Sunday, June 27, 2010

Walking the Dog - the Sunday Version

If I think about it, I can always find something unusual about a dog walk.  Usually it isn't much, but most days there is something. 

I try to pay attention to my surroundings, when Pickles & I are prancing around in the heat.  I'm always wary of unleashed dogs, even though every one I've run into so far has been friendly.   But I take it so far as to remember things along the way.  I don't commit these to long term memory - I couldn't tell you very much about the dog walk we took last Wednesday, for example.  But I can tell you a bunch about the dog walk today.

First - I got a late start, and I blame that on Snowchief the cat who saw fit to wake us up off and on in the early morning hours.  So Pickles and I did not start our walk 'till around 9 AM.    I remember waving to some neighbors across the way - so I have witnesses.  I was in the field in front of our house at 9 AM or so, and I can prove it. 

We walked up to the cemetery this morning.  It was already hot - and I was sweating by the time I emerged from the last shady spot on South Avenue.  We were passed by 2 cars, one after another.  I didn't recognize either, but if it became necessary I could put an ad in the Morganton Herald asking if anyone saw a tall guy wearing a baseball cap (Orioles, not so lovable losers these days) walking a ticked up semi-hound looking dog around 9 AM on South Avenue, please contact so and so.  It's possible.

Frequently I'll see some of the neighbors out and about on South Avenue, but I didn't this time.  It was Sunday, and I started later than usual, that's my only explanation.  The neighbors I waved to 2 paragraphs ago are not the neighbors I didn't see this time. Those 'r different.

As we turned onto Praley, we were barked at by a dog across the street (across from Amazing Grace church).  It's owner was out so she saw us.  Another witness. 

We continued on up to the cemetery, being passed by a few cars along the way.  It's a steep hill to the top of the cemetery, and by the time we were up there the sweat was rolling freely.  I was soaked and Pickles' tongue was hanging around her knees.  This is not because we're not used to this walk.  It is because this is North Carolina, it is summer, it is HOT and it is HUMID, and that's just the way it is.  Life in the Southeast USA. 

On the way back is where the unusual event of this walk occurred.  I very nearly decided to take a bit of a short cut, in deference to the heat, but in the end took the usual route.   We walked down the hill and came out near Praley& Carolina, then headed back.  When we rounded the curve, I noticed two police cars in the driveway of a house across from the cemetery.  They were leaving as I walked by, and one (in the unmarked cool looking Dodge Charger) was having trouble getting out of the driveway.  The car is rear-wheel drive, and the driveway was loose dirt and gravel and slightly uphill, so it was spinning a bit, but he managed.  Anyway, both those police officers saw me.  So, at sometime around 9:30 give or take, I was seen on Praley by two of Valdese's finest.  Pretty good witnesses, I'd say.

Now why would I word it like that?  All these people who saw me are potential witnesses to where I was at certain times?  'Cause I watch too many "true crime" dramas on TV.   It's not because I'm anywhere close to crazy.  Maybe I'm getting close to being close, but I'm not quite there yet.

Besides, paying attention occupies my mind, so that these walks become something more than one step in front of another.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Some Friday Thoughts.

Mostly, this is just to get me writing something, since I've not been in the mood lately.

Once again I mowed grass, once again it rained just afterwards.  I know it is selfish of me to wish for a short drought so the grass won't grow, but still.  Seems like a plot.

Marley the dog came over for a visit.  We let Pickles & Marley run around the field for a few minutes, and they found some charcoal bricketts (don't ask).  Apparently those things are tasty.  Dogs are not the brightest things around.  But they can't help it 'cause they're dumb, bless their little dog hearts.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "fixinto" is my favorite word in the English language, and it immediately identifies what region of the country you come from.  You can tell when something's fixinto happen, especially something bad.

And on that same note, if you are south of the Ohio River and you hear someone say something to the effect of "Hey all y'all, lookee here", my advice is to go in the other direction, quickly.   Chances are the speaker is "fixinto git hisself kilt".

Down on Main Street in beautiful Valdese, North Carolina, a rich guy is building a monument to something, Waldensian related I'm sure, but I suspect, mostly to himself.  I'll have to take a picture sometime.

I like to watch City Confidential for a couple of reasons.  One is that most of the program, while in theory about some horrible crime, is involved with describing the region and culture.  And another is because the narrator always spits out a simile or a metaphor that makes me laugh.  I wait for it.  Two of my favorites:  "He got out of town quicker than a trailer home in a tornado", and just recently, "Mobsters descended on Atlantic City like sea gulls on a trash heap".

This is all I can think of for now.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Postcard - Dordogne River in France


This is another "postcrossing" postcard.  This one comes from France, and is a night time view of the Dordogne River.  I really like this one - the color, light & shadows are quite beautiful.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hot.

Well I guess 2010 is back to a normal summer.  This summer is as hot as the winter was cold.  Thing was, it's was an unusually cold & snowy winter in North Carolina.  The heat & humdity of this summer though, is not unusual.  It's normal.  And I have to tell you, it's hot.  And very, very humid. 

And I'm not one to complain.....ok, who am I kidding. 

The thing is, the heat of the day more often than not, results in afternoon thunderstorms.  These storms tend to dump a lot of water in a short period of time.  This, despite my best intentions, causes what passes for grass to grow, which means I have to mow it.

Apparently there are guys who love riding around on their riding mower, happily mowing away.  Well, I'm not one of them.  But we have a fair amount of land, so a riding mower it is.

And it's hot.

And in reality, it is still spring.  Sigh.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Started up Postcrossing again


After 3 or 4 months of inactivity I started up postcrossing again.  Postcrossing.com is a site where you send and receive postcards from random people around the world.     

 I sent a postcard to Hamburg, Germany, and received this postcard in return from a person in Chicago.  It is a reproduction of a 1929 photo of the World War Monument (WWI, of course), in Indianpolis, Indiana. 

I'll send more out shortly & post some of the ones I recieve back.   

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The extent of my artistic ability


I drew this picture many, many years ago, on one of those transparancies used to project images on a screen.   I'm not sure where the orginial is, and I'm not sure how it managed to get itself on my computer.  It is pretty much the extent of my artistic ability.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Slice of a Memory, with a little English

It was hot.  I was young, and in my grandparents' barn on Montgomery Creek in Knott Co., Kentucky.  I was standing with my father, my grandfather and my great-uncle, who was married to my grandpa's sister.  His name was Goble Allen, and I think his wife was very sick at the time, and in a nursing home.  He was staying with my grandparents.

So we were standing there, looking at a calf.  It was very young, not much bigger than a good sized dog.  It had a big ol' pink nose, & was cuter than your girl friend, as some people liked to say.  It stood there and looked up at us with big dark calf eyes, and I looked back.

After awhile I said, "What are you going to do with it?"  Now please understand, I was young, and this probably came out sounding something along the lines of "Wut air ye gonna do 'ith it?"  Something close to that, anyway.

Uncle Goble spoke right up, "Why, we're going to eat it".   Which may have sounded something like "Wha, we're a-gonna eat 'er".   No mincing words for the 5 year old (maybe 6).

In both intances, to get the full effect of the words, you have to say them pretty slow, while at the same time running some sounds together, while sort of swallowing some of the other sounds, and stretching out some others.  Absolutely nothing is "slurred", and nobody talked "through their nose".  If you didn't grow up there, you'll never say it quite right.  Which doesn't make it anything special - almost everywhere is like that.

I already knew where chicken dinner came from.  More than once I had followed a chicken every step of the way from the time it was running around my  grandparents' yard to the time it was on the dinner table, with all the gruesomeness in between.  I used to think about that.  That ol' chicken's scratching around for food like normal with all the other chickens, and it doesn't have a clue.  All of a sudden a little old lady's chasing it.  All the other chickens just stand around or get out of the way.  The chicken, who woke up just like normal had no idea that long before the day was done it's life would be over.  When grandma was trying to catch it, it didn't know what was going on.  I thought, maybe if it knew, it would hide.  I was a little guy and I thought about stuff like that.  I felt sorry for it.  It didn't keep me from eating it though.

And another translation, just so you know.  What we called dinner, most people now call lunch.  The evening meal was supper. Still is.  Chicken dinner was typically an after-church mid-day meal.

I learned at a very early age to not become emotionally attached to farm animals, especially chickens and pigs.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Stormy Day in Valdese - 2006


It's hard to believe I took this picture almost 4 years ago.  I can't think of anything I want to write about these days,  so I thought I'd just post this picture of Myra's down on Main Street, during a storm in Sept 2006.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A request for the business types

I've got a request (plea, beg, implore) for anyone who understands how business works.  On my other blog (A Valdese Store) I wrote about my confusion when it comes to crunching numbers business wise.  That is because I have no kind of business education - none at all.  I can tell you we make money, & a track a lot of things just to make sure it's profitable, but that's about it.

So I was wondering if someone who actually knows something about business could take a look at what I wrote tell me if it's good or not so good.  You can get there by clicking here.

Now understand, this is not a big business we've got going.  It provides extra money, just enough to stave off the day when one of us (I vote Patti Anne) may have to get a real job, and that's all I ask of it.   We do put quite a bit of time and effort into it though.  But it doesn't warrant a whole heck of a lot of professional analysis. 

Thanks in advance.