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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Positively Relaxing

by Mauverneen

           “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche 
      Free outdoor music events are everywhere in the summer months. We can bring our chairs, some snacks, water or other libation and just sit back for a couple of hours and leave the worries at home. Sometimes you run into friends. If you check around on the web you can find several nearby events every week. Then you might have to make a choice. 
      One of the newest ones around here is 'Fridays In The Park With Abe'. Held at the wonderful space in front of the Gaylord Building.  First Friday of the month. That's this week - August 3rd.  There is food available - a food truck (wait- Joey's Hot Dogs??? oh boy!) or get a carryout from the Public Landing Restaurant, or bring your own. 7 - 9 pm. 
      Come early. Visit the IL Museum across the street and Gallery Seven on the second floor of the Gaylord Building. Then - Let's go dance!

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Positively Humming

by Mauverneen

Some of my old memories feel trapped in amber in my brain, lucid and burning, while others are like the wing beat of a hummingbird, an intangible, ephemeral blur.  -Mira Bartok

      My grandparents had a wonderful garden. The vegetables were in the back, right behind the flower garden. Maybe that's why the garden always produced in such abundance - the flowers drew the bees. In all my childhood years I only remember seeing one hummingbird. Of course I never went looking for them and my grandparents didn't put out hummingbird feeders. I remember everyone being very excited about that little hummer.
      Today, I have a vegetable garden, and some flowers and several hummingbird feeders. Those little buggers are a joy to watch. Here, we get Ruby Throated Hummingbirds - very easy to tell males from females. The males get the red throat.

      The first year I put the feeders out I spent hours nearby with my camera and took, oh, I'd say a couple hundred pictures. Most of them bad. I guess I've gotten so used to them I hardly ever take the camera out there to capture them anymore. But they are still fun to watch. Maybe I enjoy them more because I am just watching with pleasure instead of watching, hoping to capture a perfect moment. It was more like work.
      They seem to know when I have my camera. They come and go much quicker, not hovering near the feeder long enough to take a picture. When I don't have the camera, they like to hang around. Very frustrating.
      Today, I need to fill the feeders and probably make more food for them. They prefer the homemade to the store bought. 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Heat it up til the sugar dissolves, let cool. Store in the refrigerator. And keep those feeders full. You'll have plenty of entertainment all day.
As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
Interested in photo prints? Contact me!
and visit my website:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Positively Plumbing

by Mauverneen

Indoor plumbing. We all take it for granted until it backs up.

Tub wouldn't drain. Toilet wouldn't either. Tried some liquid drain cleaner. No luck. Called a plumber. He removed the toilet, unclogged the pipes and put it all back together. Told me I was "good to go".

That's been my day so far. I am positively grateful for indoor plumbing and good plumbers.

Not much else to say about plumbing, so I thought I'd share these pictures of my bathroom in my tent while I was on Safari in Kenya several years ago.

Shower stall

Sunken tub on the 'porch' of my tent. Quite an experience bathing 'al fresco'. The hippos were bathing in the river below me. Nothing else for miles and miles. 

The first flush toilet was invented in 1596! Sir John Harrington created two of them - one for himself and one for his godmother - Queen Elizabeth.

Evidence of indoor plumbing dates back to ancient Egypt. 1500 B.C. They used copper piping. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Let Freedom Ring

by Mauverneen
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. ~  Abraham Lincoln
Happy Independence Day!  July 4th – the day we Positively Celebrate our freedom as a nation.  I am reposting my annual Independence Day essay on What Freedom is to me. Fly those flags!

     Very often, when I hear the word freedom I get this ringing in my head – “freedom…freedom…freedom…”  It’s Aretha Franklin belting out those words in her song ‘Think’!  " Freedom – freedom – freedom – yeah freedom…"    It always makes me want to dance, which I don’t think is too inappropriate a way to celebrate. 
     There are different forms of freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from oppression, freedom from an abusive spouse or parent.  Freedom of and freedom from.  Freedom brings responsibility; being accountable for one’s self and not infringing on other people’s rights - even when they don’t believe the same things we do.

     There have been wars and revolutions throughout history in the name of Freedom.  I think sometimes we forget how dearly our own country paid for our Independence.
There is Chickamagua, Fort Sumter, Antietem and Gettysburg.
There is Selma, and Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama.
There is Wounded Knee and Little Big Horn.
There is the Alamo and there is Pearl Harbor.
From sea to shining sea.
Different wars, different fights, different freedoms.

     We have a number of symbols of our freedom here in the U.S. – the flag, the eagle, the statue of liberty, among others. The National Mall in Washington D.C. is one of the most exciting places to see some of our monuments to freedom; from the Capital building to the Lincoln Memorial, from the White House to the Jefferson Memorial.
     In Philadelphia, there is the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and in Boston there is the harbor and the Old North church where the lanterns were hung to alert the militia that the British were coming. In New York there is of course, the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island and Freedom Tower, built on the site of the World Trade Center. In South Dakota there is Mount Rushmore - a ‘shrine to democracy'.
     We enjoy our beautiful Monuments to Freedom as well we should and revere those graveyards that honor the fallen who have defended that freedom.  For they deserve to be honored.  And thanked. Profusely.
     In the midst of our picnics of hot dogs, burgers and sodas, our dips in the pool or the lake or the boat ride on the river, in the midst of our brightly lit, loud, colorful fireworks, let’s all pause for a just a minute and think about what we are celebrating.  And then get back to dancing!


As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
Interested in photo prints? Contact me!
visit my website: