Share Your World – Week #34

Strangely enough, no photos or quotes today.

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so?  I loved school and it was relatively easy for me.  Even though I loved school I coasted and always regretted that I didn’t take it a little more seriously. That said, I consider myself a life long learner and am still learning and growing.

What is your favorite animal?  While I don’t currently have any pets and am not a fan of having one, I do appreciate and admire animals.  Strangely enough Rhinos and Hippos are two of my favorites.  Rhinos actually have more personality than people would think and Hippos, especially underwater, are so interesting to watch.

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts?  My eyes are dry and itchy and I have a thing about putting something in my eye, so glasses, which I have, are the only choice.

List: Name at least five television shows (past or present) you enjoyed?  Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, Big Bang, The Mentalist, Blacklist, Cheers, M.A.S.H., The Carol Burnette Show, Everybody Loves Raymond,

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  I am grateful always for my great friends, family and life.  I am grateful for safe travels and closure.  I am looking forward to moving forward in my pursuit of my next employment.  Can’t wait to see what develops.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – From Every Angle

From every angle.  Perfect. Today I went to our small downtown area to our Farmer’s Market and to visit some of the local artists’ demonstrations.  The weather was perfect.  I had recently met a local artist by the name of Lambeth W. Marshall.  She is a potter and a painter and a very interesting woman.  I knew she was throwing pottery on a wheel today and wanted to see her in action.

“E Concrematio. Confirmatio–out of the fire comes firmness, through stress we pass to strength.”
― Charles F. Binns

Lambeth W. Marshall demonstrating throwing clay pots.
Lambeth W. Marshall demonstrating throwing clay pots.

It was very interesting to watch her hands as she developed the pottery.  This was my straight on angle.

Just starting.
Just starting.

Now I switched over to the left side to get a closer view of her hands.

lambeth hands2 small

This is pretty much the same angle, but I was fascinated with how quickly the shape changed.

lambeth hands3 small

This angle is over her shoulder.  Anybody else thinking of the movie Ghost?  Unlike the movie, I never saw Lambeth’s hands magically become cleaned… remember that part?lambeth hands4 small

Working my way over to the right side.  She has now worked the pot taller again.

lambeth hands5 small

She patiently thins the walls of the vessel.

lambeth hands6 small

Now she is creating interest by creating the irregular line in the vase.

lambeth hands7 small

And once again creating interest by creating “dimples” in the surface.  Once glazed these will create some interest in the color, too.

finished pottery small

And the last shot is from the top looking in so the dimple can be viewed from the inside.

I really wanted to throw a pot, but she made it look so easy and I know it isn’t.  Great activity to watch.

From Every Angle

Today Was a Good Day Photo Challenge

I would like to believe every day is a good day.  Some are better than others, but I strive to find the good in every day.  But, to me, a good day would include:

Family

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.

Desmond Tutu

We just returned from Arizona where we celebrated my mother’s life.  Her Arizona family was very dear to her.  They surrounded her with fun and love.  These are the cousins that started out as little toddlers.  They grew up and have definitely gone different and interesting directions.  So fun to get together with them and watch them share stories.  It is never often enough or long enough.

The little cousins grew up!
The little cousins grew up!
You can always find a friend!
You can always find a friend!

The same trip found us shopping which can be a little tedious for grandchildren.  G always finds something to capture his interest…even it is him!  He makes a point to find the good in every day and he spreads that around.

Brother Britt and his daughter Brittany.
Brother Britt and his daughter Brittany.

A visit to Arizona is never complete without visiting my brother.  Both of my brothers have Huntington’s Chorea.  It is a horrible disease.  I wish I could see him every day.  The quality of his care in AZ is so much better than I could get him here. A good day is when he has family to visit him.

Color and Creativity  –

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
― Pablo Picasso

My current knitting project.
My current knitting project.

Only two squares left.  It has taken forever, but it has a wonderful calming to the creation of it.  I try to work on this a little every day and that makes it good.

For three happy grandmothers to give to their new grandchildren.
For three happy grandmothers to give to their new grandchildren.

These just came back today.  Once I bind them they will be off to the grandmothers of the babies for which they were created.

Nature –

“I’m not a social butterfly. I’m a caterpillar.”
― Jarod Kintz

Caterpillars are fascinating. Butterflies have wings to fly.

Caterpillars are fascinating. Butterflies have wings to fly.

I try to start every morning on the back porch watching nature wake up and start it’s day.  My mind wanders in and out of prayer and admiration for all that is nature.  It is a very peaceful and spiritual time.  A little bit of time out never hurt anybody.

Music

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I know there is more than this to make a good day… sometimes it is the simplest of things, a hug, a smile from a stranger, seeing someone helping another, and sometimes you just have to break your spirit free above the clouds to see the sunshine.

A Good Day Above the Clouds.
A Good Day Above the Clouds.

Today Was a Good Day

One Word Photo Challenge – Snow

It seems funny to think of snow when we have been experiencing a string of 90+ degree days.  Obviously, I have to turn to my stash of snow pics as it would be quite a journey to find actual snow.

The train bridge in downtown Waxhaw.
The train bridge in downtown Waxhaw.

I laugh when I think of snow in North Carolina… or at least where we live in North Carolina.  Panic erupts at the thought of three inches of snow.  Up north, children everywhere are disappointed when only three inches arrives… it means no snow day.  Here it might mean two to three snow days.

A snow day in Waxhaw may mean a snow day for parents, too.
A snow day in Waxhaw may mean a snow day for parents, too.

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened.”
― Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

I especially love when the snow coats the branches of the trees… even the little tiny ones.  It creates a image filled with magic and beautiful silence.

snow_trees_fr_sm

I would love to travel on a train and enjoy clattering through the cold winter views while snug and warm inside the train car.

Train tracks disappearing into a wintery wonderland.
Train tracks disappearing into a wintery wonderland.

“Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity”
― Novala Takemoto, Missin’ (Novel)

Share Your World – Week #32

I have to say, I love the questions this week.  Thank you, Cee!

  • Are you a collector of anything?  While one could say I am a collector of fabric and yarn, I consider that stash.  I could part with them and it would cause me no pain… I would, however, have to go out and get more so I could continue knitting and quilting.  The truth is, I am a collector of memories.  Whether through photos, or just in my mind.  I am very good at pulling up tidbits of moments in the past.  My  grandchildren like it.  They like to hear about those moments when their fathers were young and, of course, made mistakes.  I have had school friends that wonder how I remember all of the moments.  I thought everyone did.  It is a gift this ability to collect and share memories.

“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

  • What is your biggest fear or phobia?  While I am not overly fond of spiders or snakes or the necessary “icky” inhabitants of our world, it is definitely not a phobia.  I’m not sure I have one… at least nothing pops immediately to mind and I would think a phobia would.  I long feared losing a child.  I would watch the path of a plane on the computer until I knew it landed safely.  I worried when they were young that something might happen that I could not control and they might be hurt.

“Lucy: Do you think you have Pantophobia, Charlie Brown?
Charlie: I don’t know, what is pantophobia?
Lucy: The fear of Everything.
Charlie: THAT’S IT!!!”
― Charles M. Schulz

  • Do you prefer reading coffee table books, biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational?  I would have to say yes to all of them.  I read almost anything.  I usually have two to three books going at a time.
  • Complete this sentence:  If I Must Be Reincarnated In the Next Life I want to Be…   This is so easy… a Weatherwoman.  No pressure.  You can be right and you are a hero or you can be wrong and it’s not your fault… nobody has any expectations of you being right.
    Oh, I need to be serious?  Well, in all seriousness I have faith that I will be put where I am needed to try and learn what I need to learn and to teach and share what is needed.  Life is an adventure and to live it fully we must accept gracefully what is given and work our way through it and enjoy the good moments and learn from and improve those not so great.
  • What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  I am always grateful for my family and good friends and their continued good health.  I am grateful for meeting new friends.  I am grateful that my younger brother is in a good place being taken care of by people who care about him.
    I am looking forward to seeing some of my grandchildren this week and spending time with them.  I always look forward to the little surprises that pop up and make your day.  I hope that I can bring some joy or peace to someone I know or haven’t even met yet.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Knitting Needles – The Never Ending Mitered Squares

I knit.  What’s your superpower?
 – Author Unknown

I am not someone who has been knitting since childhood.  A loving mother or grandmother didn’t teach my while sitting at her feet.  I learned to knit to fill a void.  My last child had gone off to college.  An empty nest!  What are nests made of?  Bits and pieces of twigs, leaves, feathers, twine and YARN!  I must knit!  A logical choice.  I started with scarves and moved quickly into blankets.  No sweaters and socks.  The recipient of my gifts would outgrow the sweater by the time I would finish and socks wear out too quickly.  No, blankets were good and much loved by everyone.

My constantly rearranged mitered blanket project.
My constantly rearranged mitered blanket project.

This is my latest labor of love and it is based off of a pattern developed by Ann and Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting.  I love their books.  I have added the black and white because the eye needed a rest.  The nice thing about this pattern is the ease of transport.  One square at a time can easily fit in a purse or small satchel.

My travel bag with current mitered square and yarn.
My travel bag with current mitered square and yarn.

This blanket has worked it’s way through listening to many books, favorite television shows, road trips, hospital visits and even meetings at work. I find my listening skills improve when my hands are busy.

Attic stash discovered... more cotton classic!
Attic stash discovered… more cotton classic!

This weekend I decided to sort through all the containers of yarn I have in the attic.  Going through all the yarn that moved south with me, I found even more of the cotton yarn I use in this blanket.  Does that mean this blanket might not ever be done?

I did this scene in ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ where I was in a room full of old ladies who were knitting, and it was an all-day scene, so they showed me how. It was one of the most relaxing days of my life.

Ryan Gosling

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Beneath Your Feet

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Will Rogers

This week’s photo challenge is “Beneath Your Feet.”  My mind immediately raced to the railroad tracks in our downtown area.  Railroad tracks have been the subject of some of my best growing up stories.  Trains and tracks create imagery of mystery and adventure.

Train Tracks in downtown Waxhaw
Train Tracks in downtown Waxhaw

I grew up in a railroad town located on the banks of the Mississippi River.  At certain times of the day you knew you would be sitting and waiting at the crossing light unless you could get to the one bridge in town that crossed over the tracks.  When I was young I didn’t mind waiting and I would play games like guessing how many train cars there were or trying to hold our breath until the last car crossed.  Sometimes we would try and spot a hobo or freeloader.  When I started to drive the last thing I wanted to do was wait for a train.

I spent many hours walking the tracks.  As a 13 year old adventurer a friend and I climbed down the bluffs and were walking along the tracks and picking up stones to try and skip in the river.  It was a narrow path.  The Mississippi River on one side and the steep bluffs on the other.  We had never thought about a train…. we had an “oh s#$t moment and my friend started to climb up the bluff and I slid down into the water holding onto a tree.  It was long, slow freight train and I was freezing in the late October wind and water.  Finally, as the caboose lumbered by I drug my wet self out of the water, covered with mud and jeans soaking wet.  My friend was hanging onto a tree about 15 feet above the track.  We started screaming and laughing like we had cheated death and rushed home as fast as my squishy sneakers  and numb body could go.  We washed our clothes and relived our adventure over and over.  We never told our parents….lol… makes me wonder what my kids haven’t told me…. don’t want to know.

Train bridge
Train bridge

Another fond memory was of three friends and I walking across the train bridge from Iowa to Illinois.  There was an area on the bridge you could move to if a train came across so we were sure we were safe.  What we didn’t think about was a barge. We tried to run for one of the stationary sections when we felt it moving, but fear of falling through the tracks found us hanging on and trying to act like we planned it that way.  As it turned out we did enjoy ourselves.  There were a couple of people on the barge that saw us and waved and laughed and we thought we were very cool. Oh to be young and stupid… and to live through it.

My favorite memory is the sound of the trains at night in the distance.  Wondering where those tracks were taking the trains.  The tracks that disappear into nothing.  Such a soothing sound.

There’s something about the sound of a train that’s very romantic and nostalgic and hopeful.

Paul Simon

 

Beneath Your Feet

The Art of Play

“An unbridled imagination is the fountain of youth; it’s what keeps us young at heart.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

There are mornings I wake up and wish that my body was as young as my mind.  It takes a little longer to limber up the body and prepare it for the day.  It doesn’t help that I have a wonderful back porch that beckons to me and says sit, have some coffee and enjoy all the morning activity,   How can you turn that down?

What does get me moving is the prospect of family visiting.  Not too long ago I had a young visitor.  One of my grandsons.  We saw a play at school, ate lunch and brought him home with us to play.  I have a huge collection of toys that belonged to my boys.  Legos, PlayMobile, Brio and G, my grandson, has the imagination to bring them alive.

G playing with some of his father's toys that I have kept over the years.
G playing with some of his father’s toys that I have kept over the years.

He sits in my upstairs work area and plays while I sew.  There is a quiet rhythm to our work/play.  He quietly talks through the activities of his play while my sewing machine hums away.  I remember the acting out of play.  Much of it was spent assigning tasks and actions and what everyone would do or say.  Listening to him brought up so many childhood memories and I was so happy to see real play hadn’t changed that much.

Eventually we needed some some outdoor play.  Part of me hated to leave the cool interior for the meltdown that was outside, but I also remembered children are more immune to the heat than those of an age.  We went to a wonderful little park located in a shady part of our small little downtown area.  It is his favorite park and he always wants to visit.

Walking across the plank bridge,
Walking across the plank bridge,

There is a playset there that has all sorts of imagination built into it.  Again, I listen as he adds a storyline to his play.  What a marvel is a child’s imagination.  Looking through their eyes brings back wonderful memories and refreshes the child within.  He conquered the rock wall like it was the highest mountain.  Look, Nana!  We clapped with joy.

G on slide in park.
G on slide in park.

Every slide was explored up and down.  Talking the whole time.  It was a lazy summer afternoon… until…

One very unhappy boy!
One very unhappy boy!

One very unhappy boy.  The face was so comically unhappy I wanted to laugh, but he was seriously unhappy about something.

The lecture.
The lecture.

And before I could ask him what was wrong, this happened!  I choked so I wouldn’t laugh.  He was lecturing a bee for upsetting his fun and not just moving along.  Needless to say, our park time was over and even with the heat it was wonderful fun.

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Book Buzz – The Martian

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”
― Andy Weir, The Martian

One of the things I miss about not working at the library is being one of the first to get the “New Book.”  So for those of you who have already read The Martian ages ago, please share your impressions in the comment area.  The book, written by Andy Weir, pulls you in from the beginning.

The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian by Andy Weir

Before I go any further I should add that I listened to this book which was narrated by R.C. Bray.  My local librarian said she started listening and then switched to the book because she could read faster than listening.  I wanted to hear the narrator’s voice before I made my decision.  His voice was perfect.  To me, he was Mark Watney, the astronaut main character of the book.  His voice perfectly portrayed the  moods and emotions of Watney.

“Problem is (follow me closely here, the science is pretty complicated), if I cut a hole in the Hab, the air won’t stay inside anymore.”
― Andy Weir, The Martian

If you should read reviews you will quickly discover that Mr. Weir writes with a sound knowledge of the technicalities of space travel.  He has done his research.  There isn’t smoke and mirrors or magic.  This is a plausible and possible event.  Some might think all the technical jargon would be ho hum boring, but somehow it isn’t.  Instead of putting me to sleep, I was avidly following every word.  Did I understand all of it?  No, but I understood that these people are brilliant and are unbelievably qualified to be on a space mission.  One of over 2,000 reasons I read the books and don’t fly off into space.

“I need to ask myself, ‘What would an Apollo astronaut do?’ He’d drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, then fly to the moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool.”
― Andy Weir, The Martian

The movie version of this book is coming out late fall.  I definitely would recommend reading the book before seeing the movie.  The book is well written and should not be passed up.  I can live with being disappointed with the movie because it didn’t live up to the book.  I don’t think that will be the case, I think the movie will  depict a story similar to the book with a slightly different voice.  Read the book, Andy’s voice is powerful and worth the effort.

One Word Photo Challenge – Foggy

“moonlight disappears down the hills
mountains vanish into fog
and i vanish into poetry.”
― Sanober Khanlokfklfj

I love fog.  I love the mystical it weaves through areas, but leaves levels above and below it clear as if it is a river winding it’s way through earth.  My drive to work finds me driving through some farmland and my favorite drives are the ones that show the mist or fog elevated lazily over the fields.  Unfortunately, this is not a good time or place for me to be pulling over to the side of the road for a photo so close your eyes and imagine the soft light of morning sifting through the shimmery fog and creating a magical effect.

Foggy drive through the mountains of Carolina.
Foggy drive through the mountains of Carolina.

Instead my photo shares a harrowing drive home through heavy mountain fog.  In some photos you cannot see the car ahead.  The viewer would probably wonder why I would post a photo of solid gray, so I didn’t.  Although hazardous, the fog presented a sense of adventure and tension that was exhilarating.  When finally emerging from the blanketed area we laughed and clapped and found ourselves very hungry.  It was fun to recapture that childlike wonder that fog can evoke.

 

Join up with Jennifer’s  One Word Photo Challenge Here.