Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mucus Party

Meet these creeps. They are currently having a party in my lungs, and I hate them. Jerks.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Art Supplies

It has been years since I ordered traditional art supplies from catalogs, and I must say I am enjoying flipping through the pages. As a Media Arts Teacher, I order the supplies I need from Staples and Office Max ... photo paper, cds, dvds ... but now that I will be teaching 3D in the fall I need to once again visit the pages of Sax, Nasco and Dick Blick.

(A negative aspect to this whole supply ordering: a high school art position was cut from our department, and we are losing an awesome colleague and a great friend.)

Ordering was always exciting, even when I worked in a district where we had essentially no budget. Carefully looking through pages and pages of options, trying to find the best prices between vendors, figuring out what projects I would be doing and therefore what materials I actually needed ... 'fun, even if I was pinching pennies.

These art supply catalogs have a certain smell, and that smell brings me right back to the excitement I felt as a new teacher. Funny how smells can do that.

~ Sax, Nasco & Dick Blick ~

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cedar Waxwings

This is for Anna : )

The Cedar Waxwing is my favorite bird. I'm not sure why -- they do not have a fabulous song (just a weet weet kinda sound) and they are not a flashy color. Then there is that snazzy little mask and their understated yet beautiful coloring. Sometimes I look up and there they are in my tree, without any big production. Maybe it is because they are a little mysterious that they appeal to me.

I came across the following excerpt from the electronic book Life Histories of Familiar North American Birds, and it is a pretty fancy way of saying the same thing I just wrote:

When we become well acquainted with the waxwing we look upon him as the perfect gentleman of the bird world. There is in him a refinement of deportment and dress; his voice is gentle and subdued; he is quiet and dignified in manner, sociable, never quarrelsome, and into one of his habits, that of sharing food with his companions, we may read, without too much stress of imagination, the quality of politeness, almost unselfishness, very rare, almost unheard of, in the animal kingdom. His plumage is delicate in coloring--soft, quiet browns, grays, and pale yellow--set off, like a carnation in our buttonhole, by a touch of red on the wing.

From Cornell:

Cool Facts
The name "waxwing" comes from the waxy red secretions found on the tips of the secondaries of some birds. The exact function of these tips is not known, but they may help attract mates.

Cedar Waxwings with orange instead of yellow tail tips began appearing in the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada in the 1960s. The orange color is the result of a red pigment picked up from the berries of an introduced species of honeysuckle. If a waxwing eats enough of the berries while it is growing a tail feather, the tip of the feather will be orange.

The Cedar Waxwing is one of the few North American birds that specializes in eating fruit. It can survive on fruit alone for several months. Brown-headed Cowbirds that are raised in Cedar Waxwing nests typically don’t survive, in part because the cowbird chicks can’t develop on such a high-fruit diet.

Many birds that eat a lot of fruit separate out the seeds and regurgitate them, but the Cedar Waxwing lets them pass right through. Scientists have used this trait to estimate how fast waxwings can digest fruits.

Because they eat so much fruit, Cedar Waxwings occasionally become intoxicated or even die when they run across overripe berries that have started to ferment and produce alcohol.

Building a nest takes a female Cedar Waxwing 5 to 6 days and may require more than 2,500 individual trips to the nest. They occasionally save time by taking nest materials from other birds’ nests, including nests of Eastern Kingbirds, Yellow-throated Vireos, orioles, robins, and Yellow Warblers.

Bird Sounds  (fun link!)

~ I have this Audubon print matted and framed in my living room ~

~ sadly, none of the above images were taken by me ~

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Die Milchstrasse

I do not actually have time to blog today - yet I am - quickly.

A good friend of mine reminded me of Die Milchstrasse by Anselm Kiefer, one of my all-time favorite paintings that used to hang in the stairway of the Albright-Knox.

From the Albright-Knox site ...

Anselm Kiefer was born the year World War II ended, when both the landscape and psyche of Germany had been severely damaged. As an artist, Kiefer confronts this history directly in his work, unlike many of his contemporaries who chose to avoid it. He set out to study why human beings behave the way they do, feeling that art could help to answer these types of questions and in doing so perhaps make the world a better place.

Great concept indeed, but I also enjoy the aesthetic quality of his work. The earthy nature of the materials he uses, the textures and the richness ... it evokes something in me that I cannot pinpoint yet I love deeply. A past life, perhaps? My German heritage? My fascination with the actual Milky Way? My love of nature? Mysterious, and that's the way art should be.

... seeing it here does not do it justice ...

... it needs to be savored in person ...
(I borrowed this image from a great flikr photostream with many pics of Buffalo)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Art Project - Preview

Art Project - Behind the Scenes

The New York Times
FEBRUARY 1, 2011, 2:55 PM
Google Takes Street View Into Art Museums

Now that Google has conquered a majority of the earth’s major streets with its Google Street View project, the company is starting to move inside. It’s creating the Google Art Project, a virtual equivalent of 17 major art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Britain and National Gallery in London, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, among many others.

Amit Sood, director of the project, said in a company blog post that the documentation of major museums began when a small group of Google employees with a passion for art started wondering how they could make major art museums, and the works they house, more accessible to people worldwide.

The new art project is housed at an interactive Web site, Once inside the site, viewers can travel through a museum’s interior through the same technology used to navigate city streets on Google Maps and Google Earth. People can move from room to room within the virtual space; over 1,000 artworks painted by 400 artists can be seen.

Mr. Sood said the artworks were documented using an extremely high resolution technology, “gigapixel,” which allows people to zoom into the images to see detailed brush strokes and the subtlety of each artist. “Each of these images contains around 7 billion pixels—that’s around 1,000 times more detailed than your average digital camera,” Mr. Sood wrote.

The museum project is one of a number of digital explorations taking place in museums today as these venerable institutions struggle to adapt to the changing digital world.

The video below shows a behind-the-scenes look at the Google Art team building the site.

Cross Border Blues, Brews, & Que

Cross Border Blues, Brews, & Que
June 19-20, 2010 - Wilson, New York

From the Support Our School e-mail ...

The community of Wilson is preparing to hosting a great family event over Father's Day weekend this summer. Crossborder Blues, Brews & Que was just sanctioned as an official barbecue competition by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, and will take place in Wilson from June 17th-19th. Organizer Kathy O'Keefe and the Crossborder Committee has been working tirelessly to put the event together, and it promises to put Wilson on the map in the world of national barbecue competitions by drawing renowned competitors such as the Food Network's Diva Q (she already has the event booked on her website). In preparation, a barbecue school will take place this week on March 16th at 7 PM at the Wilson House. The cost is $15 and space is limited, so stop by the Wilson House to get a presale ticket if you're interested. For more information on the event itself, please read this article from the Buffalo News published in February. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Deep (Dog) ~ Thoughts

Dear God: Is it on purpose that our names are the same, only reversed?

Dear God: Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another?

Dear God: When we get to Heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or will it be the same old story?

Dear God: Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not ONE named for a Dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We love a nice car ride! Would it be so hard to rename the 'Chrysler Eagle' the 'Chrysler Beagle'?

Dear God: If a Dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad Dog?

Dear God: We Dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent IDs, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God: More meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Dear God: Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Dear God: Here is a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good Dog:
1. I will not eat the cat's food before he eats it or after he throws it up.
2. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.
3. The Litter Box is not a cookie jar.
4. The sofa is not a 'face towel'.
5. The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.
6. I will not play tug-of-war with Dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.
7. Sticking my nose into someone's crotch is an unacceptable way of saying 'hello'.
8. I don't need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm under the coffee table.
9. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house - not after.
10. I will not come in from outside, and immediately drag my butt across the carpet.
11. I will not sit in the middle of the living room, and lick my crotch.
12. The cat is not a 'squeaky toy', so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it's usually not a good thing.

P.S. Dear God: When I get to Heaven, may I have my testicles back?

(author unknown)

~ helping New Mom change the sheets ~

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fasnacht Kuechle

Thank you to Mary's husband Don for bringing us fresh kuechles today! I shared them with my Graphics class, and we enjoyed every deep fried sugary bite. 

My Oma made them every Fat Tuesday, and we would eat so many that we felt sick, vowing to never eat them again. Until next year.

Fasnacht (pastry)
From Wikipedia

A Fasnacht, sometimes spelled Fastnacht or Faschnacht, is a fatty doughnut treat served traditionally on Fastnacht Day (Shrove Tuesday), the day before Lent starts. Fasnachts were made as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat, and butter, which were traditionally forbidden during Lent.

Basel, Switzerland conducts an annual fasnacht festival. The Pennsylvania Dutch territory surroundingLancaster, Pennsylvania, celebrates the custom as well. Most chain supermarkets in the eastern Pennsylvania offer fasnachts, although WalMart offers Pączki instead. The pączki is traditionally eaten in Poland on the Thursday prior to Fasnacht Day, although in Polish communities of the US, the tradition is more commonly celebrated on Fasnacht Day. Commonly pączki are round, rather than having straight sides, and they are filled with jelly, or sometimes creme filling.

In parts of Maryland, the treats are called Kinklings, and are only sold in bakeries on Shrove Tuesday. The German version is made from a yeast dough, deep fried, and coated or dusted in sugar or cinnamon sugar; they may be plain or filled with fruit jam. Pennsylvania Dutch fasnachts are often made from potato doughnuts, and may be uncoated, powdered with table sugar, or dusted with confectioner's sugar.

The term is synonymous with the Carnival season Fasnacht in southern Germany, Switzerland, Alsace and Austria. Although usually written "Fastnacht", there are many local spoken varieties: Fasnacht, Fassenacht, Fasnet etc.

~ my oma's were always rectangular, but like these with powdered sugar on top ~

Monday, March 7, 2011


I admit it: I used to have a crush on John. Yup. Today, as the sunlight is streaming through my window this song popped into my head. Check out how simple these lyrics are! Oh the memories : )

Sunshine on My Shoulders

Make me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water, looks so lovely.

Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day, that I could give you

I?d give to you, a day just like today

If I had a song, that I could sing for you.

I sing a song, to make you feel this way

Sunshine On My Shoulders

Make me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water, looks so lovely.

Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that, I could tell you

I'd tell a tale, sure to make you smile.

If I ha? a wish that I could wish for you.

I'd make a wish, for sunshine all the while.

Sunshine on My Shoulders

Make me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water, looks so lovely.

Sunshine almost always makes me high

Sunshine almost all the time makes me high, mmm

Sunshine almost always

Life Is Crazy

Okay, so for whatever reason our little man has traveled a long way, and I am so glad he has (but honestly I don't yet understand how this whole adoption/rescue system works - why do they ship dogs in?).

His vet paperwork came from the "Grayson County Humane Society" so I Googled it, searched his name on the site, and voila: I found this page on Bumble!! Pretty cool, I think.

Our little mystery man. I am certain of one thing: he has not let his rough start bring him down. He is so happy and bouncy and full of kisses.

so sweeeet!

~ lonnng way to travel ~

Another Kentucky Video

Here he is surrounded by southern-talkin' folks.

Bumble in Kentucky!

Bumble came with vet papers from Grayson County in Kentucky, and I did a little digging and look what I found: Bumble!! Our little guy has come a long way to be with us : )

Friday, March 4, 2011

Adoption Tomorrow

9:00, Avon, New York.

... My home ready with crate and bed ...

... My stomach full of crazy butterflies ...

... My confidence shattered by losing Bear ...

... My heart full and broken at the same time ...

... My spirit open to a new beginning ...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Hours

Of the books I read on vacation, this is my absolute favorite. It's actually now on my list of all-time favs.

From Amazon: Review
The Hours is both an homage to Virginia Woolf and very much its own creature. Even as Michael Cunningham brings his literary idol back to life, he intertwines her story with those of two more contemporary women. One gray suburban London morning in 1923, Woolf awakens from a dream that will soon lead to Mrs. Dalloway. In the present, on a beautiful June day in Greenwich Village, 52-year-old Clarissa Vaughan is planning a party for her oldest love, a poet dying of AIDS. And in Los Angeles in 1949, Laura Brown, pregnant and unsettled, does her best to prepare for her husband's birthday, but can't seem to stop reading Woolf. These women's lives are linked both by the 1925 novel and by the few precious moments of possibility each keeps returning to. Clarissa is to eventually realize:
There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined.... Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.As Cunningham moves between the three women, his transitions are seamless. One early chapter ends with Woolf picking up her pen and composing her first sentence, "Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." The next begins with Laura rejoicing over that line and the fictional universe she is about to enter. Clarissa's day, on the other hand, is a mirror of Mrs. Dalloway's--with, however, an appropriate degree of modern beveling as Cunningham updates and elaborates his source of inspiration. Clarissa knows that her desire to give her friend the perfect party may seem trivial to many. Yet it seems better to her than shutting down in the face of disaster and despair. Like its literary inspiration, The Hours is a hymn to consciousness and the beauties and losses it perceives. It is also a reminder that, as Cunningham again and again makes us realize, art belongs to far more than just "the world of objects." --Kerry Fried

From Publishers Weekly
At first blush, the structural and thematic conceits of this novel--three interwoven novellas in varying degrees connected to Virginia Woolf--seem like the stuff of a graduate student's pipe dream: a great idea in the dorm room that betrays a lack of originality. But as soon as one dips into Cunningham's prologue, in which Woolf's suicide is rendered with a precise yet harrowing matter-of-factness ("She hurries from the house, wearing a coat too heavy for the weather. It is 1941. She has left a note for Leonard, and another for Vanessa."), the reader becomes completely entranced. This book more than fulfills the promise of Cunningham's 1990 debut, A Home at the End of the World, while showing that sweep does not necessarily require the sprawl of his second book, Flesh and Blood. In alternating chapters, the three stories unfold: "Mrs. Woolf," about Virginia's own struggle to find an opening for Mrs. Dalloway in 1923; "Mrs. Brown," about one Laura Brown's efforts to escape, somehow, an airless marriage in California in 1949 while, coincidentally, reading Mrs. Dalloway; and "Mrs. Dalloway," which is set in 1990s Greenwich Village and concerns Clarissa Vaughan's preparations for a party for her gay--and dying--friend, Richard, who has nicknamed her Mrs. Dalloway. Cunningham's insightful use of the historical record concerning Woolf in her household outside London in the 1920s is matched by his audacious imagining of her inner lifeand his equally impressive plunges into the lives of Laura and Clarissa. The book would have been altogether absorbing had it been linked only thematically. However, Cunningham cleverly manages to pull the stories even more intimately togther in the closing pages. Along the way, rich and beautifully nuanced scenes follow one upon the other: Virginia, tired and weak, irked by the early arrival of headstrong sister Vanessa, her three children and the dead bird they bury in the backyard; Laura's afternoon escape to an L.A. hotel to read for a few hours; Clarissa's anguished witnessing of her friend's suicidal jump down an airshaft, rendered with unforgettable detail. The overall effect of this book is twofold. First, it makes a reader hunger to know all about Woolf, again; readers may be spooked at times, as Woolf's spirit emerges in unexpected ways, but hers is an abiding presence, more about living than dying. Second, and this is the gargantuan accomplishment of this small book, it makes a reader believe in the possibility and depth of a communality based on great literature, literature that has shown people how to live and what to ask of life. (Nov.) FYI: The Hours was a working title that Woolf for a time gave to Mrs. Dalloway.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

~ now I need to see the movie ~

eHarmony Description

Available for Adoption
Breed: Lab / Rat Terrier
Gender: Male
Age: 1-1/2 years
Fully vetted & altered

Bumble is an all-around great dog! He's about 1 year old and still has puppy in him. He is fun-loving and curious though he listens well. He knows some basic commands like sit and no. He learns quickly, and though he often picks things up to explore them (such as remote controls) he puts them down when scolded. He loves to play; his favorite toys are squeaky. He's getting better with fetch and bringing back the toy to be thrown again for him. He lives with another dog and two cats now. He is very curious about the cats but backs off when told to leave them alone - they're not very friendly. He is sweet and playful with his doggie housemate. He is very affectionate and cuddly with us. He is crate trained, though he needs some extra coaxing to go into his crate, he sleeps quietly in it all night. He is house-trained and will go to the door when he needs to go out. He's not too big, only about 30 pounds. He is friendly with new people and dogs. He is not picky about his food at all and does not appear to have any sensitivities.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Coming Soon : )

~ Bumble ~

Home Again

Islamorada was wonderful.

I am healed from the stress that plagued me before we left.

I am too busy to write much so I'll post some photos of where we stayed (The Futura Yacht Club - we would definitely stay there again - clean, quiet, convenient, beautiful).