Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Holiday Snaps

Jean from Tales from a Cottage Garden is posting holiday snaps every Tuesday. She's invited everyone to join in, so today I'm posting a couple of pictures from my 2001 vacation.

I choose these particular photos because I was inspired by Zuzana's, Life Though Reflections, post today about her recent holiday to her sister's chateau in the same region.

As part of a 2 week tour, we spent a couple of days in Montreux, Switzerland which is beautifully located on Lac Leman or Lake Geneva, as it is known in English. While we were there, we drove though the fabulous countryside, past mountainside vineyards, to Gruyere where we explored the old town known for it's famous cheese.

Our funny little family owned hotel situated across the street from the Lac Leman.

Notice the Alps in the background.

Photo taken from the lake side boardwalk.

The scenery along the road to the town of Gruyere.

Magical medieval Gruyere.

Pat from Mille Fiore Favoriti recently returned from a trip to San Francisco. She has a beautiful collage of photos on her blog as well. By visiting Jean, Zuzana and Pat, you can take 3 wonderful, quick, sightseeing trips to some of the world's most beautiful spots.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Opinions Are Like Belly-Buttons, Everyone's Got One

My opinions are strongly held and expressed (not so much on my blog, I try to keep it neutral). I've come to realize that when I am being forthright with my beliefs, I am often perceived as being opinionated or divisive. I like to debate. Some people take that to mean argumentative. I had to learn who I could get into that kind of conversation with and who I couldn't. People like me don't mean to step on toes. We like to throw around ideas and to hear new ideas.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes on the topic of opinions and ideas:

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. -Oliver Wendell Holmes

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. -Arthur Schopenhauer

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -Aristotle

To repeat what others have said, requires education; to challenge it requires brains. -Mary Pettibone Poole

Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. -Sir Winston Churchill

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -Sir Winston Churchill

I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity. -Cicero

Great discoveries and achievements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. -Alexander Graham Bell

Ideas are like children; your own are always wonderful. -Anonymous

I don't think everyone has to think like me...but I am surprised sometimes by what people believe.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Heart Geeks and Nerds


Season 1 disc 2 of The Big Bang Theory is in my Netflix queue. (laughed my self silly last night watching disc 1) It has to be the funniest show currently on television.

It tickles my funny bone to no end probably because it comes pretty close to being like two of my sons and my son-in-law and one daughter-in-law. I love it when they go all geeky on me....gaming, role-playing, comic book loving, technical talking, Japanese anime, model making, etc.

The best overheard conversations are the ones in which they argue the merits of "real" fantasy books and writers with their trendy banal sorely lacking in original material but currently popular counterparts. Or the times they talk computer and I only understand every fifth word. Or when I learn some economic or scientific theory I've never heard of before.

I'd like to think that I'm like Penny. She's the cute, sexy, normal neighbor on the show. But the truth is I am a nerd and a dork.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Azalea Love

I found this photo on Flickr Creative Commons while searching through pictures of Alabama. It is so pretty I thought I would share. The title is The White House -Tuscaloosa, AL.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crafting Day

Aubrey, Avery and I had an impromptu sleep over last night. To amuse ourselves we made dolls using the template and instruction video found here. We changed things up a bit by adding color, clothes and faces to suit each of our personalities.

Avery patterned her doll after Clawdeen Wolf, her new MonsterHigh doll. Clawdeen is a teenage werewolf. You'll notice Avery's ragdoll doll sports fangs, pointy ears, red eyes and bling befitting any well-dressed
high fashion werewolf.

Aubrey went a little more traditional with hers.

She wanted her doll to be cheerful. She says she
might give her doll to a friend...I told her no way, I put too much work into that doll.
She'll have to make her own doll to give away.

My doll is the blue doll with lavender hair in the background. I think I might make some more
to take out to Texas with me. I'll be going out in a few weeks to meet my
newest granddaughter.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Opposite ways of seeing

Not everyone sees the world like we do. Take two minutes and learn something new today.

The Waiting Game

That's what getting an implant should be called...the waiting game. It takes forever. First they pull the remaining vestiges of your old tooth. Then there is the bone graft with time for it to take. Next there is the implant surgery itself. More time for it to heal. Next exposing the graft and a temporary cap is put on. More waiting for healing. The next step will be another fitting for the crown. Then the waiting for the crown to come back from the lab. After that the fitting, etc..... None of the above steps included all the times I had to go down there to have the pontic (fake tooth that is affixed to the teeth on each side of it) put back on because one wrong bite and it would pop off.

Today, I had the implant exposed and a temporary cap put on. I'm going to the dental school at UAB in Birmingham. It is a learning school which is good because the process is cheaper....and bad because they are learning, ie...slow. Nice people, good school, excellent dental work...just slow. Today, I laid practically upside down from 1:45 to 6 pm.


Monday, August 16, 2010

De Dum Dum.....

What did one tooth say to the other? Get your cap on, the dentist is taking us out tonight.

Why do you forget a tooth, as soon as the dentist pulls it out? Because it goes right out of your head.

Why are vampires like false teeth? They all come out at night.

Did anyone else have grandparents who put their teeth in a jar at night? Or slip them out to amaze you? I'm getting an implant on Wednesday, so that I am never tempted to do the same to my grandchildren. haha (oops, too late....I just remembered that I showed them when my temporary fell out last winter....just realized I've already become my grandparents!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Random Photo Day Circa Early 1900s

This movie debuted in 1920.

This movie was also from 1920.

These photos are the work of O.V. Hunt, 1881-1962. They show Birmingham in the second and third decade of the last century. You can find more of his photographs here and here.

None of these businesses or locations exist in this form today. The Galax and the Alcazar theaters are long gone. Their heyday was during the silent movie era. The only thing I can find out about Herman Saks is in 1934 his company was involved in a law suit regarding mental anguish. The Birmingham Ledger was bought out by its rival paper, The Birmingham News, in 1918. And, I can't locate any info about Garrard's Auto Repair Co.

Each photo contains a snippet of history that would be long gone except for these black and white images which were taken almost a century ago. I wonder what people will think 100 years from now when they look at the photos we take today.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer ....

Just about everything outside my door looks like this.

Alabama has never, repeat never seen weather this hot for his long. A couple of days ago the Birmingham metro area broke the previous record for # of consecutive days 90 degrees or warmer. The old record was a tie between 1932 and 2007 when there were 37 consecutive days of 90 + heat. As of today, August 13th, we've had 40 consecutive days of 90+ heat. The last time we had a high under 90 degrees was on July 4th.

Folks, it's hot here in the South. Which reminds me of an assignment I had in my college philosophy class. We were learning about Venn Diagrams and syllogisms. A syllogism is a type of logical argument in which a conclusion is inferred by two premises. It can be thought of as a type of deductive reasoning. Facts are determined by combining existing statements. Here's an example:
Major premise: All mortals die.
Minor premise: All men are mortals.
Conclusion: All men die.
Anywooo....all that to say, here is a syllogism I made up.

Hell is hot.
The South is hot.
The South is Hell.

I think it's an appropriate assessment of our current weather.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finger Lickin Good

There's a b-b-cue restaurant on almost every corner here. The smell is heavenly. My favorite way to barbecue is to use a traditional southern vinegar based sauce on pork or chicken, not beef. Perfect sauce is tart, slightly vinegary with a rich sweetness.

It's been years since I last ate ribs. I never order them when I go out. They're too messy for dining out. I wind up with sauce on my chin, cheeks, and chest and a pile of crumbled napkins on the table as high as my nose. I can manage a sandwich (pulled pork) better, but I've been thinking about ribs ever since the 4th of July.

I should have bought some ribs today when I swung into the parking lot this afternoon to take this silly photo.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Check Out These Wheels

Elijah takes a ride down memory lane.

My mother (pictured) says her brother, who she was 9 years older than, had a stroller like this.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Update to the Mowing Dilemma

...the decision was not to mow. Besides the question of the small child that may or may not be lost out there and the smothering humidity, as well as my aversion to hard work of any kind in temperatures above 65 degrees F, my decision came down to the fact that I was given the name of a yardman who comes with a great recommendation, which in and of itself was a total game changer.

My yard needs more attention than I have the tools, know how or physical strength to attend to on my own. So I am handing over my lawnmower to an expert....at least this one time. Hopefully, he will weed eat, mow, and trim my yard into submission and I will take over again after that.

My neighbors will probably thank me for making this decision.

Today's question is.....

small children could get lost in this

...whether or not I'm going to get up, go outside and mow the grass now while the temp is a "cool" 86 degrees with 67% humidity and the current heat index of 93 degrees...instead of waiting to later today when the temp will climb to 98 degrees with a heat index of 104 to 111 degrees.

This is what I call a lose/lose situation.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


There's a re-run of When Harry Meet Sally on TV. I never get tired of that movie. Or Moonstruck.

How about you? Any movies you have to stop and watch every time they're re-played?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vintage (but new to me)

I found these linen postcards, to add to my collection, at a great old junk store recently.

The back of the card reads: "This old home, built by Judge William S. Mudd in 1842, is one of the last links of the present generation with the people and the time and the life which gave birth to our Community. Arlington stood white and resplendent before Birmingham was even a dream."

Arlington Antebellum Home today.

This one says, "Dexter Avenue is the main business street of the city. (Montgomery) The fountain in the center of the square was erected in 1886. It was on exhibition at the Atlanta Exposition and the purchase price was seven thousand dollars. The State Capitol shown in the distance was the first Capitol of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis being inaugurated President on the steps of this building. "

Present day photo of Dexter Avenue.

This Beaux Arts style home served as the Governor's Mansion, from 1911 to 1951. Sadly, this beautiful home was demolished in 1963 to make way for the interstate to be built.

This mansion on Perry Street has been home to Alabama governors since 1951.

This next card seems to have been published around 1950 and is not linen.

The back of it states,
" Nickname--Cotton State 1950 Population--3,061,743 Area in Sq. Miles--51,998
Entered the Union, Dec. 14, 1819"

Besides finding cards to add to my collection, which was great, was the fact that they were only a buck each. That's a bargain in my book!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Random Photo Day

....just a few random photos I snapped recently.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Very Unbirthday to You!

"Get to your places!' shouted the Queen in a voice of thunder, and people began running about in all directions, tumbling up against each other; however, they got settled down in a minute or two, and the game began.”

Alice in Wonderland was the inspiration. An unbirthday was the occasion. (Avery's real birthday won't be until the end of August) The table was set for a tea party. Croquet and egg races were held in the yard. Snow cones and presents were part of the equation.

Clean cup, clean cup. Move down.

Statistics prove, prove that you've one birthday
One birthday every year
But there are three hundred and sixty four unbirthdays

That is why we're gathered here to cheer
A very merry unbirthday to you, to you
A very merry unbirthday to you, to you

It's great to drink to someone
And I guess that you will do A very merry unbirthday to you

-from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland

A game of flamingo croquet.

“The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and look up in her face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing: and when she had got its head down, and was going to begin again, it was very provoking to find that the hedgehog had unrolled itself, and was in the act of crawling away: besides all this, there was generally a ridge or furrow in the way wherever she wanted to send the hedgehog to, and, as the doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and walking off to other parts of the ground, Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.” -Lewis Carroll

Egg races.

Snow cones, perfect refreshment on a hot day.

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.

"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

A great time was had by all!


A hat was chosen and decorated with flowers by each girl as soon as she arrived. The table decorations were purchased at local thrift stores. The plates and cups were decorated with paint markers ahead of time by the birthday girl and her sister. Paper plates were used on top of the china to protect the paint. The food was labeled Eat Me and the soda had tags tied around them which said Drink Me (I'm quite delicious). The girls took their hats and place settings home as their favor.

I hung around for a few hours after the guests left. We made a collage of all the odds and end decorations, placed it in a shadowbox and my DIL hung it in the birthday girl's bedroom.

The grands.

My talented imaginative daughter-in-law once again hosted an over-the-top, super-duper birthday party. Way to go Robin!