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Check out this tub/shower in Jerusalem’s 4 star Grand Court hotel.  It only covers half of the opening.  Huh? I found it virtually impossible to avoid a flooded floor after taking a shower.  No matter how hard I tried to … Continue reading

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Waiting for Spring

Waiting for Spring

Uggh!  Middle of winter.  Wish I could hibernate ’til spring, although I can’t complain about the recent waaay-above-normal temps.

Thought for the Day:  Winter is Nature’s way of saying, “Up yours!”                                                                                                                                      Robert Byrne

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Tri-Colored Heron

Tri-Colored Heron

Tri-Colored Heron

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place to watch birds, especially water birds.  The 6,400 acres of natural habitat take up about two-thirds of Sanibel Island on the Gulf side of Florida.

I found this tri-colored heron close to a board walk that wandered through a mangrove forest.  Roots of the mangrove tree look like a picket fence behind it.

A very colorful bird that hides well in the shadows, I was fortunate to find him so well lit … and in the open.  A clear shot of this active bird lasted about 30 seconds, after that he was surrounded by the mangrove roots.

Thought for the Day:  I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.                                                                                             Thomas Jefferson

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Nebraska Sandhills

Sandhills Burial

Sandhills Burial

I have many fond childhood memories of my cousins in Brady, Nebraska (click here) and the surrounding sandhills.  Reuniting with them for their mother’s funeral this weekend was a chance to recall those carefree summers at Lake Jeffrey.

Things I remember about visiting my cousins include my Aunt Marge’s (her name was Marjorie, but we always called her “Aunt Marge”) loving care and protection.  While she had rules about chores, no swimming until 30 minutes after eating, and bed times, she went out of her way to make sure the “boys” had fun.  And we did.  She also fed us well, and two things stick in my mind: 1) huge breakfasts, with lumberjack portions of eggs, pancakes, bacon, etc. and 2) yummy fruit pies.  Nobody could make pies like Aunt Marge.

Aunt Marge was buried in the Sandhills where she grew up and lived all of her life; she was 91.  I marveled at the peaceful setting near the top of a small “dune” overlooking the vast expanse of openness.  The area has a natural beauty, all its own … like Aunt Marge.

Thought for the Day:  The most important thing a child can inherit is fond memories.

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From the long curving beak, I’d guess this is an Ibis, but every other Ibis I’ve seen on Sanibel Island is white.  Maybe it’s a young one, but he/she was about the size of other Ibis I observed.

I found it hunting for breakfast one early morning in a small shallow pond.  A Great Egret caught my eye first, which attracted me to the area.  Then I spotted “what’s his name”.

If you know what this is, please let me know.

Thought for the Day:   You used to ask a smart person a question.  Now, who do you ask?  It starts with “g-o”, and its not God.                                          Steve Wozniak

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Big 4

Big 4

Walt Disney’s animated film, “Cinderella”, was created in 1950, but is still popular with young girls today.  The recent remake of the film has caused a resurgence of interest. This is a marketer’s dream come true — a whole new generation.

How many future year’s of four year olds will order a Cinderella cake or other movie-based “things” for their party?

You are only FOUR once.

Thought for the Day:  Children make your life important.                                                                                                                                         Erma Bombeck

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Blue Door Reflection

Blue Doors of Taos Pueblo

Blue Doors of Taos Pueblo

Blue is a primary color.  Blue is a popular color all over the world.  Blue is my favorite color.   Who doesn’t like blue?

Even so, I was intrigued by the blue doors of Taos Pueblo, the oldest inhabited village in North America (click here).  Every door and window is blue, which makes a nice contrast with the neutral adobe.  Blue is used often throughout New Mexico.

Local history says the color blue came from the Spanish explorers who believed the color would ward off evil spirits.  It must work — I didn’t see any evil spirits while I was there.

Thought for the Day:  God enters by a private door in every individual.                                                                    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Passau Fortress

View from Passau fortress

View from Passau fortress

Passau fortress - 1219

Passau fortress – 1219

Passau, the last major city in Germany on the Danube and known as the City of Three Rivers, is located at the confluence of the Inn, Danube and Ilz Rivers.

During medieval times, Passau was a trade center for “white gold” (salt).  The area was ruled by powerful monarchs with strong ties to the Roman Catholic church.

The fortress was built by prince-bishops to protect their wealth.

Thought for the Day:  To no man will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice.                                                                                                                                    Magna Carta 1215

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