Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wonders N Wishes

There are so many wonderful things about Wednesday!
My short list:
  • It is Hump Day! That wonderful middle of the week, half way to the weekend, let's celebrate making it over life's hump day!
  • It is Wordless Wednesday! Whether you celebrate by seeking quiet solitude or by sharing image only posts, there's a sense of wonder in the wordless approach. Click here for my contributions to the sound of silence.
  • It is 'not so' Wordless Wednesday over at Curious as a Cathy. Absolutely perfect for the chatter box in me. Of course I will be sharing this post there. :D
  • It is Wish Day! That is right, the day designated by Claudya @ Unknown Mami's as the day to put a voice to our wishes. You will find my wish below. 
  • It is Wonders N Wishes Day! The day I am designating to share a 'Wonder' as well as a wish.
 


This week's wonder

Today's recipient of the AC Wonder Award has been chosen by my 12 year old granddaughter, and I totally agree with her. Our Wonder this week is the musical duo Black Violin. They were chosen not because of their very gifted musical abilities, nor because of the awesome way they are blending classical and hip hop music. They were chosen because of the message they share. A message meant to encourage and empower all to find what connects us rather than focus on our differences.
A big shout out to these two dedicated musicians.





Today I'm calling on the universe to grant the following wishes.

- It would be so awesome dear universe if you could see to it that we find a medicine that works for my Cataplexy. So far all the medications my doctor has prescribed either has not worked at all or has had such horrible side effects I have been unable to take it.

- I could also use a bit of help staying awake while I attempt to figure out the ins and outs of Disqus. LOL

- My last wish kind universe is that you watch over all my great readers.

As Claudya at Unknown Mami's says go ahead and wish, be it simple or big, when we give a voice to our wishes it helps us realize those wishes. So what are you wishing for? I would love to know, just put your wish in the comment section and I will gladly lend my wishing powers to your wish. Please join me in visiting Unknown Mami's Wish Wednesday so that we can lend our wishing powers to her and those she is wishing for.


Have A Great Second Half of the Week!

Monday, August 29, 2016

When Illness Strikes

When a friend or family has the flu, breaks a bone or experiences an illness that is treatable we generally have some idea how to offer support. Be it with a good ol' batch of homemade chicken soup or offering to take on some chore that they need done, being there for them is relatively easy. But when their illness is difficult to treat and possibly life threatening such as cancer, it is often difficult to know what to do or say. 

On Facebook I have seen so many posts that are meant to be in support of cancer patients and their families that to me seem more written to shame people into copying and sharing them. This inspired me to create a more supportive meme. First drawing from my personal experience dealing with friends and family with devastating illnesses I wrote a poem. Then I created a composite art print to express those feelings. 

Available in print and greeting card format here.

After creating this I shared it to Facebook with the following message:
"We may be strangers or maybe neighbors, perhaps we're family or just friends it really doesn't matter for we share a deep connection. A connection we wish did not exist but sadly binds us together. A connection of knowing the sorrow, pain and fear of watching a loved one battle cancer. While there may be little that we can physically do, we can offer our support, understanding and prayers.
I created this image and poem in support of all those who have helplessly watched as a loved one battled cancer although I can see how it applies to other devastating illnesses as well. I did this because I have seen so many posts that are meant to be in support of cancer patients and their families that to me seem more written to shame people into copying and sharing them. So please if you want to share this post or copy and paste it in your status go right ahead, or if you just want to share the image that is perfectly fine.  I would like to dedicate this to not only my family and friends who have been through such heartache but also to all who have experienced it as well. I am adding the names of my loved ones who have suffered the ravages of cancer and invite you to add your loved ones names as well, and suggest that we all click like on the names to offer our support or prayers to the individual and their loved ones. However strange this may sound we share the bond of sorrow."

My late husband suffered a chronic illness that eventually cut his life short and to me one of the most supportive acts of friends and family was their willingness not only to acknowledge our pain but to offer a distraction. Have you gone through such an illness with your family or friends? What did you find most supportive?

SIMC: A Legacy of Preserving the Prairie

Arrowhead Park


Arrowhead Park sits on the eastern edge of Sioux Falls, in what once was the rough quarry town of East Sioux Falls. The quarry of East Sioux Falls supplied the rich beautiful red Quartzite stone that graces many buildings in down town Sioux Falls, including the Old Courthouse Museum. 


In 1982 Dale and Dorothy Weir purchased the land, where they built a summer home and added access roads, but they had much greater plans for the land.


An extraordinary couple with a strong commitment to furthering the well-being of their community, they did not want to develop the land, but rather to preserve the natural prairie habitat including the three quarry ponds for future generations.  One of their first steps was the installation of aerators to keep the quarry water ice free so that the wide variety of wildlife that lived on the land would have access to the water year round.


The city of Sioux falls was growing steadily and it would not be long before the area would be swallowed by the city. By purchasing the quarry land they could maintain and preserve the native trees, shrubs, grasses and ensure the populations of the fish and waterfowl on the 131 acre prairie land as well as preserve the quarry ponds. 



Included in the  purchase of the land was the 1888 Quarry barn. It is believed that the barn was designed by the famous architect Wallace Dow.


The Weir's who were getting older and had no children to carry on their plan for the land donated it to the City of Sioux falls in 1999 to be used as a nature park. It was named Arrowhead Park because when viewed from the air one of the quarry ponds is the shape of an arrowhead. A short four years later Dorothy Weir passed on and was followed by Dale Weir in 2010. The two left behind this beautiful legacy and will forever be remembered for their support and generosity to the community of Sioux Falls, SD.

Thank you for visiting me here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
This is my contribution to 'Sunday In My City'. 
To find out what is going on in different cities around the world hop over to

Friday, August 26, 2016

The AC Menagerie Bulletin

Welcome to the August 26th addition of

 The AC Menagerie Bulletin

The AC Menagerie Bulletin is a weekly digital newspaper highlighting brief accounts of the week's happenings around the Zoo (our home) and on blogs by myself (Nita Davis). Sit back, relax and enjoy while you catch up with the Davis family.

Zoo News 
Our little zoo was blessed overnight with not just one but two additional fun animals. A wily little fox, who just happens to be the best friend of our miniature Giraffe, and Chewy the best friend of our little squirrel.
 



Celebration News 
Yesterday was my oldest brothers Birthday. He lives too far away for me to celebrate with him but that didn't stop me from wishing him a Happy Birthday with a silly e-card.



Sports News
We headed over to Scheels to check out some sporting equipment, and I wound up with some fun photos instead. Sissy is terrified of heights so the entire time we were inside Scheels she just kept saying 'No, No, No'. Bubba not to be left out has decided he doesn't like heights either. They both refused to take the escalator to the second floor and nervously climbed the staircase. I decided to take pity on them so we took the elevator down. As you can see from their expressions neither care too much for elevators either. I do believe it is safe to say neither will be taking up skydiving or a billion other sports that make use of varying degrees of altitude.


 

Comics 
Skippy shared this comic on my Facebook page with a comment asking if this was how my species came to be. I don't know but that may explain why my mother loves elephants. LOL


 



The Blog Review

On Artistic Composition this week:

- SIMC: Summer Rewind: This week's Sunday In My City focused on my oldest granddaughters softball game, with photos taken at the beginning of summer.

- Motivational Self Portrait: A combination of poetry and photography.

- Wonders N Wishes: This weeks Wonder Award was given to a 9 year old boy from whom we could all take a lesson from.


 On Nita's Photography this week:

- Happy: A bit of street photography capturing the joy of a young boy during a parade.

- European Hornet: An up close view of a rather mean insect.

- WW: Protesting School: With school starting in just under two weeks I thought a fun anti-school cat photo would be a great wordless Wednesday photo.

- The Challenge: Self Portrait: This is the first of 30 photography challenges that I will be taking part in over the next month.

Back to School Portraits: A few fun portraits of two of my grandchildren.

- Do You See What I See?: This weeks Weekend Reflection and Sky watch photos highlight seeing what another person sees.



Have a Fabulous Weekend!
Linking up with Willy Nilly Friday

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wonders N Wishes

There are so many wonderful things about Wednesday!
My short list:
  • It is Hump Day! That wonderful middle of the week, half way to the weekend, let's celebrate making it over life's hump day!
  • It is Wordless Wednesday! Whether you celebrate by seeking quiet solitude or by sharing image only posts, there's a sense of wonder in the wordless approach. Click here for my contributions to the sound of silence.
  • It is 'not so' Wordless Wednesday over at Curious as a Cathy. Absolutely perfect for the chatter box in me. Of course I will be sharing this post there. :D
  • It is Wish Day! That is right, the day designated by Claudya @ Unknown Mami's as the day to put a voice to our wishes. You will find my wish below. 
  • It is Wonders N Wishes Day! The day I am designating to share a 'Wonder' as well as a wish.
 


This week's wonder
9 year old delivers 363 pizza's to Lafayette, LA flood victims. (Source)

This week the AC Wonder Award goes to a young man in Louisiana by the name of Carson Boutte. For his 9th birthday young Carson asked his parents if he could buy pizza to give to local flood victims so they wouldn't have to worry about what to eat while they were busy trying to clean up. He started out with $100 dollars for pizza, but after his mom posted about what he wanted to do for his birthday on social media donations poured in. A local Domino Pizza restaurant offered to not only give him a special rate but also matched the first 100 pizza's.  Now I can't speak for those who were on the receiving end of those pizza's but I know if it were me, I would be extremely touched by this gesture of kindness.

Thank you Carson for being so amazing!

Now for a few wishes.


Today I'm calling on the universe to grant the following wishes.

- I wish I could remember what I wanted to wish for. I knew I should have written it down. LOL

- I do have one off the cuff wish though. I wish summer wasn't almost over.

- I know the Universe doesn't follow the rules in the 'How to be a Jeanie' handbook but I figure if I am going to wish I may as well wish in three's. So my third and final wish today is that you find joy and laughter to fill your day.

As Claudya at Unknown Mami's says go ahead and wish, be it simple or big, when we give a voice to our wishes it helps us realize those wishes. So what are you wishing for? I would love to know, just put your wish in the comment section and I will gladly lend my wishing powers to your wish. Please join me in visiting Unknown Mami's Wish Wednesday so that we can lend our wishing powers to her and those she is wishing for.



Monday, August 22, 2016

Motivational Self Portrait

When I took this photo I was drawn not to the pretty shiny car or even to the many reflections. Instead I was drawn to the message on the license plate, a message that resonates with me. Life is oh so short, and yet we put off so many dreams.


It occurred to me that this would be a motivational self portrait so I positioned myself to cast my shadow over the license plate. Reflecting on this self portrait I decided to try my hand at a Haiku to add to the photo. While I am fond of writing poetry I have never tried to write a Haiku so I hope I have done it justice. The title for my Haiku is 'Y Wait'.


I would love to hear what you think of my shadow self portrait and my Haiku. Good or bad, feedback and critique help me to improve.

Linking up with Shadow Shot Sunday.
and Haiku My Heart.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

SIMC: Summer Rewind

Do you ever wish you could just rewind to the beginning of summer? I know I do. Summer is almost over and there was so much more I wanted to do. At least in photos it can be eternally summer. Here are a few from one of My oldest granddaughters softball games at the very beginning of summer.  As with most cities ours has many different sporting leagues. Baseball, softball, soccer, bowling and I think there is even a volleyball league.



She made it to base, albeit via a walk.

Thank you for visiting me here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
This is my contribution to 'Sunday In My City'. 
To find out what is going on in different cities around the world hop over to

Friday, August 19, 2016

The AC Menagerie Bulletin

Welcome to the August 19th addition of

 The AC Menagerie Bulletin

The AC Menagerie Bulletin is a weekly digital newspaper highlighting brief accounts of the week's happenings around the Zoo (our home) and on blogs by myself (Nita Davis). Sit back, relax and enjoy while you catch up with the Davis family.

Culinary News 
Lexi and I love our spicy food, however her kids and Skippy (my youngest daughter) are doing good to handle store bought mild salsa. Needless to say I seldom make really spicy food. But I was craving my Papi's Mango Salsa, so this week I whipped up a batch. I also made a (virgin) Mango Pico de Gallo for the wimps. 

Fresh chips, Mango Salsa & Mango Pico de Gallo

Papi's Mango Salsa


Mango Pico De Gallo (virgin)

1 large tomato (chopped)
1 ripe mango (chopped)
1 small onion (diced)
2 tbs chopped Cilantro leaves 
1 tbs Sherry
1/4 tsp cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and chill 1 hour before serving. If you want a bit of spice to the Pico De Gallo just finely chop your favorite pepper and add it to the mixture.

As you can see by the photo I like to put the two together for a nice spicy chunky treat. When I realized I had eaten all the fresh tortilla chips without taking a photo I quickly fried a few more for this photo. I discovered we were out of napkins and paper towels, thus the shine to the chips in the photo is because they were pretty greasy. Oh, but were they ever yummy! 


Social News 
My poor friend Maria had been working 50+ hours per week until last week. As you can imagine she working so much she had no time or energy to socialize. Now that her schedule has eased up we got together for a fun afternoon of chatter, laughter and people watching at the mall. 



Educational News 
I have often been called a lifetime student because I am always taking classes or doing research to continue learning. In my search for continuing education I came across an educational website for photographers. The classes and books are fairly reasonably priced and even better is the fact that it also has some free things. I signed up for the site and received my first news letter which had a 30 day photo challenge. Each day's challenge has a different topic, and while some of the challenges are things I am very familiar others I haven't had much practice in. The first day was Self portraiture. This is one that I really haven't done much of. Sure I've done my fair share of Selfies, but that is completely different. This photo was my first attempt and although I do like the shot the focus isn't really correct for a portrait, so I decided to extend the first day challenge until I get it right.



Sport & Health News
With such a busy week last week I have been taking it easy this week. So no Olympic activity. The grandkids and I did go on a few walks. I even coerced them into letting me do a mini portrait session. They use to love having their portrait taken but anymore it is like pulling teeth just to take any pictures of them.



Fashion News
If you are a regular here at AC, you may notice that Lexi and I are sporting much shorter hair than usual. Trust me it isn't entirely by choice. We both have very curly hair but prefer to wear it straight. I straighten mine at least once a week and Lexi straightens hers every day. Now we have done this for at least seven years. We have also been coloring our hair for about the same amount of time. Well, this year we decided to get more creative and put some very bright color in our hair. This required bleaching first. Never, Never, Never again! The damage to Lexi's hair was the worst, probably because she straightens her hair every day. Her once almost waist length hair is now barely shoulder length. It won't hold any color and just keeps breaking off. To slow down the breakage, she is only straightening it once a week and has been putting special conditioners in it. Mine isn't near as bad but there are sections that will not hold color and the ends were starting to break off so I cut mine shorter before the damage traveled further up the shafts. Do you color your hair? Have you ever had damage like this? 

A fun look at our style


Comics 



The Blog Review
The air show dominated both blogs this week.

On Artistic Composition this week:

-SIMC: Sioux Falls Air Show Part I: This week's Sunday In My City focused on the Sioux Falls Air Show held on the Air Guard Base in Sioux Falls, SD.

- Air Show Part II: Random photographs from the air show.

- Wonders N Wishes: This week's Wonder Award went to a local young man who with the help of his mother started the non profit organization Project Donnie. If you haven't heard of this organization please hop over to the post and learn what an amazing young man this is.


 On Nita's Photography this week:

- The Bomber: A close up look at a bomber.

- Dancing With The Hawkeye: Have you heard of the E2-C Hawkeye? If not you really should go check this out and learn why I think it is the most important plane in our military.

- WW: Push The Button: My wordless Wednesday photo is of a sight I found amusing at the airshow.

- Bowen N Esten: Concert photos of Clare Bowen and Chip Esten, two singers from the TV show Naskville.

- Quiet Beauty: For this weeks 'Weekend Reflection' and 'Sky Watch Friday' I shared photos of two places that are usually very busy but I caught them when they were very quiet.


Have A Fantastic Weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wonders N Wishes

There are so many wonderful things about Wednesday!
My short list:
  • It is Hump Day! That wonderful middle of the week, half way to the weekend, let's celebrate making it over life's hump day!
  • It is Wordless Wednesday! Whether you celebrate by seeking quiet solitude or by sharing image only posts, there's a sense of wonder in the wordless approach. Click here for my contributions to the sound of silence.
  • It is 'not so' Wordless Wednesday over at Curious as a Cathy. Absolutely perfect for the chatter box in me. Of course I will be sharing this post there. :D
  • It is Wish Day! That is right, the day designated by Claudya @ Unknown Mami's as the day to put a voice to our wishes. You will find my wish below. 
  • It is Wonders N Wishes Day! The day I am designating to share a 'Wonder' as well as a wish.
 


This week's Wonder


Donnie w/Project Donnie delivers about 30 pairs of boys pants to Children's Inn (Source)


This week the AC Wonder Award goes to a South Dakota local young man by the name of Donnie. In 2011 at the age of 8 years old Donnie, while watching a segment of CBS Sunday Morning about a man who started an organization to help people in his hometown, suggested to his mom that they should do that too. His mom agreed and they started Project Donnie

Project Donnie partners with Kids Against Hunger to package 3,240 meals. (Source)
In addition to independent fundraisers Project Donnie also partners with local business owners and other non-profit organizations to help people in our community who are struggling. Unlike many organizations that provide help in just your basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter, Project Donnie strives to help with other needs as well, such as home & car maintenance and tutoring for children just to name a few. Last year when a local school's playground was destroyed by a fire Donnie raised $190 to help rebuild the playground by selling "I made a difference with Project Donnie" wrist bands. 2015 also saw the expansion of Project Donnie by opening Donnie's Closet which takes in donations of sporting shoes and equipment then disperses them to children in need. Just yesterday Project Donnie announced it's newest project, which is collecting donations of new or gently worn Halloween costumes to deliver to needy children on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations here in South Dakota.
Because this young man didn't just see a need, but saw a way to help fill that need and suggested it to his mother I believe he has earned not only this award but our respect and admiration as well. Click Here to show your support of this amazing young man by liking Project Donnie's Facebook page, or Click Here to like Donnie's Closet's Facebook page.


Now on to wishing

Today I'm calling on the universe to grant the following wishes.

- This may sound like a strange wish but it is something that I really need to happen. I wish I would stop losing weight. You see I am not trying to loose weight and I don't need to loose. During my life time my I have been on both ends of the weight battle, and can honestly say either one is a frustrating battle. At one time I weighed over 200 pounds, which for my height and small bones was very overweight. The struggle to get back to a healthy weight took three years but I did it. Five years later I began loosing without trying, ending up at a very unhealthy 85 pounds. It took four years to get back to a healthy weight and I don't want that to happen again. Right now I am only five pounds under my ideal weight however just over a year ago I was 65 pounds over my ideal weight. I know it sounds crazy but the only thing that I have done purposely that I am sure contributes to this last year's weight loss is to stop drinking soda and start drinking a lot of water.  

- I wish there were more people like Donnie and his mom and less people so quick and willing to turn a blind eye to the needs of others.

- My last wish for this day is that all of you are healthy and have all your wishes come true!

As Claudya at Unknown Mami's says go ahead and wish, be it simple or big, when we give a voice to our wishes it helps us realize those wishes. So what are you wishing for? I would love to know, just put your wish in the comment section and I will gladly lend my wishing powers to your wish. Please join me in visiting Unknown Mami's Wish Wednesday so that we can lend our wishing powers to her and those she is wishing for.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Air Show Part II

Now for some random airshow photographs.













This wraps up my random airshow photos. Over the next week I will be sharing some more focused photos taken at the airshow on Nita's Photography.

Have a great week!

Monday, August 15, 2016

SIMC: Sioux Falls Air Show Part I

The Sioux Falls Air Show Part I

Last month Lexi, Bubba and I attended the air show on Sunday afternoon. Sadly we missed a lot of the fun performances but we still had a great time. I would suggest to anyone wanting to attend one to be sure and get their early so you don't miss anything.


The show was on the Air Guard Base so attendees had to park at various locations off base and were transported to the base via school buses. I had the pleasure of sharing a seat with this sweet young lady.


The first plane we saw as we got off the bus was the E-2C Hawkeye. For our family this was pretty special because we refer to this plan as "Kris' plane". For nine years Kris was an avionics electrician in the Navy and it was his responsibility to make sure the E-2C Hawkeyes in his unit were in top running order. We met up with him at the Hawkeye a little while after we got there, so I could take a few pictures of him with 'His' plane. Of course he was quick to point out that it wasn't one of his because it belonged to a different unit. :) Later this week on Nita's Photography I will be sharing some pretty cool photos of this plane.


The turn out was very impressive, some brought lawn chairs, some blankets while others opted for a nice patch of grass to sit and enjoy the show. Some just wandered the field looking at all the different planes and military equipment.



Others took tours of the various planes, yes that is a long line of people waiting to go inside the cargo bay of what I believe is a C-17 Globemaster III. I know these types of planes are BIG but knowing and then standing next to one of these giants are two different things. 


I did get some shots of birds in flight. However, since we had missed the more entertaining flight shows, I was more drawn to the people and the planes on the ground. 


As to be expected with an event hosted on a military base security was tight. One security measure that I found very smart was the plan they put in place for lost children. When we were getting off the bus we were directed to the Child Safety booth to register Bubba. At the booth he was given a wrist band with a number on it, the number was then recorded on a record ledger with his name, his mom's name and a phone number to contact his mom. He was told if he got separated from us to tell one of the many uniformed service members present. If that occurred he would then be taken back to the Child Safety booth and they would call us so that we could be reunited. I think that this is a good idea for any large event where children will be present.


In addition to the planes and military equipment there were a number of fun things especially for the kids.


Now back to the planes. It was very nice of this pilot to perform an inverted flight at just the right time so I could get this shot with the tip of the bright red bouncy house in the corner. 





I am going to let you in on my rather weird, mischievous side. When we were walking back to meet up with Kris at the E-2C Hawkeye and I saw the row of porta potty's all lined up at the *ss end of his plane I could not resist the shot. Who knows I am sure I can come up with some ornery tag line to add on this for his birthday card come November. Any suggestions?



I looked around but I couldn't find the Storm Troopers' aircraft.


As we were leaving I noticed that the Commissioning Committee for the USS South Dakota (SSN 790) had a booth with a model of the new nuclear submarine that is in the process of being built. I had to stop and chat a bit. I plan on doing a post about this sub when the Commissioning Committee announces the winners of the crest artwork competition. Yes, at Kris' request I entered the contest. I have my fingers crossed that I win. Not only would it be awesome to have bragging rights to a US Navy Crest design but I know it would mean a great deal to Kris.


Lexi had to be at work by 5pm so we wound up leaving just as the Blue Angels took to the air. It worked out as we could see them in the air all the way home. 
Over the next few days I will share more photos from the airshow, both here and on my photo blog.

I am a day late, but this is my contribution to 'Sunday In My City'. 
To find out what is going on around the world hop over to

Have a Great Week Everyone!