A Klutz Rakes Leaves: The Battle Of The Mantras

Out raking the leaves.

Half an acre lot sloping down into a ravine with a creek.

Maybe about 28 trees on it.

[Never doubt that trees beget leaves.] 

Getting tired. Getting bored.

Mind starts to offer mantras.

“I think I can… I think I can…”

Childhood wisdom gleaned from reading.

“When in doubt, don’t.”

Adult wisdom imparted by yoga teacher.

“Yes we can.”

Political slogan, uplifting.

“Be careful.”

Mom, always.

Then the deciding factor.

While raking on the hillside, giving it my all, I slipped and fell on my backside.

Just. Like. That.

Nothing hurt. Not even my ego.

I’m a klutz* after all.

But suddenly the angels sang and I knew which mantra to follow.

DID I KEEP GOING INSPIRED TO OVERCOME or DID I MAKE A STRATEGIC RETREAT?

Discuss.

* Previously documented examples of my klutziness: 1) fell on face while carrying donation into Goodwill;  2) thrown off Segway while moving through cemetery;  and 3) during house party dropped ottoman on toe breaking toenail.

#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A Museum Dedicated To The Mighty Eighth Air Force

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you the following door photos– and a bit of history in honor of Veterans Day.

Just outside of Savannah, GA, is the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.  The Mighty Eighth originated during WWII and is known for the Bomber Boys who fought in the air against the Germans. 

We visited this well-organized museum last spring when we were on our vacation, and while the whole museum is fascinating, the beautiful stained glass windows in the chapel called to me.  

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DOORS leading into the chapel vestibule.

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Stained glass window with military imagery.

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Stained glass windows behind the altar at the front of the sanctuary.

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DOOR with stained glass panels on one side of the sanctuary.

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Stained glass window with Jesus and cherubim.

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DOORS in the vestibule that lead to the outside as seen from the sanctuary.

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Voting Day 2017 And Last Year’s Election Day Sadness Lingers

An old downtown building in the process of being improved: out with what no longer serves, in with what will make it safe.

  Later this morning I’ll make my way to our current voting precinct in its current polling place. 

It’s in an old Greek Church now.  The decor in this church is gold and overstated, think My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but the church members who welcome you to their church/polling place are as sweet as can be.

They stand in sharp contrast to the election board people who, it seems, would prefer to not be doing what they’re doing, as shown by the snarls on their faces.

Same grouches, every year.

  When we first moved here over 20 years ago we voted at the VFW Hall. 

Situated back a long creepy lane, to get to this polling place you followed the signs for the “Sunday Turkey Shoot” that lead to a grass parking lot.  Then you stood outside in the weather until the election board people allowed 2 voters at a time inside the building.

We’d moved here to this big city suburb from an upscale small town and were shocked that the polling place, reeking of cigarette smoke, still used paper ballots– and consistently ran short on pencils.

We learned to take a Benadryl before we went to vote and to take a pencil with us.

  Our next polling place was at a fancy golf course. 

It was easy to get to this place that had a real parking lot, lighted even.  At first it seemed ideal, however this is the polling place where Zen-Den, Esq., got mad and made a point.

He was not pleased about how the partisan people who lurk around the outside entrance into the polling place were positioning themselves;  they were too close to the building, thus breaking the law.

Inside the building he told the election board people this was wrong–and they shrugged. So Z-D called the sheriff’s office and filed a complaint. The pushy lurker people got in trouble, and the election board people have never forgotten about it.

Or Zen-Den. Or his wife. Who they consider to be has much of a troublemaker as he was.

Guilt by association, you know?

  All of which brings me to today’s foray into the American voting process.

I’ve paid no attention to any of the people who are running for office this election cycle.  In what will a first for me, an Independent voter, I’ll be voting a straight Democratic ticket.

If the GOP won’t do the right thing and depose our so-called president, a sexual predator, business fraud, Russian-backed, draft-dodging old man, then I’ll start the ball rolling by getting rid of the GOP.

Are you with me here, kids?  If last year’s presidential election confirmed one thing for me, it’s that you can do everything right and still fail;  BUT it’s important that you do that right thing anyhow.

Words to live by.

The B&W Photo Challenge [Ally Bean Rules] + What I Learned

The Introduction

I saw this challenge floating around the blogosphere and I liked it because lately I’ve been looking for + doing different things here on my blog.  I’m not a daily blogger, so I modified the rules creating a way in which I could participate.

THE “OFFICIAL” RULES*

  • Seven days.
  • Seven black and white photos of your life.
  • No people.
  • No explanation.
  • Challenge someone new each day.

THE “ALLY BEAN” RULES**

  • One day.
  • Seven black and white photos from your ordinary life.
  • No people.
  • No explanation of photos.
  • Suggest that someone else might want to do this, too.

The Black & White Photographs

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What I Learned

  1. I LOOKED FOR objects that I see in my daily life. I excluded nature, signs, & anything having to do with beverages. This limited my options dramatically.
  2. FINDING OBJECTS TO photograph with no people in the frame was more difficult to do than I realized it’d be.
  3. FINDING A WAY to take a photo of an object that I see daily was not alway possible because getting perspective on things took some doing.  If I was in a car in traffic or walking on a busy street with people, I couldn’t do it.
  4. B&W PHOTOGRAPHY IS a whole different animal than color photography.  Many of the photos that I thought would be great turned out to be duds.

* Hat tip to Embeecee at sparksfromacombustiblemind for being the first person to make me aware of this challenge.

** These are not so much rules as guidelines.

It’s Halloween, Betwixt And Between, If You Know What I Mean

How in the world could it be the last day of October already?

Like witches, time flies, eh?

It’s been a busy weird month here at Chez Bean, but we did manage to turn three basic pumpkins into festive Jack-o-Lanterns, one of which is featured below.

And I have plenty of candy* + plastic bloody eyeballs on hand for tonight’s trick-or-treaters**.

So all is well here as I wait… wait… wait… for darkness to fall, when little ghosts and goblins at the front door will call.

Happy Halloween!

* I usually hand out Snickers, but [get this] yesterday when I went to buy Snickers at Kroger it was sold out, so I opted for Twix & Skittles & Starburst.

** We get anywhere from 125 to 225 kids here.  The number fluctuates depending on Halloween Day weather and the day of the week.

Be The Light: Of Lost Sharks & Viable Solutions

INTRODUCTION:

You probably remember that I’ve joined We Are The World Blogfest, a yearlong monthly event.  

Again let me remind you that the purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting these stories on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of October, I have an easily overlooked news story to share with you, my gentle readers & fellow #WATWB participants.

THE NEWS STORY:

On a beach in Australia a woman, Melissa Hatheier, 50, saw a stranded shark that seemed to be disoriented, swimming too close to the sandy beach, not out in the ocean.

She waded into the shallow water, dived on him, and grabbed the shark in such a was as to not hurt herself, while relocating him farther away from the beach.

That is, putting him back in the deeper part of the ocean where he belonged.

[Complete story with video: Australian Woman Picks Up Shark In Pool Rescue]

MY COMMENTARY:

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Do we not all love this woman?

[Did we not all immediately think of Mack the Knife when we read this article?]

Are we not inspired to be better people because of her?

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I’m going to say YES! to all three questions because this is a news story unlike any other that I’ve read lately.

I like that Hatheier saw a problem [shark in wrong place];  sized up the situation [I can capture this critter who is “kind of like a toddler”];  and then went on to solve the problem [put shark in better place].

Granted I’d be scared to try to hug a shark, but I say kudos to Melissa Hatheier for doing so.  And to any and all women out there who unceremoniously make their immediate world a safer place.

What could be more positive than that?

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#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A Spooky Cemetery, Playing The Hand You’re Dealt

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you the following door photos– and a bit of almost forgotten history.

I took these photos at Evergreen Cemetery in Miamiville, OH. It’s a small well-tended cemetery that is typical of township cemeteries throughout Ohio.  

What is not typical in this cemetery is one particular tombstone [2 photos below] that you can see from the road as you drive by.  

Here are some pics of what I saw at this cemetery on an unexpectedly foggy October morning. The whole place looked so spooky cool– just perfect for my adventure.

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DOORS on stone building erected 1870.

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Typical old tombstones from 1800s.

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Typical older monument with girl looking skyward.

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DOORS on monument in newer part of cemetery.

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Tombstone of Charlie Henry Rich, the man who in 1867 dealt the infamous “Aces and Eights” [Dead Man’s Hand] to Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood, S.D.

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Back of Charlie Henry Rich’s tombstone that is equally not as typical as the front.

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DOOR on cemetery maintenance building built in 1983.

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