Monday, March 30, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

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

Flickr photo by ElvisParsley
Yes, I know I featured a mini-blog on two candlelit celebrations just two days ago, but I've still got candles on the brain, probably because Saturday was such a flop.
Would you like to hear about it?
(Nod your head.)
Why I'd be happy to share!

If you read the blog on Saturday, you know that we Ramseys were really pumped about Lights Off for Earth Hour. At least I was!

I had such high hopes. I'd gathered candles and board games and envisioned a TV- free, computer- free, lights- free hour of family fun. Then Ben left us to go off with friends.
(What? A sixteen year old doesn't want to sit in the dark with his family and play Clue?)
Todd had convinced (threatened?) Sam into going along with my plans, so maybe my mother-joy could still be saved.
Two minutes before switch off time, I reached for the matches and... they were gone! We turned on every light in the house searching and finally gave up.
"Don't worry!" Todd assured me. "What kind of man would I be if I couldn't make fire?"

Uh oh. This would not end well.

First he tried lighting notebook paper on fire from the kitchen stove. All we got was a kitchen full of smoke and teeny tiny ash snowflakes from the smoldering yet never flaming paper. Too bad we didn't ask Tanner how he did it back when he was a puppy. (Oh yes he did.)

Next Todd tried lighting the paper with the grill and couldn't get that to work either. I should explain that my husband is King Of The Barbecue Grill, so either this was a message from God or just a run of bad luck. But Todd would not be deterred. He was talking about searching the yard for sticks and stones when I begged him to just forget it. Sam had found the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards on TV, so we ended up sitting in the dark and watching screaming children and Disney channel stars.
Not quite what I had in mind, but at least we were on the couch together.

Now, back to candles...
Of course they're perfect for birthdays.

Ah, there you are Sam, in France. Back in the good old days before you'd ever heard of Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel.

As the kids got bigger, the candles did too!

Forgive the mess, pretty please. I had no idea one day I'd be blasting my photos all over the internet!
I'm fine with large candles (you may remember the timber size ones in Lourdes if you've read French By Heart) but I'm not sure I'd want to live in one!

Flickr photo by Aggtastic

I love candles at church. They really do set a reverent mood.

Flickr photo by ira lens
In my Sunday school class of fourth graders, we always light a candle to remind us of God's presence. At the end of the hour we let one of the kids put it out (which they LOVE, especially if the wax drips or spatters!) We watch the smoke trail and disappear, and remember that God goes with us.

Candles make everything more ethereal.
Even Homer Simpson.

Flickr photo by pottlukk

I'm not sure if I like candles that don't look like candles.

Flickr photo by chirpingbee

I mean, are you really supposed to burn them?

Flickr photo by Slynns
I hope not!

I love it when a candle becomes art just by burning.
Like this.

Flickr photo by somethingpurple3

And this.

Flickr photo by gravitythread

I also love luminaries.

Flickr photo by Kahscho
Don't you?

Speaking of luminaries, enjoy a little serenade by Lumiere before you go. Really, be my guest!

Have a wonder-full Monday, y'all!
Love, Becky

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Light A Candle!

This morning I've got to brave my messy linen closet and search for a few candles. Know why?

Flickr photo by Kirsten M Lentoft
I've got two great reasons!
Number One:
It's Renee's birthday! Happy Birthday Renee!

Flickr photo by wishymom
This song's for you, my dear!
(I was going to pick the Happy Birthday song, but I thought you might enjoy this one too. Sandy Mastroni introduced it to me a few days ago on her blog and I'm crazy about it. It reminded me of the little birds on your pretty blog header.)

By the way, if you don't know Renee, you should hop over to Circling My Head and introduce yourself! She's a brave, thoughtful, loving friend and blogger, and she's having to deal with some rotten health issues that are just no fair!
So Renee, I'll light a few candles for you tonight.

And the other ones are for someone else I love dearly. I'm sure you love her too.
Mother Earth!
This brings me to Number Two:

Have you heard about the Switch Off Your Lights For Earth Hour? It's tonight from 8:30-9:30. We're planning to join in. You can click on the poster above to learn more.
Have a great weekend, friends.
Love, Becky

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rubber Band Man

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Rubber Band!

Photo by
Is that not the prettiest rubber band ball you've ever seen? I'd love to have a whole basket of those in different sizes on my coffee table. I found them at Piece of Peace, on Etsy. (Where else?!) The kits contain new bands and a sphere to wrap, and I bet they'd be a fun project to keep Sam busy for maybe fifteen minutes or so this summer. Of course my boys would probably pick the bands off one by one to fling at each other, and Tanner the Slobber Dog might gnaw the balls to pieces, but anyway...where were we?
Oh yeah. Sorry.
I ask you, who hasn't enjoyed stringing rubber bands into fun designs?

Flickr photo by akwdragon
You haven't? Sweetheart, it's not too late! Get a hammer and some nails and start stringing!
Or you could just let the bands fall where they may.

Flickr photo by ladyhawker
It's Mr. Bill! Oh nooo! Remember Mr. Bill?
Mr. Bill might need a rubber band man friend to play with. Knowing how injury prone the guy is, why not go ahead and make a little tropical island universe for him to recuperate in? Look, there's even a rubber band dog to keep him company! (I wonder if the dog gnaws on himself?)

Flickr photo by Amy Watts

Rubber bands might give you a lot of artistic freedom.

Flickr photo by richszu2003
Get it?

Flickr photo by nicolekenney
That piece of art by KS Rives makes me hungry for pasta.

I know some art should be experienced, but this makes me a little nervous.

Flickr photo by angimangi
I'd hate to get tangled up in a fancy art gallery and start flapping around like a fish.

I might risk it though if that net was showing with Patrick Gunderson's work at the Infusion Gallery in Los Angeles starting next week (April 1-25, 2009.) I discovered him just a few days ago when I ran across his flickr photos.
He does digital art that blows my mind.
This rubber band one is my favorite.

Flickr photo by PatrickGunderson
Isn't that beautiful?
Click on his website to see more. It might be music to your eyes.

Flickr photo by stu_wp
Speaking of music, enjoy the Spinners Rubber Band Man before you bounce on out of here!

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Those Bloomin' Trees!

Today's Wonder of the World is...Flowering Trees!

Aren't you glad that some trees flower? All the flowering trees are abloom in my corner of South Carolina and it's just lovely.

While Sam and Tanner were out enjoying the sun this weekend, I started thinking about those pretty bloomers. I reached back in the dark recesses of my brain, way, way back behind my pita bread recipe where I keep my notes from Botony 101, and asked myself questions like
Why do some trees flower and others don't?
What is a flower for anyway?

Oh yeah! I remember! A flower is just a plant's reproductive organ.
How nice of nature to make its privates so pretty!

I think I'll stop there. I can see that you're already blushing and so am I.
I'll choose instead to just enjoy the flowering trees in my backyard and let someone else tell you 'bout the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and the moon up above and a thing called love.

Hey look! There's something to distract us from this awkward moment!

It's the blooming Bradford Pear in my backyard, the one that's got a sled underneath it, even though I've told my boys goodness knows how many times to put that thing away!
(They blame it on Tanner the Slobber Dog but I think they're just lazy.)

See, Tanner doesn't care about that sled. He's a connoisseur of blooming branches.

Or maybe he's sniffing out a squirrel.

We've got a beautiful redbud in full bloom right across the street, but I'm such a rotten photographer that I'm going to rely on Peter Michel's flickr picture below to show you what it looks like.

Flickr photo by Peter Michel
Gorgeous redbud, Peter!
They should really change that tree's name to purplebud. Don't you think so?

Whenever I think about blooming trees, I can't help but travel back in time to our French life. Won't you sit with me and Sarah under our cherry tree?

Just wait...when birds land on the branches it looks like a snowstorm!

Speaking of French branches...
Not to turn this blog into a van Gogh love fest, but I'm in love with the painting he did in Saint Remy of a blooming almond tree.

That just takes my breath away.

I bet Tanner would like it too. Especially if it smelled like squirrel.

Have a wonder-full Wednesday, y'all!
Enjoy this time lapse video of blooming cherry trees!
Love, Becky

Monday, March 23, 2009


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

Flickr photo by moocatmoocat
Aren't elephants just the most majestic and yet funny faced creatures you know?
I've been thinking about them ever since that elephant cloud blew into my blog on Friday.

Flickr photo by the inhabitant
In case you haven't noticed, I like elephant gazing too.

My fondness for elephants probably sprouted out of my love for this book from my childhood.

Have you ever read it? I don't remember much about the story except that I used to dream that I was the princess who got to ride on the elephant's back.
Of course now I'd rather imagine the elephants enjoying the wild. But I'll admit that this video does make me pine a bit for those princess dreams.

I hope that those elephants are treated well and like parading about, but maybe that's wishful thinking.

You may be more familiar with these two stars of the elephant world.

And look, there's Babar's ami at the Stravinsky Fountain in Paris.

Flickr photo by sinderin

I think what I like most about elephants is that even though they are enormous, powerful creatures, they're so playful.

Flickr photo by Jillybeanz
Watch these two play. It'll warm your heart! (The best part starts around 33 seconds.)

Their bodies are so fascinating.

Flickr photo by slinkymalinkicat
(You can buy that vintage print here.)
I love their huge flappy ears. Did you know that during the breeding season males produce an odor from a gland behind their eyes? They flap their ears around, propelling their elephant cologne through the jungle air. The single elephant ladies come running, singing "All the single ladies, all the single ladies, Now put your trunk up..."

I also like elephant legs and those stumpy feet. They remind me of pillars. Or tree trunks.

Flickr photo by annabellemartensen

Elephant trunks make me laugh.

Flickr photo by hkarrandjas
Not at you, elephants. No, I'm laughing with you, in delight of all the things you can do with that crazy thing: suck up water to pour in your mouth for a drink or a shower, pull up a single blade of grass or rip a tree out of the ground, and the entwining thing you do with your friends--the elephant version of a handshake.

But you know what's even funnier?
Such a mammoth creature, and yet look at its derriere...

Flickr photo by Roving I
Ha ha ha!
Oh elephant behind, you crack me up.
No, I'm not making fun of your backside, elephant.
No way.
I bow before you!

Flickr photo by mario bellavite
If that's a monk, he'd better hope the elephant doesn't have a cold or allergies.
You know what they say...
You should have seen the monk
He sat on the elephant's trunk
The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees
And that was the end of the monk
The monk, the monk, the monk.

Have a wonderful Monday, y'all! And before you pack up your trunk and move on out of here, take a look at this wild animation of an elephant on a trampoline. It looks so real!
Love, Becky

Friday, March 20, 2009


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

Flickr photo by Nobbby
Tell me, does this ever happen to you? You're going about your normal day, running around the backyard, trying to wrestle a bag of bread away from your dog so that he doesn't choke on it and make you spend your whole weekend at the vet's office, and out of frustration you gaze into the sky (asking God Why me?) and suddenly it occurs to you how completely freaky it is that billions of water molecules are all floating together in the air above you, above the planet, right over your head? And then you watch the wind move the cloud, which freaks you out even more, even though you've known about clouds your whole life long?

Okay, maybe I need to start drinking decaf.

Let me tell you, I've looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow it's cloud illusions I recall. I really don't know clouds at all.

Sorry to get Joni Mitchell on you, but I've got clouds on the brain. Or maybe someone put something in my coffee.
But seriously, clouds really are a wonder.
Whether wispy

Flickr photo by algo

Or puffy

Flickr photo by Shutter Shock

Clouds are just amazing.
It's downright startling to watch them move.
(Warning: if you've had too much coffee or you're breathless from chasing your dog, this may freak you out.)

This mind blowing photo of a cloud- sun sandwich also freaked me out.

Flickr photo by Nicholas T
If I wasn't sure that I was still here, I might worry about the Apocalypse.

Know something else that freaks me out, but I love it anyway? (Unless I'm trying to drive in it.)

Flickr photo by algo
It's such a cool idea, that a cloud could settle on the ground with the rest of us, and roll around for a while. And let us walk through it and wave our arms around in it and catch it in our hands.
(Not that I would do that. Not in public anyway.)

My favorite cloud artist has to be van Gogh.

You can practically feel the movement of his clouds.

I was shocked to find that Provence actually feels like that!

I hope I never get so cynical that I forget the wonder of clouds.

Flickr photo by the inhabitant
Do you see what I see?

Have a wonder-full weekend, y'all!
And enjoy this cool Air France commercial directed by Michel Gondry, the same director and musician in Wednesday's video of Les Cailloux. He also directed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and tons of other ads and movies.
He's clearly enchanted with clouds.

Love, Becky