For wise old grandmothers everywhere

My wise old grandmother

My wise old grandmother had the most beautiful yard and gardens, although I have to give myself a little credit because I’m the one who mowed the yard and trimmed the trees and bushes. THAT is why I have never had a grass yard that needed mowing and never had trees and bushes that needed trimming. Whatever is in my yard and gardens gets to grow until it can grow no more.

One of my wise old grandmother’s hanging baskets had a plant in it that I really didn’t like. The plant had no leaves, and its stems and branches were flat. It just looked weird to this 12-year-old, one who was not weird himself, yet.

However, it didn’t need water, fertilizer, or pruning. It simply existed in its hanging basket. So THAT was a plus.

Then one day it bloomed.

I was a fan forever.

The plant is more on the expensive side, so I have never had one. However, when my employee, Julian, and his mom moved last summer, his mom asked me if I wanted any of the plants. ANY? Does ALL count as ANY?

Two of the plants she had were the odd-looking plant that my wise old grandmother had. Yesterday, one of them bloomed. Looks like this:

img_2015 epiphyllum stampPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That is the flower of an epiphyllum, common name orchid cactus. The flower is about nine inches in diameter. It’s huge! And it’s purple, which was my wise old grandmother’s favorite color.

My wise old grandmother died in June 2003, but I do believe she has come to visit me in my garden. I shall name my epiphyllum Mary since that was my wise old grandmother’s name. You thought her name was “my wise old grandmother,” didn’t you? Nope.

Mary Agnes Hartmann Kirk, this epiphyllum is for you, and for wise old grandmothers everywhere!

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Music on Mondays (5-18-15)—My mission, should I choose to accept it

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

After yesterday’s post about trash, I wondered if there were any protest songs about the immense trash created by over 7½ billion people on a planet comprising 317 million square miles, of which only 92½ million square miles is land to live on.

I thought that if anyone had a trash protest song out, it would be Neil Young, possibly the greatest songwriter protestor in the history of the world.

I didn’t find any trash protest songs but I admit that I didn’t look very hard because I found a pretty cool song titled “Trash” by the British group Suede. I am unfamiliar with Suede but will endeavor to check out more of their music this week.

Here’s “Trash” to listen to while you read the lyrics and more about Suede and this song:

Maybe, maybe it’s the clothes we wear,
The tasteless bracelets and the dye in our hair,
Maybe it’s our kookiness,
Or maybe, maybe it’s our nowhere towns,
Our nothing places and our cellophane sounds,
Maybe it’s our looseness,

But we’re trash, you and me,
We’re the litter on the breeze,
We’re the lovers on the streets,
Just trash, me and you,
It’s in everything we do,
It’s in everything we do…

Maybe, maybe it’s the things we say,
The words we’ve heard and the music we play,
Maybe it’s our cheapness,
Or maybe, maybe it’s the times we’ve had,
The lazy days and the crazes and the fads,
Maybe it’s our sweetness,

But we’re trash, you and me,
We’re the litter on the breeze,
We’re the lovers on the street,
Just trash, me and you,
It’s in everything we do,
It’s in everything we do…

Obviously the song is about people known as “white trash” here in the United States. According to Wikipedia,

White trash is a derogatory American English term referring to poor white people, especially in the rural South of the United States, suggesting lower social class and degraded standards of living. The term suggests outcasts from respectable society living on the fringes of the social order, who are seen as dangerous because they may be criminal, unpredictable, and without respect for authority whether it be political, legal, or moral. The term is usually a slur, but may also be used self-referentially by working-class whites to jokingly describe their origins or lifestyle.

Interesting.

Suede formed in 1989 and had their greatest success from 1989 to around mid-1997. That explains why I am unfamiliar with them. The period from 1985 to 1995 is my lost decade. I was in such a state of mental shambles that music wasn’t a big part of my life. It has only been since 2012 that I have endeavored to catch up on that decade in music.

“Trash” was the first track on Suede’s third album, “Coming Up,” released in 1996. It is their biggest selling single, making it to #3 on the British charts and hitting #1 in Finland.

Suede reformed in 2010. Since they only have six studio albums, my mission, should I choose to accept it—and I do!—is to listen to all six of them this week. Since I listen to an average of 11 hours of music each day, it shouldn’t be hard for me to listen to Suede’s complete studio discography this week.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Is there enough room?

Picture of the Moment

Quite often when I’m out and about I’ll find something of beauty that seems to be ruined by the reality around it.

Something like this:

Pizza box

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosOr this:

Shoe in a stream

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I don’t know anyone who condones trash and litter, but sometimes that trash and litter makes one stop and think about the world around us and what’s happening.

img_0067 mural trash ocean beach 2 stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Such a juxtaposition in that picture.

So what do we do with the trash that results from the activities of 7½ billion people? Is there enough room on Earth for all those people and all their trash?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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DO NOT EAT LIZARDS!

I livew in my own little world

My mother-in-law celebrated her 80th birthday last week. It happened to be the same day as Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, Jim and I did not get to go celebrate with her until yesterday, a celebration that occurred at Famous Dave’s, our favorite barbecue restaurant in San Diego County.

Following are five pictures from our visit yesterday.

First up is this rooster:

img_2010 rooster joan frimmer stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That rooster crows from its spot on top of the refrigerator. I always have liked it so yesterday I took a picture of it while no one was looking. Moral: Never invite me to your house because you know I’ll have my camera with me…. snap! snap! snap!

Next up is Buddy. Looks like this:

img_2008 buddy joan frimmer stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Buddy had to go to the vet last week because he was not feeling well. The vet shaved his little tummy to do an ultrasound, and he had to have an IV, too. You can see a little shaved section on his paw where the IV was. Nothing definitive, but some antibiotics returned him to normal. The only thing that made any sense is that Buddy had been seen eating a lizard just before he got sick. Moral: DO NOT EAT LIZARDS!

Next up is a set of three sunset pictures. Sunset can be quite beautiful from their back yard in Vista because of the trees. Here they are, as well as the time they were taken:

7:20 p.m.img_2001 sunset joan frimmer stamp

7:29 p.m.img_2004 sunset joan frimmer stamp

7:41 p.m.img_2006 sunset joan frimmer stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Friday Flower Fiesta (5-15-15)—Sunflowers for YOU

Friday Flower Fiesta

A shorter Friday Flower Fiesta than usual simply because it takes time to create my Photographic Art and time is in short supply right now due to moving tasks.

I decided on sunflowers…. Well, see the last sunflower for the reason why.

sunflowers faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

sunflower faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

sunflower faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

sunflower faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

IMG_5179 sunflower faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

a sunflower for you because you make the world a brighter place small

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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It’s all in the clouds

Picture of the Moment

On April 30, 1993, the weather guy on TV announced that San Diego had not had even a trace of rain for three consecutive months. I thought to myself, “I could live here” even though I had only been here for three days. Yep, I stayed. Never even went back to Texas to sell all my assets. I let two friends (both of them office managers for my Texas businesses) do that for me and then gave them a nice commission. One of them used his commission to get married and the other used his to go on a three-month summer tour of Europe…. I’ll just leave it there.

The only problem with San Diego is that the lack of rain often means the lack of clouds. Too many clouds results in a dull, dreary, overcast day which then results in a dull, dreary, overcast picture. However, I’m not a fan of a completely blue, cloudless sky either. Partly cloudy is what I need!

Recently I was in La Jolla for an ultra low tide and got the best pictures ever in my 22 years here, made that way simply because of the beauty of the exposed ocean bottom coupled with the beauty of the partly cloudy sky.

You saw one of them yesterday. With required moving time increasing very quickly, over the next few days I’ll share some La Jolla pictures from this most recent ultra low tide, probably one each day to cut down on picture processing time and blog post compiling time.

Here is today’s picture:

img_0235 la jolla low tide stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

la jolla map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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La Jolla CA at ultra low tide

Picture of the Moment

The best time to experience the natural beauty of La Jolla, California, is when there is an ultra low tide.

img_0231 la jolla low tide stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

la jolla map

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