Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winter drags on... I am running out of inspiration

The picture you see above is a corner of my front porch, to the left of the door. Our front porch is wide enough to have a glider and chairs for sitting. There is a rail that goes across the front, so it looks homey. My stuff is sort of thrown in the corner there. It is winter and this area has been neglected since November. You'll notice that my decor is pretty tacky. There are some frogs I bought in Myrtle Beach and a dwarf (in honor of my son who steals lawn ornaments from his friends' houses). I put refrigerator magnets on the barrel (where else would you put them?) and sea shells, because I can't help collecting them on vacation, sit on top of the barrel along with some tacky metal yard art sculpture. What can I say? I grew up in a neighborhood with religious statues, chrome balls and pink flamingos. If a tree died sure enough the next day your neighbor would paint it white. Its hard to lose those early influences. I still love those neighborhoods with their heavily manicured evergreen shrubery (japanese yews). In fact I put those same green bushes in my front yard and I keep them neatly trimmed. Our house, which is out in the middle of nowhere looks like it fell out of a suburb from the 1950's, except the yard art has been updated for the new millenium.

As you can see also, the Christmas Owl, my dog Max's best friend, is still around. I told myself that when the temperature got over 32 degrees I would get rid of him. Well it hasn't.

Below is a picture of our cat Tiger and her best friend. Its a weasel that came off some kind of battery operated rolly ball. A christmas present no doubt from one of my nieces or nephews in years past. I tried to wash it once and that was a big mistake. Tiger carries it around with her. I will find it on the couch or the bottom of our bed. This is what she does with it when she's eating her dinner.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My maternal grandparents (again!)

Left to Right: Unknown woman, Henrietta Kappus Fitzgerald, Frances Kappus Reilly, Unknown man, Amelia Caroline Kappus (mom), Dennis Francis Moroney (dad).

Left to Right: Aunt Henrietta Kappus Fitzgerald, Unknown womand in black, Aunt Frances Kappus Reilly, Amelia Kappus Moroney (mom), Dennis Francis Moroney (dad)

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Easter Egg Contest: will you help us?

Nearly every year now for at least three or four, my family has an egg decorating contest.
We are very competative and we have trouble finding individuals willing to judge the eggs under that kind of pressure.
This year my son and I will not be going to Chicago, where the rest of my family resides, so we will be competing in the egg contest remotely, and I suggested that we do the judging using pictures, or I was going to ship our eggs down there early. What my family has agreed on is my posting the pictures to this BLOG and asking my vast readership to do the voting. This will probably require me to learn photoshop and also how to post pictures and text in the proper sequence. Anyway, would you folks be willing to help us? We would be so appreciative. To give you an idea of the nature of the competition, here are eggs from past contests.


As you see this grouping all have titles but I cannot read them. Perhaps my family will let me know what the titles of these various entries are.
Here is another grouping from a different year. The red/black egg to the left in this picture is a lady bug and I believe that entry won for that particular year.
Here is a close up with bad lighting (my flash wasn't working) of the lady bug entry. The Beatle eggs are off in the distance.

I have to ask my nephew what the name of his entry was, its the one with the plant material mixed in with the egg. The other eggs in the picture are mine. I rolled them with glitter and then got nervous because I saw my niece and her sister meticulously puting sequin by sequin on their eggs to create the lady bug and the the sun bather, so I added some sequins to my entries as well. Needless to say, I did not win.

La Galena (chicken in Spanish?) My niece did not win, and she is still bitter about it.

LORD OF THE EGG ... this is the entry that won for that year (up against entries like 'La Galena' for example). This was done by my other niece who is cousin to the niece who is still bitter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Winter Garden

This is the view from my kitchen window. I sit and drink coffee and look out on this every morning. This is how its been since November.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

This is my youngest sister's daughter. I love these pictures. Last fall they took a trip to Madison County, Iowa and visited all the bridges that were popularized in Robert James Waller's novel "Bridges of Madison County". My sister told me that some of the streets in the area around these bridges had names like "Francesca's Way" and "Robert Kincaid Way" after the characters played by actors Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood in the movie. If you didn't know this, the plot of the movie is that a bored housewife meets a passing stranger (a national geographic photographer) and has a really heated affair that lasts a weekend. Her family is at the state fair so they know nothing about it. I've been thinking about this for a long time and what gets me is the whole idea that a local government would ok impropriety by naming streets after the characters in this movie/novel. My sister disagrees with me on this point, but I think the government should be above reproach. What people do in their personal lives is their own business and as entertainment I am ok with it. I am an idealist I guess. I also think Clint Eastwood was really hot in this movie.