Friday, August 25, 2017

Eclipse August 2017

Birdbath viewer- the best for watching. I had to wear my sunglasses over two pair of clip-on sunglasses to cut down the glare. Unfortunately, I was not able to photograph the sun in the birdbath as the moon moved in front of it because the glare was just too bright for the camera.

Three pairs of clilp-ons worked as well but really not good for taking photos. What I saw through the clip-ons was not seen by the camera.

Hundreds of tiny crescent moons under the trees.

Tiny suns appeared when I used a colander.

Binoculars, large lenses pointed at the sun, projected the clearest images. I also made a eclipse viewer out of a shoebox but gave that to the little girl who lives across the street. It works but it was a bit of a pain to use.

Friday, July 28, 2017

California Trip (3)

I brought two Polaroids taken in New York City circa 1980 home with me from California. The one on the left is me standing on the ledge on top of my sister's apartment building at the corner of 72nd St. and Columbus Ave. I do not know what I was thinking as we were 7 stories up. Look at my left foot in the photo, it gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about how close I was standing to the edge. At the right, a photo of Steve Ferrone and me around the same time. Seems like yesterday.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Trump Supporters Defend Him

1. Michael Flynn
What what about Hillary Clinton?*

2. Jeff Sessions
What what about Hillary Clinton?*

3. James Comey
What what about Hillary Clinton?*

4. Donald Trump Jr. emails
What what about Hillary Clinton?*

5. Russia interfered with a US presidential election
(Crickets chirping)

*She is not the president of the United States, Donald Trump is and you trying to ignore that fact is not going to make this go away.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Baby Bluejays on the backyard patio.

Belle, very interested in the baby Bluejays on the backyard patio.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

California Trip (2)

A souvenir from the Blondie concert I attended at the Hollywood Bowl.
The set list for guitarist Tommy Kessler thrown at me by guitarist Chris Stein.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

California Trip

(Just got back today.)



Monday, July 03, 2017

I Am Learning To Sew- Project 37

I bought new seat cushions for the patio chairs and the pillows (right) I bought for the old cushions did not match anymore so I made pillow covers for them. The hard part was shoving the 6 pillows into their new covers, I found out after I was done making them that the zippers I used were really too short.

Friday, June 30, 2017

My Country 'Tis Of Thee

When is enough enough for the people who support this man. This man who has the emotional I.Q. and the cruelty of a 14 year-old boy? This man who is the President of the United States and has no respect for the dignity of the office. This man who represents us and shows us everyday that he and the political party he represents has no respect for us or the Constitution of the United States and the system our founding fathers put in place to keep complete control of the government out of the hands of one man or one party.

The Founding Fathers also understood that having a free press was important. So important they protected it in the first amendment to the Constitution. A free press keeping a close watch on our government plays a major role in protecting our form of government and our rights as American citizens

What is happening right now is a danger to us. Do not let our county slip inch by inch into totalitarianism. It's time to do the one thing that is required of you as a citizen in a democracy. The one thing that people living with repressive governments across the globe have died for, the right to vote.


It's time to stop saying my vote doesn't count or won't make a difference.


It's time to realize that your vote is powerful or why else would Republican legislatures gerrymander district boundaries in their states.


It's time to stop cutting off our noses to spite our faces.


Protesting is a way of expressing our disapproval with our government but the only thing that will really change what is happening is for all Americans to use their Constitutional right to vote in the 2018 elections.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Paddington, I Hardly Knew You

This photo was the first thing I saw when I clicked on The Hollywood Reporter obituaries page this morning.

My first thought, "Paddington Bear is dead?"

Of course not, it is the creator of Paddington Bear, Michael Bond, who died. The Hollywood Reporter does this a lot- putting up a photo connected in someway to the deceased if they cannot find a photo of the person who has died. If you scroll down on the main obituaries page you will find a photo of eight people, one of them being Bob Hope, on the obituary for ex-child actor Paul De Rolf.  Which one is Paul?  Don't know,  The Hollywood Reporter doesn't tell us.  My favorite WTH? photo was the one used when Lawrence Montaigne died.  Montaigne was the actor who nearly replaced Leonard Nimoy  as Mr. Spock when Nimoy was thinking of leaving Star Trek between the first and second seasons.  Whose photo was  used in the article?  Yep, Leonard Nimoy.   Is it really that hard to find an actual photo of the person who died,  Hollywood Reporter?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Remember Back In 2009 When Donald Trump Was On The Cover Of Time Magazine?

Wait, he has never been on the cover of Time Magazine?  You mean it was fake news?  That explains everything.  Liars (Like Trump)  always assume everyone else is stupid so why wouldn't someone who lies (Like Trump)  create fake news ?   And why wouldn't someone (Like Trump) who cannot get the real press to believe his lies start calling real news, fake news?   And pathological liars (Like Trump) react badly when caught in a lie. They  (Like Trump) become defensive and try to pin the blame on someone else by coming up with (Like Trump)  another lie.

"President Trump called the Russian hack a "hoax" and then blamed it on Obama, on the same day!"

So, in an effort to help you understand our poor, poor,  misunderstood president,  here is a link to an article titled, HOW TO SPOT A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Y. M. C. A.

This is lovely and at the same time so bittersweet. Thinking of all the young men who died in the Aids epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.

Just as bittersweet, the original Village People version.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First Full Day Of Summer, People! Yeaaa!

(Sigh) I can only dream of the beach.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sewing Books

I've collected quite a few older sewing books.  Mary Brooks Picken, "America's Foremost Authority on Sewing and Dressmaking," wrote 96 books covering sewing, needlework, and the textile arts. I own two sewing books written by her including:

MODERN DRESSMAKING MADE EASY by Mary Brooks Picken, copyright 1949, Funk & Wagnalls Company, New York.

Not only does MODERN DRESSMAKING MADE EASY teach you how to sew, it also teaches you, as the chapter heading describes it, Your Physical Self- "how to develop poise; how to walk, stand, sit."
But it seems you can only do these things while naked and wearing high-heels.

The back of the book jacket for Modern DRESSMAKING Made Easy with ad for another book by  Mary Brooks Picken, The Fashion Dictionary.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Police Investigating Van Attack in London as Terrorism

-New York Times headline

All of Donald "NO MERCY TO TERRORISTS you dumb bastards!" Trump's tweets about the terrorist attack in London last night where a white man plowed his van into a group of Muslims leaving their mosque after prayers.

(This space intentionally left blank.)

Friday, June 16, 2017

I've Been Away From Blogging For So Long I Forgot What I Do Around Here 5

And finally,  I had a great birthday which included a trip to the Loveland Museum.

As some of you know, Loveland (The Sweetheart City) is known for its Valentine Re-mailing Program. Every year hundreds of thousands of people send valentines to be stamped with the Loveland postmark and a Loveland cachet:

So when we got to the museum there was one thing we knew we had to do:

Become Miss LOVELAND VALENTINE of 1961.

And it would not have been as much fun without my partner in crime joining in.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I've Been Away From Blogging For So Long I Forgot What I Do Around Here 4

Fourth, grieving the loss of the Ash tree in the back yard due to heavy and wet snow on May eighteenth.

First limb down.

By the next morning the rest of the tree had collapsed.

The yard after the remains of the tree had been removed. 

Today, things got better when our new tree arrived.

Our new Winter King Hawthorn with a row of Fern Leaf Buckthorns behind it.  The Buckthorns will grow to 2 feet above the fence giving us privacy until the Hawthorn is tall and wide enough to do the job.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I've Been Away From Blogging For So Long I Forgot What I Do Around Here 3

Third, I started sewing again and finally finished the chair cushion for the slipcover project I had been working on.

From this-

To this.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I've Been Away From Blogging For So Long I Forgot What I Do Around Here 2

Second, I was feeling run down so I bought a juicer and started juicing.  It has made a big difference in my life and I'm feeling more energized.  Green drinks for everyone!

Monday, June 12, 2017

I've Been Away From Blogging For So Long I Forgot What I Do Around Here

It's almost four months since my husband had his knee replacement surgery and he is doing better than expected.  In fact, he is doing so well that, when his therapy sessions were over,  his physical therapist gave him a certificate praising him for his commitment and for being the best client he (the therapist) had ever worked with.  Getting there took a long and stressful three months for the both of us.  So, as my husband continued healing and getting even stronger, I spent the last month getting back on track. 

First, like Dusty here, I caught up on sleep.

(to be continued)

Monday, June 05, 2017

Thursday, June 01, 2017

It's National Go Barefoot Day!

From L. Frank Baum's "Ozma of Oz," illustrated by John R. Neill.
National Go Barefoot Day is observed on June 1.  This day is an opportunity to kick off your shoes and run barefoot through the cool grass! More importantly, it is a day to help support a charity that provides millions of underprivileged children all around the world with shoes.
-National Go Barefoot Day website.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It's Time To Be Rude, Crude, And Socially Unacceptable

Dear Donald Trump,

If money, power, and having what you think are hot women is not enough to quell your fears about the size of your penis, what makes you think dropping "the mother of all bombs" on Afghanistan will do it? You are a sad, sad, man.


Colleen Shannon

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Life With Belle

Took Belle with me today when I went to the Vet to refilled her meds.

Me: "Belle. You want to go for a ride?"

Belle: "Yeah, yeah, put me in the car. Now, now, now! I'm doing my happy dance.....On second thought, I should check to see if there are any bunnies at the side of the house."


Sunday, March 12, 2017

When It Hasn't Been Your Day, Your Week, Your Month Or Even Your Year

An another long break between blog posts.  The last 12 months as been busy with heath matters in our household.  In that time period my husband has had three surgeries, all to do with quality of life repairs.  The last one, a partial- knee replacement that due to complications turned into a full knee replacement, was two weeks ago so blogging is way down on my list right now.   Will be back when my husband becomes more mobile.  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Draw Me! (part 2)

As you recall I was very upset and disappointed with Art Instruction Schools after they came to my house to try and sell my mother art lessons for me.  What I forgot to tell you is that in addition to advertising in comic books and magazines Art Instruction Schools used matchbooks.

As I grew older my disappointment with AIS did not diminish. While looking at one of their matchbooks I decided to fight back. At that time matchbooks were advertising for businesses and could be found in easy-to-get-at bowls, just like mints, almost everywhere- restaurants, bars, lunch counter, gas stations- anywhere you could buy cigarettes. I started borrowing matchbooks, any matchbooks but Draw Me!, and then I would print my own ad inside the matchbooks:

Then I would drop the matchbook back into bowl.  I know it was childish but, what can I say? I was a child.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Draw Me!: Or Yes, When It Comes To Art Dreams, Sometimes You Can Go Home Again

You may remember Winky from your comic books.   Winky,  Tippy the turtle and Reggie the raccoon where all come-ons for the home study Art Instruction Schools out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  See how they offer scholarships and cash prizes?  That is the reason why I sent away for one of their art tests (which graded your artistic ability) when is was thirteen years old.  I filled it out when it came and then sent it back. What I did not know is that they would send two men to my house to try and convince my mother to pay for art lessons for me even though they gave me a "C" grade on test.  That is when I figured out the prizes and scholarships were a scam.

I think I instinctively knew it was a scam but was willing to take the risk because the school I really want to get into was the one I knew I never would:

Yep, the Famous Artist School. Founded by the great Norman Rockwell and a bunch of other illustrators whose names I did not know but whose work I probably saw all the time in the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines.  I knew Norman Rockwell would never try to rip me off but, alas, I also knew I could never afford the tuition.  So every time I saw one of these ads for the Famous Artists Course my heart broke a little.

Flash forward to last week.  My husband and I went to lunch after swimming and then stopped into our favorite antiques store Dickens Alley.  As I perused the art books I noticed four large binders stacked one on top of each other on the bottom shelf. On the spine of each binder was shield with the letters fa written inside it. At the bottom of the spine of each binder were numbers.  One binder had the numbers 1-6 written on it, one had 7-13, one had 14-19 and the final one had the numbers 20-24.   I lifted the top binder and turned it over and saw on the cover  the  same shield with the letters fa written inside it and, to the right of the shield, the words Famous Artists Course.  I almost started crying.  It was like finding the Holy Grail.  I picked the stack of binders up and made my way to the counter and bought them all.  It seems the store owner had three of the course series books for the longest time and the week before someone had walked in, saw the books, and said he had the final book and asked if the store owner want to buy it.   The store owner did and there I was a week later ready to buy them all. 

My set.

A page from Lessons 1-6 binder.

Now, I may not be able to become a commercial artist by studying these books and I know I can't even enroll in the school now since it has been closed since 1981, but I will be reading these lessons because understanding how something is done can only increase a person's appreciation of it.  Sometimes your dreams come true in ways you never expect.

(If you are feeling inspired, below are links to all the artists listed as faculty in the Famous Art Course advertisement above. )

Norman Rockwell

Jon Whitcomb

Stevan Dohanos

Harold Von Schmidt

Peter Helck

Al Parker

Ben Stahl

Robert Fawcett

Austin Briggs

John Atherton

Albert Dorne

Friday, February 17, 2017

Letter From A Fed Up American Citizen

Dear #45,

If you don't like being being president because you can't do everything you want to without the interference of people who are trying to protect our country from you, why don't you quit? That way we would no longer have to watch press conferences where you blame everyone else for your inability to behave like a real president, let alone a sane person.


Colleen Shannon

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Michael Flynn And National Security In Trump’s Administration

This interview with foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius of the Washington Post; Kori Schake, former Director on the national security council for George Bush; and former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns on NPR is informative. I found these observations very interesting:

Moderator: You have watched these things for a long time. Is this just working out the kinks or do we have a problem here?

Schake: You know, up until a couple days ago my theory of the case was that, this was a messier transition than most but that is was basically going to be a linear process, right? As the cabinet departments got staffed out, that power would migrate away from the most reckless people in the Trump administration, who are the ones in the White house and closest to the president. And responsibility for carrying things out would be done, with increasing competence, by the departments. And I'm beginning to question that, uh, concept of the administration. 

Moderator: Why?

Schake: It may just be, we, this may be what we're in for. It may just be, you know, oscillating, inability to learn from their mistakes, inability to be honest about their vulnerabilities, uh, increasing revelations of very profound compromises of, of, important people in the administration.

Moderator: You're our, you're our conservative, I mean, you're our guest who has worked with Republicans for a long time. Uh, is there, is there, I mean, Republicans on Capitol Hill are saying this is politics, all this complaining is politics. The problem is just the leaks. Everything else is fine, thank you.

Schake: No, that's nonsense. Uh, it, ah, you know, leaks in the American government are a natural act, they're part of the checks and balances of the system. People who feel like formal channels are not taking their concerns into account or people who fear that their government is about to make a really bad choice and haven't considered all of the elements of that. That's when people start talking to the newspapers, that's when people start going to Capitol Hill. Uh. And, so, a smart administration takes the process of leaks as a grade on how they are preforming, not as a threat to their country.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Return With Us Now To Those Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear

-The Lone Ranger radio show

I'm reading The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio when my husband walks into the room.

He: Are you reading that encyclopedia like a regular book?
Me: Yes.
He: Why?
Me: Because it is that interesting.

Radio was TV without pictures. This means there was great shows, good shows, and just plain dreck back then; just like TV today. The great shows are easy to recognize because they have longer entries  explaining the history of the show and the people connected to it. The most interesting thing about this book is discovering how rich and varied radio really was before TV came along to almost kill it. The second most interesting thing was finding out that radio had already done most of the types of quiz shows, court shows, sitcoms, dramas and even some of the reality shows we watch on TV today.

So I guess we could actually say that television is just radio with pictures.

(BTW- I found out most of shows I am interested in listening to are on the Internet Archive ( under Old Time Radio.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Things I Truly Love- Coloring Books

I bought two new coloring books and both were about Vogue Magazine.

    Vogue Coloring Book by Iain R. Webb .  Mr. Webb's artwork was inspired by photos in 1950 -1959 copies of
British Vogue Magazine.

Vogue Colors a to z: A Fashion Coloring Book edited by Valerie Steiker.

Monday, February 13, 2017

I Am Learning To Sew- Project 36

My next project was going to be a slipcover for one of my living room chairs but I realized I would also have to replace the seat cushion. When I cut it open I found this down-filled cushion inside. Since I had to wait for the new foam cushion I ordered to be delivered, I decided to turn the old down-filled cushion into a dog bed.

Dog bed before.

I also decided that making this dog bed would give me practice making and sewing welting. I first learned how to make continuous bias tape, then how to sew a length of cord inside the tape to make the welting, and finally how to sew the welting between the top and sides of the cushion. The whole project went smoother than I expected.

Dog bed finished.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Global Warming Brings February Flowers

Outside the Loveland, CO main library today.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Catch 22

"In an extraordinarily rare move, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) interrupted Warren’s speech in a near-empty chamber, as debate on Sessions’s nomination heads toward a Wednesday evening vote, and said that she had breached Senate rules by reading past statements against Sessions from figures such as the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the late Coretta Scott King."
-Washington Post

"I will not be silent about a nominee for AG who has made derogatory & racist comments that have no place in our justice system."

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) February 8, 2017

Republicans vote to rebuke Senator Elizabeth Warren for reading a letter written by Coretta King that was critical of Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for Atty General. The obscure rule was passed in 1902 after one US Senator attacked another US Senator. Talk about overkill and a direct attempt by the Republican majority to silence any dissent presented by anyone, including a sitting US Senator.

What is happening in these hearing made me think of Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley's quote during the Police Riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention, "The police are not here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder."

I think the Republican leadership in Congress is not only there to create disorder, they are there to preserve disorder in order to get what they want.

In the past, long, long, ago, the Republican leadership in Congress believed as Confucius taught, "In his dealings with the world the gentleman is neither for or against anything. Rather he is on the side of what is moral."

These are bad times for a Party that has lost it's way and no longer represents the ideas they expound on their web page:

"We reaffirm the Constitution’s fundamental principles: limited government, separation of powers, individual liberty, and the rule of law. We denounce bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, and religious intolerance. Therefore, we oppose discrimination based on race, sex, religion, creed, disability, or national origin and support statutes to end such discrimination. As the Party of Abraham Lincoln, we must continue to foster solutions to America’s difficult challenges when it comes to race relations today. We continue to encourage equality for all citizens and access to the American Dream. Merit and hard work should determine advancement in our society, so we reject unfair preferences, quotas, and set-asides as forms of discrimination. Our ranks include Americans from every faith and tradition, and we respect the right of each American to follow his or her deeply held beliefs."

This from a party who has a racist as it's nominee for Atty. General, who confirmed a nominee for Secretary of Education who is unqualified, who said nothing as Donald Trump banned American citizens of the Muslim faith from reentering the country, who said nothing when Donald Trump said that his power as president was greater than that of any of the other branches of the government, and who has attempted to stifle anyone who exercises their right to freedom of speech under the Constitution.

The Republican Party has lost it's moral compass. Hell, they didn't loose it, they threw it away and never looked back.

Friday, February 03, 2017

What Fresh Hell Is This?

-Dorothy Parker

Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination

The four-page draft order, a copy of which is currently circulating among federal staff and advocacy organizations, construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments.”'

Most Americans do not approve of Sharia Laws (Laws based on religious beliefs.) or the countries, like Iran, that govern under them. In fact it terrifies them. But they do not seem to have any problem with Sharia Laws if they are based on Christian religious beliefs. These same people will tell you they love the Constitution, this country, the American Flag and what it it stand for. Do you know what that makes those American? Lying hypocrites.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses Yearning To Breathe Free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
-Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus (1883)

Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News.