out and then more finely carved, with every piece rendered in 3D.

It takes about a week to make one mask.

Mask-making among the Boruca predates the Spanish Conquest. The art form evolved with mask-making to celebrate "Danza de Los Diablitos" or Dance of the Devils, representing a stylized battle against European invaders in which the Boruca emerge victorious.

The ancient craft, however, was dying until one master carver, Ismael Gonzalez Lazaro, began a program to teach the techniques to younger members. Soon, the young carvers began filling out their masks with the beautiful plants and animals thatsurround them, and thus was born the hybrid "masca ecologia" -- ecological mask

I would have bought one, two or possibly more of these beautiful works of art, but sadly the were way out of my price range. The cost for a 12 inch mask was around $450. perhaps when I win the lotto *grin*

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rocket - A tribute

Rocket- 1998- 2/17/2009

Rocket was the most extraordinary cat I have ever had the joy of knowing. He arrived here at Castle Completely, as a very young kitten, in the hands of our dear friend Lorie.

One day, back in 1998, my honey, MrC. who was still feeling very sad due to having lost another kitty, answered a knock on the door, and upon opening it, was surprised when a hand thrust a little black bundle of fur into his hands and a voice said "you need this"

Our friend Lorie, happened to see, someone dump a box of kittens behind a grocery store, she rushed to pick them up, but only managed to catch one, and knew instantly where this scared little kitten would find a loving home, even if the person she planned on giving it to, was saying they did not want another cat

When MrC saw the kitten, he said he really did not want another kitty, but Lorie decided the fate of the kitten right there, by getting into her vehicle and driving off, to leave MrC and the scared little kitten get acquainted.

Mr C says animals usually let
you know what their name should be. Right from the moment the little black kitten arrived at Castle Completely, rather than walking, he ran everywhere, hence the name Rocket.

Rocket had many toys, simple things like a piece of electrical wire he would carry around in his mouth, dropping it where we would have to walk over it. Of course he usually was close by when we would step over his piece of wire, in the hope we would pick it up and toss it across the room or down the hallway, so he could chase after it. To our delight, quite often he would retrieve the wire, and bring it back to us, so we could toss it again. I told you he was an extraordinary cat.

On several occasions, MrC awoke in the middle of the night feeling hungry. The first time it happened, he went out to the kitchen to get himself a snack, and discovered Rocket sitting by his
empty food dish. My honey put food in Rocket's dish, decided he wasn't hungry after all, and came back to bed. The second time it happened we thought perhaps, this kitty was telepathic, the third time it happened we knew for sure. *chuckle* From then on Rocket always had a little food in his dish when we went to bed.

I am sure Rocket looked forward to Christmas, as this was the time the Santa kitty, would bring him his favorite gift, tissue paper. Lots of tissue paper, to roll on, to shred with sharp claws and to play with, until there was nothing left but shreds which seemed to slowly disappear as the weeks went by.

When my honey was so ill last November - December, Rocket spent every day and night sleeping on the bed, close by, watching over him only leaving his side for food, water and potty breaks. This illustrates the bond which grew over the years between MrC and Rocket. They understood each other, Rocket using sounds, what MrC referred to as words, a communication between the two of them you had to see and hear to appreciate.

Rest in Peace

Please click Here to leave a message for MrC

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What kind of romantic am I?

Once in a while, just for fun, and out of curiosity, I answer the questions in one of the hundreds of silly surveys out there. Most times, I think the results are way off. This time the results are fairly accurate.

You're a nurturing romantic.

To you, romance is about supporting each other -- cooking a nice meal for your beloved, laughing at his corny jokes, or pretending to like his crazy relatives. You like flowers and chocolates just fine, but would prefer hand-picked posies to an expensive florist's bouquet, and homemade cookies to anything at the Godiva shop. It's the same with anniversaries or romantic getaways: you like them, but what really brings out your romantic nature is fluffing his pillows when he's sick. Similarly, you swoon when he fixes your stuck window, or even helps you fold the laundry. Your deep understanding that true love means caring for one another is sure to bring you a rich and lasting relationship. Just be sure you don't get too cozy -- enjoy your party of two, but don't let it shut out the rest of the world.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Not much to report

I really haven't much to report on this past week's activities. I have had a busy week working and then coming home to take care of the usual chores. Our cat, Rocket is still hanging in there. We took him back to the vet, so we could be shown how to give him fluids at home, thereby saving expensive visits to the clinic every day. Fortunately, we have a friend who is a retired RN, so she stops by every day to administer the fluids.
Today, MrC and I are going to drive up to Oak Harbor for dinner. MrC has been working very long hours for several weeks, along with taking care of our sick kitty. Our stress levels have risen, so taking some time for ourselves is essential.

Monday, February 02, 2009

An Atheist in the Woods...

An atheist was walking through the woods.
"What majestic trees"!
"What powerful rivers"!
"What beautiful animals"!
He said to himself.
As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him.

He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.

At that instant the Atheist cried out, "Oh my God!"

Time Stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. "You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident." "Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer"?
The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now , but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian"?

"Very Well," said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:

"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A tough week, and it is not over yet.

Blogging has been, to say the least, very light this past week. What with shuffling my work schedule around, so we could take our sick kitty to the vet a couple of times, and then coming down with a cold it has been a busy, tiring week

Our Kitty, Rocket, who is 11 years old, was acting very lethargic last Sunday, and was more so on Monday. MrC and I felt this was unusual for Rocket, so we took him to the vet. As the vet checked him over he could feel something out of the ordinary in Rocket's abdomen. After taking a blood sample and an ex-ray to determine what he had felt with his hands, the vet showed MrC. and I the ex-ray which showed a mass in Rockets abdomen. Surgery was scheduled for early Tuesday morning.
We received a call from the veterinary clinic early on Tuesday, to say that Rocket's blood work showed he had an infection, so we took him back into the clinic to have some fluids and the first of a series of antibiotics administered.
We will be taking Rocket back in to the vet, probably for another blood test, to see if the infection has been decreased by the antibiotics, so surgery can be performed. Sadly, there is still no guarantee that Rocket will survive, it all comes down to what the vet finds and what he can do about it.