Archive for August, 2009

You Shouldn’t Try to Fool Mother Nature

August 31, 2009
George looking up at About Face rose, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  August 27, 2009.

George looking up at About Face rose, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. August 27, 2009.

Roses need sunshine.  Roses love sunshine.  Since we have lots of trees around our house, finding enough sunshine for our roses has been somewhat of a problem.  We had to move our roses from the first bed we made because there was too much shade, but now we’ve got them in front of the house where they get as much sunshine as our yard can offer.

HOWEVER, one corner of one of the rose beds is shadier than the rest of the bed.  To keep the symmetry of the bed I wanted to keep a rose there.  I figured that the rose there would be okay.

A few weeks ago a new cane appeared on the rose.  It grew and grew and grew.  For a while I thought it might be a sucker from below the graft, but it looked like the other canes.  It kept growing and growing.  When I was about to give up on it, a bud appeared and then a blossom that belonged to the rose bush.

To put things in perspective in the photo above, I’m 6-foot four inches tall and am standing on the same level as the rose bush.  And I’m looking UP at the blossom.  That rose wanted sunshine and was going to get to it.

The picture below shows what this rose bush, About Face, looks like under more normal circumstances.

About Face rose, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  June 2, 2009.

About Face rose, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. June 2, 2009.

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Scenic Sunday # 59: Ocean Isle Beach

August 30, 2009
The ocean and beach at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.  May 5, 2009.

The ocean and beach at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. May 5, 2009.

This is my post for the Scenic Sunday meme, which shares beautiful scenes from around the world.  To see more Scenic Sunday posts, or to join and show your own pictures, click HERE.

The picture above was taken this past May at Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina.  It was a perfect morning with clouds on the horizon, a calm, blue ocean, and a clean beach all to ourselves.

Happy Birthday, Dad

August 29, 2009
Dad with his birthday cake, Hendersonville, Tennessee.  August 28, 2009.

Dad with his birthday cake, Hendersonville, Tennessee. August 28, 2009.

Today is my Dad’s birthday.

Yesterday Betsy and I went to Hendersonville to check on my parents and to help them out in any way that we can.  While we were there we wrote checks for them and  took them to do their grocery shopping.  I even helped Dad put  in a new vanity in their bathroom.  We didn’t quite get finished with the job — the rest of it will have to wait until our next trip over.

While we were there we also celebrated Dad’s 97th birthday (a day early).  We took Mom and Dad out for lunch and he got a big brownie and ice cream as a birthday treat.  Fortunately it was so big that he shared it with the rest of us.  It was delicious.

When we got back to their house, a member of their Sunday School class called to say she wanted to come over to wish Dad a happy birthday.  She came over with a birthday hat, homemade birthday cake and a loaf of homemade bread.  The candle on the cake was supposed to be one of those candles that can’t be blown out, but Dad managed to do it.

I don’t think Dad is planning on slowing down now that he is a year older (or perhaps I should say younger).  One of the things we helped him do yesterday was order some blackberry plants.  He wants some fresh blackberries on his ice cream next spring!

Happy birthday, Dad.

Skywatch Friday: Carolina Mountains Evening Sky

August 28, 2009
The evening sky in Otto, North Carolina.  May 28, 2009.

The evening sky in Otto, North Carolina. May 28, 2009.

This is my post for Skywatch Friday, a meme for sharing views of the sky from all over the world.  To see more, or to join and share your own photos of the sky, click HERE.

Betsy and her childhood girlfriends are working on their ‘Girls Only’ annual getaway.  This year they’re talking about renting a cabin in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

That got me to looking through some of my North Carolina pictures.  I came across the picture above, which was taken near Franklin, North Carolina earlier this year.  It shows clouds over the western North Carolina mountains in the early evening.  The tops of some of the clouds still reflect the setting sun.

Shopping with the ‘Old Folks’

August 27, 2009
George at Cafe Uno in Maryville, Tennessee.  July 23, 2001.

George at Cafe Uno in Maryville, Tennessee. July 23, 2001.

It’s amazing how time flies!  It wasn’t too many years ago that I did most of my grocery shopping on Saturdays.  When my first wife, Elizabeth, became too ill to do the shopping, I would buy groceries on Saturday mornings since I didn’t have to work then.  I continued to do my grocery shopping on Saturdays after Elizabeth died.

Now Betsy and I do our grocery shopping on Wednesday.  Why, you ask?  Because our local Kroger store gives senior citizens a discount on Wednesday.  And if that’s not enough incentive, they also provide FREE COFFEE to seniors.

But recently there has been a change.  It wasn’t all that long ago that I got my feelings hurt if the checkout person asked ‘Do you qualify for the senior discount?’.  Now that same question makes me feel pretty good!!!

I’d like to think that I don’t look as old as a majority of the people in the store on Wednesdays, but perhaps I’m just indulging in wishful thinking.  I guess I might as well admit that I’m now one of those ‘old folks’.  But there is a bright side — on Wednesdays the store plays Big Band music over their sound system.  That’s a big improvement over other days of the week!!

Watery Wednesday # 50: The Schooner Alliance

August 26, 2009
The schooner Alliance, Yorktown, Virginia.  June 19, 2007.

The schooner Alliance, Yorktown, Virginia. June 19, 2007.

This is my post for Watery Wednesday.  To see more of our beautiful watery world, or to join and post your own pictures to share, click HERE.

When Betsy and I were in Yorktown, Virginia, we were near the waterfront one evening when we saw the schooner Alliance sail down the river.  I’ll have to admit that she looked beautiful to me, but then I’ve always been fascinated by sailing ships.

The Alliance is 105 foot three masted gaff-rigged schooner, which sails twice daily from Riverwalk Landing Pier in Yorktown from May thru October.  The rest of the year it sails in the Caribbean.

The Alliance was built in 1995 in Palm Coast, Florida, and was brought to Yorktown in 2005.  She has a diesel engine as well as the full set of sails and can accommodate 49 passengers on daysails or 12 overnight passengers.

My World # 46: Our Lilies (2)

August 25, 2009

LiliesCollage0902

(This picture can be enlarged by clicking on it.)

This is my post for the My World meme.  It is hosted by Klaus, Ivar, Sandy, Wren, Louise and Fishing Guy.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

I worked out in the yard most of the day yesterday. so my view of the world now is mostly limited to grass and flowers.

For that reason I thought I would share with you another collage of some of the lilies we enjoyed this year.

Our Lilies

August 24, 2009
Lilies from our garden in 2009.

Lilies from our garden in 2009.

(This picture can be enlarged by clicking on it.)

We had a beautiful weekend here on the Plateau of Tennessee.  It actually felt more like autumn than summer, but I don’t want you to think that I’m complaining.  It was very nice working out in the yard and I tried to make the most of it.

Our lilies are all finished for the year.  The last ones bloomed several weeks ago, but I’ve been so far behind on my pictures that I haven’t done anything with them.  Yesterday I had a chance to work with my pictures and made several collages of the lilies that bloomed in our garden this year.  Five of our lilies are shown in the collage above.

Scenic Sunday # 58: Gran Piton

August 23, 2009
Gran Piton, Soufriere, St. Lucia.  September 13, 2001.

Gran Piton, Soufriere, St. Lucia. September 13, 2001.

This is my post for the Scenic Sunday meme, which shares beautiful scenes from around the world.  To see more Scenic Sunday posts, or to join and show your own pictures, click HERE.

The picture above was taken in 2001 on the island of St. Lucia.  Betsy and I were on our honeymoon cruise and had gone ashore to tour a plantation near the town of Soufriere.  The mountain is Gran Piton, one of two mountains that mark the entrance to the harbor.  You can see a stretch of a tropical beach in the lower right of the picture.

Historic Jamestowne

August 22, 2009
The statue of Captain John Smith at Historic Jamestowne, Virginia.  June 20, 2007.

The statue of Captain John Smith at Historic Jamestowne, Virginia. June 20, 2007.

On our anniversary trip in 2007, Betsy and I went to Virginia.  After visiting Jamestown Settlement (a living history museum) we went  to Historic Jamestowne, the site of the first  English settlement in North America.

I assume that the story of Jamestown is still taught in our schools.  We were taught that the settlers were all ‘gentlemen’ who didn’t do anything but look for gold, that the Indian maiden Pocohantas saved Captain John Smith, and that Captain Smith saved Jamestown.  We also learned that later almost all the settlers died and the survivros decided to give up and return to England, only to be met by supply ships and new settlers at the mouth of the James River.

There was some truth in what we were taught, but there was also much more.  Jamestown survived and grew.  The first representative assembly in the New World convened in the Jamestown church on July 30, 1619.  In 1624 Virginia became a crown colony with Jamestown as the capital.  A “New Town” grew up east of the fort which contained wharfs, warehouses, taverns and merchant’s homes.  Jamestown remained the capital until the statehouse burned in 1698.  The capital was then moved to Williamsburg and the town of Jamestown began to slowly disappear.

I must admit that it was very interesting and exciting to be at the site of so much history.  If you would like to see more of Jamestown, click HERE.