Sunday, December 23, 2012

On the Other Hand...

At the risk of seeming completely crazy, and because I have received so many encouraging comments and suggestions regarding my blog, including some prodding from my husband, I have decided not to totally "retire" from blogging, but just to put things on hold, and post when I feel I have something interesting to contribute.

Thank you to all who made the suggestions, and made me feel that I would be missed. long post today.  Just a heartfelt thank you, and a Very Merry Christmas to all!

See you around...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Swan Song

Swan on the Carrowbeg River, Westport, Ireland
It is confession time for me - after much thought and deliberation, pondering and wondering - I have concluded that I am going to "retire" from blogging.  I have been pretty absent for the last few months anyway, so this is sort of like a "no big surprise", but there it is, I've said it!

My foray into the world of blogging began like I begin all projects - gung-ho, full speed ahead, pull out all the stops.  I immersed myself in finding memes to participate in, trying to build up my readership, following blogs.  For a time, I even had another blog, just so I could participate in more memes.  At my ripe old age, you would think I would have learned the process by now, but apparently, I have not.  Anything that starts out like that for me, usually runs out of steam pretty soon.  It didn't take long for me to be spending 3 hours a day blogging - preparing, reading, commenting.

And then there were the photos that I had to find for each blog.  I spent many days roaming the countryside, camera in hand, looking for something to fit a particular idea I had.  It was great fun...until it became work!

In the meantime, Dan had his heart attack, with all the subsequent health issues, then his pacemaker.  I lost a cousin to suicide - the 3rd member of my family to take their own life since 2000.  I struggled with my extreme disappointment in the election results and worried about the future of the country.  Then there was Sandy Hook, another in a long line of senseless acts of violence.  I can't even watch the news any longer.

All of that, while battling my old demon, depression, has left me in a place where having to think hard to have something worth saying has become impossible.  Well, maybe not impossible, but certainly hard, and highly unlikely.

In addition to this, we are traveling more now, often in places where it is not easy to get online to post, or read.  I will be traveling to Ireland early next year to start up a project, and will likely be gone a month.  (I know - that's such a rough job!)  I will also accompany my daughter-in-law and grandson to Thailand for a month in the summer, to help her while she undergoes surgery to remove the bullet that has been lodged in her back since 1999 (victim of a drive-by shooting).

So, in keeping with my extreme preference for quitting before people beg you to go away, I am shutting down my blog.  I can truly say I have enjoyed reading the blogs, seeing the photos, and sharing the lives of the people I have "met".  It is an experience I would have hated to miss.

This next Wordless Wednesday will also be the last.  If someone wants to take it on, please do.  It has been great fun.

I leave you with wishes for all the best things in life.  May you walk in sunshine.  Peace and love to all of you!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Mural

The mural, "Jennie Reninger - A Remarkable Woman", is located in Lake Placid, FL and was completed in 2004.  It is 50' wide by 10' high and is on the side of Personal Rehab, Inc. on S. Main.

Jennie Reninger was born in Zion City, IL in 1903.  She lived a remarkable life, working as a rancher, real estate broker, farmer, and Easter lily grower, among other things.  She and her family had lost everything during the depression and lived in a one room shack.  She wrote a column for a newspaper, increasing their circulation by 50%.  She founded the Easter lily industry in Lake Placid from a gift of 14 bulbs.  They multiplied into 12 acres and the Reningers became wealthy during the war when Japan no longer exported lilies.

Someone set fire to her barn and destroyed $30,000 worth of bulbs.  Then a new grower brought in some diseased planting stock that introduced a virus disease that caused spotting on the lilies.  The end of the lily business came about during a big freeze.  Near the end of her ranching days, she bought a head of purebred Brahman cattle that grazed on her 63-acre ranch.  She was given the title "Good Will Ambassador and Official Greeter" by the Maggie Valley, NC Chamber of Commerce, and lived to the ripe old age of 94.

She took a challenge to ride a bucking bull in a rodeo and won $1 for her efforts.  She could take a cigarette out of your mouth with her whip, or strike a match from 10 feet away.

There are 4 things, in each corner of the mural, that represent parts of her life - a freighter, typewriter, bucking bull, and a vehicle.  Jennie truly was a remarkable woman.

Linking to Monday Murals.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Colonial Beach Mural

We took a quick trip to Colonial Beach, VA this past weekend - great looking little beach town on the Potomac River, on the Northern Neck of Virginia. Of course, in October, most beach towns in this area are pretty quiet, and Colonial Beach was no exception. We did enjoy driving through the town, noticing the use of golf carts everywhere, even at the Police Station!

This mural was a community effort, initiated by the Town, and executed by members of the Colonial Beach Artist Guild with assistance from local volunteers.
The overview
Right Side
Left Side
The design was provided by Robin Schick and is based on Seurat's "Sunday in the Park".  There were modifications suggested by other members and the project was managed by Robin and Doris Barbee.  It was completed within a month.

This photo shows the mural as you face the river.
This last mural is a small painting just to the right of the larger mural - another lovely scene.  I loved the use of the painted frame around it.

Linking to Monday Murals.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Mural

In December, 1930, the local newspaper headlined that the Lake Placid Phone Exchange would soon be ready - with the equipment installed and 60 homes wired and ready to go.  A PBX board was used until 1935.

Florence Booker came to Lake Placid to become the town's first PBX operator.  She operated it during the day and her daughter, Mildred, a high school student, answered the night calls.  It was not uncommon for people to call Florence and tell her they were going somewhere and ask her to forward their calls.  Then they would let her know when they were coming home.  If you needed to know anything, you called her.
This mural represents a phone call between Dr. Dewey's wife (you can read about Dr. Dewey here) and Dr. Eide (read about Dr. Eide here) the day after Christmas in 1931.  Dr. Dewey suffered a stroke and never fully regained consciousness.

This mural is 60' wide by 11' high and was completed in 2001.  A child's play telephone is hidden in the mural.

Linking to Monday Murals.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I Need a Break!

After struggling for several weeks to keep up with my blogging, posting, following and commenting, I am feeling totally overwhelmed!  Dan and I are getting ready to enter a busy travel time - planning to be gone most of October and November, going to some places that are familiar to us - like Charleston, SC for our anniversary in November, and Florida to visit Mom;  others that are familiar to me but not to Dan - like Newbern, NC.  Then there are places that neither of us have ever been - Cape Cod, MA; Colonial Beach, VA.  With the health difficulties of this past year, we are both really looking forward to the trips.

SO...I will post when I can and when I have something worth posting.  I will still host Wordless Wednesday Again and I still will read and comment as I am able, but I have decided that I am not going to put so much stress on myself to post daily like I have been. I know I am not alone in this dilemna. Blogging has been fun - and I want it to continue to be fun!

For me, this says it all...
I am heading out to leave a trail....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thursday Theme Song

There's a Long, Long Trail
A bit of history on the song:  though it has long been associated with WWI (and I am sure ALL of you remember that war!), it was actually written to be sung at a fraternity banquet the year before the war was declared -  in 1913, by a pair of Yale undergrads.  I tried to find a decent audio file of the song for those who don't know it, but most of them were not great quality...I have included one of them at the end, if you want to listen.

There's a long, long trail a-winding
Into the land of my dreams,
Where the nightingales are singing
And a white moon beams.
There's a long, long night of waiting
Until my dreams all come true;
Till the day when I'll be going down
That long, long trail with you.
The song can be heard here: There's a Long, Long Trail.

Linking to Anni's Thursday Theme Song.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tuesday's Barns

On Sunday, we took a side road trip to what was billed as a "Wildlife Management Area".  I guess I really didn't know what that meant!  There was nothing but miles and miles of dirt road through a wooded/scrub area and very little wildlife to be seen.  I did see hunters though, which leads me to believe Dan was right when he said that this was an area designated for hunting by lottery...oh and learn.

I did get a few shots of barns, so the side trip was not a total loss!
 I really liked this barn - particularly from this view.
 From this side, there were too many "things" in the way, and it was on the wrong side of the road, so Dan took the photo, trying to keep the 4-wheeler and the truck out of the photo.
This one was home to a horse, who was in the field with his blanket on, but would not turn his head so we could get a shot of anything other than his we opted not to photograph him!

Linking to Barn Charm.

Monday Mural

The mural this week was completed in 2008 and honors Annie Hill, Nurse Mid-Wife for 59 years in Lake Placid, FL.
 She was born in 1891 and died in 1988, at the age of 92.  She worked with the State Board of Health from 1918 until 1976 in the field of Mid-Wifery.  She delivered 1,500 babies during that time, and only resigned her position because of changes in the law.   In addition, she was a strong Christian, a faithful member of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, where she served in many different leadership positions.  She also served in the Masonic Family.
Annie married Deacon James Hill and they had 6 children - 2 sons and 4 daughters.

The mural is 40' wide and 10' high and is located on the side of Dr. Schechtman's office.  In this mural are hidden a "binki", a stethoscope and a wrench.

Linking to Monday Murals.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Reflecting the Light

My quest for a sunrise resulted in some gorgeous reflections on a quiet, still morning at the river.
That light in the distance helped me focus in the pre-dawn hour.

Just another glorious day...
Linking to James' Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Fence for Friday

There is something about this gate that just begs you to wander the road beyond...
 And then there was the companion gate at the next trail...complete with wagon wheels!
I guess they didn't want you driving down the road...there wasn't any fence attached.  I was on a vineyard quest, so I didn't take time to explore any further...besides, the signs didn't exactly make me feel welcome - particularly the one that said the property was "protected by closed circuit TV".  I am not sure what would come after one was spotted on the TV...didn't want to hang around and find out!

Linking to Friday's Fences.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Down in the Boondocks

"Down in the boondocks
Down in the boondocks

People put me down 'cause
That's the side of town I was born in
I love her she loves me but I don't fit in her society
Lord have mercy on the boy from down in the boondocks

Ev'ry night I watch the lights from the house up on the hill
I love a little girl who lives up there and I guess I always will
But I don't dare knock on her door
'Cause her daddy is my boss man
So I have to try to be content
Just to see her when ever I can

One fine day I'll find the way to move from this old shack
I'll hold my head up like a king and I never never will look back
Until that morning I'll work and slave
And I'll save ev'ry dime
But tonight she'll have to steal away
To see me one more time."

Listen to Billy Joe Royal singing Down in the Boondocks here.

Thanks to Anni for the inspiration for this week...linking to her Thursday Theme Song.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fishing in the River

I went down to the photograph the sunrise.  I startled a Great Blue Heron that was on the shore.  Of course, again, because I was only expecting the sunrise, I did not have my 500mm lens.  Drat!  Anyway, at some point, Dan quietly told me that the GBH was fishing not far offshore.  I know the Piankatank River in Gloucester, VA is pretty shallow at low tide, but this was ridiculous!
It wasn't until I downloaded the photos that we realized where he was standing!  See the fence in the water?
I watched him catch and eat 2 fish that morning...all the while wishing for the bigger lens!

Linking to the Bird D'pot and Wild Bird Wednesday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Drive-By Barns

A study in contrasts...
From neglect...
to respect...
 That first barn is the type that always makes me sad.  Obviously a big operation in its day - now allowed to decay and deteriorate.  I always wonder what happened to the people.

Linking to BARN CHARM.