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Am I Blue?

January 1, 2010

Ella Fitzgerald – Am I Blue?

No, I’m not blue!  But once in a blue moon only comes…. once in a blue moon!

Happy New Year everyone, with my wishes to you for health and happiness, all of your hard work rewarded, dreams fulfilled, and peace everywhere.  It has been such a pleasure getting to know you through this crazy new form of communication.  I’ve learned a lot and loved visiting with you here and on your blogs.  Thanks for being a part of my life!

A peak of some blues from the past year follows:

19th and Cherry – Milwaukee Wisconsin


Dragonfly on bamboo, Tegallingah, Bali


Dublin, Ireland


Derek’s little guy


Back street, Padangbai, Bali


Nuclear Power Plant, Sheboygan Wisconsin


Javanese Mask, Tegallingah, Bali


The Blue Room, Crystal Bell Inn, Wabeno Wisconsin


Gas station, Goa Gajah, Bali


Harley toy, Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee Wisconsin


Captive Blue Birds, Gianyar, Bali


Dublin, Ireland


Blue Lagoon, Padangbai, Bali


Mom’s tea party, Seymour Wisconsin


Diving boat, Padangbai, Bali


Lily River, Forest County, Wisconsin


Cannamara, Ireland


Baby chicken tied in a knot, Tembuku, Bali


Dining room with Christmas garland


Claire Galway Abbey, Ireland


Bloo Lagoon Villa, Padangbai, Bali


Martin Luther King Drive, Milwaukee Wisconsin


Home of the unfriendly actress, Kintamani, Bali


Muscari – Don’t despair, spring is just around the corner!

Happy New Year!


Merry Christmas

December 24, 2009

Bladelin Tryptich

Rogier van der Weyden (1450)

What Child is This?

Celtic Women

December 18th and 19th, 2009

December 19, 2009

Another Christmas cookie baking party.  We made three batches of sugar cookies, cut them out, frosted them – and ate all the broken ones!  The kids had contests – who could decorate the craziest, who could make the best shooting star, dress gingerbread men in an outfit that looks like you, and the most frosting on one cookie.

Sugar cookies are my all-time favorite Christmas cookie.  You have to have a party for all the steps in making these cookies, and that’s half the fun.  The very best, tried and true, recipe comes from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book:

Soften and whip:

2 sticks (one cup) of butter


1 cup of sugar, whip


two eggs, 1 tbl. vanilla, mix well

Add and mix dry ingredients:

1 tsp salt

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven, spray cookies sheets with Pam.

Roll out cookie dough on floured wax paper, 1/8 inch thick.  Cut out and carefully transfer to baking sheets.

Bake for 5-7 minutes, and then watch them until the edges just start to brown.

Remove, cool, frost.  Yummy.

December 16th – 17th, 2009

December 17, 2009

Oh, the weather outside is frightful!

But the ‘tea’ is so delightful!

And since we’ve no place to go,

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Oh it doesn’t show signs of stopping,

And I’ve bought some corn for popping,

The lights are turned way down low,

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

When we finally kiss goodnight,

How I’ll hate going out in the storm!

But if you’ll really hold me tight,

All the way home I’ll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying,

And, my dear, we’re still good-bying,

But as long as you love me so,

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

From the Christmas Songs site:

The wonderful Christmas song Let It Snow was created by lyricist Sammy Cahn and the composer Jule Styne in 1945. The words and lyrics of Let It Snow reflect the feeling of warmth and security associated with Christmas and also brings in the more modern customs of popping corn! The song Let It Snow was revived in recent years when used in the Bruce Willis film Die Hard which started with the film’s hero traveling to meet his family at Christmas.

And the lovely, inviting tea set was created by Mary Engelbreit, whose cheerful and colorful designs I just love!  This tea set was a Christmas gift a few years ago.  I will be drinking tea from the little lady tomorrow around 4 pm.  You’re welcome to join us!

December 15th, 2009

December 15, 2009

James Christensen

This unassuming young woman has been endowed with wings and grace with such force that even the invisible has left its shadow on stone. And she’s not sure what just happened. She remains modest and humble and is probably unaware of what she has done. Her service and kindness just seemed like the right thing to do. – JCC

According to Catholic Online,

The Creator Himself is so powerful and glorious that He cannot be approached in person by human beings. He alone “hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto: whom no man hath seen, nor can see (1 Timothy 6:16). Angels do not have man’s shortcomings, and can therefore act for God and represent Him when communicating with men and women. They bridge the huge gap between the holiness and perfection of God in heaven and the shortcomings of dying people on this planet. Angels were made immortal.

[Charles Wesley, 1739]

Hark! the herald angels sing,

Glory to the new born King,

Peace on earth and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled.


Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the new born King.

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,

Join the triumph of the skies;

With th’ angelic host proclaim,

‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’.

Christ, by highest heav’n adored,

Christ, the ever lasting Lord,

Late in time behold him come,

Off spring of a virgin’s womb.

Veiled in flesh the God head see!

Hail, th’ incarnate Deity!

Pleased as man with man to dwell,

Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hail, the heav’n born prince of peace!

Hail, the sun of righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

Ris’n with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,

Born that man no more may die,

Born to raise the sons of earth,

Born to give them second birth.

Risen with healing in his wings,

Light and life to all he brings,

Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Come, Desire of nations come,

Fix in us Thy humble home;

Rise, the Woman’s conquering Seed,

Bruise in us the Serpent’s head.

Adam’s likeness now efface:

Stamp Thine image in its place;

Second Adam, from above,

Reinstate us in thy love.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing by Frank Sinatra

December 14th, 2009

December 14, 2009

It was said:

A star shall come out of Jacob and a scepter shall rise out of Israel

Numbers 24:17


When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

Matthew 2:10

Rogier van der Weyden – Bladelin Triptych

In art work, the star has taken varied and beautiful shapes and forms:

But was there really a star?  Scientists and theologians have a plethora of theories.  One proposal by astronomers is that the star was actually a comet.  That’s a possibility.

Last night, Sunday the 13th, skywatchers in the northern hemisphere turned their heads upwards to see the annual Geminids meteor shower, with an expected 140 shooting stars per minute.  According to,

Geminds are bits of debris left in space by a strange object called 3200 Phaethon. First thought to be an asteroid, 3200 Phaethon is now classified as a dead comet. Whatever its label, when it orbits the sun, it sheds debris that forms a stream, through which Earth passes each December. Most of the stuff is the size of a pea or smaller, and as these bits enter Earth’s atmosphere, they vaporize, creating the streaks of light.

Here is a photo from another meteor shower in 1999:

A nova, a planet, a comet, an occultation, or a conjunction?  Who knows?

Maybe it was a star…..

Oh Holy Night, by The Fray

December 13th, 2009

December 13, 2009

A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.

Martin Luther King, Jr

Adoration of the Wisemen

by Romare Bearden

December 12th, 2009 – 12 days to the 25th

December 12, 2009

Cecilia (named after his granddaughter) by James Christensen (one of my favorite modern artists).  Mr. Christensen makes an appearance every Christmas time for me, in one painting or another.

He says, his hope is that through whatever he creates, he can convey a message, inspiration or a simple laugh. He believes that teaching people to use their imagination helps us find solutions to sooth the stresses of everyday life-or get a little lift to help us keep going. In short: all things are possible when you share Christensen’s philosophy that “Believing is Seeing.”

His main body of work, mostly paintings, is heavily influenced by fantasy themes. Even his small body of religious work shows heavy fantasy influence. Christensen says his inspirations are myths, fables, fantasies, and tales of imagination.

Angels We Have Heard On High – The words of the song are based on a traditional French carol known as Les Anges dans nos campagnes (literally, “Angels in our countryside”). Its most common English version was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick.  There is also a Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) translation of the carol which is known as Ainglean chuala sinn gu h-ard (literally, “Angels We Have Heard on High”). This was translated into Gaelic by Iain MacMilan.  Although I do not speak or read Gaelic, I think it sounds and looks particularly beautiful:

Ainglean chuala sinn gu h-ard,
Seinn cho milis feadh an àit’,
Na beanntannan co – sheirm an ciùil,
‘S Mac talla freagairt bòidheach ciùin.


Seinn moladh agus glòir, Moladh agus glòir
Moladh agus glòir do Dhia, An Dàrna Pearsa naomh den Trian.
Seinn moladh agus glòir, Moladh agus glòir
Moladh agus glòir do Dhia, An Dàrna Pearsa naomh den Trian.
Chìobairean, carson ur duan?
Carson a tha e àlainn buan?
Innsibh dhuinn ur naidheachd-ghaoil
Dhùisg sibh suas gu ceòl cho naomh. Seisd (Chorus)
Thig gu Bethlehem, thig is chì,
Chì thu’n Tighearna Dia do Righ;
Lùb do ghlùin ‘s thoir adhradh dhà,
Crìosda rugadh dhuinn na phàisd’. Seisd (Chorus)

And then there is the Aretha Franklin version.  She is the Queen of Soul.

December 11th, 2009 – 13 days to the 25th

December 11, 2009

If you have dropped in on this blog before, you have most certainly met Terra and Zoey.  Terra is a Terrier/Sharpei, and Zoey is a Miniature Pinscher/Chihuahua (with a Chihuahua attitude).  They are resting here, exhausted from the dance they just taped for your holiday enjoyment.

The girls and I want to Wish You a Merry Christmas, Jib Jab Style.  Click on this link and wait for the dance to load. It will take a minute.  Then go ahead and make your own to laugh at and share.  Have fun!

December 10th, 2009 -14 days to the 25th

December 10, 2009

My children were a great excuse for buying children’s books, especially at Christmas time.  There were always a couple Christmas books left next to the stockings by jolly old St. Nick.  The collection is now quite large, and although the children are grown, the books still appear in December.  Among my favorites are pop-up books, and of those, my very favorites are the books by Robert Sabuda.  This author/artist can do incredible things with white paper.  White paper is perfect for these books, being the same color as snow!!  Here are a few of my favorite pages: