Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sick Leave!

Yeah, I think I may look a little like this right now, actually worse, lol!  I've tried to downplay being sick, hoping it would go away.  Isn't that what a lot of us do?  Maybe not...but, I usually refuse to admit I'm sick!  I have been to the Doc and received the much sought after Z-Pack (whatever that means) for bronchitis, so I'm on the road to resurgence!

I just wanted to come by and let you know, I'm flying at half-mast right now and hope to spring back, and fly upwards soon!  I haven't been on blogger for a few days now, and, I can see I have missed a few posts.  And, I will catch'll see!  I see I'm missing my 3rd and final chapter of 'Stockings for Mary'.  I just haven't posted it yet, but will soon...I guess it will be alright to post after Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful and cheery Christmas we go into the new year!

I'm still in awe that we crossed over into the millennium to the year 2000!

Well, must go rest for a little while...thank you for stopping by.  
Will see you soon!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stockings For Mary * Chapter 2 'Hotdogs and Cocoa'

What we know so far is that Mary has lost her dwelling and has gone hunting for a new one in a better part of the city.  Her spirits are high on this day...let us continue.

Another hour ticked by, and, yet another...still no sign of anything that would provide shelter for Mary.  As the noon hour approached, she started making her way back toward the city.  Mary had managed to scrape up $1.79 from the streets and alleyways as she walked, and was looking forward to visiting her favorite hot dog vendor, Eddie.  She could get a nice plump hot dog with all the trimmings, and a hot cup of cocoa for $1.45 from Eddie's wagon.  And, Eddie always had some juicy news of happenings within the city...maybe he could help her find shelter for the night!

Just then, Mary heard a soft voice behind her, calling her name.  "Mary? Mary Tidwell?  Is that you, Mary?" She turned her head back just slightly and saw a lovely woman-a familiar face, though she couldn't place it just right off.  Once again, the lady who looked to be in her 40's, called out.
  "Mary, it's me, your Aunt Sophie.  Don't you remember me?  I know it's been a long time, but surely you remember me, your mother's sister.  Please stop, I've been looking for you these past few months."

Mary slowed her pace and finally stopped walking.  She turned around to get a better look, and, yes she did recognize her Aunt Sophie.  Sophie reached out to hug Mary, but, Mary pulled away, showing no emotion.  "Please Mary, can you forgive me?  What you must have been going through!  I am so sorry.  When your parents were killed I was out of the country, unable to acquire passage back in order to attend the funeral.  I, then, was so ashamed, I just couldn't show my face, having left you alone to fend for yourself.  My shame has gotten the best of me, and I knew I must find you and try to make amends.  Mary, we need each other.  Please-say something."  Mary's eyes welled up with tears, and she reached for her aunt with open arms.  It was the first hug Mary had felt in the years since her parents' passing, and, darned if it didn't feel good!  Sophie and Mary hugged more, and they cried and they laughed as they walked along.  Sophie offered to take Mary for a nice dinner in a lovely restaurant, but Mary insisted on taking Aunt Sophie to meet Eddie, the hot dog vendor.  "He makes the best hot dogs in town, and the warmest, creamiest hot cocoa ever", Mary bragged. 

They talked as they ate, and shared their life experiences from the last few years.  Then Mary tried to excuse herself...she had confided to Aunt Sophie that she lives on the streets, and, having lost her shelter, was alley-shopping around for another one.

"That is entirely out of the question!" Sophie exclaimed.  "Mary, I have taken a nice little apartment just a few miles from here with a beautiful view of the city.  I have an extra bedroom, and...I plan to stay.  You MUST come live with me and start a new life.  You can resume your education, and do the things you've only dreamed of.  Please say yes!"  Mary was so filled with joy, yet, tried to remain cool before she answered.  And, answer, she did!  "Are you certain you want a roommate Aunt Sophie?  I'll try not to be too much trouble.  I can cook only a little, but, I can sweep floors and wash dishes with the best of them.  Of course, I'd love to live with you! I've been so lonely and my feet are always cold out here.  Thank you so much for finding me, Aunt Sophie!  When I awoke this morning, I knew this day would be a good one!  And, look...the sun is shining even brighter now that you're here!"

With that settled, Aunt Sophie and Mary hooked arms, and headed toward the city, singing happily,
'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.'

Hello, dear ones.  Now I know you think this is the last of it...but, beware!  I've become long-winded in my old (scratch that)  age, and, there are a few things I just can't leave unattended.  Can you handle one more chapter in a few days?  I've almost got it finished.

We've got a couple of birthdays-two of my favorite entertainers.  I just have to make mention of them, and wish them well!


Who is this handsome devil?
Keith Richards * December 18, 1943
One of the best guitarists and songwriters of all time!
This guy still rocks!

And, this lovely lady?
Miss Barbara Mandrell * December 25, 1948
A multi-talented, singer/entertainer and musician
The first, and only female to win the Country Music Assocation
'Entertainer of the Year Award' twice...
until Taylor Swift equaled her.

And, while I've got you here, that is, if you get the chance-stop by Karo's new blog.  He decided to give it a go with his 'Rockabilly' interests.  You can find him on my sidebar as:
Rock A Billy Rock.

Thank you:
Keith Richards
Barbara Mandrell

And, thank you dear readers for coming by.  I love to see you! The final chapter of 'Stockings for Mary' will be posted soon.  Have a safe and joyous holiday!

And beware of the Grinch!  hehe!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stockings For Mary * Chapter 1 'The Rude Awakening'

The cold, December night sent chills through Mary's body as she moved closer to the fire to get warm.  She always tried to keep her distance from the others so as not to bring too much attention to herself.  No need to become close to these never knew how much he or she could trust them in desperate times.  Yeah, they all seemed nice enough, but Mary refrained from answering questions, and giving too much of herself away.  It was bad enough, now that someone had made off with her meager shelter...a cardboard box cast out, that had previously housed a new refrigerator.  So, here she stood with the others, trying to stay warm and contemplating her next step for survival.  With Christmas around the corner, there should be plenty more boxes available, waiting to be picked up by the sanitation department, unless Mary got there first!  Why, there should be a lot to choose from, and Mary should hit pay dirt!  But, oh, on this night, her legs and feet were suffering tremendously from the frosty air and the cold concrete beneath them, as were the others around her.  

She caught herself humming 'Silent Night' quietly, hoping no one would hear, and, then her mind wandered back to the last time she sang the carol out loud with her mother and father.  It was three years ago, when Mary was just fourteen, the three of them sat in front of the fireplace in their modest home singing Christmas Carols together, marveling at their brightly lit Christmas tree, and the stockings that adorned their fireplace.  It was a joyous occasion, that would be the last of Mary's fond Christmas memories.  After the accident that took both of her parents' lives, Mary was left alone in her sadness.  Her parents' home and furnishings were auctioned off by the state to pay off debts, and, with no apparent family members to be found, Mary was placed in foster care.  Being a vivacious teen, she became unhappy and restless...thus, it became evident that her time within the present confines had come to an end.  So, with her meager belongings, the following year, Mary slipped out on a summer night, and did not look back.  A series of small-time jobs delivering flyers, washing dishes and mopping front stoops, barely kept Mary going, and there was little chance for further education at this time.

Sometimes Mary became angry at her predicament...after all, whose fault was it that her parents perished after that horrible truck hit them?  They were on route to her school Christmas pageant, when they were hit head on while crossing a bridge, and forced off the bridge into the icy waters of the river.  Later, there would be the devastating double funeral with Mary there, accompanied by her school teachers and a few friends.  Sadly, no one could avoid what inevitably came next.  Mary lost everything else along with her precious parents.  And, in her mind, she was destined to roam through the streets of life alone.  At the city foster care center, Christmas was celebrated as well as it could be with a wonderful tree, caroling, good food, and, even a jolly old Santa Claus bearing gifts for all.  But, Mary still felt the emptiness, that engulfed her, and the loneliness brought on by the absence of her loving parents.

After a tumultuous night's sleep within the alcove of a long ago abandoned dress shop, Mary awoke just before dawn, feeling vigorous and ready to go hunting for her next abode.  Quietly she moved through the sleeping street tenants, making her way to the back alley that would lead her to a more prosperous part of the city.  And, she whined to herself, "Oh, will my feet ever be warm again?"  It was hard to find socks on the street.  Mary was able to acquire a pair of tennis shoes from one of the churches the previous month, but no one seemed to have any socks.  "Maybe today I'll find some", Mary mused optimistically.

 By 9:00 AM, having combed the better neighborhoods, Mary still hadn't found a proper box for her dwelling.  Even though the air was crisp and cool, the day was embraced with a beautiful, bright, and heartwarming sun.  And...Mary just knew she would score in a big way on this day!

Greetings, my dearest readers, and, Happy Holidays to you all.  I hope you've enjoyed the first chapter of my Christmas story for the year 2012.  I'm afraid the story escalated somewhat, as I wrote, and wrote, and, wrote!  I will have to post Chapter 2, let's say in 2 or 3 days if that works for you.  

In the meantime, I would like to congratulate the 'Rolling Stones' on their 50th anniversary!  This group was formerly the 'Bad Boys' of rock and roll in the 1960's, having come to the USA on the 'coattails' of the Beatles, so it is said.  Actually, their fishing boat ran aground, (or amuck), somewhere on the New Jersey shore as they tried to head off  'The Beatles' arrival!  Well, needless-to-say, they lost a few months to 'The Beatles'!  But, they're still here!

Really, I'm kidding!  I have always adored the Rolling Stones, and, watch their concerts when they become televised.  I got to see them in concert in Dallas, Texas in 1988, and it was fabulous!  They have endured the 'rock' of time, and, I applaud these guys!

Mick, Keith and Charlie
NY * December 8, 2012

*** And, now, I must make my way back to reality...where temps in Fort Worth are expected to take a major nose dive tonite and tomorrow! I'm getting my woolies ready, and, dusting off that wool coat!  I think Christmas is REALLY in the air this time-no 80° holiday for us, eh?

Take care...thank you so much for coming by.  If you get a chance, say hello.  I will post Chapter 2 in a couple of days.

 I would like to thank Thisisme at Southhamsdarling (her blog link is on my sidebar) for inspiring me to write this little Christmas story! I don't think she meant for me to write a book tho!  I'm trying to keep it short!

Love to you all! xxoo

Thanks also to:
The Associated Press
'The Rolling Stones' *** YAY!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Huck Finn Pays Tribute!

original art by Justin Williams * Fort Worth, Texas

"I was pretty tired, and the first thing I knowed I was asleep.  When I woke up I didn't know where I was for a minute.  I set up and looked around, a little scared.  Then I remembered.  The river looked miles and miles across.  The moon was so bright I could a counted the drift logs that went a-slipping along, black and still, hundreds of yards out from the shore.  Everything was dead quiet, and it looked late, and SMELT late.  You know what I mean--I don't know the words to put it in."

"I took a good gap and a stretch, and was just going to unhitch and start when I heard a sound way over the water.  I listened.  Pretty soon I made it out.  It was that dull kind of a regular sound that comes from oars working in rowlocks when it's a still night.  I peeped through the willow branches, and there it was--a skiff, away across the water.  I couldn't tell how many was in it.  It kept a-coming, and when it was abreast of me I see there warn't but one man in it.  Thinks I, maybe it's pap, though I warn't expecting him.  He dropped below me with the current, and by and by he came a-swinging up shore in the easy water, and he went by so close I could a reached out the gun and touched him.  Well, it WAS pap, sure enough--and sober, too, by the way he laid his oars."

"I didn't lose no time.  The next minute I was a-spinning down stream soft but quick in the shade of the bank.  I made two mile and a half, and then struck out a quarter of a mile or more towards the middle of the river, because pretty soon I would be passing the ferry landing, and people might see me and hail me.  I got out amongst the driftwood, and then laid down in the bottom of the canoe and let her float.  I laid there, and had a good rest and a smoke out of my pipe, looking away into the sky; not a cloud in it.  The sky looks ever so deep when you lay down on your back in the moonshine; I never knowed it before.  And how far a body can hear on the water such nights!"  

*** This is an excerpt from 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'
written by none other that my favorite author- Mark Twain ***
The book was first published in England in December 1884
and, then in the United States in 1885

The illustration was done by a friend of ours, Justin Williams, on a wall in his garage.  Justin graciously emailed me the picture, and, I am pleased to incorporate the drawing into my celebration of the birth of Mark Twain.

Samuel L. Clemens, aka Mark Twain
Born in Hannibal, Missouri November 30, 1835
Died in Redding, Connecticut April 21, 1910

Thank You:
Huckleberry Finn
a 'special thanks' to Justin Williams

Thank you so much for stopping by.  We're about to embark on the Thanksgiving for the year of 2012, and, my wish for you is to have a joyful, AND, thankful holiday!

Are we thankful enough?  I'm always finding more to be thankful for...just waking up is a blessing to me! And, I am thankful for my family, friends, and, you!  Please stop by anytime, even if I don't have a new post...visit an old post just to say HI!  We will all be busy with the holidays coming up, and I look forward to seeing what you present on your blogs for them...'White Christmas' perhaps?
"You see, in our house there was a sort of family prejudice against going fishing if you hadn't permission.  But it would frequently be bad judgement to ask.  So I went fishing secretly, as it were--way up the Mississippi."
~Mark Twain * Speech March 7, 1906


be safe, see you soon! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kreepy Karma! ...from the KardKorner Krypt!

As we approached the carnival grounds, a sudden, eerie rush of cool air stopped us cold.  We just stood there trying to focus through the dusky haze...trying to make sense of what appeared (or didn't appear) before us.  Connie and I wondered out loud, "Are we at the right place?"  I said, "Okay, okaayy...sure I took a wrong turn from County Road 1300, which sent us reeling south on Buckeye Road, instead of north to Scooter's Pass!"  "But, this IS a carnival site...what you can SEE of it!  This MUST be the place!" Connie exclaimed. "But where are the lights, the music, and screams of laughter from the crowds?"

Just then, a lone tumbleweed brushed past us...a raking sound on the ground, dragging a stream of foggy mist behind it.  "What the...?", I think I choked on that question!  And, Connie tapped my arm, so gently to get my attention to what her eyes were focusing on.  "Look Sarah, there's the ticket booth, and, I think that looming object behind it is the ferris wheel!"  All I could see was an old abandoned ticket booth, and, a dilapidated ferris wheel, no longer operative.  I said, "I'm thinking we should go now, get back to the car and find a 'REAL' Halloween event!"

We turned and started to make our way to the gates, when we heard a low, buzzing sound getting louder and louder, until 'POP'! A glow of colored lights showered above us, startling us to an abrupt hault.  Haha!  It brings to mind a line from  'The Three Stooges' Niagara movie!  "Slowly we turned...step by step, inch by inch, until SUDDENLY-!"

Finding ourselves under the spell of bright-colored lights and the musical sounds of a full-fledged carnival,  we decided to turn back and venture into the midst of this oh, so inviting scenario, as it were.  Still, the grounds were void of the familiar sounds of carnival laughter and silly screams.  However, as we slowly made our way back toward the most talked about feature of 'Scooter's' carnival...the feared and revered 'Haunted House', we heard a low, raspy voice.  The voice seemed to be speaking to us...beckoning us to continue our slow journey into the bowels of the Nightmare Haunted House.  "Come hither, my pretties...welcome!  Do enter, so that you may experience the most fascinating horrors of the world!"  That didn't sound good!!!  But, tho leery, we decided to give it a shot, and, as the doors creaked open, we peered inside only to witness a most disconcerting site!  Yeah, there were people in the room, frolicking around to eerie, spooky music, and dancing with bats and spiders all throughout the establishment.  There were gravestones and gothic crosses, and a dirt floor that sank and oozed large waterbugs beneath our feet.  There was a putrid smell of, what?...rotten eggs and some kind of, well, you know, since there were BATS in the place-I guess they didn't get out much to relieve themselves!

Suddenly, darkness engulfed us, and, once again we heard a voice...NO!  Two voices!  This time the whispering voices were imploring us to leave.

  "Get out!" "You must leave now!  Make haste before you're discovered! There's no time to waste! As the witching hour approaches, you will be caught up in this abyss of eternal unrest!"
"Go nowwww...go nowwww!"

Connie and I were already backing out of the Haunted House as these voices came rushing in.  We did an about face, hooked arms, and, began the long trek in the dark haze, back to the gates, and, hopefully to my trusty '61 Volkswagen awaiting just outside.  I know, I know-"don't look back, you say!" But, I did look back, and the Haunted House had become dark and ghoulish in appearance, no longer the facade of a 'fun' Halloween party place!  And I noticed some movement just outside the door on the old rickety porch of the house.  A ghastly witch-like figure, with long fingers, cloaked in black-smiling and beckoning.  The creature had the same raspy voice as the one who invited us in.  "I can show you excitement, I can show you the world as you never imagined!", the ghoul croaked.
  "Come back my pretties, come back!"

...My Heart Sank! I didn't tell Connie...but, I know she felt it!


...Slowly we turned...all the lights on the carnival grounds had gone out with a BANG!  ...Step by painful step, our legs could barely move-so we weren't running! (no sirree Bob-who's Bob?) ...Inch by inch-Connie and I were literally holding each other up, guiding each other thru the fog, thru the ghostly tumbleweeds scurrying past us.  Every now and then I would hear a faint whisper from Connie's mouth, her head was hanging, her eyes closed for most of the journey, "Sarah, Sarah", she would gasp.  "I'm right here Connie, I'm right here", I tried to reassure her.

I saw a faint glow up ahead...then, getting brighter and brighter!  And, what's that sound?  Why, it's the roar of a small engine!  "Connie, Connie, it's there...and it's waiting for us!  It's guiding the way!"
And, then I saw it...thru the fog and the haze, a sight for sore eyes.  It was my precious little Volkswagen, headlights flashing, urging us on...calling to us!

"Your Chariot Awaits You, Mademoiselles!"

I kept hearing Connie's voice calling to me, pleadingly, and, I'm sure I only closed my eyes for a moment.  When I opened them, there she was, standing across from me, at what appeared to be the foot of a bed.  My bed ? Connie's arms were loaded with Halloween decorations, and, she was calling me urgently.  "Sarah, Sarah, wake up!  We have lots of decorating to do before our Halloween party tonite!"  There was such excitement in her voice, and, I said (what I always say), "What the heck....?" My hair was all sticky and matted,  my nightshirt was soaked (with sweat?), and, I believe I detected a dried substance coming from my mouth, down to my chin (drool, you say?).

Then, it hit me...HARD!
"Connie, Connie!"  I exclaimed. "I can't believe I'm here! I have to tell you what happened last nite!  It was dark, foggy, and scary! Lights would come on...then, go off again.  Eerie voices everywhere, strong and raspy...then soft and whispery!  You wouldn't believe this place..."

Connie's expression softened, she looked me in the eye, and said,
"I believe, Sarah...I was there, and, I'm right here."

yeah, it's me!

Thank you so much for humoring me, by reading my "kind of" spooky, yet fun story.  I hope you enjoyed your visit into the depths of the past. Autumn is my favorite season of the year, and, I felt a certain need to ring in the season with a 'TALL TALE'!  My inspiration?  I'll never tell!

A lot of us can remember and relate to the old Carnival grounds in our towns...abandoned and dilapidated.  And, they're only brought back to life in our minds' eyes!

I borrowed all but one of the pictures from Yahoo images, however, I re-invented...that is, in order to  illustrate how my mind envisioned this event, I manipulated the pictures.  I really did have a 1961 Volkswagen, though, and, there is a Buckeye Road, actually somewhere near Coffeyville, Kansas!

* Please be safe, my dear readers...
...don't wander too far from the REAL carnival!  LOL!

I'm taking this moment to thank:
Yahoo images
The State of Kansas
The Three Stooges
'Connie and Sarah' (imaginary characters)
1961 Volkswagens rock!

"We love you Scootie!"

Friday, August 31, 2012

Tortellini Lunch...a homey treat!

My Tortellini Salad * photo by Suzanne

I love pasta...although, a little too much, I suppose.  From time to time, I throw together this special salad, that is a treat in my house.  Originally, I acquired the recipe from my Southern Living magazine in 2002, and over time, I have...well, you know...changed it up
just a bit.

I'm one of those 'throw-together-good-stuff' kind of people, and, I know what you like! 


Get some tortellini, of any kind you or two 9 oz. packages
1 can Artichoke Hearts
Luncheon Salami ( I use beef cotto salami, about 4 slices) 
Onion, or Green Onion (chopped)
Black Olives (sliced)
Fresh chopped garlic (my pick)
Lemon Pepper (my addition)
Lemon juice (fresh squeezed) 
Shredded Parmesan cheese (my addition)
Caesar salad dressing

I think that's all of the ingredients, unless you want to variate with some cooked chicken, which is also good...and lightly sauteed mushrooms, mmm!  The lemon juice and garlic are my additions...I stir the juice and garlic together in a little bowl, and toss the cooked tortellini with it before adding the remaining ingredients.

I cut and slice all of my veggies before cooking the tortellini, so it's all ready to go.  Since I use sliced salami, I cut  the slices into squares, as you can see in my photo.  The tortellini is cooked to tenderness (just a little bit of canola oil in the water), drained in cold water and, transferred to the salad bowl.  

* Lightly season cooled tortellini with lemon pepper
* Toss the tortellini with lemon juice and garlic mixture
* Add onion, black olives, and salami
* I cut the Artichoke Hearts into bite sized pieces, and
gently fold into salad
*Lightly toss the salad with shredded Parmesan cheese

Now, I leave the dressing up to you.
  I love Caesar salads, but, store-bought Caesar dressings are too salty for me, so I just use a Kraft Italian dressing.  I like the 'Sun-dried Tomato' dressing on my Tortellini salad, it's not as salty.  
Tortellini Salad * photo by Suzanne

And, now...I promised my 'cohort' over at MyTexasGardens that I would 'implore' of you, my dear readers, to participate in a sharing event that she is planning for her garden blog.  Susan is working on a 'windowsill' 'photo-sharing' (not a contest) post for early October.  She would love to post any photo of your own that you might have of a windowsill with, say, flowers, fruit and vegetables, knick-knacks, etc., or with nothing at all on it.  Susan wants you all to email your photo to her no later than September 25th, so she can get started on the post and display all of your photos.  Please include your name, city, state and country.  However, if you prefer not to have your name used, just let us know.  And, if you wish to give your photo a title, please do so.  So far, she has received 2 photos, and, she will probably write a quick post from MyTexasGardens with her plan and request.  This request also includes you guy(s)!!!   Please indulge her...
  so she'll get off my back!
I didn't say that...

Here's an example
My Bumper Crop Tomatoes, lol!

Thank you all for humoring me with your gracious visits,  I really enjoy the sharing and fun that blogging has brought me.  Believe me...having penpals as a kid was fun, but, blogging brings it all much closer to home.  I look forward to hearing your news, seeing your wonderful photos, and, at the same time, I have learned so much from you.  Stop by anytime and say hello!

Thank You:
Southern Living
Kraft Salad Dressings

"Friends are the Bacon Bits in the Salad Bowl of life."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Drastic Measures...Mosquito Warfare!!!

Two-engine plane out of
Dynamic Aviation in Virginia

Greetings, my gracious blogmates!  As you probably know, we are in the midst of a mosquito invasion here in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area.  And, I'm sure, in most states, some of the same is going on.  However, our state of Texas seems to be the center of the 'West Nile' virus, that is carried by mosquitoes.  They can actually contract the virus from other animals and birds! 

This virus affects most folks over 50 years of age, and can cause high fevers, headaches and disorientation.  There is no vaccine for this virus.  More than 30,000 people have come down with the disease since the first reported case in 1999.  And, so far, it has resulted in 14 deaths in Dallas, with at least 200 people affected.

The Mayor of Dallas has declared the city in a State of Emergency, and Dallas' county Judge Clay Jenkins has commissioned planes from Dynamic Aviation of Virginia to spray for these deadly invaders.   The decision came about after consulting with health officials and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  There has been some conflict from some Dallas citizens, citing that the pesticides could be toxic to citizens, animals and plant life.  But, county Judge Jenkins declares that the pesticide known as 'Duet' will be used, and, is considered safe, as it has been used successfully in other communities in the United States.  Duet was developed in 1988 by Clarke out of Chicago.  Aerial spraying is common in Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan and Minnesota. The Judge says that after the aerial spraying, the odds of infection will be 6 times lower.  And, the last time aerial spraying was used in Texas, Lyndon Johnson was in office as President of the United States.

Well, two of the planes arrived on Thursday, scheduled to begin their plight on Friday nite.  I believe another 2 planes have since arrived.  Above is a photo of one of these planes.  Generally, 2-engine planes are certified for aerial spraying to fly over cities, in the event of engine failure, to aid in safe landings.  That is one good looking plane, don't you think?   

As, for Fort Worth...well, no aerial spraying is planned at this time.  Doesn't mean we don't have those varmints tho!!! That lady over at MyTexasGardens has to wear flannel pants to go out and water plants, and-she puts a little cotton in her ears to keep them out! 
Can't stand the buzzing, eh?

So, promise me that you'll spray yourselves...I know, I know-the spray is costly (highway robbery!)  But, you can brave the heat and wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and....yes, put some cotton in your ears to ward them off.


We've had our grandson 'Scootie' this past week, and, he has cabin fever because we're keeping him inside as much as possible.  So, we bought some puzzles to occupy him with.

ABC Puzzle * photo taken August 14, 2012

And a little balloon time!

Thank you so much for your visit.  I appreciate all the visits and wonderful comments received by you...I always look forward to hearing from you.

P.S.  I have not posted any photos of real mosquitoes... can just step outside!

Please let me thank:

"What is the difference between a mosquito and a fly?"
"Try sewing buttons on a mosquito!"

'au revoir, mes amies!'

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jailhouse Jive...featuring WHO?

Elvis Presley
Jailhouse Rock * November 1957

Hi everyone!  Here we are again, heading into Elvis week, 2012.  And, you know there are lots of events going on just to commemorate the life of this Rock N Roll 'King'!  If you can get to Memphis, you will be part of a great celebration all over'll be dancing in the streets, visiting various vendors with their displays of Elvis memorabilia, and, eating some fine southern foods!


I'm sure you noticed the picture above.  There he is showing his stuff in his movie "Jailhouse Rock".  This movie went public in November of 1957 to a social pounding of mixed reactions. However, the movie fared very well at the box office-afterall, it was Elvis, wasn't it?  The film was cut on a budget of $400,000.00, and grossed, well, add a few more zeros...$4,000,000.00 On the downside, some of the negative criticisms were:    "This is a 'blown-up tale', with cheap, human values."  Then we have, "Elvis' performance was dangerously near being repulsive."  Funny, I didn't notice that, haha!

As for 'kudos', Elvis' performance was praised-"He proved himself as a dramatic actor."  One publication stated that, "Elvis displays himself as an actor, top singer and dancer, making this film his first big dramatic role!"  One author wrote that the film contained the perfect balance of song and story, capturing Elvis' raw, sexy energy, and 'sneering' charisma on film!  Elvis' costars and the choreography were also praised.

* I still love to watch this movie! *

The song, 'Jailhouse Rock', was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, September 24, 1957 for this movie.  In the US, Jailhouse Rock reigned #1 for seven weeks, and in 1958, the song peaked at #1 in the UK for three weeks.  It reached the #2 spot on the R & B charts,  and was even at the top of the Country charts.  This song was a HUGE contribution to our rock and roll era!

And, how about that prison uniform?  I thought it was just designed for the movie...nah!  That style of prison attire has been around for quite some time.  Sometimes we watch Perry Mason and Dragnet from the 1950's and 1960's, and I've noticed that inmates are dressed very similar to Elvis in Jailhouse Rock.  It seems as though in the late 19th century and early 20th century, the striped prison uniform was phasing itself out.  It was thought that if prisoners were able to dress with a little more normality, they could be rehabilitated with more success.  The old, nasty, striped uniforms were used as a measure of punishment, a badge of shame, if you will.  Blue jeans and chambray work shirts eventually became significant in suggesting fair treatment toward the non-violent offenders in hopes that they would be able to return to society with improved attitudes.  Does that work?  I would like to believe so.  But, what about escapees?  The striped uniforms served as immediate flags to identify prisoners who escaped, whereas, blue jeans and chambray might lead us to think they're just 'law abiding' citizens!  But, of course, now we have the colored jumpsuits-are there certain colors for specific offenses, or, are they color coded according to state, county, or cell block?
 Oh well, I'll let the prison system handle all of that!

Elvis, just so you don't feel singled out in your jailhouse attire, I've invited some of my favorite 'jailbirds' by to model their jailhouse duds!
  I miss you 'E'!

David Janssen * 'The Fugitive' * 1963

Burt Lancaster and Karl Malden * Birdman of Alcatraz * 1962

Susan Hayward * 'I Want To Live' * 1958

Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman * 'Papillon' * 1973

Sean Connery * 'The Rock' * 1996

Paul Newman * 'Cool Hand Luke' * 1967

Johnny Depp * 'Cry-Baby' * 1990

Wow...a cagey group to be sure!  Do I like prison movies or what?  What is it about a man/or woman in uniform that strikes our fancy?  Well, a prison uniform certainly doesn't suggest authority, does it?

Seriously, sometime this week, please take a moment to remember Elvis and the driving force behind him that got us off our seats, and sent us careening onto the floor.  Haven't most of us, even you ladies, tried to sing and dance like Elvis at sometime in our life?  Ed Sullivan liked did my parents! And, believe it or not, we've passed his legacy down thru the decades to our children and theirs.  He still has that certain charisma, that makes us stop, look, listen, and, even try to curl our upper lip!

Thank you all for coming're the greatest!  Stop by anytime, everyone is welcome.  And don't be shy about saying hello...sometimes communication with others (even on a whim), is the best medicine!  Tell you makes my day!

I'm greatly obliged to the following sources:
Yahoo images

Elvis A. Presley
~ January 8, 1938 ~ August 16, 1977

"If I stand still while I'm singing, I'm a dead man."
Elvis Presley

And, in loving memory of Karo's father, my father-in-law
Benjamin W. Trammell
February 22, 1921 * August 16, 1995


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sky Bauble...fine trinketry!

photo by suzanne * July 24, 2012

As is my nature, while toolin' around one hot afternoon on I-30, just a little west of Fort Worth, I was looking around, (since I wasn't driving)...for anything of interest, that, maybe I hadn't seen before.  I'm sure I've probably mentioned to you that I'm always after a story.  Oh, not that I don't have plenty of stories tucked away for a rainy day, but, sometimes I just want to find something new.  And, sometimes I have to go out into the field to see what I can come up with.  We're cruising down the highway, and, POW! There looms this rustic 'herculean-like' object, just off to the right of the freeway!  What in the world...?  Of course, I didn't have my camera with me...sometimes I just don't think I'll see any photoworthy items...sound familiar?  But Karo said we could go back soon with the camera to get a few shots, and, we did!

* So, "What is this mammoth creature?", you ask'?
*  I say, "Why, it's an 'armillary'!"
* You:  "Armillary?"
* Me:  "Yes, a sphere made up of rings representing celestial longitude and latitude."
* You:  "What is it used for?"
* Me:  "It is used to map the constellations, demonstrating the motion of the stars around the earth.  There are 6 exterior parts (or rings) of this sphere that represent  the circles of the heavens."

Oh, what the heck!!!  Here's a diagram of one.
~ Armillary ~
It is said to have been invented by the Greek Astronomer Hipparchus

* "So, what's this got to do with your photo?" you ask.

As we got closer to the structure, we could see that this colossal sphere was atop a small building-somehow attached so as to anchor the crude structure.  It turns out that this is an ironworks company owned by a couple of guys, and, it's been here since 1985!

Aaron Ornamental IronWorks * Fort Worth, Texas
~photo by Suzanne

I had occasion to sift through the Aaron Ornamental Iron Works website, and was pleasantly amazed at  the work they do.

This awning is 'Fabulous'!

 Beautiful 'balcony boxes'!

'Ornate, ornate, and ornate! Gorgeous door!

Is this a stairway, or what?  Awesome!

Who'd have thought all of this beautiful stuff could be designed and produced in that little building with tin siding?  Well, wonders never cease (as my mom says)! 
 Some of their projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area include:

* The Fort Worth Mint
* Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
* Six Flags Over Texas
* Medical City Dallas

And, they are still up and running, committed to excellence in the iron work industry.  It looks to me as though they have a lot of excellence under their belts.  It is a very impressive portfolio, loaded with plenty of artistic and engineering talents for this Fort Worth landmark!

Oh....what about my bauble?  Well, I have found that the 'armillary' is also used in garden design.  And...I HAPPEN to know that 'what's-her-name' over at MyTexasGardens has a concrete column, about 3 feet tall, just sitting way out in the back forty of her yard-with nothing to do.  Maybe we can shame her into adding another feature to her garden!!!  How about it Susan?

Here are 2 examples of what you can do with these interesting trinkets:
Very 'old world' and classy!


Isn't it amazing what you can learn from just one photograph?  I have to tell you, I had no idea what an 'armillary' is!  And, I must confess, even tho I read about it, I didn't totally understand all of the scientific terminology, but, I did pick up on some of it, thankfully so!

"Involve me, and, I learn."
~Benjamin Franklin

Thank you so much for stopping by to see what I am up to on this hot, dog-day of summer.  Actually, (guilty as charged) I have been watching the Olympics in the evenings, and, enjoying all of the games.  Consequently, I have neglected my blog reading, and, I am backtracking to catch up-is there an Olympic event for blogging? Nah!  Congratulations to all of the medal winners, and, to those who qualified to participate.  The competition was pretty stiff!!!  The gymnastics were pretty intense, and, I detected a bit of poor sportsmanship (specifically in the women's gymnastics), but, all in all, I have the utmost respect for teams who displayed respect for others, and, represented their countries proudly!  I've also enjoyed getting to see some of beautiful London!  I loved seeing The Tower of London and the bridge over the Thames-please take me there, someone!

Wow!  Let Me Thank:
yahoo images

*do all of the above references mean I needed help with this post?

does a bear...?

this little tidbit was emailed to me by a co-worker
~ thank you Jeff!

Be safe...see you next time!