Thursday, May 12

Everlasting Life

Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. 
Do you believe this?” 


Tuesday, February 15

Juliette, Georgia

So 2 friends and I crossed the South Edisto, and the Savannah rivers, passed mistletoe park with no one to kiss, crossed Oconee Lake and found ourselves gliding through the shady Oconee National Forest.

After crossing Standard Creek, we hung a sharp left and crossed the Tomaliga river, coming to a slow crawl on McCrackin Street in Juliette, Georgia.

Home of Whistlestop Cafe. The place where the 1991 film Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed. A shrine. And we were giddy. 

As we waited for the restaurant to open, we gazed at the Ocmulgee river and the railroad tracks where Buddy lost his arm.

We walked around back to see Smokey's little bungalow and we caught the waitresses having a break on the back patio. We had one foot in 1991 and one foot in 2022. It was hard to toggle back and forth.

I think I prefer the '90s.... But anyway....

Our name was called and we entered the restaurant, taking photos of the famous booths. Of course we started with the fried green tomatoes which were incredible. We avoided the barbecue because we know the "secret's in the sauce" and we know what that secret is.

We all three got the country fried steak which was also incredible. We got different side dishes and some cornbread. Everything was fantastic and it was worth the 3-hour drive just to eat at this restaurant.

In movie terms, I am Idgie and I was trying to figure out which of my two friends would be Ruth and neither one really fit the bill. Either one could have been Evelyn scaring the young people in the parking lot.

After lunch we strolled the street and visited the gift shops. We found where Buddy's arm was buried and then we drove to the church where Ruth and Buddy were buried and their tombstones remain. We were quite surprised to see that fictional characters have a tombstone in a real grave with the beloved remains of real people. That tells you how loved this movie is.

We spent about two and a half hours in Juliette and loved every minute of it. We had a 3-hour drive each way and it was worth it.  My advice is that you watch the movie, go to Juliette, and then watch the movie again.  And definitely try the fried green tomatoes.

Saturday, January 29

Racing in my Genes

I took three year old Becca to the zoo yesterday and as we were driving down I-20 she expressed this observation:  "Pookie, your jeep goes FAST!" I smiled because really it doesn't. It's a 2-door soft-top Jeep Wrangler that shakes, rattles and pops and has little to no credible acceleration.  But OK, a three year old is impressed. I straightened my back a little, held my head up proudly.


Fifteen minutes later, Becca excitedly, confidently inquires, "Did we win yet, Pookie?!"

I smiled again because that's my girl! That's right, baby, we're in a tough vehicle, riding rough, going fast and we will win, suckers.

I don't really think I'm competitive, am I? I'm pretty cautious, kind of mellow.

Except for that time with the Busbees..... OK, so I was pretty riled up there.

And of course I get obsessed with the Dakar Rally every year.

And well, I worked for a place called The Race Shop.


Errr, I write an awful lot about Enduros.

Argh, I even love glider racing.

So maybe I do like racing.

But I'm not competitive.

Really.

Sunday, January 23

Dakar 2022 Sketches

I was again obsessed with the Dakar Rally during the first two weeks of January. I usually just watch the bikes, but this year I was also interested in the Light Prototype because I was following "Tomb RaiderAnnie Seel and Annett Fischer.  They came in #1 in all women team and #15 overall. Anyway, here are my sketches from this year.

Seel and Fischer's Ride
soft pastel:


Annett Fischer, beginning, day one
graphite:


Toby Price, end of day full of trouble
water soluble graphite:


Manuel Andjubar
water soluble graphite with watercolor:


Adrien Vanbeveren, end of good day
soft pastel:


That's it!

Dakar 2021 Sketches


Sunday, January 9

Iceman Championship 2022

So I crossed the North Edisto and much later, the Saluda, breezed along the Saluda just short of Riverbanks Zoo and downshifted the Jeep as I approached the Saluda Riverwalk on Saturday, January 8. There was no parking, cars were lined up along the road and I parked the half mile away in an empty yoga studio parking lot. 


The Mill Race Massacre and Iceman Championship was in full gear when I arrived. Around 50 kayakers were doing their best to out perform each other on the icy Saluda. Maybe some were just trying to beat their own record.


The Saluda Riverwalk is new to Columbia and offers a wooden walkway along the river, picnic tables, restroom. I haven't kept up with the river scene in Columbia for the past couple of years so it's possible the walkway connects with other River walkways. I think the city was trying to get them all connected. I didn't walk far enough to find out.

I was there to play around with my camera. I was disappointed to find that I had the settings wrong and the pictures aren't quite right. I was also there as a fellow kayaker however this is not the kayaking that I do. I ride the sit on top kayak and just float down a lazy river with no white water.  These kayakers probably resent that I used the word kayak. 






Anyway, it was a beautiful day and I thought you might enjoy the pictures. Even overcast, cold days can be beautiful.

Friday, December 31

In which no news is good news

Christmas went well. There were absolutely no hilarious mishaps to report.  It was indeed an unfortunate choice not to have a trash committee, that issue blossomed.


This was a special year with all of us together. Robby and Ollie were napping and, sadly, are not pictured.

I forgot my apple bread and left it in the freezer. Jerry brought 15 lb of mashed potatoes. And everybody had trouble with the 70 plus degree weather. Otherwise, it was a wonderful reunion. So good to spend three days together.

Also, very happy to see 2021 come to a close.




Saturday, December 25

Committees are the secret to a successful Christmas

Merry Christmas!  I'm up at 5:00 waiting for the Cousin Crew to wake up.


Christmas Eve was a blast!



Maybe too much fun for a few.

The night started with a meeting of the Chair Committee.  Followed by a briefing from the Utensil Committee. The Food Committee took over and all went well.

We had our traditional lasagne dinner followed by the stocking stuffers exchange wherein the most coveted and traded gifts included a Chick Fil A card and an autographed photo of Eric Estrada that was clearly regifted.

The least traded gift was a dose of GasX which the original recipient was stuck with. Which was totally appropriate since it was dad.

The evening ended with hugs and kisses and me whispering to dad, "We have a situation brewing."

Yikes! We never formed a Trash Committee. 😧





Friday, December 24

Cousin David Update

Within hours of starting my blog up again, who magically appeared through the back door while we were eating lunch?



He has aged a little since my blogging days, no? He and Lexi stopped by to show us their new car:


We kicked the tires and smelled the interior, oooh'd and ahhh'd, and talked for awhile.  It was so good to see them again and I think he has made it clear that he's ready for the blog to crank back up, too. 

Then the little woman called to see what was taking him so long.  (She might not be as eager for the return of the blog.)





Thursday, December 23

Crossing the Catawba Again

So I crossed the Catawba again.  Back in my blogging days, when I crossed the Catawba, it meant I was going to see my nana. But now I would have to cross the Jordan in order to see my nana again. So when I cross the Catawba now, I'm either meeting Cousin David for wings or going to visit my mom and dad.

In this case, it was Mom and Dad.

As they approached their eighties, mom and Dad decided to sell the family home and downsize to a condominium. At which point, the grandchildren cried out for one last Christmas at Mimi and Papa's house. Mimi and Papa acquiesced, albeit with fear and trembling.

As Christmas drew near, they wondered more and more how they could possibly host 28 people for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Several under the age of 9 and rather mischievous, slightly brutal to home decor. 

So that's what led me to cross the Catawba three days before Christmas in the difficult year of 2021.

As I dusted the four bedroom home, climbed the rickety 1910 wooden ladder to fix the garage door opener and drizzled chocolate over 61 truffles (but who's counting?), I found myself longing for wings with Cousin David.

And thinking of Cousin David made me want to blog again because my faithful readers have always enjoyed following the life of Cousin David.

It was also a couple of faithful readers who suggested I might start blogging again. And with 28 family members in a four bedroom house for 2 days, what could provide better blogging material??

Drop a comment and tell me how you plan to celebrate christmas.


Saturday, January 16

Dakar 2021 Sketches

Dakar 2021 has concluded after two harsh weeks of excitement and cut-throat competition. Manuel Andujar took first place in the Quads. 

Kevin Benavides (ARG / Honda) took first in the Bikes with Ricky Brabec (USA / Honda) at second and the adorable Sam Sunderland (GBR / KTM) taking third place.

Those are generally the only rankings I watch, however, I was watching the cars this year for Cyril Despres (FRA) because I was a huge fan of his when he did Bikes. Back in the day. 

So here are a few sketches I did during the Dakar.

A watercolor based on a published photo by Charly Lopez.


A pencil sketch of Cyril Despres based on a Red Bull Content Pool photo.


A colored pencil sketch of Manuel Andujar at the finish line, winner of the Quads.


A watercolor of Toby Price.


Toby Price at the start.


Sunday, November 29

Wiseman's View, Linville Gorge, Marion, NC Blue Ridge Parkway

I went back to one of my favorite places in America for a sunrise view - the Linville Gorge at Linville Falls, NC.  For sunrise, go to Wiseman's View, but you should have 4 wheel drive. It's a long drive on a gravel road with giant potholes. Every single passenger in your car will complain.  So worth it.

For sunset, go to the other side of the gorge at Table Rock, hike up to the Chimneys for an amazing sunset.

Sunrise at Wiseman's View:

 
Great view of Table Rock, NC:



I have two or three more weeks of work in Boone, working 6 days a week. Not sure where next Sunday will lead me, but I'll keep you posted. Muah, darlings.

Thursday, November 26

Blue Ridge-less Parkway, Boone NC

 When you can't see the Blue Ridge . . .


My folks came up to join me for Thanksgiving dinner.  I took them up to my favorite outlooks between Linville and Boone on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Everything was covered in clouds, it was gorgeous. At over 4,000 feet, we could look down upon the clouds and just about scoop them up with our hands. And of course, being Thanksgiving, we thought they looked like whipped cream. Then we wanted some pumpkin pie. Which we'd already had. But still.

A Thanksgiving dinner at the Dan'l Boone Inn is a must. Or anytime of year, if you're in the area, stop in for some outstanding homestyle cooking.

In these three posts on the Wilson Creek overlook, isn't it amazing how different it looks each time? Always a surprise. I'm loving Boone, but missing my kids.

Happy Thanksgiving!