Category Archives: Uncategorized

B & W Challenge #5 Guess Who?

kids in the snow

How better to finish the challenge than with a photo of yours truly!

I must credit my father with taking this photo. Do you remember the old box cameras? Dad’s had a flap on the top that you lifted for the viewfinder. You held the camera against your chest to steady it and looked straight down into the viewfinder to find your subject with some difficulty with your whole body getting in on the action – was the image upside-down? The film was advanced manually and there were 12 images on your black and white roll. Six to twelve months later when you’d taken your twelfth photo, you’d take the film into a camera shop to be developed and wait two weeks for your photographs, which mostly came as a surprise as you’d taken them so long ago.

Now I take a photo and send it halfway around the world in an instant. Who would have believed that?

Jude of Travel Words and the earth laughs in flowers has invited me to join in with this challenge. Jude is an accomplished photographer/traveler/garden enthusiast so while out and about stays grounded and records everything with wonderfully entertaining results.

There are only two rules for this challenge:

  1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
  2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.

Today I would like to nominate Cindy Knoke of to take part in the challenge. Cindy lives in a mythical place in California she call ‘The Holler’ and travels extensively.  Her photos are just . . .  they’re just so . . . so very . . . . . absolutely . . . . ummm. It would seem they are indescribable. You’ll have to have a look for yourself. Go on.

(Note to Cindy – I shouldn’t have paired you in this post with the faded, scratched, photo of a photo above. But then there is no comparison between your photos and mine.)

RV People: An Essay

I think he’s got us pegged – except the wealthy thing!

I'm Trying to Write.

The man inside the stall was humming. Loudly.

It wasn’t just a casual kind of hum, either — something to distract from the awkward silence of two men using the restroom, one of whom was brushing his teeth and the other of whom was dropping some kids off at the pool. No, this was a bright, boisterous humming that struggled to break out into a full musical number. If a brass section had kicked in from one stall down, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

I casually mentioned this washroom warbler to my companions upon returning to our campsite:

“I mean, he was really going for it,” I told them, providing my own wild, rhythm-less rendition of his song, adding impolite noises where appropriate.

“I guess he was just a happy guy,” Amy suggested, but I could tell from the uncertain look in her eye what she was thinking because I…

View original post 855 more words

words are cheap

Nancy’s post kept resonating with me so I thought I would share it with my followers. The blogs I follow – travel, RV life, expat life, humor, photography, poetry, fiction writing or just life – are all original material, a product of the author’s mind, heart and soul, not the product of an internet search. Have a look at her post. See what you think. Let us know!

We-B Pumpkins!

Aren't we cute?

Aren’t the little ones cute?

You may be wondering how they built that huge pyramid of pumpkins in the background.

Building the pumpkin pyramid

Building the pumpkin pyramid one by one.

It took several days:

Another pumpkin on its way!

Another pumpkin on its way!

The finished display was amazing, complete with King and Queen!

The Pumpkin King and Queen

The Pumpkin King and Queen:

A handsome couple!
A handsome couple!

Calling all bloggers and bloggees!

What do you like to read? And how much? Do you need pictures to keep the scroll thing going? Will you read white print on a black background? Does it need to be just a few words for you to bother? Under 500 words? Do you balk as the word count approaches 1,000? Do you read blogs of 1,000+ words or skip to the next blog?

Some of my tales of woe are woefully long so I try to break them up into chunks of 500 – 800 words. Or is that just annoying?

Tell me what you think!!

France is all in Code #3

Madame Pittino in front of her bread selection. I'm behind the flash. Jimmy has just spotted the pastries.
Madame Pittino in front of her bread selection. I’m behind the flash. Jimmy has just spotted the pastries.

A seemingly straightforward mission to buy two croissants was turned into a farce by moi. The croissants were not the problem. They sat on the counter next to the till after I’d asked for them in the boulangerie/patisserie.

I was poised with a five euro note when the pastries seduced himself and he bent over to study them in the glass case.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUn moment,” I said to Madame Pittino. She waited. I waited. Jimmy salivated. I could see his eyes burning a hole in the apple tart slices. Madame had made her way ‘round from the bread counter to the pastry counter.

Un pomme de terre, s’il vous plait;” I requested confidently. Madame P. stood looking at me quizzically. After a moment’s thought I heard what I’d said. The translation process always has a time delay in my head, like the news anchor interviewing someone thousands of miles away. You see the interviewee listening for a few seconds more after the question has been posed before they answer. Also, what’s nestling in my head and what comes out of my mouth is not always the same thing.

Non! Tarte au pomme!” I had asked for a potato instead of apple tart.

Notice there is an apple tart slice missing at the back of the row. Jimmy ate that.
Notice there is an apple tart slice missing at the back of the row. Jimmy ate that.

We have almost unfailingly been treated with patience, politeness and good humor in France.

Except for the waitress in Orléans who rolled her eyes at me when I enquired (in French) about the dish of the day. “Fish. Fish! FISH!” I would like to have known what type of fish but daren’t try her patience further. A Union Jack pin on her apron implied she spoke English but her vocabulary in this instance was limited to fish.

If she had spoken to me in French and said saumon I would have understood and ordered it instead of chicken. The salmon did look delicious on a plate in front of madame on the next table.

Oh, and then there was the young girl in the shop who, when I asked for the roast chicken I’d ordered the day before (again in French but it must have sounded like Swahili to her) said, “Combien de tranches?” I knew perfectly well what she was asking but as I cowered under her onslaught of “Combien? Combien? COMBIEN?” I experienced brain freeze.

“She’s asking me how many slices I want. I don’t want slices,” I said to Jimmy. “I want the whole thing.”

“Un poulet entier, un poulet roti.” The words finally surfaced from the cold depths of my brain and escaped. A whole, roast chicken. The shop girl must have experienced brain freeze as well and stood mutely by, not acknowledging my care-ful-ly e-nun-ci-a-ted French, until her superior finished serving another customer.

Chantal, who’d taken my order the day before and understood me perfectly, retrieved my hot roast chicken after a quick dignified exchange in French. I was so glad to flee my previous traumatizing inability to communicate that I didn’t look back to see if young mademoiselle looked suitably chastened.

Oh No!! Help!

Hello Peeps,

My WordPress site has gone do-lally. I’m working on a fix but as I am not at all tech-y I am not hopeful. Does it look strange to you? I’m hoping that it might be my cranky computer or the connection here. I’ve got loads more pics and ‘stuff’ to post. I might need to create a new site. I hope not!

Yours in dejection,


Beziers cathedral
Beziers cathedral

Thomas Jefferson, Exposed!

As we stumble on the Lewis and Clark Trail again and again I thought it behoved me to look into the back story. It reads like a political thriller.

Lewis & Clarcktrail
Lewis & Clarcktrail (Photo credit: Gerard Stolk (marche vers Pâques ))

In 1803 Thomas Jefferson paid Napoleon Bonaparte $15 million for 2.14 million square kilometres smack in the middle of the now United States, The Louisiana Purchase. Worked out roughly on paper, because the number is so large that my calculator keeps showing an error message, that’s over half a billion acres. It works out at acres per dollar, not dollars per acre – less than three cents an acre! What was old Bony thinking of letting that land go for pennies? Or did he just pocket the cash? Would anyone back in France prior to phones and the internet have known?

Stranger still, France helped themselves to the land in the 1600’s, didn’t want it, gave it to Spain, Spain didn’t want it, gave it back to France, France got rid of it again but for big bucks (or so they thought, not realising its potential), then Spain declared they’d been cheated. The U.S. only wanted to buy New Orleans and shipping rights on the Mississippi but ended up buying the best part of what are now 15 states!

English: I created this image to be used as a ...
English: I created this image to be used as a locator map for Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lewis & Clark were commissioned by Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and author of The Declaration of Independence, to explore the Louisiana Purchase and on across to the Pacific. They set off on foot to map TJ’s bargain buy, study plant and animal life and set up good relations with the native Indian population.

TJ had an ulterior motive when using taxpayers’ money to pay Lewis & Clark to risk their lives on a mapping expedition. They brought back horticultural specimens for his private garden. TJ was educated in architecture, literature, horticulture, philosophy, history and science. He created his home, Monticello, a popular tourist attraction, in a complex design incorporating Greek and Roman styles. His collection of the Classics formed the beginning of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. TJ was treating his term of presidency as a sideline.

And one more thing you probably didn’t know – Jefferson tied for first place with his opponent Aaron Burr but won the presidential prize in 1800 after 36 ballots in the House of Representatives. The deadlock went on for weeks while deals were made, bargains were struck and candidates lobbied for votes. The media campaign, in the written press then, bandied terms of cowardice, atheism, radicalism and being unprincipled.

English: Cropped version of Thomas Jefferson, ...

The parallels between TJ and a more recent president – risking lives and using taxpayers’ money for personal gain – are rather disappointing. TJ set himself apart, however, by being known as a great intellectual unlike that other one known by just the one initial.

But that’s just my opinion.