Pink Magnolia | A #LetsBlogOff Post

pink magnolia“Die when I may, I want it said of me that I plucked a weed and planted a flower where ever I thought a flower would grow.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Flowers have an amazing effect on people. Granted, that is their purpose: to attract.  Their plant depends on attracting birds, bees, and other insects to pollinate and continue the growth and survival of their species.

This particular flower I saw for the first time during a trip to The Huntington Library in March of 2008.  The entire tree was barren with the exception of a few magnolia-looking flowers.   I had no idea there was such a thing – the whole Chinese Garden is beautiful.

Even though it began to rain, I just stood there in awe.  I took a few snaps of this tree and its magnificent flower before we walked over to another exhibit.

This photo reminds me of a really fabulous day with my husband and stepson and it brings me peace.

Funny how flowers, and photos, can do that.

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This week’s topic — Flowers

As Per But Rather | A #LetsBlogOff Post

Grammar police  Fixing bad grammar, one street sign at a time.

Grammar police Fixing bad grammar, one street sign at a time.

Grammar is the grave of letters” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Now, I’m no “Grammar Girl,” but I have been known to correct a tweet or dozen in my day before retweeting.  Poor grammar does bother me, which correctly classifies it as a “pet peeve.”

There are the classic homophones (two, to, too + your, you’re + its, it’s) which are more frequently typos that are not caught during proofreading (you do proofread, right?), but I expect that these days.

No, there are two phrases that drive me batty:  “as per” and “but rather.” Why?  They are redundant. Continue reading

Smells of Childhood | A #LetsBlogOff Post

River Inn by Bridget Willard

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains…”

~ Diane Ackerman

This week’s Lets Blog Off topic asks about scent memory.  It’s a coincidence because a couple of us in the office were just talking about scent memory last week.

I mentioned the smell of cherry pipe tobacco.  That smell always reminds me of my Uncle Jon and brings back memories of tailgate breakfasts at Lovers Point Beach in my hometown of Pacific Grove, CA.

Then I saw the tweet this morning mentioning the smell of campfires:

Although I am very allergic to the smoke, the smell of campfires does bring back several fond memories of childhood camping in Big Sur, California.  When I smell a campfire it’s as if I can also smell (and hear) the coffee brewing and the bacon frying.  What a great memory.  That perfume of scent is mixed in with a hint of pine and the lingering fragrance of the sea air, not so far away.

If I didn’t think of the tents, random insects on the ground, and how hard it is to sleep on an air mattress, I’d pack up my things and head out this weekend.

Scent memory isn’t quite that strong.

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This week’s topic — What Smell Takes You Back?

Longing to Build | A #LetsBlogOff Post

“People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children.”  Bill Watterson

This week’s Lets Blog Off topic asks what the one thing that you really wanted or longed for as a child. The one thing that comes to mind in the form of a physical object is the Erector Set.

Now, the Erector Set is far from what was considered a “girl’s toy” back in my day and it didn’t mean that I didn’t love dolls, either.  I was 100% girl.  However, watching the commercials, I always thought it would be so awesome to build all that stuff that really moved or whatever.  Somehow Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys didn’t quite approximate the allure.

We were a bit on the poor side so that was way out of our budget and I didn’t ever get it; at the same time, this side of thirty, I don’t feel like I was cheated either.

What seems ironic is that I’ve been in the support services in the construction industry for the last eleven  years.  A subconscious choice? Perhaps. Fate?  I’m not so sure.   One thing I do know, is that building has always fascinated me and Ikea-put-it-together-at-home-furniture never saw me comin’.

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This week’s topic — What one thing did you really want when you were a kid?