365 photo challenge: companionship

No man is an island,
No man stands alone,
Each man’s joy is joy to me,
Each man’s grief is my own.

We need one another,
So I will defend,
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.

I saw the people gather,
I heard the music start,
The song that they were singing,
Is ringing in my heart.

No man is an island,
Way out in the blue,
We all look to the one above,
For our strength to renew.

When I help my brother,
Then I know that I,
Plant the seed of friendship,
That will never die.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

companionship…affirms our existence…


365 photo challenge: luckiest

My daughter feels like one of the luckiest girls in the world right now. She’s been cast as the Dew Drop Fairy in her ballet company‘s upcoming Nutcracker. One of the treasured roles, it signals a dancer’s “arrival.” She is considered capable of taking on the challenge of a lead role in a performance. My daughter is “over the moon,” and feels up to the task.

…a little luck…and a lot of hard work…and dreams can come true…

………hugmamma.¬† ūüėČ

365 photo challenge: swiping

lucy & ricky

Image by elena-lu via Flickr

Biographies provide insight into little known facts about their subjects. According to Desilu РThe Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz , Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy fame was found swiping pencils from work.

¬†¬†¬†¬† “Lucy’s concept of money and spending had been severely affected by the early days of her childhood,” Leeds explains, noting that about eighteen months after joining the company he was approached by an assistant who told him. ” ‘I don’t know what she does with them, but every week we buy a gross of pencils for the program, and after the last rehearsal, even though they have only used about ten or twleve of them, Lucy takes the balance home.'” A week later, at the Arnazes’s house for dinner, Leeds confronted Lucille about the pencils. “She took me by the hand and led me over to a closet, opening the door and showing me about ninety gross of pencils. ‘Why are you taking them?’ I asked. ‘You are only stealing from yourself. You own them.’ She replied, ‘Martin, when I was a little girl, we were poor and couldn’t afford pencils. We used pieces of charcoal. Pencils are a symbol of having enough to eat.’ She later told me I had unintentionally ruined a symbol.”

swiping from lucy…for lucy…different.

Lucy’s other eccentricities? Birds

Bird Park KL

Image by phalinn via Flickr

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†” ‘I can’t stand pictures of birds on wallpaper or plates or in paintings–anywhere. Whenever I check into a hotel room with bird lamps and pictures in it, I have them all taken away at once. Why? I haven’t the faintest idea–particularly since I love real birds.’ ”

…and Indians.

Indians at dedication (LOC)

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “She also was said to have a ‘compulsive rejection of Indians in native costumes, though not of Indians dressed in regular clothes.’ According to her friend, writer Katherine Albert, ‘She told me she could never see Annie Get Your Gun because she couldn’t stand the idea of all those Indians in it. It’s some sort of fear that dates back to her childhood.’ “

The star’s greatest phobia?

Ball as Lucy, Vivian Vance as Ethel on the

Image via Wikipedia

¬†¬†¬†¬† ” …her inordinate fear of being too close to people, of being touched. ‘I get numb. The first day I went to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1942, I wasn’t really aware of this phobia. But a new hairdresser spent forty-five minutes working on the bangs on my forehead, leaning against me, breathing on me. At the end of that time, I had tears streaming down my face. My makeup was ruined, and I was paralyzed.’ (Vivian Vance, aware of this peculiarity, quickly learned to work with Lucy a bit of a¬†distance from¬†her.) ‘I have the same feeling away from work, at parties. I can’t bear the idea of dancing with some man I don’t know and like well. Desi knows this, so he’s always ready to help me explain that I’m too tired to dance. Or else he cuts in after a minute or two.’ “


Image via Wikipedia

…you never know…what makes people tick………hugmamma.¬†



365 photo challenge: rake

According to my dancer-daughter, some stages are “raked.”¬†A raked stage is one that slopes upward from the footlights towards the back, so that all the performers are visible to the audience.

In the past, my daughter has danced on such a stage¬†when the ballet company she was with at the time, toured¬†smaller theatres in surrounding locales, in and out of state. As you can imagine, maintaining one’s balance while twirling around is a tricky feat. Until a dancer becomes accustomed to a raked stage, it can be a stressful experience.

My daughter is grateful not to have to add¬†dancing on a raked stage¬†to the list of¬†nervous moments that already await her on opening night, and all the nights¬† thereafter. But if she were to come across another raked stage in her career, she’d do what all dancers do. She’d get on with the show!

I’ve no idea if these dancers who entertained on the Queen Mary II, performed on a raked stage. But if they did…

…i’d never have known…for they were excellent………hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: before

''I Love Lucy

Image via Wikipedia

It’s been a while since I’ve read¬†The Life Story of Vivian Vance.¬† I remember very little except that during the initial filming of¬†the I Love Lucy show, Vivian Vance was¬†remade according to Lucille Ball‘s liking.¬†As the star of¬†the sitcom, she didn’t want to be upstaged. She made¬†certain that Vance¬†always played second fiddle. She had to¬†gain weight for the role, wear frumpier dresses, and agree to having William Frawley, years older, as her TV husband. Vance would’ve preferred someone younger than him. So it was no secret that they hated one another off-screen.

Actress Lucille Ball and husband, Desi Arnaz s...
Image via Wikipedia

As the years passed, Ball and Vance became life-long friends and confidantes. Especially since their marriages were sources of grief for both. Ball had a great business partner in Desi Arnaz, but a less than ideal husband because of his womanizing and alcoholism. He was not the polished, elegant sort of partner she wanted beside her in later years. Instead Arnaz was falling down drunk most of the time.

Vance’s husband, Philip Ober, was a fellow actor who belittled his wife because¬†he was¬†envious of her success.¬†As a result, she spent many years in therapy because of ongoing self-doubts. The photo¬†of her during the “Lucy” years belies the miserable life she led. The before picture, however, is Vance before fame took hold, changing her look…and her life.¬†¬†¬†¬†

…the price of fame…worth it???………hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: quits

Goodwill Industries

Image via Wikipedia

Deciding to marry, my daughter’s friend Krissy vacated her 1-bedroom apartment. We visited it after most of her furnishings were removed because my daughter was next in line to rent it. I took snapshots of the spaces so that I could help her with furniture placement, as well as deciding what she’d need to give away since my daughter was downsizing from a 2-bedroom.

We both knew from the get-go that Goodwill would be the beneficiary of a lot of stuff. I don’t know if they were as grateful as she, when they saw 4 carloads coming their way. In fact my daughter’s friend had to tell the¬†loading dock guy to take it easy with some of the bags because there were some good hand-me-downs in them. The guy didn’t seem to care. He’d probably had to handle so much of other people’s junk that he’d become jaded to the so-called “treasures.” Other people’s junk to him was probably just that…junk. Not treasures as in the old saying “other people’s junk…are some people’s treasures.”¬†

It seemed appropriate to share these photos of¬†the¬†nearly vacant¬†apartment, before my daughter took occupancy. You’ll have to wait to see how it’s furnished now, as I’ve yet to¬†take pictures.¬†

calling it………quits……….hugmamma.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

365 photo challenge: contemporary

My tastes do not tend toward the contemporary…now. But if I had another house to decorate…perhaps. Meanwhile my current home is a split-level contemporary from the mid-70s. And it suits my primitive, vintage furnishings quite nicely.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

365 photo challenge: whole

This little fella thinks he owns my whole garden…birdfeeders and all.

In fact, he has know qualms about squaring off with………hugmamma.

But of course you know who’s the boss? Moie, of course. Except that Mr. Squirrel’s probably eating at night…when I’m asleep.

…that little bugger!

365 photo challenge: browse

Thought you might enjoy browsing through my dollhouse, with its replica, vintage furnishings. It was a project of love, begun in Connecticut…and continued here in Washington. It was this hobby that introduced me to then neighbors, Sylvia and Jim…miniaturists extraordinaire! As a team they have worked wonders with several dollhouses, large and small, an English pub identical, except in scale, to one that sits in Sylvia’s hometown, a dress shop complete with a magnificent inventory of dresses, lingerie, hats, umbrellas, shoes, and a Tudor home with Henry VIII and several of his wives in residence.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sometime soon I’ll take you on a tour of my daughter’s dollhouse, decorated more to her liking when she was a child. Using her imagination to provide the stories, she would play with its furnishings…for hours on end.

I’ll also take some snapshots of Sylvia’s dollhouses and share them with you. I’m certain she’d enjoy making them available to miniaturists and fans, alike. I promise they will astonish………hugmamma.¬†

365 photo challenge: script

In my life in photos,¬†Nancy¬†wrote a very appropro story to go along with her photo for the word of the day, script. And those who left comments, myself included, agreed with her that trying to script scenarios for how family events play out is wasted energy, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I’ve learned that it ain’t gonna happen just because I hope so, or say so.

Most moms, if not all,¬†will tell you that we like to be in control of things. No news to husbands and offspring, I’m sure. We also like to fix things, as in problems…lives…relationships. Again, not headline news. And we become exceedingly frustrated when life doesn’t go…according to mom. I think Mother Nature might be feeling the same way these days. That’s why she’s adding her 2 cents.

Tender, juicy roast turkey - the main attracti...

Image via Wikipedia

Once, many, many years ago, my brother Ed and his wife spent Thanksgiving with us on Long Island, New York,¬†where we lived at the time. My skills as a cook were still developing. Which is to say, I had to start cooking the night before to have a fabulous meal ready the next evening. I’ve no clue why I didn’t remember that “golden rule” for an important holiday meal with family.

Perhaps I thought I could wing it since there were only 4 of us. Maybe I was too busy¬† sightseeing with them, to return to mundane things like planning, shopping, and prepping for a feast. Or maybe I thought my husband would spring for dinner at a restaurant. Or could it be that I was just having an off day. Whatever it was, I was obviously following a different script that holiday, trying to involve other characters in my “screenplay” of how things should be.

When reality¬†struck…that I alone was responsible for feeding myself and 3 others the gourmet meal that was¬†expected¬†for Thanksgiving, I had a meltdown…all over my husband. I must admit to having a lot of those in my 20s, 30s, and 40s. High expectations of being superwoman, was commonplace in those days. And I had been¬†striving to be the greatest female superhero of all.

Cranberry sauce from a can, sliced.

Image via Wikipedia

When I put Thanksgiving dinner on the table, the offerings were pretty meager I felt. Somehow it didn’t look like the bounteous¬†dinners served up by others before me. Ones¬†over which I’d¬†“oohed” and “aahed.” I think forgetting to have¬†corn as a side dish, or was it cranberry sauce, that made me blubber like a mad woman. I was obviously incoherent to my husband, brother and sister-in-law. From then on I think she thought I was “high-strung.” Perhaps my brother did too. And I don’t know if their opinion of me ever changed.

Thereafter I¬†returned to following¬†the usual¬†script where I relied mostly upon myself to get things done…too afraid to “wing it” again. Not until I was well¬†into my 50s did I start to relax, mostly with the encouragement of my husband and daughter who could care less about expectations, my own, and anyonelse’s.

My daughter didn’t arrive according to script, a miracle baby after my husband and I’d been married 16 years. Now a young adult she¬†has learned early on that life is comprised of choices, decisions, and consequences.¬†We came to this conclusion yesterday, while running errands. Her poignant contribution being…consequences. She’s learned through my mistakes, and a few of her own, that making good choices are primarily dependent upon what’s¬†ultimately best…for her well-being.

i’m grateful that her learning curve¬†has been¬†shorter…than mine………hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: touching

We were out and about yesterday, “making hay while the sun shone,” as the saying goes. Here in the Seattle area we have to take advantage of every sunny day. We don’t get that many. I think our summer season began a few days ago. At a local mall, I stopped to snap this photo. My subjects were a little reluctant…until they saw the finished product. They agreed it was touching, after I told them the story that went along with it.

I remember a doting father who would proudly hoist his precious, little daughter onto his broad shoulders, carrying her everywhere we went. And when we visited the zoo, any zoo, he would eagerly show her the animals pacing back and forth in their habitats…including the long-necked giraffes. With broad smiles and laughing eyes, father and daughter would be lost in a world of their own making…whether gazing at wildlife…or playing “Pretty, Pretty Princess” when dad would dress up in hat, jewelry and purse…or building an igloo in our front yard in frigid, Connecticut temperatures…or swimming like fish in the warm Hawaiian waters during visits¬†with family.

Sitting side-by-side today, painted giraffe looking down…a knowing smile upon its lips, daughter and pops, with their cheshire smiles, still share their own secret world…where mom can only guess what they’re thinking. Are they saying “cheese” for the camera? Or are they agreeing that…mom’s a goofball?

and will i ever know?…or are they too loving…to say?………hugmamma.¬† ūüėČ

365 photo challenge: super

I¬†think the only super¬†I might buy into these days…is super heroes as depicted on the big screen. No more super-size fast foodies, not that I ever indulged. Regular was more than enough…in fact it was overindulging. And definitely no more super wife, super mom, super housekeeper, super gardener, super friend, super…whatever. I like being me…normal me…

comfy cozy…stick-in-the mud…take-a-load-off…lil ole me………hugmamma.¬† ūüėČ

365 photo challenge: trading

trading places?

trading stocks?………sorry………none to trade………¬†

trading baseball cards?………will a photo do?………¬†trading lives?

trading jokes?  

how about…trading recipes?

“meatloaf¬†maui no ka oe“……………….interested?

click on “recipe exchange” at the top of the blog, beneath the header…………..

take mine………in exchange for one of yours…….meatloaf, if you like………or something else………just link to your posting………

anyone can join the recipe exchange……….the more, the merrier!!!

can’t wait to¬†check out¬†other deelish dishes………hugmamma.¬† ūüôā¬†