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.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

InSPIREd Sunday - in a Tuscan Village

Campanile (church belltower) in a small village near Villa Massei in Tuscany, Italy (2000)

click on collage to enlarge

I just finished reading Chris Bohjalian's The Light in the Ruins about a Tuscan noble family who becomes entangled with the conflict between the Germans and the Italian partisans in 1943 WW II that continued for ten years after with devastating results.  In 2000, I went on a garden tour of Tuscany and was able to stay in or visit many of the places in this novel--Florence, Pienza, several hilltowns, villas and farms.  One villa in particular--La Foce--served as the inspiration for Bohjalian's book.  La Foce was bought by Irish-American writer Iris Origo and her husband Marchese Antonio in 1924.  They farmed with help from the villagers and then during the German occupation La Foce was turned into a children's hospital and orphanage.  Origo's diary, War in Val D'Orcia, where she chronicles the war years and their efforts to help their village, provided the inspiration for the fictional The Light in the Ruins.

Come back tomorrow for Mosaic Monday where I'll be sharing photos of La Foce and the Tuscan countryside--if this brief tale has piqued your interest!
Linking to InSPIREd Sunday .

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Friday Fences - Fields of Gold

Back in the spring I shared quite a few photos of this riding stable/farm in eastern Jefferson County.  Recently  went back to see how it had changed with the summer and found the pastures surrounded by "fields of gold."  Still the classic Kentucky black-painted wooden fence and--even better--Spotted Pony was still in the field.

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

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Fences - very Kentucky

click on collage to get a close look

  This fence surrounds Fleur de lis Farm on the historic Wolf Pen Branch Road in eastern Jefferson County.  The road is narrow, winding, and lined with mature trees.  This fence uses two fencing materials --dry stone and black-painted boards--common in Kentucky.  The fleur de lis is the official symbol for Louisville, recognizing our early connections to France.  And, at the entrance gate to the farm, this is about the cutest mail box I've seen.

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

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mosaic and Macro Monday - Red Episcopalian Doors

Yesterday for InSPIREd Sunday, I mentioned that I had been photographing all the Episcopalian churches in the Louisville area, about ten altogether. Most of the churches, from simple stone sanctuaries to the grand old cathedral, from historic to contemporary have red doors in common. Throughout church history and tradition, doors were painted red to symbolize sanctuary, safety, and refuge. In early days soldiers could not pursue an enemy beyond the church doors. The red doors signified the Blood of Christ and beyond the doors was holy ground where one could find physical and spiritual refuge.

So, I've put together several mosaics of Episcopalian red doors, beginning with St. Luke's Church:

Church of the Advent

St. Matthew


Christ Church Cathedral

So, I hope you've enjoyed seeing this sampling of the red Episcopalian Church doors in just one city. It has been an interesting photography subject to explore.

Linking to Mosaic Monday and Macro Monday 2 .

Sunday, July 14, 2013

InSPIREed Sunday - St Mark's Episcopal

Since Sally and Beth started this new meme focused on places of workship and their history, I have been interested in photographing all the Episcopal churches in Louisville. In particular, I admire their, for the most part, simple stone architecture, minimal ornamentation, cornerstone messages, and the many interpretations of the Episcopalian red doors. Above you see the bell tower capped by a plain cross for St Mark's Episcopal Church.

In the collage moving clockwise: view of the church and grounds from left, cornerstone proclaiming the power of Christ, classic Episcopal sign, front entrance, Anglican cross, and arched red doors. (click on collage to enlarge)

Linking to InSPIREd Sunday .

(Note: tomorrow, July 15, for Mosaic and Macro Mondays I'm planning a special post on the Episcopalian red doors of Louisville. Stop by again if this sounds like an interesting topic to you.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Fences - Quirky

How about a "Peace Out" sign from the 1960s decorating a garden fence as an example of quirky? I spotted this oddity on the Old Louisville Garden Tour last month. Linking to Friday Fences at Life According to Jan and Jer .

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday - Good Omen

This little sweetie the color of happiness landed outside my kitchen window this morning. I'm calling it a good omen because right afterwards I successfully installed a new modem on my computer without any geek squad assistance. Hopefully this will resolve several weeks of DSL/Internet connection problems that I've been having. Sorry I haven't been able to get around to visit you lately. Will remedy that real soon if computer problems remain fixed. Oh, about bird ID - this is the first time I've seen this beauty since starting to notice and try to photograph birds. Haven't spent a lot of time trying to ID "Sunshine", but will guess American Goldfinch? Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday .

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday - a Singer

This beauty is serenading from the trees in the front yard and feasting on the berries of the viburnum next to the house.  I hear its distinctive song and grab the camera, mostly only to see a flash of white tail feathers as it flies away.  Its back is a soft grey-brown and undercarriage a grey-white.  A rather large bird, but not quite as big as a mourning dove. Wings are short in contrast to the tail; beak is short and dark.  The examples of song birds that I saw on the Cornell University all about birds website didn't have didn't have the prominent dark markings on the head as this one does.  Anyhoo!  I'm thinking a Northern Mockingbird?  What say you?

Here are the viburnum berries that the birds are loving right now:

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday .

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mosaic and Macro Monday - Trees

This was the view from Belnap Bridge looking downstream of Beargrass Creek in Louisville's Seneca Park around 8 a.m. yesterday.  It was a cloudy rainy sort of day.  I came here to get some photos of an especially interesting tree on the left side of the creek.  For the past couple of weeks I've been on a bit of a blogging break because of some ongoing Internet/DSL issues.  While offline I've been using Catherine Anderson's The Creative Photographer, Exploration Cards to Expand Your Creativity for inspiration on photo shoots.  Anderson suggests that you explore themes--pathways, reflections, everyday ordinary, etc.--when taking pictures.  One theme that she suggested was "trees"--take photos of one particular tree at different times of the day, different seasons, weather.  I chose this spot on Beargrass Creek for the water interest as well as the tree.

This tree is wonderfully graceful with its multi-trunks and branches that extend out over the water.  In the first photo I was standing on the hill looking down on the tree.  The second photo I shot from the right creek bank so you can see the twisting tree trunk:

Here are some closeups and macros of moss, lichen and fungi growing on the branches.  And, based on the leaf shape, I think this is an elm.  But I'm no tree expert, so if anyone thinks differently let me know! (click on the collages for a larger view)

A few more shots of the tree (note the tube swing for summer fun), the creek waters, and bridge:

And finally, a closeup of Belnap Bridge and some plant macros growing over the stone wall of the bridge:

Periodically I plan to go back to this spot for more photos, especially with change of seasons or different times of the day.  It will be interesting to see the changes.