#77 reflections. January greetings.

By: Proserpina , 2:38 PM GMT on December 31, 2012

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Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page.
Henry Ward Beecher



"Ruler of new beginnings, gates and doors, the first hour of the day, the first day of the month, and the first month of the year, the Roman god Janus gave January its name. He was pictured as two-headed (both heads bearded) and situated so that one head looked forward into the new year while the other took a retrospective view. Janus also presided over the temple of peace, where the doors were opened only during wartime. It was a place of safety, where new beginnings and new resolutions could be forged, just as the New Year is a time for new objectives and renewed commitments to long-term goals."
- Above: How January Got Its Name -


Dance as if no one were watching,
sing as if no one were listening
and live every day as if it were your last.

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115. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
11:02 PM GMT on January 18, 2013
Proserpina has created a new entry.
114. Barefootontherocks
4:40 PM GMT on January 18, 2013
Hi Prose,
"BF, I did not mean to make you cry by posting If...
Glad that you stopped by even if you had tears in your eyes! They are good tears.

Yes, they are. Or were. Reading the poem became last in a series of happenings that brought on an epiphany, the kind you feel in your gut and know is right the moment it hits. The kind that brings peace to your soul. Thank you.

Here's something interesting and kind of fun...

image credit: NWS, Sterling, VA

Have a great weekend.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 162 Comments: 20405
113. Ylee
2:58 AM GMT on January 18, 2013
Sorry, Pros, the new blog doesn't have the monkey cam! :'( Maybe in a few weeks!

Saw where you had a fun lunch with your friends! I think you needed that!

The Kipling poem that Shore posted is oh-so true....
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 107 Comments: 18434
112. shoreacres
2:24 AM GMT on January 18, 2013
Evening, Pros,

Gosh, I'm so sorry to hear the pain block didn't work for you. I hope that things are easing up some, and I'm very glad to see you went out for lunch.

And you're getting snow!? I'd say I'm a little jealous, but right now we're finally in the sunshine and I need it desperately to get some work done. It's always something - but things do get out of whack during this time of year. When the days are so short it's hard to catch up.

Have you ever read anything by Neil Gaiman? He had a wonderful dog named Cabal, whom he just lost. You can read his tribute to his dog here. Yes, it's a sad story that really plucked at my heartstrings, but Gaiman's a great writer and he did a good job.

What made me think of you (besides your love for Koko) was the fact that Gaiman quoted another Kipling poem in his piece. I looked up the whole poem, and thought it was just wonderful. It certainly has a different tone than Gunga Din!

The Power of the Dog - Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find - it's your own affair, -
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!),
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone - wherever it goes - for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear!

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent,
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve;
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long -
So why in - Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
111. sandiquiz
2:28 PM GMT on January 17, 2013

It is so easy to post from WU into a comment box... and I always use the same method to post into my header, too

Choose your photo, then right click on it, which opens a box of actions. Left click on the "Copy image URL".

Go to the comment box you want to post the photo in, then left click on the tab over the box that says Image and another box will open. Paste the copied URL into the box by right clicking on the space and left clicking the word paste.... press ok and it is done. :-)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 315 Comments: 28449
110. Skyepony (Mod)
2:22 PM GMT on January 17, 2013
I'm tempted like Aqua~ I could be tent camping on the mountain summer place in the sleet or snow in about 8hrs..or maybe just rain. Never make it back for fun tomorrow.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 41003
109. Proserpina
2:20 PM GMT on January 17, 2013
Good morning Sandi. I have not figured out how to post a photo from the WU gallery to an internal post, I only know how to attach one at the top. (And I am too lazy to upload it to photobucket) So if you please look at the photo of the Morning Glories (on top of page) you will see a photo that I took a year or two ago. I always liked that photo, now I know why, it has nice bokeh! Yea! Too bad that it doesn't qualify for the current 'game'.
I did get some sleep last night. So far no snow, nor sleet, nor rain... I think that it will be ok to meet my friends for lunch in a little while. I also need to run a couple of errands.
Thank you for your response here and on your blog. Have a lovely day.

Hi Aqua, no snow yet. I think it is going to stay away from my area, for the most part. If I could place a few flakes in an envelope, I'd mail you a few. :)

Hi Ylee. I am slowly working on the next blog. Very slowly as I get distracted and go on to other 'interests'. I need to come over your blog and visit with the monkeys, I love that cam!

, as they say 'timing is everything'. Amazing but very timely and appropriate both as to the title, and the content. Good advice for young and old. I need to read it now and then. Thank you for posting it here.

Enjoy your day everyone!
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
108. sandiquiz
7:41 AM GMT on January 17, 2013
Hello Pros.... I do hope you are sleeping, as I am sorry to read you haven't managed much sleep the last few days:-(.

I posted an answer to your query on bokeh, with some examples, in my blog...hope it helps:-). I haven't got around to taking a shot for 'shootaboot'....I have plenty of old photos that would do, but nothing taken this month!

I went through your own photos on WU and this one has great bokeh....

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 315 Comments: 28449
107. aquak9
4:58 AM GMT on January 17, 2013
mom- just think- if I left RIGHT NOW, I could get there in time to start playing with the first snowflakes! But of course, my job would not be happy.

Oh well. The thought of it kept me smiling at work tonight.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 27553
106. Ylee
3:26 AM GMT on January 17, 2013
Hi, Pros! Hope you're getting some rest! You may have to save your strength in case you want to build a snowman tomorrow! :')

Looking forward to your next blog; I'm sure it will be a good one!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 107 Comments: 18434
105. SBKaren
3:07 AM GMT on January 17, 2013
Hi Pros - I thought of you immediately when I received our most recent "Barker" which is a newsletter we receive from our Friends of the Library. The President of the Friends group always imparts some words of wisdom, and this month it was on poetry. He mentioned the author Alan Jacobs, but implied that this was a poem highlighted from his book, but not his poem. Did a little searching with Mr. Google and came up with the poem and author. It was a poem, entitled If. A different author, but I thought you would appreciate it.

“If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you've lost,
For out in the world we find
Success being with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are:
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.”

― Walter D. Wintle
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 200 Comments: 14809
104. Proserpina
7:39 PM GMT on January 16, 2013
Ok, Alley and Janet, I will have to plan on making chili sometime soon! I love chili in winter, it does warm one's innards.

, so glad that you are feeling better. The lack of sleep can really mess one up! I should know, it is the third night in a row that I have not been able to sleep for more than a few minutes. Yes, I do feel like a mess! But I am making the best of it, I have been reading up for a new blog. You know, the kind that interests me and no one else, but the research keeps me busy.

Sandi, blizzards? Oh no! Be prepared and stay safe.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
103. janetlee
7:30 PM GMT on January 16, 2013
Wow, wnter is coming back to your area with a vengence! We are in the high 70"s today but alas its our last one. They are using the 's' word in our forecast later in the week. I'm hoping it does not come this close to the coast.
So sorry you are still in pain but have the determation to overcome it. Will power can work wonders.

Alley, must be something in the air~ I made a big pot of chili yesterday! More for tonight.
Member Since: March 14, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 1449
102. Alleyoops
7:30 PM GMT on January 16, 2013
Thanks PROS. Feeling much better today, got a good rest, sun is shining and it's warming up a bit. Making chili for dinner tonite with toast then will try to get to bed at a reasonable time.

Hope you are feeling better yourself. BIG HUGS
Member Since: April 18, 2007 Posts: 190 Comments: 29458
101. Proserpina
7:21 PM GMT on January 16, 2013









Sent by OEM Duty to voice dialer, e-mail accounts, cell phones & pagers through the Fairfax County CEAN

Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
100. sandiquiz
7:53 AM GMT on January 16, 2013
Dear Pros, I am so sorry to read that your pain block didn't work....but you are a role model for all, with your determination and positive, 'will and can do' attitude. :-)
We are chilly today, blanketed in freezing fog....with blizzards forecasted for the end of the week! Do you think winter has finally arrived?
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 315 Comments: 28449
99. Proserpina
12:15 AM GMT on January 16, 2013
Dear Alley, I am so very sorry and so sad that you are going through some distressful times. Winter blues are real and they can do a lot of damage to one's emotional state.
Is there anything that I can do to cheer you up? Please do not give up, we love you, we really do!

No the pain block did not work and am having lots of problems. I am trying not to dwell on the situation but like you, it is hard. But I refuse to let the pain totally control my life! I will fight it with every once of energy I have (Except when it really gets me down but not for long! I will be the winner, I will be! Please say the same to yourself. Don't let anything rule over your emotions!)

Sending lots of love, positive thoughts, and prayers.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
98. Alleyoops
11:21 PM GMT on January 15, 2013
Hi Pros...sorry I have not been around much. Just trying to cope with the January "blues" I truly do hate this time of the year with its cold and dreary days, lack of sunshine and warmth. Two more months to go then all will be smiles again.

Have not been doing much around here and I am sorry to say that my days have been pretty boring to say the least. I am truly in a rut and I know I need to do something to get out of it. Health wise I am doing reasonably well. Sugars still are not where I want them but I have reached a point that I really don't give a damn anymore. I don't need the stress of worrying about them at this time. Same goes for weight loss, if it comes off, fine, if not, well there is always tomorrow or the next day.

Anyway dearest one, hope things are going better for you and that you have found some relief from your pain. Thinking of you always and holding you in my prayers...BIG HUGS
Member Since: April 18, 2007 Posts: 190 Comments: 29458
97. sandiquiz
9:00 PM GMT on January 15, 2013
Hello and thanks for checking in on me.
Glad your hubby was able to reboot and speed up your computer....but I must ask, for someone who likes to learn so much about different cultures why haven't you learnt how to reboot the computer yourself:-) lol

I posted a video in my blog of some little birds roosting in the cold....I am sure you will love it. It was shown on TV, and I found it in YouTube.:-)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 315 Comments: 28449
96. Proserpina
1:41 AM GMT on January 15, 2013
Weathergeek5, that's one wonderful accomplishment! CONGRATULATIONS! I do hope that you get a job in your field, you should as you are a fantastic worker. Your commitment to getting the Associate Degree has been something to admire. And I know that you WILL someday obtain your bachelor degree. Your family must be proud of you! I know that I am. Best wishes my 'geek5' friend. And thank you for letting me know.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
95. weathergeek5
12:57 AM GMT on January 15, 2013
Hey this is weathergeek5. long time no see! In the past couple of years I told you I was going to school and we discussed some of my composition classes on here. Well I have received my Associates Degree in Paralegal studies with 2 certificates of study in paralegal studies one in general paralegal studies and one with a concentration in corporate law. I am planning to find a job in my field and hopefully will pay my own way instead of getting more student loans. I am planning to go for my bachelors degree. I am the first person in my immediate family to get a college degree. This was with working full time and taking classes at the same time. I had a cumulative GPA of 3.38
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
94. Proserpina
12:13 AM GMT on January 15, 2013
Hi Karen, yes, it is a painting. Thank you. And yes, I have always been my worst critic! At the same time the self criticism always pushed me to do the very best, and that made me a good teacher. I a couple of weeks ago I received a letter from a former student, a brilliant one, who is now married, has five kids, and is homeschooling her children. She wrote to say that she thinks of me often as I was her favorite teacher. I like to think that doing my very best was one of my assets as a teacher and human being. And yes, I finally have come to believe that I was a good teacher. About the only positive attribute that I give myself, but only in retrospect.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
93. SBKaren
11:42 PM GMT on January 14, 2013
Are you trying to say that the picture in comment #66 is a painting? I thought it was a photo! I kept looking at it and re-reading your post. It's a painting, right? Not a photo?

And you think this isn't good? If that's so, you are WAY too hard on yourself.
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 200 Comments: 14809
92. Proserpina
11:34 PM GMT on January 14, 2013
Ylee, you are the best! And the kindest!
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
91. Ylee
10:25 PM GMT on January 14, 2013
Oftentimes an amateur with talent is better than a trained professional without! :')
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 107 Comments: 18434
90. Proserpina
8:42 PM GMT on January 14, 2013
Good afternoon, all is well. I had an appointment this morning, did a few chores around the house, and now I can relax a little bit.

Hi Ylee. A few days ago I read an online biography of R Kipling and found it fascinating! From the place of his birth, to his education, development as a writer, etc etc. I have also read more of his poetry and am appreciating his work more and more. If... is a fatherly advice masterpiece. He suffered emotionally as a child as he was sent away to England and missed his parents. He also felt rejected and unloved. He learned from his personal experience how to be a good father, in verse anyways.
As to Gunga Din, now that I know about the history of England in regard to India, and I know about prejudices, wars, soldiers, etc etc., the poem makes sense and I can appreciate it. BUT as a very sheltered young child that poem was a scary experience of the unknown.

Hi Janet, I am discovering that quite a few people had to deal with the poem when they were in Junior High! Frankly I still think that it is a poem too 'adult' for a Junior High kid!
Good to see you and I hope that all is well with you.

Sandi, what a great custom to have a Senior recite the poem If... for the parents. Sorry that you were not chosen, I bet you would have done a superb job. As you say, at least it went to someone you had 'admired'.
While I read the online biography on RK, I found out that several of his short stories were made into films and successfully at that. They made some of the stories into cartoons as well, such as Mr Magoo (spelling?). Glad that you found his work on line to download. My husband has taken over my Kindle (last year's birthday gift to me from a son) and he just loves to read his books on Kindle. He is constantly downloading and reading books from Amazon, public library, etc.

BF, I did not mean to make you cry by posting If... But I understand how one gets emotional reading or listening to the poem. True it is hard to live to all of expectations/exhortations found in the poem, but we can strive to do so. Both as a son and as a parent, or as a human being. As a parent, I wish that I had been a better one and set an example according to some of the things in the poem but 'we are humans' and we do make mistakes. Besides, I do not know many saints who actually dwell on this earth. Even my mom who was a 'saint' had tons of flaws as a parent!
Glad that you stopped by even if you had tears in your eyes! They are good tears.

BC, you are the 'cat momma'! Thank you so much, glad that you liked the painting and especially the eyes. I worked from a photo I downloaded from Facebook. A friend had posted it. I did the best I could but a professional I am not. I never had any college training in art, in another words, I am not formally trained to draw or paint. I do enjoy the hobby and I do like those eyes as well!

Bug, I do not think that I had read If... until this past week! I loved it immediately and just had to share it with you all on WU, and on Facebook as well. I have added it to my collection of favorite poems and plan to go back to it periodically, as needed! Sorry that you are having problems with new softwear. I hope that the glitches have been resolved by now.

GG, I think that my teacher presented the poem as a vehicle to show us his booming voice. he just liked to hear himself emote through the vehicle of the poem. It did have a certain crescendo as he recited the poem and it sounded interesting enough, I just did not understand one word or concept in the whole poem!

Hi Shore, did you enjoy the 72 degrees weather, the day that you last posted here? I have visited you on your blog, so I will just say hi.

Aqua, I do like dried and somewhat sweetened cranberries in salads, where they do impart some sweetness. But for the rapini and other veggies I much prefer the raisins, especially the white raisins. Right now I have a pot roast cooking in the slow cooker and the house smells heavenly. To me anyways, when Raindad comes into the house from the mancave, he will immediately turn on the fan. He just hates cooking odors and I love them! Hugs to you and Rain.

Jus, thank you for the comment and for stopping by. I love to hear from you.

I hope I did not miss leaving a comment to those who posted here in the last few days.

Have a great evening everyone!
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
89. Ylee
4:43 PM GMT on January 14, 2013
Good morning, Pros! Thanks for posting "If", and providing the background of his American days! I didn't know he lived over here!

Hope you are doing well!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 107 Comments: 18434
88. janetlee
4:17 PM GMT on January 14, 2013
I do hope you & Hubby are having a better day today!
I do not remember ever having to read 'If' but Gunga Din was part of my Jr.High Eng. Lit. She also liked to have us do all that disecting & explaining what was meant by such & such verse, taking all the fun out of just reading for the enjoyment of reading. Much like the 'accelarated reading' now required in our elem. schools. It was not until 12th grade did I start to enjoy reading once again because I had an Eng. Lit. teacher that made it fun to once again read. She was a big fan of all the classics.
Take care~
Member Since: March 14, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 1449
87. sandiquiz
6:23 AM GMT on January 14, 2013
Thanks for bringing back a couple of memories.
The poem 'IF' was one of our school 'speech day' offerings, and each year the senior pupils would practice saying it, hoping they would be chosen to say it to the parents at Speech Day. When I reached the last year, I practised hard but didn't get chosen. I didn't really mind as the boy I had a crush on did, and he was brilliant! Not a dry eye in the place!

When I was teaching I often used it with the boys, in an assembly. They loved saying the last line!

It is Monday, and the first day of a totally new week...hope it is a good one for you:-)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 315 Comments: 28449
86. Barefootontherocks
4:17 AM GMT on January 14, 2013
Hi Prose,
Thanks for mentioning Captains Courageous and Kipling and especially If. Saw the movie version of Captains Courageous long ago but never read the book, so here's a link to Gutenberg's Captains Courageous online in case anyone besides me wants to read it.

I shared "If" once with an adult child who loved it and cried reading it. I guess it hit home. If only one could live up to "If." I can't. Just read it and I'm crying now, too.

The kittens' eyes are beautiful.

Have a good night and a great week.

Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 162 Comments: 20405
85. BriarCraft
11:13 PM GMT on January 13, 2013
Thanks for posting "If". That isn't just a bunch of pretty words; there is a whole lot of love and sound advice within.

I'm glad you shared that painting of the kittens. I think painting animals and people realistically is more difficult than still life. And I think you did a good job of it. In particular, Pepper's face and even his eyes are so lovely, that I just want to pick him up and give him a kitty-hug. And you know I'm a discerning cat lover, so you know I know what I'm talking about.

I do hope the pain block achieved the desired result and that you're feeling better now. The best thing about pain is when it stops.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4688
84. palmettobug53
2:50 PM GMT on January 13, 2013
Pros, it's been quite a while since I read 'If.'

I may need to print it out and pin it to my cubicle wall for 'bucking up' while dealing with our new software. Very good advice!

It has a much different rhythm than most of his poetry.

His 'Barrack Room Ballads' have a bouncing gait. Much like posting at the trot. You feel them while you're reading them!

I have a 1940 edition of BBB. It was given to my mother's brother by their mother for Christmas, 1941. It is in fair condition, as the paper and binding are not top notch. I doubt that Gramma had the money to buy anything expensive. It is still in good enough shape that it can be read; just very carefully.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 245 Comments: 25963
83. Proserpina
11:57 AM GMT on January 13, 2013
For information on the fascinating life of Rudyard Kipling please go to: http://www.kipling.org.uk/kip_fra.htm

Here is a bit information from the above site that I had not known til now:

"Returning to England in 1889, Kipling won instant success with Barrack-Room Ballads which were followed by some more brilliant short stories. After the death of an American friend and literary collaborator, Wolcott Balestier, he married Wolcott's sister Carrie in 1892.

After a world trip, he returned with Carrie to her family home in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA, with the aim of settling down there. It was in Brattleboro, deep in New England, that he wrote Captains Courageous and The Jungle Books , and where their first two children, Josephine and Elsie, were born."

The following is the poem IF by R Kipling. It is written as advice to his son but I think that it can also be advice for a daughter as well as for anyone who needs a reminder/supportive word.


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
82. sandiquiz
8:00 PM GMT on January 12, 2013
How strange that you would bring up Rudyard Kipling...
I was looking through the Kindle store at their list of free on-line books and found Jungle Book as one of the free ones. I have never read the book, although I have seen the film a couple of times, so I downloaded it and have read it.
I really enjoyed it, although the Disney film, even though the characters are the same, only bears a passing resemblance to what actually happens in the book.

Hope you are feeling a little better today :-)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 315 Comments: 28449
81. Ylee
7:48 PM GMT on January 12, 2013
You must have been bewildered when you first heard that poem! It took not a little concentration for me to understand it! I think my English teachers were slightly less masochistic than yours! :)

I hope you feel better soon!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 107 Comments: 18434
80. GardenGrrl
7:13 PM GMT on January 12, 2013
Hi Prose. I have never read the poem Gunga Din but good golly it's dark and morbid. I suppose it covers war and servitude quite eloquently. The question is how this was presented to children. An excercise in linguistics and dialect or a poem to dissect the dark belly of a beast?
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 280 Comments: 10791
79. shoreacres
5:08 PM GMT on January 12, 2013
Do you know I've never read all of Gunga Din? At least, not that I remember. But the line that's been around my whole life is "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!" I wonder now if the common expression, "You're a better man than I am..." might be rooted there.

I'm off to run a few errands while it's still nice, and then I'll be back to really sort my way through it all. It's 72 degrees and I need to get out and enjoy it, even if I only run errands. The cold is coming!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
78. palmettobug53
5:01 PM GMT on January 12, 2013
Hi, Pros.

Sorry, I have been AWOL all week. Work. Tired.

That kitty painting is wonderful! I thought it was the photo!

Glad to hear that Raindad is doing better. I was concerned and feel guilty that I didn't get back online to check on him.

I LOVE "Gunga Din!" Love Kipling, for that matter.

I remember having to 'study' it in school. Kipling was one of the few poets I enjoyed having to 'study' back then. I still didn't like the dissection we'd have to do afterwards and all the questions the teacher would pose about his work, and others. They tried their best to suck all the fun out of poetry. I like to read it and just enjoy it. I still enjoy reading Kipling's works; both his poems and his stories.

He's the reason I've had a bit of a lifelong fascination with India's history and cultures. LONG before The Beatles made it popular! lol
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 245 Comments: 25963
77. Proserpina
2:28 PM GMT on January 12, 2013
So here I am recovering from yesterday's long day at a hospital in MD for a scheduled pain block. I am not to be active today so I decided to play with an idea for another blog that no one will read, but of cultural interest to at least me.

While playing with a google research I came across Rudyard Kipling's "Gunga Din". Aha, I said to myself, the earliest poem crammed into my head in my first year of public schooling in the USA! My first year at a Junior High School (8th grade). For some reason I have never looked into this poem since the 8th grade even though a verse constantly plays in my head - "Gunga Din. He was "Din, din, din!"

Yes, my teacher loved to recite Gunga Din, nonstop! His, or was it her, booming voice uttering Gunga Din. Din, din, din, reverberated throughout the corridors of Wendell Holmes Junior High! And has lived in my head for a lifetime.

Imagine a scared kid who has been in the USA less than a year, just learning the language, and trying to understand:

" You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it."!.....

This morning I finally read the whole poem, oh Lord! What was going on through that teacher's head in choosing this poem as a 'mantra' for his 1954 year of teaching?!

So to occupy my idle hands and mind today I post the poem for you. "Gunga Din. Din, din, din."

Gunga Din

You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! Slippy hitherao!
Water, get it! Panee lao! [Bring water swiftly.]
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!" [Mr. Atkins's equivalent for "O brother."]
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee in it [Be quick.]
Or I'll marrow you this minute [Hit you.]
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick on 'is back, [Water-skin.]
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front-ranks shout,
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I shan't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground,
An' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen.
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

Rudyard Kipling
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
76. sandiquiz
3:17 PM GMT on January 10, 2013
Do you know I was about to type, happy Friday, then I realised it was only Thursday!

I am glad you liked the new blog, I found it fascinating doing the research. I mean, I never knew they built aircraft under the city of London during WW2, using one of the underground tunnels as the factory. Safe from prying eyes!

I hope you are well and hubby is feeling better. I am not too bad, but think I forgot, earlier in the week, that I had major surgery just 12 weeks ago, so now I am taking it easy.... :(
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 315 Comments: 28449
75. aquak9
6:00 PM GMT on January 09, 2013
oh on the laurentis- - dried cranberries do not work. I guess because of the thicker skins? they do not exude any sweetness, like the raisins do. So I will only use the raisins.

Rain got a big pan of brownies with walnuts. We will cook steak on the grill tomorrow. All is well-
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 27553
74. Proserpina
3:23 PM GMT on January 09, 2013
Happy Birthday Picture Cards
Happy Birthday Pictures

Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
73. aquak9
2:36 PM GMT on January 09, 2013
hi mom et al-

glad that RainDad is feeling better. Reading back, he is so much like his son.

Mom- like jus said, how can you go wrong with a painting of kittens.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 27553
72. shoreacres
2:21 PM GMT on January 09, 2013
Pros, that is the Starbuck's cup. Right now, it's propped up here on my desk, part of my ever-growing collection of blogger-art. ;)

I'm amazed to hear that Koko eats carrots - I've never heard of such a thing. I do know a cat that eats lettuce, but that makes a certain sense to me - like eating really broad-leafed grass. But carrots? That's - unusual.
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
71. Proserpina
2:12 PM GMT on January 09, 2013
Shore, I visited the site you point out. Love the blog, a mixture or art, photography, crafts, poetry, etc etc. I found a painting of a Starbuck coffee cup, is this the one you mentioned in one of your posts? I will go back to this blog, creative and interesting.
As to the cats, my friend is trying to get the photo of the painting sent to the people who adopted the cats.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

, as usual, you are gracious and kind hearted. Thank you for the cat comments. It had been over 30 years since I had attempted painting a cat but I did want to try something different. Good or bad, I enjoyed the act of painting. Thank you for your visit.

, I thought that all dogs ate carrots? I never questioned the fact that Koko absolutely loves carrots, I thought that this is normal for dogs. Well, she eats almost everything that humans eat and prefers human food. Thank you for stopping by.

Jus, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I can't have a kitten right now, Koko would not be receptive of a new guest in the house. I sure would love to have one or two to pamper.

It is after nine and I have not had a cup of coffee yet, in fact I have not even been to the kitchen. I guess it is time to go eat and have my wake up coffee, feed Koko, and fill the bird feeders.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
70. shoreacres
1:18 PM GMT on January 09, 2013
You painted those kitties? Like Sandi, I thought it was a photo! You did a beautiful job - they look so appealing. I'd adopt one in a minute!

Speaking of painting, I came across this post this morning and thought of your "fire and ice" immediately. I think these kales and such are so beautiful. Maybe I should see if they will grow in pots. They certainly would add a bit of winter color around here.

We're still waiting on our rain. We've had some - maybe an inch and a quarter - but after days of listening to flash flood warnings with nothing even close, it's getting a little discouraging. But, the good news is that people who need rain are getting it, so I'll not fuss. I'd just love to have a truly rainy day for once. We'll see!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
69. sandiquiz
7:31 AM GMT on January 09, 2013
You painted those kitties? I actually thought it was a photo until I made it larger to see the detail! It is wonderful!! You are so clever!

It is amazing what our furry children will eat. I knew a little Yorkshire terrier that love Brussel sprouts and a cat of mine loved bananas!

Hope Koko ate her supper, and hubby is feeling better:)

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 315 Comments: 28449
68. Ylee
3:39 AM GMT on January 09, 2013
Koko eats carrots? Not even the biggest chow hound we ever had ate those! We did have one that ate green beans, though! :)

I liked your ramble! :)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 107 Comments: 18434
67. juslivn
9:05 PM GMT on January 08, 2013
It's adorable!! How can you go wrong with a painting of kittens lol :)
Member Since: August 20, 2009 Posts: 93 Comments: 10431
66. Proserpina
8:45 PM GMT on January 08, 2013

Yes, I know. I should stick to flower painting!

One of my best friends fosters kittens. She sent me a photo of the last batch of kittens she fostered and asked me to name the black one on the left. I decided to let my granddaughter name her, she chose Pepper. Well, days ago I decided to try painting the kittens from the photo. Not a good decision, as I said above, I should stick to flowers.

Being a bear for punishment, I am posting it! Feel free to tease me!
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920
65. Proserpina
2:46 PM GMT on January 08, 2013
Good morning. Cold but the sun is shining. Hubby says he feels better. Koko is on a food strike, she does not like the food I gave her this morning. She has a game, will not eat until I place a treat on top of the dog food flavor she is resisting. Carrots and Puppyroni will do the trick. Yes, she has me wrapped around her little paw!

Sandi, I just spent a few minutes looking up 'bokeh', and discovered that I actually have taken a few photos in the past that are with the bokeh technique! I thought that the background was just out of focus! Imagine creating a photo work of art and not knowing it! LOL
As to taking care of hubby, it comes with my genes. I cannot imagine being calloused about one's family members or anyone at all. I do what is natural for me to do. On the other hand, I know that there are different genes make-up out there. My hubby is the kind who, when I am sick, every three-four hours asks 'can I get you anything? And that's basically the extent of his 'take care of sick people genes'. However, when things are really really bad, he comes through for me.

, you reminded me of my teenage years and early twenties when I lived in MA. We lived next door to an elderly couple whose husband still drove to Boston to work. This man gave my brother and me a ride to Boston during our first year of College, he never accepted money. In turn, my brother and I shoveled his snow in winter, and there was plenty of it to shovel in the MA winters! I remember one year the snow was so high that it blocked our (and their front doors) due to the drifts. My brother and I tunneled our way out of the front door to the street, then went over next door and we tunneled our way to their front door to 'rescue' the couple.
I suppose that there are lots of areas here in VA and in other places where people still do the neighborly thing and help each other. My area is very transient, too career and power obsessed, always in a rush, has no time for deep friendships, .... Although there are exceptions. A few houses away from me lives an English couple and their tons of American born children (children have all married and moved but visit a lot with the tons of grandchildren). Anyways, the lady of the house, who is a friend of mine, is kind and helpful to anyone who needs help. Recently she saved the lives of another neighbor and his challenged adult son. She also has been taking care of them, bringing food, inviting them over to her house, etc etc. She is selfless and caring. (An explanation the man who needs help is a widower.)
So, good people who believe in loving one's neighbors do exist even in this area but they are a rarity. Yes, I know that I am rambling. Have a good day Ylee.

Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 183 Comments: 18920

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"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." Franklin D. Roosevelt

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