Monday, May 31, 2010

Lest We Forget ... Memorial Day 2010

Memorial Day ... a day to remember and honor those soldiers who have died in battle; paying the ultimate price for our freedom.

But this year, once again, I would also like to extend my remembrance and thanks to those soldiers who did not die in battle ... who came home to lead separate lives.

Because they carried home the "ultimate sacrifice", and somehow managed to live with it the rest of their lives. They didn't show it, and rarely talked about it. But their wounds were gravely deep.

This past year I have watched my dad struggle with demons from WWII. After all these years, they have come back to haunt him. He is finally talking about what happened during "The War". He hallucinates, and has debilitating nightmares. The wounds were there all along ... but are just now coming back to the surface. The ultimate price.

I also thank the families of ALL soldiers -- those lost in battle, and those lost after the battle was finished. Because when you see what these brave soldiers have seen, have done what they had to do ... you die a little. It may not show for years; the scars stay hidden in countless hearts. And their families who see (and saw) them suffer, also feel the pain.

War has come home to us ... we just don't know to recognize the homefront pain.

On a personal note ...
Thank you to my grandfather, who served in WWI.
Thank you to my father, who served in WWII (and was a POW).
Thank you to my uncle Joe, who served in WWII.
Thank you to my uncle Kelly, who served in WWII.
Thank you to my cousin Allen, who served in the first Gulf War.
Thank you to my great uncle Fred, who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the first Gulf War.
And thank you to my ex-husband, who served in the first Gulf War.

You have my everlasting gratitude.

Photos taken at Mountainview Cemetery in Oregon City, Oregon.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What's Wrong With This Picture? - Weekend Mailbox

Have you guessed it yet?

I'll give you a hint ... these are drive-up mailboxes.

And you STILL have to drive up, park, get out of your car, walk over to the mailbox ... and stuff in your mail!

To have mailbox and mail-related fun, please visit Gemma at Greyscale Territory, and join in Weekend Mailbox!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chocolate Milk on my Shoes

I mucked out the chicken pen yesterday.
After one of the wettest Mays on record, it wasn't pretty.

But it brought back a memory that made me smile ...
My niece, jenna, was learning to talk.
One day she came up to me and asked "Do we have any chicken muck?"
(she couldn't yet say 'chocolate milk')

So when my daughter wanted to borrow my shoes,
I said "I don't think you want to, honey ... they've got chocolate milk all over them!"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reflections from A Bridge

The footbridge over Fanno Creek revealed swiftly moving water, beautiful green leaves, blue sky and clouds.

If you look very carefully, you can see the reflection of the photographer, leaning over the handrail to get the shot!

To see unique and beautiful reflections from around the world, please visit James at Newton Area Photo. He is the host of the fun and addictive Weekend Reflections.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Poor Little Lady - No Wonder She Cackled!

We have 12 chickens ... affectionately known as "the ladies".

They give us an average of 8 eggs per day, between them.

This morning, amidst the sounds of the usual 'chicken alarms'
(bok, bok, bok, bok-Aaaack) came a different sound.
A single cackle. Very loud.

I could swear that one of the ladies was really saying ...
"ouch, ouch, ouch - my a$$"

Especially when I went out and found THIS EGG.
The other two are normal sized offerings.
This thing is a monster.

No Wonder The Chicken Cackled!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What's the Point? - Weekend Mailbox

I found this vandalized mailbox down the street from my house.
I don't see the point ...
This house is owned by an older couple, retired.
Their yard and garden are immaculate, complete with a
Statue of Liberty in the driveway!

Each summer the man of the house spends up to 3 weeks in this ditch, with a bucket, carefully pulling out each tiny blade of grass - it looks like he uses a pair of tweezers. I'm not joking.

Such pride in ownership!

To have his castle invaded like this just makes me mad!

This is my entry to Weekend Mailbox - sponsored by Gemma at Greyscale Territory. Come join the fun!!!

And start noticing the mailboxes on your street!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I don't make this stuff up ...

5:30 AM ... Saturday

"Hello, Dispatch? There's a car in the ditch in front of my house. Two guys got out, staggered around, then took off walking South on the road."
"When did this happen?"
"Just now."
"What do the people look like?"
"I just saw the backs of two men - long sleeves ... jeans."
"Could you tell if they were male or female?"
"Uh, both male."
"What kind of vehicle is it?"
"It's white. Maybe an SUV."
"Do you have a license plate?"
"Can you tell the make or model of the vehicle?"
"Uh, it's white. It's the only car in the ditch in front of my house."


"He** yeah, we had a few. We had MORE than a few. We got in a wreck. OH WELL!"
"Please face the car, put your hands behind you ..."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baby Wrens are Gone ...

The baby wrens of Cabin 57 are gone.
Sissie and I went to see them on Monday, and found this.
One lone egg that never hatched.

So of 6 eggs, 5 hatched. Of five baby birds, one got pushed (or fell) out of the nest and died.

Now there are four new birds in our neighborhood ...
To sing beautiful songs!
To brighten our days!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Baby Birds Have Grown

The baby wrens in Cabin 57 have grown up.
When I took their picture, they looked at me,
but didn't move.

They are almost ready to fly away ...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pitch Shadows ... Shadow Shot Sunday

A beautiful sight, these sparkling gems of pitch.
Leaving their shadows against the tree ...

But they have a darker side ...
This tree is going to die.
It's life blood is flowing away.
Like tears.

To see beautiful and contemplative shadows from around the world, please visit Hey Harriet's Shadow Shot Sunday

Friday, May 14, 2010

Reflected Destruction - Weekend Reflections

One of my favorite photography places is gone.

The tattered greenhouses, the overgrown vines, the abandoned pots and plant tags at the abandoned nursery - brought me back again and again ...

But the big machines were there one day ... and then there was just rubble. I took this picture the day the machines came ... my last day to visit and explore.
You can see the reflection of the greenhouse remains in the window of the monster. The cracked mirror reflects the ground where beautiful plants were once sold ...

They are building a coffee shop in my spot.
I don't think I will go there.

To see reflections from around the world, please visit James at Newton Area Photo ... he is the host of the awesome 'Weekend Reflections' - which I look forward to all week!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Broken Fairy ...

Sometimes you just don't ask.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby Wrens for Mothers Day

For Mothers Day, my mom, my daughter and I treated ourselves to a walk to see the baby wrens in Cabin 57. I hadn't seen them for a few days.

We were entranced at how quickly they are growing up.
Sort of like our own children.

Happy Mothers Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Now THIS is Rural! - Weekend Mailbox

This is my neighbor's mailbox. Not much, but when you enlarge this photo, you will see that the scene she painted on her mailbox completely reflects the theme of her rural property.

She has an immaculate 5-acre lot complete with garden and miniature greenhouse. In her greenhouse she grows fresh produce starts - then pots them up and sells them at a little roadside stand beside her driveway.

I don't know if she makes any money at it.
I don't think that's her intention!
She just enjoys beauty.

Please visit Gemma at Greyscale Territory - she hosts the fun "Weekend Mailbox".

Friday, May 7, 2010

Raindrop Reflections - Weekend Reflections

After the rain comes the sun, and with the sun ...

Comes Nature's Jewels!

Who wouldn't want to wear these beauties?
I know I would.

To see wonderful reflections from around the world, please visit Weekend Reflections, hosted by James at Newton Area Photo.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hungry Baby Wrens

I walked over to check on the wren babies in Cabin 57.

They are growing so fast! - their tiny little bodies are no longer bright pink.
They are covered with a fine dark down.

And they are hungry.
Really hungry.
Constantly hungry.

I left - who am I to stand in the way of dinner???

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baby Wren!

I found the nest in the bashed-out wall of a building across the street.
Nestled in exposed insulation,
Tucked in under ragged drywall ...

Miniature white eggs, speckled with tiny brown spots.

I went back every few days to check on them.
First 2 eggs, then 5, then finally 6!

On Saturday I went back to check - the eggs were gone.
In their place was a miracle.

Tiny baby birds, barely moving in there ...
Except to lift their heads for food when I made a noise.

I took a few pictures and left.
They needed their mommy - and breakfast.

I will check again in a few days, to see how they are doing.
To see how the miracle is progressing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shell Lady

I found this tiny bit of shell, broken around the edges, in a box of similar shell bits and pieces. Then I noticed the lady ...

Do you see her?

I know she is a bit out of focus ...
But her profile is still there.

At least that's what I see!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

We Deliver! - Weekend Mailbox

I was waiting for mom at the Senior Center where she teaches a class - when I saw this USPS delivery truck. The rhododendron bush just to the left of the truck seemed to be leaving a trail of blossoms - straight to the door of the truck!

To see fun mailboxes, and things related to mailboxes, please visit Gemma over at Greyscale Territory for her new meme - Weekend Mailbox!