Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Art of Ignoring

I have always envied those moms who could have loud, crazy youngins around and not seem to notice or be disturbed by the rambunctious antics.

I have never been successful at that skill...but I just realized, three days before school starts, before my yountgest enters high school, they have been runnin' amoc as the heat of the season and the boredom of summer has set in. Ramble rousing around my feet, behind my back, in front of me. Loud and roudy...

I am, for the most part, disengaged. I have been ignoring them.


Oh, now they are reading over my shoulder! I love my boys!!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Groupon, Discoveries and Beautiful Saturday Mornings

Do you Groupon? I Groupon drool. Living in a city of only 80,000 (county takes the area to 100k) over half of which is under the poverty line, there is not a market for Groupon here.  But I subscribe to Atlanta and Philadelphia. Atlanta is only 3.5 hours away, and Traveler lives in Philly and who knows what great birthday or Christmas gift I might come upon. I guess I should say Groupon is on line "Coupon" for discounts at various businesses, from restaurants to gyms to spas to teeth whitening or designer cupcakes..

Because I check out the site, the magic world of marketing and internet, conveniently places an ad at the top of my yahoo page for Groupon. It shows current deals for various cities. Today I noticed New York City pop up, so I went to check it out.

The discount today is for a New York City Photo Safari ($40 for an $80 tour). A tour with advice on taking photos. Instruction and tour combined. Oh how wonderful that sounds... for me...but I am SOUTH Georgia. So I thought, "hmmmm, maybe I could get it and tell hubs we had to go to would be fun!." I would love to go back and now have a spot to bookmark if I do, but that is probably not the way to make it happen.
So as I was wishing there was somewhere closer I decided to check out Atlanta, and there is. And I missed a great one that was being hosted tonight. A full moon photo tour workshop... but again, I have something to watch for and plan.

As I was looking I glanced out the window and saw, on this early Saturday morning, part of my crew out working on replacing our mailbox - the baseball bat bandits have mutilated the other and the duct tape is not holding any longer. Can't imagine what the mailman had to say when it fell off in his hands the other day...
(the bat bandits had been hitting about every 3 months, so we just kept repairing/improvising the other one).

And the sun shining through the limbs was energizing. And though it will be hot as ever in a few more hours, the 76 degrees was relatively comfortable. And it is the weekend...

Hope you all have a great one!

Oh, and for a groupon near you

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Roman Raspberry Sorbetto

Eases disappointment...

I can finally update you about the job interview.

I did not get it...

I am thankful for the income I have and who knows what awaits, or maybe this is what I am to be doing now. I am thankful for the call to end the wait, annoyed at the dream I had last night that was me not getting the you ever have those dreams? The ones that come true? This dream left that feeling...

So tomorrow I continue on this path, prepare food for one of my favorite customers (I love her kitchen, and her gadgets and the company of her and those in her home)... and the menu is

Pesto Stuffed Chicken

Cordon Bleu Chicken Bake

Stuffed French Bread

Pesto Chicken Ravioli


Tomato Pie

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Figs Have It...

Have my attention!

Three trees, varying sizes...

Covered with fruit

Ready for picking. This year it looks like I might get more than the birds. But then I have to do something with them, and I can only eat so many straight off the tree, and that is where blogland comes in - I LOVE recipes! I have made fig muffins and a fig tart and I have laced pork kabobs with figs for grilling and, well I have not gotten to the fig ice cream yet, just not too sure about that one!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


As I made mention way back in my first post about our trip to Philly, I noticed tennis shoes tossed over power lines.

I knew I remembered this from a movie my children watched when they were younger, a basketball player and a local young player?? I don’t remember, but I also know I have heard since that it signifies a gang area. Traveler said she heard that it meant you could buy drugs in that area. I found it entertaining though. Scattered throughout the city tennis shoes were hanging. Most the time we were on them before I had a chance to grab the camera – I don’t know why it intrigued me, but it became a joke, too, every time I saw them hanging.

As we did a pre-drive through the neighborhood of one potential room to rent, beyond the broken down cars, the rough neighborhood inhabitants and the hard core urban jungle feel, we saw the shoes hanging! Nope not here.

Since I am not one to run too fast with iffy information, I have googled about the hanging shoes. I found many ideas about the shoes tossed over the lines:

tennis shoes hanging over a power line meant you could buy crack there.

It's a time-honored tradition to throw your sneakers over the power lines on the last day of school.

Either they're meant to increase visibility for low-flying aircraft, frighten rattlesnakes away, or just for the hell of it.

a gang sign — sneakers hanging over telephone or electrical wires were to designate gang turf.

a former shoe thrower. After getting a new pair of sneakers, it was a common ritual in my neighborhood to tie the shoelaces of your old pair together and throw them up on the telephone wires. What else are you going to do with your old pair of sneakers?

Some neighborhoods it signifies the death of someone

A rite of passage for a forthcoming marriage

In Scotland, it possibly announces to a young man’s friends that he has lost his...well you know . . . .

Either they're meant to increase visibility for low-flying aircraft, frighten rattlesnakes away, or just for the hell of it.
What a list, from the sinister, to the sad, to jubilant to just ornery...

I like to think that in Philly, it just added to the use of art that was so prevalent throughout the city. So I think Shoefiti is the perfect title for shoes on a power line. So go express yourself, give 'em something to talk about, toss some shoes! Well maybe not, you might have some unwanted visitors . . .

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Whispering Wednesday: Never too late for fireworks

Mexico Beach Florida, by day

and by night

and by day again...

shhhhh...... smiles!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dark Tourism You Say?

Ok, so I am going back to the trip to Eastern State Penn in Philadelphia, why? Well because there were so many elements there and the pictures, to me, were really cool.

Al Capone's cell - recreated

The site was listed as a place to check out, and in my thinking, a great guy stop for Will and The Man while in Philadelphia. But it really has much more to it. 

The original mission of this penitentiary, the first in the world, was for penitence - not necessarily punishment. The thought of the organizers was, if a person had time alone to evaluate their life, search their souls, they would return to society free of the desire to steal, kill, ummm, sell their goods so to speak, imbibe and so forth.  Each cell had a small courtyard. Offenders were taken into their cell from an outside entrance, into the courtyard and into their cell - heads covered with a mask. During their two 30 minute breaks during the day, the had to wear the head cover. Just saying that sounds harsh, unnecessary, but to the founders of this system, it was a way to respect the individuals, a hope that when they returned to society, no other prisoners would recognize another, a clean start I suppose.

Each cell had a skylight that was called the "eye of God"

Over the years, after much complaint (world wide)  criminals did not spend their entire incarceration in silence and solitude, that changed, and harden criminals became much more involved in each other's space and lives, as it were.

While that was interesting, more so was what I saw in the now, in the present.

(notice the blue sign?)

Much of the peeling and flaking of walls was actually caused by water damage - not time. The structure itself is quite solid.

In an atrium area I kinda got tickled.  A lady walked over to the gate to the wing, squatted to take a close up shot, then I noticed someone behind her...

See the figure further back - she was applying mascara here, but a few minutes earlier I had noticed her with a curling iron working on her hair. Of course I had to take this picture - you have architecture, photography and PRIMPING...

As we walked down the wings I noticed TV sets in one cell playing over and over prison scenes from movies over the past 20 years.

Another had a large screen with two cameras playing the same vintage clips of scenes outside the prison gates, coming together in the middle, creating rather interesting scenes.

Pictures on easels. Stone cats to represent the cat population there too.

Like I noticed in other parts of Philadelphia - art is all around. Even in a prison... There were many displays, and some that were not actual, on purpose displays, like what I noticed here

It might have been placed there on purpose, but it was not an artist's work, but I liked the one way sign lying there pointing towards the light shining in through the "eye of God" window.

One artist had decorated the windows of the old greenhouse.

Throughout the site we would notice signs, like street signs hanging.

In the distance, to the left - there is a blue sign

We finally noticed a plaque about the signs. Each sign was a location of a tragedy - Charles Manson, Antietam, Chernobyl, and many others.

Kinda creepy, but this display is a part of a type of tourism - Dark Tourism. I had never heard of it, but then as I was walking through this prison, I suppose I am a part of it. Dark Tourism is the act of travel to sites that have real or recreated death, suffering or the macabre as their main theme. Sub genres include Poverty Tourism, Grief Tourism, Suicide Tourism, Assassination Tourism, and Prison Tourism.

I suppose taking my kids to the Habitat for Humanity Museum - where there are displays of poverty in other countries - would fall under the Poverty Tourism? hmmmm and kinda creepy - have you been a part of dark tourism and did not know it? Visited any battlefield? Cemeteries? I thought that was all just historical - who knew...

Oh, at any given time, there were no more than 200 detainees.  The day before we toured here, we toured the New Jersey Battleship.  While the cells may seem small at Eastern State Penn, here is a comparison:

The battleship housed 1500 to as many as 2100 men at any given time - three level bunks a few feet from another? Makes Al Capone's cell look like a mansion.

So this tour was interesting - there was history, there was art, there was thought provoking tidbits - and oh, there were models.  As we entered from the outside of one wing, there was a flash of light, when we looked  down the wing there was a beautiful young lady, posing in her high heels, flowing dress and perfect hair against a backdrop of age and stories. And an irritated photographer we could hear say," I can't take any picture until that man moves down there." That man being my husband - I was apparently not in the way. Smile.

 That lady fixing her eyes? Must have been there for the shoot too!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time Flies...

Oh My!

Has it really been a week? I had planned on telling more about Eastern State Penn...and still do.

But first, I have some work to do today, to get out of the way becaaaaaaaauuuuuussssssse

I Have A Job Interview!!!

I am excited, nervous, apprehensive and so on.

With how all this has come about, I am curious to see what God has for me, is this a corner to be turned? Is this a way to let me see into my options or what, but we will see!

And then after that? I will be back with more of my Philly thoughts and sites. Don't run, really there are some intersting tidbits...

And Happy First Day of July!