Archive for October, 2009

Quote: Mark Twain

October 31st, 2009 Comments off

                                 Be careful reading health books,

                                 you may die of a misprint.

                                 Mark Twain


October, Big Month for Birthdays! hmmmm wonder why . . .

October 31st, 2009 Comments off

A survey suggests

that more people are born on October 5th,

in the United States, than any other day.

In my family it was October 31st,

the birth date

of my father,

my sister Audrey,

my brother Jamie

and Audrey’s son, Jim!

Niece Lori, Tim, Bill, and I also have  birthdays in this

month, but not on Halloween.

Whenever YOUR birthday, I hope it is a time when you 

will pause to count your many blessings.  I plan to.


Happy Halloween

October 30th, 2009 Comments off


                                       To all my spooky readers, Happy Halloween !

                                                         Photo 149

                                   . . .OUCH!



In Miniature

October 30th, 2009 1 comment


A moment at the beach, Playa del Rey.

Water colors on 1 x 2 inch balsa wood.  M. Taylor


Word Play

October 30th, 2009 Comments off



                                        Flabbergasted, adj. 

                                        Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.



source: Washington Post yearly contest



Speaking of Poetry

October 30th, 2009 Comments off

When I was in college I was captivated by Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Renascence.  

I had been introduced to a few lines of the poem in High School.  They had been incorporated into the swearing in ceremony for Federation President of Future Homemakers of America. The prepared speech quoted the last 12 lines of the 214 line poem.  I am not sure who wrote the ceremony that was handed down year to year, but I seriously doubt that any of the young women sitting in the audience in Little Rock (or was it Jonesboro?) really understood its meaning.  I know I didn’t.  But it sparked the interest that led me to start at the beginning and dig my way through this intense and dark poem written by a conflicted 20 year old woman.  I’m still trying to get it all.  It takes on new meaning as I get older.

The passage quoted:

The world stands out on either side

No wider than the heart is wide;

Above the earth is stretched the sky,

No higher than the soul is high.

The heart can push the sea and land

Farther away on either hand;

The soul can split the sky in two,

And let the face of God shine through.

But East and West will pinch the heart

That can not keep them pushed apart;

And he whose soul is flat — the sky

Will cave in on him by and by.

Photo: Arnold Genthe, 1914

Alliteration: A

October 29th, 2009 Comments off

English Department

Alliteration 101

 “Another alliteration?” Allison asked.

“Alliterations are adorable,” answered Angela.

“Aww, adorable?” asked Andrew.

“An academic achievement Austin!”  avouched Allison.

“Absurdly academic ,” admonished Austin.

“Affirmative!” Andrew added. “Affected, amateurish, annoying and aggrandizing.”

Angela allowed all answers amicably, avoiding another altercation.

“Alright!” Allison appeased. “Appreciate or against, alliterations are authorized assignments.”

Andrew affirmed,  Austin apologized, and Angela  accepted.

Attention abruptly averted as attractive Arkadelphia, Arkansas administrative assistant, Abby Anderson, announced acceptance of all alliteration assignments.

Absorbed, Andrew amused aloud,  “Adios amigos!”

Attitude adjusted, Austin added, “Arrivederci!”

“Adorable!” Angela applauded. “Absolutely adorable!”


Picture This

October 29th, 2009 Comments off

img612In 1968, when my brother-in-law Darrell was in Vietnam, Norma and 2 year old Lori stayed with Mama and Daddy in Pocahontas. One of the ways Norma passed the difficult time, was by putting all the family pictures into albums.  If you have ever organized your own pictures you will recognize what an undertaking it was for her to do that for seven families. 

She began the daunting task by sorting boxes and boxes of  pictures into stacks for each member of the family, and the family as a whole. It took weeks and weeks to go through the forty years of Mama and Daddy’s married life. Thanks to Olan Mills they had many years of family portraits included in the hundreds of snapshots amassed over the years.

Carefully maneuvering  four sticky little black corners for each photo, Norma placed the images in chronological order onto black scrapbook pages.  Having researched the date, she labeled each picture in white ink.   It was a tedious, time consuming, back bending job, but she didn’t stop for months, until she had completed seven albums, one for each of us and one for the family.  On the outside of each album, our names were beautifully inscribed in gold inked calligraphy.

The albums were kept in a  prominent place , and whenever anyone visited, they invariably gathered around the pictures.  They were so beautifully organized that even the youngest kids spent many hours laughing and talking over the collection.

A few years ago Mama started worrying about the family pictures and encouraged us to take our individual albums.  We refused for a long time because we liked to look at all of them when we were together.  Now each has his or her own.  

I’m not sure we ever adequately thanked my sister Norma for her incredible gift to the family, but I hope she knows what an amazing thing she did for all of us. It was a task I would not have undertaken, but I am deeply appreciative that she did.

While Darrell was in harm’s way, fighting in a war, Norma spent a year supporting him from a distance, and fighting to preserve our family history, the story of our lives in pictures.  Thank you Norma Sue, we love you.

photo: L. Hershey    LMS

The Dream

October 28th, 2009 Comments off


Photo 148


           . . . and then I had wings,  and I could fly!  




Halloween, By Jimmy L. Simpson

October 28th, 2009 1 comment

Halloween , by Jimmy L. Simpson

                                         Late in October it’s always the same

                                         No matter what news the weatherman brings

                                         They come from the darkness shouting my name

                                         Those hobgoblins, witches, ogres and things;

                                         Just when I’m sleepy and wholly off guard

                                         Slow to respond like a prize-winning dope

                                         Still they all congregate out in the yard

                                         Demanding their tribute – wielding their soap.

                                         I love to relive that “trick or treat” shout

                                         For life would be callous and hardly true

                                         Except for the joy that youth is about

                                         And yesterday’s pathways traveled anew.

                                                     Despite the bother, I never demean

                                                     The grand old tradition of Halloween.

For more of this poet’s work, go to

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