Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Where Has Thise Year Gone?

We don't ever get any trick or treater around here. Maybe people are afraid of our dogs or maybe because it's kind of dark in our yard but we haven't had any kids come around in years.
A guy at work told me he lives in a community where kids line up to come to his house. They have to buy pounds of candy each year. We usually buy a few bags and then eat it ourselves over the course of a few weeks after Halloween.
People will be taking down their Halloween decorations this weekend and putting up Christmas decorations. I went in Wal-Mart yesterday and the garden center is now stacked full of Christmas tree lights, decorations, and other Christmas stuff. I am amazed at how quickly this year has flown by.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'd Miss the BBQ

I posted a lot of resumes this past month; one of which was on Yesterday I got a lady from Switzerland who was interested in interviewing me. Apparently they need someone to build end user training for their products. I'm guessing their demographics included the US and Canada because my online resume said nothing about speaking Swedish. I understand that most of those folks speak English but I image trying to do computer based training written in my native tongue might be a challenge. Kind of like trying to read the instructions for programming your DVD player. Those instructions were originally written in Chinese and translated into English. The pictures aren't that good either.
I did not respond back even though it looked like a great opportunity. Jilda would have enjoyed the cold, but I would have missed the BBQ and homemade biscuits.
There's a lot of government jobs out there but I understand they only review applications and resumes when Congress is in session and I was hoping for job in this decade.
Tonight at 7 p.m. was the last hour to get early retirement paperwork faxed into headquarters. As I mentioned before, I decided not to take early retirement and work for a couple more years. I should know this week if that's going to happen. After talking to my boss last week, I feel fairly confident that they will have a position for me. If not, I was looking for a job when I found this one....of course Jimmy Carter was in White House. Things could not have changed that much could they?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Strange and Wonderful Place

I had a doctor's appointment to renew the script for my meds and it was such a beautiful day I decided to call in drunk. I called my boss and told him I'd like to come to work but that I was drunk and therefore it would be ill advised to drive. He said "it is a pretty day to lay sorry, so take the rest of the day off." He knows me well enough to know that I was kidding but he was serious about me taking the afternoon off. He's a great guy and he knows he'll get the work out of me the first time we have a computer go down in the middle of the night.
I spent the day writing columns, letters, and doing research for some short stories that are in the hopper. I came across an incredible magazine about the south. It's called Oxford American and the contributors are some of the best writers on the planet who write about the south. I've said it before but it is written in the pages of this publication - the south is a strange and wonderful place.
I'm not sure if I have a shot at getting published in there but I know for sure I won't get published if I don't write something and submit it.
I should know this week whether I will continue to be employed next year so y'all keep your fingers crossed. As I mentioned before, I may have to travel more than I would like but all things happen for a reason. Perhaps there are things out there I still need to see.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Quick Gray Fox

A quick gray fox jumped across Arkedelphia Road. I know that's not the way your typing teacher taught you but it is what happened on the way home tonight. We had just left civilization up near Campbell's Airfield heading down the mountain when our lights froze the critter for a brief moment.
Sometimes it's hard to ID a small critter at night but the fox is fairly easy to spot. The color gray and the way our head lights hit this fox tonight made him look luminescent. The tail was the give-away because it was thick and bushy. They are beautiful creatures if you can ever get close enough to one to get a good look. Several years ago, I got close enough a few times to get a good look when they were eating my chickens.
I was beginning to worry about all the critters in the forest because it had gotten so dry but the recent rain helped a great deal and we are all thankful for that.
It's been a slow day here at the homefront so I'm going to sign off now.
Y'all have a great week.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Miniature Watson Biscuit Hound

I did a lot of fixin' around the house today. My office looked like a band of Gypsies were living there. I never actually saw them but it appeared they were leaving their stuff while they were out doing what Gypsies do.
I took a truck load of stuff Goodwill and Ol' Buddy was riding shotgun. A young girl/lady was at the place unloading the stuff her family had donated and she noticed Ol' Buddy sitting in the truck. "Oh, that's the cutest little dog," Ol' Buddy would cock his head to one side and then the other like the RCA Victor dog on the commercials when I was young. "What kind of dog is he?" she asked. I hated to tell her he was just a mutt so I told her he was a Miniature Watson Biscuit Hound.....and I didn't crack a smile. She looked at me and then at Buddy and said I've never seen one like him. "He's very rare," I expounded. "I had to pay for him on the installment plan. He was smuggled in from Asia at night on a shrimp boat. I pawned my piano and my riding lawn mower for a down payment to buy him," I said. I could tell her BS detector had not gone off yet so I trudged on.
"Yes they use these dogs in Kuala Lumpur to tree spider monkeys and to find lost children. It is believed that the Buddha owned a dog just like this one ."
I was on a roll and if I had a few more minutes I think I could have sold her an option to buy the next Miniature Watson Biscuit Hound smuggled into the country, but another truck pulled in behind me to do unload their stuff and I could tell that my yarn was over.
So me and Ol' Buddy drove off into the sunset and that girl was waving as we drove away. I really hope she doesn't Google Miniature Watson Biscuit Hounds because I'd hate for her to be disappointed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Psychedelic Leaves

The clouds lifted today and the sun came out in force this afternoon. The rain and cooler weather jump started the color in our autumn foliage so the drive home this evening was almost psychedelic.
I stopped at a country gas station this evening and a woman came out and pumped the gas. I was somewhat surprised because it has been years since someone else has pumped my gas. Once inside I saw the small station had floor to ceiling shelves and tons of groceries, batteries, household goods. I smelled like an old store - a little hint of ode de brown bag, vanilla flavor, with a suggestion of popcorn, and maybe fly paper. I bought fifty cents worth of Mary Jane's and almost yanked a jaw tooth out on the taffy treats.
I have some thinking to do this weekend because there are a number of options open to me on the job front. Behind one door I get to continue earning a check but I might have to travel a lot; behind another door there's no guarantee of a job but there is a handsome severance package (maybe); behind the other door there is a spider monkey with a loaded assault weapon and he knows how to use it. It's hard to know what to do so I plan to weigh out the pros and cons and meditate a great deal. In the end, I'm going to do what I feels right in my gut.
On the syndication front, there are a couple newspapers in North Carolina that are considering my columns for publication. I've got my fingers crossed that this dog will hunt. Believe me, when I reach critical mass on the number of papers running my column, I don't care if I have a day job or not. I can write from anywhere and maybe we'll get a chance to visit some of my blog buddies. I love Arizona and I've been wanting to go to England and Australia for a long time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thinking of My Friend

We were supposed to go to a Halloween party on Saturday night at the home of our friends Brenda and Danny. But Brenda called to tell us that Danny's brother passed away earlier today. When Jilda asked how he was doing, Brenda said that he was taking it really hard. Even though they lived some distance apart and rarely saw each other, it was still quite a blow. Both Jilda and I know the feeling. She's lost a brother and I've lost two.
When my father died, I was crushed but he had been ill for some time and I had begun mental preparations but when I got the call from the wife of my brother to say that he had died I simply could not believe it. And although it has been over ten years since he passed, I often think of him and his twisted sense of humor.
But tonight my heart goes out to my friend Danny. I will say a prayer that he has a safe trip and that he finds comfort with his family.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Top Ten Lists

OK, I'm drawing a complete blank tonight so I'm trying something I've never done before which is to do top ten lists of my favorite books, songs and movies.
10. On the Road - Jack Kerouac
9. 1776 - David McCulough
8. Atlas Shrugged - Ann Rand
7. Double Whammy - Carl Haaison
6. Black Cherry Blues - James Lee Burke
5. Rise and Fall of Alexandria - Justin Pollard & Howard Reid
4. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
3. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
1. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

10. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
9. Like a Rolling Stone - Dylan
8. Take it Easy - Eagle
7. Canon in D Major - Pachelbel
6. He Stopped Loving her Today - George Jones
5. Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones
4. Blowin' in the Wind - Dylan
3. Far From Me - John Prine
2. I Can't Help Falling In Love With You - Elvis
1. All Along the Watch Tower - Dylan

10. The Thomas Crown Affair
9. Forrest Gump
8. Phenomena
7. The Bishops Wife
6. Groundhog Day
5. A Good Year
4. Tender Mercies
3. The MatchMaker
2. Chocolate
1. For the Love of the Game

I reserve the right to change these when my mind starts working again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monkey Trouble

I read a strange story on the Internet today. It seems the deputy mayor of New Delhi, India died while fending off a pack of wild monkey's at his home in New Delhi. During the scuffle, he apparently fell off the deck of his home, hit his head and subsequently died from the injuries.
I know this is horrible but as I read this bit of information, I got an image of an angry spider monkey beating the stew out of this guy and it struck me funny....I told you it was horrible...but I spewed tea all over my computer monitor.
One news report said that "Devout Hindus believe monkeys are manifestations of the monkey god Hanuman, and feed them bananas and peanuts - encouraging them to frequent public places."
The city government has come under some pressure to rid the town of these panhandling anthropoids so they enlist the help of bigger and meaner monkey's. I guess they are like "pit monkey's" or something. But the langurs which are somewhat larger, apparently spank the smaller monkeys and keep them at bay.
It occurred to me that this would not be a problem where I come from. No sooner than you could say "maim that monkey", one of these good ol' boys around here would have that primate drawn and quartered and placed on a BBQ grill with a banana in his mouth.
We live in a strange world.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thankful For Every Drop

We had Monday night Yoga tonight and we drove through pouring rain. It's been so long since it last rained that I had forgotten how to turn on the windshield wipers. When we got to the community center the wind had the American flag at attention and the hoist ropes were clanging off the steel pole.
We sat under the drive through portico, rolled down the windows and listened to the rain. The wind out of the south blew a fine mist in my face and it felt heaven.
When I was in Panama it stayed hot and muggy most of the time. You never really got accustomed to the heat - it was like having a constant fever. Then one day I was riding my motorcycle across the Isthmus to visit friends on the other side of the country (about 50 miles) and it began to rain. Most of the time when it rained in Panama, a showers would blow up off the Pacific, soak everything, and the ten minutes later the sun was back out and it felt like a steam room. But this rain was different. The skies grew dark and the birds retreated to the jungle and the rain fell hard for many days. It was the only time I can ever remember being cold while I was there.
I know this rain will not replace the rain we have missed this year, but I am thankful for every drop.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

All Ears

I'm trying to self syndicate my column to as many newspapers as possible. I spent last few days compiling an email list of all the papers in Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi. The goal is to get the addresses for Georgia, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Kentucky and Arkansas. I expect that will be upwards of a thousand newspapers. It's hard to know the best way to approach the decision makers at these papers. What makes them tick? Another concern is that I have no way of knowing how my columns will be received outside of Walker County. I've had a lot of people tell me the odds are against me but I've got to give it a shot.
I have recommendations from a number of people in the business and I'm working on a cover letter that is both catchy and compelling. I think if I can get them to read a few columns, I'll have a chance of getting published elsewhere.
If anyone out there has any words of advice, I'm all ears. I'm headed into uncharted territory and I can use all the help I can get.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

LA Plan

We're getting cranked about out trip to LA next month. We downloaded a list of keynote speakers, workshops, and specs on the networking sessions. There will be a lot of people there and the open mic slots are by drawing. Since we are lucky we figure they will draw our names so we assume that we'll be chosen :)
When you have been writing songs as long as we've been writing it's hard to whittle it down and decide which songs to do. We've been practicing for most of the day.
Jilda came up with a great idea for packaging our stuff. Our cottage business is called HomeFolk. We have old business cards with the logo hand stitched and it looks really cool. I think we are going to do labels for all our Cd's and Bio folders in that motif. We'll probably do our photographs is sepia tone and do the bio's on parchment paper. The idea is to set our stuff apart from the hundreds of other writers. Time will tell if the strategy works but for now it's a lot of fun working on the plan.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Love a Parade

Today was homecoming at the school where I graduated and I always take vacation the day of the parade so that I can shoot pictures. Today the weather was "picture perfect". By the time I got down to the school, the parade route was packed with people. East Walker is not highly populated but I think everyone turned out today.
I walked up and down the road shooting groups of kids and their families. When the parade started, it was like a circus. People riding in the parade threw handfuls of candy to the kids watching from the side of the road. The high school parade turns out all the police as well as fire and rescue personnel. They keep their sirens blaring as they snake down the parade route. My ears are still ringing.
I shot close to two hundred pictures today and posted them on the Dora sight.
You can see the photos by going to:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Missed Opportunity

I left work a little late this evening and the clouds out of the southwest looked angry. As I came over the mountain and headed downtown Birmingham, I saw a double rainbow that looked as big as an Interstate highway. It stayed in view and I kept trying to get over to the side of the road to shoot a picture but a woman talking on a cell phone foiled my attempt. When I slowed down, she slowed down. When I speeded up, she speeded up. I don't think she wasn't trying to be mean, she was oblivious to her surroundings. I guess she was slowing and speeding up because I was. Probably some cellular defense mechanism. Anyhow, I missed the shot. By the time I got around her and looked for a place to safely pull over, the sun went down behind the bank of dark clouds and snuffed out the rainbows like turning off a light switch.
There is a chance the weather may get nasty later tonight so I'm battening down the hatch and securing garbage cans and other objects that could become missiles in a stiff wind.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Daisies On a Fence

I do the website for the Blackwater Bluegrass Festival and their fall festival was last weekend. I went out on Friday night and Saturday morning to shoot some photographs. On the way to the festival I came across an incredible field of wild yellow daisies.
I stopped in the middle of the two lane road to shoot this picture. A van full of bluegrass lovers were headed to the festival and I had to wave them around my truck.
Most travelers would have been annoyed, but bluegrass folks are a gentle breed and they slowed down a little to enjoy the view too.
It was a gift made more vivid by the warm autumn sun overhead. I've tried to transplant some of these daisies to the farm but they have a mind of their own and won't grow just anywhere no matter how badly you want them to.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Am I Alone?

The space between my ears is kinda like one of the black holes in space that is so dense that light cannot penetrate...except it's thought that can get through my think skull. I can almost hear the pinging sound of ideas as the bounce off my brain and head back out into the ether seeking a more hospitable environment to lay down roots.
I have no idea what causes this phenomena inside my head. I don't think I'm dehydrated and the moon is waxing - no where near full. I have not read anything about sun spots and my friend that yammers endlessly about Rush Limbaugh is on vacation this week so I can rule that out.
Does anyone else experience this or I'm I flying solo here? I'd really like to believe that I'm not alone here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Slowing Down to Smell the Asphalt

I was blowin down highway 331 on Saturday after the Tide squeaked out a victory over Old Miss. We were listening to Paul Thorn at levels normally associated with permanent ear damage. We had gone through Brantley and the stretch where the speed limit is 65 and was in no man's land in Crenshaw County before getting to Luverene. I was leading a pack of five cars and we were all hanging pretty tight. The speed limit dropped to 55 and before the Volvo coasted to an acceptable speed, we met an oncoming Luverne City cruiser. Upon reflection, had I been driving 65, I would probably have been closer to a more suitable speed when "THE MAN" drifted into view but I was actually going closer to 75 and had just eased down to a more sedate 71 by the time the radar waves struck my windshield and reported my infraction to the detection device. I saw him hit the brakes and make a u turn. The good people who were following at the same speed I was traveling were kind enough to pull to the side and let him catch up to me - citizenship at its best.
I felt a little goofy sitting there on the side of the road with the cruiser behind with those annoying blue lights throbbing. Jilda slide down in the seat to avoid those accusing stares from the locals who happened by. "I betcha he'll slow down next time he comes through Luverene," I could almost hear one of the gawkers say.
I'm dreading the call to the courthouse. "Yes Mr. Watson our computers have been working overtime to calculate the correct cost of your fine. You'll be happy to know that thanks to your visit to our fine city, we'll now be able to build that new school we've been planning for so many years." Glad I could help judge.
Of course the only things that travels faster than gossip, which actually travels faster than the speed of light, is the report of a traffic violation to my insurance company.
"Oh, I see here Mr. Watson you got a speeding ticket, you may want to consider a second job to pay your auto insurance for the next few years."
Anyway, I've been very mindful of my speed the last few days. I am slowing down to smell the asphalt.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fun with Music

My eyes look like Alabama road maps this evening. We didn't get in bed until after 2 a.m. and when the morning sun hit the bedroom window, my eyes were wide open again. Not sure if that's a flawed gene I inherited from my dad or what, but no matter how late I get to bed, I wake up with the sun. My friend Joe at works says I need to check into getting that fixed.
I love playing music with my friends, especially when there is an audience that appreciates music. We played old standard songs, new songs as well as original songs we have written over the years. I've learned that the only way you can tell if anything is good is by the reaction you get when you perform songs. You expect your friends to be kind but when you play for people you don't know, it's a better gauge.
Last night there was a crew of folks we had never met before and they were very complementary.
Anyhow, I'm tired and it will be an early night tonight, but we are both still buzzing from the fun we had.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I let the time slip up on me tonight. We are spending the evening with our friends Wes and Deidra. It's his birthday and we've spent the evening playing old songs. It's been a ton of fun.
I'll try to do a better update tomorrow.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Is the camera an amazing invention or what? I went to the Dora game tonight and to be honest, this has not been a banner year for the Dawgs, but when I went into the stands during half-time, as is my routine, to shoot pictures of the crowd, everyone had big ol' smiles on their faces. (Now there is a good example of a sentence that just would not end.)
The fun part of being a webmaster, to me, is when I get to go to games, parades, or festival and shoot pictures of folks. When I start editing the photos to go on the site, it always brings a smile to my face. Are these girls up to something or what?
What a hoot.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Respect for the Dead

My folks were in to life lessons and they never missed a chance to teach. My mama loved Christmas because of the looks on the faces of us kids when we opened our presents. She made a big to do every year for our birthdays, cooking our favorite dish and baking our favorite kind of cake. She also never let a death pass unhonored. If someone in the community passed away, the family of the deceased had better make room on their tables and refrigerators because a mountain of food was coming. And in the days before funeral homes became common, it was customary for the families to "bring the body home" for the viewing. I know she sat with grieving families through the night.
I remember one time when a neighbor died and was to be buried at the Davis Cemetery. My dad went down to help dig the grave. There were no backhoes or other digging machines available so the hole had to be dug by hand with picks and shovels.
I could not have been much older than ten years old at the time. The grave plot was on the side of one of the steep banks and when we arrived, the digging had already begun.
There was eight or ten other men from the community there and they would take turns digging in the clay and shell rock which is common to that area.
Some men dug and the others would sit around the excavation, pass a jug of whiskey and tell stories about the deceased. Some of the stories were funny but others were more solemn. I did not see tears but it was obvious the deceased was loved, though he would never have heard those words from these men had he lived a million years old.
It was hard work but I never once heard a complaint. It was not only a duty, but an honor to dig the grave of a lifelong friend. When it came my turn to dig, I jumped in the hole and shoveled for a long time and listened and the stories were told. When I got out of the hole I sat on the edge and took it all in. Just then the jug was passed to me. I was surprise and did not quite know what to do but my dad nodded at me and I touched the whiskey to my lips. It burned like kerosene and I quickly wiped my mouth on my sleeve but none of the men there seemed to notice my reaction.
It felt like a rite of passage that day and I learned some things -
People show their respect for the dead in interesting ways
And you'd better have a stomach lined with tin if you drink much whiskey

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


SINUS HEADACHE. Nothing in this head tonight except high quality pain. Not quite as good as a tooth ache, but slightly better than a ear ache. I figure if you're going to have a pain, why not have a good one. As they say, "you can't fly on one wing."
Maybe I'll have room for something tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Perils of Walking in Autumn

The hummingbirds have already headed south for winter and autumn color is slowly seeping in but it’s hard to imagine fall when it’s hot as a skillet outside.
The other morning as I drove down the Empire Road I passed an old barn in a meadow and the old fencerow was covered with honey suckle vines. Along the barbed wire and half-rotted cedar posts was a stand of golden rod and sumac – the color was stunning. Out in the pasture there was a light mist hovering over the sage and bitter weed giving the cows and mules an ethereal appearance. I wanted to take a photograph but I had early morning commuters on my bumper and there was no place to pull off safely so I took a mental snapshot, which was almost as good.
I am ready for the weather to get cooler because I love walking on cool crisp autumn mornings. The dogs are always waiting at the gate when I step out the back door and are jumping up and down with pure unadulterated joy. The instant I open the gate it’s like being at Greentrack except my dogs head off in every direction like chickens with their heads cut off.
I do not worry about snakes much when the weather cools, but spiders are a different story all together. It seems they find any open space in the woods and weave a web big enough to snag a quail. They must import silk from China.
You haven’t lived until you are on a peaceful walking meditation one morning out in the woods as the morning light filters through the orange, gold and crimson foliage. You feel as if you are walking through the Garden of Eden when all of a sudden, whack – you have a face full of finely spun silk and a spider on your head that feels as big as a kitten. When this occurs, you tend to do some interesting evasive maneuvering. On a walk last fall, my wife Jilda got a face full of web and a spider on her head. She too had some interesting moves but hers were accompanied by – who, who, who, who, who, who, who, and followed by GET THIS @#$#$ $%%^^%$ ##% ^&& THING OFF OF ME!!!!!!!!!!!!
After she stopped swearing and her blood pressure fell below 1000/1000, she waxed philosophical. "You know, I know these things have a right to be here, but I wish they were all somewhere else – like on W’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. I thought to myself, that would have certain symmetry to it.
When I told this story to a woman at work, she said “when are y'all gonna move”, as if the walk to the barn was out of the question after the encounter with the spider.
I'm sitting on the screened-in porch right now as I write this column and off to the west, the sun is behind the clouds and the sky is the color of butterscotch. Up in the corner of the porch is a tangle of cobwebs catching the fading light which makes it look like cotton candy. Sitting right here and now, I actually consider them a gift.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Be Happy

It's still hot here in Alabama but the days are getting shorter. The hummingbirds have already headed south for winter and autumn color is slowly seeping in.
This morning as I drove down the Empire Road I passed an old barn in a meadow. The barbed wire fence was covered with honey suckle vines and on this side of the fence was a stand of golden rod. There was a light mist hovering over the sage and bitterweed giving the cows in the pasture an ethereal appearance.
I would have tried to take a photograph but there was no place to safely pull off and I had early morning commuters on my bumper so I took a mental snapshot which was almost as good.
The weatherman says the nights will be much cooler toward the end of the week. I'm hoping the change in temperature brings a little rain. It's still dry as talcum powder around here.
There wasn't a lot of work getting done today because everyone was updating resumes and checking out websites for leads on jobs. The good news is - there seem to be a good many jobs out there. Maybe folks won't make what they currently make but at least they can keep food on the table till they find something better.
I chose not to participate in company bashing anymore. It does absolutely no good and everybody goes around in a sour mood. I've been going around smiling all day. I think people either think I have a job to fall back on or perhaps I have some really good drugs.
I currently don't have either but I've made up my mind to be happy - no matter what.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


My face is lobster red today from all the time in the sun yesterday. Jilda was much smarter (as always) because she slapped on the sun screen before we left for the festival. She chided me this morning as we drank our coffee. That's OK, I deserved to be chided.
The only time our family went to Florida on vacation was when I was about seven years old. We stopped at one of those roadside attractions on highway 98 there in Florida and I remember mountains of sea shells. I also remember the salty smell of the breeze that blew out of the south and sound of the gulf.
We stayed in a small cottage on the west end of Panama City Beach and I remember I got a lot sand in my shorts when I played in the roaring surf. My dad went out on one of those 1/2 day charter fishing excursions and brought back a cooler full of grouper and amberjack. The sky was overcast that first day and we played at the beach until it was too dark to see and then headed back to the cottage. Mother cooked up a batch of fried fish and we ate ourselves into a stupor. The next day much to our dismay, the fam went on a sight seeing trip and spent most of the day in the car. It felt like we drove all the way to Key West. As we motored down the coast highway, I looked longingly out the glass of the back door at the emerald water a few hundred feet away.
On day three we headed back to the beach about 10 a.m. The idea was to spend the day having fun in the sun like the kids on the postcards we had bought. After several hours in the gulf coast sun we all looked like we had spent time in a microwave. My mom and all of us kids got BLAZED!
The next day of the vacation was not a happy day for the Watson family. All us kids were in varying stages of exquisite pain. My mom was not that sympathetic because she was burned worse than we were.
Needless to say, we cut the vacation short and spent the next six or seven hours in pure sunburn Hades. If one of us kids brushed up against another it was followed by a blood curdling scream and subsequent ominous threats from the front seat.
We finally made it home but my mother and older brother had big honkin' water blisters forming all over their backs and shoulders. My sister and I both have complexions much like our dad's and while we were red, we didn't shed our skin like a year old snake.
Most of my family went back to Florida many times in our lives, but my mother never went back.
When we went by to see my mom this afternoon she asked me how I got burned. I told her I'd been at the festival all day without sunscreen. I remembered this vacation story and asked her if she'd like to go to the beach. She shook her head adamantly and said "no, I went once and I don't care to go back."

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Frog Festival

I got toasted at the Frog Festival today. We played early but since I do the website for the festival, I stayed around a shot pictures for several hours. Jilda was a trooper but buy the time we got home this afternoon, she was wilted.
We played at 10:15 and we were through by lunch so we walked up the streets and got a Bar-b-que rib sandwich and cold co~colas right out of an icy cooler -yum. Those ribs were some kind of good. After lunch when the heat index got slightly hotter than hell, we went over a got us a snow cone. Jilda got a tangerine/peppermint and I got the dreamcicle. I felt like a kid again.
Speaking of kids, the ones shown here were having a large time.
I'm too pooped to pop now so I think I'm going to cut this post short and go take a nap. Festivals wear me out.
You can see all the pictures from our small town festival by clicking here:

Friday, October 05, 2007


Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement. I know that our future will be fine. The trick now is to not settle. I know the things I enjoy and it is my intention to do those things.
Jilda and I plan to spend the weekend (after the Frog Gig tomorrow) making lists of the things we want to accomplish and then we will map out our journey.
Not a lot of work got done today. Everybody was on the company's website that lists job openings. There are a lot of jobs listed because its an international company but none of the jobs are in Birmingham. They were also talking to accountants, financial planners, and updating resumes.
The next several weeks will be quite interesting.
Again, that's for all your support.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Next Phase

We got the news today at work. AT&T is terminating my company's contract. Our leadership team has few answers about when each individual group will be affected. So it is no longer if, but when. There were a few hundred people in the room this morning and another couple hundred on the phone and everyone was in a state of shock. Believe it or not, a feeling of relief drifted over me and I have no idea why. I assume it is my guardian angel telling me that things will be OK.
I know deep down that we will be fine. I think it's time to do something that really makes me happy.
My blog friend Ms. AB Soup just went through something that was not unlike what we will be going through the next few months. She lives in Australia and instead of moping around, she boarded a flight for Canada and is taking a good long holiday. I got a card from her recently and she sounded like she was having the time of her life.
We have plane tickets and a room booked for a music conference in LA next month. Jilda asked if we should cancel the trip. I did not hesitate in my response - no way are we canceling. Not only are we still going, but we may extend our trip and drive up the coast to Vancouver, Canada.
But it is my intention to move into the next phase of my life where I do something meaningful for my family, friends, the planet.....and me. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


My friend at work was really sad today. Her youngest son went for his physical in Montgomery today and he called at lunch to say he was officially in the Air Force.
She had been all gung how for him going into the military because he seemed to be drifting aimlessly but I warned her when it came time for him to leave that it would be hard on her. She didn't believe it. She has two other sons neither served in the military so she didn't have a point of reference but she told me today that I had been right.
She was right in one sense. The military builds men (and women). You go in as a kid and you come out all grown up. But these are treacherous times for our young folks. I read that a soldier from Alabama died in Iraq yesterday. When you sign on the dotted line, that's part of the package. There is a good chance you will be put in harm's way. I said a little prayer for my friend, her son and all the folks in uniform. I hope we can find a way to bring them home soon.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Early Night

I've been slaving over a hot computer all day and my nerves are at wits end. I was given a twelve day project this morning and it's due tomorrow evening. The request came to him from the customer and when my boss asked me if it could be done, I took a deep breath and said "for you the world." He's a good guy and he's trying to keep us all employed. It's the least I can do.
He has been wound tighter than a cheap banjo lately and I can not imagine the pressure he's under. I just want to tell him "boss, it's just a job, it's not worth your life." Hopefully we'll all survive.
I for one am whupped and I'm going to bed early tonight.

Monday, October 01, 2007


As the sun set tonight big white fluffy clouds posed in front of a cerulean sky. When the sun sank down below the horizon, the clouds turned a thousand colors of peach/orange/cayenne. At one point it looked like the gardener in the sky turned over a terrace row of embers from the dying coals of a winter fireplace. Tonight was one of those rare times I left my camera home. I should have known better and in fact I'm turning over some old ground myself because I said last year that I wasn't going to do that again.
Today is the first day of October. It's hard to believe but you know it's true because you can almost feel the days getting shorter. This morning when I walked out on the deck, I was glad I had slipped on a long sleeve shirt and my yoga pants. I stood out there while the coffee was brewing and watched the stars disappear into the coming dawn. I love that time of day.
We ran by Lowe's over the weekend looking for some new stuff for the house and we picked up a Farmer's Almanac on the way out. The publication has been around in some form for hundreds of years. I think Ben Franklin printed one of the first ones but I could be wrong. This year the almanac predicts snow for the south in December, January and February.
The almanac not only forecasts the weather with uncanny accuracy, but it also tells you when to do your planting throughout the year. Both our grandmother's followed the "signs" religiously. My great grandmother Watson was a gardener extraordinaire though her plots were much smaller by the time I came along. When the little booklet told her the time was right, she planted green beans along the south end of her little house and they provided green beans for the entire community throughout the summer.
I think we are going to follow in their footsteps this next year and see if our yield is better. I'll let you know if it works.

Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required