#reverb14 – October Prompt – Where I’m From

#reverb14 - Where I'm From - MFA Grain Towers in Aurora, MO

Last December, I participated in project reverb, a reflective writing challenge meant to close out the year and prepare for the new year. One of the groups hosting reverb prompts decided to continue the reflection through the year and sends out a monthly prompt. The prompt for October for #reverb14 is as follows: Origins | Get back to our roots. Where are you From? Is it California, Minnesota, China, Ireland, Earth? Do you know who you are? How you tell people where you are from, and why? For this prompt, I’ve decided that the appropriate response is to complete a “Where I’m From” poem ala George Ella Lyon.   I’ve written probably a dozen different iterations of this poem – every time I teach a class and use Lyon’s poem, I write my own. Of course, finding one of them now would be beyond my capabilities. That’s OK, though, because it’s easy enough to create a new one. Where I’m From I’m from teachers and hillbillies and fractured families that have tenuous grips on reality. I’m from the Ozark foothills, golden waves of grain, and endless miles of corn fields. I’m from ice-cold creeks that run clear, holding water moccasins and…

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – Darcee Getting Married

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Darcee Getting Married - Algiers courthouse new orleans

For awhile I’ve been meaning to take part in You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out’s Song-ography weekly post. It’s kinda right up my alley – photography, music, thinking…all things I love. I see the post each week, think about it, and then promptly forget. Last night on my Facebook page, I shared Kathy’s latest post and mentioned that I always intend to participate, and what do you know – she replied and said that it wasn’t too late. So. Here we are. This week’s song is Lou Reed’s “A Perfect Day.” I am fortunate that I have a wealth of very recent pictures that fit this song, thanks to my friend Darcee – who just so happened to get married to Cameron in New Orleans on October 16. Does it get more perfect than that? It doesn’t.

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Visual Storytelling – Bees in the Goldenrod

Visual Storytelling - Bees in the Goldenrod at Gumbo Acres

Every month I intend to participate in the Fat Mum Slim Photo-a-Day photography challenge. I usually do well the first few days – perhaps the first week – and then I get busy, I forget to look at the prompts or I automatically click off the notification for the app. This month, though, I’m doing much better at participating. I’ve gotten behind a few days, and I think right now, I still need to do “Q” and “T” for this month. The secret to this month’s success versus others? I took a look at the list of photos for the month, and I’ve spent a little bit of time “pre-shooting.” I understand that for some people this might be cheating, but one of the things that I’ve learned about myself recently is that if I’m going to be successful, then I need to plan for that success. I go to work in the dark. I don’t really have the opportunity to take photos during the day. But. I can certainly spend time once a week or so taking a look at what photos are coming up that month and think about how I can capture that idea. I find that…

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Tuesday Thanksgiving

Tuesday Thanksgiving graphic

Because there are documented benefits to a regular practice of gratitude and thanksgiving, I pause on Tuesdays and give thanks for all of the wonderful things in my life. There are really too many to list, but I try to make Tuesdays my highlight reel. This week, the following things are making the list: A weekend at home, with little to do. Sweet Husband and I seem to go-go-go, and while there is nothing inherently wrong with that, occasionally it wears a body down, particularly when we are go-go-going in opposite directions. It was nice to be home together, just relaxing. Celebrating with friends. One of my dear friends (whom I don’t get to see enough…because I don’t make time for her. *sigh*) got married on the 16th. It was an honor to be included with her family and the very small, close-knit group of friends as she and her husband embarked on the beginnings of their new life. There’s just something about weddings, y’all. Gotta love them. (especially when they’re not mine!) And speaking of weddings and marriage – Sweet Husband and the easiness that is our relationship. It’s not to say that we don’t have our issues because…

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Visual Storytelling – More Classic Cars

Visual Storytelling - Cruisin' the Coast at Edgewater Mall

I’ve brought you two cars from Cruisin’ the Coast – officially billed as the the country’s largest block party. I only made it out to one day of activities and even that was not a representative sampling of all that was available during Cruisin’. Things were just starting to gear up when Sweet Husband and I made our way down Highway 90 and eventually stopped at the mall parking lot so I could take a few pictures here and there. As I’ve gotten older, I find that I appreciate those older cars more and more. When I was younger I wanted a 65 Mustang (who didn’t?) and then I wanted a restored VW bug (again…what girl didn’t?) but those cars were never to be for me. Closest I came to driving a classic car was the summer after I got my license, and I had the opportunity to drive my grandmother’s late 70s Monte Carlo. Fun drive particularly over the hills of southwest Missouri where I’m pretty sure we caught some air, but not exactly classic. When I’m out and about with my camera, I like to ask people if I can take their picture…or take pictures of their property.…

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Visual Storytelling – Day 19 – Cruisin’ the Coast

A week ago, I brought you a few images from Cruisin’ the Coast, but those weren’t the only pictures of classic cars that I took that Saturday afternoon that we were out checking out the beautiful cars. It’s interesting the conversations you can get into with people about their cars. When there was someone there to ask, I always asked if I could take a picture of the car. You never know how people are going to be, and I prefer to avoid a confrontation if at all possible. Car lovers don’t seem to mind having their vehicle be the subject of a photo as some people do; when we did the Photo Walk in New Orleans, one of the rules was no photos of people unless you’d asked permission…and then be careful. Car people? They don’t really care. This beauty made the trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast all the way from Illinois. She was trailered down because that’s what you do in these situations. Even with restoration, most of these beautiful ladies weren’t designed to drive the way we do today. And when you put that much time and money into something, you want to baby it a…

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Weekend Unwind

Weekend Unwind Graphic

Sometimes what you need is a quiet weekend at home. It feels like it has been forever since we had one of those. Not a lot of excitement, not a lot to do other than just relax and be with each other. It might not have all of the flash and excitement of some of our other weekends, but it definitely hit the spot – certainly a weekend unwind for us. Which is not to say that the weekend was not without its excitement. Sweet Husband came north Friday night because we had a birthday party to attend on Saturday. Plus with the weather changing and some friends in from out of town, it seemed like the perfect time to have a bonfire. We didn’t make it to any bonfires last year, so the burn pile at Gumbo Acres was large and in charge. Shortly after SH and the puppies arrived Friday afternoon, he set out to get things just right for the fire. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it out to the festivities. I have been feeling a bit like hell lately – not sure if it’s because I got a flu shot or because I managed to pick up…

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Visual Storytelling – Day 18 – Gracen’s First Birthday

About a year ago, all of our friends started having babies, which means that it’s time for the birthday parties to start. A month ago, we had Walker’s first birthday, and earlier this week, I brought you some pictures from that celebration. This weekend it was Gracen’s turn. The sweet Princess of this group of babies had her first birthday at a local fun jump place, and we enjoyed getting to catch up with such a sweet baby and all of our friends. Of course, what we enjoy most about these parties is getting to spend time with our friends – even when we are tiny people. You never know what kind of shenanigans are going to go on – like perhaps a bit of kindergarten matching-making.   The other thing we go to kids’ birthday parties we go to is to see little ones wind up with cake all over their faces. Our sweet Gracen is too much of a Princess to turn herself into a cake monster. She was dainty and lady-like the entire time. Presents don’t mean a whole lot for one-year olds, and come to think of it, until kids are about 5, they really don’t…

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Weekly Retreats – Link Round-Up

Weekly Retreats - Link Round-Up

I read a lot of blog posts during the week – I kind of consider them like a little retreat during the beginning, middle, or end of a day – thus the title of this series of posts – weekly retreats. I try to remember to collect the best of them here for you each week so you can be as entertained or prodded or as moved as I am. This week, the following things are making the list: How to Put Your Writing in Public – Zen Habits. Strangely, I don’t necessarily fear putting my writing out there in public. I’m not sure what that’s about, but it hasn’t ever really bothered me much. Maybe its because I don’t have so many readers. Yet. Writing in public is like speaking in public, if you’re doing it right. You’re baring your soul for all to judge, and there are few things as scary as that. 29 Ways to Get More Traffic on Your Blog – World of Wanderlust. There are a few of these that I don’t really understand, but I need to find the time to make sense of it all because it’s important for the path I want…

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Photo Friday – The Gypsy Queen’s Grave

Photo Friday - The Gypsy Queen's Grave - Meridian, MS

Meridian, Mississippi has the nickname of the “Queen City.” Some people say it is because Meridian is the final resting place of a Gypsy Queen, but there is a bit of dispute about that being the origin of the nickname. It is possibly named the Queen City because at one time it was the second largest city in the state, next to Jackson – the King of the state, making Meridian the Queen. There is no dispute, though, that a Gypsy Queen is buried in Meridian. I’d been to the cemetery before – back in the day when I didn’t know quite so much about photography and was just interested in documenting my trips around the state. I’m not sure where I heard about the grave in the first place. Hear about it I did, though, and I knew I wanted to both photography it again AND to learn more about it. Kelly Mitchell, queen of the Gypsies, died in 1915 of complications during childbirth. I’ve read various accounts, but it seems to rather consistently say it was her 15th child, which is incredible to me. I know things were different, but 15. Holy crow, 15! By all accounts, her…

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