Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This weekend most of you will have some sort of Halloween celebration. Last year, during this holiday, I was in Indiana. And I really hoped to post some photos from a year ago for a little Halloween festivus. But, unfortunately, my computer did not cooperate. I could not get them to upload before next Tuesday. I need a new computer. Really.

But, I want to wish you a Happy Halloween anyway!

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The giant slide.

These are the last (for now) of the State Fair photos. I think they are it, really. But you never know. I'm known for changing my mind. Heh heh. They are colorful, so they'll be a decent filler for a Halloween post, I guess.

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I look forward to seeing photos of my brothers' kids dressed up. They'll send them along. I know Steve's kids will be a court jester, a policeman, and Yoda. My mother made the court jester outfit for Veda. We won't go into the years of therapy I've been through because she never made me a Halloween outfit. No, we won't go there. I am of course really only kidding.

Sort of.

I don't know what Rick's kids will be - guessing Ninjas or other scary creatures. And, I'm pretty sure Bob's kids are all costumed out - maybe I should say, in Bob's case - I can't wait to see what his grandchild wore for Halloween. There you go. What's Rolen doing for Halloween?

What are WE doing for Halloween? We have been invited to trick or treat with our old neighbors. That would be one "Indian Princess" and one "we're not sure" - because she couldn't make up her mind as of last weekend. So, we'll see.

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Flower sculpture.
Even when it's sculpture, I can't help myself.
I had to photograph it.

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I'm not sure if our niece and nephew in town are dressing up or not or if we'll see them - if we do, I will certainly have the camera handy. Andrew has a cute race car driver outfit that I saw on his mama's blog, but since he's young I'm not sure how "halloweeny" they are getting this year. We haven't heard what Alexandra will be. Only the Shadow knows.

OK, it doesn't really fit. But, does it matter? Um, no. Moving on.

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Sort of the "Knightrider" version of a swan?

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Now, these two looked like they were singin' a duet to me.

And, we're going to an SMU soccer game after the trick or treating, with S's work folk. I'm sure there will be lots of cute costumes there too. We are, however, going sans costume. I couldn't get S to wear a turtle outfit. Or anything else. One year, I talked him into go as a "doctor" by wearing scrubs. That's about it. He would make an adorable turtle though, no?

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Speaking of sweet, I'll do my best to stay on the D-I-E-T this weekend. Have I mentioned how much I hate diets? Well, I do. I hate them. I hate being on them. And this fact should keep me from eating to begin with, don't you think? Somehow that didn't work. So, I'll try to stick with it. I promise NOTHING.

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Paper butterflies.
Under the paper moon, over the cardboard sea.

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Big Tex's belt. A big one for sure.

So, Happy Halloween, if you're a big party-er yourself. If you are taking your kids or grandkids around. If you are handing out candy like a good neighbor, or if you're like us, living up Halloween vicariously through someone else's kids. Whatever you're doing, be responsible and stay safe! And that's an order!

See you next November, for goodness sake!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sailing White Rock Lake

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Before we get started with this post, I want to say my thoughts and prayers are with two families this week - first, the family of S's cousin Mary, who, after fighting valiantly, went to be with her Lord on Monday. Her services are Friday, and S and I plan to attend. What a wonderful sweet woman she was and she will be missed by many.

The second family is my cousin Soni and her family, as her husband Irv "went to be with Jesus" as Soni put it, after a courageous fight against pancreatic cancer. His services are Saturday and Monday in Indiana, so we will not be able to attend. But I will certainly be thinking of her as she will have several long and trying days ahead, no matter how strong or positive she is (and she is strong AND positive and an incredibly faithful woman) and for her family as they all mourn the death of a wonderful man who did so much for so many.

Both of these families can be reassured that their loved one is no longer in pain. But, I am also sure, no matter how comforting that fact is, that there will be many times when they miss them so much it hurts. I hope they find their way through those moments through their family and friends and faith. God bless all of them.

OK, so now, a little bit about some lighten the mood on a Thursday and offer a diversion:

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When my mom and I went to the Dallas Arboretum for the Harvest Tea, when we were walking around the gardens afterward, there was a sailboat race on the water. So, of course, I took some photos.

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I don't really understand sailboat races. We saw one when we were in Wisconsin. They get out there, sort of in a line, a siren sounds, the boats start moving, and then another siren sounds and they start moving in another direction. And then at some point it's over. It's a mystery to me, but I think they make for good photos!

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I also saw a great sailboat, perfectly placed, in West Palm Beach, you might remember. They are just picturesque subjects!

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So, while you're looking at the pretty sails, I'll tell you what I'm up to today...I am giving my first public performance on the guitar. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking what I'm thinking. And that is - what on earth was I thinking???

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Even the bikers were interested, I guess!

I've only been taking guitar for ten months. I can play scales. And a few chords. And an etude or two. But, sister, these skills are not for public consumption. They are for my living room. However, somehow, I'll be playing in public today. Go figure.

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But the thing is the Halloween party at work is a big deal. People dress up. And, now, as of a few years ago, skits are part of the festivities. People who work in operations are not the most creative when it comes to skit writing. Or performing. So, in order to be "team players" and join in the fun, my co-worker Margaret and I are going to perform a piano-guitar duet. That is our "skit."

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The really good part is - Margaret is an excellent pianist - actually, she's also an organist. I'll be able to ride her coattails somewhat. That goodness for that! Also good - this time tomorrow, it'll all be over and no one will remember one bit of it. Also very good.

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This one is so Dallas - a UT shirt in the boat, and an iconic house in the background.

So, if public performances are not in your schedule today, count yourself lucky. Unless, of course, you make your livelihood from public performances. Then, of course, knock yourself out. I'll be counting myself lucky to be backstage again tomorrow.

See you then.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Cheryl Mum

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S's "mum" has a mum named after her. Did you know that? Yes, certainly the Cheryl mum was named after Cheryl, my mother-in-law. No doubt about it.

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Why, you ask? Well, because they are both lovely in every way, of course. She's actually prettier than the her namesake mum, inside and out!

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And Cheryl has had a tough row of it recently, with S's dad Sam in hospital. I mean, he's doing well, but it turns your life upside down, visiting, worrying, caring. And, of course, I am sure if you asked her, she'd say it was no big deal.

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But, it IS a big deal. She HAS to be tired. No matter what! So, I thought today would be a good day to showcase the "CHERYL" mum and make sure she remembers we are all here to help her and we all appreciate her very much.

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I am a lucky girl to have such a wonderful mother-in-law and great in-laws in general. I have known them almost half my life at this point, and they have always made me feel like a welcome member of their family. They do that with everyone - make them feel welcome. And, I know they have lots of family and friends who have tried to help them - return the favor - as they are stuck in this new routine. And that is very nice, too. But, Cheryl is getting the brunt of the burden, no matter how you slice it, so I thought she might like to see some of her namesake mums today. I hope they make her smile for a second.

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And, lucky for my in-laws, they will most likely get to celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary on Friday in hospital. I am sure THAT will make it memorable, won't it. No, not so much. Ahem.

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If S's dad Sam had a blog he'd be leading the charge to shout out his appreciation. To sing the praises of his Cheryl. That's for sure. I know they can both hang in there a little while more until Sam is home, where there will still be recuperating to do, but it'll be a little easier. But it won't be easy. I hope they will let us help as we can and that our help eases the burden a bit.

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So, to S's mum, this mum's for you!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


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I know this blog has taken a rather buggy turn as of late. That and flowers. So, I'm sure some of you will look at this post and yawn. Sorry. The truth is, I've been so doggone busy that it's amazing anything is being posted at all. And, those moments when I get to fixate on photography, well, there have been bugs and butterflies and flowers and such. I promise we'll get back to some cooking (not sure what on this diet, but we can watch OTHERS cook) and some other events in the area, architecture, random musings etc. I promise. One day.

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But, for today - when I was at the Dallas Arboretum with my mom for her birthday, we spotted this green dragonfly on the green holly, and I had to take some shots.

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Of course, a different color background would have been nice, but you can't have everything, can you. No, you can't. Hate to burst that bubble for ya.

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Anyway, he was chewing on one of them thar leaves, and was paying us no nevermind. So, that meant he wasn't averse to my mom and I shooting away with our cameras. She also got some pretty photos of him. Or her. We could go with my friend Michael's philosophy and name her Penelope. Right Michael? Right. Penelope it is. ;-)

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That one is actually sideways, but I thought it worked just fine without flipping it up - it may even look a little more natural at this angle.

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Another sideways one.

Did you like that movie? Sideways? I'm not sure I did. I mean, I wanted to like it. I usually like sleeper hits - indie films - and I liked some of the actors, and I certainly like the California wine region. Heck, I'm storing half of it's previous fruits in my house.

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OK, maybe not half. Just way too much. Certainly way too much. That's what signing up for one of those wine clubs will do for ya. Beware. Resist the urge to sign up when you're there, sitting in the winery, believing you want to live like that every single day and take a piece of the California wine region home with you. Really, trust me. There is plenty of good wine on the store shelves wherever you live. I guarantee it.

I especially have too much wine since it's not on the D-I-E-T. Anyway, I don't think I liked the movie. They were too into themselves - the characters, that is, I think. Not sure. What do you think?

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And, God help me, my co-worker Mark said I'd become irascible on this here diet. I think he might be right. I went to the grocery with S - who, God bless him, has been picky as long as I've known him, but picks THIS PARTICULAR POINT in our relationship to branch out and try new things. When pretty much the whole store is full of stuff NOT ON THE DIET. Ahem. I'm working through it. It's just tough for a known class A fat girl who happens to like food. It's really tough. Amen.

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But back to that dragonfly. Penelope. She was a pretty one, no? I hope you liked her.

Off to eat some twigs. Much love for your Tuesday. See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scenes from a Fair, Take Two

So, now that I've "mastered" the new Flickr procedure for posting photos (it does take a greasemonkey script to work) I am going to try again today to bring you some of my favorite photos and memories from this year's State Fair.

Of course, I am a big fan of some of the marine shots I've already shared. And of the inside of the Creative Arts building. These are some of the others. And they represent every single trip I took to the fair this year, I think!

Here we go:

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The Fletcher's Corny Dog I ate.

OK, so maybe it wasn't a favorite. Well, of course the eating part - THAT was a favorite. But the photo didn't turn out as I planned. I thought it would be hugely artistic. There are three versions. None of them are grand. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. But, hey, look at it this way - by including this one, it can only go up from here!

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The locomotive you can see without paying the fee.

I really wanted to go into the Age of Steam train museum, because I hear it is moving to Grapevine next year. And sister, I don't make it out to Grapevine very often. And, I thought it would be cool to take some locomotive photos. But, unlike the other museums during the fair, there is an additional admission of $4 to enter. Not that I batted an eye spending $4 on fried butter mind you, but given there is so much to see at the fair without paying one more stinkin' dime, I decided it was not worth it. So I will probably never take photos of the trains beyond that big beautiful one.

I should say something about the light - it was the harsh mid-day sun. And there was a glare. But, I thought in this shot I was able to use those conditions to somewhat of an advantage for an interesting photo.

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S and Wayne, after the shoot em' up game.

This one is a favorite for one main reason. My beau is prominently placed in it, with, amazingly enough, a SMILE on his face. He and our friend Wayne, the art critic, took their chances at this game where you have to shoot every last morsel of a star off a sheet of paper to win. Both Wayne and S clearly aimed and shot in the center of the target. Yet, niether of them won a prize. Tricky, huh? Yeah, really tricky.

It also reminds me of all those hours at Bass Pro Shop. Yes, that's right - I bet you never saw me in one of those did ya. Well, you see, one activity S and Wayne endorse for time spent together is for us and he and Tricia to meet up at Bass Pro Shop so the boys can lose rolls of quarters (they will actually plan ahead and bring rolls of quarters with them, obtained via a special, planned trip to the bank) in their shoot em' up game. Tricia and I have seen our fair share of every square inch of the store while they are doing this. We usually just walk about and visit. The recliners are the ugliest things I've ever seen, (a Bass Pro Shop exclusive, no less) but quite comfortable. I am sure we will see the seats of those recliners once again sometime in the near future, so it is only fitting S and Wayne took in this particular game together at the fair.

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A State Fair Coupon or two.

It was Tricia's idea to photograph these...while we were standing in line to purchase fried butter. I actually sort of liked the end result. They are certainly iconic at the fair. And we certainly consumed a whole bunch of them. That's a technical term for "many."

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The Food and Fiber Building

Nothing too spectacular - I mean, you could get a free cheese quesadilla and see Elsie and Beauregard inside. But, what I like about the photo is it highlights one little bit of the fairgrounds' Art Deco buildings. They are really quite stunning, if falling apart at the edges. At the fair, we try to forget the falling apart part. Ahem.

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Speaking of Art Deco...

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One night when we were waiting to view the laser light show (which was new and pretty good this year) I took several photos of these beautiful ladies, thinking they might be contenders for next year's photo contest. I'm not sure about all of that, but they are pretty cool lit up at night nonetheless.

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Speaking of iconic fair images...

The automobile buildings are a main feature at the State Fair. Such a big draw, in fact, that my mother says the past years when she had come to the fair with us we only took her there. I think that might be an exaggeration, but they are large and jam packed with cars. Then, the trucks are outside, so there are lots of people movers of this variety to check out. In the olden days, this was a bigger deal, because car makers would unveil their new models at the State Fair of Texas. Nowadays, this seldom occurs. Although, this year, Toyota did unveil the new 4Runner at the fair. So, the old fogeys like my S felt vindicated. [He's not really that old, he just acts like it. ;-)]

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Say it isn't so!

Sort of like finding Santa and Mrs. Claus smokin' with the elves behind the mall in December, the head of this costumed character sat in the middle of the truck exhibit looking for a home - er, head. Suddenly, in a blink of an eye, my belief in the GMC blonde buckaroo was dashed. Especially since the person who suited up and put this head upon their own was an African American woman. Go figure.

In case you were confused, this isn't Disney World. The same rules do not apply. Ahem.

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The Old Mill Inn

Yep, this is at the fair too. And it's open all year. Never been in. Pretty building, though, no?

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The Women's Museum

Another example of stunning Art Deco architechture. Beautiful.

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We watched the flag ceremony the night my dad and Torchy went to the fair with us. And, that night, this very junior ROTC group was in charge. Something about little kids in fatigues with the American flag seemed to make a good photo to me.

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Will you take a LOOK at that SIGN???
God Bless Gaudy. Amen.

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Yep, she qualified.

I'm not exactly sure she DID qualify, but when we walked up to the gate on Seniors Day, they gave her a free ticket for admission, no questions asked. She doesn't look a day over 40 does she? But, my mama wasn't going to argue with a free ticket to the fair.

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Now, these ladies had moves.

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A highlight of seniors day!

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And, another "sexy lady" was found in the cattle barn...
...just read her tag!

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Yes, the fair was that empty.

Most days we went this year, since Dallas saw a record setting set of rainy days in early October, the fair was pretty light. They were delighted to have perfect weather the last weekend of the fair to try to make up for lost time. I am not sure they did, but we didn't mind walking around without having to fight the crowd. We had jackets and an umbrella and we were good to go!

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On one of the sunnier days, we enjoyed watching the miniature trains around Big Tex.

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And their miniature passengers!

That's about enough for today I think. I've got a few more to share on another post. But, for today, last but not least, I had to of course go by to visit my good friends:

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They were well, bobbing along as always.

Happy Monday! See you tomorrow!