Bald Eagle Portrait from the Lens of Bill Stice!

July 26th, 2016 No comments

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Bill Stice in Action“A Bald Eagle portrait. Taken at the Brookgreen Gardens Zoo in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. The eagle has a damaged wing so it cannot be released. I teach nature classes in elementary schools and use shots like this to talk about how the beak, eyes and other characteristics tell you a lot about animals in nature. Eagles have very good binocular vision due to needing accuratedepth perception when they are striking prey. Hence the eyes face more toward the front than say prey birds similar to pigeons which have eyes on the sides. The eyes on the side help the pigeon to see almost 360 degrees and enables them to spot predators. You can also tell a lot about what birds eat by the shape of their beaks.” Bill Stice

Remembering My Sweet Feline Teacher, Companion, Friend: “Siggy”

July 26th, 2016 1 comment

img235I used to be afraid of cats, no, I was terrified of cats.

In high school Carol Ann invited me to sleep over, with the promise that their cat would not be in the house at night.  I watched as she put him outside.

Her father, Mr. Boyce,  apparently didn’t get the word, and he let Tom in.

When I awoke in the night with this black ‘thing’ walking on me. I screamed and flailed my arms, sending fur flying. Tom screeched loudly, and so did I.

That did it! My fear of felines was solidified for sure, and I never was invited back to Carol’s to spend the night.

As an adult, if I saw a cat on television while I was eating, I would lose my appetite.  I certainly couldn’t bear for one to be within striking distance of me.  Can someone say ‘phobia’?

When Bill and I moved to our first home, we lived next door to a couple who had two cats, Signe and Sin.  Signe is pictured here.   The two sisters did not get along, so ‘Siggy’ sought refuge in our apartment area.

After avoiding her for months I decided that I would try to overcome this lifelong fear.   I allowed her to come closer and closer to me until gradually I got the nerve to touch her fur.  I would immediately go and wash my hands.

It took weeks before I could playfully pet this beautiful, sweet, animal.  In time I began to truly enjoy her company and encouraged her to come over as much as possible.

When Jean and Bud announced they were moving, they asked if we would like to keep Signe, since she seemed happier with us.  Bill, who had come to love the little cat too, said a quick yes.  She moved in and became a cherished member of the family.

I never thought it could happen, but because of one little kitty cat, I overcame a phobia and gained a wonderful  friend.  Only a cat lover can understand what I mean.  

Thanks, Siggy.

 

Stan’s First Love (car, that is)

July 26th, 2016 3 comments

By Guest Writer: Stanley Hicks

This was my first, and has always been,  my favorite car – a 1940 Ford coupe!

This car also means a lot to all of my classmates because I was the only one in our class to have his or her own car.

My senior class only had 12 students and I have had 8 of them in that car all the way to Crowley’s Ridge Park in Paragould.

It had only one seat but there was a fairly big area behind the seat. It had a V8 engine and would get on down the road as fast as I figured my old tires would take it.

There was a heater in it but was an after market hang on, powered only by a small battery powered coil.  You could hardly tell when it was on.

The defroster was a battery operated coil that you stuck to the inside of the  windshield with suction cups on the corners of the coil.

The windshield wipers were vacuum operated which meant if you tried to speed up the car the vacuum would be used in making the car go faster causing the wipers to stop. You had to be careful when passing in the rain.

Thanks Stan.

How about the rest of you?   What four wheel beauty was your first love?


Mama’s Hands

July 25th, 2016 1 comment

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Mama worked hard from morning till night,  her hands always busy, cooking, cleaning, mending, sewing, caring for six children and a husband.

 We were all delivered at home by one of the town doctors because there was no local hospital. The custom at the time was for mothers to stay in bed for 9 days.  She used to laugh and say it was the only rest she ever got.

The last of her seven babies was delivered when she was just  32.   So young. That was the end of her resting time!

Not only did she work nonstop at home, but for several years she picked cotton along side Daddy , her fingers wrapped in tape . When the youngest, Linda, started school, Mama began working at the Brown Shoe Company at a job that required fast, efficient hands to make a decent wage. In her 23 years there she was known for being the quickest and best worker in the tuft-staying department.  While others took breaks  to relax, Mama kept working, those hands never stopping.  She was helping to feed and clothe her children. She was there to work.

Mama’s hands were musical on the organ; she could play almost any tune she heard.  They were precise on the sewing machine; she cut her own patterns and sewed beautifully.  They were masterful with her wide range of arts, crafts and hobbies.  Most of all, they were  gentle with babies and sincere in prayer.

The picture was taken at the age of 99 and shows Mama’s hands still beautiful, strong, and graceful. By this time, and until she left us at almost 102, she was less busy, and could rest those wonderful hands, 

Today would have been her 104th birthday and we celebrate it with love.

Geo. Washington’s Rules of Civility: composed by French Jesuits in 1595 (1-10

July 24th, 2016 No comments

Young George Washington was assigned a handwriting task of copying 110 maxims of civility.  They had been composed by French Jesuits in 1595.  In the 1600’s they were translated from French to English.  Washington apparently took them to heart as he used them to conduct  his life with ‘civility and decent behavior in company and conversation.’

 They may sound old and musty, but in a country that has gone so far in the other direction,  I think they are refreshing.

NPR listed them, and for ease of reading, punctuation and spelling have been modernized.

1. Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.

2. When in company, put not your hands to any part of the body not usually discovered.

3. Show nothing to your friend that may affright him.

4. In the presence of others, sing not to yourself with a humming voice, or drum with your fingers or feet.

5. If you cough, sneeze, sigh or yawn, do it not loud but privately, and speak not in your yawning, but put your handkerchief or hand before your face and turn aside.

6. Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.

7. Put not off your clothes in the presence of others, nor go out of your chamber half dressed.

8. At play and attire, it’s good manners to give place to the last comer, and affect not to speak louder than ordinary.

9. Spit not into the fire, nor stoop low before it; neither put your hands into the flames to warm them, nor set your feet upon the fire, especially if there be meat before it.

10. When you sit down, keep your feet firm and even, without putting one on the other or crossing them.

Gratitude

July 24th, 2016 No comments

What can you do this day, this week, this month, this year to cause another person to be grateful? 

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Think about it . . . you could be the source of another person’s gratitude.  Isn’t that a wonderful thought?

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What could you do?  What could I do?  Let’s do it! Let’s make a difference in someone else’s life.

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How about doing it anonymously?   Let the gratitude not get complicated by getting us mixed up in it.  We are not doing it to be thanked.  Let the gratitude go to God, “From whom all blessings flow.”

 

Have a Rough Day?

July 23rd, 2016 No comments

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I’ve got it, I’ve got it, I’ve got it . . .

July 23rd, 2016 No comments

This picture reminds me of something Norman Rockwell might have painted.  It captures that moment when the ball is coming into the crowd . . .  and everyone reacts differently.  Just look at those faces!  

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Sorry I can’t give credit to the unknown photographer, but well done, whoever you are!

Toes tell the tale!

July 22nd, 2016 No comments

I don’t know if there is anything to this , but if there is then I am definitely Egyptian. How about you?1383281_736462449700896_405801001_n

In The News . . .

July 22nd, 2016 No comments

Current River Bridge goes across, you guessed it, Current River.

“Back in the day” some of the teenage boys, preening for the girls sitting on beach towels, would jump from the bridge.  We girls would ooo and ahhh at their bravery, then burst into laughter  at the awkward way their arms and legs flailed as they took the big leap.

Thankfully, as far as I know, none of them were hurt, even though it was a ‘dumb’ thing to do.  I wonder if boys are still doing that today?  Probably, if there are teenage girls to watch them.

I was reminded of this youthful act as I heard of Andy Hill,  innocently floating on an inner tube with his wife on the Clark Fork River in Montana. When they floated under a bridge,  Andy was suddenly underwater and in pain, wondering what had happened.  As he came up he heard someone saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

The sorrowful guy had, you guessed it, jumped from the bridge right into Andy Hill’s lap, breaking bones in both of  his legs.

So, here we have a guy peacefully floating down the river, and here is this other guy taking a risk by jumping from a bridge into the water below.  Which one gets hurt?  

As my friend Flavia would say, “Oh my, how life is!”

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