Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Christmas Centus

The Rogue Speaks:

A Christmas Centus
“The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow gave a luster of midday to objects below…”

White snow.  Bright snow.    At the edge of the field, Mira saw a deer nibbling a patch of grass that had been sheltered from the snow storm by the thick trees.  To her left, she could see Christmas lights twinkling in town.  It was her first Christmas alone since he had died.  Still, she had decorated a tree, and had even put the old electric candles in the front windows.


Mira turned.  There stood her children, their faces ruddy from the cold.

“Merry Christmas!”  they cried.
This little story is linked to Jenny's Saturday Centus.  Merry Christmas, Centusians!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

E is for ENDEMIC

The Rogue Speaks:

One spring and summer, back in the 50's, a polio epidemic broke out in America.  We were young--in grammar school--and polio was horribly frightening to our parents.  We stayed at home, and were not allowed to go to Sunday school, or play with our friends.  We were not allowed to leave our yards, until the epidemic had ended.

Thanks to the work of Drs. Salk and Sabin, polio has been eradicated in America, and actually in most of the world, except Pakistan.  There is a polio epidemic in Pakistan, and the World Health Organization sent health-care workers there to administer the polio vaccine in order to save the lives of children and adults.  Most of those workers are women, who went door to door administering the liquid vaccine to children.

So far, more than eight of those workers have been shot by a militant extremist group, namely the Taliban, who is certain that the immunization is a plot by the CIA to either kill or sterilize the Pakistani people.  The United Nations has suspended the vaccinations on Wednesday, even though polio is endemic to Pakistan, and the country now suffers a serious health crisis.

The Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist religious/political group that is found primarily in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The Muslim groups who interpret Islam in a kind and gentle way have been highly critical of the Taliban and its interpretation of Islamic law, and especially of its brutal treatment of women.  Recently, a 15 year old girl, Malala Yousufzai, was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out in support of education for girls.

There are many fundamentalist political/religious groups in the world today, and they are not all followers of Islam.  In my opinion, any fundamentalist group who has no tolerance for the beliefs of others, and who seeks to control an entire population and spew disdain and hatred in the face of any people who would not be controlled by them and follow their way of life should be driven out of existence.  There will never be Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men as long as anyone is persecuted in the name of religion.

That's my view, and I'm stickin' to it!  Now I'm going out to cut pine boughs for my mantle.  I'm hoping it will hide the pet odors that now seem to be everywhere in my house.  Rod thinks is just my imagination.

This is a MUST READ:     

This post is linked to Alphabe-Thursday

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas 2012

The Rogue Speaks:

I learned today that Avi Richman, one of the children who was killed in Sandy Hook, was the daughter of one of my son-in-law's former graduate students at the University of Arizona.  Yes, it is a very small world and an unexpected sorrow can touch any and all of us with the speed of a bullet.

The first line of my poem is the prompt Jenny gave us for this Saturday Centus, and it is the basis for my offering this week--the prompt, plus 100 words:

On the thirteenth day of Christmas,
Here in our nation,
In quiet Sandy Hook
There was no celebration.
The stockings had hung
By the chimney with care,
But some little children
Had never been there.
To open their presents
And chatter with glee.
A gunman had killed them
And shattered the tree
That had stood all bejeweled
With tinsel and light,
But there was no Santa
To come in the night.
The country was weeping
And wondering why
Those sweet little babies
All had to die.
They’re now all in Heaven,
In God’s tender care.
Maybe one day
We will meet with them there.
America is unique in the world for its fascination with guns.  It has the highest gun ownership per capita rate than any other nation.  There are 9 guns for every 10 people in this country.  Why?????

Friday, November 30, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

In an attachment sent to me by a friend, I read the following:  "A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats its least fortunate amongst them."  I wanted to find just what wise man said that, so I did a little investigating and found that variations of that statement have been said by many wise people over many years.  Here are just a few:

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.~Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), My Several Worlds [1954].

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
~Samuel Johnson, Boswell: Life of Johnson

"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

Now you may think that this post is somehow connected to the Christmas season.  It isn't, although it could be.  There has been way too much infighting in Congress these days about how to solve our national debt issues.  The conservatives want to reduce programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which will seriously hurt the people who need those programs the most.  They strongly object to making the richest people in America have to pay more in taxes, while the opposition thinks that it is only fair that those rich people have the same tax rates as the rest of us.  I think this is pretty reasonable, don't you?

In an exit poll taken on election day, an overwhelming majority of voters  agreed with me on this issue.  Were you one of them?

If you don't think that this is fair, tell me why you don't.  Before you comment, however, here is a  quote for you to ponder.  These words came from the mouth of Jesus Christ, whom many of you profess to follow and serve.  After you have thought about these words from your divine and spiritual leader, send me your comments.

Mark 10: 17-31

"And as he was going forth into the way, there ran one to him, and kneeled to him, and asked him Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good save one, even God.  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor thy father and mother.  And he said unto him, Teacher, all these things have I observed from my youth.  And Jesus looking upon him loved him and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.  But his countenance fell at the saying, and he went away sorrowful: for he was one that had great possessions.   And Jesus looked round about and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God.  And the disciples were amazed at his words.  But Jesus answereth again and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

This is my offering for Alphabe-Thursday.  I would like to thank, once again, Jenny and Steve Matlock for the kindness they showed to me and Rod during our move here to Brunswick.  They went above and beyond the call of duty when we needed help.  We will always be grateful to them.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And a pumpkin...

The Rogue Speaks:

  Here's my Saturday Centus, finally.  Am I late?  Yeah, well, just a little!  I have a photo for you that is kind of holiday-ish in that it combines TWO holidays.  I tried to get a turkey in the photo, but couldn't find one just wandering around in my yard.  Darn!  I hate it when that happens!

Rod finally found the witch's cauldron full of Mardi Gras beads yesterday, so now we are in business for tonight.  I hope the little demons who ring our doorbell tonight don't demand candy over those beads, because they'll be out of luck.

Our first Halloween in Brunswick!  I wonder just what it will be like!  I'll let you know.

p.s. Be sure to check out the photo in my sidebar.  It's not as cute as Jenny's, but I've been dying to use it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

I know what you're thinking!  Our homework for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday is supposed to be "PG."  Would you believe me if I told you that WTF stands for What The Fudge?  Hmmm-no, I didn't think so.  In any case, I have TWO of Jenny's hand painted (No stencils!) signs.  AND I'm planning to get more to give as gifts!!  This was just a brilliant idea on her part!  I hope she sells a gazillion of them!  The other sign I have says, "It is what it is," which is another one of my favorite sayings.

I am sick, sick, sick of this contentious race for the presidency, and I'm not the only one.  Most of us will be so glad for it to be over and done with for another four years!  I am trying to just shut my mind off to politics for the next two weeks, but a couple of things in the last several days just keep popping back up on a regular basis.  One of those things is education.  I firmly believe that it isn't enough to concentrate on one skill and one skill only.  To be a well-rounded and knowledgeable individual, one must have a reasonable understanding of all the courses we learned in school, whether or not we actually use them.  Who knows?  Some day we may actually NEED that knowledge!

If anyone has ever watched Jay Leno's segment called "Jay Walking," you know what I mean.  In this segment, Jay interviews people from all walks of life about things we should have learned in school.  Most of the people are blatantly ignorant about history and geography and current events.  I don't want to cut these people some slack.  I think that as citizens, we have a responsibility, especially in today's world, to know, for example, that Syria is not Iran's path to the sea, as one presidential candidate stated.  The fact is that Iran has its OWN sea--the Persian Gulf, for Pete's sake!  And Syria? Well, Syria is on the OTHER side of Iraq from Iran, and lies on the Mediterranean.  Not knowing your geography, when running for president of the United States, is outrageously preposterous and scary!  We just can't have the leaders of other countries thinking that our president is stupid, now can we????  When I heard that statement come out of the mouth of a candidate, I briefly glanced at the sign that Jenny made and thought, "WTF!!!"

I am not particularly interested in the Military Channel on t.v.  Rod watches it, though, and I play Scrabble.  Even though I don't watch it, I know that we no longer fight battles at sea, so we have no need for all those battleships that were floating around back in 1917.  Now we have aircraft carriers and nuclear subs.  The army has no need for horses, or swords (except for ceremonies with full-dress uniforms) or those long bayonets attached to outdated rifles.  We now have "new age" weapons.  Too bad one candidate isn't aware of those changes.  Once again, I glanced at my Jenny sign.

In a couple of weeks, it will all be over, and then we can look forward to seeing Christmas decorations in all the stores--yes, before Thanksgiving!  I'm hoping that all the candidates will start removing their political signs before they become even more of a blight on the landscape.  We can sit back on election night and watch the count.  Rod will be in his chair with a dog on either side, and I will be stretched out on the sofa with a glass of wine and Violet by my side.  When the last vote is counted, I will glance up at my OTHER Jenny sign, sigh, and say to myself, "it is what it is."

Sunday, October 21, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

I was out chasing "whitey" down the fairways yesterday, and by the time I got home, I was way too tired to write.  My offering for Saturday Centus is a little late, and the photo that Jenny gave us to work from is in my sidebar, but nevertheless, here's my little story:


“Hi!  I’m Fred!  I love your costume—very original!  I’m just meeting all my new neighbors and I thought this Halloween party would be a good idea.  I haven’t seen you around.  You must work the night shift.  You have sexy eyes, but you don’t talk much, do you!  Let me show you the upstairs.  We can be alone and get to know each other.

Well, this is it!  You could take your mask off.  It must get hot.  Here, let me help you.  Hey!  This isn’t a mask!  Wait!  What are you doing???  No!!!! My neck!!!! You’re hurting me…….!!!”

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

I want to trick or treat at Blogger headquarters.  I have some rotten eggs that I would like to throw at their windows, because they won't let me upload photos to my post.  I can put them in my sidebar, however, so be sure to check them out.

Vlad, the Impaler (1431-1476) is also know by his family name, DRACULA!!!  He was an excessively cruel leader of Wallachia, the present-day Romania.  Vlad fought against the Ottoman Turks, and was knows as the Impaler because he executed his enemies by impaling them on a long wooden stake, then stood it up in the ground for all to see.  The weight of the body would slowly drag the victim down, in a painful death.
In 1476, Vlad was brutally murdered and beheaded.  His head was sent to Constantinople, in Turkey, but the rest of his body was never found, though many people over the years searched for its final resting place.  It is thought by some that Vlad came back to life, and remains alive today, wandering the earth in search of more victims.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:


The leaves cruched under my boots until they didn't.  I had reached the edge of the lake.  I turned and gazed up the path.  On the left was the sourwood tree, its leaves glowing neon red in the sun--electric leaves.

A young woman and her lover lay on a faded quilt beneath the tree, their bodies close, his fingers gently pushing her long brown hair back from her face.  She slipped her arms around his waist and pulled him down to her.

I turned and, opening the urn, I flung the contents into the water, saving a little to place by the sourwood tree, under our electric leaves.

An October Saturday Centus, with 109 words including the prompt, which is in bold type.  If you have not taken part in this exercise, please consider joining me and the other Centusians, led by our muse,  Jenny Matlock.  Every week is a different challenge, and it is so much fun to read the creative ideas of other writers.

Blogger is messing with my head again, and won't let me publish photos with my post, so you will find the photo for this Centus in my right sidebar.  If anyone knows what's going on with these strange and goofy error codes blogger is handing out, please let me know.  Google doesn't even know!  What do you think about that??

See you on Thursday!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

Little Pigeon River - JMcEwen
Our Season

“Remember our ‘Salad Days?’” she asked wistfully.

“You mean when we were green and tender?” he replied with a smile, taking her hand.

“Yes! When fall comes, and I see how beautifully leaves grow old, I realize that it is only a season since we were youthful and vibrant. Our lives go by so quickly the older we get.”

“Did you think we would stay young forever?  That’s no fun!  I’m glad I can rest now, and sit with you like this—like a pair of comfortable shoes that have seen better days, but fit so perfectly together.”
Jenny gave us such a wonderful Saturday Centus today, didn't she?  The prompt is in bold type, and the words, limited to 103, just fell out of my fingers and onto the page!  I'm anxious to see the offerings of the other Centusians, and I hope you will join me.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tasteless and Tacky

The Rogue Speaks:

Now I've seen everything!  WTF!!  The maker of Chia Pets has come out with presidential chias!  So dash to your closest KMart or WalMart and vote for your candidate by purchasing one of the tacky and tasteless items!  Will it be Chia Obama or Chia Romney??? 

The makers of Chias have been around for a long, long time.  When I was a very little girl, my grandmother had one that she would occasionally sprinkle with grass seed.  I thought it was silly  then, and it is still silly to me today.  What a waste of money!!  And after the election, where do you think all those presidential Chias will eventually end up???

I wanted to show you photos of this two absurd items, but of course Blogger won't let me post any photos from the web these days, so you'll have to just imagine the two candidates with green hair.  Not a pretty sight is it?  Some people will do anything to make money, because they know that there are millions of impulsive folks who will throw away their hard-earned dollars on sheer crap.

I think I told you about Mum's blue plastic talking watch that she bought, for a "good cause," because the money was supposedly going to some charity.  The alarm was a crowing rooster, and Mum didn't know how to shut the alarm off, so when she came to visit us, we had to stick that watch under some boxes in the garage so the sound wouldn't literally drive us crazy for a month.  That plastic watch was designed for someone who couldn't see, but poor Mum couldn't HEAR, so she had no idea just how annoying that piece of plastic was.

Now here's a clever sales pitch by Pat Robertson's organization--in order to get people to open a letter from him, asking for a charitable donation, his people put a dollar in every envelope.  Of course people would open the envelope, because who is going to throw a dollar bill in the trash?  A lot of those people who opened that letter ended up donating a minimum of $5, so for an investment of $1, Robertson got back at least $4.  Not bad, eh?  The poor people who were suckered in never stopped to realize just how many letters went out all over America!  I wish I had all those dollars for my own personal "charity!"

I will close this silly post with a caption from a cartoon I once saw in the newspaper--"Satisfaction Guaranteed or No Money Back!!"  "Duh, sounds good to me!!"

Now hop on over to Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday and read the other students' homework!!

Talented Artists Who Blog!

The Rogue Speaks:

This is supposed to be posted Monday, but Blogger is being hateful, so I am publishing it Sunday night instead.  I wish they would get their issues worked out!!!  I'm tired of this "We're sorry..." stuff.

There are so many talented artists in the blogging world, and I decided to recognize a few of them today.  I have always admired collage artists.  I have never thought of myself as being very good at layout, and I love studying collage artists' work so I can hopefully learn something.  Laying out all those bits and pieces and moving them around, until suddenly one has a piece of art!  How fulfilling that is!

The first artist/blogger is my friend, Jo West.  A couple of years ago, Jo created a very special piece for me when our Precious girl crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  It hangs in my sitting room, and I see it every day.

  I gave one of Jo's collages to our daughter in New Orleans for her birthday this year.  I wish I had photographed it before I gave it to her, but I didn't!  Anyway, she loved it!!  I framed it in a shadowbox frame that can be opened from the front, so she can put some small memorabilia on the shelf inside the box.  O.k., I confess that I tried to nick a photo of the collage off Jo's blog,
 My Paper Playhouse, but blogger is being really uncooperative about that stuff, and wouldn't let me post it!!

The next collage artist is Theresa Plas.  She had a piece on her blog a couple of months ago, and I just had to have it for our new house.  You really must go to Theresa's blog, Studio 48 Tango, and then go to her Etsy shop.  This woman really has the gift for collage!  I plan to give some of her pieces as Christmas presents this year.

Teresa's piece is the one on top!  Isn't it fabulous???  Below it is my weak attempt that I did in an encaustics class a couple of years ago.   Mine looks better when it is in such good company!
You have already seen the work of Marsha Jorgensen in my right sidebar.  She is part of a group of artists who  are trying to stop art piracy.  If you are interested in collage, please go to her blog, Tumblefish Studio, because she sells supplies for creating collages similar to the ones you have seen here.

Well, that's it for today!  Next Monday, I may just tell you about the culinary artistry I performed with some fresh crabs that I trapped at the Jekyll Island pier.  The photo below is not a collage, but I am so proud of last week's catch, I just had to show it to you.  We had a wonderful crab feast that night!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

Yikes!!  Saturday Centus really crept up on me this time!  The Ryder Cup is on, and you know I can't miss that!  While we were lounging on the couch with our coffee, the children were playing games in the office.

Plus, we took the dogs to the beach at low tide so they could run off some of their energy.  Then, Mulligan was so filthy from trying to catch fish in all the seaweed, that when we got home, I had to give him a bath in the tub!  I have some great photos of playtime and the beach, but Blogger is being hateful, and won't let me publish them!!

Jenny's prompt, which is in bold type, is sure to produce some interesting posts.  We only have 106 words, including the prompt, and this is what I came up with:

“But you’re like Frost’s “Birches,” bending, but never breaking.”
“Don’t try to pull that crap on me!  I have bent as much as I intend to!  We’ve had this conversation before, and I thought I made myself perfectly clear.  I’ve had enough of your lies, your promises.  Face it!  I’m way smarter than you, and you’ve never gotten away with anything for very long.  This is it, pal!”
“What do I have to do to get you to believe me?  It won’t happen again!  You know I love you!  I really do!  I’m done with her.”
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you break!  I broke.  Get out!”
Please remember that I am now posting on Mondays as well.  This started out as an art blog, so my Monday post will be about artsy things.  I hope you will mark your calendars and come back to visit, and leave a comment!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

S is for SKILLS

The Rogue Speaks:

Shortly after I moved to the Southwest in 1998, I began teaching painting classes. I had a great group of students who soon became my friends as well. We had so much fun! They were eager to learn, and after several months in a teaching center, they decided they could learn more and have more fun in the comfort of my home. They told me it would be better for everyone because I wouldn't have to pack up my supplies and drive to the center. Plus, they said, we could have Margaritas in the afternoon after class was over. Well, that certainly piqued my interest!

It was great fun for a lot of years. Then sad things began to happen. One student's wife developed dementia and they moved back east so he would have family to help him out. Another student had been fighting cancer for years and was finally overcome by it. Still another student, whose husband had been seriously ill for many years decided that she could no longer make the trip with him to the southwest for the winter. This sort of thing makes you very sad and takes away your creativity, so for a while I stopped teaching.

I felt very creative for all those years that I was teaching, and I have come to realize that teaching other people the skills you have learned makes you a better artist. It makes you think beyond what you learned years ago and makes you want to experiment and improve. This is what my students have given me--more knowledge, and more creativity, and a desire to be a better painter.

If you want to do something better, teach what you do know to someone else. It will make you think about what you don't know, and make you want to learn. Share you knowledge with others and you will get a delightful return on your investment. Plus, if you are really lucky, you can drink Margaritas in the afternoon with people you really like.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

Another week has come to an end, which means it's time for Jenny's Saturday Centus.  I just spent a hard day on the Jekyll Island fishing pier, so this will be short and sweet.  Since I came home empty-handed because of the size limitation on crabs (body must be 5" or longer across), I have to figure out what to cook for dinner.  Hmmm, steak, maybe!  Quick and easy--just like this post.

"And if I am elected, every man in America will get the car of his dreams, I'll make every woman rich AND thin, and every child will have a PONY!"
"Marge! Listen! I can have that Corvette! Why, you could lose 200 pounds, and plus the 10 kids we have, we'll finally get that pony ranch we've always dreamed of!"
"Yeah, sure."
“But, Marge…”
“Don’t ‘but, Marge’ me, Fred!  That guy and his cronies are the ones who got us into this mess!  You think that if that clown is elected, we’ll be any better off? Blah, blah, blah!!!  I’m voting for Obama!!!”

Thursday, September 20, 2012

R is for RUNNING

The Rogue Speaks:

Running?  You think I run?  I would secretly love to, for all those endorphines one gets, but my poor feet would be screaming at me after the first 50 yards!  Anyway, it's not THAT running.  It's running for office!  Some of my friends have suggested that I should run for office. Never gonna happen!  It's too much work, and for someone way smarter than I am.  Hmmmm..wait a minute.  Romney's running, and how smart can he be??  I mean, come on!  He tells his rich friends one thing, and the rest of the voting world something else.  How smart is that?  "Hey, Mitt!" she whispered, "You're running the wrong way!  The road to the presidency is the OTHER way!"

So Jimmy Carter's grandson was really pissed off about remarks Mitt made about his beloved grandfather, and he secretly video taped Mitt speaking to a group of wealthy voters.  It seems that Mitt doesn't really care about the votes of the 47% of people who don't pay income taxes, because they won't vote for him anyway.  Well, guess what, Mitt?  I'm not in that 47%, and I wouldn't vote for you if someone held a gun to my head!  What kind of person wants to be president of only 53% of Americans?

To paraphrase Aristotle in his Rhetoric,  Book II, Chapter 16, "Rich men also consider themselves worthy to hold public office; for they consider they already have the things that give a claim to office.  In a word, the type of character produced by wealth is that of a prosperous fool."

I guess the thing that really angers me is the way people like Mitt, the so-called conservatives, tell some groups what they want to hear, and others, something entirely different.  In my book, that's called sociopathy.  A sociopath has a way of finding one's weak spot and playing on it.  In the case of Mitt's wealthy group, of course that is money.  In the case of the average conservative voter, it might be abortion, or same-sex marriage (two things that are NOT going to get this country out of the financial mess it's  in because of deregulation).  The people who don't pay taxes because they LOST their jobs are not going to vote for Mitt anyway, so he doesn't care about finding their obvious weak spot, since he helped to create it. 

Mitt told his wealthy group that he wants to change people's thinking about "entitlements" like Social Security and Medicare and make them stand on their own two feet.  I am on Social Security, and yes, I AM entitled to it BECAUSE I PAID into it all my working life.  It's MY MONEY, Mitt!!!  And I am on Medicare for the SAME REASON.

According to Mitt, middle class income is $200 to $249,000.  That is sooooo disheartening to me, because all this time I thought that Rod and I were in the middle class.  Mitt goes on to say that the $100,000 income is "below middle class."  Somehow, this just doesn't compute with me.  Does it compute with you?  Is there a new slice on that pie chart?  Does it say that $100,001 to $199,999 is "JUST below middle class?"  I'm confused, Mitt!  Your obfuscation is making my head spin!

When I started this blog, I had intended to write about the arts, but over time, it has morphed into something quite different, so I have decided to post more than twice a week.  Starting this Monday, I will begin posting three times a week.  Mondays will be devoted to the arts, and artists.  Please come back then.

Alphabe-Thursday is the brain-child of Jenny Matlock, Off on My Tangent.  I hope you will read the homework of her other students.

POST SCRIPT:  For those of you who would like to read the entire transcript of Romney's speech,  go here.

In addition, it seems that I misspoke regarding Carter's grandson (my hearing is VERY poor, as many of you know), so please read the comment made by Deb at Storybeader.  She was kind enough to correct me.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

It's time again for Saturday Centus, presented for our edification and enjoyment by Jenny Matlock.  Each week, we are given a prompt, and one hundred extra words with which to create a story.  This week's prompt is in bold type, and here is my story:


“Joss, your words are puzzling to me.  I thought you loved me.  Now, you don’t want to be married any more?  How did this happen?  Are you in love with someone else?”

“No, I’m not in love with someone else.  And, yes, I did love you, but you have destroyed that love.  Your life is all about you, Fiona.  You never admit when you are wrong, and you never say you are sorry and really mean it.  You are an adult, for Christ’s sake!  Grow up!  Stop blaming everyone else for your problems!!!

“You have a whore, don’t you!!”

“Good-bye, Fiona.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Q is for QUICK!!! Jump On It!!!

The Rogue Speaks:

Every week, my sweet friend, Jenny Matlock, sponsors a meme called "Alphabe-Thursday."  We write our Thursday posts from A to Z.  This week, we are on the letter "Q" and this is my offering:


U.S. Consulate - Benghazi, Libya

As you all know, U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other diplomats were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in  Benghazi, Libya in another example of radicals run amok in their so-called religious beliefs.  They were spurred on by other religious radicals, which is par for the course these days.  I fail to see anything holy about these holy wars.

U.S. Ambassador, Chris Stevens - Rest In Peace, Friend!

The Romney handlers, who obviously have NO sense of decorum or sympathy, jumped on this senseless act, and the hasty comments made without approval of the Obama administration, and tried to use it for Romney's political gain.  What on earth were these idiots thinking????  Is nothing sacred?  Are they so desperate to smear President Obama that they don't even take the time to think?  "Quick!  Let's jump on this!! It's a great opportunity!"

Chris Stevens was a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly for his country, OUR country.  For God's sake, can't the Republicans, just for ONCE, put aside their pettiness and greed to honor him??  In his haste to bash Obama, Romney did not first, in his initial comments, offer sympathy to the families of those who were killed.  Is this the kind of man you want in office???  I certainly don't!!!  SHAME ON YOU, MITT!!

Sara Palin chimed in on this issue as well.  She said that Obama doesn't have a big stick, and "he needs to grow one."  What kind of talk is that from someone who claims to be a devout Christian???  Come on, you conservatives!  Don't make my case for me!  Put that rubber bracelet on!  You know the one! It says "WWJD!!"  What Would Jesus Do!!!  Stop all this phony baloney crap and LIVE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGED FAITH, or just admit that it is all a sham!!!

"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, for inwardly they are ravening wolves."

That's it for this Alphabe-Thursday.  Miss Jenny has a big class, and they are all waiting for you to read their homework papers!!  I hope you will comment on mine.  As my friend Tony says, "comments are like crack to bloggers."

Saturday, September 8, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

The Collection

"I want to buy your words."


I want to buy your words."

"Yeah, o.k., I get it. You want to buy a vowel? Hahahahaha! Really, it's only words, and words are all I have....." 

"Your words are not like other’s words. They speak to me."

"That's so sweet!! What exactly are you offering?"


" 97 dollars???"

"Well, 97 of THESE."

"Sand dollars! You want to pay me in sand dollars? Your collection?"

"Uh huh."

“I can’t take your collection, but I’ll give you my words.  I’ll write them down. You can keep them in your box with the sand dollars.




“Because I love you.” 

This Saturday Centus was brought to you by all the sand dollars on Jekyll Island beach, and by Mulligan and Lizzie, who sniffed each and every one they found today.  The prompt for today is in bold type.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Politics and Art Cannot Mate Successfully!!

The Rogue Speaks:

One Party's Idea of Creating Art

Several months ago, we received an invitation to a party at the home of a couple who are a little more than acquaintances, but not really friends. They are a nice, cheerful couple, and we have gone out to dinner with them a few times in the past.

I declined their invitation, even though I knew the food would be fabulous. The reason I declined is that they had a guest of honor--a fellow who is running for the U.S. Congress, against a person whom I helped vote into office last time around. He was expecting a donation for his war chest. I have a firm and fast rule about NOT discussing politics or religion with anyone, and I have an even firmer rule about giving money to people who don't need it to put food on their tables, or clothes on their backs.

People seem to have become pretty vicious about politics these days, and I don't need that meanness in my life. It destroys my creative spirit, and makes me want to slap that meanness right out of those vicious folks.   For the most part, I am finding that an awful lot of people are merely parroting what they have heard from the slick politicians without really understanding what those politicians are actually saying.  Countering those views usually ends with the person sticking fingers in ears and singing, “Lalalalalalalalala!”

I have found that when a certain brand of politician is voted into office, the muses suffer. Art and music programs are dropped from the schools, and grants for non-profit art organizations seem to just go up in smoke. Cuts are made to education because some narrow-minded people just don't care about our children's future.  Young people NEED the arts in their lives in order to become well-rounded adults. We had art and music classes in school when I was a kid, and I still remember just how interesting and fun they were. I cannot say that those classes made me normal by any stretch of the imagination, but I do feel that I am well-rounded, and not from eating pizza, either. Educational studies have proven that students who are exposed to art and music classes are much better at math and science. 

If you are not an artist, and you are reading this just because you are a friend, and if you have children or grandchildren in a school without an art program, don't despair! Your progeny can still reap the benefit of having art in their lives.  If you expose your children to art and music when they are young, believe me, it will stick with them.  Do art projects with them at home (like our Jenny, and JDaniel’s mom do)!  Put their art up on the walls in your house!  Let them know that you are proud of their creativity!  Find galleries and museums in your town that hold art classes for children.

Picasso once said, "Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life." Our lives have become pretty dusty these days, and not only from greenhouse gas emissions, and oil spills, who deserves the most tax breaks, and which religion is America’s only true way of life. All the dirt that the politicians are throwing around is polluting our souls, and making us sick at heart and unhappy with the state of affairs. Do something healthy for yourself--make art a part of your everyday life, and see just how much better you feel.

If you thought that this post was going to be about the mating rituals of artists and politicians, so sorry to disappoint you.   Now head on over to Miss Jenny’s class, Alphabe-Thursday, and read the other students’ lessons!

Friday, August 31, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

Well, I finally have a dashboard again so I can turn in my assignment.  Jenny would never believe that "the dashboard ate my homework."

This has been an  interesting week, politically, wouldn't you say?  The latest idiocy comes from Karl Rove regarding murdering Akin.  Murder is a pretty strong word, don't you think?? Of course, we all know how ruthless Karl is.

  And Clint Eastwood didn't exactly make any one's day last night with his odd ramblings to an empty chair.  I think his reputation as an actor has been seriously tarnished.  Romney's handlers really pissed in their chili by letting Eastwood speak in prime-time.  Despite the marginalizing of women by conservatives lately, Romney felt the need to bring in his wife to shore up his reputation. Isn't that the way it is, though?  The men make fools of themselves, and the wives have to come in a repair the damage.   Too bad she had to be subjected to Clint's mumblings.  She was obviously displeased.  My word to Clint today, "Don't eat the cookies!"

While gazing into my wine glass (oenomancy: divination by studying the appearance of wine),  it came to me in a trance!  This is going to be a pretty wild fall.  In my dream-state, brought on by the third glass, a strange creature slowly came into focus.  Oops!  Sorry! It was just Violet, the feral cat who has adopted us.  And there was Lizzie, barking frantically at the cat--barking, barking, barking, while Violet sat on the ottoman quietly, waiting to put out those claws and swat Liz on the nose.  Mulligan was remaining fairly neutral during all of this--kind of like the Swiss.

Now I know where the term "political animals" comes from.  I hate to place Liz in the category of "conservative," because she is anything but, but she was sounding like one last night with that annoying yapping without really saying anything intelligent.

Violet remained poised and professional, cool, yet on the alert for one slip-up by Liz.  She sat quietly, waiting, waiting for one foolish move by Liz, then SWAT!  Out come the claws!  OUCH!!  Unfortunately, Liz didn't learn her lesson the first time, and there definitely will be another encounter.  Eventually, though, she will learn, and when the votes are finally counted.....Need I say more?

My trance became deeper by the end of the third glass, so I put the cat out, got into my pj's, and climbed into bed.  What! You don't believe in oenomancy?  You think I just had too much wine?  We shall see, my friends.  We shall see.

"Go ahead! Make my day!"

Sunday, August 26, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

Miss Jenny isn't feeling so good, I think.  She sounds like she's losing her voice, and I don't think it's from yelling at Mr. Jenny.  She's just not that kind of person, and Mr. Jenny is way too nice to be yelled at, anyway.  Still, she must be out of sorts to give us as a prompt, the ENTIRE alphabet!

I am still adjusting to my surroundings, so my thinking capacity is still somewhat in question, but I decided to try to tackle this anyway.  This is a true story, by the way, and only one name has been changed to protect the guilty!!!


“You did this to yourself!” Abby thought, as she gazed out of the classroom window at the brilliant summer sky.  “If you just hadn’t mouthed off to Mr. Greene, the biology teacher, you wouldn’t be sitting here in summer school while everyone else is at the pool!!”

As an extra punishment, Abby’s mother had tacked on another class, lengthening her school day by one more hour.  “This is a very important thing to learn,” her mother had told her.  “Everyone should take this class, and you’re taking it whether you like it or not!”

“Stop daydreaming and get back to work!” Miss Fleming, the instructor, tapped Abby on the shoulder.

“Yes ma’am,” sighed Abby, as she typed ‘the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.’

Thursday, August 23, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

It's Alphabe-Thursday, and I finally have an Internet connection!  Jenny and I have been calling back and forth, but we're always missing each other, and I've been pretty sad.  But today I can finally write about the letter N.  Jenny would be so proud!!  My "N" word is "Nuh uh!"

We drove into Brunswick on the 10th of August, closed on the house on the 13th, and the van finally showed up on the 16th.  We arrived at the house around 8  in the morning, and Mulligan and Lizzie were thrilled to run around outside in the back yard---as long as we were out there, too.  The garage was open and so was the front door, so of course they had to stay back there ALONE, with their noses pressed against the french doors, quietly crying.

Then the three dogs who live behind us came out to greet them!  Oh, joy! Something actually worth barking at! Other dogs!  This kept them occupied for about 15 minutes, then the dogs' owner called them in.  Back to the whine-fest.

I sat on a stool in my kitchen with my two giant bingo cards and a pen.  When the guys came by me with boxes or furniture, they would call out either an orange number or a green number, and I would cross off those blocks.  In the middle of all this, my new neighbor behind us popped in with a welcoming gift of wine, cheese, and triscuits, and an apology for her barking dogs.  She identified herself as a "gym rat" because that is where she spends her days--working out.  So I knew right off the bat that she was nothing like crazy Paula, my former backyard neighbor.  I was very grateful.  I was also grateful for the wine.

My new neighbor told me that the dogs like to try to dig under the fence, and I could see daylight in several areas on the back fence, and one actual very big hole that was almost dug through to our yard.  Her wiener dog had actually made it through that hole at one time in the past.  There are three dogs over there--the wiener, a little black poodle, and a big black dog who only sounds mean, but is really gentle as a lamb.

Over the next few days, all the dogs would stand at the fence and bark at each other, then they would get bored and wander back in the house.  One day, however, there was some serious racket out there, near where the almost-dug-through hole is.  There was a lot of racing back and forth and wild yapping.  I was watching this through the window.  Then most of the yapping came to an abrupt halt, except for poodle-yap.  Liz was staring at the almost-hole and slowly backing away.  Then I saw it--a little round black poodle head--just the head, nothing more, and it was yapping away.  It was so very strange to see.  A round black furry ball-like thing with a mouth, yapping wildly away.  I was mesmerized by it.  So was Liz.  She stared at it in amazement, while all the time backing away.  In fact, she backed her little self all the way to the steps then turned and ran up onto the deck.

"Come back!!!" yelled the strange black thing with a mouth.  "Come back and play!!"

"Nuh uh!" said Liz, braver now that she was standing behind me on the deck.  "Nuh uh! I'm not playing with any round black furry dog head!  NUH UH!!!"

O.k, so it's not my usual political rant, but you must admit, it's pretty funny. No? Well, maybe you had to be there.  Any way, I am directing you here for a political rant that is ever so much better than any of mine.  I guarantee that you will not be disappointed!!!  So let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lawsey, Miss Scahlet!!!

The Rogue Speaks:

It's time once again for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday and the letter this week is "L," as in "LAWSEY, MISS SCAHLET!'  Yeah, o.k., so it's a little poetic license, so what?????  Crikey!  I don't even know if it is "L" or "M"!  I am in a time warp!  Whatever!  Here is my offering!  It can go either way!!!!

Prissy didn't know "nothing 'bout birthin' no babies,"  but times have changed.  The 99% know A LOT MORE these days than the 1% about the mysteries of life.  I have found that out, in spades, in the last week.  The "locals" here in Brunswick  are so quick to come to one's aid, and are very efficient at it as well.  They are are kind and friendly, and don't give a rat's ass about "the bottom line."

We have been at this LaQuinta for almost a week.  It is clean, and well laid out, so when I turn the air down to 65 so I can sleep, the cold air doesn't bounce off the drapes or the bed and shut down.  The manager, Robert, is way cool!!  He let me use his computer when the other one was down.  His staff is fabulous!  They are friendly and helpful and KIND!  I just may come back here when I am out running errands just so I can hang out with these folks for a few minutes.

The "big guns," on the other hand--well, they are another story.  The right hand hasn't a clue as to what the left hand is doing, and sadly, they don't really even care.  AND if they can squeeze another nickel out of you, believe me, they will do it in a heartbeat.  Hmmmm--Kind of like the federal government!  This is the perfect time for me to interject that if you vote for Romney (the current Sara Palin clone), you are in for a LOT of squeezing that you never expected unless you are VERY rich!!!  MARK MY WORDS!!  It's kind of like the first George Bush--"Read my lips! No new taxes!"  Remember that???

AT&T wanted $100 from me today so I  could have a router/modem for WiFi.  Did they get it???  Mwahahahaha!  NO!!!  I told them I didn't have to go with them, that I could pick someone else, and they backed down  PDQ.  So the equipment is being sent to my home for free, but unfortunately it won't arrive for 4-5 days.  GRRRRR!!  On August 6th, I set the whole internet thing up with AT&T, but of course the different departments never actually communicate to one another.  That's the stupid 1%.

I have been on my feet all day, cutting and laying shelf paper in the kitchen because our stuff is supposed to show up tomorrow at 8:30 in the morning.  I am tired.  I am hungry.  AND Rod is waiting to get on this computer.

More later!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

After a very long and harrowing trip of 5 days in the car, we arrived in Brunswick yesterday.  I will write more about this later, but for now I will tackle Jenny's Saturday Centus.  This is no easy feat for someone whose brain has turned to mush, and whose retina is forever imprinted with the the view of the rear end of Rod's car.

Starting Again

Brunswick is warm and soft, and cool,
 with salty liquid soothing my aching body,
 and many sandy bits clinging
 to my limbs, and puppy paws, as
surf flows in and out.

That's it!  The first offering, that of Susan Mystery, is the only one I have read so far, and try as I  could, I couldn't match it.  Be sure to check it out.

We close on the house on Monday, but the moving company, which will be DEALT WITH  in another post (remember, I take no prisoners) will not arrive until sometime between the 14th and the 17th, despite the fact that the salesman told us "five to seven days" from when they packed last Thursday and Friday.

If anyone wants to email me, my new email address is judiemcewen at gmail dot com.  Google will also be DEALT WITH in a later post.


Saturday, August 4, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

This will be my last Saturday Centus for a while because come Monday, I will be on the road, driving to Brunswick with Liz draped around my neck, and Keil beside me.  Rod will be in the lead, with Mulligan.  O.k., so I screwed up the first time, and didn't read the word "poetry,"  so what follows is my second offering, and then you can read my first, which is definitely not poetic!


Sirius? Get serious!
I was so very curious
About the Greeks’ mercurious
Feelings of that star,
It actually made me furious,
How wrong those Grecians are!

Their views were just presumptuous,
Their feelings just assumptuous,
Their attitude was bumptious
And surely under par!

The tale is just fictious!
The “dog star’s” not incindious!
It can’t be that ferocious!
It’s simply just too far
To make my sweat so copious!
The heat is just SOLAR!

The temperature’s ferocious,
And if you are compunctious,
And feeling rather unctuous,
Just blame our closest star.

My swimming pool is glorious
And I feel victorious!
So come on in and join us!
You’ll see how COOL we are!

Now here's my original:

Poor Sirius! The Romans thought that he was to blame for the hottest, most sultry days of July and August.  Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation in Canis Major (Big Dog), and the Romans believed that sacrificing a brown dog when the Dog Days began would appease the rage of the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere.  Even the Greeks and the Egyptians blamed that shining pup!

Now you know where the expression “Dog Days” of summer actually came from.  Here are our two dogs, lounging around in the air conditioned house with Rod.  The maze of boxes has them a little confused!!
Wanna go out?  Nah! It's too HOT!

Adios, Tucson!!

My next post will be from coastal Georgia.  I'll send photos!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

Yes, it is a REAL but obscure word.  It means "governed by the worst."  Now you know that I am about to launch into one of my political rants.  It won't be a long one, though.  The packers are coming in the morning and I have to start setting aside stuff that I will be needing over the next few days, so it doesn't get accidentally packed.  I decided to put the toaster and the coffee maker in the fridge, along with all the paper plates, and plastic utensils and cups.  They'll never find them there.  Brilliant, yes, I know!

The Olympics are in full force, and so are the politicians.  Mitt Romney has already managed to piss off Great Britain, and the Palestinians on his three-country tour.  I guess the Poles got by unscathed, but probably because Mitt's handlers cut all the Polish jokes out of his speeches.  This guy is dangerous!  If by some awful disaster, like hanging chads, millions of voters were disenfranchised at the polls, and he was elected president, we would be more than likely to lose allies because of his political gaffs!  And if he managed to seriously piss off one of our enemies, American could become toast, literally!  Diplomacy!  Can you spell "diplomacy," Mitt?  No?  I didn't think so.

Let's face it.  The guy is not quick on his feet when he tries to speak extemporaneously (dog? airtight box? roof of the car?)  Couple that with his mask-like, pasted-on smile and those dead-looking eyes, and you've got someone who could give America a bad name in a big hurry.

And what about all that money he has stashed away in off-shore accounts?  Show us all your tax returns, Mitt!  You want to be president, yet you steal from your own country by hiding assets so they cannot be taxed.  There's a name for that, too--KLEPTOCRACY--and, no, I did not make that up.  It means "governed by thieves."  It's bad enough that there are so many of those in Congress, and we certainly don't need a thief in the Oval Office, now do we??

Remember the expression "Rome wasn't built in a day"?  Well, no one could possibly clean up the ungodly mess after eight years of George W. Bush in only four years.  Think about that one!  The last thing we need is another conservative republican in the White House.

That's my lesson for Miss Jenny's class on Alphabe-Thursday!  I can't decide now if I want to pack more stuff, or nap.  Pack?  Nap? Nap wins.  Bye!

p.s. We are leaving Tucson on Monday, so I won't be around for a while, but check back after August 14.  Hopefully, the van will arrive on time in Brunswick, and I'll be good to post!!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

I was hoping that I could work this post into Jenny's prompt, "Please remit your payment promptly," for Saturday Centus, but anything  I got out of my chickens for their spa treatment would be mere chicken feed. 

Rod pulled the chickens down from their roost in the kitchen.  I was disgusted by the amount of dust and grime they had collected over the years, so I decided they needed a spa treatment before they headed off to their new home.

Waiting to be de-grimed

All bright and shiny clean,
and waiting to go to a new home!

Baby-daddy Rooster's feathers
 are still a little damp.

3:37 p.m.:  "What are you doing, Judie?" asked Rod.  "Bathing the chickens.”  "Why????"
“Um, I, um…”   “Take a break, Judie!”

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

Remember those nice photos of my house in Tucson?  The ones that showed such neat and tidy rooms?  It was great while it lasted, but there are only two rooms that have been left unscathed in the packing frenzy.  The REAL packers are coming next Thursday, but in the meantime, I am doing a little "cleaning and sorting."  Rod pulled all the boxes out of the attic so I could sort out all the Christmas decorations, especially the ones that have not seen the light of day since I called a moratorium on decking the halls several years ago.  Someone is going to have a field day with some of this stuff.  Rod asked what I wanted to do with all the gifts that were in the attic.  Do you have presents stashed away in your attic?  No, I didn't think so.  There is something a little unfinished about a decorated tree with no presents underneath, so 14 years ago, I wrapped up empty gift boxes in paper and ribbon, for that finished look. The same presents for 14 years!  Time to say good bye.

I put the Christmas stuff to be sold in boxes and placed them beside the other STACK of boxes that I have filled up with dishes, stemware, glassware, cooking utensils, books, various art objects, prints, etc., and a couple of furniture items. There are LOTS more boxes in the garage!!!

Now for the meat of this post:

"Who was on the phone?" your husband asks you.  "Oh, just a friend," you reply.  I've had lots of "just friends" over the years, and I'm sure you have, too.  Today I want to tell you about a very dear friend, who is way more than "just a friend."  We haven't been friends for years and years, but you know how sometimes when you meet someone for the first time, something sort of clicks?   We clicked.  So when I was completely overwhelmed with trying to have a garage sale before we move, I called her.  I called her because I was just about to cry in wearyness.  I knew she'd understand., because she is just that kind of woman--understanding, loving, and non-judgemental.  I wanted to hear someone say, "There, there! Everything will turn out! You just need to rest for a while."

We planned to get together, husbands included, and have dinner  or lunch before Rod and I moved away.  She and her husband are coming here on Sunday.  They are bringing a truck.  The four of us are loading up that truck with all the garage sale items, packed up in boxes, and my friend--my sweet, cosmic sister friend--is taking all that stuff to her storage unit, and when the dust settles (literally!) she is going to hold a garage sale FOR ME!!!  Friends like she is only come along once in a lifetime.  I just wanted someone who loves me to give me a little sympathy, and a little encouragement.  My sweet friend went far and above the call of duty.  I love her.

Thank you, Miss Jenny.  I am truly blessed to have a friend like you.

"And in the sweetness of friendship let
 there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
 For in the dew of little things the heart
finds its morning and is refreshed."

Kahlil Gibran

Monday, July 23, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

I was hunting around on Etsy, trying to find a gift that our granddaughter Kaitlin could take with her to Spain.  She leaves in the fall to work on her Master's! Last week was her birthday, but she was celebrating it in Vegas with friends.  So anyway, I found a really cool key chain!  I'm not going to show it to you because you might try to steal it away from me, and I SAW IT FIRST!!!

The Etsy shop, LJewelryDesign, has some fabulous pieces that I know you will just love.  Here are just a few:

To go to the LJewelryDesign shop at Etsy,  just click on the name of the jewelry piece, and browse through the wonderful selection that Linda, the artist, has created.

I wanted to put these pieces on my sidebar with all the other fabulous art, but Blogger is messing with my head again, so I thought I'd just post them!!!  Works for me!

Some of us have had some rough days lately.  We deserve to treat ourselves to a little bling,  right???  I thought you'd like that idea!!!  LET'S SHOP!!!