Friday, June 29, 2007

Why we sent him to camp...

Today was the final day of the three week session of summer camp that Clark attended. Something about him in this photo ... the expression of optimism and confidence, the mastery of a new skill, the enjoyment of something beyond the normal daily stuff, the boy becoming a man ... summed up what I'd hoped he'd gain from the experience.
Summer Camp $3275;
Equipment and clothes $250;
spending money $50;
optimism, confidence, mastery, enjoyment, maturity ... priceless.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Art supplies

When you're a woman of so few vices :-) this is the kind of thing that tempts you: art supplies! I managed today to buy some great papers, medium, pens, graphite, polyester film, Xacto blades, paint, a brayer... you know, just a few things I really needed. The good news is that I did actually start on a new project today, so at least I put some of those supplies to use!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dinner Theater

Four pines on the ninth hole

South Carolina, after California and Arizona, has the most nationally ranked golf courses. We're lucky enough to live near one of three best in our region. Zeus gets to chase squirrels here (after hours of course!) and Bill and I get to walk and talk, and Grayson and Moses get to longboard here (after hours also!) Occasionally we'll bike around the course; owls, foxes, geese, and other wildlife can sometimes be spotted. I don't play golf -- probably because it's an intimidating sport to jump into -- although I have tried once or twice. Of my kids, only Moses shows interest in the sport. Bill plays sporadically...he spends more time on high-adrenaline sports. But I do love the peacefulness of the course in the evening and morning:

Heat. Drought.

It takes more than funeral home fans to keep us cool these days!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Somewhere, Over the Rainbow (Trout)

This is a photo that my camera probably took. I don't know for sure, because my camera is in the bottom of the Green River in North Carolina. But surely this is what it sees if it opens its little aperture underwater. Yes, sadly, we overturned and silly me had my camera in my pocket instead of in the dry bag where it belonged. I was so eager to have shots for you, my dear readers! And so common sense jumped overboard and .... well.... no more camera. The good news is that the only other thing lost was a flotation cushion. And the only thing we broke was a paddle. Not Bill's leg. Though he did think for awhile that he might have. It's just a gash that's really swollen. And I didn't break my leg either....they are just VERY LARGE BRUISES. Which will look really nice this summer with shorts, capri pants, swimsuits.... really ANY summer outfit will be complimented with these bruises! And Zeus did not drown but I'm not sure he trusts us near the water anymore. :-) He was a good canoe dog....he sat quietly in the prow between my legs, shivering.
But after that initial spill we managed to paddle the rest of the river without overturning. We got stuck on rocks a half dozen times, but never overturned. I had fun; it was an adventure. Bill, though he is an adventure racer, was a bit stressed (whitewater isn't his thing.... he did it because he loves me), and of course he was working harder steering in the back. He finally told me, after the broken paddle incident, that I could just sit in the front and look pretty. Ah! Finally something I know how to do! :0)

PS Thanks to Google images and for the photo. If you're ever in Australia, I'm sure you should go gamefishing with them.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tie Down

I have an itch to go canoeing. So we borrowed a canoe from my friend Beth, and Bill tied it atop my car. However, by the time we did this is was too late in the day to actually go canoeing; so we went to mass tonight and are leaving early tomorrow to spend a leisurely day on the Green River in NC. I hope to have some nice nature shots from our trip to share. Doesn't he look cool? He is. :-) He's in the process of marathon training, and ran 11 miles this morning. So I'm doubly appreciative that this afternoon he loaded and tied down the canoe! If I had run 11 miles, I would be hospitalized and on a ventilator by now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Tonight, on the longest day of the year, I sit at 9:10 and it's still light enough to read here on the deck. The jasmines that I planted smell so sweet, and I notice the scent everytime I walk in or out of the house. It's been a nice and peaceful day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Skatepark...of sorts

Across from my art class, the rubble and ruins I've photo'd before have evolved over time to a skatepark. I'm feelin' so urban, shooting grafitti! Anyway, these caught my eye.




Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Meet & Greet

Today Zeus met his new best friend. While my friend Beth and I never expected our children to be best friends just because we were such close friends, we nonetheless have high expectations for our pets! Today she brought over her 10 week old bichpoo (bichon frise/poodle mix) Fibi (or is it Phoebe?) -- in her cute red carrier -- to play with Zeus. They played wonderfully, and adjusted to their sizeable size differential! They stayed home together while Beth and I went test-driving Vespas (not that we're going to buy one, but we just thought it was a fun idea). I didn't get any pictures of the test driving because my camera was acting funny (didn't help that I spilled coffee on it).

Sorry I didn't post yesterday... Chelsea borrowed my camera.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ice Cream Maker extraordinaire...among other roles

In honor of Father's Day, I give you my dad. At 82, he's more bent over than he was, but he's still a giant. He's patient, humble, kind, generous, wise, fun-loving, good, honest, gentle, and encouraging. Maybe he has, but I can't recall him saying anything bad about anyone. I can count on one hand the times I've seen him angry, though I've seen him cry on several occasions. As a teenager, he fought in the Normandy invasion and other battles during WWII, and evacuated Dachau after the war. He fathered three children (and endured the sorrow of having his son predecease him), and was a devoted only child to his own parents. He's been successful in business, is respected at church and in the community, has been married to mom for 60 years, and is a friend to widows and anyone who needs a hand. He's a great father.

Saturday's project

I haven't had much steam for yard projects lately, but the thought of my family coming over for a Fathers' Day picnic spurred me to at least ornament the deck a little. So I bought concrete planters and made two of these, as well as finally replacing the sad, faded pansies from winter with impatiens, petunias, lantana, etc. Can't say it made a huge difference, but at least it's something.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mellow Mushroom

After all the storms that went through here Wed/Thurs, a band of these mushrooms sprouted in the front yard. Here they all are in a row...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sacred Space

It's been a long time since I took off for the mountains to sit and think. But it does my soul good to do that. So today, I packed my lunch, my lawnchair, my backpack, and my dog into the car and headed north.

My sacred space functions as a chapel, a studio, a library, a lounge, a dog park, a swimming hole....but most of all it functions as a place where I can get. some. space. from my life and think. Something about running water and dappled light and earthy forest smells are good for me. This is what it looks like:

Here's how to get there: Leave my house and drive 1 hour.

You'll see this before you get there:

When you get to the park that's named for one of my ancestors, you'll pay your $2 entrance fee, park your car, and hike for 30 minutes.

You cross this:

You might spot this:

You might even encounter one of these along the way:

Keep walking until you find the sign that points left. Ignore it.

Once you find my spot, you'll likely remember that bear sightings are on the rise, especially if your companion dog keeps assuming watchdog stance and barking at (seemingly) nothing.

Set your cellphone's speed dial to 911 (you might be lucky enough to have a signal here!), Ziploc your peanut butter sandwich so the bear won't smell you, and decide what to grab in case she chases you. I don't want you bringing bears to my sacred space.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Brother John

This photo is of my uncle John and my mom. I found this snippet of a song by the Blues Travellers called Brother John that I thought appropo:

"...Don't wanna preach don't wanna give advice
But the music's playing and all we're saying
Is come along and jam
And it's hard to be believed what can be achieved
With an outstretched hand

Are you sleeping
Brother John
If you feel like weeping
Brother John
Please won't you hear me
Brother John
Just wait and see
Brother John

Take a walk through the rest of your life
Until you dare to take it step by step
(Positively) till you make it yours
Now tell me what's left...."

John is ill, and won't be getting better. He takes life step by step; he laughs a lot; he always has an outstretched hand; he never preaches or gives advice; he lives without regrets. He's loved by everyone who knows him because he makes everyone feel accepted, important and loved. He's just one prince of a man.

Morning Mist on Rhododendrons

Saw this sight outside the Lodge where the family reunion was held.

Highlands, NC

I just liked the lighting on this rear door of a fancy Inn in Highlands. Below is a contemporary fountain I really liked, in the side wall of the same Inn.

Cobb reunion

Loved this shot of my cousin Gail talking to Bill almost as much as this shot of Mackenzie imitating her:


I haven't had internet for several days, so pardon while I play catch up. These magnolias were blooming on the campus of Converse College, when I picked Mackenzie up from basketball camp Friday. The scent is heavenly.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Personal Grooming

I guess that's the theme this week, for me and for Zeus. Hair, nails, pedicure, lipstick, new undies (well, for Zeus it was just hair and nails)... you know, gotta get looking presentable for the family reunion this weekend in North Carolina. This photo was taken of one of the ladies at Zeus' groomer; she actually doesn't work on Zeus, but she did Zorro and Waldo before him. She has cancer and isn't doing very well.

My mom's family will be meeting for the 40th annual reunion since "Papa Cobb" died. Only the youngest two of the original eight brothers and sisters is living, my mom and her baby brother; she has non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and he has a rare and fatal lung disease. It's sad, missing my aunts and uncles who have died, but it is great that I have such a large extended family, and that I know my cousins, and their kids know my kids. I've been to every reunion but a handful.

Oh, and today is my mom and dad's sixtieth wedding anniversary!! Happy anniversary Dad and Mom!


We went to Cirque du Soleil's show "Delirium" last night. Really incredible show, although I didn't get any great shots....these are the best of the bunch.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Perfect night for baseball

No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Baptist Medical Center

Saw this driving today in Columbia.

こんにちは, Kitty

I'm not sure what the kitty's message or raison d'etre is, perched as she is and making her cute little fist on the counter of the Joy of Tokyo #3 restaurant.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Art Show

Edited to add: Since y'all have been so encouraging, here's the other side of the screen with my other paintings.

Tonight I displayed my paintings for the first time at a neighborhood art show. My friend Judy joined me, and the "Peace" work is hers: she worked on it earlier in the spring at the beach. Anyway, it was a nice affair, and I met an art broker who gave me some great encouragement and constructive criticism, and invited me to stay in communication with her.


I know I've already done a Soda Shop, but this is a different one, on a different side of town. I loved the timelessness of it, and so put it in sepia for effect. I just love these small-time local places.

TV Tune-out

It's amazing what we can all find to do when Direct TV is no longer being paid for. :-) I finished a good book, dh got the bills all paid and paperwork filed away, and we've watched a few movies. But the ping pong tourneys have been the hottest thing going. We've had more than a few complaints, mind you, but no one who has yet stepped forward to take over the financial committment of paying for it, and dh and I are both ready for a breather from it for awhile.