Sunday, December 23, 2012

On the Other Hand...

At the risk of seeming completely crazy, and because I have received so many encouraging comments and suggestions regarding my blog, including some prodding from my husband, I have decided not to totally "retire" from blogging, but just to put things on hold, and post when I feel I have something interesting to contribute.

Thank you to all who made the suggestions, and made me feel that I would be missed. long post today.  Just a heartfelt thank you, and a Very Merry Christmas to all!

See you around...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Swan Song

Swan on the Carrowbeg River, Westport, Ireland
It is confession time for me - after much thought and deliberation, pondering and wondering - I have concluded that I am going to "retire" from blogging.  I have been pretty absent for the last few months anyway, so this is sort of like a "no big surprise", but there it is, I've said it!

My foray into the world of blogging began like I begin all projects - gung-ho, full speed ahead, pull out all the stops.  I immersed myself in finding memes to participate in, trying to build up my readership, following blogs.  For a time, I even had another blog, just so I could participate in more memes.  At my ripe old age, you would think I would have learned the process by now, but apparently, I have not.  Anything that starts out like that for me, usually runs out of steam pretty soon.  It didn't take long for me to be spending 3 hours a day blogging - preparing, reading, commenting.

And then there were the photos that I had to find for each blog.  I spent many days roaming the countryside, camera in hand, looking for something to fit a particular idea I had.  It was great fun...until it became work!

In the meantime, Dan had his heart attack, with all the subsequent health issues, then his pacemaker.  I lost a cousin to suicide - the 3rd member of my family to take their own life since 2000.  I struggled with my extreme disappointment in the election results and worried about the future of the country.  Then there was Sandy Hook, another in a long line of senseless acts of violence.  I can't even watch the news any longer.

All of that, while battling my old demon, depression, has left me in a place where having to think hard to have something worth saying has become impossible.  Well, maybe not impossible, but certainly hard, and highly unlikely.

In addition to this, we are traveling more now, often in places where it is not easy to get online to post, or read.  I will be traveling to Ireland early next year to start up a project, and will likely be gone a month.  (I know - that's such a rough job!)  I will also accompany my daughter-in-law and grandson to Thailand for a month in the summer, to help her while she undergoes surgery to remove the bullet that has been lodged in her back since 1999 (victim of a drive-by shooting).

So, in keeping with my extreme preference for quitting before people beg you to go away, I am shutting down my blog.  I can truly say I have enjoyed reading the blogs, seeing the photos, and sharing the lives of the people I have "met".  It is an experience I would have hated to miss.

This next Wordless Wednesday will also be the last.  If someone wants to take it on, please do.  It has been great fun.

I leave you with wishes for all the best things in life.  May you walk in sunshine.  Peace and love to all of you!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Mural

The mural, "Jennie Reninger - A Remarkable Woman", is located in Lake Placid, FL and was completed in 2004.  It is 50' wide by 10' high and is on the side of Personal Rehab, Inc. on S. Main.

Jennie Reninger was born in Zion City, IL in 1903.  She lived a remarkable life, working as a rancher, real estate broker, farmer, and Easter lily grower, among other things.  She and her family had lost everything during the depression and lived in a one room shack.  She wrote a column for a newspaper, increasing their circulation by 50%.  She founded the Easter lily industry in Lake Placid from a gift of 14 bulbs.  They multiplied into 12 acres and the Reningers became wealthy during the war when Japan no longer exported lilies.

Someone set fire to her barn and destroyed $30,000 worth of bulbs.  Then a new grower brought in some diseased planting stock that introduced a virus disease that caused spotting on the lilies.  The end of the lily business came about during a big freeze.  Near the end of her ranching days, she bought a head of purebred Brahman cattle that grazed on her 63-acre ranch.  She was given the title "Good Will Ambassador and Official Greeter" by the Maggie Valley, NC Chamber of Commerce, and lived to the ripe old age of 94.

She took a challenge to ride a bucking bull in a rodeo and won $1 for her efforts.  She could take a cigarette out of your mouth with her whip, or strike a match from 10 feet away.

There are 4 things, in each corner of the mural, that represent parts of her life - a freighter, typewriter, bucking bull, and a vehicle.  Jennie truly was a remarkable woman.

Linking to Monday Murals.