Friday, June 22, 2012

A British Birthday Bash


You are going to be subjected to some
chronological zig-zags

over the next few posts.

Not an ideal way to go about things, but there's definitely good material.


At this juncture, I'm going to share my first day in Oxford.

Jill - DIL Extraordinaire - put together
a British birthday party
for Grace's 1st and Arian's 33rd.

Take a look at Grace's 200% focus on those candles!

Notice the firm grip on Mr. Kenneth who wants to TAKE ACTION - NOW.

"Okay, kids. You can blow now!"

What could be better than watching a 1 year-old ATTACK a birthday cake?

Kenneth absolutely ADORES Baby Grace!

After all, everything she does is soooooooo cute.

Course #101: Riding Toys

A certain someone figured he could just HIDE,

when it was time for Grace to have a birthday photo alone.

Well, it sorta worked.

The evening wouldn't have been complete
without a stint on the BUCKING BRONCO.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ephesus, Turkey

I snapped this shot in the ancient city of Ephesus, Turkey.

Six weeks later, the photo below was taken of Arian's family.

Yep. He's following in my footsteps, that kid of mine!

I can't imagine doing Ephesus with one, two, three little munchkins,
but these dear parents have been blessed with the Spirit of Adventure, in healthy doses.

Actually, they didn't follow me ONLY to Ephesus.

Add . . . Istanbul, Venice, Santorini (Greece) and stops in Croatia.

It's fair to assume that they pushed that stroller over some of the very same cobblestones where I ambled, just weeks ahead of them.

But there's one thing they did which I did NOT do:

Hand-washed, fresh-air dried laundry.
My daughter-in-law Jill is an 1st class laundress
. . . even when she's in 2nd world countries like Croatia, as documented above.


I'm going to tell about Ephesus from MY humble viewpoint, no kids in tow.

The facade of the Library of Celsus (captured in the first two photos) is absolutely massive.

Here's just one of several statues located behind the huge columns.
It's considered to be the personification of Virtue - something I plan to work on during my next life.

The library contained 12,000 scrolls which were destroyed in a fire, year 262 A.D.

Not one back-up file.


This is gorgeous relief is over the entrance of the Temple of Hadrian.

It's memorialized on the 20 MILLION Turkish Lira banknote.

That's a 20,000,000 Liras on 1piece of paper money. Worth $10, U.S.

And we complain about inflation?

These final shots may not seem like much, but they exhilarate me.

It's a tile floor in a terraced home built by the Romans in the 1st Century B.C.

- at least 20 feet long and 7 or 8 feet tall.

Archeologists uncovered six of these terraced houses over the last five years.
All of them have intricately tiled murals on the floors.

I can't help but speculate about the ancient treasures still awaiting discovery.

As a child, I'd dig deep down in the dirt, hoping to find buried treasures. Didn't you?

Another tiled floor with a mural of a lion - uncovered in 2008.

Really, they are down there. Waiting for us.

Friday, June 15, 2012

From My Living Room Window

After my super-sized trip,
it was soooo nice to simply sit in the living room
and gaze out the window with a cup of twig tea in my hand.

A pair of robins were building a nest,
just an arm-length away from the deck.

Within a few days, I had a front row seat as the mama bird sat contentedly on her eggs.

Soon the babies arrived and the feeding began, keeping both Mom and Dad quite busy.

What a labor of love!

Only one hatchling out of two survived.

Oh but that one was a VERY demanding little critter.

Watching this little feathery creature pass through babyhood, toddlerhood, the middle years and even the teen years
in a just a few precious days,
well, it brought me a great deal of pleasure.

Parting Shot:

My goddaughter Vic twirling around in her new dress in the back yard.

Irrelevant, but darling!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sevilla, Spain

In 2006, my friends in Spain took me on a surprise trip to Andalusia.

We arrived in Sevilla during the Feria which was an unforgettable experience.

I took the above photos back in '06, long before I was blogging.

I was back in Sevilla this spring. Without the Feria, there was a chance to see other offerings of the city.

Back in the 10th century, the Moors built a fortress and a mosque in Sevilla.

Then, when the Spaniards recaptured the city in the 1400s, they converted it to a cathedral and a palace.

Still, much of the Moorish architecture remains intact.

On the ship, I made friends with a vibrant artist with astonishing necklaces and hats.

Her name is:

When I forgot my camera one day, Lis promised to sketch our adventures and send them to me.

"Don't worry about the camera, Ginger. You have me!"

Anyhoooo, Liz loves Moorish architecture and she gives it a vibrant twist in her paintings:

Pretty fantastical interpretation, don't you think?

The Real Stuff isn't always so kaleidoscopic,

but the patterns can be equally dizzying.

The Spanish King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia use the castle as a 2nd residence.

If I were the Queen, I'd come when the wisteria is blooming.

The fragrance is absolutely DIVINE.

There are some gnarly ole trees in the garden.

Now that's CHARACTER!

The cathedral is magnificent - the largest in the world., if you ignore St. Peters.

Despite it's greatness, the poor apostles have to suffer endless indignities with the local bird life.

These sacrilegious pigeons know no bounds!

I mean, seriously, would you like to be stuck there,
unable to do anything about birds landing on your head and using it for a toilet?

The solemnity of the apostles in stone has now been transformed into a comical scene.

There are some poor stone carvers rolling over their graves.

The Plaza de Espana is lined with lots of tiled alcoves representing the provinces of Spain.

I chose to photograph mural of Avila because I looooove that part of Spain

Here's a shot taken in Avila in 2010 with dear Quique Cantos:

I've known Quique since he was a mischievous little kid and his mom was tearing out her hair because of him.

Nevertheless, he grew up to be a really nice guy and has a jewel of a wife and two fine sons.

Did I ever mention, Spain is my second home?

Taken in 1973.

With the same friend in 2010.

A piece of my heart was planted in Spain a long time ago and there it remains.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


You'll be getting more cool stuff about my travels before the week is out.

Meanwhile, here's a mini-peek of a recent activity with my Lovely Lassies who I mentor in my church 'calling'.

Tug of War was a hit.

We borrowed an old boat rope for the activity,
and it transformed into a jump rope . . .
after about twelve fiercely fought rounds of tugging and squealing and slipping and falling on behinds.

And then there were the foot races.

Take note of the concentration manifested on the face of the girl in the foreground.
She's got that forward-tilting movement on her side. But, surprisingly, the little gal won that round.

Notice the "Ready, Set, Go" boss-woman, holding her water pistol high in the air - BELOW.

Oh what POWER!

My goddaughter Victoria was bunking at my place and strolled over for the fun, as did Chica the dog.

This sweet park is owned by our neighborhood, not the city, and we maintain it.

My grown kids fondly remember playing night games there during their childhoods.

From my front porch, I can sometimes hear yet another generation of kids out there during the evening hours.

The old games still get passed on.

It's heartwarming, for certain.

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