I love Other People’s Dogs

Leaving this morning on a short trip I caught a glimpse of my neighbor’s dog.  I waved, looked at the dog, smiled and he smiled back.  His name is Venice and a golden retriever, I never understood why an orange dog is called golden but he is.

I love other people’s dogs.  I can pet them, rub them behind their ears, sometimes give them treats but always give them love.  Dog is God spelled backward and their unconditional love is beyond compare.

I had a dog once and her name was Precious.  She was a twelve-pound Bichon Frise and the love of my life.  She lived fourteen years and my daughter often said I loved the dog more than her and during the teen years that surely was possible.

Precious was the cutest thing you ever wanted to see.  This little white ball of fur and I were inseparable. I always felt bad when I had to leave her. She would hide under the bed whenever the suitcases came out.  I knew life without me was difficult for her.

Which brings me to why I haven’t gotten another dog.  I simply love to travel and know I would never travel if I had a dog.  I am destined to continue loving other people’s dogs and traveling.

Caveat:  Found out Venice is an Irish Setter.  Need a fact checker here.  🙂

Beer Etiquette

Jimmy is the maintenance man at my condo.  He has a southern drawl, is easy on the eyes and though he doesn’t know it has given me many tips on how to live southern.  As an aside, Donna please do not be concerned I am not after him.

This morning as I left the condo Jimmy walked by and we chatted.  Jimmy loves to chat and I enjoy our conversations.  He told me once again our sprinkler system had broken and he would have to dig up the tubing.  This is a big job and since our condos are over 50 years old they, like humans have things that break.  Since he leaves at noon I told him to go home and have a beer to forget it.

Unsure what I did wrong I noted Jimmy’s chagrin.   He laughed and said let me tell you how it goes with beer.  You don’t drink if you are going to work and only after 5 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with Sunday being the exclusion.  I had been educated as I wondered about my fellow neighbors since I am not a drinker except for the occasional 3 ounces of Merlot deemed for health reasons.

Concluding our conversation Jimmy drove off in his golf cart laughing saying, “Now you know Beer Etiquette.”  Another southern lesson learned.

Happy Halloween from New York City

Look what I had the good fortune of seeing at the Wednesday matinee.

Great music and dancing with the play told from Otis’ perspective. He began the group and was the surviving member of the original cast which began in the 70’s. New folk are still dancing and singing the songs! If you get the chance take in the play as it’s entertainment value is 5 stars.

Currently am at JFK and boarding soon for the flight to Germany to embark on the Rhine River Cruise. Will keep you posted. Maybe I can do a daily blog as the WP AP seems to be user friendly. 😊. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Arrival

Arrived back in Florida about 2 am after staying in Louisiana one night at an older, clean, but, very reasonable motel. Entering their office I daunted by a wall full of security cameras with views of every motel angle. While a bit unsettled by this I decided to feel secure and, if not, at least they had evidence.

Here they are …

Refreshed after a comfortable motel night I rose early to begin the last leg of the journey. All went well until the last three hours of the trip when u- hauls with cars attached were on the road in force. Guess those moving think nighttime is an opportune time for travel, however, they lacked the skills to see my vehicle. After two close calls I became wary of them. Not wanting a third incident I sped up when they were close, quickly passing them. Beware and take heed.

Grateful to be safely in Florida, I was energized and unpacked. Tomorrow will be mail and laundry. Thanks, Austin for a great trip!

And I didn’t even need the…

Tariffs

Do you understand this stuff?

Do you understand the concept of tariffs? Auntie Google states it is a tax that adds to the cost of imported goods. This tax money goes to the government.

The country sending the goods to US then increases their costs. With imported goods more expensive it is believed the now cheaper(?) domestically produced goods will be purchased.

Tricky stuff these tariffs. Who benefits, and ultimately who is paying for them?.

D-Day Tribute

Sea invasion

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. This was the largest sea invasion in history where 326,000 troops, 50,000 vehicles, and 100,000 tons of equipment battled on the beaches of Normandy.* It began at 6:30 a.m. and took the Germans by surprise. Rommel, a Nazi general, was on leave and Hitler sleeping with no one allowed to wake him.

The battle lasted through August taking 10,000 allied casualties, 1,000 German casualties, and 3,000 civilians. Two that fought in the battle were Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., who survived but died a month later of a heart attack, and Scotty, from Star Trek, who was shot 6 times in his chest, leg and finger.

The battle liberated Paris and weakened Hitler’s war efforts causing him to commit suicide the following year on April 30th. Normandy Beaches still hold metal in their sands, remnants of this battle.

Thank you to all who gave so much.

*internet stats and info.

Day 2: Tucson Faith and Flowers

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Started my day early visiting the Mission San Xavier del Bac. This church mission began in 1692, however, the actual church was built in the 1800’s. There are free tours given which are fascinating and stop by to see the PBS documentary narrated by Linda Ronstadt explaining the church renovation.

Altar

The church is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture and on the outside there are statutes of Saint Barbara, Lucy, Cecilia, and Catherine above the front door. Inside the Marian church tributes continue to other female saints with statutes of Mary and St. Katherine Tekakwitha, the first native North American Saint. The craftsmanship of the altar will leave you in awe.

From here I journeyed to the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Here was the finest butterfly house I have ever seen. These delicate creatures are on display through the end of May. In the exhibit there was a running stream with cichlids or “rock fish” swimming among the rocks. These fish are a bit larger than goldfish and could be a wonderful way to fulfill one’s koi desire, (mine), yet lack space for a pond. 🙂

Next on the agenda was the Tohono Chul Gardens. This garden held many specialized gardens and trails. Of particular interest to me was the Saguaro Discovery Trail. Here enormous cactus loom with placards explaining how they assist the desert ecosystem. Some fun facts:

  • Saguaros at 10 years of age are only 1.5 inches in height.
  • They grow 40 to 60 feet.
  • Weight several tons.
  • Live 150-200 years or more.
  • Provide haven for many creatures of the desert.
There are yellow flowers on top of the boughs.

There is also a gallery and greenhouse at this garden. The greenhouse had a fine selection of desert plants at reasonable prices.

Both gardens are a delightful visit and must see if you are a gardener visiting Tucson.

My favorite.. does anyone know it’s name? Forgot to photo the sign..

See you tomorrow when I visit the Wild West. Stay tuned…

Limelight Glows Again

I attended the premier of the play Calendar Girls at the Limelight Theater in St. Augustine, Florida. It was nearly a packed house. Once again the Limelight actors knocked it out of the park with lines on cue delivered with precision.

Calendar Girls is a British comedy and the true story of a group of Yorkshire women who produce a nude calendar to raise money to replace the dilapidated couch in the local hospital cancer ward visitor room. Their efforts go on to raise much more.

Keep glowing Limelight. Look forward to your next play!

Brugge: Day 4

Brugge has always been a city rich in culture. Knowing this I investigated the many museums available and decided to visit the Groeninges Museum and the Sint-Jans Hospitaalmuseum.

Steeple of Church of Our Lady

The Onze- Lieve Vrouwekerk or Church of Our Lady is on the way to the Groeninges. It currently is hosting the Michelangelo sculpture of Madonna with Child. Stop and see the church as while it is undergoing renovation it remains a beautiful work of art despite scaffolding.

Canal Ride – A Must Do..

As you leave the church journey over the Groeninges Bridge to the museum. This is the oldest bridge in Brugge. Boats filled with tourists pass under the bridge as you cross. Take a moment to observe the outcropping of flowers growing from the brick structures. Gardens abound everywhere in Brugge, even in the bricks. Taking the canal ride is priceless, but, remember to bring cash as for this magic moment charge cards are not accepted.

Once over the bridge there is another garden with sculptures. Here I had a picnic lunch with a visit from a friendly Brugge dog wishing I had a hot dog rather than lettuce. With the sun was warm, citizens and tourists friendly it made for a pleasant lunch. Sorry I couldn’t get my Brugge friend to sit still long enough for a shot. He sure was cute.

Sculpture Garden

Beyond the garden is the archway to the Groeninges Museum. This collection is mainly Flemish art with religious based pieces, expressionism, some modern art and many portraitures.

Sculpture leading to the Groeninges Museum

Patrons are also able to visit the nearby Arenshuis Museum with their Groeninges admission. Displayed here are the works of Sir Frank Brangywn, a native of Brugge. This proliferative artist traveled the world as he created etchings, lithographs, paintings and even furniture. His work is seen globally from New York City to New Zealand. As an avid museum buff I was impressed with his range and work.

Outside the museum a market selling antiques which spanned the length of the street along the canal was being held. Brugge market days are listed as Wednesday and Saturday, however, when I passed this area on Sunday it was once again open.

My next visit was the Sint-Jans Hospitaalmuseum. This museum is housed in one of the oldest hospitals in the world. Admission is priced on the number of venues selected and there are coupons in the museum flyer. I chose the special exhibits of Warhol, Picasso and the Egyptian Mummies, however, their permanent collection showcases Hans Memling and other European legends. Medieval hospital wards are also displayed with artifacts of the era.

The special exhibits were fascinating and well worth the price of the visit. There is a europass to cover the cost for some of the museums. A 3 day pass is 20E and available via the internet or at the train station.

The Warhol exhibit contained an extensive Campbell soup painting collection as well as Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor and Ingrid Bergman pictures. There was a concise and interesting biography of Warhol on the placards in the exhibit.

The Picasso exhibit was immense. His talents spanned painting to ceramics as well as stage design, poetry and sculpture. He is known to have created 50,000 works of art with 25,000 of them ceramic. He was also a communist and created the peace symbol of the dove.

With just a few strokes this was created. The exhibit also played a movie showing the artist create his work.

In the mummy exhibit ornate cartonnage on the sarcophagus was seen. The mummy wrappings were totally intact. What a treasure.

Outside the Sint-Jans was a garden area to sit and relax away from the hussle and bustle of the city. Plots of herbs and other greenery make this a lovely retreat and respite after visiting the museum.

Tomorrow: Time for prayer at the beautiful churches of Brugge.