Sunday, February 27, 2011

iheartfaces Photography Challenge-"Anything But The Face"

It was a tossup between this one and a hair dresser with fascinating hands. I went with this one. After all, what girl doesn't love a cute pair of shoes?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hopin' and Prayin'

Oh, folks, the news out of my corner of the continent is not good this morning. As you have likely heard on the national news if you live in the states, an Amish family was tossed from their buggy during flash flooding last night, and four of their children were swept away by the fast running water. The children range from ages eight months to eleven. Searchers found the bodies of three of the children overnight, and they're still looking for the fourth. They're hoping that maybe she's clinging onto to something.

This happened in the community where I took the pictures of the Wooldridge Monuments I posted recently. It is a close knit community, and some 200 folks have been involved in the search. I know what it's like to lose a loved one to flood waters. I can't imagine what it's like to lose three, maybe four of your children that way. If you are the prayin' kind, please do. These folks are going to need it now and in the months to come. Pray for the searchers, too. I know Sheriff Redmon who was interviewed in the clip I linked to, and I know his heart is just breaking right now, along with the hearts of those searchers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Look What Dropped In

From a technical standpoint there are a lot of things wrong with this picture, but I really like it for some reason. It just goes to show what can pass your way when you're sitting in the muddy grass trying to shoot pictures of a rotting building.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'll refrain from hanging a poster in my bedroom.

All this True Grit Oscar talk made me realize yesterday that Jeff Bridges is my new crush.

Well, he’s kind of an old crush who’s new again. And the more I thought about it I realized I’ve long had a thing for older fella’s with longish hair, crinkly eyes and facial hair. And nice pecs. Don’t forget the pecs. And either I’m just getting older or I’m pretty faithful because my old crushes are just as hot to me now as they used to be.

Oh, Hula, your 80’s roots are showing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mama says I'm nosey, and she's right.

When stomping around the countryside taking pictures I try very hard not to venture onto private property, but it sure is hard to resist some of the barns and old houses that sit on some folks’ land in these here parts. That’s why I get really excited when I see a building like this really close to the highway.

It means I don't have to trespass. Much.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spring Can't Be Far Away

Holy cow! Seventy degree weather, running in shorts in mid-February and sunshine, beautiful sunshine. Now, that's my kind of winter. I guess the good Lord knew I needed a sign that spring is just around the corner. I've tied a knot in my winter rope and am hanging onto to that notion. And feeling very alive today. I hope you are too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Louisiana Bell's Photo Challenge

Okay, all you photography buffs, trot over to Louisiana Belle's site and try your hand at her Fix-it Challenge. She's doing a give away!

Pssst! Not that her photos ever need fixin'. She's a wonderful photographer.

Photo Friday Challenge-"Contrast"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hula-gen Family Fun Fact #193

Hula's mother had a rather imprecise way of trimming Hula's bangs when Hula was a child. As in laying masking tape across the bangs and cutting off the tape.

Remind Hula to tell you one day about her mama's skills with the electric hair trimmers and the problems that caused for Super Cop and Handy Man.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Could Really Use a Faded Lilly Right Now

Can we chat? It feels like ages since we’ve really talked. Girlfriends, I’ve been so busy I don’t know whether to wind my butt or scratch my watch. Maintaining a blog has been low on the priority list as I’ve been tied up with commiserating over my lack of an invitation to Fashion Week. And I’ve had to worry about Charlie Sheen AND Lindsey Lohan all in one week. And then they went and whacked off Zsa Zsa’s leg. Sister Mercy! It’s enough to make a gal take to the sofa with Oprah reruns and bon bons. Unfortunately, there’s no time for that since the Hula-gen’s are in the middle of a series of health crises.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I was bragging about each of the Hula-gen’s staying healthy for a change? Well, I knew it couldn’t last. The other shoe dropped, and it was a platform with a five inch spiked heel. First the dog got kidney stones, which involved some inadvertent peeing on our bed in the middle of the night. By the dog, not me. Lord, how I hate changing bed linens at 2am. Jack had surgery this morning, and all went well, but he has to stay at the vet’s office for a couple of days, and I’m sure he’ll be incredibly needy when he comes home. He’s almost as good as Mama J. at guilting you into doing things for him. Almost.

Mama J.’s heart is out of rhythm again. They are testing her for A-Fib tomorrow, so another hospital stay could be in her future in order to shock her back into rhythm. Bless her heart; she just can’t stay out of the hospital for more than three months at a time. And we can’t keep her home when she feels bad. She gets stir crazy in the house, which I understand, but I really don’t think a trip to Bob Evans for biscuits and gravy is what the doctor had in mind when he said to take it easy while we wait for her test results. My sister-in-law gets the enabling award for driving her there. I can’t judge though. I’ve been lured by biscuits and gravy into bad behavior before, too. Gravy is the root of all evil. Quick gravy tangent-At the Chamber of Commerce breakfast last month I showed my country roots when I got to the end of the buffet line with a big biscuit on my plate and loudly asked, “Did I miss the gravy?” There wasn’t any. And it seems I might have been the only one expecting it.

Hubby took Papa T. to the eye doctor yesterday during the whole Bob Evans incident, and they found out Papa T. has to have some unexpected eye surgery next week. It’s to repair work he’s had done previously, and his recovery is going to overlap Hubby’s surgery to have a heel spur removed March 1st. Hubby is going to be on crutches for a couple of weeks, so there is going to be a big scramble to get everyone to their respective appointments. Since Hula will be the only one with a driver’s license not in high school at that time, she will be shuttling folks around town to various doctor’s offices. Good times. I haven’t had this much fun since the hogs ate my little sister.

I haven’t even mentioned Teen Angel’s vasculitis yet. It flared up again recently with such force that she looks like she has leprosy. Thank heavens it’s not swimsuit season or we would have a fashion crisis on our hands the size of Kim Kardashian’s backside. She’s taking it all in stride, although she doesn’t like that I’ve taken to affectionately calling her Dot. And I haven’t even mentioned the sad state of my sinuses or how Ticketmaster shut me out on tickets for the Nashville Adele concert at the Ryman. Oh, and Teen Angel has taken up roller derby. ROLLER DERBY! Is this what children do to you after you nurture them and keep them safe for eighteen years? They join activities that can cause broken bones and busted teeth that I spent a few thousand dollars straightening with braces. Aye, yi, yi. It’s all too much to think about right now. I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow’s anotha’ day. Let’s just hope tomorrow doesn’t bring any hemorrhoids.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Funny Valentine

Oh, how I love my Valentine of 22 years. He makes me laugh. He makes me feel loved. He is the kindest, most generous man I know (next to my daddy), and I'm so glad he's mine. Lord knows no one else would put up with my shennanigans.

Happy Valentine's Day, Hubby. You're the bomb bo diddly doo.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

If The Flip-Flop Fits...

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer”--Albert Camus

Indeed, Albert. Indeed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm Not Contagious, Just Gross

We all have our crosses to bear. One of mine apparently, is my sinuses. If I were Hindu and believed in reincarnation I'd want to come back the next time as something without a nose. Oy vey! I've had it with my nose and the channels that feed it.

Hula has always been healthy as a horse, with one exception, her head. My medical files are thin. I had no real childhood illnesses; no chicken pox, no measles, no mumps. I had no broken bones and was 44 years old before I ever had any stitches. Well, unless you count that episiotomy, but let's not talk about that, shall we? I've spent a grand total of two nights in a hospital, and that was when I gave birth to Teen Angel. The good Lord blessed me with a fabulous immune system, but boy, did he kick me in the backside with the nasal passages. And the flat chest, but let's not talk about that, shall we?

At least once a year, usually in December or February, I have a really good sinus infection, and I blow gunk for days. Gallons and gallons of gunk. So much that I've often wondered where it all came from. I got a big clue a couple of years ago when the dentist looked at my x-rays and blurted out, "Oh, my God!" Thinking I had a big fat cavity, I said, "What? What?" He then told me I had the biggest sinus cavities he'd ever seen. I asked him if he was making a pass at me.

I managed to make it all the way to February this winter before the crud started working its way through my head. I could tell this past Saturday that a mucus party was starting in my head. And the really charming part about my sinuses is that much of my drainage goes down my throat. You're not reading this over dinner, are you? It plays havoc with my throat and eventually my stomach. The only upside to that is that I get this nice sultry Demi Moore voice for about four hours before my voice completely disappears.

There is nothing sexy about a sinus infection, though. You know that Nyquil commercial with all the snoring sleepers? Well, lady number #2 is me.
And I wish I were joking about that. When that commercial popped up on the TV last night, Hubby laughed out loud and said, "There you are!" And he was right. I gurgled, choked and snored so much last night that I woke myself up several times. And all of the sinus medications make my jumpy, so I scared myself every time I woke up. All night long, it was snore, jump. Snore, jump. Snore, jump, gag. Hot, right? It just screams get cha' some of that. Fortunately, Hubby is very understanding. Every time I had a coughing fit in my sleep last night, he patted me gently on the arm. It was kind of sweet actually. Well, except for the part about the snot running down my cheek. Really? You're still eating?

I guess it's a somewhat small price to pay for being healthy the rest of the year. I'll struggle through the laryngitis and the raw nose for yet another time and will likely need a shot in the arse before it's all over. Oh, and the fever blister should show up any day now. I'm so smokin' hot I burn myself. Or is that just the Vicks Vapo-Rub?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shoot the Groundhog

He was wrong. Or else Mother Nature hates me. Seven more inches of snow at my house yesterday and a little more on it's way tonight. I give up. Wake me up when it's March.

Monday, February 7, 2011

When is a fence not just a fence?

Have I ever mentioned that I love old wrought iron fences? I find them enchanting, even if they're in a cemetery. However, the guy visiting a grave two rows away thought I was a little weird based on the looks he was giving me. Either that or he found my coveralls very sexy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

iheartfaces Photography Challenge-"Hearts"

From bible school last summer. Oh, how I love bible school.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Old Man Winter Can Kiss My Patookus

That's it! I'm done with winter. I've had all I can stand. I'm taking my coat and going home. I don't care if it's supposed to snow AGAIN tonight. I'm firing up the margarita maker and starting summer right now. In fact, I feel sweaty already. Of course, that could just be because I have the hots for Rob Thomas. Lord, have mercy he's smokin'!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Going Nowhere

Sometimes I like to show you things because most of you don't live in this part of the country, and I think it's fun to give you a taste of my corner of the world. This taste is a little unusual. You will find it either intriguing or creepy. I think it's kind of cool, but I'm weird that way.

You have to understand that cemeteries fascinate me. I think how people treat their dead says a lot about them. I love to wander around in old cemeteries, read the oldest tombstones and speculate on how people ended up there or why a particular stone was chosen for that person. I'm really intrigued by the homemade markers, fences and vaults you sometimes find in those small graveyards that are tucked away next to churches or on a country hillside. Ironically, I do not spend much time standing at the graves of loved ones. That doesn't really comfort me in my grief. Go figure.

There are a lot of really old, interesting cemeteries around here, and one of the most unusual graves is in a cemetery about thirty minutes from my house. It's in the city of Mayfield, a small town that you could call quaint. Quick bit of trivia. Mayfield is where the Bruce Willis movie In Country was filmed in the late1980's. Bruce and Demi lived in this region that summer, and it was a game for locals to try to spot them at a local restaurant or Wal-mart. Demi had her baby, Rumer, at our local hospital that summer. Keep that tucked under your hat in case you're ever on Jeopardy.

Immediately inside the gates of the Mayfield's biggest cemetery is the Wooldridge Monuments. Horse trader Henry Wooldridge apparently wanted to be surrounded by his family for eternity, and I guess he didn't trust all of them to make it to heaven with him because before his death in 1899 he commissioned statues of several of his family members to be placed at his grave. Eighteen statues of his mother, sisters, brothers and two nieces are all lined up around him. The bird on the Colonel's head was an extra the day I was there.

They're all lined up like little soldiers on a march to nowhere.His favorite dogs and horse are also depicted, along with a fox and a deer. The Colonel was big into hunting. The Colonel is the only person entombed there. An Italian marble monument bears his likeness.

Along with a replica of him riding his horse.

The plot was almost lost during the ice storm of 2009. A large oak tree fell on it and destroyed the fence and all but the three statues of his sisters and one of the dogs, but they cobbled together enough money to restore everything and rededicated it this past October.

Courtesy of Lexington Herald Leader

I love the detail in each of the statues.

Although a couple are a little weird.

I noticed he didn't include his father in the plot. What's up with that I wonder? There's no wife in there either, because he was a lifelong bachelor. Perhaps, that's why he never married. He didn't want to take his mother in law with him.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hula-gen Family Fun Fact #27

The biggest snowfall in Chicago’s history to date was 23 inches in January 1967. And Hula was there!

When I was but a wee lass we lived just outside of Joliet while daddy worked at an arsenal. That’s until mama got her fill of winter weather and said, “Move me back south.” To which I say, “Hallelujah!”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just Stuff

The Hula-gen’s are bumping right along these days, and I hesitate to even mention it because that’s sure to jinx us. We’ve gone weeks without someone falling or having to go to the hospital, and that’s a gosh darn miracle, but we’re ridin’ the happy wave as long as it lasts. We HAVE had a little illness, but nothing extraordinary. Hubby had a round of something that appeared to be a sinus infection. That’s my unofficial diagnosis after he coughed up a pile of sumpin’ sumpin’ in the sink, and in true married fashion hollered for me to look at it. I’ll spare you the details except to say that if that wasn’t infection, a mushroom farm has taken root in his head.

Teen Angel has been fighting a bug for the last few days and came home early from school yesterday. She’s chewin’ vitamin C like popcorn and trying to rest. So far, it’s working okay. She went back to school today. I hate the way the school puts so much pressure on these kids to be there at all costs. It truly hurts their grades if they miss a day so they end up going to school and making everybody else sick. What happened to the good old days when a case of the crud meant a couple of days at home with a cozy blanket, The Price is Right and all the 7-up you could drink?

Hubby has to have surgery on his foot in a month. He has a heel spur the size of Minnesota, and while the doctor suggested muddling through for a few more months with Celebrex, Hubby told him to cut that sucker off. No use putting off what needs to be done and he might as well do it before spring gets here when there’s work to be done in the yard and we have a trip to New York City scheduled. We’re told it’s a somewhat painful procedure, but Mama J. who can’t stand for anyone to be sicker than her at any given time, told him not to worry, that there’s nothin’ to it. Not that she’s ever had that surgery. It’s just that Aunt Bessie “has ‘em cut off all the time and she’s fine”.

The man cave/garage is officially done. We still have to haul some stuff from storage to the new garage and hang Hubby’s twenty year neon sign collection, but the construction is finished. Hubby’s had a poker night there, and Teen Angel had a party with her buds in it Saturday night, so it’s Hula’s turn. I don’t know what I’m going to celebrate, but I hope it’s soon. Groundhog Day? Lincoln’s birthday?

I’ve been playing with my new lens this past week, and my girlfriend was right. It’s the crack of photography. Holy Cow, I can’t stop! It’s just fabulous, and I highly recommend it. It’s expensive. It took me a year to save for it, but it was worth it. I’ve lined up a few paying gigs to replenish my lens fund. One of them includes a little magazine work, so I’m pretty excited about that. I need to win the lottery soon, so I can just spend my days taking pictures. And eating shortbread cookies.

And speaking of shortbread. Hubby is on a diet. He and the rest of our Sunday school class are doing a Biggest Loser competition which means Teen Angel and I are losers when it comes to snacks around this place. I don’t keep tempting things in the pantry when Hubby’s dieting and I won’t eat fattening things in front of him, so it’s back to hiding Sweet Tarts in my closet and sneaking something sweet when he’s napping. With Girl Scout cookie season around the corner, I’ll be hoarding Do Si Dos in my desk at work. It’s gonna be a long three months ‘til this contest ends. Hubby’s doing pretty well, though. He’s lost ten pounds in the past three weeks. The sinus infection gave him a nice little jump start. It’s hard to eat much when you cough it across the room.

And I’m praying for all the folks in the path of this massive winter storm moving across the nation. Honestly, I’m glad it’s not hitting us. The ’09 ice storm was enough to last me for the rest of my life. Eighteen long days and nights of no electricity and nonstop work just about did me in. I’m glad to see it slide by us. However, having lived through it, I know what’s coming for the folks in the path of this monster, and it makes me wince just to watch the weather on TV. I just want to call them all up and scream, “Run, run like the wind! Get out of Dodge before it hits ‘cause you’re not gonna like what happens!” There will be people who won’t leave their homes for shelters, old folks who will be cold and hungry, a few casualties and people whose patience will wear out long before their lights come on. It’s going to be ugly, and I hate watching it unfold. Pray for those folks. They’re gonna need it.

And to leave you on a more positive note, check out these photos from the Depression. (Hardy, har, har). Here’s a sample from photographer Jack Delano.

Courtesy of The Denver Post

Isn't it fabulous? I love these. They’re from the Library of Congress, and believe it or not, they will actually make you smile. Keep your chin up and your boots on my Chicago friends!