Promise of Spring

 

My entry for Cee’s Flower of the Day: Tulips.  ©Sometimes, 2017

Just what the Doc ordered for a December day!    These tiny Parrot Tulips are among the first flowers to make themselves known in my Littles Garden patch.     These are from April of 2017.

marching band music…sing loudly, don’t worry too much about lyrics

marching music please…. just try ignoring the band blaring out the Sousa beat, adoring crowds lining the streets… drummers drumming, flutes tweeting, symbols clashing… but I digress.       Back in the day I was a Girl Scout leader, and part of my duty as such was to lead the girls down the main street during the Memorial Day Parade (or other parade.)     In high heels no less….no, not stilettos…which were not worn by ordinary women for another thirty or forty years.

The Stars and Stripes Forever   must be sung very loudly… and if by chance ya don’t know the words (wink wink who does?)  just join the singers who use the alternate version….

“Be kind to your web footed friends,
for a duck may be somebody’s mother…”

John Philip Sousa – The Stars And Stripes Forever lyrics
Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.
These Lyrics are informational only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content. User assumes all risks of use.   Lyrics assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage resulting from such use. All lyrics are property and copyright of their owners, and provided for educational purposes only.
http://www.elyrics.net

Then there is the Battle Hymn of the Republic:     Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord… he has stampled out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored… deal with the bullets with his terrible swift sword…  the TRUTH goes marching on!!!  oops…

uh….  folks, I really am embarrassed that I don’t know all the words….when singing the Battle Hymn one is excused if they just mumble over the tricky lyrics.    always there is “boompa dee,” “dee dum,”

I’m not good with remembering lyrics…

Now I will never get that out of my head… “Be kind to your web-footed friends…”

Caribbean geography lesson…

Every now and then I like to get out a map and reassure myself that when not knowing the location of Yemen, or Utah, or Antiqua (for example) all I have to do is look it up on a map. A paper map, preferably, but sometimes even an online map will do.

So I wanted to see if Puerto Rico was really far out in the middle of the ocean someplace, or, as I suspected…in the Caribbean. So I did a search “Puerto Rico” and Bing zeroed in on a nice map of the island, in great detail of cities and even roads and topographical details like mountains. Zooming out to get the big picture…including the Pacific Ocean and all of Russia…the exact location of Puerto Rico became instantly remembered.

Looking Southward, from Florida, the island is sort of beyond Cuba, north of Venezuela, and in a line with other islands and chains of islands in the Caribbean, forming a line of defense reinforced by territories possessed by friendly allies: the French, Dutch, and British. This was perfect—especially back in the days of the conquest by Spain of the New World.

Actually the United States was interested in keeping the Spanish at bay as much as possible, while maintaining a strategic position of buffering between the British (our best friends forever) and “other” European or South American nations from getting any ideas. Or Japan…or anyone else.

The last good-size war the U.S. had with Spain was the Spanish-American War, which effectively booted the Spanish out of the area and declared US hegemony in the close-in islands, including Puerto Rico. It is true that the U.S. had a good line of defense in the Caribbean, and although U.S.-Cuban relations suffered during the Cold War…to the point where until the Cubans would acquiesce in being beaten by the U.S. Embargo, which effectively put Cuba and the Castro Dictatorship in its place as an oppressed and bullied island which “refused to straighten out” and endured sixty years or so of hardship and political hassles because of it.

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1899, part of the spoils agreed on by the two nations was the prize of Puerto Rico…ceded to the U.S. by Spain. One of the results was that the Spanish-speaking citizens were required to speak and use English-only.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and thus Puerto Rican citizens are citizens of the United States, and are entitled to vote in U.S. elections…except for the office of President. They elect representatives to the U.S. Congress, who are on the same basis as reps and Senators from the 50 other states.

One difficult hang-over from the early 20th Century is THE JONES LAW, which forbids Puerto Rico to receive shipments of any materials or products from any sources except on officially sanctioned United States registered Ships. The result of this is that now that Hurricane Maria has devastated the Puerto Rican island, the Jones Law limits what foreign aid they can receive. The U.S. Congress has the power to rescind or modify the law…but has so far declined. It may be nteresting to note that the Jones Law has been suspended in other U.S. ports under emergencies created by Hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, as well as other U.S. controlled islands in the Caribbean.

The U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Comfort has, as of this Wednesday morning, been sent to Puerto Rico. The reasons for the delay apparently have been worked out, especially the excuse of the ship being “too big to park in the harbor…” and the hospital ship will anchor off-shore and apparently transfer patients from the mainland of the island by helicopter.

https://www.bing.com/maps?&ty=18&q=Puerto%20Rico&vdpid=202&mb=19.029888040912922~-69.22080993652341~17.464867724672842~-64.03526306152341&ppois=18.2491397857666_-66.6280364990234_Puerto%20Rico_~&cp=18.2491397857666~-66.6280364990234&v=2&sV=1&style=r&trfc=&lvl=7

Beware—more shots of my late great Spider web

DSC00151.JPG WEB YARD GOOD
NOW WE SEE IT
DSC00148.JPG INVISIBLE WEB
NOW WE DON’T

 

DSC00147
FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF WEB

“Late Great” because this web was in a very precarious position…as is normal for spiders, apparently…as this splendid construction was demolished quickly when I ran right into it and ended up wearing the web like a hair-net…or veil…I forgot it was there.   (Please see yesterday’s post for more web photos if you are so inclined.)

The deck is eight-feet wide.

By the way— my spider web photos are more about photography than spiders or webs.    I have tried repeatedly to capture various topics, and consider it a learning experience.

OH!    The spider is not really as big as she appears, she has a very large bug in her grip, we call it a stink-bug, triangular in shape.

 

Johnson’s Island, Confederate officers prison on Lake Erie, Ohio (Part Two)

(all photos on this page © Sometimes, 2017)   These photos were taken in May 1981 by Bob Dreger, my late husband.

The island prison housed Confederate military officers who were originally  captured during Civil War battles, and imprisoned  at Camp Chase, Columbus Ohio.   The object was to separate the officers from the rank-and-file soldiers and house them in the Northern prison where they remained until the end of the Civil War in 1865, or their death, which ever came first.    Over two hundred of them remain there, in their graves, to this day.

There is more to come from SOMETIMES, so please check back for more information about Johnson’s Island.     (I would continue now, but I have a lunch date with my best friend where we will fight the Civil War again.   We are on the same side…North, anti-Slavery, but present upheaval over Civil War statues opens up new debate across our nation—as if we don’t have plenty to debate! 🙂   For what it’s worth, this on-going perennial battle never dies.

 

 

Johnson’s Island confederate cemetery on Lake Erie, Ohio….photos of Southern soldier statue (Part One)

Here are two photos of the statue at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, taken by Bob Dreger in 1981.   The cemetery is a protected U.S. site, where more than two hundred Confederate military officers are buried.    I do need to clarify that Bob Dreger was the photographer, in 1981.  The copyright  is ©Sometimes, 2017.

This island is far North, half way to Canada.   It was important because all of the prisoners were Confederate military officers (Lieutenant and higher) who were separated from the rank-and-file soldiers incarcerated at Camp Chase, Ohio, and transferred to Johnson’s Island.

Later today I will try to post several more photos from this same batch.

This is the first part of this post on SOMETIMES, photos of the statue itself, including the pedestal, or base, which clearly explains the presence of a Southern monument this far North.   Johnson’s Island is located off of Sandusky, Ohio, in Lake Erie.   The island itself is privately owned, with controlled access.     Visitors to the federal cemetery do have access to the cemetery grounds, however.

PICT0021.JPG close good statue
U.S.Civil War. Statue of Confederate Soldier, at Johnson’s Island, Ohio. Photo by Bob Dreger, ©Sometimes, 2017
PICT0011.JPG base good
Base of Confederate Soldier statue on Johnson’s Island, Ohio, Civil War Prison. ©photo by Bob Dreger, Sometimes 2017)

Anne Finds Her Career (originally posted February 2016 )

— I first published this poem here on SOMETIMES in February of 2016.    The plan is to re-post some of my favorites among my 400+ posts since the blog began back in 2011.—

Anne finds her career …

When Anne was a girl, she always wanted to be
a dancer.  To wear flowing gowns and satiny slippers
and be guided as a sylph, lifting in twirls and leaping high,
up in the air with skirts twirling and shoes barely touching the floor,
and feeling the thrill of the collective sigh from the audience.
But as fate would have it, her two left feet, and her lack of graceful
moves — more like those of a duck than a lovely swan, or
even a goose–combined with her brother’s snickers
she stepped on her skirt instead of her shoes
and tripped over her partner’s feet.

So then, when she saw that a new goal was needed
Anne decided that she wanted to be, when she grew older,
a doctor.  To have a white coat, a stethoscope  and thermometer
and peer into ears and down throats of her patients…to quickly discover
what ailed them…and find a cure, and all of the people would just be
astounded when Little Anne became a Doctor!
A wonderful plan!
It would be  a good position, pay plenty of money, and mean
great prestige…and besides, the town needed a Doctor.
It might have been the perfect profession, except…
she fainted dead away at the first drop of blood.

Not to be derailed on her track to gainful employment
Anne thought long and hard to find just the right profession
that would serve both her ambitions and her need for recognition.
“One thing that I can do well,” said Anne, “without  tripping over any feet
while dancing…or to lose my wits and panic when anyone bleeds…

The perfect job for me (why didn’t I think of it sooner?) is to get
pen and paper, and a computer — and spend my life Writing!”
So she wrote and she wrote, books and poems, and tales
about dancers and doctors, and all kinds of things.

©Sometimes,2016

There’s nothing as grand as a royal wedding (a bit of British history)

http://healthskillet.com/stunning-photos-from-pippa-middletons-wedding/37/

 

One of my favorite bourgeoise extravaganzas has always been a Royal Wedding.      So when I followed the trail to a set of photos described as “photos you weren’t supposed to see.”     I usually do not like following the pointing arrows from photo to photo in this feature, but in spite of myself sometimes, they are hard to resist.

The Wedding of Pippa Middleton, who (for anyone stranded on the moon for the past few years)  is the sister of Princess Kate, wife of Prince William….who, in the scheme of things here is the son of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles, grandson of the reigning Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.    Prince Charles is the heir-apparent to the British throne.

True, Pippa Middleton is not really a “royal,” nor is her new husband.    She might be called a “royal-in-law” possibly?     But for purposes of this post and on general principles, Pippa is close enough to qualify.

These photos are very enjoyable to look at…beautiful bride, cute and “real” children, and fabulous hats worn by all the women.

These photos are not the usual stiff and perfect photos with everyone in the wedding party,  including the children,  lined up like little soldiers…under orders not to move, cry, make faces, or get dirty.      Obviously just having royal blood in the veins doesn’t make serving as bridesmaids/flowers girls, or page boys, any less trying.   So these candid photos of the wedding party, the children under the herding of Princess Kate for the afternoon.    Riding herd on six little children is not an easy thing to do.

My favorite British Royal of all time was back in the 1930s and 40s when the King of England was George VI, and the young Elizabeth (now the Queen) was a young girl….and her sister Margaret were the princesses.    Princess Margaret was my favorite…she was about six years old (like me at the time) and she was always doing cool stuff like dancing on tables and what not, under the beaming eye of her doting father King George.   Whereas Elizabeth was already being prepared for succession to the throne, Margaret was not under the same rules and expectations of propriety and decorum.

…end of history lesson.

 

Science lesson for today…ants at work

ants2
1. walking along on my subject search…a team of ants moving an item
ants very good
2. an unidentified object that was obviously important
ants close good
3. something blocking the way
ants3
4. over or under?
ants4
5. get er’ up above
ants5
6. (center of photo) a major hurdle
ants6
7. upsy daisy
ants7
8. let’s go under this leaf
ants8
9.  whew!  good job so far
ants9
10. here’s the tricky part of the job
ants w yellow flower
11. down under the long green leaf, near the flower
ants w flower at destination
12. out of sight alongside the stone

Airport traffic

jet trails 4 w red

Afternoon traffic from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.     Jet trails against picturesque cloud cover.   We always have a ring side seat on airport activity.   These photos are facing southeast.    ©Sometimes,2017)

 

jet trails2

Magic of WordPress support

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/reblogging/

 

I love the way WordPress support people just hang on my every word and serendipitously post the perfect article pertaining to questions on which I am obsessing at any given time.

OK, logic tells me that it isn’t really magic, more like internet triggers that connect information sites with people who want to know.     I admit that I have been searching the support pages for re-blogging information.

The question of re-blogging is one that bothers me a lot.   The rules of correct citation of articles, papers, and texts are not strictly enforced as they are in a language class at a high school or university.     No one whips out a theoretical red pencil and “corrects” what we write, and plagiarism is rampant…although it is mostly not intentional.

Sure, it could be argued that commenters in an online chat room don’t know and don’t care if facts are really true or if they are “fake facts.”

So what do we expect from blogs?    At times all I expect is a nice poem, or a page of pretty flowers, an outrageous point-of-view or page of insults.     Jokes, comics.    How to raise children; How to raise chickens; How to bake an apple pie…all interesting.     But I also turn to certain bloggers that are knowledgeable and educated to some degree on topics of world upheaval or historical background on new or on-going crisis spots across the globe.     No one can know everything about everything.

This is where the subject of re-blogging comes in.   I often re-blog posts from other bloggers.     Criteria for a reblog is that my readers know exactly where the piece comes from: who wrote it, the reason for re-blogging it, and where to find it.      Sometimes it is difficult to trace back to an original source…then decide if it should be para-phrased or quoted directly.

The new re-blogging system of WordPress is good, it takes care of notifications to the original blogger…although there should always be that information in the very top of an article.   Admittedly I’m lax about this, and although try to specify the original source in the headline of the post, and include an introduction as to the author.    A link is easily copied from the address bar.

The thing that worries me is that someone will think that a post is mine, where in fact it is written by someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

toning down the glare

Last month I got a new computer, printer, and camera.   Yesterday the monitor had to go back to the store because the brightness control didn’t work.    I have had computers since 1983, and the first thing I ever did when setting them up for use was to adjust the brightness of the screen.   The manufacturers insist upon having white backgrounds on much of the content, but there was always the option to turn down the brightness by using the control button.

So in a search for the control that I knew had to be there, finally found the controls, and set out to change the brightness.    So I went online and asked google how to change the brightness.   Easy…they told me…giving detailed instructions.    Nope.   Then checked the discussion pages….the people who say stuff about their frustrating experiences with their new computers.      In a nutshell, they followed the instructions, to no avail…gave up.

After convincing myself that the brightness control on my monitor did not work, I turned to my second plan of attack—the first being to solve the problem myself—which involved asking my daughter, who is something of a computer guru, to look at it and tell me what I was doing wrong.   She arrived, and conducted a search of her own, trying all the tried and true tricks that a neophyte like me would not know.

Finally, daughter arrived at the point where I had given up and her opinion was that the control system was not working.    So, we went off to BestBuy, where the GeekSquad woman ran the monitor through its paces and arrived at exactly the same conclusion that we had reached—the thing did not work!

All ended well though—I paid an extra $30.00 and got a new monitor.   It’s about an inch larger screen than the one it replaces.    The brightness control works…and the controls themselves can be manipulated easily and efficiently without standing on my head to find the control board.

Now…I am having a problem getting the CD with the instruction booklet for the monitor to download.   I know the CD drive works because I tested it last week.   But this won’t be a major issue, because I DO know enough German to read the on-screen directions if I need to make other adjustments.    Sprechen zie kleine bissel deutsch, so I’ll manage until I have the wits to adjust the language.

Stats are fun!

I love the STATS feature of WordPress, and every once in awhile go to the page and look it over.   Actually its two pages.   They are very well organized, and I notice some new twekes that I really like.  For instance the Followers list now has that little round bubble photo with the blog avatar.   Mine is a yellow rose.

Today I have had four visitors so far, or to be more specific, visitors from four countries: UK, Ireland, Australia, and someplace else.   The multi-color map illustrates where the viewers are in the world at a glance.

There are statistics showing Yearly and Daily progress.   My stats begin when my blog did: 2011.   I think two people looked at it that year…and I know who they are!    2012 and 2013 the blog sort of languished in cyberspace without much attention.     Then at the end of 2014 it picked up, when I started to take it more seriously.

In 2015 and 2016 the posts multiplied.   This is when I enrolled in several WordPress classes, which were free and fun.   This is also when I met lots of other bloggers, some of which have remained loyal to this day, originally classmates in various courses.   There was Writing 101, Writing 102;  Photography; Poetry Writing; Fiction Writing….just to name a few.   The classes were voluntary….could follow themes or just wing-it and write whatever.   Different forms of Poetry—that was my favorite, where I learned forms of poetry that I never knew existed.    (Oh, I guess I did, from some old English class participation, but promptly forgot.)

The cool thing about the classes was that there were assignments, and huge class lists of bloggers that signed up, and every day for the class period (a week, month…) my followers list grew.

So for a good time check out your Stats.

 

STATS update…new record! Hourly views up to One from Zero! Woot…

I got a nice note from WordPress yesterday:

On Sunday October 2 you surpassed your previous
record of “most likes in one day” for your posts
on Sometimes.    This is pretty awesome, well done!

Current Record— 101
Old Record— 100

 

Then later on yesterday I had another message from WordPress:

Your blog, Sometimes, appears to be getting
more traffic than usual!  

31 hourly views
Hourly views on average — 0

A Spike in your Stats!

To date — October 3, 2016     I have had on my blog —

569 Posts
16,507 Views
5,960 Visitors