SYW: Shopping, Drawing, Questionable Music, & Awful Jobs

I really like the questions Melanie has presented in Share Your World this week! So here goes!

QUESTIONS

In your opinion, what do you buy way more of than most people? I asked my husband what he thinks I buy too much of, and he said “nothing.” And in truth, he has to convince me that it is OK to buy something I really want but I am reluctant because it’s expensive. I often want to buy some new clothes but I don’t really need them and I think it’s wasteful of resources to buy excessive amounts of anything. I should shop at resale shops!

Which workers have the worst jobs?
The jobs most Americans won’t do, but are much in demand, are often done by the lowest paid workers. They do the drudge jobs, including working in fields of large agricultural farms, bending over in the hot sun for long hours; cleaning toilets; factory work where there is dangerous machinery or an assembly line processing meat products (separating the organs and guts from the ‘good’ meat). These jobs are stressful, have long hours, and no job security. Here is an interesting article about the worst jobs in America: What are the worst jobs in America?

Opinion.  John Cage is a composer who composed a piece named 4’33” for any instrument. The performers are instructed not to play their instrument for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Is this music or is this art?  A combination of the two?   Neither, it’s stupid.  Your opinion?
I have seen this “performed.” I thought it was weird. In college I had some music nerd friends who really got into this avant-garde type of music. John Cage was a preferred composer among these people! But not for me!

How good are you at drawing? I am pretty good. I have been drawing all my life. I’ve only recently started learning how to paint. But drawing is still my forte. Here are some of my personal favorites, ranging from 1973 to 2022!

Which one do you think is the oldest? (Some of them are dated.)


GRATITUDE SECTION (as always optional)

Feel free to share one amazing thing you’ve experienced (any time frame).

Travel – each trip more amazing than the one before. I was amazed on my first safari, seeing wild animals roaming free, and no further than a few yards from us! They amazed me with their natural behavior and their antics – a mother cheetah playing with her cub, elephants playing in the water, lions and giraffes mating. There’s nothing that can compare with being among these creatures who share the earth with us.

Cheetah mom & cub, Ndutu-Serengeti, Tanzania

On the other hand, I was also amazed – gobsmacked! – by visiting the ancient Egyptian monuments and realizing that they have endured thousands of years! The famous pyramids and sphinx were created over 4,000 years ago and yet they still stand! And visiting tombs and monuments where I got to see beautiful artwork – carved on pillars and walls of monuments, sometimes with the paint still visible, and the beautiful, colorful artwork in the ancient tombs. I just find it so amazing that these things have endured for more than 3000 years and we can still visit them. The Ancient Egyptians did create these tombs and monuments to last for “millions and millions” of years, but thousands is already very impressive!

From the tomb of King Ramses VI, Valley of the Kings, Egypt. Photo credit: Mohammed Fathy.

CFFC: Metal: From Chicago to Europe

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge currently is about Earth elements and this week it is metal.

Decor at the Moorings
Artwork in a St. Charles park
Grate at the Chicago Art Institute
My son-in-law’s cymbals
This was taken in Chicago but I have no idea what it is! The abandoned water bottle adds a nice touch, though.
Gate, Schoenbrun Palace, Vienna
Fence, Vienna
Wine brewing tanks, Austria
Old engine? Regensberg, Germany, along the riverfront
Door lock, Marksburg Castle, Germany
Hanging pot, Marksburg Castle
Display at Overlord Museum, Omaha Beach, France
Beautiful window grate, near Musee d’Orsay, Paris
The iconic Eiffel Tower, Paris!

CFFC: Bridges to…Adventures

It’s been awhile since I have participated in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, but I am back in time to contribute to this week’s bridges!

Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA
Budapest, Hungary (over the Danube River)
Looking down from the top of the Melk Abbey, Austria
Regensberg, Germany
Cologne, Germany with its famous cathedral spires in the distance. On this bridge, many lovers had put…
thousands of love locks!
One of many canal bridges, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pegasus Bridge, Normandy, France

Bridge over the moat at Caen Castle, Normandy, France
Maisons-Alfort, suburb of Paris
Covered bridge in Madison County, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa

SquareOdds: Odd Cars (and Other Vehicles)

I haven’t had the time to use my computer much less blog! I’m involved in so many things, I guess. That is why I am grouping my “odds” in subjects so I can post several at once, for Becky’s February Squares: SquareOdds.

Unfortunately, I can’t find my photo of a car with eyelashes, or it would be in here! But have you ever seen a VW in a tree? Maybe someone in Bethlehem (Israel) put it there to be considered “art”!

Baby car hitches a ride on mama car in some small Iowa town – they’re ready to go! Pretty spiffy, though!

An abandoned van in the desert along Route 66 between San Bernardino and Kingman.

I just had to take a photo of this ironic bumper sticker. It’s one of the best I’ve seen! Also this car has an odd number of bumper stick-ons! I don’t know who this car belonged to, but it was parked in the parking lot behind a high school in Sedona, Arizona.

Now here are some real oddities: outer space cars?? You will find them in Baker, California!

Here’s a side view of the above, although I could not make it square. Galaxy Peace Patrol? Sort of ironic that it is “armed” with missiles!

This is a picture of my absent car – it left a snowy outline of its space, because the driveway was shoveled around it. It’s an odd picture – I don’t know why I took it!

SquareOdds: Odd Faces

I haven’t been on my blog much lately, so I’ve missed many days of Becky’s Square Odds this month, even though I love to participate! So, instead of just one oddity, here are several odd faces (including some faux faces)!

This carving is on the back of a chair at Oude Kerk (Old Church) in Amsterdam.
I found this guy looking around on Northwestern University campus, next to Lake Michigan.
How often do you see a dog with sunglasses, hanging out a car window?
A goat’s face on top of Little Goat restaurant in Chicago
Not a real face, but this orchid sure looks like it is hamming it up for the camera!
Unusual “face” on a building in Germany
With a gaping mouth, this “face” is on a rock face (pun intended!) in Arches National Park
A stressed face on a hot day in Vienna

SYW: Happy Valentine Birthday

It’s Valentine’s Day Monday, so Melanie’s Share Your World questions are all about this day of love.

Which traditional Valentine’s Day  gift would you rather receive: chocolates, flowers, or a card with a personal message?

Flowers with a card and chocolates!

Do you like romantic movies?
Yes, some of them. Actually, my husband is a lot more into rom-coms than I am. He watches the same ones over and over when given the opportunity!

Is Valentine’s Day only about romantic love? Or is it a good occasion to celebrate friendship as well?
It’s both. And actually it’s a day to have a birthday celebration too! (See below)

How do you deal with unwanted romantic attention?
Hahahaha! I wish!!

GRATITUDE SECTION (As always, optional)

Share one or two of your favorite memories of your special loved one if you’d like.
My husband, Dale, has his birthday on Valentine’s Day. Today he had a very special Valentine birthday! In the morning, he presented me with a very LARGE Happy Valentine’s Day bag. In it were two gifts for me for Valentine’s Day as well as a mushy card (he always gets those!). I had not even had the chance to wrap his birthday gift yet, but when I returned home from a book discussion group, he had gone to a doctor’s appointment, so I was able to get his gift ready. But he had a real surprise in store for him! First, he got several cards and phone calls wishing him happy birthday. The doorbell rang and it was one of our friends from our senior community delivering two beautiful cupcakes (they must have been from Mariano’s – this supermarket is known for its elaborately decorated desserts) along with a card from him and his wife! Dale was sheepish!

The cupcakes from Mariano’s!

We had an early dinner reservation because I had arranged for my brother-in-law’s barbershop quartet to come serenade him with a singing Valentine, and it was to be their last singing Valentine of the day! I had to make up an excuse to have dinner so early, so I told Dale I had to go to church for a rehearsal and he didn’t suspect anything. Before the quartet arrived, six of us were settled at our table set for seven. (The 7th was for my sister, who arrived late.) These were all friends or friendly acquaintances of ours, but especially friends of my sister’s. One of the women has a walker and on it she had brought a beautiful bouquet of roses for the table and a box of cookies to share with us, as well as a bottle of wine! So we had quite a celebration, even before my brother-in-law’s singing Valentine arrived! The guys presented him with a red rose (which he left on our table!! 😦 ) and sang three romantic songs, ending with Happy Birthday.

Oh, and I almost forgot – Dale got a call from our son during dinner to wish him happy birthday and they had a long conversation. This was very special because our son never remembers to call us on our birthdays. He has really turned over a new leaf!!

So we had a very memorable and fun celebration. And we still have the cupcakes to enjoy on another day!!

The quartet singing to Dale (who is on the far right of this photo). In the middle is Sally, the woman who brought the wine, cookies and flowers for the table. On the far left is my sister Mary.
The quartet poses with Dale, with the rose in his mouth! My brother-in-law Elmer is on the left, wearing a black mask.

Here is a barbershop quartet (not Elmer’s!) singing Let Me Call You Sweetheart, a standard for singing valentines.

CBWC: Plastics

The topic of Cee’s Black & White Challenge this week is plastic. So many things are made of plastic these days that one could probably find something plastic in almost any photo taken in human-made situations! Plastic takes up to 500 years to decompose and even then, it is reduced to microscopic pellets that enter the digestive systems of fish, birds, mammals, and eventually, humans. So here are some photos of plastic things, which eventually will be discarded, end up in a landfill somewhere or the ocean and…well, you know.

This is the top of a bottle with a hole for the straw that comes with it. The top without a hole was lost!
I am pretty sure that the dinosaurs on display at the Brookfield Zoo were (at least in part) made of plastic!
My niece turned 50 and this was put on her cake.

Alzheimer’s Awareness at The Moorings. The fitness instructor (she’s under the arch!) blew
up all these purple balloons herself! I’m pretty sure she had a machine.
A pinwheel turning in the wind.
A plastic container with rolls of licorice inside.

Please, when possible, RECYCLE (look for the numbers 1-5 in the recycling triangle symbol & check your community’s recycling program to find out which numbers they’ll take), REUSE whenever you can, and REDUCE the plastic items you buy or acquire (difficult to do, I know) – one way to do this is bring your own cloth or woven plastic reusable bags to the store when you shop so you don’t use the plastic bags supermarkets tend to put your groceries in.

Square Odds: Mushrooms Can Be Odd

Becky has a new month of squares in February – Square Odds, and this is my first chance to participate! I make up for the days I missed with multiple mushroom oddities! I have a large archive of mushroom photos – I am fascinated by them, although I don’t like to eat them!

These mushrooms look like a pair of ears!
They’re not just odd looking, there is an odd number (3) in this cluster!
Is there a hole in the middle of this shroom?
I captured several specimens like this in northern Wisconsin after a very rainy spring.