A Little Extra

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May 15, 2017Orchids at Bilmore (from our trip to Asheville, NC)

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End of March, 2017 – Short trip to Asheville, North Carolina. Biltmore Estate is gorgeous at this time of year with about 100,000 tulips and spring flowers.

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The Winter Garden inside Biltmore House

We got a chance to visit some of the charming boutiques, shops, and restaurants downtown Asheville. We will definitely repeat the trip. Loved the B&B.

March 26, 2017 – I just learned that Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy and has the same meaning as Mardi Gras (Martedì Grasso) that is celebrated in the United States. Actually, all Catholic and some Christian countries celebrate this day called Shrove Tuesday before Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of Lent, forty days before Easter. I was unaware that the festival in Venice is world famous for its elaborate masks. Photos: http://www.pixabay.com

March 19, 2017Making or Not Making Mistakes

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Photo: http://www.pixabay.com

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” – Neil Gaiman

“Of course I make mistakes. I’m human. If I didn’t make mistakes, I’d never learn. You can only go forward by making mistakes.”  – Alexander McQueen

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” –  George Bernard Shaw
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/making_mistakes.html

March 14, 2017 – Today, I am going to visit the Historic District of Fayetteville, NC and take some pictures to add to my collection. “Plant your garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
—Jose Luis Borges

March 13, 2017  

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Roses that my husband bought for my birthday.

Today is my birthday! I don’t treat this day in any special way. Every year, I receive a birthday card, cake, and some flowers. I don’t want this to be understood that I am ungrateful for the gifts. I just don’t want to make a big deal out of it because there are some things that go back to my birth and my young childhood and others that involve my family that come to my mind every year and get me depressed. Yes, they have been set so strongly in my mind that I still can’t let them go. So, this year, I am thinking about my birthday as a time for change and a time for resolutions. I want to be the center of attraction and not everybody else around me. I want to take better care of myself , travel, do more things, and learn something I like. It may sound untrue but I have never had too many occasions in my life. Everything I have done was because I had to. It is time for me to change things around a bit and take control of my life. There is a sign that is hung in my kitchen and says: “Do one thing every day that makes you happy.” I am going to read that sign every morning and have it in my mind for the rest of the day. My word for the year ahead is going to be “adventurous”. I also want to find an inspirational song. Now, I am going to get a glass of champagne and think about the future.

March 12, 2017To Have and Have Not (movie, 1944). I am planning to see the movie and read the book. Even though the movie is based on Hemingway’s novel, the story in the movie was altered due to some political issues at that time. It was Lauren Bacall’s debut movie and the beginning of a romance with Humphrey Bogart. I read that this line was not originally in the script but Bacall said it so well that it was decided to e left in the movie.to-have-and-have-not-life-1

Photo: Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)

“You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”

March 10 – March 12, 2017 Cirque du Soleil: Toruk comes at CAM Raleigh, RaleighNorth Carolina

I love the Cirque du Soleil shows. I was planning to go and see one while they are in the area. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go. I will leave the picture anyway. I like it.

Photo of a Cirque du Soleil show by Mariamichelle at http://www.pixabay.com  

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March 11, 2017 “Simplicity should not be identified with bareness.”

                                    – Felix Adler

March 10, 2017 – The name of this page has been changed to “Other Things”

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

  • “Zig” Ziglar

February 28, 2017 Mardis Gras, New Orleans, Louisiana

I have finally had the chance to be present at parades in New Orleans including Mardis Gras. Here there are some colorful pictures from the REX Parade.

The Rex parade is an annual attraction of traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras and considered a centerpiece of the festival because of the Krewe’s rich and colorful themes, maskers in original costumes and elaborately decorated and hand-painted floats.

The Krewe Of Rex has held more parades than any other organization. They are the origin of many Mardi Gras traditions, including the official Carnival colors of purple, green and gold, as well as the collectible doubloon coins (introduced by Rex in 1960). The Krewe consists of 600 male riders and parades on the New Orleans uptown route on Mardi Gras day.

Founded in 1872, The Krewe Of Rex is one of the oldest participating groups in Mardi Gras. Rex is Latin for “King”, and Rex reigns as “The King of Carnival”.They formed in a New Orleans still recovering from the civil war as a way to entice tourists to visit the city and businesses to put down roots in the community. The city’s businessman originally organized Rex to put on a spectacle for the visiting of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia (remembered now as “Grand Duke Alexis”).

The actual name for the Krewe Of Rex is The School of Design.

While Rex is one of the prominent parade Krewes, they are not technically a Super Krewe. A Super Krewe uses technology like fiber-optic lightning on floats that carry hundreds of riders. Rex follows a tradition of using techniques that have been used by generations.

Every year, one member of the Rex Organization is selected to be Rex, the monarch of the Krewe for the year. (He’s often called King Rex, but his correct title is just “Rex”) Rex is always an influential resident involved in a multiple civic causes and philanthropic pursuits. Their identity is kept secret until Lundi Gras, the day before Mardi Gras. Traditionally, the Mayor hands over to Rex a symbolic key to the City to Rex for Mardi Gras Day. New Orleans pediatrician and community leader Dr. Stephen Wilson Hales will reign as King of Carnival on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The Queen of Carnival is College of Charleston student Miss Anna Eugenie Huger. On Tuesday Miss Huger will greet Rex and watch the Rex procession from the reviewing stand at the Hotel Intercontinental. Later, on Mardi Gras evening, Carnival’s Monarchs will greet their subjects at the Rex ball to be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel.

The Krewe of Rex has an official song, “If Ever I Cease to Love,” a song heard throughout New Orleans in the Mardi Gras season. It is a tune that some would describe as quirky, a song from an 1870’s musical called “Bluebeard.” The story goes that the song was adopted because the Grand Duke Alexis had a fondness for the actress who sang the song in the musical which was playing at the time of his visit to New Orleans.(listen to song and watch parade photos https://youtu.be/bTW8-t6pPmo)

“Carnival Fêtes and Feasts”

Carnival, celebrated in varied and colorful ways around the world, has deep roots. The Ancients celebrated the transition from Winter’s darkness to Spring’s light and promise with feasts and festivals. Early Christians incorporated many of these customs into their pre-Lenten revelry, and Shrove Tuesday marked the last exuberant celebration before Lent’s solemnity and fasting began on Ash Wednesday. The words “Carnival” (derived from the Latin words meaning “farewell to flesh”) and “Mardi Gras” (“Fat Tuesday”) now describe celebrations which have evolved over the ages in creative ways in many cultures. These diverse and colorful traditions inspire the theme and float designs of the 2017 Rex Procession.(Info from Wikipedia and Google search).

*** This is some of my “treasure” from the REX Parade. I was able to “catch” 16 “medallions” out of 27 total and collect about 35 lbs. of beads that are now hanging in a tree in my backyard.

February 14, 2017 Valentine’s Day 

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January 14, 2017

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Our beautiful Wesley,

Rest in peace

Until we meet again

At The Rainbow Bridge. 

We love you always.

December 14, 2016 – It has been 39 years since “Saturday Night Fever” was released. The soundtrack still is one of the greatest in the film history. The Bee Gess delivered some of their best work in this movie. I am a Bee Gees fan. “How Deep Is Your Love” was played at Robin Gibb’s funeral per his wish. (Images: http://www.giphy.com)

November 26, 2016

Photos: http://www.pexels.com and http://www.pixabay.com

Animation: http://www.animoto.com

November 9, 2016 – So, the United States has a new president. What now?

10 Octombrie, 2016 – Uraganul Matthew

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Pe timp pasnic

Este foarte greu de a descrie si a vorbi despre dezastrul in urma uraganului Matthew. Multe scoli din North Carolina au fost inchise pentru citeva zile saptamina trecuta si saptamina aceasta. Am fost norocosi ca acolo unde traim am avut numai ploaie si vinturi puternice. “Mother nature at its worst”.

11 Septembrie 2016 – “9/11” – O zi trista pentru lumea intreaga

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Aproape trei mii de victime nevinovate au fost subiectul atacurilor teroriste din New York City, Pennsylvania si Pentagon in aceasta zi cu 15 ani in urma. Multi copii si-au pierdut parintii sau au crescut doar cu un parinte. Este o zi trista nu numai pentru intreaga tara dar si pentru intreaga lume.

29 August 2016 – Prima zi de scoala pentru copiii din North Carolina

In ultima saptamina, toti profesorii din North Carolina care lucreaza pentru scolile publice cu program “traditional”, sau cu durata de zece luni pina in luna Iunie a anului viitor, au fost foarte ocupati cu pregatirea pentru inceputul unui an nou scolar.

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Poate ca inca exista oameni care isi inchipuie ca in prima zi de scoala profesorii se prezinta la scoala doar sa ii intilneasca pe copii. In Statele Unite, pregatirea incepe cu citeva zile inainte. Prepararea salii de clasa este doar una din prioritati. Profesorii trebuie sa se prezinte la diferite sesiuni de pregatire sa devina familiari cu legi si reguli aplicate in scoala in care lucreaza, clase de pregatire profesionala la nivel de scoala si impreuna cu alte scoli, sa invete proceduri ale scolii, sa sa familiarizeze cu alti profesori cu care vor trebui sa colaboreze in cursul anului scolar, sa cumpere, de obicei din banii proprii, diferite materiale de care au nevoie sa inceapa scoala, si tot asa mai departe.

21 August 2016 – Focuri In California

Raspindirea focului in California a fost foarte aproape de Hearst Castle care este un reper historic national si o atractie turistica. Castelul a apartinut lui William Randolph Hearst care a fost un magnat in lumea ziarului inainte de 1950.

18 August 2016 – Jocurile Olimpice din Rio dominate de Michael Phelps si Usain Bolt

Michael Phelps din Statele Unite este o legenda in lumea sportiva si a Inotului fiind cel mai decorat atlet din istoria Jocurilor Olimpice cu 28 de medalii din care 23 sint medalii de aur. Este Michael Phelps considerat cel mai bun atlet olimpic?

Acum 40 de ani cind Usain Bolt, un atlet din Jamaica, a intrat in lumea Atletismului, putini s-au asteptat ca el sa cistige 8 medalii olimpice.

Usain Bolt ca si Michael Phelps este considerat unul dintre cei mai buni atleti olimpici din toate timpurile. Cu toate ca se pune intrebarea cine este cel mai bun dintre acesti doi atleti, Phelps si Bolt au creat o senzatie mondiala la Jocurile Olimpice din Rio.

17 August 2016 – O noua inovatie in vizionarea filmelor in cinematografe

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O companie din Korea de Sud a venit cu o idee care va imbunatatii calitatea vizionarii filmelor in cinematografe. Au folosit o tecnica noua cu ajutorul careia cei care urmaresc filmul pot sa “devina o parte” din el. Pentru aceasta, au creeat scaune care se misca in trei directii: in sus si in jos, de la stings la dreapta si inainte si inapoi si efecte speciale ca de exemplu imitarea vintului, aparitia baloanelor de sapun si mirosul in perfecta coordinare cu actiunile din film. Am vazut ceva asemanator, dar de scurta durata, in unele parcuri de distractie.  Aceasta inventie ofera o multitidine de senzatii produse de zburarea si conducerea masinii. Cei de la studioul 4DX au facut tot posibilul sa acomodeze publicul sa simta senzatiile reale ale actiunilor din filme si sa pastreze un nivel de comfort in sala de cinematograf. Aceasta inovatie va schimba complet modul de vizionare al filmelor in cinematografe. Filmele nu mai sint limitate de simple efecte vizuale si auditive. 4DX este viitorul in domeniul cinematografic care va devia consumatorii de la folosirea televizoarelor cu ecran plat. In ultimii ani s-a obeservat o reducere a publicului care vizioneaza filme in cinematografe dar cu 4DX  se preconizeaza o mare crestere in venituri.

16 August 2016 – Un nou magazin Apple s-a deschis in World Trade Center

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Cel mai nou magazin Apple si-a deschis portile pentru cumparatori astazi in World Trade Center. Este situat pe cele doua niveluri ale “Transportation hub” in interiorul noului “mall” numit “Oculus”. Acesta este al saptelea magazin Apple in Manhattan si al zecelea in New York City. Architectura magazinului se imbina cu architectuta moderna a cladirii World Trade Center.(CNNMoney)

15 August 2016 – Se aude ca noua generatie de telefoane iPhone va fi partial rezistenta la apa.

Turtle swimming in water 

Aceasta inseamna ca pozele luate in apa vor avea culori mult mai vivide. Noul patent Apple se concentreaza pe “balanta culorilor”. In Septembrie 2016, Apple va scoate pe piata iPhone 7 care va avea caracteristici pentru scufundare in apa. Mufa pentru casti va fi indepartata pentru protectia impotriva defectarii din cauza apei. Cu toate ca iPhone 6S nu este protejat impotriva deteriorarii in apa, CNNMoney a condus un experiment prin care a aratat ca acest telefon care a fost plasat intr-o vaza cu apa pentru cinci minute a continuat sa functioneze pentru aproape 10 minute dupa ce a fost scos din apa.

Samsung a pus pe piata telefoane rezistente la apa cu multi ani in urma. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 este construit cu metal care nu rugineste in apa, este facut din sticla si are un stil care este protejat in apa. Acest telefon ca si Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge poate sa reziste in apa pentru aproape jumatate de ora si la o adincime de cam un metru si jumatate. CNNMoney (London).

15 August 2016 – Cit cheltuiesc parintii din Statele Unite ca sa ii pregateasca pe copii pentru inceperea scolii

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Astazi, American Express Spending & Saving a preconizat ca parintii din Statele Unite vor cheltui anul acesta pe medie in jur de 1.642 de dolari in comparatie cu 1.239 de dolari in anul 2015 ca sa isi pregateasca copiii pentru inceputul scolii. Aceasta reprezinta o crestere de 33 la suta fata de anul trecut.

Pe primele doua locuri sint produse tehnologice si instrumente muzicale. Anul acesta, parintii vor cumpara produse tehnologice mai mult ca niciodata. 92 la suta din parinti spun ca tehnologia este folosita in clasele copiilor lor. Cele mai populare produse tehnologice sint: laptop, tableta si smartphone. Parintii spun ca smartphones sint foarte folosite in scoala la ora actuala. Folosirea de smartphone in scoala a crescut in ultimii patru ani: cu 29 la suta in 2015, cu 24 la suta in 2014 si cu 19 la suta in 2013. Copiii obtin permisiunea parintilor sa foloseasca un smartphone de obicei in jurul virstei de 12 ani. Alte obiecte pe lista sint:

Preconizari Cheltuieli pe medie
Obiecte pe lista Anul 2016 Anul 2015 Anul 2016 Anul 2015
Caiete, creioane, ghiozdan, etc. 96 la suta 95 la suta 138 dolari 111 dolari
Unniforme si alta imbracaminte 95 la suta 91 la suta 293 dolari 269 dolari
Pantofi 94 la suta 91 la suta 145 dolari 120 dolari
Jachete, canadiene,etc. 82 la suta 75 la suta 126 dolari 106 dolari
Computer sau laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.

Crestere de 13 la suta

59 la suta 46 la suta 505 dolari 466 dolari
Instrumente musicale

Crestere de 10 la suta

34 la suta 24 la suta 267 dolari 194 dolari
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