Cosmic Corners

Partial solar eclipse leaves wondrous crescent shadows on a windsurf sail

 

Partial solar eclipse leaves wondrous crescent shadows on a windsurf sailIn our little corner of the galaxy here on Planet Earth, lucky folks on the North American continent got to see perhaps a once-in-a- lifetime experience, a total solar eclipse.

The eclipse painted sublime, crescent-shaped pools of light filtered through the trees onto a nearby windsurf sail in the above featured image.

I regret somewhat that I didn’t make the 9 hour drive north to the Portland/Salem Oregon area, but things in my corner of the world got in the way. Hopefully you are not too sick of eclipse photos, but I wanted to save it for this week’s photo challenge in which the theme is Corner. Hey, I made it work!

August was quite the cosmic show with the annual Perseid meteor shower, a total solar eclipse, and the full moon called “The Sturgeon Moon” as described by The Old Farmer’s Almanac.  Did you know there was also a partial lunar eclipse on August 7th? It was viewed best from South Africa in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Cornered Moon
Play of light gives an autumn moon a twin!

I had to include the smokey sunset at the delta the evening before the eclipse.

Unsuspecting sun setting in a smokey haze
Unsuspecting sun setting in a smokey haze on the eve of the eclipse.

Cosmic events inspire endless news stories as well as themes for songs in popular music. Bonnie Tyler was not the only one to sing about a total eclipse.

I’ll leave you with a few lines from Pink Floyd’s Eclipse. I’m linking this to Hugh’s 51 Songs-51 Weeks Challenge.   

“All that is now and all that is gone, and all that’s to come; And everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.” Lyrics by Pink Floyd

Here is the song:

What do you think? Does this song bring back any memories? One meaning I take away from this song is the impact our small moon has over our planet, and in rare instances, can eclipse the mighty sun, even if for a few moments. Even the small, insignificant things in our lives can bring life-altering change.

I have always been fascinated with the cosmos and astronomy. Humans have only scratched the surface of what lies within our own solar system, much less the universe.

If you are still amazed at eclipse photos, consider checking these out the Best Shots of the 2017 Solar Eclipse.

Have an astronomically fabulous weekend!

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Mountain Greenery

Mountain Greenery; Green Sierra foothills
Mountain Greenery; Green Sierra foothills
Green Sierra foothills

Still on my Spring Break and reveling in some quiet time. The Weekly Photo Challenge asks us to share images that are green this week with the theme It IS Easy Being Green! Not that difficult since green is my favorite color!

Some of the photos of Yosemite were taken at this time last year when Spring kissed the valley with lovely shades of green, blooms and lots of water. The featured image is of the beautiful green, rolling foothills of California’s Gold Country near Sutter Creek.

Enjoy some more mountain greenery in this gallery.

When titling this post “Mountain Greenery,” it brought to mind the old 1960s Dick Van Dyke Show. In this YouTube clip, Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke sing and dance to “Mountain Greenery.” This series is one I never tire of watching!

This oldie but goodie song is linked to Hugh’s Views and News 51 Weeks, 51 Songs from the Past and the lovely Ritu’s Blog But I Smile Anyway for her Musical March series.

All of the above blogging and photo challenges are free to join most anytime. Please visit and participate when you can!

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Me and My Aero: For the Love of a Dog

Aero at 2 months old

Shadow of the dog walker

In the shadow of the 2017 Westminster Dog Show and Valentine’s Day…

We’re talking about dogs and love today! Rumor, the German Shepherd, won the coveted “Best in Show” title.

If you have followed my blog within the last few months, you probably have seen pics of my dog, Aero. In honor of two blog features, the WordPress weekly photo challenge, Shadow and 51 Weeks; 51 Songs by Hugh’s Views and News,  I submit some photos of “me and my Aero.”

Oh, hey, isn’t that a song? Here is the YouTube clip as arranged by Harry Nillson from the animated short film, The Point. Check that out here.

 

“Me and my arrow
Straighter than narrow;
Wherever we go, everyone knows
It’s me and my arrow.
Me and my arrow
Taking the high road;
Wherever we go, everyone knows
It’s me and my arrow”

Me and My Arrow song and lyrics by Harry Nilsson from “The Point” peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. Did you ever see the movie? I still hear the song played occasionally.

If you haven’t guessed, Aero, a six year-old Boykin Spaniel/poodle mix, is my pride and joy. We go for walks nearly every day. I get some great blog post ideas on these walks. Speaking of shadows, Aero now has his own shadow.

But first, the back story.

Aero has several brothers that look nothing like him. When my daughter moved out and took Gideon with her, Aero was alone. Well, he has me and his “daddy,” but we talked about getting another dog.

Chappy, Boykin Spaniel
Beloved Chappy. Used with permission

Scrolling through the WordPress Reader, I saw a photo (on the left) of a puppy that looked just like Aero. As I clicked on the link I was astounded by what I saw…the spitting image of my Aero-perro! Joan at her blog MV Obsession posted a memorial to her grand-dog Chappy. As I tearfully read through Joan’s beautiful tribute and looked at the gorgeous photos, I knew instinctively that Aero was descended from this noble breed of water-fowl retrievers, known as Boykin Spaniels. You can see why Chappy became the inspiration for my puppy love. Better get some tissues!

Once I discovered that Aero was part Boykin Spaniel, not Cocker as I originally thought, I wanted to know more about this breed. Joan’s post has a link to the Boykin Spaniel Society at the top of her post, but you can check that out here.

 

Following this, I was just amazed that I had never heard of this breed of dog. Boykins were bred in the early 1900s as retrievers for duck and wild turkey hunters. Although Boykins can weigh up to 40 pounds, they are shorter, stockier dogs, perfect for fitting into a small boat. Boykin Spaniels are the South Carolina state dog, and are seen in the Southern part of the U.S.

Aero at 2 months old

Aero’s chocolate brown coat prompted people to ask “What kind of dog is that?” We naively answered Cocker Spaniel mixed with terrier and poodle. Cockerterapoo? Or “Oh, he looks like a miniature Irish Setter, or Portuguese Water Dog.”

I don’t know why I got so emotional over discovering other dogs that look like Aero. I guess I love my Aero so much, I wanted to know his ancestry.

When I showed my hubby the picture of Chappy, and the Boykin Spaniel website, he was as amazed as I was and he somehow found a facebook page of a Boykin Spaniel breeder in California…the ONLY one. Luckily for us the breeder is in Northern California near Mt Shasta. Then more luck, the breeder had just whelped a litter of pups in December. We contacted her and asked several questions. Only two were left. Within two days, we made an offer and got our Boykin Spaniel.

Meet Brodie. Hubby thinks he looks like the night fury dragon, Toothless, from the movie, “How To Train Your Dragon.” Brodie means “muddy paws” in the Irish/Gaelic language. His official kennel name is CR Shasta Chases the Wind. He certainly chases everything now.

Brodie is Aero's new shadow

Aero will never be as large as pure-bred Boykins, only weighing in at a svelte 14 pounds. His “cousin” Brodie, at 9 weeks (at the time of this post) already weighs 12 pounds and is growing fast!

Stand Up Paddling with the poochBack to the Aero’s new shadow. Brodie loves Aero and they tumble around the house and backyard all day long. Raising a brand-new puppy isn’t easy, but the timing for our active lives was perfect. By the time we head to the Sacramento delta in April for our weekends of windsurfing and stand-up paddling, Brodie will have had all his shots and be 4 months old…ready to rumble! Or retrieve an unsuspecting duck!

We now belong to a couple of Boykin Spaniel Facebook pages and have made some friends. I never thought I would see so many “Aeros!”

All this “for the love of a dog.”

paw prints

 

Are you afflicted with Puppy Love? Was this year’s Valentine a dog? WOOF!

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Where are You Going? Here’s to Strong Women

May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

With all the turmoil and sickness plaguing us these last few weeks, I want to take a moment to celebrate my daughters’ January birthdays.

If we were having coffee today, I would invite you in for a hot beverage of your choice (coffee’s ready!) and perhaps some virtual birthday cake.

Today is my oldest daughter’s 32nd birthday. My younger daughter turned 29 on the 21st. They spent many of their childhood and teen birthdays with just me, when I was a single mom raising them with little financial help.

There is something about our children’s birthdays that incites reflection.

Two years ago I wrote a reflective piece when my oldest turned 30, a milestone birthday for the both of us. Here is that post, Where are You Going, My Little Ones.

Through the grace of God, some luck and sheer grit, I raised these incredible women to be strong and independent. Perhaps you can see this in the photo of them fist-bumping after walking me down the aisle after my second wedding in 2013.

Daughters celebrating after marrying off their mom!

My oldest (pictured on the right) is an Aerospace Engineer living in the San Francisco Bay area and has happily worked for the same defense contractor since 2007. She put herself through 4 years at UCLA, graduating with honors, then receiving her master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering. She lives with her boyfriend and two cats and does not plan to have children.

My youngest (on the left), after a long, stressful educational journey, where she was academically expelled from university, ultimately clawed her way back in and graduated with her bachelor of science degree in Recreation Therapy. One year ago, she sat for the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist exam and passed on her first try.

She chose to move away from her friends to a town on the California Central Coast and now works for a State Hospital as a Recreation Therapist. She shares her first apartment with her dog and a fellow co-worker. She is not dating at the moment, but hopes to have children someday.

We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.Both daughters make more money at their young ages than I ever made at the height of my career.

And I am damn proud.

I want them to live their lives in a world where choices matter and living the strength of their convictions takes no effort.

My oldest daughter was severely affected by the outcome of the US elections. I sat helpless as she sobbed over the phone in her disappointment. Not to be stopped, she recently took part in the women’s march in San Francisco.

But even with all this recent turmoil, I am still a mother.

If you have children, enjoy them at every age. I am blessed to be a mom of these lovely, talented young women. Enjoy this lovely version of the song, Turn Around. Here is a sample of the lyrics:

“Where Are You Going (Turn Around)”

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you’re two,
Turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door.

Notes: by Harry Belafonte, Malvina Reynolds and Alan Greene. Published by Clara Music Publishing Corporation (ASCAP). Administered by Next Decade Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.

I am also linking this song to Hugh’s Views & News 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.


Winter Weekend Coffee SharePlease join the coffee clatch at Part-Time Monster’s Weekend Coffee Share

 

 

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