Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Stock Sunday - 25

My vintage look at summer for Summer Stock Sunday, hosted by Robin at Around the Island.

Just got back from a Girls' Overnight in Halifax, which for me and my friend Shelley amounts to a staycation. I have to say I'm a major fan of staycations. Several years ago my friend Lisa came for a visit from Ontario, and we stayed at the Westin Nova Scotian - walking distance to everything, luxury, pampering and the freedom to enjoy ourselves without having to take a flight anywhere (for me, at least.)

Last night I left work, walked through the pedway as I would if I were catching the ferry home, started the walk through the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel which forms part of the indoor route for commuters - but instead of continuing on, I turned down the corridor toward our room and met up with three of my high school choir friends.

All four of us moved away after high school, but two of us returned while one of our group lives in British Columbia and one lives in Seattle. Whenever possible, we get together when the stars align and we're all in the same city. A few weeks ago, Maureen was here for a family event but wasn't expected to be here this weekend - but Shelley told her to catch a quick flight and what a great surprise when I walked in and there she was!

So for my walk down memory lane for Summer Stock Sunday, here's a few shots taken in 1981, when I was heading into grade twelve and many of my close choir friends had just graduated and were about to head off to university.

The four of us who reveled in our Girls' Overnight were part of this close-knit crew, though only Maureen and I were at this particular barbeque.

Clockwise from left: John, Maureen, Michael, me, Philip, Ted and Katherine

Clockwise from left: Mark, Philip, Ted, Katherine and John

Me with Katherine

L to R: Philip, John, Katherine and Mark

L to R: Maureen, John, Philip and Michael

Friday, July 30, 2010

Weekend Writer's Retreat - 18

Here's the latest installment of Scorpius' boyhood back story, a character from my dark fantasy work in progress. For the first twelve scenes I've posted for the Weekend Writer's Retreat, we've followed him as a seven-year-old, when he outgrew the nursery where he'd been brought up with the other children of the blood.

But when no one from his family came to claim him, Scorpius was released to serve a falcon master as an apprentice. We rejoin him at age ten.

An incident that took place at the falconer's cottage three years ago has political repercussions that now haunt Scorpius and his master, Richolf.

You can follow the progress of this story arc by clicking on the Works in Progress link just under the blog header.

Scene 18

At first all he could make out was a heap of rags in the gloom.

Scorpius moved forward to kneel beside his master huddled insensible beneath tattered blankets. "Sir. Sir," he said, but nothing got past Richolf's chattering teeth.

Looking back at the grim guard standing in the doorway, Scorpius' plea for help shrivelled on his tongue. His master would not suffer any further indignities, including an apprentice that begged.

Scorpius rose to his feet and informed the guard he would return, using his most authoritative tone of voice. His heart swelled with pride when the man nodded and backed out of the way.

Striding purposefully though he didn't know where he should start looking, nor for what, Scorpius made his way back to the courtyard and stood adrift, his heart heavy in his chest. Who had reduced his master to this state? What did they want from a falconer that was worth such suffering?

There would be no hope of securing a horse. Scorpius must locate some other form of transport - but what? Keeping track of all the deliveries back and forth through the estate yard gates, he narrowed down his options until he was haggling with the owner of a dog cart.

With all the bluster he could manage, Scorpius prodded the unsympathetic guard to help load the falconer into the cart, whose feet dangled disgracefully over the sides. Using the same signals his master used with their hunting dog, Scorpius could have kissed the sturdy animal hitched to the cart when it followed his command. Before long, they were away from the estate and on the road for the falconer's cottage.

When they were far enough away from prying eyes, Scorpius stopped the cart to bend low over his master. In the sunlight, the reality of the swelling mess of Richolf's face clawed at the breath in Scorpius' chest. It wasn't simply a fever that kept his master from recognizing his apprentice.

"You'll be home soon, sir," Scorpius said, more for his own benefit than anything else. He coaxed the dog to carry on, and they trundled their way slowly over the road, Richolf moaning whenever the cart lurched.

The sun was already tucked well below the horizon when they finally arrived at the falconer's cottage. As Scorpius tried to work out how he was going to get his master out of the cart and onto his bed, their hunting dog snarled and barked at the intruder on his turf. The cart dog stopped in his tracks and set up an answering clamor.

Shouting at both animals to quiet down, Scorpius discovered Richolf had regained consciousness.

A pain-singed gaze settled on Scorpius. "We're home, sir," he said.

"Dragon. Took him off."

"Pardon, sir?" A worm of dread pierced Scorpius' heart at the mention of the murdered noble those three years past.

"Dragon. Swear it."

"Dragon, sir," Scorpius repeated. "The dragon took him off."

His master drifted into oblivion, leaving Scorpius with the barking dogs, disturbing wounds to dress and the unwelcome answer to his question from that long ago Night of the Cupboard. He would never again wonder why those guards had been relieved to chase down a dragon, when the alternative made him long to look away.

He would be grateful that it had been Richolf to fetch him away from the nursery, and stop wondering what it might be like to serve at the estate, with all its fine lords and ladies, with fatal hunting trips and secrets so dark his own master now fought back its shadows.

© Julia Smith 2010

5 on Friday - Set 25

Travis at Trav's Thoughts invites everyone to lay down a short set of music that takes their fancies for his 5 on Friday meme.

Tonight I'm heading out for a Girls' Night with two of my high school choir friends, since Dawn is in town from Seattle, Washington. For a bit of a trip down memory lane, here are five pieces we performed together when we were in the Prince Andrew Chorus, from 1979 to 1982.

1 - Thank You For the Music - Riverport Chorus of Wisconsin in rehearsal

This was something we did in our end-of-the-year variety show. At the time, there were no arrangements available for choirs for this one or for One Voice, so our friend and even-though-he-was-a-student-himself-he-was-our-musical-director Mark Morash whipped up his own arrangements.

Thank you for the music
The songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing

Who can live without it?
I ask in all honesty
What would life be

Without a song
Or a dance
What are we?

So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

- Andersson / Ulvaeus

2 - One Voice - Cantabile Youth Choir of Warwickshire, England

For our performance of this one, Mark detached himself from the piano bench and entered the stage alone, beginning the song as one voice. As it went along, the entire chorus joined him so that we completed the song as a choir.

Just one voice
Singing in the darkness
All it takes is one voice
Shout it out and let it ring

Just one voice
It takes that one voice
And everyone will sing

- Barry Manilow

3 - Potiphar - Donny Osmond and cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 1999

Joseph was the first musical I was in, and it will have a special place in my heart forever.

Not only did it give me the rush of performing without any of the stress of carrying a featured role, it introduced me to the whole thrill of falling for my first boyfriend, who played Joseph. This was the part I waited for, during every rehearsal and finally during every performance. I was obviously drawn to the men-in-chains scenario early on.

Letting out a mighty roar
Potiphar burst through the door

"Joseph, I'll see you
Rot in jail!
The things you've done
Are beyond the pale"

Poor, poor Joseph
Locked up in a cell
Things aren't going well, hey
Locked up in a cell

- Lloyd Webber / Rice

4 - Hernando's Hideaway - Briana Gantsweg and Mark Peterson, Interlochen Arts Camp production of The Pajama Game

In grade 11 we did The Pajama Game, where I played Mabel, the secretary of the main love interest. This song-and-dance number was my favorite. I was part of the choir for this one and could relax and have fun.

Just knock three times
And whisper low
That you and I
Were sent by Joe

Then strike a match
And you will know
You're in
Hernando's Hideaway! Olé!

- Adler / Ross

5 - Dream Ballet - Josefina Gabrielle and Hugh Jackman, 1999 London West End production of Oklahoma!

For my graduating year, we did Oklahoma! Dawn was off to university by then, but Shelley and I were in this one. I played Ado Annie, the overly-flirtatious girl caught between two beaux.

I also choreographed the musical numbers along with fellow student Heather. Being young and unaware that we shouldn't tackle something as daunting as a 15-minute dream ballet sequence, we worked out the steps and held our own rehearsals. And I'm very proud to say it wasn't half bad. We even included the fight between Curly and Jud - but of course Hugh Jackman wasn't available at the time, so our Curly didn't do any complicated lifts.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 169 - 13 of My Favorite Movie and TV Quotes

There's been a bit of synchronicity in the Blogosphere lately when it comes to movie quotes. I posted a favorite movie in-joke for my Through the Opera Glasses last week ('To blave' from The Princess Bride) and then one of my fellow Divas at Popculturedivas, Michelle Miles, posted her family's top movie quotes as well as in what circumstances they come in handy.

So I'll keep this ball in the air and give you thirteen of the top movie or TV quotes my husband and I (and various assorted family members) use - and when we use them.

1 - You must place it here beside this shrubbery, only slightly higher so you get a two-level effect with a little path running down the middle.

- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Good for any sort of gardening discussion.

2 - [You] will die here like rotten cabbages.

- The Prisoner / Free For All

Perfect for circumstances when no one is displaying any initiative.

3 - Ooo - don't know my own strength!

- Rocky and Bullwinkle

Anytime your well-meaning efforts result in destruction.

4 - Yueh! (pronounced: yoo-wee)

- Dune (1984)

If you're shocked by something you didn't see coming, this is the quote for you.

5 - Sweet Hosannas, that is bad.

- Tom Hanks guest hosting Saturday Night Live (1990)

Appropriate when encountering any god-awful smell or taste.

6 - You're crazy, man.

- Old School

When someone is irresistably nutty, use this one - but make sure you include the slo-mo underwater sound of the tranquilizer dart effect.

7 - Wha' happened?

- A Mighty Wind

My husband and I use this literally every time we need to ask the question 'what happened?' But it's important to use Fred Willard's dopey delivery, as well as a very earnest undertone.

8 - You're better than best - you're bester!

- The Kids in the Hall

Make sure you use Kevin MacDonald's overly enthusiastic delivery. When regular English just doesn't do the trick.

9 - not believe me. You will, Doctor Jones. You will become a true believer.

- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

If there's ever any shred of doubt.

10 - Brian - You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!

Crowd - Yes - we're all individuals!

Brian - You're all different!

Crowd - Yes, we are all different!

Man - I'm not.

- Life of Brian

When only contrariness will do.

11 - Manuel - you are a waste of space.

- Fawlty Towers

When you're sick of being diplomatic.

12 - Too many notes.

- Amadeus

When you're certain you've got great advice to give a genius.

13 - Not in the mood?! Mood's a thing for cattle, and love play!

- Dune (1984)

When you'd rather slap some sense into someone.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 159

Monday, July 26, 2010

Through the Opera Glasses - 64 - July Art Show

For the month of July my Sidebar Art Gallery featured a collection called Red, inspired by the color featured at my wedding eighteen July's ago.

Surfacing by Wayne Boucher

Spirit of the Sockeye by Blaine Billman

Black Mountain: B.C. by Emily Carr

Highbrush Cranberries - Cardinal by Robert Bateman

Montreal 1852 by Cornelius Krieghoff

Toll If You Please by Paul Peel

Jelly Shelf by Mary Pratt

Lacing Up by Ken Danby

June 1979 by Alex Colville

Shelley Munro says What a great selection, Julia. I like the Sockeye one and Lacing Up.

Akelamalu says Great pictures Julia I particularly like 'Spirit of the Sockeye' :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 162 - Letters and Lists

While sitting upstairs at Mom's table eating lunch during my week off from my day job, I often fed my inner muse by reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I'm looking after her bird Coco while she's on her own month-long vacation in Michigan, and he needs social time with Brad and me without Mom there. So I have all my meals upstairs and hang out with Coco, read the paper, catch up on a bit of TV, or browse through Mom's gardening magazines or creative books like The Artist's Way.

This piece about a woman discovering her voice really resonated with me. It refers to a technique Ms. Cameron uses in all her workshops called morning pages.

This is a form of wake-up exercises for the writing brain, like athletic stretches or musical scales. Ms. Cameron has found that creating a habit of non-judgmental free writing every morning deactivates the inner critic inside all of us, and releases the real creativity chomping at the bit behind him or her.

I haven't tried these morning pages myself, but I have to say my experiences with my blog have acted in a similar role for me. There was a time I never could have come up with new poetry once a week, or new scenes like clockwork for my Weekend Writer's Retreat. But the habit of daily writing for my blog has cleared my perfectionist tendencies somewhat.

Not entirely! LOL! Getting there.

Here is the found poem I crafted from The Artist's Way:

Letters and Lists


Leggy racehorse socialite

Hid her brains for years
Behind her beauty
Hid her life for years
Behind her man's

With a great deal of surface cheer
Phyllis tried the morning pages
Leggy socialite's inner conviction
They would never work for her

It had been ten years
Of social letters
Bread-and-butter lists
Ten years since she had allowed herself to write

Phyllis hid
Phyllis allowed no pages
Beauty Phyllis
Racehorse Phyllis

Pages would never work for her
Never bread-and-butter
Never her man's Phyllis
Socialite hid brains

Surface cheer
Racing beauty
Leggy Phyllis
Conviction, ten years

A month into morning pages
Seemingly out of nowhere
Phyllis got her first

In three years
Phyllis has written
Phyllis' surface allows brains
Phyllis' bread-and-butter is writing

Radio shows
A nonfiction book
And poems

Phyllis racehorse
Phyllis beauty
Phyllis brainy
Her man's Phyllis

Phyllis' writing
Works for her

- Julia Cameron, 1992

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Minnesota Mamaleh says Your words? Resonate. Your tips? Hit the spot. And your poem? Divine.

Shelley Munro says You're good at this poetry stuff. A lot of writers I know swear by Julia Cameron's book.

Riia Infinity says Beautiful and lovely poem^^

Summer Stock Sunday - 24

My vintage look at summer for Summer Stock Sunday, hosted by Robin at Around the Island.

My thoughts for this year's Summer Stock Sunday center around the timelessness of summer. More than likely because I'm a history lover who writes historicals and I'm constantly researching the past. What strikes me again and again is: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Take these two shots of my Mom, my sister and me.

Not only are they taken on a merry-go-round at the fair, but we're in the exact same set-up in both photos.

Me, Mom, Michelle. Late 60's
Me, Mom, Michelle. Early 80's.

Round and round, full circle.

Dimple says Amazing! I wonder if the photographer was the same, too!

Julia's note: Yes - it was my dad.

Jennifer Leeland says I love these. It's like time travel. I feel the same way when I look at my husband's old pictures of him and his family at Shanty Creek side by side with ours.
It's like double vision.

Louise says Those are some great pics, Julia. So was it a coincidence or did you remember the 60'es pix when the 80'es pix was taken?

Julia's note: No, it was totally coincidence that lined us up again like that.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Weekend Writer's Retreat - 17

Here's the latest installment of Scorpius' boyhood back story, a character from my dark fantasy work in progress. For the first twelve scenes I've posted for the Weekend Writer's Retreat, we've followed him as a seven-year-old, when he outgrew the nursery where he'd been brought up with the other children of the blood.

But when no one from his family came to claim him, Scorpius was released to serve a falcon master as an apprentice. We rejoin him at age ten.

An incident that took place at the falconer's cottage three years ago has political repercussions that now haunt Scorpius and his master, Richolf.

You can follow the progress of this story arc by clicking on the Works in Progress link just under the blog header.

Scene 17


Scorpius turned to look at the cottage, feeling the absence of his master keenly. What of the falcons, tethered inside their mews? And the dog – what about him?

The servant stopped in the road, the habit of taking orders impossible to break. Yet he knew he was higher on the pecking order than Scorpius, so he didn’t bother to hide his impatience.

When Scorpius insisted on seeing to the animals before he set out for the estate, the servant stretched out on a patch of grass, placing his cap over his face until Scorpius nudged him with his foot. Not so inclined to hurry back as he’d been, the young man glared up at him and cursed.

It was a long, awkward walk to the estate. Scorpius kept an eye and an ear out for any sign of leathery wings above, and was appalled by the servant’s complete lack of caution. As for the servant, once he figured out what made Scorpius scan the skyline, he spit derisively into the hedgerow.

The rooftop of the estate appeared in the distance not a moment too soon.

Dumping him at the first footfall upon the estate grounds, the servant hurried back to his tasks as though it were Scorpius’ fault that his work was now behind schedule. Left to find his own way, Scorpius’ steps slowed as his neck craned this way and that. His stomach tightened with dread as other estate servants gave him unwelcoming glances, the slaves scurrying past without meeting his eye.

Whom should he ask about Richolf? Assuming that was the reason he’d been summoned here - that infuriating servant sent to fetch him hadn’t been a lick of help.

Think for a moment, he told himself. Stop. Get your bearings.

Scorpius found a spot tucked against a wall, standing out of the way in order to scout. He tracked the comings and goings on the estate grounds, noting the differences between lowlier servants and highly-placed ones. He rubbed his hair to smooth it down from the dusty journey. He swiped at smears on his breeches, and made sure all his lacings and buckles were fastened. Richolf would be well-known here, and the last thing Scorpius wanted was to dishonor his master among this lot.

Propelling himself forward, he made his way past the outbuildings and closed in on the entrance used by servants and slaves alike. Everyone moved at a brisk clip. Scorpius had to trot to avoid slamming into people.

The entrance led to a dim corridor, which he followed along with everyone who knew where they were going. Finally it opened into a receiving area, where deliveries were haggled over and masters barked at their charges.

Scorpius scanned the faces but Richolf was nowhere among them. A canny older man held him in his sights as he directed staff and signed for purchases. Surely he would know where his master could be found, or might know why Scorpius had been sent for.

Taking a steadying breath, Scorpius navigated his way across the room until he stood before the well-dressed servant. Remembering to bow smartly, Scorpius announced himself and inquired as to his master.

The older man passed his notebook and stylus to another youth who hurried off. Brilliant blue eyes that seemed as if they had seen everything there was to see gazed through Scorpius, raking his thoughts and fears until the hairs on his body stood on end. There was a glimmer of recognition in the head servant’s manner, but Scorpius had never been to this estate before.

Calling another young servant over, the older man said, “Show him to the sick room,” and turned away to the next request.

© Julia Smith 2010

Naquillity says Excellent. And you transition to the next entry so well.

Alice Audrey says Sick room?!! You sure know how to keep me on tenterhooks.

Ann Pino says Oh, dear. But why didn't the servant take him to Richolf or to someone who could advise him? It's so hard to get good help.

5 on Friday - Set 24

Travis at Trav's Thoughts invites everyone to lay down a short set of music that takes their fancies for his 5 on Friday meme.

This week my mind wasn't far from the blooms unfurling in my garden. So here are five songs that celebrate flowers.

1 - Will Ye Go Lassie Go (Wild Mountain Thyme) - Lark & Spur

Oh the summertime is coming
And the trees are sweetly blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather

Will ye go, Lassie go?

And we'll all go together
To pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will ye go, Lassie go?

- William McPeake

2 - A Cherry Tree is Swaying - Ural Russian Folk Chorus

Outside the window
A cherry tree is swaying
Scattering its petals

Near the river
A familiar voice is heard
The nocturnal singing
Of the nightingales

A maidenly heart
Began sweetly beating
Ah, how it's blooming now
In the garden

Wait for me, my tender one
My joyful one

I will come at the secret hour

- Boris Timofieiev

3 - Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flowers) - Traditional Chinese (instrumental version)

The version I've used here is an instrumental piece, but this is often sung. Here are some of the lyrics:

What a beautiful jasmine flower
Stems full of buds
Fragrant and white
Everyone praises
Let me pluck you down
Give to someone
Jasmine flower, oh jasmine flower

- 18th century traditional folk song

4 - My Wild Irish Rose - Apponequet Barbershop Quartet

My wild Irish rose,
The sweetest flow'r that grows
You may search ev'rywhere
But none can compare
With my wild Irish rose

My wild Irish rose
The dearest flow'r that grows
And some day for my sake
She may let me take
The bloom from my wild Irish rose

- Chauncey Olcott

5 - Honeysuckle Rose - Django Reinhardt

This is another instrumental version of a tune with lyrics:

Every honeybee
Fills with jealousy
When they see you out with me
I don't blame them
Goodness knows
My honeysuckle rose

When you're passing by
Flowers droop and sigh
And I know the reason why
You're much sweeter
Goodness knows
My honeysuckle rose

- Fats Waller / Andy Razaf

Linda says I do so love a good quartet and the mixing and blending of voices into one instrument; My Wild Irish Rose is one of the most perfect songs ever for that sort of harmonizing!

Mike Golch says Great selection, thank you for sharing it.

Jamie says Oh my! Will Ye Go Lassie Go and Django Reinhardt in the same group! Now that is a genius collection.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 168 - 13 International Folk Dances For Male Dancers

I'm enjoying a week off from work - which is doing double duty as a writing week, as I tackle revisions on my Welsh Dark Ages vampire story.

But I'm finding time to rest and renew, as well. And one of the ways I've done this is by taking an impromptu around-the-world tour, via You Tube, to watch this awesome display of male folk dancing.

1 - Sword Dance - Scotland

I love how this warrior dance says I'll be dancing on your grave.

2 - Playful Competition (Kiev Fellows) - Ukraine

Here is the classic male bonding scenario: rivals first, then see what each is made of, then respect and friendship.

3 - Flamenco - Spain

The passion! The arrogance! The self-containment! Chick Magnet City.

As in all male dances, the aim is to display strength moves, agility and speed. Here with flamenco, the dancer adds balance and timing, which in a bull-fighting culture, is highly-valued.

4 - Haka - New Zealand

This group posturing dance has been given an upgrade from traditional Maori culture to contemporary New Zealand rugby matches. Here the opposing team gathers on the field as the All Blacks team informs them of what they can expect during the game.

Apparently the performance of this dance - which has been done since 1884 - works.

The All Blacks are "the leading points scorers of all time. They have the highest win ratio, and more than half of the top 20 ranked rugby nations have never beaten New Zealand in over 100 years of international competition." - Wikipedia

5 - Gule Wamkulu (Great Dance) - Mozambique

These dancers hide their true identities from all but their village chiefs. It is their continued ceremonial role to drive away evil spirits from the village, today as yesterday. As in the animal kingdom, these dancers use increased body size through costumes and broad movements to intimidate their foes.

6 - Fire Dance - Polynesia

The addition of fire to the traditional pre-battle knife dance is relatively modern - since the late 1940's.

What began as a posturing war dance transformed into a display of man's mastery over the planet's destructive elements.

CLICK HERE to see clip of fire dancer

7 - Bhangra - Punjab

This group dance is celebratory and uses bold color in the costuming. The men showcase their physical endurance through repetitive jumping movement throughout a long and complex routine. Harmonious group dynamics replace the more common male competitive element.

8 - Dabke - The Arab World

Another celebratory dance, this is done with the dancers connected to one another arm-to-shoulder, with a dance leader in the center. The solidarity and sense of community is showcased by complicated movements that can only be done with the literal support of other dancers.

9 - Men's Northern Traditional - North American First Nations

This is actually a single dancer's war dance or tale of hunting prowess. The dancers here are competing. The inclusion of animal movements honors the animal brothers whose fur and feathers are included on the dancer's regalia.

10 - Danza de Las Tijeras (Scissors Dance) - Peru

These scissor dancers perform acrobatic stunts and tests of physical endurance, all while maintaining the cutting action of the scissors in one hand. Not included in this dance segment are the trials such as piercing the body and walking on fire. In the tradition of their Incan ancestors, these men of the Andes Mountains perform this dance as a sacred ritual where the limits of the physical world are pushed past the brink by the dancers.

11 - Kritikos - Greece

This male-centered dance incorporates the female symbolism of the circle, uniting the two genders. It was originally performed by the King of Crete upon his marriage to the Mother Goddess's representative, the Queen.

12 - Traditional Edo Period Sword Dance - Japan

This is a stylized representation of the battle movements of a samurai. It even includes the ever-practical wiping-the-blood-from-the-sword movements.

13 - Schuhplattler (Shoe Slapping) - Germany

This hilarious version of the traditional Bavarian slap dance takes the male competitive urge and ramps it up a notch.

Janet says WOW - thanks for this, Julia. What an array of dancing culture - loved it.

I beati says I could watch these all day I get so educated on this meme.

Adelle Laudan says Very kewl. I just finished researching several Native American dances. Great list. Happy T13!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 158

Momstart says What a beautiful garden.

Heather says I should have taken one last walk to your garden before I moved from the area :( I'm sure I'll walk through again.

Nikita Bannerjee says I envy your garden!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Through the Opera Glasses - 63 - To Blave

One of the things that marks a long-lasting relationship, be it a friendship or a romantic partnership, is the inside joke.

My husband and I have our share. One of them comes from The Princess Bride, when Westley is brought to Miracle Max to be revived after he's mostly dead.

When he uses the bellows to find out what Westley considers worth living for, Westley says "True love."

But Miracle Max insists he said, "To blave."

For nearly 25 years now, Brad and I use that line to our unending delight. A two-word line in a film has provided us with an amazing amount of mileage.

Do you have a favorite in-joke with your honey or best buddy?

Janet says Just shortly after that scene, where they leave Miracle Max to find Wesley's True Love, Max shouts "Have fun storming the castle!" Yep, The Husband and I use it constantly - everytime one of us leaves the house, actually.

Robin says We like the line "We yellowbeards are even more dangerous after we're dead." - from Yellowbeard of course.

Jennie Marsland says Everett and I have favorite lines from the old Pink Panther movies. "Does your dog bite?" - "That's not my dog."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 161 - The Snags of Life

Having spent wonderful hours in the yard this weekend, and looking forward to more on my time off this week, here's a Loop Poem inspired by my garden.

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

The Snags of Life

Standing in the garden
Garden opened wide
Wide enough for all
All to step inside

Treasures peek from corners
Corners beckon sweetly
Sweetly spiced and tempting
Tempting me completely

Shadows cool and knowing
Knowing boughs that wave
Waves of color flicked by breezes
Breezes gather seeds to save

Garden beckons, gathers
Gathers butterfly and bird
Bird takes refuge here
Here the snags of life are cured

© Julia Smith, 2010

Naquillity says Very nice loop poem. Your garden pic is great.

Mimi says I've never come across a loop poem before (sheltered life??) There is a sense of forward movement all the way through, driven by the loop system.

Jennie Marsland says I've never seen a loop poem before either, at least not one labeled as such. Beautiful!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Stock Sunday - 23

My vintage look at summer for Summer Stock Sunday, hosted by Robin at Around the Island.

Right now, my mom is on a month-long vacation visiting her brothers in Michigan. A branch of my family ended up putting down firm roots there when both grandfathers moved their families from Canada to Michigan in the 1950's for work.

Part of my family stayed in Canada, and several members moved back over the years, including my grandfather when he retired. But we visit back and forth as often as we can.

I spent my first six years in Michigan and have maintained my friendship with Mary, the little neighbor who lived several doors down from me. We stood for each other when we both were married, and have been alongside each other for life's joys and life's sorrows. So Mary was thrilled to hear that she'd be getting together with my mom this month.

Today, they had a ball together, and have plans for more fun while Mom is still in hugging distance.

So for this week's look back at summer, here's a day when Mary came to the Detroit Zoo with my parents, my sister and me.

That's Mary on the left in the stripes, my dad, my sister and me chowing down on hot dogs. I remember this little picnic part of the day, because I volunteered to take the garbage to the garbage can. Once I got there and turned back to find everyone, I remember stopping to gaze at my family for a moment - always the observer, even then.

And that's cool 60's Mom with Michelle, me and Mary.

Leap forward 40 years and there you'll find Mom and Mary, sharing the day once again, laughing, chatting, sharing, connecting. Timeless summer.

Naquillity says It's great when friends can get together again to reminisce. Love the old photos of everyone.

Robin says Wonderful memories and I love how your connection has stood the twin tests of time and distance.

Mimi says Lovely, nostalgic, happy, summer post. It's hard to beat a trip to a good zoo, back then and now.