Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Summer Morning

A recent summer morning found me in one of my favorite places - Jekyll Island, Georgia.  What a great excuse for a walk with my camera in hand!  The historic Jekyll Island Club - above - began life as a private club for America's captains of industry and finance.  For over 50 years, they and their families enjoyed this tropical paradise for hunting, fishing, golfing and enjoying the ocean.  Then World War Two brought everything to a halt.  Fast forward to the 1970's and beyond, when the island was restored by the state of Georgia and opened to the general public.
From the gorgeous lawn and extended grounds of the hotel, as the original club exists today, I passed massive live oaks too beautiful for words.

Adjacent to the old club, some of the members built "cottages" for their families, many of which remain standing today as historic structures.  My walk took me past a long row of these beauties, their front lawns stretching down to the water through more live oaks and stately palms.
Cherokee Cottage
  Crane Cottage
Formal gardens to the side of Crane Cottage
Villa Marianna
A stone lion - one of a pair who still stand watch over a turn-of-the-century swimming pool, long abandoned on the grounds of Hollybourne Cottage.
Following the path along the water, my walk eventually led me back to the hotel and a shady porch.
My recipe for the perfect summer morning?  Pick any day in June and go for a walk.  Chances are good that you will fall in love with life all over again.

Tomorrow is Countdown Friday

"It's a beautiful mornin'...I think I'll go outside for a while...and just smile..."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Art Camp Fun

Look at these smiling faces!  I had the privilege of organizing an Art Camp at Sally's Y (see my link in the lower left column of this blog) as part of their ongoing Summer Day Camp series.  As you can see - the kids are already having a blast.  I enlisted the help of two of my local artist friends - Kae Wright and Dene Smith - and between the three of us we are teaching the campers a little bit about drawing, painting and sculpture this week.  

Who says summer camp has to be all about s'mores and canoes?

Tomorrow is Countdown Friday

We began this Countdown on October 1, 2010 in an effort to take one year to look at the subject of time and how we spend it.  I am stunned to realize how quickly these days have passed since last October.  All the more reason to be thankful for opportunities like the one, above, to put a smile on a child's face, to plant an artistic seed that may grow into a great talent one day.  Times like these are time well spent.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Garden Cam

Would someone please call Jack and tell him he accidentally dropped his beanstalk in my backyard?  
Yeah - remember those three little tiny sprouts from my post a couple of weeks ago?  I think I was sending up prayers for giant pumpkins if memory serves.  Well, if giant vines are any indication, looks like this will be a bumper crop.  Stay tuned.
Meanwhile - the cukes are following directions and obediently climbing straight up the trellis.  We're in the thick of pickle-making already.
  First okra pods came in this week.  Summer squash is also showing up, along with the first tomatoes.  The dinner menu - by default - is fried okra, fried squash, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers - and homemade mac and cheese.
 Preview of coming attractions - green beans, sugar snap peas - and carrots!
And just around the corner into the next few weeks, this view will explode into a sea of giant zinnias in red, yellow, fuschia, purple, lime green - and a brand new red and white candy-stripe variety.

Tomorrow is Countdown Friday
 I'm not sure who said it, but I love the saying:
"Time Began in a Garden"  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Low Country Lullaby

The ocean called to say "Hi, wish you were here..."
How could we refuse?
The view looking straight up from my beach chair.
The view looking at my grandson. 
And...early this morning, just after sunrise.
A nice dose of the beach will fix
just about anything.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Liquid Lunch

No, this isn't a giant vat of Miracle Gro - although that isn't a bad idea.  This is my lunch hour from May through September (and sometimes into October if God smiles on the backyard).

Lunch happens at no set time around here.  Very often, the end of the picture I'm working on signals the beginning of lunch.  Maybe that is 3PM, maybe it is noon.  When it arrives, I hit the water and put everything on hold.  I move and stretch and breathe and splash until I get tired.  Birds sing, breezes blow, lawnmowers buzz in the background and planes hum overhead.
Life is good all of the time - but I especially love lunch hour.

Tomorrow is Countdown Friday

And what is so rare as a day in June?  Then, if ever, come perfect days.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Safe Hands

We have two cats whose job it is to patrol our property and keep the riffraff at bay.  Sometimes, mostly all of the time, they get carried away.

We realized they hadn't been seen for a few hours.  That usually means trouble.  When we found them, they were both stationed in front of the hedge of acuba that runs along the rear of our property - and they refused to be coaxed away from their posts.  We knew they had something cornered, and about that time we saw this little fella trembling at the edge of the grass.  His little heart was running at warp speed when Joe gathered him up and brought him up to the house.

Other than extreme fright and total exhaustion, he didn't appear to be hurt.  So we put a clean towel and a bit of water in the cat carrier and kept him out of harms way for the rest of the day.  He fell sound asleep.
Late that afternoon, Joe carried him down the hill - about three or four houses away and safely out of our cat's jurisdiction - setting him free in a thicket near a little creek.  He hopped away none the worse for the wear.

I love this picture.  It reminds me of how much God cares for us.  We are always safe in His hands.
Today is Countdown Friday