About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Barn Charm - Eva's Farm

The barn I'm sharing this week is not that "charming".  In fact, just looking at it you'd think it's from the previous century.  However, Eva, the farmer, (with two of her prized pigs) was most definitely a warm, charming and intelligent woman concerned with making a living for her family in western Ukraine.  In December 2001, I spent almost a month working with farmers like Eva, teaching them how to set up farm cooperatives to grow better crops and market what they raised.

Here are some members of the farm women's councils that I was there to help (the pretty young woman in the black fur coat and hat was my interpreter Ina.  Thank goodness for Ina.  I'm peeping over Eva's shoulder):

The women were very excited when they learned that I was from Kentucky because I would know about making bourbon and raising tobacco.  Here we are in the stripping room behind Eva's home.  The women are stripping Eva's tobacco crop--getting it ready for market.  I didn't have the heart to tell them how anaemic those tobacco leaves were in comparison to Kentucky crops.

We traveled long distances between rayons (districts) over snowy roads in cars that broke down frequently.  Here Elena and I stop at a traveler's shrine to ask for a little help:

Here's one of the workshops that I conducted.  Yes, it was always cold and yes, I carried those flipcharts all the way from the United States because I knew such training materials would not be available.  These students were surprised when they were not lectured too, instead working in small groups to come up with solutions to their own problems.

Ina and I stayed in a remote village while in western Ukraine.  This was my bed.  You can see I was well protected by the Russian Orthodox church:

My stay in Ukraine was not all work.  On the weekend my host Maria and others from the village took us sightseeing.  We saw a Christmas market and the ancient Mukaceve Castle.  Here I'm holding hands with Count Mukaceve:

I'm thinking about Ukraine now because in just a month I'm headed to Russia.  On this map of western Ukraine, I've marked the places I stayed and worked.  Notice that the names are also in the Cyrillic alphabet.  I'm trying to learn just a bit of it now for Russia.  I've read that there's not much English signage.  Be doing well to recognize "toilet"! :-) Should have started studying sooner. . .

Now if you'd like to participate in the Barn Charm meme, or just see some interesting "barnery" from many different places, just go to Bluff Area Daily .

Monday, July 30, 2012

Quotography - Irish to the End

"Life's too short not to be Irish!" Anon

 "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."
on headstone in Ireland

Spotted the resting place for a proud Celtic soul in the Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

For more quotes and photography celebrating just about anything, be sure to check out My Perspective Blog .

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Fences - Sunday Morning Garden

Garden 3 on the Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour. This garden was filled with whimsy, color, and exuberance--just like the gardeners themselves. Also kind--I had just started this tour on a very hot Sunday afternoon when my camera batteries died. The owner of this garden immediately got out the battery bag--don't we all have one?--and got me back in business. No charge!

When I saw this garden immediately thought of CBS's Sunday Morning show with all it's sun symbols and art. Suggested that they send a photo of their sun fence to CBS.

Another view of the fence:

Colorful birdbath in an annual bed:

Psychedelic mushroom in a bed of purple impatiens:

A cooling koi pond:

Stumpman or Tubhead?

Bullfrog on a log:

My favorite corner--lovely whitewashed metal plaque with Louisville's fleur-de-lis against a sea blue pot:

Another view of the fence with a simple wrought iron trellis:

And finally, a terra cotta sun pot:

There's one more garden I must show you next week and then I'll leave the garden tour alone and go fence hunting some place else. In the meantime, be sure to check out Life According to Jan and Jer for an ever growing list of fence photographers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Summer Avalanche

After weeks--it seems--of a hot, hazy dome of a sky, this is what I spotted one morning.

For more Wordless Wednesday photos be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Again .

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Barn Charm - from Norway

A little farm that I spotted from the ferry crossing the Naeryfjord in western Norway.  Notice the huge white "marshmallow" hay bales.  These dotted farms throughout Scandinavia. (photos, September 2011)

And here's an even wider view of the farm.  On one side the mountains with waterfalls cutting down to the fjord on the other side.  Notice the boat dock.  We were told that farmers used these boats for primary transportation.

And this is a straight ahead view of the Naeryfjord from the ferry.  You can barely see the little farms to the right on the banks of the fjords.

Now if you'd like to participate in the Barn Charm meme, or just see some interesting "barnery" from many different places, just go to Bluff Area Daily .

Monday, July 23, 2012

Quotography -Swimming

"Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath."
Michael Caine

For more quotes and photography celebrating swimming, be sure to check out My Perspective Blog .

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fences - Garden 1 on the Old Louisville Garden Tour

Here's a look at Garden 1 on the July 7-8 Hidden Treasures Garden Tour of Old Louisville in the Victorian neighborhood. This one a small private garden on Belgravia Court. The fence was decorated with aged metal sunburst and whimsical critters. Notice the bottle tree to the right.

Another view of the fence behind the "pagoda" bed which was surrounded by favorite old-fashioned flowers like lilies and coneflowers transplanted from a previous garden:

More graceful metal art on the wall leading into the garden:

A narrow walkway was bordered with flowers like lilies and these coleus which were favorites of the gardener's grandmother:

Ugly utility boxes were concealed with this clever wooden lathe cover:

An old-fashioned bicycle leans against the fence behind the the koi and goldfish pond and waterfall. A large rock on the edge gives the gardeners a place to sit and dangle their feet in the cool water:

A metal gate opens into the garden from a back alley. Notice the critter on the fence guarding the owner's sporty red car:

There are a couple more gardens from this tour that I'll be showing you on Friday Fences for the remainder of July. And, as always, be sure to visit the other Friday Fence participants at Life According to Jan and Jer .

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Peach Roadtrip

Remembering a dear friend who is no longer with us and our July tradition of driving to Bowling Green, Kentucky to buy Redhaven and Cresthaven peaches at Jackson's Orchard.
For more Wordless Wednesday photos be sure to check out Wordless Wednesday Again .

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quotography - Black & White

"If you see the world in black and white, you're missing important grey matter."  Jack Fyock

At around five months old Chet, my beautiful black and white puppy, started getting these pale spots all over.  At first I was sorry to see them.  But now, as with more important issues in life, I'm starting to appreciate the grey.

For more quotes and photography celebrating Black & White, be sure to check out My Perspective Blog .

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Fences - Garden 6 on the Old Louisville Garden Tour

A vine and mirror covered fence, copied after formal gardens in Europe. Mirrors reflect garden features and the house, making the space appear much larger.

Over the next few Fridays I'll be sharing a garden from the Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour held last weekend in the St. James and Belgravia Courts area of historic Louisville. Of the ten gardens featured, all had wonderful tall privacy fences around these small gardens. Each fence was decorated with plants and art pieces that reflects the gardener's style. Yesterday I wrote an intro to the tour if you want to scroll back one post. I especially highlighted the old architecture of this Victorian neighborhood.

The back landing for Garden 6 had a young wisteria vine climbing up and over the pergola that shelters the first of many old Victorian doors, many with stained glass and grille work.

Small rock waterfall beside the house provides cooling sounds of running water when seated out in the garden.

Eye level window on the side of the house features lace curtains and Victorian grille work, the design a variation of the fleur-de-lis, symbol of Louisville.

Rudbeckia Goldstrum--black eyed Susan--along with lavender and Russian sage. Metal pot was nestled by the back door.
Pink "pom poms"--perhaps bachelor buttons?--by the little rock waterfall.

Another view of the mirrored fence with carefully chosen trees that won't outgrow the small area for a long time.

Each garden on the tour was marked with a "gardener" who owns and tends the garden. Garden 6 is only two years old. Amazing!

For those of you who came back for this second Friday Fence post, thank you especially. There are so many unique gardens and fences in this area of Old Louisville. I hope you won't grow tired of them too soon. For the remainder of July I'll try to restrain my enthusiasm and still show you these treasures. And, as always, visit the other Friday Fencery participants by checking out Janis' place at Life According to Jan and Jer .