Friday, March 16, 2018

Natural Phenomena...and This Week

In February of 2003 I witnessed a never-before-seen-by-me weather event when a freak Indiana snowstorm produced Snow-Rollers.

At 43...I was absolutely mystified by the hundreds that appeared all over fields and even our lawn. Round with a hollow center with the only tracks being where they had rolled themselves looked as though ghost children had been busy making snowmen during the night, and then been called home for supper.

My late husband-person and I would take the entire day off and drive as far as Brazil, IN to excitedly photograph the phenomena before it melted away or got tracked up. 

Even my father (80+ at the time) would shake his head and say he had never ( his entire life...) seen such a thing.

The conditions for snow-rollers to exist have to be perfect...heavy wet snow and high winds...then temperatures dropping quickly to freeze the rolls. 

I tell you that story to lead into this

On Wednesday, I was privileged to experience another Natural Phenomena. Another that I, personally, had never seen in (now) 57 years.

While riding out to Bloomington with friends, at first we thought we were seeing part of a rainbow in the sky. Like sun dogs. Those frozen crystal bits that cause rainbow columns to appear on either side of the sun.

Quickly we realized that this was something much different.

A perfect rainbow...early in the morning (9ish) that completely surrounded the sun. A Sun HaloAlmost like a halo around the moon...but much larger and beautiful vibrant colors.

Googling it later, I would find that the reason it occurs is quite similar to sun dogs. atmospheric conditions and timing is everything and it is caused by ice crystals passing through cirrus clouds. 

How wonderful to experience something you have never seen in life at (almost) 60.  It immediately makes you wonder what ELSE is out there that you have never seen...never knew existed.

For just a moment...the World is brand new.

Immersed in Politics early in the week. Tuesday night when I knew I had to be up by 6 AM Wednesday for Bloomington...I made the mistake of a last minute check on District 18 PA and the Conor Lamb congressional race...which was amazing...

And got sucked into the Internet until almost midnight...still too close to call... 

Yes...6 AM came REALLY quickly.

But WE did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 In an area...throughout the night described as "ruby red" and scoffs that there has not been a Democrat in the 18th District for over 20 years...we flipped PA-18.

The importance...not to mention the momentum this has given to #TheResistance cannot be overstated.

 Carolina...Alabama...and now Pennsylvania. It isn't just winning another seat in The House. It is proof that when we focus...turn out...and vote...we can FIX this mess. 

(...example...District 57 in Maine...where Gibson was running unopposed...until he called Emma Gonzalez a "Skinhead Lesbian"...and within 24 hours Democrat Eryn Gilchrist announced her candidacy District 57...)

UPDATE:  Mr. Gibson has issued a statement that he is now withdrawing from the Maine race!!!!

 We CAN do this...

In Indiana our primary concern is keeping Joe Donnally in office.

It was incredible to see how many 17-18 year olds are registering to vote this year.

These kids give me hope. To see the next generation get actively involved politically. To know that they have realized they can have a voice in their government and future. Their lives.

In Florida and elsewhere they have already been instrumental in (some states) changing the existing gun laws...and, at the very least, continuing the National Dialogue beyond hastily voiced thoughts and prayers.

Like my generation (from the 1960's)...together...enough of us can change the world.


The rest of the week has been dominated by what we have almost come to expect from The Trump White House. Which is sad when you think about it too much. 

Another firing.

This time Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson. Who got his notice via A TWEET, for fuck's sake...seriously...who the hell does that???????????????

Mueller issued a subpoena for all Trump's Correspondences with Russia. He can't be happy about that.

Stormy Daniels is keeping the $$$,$$$. and no...she is not shutting up. And she is suing the President.

Donald Trump Jr. and his wife have filed for divorce. Sad as they have 5 children together.

Absolute chaos.

Enjoyed this week's mall-ratting at the Bloomington College Mall. Found March's Bath and Body scent "Magic in the Air"

Aquamarine in color, light, sweet...a bit like candy floss in scent.

Have it now in lotion, shower gel, and mist!

Perfect for Spring.

This Week's Movie:

A bittersweet, gay teen coming-of-age film set in Northern Italy.
17 year old Elliot (Elio) embarking on his first love with Oliver, his father's 24 year old assistant for the summer. Beautifully done...and the end will make you cry.
Based on the novel. Must read it.

Well worth a viewing.

This Week's Book:

Twelve non-fiction essays by the author about events that have changed/shaped her life. Engaging. Well written. Thought-provoking and entertaining.

A quick read...but you will spend days thinking about it afterwards!


Muddling along with both my painting and the edits to The Plan.

Looking forward to a cookout with James and Nicole tomorrow. grand-daughter who has gone full-blown teenager now...though she isn't 12 And looks just like her Mom did!

Will get back to Virtual Australia next week...maybe even Sunday!


UPDATE:  Congratulations TINA, for landing your first job as an EMT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So proud of are on your way!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Week at a Glance

Yeah yeah...try explaining it to my Shelby-Cat, who will be waking me in the morning at her USUAL hour.
Okay? 2 AM tomorrow (technically tonight since I will still be sleeping) tiny time-thieves, probably in Benjamin Franklin attire, will sneak into our homes and take away one more hour...and instantly is 3 AM.

And all the night shift workers get off an hour early!

The week has been busy...but started out absolutely INSANE.

And by INSANE I mean this guy, of course.

On Monday night Sam Nunberg had an absolute breakdown across several news stations one after another with America watching.

It was sad.

But like most train just HAVE to watch, right?

It all started over a subpoena from Special Prosecutor Mueller.

Needing to have Sam and all his email correspondence with pretty much everybody ever connected with the Trump Administration in front of a grand jury on Friday.

Now, I don't know if he was wired, or angry, or drunk, or scared or maybe just having a breakdown...but he was unfuckingbelievable.

Yes Mueller, Trump (and America) ARE the WEAKEST link.

The play by play, later Monday night by Colbert, was nothing short of spectacular.

Best line of the entire night:

"Asking Mueller to just ARREST like telling Hannibal Lecter to EAT never ends well."

During one of the newscasts Nunberg was asked by Jake Tapper

" are willing to go to JAIL for this Administration."

and there was a long long long drawn out though he hadn't quite thought of that.

And Friday...he did manage to show up for the subpoena.

This week Florida's Governor Rick Scott also did so surprising He signed the gun bill that he had been saying he had no intention of letting pass. It seems that dead kids aren't enough for a change of heart...but aspirations for a Senate Seat during an election year...well THAT is a different matter entirely.

Yeah, good luck with all that...cause I'm thinking EVERYONE has pretty much seen your true colors now.

As for me...for 2018 and 2020 it is going to be straight party ticket. Blue no matter who. We have got to get these psychopaths out of office.

(And I NEVER vote straight party)


Days left until Spring Proper, here. it usually happens in Indiana...that meant Tuesday and Wednesday we woke up with bitter cold winds and SNOW again.

Not to worry, back to sunshine and nearly 50 degrees today. It is just around the corner now!  Cookout with the kids planned next weekend.

Also joined an Over 50 Women's Group this month. Discussions range from Politics to Adult Children and Grandchildren.  A lot of information about SS and many over 50 household and living tips. Really enjoying meeting new friends and sharing stories/ideas !

Counting down the days until  Rose and Idgy's Spring Adventure!


to go!

And we will  once AGAIN be "out of the box" for several days.

Looking forward to a Flaming Thin Mints Combined Birthday!

Also enjoyed a Friday Drop by...with Nicole and Aiden.

Love her new dye and cut.  Beach Hair!
Just gel or mousse..scrunch and go!

Aiden is growing up so fast. We think by summer he will be old enough for a short solo 1:1 day out with "Grandma Rose" 
He is very good.

Looking forward to Spring Break (coming soon) and 1:1 with Brenden, Emma, Kaylee and Hannah.  So nice to have individual "Grandma Rose Days" with them.  Must stock up on the whipped cream.

"What Time is It?'

"Whipped Cream Time!!!!"

Also looking forward to meeting my newest Grand-Puppy


 She is a Pocket Bully. A cross between an English Bulldog and a Pitbull. Yes, like Labradoodles this is a breed now. When they are grown they look like this

They stay short, squat and muscular.

I absolutely LOVE those eyes!

Can't wait to meet her!

This week's Movie:  Ladybird

A nice growing up and coming of age film.  Showcases the mother-daughter conflict and resolution.

Well worth a look!

The Book this week:  Parisian Charm School


A delightful non-fiction look at French Woman and the way they live (and enjoy) life. A relaxing and fun read whether you are French or not.

Working a little more on my Ghost of Monet (ala Peterson) painting this weekend, and may actually play in the dirt and get some of my forced (but not used) bulbs in outside containers tomorrow if the weather cooperates.

More Virtual Australia on Monday!

Next up: Yarra Valley Winery and Puffing Billy Steam-train Tour from Melbourne.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Virtual Australia: Phillip Island Nature Park

Located just 90 minutes off the coastline of Melbourne is the Phillip's Island Nature Park.

Phillip Island is a tourist attraction, but its primary purpose is conservation and research.

It is home to Nobbies Center (seals, dolphins and shark viewing)

The Penguin Parade ( evening watch when the penguins naturally come to shore for the night...)

and The Koala Conservation Center.

An amazing array of Australian wildlife inhabits the island. Around 100 different species over 60 acres.

So...let's go!

There are many ways to reach the island: By private auto, by bus, by train, by ferry, by air (helicopters take visitors from the mainland on the half hour)...or take one of the Tours available out of Melbourne.

 When you arrive you may be greeted by some of these...who, although wild, have no fear of human visitors.

 Like the local raccoons at Turkey Run they have long since learned that people may indeed mean food. 

Similarly, a Koala might enjoy a leafy treat right from your hand.

'roos and Wallabys abound

as well as



 Black Mute Swans (and another hungry 'roo)


Dingo (Australia's wild dog)

                                                        "Oh...Hi  there!"
Lots of Joeys.


Maybe another Koala or three...

and more kangaroos.

You may even luck into a family portrait!

But there is more to Phillip Island than 'roos, wallabies and koalas.

There are also



Fairy Penguins...who parade up the shore at night.

Okay...and the occasional beach 'roo...

I'm telling you...they're EVERYWHERE!!!

                                  "Ya gotta problem with that, Pinky???"

                                        "Is he bothering you, Ma'am?"
                                              "That's it. I'm outta here!"

All this and more!



From the air

Phillip Island Store

Also home to Phillip Island Chocolate Factory

Where you can tour the factory and ( best of all) try the chocolates!

Since this is Virtual we can also shop their online shop!

And Home to Phillip Island Coffee Company
(...this just keeps getting better and better...)

They seem to really enjoy their board-wars, too!

Phillip Island Coffee Company FB

Not sure yet if they have an online store...but you can contact them to ship directly.

And obviously I have both chocolate and the coffee ordered! As soon as the coffee arrives we will learn how to make

An Australian Flat White

and eat chocolate, of course.

More Anon...

                                  "Ya'll come back now...bring food!"