A Photo a Week Challenge: Favorite Color in Nature

Garry watering the fuchsia

My hunky husband waters the plants. It’s part of the joy of summer. And the rich purple and red of the fuchsia. Fuchsia is such a rich color, it has become a color of its own.

fuchsia trailing summer macro

As the season reaches its peak, the fuchsia begin to grow long, with trailing branches dropping past the fence on the deck.

Very macro fuchsia

I see fewer new blossoms, fewer buds, but more seed pods. It is high summer for us, but rounding the corner to the end of the season for fuchsia.

The pictures were taken using the Olympus PEN PL-6 with an f2.8 60 mm macro lens or the Pentax Q7 using an f1.8 8.5 mm prime “normal.”

Trailing fuchsia in July (Pentax Q7)

Trailing fuchsia in July (Pentax Q7)


Margo Ballerina

Although I am currently a senior citizen with extensive arthritis, my life goals remain unchanged. I am planning to be a ballet dancer. Everyone tells me I should never abandon my dreams, no matter how hopeless, unrealistic, or just plain stupid. I figure I merely need a better walker.

Marilyn by Cherrie

When I was a girl, my mother took me to the New York City Ballet productions when George Balanchine was at the helm. I would leave the theater  feeling light as a snowflake, sure that I’d found my future. All I needed were a few lessons, a pair of those cool ballet slippers and I would leap and twirl on my toes into a golden future.

In between, I did a few other things, but we all know, because everyone tells us so, that anyone can be whatever they want. You just have to keep trying. You have to try and try and try until you succeed or die. Never give in, never give up. Never find something else at which you could be successful.

That’s why I’m sure I will eventually be a ballet dancer. Don’t laugh at me. I’m serious, here. Hey, you, I see you smirking …


Nothing is the way it used to be.

A couple of weeks ago, I needed some new nightwear. Nothing fancy. Not interested in lingerie. That’s for display, not sleeping. I’m talking about the ubiquitous sleep tee.

For years, I bought them from L.L. Bean. They were comfortable, loose, soft. Lightweight in summer, heavier, long-sleeved for winter. Then, L.L.Bean stopped making them. They decided we all want heavy flannel or pajama mix and match. In ugly colors.


I don’t want elastic while I sleep. I want soft, loose, breathable, comfortable. Priced so I can buy more than one. Colors other than flaccid pink and dainty floral on white.

When L.L. Bean stopped making what I want, I switched to Land’s End. I’ve been wearing their sleep tees for more than a decade. But with each passing year, the fabric has gotten less refined, rougher, and the cut skimpier. The neckline has gotten tighter to the point where it’s hard to get your head through it. The price keeps going up.

I gave up. While the price has risen, the quality has dropped to completely unacceptable. I found quality sleep tees on Amazon.


Did “new Coke” bring new customers to Coca Cola? Or did they give Pepsi a huge boost? Did Windows 8 improve business at Microsoft … or Apple?

Do corporations think we are stupid? Do they think we won’t notice when they sell us junk, reduce quality, raise prices?

I keep hearing that consumers are shopping online instead of at brick and mortar shops and it will drive them out of business. Has anyone in corporate America considered whether or not their products and stores serve the needs of the people they want as customers?

Did you know that Barnes & Noble booksellers — their brick and mortar stores — charge 30% more than Barnes & Noble online? For identical merchandise. If you want a discount card, that will cost you even more. Even with the “discount,” their stuff still costs more than it would online.


When asked why I should buy at the store, I was told the online and “real” stores aren’t run by the same organization and have different price structures. Which isn’t an answer.

Original Coke came back. Windows 8 will pass into history in a couple of weeks. DiGiorno’s is selling pizza with “original” sauce. Eventually, if we “vote” with our shopping carts, “they” get the message. How long will it take? Will it matter?

The thing is, you can never get back the faith of customers you screw. The relationship is broken. Trust is ruined.

Is there a price tag on trust? How much are we — your customers — worth?