Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Color Is Your Parachute?

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Parachute!

Flickr photo by Rolye
Ever since I did Monday's post on dandelions, I've had parachutes on the brain.
You know, this kind.

Flickr photo by Trev Grant
Do you know where the word parachute comes from?
It's French, mes amis.
Para (against) + chute (French for fall) = parachute (against the fall)
I just LOVE it when the world makes sense.

I like the non-dandelion fluff parachutes too, though I sure hope I never have to use one.
Yep. I'll go skydiving when pigs fly!

Photo by
I guess I better get ready.
Given my fear of heights, you might be surprised by the number of parachutes I've encountered in my life. And not just the felted pig on etsy kind.

I don't suppose this parachute trio counts as a true encounter, but I remember the splashdowns just the same. Are you old enough to remember them too?

Public domain photo
No? Maybe you remember this parachute instead. Perhaps in reruns?

Those parachutes always remind me of the jellyfish I'd find washed up on the beach.

Flickr photo by thebrockmeister
See what I mean?
They're much prettier drifting through the water than as beach globs.

You can't do this with a beach glob.

Flickr photo by TomFlikrPhotos
Have you ever run underneath a parachute? You should try it. When I was little, my mom had a real parachute for us to play with. No, she wasn't a skydiver either, although I would call her a daredevil. She used the parachute with her preschool classes for years and years. (What? You say preschool teachers aren't daredevils? You've obviously never spent much time with a dozen three year olds.)

My mom sews too. Come to think of it, she could have made my wedding dress out of that white parachute.

Flickr photo by stlouiemeg
(If you've got time, click on that photo and read the story behind that dress.)

Speaking of weddings, see the parachute I wore a couple of months before my big day?

Look at those young lovebirds! Where are my crow's feet? That photo was taken back in the dark ages, when Todd was in the Air Force in Texas and I came for a visit. I got to ride around in a T-37 with a parachute on my back. I'm afraid all we did was taxi around the runway. They made me wear the parachute in case I had to eject, but we never even took off.
Want to know a secret? Staying on the ground was fine with me. I couldn't breathe with that oxygen mask on my face.

It's a good think I didn't have to taxi around with da Vinci's parachute on my back. It wouldn't have fit in the plane.

Flickr photo by StovadinovicP
So those are my only parachute memories. Do you have any more exciting ones?

These days, the only parachutes I see are the ones in the dentist's treasure box.

Flickr photo by be-kk-ie
Ahh. Much less anxiety. As long as we brush and floss!
Have a wonder-full Wednesday, y'all!
Love, Becky

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dandelion Wishes

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Dandelion!

Flickr photo by EOSXTi
Yes I know...first beards and now dandelions! I'm a sucker for controversy!

But please, before you spray me with pesticide, forget your dandelion battles for a moment and imagine you're seeing them for the very first time. Let's pretend a flying saucer landed and the little green men presented you with a bouquet of dandelions from their home planet. (You have no idea that they're about to take over your yard!)
Aren't they wonder-full?

Take a close look at the curly florets!

Flickr photo by morganglines
How wacky are those loopy things?

Look! When those petals dry up and fall off, the parachute ball opens into a cottony globe.

Flickr photo by ReyGay

You know what dandelion fanatics call that puffball? (Besides a wishie?)
A clock!

Flickr photo by dictybloke
Make a wish and blow!
I don't know about you, but I'll wish for more time.
Either that or some dandelion art on Etsy.
Like this.

Photo by

Or this.

Photo by
Perfect if you're wishing for a better night's sleep!

Or maybe you'd rather wish for something to eat.

Flickr photo by reginald dlani
My, you do look hungry!
That reminds me...the name dandelion comes from the French dent de lion, lion's tooth, on account of the jagged edge of dandelion leaves.

Why not have a lion's tooth salad?

Flickr photo by luluisforlovers
But I should warn you. Dandelion greens come with a slightly bothersome side effect. Know what it is?
Hint: there's a reason the French also call them pissenlit.
Got it? No? Let's dissect the word: piss-en- lit...and en lit means in bed.
Yes, dandelions have a diuretic effect.
Sorry, but may I share some other funny names for the dandelion? There's only one more naughty one. It's pisacan, the word for dandelion in northeastern Italy.

Flickr photo by Ingrid0804
Dog pisses!
(Don't blame me. Signor Wikipedia whispered it in my ear.)

The Lithuanian name for dandelion means sow milk, on account of the milky sap you'll find if you break a dandelion stem.

Flickr photo by !Just In Time!
See, pigs like dandelions too!

The Dutch word for dandelion can be translated horse flower.

Flickr photo by happy rollmops
Appropriate, don't you think?

And the Hungarian word for dandelion means child's grass chain.

Flickr photo by mistybliss

I still wish someone would name it African Crowned Crane flower.
See why?

Flickr photo by Three-X

Or maybe cute baby with flyaway hair flower!

Have a wonder-full Monday, y'all! Best dandelion wishes to you!

Love, Becky

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Beard Bonanza

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Beard!

Flickr photo by
I'll be honest with you, friends. I never considered beards to be much of a wonder until I saw the mustache/beard combo above at After I got up off the floor and wiped the tears from my eyes, I saw facial hair in a brand new light.

Women get to do all sorts of nutty things to their hair: curl it, crimp it, perm it, straighten it, and roll it up in socks at night. Why should we get all the fun?

So men, you want a beard? You want to be creative? Go for it!

Flickr photo by RockLobster01
Just don't beard my cheek with your stubble, okey doke?
And keep it clean. We don't want you turning into Edward Lear.
You know good ole Edward, right?

He's the one who wrote
There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, 'It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!'

Maybe my Beard Anxiety Disorder (BAD) started way back with that Pat the Bunny book. Remember?
"Now you pat Daddy's scratchy face..."

But I don't want to pat Daddy's scratchy face. It freaks me out.

Or it could be that I was traumatized by this horror flick.

Yes, I know it was just a Disney movie. So what? I was a sensitive child.
Perhaps I've got a touch of pogonophobia, a fear of beards.

Maybe I'll try to desensitize myself. I'll make a list of perfectly nice people who sport hair on their faces.
Like my boyfriend Abe!

Flickr photo by TENEBRINI
I'm feeling better already!

And how about Santa Claus?

It looks like Baby Sarah loved Santa's beard.
Yey! Pogonophobia isn't genetic!

Da Vinci had a nice beard and a cool hat to go with it.

Flickr photo by cyb3rn0id
Vincent van Gogh's beard isn't bad looking.

And who could forget Professor Dumbledore's beard?

Flickr photo by philippstumpp
Or the one on Papa Smurf!

Flickr photo by falln angel
Of course his is white. He's 542 years old!

So are you feeling envious of all that hair?
Maybe you could grow some of your own.

Photo by Bart Hess
That's the work of artist Bart of Hop over for a visit, but prepare yourself! It's a little freaky!

If you prefer not to have your beard bubble up like a blue infection all over your face, maybe you should head to Etsy. (Get it? HEAD to Etsy? Ha ha.)
Where else but Etsy could you find wearable facial hair?
Of the scallop kind...

Flickr photo by
Or maybe you'd like yours more tightly knit.

Photo by
If you're a minimalist, maybe this one's for you.

Photo by
Very debonair!

So what are your thoughts on beards? Love them? Hate them? Do you want to build a nest in them?

Have a wonder-full Friday, y'all, and a fabulous weekend!
Love, Becky

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Up with Upcycling!

Today's Wonder of the World is...Upcycling!

Photo by
Are you familiar with the term upcycling? Just in case you don't, allow me to explain...
No, it's not a new workout machine at the gym.
Upcycling is the process of taking things that people throw away and making something new out of them. Hooray for keeping trash out of the landfills!

Since today is Earth Day, it's the perfect time to celebrate upcycling.
So I've browsed all over the shelves at Etsy (what I won't do for you people, ha ha,) and found some upcycled treasures to show you (like the magnet above.) I've linked the photos to the Etsy stores, so click away if you like. Or just revel in the creativity of the artists!

Before I start with the Etsy goodies, I thought I'd show you something I LOVE to save from the landfill...cigar boxes!

I don't do anything with them except use them for storage, so I guess that's recycling more than upcycling, but aren't they gorgeous?! The cigar store in town goes through tons of them.

Do you bring your own bag when you go shopping? I bought a few with good intentions, but I can't seem to remember to bring them with me.

If I had this upcycled rice bag, I bet I wouldn't leave it at home.

Photo by

Or this cool juice box bag.

Flickr photo by

I also love these envelopes.

Photo by
They're made from magazine pages.

If you're a fan of the Peanuts comic strip, you might prefer these.

Photo by

My map-crazy husband would choose these

Photo by
but he'd probably unfold them and try to figure out where in the world they're from.

Want something cool to mail in those envelopes? How about a pendant made from a scrabble piece?

Photo by

Or a letter written from paper torn out of this hilarious notebook!

Photo by
Etsy is full of notebooks with recycled covers.

This upcycled record purse is fun.

Photo by

Or how about a hat upcycled from a sweater?

Photo by

I also love upcycled creatures.
Like my kitchen pal from

and this artist angel from Jeanette Janson,

Photo by

and last but not least, this flowery elephant.

Photo by
Cute, huh?

I know you all give a hoot! Do you upcycle too? I'd love to hear how you reuse, reduce, recycle!
Have a wonder-full Earth Day, y'all!

Love, Becky