What Makes Me Smile…

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’m going to share a photo that always brings a smile to my face.  As a professional photographer, I always get a kick out of those Facebook posts where adult siblings have recreated their childhood photos into a calendar for their parents (such as in the following links):




I always wish (out loud) that my kids would be inspired to do the same for me, but alas, they just aren’t that thoughtful.  *SIGH*

Anyway, one of my favorite photos of my son when he was little was one Easter morning when the Easter Bunny brought him a straw that was in the shape of eye glasses.  About ten years later, the Easter Bunny found a similar straw, and I was able to get the same photo again.  Now I can love it twice as much.  I hope the Easter Bunny is able to find this straw again by the time Jeremy nears the end of his twenties.  (Now, if only I can get my kids together to pose for eleven more photos, I can finally have that damn calendar!)

Time to talk:  Have you ever recreated a childhood photo?  Have you ever made your kids recreate a childhood photo?  Would you, too, love a calendar of recreated photos from your children’s youth?

Where Cats Hide

Have you ever seen the pet food commercial where the big dogs all think they are small dogs?

My daughter actually has a tiny dog that she carries around in a purse.  Her dog, Snowflake, is a cutie-patootie and is super smart as well.

However, that commercial reminds me of my cat, Dakota a/k/a Stewie.  Though Stewie is the youngest of my brood, he is far from being the smallest.  In fact, he weighs more than all but one of my five cat-kiddos.

Even so, Stewie considers himself to be a petite man, and he likes to think he can hide anywhere.  One of his favorite places to hide is in grocery bags.

Or if we have visitors who carry large handbags, he will sneak into them as well.

He doesn’t care that the bags don’t belong to his people.  He makes himself right at home.

Let’s talk:  Do you prefer a large purse or a small handbag?  Have you ever lost your pet in another person’s belongings?  What would you do if you found someone else’s pet in your purse after you left their house?

This Week, I Channel Harper Lee…

Remember back when I told you how I was writing, directing and producing some TV commercials for an attorney friend?  Well, today and tomorrow, we’re filming six more commercials.  All these commercials have a similar theme, and they start when he’s a child in the early 60s, and end in current times.

They’re part of a series, and we’re trying to make people look forward to the next one.  The best example of this I can think of is the Stove Top Stuffing commercials where the man dresses as a Pilgrim.  (Sadly, I can’t find any of them on YouTube anymore, so you’ll just have to see them next Thanksgiving if they show them again.)  Those always crack me up!

Today, we’re filming the actor who plays the attorney as a small child, and tomorrow, we’ll be filming the attorney in court.  Though due to the Florida Bar regulations, we’re not actually allowed to film him in a real courtroom.  As such, we had to rent out the old courthouse museum, and stage a courtroom there.

The courtroom we’ll be using was built in 1908, and it looks very much like the one in the movie version of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  In fact, the last couple of times we were there to inspect just how we’d have to set things up to film, I could swear I heard Gregory Peck whispering to me in the distance.  I’ll be sure to take photos so I can show you the real thing soon.

Time to talk:  Do certain TV commercials grab your attention more than others?  When you realize some commercials are part of a series, do you look forward to the next installment?

My New Friend

The town where I live, the town where I was born, is Lakeland, and it’s named for its many lakes.  In fact, our city’s symbol is the swan.  When I was a kid, I loved to go to one of our many lakes and feed the ducks.  I loved the ducks… the swans, not so much!   Swans are huge and aggressive, they hiss like dogs, and they bite!  And believe it or not, they do have teeth.

By the time I was a teenager, feeding the ducks was a thing of the past because it was lame.  Only the very young and the very old could appreciate feeding a bunch of birds.

Well, as it happens, a few months ago, I had a surplus of old bread, so I decided to take it to the lake and feed the ducks… and I loved it!  It was so relaxing, and it definitely made me forget my life’s troubles for the hour or so that I was there.  Since then, I’ve been collecting all the bird food I can, and I try to go feed them every week.  (So, I guess I’m now among the very old and lame.)

Anyway, the last time I fed the ducks, a handsome, grey goose wandered up to me to beg for some food.  The funny thing was, after I fed him, he stuck around and “posed” until I took his picture.

After that, he obviously wanted to check the camera and see how his portrait turned out.

Time to talk:  Have you ever gone to a lake for no other reason but to feed birds?  Have you ever had a wild animal latch onto you and try to be your new best friend?

Appreciate the Struggles

This is one of the most insightful bits of wisdom I’ve had the pleasure to read in quite a while. Thanks, Rhonda! 🙂

A Novel Journey


I heard something so profound today that I had to share it.

Where I work we had a White Dove releasing ceremony this morning for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The released doves represented and honored the victims we serve. The man who owns the doves told us that when he first began this work, when he saw the baby doves showing signs of hatching, he would often help them by ever so gently cracking open the egg-shell. The next day, those assisted doves died.

What he discovered is a lesson for living–and succeeding in–life.

He said that in order for the baby doves to survive, it’s necessary for them to go through the struggle and the work of pecking away at the egg in order to strengthen their muscles, particularly their neck muscles, to survive once outside the egg.

How true that is for all of us, not just the doves…

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All in all it’s just another brick in the…. closet door?

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’ll share with you one of the ways I used to exercise my creativity besides writing.  When I was fourteen, I loved the band Pink Floyd.  My favorite Pink Floyd album was “The Wall,” not necessarily because of the music, but I think because of the amazing double album cover art inside.

Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” cover art

As I’ve shared before, my grandparents raised me, and they were excessively strict when it came to the matter of me socializing with other people.  But when I asked my Granddaddy if I could paint The Wall on my double closet doors, he was more than happy to comply.  (Looking back, I now realize that was because he knew it would take me months to complete, and in that time, I’d be happy to stay home rather than asking constantly to go hang out with my friends.)

I started in June of that year, and didn’t finish until December.  It was not the easiest painting to replicate because my doors were different dimensions than a double album cover, and they also had panels in the middle that weren’t flat.

At any rate, at least once every couple of days, I had to walk to the art store to buy more acrylic paint.  (All told, I used over fifty bottles!)  But I always went straight home afterward and painted until bedtime.  (See, Granddaddy was right!)

About three years later, I really wasn’t much into Pink Floyd any longer, but I still planned on keeping my doors as they were the largest art project I’d ever done at the time.  However, when my daughter was small, my Grandma was babysitting her once and allowed her to scribble all over them.  And a few years later when my birth mom moved in with my Grandma, she painted over them without first asking me if I cared to keep them!  Regrettably, I only have one photo of my masterpiece, and that photo is grainy and has a glare.

MY Pink Floyd “The Wall” replica art closet

Time to talk:  What’s the largest art project you’ve ever undertaken?  Would you allow your child to paint a picture on their bedroom wall or door?  What’s your favorite Pink Floyd song?

The Itsy Bitsy Spider Climbed Up the Water Spout…


Last weekend, the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout… and then came my son and pulled the hose too hard and broke the water spout right off the side of the house, and water shot up into the air thirty feet high, and we had to cut the water to the house and follow the pipe into the garage and up into the ceiling, and replace tons of PVC pipe and fit couplings in all the places we cut it, and make sure it was sealed, and then wait six hours until we could turn the water back on, and it was nearly midnight before we could cook, brush our teeth, or use the bathroom again.


Time to talk:  So how was your weekend?  Did you ever have to replace a PVC pipe?  What was the biggest home repair you ever attempted without calling a professional?