Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Squirrels in Snow - Photos

The weather folks say we'll have snow mixed with rain Thursday and snow Friday - but today, it'll be 80 degrees (F) outside.  I think that's why I chose this photos for today...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Various Photos

Light pollution from Denver, Colorado.   Photo by Lars Leber

Tides and ice floes collapsed the pilings of the oysterman's cabin in Tom's Cove

A beautiful spring day

Lamb inspection time!

Painted storks

Kalavantin Durg, India - imagine climbing those stairs to the top

Wolf pup


I don't know if I should laugh or cry over what happened yesterday...I had a great morning and early afternoon, switching back and forth between cleaning and family research. At 6 in the evening, I made my evening visit to Jasmine, and I picked up Lynn's Lexus in order to meet her at the airport when her flight arrived.  I came back home, first, and checked the Denver arrivals flight list, and saw that Lynn's flight was reading "On Time."  Her plane was due to land at 9:15, but the estimated time of arrival stated 9:10.  I checked the Denver International Airport flight list again at 7:55, just before leaving the apartment.  At that point in time, a small notice icon appeared next to Lynn's flight, and I looked at it.  It said that they had no confirmation that the flight had left at the specified time, and that (a) it might be running slightly late, (b) might have been postponed, or (c) that their server simply hadn't received the correct information regarding the flight yet.
  Before going to Jasmine's, I had taken my cell phone from it's charger, and made a quick call, to verify that the phone was on and working.  I kept the phone in my back pocket to and from Jasmine's house. I laid the phone in the passenger seat beside me for the drive to the DIA cell phone lot, and left my place at 7:58, figuring 45 minutes to an hour for the drive to the airport.  I arrived at the cell lot at 8:45, and went in to check the Arrivals board...  and I was surprised to see that it said that Lynn's flight would arrive at 11:20 p.m.  I thought it was good that I had brought a book along to read, so I changed the parking spot to one beneath a light post, and opened my book. About every 15 minutes, or so, I'd check my phone.  I went back and checked the Arrivals board at 9:45 - and I stood staring at it for so long, that an older man asked if I needed help reading it.  I asked him to verify that I was reading the arrival time correctly for Lynn's flight - and he said, "Yes, ma'am.  It says it's on time and will arrive at 11:20 p.m."   I went back inside to check the Arrivals board at 11 p.m., and it still said 11:20 for Lynn's flight number.
   Lynn usually calls me the moment she's allowed to use her phone after landing...  and then she calls from the baggage carousel, so I can meet her with very little wait time, at the pick up point.  At 11:30, when I hadn't received any calls, I started trying to call her.  I'd press her number, press call, and my phone would immediately say "Call Ended" as soon as it began to dial.  So I turned the blasted phone off and on several times.  It wouldn't let me make any calls - but it had worked fine at 6 p.m.  I "played" with it some more, pressing random buttons - then I tried to call Lynn again. The call went through, but put me into her voice mail after 6 rings... I left her a message that I was still sitting in the cell phone lot and was really becoming concerned about her.  I ended that call, and made another to a friend I know is always up late.  We talked for a few minutes, and then I turned the phone on and off again.  Now it said that I had 20 missed calls and 12 voice messages.
   Lynn's flight had arrived at 9 p.m.  She called me several times and left messages.  She then called a neighbor to see if her car was at home (which it wasn't).  She called me again.  She was becoming more worried and more agitated.  At 10 pm, she left a voice message saying she was taking a cab home from the airport, and hoped that I was safe and sound.  I listened to all of her messages, and then tried to call her again - she picked up her phone at 12:05 a.m.  I told her I was still waiting for her call, sitting in the cell phone lot at DIA.  She laughed until she cried.  We then exchanged stories, said, "Good night," and I drove back to Boulder.  She had arrived at home, in a cab, at 11:25 p.m.  I arrived at my apartment, still driving her car, at 1:05 a.m.
   And I was up and going at 5;45 this morning, as usual....  We still don't know what happened with my cell phone...   We can't figure out why 3 other people, besides me, verified that the Arrivals board stated her flight would arrive at 11:20 (when it had arrived at 9:00)....  
   We agreed that what with sun spots, solar flares, and some kind of hinky magic, we had been visiting The Twilight Zone.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring 's Baby Critters - Photos








Horse Racing and a Missing Kitten

It's a beautiful day outside - and I have my patio door wide open, as well as the patio window.  Birds are singing, squirrels are chasing one another, Lovey is curled up on the top of the cat tree in the sun, and Nedi is sprawled on the patio, soaking up fresh air and all the activity around him.  I was very sorry to see a notice in the apartment building stating that the grey marmalade tabby kitten I call Simon is missing.  He's about 5 months old now, and the owners have not had him neutered, and have allowed him to roam.  There are so many possible bad outcomes....  I hope someone took him in and has given him a wonderful home, including neutering, shots, and lots of love and toys.
   Besides doing all of my usual morning chores with my kits and the apartment, I've visited and cared for Jasmine this morning, and I've stopped by Lynn's house to water her garden and walk Tess.  I can't figure out why Lynn always puts seed down and then goes away on travels, leaving the garden care to me, on a daily basis...  At least Martine takes care of the garden and yard on Friday.  And I'll pick Lynn up at the airport tonight when she returns from California.  Between then and now, I'll visit both Jasmine and Lynn's house again, continue in my Spring cleaning of the apartment, and, probably, do some more Busey family research...  They are fascinating relatives.
   Four major horse races took place yesterday - two in Meydan, the Dubai Gold Cup and the Dubai World Cup; and the two Derbies I mentioned yesterday.  The Dubai Gold Cup had a purse of $1 million; the winner was Brown Panther, followed by Star Empire, and Ahzeemah  ran third.  In the $10 million Dubai World Cup, the winner was Prince Bishop, with California Chrome running in second, and Lea finishing third.  California Chrome's connections have decided to ship the 4-year-old from Dubai to Royal Ascot in England.  Which race he'll enter has not yet been decided.
   In the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, Materiality continued his winning ways, as the son of Afleet Alex was expected to do.  Upstart, a son of Flatter ran second, and another Flatter son, Ami's Flatter, ran in third.  In the Louisiana Derby at the Fairgrounds, the son of Fusaichi Pegasus, International Star, won impressively for the Ramsey family.  Stanford finished a game second, with War Story four lengths behind him.  Things are gearing up for the first Saturday in May....

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Assorted Photos

Rocky Mountain National Park

Old gas station, Cape Charles, Virginia

Skunk family

Sacred spring at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, England

Great blue heron

Snow leopard cub

Sunset on the Chincoteague Channel - photo by Laura Davis

Strangers At My Door

Yesterday seemed to be my day for strangers at my door.  At 6:35 in the morning, there was a "Shave and a haircut" knock on my door that had me scurrying to answer it.  That is Bea's knock, and for her to be up, dressed, and at my door at that time could only indicate an emergency.  Imagine my surprise when I snapped the door open, and found what appeared to be a Sumo wrestler dressed in multiple layers of sweats, astride a bicycle in the hall.  I know that my eyes opened wide and my mouth gaped.  He looked just as surprised, and said, "Oh.  I'm very sorry.  Wrong door."  I closed the door immediately, and stood there a moment, but did not  hear him knock on any other doors.
   At two in the afternoon, I was deeply involved in getting information on the Busey family, and there was a loud knock on the door.  I saved what I was working on, and opened the door with an inquiring look on my face, as I wasn't expecting anyone.  There were two females standing there, both in short skirts and high-heeled boots and with make-up that looked as if it had been applied with a trowel...  They looked at me, and I looked at them.  I finally said, "Yes?  ...  You did knock..."  and they started giggling like mad, said, "Wrong door," and left.  I just shook my head.
   At two this morning, I awoke to movement on my patio.  The cats had alerted me, and I knew it wasn't an animal, because they both dove under the bed.  I could see the shadow of a human body on my curtains.  I put on my glasses, picked up my cell phone, and sat up on the edge of he bed.  Then I heard him try to open my sliding glass door.  I took three quick steps to the curtain, and had the phone raised to my ear.  I swept the curtain back, and saw a man in jeans and a jacket, with curly dark hair, struggling to pull the door open.  It took him a moment to realize that I was standing there, looking at him. I began acting as if I were talking to the 911 assistant.  The man's eyes got very large and then he backed up, waving his arms, and saying, "Wrong apartment!  I'm sorry!  I thought this was Sheila's door!"  And he took off at a staggering run...  I don't know if he was drunk, high, or a combination of both....
    A few choice three-year-old thoroughbreds will be racing in two Derbies today - both the Louisiana Derby and the Florida Derby will take place this afternoon.  Everything looks good, working up to that first Saturday in May!
    Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Recent News Photos from the Reuters Wire

With the headlines that accompanied these photos, if we lived in much earlier times, would we not think that Armageddon is near?
Total solar eclipse in Svalborg, Norway    20 March

Record-breaking high tides at Mont Saint-Michel, France    20 March

The black box voice recorder recovered from the German wings Airbus crash - now it's known the co-pilot was being treated for severe depression, and that his doctors did not want him to fly...

A Malayan bear, part of a huge illegal wildlife trade, that was captured by authorities in Kuala Lumpur (thankfully, still alive)    24 March

Tornado at Sand Springs, Oklahoma    25 March

New York City's East Village, where a building exploded     26 March

Flooding in Copiapo, Chile     26 March

Doom and portents?  Extreme weather?  The follies of man?  Who knows?

Busey Family and Vikings Spoiler

I awoke feeling completely energized this morning, which is totally strange, because I didn't go to bed until 2:30 this morning, and hopped up when the alarm went off at 6.  During my sleep, I dreamed constantly of two characters on Vikings, Athelstan and Floki; but I can't figure out why I awoke with Hank Williams' original rendition of "Jambalaya" playing continuously in my brain.  I know my brain works on various levels, but I just can't connect an English monk, a Viking shipwright, and the bayou togeth...   Ah. I think I've got the connection.  A wandering Viking visited Ragnar in last night's episode and told him how to find the mouth of the Seine....  OK.  I can accept that....  And two plus hours of Vikings last night - including Athelstan's Journal - it was a fantastic treat!
   If you didn't see Vikings last night, and will see it before next week - don't read anymore of today's blog - it'll be a spoiler for you - just be sure you view all two hours that aired last night. Athelstan has been torn between two cultures and two beliefs, since his abduction by Ragnar.  This comes to an end in this episode - and Floki, too, has a vision.  The handling of Athelstan's religion and views on his friend (first his owner) Ragnar have been handled deftly in this series - the meeting of two inquiring and curious minds discussing beliefs has been understated, yet strikingly portrayed.  It is clear that both men have influenced each other.  Floki, the shipwright, on the other hand, believes in the Old Gods completely and he frequently acts under their influence.  He takes Athelstan's life in this episode, something that I have been expecting since the early shows of the second season...  They are both too different, and Floki does not accept the change that Athelstan represents.  And it seems that Athelstan expects, and even welcomes, Floki's final intrusion into his home.  Floki manages to enter and exit Kattegat without being seen, so the death of the Englishman cannot be laid at his feet.  Ragnar then buries Athelstan  in the place where the priest taught him to recite the Lord's Prayer. It was very fitting.  So was Ragnar's request that Athelstan forgive him for what he would do in the future, while wearing the golden cross that Athelstan had worn.
  I also ran across an intriguing item listed under a cousin's name last night (Matthew Logan Busey)...  I found a page under The Busey Family Organization, located in Fort Lauderdale Florida that was titled: "Unorthodox:  Who Are We? Really?"  The Organization can be visited at:  http://busey.org  and the page I'm quoting from may be viewed, in its entirety, at http://www.busey.org/unorthodox/index.html    The part that I found very interesting was near the end: Sometimes we discover something unpleasant.  Like I wonder what economic hardships caused two of my great-grand-fathers to put bullets into their own heads?  If times were so hard, why did they figure that taking out the chief breadwinner was going to help the family?  The women were pretty strong in those days, and maybe those guys realized it.
Or what about another great-grandfather who died all by himself, thousands of miles from his wife and children?  "Sir, I have the honor to report that the name of the above-described pensioner who was last paid $30, to Sept. 4, 1915 has this day been dropped from the roll because of " . . . and there is blank filled in with that word . . . "death."
Why, when Matthew Logan Busey had applied on 15 January 1898 for a pension to the Department of the Interior, as a Civil War veteran, did he first tell the examiner that he was a widower?  Only to change his mind and to have had that line crossed out?  Did he temporarily not know or not want to believe that his wife was doing quite well, that she had packed up the kids and crossed the continent to start a new life?  This may have been a family secret, but I'm only revealing what is published for the world in the National Archives.
I feel deeply the pain of these people long gone.  I wonder what was going on in their minds.  Did they have the luxury of time to think about where they were going?  Were they locked into a society that had fewer choices than today?  I doubt that they had mental health counseling.  A part of me wants to relive those lives, to see if there's some way we can fix it for them posthumously.
So, what's the point?
1.  The first thing is obvious, that genealogy is mostly about dead people.
2.  That proves the next thing, that life is relatively short.
3.  Next thing is, since everybody dies, it doesn't matter who you are or where you came from.
4.  Which brings us back to #2, which is that it's all what you make of life. "
Guess I'll need to keep digging!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Blossom Photos

Family Tree Research

I glanced out the window multiple times yesterday and was surprised, but happy, to see more snow falling.  Even though it was only 30 degrees out this morning, there was no snow left on the ground, and sidewalks, roads, and dirt areas just looked slightly damp.  Vehicles in the parking lot had heavy frost on them and one vehicle at the bakery had several inches of snow on the trunk and rear bumper...  But it's bright and sunny this morning, and we're supposed to reach 62 degrees this afternoon, even though the grass and leaves in the back yard are covered in a hard shell of frost.
   I'm still digging into our Busey family connections, as, as usual, I am amazed at how many children were produced by families during our history.  Large families came about from (a) no family planning, (b) no birth control, (c) the need of more help to produce more food for more mouths, and (d) the high mortality rate of children during those times.  Being one of only two siblings, I simply can't imagine being one of ten, twelve, or twenty-four offspring...  What is even more frightening to realize is how many children were miscarried, or were stillbirths, and their existence simply isn't recorded anywhere...  My father's mother had seven children that I'm aware of - the first two died in the Spanish Flu pandemic, and Aunt Louisa lived for only a few minutes before dying.  That left four healthy children, three of who had kids of their own.  I'm just taken aback at listing a norm of eight to twelve children per couple, of whom six to nine went on to have another large generation of offspring...  It's like rabbits - we multiply geometrically.
  I thought it was amazing to have 79 relatives with the same first name of Hatevil (pronounced Hate-evil); there are so many repetitions in the Busey family of Christian names that it can be very confusing - you have to be certain of the year that person was born, the names of the parents, and the name of the spouse.  It's also a bit confusing when one man marries multiple sisters - one dies in childbirth, and he marries the next, who dies, and he marries the next...  That just seems weird to me.  But, I suppose, back when families were scarce, you had to keep going back to the same well for replenishment.  I'll continue to dig.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Baby Critters - Photos

Amur leopard

Bighorn sheep



Koala bear twins



Family Roots

I spent a part of yesterday sitting in nearly a half-acre covered in wild violets - there were purple, white, and lavender violets scattered throughout the area.  Later this summer it will be covered in clover, with flowers of white, pink, yellow, and purple.  The honey bees, wasps, and yellow jackets will be busy there this summer - yesterday, there were just two or three bees out in the bright sunshine.  And where is this idyllic spot? It's the east end of my brother-in-law's back yard.  Water was flowing in the irrigation ditch from snow melt-off higher in the mountains, and I counted 32 different kinds of birds, both in, and passing over, the yard.  I was throwing dog toys for Rosie and Mona, and soaking up the sun.
   Walking to the store this morning, I was surprised to see a few snow flakes land, and melt, on my glasses.  We've warmed up to freezing now, and what is falling is mainly a light rain; the edge of the patio is definitely wet, not snowy.  We have had fantastic sunshine and warmth the past few days, and my cats have been celebrating.  Today, they are curled up in the afghan on the bed.  And yesterday, after a quiet morning, the chinook winds picked up and blew almost all night.  We had "Red Flag" warnings  - high fire danger - posted until this morning.  And the chinook winds really bothered me yesterday - the trees were roaring and tossing, and I developed a tremendous headache, where it felt as if I had a metal cap covering my head from my forehead to well behind my ears, and it felt as is the cap were getting tighter and tighter, and my brain was going to burst.  I finally had to take a dose of migraine medication to get the pain to abate.  I can now easily see how early female pioneer settlers could go mad from the incessant blowing of the wind...
   I'm spending my time between cleaning the apartment - my annual Spring cleaning - and digging into the family tree.  I'm still intrigued by my great-great-grandfather, Singleton Wilson Busey, and his wandering life.  He was married at least four times, and had children with every wife.  At one point, he was married to three different women, in two states, and served in the US Army in the Civil War under three names, providing a government pension for each of the families.  I'm still trying to figure out which wife was my great-grandmother's mother...  We were told it was Nancy Goodwin, Singleton's wife from Putnam County, Indiana; but the family stories also say that great-grandma Martha was half Native American.  One of Singleton's wives was a member of the Cherokee nation, living on the reservation in Brown County, Kansas, and her name was Mary....  'Tis a puzzle!
  At least Singleton is a relatively easy man to follow around.  So is his brother, Lazarus Whitehead Busey.  In all my research, over the years, on Singleton, I keep getting references to the actor Gary Busey.  I finally decided that I was going to prove to myself that he (Gary Busey) and I were not related.  It didn't work.  Singleton Wilson Busey and Lazarus Whitehead Busey were brothers; Singleton being the youngest brother in a family of nine.  Singleton is my great-great-grandfather.  Lazarus Whitehead Busey is the great-great-grandfather of Gary Busey.  We're cousins.
    Post Script:  There is now slush on the patio and snow is piling up on the grass in the back yard.