Snapshot #208

This is another photo I took on Wednesday evening at Tallahassee Nursery’s “Summer Sips” event. I call it, “Don’t Play Koi with Me.”

I almost bought one of these, but one would get lonely and two might procreate, so I left these colorful fish for someone with a bigger garden than I have. Nothing fishy about that.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #207

I took a few photos at Tallahassee Nursery’s “Summer Sips” event on Wednesday evening. Here’s one of my favorites from the night:

I call it “Big Bad Bromeliad.”

That reminded me of my favorite childhood song, “Big Bad John,” the heart wrenching story of a miner who sacrifices himself to save his co-workers during a mine collapse. Yes, that’s the kind of tale that appealed to me as a child.

Jimmy Dean, famous for his sausages, sang “Big Bad John.” He was practically a hometown boy, having grown up in Plainview, Texas, just 30 miles or so from my own home town of Floydada.

I believe that’s a young Jimmy Dean in the photo below, but Pinterest couldn’t differentiate between Jimmy Dean of sausage fame, and actor James Dean.

I know for certain that it’s Jimmy Dean sausage pictured here, though.

As far as I know James Dean didn’t deal in pork products as a sideline, nor did he sing.

He could have, though. He was just that cool.

Without further ado (or a decent segue, for that matter) here’s Jimmy Dean, singing, “Big Bad John.”

https://g.co/kgs/b8nuxi

Peace, people.

Owlie McGraw

Owlie McGraw is my new best friend. She wraps around my seatbelt strap to prevent it from irritating my delicate skin. I purchased her last week on my first trip to Dollywood, and I seriously love her.

A twenty-something barista at a Starbucks drive-thru window commented on my cute stuffed friend, and I said, “Thanks! This is Owlie McGraw.”

He looked at me blankly.

“You know, like the actress, ‘love means never having to say you’re sorry,’ Ali McGraw?”

Still a blank look. Then it occurred to me that there’s a whole generation of people, maybe more, who have never seen Love Story, or The Getaway, or Goodbye Columbus! No wonder we’re in such a mess.

I wanted to be Ali McGraw.

I wanted a love story like the one she had in, well, Love Story.

I told the barista he should google Ali. I even spelled her name for him, so he wouldn’t search for Owlie instead. I mean Owlie is great, but she hasn’t achieved her own Google fame yet. Give her time, though. Whoooo? Owlie, that’s who.

Peace, people.

Unpeaceable Kingdom

Peaceable Kingdom Revisited

I woke from a dream, soft gathers of light, distilled spirits at the edges, last vestiges of night

Wandered in from the wastelands, shining city on a hill; I’d visited before, when the illusion held still.

Slept with the lions; lunched with the lambs, before this peaceable kingdom came tumbling down

Now the eagle has landed, poached, plucked, and sautéed; the bear lies in waiting, his meal already made.

The Peaceable Kingdom–Edward Hicks

It Might be Love

I’ve been awfully hard on Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin. The two of them are so cozy that to all appearances it looks like perhaps Trump is committing treason.

But then I got to thinking, maybe, just maybe their relationship goes beyond politics. They might have formed a bond of manly love. Let’s let the two lovebirds have some privacy, shall we?

Oh hell, no. Trump’s a freaking traitor and Putin is feeding him his lines. Here are just a few political cartoons on the subject:

If you’re still supporting this wannabe tyrant, ask yourself why.

Peace, people.

Midnight Thoughts

From the border lands

We feel the children weeping

Lord, please hear their cries

Agents cold as ICE

Breaking families apart

Following orders

What would Jesus do?

We don’t have to speculate

Lord, hear our prayer

Matthew 19:14 King James Version (KJV)

14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Dollywood Souvenirs

Even though I’m 61 3/4 I still have to buy at least one souvenir on vacation. I’m a sucker for the corny and the tawdry, and Dollywood, like every other amusement park in the world, had its share of such items.

Having said all that, I really think I scored two totally cute and cuddly souvenirs.

Meet Owlfie, my new finger puppet. I didn’t even know I needed an owl finger puppet until I saw this little guy. True, the cats think I brought him home for them, but he’s mine.

And this little girl is Owlie McGraw. She will keep my seatbelt from rubbing my neck raw. Not only is she incredibly soft, but useful, as well.

One day I might grow up, but today’s not that day.

Peace, people.

Lunch with my Cousin and a Night in LaGrange

Drive, drive, drive! That’s about all I did on Friday the 13th. I left my friend Nicky’s home in Kingsport, Tennessee, around 9:45 yesterday morning and drove to Knoxville to meet my cousin, Peggy, for lunch. Peggy is my second cousin. Her father and my grandfather were brothers. Both were handsome men married to attractive women.

Peggy and her two older sisters were the young women I looked up to as a child. All three were beautiful and well-mannered; whereas, I was a plain little girl with a tendency to rebel. Nevertheless, Peggy, who is three years my senior, was a sometimes playmate, and I have great memories of times we spent together in our younger days.

I’d lost track of Peggy for at least a couple of decades, maybe more, until a few months ago when she friended me on Facebook. After I’d accepted my friend Nicky’s invitation to visit Kingsport I began making plans to have lunch with Peggy in Knoxville on the way home.

Now I’m kicking myself because I forgot to get a picture of the two of us together. Damn. You’ll have to take my word for it, but Peggy is still beautiful and well-mannered. We did our best to catch up in the limited time we had to visit, but I need at least another week with her.

Once we parted ways I set my GPS to avoid major highways and the city of Atlanta on my trip home to Doright Manor. The resulting route took me on a scenic, yet curvy, roller coaster ride through Tennessee and into Georgia. I figured that once I’d gotten far enough south of the aforementioned Atlanta I’d reconfigure my settings to find the fastest route.

Back roads are fun, yet exhausting, and around 7:00 p.m. I decided to stop for the night in the town of LaGrange, Georgia. Now, I might’ve found the most perfect town in the world quite by accident. After checking into the brand new Courtyard by Marriott, I had a nice dinner in their bistro before setting out to explore the downtown area.

Directly across the street from my hotel was a park with a statue in the midst of a fountain.

Curious as to the identity of the statue, I crossed the street for a better look. I’d expected to see some Confederate war era general, but to my surprise and delight I discovered it to be a statue of General Lafayette.

According to GeorgiaInfo, an online Georgia almanac,

“Born at the Chateau de Chavaniac, Auvergne, France, on September 6, 1757, Gilbert Motier de Lafayette became at age 19 a major general on George Washington’s staff. He played a vital role in the defeat of General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown, October 19, 1781, ending the American Revolution.

Later in France Lafayette was commanding general of the National Guard. Leader in the movement that gave France a republican form of government, author of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and designer of the “Cocarde of Liberty” which he holds in his hand.

LaGrange, Georgia, was named for Lafayette’s home, the Chateau de LaGrange, on motion of Julius C. Alford, when this city was chartered on December 16, 1828…”

The statue and the surrounding park are a fitting centerpiece for this lovely town.

The First Baptist Church on the Square:

This is a museum of some kind. I’d have visited it if it had been open. Maybe on my next trip through the area I’ll have better timing.

Lots of interesting shops called to me, but again, I arrived too late:

I don’t think I’d ever seen a “Keep Off the Trees” sign before. It kind of made me want to climb them, rebel that I am.

I MUST visit this shop:

What a day, am I right? Lunch with a long lost cousin followed by a trip on scenic back roads, culminating in a stopover in LaGrange. I’m ready to be back home with Studly Doright and the cats, though.

Peace, people!

“Steel Magnolias” at the Barter Theatre 🎭

My last full day visiting my friend Nicky in Kingsport, Tennessee, was a doozie. We slept in until 9 a.m. and then drove to Abingdon, Virginia, where we had a wonderful lunch at 128 Pecan before checking in at The Barter Theatre to watch a production of Steel Magnolias on the Main Stage.

The Barter is the state theatre of Virginia, and many well known actors have performed there, including Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Ernest Borgnine, Larry Linville of MASH fame, along with a host of others.

A young actor named Robert Porterfield founded the theatre during the Great Depression. He’d returned to his native Southwest Virginia from New York with the idea of accepting produce and other goods as payment to see live plays. Thus the name, “Barter” Theatre!

The theatre opened on June 20, 1933, with the proclamation, “With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh.” The price of admission was 35 cents or its equivalent in produce, meat, or live animals. The playwright, George Bernard Shaw requested spinach for the right to produce his plays.

Read more about the Barter here. It’s a great place with a rich history:

https://bartertheatre.com/

Steel Magnolias was absolutely wonderful. Of course I cried all of my makeup off during the final act, but left with a smile. What a great way to spend an afternoon.

We started back to Kingsport the way we’d come only to find there was a traffic jam on the interstate. Nicky directed me down a curvy backroad route, though, and we made it back to Kingsport in time to meet friends at Cheddar’s for dinner.

We were both worn out from our Dollywood adventure on Wednesday, coupled with our trip to Abingdon yesterday, so we didn’t linger long after our meal. We said our goodbyes and headed back to Nicky’s where we retired to our respective beds before 10 p.m.

I’ll start home today (Friday), but I’m planning to stop in Knoxville, Tennessee, for lunch with a cousin I haven’t seen in many years. I can’t wait!

Peace, people!

Hooray for Dollywood

I won’t write much this morning. My friend Nicky and I explored Dollywood yesterday and had so much fun.

We got home late thanks to road construction on two lanes of the busy interstate. It took us about 45 minutes to travel 3 1/2 miles, but we made good time once we were free of the traffic cones. We talked non-stop, though, so there was no wasted time.

Today we’re going into Virginia to see a theatrical production of Steel Magnolias at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon. I’m proactively packing extra Kleenex for the event.

Gotta go take my shower so we can get going. Peace, people!