Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ready! Aim! Fire!!






The Rogue Speaks:

Rod and I decided to do our New Year's Eve thing last night, and avoid the rush. First we went to see "War Horse." I thought HE was the one who wanted to see it, because he mentioned that he wanted us to go to a movie, and the only one he recognized from the ads was that one. I wanted to see something else, but decided to acquiesce. Turns out, he DIDN'T want to see it, but thought I DID! It was horribly depressing and bloody, with horses and men getting killed and tortured in WWI. I was glad when it was over! Then we had a gift card to a local restaurant (actually we had TWO to that restaurant), and went there, only to find out that the place had changed hands and the card was no good. But it WAS good at another restaurant, so we went there! He gave the waitress the card, and lo and behold, the balance on the card was ZERO! We had used one of the two cards a while back, and he accidentally threw the good one ($50) away! We ate there anyway, and it was very good!

So tonight, the real New Year's Eve, he is planning on watching football, and I am going to "Girls' Game Night" at the home of my BFA. I gave her a new game for Christmas, "Truth or Crap," and we plan to try it out while eating fondue. Our game nights get rather wild, and I will have a report for you, replete with photos!

Now, on to my Saturday Centus! The prompt is in bold type.


Ready! Aim! Fire!!

I resolve to eat more fiber (but only if it’s covered in chocolate).


I resolve to take the dogs for a walk every day (to the mailbox and back).

I resolve to use up all the leftovers (especially the fudge and peanut brittle).

I resolve to make every day a special occasion.

I resolve to drink a glass of wine only on special occasions.

I resolve to conserve energy (by sleeping late).

I resolve to keep my house cleaner (and I’ll show Rod just how to do that).

Resolution, schmezolution! Whoever thought that New Year’s thing up?? Let’s shoot ‘um!


BE SURE TO TURN THE SOUND DOWN ON MY GROOVESHARK PLAYLIST BEFORE YOU START THE VIDEO!
The volume control is on the right side of the title of the song playing.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The After Christmas Special


Emaline entertains us with a little music on Christmas Eve!!



Santa came! And it's only 6 a.m.!!



What's all this stuff?? Where's MINE???



We're off to the golf course to chase some rabbits!!



Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum on the day after Christmas!


The Rogue Speaks:

It's time once again for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday, and Jenny has given us free rein to write something quasi-seasonal if we desire. Every year, I write my BFA a Christmas poem, so I thought I would write one for this week after Christmas (well almost!)as a post for my blog. Joey and Aimee and the twins left on Tuesday to fly back to Kentucky, and we were left all alone with only the memories of our sweet little grandchildren. Now don't get the wrong idea about my attempts at poetry. I have actually, in the past, written some serious stuff, but right now I only want to get a little goofy, so I won't miss my grandbabies so much.

Well, Christmas is over
And all through the house
The doggies are silent—
There’s nothing to grouse
About little kids screaming
And taking their toys
To throw down the hallway
As one of their joys.
The ornaments lay
In their storage container
Then back to the attic.
Well, that’s a no-brainer!
The tree is dismantled
And back in its box.
Rod left out the stockings,
Those old Christmas socks.
The good plates and silver
Are stored in their place,
The dining room buffet,
And the big storage case.
The food was delicious,
But now there are bowls
In each cubic inch that
My freezer can hold.
The house is so quiet,
No cute little tots
To snuggle and read to,
And giving us lots
Of sweet baby kisses,
And sweet baby smiles.
We must be content with
Our big photo files
Of Christmas this year
And the joy that it brought
To make our hearts warmer
And that’s just what it ought
To do at this season
Of joy and of cheer.
Yes, the house is still standing,
SO LET’S HAVE A BEER!!


Actually Rod doesn't drink (gastric reflux--alcohol burns!), and I only drink a very occasional very COLD beer in the heat of the summer. I much prefer wine! But it rhymed, and that's what I was after to close my poem out on a humerous note.

Click here to see the kids and their parents Leaving Arizona:

It is a very short clip--just like the length of their visit here!!

I'm off now to read the other entries!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

THE ROGUE'S CAR TRIP



The Rogue Speaks:

A Saturday Centus on Christmas Eve? Yeah, like we're just lying around waiting for Santa to come. Well, I do need to get off my feet for a while, so why not? The prompt is in bold type.

Following Rod is like following squirrels. I just never know!! I am driving along, thinking about all the times he has blithely missed a turn. And he had the unmitigated gall to ask me if I knew how to get to the airport!!! Up ahead, I see the exit(?) for Sky Harbor. My goal, keep Rod in sight. No!!Rod, no!!!! TOO LATE! I am cursing! He is oblivious!! Still behind him, I honk the horn!!! Ah! Now he gets it! WRONG EXIT!! He gets off, gets back on, and I am furious!! Once again he has gone into a fugue state behind the wheel and missed a turn. I am screaming profanities at him. And to top it off, the flight is early!! He speeds away! Finally I reach the arrivals! He is no where to be found!! I call him on the cell. The anger in my voice is unmistakable. "Sorry," he says. Up ahead I see parents and children at the curb. I pull in. I heard an angel voice through the chaos and the noise--"Granmommy!!" Christmas has begun!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Rogue's Christmas Letter

Does not remotely resemble our house at Christmas!!


The Rogue Speaks:

Dear Friends and Family, It is time again for our annual Christmas letter. A lot of exciting things have happened this year, beginning with the marriage of our step-niece, Irma, to Bud Tugly. Poor Irma still can’t find a job! It’s a good thing that Bud is such an entrepreneur! First he went out and got a license for $15 from PreachersAreUs.com, and then he came up with a very clever idea to make money and stay on the road so he didn’t have to listen to Irma whining about her job status. His wedding chapel on wheels is very popular, and Bud’s raking in money hand over fist! He rolls into towns and sets up outside the local bars just before closing. The he gets out his loudspeaker and starts trolling! Some men will do anything when they’re liquored up! As you know, Rod takes our dog children on a walk every day, but one day, when he was not paying attention, Little Liz got herself in some serious trouble. She was caught by the Oro Valley police dealing dope to folks she met along the way. Rod swears he had no idea what she was up to, and fortunately, Officer Friendly believed him. Liz is now wearing an ankle bracelet until her court date. Joey, Aimee, and the twins are coming to spend Christmas with us, and Rod is in charge of decorating the house and the tree. He couldn’t find the crèche and the Italian figures that I spent an arm and a leg for over 20 years ago, so I had to get a little creative and fashion one from stuff I had on hand. Since it is loaded with salt and preservatives, we can always snack on it after the family goes home. I got the idea from my friend, Jenny Matlock, creator of Alphabe-Thursday. She always makes such neat stuff!! We just got word today that a few distant relatives on my mother's side of the family are on their way here to Tucson for Christmas. I know that charity begins at home, but my home is just not big enough to accomodate these folks. I haven't even seen or heard from them for years, and I'm wondering just how they knew where we were. When we moved from Memphis, we only left an 800 number for family just so relatives couldn't hunt us down. Here's the last photo I took of them. I don't think they have ever been any farther than the Georgia/Alabama state line, and Rod thinks they just might get lost and end up in Mexico. Rod was a big hit with the neighborhood kids when he dressed up as Santa with his little helper. I'm thinking that the twins are still a little young for this sight, so I made him return the suit. The little helper hat was mysteriously ripped to shreds after this photo was taken. No one would confess, but I did notice some tiny teeth marks in what was left of it. Before I sign off, here is a little audio to get you in the Christmas spirit. Before you listen, please go to my playlist on my right sidebar, and turn down the volume for the music. It's on the right where those little bars are!!



I know this isn't my usual borderline insane Christmas letter. I think I really needed a bottle of Bailey's and a straw, but with the state of the economy right now, it's just a little too pricey!

xoxo,
Judie


P.S I almost forgot! Our son, Joey had one of his short stories published, and I'd love for you to read it. It's called "Anoint Your Engine for a Heavenly Ride." Just click on the title, and enjoy! Let me know what you think!!

p.p.s O.k! That link doesn't seem to work all the time! So the website is Ferocious Quarterly Short Works and my son's name is Joseph Mau. Check it out and report back!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Rogue's Centus


The Rogue Speaks:


"Oh my God, Richard!!! What on earth possessed you?"

"Well, honey, you told me to get a tree, and start decorating. The tree lots were all closed, and it's freezing in the attic where the ornaments are stored. I thought you'd appreciate my creativity!"

"That food was for the party!!!"



Hmmm--it seems I'm not the only one who's getting a little strange this time of the year! Jenny's Saturday Centus for this week seems a little out of character for the Jenny we know and love. But do we really know her? Maybe not!!

My take on the prompt came directly from the fact that Rod does the tree. I want nothing to do with it. For more years than I care to remember, I had a dream of my little family gathering around the tree with a cup of hot cocoa, listening to Christmas music, and helping me place the ornaments on the tree. NOT! I always ended up doing it myself, then having to undress it by myself in January. So, several years ago I announced that I was through! Whoever wanted the tree up was going to have to do it themselves. Of course, that meant Rod. I am not a Christmas person.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cesar FRANCK


"Sewing Virgin Mary and Angels" - Guido Reni



The Rogue Speaks:

There certainly are a lot of lessons this week for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday, so rather than give you some long, pedantic biography to wade through, here is my offering:

The music you hear was written by Cesar Franck (1822-1890)who spent his adult life in Paris as an organist and music teacher, as well as a composer.



It is being sung by soprano Kiri Te Kanawa, who has been said to have the voice of an angel.




We are all so busy right now, getting ready for Christmas, that sometimes we forget to take a little time for ourselves. Just sit quietly for a few minutes and give your spirit a chance to renew.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

IT IS WHAT IT IS


The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny really did it to me with this Saturday Centus prompt. I must have stared at it off and on for a good thirty minutes. Nothing came to mind except the truth about Christmas for me. I used to love the season, and I prided myself in picking out just the right gift for each person. They were not expensive gifts, but I wrapped them with creativity. One year, when I was particularly broke, an immediate family member insisted that I absolutely had to buy gifts for everyone, and convinced me to use a credit card to do so. That was my first mistake--listening to a person who had never had my best interest at heart. It was down hill from then on.

Just when I thought things might get better, something else happened, and the downward spiral continued to where it is today.

So here is my offering for this week's Centus. Now don't get all sad and try to comfort me about this. I am sure I am not the only person who feels this way about a holiday that is supposed to be Christian, but has lost that spirit over the years. It is what it is:

I am sad this time of the year. I am not a Christmas person. I used to be. When my children were little, I tried to make Christmas happy, exciting. Our tree, the one with its bare side against the wall, the one marked half-price two days before, drooped with handmade ornaments. Stockings were stuffed with nuts and oranges, and little trinkets. Each child had four gifts--one big and three little. Spread out, it looked like more.

Then something happened, and all the joy left. It doesn't have to be that way, but it is.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

E is for EXECRABLE


The Rogue Speaks:

This was supposed to be my "D" post until I changed horses in mid-stream.

So for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday this week, I am letting you know exactly how I feel about the dumbing down of America by reality t.v. shows. In my last week's post, I mentioned "Lady Hoggers," those low-class skanks who chase hogs through the woods while wearing tight shirts and hoop earrings. In a recent episode, these two chase a wild boar who is running rampant through an trailer park. Who in God's name came up with the idea for this show? And just who watches it???


A Star is Born!


And speaking of hogs, the sight of men covered head to toe with tats, wearing greasy bandanas on their heads like throw-backs to the Woodstock age, and sporting those muscle shirts, and working on their motorcycles, are starting to give the open road, wind blowing through your hair while bucolic scenery speeds by, a bad name. The name Jesse James comes to mind, since he was part of that show. What a creep! He had a pretty good thing going with Sandra Bullock, but he had to screw it up. Now he says he misses his pals on the tasteless bike show, and he's sorry he left. I think he is just sorry, period, and so is that show!


Be Still My Heart!


Just who are those Kardashians anyway? Their only claim to fame is that their father defended O.J. Simpson and GOT HIM OFF!!! Rod was curious about that show, which I have NEVER seen, and after five minutes he went back to the history channel.


Who ARE These People Anyway???


I grew up in Atlanta, was married there and had children there. I was an Atlanta housewife, a REAL one. I did watch this show for about 10 minutes once, and realized that these were definitely not the genteel southern women I used to know when I lived there. These are women are obsessed with themselves and conspicuous consumption. I was totally disgusted.


White Trash

Then there's Gene Simmons and his Family Jewels. WHO CARES?????

The Dog--Best Man or Maid of Honor??



Joan and Melissa? Puleeze! Give me a break! Enough said.

Only the dumbest of the dumb finds anything of social value in "World's Dumbest Criminals."

As for those court shows, like "Divorce Court," ditto.

"Tori and Dean" are on my list, as is "Bait Car."

So, tell me--just what t.v. shows do you think belongs on this list? I have purposely left some off the list, and want to see what YOU come up with!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Silent Gaze


Judie, at 16


The Rogue Speaks:

Hmmm--this could be Wordless Wednesday instead of Saturday Centus, because I really have nothing to say about being 16. I think the expression on my face in the photo above says it all. I hope you will visit Jenny Matlock, and read the other offerings for her brilliant sixteen word prompt!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"D" is for DID You Think I Forgot??

The Rogue Speaks:

This is a busy time of year for artists here in Tucson, with a lot of festivals and exhibitions going on, and I have sort of lost track of the days, but it would take an awful lot for me to forget Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday!!

All week I have been planning to write about the DUMB t.v. shows that I have come across when I have had a bout of insomnia--shows like "Lady Hoggers" where two women dress up in tight jeans, sexy shirts, and hoop earrings to chase wild boars through the woods. The operative word here is definitely NOT "lady." There are a lot more of these "dumbing down of America" shows, and I will address more of them in another post.

I changed my mind, however, when I got an email from my son entitled "Yummy." It seems that he has several video clips on YouTube. I highlighted the YouTube in yellow so you can click on the link and go straight to one of his videos of two of my beautiful grandchildren, henceforth know as "The Twins." My son's name is Joey Mau, and he has other videos listed on the right sidebar at YouTube, so check those out as well.

I had quite an exciting email from Terra at Sitting on an Oak, telling me that I had won THREE of her recently published children's books! I really wanted those books for The Twins! If you have children or grandchildren, you will want to get all of these books for them as well. Just go to Campbell Lawson(her pen name), and just below the header, the books can be found. Click on each one and read about them!!

I know this is nothing like my usual Thursday posts--it's really an olio (as opposed to oleo, which is margarine), a hodge podge, but after Holidazzle is over on Sunday night, I can get back into my blogging mode. Too bad you can't be here to come to the reception tomorrow night at the Hilton, in the Johsua Room. It looks pretty darned good in there! Lots of fine art and fine crafts! A Christmas shopper's delight. I'll have photos on Sunday!

Now go check out the other students' homework at Jenny's blog!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Black Friday Thief

The Rogue Speaks:

I awoke this morning to news of all the badness Black Friday brought to many people. A woman pepper sprayed shoppers who were waiting for the table of goods she was guarding to be uncovered. In other stories, people were trampled, and some were robbed of their purchases. A grandfather in Phoenix was beaten by police because they thought he was trying to steal a video game when he tucked it into his waistband to free his hands to help his grandson. Other shoppers were horrified and jumped to his defense. The Christmas season?? Come on, people! Is all this "stuff" that important?? Is THIS the spirit of Christmas you want your children to learn?

Many employees were angered upon learning that they were expected to be at work at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. Many of them missed Thanksgiving dinner with their families because they needed to catch some sleep before going to work at night.

Other workers, like little Michelle, ended their day so totally exhausted, that their brains were completely numb. The following is Michelle's story. Remember that we have a limit of 100 words and the prompt is in bold type.


The Black Friday Thief

Black Friday was winding down. The Burger Barn had been crammed with customers and Michelle’s feet were screaming. So many orders! Her fingers were sore from working the register, and her head was swimming.

“Hey! Wake up!” a voice whispered loudly, and Michelle saw a scruffy man in a wool cap standing there. He had a gun, and was pointing it at her. “Empty the register!” he demanded.

Michelle, her brain foggy from the long day, did as he said, and stuffed the day’s receipts into a burger bag.

“Would you like fries with that?” she asked, in a stupor.


Now head over to Jenny's Saturday Centus to read more offerings. You may even write one of your own! I'll be waiting to see it!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Brain Damage in the Electronic Age- A Thanksgiving Post


The Rogue Speaks:

So many things are obsolete these days--records, and record players have all but disappeared, having gone the way of tape players, VCR's, 8 Tracks, etc. One can now open and close blinds or drapes with a remote control, turn on lights, and unlock doors, and start one's car from inside the house. We have become slaves to the electronic age. These things are supposed to make our lives easier. Convenience has come with a price, however. It has destroyed a portion of one's brain, and has stripped it of the knowledge of simple everyday things that served us well for hundreds of years.

I had an appointment at 11:45 today to get my hair cut. At 11:22, I went into the garage to get into my car. The door would not open. It was locked, and because I always leave my car windows open when I park in the garage, I reached inside to unlock the door. Nada! Nothing! I am still locked out! Then I reached in and put the key in the ignition and tried to start the car. Nada! Nothing!

I raced into the house and called to change my appointment, and then called AAA. They were out within 30 minutes. They had replaced my battery only a month ago, so they knew right where I lived. He asked for the keys to my car. I handed them over. He then TOOK THE KEY AND UNLOCKED THE DOOR. I felt like a blithering idiot! Not once did it ever occur to me to USE THE KEY! My brain has been damaged by the electronic age!!




He checked everything out and the car was fine. He surmised that the proximity warning device had been accidentally activated by a PACK RAT. Funny, because while driving to Target a few days ago, I heard a strange noise in the back, where I am always hauling around paintings, and art supplies. My heart stopped! I was terrified that at any moment a pack rat was going to jump on my head from the back seat, and begin gnawing on my face, causing me to wet myself and wreck my car. I quickly parked and gingerly starting rearranging things in the back. I found nothing there, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one hiding somewhere.

So this is my thought for Thanksgiving: I am thankful that even in this electronic age, there are still the simple things in our lives that will work for us when electronics fail us. If only we can remember to USE THEM!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Blessings? Blessings!!


The Rogue Speaks:

I had to really mull over this one. Today, I have a pretty bad attitude! I have certain rules by which I run my life, and when someone scoffs at those rules, it makes me more than pissy. That was the case today. I will not go into details, but when I got home from my meetings this morning, I was not a happy camper. So I sent my pissy self into a fugue state and tried to gain control of the situation. That took some time, but eventually it kinda sorta worked. I am calmer, but not completely satisfied.

Yes, I broke the rules. I have too many words! But, so what? I NEED to get my point across, and I don't think Jenny will flog me for this. So here is my offering for Jenny's Saturday Centus. Please be kind!

'WE GATHER TOGETHER TO ASK THE LORD'S BLESSING'…

The words of the hymn came drifting out of the door of the Gospel Rescue Mission. Alexis, with her three children in tow, paused briefly to hear the last refrain, and then continued on toward the spot that she had “reserved” underneath the overpass near “the five,” the name given by the natives for interstate 5 in Los Angeles.

“Outsourced” had been the buzz-word when Alexis was told that her job had ended. The Gospel Rescue Mission was full—no more beds available tonight, so her little family had been relegated to sleeping amidst the fumes from the trucks passing through the city.




“I’m not alone,” she reasoned. “There are probably more than a handful of those 99% who are struggling tonight. At least my children know how much I love them! How many of the one per-centers can say that? There ARE things to be thankful for!”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

COLLECTING - PUT THAT BACK!!

The Rogue Speaks:

This has been one wild week so far, and I have barely had time to turn around. Consequently, I realized that I had not prepared my Alphabe-Thursday post for Jenny's blog. I was so exhausted last night, that I slept hard and didn't get up until about a hour ago. I have a couple of meetings today, and so I decided that I would reprint one of my posts from 2010 as my offering this week. If you remember, Ames brought me a couple of packages of cocktail napkins when she came for a visit, and I added them to my obscenely vast collection. So, without further commentary, here is my offering:


I am embarrassed to admit that one of my weaknesses is cocktail napkins. But they can't be just any cocktail napkins--they have to have some silly (or sage) phrase, and/or picture on them. Whenever I go shopping at a certain store in town, I head straight for the napkins. I was in that store today, and found some I thought I could not live without.

That voice! I HATE that voice! It spoils all my fun! You know the one I mean--the one in your head that reminds you that you already have a whole shelf in the kitchen just stacked with an item that you crave, so PUT THAT BACK!

Before I discovered cocktail napkins, my passion was poultry. For a while, everyone was giving me chickens, chicks, roosters, etc., to put in my niche above the cabinets. Then one day I discovered that eventually you have to get the ladder, climb to the top rung, and dust every one of those non-essential items or they begin to look grungy. Dusting high places has never appealed to me, and especially dusting things that are non-essential. Bye-bye, chickens!

Cocktail napkins don't get dusty, because they are wrapped in cellophane, and tucked away on a cabinet shelf. Even after you open them, you can put what you don't use in a zip-lock bag, all ready for the next time. That "next" time has become a problem, because I don't entertain nearly as much as I used to, and I have a cabinet shelf filled with cocktail napkins that will probably not be used in my lifetime.

I thought everyone would just love those cute napkins at parties. But you know what happens? They grab a napkin to put their drinks on, and the cuteness goes unnoticed. I could put out squares of toilet paper instead, and that would work just as well.

The only person who seems to appreciate my napkins is my Best Friend Artist. She always laughs and tells me how cute they are. So, to get around the fact that the last thing I needed to buy today were more cocktail napkins, I bought her a couple of packages for her birthday. Of course, it isn't until May, but I just told that voice to shut up because this was different--it wasn't for me. Don't you think that makes it all right?

Shhhh! Don't tell her what she's getting! I want it to be a surprise!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Changing What's Real ( in a clumsy kind of way)

The Rogue Speaks:

My fabulous photographer friend, Mari Sterling Wilbur, turned me on to the blog "The Other Side Of Anna." Anna sponsors a monthly post about altering photographs using all those great digital programs that are available now. I am not good at following all the complicated directions, and so I end up doing the most simple things possible to alter my photos. I use these altered images to create some of my paintings. I haven't painted the image below as of yet, but I plan to in the future. Meanwhile, it is stored away in my clip file.

The image is of my son Jeff's chicken coop.

I must have cropped this photo for some reason unknown to me now, but below is the altered version of the ORIGINAL original in the style one might see in a pastel. This version brings out values that are important to me in painting. It also brings out certain colors that are not evident in the original piece.




This manipulation was not at all as complex as the more experienced photographers' work, so I decided to add another example that I did several years ago, when I was not so consumed with "old-timers" issues, and could occasionally remember how to work some of the gizmos on the programs. The photo below is of two of my children. As you can tell, it is VERY old! I combined it with the next photo, taken in Sedona about 10 years ago. After placing my two children in the photo, I did some painting on them and their surroundings to produce what I call "Wonderland."







I am really quite a simpleton when it comes to digital manipulation. You can tell that fact is blatantly true! But it is fun to play around with. I basically use programs to take the wrinkles out of photos of all us old people. Perhaps if I had learned all about the programs the way my son Joey did, back when he was in high school and college, I would be better at it! Oh, well! Now you can go to Anna's blog and see the work of some EXPERTS! Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

IN DEFENSE OF CHILDREN

The Rogue Speaks:

When I woke up this morning, I actually couldn't remember what day it was. It has been that kind of week. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it! So I sat down at the computer and saw Jenny's Saturday Centus challenge. Thank God I didn't see "Sundays with Steve," or I would have gone back to bed crying!! There has been a lot of pollen in the air and I have had a headache for four days now. After a couple of aspirin and some black coffee, I whipped out my answer to Jenny's challenge:


THIS CHILD'S COACH HAS A SECRET



IN DEFENSE OF CHILDREN

“Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease! Please make my mom show up so coach doesn’t make me ride home with him!” Lissa’s inner voice was screaming in her head as her eyes scanned the parking lot for her mother’s car.

The soccer coach lived two doors down from Lissa and her family. He and Lissa’s father played poker once a week, and before his wife divorced him and disappeared with their two daughters, she and Lissa’s mother had been sort of friends.

After every play, Lissa crained her neck, looking for her mother’s car. Then she saw it. “Thank you, God,“ she said quietly.


With all the news coming out of Penn State lately, I felt compelled to write about this issue. People who sexually abuse children are the scum of the earth, and they all should be made to pay dearly for their disgusting behavior. Life in prison is way too good for them.

There is another issue, however, that in my opinion is also disgusting, and that is the issue of the people who KNOW what is going on and fail to act appropriately. These people who, for whatever reason, choose to place their standing above that of a child, are selfish cowards. Every adult has a responsibility to expose child sexual abuse (or any other form of abuse), no matter the cost. Our children are our future, and they should always be kept safe, so they can grow up healthy and happy, and live loving and productive lives.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

B is for Being Yourself


The Rogue Speaks:

I have a friend who publishes a wonderful blog. Her name is Joann Mannix. Her blog is called Laundry Hurts My Feelings, and when you have a chance, please go check it out. I am stealing some stuff from her today for my lesson for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. I'm reading along about her trip to Sonoma and Napa today, occasionally shooting coffee out my nose at her funny self, and then I come across the perfect idea for my "B" post:

"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life...Don't let the noises of other people's opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Steve Jobs


When you have children and a spouse, and the responsibilities that come with family life, sometimes you find that you have put your own life on the back burner to accomodate other people. Don't forget, though, that you also have a responsibility to yourself. If there are things that you have always wanted to do, activities you have always wanted to participate in, don't wait too long. The older we get, the faster the days get away from us, and eventually the things that we wanted to accomplish seem like only distant and unfulfilled memories.

I always like to have some music to go along with my posts, and while I was trying to come up with something for this one, I realized that I already had it. So I am leaving the selection from my last post up for you to listen to and enjoy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

His Window

The Rogue Speaks:

I am so far behind this week! I was late posting my "A" word, and could not in all good conscience start writing my Centus until I had read all the other "A.s." Whew! That was a monumental task! There were a lot of great ones, however, and well worth the effort!

Now, on to my offering for this week's Saturday Centus:

Jeremy sat in his chair by the window, looking out on the soccer field below. Despite the bright warmth of the early autumn day, he was wrapped snuggly in a soft, cozy blanket.

The young players were running, calling to each other, kicking, and cheering. It looked like so much fun. Jeremy's mind began to wander, and he saw himself on that field, kicking the ball into the net. If only that could happen!

“Sweetie, are you o.k.? Do you need anything?” Jeremy’s mom called out from the doorway.

Jeremy turned, and said in a small voice, “New legs.”

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Aedes Aegypti


"Breast Cancer Know No Boundaries" Judie McEwen


The Rogue Speaks:

First, let me give you the information for the "Breasts for Life," the on-line auction being held at Toscana Gallery. The Auction runs till Nov. 29. Click on the link and just see the creativity of the artists participating in this important fundraiser for breast cancer research. If you have any questions about the auction, please ask me!! If you would like to make a bid on one of the pieces, I will be happy to help you with that as well.

Now, on to my Alphabe-Thursday offering--aedis aegypti!




She certainly is fashionable in her black and white checked outfit! But she can be quite deadly if she happens to suck your blood while carrying West Nile virus. Yes, I know that it is no longer summer, and mosquitos have gone into hiding for a few months, but this happens to be a pretty interesting "A" word, so I thought I would use it. She also carries yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, encephyllitis, and a few other terrible illnesses. Her husband, however, doesn't carry anything but sperm to make more mosquitoes. He only drinks nectar, while she is the blood sucker!!

There are thousands of species of mosquitoes, but only 43 of them are the vector for West Nile virus. Here is a photo of Aedes Albopictus, another carrier:



She appears to be dressed in red with a checkered shawl, with black and white leggings, but I suspect that red is someone's blood!

The culex pipiens can also carry West Nile.



I did not take this photo, even though the leg that is being bitten looks suspiciously like mine after a week of not shaving. This girl looks a little drab, compared to the others, doesn't she?

Even though mosquito season is over for most of us on the North American continent, it is summer in some parts of the world, and mosquitoes can be a serious problem.

In an all-out effort to prevent malaria from mosquitoes here in Tucson, I make a concerted effort to always take quinine in the form of vodka tonics. I don't know if it works for West Nile, but I'm hopin'!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Toscana Gallery "Pause for Beauty"


Paintings along the desert trail, Toscana Gallery Reception


The Rogue Speaks:

Well, the show was FABULOUS! We had a huge crowd, and the tables in the studio were laden with food. The wine was seriously flowing! The desert trail was alive with lights and art, and the gallery simply glowed with beautiful paintings! The breast castings are below:





I was seriously humbled at having received a ribbon for one of my paintings. It really blew me away, because there were such beautiful works of art to choose from. Here are a few photos of some of the entries:











The breast castings will be put on-line, and may be bid on until November 29. Once they are on-line, I will give you all a heads-up so you will have a chance to bid for this most important cause. All proceeds will go directly to breast cancer research, so please consider making a bid.

We had a harpist for our entertainment, and she also had a beautiful singing voice. We were all enthralled!


The bartender was kept pretty busy!


Our next show at Toscana will be in the spring. I hope it is as successful as this one!