Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm Bucky - Making My Debut on Pet Pride


I'm Bucky - Making My Debut on Pet Pride

Well, I couldn't be outdone by my sister, Taffy!  You met her last week so I figured it was high time I introduced myself.  After all, I'm a year older ( and wiser, I like to think ) and the male member of the doggie duo in our household and I share the same grandma, Carmen Henesy of Carmen's Chronicles.  I think Grandma Carmen loves me just as much as she loves Taffy though I take up more of the bed when I sleep with her and I am a bit heavier than Taffy.  I kind of like to play rings with her and wrestle a bit.  She always worries that I'll lose my teeth pulling on those rings but I am very strong and so are my teeth!  I scare her a bit when I race through the doggie doors like I'm running the Indy 500.  So far, I've never missed the opening and hit the wall - my eyesight is perfect!

I joined the household two months after my mom and dad, Laura and Alex, brought Taffy home from the same animal shelter, Yolo County.  They knew I'd be good company for Taffy and I could protect her when they were away at work.  Not that she can't look after herself.  Don't let that sweet little face fool you.  She can put you in your place when she feels like it!  She's a bit prissy, though.  When we got out for runs, she doesn't want to jump in the mud puddles like I do.
What's wrong with getting a bit dirty, I say!  Also, she's not one for playing with toys or running after balls.  At the dog park, she'll run after dogs, running after balls ( not in a mean way, or anything ) - she just doesn't get a kick retrieving balls.  Now me, I should be on a major league baseball team, I'm so good catching balls and bringing them back!

I do try to get Taffy to play and wrestle so she doesn't just sit around all the time looking regal and pretty.  She'll do it up to a point, then, geeze, I'll hear a little growl, and, all of a sudden I see those teeth, and I back off.  We never really fight, though.  Look at this picture of us at meal time, side by side, slurping up our food ( I have a bigger dish and more food because I'm bigger and
more active! ).

This is me giving my Uncle Shawn a real work out with the rings.  He can lift me all the way up off the floor and I won't let go. 

My dad, Alex, really loves me and Taffy
( and Laura, of course - their wedding is a week away, May 7 )
I wish they would let us go - Taffy wanted to be dog of honor and I wanted to be best dog!

My Poetry Book - Flash 55 Friday, April 30, 2010

My Poetry Book

I feel like Grandma Moses,
But, at least it’s now complete,
At 65, to get it done,
Feels like a major feat.

“Life’s Journey”, will be published,
Poetic works of mine,
You’ll see a little bit of me,
In every single line!

Never, never give up on your dreams,
No matter how impossible it seems!

Carmen Henesy
Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy

All rights reserved.

If you would like to tell a tale in exactly 55 words, post it and go and tell the G-Man

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"O" is for Opals - Alphabe Thursday, April 27, 2010

I am participating in Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday

I was born October 3, 1944 in Columbus, Georgia.  That makes me a Libra and my birthstone is the opal, one of the world's loveliest gemstones.  I wish I could say I had an entire collection of opals but, in reality, I possess one opal ring with a few Infinitesimal diamonds and a lovely crown pendant set in opals ( not very fiery ), again with a smattering of infiitesimal diamonds.  I have seen some incredible pieces of opal jewelry, during a visit to Australia in January of 1994 when I did a wonderful twelve day cruise from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand.  Australia produces over 90% of the world's opals  ( it is their national gemstone ) although some come from Virgin Valley in northern Nevada, Spencer, Idaho, the  Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Ethiopia.  According to NASA reports, opal deposits have even been found on Mars!

Photo by Opals on

This semi-black doublet came from the Grawin Fields of
Lightning Ridge, Australia

An opal is a rather complicated gem and there is much to know when buying one.  The internet has several good web sites with information on opals.
Check out wikipedia:,
the GB Jewelers website at:,

Photo  by Opals on

Opals on black doublet

Opals are composed of the noncrystalline form of the mineral silica and water, ranging from about three to ten percent but sometimes up to twenty percent.  They come in a range of colors.  The rarest and most valuable are red and black opals.

An opal is able to reflect and refract  specific wavelengths of light which is what makes this stone so special. 

Photo by Opals on

Opal on black doublet

They do require special care.  Since it is considered a "living" stone, it must not be worn when doing dishes, gardening, worn in a sauna or hot tub.  Heat is not good for opals.  Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner on them.  Clean only with water or facial soap and a nonabrasive pad or cloth.  Don't store them in oil.  However, DO wear them.

Many superstitions have been linked to opals.  Some consider them unlucky stones and its owners have met with disaster and death.  Others say these curses have befallen only those not born in the month of October.  So, if any of you have opals you want to discard, I'll be happy to send you my address.  

As for my dream of buying an opal in Australia, what happened to that?  What with having to purchase my flight to Sydney and home from Auckland, pay for the twelve day cruise, purchase two nights hotel in Sydney and Auckland ( and eat - heavens knows, I had fabulous meals at the beginning and end of my trip - plus exquisite wines in that part of the world ), my opal budget was down to $150 US.  I had a huge array of opals from which to choose - literally thousands of the world's most incredible stones but I found nothing in Sydney or Melbourne in my price range.  Sadly, at the last store in which I shopped in Hobart, Tasmania, I had given up.  It was time to get back to the ship.  I explained my situation to the shopkeeper who smiled and pulled out a small - but lovely - ring, set with three opals.  "You can have this for $150 U. S.  Joy of joys, on my finger it went, to the ship I went and I wore that opal for years.  The center stone finally fell out and, though I had it reset twice, it just wouldn't stay in place.  

I guess I should have gotten back to Australia before my job ended. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

An Elegant Cane - Magpie Tale #11 - Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Elegant Cane

Granny smelled of lavender,
And always dressed in lace,
She wore the reddest lipstick,
Clown circles graced her face.

She held her back ramrod straight,
And always seemed so nice,
But her silver topped ebony cane,
Was a torturing device.

When I was just a toddler,
I soon learned to beware,
The cane extended Grandma's reach,
To almost everywhere.

At first, she was more gentle,
Just tapping when I'd sin,
Touching precious heirlooms,
Making her treasures spin.

Many times, I would recall,
Howling out in pain,
She would pin my wayward foot,
"Don't make that mistake again!"

Whenever we would visit,
I thought I did my best,
To be a model grandson,
Grandma was not impressed!

For any small infraction,
Out would come the cane,
"Spare the rod, spoil the child,"
Echoed the refrain.

She finally stopped the beatings,
When I broke the cane in two,
Until that day came to pass,
My parents never knew.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved

I am participating in Wilow's Magpie Tales, a wonderful creative writing meme.  Come  join us!

Yellow and Green House - Mellow Yellow Monday, April 26, 2009

The San Francisco area is well known for colorful houses!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm Taffy- Making My Debut on Pet pride


Well, it is really nice that magiceye came up with this blog about pets.  I'm sure that's why my grandma wanted my picture here.  Magiceye is in India and my grandma LOVES India.  She has so many friends there - most of them are crew members for Royal Caribbean and she even spent ten days in India in 1997, at the home of a crew friend!  I must say my grandma - you know her as Carmen Henesy, who writes "Carmen's Chronicles" - wasn't thrilled about my joining the family.  Oh, she loves dogs, all right, but when her son, Alex, and her almost daughter-in-law ( they're getting married May 7th after a six year courtship ) bought their house in West Sacramento in April 2009 and wanted to adopt a dog, my grandma wasn't happyabout their getting a pit bull.  She'd heard all kinds of negative things about us. 

Well, Laura and Alex did a lot of research, even talked to a vet who said pit bulls don't deserve that bad rap and they fell in love with me at the Yolo County animal shelter.  I was a year old already and I hadn't been treated very well in my previous home.  I was a bit shy, not at all ferocious and mean like my grandma thought I might be and the rest, as they say, is history.  I came to live with Laura and Alex and I love them so much....and I adore my grandma.  Sometimes, when she visits, I even sleep with her!  She really likes to snuggle - and there is a lot of her for snuggling.  I am a real lady, just like my grandma.
Here's me with Laura after wedding dress shopping. She was worn out and needed me to snuggle with her.

Here I am with my pop, Alex, ( he's in the light blue shirt ) and my Uncle Shawn

A couple of months after I joined the family, Laura and Alex were worried that I might be lonely when they had to go to work.  They were also concerned that I was so shy.  They decided they had enough love to bring another dog into our home so they went back to the Yolo County shelter to find a companion for me, one who was a bit more outgoing.  They picked Bucky who can be a real pain in the neck.  He's about two years old and he is all male ( except he's missing some essential parts, if you know what I mean ).  He is rambunctious and loves to play rough.  He's perfect for Alex.  I have to admit that I do love Bucky ( don't tell him ) and I put up with his shenanigans, up to a point.  When I get tired of his stuff, I have to let him know I am a pit bull, after all, and I bare my teeth. 

Here I am with Bucky - he could wrestle all the time but he's twice my size and weight!

Our house has a nice fenced back yard and we have doggie doors so we can go in and out on our own.  We live very close to the door park, too, and the Sacramento River with its jogging trails and my mommy and daddy take us almost every day.  They both like to exercise and run
( my grandma does not but she enjoys going to the dog park to see us play with other dogs ).  I am so happy that I got rescued.  Now, maybe in a year, I'll have a baby in our family to help protect and love.  My grandma promises she will always love me, though!

Jazz, Burgers and Beer - Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA

My friend, Margie Baker, the wonderful jazz singer, PhD, esteemed San Francisco retired teacher and educator, performs one Thursday a month at the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay, California.  I've always wanted to see her in that venue but the Ritz is a little out of my price range, especially since my retirement.  Nonetheless, my friend, Silvia and I decided to go for their "Jazz, Burgers and Beer" event this past Thursday.  The Ritz offers this package for $19, including validated parking so we figured that wasn't too bad.  We'd sip and eat slowly, enjoy
great music for three hours, and enjoy the incredible ambiance.

I must say, this Ritz Carlton is one of the most beautiful I've seen.  It is perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific coast of Half Moon Bay, about 25 miles south of San Francisco.  We went on a perfect day, just before sunset so, for our $19 each, we had magnificent views ( of course, the view could be had for no monetary outlay, compliments of the Creator - but the enhancement of a nice glass of wine and Margie Baker singing the blues made it truly beyond description! ).

One of many orchid displays

Part of the golf course, on the Pacific

Pacific sunset at the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA

Day is almost done

The gazebo, in the glow of the setting sun

The Ritz, as viewed from the Pacific Ocean side -
lounge is one the second floor with the wide windows

Silvia had fish and chips

I opted for fritto misto - a combination of calamari and shrimp

Our beloved, Margie Baker

Margie did three songs that really made me happy - "Georgia" ( of course, this GA girl always
likes to hear that and can she ever do this song justice! ) - "Basin Street Blues" ( Margie knows I went to nursing school in New Orleans - my friend, Shota Osaba, a fabulous jazz pianist who plays for Margie occasionally and is the one who introduced me to her, always plays this for me
but this is the first time I've heard her sing it - WOW! ) and my all time favorite, "At Last" ( in her wonderful voice that can reach out to the Pacific, Margie sang this so beautifully, it almost brought tears to my eyes!  Really, every song she sang was great but I love to hear her do blues.  It always makes me think of those nursing school days back in New Orleans. 

I just kept thinking that this woman, who taught the children of San Francisco for almost half a century, and traveled the world singing jazz, probably did more for world peace than half the U.N. negotiations and political struttings over the years.  I think music is a universal language that helps people communicate and understand each other and Margie Baker sure knows how to speak it!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Instant Millionaire - Flash 55 Friday, 4-23-10

She felt the tension mounting,
Her pulse raced in her chest,
She prayed she knew the answer,
She’d try her very best.

Her family lived in poverty,
Their dreams were pinned on her,
So she’d tried out for this contest,
The rest was just a blur.

A millionaire... an answer to a prayer!

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy

All rights reserved.

If you would like to tell a tale in exactly 55 words, post it and go and tell the G-Man

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"N" Is For Nightmares - Alphabe Thursday, 4-22-10

I am participating in Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday


 Just when I’m nice and comfy,
And I’m finally sound asleep,
Into my peaceful slumber,
Awful dreams begin to creep.

Sometimes I’m being chased,
By a dozen handsome men,
That none can ever catch me,
Seems a downright sin!

I dream of tons of candy,
Stretching out of sight,
Every kind of chocolate,
But I never get a bite!

One night I had a dream,
That I won the lottery,
And I gave every cent,
To my favorite charity.

I often dream of travel,
To exotic distant shores,
But when the plane has landed,
They can’t open up the doors!

Monsters never chase me,
I don’t have those kind of dreams,
Yet they feel like nightmares,
Just without the screams.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Calla Lillies

For Mellow Yellow Monday, I posted a picture of a friend's window box with some brilliant yellow calla lillies.  All I'd ever seen in the past were the white ones, many times growing wild in fields.  I wondered if callas grew in any other colors so I went to the trusty internet to read up on them.  I really wasn't very familiar with the flowers at all.  I found out that they are native to South Africa.  They are not true lillies but a genus ( Zantedeschia )  of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Araceae.

The plants are quite hardy and can grow in varying soils and conditons as long as there is sufficient water and little frost.  They are commercially grown in several areas of the world, being in great demand for wedding bouquets. 

The plants are poisonous because of their calcium oxalate content.  The roots are the most dangerous.  Eating the plant and roots may cause Burning in mouth and throat swelling of the mouth and tongue, redness, swelling, pain, and burning of the eyes, diarhhea, nausea, and
vomiting.  For known ingestion of any part of the plant, seek immediate medical help, wipe out the mouth and give milk, if the patient is not vomiting.  If possible, note the time and amount of the plant eaten.  Contact the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States for instructions by professionals in the field and get the patient to a hospital.

The calla lilly grows from bulbs - or rather, rhizomes, and spreads by reproducing more of its own.  With minimal effort, you can soon have a whole garden of these beautiful flowers.

As for colors, I cannot believe the variety of colors available.  I checked one site, Pacific Callas, and was amazed at the choices.  Some are relatively inexpensive - the more common colors are $3.75/bulb ( minimum purchase 3 bulbs ) and the rarer colors are $12.75/bulb ( they didn't specify a minimum ).

Garnet Glow Callas from Pacific Callas - $3.75/bulb - minimum 3

Captain Maori Callas from Pacific Callas - $12.75 per bulb

Golden Chalice Callas from Pacific Calla - $3.75 per bulb - minimum purchase - 3

Red sox calla from Pacific Calla - $8.50/bulb - minimum 3

Calla lillies come in tradiational large size, with a greater variety of color available in the dwarf varieties.  They are available as cut flowers for weddings and other occasions.  For those without green thumbs, they seem to be fairly hardly flowers that do very well in many climates.
With the great variety of colors, they would create a very showy landscape.

Magpie Tales #10, 4-20-10

We rush pell mell through our days,
At such a frenzied hectic pace,
As though our sojourn on this earth,
Is some kind of harried race.

No timekeeper clocks our progress,
We dictate the paths we take,
Life could be much more precious,
It's about choices that we make.

We may cross the finish line,
And lose our soul along the way,
As seconds tick so quickly by,
Stop the clock and LIVE, I say!

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy

All rights reserved

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mandy's Window Box - Mellow Yellow Monday

Dos Hollands Delight San Francisco Fans!

What a great evening we had last night.  It was just like old times at Cafe Divine in San Francisco's North Beach.  Our beloved jazz diva, Sony Holland, and her songwriter, guitarist husband, Jerry Holland, performed for two hours to a totally packed house of her long time fans and friends.  The mood was boisterous as Sony sang old favorites and some new songs Jerry has written since the couple's move to Los Angeles.  Not only do we miss having the Hollands
in San Francisco where they performed almost weekly, we miss seeing each other on a regular basis!

Here are a few pictures of our evening which, in addition to great music, involved good food and wine!

Beautiful Sony

My friend and former co-worker, Kris Bleything and me

Cafe Divine, showing good music, good food and good wine

Jerry Holland, who writes incredible music and lyrics and plays a mean guitar

Jo ( Poetic Shutterbug ) and her cousin, Elise - a bit blurry, for some reason - still pretty

Donna Watkins

Nancy and Jim

Wade of Cafe Divine

Some serious singing!

Carmen and Jennifer

Cafe Divine's famous lamb shank

Carmen, eating cave man style!

Here's what you missed by not being at Cafe Divine with us on Friday night!