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A tale of two sisters: Spain, Topless, Dallas, & Virginia . . .

A tale of two sisters: Spain, Topless, Dallas, & Virginia . . .

The following e-mail was sent by my youngest daughter on her return to Dallas from Spain and other European countries to one of her sisters, the one that works, creates, lives and loves in Virginia. The names LuLu and WapWap are nicknames—their real names are not used in order to protect the guilty.

The author of this e-mail claims that she doesn’t blog because she doesn’t feel that she writes well. She and I are in complete disagreement concerning her feelings about her writing—I believe she has a tremendous potential to inform and entertain virtually any audience with her amusing musings. I made no changes to her e-mail, so I’ll let my readers review and vote on her writing.

LuLu, the recipient and respondent to her globe-trotting younger sister is  a professional photographer, a graphics artist and painter, an expert gardener and long-time blogger, and she makes no effort to hide her light under a bushel. Click here for a journey to various gardens and historic sites through photos made in the US and many foreign locations on several different continents—trust me, the visit is well worth your time!

To: LuLu
Sent: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 11:01 am
Subject: Re: Welcome back from Spain!

Hey, LuLu – I figured that you could use the shawl for decorating or something. I really didn’t picture you wearing it all that much, but who knows? I’m glad mom seems to be feeling better. Last time I was there which was the weekend before I went to Spain she just seemed so frail and tired and I knew she was. And that was before they put the device in her arm. So, I’m glad she seems to be better – she sounds better when I talk to her on the phone.

I’ll call you later to talk about Spain. We had a really nice trip and got to see a lot. Went to Barcelona and visited a winery about 2 hrs outside of the city so we got to see the countryside and its miles and miles of olive trees, Sevilla (loved that place), Madrid and Toledo where we saw a 600 year Catholic church that was incredible.

Loved the architecture in Barcelona (Gaudi’s cathedral, Segrada Familia?). Visited the beach, saw topless from newborn to 90. Quite a different world out there. Definitely no body issues in that country.We could probably take a lesson on that (with top on, of course). Walked a lot, a whole lot -Barcelona is a busy place. About 5 million in the city and 2 million outside of the city. Not a small town by any means.

Sevilla (much quieter, felt really comfortable walking around the town by myself, which I did). Could have stayed there the rest of the trip. The area we were in was very clean, quaint with all those tiny cobblestone streets leading to little restaurants and shopping.

Madrid – another busy city. Very cosmopolitan in many areas, lots of graffiti everywhere which is common throughout Spain. I guess they think it is art, I don’t know. Went to the Prado and some other modern museum where we saw tons of Picassos and Dali (is he a strange one or what?). Went to an authentic Flamenco show which was pretty intense. Just 2 people (man and woman) with a few guys playing instruments and singing behind them.  Whatever they were dancing to they really meant it. I really enjoyed that.

Mom said that you and Michael worked really hard on the front yard and that it looked beautiful. I’m sure she really appreciates that. Every time I went down there she would say that they needed to do something about it and now you have. So, that is a good thing.

Brandon is in baseball camp this week. He also had an all-stars game last night. He plays 1st base and did a terrific job all last year in that position (thus making All-Stars). However, for some reason, guess because he is tired, he could have been on the moon looking down at us because he truly was the only player out there that was paying no attention to the game.

You don’t want to come down too hard on him but the other kids are kind of depending on him to catch the ball. 1st base is a pretty critical position even in minor, minor, minor, minor league baseball. He would just watch it whiz by him and throw out his hand as an afterthought.

As a parent you don’t want to be embarrassed but I actually started to feel that way. Probably the same as mom would feel when I would drop the baton a lot or get my batons tangled up with one another at a competition while doing a simple salute. Not a proud parent moment.

I’ll talk to you later. I was actually weeding the front yard this morning. The weeds are so huge they look like a free form garden at this point. Gracie tried to help me pull them but didn’t have the strength. I try to like gardening and I can see how it is stress relieving but I just feel like there are lots of tiny eyes looking up at me as I disturb their carefully planned homes. Plus I’m afraid a spider is going to bite me, or a snake.We do have those around here sometimes. Anyway, what I’m trying to tell you is that I haven’t developed a love of gardening at this point.  I’m working on it though, but very slowly. Have a good day.

Love,
WapWap

This is the Virginian’s reply to her sister’s e-mail:

Hey, WapWap! Hope you got some great photos to share with us! FYI: Mom is looking (and feeling) really good. She’s got some pep back in her and her appetite is definitely up. Dad was irritating her the other day (you know how he likes to repeat things over and over until you want to deck him?), and to answer some crazy question he asked her, she finally said, “Shit, no!” It was so funny to hear her say that. Cracked him up, too. I guess he had picked at her long enough (you know how she always says he likes to just talk to hear himself!).

We had a great visit and got the flower beds up front looking good again (filled in the areas where they had pulled out all the hedges/shrubs). I’ll send photos once I pull them off the card.

Love ya,
LuLu

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2011 in baseball, Family, foreign travel, Humor

 

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Ponce de Leon finds a flower first . . .

One of my three princesses, the one that lives, loves and works in Alexandria, Virginia recently posted a photo of a gorgeous highly complicated plant on her blog. This is the princess that in age and maturity falls somewhere between my first-born and my last-born daughters. Click here to go to her blog and enjoy a photographic journey that covers the state, the nation and various distant parts of the globe—be prepared to spent a lot of time there—it’s well worth the visit! Be sure to read her Stuff About Me page, located on the right of her home page. If you’ve never been to Alaska, Antarctica and deep into the four sections of the United States—dozens and dozens of locations in the north, south, east and west quadrants, with emphasis on the Four Corners of the Southwest—and Canada, Spain, Italy and other foreign countries, she’ll take you there with her photography and her writings. Be forewarned—it’s highly addictive!

She captioned the photo as follows (it’s pictured at the close of this posting):

Your guess is as good as mine!

It looks like a Gaura plant, but I’m just not sure, and the plant wasn’t labeled at Green Spring Gardens this morning. Any one venture to guess? Patty? The sprigs tend to lean downward, like a waterfall.

I commented on the posting and chastised her for failing to research the Internet in an effort to identify the plant. Having a bit of spare time on my hands—well, a lot of spare time—I spent a few minutes on research and the results of my effort are shown in the narrative analysis below. I was pleased with my findings, so pleased that I decided to bring my comment up from and out of the Stygian darkness of comments and into the bright light of a separate posting in order to share those findings with my viewers.

This is my comment, exactly as entered:

thekingoftexas (03:52:16) :

I am in shock! You don’t know? My guess is as good as yours? Evidently you made no effort to identify the flower by researching the internet. I found it in less than ten minutes!

This is the Flower of Paradice—no, not the paradise flower, that gorgeous bloom also called crane flower (Strelitzia reginae), an ornamental plant of the family Strelitziaceae.

Note that in the spelling of the Flower of Paradice, the ess in paradise is replaced with a cee. The flower was discovered by the Spanish conquistador Ponce de Leon (1474 – July 1521) in his search for the fountain of youth. He believed it to be in what is now the state of Florida, but he ultimately turned his attention to Venezuela, spurred on by a notation he had found in a centuries-old document indicating that the fountain of youth was at the foot of what is now known as Angel Falls.

After an arduous journey fraught with perils and nearing the end of his life, he arrived at the falls but found that the pool at the foot of the falls failed to restore his youth. However, he did discover something there that would shake the scientific world, especially the world of flowers and that would ultimately have an effect on locations such as Las Vegas and Reno and Atlantic City—he discovered an unusual and theretofore unknown blossom that he almost immediately christened the Flower of Paradice—the Spanish name of the flower is “La flor que pasa siempre inmediatamente,” the flower that always passes immediately.

You see, Ponce de Leon was addicted to the game of dice—craps, if you will—and he noted that each bloom of the plant was graced with six beautiful petals and five golden yellow thingies protruding from the center of the bloom for a total of eleven elements and, much as did the great Pythagoras on his discovery of the 47th Problem of Euclid when he exclaimed Eureka!, a Grecian word meaning “I have found it,” Ponce de Leon shouted “Eleven!” He meant that he had found a flower with a total of eleven elements in its bloom, and to one addicted to the game of dice, the number eleven is magic—eleven along with seven are the two numbers in the game of craps that give the shooter an immediate win.

Sadly, Ponce de Leon never found the fountain of youth and he died at the age of 47. His many discoveries in his travels contributed greatly to our knowledge of the new world, and we are indebted to him for his discovery and naming of this beautiful flower.

A special note: Journey to any one of the world’s great gaming sites and head for the crap tables—there you will find that many of the high rollers wear a Flower of Paradice or a facimile of such—a ring or perhaps even a tattoo, just for luck.

PeeEss: I stated that on his discovery Ponce de Leon shouted, “Eleven!” but the actual word he shouted was once, the Spanish word for the number eleven, pronounced as on’ce with the accent on the first syllable. I used the English word to avoid the reader untutored in Spanish pronouncing it as the English word once, meaning one time only, a single occurrence, etc.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Just back from Spain—loved it—thanks . . .

This posting features the youngest of our three princesses, the one that lives and loves in a Dallas suburb where she effectively and efficiently maintains one husband, two children and an Australian Shepherd named Wrigley—that’s their dog, not a flock tender from Australia.

She started a blog on Word Press long ago and began it with a cute story about her daughter, but has steadfastly neglected to add to it—and that child is an outstanding and endless source of blogging material. Click here for the cute story. It’s worth the visit.

Her resistance to blogging is based on her belief that her writing lacks pizzazz—Click here for a definition of pizzaz, and just in case you’re short on time, here’s the definition:

Pizzazdazzling style, flamboyance, flair, vigorous spirit, energy, excitement.

This exchange of e-mails between her and one of her sisters is delightful—entertaining, educational and filled with promise. I find her writing dazzling, flamboyant, vigorous, energetic and exciting—it’s filled with pizzaz.

I had never been to Spain but her e-mail took me there, albeit only for a brief visit—I wanted to stay longer, and with her help I could have. I’m hoping this posting will convince her to take me back for a longer visit, just by using her writing talent and her blog to tell more about her trip.

This is the welcoming e-mail from her sister:

Welcome back from Spain!

Hope you got some great photos to share with us!

FYI: Mom is looking (and feeling) really good. She’s got some pep back in her and her appetite is definitely up. Dad was irritating her the other day (you know how he likes to repeat things over and over until you want to deck him?), and to answer some crazy question he asked her, she finally said, “Shit, no!” It was so funny to hear her say that. Cracked him up, too. I guess he had picked at her long enough (you know how she always says he likes to just talk to hear himself!).

We had a great visit and got the flower beds up front looking good again (filled in the areas where they had pulled out all the hedges/shrubs). I’ll send photos once I pull them off the card.

This is her response to the welcome home e-mail:


Subject: Re: Welcome back from Spain!

Hey, I figured that you could use the shawl for decorating or something. I really didn’t picture you wearing it all that much, but who knows?  I’m glad mom seems to be feeling better. Last time I was there which was the weekend before I went to Spain she just seemed so frail and tired and I knew she was. And that was before they put the device in her arm. So, I’m glad she seems to be better—she sounds better when I talk to her on the phone.

I’ll call you later to talk about Spain. We had a really nice trip and got to see a lot. Went to Barcelona and visited a winery about 2 hrs outside of the city so we got to see the countryside and its miles and miles of olive trees, Seville (loved that place), Madrid and Toledo where we saw a 600 year Catholic church that was incredible.

Loved the architecture in Barcelona (Gaudi’s cathedral—Sagrada Familia?). Visited the beach, saw topless from newborn to 90. Quite a different world out there. Definitely no body issues in that country. We could probably take a lesson on that. With top on, of course. Walked a lot, a whole lot. Barcelona is a busy place. About 5 million in the city and 2 million outside of the city. Not a small town by any means.

Seville (much quieter, felt really comfortable walking around the town by myself which I did). Could have stayed there the rest of the trip.  The area we were in was very clean, quaint with all those tiny cobblestone streets leading to little restaurants and shopping.

Madrid—another busy city. Very cosmopolitan in many areas, lots of graffiti everywhere which is common throughout Spain. I guess they think it is art—I don’t know. Went to the Prado and some other modern museum where we saw tons of Picassos and Dali (is he a strange one or what?). Went to an authentic Flamenco show which was pretty intense. Just 2 people (man and woman) with a few guys playing instruments and singing behind them. Whatever they were dancing to they really meant it. I really enjoyed that.

Mom said that you and Michael worked really hard on the front yard and that it looked beautiful. I’m sure she really appreciates that. Every time I went down there she would say that they needed to do something about it and now you have. So, that is a good thing.

Brennan is in baseball camp this week. He also had an all-stars game last night. He plays 1st base and did a terrific job all last year in that position (thus making All-Stars). However, for some reason, guess because he is tired, he could have been on the moon looking down at us because he truly was the only player out there that was paying no attention to the game.  You don’t want to come down too hard on him but the other kids are kind of depending on him to catch the ball. 1st base is a pretty critical position even in minor, minor, minor, minor league baseball. He would just watch it whiz by him and throw out his hand as an afterthought. As a parent you don’t want to be embarrassed but I actually started to feel that way. Probably the same as mom would feel when I would drop the baton a lot or get my batons tangled up with one another at a competition while doing a simple salute. Not a proud parent moment.

I’ll talk to you later. I was actually weeding the front yard this morning. The weeds are so huge they look like a free form garden at this point. Macie tried to help me pull them but didn’t have the strength. I try to like gardening and I can see how it is stress relieving but I just feel like there are lots of tiny eyes looking up at me as I disturb their carefully planned homes. Plus, I’m afraid a spider is going to bite me, or a snake. We do have those around here sometimes. Anyway, what I’m trying to tell you is that I haven’t developed a love of gardening at this point. I’m working on it though, but very slowly.

So there you have it, a story told by one that is filled with doubt about her writing ability. In my opinion, she has the makings of a first-rate writer—nay, a great storyteller and writer—she only needs to write. Perhaps some of the visitors to this posting will help bolster my opinion. Click on her blog here, and use the comment section to help provide some impetus to her posting more about herself and her life—she has some tall tales to tell and the talent to tell them—they’re tales totally worth sharing with others, especially with her family.

As an afterthought, check out the alliteration in the last sentence—tall tales to tell, etc. That’s twelve consecutive tees. I do love alliteration. Twelve—count ’em!

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Columbus knew the world was round . . .

Columbus was a sailor, and any experienced sailor of his time (at least one with a modicum of reasoning ability), would have known that the world was round. The human eye can perceive an object—the complete object—at a maximum distance of 12 miles, on land as well as on water. Beyond that point the object, whether coming or going, begins to appear (or disappear) as it follows the curvature of the earth. If the earth were flat, a lookout in the crow’s nest would see an approaching vessel in its entirety at first sight—a very tiny object, of course, but a vessel complete with its tall masts under full sail, and the vessel would increase in size as it drew nearer to the viewer.

Conversely with a round earth, the lookout would first see the tip of the tallest mast, and more of the masts and sails would be discerned as the vessel drew nearer (or drew nigh, as some would say), and finally would be seen as a whole sailing ship, complete from topmast to the waterline and from bow to stern.

Obviously the earth is not flat—it is round. We know that—we routinely sail, fly and walk around it, and Columbus knew it in 1492. We know that as he plotted his course he severely underestimated the circumference (as in round) of the earth in his efforts to prove that a ship could reach East-Asia (the Indies) by sailing west. If true, the trip  could be completed in far less time than required by the current method of traveling eastward through Arabia on the overland trade route, and the new route would allow Spain to participate in the lucrative spice trade.

That underestimation landed him in the Bahamas Archipelago in North America, on an island he named San Salvador. Believing the island to be the East-Asian mainland (the Indies), he named its inhabitants “Indios.”

None of this in any way diminishes Columbus’ accomplishments. He discovered the New World, and proved that a vessel could go east by sailing west, thus improving Spain’s commercial trade efforts. He successfully made the round-trip across the Atlantic in vessels which may have been state-of-the-art at that time, but in which few modern sailors would choose to make the journey.

We know that Columbus began his journey with four ships—the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, but only three completed the voyage (it’s not well known, but one sailed over the edge!)

Just kidding! However, I believe he may have begun the voyage with four ships, but one had some serious problems and returned to port.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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