Fractured Facade

"A fathers death...a daughter's life...a sociopath's vendetta...FRACTURED FACADE ...a novel written as memoir. Only $4.99 and available exclusively on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited members read for free! Click here for direct link.


THE VALENTINE'S DAY CURSE -- A Short Story, Free everywhere...except on Amazon (boo! hiss!) where it's $.99 to buy! Click here for direct link! Let them know it's free at these stores and they may price match it! Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books...more to come.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Thanks

While you're enjoying this Memorial Day please remember our troops who are far away from their families. This is my stepson while on a mission in Afghanistan. To get a better idea of some of the missions our troops are involved with take a moment and read this dispatch..."Soldiers work hand-in-hand with local children."

"“It’s a good feeling when children rush into a tent that was just built by your soldiers, with smiles on their face screaming ‘thank you’,” Silver said.

“The school principle told me they’re thankful for everything that we do, and this will be a day the children will never forget,” Silver said.

The battalion is in charge of more than 24 different villages for improvement operations within the next eight months. The improvements will consist of fixing mosques, clinics and schools.

“My Soldiers love doing these kinds of missions,” said Silver. “They know they’re impacting the Afghan families directly, in a positive way.”

To say it's hot, uncomfortable and dangerous would be an understatement. No sipping Margaritas on the beach for these guys. Thanks Rich to you and your fellow troops for your service. Stay safe and come home soon...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Good Mail

Yesterday was a good mail day. I received my Arbor Foundation bulbs which can still be planted and blooming by this summer. I received my AAA tour books and maps which I just love to look through, imagining where I'd like to go. I've travelled all across the country without leaving my living room. And the best piece of mail wasn't addressed to me, but to my son. It was his first paycheck!

As soon as he walked through the door from school I waved it at him, "Lookie what I got here." When he saw the return address he said, "Do you think it's a paycheck?" "Well, it looks like a check." "I didn't even know they mailed it. Cool!" He was so excited he practically ripped it trying to figure out how to fold and tear all those perforations. "Why do they make it so difficult to open? Didn't I already work for this money?"

When he finally got to it a huge smile spread across his face. "That's better than I thought it would be." That's because they didn't take any federal or state taxes out, just FICA and Medicare. "Did they make a mistake?" Probably not, it's not a king's ransom, just enough loot so that he'll have to file a tax return at the end of the year and nowhere near enough loot so that I lose him as a deduction. Sigh.

He grabbed a quick bite, as he only had fifteen minutes before he had to get to work to earn even more big bucks, and said we'd talk about opening up a bank account when he got home. I already checked his options, which pretty much stink. When I had my first job I had a passbook savings account that got around 5% interest. I don't even get 1% on my savings account now. Forget what my son would get. If he had direct deposit with a minimum of $1,000 he could get .50%. He doesn't. If he had over $2,500 and only made less than 6 transactions per month he could get .50%. He doesn't. About the only thing he can get is a free checking account with no interest. So when he got home I went over the choices. His response, "What's the point of even putting my money in the bank? They're playing with my money and I'm getting no return. You know I never trusted banks since kindergarten when some guy came in and tried to talk us into opening an account. I couldn't understand it then, and still don't now...why should I give you my money while you give me nothing back?"

He sorta has a point. The interest rates are pathetic at best. It's not really an incentive to save, is it? Still, he needs to establish himself with an account. I recommended the free checking to get started. Let the people at the bank know who he is, start a relationship with them. Even if he's not getting any interest I think it would be wise for him to put at least 1/4 of his check in the account. Once he gets to $1,000 then he could transfer to an interest bearing one. Meanwhile, God forbid if something happened to me or my husband, he'd be able to cash his checks, put money in the bank, write checks, etc.

He's always been a saver. He's ummmmm frugal, yeah that's it, frugal. But he's also practical. There is no way in hell he would ever spend more than $20.00 on a pair of sneakers, or on any article of clothing. You would never see him wearing a big fat gold chain, or any sort of jewelry. He's been using the same lousy cellphone, The Juke, for over two years and even though he's elgible for an upgrade he can't see going for a new phone that's going to cost more because it does more. "I need the phone to text and listen to my music, that's it." He doesn't have an Ipod or Mp-3 either. His biggest splurges are on video and computer games, going to the movies, Subway and the Baconator. So although saving in the account is a goal too, I'm more concerned to see how he'll use an ATM card. I never, ever use mine. Don't even carry one. I hope he'll be the same way. And I'm not even going to suggest a joint account with mommy. See, I'm letting go...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who Missed Out?

The other night I went to an art show at the high school where my daughter had a couple of photos exhibiting. Top left and bottom right are two of them...

She is quite the photographer.

I couldn't really appreciate the show because I had become distracted by all the senior posters I saw lining the walls on the way to the gym. Moms put together photos and other memorabilia of their graduating children on posterboards to commemorate their school lives. My son, as you know, is a senior. His mother did not participate in this practice. When I asked him if he wanted one of those posters he clearly expressed his desire not to have one. I obliged just like I obliged when he said he didn't want to go to homecoming, or the prom, or apply for any scholarships, or join any sports teams, or any after school clubs.

As I viewed the posters, recognizing so many of his classmates from elementary school, I felt tears begin to well up in my eyes. There were scores of homages -- their mothers put a lot of effort, time and money into honoring their children. I did nothing. I felt terrible. I felt like a bad mother. My daughter saw I was upset and kept asking what's the matter. I tried to hide it but couldn't. When I told her she laughed and said, "He didn't want one!" I know, but what if I wanted one? Maybe I wanted to look through old photos and reminisce. Maybe if I had gotten it out of my system making the collage I wouldn't be so weepy now.

I was always so involved in their early years at school -- volunteering, class mom, team mom, chess coach, newspaper editor, various PTA positions, etc. As they got older they required less and less of my time. By high school I felt my presence was no longer wanted/needed so I just faded back. Now it's hitting home that my little boy is graduating high school. Senior year is supposed to be such a whirlwind of activity. For my son, it wasn't. He doesn't seem to care, but I feel like I missed out. I have no pictures of him at homecoming and the prom since he didn't want to go to either. He didn't even want to buy his senior pictures so I didn't. There's no invitations or announcements for his graduation. Who would come anyway? The only person who would have made the trip, my father, is dead. My husband's mother doesn't even acknowledge my son. The rest of the family has banned me because of the memoir I'm writing. We're all he's got. We'll celebrate, but there'll be no wild party, he doesn't want one. We'll celebrate the way his life is, low key.

That same evening in the auditorium of the school there was another celebration for the seniors, an award ceremony. My son didn't go. He was working, but he wasn't even invited as he wasn't getting any award. They don't give out awards for being just a good kid. He pretty much went through his entire school career under the radar. In elementary school he was a chess champion but that's about his only claim to fame. He was an A/B student who never got into trouble. He always scored advanced on any SOL test, sometimes perfect scores. He scored the highest in his school on the PSAT and well on his SAT, has a 3.5 GPA and he's still not in the top 10%. He was the recipient of "is a pleasure to teach" and "works well with others" comments on his report cards. He was never part of the "in crowd." He never got invited to all the "cool parties." He was never suspended, or had detention, or arrested, or involved with drugging and drinking as some of those very same smiling faces on the exquisitely designed posters had been.

My son never sought to be popular. He has always been to himself, comfortable with a small circle of friends, instead of a sea of many acquaintances. He's so low-key that in the yearbook he received yesterday, where parents spent hundreds of dollars taking out ads congratulating their child -- no, not me, spending $70 on the yearbook was steep enough -- all that's listed under his photo is his name. He's so far under the radar that in the yearbook in the one other "shot" of him he's misidentified. Above a quote of his, there is a picture of an unknown black kid bearing my son's name. He doesn't even know who the kid is. Someone else might have freaked out at the error, but not my son. All he said is, "That's typical of Hidden Valley. Maybe I'll put it on Facebook." Nah, he doesn't care, but me, I feel like I missed out again...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm Siriusly Jinxed

Sirius satellite radio almost cost me $24,000 yesterday. Why? Because that's the price of a new car. Why would I need a new car? Because on day 2 of enjoying my radio my big freaking mouth jinxed it. If you've been following my Sirius travails you'll remember that I had to purchase a cassette adapter to plug into my radio in order for it to work. I practically did cartwheels when it worked. At the same time I asked my husband, "What happens if the cassette stops working?" His words, "The cassette's probably never even been used so I wouldn't worry about it." My reply, "You know this car is cursed so any thing's possible."

A little backdrop here -- When my father passed I inherited his car. It was a 1999 Olds Intrigue with only 17,000 miles on it, 15,000 of which was probably spent justing moving the car across the street and back to avoid getting alternate side of the street tickets. I thought, "Cool, I'll have a "new" car. My husband warned me, "You know what they say about getting a car from someone who died?" "No, what?" "It's cursed and it'll break down constantly." "It's only got 17,000 miles on it, how bad can it be?" "We'll see."

Well, we saw. From the get-go there were problems. Bringing it down to Roanoke my husband discovered none of the power windows worked so every time he stopped at a toll booth he'd have to open the door. The motor was burnt out so that was the first thing we replaced. That was the beginning of the end as they say. Power steering, brakes, tires, air conditioner, mysterious anti-freeze smells, liquid leaks, heating button jammed, the back panels of the inside door fell name went, and we fixed it. Thank God my husband is a mechanic or I would have really been screwed. There were even two recalls for something I don't remember. Each time we would drop a couple more hundred into it my husband would say, "You know you should think about selling this car." When cash for clunkers came around I was *this close* but my emotional ties to it stopped me. Well, my breaking point happened yesterday.

As I pulled into the shop to go to work I shut the car off before ejecting the cassette adapter. I realized there was a problem when I heard this whirling clicking sound. I started the car back up and tried to eject. No go. It would not come out. Just click, click, click, whirrrrrrrr, click, click, click, whirrrrrr. I tried jiggling the wire which only made it worse, causing me to lose the signal. My husband came out to see what the heck I was doing out there, saw my panicked look and then heard the expletives fly. He told me to calm down and gently removed me from the driver's seat before I picked up the crowbar in the back. He tried to eject it. It didn't work. He asked me what I did. When I told him he said that shouldn't have been a problem as most cars can keep a cassette in the player upon shut-off. He reminded me of what I said, "What happens if the cassette player breaks?" He didn't have to, I already remembered.

He brought the car into the shop, saying he would have to remove the entire radio. I got annoyed as customers came in whining about their unfixed vehicles. I marvelled at my husband's patience as they spoke in slow drawls, talking to him as if he was the neighborhood bartender, which annoyed the shit out of me. I couldn't take it any more so I would call the shop phone from my cell and tell him there was a call which was the only way these people would shut the hell up. After spending 6 hours there I can tell you I will never, ever, question my husband's need for a glass of wine the minute he gets home. In fact, I will make sure I have a case in the house, always, from now on.

But I digress...He gets the cd/cassette/radio out after having to take apart the entire dashboard. Since there's no easy release button he then has to take apart the unit...thirty screws later it's apart. There's still no release to be found. After tinkering for a while with no luck he makes a call to the local dealership to get a schematic of it. Naturally, they don't have it. No one does. So he goes back to trial and error. Since he is an extraordinary mechanic, although has never taken apart a radio before, he eventually figures out that there is a plastic wheel with cogs that seems to be warped. Manually he finagles it while I hold the light, poorly, on it and we're able to slide the tape out. Now, there is no tape in the cassette only a metal piece so it wasn't like it got tangled up or something as I had thought might have happened. By now we're both frustrated so we leave it on the counter and head to lunch.

When we get back, tired from a huge lunch, he figures out how to put it back together and inserts it back into the dashboard but doesn't put the rest of the dash together, just in case. When he presses the eject button the same clicking noise starts and the unit refuses to take the cassette adapter. The radio works as does the cd, surprise of surprises, but the one part that we need for my Sirius is broken. He says we'll have to buy a new radio and this time we'll get one with an auxiliary input so we don't have to use the adapter. How much is that gonna cost I ask. About $200 or so he replies. No, no, no, no, no! That's it! I've had it! This freaking Sirius! This freaking car!!!

I tell him I want a new car. He's thrilled with my decision and immediately takes me to the lot. I really could give a crap about a new car. I just want something that gets me where I gotta go. I've never been the type to say, "Man look at that car, I wish I had those wheels!" I'm more of a "Man look at those boots, I wish I had those heels!" So every car we looked at was like, eh, it's okay. They all look the same, a look I'm not impressed with. The one I sorta liked was a used Caddy and it cost $39,000! Uh, no. Then I looked at some other car which I wasn't thrilled about from the outside but inside it was pretty neat. It was black, had a sunroof and heated seats for the winter. It was something from GM, maybe an Impala and one of those dealer cars that they drop the price on. It had 7,500 miles and was still $24,000. My husband said I looked good in it. I could care less how good I looked in it. What I wanted to know was how much would the dealer give me for my car. He said he could probably give me $2,000. $2,000?! My husband reminded him that my car only had 27,000 miles on it. The dealer said maybe $4,000. $4,000?! I reminded him that the reason I was getting a new car was because the cassette player in the car stopped working. He looked at me like I was full of shit. But I wasn't, maybe crazy, but not full of shit. I told him since this was the first place we looked I'd have to think about it. Meanwhile my husband calls his friend who is a used car dealer at a Toyota lot to see if he had anything other than Toyotas, which is definitely one the many brands I do not want -- too many software problems which my husband says are only going to increase. His friend said he had plenty of used great cars and I should come down tomorrow.

On the way back to the shop I told my husband I did not want a used car with more mileage than the one I was giving up. We both laughed knowing damn well there was no way our buddy was going to have something under 30,000 miles. Then we spoke again about getting a brand new car. How in hell could I even think about buying a brand new car now? Oh sure there's those folks out there who would probably jump at one, financing it, but I bet they don't have one kid who's about to enter college and another who will in two years! I just couldn't justify another monthly bill. When my son called asking where I was since I wasn't home when they got home from school, I told him what was going on..."So I guess it's either put you in school or buy a new car." He replied, "Mom, I don't need college with all the mega bucks I'm now bringing home. Heck in thirty years I could pay for it myself." Haha!

Suddenly $200 for a radio doesn't sound that bad after all...stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Possum and the Mist

The only things that disturbed the pond the night before last was the possum...

and this "mist" which wasn't seen by my naked eye but was captured by the game camera as I held it up after I heard a noise and asked if there was anyone there...

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm a Sirius Junkie

I don't know how I survived before satellite radio. I barely lasted a week without it. I tried. I was not going to give them another damn penny especially since my Sirius stock is in the toilet. Freak them, I lost a bundle on them, I said to myself. So when my Orbiter finally bit the dust for the last time, after two years of a blackened screen and a week of having to slap it to work, intermittently at best, I thought I would be putting that $14.95 per month in my pocket.

The first couple of days weren't bad since my Cox Digital has one music channel I like, 917, so the television had been tuned to that all day. By the third day I noticed that I kept hearing the same songs, maybe even in the same order. I thought I could live with it even if it did start to get on my nerves, but what I couldn't live with was not having Sirius in my car. I hate local Roanoke radio, especially the local rock stations. What a bunch of crap. Do they not realize this is 2010? It got to the point that I was forced to listen to only talk radio...the highlight being Dennis Miller who is only on for two hours. Too bad Levine and Coast to Coast is on so late or I would have tuned in to them.

I kept complaining and my husband kept saying, "Stop being cheap, just go buy yourself another is too short, you enjoy it so just buy it already!" He was right. Why was I being so stubborn and "frugal?" It's not their fault the stock market sucks. They do have a great product. Besides every New Year's Eve I listen to the live broadcast of Patti Smith at the Bowery Ballroom. I couldn't give that up. So I went to buy my new Sirius radio.

Of course I wanted not only the vehicle kit but the boombox as well. Naturally they stopped making the Orbiter so my boom box and vehicle docking station were now obsolete. I started shopping around to see what the new boomboxes were and what radios worked with them. Sirius finally wised up and manufactured a "generic" boombox that most newer radio models can just pop into. About time. When I first became a subscriber every single component was different depending upon which radio you had. At that time there were many different radios, so this didn't work with that, and so on. Now it seems the radio themselves all have the dock and play possibility. Great, I thought, this will be a breeze, until it came to actually buying one.

No one had any boomboxes in stock. Not a one. I checked Best Buy, Walmart, HH Gregg, even Sirius directly...all of them were out of stock. WTF? I refused to buy a radio without the boombox because my fear was that Sirius would suddenly stop manufacturing them (much like they did the Orbiter) and I'd be stuck with just a radio for my car and nothing for my home. I didn't want to listen to Patti sitting in my car on New Year's Eve! I then decided I would go into the stores to see if they had something sitting around...nope, nothing. On my way home I stopped into Radio Shack. They at least had one on display and the Stratus 6 radio was on sale as well. I asked if they had any boxes in stock. He said he didn't but he called the Christiansburg store who said they did. He asked them to send it to Salem. He also said the sale ran through Friday so if I came to the store and picked it up then I would still get the discount. Cool! I told him I would call him first thing in the morning.

I waited until ten and called. Nope, they didn't ship the boombox. Now it wouldn't be in the store until Monday. At this point, I didn't know if I even believed they had one seeing as I couldn't locate one anywhere else. I asked the clerk if they would still honor the discount on Monday and he told me no, the sale ended Friday. Ok, whatever, it was only ten bucks. I gave him my number and told him to call me when it came in. At three on Friday afternoon I got a call saying that the district manager himself had delivered the box if I still wanted it. Did I? Zoom!!!

So I get there and am thrilled they have the box and radio waiting for me. They try and talk me into getting the extended warranty which we all know is stupid so pass. They ring up the radio and it doesn't come up with the sale price. I bring it their attention and they act like the radio was never freaking on sale! Oh, the sign that was prominently displayed is now gone, but the guy behind the counter knows it was there on Thursday and he was the one who told me to buy it before Saturday! The district manager says nope, it's not on sale, sorry. I'm looking at the clerk who knows the truth and he can't look me in the eye, and I saw this guy there yesterday with his three year old daughter saying, daddy, daddy and I don't want to get him fired or in trouble, so I say just ring the freaking thing up, but I do mumble to him under my breath as I'm leaving, "You know you're scamming." Normally I would have told them to shove the freaking radio where they couldn't get reception but I'm desperate so I leave, go home, set it up (and Sirius charges me an additional $15 activation fee even though their old piece of shit radio is the reason I had to buy a new one) but it's working.

By Sunday afternoon my husband was finally able to install it in my car so I took my son's Jeep to go shopping and left my car home. When I got back I asked how it went. My husband said not too good since I needed to buy a cassette adapter to make it work. What?! It seems the new models do not have the FM modulator on the side of the dock and use a direct cable into the car radio instead. Naturally my radio does not have that capability but luckily still had a cassette player. Here we go again, sink some more money into Sirius' pocket. When I called Radio Shack to see if they even had one in stock the clerk told me they did for another $21.99. He also told me I could probably get one at Walmart for $14.99. Guilt? Or did he have the sale price sign up again on the radio I just bought and he didn't want me to see it? I went to Walmart and got the adapter, a generic one that MP3 players use, for $9.99. We tried it in the parking lot and voila it worked!

All is right again in the world, even if it's really not, all because I'm a Sirius junkie...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Stroll

My husband and I weren't the only ones out for a stroll along the Roanoke River this fine Sunday morning. This is the first time I was able to get so close to Mama Duck and her ducklings. They're grown quite a bit since the last time I saw them...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I was all set to blog about garbage this morning -- and I do mean trash -- but since I'm playing catch-up after being under the weather all week I don't have the time. Instead, I'll leave you with something much more pleasant, how my peonies looked before the rain washed away every single bloom. Hey, is that the sun I see out there??? Finally...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Supermarket Hot Spot

Just a couple of observations about local supermarkets...

You all know to avoid Kroger's on Tuesdays unless you're a senior citizen, but did you know that Kroger's is the hot spot on Sunday afternoons if you're single and looking?

Yup, no need to pay high bucks to millionaire matchmakers if you live in Roanoke, just take my free advice and head on down to the Kroger's on Brambelton. I've come to this conclusion after the last couple of Sunday afternoon shopping excursions. I noticed that quite a few ladies are going dressed to the hilt while shopping. At first I thought they were coming after church or brunch, but then I realized although they're looking good, their dress may not be deemed "appropriate" for church, they always shop alone and many of their shopping carts are empty.

I also noticed there were quite a few guys suddenly shopping by themselves, not dressed as if they just came from playing football or softball either. The clincher that I suspected folks were doing more than just grocery shopping happened when a couple of guys, all on the same Sunday afternoon, tried to strike up conversations with me. It happened by the dairy, the vegetables and the meat counter. I almost threw a package of Pampers in my cart just to throw them off. And damn, I didn't even look good.

Come to think of it where would a woman my age meet someone respectable if they lived in Roanoke? I don't go to church, so that would be out. Bars? I don't have many friends who would come with me, and I wouldn't be comfortable going alone, so that would be out. Movies? Yeah, I would do that alone but the environment is not conducive to meeting someone. Bowling? Yup, have done that alone in the afternoons too, but if there's a guy who's in the alley in the afternoon, and he's under 70, he's probably not working, so that's not good. The library? Forget the downtown branch unless you want to hang out with the homeless. Salem's has mainly college kids and Roanoke County's mostly women or very senior citizens. Walking around downtown Roanoke? It's certainly not like walking the streets of Manhattan where anything is possible. On-line? Pass!!! I don't believe anyone on-line.

Unfortunately there just doesn't seem to be many opportunities to meet folks once you get past your thirties. So ladies, and gentlemen, if you're single and looking, head over to Kroger's on Brambleton on Sundays. Maybe it's not even just that Kroger's; that's just the one I shop at. Has anyone noticed any other supermarket hot spots?

supermarket shoes Pictures, Images and Photos

One other supermarket thing I noticed is that both Food Lion and Krogers are no longer stocking Tylenol, only their store brand. What the hell is that about????

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Here's something to brighten up this dreary of my amaryllis plant. It started about three years ago from a box, just one little flower. It's now grown to two plants, one of which has five blossoms on it. Pop bulb in dirt, bring inside in the winter, water when you remember and watch it thrive. My type of flower...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Local Colors 2010

Saturday we attended what I believe is downtown Roanoke's finest festival...Local Colors.

As usual, Elmwood Park was jam-packed.

As luck would have it, the performers I really wanted to see took the stage as soon as we got there.

These girls are fantastic.

I just love their music and the way they move.

Even the little kids got into it.

The main reason I, along with many others, go to Local Colors is for the food. Each of those booths lining the street represent different countries.

This time they had a couple of new ones, including France which had someone making fresh crepes. I had every intention of getting one for dessert but after I had my scrumptious chicken Thai dish I had no room left.

One disappointment was the Italian booth. I can say that because I am Italian. All they had were some crappy pizelles and a travel tour guide book they gave away for "free" if you bought some cookies. The booth was devoid of any Italian experience whatsoever. It was really pathetic. When I spoke to the people running it, a bunch of very senior citizens, and offered some suggestions along with help, they didn't like what I had to say. "You don't even look Italian" one of them said to me. Haha! Another said, "You could be in charge next year!" Okay I will. My daughter and I signed a paper with our name and address which I'm sure they promptly threw out.

On the way back to the car she and I talked about all the neat things we would have in the booth showing Italian culture, art, music, clothes, etc. The food would be a no-brainer, if I could think of a way to keep it hot -- pizza, sausage and peppers, baked ziti, zeppoles, peaches in wine (I don't know if they allow alcoholic beverages so that's iffy) etc. We could dress in togas and sell garland Caesar-like headpieces for the kids, much like the Norse booth sells their horned hat. The possibilities would be endless. If they call, I'll be happy to help. If not, maybe we should think about starting our own local Italian-American group, since this one doesn't seem to have much of a presence in the Roanoke Valley. I'll send in the big gun...who'll make them an offer they can't refuse.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pond Mystery Solved

Let me start off this post by declaring I am an idiot.

This is a follow-up to the last post regarding the mystery pond visitor that I couldn't make out. I questioned what type of "creature" with a white long neck was sitting in the pond. One of my friends had suggested it might have been a loon, and I quickly thought maybe she was right, especially after I had found a white feather floating in the pond. Once I looked at photos of loons on-line I didn't think that was the culprit.

So I set the camera up again and after the shot I got I realize I am an idiot. The white long necked "creature" is a sundial swan that I forgot we had which sits on the second level in the very back of the pond, and is pretty much covered by the irises. Besides the orbs seen in this shot the real "creature" is that tricky tricky raccoon to the right of the screen! His head is in the pond but his arm is hanging out. Another mystery solved!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pond Mystery

The night before last the pond was hit again so yesterday I set up the game camera. This morning about eight inches of water was gone, but nothing was knocked over or disturbed. Only one picture was taken. There seems to be something white inside the pond. We all tried to figure out what it is but the best answer that we could come up with to the question, "What the heck is in there?" was my daughter's response...."Ummm, a reason to move?"

Ok, you sleuths, what do you think it is? It looks like something is behind a little grass that's to the left of the screen, inside the pond. I've tried zooming in but the picture breaks up too much so I can't see anything. The best I could do was manipulate it on Photobucket to show different colors...

Maybe one of you has a better photo program and sees something we're missing. If you do, please let us know.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wild Roses

These roses have grown wild inside my euonymous shrubs. If I tried to take care of them they would be dead. Since I ignore them, they're thriving. Make sure you check out the last shot and look at the little fellow on top of the petal. I have no idea what type of insect that is, but he's sorta cute. Hope he's not hurting the roses.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Weeping Willow

I love trees. I have many, many trees on my wee little acre of land, too many to even count. I contstantly add more trees, and I'm very sad every time one of them dies. When that happens I usually plant at least two more. Usually I've been very successful in my plantings of trees. I've grown them from a 6 inch twig to 30 feet tall. But there is one tree I have no luck with and it's one I just adore...the weeping willow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Four Reflections

I am enamored of this particular spot I encounter daily along the Roanoke River. There's just something about the reflection that always causes me to pause. Sometimes it's hard to tell where the reflection begins and ends. I inverted the shot so you could see what I mean. Here are four different pictures, not one photo edited four different ways. I switched my cheap camera's color settings and took four shots in a row. Which one do you think is the best reflection?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Additions to the Greenway

When I was jogging along the very low Roanoke River in Salem last week,

at one point I became out of breath. I wished there was a bench I could rest my bones on for just a minute or two. The following morning, Poof! There it was...

So shiny and red. There are three of them along the greenway. The same day I wished for the bench I also noticed that inconsiderate people were leaving their bottles of water, cans of soda, disposable cups and other trash in the grass and on the fences. I said to myself, "They really need to put a garbage pail along the way." The following morning, Poof! There it was...

So shiny and red. Nearby the trash cans cement was being poured so that picnic tables could be placed. I was tempted to carve my initials in it before it set, as I always am whenever I see wet cement. Naturally I didn't. Unfortunately sometime during the night others could not control their urges and left their mark...

Even worse were other additions I spotted along the greenway...

Perverted graffiti, how lovely. Just what the many children I encounter along the way need to see. It looks like they scraped their art into the path with a rock or something. They must be really stupid too because they signed their names to their masterpieces. I can only hope they get caught. Idiots...