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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

On my recent trip to France, we visited the beaches of D-Day. We saw the battlefield and the guns that greeted our boys as they landed. We saw the scars in the earth from the battles.
 
 


 We also saw the more than 9,000 graves of our fallen. 
 
 
At the cemetery. they had a ceremony which started with the Star Spangled Banner. At first, we only heard the music, first it started as a low murmur, then slightly louder until it became full fledged singing of our National Anthem by all who attended. It ended with Taps and a moment of silence.
 

 
 
Each of us was then given a rose to place on the grave of a soldier of our choice. I chose a boy from New York, although as I think about it now, I should have chosen the grave of an unknown.   
 

 
 On this Memorial Day I think about all those boys who died in the various wars.  I also think about the families of those who are buried in the cemeteries around the world.  I especially think about  and remember those who have never been identified and who are "Known but to God".
 
Thank you all.

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thoughts on the Scandals

I'm not going to go into specifics on the recent news events/scandals.  Much has already been said about Benghazi, the AP, James Rosen of Fox News, the IRS and whatever else may come up in the next few minutes.

Yesterday, I was watching some clips of the president's chief-of-staff.  I noticed that he was speaking very fast and filed it in the back of my mind.  Then I noticed some other people in the administration also speaking very fast, when they weren't telling us they didn't remember or that something was irrelevant.

I had seen this pattern of fastspeak before.  Many years ago, I had a meeting with the principal of my boys' school.  We were interrupted because a 1st grader was inconsolable because he missed his mother.  A few months before he started school, an older brother had died of cancer so the principal understood his problem.  She started speaking to him and gradually increased the speed of her words to distract him.  Before long, he was feeling better.

It seems that fastspeak is very effective as a distraction.  This seems to be what we are hearing from the administration.

I do find it odd that no one on the president's staff has told him about all the problems they are facing and that he had to hear it on the tv news (which he has said he doesn't watch).  I was a secretary to the president of my company and she wanted to know all about any problems or potential problems.  That's what being a good administrator is all about.

This leads me to this observation.  Was the president not told about these problems because his staff wanted him to be able to honestly deny knowledge, or did he orchestrate them.  Or, as another thought, is the president a front or puppet for someone else?  Someone who is pulling the strings.  I wonder who that could be.

Until more in the mainstream media start looking into Benghazi, the AP, James Rosen and the IRS, it will be like it always is.  The democrats get away with everything and the republicans get prosecuted and harrassed.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Where Do I Start

Ah yes, where do I start.  There has been and is so much going on, I don't know where to begin.  So I'll begin with the fun part.

Last month, I took a geographical expedition to Brittany and a riverboat cruise along the Seine.  The trip to Brittany was very informative and surprising.  I got a clear understanding of the geography of the area.  Now I know where Brittany is.  Despite its name, it clearly is in France.  I was also surprised to see palm trees growing there in the north of France and bordering on the English Channel.

One of the main reasons for the trip to Brittany was to see Mont Ste Michelle.  This is a town and monastery on what, at times, seems to be an island.  When the tide is low, you could walk to the town and in the past at high tide, the town was surrounded by water.   The streets are very narrow and almost always uphill.
 
 
I tried to go all the way up to the monastery, but got only about 3/4 of the way.  I guess I'm very out of shape.
 
Thanks to the zoom feature of my camera, I did get a good shot though.

 
A few days after we started cruising, we stopped at Giverney.  The gardens there are just lovely.



Even though it was early in the season, most of the flowers were in bloom.  Unfortunately, it was a little too early for the water lillies.

 
Of course, I saw the famous bridge.  Trust me, it's there in the distance.



 
There was a line for the house, but it moved quickly.  Monet's home was filled with his collection of Japanese prints and of course, copies of his works.  Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures of the interior.  The dining room was yellow, yellow walls, yellow table covering and yellow dishes.  The kitchen walls were covered in blue delft tiles and there was a lot of blue delft.  I thought it was too much, but what do I know.

 
It was a good two weeks and I saw a lot more, but I don't want to be one of those people who MUST show you ALL of my vacation pictures in one sitting.  I'll save the others for another time.  I took over 800 pictures, love my digital camera.  Don't worry, I won't bore you with all of them.
 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Good Time Gone Bad

Ever since I got back from my trip Crash won't let me out of her sight.  She follows me all over the house, squeezes into the space between me and the arm of the couch.  If she wakes from a nap and can't see me, she meows and meows until I call her, then she comes runninhg with her belly swinging from side to side.

Tonight, I decided to take a relaxing bath.  I filled the tub, added an envelope of powdered milk and turned on the jets.  I felt that after all the walking I did in France, my muscles and feet could use a little pampering.

Everything was going along great, the water was nice and warm, the bubbles were climbing up the sides of the tub, then I heard it - the faint meow.  She found me.  After she checked out the bubbles, she climbed on the stepstool and looked at me.

Then she got her confidence.  She started walking around the edge of the tub, occassionally slipping.  As she got behind me, she slipped again.  She still has all her claws, so I was understandably worried that she'd slip into the tub and try to climb up my back to get out.

Luckily, she regained her footing and left.  But the mood was gone.  The bath was no longer relaxing.  I kept waiting for her to come back, so I too left the bath.

It was nice while it lasted and I feel great and my skin feels nice and soft from my milk bath.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

From foie gras to hot dogs

I've just come back from a 15 day "geographical exploration" of Brittany and cruising the River Seine.  It was wonderful and at a later date, I will post some of the 873 pictures I took.  Right now, I'm still recovering from jet lag.

I didn't plan ahead before I went away.  There is very little food in my refrigerator/freezer.  One of these days I'll have to do some food shopping.  Today, I had franks w/o beans.;  That's quite a comedown from last week when I had such treats as filet mignon, onion soup, crepes, snails, oysters and of course, ice cream every day.

If I only had a resident chef who could prepare such meals for me.