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.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Friday Fences and a Waterfall

Spent a happy few hours this afternoon exploring an area of Jefferson County that I hadn't been through.  It's an historic corridor that has great old homes, "settled" landscaping like this man made waterfall and stream, all enclosed by the classic stained board fence.  Very peaceful and beautiful setting--and this is only what could be seen from the main road.  Imagine what treasures are hidden on the property!

Linking to Friday Fences at Life According to Jan and Jer .

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday - Prepare for Liftoff

The city of Anchorage near Louisville has several old stone bridges like this one over Owl Creek on Bellewood Road.  I spotted this male mallard and pulled off the road to try to get a few shots without causing a big traffic snarl.  Here you can see his handsome silver gray sides and brown breast.

Mallard male in profile to better show off that iridescent green head and bright blue wing pattern.

And finally, he gets fed up with being camera stalked and goes into liftoff mode--all the better to see his black hind end with curled tail and white tail feathers.

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday .

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chet's Walk in the Park

Chet here - hope you're having a great Memorial Day weekend if you live in the U.S., folks.  The Roommate is taking it easy today, so I'm standing in as guest blogger.  Thought I'd take you along on one of my daily park walks.  And I don't mind admitting that I'm just the right height for some macro views.  The only problem is that I have a hard time slowing down for the Roommate to get those macro shots, so don't be too critical of her photography. (click on the photos and mosaics to enlarge)

We go through three connected parks, so in order here are just a few of the interesting things we see.  First, these nifty tulip poplar blooms that fell in the grass from Neighbor Mary's tree:

Next we cross over the bridge to get to the second park.  Sometimes the sun makes a little water magic on the creek:

Now we were walking along the creek bank when I spotted these strange things.  The Roommate jerked me back and yelled "Don't eat!"  Like I'd confuse this with a Beggin' Strip!  Anyway, she thinks they're mushroom or fungi, but can't find the same thing on Google.  Anyone help us out?

Now here the proper position to get a macro view of your world--every time we go through the park I have to check the hole in this tree trunk.  Keep hoping I'll find a snake.  The Roommate, not so much:

Now when I was down in the macro position, look what I almost stepped on!  At first this old Turtle Boy had his head out all friendly and then he just closed up shop.  Believe me, I was just as scared as he was.  His backside is not quite as cute as my "bubbles", but he is very handsome:

At this point we're heading back through the parks.  Of course the Roommate was oohing and aahing about the wildflowers and bushes, especially the honeysuckle and dogwood.  And she keeping going on about interesting the sycamore bark is.  Me, I'm still thinking about Mr. Turtle:

Final stop on our walk is in Neighbor Mary's yard.  I take the opportunity to lie down and rest for the walk home while she takes photos of this bench.  I pointed out the robin having a foot long worm (get it?) with my macro vision:

Well, I lied.  The bench was next to last stop.  The Roommate has been trying to get a macro shot of these Japanese maple whirlygigs for a long time.  Here I get one as a cap, so suggested that we let well enough alone and go home!

Hope you enjoyed tagging along for a view of my world.  Enjoy your summer and we'll chat again further on down the road.  Chet

Linking to: Macro Monday and Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday .

Sunday, May 26, 2013

InSPIREd Sunday - Hobbs Chapel Rescued

Still in Anchorage, an old tree-lined city just outside Louisville, for InSPIREd Sunday.  This newly renovated home that you see in first photo is the former Hobbs Chapel United Methodist Church established in 1884 on one of Anchorage's main thoroughfares.  The current edifice was built in 1921 and eventually closed as a church and fell into disrepair as you can see in the photos below taken in 2004.

In 2008 the property and building was sold to an  individual who has converted the church into a private home.  If you compare the most recent photos with earlier ones you can see that the the original architectural details--roof line, windows, door-has been maintained.  The new additions to the sides, as well as the landscaping, complements the original structure.  I read that this same attention was paid to the inside, keeping the living space on both levels open like a sanctuary.

Here are a few more closeups of the renovation:

 ~ click on collage to enlarge ~

Left to right - closeup of the "church" with additional buildings--right four seasons living space and left connected by a covered walkway; closeup of gothic bell tower; front door with new glass, but still maintaining the original arch

Linking to InSPIREd Sunday , a new meme celebrating places of worship and their unique architecture and history.  Thanks to Sally and Beth for hosting.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Skywatch Friday - After the Storm

After a terrific storm came through the area on Wednesday night, this is how the sky looked at around 9 p.m.  In first photo you can barely see the moon peeking through the treetop.  The full moon shot a few minutes later is one that I managed by leaning against wet house siding to steady the camera for the big zoom.  Must think about getting a tripod!

Linking to Skywatch Friday .

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday - the Canadians

Canadians - of the geese variety, that is.  This handsome couple enjoys the recreation area for my sister's senior citizen's community.  The residents like having them around because they are so calm and friendly.

A few more shots of them variously occupied:

And finally, for just a little fun:

A white chin strap, cute goose butt, making goosey eyes, prefer neck or wing?

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday .

Sunday, May 19, 2013

InSPIREd Sunday - St. Luke's Church in Anchorage

This is St. Luke's Episcopal Church in the small city of Anchorage just outside Louisville, Kentucky.  It was founded in 1873 and sanctuary built in 1903.

Since Sally and Beth started the InSPIREd meme, I have been particularly interested in the wonderful Episcopal churches found in the Louisville area.  Many of them are historical and most have a lot in common.  Just this afternoon a friend drove me around town so I could take photos of Episcopal churches.  In most of them, old or new, I found the traditional red doors which symbolize that all who enter will find sanctuary and safety of body and spirit.  Each had a prominent cornerstone with different inscriptions.  Most were Gothic architecture, using the stone building material that would have been used for the Anglican churches of England, of which Episcopal churches are affiliated.

It was hard to be selective with photos of St. Luke's--a small church, but rich in detail.  So, I've tried to show you some of the most interesting and beautiful angles (click on the collages to enlarge):

Clockwise from upper left - full view of church with bell tower, roof line of church and attached gate house, the Episcopal red doors to the sanctuary, front stained glass window depicting St. Luke

Left to right - side view of Gothic bell tower and front entrance, closeup of stone wall with nandina berries, the church cornerstone on bell tower

Linking to InSPIREd Sunday , a new meme celebrating places of worship and their unique architecture and history.  Thanks to Sally and Beth for hosting.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday - Red-bellied Woodpecker

On a rainy evening just around dusk I caught a flash of red in the trees in the front yard.  An exciting spotting for me--the Red-bellied Woodpecker.  Often worry about the decline of mature trees in my landscape, but if rotting wood and insects under the bark attract these unusual birds guess it's a pretty good compromise.

And here are a few more views, but regretfully never got one of its red belly:

And finally, a couple of shots at my neighbor's feeder the next day:

In most of these photos I noticed that the woodpecker's red "helmet" was blurred.  Must have been really getting down to business pecking out some goodies!

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday .

Sunday, May 12, 2013

InSPIREd Sunday - Anchorage Presbyterian

Anchorage Presbyterian Church is situated in the heavily wooded upscale old community of Anchorage just outside of Louisville.  Established in 1799, it is the oldest church in Jefferson County.  In the mid 1800s, the pastor of Anchorage Presbyterian opened the Bellwood Female Seminary to educate young women with some surprisingly modern ideas--independence, financial security, contributions to society in addition to traditional roles of women in the home.

Here are some closeup views of the more interesting architectural details:

 Bell tower and steeple, Gothic windows and ornamental brickwork left sanctuary, historic sign

Arched doorway front entrance, bell tower closeup, variation of rose window over entrance

I read through a bit of the church history, especially the minutes of the annual sessions, and was impressed with the role the church took in the morals and behavior of its members.  A couple of issues heard and ruled upon in the Session by the church elders:

~ Mr. and Mrs. Smith were separated when Mrs. Smith moved to Louisville leaving her husband in Anchorage.  She was asking for annual support of $75.  Mr. Smith appeared before the Session to appeal saying that when his wife was living with him she did not fulfill her wifely duties.  A witness on his behalf said that Mrs. Smith did not dine with him and guests instead ordering her meal in her own quarters with extra sugar!  Mr. Smith said the situation was unbearable; the Session elders agreed.  Mrs. Smith was ordered to appear before them, which she never did.  So she was suspended from the congregation and Mr. Smith became an elder.

~ Dancing was frowned upon as a dangerous waste of energy.

~ A neighbor's dog was chasing a farmer's pig.  The farmer was hauled before the Session for cursing the neighbor and his dog.  Both men were warned by the elders about "blackguarding."

~ The church was almost split in two over using a melodium to accompany hymn singing--narrow decision to allow musical instruments.

~ Finally, and my personal favorite, many fruit trees were planted when the Bellwood Female Seminary was establish, believing that it was much more healthful for the young women students to be eating fruit rather than sweetmeats!

As you can see, those early Presbyterians were a stern lot!

Linking to InSPIREd Sunday , a new meme celebrating places of worship and their unique architecture and history.  Thanks to Sally and Beth for hosting.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Friday Fences - White Pickets, Dogwoods & New Roses

Today, my friend Sally spotted this gorgeous yard that just sings spring in Norton Commons.  Luckily, I had my camera since I was fence "hunting" after we finished our pilates session.  So many good lessons in this landscaping--a simple white fence that complements the house; substantial fence end posts; a clean picket design; small dogwood trees in each corner that branch over the fence to blend with new carefree roses that will probably bloom all summer long--right now the new growth looks wonderful with the dogwoods. 

Viewing clockwise, here are full-sized photos from the collage:

Closeup view of fence, dogwood, and rose in bloom--smashing combo!

Dogwood blooms almost hiding the fence end posts.

Good idea of the proportions tree to fence to rose bushes.

Street view of the planting --sorry for the shadows, it was high noon!

Yet another view of the winning combo!

And finally, a perfect "bouquet"--blush pink with pale yellow-green centers. 

How much fun is legal when you're "gardening" with your camera?  Apparently a lot! :-) Linking to Friday Fences at Life According to Jan and Jer .