Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday 9: Stop! In the Name of Love

Saturday 9: Stop! In the Name of Love (1965)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) When this song was popular, the Supremes were known for their long gloves and full-length gowns. When was the last time you got dressed up?

My wedding day 31 years
ago was probably the
last time I really
dressed up.
A. I don't recall. Does black for a funeral count? Then a couple of weeks ago. Otherwise it has been a very, very long time.

2) With a record 12 #1 hits, the Supremes remain America's best-selling vocal group. This must have been hard for Betty McGlown, the fourth Supreme, who left the group before they recorded their first song. Can you think of an opportunity you missed?

A. I quit working for an attorney in 1985 and that was the worst mistake of my career. If I had stayed there, we would have been better off financially and I would have had stability for a very long time. But I was an idiot and left in search of more money, which I did not find.

3) When "the girls" (Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Flo Ballard) first started hanging around Motown, founder Berry Gordy was reluctant to let them record. After all, they were still in high school. They refused to give up and eventually convinced him to let them add hand claps and finally back up vocals to recordings by other Motown artists. Tell us about a time when your persistence paid off.

Main Building at Hollins.
A. It took me eight years - yes, eight - to get my bachelors degree at Hollins College, now Hollins University. During those eight years I had six surgeries and had to drop out every couple of semesters because I was quite sick (at one point I was in the hospital for 30 days; three other times I had major surgery and was out of work and school and unable to drive for six weeks each). I was also holding down various full and part-time jobs during that time (as a result of stupid mistake noted in #2). Actually I went back to college as a result of stupid mistake noted in #2, which was the only good thing to come out of said stupid mistake. Anyway, in 1993 I received my diploma. I was the first person in my family to receive a degree of higher learning at that time. I went back and received my masters degree in 2012. I suppose that is persistent.

4) 50 years after its release, "Stop! In the Name of Love" is one of the most popular karaoke songs. Do you know the lyrics?

A. Stop! In the Name of Love! Before you break my heart. That's about it from me.

5) There's a children's playground named in Diana Ross' honor within New York's Central Park. It includes swings, slides, rope bridges and a fountain. When you played in the park, what did you run to first?

A. I grew up on a farm. I didn't play in parks. I rode on tractors, hunted up eggs in the chicken coop, and bottle fed calves. There were slides and swings on the school grounds but I preferred to sit in the shade and read.

6) Diana stumbled in her high heels and broke her ankle as she left the stage after a November 2012 concert. What do you have on your feet right now?

A. A pair of "Made in China" leather uppers, which I use for house shoes. They even have a pair of orthotics in them.

7) Ever the trooper, she honored her commitment to perform at a White House-sponsored Christmas concert just weeks later, even though her leg was still in a cast. Tell us about a time when you "played hurt."

A. I always have had something hurting or broken or falling apart, so pretty much the last 51 years of my life.

8) Young Diana Ross was a good student and a tough competitor who made her school's swim team. Are you a good swimmer?

A. I am overweight so I imagine I float, rather like a dead, bloated whale. I could swim okay when I was younger but it has literally been years since I attempted it.

9) Diana's older sister, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee, was the first African American woman to be appointed dean of an American medical school. Decades ago, Barbara juggled post-graduate studies and raising small children. Are you good at multi-tasking?

A. It depends on what I'm doing. Playing a video game on my Kindle and watching TV? Check. Trying to write something important? Nope. I need to focus.  Talking on the phone and folding clothes? Sure. Playing the guitar? Nope.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday Thirteen

Well, it's pouring snow here again on the east coast. I am not a big beach fan, but lately I've had visions of sitting in the sun under a palm tree somewhere, preferably with someone on hand to bring me cold, icy drinks and keep me company.

So here are some beaches somebody might like to put on their bucket list:

(The first 10 are from the National Geographic book The 10 Best of Everything. The last three are my additions. The photos are from Myrtle Beach, SC, which is where we usually vacation when we got to the beach.)

One of the most photographed beaches in the world, the pale pink sands of Anse Source d’Argent unfurls across the island of La Digue, one of the 115 components of this archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The sands sparkle against a backdrop of towering granite boulders, worn by time and weather. The turquoise water is relatively shallow and protected from the ocean’s waves by a reef.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Whether your dream beach trip consists of spending a few pampered nights in a four-star resort or swimming among tropical fish some 80 feet (24 meters) underwater, the Maldives are the sort of islands where either—or both—can come true. Straddling the Equator southwest of Sri Lanka, the 1,102 islands that make up the Maldives form 26 atolls. The soft air enveloping the archipelago blends into a beautiful palm-fringed haze.

3. Bora Bora,
This is one of the magical islands that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Just 18 miles (29 kilometers) long, this lush little slip of land lies in a protected lagoon edged by white sandy shores, the best being at Matira Point. Bora Bora boasts the nickname the “Romantic Island,” a moniker easy to appreciate with its isolated beaches, intimate hotels, and quiet atmosphere.

Better than snow, right?

4. The Hamptons, New
One of the hip spots for the air-kissing, well-heeled set, the Hamptons boast some of the prettiest beaches on Long Island. The unspoiled shoreline begins around Southampton and runs east to the end of the island at Montauk. Windswept dunes and waving grasses border the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Lanikai Beach,
Half a mile of sparkling sand, palm trees swaying over a white beach, lush tropical plants, and endless sunshine make Lanikai one of Hawaii’s most scenic beaches. The shore is protected by a nearby coral reef, which keeps the surf relatively calm. The water is always deep green and postcard-perfect.

Myrtle Beach, again.

6. Nantucket Island,
The most popular beaches on this island in the North Atlantic are Surfside and Children’s. The waters here are relatively calm, and there’s plenty of sand to use for sunbathing or castle-building. Madaket Beach is known for its rougher surf and not-to-be-missed sunsets. Quidnet Beach provides great views of Sankaty Head lighthouse.

7. Fraser Island,
Perched on the sunny Queensland coast 161 miles (259 kilometers) northeast of Brisbane, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and home to a wonderful beach. This World Heritage Site is an ecologist’s dream, with 640 square miles (1,664 square kilometers) of unspoiled natural paradise. Rain forests with 1,000-year-old trees sprout from the sand. Lodgings here accommodate a wide range of tourists, from the backpacking ecology lover to pampered resort fans.

8. St. Bart'
One of many islands in the Caribbean Sea, St. Bart’s stands out with its blend of French chic and island relaxation. With beautiful secluded beaches, fine French cuisine, and gracious hotels, this tropical playground is popular with the Jet Set. The 8-mile-long (13-kilometer-long) island is edged by 20 beaches and small coves for swimmers and sunbathers, with sparkling water and white sand.

9. Langkawi,
The name “Langkawi” translates into “the land of one’s wishes,” a welcoming concept that somewhat belies the island’s historic origins as a reputed refuge for pirates. Langkawi has since become a modern hideaway for the traveler seeking an escape. If your vacation wishes extend from uncrowded white sands and clear waters to lush green forests, you will find yourself content here. Datai Bay, located on Pulau Langkawi, is a heavenly retreat on the Andaman Sea.

10. Kauna'oa Bay, Hawaii
Located on the Kohala Coast of the Aloha State’s Big Island, Kauna’oa Bay is the quintessential Hawaiian spot. The 0.25-mile-long (0.4-kilometer-long), crescent-shaped beach has plenty of white sand, palm trees, and calm, clear, blue water. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, beachgoers here can snorkel or ride boogie boards. (Be careful swimming, however, because there are no lifeguards on this public beach.) At night, nestle into the sands and peer out into the water to see if you can catch a glimpse of manta rays swimming.

A palm tree. Because, you know.

11. Mellon Udrigle Beach, Scotland. Mostly because I want to go to Scotland, but I may as well see a beach while I am there, right?

12. Bettystown County Meath, Ireland. Again, mostly because I want to go to Ireland someday. Apparently this beach is known for horseracing and because a famous brooch, the Tara Brooch, was allegedly found here.

13. Woolecombe in Devon, England. Well, I want to go to England, too.

What beaches have you been to? Anywhere special you want to go? Dream away while the snow falls!

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 384th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

This Ain't No Disco

Farming has its ups and downs. Winter is not always a downer, but the snow creates special problems.

The cattle are bedded down in the hollow around the watering troughs at the moment. They have grass to lie on, as well as hay, but they aren't keen on tromping through the deep, icy snow.

However, this morning when I rose and looked out the window, I saw one lone cow away from the herd. On second glance, I saw her newborn calf. The little one was already up, looking for a first meal, and testing newborn legs.

Snow makes it hard on an ol' farmer.

Unfortunately, another cow and calf did not fare as well earlier in the week. The momma went into labor sometime in the night, after we'd already checked the animals, and the calf refused to come out. My husband had to get a couple of neighboring farmers to help him pull the calf, and we're hoping the hapless momma will recover. She's being treated kindly, with lots of water, hay, medication, and attention.

We are not full-time farmers; my husband has two other jobs and I don't have the physical strength to be of much assistance with farming chores. Fortunately one of our young nephews is interested and always glad to help when my fellow has to be elsewhere.

If we farmed full-time, perhaps we could better time the births of calves, though frankly this time would be about the normal time for such events, if the weather patterns were as they once were. We have not had such frigid temperatures or as much deep snow at this time of the year as rule. March is when many little new babies of all kinds pop into the world, after all.

Monday, February 23, 2015

More Snow

The weather folks initially said we might get a few inches but did hedge on their forecast; we ended up with a foot of snow. Come on, Spring!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Colorful Meme

From Sunday Stealing

Colorful Meme

Could you tell me please, what color each of these things are?

~ Your hair: brown with streaks of gray.
Me with my graying head.

~ Your eyes: hazel with iris that look like cracked ice.

~ Your shirt: blue

~ Your socks: white with blue

~ Your shoes: white New Balance all-leather sneakers. Expensive suckers.

~ Your purse: brown

~ Your wallet: brown

~ Your phone: blue

~ Your computer/laptop: black

~ Your earphones: white

~ Your best friend’s hair: One friend has black hair, another has blondish brown, and another has black with gray in it.

~ Your best friend’s eyes: brown, blue, brown

~ Your sky today: it is pouring snow at the rate of 2 inches an hour, so gray and white.