Update about blog

Summertime in Black Mountain

My other blogs: Alchemy of Clay
Three Family Trees...the Swasey, Booth and Rogers families, now being published every other day or so...

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...my friends and family.  Most pictures are from 2012.
I have a private journal of some important pictures from the last year.  But this one is for sharing with you.  You might just be in here!

Hope next year is a good as this one.  Like everyone I have shared laughs as well as tears with friends and family in 2012.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

From Christmas past

The Sepia Saturday meme is taking a break this Saturday.
I'm not.

Here's a picture of my older son when he was a teen, visiting out of town grandparents.
He was pretty unhappy that Christmas, as was his younger brother (not in picture here).  Back-story time, at least my best guess here about 30 years later.  My sister (below holding my baby) and her two children (much younger) lived with my parents...and my parents had plenty of time to know what those grandchildren wanted for Christmas.  My sons lived a long way away, and we drove to visit the grandparents.

So instead of my two older sons having a great Christmas, it was a bit of a let-down.  They were used to having lots of toys for themselves, and instead these cousins had all the junk!  Plus their father (my ex) had the income, and would provide lots of things for them, and I couldn't.

I didn't think that this would happen, or of course I'd have made sure to have more under the tree for them.  But I also had my mind focused on other things, like having my third son on my own.  Children don't have any concept of what their parents are going through, and I forgot that.  So my parent's reactions also were also not in my conscious knowledge.

My parents didn't approve of my son's long hair (which in 1979 was really cool).  I know my father would have liked to take hair clippers to those locks that looked a lot like the Beatles.  So this was a typical visit with family that had lots of strained emotions.

I also post these pictures in memory of my nephew, Zachery, who took his life this year (when he was much older).  He's the blond in the red shirt.  

Our time together is so precious.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

That week in between holidays

Some take various presents back to exchange, for size, color, fit, taste, or just the fun of choosing another version of the gift.

Some take advantage of the sales the day after Christmas.

As always, I avoid the stores.  Especially on the days everyone else goes to them.

Remember I'm an introvert.  And maybe even anti-traffic, anti-social, and certainly anti-spending.  I chose these opportunities to read a book.

Fall 2012 Blue Ridge Parkway
Just because there are bargains on things I don't need, I still don't need them.

I'll probably be cleaning up stuff anyway.  Or going for a ride and walk and taking more pictures  if the weather is nice.

My family is still visiting, so I'm doing whatever they chose to do just to spend a few more precious minutes with them.  Yesterday we drove up to Bakersville in cold rain to see Crimson Laurel's great collection of good pottery.  Then we swung around Penland while it was closed, just so an out-of-state person could see what the layout looked like.

Today, if the weather permits, the young ones will go hiking with friends.  I will be free to do something on my own...but want to be available whenever they get back from their muddy pursuits.  I'll let 'cha know what happens!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas to come

Sending a whole passel of wishes that you have a happy one.
Since I wrote this several days before Christmas, I'm actually thinking of the future...while you're reading this after it's posted on the actual day of.  So I sent my wishes forward from your past, and you're receiving them in the now!

Black Mountain, NC, Jan 29, 2010
Borrowing an old photo of my front yard during our white winter several years ago.  Don't know if it will look like this again.

But when we don't have a white Christmas, we have an opportunity to make it a special Christmas for other reasons. 

What, you may ask, am I doing special this year?  My youngest adult  son and girlfriend will visit for a few days.  I'll talk on phone with grandchildren that are thousands of miles apart.  I'll talk with friends closer to me.

We will eat well.  We will visit places with groovy art.  We will laugh at corny jokes.  We may get a bit tipsy with eggnog or other potent drinks.  I for one will not worry about calories or fat content for at least a week of delectable goodies.

And throughout all these wonderful activities over here in Black Mountain, NC... I'm sending you best wishes for a happy Christmas, with all your loved ones.

And for my blog friends, I'm not taking off for the next few weeks.  I may post a few things in advance, but will probably check to see what you're up to when I get a chance.  You are now part of my life, and I'd really miss you if I didn't see what you and your animals and families are up to.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Present

That's present time, not a present under a tree, or wrapped up.  Think Christmas Past, Present, and maybe Future.

Continuous snow all day Friday, Dec. 21, but not much sticking because of winds around 30-60 MPH.

Black Mountain Library

I love sharing pictures of my sweet little town.  In January these photos will be on my new blog, however.  Living in Black Mountain, NC

I bet you thought I'd have some pictures of my decorations.  Maybe on Christmas.  For now, it's still in a process of becoming Christmas.

But I do want to sent you wishes for a very happy Christmas with your loved ones.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas past

Posting thisfor the Sepia Saturday coverage...and to share some thoughts and pictures from my earlier life.  Can't post a picture of Christmas in the future anyway.  So lets enjoy the past.

In 1953 our tree was real (it may have been about the time artificial trees came out, but not for us)  I loved the colored lights (all different colors, big bulbs) and the tinsel which was strung carefully, one by one.
My gifts are on the right...and I don't know what the boxes contain, but there's definitely an orange in my stocking (lying next to my Betsy McCall doll).  I remember Betsy McCall paper dolls which I'd cut out of McCall's magazine.  The real doll was a disappointment, but I don't remember why, the capricious nature of a young girl of 11.  I did learn how to play a simple form of dominoes (right there in front).

This was taken a month before Christmas, our apartment is on the second floor, reached by the porch to the right.  I remember how snow was beautiful for about an hour in St. Louis in 1953, then the coal dust settled on it, making it all grey.  We had to be quick to enjoy playing in it.  Of course it was nice to have a coal furnace to keep us warm.  Our Texas blood (and probably clothes) made us cold easily.

The best place to sled was Art Museum Hill, though there was a lake at the bottom, and we always were scared we'd tumble into it at the end of the long hill.  My Dad was the pusher to get us going, I don't think he tried to ride down with us.  But he may have come and rescued us and pulled the sleigh back up the hill (probably).

This is my Sepia Saturday contribution for the next couple of weeks...they will be back next year!  Add your own link to the fun, if you wish, follow the instructions on their blog!  And enjoy looking at the interesting historical blogs that are linked there!

Happy Winter Solstice 2012

OK, the world hasn't ended (yet) if you're reading this. (as many more people than usual expect to happen on Dec. 21, 2012)
I loved my grandson's FaceBook postings where he asked people to send their valuables to him before the end of the world happened.  Smart guy.

Lake Tomahawk, Spring 2012
Here are a few of my favorite places, which remind me of all my friends with whom I've shared each place.  It's a time of remembering on the darkest day of the year.

Pear Tree blooming by UU Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley, Black Mountain, 2012
A community of people come together every Sunday, year in and year out, here at this small brown church.  I especially enjoy being a choir member, and recently started volunteering as secretary for the Board of Trustees.

Flat Creek, Montreat, NC, Summer 2012
Nature is my source, everyone's source.  This creek is just there.  I like to go walking along it, or sit beside it, listening to its voice in the silence of the woods.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Fall 2012
The Blue Ridge is a place set aside from the areas it passes through, and provides vistas of the mountains around it.  I'm a sucker for vistas.  Just let me get my camera.

The Clay Studio of Black Mountain Center for the Arts
The community studio of which I'm a part, as well as a volunteer once a week.  Here many people have spent time shaping mud into artifacts of one kind or another, while the actual process of creativity has changed them.  A place of exploration, a place of healing, a place of sharing, a place of sometimes hurting.

A place in which I can make my home, watching seasons change, slowly building my own space.

I'm preparing for a new blog in the new year.  One which only shows one photo a day of Black Mountain and the Western North Carolina sites.  Hope you'll visit it (and I'll include a link here when I start it).

Whatever you do this Solstice-time, enjoy being around those you love.  Make the effort to reach out to those you think might be short on human contact.  It is appreciated a thousand-fold.

I now post on this blog every other day, and on my pottery blog the other days of the week.  After all, I have a life.  Well, I want to have one, anyway.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The season's activities

When it seems humanly impossible to do more in a difficult situation, surrender yourself to the inner silence and thereafter wait for a sign of obvious guidance or for a renewal of inner strength. Paul Brunton, Meditations for People in Crisis 

A beautiful reflection of the Lakeview Center, and the light tree in Lake Tomahawk, Black Mountain, NC.

These shots were taken the night we had a Holiday program in the pavillion, with Santa visiting.

He'd also been in the parade through downtown (which is only several blocks long).

The festivities include the free hotdogs, hot cocoa or cider, fruit and cookies which the Black Mountain folks passed out to anyone who came.

Though I don't eat buns with my hotdogs, I highly recommend not feeding them to the poor ducks, who obviously disagreed with me.

I dare say this lovely lady was part of festivities somewhere along the way.

The luminaries and the sunset sky added to the ambiance of a walk around the lake in the evening.

How do I decorate for solstice, you might ask?  Hopefully with some live greenery, and some indication that this is a time for dreaming, so symbols of the night like stars, moons and snowflakes.

Do I decorate for Christmas?  Yep.  I'm also in favor of Hanukkah and Kwanza.  But the main thing of all these festivities is that we come together in community and family, sharing love in the form of gifts.  These gifts may not be worth a lot of green money, but would be really appreciated if worth a lot of green energy in other ways.  Live plants are super.  Food and hand made crafts and art are also.  These show the love between us, and can become useful.