Friday, October 29, 2010


RainbowMakers with HAWK by Paul Reisler

I bought a Kikkerland RainbowMaker. It’s a little solar powered gadget that attaches to a window with a suction cup and rotates a Swarovski crystal.  Sunlight becomes a swirl of rainbows in the room.  I liked it so much I ordered another; one for the east and one for the south window of our kitchen.  The video is a short demo of the effects on a sunny day.  The actual whirl of rainbows is not as intense as you see in the movie.  I did some editing  to make it more fun.  I set it to two different kinds of music.  If you have time, check out at least part  of each to see which one you prefer.

RainbowMakers with Black Magic Woman by Santana

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I was standing on the side of the road taking pictures of a pasture full of horses when a battered pickup came along and stopped beside me.  The driver was a lady who gave me a suspicious look and demanded to know why I was taking the photos .  

I explained how I thought the horses were fine-looking animals, and I was shooting reference photos for some paintings I planned to do.  She questioned me a little further to make certain of my intentions.  I told her how I loved horses and was especially attracted to Appaloosas with their spotted hides.  We chatted a few more minutes and she asked if I was interested in buying one of her ponies.  I probably could have purchased one for a good price.  The rotten economy makes it difficult for horse owners too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I beat my husband up almost every morning.   Maybe I should explain.  I usually get up about an hour earlier than he does.  My alarm clock is set to Beep! Beep! Beep!  It gets smacked into silence on about the third beep so I my spouse (bless his heart) can get his beauty sleep (I’ll just let that one go).

Sometimes –like this morning—DH gets up at some atrocious hour so he can be ready to go with his friends to stand on the side of a lake and catch fish.  I don’t try to understand it.  And he doesn’t try to understand some of the things I do.  It just works better that way.

So instead of Beep! Beep! Beep!  I set my alarm to the radio; anticipating a slow mellow musical wake-up.  Here’s what I got:

Good morning!  The temperature outside is twenty-seven degrees.  The wind is gusting twenty to thirty miles per hour with a chance of snow.  A tidal wave struck Indonesia overnight.  Over a hundred are dead and scores are missing.  Tornados have been reported in Texas, Illinois and Wisconsin and severe weather is reported across the mid-west.  Elections—blah—blah—Democrats—blah—blah—Republicans--mudslinging—more blah—blah.  And then:  Paul the psychic octopus, who correctly predicted the outcome of the world cup semi-finals, has died of natural causes.

Smack!  My clock radio was silenced.  I’ve decided Beep! Beep! Beep! Is much, much better than knowing the condition of the world before I get my eyes open and my feet on the floor. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

PACHACAMAC--Holding hands with the past

Twenty miles south of Lima, Peru,

along the Pan American Highway

are the ruins of the ancient city of Pachacamac.  
Built around 200 A.D. it is one of the largest pre-Inca sites in Peru.

The location contains several pyramids and was an important religious monument to the people of the central Andes.

Late in July of 2007, DH and I traveled with a group to view this ancient city.

The Pyramidal Sun Temple was built by the Ishmay culture around 1100 A.D.  The base is constructed of six large steps.  The temple was built on the top of these walls.  The pyramid is reached by a large ramp from the main square.

 There are several layers of different types of construction.  Some are large mud bricks in stacks;

 some are stones and with mortar and some are made of small adobe bricks.

 There were rooms and ramps and walls covering a large area on sand hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

Following the expansion of the Inca Empire, Pachacamac became an important Inca administrative center, while maintaining its status as a religious shrine.  The Spanish conqueror, Francisco Pizarro, heard about Pachacamac from the Inca, while holding the Inca King Atahualpa prisoner at Cajamarca in 1532. He promptly sent an expedition to sack the city.   They destroyed sacred shrines and seized a large amount of silver and gold from the site.

 Spanish accounts indicate Pachacamac was one of the holiest place of worship in the central Andes. The site's name derives from the Quechua term for the coastal deity, Pacha Camac (he who vitalizes the universe).

DH and I discovered a hand print left in one of the ancient bricks.  I put my hand in the impression. 

 It was an exact fit.  

At one time this place received enough water and rain to support a huge population, but a shift in weather patterns left it so dry that it was abandoned.

On a side note:  Five days after we returned from this area -- August 15, 2007, it was hit by a magnitude 8 earthquake.  The epicenter was not far from this city built on sand.  Hundreds of people were buried in nearby towns in the rubble caused by the quake.