Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Moment of Zen....

...southern style.  

And we'll just choose to forget right now that 
the mosquitoes are louder than the birds.  

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

From the Birds

All winter I make sure the birds are fed.  We are lucky enough to have a great variety who visit, even if not all of them are crazy about seeds.  (That means YOU, oh Walter the Security Guard Mockingbird).  Some hang around for a week, others winter here.  This year, I've kept seed in the feeder all year round because we're out in the country. I see us as that rest stop off an Avian Interstate Highway where birds can eat, take a swim in the birdbath and relax before they move on.

Then there are the ones which pretty much live with us year round.  Sure, the Red Wing Blackbirds like to be first in line and I've noticed Papa Cardinal eats before Mama Cardinal does...and the little Yellow Finches follow suit.  But one day I noticed we have one Red Wing Blackbird who looks out for others.  He's rather imposing in size and the smaller birds will often hover nervously in the nearby fig tree until he's done.  But once he figured out that I would continue to fill the feeder, he became....helpful.

While he sits on the bird feeder to get his fill, he now rakes seed out of the feeder, for the small birds waiting below.  Rather than being a pig, he now looks like the Head Chef.  I think the Mourning Doves are in love with him.

This year, his and his feathered brethren left me a gift. 


Sure, these were seeds that got kicked out of the feeder and not eaten...
or maybe even um... recycled.  

Either way, while I pulled up the other "grasses" the birdseed left behind, 
I decided to leave the sunflowers alone.
And I'm glad I did.

If you look closely, you can see the top of the birdfeeder in the background.
Oh, they can still get to it 
and I think the little birds are enjoying the sunflower jungle effect.
If you look even closer, 
you can see their gift is suddenly being attacked...
by Japanese Beetles!

Now if I could only get Mr. Red Wing Blackbird to do something about them!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Why Can't We?

Thursday morning I had the oddest exchange I've ever had with a stranger.  I tried to let it go, but it bothered me.  First because it all began with a wrong number, then ended with a lecture based on an assumption about me.  A song on the way home erased the bad and made me smile.

I offer this as background.  A year ago we switched cell phone companies and received new phone numbers.  Turns out the numbers were only "new" to us and had been previously issued.  Mine, apparently, had belonged to a Drug Dealer.  For the first month I received voice messages and texts requesting a laundry list of drugs from virtually the same 12 people.  No, it wasn't just the same phone numbers, they LEFT THEIR NAMES!  An offer of those phone numbers to a local law enforcement officer got me an invitation to "go meet and set up a buy" so the Cop could bust whoever was showing up, looking for dope.  No thanks, not interested in being the bait.   With the lack of legal interest,  in self defense I began blocking those numbers without answering.  Oh, all right.  I did lose it one day and after the 4th time my phone rang I answered it with a crisp, "Look!  I don't know who the guy was that use to have this number but I'm not a drug dealer.  Kindly pass that on to your buddies!"

From the quavering of his voice as he repeated, "Sorry, wrong number!"  over and over, I'm pretty sure I scared some 85 year old Grandpa to death.

That's when I went back to ignoring numbers I didn't know and checking messages later. Except Thursday. Thursday, I answered the phone.

I didn't recognize the number but I was expecting a call, hopefully, from someone out-of-town about donating to our Charity.  I answered...and pretty much lost control of the conversation after that.

"Hey man.  I know you don't know me, but they said to call you.  I've got some stuff you might be interested in," he began.  "I know we're not from the same area, but it's some good stuff.  Hello?  Heeelllloooo?   Anybody there?"

As coolly as possible, I said, "You've got the wrong number."

"No man, hear me out.  You still might be interested," he persisted.

"Look, I'm not a Drug Dealer, I'm tired of these calls from people I don't know and I'm not interested," I countered through gritted teeth.  "Please pass that on to your buddies."

If only we'd both let it go right then.

He began to protest that he wasn't selling drugs, didn't do drugs, didn't even know anyone who did drugs.  There was a website he wanted me to see.  Politely, my steam evaporating somewhat, I explained that the only calls I was receiving from strangers were folks looking for a product I didn't sell.  This set off the salesman in him and he went into sales pitch high gear.  I tried to politely cut in to reiterated I wasn't interested.  He kept on.  I was at I hung up on him.  Then I blocked the number.

60 seconds later, I got a text message.  Those are usually from my husband so I opened it out of habit.  Nope.  Mr. Salesman.  Guess he didn't like being hung up on.  Or losing the opportunity to have the last word.

The first part of his message was pure sales pitch.  "In case you're interested, here's the link to the website I was trying to tell you about."  Apparently it was for party clothes and jewelry.  I never checked.  Then he added an assumption which was almost ironic.  "Just a friendly reminder that not all black, white or minorities are trying to sell you drugs."

Hmmm...wouldn't that eliminate the entire planet population?

Friendly reminder? I went from angry to sad in 30 seconds. Why?  Because he hadn't heard a WORD I said.  Because our voices sounded as if we were different colors out of the crayon box, he assumed I had stereotyped him.  And I had assumed this latest stranger with "a deal" for me belonged to the drug dealer's clientele.  Didn't speak highly for either of us.   I fought the urge to text back an explanation.  He didn't want to listen, he wanted to lecture.  Hitting "delete" ended the conversation.  But it bothered me.

On the ride home, I kept turning the encounter over in my mind.  I'm probably one of the most fair minded, unbiased people you'll ever meet.  My optimism is still viewed as naivete by some because I don't judge the book by its cover and always expect the good in people to shine through.  If they prove me wrong later, then I've learned a lesson. Turning on the radio for distraction, it seemed every station was rehashing the recent Martin/Zimmerman case.  The problem was, everyone was talking...but no one was listening to all those opinions.  It felt as if the Media was in a feeding frenzy, throwing blood in the water to get a reaction and not caring about the ongoing beyond the trial.  For all of us.

When did we stop caring about each other as human beings and let the Media tell us what we should think or how to act?

I reached to shut the radio off, but accidentally bumped it to another station.  This was playing.  The message of the chorus made me smile.

This is the original video, made in 1975.  Yes, it does look dated.  Some of the stereotypes are disconcerting but you know, that was the whole point of the video.  Eliminate stereotypes.  A glance can't tell you who I need to take the time to find out.

I hope the sentiment of that chorus makes you smile too.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Friday 55

Sharing is a good thing.  Especially sharing good words.  Make sure the G-Man knows about your 55 word story.  It makes him happy. 

Elliot recalled a childhood of imaginative play.
Cowboys and Indians.

And any time the play would lag, 
he would suggest an idea.
A storyline.
A bit of dialogue that his playmate 
could say to speed things along.

His Mom said he was being bossy.

he would’ve been seen
as a future Writer/Director.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Channeling the "Greats"

Standing in my kitchen, 
peeling peaches,
I was in the shadow of this print which hangs in the Dining Room.

It belonged to my Great Grandmother Lizzie Faires Davis 
and according to my Mom,
it hung in Great Grandma's Dining Room.

(A fact I found out months after I hung it in my house)

I took those peaches 
and combined them with a recipe given to me 
by Lizzie's daughter, Hazeline...
a.k.a. the Grandmother I called 

Just the aroma of pulling that cobbler out of the oven 
brought back memories of being at Memaw's in the summer 
and impatiently waiting for her to break out the cobbler.

For one brief moment,  
three generations of Peach Cobbler Bakers
shared space in my kitchen.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday 55

Time to share your 55 words of wisdom with the G-Man.  He'll see those words...and raise you a weekend greeting.

“There’s something about those eyes,” she muttered,
staring at the screen.

“He has two of them,” her friend huffed, rolling his.

“No, something familiar.
 But what?,” she wondered,
connecting to imdb, curiosity winning yet again.

“No way!” she yelled at the screen. 
“Do they give Chameleon Awards to actors?
  “It should go to his hairdresser.”

Ah,the deja vu moment.  You should know I'm the one who generally gets the phone calls beginning, "Do you remember the name of that actor in (fill-in-the-movie-in-question)?"  

I'd seen talented actor Elliot Cowan as creepy Lorenzo DeMedici in "Da Vinci's Demons". Last week, watching Syfy's "Sinbad", their sword wielding Norseman looked vaguely familiar.  Couldn't believe they were both this man.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Greatest Generation...was silent about their service

Saw this today and I think it's a great idea. 
So many WWII Veterans served their country and never spoke of it.  
They didn't think they were suppose to tell anyone 
about "doing their job".

Any guy that made it through WWII and is about to have 
his 100th Birthday deserves all the love he can handle!

I'm sending him a card from our Foundation and one from us as well.
Anyone else game?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Moment of Thanks

As a variety of foods get slapped on the grill 
and fireworks shot up into the night sky, 
I'm taking a moment to thank those who have worked 
to keep us "Independent" and free.

Saluting Soldiers who have served...
and paid a price we don't always remember. 

Clicking on the picture will allow you to see the names.