Friday, July 27, 2007

July showers produce . . .

Since July has been quite a bit more rainy than previous months, I have enjoyed walking around my yard to see what has been growing there.


The first thing I found as I walked out of my back door was a blooming catnip plant. The seeds are from catnip that I sprinkled on the back porch for the cats. When the porch was swept and rinsed off, the seeds ended up outside where they sprouted and grew.


While I've seen mushrooms in the yard before, I haven't seen one that looked like this.


As I approached the front yard, I saw this pink zinnia glowing in the flower bed. Most of the other flowers in my yard are oranges, yellows and reds, so this one really caught my eye.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Happy Birthday!

My Aunt Margaret has led quite a life, from journalist, to army wife, to author. Yesterday she celebrated her 80th birthday with, among other things, petits fours, chocolate and steak. (My Uncle Billy is a chocolatier.)

As a young journalist, she wrote about the happenings in her hometown. Years later, that experience led to one of the books she wrote, "Murder in Coweta County". "Murder" is a true story. Criminal justice classes often used it as supplemental reading.

It was made into a CBS television movie starring Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith. Aunt Margaret got to appear in the movie -- as the court reporter! Rather fitting, I think.

My favorite of her books is the more whimsical "A Buzzard-My-Best-Friend", which tells the story of the time she and her family spent as owners of a Virginia farm. I have fond memories of the summer my family and I visited that farm. (It may also be the root of my love/hate relationship with the idea of owning a small farm.)

Seeing what she has accomplished over her lifetime reminds me that, while life may be considered one great adventure, in reality it is a series of adventures. I'm going to remember to enjoy each one.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Margaret. May your adventures continue for years to come!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Summer fun

Now that the outside temperatures have reached the point of having a comfort factor in the 100's, I'm pretty reluctant to spend daylight hours outside. Instead, I'm finding amusing online sites that will keep me occupied while in the house.

Ever wondered what you would look like after a facelift? Try it out at Modiface. If you're too squeamish to try it on yourself (even in cyberspace), they have photos to play with before you decide if you want to go under the virtual knife.

Thinking about taking a road trip? Try Roadside America and make a list of the unusual places you'd like to visit. You might even find something close to home.

Need something to do on the way to your destination? A visit to Mom's minivan can provide loads of fun to keep the occupants of your chosen mode of transportation entertained.

If a road trip is too mundane for you, perhaps you would like to consider Space. You'll find lots of videos and articles related to science and technology.

No desire to wander? If you're feeling crafty, visit craft. You will be inspired by their projects, podcasts and blog.

How about a good book? Check out the Project Gutenberg. You'll find online versions of books whose copyrights have expired. Works are available in numerous languages.

Good hunting!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Goodbye, Blackjack

When I came home from work on Monday, I noticed that our neighbor's fence was gone. Not a good sign.

The fence had weathered many a storm, including hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne, one of which dropped a palm tree on it. In spite of being battered, the fence stood.

Now it was gone. That meant one thing -- Blackjack was gone.

Blackjack was our neighbor's dog. He was a sweet-natured pound puppy of medium height and weight and unknown parentage. His name came from his coloring. He was solid black except for a triangular shaped white patch at his throat. I guess you could say he was the dog equivalent of a tuxedo cat.

Although he was our neighbors' dog, Blackjack was part of our lives, too. He would greet us as we passed his yard on our way up and down our driveway, and when he was outside of his fence, he would come back to our yard to "patrol the perimeter". We always felt safer with Blackjack on guard.

I like to think that right now Blackjack is patrolling Rainbow Bridge.

Goodbye, Blackjack, we'll miss you.

Friday, July 6, 2007

It's not too late . . .

Everyone had dreams when they were kids - things they wanted to do, see, create and be.

As adults we look back and see how we lived those dreams -- or not.

Ever dream of being a "rock star" but thought you were too old? Check out the Zimmers. They're all over 60, and their average age is 78!

If you want to see what could be possibile for you as you age, check out Age Venture, an online magazine that reports on longevity research and lifestyle trends.

No matter what your age, there is a wealth of information available from the U.S. Government.

It's never too late -- or too early to consider your future.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Of cats . . . and mice

Believe it or not, there is a website for cats. NO, not cat loving people, cats. It's called, appropriately enough, cattv. When you're not using your computer, you'll have a new toy for your kitty.

If you want to watch cats on your computer, head to cat cam. There's also a link to web cams of all kinds. Tired of the view out your window? Check out the view on your computer monitor!

Quite a few universities have begun calling their campus cameras "Hi Mom!" cams. It's an easy way for parents to be assured that their student is alive and well and on campus.

Before you head out on vacation, you might want to check for webcam locations. Rather than sending a postcard, just notify your friends with your cell phone, BlackBerry or iPhone and wave at the webcam!