Archive for August, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dad

August 29, 2013

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(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

My Dad is celebrating his 101st birthday today.  The picture above  was taken last year when we celebrated his 100th birthday at his church in Hendersonville.  My younger brother Ken and my sister Janet are standing with me behind Dad.

Dad has had a remarkable life.  He remembers when a horse and wagon was the family’s transportation, as well as his first encounter with electricity.  But he didn’t live in the past.  At the tender age of 90 he learned to use a computer and would send us daily emails telling us when he and Mom had been doing the day before.  Even in his mid-nineties he would get up on the roof of his house when necessary.

He’s slowed down quite a bit over the last few years, especially after Mom died.  But he still enjoys getting out and going for a ride, and he still enjoys his ice cream.  Betsy and I are going to Tullahoma this evening to have a restaurant dinner with Dad and Janet, and I’m pretty sure I know what he’ll order for dessert.

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Reach for the Sky

August 26, 2013
George getting a picture of our About Face rose.  July 21, 2013.  (Photo by Betsy)

George getting a picture of our About Face rose. July 21, 2013. (Photo by Betsy)

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

Most of our roses are average-sized bushes — three or four feet high.  But we have one rose that likes to show off every couple of years and see how high it can grow.

Betsy got the picture of me (above) trying to capture the top blossom on our About Face rose.  To put this image into proper perspective, I’m 6-feet, 4-inches tall, and I’m shooting up to shoot the rose.

The picture below is the photo I was shooting while Betsy was getting her picture of me.  I rather like it, even if the flag in the background is blurry.  The morning light was bowing through the petals of the rose when I got this picture.

About Face blossom with the flag in the background.  July 21, 2013.

About Face blossom with the flag in the background. July 21, 2013.

SkyWatch Friday: Evening Sky in the Glade

August 21, 2013
Evening Sky in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  July 17, 2013.

Evening Sky in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. July 17, 2013.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

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.

One evening last month, as the sun was setting, I noticed an unusual pink-purple cast to the sky.  The sun had dropped below the Plateau, but the sky above our house seemed to be getting brighter and more vibrant.

Evening Sky in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  July 17, 2013.

Evening Sky in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. July 17, 2013.

Of course I grabbed my camera and headed outside.  There were clouds overhead, and I tried to capture the light and shadows in that pink-purple sky.

Evening Sky in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  July 17, 2013.

Evening Sky in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. July 17, 2013.

I really don’t think these photos do justice to that amazing sky, but I like them well enough that I wanted to share them with you.

Our World: Tanbark Ridge Overlook

August 19, 2013
Betsy at Tanbark Ridge Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina.  June 26, 2013.

Betsy at Tanbark Ridge Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina. June 26, 2013.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)

This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

In late June Betsy and I traveled to North Carolina to meet my son Robert and his family.  We took advantage of the opportunity to drive along one of our favorite roads, the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We picked up the Parkway in Asheville, North Carolina, and headed north.  We stopped at the Tanbark Ridge Overlook to enjoy the view.

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The mountains and the sky were both beautiful, and I tried to capture that beauty as best as I could in this panoramic shot.

Here’s Looking At You

August 15, 2013
Google Earth image of our home.  September, 2010.

Google Earth image of our home. September, 2010.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

When Betsy and I travel, I use a geo-tracker to record the GPS coordinates of the pictures I take.  I can then use Google Earth to map the location and get satellite or terrain views of the area.

Shortly after starting to use Google Earth, I entered our address and got the image above.  I was able to find our house, but I wasn’t all that impressed.

When we got back from a trip to North Carolina a few weeks ago, I took some pictures in the yard before turning off the geo-tracker.  While looking at the track of our trip on Google Earth, I zoomed in at the end of the track and found a new image of our house.  I’ll have to admit I was impressed — and a little shocked.

Google Earth image of our house.  April 2013.

Google Earth image of our house. April 2013.

This new image makes it possible to see the house and the deck, including the table on the deck.  The rose beds on each side of the driveway can be clearly seen, including the terracing we put in for the roses.  I can see the round flowerbed around the yard lamppost, as well as the flower bed along the road.

The black dots on each side of the driveway are our container roses.  There’s a black blob in the driveway near the road (indicated by ‘??’).  I can’t be sure, but I think that might be me.

So who’s watching you?

Our World: Tiny Flowers

August 12, 2013
Sempervivum blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  July 7, 2013

Sempervivum blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. July 7, 2013

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)

This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

While many of our roses, lilies and day lilies have large blossoms, our yard is home to some tiny flowers as well.  We have planted Hens and Chickens (Sempervivum) in several places in our yard.  Hens and Chickens are wonderful succulents that look good year around.

Hens and chickens blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  July 10, 2013.

Hens and chickens blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. July 10, 2013.

In spite of their name — Sempervivum means ‘always alive’ — hens do die out.  But they blossom before they die.  The flowers are tiny, but they are pretty.

Sempervivum blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  July 10, 2013.

Sempervivum blossoms, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. July 10, 2013.

When the hens die, their chickens grow to take their place.  It’s a shame the hens have to die, but what a way to go!!

Someone Has a Birthday Today

August 5, 2013

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(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

No, it’s not Shirley Temple, although our Birthday Girl could easily pass for Shirley.

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Our Birthday Girl never could pass  up a good swing.

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Besides looking like the talented Miss Temple, Birthday Girl was also very musically talented.  She played in her school band, . . .

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. . . studied piano, and gave several recitals.

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She also studied Latin in school, although I’m not sure how completely thrilled she was about that class.

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I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that the Birthday Girl is my Beautiful Bride.  The thing I like most about her is her smile, even if the wind is messing up her hair while we’re hiking.

I try to be a gentleman, so I won’t tell you how old she is today.  But I do invite you to pop over to her blog or her Facebook page and wish her a Happy Birthday.

SkyWatch Friday: Hole in the Clouds

August 2, 2013
The view from Tanbark Ridge Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina.  June 26, 2013.

The view from Tanbark Ridge Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina. June 26, 2013.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

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 I met up with my son and his family in North Carolina late last month, and we used that as an excuse to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The Blue Ridge Parkway is sometimes called America’s most beautiful roadway, and I’m not about to argue with that.

The photo above was taken at the Tanbark Ridge Overlook north of Asheville.  The hole in the clouds was what first attracted my attention, but the photo also shows why the mountains are called the Blue Ridge Mountains.