Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cranberry Salsa!!!! Bueno!!!!!!

The Rogue Speaks:

Yet another thing to make with fresh cranberries!  My daughter Beth and I have made this a LOT!  I took a big bowl of it (double recipe) to our friends' house for Thanksgiving, and came home with an empty bowl!  One thing, though, I cut down the amount of sugar in it down to less than 1/2 cup.  Still tastes great!

We found this recipe in the New Orleans paper last year, and have shared it with many friends.  Hope you like it!!!
I'm linking this post to Jenny's AlphabeThursday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Adultery, and The Exploding Life Diet

The Rogue Speaks:

When your adulterous husband leaves you for a younger (i.e. "trophy") woman, you just may be exposed to "The Exploding Life Diet."  You are so shocked, so hurt, and oh so furious that you just stop eating.  This is not a diet that I want to try.  In fact, no woman goes on this diet deliberately--it just happens.

I have an old friend who is on this diet.  She's lost 30 pounds.  Her husband, who qualified for Medicare almost 10 years ago, was flattered by a younger, narcissistic  woman who probably thought she was getting a "sugar-daddy."  She seduced him, and because we all know what part of their anatomy (that is NOT their brain) men think with, the next thing my friend knew, her husband was moving out, and seeing an attorney.

What's up (no pun intended) with some of these guys who can be so easily suckered in by a conniving woman who is blatantly breaking up a marriage for her own edification and enjoyment?  I know that deep down, she can't be proud of what she is doing, because when her family comes a-calling, her Senior Citizen boyfriend is forbidden to show his face.

What exactly does a woman who is ten years shy of Social Security want with a married man who is twenty years her senior? Is she looking for someone to pay all her bills?  In this case, I hope she doesn't think he's wealthy, because the state in which she (and he) live is a community property state, so after the divorce, he'll only have one half of what he has now, and of course there is alimony, plus lawyer's fees!   I hope she's thought ahead to when she's 70 and he's over 90!  If he lives that long, she just might be taking care of a sick old man day in and day out.  Or, if he should suffer a debilitating stroke 5 years or less from now, her caregiver role could begin much sooner!

But maybe she doesn't really care about all that for now.  Maybe she just has her eyes on a goal, and has tunnel-vision about the rest of the picture.  OR, maybe she has started now, collecting sleeping pills so she can pop one in his evening cocoa and go out to a fancy dress ball after tucking him in for the night.

I feel soooooo sorry for my friend, that she is having to go through this.  No woman should!  But she is a strong woman (well, except for The Exploding Life Diet), and highly intelligent, creative, talented and thoughtful,  and she will survive this.  Maybe she'll go on to start a successful non-profit like Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, and Bette Midler did in that comedy  a few years back.  Ahhh! Revenge is sweet!

This concludes my offering for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday.  I hope our Jenny is recovering from those pesky aches, pains, and trauma.  We love you, Jenny!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The Rogue Speak:

Zugzwang, a German word meaning "obligation to move," is actually a chess term.  To be "in zugzwang" is to be at a disadvantage because the player must make a move, even though he had rather pass when it is his turn to play.
I know nothing about chess, except of course the names of the pieces, and what the board looks like.  I am, however, taking a "refresher course" in bridge.  What does that mean?  Well, it means that even though I have been playing bridge off and on ever since I was in college, I never knew what I didn't know about the game.  Oh, I kind of suspected that I didn't know, but we always played "party bridge," where there was always a lot of laughing, gossiping, snacks, and maybe some wine.
Now I am learning bridge on a whole different level, and I have a constant fear of being "in zugzwang" if I make the wrong bid or play the wrong card, because if I do, I will definitely "go down," or lose. 
The kind of bridge that I am attempting to learn is "duplicate," and there is no table talk, or wine, or snacks.  This is serious stuff!  I have to actually think! My partner and I can have no signals, like faking a sneeze to tell my partner to pass, or stating my bid in the form of a question, like on Jeopardy. To me, bridge is a game of numbers, and math has never been my strong point.  I am always on the edge of understanding it, but just not quite!!
There is just soooo much to remember!  I have to add up my partner's points with my points, after I figure out just how many points my partner has.  Then I have to figure out how many points the opponents have, and who has what why.  See what I mean?
After we have settled on a contract, then we have to actually PLAY the cards, or if the opponents get the contract, I have to play to defeat them.  I have to "lead," or play the first card.  Oh!  My head is spinning!  I fear that if I play the wrong card I will be "in zugzwang!!"  But this is not chess; it is bridge and I am doing this for FUN.  Really? Hahahaha!
I WILL learn how to play bridge!  There is something very satisfying about playing a cerebral game at my age.  I'm old, you know.  Wish me luck!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Vacation Photos

The Rogue Speaks:

On occasion, I have posted a few vacation photos on my blog, and so have some of my blogging friends.  Many of them are very talented, and I always enjoy seeing them.  BUT please don't invite me over to see the 100,000 photos you took while on vacation.  I especially don't want to see these--"That's me by the fountain."  "Also me by the fountain."  "another angle of the fountain."  "Me again." "This one's a little blurry, but if you squint, you can see me with my husband Todd in the background."  ARRRRGGG!!!   Actually, you can show me ONE of the fountain.  But since I already know what you look like, DON'T BE REDUNDANT.  And for God's sake, throw that blurry one OUT!

"Are we having fun yet???"
(poor photo planning)
I used to save every single photo, but not any more.  If you must save the ones that failed, PLEASE don't show them to me.  Instead, cut them up and make a collage!!!  Then hang it in the master bath, preferably above the toilet.

Do you really think that your friends want to be subjected to every single hour of your vacation commemorated in a photo???  Just how many photos of the Alps can you have in your collection?  If you say 100, please forget my name and phone number.  Just pick out the very best 2 or 3 to show to your friends, and put the rest AWAY!!!!!

Please don't show me photos that you took of family members in the car while you are driving along.  And don't take photos of people with their mouths full of food.  Don't show me every single plate of food that you consumed while away.  I know what food looks like.

Unless your hotel room looks like it last hosted the Sultan of Brunei, don't add those 20 photos to your collection.  If it does look like the Sultan stayed there, please don't show me the toilet area.  Again, show 2 at the most!! (just NOT the toilet!)

O.k., let's say that you spent your vacation at a very large family reunion.  "That's my second cousin, Jed, or maybe Jude.  I don't remember."  We're happy that you have a large family, we just don't want to see them.  Unless, that is, they are highly unusual and entertaining.  That's doubtful, though, eh??

Finally, put yourself in MY shoes.  Would you want to come to my house and see all of MY vacation photos?  Hmmm, I didn't think so.

That's my offering for Alphabe-Thursday.  Feel better, Miss Jenny!  We all adore you!!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

U is for Un

The Rogue Speaks:

My friend, Rocky Mountain Woman, expected me to expostulate about the state of affairs in America today.  I decided to oblige her with this post.

Congress, in a most unprincipled way, is determined to undermine the American citizens by shutting down the government.  These selfish brats need to put on their "big boy" panties, and think about the ramifications of the unmitigated gall they are currently displaying.  Everyone in this country is being hurt by their actions.  Workers are not being paid, Head Start is closed down, and the parents are scrambling to find child care so they can continue to go to work, or to school, in order to better themselves, the national parks are all closed, and the small businesses that service visitors to the parks are hemorrhaging money.  NOAA is shut down except for its executives, and the list goes on and on.  God forbid that we should suffer some unexpected national disaster while all this crap is going on!!!  Everyone is being hurt EXCEPT Congress.  They are still being paid, and their private gym is still open, so they have nothing to lose, they think.  They are holding America hostage, and they don't give a rusty f*** about who is getting hurt.

When are the voters in America going to wake up and realize that Congress is no longer serving them?  This country had finally begun to dig itself out, turn itself around, and our future was looking brighter than it had since 2008.  Then these mean spirited, selfish bigots stepped in, determined to tear down every step we had made toward recovery.  The American people are very uneasy and unhappy with the current state of affairs, and have told Congress to get our country running again, but those words have fallen on deaf ears.

The American people wanted The Affordable Care Act, and it is now A LAW.  But Congress doesn't like it and they want it to go away.  People are flocking to the websites in droves, yet some "red states" are refusing to cooperate in helping their citizens sign up for this health care program.  Congress doesn't care what the American people want--they have their own insurance, and the rest of us be damned.  They have put an undue burden on America, and that is NOT what they were elected to do.

Here's what I think we need to do:  THROW THE B******S OUT OF OFFICE!  They are not serving their constituents--they are only serving themselves.  They have become uncontrollable!!

There was a time in this country when the only perk one received upon being elected was the honor of serving the people.  Now they have benefits and perks coming out their a**es.  They think they are invincible!!  Show them, America, unequivocally that THEY ARE NOT.

Congress, get your sorry butts back to work FOR THE PEOPLE!  Pay America's bills!  Increase the national debt limit so this country isn't embarrassed and downgraded! Stop being so underhanded, so ungodly, so  unbearably selfish, so unconscionable in your behavior!!!  Do the right thing for America, for a change!!!

This concludes my offering for Alphabe-Thursday.  I am going to hop over to Jenny's blog and read some of the other offerings.

Friday, October 4, 2013


The Rogue Speaks:

I was going to write a little bit about this, but I think I'll wait until tomorrow.

Linking up with Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! I meant to do it yesterday.  Hahahahahaha!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Too Late

The Rogue Speaks:


"When you have done every good and righteous act that you could possible think of to do for those you love, then realize there was just one more thing, but it was too late--that's remorse.
When you feed your anger, blaming others for the miserable state of your life, only to discover that you made your own life, but it was too late--that's remorse."
Uhoh!  That's what I get for not reading Jenny's post completely.  Thanks, Naila, for the chastisment!  I am filled with remorse for not following directions!!!  Sorry, Jenny!

R is for Racism

The Rogue Speaks:

This is my offering for  I hope Jenny approves!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stress town! You bet!!

The Rogue Speaks:

Stress town?  Yikes!  My stress is so REALLY bad that I just don't know what I can do to alleviate it!  So I will just say that whatever happens happens happens!  This has been the most stressful summer we have ever had!

Maybe things will get better in the fall, when the Canadians come back to our club.  It has been sooooo humid that wehave almost passed out from  the heat and the humidity!  Arizona was pretty bad last summer, but this is just as bad.  Today I had to  take in some salt just to finish my round.

 I'll let you know what happpens!



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

G is for Guests

The Rogue Speaks:

It's time once again for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday, and this week's letter is G.  Here is my offering:

House Rules for Guests

You are a guest in our home.  Please use your best manners (if you were taught any) and say “Please” and “Thank you.”  Those words are universal and are consistently used by people in all walks of life.  They are essential.  No matter how smart you are (or THINK you are), if you don’t know when to use those words, your life will be very lonely.

Since you are not paying to stay here, we expect you to be considerate, especially at mealtime.  I am happy to cook supper for you, but I expect you to be polite and offer to help out by setting the table and filling the water glasses.  It is unacceptable for you to sit around on your ass, waiting for dinner to be served.  After dinner, I expect you to help clean up, and be cheerful about it.  Oh, and no iphones at the table.  That’s just plain rude.

We don’t intend to help pay for your vacation by providing all your food, so please consider doing a little grocery shopping to contribute.  If you were staying at a hotel, you would be paying for all your meals.  And since you are saving a lot of money by staying with us, it would be nice if you took US out to eat for a change.

You are responsible for your own breakfast and lunch.  The cereal is in the pantry, and there is lunch meat, etc., in the fridge.  Don’t forget to clean up after yourself.

Make your bed every day, and don’t leave your things lying around, especially in the common areas of our home.  Please don’t leave fans and lights on unless you want a bill for the extra electricity you use up.  The guest bathroom is fully stocked, so if you run out of toilet paper, don’t wait around for me to put on a fresh roll.  This is just not going to happen.

Please think twice about being sullen and pouty.  You may never want to come back here again, but since you’re here now, you may as well make the best of it.  If you DO decide you want to come back, please make sure that you read and understand the following books:

Emily’s Magic Words: Please, Thank You, and More by Cindy Post Senning

Emily Post’s The Guide to Good Manners for Kids by Cindy Post Senning, Peggy Post, and Steve Bjorkman

You think you’re too old for these books?  Think again!  One is never too old to learn rules one should have been taught as a child.
This concludes my offering for this week.  I have a splitting headache and I'm going to bed!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The FUTURE of America

The Rogue Speaks:

It's time once again for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday, and our letter this week is "F."  Summer in coastal Georgia always comes with houseguests.  The first group to visit the McEwen Plantation/Bed and Breakfast left last Friday.  Our youngest grandchildren, Keillor and Emaline, were here for two weeks along with their parents.  These two are among the brightest and most engaging four-year-olds that one could ever hope to meet.
Toe-headed Keillor
The enchanting Miss Em
They played in the surf with their parents, and built sand castles, but even the beach can get a little tiring when it's so hot, so one day Emaline wanted to go to the Museumof Science and History in Jacksonville.

Joey, Emaline, and Keillor at M.O.S.H in Jacksonville
The Human Body exhibit at M.O.S.H
Keillor and Emaline have very smart, wonderful, loving parents who have taught their children from the beginning to be polite and helpful.  They always say "Please" and "Thank you," and "I'm sorry" when they misbehave.  They know how to set the table for meals, how to clear their dishes when they have eaten, and even know how to put a fresh roll on the toilet paper holder without even being asked.  These children are the future of our country in the best sort of way.  They are bright, energetic, and loving.  These are definitely not spoiled, lazy kids.
They left for home on June 21st, and the next houseguest arrived the following day.  Today is June 27th.
A fresh roll of toilet paper has been sitting on the toilet tank for two days now.  I have no intention of installing it on the holder.  Someone else should have taught that lesson a long time ago.  It's not rocket science.  It's very, very sad. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

E is for Edible

The Rogue Speaks:

"E is for Edible"

I am one day late with my offering for Alphabe-Thursday.  Joey and I took the kids to the Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville. They are leaving today, so it was our last field-trip.

"...and for our next selection..."  The twins at M.O.S.H. in Jacksonville

  Another houseguest  comes in tomorrow, and the day trips will be entirely different.  We may go to the Okeefenokee Swamp, or maybe Cumberland Island.  We shall see!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013

C is for Coastal

"Eye of the Storm"              Judie McEwen
Acryllic ink on Yupo paper

The Rogue Speaks:

When one lives on the coast, hurricanes are always a serious threat.  Today, tropical storm Andrea (aptly named, for all who know me) is passing through Florida and southern Georgia.  Since we have only lived here for less than a year, I am grateful that this is only a "tropical storm."

I left home today at 12:45 p.m. to go to a meeting.  After the meeting, a friend and I ran some errands, after which I went for a much needed haircut.  The tropical storm was slowly moving up Florida into coastal Georgia, and by the time I finished my errands and arrived at the hair stylist, the rains were quite heavy.  When I left the salon, the rain had become blinding, and I drove home going about 25-35 miles per hour on a road where the speed limit is 60.  I followed the yellow line on the left-hand side of the road.

I am grateful to be home safely.  There are many situations over which we have control in our lives, but weather is not one of them,  When one is at the mercy of the elements, anything can happen. 

I have lived through a tornado that came out of nowhere on a lovely Sunday afternoon on Lake Allatoona outside Atlanta.  It tore across the lake with such force that the coast guard just could not get out to rescue the boaters.  Our mast was snapped like a dry twig.  The twister came ashore and tossed dry-docked boats high in the air, then deposited them back to earth, smashed and twisted.  Fortunately, there were no fatal injuries.  I would not get back in a boat for 15 years.

Now I have lived through a tropical depression.  I am grateful that it was not a full-blown hurricane.  But the season is young, and even though there has not been a major hurricane to hit Jekyll Island in 114 years,  it could happen.  In fact, the laws of probability tell me that it will happen.  I won't be here, though.  We will pack up and take ourselves and our dog children to safety, and hope that when we return, our home is still standing.

Life can throw all sorts of stuff at us.  Sometimes we think we just cannot go on.  Sometimes we become so overwhelmed, that the rainbow at the end of the storm is not something that we can even comprehend.  Last June, I was standing on a boardwalk at Jekyll with my son, Jeff.  There had been squalls all around us earlier in the afternoon that had sent us scurrying from the beach, back to the safety of the house.  As we looked far out to sea, out to the horizon, a rainbow appeared--then another, and yet another, AND five more after that!  One after another, they popped up.  There were more rainbows together than I have ever seen in my life.  I think the final count was nine.

I wish my poor, feeble mind could remember those rainbows every day.

This post was written on Thursday, for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday.  I had to put it aside because we were getting ready for the arrival of Aimee and the twins.  They are here now, and we are heading off to Jekyll to build sand castles.  I checked the radar twice this morning, just to be sure no storms were heading in.  We're safe.

Monday, June 3, 2013


The Rogue Speaks:

If a June night could talk, it would tell you the story of a young woman in a long, blue gingham nightgown, sleeveless, with a delicate trim of white eyelet at the neck.  It would tell you of a young man so hopelessly in love that it made his teeth ache, and of how that love began.

But nights can’t talk.  There is only the sound of the crickets, or of two owls calling softly to each other in the twilight.  Perhaps there is the sound of the water lapping the shoreline of the lake, and the sound of our sighs in the dark, in June.
This is my offering for Jenny's Saturday Centus.  The prompt is in bold type, and Jenny has given us 100 words plus the prompt with which to create a vignette, a flash fiction.  If you are not yet a Centusian, I hope you will join us!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A is for Adultery

The Rogue Speaks:

If north Georgia is, as James Dickey once said, the “country of the nine-fingered people,” then I believe that south Georgia is a woman whose waist has been cinched wasp-like by the Bible Belt. 

That old dinosaur, Pat Robertson said last week that if men commit adultery, it is just not their fault, and women who are married to such men should do whatever they can to bring those unfaithful men back into the marriage bed in such a way that they no longer want to stray.  He goes on to say that women should entice their husbands back by dressing seductively, not criticizing their actions,  being sweet and loving, blah, blah blah.   Old Pat believes that men stray because “that’s just the way men are.”  Hogwash, I say.

I mentioned Pat’s remarks to a friend, a true woman of the south, and her response was that she doesn’t “necessarily disagree” with Pat Robertson.  I’m the outsider here, even though I was born in the south and lived here for many years before exploring new horizons.  Those words caused an alarm to go off in my head.  They made me back off and want to tell her that I had to dash because I had an appointment for brain surgery in 30 minutes and just could not be late.  I am just not quick on my feet .

Another golfing friend was totally incensed at Pat’s remarks.  A transplant from New Jersey, she was quick to make her views known.

“Cheat on me, buddy, and I will make your life a living hell.  I will stalk you like a hawk to find out just what skanky slut has managed to convince you that you are some kind of god who can do whatever-the-hell you want.  I will be relentless.  You can tell me that “it’s over,” and that you “made a mistake,” and that you’ll “never do it again,” but you had better believe that I won’t trust you again for a New York minute. 

If I am a woman of little means, with children to raise, then I will knuckle down and figure out just what it is going to take for me to be self-sufficient and raise my children on my own.  Of course, I will sue your ass for maintenance and child-support, but I will not live with you any longer than I have to.  I will take you to the cleaners.   If you don’t pay up, then you will definitely go to jail.  I will see to it!”

“Have you ever been poor?” I asked.  “Do you have children?”  (Sometimes less is more.)

“Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished.*”

Women have gotten the short end of the stick way too long, and organized religion has not helped them one iota.  We have been told far too long that the husband is the head of the household, and that women should listen and obey his wise counsel.  Any woman with half a brain knows that is just not true.  All one has to do is look at the state of the nation, run primarily by men, to know that women in charge could whip this country into shape and not even break a nail!  Admit it!  You have thought that more than once!  I just cannot see women behaving the way some of those jerks in Washington do. (Well, except for Olivia Pope, who has been sleeping with "President Fitz" in Scandal.  Hahahaha!!!)

I was happy to see those wives of political figures dump their cheating husbands.  I frankly think that Hillary should have dumped Bill, but she did have furthering her own agenda in mind, I suppose.  I am sure that theirs isn’t the only marriage that operates more like a business partnership.  Guess I’m just a hopeless romantic.

I guess what I really question about Pat Robertson’s remarks  about men and adultery is that the last time I checked,  “Thou shalt not commit adultery” was still one of the Ten Commandments.  I don’t think one can pick and choose what commandments to obey, and which to ignore.  Since God seems to talk to Pat an awful lot, Pat should just ask God about that one and tell us what God says.  After all,  those Commandments ARE His!!  AND I think it is just plain wrong of Pat to blame another person for the shortcomings of the spouse.  We are adults, and therefore responsible for ourselves and our own actions.  "The Devil made me do it" just doesn't work in the 21st Century.

It's time, I think, to put old Pat out to pasture, or send him off to the glue factory.  He is starting to plain out smell of decay.

This is my offering for Jenny’s Alphabe-Thursday.  Please read the other offerings for the letter “A.”  I’m heading over there right now!!!

*Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette, Act 5, Scene 3   

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Argh? What's an argh?

The Rogue Speaks:

Many of you may not know that Jenny Matlock, Off On My Tangent, is actually a friend of mine, and not just a blogging friend ("not that there's anything wrong with that!").  She has gone above and beyond the calling of friendship, and has made my life measurably better during the time that I have known her.  Her's are the only memes that I respond to, even when they seem a little out of my realm.  I can always come up with something, however vague, when her Saturday Centus doesn't actually grab me by the throat and the words don't actually fall out of my fingers and onto the page.  This is one of those times.  The prompt this Saturday is "Argh, matey!"  I have 100 words, in addition to the prompt, to provide you with a little vignette.  Here is my offering:

How Rod Spent Saturday

"First we have to remove  the pine straw from around these little plants."

"But I thought you wanted it there."

"I never said that."

"Argh, Matey."

"Then we have to dig up the plants, scoop out a big hole, throw out the sand, and put in good garden soil.  Then we put the plants back."

"But that's a lot of work!"

"Start digging."

"Argh, Matey."

"You're getting the sand on our lawn!  It'll kill the grass!"

"Well where should I put it??"

"Put it in that plastic container, then dump it in the vacant lot!"

"Argh, Matey."


"Argh, Matey." 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Z is for Zeitgeist

The Rogue Speaks:

We're at the end of the alphabet for this round of Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday, and I'm sure there are a lot of fabulous Z words that her participants have come up with.  My word for this week was going to be Zeitgeist.  The Zeitgeist is the spirit of the time, or age, if you prefer.  This refers to the intellectual fashion or the most prominent school of thought that creates  current cultural norms in a particular period of time.  It sounds like a pretty wonderful word, if you are into philosophy, and is probably great fodder for debates.  I did a little studying up on it, and got a headache.  Did I really want to bore and confound my readers with the views of philosophers they have probably never heard of?  Did I want to bore and confound MYSELF??

Instead, I have a little video to warm your heart:


I'll see you on Saturday for our Saturday Centus!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lime? Coconut?

The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny's Saturday Centus for this week really struck a chord with me.  I've been away from my blog for soooooo long, and I really need to jump back in and participate, so here is my offering for this week, at exactly 107 words.  The prompt is in bold type:

I’ve done everything!   I quit smoking,  then I remembered  people who quit smoking gain an average of 11 pounds.  So I gave up wine--all those empty calories.  I couldn’t sleep.  I thought if I took myself off the medication that is supposed to relieve the pain associated with my medical condition, and relieve depression, I would feel better.  That stuff wasn’t working so I dumped it. 

Put the lime in the coconut.”  What kind of cure is that?  Holistic medicine? “Oh, mister Doctor man I think I’m’ going insane.”  I’ll try ANYTHING!!  So I put the lime in the coconut and drank it all up…still waiting…
I've really done all those things, and I'm trying to get better.  I hope I do, because I am really at my wit's end here.  Wish me luck!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Not MY Code Red

The Rogue Speaks:

I got a lot of feedback from my "Onus" post, so for this Saturday Centus, I am taking a break and referring you instead to a blog called The Red Sweater.  What you will find there is not a Saturday Centus, but instead a heartbreaking saga about the life of a friend and her son.  I hope you will take the time to read some of the entries, and comment to her.  Let her know that I sent you over.

I am heading over to Jekyll Island in a few minutes to view the annual arts festival.  A report will follow!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Grandma Was Right!!

The Rogue Speaks:

Yes, I'm late with my Saturday Centus.  I was conflicted.  I kind of wanted to write about the young woman who was fired for having pre-marital sex, but decided against that one.  Jenny gave us a good prompt, and another 100 words to write, so I came up with this (the prompt is in bold type):

My grandma always told me, you can’t judge a book by its cover.  One must really read the blurb, or at least a good review before purchasing it.  That goes for movies, too!

Rod and I hadn’t seen a movie since we moved here, and since it was COLD, and not golf weather, we went to see “Silver Linings Playbook.”  Folks at the Academy Awards said it was good.   NOT!!!

WAY TOO STRESSFUL!  LOTS OF YELLING AND SCREAMING!  About 20 minutes into the film, I wanted my money back.  I gritted my teeth and stuck it out, though, right through the dance contest.
This movie was like Dancing With The Stars on Klonopin.  If you come from a dysfunctional family, and frantic, screaming people make you sick to your stomach, don’t see it!

Art?  There is ART and there is ART.  This was not art.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

O is for ONUS

The Rogue Speaks:


[Latin —]

a: burden

c: blame

d: stigma


[New Latin onus (probandi), literally, burden of proving]: burden of proof

Onus.  Do you know that word?  Well, of course you do!  Have you ever used it, and if so, how?  Have you ever said, “Well, the onus is on you!,” meaning the burden or obligation, or blame is on you.  It can also mean the stigma is on you.  Keep these definitions in mind while I tell you some stories.

This is story #1.  A friend of mine has an adult son who is not only an alcoholic, but is also suffers from schizophrenia.  He is supposed to be living in a facility in another state, but sometimes he checks himself out, goes off his meds, goes on a bender, and ends up at her doorstep.  This guy is not a YOUNG adult.  He is well into his adulthood, and is no mental dummy.  His actions cause my friend a huge amount of stress, especially when he ends up in her town and is thrown in jail for getting drunk and screwing up.  Then he calls her and tells her he loves her and she has to bail him out and give him a place to stay.  My friend is a senior citizen, and has issues of her own that she is struggling with, so when her son shows up, she is just beside herself. 

Now I ask you, my highly intelligent blogging friends, is the onus on her?  Should she end up being responsible for her adult child for the rest of her life?  Is it  One child, in any way HER fault that he ended up in such a state?  I seriously want to know what you think about this story.

Now I have ANOTHER friend who has several children.  They were all raised in the same house, and lived by the same rules, but ONE of them ended up getting into drugs and has ended up being hospitalized several times, and just CANNOT seem to stay straight, no matter how much her family tries to help her.  Again, this woman is an adult.  Is the onus on her family that she has ended up in this state?  Is the onus on them to care for her indefinitely?? Please give me your thoughts on this story, #2.

Story #3 is about another woman who has a very large family.  Her children are all well into adulthood.  With the exception of one adult child, her children have grown up to be very loving and responsible adults.  All but one of her children has children of their own.   The mother’s life was difficult to say the least, and she was married more than once, but despite her difficulties, she always tried to do the best that she could in raising her children.  One child, however, the oldest, has some serious but questionable issues with the mother. 

This adult child has two children.  Unbeknownst to the family, the first child was sent away to live with friends in another state because he was deemed to be unmanageable.  The extended family was kept in the dark for a year in regard to the whereabouts of the child, and when the truth came out, the mother of the child would not let the grandparents even see their grandson.  Reasons for this behavior were vague, and basically unknown.

As a result of this alienation, the boy grew up not knowing that his grandparents loved and missed  him.  When he finally contacted them he was a high school graduate and only wanted money so he could take a trip.

The  second grandchild in this family was dearly loved by the grandparents, and they tried to spend as much time with him as they could.  The child actually preferred to be with his grandparents, stating that his mother didn’t love him.  As you might expect, those words only inflamed the mother, and caused even more alienation.

How did the child’s children turn out?  The older, who is HIGHLY gifted, ended up getting married young  and  has a job with hourly pay.  Had he had a kind and loving parent whose goal in life was to do the best that could be done for him, he would have gone on to a successful college life at best.

The second child, also a boy if you remember, decided to leave home and go to live with his biological father.  He graduated from high school before he moved away, but he has no job, no driver’s license, and no visible means of support, and he is only 22 years old.  He watches a lot of t.v.

As it was told to me, this is a pretty long story, and not yet finished, but I think you get the general idea.

Now, my question is about this woman with the angry and disrespectful child, whose own children could have succeeded in life but shamefully did not,  is as follows:  Is the onus on my friend, the mother, for the behavior of one child when all the other children had exactly the same love and the same upbringing?  Just what is the onus in regard to her relationship with her unhappy adult child who basically has no use for her?  Should she continue to take verbal abuse from her progeny?  Should she try for some kind of reconciliation??   Just where does one draw the line?  Give me your thoughts, please, on Mother #3.
Whew!  I'm glad my kids are all grown up with children of their own!  We had a house full at Christmas, and hope that more will show up for spring break!!!

O.k., I have learned that for some reason known only to Blogger, my link is not working correctly, so I am sorry about that, and hope that you have clicked on the yellow "HOME" below the bad news.

One a brighter note, I have been set FREE by Summit Sports Medicine to once again play golf as of next Wednesday.  We shall see how that goes!!

Please be sure to read the other lessons for Jenny’sAlphabe-Thursday.  I’m heading over there right now!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


The Rogue Speaks:

Without you around, roaring and belching, vibrating my every thought, my life would be sweet! I wouldn't worry every second of the day just what you're up to, and how you might end up wrecking lives and hurting someone I love so much!

I don't understand the fascination you hold! Why do some people crave to have you as their own?? Don't they know the dangers? Doesn't it bother them to be cold or wet or shaken right to their teeth?

Without you around, I sleep like a baby, you Suzuki Boulevard C50T 2009 touring bike!  Now that my son bought you, I may never sleep again!!!

This is my offering for Jenny's Saturday Centus.  Only 107 words, including the prompt, which is in. bold type.  There are a lot of centusians out there trying to get some sleep, so please check out the other offerings!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

An Artist's Critical Mass

  "Bad Moon Rising"               J. McEwen

The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny's prompt for her  Centusians this week is "I've Officially Reached Critical Mass."

Have I ever reached critical mass?  No, but I have come pretty close in my life.  At the next-to-last moment, though, something deep inside me always managed to catch hold and drag me back to fight another day.  That something, sometimes called "the will to live," I believe to be a kind of intellectual curiosity.  "If I hang on, I wonder just how this will all shake out."  My curiosity about life has always managed to snuff out that fuse that could eventually lead to critical mass.

Of what does your "will to live" consist?

This is my offering for Jenny's Saturday's Centus.  Now, I'm off to read the other entries.  You should, too!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NO NO!!!!!

The Rogue Speaks:

I posted this last week, so many of you have already read it, and since this is "N" week, here it is again!!

While viewing an art exhibit and sale here in Brunswick recently, I was shocked to find a familiar subject displayed.  I immediately knew that the subject was not an original idea of the artist.  Over  twelve years ago, one of my students brought to class a photo that he wanted to paint.  After having explained to him the rules for copying the work of other artists, I allowed him to paint from the photo strictly as an exercise in class.  I explained to him that due to copyright laws, he could never offer his painting for sale.  It was the same subject of the painting which I saw recently.

Over the centuries, many aspiring artists have been seen  in well-know galleries around the world, sitting in front of famous paintings, studying and copying them, not to sell, but to study the techniques of the artists and hopefully learn from them.  Very few of those artists have actually tried to pass their copied work off as original, and those who did, never got far for obvious reasons.


Still, some artists will keep trying to pass others' works off as their own originals.  Over the years, I have been frequently asked to jury art into exhibits, and I think I can spot a copy pretty quickly.  The artist who painted a close-up of a buffalo stampede, or a tiger, for example, was asked point-blank just how close she had gotten to those wild animals.  She hemmed and hawed, and never really answered the question.  Her work was not accepted into the exhibit.

Another artist who kept trying to display copied works, even after having been caught early on, was told that she could no longer enter her work into competitions unless she could prove that the subject matter was original.  The work she copied?  Straight out of art "how to" books!

Some artists think that they will never be caught.  Don't count on it, ever!  Someone, somewhere, sometime, will recognize the piece, no matter how obscure it might be.  While glancing through art for sale on one day, a painting caught my eye.  It was a lovely piece, painted by a skilled artist, but the subject and composition looked very familiar to me.  A copy of that piece had been offered for sale by a Sunday painter, a ham-fisted artist who was a new member of our guild.  The board of directors of the guild was informed, and soon discovered that this artist was making a habit of copying the work of others.  I had never been on's art space, and it was by shear accident that I found that piece.

Obviously it is not only in the art world that plagiarism is a NO NO.  Life is filled with examples of dishonesty and theft.  We read about it every day.  There have been unscrupulous bloggers who have stolen articles from others' blogs and posted them as their own, and this very morning I read an article in our paper regarding a minister who had been taking his sermons off the internet without giving credit to the original minister who wrote them.  What happened? That stealing fellow was promptly fired!  I guess he had forgotten one of the commandments by which he supposedly lived.

No matter which of the muses you follow, stay true to the concept of honesty in your life.  Avoid the embarrassment of being eventually found out as a fraud and a cheat.  It can happen!!

This post, "NO NO!!!" is in honor of the letter "N" for Jenny's AlphabeThursday.  It wasn't until I went to Jenny's site to link up that I realized that this week's letter is "M" but fortunately, I DID write an "M" post, which I did link up.  So you knew already that I'm a ditz--oh, well!

p.s.  Once again, Blogger is stopping me from adding photos to my blog, so please look in my right sidebar for an example of a famous painting that has been copied many times!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013


The Rogue Speaks:

I'll bet you thought that word was misspelled, but it's not.  People have been saying "momento" for so long now, that  it has almost become acceptable.  I say "almost" because it is not acceptable to me.  I am tired of hearing words spoken incorrectly for so long that people begin to think it's correct.  Rod's pet peeve is the word "forte."  So many people have said "fortay" for so long now, that it has become an alternate pronunciation,  The correct pronunciation is "fort" and if you look it up in the dictionary, you will not see an accent mark over the "e," which would make it "fortay."
So much for that!  I wanted to show you a small part of the "memory of things past" that I have collected since we have lived here on the Georgia coast.  I missed the deadline for Jenny's AlphabeThursday, so I will have to post TWO letters this week!
Sea shells are certainly a work of ART, and there is an ART to correct grammar, so ART+ART+ART!!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

K is for KVAS

The Rogue Speaks:

A replacement for "afternoon tea"?
Fifty Centuries ago(yes, FIFTY!),a bag of rye grain got wet in a Russian farmer's barn, and the grain started to grow. The farmer tried to save it to make flour. He couldn't use it to make bread, but instead he accidentally invented malt. He added some water, then he let the mixture ferment, and created the beverage known as kvas, which literally means "leaven." Kvas(kbac in Russian) is made in a manner similar to making beer, but it has a very low alcohol content. The main ingredient, of course is rye bread. Kvas is loaded with vitamin B, and is considered a healthy source of energy. This slightly fizzy beverage is so healthy that it is even given to children, and is recommended for increasing muscle weight. It is even a germicide!

Started drinking kvas as a child!
Kvas has been drunk in most Slavic countries as well as in ex-Soviet states since ancient times. In some countries, it is sold on the street by kvas vendors. There is a famous saying, "Bad kvas is better than good water."
"Get your icy cold kvas here!!!"
Coca Cola has begun bottling and selling kvas in New York, in hopes that it will catch on in America.

That's the end of my lesson for this week's Alphabe-Thursday! I hope you will remember the word KVAS, and use it the next time you play Scrabble. I've been playing a lot of Scrabble online lately because I can play with only one hand. It will never replace golf as my favorite pastime, though. Oh, and by the way,  there is an ART to brewing, and the first photo is a lovely ARTistic still life, so once again, ART+ART=ART!!

Friday, January 25, 2013


The Rogue Speaks:

typing is hard for me with only one hand, so here are some photos from jekyll island beach, for alphabe-thursday:


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The Rogue Speaks:

less than 6 months in our new home and i've already been in the emergency room twice!!  i tripped over a rope on the golf course and fell HARD!!!  dislocated my elbow and tore tendons and ligaments BAD. in a cast almost to my arm pit for 6 weeks.  just when my game was getting better! 

as gilda radner said, "it's always something!"

Saturday, January 12, 2013

You Don't Deserve It

The Rogue Speaks:

Hahahaha!!!  I can really sink my teeth into this one, and with an absolutely true story.  Anyone who has been following my blog since the beginning knows all there is to tell about my relationship with my parents and siblings that made ours one of the most dysfunctional families you could ever meet.  Rod loves to tell this story—"a Frances story", as he calls it.

The prompt that Jenny has given us for this Saturday Centus is “my mother turned 80 today” and we have 100 words, plus the prompt, to write our little vignette.  But first, you need a little background info on the family dynamic.

The year Mother turned 80, my younger sister (my mother’s clone) planned the party.  The guest list reads like a family reunion, which it was.  As usual, my sister  presented her siblings with their portion of the bill for the food.  We had known this was coming, and I had asked my BIL in advance just what he thought the breakdown would be.  He told me around $200 per sib.  Turns out, that was FAR from correct.  Since none of us, least of all me, were consulted beforehand,  it came as a REAL shock, especially to Rod, who pays the bills.  We were furious, and informed her that the amount was way too extravagant and was totally ridiculous for what was served.  We gave her $200, the amount her husband had quoted, and that was that.

You Don’t Deserve It

My mother turned 80 today.  Family gathered at my brother’s for a catered affair.  As was tradition, my other siblings gave mother gifts they knew they would get back eventually. 

“You’ll get it back when I die,” she always said.  So she got some pretty nice stuff!

I painted and framed a cabin at a plantation in New Orleans.  We had been there for Mother’s 75t.  The trip, my sister’s idea.

As the party ended, my mother’s oldest sister came through the line of well-wishers.  “A lovely party,” she said, “but you don’t deserve it.”  Everyone laughed. 

Aunt Alice, however, was not joking.

Thus ends my Centus for this week.
About a year later, Mother left Atlanta to live with my youngest brother in Knoxville.  We were asked to come fetch the stuff that she left behind.  My sister was in charge of distributing everything. 

My mother had never kept any of the paintings I had given her, except two.  One hung over her fireplace, and the other, the painting of the cabin, hung in the foyer.  I had NEVER intended to give her the one over the fireplace—she just took it, and I was afraid to say “no.”  That was before I got strong enough to think for myself.  The rest of the paintings she had given away.  I asked her once where she had hung the large painting I had given her of my brother’s two girls dressed as pilgrims.  “I was afraid you were going to ask me that,” she said.  So I started asking about all the other paintings I had given her.  Same story—all given away.

When I went to collect my stuff, my sister informed me that she wanted the painting of the cabin.  “You must be kidding,” I told her wryly.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Harbinger

The Rogue Speaks:

Illustration by Dick Rink

The Harbinger
“Our soul is escaped as a bird
out of the snare of the fowlers:
The snare is broken,
and we are escaped.”
Psalms 124.7

It is mid summer, and I am eight months pregnant. My belly is overgrown, and tight, and my ankles and feet are swollen. He fills the tub with tepid water and gently eases me down.

“I’ve got you,” he says. “Now lie back so I can wash your hair.”

His hands are gentle as he massages the shampoo into my hair. He washes my back and my arms like one would wash a newborn. He is humming softly under his breath. At least I think it is humming, and then I realize that he is wheezing a little. I frown.

“Are you o.k.?” I ask.

“Right leg, first!” he says, ignoring my question of concern, and he lathers up and shaves my legs, which I can no longer reach. What man does that! Do you know? He stands me up and grabs the towel.

“Ta daa!!” he proclaims.

“This is not a ‘ta daa’ moment,” I tell him woefully, patting my protruding abdomen. “I’m no longer that slender girl I was when we were fresh and new.”

“Ta daa!” we would say when we stripped off our clothes and fell into bed at night—into each other’s arms. We were young and strong, and tanned from the sun—we were beautiful together, and everyone knew it. Now we are older and quieter, but those people who saw us together still know.

He folds the towel, and slips my white cotton gown over my head, and then he guides me to the bed. He puts pillows under my feet to help with the swelling. Then, sliding in beside me, he takes my hand, and in my palm he writes with his finger the words he writes every night. He puts my palm against his lips, and kisses it, sealing those words in forever.

“Our entire life is a ‘ta daa’ moment,” he says softly, “I will love it till the day I die.”

He did.

This post is linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  I am experimenting here with "flash fiction," whatever that is.  I have decided to TRY to get away from  all the political and religious buzz words of 2012.  They are so tiring and depressing, don't you think?  I don't make New Year's resolutions, so this is not one, but I hope to be more creative this year in a new place.  Now if my muses will only support me in this endeavor...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

G is for Gift-giving

The Rogue Speaks:

Christmas is over and the decorations are neatly stored away.  The house is tidy and back to semi-normal, as are we.  I have been thinking lately about the tradition of gift-giving at Christmas.  Well, actually, not just at Christmas, but at other appropriate times as well.  I think that over the decades, the reason for exchanging gifts has changed, and not for the better. 

There was an article in the paper a few weeks back about giving gifts to people in the service industry and just how much money one should give.  It's a nice idea, I guess, but those people get paid for what they do.  It was recommended that the person who cuts your hair should get the equivalent of one haircut as a gift.  Considering that after my last haircut, I looked like a person from a concentration camp who had just been deloused, I can guarandamntee you that not only would I NOT pay twice for that disaster, but that the "stylist" has seen the last of me.

I have given cookies to the mail person and to the garbage men, and a little something extra to the waitresses and bagpeople at our club, but I really don't think that someone had to come up with a list of just what is EXPECTED from patrons at Christmas.  That is taking "politically correct" a little too far!!

Giving gifts to family and friends is another story.  Many families are so large and extended that many draw names at Christmas to cut down on the expense.  Others give gifts only to the children, which I tried to do many years ago, but my sister became absolutely livid when I suggested it.  I didn't care.  I did it anyway.  We had a lot of gifts to buy and not enough money to go around. Besides, with the exception of my SIL, they didn't even like me, and considered me the black sheep of the family.

We did, however, always give gifts to our parents.  In my family, my siblings seemed to be in competition with each other when it came to buying a gift for my mother.  My mother, you see, had told us that whatever we gave her when she was alive, we would get back when she died.  I didn't really care too much for that plan, and so I ignored it for the most part.  I did give my mother a notebook of poems I had written one year when I was REALLY strapped for money and could hardly buy gifts for my kids.  Did I get it back when she died? No, because it had been long ago tossed away as clutter.  That can't be said for the gifts my siblings gave her--I'm sure they got those back, especially the jewelry.

That brings me to another area in the field of gift-giving.  Just who is important enough in your life to warrant a gift?  I have a friend who has been married several times, and has lots of children and step-children.  She always gives them gifts because she loves each and every one of them and wants them to know it.  Sometimes they are small gifts when the money is tight, but they are always gifts that have been thought about before their purchase was made, and are special for that person.  Interestingly, the only children who reciprocate on a regular basis are her step-children, who never fail to send her a gift that is always special, regardless of how much or how little was spent.  Only one of her biological children consistently gives her a Christmas present.  That is very disturbing to me.  Do her other biological children think she is not important enough?  Have we pushed the extravagant to the forefront and forgotten about the little things we might give that say far more about love than any expensive bauble or trinket?

I received a fabulous gift this year from a friend with whom I have never exchanged gifts.  It was totally unexpected--so unexpected that I actually thought it WAS a box of microwave popcorn, and didn't even open it at first, but put it on the counter so I could make it later while I watched The Good Wife on t.v.  It wasn't until I reached for it that I discovered that there were little gifts inside--a pair of Christmas socks, a little package of Christmas Kleenex, two little stick-um toys that stick to glass when you toss them, AND a red foam clown nose!!!I love that nose!  I put it on on Christmas day and made everyone laugh!  I love that woman!    I also love the woman who put three exotic tea bags in the Christmas card she sent me.  I thought of her with every sip!

One of the best things about Christmas, and birthdays as well, is that we always know exactly when they are because they are always on the same date every year. This should give one plenty of time to plan ahead and get the gift to the recipient at the proper time. It really is not that hard if one is thoughtful enough. I say that, but I have one hell of a time remembering my BFA's birthday in May. I know it is May for sure, so now I have dubbed May her birthday MONTH, and as long as I send her a card before the actual day, I am safe!!

Do you see what I am getting at here?  It's not what you give, or how much you spend.  It is the thought and love that go into each and every gift that leaves your hands, destined for the hands of someone who is special to you--and someone who thinks you are special as well.

What does this post have to do with artists and the art world??  Well, good gift-giving is an artArt is a gift.  ART+ART=ART!!!

This post is linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Please go and check out the other entries!!!