Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lights Out...

Summer chores...
Do kids really do these?
Clean wood floors...
Impossible summer expectation!
July & August...
Hotter than June?   Why did we move south?
Everything "fun" costs money!
Kids are "bored".
"Hold me Mommy...
I say "I don't have time".

A power outage occurred last night.
Family gathered, talked, laughed, and cuddled.

Perfect summer moment.

( you see the dust on that glass!?) doesn't matter (I will say that three times and take a deep breath...) This summer has seen me being BUSY!   My head hits the pillow and I am asleep in minutes - and that is not like me, I read books and usually have a hard time turning my mind off.  The heat and "high" expectations of house cleaning have been making me crabby.  With the lights out and the candles flickering, and everyone gathered, it was very peaceful.  Held my "baby" boy and truly relaxed.

We must remember to turn everything off at times and just "chill".  Be together.  I think I will invest in a few candle supplies...

This if for "Friday Flash 55" (a story in 55 words) which I will link to at 8pm tonight.  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"My" Lake Michigan and Inspirational Photography by Clark Little - Capturing Waves!

If you like water and surf photography, you really should treat yourself by clicking "HERE".  Clark Little captures the inside of an oceans' wave and his photos leave me speechless!  

I am having a little bit of "homesickness".  We have lived in NC for two years, but I do miss Lake Michigan...

Images from the Past, Part 8 - My Grandmother's 1915 Yellowstone Journal

Marguerite is second from right.  Looks like a fun working crew!  The bungalows are in the background.  I love all the pots on the left hand side.

June 28, 1915, Monday

Last night Vera Elma, Helen, Mary and I and some of the other girls and boys were sick all night.  Guess it was something we ate; haven't recovered yet.  Did tent work all morning.  Helped settle some bungalows this p.m.  Elna and I washed our heads.  Feel quite stiff from my walk yesterday.  Watched the moon rise over the mountains last evening - it was certainly beautiful.  Also saw a beautiful sunset.  114 dudes tonight.

Marguerite is under the buckets, sitting holding the watermelon!.  They don't look like they are in working clothes, but ready for a bit of fun.  Maybe a picnic?  I wish I knew which ones were the girlfriends she mentions.  I believe Helen, her sister is the 3rd one standing from the left hand side.  

June 29, 1915, Tuesday

Ruth and I made 50 beds this a.m.  Had 165 dudes tonight.  Over 100 of them were from Iowa.  Mable Smith of Rockford (Illinois) was in the party.  Many of the crowd were teachers and all were so jolly.  They gave yells, etc.  Had a dandy program for them and then dancing, as usual.

June 30, 1915, Wednesday

This p.m. Mary, Vera, Helen, and I went down to hotel and went on top.   Took pictures of the lake and "Elephant Back".  Went through part of hotel and then visited the fish hatcheries.  Saw them separate the bad eggs from the good ones; also saw eggs that were just hatched.  We had 95 dudes tonight.  Had popcorn for the first time since we have been here.

This might be Elephant Back Mountiain in the background and Yellowstone Lake, but I really don't know.  I find it interesting that the man jumping off the tree was caught in mid action as photography tended to blur...  Marguerite is second from left, partially hidden.
Marguerite's 1915 Postcard, well preserved!  
My notes:

"HERE" is a thorough and fun read as to how the "Old Faithful Inn" was built.  I THINK this dining room was inside of the Inn I featured here.  If someone knows, differently, please let me know!

The photos I shared with this post are some scattered throughout the box I have and I posted them with the journal's daily posts, realizing they don't exactly correlate with her words.  Oh how I wish there had been a bit more writing on the backs of all the photos I have!

This post is a participant in "Sepia Saturday's, post #80".  Click to see other memorable nostalgic photography.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Reflections

These shots are for "Weekend Reflections".  These are photos from a couple of months ago at Hilton Head.  The beach was fantastic and my young man LOVED the water and sand.  "My beach" he kept on saying.  I hope to make a trip to the Outer Banks this summer with a few of the kids.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friday Flash 55 - "There was a Young Man"

There was a young man
who just couldn't understand
why he didn't attract "her" attention.
He flexed, he joked,
he flashed his "smolder"...
even imitated Johnny Depp...

but nothing seemed to work.  
Until, in sheer desperation
just to be NOTICED,
he decided to do something
EXTREME.  It worked!  His name
in horror, she did scream!

(Click on the above link to see what horrified her)

My son and his friends created a commercial for "Dandruff Shampoo"...  My son is the one in the shower...  This is a "twodaydude" production, directed by Austin Elliott, concept by Zac Messik and acted by Will Bednar.  The photo of them all dressed up like pirates was fun - we were on our way to see "Pirates of the Caribbean" which we loved despite what the critics had to say about it!

This is for Friday Flash 55, a story in 55 words.  Please go see the G-Man's site "MrKnowItAll"

Two in Tandem #7, "The Epsicle", a poem

Photo courtesy of "Alias Jinksy"

"The Epsicle"

lemon lime,
tart blueberry,
cherry, and orange.
Frozen drink on a stick,
was invented by a kid!
The "Epsicle" is still beloved;
(some are ruined with sugar-free fruit!)
Just don't leave them on the counter...they melt!

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, June 23, 2011

This Etheree style poem is for "Alias Jinksy" who has a fun prompt "Two in Tandem #7).  The summer solstice was June 21 - and I think "popsicles" SCREAM summer, don't you?

Elizabeth of "Unraveling" has an image that one can search for words as well (she calls it "Tuesday Collab")  Check out the fun and even try it yourself!  These two women share images and write about each others - they have invited others to join them.

I am going to try and create a poem for the following beautiful images (from Elizabeth of "Unraveling") later today:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Beneath the Magnolia Tree", a poem

Beneath the Magnolia Tree

Alluring fragrance
cloaks my senses with desire
my thoughts full of you,
I anticipate your kiss
'neath the magnolia tree.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, June 22, 2011

This is a Tanka - a count of 5-7-5-7-7 and usually has a reference (sometimes indirectly) to a season...if a  Magnolia is in bloom it is either spring or summer.  I submitted this to One Stop Poetry's "One Shot Wednesday".   Click to see between 100 - 200 poetic efforts!

I entered the above photo in "Your Sunday Best" - My favorite post/photograph of the past week.  Click to see other selections!

I adore these flowers and love that they come in different colors.  I stood under a tree the other day and was BLOWN away with the overpowering fragrance... no kiss, but maybe this will give my husband a few ideas... I can just imagine a romantic picnic lunch under such a tree as this...

"Gone with the Wind" is celebrating it's 75th anniversary this year and this novel and Magnolia blossoms are forever linked in my mind with the South.  A blog I enjoy "Recollections of a Vagabonde" has highlighted a bit of trivia and/or nostalgia about GWTW.  (Click on the blog's name to read her post).

The photo below is for "Black & White Wednesday".

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Son's first "Commercial"

My son and his friends created a commercial for "Dandruff Shampoo"...  My son is the one in the shower...  This is a "twodaydude" production, directed by Austin Elliott, concept by Zac Messik and acted by Will Bednar.

The Poetry Jam, "Summer Chillin'"

My girls learning to ride

"Summer Chillin"

Summer breezes ruffled her mane,
the wind caught in my hair.
Off on an adventure we went,
the two of us made a fine pair.

The birds chirped and twittered
as we walked along the forest path.
I was in heaven enjoying my freedom
thankful for months of no math.

"Rain Drops Keep Fallin' on my Head"
quite often a favorite melodic choice.
Her ears happily twitched as we trotted along,
she alone appreciated my alto voice.

We owned time; we could do as we pleased.
A quick splash in the stream?
Yes, right before we rounded the fence
on our way home for a scoop of ice cream.

Summer air, breeze, song, and sun.
Add swimming and sweets, of course,
and that, for me, is "summer chillin'"
done right!  Now all I need is a horse!

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, June 21, 2011

This is for the "Poetry Jam".  Please hop over and enjoy the other entries - I am hosting and the theme is "Summer Chillin'".  There is a day or two left to enter until next week's "flavor" is introduced!

I am currently looking for a horse to lease and my girls are leasing the pony Icy this month, enthusiastically learning to ride (and doing a swell job, I might add!)  I am really enjoying spending so much time with my girls and looking forward to the day we can ride the forest trails.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Three photos, three challenges

This is the pony, Icy, we are leasing this month.  She is a beautiful 7 year old mare and she has one blue eye (she sees perfectly fine with it).  This is for "Macro Monday."

This photo is for the "Creative Exchange".  I had a hard time deciding which I liked better, the b&w or the color version.  I selected the photo below as I think it has an almost "polaroid" look to it.

The photo above is for "Perceptive Perspective", theme: "water fun".  I went to the Inn on Biltmore Estates with three teenagers a few weeks back and their idea of fun is totally different than my three year old sons!  This was about 10 pm at night and the water was PERFECT.  

Magpie Tales #70 & Poetry Jam "A Secret, Preserved"

Photo courtesy of Magpie Tales, Tess Kincaid
A Secret, Preserved

Musty stairs, filtered light,
my breath labored.
The attic, once familiar,
once comforting, is barren.  Almost.

My grandmother's fading presence,
her history, whittled down
into a solitary cardboard box, its dented,
dusty corners bent with age.

Reverently I kneel,
my clasped hands unfold,
seeking memories within.

Hand cut paper people,
hidden for decades, greet me,
their accordion hands linked together,
eternally dancing.

I trace carefully written
curves and loops fading into sepia paper
and embroidered initials upon a
delicate handkerchief;
a cherished rememberance?

Fresh young faces from 1918 smile;
a first kindergarten class?

I tilt a frame, capturing dim light
and become hypnotized by
sensationally dark eyes
peering into my world, into me.

Backlit, she glows with antiqued vigor;
I realize this is "she", Jenny.
The one whispered about,
the one of whom questions
were not to be asked.

Eavesdropping, I learned a single tear
slid from the corner of her eye
moments before her death.
Intrigued, I never forgot,
hoped to one day know more.

Now I hold her in my hands, beauty preserved,
protected for all ages behind old glass.
I close the box, decide to keep
the "dancing people" and the photograph.

The "secret" remains hidden,
but her image is finally, once again,
graced by the light of day.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens June 20, 2011


Most recently, I submitted this to "Poetry Jam", December 6, 2011.   I apologize if some of you have already read this poem.  I'm real busy this week and wanted to participate in Poetry Jam.

This is for Magpie Tales #70.  The photo that Tess Kincaid provided reminded me of a face that I have been fascinated with since a little girl.  This poem is loosely based on a family "mystery", one that really cannot be answered as the last one to know the "story" was my grandmother.  Jenny was her sister-in-law, my grandfather's much loved older sister.  Jenny died in 1909.   I loved walking up the wooden stairs to my grandmothers attic.  The old beds and quilts and boxes were so much fun to touch and look through.  I remember a box I loved to play with - it was full of all the things my grandmother used as a teacher of elementary children around the year of 1918.  I believe this was one of her first classes:

I also submitted this to One Stop Poetry's "Form Monday".  The topic is Free Verse, hosted by Shay, aka "Fireblossom-Word Garden".  I have considered my writing a from of poetry, specifically free verse, but now, I'm not so sure.  I am a newby at attempting poetry - hesitantly started in October of 2010.   I don't mind hard critiques, actually welcome them.  I might not have time to go back and caress a "poem" right away, but I can apply words of advice as I move foreword...

Also submitted this to OSP's "One Shot Wednesday"#51.  By the end of the day on Wednesday, there will be well over 100 submissions!  

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Evening's Stroll

A stroll with my daughter ended up being a really beautiful experience as we watched these swans swim into sight.   I have seen them numerous times while driving by and I plan on getting out early one morning in hopes to find them in the soft light of early morning.  Wish I had a more powerful zoom lens...  The photo below is for "Weekend Reflections".

I loved these blooming flowers on the trees.  I have no idea what they are but they remind me of fireworks.

Don't know what these are either, but love the vibrant colors.

I know this is a Cardinal that reallly was hard to capture as he was busy darting in and out of trees.

I think this is Queen Anne's Lace and I wish I had been more patient as this is blurry.  I like the idea of this and will give it another try - maybe bring my tripod along next time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Friday Flash 55 and "Two in Tandem #6" - "The Rain Dance"

Photo Courtesy of Jinksy
The Rain Dance

Oh glorious summer,
your inspiring breeze and
melodious sounds
make me feel

Oh brazen clouds,
I  will help you,
for the light strongly flickers,
yielding only momentarily
its golden touch
to your somber mood.

Oh trusted rain dance,
Grandfather taught me well!
I know my pounding footsteps
and magic song
will help bring rain.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, June 16, 2011

This is for "Two in Tandem #6" This is a painting provided by "Alias Jinksy" and Elizabeth of "Unraveling" also has a beautiful image for us to respond to.  I would have loved to take a stab at both, but just don't have the time this week.

Did YOU ever do a rain dance?  I remember one summer late in the '70's my sister and I and some friends really worked a rain dance, and boy did it rain.  We ran around with our swimsuits, the warm rain cooling us off on a hot summer day.

This is also a Friday Flash 55.  Visit the G-man's blog, HERE.  Click "comments" to find the links to other stories in 55 words!

Magpie Tales #69, "A Legacy"

Photo Courtesy of Magpie Tales - Tess Kincaid

A Legacy

“Sally sells seashells by the seashore
She sells seashells on the seashell shore”
Olive and Lulu, born in 1882 and 1887.
As a youngster I couldn’t get enough
of their master storytelling and
tongue twisters.  At their feet I sat, listening;
“The seashells she sells are seashore shells,
Of that I’m sure.”
laughing and enjoying their frivolity.
Innocent fun, two uniquely educated
woman, inspiring a generation to live
life to it’s fullest.  To embrace the mind.
She sells seashells by the seashore.”
A fascinating mixture of ladylike manners
and snappy, intensely focussed minds.
Worlds of imagination lurked behind 
Lulu’s laughing eyes and dancing voice.
She hopes she will sell all her seashells soon.
Olive a bit more demure, laughter a bit softer
was not outshone by any means.
Sweetly she matched her younger sister’s wit;
both master storytellers, they.
If neither he sells seashells
Nor she sells seashells
Life cloaked them with eternal youth
as their legacy is one of uplifting hearts. 
To this day when I hear “Sally’s Seashore”
tongue-twister of letter “S”,
Who shall sell seashells
Shall seashells be sold?
Olive Ruth & Lulu Belle Beckington live on.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, 4-9-11

* * * * *

These two woman never married and devoted their lives to education and teaching.  They bought a house and lived together, teaching in the state of Oklahoma.  (If a woman got married "back in the day", they had to give up their career.)  They were my grandfather's cousins. As I recall, the tongue twisters were NO problem for them!

I have also submitted this to "Magpie Tales" #69.  I wrote this back in April, but since my summer has been so busy that I barely have time to sit and eat (which isn't a bad thing), I will "cheat" a bit and use this one.   

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Poetry Jam - "Temptation & Forgiveness"

Photo Courtesy of Poetry Jam
Temptation and Forgiveness

A trickle of sweat defies
the rapidly moving paper fan
imprinted with the Savior's face.
My red tongue licks the salt
from my upper lip, almost
giving away my secret.  His eyes
remind me of my transgression,
but I cannot resist temptation.
I pop another sinfully sour
red explosion into my mouth,
careful not to swallow the pit.
The perfumed shade and the
stickiness of the imperfect
ones upon the ground
make me think, for a moment,
that I am in heaven.  I stop
fanning and look into His eyes
and ask forgiveness.  He understands.
I hope my grandmother will, too.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, June 14, 2011

One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother's cherry trees and our family picking cherries in the summer.   My mom canned and I'm sure my love for cherry pie began with that tree...

This is for the "Poetry Jam".  Click and check out the other participating poets.  I also submitted this for One Stop Poetry's "One Shot Wednesday #50".  I was the 115th entry!  I guess it is the place to be on Wednesdays!  :)

A few of Biltmore's garden statues

A few of Biltmore's statues...  I'm saving the lions and a few house "details" for tomorrow.  HERE is an interesting guide to Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains.  I have it set for Biltmore and I think it does a nice job with its presentation of what is to see when visiting the estate.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Biltmore's Italian Garden

The Biltmore Italian Gardens are very peaceful.  I copied the following description from the Biltmore website:  Frederick Law Olmsted envisioned this space as an outdoor room for Vanderbilt and his guests. With its three symmetrical pools, manicured lawns, and classical statuary, the elegant Italian Garden is the perfect setting for quiet reflection. However, the contemplative mood transformed into a festive atmosphere whenever the Vanderbilts and their guests engaged in a lively set of tennis, on the grassy area nearest the house. After the match, guests could slip through the handy basement doorway to change clothes. 

"HERE" is a link to all the gardens that are on this estate.

The lillie pad's splash of color contrasting with the stone walls and statues is mesmerizing.  It isn't hard to  imagine the sounds of laughter and conversation of long ago...

I took these photos mid-day and hesitated to share them as the shadows are harsh.  But I got to thinking that this IS a garden designed for full sun and to be enjoyed as such.  Yes, photos with less shadow would be nice, but I think the play of shadow here is interesting.

This sweet cherub is at the end of the garden, centered overlooking the expanse of lillie pools and statues.  The house can be seen to the right and the covered terrace is directly in front of the Italian Garden.

The photo above is for "Macro Monday".

Views from the covered terrace.  I submitted this to the "Creative Exchange" as I think it exudes peace... I wasn't sure which one to use of the two, but chose the top one...

Tomorrow I will post the other statues from the Italian Garden.