Tuesday, September 25, 2012

By the skin of my teeth

Heandbangers actually change tomorrow, but as often I am early just becaus eit works for me. This time definitely, because tomorrow is the day we leave for Seattle after a bunch of early and mid day busyness.

And yesterday was the day my laptop attempted to crash. Well, it didn't get all the way, it will still function, but it won't recognize my external hard drive or anything else that attaches to the USB port.

By the skin of my teeth, I had moved and loaded pictures of confectionary to my holding pen folders on the laptop. So I can participate, even without the picture I took at dinner Saturday night--which is still in the camera.

While we were visiting the UK two years ago we met a confection--at least I would call it that--called Sticky Toffee Pudding. Having once encountered it, we had to try it whenever it was on the menu, since our guide and British trip companion said it is made differently in different parts of the country or different restaurants. (The Russian and Austiran students had nothing to say about it. It is obviously a British treat.)

We had this version of Sticky Toffee Pudding in the village of Kinlochewe after our first day of hiking in the Highlands.

While were were wandering Edinburgh before the hiking tour we happened upon "The Fudge
Shop" in the Royal Mile. It looked definitely like a don't miss.

Oh, that I could scan and share the picture of hubby and me in front of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Bend, Oregon taken before digital and before gray hair. Ha! We have great confections here as well.
The confections I snapped on Saturday were the display models of the short dessert menu. Yum. But the ultimate was what was served us at a dinner last spring when we were hosted by the rep from the publisher we deal with. It was one of those meals where the menu does not have prices....

And this plate of confections was presented to each of us.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday's Psalm--25th Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Lord upholds my life.
O God, by your name save me,
and by your might defend my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
hearken to the words of my mouth.

The Lord upholds my life.
For the haughty men have risen up against me,
the ruthless seek my life;
they set not God before their eyes.

The Lord upholds my life.
Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.
Freely will I offer you sacrifice;
I will praise your name, O LORD, for its goodness.

The Lord upholds my life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Headbangers are back with Change

When I realized last week that my turn to choose the header challenge theme was here, it didn't take me long to come up with "Change." This is what I told the Headbangers crew:
Okay, let’s face it. Fall is here. I turned the heated seat on in the car yesterday morning—and the air conditioner on in the afternoon. We’ve thrown a quilt on the bed. Kids who were home for the summer are now back in school. We will start looking for the colors to come from the leaves instead of the flowers. The day and the night will soon be equal and then the darker hours will begin to dominate

Fall has only given me the suggestion for the theme. You don’t have to post something that is a seasonal change. Any kind of change. How will we interpret this one? Could be interesting and a little fun. 
Well, like I said, fall brought the idea, but I had no preconceived idea of what kind of change I was going to post.

I didn't know that that coming weekend I would experience what could also have fit the theme of the month before of "That was a Surprise!"

Throught the largesse of someone who had purchased a table, we attended the Central Washington Catholic Foundation dinner A Celebration of Faith. On the flyer for the dinner the speakers announced were Fr. Spitzer S.J., former president of Gonzaga University, and Bishop Joseph Tyson of the Diocese of Yakima.

On the program at the dinner was listed another speaker, a young woman from the area who is a senior at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. That name struck me as totally familiar, but my memory has been dreadful for names and faces. Why did I know that name? Did I know that face in the picture in the program? Who was she?

When Sarah got up to speak, I knew.

But, you see, I taught mostly first grade. The lovely and brilliant young woman who is Sarah, I knew as a six year old.

Here is Sarah looking like she is taking the lead in
the group counting pennies.
There is Sarah at the back of the line
waiting for her turn at that piñata.
Look at that smile! Some things never change.

 Oh, her speech was brilliant, by the way, and the hugs later were even better.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday's Psalm--24th Sunday of Ordinary Time

I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
I love the LORD because he has heard
my voice in supplication,
Because he has inclined his ear to me
the day I called.
I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
The cords of death encompassed me;
the snares of the netherworld seized upon me;
I fell into distress and sorrow,
And I called upon the name of the LORD,
"O LORD, save my life!"
I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
Gracious is the LORD and just;
yes, our God is merciful.
The LORD keeps the little ones;
I was brought low, and he saved me.
I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.
For he has freed my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Headbanger's Theme--Feathers

from Wikipedia
Ailerons are hinged flight control surfaces attached to the trailing edge of the wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. The ailerons are used to control the aircraft in roll, which results in a change in heading due to the tilting of the lift vector. The two ailerons are typically interconnected so that one goes down when the other goes up: the down-going aileron increases the lift on its wing while the up-going aileron reduces the lift on its wing, producing a rolling moment about the aircraft's longitudinal axis. Ailerons are usually situated near the wing tip, but may sometimes be situated nearer the wing root. The terms "outboard aileron" and "inboard aileron" are used to describe these positions respectively. The word aileron is French for "little wing".

So why do I introduce my headbangers presentation for the theme of "feathers" which Gail has given us this week? The other day on a science program on the radio they were discussing the function and history of  feathers, and particularly wing feathers. And wing feathers serve individually as ailerons on a wing which also serves as an aileron. The bird has muscle control of each feather, able to turn each one as needed to sustain flight.

shed wing feather
Feathers serve another purpose, according to the presentation. Why are male birds so showy while the females of the species are generally pretty drab? Well, the females are pretty picky about choosing a mate, so the males have to show off by extravagant displays of color. The peacock is a prime example. These feathers certainly are not practical in providing an assist to flight. They only serve the purpose of attracting that lady.  What a show-off!

"Look sweetie! Over here! Aren't I beautiful?"
But why can't the girls be gorgeous as well? Sheer practicality! While the males are off strutting their stuff, the female is generally left to sit on the nest and keep those babies warm. Their feather coat is designed to blend in to the environment where they are nesting so that they don't attract predators.

(My British friends please forgive me as I can't help thinking of the American Revolution where the local militia wore drab homespun garments whild the British soldiers made targets of themselves in bright red uniform coats.)

So once again I have to make a choice for my header: Will it be the the practical?
or the showy?
This week marks Gail's swan song with the Headbangers as she leaves us because of time constraints from other activities.
mute swans
That leaves an opening for another budding photographer to join us. Headbangers are linked on my sidebar. Visit them this week to see what they did with last week's Through a Window, and starting Wednesday, "Feathers!" Contact one of us if you would like to play along.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sunday's Psalm--23rd Sunday of Ordinary time

Praise the Lord, my soul!
The God of Jacob keeps faith forever,

secures justice for the oppressed,
 gives food to the hungry.

The LORD sets captives free.


Praise the Lord, my soul!

The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.

Praise the Lord, my soul!

The fatherless and the widow the LORD sustains,

but the way of the wicked he thwarts.

The LORD shall reign forever;

your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.

Praise the Lord, my soul!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Headbangers are at it again, and again a dilemna

Richard's first selection for a theme is "Through the Window" and if I recall his suggestion is that we take a picture this week through a window if possible, but also could comb our files for a good one.

I am torn.

I have a great selection of window photos from far and wide to choose from in the files, and here are some in no particular order.

Seen while traveling in India

Through a visitor center window at Arches National Park

Another visitor center window view--this one at Mt. Rainier

So which Edinburgh Castle window? This one?

Or this?

Off to Ullapool, Scotland

How about old glass at Lincoln Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral seen broken in sections in the window opposite

A Scotty's Castle window view, reflected, in Death Valley

a Kremlin window view.

The other day my husband came home from town and called out as he opened the door, "Come bring your camera. See what came home with me." He thought it was a strange creature, but it is the right season for preying mantises to crop up anywhere and I have preying mantis shots from years before. So I popped inside the car to take the picture through the window. A different view to be sure. Definitely not the best of my window shots, but I like the fact that it was through the window RIGHT NOW, and so will use it for my header. I'm a renegade.
Now let me tell you a couple of preying mantis stories from my days teaching first grade. We usually had a pet preying mantis in a tank in the classroom. The kids would go out with a butterfly net during recess to catch grasshoppers to feed them. The kids knew the drill, and they loved having the strange little guys as part of the family.
Adults had some strange encounters with our pets, though. For one, they are misunderstood critters, so, not realizing that in captivity they are cannibalistic, it happened more than once that a well-meaning member of staff gave our pet a friend during the weekend or while cleaning the classroom, only to stare in horror when they mentioned it to me and I had to tell them that our dear pet had eaten the new roommate. (Or vice versa--never quite sure.)
The best story, though, was parent open house. The kids had gathered a great jar of grasshoppers during the day. The parents had sat through the boring meeting in the gym and were now in the classrooms where we were to tell them about curriculum, class rules and all that stuff. Just before the group arrived in my classroom, I dropped half a dozen grasshoppers into the tank. As the parents were gathered to hear a bit about what first grade was about, one who was near the tank let out a cry. I don't recall the exact words--it has been years--but the result was all the parents in the room gathered around the take to watch the preying mantis, with one grasshopper under each arm, munching first one grasshopper head then the other.
They were mesmerized. And I didn't have to give a boring speech about curriculum.