Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Things You See Along the Way…

We got back from our trip to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park a couple of days ago and I have been working to get caught up with this and that.  I thought I would share with you a few things we saw along the way.

Somewhere in Pennsylvania, we got off the highway to avoid heavy traffic and passed through a town, which I believe is Pottsville, home of Yuengling beer.  Anyhow, I was taken by this doorway.  The sign above says "Grateful Thread."  Do you suppose they sold clothing or fabric?

Have you been wondering what's happened to Superman lately?  I spotted him hitching a ride somewhere in Virginia.  With the state of the world the way it is right now, I think he needs to wake up and get to work.

Once we got into Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, we were dazzled by all the entertainment possibilities.  Too bad we weren't staying close to there.  I would have liked to know what that pig would have said about the state of my mind.

You know, people always have to write on things.  They just can't seem to help it.  We saw this particular graffiti on a stone wall inside The Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Reminds me of my mother who used to say, "If you have kids, you can't have anything nice." Of course, she got a good crop of nice kids and, you know, she would definitely admit to that.

I think when you are traveling in the mountains and they tell you to downshift, you should do it.  Boy, I can still smell this guy's breaks.

Stopping at one of the information centers for a bathroom break, I decided to  hold my bladder and to take pictures of crows instead.  These guys were arguing with a chicken over the possession of half an apple.  I could have watched them for hours.

And all this happened before we got to our final destination.  I love being on the road.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Celebrating Diversity…

Once a year at the church we attend, we hold a Flower Communion.  The Unitarian Universalist Association describes the service this way:
The Flower Ceremony, sometimes referred to as Flower Communion or Flower Festival, is an annual ritual that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity, and community.

Originally created in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek of Prague, Czechoslovakia, the Flower Ceremony was introduced to the United States by Rev. Maya Capek, Norbert's widow.

In this ceremony, everyone in the congregation brings a flower. Each person places a flower on the altar or in a shared vase. The congregation and minister bless the flowers, and they're redistributed. Each person brings home a different flower than the one they brought.

I look forward to this service every year not only for the beauty of the flowers that people bring, but also for the way it celebrates our uniqueness and diversity, qualities I truly value.

Sharing with you all today the diversity of Mother Nature here in the Northeast USA.

We come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.
Some of us grow in bunches.
Some of us grow alone.
Some of us are cupped inward,
And some of us spread ourselves out wide.
Some of us are old and dried and tougher than we appear.
Some of us are still in bud.
Some of us grow low to the ground,
And some of us stretch toward the sun.
Some of us feel like weeds, sometimes.
Some of us carry seeds, sometimes.
Some of us are prickly, sometimes.
Some of us smell.
And all of us are beautiful.
What a bouquet of people we are!
~Thomas Rhodes

Heading out on the road for a few days tomorrow morning.  Olive, the pug,  is staying home to take care of our son Evan while we are gone.  Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Willy-nilly Friday Five: Paint, water and fantasies…

1.  I mentioned last week that I was going to Brush It Off Paint & Sip Bar in Sturbridge for a night out with the girls.  It was a fun night.  We painted wine bottles that can be threaded with fairy lights and used as a night light or something like that.  Here we are with our bottles:

I think we did a great job!

2.  While I was standing around waiting to leave Brush It off, I noticed that the paint aprons were pretty cool and I took photos of a couple of them.  I think this looks like an intentional modern art painting.

3.  We’re having a very dry spring.  While our problems in the water department are dwarfed by the problems they are having in California, I think it’s interesting that the record-breaking amount of snow we had this year was not enough to keep us from having a spring drought.

4.  On Tuesday this week, I got up early to let the refrigerator repair guy in for the fourth or fifth time in a month.  Our Samsung refrigerator that we bought in August, 2011 had been on the fritz for more than a month for the second time in its short life.  This time, I think he fixed it, but I have no faith that the repair will last.  My Facebook friends have heard all about this travail so I won’t go into the ins and outs of it.  Living without a convenient refrigerator is bad enough, but I am distressed that major appliances, while being so expensive, are so shoddily made as to have a short shelf life.  I know that sadly we have become a “throw away” society, but throwing away something as large as a refrigerator is so very wrong!  It’s not just the “fancy” appliances that this applies to.  We bought a very simple fridge for a condo we own and rent out to our daughter.  It lasted about one month past its warranty and the repairs were so expensive it didn’t make financial sense to do them, so we had to buy a new one.   We shouldn’t have to take this, people, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what to do about it!  Every time I think about this, I can feel my blood pressure rising.
  Okay, rant over.  I need to take a deep breath and clear the air…

5.  Well, I guess it’s fanciful to imagine major appliances that might last at least ten or eleven years.  But one can dream, can’t one?  How about this?  I think I will petition Congress to install a coffee pipeline from our kitchen downstairs to my office upstairs.  Or actually, wouldn’t it be nice if it could just come directly from Dunkin’ Donuts to my office piping hot?  That way I wouldn’t even have to grind the beans.  It’s a thought.  Congress has been known to spend money on stupider things than this, but I’m not going there.  It's a crazy world!

Hooking up with Willy-nilly Friday Five!

Around Roanoke

Late Edition:

Joining up with Friday Greens, too!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Willy-nilly Friday 5: Resurrecting words…

Yesterday while I was going through my notifications on Facebook, one in particular caught my eye.  Its title 15 obsolete words we should still be using really flipped my switch because next to photography, I really love words.  So I decided to willy-nilly a few of them here today and link up with Tanya's Around Roanoke Willy-nilly Friday 5.

1.  Here is Olive, the pug, as she basked in the sun by our slider today.   It reminds her of the apricity (a) she missed this year during the everlasting snow storms we endured.  Looking at this picture reminds me that we must be in denial about spring being here, because Greg’s snow boots still sit there behind her.

2.  Maybe I’m a cockalorum (b), but I think I did a stand up job on this photo.  In reality, I’m just fudgeling (c).  It’s really Mother Nature who did all the work.

3.  Tonight I’m going out with the girls.  We’re going to Enrico’s Brick Oven Pizza for dinner and then on to Brush It Off to paint pussy willow lighted wine bottles.  While at Brush If Off, I will probably restrain myself on the wine consumption, but at Enrico’s I’m planning to be crapulous (d) because they make a fine pizza there and serve a pretty good Chianti.

4.  The magnolia flowers on our tree in the back yard gorgonize (e) me.  I can stand awestruck and stare at them for hours.  Well, maybe not hours, but you know what I mean.

5.  Our two younkers (f) are coming home on Sunday for Mother’s Day.  I want no gifts except the presence of their company.  I will definitely deliciate (g) that evening with my family because we are having another nice meal at our favorite place here in town – Cedar Street Grille.

Whether or not you are a mother, there is probably someone in your life you have it human or canine or feline or other. Whether or not you are connected by blood to your mother or your child, may the sun shine on you this Mother's Day!

a.  Apricity – noun.  The warmth of the sun in winter.
b.  Cockalorum – noun.  A boastful person.
c.  Fudgel – verb.  To pretend to work.
d.  Crapulous – adj.   Characterized by excessive eating or drinking.
e.  Gorgonize – verb.  To have a paralyzing or mesmerizing effect.
f.  Younker – noun.  A young person.
g.  Deliciate – verb.  To enjoy oneself; to indulge in feasting; to revel.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Good Ole Fences…

About a week ago, I had to go somewhere.  I can’t remember where at this point, but I do remember I took the long way home and since I had my camera I looked around for a couple of fences to share with Theresa at The Run*A*Round Ranch Report.

This one’s just a piece of a fence.

And this one is a fence next to a collapsed barn.  Unfortunately, after the winter we had, there are plenty of falling down barns around these parts.

Well, sometimes when you are out poking around, you run across some strange things – like this tire sculpture.

Pretty glamorous for a tire sculpture, don’t you think?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Things are stirring...

I got up in the middle of the night as I often do.  It was the night before the full moon and it was bright out.  Looking out the window and down into the yard, I saw a fox walking across the stone wall in front of our house.  He hesitated right below my window like he knew he was being watched and then sauntered off toward the woods.

The next morning when I went to the garage, I noticed that suet feeder was down on the porch.  It had obviously been pulled off the hook where it hung through the winter.  I think we had a visit from a bear.

Things are stirring around here, folks.  Yep, things are stirring.

Our crabapple tree has set its buds.

The squills are starting to go and the bluets have sprung up.

We even have a tulip blooming.

The magnolia buds are getting ready to burst open.

Of course, the may flies are out, too.  But I'm doing my best to ignore them.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.