friday fictioneers: first love…forever love

Copyright- Jean L. Hays

A tiny hand tucked securely into a larger one.

Adoring eyes glancing upwards at the love of her life.

Smiling at him as he gazes down at her, eyes wrinkling at the corners.

Fun times together, whether raking autumn leaves or gliding down snowy slopes.

Favorite outings were always visits to aquariums. 

Barking seals. Playful penguins. Floating jellyfish. Jumping dolphins. 

Dancing seahorses, mini ones clinging to giant kelp in underwater forests.

Hot dogs and cotton candy for two hungry landlubbers.

Weary arms hugging his head as her little body lay draped about his neck.

Pops…and Pumpkin Pie…then, now, and always.

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weekly photo challenge: grand

Hubby and I were very fortunate to cruise the British Isles a couple of years ago on the Grande Dame of vessels…the Queen Mary 2. Getting lost was always a definite possibility.

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…but discovering all the nooks and crannies…was well worth the adventure…

………hugmamma.

groovin’ and movin’ and…dancin’ to the music…


Saw this video on kizzy lee/carpe diem at http://kizzylee.wordpress.com.  Decided to share it because we all need a lighthearted pick-me-up now and then.

I’ve no idea who the singers are, although their music takes me back…way back.

And the moves and 60’s clothes remind me of a time when I grooved and moved and…jerked and twisted and mashed and continentaled.

Anybody remember those days? Or is it just me…dancing inside my head? Because I’m sure not dancing on the outside anymore.

…you should’ve seen me then…

………hugmamma.Nashville 09-2010 00023

cee’s fun photo challenge: houses

The dollhouse built for our daughter by her dad…and lovingly furnished with her mom’s help. Loving reminders of…a time that lives on in our memories…and our hearts. 

...preparing for halloween...

…preparing for halloween…

...expecting company...

…expecting company…

...the family room's a mess...

…the family room’s a mess…

...where dreams are made...

…where dreams are made…

...time to watch "hgtv"...

…time to watch “hgtv”…

...bathroom break...when ya gotta go...ya gotta go!...

…bathroom break…when ya gotta go…ya gotta go!…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…where has the time gone?…

………hugmamma.

 

 

weekly photo challenge:beyond

This summer our family hiked a trail which wend its way around this lovely pond. The sun warmed our backs as the soft breeze cooled our cheeks. Gazing beyond, the majestic mountain range embraced all.

IMG_4361…an unforgettable day…an unforgettable memory…

………hugmamma.

let your spirits…soar

Storytellers abound. All we need do is pause, breathe deeply…and listen.

Sometimes it also helps…to open our eyes.

As with the story of an 80 year-old, deaf Canadian whose canvas is the sky and whose paint brushes are…kites.

His “artwork” draws applause…in the form of hands held high…so he can see and know…that an appreciative audience is thrilled by his artistry.

One kite in each of his hands…and one tied to his waist…the “artist,” skin leathery from hundreds of hours in the sun…”paints” like the great master he is.

The accompanying music combines to create…a beautiful ballet, whose movement…even my daughter would relish applying to dance.

…simply…breathtaking…

………hugmamma.

…a world away…in our own “backyard”

A typical scenic view on just about any Washin...

A typical scenic view on just about any Washington state freeway. This is northbound I-405 in Bothell, WA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past weekend hubby and I enjoyed some nice get-away time, thanks to it being combined with company business.

Thursday afternoon found us driving east toward wide open country, where buildings disappear from view only to be replaced by oceans of evergreens. God’s land, as He had envisioned it. Before He relinquished all to us.

Over the next couple of days, I breathed air that was free of pollutants. The great outdoors, whether bathed in brilliant sunlight or the shadowy gray of falling raindrops, was nonetheless boldly painted in varying shades of green. Only Mother Nature, keeper of our planet, could’ve imagined such a pallette.

Though reminiscent of our time years ago in Banff, Canada, Suncadia Resort Lodge lay only a short distance from our home in the suburbs of Seattle. We plan to return mid-summer to spend some quality family time with our 24-year-old daughter in tow. After a month’s dancing with a contemporary company in Pittsburgh, she’ll be ready for a day at the spa.

Nights are earmarked for challenging games of Bananagrams. All bets are off as to who will be declared the winner. Although my loved ones know…

…if hugmamma ain’t happy…ain’t nobody happy!…

………hugmamma.   😆   

the salmon are here!…the salmon are here!

No salmon met with a more uproarious welcome than those returning to spawn…and die…in our small town this past weekend. If we could only bottle “Salmon Days” and sprinkle its contents over the country, we might see an upturn in the overall economy. There seemed no end to the numbers of customers…browsing…and buying…from the vendors selling food and crafts. My husband and I agreed we’d not seen so many people when we frequented the festival some years ago. Perhaps the dry, sunny weather was a contributing factor.

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We wandered the backroads and main roads of downtown, eyeing booth after booth of delectable offerings. Flavorful aromas tickled our noses. I could’ve eaten one of almost everything sold. Instead I stepped into the first short line I saw, and got a “kids hot dog.” All the other dogs were foreign…Polish sausageGerman bratwurst and the like. The cashier informed me , rather snippily, when I asked for a regular hot dog, that the “kids hot dog” was it. Okay, I thought…everyone should know that.

I made the mistake of ordering curly fries to go with my dog. At $7 a pop, I got more than I bargained for…a large block of deep-fried, high cholesterol boosters! A passerby stopped to comment “That’s a block of fries!” To which I responded “I’d no idea what I was in for!” We both laughed, as did others around us.

Hubby and I polished off half the fries, giving the rest to a family of 5, three of them teens. They happily accepted, their mouths too full of the fries they’d already finished to thank us. No matter! My mom’s motto of Waste not; want not!” was furthered. That made me feel good.

It wasn’t easy taking pictures with people coming and going from all directions. Most paid no heed to my stopping to set up a shot. They kept on walking. A few apologized, or waited. I told them not to worry, that they should keep on going. After all, I was trying to remain inconspicuous. I didn’t want folks objecting to my photographing them, or their wares. Crafters are very wary of having their ideas stolen. I don’t blame them, having been one myself for many years.

Of course dogs were welcome. Most seemed okay with the idea of wending through legs and strollers. Some led; others let their owners do the leading. Some had to be coaxed. Some looked like they wanted off their leash to go bounding hither and yon of their own accord. Now that would’ve been a sight!

The salmon…what about the salmon? I’ve never known the fish to care about all the hoopla that surrounds them. They lie in the bottom of the creek doing their thing, unaware of all the prying eyes trying to spy what exactly it is the salmon are doing. Kids are curious. Adults explain the best they can. Docents are nearby to offer information. I’m with the salmon…

…we’re just doing our thing…they’re swimming and spawning…i’m pointing and shooting…with my trusty little, red, canon…

………hugmamma.

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.

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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. 

weekly photo challenge: mountains

Tiger Mountain is totally covered in a blanket of majestic evergreen trees. At the summit is “Poo Poo Point,” where hang gliders begin their flight out into the wild blue yonder. Eventually they float down to the landing field at the base of the mountain. On clear, sunny days many take to the skies…hang gliders can be seen from several miles away…as we head toward home…or are out and about running errands. They look like colorful gondolas, turned upside down.

not my cup of tea, for sure…i like having my two feet planted on…tierra firma………hugmamma.

daily post challenge #193: how many friends can a person have?

Just saw a Toyota commercial which answered this very question.

A woman typing on a laptop

Image via Wikipedia

A teen is seated at the dining table, laptop computer in front of her. Smiling she says something like “Old people are such sticks-in-the mud. They don’t like to do anything new. ” She goes on to say she got her parents to join Facebook.

Peel away… to her parents driving a Toyota SUV heading out on the open road.

Back to the teen who informs us that her parents have 19 friends on Facebook.

the lone bicycle rider

Image by onkel_wart (offline, most of the time) via Flickr

Joining her parents once again…they’re out of the car, dressed in cycling wear, dark glasses and helmets in place. They pull their bikes from racks on top of the car, and turn to join friends. All ride off, the wind at their backs.

We rejoin the teen who gleefully announces “I have 743 friends!!!” In the remaining seconds of the commercial, her voice trails off “Cute bunny…aaawww…”

…get the picture?…quality vs. quantity?…hugmamma.

(note: blogger friend pocket perspectives was kind enough to place the youtube video of the commercial in her comment below. didn’t nail all the specifics…like the teen referring to her parents as anti-social, her facebook friends numbering less than 700, and there being a picture of a puppy, not a bunny, on the laptop screen. truth be told…i was just checking to see if you’d seen the commercial…and if you’d catch the mistakes…it was a test…you see. did you pass?  😉 

daily post challenge: #188…can a camera truly catch a moment in time

In recent months I’ve gone crazy taking pictures. You might say I’ve run amok. That’s what my husband would say. I surely wouldn’t call myself a photographer. That sounds far too lofty for me. I dabble, just as I dabble in writing. Especially since I know very little beyond “point and shoot.”

My shiny, red, Canon Power Shot SD780IS Digital ELPH, is one bad boy when it comes to capturing “life in the moment.” It suits my purposes just fine. And whenever I look at the photos I’ve taken…I’m reliving that “moment in time.” Even if it’s 30, 40 years later. What more could I ask of my camera. What more could anyone ask?

…i’m sure you’ll agree………for your viewing pleasure………

…….hugmamma.  🙂

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men…going to the dogs?

Gone to the Dogs

Image via Wikipedia

I think my friend Sylvia and her network of Brit friends, commiserate daily on trying to gather “tall tales” that are sure to have people chuckling, and nodding their heads in agreement. Someone should pay them for their time; come to think of it, I’d like someone to pay me for mine. But no matter, we’re doing what we’re passionate about, although I’m not certain what their aching to do…except make us all laugh. Well, I’m game. Bet you are too. Here’s their latest offering.

Why Some Men Have Dogs and Not Wives

1.  The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.

2.  Dogs don’t notice if you call them by another dog’s name.

3.  Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor.

Dog sunny Day Afternoon

Image by allert via Flickr

4.  A dog’s parents never visit.

 

5.  Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.

6.  You never have to wait for a dog, they’re ready to go 24 hours a day.

7.  Dogs find you amusing when you’re drunk.

Kuvasz dogs

Image via Wikipedia

8.  Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.

9.  A dog will not wake you up at night to ask, “If I die, would you get another dog?”

lotsa dogs

Image via Wikipedia

10.  If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away.

 

11.  A dog will let you put a studded collar on it without calling you a pervert.

12. If a dog smells another on you, it doesn’t get mad.

13.  Dogs like to ride in the back of a pickup truck.

Monopoly!!

Image via Wikipedia

And last, but not leastIf a dog leaves, it won’t take half of your stuff.

To test this theory…

Lock your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour. Then open it and guess who’s happy to see you?

…definitely not “my cup o’ tea”…when it comes to a life partner…the guy…not the dog…hugmamma.  

 

 

air…give me air…although…

That seems to be my dog Mocha’s daily plea. Wish there was a spot of yard for her to roam unattended, like she does when visiting with our friends Sylvia and Jim and their dachschund, Gretchen. Living in a retirement community, they have a charming, enclosed backyard where the dogs can relax on the patio, luxuriating in the outdoors unchaperoned. When they’re indoors and want to “go potty,” all they need is a helping hand to open and close the door.

I must admit when I exited our yard a short while ago, heading out into the neighborhood, Mocha pulling ahead on her leash, it felt good to breathe in the great outdoors. Viewing the lush foliage everywhere as a result of our area’s penchant for rain, Mother Nature never fails to overwhelm me with wondrous awe. Towering evergreens, hence Washington’s other name, The Evergreen State, dwarf the homes that peak out from verdant landscapes, some neat and orderly, others wild and overgrown. Mine is somewhere in-between. I’ve been going for the English garden look, not always with success.

Mocha pays no heed to anything above ground level, maintaining her focus at what’s at the end of her nose or under her paw. None of which satsfies my aesthetics, except that whatever makes Mocha happy, makes me happy. Well…not everything.

I’m definitely against her desire to chase down dogs taller and heftier than her, or small ones with teeth as sharp as razors. I’ve had to pick Mocha up once or twice, transporting her, and me, away from the snarling grins of unleashed dogs who looked ready for their next meal. In such situations my heart is pounding looking to escape its confines, while my brain is willing me not to move a muscle for fear that I’ll become mincemeat in seconds. More often than not, a yell emanates from deep within, finally tumbling forth from my mouth with a venomous “Get away! Shoo! Get out of here!” As if our transgressor could care less, staring me down without so much as flinching a muscle.

Scared? Me, scared? You bet your life I’m petrified of untethered dogs wandering about. I can’t tell whether they’re friendly or not. Nor is it obvious whether or not they’ll start something with Mocha. Just as I don’t want her torn to shreds, I don’t want to get caught up in the milieu either. A year or so ago, when I was out running errands, a neighbor who regularly walks his dog, came under attack by 2 dogs living in the house above mine. His dog was badly injured, requiring surgery that cost $1,000. He had a commendable attitude, saying that “dogs will be dogs.” Of course the owner of the attacking dogs expressed great remorse and paid the vet bill.

A German Shepherd Dog.

Image via Wikipedia

There is a leash law in our city, but not everyone heeds it. The Center for The Preservation of Wildlife has also erected a sign in our neighborhood, and elsewhere, stating that dogs should be kept on leashes so that they don’t attack the wildlife. There are hiking trails at the end of our road. The warning sign stands at that juncture, and so do 3 houses whose owners allow their dogs to wander freely pretty regularly. One of them looks like those I’ve seen on the Discovery Channel, that live in the African wild. Its owners were present once when their dog confronted Mocha. I told them how I felt, which seemed to upset them. They didn’t smile back at me when I saw them later. I understand people don’t like criticism, but when it involves my safety, and my dog’s, well…so be it.

Port-a-Potty on My Land

Image by joanna8555 via Flickr

My next door neighbors have always allowed their labradors to run freely through the neighborhood, even when they use to walk them. I didn’t appreciate the dogs making my yard their personal “honey pot.” Still don’t. Fortunately, the fence we erected, and the hedge that grows between our side yards have kept their pets from trespassing. But recently when the owners were combing the neighborhood in their car in search of one of their dogs, I advised them that it had wandered through my yard and then scared Mocha and me as we went around a bend. Standing taller than my waistline, the labrador, growling,  circled Mocha, nudged my backside with its nose, pushing me forward, before it wandered off. That was a first for me. That was one nervy dog, I thought, before I collected my wits, and Mocha her’s, and moved on.

I love pets, cats and dogs, of which I have 3 felines, Sunkist, Sitka and Juneau, and my Mocha. But there’s no telling what will set an animal off, domesticated or not. They’re not human, and no amount of wishing will make them one of us. So when they act out of character, I have to hold the owners accountable when an innocent bystander, or a restrained pet, is injured. I don’t really put a lot of stock in the words “But he’s such a sweet dog. He wouldn’t hurt anyone.” My thought is, there’s always a first time. So why take a chance…

Dobermann Dog

Image via Wikipedia

I think my fear began when a Doberman Pinscher raced across its yard, as I walked by pushing my daughter’s stroller. Gnashing teeth within inches of us, it’s owner finally heard my yells and came to the front door to save my toddler and me from being mauled. That feeling of dread remains embedded in my subconscience. But I try my best to suppress it, when Mocha wants…  

…a breath of fresh air…hugmamma.  

365 photo challenge: locate

When visiting Irvine, California last year in Orange County, we were able to locate this fantastic restaurant which served excellent Mexican food. It also boasted one of the longest bars around……………………………………………………..

they also served up some great margaritas!!!……………………..hugmamma. 🙂