Saturday, March 2, 2013

Loving Lipstick

What would my world be without lipstick?? I would be colorless, bereft on the high seas of "blahdom." From the tender age of 3 when I was first aware of my lovely mother twirling up her tube of red lipstick and applying it gently to her lips each time she left the house I was dazzled by it's bright effects. The first chance I got I reached up on her dresser with my little hands and snatched up her golden tube of color. I generously applied it to my lips and then decided to use it as a crayon to write on the walls with. And, that's the first (but certainly not the last) time I heard her exclaim, "Wait until your father gets home!" Despite the spanking I got for obliterating mom's one and only tube of lipstick, I knew my love affair with the stuff had only just begun!
Supple lips and big smooches to one and all!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

In a Dreamlike State of Mind

When I first saw this photo, taken by my groovy friend, Roger Pettry, I immediately wished I had taken it. Roger retired from the same place I work a couple of years ago and evolved into a nomad of sorts, travelling to Baja in the winter and making his way back to Morganton, NC, in the spring. He took this photo on an early summer morning along the Catawba River when the air is cooler than the water temperature, causing a dreamlike fog to hover over the river.  I can imagine myself sitting in one of those pink chairs, drinking a good cup of coffee, just simply enjoying the morning before the sun rises and the day becomes hot. Or, sitting in these chairs on a cool evening down by the river with good friends and good beer shooting the breeze, laughing and chatting, listening to the tree crickets and watching the fire flies taking flight from the ground into the air providing magical amber twinkling light to make the night just right. Here's to you Roger! As I write this on a chilly February day I can only say days like the one shown in your photo cannot get here soon enough!

Photo by  Roger Pettry taken in the early morning somewhere on the Catawba River in Western NC.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Cedars

This lovely house in Morganton, NC, is known as The Cedars because of the ancient cedar trees still standing on the lawn. Samuel Tate was the first owner of this grand place (circa 1850/59). The house, which features an octagonal tower and mansard roof, is of the Greek Revival, Second Empire. It was enlarged in 1874, the same year Tate was elected to the NC State Legislature. Tate was also active in bringing both the Western North Carolina Insane Asylum (Broughton Hospital) and NC School for the Deaf to Morganton. The house, which is now Morganton Federal Savings and Loan, is listed on the Register of Historic Places.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February Sunrise

The blush of first-light sun rising low on the eastern horizon was the first and last seen of the day on a Thursday workday morning in early February. Judging by the weatherman's promise of a wicked nor'easter it lent credence to fishermen's tales of yore: "Red clouds at night sailors' delight. Red clouds in the morning sailors take warning."

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Old man winter came to visit the foothills of Caldwell County in western North Carolina Thursday evening 1/17/13 and into the wee teensiest hours of the following Friday.

As I was stepping lightly through the courtyard to my car to leave for work Friday morning I heard some low mumbling. "I'm on the first southbound gnome mobile that comes through here. I'm freezing me giblets off I am." I turned around and spotted Mr. Pointy Head smiling stoically in the snow and ice. Perhaps I would do better by my little friend by placing him in a nice, dry spot in the potting shed until warm weather and longer days return.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gray Blue Attitude

Raindrops pounding the pavement on a chilly September day make my mood a little gray. It seems as though the wind is whispering and the rain is singing of cooler days the month is bringing.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Beauty and the Beast

As I was sitting at my desk working late in the day on a beautiful September afternoon, I heard sirens. They were on the periphery of my attention as a host of emergency personnel agencies are located nearby. Sirens are not uncommon.

The blaring sound kept up and I realized numerous police and fire vehicles were zooming down the road in front of the office where I work. I got up to look out the window to find my usual beautiful view had an ugly mark on it.

The state is in the process of making the road in front of the building into a four-lane from the two-lane it has been for countless years. It was sad to see the many old, thick-trunked hardwood trees being wrenched from the ground and ground into mulch.

To add insult to injury it seems a piece of heavy equipment being used to do so caught on fire, spewing noxious black smoke into the air.

The beauty of the day had been smacked by the beast of "progress."

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer's Last Kiss

High Green Meadows

In Memoriam, Agnes MacRae Morton

It was the last weekend in August when I had the opportunity, nay, pure joy of traveling to the highlands of Watauga County, N.C.  I can think of nothing, save for the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, more beautiful than the meadows at the foot of Grandfather Mountain.

It was a clear Carolina Blue Sunday morning with low humidity (a rarity in late August).  As I strode through the soft green grass and clover, I felt the spirit of the Universe was there.  I found a lovely rock memoriam to Agnes MacRea Morton whose decision it was to hold the Scottish Highland Games in these green grasses every year.  The land on which the Scotch clansmen and various other folks gather is known as MacRae Meadow. 

Grandfather Mountain Keeps a Peaceful Watch Over the Meadow Below

Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain, which was previously owned by the late, great, Hugh Morton, stands a peaceful watch over the meadow.  Morton was a well known wildlife/nature photographer and philanthropist, and was known for his kindness in keeping all life on Grandfather Mountain in a proper eco-sytstem. And, on a perfect day such as the one I discovered the day I took these photos, I give a hearty salute to Mr. Morton  Thank you for the calmness. Thank you for the beauty.  Thank you for pure spirit.


Monday, August 20, 2012

The Letter

"Give me a ticket for an aeroplane. Ain't got time to take a fast train. Lonely days are gone, I'm a going home, my Baby just wrote me a letter."
From the song "The Letter "

Letter writing is all but an ancient art these days. Thanks to modern technology most folks catch up with each other via e-mail or Facebook.

I recently received a wonderful letter from a dear friend whose family had come for a visit back in June. In it she expressed how much she, her husband, and two young sons enjoyed visiting in our home and playing with our black Lab. She enclosed some photos she had taken that day. They were immediately posted on the fridge were they can be viewed every day. It's always a special joy to see anything arrive in the mail from this family. Despite the fact they don't live a great distance away, it's nice to know my friend actually took the time to write a personalized letter on behalf of her family.

E-mail is lightening quick but sometimes "snail mail" is better. It's a lovely thing to hear when the person who checks your mail box brings it into the house, holds up the card or letter and says "You've got mail."

Writing a letter - sometimes "snail mail" is better

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Catching a Dog Nap

It's a dreary Saturday morning. Overhead clouds are heavy with the promise of rain. As I go about my morning tasks, my little dog has made a cozy nest out of one of his favorite fleece blankets. What sweet dreams doth visit him in slumber? Perhaps visions of chasing squirrels and chipmunks? Tossing a well-worn chew toy about? Or maybe his litter mates, three little black and white sisters, have come to play in his sleep. be so relaxed and oblivious! He's more than likely dreaming of sunnier days, as are we all in this particularly damp summer in the Carolina foothills.

Sleep well my sweet.