April 30, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter Z


Just quickly before reading my "Z" post for today. I apologize for not responding to comments from yesterday ("y" post) yet but Bill's been sick and you know how men can be!

Zephyrus was the god of the west wind in Greek mythology. There were gods for the winds from the other directions too!  Also known as  the god of spring his wife was Khloris (greenery/Flora) and father to Karpos (fruit). Zephyrus is usually portrayed in art as a youthful winged and handsome god. 



There is said to be a famous myth regarding Zephyrus and his affections towards a boy call Hyakinthos and a rival god called Appolon. Zephyrus saw the pair playing in a meadow and in a fit of jealousy used the wind to strike the disk they were playing with accidently killing the boy. It is said that in his grief Appolon a god himself transformed the boy into a larkspur flower.  


I was never much on reading Greek mythology but it struck me as I was struggling through a ton options to find the right "Z" word (not an easy task btw) that I might never look at a larkspur flower the same way again!  







Don't miss my next blog post. 
Follow me on Google friend connect or 

if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on either sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge




April 29, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter Y

What year were you born? 

OK I'm hearing a collective groan from many of you who are sensitive about disclosing personal information. Are you thinking? Nosy pig pants asking such personal information!

Well I'll go first.

I was 19xx the year of the pig.(see no personal info necessary!) 

Didn't know I was a pig did ya?

And all this time you thought I was a woman :)

My "Y" word is year.


Have you ever heard of Chinese Zodiac (Sheng Xiao) ? It's base on a twelve year cycle and each year relates to an animal. The animal signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. It's calculated according to the Chinese lunar calendar


I found one on a web site. All I had to do was put my year-day-month of birth into a calculator and oink! 


Disclaimer: This is for entertainment purposes only!



Click on the caption/link below and find out what your zodiac is. Then come back and leave a comment and let me know!


CLICK HERE



Here are the characteristics of a real pig:
Not as smart as a dog. Likes sleeping, eating and lazy and clumsy. It behaves itself, does no harm to others, and can bring affluence to people. So, pigs were once considered valuable.
*This and bacon makes me happy I'm not a pig! 

These are the strengths of people born in the year of the pig:
They are honest and frank and have a strong heart. Their fidelity to friendship is a real virtue. They are quick tempered, but hate arguments. They are kind to their loved ones. They are not afraid of difficulties and will usually try to work them out. They don't tell lies unless they have to. They are kind and light hearted and usually go to sleep easily.
*I'd like to think all of this is pretty accurate except for the sleeping part and the temper!

 Weaknesses of people born in the year of the pig:
They are trusting and sometimes na├»ve, so they may easily fall in traps. They do not have many friends. They are quick tempered and tend to be impulsive. They are not good at communicating with others. 
*I like to see the good in people if that's naive the that's me! No hot temper nor am I impulsive and I happen to be a fine communicator.  











Don't miss my next blog post. 
Follow me on Google friend connect or 

if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on either sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

April 26, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter X


St Andrew was the younger brother of St Peter and a disciple of Jesus Christ.  They were fishermen and Christ said he would make them fishers of men...and He did.

The Gospel of John says that originally Andrew was a disciple of St John the Baptist but when Andrew heard John say “Behold the Lamb of God” Andrew knew Jesus was greater and began following Him.  He brought his brother Simon Peter with him to meet Jesus and he was also called to be an Apostle.

After the crucifixion of Christ; it’s believed Andrew continued to preach the gospels from Asia to as far as Russia. 




St Andrew himself was crucified in Greece and became a martyr. He however considered himself unworthy to be put on the same type of cross that Jesus was crucified on. So he asked to be tied to a Crux decussata or an X shaped cross. 

X for St Andrew's cross.













Don't miss my next blog post. 
Follow me on Google friend connect or 

if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on either sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

A-Z 2013 the letter W

We can't live without it. We drink it. We cook with it. We wash and clean with it and in it.

But sometimes we forget just how destructive water can be when nature unleashes its power in full force.

It exists in nature is a liquid, a solid and a gas and my family can attest to the damage it can do in its liquid form.

My "W" word is water.

My family owns a beach house on Long Island, New York in Long Beach which is located on the south shore. As you might recall not to long ago hurricane Sandy devastated this community as it did to many others.

When I wax nostalgic about my childhood at the beach this is the place I'm talking about and this house that I'm referring to. This post is about "that house" and "the beach" of my childhood. Currently co-owned by my mother and aunt, they have been thru some trying times since hurricane Sandy. 

Frankly the house was wrecked by water damage.

The water from the ocean (which is just down the block) was at least four feet deep in the down stairs apartment of their house.

My cousin Howie (my aunt's son) and his friends have diligently been rebuilding our parents house.  Once salt water gets into a home it has to be gutted and redone from the bare bones.

Once the water was receded. And the mold was disposed of the work began. It is an huge task! Here's a few pictures and a very brief video of what's been done.


a view of two of the bedrooms from living area


bedroom


almost completed bath




This is a video of the main area of the down stairs of the house. In this video the floors and lighting have been installed as well as the walls. It's coming together beautifully! It's still a construction zone though!

You will get a glimpse of my cousin (well maybe his arm!) who by the way is an angel. He just retired from his 30+  year career only to take on this project with the help of his friends. They are with the exception of an occasional paid contractor donating their time.

Talk about generous and loving family and friends!










Don't miss my next blog post. 
Follow me on Google friend connect or 

if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on either sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge



April 25, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter V

Hi folks!

Today is "V" day. And what better way to showcase the vibrant and vivid hues of spring in Virginia then by sharing a few photographs. After all who doesn't value the beauty of nature?  (notice all those v's?)

Azalea with a butterfly

 jonquil 

Iris

freesia's

grape hyacinths

peach tree blossoms

magnolia tree with forsythia in the back

Gerber daisy


All of these photographs were taken by me yesterday in the immediate vicinity of my house. Enjoy!

Don't miss my next blog post. 
Follow me on Google friend connect or 

if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on either sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge



April 24, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter U

credit
Ugh! The letter "U" really is an uninspiring letter.

I have by the way managed to keep up with all my posting obligations throughout this challenge however I am looking to finishing this month so I can do a bit of unwinding.

My "U" word unwinding.

So everyone! You've reached deep to create a post for each and every letter up till today. Still feel those creative juices flowing or are they drying up? You've done everything within your power to publish it on time, how's that clock? You've done the best you can to make and answer comments and visit as many blogs as possible. After all A-Z is a great time to make new blog friends and introduce them to our old ones.

I'm very excited about the new friends I've made this challenge and the interesting and fun blogs they write. But in all honesty all this excitement and time in front of my laptop has got me feeling a bit tired.

I don't know about you but I'm ready to do relax. I can't wait to unwind.

I am planning on taking a few days off from my computer/blog life and read a book and do some gardening get some fresh air.

This has been fun but I'm gonna need a blog break.

Do you have any plans to unwind once A-Z is over?

I'm also going to turn Google + comments off today to assess how it worked for you my readers. If anyone has anything to say, please say it.... both positive and negative..... now's the time. Thanks!











Don't miss my next blog post. 

Follow me on Google friend connect or 

if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on either sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

April 23, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter T

I've been looking into my family tree. I have found some rather very interesting things about my ancestor's. Most interesting is that I have so many that I didn't know I even had.

As I have mentioned on this blog many times I am a granddaughter of  immigrants. My fathers mother came to this country from Cork Ireland in 1914 on a ship called The Laconia which sailed into Boston. In my searches into our family history I have found my grandmother name on the ships manifest and the date she applied for and gained citizenship here in the US. All of that is very interesting to me as her granddaughter and I have saved the documents for all my family to see.

What I found to be fascinating and exciting is the ship she came over on. This ship is has a deep and interesting history.

One that is incredibly tragic.

My "T" word tragic- tragedy.

The RMS Laconia was built in 1911 and was originally a passenger ship. Eventually however due to the breakout of WWI  the ship was converted to an armed merchant cruiser in late 1914. She patrolled the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean  and then later went back to patrolling the South Atlantic.

This is the ship my grandmother sailed on
The RMS Laconia 1911


In Feb 1917 The Laconia was sunk by a German U-50.

They rebuilt the RMS Laconia and the new ship was launched in May of 1922. On September 8 1925 the Laconia collided with a British schooner off the coast of Massachusetts.

On September 24 1934 The Laconia rammed into the side of a US freighter in the fog.She was out of commission for a time undergoing repairs.

In 1939 again The Laconia was converted into a merchant ship. In 1940 the British fitted her with guns so that she could escort convoys.

In Sept 1942 WWII The Laconia was in the area of the Ascension Islands when it was torpedoed by a German U-Boat. The Laconia at the time was carrying 463 officers and crew, 80 civilians, 286 British Army soldiers, 1,793 Italian POW's, and 103 Polish soldiers (guards). Most of the life boats were destroyed in the explosion.

As the ship went down the U-boat surfaced and started to help rescue the survivors many of which were POW's . It's important to understand that they were flying Red Cross Flags (universal sign for humanitarian operation)

The next morning a B-24 sighted the rescue operation and notified Ascension Island. The commanding officer unaware that it was a Red Cross sanctioned operation ordered the bomber to attack, which he did. Many of the survivors were on the deck of the sub when the attack commenced and the sub captain ordered the sub to dive.

Roughly half the people died and half survived, the numbers aren't exact. An Admiral in the German command issued and order later dubbed The Laconia Order saying that German ships were henceforth never permitted to pick up survivors.

I don't know about you but I found the history of the ship to be incredibly tragic!










Don't miss my next blog post. 

Follow me on Google friend connect or 
if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on the left sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge



April 22, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter S

I tend to have a lot of sixties and seventies songs on my I-Pod. It stands to reason since I was born in the late fifties that the songs from that period are the songs of my childhood.

My "S" word is song- songs.

Being a child of this time I can't help but remember some significant thing happened when I was growing up. 

Some of the highlights were....

Vietnam war and war/draft protests
The birth of Civil rights movement  
The Cuban missile crisis.
The assassinations  of The Kennedy brothers and MLK
The Apollo missions
The gas crisis of the seventies
The end of the Vietnam War 
Nixon and Watergate.
Kent State massacre
and
Woodstock

From these times came some pretty spectacular music. Thus sprung the "protest song!"Some songs were a bit controversial and many held strong political messages. 

But to me these were songs that asked questions that needed to be asked and said things that needed to be said. Sad but sweet songs that spoke of fear and hope that our country/world might some day be a better place. 

And that is why i grew up to love people who speak (or sing) their minds whether I agree with them or not. 

And like everyone else I wouldn't mind a little peace.



60's and 70's PROTEST SONGS




A Change Is Gonna Come,

 Sam Cooke




"Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die"

Country Joe McDonald 






'Abraham, Martin and John'
Dion




    Blowin' In the Wind'
  Bob Dylan
                                  

                                                                          
                                                                             Ohio
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young





Eve of Destruction
 Barry McGuire
Do you have a memory of the sixties or seventies or maybe a song you'd like to share? -Or- Did you hear one on this post that you particularly liked or disliked?











Don't miss my next blog post. 

Follow me on Google friend connect or 
if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on the left sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

April 20, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter R

I have been greeted as I leave my bedroom for the past few mornings by a big pile of puke on the balcony just outside my bedroom.

My cat Linus is having some tummy troubles...

Linus
















So in honor of Linus my "R" word today is regurgitate.

Really! We don't call it regurgitate. Why would we when there are so many other fun names out there to call it!?

Here's a list I've compiled.

Do you have a name add to my list?

vomit

be sick

throwin groceries

drive the bus

dry heave

eject

blow chunks

gag

heave

hurl

lose one's lunch

pray to the porcelain god

puke

retch

spew

spit up

throw up

toss one's cookies

upchuck

Feel free to add your favorite "regurgitation" phrase in the form of a comment. 











Don't miss my next blog post. 
Follow me on Google friend connect or 
if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on the left sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

April 19, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter Q

I was in a bit of a quandary about what to do for the letter "Q"

My husband is so funny sometimes. He has these little quirks things he does and says all weather related. He'll start by saying, "bad weather is coming."

Followed by, " my body is aching and my back hurts."

We'll go to the grocery store to get all we need because that's one of his quirks like I said. This weather thing includes products too. He has radios, batteries, flash lights, candles all types of bad weather goodies just in case.

He can tell when bad weather is coming and his body doesn't get it wrong like those people on the TV.

So my "Q"  is the word quirk and a question.

So dear readers, are you like Bill?

Can your body predict the weather?

And if so what happens to you?











Don't miss my next blog post. 
Follow me on Google friend connect or 
if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on the left sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge


April 18, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter P

I'm feeling a little pooped today on "P" day. 
We've been doing lots of yard work at our house.
Which included planting our potato garden.
My "P" words planting and potatoes and a plethora of other "p" words.


I was not prepared for my "P" post until this morning. Please do not be put off by my lack of punctuality!


 Have I mentioned that I'm a bit of a procrastinator? 


These are photographs of our potato garden. One of two gardens that we plan to have each season; the other being tomatoes and other summer veggies.


If we're lucky and have a good year we could get as many as five pounds of potatoes per mound. That's a lot of potato goodness my friends! 

What do you plant in your garden?










Don't miss my next blog post. 
Follow me on Google friend connect or 
if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on the left sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge




April 17, 2013

A-Z 2013 the letter O

credit

I love Olive oil.

I use it all the time in my kitchen. And I don't only use it when I make Italian! I use it when I make vinaigrette's for my salads, to marinate my meats and fish before grilling. I even it to drizzle on my veggies and grill them too.

They taste very different to me depending on the region in which the olives were grown and imported from. I actually prefer the taste of those oils from Italy or Chile. Actually Trader Joe’s has a great store brand that’s reasonably priced. 

My “O” word Olive oil.

Did you know how versatile Olive oil is? It is one very versatile oil... Here’s a few practical uses that you might find handy around the house. There really are hundreds if you're interested you can Google more.

Condition your hair
Use ½ cup of heated olive oil applied liberally to your hair. Cover with a shower cap or other plastic cover. Leave for 45 minutes then shampoo and rinse.

Treat acne
Combine 4 tbsp of salt with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Work this mixture on to your face and let it sit for one minute, do this for a total of one week, then twice weekly after will suffice.

Shave with it
Have you ever cut yourself up shaving with soap? Next time smooth some olive oil on your face or legs for a smoother safer shave!

Cleans paint off skin
Mix equal parts of either salt or sugar and oil. Rub on paint covered hands and the paint should come off. The bonus is not only will your hands be clean, they’ll be soft.

Mascara remover
Dab some oil on a cotton ball and wipe off that mascara.

Furniture Polish
Mix olive oil with lemon two parts to one and spritz it on your wood furniture. Wipe with a cotton cloth.

How do you use olive oil,any unique ways? 










Don't miss my next blog post. 
Follow me on Google friend connect or 
if you'd like you can subscribe and receive
my posts by email.

Both are located on the left sidebar.   
And don't forget to visit my friends 
who are participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge