Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

This past Saturday afternoon I found myself alone having dropped off my daughter at my in-laws for the evening. Sitting in the driveway watching the rain fall on the windshield of the car, I started to think about the area. This area of town was where my father grew up and where I eventually attended high school. It was at this time I got the inspiration for this week’s challenge. Equipped with only the camera on my phone, I began to take a drive down the wet streets of memory.

Home & Church

In this series: The street/house I called home for 3 years. The home my grandparents purchased in the 1950’s and raised my father and uncle in. The home I sold for nearly nothing almost 3 years ago, after my father passed away. Also, the church my grandparents attended for as long I can remember.

Library Park

In this series: The park next to the library where my father took me as a girl. We carried the old bread my grandmother kept for me to feed the ducks as we walked around the park.

Around Town

In this series: (1)The barber shop my father would get his hair cut and (2)the high school I attended (as well as my father, uncle, husband and brother-in-law). (3)I stopped at Jack in the Box for lunch. I have not eaten there in years. Daddy was the first to introduce me to the dastardly yet delicious tacos on our many trips back and forth to Houston. (4)The high school football stadium where my friends and I spent most fall Friday nights.

After an hour and a half driving down memory lane taking pictures through the rain spotted windows, it was time to make the forty-five minute drive back to my side of town. The rain picked up from a drizzle to a good soak and I drove home feeling the dreary day and missing my father terribly.

-B

Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret

This weeks Weekly Photo Challenge theme is Regret. I put together a collection of photos for this challenge.

I regret…

  • (Top-Left) Having to go to Costco on a Sunday afternoon for one item
  • (Top-Right) The current use of the nursery, as well as a couple other similar looking rooms in my house
  • (Bottom-Left) Saying good-night and closing the door, feeling I haven’t had enough time with my special girl
  • (Bottom-Center) Owning the absolute worst dog in the world (and somehow still loving him). For better explanation check out Chihuahua vs Rat Terrier, Paco with the TKO
  • (Bottom-Right) Never being caught up on laundry (or the dishes for that matter). The cycle never ends!

All this said, I had to look really hard for things I regret and I realize there is not much major in my life I would do differently. I am grateful for my friends and family who make all of the small regrets seem insignificant and life worth living.

-B

I Am Super

This is my first post under the new format. I will be posting my artwork as well as the inspiring art of others. I have also created a page, “Creative Minds” to pay respect to the many creative people in my life. I hope to post something new every 2 weeks. I hope you like it.

Title – “Super”

I took this photo in October 2011 and finished the edits in Dec.

Is there anything more to say as we run next to a train on a dirt road other than “I AM SUPER”

-B

9/11, 10 Years of Remembering

I am fully aware that there are blogs everywhere posting something in remembrance of September 11th, however I think after 10 years the memories tend to fade and we should all take a moment. I do not have family in New York City, nor did I know anyone personally who died that day, but the moment the towers fell is the most significant historical moment that has occurred to-date in my life. I am simply going to talk about where I was that day and express gratitude to all those who have given selflessly not just that day, or week or month. But over the last 10 years.

—–

Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Denton, Texas.

I was in college that the University of North Texas. I was 21 and shared an apartment with my boyfriend at the time. We had classes that day and  I was not scheduled to work so we slept in. The phone rang. Which was unusual for the morning as we were students. I had a cell phone but this was before we were really plugged into the world, with texting and social media. So the phone with a cord that plugged into the wall in the apartment rang too early. My boyfriend’s parents were on the line. I half-listened to one side of the short conversation, and he took off for the living room to turn on the tv. Concerned over the unusual behavior, I rolled out of bed and followed.

There are no words to really describe what I saw.

I stood in the living room of our 2 bedroom apartment, nearly 1600 miles away and yet instantly we were there. Tears started down my face. The people on the tv showed an airplane flying into one of the World Trade Center towers in an infinite loop of video. Confused. Afraid. My mind was going a mile a minute. Both towers were still standing and the first responders were trying to evacuate both buildings. As we sat there and watched as the second plane went into tower two. Oh, Lord. Someone is doing this on purpose!

I rushed to the phone and called my father. He just happened to be home sick that day and I woke him with the same phone call we had received minutes before. “Turn on the tv, someone is flying airplanes into the World Trade Center”.

Back to the tv in our living room, with phone in hand.

Somewhere in the next few minutes the towers fell. Everything seemed to play out in slow motion. These events play out in my memory in what seems like an hour… but it must have been only minutes. My heart sank, there could not be many survivors. Reports that the Pentagon and White House were also targeted started to flood the tv along with images of smoke and rubble. People running everywhere. We were glued to the tv. Amidst all of the emotions, my thoughts drifted to the only reasonable response. War.

The rest of the day is a blur. Classes were cancelled. I know I contacted my mother at some point, as my stepfather was military we were all thinking the same thing. My father medicated himself and drove 45 minutes to Denton that afternoon. We were all in shock and just wanted to be close to each other.  There was concern and speculation that the Dallas WTC might be a target. We live in the city that might be the number two financial hub in the US. There was certainly reason for speculation.

Over the course of the next several days/weeks/months we knew that there was little we could do. There were very few survivors and blood donations were through the roof. We donated money where we could. Many joined the military. And we watched and waited from afar. We too were scared, angry and grieving for those innocent lives lost as well as the loss of our safe, secure nation.

—–

In December 2004. I had the opportunity to visit New York City for the first time. Ground Zero was still a small pile of rubble in an empty hole where the towers once stood. Tourists milled about taking pictures. Vendors sold memorabilia  brochures and little american flags. It was surreal. I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures. I didn’t want to see myself with my family standing in front of this hole in the ground. All I could think of was the images of that Tuesday morning and how the atmosphere on this day did not reflect the devastation that took place there a little over 3 years before. Maybe it was just that day. Maybe it was the holiday season. Maybe its just our capitalistic mindset, and completely within our rights. But it just wasn’t right for me.

The memorial in that place is now complete, and one day I hope to go back and see it. Maybe now, I can take a picture. Now that more time has passed and there is some closure with the death of Bin Laden. Now that it’s not so raw. Then again, maybe not as the wound is deep and the scar still hurts.

There have been too many over the last 10 years who have lost their lives in response to that day. I am grateful for all those people who work everyday to protect the people in this country. Thank you to our firefighters, police officers, soldiers and reservists, doctors, nurses, social workers, and teachers who dedicate your lives to others as well as their families for giving their loved ones to the rest of us. 

On the 10th anniversary I will remember the horror that will remind me of the evil that human beings can do, but also take heart in the saints and angels that quietly walk this earth in human form everyday.

-B

Update: Karaoke Virgin No More

So the week after my extreme chicken out to grace the stage with karaoke greatness, I did it. I wasn’t drunk, but I signed up and sang a fun easy song that should (and did) engage the crowd. I started the song too early… and about half way into my performance, I started listening to myself and got really nervous. My voice started to shake and my whole body looked like a thermometer in the Texas heat, face to toes I was bright red. But I made it through, and I have to say, it was fun.

Thank you Joan Jett, I do love Rock and roll.

I’m still looking for more suggestions or just some input as to your favorite karaoke song.

-B

Great Big Chicken, Still a Karaoke Virgin

Monday night I was invited to go to Karaoke night at Sherlocks Pub in Arlington. The hubby was home and had some work to do so I decided, “What the hell, sounds like fun”. Now, I am a Karaoke virgin. I have never been before. I figured a couple of drinks and I’ll sing something. I know, I am a bit late jumping on this bandwagon. Karaoke has been popular for several years and there are places all over town that do this on a regular basis. I have just never been. Okay, so I’m gonna go… I love Rock Band and sing all the time, to a nearly ridiculous level, so this shouldn’t be a big thing right?

WRONG. I learned that when it comes to singing alone in front of a crowd of strangers, am the biggest chicken, pansy, yellow-bellied… whatever, you get the hint. Any cojones I had (or thought I had) quickly exited from the building as soon as I actually thought, I might, do this. Why? I’m not actually sure. I have no problem chiming in at the top of my lungs as long as others are singing. This is proven recently at my home, about 15 people belting out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to the point where all three of my dogs joined in with their howling interpretation of the group’s performance. We Rocked!! or at least it felt like we did at 2AM with a bit of  “enhancement” to our skills.

So, anyway. Monday night I attended karaoke and did not sing (boo hiss, yes, I know). However there were several in the group that, in my opinion, picked up that mic and… like they say up north, were WICKED HOT. Shout out to Patrice and her rendition of Erica Badu’s “Tyrone“, Brad with some Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life”, Carter doing “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt and an especially rockin’ ensemble performance of Grease Lightening lead “Danny Zuko“. Time’s like this make me curse the crappy video camera on my iPhone.

So after my personal failure to even try karaoke, I went out on YouTube to see what I could find. Here are a few (of many) karaoke videos out there, that I think are noteworthy (mostly because they are hilarious).

Simply the Best…. drunk woman doing Tina Turner I’ve ever seen

Stand By Your Man, sung by a big dude (comedian Richard Bain)

Even 6 year olds karaoke to Hanna Montana

Elvis lives singing Heartbreak Hotel on the internet

For those interested there are also instructional videos on how to create your own karaoke tracks (without the vocals) from your own music collection.

So… that’s it, next time, I, apparently one of the few remaining karaoke virgins left on the planet, will with the help of a little liquid inspiration… sing!

Now to pick a song 😮

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated (and maybe a kick in the pants). Please…