Monday, August 25, 2008

This Little Birdie Has Flown The Coop

I'll be here at the beach all week enjoying the remenants of Fay and my granddaughters!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Greetings From Amsterdam

This is a postcard sent to my parents in 1969 from an adventuresome elderly neighbor who went on a European tour by herself one summer. She writes:

Dear Friends,
Here I am in Germany on the boat going up the Rhine River, a four hour trip. Going to Heidelberg. Have been to London, Holland to a boat ride on this canal in Holland. Did not have time to write in Holland. Having a lovely time and feeling fine and wish you all could see this country, be on this tour. I miss you all. Love to all. Fannie Apperson

I wish I had cared to know her then. She must have been an interesting person. I just thought she was old. But I always liked the postcard and saved it. In fact, I painted a crude watercolor of this scene...and I still have it too.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Of course I have a postcard collection. I have a gynormous collection of everything paper. Torn paper, scrapbook paper, calendars from 20 years ago, old greetings cards, magazines, any and all kinds of books, ticket stubs, Chinese fortunes, stamps and photos. Paper, paper, paper, I love it!

Since this is postcard week on my blog, I thought you might enjoy seeing some vintage postcards I have collected of my hometown.

This train station was the showplace of the city. The Beaux Arts Byzantine style building built in 1909, was torn down in 1969. By all accounts the building was beautiful, but by the late 60s it had fallen into disrepair. The protests of preservationists were dismissed and the building was demolished.

Here is an interior photograph I found in the Birmingham Public Library archives.

TCI or Tennessee Coal and Iron Railroad Co was located on the western side of town. The steel industry was a major employer and played a large part in the development of the city. This postcard is of the Fairfield Tin Plate Mill which later became known as U.S. Steel. This plant was not far from my childhood home. I remember sweeping black coal dust from our front porch each summer morning during childhood. This was before the strict anti-polluting laws went into effect in the 60s.

The Alabama Theater is called the Showplace of the South because of it ornate beauty. It was built in 1927 by Paramount Studios as a showcase for their films. The theater featured a Wurlitzer organ which rose out of the floor. "When the Alabama Theatre was built in 1927, films were silent and required a musical accompaniment. This was typically provided by an orchestra or theatre pipe organ. The Alabama's organ is a Crawford Special-Publix One Mighty Wurlitzer. Only 25 of this model of organ were built and the Alabama's is one of only three still installed in their original sites." In the 80s this theater would have gone the way of the terminal station except for the efforts of Birmingham Landmarks, Inc which started the process of restoring it to its former grandeur. Today, it is a venue for all types of entertainment including weekly showings of classic movies. This postcard seems to be from the late 50s or early 60s judging by the age of the cars in it.

Here is an interior shot of the stage. Don't you agree, it is fabulous! Every time I go there I crane my neck to see all the ornamentation. Even the ladies room is worth checking out.

Here is a picture of the organ. Many times before the cartoons and feature films are played the organ will rise out of the stage floor and there will be a old fashioned sing along with the audience.

A trip to the Alabama is always a treat. If you ever visit my city, be sure to inquire about a tour of the theater. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Postcard Swap Update

Thanks everyone for your response to the swap. I have created a list of participants on my sidebar and will update it as other people leave comments saying they would like to be included.

I will be pretty busy for the rest of this week preparing for my vacation, attending a granddaughter's 7th birthday party, celebrating my daddy's and oldest son's birthday and sadly attending the funeral of my sister in law's father. Next week I will be enjoying my vacation. So what I propose is this: Upon return from said vacation, I will compile the complete list, email each of you with full instructions and a time frame for mailing the cards. If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment.

Invite anyone you believe would enjoy our swap. Please use this little icon to advertise the swap on your blog if you would like to do so.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Swap Anyone?

watercolor pencils on watercolor postcard

Google postcard art and you will discover a world of 4x6 cards that are being made and mailed to places all over the world. Some are weird and some are wonderful. Some people write their secrets on postcards and mail them out and some people just like sending and receiving mail. Yahoo has groups devoted to making and trading postcards. Shows have been organized and curated to display mail art. Here is a link to a blog where the writer has organized a swap with her readers for the second year in a row. Many of you collect vintage postcards. Everyone loves finding a handwritten note in their mail box.

original art drawn on desk calendar scanned into computer,
digitally manipulated and printed on heavy paper

Today Willow blogged about digital art which got me to thinking again about postcard art. Mod Girl also posted pictures today of the postcards her son made to mail out as thank you notes for his recent birthday gifts. I mentioned to Willow that I have been thinking of proposing a postcard swap amongst friends.

digital art printed on photo paper

Is anyone interested? Let me know if you are. I will think of the easiest way for everyone to get will probably be to divide the participants up and let you email one another for addresses. Another way would be to mail them all to me and then I would address them and drop them in the mail to each of you.

Security envelopes, additional bits and pieces, stamp,
torn and collaged onto watercolor postcard using Golden gel medium

Anyway, I would like to send each participant a handmade postcard from me. Or if a limited number of people want to play maybe we could just each send one to everyone. How many postcards would be too many for you to send out? My email addy is on my profile so you can contact me that way or you can leave me a comment.

bits of illustrated art printed on presentation paper, cut and
collaged with Golden gel medium as a binder

Ideas for 4X6 postcards:
Postcards from your hometown or state
Your favorite blog photos printed onto photo paper and attached to heavy cardstock
Travel pictures made into postcard art
Scrapbook paper postcards
Your artwork in any form
Any doodle from you on heavy paper
Share a family recipe
Postcards from the US Postal Service

All mailed with a handwritten note from you!

If enough of you are interested I will make a little icon that anyone who wants to can display to advertise the swap to all of their contacts. Wouldn't it be fun to have lots of people to mail something to and to receive something in return?

Monday, August 18, 2008


"Tell me what company thou keepst, and I'll tell thee what thou art."
- Miguel de Cervantes (1547 - 1616) Spanish novelist.

Thank you Pat of Mille Fiori Favoriti for thinking of me for this award.

My friends, I have enjoyed observing the things you are interested in, your hobbies, your passions and your loves. Your friendship challenges me to think more, to be thoughtful of others, to place a greater value on the small but important things in life like companionship, a meal shared, a good conversation. I am humbled by each of you, by the way you respond to hurts and triumphs. I have learned much from all of you.

I'm interested in hearing your stories of friends and friendships. Have you had the same friends since childhood? What is the thing you most value about your friends? Do you think it is important for women to have good friends more so than it is for men? Are your friends your sounding boards? What is your favorite activity to share with your friends?

Even though we only know each other through the words typed on these blog entries, I count myself blessed to be able to call each of you a friend.

I would like to pass this award along to Denise from Look Beyond the Picket Fence because she is one of the first people that began reading my blog. Thank you Denise for the support. I would also like to give this award to Museswings and Nana Trish because they are some of my newest friends. I am having fun getting to know each of you. Betsy of My Five Men you inspire me with your never ending devotion to your family and Willow of Life at Willow Manor, you teach me something new each day. Debby from Life's Funny Like That, I like to count you as a friend because you can be counted on to be a straight shooter. You say exactly what you think and I like that in a friend.

"The world would be so lonely, in sunny hours or gray. Without the gift of friendship, to help us every day." - Hilda Brett Farr

I Feel Bad About My Neck

I just finished reading this book by Nora Ephron. She has written a witty but true account of being a woman who is getting older. It is something that we never think about when we are young, but once we pass our early middle years the body begins to turn on us. She points out the amount of time we now have to spend just maintaining our looks. The book is a very funny account of what it means to be a woman of a "certain age".

You know I've been looking in the mirror and I feel bad about my neck too.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

On Today's Menu

First there is the yard to mow.

Next there will be some light housecleaning duties to take care of.

Shopping is next. This is the birthday season in our family.

Finally, some fun and relaxation will be in order. A friend and I plan to see Blue Hawaii in the this historic old downtown theater tonight.

Birmingham Public Library Collection

Enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just a Couple of Random Things

It was pointed out to me, earlier this week, that my drivers license had expired at the end of June. So today I went down to the DMV to get it renewed.

This is me 4 years ago. It looks like the photo was taken in a criminal line up doesn't it?

Oh my gosh, what a relief I don't look like a gun moll anymore! I got my haircut last week. I'm glad I decided to go shorter again.

This afternoon I smashed my thumb in the safe at work. Ouch! That nail is a goner! It is throbbing tonight!

I have been looking for my tickets to the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics since sometime last week. I can't believe that I have lost them. I found the Olympic pins. I found the fans we got from Korean soccer fans. I found the pictures I took. But where the heck are the tickets?????

Anyway....this is how the story goes....Atlanta is only 2 hours and some odd minutes from where I live in Alabama. I begged my ex-husband to say yes to us entering the lottery for tickets to the opening ceremony and/or some other coveted events. I think the price for seats at the opening started at $450 each. But I reasoned it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It would have been virtually our only expense in going except for gas to get there. We could have driven over and driven home the same night. No need to stay in a hotel or anything. Easy peasy. Nope, he wasn't interested. (for the life of me, I don't know why I didn't do it without him)

So we watched the opening ceremony from home...he had the audacity to say afterwards that he would have enjoyed that after all.....................aaaaaaaahhhhhh!

We did get tickets for one of the soccer games that were hosted here in our hometown. We saw Korea and South America play each other. Even though I'm not really a soccer fan I enjoyed being part of the whole Olympic experience.

But that wasn't enough for me. I needed to get to Atlanta to be in the middle of the whole shebang. My daughter in law (wife of oldest son) was game. Daughter and youngest son were game. Middle son arrived home from Papua New Guinea mission trip and I broached the subject with him...he was in. I had it all planned. We drove to the nearest park and ride MARTA (subway) station. Left the car there and took public transportation downtown. Walked to the nearest ticket booth. Inquired about available tickets. Randomly picked womens basketball at the Omni. Saw a completely unmemorable game. Walked to Olympic Park. Saw the water fountain. Saw where the Eric Robert Rudolph set off the bomb that killed 2 and wounded 111. (Rudolph later bombed an abortion clinic here in Birmingham) Bought pins, watched people, walked around until we were ready to drop, especially middle son who was still jet lagged. And came home, glad to have been a part of a historical event. I was finally happy. I had gotten myself there.

Soccer game Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama

Middle son, daughter in law, daughter and me at the Omni in Atlanta, GA...guess youngest took this one

Youngest son at Olympic Park

Daughter also at Olympic Park...hope she doesn't see this, she will kill me...not her best picture!

Korean fans and Olympic pins

Better shot of pins
Please forgive the quality of these pictures. They were taken pre-digital, so I was unable to see how bad there were until after the fact. Then I was stuck with them.

This past Saturday, daughter and I drove over to Atlanta to shop at Ikea (I had a birthday gift card burning a hole in my pocket). While traffic inched though a downtown road resurfacing we took this not so great shot of the Olympic torch and rings outside of Turner Field which was rebuilt on the site of the Centennial Olympic Stadium.

How about that Michael Phelps. He is amazing isn't he? Go Michael!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In A Strange Mood

Remember when I said I would like to have a collection of doll heads? Well, what do you think? Kind of creepy aren't they?

1. dolls heads., 2. Untitled, 3. Doll Head, 4. Waiting to be Dolls, 5. doll with cracked head, 6. Heads-2, 7. Creepy Doll Head, 8. Doll Head on Deck Rail, 9. doll heads, 10. Angels Heads Lot, 11. doll's head, 12. Puppenköpfe, 13. Crowded Heads, 14. Doll Head, 15. my mother's doll, 16. mich's hat

Since I was a child, the thought that toys might have secret lives of their own has always been a fantasy of mine. I loved books about toys coming alive after their owners would go to sleep. They would fill the night with tiny adventures and toy mayhem, but in the morning things would return to normal and the owner would never be the wiser.

Imagine my delight when Pixar made Toy Story. I have seen it a number of times and I still get a kick out of Woody's irritation with Buzz Lightyear's refusal to believe that he is a toy.

Here are some favorite quotes.

Woody (Screaming at Buzz) YOU!! ARE!! A!! TOOYYYYYYY!!!!

Buzz Lightyear
How dare you open a Space Ranger's helmet on an uncharted planet?! My eyeballs could've been sucked from their sockets!

Mr. Potato Head [Mr. Potato Head rearranges his facial features crazily]
Mr. Potato Head
: Hey, Hamm. Look at me, I'm Potasso (while Mr. Potato Head puts his eyes, mouth and nose in a position that reminds a famous Picasso work) Hamm: I don't get it.Mr. Potato Head: You uncultured swine!

Rex "I'm from Mattel. Well, actually I'm from a smaller company that was purchased by Mattel in a leveraged buyout."

Woody is my all time favorite cowboy toy. I have 3 Woody dolls and numerous smaller versions. I even decorate a Christmas tree for my grandkids (really for me) using toys as the ornaments. The majority of the ornaments are Toy Story toys that came with Burger King kids meals. Yep, I ate a lot of burgers and kids fries. And I'm proud of it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Feeling Quiet

I'm not feeling very verbal this week. I don't have anything to share. I just don't have anything to say.

It's a mystery.

Good Old Summertime

Almost wordless Tuesday.

Dreaming about the beach.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

You Might Be

You might be a redneck if have an above ground pool and you fish in it.

You might be a redneck think "trash TV " is something in your backyard.

I hope Alabama isn't the only place you can see this type of thing.

My daughter and I drove up to the B-N-B yesterday...the bent and dent grocery store. I had to stop in the middle of the road and take this picture. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't begin to tell the whole story. There was so much stuff in the yard it defies the imagination.

I'm just saying maybe its time to call one of those reality shows like Clean Sweep or something because they need an Extreme Home Makeover.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Did you watch?

Loved the 2008 synchronized drummers.

Photo credit - Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images

Photo credit - Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Loved the LCD dancer/painters.

Loved the lit globe with the runners circling it.

Photo credit- Xinhua

Be sure to enlarge this picture to see people walking around the globe. How are they doing that?

Photo credit - Xinhua

Loved the movable type printing performance. Fantastic!

Photo credit - Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Loved seeing Li Ning running on air around the stadium carrying the Olympic torch.

Photo credit - Xinhua

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremonies did not disappoint this enthusiast.

How about you?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Please Send Me Some Work!!!

Dang, but it is too quiet this week at work. This economic downturn is killing me. Without oodles of work to distract me, look what I spend my time doing!

...Trying to take a decent picture of myself. I always look weird, or like a deer caught in headlights or I twist my mouth up funny....anyway I hate almost every picture of myself. Well, I been thinking, maybe if I take enough photos while I practice relaxing and acting natural, maybe I can train myself to stop looking like Goofy.

What do you think?
Am I getting anywhere with this theory?

No really, that wasn't what I was doing. Okay, it all started like this: You might have read what Muse Swings had to say here, "I never feel comfortable in the business world, and I've been in it (with a few interruptions)for 45 years. I always feel like I'm just an actor in a Kabuki theater presentation."

And maybe you read my reply too, "Kabuki theater...what a great visual you've given me Muse...when you see me smiling to myself today you can be sure I will be seeing myself as a Kabuki actor. I'll be the one with a big red frown yowling at the heavens!"

So I get to work today and it is so slow, so slow in fact that I start thinking about being that Kabuki actor on the big stage of life.

First I draw myself as an say...but you look like a man....only men were allowed to act in kabuki theater. Here is how I see myself.

Scary enough? Do I look about to yowl any minute? Then I decide to make a self portrait...myself as the inspiration....

How about with my brow lifted like this?

No, not mean enough looking yet. How about now?

Heck I don't look scary...I just still look like Goofy.

Maybe I'll try taking an artsy reflection in a Diet Coke can...what do you think, museum worthy? No?

Oh well, I may as well try relaxing and see if I can get a decent shot of myself now that the camera is out and all pretense of work is forgotten.

First, I try a coquettish wink at the camera....what? You say you never would have recognized that as a wink? Well, I never!

After 15 or so attempts I do manage to take these two fairly, moderately, okayish pictures.

And this full smile....which I never do for the camera because this is usually when my mouth begins to twist upwards to the right and then my left eye gets smaller and smaller and all the winkles on my neck inflate to twice their normal pucker and my nose widens and ........well you get the picture don't you?

Well anyway, here I am in all of my unphotogenic glory.

I managed to do all the work on my desk today, including some busy work I manufactured to look productive. But this afternoon I found myself with too much time on my hands again. So I decided to redecorate my computer. I'll leave you with a glimpse of my new digs.

Meet Chic Clotile. She was inspired by all the talk of cloches over at Ladies Historical Tea Society. She seems like she is looking down on me a little. She probably doesn't approve of such high jinks going on in the workplace.

And here is Somber Simone. She is disappointed in me I think. And perhaps a little worried that I'm not taking my job serious enough. Oh, I take it serious hon, don't worry a bit....I just need some work to occupy my restless brain. (her hat isn't as stylish as Clotile's, she thinks fashion is a frivolous distraction in the office)

Here they are in their new positions, right where they can keep an eye on me.

I promise to behave better tomorrow girls!