Sunday, October 31, 2010

Microfiction Monday


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






 This week's illustration

 Witch. 
Yes.

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


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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.

Naw.  
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 place..it'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!

Thursday, October 21, 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.  





I learned something today.

Oh?

Yep.  
The hanging glass light fixture in rich people’s houses is a Crystalini.

What?!

The kids said, “In the movie, the rich lady slipped, but she didn’t die until the Crystalini fell down and landed on her.”

Kids.  Whadda they know?

How to make me smile on a bad day.


Who knew?  Silly me, I always thought those were called chandeliers.   But according to the after school kids, the fancy ones are known by the above name.  Perhaps the hand cut crystal ones come from Italy.
And to think I went to college and didn't know that.    :)

PS:  Um, I think some of you missed my wink, wink, nudge, nudge theme here.   This phrase is only in a kid's mind dictionary.   :)_

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordy Wednesday? Wacky Wednesday? Whiny Wednesday?


Or (D)...all of the above. 

The truth is I AM STUCK.  And it stinks.

Yes, I know.  Real adults don’t whine.  They take risks.  Leaps of faith.

But I have short legs.  Never been a really strong jumper.

Yes, as Captain of my Destiny, I hold the key to freedom.  I'm just not sure what I did with the key. Perhaps it flung itself overboard, taking Peace of mind, Self Fulfillment and Making a Difference with it.  The ship is sinking and unlike Captains of old who went down with theirs, I’m not feeling all that loyal.  I’d mutiny, but at the moment I feel more like that red shirted Ensign being sent out on an important mission in the final frontier. 

And we know how well that always turns out.

I am tired of arguing with…me.  Intellectual Me knows it’s time to move on from a job sucking the life out of me.  Common Sense Me points out my family is made up of more than just my needs.  Scared *!@#less Me wonders how to give up hard earned seniority to start from scratch.   I’m at a weird age.   I’m not a kid.  I’m not old.  I’m standing at the crossroads of Where-do-you-fit-into-our-plans? vs. DO-you-fit-into- anyone’s-plan?

And I thought being 13 was a nightmare.

Realistic Me voices concern that job jumping in a shaky economy is stupid while  You’ve Got To Be Kidding! Me is protesting a disinterest in cultivating a crop of ulcers just to make others look good.  My Heart suggests I do what I do best.  Write. My Brain interjects a reminder of how many gazillion people in the world believe they are writers.

Unemployed writers.

My Sense of Humor promises never to desert me.  I’ve always loved it best.  And trusted it most.

I’ve always had public service jobs because I actually enjoy helping people.  Making a difference.  (Kindly hum Kumbaya to yourself.).  It’s what I’m good at: making other people’s lives easier. 

Oh, the irony. 

My current mood is: Cranky.   And I hate it.  But I’ve been worn down.  Rubbed raw by people who strive daily to be mediocre…as long as they don’t have to stretch too hard to attain it.  I'm surrounded by mental midgets who think I’m the idiot because my belief is you’re suppose to do more than unlock the door and turn on the lights to earn a paycheck.  Their motto is, “Do no more than you’re told…and as little as possible at all other times.” 

I’m not wired that way.   I actually care.  I care, therefore I am frustrated, angry, embarrassed and tired.  Very tired.

Yesterday I bottomed out.  I felt Me crawling into myself and pulling down the hatch door to seal out the world.  And just before I could yell,  “Leave me the hell alone!”, I  read something which made me squirm. “Life experiences are like quarters, you lose both when you are sitting around on the couch.”

Hatch door open. 

I don’t mind getting up off the couch.  I simply need to locate more than the front door.  Maybe one of you could kindly assist with kicking my butt out of Park and into Drive? Or impersonate a cheerleader.  Whichever you’re better at.

Sure, intelligent walking means having a direction.  Maybe today I could focus on locating a map.   Start planning that walk.   Maybe today could turn into  Why Not? Wednesday.  

Um, could someone please hand me something else to wear while I get out of this Red Shirt?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Microfiction Monday

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





This week's illustration.

Rapunzel's sister Repulsiva 
thinks dieting will make her beautiful, 
but isn't this extreme?

Yeah.  
But don't tell her bread's fattening.

Junk Mail: Your Choice

One of the upsides of commuting is listening to NPR radio, which often has "helpful hint" type of stories.  One last year involved ridding yourself of those unwanted catalogs which fill up the mailbox.

The site is called "Catalog Choice" and aids you in opting out of any catalogs you receive that you don't want.  Sure, you can go to each catalog's website but that takes a lot of time, especially when some of the merchants make finding their "unsubscribe" button like locating a needle in a haystack.

This is a free service but you need to create a login I.D. in order to assist you as the site keeps track of your request to weed your outdoor mailbox.  They even do follow up, letting you know if your name has been removed from a mailing list or if your request was ignored.  They've added a new feature allowing you to hit a button with a "Follow up" complaint that, if gone unheeded, gives your permission for the site to advise the FTC of which catalogs are refusing to listen to customer requests.

When Auntie was in the nursing home, I received her mail at my house.  She was a catalog shopping junkie!  I'd get literally a dozen catalogs in the mail some weeks...and then they put two and two together and started mailing the same ones to me!  I'm surprised my mailman Alfred didn't ask for a medical stipend for lugging all that stuff into his car for delivery.

Not only is Alfred happy, so is Mother Earth.   And it's true: 1 person CAN make a difference!  Because of all the trees, energy and water used to make catalogs, my decision to weed out these catalogs has saved:

2 trees
584 pounds of Greenhouse gas
1,405 pounds of paper waste
207 gallons of water


Now if I can only figure out a way to save/replace all those trees which sacrifice themselves to make tissue for my allergy addled nose.


Friday, October 15, 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.  Oh come on, you know you WANT to try it!



He found her in front of the t.v., 
a single tear trickling down her cheek. 

“The News is so depressing,” he commented. 
“Why watch it?”

“Because sometimes, 
I need to be reminded of the kindness of strangers.  
Reassured that a thread of goodness 
still ties humanity together,” she smiled
as another miner exited the earth.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For Your Amusement

I thought the lovely autumn mums in our Red Flyer wagon looked cool 

until Mom sent me this.
 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Microfiction Monday


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






This week's illustration.
Emotional baggage behind her, 
Pat faced the future.  

Yet as a train steamed into the station, she felt uneasy.
 
Had she turned the iron off?

Friday, October 8, 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. 

 
 
 
“Explain again why you’re researching dead people?” Alex inquired. 

“They’re not random people.  They’re relatives I never met,” Jesse sighed.

“You’re fascinated by strangers.  Dead strangers.”

“Family trees help piece together their stories. 
It‘s fascinating,” Jesse concluded as Alex shook his head.  
 
“Let me simplify,” Jesse added.  
“Dead relatives never bother you about money.”

“Gotcha.”

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vacations are what you make them

Okay, so mine is in line with a "Stay-cation" where I'm pretty much staying on the home front, just happy to be away from my desk.  It's giving me time to do a little gold mining and this morning I hit pay dirt!

All right.  I confess.   It wasn't literally in my backyard, but it was close enough. My idea of fun is delving deeper into my past....as in Family Tree past.  Hey, to each his/her own.  And much to the amusement of some family members, I'm not interested in finding famous heroes, I just want to know how that DNA trickled down to me, how it shaped me.  We have lots of Farmers on both sides....no wonder I like the smell of dirt and watching things grow.  

Truth is, I've fallen in love with the stories I uncover.  Currently I'm working on the Irish/Scottish clans.   I mean, how many of us were in a Revolutionary War, got a sabre cut to the face, finished the fight, got captured, escaped and almost bled to death on the way home?  Best part?  That this ancestor's wife was just as brave; meeting him 2 miles from home to tend to his wounds until he was  well again.  And yes, just like a man....he went back to the fight.   Good news is he lived to be  86.  There are more like him on the branches of the tree, illustrating that my habit of being um...stubborn....is deeply rooted. 

This summer I signed up for Ancestry.com for ONE YEAR only with a goal of finding long ago relatives, most of whom came from across the pond; Englishmen who turned out to be of Dutch origin and  an Irish clan which is showing signs of Scotch-Irish.   Today I discovered that some of them claim Scotland as home.  [Hugh, I told you and Titus I'd find some Scots!]

On Ancestry you can check out lots of documents and talk to other folks interested in seeing where they came from.  You can correct errors, most of which concern spelling, and "speak" with people working on the same  family names.  How exotic!  To talk with someone online about a shared mysterious relative whom you secretly hope is a hero, not a zero.   Far away places with stories of the faraway past.

Ironically, the gold nugget which fell in my lap today was almost literally from my own backyard.

I've been sharing info with a "cousin" I'd met on that site last week who was able to document that I was RIGHT about a past relative that others have argued "Is to/Is not!" rather than dig deeper for the truth.  There is a big difference in those of us who love the history vs. those who just want a chart for their wall...IF it has famous people on it.  And no, as much of a temptation as it is at times, I haven't "trimmed" any unwanted limbs off  my family tree.

This "cousin" and I share the same 3x Great Grandfather and have been "filling in the blanks" for each other.  Between e-mails I wondered if this guy was half way across the country or the world.  Before I could ask, he offered his location....about 2 hours from me.  :)

One of the best gifts I could ever receive came from him in an e-mail this morning.  

To you this is just some old guy on a wagon.
To us, it's Great,Great, Great Grandfather Samuel Alexander Faries.
To me...it's a piece of the puzzle to my past.
In truth, it's priceless.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Microfiction Monday

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





 This week's illustration.

 When you said you owned Pegasus Airways 
and were sweeping me off my feet 
to play among the stars tonight, 
this isn't what I had in mind.