Monday, July 31, 2017

Traveling South

Traveling Back in Time:

Reader Dear, this past weekend I took a trip back to the place of my childhood in southern Virginia.  The event that prompted the trip was a 120-year celebration of the church of my growing-up years. The weekend was filled with nostalgia, old friends and music! 

It was The Yard Man who escorted me south, and The Yard Man travels nowhere without his stack of favorite CDs.  We needed to load them in the player before exiting the driveway!

It was a long road trip for just twenty-seven hours at our destination, but the music sped us along.  For three hundred and some miles, we traveled melodiously!

                                                                                                                                                                                   We noted all the usual landmarks.

"We have to stop at the peanut shop!" said The Yard Man.  We were so hungry! Reader Dear, (I confess) we ate too many samples.  But, it's okay.  We carried away an armload of those good goobers!

We crossed four rivers.


We  traveled a "Trl"

We passed some southern buildings that northerners would call eyesores
(Picturesque, Viewer Dear, is what I called them).

Oh, yes, Dear Reader.  This journey will be continued.
 I will take you farther.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


As in Hodge-Podge.
Reader Dear-slash-Viewer Dear, here's a (tiny little) slice of my just-past week.

It was a week in which:
Only Son, Small Actor, and I discovered an (apparently frenzied) ant colony.

I couldn't resist my impulse to run amok with filming of these ants.  I produced far too many movies, all of them with the very same plot--ants running amok!

It was a week in which:
In the front yard of a plumber-friend (very handy to have a plumber who is a friend; just as good to have a friend who is a plumber) I had spotted a box full of water plants and a sign that said: Free.  "What's this?" I asked.  "Do you have a pond?"
"Didn't you ever see my pond?" he asked.  "Follow me!
You're going to see something you've never seen before in your life!" he promised, as he escorted me around the house to his back yard.
There he showed me a very pretty little man-made body of water, lush with blooming water lilies!
I gushed!
But (naturally, I'd seen water lilies before), then my plumber-friend said, "Okay, watch this!"  He went and got a handful of fish food.  He reached into the pond and released the food into an inverted aquarium.  It was then I saw something I'd never seen before in my life:  fish swimming above water-level!  It was amazing!
Reader Dear, it was my Thursday Thrill!

It was a week in which:
(Speaking of water-level) I did not hear the rain at night, but the next morning I saw its evidence!

It was a week in which:
I had my plumber-friend install a new bathroom vanity in an apartment I am "turning over" (landlord jargon for "cleaning, cleaning, cleaning...lots of etc" in order to re-rent)  Because the vanity was not quite as deep as the previous one, I needed a small piece of baseboard (which the painter had told me he would paint and install).  I carefully measured the needed length and it was exactly a foot.  Excellent, I thought, and headed off to Lowe's (hardware store where I had bought the vanity).  Explaining my situation at a front desk--my need for a one-foot piece--I was told, "You will have to go to Home Depot for that!  We don't cut pieces here.  You either buy an eight-foot piece, or you go to Home Depot where you can get a shorter piece."
Reader Dear, excuse me while I say a loud and lengthy AAARRRGGGHHH!
"What?!" I huffed, "You are sending me to your competitor?!  I am a very loyal customer! I've been in here every day for the past three days!"
The guy shook his head.  "Sorry," he said.

I wandered mournfully to the back of the store, to the lumber department.  I was hot and tired.  There was no way I would drive through late afternoon traffic to the Home Depot store and spend an hour finding an employee who would cut a piece of baseboard for me!

And then!  Up stepped an employee named Rob.  "What can I help you with?" he asked.
I recounted my dilemma and rued the fact that I'd been instructed to patronize a competitor.  "And this store has always been my favorite of the two!" I added.
"All you need is one foot?" he asked.  "I have just the thing!  I have a deal you can't refuse!"
"Follow me!" he said.
"It's free?" I laughed.
"Almost!" he replied.
I trotted after him through several aisles and we arrived at his solution to my problem: an eight-foot piece of baseboard that had damaged spots.  He could sell it to me very cheaply and I could simply cut out a one-foot piece.
"Lovely!" I said, "But I don't have a saw!"
"Here's what I can do," he  said.  He looked around a little furtively.  He went to the massive saw at the back of the store and cut out all the good parts from that eight-foot length of baseboard.
One of the pieces (he carefully measured) was exactly one foot long!
"Here you go!" he placed the wood in my cart.  "That will all be one dollar."

Reader Dear, it was my Wee Wednesday Wonder!*
*("You've got a terrific employee!" I told the staff at the front desk, " Rob, in the lumber department, deserves a raise!"
It was a week in which:
I spotted another butterfly, doing exercises on my porch.  I was rushing off to do exercises myself, but I couldn't resist filming the little beauty.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Viewer Dear,  I am about to show you some of my neighbors who have very distinctive features (I'm trying to say it in a nice way, but they are so ODD!)  Now,  they're not right next door;  they live on a farm about a mile from me and The Yard Man. ) I find them ever so fascinating!

One day in late spring, the neighbor man who raises these long-horned cattle was checking on them when The Yard Man and I happened to drive by.  We stopped to gawk, to take photos, and to ask questions (Okay, well, it was mostly I who was doing the gawking, and the photos are strictly mine.  The Yard Man was conversing).  Because the cattle-raiser enjoyed telling us about his animals, and we found it so interesting, we spent at least a half-hour there beside the road. 

"Those are sure some strange-looking critters!" I said to The Yard Man when we had bid goodbye to our neighbors (both the odd ones and the cattle-raiser, too) and moved along toward home.   

"Can you imagine if humans had horns like that growing out of their heads?!"  I asked.  And then I tried to imagine it. (Obviously, it's just a suggestion, but why don't you ponder this, too, Viewer Dear?)

I also imagined that I heard the mama cow with the straight-out horns say to her baby, "See that STRANGE-looking woman ogling us?!  Doesn't she look WEIRD with those little tiny ears on the side of her head?! I hear those humans grow fingernails so soft they can chew them right off if they wish!"

(I have to admit, Reader Dear, though I'm partially bovine, I have not learned the language [yet]).

Back at home, The Yard Man and I had plenty of little critters of our own to enjoy!

Paw Nelson

But, none of them have quite such distinctive features as the long-horns!


Saturday, July 22, 2017

One might believe,

Dear Reader Dear, that my life consists of Fridays only. Or maybe you are prone to think that when I put my order in each week, I just say, "Oh, gimme a weekend, throw in one or two random weekdays, but just be sure I get a Friday!"

Whatever the case may be, here I am with another Friday about which to report: Third Friday!
The Yard Man and I hosted a sleepover for all my short-in-stature actors.  Even the Itty-Bitty Actor made a brief appearance (Though he didn't get to spend the night, he was here long enough for me to get a good publicity shot!)

With these four, even the photo-taking session shows off their natural ability to perform!

The rest of the warm summer evening, we had a rollicking (and occasionally wet*) good time!

*Alas, the moving pictures may stubbornly refuse to move! Water guns, (non-Viewer Dear) I'm talking water guns!  Shrieks and laughter and sneaking up on one another is so much easier to convey with photos that move!

And then, Saturday morning:
It was a trip to the Fulton Theater, so the little actors could see BIG* actors!
*It's the play (based on the movie).  Viewer Dear, I hope you have the good fortune to view it!

My little actors in the audience seemed spellbound by the actors on stage, and the Yard Man and I genuinely enjoyed both sets!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My Itty Bitty Actor

has been acting for nearly nine months, but has only been in the local area to do starring roles for me (as the director/producer) during the past three and a half months.  In that length of time he has taken on more and more complex roles.  He'll soon be doing walk-on parts, and taking on speaking roles!
For now, his strengths as a performer are smiling, laughing, waving, and stealing hearts!  You'll be seeing a lot more of him, Viewer Dear, as he gains experience*

*He's fast gaining teeth, as well (six) which adds a certain je ne sais quoi to his already quite captivating (some* would say over-the-top adorable) smile!

*Well, Reader Dear, I won't name names, but one of these is a woman who is diligently attempting to coax the word "grandmama" from his lips.

Monday, July 17, 2017

 It's another Friday, another pleasant summer evening!  It's another stroll down sidewalks!  It's another evening of entertainment and special treats!

This time, it's Second Friday.  The Yard Man and I are in a small town.  This time, we've got the Small Actor with us, along with his dad.  We've got three more members of the family, as well:  Dark-haired Daughter, David, and the Itty-Bitty Actor (an up-and-coming star whom you have yet to meet,* Reader Dear!)
*To be remedied shortly!

Tonight's treats are flowers and ice cream, and the sidewalk entertainment is unique:

To our great surprise, Reader Dear, this evening the Ghostbusters are in town!

 For some of us (well, at least one), it is hard to believe!

Then, some of the sidewalk entertainment features our very own celebrated Small Actor, and his father (who strolled haphazardly into the role of the great Houdini [you know, Viewer Dear, walking by as the street magician was casting about for someone to fill it!])

According to the votes of The Yard Man and I, both roles are worthy of an Actor of the Year Award (at the very least an Actor of the Hour Reward [ice cream!])

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Already it's Fine Enough,

celebrating a birthday (with all of one's descendants in attendance) on a superb summer Sunday evening* at the park with a chocolate cake sporting candles and some edible flowers.

Reader Dear, there's a breeze that is keeping things pleasant!
There's a playground nearby!

And then, add generous neighbors! "Would you like some steamed crabs?  They ask.  "We've got way more than we can eat!" And they hand over a heaping bagful!

Dear Reader, it's the kind of serendipity that puts a sparkly little touch to the birthday meal!**

**Handily filling in for the candle flames,
(who will shortly send their regrets via the breeze).



Ultimately, the rating is Super-fine!

*(Nearly a week ago. Reader Dear, I've been running to catch up!)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Lovely Lily

In the grand history of a year, the Lily Era has always been one of my favorites!  Right now the era is drawing to a close, and I'm enjoying my lilies, but ruefully eyeing the dwindling buds.

 The other day, as I studied the beauty of the lilies, I spotted a strikingly spotted butterfly appreciating them as well!

Last week I made up a bouquet of flowers to take to an unfortunate soul who is spending long days in the hospital.  Almost all of the flowers in the vase were lilies.

There is a nearby road that all throughout The Time of the Lilies sports a half-mile fringe of orange ones!  I travel this road frequently, and every time I see this delightful throng of lilies it immediately makes me about five to seven percent  happier!

My own flock of butter-yellow lilies gives me lots of pleasure, as well.

Years ago,  on this very date, (while the lilies were joyfully pushing open their new blooms every day) I birthed a new daughter.   I chose for her what I considered to be a beautiful name, but I was not aware of its meaning until quite some time later.

 I discovered that her name is:

"A female name, meaning 'lily,' or true beauty. It is derived from Σουσάννα (Sousanna), the Greek form of the Hebrew Shoshannah, which is derived from the Persian shoshan, or 'lily.' "

I was tickled pink!  (I have no pink lilies, but pink ones are lovely, too )

You know, Reader Dear, each blossom has its day in the sun, then shrivels and gives the spotlight to another.  I am impressed with their charming generosity, and diligently try to remove spent blooms (thus I save them from falling piteously to the ground [well, Viewer Dear, it improves the look of the beds, as well!)

The lily (as you may have astutely guessed, Dear Reader),  is one of my favorite flowers.*

*Just as Elder Daughter is one of my favorite daughters!**
 **Happy Birthday, Dear Suzanna!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

First Friday of July

Because The Yard Man had a special invitation to attend an open-house at the new offices of Fig Magazine, we did not want to miss First Friday this past weekend.  And what a lovely evening it was, beginning at the Fig offices where we had a tour of the wondrously creative work spaces, and were proffered many sweet treats:  chocolate lollipops, chocolate drizzled popcorn (and the cheesy kind, as well), wrapped chocolates, peppermint candy, wine and mixed drinks, and a finale of scooped ice cream!

Definitely a sweet way to start our evening in the city!

Following that sugar buzz, we were treated to a brief rain shower and a double rainbow (In case you are curious to know, Reader Dear, [or even if you don't give a fig] we spent the rainy time in a small boutique, filled with unique styles and locally-made clothing).

Moving on, we decided to eat our supper of barbequed pork and tacos (purchased from trucks) wherever we could find a table.  We were so fortunate; there was only one available, and we claimed it!  It was a slightly rickety card table, blown over, with two wet folding chairs in far-flung spots!  We righted the table, wiped rain off the chairs and set them at the table. Such a pleasant setting,  surrounded by the food trucks, entertainment (we had a view of their backs, but could see that the dancing group had some fascinating moves!), and a small lake of water.
Reader Dear, I enjoyed it for its unique qualities, in spite of the damp seat!

The rest of our evening was spent strolling the wet pavements and relishing the sights*

Bless his heart, The Yard Man tried to save me from the twenty-minute theological debate with this sidewalk pitchperson for heaven, but...
you know, Viewer Dear, I did have a test of my own about which to tell the man (also, er,  it developed that we had some slightly conflicting heavenly views).

The Yard Man quickly walked off and went to view the nearby large clopping animals.

All in all, Reader Dear, it was a super fine evening (some folks might even call it 'heavenly" [though I wouldn't go quite that far*])

*I like to save that term for  truly ecstatic moments; and, come to think of it, that first glimpse of the double rainbow after the rain: heavenly!