Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good Bloggers Pay it Forward Award

What an unexpected surprise I had on Memorial Day yesterday, I was acknowledged by Shady Dell Knight on his blog, Shady Dell Music & Memories! I was a honored recepient of The Good Bloggers Pay it Forward Award and Shady wrote such a complimentary description of me and my life. (I still wonder if it was really me who was profiled in such a wonderful way! ;~)

Mr. Shady Dell Knight

Administrator of  Shady Dell Music & Memories

(Yearbook Photo)

Shady Dell Knight's blog is dedicated to the Shady Dell in York, Pennsylvania.  Here is the blog description lovingly described in Shady's own words: A lighthearted and loving look back at the glory days of The Shady Dell, the historic haven for teenagers in York, Pennsylvania, and the magnanimous couple that created it, the late John and Helen Ettline.

Shady is just about to begin his Beach Party series on his blog and he has extended an open invitation.  Not only is 60s music featured, sometimes guest bloggers share their different music styles and taste.  No RSVP is required and you're only one click away from FUN!

It is amazing how much we learn from other bloggers and how we get to know them ... something most non-bloggers would have trouble understanding. You sincerely feel the other bloggers are your friends.  Recently  blogger friend Shady left a comment on my blog in response to my blog post. He recommended the reading of Thomas Wolfe's short story, The Far and The Near.  I had a feeling that my husband Clint and I would like this story.  We LOVED this story and it seems almost every day we are reminded of this story's theme.  Just this past Sunday I had a "far and near" experience that I may share on an upcoming blog.  This collection of short stories by Thomas Wolfe is not easy to find.  After the local library had to get it from the main branch, we also had no luck finding it at two used book stores. (Clint was not happy when I returned the library book without him reading the entire collection)  I feel confident I can find a copy at Amazon or eBay. This is just one illustration of how we learn from other blogger friends in this blogger world of exchanging ideas.  Thank you Shady for recommending "The Far and The Near."

The rules of the award are as follows: Thank and share your "linky love" with the person who gave you the award and then pay it forward and give it to five other bloggers.

I am forwarding the award to the following art related blogs that I enjoy.

Bill Guffey's blog The Virtual Paintout
Amy at The Brilliant Magpie
Lumilyon at Lumilyon
Kelley at Drawworm
Franz at Franz Art

Oh, I have a few questions to answer.  ;~)

Upload picture or wallpaper you are using at the moment.

I am almost ashamed to admit I don't have a picture on my desktop. If I had one, it would be this photo:

The Smoky Mountains

When was the last time you ate chicken?

Yesterday.  I am finicky about chicken and I have to make sure it is fresh.

Do you think you are hot?

Yes, I just became hot when this blog was published accidentally and I was not finished!

What songs have you listened to lately?

Ave Maria by Andre Bocelli ... this early am 
The Eagles Friday evening when our neighbors played a DVD
SKY.fm (smooth jazz radio)
Mad World by Adrian Grimshaw (YouTube)
J.D. Sumner ... a YouTube hymn (can't remember the title)

What were you thinking while doing this?

How fortunate to have some friends out there who actually seem to care and listen to what you have to say.

Do you have any nicknames?

Cindy (my real name is Cynthia), Bones by my brother and Ninny by my dad.  Pitiful, ain't it!  :~D


Another big 'thank you' to Shady Dell Knight for recognizing me again with an award.  I was humbled by your words.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thursday's Adventure

The 113 year old smile!  This was used in
cosmotology classes in 1898, a room of these wax heads was discovered
at least 35 years ago in NYC.  The shop owner said
she had kept this one in her salon for 34 years until
she retired.

Yesterday Clint and I went in search of a side board/buffet/server to go with a dining room table and chairs that
we had ordered.  We went in many local antique stores, I admit I was beginning to sweat.
It was not looking good that we were going to find anything and  here we had already paid for
a dining room table and chairs.

Like the sunlight through these colored bottles

Her lipstick matches her hard hat.

♪ ♫  Where's This Place Called Lonely Street?  ♫ ♪

 Things have sure changed in downtown Clinton,
I can remember years ago all the traffic on this street.

Clint was freaked out when he walked into
a dark room in one antique store and
this bird started flying! 

It's Alive!  I hope it was captured  and released outside soon
after we saw it.


YOU RAT!  I turn my back on you for five minutes .... ;~D

I wondered why you were so quiet!

Here comes the brides

Mission accomplished!  I could not believe we found
one we liked at the last antique store in town, in the
basement in a corner.

The shop owner said she thought it was turn-of-the-century.
I really liked the look of the burled wood and the
hanging drawer pulls.

It's gonna be delivered on Tuesday.  Whew!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The House with Nobody in it

This old structure is in the heart of the Powell community.
I have been admiring this old place for decades.  It reminds me of the
little house in The Wizard of Oz, the place where
Dorothy meets the tin man.

Yesterday I made this picture and risked life and limb.  There is no
shoulder with whizzing cars passing literally inches away.

Clint and I are going back sometime and try it again, together.  It just occurred
to me to use this as a picture for this blog post since it resembles
an old empty house.

The House with Nobody in it

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track

I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.

I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute

And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;

That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.

I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;

For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,

And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.

It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;

But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid

I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.

I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be

And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,

Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.

But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone

For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do,

a house that has sheltered life,

That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,

A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,

Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track

I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,

Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,

For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

           ~ Joyce Kilmer

Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) was an American journalist, poet, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. Though a prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his religious faith, Kilmer is remembered most for a short poem entitled “Trees”. (1913)


Last night we had a conversation about looking back ... spending too much time looking back.  Yesterday it hit me I have to start a new life, I can't go back to the way things used to be here.  Things are different and I can't start over where I left off, it's not possible.  Clint says he has been giving a lot of thought recently to not spend much time on looking back but living in the present and facing the future.  One subject he brought up was old friendships.  I know we have written about this before.  Yesterday I drove around, looking for some furniture, and came back home feeling lost.  I was in my hometown and things just didn't feel the same.  For heaven's sake, they aren't the same!  I stopped by an old well known store and for the first time in my life, I did not know a soul in the store or run into anyone I knew.

I know I am rambling on here.  We are very happy here and are excited about the future.  Clint has joined a fitness center and has started working out again.  I am anxious to start doing some oil paintings, I don't have much experience painting in oil.  My goal is to paint a large oil painting of the Smoky Mountains to hang over our mantle.

The last time in our Texas house,  I did look back.  The last few minutes there,  as I said good bye to the house,  I shot these pictures.  I couldn't help it.  Seriously, I am going to make an effort to realize I can't go back and not spend too much time looking back.  We all remember the fate of one particular woman who looked back ...

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not but rather find strength in what remains behind.

                                 ~ Wordsworth

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Past Few Days

Beautiful Cove Lake State Park.

Friday I stopped by here for a few minutes after visiting my mom.

~~       My mom wanted to know who I was :~(       ~~

A charming scene at the entrance to the

♪ ♫ Green, green ... it's green they say,
on the far side of the hill.  ♫ ♪

I see this beautiful scene when I go to the grocery store.

(A beautiful idea for a watercolor landscape)

Still haven't decided what the "story" is about this bear sculpture
at the library.  It appears its story is painted on it but
a part of me might prefer to have the bear plain
and make up one's own story.

My family roots began near this river, the Clinch River in Clinton, Tennessee.

My relatives on both sides of my family lived near this river.  On my dad's side
of the family, their land was on the river.  I am wondering if the exact location
is shown in this photo of the spot where my grandmother took me fishing one
day when I was very young.  I can't tell you if we caught a thing but I have never
forgotten the corn cob horse she made me while sitting on the bank.  That woman sure knew
how to use a pocket knife!

Still on the bank of the Clinch River when I was walking closer to the river,
a fat furry animal was scurrying to the water.  My sister, who lives very close by
told me it was a ground hog.

To my faithful blogging friends, sorry for the lack of posts recently.  I have some new blog ideas and hope to post them soon.  Thank you again, each and everyone of you, who spend time visiting and for your sweet comments! ~~

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Martians Have Landed!

Yesterday I snapped this picture from the car as we passed by.
I had been hearing about the house a few miles from
us who had a flying saucer in their yard.

Welcome to Tennessee!

A blue gargoyle in their tree.

Love this warning sign for their safety
while crossing the road.  :-)

A dragon pops out of their roof!

A robot and I believe The Munsters are painted
on the side of their house.

Yesterday we had all these little errands to run and also went in search of olive juice.  There is no olive juice to be found.  We did find the flying saucer house a few miles from our house.  I found out the creator of these "projects" was a friendly guy named David who found humor in them.

We also drove to West Knoxville and visited some different stores and a newer area called Turkey Creek. I saw one store that I liked, an interior design store that had some very unusual art. I may write about this art later.

Clint and I were in an area where an old boyfriend had lived and operated their family business. I was telling Clint about some of their experiences with this business they had owned in this area.  We were sitting at a traffic light in a congested area with me chattering about "Joe" when a few yards before me "Joe" and his old employee passed in front of us in his mother's old car, a car that I believe to be a 1984 Cadillac.  I would not help but exclaim "There's Joe!",  it was from shock that I said it in this tone. I could not believe my eyes,  how well I knew this car from 20+ years ago, I had helped them out once when it had been stolen and had driven it back from New Orleans with "Joe's" mother.  It was surreal, as though time had not changed, to see "Joe" and John" in that car after all these years.

Clint mistakenly took my surprise as enthusiasm in seeing "Joe". Of course "Joe" had no idea I even saw him.  Anyway, it was enough for him to write a blog yesterday about it. One would think as old as we are, there would be no jealousy. NOT!  I think jealousy is not very becoming but sometimes Clint and I have some bouts of jealousy. I have asked some of my friends if they are ever jealous of their husbands, I am surprised that some have told me, "Are you kidding?  As long as we have been married?"

Monday evening we had a pleasant surprise visit from a new neighbor.  She brought over some homemade salsa and we had a good visit.  She and I have some things in common and Saturday we may go to an event together.

Clint is working hard on emptying more boxes and here I am gossiping about him to the world.  I suppose I need to go help him and pay him a little attention after yesterday's "events".  ;~D

I "borrowed" this picture from Google, an example of
giving new life to two old umbrella sized satellite dishes.

A closer view of the flying saucer in the yard.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Through the Wringer

"Cindy, whatever you do, don't get your hands
 near those rollers!"

Do you know that delicious dreamy feeling when one first wakes on a summer morning, with the twitter of birds in the air, and the fresh breeze coming in at the open window--when, lying lazily with eyes half shut, one sees as in a dream green boughs waving, or waters rippling in a golden light? It is a pleasure very near to sadness, bringing tears to one's eyes like a beautiful picture or poem. And is not that a Mother's gentle hand that undraws your curtains, and a Mother's sweet voice that summons you to rise? To rise and forget, in the bright sunlight, the ugly dreams that frightened you so when all was dark--to rise and enjoy another happy day, first kneeling to thank that unseen Friend, who sends you the beautiful sun?

Lewis Carroll
Easter Greeting

Recently I came across this Easter greeting from Lewis Carroll to the children who loved his Alice in Wonderland.  I had been trying to describe the summer mornings to Clint when I would go next door to my grandmother's on wash day.  Lewis Carroll described my summer mornings perfectly in this greeting.  The only difference is my mother did not draw back the curtains or summons me to rise.  She didn't have to.  I had places to go and things to do like go next door to my grandmother's house and watch her wash clothes!  I am guessing I was about seven years old. There was nothing I liked better than being in her basement when she was washing clothes.

Repeatedly she had warned me not to get my fingers near those washing machine wringers. She would tell me a horror story of some kid up in the country that had a accident with a wringer washing machine.  When I could sneak and do it when she had her back turned, I would put my finger on the opposite side of the wringers where the clothes were inserted.  It would repel your finger and push it away, kinda like a game for me.  One day I got my wringer sides mixed up and got my hand caught in the rollers.  Bless her heart, by the time my grandmother could help me, it had drawn in my arm. I remember her frantically attempting to free my arm and thank God, she was able.  My hand was very sore and I remembered wash day was not as much fun after that ordeal.  One thing for sure, I never got near that wringer washing machine again!

Clint has his own very similar wringer washing machine story.  He played "the game" I played when his grandmother had turned her back. His finger was caught but he was able to pull it out. 

I look back and regret I put my grandmother through this experience. 

I'm sorry, mamaw, I didn't listen to you.

I loved running through those sheets hanging on the line.

Of course she always had that box of Tide.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award: Seven Recent Reflections

Shady Del Knight

Recently I was awarded The Versatile Blogger Award from fellow blogger and friend, Shady Del Knight.  Shady is the administrator of Shady Dell Music and Memories. This fantastic blog is dedicated to keeping alive the glory days of The Shady Dell, the historic haven for teenagers (knows as Dell Rats) in York, Pennsylvania. This blog is also a loving memorial for the late John and Helen Ettline, the creators of the Dell.

Not only highlighting 1960s music on the blog, being the versatile blogger that he is, other types of music are sometimes shared from Shady's guest bloggers. Relentless in his research and extremely knowledgeable about the music industry, Shady's blog,  Shady Dell Music and Memories,  is very entertaining and informative. I have discovered "new" artists and songs that I never knew existed from the 1960s until I experienced them on this blog.

Shady Del, thank you very much for awarding me The Versatile Blogger Award.  As part of accepting the award, I am to list seven things about myself.  In recent months I have listed quite a few facts about myself so the seven things I am going to list today I will call 'reflections'.  Recent reflections about some random subjects:

1)  To Thine Own Self Be True

Go to Clint and Cindy's house to
See Rock City!

Most residents in this region are very familiar with the old (and new) signs that read See Rock City.  One does not have to travel to Chattanooga to See Rock City.  It can be seen by pulling up in front of our house.

When we were house hunting, the first thing that grabbed my attention when we pulled up in front of our  'new' house was rocks out front.  White rocks.  Large rocks.  Small rocks.  All the rocks lined around mulched areas, around the mail box area, hedges, flowers and a tree in the middle of the front yard.  The back yard also has these rocks around a small tree.  My first thought: These rocks have to go.

In the middle of the front yard is a weeping cherry tree.  Clint read they can grow to a height of 40 feet.  We have had bad tree experiences, damage and expense.  The tree is already taking over the small front yard and it is going to be expen$ive to have it cut and the $tump ground. We love trees but it's sad this one was not planted in a good location.

Also, there are some birch trees on one corner of the house that we were told were of the "dwarf" variety.  These have become more of the "giant" variety, touching the house and gutter. These will probably have to go, too.

(We were told the maple tree between our house and the neighbor's was planted exactly on the property line, even the guy who mowed our yard mowed it exactly to one half of it. :-)  It is evident that at some point this could be a problem for us.  Love Thy Neighbor )

The former home owners shared with us on the closing day some of their favorite features of the house: The white rocks. The weeping cherry tree. The large birch trees planted within inches of the house.

Can you believe the irony? We also learned there was a robin's nest in the weeping cherry tree. We could never bother a nest of baby robins. We think they have flown the coop by now. Clint says this thought should have not entered my mind but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. (The former owners my still be in the area) It's our house now and we have to do what we feel is right for us.

Several hundred white rocks, free for the taking.


2)  How Do You Define a Friend?

Friends have been on my mind, recently.  Do we really have many true friends in this life?  Do we even go through life having only one true friend?  Maybe not even one?  I find there are "friends" that aren't too happy for you sometimes when something special happens to you. If this is true, they aren't friends anyway.  When I say not happy for you, I mean not acknowledging something special in your life and sharing in your happiness.  I think there is some truth in the saying "Expectations are resentments waiting to happen".  I do have some new friends though and am looking forward to seeing an old friend soon.  She has already made me laugh today when I read her email.  Who knew the topic of Worcestershire sauce could become funny!

3)  Library Blessing

A couple of days ago Clint and I visited the closest library to us and got new library cards.  I was struck by the beautiful design of the library.  A good library I consider a blessing, a blessing that we also had in Plano. I've already placed a hold on a book, it's supposed to be ready to pick up Tuesday.

Really liked the bear sculpture at the library!

4)  I Hear a Train a Comin'

This topic could be a little similar to Reflection # 1 above with a little twist, about 'beauty being in the ear of the beholder'.  I grew up and lived near rail road tracks, on the right side of course.  :-) I love the sound of distant trains, especially at night.  We hear trains at our house here in Tennessee.  It's good that Clint finds them quite charming, too. The sounds in this short Youtube sounds just like our nightly train.

5)  Dainty Dante

We stayed in a local Hampton Inn until we could move into our house.  One day I was telling the young woman behind the Hampton Inn desk that we had found a house that was in the Dante area.  (DAHN-tay) She said she lived in the Powell area but she had no idea where Dante was located.  She said she had lived here for years and was not familiar with the Dante area.

The former house owner also told us on closing day when speaking with locals regarding the area in which we live, it should be referred to as "Dainty",  not "Dante".  I soon learned this lesson, when I called the plumber here to check out some things and was giving him directions, I forgot and reverted back to "Dante" , he "corrected" me and said, "Oh, you mean the Dainty area".  I also realized later why the Hampton Inn employee did not recognize our area because I had not said "Dainty".  I still say it's Dante's Inferno, not Dainty's but when in Rome ...

6)  Music

Things are still in major disarray here from our move, we still have boxes to unpack and still don't know where many items are located. I have been music deprived and look forward to listening to some music again. I wonder if Knoxville has a smooth jazz station?

7)   Zippity-Do-Da Day

Words can't describe how happy I am to be back home in The Volunteer State of Tennessee!

Thank you again, Shady Del Knight, for honoring me with The Versatile Blogger Award!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dangerous Humanoid Amphibious Fish Creature

The Ritz Theatre in Clinton, Tennessee

So many memories from this theatre.  This photo was made in 2007, there
 was an Andy Griffith Show event there that evening.

Sometimes I wonder how much of my life was spent in movie theatres.  I loved movies and spent many happy hours in local movie theatres, especially the Ritz Theatre in my hometown of Clinton, Tennessee.  It was also a thrill to go to the beautiful Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville.  It still gives me cold chills when I think of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, like magic, coming up from the floor and seeing the guy playing the organ.  Again like magic, it would disappear into the floor.

Recently I have been thinking of the lasting impressions made on me by the many hours spent at the Ritz
when I was a child. I know there were times I must have been to the theatre three times a week!   I am guessing I was around ten or eleven when I saw the following movies.  These are etched in my  warped brain ... I loved them!

Boris Karloff ... he was made for the role of Frankenstein (1931)

I liked that Knoxville's own Patricia
Neal starred in this movie.

Who could forget this role.  I never think of Frankenstein
without remembering that Mary Shelley, the author, wrote
Frankenstein when she was 19 years old!

"What big claws you have, you big dangerous humanoid
amphibious fish creature!"

The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

(After a very trying day yesterday,  last night I was telling Clint how the description
"dangerous humanoid amphibious fish creature" struck me as very
 funny.  I was laughing about this blog idea and
Clint said it was the first time he'd heard me
laugh all day)

The Creature from the Black Lagoon stuck terror in my heart.  For years when I would be swimming in Norris Lake, if  a fish had nibbled my toe, I would have sworn it was the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I would always think of 'the creature'. 

How great was Lon Chaney in The Alligator People,  another
favorite movie that I have never forgotten.

I always remember my aunt meeting Beverly Garland at
 a western movie convention.  My aunt said she was
as beautiful and charming as she had imagined. I still like
seeing her in old westerns

The Fly (1958) really freaked me out.  At ten years of age it seemed
possible that a fly could somehow get crossed with a human.

When I think of The Fly, I don't think of the more recent
version with Jeff Goldblum, I love the old version with Vincent Price.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Another one I will always remember.  I still remember when
 this came on TV, it must have been around 1958 and my aunt
was baby sitting us.  Once again, I thought this event could
actually happen. 

Who knows on this one, maybe it could!

Thank you, dear blog readers, for spending a little time with me and my silliness.  I sure appreciate each and everyone of you!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day and Other Thoughts

The rhododendron yesterday outside the facility where
my mother lives.  I always enjoyed seeing this
flowering plant in the Smoky Mountains.

A pencil portrait of my mom that I
drew last fall from a 1950s photo. (I had to use this one
that was not cropped, somehow my pictures
have disappeared from my computer)

Happy Mother's Day,  Mom!
It was so good to see you yesterday

I wanted 'green' in my backyard,
I got 'green' in my backyard.

I accomplished a goal today, my 'guest column'
was published in the Sunday edition of The Dallas Morning News.

Not being able to post  a link to it with out subscribing, I couldn't help
but share this photo from my screen this morning.  I was only
able to read two lines from  it.  A couple of
friends are going to mail me copies.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Recently my fellow blogger friend Emma from Ol' Green Eyes awarded me The Versatile Blogger AwardEmma is a very talented young woman whom I find  very wise for her age.  The photos on her blog are breathtakingly beautiful and so is Emma. I enjoy reading about her life in Ireland and I think you will, too.

As part  of the award 'rules', I am to list seven things about myself that many people may not know:
  1. I can not sing
  2. I can not sew but I monogramed (by hand) the cuff of Jerry Lee Lewis' shirt.
  3. It appears I have some skills as a markswoman. 
  4. I have had the experience of being deserted on an island alone. (not kiddin'!)
  5. While living in Dallas, I won First Place in the Dallas Morning News Holiday Cookie Contest.
  6. I met my future husband Clint on AOL as a pen pal.
  7. This Sunday I am going to have a guest column in the Dallas Morning News. I am very excited about this and will write more later about it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Big Day

A picture of Melton Hill Lake (Clnch River) on our way
to Knoxville (our new home!) yesterday morning.

Finally the day had arrived, our move-in day
at our new house.

I had always wanted to see inside one of
these trucks, Todd, our mover,  invited us inside.

Actually Clint was the photorapher of the picture.  ;-)

Happy to see this truck again, they  were right on time.  I still don't
know how they navigated those narrow country roads.

What does this switch do?

A proud Todd showing off his new fenders.
Totally pristine.

Genuine leather!

A 150 gallon tank, there are two of them.

Six miles to the gallon, about $1,200 to fill it up.

I was kidding Todd that he was the Mover of the Stars. He is the best, not only "stars" does he move but presidents.  I can't believe how much trouble we had even getting movers to show up for estimates when we first began our search. Our luck changed.  Todd owns his own business and has six trucks.  Very professional.  Thanks Todd, I hope you  had a safe trip to North Carolina.