Saturday, August 31, 2019

At the Crossroads

Tom Hanks in Castaway, about 1.5 minutes
Hanks is figuring out where to go next. He is superb.

Walking on some streets and sidewalks, I have found myself totally lost. At an intersection where nothing is at all familiar has dropped me in a confusion hell. Where is North or South? East or west? God, please help me. 

Facing decisions like that are scary and I always wondered about all those crossroads humanity has faced and abilities challenged..

Ralph Macchio vs. Steve Via
Cy  Cooder played for Macchio; Macchio is admired for his mime skill.

The final battle, about 5 minutes long. Watch the final minutes if you don't want to see the whole thing.
This movie is Crossroads, a loose story telling of the legendary Robert Johnson where he supposedly sold his soul to the devil in order to have success as a musician. This movie follows the journey of Willie Brown who has done such with his friend Eugene Martone, a classical guitarist at Julliard. Martone saves Willie Brown by offering to play against lead guitarist played by Steve Vai.

Steve Vai practiced for a year to learn how to play badly at the last scene. It was awesome. 

And just for the heck of it, here are two other Devil Gets Your Soul movies:

Charlie Daniel's epic violin and Devil Went Down to Georgia
about 3 minutes long.
Talented musician

Mick Jagger, Sympathy for the Devil
About 8 minutes long
Rolling Stones have put their stamp on this.
No one can beat it.

These performances hang about in my mind even though I am lost at intersections sometimes. My husband usually rescues me, and God provides for me. God holds my soul and heart. Devil does not hang at my intersections.

We are back from Cow Chipping County and had an amazing time. My brother is special to me. We scooped up some cow patties, laughed, ate catfish, and shared our memories. Good times.
Please let me know about crossroads you have had.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Husband and Wife in Home Depot


Upon marriage, it is assumed that each partner knows their station in life: Husband carries the load, seizing opportunities to improve and provide for his family. Wife is released to do everything else, all to cover all bases and support as far as possible and using common sense, her Husband's decisions.

For example, couple heads to Home Depot to purchase stuff for home project. Husband has written in a notebook: screws, nails, bug killer, and a lot of other items.

When Husband walks into Home Depot, he walks aimlessly looking for tools and plumbing.  Where is that... you know, those screws I wanted...He mutters to Wife, who rolls her eyes to heavens above in supplication.

A customer walks inside at a Home Depot store in Peoria, Illinois.
Husband searching aimlessly

Wife steams inside.  She heads over to a stranger in an orange apron.  She pleads the Orange apron woman, Help me!  Please!  Orange apron woman sees Husband, and recognizes that look of frustration, and hurries to help Him.

Husband is embarrassed---HE doesn't need help. The woman in the Orange apron tries to help Husband, but he did not write down the size of the screw or the nail. He could remember those damn sizes! Thank you very much!

Meanwhile, Wife has gone ahead to toss those "other items" into the cart, including several rolls of duct tape.  Finally, Orange apron has sorted Husband out, helping him to figure out the screw and nail situation. Husband is pleased.  Wife is relieved. Orange apron chalks it up to just another Husband, lost until found by Wife.

As they head to check-out, Wife turns to Orange apron and mouths "Thank You!" Apron mouths back, "Good luck!" Both shake their heads in commiseration.

Home Depot 2014 Video Winner about 4 min. long

Yes, indeedy, our stations in life are important.

The underlined Wednesday Words are from Delores back in 2016. She is such a clever girl.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Green Grows the Grove

“These trees are old, really old, Aunt Celia!” Buddy whispered to the elderly lady holding his sweet hand.  “They’s older than you, even!”  He skipped to a hidden tune.

“Yes, little boy, I know they are old,” she mused, smiled down at the intense face.  “They were old when I was your age.”

His surprised face turned to laughter as he pictured this old woman skipping.  “Then you know all about the ‘sterious dis’pear’nce of Miss Cassandra!”

“Yes, my dear Buddy, but you tell me all about it, will you?”

Buddy flew into the story of the missing Cassandra, a story handed down to each generation.  Celia hid her chuckles as Buddy threw pirates and ghosts into the simple recounting of a young lady who ran away on eve of her wedding with her fencing instructor, and her “’sterious dis’pear’nce”.  “You reckon Miss Cassandra’ll ever be found?”

When Buddy finished the grand story, both were exhausted.  “Come, little man, let’s rest here a while,” Aunt Celia indicated a bough leaning to the ground.  She perched on the lowest bend, just as Buddy’s dog came bounding by.

His question unanswered, Buddy took off after his pet.

Great-Great-Aunt Celia gazed at the ground beneath her feet, knowing that just a few feet below lay Miss Cassandra in her wedding dress. Oh, well, Cassie. These things happen. You should never had trusted me.

Celia smiled. Life has been good. 

This is photo prompt from Delores in 2012. I think this is from Atlanta, GA.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Walking Strong

Drangey Bird Cliff in North-Iceland and the Viking Grettir the Strong

On the island of βrju Vindúr, life was defined by directions of three winds. A treacherous wind blew in from the ocean, while bitter cold wind swept down from mountains.  Winds from valleys sneaked in over green hills, blasting unexpectedly.

One gust at a time would have been acceptable, but usually two or three gusted through the town of Bakkafjörður all at once.  Merely walking up or down a street necessitated clinging to a wall, or hanging on for dear life on a ship rope strung along streets. 

Needless to say, villagers were noted for exceptional muscular development.  Even so, none could walk up or down streets without assistance.  However, one man had this skill, and he mocked other villagers as he strolled along, hands in pockets, posture straight. His blonde hair waved as winds blew and his muscles bulged. He was gorgeous and he knew it. 

Eiður was such a man.  No humility existed in him.  Pride emanated off him. Oh, how villagers grew to hate him.

He had the chance to leave the island on a ship off-loading goods, ready to on- load sheep and wool for export.  Hopping aboard, he waved at villagers who wished all sorts evil to descend upon him.

Eiður returned after a month with big smiles and stories to tell.  But he had no idea that a month away from three winds had changed him.

He stepped off the ship and was immediately thrown to his hands and knees.  Trying stand up, Eiður found himself again creeping like a dog along streets to his house.  He could not stand.  He could not pull himself up on the ropes. 

From there on, Eiður moved from one spot to another, crawling.  Villagers watched him.  Justification was theirs.

Keldur, where there is still a Viking age floor in the hall.
Company of Heroes

This story is strictly metaphorical. Pride does go before a crawl.

No such island exists in Iceland, altho there are many other amazing islands and landforms! It is on our "Let's go.." list.  My apologies to the native Icelandic speakers. No insult was intended.

We will be heading to visit my brother in Cow Chipping country for a few days. Please leave comments if you can (even though I won't respond) simply because I enjoy hearing from you.

Sjἁumst sἰðar  See you later.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

They fly so fast, Grammy!

A three-year old boy can seldom be depended upon to be still and quiet. He can seldom wait until something will happen, but my grandson Thomas will watch carefully while life buzzes around him. He examines, analyzes, and finds it.

My "girls" (gr-daughters) were eleven and nine at the time, and he thought they were his, that they belonged to him. Between them, they filled our house with joy.

In 2015, my little man walked with me to meet a friend across the street from our house. He and his parental units were visiting from England, so we raced about from ocean to museums to playground to...

But, this day Thomas was mine to enjoy. And that was what we found across the street: amazement.

She wasn't home, but her hummingbirds were. Thomas squatted down quietly like a statue, wordless and eyes wide open. They were there, in their bold flight. Thomas held his hands folded in his lap, watching intently. And I watched him.

We didn't go back, why I don't know. Thomas wanted to see my friend who was gone for a few days. But the hummingbirds were there and we didn't go to see them.

Instead, Thomas ran and played with his cousins. They laughed, threw stuff, read books. I laughed, but I didn't throw stuff.
I watched them, my "girls" and my "little man". Good times.

For the next few postings, we will be heading back to the Cow Chipping Country to visit my brother. Please leave a comment, simply because I like to hear your thoughts. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

On Sandstone Cliffs

For as long as man has lived along the California coast, cliffs have risen high over the sandy beaches, age old cliffs. Now, out on the waves, surfers swim out and surfed in while beaches were busy with families, sand castles, and swimmers. It is the typical California heaven, of which the Beach Boys sang.

Meanwhile the cliffs became a place for the wealthy to perch their mansions. It was a primo place, highly desired.

Decades ago grains of sands that drifted from the cliffs to beach became hunks of sandstone. Bit by bit, the crumbling began. While the cliffs were disintegrating, the El Nino effect hit the beaches hard, worldwide. The cliffs crumbled at an accelerated rate, from the beach up, the cliffs down where they would meet.

read this source
At that time, Dept of California Beaches mandated that beach goers are required to be a distance away from the cliffs. These areas are marked and give warnings. Beach goers are careless and ignore signs. That is why 3 were killed and several injured just ten days ago.  Nature happens and extracts its toll.

One of several warning signs is posted next to the sand rock debris left from Friday's sea cliff collapse that killed three people near the Grandview Beach access stairway in the beach community of Leucadia, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in Encinitas, Calif. A bouquet of flowers has been placed one of the chunks of sand stone. Officials have reopened much of the Southern California beach on Saturday. (Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)
Warning sign
Large ocean storms have pounded the shores. High waves carved out the base of the sand cliffs, forming shallow deep caves. The caves collapse and rockslides happen. This is a tragedy that has happened seven or eight times a year.

Cliffs do not obey the money of the rich. 

Slowly, the cliffs fell until edges were eight feet from the patios, then six feet. The rich owners paid big bucks to prop the whole mess up with steel, concrete, and pilings. But time is time, and they know it.

Several of the buildings were condemned and evacuated in 2010 due to their dangerous proximity to the edge of the bluff. Above, footage from earlier this month as the cliffs crumble into the ocean 
Pacifica, CA August 14, 2019
Go to this source. This collapse is shown in slide show. 
Well, dang it! All those pre-emptive strikes of hoisting up the houses has failed, failed miserably. The rich homes came tumbling down as the caves collapsed. Many still remain but are on precarious footing.

Cliff collapse in Encinitas, California
Three killed, one injured. Visit this site.
Those who build their houses on shifting sand? It doesn't make sense, and people do not possess common sense. 

For the ground bound, who would ignore warning signs and settle onto the shade of the cliffs?  From those people who also lacked common sense, some lounged, looking up to the sky and out to the ocean, not thinking the cliffs behind them were crumbling, grain by grain.

Why this subject erupted is that we went on a bus tour of Malibu yesterday. Off, high up on the cliffs, we could peer at the underside of patios, held in place by timber and steel. Shifting sand.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Families Surround Each Other

Sweet babies bond with sweet dogs:

Dogs sense needs before they are even spoken.

Dogs protect their families. They surround the babies with their love.

And babies surround their dogs with love, too.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Beseeching Light

Theodoor Rombouts (1597-1637) - Prometheus - KMSK Brussel
National Geographic

Indecision, indecision,
Where's the rhythm
Of precision?
For those who lack the sight
To make the cut 
That ends the night.

We are Prometheus
on a wheel,
Revolving in a world
doomed to twist and turn 
and weave
in an endless sea of make believe.

Send to us a Man of Might,
Whose strength
will save us from our plight,
Whose courage
will lift us from our lair,

And will restore to us

The need to care.

The dark night has a thousand eyes
Glittering in the night.
The day has only one 
Burning, scorching our sight. 
The dark night has a thousand eyes

While a blind man has none.


Monday, August 12, 2019

The Shivaree

14th century Charivari
The wedding was all that Brenda hoped for and that her new husband Hal was relieved was over. All the planning that Brenda had spent doing was over in ten minutes. Walking down the wooden plank aisle to the pulpit, being surrounded by his and her families, was painless but embarrassing.

And then there was the reception at Aunt Betty's house where the church ladies brought the best potluck any country community could have produced.

But Hal? Forget the wedding cake made by his mother. Forget the beef pot roast Aunt Betty made. Get me outta here. 

When nightfall neared, Hal experienced an eagerness for this night with his new bride. For two months, Hal had dreamed of this night, when clothes came off, when he leaped into the bed with voluptuous Brenda. Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy.

Lights flickered off and darkness fell. Step one, step two, and then--oh boy--step three.

Step three was about to start until outside every window, the worst racket exploded.

Entire farming community was there, beating pots and pans with utensils. Every child raced around the house yelling and screaming as only children can do. It was a hell of a racket that could not ignore.

Barely pulling on clothes before the invasion, Brenda was bright red and Hal was as furious as any new groom could be when step three was about to commence. Then all his farmer friends and wives burst through the kitchen door, carrying leftovers from the reception. 

When the newly wedded couple emerged from their rumpled bed, cheers went up. Men clapped Hal on the back saying vulgar obscenities. The women embraced Brenda and giggled, whispering unknown words.

When the laughing farming community left after a few hours, newlyweds dropped into their wedding bed. Looking fondly at each other, both agreed that tomorrow morning would be better for step three.


When I was an innocent ten year old, I was part of the screaming children group while my parents carried pots and pans. 

Here is a telling from a man earlier in the 1900s telling how the old shivarees were done:

Artist Larin Thompson depicts a shivaree. From Tennessee Ernie Ford's 'This is My Story, This is My Song.'
Time for a shivaree

From early 1900s, one Kansan recalls when he married, he was "shivareed good":
"Those shivaree clowns and their wives busted right into our house and dragged us out by force. I fought, but it was no use.
They set my young bride in a wheelbarrow that hadn't been greased for years. And they made me push her in the wheelbarrow down our main street to a beer palace. It seemed like miles.
They forced me, and I mean forced, to treat all that crowd to beer and salami and rye bread and to cigars and candy and so on, in fact to about everything eatable and drinkable in the joint.
Then they put my bride back in the wheelbarrow and made me push her home again..." 

Oh, those good old days. 

Ever been part of a shivaree?  Give details.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

A Wish for Wings that Work

Wishes are integral in all our lives, from a child to the elderly. These are wishes of all manner, from minimal to grand, from overt to hidden. We all make or have wishes of our keeping, silent or spoken.

Twinkle, twinkle...I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.

An old child's song, it may be the first wish song all remember.

But this one? A Wish for Wings that Work by Berkeley Breathed, the creator of Bloom County. a comic strip that ran from 1980 - 1989. It is unlike any comic strip of its day, as it featured political issues and personal interactions that were not normal for its time.

Opus is a penguin (the main character in Bloom County) who gazes to the sky and longs to join the ducks that catch the wind, flying high and wide.  All the while, he flaps his penguin wings hopelessly. 

His only flight he can make is in the water where he glides easily. He continually asks and wishes for "wings that work".  The only way to attain these wings is to ask Santa Claus to help him. But Santa develops a problem, one that can be solved by Opus, and Opus alone.

Wishes are still part of our lives. Although we are older, we still make them casually without thinking that they are still true to us, earthbound people who dream to fly in some way.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Members of the Family

Image result for animal pets images
adopt a pet

Over the decades, we have had one dog, some cats, a hamster, and two tarantulas. The tarantulas were named Sergio Bustamante and Martha Rose. The hamster was Max. The cats were Midnight and Scuba. The dog was Buddy. Time passes and so do pets.

Bloggers tend to share their passions, which is just about anything. My passion is that of a story teller, but I promised Sandra I show some photos.

This is a video of a Mexican Red Knee tarantula, like Sergio Bustamante. My
son is an entomologist and he had this and then a Mexican Red Rump, like Martha Rose.
Sergio grew to be huge, bigger than the one you see here. We
had him for 5 years, during that time he grew quite large and his
legs became creepy--long and black, like something out of
a Sci-Fi movie.
We donated him to a pet store where employees clustered around him.


This is Martha Rose. She was with us for about a year. Martha Rose
was one quick spider. We did not form a bond with her. What can I say? 
Eh, it is what it is.

Sorry this photo didn't work out.  Dang, technology.

This is my gr-daughters' dog, Lucy. She now weighs 65 lbs, strong pitbull and chihuahua mix, with dabs of black lab. She has the big eyes when begging. When we are at the table, Lucy noses through the crook of my husband's arm and gets within inches of the food, yet she does not take any. She just gives us those big eyes.
Lucy, lying in an old bed. She still loves it. She looks small here,
but she is strong, 65 lbs. 

This is Buddy, a black/chocolate lab, we had in Ireland. When he came
bounding toward me, I always braced and turned to the side. On cold rainy nights, Buddy lay 
on my feet, basically the only way they would not be ice cold.
He seemed to go a-wandering, getting off his chain, but we thought he was being used for

stud at a farm nearby. 

When we
moved back to California, he had gone a-wandering again. 
No one had seen him
 running around the property.

This is Midnight and his companion (who was there one day, gone the next). Midnight was a big tomcat who headed out for a day or so, and then return.  One time he was gone for several days, and when he returned, it was clear he had been caught in a rat trap. His back skin was almost torn off. The vet said he was a strong cat to be able to survive such an injury. Dr. stitched the injury and we put him into a cage for 6 weeks. Each day I took him out of the cage, cleaned it as Midnight walked around as best he could. Once he was back in the cage, I cleansed the wound and fed him.

Then I sat by the cage and caressed the fur that came through the cage. I told him that soon he would run through the grass, catch mice, and enjoy a cat life. He purred.

When Midnight was freed, he remembered me. He brought me field mice and voles,
laying them at my door.

Lucy is licking off green icing off my nose. She was only 50 lbs. here.
Dang it, again. Damn technology. Photo doesn't show.
Our pets were not outsiders that we possessed: they were part of our family.

P.S. I have no photos of Max-the-hamster. Max was the inspiration for Squeaky's big send-off.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Small Shrines

Farmers walked along this land.

European countries with such centuries of history have, by sheer time, amassed incredible buildings, structures, monuments, and fountains that shout to the visitor:  “I have been here longer than you can imagine!" 

Shrines to the past stand tall, but most visitors do not know what they memorialize. Tourists are there to see, but not to learn. They suffer from camera overload:  so many photo opportunities stand that it is overwhelming to pick and choose. They may try, but there are too many places and things.

We have traveled to Switzerland every summer since 2013. When our daughter gave us a grandson, we hungered to hold him and see him grow. Each time, he taller and soon he was taking us on big adventures of his own making. Now we have his little brother to enjoy.

On the way back to our rented apartment, on the right, each day we passed by a cemetery where tombstones were also made.  On the left, we traveled by clearly ignored shrines of their own, clustered together.

Unlike the grand shrines of historical figures, these shrines require abstract thinking.

I labeled this post "Small Shrines".  

These are stone watering troughs from old farmlands, gathered together  to share the history of the farmers.

An old English telephone booth without its glass, has no phones where a plant had grown. It was there on purpose, I hope.

Each day we walked along the river.

A tree leans along the Aure River, hanging on with its roots until the next snow-melt flood

Sometimes the Small Shrines speak the loudest.
Sometimes one has walk along a river.
Sometimes one has to search for them and sometimes one has
to look to the left.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

2019 Cow Chipping and Sweet Corn Festival Conclusion

Image may contain: plant, grass, sky, flower, tree, outdoor and nature
Where it all started
circle of life
This is a long video/slideshow, about 15 minutes. If you could just skim through it, you'll see an amazing community putting together this big event. It brought  people from around the state and you will see  them enjoying  their time in Chatham.  

And, yes, you will see some cow patties being collected. Little Miss Corn Festival is displaying a winning cow pattie.

Precious children
About 15 minutes slide show

Little Miss and Mr. Sweet Corn Festival and their royal court
Next year. Next year we will be there!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

On the Line

Young woman hanging clothes on a clothesline Stretched Canvas -  (24 x 36)
Buy at Walmart
Wet clothing pinned and clipped on lines

Towels and pants on one high end,
Sheets and shirts other end of twines,
Hanging down low as centers bend.

But, in the middle, too shy to publicly fly,

Hangs the underwear, bleached and white.
Playing hide and seek from those near-by,
Wanting oh-so-badly to take flight.

Oh, for a strong wind to play,

Coming across and sweeping away
The blues, the whites, and the gray,
Onto tractor windows, passing this day.

Bras, panties with hearts, boxers brave

Landing square on a farmer's face,
No dignity there is left to save,
Underwear at last has found a place.

Art of the Clothesline

I have had much experience with laundry on the line, years and years of it.  

I wrote this poem with a head full of memories and my mother's commands to hang the underwear in the middle of the second line, out of sight.  "We don't want neighbors to see what we wear." 

 Neighbors?  The nearest lived a half  a mile away.  The lines were behind the house.  But I was obedient. 

If anyone wants to sing the praises of laundry drying on clothesline, go ahead. I will not be agreeing with you. Too many images carrying laundry basket after each other has left me with a desire to never hang clothes out blowing in the wind. Sorry.

This is a repost from 2015 in A-Z Blogfest, U is for Underwear. Dang it, it was entertaining to my brain to toss around.