Journey 155: Felula 2.0

Felula 2.0 porch bench

What a beautiful journey this afternoon, after work was completed, spending time with grandson Dayan and later, grandson Jonathan. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve had the privilege of hanging out with these wonderful young men.

Dayan and I enjoyed a late lunch together at his favorite Chinese restaurant before heading to the Lowe’s garden center. I’ve been busy working in my gardens and this afternoon, it was fun to help Dayan with planting around a tree in the front yard and filling several containers to add a splash of color to the front porch. Last year, Dayan gifted his mother with a small metal table and a light green ceramic planter with a tall perennial in it. Sometime during the summer, he and his mom, my daughter Elissa, christened the plant Felula. Felula moved indoors during the winter, and was doing fine, and then I helped her to pass into flower heaven. I’m not sure what happened, but there was perhaps too much water, and wilting, and Felula was no more.

felula 2.0 Dayan

Today, Dayan looked for a replacement plant, for the green ceramic container. He found Mexican Heather for a large planter at home, and a white geranium for another pot….but we could not find another perennial that matched dear departed Felula.

And then we laughed over a Doctor Who related solution. Dayan has made a Whovian out of me. By definition, a Whovian is a fan of the popular sci-fi tv show, Doctor Who, and he or she is the epitome of good grammar and better knowledge. This knowledge stems from their interest in time and space, and the information gained from many viewings of the show. (From Urban Dictionary). Dayan and I not only enjoy watching episodes of the show together, we also enjoy talking about Doctor Who and the many intricate and amazing details about the show, the actors, the writers and most of all, The Doctor. Today, as we drove to Lowe’s, our Doctor Who conversation led us into a wonderful discussion of the connectedness of all things.

felula 2.0 dr who regeneration

At the heart of the Doctor Who storyline, is the fact that The Doctor, who is a Time Lord, doesn’t die but regenerates instead, retaining his spirit and memories but changing his appearance and his personality. It’s a very clever way to keep a series going for more than 50 years, with 12 actors playing The Doctor thus far. Dayan selected a salvia plant and dubbed her Felula 2.0. She looks different, but the essence of the first Felula is there as she thrives in her planter. She is the first regeneration, perhaps, in a long line of Felulas.

Back at Dayan’s house, we had to pause to watch an episode of Doctor Who. Then it was out onto the porch and into the yard, tucking Vinca and Double Impatiens around the tree and nestling flowers into the containers. Elissa recently bought an old bench from a local flea market and it looks so charming on the front porch, the planters with their brightly colored flowers arranged with it. Felula 2.0 seems right at home.

felula 2.0 porch bench 2

As we were planting around the tree, Jonathan arrived home, with his dad, Josh. He helped us finish with the plants and then became the official water boy, using a copper watering can to ensure the plants don’t go into shock from being transplanted. I enjoyed spending time with Jonathan afterward, watching him play a new video game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance.  Sweet Jonathan always believes I can play video games too. I can’t! At least, not well. The last time he had me play with him, he kindly reached for my controller after five minutes and let me just watch. Today I was the observer as he moved his characters through various levels with skill and confidence.

felula 2.0 Jonathan

felula 2.0 Marvel Alliance

I’m so glad summer is here and I can spend more time with my five grandchildren. I look forward to gardening and playing, watching Doctor Who and going to movies, swimming and playing mini golf, grabbing snacks and chatting. Dayan and I will tend to Felula 2.0, keeping her hydrated and positioning her to soak up some sun….and we will watch for any signs that she’s ready to regenerate and become Felula 3.0.

felula 2.0 tree bed

Journey 50: The Tenth Doctor Who

dr who 10th doctor

I have been faithfully watching Dr Who episodes with my grandson Dayan. On most Thursday afternoons, I pick him up from school, grab us a snack, and camp out in front of the TV with Dayan, learning about this long lived BBC series. We began with the 9th Doctor, and season one of the revived Dr Who. I have to admit, I have become a fan of this quirky, campy, sci-fi series, which originally aired in 1963. Watching with Dayan, and discussing the episodes, makes it more fun.

At the end of season one, of the revived Dr Who, I watched the phenomenon that happens to a Time Lord, when faced with death. He regenerates…and becomes new. New body, new face, new personality….and in reality, a new actor portraying the Doctor. It is a very clever way to keep a series alive over decades and keep the storyline lively and interesting. However, I began watching with actor Christopher Eccleston playing the Doctor and I wasn’t sure I was going to like a new actor in the role. Dayan assured me I would adjust.

It was well done, the regeneration. At first I resisted the idea of a new actor playing the familiar role. I had grown fond of Eccleston’s performance as the Doctor. David Tennant helped make the transition smooth by mimicking gestures and facial expressions of the previous Doctor, gradually bringing his own personality into the role. This afternoon, Dayan and I watched New Earth and Tooth and Claw of season two. The episodes were very well done, bringing a couple of past characters, Lady Cassandra and the Face of Boe, back in New Earth, which was set in the year five billion twenty three. Taking place in the city of New New York (not a typo!), the story raised the question of what’s ethical in the treatment of diseases and even more important, in the treatment of life.

Tooth and Claw won my approval immediately, as the setting was Scotland in the time of Queen Victoria. I felt sure it aired around Halloween time, since it featured a were wolf, but it originally aired in April of 2006. I loved the Scottish accents and landscapes. There was a nice twist to the story at the end, involving the royal family of Great Britain. And by the end of this episode, I had quit comparing David Tennant to Christopher Eccleston, quit trying to “see” Eccleston in Tennant’s expressions and mannerisms. I decided I liked David Tennant! He brings a freshness to the role, which is, of course, the whole idea.

I googled Tennant and found that he actually is Scottish, and knew by the age of THREE that he wanted to be an actor. I found it amazing that his early decision was inspired by….watching Dr Who episodes! The young David never wavered from his chosen path, and fulfilled his dream. I find that inspiring. David Tennant is a great role model for anyone who desires to follow his or her heart, persevering no matter what others think and say.

Dayan smiled with a “see, I told you” look when I confessed I liked the new Doctor. And then he surprised me with a story he wrote as a school assignment. He asked me if I wanted to read it. Titled “Numbers on the Wall”, I was so impressed with his short story, so amazed at the writing ability he already shows at the age of 15. He got an A on the assignment and has submitted the story in a writing contest. Wow. What an encouragement to me as well, as I see Dayan pursuing his dreams. Seriously, Dayan reminds me of Tolkien when that author was a young man, crafting countries peopled with remarkable and diverse personalities, creating languages, back writing a history that supported an entire made up world. I see that same creative spark and ability in Dayan, that same keen intelligence and curiosity.

I am enjoying watching Dr Who with Dayan. I have many more episodes to go to catch up to the current season and the latest incarnation of the Doctor. Even more, I am enjoying the conversations and shared laughter with my grandson, enjoying watching him grow and learn and journey. I’m glad we have so many episodes of Dr Who ahead of us. I treasure this time.

dr who 10th doctor david tennant


Journey 22: Dr Who with Dayan and a Tech Tip

dr who the doctor dances

 I read a great post this morning from Elizabeth Gilbert, titled In Defense of Teenagers, in which she wrote about how much she admired this generation of youth rising toward adulthood. She said, “Today’s American teenagers are the most sensitive, least violent, least bullying, least racist, least homophobic, most globally-minded, most compassionate, most environmentally-conscious, least dogmatic, and overall kindest group of young people this country has ever known.”

I agree with Liz. I have a teenager in the family, my eldest grandchild, Dayan, and he is all of the things Liz mentioned in her post, and more. I got to hang out with this thoughtful teen today. After picking him up from school, we grabbed snacks and chatted as we prepared to watch a couple of Dr. Who episodes. I heard about his day, and always polite and interested, he asked me about mine.

Before Christmas we watched the Dr. Who episode “Lost Child”, and Dayan was all grins as the episode ended with the line, “to be continued”. Ahhhh….a cliff hanger. Today we finally had the chance to see the rest of this creepy story with “The Doctor Dances”. I initially started watching Dr. Who because Dayan loves the series so much. I started with the first season of the new series and I have to admit, I’ve already come to like this quirky show which introduces a new doctor every season or two. It’s fun watching with Dayan who refuses to give any plot twists or surprises away. I thought I had this story about an “empty child” searching for his mum figured out until toward the end. There were a couple of twists and turns. It was a great story and the Doctor excitedly shouts at the end, “Everyone lives! Everyone lives!” These two episodes won a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 2006.

We continued on to the next episode, “Boom Town”, in which the time traveling Doctor and his companions, Rose and Jack, travel to modern day Cardiff and come across an alien enemy, a Slitheen, intent on destroying Earth and escaping. This episode focused on the consequences of actions…the Slitheen had been a killer all her life… and the moral dilemna of accepting those consequences. I found this episode to be strangely touching, especially as the theme seemed to be about second chances. Rather than return her to her homeworld, where the death penalty awaited her, the Doctor allowed the Slitheen to be bathed in the light from the heart of the TARDIS (the Doctor’s sentient time traveling ship). After she smiled and thanked the Doctor, the Slitheen reverted to an egg, so that she could hatch and relive her life, allowing her to have that second chance. Good episode.

Before I left this evening, Dayan showed me his concept for the next Mail Art piece he will do. We are participating in a Mail Art Project in March, with the art being mailed to Austria this time! The theme is TURQUOISE and I have to say, Dayan has an amazing idea that he is already working on. I am lagging behind, yet it was very rewarding to see his creation coming together. He is one clever young man and I look forward to sharing more about this art project later. While we were on the computer, Dayan gave me a tech lesson on Google Drive. I have heard of this function, and being a gmail user, could have accessed it at any time, yet I wasn’t sure how it worked or the advantages of using Google Drive. Dayan gave me a quick lesson, showing me a recent school assignment that he and a classmate did using Google Drive. They could work on the project together, each on his or her own computer, sharing in the creation and editing. I was impressed! And so this kind and helpful teenager ran through the basics of using Google Drive with his willing-to-learn-new-things grandmother. At home I downloaded the program and already see possibilities for its use.

Liz concluded her post by encouraging her readers to give today’s teenagers a break and show them appreciation, rather than complaining about them. I can do that quite easily with my grandson, and I so appreciate Dayan and his compassion toward people and his willingness to see the good in others. I can do that as well with my cousin, Harry, who will soon enter his 20’s, but has had an amazing journey through his teens. There are other teens that I can encourage, walk alongside or simply smile at when I see them, giving them a nod of approval. This next generation has so much to offer, and their own way of offering. I am excited to see how their gifts shift the world.

dr who boom town

Day 325: Mail Art Project with Dayan

Mail art example

Sample Mail Art

This afternoon was really a series of firsts, all shared with my grandson Dayan. Last week we spent an afternoon selecting materials to create mail art to send to the Post Memorial Art Library in Joplin. They are sponsoring the Mail Art Projekt, with entries to be postmarked no later than December 1. The art, which is created on large postcards, can feature any subject or theme, as long as it can be mailed in. Completed pieces will be displayed in an exhibit in January 2015. This is just the sort of interesting project that my artistic grandson and I could enjoy together as a first, and we agreed to create mini works of art on oversized postcards.

Today, I picked him up from school so we could begin creating. He’s a growing teenager, so first things first. We grabbed a late lunch to go at the newly opened Orient Express in Webb City. I have one of these amazing little take out cafés near my house. I’m glad to see another one open in the area. Dayan called ahead to make sure they actually had opened. For our first visit, we ordered sesame and general tso chicken and crab rangoons and headed back to his house to eat before we dived into our project.

sesame chicken general tso chicken

Dayan had the great idea to pull up Netflix and watch Dr Who while we ate. Dayan is a huge fan of Dr. Who. I began watching the series, starting with season 1 of the new series, so that Dayan and I can discuss the show. We found where I left off with the 9th Doctor and his companion Rose. I have to say, it is more fun to watch Dr Who with Dayan, who knows everything about the series and filled me in on important-to-know info.

Dr Who 9th doctor

We left Dr Who going on the tv while we emptied out sacks of art and craft supplies. Dayan is focusing on a geography theme, with an emphasis on traveling, while I am creating a piece of art that includes this year’s word and symbol and hints at next year’s. Armed with scissors and glue sticks and a plethora of materials, we chatted and laughed and paused often in our work to watch the Doctor and Rose in their escapades. I treasure these times with my grandson. He is already talking about colleges. In such a casual atmosphere, we talk about all kinds of things, from movies to relationships, dreams to the mysteries of life, and the latest funny happenings at school.

Creating mail art is fun. Spending time with Dayan is priceless. I love watching him create.  I value his insights and his fresh perspective on life. And he’s got a wicked sense of humor. In fact, I had so much fun hanging out with Dayan today, that I totally forgot to capture our firsts and our art projects in process with my iPhone camera. Oh well. I am grateful for google pics. And I’ll make sure to get photos of the finished mail art next week.

mail art example 2

Sample Mail Art

Day 244: Dr Who Season One, Episode One, “Rose”

dr who season 1 Rose e

My grandson Dayan is a huge Dr Who fan. He’s been talking to me about this BBC series, with enthusiasm, for a long time. While in Scotland, I had my picture taken in front of a blue police box, because it is an important prop in the Dr Who series. I knew Dayan would love the pic.

I have been intending to start on the series, so my grandson and I can discuss the story and share in that adventure. Tonight, for my first, I did indeed jump on the Dr Who bandwagon with Season One, Episode One, called “Rose”.

Dr Who Season One stars Christopher Eccleston as the famous Time Lord and Billie Piper as his traveling companion, Rose Tyler. This British sci-fi series began on March 26, 2005 and ran for 13 episodes. This program was a return to television. The first Dr Who series ran from 1963 – 1989. Which means, the Dr Who in season one of the most recent version is the Ninth Dr Who. This iconic series depicts the adventures of the Time Lord who is a time traveling humanoid alien. He explores the universe in his ship called the TARDIS, with the exterior appearing as a blue police box, which was a common sight in 1960’s Britain. Accompanied by a succession of companions, Dr Who encounters a variety of foes while working to save civilizations, including Earth’s.

Twelve actors, so far, have appeared over the years as Dr Who. The transition from actor to actor is a part of the storyline, a regeneration into a new incarnation, explained as a part of the life process of Time Lords. The Doctor takes on a new body and a somewhat different personality after incurring an injury that would be fatal. The actors’ portrayals are all considered to be showcasing different aspects of the same personality.

I perhaps should have begun with the original series that premiered in 1963. However, I decided to jump in with the newer series that began in 2005. Episode one begins with an introduction of Rose, who meets the mysterious Dr in the basement of the clothing store where she is an employee. Rose is being chased, impossibly, by store mannequins. I found this to be very creepy….who hasn’t cast a quick second glance toward a mannequin, making sure it didn’t just move….and reminded myself this was a SCI-FI series, after all! Little by little, throughout the first episode, information about Dr Who is revealed. Very little, though. For those who were familiar with Dr Who and welcomed the show’s return, it was a recap. For those new to the storyline, it was enough to peak interest and bring viewers back for more. At the end of this monumental first foray back into the franchise, Rose joins Dr Who as his traveling companion and cohort, and off they go.

I enjoyed the episode and look forward to watching all of Season One this week. I love sci-fi, having grown up on Star Trek. I loyally followed that series through all of its voyages of the Starship Enterprise, up to and including the new movies that have started the storyline over. I will follow this series as well, catching up to the current season, and my grandson’s knowledge. Then, at last, Dayan and I can have great conversations about Dr Who, because I will know what I am talking about!

dr who season 1 rose and dr e