Thursday, December 30, 2010


On our trip to visit our son in Annapolis in October, we took a trip into Washington DC to visit the World War  II Memorial. My husband and I had not seen it since it's completion. For me, it had a very personal significance as I am acquainted with the architect who designed the memorial. It was a beautiful day to stroll the Mall. Unfortunately, when we arrived we found ourselves in the midsts of a political rally and the Mall area was swarmed with thousands and thousands of people from different unions parading around the grounds. Still we made our way to the Memorial and despite the crowds, the loudspeakers and the placards, it was a moving experience.

In the next posts, I'd like to share some of the images of this beautiful tribute to the very brave men and women who gave their lives for their country so all of us can live in freedom.

The right to assemble, the right to protest; the right to speak

The lovely pathways to the Memorial

A crowded day at the Memorial

Next: From the Atlantic to the Pacific

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better [person.]
~Benjamin Franklin

We are back in the land of sunshine and looking forward to ushering in 2011. I hope all your steps in the New Year lead you to happiness, joy, prosperity, laughter, love, peace and above all good health. See you next year!

Friday, December 17, 2010


It's been cold here on and off for about two weeks, but today was mild, though breezy. Because the temps were so pleasant, our little group of birders decided to take a break from all of the holiday mayhem and gathered to walk our favorite path at Fort Pickens. The sky was amazing today sliding from sunny, to cloudy, to rain, back to dark clouds with sun peaking through patches of blue. After we spent a great morning walking, we stopped at my favorite beach at that end of the Gulf and took in some amazing sights. The sky was inky and the surf was roiling. Spray was everywhere. But it was so beautiful, noone minded their glasses becoming encrusted in salt. 

The Path

Keeping eyes and ears alert for those birds

Almost better than a sunny day

The surf was amazing

The clouds were moving and the sun kept peeking out, throwing diamond-like light on the water

Driftwood (or drift-tree)

A patch of blue

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


"The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television."
~Andrew Ross

I took a morning stroll around my son's neighborhood and came across one of my favorite things--The Annapolis Bookstore. I adore small bookstores tucked into old buildings in residential neighborhoods. I just loved this window with the carousel horse and the clear reflection of the brick townhouse across the street. Later I noticed the woman reaching for a book displayed in the window. Unfortunately, that morning, I hadn't the time to walk through the doors. Had I done so, I know I wouldn't have exited for hours. Next trip, I plan to buy a coffee and settle in to this neighborhood bookshop.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home. 
 ~Edith Sitwell

The Deep South is in a Deep Freeze. Temps tonight will be in the teens. Definitely plugging in the electric blanket tonight. The wind has been howling out of the North and the temps have been dropping all day. Even the beach looked cold.

Even the jellyfish came ashore to lay in the sun!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


"Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!"
~Amanda Bradley

Family and wonderful friends gathered round our Thanksgiving table this year and it was so nice to celebrate the holiday with those that are dear to us all year long. 

Dishes are done, leftovers packed in to-go packages and freezer bags and desserts are still tempting me from the sideboard. Usually, Thanksgiving puts me in the holiday spirit and I look forward to Christmas. This year, however, I'm having a hard time getting in the spirit. Did this whole holiday season just creep up on us too fast? Anyway, Santa to the rescue. Our friend Warren was playing Santa Claus in Fort Walton a week ago and husband and I drove over to see him arrive on a vintage fire truck. He was quite a hit with the children, some excited, some shy, but all with wishes only Santa can make come true.

Look Mom, he's real!

 I hope he got all that.

Happy, jolly Santa

 Santa confers with elves.

 Think we can peek?

Waiting for Santa

The old Schoolhouse, site of the festivities

 Santa lit the Fort Walton Christmas Tree to end a charming evening

Filled with Christmas cheer and spirit, I went home, and in the best Christmas tradition, snapped on my computer and started my on-line shopping!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Autumn wind rises; white clouds fly. Grass and trees wither; and geese go south.

c.127  BC  'The Autumn Wind' (translated byArthurWaley).The poem is a lament on leaving his mistress behind while he travalled on official business.

A few days after Thanksgiving, we drove to Arkansas to visit my sister and her family. I woke up early that first morning and looked out the window to the lake. There must have been 50 geese paddling around in the mist-shrouded waters. A pale pink was beginning to color the sky as the sun rose. Just as I was setting my camera, they all rose as one, almost as if someone had sent a secret signal. Needless to say, I was unprepared, but, even though the images aren't very sharp or clear, I like the moodiness of the pictures.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Been away from my computer for a while, but I've still been taking pictures. Now I have so many to choose from I can hardly decide what to post. So I'll start with the most recent and work my way back to where I left off.

The sunsets in winter here are just spectacular. Let me share a few with you.

Monday, November 8, 2010


How doth the little busy bee

Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!
~Isaac Watts, "Divine Songs"

The bees and the butterflies have been abundant in the garden this Fall. These bumble bees were feasting on my Pentas and buzzing up a storm.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


The Sunshine State has 825 miles of sandy beaches. Today residents and visitors walked all of those 825 miles one mile at a time and took pictures of their favorite mile of beach. Resulting in what may be the biggest beach walk in the world. The photos are all posted on line at    Check out all of the beautiful photos of Florida's coastline.

I walked with four friends along mile 44, Navarre Beach. Here is some of what we saw along the way.  

Sunrise over the Dunes.
My group arrived early--7 a.m.--and it was a very cold morning. The temps were in the low 40s and the wind was out of the North. Brrrr. The only saving grace was that the sunrise was spectacular.


Never have I seen such a low tide on the Gulf as we saw this morning. It gave the beach an unfamiliar, but lovely look.

A river runs through it.

 Because the tide was so low, the newly exposed sand was littered with Jellyfish.

As the tide came back in the jellyfish began to 'awaken' and move back out to sea.

The beach was also littered with seashells.

This great blue heron decided to stop wading and take to the air.

And flew right past me.

Our happy group at Mile Marker 44. You can see from our attire it was a cold morning. I'm the one in the funny hat and sunglasses.                                                                                     

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn't act that way very often. 
 ~Author Unknown

There was a young couple walking on the beach with their little girl who looked to be about 3 or 4 years old. The mother kept telling her not to get her shoes wet, but, of course, little by little the young girl inched ever closer to the water.  Mom kept warning and the tot kept inching. The outcome was inevitable. The child got too close to the water and an aggressive wave not only covered her shoes, but knocked her down onto her fanny. Her shoes were wet, her little shorts were wet and her t-shirt was wet. I waited for her to start crying but instead she sat there for a moment stunned and then she turned to look at her mom, who was hurrying to reach her, and said "oops" and then dissolved in giggles. It made me smile and want to sit down right next to her. Her mom and dad shook their heads and got her back on her now very wet feet. They had a hard time hiding their smiles and looking appropriately stern. Then the Dad said something we often said to my son, that made me smile even more. "You always have to learn the hard way." Oh, I think life is going to be interesting for this little family.

Are you listening to me? Don't get your head wet!

Do you hear me? 

Don't test me.

Oh ...

That i'd be a no.