Tag Archives: United States

My Holiday Card

I think you’ll enjoy this whether you celebrate Christmas or not…

Merry Christmas from the animals!

The best part is that by sharing this video with anyone else who needs a laugh IAMs will donate food to shelters all over the USA. So enjoy, share, and have a wonderful holiday.

Can the way you speak pinpoint where you’re from?

Can the way you speak pinpoint where you're from?

Can your dialect pinpoint where you are from?

It sure pegged me!

Answer the test questions below to see your personal dialect map. Most of the questions used in the quiz are based on those in the Harvard Dialect Survey, a linguistics project begun in 2002 by Bert Vaux and Scott Golder. The original questions and results for that survey can be found on Dr. Vaux’s current website.

Try it, Click here.

After the first few questions I could tell it was narrowing down already to the pronunciation of “A”. I assume it narrows down differently for everyone. I remember my mom learning French and trying (hysterically) to “cure” herself of that flat Midwestern “A” but even with all her other talents she just had no ear.  Remember Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady? Here is Rex Harrison in a clip from the film about dialect…

Happy Halloween!

The traditional European festivals of Hallowe’en, Samhain, the Feast of the Dead and All Soul’s Eve’ are celebrated on or around October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, this is the seasonal equivalent of our May Day. Samhain, the hallowed eve’ (or Halloween) marks the true end of Summer and the beginning of Winter’s quarter of the year, the portion of the year dedicated to the night forces. Persephone assumes her role as Queen in the underworld and according to tradition, this is when the dead walk among us and return to their homes.

Celebrations honoring the dead, both departed loved ones and scary ghosts, are found as far back as ancient Egypt and within as varied cultural groups as the Iroquois and Huron in the New World, and the Celts, Romans,  Britons in the Old.  I haven’t found any evidence that Central American countries celebrated this holiday until after the Spanish Conquest but they’ve made up for lost time with their three day El Dias de los Muertas. All of these festivals take place between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice, although the Huron festival was only celebrated every fifteenth year or when the tribe made a major geographical move, leaving behind the bones of the departed.

This year’s Day of the Dead festival will end with a total Solar Eclipse on November 3. It will be visible from the South Eastern part of the US. Check it out on Time and Date.com

Commemorate this time by listening to Mozart’s Requiem and lighting a candle to honor your ancestors, your teachers, those explorers who have gone before and who walk among us this night.  Watch some movies dealing with the supernatural: The Wizard of Oz, The Gift, Sixth Sense, Stir of Echoes, or Dead Again are some of my favorites.

Click here to read some great articles about Halloween, curses and zombies from Archeology Magazine.

Click here for local events from the Seattle PI.

So Mozart’s Requiem Mass is one of my favorite pieces of music in the whole world. Below is the complete Karl Bohm version from YouTube and it is beautiful, very lyrical and grand. We have several versions and the one of Peter Shreier conducting the Leipzig Radio Chorus from 1983 is actually the one I would recommend over this one so if you are looking to add it to your collection, get that one. I have listened to it hundreds of times and it still both gives me goosebumps and brings me to tears. I just looked it up on Amazon for you and … Interesting, I’m glad I’m not completely off base, it is considered good by much better informed listeners than I. Click here to read about the Schreier Requiem.

September 26 is is Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Meet Heather…

I read about her and decided to share her with you. I hope you enjoy her blog and are as touched by her story as I am.  

Click here to read Heather’s page.

Facts about mesothelioma and asbestos

  • Every year around 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
  • Did you know ASBESTOS IS STILL NOT BANNED IN THE US? Roughly 30 million pounds are still used each year.
  • Even more than 30 years after the peak of its use, asbestos exposure is still the NUMBER ONE cause of occupational cancer in the US.
  • Navy Veterans are at the greatest risk to develop mesothelioma as asbestos was widely used in Naval ships and shipyards.


A tribute to the dogs of 9/11

This is beautiful!

911dogs1 911dogs2

100 rescue dogs searched the rubble of the World Trade Center for survivors and then for remains during the weeks after the plane attacks on September 11th, 2001. I spotted an interview in The Daily Mail with Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas about her book which “captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from 9/11.” The portraits are sweet, like the one above, of the dogs at home juxtaposed with pictures of the horrible event that brought them all together and stories about their encounters with survivors and with other rescue workers. I am so glad she did this now because they are a rapidly vanishing resource. When Dumas began travelling the US to take these portraits fifteen of the dogs were still alive, only thirteen are still with us.

To see more of her wonderful portraits and read the rest of the article, click: DailyMail.co.uk

To see the book on Amazon, click: Retrieved

San Diego Fireworks Fail

Did you see this last year?

I somehow managed to totally miss it! The entire 20 minute San Diego Fireworks Display went up in one massive explosion due to a computer glitch. If you click through to You Tube you can see different videos from other camera angles including some that are much closer but I thought this was a beautiful view. Such a bummer… Well, it’s all over, time to drive home!

Moviemaking in Seattle, a new exhibit at the new MOHAI

Seattle Museum of History and Industry
Seattle Museum of History and Industry (Photo credit: Canadian Pacific)

Things to See: Moviemaking in Seattle

Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry, MOHAI, reopened late December in its new location at South Lake Union. It is now conveniently nestled next to the Center for Wooden Boats, close to Dukes and all the other restaurants near the Lake Union docks. The exhibit I want to see first is “Celluloid Seattle: A City at the Movies” Did you know that “Tugboat Annie” was set in Seattle? Everyone knows about Elvis at the World’s Fair in 1962, but have you see the Slender Thread with Ann Bancroft and Sidney Poitier from 1965? It shows sites from the Science Center, docks and even the Swedish Club in Ballard.

Here is a list of Movies filmed in or set in Seattle, according to imdb. But I noticed that the listmaker left off Twice in a Lifetime, with Gene Hackman, Ann-Margret and Ellen Burstyn so I wonder what other films didn’t make it either. If you think of any made in or set in Seattle that aren’t here, let me know. OK? I’ll pass them along to imdb.

Related articles

Thanksgiving and Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving as a tradition

Christianity.com says: the pilgrims never observed an annual Thanksgiving feast in autumn. In the year 1621, they did celebrate a feast near Plymouth, Massachusetts, following their first harvest. But this feast most people refer to as the first Thanksgiving was never repeated.

Thanksgiving Timeline from The Library of Congress

1621 – Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated a harvest feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
• 1630 – Settlers observed the first Thanksgiving of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England on July 8, 1630.
• 1777 – George Washington and his army on the way to Valley Forge, stopped in blistering weather in open fields to observe the first Thanksgiving of the new United States of America.
• 1789 – President Washington declared November 26, 1789, as a national day of “thanksgiving and prayer.”
• 1800s – The annual presidential thanksgiving proclamations ceased for 45 years in the early 1800s.
• 1863 – President Abraham Lincoln resumed the tradition of Thanksgiving proclamations in 1863. Since this date, Thanksgiving has been observed annually in the United States.
• 1941 – President Roosevelt established the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. Continue reading Thanksgiving and Turkey

Ten promises to your dog

I found these Ten Promises on the Salty Dog website and couldn’t resist sharing. Salty Dog Rescue is the group we adopted Gracie from one year ago. Here is the blogpost if you missed it: Made in Taiwan.

Note to those who have emailed me… Yes, I noticed that they are phrased as statements from the dog rather than as promises to the dog but that is how they have them on the website and I think they are all really good points so I didn’t want to change them, Enjoy!

Ten Promises To Your Dog

1. My life will last from ten to fifteen years. Any separation from you will be painful for me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.
3. Place your trust in me…it’s crucial to my well-being.
4. Please remember: You have your friends, your work, your entertainment. I only have you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice.
6. Be aware that however you treat me I will never forget it.
7. Before you ever strike me please remember I have teeth that could hurt you but I do not bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, please ask yourself if something might be bothering me.
9. Take care of me when I get old.
10. Go with me even on the most difficult journeys.
Everything is easier for me if you are there…remember that I love you.

And just because, here are some pix of our dogs, past and present…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Celebrate the harvest, the beauty of Autumn, celebrate gratitude!

250 million – the preliminary estimate of turkeys raised in the United States in 2009. That’s 8 percent less than the number raised in 2008. (Source: USDA Agricultural Statistics Service)
709 million pounds – the forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2009. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 400 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (190 million). New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 16 million to 54 million pounds. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
2.2 billion bushels – the total volume of wheat (the essential ingredient of bread, rolls, and pie crust) produced in the United States in 2009. North Dakota and Kansas accounted for 34 percent of the nation’s wheat production. (Source: USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service)

What did you learn in grade-school? I learned that Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims , who wore tall hats, leggings and big gold buckles on their shoes. They were starving when they landed at Plymouth Rock and the local “Indians”  taught them to place a dead fish into the ground with each corn seed that they intended to grow. The Pilgrims were so grateful that they invited the Indians to a harvest feast in late November and served turkey and pumpkin pie with a horn-of-plenty on their table as a center-piece.

Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving!