Fractured Facade


"A fathers death...a daughter's life...a sociopath's vendetta...FRACTURED FACADE ...a novel written as memoir. Only $3.99 and only on Amazon! Kindle Unlimited Members read for free! Click here - Amazon

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THE VALENTINE'S DAY CURSE -- A Short Story, is Free on Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Page Foundry and Tolino

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lost Post

I'm pissed. I spent an hour blogging. Went to post it. Got an error and now the freaking thing is gone. Blogger's really been sucking lately. I'll take this as a sign to step away from the computer...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peach Blossoms

One of the two peach trees we just planted less than two weeks ago has blossomed already. I hope the cold snap we just had didn't kill the possibility of peaches, which brings up the following question...Is it possible to even get peaches in a tree's first year?





Monday, March 29, 2010

Bike Parts Vending Machine

When I was younger I loved riding my bike in Brooklyn. Here in Roanoke, not so much. A couple of things make it less than attractive to me, including having to wear a helmet, and the lycra/spandex uniform that seems to be mandatory, particularly among men of all shapes and sizes. (That's a post for another day.)

Since I live on top of a hill and near a busy road, anywhere I would choose to ride would have to be gotten to via my car, which means I would have to find a way to squish my bike in the back of it. Not only is that impractical, but losing weight notwithstanding, it sorta defeats the purpose of riding a bicycle in the first place. There are many hills and valleys that this out of shape body would not be able to handle, and where there are straight semi-level paths, I certainly would never be comfortable riding in the roads with cars. Many bikers here do not seem to have the same worries as I do because lately there are tons of them. Biking is so popular here from what I've heard, read and seen, it's almost cult-like. (That's a post for another day too.)

The other day I read this article about a bike parts vending machine recently being put in Brooklyn..."the machine is stocked with bells ($2 to $10), locks ($5), inner tubes ($6), lights, bicycle tire patch kits ($2), pumps, brake pads, etc". I wonder if something like that would be effective here in Roanoke. Would if work downtown, or would it work better on some of the well-traveled but out of the way trails? What do you bikers think? I don't think anyone would get rich with it but it could be profitable, particularly if its linked with one of the bicycle stores that have been springing up. So bikers, feel free to share the idea, but please, no spandex in the machine. Okay?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Numb, Not Dumb

My husband regretted having me go with him to have the doctor look at something that was growing on his knuckle. For weeks he kept poking at it trying to make it "go away." I couldn't stand looking at it so I dragged him to the doctor. Apparently it's some sort of cyst that usually sprouts on the wrist and not the knuckle. The doctor gave him three choices...do nothing...try to drain it with a huge needle...or get surgery. He opted for choice # 2. I couldn't watch. The doctor said it might not work, or it could come back again. To be honest I don't see any difference afterwards other than my wallet being a couple of hundred dollars lighter. Well maybe a teeny-tiny little difference, but not much. Getting surgery is out of the question so for now he's just going to deal with it. I suggested putting duct tape on it for a couple of days to try and smother the thing but my husband won't go for it.

A more important discovery form that visit was that my husband's blood pressure was up again. It hadn't been high in years but now it was spiking. Last year, particularly the last couple of months, have been stressful to him as he worried about keeping the shop open. Thankfully since the weather has broken people are emerging from their houses and we've been busy again, but that doesn't mean the physical damage to his body hasn't already been done. The doctor put him on blood pressure medicine which at first my husband didn't want to take. The doctor handed me the brochure and asked if I'd like to see my husband drooling in a nursing home after he had a stroke. He's taking the pills.

While we were there the doctor asked about his cholesterol levels. Last time he had them checked was two years ago at the Carillion Clinic. We both did and my levels were higher than his! When I mentioned that to the doctor he asked me what I was doing for it. I said I was trying to keep it under control by diet and exercise (I actually said this with a straight face.) He informed me that high cholesterol is usually 70%/30% genetic/diet so if I had a family history (I do) no matter how much I exercised and watched my diet I couldn't bring it down to a good level. I just brushed it off. We were there for my husband, not me. The doctor drew blood to check his levels.

The next day they called and told my husband to come back in. His levels were high but they wouldn't give us specific numbers, so he made an appointment to go back in two weeks. I'll be curious to see if his levels are lower than my most recent test in December. At that time my gyn told me to make an appointment with my family doctor to get on medicine. I ignored him, but now I'm having second thoughts.

For the last couple of weeks I've been feeling really strange -- sluggish, easily winded, my arms and legs fall asleep, a lot. Sometimes when I'm sleeping, and sleep is rare in itself, I awake arms numb and have to shake them to get the circulation moving. I can feel my heart flutter once in a while. The latest event is that my lower lip will suddenly vibrate for no reason at all, like the heart flutter. I'm thinking that maybe the blood is not flowing free enough through my body. I'm thinking that maybe I do need to get on medicine because I don't want to wind up drooling in a nursing home with my husband feeding me. I know a sign when I see one. I may be numb, but not dumb. I made an appointment to see the doctor the day before my husband goes. While I'm there I may ask for sleeping pills as well. I need to fall asleep and then stay asleep for more than two hours at a time. Maybe it's time I stopped being so anti-medication. I'm not getting any younger, or healthier, without it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Era Sucked?

Whenever I mention how something that I've recently tried is so much better now than what I remember growing up, my kids always come with the same refrain, "That's because most everything from your era sucked." My era? What am I a dinosaur? Here's just a couple of things off the top of my head that we've discussed recently as being "new and improved" since my era...

3-D movies - I refused to go see "Avatar" or "Alice in Wonderland," and have gotten annoyed at so many new movies being released in 3-D, because I hate 3-D movies which I felt were always crappy and gave me a headache. The kids have tried to explain to me, numerous times, that they no longer use the cheap cardboard one eye red - one eye blue glasses and instead have upgraded the quality to what looks like a Blues Brothers black frame plastic pair with darkened lenses. Apparently these glasses work much better and doesn't give the patron a headache. I wouldn't know since I have yet to put a pair of the new ones on. It is my understanding that admission is higher for 3-D movies as well. I won't be going with my husband to see one anytime soon as he only has one working eye so 3-D is sort of useless for him.

Yogurt - I hated yogurt growing up. It always left a nasty after-taste, and the only type you could get were the ones where you had to mix up the fruit from the bottom. There weren't many flavors either and my mother always seemed to buy the crappiest ones they had. Since my daughter re-introduced me to yogurt with flavors like amaretto cheesecake, coconut custard and cappuccino I eat at least one a day. I even like the plain Greek yogurt which I mix with a little cottage cheese, fresh fruit and almond slivers or chopped walnuts. I don't know how much of a diet food it is with that combo, but it is delicious.

Video games - I loved Pong. When I had to give up my Pong game in my first divorce I practically cried. "Take the house, not the Pong!" They don't make games like that anymore and my kids say, "Thank God!" after I bought a bootleg version which is nowhere near as cool as the original round-knobbed one. They lump Pong with Atari which I also liked, just not as much as Pong. You know what video games are popular these days and none of them appeal to me, except maybe Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but not even those anymore since my son upgraded his television. Now there's a lag so that I cannot play drums like I used to. Well, I still play the same way but it doesn't register as me hitting the notes at the right time. The kids say it's me, but I know it's the tv, which brings me to...

HDTV - I hate it. I bought a flat screen for my son for his 18th birthday. Apparently that's all you can get now - HDTVs. Well, if you don't have HDTV service the picture stinks. It looks all distorted to me no matter which of the nine settings you use. My son doesn't have a problem with it because using it for his XBOX Live or World of Warcraft from the computer, makes everything look "amazing." And since he doesn't watch "regular" tv much he could care less and thinks I'm being too critical. Since I wouldn't be using it for playing video games I pray my regular old television hangs in there a while longer.

Thermometers - I agree with them, digital rules. I grew up with the old-fashioned mercury thermometer. They don't believe me when I say whenever one of the thermometers broke I would play with the "metal ball." "That's mercury!" Hey what can I say, I had crappy and dangerous toys, including a glass cutting machine. I would take jars, or glass bottles and put it on this device which rotated the glass so a blade would cut it. Then I would take a sandpaper-like pad and file down the glass so that it had a smooth edge. My fingers would usually bleed a bit but I could drink from the new "glass" if I didn't mind getting a cut lip. Could you imagine buying such a "toy" for your child nowadays? Haha!

I guess some things from my era did suck a bit...Care to add to the list?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Poor "Dan Mustaf"

I received the following e-mail from "Dan Mustaf." I wonder how many other people got the same letter and if any of them are stupid enough to actually contact Dan. There was one guy I think on "Intervention" who actually fell for many scams similar to this one and sent, I believe, over $600,000 over a time period in order to cash in. What I can't understand is if he had $600,000 to begin with why would he even bother? Also, why didn't his family stop him before he ruined their lives?

At least Dan's letter is a little different than the usual scam from Nigeria, and he didn't use the names Smith or Jones and instead went with Mustaf and Abdul which is probably the equivalent to Smith or Jones in the Arab world. Poor poor Dan doesn't trust anyone...

"Hello Dear,

I am Mr. Dan Mustaf,

My purpose of writing to you is this: there is a business deal of Ј25Million
that I did with one Mr. Mohammed Abdul which we agreed that he will take 30%
while I take 70% now I have transferred Ј10Million to him and he collected the
money 7days ago, he called me three today ago and say I should go to hell that I
will never see him again.

The balance of the deal which is Ј15million was transferred four days ago to one
of the Arab country which I will tell you as we go on.

I don’t have any one now who can receive this Ј15Million and the must difficult
thing for me now is I don’t trust any one any more.

I want to see if you can help me in getting and keeping the money till I come I
can give you 30%. If you are capable reply me now with your name and your phone
number so that we can discus before we proceed.

Mr. Mustaf"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Salem Spring Sights

Since yesterday's weather ended up being better than it was supposed to, I couldn't stand working indoors all day so took a break from the shop and walked to the Salem library on Main Street. On my way I was able to capture some sights of Salem...















Monday, March 22, 2010

Weeping Willow

One of the first signs of spring by the river is the greening of the weeping willow trees...





This particular weeping willow has something strange hanging from it...



Odd, isn't it?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Having Fun Being Awkward

Since my kids said I was "awkward" I've been having a blast playing it up. Anything I do I preface with, "Would it be awkward if I....", or if I already did something I end with, "Gee, I hope that wasn't awkward...." One of my favorite use of the word has been when they ask me for something, like oh let's say gas money..."Don't you find it awkward asking me for money?" They don't.

I'm not the only one throwing the word around haphazardly...they've joined in and are doing it too, dramatically rolling their eyes while exclaiming, "Oh my God, that is really awkward" even when I'm performing the most mundane task that clearly is not awkward.

So I thought I would have even more fun with it by setting up a Facebook group called, "My Kids Think I'm Awkward." I'm sure there are many parents out there whose kids feel the same way about them as mine do about me. I thought it would be a fun place to vent and/or post what we do that makes our kids think we're awkward. I do have to tip my hat to my son for being politically correct in saying I'm awkward instead of what he probably really feels, "You're embarrassing me."

I asked my kids to help me set the group up but they wouldn't as apparently even thinking about creating the group reinforces my awkwardness. So I took their advice of "Google is your friend" and did the best I could by myself. They don't think I'll get people to join the group...I think they're wrong. I can't be the only awkward parent around!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm Awkward

Well, it finally happened. My kids feel the same way about me as I felt about my parents when I was their age. I never thought it would happen, but it did. I always said I would never be like them, but I guess I am. The difference between my parents and me is that now that I know what my kids think about me, I will torture them with the very word my son used to describe me...awkward.

Think back to when you were 18 or 16. Remember how embarrassing your parents were to you? How lame they were? Yeah, that's me now. I found this out when I went to see the piece of crap "Shutter Island" with my son. He's become a movie buff, and usually goes with his friends, so when he said he would come to the movies with me I looked forward to hanging out with him. My son makes me laugh with his wry and sarcastic sense of humor, even when its directed at me.

I saw that it annoyed him a little that I wanted to go to the Salem Valley 8 instead of Tanglewood, or anywhere else in the Roanoke Valley. It's closer to home and they have a better matinee price. I think I first embarrassed him when they told me that a popcorn and two sodas would be $16.50. He winced when I said, "Are you crazy?!" to the teen behind the counter. It just came out. I couldn't help it. $16.50 for two sodas and a popcorn is crazy. It only cost $11 to get into the movie for the both of us! Instead I went for the large popcorn and soda which at least entitled us to unlimited refills, for a mere $13.50. I think my son cringed when I asked for a small cup so I could siphon some coke into it. He's lucky I didn't smuggle cans of Pepsi in my pocketbook.

When we walked into the theatre it was dark, and I mean pitch black, can't see your hand in front of your face, walking in Dixie Caverns dark. We found a spot in the middle of the theatre. I kept walking down front but my son stopped me, "Where are you going?" Ummmm, closer? No. This was fine. We couldn't see if there were other people around us but I heard them talking. One voice kept getting closer and closer and I was worried she was going to sit on our laps so I pulled out my cell phone to light up where we were so she wouldn't, and told my son that's what I was doing. Well that little maneuver set him off. This was his exact words..."See that's why I don't go out with you much any more." My response...."Why? Because I put my cellphone on so someone won't sit on our laps?" His..."No, because you're....ummmmm....awkward." Mine..."Awkward? What do you mean...awkward?" His...."Awkward...you do things that make you awkward. Like that." Me...."Really? That's awkward? You think I'm awkward?" Him..."It's not just that...but yes, you're sometimes awkward. Would you rather I lied to you?" I dunno....ummmm, yes?

So as soon as the trailers start the lights come up (guess they got that backwards) and I could see the theatre is pretty empty except for the couple who almost sat on our laps and the family that sat directly in front of us. After the trailers end the screen turns off and muzak starts to play. The lights are now up. I let out a sigh knowing they're screwing up and wonder if anyone is going to alert the staff. I look around and no one seems to be concerned. I turn to my son, "I know you may think this is awkward but I'm going to the lobby to tell them to turn the movie on." He tells me I don't have to as the guy sitting next to him had gotten up already. We wait. The guy comes back holding a huge tub of popcorn. I have a feeling he didn't report anything, so I get up. I ask the kids in the lobby what's going on with the movie and they don't know what I'm talking about. Ooooops! They run up to the projector room and start the film, no the film had already started, it just wasn't being projected, so we missed the first ten minutes. They couldn't restart it. My son: "See, I told you this theatre sucks."

So we sat through the rest of the movie which I thought sucked and my son thought was okay. When I complained about it he said, "See that's what I mean." Me..."What do you mean? I can't not like a movie?" Him..."You always make me feel like a moron if I like something you don't." Me..."Wow, I never realized that...geeze, that's a little brutal....hmmmm, is it worse to be a moron or awkward?" Him..."You're never gonna let me live that word down, are you?" "Nope, I'm not, because I'm freaking awesome, I mean awkward."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Roanoke Hails Seinfeld



Roanokers hailed Seinfeld last night as he performed for about an hour to a packed house at the Performing Arts Center. This was the first time I've been to that part of the Civic Center and gotta say I was pleasantly surprised. It was much more comfortable than the arena. I don't know if that's because I was in the fourth row or not, but it was great to be able to stretch out my legs. Great seats, but maybe a little over-priced for an hour and fifteen minute's worth of laughter, but then again, it was Seinfeld, so really it was fine by me.

When we arrived and I head the Frank Sinatra songs belting out I turned to my husband and said after, "New York, New York" the show will start. "How do you know?" "I'm a New Yorker, Jerry's a New Yorker, Frank's a New Yorker, of course that's what's gonna happen." And it did.

Another Jewish comedian, whose name I don't know opened up as soon as the last "New York" was belted out. He was pretty funny, although I don't think the crowd appreciated the "Roanoke even has a barber shop" comment. I had a feeling he was going to do more small town or Southern bashing but thought better of it as the crowd warmed up to him and he to us. I don't remember if he said something about the only other thing to do last night was attend a Civil War Convention (they can't get over they lost) or if it was Jerry. I laughed, but the couple next to me didn't.

When Jerry came on he looked like he was wearing his father's suit which was two sizes too big. I'm assuming at 55 he put on weight, like we all have, and tried to camouflage it by wearing something larger. It didn't work and he ended up reminding me of Groucho Marx, he just needed to crouch down a little as he walked and plop the cigar in his mouth. His statute seemed much smaller in person but his comedy was as large as I expected it to be. He seemed to love to pronounce Roanoke with a condescending tone as if to say "what type of place is this, who do you think you are and what the hell am I doing here?" Row-A-Noke, Row-A-Noke, Row-A-Noke. That's how I say it sometimes when the people annoy me so I thought it was funny. I even wore my "Other Roanoke" t-shirt hoping he could see it from the stage and would goof on me.



I almost feel like Seinfeld uses Roanoke as a spring board to see what works and what doesn't with his new material. And it was all new material. And it was clean material, which is nice for a change. I could have taken the kids with us, but the tickets were too expensive (for them) anyway. Like any good comedian he can improvise on the spot and knows how to interact with the audience when they shout something out at him. In fact he gave the audience a chance to shout out a couple of questions when he came back on stage for his "encore." Among the questions asked were, "What kind of phone do you use?" Who the hell cares, but it's a Droid, if you do. "Will there ever be a reunion?" As Jerry said, I guess you don't watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm." And the best question of the night..."Did you ever hook up with Elaine?" Jerry's response was something to the effect..."You know that George and Kramer and Elaine are not real, right? They're characters." If I had a question to ask it would have been, "What restaurant did you go to tonight that they told you was the best Jerry, the best, but you thought sucked?"

We all know that the only reason Seinfeld even comes to Roanoke is because his business manager lives here (I think) so thank you Mr. business manager. I had a great time and will definitely see him next time he comes back. My only complaint was that I couldn't bring my glass of wine into the auditorium and the show was too short. Oh yea, and then there's the biggest complaint...the parking situation at the Civic Center sucks. I felt like we spent more time in the freaking lot trying to get out than we did inside watching the show. Roanokers just can't get the concept of one car lets another car go, and so on, and so forth.

The show was over by 8:30, and Seinfeld even remarked that gave the three people who were going to go out on the town time to do so. My husband and I were two of those three so we did head downtown in the pouring rain. Of course we couldn't find a spot near the restaurant we wanted to go to, so ended up going to Flannery's. I figured since it was St. Patrick's Day eve celebration in Roanoke what better place to have a drink than an Irish bar.

That place is the closest thing I've seen in Roanoke that mimics a true bar. Their prices for drinks were a little steep for the size, (I never saw a Bloody Mary served in such a small glass before) but after all it is "downtown" so that's probably why they get more. I couldn't wait to try the Shepherd's Pie. Surely an Irish joint knows how to make Shepherd's Pie. Unfortunately it was 9:05pm and that was five minutes too late as the kitchen no longer made Shepherd's Pie or anything else on the menu other than "fried foods." When I asked what fried foods I was told just appetizers. So that's what we had. Some potato chip things with cheese and bacon and chicken wings, which weren't too good. As I bit into the last chicken wing I noticed it was practically raw. Gag. Cross another joint off the list.

As we were talking about the show and about Jerry's dining experience we figured it had to be a place downtown. We ran through most of the restaurants we've been to and realized most of them do suck. There are many fine restaurants in Roanoke but not too many downtown. You just have to know where to go. So Jerry, next time you come to town, drop me a line and I'll hook you up.

More pics here...

Friday, March 12, 2010

High Tech Procrastination

I just had to post a link to Workforced's latest blog entry..."Social Notworking."

"The internet is a dangerous place for the office worker. For example, just imagine how surprised my manager was when he tried to order stationary from the website ‘Pen Island’ dot com, only to discover that it was actually ‘Penis Land’ dot com. At least, that’s the excuse that kept him his job. Personally, I think the internet is a fad. In five years we’ll all go back to wireless radio."

Luckily I'm my own boss, so don't have to worry about anyone looking over my shoulder, but agree totally that all these social networking sites can be nothing but "high tech procrastination." One thing's for sure, I used to have more fun hanging out by the water cooler with live people than I do now with cyber folks who you really never get to know.

"And then there’s Web 2.0: twice the waste of time of the old internet. Social networking has connected us far more than we ever wanted and we’re powerless to escape. I remember thinking when text messaging arrived: “Great, that’s just what my life needs, more typing”. Now add Twitter, which is text messaging over the internet, Myspace (which is anything but mine: someone else owns it), and the supreme evil of In-Your-Facebook. Its nothing but high tech procrastination!"

I could only imagine how much more time I would waste if I knew how to use AIM. Since I'm way behind on a couple of projects perhaps it's time I fired myself for wasting so much time on-line. Maybe I'll give myself a warning first, set time limits and see how that goes. If that doesn't work I'll have no choice but to get rid of myself...No one's indispensable.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Efficient but Lousy

I'm starting to wonder if the words "energy efficient" are really code for "extremely crappy product that costs more and works less." I recently "upgraded" to an energy efficient dishwasher, not even waiting for the cash for appliance scam, I mean program, to arrive in Virginia.

My old dishwasher was making all sorts of loud noises. It was so loud I couldn't put it on and then go to sleep because it would keep me up. Then some of the glasses and coffee pot started looking grungy and filmy. My family said it was my doing because I packed the darn thing to the very brim. I had it about ten years and paid a pittance for it so was surprised it even lasted as long as it did. I couldn't have my soon to be arriving cousin drinking out of scuzzy looking glasses so I thought I would just buy a more efficient, quieter and better working model. So, as I always do before buying anything, I do my research on the product, which includes which one is in stock that I could bring home immediately. I decided on a Maytag with all the bells and whistles and a good efficiency number. And, as always happens after I do my research and buy the product, I make the wrong decision.

Luckily I have a husband who is not only as one of my cousins remarked once, the best thing that has ever happened to my car, but also the best thing that every happened to my house. He pretty much can do just about anything around here. Thank God for that...That's a post for another day. Anyway, he got the old one out and the new one in fairly quickly, almost too easily. We fired her up and she sounded much more quiet. I'm not thrilled with the inside design. The bottom doesn't have wide enough spaces on the sides of the rack to fit casserole dishes. The utensil holder is too big and takes up a good inch or two too much. I think it may be designed for baby bottles. Come to think of it that's probably why there's a sanitize setting. Yeah, those days are over, so didn't really need that.

I was perplexed why the glasses and coffee pot didn't come clean. They still looked grungy. I took a brillo pad to them and nope, the white cloud won't come off. I figured they were cheap glasses so went to Tuesday Morning and bought a new thicker and more expensive set. Those glasses washed fine and came out looking good, but I noticed something else now happening. My pots and bowls are coming out with a white hazy filmy look. They look worse after getting washed than they do going in.



Any ideas on what could be causing that? Is the dishwasher crap or is there something else going on here...something with the water? I wonder if the hardness of Roanoke County's water has changed. I wonder if anyone else has noticed anything. I don't really understand the whole "hardness" concept, but think it has something to do with the calcium buildup on my son's aquarium.

I've done some more research, now on the problem, so I'm sure whatever decision I make to fix the problem will be the wrong one. First thing I'm going to try is to make it a heavy duty wash and add finishing rinse. I never use that. If that doesn't work on the stained stuff I'm going to put a cup of white vinegar in the machine with them. What if the problem is that the machine is energy efficient in that it controls the flow of water and there's just not enough of the wet stuff swishing around? Think low-flow shower heads and low flush toilets, efficient but crappy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Week in Roanoke

One of the best things about entertaining out-of-town guests is it always reminds me why I chose to live in the Roanoke Valley in the first place. Besides eating our way through the valley, (put on four pounds!) I tried to fit in as many "natural" places as the weather would allow.

One of the first stops was to take my cousin along the Roanoke River Greenway in Salem where I try to walk daily. It almost looks like I photo shopped him in the picture.



Naturally one of the stops has to be the view from Mill Mountain and posing in front of the neon star...





We walked around downtown but there weren't any vendors out. We did get to go to the afternoon No Shame Theatre in the library, which was enjoyable. My cousin felt I should have gotten up there and read a chapter from my book, a G-rated chapter. The evening No Shame is probably more appropriate and if my cousin was still here I'd get up on that stage.

I drove up Sugar Loaf Mountain to show him Valhalla Vineyards and Happy Hollow park, both were closed. I don't think he enjoyed the ride up there...too scary and no guardrails. "You must go through a lot of brakes here," he said as he clutched the door handle.



Back on terra firm we walked from my house to Jamison's Orchards where I was reminded once again how lucky I am to have fresh locally grown produce right in my backyard.



The night before he left we decided we would go see a local band. He's in his Dead Boys shirt, me in my CBGB's.



Although the band was fine, I wish we had stayed home instead. Our glory days of standing, watching a band, are over. I couldn't stand the cigarette smell that hung in my hair, I couldn't get a drink without yelling for the bartender, and got jostled by drunken dopes too many times. We would have had more fun playing Pictionary at home.

A week long visit was nowhere enough to get through everything I wanted to show him and the weather wasn't exactly conducive to spending time outdoors. Hopefully he'll be back soon and we could pick up where we left off. By the end of the week he looked much more relaxed than he did when he first arrived.



I have to say I was very sorry to see my cousin go, but oh so happy I get to stay.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Garst Mill in Sepia

On my other blog, MsElenaeousPics I posted some shots of the Roanoke River in black & white which signifies the end of winter to me. Sunny and in the 60's during yesterday's walk, I switched to sepia for Garst Mill Park...a little bit closer to spring...



















If you look real close you can see bulbs pushing through...not much longer til spring...hang in there!

Monday, March 8, 2010

By the Roanoke River



I can feel winter ending. Maybe it's just wishful thinking. Black and white's last hurrah before the pastels spring up. Here are some of Sunday's pictures of my walk by the Roanoke River starting with a mudslide at Apperson & 419. I hope that wall is sturdy enough to keep up those buildings...





I tried to get a gaggle of geese in flight but wasn't quick enough so settled on ducks instead...



Although they have made headway on the greenway there's still a lot to clean up...





Yes, people actually live in this house. I can only imagine the musty smell and mold that probably lurks throughout...



Uh-oh...



Footprints from the porta potty or river?