Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Random Photo Day + One Sketch

I think it's about time to post some recent randomness.

Reflections of the street in a tiled wall.

Graffiti and flowers on a brick wall.

Two friends pose in front of a sea wall.

You have to enlarge this one to understand why my girlfriend
turned the car around so we could go back for me to
take the picture. After enlarging let me know if you don't get it....hint
think Bible Belt irony.

Playing with reflections.

Upside down right side up.

Redo with colored pencils.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Traverse With Caution

Bang, bam, thump, thud, crack, pound, boom, crash, thwack, smack, pop, smash, wham, bump, wallop, bash, and thunder; these are sounds I will hear for the next couple of months. These big noises are produced by little acorns and larger hickory nuts hitting my roof on their way to the ground. The acorns fall onto the back deck and the hickory nuts land on my front porch and litter the driveway.

They form an obstacle course of slips and falls if accidentally stepped on (especially for my less than surefooted self) into and out of my house. When paired with the aforementioned slimy steps and some wet leaves, an autumn trip to see me is an act of bravery. Perhaps I should post a Visitors Beware sign down by the mailbox.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fallen Leaves

The mottled underside of fallen leaves stopped me literally in my tracks today. After grabbing my camera and taking a few photos, I picked up a few leaves and took them inside with me.

I wanted to try and paint one.

I'm not happy with it. It's overworked and doesn't do the original credit. It's clear to me that I need a lot of practice. It's been a long time since I got out my paints and brushes. I'll have to give this one another try.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day

An overabundance of rain tends to produce a number of interesting things.

Like this:

And this:
Lots of rain also makes my front steps slick with slime. Slime which makes them a hazard. I know how slippery they can be and walk down them carefully and slowly when it has been raining. I've watched more than one person slip on them in the past couple of years and always caution everyone..."Be careful."

My number came up this week. I was taking each wet step one careful step at a time. As I reached the third step from the bottom, I thought with relief, "if I fall now at least I won't break anything." Just as fast as I completed the thought, my feet flew out from under me and I slid down the last three steps. Nothing was broken, but I sure bruised my backside. The good news is that since it was raining, no one was loitering around outside to witness me sitting on the sidewalk trying to collect the contents of my purse along with my pride.

My Scintillating Saturday

It's my turn to work today...can you feel my frustration?

As my co-workers say, we're dialing for dollars.

Sing along with me to the tune of Rawhide (for those of you old enough to remember that old western...wasn't Clint Eastwood McDreamy then?) Everyone now sing with me....Calling, calling, calling. Keep those phones a ringing....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Sometimes, sibling rivalry is made of the sinister machinations of a jealous spirit. Sometimes, it is the serious longing to be not considered one of a group but one alone, someone special in their own right. Sometimes, it is the stuff of simple misunderstanding of motive or action.

Whatever the cause for any lingering division by adulthood, the truth is siblings understand things that no friend ever will. They know things about us that we don't want anyone else to know. Family dynamics are curious things aren't they?


There was more than a fair amount of animosity between these two boys when they were growing up. I am happy to say they have resolved their differences and like each other now....my two oldest sons.

To the outside world we all grow old, but not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. -Clara Ortega

PS. These great photos are from my stash of 'borrowed' pictures from the World Wide Web of Delightful Images. This excludes the last 2 cuties.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rules for Troublemen

Chicago Telephone Company 10/28/1911

B. E. Sunny, President
W.R. Abbott, Superintendent


  1. Put up a good front. It is not necessary to advertise any tailor shop, neither is it necessary to go about your work looking like a coal heaver. Overalls can look as respectable as anything else, but they must at least show that they are on speaking terms with the laundryman, and shoes must have a bowing acquaintance with the bootblack.

  2. Make the liveryman wash and oil your wagon and harness, and do not tie the harness up with wire longer than is necessary to get proper repairs. The same may be said of your suspenders and buttons.

  3. Keep all unnecessary junk out of your wagon.

  4. Don't pitch dry batteries into the bed of your wagon to be hauled around day after day with broken insulators, bolts, wire, pole steps, and what not. Don't neglect to memorize the fact that the supply houses are not running charitable institutions for the benefit of the company.

  5. Go about your business cheerfully and quietly. When you enter a residence don't overlook the floormat. If requested to go around to the back door, don't consider yourself insulted, but try to realize that the lady of the house may not have a maid, and is only trying to save work for herself. Say good morning or evening; it doesn't cost anything and shows you started out right at home.

  6. If compelled to do anything that makes a litter, ask for a newspaper to catch the trash. The lady of the house will be grateful.

  7. Close the door when you go out, not forgetting to shut the front gate.

  8. When you leave be sure you have looked over everything carefully and have anticipated, as far as possible some future trouble.

  9. It is not necessary to tell the lady of the house that her telephone is worn out and no good. She may think as much herself. Tell her that her telephone is as good as anybody's, and back it up by making it so.

  10. If you ever believe that a subscriber is a crank, forget it. All of them are wise enough to tell when a telephone is not working right. Not every troubleman can do this.

  11. Be courteous and polite, and don't be afraid to hand out a little jolly occasionally. It doesn't hurt anybody's feelings to be jollied a little.

  12. Treat everybody as you like to be treated, not forgetting your horse. If you want to feel the horse's side of it, just take off your coat and hat some zero day, hitch yourself to the same post with your belt and stand there about two hours. Hereafter don't forget the horse's blanket.

  13. Don't go pellmell through the streets regardless of pedestrians as though you were going after your salary check. The fact that a man is always in a hurry doesn't always mean that he is accomplishing very much.

  14. Remember that you do more to raise or lower the company's profits per subscriber than anything else except a sleet-storm or a fire, depending on how many times you go back to do the thing that you should have done the first time.

  15. Don't idle away your time, there is always something to do if you will only do it.

  16. Don't forget to report to the proper party things that you see that need attention.

  17. If you will do today what somebody would put off until tomorrow you need not worry about your future.

  18. Cultivate the friendship of the people with whom you do business, it makes friends for the company, and friendship is essential to true success.

  19. Carry yourself with dignity and others will accord it to you.

  20. Study your business and try to improve the quality of your work.

  21. Remember that you are working more nearly on honor than any other employee of the company, considering that necessarily the troubleman has less supervision than other employees, hence you should come across with a square deal.

  22. Report for duty promptly and don't be afraid to work overtime.

  23. If you don't like your job, resign. It will be better for you and the company.

Yours truly,
L. C. Jones, Plant Superintendent

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Beach Trip Sights

Today's post is show without much tell.

Morning sky

I stalked the birdies for some close ups...but they weren't having any of it.
This is as close as I could get.

Washed ashore

Parked for the evening

Catch of the day

Key lime pie for four

With strawberry sauce on top. Yummy delicious.

Overcast, dreary day....this is not a black and white photo folks.
Just a colorless day....

A good time was had by all

We're already talking about next year!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mars vs Venus

I noticed something funny last week. On the way to Gulf Shores the four of us vacationeers stopped for breakfast at Hardees. We ate and talked about all the things women tend to discuss when they get together....friends, family, church, work. You know how it goes. We listen to each others problems and joys. We are happy to offer comfort and smiles of encouragement. We look into each others faces reading body language...knowing what the other one is saying even when they don't express anything out loud.

So while we are deep in conversation, I notice, out of the corner of my eye, a group of guys come in, place their orders and one by one sit down across from us. It was then that I realized our two groups were displaying a perfect illustration of the differences between men and women.

This is what those guys looked like eating their breakfast together:

While this isn't a picture of us at breakfast that morning, we are sitting in the same format that we were that day.....face to face, ready to listen to each other.

"The difference between men and women is that, if given the choice between saving the life of an infant or catching a fly ball, a woman will automatically choose to save the infant, without even considering if there's a man on base." Dave Barry

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slowly...... Getting Back Into The Swing

Sorry for no posts. Apparently I am still on vacation. Mental vacation at least. I'll be back as soon as I unpack my bags and gather my thoughts together.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Party's Over

We were all sad to leave.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009


Before work yesterday morning, I checked the Lens.Us.Together blog for this week's theme. All the way to work, I ran possibilities past my mind's eye. After putting in a half day, I headed to downtown Birmingham. I had decided it might be the best destination to find topics that would fulfill the theme, abandoned. My original plan was to take photos of empty streets since I knew no one would be working on a major holiday.

After driving back and forth, up and down one way streets for 2 1/2 hours, I headed home to download my pictures. As luck (or lack of skill) would have it, none of my street scenes made me happy. I finally decided on the best picture for the theme, posted it and you can see it here if you want to.

Since I have oodles of other pictures, I thought I would post a few of them here.

These two abandoned buildings were in the warehouse district.I think there is a kind of beauty in the deterioration.
The last photo was taken close to home. I drove down a road that has fallen into disuse since a newer larger straighter road was built about 10 years ago. I found abandoned tires, an abandoned boarded up house, lots of potholes, and this....a ladder back chair out in the middle of a field of grass..nothing else around it...no house...no nothing....just the chair....

Second Law of Thermodynamics: the natural progression of the universe
is from order to disorder....everything eventually falls apart.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Musical Afternoon

While he was playing for me I played too.

Big Green Monster of the South

Whole fields have been taken other by the green monster.

The bane of the South was introduced to the US in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. As part of the exposition the Japanese government constructed a garden filled with plants indigenous to their country. American gardeners were captivated by kudzu's large leaves and sweet blooms and began using it as a ornamental plant in their own gardens.

It can be used as feed for animals. Medicines may one day be made from it. Its supple vine can be utilized to make baskets. The blossoms can be made into jellies and syrups.

The Soil Conservation Service advocated the use of kudzu for control of soil erosion in the 1930s. During the Depression, jobs were given to hundreds of men to plant the vine. Farmers were offered incentives to plant fields of it in the 1940s.

I saw this sign the other evening when I was on my way to a nearby
grocery store. It's almost completely eaten up.

Unfortunately, the climate of the Southeastern US proved too beneficial for kudzu. During the summer, its vines can grow as much as a foot a day. They climb trees, power poles, cover abandoned structures, anything they come in contact with. Under perfect conditions they can grow as much as 60 feet a year. Whole forests have been choked to death because the kudzu prevents the trees from getting any sunlight. The vines are almost indestructible taking between 4 to 10 years to be completely destroyed by herbicides.

I thought those of you who don't live here in the South might like to know a little more about where I live. As for me, I hate seeing the stuff take over trees and hillsides.