Heartbeat

I stand in the presence of a memory

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Wishing it were my own.

It feels as though it is somehow.

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Every step brings me closer, every breath becomes one with the pulse of Mother Earth.

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And then I am there, magnificence reaching toward the sky.

Step by step, towards the summit I climb..

 

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Imagine a world where survival means community

and days unfold as a green, gold and azure panorama..

 

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The sky above, the grass below, as life moves in between.

Danger lurks in shadows in the form of angry beasts!

Eat or be eaten as days fade into night.

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There is great comfort in knowing how the river flows,

its winding path and where it goes.

Can you imagine a world not knowing what lay ahead?  Such peace can only be found in oblivion. And beauty.

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Would that we still slept, dreaming perfection in Spirit’s web of bright Creation.

If we knew, would we have changed a thing?

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I like to think so….

Photos were taken on a recent day trip to the Etowah Archeological Site and Museum near Cartersville, GA. It was simply beautiful and peaceful there.

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Culture in Cartersville/#Free48

Well, it’s been a couple of weekends since we had a real adventure, so I bribed the Navigator with a bacon and eggs breakfast to go with me to Cartersville to the Booth Western Art Museum located in Cartersville, Georgia.  Someone who works there recently told me about it and kindly gave me a complimentary pass. If you go to the link, there is a nice virtual video that is a perfect short version walk through of most of the interior.

From the official website:

Open since 2003 and located just north of Atlanta along I-75, the Booth is the largest museum of its kind in the Southeast and an Affiliate to the Smithsonian Institution. At 120,000 square feet, the Booth is an architectural wonder – designed to resemble a modern pueblo and constructed from Bulgarian limestone. The Booth’s permanent collection of Western art, Presidential portraits and letters, and Civil War art allows visitors to “See America’s Story” – the land, people, struggles, dreams, and legends – in paintings, sculpture, photography and artifacts. Sagebrush Ranch is an award-winning, hands-on experience and interactive children’s gallery.

Booth Museum was started by a family who call Cartersville home and have been Western art collectors for many years. It was their wish to share their art with the community, particularly young people who might not otherwise be exposed to art. The Museum was named for Sam Booth, a good friend and mentor to the founders of the Museum. Booth Western Art Museum is operated under the umbrella of Georgia Museums, Inc., which also includes Tellus Science Museum, Bartow History Museum and, coming soon, Savoy Automobile Museum.

While the affiliate museums are in close proximity to the Booth, we spent so much time enjoying the exhibits there, visiting another would not have been possible in one day for us.  There simply is so much within the museum walls to appreciate, from traditional Western lore, historical rendition and education, to contemporary interpretation and photography of nature, blues and country legends and fans. There is a wonderful collection of Indigenous Sculptures, most based on famous paintings by George Caitlin.

 

 

The very first thing we saw was this, Dan Antion.

The paintings were truly amazing in all forms of expression, from those that looked like photographs to the modern art interpretations.  There are too many to share individually here but below I will post a slide show of my favorites, most of which are sculptures.  This giant sculpture was perhaps my favorite in the museum.  From the front it is moving and impressive….

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But when I stepped behind the sculpture and saw the back of the figure, I was overcome with emotion.

Later, when we stepped outside to view the panorama of sculptures in the rear of the museum, I looked up and was struck by the stark symbiotic nature of the image I saw.

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I will also feature separately my second favorite sculpture, The Eagle Catcher.  The detail is amazing and the effect of living action is perfect.

 

 

I have very mixed emotions when viewing the history of the Civil War.  I value the dedication of the human beings who fight for what they believe in while also feeling it is the greatest shame of our country to have fought amongst ourselves so much as to go to war, often killing their own neighbors’ children and one another.  That we valued controlling lives more than preserving life is our greatest shame. I fear the same sentiment rising within the people again and it breaks my heart.  History can’t be erased but it should be learned from.

I did find these paintings to be amusing, being from Louisiana.  Leave it to those guys to add flair to the fight.

 

 

 

I loved this museum and recommend to add it to your list if you have the time.  Your children should experience it as well. There is an interactive ranch room on the ground floor designed just for the little ones.  No adult is allowed in it without having a child in accompaniment as well. I hope you enjoy the slide show and the music.  Clicking on any photo will produce the full size render and holding over any photo will show any captions I added.  Hope you are all enjoying your #Free48! See something new, have a happy thought, be free.

 

 

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Then we headed to Acworth for some seafood at Henry’s Lousisiana Grill. More on that excursion later.

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The Messengers/#Free48

Today was such a beautiful day I had the urge to get out and explore, take photos and just get lost in history.  At first I thought of a church tour but there are just too many here.  The Georgia skyline is literally dotted with steeples. So, I began checking historic churches, which led to historic buildings, then narrowing it down to nearby cities and finally I hit a winner.

 

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This visit was not about patriotism or politics but about my love of cemeteries.  There is so much history written on grave stones and in the case today, much more that was left unsaid on the unmarked stones of the soldiers who fell in the battles around the cemetery.  So many were never identified and lay in graves there, acknowledged in the only way humanly possible without the  modern science techniques we use today.

Another thing that I love to see when I visit a cemetery is the birds that live there, so often lighting on the head stones and posing there or squawking until I take a photo. Many indigenous peoples have beliefs that include birds being messengers from the Spirit world. I like to feel this is true.  If it is, then there were a lot of messages coming at me today.  Here are the best of the images I got while we walked around.

 

 

If you hold your finger on the bottom of the photo you may find a caption!

It was getting late, so we headed over to the second stop on our excursion.  This one should catch your eye, Dan. I think it was your kind of place.  😉

 

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I have more photos but not enough time to edit and put them in this post. I also feel this might be one of the best put together museums that I have ever visited.  It truly warrants its own post when I have the chance.  Meanwhile, here are a few of the highlights.  If you are ever in Kennesaw, and if you love trains or history, be sure to stop by.

 

 

Then we were hungry so headed in search of food. We found a new little place called The Nest and grabbed some cold beer and Barbecue.  I had mine in tacos.  I hope your Free48 was beautiful.  Got a busy week ahead so you may not hear from me for a bit.  Have a great week and stay cool, in all ways. 😎

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In Search Of Brilliance

It has been a practice of mine for quite some time now to seek out small miracles which can turn things around-a moment, a day or an event which otherwise seems bleak. The last few weeks have been very trying and painful for my family in many ways; and although I am not right there with them physically, my heart still aches and longs to turn things around and make life beautiful again for everyone, so thoughts and prayer must suffice in this moment.

I also had a birthday over the past #Free48. My ‘Birthday Buddy’, my son who shares the same birthday, was not here this year and that added to the prospect of a bleak celebration. But, as is always the case, Nature stepped up to the plate and presented me with some magnificent bits of brilliance to say, “Happy Birthday!”.

With well wishes from friends and phone calls from loved ones, including a birthday song from the grandkids, it was-as always-a special day.

This early gift from my sweet sister kicked things off!

 

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Thank you Omaha!

All I really cared about was getting outside to take some photos and having a nice meal somewhere that someone else cooked. 😉My dear hubby, as always, was a willing partner and smiled through it all-even the humidity. It really wasn’t too bad in the early part of Sunday. Here are some of my favorite things from our excursion.

 

 

 

 

 

Then I heard it. That familiar cry that sends me running like a crazed shopper on Black Friday. There is no mistaking a hawk’s screech. When we turned around there was a huge one flying low across the front of the property with its lunch in its claws. Seeing where it lit, I stealthily crept over to stand beneath the tree for some photos. I will spare you the gore (in this post) but it always amazes me to watch these birds methodically eat. He left nothing behind either, not a hair. We looked it up later to find this was a juvenile 😱 Broad Winged Hawk.

 

 

 

 

Please don’t tell Zippy! 🙊🙈He showed up to say Happy Birthday too!

 

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I got my dinner out at Yardhouse. Plus a free birthday dessert! So yummy.

 

 

 

 

And yesterday there were a few more surprises from friends at work. And hubby stepped with a few surprises he said he didn’t have time to get over the weekend with me hanging around. 😉 He’s so good to me.

 

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Publix Fudge Cake! Oh my….
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These are a few of my favorite things….
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This lady and I usually share a burrito like this on Fridays. This one was all mine! The flowers came from her beautiful yard!

 

This?

 

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A gift from my oldest. A hands free gadget for my crafts, like jewelry making. I think it looks like Doc Oc from Spiderman! 😀 I thought you’d like it, Dan!

Well, there it is. Brilliant Birthday. I hope everyone has a better than anticipated week. Ours begins with a no tolerance hands free cell phone law in place. Should be high revenues for the state of Georgia! 😏

Hugs! 💕

This was in my head when I woke up. Now it can be in yours too!

Time in a Bottle

One of my favorite Jim Croce songs states, “If I could make days last forever. If words could make wishes come true, I’d save every day like a treasure and then-again-I would spend them with you.”

It is a blessing, in life, to have someone you feel this way about. In good and bad times, to realize you wouldn’t give up any days spent with them, but merely try to change the way some may have been miss spent.

Sometimes a day begins on a less than brilliant note but ends spectacularly. Those days are especially nice because I love surprises!

The #Free48 started out with a Friday fun afternoon at a new venue near the house. We thought #Baddaddysburgerbar was pretty cool, from the Badass Margaritas (of which they only allow 2 per person) to the wide variety of freshly styled burgers and hand cut fries. So good! The homemade chips were crispy and not greasy. We will definitely go back. There’s a whole menu to try!

 

(Touch any photo for the description)

 

 

Then there was Saturday…low key, projects, a bit of housework and cooking a weekend meal.

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I just had to work on jewelry projects
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Braised Pork chops, baked sweet potato, peas and Olive Oil Muffins.
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These muffins are so good! I found the recipe from David Lebovitz’s blog awhile back and saved the link. I finally dug in and gave it a whirl. Can you smell the orange?

Check out David’s recipe for Olive Oil Muffins

Sunday promised to be a beautiful day and we headed up to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to a small German influenced town called Helen. Here comes the disappointment moments….it was less than even underwhelming, mostly due to a sense of apathy among the vendors there. It seemed as though we had stepped back in time, but it was frozen somewhere in the 70’s along with all of their merchandise and venues. The buildings are quaint and stylish, and there is a cute little park as well; but it took us approximately 45 minutes to walk around and fear we had made the two hour drive for naught. Thankfully, we had to drive to the other side of town when we first arrived, making sure we parked in the best spot, and spotted a state and national park sign worthy of a second look.

We did stop in an ‘authentic’ German restaurant/bakery where we snagged a cream puff. What can I say? I have certainly made tastier treats. The pastry was dry and the cream was only whipped cream-and unsweetened at that. So disppointing.

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Authentic German styling
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Even a windmill!
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This little waterfall was in the patk
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We always enjoy a good pastry. Too bad it was mediocre.

So, quick as that, we headed to the far end of town and followed the brown park signs to Unicoi State Park and Anna Ruby Falls National Park. Hubby has a lifetime pass to all national parks so we ended up getting in totally free! Yippee!!

Talk about worth the wait. It was about a mile walk uphill to the falls and the view along the way was beautiful, cascading water at every turn. I knew the moment I saw this beauty that we were where we should be.

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I so wish I could live here. One of the best things was the way the air got cooler the higher we walked. At one point it felt like a blast of air conditioning wafted down the hillside.

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I loved these huge rock formations and hidden passageways.

Then we reached the top! It was so lovely. We have seen larger falls but this place has its own special charm.

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The view was breathtaking
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If only I could stay…
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That smile is genuine. Me and water and the woods make a happy trio!

Reluctantly, we headed back down the hill and made our way to the parking lot.

Our day was exhilarating. From expectant to disillusioned to thrilled.

 

 

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What’s not to love about this drive?

We had one more stop to make.

 

 

 

How is that for a #Free48?

As I said before…..

Lonesome/#NationalTrainDay

I want to express my sincerest apologies to all train enthusiasts out there. My yesterday got away from me with a mere nod to one of my blogging friend’s favorite events of the year! So, Dan. I am very sorry, sir. I am behind my times.

 

 

I was making merry in my way yesterday, getting things done and feeling happy; and that is sufficient unto itself, as is said. As I sit here in my room, listening to the train that rolls by several times a day, I am thankful for such small pleasures. It is a bit sad that they are apparently not allowed to blow the whistle while traveling through this area, but the low rumbling of the cars on the rails is still most comforting to me as I wonder where she has been and where she is headed.

I am posting just a few of my most recent train photos, although I have so many over the years and not the time to peruse my archives.

I can only think of one person who aptly expresses my emotions when I see, hear or step aboard a train. Have a listen to Hank’s rendition as you look at my little collection.

 

 

 

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This photo is cool because the man who took the photo said the train was pulling all engines and they were  all  running a once, making a thunderous sound. You can read about the city of Austell’s founder Alfred Austell, here.  

 

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I will hopefully be posting separately for Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, I have fun plans for the day with one of my sons. I hope all of you find a way to honor the mother influences in your lives, both within and without.

Happy #Free48!