Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Different Kind of Birthday

Frank was told by the receptionist to go to the room, 3rd door down on the right. As he walked down the long hallway he heard talking and laughter coming from the room. He entered through a golden door and found a large, bright and sunny room. A large number of people were seated at a long, cloth covered dining table, richly adorned with the most beautiful flowers. Among the guests, and much to his surprise, were his mom and dad, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and a host of people he did not recognize. "Frank's here", they cheered. "Good to see you Frank. Sit here at the end", his dad said. At the end of the table, next to his dad, was a very large white cake with numbers of brightly colored, lit candles. As he sat down, the guests started singing, "Happy Birthday To You..." He never dreamed when he blew out the candles on his cake that there would be birthdays in heaven.

This post is done in response to the weekly, prompted writing meme, Saturday Centus. The writing prompt is in bold italics. This week's prompt is in honor of Tom's birthday. Tom is a regular contributor to this meme. Happy Birthday Tom!!

Jenny Matlock

Friday, September 24, 2010

Waterfowl in the Abstract

Yesterday evening my wonderful wife and I were taking photos along the shores of a nearby lake. There were many ducks and geese nearby. The sun had set, and I was working to accommodate for low light, changing settings and so forth. Needless to say with the lighting situation and a lens not conducive to low light, I ended with very few good the conventional sense. This one unintended result actually was quite pleasing to me. Painting with a lens in a manner of speaking. I just like the whole thing going on with this picture...muted colors, reflections. I hope you enjoy this mallard couple as much as I do.

Peace and blessings

James sponsors a wonderful weekly photo meme that focuses on reflections. Please check out this blog, Weekend Reflections, for many wonderful reflective photographs.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo Contest

This wonderful photograph was taken by my wife Kathy, the HappyMrsC. It is an entry in a local amateur photography contest. It is in neck and neck competition with another photograph for the "People's Choice Award". I am certain she would love to have your vote. You may vote on Facebook by going to 2 Northshore on You must first click on "like" at the top of their page. Then you go to a page showing all the entries and you click on her photo of the hang glider and then you "like" it...and your vote is cast...

Peace and blessings

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Don't Cry Over...

Maria was busily cleaning up from the party the night before. As she headed to the kitchen with wine glasses, one fell from the tray, spilling red wine on the carpet. She set the tray on the counter, retrieved a rag, and tried to soak the wine from the carpet. "This is never going to come out", she thought as she scrubbed at the spot on the worn carpet.

It had only been a month since Maria had crossed the border from Mexico, seeking a new life far from the ravages of poverty at home in Mazatenango...could this accident ruin her hopes?

"Mr. Thomas would be home any minute", she thought as she continued scrubbing. Would he fire me, send me back home? He seemed a kind and gentle man, not easily angered.

Maria heard the front door open, then close. It was Mr. Thomas. "Hello Maria, how was your day"? Before she could answer, she began crying. "Senor Thomas, I am so sorry I spilt the wine on your carpet".

Sensing her sincerity and distress, he held her and kissed her forehead. "Don't cry over this, dear Maria". At that moment their lives changed forever.

This little piece of writing is in response to Saturday Centus, a prompted, creative writing meme. The prompt is in bold type. Please take a moment and check out some wonderful writing at Saturday Centus. Thanks to Jenny Matlock and her wonderful 'mentoring'.

Jenny Matlock

Friday, September 17, 2010

Urban Reflections in Sepia

This building, located in downtown Chattanooga, has a remarkable multi-pane glass front. It is S-shaped, with both convex and concave surface. It provides quite unique and interesting reflections of the Marriot Hotel and Convention Center across the street.

Peace and blessings...and a weekend full of reflection.

This photograph is posted as a response to the weekly photo meme, Weekend Reflections.
Click to see the rules and to take a badge for yourself.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Color Is All Around Us

Our world is awash in color, and although I could be accused of having too much interest in monochromatic and grey scale photography, I nonetheless am a huge fan of color. My favorite colors are those that would be associated with the American Southwest. Problem is, I live far away from the bounty of earth hues and tones of that beloved area. So I do what I can from my rainbow perch here in little ol Tennessee.

MrsC and I went on one of our regular photo outings the other evening, venturing down to our local waterfront area in downtown, beautiful Chattanooga, adjacent to the mighty Tennessee River. It is a wonderful location where locals and visitors alike congregate on nice evenings to play, take in the peaceful moments, to take pictures. I hope you enjoy these pictures that I took the other day and earlier this year from this riverside haunt that we so love.

A bit of love...and some vibrant color...
A young woman who was there with two, twin boys and her husband.
Kathy remarked that I had taken so many pictures of her...really not that many...must have been the bright red bag ;-)
So many colors in one 'burst'...
Colorful sky as our sun sets...
and the moon rises...
This is our final post for Alphabe-Thursday, Rainbow Summer School. I would like to thank Jenny Matlock, and all the wonderful bloggers associated with this many new and wonderful friends...puts a bit of 'color' into my world. See ya soon, I hope.
Peace and blessings
Jenny Matlock

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Superstitions, Good Luck Charms, and Hats

I would think of myself as moderately superstitious...not overly so, yet not devoid of its casual 'charms'. Some 14 years ago I went on a fishing adventure with my son, my dad, brother-in-law, and his son. We traveled to Boca Grande Florida for a week's fishing for mostly Tarpon, a very large and most exciting prey. We had rented a condo adjacent to one of the inlets. One afternoon, early evening I decided to walk along the narrow, sandy beach that ran out to where inlet meets Gulf. I was casting a medium sized jig along the shore, catching a fair number of Snook, a remarkable fish. At one point I glanced down to the sand and noticed an object that did not appear natural. I reached down a picked up a mostly buried ball cap, the one you see in the picture above. Turned out to be a Guy Harvey signature cap with a Snook embroidered on the front. Here I was catching snook and then finding a practically new ball cap with a Snook on it. Since that discovery I have worn this cap above all others, considering it somewhat of a good luck charm.

There have been occasions when I have misplaced it or have left it in a restaurant, but have managed to recover it quickly. Recently this happened again, and try as I might, could not find it anywhere. I resigned myself to the grave possibility that it might be gone...forever. Strange how this possibility affected my mood, my emotion...that a mature 56 yr. old man could attach such emotion to a faded, weathered and worn old cap. MrsC stated the obvious, yet less than comforting fact, that I had other caps to wear.

Well, long story short...I found it! It was underneath a book in a chair in the foyer. Happy days! My somber mood quickly turned around. I was however humbled by what an insignificant item can do. Before I found it I did find some peace and resolve that I could move on, forge ahead through the darkness that had descended upon me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Flickering, Fading Creativity

This week's prompt concerns 9/11...or at least that is how I read it. I find no creative juices with which to respond to the prompt. All I can do is relate where I was. Second grade class at Lookout Mountain Elementary School. Our kids were in gym class. I was grading papers, when One of our 4th grade teachers came into the room, hurriedly in fact, exclaiming that I needed to come to her class and see something on TV. I did. I was literally frozen in front of her TV, watching the flames from the first tower, when within minutes on live TV a plane veers into the second. Surreal was what I remember. We spent the remainder of the day in shock, trying to teach and trying to keep the kids from knowing...better to let their parents tell them. Very dark...too many unanswered guess is we will never know what really happened that day, and the many days leading up to that fateful morning...nor the many days that followed. It changed the world...Peace and blessings

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Thoughts: Inviolate

Over the last year plus, I have tried to refrain from using my blog to spout personal opinion, but I feel that if I do not, right this very moment, I might very well explode.

If you have been paying much attention, and believe me I have been paying as little as possible...then you may have come to the same conclusion as I. This country that I call home, and have for 56 years, is becoming a cesspool of intolerance, viciousness, mean-spirited hatred.

It has gone way past unbearable. This environment is unhealthy for our children, our grandchildren, their children, and so forth.

Our current flock of politicians are either scrambling for corporate money, votes, and using fear to conjure both. The way they act, and the expensive educations that started them on their merry way makes me wonder...wonder if they even have two brain cells with which to make a synaptic connection.

Life can be tough enough...why must some want to make it worse?What is so difficult about trying a bit of compassion, understanding, caring, brotherly/sisterly love, that might lead us to forgiveness. These attributes are fundamental to being human, and it is these very attributes that can and will bring us into relationship with each other. We need each other, regardless of our religion, doctrine, belief system. It is pretty much what all belief systems teach us...if we could only believe that it could work. In my opinion, where we have been going with the limited tools of intolerance and fear, have served us poorly.

I have for years thought that the U.S. has been in a huge position to positively influence the world. We are squandering that opportunity.

Below is a piece that I wrote this morning...Enjoy ;-)

I speak, but have not yet spoken...
I hear, but have not yet heard...
I see, but have not yet seen...
Ego falls away
Like leaves from a tree,
Leaving only branches,
To regenerate 'me'...
That I might speak only truth...
That I might hear only silence...
That I might see only beauty

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dark Night of the Soul

It was a dark
and stormy night.
Fit for spiritual torment
My soul ravaged, lost, alone
Like St. John of that Crossroads

"...In secret, when none saw me,
Nor I beheld aught,
Without light or guide,
Save that which burned in my heart"

Transformation desperate, needed
Needing hope...lost
Sense of self...disintegrates flight
Into this dark night...

This writing is posted as a response to Jenny Matlock's prompted, weekly creative writing meme, Saturday Centus.

Jenny Matlock

Friday, September 3, 2010

Urban Reflections in Black and White

This photograph is posted in response to both Weekend Reflections and The Weekend in Black and White (

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I've Got the Indigo Blues

Part 1: Indigo...not an easy color to peg...much discussion and dissension as to where the wonderfully named color falls on the color spectrum. Enough, enough, it's giving me the Indigo Blues.

So, I will offer up this lovely flower, a favorite of mine that we have in our yard. It is the non-native Centauria montana (don't tell Christine), also known as the perennial cornflower, mountain bluet, and other various and sundry local names. I find it striking and so unusual, and I suspect that somewhere in its range of color, there lies some Indigo.

From now on, when I get the Indigo Blues, I am going to imagine how grand it would be to watch Miss Indigo Blue (bottom picture) instruct a bevy of burlesque wannabees at Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque. Being in Tennessee, I am a pretty fair stretch from her Seattle based school...darn I'm gettin the Indigo Blues again ;-)

Part 2: After my original post I got to thinkin more and more about this elusive color and perhaps an easier way to "nail it down". So, without further correction, I am going with the Indigo Snake as my standard for this mysterious color. It is given to a "purplish black color when seen in bright light". Go check out Google images for the Indigo Snake and you will see a few that show this coloration. The Indigo is found throughout most of our southern states reaching into Texas and Mexico. It is known to be the longest snake in North America, reaching lengths just shy of 10 feet. So, if you happen to come across a really long, dark snake, with a narrow head, don't kill it. It is most likely an Indigo. Just observe its beauty and its Indigoness.

Peace and blessings, and check out all the wonderful post for Alphabe-Thursday's, Rainbow Colors Summer School.

Jenny Matlock

Sculptural Beauty

This life size bronze is found on the grounds of the Hunter Museum of Art. The museum is located in the Bluff View District near downtown Chattanooga, TN.

This photo is posted in response to the weekly sepia photography meme, Sepia Scenes. You can find many wonderful sepia photographs by going to