Saturday, September 30, 2006

Friday's Feast

I know I just answered a very long list of questions about myself in my previous post, but I found Friday's Feast at Gawilli's site. I thought it was very clever and wanted to share it with you. After all, we seem to appreciate good food and we don't seem to mind answering questions about ourselves! So here goes.......


What is your favorite herb or spice?

This is a difficult question to answer for an avid herb gardener! I love the scent of lavender. I harvest and dry it every year to keep tucked in my dresser drawers. I also keep bunches of lavender hanging on herb racks throughout my house and I adore lavender soap. Rosemary and oregano are my favorite cooking herbs. Cinnamon and nutmeg are my favorite spices.


Name a song you like, but haven't heard in a long time.

I haven't heard Otis Redding singing "I've Got Dreams To Remember" in a long time. I love that song! Also haven't heard Etta James singing "At Last" in quite some time. Both of these songs are absolute classics!


If you were to take just one minute to write down as many things as you can think of that you need (not want) to do, approximately how many things would there be?

Okay, the "not want" to do stipulation narrows my list somewhat. I would say there would be three things on my list: 1. pay bills, 2. pay taxes, 3. count fund raiser money.

Main Course

Tell something interesting about one of your family members (nothing scandalous, please, just something unique).

Geez, the best things I can think of might be considered scandalous.....oh, well, I'll tell them anyway....In Mississippi in the 1800's one of my ancestors on my mother's side of the family was hung for poisoning his wife. That's pretty unique isn't it?!! And, in the not so distant past, my sister was a college cheer leader. Her uniform top was a one-shouldered affair. During a basket toss at a football game, one of the bases' hands caught in the off-shoulder side of her uniform and pulled that side of her top down. So she went sailing into the air, executed a perfect move and landed in the "basket" a la Janet Jackson EXCEPT my sister was wearing a strapless bra!


What's the latest you've ever stayed awake?

I frequently pulled "all nighters" during college. And, during the summer months, I still routinely stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Questions via Willowtree

01. What does your headline mean? My Way of looking at and thinking about the world around me.
02. Elaborate on your default photo: A picture of my Grandma T. holding baby Songbird.
03. What's your middle name[s]?: Tamar. It's a biblical name.
04. What is your current relationship status?: Happily divorced.
05. What are you wearing right now?: Black sweat pants and a green sweatshirt.
06. What is your current problem?: Hmmmm.....getting off the computer and going to bed at a decent hour.
07. Who do you love most?: My mom. And all my human family, animal family and friends.
08. Who makes you most happy?: I am solely responsible for my own happiness. People and events affect my happiness, but I alone control my feelings whether they are positive or negative.
09. Are you musically talented?: Yes. I have a God given talent for singing. I began private piano and voice lessons in third grade. I am certified to teach both vocal and instrumental music as well as elementary music.
10. If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would you change?: I wouldn't have gotten married that second time!
11. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day, what would it be?: An Arabian stallion. Just like the Black Stallion in the movie.
12. Ever have a near death experience?: No.
13. Can you dance?: Well, I call it dancing though some folks might not agree.
14. What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head right now? True by Ryan Cabrera. One of my students was playing it on his guitar earlier today and I began singing along. A couple more of my students exclaimed, "Wow! Ms. T, you should be on American Idol!" So I'm practicing for my debut.
15. Who did you cut and paste this from?: Willowtree
16. Name someone with the same b-day as you. Peter Jennings and Booth Tarkington.
17. Have you ever destroyed someone's property?: Yes. I was really mad at that second husband!
18. Have you ever been in a fight?: Yes. I am embarrassed to say that I got in a fight with a girl in high school over some dumb guy.
19. Have you ever sang in front of a big audience?: Yes. Lots!!
20. What ATTRACTS YOU TO THE OPPOSITE sex?: Hormones.
21. What do you usually order from Starbucks?: Nada. I don't drink coffee.
22. Do you have a crush on one of your myspace friends?: Ok, this question makes me feel like I am in junior high!
23. Ever had a drunken night in Mexico?: No.
24. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?: Well, a student once told me that I looked like Wonder Woman. I wish!!
25. Do you still watch kiddy movies or TV shows?: Movies.
26. Did you have braces?: Yes, from age 14 to 16.
27. Are you comfortable with your height? Yes, I'm comfortable with 5' 4", but I'd rather be 5'10" .
28. Do you consider yourself adventurous?: Intellectually adventurous, but not so much daredevil physical adventure.
29. Do you speak any other languages?: No, but I can sing in many different languages.
30. Whats your favorite smell?: The smell of the woods, fresh cut grass, apples, cinnamon...the list could be much longer.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Room With A View

I begin the school day at the high school building. The choir/drama room is at one end of the building and has no windows. The walls are covered with a carpet-like material that is supposed to absorb sound. I leave this building at 9:00AM and drive across town to the middle school. The choir/band room is at one end of the building and has no windows. The walls are covered with a carpet-like material that is supposed to absorb sound. Yes, I sometimes feel as though I am in a padded cell with 50 to 70 students! I leave the middle school around 10:00AM and drive back across town to the elementary school. The music room is in the far corner of the building. There is only one "padded" wall because I only share one wall with an adjoining classroom. Most important to my sanity, there is a window. Aaaaahhhhhhhh.........

This is the view from my elementary classroom. I have actually seen deer grazing in the shade of the pines and bunnies and squirrels are common sights. The cares and frustrations of the day melt away when I take a moment to gaze at my view. Maybe I should enlarge this picture to poster size and hot glue it to the padded walls of my other rooms.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Have you ever been enthralled with a word? For some reason, I find myself captivated by the word halcyon. I had often read about "the halcyon days of summer" and "the halcyon years". I guessed that halcyon meant "golden" or something akin to "the good old days". Finally, I looked the word up.

Halcyon: 1. A fabled bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was supposed to have had the power to calm the wind and the waves during the winter solstice while it nested on the sea. 2. Poetic. A kingfisher. ---adj. 1. Calm and peaceful; tranquil. 2. Prosperous; golden.

Halcyon days: 1. Days of fine weather occurring near the winter solstice, especially the seven days before and the seven days after, attributed by legend to the magical powers of the halcyon. 2. A period of peace and tranquility.

I walk pretty much every day down the country road I live on. My wanderings take me by a large pond and across a river. I see these incredible birds quite frequently. Often, I hear their raucous call before actually seeing them. I've watched them dive head first into the water and emerge with a fish in their beak.

I've seen a pair of kingfishers sitting on a tree limb overhanging the river. I've seen four kingfishers engaging in what appeared to be a game of aerial chase. Upon researching the bird, I discovered that the pairs are very territorial so what I actually witnessed was probably one pair chasing another pair out of their territory. I've always liked the fact that the kingfisher is one of the few bird species in which the female is generally more brightly colored than the male. I like kingfishers. I have a little resin female kingfisher sitting on a shelf near my computer.

And the point of all this.....well, it seems fitting that a word I am captivated with is related to a bird I am equally captivated by. And, in reference to Julie's Quote of the Day, I have added another pebble to my little island of knowledge in the great sea of life.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Little Girl Who Cried Coyote

When I was in first grade, we had a time at the end of each day when we could stand in front of the class and share something about our lives with the rest of the class. Each day a few students stood and told their stories so that the entire class had had a turn by the time the weekend rolled around. We all told about visiting relatives, games we had played, birthday parties and all the other activities and events that six year olds found exciting in the early 60's. I guess you could call it "Show and Tell" except I honestly don't remember any of us bringing many items to school to "show".

One particular day as I sat listening to the various life events of my classmates, I decided to liven things up a bit when it was my turn to talk later in the week.

I had often laid in bed at night and listened to coyotes howl up and down the creek that ran through our farm. The coyotes were particularly vocal when the lonely sound of a train whistle echoed through the valley we lived in. I had also listened to stories my mom told about learning to shoot a rifle when she was a girl. It is also important to know that my dad had recently bought me my first horse and that we had a small herd of cattle on the farm. Add all of these facts together and throw in a few pieces of first grader fiction that blossomed in my fertile imagination and you have my story.

When it was finally my turn to stand in front of the class, I told a wild story about coyotes invading our farm and chasing our cows. My mother was the heroine who quickly saddled my horse, jumped on his back and galloped across the fields with rifle in hand to save the poor bovines. I think Mom must have shot about a dozen of those coyotes as I watched the entire scene unfold from our front porch. Her marksmanship was amazing. I'm sure she held the reins in her teeth a la Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. In fact, the producers of that movie probably got the idea for that scene from my first grade story. Anyway, my story was a big hit.

Not too long after I got home from school that day, the phone began ringing. Most of my classmates lived on little farms like ours and when their parents heard that a mangy crew of coyotes were threatening our farm, they became alarmed. I listened to Mom for a few seconds of the first phone call then I wisely slunk from the house to amuse myself outdoors. After the second or third phone call, my mom yelled out the front door telling me to get in the house. My heart was heavy as I trudged in to accept my fate.

I don't remember everything my mom said. The general gist of it was that it was fine to use my imagination to tell stories, but that I should not pass fiction off as the truth. I remember hearing the words "lies" and "honesty" alot in the lecture I received. I also remember being banished to my bedroom to sit on my bed and think about what I had done until Daddy got home. It was long hour filled with dread. I had caused people to be afraid and to worry. I knew how that felt because I was afraid and worrying myself at this point in time.

Daddy talked to me again about the difference between fact and fiction. I think he pretty much repeated what Mom had said. From an adult perspecitive, I am so thankful that my parents didn't try to curb my imagination. They both supported my creative story telling ability. I learned an important lesson about how one voice can influence many lives. It is a lesson I still remember today and that's the truth.

Friday, September 22, 2006

September 11, 2006

"Whoever you are, there is some young person who thinks you are perfect. There is some work that will never be done if you don't do it. There is someone who would miss you if you were gone. There is a place that you alone can fill." Jacob M. Braude

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Obedience Plant

These lovely flowers are physostegia virginiana also called false dragonhead or obedience plant. Quite a few years ago, I saw a picture of them in a seed catalog and decided to order some for my garden. They grow two to four feet in height so I planted them in the middle of a bed. Big mistake! I should have researched obedience plant more thoroughly because these plants spread from underground stems like wildfire. They are the single most aggressive plant I have ever cultivated. I use my big shovel to dig up clumps of obedience plant every spring so they won't choke out the purple coneflowers, iris, sedum and yarrow that I have in the same bed.

They may have an aggressive personality, but I do think they yield beautiful flowers. They bloom in late summer after other flowers have tapered off and before my chrysanthemums burst into bloom. I consistently win blue ribbons in the county fair flower show with my obedience plants. This year I didn't enter anything in the flower show because our spring and summer were so dry. Nothing I had bloomed as big and beautiful as it normally does. However, I was so disappointed in my decision not to show when I visited the fair. There was only one obedience plant entered and it was a sad, little specimen. In fact, even though it was the only flower entered in its category, the bloom was draped with a "thanks for participating" green ribbon. Meanwhile, I had these blooms in my garden.

I think I made a mistake, don't you?!!! Next year I will trust the beauty of my flowers even in adverse growing conditions.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tagged by Tiggerlane

Four jobs that I've had:
1. Montessori pre-school teacher
2. House cleaner ( the best college job ever!)
3. Toys R Us management
4. Pie maker ( I made pies for a local cafe when I was in high school. )

Four movies I watch over and over and over:
1. Legends of the Fall (sad, but so good! )
2. Love Actually ( a quirky little movie that makes me laugh )
3. Gone With The Wind ( classic for this Southern gal )
4. Seabiscuit ( the little horse who wouldn't quit )

Four places I've lived:
1. Boulder, Colorado
2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
3. Salisbury, Maryland
4. Roanoke, Virginia

Four things I like to do:
1. Read
2. Sing, listen to music, play piano
3. Garden and yard work
4. Cook

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Lasagne
2. Ice cream ( preferably homemade )
3. Prime rib
4. Lobster

Four places I would like to be right now:
1. Yellowstone
2. Alaska ( planning a trip for 2008 )
3. Tuscany ( never been there, but I want to go so bad!)
4. Antiquing in New England

Four places I've been on vacation:
1. Yellowstone
2. Charleston, South Carolina
3. Washington DC
4. New England (two weeks of total fun!)

1. Susan in VA
2. Angelina at Dustpan Alley
3. Shauna
4. Grim Reality Girl

My pirate name is:

Captain Ethel Cash

Even though there's no
legal rank on a
pirate ship, everyone
recognizes you're the
one in charge.
You're musical,
and you've got a certain
style if not flair.
You'll do just fine. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Monday, September 18, 2006

O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue
To drown the throat of war! When the senses
Are shaken, and the soul is driven to madness,
Who can stand? When the souls of the oppressed
Fight in the troubled air that rages, who can stand?
When the whirlwind of fury comes from the
Throne of God, when the frowns of his countenance
Drive the nations together, who can stand?
When Sin claps his broad wings over the battle,
And sails rejoicing in the flood of Death;
When souls are torn to everlasting fire,
And fiends of Hell rejoice upon the slain,
O who can stand? O who hath caused this?
O who can answer at the throne of God?
The Kings and Nobles of the Land have done it!
Hear it not, Heaven, thy Ministers have done it!

William Blake
Prologue, intended for a Dramatic Piece of King Edward the Fourth

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Jesus Christ
The Holy Bible, Matthew 5:3-9

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Seems I spent an entire week posting about outward appearance which is rather unusual for me. I don't have time to get a good story written tonight so I will post one of my favorite quotes to add some substance to the face of my blog.

"Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand." St. Augustine
Beauty Pageant Disappointment (Again)

I have a student that is exceptionally beautiful. In fact, I think she is stunning. Tonight I watched her in the county-wide beauty pageant and for the second year in a row, she didn't even place. My mom went with me to both pageants and she is in complete agreement with me on how beautiful this girl is. (My student has many other wonderful qualities in addition to her physical beauty, but I'm ranting about a BEAUTY pageant so her physical attributes are the focus in this post.) The contestants do a swimsuit competition that takes place before the actual pageant and is not open to the public. They also do an interview with the judges that isn't part of the public competition. What the public gets to see is the contestants modeling sportswear and then evening gowns. In the final portion of the pageant, each girl comes on stage one at a time and has to answer a question. Each girl is asked the same question.

All the girls are very pretty and they are all dressed to the nines and I am not trying to insult any of them. I actually had several students in the pageant tonight and I am proud of all of them. They are all beautiful in my eyes and I mean that sincerely. I just happen to think that MEBS (my exceptionally beautiful student) has that spark or charisma or whatever you want to call it, that makes her stand out from the rest of the contestants.

MEBS is 5' 9" tall. She has a beautifully proportioned figure and large blue eyes. Her hair is light brown. She is poised, graceful, confident and has a lovely smile. You can see her in last years' before the prom pictures here and here. She is the girl wearing pink. In fact, the dress she is wearing is the same one she wore in last years' pageant. And these pictures do not do her justice.

Mom and I have come to the conclusion that in order to win the pageant the contestant must, first and foremost, be blonde. Not having a curvaceous figure also seems to help. Wearing a pastel evening gown is a plus. But what really separated this year's winner from the rest was the number of times "uh" and "umm" were used while answering the question on stage. I feel sort of bad about writing that last sentence, but it's the truth! At any rate, I am disappointed that not one of my brown haired, curvy, brightly dressed choir students placed at all.
Post Script: I am not a beauty pageant fan. I especially dislike the little girl pageants. I think they are exploitative and I'm just not a fan. I AM A FAN OF MY STUDENTS and if they want to be in beauty pageants then I will be there to see them. Also, keep in mind that the beauty pageant in this post is in a small, rural Arkansas county. The top prize is a $250.00 scholarship. We all know that might purchase one college textbook! And MEBS has so much going for her. She knows that and so do I. So, I'll just say it.....I'm a sore loser!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Beautiful Woman

This beautiful woman is Judi Gibbs. Ms. Gibbs is the Aunt of my very good friend, EC. Ms. Gibbs was the featured Pet in the December 1979 issue of Penthouse. I talked to EC this evening and got her permission to share this story with all of you.

Judi Gibbs had a nephew that she loved. When she discovered that her nephew was in an abusive situation with his step-father, Judi wanted to help with legal fees and other costs related to removing her nephew from a intolerable situation. An opportunity to pose for Penthouse provided Ms. Gibbs with the much needed funds to help rescue her nephew.

Judi Gibbs was also in two movies in the early 80's; The Junkman (1982) and Deadline Auto Theft (1983).

This beautiful woman's life and career were cut short when she died in a house fire in 1986.

EC told me that her Aunt Judi had a wonderful sense of humor. She has fond memories of her aunt's lyrical laugh. EC has managed to get copies of the Penthouse issue and the movies and is grateful to have these items to help keep the memory of a beautiful woman alive.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I just can't decide........

which one of these........

I like best.


Monday, September 11, 2006


I would not ordinarily spend over $6.00 on a magazine purchase, but I stopped by the grocery store after church on Sunday and as I wheeled my buggy past the magazine rack, this cover really spoke to me.

I reverently (after all, I had just been in church) removed the magazine from the rack and just stared at that face for a few minutes. One of the store employees that I know paused as he passed me in the aisle.

"What in the world are you looking at?"

"Cowboys and Indians."

"Yeah, right."

He moved on shaking his head in disgust at the glazed look in my eyes.

Several hours after I got home, I managed to tear myself away from the 8-page Matthew McConaughey layout, with 4 full-page pictures I might add, to discover an article on Australia's Great Outback Cattle Drive and an article on what to see and do when visiting Vancouver, British Columbia.

I felt ever so much better about my investment. Not only could I stare at pretty pictures for hours on end, I could also do a bit of research on some of my blogging buddies' habitats.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

We Remember
September 11, 2001

"O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine, till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law."

from America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates

"Some may come and some may go, but we will surely pass. Till the One who left us here, returns for us at last. We are but a moment's sunlight, fading on the grass..."

from Let's Get Together by Chet Powers

"Lookin' back on the memory of the dance we shared 'neath the stars above. For a moment, all the world was right. How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye? I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance."

from The Dance by Tony Arata

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Roanoke, Virginia

I began my career with "Candyland" in Virginia Beach, Virginia. From there I was transferred to Salisbury, Maryland, then I moved to Frederick, Maryland, and worked in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I ended my "Candyland" career in Roanoke, Virginia. I really loved Roanoke and plan to go back for a visit one of these days. When I was there in 1988-1990, it was a very nice place to live and I'm sure it still is.

A view from the Blueridge Parkway which is in very close proximity to Roanoke.

A polo match I attended near Roanoke. This picture brings memories of such a fun day. A friend and I picnicked on gourmet carry out while we watched the match. Polo hasn't made it to Arkansas in a big way, but we do have thoroughbred racing at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs.

This picture was taken along the road that led to the riding stables I frequented while living in Roanoke. There was also an apple orchard and cider mill along this road and a wonderful fresh produce stand.

Another shot taken from the Blueridge Parkway. It was a hazy day, but still a fairly nice picture.

Susan in VA
I hope it is still this beautiful in the Roanoke area!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Update on Brother and Comments on Songbird Picture

I just can't resist posting this picture of my brother. Wasn't he a little cutie?!! That hair was red, red, red. It is so much lighter now that he is older. In other news, HDT is recovering nicely from his recent surgery. He has much more flexibility in his right arm and hand than expected at this point in time. HDT is still struggling with his left-handed ironing and he has added a few more things to his "hard to do with the left hand" list. Shaving and brushing his teeth have pushed ironing down to a third place ranking.

Thank all of you for your wonderful compliments on my picture. I forgot to mention that I was 72 on my birthday in July. Isn't that amazing? I've always liked my smile so I try to use it alot. And my eyes truly are the window to my soul. I can't put anything over on anybody because my eyes always tell the truth. In response to Tiggerlane's comment about my perfect teeth....they aren't perfect, Tigger! As you know, I had to have four teeth pulled before getting braces in the ninth grade. I had the overcrowded teeth problem, but braces definitely made a difference. In response to MJ's comment about my skin.....I wear sunscreen and a big hat when I work outside. I use Oil of Olay age-defying anti-wrinkle replenishing night cream (what a mouthful) every single night and I use St. Ives collagen elastin moisturizer in the morning. I use Almay line smoothing makeup products that also have sunscreen. I don't mind getting older, but I do want to look as young as I can for as long as I can and I am totally not into surgery or Botox.

Thanks again for the compliments! Oh.....I'm really 48.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Grown Up Songbird

July 2006 Birthday celebration at Mom's house

Mouth still open, eyes still sparkle, only a few gray hairs, no major wrinkles, original teeth

Gee, I'm holding up pretty well.....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Second Grade Songbird: A Blogger In The Making

My mom saved all my report cards, school pictures and samples of my schoolwork from first grade through my senior year in a book she purchased through a PTA fund raiser. The book has a page for each grade level where my teachers' names, favorite subjects, height, weight and extracurricular activities are listed. Each page has a pocket in which Mom placed all the memorabilia she collected. The following is a story I supposedly wrote in the second grade. I say supposedly because, knowing me, I might have "borrowed" all or parts of the story from a book I was reading. My mom, however, swears that I wrote it. This is exactly as written, punctuation, spelling and all the rest.

All the animals in the woods were asleep, except little Brown Squirrel, and he just could not go to sleep. It might have been the sun shining through the trees, but he just could not go to sleep. So he decided to go see if trueheart was asleep. Trueheart was the little Indian girl who lived in the wigwam on the hill. On his way through the woods, Brown Squirrel came upon White Pony. Where are you going asked White Pony. Oh, I'm going to see if Truehearts asleep said Brown Squirrel.

Please let me go said White Pony. Every day she come and brings me some sugar cane. I want to go too.

Well all right come along said little Brown Squirrel. So little Brown Squirrel from the wood deep deep and Little White Pony who could leap and leap went to the wigwaw to see if Trueheart was asleep. On their way to the wigwam they passed the cabbage heap. Bunny Rabbit jumped out. His two big ears stuck straight up. Where are you going he asked. Oh we're going to the wigwam to see if Truehearts asleep. Please may I go too? She comes every day and picks nice, tender cabbage leaves for me. I want to go too, said Bunny Rabbit. Well all right come along said Brown Squirrel.

So little Brown Squirrel, from the woods deep deep, and little White Pony who could leap and leap and Bunny Rabbit from the cabbage heap, went to the wigwam to see if Truheart was asleep. When they got to the wigwam there was no one around just big Black Cat lying in the sunshine. What do you want he said very gruffy.

Oh, we've come to see if Truehearts asleep," said little Brown Squirrel. "Do you know?" No, I don't know, but I'll go see," said Black Cat. So creep, creep around the wigwam, and creep, creep inside, went Black Cat. And, sure enough, Trueheart was fast asleep on the rug with her cornhusk doll. So creep creep out of the wigwam and creep creep around the outside went Black Cat. Yes Truehearts asleep, he whispered.

My GRANDMA loves me very much, She tells me in many ways, And whenever we're together We have such happy days!

The End

Nice poetic touch at the end, but I'm not sure how my grandma got into the story! I was probably thinking about her as I wrote because my Granny W. was a great storyteller.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Oh, how I love a fresh blanket of snow! Obviously, I didn't take this picture today, but I can anticipate the upcoming changes of seasons, can't I? This is my view to the west (right) and the south (straight ahead). Living in the woods is terrific!

Monday, September 04, 2006

I Wanted A Pet Monkey

This handsome man is HDT, my "little" brother. When Mom was pregnant, people would ask me if I wanted a baby sister or a baby brother. I would tell them that what I really wanted was a pet monkey. I was extremely disappointed in January of 1964 when my parents brought home a tiny, red-headed baby brother. A five year old's yearning for a pet monkey is not something that should be taken lightly. HDT just wasn't what I wanted. Plus he took so much of the attention that I had monopolized for 5 years as an only child. Eventually, I decided HDT was cute, cuddly and sort of like a pet monkey in some respects. So I decided it was okay for us to keep him.

My brother will be 43 in January. He is the Assistant Athletic Director/Sports Information Director at a university in south Arkansas. He has an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and a Master's Degree in Kinesiology. He is single. He owns a home, an SUV and, all in all, turned out pretty well. He is my good friend as well as my brother and he has stuck around a lot longer than any pet monkey would have. I am proud of his accomplishments and I love him.

Today HDT had out-patient surgery to repair a ruptured bicept tendon in his right shoulder. I talked to him last night and he explained the injury and how it would be repaired by the surgeon. A lot of his detailed explanation sailed right over my music teacher head so I had to do some research on line to really understand what was going on with him. HDT's biggest concerns were that he wouldn't be able to lift weights for 3 months and that he might not be able to iron his clothes.

Let me digress for a brother is addicted to ironing. He is handsome, in good shape and wears his clothing like a male model. The only time I have ever seen him slightly mussed and wrinkled is when he gets up in the morning. I think he irons EVERYTHING he wears. I can iron a pair of pants and they still look like I just pulled them out of a laundry bag. HDT's clothes are perfectly pressed and creased ALWAYS.

So, I called him just a few minutes ago to see how he was feeling. He is fine. The surgery went well. No damage to the rotator cuff. He isn't feeling much pain. The right arm in a sling is sort of bothersome. His friends brought over some food for tonight. He should be relaxing and recuperating, right? But what was he doing? You guessed it. He was trying to iron with his left hand.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Two views across a neighbor's pasture of the Ouachita Mountains in Western Arkansas.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Funny Friday
Dedicated to Willowtree

In admiration of his recent tutorial
May thy right hand always know what thy left hand is doing.
And vice versa.