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Purple And Pliny / WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge /

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is the color purple. The Color Purple, of course, is a book published in 1982 written by Alice Walker about a Black woman, Celie, who writes letters to God. Writing, or talking to God for that matter, on a regular basis is a wonderful exercise. I believe some of the color in this photo is purple. There are other colors too. It wasn’t easy finding a photo in my collection with this color. There doesn’t ...

Baby vs. Bathwater

I can only think of one friend I have ever had who was from Arizona. Her family was not originally from there, but they had moved when her father's company relocated. We went to school in New York together, and she was intent on proving her non-Arizona-ness. I visited her family during a school break and was bewildered by the lemon trees growing on every front lawn in the tract housing neighborhood. It had never occurred to me that fruit trees ...

Photo Challenge: Unusual

The theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is “Unusual”. There’s a pig’s ear on my plate! This is an unusual photograph of a piglet’s ear. Yes, you read correctly, and what’s more, I was about to eat it! Lunching with some friends I reluctantly ordered Leitão assado à Bairrada (suckling pig). “Okay, no pig deal,” I thought as squirmed in my seat not wanting to appear whimpish. The last time I had suckling pig it was just like chunks of roast pork. No ...

Arrange – weekly photo challenge

Here’s my selection for this week - Chairs – arranged just so….. Mini strawberry flans…. A few lovely Japanese boxes… A few more chairs…. My photos arranged here, for you to arrange to find….hope you like them.

Flash in the Pan: Embark

Flash in the Pan: Embark

The first day of kindergarten: new clothes, new kids, new experiences— and no Mom. Warm fear trickled down her leg and Susie knew she was ill-equipped to embark on this rite of passage; but the brave, new world wouldn’t wait. Susie hid among the folds of her mother’s dress Hyperventilating. ~~~~ Check out Flash in the Pan! The prompt for this piece is Embark, and it has a limit of 50 words. I used…50. #flashfiction and #getpublished. Thank you for your support of Flash in the Pan!

Broas de Manteiga (Butter Biscuits)

These biscuits are synonymous with Madeira.  When I was a child my mother always had these at the ready for visitors to serve with coffee. Beware - They are addictive. My friend Mark van Niekerk asked for the recipe. Ingredients: 500g self raising flour 450g sugar 250g butter 2 eggs Method: Mix all the ingredients together to make a stiff dough. Roll into small balls (the size a walnut).  Place on a greased baking try and bake in a preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes.  Place on ...

Screenshot

After seeing a friend do this on Facebook, I decided to give this a shot.  I typed "ludicraft" into a Google Images search just to see what would come up.  Here's a screenshot of what I got: All things I've posted here and about!  I was just curious to what would come up. It's kind of nice seeing a sort of snapshot of all the things I've posted about.  Shown here is the top of the search.

Looking Beneath, Ahead and Behind

Looking Beneath And Other Aspects We Can Develop What Lies Beneath Looking beneath is a little like looking inwards, but it also again relates to pattern. What are the subtle currents going on. For example, in a painting, is there an underlying geometric framework to the composition that supports and holds it together. Many of the old masters painted in this way, using the golden mean as a pivotal construction tool. Are there layers of meaning? Does your painting tell a story in some ...

For the Love of Color

What’s your favorite color? It’s a simple question and one of the first we’re ever asked. The answer is quite simple as well. It’s the color that makes us feel good. The one we’re drawn to and never seem to tire. And what better color to use when decorating your home than your favorite color? Color schemes don’t have to be complicated. Using hue variations of one color and mixing it with neutrals can be the perfect choice when you can’t get enough ...

Reflections: Garden Flowers & Humorous Definitions…

“The only valid thing in art is the one thing that cannot be explained, to explain away the mystery of a great painting would do irreplaceable harm, for whenever you explain or define something you substitute the explanation or the definition for the” Henri Matisse Reflections: Garden Flowers & Humorous Definitions... purple & pink azaleas Reflections: Garden Flowers & Humorous Definitions... purple lavendar We go through life learning to define things by their given names. We see the world through the lens our ...

Cool Places to See Flowers: The Bataille de Fleurs in Nice, France

Every February, the picturesque city of Nice, France hosts the largest carnival in the country. This year, the Nice Carnival is celebrating its 140th birthday with the theme “King of the Five Continents.” The main attraction during the 3 week winter festival is the world-famous Bataille de Fleurs or the Battle of Flowers, where elaborate, larger-than-life  flower-covered floats are paraded down the street with extravagantly costumed models throwing thousands of flowers into the audience. For the spectators, half the fun is trying to ...

Celebrating Flowers in Style!

The 36th Chiang Mai Flower Festival Every February the streets of Chiang Mai are overcome with flowers. The city, located in northern Thailand, is often referred to as the Rose of the North and is known worldwide for their fabulous orchids, among other flowers. Photo credit @MuangThongHotel Spectators from far and wide gathered last month to celebrate local festivities in style and pulled out all the stops. Monstrous floats and sculptures were erected using the local fauna and flora depicting animals, temples and ...

Best Drought Tolerant Annuals For Your Garden

If you live in places like Nevada, Arizona and Texas, the summers are typically hot and dry. But the extreme heat doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy beautiful flowers in your garden. There are many  flowers that can tolerate the heat and drought. We love annuals because they are usually more colourful and often showier than perennials. And even if you don’t live in a climate where the summers are hot and dry, you can still grow these flowers to ...

X-Ray Flowers

British photographer and artist Hugh Turvey created these strikingly beautiful x-ray images of flowers. Through these amazingly detailed images, views are given the opportunity to see flowers in a different light. Photo credit: Hugh Turvey He is inspired by all that is around him and enjoys the discovery that comes with his work. He can be quoted as saying, “I’m driven by my curiosity. I have an insane curiosity for how things work. X-ray gives me a way to get that insight ...

Visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted

I Am A Lady

The Lady of Shalott painted in 1888 by John William Waterhouse

Thought Number One:  Titles

I have a new title!  Yes, it’s official…well…sort of official…

I am a lady.

Before I begin to try to prove my case for being a lady,  let’s just throw it out there that it is so much easier being a man as far as titles go.  For the most part the title “Mister” is one of the few titles that would be used other than a professional  designation.

Women, however, have an array of  titles that they may be called over a lifetime. Throughout the world, many titles have to do with the marital status of a woman or her level in society.   In the U.S. some of various choices have changed over the years.

For example:  There was a time that married women took on the husband’s first and last name when signing legal documents. For example a woman would write Mrs. John Doe when signing a check instead of writing her own given name such as Jane Doe.  My grandmother once got a call from the bank asking her to quit signing her checks like that after my grandfather died.  She was in her 90′s at the time and seemed to be annoyed  by the request.  They knew who she was after all.  The same bank didn’t have a problem cashing checks that had been stolen from her  with forged signatures on them so, I am prepared to just think they are a crappy bank but back to the subject at hand.

One of the reasons, I am bringing this up today is several times over the last couple of weeks, friends of various ages have talked about the period of time when a woman is referred to as “MISS” versus when she is routinely called “MA’AM” This appears to happen in the early 30′s range of age.

Many women seem to struggle with the onset of Ma’amism. Perhaps it is the fact that ma’am is the contraction of Madame.   Madame does have a certain matronly sound to it, I guess…oh and there is  that other connotation as well?  But is that any better or worse than the title “Mrs.” that is a contraction for Mistress.

It has been long enough now, that I don’t actually remember the time that I was called “Miss” more than I was/am  called  “Ma’am”. I am pretty sure that when I was 23 and pushing a stroller with 2 little babies in it, even then….  more often than not I was called Ma’am over Miss. Frankly, it didn’t bother me much one way or another.  In defense to those involved, it was fair to assume I wasn’t a “Miss”.  If they had the advantage of knowing my last name I would of been called Mrs.

Today, 30+ years later, things have changed somewhat in terms of titles.  Younger women could be called Ms. if the person addressing them was unclear about their marital status.  The word “Ms.” or at least words used in the fashion of not associating a woman to be the mistress of a man has been around since the 17th century but it didn’t gain popular usage in the U.S. until the 20th century.

In 1961, Sheila Michaels attempted to put the term into use when she saw what she thought was a typographical error on the address label of a copy of News & Letters sent to her roommate. Michaels “was looking for a title for a woman who did not ‘belong’ to a man.” She knew the separation of the now common terms Miss and Mrs. had derived from “Mistress”, but one could not suggest that women use the original title with its now louche connotations. Her efforts to promote use of a new honorific were at first ignored. Around 1971, in a lull during a WBAI-radio interview with The Feminists group, Michaels suggested the use of Ms. A friend of Gloria Steinem heard the interview and suggested it as a title for her new magazine. Ms. magazine’s popularity finally allowed the term to enjoy widespread usage. In February 1972, the US Government Printing Office approved using “Ms.” in official government documents

Around that same time other things changed as well.  More and more women retained their own surnames or hyphenated their name with their husband’s name after marriage.   Many opted to use Ms. instead of Mrs.

Thought Number Two:   Why I Am a Lady

Typically, if I am somewhere that people have to address me and they have the advantage of seeing my name on a charge card or some form of ID, they are still in a bit of a fix as to knowing how to address me.  Judging by my age, or the fact I wear wedding rings, it would seem easy enough to call me Mrs. BUT it isn’t easy because no one can figure out how to say my last name.  I, actually, admire the people that give it a try.  Few ever succeed in getting it right but they get points for trying.  Mostly there are the apprehensive about making a mistake,  though and  just say…Thanks, Cheryl or don’t use any name for fear of getting it wrong.  I respect that.

Sunday, though I was at a nursery getting bags of potting soil…big bags of potting soil that were beyond my capability of lifting.  After paying for the soil, the nursery  employee, walked me out to help load them into the back of my SUV.  After loading them, he was at a crossroads on how to address me.  I should tell you he was young and of Asian ethnicity.  After looking at my confusing name on the pickup slip, he grinned ever so sweetly and said, “Have a great weekend, Lady!”

So now I have been a Miss, a Ms., a Mrs., a Ma’am, and a Lady.  I think all of those need to be listed on the next government form I fill out so that I can check the appropriate box.

Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted

A veteran of corporate moves from which I survived moving 21 times for my husband's job. I currently am a married, middle-aged (if I make it to 116) middle income, mom living in the very middle of the country, with time on her hands to jot down observations, judgements, and musings about past and current events.

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