Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sounds of August

Oops, there are only a few hours left of August and I almost didn't get my "Sounds of August" blog
posted.  I came up with this idea at the beginning of August, one evening when I stepped outside
on our deck. I remarked to Clint, "It sounds like August!" What a symphony!  I wonder how many critters/insects compose this orchestra?  I can't think of another month that has such a distinct sound.

A few weeks ago I ran across a verse by William Wordsworth and knew I had to include it in this blog.  The verse is from "Lines Written in Early Spring, 1888" :

I heard a thousand blended notes
While in a grove I sat reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant
Thoughts bring sad thoughts to the mind.

The scene this August morning from our front porch.
I was resting after my two miles and admiring the trees
silhouetted against the foggy layers in the background.

Sounds of August would have to include those of the county fair.  The county fair
was very important to our family.  This photo is of my grandmother, she was very active in the
fair.  My grandfather in his retirement years became the "Fair Manager".

My uncles played guitar at the Senior Citizen Day held each year at the fair.  There were competitions
for hog calling, jigg dancing, best decorated bonnet, etc. 

My grandmother tells the story of my brother entering his pet rabbit to be judged.  This paragraph is in the above article:

Dot laughs about the time her grandson entered his pet rabbit in the judging.  He won first place and the delighted little boy watched the judge put a blue ribbon on the cage.  Smiles turned to tears the next morning, though, when it was discovered that the rabbit had eaten the ribbon!  A kindly judge replaced it with another and all ended well.

My mother's Blue Ribbon chocolate fudge recipe.  This is a favorite
in my family and we had to have it every Christmas.

Terrible quaility of photo but am using it because
I couldn't find another one of my fair entries with ribbons.

I usually worked in the art entries at the fair.

The Fairest of the Fair.  I am number 8, number 14 was crowned
the Fairest!

My grandmother, grandfather and some cousins were featured in an Emmy Award winning series, The Heartland Series, that ran for years on WBIR in Knoxville, TN.  This series was hosted and produced by Bill Landry.  The episode that featured them was filmed where else but at the county fair!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Highway Patrol

Broderick Crawford, starring as
Dan Mathews in "Highway Patrol".

A few months ago I ran across this old booklet based on the popular old TV series, "Highway Patrol". I am showing a few illustrations from the book, they are rather humorous to me. I loved this old program and can still remember the theme "song".  It was different seeing a gruff and older middle aged man instead of the "pretty boy" types for a change. A change I actually liked! 

The show was popular during its four years of first run syndication during the years of 1955-1959. 

Today there are hundreds of possible TVs shows/movies to watch but for some reason, I can't find a thing to watch!  Why is it I loved the old shows when we had only 2 or 3 channels?  Fuzzy black and white, too!

 Broderick Crawford was born in 1911 and died in 1986. 

More detail from this is pictured below ...


Dan left hungry but soon he had so many problems that
thoughts of breakfast were driven from his mind.

 [ Cindy's words, not Dan's ;~)   ]

Some good advice from "Dan" ... best part of video only lasts about 30 seconds, I promise!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Portrait of Natalia Pietrunkevic 1893

Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Morning

This morning my sister, daughter, son-n-law and grandson
came for breakfast.  It was so good to get together and to
live close to family after all the years of being away. 

It's been a while since  we've had
sausage balls.

Cheese grits are a big hit!

This is the first time we have eaten on our new dining
room table.  We were comfortable and it felt so good
to be together. 

Canyon said the blessing, got a little "stage fright" but was
able to say one. 

(Changing the subject)
I've fallen and I can't get up!  All  jokes aside,
I have fallen down on the job of getting my studio/office in
shape.  I've got to tackle this tomorrow! 

(Camera shy Cindy)

This morning I didn't get my picture made, I was the photographer
as usual.  This picture was made a few weeks ago.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Monkey Could Do It

A most trying time!  We needed bookcases and had spent a lot
of time shopping around for some. It was to cost around $100 to
have one delivered from a furniture store!

I saw some at Target (after hitting all the antique stores) that looked pretty good and it was easier to
order them online (free shipping) than for us to put
two huge boxes in our vehicle.

The acutal introduction on the Target bookcase instruction manual:

Now what?  Don't start sweating over this box of parts.  This will be easy.  We did the work for you.  All you need to do is follow our simple instructions and you'll be on your way to transforming  your room in no time.  Good luck---though we're confident you won't need it.

Clint would sneak by the door and snap pictures and remind me "even a monkey
can do it" and "my twelve year old son assembled it in 20 minutes".

I am here to tell you this monkey pictured here was having a heck of a time!

Okay, Clint, enough of your wisecracks! :~)

How could this be such a difficult job when it looked so easy?  The bookcases looked so simple and plain.  Online there were around 150 reviews on these bookcases. Some reviewers said such things as "even a monkey could do it" and "my twelve year old son put it together in 20 minutes".  I now agree that the instructions were vague.  It took me more than 20 minutes just to clean up the styrofoam "charged" particles and the other packing material.

It didn't help matters that the pre-drilled holes were too large for the wooden dowels that were to be "carefully tapped into place".  The wooden dowels literally fell into the holes. sigh  How was I to know what a "cam bolt" was or even a "cam"?  sigh  At one point I was dreading of giving the news to Clint it was not doable and that we had to return a partcially assembled bookcase back to Target.  SIGH  (I'd made sure we didn't have to mail the 75 lb. boxs back if they didn't work)

Clint did good job of keeping his end of the bargain by "helping" me ... he was to not come near me when I was working on the bookcases.  His method of dealing with any home improvement project is to resort to a ball peen hammer when all else fails.  He is also not allowed to be near any paint inside our house.  Once he knocked over a gallon of paint with a ladder on a carpeted floor!  (Keystone Cops)  It is good I can't help but laugh as I am typing this.  Better than crying. ;~0

Clint "helping" me while I worked on the bookcases.

Time to celebrate!  We lived through
the ordeal and were pleased with the bookcases.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Reason, Season or Lifetime

Frida Kahlo

The Frame:Self-Portrait

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you figure out which one it is,you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,

it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;

to provide you with guidance and support;

to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.

They may seem like a godsend, and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

 Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,

this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,

because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;

things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,

and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown

~Emily Shore

January 1834

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Capturing the Light

Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose 1885-1886

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose is the refrain
from an old song.

John Singer Sargent

Originally I was going to write about the recent couple of days that I spent with my sister.  I found this photo of a painting in a new book I found at Big Lots of all places! I was going to use it because it had two girls in it to represent sisters.  So much has happened and now there are more recent things to write about.   Also, I Googled some information on this painting and loved the story behind the painting. I couldn't help but cut and paste in on here.  Dear readers, I don't expect anyone to take the time to read it all, this blog is one of my "just a note" blogs for right now.

Last night was another sleepless night at the Ellisons. Clint had to prepare for that dreaded five year colonoscopy and I was worried about  him because he felt hot and sick all over.  He slept on the other side of the house. I was to awaken him at five am this morning to repeat the process from the previous night. We both are lacking sleep but we will survive.

He made it through the procedure this morning
and was told by the doctor he was fine!

One of the world’s most beloved depictions of a garden is “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” by American painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). How Sargent came to capture that magical moment at the end of a summer’s day in his portrayal of two little girls standing amidst flowers is a fascinating one.

In 1885, the 29-year-old Sargent was feeling somewhat discouraged. Although he had built a reputation in France as a promising new artist, his months of hard work on a painting of a Parisian society matron, “Mme. Pierre Gautreau” (now called “Madame X”, and one of his most famous paintings) were met with controversy and scandal. He sought a change of scenery and traveled to England

The inspiration for a new painting came from a boat trip down the River Thames that Sargent took with fellow painter Austin Abbey. Sargent describes it in a letter: “I am trying to paint a charming thing I saw the other evening. Two little girls in a garden at twilight lighting paper lanterns among the flowers from rose-tree to rose-tree. I shall be a long time about it if I don’t give up in desperation.

At Broadway, a village on the River Avon, just south of Stratford, Sargent joined an informal colony for the arts, where the company included American author Henry James. Here the scene which had so delighted him on his boat trip came to occupy him for two whole summers. Just after sunset, Sargent would race to his large canvas, on which he had originally planned a scene of a young girl lighting a Chinese lantern in the twilight. His first model was little Kate Millet, his host’s daughter. Because he thought her brown hair too dark for his painting, he found a blonde wig for her to wear when she was posing.

But when illustrator Frederick Barnard and his two daughters arrived in Broadway, Sargent’s plan changed. Polly and Molly Barnard were blonde, so no wigs were required, and they had the added benefit of being seven and eleven--a little older than Kate Millet and thus better able to hold still as they posed. So the painting became a portrait of two girls rather than one. Progress on the painting was painstakingly slow, since Sargent could capture the light of dusk (which of course came earlier and earlier each day) for only a few minutes.

Sargent’s daily routine never varied--he painted landscapes creating a complete sketch, which the next day he would paint over. Art critic Edmund Gosse, also summering at Broadway, wrote “I often could have wept to see these brilliantly fresh and sparkling sketches ruthlessly sacrifice."

Sargent worked just after sunset for about 20 minutes to record the effect of the light as his little models held their Chinese lanterns. With the warm glow of the lanterns against the dusky purple of the summer twilight, he told Robert Louis Stevenson that he was seeking to capture “a most paradisiac sight [that] makes one rave with pleasure”.[3] The painting came to be called “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” after the refrain of a popular song of 1885.

In a letter to his sister Emily, Sargent wrote, “ I am launched into my garden picture and have two good little models and a garden that answers the purpose although there are hardly any flowers and I have to scour the cottage gardens and transplant and make shift...Fearful difficult subject.”[1] Sargent walked through the village offering to buy flowers from the residents’ gardens. By November the air was chill and the little girls wore wool cardigans underneath their summer frocks. Because the rose bushes were bare, his hostess tied on artificial flowers for Sargent to paint. His painting was far from finished, though, so the canvas was stored until the following year.

Sargent was prepared for the second season of painting. In April, he had sent fifty Aurelian lily bulbs to his hosts in Broadway--twenty to be put in pots for him to use for his painting, and the rest for the garden. When he returned to Broadway in the summer of 1886, he once again worked to capture the few minutes of light with his little models. Sargent finally finished by the end of October 1886. He entered "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" in the1887 Royal Academy exhibition in London, where it was both a critical and popular success. Soon after it went on view, it was purchased for the Tate Gallery.

The completed oil on canvas, which measures 68 1/2 inches by 60 1/2 inches, depicts two young girls in white smocks standing amidst a garden of carnations, roses and white lilies. The paper lanterns held by the girls shimmer against the summer twilight. Despite the fact that it took two summers for Sargent to complete it, the painting does not seem labored over--it appears as fresh as the girls and the flowers themselves.

This story about the painting appeals to me because recently I have been excited about painting in oils. The part of the story above about "capturing the few minutes of light" jumped out at me.  Yesterday I saw a scene near the river, the field was lit a very bright green atop a hill. By the time I grabbed my camera from the car, the light had changed and the field was once again dark. I have been doing some research online and have bought some new supplies.  I need to stop talkin' about it and Just Do It!  :~)

It took John Singer Sargent two summers to complete this painting. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Artist's Way

This morning was a perfect morning to do my
"morning pages".  It was actually a little cooler outside, in the 60s.

A fan of Julia Cameron's, the Artist's Way, I first
read about it in the Plano Profile magazine
when we lived in Texas. 

My copy has more highlights than
any other book I own.

Working on this blog has made me realize
I need to get back to this book and reread it.

 Recently I was reading in a Reader's Digest, (yes, its still around, Clint's mom gave me this copy) about freeing  your mind and eliminating your "inner detractor."  A doctor who studies creativity in children at Northwestern University tells of a tried-and-true-way. Julia Cameron, a television writer, director and novelist has been teaching creativity for 25 years.  Julia's way is to write three pages---in long hand---first thing every morning about what ever comes to mind, no second-guessing, no editing.  It's a mental Dustbuster," Julia tells U.S. News & World Report, "sucking up the negativity that might inhibit creativity later."

I admit I have fallen off the wagon of writing my morning pages.  There were some amazing things that happened when I was regularly doing my morning pages. First of all, no one else is to read your morning pages. If I thought someone else might read mine, I would start self-censoring myself.  This is stream of consciousness writing with no regard about correct grammar or spelling.  Sometimes I would keep the pages for a short time and reread them later. If I wrote about something that was bothering me, a few weeks later I would have forgotten all about it.  One day I wrote about an old neighbor of ours in Tennessee. I had no idea why I wrote about this person.  Later that day, after having written about this neighbor, my mother told me that I would not believe who had called her and how this neighbor had called her to ask her to pray for an ill family member.  I do need to get back to my morning pages.

Another pivotal tool that Julia writes about is the "artist date".  What is an artist date?  An artist date is is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. You go alone on your artist date.  Don't have time?  Julia says "You cannot afford not to find the time for artist dates.  Some of my artist dates have included reading magazines at the library, sitting outside in front of Whole Foods ... people watching, walking through Barnes and Noble, visiting a thrift store, going to a high quality arts/craft mall and attending an old country church service by myself.

One of the most revealing and fun exercises that I did from Julia's book was list five occupations/dreams/aspirations that have been on my mind for years.  I listed my five and had Clint list his five, I'd saved these lists from several years ago.  We were amazed when we compared our lists:

When I was young I dreamed of being a nun.  (I'm not Catholic)
I thought it would be an easy life, living in a beautiful stone
"castle" and contemplating God all the time.

Being a soap opry actress, I thought,
would be steady work.

I can't sing, we seem to
want what we can't have.

Clint and I were astonished at how similar
our list were to each other.  About the only
differences were the actress and baseball dreams.

My dear blogger friends, I would love to know what would be on your list?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Mystery of the Old Farmhouse

I could not find a "perfect" photo of the old house
as I remembered it. This one sets the mood a little
of the house and grounds.  There was a driveway leading
to the house and green grass.

Recently I wrote in a previous blog about trying to find a beautiful old farmhouse that I had not seen for many years, about fourteen years to be exact. Around 1997-98, some of my relatives and I would attend a country auction in La Follette, Tennessee.  My mom, aunt, uncle and I would usually attend this auction together on Saturday nights.  I had remembed one afternoon, we had driven up this old road, farther north from the old auction barn and had come across the most beautifiul old farmhouse. The scene took my breath away and I had remembered an old water pump in the yard, the kind that is pumped by hand. You would think you were back in the 1930s when looking at this house and the grounds. Of course I had no camera with me at that time but I had never forgotten this memory. I have thought about it often through the years.

About two weeks ago, Clint and I went to Kentucky for an overnight trip. On the way up, we drove up Old Middlesboro Road looking for the old house.  On the way down, we looked for the old house.  Somehow we had even missed seeing the old auction barn.  We never found the old house, it is possible there might have been one stretch of the old road that we missed. I plan on searching one more time but the mystery may be already be solved.

A couple of days ago I was at my aunt's house and was talking to her former caregiver.  My aunt passed away about two months ago.  Somehow the topic of auctions came up and the caregiver said my aunt wanted to be taken for a drive to see the old auction barn and an old farmhouse.  "FARMHOUSE?"  The caregiver said my aunt was so upset that they could  not find the beautiful old farm house or the old auction barn.  My aunt had the caregiver to stop the car and ask farmers and a storekeeper if they had any knowledge about these two sites. Sure enough, my aunt had also remembered this old farmhouse being on the right after passing a curve.

They were told the old farmhouse had been torn down. (Fourteen years ago I remember it looked to be in great shape)  They learned the old auction barn had burned down and a metal prefab building was on that site. Gerl, the owner of the auction, was very thoughtful to call mom and me, giving us the dates and info about the auctions.

The old farmhouse is gone, my mother's mind is gone, my aunt's gone, my uncle's gone, the old auction barn is gone and while Googling for this post, I learned that Gerl, the owner of the auction barn passed away on May 8, 2011 at the age of 56.  This Twilight Zone is getting to be a bit much for me ...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Splendor in the Grass

William Wordsworth
1770 ~ 1850

"Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind. "

— William Wordsworth

 A couple of days ago, one of my Face Book friends posted a verse from William Wordsworth's, Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.  I made a comment on her post that the verse had always been a favorite one of mine.  The movie, Splendor in the Grass, has always been a favorite one of mine, too.

Yesterday Clint was finally able, after us purchasing two bookcases, to empty more boxes of his books.  He ran across a few old English textbooks that he didn't want.  I can't just throw away a book, I found the illustration of Wordsworth in it and thought I could use it.  The recent reading of Wordsworth's verse on Face Book plus the picture I found yesterday of him in the over a hundred-year-old-book equaled a blog about something I love! 

The 1961 movie starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty.

An old torn quote with the verse I found in a 1930s woman's
magazine.  I cut it out and glued this in my
not-so-little black book.

To this day, it is difficult to watch the scene that made
such an impression on me those many years ago
when I first saw the movie.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Our Whirlwind Trip

We spent the night here at The Cumberland Inn in
Williamsburg, KY.  The hotel and museum complex
are owned by The University of the Cumberlands.


 Clint and I both agreed, we drove some long distances
on some very treacherous back roads.  One was Hwy 95   from
Middlesborough to Williamgsburg, KY, the closest way
to travel to Cumberland Falls State Park.


There was heavy fog in the mountains this morning.

How disappointing, I searched going and coming and could not find the old house I had written about in my previous blog!  I am not one to give up easily, I will search again soon.  The house was on a long road, I may have gotten on the road before or after where I remembered the old house. 

This is a "mini" blog, we just got back from Kentucky about an hour ago and I am exhausted.  I will be writing more about our trip.  I can't  believe how much we were able to accomplish since noon yesterday when we left.  I have to say Clint and I both had a wonderful time and it was an adventure!

Back to my friends, later .... have a wonderful evening.