Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Sundries ~ Edition 8

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill
except for learning how to grow in rows. 
~ Doug Larson

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Finds and Random 5 Fridays

It's not everyday that you walk through the woods and find a blue leave. Blue on only one side that is. Here's my thoughts on how it got it's beautiful color. Somewhere, someone was about to dig for some reason and called to have the utility lines identified. Out comes the guy with his spray cans and marks where the lines are. If I'm not mistaken blue signifies a water line. The wind comes up (we've certainly had plenty of that this week) and sends this leaf sailing through the woods to where I found it. This is one thought although as far as I know, no one has painted anything around here in the middle of the woods.  Mr. H says he's seen leaves that have stood in stagnant water take on a bluish tone. This seems more like it, but honestly I'm not too concerned why it's blue. I'm just delighted that I saw it on my walk. I think it's another little wink from God to make me smile!
Random Facts from these week
Fact  #1
I've taken numerous pictures of this covered bridge and they're all different. The light shines different, the water reflections are different, and this time, it's sporting a new paint job!
Fact  #2
My sister has moved close to me and now we can finally enjoy more photo excursions together. We spent the morning at a park and look what we found. This c. 1849 cabin was built by John Christian Heilman, one of the first settlers in this area of Arkansas. Legend has it that he built the structure from hand-hewn logs salvaged from the first Arkansas territorial governor's mansion.
Fact  #3
Everywhere you go you can find liter that some careless person has left behind!  Are you old enough to remember the commercial about littering where the Indian Chief had a tear rolling down his cheek because we care so little for our land?  Anyway, at least it was a pretty piece of liter!

Fact  #4
You can find the most interesting textures on trees. But, if I were you, I wouldn't touch this one. I thinks it's poison ivy!!

Fact  #5
You know spring is here when you see bees on flowers. This is one of my King Alfred Jonquils. It's about twice the size as a regular jonquil.

That's it for this week!
May you have a lovely weekend!
Linking with Kim for Friday Finds and Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Sundries - Edition 7

"Everything has a way of coming full circle. It takes patience and perseverance to see a dream close that circle. Because some dreams, like some circles, can be much bigger than others."
                                                                  ~ Karen Dale Trask

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Finds & Random 5 Friday - March 21, 2014

I finally found the magic time to take pictures of my jonquils. It seemed no matter what time I was outside, I couldn't get a decent picture. There just seemed to be no depth...just blobs of yellow. I glanced out the window while cooking dinner around 4:30, saw this gorgeous light, and grabbed my camera. YES! This is what I wanted!  In case your interested, I didn't burn dinner!
On to some randomness...
Fact  #1
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written in 1875, is considered as the first published book written by using a typewriter; a Remington.  I love old typewriters!  I want one!!

Fact  #2
I'm on a mission to take a picture of every county courthouse in Arkansas.  While I'm in town for the courthouse shot, I wander around taking pictures of other historical buildings and cemeteries. I never seem to have enough time to see everything I want to!

Fact  #3
I love my washing explanation needed! The third washboard has the word "saver" on it, surely it doesn't read "time saver!"

Fact #4
I've always wanted a long porch on the front of my house. Alas, I don't think I'll every get one!  I wouldn't mind the house that goes with this porch either!
 (Cargile House, Arkadelphia, AR - built in 1898)
Fact  #5
It snowed again this week. I was pretty excited!  Gee!  We might be up to a whole four or five inches total for this winter!! By the next day temperatures were back up in the 60's! Thankfully, the snow didn't seem to hurt my Flowering Almond tree.

Happy Spring!
Linking with Kim for Friday Finds and Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Silent Storytellers

I had a chance to watch a documentary on PBS this week entitled "Silent Storytellers." Silent Storytellers explores the history, culture, and importance of preserving Arkansas cemeteries. As I watched the program my head was nodding and I was feeling less an odd ball. You see, I enjoy wandering around cemeteries with my camera. There I've said it out loud. I've received comments suggesting that I'm weird, I'm disrespectful, and that being in a cemetery where I "knew" no one seemed intrusive. After watching the documentary I decided to explain my fascination with cemeteries.
Recently I visited the Pleasant Grove Cemetery which was established in 1878. Some of the oldest stones are faded, with names and dates difficult to read; more than a few have toppled, not from vandalism but from decay and from tree roots pushing up over the decades. I was anxious to walk around, but instead of grabbing my camera,  I sat on one of the benches, relaxed, and just did a little thinking. Why do I like to be in a cemetery? What draws my attention? Why do I like to take pictures here? Then, I pulled out my journal  and wrote.
Cemeteries can be sad places. Hearts have been broken, loved ones lost, and tears have been shed. So why am I drawn to them? As I look around me I see many reasons that cause me to keep returning to cemeteries.
(The arched monument symbolizes the pathway to heaven.)
There is peace here...a quiet, reverent peace...a place of contemplation. I rarely see another person in the older cemeteries. I rarely hear more than the sounds of nature...a very persistent woodpecker, a few others birds, a dog barking, and the wind rustling the leaves.
I'm amazed at the beautiful works of art I see...angels, lambs, vases. 
 (Child-like angels and lambs represent the death of a child. The top right monument has the symbols of the Freemasons and The Woodmen of The World. The urn, bottom right,  represents the soul.)
Sometimes the art is handmade. I can see a special cross filled with rocks and pieces of glass. I can see a family plot with a small cement wall around it and every few feet there is a beautiful crystal rock embedded in the cement.

I read  recently that walking into a cemetery gives the sense that you're walking into an area filled with stories. It's like the cemetery is a book and the grave markers are the pages. History abounds in the recording of names and dates. I try to picture the people behind the names and imagine the lives they led. The inscriptions are fascinating to read. I'll never forget the line I read on one marker.
mother of 84 grand
and great grandchildren.
She must have had several children who had several children who had several children! Some of the markers are imprinted and some have the name and date painstakingly hand-carved into rock or granite.
 (Ivy on the marker symbolizes friendship.)
Of course, any where I am I look for nature's beauty to photograph. Nature touches cemeteries with it's trees, moss, and lichen.
My heart goes through a myriad of emotions
as I walk through a cemetery
and even a smile or too.
Always, I come away with thankfulness...
thankful for each moment
each day
each year
I've been blessed with.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Sundries ~ Edition 6

 And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant"

 I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.  ~Author Unknown
This week I'm seeing lines everywhere!
Don't forget to wear green tomorrow!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Finds & Random 5 Friday ~ March 14, 2014

I wish I knew more about trees, like how to identify them by their bark and leaves. I guess I could study dendrology which is the science and study of wooded plants, trees, and shrubs, but I rather think I don't have the time or the memory for this. Sure, I know an oak tree and a pine tree, but sometimes I run across a tree or parts of a tree that makes me curious.  Just what kind of tree is this from?  That happened to me yesterday. I found large pieces of bark that had fallen from a dead tree limb. On the inside it was the most  beautiful mustard color. I've never seen anything like it. No matter the tree it was a great find for Friday Finds!
Here's my random facts for Random 5 Fridays...
Fact  #1
Let's talk about the weather. Wait...don't run off!! So you're tired of talking about the cold, snow and ice?  Well, what if I tell you it's been in the 70's here with plenty of sunshine and nice breezes. As I sat outside eating lunch I noticed this shadow of my cheap plastic glass. The fact is...I'm going to the beach this summer with my family.
Fact  #2
All the sunshine and warmth has brought spring with it.
My Flowering Almond trees are blooming...
and so are my jonquils.
Fact  #3
My favorite place to be is by water. Did you know that Arkansas contains over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers?
Fact  #4
I long for a day of quietness. Quietness from our quicker, smarter, louder world! No matter where I go I'm greeted by man-made sounds.  Sometimes, I just want to be still and quiet, listen to my own breathing and the  sound of my heart beating. I'm afraid there's very few places on earth that this is possible!
Fact  #5
I need to buy one more inkwell, because things look better in odd numbers.  Flea I come!
I hope a little spring warmth and color is reaching you.
Maybe you can take a few minutes, find a quiet spot, and refresh.
Linking with Kim for Friday Finds and Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sunday Sundries ~ Edition 5

My Sunday Sundries post is a little late.
I've been away playing with grandsons!
My photography focused on two things this week.

searching for light
"You'll miss the best if you keep your eyes shut."
~ Dr. Suess
(in honor of his birthday this month)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Finds & Random 5 Friday

There's a story behind my Friday Find this week. It goes like this:
  • Kim, who hosts this Friday Finds link up, showed a few of her lovely purchases from Anthropologie. You can read about them here.
  • Sarah from Paisley Rain Boots (yes, the same Sarah that writes the Coffee Shop Chronicles on her blog) posted a picture on her flickr stream of her favorite store and it was also Anthropologie.
  • Two good recommendations and I had to check them out. I decided to see how far it is to one of their stores. I was very sure it was too far for me to travel.
  • Surprise!! There's a store only ten miles away. Second's been there four years and I've never heard of it!
 The conclusion...I need to get out more!!
It was a fun store to wander around in.
I didn't buy anything, but there's a few things I'm thinking about.
Now on to my randomness!
Fact  #1
We had strawberry shortcake this week. The berries looked better than they tasted, but a little extra Cool Whip made them better!

Fact  #2
This shelf hangs in my Nostalgia Room, where I keep treasures from my past and other treasures I've collected. These dresses are mine. My mom made the one in the middle. It's made of sheer fabric with a sweet little under slip. If you look right above it on the shelf you can see a picture of me in the dress.

Fact  #3
I'd rather sleep under a quilt than a blanket. My mom made the lap quilt on the left and my grandmother made the full size one on the right.
Fact  #4
I don't watch horror movies. I prefer to have pleasant dreams not nightmares. My dislike of horror movies began in the 60"s when I watched Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds."  It's probably very tame compared to what is produced now, but it terrified this little girl. I still get creeped out when I see a large gathering of birds!
Fact  #5
Mr. H has always said "you get what you pay for."  That was very true today!  If you buy a burger off the dollar menu, you get a small, not so good, burger. If your pay more than you've ever paid for a burger, you better get the most delicious burger you've ever eaten...I DID!  It was a classic burger with Petit Jean bacon and avocado.  Out. Of. This. World. Yummy!
Shopping in a new place and having a delicious meal...I'd say I had a pretty good day!
Linking with Kim for Friday Finds and Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

There's Always Beauty

It seems this winter there's been a lot of talk about the weather and a lot of weather to talk about. We had sleet, a lot of sleet!  We even had thunder sleet!  That's a rather strange feeling when it thunders and sleets!  Before the sleet we had rain and after we had snow flurries. We also broke record cold temperatures on Monday. All that led to a rather icy couple of mornings, which led to me traipsing about in the nearby woods. I won't bore you with how slippery it was or how cold, I'll just leave you with a few photos and a few words.


 Ice Bells

Oval Mirror

Stay safe and warm!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Sundries ~ Edition 4

My Month of finding or creating hearts is over.
It was a challenging project, yet fun.
What will March bring?
No special project, just a little of this and that;
a little bit of what captures my eyes and my heart each day.
"There is no instinct like that of the heart."
                                                           ~ Lord Byron


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Photo Heart Connectin ~ February 2014

Vintage items make me happy. Simple things like crocheted pieces, embroidered tea towels, jars, and old clothespins. Yes, the clothespins are vintage, they are mine and I've been married 41 years!  Vintage items bring back memories and memories have been on my mind lately.
As time passes and I grow older, I find my memories beginning to fade. I find it harder and harder to recall names, places, and events. I feel my brain is overloaded just trying to keep up with the quickly changing world we live in. Seriously, to be my age and having all this knowledge and technology thrown at me is mind boggling!  I know many of my memories are still there, they're just buried deep in my mind! With the encouragement of Sarah at Paisley Rain Boots, I'm working at bringing those memories out. Thank you, Sarah!  Sarah's focus on writing this year, especially her Coffee Shop Chronicles has been the push I needed to start writing down bits and pieces of my past. I purchased a leather notebook with 400 pages of little square graph paper. Graph paper?  Yes, 'cause I like the stuff!  I've also found a list of fifty-two questions to get me started; questions about family and memories. I read somewhere that once you start writing down memories more memories surface.  Who knows, maybe somewhere down my family line, someone will want to know how I lived, what I thought, and how I felt. Maybe no one will every read it...I don't know, but it will be there just in case.
kat eye view