Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Past addresses The Future

I've been on vacation this week and today as I put up the Christmas stuff, I found a box of old photos which belong in my one-of-these-days-this-will-make-it-into-my-Family-Tree pile.  Inside the box I found a bonus: lots of postcards from my paternal Granddaddy to my Grandma while they were "courting".   The first card arrived when she was only 14; a Valentine from my  22 year old Granddaddy.   Sounds odd today, but back then families knew each other.  In fact, her sister was dating Granddaddy's brother...having already dated HIM, she chose his brother to marry.   Hey, back then you looked around the neighborhood and found a spouse.  They were married in 1928 and only parted when he died in 1973.

Granddaddy was always a man of few words.  Even though I knew he loved me, it was through actions more than words.  After all, we lived next door to them for the first 8 years of my life.  But finding these cards, while making me feel like a temporary peeping Tom, gave me an insight into the man he was...the suitor whose cards progressed from "My Friend", to "Honey" and "Darling".  A husband who wrote,  "My Darling Wife" as he declared how much he missed her while she was away.   On paper, he was dashing and bold.  In person, he was quiet and steadfast.

Here are a few that are just right for this season.  Most are postmarked between 1922 and 1927, while they were courting.  Some were from family and friends.  But the artwork was simply too pretty to keep to myself, especially when the sentiments cover it well.  You can click on each one to enlarge it.

And this one is my very favorite,
for how many "lucky" symbols the artist managed to add. 

 Here's wishing you and the ones you love 
a very Happy 
(and Glad)
New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.   

This week's photo:

"I don't care what you think Sam, 
that Mike Rowe fella knows more about poo than anyone on television.  
Including Congress and FOX news."

NOTE: For my friends across the pond, Mike Rowe is host of a t.v. program called "Dirty Jobs", where he works in some pretty stinky situations to show what some folks do for a living.  Poo is not only a description of what he finds himself in many a time, it's funnier than it's 4 letter altermative.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

For Titus

I admit it.  I am not a risk taker.   It's ingrained in my DNA to look before I leap, think before I speak (most of the time) and to remember that choices have consequences.  One of the first quotes I remember learning was, "When in doubt...DON'T!"  My 8th grade English teacher would be so proud to know I remembered.  Yet another tool to keep me in line.

Unfortunately, I can be SO prepared that I make a Boy Scout look like a rank amateur.

Which is why this challenge of IPYPIASM, (International Put Your Poem In A Shop Month) brought to my attention by Titus, made my itch to be creative momentarily overthrow that cautious thing. 

The idea is this, courtesy of  Niamh B. who resides in Dublin, Ireland: "Take a poem, any poem, yours, or someone else's.  Keep the poem short enough that someone can read it during the browsing process - 4 - 6 lines. Stick it up in a shop. Either on the noticeboard of the shop, as was the fashion in year one of this project, or on a shelf. This is the hard part - take a picture of your poem as it embarks on its new life inspiring the tired shoppers, brightening the lives of weary shop lifters and reluctant security staff."

Then we're suppose to let her know we played, complete with photographic proof.

And so, in the spirit of fun and personal challenge I did it.  I gave myself 5 minutes to come up with a poem, typed it and headed to a local store.   Hey, my handwriting is lousy, which defeats the purpose of someone being able to READ it.  I hope this surprise will bring a smile to a weary Christmas shopper's face. 

For the record, I had to use my cell phone so the photo's aren't great.  And as I was practically on my knees to take photos, I've written the verses under the photos in case you can't make them out.  And no, I wasn't so ashamed that I picked the low shelf....the product just happened to end up there this week.

I was here
and you were not.
Now you're here
and I've moved on.

Doesn't matter.
The wish remains.
May you find Joy
wherever you go.

This is what happens when you keep company with poets.  You begin to think you can pull this off.  And yet,  even in daring myself to do something outside my norm, I still managed to remain squeaky clean.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Microfiction Monday

So the trick is to write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.   
This week's illustration

 "I thought the bread crumb trail was fairly dumb," 
sighed Hansel's cousin Max.  

"But everyone knows you're suppose to carry 
a pig in a poke." 

I'll try to visit as many of you as I can but the Word Verifications are slowing me down 
to the point I may have to stop.  But if you visit me, I'll drop by to see you.

Coming to a Sky Near You

On Dec. 20th (or 21st since we're talking  the wee hours of the morning) there will be a Total Lunar Eclipse.  If you live in North or South America, you'll be able to view this right outside your back door...binoculars optional.

As the next one doesn't occur until 2014, you might want to check this news article for the time nearest you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Get Happy Friday

It's been a tough week.   So, right here and now, I am refilling my glass BACK to half full.  What?  You thought I picked the name "hope" by accident?     ;)

Smokey the Wonder Dog may have gone on, but memories stay forever.  I just hope St. Pete is stocked up on yellow tennis balls.

Seems like for every good Blogger friend we find in Invisible Friend Land, we see one waving goodbye.  So I'll say thanks for what you've added to my life...while holding on to the hopes (Charlie) that you won't stay completely silent and will visit on occasion.  And for the rest of you...I'll be over to your playground in a little while to stick my head in and yell, "Hi!  Anybody home?"

The Office Manager who is literally the glue which holds us together at work has a Retirement Party in two hours.  I will smother the sorrow of losing her with laughter at the joy that she is escaping this nuthouse with her brain still intact.  She DESERVES this new chapter in her life.

I will remember that we reap what we sow.  Anger at those we should feel pity for helps no one.  And if you believe in Karma, what goes around, comes around.

I will try to be cheerful and upbeat, no matter how many tales of woe I hear from my seniors this week.  Their life's work helped shape my world, the least I can do is listen.  Although the next time one of them chooses the moment before grace is said for Lunch to describe, complete with hand gestures and graphic explanation, how the Doc had to cut on either side of his penis to begin his artery surgery I might have to get out the duct tape. 

No matter what happens, I still have a Hubby who loves me no matter what I weigh... or do and a dog named Bou who still thinks I'm the greatest person on the planet when I feed him every night.  I have a home, a job and a family and although some of that often drives me nuts, I still have more than many people do at this point in time.  And for all my whining, I am truly grateful.

And if that doesn't work, I can look at the calendar and be thankful for the gift I am giving me for Christmas....A VACATION!

Here's wishing you and the ones you love a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.   
This week's illustration

"Lord, I simply love washing.  Let me clarify..."

Titus was a wonderful poet, 
mused Kim, 
but she'd never toiled in the southern summer sun.
And yes, those are the opening words to a poem she's written entitled "Homemaker".   Visit her for more gems.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

R.I.P. My Friend

I'll admit it.  I haven't been in so much a Bah Humbug! mood as mentally preparing for the worst.

Today, the worst happened.  

Our 12.5 year old chocolate lab, Smokey, had to be put to sleep.  I'm guessing that's gonna hurt for a while.

To most people, Smokey was just a dog.  And although I'd like to think of us as non-weird dog people, he was the oldest child we never had.  He was even famous in his neck of the woods, known for finding deer that a hunter couldn't find...and having no problem pointing out when the hunter had missed.

We jokingly referred to Smokey as "Smokey the Wonder Dog...and Local Legend".
Smokey got sick last month and even though he confounded the Vet by never running a fever, eating like a pig and having normal bodily functions, he just couldn't breathe.  I have asthma...I kinda took that not breathing thing harder than most.  For the past month, I've hidden his meds in all kinds of treats but this morning, when I sat down to rub his belly before going to work, I had this sinking feeling that this would be our last morning chat.

The worst part was taking off work to run Hubby's business [he's self employed] so Hubby could take Smokey to a Specialist a little over an hour away.   Every phone call was agony: the prognosis kept getting worse and although intellectually it was obvious we needed to help him "slip the bonds of earth", it's tough when your heart keeps yelling, "It's not fair!"

I hated that Hubby had to face the grim reality of this alone.  You see, he and Smokey are practically inseparable and I knew this would hurt.

I had no idea my heart would break too.

So here's to Smokey the Wonder Dog and Local Legend; Hubby's hunting buddy,  Bou's dear old Dad and my snuggle buddy on the couch.

In the words of my Dad, "You done good!"

May you run in heaven and never tire.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday 55

It's time to play "Write a story in 55 words".  If  you do, be sure to let the G-Man know.   And next week, I'll try to do this in time to put the "Official Logo" back in place.

Christmas cards written, addressed and ready to mail.

Cookies baking.

Selection of favorite carols burned to CD for commute in car.

Ornaments out for tree we'll purchase this weekend.

List of gifts to purchase.
List of gifts already purchased.
List of What-in-the-world-can-I-buy-Hubby-THIS year?!

Time to accomplish all of this.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kids on....Marriage

My Mom e-mailed me one of those "kids say the darnedest things" tributes the other day on what kids think of marriage.  It contained 10 questions and the replies were....cute.

It made me wonder, do all kids think like that or did they just glean the cream of the crop answers to forward?  So I decided to put it to the test and ask the six kids at our center this afternoon what they thought about this topic.  You should know that for some of these kids, they have multiple siblings who share either a Mother OR a Father but not both.  It tends to effect your outlook on life although there are some things which will always remain....kid like.

So I don't get sued, I'll list the kids by an initial...or two if more than one has the same beginning initial.  Your scoreboard reads like this:
J:   boy, age 8                                               Jar: girl, age 7
D:  girl, age 10                                               Z: girl, age 9
JV: boy, age 9                                               T: girl, age 7

How do you decide whom to marry?
J:  [Big sigh and shake of head]  I don't know.
D: By asking his name and a few things.
JV: I marry my girlfriend.
Jar:He makes me happy.
Z:  You wait until you find the right person.
T:  Someone like my brother. 

What is the right age to get married?
J:     20
D:    32
JV:   20
Jar:  39
Z:    30
T:    28

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
J:  They have a ring on their hand.
D: Wedding rings.
JV:They're wearing a wedding dress and suit.
Jar:  She has a wedding dress on.
Z:  They're holding hands
T:  They have on clothes.  I mean wedding clothes.

What to you think your Mom and Dad have in common?
J:  They care for you.
D: Both are nice.
JV: They share what they own.
Jar: The like to go to the park with us.
Z: Trucks.
T:  Eating.

What do most people do on a date?
J: Go out and eat.
D: Go to restaurants.
JV: Go out and eat and talk and kiss, then marry.
Jar: Go out and eat.
Z: Talk and kiss.
T: Laugh and just sit there.

When is it okay to kiss someone?
J: At a wedding.
D: When it's your girlfriend or boyfriend.
JV: Your girlfriend or if you're married.
Jar:When I get married.
Z:When they don't hurt you.  
   {And yes, this one scared me because she has the "good family}
T: Oh, that's nasty!  I'm NEVER gonna kiss a boy!

Is it better to be single or married?
J: Married
D: Married
JV: Married
Jar: Married
Z:  Married
T:  Single  {Well there is that nasty business of kissing boys}

How would you make your marriage work?
J: Buy her stuff.
D: Go to different places like the beach and stuff.
JV: Give her a ring.
Jar: Treat him right.
Z: Have kids and get a big house.
T: Fake kissing him.  But grow flowers and give them to him.  

From this experiment I concluded that:
J: sounds like an old soul who's already been married for 25 years. 

D: our oldest kid, thinking about the future of dating has a good head on her shoulders. 

JV:  our "challenged" kid actually had the kindest and best thought out answers.  He even asked how my marriage was.  {Fine, thank you}.

Jar: our little diva of the eye rolling, head popping, you-can't-make-me appears to be our most sentimental and may actually marry a guy instead of roping him and dragging him home.

Z: is our "sensitive" kid with a traditional family.  Only the part about not getting hurt worried me.  Then again, she's the kind of kid who would politely point out if you were hugging her too hard.  I know.  She hugs me every day and asks if she's doing that "just right".  :)

T: this is our youngest, mentally, of the 7 year olds.  Most questions were followed by an incredible, "What?!" before I could get an answer.  I figure she's the safest...seeing how nasty it is to have to kiss boys.  I tried reassuring her that they get better as they grow older.  She says they're dumb.  I told her they get smarter.  She just looked at me and shook her head with a sigh.

"No way," she grimaced, shaking her head. "No way I'm EVER going to kiss a boy!"

I'd like to see her again in about 10 years and let her take this survey again when she find a boy just like big brother.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Microfiction Monday

 Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.   Why yes, I did say a WHOLE story in 140 keystrokes.

This week's illustration

I'd rather be pulled asunder by two of these massive beasts 
than be caught dead in public with Harold 
wearing that silly leopard hat again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh Come On!

You guys didn't eat THAT much turkey!

Hope those of you braving Black Friday are staying safe.
You couldn't PAY me to go out today!

But right now, 
the floor seems just about as hazardous as a shopping mall.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Odds & Ends

 Today was just one of those weird days, where turning every corner held a "What the heck?"  moment.

1.  My radio announced that North Korea now has a nuclear program equal to Iran's.   How do we know?  They told us they were going to build it.  Sig Hecker, a former Stanford professor was one of several who toured the plant, where he saw "2,000 centrifuges set up in the facility, as well as construction on a 25 megawatt light water nuclear reactor."  

"My jaw just dropped, I was stunned," Hecker said of the moment he saw the centrifuges. "To see what looked like hundreds and hundreds of centrifuges lined up... it was just stunning. In a clean, modern facility, looking down I said ‘Oh my god, they actually did what they said there were going to do.'"

Note to Government Big Wigs: Next time N. Korea talks, play like E.F. Hutton and LISTEN.  Especially after today's antics.

2.  Artist Jasper Johns, he of the abstract painting world, is set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  I knew he was a S.C. boy [can you call an 80 year old guy that?] but what I didn't know was that he graduated from the SAME High School I went too.  Granted, 11 years before I was born.  Interestingly, my parents and I graduated from that same building.  Not until Little Bro was born did he get a "new" high school. Ironically, the "gym" side of the school is where my Department's office is located. 

3.  Why is it that "problems with voting" on the t.v. show "Dancing with the Stars" got larger notice in my e-mail news updates than the fact N. Korea shot at S. Korea today?  Could it be because Sara Palin's daughter is a finalist?  Oh and Shug, just so you know, the Royal Wedding is scheduled for late April at Westminster Abbey.  I hear all the Kings & Queens get crowned there...and it's where the funeral for this poor girl's dearly departed mother-in-law was held.  Next news flash....two S. Korean Marines were killed in today's attack instigated by N. Korea.  Not clear if they announced that in advance or not.

Whatever happened to "in order of importance" with the news?

4.  Took my mother-in-law, who doesn't drive, to a dental appointment today.  Sat in the most comfortable, enveloping leather chair I've ever perched upon.  Settled back to read my book when the magazines on the table caught my eye.  Beautiful, glossy covers of lush photos, from food to flowers.  But the title made me go, "Whaaaat?"

Garden and Gun.

Really?  Is that hunting critters that eat your vegetables with a pistol?  Going on safari for moles?  A CIA style gardening plan to exterminate bugs with extreme prejudice?  I had to check it out.  The magazine was explained as "Garden and Gun, a Southern lifestyle magazine that's all about the magic of the new South - sporting culture, food, music, art, literature."  

Again.  Really?  I've lived in the South all my life and I missed this one.   I didn't even know a "new South" had been declared.  Do the publishers of "Southern Living" know about this? 

I shall now retreat ito the peace and quiet of my own home to enjoy the new heat pump we had installed today to heat our 125 year old home efficiently.  Did I mention it was 80 degrees [27C] today?

Hey do you switch this thing over to air conditioning?

Hope your week is a good one!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday 55

It's time to play "Write a story in 55 words".  And if you do, be sure to let the G-Man know. 

And yes, I know I'm late.  But hey, it's still Friday, right?  And I'll visit you Saturday.  Right after I check up on the hubby catching a bad head cold, the dog with a NEW strain of Kennel Cough, laundry and canning homemade cranberry sauce.  It'll feel good to sit and visit for a while after that.

Great!  First it was politicians.  Then "false prophets" fleecing their sheep.  Now it's


Especially ones with no patience.  No plan.  No clue.

Everywhere I go, someone has their hand out wanting easy money.

Depressing, isn't it?  What's wrong with the world?

You look twice and you can see the writing on the wall.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Today is Susan's birthday!   

Please take the time to pop over 
and wish the Mama of Microfiction Monday  
(and ALL those great writing tips) a


[Sorry, don't have Thom's tech skills for all the flash and dazzle stuff]


Friday, November 12, 2010

Wrong Number

After 16 years with the same cell phone company (yeah, I know...UNHEARD of!) I hung up on them.  Permanently.  Well not so much THEM  (Oh Alltel, I miss your dependable service and even those dorky t.v. commercials) as the other who took them over.   They have not  been pleased that I actually believed their letter which claimed, "You don't need to change a thing!  Everything will work just like it did before, only better!"  

What's the polite word for LIAR?

And they're nowhere near as impressed with my loyalty as A, whose operators use to greet me with, "Hi.  Welcome to A.  I see you've been with us for (fill in the blank) years.  How may I help you?"  Well, except the one operator who was so overcome with our loyalty that she said, "Hi.  Welcome to A.  I see you've been with us for ...holy shit!  Um.  Sorry.  I mean 12 years.  Who stays with the same cell company for 12 years?"   
She begged for my forgiveness and we laughed together.

Long story short, we have switched to another company, which also begins with A, because they were kinder than the representative who informed me, "Well the problem is you don't have OUR plan.  Or OUR phone."  Hostile doesn't just apply to takeovers evidently.

So here it is, three weeks later and I'm still trying to get use to our new phone numbers.  That was Hubby's idea.  He reasoned that all the customers who'd somehow gotten his cell number, ones he DIDN'T give it to,  would be weeded out by technology.  I just have to fight the momentary dyslexia when I go to dial.  Our new company tried to be "helpful", giving Hubby a number ending in "43" and me the same in "34" and the one for my Mom in "35".    


Until this morning, the only complaint I have is that my phone no longer rings.  It sings to me.  Sure, I can change the song, but no longer do I hear the comforting sound of a telephone ringing while the car radio is playing.

Getting in the car this morning, I turned on the cell phone, placed it in it's handy dandy dashboard holder and put the car in reverse.  Something began singing.  Since it didn't match the beat of the old Journey song playing, I finally realized it was the phone.  Incoming message.

Why can't they make a Star Trek sound for that?  Even the Red Alert tone would help.

I listened to hear, "You have two urgent voice mails."  That made me slow to a crawl as [1] Hubby was out hunting and [2] I've never had the word URGENT used by telephone voice lady before.

And then it got stranger.

As I played the first one, a woman with an accent I have yet to place began saying calmly, "Frankie, you have to call your brother.  He's gotten out of hand.  I don't know if he's on drugs or what but he's 43 years old and acting crazy. "   It went on for another minute as my mind whirled through stages of [1] Huh?  [2] Is this a joke?  [3] Is this a scam?  [4] Is this woman really in as much peril as it sounds?

The 2nd call was the same woman, sounding a little more urgent in this 15 minutes later call which had come late last night.  She admitted she didn't know if she had the correct number but kept on talking.  What completely threw me was when she said, "And then he told me..."  as she launched into a language which I am still trying to place.  The closest to anything it even registered was something island like....Samoa came to mind and I don't know why.  Every time Frankie's brother began to curse or do something bad, she'd switch languages.  It was worrying.  Confusing.  Like a bad soap opera where someone tore the last page out of the script.

Pulling over, I looked to see who the call was from.  The woman had blocked her number.  Part of me wanted to call her back, letting her know she DID have the wrong number.  Yes, she was a stranger.  But in my mind, she was a stranger who went from calm to agitated.  And in a language I couldn't place.

All day long I wondered about the woman.  Had she reached Frankie?  Had she reached him before the drug addled, out of control brother could harm her?  I know most people would've chalked it up to a wrong number and never given it another thought.  I'm not wired that way.  I've called back wrong numbers if it appeared someone could be in danger or hurt.  Which is why a family found out at the last minute their loved one was about to be stranded at the airport because they'd been leaving messages for me all day, not the woman in route.  Or the time I called a Medic at the Air Force base who'd been frantically calling a gentleman to tell him that he'd received the wrong medication and to call immediately.  Thankfully, my call not only amazed/relieved the Medic but it gave us both a an odd way.  Seems instead of his heart medication, they'd sent an 89 year old guy out the door with...birth control pills. 

So, was the woman haunted by Frankie's brother okay?  As I pondered that for the 3rd time this morning, my cell phone rang as I was putting groceries in the car.

It was her.  And yes, she was definitely shocked to hear my southern voice. for hers had a definite New York edge.  Although, in the end, I think she was more shocked by our conversation.

As soon as she said hello, I admit it, I cut her off with, "Thank heaven you called back!  You've been dialing the wrong number and I had no way of letting you know that." 

She admitted she thought that was what had happened but just had to try one more time.   Asking about my number, I shared that it was a brand new one and that perhaps the one given to her had gotten a number or two turned around.  This made her inquire," If I may ask, what city do you live in?"  Discovering I resided in  South Carolina seemed to come as a shock.  And before I could help it, my southern gal kicked into overdrive and I added, "I'm glad you called back.  I was worried that you couldn't reach Frankie about his brother.  I was concerned you might be in trouble."

After a split second of silence she said slowly, "Really?"

"Yep," I answered quickly.  "I would've called you back if your number hadn't been blocked.  Your call worried me."

To which this stranger, who obviously had a lot on her plate with Frankie and his family, said in the most heartfelt way, "Bless you.  God bless you.  Thank you so much."

As we hung up, she was still murmuring, "Bless you.  May God bless you."

Funny thing, simple human kindness.  Makes your day seem much brighter if you take 30 seconds to care.  Yes, even about strangers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Microfiction Monday

 Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.  


See a penny, pick it up.  
All the day you'll have good luck.

But Mom!
Finding a penny in brown leaves isn't a challenge.  
It's torture!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dear Gentlemen Representatives

Congratulations on your most recent victory.  Kindly savor it now because this time, we're not going to let you fall back on the previous "business as usual" policy of which you've grown so fond.  In other words, in 48 hours, the honeymoon is over.  This time I expect you to work as hard for the public well being as I do as a lowly county government employee.  If I can go the extra mile, then so can you.

For the record, I didn't vote for you.  Nothing personal.  Since you haven't been listening to me for the past few years, you probably didn't even notice.  And no, it wasn't because you're in the  "wrong" party.  I don't play the "Red team/Blue team" game. What is it with this "color" stuff anyway?  I don't care what color you are, why would you care what shade I was born?  I'm just an Independent voter who places my trust in the hands of the INDIVIDUAL whom I believe actually has the interests of We the People at heart. 

However,  I have to take some responsibility for your lack of interest in me.  You see, we elect you, we send you on your way to Washington and don't even notice you again until you're clogging our airwaves with mud laden ads.   Well, unless you go hiking and end up in another country. This time,  however, things are going to be different. 

This time, I'm going to keep you company.  Instead of letting that Capital Dome envelope you to the point you can't hear those of us back here in South Carolina, I'm going to be your lifeline.  Your woman-on-the-street updating you with the concerns and ideas of the people you represent.  ALL of them.  Even those without political connections or money.

Yes sir, I'm going to be your new pen pal.

My job will be to remind you how great our state is, and can be, when you're in our corner instead of busy verbally pounding each other under the Dome.  I will make suggestions, share concerns, and even praise you for a job well done.  In return, I respectfully request that you occasionally answer one of my missives...even a form letter is better than being ignored.  I know.  I've written you before.  Silly me, I got my feelings hurt by your cold silence, so I just sighed and walked away.  

But not this time.  

This time I hope to show you that communication is a two way street.  I know you're busy and have employees to help.  An occasional form letter is acceptable.  Say at Christmas.   But if you don't agree with me, kindly have the good southern manners to listen first before beginning your reply with 10 reasons why I am wrong...and you are right.   Our whole Delegation could learn something from the late Sen. Strom Thurmond: he admitted when he was wrong, corrected what he could and he always replied to letters.  No, we didn't always agree.  But he never talked down to me, never took on the role of lecturing, disapproving parent scolding me as if I were an unruly child simply because our opinions differed.  So if you feel the need to lecture, kindly remember I had a father.  He taught me right from wrong.  

And I learned well.  

I look forward to checking in on you from time to time, just to see how you're doing.  I hope to keep you focused on the folks back home to the point it makes you homesick just to see the postmark on my letters.  You see, the people still care about this state, no matter how bad we've had it lately.  We may not be rich or famous, but we still have our pride and spirit of goodwill.

What about you?

Love and Kisses, 


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Your Choice

Sure, it may not be much of a choice, [at least in my state] but we do have a little control in this country...when we remember to use it.  Perhaps today we'll teach politicians not to take us for granted.  Today, we can show them exactly WHO is the Boss.

 So today, go Vote!   
Before the turkeys try to pluck you.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.

 This week's illustration


Good witch. 
Not so much.

You can use that syrupy grin all you want but truth is, 
you’re squeezing the daylights out of me!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October Tradition

It started out as a gag gift: a one time, personalized calendar for Hubby's archery shop featuring the most well known 4 legged deer tracker in our County:  #1 son, Smokey.

Then, just before the next Christmas, Hubby uttered the challenging words, "I can't wait to see what Smokey's calendar's like this year."

And a tradition was born.

A tradition that his CUSTOMERS enjoy so much they've been known to pull the calendar off the wall to flip through it with a defensive, "Well I can't WAIT that long to see what Smokey's up to."

We're talking about grown men here.  One year I couldn't get the computer kit to put a calendar together and you should've heard the grumbling...from the customers!  I did get one put together in time for Hubby's February birthday, so they all forgave me...even if it only had 10 months.

It's that time of year.  I pull out the camera.  Smokey gives me a look of sheer disgust and we drag his son Bou along for the fun.  One October, we tried to let Bou handle the duties but you can see how scary that was.

Bou now serves as comic relief. 

So from the one who keeps all evil spirited mankind away


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Friday 55

It's time to play "Write a story in 55 words".  And if you do, be sure to let the G-Man know.  

What’s wrong?

I can’t believe how hot it is for October.  
90 degrees!  Really?

Maybe it’s global warming.

I think it’s all those political ads.  
Too much hot air.

So how do you explain why it’s going to be in the 60s this weekend?

One of them told the truth and hell froze over. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.

This week's photo:
Sure, Pudgy Paul mused between bites. 
Girls stare longingly at Sinewy Sid.

But his strength will wane. 

The muscle between my ears won’t.

Bookkeepers will always count.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On a Lighter Note

Not long ago after rachel had posted pictures of yet another fabulous vacation, [think London/Paris], making me sigh that my vacations lately have just been away from my desk.  At home.  In my own backyard.

Foxy rachel reminded me that SHE has never seen my backyard.  

So one recent Sunday afternoon we all piled in the truck and I took pictures of interesting things along the way.  Especially anything that screamed "old South" to me.  Enjoy!

There is literally no where in the South that you can travel without seeing this creeping green monster which eats every stationery thing in it's path.  Say it with me Savannah...KUDZU!

Originally brought here from Japan to stop soil erosion, it soon decided to ensure NOTHING moved.  Ever.

Scariest story I ever read starred Kudzu.  As it grew and took over a man's front yard, it began quietly "eating" everything in it's path, from stray cats, to the Mailman to the kid delivering the newspaper.  The line I never forgot was, "If you listen for a moment, you can hear Kudzu growing".  

Let's try more traditional.  Any ideas?

Before it ends up on a stick as a cotton swab/bud,  it starts in the field.  When I was a kid, a field filled with this fluffy white stuff looked like popcorn to me.  But before these photos, I never knew the bloom was pink!

Raw cotton, straight from the field, sitting at the Cotton Gin waiting to be processed.

Why put a cup on a stick?  Think about it while I show you what use to pass as "ordinary" for homes in the old South.

Lovely example of old country home which use to be WAY out in the country.  If you enlarge it, you'll see that's a For Sale sign just outside the gate.  If you could see I snapped this from the truck, courtesy of a new 4 lane highway at the edges of that green, you'd probably know why it was for sale. 

I was looking across the road when I caught this out of the corner of my eye and asked Hubby to turn around.  Why was a bell tower standing all alone?

My guess is, like many small country churches, they paid off the original mortgage, then added what they couldn't afford the first time around.  I've never seen one like this before!  But that was nothing compared to what we ran into 15 minutes later.  In the middle of literally NOWHERE!

This is a church.  Honest.  The sign said it was a Non-Denominational House of Worship.  Although there was a small brick structure to the right, this was the main church.  In the middle of all those cotton fields...palm trees and a building resembling a dome which fell off a Russian church.

But living in the South sometimes means taking things for granted that would make other folks look at you funny.  We're a sentimental people.  And no, that's not a gravestone in the field behind the tree draped with moss.  [Although it's not unusual to see small family graveyards in the middle of nowhere].

It marks the place of an old railroad depot at what was once a bustling community.  Now a dip in the road, perhaps the "headstone" monument is an ironic comment on the modern world. 

They're not just found in the wild West.  Windmills helped bring up water from wells.  This one had a wooden water tower in the center of it, which collapsed.  That tin cone was the roof.

Ah, the Swamp.  It's not situated in one's often just around the corner in these parts.  What looks like green algae is actually a little round aquatic weed.

No gators sunning that day but Hubby borrowed my camera long enough to snap a shot of these happy turtles, lazing in the sun.

Across the road was the remains of an old grist mill.  Most were used to grind corn, utilizing a running stream over a large wooden wheel.  Like most things of that time, it sits here in parts...forgotten.

Figure out why someone would leave a cup on a stick by the side of the road yet?  It's actually a Boll weevil trap, which is placed on the edges of cotton fields to lure the destructive critters away.  Look closely and you'll see a small square at the top...perfume to draw in the critters.  Once they look inside for a sweet smelling mate, they fall inside, never to crawl out.  I refuse to admit how old I was before I realized that this wasn't just a cup left behind by a lazy farm hand.

Speaking of lazy.....

How lazy a field hand do you have to be when the weeds grow higher than your Scarecrow?

I leave you with this parting shot.
This would be our "oldest boy", Smokey.  No, he's not sleeping.  He's pouting. And he's telepathic.  Because I'm pretty sure what he was saying to Hubby was, "Hey!  Can't you explain to that photographer woman that riding Shotgun is MY my seat in this vehicle?"

Here's wishing you a good week!