A Day With My Granddaughter

It’s been a while since I posted pictures of Elle.

“Gramma!” she squeals and my heart sings.

Click on any image.

Happy Mother’s Day, Martha Ann Fromme Howard

In my father’s handwriting on the back of this photo: “This is why I fell in love with Martha Ann Fromme.”

Martha Ann Fromme before she married my father

Stephen and Martha Howard on their honeymoon

Stephen and Martha Howard 62 years later

My parents sired 10 children. They are pictured here with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchild.

Sunday Post: Work

When I saw the topic of this Sunday’s Post, I wondered if I should go out and find someone working; however, I remembered I had shot quite a few images of people at work during my stay in China last summer.

I find it interesting that I still have not gotten comfortable taking similar pictures here in my own city and country. I guess there’s something about being a tourist that gives me (in my mind) license to shoot just about anything.

And now, I’m off to the gym before returning to my work, prepping my lessons for the week. I hope you all have a satisfying and productive work week.







What 4th Grade Looks Like

Have you ever seen Gregory Peck’s remarkable portrayal of Atticus Finch in the film version of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird?

Mary Badham’s Scout is just as I’d imagined her to be when I read the novel.

Take a look at her hairstyle, which mirrors mine when I was a kid — brown, straight, with bangs — frequently messy.

However, for special occasions (school picture day, for example), Mother would cut it, perm it, curl it (bobby pins in my hair overnight … much more comfortable than the enormous cylinders I wore each night during high school … but I digress.)

The picture below shows me in 4th grade, the year of my first bad experiences in elementary school. Prior to this, I was blessed to be taught by three sweet women,  Sister Mary Jerome, Sister Rita, and Mrs. Buechlein, who praised and encouraged everything I did; I blossomed as a student.

On the first day of 4th grade, Sister Mary Jerome yelled at me. During her introductory speech / lecture, she asked if there were any questions. I raised my hand, stood up (the law at the time), and happily announced that Mother had given birth to my brother Andy the night before. She crossly told me that such a comment does not belong in the classroom and to save it for recess. I withered, and the tone was set for the entire year. I did not bloom again until I survived out of her class.

I find it appropriate that my one physical memento of that year is this picture which reveals the horrific hairstyling techniques of my well-meaning mother.

Didn’t get it!

Last night I hiked to the top of the mountain to get the fantastic shot of the year. Hmm … that didn’t happen. After I got over my self-congratulations at making it to the top (really, it was a hefty hike with my photo backpack & small bottle of water), I casually wondered how I would get off the mountain in the dark. While waiting for the moon to rise, I enjoyed the expanse of the valley of houses below me and the glorious colors as the sun set in the desert. Around 7:10 PM the highly anticipated moon began to rise. On the top of the mountain, I was not able to move my tripod to a position to get the shot I wanted. In this shot below, we see the rising moon next to one of the mountains. You can see the homes in the foothills.

I wasn’t satisfied and tried to get a closer shot.

By this time, I was thinking “Holy Cow, how am I gonna get off this mountain without falling, breaking my leg, hitting my head on a boulder, and lying here all night?” (Actually my language was much more colorful … remember? I teach teenagers who are comfortable emitting gutter language and I have found the trashy words flying out of my mouth.) Just to cover my bases, I had texted my son who can track my cell phone and call out the calvary if needed.

With the help of my tiny flashlight that I keep in my photo backpack, I made it safely to the base of the mountain. I waited. I waited. I sat on a lawn chair. I ate an apple. I ate some chocolate. Still that moon did not rise above the mountain … the one I’d just descended.

I decided that this was ridiculous, got in my pretend SUV and headed out of the mountain park. As soon as I passed the gate (“Do not back up! Your tires will be punctured!”) I saw THE MOON peaking around the edge of the mountain.

I parked illegally (totally out of character for me) and pulled out the tripod & Nikon.

And now you have it: My adventures with the moon on the mountain. But, to my dismay, I did not get that award-winning shot of the orange-tinged moon rising over the horizon. So, to soothe my bruised ego, I finished the night with a juicy hamburger topped with corned beef and swiss cheese, accompanied by a cooling dark beer. Good Night Moon.


Have you ever discovered a word and were drawn to it? PERSPICACIOUS! I like the sound of it and the looks of it. I roll the word around in my mouth and play with it in my mind. There’s something perspicaciously smart about the word, and I’ve been looking for a way to use it.

What do I do? Walk up to someone and say, Hi! I’m feeling quite perspicacious today. How about you? Or should I write, That is a perspicacious comment, there. How about this: While Dan’s writing is perspicacious, yours is rather obtuse.

PERSPICACIOUS: penetratingly discerning or perceptive

Synonyms: insightful, wise, astute, sagacious, discerning, perceptive, clear-sighted, smart, sharp; Antonym: obtuse. 

Don’t you think it’s a pretty cool word?

While I’d like to include a photo that shows my perspicaciousness, I couldn’t find one. Instead, I’ll share a shot I took Saturday night at the park where I met “Lizard Man” … I wonder how perspicacious HE is!