Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sometimes, it's all about Texture

... but a lot of times it's about something else entirely, and the texture is just a bonus.  These pictures, for instance, are actually about Life.  Appropriately ... or not ... they were taken at a cemetery.  This is a Resurrection Fern.  Yes, it is growing in the fork of that tree, no dirt required.  Don't worry though, no harm will come to the tree.  It is an air fern, it takes it's nutrients from the air and water. 

It's name comes from the fact that it survives periods of drought by curling up and appearing dead.  Then when it get just a little water the fern will uncurl and reopen, appearing to resurrect.

You know the drill ... click the button ... join the fun
This weeks theme is "Rough".  With that in mind I'm going to suggest that if you are squeamish, or have creepy crawly phobias, you might want to skip this post and come back in a day or two.  "Rough" is not always pretty, and after these first few shots I have some that might creep you out.  I don't want to be accused of giving anyone nightmares.  So consider yourself warned:  There be monsters. 

Not your every day sand castle.  The lighting was WAY harsh when I came upon this construction at the beach on  Sullivan's Island, but you know, sometimes you just have to take what you can get ;)  It was there and so was I, and even if "I" could have waited for the morning light that would have made this picture SO much better, the tide would have taken it long before dawn arrived.  This baby was big too,  maybe 3 or 4 feet high with a similar diameter.  It kind of seems odd to think of wet sand as rough, nor would sand castles be the first thing that came to my mind at that word either, but you know if the shoe fits....

Same day, same beach.  The tide pool and it's path to the sea was my subject here, but the barnacle covered rocks pretty much steal the show

Wandering the beach along the inter-coastal waterway while my friends were casting nets for shrimp I came across this one and titled it "The Boneyard".  It's grizzly, and gross, and kind of haunting.  To this day I can't explain why it caught my eye, or I felt the need to record it, but if this guy didn't have it rough, no one ever has ;)

Like the Resurrection fern, this critter also "curls up and appears dead".  I can assure you this one is not actually dead although he does look rough, he's just "playing possum".  It looks like he may have had a narrow escape before I stumbled up and surprised him.  I'd always heard about this trick but had never seen it before.  In other shots taken at the same time he's eyes were a bit more open, a paw or his tail in a slightly different position.  Yet I never saw him move the entire time I was shooting.  I was careful not to get too close (I have a very good zoom lens).  I hear opossums can carry rabies and can be very vicious.  They prefer, however, to play dead and hope you'll go away.  After just a few shots I did just that.  He looked like he needed to find his way home.

Some of you are going to hate me now, but I think I've saved the best for last.

Remember way back there at the beginning when I warned you there be monsters?

If you're going to freak out ... go ahead and leave now

Go on, it's okay, nobody will think less of you


Are you ready?

It's time ...

This little guy ... what was that?  Yes, LITTLE.  I told you I have a very good zoom lens on my camera.  He's really smaller than the eraser on the end of your pencil.  See those "rough rocks" he's climbing on?  That is the edge of a cement sidewalk that looks perfectly smooth to the naked eye.  I LOVE my camera.

For you new folks, I quite often will throw in what has become known as "the obligatory spider shot" in my picture posts.  I've been neglecting that lately.  I don't usually do a disclaimer, but these big eyed jumping spiders tend to freak people out.  They are scarey looking up close.

Go see Carmi @ Written Ink for more "Rough" stuff.  Don't worry, nobody else is as warped as I am.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blogging made Simple

Oscar Wilde said "The truth is rarely pure and never simple", but Oscar Wilde was never a Simpleton.  Why have I capitalized that S as if that were a proper name?  Well, if you have to ask that question we need to stop right here.  Before we go a step further let me introduce you to Simple Dude in a Complex World the blog of none other than The Simple Dude whose followers are lovingly called Simpletons.

Click the button to visit The Simple Dude

If you haven't found it yet, you've either been sleeping or are fairly new to the blogging world here at blogger and you'll want to remedy that situation pronto.  You might find anything there from bomb proof toilets to Wiener's wiener with just the right amount of snark for flavoring.  AND you might want to hurry.  He's coming up on his 5000th comment right quick and the lucky commenter that hits that milestone will get an $50 Amazon gift card.

Yep, I said FIVE THOUSAND comments!  He has just over 2000 followers and he hasn't even been doing this a whole year yet.  What's his secret?  Well he's written an eBook to tell us that very thing.  It's called ...

Just $1.99 click on the book cover to get your own copy at Amazon

Well written, SIMPLE instructions explaining just how The Simple Dude went from 0 to mildly famous in just 10 months.  Filled with tips on what to do, what not to do, and interesting links to check out for further information.   And for all that it's a "how to" book ... it's not even boring!  He's got game, and his blog writing style doesn't get lost in the translation.

Not everyone is as talented a writer as he is to be sure, but I can guarantee that if you follow the advice in this book you CAN grow your blog.  I've seen every tip he writes about in action and they DO get results.

There was only one small, teensy weenie incidental that I disagreed with in the whole book.  Well, in general I don't actually disagree.  It was just that I took it as a challenge because I'm just weird that way ;)  What was that?  Okay, I don't see this as being a spoiler, so I guess I can tell you.

You see, about content ... he made mention that NOBODY wants to hear about what kind of dog food you bought that week.  And to be honest ... he's right ... BUT ... I think I could write and entire POST about that, in my twisted way, and it would not only be interesting enough to keep you reading until the end, but make you laugh too.  Because my dog is funny when she's not sick (which she is again now, sigh).   When I'm feeling up to it I might just accept that challenge.

If you're at all interested in growing your blog ... this is the book for you.

I've been quiet lately and a big part of the reason for that is that I've been very worried about Moppet.  She recovered well enough from the eye injury and I don't think that's the problem.  She was doing better than ever, all bouncy and lively.  Then she got sick last week.  Spent a whole day barfing.  Now she's just very weak and refusing to eat anything, but doesn't seem to be in any pain.  She seems to be a little better today, moving around a little bit on her own and I did just get her to take a couple of bites of cube steak.

She's old, I don't know how old exactly because I found her in a parking lot.  Vet said that they don't usually get that film in their eyes until after they 10 years old.  She had that when I found her and that was about 4 years ago.  I know she's not going to live forever, but it's hard when you have to realize that the end may be sooner rather than later.

I'm not bailing, I've not retreated to my rock.  I just wanted y'all to know why I'm not finding much to say.  Even comments can be hard to write when my mind is elsewhere.

About the graphic:  I couldn't believe Bryan and Brandon at A Beer in the Shower do their awesome cartoons in PAINT!  I had played with it briefly before, but couldn't manage much more than scribbles.  But their talented creations inspired me to try again.  I can't for the life of me figure out how they get such clean lines drawing with a mouse, but I wasn't too unhappy with this one.

UPDATE She ATE for me today, and was much more "here" while she was awake.  Sleeping now but that's okay.  I think she might make it after all.  >Happy dance!<

Friday, June 17, 2011

Signs that make me go "hmmmm"

This one got my attention.  I was far enough away at the time that all I could read was Tree Frog Farm.  I wondered what, exactly, you could expect to get at a Tree Frog Farm.  Tree Frogs?  Really?  Why?  So out comes the zoom lens to investigate.  Hmm ... plants, what I assume was produce, and pygmy goats.   Wonder what happened to the produce?  Do you suppose the goats ate it? And isn't that a classy way to change the sign? ... tap, tap, tap ... all fixed.

See more Signs or add your some of your own.  Just click on the button

I was sitting in a restaurant across the street looking out the window while eating my lunch when I noticed this.

A Drive thru?  A DRIVE THRU???  What kind of business is this?  Can't you just see them trying to stuff a mattress out that window?  Or a bed?

Sometimes road signs can be a bit confusing.  I hadn't been in the mountains long when I saw this one, and had never seen a sign like this.  My first reaction was to snort and say "No effin' way!" and start laughing.  2nd husband says "Way"  I said "Why in the hell would you go around in a loop just to go straight."  He said "Watch".  What I couldn't see was around the curve to the left was a tunnel after which the incline rose incredibly steeply and of course wrapped around a peak.

Around the corner from where we use to live this street was aptly named.  You could SEE the fault line running right along side of the road.  Why would someone want to live ON a fault line?

I often find political signs funny because so many of them are misspelled, often underlining the stupidity of their message.  (MORANS anyone?)  My senators are two of the biggest twits in Washington, so I find this one is funny even though it's spelled correctly.

Of course, some signs are misspelled intentionally ... or maybe not.

That's all I got this week.  Come on over to Carmi's @ Written Inc. if you'd like to see more or want to play along with us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Speak of the Devil

He was dressed in black.  Long, lean, all angles and rock hard muscle with big broad shoulders that bespoke of the safety to be found in his arms.  A craggy face, with triangular shaped, steely blue eyes that held a twinkle, and a subtle flash of a smile and charm that promised he was anything but safe.  Oh yeah, THIS one captured my interest.

Think of a younger Clint Eastwood (circa Josey Whales) ... only more approachable and you'll get the picture.  He felt familiar enough that I was comfortable with him, yet there was the excitement of an, as yet, unexplored attraction.  And there was a threat, someone was coming after him ... me ... us, not really sure which.  But that didn't frighten me.  He was there.  He would protect me from the villain, my danger came from a different direction.  Who was going to protect my heart?

The tension, the excitement were building.  About the time I wondered where the bad guy came in the last time, I realized I was dreaming ... and that I'd had this same dream before, and I may have had it more than once.  Before I could fully form the thought though ... the telephone rang and woke me up. 


The nephew needed a ride to work so there was no chance of trying going back to sleep and picking up where I left off.  I used to be able to do that sometimes.  It's a shame, because I really want to know what happened.  I have had that dream before, but it was so many years ago and I just don't remember.  

Strange that all of a sudden I would find myself remembering a dream.  Also strange that the dream would be a repeat.  Maybe it's because by blogging about it the other day, I acknowledged my desire to the universe >shrugs<  who knows.  It hasn't escaped my notice that he was very like my Magic Man used to be either, but it wasn't him in the dream.  I don't know that it means anything, or even if I'll continue to dream.  I hope so.

I know this much, it's been a long, long while since I felt so "into" anybody ... and it felt good, even if it was "just a dream"  


Saturday, June 11, 2011

You may call me a Dreamer ...

... but you'd be the only one.  Yes I know, that's not how the song goes.  Call it artistic license.  If it's to be the title of my post some changes had to be made for the sake of accuracy.  Technically he's not talking about sleeping dreams either, but that is my subject. 

You see,  way back in the day when I was young and didn't know any better, somehow I found a way to turn them off.  Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that I do, in fact, still dream.  I just don't remember them.  Sometimes I wake up with the residual feelings that go part and parcel with them and know I WAS dreaming, but try as I might I can't seem to remember a thing.  Every once in a while I get a flash, just for a second ... but then it's gone.

You might wonder why a person would want to turn off their dreams.  Ah well, that's where it gets complicated  ... and weird.

This post probably should have been part of my Weird Wednesday series, but in my world weirdness refuses to confine itself to just one day.  For those of you that are new here, let me reiterate my skepticism policy.  I understand that my tales may strain your concept of reality ... and I don't mind in the least if you say so.  I'm a bit of a skeptic myself.  I've lived through these things so I can't deny them, but if I hadn't experienced them myself I would have to wonder if storyteller hadn't been tripping with Lewis Carrol and some chick named Alice.

As far back as I can remember I dreamed, all night, every night.  Good dreams, bad dreams, wild and crazy dreams, prophetic dreams, and recurring dreams ... it was like going to the movies in my sleep.  By the time I hit my teens I had learned that if I would take a few minutes before falling asleep and concentrate on some good thing, something I would like to happen, I could control what I would dream about.  I could always have GOOD dreams (and no nightmares!) ... at least the ones I would remember.  There were always more that I didn't remember. I knew this because when they started happening I WOULD remember. 

Yeah, I kind of slipped that 'prophetic dreams' in up there hoping you wouldn't notice.  Old habits die hard ;)  Okay ... (big breath) ... I used to 'know' things.  Oh, not the big things, those stayed buried deeply in my subconscious.  I would get a 'feeling' something was not right when major things were about to happen in my life, but was clueless as to WHY I was feeling so flustered until whatever it was happened. 

I might just dismiss that as childish fantasy now, if it weren't for all the little things ... inconsequential little everyday things.  Like being with a group of friends talking about school, clothes, boys, whatever.  Then the sense of deja vu would hit.  Suddenly I'd know what the next person was going to say, and what another would answer, and who else was going to come into the room.  It was like walking into the middle of a movie and knowing you'd seen this scene before ... then I would remember dreaming it.  Things always happened too, just like I remembered them. 

In and of itself, it didn't spook me really.  I don't remember a time when it didn't happen, it just always had been there.  It was just little bits of information, nothing important.  I didn't realize then that it didn't happen to everybody.  I soon learned, from the reactions I got if I said anything, that people get really freaked out when you know things you're not supposed to know ... even if those things are not very important.  They back off, they look at you funny.

It's all well and good to be 'different' when you choose to do so.  I had always been quirky and reveled in my uniqueness, but this was something else again.  I was 13 years old.  I didn't WANT to be freak!  Also being a teenager, I didn't always remember to concentrate just before I dropped off.  When I didn't, I paid for it. 

There was a particular nightmare that recurred again and again.  I called it the Red Dream.  It doesn't sound like all that when I try to explain it but the feeling it left me with was sheer terror!  Maybe part of that was because it didn't FEEL like a dream. 

The dream would start with me waking up in the middle of the night.  I'd be in my room, with all my things but it wasn't right.  Everything would be glowing with a red cast.  And it breathed.  Yes, the room, the things ... they all breathed.  Inhale, exhale ... larger ... smaller ... thump thump ... thump thump ... I'd get up and the rhythm would get louder, into the living room and still everything glowing, breathing, growing, beating until I couldn't stand it anymore and the FEAR would wake me up.  I can't tell you WHAT was so frightening, but I've never been more scared.  
Somewhere between my fear of being thought of as a freak and the terror that was the Red Dream I found the switch and turned them off.  I'm older now, and wiser, and I wish I could get them back.  I want to be entertained by my own imagination and not have to pay 10 bucks a shot.  I now know how useful little bits of information can be.  I could write stories,  and see how the movies would play out, maybe hear about a job about to  hire here ... or horse that's hot there, and I'm betting that knowing some of these politician's secrets could be um ... quite lucrative if you could get past the brain damage they would cause.

And as it turns out my life is the stuff nightmares are made of, I AM weird, and the crazy shows anyways (who knew?) so it may as well have a reason.  Now if one of you would please be so kind as to point me in the direction of that switch?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Charleston ... living history

Charleston SC Skyline from the Harbor    click on picture to 'imbiggen'

Often called the Holy City because of the vast number of churches here, you can see two of the oldest here in the skyline photo.  The white one on the left is St. Michael's and that is St. Phillip's on the right.  It's said that the old 'red light' district was located where it was because it was the only street in the city where you couldn't see a steeple and so the 'eye of God' wasn't looking down on you.

And for all that the good Christian folk of the Southern Bible belt would like that to be the way everybody viewed Charleston, it must be be remembered that Charleston was a port city from the very beginning.  Sailors are more well known for their ability to swill copious amounts of alcohol than they are for their piety.  It's also a college town.  That being the case Charleston has an equal, if not greater reputation as a party town.  It's been said that Charleston is an historic city with a drinking problem ... but I've seen T shirts in the shops downtown that say no, it's a party town with a history problem ;)

The reason some consider the 'historic' part a problem is because if you happen to own a building in the historic part of the city, you can't so much as paint your shutters without permission from the BAR (Board of Architectural Review ... I think).  They take their history serious here, but it does make for some fabulous sight seeing.

 The Provost Building.  Among other things it was used as a dungeon where they incarcerated pirates.  It's also where Charleston's Tea Party (not so big or famous as Boston's) was launched from.

The Customs House

St. Phillips Church bathed in the golden rays of sunset.  It has an awesome old graveyard, as does St. Phillips.  Many of the gravestone shots I post from time to time come from one or the other.

I can, and have, spend all day walking around just looking at the old buildings

The Big Guns

The best part though is when you get to the Battery. These cannons were collected from the Cival and Revolutionay Wars and placed around the park.  The little land mass that's barely visable in this photo that the cannon is pointed toward is Fort Sumpter.

On East Battery and on up Bay St. are all the old Antebellum mansions.  I ooh and aah and snap pictures.  They are just so beautiful, and it seems each has it's own story.  There are walking tours, and carriage tours, garden tours and pub tours, and haunted tours ... just about any type of tour you can imagine and they will all give you interesting bits of history. 


Tour lore has it that when this house was being built the husband wanted one style, the wife another.  They couldn't agree, but being very wealthy they decided they could have both.  It's called the Compromise House

This is the DeSaussure House, located right on the Battery where Mary Boykin Chestnut watched the first shots fired in the Cival War (or, as it's known in the South, the war of Northern Aggression) and wrote her Diaries.  A Diary from Dixie, is about a southern woman's perspective of the events and people of the Civil War.  I found it on the internet ... fascinating reading.

And there you have it, a virtual mini tour of Charleston, and a new look at the theme 'Well aged'.

 Go visit Carmi @ Written Ink to see more on this theme, or add your own interpretation.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Well Aged - Aged Well

Thematic Photographic 148 - see more photos or add your own @ Written Ink

Some of you may remember the broom maker in my Candid series.  This first shot is a close up shot of his hands as he worked.  Swift, deft, always moving.  Well aged indeed.

When Carmi posts a theme that can be interpreted in so many different ways I'm rather like a dog faced with a row of fire hydrants.  My mind goes off on a variety of tangents, and not being able to decide which to choose ... I have to pee on all of them :P  Fortunately, he chooses to see this as diversity rather than a total lack of decisiveness so it's all good.

I love antiquities, they are one of my favorite subjects.  I'm drawn to the sense of living history they emit that tugs at my heart.  I flipped the title around thinking that if I stuck to 'well preserved' it would narrow the field so to speak.  It didn't help much.  For now I give you these, um ... diversified shots.  I may have to revisit this theme later in the week with a set that goes in a different direction entirely.

Angel Oak

This shot isn't up to my usual standards, but it fit the theme too well to leave out.  I took this early on in my photographic education.  I've been meaning to get back out there and shoot this properly but haven't managed it yet.  The photo doesn't begin to do it justice.  This tree is MASSIVE.  65 ft. high and 25 ft. around, it has withstood hurricanes and earthquakes and it's ancient.  Reportedly the oldest thing -- living or man-made -- east of the Rockies, Angel Oak is a live oak tree aged approximately 1,500 years.  If you'd like to read more about it's history or see some better photos you can go to the official website here

This is the fire hose and apparatus on an antique fire truck that used to be parked next to a grocery store (Piggly Wiggly) when I first moved in with Sis.  I don't know where they've moved it to now.

Remember when we ALL had one of these as kids?  Okay yeah, I'm showing my age.  I like the use this one has been re-appropriated for.

These are for my motorheads ;)  When sightseeing in Maryland a few years back, Mommo and I happened on an antique car show.  I wish my "modern" car was in this good of shape ... hell, I wish "I" was this well preserved!