Monday, May 28, 2012

Remembering Our Defenders on Memorial Day

Saluting our military: those who have served and those who serve still...even the four legged kind.  Thanks to them, we enjoy a life many countries can only dream about.

This is our friend Kinga, and her service dog Balto.  She's wearing the Silver medal she earned at the Warrior Games...using the bow our Foundation gifted to her.  We're really proud of both of them...cause Balto is one cool dog.


 Photos courtesy of Steven Clevenger


Yes, she really is that tall.  Originally from Romania, Kinga is 6'7", with a heart that's just as big.  I love the fact that this wounded warrior uses the following quote on all her e-mails:

“Yesterday is gone. 
Tomorrow has not yet come. 
We have only today. 
Let us begin.”
Mother Teresa 

Amen sister!  Thanks for all you've done and what your brothers/sisters in arms do to make the world a better place.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday in the country...with Alberto waving hello

Tropical Storm Alberto is kicking up his breezy heels in the front yard today. There's an archery tournament this weekend across the road, (the outdoor range is in the woods, so it cuts down the wind some) and Hubby is stuck in his shop.  He called the house to tell me about a "Photo Op" in the front yard: a flock of white cowbirds.  The wind had them on the move, hopping up and down, or scurrying around like Chicken Little thinking the sky was falling.



And although I didn't really travel anywhere but AWAY from work on my vacation,  I did purchase a little bit of Island Charm...and pretended I could hear the ocean and smell salty air.

I've never seen a Hibiscus with a "braided trunk" but she's bloomed one lovely red flower every other day for 2 weeks now.



An all American Sunday in the Country.  Hopefully that Field of Weeds will soon become a crop of something other than Ragweed, Goldenrod  and Dog Fennel!

The porch also has just a hint of Mexico in the lovely Portulaca in our hanging, make that SWINGING, baskets.





Not exactly your usual early warning system for weather, but this is a big and heavy wind chime....which has been standing sideways for half the morning.
 Wishing y'all smooth sailing into a new week.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Seriously? Already?

Hurricane season in my part of the world runs from June 1st to Nov. 30th.  Until today.  Just found this in my e-mail:

FIRST TROPICAL STORM OF THE ATLANTIC SEASON FORMS OFF THE COAST OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

His name is Alberto and although he'll mostly hug the coast, he can reach 45 mile per hour gusts.  I'm not overly worried.  I just think it's a weird way to end a vacation: a warm up to Hurricane Season two weeks early.

Hope y'all have a good weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I've Been Doing on my Spring Vacation

I'm in Week #2 of "Use those vacation days or lose them!".  Surprisingly, the house is no cleaner than it was last week.  Obviously this is MY way of relaxing.

And I've been learning new skills, which I will be polishing for a long time.  I know, some of you are tired of hearing about this, but it's so nice to be a part of something positive that I have to share once more.

This week I "learned" to create a website for the Crossroads Wounded Warrior Archery Foundation.  If you get a chance, visit and tell me what you think.

But be kind.  I'm one of those technically challenged people with thin skins and large tear ducts.  :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Y'all!

When I was a kid, Mom use to tease that I wasn't born, I was her clone. Okay, so I have Dad's nose and his sinus problems, but otherwise you could easily tell who my Mom was if we were in the same room.

There are actually photos of us at the same age where we could've passed as twins; the only exception was her hair was dark and mine was brown.  Seems like I got more than half of my genetic makeup from her  paternal side of the family.  As a teenager, my great aunt once handed me a school album and asked me to see if anyone looked familiar.  Halfway down the page, I found my face.  But I seemed to be wearing a Buster Brown haircut, which I didn't recall ever having.  Then I realized that everyone on the page had a 1924 era hairstyle.  Turned out that face belonged to my Great Aunt Ruth, sister of my paternal grandfather, Hubert.  I'd never met her and sadly by the time I found the photo, she had already passed away.  But it was like looking in a mirror at my ten year old self.

It wasn't the only time "that side of the family" would come into play.  All families have their odd historical (maybe hysterical) moments, which meant that I didn't meet some of my Granddaddy Hubert's siblings until I was in my twenties.  One of those great aunts had patiently answered numerous letters inquiring about my family tree.  One day, she invited Mom and me to lunch at her home in North Carolina.  This aunt hadn't seen my Mom since my mother was a child, but she claimed it felt like only yesterday.  Her husband came in and as she and my mother talked, he kept looking at me.  I wanted to glance down and see if I'd forgotten to button something or if I'd spilled lunch on my shirt.  He smiled at me so kindly, yet I know I looked puzzled.  When my aunt caught our silent exchange, she asked him what he was thinking.

Without hesitation he nodded at me and answered, "She's definitely your family.  Why, it's like sitting here and looking into Hubert's eyes."

To some folks, that might've seemed strange or the ramblings of an older gentleman.  To me it was a bit of a gift.  You see, when I was four, Granddaddy Hubert died.  My last memory of him was of his last summer, when he had all of his grandchildren out in the yard, catching fireflies.  We ran around with jars filled with live flashlights but after we'd had our fun, he made us let them go.  I can still hear him explaining that we wouldn't want to be locked up in our rooms for the rest of our lives.  So we let the fireflies back out to play.

I learned from that visit with Granddaddy's sister that he liked to bake...to relax.  I DO that! I almost yelled.  Cooking is okay, but I love to bake.  He also loved to work with wood, so I'm kind of wondering if the "craft" gene I have came from that side of the family too.

The one trait which  Mom, Granddaddy and I have in common is that we are a sentimental group of people.  Almost to the point of being sappy.  But it's a trait I actually am proud of, because it indicates that we appreciate when someone takes the time to do something for us.  Especially if it was handcrafted for us.

This is a photo of Christmas 1964.  The baby doll cradle and the little chair were handmade by Granddaddy Hubert just for me.  

His son told me that his Dad insisted on finishing the gifts because he wasn't feeling well and wanted to make sure they were ready for Christmas.  A few days later, Grandaddy died of a heart attack.  

So why am I talking about my Granddaddy on Mother's Day?  Because his wife, my Grandmother, died when my Mom was only three.  The short version of a very long story is that Mom ended up being raised by her mother's sister....whose husband was Granddaddy's brother.  I'd like to think this Grandmother I didn't know was as generous as her husband....a trait they passed on to the little girl who grew up to be my sentimental Mom.

How sentimental?  See that elephant in the cradle?  He, who I very creatively named Ellie, was given to me when I was 6 months old.  I drug him around everywhere and when he began to fall apart, I was heartbroken.  So Mom stitched his face back together with pink yarn.  He looked different, but he was still Ellie and I loved him.  It was years before I understood that the term "pink elephant" had nothing to do with my pal.

As for my sentimental gene?  Well, I still have the baby doll cradle, the little chair....and Ellie.

Happy Mother's Day Mom....and to all of you who helped shape some child's world!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Part II

Well, yesterday WAS an experiment.  

This morning, I tried again since I had more time.  After wasting an hour I discovered none of the backgrounds available worked for me.  All my photos were the wrong size for the design I picked.  And frankly, when it comes down to it, I want the words and photos to speak for themselves.  Everything in little boxes separated by bursts of color were just too distracting for me.

So for now, I'm sticking with blue skies.  Seems like a good theme for spring.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring cleaning

Yep, I'm cleaning up the Road.  Not sure I like this template but at least I'm on vacation and can play with it some. 

Sign of the Times

In an effort to combat all the political signs popping up around the country, we added a new one of our own yesterday.  Bou thought you'd like to see it.




And for those of you who have a sense of humor, I thought you might appreciate the sign I created. It seems that when you go from a dirt, country driveway to a paved one, all of a sudden everyone is a race car driver.  

My first attempt, the top sign, didn't help.  So the second addition was my own design....and sometimes, it even works.  



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Saluting Wounded Warriors

A tribute to the Warrior Games that gives you a taste of what these men and women are made of.

As for the "group" of people on the track as the cyclist is coming in, notice that he has a blown tire.  Rather than stop when it blew because he wasn't close to finishing, he just kept going.  The next time I feel defeated, I will remember that.

When you see the female soldier taking a break with her service dog, that would be our friend Kinga, with Balto...one cool canine.

Friday, May 4, 2012

When The Moon's In Your Eye

And on Saturday evening, it WILL look like it's in your eye!

Known as a "supermoon", the Moon will appear 16% brighter than average because it will be much closer to the Earth than normal.  

According to MSNBC (among other news sources) on Saturday at 11:35 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the Moon officially turns full.  25 minutes later it will be the closest it's been to Earth in several years...and it'll make you feel like you can reach out and touch it!

Here's the link with all the scientific details.  As for me?  I just hope my Scottish Moonkin will get a chance to sneak out of bed and take a peak.  :)

Go Team!

CONGRATS TO THE ARMY ARCHERY TEAM!

Just found out several of "our folks" won Silver medals at the Warrior Games on Wednesday. Standing ovation to Fred Prince, Jessie White, Kinga Kiss-Johnson, Curtis Wilson and Al Louangketh!
They're the reason we created this....
 ...and we couldn't be prouder!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Word Would You Choose?

I was listening to NPR radio on the way home when a story came on about a New York Times article.  The columnist had asked his readers, "If you could get rid of ONE word in the dictionary, which word would it be?"

There were an assortment of categories, from "curse words", to socially unacceptable to some of the funniest choices I've ever heard.  I remember three...well, if you don't count "Awesome!" and "Dude!"

Phlegm: which one reader said just sounded nasty.

Moist: to which the writer wondered how weather forecasters,  bakers and porn film makers would survive without its use.

And the winner, which never even crossed my mind, was Slacks. (That's "Trousers", for you across the pond readers).  The writer said that word brought to mind, "Bad polyester pants (yes, another word we use for trousers) from the early 1970s in either plaid or "Sansabelt".  I think of these as "Dad pants", as they were made to be worn without a belt and many a businessman Dad in my childhood wore them because they seemed to stay wrinkle free, no matter what you did.  :)  

So, curious soul that I am, what word would YOU kick out of the dictionary and why?