Without a Ripple

Are you looking for something calm in these uncertain times?

I offer this small flock of white pelicans — residents of the St. Louis Zoo.

While the wild flocks migrate and work cooperatively in shallow lakes and marshes to drive the fish together for a pelican feast — these birds have the advantage of regular feedings. They also have a fine lake, plus an island to offer an escape when the tourists get too plentiful or noisy.

Picture a sunny day. A friendly bench on the side of the lake. Relax as you watch the graceful birds glide past.


Tock, Tock, Tock

Every person needs a hobby. It’s healthy to have an activity which you enjoy.

The fictional Janet Zwingel restores antique mantel clocks.

This example, found in a 1830’s replica cabin, would find a proud place in her home. But she’s practical — and on a budget. Her restored clocks run a little younger.

Add Comfort Zone to your reading list to find out what happens to her

1910 Seth Thomas.

Patience Rewarded

Have you been patient? Have you refrained from cutting down trees and bushes that  are merely dormant instead of dead?

One week ago, this blog featured a photo of a fig tree in early March.

Fast forward to July.

Lush leaves. Are they large enough to sew a few together for a bikini? I’d select a different tree: one on your own property would be best for that experiment.

Growing fruit. Staring into the branches will conjure up visions of sweet tarts and treats. A little more time to ripen. The reward is within sight.

Comfort Zone – Cover Reveal

Here’s what to look for:

A new, sweet, contemporary romance from Ellen Parker is coming soon!

Will independent, empty-nester Janet risk a new love or stay in her comfort zone?


A Time to Rest

Early March :  What’s that?

I looked twice at the familiar scene at the botanical garden and took a few seconds to register the sight.

Have I taken a photo of a dead tree? No, while the branches are bare, I’ve confidence the fig tree is alive.

Dormant. Resting. Not a single leave. An impulsive person might mark it to be chopped down. Fig wood? I’ve never heard of it being used for building or crafts. Would it be burned for fuel? Would it have a pleasing odor?

Thankfully– this tree is in a safe place and will reward the patient with signs of life.     Be patient and stay tuned.

Tick, Tick, Tick

Time passes. Time flies. Time drags.

Some days (most days?) Americans appear obsessed with measuring time and packing as much activity as possible into each second.

During school and career years, large portions of my time were measured and observed by others. Some tasks were dependent on the timely completion of work by others. For example: I could not do procedure B until another person completed procedure A. And another, usually impatient, person wanted the results so they could do procedure C.

If this sounds like a supply chain — you’ve got the right idea.

Keeping track of time is not a new thing for Americans.  The settlers brought time pieces along in their wagons of goods.

A clock takes center mantle in this reproduction of a 1830’s home.


Out of the Office

Sleeping in the sunshine. Making a lazy day of it.

A Super Highway

Coal. Grain. Scrap metal. Fuel.

Do you have tons and tons of heavy material to ship?

You’re in luck if your route is between Minnesota and the Gulf of Mexico. You can ship north or south by barge. The modern barge business on the Mississippi River is great for bulky, heavy manufactured or raw materials.

Thanks to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Upper Mississippi is controlled and kept to a depth of nine feet or greater by a series of locks and dams. The locks are busy areas allowing barge tows as well as smaller commercial and private pleasure watercraft to transit from one level to another.

St. Louis, located at the southern end of the lock and dam system, sees lots of activity in the formation of the tows. Below you see a pair of barges being moved, it can go into a group of fifteen going north (upbound). Tows going south (downbound) in the lock and dam free portion of the river can be larger.

Ignore a school lesson for a moment. Barge tows are pushed.

Presidential Pairs

When you have a group of 45  men over a span of 240+ plus years, it’s not surprising to find some duplicate names. When the grouping is men of power, politics, and authority the public takes notice.

Among the 45, you have a variety of occupations with a heavy percentage of lawyers, military heroes, and successful businessmen. The group even includes one engineer.

In some families, sons follow fathers, grandfathers, or uncles into an occupation which threads it’s way through generations. Just for fun — we’re ending February (the month including the President’s Day holiday) with a summary of some presidential pairs.

Adams: John and John Quincey. Father and son were 2nd and 6th presidents of the United States.

Harrison: William Henry and Benjamin. Grandfather and grandson were 9th and 23rd presidents of the United States.

Johnson: Andrew, the 17th president and Lyndon, the 36th president were not related.

Roosevelt: Theodore and Franklin. While the men were distant cousins, Franklin married Theodore’s niece. They served as the 26th and 32nd presidents.

Bush: George H. W. and George W. Father and son were the 41st and 43rd presidents of the United States.

A Tough Hide

Life’s not fair. Insults happen. Words can hurt.

So how to cope? My number one advice would be to delay a response. I don’t know about you — but any witty response to a barb tossed at me is on delayed reaction. And it may be good to consider — do I want to add fuel? Escalate the situation? Or is it better to give a little space? After all, a fire without fuel exhausts itself.

When delay or ignore is not an option — there comes a time for a person to stand up, stop being a doormat, and grow a spine. (Lots of ways to phrase it.) So if the situation calls for it — reply. Respond. Stand up for your rights. Express your point of view.  With Kindness.

Designed to deflect most insults — I’d not push this zoo resident too far.