Wednesday, April 15, 2015

AstroWives: The Women Who Helped Pave The Way To The Future


It’s no secret I am always on the lookout for a good book. A few years ago I found one I thought my mother might like. So I bought it, and I sent it to her. She was delighted.  Said it was the perfect read. At the time I also bought a copy for myself. But I put mine in the bookshelf, unread and forgot about it. At night I like to sit on my porch and look up at the stars. I have always had a fascination with Outer Space and our travels there.  I remember well, man landing on the moon and what a triumph that was. I remember the stories of the Russian woman who orbited the Earth, pregnant.  I believe this thing called LIFE is bigger than us here on Earth. We are not alone. I think life besides ours, exists in that great big Universe out there. It simply has to… with all those billions of planets and stars. And I am convinced the survival of humanity depends on us pushing beyond our planet to find it and other habitable places to live. I am excited about the talk of putting men on Mars in the next 20 years. And I am thrilled we have probes circling the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto today. Our country wastes so much money on trivial things. I think NASA and our government should be bankrolling space exploration, full speed ahead, like John F. Kennedy wanted. In the big scheme of things, I think it’s important for mankind to venture where it’s never been before, much like our ancestors did. With that said, I stumbled on the book I had put away. It was there staring me in the face. So I began reading. It is called THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB by LILY KOPPEL. (Behind every man is a good woman.) It is the true story of the young military wives that were catapulted into history when their husband’s became America’s first ASTRONAUTS. Almost overnight these women became role models and fashion icons of a generation. And because of the danger of their husband's missions, they became each other's support systems. It is a wonderful read. It takes you back to a time and place where anything was possible. Where people tried to achieve the impossible and did.... paving the way for the future. I haven’t been able to put this book down. Pick yourself up a copy. I guarantee you’ll love it too.

http://www.astronautwivesclub.com/

One of my blog buddies told me it's been made into a TV drama. If it stays true to the book it should be good.

http://www.nola.com/tv/index.ssf/2015/02/abcs_astronaut_wives_club_mini.html

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

NIGHTTIME IS A HOOT


Late one summer night, about eight years ago, I heard a ruckus in the front yard. I thought it was teenagers playing around, imitating camp noises. When I went outside to look… I was surprised by what I saw. Turns out I was wrong. It wasn’t kids after all. It was a Great Horned Owl. It stuck around for the rest of that summer and then disappeared when winter rolled around. But the following spring, it came back for a return engagement. And it’s been a fixture here at our place ever since. By and large, this elusive bird only ventures out at night to catch it’s prey. The bigger the better. (It hunts rodents, bats, skunks, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels.) But every now and then, I catch a glimpse of it, in the daylight or around dusk. However, it never stays put long enough for me to take a photograph. Talk about frustrating. Unfortunately this year… our friend the owl… has taken up residence, in the tree, right outside our bedroom window. And... as a result, we are having some pretty restless nights. It keeps waking us up with his/her noisemaking, at the most ungodly hours... shrieking on, and on, and on.The Great Horned Owl’s hoot female or male… is an eerie guttural sound that will frighten the bejesus out of you, if you are unfamiliar with it. Legends and myths say that such creatures foretell death or great fortune. I am hoping it’s the latter. Is there something that disturbs your sleep during the wee hours of the morning?  




Thursday, April 2, 2015

HAPPY EASTER. SOME BUNNY LOVES YOU


Growing up… Easter was always a happy time. A time of renewal. It was a dress up occasion in my family. I donned an Easter bonnet, fancy dress,  pretty gloves and white patent leather shoes. Before heading off to church, early in the morning, we got to see what the Easter Bunny brought us. It was always a rainbow basket, wrapped with colored cellophane paper. It was filled with green grass, decorated hardboiled eggs, a chocolate cross, hollow panorama sugar eggs and a sandwich bag full of jellybeans, that would spill out and get tangled up in the shiny grass. The tradition continued well into my teens, thanks to my mom. When I was much older, married with a couple children of my own… my grandmother died. It was around Easter. Although more years, than I care to mention… have passed since then… the hurt of missing her, lingers. So… whenever the holiday rolls around… I think of her, with fond memories, one in particular.  She had a tough life. When my grandpa died she had to give up everything she had… and had to move in with my mom, dad, brother and I… because she couldn’t afford to live on her own. That meant we got to come over to her house to help her downsize. There were lots of prized possessions that were designated trash and went out to the curb. But upstairs I found something that really caught my eye. It was hidden treasure. It was trivial in the big scheme of things... but it was something pretty extraordinary to me… as a little girl, exploring this big old house my Nana lived in. Tucked carefully away, in the back of a closet… was a pretty Easter Basket. It was different from the one the Easter Bunny usually gave me, so it stood out. But I shrieked with delight when I saw what was inside it. In it was an unopened bag of beautiful PINK grass. I had never seen PINK Easter grass before. (I daresay, none of my friends had either, because they all celebrated Passover. I couldn’t wait to show them.) This discovery was amazing. PINK GRASS. It was magical. The stuff of fairytales. (Today you see pink everywhere, but back then you didn't.) I tenderly fondled it, as it crackled beneath my fingertips. Imagine that? PINK GRASS. I just knew my Nana had been saving it, especially for me, because ordinary GREEN grass wouldn’t do. No, that grass had to be something special. So PINK it was. Back in the day when conformity ruled, my grandmother DARED to be different. And that left a lasting message on my heart, one that puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step to this day. ENJOY your EASTER and PASSOVER. HAPPY! HAPPY!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

FROZEN


I have avoided my favorite place in the whole world... all through November, December, January and February... because of the weather. I have missed the joy it brings me, so I decided a quick trip was in order, to see it again, despite the temps. So, bundled in my winter coat… off we headed to the LAKE for lunch. It was 30 degrees outside. Wind chill made it feel cooler. I’m convinced we are going straight from winter… into summer at some point, and skipping SPRING altogether… since it has yet to arrive. Couldn’t believe the lake is FROZEN, heading into Easter Sunday, but it is.  Apparently... all the local birds are still vacationing down south... because we did not see one. Later this week... it’s supposed to go up to 50, maybe 60 degrees here. I’m not holding my breath, though. Last week the weatherman said we’d only get flurries and we got three inches of snow. I want warm days, blue skies, flowers blooming and sun shining. And I'm going to throw a HISSY FIT until I get them. What about you?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TO A ONE OF A KIND LADY, MY MOM

a grandma and great grandma too

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 

(A lady never tells her age, even when it's a MILESTONE like this one)

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” 

from your LOVING family

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?


It has been a long, cold harsh winter. Temps were frigid for days on end. Now at long last, they are starting to normalize a bit, warming ever so slightly. Cabin Fever is over because the snow has stopped and I can get out and about. But I decided I was in need of a pick me up. So I went looking for a little spring. Where better to do that, than at the local garden shop. I figured the bright colors and fragrant blooms would lift my spirits and make the winter doldrums go away. However, I discovered nothing but rows and rows of empty shelves at the store, inside and out. No plants or pretty flowers to be had, anywhere. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement for sure. The calendar says spring is here. But the snow still on the ground says not yet. Are you ready for spring? Has it sprung where you’re at?

Monday, March 16, 2015

LUCK OF THE IRISH

(click to enlarge)

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY