Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stream of Consciousness (V0l Who The Heck Knows)

Here it is, almost 7p on a Thursday night and I have written no blog post for the day.

And I haven’t really even thought about it all that much which shows you where my head is at. I had a photo shoot this morning. I ran errands. I came home and fell asleep while reading Bonhoeffer. That is absolutely NOT a knock against the book, it is really fabulous so far. AND I was able to go and hear the author, Eric Metaxas, speak last night. He had them rolling in the aisles.

Who knew.

But as usual I am dealing with my “post trip” ennui.

I love that word.


It just seems to evoke the absolute post trip lack of any ability to get anything doneness that I always feel after being away from home. It doesn’t matter if it is a two week trip to Africa or a four day trip to Florida. When I come home I just want to lay on a fainting couch in a flowing gown like a Victorian woman suffering from…..


Did I ever tell you that I used to have a fainting couch in my bedroom when I was growing up. I didn’t ever faint, and I have the vague recollection that the thing was covered with some sort of velvet. But it was great for reading on. And I did A LOT of reading. Mimi, what ever happened to that piece of furniture?

OK, I did manage to get the pictures from the weekend all uploaded and edited so I guess that is something. I was going to tell you about the weekend today but obviously that isn’t happening and right about now all of you are heaving a gigantic sigh of relief. I know, I know, showing your vacation weekend pictures is like going to someone’s house for dinner and ending up looking at two hours worth of slides from their trip to Toledo.

Did I ever tell you that we actually DID take a vacation to Toledo when the progeny were little. We are such incredible parents. Oh the opportunities that we afforded to our children. And we took our nephew with us too. He had nice matching outfits and white knee socks….I took one look at those outfits and just KNEW that I was going to let him go and play in the dirt…


That is what Tide and bleach and the soak cycle on the washing machine are for.

Just undermining the world one child at a time.

Well, you know, I did manage to get the laundry done yesterday. And I cast on the mate to a sock. And I managed to watch the documentary The Queen of Versailles yesterday as well as Dive! 

I guess I don’t have as much ennui as I thought.

I just wanted to say the word.


Leaving now.

Aren’t you glad that tomorrow is 7 Quick Takes and hopefully I will be more normal.

If I can ever really be called normal.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 57–Glad To Be Home

Day 57 - Glad to be Home

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270 @ 240mm; ISO 1600; f5.6; 1/8 sec

When HHBL and I are going out of town and it is possible, we take Max the Magnificent with us. But Florida just wasn’t in the cards for him, although I saw more than my fair share of dogs at the airport and on the plane, owners in tow.

When he has to stay home he stays at the kennel where he gets to run around with the other dogs and bark all day long. But when I pick him up from his vacation he always does the same thing.

He barks and whines all the way home.

He runs inside and checks everything out.

Then he runs outside to use his own “facilities”. I mean, don’t we all like our own facilities best!

Then he comes back inside where he gets a treat for his efforts.

Then he has to go back outside again just in case he forgot to “do” anything.

He comes back in and gets another treat.

And then, FINALLY, he heaves a big sigh of happiness, throws himself down on the floor and sleeps for the rest of the day.

And in order to get this particular picture at this particular angle and not have any camera shake (1/8 second is a bit slow of shutter speed) I had to lay down on the floor, place my camera on the floor and then angle the lens up just a bit using my camera strap, folded up a bit and stuck under the lens.

The things I do to get the picture I envision.

Day 56–Leading Lines

Day 56 - Leading Lines_sm

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270 @18mm; f7.1; ISO 1600; 1/40 sec

Have you guessed that HHBL and I took a short trip last weekend? Someplace nice and warm and sunny.


We flew standby. I survived. HHBL didn’t murder me although I think he might have thought about it.

On the way down our flight stopped in Nashville but we didn’t have to deplane. And for a time we were the only ones on the plane!! I was standing there, basking the the weirdness of this when I saw…..

LEADING LINES!!! And I just had to whip out Old Faithful and take a picture or two.

Of course then the First Officer emerged from the cock pit and stood there looking at me quizzically. But I am used to that.

Semi-Wordless Wednesday


Praying for the families in our Northeast Ohio communities on this first anniversary.

Daniel Parmertor, Russell King, Demetrius Hewlin.

You are missed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fabulosity and Awesome Sauce All Rolled Into One!

Don Deb Wauwatosa circa 1961

Happy Birthday Dad!!

You are Fabulosity with a side of Awesome Sauce!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 55 - Gecko!

Canon450D; Tamron 18-270 @ 270mm; ISO 100; f6.3; 1/60 sec; Manual focus

He stayed long enough for me to go and get my camera, sit down on the pool deck, scoot a bit closer and snap about five frames. Then he zipped back behind the hurricane shutters.


Day 54 -I SO Want!

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270 @ 85mm; ISO 100; f5.6; 1/100 sec

She walked past me at the art fair. I couldn't help myself, I had to take a picture.

Oh to be so secure as to wear white shorts, tie-died hose AND heeled sandals.



Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 53 - Bokeh!!!


Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270 @ 270mm; ISO 100; f6.3; 1/50 sec

I didn't really intend to take such a Bokeh filled picture, it just sort if evolved. I was consuming my fresh squeezed OJ (don't be hatin') and I saw the sun shining on the pool fence.

Not my pool fence. Remember where I normally reside.

I thought to myself,

Self, go get Old Faithful and see what you can see.

So I did. The first couple of pictures had a bit of Bokeh around the edges cuz that is what I was telling the camera to do, but when I reviewed the pictures what really struck me was not the droplets of water on the fence but the extremely cool Bokeh effect. I re-adjusted my thinking cap, turned OFF the auto focus and shot Bokeh.

I am pleased. What I especially pleased with is the roundness of the Bokeh drops (or whatever their official photography name is). Nice and round rather that octagonal.

Good lens.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 52 - I Love SWA

Taken with the iPhone

Southwest Airlines kindly lined all the planes up just for me......


7 Quick Takes (Vol 203)

By this time next week we will be into our THIRD month of 2013. Oh how time doth fly. Now if Spring would arrive early like Phil said it would. You know, you really shouldn’t trust the word of a Ground Hog…and yet we all do.

You know the academy rules. When the blather applause dies down you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of Oscar winner’s acceptance speeches, over to Conversion Diary to see what everyone else has been up to.

And the blather winner is……..
1.I am trying as hard as I can not to get HHBL’s cold. But I seem to be losing the battle. It is mind over body.
I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick.

2.I love it when I can manage to do minor household repairs. It is the little things that make me happy.
Saturday morning HHBL mentioned that the shower light was out. Not a problem I thought. Yes, I know, that thought is always the kiss of death. I grabbed a new light bulb, grabbed the step ladder, entered the shower, pulled down the fixture covering….
And heard a “snap” sound. Not good. And then one side of the fixture covering swung down in an unnatural way. Darn it the plastic snapped.
2013-02-16 09.35.50
Oh dear, it is not supposed to look like that. I will admit that I stood there for a second and wondered if I could just fix it with some duct tape. But I decided that probably wasn’t all that good an idea.
SO off to Home Depot I went and sure enough there was the exact thing I needed and at a reasonable price and the fixture was fixed in no time.
Like I said, it is the little things.

3.I am in one of my “must have a smoothie every day” phases which isn’t generally a problem….
Except that it is Winter here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio and I make my smoothies with frozen fruit which is, by it’s very nature, COLD.
The smoothie is always so good going down and then I freeze and have to have a nice hot cup of tea.
And yet I cannot help myself. Smoothies trump freezing cold weather.

Oh Julian Fellowes and Downton Abbey how you break my heart.
I will admit that I already knew what was going to happen. I had read detailed synosis of all the episodes and had watched all of them already……
And yet…….
Oh Matthew (even though Lady Mary is still a pain)!!! And wasn’t the part with Mr. Carson and Baby Sibbie just SOOOOO sweet.
My Downton friends and I have decided that if you have a baby on DA then you are doomed.
Lady Sybil + baby Sibbie = DEATH
Mathew Crawley and Lady Mary + baby boy = DEATH
And if you want to see how it would all play out on Facebook
If Downton Abbey Facebook Recap
Make sure that you go back and read ALL the recaps for the season. HILARIOUS!
And for a different take on the Season 3 ending.

I am going to make a confession that will make all my “Les Miz” friends throw up their hands and say, “It CANNOT be true!”
The first time that HHBL and I went to see Les Miserables………….
I didn’t like it.
And that is being kind.
Erica stop YELLING at me!!! I said the FIRST time. Now, oh now I love it. In fact, I cannot seem to stop listening to the 25th Anniversary live production.
Oh love, love, love. It is playing even as I write this. Thank goodness no one is here but me so I can sing at the top of my lungs.

2013-02-17 07.28.51
For some reason I missed the memo that we were going to get 6+ inches of snow on Saturday night. I woke up Sunday morning and there it was all fluffy and white. And we got another couple of inches during the day.
Then it all melted by Monday night.
And then there was snow again Tuesday. AND again last night.
Tomorrow I think we might actually get some sleet and freezing rain. SWEET! Especially as I have to get on a plane in the morning.
Life is just a bundle of fun.

7.We just get done eating all the Valentines Day candy and they go and put out all this stuff for Easter!!
It is a vast candy conspiracy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day 51–Hoya Doin’

Day 51 - Hoya Doin'

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270 @ 270mm; f6.3; ISO 1600; 1/25 sec; VC on

It is the little things in life which ultimately make us happy. Case in point, my Hoya. This particular plant came from a cutting that I took from one of my mother’s Hoya plants 29 many years ago. Her Hoya cutting came from her mother, my Grandma Pringle. It rooted quickly, it was happy. But it didn’t bloom for a LONG time. When I say a long time I mean 10 years. But once it was all snug and root bound in it’s pot then the blooming just didn’t seem to stop.

You can tell when a Hoya is blooming by the rather unpleasant smell that the blossoms put out at night, but only at night for some reason.

But I digress.

So this Hoya moved with me from Illinois, the Land of Corruption to Ohio, the Frozen. It moved with me from our first apartment to our first house…and then our second house…and then to Chez Knit. All happy, happy, joy, joy.

But then one day I noticed that Mr. Hoya wasn’t all that happy. In fact it was, shall we say, dying. So I quick got my scissors and snipped off as many of the happy and growing ends that I could, making sure to include at least on peduncle (the stem supporting the flowers),rooted them….

And instead of making me wait another 10 years for the first blooming, Mr. Hoya 2 decided to start blooming after only one year.

This is his latest bloom set on one of the peduncles. I noticed it as I was standing and gazing out at the woods hoping to see a bear.

No bear, just peduncle bearing flowers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Semi-Wordless Wednesday–The SQUIRREL Edition.

Today is my “home” day. That means that I am home all day.

Amazing how that works!

I have on my flannel pants, my SVA sweater shirt, a pair of toasty hand knit socks and my pseudo-Crocs. I am a fashion EXPLOSION! Aren’t you glad I am not showing you a picture of that. You can thank me later.

On to the squirrel. The thing I love about having bird feeders in front of my office windows is that…the birds come to them all the time. And the occasional squirrel. I don’t obsesses about the squirrels all that much because they aren’t on these feeders all that often and they cannot really get many seeds out so they just leave them alone most of the time. But every once in a while the squirrel hoard sends out someone to see if the seeds have somehow become miraculously available.


How do I get to those seeds! I can see them darn it but my arms are too short!


Maybe I can justht chew the barths.

IMG_2474_edited-1Oh wait! There are some seeds here at the bottom. Sweet mother I have found sustenance!

IMG_2475_edited-1 Oh yum. Crunchcrunchcrunch.


Whose that! What is she doing? Why is she pointing that thing at me?






Squirrel Butt!

Sorry, that last one was just a gratuitous objectification of squirrel anatomy.

I couldn’t help myself.

Day 50–Yogurt, Or I Am SO Boring. You Pick.

Day 50 - Yogurt, Or I am So Boring. You

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270 @ 50mm; ISO 400; f5.0; 1/40 sec

It has come to this.

Today I am reduced to showing you a picture of my large cooler which at the moment is actually filled with jars of homemade yogurt all gently “cooking” in a bath of very warm tap water.

I stood in my house, scratching my head and thinking that I had to take a picture of…



Obviously the cranium isn’t working all that well because this was all that I came up with. Well that isn’t strictly true. I did try some other “arty” pictures and I hated every one of them and I immediately deleted them from the memory card. They weren’t even worthy of playing around with.

I am sorry, Neil Gaiman, I didn’t make good art.

I will try to do better tomorrow.

I was also going to tell you about how the Lion King beach towel came into our possession many years ago. But, I will skip it for the moment other than to say that it blew into our lives as we were running in terror from bad weather.

Did that wet your interest? It is the best I can do at the moment.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Don’t Make Me Dope Slap You

It is snowing at the moment, no surprise there as this is the Frozen Northeast Ohio. And the weather the last three or four days has been….


Just a tad schizophrenic.

Saturday the sun was out for at least part of the day. And the temperature wasn’t all that bad. By Sunday morning we had 8 inches of fluffy Lake Effect snow and the temp was hovering in the 20’s. The sun came and went as it is want to do when we are having an “event”.
Monday morning I woke up to find the temp a BLISTERING 5F. Ummmm, did I miss the memo on frigid temperatures? There was some sun and by late in the day it was in the mid 40s and the snow was melting fast. This morning it was still 42F when I went walking but by late in the afternoon the temp had fallen to the high 20s and the snow was flying around but not really sticking all that much.

And I am restless and mad.

Restless because I am doing something on Friday that I haven’t done all that often.

I am flying stand-by. I will tell you all about it next week but lets just say that the thought of not having a reservation, a firm reservation, is unnerving IN THE EXTREME. You know me, I like order and everything in it’s place and stand-by is so not that although I have been assured by those in the know that all will go fine and I will get where I need to go….and back again…without difficulty. Nervous McNerveson is my name.

Is it Wine O’Clock yet?

And I am mad because I have really pretty much had it with people coming to my house for a showing, telling their Real Estate agent that they “love” the floor plan but that they would like to see the walls painted a different color and a different counter top treatment.

Buy my house and you can paint the darn walls whatever color you want. You can put purple granite on all the countertops if you so choose. You can dig up the landscaping and decorate with large gnomes. I don’t give a rats rip.

Is there purple granite? Perish the thought.

Seriously prospective buyers. You have already seen the pictures of the house on the internet or through your agent. AND you have seen the counter tops and the landscaping. This isn’t a model home. We live here. The house is twelve years old AND I HAD THE WALLS PAINTED TWO YEARS AGO. It is decorated in the fashion that WE LIKE.

Buy it and change whatever you like but don’t make me clean my house for you to walk around and see it and then tell me that you don’t like the color of the walls.

That just makes me want to dope slap you.

Now I feel better as I knew I would if I just talked it over with you.

Day 49–Max the Magnificent

Day 49 - Max the Magnificent_sm

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270@ 270mm; ISO 100; f6.3; 1/60 sec

My Maxie Woodlie Poodlie (who has not a gene of poodle actually in him) is getting to be an old dog! Look at the gray on his muzzle. And I am amazed that I got him to look at me long enough to get a picture. Of course I did have to tell him that there was a squirrel that might need his attention.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 48–Swaying Beauty

Day 48 - Swaying Beauty_sm

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270 @ 270mm; ISO 100; f6.3; 1/2000 sec

As I was returning from the morning walk….in 10F weather….I was struck by the sun shining through the heads of the ornamental grasses that are planted in the bed down by the street. Normally I don’t really think about them, except when I have to deal with the poison ivy that likes to grow in the stalks, but this morning they were absolutely beautiful.

So I flung myself out of the car, ran into the house, grabbed Old Faithful and allowed Max the Magnificent to go out and protect me as I tromped down to take pictures of the plant life.

Thank goodness the neighbors all know I am a bit on the “unusual” side.

Why else would anyone stand ankle deep in snow and photograph swaying grass fronds.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day 47–One Bright Spot

Day 47 - One Bright Spot

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270@ 110mm; ISO 100; f5.6; 1/250 sec

I went to Home Depot to get a part for a bit of home repair.

I came home with three Primula (Primrose) plants. They looked so happy and bright and I just needed them.

I will admit that I actually took this picture yesterday….when there wasn’t any snow. Between 6:30p last night and 6:30a this morning we received around 7 inches of fluffy new Lake Effect snow.

Oh. Joy.

And then tomorrow it is supposed to rain.

It just keeps getting better and better.

See why I needed the Primulas.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 46–A Study in Dogginess

Day 46 - A Study in Doginess_sm

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270 @65mm; ISO400; f5.6; 1/15 sec.

Despite the fact that I post pictures of Max the Magnificent on a regular basis it is actually hard to pin him down for a “formal” portrait. He runs from the camera like a paparazzi shy celebrity. He won’t lie down. He won’t stay. He doesn’t want to look into the lens with his soulful eyes. He looks away, looks back when I don’t want him to move, looks away again.

Trust me when I tell you that I delete way more photos of Max than I edit.

But I managed it today. I was actually laying on the floor in the sunroom photographing something else and he was laying on the rug in the same room and I just swung the camera around and snapped.

What? Doesn’t everyone lay on the floor in order to get a shot from a different angle?


Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 45–Who Says I’m Common?

Day 45 - Who Says I'm Common_sm

Canon 450D; Tamron 18-270 @ 270mm; ISO 200; f6.3; 1/40 sec

The Common House Finch is the less brightly colored country cousin of the Gold Finch. But on a chilly winter day, with the snow flurries flying, his little bright red head is a welcome splash of color.

Oh heck, I was just really fascinated with his little birdie feet. And his little feathers blowing in the wind.

7 Quick Takes (Vol 202)


Well howdy doody did we get to the middle of February? Spring is just around the corner, or at least I hope it is. But I live in the Frozen Northeast Ohio where it has been known to snow in May so….maybe not.

You know the eternal Quick Take orders. When you are done sipping my blather like a fine cup of morning coffee you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of the meteor that scared Russia yesterday, over to Conversion Diary.

I am so full of blather I may explode.

HHBL gave me a lovely box of York Peppermint Patties for Valentines Day. He knows the way to my heart is paved with chocolate.

I am completely convinced that it is impossible to take a good Driver’s License picture.

Truly. Impossible.

I went and renewed the old license this morning. I made the woman retake the picture THREE times. And then I just said,


And went on my merry way.

And no I am not showing you the picture. I generally don’t consider myself a vain person. I look like what I look like, a slightly overweight, 52 year old woman who clings to her gray hair with fierce tenacity and occasionally remembers to put on make up.

It is only when I have to renew my Driver’s License that I am confronted with how vain I really am.

Poor Max the Magnificent had to have his every six months trip to see Dr. Jeremy this week.

2013-02-13 08.22.58

I don’t really like to go to the bad place. Even when they give me squishy treats.

Dr. Jeremy and I have decided that Max needs to have his low dose of Prednisone every day now. It will hopefully help with the arthritis that he has in his hips and legs as well as clearing up the bit of cough that he seems to have. We had a bit of a scary episode on Sunday where Max saw the squirrels on the deck, leaped forward as if to chase after them (even though the sliding door was closed), and ended up splayed out on the floor whimpering in pain and unable to get up. Not good.

The only problem with the increased amount of Pred is that it zones Max out a bit. Yesterday was the first day of the new “regime” and he slept most of the day. But hopefully he will adjust soon.

Still not missing Cable.

Well, that isn’t strictly true this week. I realized that the Westminster Kennel Show was going on and I got all excited and prepared to watch it….and then remembered that I now have no way to do that as it is only on the cable channels.

Sigh. Banana Joe the Affenpinscher just had to win without me. I will just have to watch Best in Show to fill in the gap.

And there was the little “incident” this week where Netflix seemed to lose my Instant Queue for a bit of time. Now THAT induced panic here at Chez Knit.

I might….


Have a lot of things in my Instant Queue…….

Like 180+. That isn’t too many is it? I just keep seeing things, mostly Documentaries, that I want to watch and it is my way of remembering. Let me tell you, I had a real “Chicken Little” moment when I turned on Netflix and my Instant Queue was not there.

It’s the little things that show my weirdness.

I am continuing to deal with my “blog hoarding” tendencies. And it is becoming an issue again as it is hard to keep up with all the blogs I follow and to read blog posts with any thought.

I think the first thing to go is going to be the political blogs. I am just plain tired of politics and both of the screwed up parties that we have here in the good old US of A.

And after that I might have to cull a blog or two. Really, if you haven’t updated your blog in say 4 months then I am going to guess that you won’t be updating ever again. It is a habit just like any other. Get out of the habit and bye bye blog.

After that we will see where I go. I don’t like to be rushed when reading. And something has to give.

AND I need to stop adding new blogs to my Google Reader……yeah like THAT is ever going to happen.

Oh goodness, after a relatively quiet first six weeks of the year….

My calendar is exploding.

So today, one of the last days that I have that isn’t full of something…

I am going to read and knit.

I complain when my schedule ISN’T full. I complain when my schedule IS full.

Whiney McWhinerson, that’s me.

I am having beets for lunch.

AND Brussels sprouts.

Tossed with some butter and a bit of salt.

They all came from the garden. It is a cloudy, chilly and gloomy day. I need something to remind me that the beginning of gardening season is just around the corner.

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeets. Yummmmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Heart Peanut M&Ms

2013-02-14 14.14.20

Look what I found in my hoard supply of Peanut M&Ms! A heart shaped Peanut M&M.


Day 44–Just Waiting for a Bookmark

Day 44 - Just Waiting for a Bookmark_sm

Canon 450D; Canon 50mm f1.8; ISO 400; f5.6; 1/15 sec

The general thought that runs through my brain when I enter any kind of contest is,

Well, that’s done and can be forgotten. I never win anything anyways.

So imagine my surprise when I received an email from Michael over at Forgotten Bookmarks letting me know that I had won the Friday book giveaway.


I WON???????

And it is books too. Oh be still my prodigiously palpitating heart.

Just about a year ago I mentioned Forgotten Bookmarks and the book of the same name that Michael Popek had written. It is still one of my favorites.

And now books from the actual person who wrote the actual book! How am I going to get anything else done today, I just want to sit down and read. There are some books that I am familiar with and some that I am not. There is Kipling! I love Kipling. There is H. Rider Haggard! I love HRH. The Last of the Mohicans! Longfellow! Ibsen! O Henry!

Oh heck. The ironing will still be there tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 43–Outdoor Privy

Day 43 - Outdoor Privy_sm

Canon 450D; Canon 50mm f1.8; ISO 200; f1.8; 1/400 sec

Yes, the cracked and currently very dirty toilet sits in my back garden.

No one ever said that I had a perfectly sane sense of humor or landscape design. And I wasn’t the first one in the family to decide that an old toilet would make a perfectly lovely planter. That honor goes to my father.

I knew, even before we moved into Chez Knit, that I was going to search for a used (but hopefully clean) toilet to place in the garden. And one day, just about the time that the landscaping was finished here at CK, I was driving in my small town, right before garbage pick up day. I believe that Mimi was in the car with me. We were most likely going to the Dollar Store.

Driving…driving….driving…..SCREEEEECH (that was me putting on the brakes).

I had passed it. What I had been looking for. A toilet by the side of the road. I backed up, opened the back deck, forced my own mother to help me hoist it into the van, and brought it back home. I gave it a very thorough cleaning and muscled it out to the back and set it grandly on top of the septic area. That seemed appropriate.

But SOME PEOPLE….didn’t like the fact that they could see it when they drove up the driveway and parked in the garage.

And then there was the whole “landscaper covering over the grinder pump motor house with a mound of dirt incident”.

Hey we didn’t know that it wasn’t supposed to be buried!!!

And that was where the toilet had been lovingly placed.

So I moved it. And now in the summer it has a lovely fern that is planted in it. And the hosta grow up around it and give it shade. And the toad lives by it.

And I can see it from the kitchen window and that makes me happy.

But I am guessing that when Chez Knit sells that the toilet is going to have to go back to the curb.

Just a guess.

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

GLP the actor

Diggin’ deep into the Pictures from the Crypt today. The man on the right, the one wearing what looks to be a bathrobe and an apron with the crocheted snood on his head?

My grandfather.

It certainly explains a lot about my sense of humor doesn’t it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 42–Escargo Anyone


Canon 350D; Canon 18-55mm @18mm; ISO 400; f5.6; 1/200 sec

OK, I am going to admit that I did not take this picture today. If I had I would be writing you from the Gold Coast of Ghana which is where this picture was actually taken. And it was taken with my first “big girl” camera with a stock lens. Not too bad for all that.

I have had one of those days. You will have to forgive me. I spent time this morning screaming at my computer because it wouldn’t tell me in plain English how to do what I wanted to do. Computers don’t like that.

And then I spent some time looking through some photos that I am thinking about putting up on the website and I came across this one and remembered that I liked it so much when I took it. This was actually taken in 2006 on a visit to Ghana with Opportunity International. We were traveling along the Gold Coast and had stopped at a rest area to “use the facilities”. As we all piled out of the bus, out of the bushes appeared a group of children with baskets. And in the baskets were snails which they attempted to sell us for dinner.

Fresh! Very fresh. Boil them! Cook them in butter. Delicious!

Ummmmmmmm, NO!

And I know that you are thinking, “What’s the big deal with a few little snails?”

The problem was that the snails were not little.IMG_5010

See what I mean.

And they were still MOVING!!!

Makes the homemade Cream of Potato soup that we are having tonight seem extra delicious.

Repurpose. Save Lives.

Have you ever thought about what happens to the immense amount of obsolete medical equipment that is generated each year by hospitals and clinics here in the United States?

And have you ever wondered what those institutions, both large and small, do with all the items that they no longer need or want? Old beds, old baby warmers and incubators, crutches, dressings, IV fluids, tubing for various things, gloves, baby bunting, scrubs, patient gowns, walkers. The list is just endless.

And did you know that there are many, many hospitals and clinics all over the world who cannot afford to continue serving those in desperate need of medical care without our help. Yes, money is always helpful. But so is the physical donation of materials.

Like beds.

Like surgical equipment.

Like splints.

All of it is needed by someone somewhere.

And we here in this country are wasteful. But we don’t have to be. We don’t have to be because of organizations like MedWish. MedWish takes all that medical “stuff” that hospitals, clinics and even private citizens no longer need but which still has use. They recover it. They repurpose it. They redistribute it.  The boxes and boxes and boxes of mixed up medical equipment from every category know to man arrives on pallets, it is sorted by volunteers, it is reboxed and put on MedWish shelves. And then, when clinics and hospitals in such far flung places and Africa and Pakistan and Haiti have a need but don’t have the funds to fill that need, MedWish is there for them.  Since 1993 MedWish has shipped aid to 90 countries. That is amazing.

Truly amazing.

HHBL and I had the immense privilege of spending several hours on Saturday volunteering at MedWish with some of HHBL’s Leadership Cleveland classmates. And I took a couple of pictures. You cannot be surprised by that now can you. I didn’t take as many pictures as I might have because I wasn’t there to photograph, I was there to sort.MedWish 17

I might have sent out a tweet or two….but only because they told me to!!

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Josh Kravitz, MedWish Executive Director, gave us the full tour of the facility before putting us to work.MedWish 6MedWish 8

There are rooms and shelves full of medical equipment that is no longer used here but will be given a new life somewhere else.MedWish 9

These boxes are full of already sorted items. They are labeled and put on shelves so that when the item is called for it is right there on the appropriate shelf and instantly available.

There are always items that are expired. But expired doesn’t mean unusable. Those items that are expired and cannot be used overseas are still re-purposed in other ways. Nothing is wasted if at all possible.

After our tour and question time it was time to SORT! Now I have to remind you that the contents of the boxes that arrive at the warehouse are unsorted. It isn’t an unusual occurrence to grab a box, lug it over to your portion of the work table, open it and find that there are urinary catheters mixed in with boxes of nursing pads with perhaps a face mask or two thrown in.MedWish 18MedWish 3

Our job was to grab a box from the pallet. Take it to our station. Open it up and then sort it all out into the appropriate bin.

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And I am not talking little bins. I am talking BIG bins that are all nicely labeled.

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There was a fair amount of consultation going on as to what the thing being sorted was and where the heck was the appropriate bin for said item.MedWish 12

For some reason the guys weren’t all that keen on sorting through the large box of circumcision kits. I can’t think why that would be.

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And if you weren’t sure where an item should go, and even I was stumped by some of the things I pulled out of boxes, there are loads of knowledgeable MedWish gurus available to give you guidance. THANK GOODNESS!!

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The warehouse was a blur of activity as people toted boxes and opened boxes and sorted boxes. There was also a group of students from Kent State there and so there were lots of hands and bodies all whipping around and sorting and scratching heads and asking questions.

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And there might have been a bit of laughter and hijinks thrown in as well. Eric was stylin’ with multiple colors of gloves.

The MedWish site has a wealth of information about who they are, what they do and why they do it, lists of donations they except and a whole host of important information. If you are not in the Cleveland area (but you know you wish you were) Josh Kravitz assures me that there are other organizations around the country that do what they do.

Find one. Donate.

Or better yet, volunteer. You will not be sorry.