Out of the Loop
Posted on April 25th, 2017 @ 6:38 pm

Sorry I have haven’t had a lot of recent updates. Not that the robots that visit care. If you are a human, please feel welcomed to comment. I’d like know if I have any readers or not.

As to why I have been out of the loop. My dad had major surgery at the beginning of the month. It was the same week I was to go on vacation. So guess what? My scheduled PTO turned from a mountain vacation to sitting in a hospital waiting room waiting on the latest news. My dad survived the surgery and is now in another hospital working his inpatient occupational therapy. He’ll be home in a few days.

Work has been kicking my ass, too. I hate this time of the year because I get stressed out with it. It never ends. I am in the midst of a deep depression bout. I feel like I have no help. I have no on to cry on. I feel like I can’t reach out to friends to burden them with my feelings.

Between the two, I have been worn out. They have been my top priority. I haven’t even had the chance to catch up on the Armstrong Absorption.

At least with my dad feeling better, I decided to go have some fun for a few hours. This past weekend was the Savannah Asian Cultural Festival. It’s not too far from my house; it’s in fact held at Armstrong (I will never call it GSU-Armstrong. It will always be Armstrong.) I took my camera and spent most of the day watching to different dances.

Savannah, GA #3

I enjoyed the dancing. I didn’t stay for the belly dancing, but I did see her the year before. I loved the Polynesian Revue.

In some ways, I left like I was 14 again at the International Folk Festival in Fayetteville, NC. Except this time, I wasn’t behind the scenes running from watching the dancing to dressing and assisting dancers. I enjoyed the dancing what what it was.

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Flickr Photos · Life

Change of plans
Posted on March 29th, 2017 @ 8:23 am

At the Darien River

I had a vacation planned for next week, but life happened and now I can’t go on it. It sucks, but it is what it is. I’ve been in a funk at the moment and this didn’t help.

At the moment, I wish I had the money to go on vacation to Europe. I would love to take my Holga, La Sardina, and Diana F+ and just shoot with film.

This picture has nothing to do with my post, other than it was taken with a $8.00 film camera with a plastic lens.  I’d take that camera, too.

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Getting Back Into Trivia
Posted on February 10th, 2017 @ 5:25 pm

Time for Trivia with my buddies.

My trivia buddies from my old trivia days at the late Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint found trivia at the Pooler B & D Burgers location. I’m not really a fan of B & D, not because of their food, but most of the time, their servers are crap. Usually at the Abercorn location.

Last night was different. Our waitress was on her A game.  That’s all I want from a server.  Someone that doesn’t have to hover over me, but did not forget me or treat me with contempt.

So, the trivia master was Pete, a guy we had over at Maddio’s for a few weeks.  And he remembered me! Am I really more memorable than I give myself credit for? I must be if a girl from 6th grade was so excited to find me on Facebook.

I took some rubber duckies.  We didn’t play under the name, but the joke at Maddio’s was what duck would I have each week. Back then, we’d compete against each other, as well at Wild Wings Cafe out in Pooler. At other locations, we have just joined forces.

I haven’t seen my trivia buddies since our mutual friend, Hai, had a birthday party last April. That’s how long it’s been for trivia for me. The last time I went to trivia was with Melinda to one night at Fiddlers last year. I didn’t like how expensive Fiddlers was for trivia.

Since it had been a while and B & D isn’t too expensive, I went this week.  I forgot how fun trivia was with my pals. We’re a motley crew. And that’s the best!  The main thing is we have 2 common loves: trivia and using the knowledge to get food or money.

I think I loved it the most when Quentin was hell bent on beating this one guy and his team there.  It was some guy I’d constantly beat at Wild Wings, but was a tough competitor.  Quentin didn’t care where we placed.  He just wanted to beat the guy that beat them last week. Q was quite pleased when not only beat the guy, but we won. I don’t think we could have done it without Sam’s sister; she knew how to spell Schwarzenegger.

Now, to get back into the habit again. 🙂

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Flickr Photos · Life

Enjoying my Holga
Posted on February 9th, 2017 @ 6:04 pm

Super Museum Sunday was this past Sunday.  As part of going out for it, I took my beloved hot pink Holga out to shoot a roll.  I think this is my favorite shot of the 15 I took:

Carriage Horse Downtown

I still have a roll from my Diana F+ I need get developed. I also have some film in some of my 35mm cameras that need to be completed and developed.  It’s the money that gets to me.

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Flickr Photos · Photography

Project 365 completed!
Posted on January 1st, 2017 @ 4:45 pm

For the 4th time, I was able to completed a Project365. However, in the case of 2016, it was a Project366.

I think I’ll hold off for 2017.

Presenting my Project366 for 2016:

365 Days - 2016

And in case you missed the previous ones.


365 Days - 2013


365 Days - 2011


365 Days - 2010

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“Precious moments, special people”
Posted on December 22nd, 2016 @ 9:49 pm

Now that I got my pity party out of the way, I’m really better.  It’s really not healthy bottling up anger.

Christmas with Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith

Last Friday, Lindsey and I went to Duluth, GA to see the joint Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.  Jordan Smith joined them on stage for some performances. The show was sponsored by Operation Christmas Child.  Here’s a video of Michael W. Smith a few years ago:

I had a wonderful time. They were having a donation drive at the concert. You’d get an ornament with a $10 or more donation to OCC ornament. I liked how Amy said before intermission that they needed money to ship these boxes. Like shipping my boxes to Mali.

It was such a fun concert! I was so happy to hear Amy perform “Love Has Come.” I had joked on the drive up to Duluth while Amy’s version of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” that the concert should open with the Michael version of the song.  Low and behold, it was the opener as I joked!

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra performed as the musicians for backing. What a wonderful treat!

This was my first real introduction to Jordan Smith. I loved his rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” He also sang “O Holy Night” and the crowd took out their phones and held them like candles.  It was amazing how bright the arena got with the phones on.

All in all, a great night.

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Atlanta · Flickr Photos · Life · Music · Operation Christmas Child · Photography

Sending Mail
Posted on December 13th, 2016 @ 5:52 pm

"Mischievous Kittens" ornament

While December is a bad month for me, I have tried to stay positive by sending mail.

The past couple of years, my friend, Gennie, has done an ornament exchange. I’ve gotten a few beauties over the years: A penguin ornament and a “Squeaky Clean” Snowbabies. Yesterday, I got my ornament from the exchange – the kitten on the laptop above.

I was able to get Christmas cards out this year. So far, I have received 5 back.

I signed up for the Holiday Card Exchange on Reddit Gifts. I sent a complete stranger a little package of goodies. I just felt like being in a giving mood. Also, I signed up for the Random Acts of Cards exchange. I wish it could have been more than a card for them, but I’m flat broke at the moment. (Hi anyone looking up information for peachy921 from Reddit!) Then, someone posted about loneliness at this time of year and I sent a card to them as well. The situation made me think of how I felt after one of the Ashley Wilkeses in my life did to me. No one deserves to feel that way.

And knowing how some of my other friends have been feeling, I sent them a random postcard. I also sent some of their kids random postcards, too.

I can only hope my cards and postcards this month bring a smile to someone.  We all deserve a smile.

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Flickr Photos · Life · Photography

The Train Goes To Plains
Posted on December 3rd, 2016 @ 3:49 pm

Less than a month left in 2016.  I don’t know to be relieved or sad.

Years ago, my mother and Nancy were talking and the next thing I know, they have planned a trip to Alabama along with Nancy’s friend, Patsy. Being the time that Nancy wanted to go on it was after her birthday, but it fell on mine, my mother said the only condition she had for the trip was that I went, too.

Nancy decided that she wanted to do another birthday trip. This time, it was going to be a trip to Southwestern Georgia to ride the SAM Shortline. The particular route she wanted was the Presidential Flyer Train Ride to Plains and Archery, GA. I’ve been to Plains before. Added into this trip was a visit to the Andersonville National Historic Site and the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, with staying the night at the Shalom House Bed and Breakfast. She tried to replicate the good parts of the last trip. Richard went on this trip as well as their married daughter’s mother-in-law, Joyce.

I need to return to Andersonville again. I had a great-grandfather so many greats back that I don’t know died at Camp Sumter or Camp Lawton or in between the 2. He was a union solider that didn’t want to fight at all, according to the family story. At Andersonville, they have the cemetery, the remains and replication of Camp Sumter, the POW camp in the Civil War, and the National Prisoner of War museum. I want to go again to visit the library there.

After the trip to Andersonville, we went down to Tifton, GA to visit the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village. We didn’t have the best visit.  It was not the best visit.  Seems all the local and regional schools decided to visit the museum the same day we did.

My problem with the museum, as I posted in my Trip Advisor review, it was not fun.  Growing up, I was active in Girl Scouts and when I’d off in school or Scout trips, we ALWAYS had to use a buddy system and we had to be well behaved kids. The chaperones for all these school trips just didn’t care.  The kids were brats.  They were running around; some of them nearly his poor Nancy, who has a walker due to her leg health.  As Nancy was trying to get into the drug store, kids were running over her going in an out as well.  I might want to go again, but they really need to close the museum to the public on days like the day we went.

We ended up going to our B&B next.  Patsy made a nice spaghetti dinner.  We enjoy the peace and quiet away from the suburban and urban life we come from. The B&B owners have cat that aren’t allowed in the cabin we stayed in, but we got to enjoy Pogo’s company on the porch.

The second day was spent on the SAM and visiting Plains and Archery.   It was fun being on the train, looking out the window at rural Georgia.  I was barren and in-the-middle-of-being-plucked cotton fields.

Once we were in Plains, we walked around.  At one point, we had stopped at a corner; while I was taking a picture for a mural, and Nancy was deciding where we go next, we ended up next to the Secret Service vehicle that President Carter and his wife, Rosalyn, use to come into town for business. To me, it wasn’t out of ordinary seeing this kind of vehicle, but when the agent driving is standing outside the SUV has a mic on his neck, it was obvious what was going on.

We never met the president, but I was able to get a photo of him shaking a man’s hand in Archery.  There were having a special event out there and the Presidential Couple made an appearance.  While we were in Archery, Joyce and I toured the boyhood home together.

It was a nice trip.  I was glad I went on it.  It was nice to take a trip that I didn’t have to worry about anything. No driving was nice.

I made a special Flickr album for the trip:

Nancy's Birthday 2016

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Classic Post: How I Spent My 24th Birthday by Shawn Allison
Posted on November 30th, 2016 @ 11:25 pm

This post is missing some of the entry, but I have reposted the important parts. From December 9, 2002:

Okay, as I was writing the topic for this piece, I felt I was back in school again writing an essay. And as with some essays, you place a by-line on it. I just had to do it.

Plus one more thing before I start the super long (you have been warned!) entry you are about to get: I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes in my blog and the real birthday cards I got. magsmile Now to breakdown tonight and do my Christmas and Thank You cards. I’ve got quite a few to do. magsmile

As I stated before I left, this trip this past weekend was to Alabama to visit the Ave Maria Grotto and Helen Keller Birthplace. The Grotto is in Cullman, AL and the birthplace, known as Ivy Green, is in Tuscumbia, AL. Also, we stayed the night in Florence, AL at the Wood Avenue Inn.

Friday night, my mother and I spent time traveling to our starting point of Augusta, GA. My mother’s friend Nancy lives there. Going along with us was Nancy’s friend, Patsy. As everyone joked to me this weekend, I spent time with three menopausal women and survived it. Really, it was no problem for me. After all, this was really a trip to celebrate Nancy’s birthday, and I was the tagalong since it was actually my birthday. So, we got to Nancy’s home and crashed for the night. Before I crashed, Nancy gave me a birthday gift of some nice Avon jewelry. It was a silver bracelet in one box. The other box had a matching clip-on earrings and necklace set. Both are beautiful. I’ve yet to take the necklace off.

The next morning, the four of us packed the car and ate at the Waffle House at 7 AM before leaving town. Nice cozy breakfast we had. Then it was time to head to the I-20 and go on our way to Alabama. I slept half the way to Atlanta from Augusta so I didn’t get to see much of the growth this corridor has has. Atlanta via I-20 is not as bad as I-75. Usually, we come into Atlanta from that road and I fear driving it. I don’t think I would have had a problem driving I-20. It was about late in the 9 AM hour when we went through Atlanta and then the Alabama border isn’t that far. Birmingham, here we come.

The trip to Birmingham wasn’t bad, either. In Alabama, they require trucks to stay in the left lanes of the Interstates. I was dumbfounded by this since in Georgia, trucks are required to be in the right lanes of the Interstates. Just confuse me, why don’t you! maglol My mother was still driving at this point. She did all the driving this day. She probably would have let me drive but I don’t like her car I didn’t feel I could do it. And on this section of the trip, I spotted from the Interstate, the Talladega Superspeedway, which I laughed about. I’ve never been to a NASCAR event, but I’ve seen two of the racetracks now, being the second is Daytona every time I travel to Orlando. Finally, around noon, we get into the Birmingham area and go through it.

We made a restroom break at McDonald’s/gas station in Warrior, AL. My mother got me some rabbit figurines there. magsmile That’s one thing if I ever get married, my husband will have to deal with a room in a rabbit motif. maglol We got back on the road and finally got to Cullman around 1 PM. We stopped at Cracker Barrel and had lunch. And shopped. This was a shopping weekend. My mother got a few Beanie Babies items. Two ornaments and a Beanie cat that had a date special to her as its birthday.

Finally, around two, we got to the Ave Maria Grotto. It was interesting. It felt like my party spent more time in the gift shop instead of the actual Grotto. But, it was cool. The Grotto is nothing more than the art work of a Brother Joseph that made miniatures of famous sites and building, using photos as the source, with the miniatures made of cement, rocks, marbles, broken glass, and other items he found or donated to him, place outside to view. My mother was the person that really wanted to see this. And they shopped. Nancy ended up getting me another gift here. magsmile She saw in the gift shop a rabbit figurine made out of real Alabama clay and thought of me. I didn’t even know there was one in the gift shop. While they did the shopping, I went outside and sat in the peaceful, cool Alabama air, meditating.

I’m 24 and like I’ve doing since my 20th birthday, wondered about my life. What its purpose? That type of thought. I don’t know if I thought God would answer me at the Grotto. But then, I realized how my life is compared to others and that I am lucky. I’ll land back on my feet in regards to my job. I’m in school and will one day get a degree. In what, I’ll figure out later. maglol And as for love, I’m not going to rush it. It will happen when it happens. I just have to remember what John Mayer says at the beginning of a live version of “Love Song For No One.” So in a way, I guess God did answer me.

So, as we left the Grotto to head to Florence, Nancy gave me the rabbit. Florence is about 2 hours away from Cullman but it’s on the other side of the Tennessee River from Tuscumbia. Nancy got us a couple of rooms at the beautiful Wood Avenue Inn. My mother and I shared a room and Nancy had a room with Patsy. I had one of the best nights of sleep there. The bed was nice and cozy, and soft. I didn’t want to leave the bed. But we had to so we could visit Ivy Green.

Now, for those that have never been to this part of the country, it’s an interesting place for a Geography buff like me. magsmile Florence is in Lauderdale County, north of the Tennessee River. Across the river, is Colbert County, home of the towns of Tuscumbia, Sheffield, and Muscles Shoals. They call the area the Shoals area. All four towns/cities are on top of each other. You don’t know which town you’re in unless you know what side of the river you are on and if there is a sign near you telling you where you are. We killed time at a Rite-Aid and McDonald’s in Sheffield. At the Rite-Aid, you looked down the street and could see into Tuscumbia. maglol

Nancy was working on postcards to send her friends and remarked how people she grew up with lived in Decatur, AL. We drove by Decatur on our way from the Grotto to Inn the night before. My mother found this out and made Nancy call her friends to let them know she was in Alabama and maybe they would like to get together at Ivy Green to see Nancy. Well, they where thrilled about this and drove to the Rite-Aid to meet us. So, our party grew by two more ladies to visit Ivy Green.

Ivy Green is small but it was, for lack of another word, interesting and educational. However, we all felt our tour guide was annoyed by us. She didn’t show us the kitchen building, the side cottage, and the carriage house outside the home on the grounds. She didn’t go upstairs to tell us about the history of the rooms there. Someone suggested she may have been ill, which could have been true. Yet, we just didn’t like the tour. She never said anything about Helen attending Radcliffe! That was probably the sticking point for me. But, we did see and learn a bit more about Helen Keller. And, we saw the famous pump! magsmile

So, after the Ivy Green tour, either Nancy or her friends suggested we head to Decatur and have coffee with them. My mother agreed to it, knowing seeing these life long friends of Nancy meant something to her. Nancy joined her friends and Patsy stayed with us to get rest on the way to Decatur. Two things I observed on this trip. One, the side of the road was littered. It wasn’t your paper cups and hamburger wrappers you usually see. The litter was cotton. Cotton plants were all over the side of the road, with cotton in them. It was a site and my mother joked about stopping and taking some cotton. And in Town Creek, I believe or just outside of it, we saw a swarm of birds in a field. It may have been a quarter acre of birds there. My mother remarked it was a scene from The Birds.

It was nearing dark when we got to Decatur. While at Jimmy Nell’s home (Jimmy Nell being the mother friend of Nancy’s), all the “adults” sat talking and listening to my mother and Jimmy Nell playing piano. I did sit and talk for a bit but I saw a globe and road atlas in the home and spent most of the time there looking at them. My quark, yes, but I do enjoy staring at a map and just seeing the layout of a state and spotting cities and towns I’ve heard of before and remembering where they are. We also had a Pizza Hut dinner while in Decatur. One pizza was sausage and pepperoni for me and the other pizza was Hawaiian pizza. I told them I wouldn’t have minded if they got both pizzas in Hawaiian.

Finally, around 6 PM last night, it was dark and we needed to get on the road. I volunteered to drive at this point. Nancy and Patsy couldn’t drive and my mother had done all the other driving. I felt she needed a rest. So, we stopped by the Wal-Mart on the way out of Decatur so Nancy could get yarn. That’s her quark. I drove from Jimmy Nell’s home all the way to the Talladega area. I nearly got into a collision getting back onto I-65 South from a stop at a gas station. My mother’s car has very bad blind spots and the car I could I sideswiped was in a blind spot. Other then that and scaring my mother around some trucks, I think I did well. In the Talladega, passengers needed a potty break, or “tinkle tinkle” as the joke in the car was, so we stopped at a McDonald’s. I handed the car over to my mother to make the rest of the trip. Across a business driveway was a gas station that happened to have a replica of a Sterling Marlin race car. My dad is a NASCAR fan and he happens to like #40. I finished off our film taking photos of this car for my father. I then called him on the phone and he seemed interested in seeing them. magsmile

Except for one last stop in Madison for gas, the trip home was uneventful except for seeing a car turned over on West bound I-20 east of Atlanta. Many cars on that side of the road stopped to help and traffic started to back up. I hold the people in that accident are ok. Once in the Augusta area, we took a shortcut on a new road that starts in Columbia County at I-20 and cuts into Richmond County across the street from Gate #1 at Ft. Gordon. To make it back to Nancy’s as fast as she could, we took that way. The young MP at the gate for some reason, reminded me of Lance Bass of *NSYNC. And then to boot, the three menopausal women were flirting with him. maglol And he was playing back to them!

We got into Nancy’s home around 2:30 and collapsed. Nancy and Patsy had to work today and my mother and I made the trip back home. But all in all, it was a wonderful and memorable trip. I enjoyed it. magsmile And that’s how I spent my 24th birthday! magparty

I do have some photos from the trip between what Patsy had on disc for us and what I scanned from our photos:

Ave Maria Grotto

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Cruise Pictures
Posted on October 27th, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

Earlier this month, my sisters, brother-in-law, and I went on a cruise.  The married sister had a balcony with her husband, since she gets motion sickness. The single sister and I got an upper/lower bunk setup for as cheapest as we could get. Being a cruise, we figured our room was for sleep and down time, only, as well a storage for our stuff.

There are no words to explain how wonderful and needed this vacation was.  I feared we wouldn’t get to make it because of the weather system known as Hurricane Matthew. It was going to Eastern Florida as we were driving to Miami for our trip.  We were originally going to go to Key West, but the storm took that out of the equation.  We ended up driving to Miami via I-75 and US 27, with a night stop in Kissimmee because the only hotel room we could find for the night was in that city.

We made it to Miami okay, but I was literally sick with worry about Savannah since it was on the list of cities to be hit by the storm.  Savannah got hit; my dad suffered damage on his property, but for the grace of God my house escaped damage from the storm.  My concern was about my house as it’s the central cleaning house for the family and my dad left a few cats there when he evacuated town and these cats refused to be caught. I just wanted to make sure they survived.  It wasn’t until the first night of the cruise that I knew for certain my dad  and the animals were ok.

My brother and his girlfriend were OK because they were out of town making arrangements to move to, of all places, Nashville, the family’s original hometown.  My brother wasn’t even born in the state.  After driving up to TN for my cousin’s funeral, he complained a lot about the road system up there.  And now, he lives there.

Sorry to have digressed there.  Once I could enjoy my cruise, I sure did.  We had 3 full cruise days.  I won a Ship on a Stick.  I did four excursions on port days:

  • Snorkeling and hanging out with sting rays in Grand Turk.
  • Visiting a rain forest in Puerto Rico.
  • Visiting a rain forest and taking a 4 x 4 tour on St. Kitts.
  • Snorkeling and seeing planes land in St. Maarten.

And I want to do it all again. I just need money and days off.  Days off shouldn’t be too hard, but finding a companion to go with me.

Well, enough of the talking.  The photos can show you more.

Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2016

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