Friday, April 25, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

My friend Barb told me about Sky Watch Friday. This is a project that I can handle and enjoy. This picture was taken earlier this month from my back deck. I loved the dark clouds with some white fluffy clouds mixed in and the blue sky in the middle. I hope you enjoy.

If you would like to participate and/or view other beautiful sky pictures, visit Tom's Blog.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Yesterday morning at work, I was outside smoking a cigarette. Yes I smoke and I know I shouldn't. When I am outside at work, I tend to pace. The birds were in a panic. I walked down to see what was going on. There was a bunch of grackles. I looked down to where they were flying and in the parking lot, not 15 feet from me was a huge hawk. Not yet experienced enough to know what kind of hawk it was, I guessed it was either a Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk. The grackles keep swooping on the hawk and it flew. I hurried up to see where it went. It flew up on one of the light pole. The grackles kept swooping. Then I noticed that the hawk had caught and killed a little bird. I am not going into the gorgy details and to tell the truth, most of the time I didn't watch. I know this is life, but it bothers me to see this. I went back in and called Barb and told her what was going on. She asked if I had my camera with me and of course I didn't. She got dressed and came over with her camera and took these two pictures.

picture courtesy of Barb.

The guy I work with knows a lot about birds and I asked him to come out to see if he could identify the hawk. He did and it was a Cooper's Hawk.

After awhile the hawk flew toward the woods. Now a couple of crows were after him. He stayed in one of the trees a short time and flew, with the crows in pursuit. (Hopefully, if you click on the picture, with my supersized setting, you will see the hawk with the two crows chasing him)

picture courtesy of Barb.

I have to say that this was a pretty amazing experience, but for me it doesn't take much.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Dad Jules - August 31, 1931 - April 23, 1992

My dad was a cool guy. He was good natured, had a great sense of humor and could talk more than a woman.

My mom and dad were married October 4. I do not remember what year. The picture below is my dad and mom on their wedding day. My dad was born and raised in Woodbine. My mom in Northeast Philly. My mom had a relative that lived across the street from my dad. This is how they met.

My dad is the kind of guy that got more handsome the older he got.
After my dad and mom got married, they went for a ride one day. This was a thing with them. Whenever they got bored my dad would say to my mom "Hey Hon, do you want to go for a ride?". My mom's response was always "yes Hon." So they took a ride and ended up in The Villas. My dad and mom both fell in love with the area. There was an old gas station on the corner and my dad decided he wanted to open a gas station and repair cars. They bought a small two bedroom house and this is how I became Villas Girl.
My dad was a very handy guy. When my brother and me came along, it was time to expand the house. My dad did most of the work. When I was old enough, I would be right next to my dad hammering or whatever it was he was doing. I learned a lot from him. He never lost patience with me. Now when something needs to be done around the house, I try and tackle it. Most times I can complete the job. Sometimes not, but my dad taught me well.
One of my dad's favorite things to do was fish. We used to go out whenever he could. Most times we would go fishing in the ocean. Most times there were a lot of swells. It took me some time to get my sea legs. Not my dad. Just as soon as he cast out, he was sitting there with a jersey tomato sandwich with mayo dripping down his chin with a big grin.
Sometimes someone would come into the station and ask him if he wanted to go fishing. If he could, he would come home, pack the cooler and go. Here he is with his greasy shirt holding two weakfish.
My dad's first station was Esso which of course changed name to Exxon. Exxon decided to close his station in The Villas and offered him the station in Rio Grande. He accepted. There was a house next to this station and an older man by the name of Mr. Hand lived there. Mr. Hand always had cats, but being a busy road, most got killed or just ran away. A guy came into the station with a kitten and asked my dad if he knew anyone who would want a kitten? My dad said that Mr. Hand would probably want him. My dad took the kitten. When Mr. Hand came home, my dad asked him if he wanted the kitten. Mr. Hand promptly said, "I don't want anymore God Damned cats." My dad call my mom and said, "Do you think Lisa would want a kitten?". My mom said "No". Well my dad came home with Tigger. When I got home from school, there sat my dad with that shitty I've been up to something grin. My mom looked pissed. I set my books down on the sofa and saw something move. It was Tigger and for me it was love at first sight.
This is my dad and Tigger snoozing away. This is a rare picture and one never to be gotten again. You see Tigger and my dad were buddies, but we had a couple of dogs. My mom was afraid that Tigger would blind the dogs so she had Tigger declawed. My dad and the vet looked a lot alike. Tigger never treated my dad the same. The only time Tigger would have anything to do with him is if he had ham, as this was Tigger's favorite. I think that this hurt my dad's feelings that Tigger didn't want anything to do with him.
This is my dad on Christmas morning 1987. There wasn't to many times that my dad didn't have a smile on his face.
Here he is acting silly.
Here he is with another silly face.

My dad and I used to get into trouble with my mom. One of the funniest was one night when I got home from work, my dad as antsy. We decided that we would clean the kitchen. We took everything out of the cabinets and loaded them in the dishwasher. We didn't have dishwasher detergent, so we decided to use dish soap. I started putting some in and my dad said don't put to much in. Another squirt later and I was happy. We started the dishwasher. Next thing we knew, there was suds coming out from top, sides and bottom. We of course started laughing. We opened it up and scoped out suds. This went on for a long time. Finally, we were suds free. The next morning my mom went into the kitchen and we heard her yelling, "What the hell did you two do? The carpet in front of the dishwasher is soaked. I knew you two were up to something last night with all the laughing." My dad and I just looked at one another and laughed.
My dad had his first heart attack at the station in Rio Grande. He would be there after he closed to do paperwork. He passed out there, didn't tell any one and didn't go to the doctors. We found out six months later what happened after his second heart attack. Turned out he had congestive heart failure. He worked for a little while after, but soon had to stop. This about killed him. He had been active his whole life and now he could barely walk to the bathroom and back without being out of breath. My boyfriend at the time, Jack, lived in Northeast Philly with his grandparents. I would go up during my day's off. One time I took a latch hook with me and was working on it while Jack was working. His grandmom was watching what I was doing. She went upstairs and came back with two Hummel latch hooks. She asked me if I wanted them. I told her that they were hers. She said she didn't want them. I said that I might be able to get my dad to do them and that my mom loved Hummels. When I came home I went over to mom and dad's. I asked my dad if he wanted to do those latch hooks. He just gave me a look. I left them there. I guess he got bored because he would spend hours at the kitchen table working on them. After they were done, he made frames for them and hung them in the living room. This made both him and I feel good. It gave him something to do and he felt good doing it.
I had moved to a third floor apartment in Cape May. Sometimes he would come down and we would have dinner. It was hard for him sometimes because I was 35 steps up. One time I had bought a queen size sofa sleeper. I called him and told him I was making dinner and that the sofa was being delivered if he wanted to come down. He did. When the delivery truck pulled up, I went down to meet them. They said where do you want it. I looked up, pointed and said up there. Their expression was priceless. I went up stairs to move the chair. My dad was in the kitchen. The delivery guys got the sofa upstairs. I said I don't think it is going to fit. My dad started to laugh and I just looked at him. The sofa did fit. After they left I asked my dad what was so funny. He said, "the guys heard you say 'I don't think it's going to fit', and the one guy said 'oh no, it will fit. We'll make it fit. If it doesn't fit, we'll throw it out the window before we take it back down those stairs." We got a good laugh from that.

My dad had an appointment at Deborah (I know I spelled that wrong) Hospital for a stress test. My mom asked me to go with him. My dad drove. On the way, he asked if I had been to the casinos? I said that I had not. He said "you mean you never snuck in?" I said "no". He asked if I wanted to go. I said yes. After he had the stress test, I drove. It really wiped him out. I asked him if he still wanted to go? He said yes. He directed me to Atlantic City. On the way, he said, "don't tell your mother that I took you to the casino. She'll kill me." Well we went to the buffet. OMG. I ate so much I could barely move. Now for the big moment. As we are walking to the casino floor he told me to walk next to him and look like I was old enough to get in. What. How I am supposed to do that. We got in no problem. He got me quarters and I went to the slots. I was listening to the radio and playing the slots. My dad, of course, found people to talk to. The people he was talking to were security guards. Next thing my machine is dinging and the lights are going off. One security came over and stood on one side of me. The other security guard on the other side. I'm saying to myself, "Oh shit. That's it. I'm dead. I'm going to jail." Luckily it was a small win and they didn't say anything. I was soooo pissed off at my dad. He just stood there with a shitty grin on his face. Needless to say, I didn't play again and I waited until I was 21 before I went back. On the way home, my dad and I laughed about that. I never did tell my mom that we went.
Another funny story, that I was not part of, is my dad took my Auntie Violet to the hospital to have cataract surgery. He waited until she was done and ready to go home. It was a beautiful day outside and while he was waiting, he went out and sat on a bench by the emergency room. It was a good thing he was near the ER because he ended up being a patient. While he was sitting on the bench, he somehow ended up with splinters in his ass. He ended up fighting with them in the ER because they wanted to charge his insurance for services. He said that he got the splinters from their bench outside their ER. They ended rendering services for free. We all got a kick out of this. My dad being the good natured guy he was, took it all in stride.

There are many more stories I can tell you about my dad and I, but that could take several pages. The ones I have told you have a lot of meaning to me. They all do, but these ones most of all.
My dad died at the young age of 60. I was 25. I wish my dad was still here. There is still more things that I need to learn from him. I know we still would be getting into mischief and laughing the whole time. I know that my dad would be proud of some of the things that I have accomplished with my life. I miss my dad very much. We had such a good relationship. I was, after all, daddy's little girl. Love and miss you Dad.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Reminiscing Part 3

When I was 23 or 24, I was dating this guy JC. We decided we would like to go on vacation and decided to go to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. I had been once before with friends and thoroughly enjoyed myself. This was the end March and still a bit chilly. We packed the car and off we went. JC had the map in hand and I thought he knew how to read it. WRONG. The area was so congested we missed the exit. Instead of getting off and trying again, I made the decision to stay south on Route 95. On 95 is where I got my first and only speeding ticket. Who knew that a four cylinder Ford Mustang could go 75 miles an hour. Anyway guess where we ended up? Yep you guessed it, balmy Florida. Because we were supposed to end up in chilly Baltimore we had to go shopping for summer clothes. We went to Universal Studios, parked the car and got the tram into the park. How stupid were we, we didn't realize that the parking area was labeled so one would know where they parked their car. The other thing we didn't know was this was Florida's raining season. Whenever the sky darkened, we would go indoors. We managed to stay dry most of the day. When we got back on the tram to head back to the car, the heavens opened up. The rain was just pummeling the people on the opposite side of the tram. We thought this very amusing and I am sorry to say, laughing about this. We got punished. The tram turned and we got soaked. Over the loud speaker the driver said that we are stopping for people who parked at blank and blank. JC and I looked at one another and I said "do you know which aisle we parked in?" He said "No. Do you?" I started laughing. He didn't think this was too funny. We took a chance and got off what we thought was where we parked the car. WRONG AGAIN. It took another 30 minutes of walking through the thunder, lightning and pouring rain to find that little four cylinder Ford Mustang. For me, this was the highlight of the vacation. JC didn't think so. Money was running low and we only stayed a couple of days. When I got home my mom and dad asked how my vacation was and where did I go? I told them the vacation was great and we ended up in Florida. My dad started to laugh. My mom said "WHAT? Florida. How did you end up in Florida?". I told her we missed the exit and continued south. My dad said "that's where I thought you would go." JC and I didn't date much longer after that vacation. Oh well, that is a vacation that I will never forget.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Very little words and lots of pictures

The first pic is of Ralphy my boy. In the past I have said that I thought he was gay so I put a cat toy football next to him to make him look a little more manly. Look at him though, isn't he beautiful.

The next couple of pictures are of Tiger and of course Ralphy. After they eat dinner they play. Ralphy took off and climbed the tree with Tiger in hot pursuit.

This is Tiger.

This is Ralphy

Last Tuesday I went to Jake's Landing Road. It was early afternoon, so I didn't think I would see to much. Of course I was wrong.

I spooked him and he took flight.

Last weekend was pretty crappy so I decided to take a ride to Beaver Dam and check on the Eagles nest. There was a bunch of noise and I got a picture of these two geese through the binoculars.

There was a lot of activity both in and around the Eagle's nest. My binoculars are not powerful enough to really see what is happening in the nest, but I managed to get this picture with one of the adult eagles perched next to the nest.

My friend in work Lauren gave me a website for a humming bird migration map. I e-mailed this to my friend Bobbie and told her about the map. She e-mailed back saying thanks for the video I enjoyed it very much. Okay what is she talking about. I didn't e-mail a video. I called and asked. Here on the website I sent there was a cool 8 to 9 minute video. This is my goal this year. I want to have hummer's eating out of my hand. I have no idea how I am going to achieve this, but I have to give it a try. Wednesday night Lauren and I went to the library for a seminar on humming birds. Very interesting. After it was done we went and talked to Karen. Karen was the girl at Jake's Landing and the one who told me about the Eagle's nest. I told her I was there and that there was a lot of activity. She told me that there are two eaglets in the nest. How exciting. She said that they spotted them through a high powered scope. I want see them.

This weekend was a fairly good weekend weather wise. Yesterday I was finally able to cut the weeds and pull weeds in my flower beds and garden. For me this was a very good day. I love to work outside.

Today I went to the zoo. Here are some of the pictures I took. I say some because I took over a hundred pics.

I don't know what kind of bird this is. I thought he/she was pretty with the pink bill and legs.
Same with this one. I thought it odd and pretty with an all white body and black legs and head. And get a look at those feet.

This is an Elliot pheasant. Beautiful markings.

This is a Golden Pheasant. This is a very colorful bird.

This is the Snowy Owl.

Turtles. There was turtles everywhere today. In every pond area there were turtles.

Of course one of my favorites. The tiger.

The Red Panda

The Ocelot

The sleeping leopard.

The Black Bear.

The Gold Lion Tamarins

The Cotton Top Tamarin

The momma lemur with baby on her back. Isn't the baby cute.

The momma lemur with baby wanting to have some of what mom's eating.

There is a story about the next several pictures. Our zoo now has two Bald Eagle's. A male and female. Here's the story. Apparently some asshole hunter, ops, hunter thought it would be fun to shot them with a shotgun. Luckily, they did not die. Sadly they were wounded. They were rehabed in Virginia. Unfortunately, they cannot be release. Even though they can fly, some of the buck shot damaged their eyes and they would not be able to hunt properly. So our zoo built an enclosure for them.
For me I was in aah of being so close to shall majestic creatures, but sad because they do not belong in a cage.

I don't know why, but this is my favorite picture.

Well I said very little words and I feel that I have lied to you, so I am going to leave you now and I hope that you have enjoyed some of my pictures.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I am not one to keep up on world news. As a matter of fact, I watch about 10 to 15 minutes of news a day and really the only thing I want to know about is the weather. When I watch the news I get angry and depressed. It seems to always be about death and destruction. Lately though I have been hearing about the Beijing Olympics and the Olympic torch. Not being the world knowledge person, I started asking friends what was going on with this. What I have been told is the crappy way Beijing treats their people. About the monks in Tibet and how there is no regulations to reduce pollution.

I have to say that it saddens me to hear and see little signs saying boycott the Beijing Olympics and Free Tibet. The Olympic games have nothing to do with what is happening in Beijing past or present. The Olympic games are for athletes in the prime of their lives who are lucky enough to be able to participate in the games. Who may never have this chance again.

I thought that the Olympics were supposed to bring the world together and it just seems like anymore it is another political forum for people to use to protest. Don't we have enough protesting and hate in this world?

If the reasons I have been told are the true reasons for protesting and boycotting, I have a news flash, we could have been doing that all along. One way is to stop buying items made in China. It is human nature when we go shopping to get the best price possible. And the best price possible most of the time is items made in China. Make your voice heard there. Stop buying products made in China and pay more.

I guess the world and people in general sadden me anymore. Everyone wants world peace, but really no one is taking strides to achieve this. Those who are the loudest about we need world peace are the first to scream, boycott, ban, etc.

These Olympics games have NOTHING to do with what China has done or is currently doing. Unfortunately, the Olympics are being used for all this bullshit that people are saying and doing when these same people could have been saying and doing way before the games and can continue to do so way after the games. How many people think we will be hearing anything about China after the games. I for one don't think much will be heard or said.

It is a shame that athletes are the ones who are made to suffer.