Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No Surprise Here - it's Barn Charm Tuesday!

Another Tuesday, another barn.  What fun it is to have an excuse to drive out of the city into the country!  "Oh, honey, I have to find another photo for Barn Charm...will you drive me so I can shoot?"  (Works every time!)

This one was taken a few weeks ago, somewhere on Rt. 10, near Smithfield, VA. Just a nicely maintained, functional barn...out in the middle of a field (where else would you expect to find a barn?)

Near Ft. Boykin
The long view

I loved the view with the rows of stubble leading your eye to the barn.

And there you have it...linking to Barn Charm.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ice Blue!

One of the writing prompts I received when browsing Mama Kat's Pretty Much Famous Writer's Workshop this weekend said to list 5 products your father uses (or used) and write a longer piece about at least one of them.  I have been trying to figure out how to incorporate this in the regular writing prompts she sends out on Tuesday, but since she hasn't published the prompts yet, I can't do it.  I felt strongly that I needed to write this one!  So, again, breaking my self-imposed one-blog-a-day rule, I am posting a second one today!

Last week, I wrote about my dad as my hero, so those who saw that post know that he is no longer with us.  However, I clearly remember the things he used!

He used Vitalis hair oil when I was a child.  He used Selsun Blue shampoo,  always used Crest toothpaste (at least as far back as I can remember), and Lavoris mouthwash.  He also used Ice Blue Aqua Velva after shave.  I remember it well.

The first time I ever bought a Christmas gift for my father, by myself (I am sure my mother gave me the money), I bought my dad 2 things.  One of them was a box of chocolate covered cherries which he dearly loved, and the other was a bottle of Ice Blue Aqua Velva.

You know how parents are - especially Dads with their little girls.  You would have thought I had given him a box of gold!  He made such a  big fuss over how much he loved it and how smart I was to know what he liked, that I vowed to do it again the next year.

And, I did.  The next year, and the next year, and the next year, ad infinitum.  Each year, he ate the cherries, and thanked me for the Aqua Velva.  By the time I was about 10 years old, they had started to make Aqua Velva in decorative bottles, so I always looked hard to find something different.  Still, every year, I bought the same 2 items.

When I grew up, married and moved away, Dad always said it wouldn't seem like Christmas without his cherries and his Aqua Velva.  So, he continued to get them.

Fast forward several years...probably about 18 years after I left home.  I was visiting my dad and he asked me to get something for him out of his bathroom, under the sink.  Imagine my surprise, and my chagrin, when I realised he had about 12 boxes of Aqua Velva, unopened, in the cabinet.  When I asked him about it, he just smiled his sweet smile, and said that some traditions were just important.  I never forgot the loving gesture of a man who would rather store unopened bottles of after shave than tell his daughter he didn't need any more!

Monday's Mural

I am in Florida, as promised, but have not made it to Lake Placid yet to photograph more murals.  That will come next week, so be on the lookout for murals to come!

While my mom and I were out the other afternoon, looking for sandhill cranes to photograph, I spied this mural on the side of a church near her house.  We whipped in (on the golf cart) so I could snap this.  Lovely, isn't it?

Linking to Monday Murals.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Reflections

I love photographing reflections, and have been trying to figure out how to participate in the meme over at Weekend Reflections.  So, today, I have decided to alter my usual Sunday post of church photos and participate.  Thanks, James, for the encouragement!  I will figure out how to do everything I want to do, somehow!

This photo was taken at dusk, in Jacksonville, FL last weekend.  I didn't have my tripod with me, since I was traveling by train, so I felt lucky to get this one.

Same view, same time, just different shutter speeds.  I loved the colors in both of these.

Linking to Weekend Reflections.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

More Camera Critters

If I could talk to the animals...I am sure they would be bored to death!  So, I just photograph them instead...

These critters were at the Buffalo Nickel Ranch in Kentucky.  We heard about the farm, and decided to drive out and see the herd.  (No, we didn't make a special trip to Kentucky - we were already there!)  My hubby, never afraid to ask the question, drove into the driveway and knocked on the door of the house to see if we could photograph the herd.  The owner was very gracious, even calling them up to feed treats so we could get to see them up close and personal - behind the fence, of course!  These guys are HUGE!  The owner sells buffalo meat, and gave us some burgers to try.  I have to confess, we haven't tried them yet, although we are told the meat is very tasty.  I think I am going to let Dan be the one to try it...I am not very adventuresome when it comes to my food!
Here's looking at you!

Linking to Camera Critters

Friday, January 27, 2012

Don't Fence Me In!

What is it about a fence that attracts our attention?  Some of them are so decorative, but don't look like they would do much good at keeping people out, or animals in.  Maybe they just mark property lines.  I wonder...

Contrast the fences here in the US, with the fences I saw while in Ireland.  I climbed over several of these types of rock fences to get to the top of a hill for the best view of the island we were visiting.

I think the climb was worth it...what do you say?
Linking to Friday's Fences.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

There Was a Man

There once was a man...a very ordinary sort of man...who started out as a child.

The baby and his mom

He grew, as children usually do.  He went to school...

School days

He became a man.  Then came time for the man to serve his country. 

Serving at Ft. Dix

He married, and had a daughter.
The man  and his first little girl

He joined the State Police Force and moved to a small town in Virginia, where he was part of a 2-man police force, keeping order in a town where little ever happened, other than the occasional belligerent drunk who had to be restrained, or a traffic accident, or a speeding ticket.  There were a few major crimes over the years, but mostly it was a quiet little town with normally law-abiding residents.


He used to love to tell the story about the day he took his wife to lunch in a neighboring town.  He was not on duty at the time, so he was dressed in "civilian" clothes.  A local woman walked up to the table and spoke to his wife, then turned to him and said "Oh, Howard!  I almost didn't recognize you in your clothes!".  You can imagine the thoughts that ran through the minds of everyone within hearing!

He had so many stories, and everyone who knew him always wanted to hear them.  He had mastered the art of story-telling, and would talk as long as you would listen.

After 15 years on the force, he switched directions and became a hairdresser (talk about a change in occupations!).  He had developed an interest in the business when his wife became a hairdresser and opened a salon in their home.  Over the years he owned a series of beauty salons and schools where he trained many women (and some men) in the art of hairdressing.  When asked about the radical change in professions, he often said he much preferred working with women to hauling drunks off to jail...a statement that always seemed to satisfy people's curiosity! 

As time passed, he became father to a son and, much later, another daughter.  He became a grandfather, and eventually a great-grandfather.  He sold his beauty salon and officially retired, but he still traveled to various customers' homes to cut their hair, or give them perms for many years. 

All of his children.

Some of his grandchildren.

The man and the only great grandsons he would ever know.

The man was, I'm sure you've guessed it, my father, my hero.  He left this life almost 6 years ago, at the age of 78, and not a day goes by that I don't think about him, or wish I could tell him something, or ask his advice about something.  He was a man of many talents, who loved his family, fishing, and gardening, not always in that order. He loved a good joke, never met a stranger and was a friend to many.

Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me, and thanks to Mama Kat for the writing prompt this week.  May you always cherish those you love.

Linking to Mama Kat's.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is it Tuesday already?

Another Tuesday, another chance to share a barn...can someone say "holy cow, where did the week go?????"!

It is always a source of amazement to me how many barns have started showing up in my life, considering that I live in the city!  It almost seems that people have been erecting them overnight, right under my very nose!  Or, could it be that I have just been going through life, unaware of the beauty around me, until I learned to view life through the lens of a camera?  I wonder...

However, for this week's barn, I am still in Missouri, wandering.  I have lost track of where I found these wonderful barns, but the setting was just perfect for Barn Charm!

Linking to Barn Charm.

Monday, January 23, 2012

More Monday's Murals

I was so thrilled to find the Monday's Murals meme - there were so many interesting murals last week!

Lake Placid, FL is known, at least in Florida, as the "Town of Murals".  At the Chamber of Commerce, you can purchase a book with all the information about the murals, the artists and their inspiration.  I have visited several times, photographing every one I can find.  There is always something new to see, even in the ones I have seen many times.  Here is just a sampling.

Hubby and me in front of the mural that roars!  When you walk by, you hear bear sounds.

Somewhere in my enormous collection of photographs, I have others from Lake Placid, but have not been able to find them!  So...the search continues...but, since I arrived back in Florida yesterday, perhaps I will take more.  Hmmm...I see a photo op coming up!

Happy Monday!  Linking to Monday Mural.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Soul Searching Sunday

When I look for churches to photograph, I am looking for the church of my childhood.  I went back to my hometown recently and took this photo of that church. 

Dendron United Methodist Church

It still looks the same - a little smaller than I remember - but here was where I learned the lessons of life.  Sunday School was the highlight of the week, and oh, the joys of Vacation Bible School!  When I was old enough, MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) was where I wanted to be on Sunday night.  It was in this church that I first played the piano for services, where I first played an old pump organ, where I first sang a duet.  I remember the pastor with the beautiful singing voice, as he sang "Ivory Palaces" as a solo.  I remember the Christmas Pageants we used to have, and the year my mom was the Virgin Mary, shown below.

The photo is a copy of a copy of a scan, so it is a little grainy, but there she is!

There are so many memories of my childhood centered in this little church.  Life was much simpler then...

May your Sunday be blessed!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

If It's Saturday, It Must Be Camera Critters!

Last year we visited Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck, NC.  It is a fabulous park, with more kinds of waterfowl than I ever knew existed.  Here were some of my favorites from that trip.  Hope you enjoy them!

The bird with the fancy hairdo is a Blue-Crowned Pigeon!

Mandarin Duck - this was my favorite, just because of the exotic colors!

Cape Teal Duck

Black Swan and her young.

Demoiselle Crane

Barrow's Goldeneye

Sylvan Heights has over 1,500 ducks, geese, swans and exotic birds from around the world.  It is truly a birding paradise!

Linking to Camera Critters.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fabulous Friday Fences!

This past weekend, hubby and I took a ride out into the country.  The weather was gorgeous, bright and sunny - an altogether lovely day for a ride.  Since sunshine is not always a friend of photographers, on sunny days, I seem to spend my time looking for shade!  I guess I am pretty hard to please!

These fence shots were taken at St. Luke's Church near Smithfield, VA.  I enjoyed looking for different views.

There was no shortage of fences - entry fences, boundary fences, decorative fences.

I thought this was a unique fence - certainly wouldn't keep anyone out!

I loved the shadow fence!

Statue of St. Luke, with the decorative fence behind.

Linking with Friday's Fences.