The Past, Squared: Oct. 20, 2016

I picked an October 20 from my blog archives. I am featuring them here for Becky’s Past Squares (or SquarePast?) today. The photos below are from two posts on Oct. 20, 2016.

For Thursday Doors that week, I posted doors of houses in Des Plaines. I have selected the ones that are most seasonal.

I like the contrasting blue & orange in this photo.

The other post I did that day was for Cee’s weekly Fun Foto Challenge. Her topic was vibrant colors. This is, coincidentally, the topic of Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week. These photos were taken on a trip to Texas, where we visited the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Dale’s silhouette in front of a neon Texas flag!
Pink Electric Chair (2006)

SYW: Hauntings, Accidents, Cold Weather Comforts

Here are some new questions for the season from Melanie’s Share Your World.

Are you easily frightened or startled?
Yes, sort of. I am startled when my husband sneaks up on me – he walks as softly ass a cat! Sudden loud noises like thunder really close by also scare me. For some reason, spiders and other arachnids don’t scare me at all. I let them crawl around my house and catch insects, but I draw the line at my personal space! (No spiders in my bed please!)

(Purely whimsical supposition.  Suspend disbelief for a bit)
If you were a ghost, what location do you think you would haunt? Is it the same or different from the location you’d want
 to haunt? Wherever DJT happens to be – I’d follow him around the country to all his rallies! I would never leave him in peace until he dies.

What do you see in your mind’s eye when you close your eyes?  (I know somebody will answer ‘the inside of my eyelids”, so I took the temptation away by answering that first!    Feel free to use that answer if you like though, or pass. It’s ALL good!) I usually see undulating patterns, or the light in the vicinity that I just saw with open eyes. The patterns are sometimes really cool.

If a Semi (Big Rig in Americanese) (lorry or trolley over the pond) were about to smash into a crowd, and you could divert the vehicle’s course to hit only one person, would you?  How would you decide who would become the victim? See my answer above about whom I would haunt. In real life, I don’t wish death on anybody, but sometimes I do wish certain people would die – soon – of natural causes!


GRATITUDE SECTION

Please feel free to share what makes you feel warm and cozy when the wind blows cold? Alternatively (for those on the other side of the world), what makes you feel relaxed and comfortable when the thermometer starts rising?

Fuzzy slippers, hot chocolate and warm popcorn, my cat’s warmth.

It hasn’t gotten very cold yet, although some nights have been in the 40s. The temperatures these last few days are about 10 degrees F above normal. That is something I’m grateful for: sunny, warm (not hot) days that last well into autumn.

If: It’s Hypothetical (SoCS)

If is a preposition at the beginning of a clause supposing something. In many European languages, “if” requires a verb in the subjunctive tense, because it is speculation about something that hasn’t happened (yet) or an alternative or hypothetical scenario. In English, the subjunctive would be thus: If I were...

But nowadays, most people say “If I was” so the subjunctive is falling into disuse. But it is very much alive in the Romance or Latin languages as well as many others. Learning what comes after “if” in Spanish means I have to think of how to conjugate the verb that follows. After a while, it becomes a habit: “Si quisieras” (if you want…) sounds right and I feel proud of myself for remembering to use the subjunctive! I was brought up in a highly literate family, my parents requiring us to speak properly – we would get corrected if, for example, we said “Me and Joe are going to the concert.” Commonplace nowadays, but not right. It sounds sloppy, ignorant. An “if” clause, however, would perhaps not sound so dissonant, because it has become acceptable not to use “were” as a subjunctive verb.

Also, most verbs in English don’t have a different form for an if clause: “If I wanted” is the same form of “want” as would be used for past tense in any context. I would wager that most people who read this may not even know what I am talking about! (Subjunctive? What is that?) If you study French, or Portuguese, or Italian, for more than one college semester, you will definitely have to learn it!

“If I were hoping to go on a cruise” is actually correct, but often now you will utter “If I was hoping to go on a cruise.” It still sounds dissonant to me, but it doesn’t bother me because I don’t use the subjunctive as often as I used to. Sometimes I forget all about it. I guess English speakers think IF is enough to signal a hypothetical event. Eventually it will be so rare that saying “if I were” will sound strange.

As for going on a cruise…I’m ready to go! No ifs, ands or buts about it!

(My attempt at stream of conscience writing this week for the SoCS challenge.)


PastSquares & CFFC: Lines

These photos are from past challenges (mostly photos I DIDN’T use), squares and others, for Becky’s October Squares and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – straight lines.

Somewhere in Germany – for past Monday Windows challenge
Leaning against the back wall of our house – for Still Life
Sunlight reflected through a window – for past Lens Artists’ challenge – lines
Centuries old graves in Oude Kerk, Amsterdam – for past ‘lines’ challenge
Dude on his houseboat on a hot day in June (Amsterdam) – for past ‘Just One Person’ challenge
Pegasus Bridge, Normandy, France – for Cee’s bridge challenge

Caen, France – at William the Conqueror’s castle – for past Thursday Doors challenge

SYW: Games, Scary Movies, Nature, etc.

Melanie’s back with a new set of Share Your World questions today!

QUESTIONS

(Two ‘seasonal’ and two plain today)

What is the scariest game (board or on-line) you ever may have played?
I have never played a “scary” board/on-line game. I have never heard of a scary game, but I’m not a big “gamer” in terms of online/video games. Perhaps when I was a child, I may have gotten scared by some game like Hide and Seek if I felt left alone and couldn’t find anyone. I don’t remember, so it probably didn’t happen. I have played games that are thrilling and exciting, but not scary.

What’s just ‘over the rainbow” for you?
Traveling – we finally got our new passports!

Passports – Cleveland Public Library

mDo you have to watch something upbeat after watching a suspense or horror movie so you can go to sleep?
I don’t normally watch those kinds of movies. I have a few that I like in that genre, but no, I wouldn’t watch them late at night! I went alone to Silence of the Lambs at a local theatre many years ago. It was dark out when I left the theater, and I started to walk home, only about 2 blocks away. Once I left the downtown area and started down a street that was not well lit, I saw a man coming toward me, on the other side of the street! He didn’t make any threatening gesture and I couldn’t even see what he looked like, but I started running and didn’t stop until I got inside my apartment building! Never again!

The Silence of the Lambs - Where to Watch and Stream - TV Guide

Is there intent behind every action?
EVERY action? No, I don’t think so. I often do things without thinking, although I don’t think that is a good thing to do in general. I usually don’t even remember most of the “actions” I have taken during any particular day.

GRATITUDE SECTION  (as always, optional)

Feel free to share some gratitude with folks today!   Thanks!  
Although it’s probably got some connection to climate change, I am grateful for the warm, summerlike weather we have had the last week.

I am also grateful for nature. Yesterday, I was sitting on our screened porch and noticed a bird at the foot of a tree. It looked bigger than most birds I see around here, but maybe it was a pigeon. But then it flew up on a low branch on a tree and I saw that it was a hawk! And it was trying to catch a squirrel! I watched the drama of predator and prey play out for at least five minutes. The hawk was unsuccessful, though – the squirrel escaped every time the hawk tried to grab him. Lots of flapping of wings and scurrying up the tree and onto higher branches. I think the hawk was young, probably born this year and now out fending for himself, but apparently he has much to learn about swooping down and grabbing his prey before it can get away. Each and every time, the squirrel outwitted the hawk. I sat there, watching the scene and in the back of my mind, I was wishing I’d had my camera right then – I could have gotten some great shots! But I was content just to witness the scene. There are dramas unfolding every day in the natural world!

I have a new phone, and it takes sharper photos than my previous one. Here are a couple of photos taken at one of the ponds of the heron who comes here every day.
 

SYW: Life Challenges, ADHD, Alone Time, & Getting Into Heaven

Melanie has some interesting questions for this week’s Share Your World.

QUESTIONS

(Some just ‘off the cuff’ ones today)

How do you feel about sharing your computer or phone password with your partner?
I think it would be confusing having to switch back and forth, and also, my husband has visited web sites that I don’t want to have anything to do with. This kind of browsing leads to a lot of spam in his email accounts, and some of it really offensive to me. He is not doing this so much now, but sharing would also mean that I would sometimes want to use the computer when he is using it. I have a lot of projects, artwork, and writings on my computer that I want to have exclusive access to.

As for passwords, we do share those sometimes, or make slight alterations when we use the other’s passwords.

What is the greatest struggle you’ve overcome? (This isn’t meant to be invasive, just use general terms if you’d like.  Or if not, feel free to pass on the question.  That’s allowed too).
Living with ADHD – a lifelong struggle. BUT…My life has been pretty good and happy; the main struggles I had were in adulthood – parenting and teaching. I was smart enough to get through my school years by figuring out my own coping strategies; I had no idea that I had any sort of disability. But in adulthood, I realized there was something not normal about me compared to other people and eventually was diagnosed with ADHD. Parenting was a challenge: I had (have had – it’s still ongoing although it’s better now) a lot of problems with my son’s mental illness, which affected his education and his adult life and my inconsistency and difficulty in coping with his problems while living with ADHD (both mine and his). Teaching because it was much more challenging than I thought it would be. I was well into middle age when I got my teaching degree. When I was finally diagnosed with ADHD, it explained a lot of my struggles but didn’t really make them any better, except that I stopped being so hard on myself. Teaching with ADHD is a huge challenge – having ADHD affected my memory (especially short-term memory), my ability to be consistent, my penchant for losing (misplacing) things I really need at the moment I need them, maintaining order in my classroom, etc. A lot of colleagues would throw out a casual comment that they ‘must have ADD’ because they kept misplacing things – they had no idea what actually living with it was like every day.

If heaven is real and you died tomorrow, do you think you would get in?  Why or why not?  (this is purely speculation, no bias if you don’t believe)
Yes, I’m pretty sure I would get into heaven (although I don’t believe in it as a physical place where one goes after death), because in spite of the things I have done wrong, maliciously or not, I am basically a caring and compassionate person. That said, to me the idea of ‘heaven’ is what remains in the memories of those who survive me. Do they remember me with fondness or animosity? I am pretty sure that my father went to ‘heaven’ because no one ever says a bad word about him. He was an exceptional man, a compassionate person, and a great dad. And conversely, those who go to ‘hell’ are those truly evil individuals that people and history have judged harshly – Hitler and Stalin come to mind.

Kingdom Of Heaven Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

What makes you feel like you really need to be alone?
When I need to get things done that no one can or should help me with. For example, if I am working on a photo book of our trip to France, I need to have a large block of time undisturbed. Sometimes I get so busy with activities and other commitments like volunteer work, exercising, or housework, that the days fly by and I never have the time I crave to work on my computer projects (blog, photo books, writing, transcribing letters, working on photos, etc.) or to finish a book I don’t seem able to make progress on.


GRATITUDE SECTION  (as always, optional)

Do you have any traditions around this time of year? 
Not anymore. I used to always stay home on Halloween to greet the little goblins and superheroes that came trick-or-treating, and to give out treats equally to all. I sometimes would put on my witchy costume and get into character. I didn’t like to be out on Halloween because sometimes older kids would vandalize houses where no one was home, or steal Halloween decorations from my front porch. Now that I live in a senior community, there are no trick-or-treaters, although the last couple of years we spent in our house before moving here, the trick-or-treaters had really diminished in number. Sign of the times, I guess.

Since I am retired, I don’t get into the spirit of Halloween anymore, because I’m not seeing the excited faces of the children in my classroom and I no longer participate in the fun activities we used to have at school with the kids. In fact, Halloween and Day of the Dead are the only time of year that I miss teaching.

A game at a Halloween party in a 2nd grade classroom (2010)