Doris Sigal (neé Charkow) – R.I.P.

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If you’re an old-timer like me, you probably remember the old Morton Salt trademark phrase “When it rains, it pours”. Sometimes those Madmen accidentally told the truth. And so, it is with a heavy heart that I write this post to honor the memory of my step-mother, Doris Charkow Sigal. Married to my father, Dr. Roland Lee Sigal for what would have been 50 years next month, Doris passed away peacefully in her sleep at home, yesterday. (Thursday May 19, 2011)

Doris & Dr. Roland L. Sigal - Doris, We’ll Miss You!

My most favorite memory of Doris is of Thanksgiving of 2005 when she and my Dad came to visit us from their home in Allentown, Pa. After gorging ourselves on a wonderful meal prepared by my hubby, Don and son, Robert, we sat around the table listening aptly to my parents reminisce about their various adventures traveling around the world. Mostly, it was my Dad who did the talking. But as he spoke, Doris cuddled up to him and look rapturously into his eyes the entire time. I don’t know that I have ever seen a woman in her 70’s so obviously still in love with her husband. That was the one and only time that I was permitted a glimpse into their private relationship and it had a profound affect on me – and on my husband and son.

In her 20’s, Doris dabbled in painting and I’ve heard she had promising talent, but have never seen any of her works. That’s at least in part because she chose instead to make a career of cheering her husband (and daughter, Marcie Friedman, from a prior marriage) on, as they went on to fulfill their personal dreams, shared dreams, and far exceed what any spouse or parent dares to expect. Doris was my father’s enthusiastic partner in sharing the fruits of their hard work and good fortune with others through numerous generous donations to hospitals, The Sigal Center (a top-notch primary health care center to serve the poor), colleges, art museums, and the symphony (among others) – all within their local community.

Doris left her stamp on many lives and her spirit shall live on forever through the lives and accomplishments of those she helped or inspired.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Memorial Headstone

3 Red Gerbera Daisies

3 Gerbera Daisies

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

Scrapbook - Epiphany binder
Scrapbook – Epiphany binder
Scrapbookers Alert!! This customizable 1.5″ 3-ring Scrapbooker’s binder is IconDoIt’s latest original digital artwork. In luscious melon, violet & cerise colors, it emulates the look of stained glass on embossed leather with Art Nouveau flavoring. Holds up to 275 pages. You can change any or all of the text as you please to make it your own. Makes a great gift along with a selection of IconDoIt’s unique scrapbook papers.
Scrapbook Paper - A Peachy Photo
Scrapbook Paper – A Peachy Photo
Upload Your photo to have it placed in the frame Scrapbookers Alert!! You can upload your picture & change the caption to make this peaches & cream hued original paper design your own. Part of IconDoIt’s fabulous new line of unique, fun & inspiring heavy-weight paper for all your scrapbooking projects! All papers in this series are 8.5″x11″ & printed on 100 lb felt or 110 lb linen. Be sure to check out IconDoIt’s original Scrapbook Binders, too!

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A Summer of Hummingbirds

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First things first. Over this last weekend, I created a new page for this Blog, titled “Hot Links” where I have gathered some of my favorite websites, blogs, and resources on the Internet. While I’ve still kept links already in the right-hand sidebar of my pages, I just had so many more that I wanted to share with my readers – and hope you’ll add to it, too. I’ve kept the links there as text-only to cut down on the loading time. Hop on over there when you get a chance and let me know what you think.

As for the title of this morning’s post, “A Summer of Hummingbirds”, this is the title of a fascinating book I’ve read by author, Christopher Benfey. Published in 2008, it has the intriguing sub-title of “Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily DIckinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, & Martin Johnson Heade”. Anyone who is a history, sociology, or biography buff will enjoy this easy to read treatise that interweave glimpses of pre and post Civil War American society through the eyes of these famed authors, artists. Their lives not only touch each other in unexpected ways but Benfey has managed to reveal insight into these personalities, the influences upon them and the imprint they left for future generations without resorting to heavy-handed background detail or moralistic commentary that historians and biographers often fall prey to. The central theme of hummingbirds not only runs through the lives of the central characters, it is a theme which those characters and this book’s author view[ed] as an allegory for the entire era that saw the social fabric of America (and much of the world, as well) brought into question and literally torn apart. Suddenly, the “younger generation” growing up in the 1840’s began to question and discard the old traditions and attitudes of their parents regarding the concepts of nature, religion, sexuality, family, time, eroticism, and beauty. Not being familiar in the least with anything to do with Hummingbirds, despite having enjoyed Dickinson, Twain, Stowe and Heade for years, I had never picked up on this common thread between them much less recognized that every one of them had been drawn to this species and beheld it as a symbol in their works where the bird was never just a bird.

So whether you’re into history, sociology, biography, birding, the US, or Brazil (which was not only a newly sovereign nation back then but it’s Amazon River and Rainforest serves as home to the world’s largest population of Hummingbirds), this is a book I’m sure you’ll take pleasure in. You can buy it here.

Of course, how can I not offer with this review a selection of Hummingbird art? Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Hummingbird 3

Hummingbird & Flower 2

Hummingbird 4Hummingbird

Hummingbird & Flower

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Connecting Sole To Souls

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There is a part of me that feels heartsick over the fact that relationships I have with people I’ve never even had the pleasure of meeting are closer and more fulfilling than what I have with my one and only, flesh and blood sibling. My sensible side screams “BULLSH*T!”

The old maxim that “Blood is thicker than water” may be scientifically true but fails miserably as an analogy for the strength of the bond and loyalty from kin. While the opportunity for family to develop deep love and respect generally is greater than outsiders may get, there is nothing inherent in our DNA that guarantees friendship or trust. We may wish it so and delude ourselves that memorizing platitudes will make them come true but all that nets are foolish expectations and energy wasted for naught. Sadly, I don’t stand-alone in wrestling with such farce. It is exactly because this conundrum is all too common, that it’s occurred to me lately, we need to change the message.

Nature and nurture have long been debated as to which most controls who we are, yet significant as those factors may be, the most important element is choice. I suppose some believe that by drumming the sentiment that family sticks together through thick and through thin is all that it takes for self-fulfilling prophecy to flourish, but the history of man has proven that false going back as far as Cain and Abel. Genetics and training are no more than the canvas and palette upon which our individual choices build, layer upon layer of rich colors and light or the monotony of a single tone. Focusing in, one only sees their self and forfeits the depth of experience that connects sole to souls. While blood may serve to help create our potential, what we choose is who we become. So perhaps the loss we may feel over blood that is heartless should be no more and no less than the effect of a stranger, and so too, should we cherish the love.

Free Clip-Art & Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

City Blooms On Black Velvet

“City in Bloom on Black Velvet” – (600px X 804px)

The Fence Sitter, v2

“The Fence Sitter – v2” – For the story behind the image, read this post at Dogkisses.

The Fence Sitter

“The Fence Sitter” – For the story behind the image, read this post at Dogkisses.