Monday, January 28, 2008

It's not easy being green...

But we're trying hard to do our thing for the environment. Besides it's getting critical for everybody to do their part here in the drought-land.

Sweetie set up our first rain barrel on Saturday. Maybe we'll have some rain before planting time. I've been keeping up my composting, although not so enthusiastically during the heat of the summer...we were gone a lot of the time anyway. But we'll have some rich soil for the garden if we can save up enough water to keep it going.

We're trying to do our part. Sometimes I forget in the middle of the night, and flush anyway.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Prequel?

One of the things on my New Year's todo list was to transcribe by sister LaVerne's book/novellas that contain a wealth of family history, and get her notes back to her. Some of it was typed, but she had a hard-drive crash a couple of years ago, and all she salvaged was the paper copy. I have completed scanning all of it, including the hand-written notes. I did the OCR thing on the typed pages.

I have read a some of it as I have been editing what the OCR gave me. It turns out to be a great story of survival of black people in the early days following slavery. Our mother told it to LaVerne over 50 years ago when she was fighting breast cancer. I have a picture in my mind of the two of them sitting under a tree in our back yard, Mother talking, LaVerne taking notes. I'm hoping that if I dig through my old photos, I can find something, some part of it that I can craft into that picture in my head.

I'm going to let this story lead me to where it wants to go. My sister will be 82 on her birthday next month. (I was born the year she graduated from college.) She and her husband are in relatively good health for a couple their age. LaVerne has the usual assortment of cardio-vascular ailments that plague all my siblings. Just before Christmas she was misdiagnosed and given the wrong medication that sent her into a downward spiral for a couple of weeks. It made her start talking about dying, but once she, on her own, decided to stop taking that medication she was back to herself in a couple of days.

Still, I'm going to try to get her to fill in as much of the story as I can. Maybe I can get it onto before her birthday, and give it to her as a gift.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Bucket List

My friend "Cool Like that" said, "We know we are all gonna die one day, so why not live each day checking off items on that list?"

If you have been following our travels, you know that Tinker and I are doing that in many respects. We have been to places I always wanted to see, and some places I never imagined I would see. I've seen some places that took my breath away, some less than 100 miles away. When it comes to travel there are some places in the world we would like to see, but because of wars and terrorism, they get moved from the top of the list. But if I had 6 months to live, what's a little danger. Hopefully somebody will send back my "Chock Full of Nuts" can to my survivors.

And then there are some high budget adventures that we talk about---"when we win the lottery," that are too pricey for our everyday travel budget. But if it comes down to 6 months, I'll be spending my children's inheritance!!

So here is today's version of my Bucket List

1. Visit the Holy Land

2. See The Pyramids of Egypt

3. Visit Nairobi, Kenya

4. Take a private jet to one of the above

5. Join the Mile-high club (#4 is a prerequisite....I wouldn't think of trying it on a commercial flight. The flight attendants have gotten a little testy about such things. Besides, I'm not as agile as I used to be.)

6. Invite all our immediate family: one remaining parent, siblings, children, and grands to join us on a Celebrity cruise where we would book the Presidential suite and enough other available suites to accommodate the whole crowd.

7. Finance the children's dreams. Movie Studio, Recording studio. If there was anything left for an inheritance, this is how they would spend it. This way I get to see it happen.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Look where he brought us from

I was thinking of writing this review before Obama won the Iowa caucus, but his success just adds to my contentment from Thursday.

Thursday we saw "The Great Debaters." My heart just swelled with pride over this film, a beautiful production by Denzel Washington, an inspiring story, and magnificent acting by it's young cast.

I could not have been more proud if they were my own children. I remember Jurnee Smollette as a little girl on television, and in Eve's Bayou. She was fantastic. And Nate Parker as Henry Lowe...he has that old soul look and talent. Denzel Whitaker as James Farmer Jr...I just wanted to pinch those chubby cheeks. He reminded me of a number of young brilliant teens who started college at such a tender age.

And the remember oppressive life under Jim Crow that only made us stronger when we knew exactly who the enemy was...we have come so far, but we have lost our way. I cried thinking how our young people today often don't measure up to our forebears who had it so much harder.

You must see this movie. I give it five stars.