Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

I READ IT IN THE STARS!!

The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny! You have given us quite an assignment!We're writing our 100 word offering around a horoscope in today's paper?? Someone stayed up very late to come up with that one!! My horoscope message is a couple of days early, but still pretty much on target. I'm not using mine, though. I'm sure my blogging friends are not interested in hearing about Bunco here on Monday night. Frankly, following so closely on the heels of Thanksgiving, I'm not particularly interested, either, but since I host only once a year, I'll serve dinner to 16 dice-throwing women, with a smile, and I won't be making anything with leftover turkey in it either!!

I am using my son Joey's, instead. He is a Leo. The horoscope will be in bold type, and my offering will follow.

LEO (July 23-Aug.22)**** You cannot and will not be held down. Let your imagination combine with another person's inspired vision. You learn that nearly anything is possible.

Anything is possible. I've heard that all my life. Do I believe it? Maybe not at my age, but it could be for my son. He's young, a gifted teacher and writer, with a wonderful, supportive wife and twin toddlers!

He's been down lately--Mom knows! When he was teaching "at risk" teens, and mentally or physically challenged ones, he used his imagination to make them eager to learn.
Now he's teaching "smart kids." Many are lazy, and having them reach their potential is a struggle. He's lost sight of his vision, and needs some inspiration. I'm calling him!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm Thankful I Wasn't A Pilgrim!!




The Rogue Speaks:

It took the Mayflower 66 days to sail from Plymouth, England to the tip of Cape Cod. The 102 passengers were not on a Disney Cruise!! The trip was treacherous, to say the least, and the ship ended up far north of the Hudson River, which was supposed to be their destination. They hung around Cape Cod for about a month before crossing Massachusetts Bay, to the rock they named Plymouth.

The first winter was a woolly booger!! Most of the people never left the ship! It was brutally cold, and the poor Pilgrims suffered from scurvy, frost-bite, and a few contagious diseases, and many of them died without setting foot on American soil.

When spring finally came only around fifty Pilgrims were still alive. They went on shore in March, and were stunned when they were greeted by an English-speaking Abenaki Indian. He visited again and brought his friend, Squanto, a Pawtuxet. Squanto had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and became a slave. He escaped London and came back to America with an expedition.

The Pilgrims were pretty weak and malnourished after the long winter. Squanto taught them how to plant corn, catch fish, and get sap from maple trees. He also taught them to stay away from poison ivy, and other poisonous plants.

Governor Bradford decided to have a celebration in November of 1621, because the Pilgrims' corn harvest was so successful. He invited the Indians who had helped the Pilgrims, and they showed up with five deer. I guess they cooked them on a homemade spit, because the Pilgrims had no ovens. There wasn't enough sugar left on board the Mayflower for cakes and pies, so I guess they ate venison and corn, and whatever else the Indians showed them how to grow. So that celebration, which lasted for three days, was actually the first Thanksgiving, even though the Pilgrims didn't call it that.

In 1817, New York became the first state to celebrate Thanksgiving. Other states soon followed suit. In 1827, Sarah Josepha Hale (who wrote "Mary Had A Little Lamb" among other things) campaigned to have Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It wasn't until 1863 that Abe Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a legal holiday, to be held on the last Thursday in November. In 1939, FDR moved the date up a week in an attempt to increase retail sales during the Depression. That angered a lot of people, so he was forced to change it to the fourth Thursday.

The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1924, with mostly bands and floats. They didn't have big balloons, but they did have live animals. The first animal balloons appeared in the 1927 parade. The first Micky Mouse balloon appeared in the parade of 1934. It is a tradition that New Yorkers gather the day before Thanksgiving to watch the filling of the giant helium balloons.

Beginning around the mid-20th century, the U.S. presidents started giving reprieves to one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year. I believe Mr. Tom T. Urkee was one of those who was pardoned. I know you all remember him fondly.

It has become sort of a tradition for folks to express their thanks for various things during Thanksgiving, so I'll go first: I am thankful for JennieO turkeys because they were only 29 cents a pound at the grocery, and because if I had to go out and shoot one and clean it, my family would starve for sure. I am thankful for only having to bring two dishes to Allison's, the turkey and my squash casserole. I am thankful that Rod cleans up after dinner. Of course he does that every night, but I am still thankful.

I am thankful that I don't have to wear socks to bed this winter because Lizzy and Mulligan will keep my feet warm. Rod is thankful that I won't be wearing socks to bed, too, because he thinks I look goofy with socks on.

I am thankful that my children are all gainfully employed, and have given me such beautiful, smart, and talented grandchildren.

Finally, I am thankful to be living in America, despite the current unemployment dilemma, the deplorable outsourcing by companies to whom we gave bailout money, and the mean-spirited, divisive nature and uncompromising attitudes of certain politicians these days. This is still my home, and I'm gonna love it, come rain or come shine.

I am also thankful that God invented the Internet, and then gave me such nice blogger friends to hang out with every day.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pardon Me, Roy

The Rogue Speaks:


STOP!! Before you ready any further, you must first go read Tennessee Mudbug's offering for Jenny's Saturday Centus. Then with a smile on your face and a tune running through your mind, you can read the rest of this post.

Roy was so proud of himself! He had just gotten a deal on a stylish pair of new shoes! After a couple of blocks, though, those shoes began to pinch a bit. Roy sat down on a park bench, took off his shoes, and set them on the ground beside him. He closed his eyes as he rubbed his sore feet.

When he opened his eyes, he saw a mangey alley cat gnawing on his new leather shoes! He grabbed his shoes and the cat took off running with Roy hot on his trail.

As he was coming out of the drygoods store, Mr. Tom T. Urkee saw his friend Roy dashing by. Fearing he had been mugged, Mr. Tom hurried to catch up with Roy. Poor Roy stopped, out of breath, just as Mr. Tom caught up. Roy told his friend his tale of woe.

While Roy was talking, Mr. Tom saw something moving out of the corner of his eye. "Pardon me," said Mr. Tom T. Urkee in his usual singsong voice, pointing to something in the alley. "Pardon me, Roy. Is that the cat who chewed your new shoes?"



Note: Just so you know, this is not my Saturday Centus. You'll have to scroll down to read that!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

KEEPING ABREAST OF THE SEASON

The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus really has us pecking around this morning, trying to find just the right 100 words for her prompt. This one is a real challenge, but here goes:

"Pardon me," said Mr. Tom T. Urkee, but do you happen to have this in a short?"

"Sorry, sir, but that model only comes in large. Judging from your mid-section, I believe you would take a large. No offense, sir. You'll have to roll the legs up, though. Do you want to try it on?"

"I think I'll take it, but I would like to just wear it home, if that's o.k."

"Certainly, sir. I'm sure you'll be wanting the white beard as well."

"Can't forget THAT item! It makes the look complete, and keeps me safe. Now, do you think I look like Santa Claus?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"I" is for Isolde




The Rogue Speaks:

Here is my contribution to Alphabe-Thursday. I am still on the lookout for an artist, or composer who has led an exemplary life.

Before you get into reading this, pay attention to the music! It is from the opera, Tristan und Isolde, written by German composer, Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883). About the only thing I can say regarding Wagner's personal life is that he didn't drink to excess, or do drugs! He did frequently skip out on his debts, and he did cheat on his wife, but not before she cheated on him. He did have illegitimate children.

This particular passage from the opera, the love theme, is known to many people as Wagner's musical orgasm. If you listen all the way through, you will see why.

Now on to Isolde! Isolde was the daughter of a King of Ireland. In an arranged marriage, she is betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall. He was OLD, and Isolde is not happy about getting stuck with him. Her mother isn't too keen on it either, so she gives a flask of a love potion to Isolde's maid. The maid is supposed to give it to Isolde on her wedding night, hoping it will make Isolde's life at least tolerable after the marriage.

A young man, Tristan, the nephew of King Mark, is sent to escort Isolde back to Cornwall for the wedding. They sail away from Ireland, and soon the weather becomes uncomfortably hot for the passengers on board the ship. To keep everyone happy, Isolde sends one of the servants below to find some refreshing drinks for everyone. The first thing he finds, as fate would have it, is the flask of the love potion. I've yet to understand just what he was doing, rummaging through the maid's stuff to find it.

Isolde has no idea what she is doing, but she gives some to Tristan, and then takes a few sips herself. Well, you can imagine what happens next! Eternal love, of course!!

The two just can't stay away from each other, and spend the rest of the trip doing what lovers in the heat of passion do. Unfortunately, the boat ride is way too short, and they soon arrive in Cornwall.

Old uncle King Mark immediately falls in love with the beautiful Isolde. As soon as the wedding is over, King Mark and Isolde retire to the marriage bed. It would not bode well for the relationship should Mark find out that Isolde is not a virgin, so the devoted maid secretly takes Isolde's place in the arms of her new husband. Then Isolde sneaks off to be with Tristan. In the wee hours of the morning, she sneaks back into her husband's bed. Remember, Mark is pretty old, and Viagra hadn't been invented, so she was pretty safe from an early morning wrestling match.

Eventually, Mark finds out about the two lovers, and boy, was he pissed! He forgives Isolde, but not his nephew. It is off into exile for poor Tristan.

Tristan tries to forget about his heartache by joining King Arthur in Camelot. Eventually he makes quite a name for himself in Arthur's court. Subsequently, Tristan is sent on a quest, and while travelling through Brittany, he meets Iseult of Brittany. He fixates on her because of her name. King Arthur arranges the wedding, and so the two marry. Because he is still so desperately in love with Isolde, Tristan doesn't consummate the marriage, and it ends up being a "name only" deal.

Tristan becomes horribly ill. I suspect it was probably salmonella, or maybe e-coli, because there was not refrigeration in those days, and no antibacterial soap. In any case, he is pretty sick!

Tristan, fever raging, sends for Isolde in the hope that she will be able to cure him. This really annoys Iseult, his wife. She thought that eventually he would get over Isolde and they could start having children.

If Isolde, Queen of Cornwall, agrees to come to Tristan's aid, it was decided that the sails on the ship would be white. If she decides to blow him off, then the sails would be black.

Iseult stands at the window, looking for the ship. She is insanely jealous, and resents the fact that Tristan is calling out to another woman on his deathbed. Suddenly she sees the ship and its billowing WHITE sails.

"So sorry, Tristan," she says, "The sails are BLACK. No white sails for you!"

Poor Tristan! He is so overcome with grief, that he just rolls over and dies. When Isolde shows up and finds him dead, she is so broken-hearted that she just drops dead as well.

As most good romantic tales go, the two were buried side by side. From Tristan's grave, there grew a vine, and from Isolde's, a rose, naturally! The two plants became intertwined forever.

Now that you know the story, please listen to the music again. If you didn't get it before, you surely will now.



Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Last Goodbye

The Rogue Speaks:

Saturday Centus really crept up on me--I am still reading Alphabe-Thursday entries. Jenny has come up with a challenging prompt this week, so here goes:

The early November sunshine cast golden rays across the daybed in the den. A shaft of sunlight has fallen across her sweet face and makes me catch my breath. I cannot bear to lose her, and yet I feel her suffering with every beat of my heart. We have a secret language, a language of the eyes, created by all the years together.

I call her name, and she looks up at me. The sadness and pain in those beautiful eyes brings tears to my own. I bend to touch her and feel fever heat. My heart is breaking. The time has come for the last goodbye.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

H is for Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec





The Rogue Speaks:

Little Henri came by his creativity honestly. His father was a rather eccentric fellow who loved playing dress-up! Now before you start getting the wrong idea, he was not actually a cross-dresser. He had cowboy outfit he was fond of wearing, and once appeared in public wearing a Scottish plaid and a dancer's tutu at the same time. One of his pastimes, aside from hunting, was chasing young women. He was also quite interested in the arts, and dabbled in sculpture.

In 1879, at the age of 15, Henri broke one of his legs. The following year, he broke the other leg! The breaks were at growth plates and did not mend well, and as a result, Henri's upper body grew normally, but his legs stopped growing and became misshapen. He looked like a grotesque dwarf.

Henri had always been interested in art, and because of his deformities, his family decided to encourage his interest. Before his accidents, he had been studying art in earnest under a portraitist, Leon Bonnat, but Bonnat's career was near its end, and Henri later studied under Fernand Cormon. Cormon's studio was in Montmartre, and it was there that Henri began his discovery of dance halls and cabarets.

Henri had boundless, and a boundless thirst for alcohol!! He worked hard by day, but his nights were spend wandering around Montmartre, popping in and out of dance halls and brothels, known as the maisons closes.

Henri's lifestyle, as one might surmise, was very unhealthy! Despite his deformities, he was extremely sexually active and referred to himself as "a little teapot with a big spout." He naturally came down with syphilis, and became quite an alcoholic! At one point he had an attach of delirium tremons and was hauled off to an asylum. He dried out for around three months, but after he was released, he started drinking again. In August of 1901, he had a stroke, and was taken care by his mother at her home. He died three weeks later.

Henri was most noted for his wonderful posters, most of which were produced for his favorite dance hall, La Moulin Rouge. His portraits were lovely and sensitive, and he painted many of the prostitutes and dance hall women he had come to know.

My BFA gave me a coffee cup with the image of Jane Avril (4th photo down) and I frequently have my coffee while thinking of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, one of the few artists who actually made money before he drank himself to death. One day I will tell you about an artist who did not abuse his body with drugs, alcohol, or prostitutes, and was successful before death. I just have to find one.

Friday, November 5, 2010

OUR PRECIOUS GIRL











The Rogue Speaks:

Precious McEwen, December 12, 1996-November 5, 2010

Precious brought such joy, love, and lots of comic relief into our lives for so many years! It is going to be very hard tonight, not hearing her gentle snoring in my ear, or feel her little back up against me when I am sleeping. Now she is with all the angels in doggie heaven, wherever that may be. Good night, little girl. We love you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

G is for Gauguin





The Rogue Speaks:

Well,of course! I started Rogue Artists as a art blog, so naturally I would write about artists! Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday, Jenny Matlock's brain-child that brings all manner of bloggers out on Thursdays to enlighten, amuse, tickle, and pull on our heartstrings. In the few weeks I have been participating, I have become acquainted with so many interesting people! If you haven't participated, you should!!

I had the most wonderful art teacher when I was very young! I went to her house several afternoons a week, and while we were painting or drawing or working with clay, our teacher would read to us about famous artists. She had their paintings on the walls of our classroom, so we could learn to associate the person with their art.

I remember Gauguin, a leading French Post-impressionist, because his paintings were so colorful. He had only been dead 47 years, so it made him a mere youngster in the world of art. He boldly experimented with color in his paintings, and was a sculptor as well. He also experimented with printmaking, ceramics, and woodcuts.

Gauguin, born in Paris in 1848, spent the first four years of his life in Lima, Peru. His father had died on the trip over, and Gauguin and his sister and mother, who was part Peruvian, lived with an Uncle. Paul's art would later be influenced by images of Peru.

Gauguin joined the French navy when he was 20 in order to fulfill his military service. In 1871, he returned to Paris and went to work as a stock broker. It was there he met his wife, who bore him five children. In 1884, Gauguin moved his family to Copenhagen. He had been painting in his spare time for quite a while, but wanted to paint full-time, so in 1885 he packed up and left his family to go back to Paris and paint. He just upped and left! His poor wife had nothing to subsist on, so she was forced to take her children and move in with her family!!

In 1888, Gauguin decided to visit his friend Vincent Van Gogh, in Arles. He spent nine weeks there, painting with Van Gogh. How they ever lasted nine weeks together is beyond me! Both men suffered from severe depression, and Van Gogh was a little psychotic from eating lead-based paint. At one point, the two got into a shouting match and Van Gogh went at Gauguin with a razor blade! Van Gogh freaked out when he realized what he was doing, and he ran out. He went to a brothel, and while he was there, he cut off part of his earlobe. He wrapped it in tissue paper and gave it to a prostitute by the name of Rachael. He told Rachael to take care of it for some unknown reason.

Gauguin packed his bags and left, afraid that Van Gogh might come back and kill him. The two never saw each other again. Van Gogh was later hospitalized, and eventually died.

In 1891, Gauguin found himself destitute. He was frustrated that he had not become rich and famous with his art, so he decided to move to the tropics to escape capitalism in Europe. He decided to live the simple life and subsist on fish and fruit! He went first to Panama, where he got a job as a laborer, working on the Panama Canal. He only lasted three weeks before they fired him! After that fiasco, he went to the island of Martinique, and tried living in a hut. The weather was bloody hot and humid, and he got dysentery, probably from the fish and fruit. Then he came down with marsh fever. He managed to complete around 12 paintings before he decided to call it quits and find another island to on which to live.

He went to Tahiti, and then to Punaauia. He finally ended up on the Marquesas Islands. He lived there for the rest of his life, painting and fraternizing with the natives, particularly the women.

Gauguin never could learn to keep his mouth shut. He ended up pissing off the local church and government, so they sentenced him to three months in prison. Fortunately, though, he died before he could serve his sentence. All the years of visiting brothels, and excessive drinking, and eating unwashed fruit had really wrecked his body! It didn't help that he was also extremely depressed and angry that people didn't see him as an artistic genius. He was only 54 when he died.

Wouldn't you know it??? After he died, his paintings became popular!! I hope his heirs got some of the money from the sale of his work! Today, a Gauguin painting sells for around $40,000,000, if you can find one, that is!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Hapless Ratter!



The Rogue Speaks:

This is going to be a very quick post--a lot quicker, in fact, than our Mulligan trying to catch a packrat in our back yard.

Mulligan chased the packrat right into the rolled up pool cover. Rod had to unroll the cover and pull it over the pool to find the packrat, who jumped in the water and started swimming for his life. Rod scooped him out of the pool with the pool scoop, and he jumped down and started to run away.

Note: If you weigh more than 14 pounds, don't try to chase a packrat across the pool, especially when the cover is on it.