Friday, December 31, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
..is a good old fashioned department store and the Santa Claus to go with it. There is nothing like Christmas to send us back in time. More and more, I long for the excitement of the annual drive to downtown Birmingham, Alabama. My mother would make sure that my two older sisters and I were warmly dressed for the great ooohhhh and aaaah stroll outside Loveman's and Pizitz's enchanted windows. What we beheld were the most detailed interiors with busy kitchens, Christmas trees, dining tables all populated with moving figures dressed in intiricately designed Victorian costumes. Then there were exteriors of villages with horses and carriages or early automobiles and trains. Some years there were ballet dancers and nutcrackers. I wish I could find a book about these displays. Hum....Google start your engines!My last trip there was probably in the mid seventies when my older son was about four years old. The malls were on the prowl all over the surrounding suburbs, gobbling up one great tradition after another. The mall versions were never like the downtown namesakes. They never had the charm and personality, never had the Christmas windows, toy departments, or Santa Clauses. Once those flagships sank, a very special Christmas magic disappeared from the Magic City. Fortunately, my mother was one to embrace the experience which has been so endearingly celebrated in the classic film A CHRISTMAS STORY, and I have these pictures to spark some wondrous winter memories.Sisters Sue (left) & Anita (top)
and Marnie on Santa's lap.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Post Card with Detail of Samford Hall at Auburn University
...if you want to know a little bit about the Auburn Spirit. This is an excerpt from the film documentary Stephen Fry in America. Of course, this event was a couple of years ago before Cameron Newton came to the Loveliest Village of the Plains.
"I say, Jeeves, do you know anything about a Number One ranking? "
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Ray Bradbury's story Something Wicked This Way Comes. The novel is admittedly deeper and darker than the film which was released in 1983, but the the Disney studios made a masterful interpretation of Bradbury's tale of an aging father (Jason Robards) and his young son coming to terms with their fears, all stirred up in a bubbling cualdron of emotions by Mr. Dark. (Jonathan Pryce). The story is told from the point of view of the son, and focuses on the autumn of his twelfth year when a most unusual carnival comes to town. And, I must say, this is not your typical Disney tale, but it is a classic at our house. (I believe Bradbury wrote the screenplay.) If you have never seen it, you are in for a real Halloween treat!
Something wicked this way comes..."
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I posed for a local photographer right there in their offices. With my hair up, my super cyber diet and hours at the spa and the vigorous laps in the swimming pool, I have managed to achieve a most glamorous look, if I do say so myself. The Colonel asked me if I would be wearing this to have some fried catfish at his favorite diner, Jim Bob's....and well... I had to tell him that Coop was waiting outside in his Duesenberg! He smiled and said, "Go have fun....college games on TV tonight. See you when you get back....but I want to take the Duesenberg to Jim Bob's Friday night. OK?"
You got it, Lover!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
so.......I finally decided on no sleeves at all! I have taken this image of John Singer Sargent's Madame X (Portrait of Madame Gautreau, 1884 oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London) to my dress maker ! She is a marvel at forgery when it comes to needle and thread and taffeta! I have been in for several fittings, and I am collecting the dress this evening!
Now, where is my pearl choker???
Sunday, September 26, 2010
a fancy ball before they think about how they will get there. I have long been enamoured with elegant automobiles, and today came across these newspaper clippings. Now -- yes, I have been talking to my dressmaker about a certain evening gown I have always admired, but first I had to know how I was going to get to Willow Manor. I called up an old flame --you know 1-800-AFTALIF 0r 1-800-GR8BYON --and asked if he still had his Duesey--said I needed a ride to the most fabulous social event this side of the Mississippi. Actually, I was just going to borrow his car and go alone. He seemed very curious. I added a little extra intrigue and said that I had heard George Sanders was going to be the guest of honor. I whined about how I had to drive my own car last year, because my date was just a sweet little ole country lawyer from Maycomb. He gasped, and asked was this same ball where the likes of Al Pacino, Rudolph Nureyev, and Miss Piggy had been seen on the dance floor and meeting behind the palms ? He began to gush:
Monday, September 20, 2010
treasury of nearly a hundred charming photos spanning from the 1880's to the 1960's, Randall includes many personal details and inscriptions for each image. Here are just a few captured by my camera. If you love sepia photographs and children and ponies,
Doesn't she remind you of Bonnie Butler in GONE WITH THE WIND?
(click on pictures of the book to enlarge)
CIRCA 1971 Near Fort Rucker, AL
Our first born, Cameron, is seen riding his made in England Mobo walking pony.
I think this is the last one of these sold from Pizitz's in downtown Birmingham.
My Tennessee cousins had owned one, and I had longed for a Mobo to show up under my Christmas tree when I was a pre-schooler. Years later, I was astonished to find him in the toy department and sent word immediately to Santa. He reserved the toy before Cameron was born. Happily for his first Christmas, it became his first and only pony. Alas, there were no traveling pony photographers by this time. This is an old Polaroid I took, with a newly added sepia effect.
When it's midnight in the meadow and cats are in the shed,
And the river tells a story at the window by my bed,
If you listen very closely, be as quiet as you can,
In the yard you'll hear him,
It is the pony man.
Opening lines of the "The Pony Man" by Gordon Lightfoot
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
So pop over to my Fantasy Horse Farm where I borrowed these images to lure you there!
Let me know if you want to join in .....when I win the lottery and buy this place!
And yes, I will have to have plenty of sheep too!
PS Don't forget to explore all of the warm and welcoming places you can stay
at the end of long day of riding on the fells !
Oh Lord!! Someone stop me before I create another link!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
While I should have been at St. Dunstan's this evening at six, I was learning how to use all of the online resources, webinars, and interactive programs for students that is just one more task in getting acquainted with my school's newly adopted literature books. Of course, I had to register: create yet another USER NAME and password for each of my two books! There are some positive aspects, yet it is just one more way to make sure we teachers are never idle!! Just when I was ready to throw the laptop off the table, thinking all I had wanted to do today was make a new post on my blog, and end the day with some inspiration and solace at my church, I thought...at least check Facebook--check on your nieces and far away friends....and Father Wells.
And so I found that it is true for other professions: We are all living our lives with the internet ...and tonight... I have to say for the better. Let's hear it for Father Wells who has begun posting his sermons online. This one is well worth your time...and I am especially grateful that I had a chance to read it. Now I can go to school tomorrow - clean and bright in spirit - polished by these words (click to read tonight's sermon).
What is your mission this week?
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The new one is in the same color family as the older floor we had for over twenty three years, but it is several shades lighter and seems to really draw in the mid-afternoon sun beautifully. The whole room seems to take on that Faulkner "Light in August" quality...a soft and sunny brilliance. Of course, much credit and many thanks go to my good friend, neighbor, and interior painter extraordinaire: Bob of Bob's Bread fame. Not only does he paint trim work and plaster walls to perfection, but the man can bake the most wonderous sour dough bread you have ever tasted. We can't wait until our Christmas loaf arrives!
Here's a certain slant of light.
Gracie wanders in for a major stretch! She loves to lie on the cool floor
and sometimes even the air vent, but she would not be still for a picture!
Cup of tea, anyone?
Monday, August 2, 2010
My trip to Pulaski would not be complete without a stop along Sorgham Hollow Road to say hello to my cousin Melody and her horses. This is the landscape of my childhood summers now made even more beautiful by the antics of this frolicking family swishing their tails, prancing, and playing to the camera!
Then everyone wanted to be at the same place at once!
"This is my good side...take the picture, ok?"
As is often the case, today I set out to do a bit of reading on this ancient breed and stumbled onto a fascinating connection between the Arabian horse and Kellogg cereal! In the early 1920's W. K. Kellogg established a horse farm in Pamona, California as a retreat for himself and his family from Michigan and as a place to raise Arabian horses. He would go on to make it a gift to the state of California and to establish a library at Cal Poly in Pamona devoted to the Arabian horse. Click here to explore this story. I highly recommend the 1995 Founder's Day Highlights video and the 1932 audio featuring Will Rogers as master of ceremonies for the presentation of this historic property to the state!
If you just want to read up on the breed click here! For the WikiPedia scoop, click here!
To visit the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library click here!
And by the way, Melody told me she may be planning to sell some of these darlings!
Now that is just about as commercial as I will ever get in the blogosphere!
Speaking of commercial, which Kellogg cereal is/was your favorite?
I am a Kellogg Rice Krispies kind of kid! Snap, Crackle, Pop....
with strawberries & blueberries & cold, cold, milk in the summer time!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
View from the balcony where Jem & Scout watched as Atticus defended Tom Robinson. (The movie set was designed to be identical to this room.)
Niece Nancy and actress Mary Badham - "Scout " -- get acquainted in the Heritage Museum gift shop. Mary was in town for the four day celebration along with hundreds of MOCKINGBIRD fans. We visited with her before we did our reading in the courtroom, in the evening at the 1930's Dinner, and the following morning at the Beehive Bookstore.
Many thanks to the star of the film who graciously signed our books.
This plaque, mounted on a large stone which rests on the courthouse lawn,
is well worth reading! (Click on photo to enlarge, then click again.)
In the documentary FEARFUL SYMMETRY: The Making of To Kill a Mockingbird, Gregory Peck talked of his meeting with Mr. Amasa Coleman Lee. Though none of the scenes in the movie were actually filmed in Monroeville, many of the people involved with the production visited the town in preparation for the Academy Award winning film. The actor explained how Lee would hold a pocket watch as he was talking or thinking: "I stole that from him," he confessed. Mr. Lee once defended a black man in a murder trial and lost the case, just as Atticus lost his case for Tom Robinson. As a result, Mr. Lee never practiced law again.
After her father's death, Harper Lee gave his watch to Gregory.
Life and art merge, and devoted readers remember in this small,
Alabama town named as the Literary Capital of the state.
One of the terms on the vocabulary list for teaching the novel is
"shinny" which is, of course, the local and affectionate term for moonshine!
I took the photo of the birdhouse, and all other photographs are courtesy of Stevie Wonderful, my nephew and lucky husband of Nancy!
- Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat