Saturday, December 15, 2018

All Natural...

I'm now a reluctant Flickr pro account owner, but it didn't go smoothly, I will say their customer service was immediately there to help me when I accidentally purchased pro on the Brand "NEW" account I had made just to host my blog photos, and not the one that holds the 20,000+ collection of photos! They refunded me right away, and I got it straight. 

Been having some naturally occurring issues  lately here on the homestead...and I'll share it.   These are some Leyland Cypress trees my mom and I planted about 8 yrs ago.  They grew really well...


We planted them between our homes to give privacy even when it's your mom you want some privacy and vice versa...they are filling in very well, the good thing about these trees is they don't lose needles, they stay green year round, and the provide cover for birds.  They grow really fast too!

Leyland Cypress 

But the ones we put up by her driveway have not fared too well at all check this out...These have been mutilated again and again... 

deer mauled trees
                                             video clip


We planted the driveway trees at the same time.  Here is a new Holly I planted about one year ago it has tripled in size and is doing well...the deer never bother the Holly, and they don't seem to bother the little Eastern Red  Cedars much either..

Holly

eastern red cedars

As you can see from these photos its foggy, rainy, and gloomy this weekend...can't get outside much so I'm inside editing video I shot over the past couple weeks...I put this clip together...hope you will enjoy watching it.  These clips were shot through my windows of the pasture it's a playground!

Deer_0001




PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Did it!

I think I need to update.  I'm not traveling right now so I'm busy doing all sorts of chores and going about every day life here on my homestead.  It's time to do a little decorating so I jumped right in..
Hung a wreath on the porch door...this is the one I've been using the past 4 or so years I still like it...



My Thanksgiving was quiet for the most part, just myself and my son...And the dogs of course...their stockings are up ready for The Dog Whisperer to visit...



Of course I hung them with great care! We had a nice fire that day...


it was pretty chilly so...they snuggled into their beds 


Awww the good life...

Then a day or two after I tackled the tough job of decorating the tree! This year Im keeping it so simple...it took less then 20 minutes to do...lol  but I think it makes a statement.


...even artificial ones!

Then rain and rain and rain...
Seemed it would never stop
finally it did.
I'm still cutting up lots of wood to burn


Then as part of my volunteering I put this small church cemetery on Find A Grave, there is 136 souls here and maybe more in unmarked graves.  I don't like unmarked graves...a forgotten soul and forgotten history.  


not the original church since the oldest grave was from 1908, so I imagine many remodels over the years

And I'm still working on getting a photo posted for each memorial.  It is a lot of work, but I think it is an important thing to preserve.  There are literally thousands of small churches spread all around our county and the surrounding counties...I could do a new one every single day if I so desired! Check out this homemade stone, it does not contain all the info I'd like such as dates of birth and death, or the entire name but it is better than nothing!


Rev D Brown

This is a small but old congregation. 110 yrs! There is so much to be learned from the past. Here and maybe elsewhere most churches are still segregated.  This is an African American Baptist Church.  My sis and I have worked hard on making sure the AA churches are placed on Find a Grave, as it is a great resource to research family history.  Certain sectors of the population have been over looked in recorded history so we are doing our part to get that info out there.  Since Find a Grave is now part of Ancestry.com it reaches more people...I do however like the old site better than the new one they released this year.

I have no bird photos? HOW did that happen?  How about some crows making lots of noise...check this out..





               
                                                                                  
 I always take my decorations down the day after Christmas, so I will enjoy these for a couple weeks then back into the boxes they go!
            

                       
PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thankful things...

I'm still sorting out where I will post photos in order for the blog to continue..and I think this could work.  Since I like Flickr and really would like to continue to use it...but just don't want to pay for it...For the Future I created a new account.  So between that and Google I think it will work. I don't know if I created 20 accounts if I could move my 20K photos..lol
If I sign up for the pro for a year, then make 18 more accounts each can have 1,000 free...lol
So I did sign up for a second account under my gmail email address. So at least I have that part figured out. 


Yes Im a tree Hugger!

I will however keep the second account private as I don't want to be worried about spam comments etc.  So if you click on a photo it will probably tell you "you don't have permission to see this image." Here's me hugging my big tree.  I just finished up a big You Tube project.  I decided to make one highlighting some of the things I love and am thankful to have in my life...right here on my little piece of the world.  So if you're a subscriber to my You Tube you can see it and if not WHY NOT? LoL no strings attached.  I actually like You Tube cause I can put my videos and photos in and there is no storage limit...I've made some videos highlighting some of my favorite trips and I'd like to do one on every place I've visited.  It brings life into the static of blogging.  I do need a new editor Im using Windows Movie Maker it is obsolete...that is why my video's have the black bars even if I shoot in 16:9 format my WMM won't save it in that format so I'm currently looking for a work around, and I may have found one for future use. 




I thought Google Photos would work but then a friend told me the photos were not showing on the last post so I had to rework that blog post and hopefully they are now visible...
My wintering birds have arrived..and it's good to have something normal and expected happen.  The numbers of my visitors is down so far.  The Dogwood tree in the front yard has become the hip happening place to be in my yard.  There is three of them and all have berries but one is loaded with berries this year.  A Northern Mockingbird has been defending this tree since the end of September.


But yesterday he really had a challenge...a flock of about 40 American Robins came in and they attacked his tree, then came Eastern Bluebirds, Yellow Shafted Northern Flickers, Red Bellied, and Downy Woodpeckers and even one Pileated flushed when I went out into the yard.  He had to drive away Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinal, and all those Robins! I tired to get a few shots via the window.  I saw some Junco on the ground underneath, and the American Goldfinch grabbed one or two berries.  They must be very sweet to eat. 


A. Robin

N. Flicker

More Robins...



E. Bluebird





So this was good!!  Unfortunately for the Northern Mockingbird, the tree was stripped of all berries, a few on the ground is all he has now.  I hope he finds the suet in the feeders. 

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Meaning of Life.

I have something new..and free...there is a lot to be said about being frugal! Well here it is, what do you think??
<----------

"Never look a gift horse in the mouth."


Casey for scale. 
Not impressed? LoL...well you might be if you need to split wood! This chopping block is helping to save my back and represents hope and intentions.

Found this out: the deal with Google is unlimited photo storage but they reduce the pixels (quality) to 16.  So instead of adding more content to Flickr I'll use Google for now! It is a slow upload I don't see me being able to move 16 tons (and what do you get) of photos over there.  However it is very simple to use.  So the quality is going downhill...my camera refuses to give me crisp focus, and now even that is reduced.  *sigh* so be it. 

...my heart is just not in it right now...it seems so trivial.  


American Beauty getting ready to shed this year.

Sadly my Mom and my Sis are gone.  Drove away just like that. Gut wrenching. I struggle in between the life of my parent and the  life of my son.  The 60 or so years between them is the span I currently occupy...been where one is now, and on my way to where the other is.  Three generations all struggling with different, but somehow related, challenges of life due to...
                                         Age, Time, and Place.

My father transplanted his wife and three daughters from Tennessee to South Carolina back in 1960. By the first of the year I'll be the only one of us still here. It's like an encyclopedia of memories ripped out of a lifetime. Women moved to foreign lands by men. I am standing firm I will not be moved, not permanently. I will make my stand where I call home. 


Casey is slowing down but still full of inquisitiveness 

I'm between both ends of the spectrum...one life nearing it's terminus, and one suffering from a bout of "early onset midlife crisis". My mom and my son.
"Youth is wasted on the young."  In the  middle I'm struggling... "life is like a box of chocolates."  "No one gets out alive." I have no perfect answers...I watch both and I have nothing to add..I observe in stunned silence  my feelings are, glad I'm not <-- there anymore and glad I'm not --> there yet.  What can I say?  "If I'd known then what I know now?"

Maybe that is the quote for me to take with me on my journey to --> there.


Downy Woodpecker thinking, observing, pondering his life...

I remarked to my son about the recently cut forest just down the road. Mature trees, there today gone tomorrow...just like that, as it had been clear cut when I returned from CO this past summer.  "I won't see that forest mature again in my lifetime." All the beautiful gold of the Hickory, the reds of the Dogwood, the surly orange of the Maples, the yellow of the Tulip Popular, and the many tones of brown of Oaks, NOT here this fall.  If only I had known last fall I'd have appreciated those colors so much more..the last time I would see those trees in brilliance. 

He seemed surprised and shocked when I said that. Neither will my Mom see it.  I read something she wrote long ago, I just came across it the other day.
She looks out her window and speaks to the trees and leaves she witnesses that sparkle on them, "You sing to me and it is beautiful."  She wrote that in a time of loneliness she was experiencing. I felt like a snoop when I found it and read it.  Her words so confidential and beautiful, then again maybe I needed to hear that NOW.

 If my son is lucky maybe one day will walk down this old dirt road again...maybe his son will be by his side and they will see a forest in brilliant fall display and he will recall that day. He will be the age I am now.  If he does I hope he remembers it fondly...I can't say. I can say this...
"Nothing is forever."  He will have to see it for both of us, he will hear it sing. 


Female Northern Cardinal observing, wondering, thinking, what's next...

I launched just fine, but he is not me, what worked for me will not work for him...so what I learned is pretty useless to him...on the other end of that fire-stick burning is my mom who requires around the clock guardianship she's still independent enough to be a danger to self....she remains defiant.  
Both struggle for independence, and the secret to life. Both falling short as we all do. 


Casey often stands with his head outside and his body inside. Living in between two worlds?

"If the mountain will not come to Muhammad,
 then Muhammad must go to the mountain."
                          Muhammad is on the way to the mountain.

                                                                                                  
                                      "Are we there yet?"

 
                   




Casey observes...everything is harder for him these days he has to hold his back legs together much of the time to support himself, he wobbles and he sometimes falls over, he is pretty much deaf and he is very short sighted... he likes to sit up here and think...I'm glad I have been able to spend time with this sweet thinker.  I sure wish he could talk. I'd ask him, "what are we supposed to be doing with our time on this Planet?"  He observes life around him I observe him as he observes life around him.

I think he would answer, "just do your best and move on." 



PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

VOTE, and EXTORTION

Tuesday and it's not just any Tuesday! It's THE "if you don't go vote today you must really not give a damn Tuesday!"  I voted early since my age gives me that perk, and I got an absentee ballot for my 94 year old mom...I helped her fill in the little bubbles she can no longer write due to her shaky hands the more she tries to steady the pen the more it moves...so I asked "You want to vote Democratic or Republican"? She asked me, "which side is Trump on"? I said "Republican", so she says, "I wanna vote Democrat".  So there you go folks a 94 y.o. with Dementia knows better and so should any person who is registered to vote! Any American's who read my blog we have a dog in this fight let the DOGS OUT PLEASE!


 Extortion? 
Pay up or we burn your house down.
Who else is tired of this corporate bullying? I see where the MUG came from in SMUG MUG!
Yahoo sold Flickr to Smug Mug...and now they are mugging us!
After many years as a faithful Flickr user, they threaten to delete our photos!  I used to have a Pro Account...it was $24.99 a yr. Then the big remodel back in 2012 or when ever that happened... totally messed Flickr up and many people left.  
I ended my pro account...but continued to use Flickr to host my photos..NOW the new policy is pro account is $50! We have until Nov 30 to pay up and till Jan of 2019  to move our photos if we don't go Pro. And anything over 1,000 photos they will delete if you're not a pro account user.  They are giving a 30% discount for the first yr.  So I may be forced to get a pro account for one year to give me more time to move my 20,000+ photos!! AND I have always used Flicker to host my blog photos..so that means all my blog photos will disappear if I don't go pro.  So without the photos it's going to become a waste land! This is Nuclear... I'm not in this boat alone...many will be affected...HOW will I  move 20,000+ photos..I feel so extorted... there is no way I can find a home for those 20,000+ photos in the time allowed. Meanwhile I have done a "request my data" file and it will take a long time to actually get a download.  I need to know how big the file is before I can decide what to do with it.  I hope the Cloud will  help in some way Im dropping photos on Google Photos and Drive...but Im sure there is a limit on them too. 


More Corporate lunacy..
And YouTube is also changing again...Google bought it out and immediately laid waste to the cool features...Progre$$.  I don't know if they are making any creative additions to You Tube it seems to just be about Statistics, and well MONEY.   The preview looks like the kind of things you would see at a Marketing Ad Campaign Staff Meeting! The little gal may as well throw her hat in the ring.  Many small YouTube accounts are being hit with this Fake Copyright BOT.  It is a troll out to damage the reputation of any competition...by placing a strike or a copyright infringement against a video...the video is removed and yet there is NO infringement, just a corporate bot going around defeating the competition.  It takes weeks to have your video reviewed by a human and many will give up long before the video is opened up again. 
I used to have a photo-less blog. Or I'd post only one photo... I may be going back to that.   
 I have to experiment with using other hosts I suppose...Google Drive is the only way I found to get photos out of my phone other than to share to Facebook.  And you can't share FB photos here it is considered 3rd party and more infringements! Soooo the future of this blog is up in the air at the moment as I figure out a new strategy. There is no room in my budget to pay for photo hosting!


Changes don't sit well with me lately....the DANGER here folks is Freedom of Speech!  If we can't afford to speak up how will we? If only the ones with deep pockets can post online, then what? The news papers are almost all gone, TV and Radio syndicated, then along came the "information Highway" ended up being a Highway to Hell in some respects and now the Corporate Coop has this really long and virtual arm.  So what is the future of your own Blog? Stop this train I wanna get off!!



PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, November 2, 2018

November?

Still puttering around here at home.  Nothing to write or to blog about...unless you consider cutting wood and grocery shopping interesting! I don't know what kind of fall we will have they butchered the woods around us while I was gone last spring...so many of the beautiful trees I looked for in fall are GONE laid to waste! 
The politics and the overall tension in this country have me on edge I make a new enemy every single day on Social Media...don't even know why I bother!  Who would have thought a group called "Non Consumerism" could become a hot bed of political coals when someone thought it would be nice to post a kid dressed up as Trump for Halloween...wow that didn't go well. What kind of parent would do that to a young kid? So since nothing new on my SD card I'm still trying to expand my YouTube subscribers and creating a photographic journey via my past photo files.  It'a good way to spend an evening in front of the fire...If I ever get a new camera I really want to put some of the things I'm learning into practice including more video.
This one is from way back in 2002 I think, when I was still working as a Medic in NYC.  We had a call that took us over the Brooklyn Bridge.  Back in those days I had and still have a tiny 3 mpg Minolta Digital camera.  It was video capable but had no sound recording...I recently stumbled upon it and remade it..So that's the first video here...It's kind of a hoot as I added sirens which we were using in this run.  The later video was taken with my mobile phone! It's just  a bit of miraculous news. 
I hope you will subscribe to my YouTubes if you enjoy them...I have enjoyed putting these together.  









PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Butterfly Magik

Summer is gone finally.  I busy myself with all the many chores around the homestead. It took about a week to pick up all the downed limbs and twigs from the storm(s).  We interred John's ashes into the cemetery plot he had purchased back in 1999.  He picked his own stone etc...he later decided he wanted to go with cremation and he tried to sell his plot.  He was not able to and finally just gave up.  So we did both.  He is resting in his plot in a lovely Urn, and I have a small one on the mantle.  I dealt with losing him long ago but still there is pain inside me to deal with.  I cry a little each day and add that to the years of tears cried. 

Slowly I hope nature will help me...right now I'm closed off...but I know soon the shield will be moved and I will be open again to feeling, enjoying, and experiencing.  In fact my son and I took a walk the other day and we found this beautiful sight best seen in motion.  I know John would have loved it...he was close to nature when he was in his prime.  I will be back when I can find my words again.  I'm still exploring the idea of Vlogging, it's a way to explore being creative and sharing. 




Hope you all have a good week. 


PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, October 7, 2018




Today my heart is heavy.... the man I called husband for 26 yrs, the father of my son, passed away last night after an long battle with Alzheimer's.  He will be missed and fondly remembered in my heart forever. 


RIP my love, I keep you in my heart as I knew you... 
 say hello to our sweet friends, DixieBell and Sundance. 
















PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

One more trip around the Sun....

Not much warm n fuzzy going on right now in my corner of the woods...I'm about to turn the golden corner as another birthday waxes and wanes, so I'm laying fairly low, still dealing with some of the storm damage, trying to get my ceiling dried out so I can repaint it...


                                                  the ugly

I haven't touched it last couple of days to see how it's going I've got fans on it 24/7.  Not looking forward to it since matching the paint even tho it's just a ceiling flat paint, will be hard, so that will probably mean painting the entire ceiling! NOT what I wanted on my plate as this moment. 

Lot's of change sweeping through my life and the lives of everyone I love...it's been and continues to be a hard summer even tho it has finally ended.
I don't do well with change...emotionally I'm low, energy level is low too.  I think I'd like to sail away.  But for now a drive down to Sandhills NWR will have to do!  We finally had our first summer picnic and it is officially Fall! LoL. 

  
Mom enjoyed herself

We drove around by car and I riding shotgun with Jimmy in the backseat so I didn't see many birds we heard pine warbler, saw blue jays and red bellied woodpeckers, and lots of brown headed nuthatches up in the trees around the picnic shelter.   Mainly we enjoyed the changing landscape it  kinda goes along with the current flow of life...things they are a changin'.


The lake levels were very high thanks to the recent storm I don't think this boardwalk is gonna make it.  


This is also one of our favorite lakes there are many in the refuge, this is Mays Lake.  We agree we really need to get into a kayak and paddle this lake, it has a lot of shoreline and little coves in the back.  Unexplored places entice. 


It was the perfect spot to reflect, on times gone by, time that is, and what will be...



Recall those lines in the old movie Terminator..."the future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves," I believe that. 

I found this turtle who met his demise here in this peaceful place, his shell remained to show he had been here...is that how life is? We come, we try, we go, and leave an empty shell? Maybe!  SO strange how mankind spends more time trying to "save the soul", and we don't even know if we have one, meanwhile what is right in front of us our Earthly Experience, we ponder so much of it away and only the tattered shell remains...hmmm?


Jimmy said "aw what the heck, may as well just take a little swim."  


So he did!   He loves the water...



Then just shake it off and on to the next big thing!


FALL finally! 

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.