Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TAKING TIME OFF















I am taking some time off from my blog for a while. I'll be back soon if the Good Lord is willing and the creeks don't rise. : ) I just need to get a little organzied and help Billy with his new venture into the catering business. That is a picture of his delicious gumbo.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

FISHING AND AMBITION


One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf.

He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.

About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.

“You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman to the fisherman, “you should be working rather than lying on the beach!”

The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”

“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat which will then result in larger catches of fish!”

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.

The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions.

“You can buy a bigger boat and hire some people to work for you!” he said.

“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.

The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”

Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”

The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”

The fisherman, still smiling, simply looked up, nodded and said: “And what do you think I am doing now?” He then looked at the sunset, with his pole in the water, without a care in the world.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

DID IT COME WITH INSTRUCTIONS?




I hate new electronic anything, but once I learn how to use it, I'm always happy about it. It took me three days to figure out my bread machine and don't get me started on the new microwave that didn't' come with a booklet. The new sewing machine is not being used. It is in the shed. I am back and happy to be using my old J.C. Penny one. Why do men always think that more and newer is better. I remember his Mama wanting a hand mixer. His Daddy went out and bought her this huge mixer with all kinds of attachments, like dough hooks. She never used it that I know of but bought her own small hand mixer.


Now Billy announces this morning that he is getting me a new phone. I don't want a new phone. I am perfectly happy with the phone I have right now. Sure, it use to be gray and now is metal colored and it is pretty scuffed up but it still works and even more important, I can do what I need to do with it. I don't want to learn how to work a new phone.

Some things should not be pretty, Cell phones, umbrellas, sunglasses, purses, suitcases etc. they should just do their job. IMHO So let me keep my old, and ugly phone. I'm happy with it but I got a feeling there is more to this new phone business than meets the eye. That man's mind is always working on some new deal. I don't think the goodness of his heart comes into this offer. LOL

Monday, September 29, 2008

THE LATEST HEALTH ADVISE?



Here is an update on all that health stuff we keep hearing about!!!!!!

Q. I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!




Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?


A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio i s two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain... Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! .... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

This should certainly clear up your misconceptions about food and diets.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOLA


HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOLA. I hope you have a wonderful time on your birhtday. I know you love old clocks and I would dearly love to give you this one. If I just had a Donald Trump bank accout. LOL

Thank you BRENDA of Brenda's blog
for letting me know.

Go wish NOLA at alamo-north a Happy Birthday. She has a wonderful blog that I read every day. : )

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MAYBERRY RFD, WHERE ARE YOU?


I think a lot of us yearn for a place, full of family life, gentle ways, raising vegetables in our own garden, visiting with friends over the fence, movies on a Saturday night and a trip at noon to the local cafe where you meet friends for lunch. A town where the best clubs in school are the Future Farmers of America or Future Homemakers of America? We imagine going to music concerts on the town green and attending county fairs. We picture ourselves entering the quilt contest or putting up our own pies and jams, hoping to win a blue ribbon. Maybe a mincemeat pie with just a hint of rum in it (shameless)....A simple life like Mayberry.

Do you have a place like that in your mind? A place that feels like home, even though you may have been raised in a big City. Maybe you think of Mayberry with Opie and Aunt Bee, a simple place and a simple time. I have the Mayberry cookbook and when I browse through it, I am reminded that life once was simple like that. It still is in a few small towns across America. If you live in one of those towns, you are blessed.

I live in a small gulf coast town. People still earn their living by fishing, shrimping, and farming. But more and more these jobs are being pushed out to make way for "progress". I wonder if we are not losing more than we are gaining though. There is more to a good life than making money and having the latest electronic gadgets. Is the simple life, really over for good?

Monday, September 22, 2008

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL















This article is by Kathy Whirity. Kathy is a newspaper columnist who shares a Summer memory with her readers. She is also a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. I liked it so much, I wanted to share it with you.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NEVER GROWING OLD

It was a question that had me asking a question of my own.

A recent article I read posed the question: If you could relive a summer memory what would it be?

On this lazy summer's afternoon the musings of my middle age mentality have me asking a question of my own. How can you choose just one?

A trip down memory lane brought me back to a tree lined street in the Roseland community -- a quaint and quiet neighborhood where we lived until I was about 12 years old.

Across the railroad tracks from our home was an indoor pool. My brothers, sister and I would often go swimming there.

One afternoon, as I ran across the tracks from the "Pump" as we called it, I saw my dad in the backyard, the contents of a kiddie pool strewn about the lawn.

Patience was not a virtue that my dad possessed, which is why our pool was the only pool in the neighborhood whose liner was clamped down with clothes pins.

When filled to the rim the shallow water reached right below my knees. But it didn't stop us from splish-splashing away many hot summer days.

My dad also loved having barbecues, though he was far from a genius at the grill. He'd make a grand production but the result would always yield the same result -- hamburgers the size and consistency of charcoal and hot dogs that ended up resembling beef jerky.

I do remember his milk shakes being the best. He'd dump a half gallon of ice cream in the big green mixing bowl and add milk and chocolate syrup. Then he'd mix it all with the hand mixer and ladle it into the tall fancy glasses usually reserved for company. Dad tried his best despite his dysfunction in cooking. And, besides, it wasn't about the food as much as it was about the togetherness of family.

Sunday mornings were always special when grandma spent the weekend. She'd stand at the stove, in her flowered duster, and make us German pancakes. They were crepes we'd spread with butter, sprinkle with sugar, roll up and eat. They were so good!

It's been more than 40 years since I've tasted one of her breakfast specialties, but all I have to do is close my eyes and I can see her standing there at the stove. With that memory, the word "comfort" food takes on a whole new meaning.

Long car rides were also an adventure we'd do as a family on summer evenings. Our dad would do the driving while we kids would sit in the back seat, with all the windows rolled down as our hair would blow carefree in the soft, warm wind of the season. We'd cap the evening off with a trip to the penny candy store where everything really was a penny.

Many a mid summer's morning you could find mom standing at the ironing board. She'd fill a Pepsi bottle with water and attach a big plastic flower petal, with tiny holes, to the top of the bottle. She'd sprinkle the clothes with water, wipe her brow with a hankie as she'd continue pressing out the wrinkles on clothes, long before the concept of permanent press apparel became popular

Our bed time treat rarely varied. After baths were taken, mom would place a pint of ice cream on the table. She always sliced it into 4 perfect slices, one for each of us.

The question the author posed about choosing one memory to relive has opened a flood gate of memories too many to choose from.

If I had a choice, I think I'd rather opt for one more day to spend with my family in that house on 104th place in Roseland. To smell the Lillies of the Valley that grew wild and untouched in the front yard. To catch lightning bugs in the backyard and bike ride around the block, with my little brother teasing me and my friends because we couldn't leave the block.

What I wouldn't give, as an adult, to sit on the old back porch and sip a milk shake my dad had made especially for me.

To laugh with my grandma and to have a chat with my mom -- if she could be as she was and I could be who I am now. (I'd have a lot of thanking to do.)

It's a gift to reclaim a sense of our summer's youth. While we can't relive the past, it's a blessing to know, that through memories, we never really grow old.
~ Kathy Whirity ~

Thursday, September 18, 2008

MOMENTS OF JOY
















Lately I have been thinking about ways to appreciate the material things in my life. I want to surround myself with things I really love or enjoy. Life is too short at this stage in my life, to be surrounded by things that I can't look at and say, "Oh, I love that". I have many spots in my home that need a change. They say we are never happy or joyful all the time. That life is composed of joyful or happy moments. I am missing some of those moments of joy.

I have some pretty things, but sometimes I feel they are more for show than for me. I want to love every piece of art, every painting and get rid of those that don't move me in some way. I am happy with my sculptures. I have a New England fisherman at the helm of his boat. This is a vintage piece and I love it. I love my seal sculpture too. I also like my prints in the living room and absolutly love my two Van Gogh and Renoir prints. They are framed beautifully and I smile everytime I look at them.

But, I have a beautiful painting in my bedroom, hanging over my long chest. I know it is a great painting. It is a beach scene with an old abandoned boat, but I just have never liked it. I bought it because it fit my color scheme and it had a theme I like. I need to find one I really love because I look at that painting every night before I go to bed. Sad, isn't it? I can fall asleep with a last look at a painting I love or one that I don't particularly like. I am missing that moment of joy. I do like this one hanging in my hallway. It was painted by a local artist and has a lot of thick texture. I love the cheerful colors too.














I had a friend once who had a red and purple bedroom. She loved that bedroom and I can't figure out how she was able to sleep with all that color but she loved it. That whole bedroom was a place of joy for her.

Frette linens which I love, are a little expensive for me but I really could do better in this department than the linens I have now. They are a little shabby. It makes me smile just to think about buying a joyful new color. Nice lightning is important and I only have one lamp in my bedroom that I dearly love. The other one is just filling space. I need to replace it with one that I love. I just forget about it most of the time. That is one spot I am missing that could make me smile.

Green plants are always a wonderful touch for any room but are especially nice in a bathroom. Do I have one in either bathroom? No, I don't. There is another place that could bring me joy but I have neglected it.

I don't put out those cutey guest things in the bathroom. They just collect dust and take up space. No guest ever uses them anyway. They wipe their hands on a corner of whatever towel is handy, the same way you do. LOL---For years I had those and then one day it dawned on me that they were just taking up valuable space. I now have something there that I love and use all the time. A little fish basket that I made from clay we dug up ourselves.













It holds all those little tubes of cream and moisturizer. So I did something right in that case. I smile when I see it because it reminds me of the day Billy dug that clay and how much he liked it when I showed it to him.

From now on, whatever I buy is really going to make me happy. None of these changes would be expensive and I dont know why I have not thought about it, until now. I will not settle for things as Blanche of "Streetcar Named Desire" would say, in the future. It is a waste of money to buy things, I don't love. Yes, it might mean I will have less but that is a good thing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

OLD ABANDONED HOUSES


A house is never silent in darkness

to those who listen intently;

there is a whispering in distant chambers,

an unearthly hand presses the sash of the window,

the latch rises.

Ghosts were created when the first man

woke in the night.

-- James Matthew Barrie, "The Little Minister"

I love old houses, and especially old abandoned houses. I know a lot of people think of them as haunted houses. I never have, I love them. I can just stand there and feel the life that once went on between these walls. I can hear the footsteps in the hallway, hear the front, screen door slam. I can see two people sitting on that porch, seeking a little breeze and passing the time away in wonderful conversation. I can hear the kids playing in the yard, their happy voices reaching the top floors, where the Mama, busy at her work, can hear them and she smiles.

When I look through these houses, I often try to picture, what kind of people lived in this house. Were they rowdy and loud or quite and well mannered? Was there happiness here? Did someone who was dearly loved, die here after a long illness? Did children play in the rooms and have birthday parties? What was Christmas like in this house? Did they laugh around the dining room table? Did their Wild and rambling Uncle, come to see them and tell of his travels while they listened with wide eyes?

I believe a house is alive with memories. It is the memories that keep them standing. When no one is alive to remember any longer, then they fall down. Not so much abandoned as forgotten.

Friday, September 12, 2008

MY DMV PHOTO haunts my dreams at night!


I had my picture taken a few weeks ago, at the DMV. Now, it has been a while since I let a camera point it's ugly little head in my direction. I never take a good pic but I was determined this one would be different. This was going to be my shining hour. I had my hair done, it looked good! I had on my favorite white top with little black stick figures on it.(Chicos). I would smile for the camera. All people's DMV photos I have ever seen, always look grouchy or mad. This was going to be the prettiest one, you ever saw, say like Paris Hilton's photo. She took the best mug shot, didn't she? Well, my turn came, and I smiled this Mona Lisa smile, the camera flashed and I waited for my picture, pleased as punch with my bad self.

OMG, when I saw that photo, it looked like a chipmunk on prosac. It was awful. I was grinning, not smiling,,grinning from ear to ear, which naturally closed my eyes tight shut and that person was sooo incredibly old. I am hiding this thing away never to see the light of day and pray God, no one ever ask to see it. I am tearing it up on my death bed as the last thing I do, so no one in the family will ever see it. It makes Nick Nolte's mug shot look like Brad Pitt!

Wife: "There's trouble with the car. It has water in the carburetor."
Husband: "Water in the carburetor? That's ridiculous."
Wife: "I tell you the car has water in the carburetor."
Husband: "You don't even know what a carburetor is. Where's the car?"
Wife: "In the swimming pool."


Magistrate: 'But if you saw the lady driving towards you, why didn't you give her half the road?'
Motorist: 'I was going to, Your Honour, as soon as I could find out which half she wanted.


'Motorist: 'But, officer, I was speeding because I'm late for an appointment with my lawyer.'
Policeman: 'Well, now you've got something else to tell him.'

Thursday, September 11, 2008

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE WORLD STOPPED TURNING?

On Friday, November 16, 2001 Alan Jackson had the lyrics of his song "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning" read into the Congressional Record by His Honor, Congressman Mac Collins.
HONORABLE MAC COLLINS of Georgia
House of Representatives
Friday, November 16, 2001

"On September 11th, 2001 our nation suffered a cataclysmic attack of unprecedented proportion. More than 6,000 Americans lost their lives in less than 1 hour's time.

In the two months following that tragic day, our citizens have struggled for ways to accept and deal with such a horrific loss. We have held candlelight vigils, all night prayer groups, talked of memorials and rebuilding. We have launched a major military campaign to seek justice for those victims. But one young man, whose name is known to many of this body and many of the American people, has found a way to genuinely memorialize those victims and that day in song.

Alan Jackson was born in Newnan, Georgia in 1958. Since that time he has grown into one of the nation's most loved Country Music stars. Some have called him the conscience of Nashville for his actions and the type of music he makes.

On November 7th. at the Country Music Awards, Alan sang a song he wrote, which more than any other that I have heard, expressed the wide range of emotions experienced on September 11th, 2001. I would like to read those lyrics to you now. "



Where Were You [When The World Stopped Turning]
By Alan Jackson



Where were you when the world stop turning on that September day

Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.

Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Rising against that blue sky

Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know

Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do

Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man

I watch CNN but I'm not sure I could
Tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran

But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stop turning on that September day

Teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate

Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone

Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her
Did you dust off that bible at home

Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
And you close your eyes and not go to sleep

Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street

Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun

Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Stand in line and give your own blood

Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love



"I would like to take this opportunity to commend and congratulate my former constituent, a great American who has used his gifts as a songwriter and performer to lift the American spirit in this great pursuit for justice. Alan Jackson has crafted a thoughtful memorial to the victims of September 11th and serves as an example of how all Americans can help heal our nation from the wounds we suffered on that tragic day. Thank you Alan, for helping us to remember those we lost and for helping to keep their memory alive."

Monday, September 8, 2008

LIVING ON TREPASS-GROUND



















Painting by Monet

Younger people explore new experiences with the belief that they've got plenty of time to spare and long, Sunshine filled, futures to prepare for. They are often willing to tackle any task just for the challenge. But for an older person, the timeline shrinks with the awareness of our mortality. Even when I buy plants, I keep in mind that a tree that takes years to look good or to produce nuts, fruit, or whatever,,, might not be something I want to invest in. Knowing that I am a short timer, means I do look on the world in a way so different than I did just a few years ago.

I certainly plan on living as long as I can but I do recognize that long term plans laid today may not come to fulfillment. I thought about the elections and how it is possible I may not be around to see who becomes the first woman President. Will Hillary be the first woman president? Will Sarah Palin? I feel I am living on trespass ground as it is after all my body endured during my long illness.

"A man who lives on borrowed time lives on trespass-ground." I don't know who said that but it has stuck with me all these years.

No matter how you look at it or say it, it all means the same. Our future is not what it used to be. : ) when we pass that sixty marker. But heck, we could defy the odds and live a long, long time. Only God knows. I am preparing for the worst but expecting the best. : ) You may wish me a Happy 90th birthday in 2034!

Friday, September 5, 2008

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN, JESUS AND JOHN WAYNE


I love this song off the Gaithers new CD "I'm Loving LIfe". This is the best video I could find but I am sure a better version will be uploaded soon. This is probably where I stand. I try, Lord knows I try, but somehow, I end up here.....Somewhere between--- Jesus and John Wayne. The first line is skipped on the video but I put the lyrics so you could read them.


Daddy was a cowboy hard as a rock
Mama she was quiet as a prayer
Daddy’d always tell me, “Son, you gotta be tough
Mama would kiss my cheek and say, “play fair”
I did my best to make ‘em proud of me
But it’s never been an easy place to be

Somewhere between Jesus and John Wayne
A cowboy and a saint, the cross and the open range
I try to be more like you Lord,
But most days I know I ain’t
I’m somewhere between Jesus and John Wayne.

Mama’s love was tender, Daddy’s love was strong
Both of them were there to help the weak
They taught me to stand up and fight for what is right
And showed me how to turn the other cheek
Now I see there’s both of them in me
And maybe that’s the best that I can ever hope to be


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP

Beautiful painting called "Friendship" by Lucy Liu


I remember when Billy's Dad had to give up his driver's license after it became a fact, he was really sick and unable to drive. It was like part of him had been taken away. Our independence is so important to us. I felt that way too when my independence was threatened. I had a long sickness, and needed help with things and it was hard to accept help. But gracious acceptance is as important as helping others. We give others a chance to feel needed and when you get down to it, that is one of the most important feeling for all of us. We want to feel needed, to feel our place in this world is deserved. That we are not just taking up space.

Being dependant on others is not how we see our lives going, but it is something we all worry about. The thing we have to keep in mind, is God meant us to share the good and the bad with each other. To help one another in times of need. There is no greater gift you can give a friend than to be there for them without them having to ask. And to accept their gift of love to you if you should ever need to lean on them

Remember always to make the people around you feel needed. They want to help out and be a part of what you are doing. When you satisfy this desire in people, you are not a burden, you are fulfilling a need they have as well as your own.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A PAIR OF SILK STOCKINGS PART 6


The play was over, the music ceased, the crowd filed out. It was like a dream ended. People scattered in all directions. Mrs. Sommers went to the corner and waited for the cable car.

A man with keen eyes, who sat opposite to her, seemed to like the study of her small, pale face. It puzzled him to decipher what he saw there. In truth, he saw nothing-unless he were wizard enough to detect a poignant wish, a powerful longing that the cable car would never stop anywhere, but go on and on with her forever


Now wasn't that a lovely story? Thanks for sharing it with me. : ) That lovely painting is "Sweet Memories" by G. Harvey.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A PAIR OF SILK STOCKINGS PART 5


There was a restaurant at the corner. She had never entered its doors; from the outside she had sometimes caught glimpses of spotless damask and shining crystal, and soft-stepping waiters serving people of fashion.

When she entered her appearance created no surprise, no consternation, as she had half feared it might. She seated herself at a small table alone, and an attentive waiter at once approached to take her order. She did not want a profusion; she craved a nice and tasty bite - a half dozen blue-points, a plump chop with cress, a something sweet - a creme-frappee, for instance; a glass of Rhine wine, and after all a small cup of black coffee.

While waiting to be served she removed her gloves very leisurely and laid them beside her. Then she picked up a magazine and glanced through it, cutting the pages with a blunt edge of her knife. It was all very agreeable. The damask was even more spotless than it had seemed through the window, and the crystal more sparkling. There were quiet ladies and gentlemen, who did not notice her, lunching at the small tables like her own. A soft, pleasing strain of music could be heard, and a gentle breeze, was blowing through the window. She tasted a bite, and she read a word or two, and she sipped the amber wine and wiggled her toes in the silk stockings. The price of it made no difference. She counted the money out to the waiter and left an extra coin on his tray, whereupon he bowed before her as before a princess of royal blood.

There was still money in her purse, and her next temptation presented itself in the shape of a matinee poster.

It was a little later when she entered the theatre, the play had begun and the house seemed to her to be packed. But there were vacant seats here and there, and into one of them she was ushered, between brilliantly dressed women who had gone there to kill time and eat candy and display their gaudy attire. There were many others who were there solely for the play and acting. It is safe to say there was no one present who bore quite the attitude which Mrs. Sommers did to her surroundings. She gathered in the whole - stage and players and people in one wide impression, and absorbed it and enjoyed it. She laughed at the comedy and wept - she and the gaudy woman next to her wept over the tragedy. And they talked a little together over it. And the gaudy woman wiped her eyes and sniffled on a tiny square of filmy, perfumed lace and passed little Mrs. Sommers her box of candy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A PAIR OF SILK STOCKINGS PART 4



It was a long time since Mrs. Sommers had been fitted with gloves. On rare occasions when she had bought a pair they were always "bargains," so cheap that it would have been preposterous and unreasonable to have expected them to be fitted to the hand.

Now she rested her elbow on the cushion of the glove counter, and a pretty, pleasant young creature, delicate and deft of touch, drew a long-wristed "kid" over Mrs. Sommers's hand. She smoothed it down over the wrist and buttoned it neatly, and both lost themselves for a second or two in admiring contemplation of the little symmetrical gloved hand. But there were other places where money might be spent.

There were books and magazines piled up in the window of a stall a few paces down the street. Mrs. Sommers bought two high-priced magazines such as she had been accustomed to read in the days when she had been accustomed to other pleasant things. She carried them without wrapping. As well as she could she lifted her skirts at the crossings. Her stockings and boots and well fitting gloves had worked marvels in her bearing - had given her a feeling of assurance, a sense of belonging to the well-dressed multitude.

She was very hungry. Another time she would have stilled the cravings for food until reaching her own home, where she would have brewed herself a cup of tea and taken a snack of anything that was available. But the impulse that was guiding her would not suffer her to entertain any such thought.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A PAIR OF SILK STOCKINGS PART 3


There were any number of eights-and-a-half. In fact, there were more of that size than any other. Here was a light-blue pair; there were some lavender, some all black and various shades of tan and gray. Mrs. Sommers selected a black pair and looked at them very long and closely. She pretended to be examining their texture, which the clerk assured her was excellent.

"A dollar and ninety-eight cents," she mused aloud. "Well, I'll take this pair." She handed the girl a five-dollar bill and waited for her change and for her parcel. What a very small parcel it was! It seemed lost in the depths of her shabby old shopping-bag.

Mrs. Sommers after that did not move in the direction of the bargain counter. She took the elevator, which carried her to an upper floor into the region of the ladies' waiting-rooms. Here, in a retired corner, she exchanged her cotton stockings for the new silk ones which she had just bought. She was not going through any acute mental process or reasoning with herself, nor was she striving to explain to her satisfaction the motive of her action. She was not thinking at all. She seemed for the time to be taking a rest from that laborious and fatiguing function and to have abandoned herself to some mechanical impulse that directed her actions and freed her of responsibility.

How good was the touch of the raw silk to her flesh! She felt like lying back in the cushioned chair and reveling for a while in the luxury of it. She did for a little while. Then she replaced her shoes, rolled the cotton stockings together and thrust them into her bag. After doing this she crossed straight over to the shoe department and took her seat to be fitted.

She was fastidious. The clerk could not make her out; he could not reconcile her shoes with her stockings, and she was not too easily pleased. She held back her skirts and turned her feet one way and her head another way as she glanced down at the polished, pointed-tipped boots. Her foot and ankle looked very pretty. She could not realize that they belonged to her and were a part of herself. She wanted an excellent and stylish fit, she told the young fellow who served her, and she did not mind the difference of a dollar or two more in the price so long as she got what she desired.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A PAIR OF SILK STOCKINGS--- PART 2


Mrs. Sommers was one who knew the value of bargains; who could stand for hours making her way inch by inch toward the desired object that was selling below cost. She could elbow her way if need be; she had learned to clutch a piece of goods and hold it and stick to it with persistence and determination till her turn came to be served, no matter when it came.

But that day she was a little faint and tired. She had swallowed a light luncheon - no! when she came to think of it, between getting the children fed and the place righted, and preparing herself for the shopping bout, she had actually forgotten to eat any luncheon at all!

She sat herself upon a revolving stool before a counter that was comparatively deserted, trying to gather strength and courage to charge through an eager multitude that was besieging breastworks of shirting and figured lawn. An all-gone limp feeling had come over her and she rested her hand aimlessly upon the counter. She wore no gloves. By degrees she grew aware that her hand had encountered something very soothing, very pleasant to touch. She looked down to see that her hand lay upon a pile of silk stockings. A placard near by announced that they had been reduced in price from two dollars and fifty cents to one dollar and ninety-eight cents; and a young girl who stood behind the counter asked her if she wished to examine their line of silk hosiery. She smiled, just as if she had been asked to inspect a tiara of diamonds with the ultimate view of purchasing it. But she went on feeling the soft, sheeny luxurious things - with both hands now, holding them up to see them glisten, and to feel them glide serpent-like through her fingers.

Two hectic blotches came suddenly into her pale cheeks. She looked up at the girl.

"Do you think there are any eights-and-a-half among these?"

PART 3 TOMORROW

Monday, August 25, 2008

A PAIR OF SILK STOCKINGS IN 6 PARTS


PART ONE

by Kate Chopin

A Pair of Silk Stockings

Little Mrs. Sommers one day found herself the unexpected possessor of fifteen dollars. It seemed to her a very large amount of money, and the way in which it stuffed and bulged her worn old porte-monnaie gave her a feeling of importance such as she had not enjoyed for years.

The question of investment was one that occupied her greatly. For a day or two she walked about apparently in a dreamy state, but really absorbed in speculation and calculation. She did not wish to act hastily, to do anything she might afterward regret. But it was during the still hours of the night when she lay awake revolving plans in her mind that she seemed to see her way clearly toward a proper and judicious use of the money.

A dollar or two should be added to the price usually paid for Janie's shoes, which would insure their lasting an appreciable time longer than they usually did. She would buy so and so many yards of percale for new shirt waists for the boys and Janie and Mag. She had intended to make the old ones do by skilful patching. Mag should have another gown. She had seen some beautiful patterns, veritable bargains in the shop windows. And still there would be left enough for new stockings - two pairs apiece - and what darning that would save for a while! She would get caps for the boys and sailor-hats for the girls. The vision of her little brood looking fresh and dainty and new for once in their lives excited her and made her restless and wakeful with anticipation.

The neighbors sometimes talked of certain "better days" that little Mrs. Sommers had known before she had ever thought of being Mrs. Sommers. She herself indulged in no such morbid retrospection. She had no time - no second of time to devote to the past. The needs of the present absorbed her every faculty. A vision of the future like some dim, gaunt monster sometimes appalled her, but luckily to-morrow never comes.

A couple of pretty porte-monnaies------------------------------------------------



PART 2 TOMORROW

Thursday, August 21, 2008

GONNA FLY NOW















I heard the story today of an eighty year old woman who was determined to learn how to work a computer. She joined a class being given for free at the local senior center. She would drive herself there alone, twice a week but was having a very hard time understanding it all. The boy giving the classes told her not to worry, she could start over as many times as she needed. The rest of the class advanced on but still she was struggling to learn. She was going through the basic class for the third time when her first disaster struck her.

They took away her driver's license and she had no way to get to the center. The boy teaching the class, offered to come and get her but she said no. He could tell she was embarrassed by the offer. She was fighting to stay independent. Finally she started paying the young man next door, to take her. He charged her way too much and she was under a strain to come up with the money but she managed. He was not very dependable and half the time he was late getting her there. But still she somehow, hung on. He finally just quit taking her and she was stuck without a way to go, even to get her groceries. She fought to get her licence back and won. Now, she was independent again and was really starting to catch on to the computer. She was now into the second stage of the course and really enjoying it.

Then one week she didn't show up at all. The boy got a call after ten at night and he knew something was wrong because his family and friends knew to not call after ten at night. It was his pupil and she just wanted to tell him, she wouldn't be in anymore. Her heart was giving her problems and although the Doctor gave her medicine, it wasn't working. She quit coming to the classes. He missed her.

In a couple of weeks he was sitting in the library and studying when he noticed a woman struggling to type a letter. He asked if he could help and she said, "Yes, please". His heart sank when he saw what she wanted him to type. It was an Eulogy to his pupil and old friend. She had died a few days ago. As he read the Eulogy which as it turned out, was written by her sister, the woman he was helping,,,he began to realize something. It wasn't mastering the computer that was so important to her, it was staying involved. She didn't want to be left behind. Learning the computer was her way of saying, I am still here and I still care about living. She was a fighter. I hope, like her, I never throw in the towel. I think I'm a fighter or at least I have been so far. There have been times when I have gone into survival mode to get through but I'm still here. (cue the Rocky theme song)

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Monday, August 18, 2008

THESE ARE MULBERRY DAYS


MULBERRY DAYS

Some say they touch the sky
Some say they see the wind
A whisper of spring is near
Can you hear it say
These are Mulberry days

Some say they'll understand
Some hold an open hand
A shimmer of moonlit haze
Can you hear it say
These are Mulberry days
These are Mulberry days

Mulberry Days----the best of one's life. I am celebrating my Mulberry Days right now. I have sense of peace now that I didn't have when I was younger. I know what the future holds and I know who holds my future. Peace, is a good thing as Martha would say.

I make a glass of ice tea and sit beside the window, looking out at the back woods. The tea glass feels so cold against my hands. There is something about this scene that feels a little surreal. I know it is hot outside today, although not as hot as last week, and yet inside, it could be Spring. I silently bless the man who invented AC. I love to throw the windows open in the Spring and Fall but for right now I am happy with just being cool. Fresh air and Sunshine may be better left to later when the temperature falls a little more. It can be sticky hot here in August.

I didn't realize that growing older could be just as much fun and just as interesting as being young. From the viewpoint of twenty or thirty, it looked like a lonely and painful place to be. Not so, as I am finding out more each day. This is good times and I wouldn't want to miss them. These are my Mulberry Days!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

WHO WERE FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY?


We are remembering Hurricane Camille of 1969, here on the Coast today.
The early-morning event will be at the Gulfport grave site of Faith, Hope and Charity, three unidentified storm victims buried in Pine Ridge Gardens.

Faith, Hope and Charity are the center of the Gulfport service. Since their 1969 burial, the staff of Civil Defense has overseen a memorial service for the three women found in Pass Christian.

"These are three lost souls with no identifying marks, and in 39 years nobody has claimed them,"

We lost 172 people during that 1969 Hurricane and soon we will be taking note of the three year mark for Hurricane Katrina on August 29. I know these are important milestones and we need to remember them. But somehow, I just keep thinking about those three women who no one claimed.

That is such a sad though to me. No one to mark your passing but strangers. Why did no one realize these women were missing? Where were their Mothers, their Fathers, their sons, their daughters? Did they not have sisters or brothers looking for them. Have we become so scattered in this country, that family doesn't even know when one goes missing? If I could, I would tell them, I cried for your passing and I am still sad and think about you each year. So, here's to Faith, Hope and Charity, who no one claimed. May you rest in peace.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

LIFE IS A BANQUET


I won't quote this exactly right because the speaker was a bit more bold than I am...rather like one of my readers, Hi, Brenda. Haha...but I have believed this ever since I heard it.

"Life is a banquet and most people are starving to death".

The author of this quote, Patrick Dennis's Mother, lived to be 100 years old. She believed we should live life to the fullest. Apparently she practiced what she preached. They made a movie about her, played to the hilt by Roslind Russell, It was called "Auntie Mame" as most of you probably know.

What we have is this moment. The past is over and done with, we can't change it. The future may never come, at least here on this Earth. Now, this moment is yours. Enjoy it. Hold it up to the light and examine it. "The unexamined life is not worth living". Socrates said. He was a smart man and I see no reason to disagree.

Continually take stock and see what you need to live life to it's fullest. Are you too busy? Or maybe you are not busy enough! As we get older, we tend to hibernate more. We enjoy our little, comfortable cave. Get out there and enjoy yourself. Life is to be savored. Another thing we have heard all our lives is "Life is short"...it is. Don't miss a thing! Ask yourself this question before you go to bed tonight? "Why did I take a day like today, for granted?"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WE CAN'T KNOW THE LAST TIME




PAINTING BY JAN VERMEER

Lately for some reason, I am thinking about places, people, and times in my life that I’ll never see again. There is no way to know when something will occur for the last time in most cases. I guess that is why being young is so great. There is no last time for anything when you are young. Or at least it seems that way when you feel the world is at your feet.

Would we appreciate places we think of as permanent, a lot more, if we thought we might lose them. A lot of us on the Coast found that out, after the Hurricane. I had no idea when I visited my favorite places on the beach, my library, Ryan's steak house, the place where we hold the fishing rodeo every fourth of July, Moses Pier where we fished all the time, when we first met, the beautiful paintings under the bridge, covering the walls, that a local artist painted, no idea at at all, that I would never see them again. I was trying to remember them today and already the memory is fading about a lot of things along the beach but the favorite places, I can still walk around them in my mind. They will always be a reminder of how quickly we can lose something we love.


Would we act differently toward others if we knew it was the last time we would see them? There are people in my life, that were there one day and the next day they were gone. We need to show our appreciation to our family and friends while we still can. They may not be here tomorrow but then again, we may not either. We really need to let them know today, while it is still today. Our lives can be changed in the twinkling of an eye. Go call someone you love and tell them you love them. Go visit an old friend you haven't seen in a while. Treat them like it could be the last time you will see them. One day it will be.

I believe I am feeling both old and very young today, if that makes sense. I am going to try and remember this feeling, every time Billy walks out the door. Or friends or family come over to visit. I strongly believe in a wonderful future so I am not in a sad mood, just one of reflection. "If tomorrow never comes, will they know how much I love them?" is a good qustion for us to ask ourselves.

Monday, August 11, 2008

THAT SILVER TONGUED DEVIL



PAINTING BY GABRIEL METSU

I love reading letters from back in the day when people really knew how to write a letter. I think some of the best writing of John Keats may have been in his letters to Fanny Brawne. No wonder, he could write such poetry. The man just had a romantic soul. Can you imagine a man writing a letter like this today? I hate to see letter writing being replaced by email. People will never feel as free on the internet as they do hand writing a letter. Beautiful letter writing using lovely stationary is fast becoming a lost art. Besides, you can't put a drop of perfume on an email!

I pick this letter up about half way through but the rest is just as romantic.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You absorb me in spite of myself - you alone: for I look not forward with any pleasure to what is called being settled in the world; I tremble at domestic cares - yet for you I would meet them, though if it would leave you the happier I would rather die than do so. I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your Loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute.

I hate the world: it batters too much the wings of my self-will, and would I could take a sweet poison from your lips to send me out of it. From no others would I take it. I am indeed astonished to find myself so careless of all charms but yours - remembering as I do the time when even a bit of ribband was a matter of interest with me. What softer words can I find for you after this - what it is I will not read. Nor will I say more here, but in a postscript answer anything else you may have mentioned in your letter in so many words - for I am distracted with a thousand thoughts. I will imagine you Venus tonight and pray, pray, pray to your star like a Heathen.
Yours ever, fair Star,
John Keats

Sigh

Saturday, August 9, 2008

THE BOWERY BOYS AND SCAMS


I remember as a child,l watching one of those scary, funny movies on TV. In this one, with the Bowery Boys, they were in a haunted house and heard this terrible screeching sound. One turned to the other and said, "Feet don't fail me now". LOL
I have come upon that situation a lot in my life. Sometimes the best thing to do is run. If you see yourself becoming involved in something that your inner voice is telling you, is just not right....run.

Have you ever been around people who seemed so nice on the surface but there was just something about them, that didn't add up. I think God gave us an inner warning signal but so many times we just ignore it. I was reading today about this couple in Florida, fleeced out of their savings by a con man. The woman said she felt something wasn't right but she thought they could make a lot of money, so she ignored this inner warning signal. Someone drove up to my house the other day and said, "I was just finishing up a sales trip and I have some steaks and chops left over, and I though since I was in your neighborhood"...yeah right! If you want to lose a tooth, you can buy it. LOL

As we get older we tend to be more patriotic and more religious, and that translates to increased vulnerability to charity and other scams that play on these emotions. But the good news, a study said older people are not as likely to fall for Internet schemes. There are many not so nice people out there, ready to take advantage of older people who let their guard down. Be careful and remember, if it walks like a duck, and looks like a duck....don't be surprised if it quacks.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

WHAT'S THE SPEED OF DARK?



Okay, all together now,,,ahhhhhh!

A FEW WORDS FROM THE VISIONARY STEVEN WRIGHT and one of my favorite comedians:

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

OK, so what's the speed of dark?

How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked

something.

Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.

When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.

Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded.

Boycott shampoo! Demand the REAL poo!

Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk?

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.

I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.

Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

WHAT WE DID AFTER SCHOOL, BACK THEN



After school was let out, around three o'clock when I was a kid, most of us would hurry home and get that ice cold glass of Kool Aid and maybe a cookie. The cookies were homemade and usually sugar or molasses. If we were lucky, there would be peanut butter or oatmeal with raisin. Or maybe gingerbread. These were Huge and would hold us until Mama called us in to Supper.

We played games outside in the fresh air and sunshine, back then. All the kids in the neighborhood played together. The girls would play hopscotch or jacks. But our favorite game was skipping rope. The little kids used their small rope but the older kids used a long rope, with a girl on each end. We were really good at this. We would run in and out of the rope while the girls were throwing it. Then we got two ropes and skipped double rope. That was a little more difficult and of course the big kids usually did this.

The boys would play marbles or some rough and tumble wrestling or baseball. There was always an empty lot somewhere to play ball and it was an activity that went on all Summer long. Some were just games, on the spur of the moment and some were more professional with a coach and suits, furnished by some one's Dad who owned the local barber shop or hardware store. They played baseball and softball. I don't recall a lot of basketball being played and no soccer at all.

Girls didn't play together with the boys that much. The parents would sit on the porch and watch us play. I think they really got a kick out of it. One thing they found out, just whose kid was a bully and who had the whiner. There would be an occasional fight, but for the most part, we played together really well.

Around six o'clock, we were called in for Supper, which was a family affair, with everyone home and sitting down around the table. we would do our homework after helping Mama with the dishes. After homework, we were allowed to play quite games while the adults visited with neighbors or maybe had a card game. The women would talk about their latest sewing or cooking ventures or share their Hollywood or True Confession magazines. We would play with our paper dolls, the original Barbie dolls, and dress them in all the paper clothes. We read books as we got a little older. Or put on make up behind Mama's back. I don't know what boys did after homework. We didn't have any boys in our family.

Daddy loved music, so someone usually came over with a guitar or harmonica. More people played instruments then. Mama always wanted a piano but we couldn't afford one. We would listen to the radio too, and it wasn't just music either. These were wonderful, scary, romantic, or comedy shows. The smaller kids had to get ready for bed at eight but the older ones could stay up until nine. When I was still in grammar school, TV was born. I still remember the times before TV though and they were great.

Monday, August 4, 2008

LIFE IN MY REAR VIEW MIRROR


I am old enough to side step all the pitfalls that can trip up someone younger. I have no delusions anymore about what I will be when I grow up. It is an established fact. I did some of the things I wanted to do. I didn't accomplish a lot more that I had my sights set on. But that's okay because as it turns out, it was probably the best for me, the way my life has gone. I have had as many daylilles as lemons and I like to think I did make lemonade when I got lemons most of the time.

I can't imagine being with anyone else but Billy as I am entering my twilight years. Okay, maybe not twilight just yet, but most of my life is in my rear view mirror. I find myself quite satisfied about life in general. It's a good life all in all and even though I've never had fame or a large fortune and didn't grow up to be a great humanitarian, I am a pretty contented person. Being average is okay. God must have loved average people, he made a whole lot of us. : )

Saturday, August 2, 2008

CATS ARE CATS, AND THAT'S THAT



Oh how well I identify with people who have cat antics going on all the time. I have three and believe you me, they are always in some sort of trouble. Those pretty, well behaved cats in the picture up there, ^^ are not mine. Those are ideal cats. Look how quiet they are! How do thier parents get them to do that?

Pepper is the worst one. He looks like an ordinary, not too snappy looking, black cat but don't let his looks fool you. He is the spirit of mischief, incarnated! He got his head hung in a teeny tiny hole behind the stove one time. He got it in there but couldn't get it out. Any sane cat would have known better. We had to pull out the stove and get wire cutters to cut him out. I still don't know how he got back there. It's not possible, but there he was howling his head off.

Did he learn anything?,,,,no...., he jumped off a building and broke his foot not too much later. Luckily his sister was on the ground and broke his fall,,stove up her little front legs as Mama used to say. He just missed landing on Shad. All are fine now except for my little girl Meshe, who walks a little crooked. Pepper of course is fine and out to see how much lower he can push our finances. Vets cost an absolute fortune today. We have a lot of visits. Not for sickness mind you, they are a healthy bunch,,but for acting like fools, for fighting with other cats that dare to wander into the yard, and for just in general, showing off.

Pepper got in a fight last year and ended up with a tube in his side. I had to lock the others out of the house while he healed. They have a cat door to the laundry room with their food and water there, so they weren't hurting by being locked out. Who was hurting, was Pepper. The door is glass and he would sit there and watch them through the glass when they came to get food or water. I felt so sorry for him which didn't last long. It never does! He immediately started howling and being an all around pain about it. He did take his medicine like a sweetheart though. I can only suppose he liked the taste, because I know, it was not out of the goodness of his little evil, black heart. LOL

He wouldn't wear the big Elizabethan looking, collar they gave us to keep him from pulling off his bandage when he broke his foot. That cat in the pic is not pepper. Pepper sat with his head on the floor, with the open part against the floor the whole time. I was afraid he was going to smother.
He did have trouble using a litter box with it on, and since they are outside cats, he really wasn't sure about what to do anyway. The only time he had used one, was when he was about four months old. I finally took the collar off and naturally he pulled the bandage off. We took him to the Vet, had another one put on,,he tore it off. I put it back on, he tore it off. I tied it on there, he tore it off. He Won! It did get well on it's own though and as soon as the collar was removed, he used the litter box. Soon he was back outside, after seven or eight years locked up in the house...walking on the porch railing and looking pretty dapper.

I fuss about my little Pepper a lot but even the naughty things he does makes me laugh. I opened up my blanket chest this morning to take out a Quilt top and in he jumped..I let him stay a minute, but finally Billy pulled him out. He protested to high Heaven I'm sure. I left because I didn't want him to think I had anything to do with it. Retaliation you know! The next time I saw him, he was lying on the foot of the bed looking just too innocent. No wonder, he was hiding my glasses under his foot, that he had taken from my laptop by the bed. He doesn't tear things up but you do have to be careful where you leave things. If he can see it, it's fair game as far as he is concerned.

The last time I looked outside he was curled up in the grill extension that is way too small for him to curl up in but there he is somehow curled up in it. Oh Lord, I hope he is not stuck in there!

Friday, August 1, 2008

PHYSICAL, MENTAL, SPIRITUAL BEINGS


Painting by G.Harvey
We were born to be three-fold beings. We are more than physical, we are spiritual and intellectual beings as well. So much time and money is spent on making sure we look good, eat good and have material things. We neglect that part of us who wants to be ever learning. We need intellectual stimulation to keep our minds sharp, especially as we get older.

But most important of all, we need to grow spiritually. For if that part is neglected, it doesn't matter how smart or creative we are or how physically fit we are, we are just an empty vessel inside. We need to fill that part of us that craves beauty and being in touch with nature and with God. We need to make that connection. I am not saying to meditate, unless you really like that sort of thing. Just take some time each day to think on the good things in your life. Don't let one single thought of anything that is stressful or hurtful, enter in. Take some me time to be still and listen.

When is the last time, you sat in a park and did nothing but listen to the sounds around you. If you have a porch, do you sit on it and just do nothing but watch the world go by? Our Grandparents knew how to do that. When is the last time, you went outside at night and just looked up at those beautiful stars. When is the last time, you took a walk by yourself, on a rainy day?

When is the last time, you really opened up all your senses? Today, find something that smells wonderful to you. A beautiful soap, fresh linen, bread baking, an orange. Take time to enjoy that lovely smell. Find some beautiful music and really, listen to it. Touch something that feels incredible to you, the soft velvet fur of your cat, a treasured silk blouse, warm sand or cool grass, under your bare feet, the cool sheets as you slide in tonight. Find a painting or a photograph you already own and really look at it. Observe the faces of the children you meet today, that sweet innocence so soon lost in this day and age. Really look at the face of a loved one, a beloved animal, really look at them. Someday you may wish you had that memory. Open up your senses to things around you.

If we make it a habit to ignore what our feelings are telling us about slowing down, we make choices that aren’t in line with our true selves, and aren’t good for us. You can get mentally and physically exhausted but have you ever though about being spiritually exhausted? Take some time to renew your spirit, that secret place, you keep hidden away. Go there and rest awhile.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

GOING SWIMMING IN THE CREEK















PAINTING BY STEVE ATKINS
When I was about eight or nine years old, my sister and I would sneak off into the woods and go swimming in the creek behind our house. Well, I didn't actually swim, I was afraid of the water but I carried my inner tube and floated on that. The boys ruled this place. They had rope hanging from a tree and would swing out over the water and drop off, splashing all of us. We thought they were so brave, we never complained.

We were told over and over again not to go but the minute the grown ups had their attention on something else, away we went. It was probably about a mile from our home and this was in the days before parents panicked when their child was missing. They just waited on us, mad as a hornet. Mama would switch our legs with a small limb from a tree. She even let us get it ourselves, so of course we got the thinnest one we could find. I know now, that one hurt more than a large one would have. We didn't have our little lives destroyed by a spanking. We thought we deserved it for disobeying our parents. They whipped us, we got over it and all was well.

The last time I remember going, we stopped off to pick some blackberries on the way home. That is when the big disaster happened. My sister reached in and grabbed a yellow jacket nest. She was covered with those stinging things. She ran screaming to the house. Mama saw her coming and got a washtub, filled it with all the kerosene she had and stuck my sister in it. She finally stopped screaming quite so loud but she was in pain for quite a while after that. I don't recommend this treatment because I don't have any idea what it was supposed to do. It must have worked though because she was back to normal pretty soon. We didn't sneak away for the rest of that summer.

Monday, July 28, 2008

AN OPINION BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE, ON BLOGGING


















We all have humble opinions on blogging. I've seen quite a few posts lately about it. So here is mine.

I don't care what people put on their blogs or how they compose their post. I do like pictures though. If I like it, I will read it, if I don't, there are many more to read. If it is longer than a cat's tail in a room full of rocking chairs, with no paragraphs, I might ramble with them for a while but it's not my favorite type of post. I exercise the right to change the channel if I am unhappy with a TV show. I do the same with blogs. I mute the music for the most part, but that's not hard to do. Sometimes I like it.

If someone wants to talk about religion, I don't care. I am who I am and they are who they are. I don't think we can truly separate our opinions from our faith entirely because it is a lifestyle and not just a Sunday kind of thing. I know my faith flavors all my life. I just figure for the most part, I am not going to draw atheists to me. But some will come if they like most of what I write and aren't offended by my occasional reference to God. I have friends and family, who think they are atheists. I was one myself before I saw the light....Oops there goes that reference!
I have a blog built around my faith which cuts down on my need to preach on my gardening blog, for instance. But the occasional word might slip in.

I leave if I can't identify with your subject matter in some way. I have many interests, if you live long enough, you will. So most blogs have something that interest me. I stop reading if I get bored. I always comment. So far, I haven't met anyone I didn't like. I like comments, so feel free to talk to each other on my blog. To me that is half the fun. Just don't get in a fight. Don't make me come and smack you. ~[~

I am an old, dirt poor white, Southern, Pentecostal, woman with highly opinionated, conservative, right leaning, thoughts who also likes country music and Southern Gospel. There is enough there for everyone to dislike something about me. LOL--- But just so you know, one of my nieces thinks I am cool because I know who Daughtry and Sugarland are. : )

I try to stay true to who I am and I am drawn to those people who seem real to me. I don't go along to get along. I try to be kind and considerate of other people's feeling when I write but that is not always possible. Some people are just naturally offended at certain things. I try to find people who blog with honesty even if it is not politically correct.

An honest blog with no apology is what I like to read and what I try to write. I just want to make a few friends who enjoy the things I do. Those who share my views on the world and who will look on me as Queen...Haha....no, I'm kidding about the Queen part. : )

Sunday, July 27, 2008

SHOULD YOU GO FIRST AND I REMAIN


PAINTING BY LYNN PITTARD















Should You Go First
By A.K. Rowswell

Should you go first and I remain
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
With happy days we've known.
In spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early fall, when brown leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you've touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I'll hear your voice, I'll see you smile,
Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain
To finish with the scroll,
No length'ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
We've had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death can not destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I'd have you to do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take,
That I may walk the same,
For someday down that lonely road
You'll hear me call your name.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I LOVE LIBRARIES

Painting by JOHN SINGER SARGENT



A library is a collection of information, sources, resources, and services: it is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, or a private individual. In the more traditional sense, a library is a collection of books.

Okay, that is the definition in general. But if you love libraries the way I do, it is so much more than that. A library is a place you go to relax. To browse and find your creative senses set in motion when you look through the art or craft books. A desire to travel set aflame when you find that book on a country you have always wanted to visit. An urge to get out the pots and pans and cook something great when you glance through the cookbook section.

Then you go down the mystery row and find a couple of those, you just can't wait to read when you have time. And of course, a couple of new decorating books to look through, because our homes are always in transition or at least mine is. I remember the year it was all about Sunflowers and country. Your taste do change so you change your nest. There is the latest self improvement book and the latest fiction everyone is raving about. I probably won't read them all, but I check them out in the hope that I can find the time. I have my own book bag with a deep bottom and wide handle because I know, I will check out at least six when I go.

One of the sad things about Hurricane Katrina was losing my beautiful library overlooking the Gulf. It had large windows and you could sit at a table in super comfortable chairs and look out over the water. I did more dreaming than reading while sitting there. I will always miss it. We will have a new one, but it won't look out over the water and it wont be the place, I spent so many happy days.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

THE BUCKET LIST















Michael Lee...artist

If you knew how much time you had left to live, would you be brave enough to live life to the fullest? I just saw the movie "The Bucket List" and like many other people, I started thinking about what would be on my list. For those who didn't see the movie, it is about two men who are dying of Cancer and only have a few months to live. The title comes from the expression, "kicking the bucket" which is a term for dying. So before you kick the bucket, what would be on your list of things to do before you die?

I don't mean the things like organize your funeral, get your affairs in order, visit the family and tell them you love them...no I mean those things you would like to do that you have never done. Maybe sky diving, or climbing to the top of a peak somewhere. You don't have to be able to do them. Lord knows most of us don't have the money the way the men in the movie did, to travel the world. But if you could do anything you wanted and money was no object, what would be on your bucket list. Here is a list I scribbled down in a hurry but I think some of these might even be doable. I'll start there!

1...Get rid of all my grass and replace it with soft, sweet moss. It would be so nice to walk barefoot on a lawn with springy, soft moss.

2...Eat at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

3...Clean out a space right in the middle of my woods and put a large waterfall there. The little animals would love it and I could sit back there and watch them when they came to play or drink. It would have all kinds of pretty flowers and plants and large flat rocks to sit on.

4...Take a trip to England. I've always wanted to go to England and see all those pretty, quaint cottages and gardens. I cut my teeth on English mysteries and boarding school stories so I have always been drawn to England. The countryside of England in all those movies I love, is always so beautiful. All that rain I guess makes for such pretty green scenery. It just looks greener than here in the States. I would love to go there.

5...Send a message in a bottle

6...Write that Great American Novel or at least a good mystery book.

7...Take out my guitar and start playing again. I play finger style and it has been a long time since I played. I stopped when I got sick a few years ago and never went back to it.

8...Go back to Charleston SC and take that canoe ride and see if Billy can paddle better than he did in 93..lol. That was fun!

9...Have fresh flowers all over my house, every day. For years, I would hold back enough to buy flowers at the grocery store each week. We couldn't afford much but I tried to get a small bouquet for our dining table.

10..Lead at least ten people to Jesus, before I kick the bucket!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

THE SUNDAY DRIVE IN THE COUNTRY
















Vincent-Van-Gogh painting of "Cornfields". I love these colors.

Perhaps it is the child in me that doesn't want to let go of a childhood too soon gone. Whatever the reason, I still remember as if it was yesterday, those long Sunday drives in the country. I long to go back to those good times when cares were far behind us. After a dinner (noon time in the South) of fried chicken and potato salad, we would all pile into the car and head out on the highway..well make that, into the country. We would ride around and see what the rural country side looked like. Most of the time we drove down the same old dirt roads and saw the same things week after week.

But once in a while we would take a new road. Now that was exciting. As city kids, just seeing animals in the fields and seeing the country kids riding their horses was fun for us. I loved looking at the corn in the fields and stopping to visit with some of the farmers and their children. We would drink ice cold water from their well. They didn't have a pump, they let the bucket down on a rope that was wound around the top and had a handle on the side. Sometimes they would have to pull up the bucket and take out the jar of milk in it. They kept their milk in the well to keep it cool for supper. Then they let it back down for their visitors who were dying of thirst. Sometimes the farmer's wife would take a stroll around her yard and garden with Mama and they would come back with fresh vegetables and some new cutting of a flower Mama wanted. This always pleased Mama so much. She would thank her with a big smile on her face.

Mama would always stop on the side of the road and gather wildflowers and put them in a pail of water, she brought along, just for that purpose. If it was blackberry time, we would pick a few berries in the tin syrup buckets, Mama brought with us. Or if we were lucky, we would end up with pears or plums from wild trees. Back then, no one shot at you if you were on their property looking for wild fruit or a Christmas tree for that matter. You can't do that now, you would at the very least get arrested. But back then, farmers didn't care. At least we never ran into any trouble.

After a few hours of just total saturation in the country smells and sounds, we would head back to town. We always ended the trip with ice cream at the local ice cream shop. I remember the taste of that lemon ice cream to this day. It was fun, free and probably very good for us to take that Sunday drive. We learned about farm animals and crops in a way that the city kids who didn't have this wonderful trip each Sunday, would miss but the most important thing was the good memories.

Friday, July 18, 2008

BOTOXED, DETOXED HOLLYWIERD



Today normal aging is considered a curse. Some cling so desperately to youth they become a caricature of themselves. Is this what now passes for growing old gracefully?

You wont catch me:

Swallowing 25 or more anti aging pills per day....I hate taking aspirin

Subjecting my body to cosmetic surgery,...they still use a knife, last time I checked. Why in all that is common sense, would you let someone cut you if you didn't have too?

Engaging in obsessive exercising....you can take this one to the bank. It's not gonna happen

Fanatically dieting.......see above

Dressing in clothes designed for adolescents...... I know when to conceal..it's no big deal. That's why they make jogging outfits, empire waist, jumper dresses, over-blouses and elastic waist pants. Or you could just exercise if sagging bothers you. There is a time for everything and what goes up will come down..,,you should feel like a comfortable cushion when your grandchildren hug you. Whose gonna play Grandma if you look like your granddaughter's Mother instead of her Grandmother. Give the kids a break,,,give them a real Grandma.

Mimicking the verbal expressions and hand gestures of teens. This one is just sad when you hear and see it. Especially if it is coming from someone who can't move their face. Grandpa should not be flashing any one the ROCK ON sign, and yelling YO...You flashed your PEACE sign when you were young and yelled CAN YOU DIG IT? ...it's their time now....move on! Surgery can't help elbows and hands enough to hide your age anyway.

I personally find all of Hollywood a little strange looking. Have you noticed how much they all favor? They all look like they have intermarried once too often. They don't have to worry about a flood in Hollywood. If one happens, with all that plastic they inject, they will all float. LOL

Thursday, July 17, 2008

AN INVINCIBLE SUMMER



CHILDE HASSAM PAINTING

Is getting old such a bad thing? I wouldn't want to go back and be young again and live all that angst over again...I certainly don't want to be young in this day and age. The world is a scary place for the young today. Besides, I've already been young.

The picture we have of an older person quietly seated in a corner, knitting, reading or nodding off to sleep is gone anyway. Today, people over sixty are into everything. They usually have a second career after they retire from the first one. The second one is usually more satisfying because they are not under so much stress to make money. They can find something they enjoy doing. I am eagerly looking forward to the rest of this earthly life and an eternity after that. I feel I am just getting warmed up.

“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
Albert Camus