Monday, November 26, 2012

Liz and Dick

I would give a review of this Lifetime movie but I only made it through the first 32 minutes of Liz and Dick. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton deserve so much more. Their lives should not be reduced to a Saturday Night Live skit (No Offense to SNL- they would have done a better job.) 

Lindsey Lohan needs to find another career after she gets her $^it together. She has no where near the talent to act on the set like Marilyn Monroe (according to the director who in a Rolling Stone article said something to the effect of working with her on set was akin to jumping out of an airplane with a sheet and dental floss. -not a quote-). And, she has neither the clout nor the class (nor appearantly the talent) to pretend to be Elizabeth Taylor.

Oh, and did I mention the movie was pathetic.

The Annual Saga of the Christmas Tree

If my marriage ever comes to a bitter end I predict it will be due to one of several reasons - one of them being our Christmas tree. And, every year, we are tested. This year was no different.

Thanksgiving day we merrily went to our favorite  Christmas tree farm to select and cut our tree. We walked through the field looking at the various trees. Our first issue was the question of height.  Since we only have eight foot ceilings, I always feel that it is unreasonable to look at trees over eight feet. Anything larger is like attempting to put two tons of fertilizer in a one truck. Unless, my DH has acquired some skills of the dark arts, a larger tree will not fit.

After a while all the trees started to look alike. I couldn't tell one from another. That is the point when I apply  my "Wedding Dress  Theory" - Wedding dresses are all white, when you find one you like, stop and take that one home. Then the second issue arose - my DH lost patience,"Just choose one." My response, "It doesn't really matter to me." I may as well have thrown a Molotov cocktail.

By the time we had chosen a tree, cut it down, and flagged someone to come get it, civility returned. And, once again we reminisced on the way home about Christmases past and plans for this Christmas with the girls.

We got the tree home and in its stand. Then the games began. For some reason, I was tasked early on in our marriage with putting the lights on the tree. (I'm not sure what I did to deserve such punishment.) So, I was on a ladder starting to string the lights.  (If you are a loyal reader, you know our history with lights - we use multiple strands of white lights, then there was the LED issue but we won't go there.)

As I was starting with the third string of lights, my DH commented, "There are holes. You know, it would be a lot easier and look better if you would do it my way." I asked him to please explain "his way", and, of course, he did. My only question was how I was going to keep the lights on the branches. And, it went down hill from there. From experience I realized it was much easier to acquiesce, and keep peace on earth (or at least in our household).

I finished the lights. It was not pretty. My DH commented, from his chair, that some were hanging from the bottom. I put up the ladder and gathered the empty light boxes. Meanwhile, my DH was under the tree tying the loose lights.

By the time the tree was completely decorated, albeit a little askew in the illumination area, the mantle adorned with the wreath and garland, and all the empty boxes packed back in the attic, we sat back and looked at the tree and the other holiday trimmings. My DH, commented, "You did a good job with the lights. And, I like the mantle." I thanked him, thinking maybe it wasn't so bad after all. 

Then he added, "Some more lights are hanging off the tree. Do I need to fix those?" "Next year, I think you should do the lights." "Are you kidding? I think its better that I just watch, unless you want us to use colored lights.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Life of Pi, a Movie Review

The New Times said, "There are images in “Life of Pi” that are so beautiful, so surprising, so right that I hesitate to describe them. Suffice it to say that the simple, elemental facts of sky, sea and animal life are captured with sweetness and sublimity."  Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 87 and one their reviewers said "This transcendent fable carries a real sting in its tail. Ang Lee has made a bold and wondrous movie, one of his best."

So, against that inner little "thing" sitting on my shoulder telling me otherwise, I went to see Life of Pi, all 127 minutes of it. My DH's comment as we entered the theater was,"I'll be fine as long this isn't two hours in a boat." Suddenly, I felt sea sick. Two hours in a boat sounded ghastly. And then there was  Ang Lee - not my favorite director, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, included.

Full disclosure here, I didn't read the book for a reason - the story did not interest me. Unfortunately, the movie did not either. Yes, the imagery was beautiful. The photography was wonderful. But, I left the theater tired. I felt as if I had been fighting high waves and a Bengal tiger for two hours.

Needless to say I cannot recommend the movie. Perhaps someone in love with the book and with Ang Lee would appreciate the film more than I. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lincoln, a Movie Review

By your popcorn and get comfortable because Lincoln is a long movie, 150 minutes. But, it is time well spent. Spielberg does a masterful job directing Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

The story is powerful and well cast with Sally Field playing the part of Mary Todd Lincoln, the president's wife who was known to be on the edge of hysteria at times. Tommy Lee Jones is cast in the role of Thaddeus Stephens, a Congressman, who spent his political life fighting for the abolishment of slavery. Then there is James Strader who plays the sleazy vote buyer. 

The movie covers Lincoln's final months in office and his struggle to pass the 13th amendment, the end of slavery. The war is still going on, though close to its bitter end, and at times it seems Lincoln must choose between an early peace or the passage of his amendment. The story shows the torment of the members of congress as they face an internal fight between a moral right and political survival. 

We all know the end, no spoiler here - it is the journey that makes the movie so good. Perhaps we can appreciate President Lincoln even more when we see how much he fought to get his Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order he alone issued, turned into a constitutional amendment that was up to congress and ultimately the American people.

Needless to say, I highly recommend the movie.

Photography Post - Old Tractor


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Traditions

Thanks to the Boston Pops with the help of composer Leroy Anderson and lyricist Mitchell Parish, we all have traveled to farmer Gray's house for that party with the pumpkin pie that evoked the images of  the holidays Courier and Ives have embedded  in our collective imagination.  Those Victorian scenes of  snow covered fields with horse drawn sleighs, children merrily playing in the cold, and the house all aglow at the end the road. The city streets should be filled with twinkling lights and colorful decorations and folks scurrying around, arms full of bright packages with big bows and bags, wishing everyone they see, "Merry Christmas."

Given, I have never seen a white Christmas, our "city streets" lack the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers, and the only sleigh bells I have heard have been on shop doors, our Christmases don't quite match the scenes Big Crosby, Burl Ives, and Nat King Cole painted. (When was the last time you roasted a chestnut?) So, we have to take the season as it comes and appreciate the little things that make it merry and bright.

In my younger days, I can remember one sign that always gave me hope that perhaps, just once, we too may have a white Christmas, just like the ones Mr. Crosby crooned about in "Holiday Inn". Just before the holidays each year, a local hardware store in Columbia would place a single Flexible Flyer in their window. Just one sled, simply placed among the various pieces of hunting gear, safety equipment, tools, and other sundry hardware. But that one single item gave me hope that I may see a white Christmas after all. And, even though it never happened, the store is now gone, and a bank is in its place just seeing that sled in the window every year gave me hope, that, yes, it could happen.

So while the rest of the world is hearkened that the holidays are drawing nigh by festive city lights, dreamy snow falls, country sleigh rides, and other Hallmark card scenes, down here, well, let's just say it's a tad bit different. We know the big guy is loading the sleigh when the grocers start stocking up on oysters, collards, ham hocks, and sweat potatoes. Southerners live on food. And, just for the record, we have been eating and enjoying sweet potatoes for years, long before they became the "in" root vegetable.

The Piggly Wiggly will have a selection of fresh Christmas trees (some reminiscent of Charlie Brown's infamous one) in stands in front of the store for sale.  Most shopping centers will sport a temporary fireworks stand - complete with idiots standing nearby taking their smoking break. (For years South Carolina was one of the few states where it was legal to buy and sell fireworks.) Stores will be packed tighter than Dick's hat band with every NASCAR gee gaw one can imagine and some you would rather not. Does one really need a NASCAR sanctioned official Jimmie Johnson Lowes team toilet seat cover? I think not.

It's just different down here. Unless you're from here or have visited often, it gets lost in translation. If songs and images of the holidays were based on our experiences, it would be a different ball game. And, if I based my expectations on what the traditional holiday songs portray, I would need even more drugs and therapy.

Most of the country can go about the holidays in a respectable manner, enjoying the time with family and friends, sharing joy and good cheer. These next weeks can be as fun as "Elf", as heart warming as "It's a Wonderful Life" or as magical as "Miracle on 34th Street". However, there are some things you just have to experience. They just can't be bought or even sufficiently described - fresh cranberries for your Grandmother's relish $3.50, a pound of fresh pecans for the pralines $8.49, the ingredients for oyster pie $23, realizing that a majority of the photos in the book "The People of Wal-mart, Shop and Awe" were taken in your hometown, priceless. Some things money cannot buy, others most people wouldn't believe.

Photography Post - Carousel

An all American carousel horse in Henry Ford's Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's All She Wrote

Now members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union have decided that not only does America not need Twinkies and Ho Hos, but 18,000 of their fellow workers do not need jobs.

The irony here is that as the company goes into bankruptcy, its product, Twinkies, become the Tickle Me Elmo - Furby thing to have. There are to be no more. 200 lb women are fighting young men half their size for the last box on the shelf. The most recent price I saw on eBay was around $250,000 for a box. Seriously? The fearful have become hoarders and the addicts have become desperate. It is not pretty.

In the day of organic nutritional dining, such a specimen of high caloric mass marketed snack food has become a rare and coveted item, the truffle of the junk food world. Mayor Bloomberg may try to outlaw the Big Gulps, however even he knows better than to mess with the iconic Twinkie, Ding Dong, or Ho Ho. He knows political suicide when he sees it.

The hero here will be the company that comes in, buys the brand, and saves the day so once again Twinkies, Ding dongs, and HoHos can fill the shelves of a store near you. And America can once again enjoy the nostalgic high caloric snack food we all crave, whether we are willing to admit it or not. (And if not, you have more issues than you realize. Denial is the first indication of a problem. I'm just saying. . . But, I digress.) 

Let's put this in perspective:
The weekend before Thanksgiving, after one of the two major unions was willing to come to the table realizing it was either that or the company had to shut its doors, in the worse economy this country has had since the 1930's, the second union was unwilling to do so, and their action (or lack thereof) cost 18,000 folks to lose their jobs immediately and an American institution to be removed from our shelves forever as Hostess took down the web site, turned off the ovens, loaded the last batches of tasty treats on the trucks, turned out the lights, and shut the doors.  

Aside from the constant chatter about the tasty treats, the victims here are the every day workers. I am not privy to any details, however I doubt a majority of them checked the box, "Yes, I am willing to lose my job tomorrow." 

And, I suppose the union now thinks it will mount the infamous "Twinkie Defense"? No, unfortunately, the Genie is out of the bottle or maybe more appropriately, the Twinkie is off the shelf.

Photography Post - Old House in the Pines

I think it has seen its better days.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The End of the Wonder Years

Once again, the world as we know it about to slip off the cliff. And, I am not talking about the country's economy. (That, I fear, is out of our hands and squarely up to those yayhoos we just sent back to Washington. All, I can figure is that they must have parachutes -from the Acme Company- the rest of us lack. And, they will gently float as the rest of us take the Thelma and Louise plunge. But, I digress.)

The issue at hand is the demise (and possible liquidation) of the Hostess Company. Perhaps you are more familiar with their products, the iconic Twinkie, Sno Balls, Ding Dongs, Donettes, and my all time favorite the Ho Ho.

Another product they make is Wonder Bread, the American standard for 90 years. This will be the end of an institution that many Americans grew up on. It gave us the sayings, "It's better than sliced bread"  and "The Wonder Years".

But what distresses me the most is the loss of yet another Hostess brand, Dolly Madison. Personally, I cannot remember eating a Dolly Madison product, however, it was the main sponsor of the Charlie Brown TV specials. AAAUUGH! 

How would Snoopy opine about this? "It was a dark and stormy night. . . "

Good Grief!  

Photography Post - Fisherman

Early one morning, a fisherman in the surf, under the pier with his net.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Inviolable

OK, I don't want to parse words here, but, for my little brain to follow along I may have to do so. Ms. Kelley (of "I'm getting harassing emails and can you make them stop?" notoriety) was forced to call 911 due to the onslaught of press. The following is the call (Quoted from Politico):

I’m an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property,” she told a 911 operator in Tampa Florida on Sunday.  “I don’t know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well, because that’s against the law to cross my property because, you know, it’s inviolable.”

I have a BA in English and had to consult a dictionary to make sure I had the correct definition of  inviolable - which is "Impregnable to assault or trespass".

So, let's see, "we" have co-oped an FBI friend to launch a cyber crimes investigation for really harmless emails accusing us of playing hank panky under the table, which has led to the question of a possible security breach at the top of the CIA, which brought down the head of the agency, is now threatening the career of another 4 Star General, and God knows whatever collateral damage. Basically, "we" are an attractive well dressed one woman military career wrecking crew. 

My question was, just what status or rank does Ms. Kelly have that makes her property inviolable and due diplomatic protection? Well, Politico was able to help clear the air there also. 

According to their site, "Kelley is an honorary consul general of South Korea, according to Foreign Policy,  a symbolic position that involves promoting the relationship between the U.S. and South Korea." (Someone who arranged meetings between US businessmen and the South Korean Ambassador and promoted trade between the two countries.)  But, not so fast there cowboy because Politico went on to say "But the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which governs the treatment of diplomats, gives honorary consuls no special protection." Oops, no inviolability here.

Of course the irony of the house of cards is that we would all be blissfully ignorant of this mess if it were not for a jealous lover, a spurned agent, a warned General, and a disappointed diplomat. "Ah, what a tangled web we weave, . . ."

 My Daddy always said, blessed are those who run in (important) circles, for they shall be called wheels. 

Photography - Canyon Cabin

On one of my stays out west, I spent a night here. The cabin is in Grand Canyon National Park and sits on the South Rim. I mean literally on the rim. To get this picture I had to take my life in my own hands. One or two missteps back and it would be all over. There is no fence here. It is reminiscent of the edge Wile E. Coyote often found himself on.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The last time I got a note that said something like this: Who do you think you are? … You parade around the [playground] … You need to take it down a notch", I was in 6th grade and the threat was from a girl in the third row named Permelia Sharp. (A red head I did not want to cross from a rough little town .)  And, I was clueless why I was being singled out by her. More unfortunately, I opened it just as Miss Hungerpeller walked down the aisle.

My story did not hold water with Miss Hungerpeller. She was most enthused with her SC History class (and given she was a former WAC from WWII, she had an air of authority) and failed to understand why the 11 year olds assigned to her classes did not share that enthusiasm. I was immediately sent out of her class to stand in the hall - a fate similar to being led to the stocks on the town square to stand in humiliation in front of God and everyone (or at least every teacher and administrator that passed during that time.) 

And, I never had any recourse. In 7th grade, the FBI Note Squad was not an option I was aware of. But, then I don't think those threats merited a federal investigation. Even at 11 I knew this was  not a threat of national terrorism. "Take it down a notch" - seriously? 

After watching CNN over the past several days, I now know I missed my 15 minutes of fame. In 1972, I possibly could  have toppled a WWII local heroin and maybe even brought down the Board of Trustees. All because Permelia Sharp thought I was moving in on Billy Cartwright.

Photography Post - Flamingos

Who doesn't like pink Flamingos? Although, I prefer them alive in nature, rather than yard art next to the gnomes. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wall Flower, a Movie Review

This was not top on my list of movies to see, however my DH adores Emma Watson, so he has suggested The Perks of Being a Wall Flower every time we were looking at movies to see. Yesterday afternoon, we finally saw it. Personally, I had no desire to spend 102 minutes enduring the angst of the teenage years. 

Once again, my DH had suggested a winner. Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller join Ms. Watson to make up an unlikely group of musketeers. The story is deep and poignant and still very entertaining. As Ms. Watson says at one point, "Welcome  to the island of unwanted toys."  And, who among us fit in easily in high school. If you did, then you need to see the film to feel the pain the rest of us bared.  

Charlie (Logan Lerman), the main character, starts out dealing with the suicide of his best friend and a burden of repressed issues, that slowly seep out through the story.  He soon learns that he is not alone, perhaps life has not been rosy for everyone. Life and love are complicated - no kidding. 

Probably (other than the story) the strength of the movie is in the casting, which is brilliant, especially the main three actors. It is hard to believe they are acting their parts. (Well, except we have all watched Emma Watson grow up as Hermione.) It is a good movie. And, since we waited so late to see it, it may no longer be on the big screen. How ever you see it, it is worth the time.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Decking the Halls

It's November which means that December, and the holidays, are nigh upon us. While in the attic this evening, the site of the boxes of decorations, garland, bows, balls, and baubles made me start thinking about decorating. Maybe this year, I'll really take time and decorate the house - give it a "festive look." 

Years ago, I would go all out, hang garland around all the doorways, and on the mantle. I would have wreaths on the interior doors and place some holiday arrangement on each table or shelf around the rooms. And, I usually had a theme. There was the year I decided to use brass horns, one year it was poinsettias, and then there was the year of the peacock feathers. (I'm still catching Hell about that one. Some folks just don't know class when they see it. But, I digress.)

Frankly, the thought of the time and effort I would put into draping and dressing the house for the yuletide exhausts me. Slowly, I backed off from my harried decorating until last year, we were lucky to get a tree up and something over the fireplace. I cannot remember the last time we had a wreath on our front door. It is truly pathetic.

So this year, I am going to make an effort to participate in the holidays, deck the halls, spread some cheer.  As I was contemplating my grand plan, my DH entered the room. "What are you doing?" "Deciding how I am going to decorate for the holidays." "Whatever. Just thank God you don't go all out like you used to." "I thought it was festive." "Festive? It was insane. Stuff everywhere. And, you always had some theme." (He remembered!) "Well, I'm not talking about anything elaborate." "Good. And, for God's sake don't use those peacock feathers."

Photography Post - Unfurled Fern Frond

A fern frond ready to unfurl.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Skyfall, a Movie Review

Daniel Craig in a Tom Ford suit, wait Daniel Craig in anything, or nothing for that matter, is the quintessential Bond. To be as much a traditionalist as I am and a long time Bond fan, I never thought anyone could replace Sean Connery, but Craig with his steely character, remote expression, tall svelte body and those piercing blue eyes may be what Ian Fleming had in mind all along - if not, he should have.

And, the story line of Skyfall is excellent as well. Actually, given the film opens with an incredible chase scene in Turkey which ends in Bond's death - no spoiler here. From there the story gets interesting and the plot very intriguing as, needless to say, 007, alive and well after all, is sent to far away exotic places looking fine in his tuxedo as he gets the girl(s) while in search of the evil doer. 

And old favorites like Ms. Moneypenny and the iconic Aston Martin make appearances. The plot is timely (cyber terrorism), well executed, and moves along quickly enough to keep your attention but not so fast you get lost in the action. One complaint I have of action flicks is interminably long shootem' up chase scenes. This movie executes such fast paced combat pursuits as sharply and well done as Mr. Bond wears his tailored suits - perfectly sized  made of exquisite material with not a wrinkle to b seen.
A bit about Bond's past is revealed which adds more lore to the mystique and humanity to his character. 

After 50 years of Bond, the franchise just gets better. I highly recommend Skyfall.

Photography Post - Autumn Gourds

More colorful gourds found at a stand on the way to Seabrook.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our Cutting Edge is Pretty Dull

Our fair state likes to think we are on the cutting edge. (After all, we have a female governor.) And, we are no longer in the nineteenth twentieth century. The country, as a whole, has become progressive.  In fact as of yesterday two states have recreational drug laws more liberal than those in Amsterdam. And, in several more states, people are free to marry their true loves.

The United States has come a far cry from the temperance movement against the sins and perils of liquor, pleading for the passage of the 18th amendment to save the souls of those who had gone astray. And then passing the 19th amendment giving American women the right to vote. Of course, on December 5, 1933, the country, much to the dismay of Frances Willard and her crew, saw the error of its way and enacted the 21st amendment which repealed the 18th amendment. Happy Days were here again. 

So over the years, as Virginia Slims said it so well in their 1970's ad campaign, "You've come a long way baby." But, have we (all)?

On election night, some national media outlet (I cannot remember which one) posted a trivia question, "What do only South Carolina and Kentucky outlaw on Election Day?" The choices were (a) dancing, (b) applying for a business license, (c) selling alcoholic beverages, or (d) all of the above. Knowing South Carolina and our penchant for not wanting to be too reckless, there was a good chance the answer was (d) all of the above. But, naturally since many Baptists in the state legislature were still contemplating the wisdom of the 21st amendment, the answer had to be (c) selling alcoholic beverages - which is the correct answer.

Perhaps "cutting edge" is up to interpretation. Here we have one part of the country where an individual can go into a regulated store and buy marijuana for recreational use and our state where the legislature feels they need to protect the electorate from the evils from alcohol on election day and the Blue Laws keep us all in check on the Sabath, should we be tempted by Satan to stray.

However, it is still legal to beat your wife on the courthouse steps, but only on Sunday. And, horses may not be kept in bathtubs. (We really need to work on that one.)

Photography Post - Morning on Lake Santeetlah

The mist rolls across the lake and off the mountains on a chilly morning as the sun rises over the colorful hills.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Party's (almost) Over

Our long national nightmare (or at least the past twelve painful months of campaign ads, polls, and pundits) will be over tonight.  Now, personally, I am very interested in politics and the political system. I grew up in the land of "Dixiecrats", the Democrats who voted like today's Republicans btp (before the Tea Party). My Granddaddy proudly swore he never voted for a Republican, of course Strom Thurmond didn't count when he changed parties. There were cans of Goldwater (seriously) proudly displayed on the book case in our den. (After intense questioning on my part, my father finally admitted that the green and gold cans contained ginger-ale.) But, these are not my father's times.

Personally, I am pretty tired of hearing blue state, red state, the magic wall, the magic number, and the electoral college. To paraphrase our dear Scarlett, "Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, if I hear Ohio once more, I'll go in the house and slam the door." In fact, the way the pundits make it sound, the rest of us may as well stay home and just watch the evening news to see how Ohio votes. Do the rest of us really matter? 

Hello? I think so, the last time I checked, Ohio only had  18 delegates to the electoral college. Little ol' South Carolina has 9, and we haven't got the half the attention. Assumptions are made that "they" know how we are going to vote. "Move along, nothing to see here." Maybe so, but it would be nice (or at least a novel idea) to wait until the votes were counted before telling the world how we voted. If they already know, why should we bother, it just becomes a self prophesying outcome. That is unless they don't.

So, I'll go and vote, and hope everyone else does also. Then endure the pundits' final hours.

But, alas, whatever the turn out, I guess this means the President will no longer leave any more of those cheery messages on my answering machine.  And, I thought I was special.

Photography Post - Savannah Stairs

Another street scene in downtown Savannah. While Charleston in known for her British roots, Savannah is more French. A lot of the architecture is reminiscent of New Orleans.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's a Blog Not a Reality Show

Writing a Blog is an interesting undertaking. It takes commitment but it is a labor of love. I don't understand why some people decide they are going to blog and then don't. I was scrolling through a 100 or so blogs over the weekend and was struck by two things  (1) the number of blogs on the web that have not been updated or posted to in 6 months or more and  (2)  that a majority of those are mothers' blogs of their life or their kids' lives or their uniquely (just like the other 5000 blogging moms) adorable children who are so photogenic that there is book deal in here somewhere, or God forbid, a reality television show.

I hate to tell them but the way to get your kids on a reality show is not through a blog with photos and text of their antics. Marry your cousin, move into a trailer park, enter your three year old in every Little Miss Piggly Wiggly contest there is, teach her how to strut like Heidi Klum, dress like Dolly Pardon, and sing like Celine Dion, and Voila! Next thing you know, you'll be on TV. But, I digress.

When I started this Blog three years ago, I decided if I was going to do it, I was going to be dedicated to it. So I try to write 6 days a week -  operative word there being "try". Sometimes there is just not anything worth writing about or my schedule did not allow me enough time. In those cases, stay tuned, I'll be back in a day. (Trust me, the insanity in my life will only stay at bay for so long.)

And, I have gathered friends from all over, who I only know through this digital epistle, whom I will most likely never meet in person. There are 7 brave souls who have officially "Joined" the blog who I am very grateful for. (On the great Blog Tote Board  you are judged by the number of followers who have 'Joined'. I guess they assume if someone 'Joins' they have drank the Kool Aid. Whatever!) 

But, there so many more readers out there, who I assume are loyal because my analytics (those big brother numbers Google supplies every day to tell me how many people came to the Blog, how long they stayed, and what pages they read) show a consistent number that is building weekly. You can watch the stat counter on the Blog yourself and see the numbers grow daily.

If you are so inclined, please take the time to post a comment or respond to someones comment. Or, even just check a box at the end of a post. Better yet - join. There are no dues, no meetings, no dress code, no spam, it just shows that one more person thinks that this is a worth while endeavor.

The only problem I run into as more of my family and friends become loyal readers, is that it cuts down on the pool of resources I have to write about. I would never want to embarrass someone or hurt their feelings. But, that's OK, folks are dying everyday and I take good notes. 

The bottom line is that I very much appreciate your taking the time to read my little vignettes. Y'all come back now.

Photography Post - Indian Corn

Yes, November is here, and Thanksgiving is not far away. Indian Corn, Gourds, and Squash.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Four Truths of Motherhood

Every once in a while I realize I have already written what was on my mind. Today is a case in point. So I am going to recycle an old post. If you have been around long enough to remember it, then yes, you have did read it here earlier. If not, then hey - it's new.
It's never good when a daughter calls, and her opening line is, "Are you alone?" This is the point when I start pouring a glass of wine, or better yet a stiff drink. Then after I realize that the law is not involved (yet), she hasn't eloped (although that would relieve us of the stress and expense of a wedding), and nothing has happened that will require a hasty wedding, I can just settle down and prepare for some disaster that she doesn't want her father to know about. Like I can solve every calamity she creates.

I have tried to be honest with my girls as they grew up. Being a mother is not all it's cracked up to be. Oh, there are those "Hallmark" moments when you realize that it is all worth it, otherwise you would share the natural instinct with mothers in the wild to kill your young.

First, I impressed upon them that child birth hurts and that is just the beginning. My mother never gave me this advice. But come to think of it - I know why. My mother felt nothing, remembered nothing, and awoke 2 days later with a beautiful daughter that a nurse was caring for. I on the other, begged for all the drugs that had been developed, they would give me little, and what they did had no effect, it hurt like Hell, and five minutes after going through the most pain I have ever experienced they hand me this screaming baby, smile and say "Here she is!"

I tried in vain to convince my Ob/Gyn to give me Gas for my pain during child birth - after all they used it on my mother. I was born with two arms, two legs, with ten digits on each. I can walk, talk, and I graduated from college - it can't have too many side effects. But I digress.

Second, I told them that, unfortunately, they did not come with instructions, a guarantee, or a return policy. Once they were delivered, their Dad and I were on our own.

Third, God sent them young for a reason. We got attached to them before they became a little "trying". By that time we had such an emotional investment, we were willing to do anything we could to help them (and us) survive to adult hood.

Fourth, the goal was for them to leave the nest and be successful.

Now how much of this they took seriously, I'll never know. I'll just wait until they have their first child. Then I'll just sit and watch. One thing is, they can't say I wasn't honest.

Photography Post - Dusk over Lake Santeetlah

Dusk makes the colors come alive with the purples and pinks of the sky blending with the fall leaves on the hills and the water.

Thursday, November 1, 2012