Tag Archives: writer

Happy Birthday Beatrix!

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Today is Beatrix Potter’s birthday, that champion of little rabbits in coats with brass buttons.  What better way to spend a Friday than having bunny dreams.

An extraordinary woman, especially for her time, she is an enduring artist, author and treasure. What she accomplished in countryside land conservation with the proceeds from her “little bunny book” is legend and part of the National Trust in the United Kingdom. If you havwen’t seen the movie “Miss Potter,” take a look at this trailer and put it on your list.

Rabbits rule! Go Peter!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

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Got Secret Sea Lions In Your Camera?

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Sun fever. That’s my excuse for no posts the last two weeks. The bright orb came out for three days in a row, so I grabbed Mom and we bugged out for the beach. The Friday traffic was light, the sun kept shining; we were sure we’d get struck by lightning, but nada. Yeah!

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This is one of the coves on the North Point at Depoe Bay. You can see the city in the background along the sea wall.

 

Took my almost new Canon PowerShot SX530 HS with me to put it through its paces. This beauty has focal length from 24-1200mm with a 50x zoom and 16 megapixels for about $250.00. It’s my first foray back into larger body cameras after leaving my metal 35mm Minolta’s behind in 2006 to go digital with the Canon ELPHs. Sometimes you just need a bigger lens. Smirk.

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When I went full zoom from the same spot above, look who showed up? A faithful seagull subject. Thank heavens the clouds came in so his colors show up nicely and he/she is not bleached out.

 

Anyway, a big perk is the plastic body so it doesn’t weigh a ton like my vintage 35mms. When I worked on the newspaper I carried a 28 wide and a 100-250 zoom on two camera bodies and tried not to break my neck. Weighs less than a pound. This seems the best of both worlds, plus no film!

Of course, the manual has so many gadget settings it may take me years to figure them out, but I was out stalking marine wildlife and taking shots to test it. Much fun. Mom is working on her photo skills too, so we were girls on a mission.

One thing I did was make like a human tripod, since I didn’t bring one along on our walk. Both tripods were safe in the car back at the condo. I ended up leaning against a post and bracing my legs and then my elbows on my chest. It helps, really.

The clouds came over as a bonus since we were out at 2 p.m., not the best time for getting photos. But you take what you can get and go with it. When the wind picked up we scuttled back to the condo. Upon perusal of my many pics, I cracked up when I saw the ones of the buoy.

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One photo trick is to get the path to take the viewer into the picture. This one I used both the rope and posts on the left side and the path on the far right. Between trees three and four from the left, is where the buoy is in the next pic.  It’s a ways out there, trust me.

 

Surprise sea lions! The 50x was at its max zoom, I was concentrating on being a tripod and just trying to get the buoy in the frame, so imagine my delight to find sleeping sea lions in my picture, lounging on the buoy. You never know what might show up in your pictures.

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A tripod would have helped this exposure. As the “marine mammal editor” on the paper I was always mixing up the harbor seals with the sea lions. Harbor seals are like fat sausages and sea lions have the big flippers and small ears.  Sea lion on the right, I’m holding judgment on the other two.  Next time I’m taking both tripods!

 

So keep taking pics and being surprised. It’s part of the adventure!

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Beauty And The Beast Movie!

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

One of my all time favorite scenes in the animated movie “Beauty and the Beast” is when he shows Belle the library. He had me at library! For any reader/writer, giving them a library is one of the greatest gifts on earth.

When I went to the Library of Congress for the first time I couldn’t even speak. The Mother ship of books! Pretty sure I teared up too.

So Disney brings us a live action and special effects masterpiece once again. Fire up the popcorn machine, we’re going to need tons! Make your plans now, it opens March 17.

Oh, I’m a sucker for guys wearing capes too. Zorro, Darth Vader, the Beast. Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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A Photo Interlude?

by Kimberly A. Cook         (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

I can’t seem to get my act together with a trash compactor these days, so today’s late post will feature some oldie but goodie photographs. Have a ton of new photos to share from recent adventures, but can’t get on top of things. Stay tuned, some day I might get organized. Maybe.

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You can never go wrong with good food and drink. Two of my favorites here. Perfect for rainy cold weather.  

Then we need to add some beauty to our visual break.

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One of my favorite roses, the Double Delight. Yes, Spring will come again and while a few roses are still blooming now, this gives me hope!

And last but not least, every writer needs a wingman, so here is mine, Spec Ops Cat.

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And I wonder why the paper jams in my printer; must be the cat hair. Spec Ops Cat doing his impression of a paperweight. Good boy!

 

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Harvest Moon Tonight!

by Kimberly A. Cook              (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Tonight is the full Harvest Moon and I can feel the nip of Fall in the air. Mornings are cooler and some leaves are starting to turn colors, so that means comfy blankets, reading books, Hallmark Holiday movies and tons of FOOD! Fabulous.

To celebrate this big moon, felt an old time song would do the trick. Haven’t seen this movie yet, but Gordon MacRae was a pretty handsome guy back in the day and he could sing too! Not just a pretty face. He starred in “Oklahoma” and “Carousel” too. I might break out in show tunes!

Doris Day is amazing. One of my favorites and a great comic actress as well. Plus animal lover. Love her a lot.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday! Stock up on hot chocolate mix and apple cider now!

 

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Can We Open Our Minds With Empathy To Change Hearts And Fears?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

In my closet hangs a beautiful multi-colored scarf I bought in a beach-side shop in Nice, France in 1983. It shimmers in the light and is one of my favorite souvenirs from that three-month camping trip in Europe.

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The Peace rose. A goal for all of us.

 

Dallas, Texas always reminds me of sprinting through its huge airport to try to get from gate to gate to catch a connecting flight for desert training with the Air Force Reserve.

Never having stepped foot in Louisiana, I got a taste of it when Pops Borskey, a Louisiana native and World War II Seabee, hauled my butt from Cimarron, New Mexico to Washington, D.C. in May 1998 in his red chase truck while we were on the Run For The Wall to honor POWs and MIAs.

Images, memories and places all tied together now in a matter of days because of tragedy. What struck me so hard about two of these nightmares was realizing military veterans killed their fellow military veterans and police officers.

First my condolences to the families, friends and co-workers of the fallen. Law enforcement members are a tight family and they all bleed for each other, literally.

Freedom comes at a cost, both at home and around the world. But acts of evil are no reason to change our lives because if we do, evil wins.

We strive on. We honor the fallen and support their families, friends and communities. We must work to make sure we remain committed to each other, not divided.

As a young nation during the Civil War, brother fought against brother for the right of African Americans to be free people.

In that bloodiest of wars there were 2,213,363 Union soldiers and 1,050,000 Confederate soldiers. A total of 140,414 Union and 74, 524 Confederate battle deaths, plus 224,097 other Union and 59,297 Confederate deaths in theater.

A total of 498,332 lives lost from 1861 to 1865. The United States population in 1861 was 31,443,321. Our ancestors killed almost sixteen percent of the entire population of this country; fighting ourselves for the rights of one race to be free.

We cannot go back to fear and hate, we must move forward. Losing one life is too many. We must open our hearts and minds and truly listen to each other. We have to work together to speak frankly and exercise our empathy toward all.

In my wallet I carry a laminated letter to Ann Landers from April 18, 1990.

Dear Ann Landers: Recently you printed that wonderful quote from Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

I can’t resist the temptation to add these words from a speech by William Faulkner when his daughter, Jill, graduated from high school: “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world, in thousands of rooms like this one, would do this, it would change the earth.”

-A.H.P., Memphis

Let’s honor the lives of the Americans we’ve lost by forging stronger communities. Let’s look inward to our own prejudices and listen outside of ourselves to learn how we can stop those whose pain, anger and mental health issues are so great they speak with violence instead of words.

Let’s change the earth, our nation and ourselves; one mind at a time. We owe it to those we’ve lost too soon.

 

 

 

 

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Baubles And Bangles And Hope

by Kimberly A. Cook                   (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Last Friday I set off on an adventure to my favorite Bead Show in Portland. Given all that had happened in the nation, I felt odd to be trekking off for a fun afternoon. Rode the MAX light rail line down to the Convention Center; not only is it fast, but the people watching is fabulous. The slogan “Keep Portland Weird” really does apply here.

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You can totally see why I pounced on these beads. Magnifique!

 

Since I was born in Portland, that explains a lot about me too. A quick trip and suddenly I’m in gem heaven. The show comes twice a year and the last time I had sixty minutes tops to shop.

Friday I had time to wander at will. On my fourth booth, jackpot! Found beads I could not live without and snapped them up. The scavengers who had been there at the opening two hours earlier had depleted the pink bead stock, but I still scooped up my pretties.

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Only the corner of one booth. Next time I need to take a Sherpa with me.

 

The show has increased to almost fifty percent rocks and minerals in addition to jewelry. Found some fabulous geode and amethyst specimens to drag home except for the prices, but I could take pictures. Purple really is my color.

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Geodes for sale. Just like mine, except for the ones I broke and need to glue back together. 

 

So with my bag of bead booty, continued on my route to check out every single booth. Collected more must haves along the way to add to my collection. My name is Kim and I’m a bead hoarder. Figure it’s still cheaper than a bass boat!

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This REALLY wanted to come home with me, but my bank account said no. Spoil sport.

 

After three hours of pure joy, it was time to jump back on MAX with the evening commuters and head back to my car. It’s so much fun whizzing by the stuck freeway traffic on MAX and not being the one stuck for a change.

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Necklace pendants from Nepal. Maybe next time I need two Sherpas and an 18-wheeler to take home my treasures.

 

When I got home I checked out my take. Seed bead necklaces from Guatemala, necklace pendants from Nepal, beads from China, silver from Italy, almost amethyst from the fairy caves. I’d seen gemstones from Afghanistan, beads from South Africa, nesting dolls from Russia and the Larimar stones I love from the Caribbean.

It all made me smile. The vendors who attended from up and down the West Coast with their wares all came together to help people like me make pretty things. That once again proves we can do things together for a greater good. Even if we start with one bead.

Sitting on my computer is a business card I was given at Kohls in December 2013. It was part of an ad campaign by the store, but the clerk couldn’t know when she handed it to me how much it would mean. My father had passed away during the night. We were headed home after seeing him for the last time and I stopped to pay my bill. I was exhausted, grief stricken, numb and not too happy to wait in line.

That little card made me remember all the people who had been so kind to us throughout the ordeal. At one of the worst moments in my life I got a business card that said #SHOWKINDNESS.

Seems like a really good place to start to move forward in this country. So simple we can all do it. Some pretty beads might help too. The power of the good Force is strong. Hope lives.

Who’s been kind to you lately? Pass on kindness. You never know what a difference it might make in someone’s day.

P.S. Thank you to all my readers. You make my day.

P.P.S.S. For my fellow beadaholics, the http://www.gemfaire.com might come to your town. Don’t miss it!

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