27 September 2009

Art on wheels

This is me walking away from my first car, this is the only photo I can find of it. Yes, that is me with the wild hair blonde hair and the bell bottoms, this was about 1979. The car, was a 1974 Ford Granada.

I don't know how old I was when my parents started taking me to car shows. The first I remember was when I was four. I fell in love with an old fire truck and insisted on having my picture taken with it. That fire truck was easily the biggest thing there, that was not what appealed to me, neither was the fact that it was an emergency vehicle designed to carry hero's (to a four year old, that was a big thing) there was just something about the look of the thing. I told my Mom that it was "Pretty".

This second photo is one I took in Florida of someone's Granada. My family thought I was nuts as I exclaimed with excitement and photographed it from every angle. It is not exactly the same as mine, but it is very close. Try looking them up on the Internet, very few of them survived. The British version was better built and has more of a following, you can find all sorts of pictures of them. I did not pick it out, but it was my first and it was loved.

I grew up in a family full of car nuts. I can't tell you which one is the 64 and which is the 67 or even the names of a lot of them, but I am enamored with the the automobile, in all it's many forms. You know that I carry my trusty little Fuji finepix everywhere, when I see something I like, out comes the camera. It is not unusual for that something to be a car. This lovely little red "Triumph" was waiting in a parking lot in Greenville. The owner came out while I was taking photos and we had quite a nice discussion. I have never had anyone be anything but flattered when I explained that I just loved their car. Most people who drive something that I consider photo worthy, do it out of love and they like to share their appreciation.

Dad used to tell us that he learned how to drive on a model "T". He was born in 1914 and I don't know how old he was when he learned to drive but by then they were old enough to be considered "beaters" but not old enough to be cool.

Dad loved working on cars and he was good at it. His last project involved modifying the engine mounts of a Chevy El Camino to hold an engine from an Impala. It took a lot of work, but he did it. I can still see his grin. My Sister Paula got to drive it once. I am still jealous! I don't know what year either car was, I was
12 or 13 years old at the time and Dad was rather old fashioned. He thought girls should be able to change a tire if they had to and maybe the oil, otherwise, they better let a man handle it. I wonder what he would have thought of me being in the AF and working on airplanes?
Two more red cars in a row. A first edition Ford Mustang convertible, (much better designed and built than my later Granada) then a lovely mid 60's Corvette Stingray. Mom's favorite color was red. The brighter the better. She loved cars too. I know how old she was when she got her license because I remember it. I think I was about 5, that would make her 46. It was a Saturday afternoon and Mom was ready to go to the Laundromat. She asked Dad to drive her and he refused. He was busy watching something on TV. My parents did not usually argue in front of us. That time they did. Mom worked Mon - Fri and had limited time to do what she needed to do on the weekend. She did not feel like waiting till he got around to it. It did not matter, Dad watched his show then took us to the Laundromat when it was over. Monday when Mom came home from work, she told Dad that she signed herself up for a drivers ed class and if he would not drive her to it, she would take a cab.

He knew when he was beaten. She got her license. He was a

product of his times.
This sweet little white car is a Porsch. They are always
beautiful. I love the lines of them. They to me, always look to the future. The photo above it is the interior of a classic Lincoln Continental. It has custom plates and is aptly named Land yot. Just look at it. Below the Porsche is another classic I found parked at the side of the road it is green and I think it is an old Plymouth.

Look how well polished it is, it is loved.
Mom collected cars, toy cars, Avon cars and even Jim Beam bottles shaped like cars. When my Dad was alive, she used to buy them for him. After he died, she continued to buy them for herself. I don't know how she decided which ones she liked, maybe they reminded her of him. I have a set of die cast British Double Decker bus and London Taxi that she bought when she stayed with us in Britain. I think they sell die cast replicas of these old tourist buses in Yellowstone. If Mom were still with us, I would have bought her one.
Her grand kids benefited from her madness for "matchbox cars". She never minded when they played with them.

I guess my collection of car photos isn't so far off the mark.
The black car with the big grin is a 1953 Chevy that still belongs to the Savannah GA police force. It's older brother is from 1947. Aren't they adorable? I can just see the car chases. I wonder how fast they would go?

Last but not least. You know I love pickups, I drive a wonderful little Toyota Tacoma, I have posted it's picture here before. This old Pickup was showing off at Belle Chere in Ashville. I had to stop.
Well, am I nuts, or can you see a little bit of what I mean? Cars and trucks can be an art form in themselves. (Don't get me started on custom paint jobs, I have several photos of those too).
Have a nice weekend, car show season is almost over.

25 September 2009

Critter pics

This does not really count as a post, I just wanted to share .

18 September 2009

An Award for me!

As I mentioned in my last post, Jo at http://jo-thegoodlife.blogspot.com/
has passed the "you are a great read award" to me. First let me say that this is one of the nicest possible compliments. My writing is very important to me and knowing that someone enjoys it that much makes me very happy. Thank you Jo. For everyone else, if you enjoy reading my blog, I would recommend you click on the link and check out Jo's.
As part of the award, I am supposed to write ten things about myself so here goes.
1. I was born and grew up in the Rocky Mountains. I was lucky enough to grow up on the outskirts of Ogden Utah. When I was 11 we moved to a house with 3/4 of an acre. That in itself does not seem like much, but at the back it joined onto a huge meadow, an Apple orchard and hills that were too steep to build on. There were two irrigation ditches, even the small one was big enough to ride an inner tube down (and we did). I had free range to roam and play and imagine. I spent many happy hours sitting on the bank reading "Nancy Drew" books.
2. I like gardens. Flower gardens and vegetable gardens. My Dad put in a vegetable garden big enough to feed us quite well. This was in the early 70's and he was interested in organic gardening. We composted and recycled before it was popular. Their were mature grape vines on the property also. Dad made some very good wine. As an adult, my sweet Hubby and I put in a formal garden for our house in New Mexico. We coaxed and cajoled amazing things from it, it looked like a little bit of England. Then the Air Force shipped us elsewhere. (Maybe I should do a post on that garden, it was amazing).
3. I love to read and have wanted to write since I was eight years old. I am still a bookworm. Our lovely home has a library full of books. We also have a bookcase in the downstairs hall, another in the upstairs hall and even one in the bedroom. I need to get yet another to make room for more nursing books.
4. My Father died when I was 13. The following summer my Mom sent me to stay with my Aunt Pat while school was out. Aunt Pat lived in Vernal Utah. Vernal is a SMALL town. It's main attractions all involve dinosaurs. It is near Dinosaur National Monument. I learned to love Dinosaurs and archeology. I learned to appreciate my heritage (I am, what my Mom used to call "Heinz 57" or as she also put it "a mutt". I am; English, Irish, Scottish, and Native American from two or three different tribes). The most important thing that I learned from Aunt Pat, was to have faith in my own artistic abilities.
5. My first job away from the family business was as a Phone solicitor. (cringe) No, I didn't do it for long, but hey a girl has to do something, right? I have also; sold Avon products door to door, worked answering calls to an 800 number, waited tables both fast food and formal dining, and I have even been a metal fabricator. At 20 I decided I needed some stability and training so I joined the Air Force. I thought about it as a teen and it was always in the back of my mind. In Jan 1984, I finally did it. Twenty-one years and a few months later, I retired as a Master Seargent.
6. I have two associates degrees. The first is for Aviation Technology. The second is in Nursing. I am working towards my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I love being a Registered Nurse and only wish I would have started sooner.
7. You may have noticed I like to take photos. I carry my camera everywhere I go except work.
8. I have traveled quite a bit and plan on doing a lot more. The most exotic place I have been is Morocco. The most romantic is Venice. The list of places I have not been yet is much longer than the list of places I have seen. Good thing my Sweet Hubby likes to travel as much as I do.
9. I am spoiled rotten! My sweet Hubby and I have been married for 25 years (26 this December). He takes very good care of me. He is my love, my friend, my life.
10. I like computers and am pretty good with them most of the time. I took my first computer class in 1985. We did not use windows or word (word was introduced in 1983, but I did not hear of it or learn to use it for several years). I believe the Internet existed, but was not in use by the general population. It was not even mentioned in the class.
I have a young friend who occasional works with me on computer issues. She says we combine my "old school" with her "new school". I love it when "old school" figures something out that she has been stumped by. My two favorite programs on this computer are Photoshop Elements and mahjong.
That was harder than I thought it would be. Now the fun part, I get to pass the award to some of my favorite reads. There are several that I read and enjoy regularly but my favorites are (drum roll) The ginger cats at http://wethreecats.blogspot.com/ , Linda at http://mouseski.blogspot.com/ (which has nothing to do with cats) and The Wumpus at http://2.thewumpus.com/ (yes cats).
Joining in is entirely voluntary, either way, I want these three to know how much I enjoy reading their blogs. (I already told you I like cats). Hmm, maybe I should create an award for my favorite photo blogs. What do you think? Can I just do that?
Thanks again Jo!

16 September 2009

Our totally free trip

When was the last time you smiled so much that your face hurt? For me, it was last weekend. My Sweet Hubby is a genius when it comes to finding deals, this weekend he took me on a totally free trip to Cherokee NC.

When we visited in the spring, we stopped in at the casino and played the slot machines.

The casino sent us an invitation to come back, the invitation included vouchers for a free buffet and $5.00 to play. My brilliant Hubby combined that with a free night we earned from Holiday Inn Express (just across the road from the casino and quite comfortable). Voila, a free weekend.

We drove up Saturday and ate lunch at a pull out with a lovely view on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then we followed the parkway to Heintooga round bottom road. We parked the car and went for a long walk. This is where the smiles really got going. It was a perfect day! The sun peaked in and out, the temperature was just right. The trees have not really started to change yet but there are hints of yellow and red here and there. We even found some fresh berries to pick (small but sweet).

I am not really sure which one of us started it, but there were several silly puns and bad jokes along the way. I have not laughed out loud like that for a while.
We drove into Cherokee at around 5:00pm, checked into our hotel and changed out of hiking clothes.
We had about a 5 minute walk to the casino entrance and we were in. Our free dinner was at the "Fresh Market Square Buffet". The last three photos were taken there. We were spoiled for choice and everything was good. I had Prime rib for my main course and my Vegetarian Sweetheart was able to find several nummy choices too (can you see those grins).

We used the $5.00 vouchers in the nickle and penny slots so they lasted a while (yes they still have penny slots, you have to put a minimum of $5.00 in the machine, but you can quit at any time and get what is left of your money back. No significant wins, but we had fun).
Yes, a chocolate fountain. How cool is that? The chocolate tasted European and there were marshmallows or little cream puff pastries on skewers to dip in.

The last two photos are my latest beading projects. I am quite pleased with both.
When we returned, I discovered that Jo from http://jo-thegoodlife.blogspot.com/ gave me an award for my blog! How sweet! I will put it up and show it off on my next post.
I am still smiling! Hope you are too. Now to catch up on some homework.

14 September 2009

Too much fun

I spent the entire weekend goofing off with my hubby. We went on a totally free trip. I had to work today (Monday) and I will be back at work tomorrow. Stop back by late Wednesday and I will tell you all about it.

04 September 2009

Life is good

There are signs of the change in season all over. Some, like this snake skin we found draped across the bottom of one of the columns, are fairly obvious (yes, the columns need paint, we are working on that, old houses need constant attention, it is part of their charm). Another, less obvious sign is the, at this point, small addition to the girth of the cat. Around here, kitties tend to fatten up for the winter.

Changes in the seasons tend to inspire me. One of my recent projects is this necklace. I have hunted out the animals one or two at a time over several years. Part of the fun is the hunt, another part is remembering all the places we found them. Some came from a lapidary shop in New Orleans, some from Asheville as well as many other places. All the animals are either semi-precious stones or bone.

As late as the season is, some things are still in bloom. I took this photo when we went for a walk the other day. I love this bush, the leaves are different colors and the flowers are so delicate.

Here is another sign of fall. This vine climbs on an old bit of fence in the yard. We don't have any need for the enclosure and the vine looks nice so we leave it alone. Soon, all the leaves will be red.
Last week I mentioned the wild grapes, this week I got a photo before we picked. There was only a double handful, they sure are good. My marigolds are blooming again. I particularly like this photo.

Another wonderful thing about this time of year is Camping! Once again, the temperatures have dipped far enough to make sleeping outside pleasant. This little yellow flower was near our camp site last night. We have camping down to an art form. The van stays partially packed so we don't need much more than half an hours notice to hit the road. Our favorite camping sites are within thirty minutes of the house. Love living next to the National Forest! We practice no trace camping.

The van is quite versatile. This was our cozy nest last night. The temperature was perfect, I actually put a sweatshirt on when we first got up this morning. The bed folds back up into a bench seat. There is plenty of built in storage and there are two tables (we only use the one). The van is a classic 1985 Volkswagen Westfalia. Westfalia refers to the interior package. It converts to sleeping arrangement in just a few minutes. When we lived in Britain, we owned a VW Van with a "Devon Conversion" It took forever to set up the bed! It is also a lot harder to find camping spots over there so we did not keep it for long.
I just finished breakfast and have run out of tea so I suppose I should hit publish and get some school work done. I am working this weekend so I hope everyone has a happy Labor day.
p.s. let me know what you think of the Autumn banner at the top of the blog.


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