Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sun setting on 2009

"Be at war with your voices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better person." Adapted from Benjamin Franklin. This was a difficult and amazing decade and I look forward to seeing what all of us can bring to the next. Happy New Year everyone.

Some things to consider:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Move over Donner and Blitzen

Here come Forrest and Jenny and they are gunning for the lead positions on Santa'a sleigh.....

Road to?

It's been a long time since I posted one of these - I bet if you have looked at my others, you may guess where it is, but its more interesting to let your imagination run and see where it takes you.

Previous "Road To" post from March.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shark fishing in Boca Grande

This is a very different post about Boca Grande compared to my previous posts. We were down tending to the issues outlined in the post from 12-3 and had a moment to drop a line in the water. While Daniel and I reeled in and released a few snook and lady fish, the gentleman next to us brought in a five foot bull shark. There is never a lack of good fishing in Boca Grande, particularly when fishing off the south end of the island in the Boca Grande pass.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Alice B. Hoguet aka Nini July 21, 1914 - December 3, 2009

The last of a kind. My Grandmother, the matriarch was brilliant, beautiful and generous beyond words in every way possible. We thank God for her life and now pray that he receive her with the same open arms that she offered us. Goodbye my dear Nini.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Waiting for my Real Life to Begin: Colin Hay

For those that do not recognize his name, he was the lead singer of Men at Work back inthe ealry 80's - talk about a musical epiphany.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Through the windows of the Alpha Chapel

Many of you saw my previous post on Bethania, The Black Walnut Festival, etc. Today I had the chance to run up there again, this time I took pictures from inside the Alpha Chapel that was built in 1894. Most of the glass is still original and offers an interesting perspective on the world outside.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Leopard Seal encounter

As a photographer and a SCUBA Diver, this would be amazing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

1972 BMW 3.0 CS: Yes, I am very shallow.

I went to pay a visit to Gertie and PEAK Auto Restoration who is putting her back together. They have some neat stuff in their shop, so watch the slides, sound on.

PEAK also handles maintenance work on all makes, but specializes in European cars. Cheaper and faster than the dealer. - 919-363-8589.

My previous post on my car.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

On set with "The Gatherers" UNCSA film production

We were invited to tag along today to see the filming of "The Gatherers" a production by 3rd & 4th year film students at the UNC School of the Arts here in Winston-Salem. My thanks to John LeBlanc for including us. There are some amazing things happening here in our town, most notably is that this film is utilizing one of the ol RJR Tobacco factories.

University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

More from Brookberry Farm (The stables are aka Redtail Ridge)

I took these over at Brookberry Stables, known to most as Cozy Fox Farm and now renamed Redtail Ridge under new management. As I mentioned in my short memoir that I posted along with my slide show, I learned how to ride horses as a boy among other things. The smell of the horses, the way they gently rest their head on my shoulder, the curious twitch of the ears and the inquisitive snort as they smell your hand hoping for an apple or carrot. There really are no other animals like them. My first pony at age 6 or so was a Shetland named Sharon. She was all of maybe four feet high and she HATED me (all humans actually). Our first outing together, she took off at full cantor and if it weren't for the fact that we were in an indoor ring, we could very well still be sprinting off somewhere. Then came Corn Pone - a normal sized pony, white with black speckles. He was great except for the fact that he could not/would not stop eating. I could not take him on trail rides because he would stop and graze and short of beating him half to death, nothing would get him to get moving again. Lastly, I had Periwinkle. We found her in field in Kernersville and she was perfect. We rode and showed up and down the east coast until I was 12 and left home for boarding school. She was sold to a family in Connecticut. The young woman was clearly destined to have her as she went on to win at Madison Square Garden every year up until she retired. They actually had the ceremony at MSG after her final win. I have very fond memories of those days and I regret to say that I have not been on horseback since I was 16. Sometimes it seems I was living another person's life back then. It's kind of like remembering a great movie - you are glad to have seen it, wish you could recapture it, but know that you can't.

Monday, November 2, 2009

11-02-2009 Full Moon WOW

I just took this out front of my house - Anyone else feeling like they are growing fangs and wee but hairy?

In all seriousness, seemed appropriate to return to one of my favorite poems:

Under the Harvest Moon by Carl Sandburg

Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

Spring in Reynolda Village and Gardens

Now that the time change is here, the leaves are past their peak of color and soccer practice for the kids has been backed up to 4:30 - I miss spring more than ever. There is no place quite like North Carolina in the spring. I may have posted these two pictures before, but I thought they were worth revisiting as reminder of what we have to look forward to.

Reynolda Village

Reynolda Gardens

A Prayer in Spring

Robert Frost (1915)

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall For Art at Flow BMW Tonight

Please join me for the annual Fall For Art event to support Associated Artists here in Winston-Salem at Flow BMW from 6-9.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hanging Rock, North Carolina

Well, my afternoon (OK it was about one hour) in Hanging Rock State Park produced some interesting stuff. It was overcast so the light wasn't great, but I had fun experimenting with various flash settings and a small waterfall. While I do not feel overly ecstatic about what I came away with, it was nonetheless fruitful. I am going to produce one of the water shots on aluminum - that should be very interesting.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Front Porch Sittin'

Yesterday was really a beautiful day here in NC once the monsoon passed. I was in Bethania for the better part of the afternoon at the Black Walnut Festival. Great folk music, Brunswick stew cooked in an iron pot suspended over an open fire, honey crisp apples, lots of wonderful art work and people who define the vision of community. Most of the houses are between 100 and 200 years old most with front porches adorned with our flag and rocking chairs. With the trees on fire with fall and a warm breeze blowing, all I needed was an invitation to sit on this porch with a glass of lemonade and watch the passers by.

Link to photo album from the afternoon.

After Apple Picking

by Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still.
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and reappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Prayer for North Carolina

From the National Cathedral Book of Prayer For All The States

A Prayer for North Carolina

Preserve unto us, good Lord, the precious treasure bequeathed to us by those silent eons when Thou wast preparing earth for our inheritance. May we cherish, and not despoil the cup of loveliness entrusted to our hands for a space.

So may the green land be blessed, whose smokey highlands yield their mineral riches to the soil below, and whose surf-bound coast is protected by necklaces of sand. Guard the peaceful Sounds; protect the forest mantle, the pliant ploughlands; and let Thy grace abound among Thy Carolina people whose lives are rooted in this place of promise.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mountain Hide Out

Some days I'd really like to have a place like this to hide out in. Reading the paper (or paperback) on the porch with a hot cup of coffee, maybe a porch swing sitting silently holding hands with Karen or lazily wandering down to the river with a fly rod in search of the ever elusive small mouth bass. It's just over the Va line and overlooks the New River. You are required to take a few miles of single lane gravel road and the driveway actually has a shallow stream running across it. I love all the things that make up my life, but sometimes I wish I could just turn it all off for a while. Sometimes a "full" life can be a bit taxing.

Happiness - Carl Sandburg

I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of
thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though
I was trying to fool with them
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along
the Desplaines river
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with
their women and children and a keg of beer and an

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall harvest: Tobacco

It could have been 1950 in that warehouse, the only thing painfully missing was a fast talking auctioneer. There are still a group of men who inspect the tobacco brought in from the various farms around NC who, once they accept the leaf, place it on a conveyor that passes under an impressive machine that determines the weight and moisture content and then spits out a price per pound to be paid. As advanced as some systems have become, this is one area where one still needs to see, touch and smell before they buy. The smell is like no other. When I was a kid, it was on the breeze constantly. Today, I still can catch a whiff from time to time if the wind/humidity/time of year all come into alignment perfectly. This part of the industry is steeped in tradition and ritual. So far removed from the decisions made in rooms high above street level that placed the industry in the cross hairs. Good, bad or ugly, this remains an integral part of the economy on which no less than 37 states (yes, they all issued debt to be repaid from payments from the MSA to balance their budgets - including California) and our federal government depend. Oh the tangled webs they weave.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More than words

These were on various old buildings in St. Louis - not necessarily nice ones in a good part of town either. Seems to me their is a photographic stitch project to be created with these. On the surface they are either graffiti or the name of a company emblazoned in stone for immortality. Taken individually they could be combined to suggest that there is Union, Power & Light in Forgiveness.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Here's your new wallpaper: Yeah, it's a cow.

Everyone has the default rolling hills wall paper on their windows based machine (I am a Mac man myself) so I thought those of you here in the south or out in the country may appreciate Bessie here. Now if you could get rid of the "TA-DAH" at start up and replace it with a couple of chords from the "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" then your e-conversion would be complete. Just double click on Bessie to access the larger version, then right click for you windows folks and hit "set as wallpaper". This one's on me.

*****Seems you must download the photo first. So, click on the image, when the large image appears, drag and drop it on your desk top, then right click on the file and set as wallpaper.******* Sorry for the confusion.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Off the beaten path in St. Louis

A couple of scenes not in the travel brochures, but I found them to be just as fantastic as any other site.