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Monday, December 31, 2018

Monday's Musings: Remembering 2018

IMAGE CREDIT

Earlier today I published an entry here on Blogger which discusses that it now The Seventh day of Christmas.

Since it is also the last day of 2018, here's an entry looking back over the year that is ending and looking forward to a new one beginning. As you can see from the cartoon (by Charles Schultz), atop this entry, Linus is doing the same thing.

Today's the Seventh Day of Christmas 2018


It's The Seventh Day of Christmas, the day (according to a song) when someones's true love gave to them seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

The web-page for 12 Birds of Christmas has this to say about the bird type who represents the Seventh Day: "... Swans are birds of elegance and mystery. Seven represents mystery and elegance, largely in part to the movement of the seven planets [only seven were known until 1846]. Planets moved unlike all the other stars and had their own intricate patterns – nothing was more elegant and mysterious. Swans a-swimming represent Water, another of the four life-giving elements."

In honor of Christmas's Seventh Day, I've posted my photo of an ornament based on today's occasion.

[Followers of this blog may recognize the image as it is included in my 2017 and 2016 blog entry re Christmas's Seventh Day.]

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Sixth Day of Christmas 2018

IMAGE CREDIT

It's The Sixth Day of Christmas, the day (according to a song) when someones's true love gave to them six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. In honor of Christmas's Sixth Day, I've posted an illustration of geese a laying atop this entry.

Re the reference to these birds in the song, a web-page (12 Birds of Christmas) has this to say: "The important element is the "a-laying" part. The Egg represents the birth, creation and new life. And what about the number Six? Because of the shape of the number, which is a continuous, spiraling curve without angle, it too represents the cycle of life. Geese, when they aren't a-laying, are birds of the Air, an element that includes the sky and the heavens."

As you can see, geese a laying are certainly the theme of the illustration that I've included here; as for me, over the many times that I've seen geese (the Canadian variety) in Central Park, they certainly haven't been a laying.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Fifth Day of Christmas 2018


It's The Fifth Day of Christmas, the day (according to a song) when someones's true love gave to them five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. In honor of Christmas's Fifth Day, I've posted my photo of an ornament based on today's occasion.

On The Fifth Day of Christmas in 2016, here on Blogger, I included a copy of this same picture along with an interesting backstory today's celebration. If you'd like to read that blog entry, please click here. As you will see that post discussed the relationship of pheasants to today's holiday.

Today I find myself associating five golden rings with a bird type.

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Fourth Day of Christmas 2018

IMAGE CREDIT

It's The Fourth Day of Christmas, the day (according to a song) when someones's true love gave to them four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Re calling birds, I referenced them on FB a couple of days before Christmas when I mentioned the issues I was having with my landline due to Verizon's cable out age.

I'm still having that issue and it looks like I will until January 23rd 2019, but as of yesterday I can join the calling birds in terms of using a phone in my home.  I now have a temporary one for making calls. Time will tell if I can receive calls on it, but people can leave a message on my voice mail which is not affected by the cable outage, and I'll return their call on my temporary phone.

In terms of four calling birds mentioned in the aforementioned song, I've come upon a blog post (in The History Of Ornithology) where the author (Bob Montgomerie) states, "The CALLING BIRDS of day 4 are the most interesting to me as the original said ‘colly birds’ and subsequent variants said the birds were ‘canary’, ‘collie’, ‘colley’, ‘colour’d’, ‘curley’, ‘coloured’, ‘corley’, and finally ‘calling’ by Austin in 1909 published with his new tune. I am surprised no one ever suggested ‘collared’. The original ‘colly bird’ was the European Blackbird (Turdus merula) as ‘colly’ meant ‘black’ as in ‘coaly’, and is why border collies bear that name. The subsequent versions are undoubtedly the result of mis-hearings and misinterpretations."

Another web reference to the meaning of four calling birds states, "The 'four calling birds' that we sing about today were, at different times, 'four canary birds' and 'our mockingbirds,' and before that they show up as 'colly birds' or 'collie birds,' which is the archaic term for blackbirds. There were however, for some reason, always four of them."

I never heard of mockingbirds being associated with the song so that may or may not be fake news!

Be that as it may, here's one more "blurb" that I came upon re the four calling birds mentioned in the song. A Catholic-based web-page states, "The four calling birds are associated with both the four evangelists and their gospels–   Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and the four major prophets– Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel."

And that's it for today dear reader, after all, there's only so much one can, or should say, re four calling birds!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Third Day of Christmas 2018


It's The Third Day of Christmas; a day when someone's true love gave to them three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Many web sources concur that "French Hens were very expensive during the 16th century, and thus are symbolic of the three costly gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh given by the wise men (Matt. 2:10-11). An alternate significance is symbolism depicting the value of three virtues, faith, hope, and charity (sacrificial love) (1 Cor. 13:13). Other forms of the song use the French Hens to symbolize the three persons of the trinity."

I don't have three French hens, so, today in honor of them being given as a gift, I'm offering three views of French Canadian geese enjoying Central Park with their three goslings.




By the way, Canadian geese and their goslings are included in the second volume of my book series, Words In Our Beak.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The 2nd Day of Christmas 2018


It's the second day of Christmas 2018, which is sometimes called Boxing Day, and honor of this occasion since I can't give you two turtle doves (in keeping in line with a song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas"), I'm "giving" you a mini essay (posted above) by E.B. White, which was published on this day of December 26th in 1936.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Northern Shovelers on The 1st Day of Xmas!


As I said earlier today, it's the First Day of Christmas, a day when someone (according to a song) gave their true love a Partridge in a Pear Tree. No one has given me any such gift on this day which is now drawing to a close, but when I took a short walk in Central Park this afternoon, I was given the gift of seeing Northern Shovelers swimming in the lake!

It's been over a year since I saw this bird type and what a delight it was to see them again.




Not a bad bird gift to receive as a sighting on this First Day of Christmas!

The First Day of Christmas 2018


Upon seeing this Bill Whitehead cartoon, I thought of the Mandarin duck who has been visiting Central Park and can be seen in the next set of pictures.




For just like the newsmaker (Santa Claus) in Whitehead's cartoon, IF this duck thinks everything is about him, he's right.

Btw, don't forget to get my Mandarin-themed products (via Fine Art America) for your true love during these upcoming 12 days of Christmas; the first of the twelve days is today!

I'm sure your true love will like my Mandarin items as much as — if not better than — a partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens, four calling birds, five golden rings, six geese a laying, seven swans a swimming, eight maids a milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords a leaping, eleven pipers piping, and twelve drummers drumming!

As for Whitehead's holiday cartoon, here's another...


.... this one caused me to think of seeing the Jolly Green Giant in Macy's 2017 Thanksgiving Parade...


... where spectators took advantage of the medicine in laughter and shouted, "HO! HO! HO!"

Christmas Day 2018


This 107th segment of my Tuesday's Truths series is coinciding with Christmas day and in honor of the holiday, I'm sharing the poignant poem, This Morning (posted atop this entry), by the amazing Mary Oliver.

I realize the words may a bit hard to decipher within this image, so I've taken the liberty of posting them below:

This morning the redbirds' eggs
have hatched and already the chicks
are chirping for food. They don't 
know where it's coming from, they 
just keep shouting, "More! More!"
As to anything else, they haven't 
had a single thought. Their eyes 
haven't yet opened, they know nothing 
about the sky that's waiting. Or
the thousands, the millions of trees.
They don't even Know they have wings.
And just like that, like a simple
neighborhood event, a miracle is
taking place.

I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I do! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Last Thursday's Walk in The Park


This past Thursday (12-20), I had an early afternoon appointment with my GP re a recent medical complication; but beforehand, in the late morning I took a walk with MLT in Central Park, to show her the now famous (at least in NYC) Mandarin duck who can be seen in the image above, swimming in The Pond near Fifth Avenue.

Happy Festivus Day 2018!



It's Festivus Day, which I've written about in bygone years here on Blogger, I don't have much to add to my musings which you may reference by clicking here.

Meanwhile in honor of the holiday, enjoy the You Tube clip atop this entry, which was also included in last year's post re Festivus Day!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Yikes! I don't even have one ringy-dingy!



I don't even have one ringy-dingy! My landline has "no line" (as evidenced by the text in the red circle in the image below) due to an area outage brought on by the heavy rains we've been having.


For a while I had an internment phone usage but no more due to the heavy rain that fell this past Thursday. Anyone who follows me on social media knows I've had phone issues before and someone criticized me for mentioning it when it occurred at the beginning of this year.

This outage is different because as of now, I know it's a cable issue, AND at least I have Internet, which I did not have last time.

Verizon claims all should be resolved by 1-23-2019; so if anyone needs to reach me by phone, please send me an email or message me on Facebook and I'll borrow a phone to call you back — then again maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas?


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Édith Piaf + "La Vie En Rose" Insights (Wednesday's Wisdom)



One hundred and three years ago on this day in 1915, Édith Piaf was born. Followers of this blog may recall that her singing was a a favorite of my dearly departed friend, Donna De Solis, and that Piaf's rendition of La Vie En Rose, which  she is singing in the video atop this entry is one that I used in a memorial DVD which I created in honor of Donna's memory at the request of her son.

I've just learned via a comment (by Joshua F) on this You Tube video that "La vie en rose literally means life in pink. It's a French expression roughly equal to 'rose-colored glasses', but without the negative connotation of the English expression. It's about seeing the world in a brighter and more idealistic way- directly in the context of the song, this is because of a lover, but because it was released in 1945, it served to soothe and inspire a France still recovering from the horror of Nazi occupation."

Prior to my reading the comment I had read in a Google search "La vie en rose literally translates to Life in pink and it would be better translated to life through rosy (pink) glasses. The idea is to depict a state where everything appears rosy and cheerful to you. It's about a state of bliss when everything around you is a source of joy..." 

And in that search I also read, "Ah, la vie en rose! The quintessential French phrase for non-French speakers, popularized by Édith Piaf's love song. It comes from a very common and popular expression ''voir la vie en rose' which literally means ''seeing life in pink.' In English, it's often translated as ''wearing rose-colored glasses..."

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Soon (and very soon) it will be Christmas Day! Tuesday's Truths WK 106


The truth for this Tuesday is that in one week's time, it will be Christmas; and as I look at the photo atop this entry of me from many bygone years, I wonder, what did I ask Santa for?

This year has been a rough one health wise and I am in deep trouble but am trying to remain positive, and I probably should ask Santa for some help.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Inspiration of Saint Francis


Saint Francis of Assisi's works are the inspiration for the cartoon created by Patrick McDonnell that can be seen in the image posted atop this entry.

The caption of McDonnell's (creator of the Mutts comic strip) cartoon comes from a hymn about this saint which you can hear @ https://bit.ly/1OyEDyX

As many of you probably know, Saint Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals; particularly birds.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent)


According to Wiki, on this third Sunday of Advent, "In churches that have an Advent wreath, the rose colored candle is lit in addition to two of the violet (or blue) colored candles, which represent the first two Sundays of Advent. Despite the otherwise somber readings of the season of Advent, which has as a secondary theme the need for penitence, the readings on the third Sunday emphasize the joyous anticipation of the Lord’s coming.” 

In honor of this, I lit the rose-colored candle within the Advent wreath that I have in my home (as seen above). I've written about Gaudete Sunday in bygone years and if you'd like to reference the post, please click here.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

90 YRS AGO Today (12-15-1928)...


....the essay atop this blog post was published in The New Yorker. It is by E.B. White and is one that I've referenced in prior posts here on Blogger. Please forgive me for duplicating content, I just admire White's work so very much and welcome any opportunity to share it.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Up on the Roof! (Another Friday Follow-Up)



While it's true that I'm beyond grateful to say — as this year winds down — to have completed volume three of my book series, Words In Our Beak, the year has been very hard finically and health wise. But last night, I heeded the wisdom found in the following first stanza of a James Taylor song...

(When this old world starts a getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I'll climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it's peaceful as can be)

... and went up on the roof of my building. For indeed it was peaceful "up on roof" the last night, which is something you might surmise from seeing the pictures atop this entry of yours truly dressed in many layers.

Follow-Up Friday (Re 1-12-2018 APPT)



The photos of a male and female house finch (respectively) which are included in the images directly above were taken in 2012, a time that it looked as if this bird variety was being susceptible to a type of conjunctivitis that had nearly wiped out their entire population (on the Eastern Seaboard) in the 1990's.

This is something I've included in volume one of my book series, Words In Our Beak.

THANKFULLY these birds seem to no longer be affected by this eye disease and if they are, it can be treated easily.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

More News Re 12/12/2018


Earlier today, I published an entry here on Blogger re the fact that today is Connie Francis's eightieth birthday and in it I discussed my association with one of her songs.

Now I'm "reporting" some other news re today's date. As many of followers of this blog might recall, I have four separate eye conditions: Keratoconus, Monocular vision, Optic atrophy, and Staphyloma.

This means I only have "counting fingers vision" in my left eye and only see out of my right with corrective eye glasses, adaptive computer equipment, and long camera lenses.

Today, 12/12/2018, I have an appointment (noted in the screen shot atop this post) to check on the status of my situation and am anticipating a good prognosis, but it's been a very hard year, enduring eye procedures from January-September.

Still, with Chris Deatherage's (CD) encouragement as well as his editing/formatting skills, I was able to complete and publish my book series, Words In Our Beak.

In the first volume of the series, I reference the fact that the entire population of both male and female house finches (the bird type pictured below respectively) was nearly wiped out due to a type of eye trauma that impacted them.



These birds are also featured on a couple of my greeting cards...

In Honor of Connie Francis's Birthday ETC



In honor of Connie Francis's birthday, who was born on this day in 1938, I'm re-posting this video of her singing, Baby's First Christmas, a song that was initially introduced to me by my beloved friend, the late Donna DeSolis.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Interesting Facts re Female Wood Ducks ETC Tuesday's Truths WK 105


Welcome to my 105th "episode" of Tuesday's Truths, dear reader!

A few weeks ago when I was in Central Park to catch another glimpse of the now famous Mandarin duck, I was successful in my endeavor to have another look at him, and he seemed to be doing the same thing as evidenced in the photo atop this entry...

Monday, December 10, 2018

It's Christmas Time in The City...


In two weeks time, it will be Christmas Eve and NYC is ready.

Here are a few examples: The Met's tree, a 20-foot-high blue spruce is hung with ornate Neapolitan angels, and the base of the tree is the setting for an elaborate Italian Nativity scene; the tree in close proximity (Dante Park) to Lincoln Center was lit on the Monday after Thanksgiving, November twenty-sixth (the same night as my presentation at NYSEC aka New York Society for Ethical Culture); and the in the evening of the Wednesday after Thanksgiving the tree at Rockefeller Center was lit (more of NYC's Christmas decor can be found on a web page for trip savvy).

Inside the AMNH (The American Museum of Natural History) a nondenominational holiday tree decorated with origami animals (800-plus folded-paper critters) is up and outside, at the building's entrance across from Central Park, is a topiary of two dinosaurs, facing each other as they hold a wreath; prompting my caption, "With this wreath, I thee wed."

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Christmas Card Day 2018


One of my figurines who is depicted in the likeness of a "Christmas Card Lady" is here for the season with a reminder that today, December 9th is Christmas Card Day, which is a holiday I've discussed in a few of my prior entries here on Blogger, including one that you may reference by clicking here.

A site called Fun Holiday, claims "if you haven’t sent out your greeting cards, make sure you do it on December 9 because it is Christmas Card Day."

But if you haven't bought your cards, I have a couple of selections that can be found within my collections on Fine Art America (FAA) @ https://bit.ly/2PZzVnO

Saturday, December 8, 2018

"Strawberry Fields Forever"


If John Lennon had not not died today as a result of having been shot outside his home on the UWS, he would be seventy-eight years old. Over my years here on Blogger, I've written about this tragedy when commemorating it's anniversary and if you'd like to reference my posts, please click here.

When Lennon lived in NYC, he and his wife (Yoko Ono) spent a great deal of time in Central Park.

There is an area in the park known as Strawberry Fields, which is designed by the landscape architect Bruce Kelly, that is dedicated to the memory of former the Beatles member. The area is 2.5-acre landscaped section and inspired my kaleidoscopic photograph, Rocks by Strawberry Fields, which can be seen in the photo atop this entry.

The picture was taken in 2002 when I had an art exhibition in The Nexus Gallery which was located in The New York Gallery Building. When I created this image, I intended for it to be printed on silk for women's scarves as well as men's ties.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Friday Follow Up: "Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree ...."


The nearly one year old photo atop this entry features Christmas tree sellers from Gaspé, Quebec, Canada; and it is one I featured in my Christmas Day post for 2017.

I'm including it again within this entry because I've reconnected with JM, the woman in the middle of this image.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Throwback Thursday: On this day 12-6-1930...


THE NEW YORK GARBAGEMAN, by E.B. White was published 88 years ago today. White, as many of you undoubtedly know is the author of a number of works, including Charolette's Web. Over the years I've published a number of entries here in Blogger re White and if you'd like to read them; here's the link: https://bit.ly/2Umfks4.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wednesday's Wisdom: "There is no place like home for the holidays..."


As I've been saying here on Blogger, Fine Art America (FAA) has the capability of producing my kaleidoscopic photographs as well as my pictures of the now famous Mandridan duck (who has been visiting Central Park in NYC) on an array of surfaces for wall art as well as on life-style items such as tote-bags, spiral notebooks and greeting cards.

FAA  can also print my photographs on an array of surfaces for house-hold items  (including throw pillows, duvet covers and shower curtains).

And for today only, they are offering my selections at a 25% discount.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

It's Santa's List Day! Tuesday's Truths WK 104


According to a number of sources, today, December 4th, is Santa's List Day and in recognition of this fact, I'm featuring it in this one hundred and fourth segment of my Tuesday's Truths series.

One of the aforementioned sources (checkiday.com) has this to say re today's holiday:

"Santa's List Day is the day each year when Santa makes his list of children that have been naughty or nice, so he knows what to bring them for Christmas. Santa learns who has been naughty or nice after hearing from his elves. The Elf on the Shelf, a children's book published in 2005, talks about elves that visit people's houses from just after Thanksgiving, until Christmas Eve, and report back to Santa each night about who has been naughty or nice. It seems odd that Santa's List Day is celebrated so early if his elves are still keeping a watchful eye on children... It has always been observed annually on December 4th."

Because checkiday mentions The Elf on The Shelf, I'm giving this fictional story-book character a nod by including photos of a Macy's Ballon which is rendered in his likeness. The images were taken by yours truly a couple of years ago at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

At the parade, I observed that The Elf on The shelf seemed to have something in common with the wild bird known as a male Northern cardinal. They both appear to be voyeurs!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday's Second Memo is JUST A REMINDER: FAA's 25% Discount Expires at Midnight EST



Earlier today on Blogger, I mentioned that Fine Art America (FAA) is offering a 25% discount on all wall art which includes my kaleidoscopic pics of Turtle Pond and of a sunset in Riverside Park; the latter image is one that was discussed on a NYC based radio station (1010 WINS).

As I've stated, FAA can print my image on an array of surfaces (acrylic, canvas, metal, poster-paper, standard-print paper as well as wood and rendered into a variety of sizes).

More info @  https://bit.ly/2PZzVnO

Monday's Memo: DECK THE WALLS!

We are in the season (or will be soon ) of a number of holidays (including Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanza) where gift giving is involved. Photographs that I have taken of the Mandarin duck who has been spending his time in Central Park as well as my kaleidoscopic images when printed on surfaces for wall art make the perfect gift.

Fine Art America (FAA) has the capacity of producing my pictures on an array of surfaces which are perfect for hanging on one's wall. These surfaces include acrylic, canvas, metal, poster-paper, standard-print paper (which is available framed or unframed) as well as wood.

My Mandarin duck collection consists of sixteen different photographs and there are twelve separate images within my kaleidoscopic collection is made; each one comes in an array of sizes to best suit one's wall space.

Today is the perfect time to pick up a few pieces for those near and dear to you because FAA is offering them at a 25% discount up until midnight (EST) tonight, December 3, 2018.

A few samples can be seen in the collage atop this entry, and for more selections as well as pricing info; please visit my FAA pages. Here's the link: https://bit.ly/2PZzVnO

Sunday, December 2, 2018

56 Yr Old Peanuts Strip Speaks to me Today!


CONFESSION: I'm a hunt and peck typist which slowed me down in writing my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.  If only I'd known Snoopy could type (as evidenced by the PEANUTS comic strip which is included with this posting and was published on this day of December 2nd in 1962); I might've asked him!

The Beginning of Advent + Chanukah for 2018

 

It's the first Sunday of Advent, a season that I've written about in a number of entries throughout my years of having this blog. Wikipedia defines this time period as a "season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning 'coming."

I'm most thankful to have been given a wreath, which can be seen in the photo that is atop this entry (you can read about the significance of the wreath on another Wikipedia page by clicking here) and I will be lighting the first candle today.

Moreover, the celebration of Chanukah AKA The Festival Lights (which is a holiday that I've also discussed here on Blogger for over several years ) also begins today.

Wikipedia describes this time period as the"Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire."

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December is here. Time has flewn again.


The Dr. Seuss quotation that is superimposed over views of my rooftop garden pretty much says it all regarding today's date! I've referenced the quote a number of times within my entries here on Blogger, including one that I published seven years ago today, where I included the same image which is atop this posting.

Talk about time flewing! In any event, within the aforementioned post, I discussed how it seems that on one given day, Juan V and I are winterizing my garden and before we know it, on another given day, we are de-winterizing  it!