Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

1. MACY'S FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS, 2. WATERMELON EATER, 3. First Class, 4. Happy Birthday America!, 5. 4th of July in Washington, DC, 6. wearing the colors on the 4th (les pensées texanes #9), 7. VET DAY PARADE KIDS, 8. Happy 4th of July, 9. The Shining City on the Hill, 10. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY ..... LET'S CELEBRATE!, 11. Happy Fourth of July, 12. Sailor's Salute 2, 13. even uncle sam needs a little help sometimes..., 14. Red White & Blue, 15. I'd hate to be the guy who has to clean this up, 16. American Pride, 17. ready for the parade (4th of july tour 02), 18. Independence Day Celebration in Iraq, 19. Statue of Liberty 2009, 20. Americana puppy

I was wondering what everyone has planned for the 4th? I'm going over to my brother's for a cookout.

Anyone have a parade planned? How about a concert in the park? Attending the Boston Pops 4th celebration in on my bucket list. Have you got plans to camp out this weekend. How about going to the lake?

Whatever you do, have fun, be safe and remember to give thanks for the freedom we enjoy in this nation.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Like

  • I like burnt popcorn
  • I like the part of the cheese on cheese toast that runs over the edge and gets hard and toasty while you're cooking it.
  • I like re-runs of the Gilmore Girls.
  • I like getting a cherry limeaide from Sonic.
  • I like slipping under cool sheets on a hot night.
  • I like well done steaks.
  • I like hearing crickets sing at night.
  • I like going on long drives.
  • I like the way a full moon lights the night with silver light.
  • I like movie popcorn.
  • I like porch swings.
  • I like Toy Story toys.
  • I like sitting in the dark.
  • I like butter pecan ice cream....and rocky road.
  • I like interesting people and intelligent conversations.
  • I like using the internet to find out everything I want to know.
  • I like using the internet to see what creative people are up to now.
  • I like using the internet like a dictionary.
  • I like itunes.
  • I like air-conditioners.
  • I like eating a fresh peach over the catch the drips of juice as they run off my chin.
I really want to know. What are your current likes?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Week in a Nutshell

I haven't posted much because nothing much has been happening around here.

I'm still jobless.

Mowed some.

fantasized about owning one of these beauties...mama's little yard helper

I met my DIL and the grands for lunch on Tuesday.

I'm determined to finish crocheting a baby blanket, whose supplies were bought at least 5 years I'm crocheting endlessly.

I went to lunch with my former female co-workers on Thursday.

I babysat for Elijah on Friday.

he thinks he's big stuff sitting in this chair all by himself

Rachel and I went shopping at the Bent and Dent yesterday. It is a metal building out in the country full of seconds, rejects, etc. I picked up Belgium butter cookies, 3 boxes of biscotti, 3 jars of pesto, some Chex cereal, Louisiana hot sauce, 2 boxes of sweet and salty granola bars and wheat bran for muffins....all for under $18. Next stop, the local fresh food market for peaches, tomatoes, beans, peas, and a watermelon. After that a fast dash through the grocery store for a few more things.

I made a onion tart, some zucchini corn muffins, baked pork chops and cooked/burnt the beans.

We ate our yummy supper while we watched Chris Rock's documentary (Good Hair) about the way black women think about their hair.

She left early and I spent the rest of the evening crocheting. I hope I finish the blanket soon because I'm tried of being obsessed with it. While I work, I'm watching HGTV endlessly. The upshot of that is now I want to redecorate my living room.

But not until I finish the blanket.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Nice Way to Spend/Waste the Afternoon

I drove down my favorite back roads today. Portions of the drive winds through a dip between two mountains. It's dark and cool. I rolled the windows down in order to hear the birds and crickets. I was reminded of driving through the Smokie Mountains.

I spent the rest of the afternoon manipulating photos I took. I love Photoshop, being off work and being free to roam.

I tried to make my photos look painterly.

How about you? Do you ever drive down favorite roads just for the joy of it?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Regret and Gratitute

Regret and gratitude in one's life are made up of the people and events that cut deep and wound mightily, but are healed by the salve of love and gratefulness.

I regret not being a better judge of character in my youth.
I regret marrying my ex.
I regret not thinking better of myself.
I regret wasting so much time.
I regret being so sedentary.
I regret not being more outspoken.
I regret not going to college after high school.
I regret not taking more chances, not challenging myself to be more, be better.
I regret not setting goals for myself.

I do not regret loving my husband (even though he did not return the sentiment).
I do not regret having my four children (even though it was hard sometimes).
I do not regret being transparent and letting people into my life (even though some took advantage).
I do not regret reading all those books (which my ex hated me for).
I do not regret staying home with my children and not working (even though I would have been better prepared for single life if I had worked outside the home).
I do not regret having to go to college as a 40+ year old (I probably learned more than I would have at 18).
I do not regret being a spontaneous here-in-the-moment person (even though having goals would have been better sometimes).

I am thankful for my parents, for the lessons I learned from them and the ones I learned in spite of them.
I am thankful to God for answering my prayers and enabling me to see clearly during all the times life blindsided me.
I am thankful for the adults my children have grown to be in spite of all the obstacles in their paths.
I am thankful for blue skies and sunny days.
I am thankful for the refreshing cool breezes of spring and fall.
I am thankful for the buzz of insects on hot summer nights.
I am thankful for the sound of birds singing in the trees.
I am thankful for my friend's love and care.
I am thankful for the love of my children and the smiles and hugs of my grandchildren.

and like my youngest son used to add to every prayer

Thank you God for red chairs and teddy bears.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Portrait of Contempt

she might have ice in her veins

Having more fun with Photoshop. I believe the photo is from Google News.
I saved it months ago because I was fascinated with her expression. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that look.

Wish I could get a job doing this all day long.

Self Portrait in Yellow

I photoshopped myself last night using some filters and some painting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Snail Mail

I believe everyone likes the thrill of opening their mailboxes and
finding something other than bills or junk mail. I know I do. Email is great for quick communication and I wouldn't want to go back to not having it, but there is nothing like receiving a letter, a birthday or greeting card or a postcard by mail.

Postcrossing is an online site you can join to send and receive postcards from all over the world. After signing up, you are given up to 5 names and addresses to mail your first cards to. When those cards are received and registered on the site, your address will be given to a random Postcrosser who will then mail you a card. It's as easy as send a card/receive a card.

International postage is .98 and the postcard rate in the USA is .27. Postcards can be bought at a variety of places....local tourist spots, museums, bookstores, even in Wal-Mart.

postcards I've sent

postcards I've received

I've you are interested in receiving interesting snail mail on a regular basis please check out Postcrossing.

ps....I'm using a web-site one of my sons is developing to make my collages. As soon as he works out all the bugs I will post the address. His goal is to make the site super easy to use.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Go

As Robert Burns said...."the best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry."

Yesterday after driving all the way over there, we discovered that the Splash Pad is closed on Mondays for maintenance. So we all trekked back to Aunt Rachel's for a go in her backyard water park and homemade slip and slide. I think everyone had a good time despite our foiled plans.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Snow on the Roof?

For those of you of a certain age (as I am) do you manage your gray hair?

I have never dyed my hair and I'm reluctant to start now...okay, I'm too lazy to start now. The upkeep is what I'm trying to avoid. But lately, I've been seeing more and more silver glinting back at me when I stand in front of the mirror. And now that I'm looking for another job, I don't want to give any perspective employers the idea that I'm old (heaven forbid that!).

So what is a lazy unemployed girl to do? Break out the Sun-In. If your hair is
dirty blonde to brown like mine, try my trick. So far, applying Sun-In 2 or 3 times a year lightens my hair enough to fool the eye. You're not sure if you see super blonde hairs or gray.

At least that's what I tell myself!

For the record, my 56th birthday is tomorrow. Happy Flag Day!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wildflower Review

On my way to do some errands yesterday, I stopped to take photos of wildflowers that have sprung up in an ugly dirt field nearby. I find it amazing that wildflowers will grow in the most inhospitable spots, but almost never in your own tended garden.

Daucus carota - Queen Anne's Lace It was a surprise to me to discover that this common wildflower is a part of the carrot family.

Can you see the surrounding bare dirt spots? That black line is builder's plastic that was put down to keep dirt from washing onto the road when it rains.

When they are beginning to open, these delicate flowers look like snowflakes to me.

I love the rolled-up bird's nest look as they have right before they begin to unfold.

Hippocrates prescribed a teaspoon of the crushed seeds of this wildflower as a contraceptive. Research has shown that wild carrot impedes the implantation process and offers some confirmation of the plant's effectiveness as a birth control. But, I wouldn't run out and test that on myself because the plant closely resembles hemlock, which is highly poisonous.

Passiflora incarnata - Purple passionflower This is the Tennessee state wildflower. Legend is that the Cherokee Indians called this flower Ocoee, which is where the Ocoee River got it's name.

Close by, growing in the same barren soil, was this pretty passionflower. One of the websites I used to identify this flower said that it likes clay soil and tolerates full sun and heat...which is just what it found in this spot.

Coreopsis tinctoria - common name, golden tickseed The fact that it's part of the aster family is about all the info I could find on this little beauty.

Notice that this flower is growing out of the pavement next to the edge of the road. Why, oh why don't they pop up in my garden like this?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It Smells Like Rain

You know the always reminds me of fresh dirt. That pleasant earthy smell is caused by the bacteria, Actinomycetes, which is found forest liter or compost. It grows as a filamentous white thread in soil. The bacteria produces spores in dry soil, which rain drops splash upward upon contact. These spores become airborne carrying the scent with them. This bacteria is found in soil all over the world which is why this is a universal phenomenon. The bacteria thrives in moist soil, but the spores are released when the soil dries out, which accounts for the fact that that "rain" smell is strongest after a dry spell.

Scientists have discovered that getting your hands in soil may help lift your mood. The bacterium Mycobaterium vaccae found in dirt may have antidepressant properties which activate serotonin in the brain.

Is a little dirt good for us? Is our general good health and well-being boosted by germs found in everyday dirt? Yes, is the resounding answer from scientists.

In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers are concluding that organisms like the millions of bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with “dirt” spur the development of a healthy immune system. Several continuing studies suggest that worms may help to redirect an immune system that has gone awry and resulted in autoimmune disorder, allergies and asthma.

As you might imagine, children who grow up on farms are frequently exposed to worms and other organisms from farm animals. But did you know that these children are much less likely to develop allergies and autoimmune diseases than children raise on a steady diet of hand sanitizers and ultra cleanliness?

Dirt cakes and cupcakes decorated with sprinkles...mmmm.
Remember the fun of dirt cooking?

I think it might be time for me to get outside and get my hands in the dirt. What can it hurt? I might feel better and my flowers will appreciate the care.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Magpie 17

Open mouths
garbled words
layered orations, his and mine
monologues of love and hate
rants and raves
silly and sad
coupled in wedlock
connectionless contact
divorced, invectiveness released
wordless peace
separate soliloquies of accord


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Friday, June 4, 2010

After 13 Hours in the Car...I'm Home Again!

sweet home Alabama

I have to say that from the four states I drove through to return home yesterday, Alabama is the prettiest. We have hills and mountains. We have plains and valleys and fields of cotton and corn and soybeans. We have tall trees and short ones and bushes and flowers and everything in between. We have beaches too. If we could just get rid of the humidity!

Texas is a flat state

...oh yeah, they might have their hill country...I'd call it lumps on the landscape...they call it hills. The girls and I made up a song as we drove...

Texas is a flat state.
Texas is a pancake.
Texas is a hotcake
In the summer!

Sung with a Texas twang!

It was 97 when we got there!

under an oleander bush at the Texas Welcome Station...only 5 more hours to go!

I sure will miss these silly faces!

Now, on to my next task....finding a job!