Friday, October 25, 2019

Milking It!

Monday I had cataract surgery,
and it has gone very well.

Terry took great care of me,
as did my ophthalmologist Dr. Burcham
and the caring staff at the Surgery Center of the Rockies.

It was sheer bliss to lie on the couch downstairs after my surgery,
binge listening to multiple episodes of The Young and the Restless
and napping until late into the evening.
Terry kept me well-supplied with coffee, water, pizza (for dinner)
and reminders to use three different kinds of eyedrops every two hours.

You Bet, Terry!

I plan to start visiting blogging buddies today (Friday),
as I ease back into using a computer.

I'll be back with a regular post next Friday!
Wishing you all well!

Enjoying a Welcome Cup of Coffee
after Surgery on Monday
October 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

On Chad and Sisters Two
On the Bay of Fundy
Long Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
July 31, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 18, 2019

Fighting for Tickety-Boo

I wish I could say I'm Ms Tickety-Boo today, 
but I'm decidedly not.
I'm feeling discouraged and overwhelmed,
sitting here drinking my first cup of morning coffee,
much later than normal for me.

Let me tell you right up front that this post
is not going to be a pity party for me.
I am fighting for Ms Tickety-Boo.
I'm going to own where I'm at and do something about it.

Tickety-Boo #1
Carefree ~ Barbie, Donnie, Unknown Dog, and Me
Margaretsville, Nova Scotia, Canada
Early Summer 1959
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I had trouble sleeping last night worrying about what I could post for tomorrow.
I have dozens of ideas, none of which I can pull off in a day.
I'm a slow writer, and things worked against me this week.

I was also thrashing about over this persistent cold,
which may interfere with my cataract surgery on Monday.

And I was skewering myself for ever thinking I was a writer,
after reading two fabulous books and starting a third 
breathtakingly-beautifully-written one this week. 

Tickety-Boo #2
Grumpy Cat never fails to make me smile!

So I'm half listening to the news on CNBC
when my ears perk up at the words "rare earths."
Now, I know that most peoples' hearts don't start beating faster
at the words "rare earths," but my geologist's heart does.

CNBC's Brian Sullivan was reporting on the role
of rare earths in the US-China trade fight,
how important that role is,
and how many Americans don't know about it.

Perhaps they should because their iPhones, Teslas, and MRI images,
among other things, depend on neodymium magnets
manufactured with the rare-earth element neodymium, boron, and iron.
(Neodymium is pronounced nee·ow·di·mee·uhm.)

As a nation we have rare-earth element ores.
What we lack is the capacity to refine it.
Guess who has the bulk of the world's refining capacity for neodymium?
China!  Something to think about.

But what really got my heart racing was the 

at the end of the newsclip!  clipart

It was a huge explosion at the bottom of the 400-foot-deep open-pit
of the Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine in California.

"Well, at least I've gotten to blow up dynamite,"
I said to Terry, looking glumly over the top of my coffee mug.

"What?" he exclaims as he looks up from his iPhone.
He hadn't heard the rare earth story on tv,
and he doesn't remember my telling him
about my glory days on the Burin Peninsula:
those exciting days in Newfoundland
when I rode in a jeep with dynamite,
drilled holes with an auger in the barrens,
stuffed them with dynamite,
and blew it all up with glee:  Kaboom! 

The memories were already lifting my spirits!

Tickety-Boo #3
Where things went kaboom!
The Barrens between St. Lawrence and Lawn, Newfoundland, Canada
Early Summer 1972
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

This immediately reminded me of the Oil Patch in Kansas
where I got to do so many way-cool things as a wellsite geologist ~
after I spent some of my most desperate hours contemplating suicide.

What saved me was the fact that an S.O.B. of a driller
pissed me off so badly that I postponed killing myself
until I could rub in his face that I was a capable geologist.
By the time I did that, we had become friends, and I'm alive today because of him.

I'll never forget stomping into the main doghouse
and catching him searching through a duplicate set of my drill samples
looking for pieces of the Heebner Shale,
a critical marker that would indicate where we were in the subsurface rocks.

"You did good, girl" he said gruffly.
"I agree with the depth you picked."
That was high praise from someone who had wanted to run me off his rig.

Tickety-Boo #4
Don, who saved my life
Hodgeman County, Kansas, USA
February, 1981
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Tickety-Boo #5
A roughneck rides the traveling block to the top of the derricks. 
Hodgeman County, Kansas, USA
February, 1981
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Tickety-Boo #6
Me on the monkeyboard near the top of the derricks
 ~ hanging on for dear life after riding the traveling block up
determined to be a real wellsite geologist.
Hodgeman County, Kansas, USA
February, 1981
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Thinking of the Kansas Oil Patch and its good and bad memories
reminded me of two fabulous men in my life who have always had my back:

Tickety-Boo #7
My brother consoling me during a devastating, fragile time in my life
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Fall, 1980
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Tickety-Boo #8
Terry (the best thing that ever happened to me) and me
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Christmas Morning 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Ms Tickety-Boo is back!
Sometimes all it takes is thinking about
a few people and experiences for which I am grateful.

What lifts you up when you are down?

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

Roy and I
Beautiful Cove
On the Bay of Fundy
Long Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
July, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 11, 2019

Under the Weather

Hi Everyone!
No real post today.  
I'm still down with a cold/flu that refuses to quit.
Likewise Terry.
We both tired of paying the piper for all the fun we had in Vegas!

So I pulled a few funnies from the internet to cheer myself up
and to share with you.
May you NOT catch the crud going around,
and I hope you have a chuckle or two.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Pinball Wizards at Work and Play

Some of the best fun Terry and I had during our trip to Las Vegas last week
was to surprise my brother Roy and sister-in-law Susan
with a visit the Pinball Hall of Fame.
Our best bud Jon helped us pull it off.

We had them guessing about where we were going for a good twenty-four hours.
Never in a million years would they have guessed this awesome destination. 

The Pinball Hall of Fame
Our friend Jon ~ farthest right
Terry ~ next to Jon 
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
September 29, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

The Pinball Hall of Fame, a non-profit museum, is run by Tim Arnold
with the support of members of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club.
Any "profits" (excess revenues) are donated to nondenominational charities.

This fun-filled, 10,000 square foot venue contains the world's largest pinball collection.
Here you will find many vintage games from the 1960s,
1970s, and 1980s when pinball was in its heyday.

Everyone except Susan had played pinball before,
and we all quickly scattered to find the perfect machines to try our luck.

Sue Tackles Corral
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Jon Finds a Challenge
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Roy and Terry Challenge Each Other
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I Give an Aerosmith Game a Go
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

What makes this museum exceptional is that all the pinball machines work!
People who love pinball restore the classic machines so they function like new,
and they keep them in good repair.
As a visitor, you can watch them at work,
and they are ready to help if you have a problem with a machine.

Pinball Wizards at Work
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

It's not hard to tell how much fun people are having!
People are laughing and cheering and jumping up and down,
filled with the joy of being a kid again.
And, of course, there is plenty of popcorn and soda pop to snack on.

Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

The difficulty was not finding a game to play,
it was how to play all the fabulous pinball machines that beckoned!

Lots of Choices
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Even something for you, Adam, at Neko Random.

Atari Classics:  Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Super Mario World
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

We spent close to three magical hours at this special place;
and let me tell you, it's way cheaper than gambling for three hours!

Sue at Play
Pinball Hall of Fame
Photo likely by Roy MacBeath ©

Best Buds Jon and Terry
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

If you go with a sibling a competition is bound to happen,
especially if it's my brother Roy and me!
Wizard versus wizard ~ LOL!

My Moment of Glory!
Pinball Hall of Fame
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

A New Victor!
Pinball Hall of Fame
Photo likely by Susan MacBeath ©

If I can't wait to return!  
You're on next time, Roy!
I highly recommend visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame.

Having Fun at the Pinball Hall of Fame

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

On the Chad and Sisters Two
On the Bay of Fundy
Out of Westport, Brier Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
July, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Source:  Pinball Hall of Fame  

For Map Lovers Like Me:
Location of Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

Location of the Pinball Hall of Fame

Location of the Pinball Hall of Fame

The Who & Elton John - Pinball Wizard (Tommy 1975)

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

IWSG Day: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 ~ Reading and Writing, Plus Three Great IWSG Authors

It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.

To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh are:
Ronel Janse van Vurren,  Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.

Every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:

If It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


Hi, Everyone!
I hope that you will have a fun IWSG Day!

I'll be flying back to Colorado tomorrow (IWSG Day),
but I'll get to as many of you as I can tomorrow and more on Thursday.

Landing at Denver International Airport
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
August 8,  2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

What an interesting question this month!

I absolutely believe that to be a good writer, you must read!
Reading is what develops your knowledge of language:
The more you read, the richer your reservoir of knowledge.

Forget worrying about your writing being a mixture of yourself and another author.
If you write, write, write and listen to your heart 
(or mind if you're less feeling oriented than I)
as you write, your unique voice will emerge.
You are unique, and you have to trust and believe that your voice will emerge.

Also, forget worrying about creating an original story.
It is also said that there are only seven basic story plots.
They have already been told countless times and from long ago until now.
You can only write your original twist on a old story.

Focus on writing what speaks to you and compels you.
Write, write, write, and an authentic, fresh you will emerge as an author.

I read every single day, I listen to my heart as I write,
and I trust that I am becoming the unique author I aspire to be.

Reading and Writing
French or German; Frieze ornament; Metalwork-Gilt Bronze
Before 1783

This is the perfect post to catch you up
on some of the IWSG authors I've been reading lately.

Let's see if you can guess who these three IWSG authors are
based on their books which I am sharing!
You get three clues.

IWSG Author #1:
1.  Unbounded imagination ~ The reader is guaranteed to have a wild, wild ride!

2.  The author tends to write in an Everyman, Everysetting style.
The setting could be anywhere with anyone, except for a few developed main characters.  How about an FBI agent with claustrophobia as a main character?

3.  Only this author could come up with a time machine shaped like a giant cat!!!!!  So much fun!!!!!

IWSG Author #2:
1.  Currently this author greatest passion is to write for young readers.

2.  This writer weaves fantasy with history in a way that appeals to middle school kiddos.

3.  An alligator as a wizard's familiar?  No black cat here!  Again, such a fun writer!!!!!

IWSG Author #3:
1.  This author has been invaluable in promoting other IWSG authors.

2.  This author writes with a positive, inspiring voice.

3.  This author has SPUNK!!!!!

If you can't guess the identity of these IWSG authors,
here's a little mix and match to help.

Three IWSG Authors
Golden Gate, Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
October 1,  2019
(Sorry about my toes ~ I'm writing this very much on the fly in my hotel room, 
worrying about if the internet or my computer will crash before I'm finished)
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

#1:  The funny, unique, prolific, and wildly imaginative Pat Hatt

I've just finished reading his A Not So New World.
Yes, I know that Pat has just published book nine in this series,
and this is book one; but I just learned of the series,
and I want to read it from the beginning.

I think it will be great fun to follow Pat's development of the series
and his development as a writer.  Blame it on the teacher in me ~ LOL!

Jack, the protagonist, wants to leave his mark on the world.
He's not doing too well in life thanks to his nemesis Professor Jones.
Professor Jones and his nasty cohorts have hatched a despicable plan
to rid the world of Jack and steal his invention
that would ensure his standing among the scientific giants of all time.

But Jack outwits them initially and escapes somewhere in time,
along with FBI agent Emily Milano who has Jack in her custody. 

But where and when?  
And more importantly, 
can Jack and Emily find their way back to their time?
Are Professor Jones and his nasty cohorts following Jack and Emily in time?

You'll have to read the book to find out!
Here's a link to Pat's blog Pat Hatt Time.
And a link to his books on Amazon.

And my question as I read more of the series:
Will Jack and Emily fall in love. 
I give it a 99.999% probability of happening.

For a breathtaking, action-packed adventure, 
I definitely recommend Pat's book!

#2:  A second imaginative and fun author who gets kids:  C. Lee McKenzie!

I recently finished reading her Some Very Messy Medieval Magic.

This is the first book by Lee that I have read, 
and it was great fun.
I taught young readers for twenty-five years,
and I would read this aloud to my students in a heartbeat
were I still teaching.  They would love it!

Pete and his friend Weasel have seriously threatened the stream of time
by failing to close the Time Lock which protects history.
If they cannot find Peter of Bramwell, who has gone missing in 1173 England,
before he must be present during a critical event,
time and history will be forever altered.
If they do not find Peter of Bramwell in time, Pete and Weasel may cease to exist!

And how on Earth does Pete handle his familiar, alligator Fanon,
in medieval England?
Not to mention a curious girl, a talking horse, Druids, and a Circle of Stones.

You are never too old to read a great middle school book,
especially if you have a good imagination, a sense of fun,
and enjoy adventures.  By all means read Lee's book!

Here's a link to Lee's blog C. Lee McKenzie.
And a link to her books on Dancing Lemur Press.
(Scroll down, her book is Item 7 in the DLP list.)

#3:  The wise and inspiring L. Diane Wolfe!

I recently finished reading her Overcoming obstacles with SPUNK:
The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting!

Ostensibly this is a book about overcoming barriers to reach your goals
and to become a successful leader.
It is exactly that; but I think it is, more importantly, a book
about developing critical life skills that can help you at any stage in your life.

Diane identifies five keys to helping you succeed:
1.  Develop a Positive Attitude
2.  People Skills
3.  Raising Self-Esteem
4.  Overcoming Fears
5.  Setting Goals

Her writing is clear, cogent, and easy to read,
and her book is full of practical information thoroughly grounded 
in the real world.

Diane's book is full of how to develop important skills
that are necessary in the business and personal world.
I struggle with shyness, and just yesterday I drew on Diane's advice
to help me in a situation where my shyness almost had me fleeing the scene.
Instead of hiding I had a great time.

What I like best about Diane's book,
aside from the great information,
is how positive Diane's writing is.
She speaks with authority, but also with honesty and integrity
in an inspiring way.
I highly recommend reading Diane's inspiring book.
Guaranteed you will find something helpful for you!

Here's a link to Diane's blog SPUNK on a Stick.
And a link to her books on Dancing Lemur Press.

Actually not only is Diane a writer, she is the owner of Dancing Lemur Press and a senior editor.  She is a speaker and conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation.
I'm not linking you to her book, but rather to her publishing house,
so you can explore her inspiring site!

I have no time to go back and proofread this post.
If I don't go now, I won't have my room serviced,
and I so hate wet, used towels.
Asking for your forgiveness of errors in advance.

Happy writing in October!