Friday, February 25, 2011

I was a Nixonette!

This picture was made of me within several months of
Richard's Nixon's campaign stop in Knoxville, Tennessee,
on October 16, 1968.

Several of the girls in my high school were asked to be Nixonettes when Nixon made a presidential campaign stop at the Knoville Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee.  A Nixonette was to basically be a cheerleader for Nixon at the event and also to be adorned in red, white and blue.  We were to meet at the school bus in the late afternoon for our trip to Knoxville.  My friend Janet and I decided to wear our Top Hat (social club) uniforms, they were navy blue skirts and vests.  The initials "TP"  were on the vest but this was obscured by our "Nixon's The One " sash we were given that evening.  We were also given a little hat that had a red or blue band on it with Nixon's name.

The words Republican or Democrat never entered my mind that evening.  Janet and I were there for the fun and excitement.  Besides, there might be some cute guys there. :-)

We were assigned our "spots" in the huge crowd and of course Janet and I were not ones to stay long in any spot. 

We ventured out into the lobby area of the Coliseum and a few minutes later there were people scurrying around and the crowd parted with cameras flashing.  It all happened so quickly but the next thing we knew there stood Richard Milhous Nixon right in front of us!  He shook Janet's hand first!  The next thing I knew he said "Hi" and shook my hand!

Janet and I could not wait to get back to our "spots" and brag to our friends that we had shaken hands with Richard Nixon. The next day I combed the local paper, perhaps our photograph was made with Nixon shaking our hand and I might find it in the newspaper.  Janet and I loved telling our story the next day at school.

For many years I kept my little sash, hat and pins.  I had not forgotten the term, "Nixonettes".  Not long ago I was thinking of this event and was surprised to find as much as I did when I Googled "Nixonettes".  It was a
fond memory and I laughed at some of the information I found on Google.

From New York Magazine, October 28, 1968:

The Nixonettes, school girls and secretaries dressed in red, white and blue, organized basketball cheers that drowned out the "Stop the War" chants from the back of the crowds.

~From Gloria Steinem on Learning to Live with Richard Nixon.  

Somehow I escaped getting to wear the paper uniforms.
Some Nixonettes wore these paper dresses and jackets.


Nixon flanked by The Nixonettes!

Another quote I found ...  "We cheer when our leader gives us the signal,
a Nixonette said, 'before and after President Nixon speaks' ... "

Just sharing some fond memories here on this blog.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What are people like where you live?


A beautiful scene from my car window early this morning
on Preston Road in Plano, Texas.

 Last week while choosing some green peppers at the grocery store, I met a woman and we had a conversation. I know, I can meet people in all kinds of situations. :-) The first thoughts we exchanged were concerning the sorry state of the green peppers.  The topic took a turn and we were discussing the Plano and the Dallas area. I had remarked that our house was on the market.  She said she and her husband were planning on moving in three years to Arkansas where "people are more like us".

She then went on to say that she and her husband had been warned before they moved here two years ago to not move to Dallas, that "the people in Dallas were so rude". She then complained about how rude people are around here. 

An old parable came to mind later when I thought of this woman: 

A man traveling by train gets off in an unfamiliar city and sees a blind beggar leaning against the old brick train station. The traveler asks the blind beggar, "What are the people like in this town?"  The old beggar answered his question with another question, "What are they like where you live?" The traveler answered, "They are unfriendly, rude and mean".  The beggar told the traveler that the town had the same kind of people, they too were unfriendly, rude and mean".   A couple of days passed and once again, a stranger traveling by train gets off at this stop, sees the blind beggar by the station and asks him the same question as the other traveler two days previously.  "What are the people like in this town?", he asked the beggar.  Once again the beggar answered the man's question with another question, "What are the people like where you live?" The traveler answered that the people in his town were friendly, kind and would help one another."  The beggar told the traveler that the people in the town were friendly, kind and would help one another".

A couple of years ago I had read a version of this parable in a Holistic magazine I pick up at Whole Foods and I think of this parable often.  The woman I met over the green peppers at the grocery story reminds me of one of the travelers stopping at the train station.  That old cliche about attitude is quite true, attitude may not be everything but a good one sure helps with having a happier and more loving life.

An antique festival held in my hometown of Clinton Tennessee
in May of 2010

My hometown ... Market Street in Clinton, Tennessee
Spring 2010

All my life I had lived in East Tennessee, mostly in Clinton, Tennessee.  Clint called not long after we had married, I was visiting my mother when I received the call.  He had received a call about a new job in Dallas and asked me, "How would you like to live in Dallas?"  I mumbled something like where ever we had to go would be fine concerning the job market ..."   After our conversation I hung up the phone and cried.

How on earth could I live in such a farway and backward place as Dallas, Texas!  Visions of tumbleweed and ghost towns filled my head. Thoughts of glamour and the tv show Dallas never entered my mind. As for the people of Dallas, Texas, it would not have been much different if Clint had said we were moving to Mars. 

One July 4th weekend over seven years ago, we drive to Plano, Texas with the temperature here being 104 degrees that day.  As we crossed the state line coming in to Texas I remarked I had never seen such horns on cows.  Clint gave me my first lesson, Texas 101, those were longhorns!

The photo at the top of this blog was one of the first scenes as we drove down Preston Road on my first visit to Plano and Texas.  I thought, "Wow, this place is beautiful, I think I could live here!"  Clint and I agree, living here has been one of the most rewarding and wonderful times of our lives. I have grown more here the past seven years than all my decades before!  You are allowed to "be" in Texas.

What are the people like where I lived in Clinton, Tennessee?  They are friendly, kind and will help one another.  What are the people like in this town of Plano, Texas?  They are friendly, kind and will help one another.

Clinton, Tennessee, where the people are friendly, kind
and help one another.

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Scenic Morning Walk

This morning upon wakening I had to tell myself to put one foot in front of the other. I was in no mood to walk.   Last year I walked two miles daily from July to the middle of November.  My last two mile walk was around the Hampton Inn when Clint and I went to Branson back in November.  This morning was the difficult first step of the journey ... my daily walking routine.  Clint inspired me when I got up this morning, he had already completed his predawn walk and took his camera along and made some photos for his blog today.

My two mile journey today in photographs:

Looking back at our quiet street, we are blessed
to be able to live in such a wonderful neighborhood.


This a small Texas ant hill, I have a feeling
the green leaf in the center is "dinner".

Nearby busy intersection yet it is very
quiet in our neighborhood.

Forelorn looking little scarecrow
awaiting spring!

Our local library ... Plano's libraries are first class!

The under appreciated dandelion adds
a beautiful spot of yellow!


Piled up newspapers ... I always wonder if there is not
a neighbor they feel comfortable asking to save
their newspapers?

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs,
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind ... as the old song goes.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Earth's Mysteries: Rods and Skyfish

My drawing of the rod I saw in Plano, Texas, yesterday.  It is hard to
capture something on paper that you feel is vibrating, vacillating, darting
at very high speeds and also not shown in my drawing it had a
translucent appearance.  It appeared to be about 4 to 5 inches across.

Yesterday, Valentine's Day, Clint and I had driven to one of our favorite Plano restaurants, the Big Easy, to get our favorite foods (take out) for our Valentine Dinner at home.  It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday and we were enjoying the sunshine. It was around 4 PM, we were sitting at a traffic light at the NE corner of Park and Alma.  Still not knowing if a flicker of light got my attention or if I just happened to look to my right. On the right is a large apartment complex and I was looking under a tree.  We were only several feet away from this tree.

Who could ever imagine this would be the day that Clint and I would see a rod.  I am looking at an moving object under the tree.  It is something I had never seen before, I exclaim to Clint, "What on earth is that thing?"  My first reaction was it was a flying stick insect but this object had no appendages.  It had a translucent appearance, was a white-like light (Clint used the term 'pearlish') and was approximately 4-5" across. 

Clint's drawing of the rod we saw yesterday.  He was trying to depict
the motion in his drawing, the very high vibrations of the object.

There are several words to describe its motion ... my first impression was it was vibrating at a very high speed, hovering about 5 feet above ground.  In an erratic motion it would dart a few feet away and then come back near its original position where we first saw it.  I rolled down the car window for a better look when Clint excitedly told me to "Close the window, it might get in the car!"  The speed at which it was darting was amazing and we were able to watch it for around 30 seconds.  (Why is we never seem to have the camera when we most need it!)

This morning I started Googling and information about rods came up.  I had remembered seeing many years ago some news footage about rods.  Jose Escamilla, one of the world's experts on rods,  claims to be the first person to film a rod in March of 1994.  They come in different shapes and sizes.  They are said to be flying insects.  If rods are of a biological nature, why has no one found the body of  a dead rod?  With sightings of rods all over the world, why have no bodies of dead rods been found on the ground? Jose Escamilla also believes rods could be one of the greatest discoveries of this century.  It is believed more people are seeing and photographing rods since the increase of video use.

There are many different shapes of rods, some referred to as snake rods and cigar shapes.  Some have a stick-like shape and some are more cylinder shaped.  Estimates of their speed have ranged from 100 mph to 6,700 mph.  Below is a video that I thought was the most informative one on the subject of rods.

I think Clint and I will always remember seeing the rod yesterday.  Isn't  it funny how most times life's surprises come so expectantly.  Who would have ever thought we would have seen a rod just sitting at a red light in Plano on a sunny warm day?

P.S. I just had to share this:  This morning we were scurrying around in the house, we had a house showing in 23 minutes.  Clint comes into the kitchen and says to me, "I caught one, hold our your hand".  I had no idea what he was talking about and he dropped this fuzzy looking object in my palm.  We both started laughing, he found this fuzzy thing in one of the bedrooms, right in the path where we walk.  We didn't have time for fun and games and making faux rods, this was exactly what Clint found in the bedroom and honest to goodness, it resembled a rod!

Clint found this bit of fuzz this morning in one of our bedrooms.  We both
found some humor in the fact it resembled the real rod we had seen the day before!

Monday, February 14, 2011

For My Husband

The newlyweds, Clint and Cindy.


 This Valentine's Day, I had a very early morning appointment.  I am talking so early it was still dark outside.  Before I left I took a few minutes to read one of my favorite devotional books, Deserts in the Stream, the daily devotional journal version.  Clint was still asleep.  I had not realized until I was reading today's devotional for the 14th that Clint had bought this book for me as a Valentine gift in 2005.  I saw that I had taken the time to make a note of it on the following page of the devotional for the 15th.  What a special Valentine gift, we each have a copy of this book and it has been so inspiring and comforting.

A favorite Valentine gift from Clint in 2007 ... this gift truly
 is one that keeps on giving.

While reading my devotional book before daylight this morning,
I was reminded that this book was a gift from Clint on Valentine's Day, 2007.

The other evening Clint was asking me if there was anything special I wanted for Valentine's Day, did we want to go out for dinner, what did I want to do, etc?  We came to the conclusion that both of us we wanted something simple.  We try to be mindful during the year that we need  bits of Valentine's Day everyday in our daily lives together.


Our wedding day!  June 27, 2003



When Clint and I decided to get married, we talked and talked about ideas concerning our wedding ... an at home wedding, church wedding, Vegas and other locations were mentioned.  This went on for a couple of weeks.  After weighing all the pros and cons, we decided on the Gwinnett County Courthouse.  We "eloped" one Friday morning and then stopped for Mexican food on the way home. :-)  Our families knew of our impending wedding, my mother was the first person I called right after we got married to share the good news!

Our anniversay book. 

On our first wedding anniversary I decided it would be special if we wrote something in a little blank book on the day of our anniversary.  Years ago I had come across an old book that was a yearly diary of Christmas Day.  When I say yearly, the woman from the late 1800s only wrote an entry on Christmas Day.  I had always loved this idea and thus the idea for our anniversary book was born.

The first entry in our anniversary book.  I love writing on the handmade paper
Every year Clint and I write about our past year together on the date
of our wedding anniversary.

Very special gifts Clint has given me over the years have been his poems he has written me or about me or us.  How more special is that, someone taking the time to pour out their heart and soul?

I love you, Clint!  Happy Valentine's Day!    xox ♥


Thursday, February 10, 2011


This portrait is 5.25" by 7.25", painted on yupo paper using pencil and watercolor.  


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Priscilla ... a shy girl.

Portrait done on yupo paper using
watercolor and ink, 5.25" by 7.25".

Priscilla was a shy girl, usually camera shy but this year she got up her nerve and showed up for "picture day".  The meaning of the name Priscilla is "ancient".  Of course she was not ancient ... just some of her ideas. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Ingenue


The Ingenue, an imaginary portrait.
4.25" by 6.25", mixed media
yupo paper, watercolor, ink, graphite

Another mixed media on yupo paper.  This 4.25" by 6.25" portrait is an imaginary portrait, it just evolved after I sat down and started drawing.  Mediums used are grafite, watercolor, ink and a rubber stamp was used in the design of the background.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Wise Old Owl

A mixed media painting/drawing of an owl on yupo paper,  5.25" by 7".


A wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard:
Why can't we all be like that bird?

           ~ Edward Hersey Richards

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sara Elizabeth portrait from a tintype

Sara Elizabeth

This black and white mixed media portrait was painted on yupo paper.  Yupo paper is a synthetic paper, the watercolor is not absorbed, it literally "sits" on the paper.  It is rather difficult to use but it is good for me. I am trying to paint in a more loose style and no matter how hard I try, I can't help but get a loose style with yupo paper. This is one of my first paintings done on yupo paper.

It measures 8" by 9" and the mediums used were watercolor, ink and pencil.  The watermark shown on this photo does not show on the actual painting.  I am using the watermark because I am listing this painting in my etsy shop.

For the painting, I used as a reference photo a tintype.  I can't remember where I found this tintype, probably at an auction.  I have it propped up on a shelf of our poetry books.  I had been thinking of doing a portrait of her and today was the day she was completed.

Clint named her Sara Elizabeth.  Thanks, Clint ... she looks like a Sara Elizabeth.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lady in Red Hat Watercolor Portrait

Recently I painted some small watercolor portraits inspired by some pages from an old mail order company.  I can't find a date on the yellowed and brittle pages. The backgrounds and color for the paintings came from my imagination.

The color of this hat was called crab apple, the catalogue photo was in black and white so I came up with this color from a childhood memory of our own crab apple trees.

This little painting was done in watercolor on Arches 140 lb cold pressed  watercolor paper.  It measures 5.5" by 4.5 inches.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Winter of Our Discontent

Where does the white go when the snow melts?

All the snow pictures had to be made right outside
our front door, there is thick ice under the snow and makes for very difficult walking.

I smiled when a few minutes ago I noticed tracks atop my neighbor's roof.
Since Santa Claus is back at the North Pole, I suspect these tracks belong to
a squirrel.   Notice the zig zag pattern, it seems a squirrel can never make up their mind.

Our hedges out front ...

A perfect wintry day to curl up with a good book.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where are you Candy Johnson?

Candy Johnson

Where I first discovered Candy Johnson,
The Perpetual Motion Dancer

While a Statewide Power Emergency has been declared in the state of Texas and our electricity goes out for 15 minutes or more every couple of hours due to blizzard like conditions, my thoughts are not turning to spring time but to summer ... hot summers!

I feel like I need to ask for some patience as I indulge in a fantasy of my youthful days.  I have had the old beach party movies on my mind recently.  Beach Party (1965), How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, Muscle Beach Party (1964),  Beach Blanket Bingo and the list continues.  I loved these movies when I was in my pre-teen and teenage years.  I did not identify so much with Annette, she usually sat on the beach without a hair getting out of place and wore that boring one piece swimsuit.  I daydreamed of being one of those carefree girls with long blonde hair that surfed and danced on the beach all day.

In the 1960s, most people were not as concerned about skin damage from the sun.  A tan was considered healthy looking and QT or Quick Tan was introduced to give one an instant tan. ha!  Remember those orange ankles, knees and palms of hands? You had to have a tan to be "in" with this beach crowd!

To this day I love the smell of Coopertone products.
After making this photo, I had to open a bottle for a whiff of that summer scent.

Younger looking skin tomorrow?  I don't think so!

Also for my California surfer fantasy, there were products for lightening hair.  Who remembers products such as Sun In?  I would try every new product that came out.  They didn't show the brassy stage on brown hair in the ad.

Back to the beach movies of the 1960s, there were so many unforgettable characters such as Eric Von Zipper and I was always fond of Beach Blanket Bingo that involved a story about a mermaid named Lorelei.  Remember Eric Von Zipper, he was the leader of the motorcycle gang that wore black leather? :-)

Jerry Van Dyke was in Muscle Beach Party.  I had an unexpected surprise of seeing
Jerry make an appearance at the Clay Cooper Theatre in Branson,  November 2010,
when Clint and I were there.  He was promoting his appearance
in The Sunshine Boys.  Funny as ever!

As a teenager, I loved the water and the sun and daydreaming about
being on the California coast!

The most unforgetable character in the movies was Candy Johnson. I learned her name early on, I can remember sitting there until the credits stopped rolling so I could find out her name. Until recently, I had not been able to find out much about her. I did learn she was born on Febuary 8, 1944.  An early Happy Birthday greeting, Candy There was no way I could even begin to attempt to dance like her.  The closest I could come to being a go go dancer was being on a local teen dance show in 1967 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  It was called Disco Teen, hosted by Al Adams.  It was fun and made me feel like a "star".  For a few hours, anyway!

Love these fringed dresses, just like Candy wore! Every time I would
see a fringed dress like these above, I would be reminded of Candy.
No, I didn't wear such attire on the local dance program
but being there still made me feel like I was a real go go dancer!

Now ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Candy Johnson ...


While searching for information about Candy Johnson's whereabouts, I could not find much information.  I did find a website for a Candy Johnson that was "under construction".  There is one rumor about Candy being a choreographer in Branson, Missouri.  I feel this is truly only a rumor, no one could dance like Candy Johnson and one thing for sure, her style could not be taught!  You have it or you don't.

So much for my winter day fantasy of beach party movies and Candy Johnson.  Decades have passed and I  live far from the beach but in my little back "yard" I can still dream of being at the ocean with Annette, Frankie and friends ... having a ball dancing, surfing and watching Candy dance!