Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bell Tower and Carillon of Yale University

The 54 bell Yale Memorial Carillon is the heaviest carillon in Connecticut, and, like the Trinity College carillon, was cast by the John Taylor & Co. foundry of Loughborough, England. It began as a 10 bell chime cast by Taylor in 1921 and installed when Harkness Tower was built. In 1966, 44 bells by Taylor were added to make it a full carillon. This necessitated removing all the original bells from the tower and installing a completely new frame and playing action. The addition was made possible by a gift from Florence Marcy Crofut, who also gave the money to enlarge the Trinity College carillon.

The carillon is played on a daily basis by the Yale University Guild of Carillonneurs, and there is a summer series with concerts on Fridays at 7:00pm from June 21 to Aug. 16.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson,

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Season's Greetings

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.
In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.

~ Larry Wilde

Friday, December 23, 2005

Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening

    Whose woods these are I think I know
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep
    And miles to go before I sleep.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

My "Pet" Squirrel

I have "adopted" a little gray squirrel and I feed it all kinds of things: breadcrumbs, walnuts, cheesepuffs, dried cranberries and raisins, etc. He comes right up on the deck and boldly looks in the patio doors, begging for food. I missed a shot of him with his little paws on the glass as he peered inside the diningroom. As soon as he saw me he ran off because he still doesn't trust me. My husband, Jon, says that if this creature, which is really a rodent (he says RAT with a bushy tail), gets into the attic or walls, it is up to ME to get the thing out and he wants nothing to do with the ordeal if it happens. It lives in a nest in a nearby tree. I HOPE he won't think to move his residence to our attic or between our walls all because I am feeding him! I will take my chances because it is so cold outside, and he is so cute. :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My Second Job: Amateur Mail Delivery Person

Many believe that the United States Postal Service provides the best mail delivery on the planet. In comparison to other countries, we are told by post office authorities, that the U.S. mail service delivers more letters and has a lower percentage rate for loss, theft, or damage than most other counties. If this is true, then why is it that I find myself all too frequently having to play postman and end up delivering people’s mail that I have received by mistake? My neighbors return the kindness by courteously bringing my mail to me, which was intentionally or unintentionally left in their mailboxes. The upside of all this is that we are getting to know each other better than we would have if not involved in this network of neighborhood amateur postal workers making unpaid special deliveries. (However, if I wanted a job with the postal service, I would have applied!)

UPS (otherwise known as Brown) is no better. At least the federal mail delivery person goes to each mailbox, even if he or she can’t always get the addressed mail in the corresponding boxes. UPS zooms by as fast as they can without stopping and sends the parcels flying out the door and onto your doorstep, (if you are lucky). This type of delivery system prevents the driver or the truck from being identified, making it difficult to phone and question the delivery methods of the United Postal Service. In comparison, when I phone the post office to request the carrier be more alert to the address he is delivering to, I am told that they will "talk" with the carrier. This only ticks the carrier off and makes him become even more lax with his deliveries. We have no alternatives, so what does he care? I don't know why some people are afraid of email and online communication. The problems with dealing with the postal delivery services are even more baffling than cyberspace!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chicago Slang

Grachki (grach'-key): Chicagoese for "garage key"
as in, "Yo, Theresa, waja do wit da grachki? Howmy
supposta cut da grass if I don't git intada grach?"

Sammich: Chicagoese for sandwich. When made with
sausage, it's a sassage sammich; when made with
shredded beef, it's an Italian Beef sammich, a local
delicacy consisting of piles of spicy meat in a
perilously soggy bun.

Da: This article is a key part of Chicago speech,
as in "Da Bears" or "Da Mare" -- the latter denoting
Richard M. Daley, or Richie, as he's often called.

Jewels: Not family heirlooms or a tender body
region, but a popular name for one of the region's
dominant grocery store chains. "I'm goin' to
da Jewels to pick up some sassage."

Field's: Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago
department store. Also Carson Pirie Scott, another
major department store chain, is simply called "Carson's."

Tree: The number between two and four. "We were
lucky dat we only got tree inches of snow da udder

Prairie: A vacant lot, especially one on which weeds are growing.

Over by dere: Translates to "over by there," a
way of emphasizing a site presumed familiar to the
listener. As in, "I got the sassage at da Jewels
down on Kedzie, over by dere."

KaminskiPark: The mispronounced name of the
ballpark where the Chicago White Sox (da Sox) play
baseball. Comiskey Park was recently renamed U.S.
Cellular Field (yuck!)

Frunchroom: As in, "Getottada frunchroom wit
dose muddy shoes." It's not the "parlor." It's not
the "living room." In the land of the bungalow,
it's the "frunchroom," a named derived, linguists
believe, from "front room."

Use: Not the verb, but the plural pronoun "you!”
“Wher e's use goin'?"

Downtown: Anywhere near The Lake, south of The
Zoo (Lincoln Park Zoo) and north of Soldier Field.

The Lake: Lake Michigan. (What other lake is
there?) It's often used by local weathermen, "cooler
by The Lake."

BoysTown: A section on Halsted between Belmont
and Addison which is lined with gay bars both sides
of the street. "Didn't I see use in BoysTown in
front of da Manhole?"

Braht: Short for Bratwurst. "Gimme a braht wit kraut."

Cashbox: Traffic reporter slang for tollbooths.
"Dere's a delay at da cashbox on da Skyway."

Goes: Past or present tense of the verb "say."
For example, "Then he goes, 'I like this place'!"

Guys: Used when addressing two or more people,
regardless of each individual's gender.

Pop: A soft drink. Don't say "soda" in this
town. "Do ya wanna canna pop?"

Sliders: Nickname for small, square hamburgers from White
Castle, a popular Midwestern burger chain.
"Dose sliders I had last night gave me da runs."
Also known as, "Wee Willy One-Bites"
and "belly bombs."

The Taste: The Taste of Chicago Festival, a huge
extravaganza in Grant Park featuring samples of
Chicagoland cuisine which takes place each year
around the Fourth of July holiday.

"Jieetyet?": Translates to, "Did you eat yet?"

Winter and Construction: Punch line to the joke,
"What are the two seasons in Chicago?"

Cuppa Too-Tree: is Chicagoese for "a couple,
two, three" which really means "a few." For example,
"Hey Mike, dere any beerz left in da cooler over by
dere?" "Yeh, a cuppa too-tree."

588-2300: Everyone in Chicago knows this
commercial jingle and the carpet company you'll get
if you call that number -- Empire!

Junk Djor: You will usua lly find the 'junk
drawer' in the kitchen filled to the brim with miscellaneous,
but very important, junk.

Southern Illinois: Anything south of I-80.

Expressways: The Interstates in the immediate
Chicagoland area are usually known just by their
'name' and not their Interstate number: the Dan Ryan
("da Ryan"), the Stevenson, the Kennedy, the
Eisenhower (da "Ike"), and the Edens.

Gym Shoes: The rest of the country may refer to
them as sneakers or running shoes but Chicagoans
will always call them gym shoes!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

After the Storm

December 9, 2005
Photo of our deck the day after the winter day from hell.
Pretty isn't it?

Jason was the He-Man to dig us all out. This is only the beginning. We can look forward to this all the way through March.

Photo from the front door.

Start of the big snowstorm: Dec 8, 2005

Photos taken out our patio door window. This storm intensified as the day went on and snarled rush hour traffic so bad that it took commuters HOURS to get home from work. It took Jon 6 hours to get home when it usually takes him only an hour and fifteen mnutes. Jeff, who is a truck driver was trapped in the mess all day long and didn't get home until after midnight. I hope this isn't a preview of what our entire winter will be like.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"Calm Harbor"
Ink on paper
by D. Bowden

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Isn't she a sweetheart?

Mary's Cat, Doggie
Photo by D Bowden

Doggie is a very friendly cat, but also a "prissy" cat who likes to be pampered and can't bother herself with stupid stuff like playing with squeaky toys and yarn strands. She would rather interact with people. She LOVES people, unless you hate cats and then she KNOWS and will not have anything to do with you. Doggie loves food, especially butter, tuna and other things that are bad for her. Just like a person. I am highly allergic to cats, but when I am visiting Mary I will just get a box of Kleenex and some Visine allergy eye drops because Doggie loves me so. Doggie is getting to be an old lady now. She is nearly 12, has arthritis and cannot jump anymore. But she is a grand old lady. Proud and happy.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

photo by D. Bowden
I took this photo looking out of the van window at 10:30 p.m. as we were waiting for Jason to buy groceries at the Jewel-Osco at Ashland and Roosevelt before dropping him off at his apartment after his concert on
Dec 3, 2005.

"Little Girl on Beach"
by D. Bowden
Aug 2005

"Old Woman at Hammonasset Beach"
by D. Bowden
Aug 2005

by D. Bowden
Aug. 2005
"Two Girls Wading at Hammonasset Beach"
by D. Bowden
Aug 2005

Friday, December 02, 2005

D. Bowden
watercolor pic by D. Bowden

I just LOVE the holiday season with all the colorful lights and decorations. Every year I have to put up my seasonal decorations alone. No one helps me except if I order them to go bring up the boxes from the basement. That is a big help, but it would be nice if some people who live here were a bit more enthusiastic about giving me a hand with things like untangling the several strands of lights that manage to get all jumbled together even though I take great care to place them SEPARATELY in the box so as to be easy the following year. But something happens to them during the year while they are stored away in the closet. It's as if an imp or fairy gets inside the boxes and tangles up the lights to cause me a big pain in the ass each and every year!

I know I am not alone here. There are songs written about the frustration of detangling and stringing holiday lights on tree branches. So, why do I bother? Why do I continue with this tradition even though I am not a religious person? Because, it's PRETTY! It makes me happy to see all the festive lights and all the colors giving the world a magical look. Everyone is happy (once the shopping is done)" and it's a time of warmth and sharing and getting together with those we love. It's pretty songs, and bells and if we are lucky...powdery snow that glistens like diamonds under the streetlights. While I am struggling with the stupid lights each year, swearing like a sailor stuck in a threatening storm, I have in the back of my mind how wonderful it will all look when everything is decorated, lit and beautiful as winter itself.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Scream" by Edvard Munch

Reasons for Teacher Shortage

After finally receiving my substitute teaching certificate in the mail, as advised by the regional offices, I made some phone calls to the school districts in our county to find out what I need to do to get on their sub lists only to be told by each one I called, they don't NEED any more substitute teachers. This has happened at every school district I contacted. I then phoned the regional department of education again and asked them why I was led to believe there would be "instant work" for me to do once I got my certificate. The lady on the phone told me that employment is up to each individual district and they have nothing to do with that. I told her when I was at the regional office, she and others made me believe there was a great need for substitutes as I was forking over my application fees! She just said to keep calling around.

Another frustrating obstacle I encounted at the individual school districts level was that they told me I need a doctor's statement of good health. I already have one on file at regioinal!. I am required to have a state certificate to teach, and to get a state certificate I had to have a MEDICAL DOCTOR STATEMENT OF GOOD HEATH --which is IN MY FILE! I tried to explain this to them to no avail. It was like talking to a bunch of space aliens. They said that is their rules and I have to have ANOTHER statement from the doctor for them if I want to be considered for their sub list (which is overly full at the moment). I can just imagine asking my doctor to write out 40 "good health" statements for me, as if he has all this free time to accomodate the county school system.

In addition to the extra doctor's statements of good health, there are a variety of forms I must fill out for EACH individual school district withing the larger regional district. I am beginning to wonder if all this hassle is worth it. Probably not. If anyone wonders why there is a shortage of teachers, just try to get a job as a substitute or regular teacher sometime!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

by D. Bowden
Hammonasset Beach in Connecticut
by D Bowden
Mary at the Beach
colored pencil

Monday, November 21, 2005

"When they are alone they want to be with others, and when they are with others they want to be alone. After all, human beings are like that."
~Gertrude Stein~

Andy Warhol

Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century:
Gertrude Stein
. 1980, 40 x 32"

Water is always moving. Air currents, wind, lunar effects, Earth’s motion, gravity and an
occasional undersea tremor all contribute to the movement that occurs constantly in large bodies
of water. Frozen water of blue-algae glaciers trickle down from the mountains and fall from
mighty waterfalls, and cascade through river rapids on their way to the great seas. Wind blows
across large bodies of water, forcing the water to move in one direction and then another.
Waves roll up onto the beaches of lake shores and seashores. Droplets evaporate to form clouds
which travel in fat clouds. Rain and mist fall across the thirsty land. The whole process is a
never ending cycle with no beginning and no end.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Javelina Are Not My Friends
D. Bowden

In December 1993, our oldest son was in a marching band competition in Phoenix, and we decided since we went all that way, we would visit some good friends of ours who live in Tucson. Their house was on a desert reserve. While they could build a house on the land, they could not change the landscape. Wild animals and other critters roamed around free to go wherever they wanted. One day, my friend, Terri asked who wanted to take a walk to see where the javelina live. My daughter, and Terri's younger two daughters were the only ones who wanted to come along. How adventurous I felt! Going to see where the javelina live! There might even be some babies! For those who do not know what a javelina is, it is a wild pig. They are called Javelina because of their razor-sharp teeth. (Javelina is Spanish for javelin or spear.) They are very stinky creatures; you may smell a javelina before you see it! Javelina have very poor eyesight, but VERY good hearing and I was warned that if we came upon one, or more, to stand still behind a bush and don't move because they won't be able to see me, and if I don't move they would not be able to hear me, and will go back to their babies once they feel the threat is gone.
So we are walking along, walking along and suddenly Terri says "shhh! There's one now!" We all stopped and within only a few yards from us was a mama javelina! It SAW us! It scraped one of its hooves on the ground and charged! I forgot everything that Terri had told us and I RAN LIKE THE WIND! I heard the beating of hooves behind me but I did NOT look back. I ran and left my ten-year-old daughter to fend for herself! I heard her voice "Mom, DON'T RUN, STOP RUNNING!" I kept going, looking for a tree or something! "MOM DON'T RUN...PLEASE DON'T RUN!" Terri yelled, "DEB STOP RUNNING, IT'S OK, IT'S OK!" and I ran and ran till I found something that looked like a tree and climbed into it...it was a creosote bush! "Ow! Ouch! Ouch!" I cried as I found myself in the middle of that bush! Terri came and was laughing! The girls were all laughing and I was so upset! Terri said "Deb, you should have stopped! It was only a DOG running behind you, the javelina turned back after only a couple of feet!" I looked around to be sure! No javelina around, but the dog was wandering through the bushes! We started walking for home and none too slowly! When we got to the barbed wire fence I leaped over it as agile as an acrobat! I was done with nature walks, at least in the desert southwest!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

“Petrovic’s Grocery”
By D. Bowden

An old photograph of Joe Petrovic shows him standing in front of his old grocery shop. This moment is now only a faded memory. Joe’s shop, simply called “Petrovic’s Grocery” was a place that smelled of good things, fresh things. Bins and shelves filled to the brim with tomatoes, squash, green beans, lettuce, apples, and other good things that were offered at various times depending on the season. Potatoes, however, were always abundant, always satisfying and always affordable. They were the staple of everyone’s sustenance, they were the main source of old Joe’s income. The neighborhood is not the same anymore. Petrovic’s, its potatoes, and Joe are all gone. The building still stands empty in a changed neighborhood of poverty and neglect. All that is left is a picture in a photo album, and in the minds of those few who are still here to remember.

Monday, November 14, 2005

photo by Timothy Fadek

the con job
by Charles Bukowski

the ground war began today
at dawn
in a desert land
far from here.

the U.S. ground troops were
made up of
Blacks, Mexicans and poor
most of whom had joined
the military
because it was the only job
they could find.

the ground war began today
at dawn
in a desert land
far from here
and the Blacks, Mexicans
and poor whites
were sent there
to fight and win
as on tv
and on the radio
the fat white rich newscasters
first told us all about
and then the fat rich white
told us
and again
and again
on almost every
tv and radio station
almost every minute
day and night
the Blacks, and Mexicans
and poor whites
were sent there
to fight and win
at dawn
in a desert land
far enough away from

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Time Quotes

Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
George Bernard Shaw

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.
William Penn

Much may be done
in those little shreds and patches of time
which every day produces,
and which most men throw away.

Charles Caleb Colton

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.
Henry David Thoreau

Time is the coin of your life.
It is the only coin you have,
and only you can determine how it will be spent.
Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

Carl Sandburg

But what minutes!
Count them by sensation,
and not by calendars,
and each moment is a day.

Benjamin Disraeli

Clocks slay time...
time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels;
only when the clock stops does time come to life.

William Faulkner

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by;
but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.

James M. Barrie

Don't say you don't have enough time.
You have exactly the same number of hours per day
that were given to
Helen Keller, Pasteur,
Mother Teresea,
Leonardo da Vinci,
Thomas Jefferson,
and Albert Einstein.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Until you value yourself, you won't value your time.
Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

M. Scott Peck

Time is just something that we assign.
You know, past, present, it's just all arbitrary.
Most Native Americans, they don't think of time as linear;
in time, out of time,
I never have enough time, circular time,
the Stevens wheel.
All moments are happening all the time.
Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure

I don't think of the past.
The only thing that matters is the everlasting present.
W. Somerset Maugham

Time is like a conveyor belt,
it keeps moving forward
while some fall off along the way
and many stay on to the very end of the line.
D. Bowden

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Am I Old?
D. Bowden

While I was over visiting my niece and her little family today, her 4-year-old daughter, Kaleh was sitting on my lap looking at a book with me. One of the characters on one of the pages was an old woman. Kaleh looked at me real close after looking at the cartoon gray-haired lady. I said "She is very old, isn't she?" Kaleh nodded. I then asked her "Am I old?" Kaleh tilted her head shyly and said "Yes," as she sort of gave me an embarrassed smile. I then asked, "How old do you think I am?" and she studied my face and then responded, " Forty-three" and I laughed a little and said "and that is old?" and she nodded again. I told her, "I have a secret, I am even OLDER than that! I am fifty-one!" Her eyes got big as saucers and she said, "WOW...are you older than Gootgamy?" (Gootgamy is her name for MY mother, Kaleh's GREAT grandma!) I was stunned at first but then laughed and laughed! I told her that no, I am old, but Gootgamy is VERY, VERY OLD! Kids can make your self-esteem plummet in an instant sometimes!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More Red Tape . . .
Will It Ever End?

D. Bowden

I woke up early this morning and drove over to Joliet to drop off the two documents that are needed to complete my file so I can get fingerprinted and get the show on the road with this substitute teaching thing. When I got to the street that the Will County building is located on, there was not a parking place to be found! I drove around, and around and around, passing down Chicago Street at least a half dozen times in hopes that someone would leave and I would take their space. No such luck since there were many others in the same predicament I was in. Only I was brave, (more like fed up) and parked in the dry cleaner's lot across the street under a big sign that said "DRY CLEANING CUSTOMERS ONLY. VIOLATORS WILL BE TOWED AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE." I took the chance because I just wanted to drop off the stupid papers and be on my way.

I crossed the busy street and went inside the Will County building for the fourth time in less than a week because of the incompentency of the administrative staff to give me the proper documents I needed all at one time, which would have prevented me from having to run back and forth, wasting precious gasoline just to be able to get a part-time job as glorified baby sitter! I know that in this world of perverts and danger, schools must take precautions, and I am not complaining about that. I am irritated because they don't have their shit together and no wonder all this bullshit happens in schools these days! Look who is in charge! They can't even register a substitute teacher properly and in a timely fashion!

Entering the Regional Office of the Will County Department of Education, I saw one of the ladies who has been involved in getting my file together. I gave her the documents and said I would like to set up my appointment for fingerprinting (the LAST thing I must do before being allowed to work). Now it should take about five minutes or less to take someone's fingerprints. It is not hard. Press fingers on ink pad, press fingers on document, and wash hands. Done. But this lady tells me I cannot get an appointment time until November 17th! Then it will take 48 hours for "processing" and then I can check back to see if I can start working.

By the time I get going, I will be ready to retire.

Monday, November 07, 2005

What Am I Getting Myself Into?!
D. Bowden

I have decided to substitute teach to have something constructive to do, and to make a little extra money, but I have to tell you that my teaching frustrations have started already and haven't even subbed for my first class yet! I took in all my bureacratic forms and "red tape" to the Will County Regional Offices of Education last week. I printed all the forms from the Internet and followed the directions given online. Well, apparently "procedures" have changed somewhat, and those procedures have not yet been updated on the website, and I was told that they no longer accept personal checks and I had to have a certified check or money order, though the regional fees could be a personal check. I drove all the way back to New Lenox, forfeiting the money I put in the parking meter (or so I thought), to get the money orders I needed from my bank. I drove all the way back to Joliet and luckily my meter was still open and unexpired. I walked back to the office building and downstairs where THREE ladies looked over all my paperwork, documentation, money orders, etc. They said all was in order. I asked specifically if the doctor's signature on the form was adequate for the health statement and they all said yes, it was fine. I asked if they were sure everything was there. Yes, fine...they would call me to set up an appointment for fingerprinting and my temporary certificate would arrive in a few days. I recieved my temporary certificate a few days later, however, cannot "activate" it until I have a DOCTORS STATEMENT OF GOOD HEALTH! WTF??? AND they had failed to give me two more forms that needed to be dated and signed! GRRRR!!! I filled those out and then have been trying to get ahold of my doctor all day long today to have him write this statement of health thing. My husband called me after a few hours of waiting and said maybe the ditzy ladies made a mistake and overlooked the doctor's other statement because how many statements of health does one need? I called the number that the ladies from the Department of Education attached to the two additional forms with a post-it. Some guy answers by saying "Rick here". I said, "This isn't the department of education?" and "Rick" says "nope." I dialed again using the area code seeing if maybe that would make a difference...got "Rick" again. I went online and looked up the department of education number again and rang up this Pam who had sent me the post-it note with the forms and request for doctor's statement. I asked her if they had by any chance overlooked my doctor's statement form that was signed by him last week. She pulled my file and came back to the phone and said "OHHHH...teeheeeheee...It's here already. We must have overlooked it! I am sorry...teeehheeeheeehheee!" She said to bring in the other two forms tomorrow and they will schedule my fingerprinting so I can start working next week. I am not so certain I want to get involved with the education system after being away from it for so many years now. I will give it a shot, but I better brace myself for stupidity to the max! It's like birth pains, one forgets what they are like after a lot of time passes.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Photo by D Bowden

My Forever Friend and Love
D. Bowden

Every morning before the light of dawn
He rises without complaint,
Quielty so as not to disturb
Those nestled in the cozy beds
While he goes out into the wee hours
In all kinds of weather,
Day after day, week after week,
To provide for his family.
No matter what life deals him,
He plods along relentlessly.
When people ask him "How are you?"
"Better and better!" is his reply!
He is like a rottweiler, I like to say;
Loyal, protective, and strong.
Loving and funny and brilliantly smart.
His sense of humor makes his green eyes shine
With mischief and affection
He is my lover, my soul mate,
my forever friend.

by D. Bowden

My firstborn, my golden-haired son,
Has made me proud in so many ways.
He is thoughtful and thought-filled . . .
Intellectual, articulate, talented.
He can play music of a symphony,
Or quote philosophy,
And politics, history, anything!
He has a wicked sense of humor,
A wry, cynical wit,
But teases with a sparkle in his eye.
Comes through good or bad,
With dignity, humbleness and quiet pride.


By D. Bowden

He was only two days old

When he first smiled at me

With a big, toothless grin,
His whole face showing joy.
And still today

His smile lights up a room,

And chases all the clouds away,
And his laughter can be heard for miles around!
He is a good man,
Multi-talented and hard-working,

With a heart of gold,

And a strength like his Dad's.
by D. Bowden

She lights up a stage
With a radiance and grace

That is magnificent to behold,

And it is amazing to me

That she is mine
But not to be held

As my possession.

For she is owned by no one,
Indpendent and strong,
She plays her own song,
With intelligence and beauty,
And my heart cheers
With admiration and love

For the woman she has become.

Friday, November 04, 2005

HAIKU by D. Bowden

Autumn leaves drifting down
Floating gently to the ground
Forming pools of gold

Waves at Sunset
D. Bowden

Waves roll in
Waves roll out
In the golden glow
Of sunset on a summer's eve

Waves roll in
Waves roll out
Over rocky shores
And back out again to the deep

Waves roll in
Waves roll out
Lapping at my feet
Calming all my anxieties

Waves roll in
Waves roll out . . .

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Photo by: D. Bowden "My favorite tree in New Lenox, IL"

by D. Bowden
All the leaves are falling round

Drifting, piling on the ground.

Red and gold and purple hues,
Hiding any summer clues
That are left from yesterday

When all the children were at play,

Cheering with voices merry
Amongst the strong green willow trees.

Days grow shorter, evenings cool,

The children are all back in school.

With their noses in their books,

Out the windows stealing looks,

Longing for those summer days

And for endless, carefree ways.

They have a long time to await

Till winter winds and snows abate
And springtime flowers bloom anew

A new season starts for me, and you.

Simulated Romance
by D. Bowden
Photo by D. Bowden

ne of the things my husband and I did while in Las Vegas was to take a ride in a real Venetian gondola, piloted by a real gondolier who serenaded us with his beautiful singing as we glided along the shallow canals on the second floor of the Venetian Hotel and Casino complex, under fake skies with their painted puffy white clouds. Simulated daytime and nighttime flew by in one hour increments. The gondolier's singing was wonderful, and made us feel very romantic. During a pause in his arias we got to chat with the young man for a few minutes and found out he was actually from Italy and came all the way to America, to Las Vegas to pilot a gondola on the second floor of a fake Venice in an artificial canal in the middle of a desert. This shows just how bizarre human beings really are.

Excerpt from :

"A Week in Las Vegas"
D Bowden

After a leisurely dinner at a nearby buffet we went back to our hotel room to get ready for bed. We were still weary from our three-day drive to get to Vegas. Our second-floor room at the Tropicana was nice enough, done in a tropical motif of turquoise, green, orange-red and yellow. Prints of beach scenes and palm trees decorated the walls. I turned the air conditioning on high and crawled between the crisp white sheets. After hubby was tired of flipping through the television channels, we settled into bed for the night. It usually takes me a long time to fall asleep when on vacation, but I fell asleep right away. Suddenly, only an hour later shouts and noise of slamming around came from the next room. “Gimme my money Mutha fuckaaaaa!” someone screamed and there was the sound of thumping and crashing. More yelling: “I want my goddam money, Mutha fucka! Gimme my goddam money or I’m gonna kill you!” I thought to myself, ‘holy shit! This is what happens in movies like Scarface and Casino!’ We were afraid to get up from our bed. I reached over for the phone and it didn’t work! My imagination ran wild! Had someone cut the phone lines? We lay flat, not moving. Listening. My husband said not to get up. What if they started shooting? The cheap walls were paper-thin. I wanted to just leave and go home! Go camping, anything! After several minutes of the “war” going on next door, the Las Vegas police and hotel security showed up. “Open up, Vegas police, open the door!” Things suddenly stopped and got very, very quiet. Again, the policeman banged on the door next door and shouted “Police, open up!” Then there was the sound of a door opening and loud talking in the hallway. "What’s going on in there?” we heard another voice ask. “Nothing officer,” I heard a voice reply nervously. Then there was thumping around again and then the sound of feet traipsing in and out of the room. Then silence. We heard nothing more. I was too wound up to sleep the rest of the night.
photo by D. Bowden - Zion National Park

Alone Looking at the Mountain
by Li Po

All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.

Monday, October 31, 2005

photos by D. Bowden
My daughter's cat, Doggie
Loves to sleep, to eat tuna from a can, to be petted,
and to bask in sunbeams.

She is a very lazy, FAT cat.
She is also very sweet.

Friday, October 28, 2005

(A Work in Progress)
By D. Bowden
Photo by: D. Bowden

As she walked up the wooden steps of the renovated Victorian mansion, she straightened the belt of her light blue jacket, smoothed her mousy-brown hair then hesitantly turned the brass doorknob. A wealthy family had once owned the house for several generations, but the last surviving heir hadn’t wanted the old place and sold the property to developers who transformed the three-story dwelling into an office building. It was now home to an insurance agent, a couple of attorneys-at-law, an accountant on the upper floors, and an M.D. and a psychiatrist on the first.

The door creaked as she pushed it open. Poking her head in first before going inside, she first noticed the large window with sliding glass panels on her right. She approached the counter where a silver name-plate displayed the name, Lukas Nussbaum, Ph.D.. “What am I doing here?” she muttered to herself. She wanted to turn around and run out the door. Carl would be furious with her. As far as he was concerned, people shouldn’t go around airing their problems to family and friends, much less total strangers. Just as she turned to make her escape, a spectacled woman behind the counter slid back the glass window and demanded: “Name?”
“Uh. . . Marney . . . I mean, Marilyn Ackerman. I have an eleven-thirty appointment with Dr. Nussbaum.” She glanced nervously over her shoulder as if someone might have overheard.
“Please have a seat. Doctor will see you shortly.” The gray-haired receptionist slid the window closed with a bang.

The waiting room was dreary. Sunshine forced itself between the slats of the wood Venetian blinds and left lines of light across the maroon leather chairs which were lined up in rows along the walls. On a mahogany coffee table in the center of the room lay old issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, TIME and Field & Stream. Choosing a Good Housekeeping magazine with a picture of Julia Roberts on the front, Marney settled into a chair in the far corner even though no one else was in the room. Pshhhhhh . . . went the chair as she sank into it. She no sooner had opened the magazine when an over-cheery petite woman in blue holding a manill folder opened the door and shouted “Marilyn Ackermann?” Laying the magazine on the chair next to hers, Marney picked up her purse and walked toward the woman who was smiling sympathetically.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Nature's paintbrush needs no words . . .
Arches NP Utah

Photo by D. Bowden