SYW: Graveyards, Scary Books, Black Cats, and Multiple Dimensions

Here it is, the end of the week, and I am only now getting around to participating in Melanie’s Share Your World!

Here are her Halloween-themed questions:’

Name something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark forest or in an abandoned building  (yeah it’s a retread.  But there are new participants to SYW too who probably never answered it)
Anyone with a gun, knife, or other weapon. On the other hand, I wouldn’t go into a dark forest or abandoned building by myself for fear of running into such a person.

Do you believe in multiple dimensions or worlds?
Yes. There are definitely other “worlds” (planets) outside our solar system – several have already been discovered. With the number of stars just in our galaxy alone, I think it is highly probable that life exists on many of these planets. As for multiple dimensions, some scientists are exploring the idea of multiple universes or life mimicking our own in some other dimension. Don’t we already have at least four dimensions? And I remember the rock band The 5th Dimension. That’s enough proof for me!

Would you ever go to a graveyard at night?
I don’t know why I would do that, although I do enjoy exploring graveyards & cemeteries in the daytime. There are so many stories of past lives to contemplate there.

Graveyard in France

What is the most frightening book you’ve ever read?
I tend not to read really scary books. I’ve seen a few very scary movies, but they only last a couple of hours while typically I take at least a week to read a book – and I like to read before I go to bed!! I once decided to join a Halloween book group which was reading Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I think I had read 20 pages or so and had to stop because it was too creepy and scary for me! I have never tried to participate in a scary book group again!

BONUS QUESTION (just for silliness’ sake!)

 If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf), which would you pick out of the five choices? No contest – a black cat. I love cats!

GRATITUDE SECTION (As always, optional)
What are you grateful for?  
My “tortie” cat, Hazel, who is mostly black!

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: 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)

CFFC: Orange

Cee has begun a series on colors for her Fun Foto Challenge, and this week the topic is orange.

When I think of orange flowers, marigolds, lilies, and zinnias come to mind.

There is also the fruit, as in this still life.

Another edible orange is the pumpkin.

And speaking of pumpkins, I’m reminded of Halloween.

Halloween takes place in autumn, and what can be more autumnal than trees bursting with color?

Beautiful sunsets almost always contain orange.

One year, I had my toenails painted orange! (Those are my toes on the left. My niece decided on black!)

Does this double couch look comfortable? I wonder how would people socialize with this back to back seating.

And there is always orange in art, in this case, glass art!

CFFC/CMMC: Oranges & Holes

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic of hole/whole. And for her newest challenge, Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge, the topic is orange.

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is a wonder of geological formations called “hoodoos.” These orangish sandstone shapes were carved over millions of years through water and wind erosion. Besides being orange, look carefully to see the holes!


Another beautiful national park in Utah is Arches National Park, named for the many arches carved by nature into the orange rocks. The first picture below is an iconic image, which many people have seen on calendars or posters. I had to use my telephoto lens to get a good shot of this beautiful arch, because without an arduous climb we could not get very close to it! The second photo is another of the park’s arches, which form a type of hole due to erosion, out of the whole rock!

Pumpkins, when they carved, become jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. At night you can see the light of the candle glowing through the holes!

Chihuly piece at Museum of Glass in Tacoma

Orange foliage with “holes” between the leaves!

I keep this (whole) water bottle next to my bed.

It has a hole in the top where the straw goes in!

SYW: On Beer, Age, Dead Bodies & Halloween

Monday = Melanie’s Share Your World!

SYWHalloween2020

Here are the questions:

When was the last time you tried something new?  How did that go for you?
This would have to be before Covid.

Last year, our library book club read a book called The Lager Queen of Minnesota. It was about three generations of women in a family who get involved in brewing beer. I don’t like beer but I learned a lot about different kinds of beer from the book. On the day of the discussion, the moderator brought some of the types of beer featured in the book and I tried a couple. One of them was actually tolerable: it was an infusion, made with peach. I can’t remember its name and don’t recall ever seeing it again, so I kind of forgot about it. And I still have no interest in drinking beer.

Not the one I tried but something similar, I think

What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?
Donald Trump isn’t fit to be president. It’s not that he refuses to handle the job – he CAN’T handle the job. Psychologists (including his own niece) have declared him to be a pathological narcissist. I don’t know if this is the most sensible thing I ever heard from someone (many someones, actually) but it’s what’s on my mind lately.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I’m not sure how to answer this question. Perhaps if I had come from a society that didn’t have a calendar or keep track of time beyond day and night, I might think I was really old because in such societies life tends to be harder and people die earlier. However, in terms of my mind, although my body is aging, I still feel that I am the same person I was at 25.
No, cancel that – my mind has deteriorated to some extent as I’ve aged. So if I had to guess how old I was (because I was isolated and didn’t keep track), I’d probably pick some age close to my own, mid-60s.

Lastly, I’ll be doing one “Halloween” themed question per week during October.  Those who don’t observe the holiday are welcome to answer or to ignore it as they wish.

Fun  CREEPY Halloween Question:

Have you ever seen a ‘fresh’ corpse (aka dead body)?
Not in person, no. Just on TV or in movies. And I tend to cringe and hide my eyes behind my hand when I see something gory. But the ones in the morgue are easier to look at. I have seen dead people at open casket funerals, which I don’t like at all. I would normally choose not to look at the body, but in the case of my sister I had no choice – I was seated in the front row. My brother-in-law was so distraught that he let the funeral home director make all the decisions. I feel sure he would not have chosen open casket if he’d thought about it. It’s not what my sister would have wanted either.

I’m grateful that I have never seen a freshly dead body.

GRATITUDE SECTION (always optional)

Do you enjoy any seasonal traditions around this time of year?
Not anymore – when my son was young, I would take him trick-or-treating and I’d put up some lame decorations on the door. I had a cool witch figurine that made spooky sounds, but one year I put it outside to entertain the kids on Halloween and it got stolen. Another thing I did with my son is make jack-o-lanterns. The problem was that the squirrels would attack them – what’s the point of making jack-o-lanterns if you can’t leave them outside?

However, the one time of year I really miss teaching is at this time of year. The kids got so excited about Halloween. I’d dress up as a witch and we’d have a class picture taken dressed up in our costumes. There would be a parade around the school. I had a lot of fun, Halloween-themed educational activities that I did with students. Since I was a bilingual teacher and my students were mostly from Mexico (or their parents were) we would always celebrate Day of the Dead. We did some really cool projects and shared them with the whole school.

CFFC: White Is…

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues with her color series and this week is WHITE.

Snow white
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Flowery white
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Bridal white (two weddings)
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Swan white
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Architectural white (two styles in Amsterdam)
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Somber white (American Cemetery, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France)
DSC00451Leisure white
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Lawn ornament white
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Prickly white
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Styrofoam white
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