Tuesday, July 31, 2007


This is Monday's photo, of Clark and his friend Adina playing in the sand. Before the humongous electrical storm, before the jellyfish were washed up in it, before Clark being stung several times by one.

Grocery run

There are two options here for groceries: Buy Local (Kings Market or George&Pink) and the Hoggly Woggly. We use both here. To get to any other options, or to a pharmacy, you need to allow about an hour.

Wouldn't cha know...

The ONE time, really almost literally the one time, I didn't have my camera with me ... I spotted someone famous! :-) Actress Andie McDowell was dining at the table next to us last night at a family seafood restaurant here in Edisto. So, sorry for missing my brush with celebrity!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tour d'Edisto

It's not the Tour de France; it's a whole lot flatter!

Egret hunting amidst the oyster bed

Old cypress on the Spanish Mound, an ancient midden (trash heap, made up of oyster shells).

My friend Beth and Bill get into a tussle over use of the water hose

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Today my friend Beth and her husband Scott joined us at the beach. We spent some time in the sun, but the clouds started rolling in. This is what it looked like when we finally packed it up.

Bill joked that it looked like something out of the movie "Independence Day".


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Our haul

This is a sea kidney. It is an animal. I'm just reporting what Cap'n Jimmy says. I think it's a mushroom someone tossed overboard. But he swears it's an animal.

Ah, finally something I recognize. This is a sanddollar, dredged off the bottom of the sea.

Here's a shot of one of our hauls. If you know what you're looking for, you will find jellyfish, squid, shrimp, croaker, sanddollars, hermit crabs, and assorted nautical items referred to in the business as 'junk'. If you don't know what you're looking for, it ALL looks like junk. Moving, slimy junk. Much was unusable, but we threw it to the dolphins and the seagulls.

A puffer fish. I thought Disney just invented them, but no, we caught one.

My shark and dolphin photos were disappointing, but we did see them.

Marsh Morning

Bill, Mackenzie, Chelsea, Zeus, and I left this morning with Captain Jimmy Bell for a morning of fishing and exploring the waterways around here. Ever concerned about my Readership, I took pictures of any and all phenomena we encountered. My favorite shot of all, though, was this one heading out. Early morning shots always seem optimistic to me; plus I liked the composition. We did have a beautiful day, although I cannot say we brought in much of a haul. Because of the drought around here, the salinity of the water is bad for shrimping. We caught enough shrimp, crabs, and squid for one dinner tonight, but that's it. But what a beautiful day of exploring....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rained out

We were going to go on a boat ride today, but we got to the dock and the thunder started rolling in. We're trying again for tomorrow morning. Hopefully we'll have got photo ops of dolphins, shrimp, stingrays, otters, gators, and even monkeys (!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mano a mano

Nothing like a game of horseshoes to bring out the trash-talk, protestations, testosterone, braggadocia.

Monday, July 23, 2007

If you give a mouse a cookie (or if you give a son a tie)

To look at it, you'd never know that this tie could cause so much trouble-------

Gray: Mom, could you get me a few ties? I need some fun ones for work.
Mom: Sure.

Later that day-------
Mom, calling on cellphone: Hey Gray, I'm at Smith&James. They've got a few ties you might like but they're expensive. I might be able to swing one here, and maybe one or two at Marshalls.
Gray: OK, send me pics.
Mom, after sending two photos to his cellphone, receives this text message: The yellow one is OK

Mom buys the yellow one, then goes to Marshalls and buys a gold one.

Later that day at home-------
Mom shows Bill what she bought for him at Smith&James, as well as the yellow tie she bought for Grayson.
Bill: WOW! I love that tie. How 'bout I take that tie and you give him the gold one from Marshalls. I can appreciate a $45 tie better than he can.
Mom: Well, he did only say that it was "OK". If he doesn't like the Marshall's one, I'll just go find him another one. Sure, take it.

Later that night-------
Gray: Mom, where's my tie?
Mom: Your dad laid claim to the yellow one, but here's the gold one I got at Marshalls.
Gray: I don't like the gold one.
Mom: OK, I'll take it back and get you something else.
Gray: Can I at least see the tie that you bought me that dad now owns?
Mom (sensing where this is going): Um, yeah.
Gray: I love that tie. I want it back.
Mom (who knows in her heart of hearts she should NEVER have even stepped into this mess): I'll go out tomorrow and see if I can find you something you like as well.

Next day-------
Mom, calling from Ballew & Scott, another men's store: I found a few more ties
Gray: Send me pics
Mom, after sending two photos to his cellphone, receives the following message: Nope

Later that day------
Mom: Gray, I've got an idea. Why don't YOU go buy a tie you want. I'll give you the $45 and you can buy one at Smith&James, or 5 at Marshalls, or whatever you want.
Gray: I have to work today. Can you just get me the yellow one?
Mom: You mean, the one your dad has? You mean you want to have twin ties with your dad?
Gray: Yeah

(At this point the Reader might be wondering why, perhaps, members of the same family could not SHARE ties. Silly Reader! These particular men are ... particular ... about their things. Gray might leave it in a knot overnight, which would totally disrupt Bill's world. Or Bill might be wearing it when Gray wanted it for work, and that would totally disrupt Gray's world. So don't even suggest it...)

Next day-------
Mom goes into Smith&James. They don't have another yellow tie; they do have the same tie in blue. Mom sends picture to Gray, and receives the thumbs down on the blue tie. Helpful Employee phones, and the Greer store can send over the yellow tie and it will be there tomorrow. While Mom's at Smith&James, Mackenzie tells her HE needs some ties too. She buys him a tie and a bowtie that will, she admits, look great with his madras and his seersucker blazers.

Next day-------
Gray goes to Smith&James and gets the yellow tie. So we now own under our roof TWO ties exactly alike. And Bill and Gray are both happy. And Mackenzie is happy. And I? I have learned a valuable lesson. LET MEN BUY THEIR OWN TIES!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Holey Cow!

This was taken by Chelsea, my guest photographer. Do you know where she was?

Almost 21

I shot this while taking Chelsea to the airport Friday. She sent to a life coaching seminar, and we've been discussing her Kolbe test scores. She's a 3-3-9-3, if you know what that means.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A-1 Adventure Racer

Not my greatest photo....but I had to use a cell phone. But here he is: my adrenaline-junkie! (Actually, I have a few of those; probably it's embedded in the DNA). This shot is of Bill as he left today for a 24-hour adventure race. This time he's racing with a very experienced teammate, and at his last race, Bill finished fourth in his category. So his hopes are high for a strong finish in this race. Hard to believe he just took up this sport a few years ago....since then he has participated in probably a dozen races. He has lost 15 pounds. He has started working out in a consistent way. He enjoys life more. He's survived near misses, a bike wreck (concussion), fainting, digestive upset, a snakebite, stinging nettles, hypothermia, sleep-deprived hallucinations, and countless scrapes, scratches & bruises. And probably other things he isn't telling me!

He's starting to tick off goals, both personal and professional, at a strong clip. When he gets back from this race, we go to the beach for two weeks. Then he is teaching a ethics class in Las Vegas, so of course, while he's in the neighborhood, he's heading to the Grand Canyon, and is planning on running it rim-to-rim (I think it's 23 miles or so). Yes, in August. Then in October he has set the goal of participating in a half iron-man. All that and a professional work-week that would make a weaker man wilt. On top of it all, he manages to come home for dinner every night, and leave the office behind -- he never takes business calls after hours. He amazes me, and I think my teenagers even admire what their old man is accomplishing!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sister Cities

I'm not sure what being a sister city means, but at least we have a good Italian restaurant with a Bergamese chef at the end of this street.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Life is just a bowl of 'em

It's been a hard day's night...

As Bill wryly observed, it's amazing how easy it is to fall asleep at 10:00 while watching a movie, after you've put in a full day's work. Note the pizza box at the feet. Note also the new haircut (or hairshave, if you prefer.) Because of M's height he rarely gets to completely stretch out....this is as close as it gets.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Breakfast with my friend

This is my friend Martha. We've been friends since we went to summer camp together when we were 9. We don't see each other enough, but I'm always happy when we can carve out time for each other.

The quality of mercy is not strain'd....

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath.
It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

--From Merchant of Venice (IV, I, (184-186)

Silent Retreat: Shapes


Canna Lillies

Silent retreat: for the birds

Silent Retreat: Waterfall

Pictured are the waterfall (if you're ever going down Riverside Drive in Atlanta, you'd probably never guess that you were driving within ten feet of this waterfall!) and the crevice nearby with statuary.

Silent retreat: Brick and mortar

These are the buildings at the Ignatius House Retreat Center, and exterior views. The main building (cafeteria, rooms, library, offices) and the newly built chapel. The last shot is an outdoor chapel that doubles as a cell tower! The chapel is underneath the 'steeple' pictured here.

Silent retreat: A Room With A View

Besides being the title of one of my favorite books, it also sums up my retreat. This is the inside of my room, and the view out the window. It's amazing all you can see, when you have space, time, and a reason for seeing.

Self-portrait: Self-mortification

If I ever had a scrap of pride, it should be gone with the publication of these two shots. One is taken by Chelsea. I took her out to eat before I left on my retreat, and she shot this one of me fishing for a tip. Lovely, lovely angle, charming expression, and so form-flattering!! Hard to imagine a prettier me!

The other is a self portrait taken on the retreat while doing yoga on the riverbank. I always to look so svelte when the camera is ...um... hip-level. Wow. And I look so stern....probably because I only had 10 seconds in which to set up the pose and get balanced before the shutter released.

At least now, any self-portraits I take should be an improvement.

Whaddya think, Ma?

You really don't want to know, dear.

Ah, the joys of motherhood. You just wait, all you parents out there who think, MY daughter would never get a tattoo! :-) At least it's small! Oh, and I'm filing this under "Incredible Feats of Motherhood" because I kept. my. mouth. shut.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Abstract art: Transformer

Guest photographer: Clark
We got back the pictures he took from his 8th grade trip....I'm not sure what he did (or didn't do) to get this one, but I really liked it, in a Mark Rothko kind of way. Since we saw the movie Transformers tonight, I thought I'd post this....it makes me think of transformation.

Huddy Buddy

I visited my friend yesterday (the one who threatened me about posting her picture....and then made a self-deprecating comment about it once I did!). She takes care of Huddy every day. Huddy's a 7th grader who needs some special care....and boy does she give it. She's always gently teasing him, encouraging him, teaching him, laughing with him, taking him to the library or on picnics, watching movies with him, swimming with him ... in a word, she's wonderful with him. If she had a dollar for every game of Candyland she has played with Huddy, she'd be livin' in luxury! Huddy beat her three times while I was there, fair and square.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Silent Retreat

OK, this is not where I'm going. (This is in Australia, and was taken by Grayson in December.) But it does convey the idea of what I'm going to do. I'm leaving Sunday for a 5 day silent retreat. I've done an 8-day retreat before two years ago, and it was really a meaningful time in nurturing my spirit. I can't compare it to any other experience, because when in real life do you get that much time with NO distractions, NO conversation, NO noise? It takes about two days for all the internal conversations to quiet themselves (or rather, talk themselves out) and then is when the good stuff starts to happen, the stuff that only silence can --at least in me-- elicit. Most folks, when I tell them what I'll be doing, sound very scared at the prospect of so much time alone and quiet! But you get to know a lot about yourself, and you gain quite a lot of insight, by being a hermit, even if only temporarily. Click on the post title for more information about silent retreats. I think I have one or two readers who live nearby ... If you come to visit me, you'll have to be quiet too! :-)

I won't have a computer or cellphone ....I might take Gray's camera, so I have a few shots to remember it by, but I won't be posting them until I return.

Just found this quote by Thomas Merton that I thought appropo:
Contemplation is essentially a listening in silence, an expectancy. And yet in a certain sense, we must truly begin to hear God when we have ceased to listen. What is the explanation of this paradox? Perhaps only that there is a higher kind of listening, which is not an attentiveness to some special wave length, a receptivity to a certain kind of message, but a general emptiness that waits to realize the fullness of the message of God within its own apparent void. In other words, the true contemplative is not the one who prepares his mind for a particular message that he wants or expects to hear, but who remains empty because he knows that he can never expect or anticipate the word that will transform his darkness into light. He does not even anticipate a special kind of transformation. He does not demand light instead of darkness. He waits on the Word of God in silence, and when he is answered,” it is not so much by a word that busts into his silence. It is by his silence itself suddenly, inexplicably revealing itself to him as a word of great power, full of the voice of God.” (“The Climate of Monastic Prayer, p. 90)