The photos below have nothing to do with this post. I had no pictures to put with the post, so I just took a series that I was pretty sure would never make it to SkyWatch Friday. This is a sunrise about 3 weeks ago. The pictures were taken within about two minutes and I think include the view from every direction from my house.

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click photo to enlarge

Before I started blogging, I hesitated quite a long time to do it, even though pressured to do it by two of my cousins. The main reason was time. I  knew I did not have time. I still do not, as evidenced by my irregular posting and visiting. But another reason is that I thought it was a bit narcissistic. I thought WHO CARES about the daily happenings of anyone else.  Before I dove in myself, I spent several months reading other blogs. I realized they are not all self-absorbed. (I do not read the ones that I think are.)

However, I have been thinking about my blog lately because one fairly regular reader and commenter once said something like “whatever your blog is about.”  I laughed (I often laugh at his comments; he has a wonderful sense of humor whether or not he means to be humorous.) because it is true.  My blog has no theme. I knew it would not, but it is glaringly apparent when compared to the blogs I visit. Most could be categorized as something. Mine cannot. It is about me. It does not get much more narcissistic than that. And this post will probably be the worst yet. Thank you to all you who come here even though the topics are so varied and there might be three sentences one visit and an epistle the next. And for putting up with me.

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Today I did not really want to say anything about September 11 because so many others have. I also find it irritating how something so tragic that drew a nation together for a few days (or an afternoon?) is now often used in a political sense to tear it apart. (Certainly not everyone, but I have seen plenty of  “Remember 9/11, and be sure you remember why this event makes me right in my political opinions.” I have seen this from opposing viewpoints. Can we just remember a tragedy without being disparaging?) I rarely mention politics in  this space because I hate politics. I hate extremes. I think all sides have extremes. I think the extreme left and the extreme right both want to take away freedom–just in different ways that appeal only to them. (My viewpoints make both sides upset, so if I really got into this, I would likely alienate my entire readership.)  I hate statements that have little other purpose than to be inflammatory. I hate it when people can dish it out but cannot take it.  So I choose to avoid the topic entirely–most of the time. Which is why I was going to avoid any mention of 9/11.  But something compelled me to tell my part of that day’s story. I was pregnant with Chic. I was at work. The tiny television in the Conference Room was on for people to watch the horrific scene over and over. (I am personally not a fan of watching the same tragedy over and over.) Then the Pentagon was hit. Just a couple of weeks before that Prince Charming had been doing an internship at the Pentagon. (Leaving my pregnant self home alone much of the summer.) What was horrible before was real then. But real for me was not, and will never be, what real was for the people who lived and worked  in New York City and Washington, D.C. on that day or who lost someone. They know real. The rest of us just speculate.

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click photo to enlarge

In my car today, on the way to drop off some stamps and to pick up Chic, I suddenly started crying about my mother. There is  nothing special about today in relation to her, but maybe I was thinking about the 9/11 loss. Chicklet was talking to me, and I could not even speak. When I started blogging, I thought I would write a lot about my mother. About her life. About her death. About her 10-year dying process. But I have written very little. Some days I want to just unload it all. But part of me is afraid. The few times I  have discussed her before, the reactions have not been at all what I expected. My reason for wanting to share her story has to do with lessons learned. It is not about me at all. I do not want sympathy or consoling words. I want people to understand what happened and why. I guess I do not know how to say it in a way to make people understand, or else I am not ready. But today, I missed her.

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Last Friday (or Saturday, I don’t remember when it went up) I did a post and said I would see you on Monday. I did not. The day had several totally unexpected things happen (I spent most of the day in front of the computer working on things for Art Class), but ended well (and also unexpectedly) with an afternoon/evening with our “gaming friends” playing Settlers of  Catan–Cities and Knights. (And have been behind blogging since.)

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click photo to enlarge

Now for some more random (and hopefully lighter than the first two sections) things…

1– I  have decided I do not like cooking much right now. Nothing has changed, really, but I get SO. MUCH. ACCOMPLISHED on days I do not cook. I am great at multi-tasking, but I think I hate it. When I cook, I want to focus on cooking. When I cannot focus on it, I think I would rather not do it at all.

2– Our electricity has been flashing lately for every thundercloud that goes over. I realize this is common in some parts of the country (southern Missouri, for example), but it is not common here. And it is starting to get on my nerves because I am at a computer so much of the time.

3– I have two times a day when I can think–really think. Those times are when I exercise and when I cook. (And cooking might involve so many other things that it does not count.) But I am thinking about a post relating to my aerobic activity which is biking (usually to school, but sometimes in the neighborhood). It will mostly be a rant, but I cannot get it out of my head.

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click photo to enlarge

4– My husband is gone. He will be gone most of the weekend at a seminar related to his position at church. I hate it when he is gone. (For many reasons not the least of which he is not here to have water boiling on the stove to add to my bath when it gets cold–because I do not like running water in the tub because the wait for hot water is too long.)

5– Tonight’s bath is scented with Black Amethyst from Bath and Body Works. I was not into that scent much during the heat of summer, but I am liking it a lot again now. (Have I told you how absolutely glorious September is in this part of the country?)

6– My biggest project of the week has been doing my taxes. No, not estimated quarterlies, but the ones that were due on April 15. The last few years we have filed for extensions (even though we always get money back) because I do not have time to do them (and Prince Charming, forgive me, is useless in this area). But they have NEVER been this late. If I were married to Daryl (which I think is impossible because neither of us are lesbians, though neither of us oppose them and their relationships, and who also has a wonderful 9/11 post today), she would have divorced me by now for how long this has taken. Prince Charming is just happy he does not have to bother with financial things.

7– I really, really, REALLY do not like word verification on Blogspot. Really.

8– When I grow up, I want to be her.

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click photo to enlarge

This morning as I was thinking about what I could dig out of my archives for SkyWatch (because our skies, though beautiful, are often the same every day during this season), I noticed a pink glow. I looked out the window and EVERYTHING was pink. I knew there must be a fantastic sky, so I grabbed the camera and ran out. There was no time to relocate-thus the neighborhood is in the photo-but the sky was a bowl of beauty. The entire thing was ablaze in varying shades of pink. A glorious morning.

For my regular readers, thanks to those who have expressed concern over Chicklet.  She is much better. Her eyes will probably be clear in a couple of days. Her “happiness level” is normal, and that is the most important thing for those of us who live with her.

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

 

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click on photo to enlarge

Yesterday morning I was catching up on my Google Reader when I looked up, and outside.  It was one of those fiery sunrises.  I jumbed up, grabbed my camera and raced to the back yard for pictures.  (The second picture is from the back yard.)  While back there, I could see the color wrapped around from East to West, so I ran to the front to get more pictures.  The wrong lens was on the camera, so Prince Charming assisted for a quick change, just in time to capture the above shot. 

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click on photo to enlarge

Some of my previous sky posts have received comments that the picture looks like something from a science fiction movie.  I agree.  I like science fiction and see that in the sky often myself.  But this one…  well, I think this one (the first picture) might win the science fiction prize of all my sky photos.  It actually reminds me of some of the the bad special effects from the original Star Trek series.

The last picture was as the color faded into morning.  As is often the way with sunrises and sunsets, it happened quickly.

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click on photo to enlarge

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures,  head to the SkyWatch blog hosted by Tom, Sandy , Imac and Klaus.  You will not be sorry you did!

by Louise Cannon

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click on picture to enlarge

This morning I could see a really good sunrise brewing.  Sometimes it is hard to get good pictures here because we live like cockroaches in a giant development.  When we first moved here, the proximity of other houses made me claustrophobic.  But it is far from convenient to just pack up and find a better place to watch, so I just take what I can get.
(There is space here.  I cannot remove this space.  This is the exact same problem I had a couple of days ago and skipped posting.  Today I just decided to try to fill up the space with something else and see what happens.) 
 
 
 
 

 

This morning, however, being encased on all sides by houses was not a terrible burden.  (It was probably better elsewhere, but I loved it here.)  What I love about these two pictures is that they were taken about two seconds apart.  The top one is looking east where the sun was just peeking over our mountain.  The bottom one is looking west.  I think they are both beautiful, but how different for the very same sky.
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click on picture to enlarge

_________________________________

 

Last week I got my first blogging award!  It came from Madge at It’s a Mad Madge World.  I was so honored to get it from her, because HER blog makes MY day.  Madge’s blog is funny.  Madge is funny.  It is not a hilarious sort of funny, but a quieter humor, and I love it.

 

There are some rules associated with this award, but I decided to change them.  I am supposed to pass it on to 10 blogs who make MY day, which I am going to do just because I want everyone to know ten blogs I love.  But the rules I am changing are this:

 

If you get this award, you can do with it what you please.  You can pass it on, or you can do nothing.  You can put it on your blog, or you can do nothing.  You do not even have to acknowledge you got it from me!  For my part, I just want to share it, but I completely do not expect anyone else to do anything with it because I know you probably already have plenty of awards, and do not have plenty of time, and you may not even know I exist.  So follow my rules about it and make your own rules.

 

Here is my list of people and blogs which make my day:

  

Jennifer H at Thursday Drive.  Jennifer is an amazing writer.  Her topics are funny, heartbreaking, lovely, anything.  But no matter her topic, she writes it well.  Also, Jennifer H is the one most responsible for forcing encouraging me to blog.  (Maybe I should hate her for that!)  Whether a sense of duty or genuine niceness, she makes sure she reads all my posts, which are definitely not as eloquently written as hers.

 

Sherry at Sherry’s Place.  Sherry has a green thumb and a beautiful garden and beautiful potted plants.  Every picture I see makes me envious of her flowers.  Plus she is quite apt at taking amazing pictures of it all.

 

Christy at My Photography, My Passion.  What I love about Christy’s blog is that she photographs her life and shows it to us.  The places she goes, the things she does.  She loves nature photography (as do I), but there is no real theme (that I have detected anyway.)  Plus she and her Prince Charming have the same timeline as me and my Prince Charming, so we have a little bond there.

 

Michelle at The Rocky Mountain Retreat.  How this woman can find so many beautiful and different pictures day after day is beyond me.  She lives in a beautiful area and lets us see it up close and personal.  She is dedicated to making her blog something to be shared and enjoyed.  She is also a genuinely nice person.

 

Suzanne from At Home with the Farmer’s Wife.  I love the country and want to live in the country.  I live there vicariously through Suzanne who has a terrific way with words to cover everything from sewing tutorials (with cool projects) to being able to determine which animal barn it is at the County Fair just by taking a whiff.

 

Lynn at the the VintageNest.  Can I just say, “Pink!”  She loves pink, and so do I.  She is a riot.  She is nice.  We share extremely similar tastes.

 

Hilary at The Smitten Image.  Hilary is another nature photographer whose topics vary, but I love them all.  She’s clever, and she has some dragonfly pictures I am dying to find time to duplicate as a stamping project.

 

Holly at June Cleaver Nirvana.  Truly I cannot think of a place that makes me laugh more.  There is no other blogger like Holly.  My favorite thing that she does is called “Holly’s Animated Life,” in which she illustrates her post with whiteboard drawings.  Monday Potlucks are always a surprise.  She is also a good photographer and has innovative ways to present her pictures.

 

Ducky at Hints and Guesses.  Well, I just have to say that WHEN Ducky posts, it makes my day!  Ducky knows many, many things about blogging, but unfortunately does not put them to much practice herself.  So when she does, I am elated.  She has a lot to write about.  So DO IT, Ducky!  Go ahead.  Make my day!  (By the way, I will be doing the meme she has posted there in a few days.)

 

Marvin at Nature in the Ozarks.  I was first attracted to this blog because I’m from the Ozarks, though from a different state than Marvin.  But I have come to love this blog because it is so thorough and educational, and Marvin has quite a sense of humor.  He has definitely made me pay much more attention to the buzzing, crawling things around.  I even try to photograph a few, but alas, Marvin is one of the bloggers that has given me “lens envy.” ( I cannot begin to capture things as he does due to lack of appropriate lens.  And probably talent, actually, but right now I can blame it on the lack of lens.)

 

Klaus at Virtua Gallery, A Photographic Journal.  My last post mentioned this website.  Klaus is quite a birder, and if you do nothing else, go check out this photo.  His pictures simply amaze me every. single. day.  And he always has more than one to amaze me every day.  (I have a lot of lens envy when I visit this blog, too.) Besides his terrific photography, I love his attitude about lots of things.  (You will have to look around his blog a bit to understand what I mean by that.)  He is also quite encouraging, and makes me laugh.

 

That was eleven.  Oh well, I said I was changing the rules.  I have a few others I would like to share, but if I ever get another award, I will do it then.

 

By Louise Cannon

 

 

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This is my second Sky Watch Friday.  If you want to participate or see some terrific photos (and find some blogs worth visiting again) go to Welcome to Wigger’s World and see who else is playing.

 

This in “monsoon season” in New Mexico.  When we were house-hunting here 6 years ago, it was monsoon season.  We laughed at the term, but it is somewhat accurate.  Nearly every afternoon the sky fills with clouds, and we can usually see it raining somewhere, even if it is not here.  

 

Monsoon season means that every afternoon, and some mornings (like today), the sky is begging to have its picture taken.  Today’s photo was taken this morning, and I chose it for that reason.  It is actually today, and beautiful sunrises are less common than beautiful sunsets.  (That is my newly-dead weeping cherry tree in the foreground.)

 

Now the problem with the picture is this:  Remember the phrase, “Red sky in morning, sailors take warning?”  That tends to hold true here in the desert.  Not warning for bad weather, but warning that it is just going to be too cold to go to the pool today.  Yesterday was our first available pool day all week, and the weather was cold.  It is colder today.  (You may think this is crazy, but we live at 5,000 feet.  We I freeze when the sun is not shining.)  We will have to try to go twice next week!

 

In other news, Prince  Charming is off to North Dakota for six days for his 30th High School Reunion.  Does that make me sound old?  He will stay with his sister and hang out with some of his buddies.

 

S is a little concerned about my ability to keep up while he is away.  (As if he has never gone out-of-town before.)  OK, he calls me, “C,”  which means “capable.”  He says he has never met anyone else who is more“C” than me.  But he also does a lot of things for all of the Princesses who live in this house.  He was reminding me to take out the trash tomorrow.  He asked if I knew what the three of us were going to wear for the next six days so he could iron if necessary.  (As tempting as that offer was, I did not have the gumption to plan three wardrobes for the next six days.) 

 

Have fun, Prince Charming.  Your girls are home eating popcorn and watching movies with the security system set to “instant.”  (And not swimming.)

 

By Louise Cannon