Tuesday, November 29, 2016

You Can Take a Girl Away from a Family Business

but you can't take her out of her obsession with paint.

I stopped here because I could smell fresh paint through an open shop door.


and back

And here because I love the paint.

And here too, just around the corner.

And here because of the way paint ages.

It's in the genes.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Is There Such a Thing Anyway?

"According to the Federal Trade Commission, 'Made in U.S.A.' means that 'all or virtually all' the product has been made in America. That is, all significant parts, processing and labor that go into the product must be of U.S. origin" (FTC).

I can't help wondering exactly what percentage of products are actually made in America (often claimed) instead of virtually.

In any case, this Bud's not for me.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Population: 141

Where are they?

Normandy, TN

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The sign said STOP

so I did, and took in the view. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Directional Druthers

I'd rather this than the other.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Why are we all so attracted to the seamy things in life?

We are and I bet you know it.

Just watch the evening news, or read tweets, or scan Facebook, or tune-in a reality show on TV.

Me, I'd rather this kind of icky news: the garbage area at Shenanigans. It might not smell so great, but it sure looks good.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Danger Signs

Fewer odonates than usual.

Warmer temperatures than usual.

This from our local Weather Underground station keeper on November 19:

Last night, 0.17" of rain was recorded with a peak wind gust of 44 mph. Only 1.14" of rain since Aug. 29. The avg temperature during this drought period was 68.2º, 5º warmer than this period in '15, and 9º warmer than in '14. Wind advisory until 6pm, and freeze warning in effect tonight.

Shallower lakes than usual.

This from the University Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability:

Here you can see a comparison of Lake Jackson from Nov. 14 and Oct. 15 of this year. The red line indicates the Oct. 15 Level. Last week, the Sewanee Utility District (SUD) officially announced mandatory water restrictions in response to the drought. SUD is asking local residents to restrict watering of vegetation to specific days of the week from 5AM to 10AM and prohibits the washing of commercial and non-commercial motor vehicles, trailers, and boats.

Less moss in the yard than usual.

Browner woods than usual.

Fewer deer than usual.

More official announcements than usual.

This from the Sewanee Utility District

Due to the ongoing drought and a continued dry forecast, two of our neighboring systems have implemented mandatory water restrictions on their customers. In accordance with our regional drought management agreement, SUD will implement mandatory drought restrictions for our customers as well. We are asking all of our customers to cut back on the amount of water they use in order that our supplies will last longer. Hopefully, these restrictions along with some rain will keep us from taking more drastic measures in the future.

a) watering of lawns, flower gardens, trees, shrubs, etc., are restricted to assigned days of the week and only from 5 AM to 10 AM: addresses ending in an even number may water on Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday, and addresses ending in an odd number may water Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday;
b) watering of fairways on any golf course and all ball/athletic fields restricted to sprinkling/irrigation to the hours of 12:01 AM to 5 AM; and
c) normal scheduled fire hydrant testing is restricted to 50% of the schedule.

a) washing sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, patios, or any other hard surfaces by commercial, industrial or residential customers except for sanitary or safety purposes;
b) filling or re-filling of swimming pools;
c) non-commercial and commercial washing of motor vehicles, trailers or boats;
d) use of water for dust control or construction compaction; and
e) firefighting training.

This from the University's Office of Community Relations:

On Monday Governor Haslam issued a proclamation declaring a regional burn ban that includes Franklin, Marion, and Grundy counties. This ban supersedes the burn ban issued by the Sewanee Police Department on October 26 and INCLUDES all outdoor fires including those in Turkish fire pits, chimenea, and all other similar exterior fire enclosures. 

A violation of a burn ban is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months, 29 days in jail. 

Charcoal grills remain permitted, but users should be diligent to make sure there are no hot embers remaining in the grill when dumping ashes. Several fires have been started in the Nashville area recently by careless cleaning of charcoal grills.

Activity on My Own Deck

The neighborhood cat, raccoons, birds (even woodpeckers), possums, and other creatures visit the birdbath.

yesterday's squirrel balanced on ice to lick up moisture

today I got there first

Sunday, November 20, 2016


On my way to Walmart this morning, this caught my attention:

Having not seen it before (I usually drive a different way), I returned after my shopping, parked up a hill, walked down, and snapped.

It's a beautiful billboard: bold design against late fall sky, burnt orange border checkered along the bottom, metal support and stairs and wires and cables framing it. 

I didn't realize till I got halfway home that I had misread the billboard. Instead of a message against drug use (We'ed), I read it (We'd) as a protest against the signs of the times -- spinning, bullying, taunting, worrying, hating, accusing, and especially sorting and othering of those without power and the degradation that comes with it.

A sign of my own dis-ease, perhaps, this accidental misunderstanding.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Pleasures of Loew's

The threesome pondered lighting fixtures while I took pictures (whiling away the time while a friend shopped). A woman in her forties/fifties (?) with another in her twenties and a little girl, shopping-carted and belted in. 

While the middle one shopped, the older woman and little girl giggled and played. A length of something black and flexible was involved (rubber hose? pool floatie?). 

At one point, the older woman saw me taking a photo (maybe this one) while I noticed their joyous bi-generational horseplay, and we smiled in that knowing way that says Even a shopping trip when we're not the ones buying can provide escapist pleasure from the grind of daily living.

Made my day.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Intentional Reflections

The Blue Chair color as deeply satisfying as Abbo's Alley fall leaves.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Trial and Error

I showed my friend Boo two pictures I recently took, one of an Episcopal church in Cowan and one of Taylor's window. 

She couldn't understand what I saw. 

Her advanced age, perhaps. Her hearing, perhaps. Her vision, perhaps. My own inability to explain, perhaps.

So on leaving, I stopped on her front porch and tried another outside/inside/outside shot, this time of her own house. Then I shall try to explain again tomorrow, with something familiar.

(Now if only I could figure out how to take what I actually see. But that's a whole other issue.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Confession of a Difficult Lunch Date

My friend needs to sit out of the sun, so she chose our table and seats at Shenanigans

That's when I became a difficult lunch date.

While she explained a dilemma concerning a book project, I listened carefully and understood the issues. I even asked questions when I was confused.


I couldn't help staring past her gesturing left hand, where the dairy cases lit up like Christmas. 

My lunch was delicious, my companion patient, the light beautiful.

I may have to go back tomorrow.

To try again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I heard the question before I saw the asker, "What are you finding to photograph?"

My neighbor, on her way to campus, took a little detour to see what I had found so fascinating on the electric pole.

"That," I said, pointing. "Look at the color of the weathering."

"I'm glad you can find something beautiful today. That's become difficult for a lot of folks."

"There's always something."

She said, "Yes, especially out here, in the moment."

Mind you, she's a forestry professor so we share some interests.

"That's really where I'm going." I pointed up to the Chapel of the Apostles. "I'm not at all religious, but I love that building."

She smiled. "Well, there's religious and spiritual. One is deeper than the other." She took a beat and added, "I'll leave it to you to decide."

And so we parted, and I walked on to this.

Monday, November 14, 2016

In or Out

Always a matter perspective.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Waiting for a shopper to complete her payment at Register 3, I saw the Pig and the number 3 above the counter, opened the camera, focused, and got off three quick shots before I realized the checker had already scanned four of my items.

"Oops! Sorry," I said.

"It's all right, honey. I know how you like to take pictures," she said, ringing up my lettuce.

After wheeling my cart back to the cage, I noticed the SAS school bus, doors closed, revealing interior and exterior all at once. I walked toward the bus and took a few shots before the driver (whom I know) returned.

I apologized.

"No problem!"

"It's compulsive," I said.

He smiled, got in, and left the door open.

I took several more picture before slinking back to my car.

Every trip to the Pig is an adventure.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Robley, the Spy

Artisan Depot

"Thank you for your service, sir, to this country."

Silence. The elderly veteran looked abased.

"Let's hope we make it great again."

St. Agnes' Church

Smudged windows, sheet music, organ, street vista, fall color.


When I walk, I enjoy seeing inside from the outside.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Magic Hour

I was on my way to visit an elderly friend.

I never made it.

This is why.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Always Check the Rearview

I noticed the glass bricks from far below, in Abbo's Alley, and I decided to investigate. I should have done it years ago.

Not being a paying member of the Fowler Center with athletic privileges, I usually just walk or drive by the place without notice or thought (except for the pedestrians). Ignorance in this case is definitely not bliss.

Glass bricks.


Even a late-blooming weed.

What's not to love?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Day After the Election

A dull ache.

My brother suggested I get out of the house and find something beautiful.

I did.

A show at the University Art Gallery: "Jessica Wohl's Love Thy Neighbor grapples with the fear, intolerance, and polarization the artist sees dividing communities and cities across the country, and answers those divisions with objects the evoke empathy and comfort. The patterns of Wohl's quilts invoke the fences, gates, and security bars that divide us, both from one another and from that to which we aspire. Quilts bring together disparate pieces, and so the medium in which these objects are rendered responds to that division. The quilts in the exhibition are stitched together from fabric found or purchased from thrift stores and yard sales across the country. For Wohl, the fabric pieces 'are hand-me-downs, throwaways, stained, smelly, loved, discarded and Someone Else's. They are Others that become one.' "

Nothing could have been more timely today.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Still in Shock

In past elections, I have voted for

  • Hubert Humphrey (white man)
  • George McGovern (white man)
  • Jimmy Carter (white man)
  • Jimmy Carter (white man)
  • Walter Mondale (white man)
  • Michael Dukakis (white man)
  • Bill Clinton (white man)
  • Bill Clinton (white man)
  • Al Gore (white man)
  • John Kerry (white man)
  • Barack Obama (black man)
  • Barack Obama (black man)
  • Hillary Clinton (white woman)
My mother was four years old when women throughout the United States earned the right to vote, and a century after her birth, I have lived long enough to cast a vote for the first female candidate (and, I hope, President).

Sometimes I just have to pinch myself.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Golden Harvest, with apologies to Wallace Stevens

A beautiful fall day, my front porch rail, a Mason jar, one blue jay feather, a sprig of red berries, and three hickory nuts, their cases with the smell of home, that sharp pull of earth and childhood: even my humble jar pulled the "wilderness" around it and "took dominion."

Wallace Stevens

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround the hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

Sunday, November 6, 2016



I can always count on F for beautiful flowers, great overnights, and lasting friendship.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Always My Favorite Shop Window Display

Halloween, thanks to Billy Phillips.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Why clean the windows again

when they look like this as sun descends?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wisdom at the Dump

Confucius came to mind when I tossed my metal cans into the pile: "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."

Next to me, a woman waited while I snapped and said, "Yes, I see it."