Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Less is More or to simplify, Les S Mo -- the proof with lovely small homes

The trend to downsize in housing is increasing.  A slump in the economy and the desire to preserve and work with our environment have many thinking creatively and keenly.  As noted below, some impressive and lovely small homes:

And there are those with a sense of humor:
House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin
One Log House in Garberville, California
Mary's Gone Wild Glass House in New Brunswick, North Carolina
Pickle Barrel House Museum in Grand Marais, Michigan 

Little Things Mean A Lot, Kitty Kallen

Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado), Kitty Kallen

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) Lauren Bacall (September 16, 1924-August 11, 2014)

“You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve. You just put your lips together and blow.”
(CNN) -- Actress Lauren Bacall, the husky-voiced Hollywood icon known for her sultry sensuality, died Tuesday. She was 89.
Robbert de Klerk, co-managing partner of the Humphrey Bogart Estate, said Bacall died in New York.
Bacall shot to international fame in 1944 with her first film, "To Have and Have Not," which she made with future husband Humphrey Bogart.
They married in 1945, had two children and went on to make four more films together, including "The Big Sleep" (1946), "Dark Passage" (1947) and "Key Largo" (1948). Bogart died in 1957.
"He was an extraordinary, extraordinary man. I mean, I've been extremely lucky. God, I have no complaints at all," Bacall said of her late husband during a 2005 interview with CNN's Larry King.
Bacall's grandson said he got a call early Tuesday from his father.
"She apparently had a stroke. A pretty massive stroke. That's what happened," said Jamie Bogart, who last saw Bacall over the holidays.
"She was, you can say she was a tough personality. She wanted the best and if you weren't doing the best she let you know about it. She was a great person. Catch her on a bad day it could be interesting. She was a good grandma. She was lucky to have a pretty unique life," he said.
A marriage to Jason Robards, which produced another child, actor Sam Robards, ended in divorce. Bacall was engaged to Frank Sinatra, briefly, between marriages.
Friend Dick Cavett, a former TV talk show host, said he and his wife were in a cab just 36 hours before the death was announced, driving by where Bacall lived and wondering aloud how she was doing.
"Her presence was tangible," Cavett told CNN. "There was no nonsense, no affectation. She wasn't tough. But she could play tough."
Cavett added: "She just was what a lot of young women would like to be. Someone that can't be pushed around. Someone that could tell you where to head in ... with a colorful, vile vocabulary if she needed to fall back on it."
Bacall's confident, smoldering expression -- the down-turned face and up-turned eyes -- earned her the nickname: The Look.
Ironically, the young woman originally struck the pose because she felt insecure.
"I mean, that was what started the look -- was nerves -- just trying to keep my head steady," Bacall once said.
Bacall won two Tony Awards and an honorary Oscar; she was nominated for three Emmy Awards.
During the interview with King, Bacall said working on stage was her original dream.
"When the curtain goes up, [the stage is] ours. It's ours to project what the playwright wants to say to an audience, what to convey and to get a response from the audience immediately.
"Movies are great fun and wonderful when they're good. But you never get to see them till six months after they're finished.
"So you never get a sense of whether they're really well liked or how good they are. And you don't really know what the finished product is going to be like, because it's a director's medium."
Bacall was discovered by the wife of American film director Howard Hawks after she appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar. As a lanky teen, she modeled to earn extra money.
Hawks later gave Bacall, who was born Betty Joan Perske, the name Lauren. Her last name, Bacall, came from her mother's maiden name.
Her first autobiography, "Lauren Bacall: By Myself," won the National Book Award in 1980. "By Myself and Then Some," her updated autobiography, was published in 2005. 

Key Largo, Bertie Higgins

 Will never be forgotten.
Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and stand-up comedian.

Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy (1978–1982), Williams went on to establish a successful career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. His film career included such acclaimed films as "The World According to Garp" (1982), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), and Good Will Hunting (1997), as well as financial successes such as Popeye (1980), Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Night at the Museum (2006), and Happy Feet (2006). He also appeared in the video "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin.
Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times, Williams received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Good Will Hunting (1997). He also received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.

On August 11, 2014, Williams was found unconscious at his residence and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Marin County, California, coroner's office said they believe the cause of death was asphyxiation.  He had been battling severe depression for many years.

Charity work

Williams and his former wife, Marsha, founded the Windfall Foundation, a philanthropic organization to raise money for many charities. Williams devoted much of his energy to charity work, including the Comic Relief fundraising efforts (the program is hosted by himself, Billy Crystal, and Whoopi Goldberg). In December 1999, he sang in French on the BBC-inspired music video of international celebrities doing a cover of The Rolling Stones' "It's Only Rock & Roll" for the charity Children's Promise.

In response to the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, Williams donated all proceeds of his "Weapons of Self Destruction" Christchurch performance to help rebuild the New Zealand city. Half the proceeds were donated to the Red Cross and half to the mayoral building fund. Williams has performed with the USO for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Williams also actively supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for several years.


An Evening with Robin Williams

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Grant Snider - A Comic in Motion

p.s. My brother, Jerry, who is recovering from a back injury just sent this; his interpretation of my injured kitty, get well card possibly rendered by Grant as melancholy Picasso, a Van Gogh as bored out of my mind...I see it as beautiful!

Our love and prayers, Jerry!

Grant Snider is the creator of Incidental Comics and the works below.  He has a sardonic appreciation for the writing process, the arts, life.

His works can be found in numerous publications including the New York Times.  He's known worldwide, and his fans are clamoring for a book of his works.  For now, each piece of art is available as a poster for $15.00 US dollars. What a wonderful gift!

If your muse is looking for inspiration, or just wishing to be entertained, she/he can visit his website, Incidental Comics, at  Enjoy a glimpse of Grant Snider's world!

My favorite -- layer upon layer of writing wisdom/frustration

What writer cannot identify?
Who hasn't experienced any of the above at least once, if not all of the time?

Have actually done this...
My second favorite
Where's the muse?

The Wrote & The Writ, Johnny Flynn

Lyrics to The Wrote & The Writ

They're taking pictures of the man from God
I hope his cassock's clean
The burden of being our holy fellows
Your halo better gleam, better gleam
Oh to all those wayward priests
The ones who like to drink
Do you suppose they'd swap their blood for wine
Like you swapped yours for ink, for ink
You wrote me oh so many letters
And all of them seemed true
Promises look good on paper
Especially from you, from you
The weight of all those willing words
I carried all alone
You wouldn't put your pen to bed
When we hadn't found our own, our own
Your sentences rose high at night
And circled round my head
The circle's since been broken
Like the priest before me is breaking bread
I'm being asked to drink the blood of Christ
And soon I'll eat his flesh
I'm alone again before the altar
Sheddin' all my old regrets
The last of which I'll tell you now
As it flies down the sink
I never knew a part of you
You didn't set in ink, in ink
The letters that you left behind
No longer shall I read
Blood's between the pages
And I can't stand to see you bleed
I'll soon forget what was never there
Your words are ash and dust
All that's left is the song I've sung
The breath I've taken and the one I must
If you're born with a love for the wrote and the writ
People of letters your warning stands clear
Pay heed to your heart and not to your wit
Don't say in a letter what you can't in my ear

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ron's Favorite Places Travelled: photo sharing of and for his fans and followers at his blog, Being Ron

The flag of Scotland
Saint Andrew's Cross or the Saltire

Lived in Edinburgh, Scotland on Learmonth Court (upper right) for the year 1985 

Ron is hosting a photo sharing event on his blog for his fans and followers. If you'd like to view the many travels among us, please feel free to visit him at Being Ron . Happy travels!

Note:  One can only imagine how many photos I'd taken over the period of a year as I've traveled the breadth of Scotland, and some of England, Wales, and Ireland.  The following are just a few of hundreds.

Besides Edinburgh, I adore a city in the Scottish Highlands called Inverness.  Have seriously considered relocating there. Perhaps I was drawn to the water running through it from the River Ness (Inverness means, in Scottish Gaelic, "mouth of the river Ness"), its jovial and hospitable people, its majestic settings, plus the mystery which can never be explained away.  I visited for at least a week during which time I searched for Nessie at Loch Ness, only to find swans (left photo in collage).   I was so in love with Inverness and stayed at this lovely inn which was taken during the winter when I revisited.

It seemed there had been a castle in every city I visited.  In the collage above in the lower photo is Edinburgh Castle.  Enjoy a very small glimpse into Scotland, Ireland, and England.

Trinity College, Dublin

The heart of Dublin
Wexford's rarity, a thatched roof house
Gentlemen's Row, London
Covent Garden, London
 The Royal Standard of Scotland, also known as the Banner of the King of Scots, or more commonly the Lion Rampant of Scotland, is the Scottish Royal Banner of Arms.

And when it was time for my single friends and I to dance the night away,
there were Oscars Discotheque & The Burnt Post
Dancing and listening to: 

Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Tears for Fears

Take on Me, a-ha

Money For Nothing, Dire Straits with Sting

We are the World, U.S.A. for Africa

Dancing in the Dark, Bruce Springsteen


Friday, July 18, 2014

                                    Happy Birthday, Sarah!                                  

Nephew Jeremy with his wife Sarah

                                  Happy Birthday, Carmel!

Jerry and Carmel at Eric's graduation, 2014

Jerry and Carmel's Wedding, 1976

Carmel's wedding shower

                                           Happy Birthday, Mutti!

M's Joey Heatherton look, February 1978
My sister-in-law gave me this poem which I thought so beautiful and appropriate in tribute to my mother on her second birthday after her passing.
Your mother is always with you.
She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.
She's the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick, the fragrance of life itself.
She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well.
She's your breath on the air on a cold winter's day.
She's the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow, Christmas morning.
Your mother lives inside your laughter.
She's the place you came from, your first home, and the map you follow with every step you take.
She's your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy,
but nothing on earth can separate you -- not time, not space -- not even death.
Happy Birthday, Mutti! 
With Carol at Joey and Carol's wedding
With Jerry at his wedding
With Mickey at Janie's wedding
With Linda getting ready for her wedding

Te Quiero Dijiste, The Three Tenors, Los Angeles, California

I'm Going Home, Hank Williams Sr.

July is my family's biggest month for birthdays.  Happy Birthday to Mickey, Nikki, Mutti, Carmel, and Sarah.  As we celebrated Mickey's 60th, it's on to Nikki's. 

What has struck us all is how our niece, Nicole, looked just like her mother, Jane, for most of her young life.  Some examples:

Janie's first Christmas, 1964

When I first held Janie, I immediately knew I wanted to be a Pediatrician.  And since, we were inseparable as I took her out in her carriage, taught her to walk and talk, potty train, color, and play.  I'd sew her little Shirley Temple outfits, and when it was time for school, my mother never had to worry about Janie's homework until I was off to college five years later.  How I loved her!

She was the apple of my eye, as Nicole, her daughter, would be.  As I took on the role of surrogate mother when Janie asked to me to take care of Nicole if anything were to happen to her as she had become very ill.  When Janie died, Nicole was seven.

Note the resemblance between mother and daughter:

Nicole's First Christmas, 1992 
Janie, a flower girl at three years old

Nicole's third birthday party
Nicole at eight years old

                                          And now a beautiful young lady...
Happy 22nd Birthday, Nicole!