Dec 17, 2014

Where are you heading?

Where are you going? Has your life turned out the way that you wanted?  I know that my has taken a turn that I didn't want or expect.  But sometimes it is what is best.  Someone once said that in the end everything will be alright. If it is not alright, then it is not the end

Keep dreaming, keep hoping, keep trying new may happen upon something that will change your life. 

Dec 16, 2014


I have a fascination with doors.  The entrance to a house should reflect the character of the occupants. A few months ago I went to a art fair in Roanoke.  Forgetting that I had tried to take a picture of the moon a few days before the exposure was needless to say extremely light.  I was so disappointed.  When I had the opportunity to go to this city again I made sure to take another picture.  The house is stone with a lovely garden in the front.  I slowly walked up the drive and hoped that a dog would not come around the corner and topple me over. That is one of my biggest fears while out photographing. 

A few blocks away I saw this door with its extra large hinges.  The building was vacant but it still retained its character.  In a way it kind of reminds me of a Dickens novel. I imagined seeing workers standing about talking before and after work. Maybe it is because the door is antique in appearance.  I don't know, but I like the look of it.  We don't really value doors much anymore, especially old ones.  It is much easier to put in a new steel one than to maintain wood.  I would rather have the nostalgia of the place than to try and be modern.  

Nov 29, 2014

Haunted Old Barn

We live in a day and age where anything is possible with digital images and can make what is imagined seem real. As I looked at this old building before I photographed it, I envisioned someone looking at me through the window and decided to try and make it happen.  The effect is hauntingly eerie, but I like it.  Now the image has a focal point.  

Nov 22, 2014

Old Shed

I like old buildings, especially barns.  There is something about them that make me think of my birthplace, Tennessee.  As a child, my parents would take us to see my Great Uncle Horace Smith who lived in an old log cabin with his wife Aunt Dude. I have no idea why she was called Dude. They lived in the ridges, way back in the country. The roads were not paved and I remember how hard it was for my father to drive there. He had to keep the tires in the grooves on the dirt road. Primitive is how you would describe the cabin. No plumbing, no electricity or running water was in the house.  The root cellar was buried in the back and a tin roof was seen just above the ground.  My brother and I used to run up and down the roof until the tin was too hot for bare feet to touch. Beside the large porch lay wood chips that gave off an earthy smell. We drank spring water from a pail using a metal dipper. Everyone used it and no one seemed to have died from germs.  So, when I look at the above picture, I think about the good times, even if it is Indiana and not Tennessee that I see in the picture.   

Nov 18, 2014

The Cliff Hanger

Here is a view of  Lake Michigan from St. Joseph, Michigan. I like the look of bare trees in winter surrounded by golden brush with splashes of red and green.  

Nov 16, 2014

Pure Michigan

I live in the flat lands, surrounded by cornfields. Just a couple of  hours drive from where I live is heaven.

Where there are pristine beaches and lighthouses to guide a weary boatman. Trees are so numerous that the color is dazzling to the eyes in autumn. This sounds like a commercial, but that is what I experienced yesterday while on a "Vacation Day" in Michigan.  Oh yes, I am silly, but I had a glorious time. Visions of children playing on the beach in summer raced across my mind. The calming sound of the waves rolling in to shore soothed me.  A friend and I went to three cities and saw three different lighthouses. This was the first time I have seen one.  It was amazing to me.

As the day progressed the clouds crowded the sky until the blue was no longer visible. A haze settled over the the water. What seemed vibrant began to take on a sepia tone. 

But the beauty remained.  In the summer, I plan to return, not laden with heavy coats and bags, but free like a bird who sits for awhile until another spot looks enticing and then moves on. 

Nov 14, 2014

Secluded: Published on the National Geographic Web Site

I just received news that my blue barn was published on the Daily Dozen of the National Geographic web site today. That is a whole lot of people to compete with. Whew! Check out the link below.  I am so excited!!!!!  Please vote for me.  It would be so thrilling to have one of my photographs published in a magazine. 

Click here to view my photograph.

Nov 12, 2014


I saw this old barn tucked behind some trees a couple of weeks ago and found it very fascinating.  In my mind, I could see the end result, secluded, dark, and somehow foreboding. I am drawn to those old dilapidated buildings that still retain their character, imagining the history of the structure. It is silly to admit this, but I look at things to photograph like men who drool over young women.  But I don't do cat calls.  

Nov 11, 2014

Capturing His Essence

I have a nephew who is a very willing model for me, which I find amazing for a boy of ten.  Yesterday we were out taking pictures. He has been asking me to take him to the railroad tracks for a while. Although it is illegal to walk the tracks, we went anyway. While travelling from spot to spot we chatted.  I told him that I only have two photographs that are my favorites out of all the pictures that I have taken, which I think is about a billion.  One is a picture of him.  It is hanging up on the cabinet above my desk at work.  It is just of his face with a black background, in black and white. He was surprised that I had his picture up at work.  I told him that not only his pictures but his mother, sisters, and brother is there too. 

Somehow, I captured his essence, it is something that all photographers desperately want to catch when they encounter their subject.  Things are going on in their heads that we have no idea about.  Then for a split second, there it was in full view, written all over his face. I had no time to think. So, I pressed the button on the camera. There wasn't time for a fake smile or posing, just being. When I reviewed my shots and came to his picture, my jaw nearly dropped to the floor.  An image that I have always wanted to take was there before my eyes. I'm so blessed.  

                                   I think that I got it again...

Nov 10, 2014

There's always something deeper

There's always something deeper. We are just a mere speck on this planet, but have the ability to move mountains if we want to.  Keep looking up for inspiration, guidance, and hope.  

Nov 9, 2014

The Pumpkin with Issues

Pumpkins are in abundance right now since Halloween is over.  Yesterday while I was out, I saw one of the strangest pumpkins I have ever seen.  It has small peanut like growths all over it.  When I posted this picture on Facebook one of my friends said that it looked like the elephant man.  Well, I don't know about that, but I have never seen this before. Actually, several pumpkins had the strange phenomena as well.  I am sure it must be normal or otherwise I think that there would have been signs outside the establishment saying, "Come inside and look at the strangest pumpkins you will ever see."  

If you know what is going so wrong with this poor pumpkin, please let me know.  I am anxious to know. 

Nov 8, 2014

Plants, Nails, and missing God

Today, I was at a photo shoot with a client.  We went to the Botanical Gardens on this cold, cloudy day. The wind is blowing steady while the last remnants of lifeless brown leaves hang on till their strength gives way.The days seem short, dark, lifeless. After the session was nearly over my eyes focused on a tree made with nails. In the midst of the nails was a plant of some sort. Blooming, green, and full of life. Among the rust and impenetrable metal a plant was determined to live. Sometimes life is this way. We find ourselves in places so confining that it may seem fruitless to dare to hope for survival. Any yet, we somehow find the strength. 

I had to cross the street to get to my car. The Cathedral was only a few steps away.  It has been a long time since I have gone to worship and I miss it. Maybe it is more the quiet place that I miss. Being still and knowing that I am not alone.  I desperately wanted to sit down and listen to that still quiet voice that speaks to us in times of solitude. The door was locked. Tomorrow I may not have the strength to go... 

Nov 5, 2014

The little girl who loves to pose for photographs

There is a little girl in my neighborhood who loves to come down to my house and have me take her picture. I don't have to tell her how to do anything, she poses on her own.  My good friend who lives next door would play with her when she was younger and she always wanted to play the model.  She would sashay down the walk as her neighbor would announce her over the pretend microphone. "Here comes Miss ..... in her purple gown." Who knows maybe one day she will grow up to be a model.  In the meantime, she will model for me. 

Oct 27, 2014

Reflections in Water

This is a reflection of a tree in the river. Not long ago a photographer recommended taking pictures of puddles of water.  Strangely, I hadn't thought of doing that. Sometimes the images are just beautiful. 

Oct 25, 2014

Batch Blues Photography

I have finally done it. The Facebook page for Batch Blues Photography is up and running finally.  Things will be slow until the beginning of the year with me because I am working 50 hours a week and still try to maintain some kind of normalcy to my life.  Most days I come home and get ready for bed only to repeat the same thing again the next day.

As for cooking, well, I do most of that on the weekends along with all the other things that I enjoy the most.  I still want to post recipes as well as stories. Those times I spent in the kitchen cooking tagines and couscous were the best that I have ever experienced. It is thrilling to try new recipes along with spices that I never knew existed. I grew to love Moroccan cuisine, maybe even more so than American food.

When I started my other blog, Until Morocco, that is when the photography bug bit me. Ever since then I was hooked.  I lived and breathed photography. I have taken a few classes and a zillion pictures in the interim. There is so much to learn and so many ways to make photographic art. Wish me luck in this new phase of my life.  Trust me, I am very excited about it.  

This picture was taken in Roann, Indiana a couple of weeks ago.  I like the country feel when I travel outside of town and breathe in the fresh air. This is living at its best, quiet and simple, away from the noise of the city. What is of most interest is the old buildings, especially the barns.

When I was a child we would take our annual trip to the land of my father, Tennessee.  I love the rusty tin roofs on the run down log cabins and the old red barns with See Rock City written on the side or the roof. Those things remind me of my birthplace (Tennessee) which make my heart fill up with warm memories. So, forgive me if I become a little barn happy with my postings. I'm just thinking about Tennessee.    

Oct 21, 2014

View from the Bridge

I was meandering across the covered bridge at Spencerville and this was my view from the window.  Lovely huh?  This time of year is wonderful for me. The cool air and bright colors makes me feel grateful to be able to behold such natural beauty.  Are you enjoying your Autumn? 

Oct 20, 2014

Spreading your Branches

The fall has come into its full color and I love it.  Yesterday, I went to Spencerville to photograph the scenery, especially the covered bridge and had a wonderful time looking around.  

This past week, I decided to finally name my photography business Batch Blues Photography. The problem I had was naming the business. Every name I thought of was already taken. One day at work I was entering information into the computer from some correspondence that we received and looked at the page and there it was, my epiphany, written in black and white. I studied the two words for a few minutes, Batch:Blues. I rolled it over and over in my mind, then I wrote the two words down. Immediately, I knew that was the name for my business. The process has been slow but I will be adding a Facebook page shortly. 

Lately all that I think about is getting the next shot and want to start sharing with you my pictures.  I still want to share recipes and stories as well, but really focus on my passion of photography. 

Sometimes we have to spread our branches and show the world our true colors.  

Oct 3, 2014

Traveller's between the eternities

This has been a hard week for me.  One of my cousins, who is just two years older than myself, passed away suddenly over the weekend.  The day after she was buried, my neighbor and friend met her Maker after a long struggle with an illness.  Whether it is expected or not, death is hard to deal with, at least, it is for me. The void the departed person leaves is impossible to fill. Death is final. Like the resounding pound of the gavel heard from the judges bench, we are sentenced to life, the remainder of it, apart. And yet, we must move on. I cried. Then selfishly I thought about my own demise.  

When you are past 50, the years behind you seem like a breath and the years ahead are as the wind. Before you know it they will be blowing upon you. Then, we, too, will drift into the one of the eternities. 

Sep 28, 2014

Creamy Green & Wax beans, with Red & Golden Potatoes Salad

It is harvest time here in Indiana and the fields are already turning a bright golden color. A friend and I went to a small city about 40 minutes south of where we live into Amish country. I love the drive, especially to breath in the country air. We saw a lot of farms and horses. 

The crops are coming in, especially green beans. We, also, have wax beans which are a light yellow in color. Yesterday, while at the Warsaw Street market one of the vendors had a bag of the green and wax beans together, which reminded me of a salad that I have been making for a long time.  If you don't have fresh you can use frozen or canned or both.  I don't believe that wax beans are frozen here in the states but green beans are.  

This is a simple recipe and I really enjoy the diversity of taste from the mixture of cumin and dill along with the creaminess of the mayonnaise. It is really good right after it is prepared. 


1 cup green beans,  cut into 1 inch pieces,cooked and tender
1 cup of wax beans, cut into 1 inch pieces, cooked and tender
1/2 lb baby red potatoes, boiled with skin on,tender, cut lengthwise
1/2 lb baby gold potatoes, boiled with skin on, tender, cut lengthwise
1 tsp cumin
2 large pinches of dill
3/4 - 1 cup of mayonnaise, more or less to your desired wetness
1 tbs white vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
pepper to taste

Cook the vegetables until tender. Set aside to cool. Once the vegetables are cool add to a medium mixing bowl. Next, add the dill, cumin, vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, pepper, and toss.  This can be served chilled or lukewarm. Serve with baked chicken or fish and crispy bread.  Enjoy!

Sep 22, 2014

Southern Custard Pie

When I was a girl we used to get Southern Custard Pie made by Blue Bird Baking Company.  It was the best pie I have ever tasted. The company was founded in 1923 by Louis Preonas originally from Thessaly, Greece who came to the United States in 1911 and settled in Kalamazoo, Michigan.   He was apprenticed as a baker after completing the 4th grade.  After travelling around to several Midwestern cities, he settled in Dayton, Ohio. Their operation prospered and they opened a facility in Mitchell, Indiana. Sales increased and neighboring states were eating these wonderful pies as well. They made a lot of apple pies, but my favorite was the Southern Custard.  The custard was very thick and rich. I begged my mother frequently to bring one home.    

The picture came from Geocaching
In the 1970's the plant closed and we no longer were able to get Blue Bird pies.  It wasn't until I was older that I began looking for a pie that was identical to when I was a kid. Most of the pies that I found were either not the same consistency or the taste was not the same. But, now I think that I have found my copycat recipe. I wish that I had this recipe a long time ago and of course it is inspired by Paula Dean. 


1/2 cup of whole milk
1- 12 oz can of condensed milk
4 eggs
1 cup of sugar
2 tbs vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder 
2 tbs butter, melted
2 tbs flour
1/4 tsp each nutmeg, allspice, mix together

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium mixing bowl beat eggs for 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, flour, butter, milk, and vanilla. Bake pastry shell until it is slightly golden and puffy. About 2-5 minutes. Then pour mixture into pastry shell. I find that if you put the pie shell on a cookie pan and then pour the mixture while it is already in the oven there is less of a chance of spilling the mixture in your clean oven.  Bake for 45-60 minutes, until top is a light golden brown.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and allspice mixture. The pie will be puffy when it comes out of the oven but will settle down after it cools. I, also, put my pie in the fridge for a while before I serve it.  Enjoy! 

Sep 20, 2014

For the love of Cowboys

Photo courtesy of DreamWorks Studios

When I think about men, which is often, I think about those macho types who come to rescue a damsel in distress. My mind automatically goes to the Wild West. A cowboy walks into the saloon with his hat tilted forward on his brow, the ruggedly handsome face hidden by shadows. His footsteps are heavy as his boot spurs make a clunking sound with every step. There is no need for a words, because he has spoken volumes already with just his presence.  I know that not all men are rough and tough, sometimes I wish that they were.   

A friend of mine asked me to photograph her family members while at a reunion.  I gladly brought my camera and began shooting pictures.  About an hour later a man walked in.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw him.  I turned my head to get a better look at the man. A cowboy. My heart skipped a beat at the vision I saw.  Sitting on his head was a hat made of straw with a decorative band neatly placed above the brim. His Texas style button down shirt with rolled up sleeves worn with tight fitting jeans caused my mind to go back to the saloon I envisioned earlier. His boots, pointed toe and all, finished off his ensemble. 

"I need your picture," I bravely said. "You look great!" 

He asked if his picture would end up on Facebook or some place similar. "Most likely," I said.  Then we made our way outside. 

"Can you try to look macho for me please?" 

"Cowboys aren't macho anymore," he said.  I beg to differ with him. 

Sep 6, 2014

Enjoying Now

Last years rough winter made spring a most welcome visitor. And now we are on the cusp of another winter. I dread the confinement of the season. Peering at the world through the window from behind closed curtains.  

The gardens are now a withering version of what they were a couple of months ago.  Yesterday, I was chatting with a stranger about being present. We always tend to project our thoughts to the future or in the past.  But we are never here, never now. 

As we were exiting the elevator to start our work day the woman said, "Maybe there isn't that much to be happy about right now to keep our minds in the present."  

Then she said, "This is such a philosophical subject for such an early hour." I laughed. We wished each other good day.  The thing is, what she said is true. When we eat a delicious meal it is gobbled instead of savored with our palate.  Instead of enjoying each morsel that is placed into our mouth.  

We miss details in the busyiness of life. Like a colorful flower, beautiful beads on a dress, an intended smile. Things that are here, now, present seem to not be worth savoring, which they should, because they are our future memories. I want to practice being here in the moment and live like it was my last day on earth having permission to do nothing if I want to.  

Sep 4, 2014

Beef with Gnocchi in Tomato Sauce

I've never had gnocchi until a couple of weeks ago and I didn't know what I was missing.  What is Gnocchi? Pronounced nokey.  It is grated potatoes shaped into ovals and is an Italian invention.  It tastes like chewy pasta in a way. This dish is a balance between sweet and savory with a little kick.  I just love this dish and you will to. 

You have a choice with making this recipe.  A pressure cooker is the quickest (25 minutes) or you can slow cook the beef for about 2-2 1/2 hours.  I chose the pressure cooker. 


1 1/5 - 2 lbs beef, cut into large cubes
salt/pepper to taste
2-3 tbs vegetable or olive oil
1 tbs butter or clarified butter
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ginger, ground
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili pepper
2 tbs finely chopped Italian parsley
1 chicken bouillon cube  plus 1 cup of water or 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth 
1 large onion chopped
2-3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs light brown sugar
2-14,5 oz cans of chopped tomatoes
2-3 inch cinnamon stick
1 lb gnocchi either fresh or boxed or you can add small pasta instead

Place your pot on medium to high heat.  Add the vegetable oil and butter. When the oil mixture is hot add the onions.  Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the garlic and parsley. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the beef chunks. Brown on all sides. 

Next, add the salt, pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, bouillon cube, tomato paste, water, and saute for a couple of minutes.  Then add the canned tomatoes and chicken stock, if you are using canned. 

Place the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on medium to high heat for 25 minutes or if you are using the slow cooking method,  place on low to medium heat and simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours, till the beef is tender.  

Once the beef is tender, add the gnocchi and simmer for about 3-5 minutes.  The sauce should be thick. Remove the cinnamon stick. Garnish with parsley and serve with a salad or sauteed greens and crusty bread.  Enjoy!    

Aug 26, 2014

Gourds of the Artistic Kind

I usually take a walk after my evening meal.  Once the kitchen is cleaned up I take a step outside and inhale the fresh air and enjoy nature.  I like to hear the birds sing and the bugs making their evening sounds.  Now that it is nearly autumn the daylight has slowly begun to fade like a shadow creeping up the hill. Those long days made me feel alive. Before long we will be confined to our homes while we wait for spring again.  

This evening I strolled down the street of a lovely neighborhood that adjoins mine.  The houses are quaintly decorated with well kept lawns.  I often admire those large houses and try to imagine myself living in one of them.  I put my camera in a backpack and headed down the street looking for something to photograph.  Last week I noticed a beautiful gourd in the front of an eclectically put together yard.  The gourd caught my eye.  

I put my backpack down on the brick wall and began pulling my camera out.  A lady that I hadn't noticed asked me if I was collecting something.

I told her that I intended on taking a picture of the gourd hanging in the tree. She was thrilled that I liked it enough to take a picture.  She invited me into her yard so that I could get a better shot. 

She asked if I would like to see more of them.  "Of course", I said. How could I say no?  Before I knew it the brick wall was lined with the most beautifully decorated gourds I have ever seen. Did you know that it takes about 18 months to dry one of these? I learned a lot talking to this lady. 

She hand paints them. They are inspired by Native American culture.  The top fits the bottom like a puzzle and is covered with animals. I asked her if she ever sold her works of art.  Sadly, she only gives them to family and friends. She told me that she invests at least 200 hours of work into each gourd. No one will be able to pay her what they are worth. 

By the way, I have a new Canon 60D.  Needless to say, I am so happy with the results.  Who knows what the future may hold for this wannabe photographer. 

Aug 17, 2014

The Grasshopper and a needing a new camera

I was cleaning out a flower bed the other day and I noticed a grasshopper watching me.  I like insects, bugs, and especially grasshoppers.  As quickly as I could, I ran into the house to get my camera, asking the grasshopper to please stay until I returned.  He did.  I'm sure that I looked like a one-eyed monster to this tiny creature as I crept up ever so slowly to get the perfect shot.  When I was done, I told him thank you and went inside.  Isn't he lovely?  

My camera has died.  And it did so while I was in the middle of a photo shoot yesterday.  It is time to bit the bullet and get a new one. I tried to see if it could be repaired, but it is very old and the manufacturer said that the model is no longer fixable.  The thing is I didn't want to do it right now.  Things are starting to look up for me with a new job and a raise and I didn't factor a camera into my immediate plans.  But, I cannot go without being able to take pictures. It is something that I absolutely love to do.  I don't mind standing on ladders to get the perfect shot or laying on the ground either. Things look differently now.  I look at the world and all it contains and see a picture, a beautiful picture in my mind. I want to capture the essence of it. I feel driven...I want to create an infinitesimal moment of beauty so that I can leave my mark in this world, even if it is a small one.

all day long
we hear your scraping
summer song
as through
the meadow
we pass
such funny legs
such funny feet
and how we wonder
what you eat
maybe a single blink of dew
sipped from a clover leaf would do
then high in air
once more you spring
to fall in grass again
and sing.

Conrad Potter Aiken

Aug 13, 2014

Left-handed, well, not completely

Photo came from here
Did you know that about 10% of the population is left-handed? It is said that people who are left-handed are more creative, artsy, musical, perceptive, and genius. I really like the genius part. And I can believe that.  One has to be very creative in a right-handed world. I am a minority of a different kind and in ancient times we were looked down upon as inferior.   We’ve been called names like southpaw, whatever that means. At various times in history left-handedness was seen as a nasty habit, mark of the devil, a sign of neurosis, rebellion, and homosexuality.  This doesn’t sound very encouraging does it?

I never really thought much about being left handed.  But I’ve never been a complete one either. What do I mean by complete? Well, a complete lefty does everything with the hand opposite of their right.  You might say that I am dual handed.  There is a term for it, ambidextrous, and less than one percent of the population falls in this category. My father was this way too.  I must have inherited it from him. 

I have one memory as a child of having an issue with my leftyness.  During art class the teacher asked if anyone was left handed.  I quickly raised my hand and was given the “lefty” scissors.  I tried and tried to cut with them but to no avail;  it was then that I discovered when I cut things I use my right hand.  Before Kindergarten, I didn’t have much experience using scissors.  My mom was always paranoid that we would get hurt.  Therefore, we never had sharp objects around especially while playing.

I cannot sew with my left hand. If I tried to make a stitch with the left God only knows how bad it would be or where the needle would end up.  When I throw a ball the right hand is used doing that too.  I have no problems using a right-handed computer mouse or even a desk that lefty’s have such a hard time with. 

When I eat, I can use either hand depending on the cuisine.  When I eat North African or Middle Eastern food I use my right hand and the left for everything else.  Then there is the problem when a lefty goes out to dinner with friends.  I try to sit at the end of the table with my left arm on the outside so that I can move freely. There are religions/cultures that insist everyone try to be right handed.  When you eat it must with the right hand because the left hand is unclean and is used when you are doing not so nice things which make me cringe at the thought of those people who don’t use soap afterwards but water only. 

Here is where I draw the line, with writing. I am a total lefty. There is just no way of working around it. And believe me, I have tried.  I can write with my other hand and it can be read but it would take me forever and the words would be all over the page. 

I don't know whether I am right brain,left brain, or no brain. I just take life as it comes. 

To all the lefty’s out there in the world, Happy Left-Handers Day! Those of us who are ambidextrous, well, it is too hard to spell and not enough out there in the world to have our own special day. 

Jul 27, 2014


I see a man sitting in the same chair whenever I go to the bookstore.  He is usually slumped over gently snoring and his prosthetic arm lays stiffly across his torso while the other is cradling a book. He is unnoticed by patrons who pass by him as they busily roam the store in search of the newest popular novel or favorite magazine.  But I see him and I'm wondering what his story is. Why does he come here? I wonder.  How long has he been in this condition? Most of all, does anyone love him? I can almost bet he is homeless. A $20 bill will not solve his problem.  Oh, how I wish that it could! I watched him for a moment or two and then left. But I thought about him all the way home.   

Homeless Man by Grajauskas
When I arrived at home, I sat down and wrote him a short letter.  A love letter of sorts. Saying that I hoped someone loved him. After all, what is life without without being loved? I enclosed a small amount of money then sealed the envelope. I went back to the store hoping to find the man, but by the time I got there someone had told him to leave. A clerk told me that he is there frequently, which I already knew.  "What time of day is he usually here?" I asked. "It varies", replied the clerk. I will deliver the letter eventually.  In the meantime, I will think about his life and I'll pray for an escape. 

Jul 23, 2014

My Southern Side and Elizabeth LaPrelle

I am Southern even though I live in the north. We moved away from Tennessee for the last time in early 70's.  Even though I lived a short time in the state of my birth it calls me from time to time.  It must be in my DNA somewhere.  Movies like Song Catcher and O Brother where are thou? stir up my southern side and tries to entice me to move back "home". I think about it often, very often.  But I would miss my brother and sister and I did when I tried to break away at the turn of the century. And yet it still calls me from the distance. 

Lately, I have been listening to old Southern ballads, only to find that they are really English ballads. I have the CD Song Catcher and have memorized nearly all of the songs. Two of my favorites from the CD are Pretty Saro sung by Iris DeMent and All my tears sung by Julie Miller. Which leads me to a singer by the name of Elizabeth LaPrelle.  She sings in the old Southern style that I love.  I discovered her on Youtube and have listened to her belt out ballads that came from the British Isles many, many years ago.  If you like country music then you will probably like this singer.    

Jul 19, 2014

Mature Love

He loves her...still.  They have been married for years and "it" is still there. I watched as he kissed her hand adoringly. It is their nightly ritual, he said. She is his world and it shows in his face. A love exists between them that I have never seen before.  I look on wishing, hoping, praying, that someday I will be loved like this. Until then, I wait...

Jul 15, 2014

I should have brought you flowers...

He emerged from the car with a gift. You don't see men carrying these around much. I watched as he made his way to her with his offering of love. All women love them, even if they declare that they don't. He found a vase and put the delicate flowers gently in their new home. They are beautiful. If only she could see them. The sweet perfume of the flower wafted on the gentle breeze to my nostrils but the one they were intended for could not smell them. Did he give her flowers before this? I hope that he did. I continued watching as he stood there talking to her. He looked around to make sure that no one noticed that he was conversing with the invisible. Did she hear him? I felt like a thief observing this intimate encounter. Afterwards, the man turned and walked back to his car. We live between the two eternities, birth and death. She has gone to hers and is patiently waiting for him.

Jul 9, 2014

Red Admiral: The Regal Buttlerfly

When I arrived home this evening I saw this butterfly in my yard.  I ran into the house as fast as I could to get me camera hoping that it would still be there when I came back outside. Today was my lucky day.  After chasing the butterfly around for a little bit it decided to stay put long enough for me to get a shot.  Oh how I love this time of year!  I wish that somehow it could be July all year long, well, at least the wonderful temperatures we have been experiencing lately all of the time.  I hope that you are having a wonderful summer.  

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
and find your shoulder to light on, 
to bring you luck, happiness, and riches
today, tomorrow, and beyond.

an Irish Blessing

Jul 5, 2014

60 Minutes: Sir Nicholas Winton "Saving the Children"

Yesterday we celebrated our independence. Flags were displayed proudly all across the country.  Fireworks filled the night sky with brilliant showers of color and light. Any yet, the horrors of war seem to haunt us, especially those from WWII.  The Hitler regime tried to do the unspeakable.

October 23, 2008 - Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images Europe
All throughout history there are unsung hero's who lived amongst us. Here is a story of one man, a two week vacation, and lives saved from the concentration camps. Nicholas Winton went to Prague on a two week vacation. Nicholas saw that war was eminent. The adults felt that they were stuck in their country, but wanted a way out for the children. Winton set up operation to try to save as many children as he could. 

Afterwards life went on for Winton. He never told a soul what he did. It was something that he just didn't talk about. As an American,I wish that we could have stepped in and helped.  But the "powers that be" didn't feel it was crucial to help the poor unfortunates. This is an enlightening story of how one person can make a difference in so many lives. 

Jun 29, 2014

Fairy Princess Halo

I have a little niece who wants to be a princess.  She is always asking me to buy her a princess dress or a dress that a Disney cartoon character is wearing in a film.  The other day I was looking on line to learn how to make a floral headdress and ran across a video for a fairy princess halo.  The directions were simple. Last night, I made the fairy princess halo and it turned out very nicely. 

I went to Walmart to buy the cable ties, they are more expensive in the smaller hardware stores. Also, I used 5 different pastel colored ribbon to give it lots of color. My niece loved this. If there is a little girl you know that longs to be a princess then watch the video below and make her feel very special.