Friday, June 28, 2013

Everybody Needs a Rock

So many excellent books.  So little time.

One of my favorite authors is Byrd Baylor.  I cannot decide which of her amazing desert books to select.  
Byrd Baylor
Source: Byrd Baylor home page
So I will choose this one: Everybody Needs a Rock

You really should read this one, as well:

I'm in Charge of Celebrations

WARNING:  These books are addictive!  You can't read just one!

P.S.  These are technically children books.  BUT the simplicity of the words with the excellent artwork presents as poetry to any discerning eye.  Go ahead!  Give one a go!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

“Wordless Wednesday”?  Why the heck not?  Great idea!  So, in that spirit, here is where I am visiting as you read this.

Sedona, Arizona 4: Here is a series of images from the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Source: dyet
Red Rock: Red rock in Sedona Arizona
Source: betacam
Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde: Mesa Verde cliff palacein the national park, usa
Source: mejones
Cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde 
red rocks in sedona: red rocks from hotel in sedona arizona
Source: betacam

My humble camera and I will not capture such images.  But at least, my mind and words might.  Be back soon.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Queen Anne's Lace

Source: Public Domain
Queen Anne’s Lace
By Mary Leslie Newton
Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has washed her lace
(She chose a summer day)
And hung it in a grassy place
To whiten, if it may.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has left it there,
And slept the dewy night;
Then waked, to find the sunshine fair,
And all the meadows white.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, is dead and gone
(She died a summer’s day),
But left her lace to whiten on
Each weed-entangled way.

Poor Queen Anne--you should access the above Wikipedia site and read about her.  It is really sad, tragic even.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

History = People

“Put me in a library, hand me a book about history and a cup of tea.  Then leave me alone.”

Famous quote, you ask?  No, it is mine.
Concise and precise yet rich with imagination and life, this is how I feel about history and things with a history attached to them. 

Pike County Courthouse, Pittsfield, IL
I “inherited” or “liberated” a book from my mother’s house, with her permission.  It is The History of Pike County, Illinois, and it is dry reading for the most part.  However, it is filled with entries such as this:

Jacob Fesler, farmer, sec. 30; P.O., Eldara; was born in Clark county, Ky., June 8, 1821; came to Pike county in 1835 and settled on sec. 19; he owns 320 acres of land, worth $35 per acre.  Oct. 15, 1846, he married Zerilda Lyons, and their 6 children are: Sarah C., born Aug. 27, 1848; Henry A., Aug. 4, 1850; Adelpha, Nov. 28, 1853; Jane Ann, May 25, 1856; John R., Aug. 2, 1860; Emma E., Jan. 15, 1863.  Both are members of the M.E. Church South, and Mr. F. is a Mason, and in politics a Democrat.

While this entry and others like it are pretty summary in the treatment of Jacob Fesler’s life, it still speaks volumes all on its own.  The stuff of life.

Bring me another cup of tea!  If you please!

P.S.  I am still out and about with my hubby on vacation. Please feel free to leave comments, but I will be unable to respond.  Enjoy June!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Elizabeth George...How dare you!

She slammed the book closed, and threw it across the room.  How DARE you end it this way…! She roared.

Susan steamed and stewed, gazing at the book lying ignominiously on the floor.  Elizabeth George had betrayed her.  Susan had followed the words through over six-hundred pages, barely breathing at different points.  Susan had been faithful in buying these tomes, but this was really going too far.

The guilty book, What Came before He Shot Her, lay quietly on the floor.  What a cruel way to end this…this…mystery… Susan muttered.

She stalked over to the book and scooped it up.  Susan shoved it into its slot in the bookcase, and then she paused.

Well, maybe I will forgive Elizabeth George this one time…as she slid the next book, This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel, from its place.  But she had better not do it again!  All 873 pages and I will be reading each one!!!
A summary of the book...

 Ms. George has published more books since the above shown.  Here is her discussion on Careless in Red.

P.S.  I will be out and about with my hubby on vacation trips.  Please comment!  But I won't be able to reply until I find my computer desk again.  Thanks! Plus, I am not really angry at Elizabeth George...just...a little maybe.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Place for Talent

Writing a post is one thing.  Posting a post is another.  BUT, making that post memorable and visually grabbing is a really huge thing.

I am a simple photographer who has files of quilts and grandchildren.  

Photos of grandeur never occur because I am a simple photographer.  And, items that speak volumes—like an abandoned shopping cart—those are photos that I would not take because I hurry by them.
HOWEVER, there are photographers who see the grandeur in the little things, the simplicity in the grand things, the glory of…you get the idea.

My source for such interesting photos is where an impressive number of contributors provide such wonders.  Today’s post is to introduce some of them to you!

abandoned: dumped and abandoned shopping trolley
Adrian van Leen from Australia aka: TACLUDA
TACLUDA is an acronym for “Take A Closer Look Around”.  My eyes always gravitate to his images.

Nebula: A graphic representation of a red, blue and yellow nebula, with stars.

xymonau is Dez at and again, I find the perspectives to be ones I appreciate.  She is from Australia, and would love to capture photos for anyone in that amazing immense continent.
Bench: A bench in the woods.
RWLinder has been taking photos for 50 years; Bob has a great view for nature and national images.

wow: I'm prettier viewed in the large version...

fishmonk: Dan Shirley
Fishmonk focuses on the small and creates an incredible universe.

doors of abandoned toilets: doors of the abandoned toilette of a little railway station
Eve Blackwood
EveBlackwood is from Italy; her photos peruse the European land and city scapes.  She senses the change in time and the past intersecting with the present.

Soooo...I hope you will take a look at these photographers, appreciate their eye and abilities.  

p.s.  I will be out and about on vacation, so I won't be responding to comments.  Hopefully y'all will come back for posts like this information and praise post.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Extreme Work Ethic

A rapidly moving trail of ants signaled something big was happening.  Fortunately, the “big” event was happening outside, on the concrete by the pool.

Ants are amazing creatures.  They are industrious; they work together; they don’t pay taxes; and, they are relentless when it comes to food.

These are a series of photos taken when the source of food was picked clean. 

Can you see what it is?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Virtue Limited

Nebula: A graphic representation of a red, blue and yellow nebula, with stars.
Source: xymonau
A flannel-soft night erased frayed edges of day, leaving Evangeline to contemplate how her virtuous life revealed her inching towards the end of life.
All the luxuries I have denied myself…all the delights of the flesh…

Gazing out at the black sky, at the donuts of stars several life times removed, Evangeline considered her life to be a multiple of cartoons played out in black and white.

Damn.  She considered, grabbing the car keys and the big wad of cash from under the mattress.  I’m going to ‘Vegas.

Virtue has its limits.  

Welcome to Sin City: no description
Source: jaylopez
Many thanks to Delores at thefeatherednest who instigated/started this Wednesday Words Challenge.  Please go to her site, where she has participants on her right sidebar.  

"Donuts" and "cartoons' were out there, Delores!!  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mind Mined Out

Old mine ruin: Taken in August 2009, Nevada, USA.
Source: Izabelha
Mind gone dry,
Mined too many times.

Rocks crumble
From inside the hill.

Nothing left to pick at
With an non-existent

Wind echoes
Through empty caverns,

Taking wisps of ideas
Leaving dry husks

In which

Only a throbbing sound
Is heard.


abandoned: dumped and abandoned shopping trolley

Monday, June 10, 2013

Made sharp by Faith

Front: Robert, Mary, Mom and Dad; Back: Susan, Bill, and Don   about 1967...oh, the hair-do's of the day...

Originally, the family had five children, who became five adults.  Once a year a few of them would manage to meet together from the reaches of Pacific to Atlantic.  Robert was the stalwart lynch pin who lived near the "folks", told the stories, and looked forward when the others returned.

Then Robert died, at age 46.

"Coming home" was now a different matter.  The siblings felt the absence of this brother.  

There was one who never came home; never--well, seldom.  Once in ten years, and then another time a few years later.  That was Bill.

When Bill died, there were only three left: Donald (the eldest and now only brother), Susan (the pushy middle child) and Mary (the youngest and most stubborn).  Don was the one who helped Robert in his last days, since he lived only 90 miles away.  He helped the folks in their grieving.  He flew to Louisiana to bring Bill "home" to be buried.

When our mother was dying, Don was there almost every day, holding her hand, taking care of her wishes.

Don is now the lynch pin.  This is what he recently wrote to me, and he has given me permission to publish it.  God bless this man, my oldest brother, my friend.

Had an emotional day which started three weeks ago with (grandson) Aaron’s confirmation service.  If you saw my Facebook entry, there is a picture of Aaron kneeling at an altar wearing a stole he made in the course of class activities.  His pastors have their hands on him, and he is surrounded by his mom and dad.  What a moment; they call on God to bless Aaron in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Photo: Grandson, Aaron, recieving a blessing at the confirmation ceremony, Chatham United Methodist.
Grandson Aaron
I worship with them after my (ministerial) time at Loami Church.  I constantly hear from my friends of the contributions of Jeremy and his family to the community of faith.  One senior citizen told me of a conversation with Aaron, which was closed with Aaron saying, “I will pray for you”.  Jeremy plays his trumpet in the praise band.  During the sermon he sits with me.  This is no play-acting, but real discipleship is lived out in their lives.

Three weeks ago I wrenched my back at the lumbar 5 and 6.  This time was the worst pain I have ever felt.  I got meds for pain and still went to the hospital for relief.

I became depressed.  Every move hurt.  Muscles spasms kept relief at bay.

I suffered through our Loami Church breakfast, only to have a slight mishap on the way to the platform.  A church member helped and moved a chair to the center of the platform from which I led the service.  After my concluding blessing, a member gathered everyone to the front and then “laid hands” on me, with voice supplications for healing.  What a moment!

So I went straight home, and with an hour to kill, I read your blogs.

Your description of grief over our brother Bill, and the consolation offered by your granddaughter really overwhelmed me.  All I have experienced in the last month was felt in that verbal visual of a child holding you until you feel better.

We wonder why we suffer, and theology gives me the answer.  The difference between being a victim or a victor is defined in the moments you and I have shared on this page.  Somewhere in the experience is an awareness of LOVE, ill-defined by language, theology, or any human description.  But it is made sharp by faith: we have seen the face of God.
Donald Peck
The Lynch Pin

Friday, June 7, 2013

Who Was She?

Who was she? 

Susan slowly unfolded the unfinished quilt in Grandpa’s Antique Store and then gasped.  An experienced quilter would have to gasp at this rare find; no other response would have done it justice.

Fabrics from seven decades flowed along carefully stitched seams.  Curved elegantly and precisely pointed, this simple quilt top spoke of its creator. 

Tiny even stitches...

Who was she?

Flipping the pieced fabric revealed tiny even hand-stitches, done patiently and without hesitation.  The knots were tight, almost invisible.

“Look!” Susan called to her husband, who was handling rusted knives and axes.  “See this!”  She ran her fingers long the flowing ‘Apple Core’ design. 

“Uh, huh…” John answered, glancing briefly at the cascading fabric.

Carefully planned color flow...See how the points meet and the line travels ...

“See how she considered the colors and the designs!  Pink moves to pink and gray floral, moves to gray and blue, then to blue and yellow!  It is…”

But John had moved on to bronze casted statues.

Who was she?  How could she ever let this go?  Who would dare to give it away to be sold?

Pink floral, to pink, to black to blue...So much thought was given to this...

‘Forty-dollars!  Only forty dollars?’ Susan gathered and reverently folded the quilt. 

Forty-dollars for a masterpiece. 

The masterpiece is being quilted by more capable hands than mine.  In a few weeks, I will bring it to my home.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wednesday Words: Regina and Reginald

Ruined House B&W: Im happy for anyone to use any of my shots restriction free. I would only ask that they not be used for political, sexual or hate purposes, in keeping with the spirit of SXC.Also I would appreciate a quick mail to let me know how you've used the shot, jus
Source: stevek
The twins had lived their eighty years in the same house, each claiming their own half. 

Dreamy Hearts: A beautiful dreamy abstract of hearts and flowers in shades of pink and purple. Looks better in the large version.
Source: xymonau
Regina was inclined toward the luxurious while Reginald preferred the “house in decline” style.  Her rooms were divine in their pink and purple valentines.  Reginald preferred manly pine walls where the heads of leonine and bovine animals were stuffed and preserved.

Buffalo: Buffalo in Custer State Park, Custer, SD
Source: midwest

Unknown to both, clandestine termites were burrowing through the supports with machine dedication and engine –like industry.

termite terror: termite close-up on termite damaged wood

What once had been a place enshrined by money and obsession soon fell into ruin, collapsing into a ravine.  Regina’s screams and Reginald’s roaring obscenities disappeared in the rubble.

Delores @thefeatherednest really made this week's words a true challenge.  But...I do love a challenge!  Check out her post!  Participate in her weekly words!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The McKinley Pack: Conference Time

You've been sent to bed, Porter.

The time had come to discuss the pup’s place in the pack.  

There was no avoiding the intrusion this Benjamin had created in a once-serene den.  Toys once available to Porter and Scrumpy were now “No, put that down!” and then “Go to bed!” where the gate would be closed and they would look through the bars at the crawling Benjamin.

See this?  It's mine, you can't have it!
Yes, it was time.

Porter was the dominant canine of the two and it was decided that he would handle negotiations. 

The Alpha female presented the time and place.  With anticipation, Porter climbed into the box.

Leave us alone for minute, will you?  The kid and me have somethin' to discuss.

Ideas were shared, thoughts exchanged, and a mutual appreciation of the other rapidly developed.  However, despite clearly expressed questions, the answer was simple.

You may think you know who is in charge...but, it's me!  I'm calling the shots in this pack...

Benjamin was staying.  In fact, Benjamin would eventually surpass his pack mates, and join the Alphas. 

Live with it, Porter, had been the parting sentiment.

Alpha Female Mary with members of the pack

Monday, June 3, 2013

Keep moving, nothing to see here....

angle on pedestrians: looking down on group of tourist pedestrians sauntering along road

Setting: New York City on a muggy June day

Characters: Two naïve parents from out-of-state with their much-wiser 30something son

Plot:  Keep your eyes straight ahead; don’t make eye contact

It was a day like any other on the streets in Manhattan.  A tide of humanity streamed both directions, trying to avoid collisions.  Blank eyes on blank faces flowed in multi-colors.  The rules were simple:  don’t make eye contact and don’t react to anything you might see/smell/hear.  Keep moving, nothing to see here.

On the move: People on the move
Source: johnnyberg

It was after such a day that the two simpleton parents from Podunk-ville returned to the Hotel Pennsylvania.  Defeat dogged their steps and their son’s lecture rang in their ears:  Keep moving….

Wikipedia, God bless 'em!
Macy’s was ever-so-close, and at least there they would feel some freedom to look at the merchandise and express emotion.

The ancient escalator from “Miracle on 34th Street” took them from one floor to the next.  As they started to relax, some teenagers got ahead of them on the few steps up.

The naïve mother found her eyes at butt level with a teenage boy.  Facing his drooping jeans, she read the label on his boxers, which were perilously close to being dragged down by the weight of the jeans.  Oh, God, oh, God…should I yank them the rest of the way?...

Source: The Grio by Anthony Calypso
Keep your eyes straight ahead…but what about “…making butt contact”…?  He/the brilliant son never said anything about that…

The sagging pants phenomena has  always bewildered me.  Go to the listed source for answers, if you have also found yourself staring at boxers in the face.  This site was very good, well written.