Saturday, 31 July 2010

Pet Giggles

Funny pet pictures:

The first picture comes complements of my friend. Her dog is very compliant. He allowed her to put motorcycle goggles on him and then he stayed in a motorcycle compartment without jumping out. He's amazing! My dog would never let me do that!

Here are a couple more pictures I found on the web.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was written in 1931, published in 1932. The novel, in simple terms, is Huxley's warning as to what can happen when we allow technology to control us, rather than controlling it. But really it is about so much more.
I first read the novel on my own sometime in high school, then for Grade 12. I read it again in a university English class: Utopian Literature. Later I taught it to my own Grade 12 students.
The novel is one that people can enjoy at face value, if they like science fiction, or they can dig deeper and discover all sorts of symbolism, imagery, themes, and subplots from the underlying meanings of the names such as those of Bernard Marx, Lenina Crowne, and Mustapha Mond. There is the desire for constant happiness and escape from thinking about anything, worry, and from being alone.
This brave new world is one without stress. There are no relationships so that there is no need for the sadness that comes with happiness. As I mentioned above, it was a novel that was taught in a utopian literature class, but it is a dystopian novel.
Once I read that Forbes had done a survey of the most successful people in the world, asking what books they had read. In the top ten books these Forbes successful people had in common, Brave New World was always in the list. I don't know that reading the book could make you a millionaire...I'm not. However, I do know that this book is very powerful if you read it and think about its possible impacts
If you've never read the book, the first three chapters set the stage of the novel. The novel is set in approximately 2300 A.D. or in the timeline of the novel 632 A.F. (After Ford) If you can get through the first three chapters and understand how they reproduce their children, how they condition the people into their different roles and the expectations of the society, then it is easier to understand the rest of the book. Most people I've talked to, who didn't like the book, didn't read the first three chapters. They lost patience after the first chapter or so. Those I know who have made it through the first three chapters seem to like the book. It is definitely a different kind of story. But, it really makes you think. I am glad that I made it past those first three chapters all those years ago.

The Alhambra in Granada, Spain

The Alhambra (Arabic: الْحَمْرَاء‎, Al-Ḥamrā' , literally "the red one"), the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra (الْقَلْعَةُ ٱلْحَمْرَاءُ, Al-Qal'at al-Ḥamrā' , "the red fortress"), is a palace and fortress complex constructed during the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus, occupying the top of the hill of the Assabica on the southeastern border of the city of Granada, now in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.

The Alhambra's Moorish palaces were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain and its court, of the Nasrid dynasty. After the Reconquista by the Los Reyes Católicos ("The Catholic Monarchs") in 1492, some portions were used by the Christian rulers. The Palace of Charles V, built by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1527, was inserted in the Alhambra within the Nasrid fortifications. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the Alhambra was "discovered" in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers, with restorations commencing. It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country's most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Wilkipedia

The Alhambra is large and unique. When I was preparing for my trip to Spain with my mom, more than one person told me to visit the Alhambra and a few people referred to it as one of the modern wonders of the world.

This former palace is in great shape, with many of its original architectural features. The Moorish influence is found in the arches of the ceilings and the details of the entrances.
 The grounds of the palace feature amazing gardents as well as the foundations of the former cottages of the people of the castle.

We spent a good day touring the palace, its garden and its grounds. The colours of the bricks and stones are fascinating. The carved wood is beautiful. It is an historic jewel.

We were able to visit the Alhambra with our travelling friends D. and S. This was our last day with them; we had travelled with them for about a week.

Thursday, 29 July 2010


Ok, I'll admit it, I've never been a big vegetable eater. I have been working on this, however. I know that they're good for me, and frankly a lot of them taste really good. One thing that I don't jump up and down for is a salad. Salads have become very boring for me. Lettuce isn't always that exciting and the fastest salads use lettuce, some fresh veggies and then dressing. BORING!

I recently posted about the avocado, cucumber and tomato salad that I like to eat. It is fast, doesn't involve lettuce, and was invented one summer day when I was looking in the fridge for ingredients for a light lunch. I really needed groceries, but did have an avocado to use, some tomatoes, and a lonely cucumber. Just like that, the salad was 'invented.'

In my quest to eat more greens, I am always on the lookout for new ideas. At our local farmer's market I found a fellow who was selling home grown sprouts. He had your usual alfalfa and bean sprouts. He also had brocolli, mungo bean, sunflower, pea, clover, pepper, pea, and other varieties of sprouts. I bought some sunflower sprouts to try them out.
There are far too many sandwich mixture seeds in my
sprouter, here; I got carried away

Sunflower sprouts are really sweet and succulent. They are also a great source of various vitamins and energy. While I can always buy more sprouts from this fellow at the next farmers's market, I've decided to experiment with sprout growing.

I've got a sprouter I bought at the local health food store and currently I have a sandwich mixture of alfalfa, clover, raddish and canola in one of the bins. In another bin I'm trying sunflower seeds. I've already harvested a couple of the sandwich mixture crops, I'm still experimenting with the sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seed sprouts. The actual seeds become the first leaves.
Once they are a darker green, they'll be ready for eating/harvesting.
The sunflower seeds seem to do best if they are shelled already. They are a bit more labour intensive as there is a little skin that covers the raw seed inside of its shell. The skin floats to the top of the water when you soak your seeds, but some sticks to the seeds. It wouldn't be a big deal, except if you leave the skin it can make your sunflower sprouts smell moldy.

These sprouts will be turning green pretty soon and they will be ready for harvesting. My next batch will be ones with the shells still on and they will be covered with a thin layer of compost/dirt. I did some research on growing these sprouts. This is one site: if you're interested.

My husband loves sprouts, so there's always a willing taste tester at our house, and what doesn't get used in some sort of salad will be put on a sandwich. Right now they're sort of like berries for me. I eat them as fast as I can pick them!

Personal Leadership and Owning Your Mistakes

In Harvard Business Review, on April 28, 2010 Amy Gallo wrote an article titled "You've Made a Mistake. Now What."

As Gallo states, "Mistakes play a critical role in leadership development...By demonstrating that you've changed as a result of your mistake, you reassure your superiors, peers, and direct reports that you can be trusted with equally important tasks or decisions in the future."

As we all know, the very essence of being human is that we will err. Mistakes are a part of the experience of being human. The issue is most often not that we've made a mistake, but rather how we handle our mistakes. Do we learn from them? It is how we take care of our mistakes that marks us a person, as a leader.

Made a mistake?
Own it.
Fix it.
Learn from it.

That is the sign that used to be on our fridge when the kids were growing up. It didn't matter so much that the kids or we made mistakes, but rather how we took care of it.

Do we accept responsibility? Do we make the effort to fix the mistake, and do we learn from it so that we are less likely to repeat that error again?

We can create opportunities from our mistakes, they don't have to be black marks of regret. Mistakes are opportunities to be human and vulnerable, and to learn and grow.

Read Amy Gallo's article for more insight into workplace mistakes and accountability.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Pet Therapy

Pets are the absolute BEST! I've written about my dog before, and I can't say enough about having a great dog. Our dog, Cheeky, is beautiful and generally well-mannered. She is a mutt, a lab cross, and probably not every one's 'beauty.' But she's ours.

The summer she turned one, our other dog, Lady, broke her hip and became paralized. She could not be healed and we had to let her go. Lady was a super smart dog. She was a gentle, well-mannered border collie cross, a pure bred farm dog. We could let Lady off leash anywhere, in the middle of lots of dogs or a supermarket of raw meat and she still would have come when we called.

Lady was the alpha of the Cheeky and Lady pair. So much so, that when we lost her we were very surprised to learn how much she influenced Cheeky. All along through her first year, we'd thought that Cheeky was listening to us. However, within days of losing Lady we discovered that Cheeky didn't have a clue about what we were saying. Sit, stay, come, even her name meant nothing. She'd taken all of her clues from Lady.
At  first, before we figured this out, we started to wonder if Cheeky was actually a bit stupid. Luckily we didn't write her off and make that judgment hastily. Within a few weeks she was able to obey all of the commands that Lady had, plus more. The funny thing is that since we're now a one dog family we tend to talk to her a lot more. I talk to her as if she should understand everything I say. 

What that has translated to is a dog who understands more words than we could have ever imagined. Even when I spell the word walk she understands. Her vocabulary has really gotten quite large.

Cheeky is also a stubborn dog. She's getting older and has arthritis. She knows exactly how far she'd like to walk and when we get to her limit she turns around and won't go any further. She isn't fond of small dogs who are yappy, although there are a few neighbour dogs who are very good friends of hers. She is always very happy to see them. Those small yappy dogs are ones she used to be ones she'd be patient for, but now she just turns up her nose and walks away. If they keep on following her she barks at them.
Cheeky also loves kids. Even though she does have pain in her hip she always lets kids pet her and hug her. She doesn't seem to mind them at all. There are a few that catch a school bus right on our corner. She loves to watch them out our living room window and if one of us is home during the day, she seems to know the right time to be out on the front steps so that she can be there for pets from the kids.

Even though she has a limit as to how far she'll walk these days, Cheeky is also great for me. With her arthritis we always make sure that she gets two walks a day. We usually take her for at least a half hour walk in the morning and after work. That way I get out for at least a half an hour a day, minimum, too. When it isn't too hot out, she's comfortable walking farther. When she can't walk too far I often bring her home and then I take a longer walk without her.

Cheeky doesn't let her arthritis stop her from stalking squirrels, either. She's never caught one, but she loves to chase them and if we let her she'd sit at the base of a tree staring up at one for the whole day if we let her. She also likes to sniff out gophers and dig in their holes until her head has disappeared into the gigantic hole she's made.

She also doesn't mind if I write a post about her, or put her picture up, even if her eyes look kind of funny in the one picture. :-)


"There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it." ~ Napoleon Hill

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Chicken Stuffed with Pesto Mushrooms

This recipe is one that I pulled together after watching a couple of cooking shows...
1 large diced onion
2 cloves garlic diced
2 cups of chopped celery
4 cups sliced mushrooms
2 chicken breasts
3 slices bacon (optional)
2 tbsp pesto

Heat a non-stick skillet to medium high. Spray with cooking spray, or put add a tsp of cooking oil.

Toss in all of the vegetables (first four ingredients) and let them begin to cook. Vegetables will sweat, so just let them cook in their own juices. You want them to get nice and brown. Resist the urge to stir them for at least a few minutes!
Once they are starting to really sizzle, you can stir them and get them nice and brown on the other side. Once browned, add pesto sauce and continue to cook until the juices they have released have evaporated.

In the meantime take each chicken breast, place it between saran wrap and pound with a mallet until a quarter of an inch thick or less. Take the top layer of saran off of the chicken. Spoon a thin layer of the mushroom mixture on to the chicken. Roll the chicken around the mushroom stuffing. Take a half slice of bacon and wrap around the top of each roll. I made a special roll for me, withoug bacon. In the end they were all moist, so the bacon isn't that necessary.  If you do use bacon, you will need to drain this, after it is cooked, before serving.

Spoon the rest of the mushroom mixture over the chicken and place into the oven at 350 degrees for 1/2 to 3/4 hour.

Another time I might chop up the filling, so it is easier to put in the chicken. This worked, though, and it allowed for some left over filling to place on top of the chicken while it baked.

Serve up sliced and hot. It was yummy.You'll notice that this recipe doesn't have any sauce, that's one more thing I'm trying to stay away from.

This is my husband's plate. You might notice the avocado, cucumber and tomato salad from last post. Baked sweet potatoes with a bit of garlic on them rounded out our meal. The sweet potatoes were cooked in the same way I posted about asparagus a couple of posts ago, except that I used oven roasted garlic.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Old age shold burn and rave at the close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too light, they grieved it on its way.
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meeors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Said to be written for his dying father, this poem, by Dylan Thomas, was published in 1952.

For me, poetry is a lot like visual art. There may be historical background, a person or location who is being portrayed, there may be a specific meaning the author is conveying and that he/she has told people about...but there is also the meaning that the reader chooses.

I think that there is nothing wrong with a different interpretion, as long as you can explain it. At least that is what I used to tell my students. I really didn't think that they had to guess what I thought was the right answer. Maybe that's because I often see things a bit differently than other people. I'm not sure why. I just know that as long as I'm allowed to explain my differing viewpoint, I seem to get by alright. It's when I don't get to explain that people think I'm rather confused!

I really like all of Dylan Thomas' poems and have a collection of them that was given to me from my daughter as a Christmas present.
Read some poetry sometime!

Names... Part II

A few years ago I took stock of my name and how it reflected my identity.

As a teacher for 18 years of my adult life, I was referred to as Mrs. X, Miss X, or Ms X. (insert last name, or sometimes last initial for X) I also have a last name that can really rhyme, so there were a few who would call me Mrs. Y (insert rhyme), this would happen if they knew me well. The rhyme was perfectly fine, so I’d just laugh. Sometimes the students would just call me ‘Teach,’ and in the early years when I taught small people, I was often referred to as ‘Teacher,’ while a few slipped up and called me ‘Mom,’ or ‘Mommy.’

As a parent I’ve been called Mom, Mommy, Mama, and when the kids were annoyed with me, Mother. (Draw out the first syllable like a teenager might and you’ve got it.)

My husband calls me by my first name, but when the kids were younger, he often referred to me as in “Ask mom what she thinks...” He also calls me ‘Honey,’ ‘Sweetheart,’ and other nice names.

However, at a certain point a few years ago, I realized that between work and home I rarely heard my own first name. In fact, it was getting to the point that if people called me by name I rarely realized they were talking to me.

The problem wasn’t with the roles I had; I was fine being a mom, teacher, wife, aunt, sister, and daughter, etc. The issue was that most of those roles did not call me by my first name on any regular basis.

Does it matter if a person isn’t called by her first name? For me it is important. It is who I am. I can certainly find my identity without hearing my name, but it is nice to actually have it as a part of who I am. It is a part of what defines me. I like my name, too, so it’s a good one to use.

Lisa is who I am and will be through all of the roles in my life. Lisa is the person I was before I was a teacher, wife, and mother. Lisa is the person I am now in a new career, as a mother of two grown children, and still as a wife. It is as much a part of my identity as all of the other things I am. For awhile I lost that part of my identity by being the other things for so many people.

I know that identity isn’t regained by being called by your first name, but it does remind me of who I am, and I also need to take care of who I am as much as I need and want to be a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.

Mimes in Barcelona and Madrid Spain

In my brief travels in the larger cities of Spain, specifically Barcelona and Madrid, I've seen a number of mimes. These mimes aren't the type I grew up hearing about. The ones I learned about were the French type that primarily have black and white costumes, gloves, and faces.

In Barcelona, and Madrid the mimes are dressed like the Statue of Liberty, or other types of characters. They are often in body make-up that matches the fabric of their costumes. The colours of the mimes are often metallic, a gold or bronze hue. They stand or sit still like statues and generally they have a hat or some other container that you can put money in; once you do the mime will move.

The guy above was in Barcelona, I didn't put money in his pot, because I was worried about what he might do! He did look pretty funny, though!
The mimes really manage to stand up to the heat of the day. Their make up always looks very fresh. 
In Barcelona we found most mimes along Las Ramblas; Madrid's mimes were mostly in Plaza Mayor. We saw the angel in Madrid and the cowboy in Barcelona.

Barcelona and Antoni Gaudi in Spain

Barcelona is a beautiful city. The people are interesting, the architecture is fantastic. Antoni Gaudi is one architect who created his own interesting beauty in the city. Gaudi's work is not to everyone's taste. I find his buildings and design fascinating. He was very inspired by nature; his architecture reflects the curves and shapes of the natural world, something unusual in a world of straight lines.

Gaudi Apartment
Gaudi is also known for his use of light in his design and structure.

He designed unique furniture with interesting shapes and curves.

Gaudi's most well-known building is the Sagrada Familia. This cathedral is still unfinished. When I travelled to Barcelona I learned that the cathedral was expected to be completed on 2026.

Construction on the Sagrada Familia began in 1882. Although Gaudi died in 1926. The Spanish Civil War in 1936 halted construction and World War II also caused some delays. In fact, when touring Barcelona our guide told us that for a time Gaudi's architectural plans were thought to be lost during WWII.

Later it was discovered they had been hidden in the walls of a building so that they would not be destroyed by the Nazis.The Sagrada Familia has an interesting exterior; there are towers with coloured stone sculpture representing the four seasons. The biblical sculptures that adorn the cathedral are modern and smooth.
Gaudi created part of his fame, when he was still alive. One of his most well-known projects was the renovation and redesign of Casa Batillo. This large home was given a new exterior and interior to reflect Gaudi's style and vision.
Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Avocado, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Here's a light salad that is great any time of the year. We had it tonight on a spectacularly hot summer evening.

I use one English cucumber, one or two nice sized ripe tomatoes, (tonight's salad had lots of cherry tomatoes cut into quarters) one ripe avocado for a nice sized salad for the two of us, but then we don't have other vegetables with it. If there are more than the two of us eating this, we just have more vegetables and/or another salad.

Dice the cucumber, tomato, and avocado into bite-sized pieces. Toss them in a bowl with one of the following:

A dash of salt and pepper
Balsamic vinegar
or a dressing of your choice.

I prefer just a bit of salt. It keeps it plain and simple and brings out the taste of the vegetables.

If you're a weight watcher...the salad is 2 points for the avocado, THAT'S IT!

Saturday, 24 July 2010


Say no to anything that is not a high-value use of your time and your life.

So long New York

I may write other posts about our trip sometime, but not right now. Our short visit was jam packed with many interesting events, sights, sounds, and tastes.

It was a great trip.

These pictures were taken on the way to the airport.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Have you ever visited this site?

Thought for the day...
Be still,
Stop thinking.
Take action.

 The Universe
Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ®

©  ®      Check out their site! Choose the NOTES page.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Who Are You? Names Part I

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Juliet: Act II Romeo and Juliet

When Juliet learns that Romeo’s surname is that of her family’s sworn enemy, she is certainly surprised. However, she’s already decided she’s in love with him; not his last name or his family. She is willing to set aside the issue of family origin and focus on her infatuation or love, depending on the interpretation.

When people use the first sentence of the quote these days, they’re mostly referring to the different terms people use to call things. However, it is a nice way to start this post, since I want to talk about names.

Names mean a lot of things to different people.
I know people who say they don’t mind if they are called by the wrong name. There are some who are also fine if their names aren’t spelled correctly. Either of these is tantamount to an insult for others, however.

Some people live their whole lives being called a nickname. In fact, some of their friends don't even know their real names. There are others who refer to each other by their last names all the time. For some people, their middle name is their preference.

Of course, there are also those who absolutely HATE their names. There are those who dislike their names because they are unusual and hard to pronounce. They are the ones who live in dread when the substitute teacher arrives and calls their name (incorrectly) in attendance. Sometimes they dislike their names because they think their names are dull or boring, or because everyone else has the same one.

For women, there is also the decision to keep their maiden name or to take her married name. There are many reasons to keep your original last name, or even to take your husband’s name. For most women the decision isn’t related to the traditional reasons of old, but rather according to their personal desires.

Our names hold so much meaning and weight for so many of us.

What is the big deal about names?
More to come in my next post....

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Man's Search For Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl was first published in 1946. Among the many interesting insights into how people survive in difficult times, Viktor Frankl brought oft quoted words to many leaders of our time. One such quote is:
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."

Frankl's book was written at first as an anonymous recollection of his time in Auschwitz. He wrote it so that people would never forget what had happened in the death camps. After some prodding he agreed to put his name to the text, and later he would add his writing on Logotherapy, a form of psychotherapy he had developed using his learnings and insights into how people survived and didn't survive the horror of the torture of the camps.

For Frankl, his survival came when he realized that they couldn't take away his ability to choose how he saw himself and how he interpreted what was happening to him. As he was suffering numerous medical experiments he chose to remove himself from the pain and instead imagine himself lecturing to his own medical students back at the university. In that moment he became the one in control of his response. His ability to choose his response gave him the ability to survive, to live to tell his story.

Versatile Blogger Award!

Still new to blogging, I was surprised to receive a blogger award on Sunday. This award came from a new blogger in Australia. The Greatest Challenge is her blog, and she received the award the other day.

The award comes with the following guidelines:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Nominate fifteen newly discovered blogs.
4. Let your nominees know about the award.

So, thanks to Liana and good luck to her on THE GREATEST CHALLENGE!

  1. One thing about me is that I am extremely claustrophobic. This translates to including being extremely uncomfortable in pitch dark because there is no light for a reference point; therefore it's high anxiety time for me.
  2. My grandpa called me Curly and my dad called me Charlie Brown when I was little, I had one other nickname when I was in elementary school, but that was a dumb one a boy called me.
  3. The dumb nickname was Goose, because my last name was Heron. The boy was in grade 5 and decided a heron and a goose were both birds so the name was good enough. He called me gosling when he wanted to borrow a pencil. His love was not returned. :-)
  4. I've always wanted to write a book and I still do. I have no idea what I want it to be about, if it should be fiction or non-fiction, or anything. I just love to write and want to write a book. I started blogging for a night class; I've continued blogging so that I could have fun writing.
  5. I love to create with colour; paint, thread, fabric, and other mediums. I haven't created the right thing, yet. Some things have turned out with thread and fabric, some paint and fabric have worked out ok. But, I still haven't made what I want. My hands don't create what my imagination sees; one day, just maybe, they'll connect?
  6. One of my all time favourite days is actually a winter day with a temperature of -15 or - 20 degrees Celcius, lots of snow on the ground, sun in the sky, and no wind. I would spend the day outside. I'd walk, snowshoe, and even sit in the sun on a lawn chair all bundled up and read a book. Later I'd snuggle on a chair inside, in the sunshine and keep on reading my book.
  7. One of my very best friends is my grade one teacher. She is 80 something...we don't count. She and I live in different cities so we talk on the phone every two or three months. I try to go to visit her three or four times a year. She is an unbelievable person with an incredible heart. She is pretty incredible.
As for award giving, I have found a few new ones that I went looking for, just for this purpose, that I'll share, and a couple of ones I've been following for a short while. (I've got 10 so far) There are a few that already had this award, or I would have given them one, too!

I will be sure to mention any other great blogs I find in future posts.

*and the Versatile Blogger Award goes to.....    Drum roll please*

  1. Louise at Life is Good
  2. Anna at Rummey Bears
  3. Crafty Gardener
  4. Cooking in Someone Else's Kitchen
  5. Victoria of Victoria's Backyard
  6. Phaedra Alwell of Everyday Simplicity
  7. C. Beth at The One-Minute Writer
  8. Jaime at Embracing Balance
  9. Cowgirl Warrior at WW for Life
  10. Jams at Running My Mouth
Thank you, for giving me a great start to the new week. It feels great to be recognize by your fellow bloggers. THANKS LIANA!

To all who get this award from me, I've seen a few who just post their award and say thanks....However, it has been a lot of fun finding new blogs!

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Time was running out before we left New York. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is one place that we didn't visit, although we did the MOMA store. They had a number of interesting gifts and a variety of items to purchase for your kitchen, decor, and many other articles.

Their windows were also decorated. Sister P. took those pictures, hopefully they will come through on the posting.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


"No individual rain drop ever considers itself responsible for the flood." ~ John Ruskin

The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

Last summer I read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger since I the movie was coming out soon and I like to read the book first.

If you haven't noticed from my very few posts, I'm a sucker for time travel/science fiction and fantasy. Although the book jumps in and out of past, present, and future, and you sometimes have to take a minute to check where you are, it is a fun and interesting read.
The Time Traveler's Wife is a story about a man (Henry) who has a genetic disorder that causes him to involuntarily travel through time into the past and forward to the future. His wife Claire, is left behind to worry about his travels not knowing where he has gone, how long he will be gone, and what danger he may be facing.

I really liked this book, but I know it isn't for everyone. Some people will just want to watch the movie. The movie is pretty good, too. I liked it, I just liked the book better.

The Manhattan Bridge, New York

The bridges of New York are large and impressive. The Manhattan Bridge brought us into Manhattan from the airport, and took us back to the airport on our way home.
The Manhattan Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan (at Canal Street) with Brooklyn (at Flatbush Avenue Extension). It was the last of the three suspension bridges built across the lower East River, following the Brooklyn and the Williamsburg bridges. The bridge was opened to traffic on December 31, 1909 and was designed by Leon Moisseiff,[1] who later designed the infamous original Tacoma Narrows Bridge that opened and collapsed in 1940. It has four vehicle lanes on the upper level (split between two roadways). The lower level has three lanes, four subway tracks, a walkway and a bikeway. The upper level, originally used for streetcars, has two lanes in each direction, and the lower level is one-way and has three lanes in peak direction. It once carried New York State Route 27 and later was planned to carry Interstate 478. No tolls are charged for motor vehicles to use the Manhattan Bridge.

The original pedestrian walkway on the south side of the bridge was reopened after forty years in June 2001.[4] It was also used by bicycles until late summer 2004, when a dedicated bicycle path was opened on the north side of the bridge, and again in 2007 while the bike lane was used for truck access during repairs to the lower motor roadway. Wikipedia
The bridge is long and tall enough that the thought of taking the pedestrian walkway across was not an option for one of my sisters. We were so busy, anyway, that we did not have time even if we'd wanted to walk across.

Our tour guides spoke of the bridge being originally planned by an Engineer who was later injured on the job and wouldn't go to the hospital because he didn't believe in them. He died of infection and his son took over the construction oversight. His son became ill at some point and his wife was the one who travelled to and from the bridge site delivering messages about the construction. The tour guides often joked that th bridge was the first of its size to be built by a woman.

However history tells the story, it's an impressive sight.