January 27th, 2023
I am about to embark on another adventure. I will be traveling in the foreseeable future with a dear friend that I’ve known for quite some time. This will be a 1500 mile road trip.
We are going to visit a few places in South Carolina. I’ve only been to that state as I traveled through. This will be the first time I’ve actually stopped and visited.
Of course I will be taking photographs when I can. Some of those photographs will be uploaded to my art site, some to Facebook and some of them will be deleted, never to be seen again.
As I write this post, a storm is approaching from the western states, the forecast for our travels is for cold temperatures, however, those temperatures will be warmer than the towns we are leaving behind.
I’m already getting anxious about the driving. We’re mapping out a route that avoids driving through or around Atlanta and we may even stay off of interstates entirely.
Yes, taking US and State Highways may take longer but will provide a more peaceful trip. We will get to see more than pavement, pine forests and billboards.
We’ll get to see America!
Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks. Meanwhile please feel free to comment below.
January 19th, 2023
Some of us see the entire world in black and white.
Some of us see a world of color.
I’m not talking about literally seeing only black and white. As I understand it even people who are “color blind” actually see some color.
I’m talking about our perception of life.
For some people it’s all or nothing. My way or the highway. Right or wrong. Good or bad. There’s no in-between.
For others life is about all the shades of gray in between the black and white and even more colors outside of that limited view.
Where is your perspective in life?
Do you only see life issues as right or wrong?
Is everything good or bad with no combination of the two?
Can you answer every question with a yes or no?
Or do you see the same decision as right in one instance but wrong in another?
Is there a combination of good and bad in everything?
Can you struggle sometimes to only answer with a yes or no?
My view of life is mostly in bold, vivid colors. However, sometimes issues seem a little “gray” and occasionally even black and white. No question, it’s either yes or no at times.
Where is your perception of life on this scale?
Is everything black and white for you? Right or wrong? Good or bad
Is it always your way or the highway or do you sometimes compromise?
I would guess that most of us see life as a world of color but sometimes we can only view the black and white in a situation, that none of us are all one way or the other.
What do you think about this?
As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged.
January 12th, 2023
Do you see faces in inanimate objects?
Do you see the shape of animals in cloud formations?
Maybe you see a face on a rock with “eyes” like the Wall Of Faces that I wrote about earlier.
This perception, along with hearing hidden messages in music, is called pareidolia.
Pareidolia has been used by humans for eons. It has even helped protect mankind from predators.
You thought you saw eyes in that bush and took off? Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t but if there was really a lion in that bush stalking you, you just saved your own life by taking off.
Women are more likely to have this perception. It is believed that the reason is that they are more in tune with human emotion.
People who are neurotic or depressed are also more likely to experience pareidolia. They seem to be on high alert for danger and are therefore more likely to see things that aren’t as real as perceived.
There are examples of this phenomenon in art, architecture, religion, medical education and computer vision.
The next time you look up in the sky and see the shape of your puppy dog, or you look down at a rock mulched planting bed and see the a face on one of those rocks smiling at you, remember that you are not going crazy and that your perception is perfectly normal.
When this happens you can know that pareidolia has helped mankind survive and thrive and will continue to do so for as long as mankind exists!
Comments are encouraged and welcomed!
January 5th, 2023
Better late than never is one of the oldest English idioms. It emphasizes the importance of finishing a project even if it’s finished later than the original deadline.
Well, today that is true of my weekly blog!
As I was thinking about this idiom and what I could say about it I wondered how often it’s true and how often it may be very untrue.
The examples I thought of today all dealt with extreme situations.
A sick or injured person or pet needs to get help as quickly as possible. A delay could result in disaster or even death.
A delay in going to see a loved one who is fatally ill could mean that you are “too late” to see or talk with that person. In that case, late is NOT better and it’s actually the NEVER part!
However, this idiom is almost always used in less dire circumstances, like this blog being posted late. Or a student being late turning in a paper or project.
Sometimes, however, it’s not true even for the example of a student being late with a project. The teacher could refuse to accept the overdue project which, for the student, would mean it was NOT better late!
Are you ever late completing projects or chores?
Are you late often?
Does it matter if you are later than the original deadline?
I suspect it depends on the project or chore. Would you agree with that statement?
Writing and posting my weekly blog on time is important as a matter of discipline. But I don’t believe that anyone is going to suffer if it’s a half a day late.
Even my self-diagnosed OCD self will get over it and go on to the next project!
You are encouraged to comment on this and any of my other blog posts.
December 29th, 2022
Do you wonder who lives in that blue house?
Or the RV parked in the Mobile Home Park?
Do you pass by any building without a visible sign or purpose and wonder what goes on inside that structure?
Not that long ago we were passing through Eufaula, Alabama, a town that is full of gorgeous architecture.
A metal sided commercial building caught my eye as we sat at a red light and I snapped a photograph of the second story.
The building was a simple rectangular shape without any distinguishing features.
The lone window in the second story fascinated me. A window air conditioner hung out of the left side of the aluminum framed window.
Simple mini blinds were lowered to cover the entire window, as a shield from the afternoon heat.
There, between the glass and the blinds sat two succulent plants looking healthy and happy to be soaking up the sunshine.
I wondered if that window belonged to an upstairs office or apartment.
Did someone live there or was it a place of employment?
If it was an apartment, was it occupied by the building’s owner, the owner’s employee or someone that wasn’t at all related to the downstairs business?
The window was not giving me any clue as to the purpose of that second story.
The light changed, we went on our way and stopped a few blocks later at another traffic light. My mind was now on other buildings that surrounded us.
I forgot about that mysterious second story window until I downloaded photographs from my camera to my computer.
My curious mind, once again, wondered about that second story.
Unless I visit Eufaula, Alabama and inquire about that particular building I can only wonder what transpires behind those simple, light blocking blinds.
Comments are always welcome and encouraged.
December 21st, 2022
Wind chill is the term used to measure what the outside temperature actually feels like to a human body when air (wind) blows on exposed skin.
Everyone who knows me knows that I have a really hard time dealing with cold temperatures. As the SM meme says, “I was not made for winter.” That cold north wind causing low wind chill temperatures is the most brutal slap in my face during winter.
Even as a child I was always the first one to go inside when all the neighborhood kids stayed outside sledding and building snowmen. If I didn’t go willingly my mom made me come in because my lips were turning blue.
It seems to be normal for intolerance for cold to get worse as we age. If that’s true then I am completely normal!
This year I wanted to spend Christmas with family and that meant traveling. Traveling to colder destinations. Or so I thought.
It turns out that the forecast for Florence, Alabama where we live right now is calling for dangerously cold weather the day after we plan to travel. It is forecast to be colder here than any of the family locations that we would be visiting.
Not only will the temperatures be well below freezing (the HIGH is forecast to be 18F and the low 9F) but the wind chill is expected to go as low as -15F. That’s 15 degrees LOWER than zero!
Meteorologists are warning that frostbite and hypothermia could be a real possibility if you are outside.
I realize that some areas of our country experience that and even colder temperatures during winter but that’s just about the coldest winter air that I have ever experienced, and that’s probably true for most people living in this area.
Thank Goodness we are able to get the heck out of Dodge, so to speak.
For all of you who will be in the grips of old man winter, traveling through snow and ice or flying with delays and cancellations, I wish for you safe travel mercies.
For those of you who will be staying home and inside I wish for you a warm, crackling fire or continued power to fuel your furnace or heat pump.
I am hoping the same for us this week end!
Comments are always welcome and encouraged.
December 15th, 2022
Did you know that there are hundreds of holidays in the month of December? Some holidays are religious, some national, some are monthly, weekly or daily holidays and many of these are “official” holidays, such as Christmas and Hanukkah.
There are public relations firms, companies and web sites that specialize in gathering information on international holidays. They can help you plan your celebration with a list of appropriate foods, decorations and even the history of your particular holiday.
This blog is being written and posted on December 15th. According to a couple of such sites there are at least 7 different holidays on December 15th alone. According to another site there are 17 monthly “Observances” in December and 11 different weekly Observances this month. That site states that there are a total of 190 holidays to celebrate in December.
That’s a whole lot of celebrations in one month! No wonder so many people are completely exhausted by January 1st (not to mention New Year’s Eve celebrations that can last for 12-24 hours).
Do you celebrate any of these holidays?
How many of these holidays do you celebrate?
Do you only celebrate the “official” holidays, such as Christmas for example?
Do you ever celebrate a daily “Special Interest” holiday such as National Wear Your Pearls Day (December 15)?
Did you know that there was even a holiday specifically for wearing your pearls?
You can wish me any “Happy/Merry/Season’s Greetings” that you want. I will smile and wish you the same. Celebrating life can be contagious. Let’s all spread the excitement of the Holiday Season around as much as possible and let’s all be grateful for others who wish to spread their joy around, even if it’s not your celebrated holiday.
Happy Holidays to each of you this month and always.
Comments are welcome and encouraged.
December 7th, 2022
There is a community garden on the Mississippi Gulf Coast affectionately called The Nourishing Place. It is Ruth’s Roots in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Before Hurricane Katrina the land where this garden is located was a business called The Cakery, run by baker Ruth Thompson. Katrina destroyed the business and after Mrs. Thompson passed away Jim Thompson donated the empty lot for a community garden. It was named in her honor.
A non-profit was formed and Ruth’s Roots was developed as a “nourishing place” for residents and visitors alike.
Volunteers have spent countless hours building, erecting, planting, feeding, watering and taking care of this special place.
We visited the garden on a recent visit to our former home town and were delighted by the many attractions.
When approaching Ruth’s Roots the first thing you notice are the wooden fence boards. Each board is painted with a different design. Residents were asked to adopt and then paint an individual board in their own style. It made an extremely colorful entrance.
Once inside you can walk along the “yellow brick road” (painted on the old concrete slab) that leads to a circular area featuring a painted portrait of Mrs. Ruth surrounded by butterflies. Or you can choose to mosey along the edges of the garden at your leisure.
When you first enter the garden you are presented with three libraries. There are two lending libraries, one provides books for adults and another makes sure that there is reading material for children. A Seed Library provides flower and vegetable seeds for residents to plant in their own gardens.
The interior of the garden, like the fencing out front, is a feast of color. Raised beds on either side of the yellow brick road contain flowers and vegetables. Artwork, both two and three dimensional pieces, can be found throughout Ruth’s Roots.
A chicken coup makes egg donations to a local non-profit café possible. A butterfly house provides a safe haven for monarch butterfly caterpillars and chrysalis. There is a Buddha statue watching over a peaceful koi pond and a chess and checkers table made from a stone slab.
A large wooden deck under the oak trees provides a cool, shady spot to rest or visit.
I’m sure we missed seeing all that the garden has to offer during our short visit and the seasonal displays will no doubt be completely different when we return. That’s the beauty of any garden - seasonal changes that accompany weather patterns.
I took quite a few photographs as we enjoyed the sounds of the waterfall at the koi pond and the various birds singing. Many of those pictures are being processed and uploaded on my web site this month if you would like to experience a virtual visit to the garden. They will be found in the Mississippi Collection.
Ruth’s Roots, a community garden is first of all a delight for the residents of Bay St. Louis and secondly a must stop for any tourist to that artsy beach town.
Comments are always welcome and encouraged!
December 1st, 2022
Casino hopping is a popular activity along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, especially when it’s cold and wet outside.
During our recent stay on the coast, we only had sunlight on one day out of four. Three of those four days found us visiting two different casinos in two different towns.
Casinos are full of shiny, blinking lights and bells, whistles and other obnoxious noises from the hundreds of slot machines.
Of course I gambled while there but I also spent time looking up at the various chandeliers and light fixtures and capturing a few of those objects with my cell phone camera.
Each fixture was different from the others but all had something in common. Glitz and Glamour. Some lights were not glitzy but had a particular air of glamour about them. Others screamed Glitz and Bling. I was fascinated with them all.
Although we had lived on the coast for almost twenty years and frequented the casinos while living there, you would have thought that I was seeing that décor for the first time. There I was sitting at a video poker machine with my gaze on the ceiling. I must have looked like a first time visitor whipping that phone out!
Lighting is one of the items in decorating and design that can set the mood for any space. It stands to reason then that a casino would want the mood to be showy and over the top. Expensive and glamorous.
That’s what I found at those two casinos. Glamorous lighting and expensive play time!
Comments are always welcome and encouraged.
November 23rd, 2022
I am writing this post the day before Thanksgiving (in the USA) as I think about how blessed I am.
I may not have everything I want but I have more than everything I need.
I am not homeless. Our apartment is heated in the winter and cooled in the summer and our neighbors are all friendly, helpful people.
I may have been called clothes poor but the truth is that I have enough clothes to cover my body and provide protection from the elements.
I have more than enough to eat and can choose any food that I desire to purchase and cook.
Actually, I have enough resources to eat out as often as I like if I don’t feel like cooking. Now, that’s a blessing to those of us who do not enjoy cooking!
My husband is still able to work every day and his salary pays for our lifestyle (rent, utilities, groceries, clothing, vacations, etc.) so I can work outside of the home or not – my choice.
I am relatively healthy and do not need to take any drugs, only a few vitamin and mineral supplements to compliment my diet.
I have family and friends who love and care about me.
I can rant and rave about what I don’t have or what I cannot do but the truth is that I know how blessed I really am!
It really is amazing how much we can find to be thankful for regardless of our situation. All we have to do is stop and remember what we have, what obstacles we have overcome and the many times in our past that we’ve triumphed over adversity.
Travel mercies going out to all who will be traveling this week end. I sincerely hope that each of you reading this will have a grateful, joyful Thanksgiving.
Comments are always welcome and encouraged.