Erik Johansson is a 21 year old Swedish photographer who is a brilliant photo manipulator. Look at some of his amazing work. Click on photos to enlarge. (Thanks to my sweet friend, Izzy for sending these to me.)
Our city has been trying to clean up all the branches and debris strewn everywhere since a tornado watch/warning/storm hit many of the counties here in Illinois two nights ago. The warnings lasted only about 1 ½ hours, but that was enough time for the storm to 'do a job' in many of the northern suburbs of Chicago…and beyond.
I have to consider myself lucky since I didn’t lose my electricity and my trees and house were in tact after it all. There are still some towns without electricity and many had quite a bit of flooding.
I drove through some parts of our city the next day and couldn’t believe the size of some of the branches that had been blown down. From what I could see…this clean-up will take some time before they can get everything…..big and small. There was one tree near my son ‘s place that had been pulled out from the roots and laid across a whole front lawn. It was huge. I saw several branches that hit or came close to houses and cars….and many people cleaning up the damage from it all. That’s when I really realized how lucky I was. Outside of my cable flickering off and on for about 20 minutes…I was spared from the high winds and blinding rain that made it impossible to see out your windows. My son and daughter, who live a few blocks away, had no cable tv for a day or so….but they too were very lucky.
I can't remember when weather conditions everywhere have been so bazaar and unpredictable...for such a long period of time. God only knows what the rest of the summer has in store for us.
I hope you all are well and safe from any more disasters from Mother Nature. ~Joy xo
Enough weather woes.....we need some smiles.....
As a bagpiper, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man who had no family or friends. The funeral was to be held at a cemetery in the remote countryside and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost and being a typical man, did not stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the crew who were eating lunch but the hearse was nowhere in sight.
I apologized to the workers for my tardiness and stepped to the side of the open grave where I saw the vault lid already in place.
I assured the workers I would not hold them up for long but this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I played out my heart and soul.
As I played the workers began to weep. I played and I played like I'd never played before, from Going Home and The Lord is My Shepherd to Flowers of the Forest. I closed the lengthy session with Amazing Grace and walked to my car.
As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the workers saying to another, Sweet Jeezuz, Mary 'n Joseph, I have never seen nothin' like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.
I wasn't going to post anything for Father's Day. Sometimes I miss my dad so much....still after 43 years....that I just can't find the words to speak about him. He was everything to me. He was my hero in every way you can be a hero. So, I just needed to at least say Hi.
Sometimes I can't even picture what he looked like; and sometimes I can see every detailed line and crevice on his smiling face. I miss you in my life Dad; but there hasn't been a day that you haven't been in my heart.
Another year...another birthday...another reason to celebrate having been blessed to have you in my life. I don't have to tell you how much I love you...I don't, but I will. My love for you has no bounds, no conditions... and no words that could sufficiently express how rich you have made every moment of my existence with you in it.
May you both know this kind of love and feel as blessed every day of your lives...as strong and beautiful women, wives, and mothers.
You have given me so many years of joyous moments and memories....Happy Birthday Julie and Jory... my Gemini girls. Love, Mom xo
Five years….that’s hard to believe. But I’ve learned to accept a lot of things in the past few years that I never planned on adjusting to quite yet. Your passing... less than seven months after Joel, and only four months after his father, enclosed me in a state of numbness that was almost protective in some respects. When I think back to those months of chaotic frenzy, I wonder how I got through them; but I did…and I believe largely because of you. If there’s one sure thing I think I've gotten from you, it’s the drive to survive.
Sometimes I think it’s harder NOW....thinking of what we all REALLY lost in those few short months; and what the three of you have lost out on. Weddings, births of grandchildren and great-grandchildren...and of course, family get-togethers. You always loved those times, and thrived in that atmosphere. Even if you weren’t feeling up-to-par, somehow you felt temporarily healed by the warmth and ambiance of our family gatherings.
You, Papa and Joel still seem to show up at our family times together without fail. There is much to be said for the unique characters that you all were. We have so many great stories to tell; and we seem to relish in the relating of all those memories. We never seem to run out of fodder….thanks for that.
I can only hope you have a good view from where you are Mom so you can see what’s been going on with all of us. I guarantee you won’t be bored. I can promise you smiles and joy every time you stop and visit. If you happen to run into Papa and Joel roaming around, tell them to pull up a cloud and watch for a while…and then pray they don’t get into one of their infamous debates. Love, Joy
Oh dear God, if Joe introduces me to another tv or HBO series, I think my head will explode. I've mentioned in previous posts how he loves to show up with a season of 'something' that he knows I'll just love. "You know you'll like it mom." Yeah, yeah, yeah.....
The latest….Tremé, a show about life in New Orleans after Katrina; and Game of Thrones, a show where kings, queens, knights and renegades use schemes and swords to battle for the throne....have now been added. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE them; that’s the problem. Joe seems to know what I would like and loves bringing them over, or finding them On Demand. Many of them are series that I haven't made time for....on purpose; because I haven't wanted to get addicted to any more than I already am.
It’s not bad enough that I have certain shows on network tv that I watch religiously and that Joe wouldn't be caught dead watching, like:
~ Dancing With The Stars (season just ended, thank God)
~ American Idol (season just ended, thank God again)
~ So You Think You Can Dance (season just began, ohhhh)
~ America’s Got Talent (also just began)
~ Grey’s Anatomy (season just ended)
~ America’s Best Dance Crew (tomorrow night is the final show of the season)
~ Celebrity Apprentice (didn’t watch it this season because Donald has irritated the hell out of me with his recent antics.)
I think there were more, but I can’t think of them right now....and this doesn't cover the sporting events that I like to watch. As you can see, I tend to like the entertainment reality shows most. I use to watch more dramatic series, but either they have since gone off the air….or Joe has made them part of our itinerary that we watch together.
Not even counting the shows that are no longer on, here’s a list of what we are in the process of watching or catching up on through the seasons on DVD…..and in no particular order of preference (I love and am addicted to most of these shows):
~ Game of Thrones
~ Criminal Minds
~ Rescue Me
~ Modern Family
~ Sons of Anarchy
~ CSI(both NY & LV. We use to watch Miami, but David Caruso is just a little too much lately.)
~ Mad Men
~ Breaking Bad
~ The Closer
~ The Walking Dead (Wasn’t so sure I’d like this, but it was surprisingly good.)
~ Lie to Me ( We still have the last season to watch, but I think it just got cancelled, so that’s good.)
~ Burn Notice
I think that’s everything. As you can see, Joe has got me pretty booked up. We lay on my bed and watch several episodes at a time; so the two of us have become ‘bed potatoes’ in every way. But of course I use these opportunities to multi-task...write out lists and bills, do puzzles, file my nails, read the newspaper. Hmmm, and I wonder why my body is yelling out to me in defiance. Between hours spent watching these programs and hours spent at my computer, I’m surprised I can move at all. Watching me get around the last several months isn’t pretty…especially on the stairs. I try to do some stretching exercises when I can and get out and run errands as much as possible.
Honestly, there are times when I think I could kill Joe for getting me hooked on these shows….and times when I could kiss him. Are you as bad as me? Come on, make me feel better…. ~Joy xo