Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saturday Centus - Cleaning up the neighborhood

I'm late to the party, but I finally made it. This past week has been totally nuts. I won't bore you with all the gruesome details, but let's just say I would be fine if I could figure out a way to add about 9 hours to the day. Time to join our fellow Centurians for Saturday Centus, hosted each and every week by the lovely Jenny Matlock at Off On My Tangent. Jenny provides us with a prompt. Our charge is to write a short story of no more than 100 words exclusive of the prompt. This week, Jenny has changed it up on us yet again! Instead of a prompt, we are to continue a previous story, either one of our own or borrowed (that sounds so much nicer than plagiarized, doesn't it?) from someone else.

I posted this story in June and thought it would be a fun one to expand. The original story is in blue. Hope this answers some questions!

The day started with such promise. A trip to the old home place, seeing where Daddy grew up, the places that shaped him. Sky that heartbreaking blue that only a southern summer can give. Trees draped with Spanish moss like the veils of devout women at Mass. Whirring cicadas, those mad jazz percussionists of summer.

It was Fathers Day, 1984, when I heard that voice in the hallway... followed it down old cellar stairs that screeched like jays protecting a nest. Darkness hiding rotten wood, which gave way, pitching me to the cool dirt floor. Raising my head, I came face to face with a story that Daddy never intended me to know.

How long had those moldy bones been resting here? A glint of gold caught my eye. I'd only known one person with a gold tooth, that no account Jr. Ewell. Gone for years. Up and took off one day, leaving nothing but a rundown shotgun shack, metal roof bleeding rust onto the sagging porch like autumn leaves.
A rush of memories. The whispers. Mamas making us promise to stay clear of him. To let our Daddies know if Jr. wanted help finding a lost puppy or cleaning out his ramshackle barn. And a late night meeting of Daddy's men's club.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rainbow Summer School - Blue!

It's time for Rainbow Summer School with Mrs. Matlock! This week our color is blue. We are zipping right through summer session. There is alot going on around here right now, but I just couldn't bear to miss it. Haven't missed a single class yet, and only 1 tardy :) I've been browsing our photos files for blue, and I found a lot. Must be a favorite color! I hope you enjoy my little foray into the blue. And don't forget to run to class and read what everyone else is sharing this week!

Is there anything prettier than a blue Texas sky? You be the judge...

We were taking photos from the new bridge over the San Gabriel River. At the time, it was not yet open. We got run off by our "boys in blue" Hey, the sign said no cars, not no feet!

Blue Hole Park, Georgetown, Texas. Everyone's favorite swimming (and diving) hole

Sky over Little Bay, Rockport, Texas

Presidio La Bahia, Goliad, Texas. One of my very favorite places to visit. You can truly feel the history when you walk these grounds.

Steeple of our favorite country church, New Sweden

Night skyline over Town Lake - recently renamed Lady Bird Lake. Austin, Texas

Monument blessing the shrimpers, Rockport, Texas

These last two shots were a whole lot of fun. A new optometrist in Hutto, Texas commissioned DH to take some shots around town to hang in his new eye care center. This is Hutto Stadium, home of the "Hutto Hippos". I kid you not!

A neat little storefront in "downtown" Hutto. I just love this!

Hope you enjoyed my "blue" period. Have fun visiting all the links this week!

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday Centus - Vacation Essay

It's Saturday Centus time once again, hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock at Off On My Tangent. Usually, Jenny provides us with a prompt and we take it from there. A nice little story of 100 words or less. This week, she is switching it up. No prompt. Just a 100 word essay on "What I Did Over My Summer Vacation". Exactly 100 words, no more and no less, written in the first person. Well, this will test my skill. Since we did not get a vacation this year, I'll have to depend on my imagination. Good thing we are allowed to write a fictional account or I would have NOTHING this week!

What I Did Over My Summer Vacation

As the old bus creaked and groaned over the rocky road, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. The heat was unbearable, dust clinging to my wet face like a mud pack in a cut rate spa. I could hear monkeys screeching in the trees, and imagined the size of the snakes camouflaged in the foliage.
Pulling into the village, I saw hundreds of children holding their precious pets. Some needed vaccinations or simple surgery, others had more serious issues. When I saw the hopeful smiles on the children's faces, my discomfort vanished. A summer vacation to remember indeed!

Obviously, this is fiction, but it is based on a real organization that does humanitarian veterinary work all over the world. One of my pharmaceutical reps does a mission trip with them every year, and he said it is the most satisfying work he's ever done. To learn more about World Vets, click on the link. http://www.worldvets.org/
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rainbow Summer School - Green!

Thursday, time for Rainbow Summer School with our fearless leader, Mrs. Matlock. Our color today is green. I love green, it's one of my favorite colors. Unfortunately, by August, there's not much green to be seen around here. More of a dusty beige or brown ): So I looked through our photo files to find some examples. Some are mine, most are hubbies. Here's what I came up with. Hope you enjoy!

New Sweden Church in the spring. A gorgeous little country church, but I'm not too sure about that green carpet on the steps!

Our first foray into light painting. I "painted" with light while DH took the shot. An abandoned farmhouse outside of Jarrell, Texas

An incredible candy lime hot rod - Lone Star Classic Auto Roundup, Austin Texas

A fun shot taken at Berry Springs Preserve Park in Georgetown, Texas

Lilly pond, Zilker Botanical Gardens, Austin Texas

Palm fronds, Zilker Botanical Gardens, Austin, Texas

And finally, my favorite. A beautiful path in the bamboo stand, Zilker Botanical Gardens

Hope you enjoyed my little spot of green today. Now get to class and see what everyone else is sharing!

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday Centus - Grocery Store Blues

I love Saturday mornings. I get to sleep in a bit, and when I wake up I get to play with words for Saturday Centus. This is a fun writing exercise hosted every week by our gracious and lovely hostess, Jenny Matlock from Off On My Tangent. The concept is simple. We are given a prompt, and then write a short story of 100 words or less using the prompt in it's entirety and EXACTLY as written. Jenny leaves the link up for an entire week, so you've got plenty of time to join. And since the stories are so short, it's easy to visit every link. And you will definitely want to, there are some amazing writers who participate every week. Speaking of amazing writers, this week's prompt was provided by Cheryl at Deckside Thoughts. If you haven't met Cheryl, make sure to visit. You'll be very glad you did! This week's prompt:

I listened to them from my perch on the top step and didn't know whether to laugh or to cry...

Hope you enjoy my take on it! And this was written especially for Cheryl :)

The sun beat mercilessly from the cloudless sky. Leaving the air conditioned car, I walked into a blast furnace. Burnt grass crunching under my feet like broken glass, I wanted nothing more than to collapse with a tall glass of tea and a book.

I paused, watching the girls play. Whirling dervishes, kicking up dusty grass, having a grand time. I smiled, hearing their big plans for the night. Catching fireflies, roasting wienies. Then, words that struck terror in my heart. " ... we can have a big bowl of Blue Bell Peaches and Homemade Vanilla!"
I listened to them from my perch on the top step and didn't know whether to laugh or to cry... I knew I had forgotten something!

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rainbow Summer School - Yellow!

Time for Summer School with Mrs. Matlock at Jenny Matlock, Off On My Tangent. Holy cow, I almost missed class this week! 29 weeks and no absences. I will NOT mess up that streak! I've had computer issues, work issues, family issues - you get the picture. This week's color is yellow and I thought I'd find some of my photos that had yellow in them. Turns out, I really didn't have anything. So I raided DH's photo files. These are some of his shots that had some yellow that I could use. Hope you enjoy! And sorry for being tardy Mrs. Matlock, it won't happen again. Although detention with this crew could be a whole lot of fun - tee hee!

BTW, we have a new classmate today. Make sure to give a shout out to one of my dearest friends, Marty from "A Stroll Through Life". It's her birthday today!

DH took this shot on my family's farm on our recent trip to Mississippi. He's such a city boy - I was taking pictures of cows, he was taking pictures of a school bus covered with graffiti!

This is a billboard on I-35 right outside of Georgetown. Fun, isn't it?

We found this old abandoned farmhouse on one of our Sunday drives. Kind of spooky the way the yellow sun makes it appear that there is a light on - maybe it's haunted!
There are some fun yellow marbles in this still life

A really cool hot rod at the annual Lone Star Round Up car show in Austin

Ok, this one is a stretch. There really are some yellow flowers in the vines in the background. DH was shooting me as I was shooting this belfry that came off of one of the original schools in Austin. It's located in Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. A friend asked if I had posed - DH cracked up and said I would never knowingly let him take my picture dressed this way LOL

Now run to class and see what everyone else has posted for yellow this week. I'm off to visit the links. I may be slow, but I will get around to everyone!
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Saturday Centus - Looking Home

Time for Saturday Centus, the day that Jenny at Off on My Tangent gives us a prompt to use in writing a short story. A VERY short story, 100 words or less without the prompt.
This has been a great exercise for me, it really does teach discipline. And it helps to see what really makes for a good, tight story. Give it a whirl, it's not always easy, but it's always fun. The link stays live for a full week, so you've got plenty of time. And make sure to visit all the links, there are some really amazing writers participating.

This week's prompt:

Objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear...

My take on it - hope you enjoy!

Wipers on low, an alternate beat to the thumping of tires on the old bridge. Not raining, just that peculiar veil of mist that hangs over south Louisiana in the morning. Sun glinting gold through the cypress, slow moving water hiding frogs, gators, and gar. Smoke rising at the edge of my vision. Ghosts of the past? Just old man Bergeron burning cane stubble.

The demands of life called me back to the city. I cringed, thinking of the noisy crowds. The only wildlife packs of feral teenagers and the occasional rat.

A final look back. Objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear... God, I hope so.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rainbow Summer School - Orange!

Class is in session! Rainbow Summer School with my favorite teacher, Mrs. Matlock. Last week we talked about red. This week, we are to write about the color orange. It's been crazy hot this summer - yesterday when I left work it was 107. So all I can think about right now are nice, cool things. These are some of my favorites during this kind of heat.

Blue Bell - the best ice cream in the world!

Blue Bell Bullets - the orange are my favorite.

In the summer, I love to mix orange sherbet with club soda for a refreshing and not too horrible for you treat.

And when I have one of those days where I am too frazzled to worry about calories, this poured over some Homemade Vanilla ice cream is my go to treat.
But this is my favorite orange of all ...

Hope you enjoyed my essay on orange. Excuse me, I need to go to the kitchen for a bit... Go visit all the other students, I'll be back later!

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Music Challenge Day 6. A certain place

Day 6 of the Music Challenge, hosted by criticalcrass at Quirky Pickings. Today's song choice is one that reminds you of a certain place. When we first moved to Austin, oh those many moons ago, MTV was brand new. We were lucky enough to find an apartment that provided cable television. MTV was fascinating to us. One of the songs I remember them playing over and over again was "Rock the Casbash" by the Clash.

We loved seeing the video, because alot of it was filmed in our new adopted town. And I love this song. Set aside the politics, it's totally fun. Come to think of it, so was our move to Austin :)

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Music challenge day 5 - Daddy's song

Day 5! If you haven't been following these posts, I'm taking part in a 30 day Music Challenge hosted by criticalcrass at Quirky Pickings. Today we are to choose a song that reminds us of someone. Every time I hear "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers, I think of my dad. He had a dark green 68 T-bird that he adored, and he would drive around with the windows down, 8 track (yes, I said 8 track) blaring. He had a beautiful deep baritone voice, and he would sing this at the top of his lungs. Every time I hear this song, I am transported back to happy times spent on road trips.

I had planned on having a rotation of dad's favorite songs on my playlist. Notice the playlist is gone? Apparently the site is LOADED with a very, very nasty virus. My scan caught it, but I don't want to take any chances. So for now anyway, I'm leaving my beloved playlist off.

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