From The HD


 Ray Alstrom is my friend of twenty + years, my guru, and an It guy/photographer by profession.

He keeps my computer hardware and software going regardless of what I do to it.

He also introduced me to my first camera and often has to reset them even now when I screw everything up!

When I complained that I had photos scattered all over and couldn’t find anything,

He logged in and installed a photo organizing program called Daminion.

I like it very much and am attempting to organize my image files.

I have no idea what will follow since I am uploading a few images as I find them.

I would not be photographing anything at all, and I would not be posting to WordPress

if Ray had not instructed and guided me for many years.

Thank you, Ray.  Whatever follows is for you!



Sometimes, I have dinner at a local Thai food restaurant.

On a recent visit, I didn’t have my Kindle with me so I ordered take-out

and had a nice mocha coffee while I waited.

As usual, I order the pineapple shell filled with curried rice and chicken.

When I finished the rice, I couldn’t bring myself to throw out the shell.

The next day, I photographed it.


I’ve watched a neighbor’s Rain Tree blossom this year.

Finally, I stopped the other day and photographed a few limbs.

I almost waited too long.  Some of the blossoms had already fallen off the branches.

These clumps of blossoms dry into beautiful, parchment-like permanent flowers.

A friend gave me a couple of  dried branches once, and they lasted for years.

They remind me of paper lanterns when they are dried.


There is something in my DNA that doesn’t love a spider.

Remember when girls wore crinoline petticoats?

Well, I was locked out of the house when I came home from high school one day.

So, I entered through the basement door where my skirt billowed up over a bush near the steps.

When I removed the skirt and petticoat, a huge writing spider fell out onto the floor!

I was horrified.

I grabbed my sister’s dictionary from the desk and dropped it on the spider.

I don’t think I’ve been more shaken by a single thing that’s happened to me in my entire life since!

Remembering the stain on that dictionary still makes me shudder.


This fat little pony was about the scruffiest I ever saw.

He was wearing his winter coat with lots of mud on top of it.

He had just come into the barn from a rain-soaked pasture.


Not many sights are prettier than a carpet of Autumn leaves.

I enjoy the sight even more on a neighbor’s lawn…





Enough organizing for this decade…

29 Comments on “From The HD

  1. You are fortunate to have Ray for a friend George! And you must be a most dedicated pupil 🙂 That spider story makes me shudder as well!!


  2. The Rain Tree is interesting. We have a similar tree in our garden called ‘Pride of India’ – apparently it’s a Chinese tree. All I know is that I grew it from seed as a Bonsai tree but put it in the garden when it was about 4 years old and away it went – it’s now 20 feet tall. I think the ‘blossom’ or your Rain Tree is actually the fruit – forming a sort of papery bladder containing the seeds, if it’s similar to mine.


    • Yes, you’re right. The “paper blossoms” actually contain the seeds. The trees here are twenty feet tall too. I’d like to have one, but my garden is too small to accommodate one. I have to look up Pride of India. Thanks, Stephen.


    • Stream of consciousness is what I thought about it too, but I didn’t say so. 😉 Yes, it is heartbreaking to see people buy parrots when the first thing they ask is if it bites… Does it talk… It’s sad. I’d guess that at least half of all parrots lose their first homes and many never find a final home. Parrots are as difficult as humans. We shouldn’t keep them at all, but if we do, we must accept the fact that life in captivity is an unnatural state for them and provide the best we can to make their lives interesting, safe, and healthy.

      Thank you very much for the link. I am going to view it now! 🙂


  3. Yes, thanks to Ray – because without him we wouldn’t have the delights of reading your words and seeing your pictures, George! I love the thought of the curry in the half-pineapple – yummeee! – and the photo of the pineapple looks like a cross between an armadillo, and Yoder from Star Wars – I can see his ears! Adrian


  4. First of all, thank you very much for teaching me what a Rain Tree is. I love them, and there are many here in Jerusalem, and I never knew what they were called in English, and no one else seemed to know either. Loved that story of the spider and the dictionary. Shows you’ve had a really good life, George… just the sort I’d wish on you. And yes, Ray has a good face. I’m sure it’s a pleasure to call him friend.


  5. Yay for Ray!! What would you do without him? 🙂 Your pics are so amazing, and the spider story made me shiver. I did laugh about the stain on the dictionary, a constant reminder of the worst moment of your life. 😆


    • Hi, Sylvia! “What would I do without you?” That’s precisely what I’ve said to him repeatedly for many years. And, it’s true. I am completely dependent and grateful. Thank you for stopping in to chat! 🙂


  6. Thank you Ray 🙂
    Showing the lovely George how to blog has provided me some great blog conversations and plenty of inspiration and wonder with her beautiful images.


    • Thanks, Jared. Ray keeps the equipment and the software running, but I figure out how to use it. I actually think I might be getting a bit better… Haha! I’m as proud of myself as a kid when I figure out how to do something. Ray helped me with my first desktop that ran Windows 3.1 for the accounting software for the business. I spent inordinate amounts of time and took a college computer course to figure that out! Then, he suggested that I buy my first camera, a Fujifilm. Without his constant tech support, I could not keep enough stuff running to snap a photo, edit it, or post it. And, the ability to do that has made my old age something wonderful. Leanne Cole tried to instruct me (via Google +) in Photoshop, but I was too scattered to follow. I have to figure stuff out on my own. And, half the time, I forget how I did it. I was always a scatterbrain. Now, I call it the Mad Cow. 😉


  7. Beautiful photos, George…and I learned something from you this evening…those are Rain Trees…how wonderful. I’ve seen several of them here in SLC, but had no idea what their name might be. 🙂


    • Hi, Scott! Yes, they are Rain Trees. Lots of them here too. If you can cut off a branch of blossoms, hang them upside down in a dry place and they’ll dry into a lovely bunch of parchment-like blossoms. And, they’ll last for years. Every year, I forget to ask this woman for a bunch to dry myself. I bet it’s snowing there already. I have to struggle on over to see! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


    • He was a cute and sweet little pony. Charlie’s class had a party at the ranch, and the pony lived there with the classmate’s family. The kids loved him. Might know you’d like the scruffy pony! 🙂


  8. This is such a short, delightful post!!! I’m sure you know my appreciation of the writing spider. I’ll never forget the stain on my dictionary!!! I can’t wait to see you and Cheeky and Rita and all the others!!!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: