Friday, July 31, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

1.) The most exciting thing to happen to me this week, as of this morning, is that I am the number one Lexington Examiner at Examiner.Com. This is the 2nd week in a row and I am so excited! Thank you to all my readers for making this possible. If anyone has ideas for gardening articles they would like to read, please click on my profile and send me an email.

2.) I am still struggling with the burn on my right foot. For those of you who missed my post, on Monday night, I sploshed hot oil onto the top of my bare foot. The feet are one of the hardest to heal areas of the body, and the position of this burn makes it impossible for me to wear a shoe. It is difficult to stand or walk because my foot is always flexing, which tugs on the newly healing skin. One day at a time, but they have been very slow days.

3.) I received some great review copies of some upcoming children/young adult books I am looking forward to reading and reviewing. All of these books have come from Sourcebook/Jabberwocky - thanks Paul Samuelson and Liz Kelsh!
  • Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation
  • The Tree That Time Built edited by Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston
  • The 13 Days of Halloween by Carol Greene
  • Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
  • Realm of the Rodent (Book #1 of Blood Brother) by Greg Hildebrandt, Jr.
  • Fairy Foals by ~Samatha


With the exception of Fairy Foals, these books will not be released until September, October or November.

4.) My youngest goes back to school on Monday. It is hard to believe she will be starting her senior year of high school. We are so proud of her! No the college hunt begins in earnest.

5.) Things I'm sick of this week:
  • Skipper Gate
  • Beer Feast
  • Birthers
  • Palin Watch
  • Jackson Frenzy
  • Jon and Kate


The list is short this week because of the pain in my foot. It has been hard to think about anything else.

Till next week .....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Many Faces of Basil

My article earlier in the week on Basil received an overwhelming response - thank you so much to all my readers. One reader asked for more information on the different varieties of Basil, so check out my article on the 6 most common varieties of Basil grown in the Bluegrass at Examiner.Com.


Dark Opal Basil

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Poet and She Didn't Know It

I've tried to resist - I really have - but I can only go so long without making a comment, especially when Sarah Palin continues to throw red meat at the nation. Monday night's Conan episode with William Shatner reciting Palin's resignation speech was almost too hilarious for words! And to think, Shatner used Palin's words verbatim - look for yourself:

Way Back Wednesday - The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is am American animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, and is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. The film was originally released to theaters on November 17, 1989.

It is hard for me to believe this movie is almost 20 years old. It seems just like yesterday I was taking my oldest 2 daughters to see this film in theaters - they were 5 and 7 years old. I guess this movie is so vivid in my memory because all 3 of my girls enjoyed this movie over and mover again through, first video tape, and then DVD.

Ariel, a sixteen-year-old mermaid princess, is a typical teenager, unhappy with her life, although she lives under the sea and not in the human world. With her best friend Flounder (a fish), Ariel collects human artifacts and goes to the surface of the ocean to visit Scuttle the seagull, who reminds me of someone's crazy uncle. Ignoring the warnings of her father, King Triton, and court musician, Sebastian the crab, that contact between merpeople and humans is forbidden, Ariel still longs to be part of the human world.

(A still from my favorite scene in the movie)


The story is not new - girl longs for something else, girl gets her heart's desire, girl realizes she should have been happy with what she had - but the character of Ariel seems to capture the heart and the imagination.

The Little Mermaid won 2 Academy Awards, Best Original Score and Best Original Song - "Under the Sea."



Since its release in 1989, there have been sequels and series, video games Disney on Ice and even a Broadway musical. The character of Ariel makes regular appearances at Disney World and Disneyland and even has a special section in each park.

Songs
"Fathoms Below" – Sailors
"Daughters of Triton" – Triton's Daughters
"Part of Your World" – Ariel
"Part of Your World (Reprise)" – Ariel
"Under the Sea" – Sebastian and Sea Creatures
"Poor Unfortunate Souls" – Ursula
"Les Poissons" – Chef Louis
"Kiss the Girl" – Sebastian and Chorus
"Vanessa's Song" – Vanessa/Ursula*
"Part of Your World (Finale)" – Chorus



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Birthers" Need To Go Back To the Republican Fringe

Eight months after the election of President Obama, the right "fringe" of the Republican party is still claiming he was not born in the United States. I am just about sick of all this nonsense. This myth - and it is a myth - has been debunked by numerous respectable sources, but the fringe keeps marching on.

President Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961 - there is a birth certificate and a newspaper with his birth announcement. Obama was in the Senate for 2 years before running for President - do they really think no lawyers checked him out thoroughly?

Fact Check.Org debunked this myth back in August 2008.

Snopes.Com debunked this myth back in October 2008.

According to the Library of Congress, on Monday, July 27, 2009, the United States House of Representatives, by a 378-0 vote, passed House Resolution 593 stating, “The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii." This vote also included REPUBLICANS.

Daylilies

I love Daylilies! Check out my article on Daylilies at Examiner.com.

Bare Foot Cooking

Words for people who are wiser than me:
Never cook supper in your bare feet!
I hate wearing shoes. The first thing I do when I get home each day is kick off my shoes. I know I'm feeding the classic stereotype of Kentuckians, but I can't help it. Shoes are constricting and limiting. Nothing feels better to my tootsies than soft grass, cool puddles of water and soothing sand.

Last night as I was cooking supper - porkchop casserole with potatoes and onions - I sloshed some hot oil out of the pan I was browning porkchops in and it landed right on top of my right foot. Ouchie! I quickly put my foot into water and then added ice - I kept my foot in the cold water as long as I could stand it. After drying my foot, it was still burning and stinging, so I slathered on aloe vera. The aloe cooled the burn - for about 5 minutes.

By this time, the entire top of my foot was red and a half-dollar size blister was forming - this must have been the impact site. More soaking in cold water, more aloe, but this wasn't working and the burn was making me sick to my stomach.

About 6 weeks ago I made mixed up some plantain ointment from the plantain growing in my front yard - to read an article I wrote on plantain, check out Examiner.Com. Believe it or not, this ointment help cool the burn and took the sting away.

I applied the plantain ointment several times last night and this morning my foot is better. I still can't wear a sock or shoe over the burn, but it doesn't hurt as bad. Later today I'll start applying antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. My biggest problem is resisting the urge to "pop" the blister - I know this will only make it worse.

Monday, July 27, 2009

What's blooming around the Bluegrass ...?


... this week it is the Golden Rain Tree. Check out my article on Examiner.Com.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

This has been a busy week for me, so my Free Flowing Friday is going to be all over the place - bear with me!!

1.) My baby turned 17 on Wednesday! I can't stand it - I don't have any more babies. I'm so proud of Christine, but I would love to be able to keep her little a while longer.

2.) Still reeling from HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. I'm in the category that really enjoyed the movie - I think it is the best adaptation so far. Not to say I am totally pleased with the decision to cut out crucial scenes or add scenes that weren't in the book. I thought it was pivotal for the next 2 movies - yes, DEATHLY HALLOWS will be divided into 2 movies - to include the following scenes in this movie: the HUGE fight scene between the Death Eaters and the students inside Hogwarts Castle, the funeral for Dumbledore, the betrayal of Hogsmeade and the significance of the Half-Blood Prince.

3.) I have writing group tonight at 6:30 at the KY Agricultural Heritage Center. Good writing, good reading, good friends, good times - what more can you ask?

4.) The Grand Old Mercer County Fair and Horse Show has been in town this week - it is the oldest fair in Kentucky and the longest running "continual" fair in the United States. For the first time that I can remember, the fair was canceled on Wednesday night due to bad weather! Will wonders never cease?

5.) For several months, I've been writing micro-stories about a character named Jade - Jade started out as a simple character to a simple writing prompt, but she has grown into more. This week I finished the 20th micro-story, but Jade is moving so fluid through my head, I feel compelled to finally write about her in greater detail - expanding the tiny stories I've already written. It's really bad when a character in your head demands to come out and play - or does that make me crazy? Hmmm, I'll let you decide.

6.) I have found several old friends on Facebook this week and it has been wonderful catching up with old school mates and past co-workers. It still amazes me I can reach out and touch friends who are states away with just a touch of my cyber-finger.

7.) Went with Christine to school yesterday to confirm one of her classes. The Mercer County School Board has approved her AP European History class through the KVL - Kentucky Virtual Library. This will be an on-line course she will do in the library all school year. She is the only student at MCSH taking this class. She is also signed up for several more AP classes and Advanced Drama. When I was a senior, I tried to take the easiest load possible, but not my daughter - she is all about learning and has taken on a huge school load for her last year in high school.

8.) My Gardening Examiner job is going great - I have been the #1 Lexington Examiner several times this week! It's great how promoting my articles on Facebook, Twitter and several blog sites has increased my viewership. Thanks to everyone who is visiting my page!

9.) I've been a little upset with the way the Stewart Chandler murder story is going on ALL MY CHILDREN. For anyone who reads my blogs, you know I'm obsessed with this one soap opera - it is my afternoon "guilty pleasure." Kendall is preparing to go on trial for the murder, but now they have pulled little Emma Lavery into the story line and I'm not liking it too much. I think it is horrible what they are putting this fictional character through! She is only 7 years old, for goodness sake, stop badgering her! In the real world, what they have been doing to the child would border on child abuse. Please leave the drama for the adults - and believe me, there are plenty of warped characters and drama to go around!

10.) Have found a new TV series to watch - WAREHOUSE 13. It's kinda like a cross between X-Files and a cop show. Two Secret Service agents have been tapped to go to North Dakota and oversee a project at Warehouse 13 - the place where the government stores items of questionable use - example, a device to help Houdini do his magic tricks. So far, there have only been 3 episodes, but it has been very good.


As you can see my thoughts have been over the spectrum this week! I hope everyone has had an enjoyable weeks - here's to next week ....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What's Growing in the Herb Garden


Check out my new series of articles about "What's growing in the herb garden." The first article is about SAGE and can be read at Examiner.Com.

Dark Shadows News

(Photo copyright Retrothing.com)


According to the Dark Shadows News Page blog, MTV's Movie Blog has interviewed Tim Burton on his upcoming Alice in Wonderland film, where he touches on the upcoming Dark Shadows movie project, which he is attached to direct.

I am such a geek when it comes to Dark Shadows! I cannot wait to see this movie. Of course, I was so excited for a new Planet of the Apes movie and then I wasn't crazy about Burton's interpretation - although I love Burton's other works. But I have high hopes for Shadows!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday ...

... I just want to take a moment to wish my youngest daughter a

HAPPY 17TH BIRTHDAY ! ! !



Christine Nicole was born on this date, 17 years ago at 9:10 in the morning. Even though she was 5 weeks early and only weighed 5 lbs. 10 oz., she has been the love of our life.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart, we love you bunches!

Good Friend Has Book Published


Congratulations to my good friend, Tony Sexton, for the publication of your new book, SCRAPS. Tony is the leader of The Community of Mercer County Writers and has lead several writing workshops in the community.
Many writers have said they never knew when an idea or inspiration might hit them and I am no different. Often I find myself considering an idea with no means of jotting it down. Usually I have a pen but, more often than not, I don't have a notebook handy. The only solution, in these cases, is to use what ever I can find; a napkin, box top, grocery receipt or an envelope. The title of this first collection, Scraps, comes from this dilemma. I began writing in the fifth grade when is teacher, Miss Castle, gave me writing challenge using the word “compulsion”. Since then I has spent over 20 years writing, leading writing workshops, which are designed for all ages and experiences and trying to complete her assignment. I am a member of The Community of Mercer County Writers and president elect of The Kentucky State Poetry. You can find my writing in The Journal of Kentucky Studies, Jar and several magazines including Good Old Days. I live in Mercer County with my wonderful wife, Cheryl and their dog, Mercy.

SCRAPS is available from Amazon and Wasteland Press

Way Back Wednesday - The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Although I did a review of The Rocky Horror Picture Show over a year ago, it is one of my favorite movies and there has recently been a renewed interest among my friends. So, back by popular demand, I give you ...

...The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 British musical comedy that parodies science fiction and horror films. "Rocky Horror" is the first movie from a major film studio - 20th Century Fox - to be in the midnight movie market. It has a large international following and is one of the best known and most financially successful midnight movies of all time.
According to Wikipedia: In 2005, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."


The film is an adaption of the British musical stage production The Rocky Horror Show. Richard O'Brien - author of the stage show and Riff Raff in the movie - was assisted by Jim Sharman in writing the screenplay. The movie introduces Tim Curry and features Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick.


Cast:

  • Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter: A scientist. Frank is a devious and flamboyant, hedonist transvestite, pansexual scientist.
  • Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss: A Heroine. Sweet and somewhat naive. Janet, recently engaged to Brad, succumbs to temptation.
  • Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors: A hero. The clean-cut fiancĂ© of Janet Weiss. Awkward and out of step, he finds himself in situations never before experienced.
  • Richard O'Brien as Riff-Raff: A handyman. Frank's minion and Magenta's brother.
  • Patricia Quinn as Magenta: A domestic. Magenta, the sister of Riff-Raff, is Frank's domestic.
  • Nell Campbell (credited as Little Nell) as Columbia: A groupie. Columbia is the groupie, friend and self proclaimed lover of Frank, but also formerly involved with Eddie.
  • Jonathan Adams as Dr. Everett Scott: A rival scientist. He was Brad and Janet's high school science teacher. He has come to the castle in search of his nephew Eddie, who has been murdered by Frank.
  • Peter Hinwood as Rocky Horror: A Muscle-bound creation of Frank's, with blond hair and a tan, Rocky is mute except for his musical numbers.
  • Charles Gray as The Criminologist: An expert. The film's narrator.
  • Meat Loaf (credited as Meatloaf) as Eddie: An ex-delivery boy and Columbia's former boyfriend, provided cerebral material for Rocky.


    Favorite quotes:

    The Criminologist: I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

    Riff Raff: You've arrived on a rather special night. It's one of the master's affairs.

    Riff Raff: With a bit of a mind flip...
    Magenta: You're into a time slip...
    Riff Raff: And nothing can ever be the same

    The Criminologist: It's just a jump to the left.
    All: And then a step to the right!
    The Criminologist: With your hands on your hips...
    All: You bring your knees in tight! But it's the pelvic thrust / That really drives you insane / Let's do the time warp again!

    Dr. Frank-N-Furter: So, come up to the lab,/ and see what's on the slab!/ I see you shiver with antici... [long pause] ...pation./


    Still in limited release nearly 34 years after its premiere, it has the longest running theatrical release in film history. It gained notoriety as a midnight movie in 1977 when audiences began participating with the film in theaters across the United States. The Kentucky Theatre in Lexington, Kentucky will have a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday, July 25th. Check out the website here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

3-day-old Baby Attacked by "Family Pet"

Why would ANY parent leave a 3-day-old baby and a Native American Wolf dog in the same house together? Especially a dog who had a habit of taking things off counters and then hiding them.

Unfortunately, this is what happened to a Kentucky baby yesterday, only one day after being brought home from the hospital. The dog went into the baby's room, took him out of the crib and then carried him into the woods 150 yards away.

I am all for animal rights, but not at the expense of an innocent child! I pray this child lives - and then I pray he grows up to lead a normal life. As for the parents, I know there are 2 sides to every story, but I pray they have to pay for what this poor baby has had to live through!

The baby is fighting for his life in UK hospital with puncture wounds to his face and chest. Read the full story on Kentucky.com.

Or watch this morning's video from WLEX TV18 - (Ignore the Darryl Issacs commerical at the beginning).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blackberries, Blackberries ...


... are coming into season - yummy! Check out my new article on Examiner.Com.

Ranting Again ....

.... I really hate to start Monday off with a Rant, but I can't help myself - some people just make it so easy!

I live 5 miles from town, so needless to say, I have a tiny commute to work every morning. Every morning for over 17 years, I've had to pass by the same 2 subdivisions - Brentwood and Alexandar Heights. Almost every morning for 17 years, some idiot has decided to pull out in front of me! I have had more near-miss collisions in this one spot and if I ever die in a car crash - heaven forbid - it will be near one of these 2 places.

It happened again this morning - traffic backed up for over a mile because of a collision at the entrance to Brentwood. Just for the record, I did not see this wreck happen, so I'm not sure what the cause of the accident was, but my near-misses give me a pretty good idea. I just pray everyone was okay. I saw at least 2 damaged vehicles, but no rescue squads or ambulances were on scene.

If you live in a subdivision that exits or enters from a MAJOR highway, don't be in such an all-fired hurry to pull out or in. Major highways have the right-of-way and cars are going at least the speed limit - most of them even faster. You are only asking for trouble when you pull into the path of another vehicle - even if you think you can speed up enough to pull ahead.

Think about saving your life - and if that doesn't work - think about the lives of your children, family and friends.

Rant over - thank you for listening ......

Collecting Seeds ....


.... not only helps your current flowers, but it gives you a jump start on next year's flowers. Check out my article on Examiner.Com.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button ...

.... check out my article on one of my favorite Kentucky native plants, the Button Bush, at Examiner.Com.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter Fever

You must excuse me for my lack of words this morning, but Christine and I went to a midnight showing of HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE last night. We must have been mad to venture into the mob at the cinemas - it was showing in all 8 auditoriums at the cinema we went to in Danville, Kentucky.

*****I guess I should say - SPOILER ALERT*****

But it was worth the wait - this was probably the best movie so far. That is, if you can get past all the changes from the book and the unnecessary additions. Oh, and not getting the HUGE fight scene inside Hogwarts at the very end.

Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and it makes a great stand alone movie, especially for people who have never read the books - and if they haven't read the book, they must live under a rock. The Weasley twin's joke shop was more awesome than I had imagined in my head and the emotion of Hermione's heartbreak over Ron's relationship with Lavendar was heartfelt. Luna was brillant in the few scenes she was in - you've gotta love Loony Luna. The cave scene was cool, much more scary than I imagined, and the death scene was overwhelming. I didn't think I would cry, but I did.

What I didn't like about the movie was the unnecessary interaction between Harry and a girl working in a coffee shop at the very beginning. Where did that come from? And of course, the Dursleys were totally cut from the movie - Dumbledore picks up Harry at the afore mentioned coffee shop.

And as I mentioned earlier, I was waiting the entire movie for the huge fight scene at the end of the movie. The scene on the astronomy tower was great, but instead of showing the fighting and chaos inside Hogwarts, the action shifts to Harry chasing Snape toward Hagrid's cabin. I wanted more interaction between Snape and Harry, but alas, it didn't come. Now I see why this movie was rated PG instead of PG 13 like the last two, the violence was at a total minimum. Not that I'm advocating violence, but the 6th book was much more violent than the movie.

The one thing I did love was the growing relationship between Ginny and Harry - it was tastefully done and reminded me of how young love is supposed to be. Ginny (Bonnie Wright) has blossomed into a beautiful girl and her loyalty to Harry is amazing. Makes me anxious for the next movie.

Or should I say, next two movies. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS will be cut into two movies. I realize they want to cram as much as possible into the last of the franchise, but was it really necessary to have Part 1 and Part 2? Only time will tell.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think it's time for a nap.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Normally, I don't do a Way Back Wednesday movie unless it is at least 15 years old, but I'm making an exception this week because of the premiere of the 6th movie in the Harry Potter series. My daughter and I attended a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and it got me stoked up about the series again. So, I present you with the movie that started it all ...

... Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released in 2001 and is the first film in the Harry Potter series based on the novels by J.K. Rowling.
It is the tale of Harry Potter, an ordinary 11-year-old boy serving as a sort of slave for his aunt and uncle who learns that he is actually a wizard and has been invited to attend the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is snatched away from his mundane existence by Hagrid, the grounds keeper for Hogwarts, and quickly thrown into a world completely foreign to both him and the viewer. Famous for an incident that happened at his birth, Harry makes friends easily at his new school. He soon finds, however, that the wizarding world is far more dangerous for him than he would have imagined, and he quickly learns that not all wizards are ones to be trusted.
Although I am of the mindset that no movie can ever be as good as the book, this first movie did a good job of showing us the world of Harry Potter and life inside of Hogwarts Castle. The acting wasn't great, but the main characters were very young. One great thing about the movies is the characters have all remained the same (with the exception of Dumbledore) and have grown in their roles.

This movie was our first introduction into the visual world of Harry Potter and although it accurately captures the child-like qualities of the book, it also is fairly faithful to the book. Some true Potterphiles were upset exact dialogue from the book wasn't used, all in all the movie gave us the essence of the book.

Even as an adult, it was magical to see the size difference between Hagrid and the other characters, just like the books. My first glimpse of Diagon Alley was almost exactly how I pictured it in my imagination, using the words of Rowling. It was nice to see the friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione blossom from first encounter to a deeper bond.

I have watched this movie - as well as all the others - at least a dozen times, if not more, and I never get tired of it. This is one movie I will even stop on whenever I run across it while flipping channels - it is one I hope to be able to share with my grandchildren.

Favorite movie quotes:

Harry: I can't be a wizard. I'm just Harry, just Harry.

Hermione: Harry, no way! You heard what Madam Hooch said. Besides, you don't even know how to fly!
[Harry ignores Hermione; giving Malfoy an evil look, he flies up. The class stares up at him]
Hermione: What an idiot!

Draco Malfoy: Think my name's funny, do you? No need to ask you yours. Red hair... and a hand-me-down robe... you must be a Weasley.

Dumbledore: What happened down in the dungeon between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret. So, naturally, the whole school knows.

Dumbledore: I was unfortunate enough in my youth to come across a vomit-flavored one, and since then I'm afraid I've rather lost my liking for them. But, I think I could be safe with a nice toffee.
[eats it]
Dumbledore: ...Ah, alas, earwax.

Hermione: Stop, stop, stop! You're going to take someone's eye out. Besides, you're saying it wrong. It's LeviosA, not LeviosAR!

Hagrid: Dry up Dursley, you great prune!

Seamus Finnigan: I'm half and half. Me dad's a muggle; Mam's a witch. Bit of a nasty shock for him when he found out.

Caretaker Argus Filch: A pity they let the old punishment die... Was a time detention found you hanging by your thumbs in the dungeons... God, I miss the screaming.

Professor Severus Snape: Mister Potter. Our new... celebrity.

Lord Voldemort: There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it...

Sorting Hat: Ha! Another Weasley, eh? I know just what to do with you... GRYFFINDOR!

Queen Anne's Lace


Read my article on Queen Anne's Lace at Examiner.Com. This is one of my favorite wildflowers.

The Morning After Weeds

Season 5, Episode 6 A Modest Proposal

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

The big news from this episode is the story line jumped 6 months into the future. As hinted in last week's episode, Nancy choose Esteban over Andy and it was Andy who ended up with the "Dear John" letter.

Our story picks up with Nancy fully pregnant (and naked in the shower). She and Shane are living with Esteban in Van Nuys like one big happy family. Esteban finally pops the big question and Nancy accepts. I wanted to scream NO NO, don't do it - well, okay, I did scream that at the TV.


Shane seems to be adapting well to his new surrounds and has a new buddy in the form of Ignacio. They chatter away in Spanish and Shane looks at Ignacio with wide-eyed adoration - that is until they skip summer school and spend the day harassing golfers. Let's just say, Shane finally realized things in his life were not going so well.

Poor Andy has blown his way through Judea's $180,000, mainly on arcade games and other "stuff." He has a full face of beard - 6 months of growth - and he has put on weight. Clearly, Andy is not handling Nancy's rejection well. The scenes with him really broke my heart 'cause I really hope Andy and Nancy will eventually end up together.

After ignoring Nancy when she comes to visit him, Andy finally works up the courage to go visit her at Esteban's home. Watching Andy while he works with his "light saber" was hilarious, and he ended up being able to handle himself well in a fencing duel with Esteban.

Silas is really truly to make his "legit" business work, but Doug and Deputy Dog, he's having a tough row to hoe (sorry, too much Farm Town). Doug has Isabella give him a spray tan so he looks like George Hamilton and then he proceeds to quote Hamilton at every turn. Deputy Jones continues to meddle into the business, taking product whenever he wants and then complaining because his cut is too low. Someone must do something with him!

Celia finally has a legit job working at a shoe store in the mall, but her life is totally unhappy and unfulfilled, not to mention the fact she is still living in Nancy's garage after 6 months. Now she is having to share the garage with the "General Lee" after Andy bought the Dukes of Hazard car. While waiting at the bus stop (a humiliating prospect for Celia), she is handed an opportunity into the world of cosmetics by the "You're Pretty" lady.

Next week, we are supposed to learn the identity of the mystery lady who seems to be coming in between Esteban and Nancy. It looks like the Botwin gang may end up on the run again. We also get to see more of Alanis Morissette as Nancy's OBGYN.

Thank you G News for translating what the other woman said to Esteban:
"You loved me good, until you got your BOY with her. But Marry her? Are you crazy? All the eyes of Mexico will be on you. All my hopes, my effort, my money, my time - I put into YOU? You should have killed the f-in white bitch when you had the chance! What I'm saying is you have to choose between me and the white woman."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Purple Coneflower, Not Just a Pretty Flower


Check out my article on Echinacea, or Purple Coneflower, on Examiner.Com.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

My 3 Week Empty Nest is Over ...

... and my baby is finally back home from the Governor's School for the Arts. Christine is now a 2009 graduate from GSA!

Here is Christine at the beginning of her final performance. She is reading one of 3 letters about "Dan's Beard" - Dan was her DA (disciplinary assistant) and at the beginning of the session, he had a full beard. After writing the first two letters, he shaved his beard and head - so the 3rd letter is a suicide note from Dan's Beard and Hair.


Three new friends - Jordyn Rhorer, Maddey Gates and Christine.


Dan Bernitt (minus Dan's Beard) and Christine.


Christine with another good friend, Nichelle Green


Christine with her Residence Assistant (RA), Rosalynne Duff


Christine with fellow Mercer Countian, Christian Marnon - they were the only 2 students accepted into GSA from Mercer County.


As you can see, Christine made some wonderful new friends and mentors. She tells us she had a marvelous time and learned many new things. Just from the reading she did on Saturday, I can tell she has finally found her voice.

I am so proud to have a daughter who enjoys creative writing as much as I do. With her permission, I hope to be able to share some of her work with you. She published her first chap book, WE'RE ALL MAD HERE, during her time at Transylvania.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

Sorry I've been so absent this week, but I've been under the weather and haven't felt like writing. Of course, with a few extra minutes on my hands, my Free Flowing Friday thoughts have been on the poor family of Michael Jackson.

I truly enjoyed MJ's music when I was a kid - what child growing up in the 60s and 70s didn't? I also realize it was his decision to put himself into the public eye and he garnered fame and fortune by being a celebrity superstar.

But in his family's moment of grief, why can't the media leave him alone? When my sister died 4 years ago, my grief was almost unbearable. If I had been subjected to her presence on every news channel in the world every time I turned on the TV, I would have gone insane.

And now the media is pulling those poor children into this mess! Give me a break! These little kids only know MJ as their father - nothing more. Who cares if they were conceived with a sperm donor? Who cares if the mother gave up her rights? These children didn't ask for this. And to continual roll the footage of his little daughter in her greatest moment of grief - it is despicable. The news channels keep rolling this footage over and over and over.

As for MJ being a child molester, I know the court of public opinion thinks he is guilty, but he was proven innocent in a court of law. I have my own thoughts about his guilt or innocence, but it doesn't matter what I think - a jury of his peers found him innocent. Period.

Now we are being subjected to all his possible medical problems and drug addictions. I personally feel someone's medical history should remain private. As a RN, I know the value of the privacy laws - I just wish everyone would quit speculating on what was wrong with him. We know there are corrupt doctors all over the country who cater to the rich and famous - we've already been through this with Anna Nicole Smith and Heath Ledger, just to name the recent ones.

My point in all of this is to be empathetic to the family and let them grieve in peace. Not matter if your rich or poor, black or white, or male or female - everyone should be allowed to grieve the loss of a loved one without it being fodder to grab ratings.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Great Herb for Accident-Prone Kids


Check out my article on the many uses of Yarrow at Examiner.Com. This herb is great for stopping minor bleeding problems like skinned knees.

Give Me Rain Over Drought Any Day ...

... 'cause I'm not a hot weather person.


I am a fall, winter and spring kinda girl and have never been particularly fond of summer, especially the hot and humid summers we normally see in Kentucky. Temperatures above 80 degrees make me want to run and hibernate until the thermometer dips into the low 70s - preferably into the 60s.

But this summer in Kentucky has been a tad different from the norm. After 3 straight years of drought and losing plants and flowers because I didn't want to waste water, we are back to a moist summer. Although we had several days of 90+ degree weather in June, the first week in July has given us nothing but 70 degree weather - hallelujah!

I know, I know - most people love the hot weather of summer - I'm just not one of them. Many people were upset with the rain we had for the 4th of July - lots of places canceled or postponed fireworks because of the weather. Harrodsburg wasn't one of them because the city had scheduled fireworks for Friday night the 3rd. I couldn't figure out why the city would want to do the celebration the day before, buy hey, it worked out this year because there was no rain!

I know we'll have many more HOT days to come - August is typically the scorcher in my neck of the woods. The historic Mercer County Fair and Horse Show comes to town in 2 weeks, and that's always a guarantee of hot, sticky weather and at least one or two thunderstorms.

So while most people are grumbling about the cool temperatures and the rain, I'm thanking my lucky stars 'cause this is perfect weather for me!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Plantain





Check out my article on the many uses of Plantain at Examiner.Com.

Noxious weed or miracle plant? You be the judge.

Free Flowing Friday

Welcome to Free Flowing Friday, an inside look at the things clogging my brain this week.

1.) It has been over a week since Michael Jackson died and he is still dominating the news. I grew up listening to the Jackson 5 and I was a huge fan of Thriller, but enough is enough. Do all the news channels have to be MJ all day, all the time? His family are in my prayers, but please let the man rest in peace.

2.) I'm missing my baby, Christine, more than ever. She's been gone for 2 weeks now - one more week to go. There is going to be a huge celebration on Saturday, July 11th for family and friends of all the students.

3.) I'm meeting with 2 of my writing buddies after work this afternoon - we are going to work on query letters. I'm so glad I have a group of writing friends I can get together with - I think all writers thrive when they have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of.

4.) Mercer County now has its own Arts Council - way cool! Joy Mosko, wife of MCSH Drama teacher Dustin Mosko, has filed for local incorporation of the Arts Council. The purpose of the Arts Council is to support local performing and visual artists, present their art to the community and create arts events to enrich local culture.

5.) Maximum, blowing things up weekend at Twin Hills Drive-In tonight. Not only are they featuring 2 blockbuster movies - TRANSFORMERS II and STAR TREK - but you will also be able to see the Harrodsburg fireworks display from Anderson-Dean Park. Come on out and join the fun - box office and concession stand open at 6:30 and fireworks start at dusk. Where else can you see 2 HUGE movies and fireworks for only $5 for adults and $2.50 for children?

6.) Finished Stephen King's DUMA KEY - what a great book! I haven't read some of King's newest books because I haven't been enjoying the direction he was taking his books. DUMA KEY goes back to basics and King has told a wonderful story. The book is 607 pages of pure fun!



7.) I'm thinking I may have to re-read HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE to get ready for the movie premiere on July 15 - as if I haven't already read it at least 5 times. We have been without a new Harry Potter for way too long, so I am so looking forward to the newest movie release.

8.) Today completes my first 2 weeks of being the Gardening Examiner for the Lexington group of Examiner.Com. Thanks so much for everyone who has visited and special thanks to everyone who has left a comment. If anyone has a specific topic they would like to see me cover, please feel free to let me know.

9.) Although my writing muse has been in overdrive recently, my head is in a dark place - hence the 3 murder stories I've written over the past 2 weeks. What's up with that? I have so many projects I need to be working on, but it's hard to do when the muse hijacks your brain. Who knows? Maybe someone is trying to tell me something.

10.) I've been looking forward to seeing Johnny Depps's new movie, PUBLIC ENEMIES, but Silas House has panned it. I love House's writing and appreciate his opinion, so now I'm torn about seeing the movie. Do I want to pay over $8 to see Johnny and risk being disappointed? I'm still riding the fence.


As usual, my brain is crammed full of too many things, so this is only a highlight of a few. I'm looking forward to a great holiday weekend, and I hope you are, too!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Reflections

(Photograph by Lynda Lehmann)



REFLECTIONS

Reflections of my past flow freely through my mind
Happy childhood, miserable teenhood, skittish adulthood
All jumbled together in the melting pot of memories
Never really showing my past by outward means, but simmering slowly in my thoughts and dreams

Rippled memories like the ripple of waves
Skipping across the decades of time
Not unlike a skimming stone as it lights on spontaneous musings and perceptions
With no control over where the cognition begins and the flights of fancy end

Why is it older brains will always reflect the past
While newer brains are only interested in jetting to the future
Don't they know that time is fleeting and you should not wish it away
'Cause in the blink of an eye, the future is gone and all we're left with is the past

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

From the Roadside to the Coffee Pot ...






... chicory is more than just a pretty wildflower. Check out my post at Examiner.com.

Way Back Wednesday - Interview with the Vampire

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles is a 1994 film, based on the 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. The film was directed by Neil Jordan, and stars Tom Cruise (Lestat), Brad Pitt (Louis), Antonio Banderas (Armand), and Kirsten Dunst (Claudia).

When it was released to the public that Tom Cruise would be playing the vampire, Lestat, there was an uproar all across the country. For people familiar with Rice's book, it was inconceivable for Cruise to play Lestat - I was among those people upset with the studio's choise of Cruise. However, after the film was released, I whole heartedly changed my mind. Cruise embodied the character of Lestat and made the role his own.

The movie starts in modern-day San Francisco and reporter Daniel Malloy (Christian Slater) is sitting in a room with a man named Louis, who claims to be a vampire. The entire film - as well as the book - are the recollections Louis tells to the reporter.


Louis' story begins in 1791 after the death of his family. Louis is beyond caring whether he lives or dies, until he has an encounter with a man named Lestat. Lestat offers Louis the chance to be reborn and Louis accepts. After he is transformed into one of the living dead, Louis is horrified at the prospect of killing humans in order to live, so he resorts to feeding off the blood of animals.


Then one rainy night, Louis gives in to his bloodlust and feeds off a young girl, Claudia. Disgusted with what he has done, Louis flees into the night - but Lestat is overjoyed. Seeing that Claudia is not dead, Lestat transformed her into a vampire and she goes on to be the daughter of both Louis and Lestat.


The movie then chronicles the trios adventures in America, ending with Claudia's eventual betrayal of Lestat after she learns how she was created. Seeking a new life, Louis and Claudia flee to the old country in search of others of their kind.

Although this movie is not as good as the book - I always prefer the books to the movies - it was a good representation of the story. This is one of those movies I own and I enjoy watching it from time to time.

Favorite quotes:

Slave girl: [to Louis] Are you not hungry sir?
Lestat: Aux contraire mon cher, he could eat the whole colony.

Louis: Her blood coursed through my veins sweeter than life itself.

Claudia: Why not? Can't I change, like everybody else?

Claudia: Rats? When did you eat rats Louis?
Louis: It was a long, long time ago. Before you were born, and I don't recommend them.

Louis: How do we seem to you? Do you find us beautiful, magical? Our white skin, our fierce eyes? "Drink" you ask me, do you have any idea of the thing you will become?

Lestat: Evil is a point of view. God kills indiscriminately and so shall we. For no creatures under God are as we are, none so like him as ourselves.

Claudia: Goodnight sweet prince, may flights of devils wing you to your rest.

Louis: Vampires pretending to be humans, pretending to be vampires.
Claudia: How avant-garde.

Armand: They had forgotten the first lesson, that we are to be powerful, beautiful, and without regret.

Daniel Molloy: So there are no vampires in Transylvania? No Count Dracula?