Hello Hello

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Big Brother, take me to the mall!

Technology has been developed that allows cameras on billboards to "gather details about passers-by — their gender, approximate age and how long they looked at the billboard."

Yawn.

No, stay with me.

"TruMedia’s technology is an offshoot of surveillance work for the Israeli government. The company, whose slogan is “Every Face Counts,” is testing the cameras in about 30 locations nationwide. One TruMedia client is Adspace Networks, which runs a network of digital screens in shopping malls and is testing the system at malls in Chesterfield, Mo., Winston-Salem, N.C., and Monroeville, Pa."

And because it was the first thing that I wondered, too...

"So far the companies are not using race as a parameter, but they say that they can and will soon."

source

"Honey?"

"M-hm." My husband continues poking around the fridge, not looking at me.

"I'm afraid I have good news and bad news."

"Yeees?" Now he looks up.

"So they've issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Winston-Salem. Also a Tornado Watch."

"I take it that's the bad news. And the good?"

"It hasn't started raining yet, so if you hurry, I think you still have time to grill me a delicious steak dinner! Isn't that awesome?" I beam.

My husband's jaw drops. "You have no shame, you know."

"M-hm. Honey, I'd love to explore that further, but you really need to hurry."

"So I'm not cooking you a delicious steak dinner in a severe thunderstorm, you mean. Or a tornado."

"Puh! Because I love you, so I want you to be safe!"

He laughs, then begins the marinade.

NOAA forecast for Winston-Salem

MPB spotted this chair when we were out last weekend

Home Goods, Hanes Mall Blvd.

I'm on a quick, 5 minute break. The oldest and I are cleaning and rearranging his room to make space for the bunk beds he and the youngest desperately want. Also, because right now the floor is so littered with small, incredibly sharp Lego that it's basically a gauntlet. I'd sincerely rather try fire-walking than navigate that floor barefoot.

Have a lovely Saturday.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dear Cub Scouts (including my own):


I love you. You know I do. But the caramel popcorn here puts yours to shame.

Kernel Kustard

Oooh! Big, shiny, red truck!


My friend, Jan, the youngest and I took advantage of someone's bogus 911 call to get a tour of a Winston-Salem Fire-Rescue truck. We even got to look through a thermal imaging device, which was way cool. The youngest was most excited about the sweet stickers.

Thank you, Tony, from Squad (oops!) Rescue 1, Platoon 2 (the station at Arbor and Country Club)!

(On a side-note, I wonder how badly the rising fuel costs are blowing apart the budgets for the Fire Department, most of whose vehicles I suspect run on diesel and get about 4 miles a gallon.)

Winston-Salem Fire Department

There are not one but TWO

...Seventeen year olds on the Winston-Salem Police Department's Most Wanted Persons list right now. Also, as with so many other things surrounding the WSPD, I feel that list could have a much better name.

The Top 15 (Alleged) Villains On the Loose (#5 and #13 are the younguns)

I also wish the list more often said why these people were wanted instead of just "order for arrest". That makes it sound ridiculously polite, like maybe they neglected to get a form notorized.

All the Wanted Peeps (2369 on today's list)


edit: Scratch that number. Many of the people are listed more than once on that list. One chickie-poo had like five, separate orders for arrest. SHE should be on the Top 15 list.

WSPD

Installed

The youngest likes to create and install art on one particular section of one particular wall. Every month or so, he changes it out. The above was there for a while. Now it's gone and in its place there's a shape he carefully cut out of brown paper. It has curves and points and corners and looks vaguely like a pagoda in silhouette. It's held in place by seven pieces of tape, every one carefully placed horizontally.

Summer Camps at Sawtooth Center for Visual Art

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's like an "And I mean EXACT" bonanza...

... except you'll need to do some thinking. And moving. And you need to wear costumes. And you are on a team of two. And you take the photos. And they're only of downtown locations. Also, the prizes are much better.

Other than that, though, it's almost exactly the same! ...OK, not really, but wow, this sounds like fun.

Scene in Winston-Salem Scavenger Hunt, June 28, 2008

Salem Cemetery

I always park in Old Salem and walk through God's Acre. The orderly stones in God's Acre face the sky from their rows and columns, each exactly alike. It's very impressive. Clean. It reminds me of Arlington.

But then I tumble out at the bottom of the little steps into Salem Cemetery. Jumbled graves, statues, boxwoods and trees setting off family plots - I feel at home here, among the tiny children's graves with lambs, the ornate, windowless doors into crypts. The way the stones face every which way and are all so different - this one in Greek, that one in verse - makes me feel like I'm standing among a crowd of happily noisy people.

The Gibson family's stone, above, is a personal favorite because it reminds me of my grandmother, my mother's mother. She used to send me vintage postcards that said Florida across them in that same lettering.

My grandfather's buried here, my father's father, who died sixty years to the day before my father under the most devastating of circumstances. I've never seen his grave, though I look for it every time I go. I'm certain I could ask someone, surely there are records, I could find out exactly where he lies, but I prefer to think that one day I'll just turn around and see him.

Salem Cemetery is located near Old Salem and is bounded by God's Acre, Cemetery Street and Salem Avenue.

And the winner is...

(of this contest)
Esteban

whose answer coasted in at 2:21 PM yesterday. Esteban will be flipping Homer's head around to his heart's content!

This one was difficult for most of you. A bunch of people suggested St. Paul's. Some went with Graylyn, which is closeby. But in fact the correct answer is...

facing the front door of the James G. Hanes House, now known as SECCA.

Y'all need to get your SECCA on more, I think. It's free. It's local. It has a rocking gift shop. (Seriously - it's good.)

Congratulations again, Esteban! You know your local doors!

SECCA

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

Esbee note: Yarddawg has decided to grace us with his Buena Vista gardening expertise every Thursday morning.

The Shady Character Currently Showing Off in my Yard

Hosta "Inniswood" starts out early in the season with green leaves and light colored margins. As the season progresses, the leaves turn greenish yellow, almost chartreuse, and the margins turn a darker green. Late summer.early fall the leaves are almost completely yellow.The lady changes her make-up to lure the bees when the light lavender flowers appear.

It performs well in my BV garden. Mature size is 48" wide, 24" tall. Can also be used in a large pot on a shady patio. Nice. Like all hostas it is easily divided and shared.

Hostas are also called Funkia. I call this one the funky hosta.

Esbee note: I resisted the urge as long as I could. I have to say it. Hosta la (Buena) Vista, Baby!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Local Graffiti


Both images are from the intersection of Huntingreen and Petree. I frankly don't get what the graffiti is supposed to mean. I mean I recognize the Star of David, but is it being stopped or celebrated? I've only ever seen Stars of David used in Israeli graffiti.

I wonder if this has any relationship to Mount Tabor High School, whose campus borders this very corner.

Anyone?

edit, 7:30 pm: Yikes

More local graffiti

And I mean EXACT... (XIV)

First person to email me the correct and exact location where I was standing when I took the above phono-photo wins a spectacular prize of surprising fun from the hodgepodge of goodness that we call The Extra Closet. Specifically he/she wins...

A Homer Simpson Fun Head! Based on the principles of the hottest toy of the early 80s, the Rubik's Cube, you can rotate various parts of Homer Simpson's smooth, plastic head! There's no end to the wacky configurations you'll come up with with this new-to-you desk toy featuring everyone's favorite lazy employee! Your boss is sure to chortle when he sees you wasting company time with Homer! But don't just leave it on your desk at work! Bring it to a PTA meeting, your next physical exam, the in-laws' annual spaghetti barbecue! You'll always be in demand when you're known for fun!

As always, click on images for larger versions. As always, Esbette is ineligible to play.

Bring 'em back

Fabulously Named Yet Sadly Defunct (or renamed less fabulously) Clubs from the RJ Reynolds High School, Class of 1941:
  • Quill and Scroll
  • Senior Hi-Y Club
  • Pine Whispers
  • Girl Reserves
  • A-Band
  • Etiquette Club
  • Forum Club
  • Boys' Monogram Club
  • Metric Science Club
  • O. Henry Club
Photo: my father's picture from the Reynolds football team page. His twin brother, also at Reynolds, played something by the politically incorrect name of "midget football", which is odd, because he was at least 5'10" tall.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Northwest Barber Shop, Reynolda Road

Both children watch mesmerized from the barber chairs as a stream of horrible stunt accidents plays on the TV above the door.

"And did he die?" the youngest asks periodically.

"No, but the fool very well could have. Let this be a lesson. If it looks like a stupid thing to do, it is a stupid thing to do." I reply after about the third time.

"Know what the difference is between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern one?" Stacy asks, as he buzzes around the oldest's ears.

"What?"

"A Northern fairy tale begins with Once upon a time." He grins. "And a Southern one begins Hey, y'all, watch this."

This intersection will be a big, honking mess for the next two weeks

The right lane of eastbound Reynolda Road at the intersection with Stratford Road will be closed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. starting Tuesday, May 27, while city crews modify the intersection. The modifications will improve safety by reconfiguring the traffic flow.

When work is complete, only the left lane of eastbound Reynolda Road will be open to through traffic. The right lane will have to turn right onto Stratford Road.

Construction is estimated to take two weeks.

source

That intersection currently gets boggy during afternoon rush hour. I wonder if this will ultimately remedy that. Next two weeks, though, I'm avoiding it like the plague.

Team Bomb Diggity

That's my vote. Of course I have to check with the other two members of would-be Team Bomb Diggity, but if they have no better suggestions, Team Bomb Diggity it is.

What?

Oh, for the YMCA Scrabble fundraiser this coming Sunday afternoon. You're all playing, right?

Look what I won last year!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Triad Park

Shelter Area #6

This area would be greatly improved by the judicious placement of some nice, fluffy shade trees, so that when the shelter is reserved, like today, everyone else isn't left to swelter. That said, Triad Park has great paths for biking and very cool playground structures. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, if hotly.

Triad Park

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Local Re-Find, by suemo

video

This quite wonderful, cast iron "Trick Dog" bank was being offered for a mere $15 in New Sherwood Forest this weekend. No word on how much money suemo put into it, but this webpage seems to indicate it might be worth a smidge more than asking price.

Oh, suemo, I reallyreallyreallyreally hope you bought it.

Pétanque you


A cousin of horseshoes and bocce, Pétanque is one of Europe’s most popular outdoor games and is quickly spreading in popularity throughout the US.


Last weekend Carolina Pétanque hosted "the first ever tournament in North Carolina" in our own Miller Park.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Village

I took the boys to get ice cream cones at Mayberry. Then we went to Village Outdoors to buy the oldest new sandals since he seems to have decided to boycott the sock industry recently. Village Outdoor had some sweet Chaco deals on the sidewalk out front. We availed ourselves.

Mayberry
Village Outdoor
Reynolda Village

Bingo, Archery, and BBQ

Yadkinville Rd., Pfafftown

This is a fine, Southern stripmall.

Friday, May 23, 2008

attn: suemo and other yard salers

Fairview Moravian Preschool (at Fairview Moravian Church) will host a Community Yard Sale tomorrow, Saturday May 24th, from 8 am til 1 pm. Spaces rent for $15 each.

about the preschool

Fairview Moravian Church

Corner of Northwest and Reynolda

2 advance tickets for Indy!

Sadly the tickets are for my husband and the oldest. The youngest and I are going to a Webkinz birthday party.

later: When I turned around after buying my tickets, there was an impressive line for 11 am on a weekday. Spotted in said line: "it girl" of the preschool generation, Caroline, and her dad.

The Grand 18
, only 5 of which are Indiana Jones

Considerate development

Our Piedmont woods are full of wonderful plants - wild flowers, herbs, ferns, and a variety of flowering and fruiting shrubs and trees. But every year more of these plants are lost beneath the blade of the bulldozer.

The Plant Rescue project was formed in 1998 by the Forsyth County Master Gardener Volunteers with the simple goal of saving plants that would otherwise be destroyed by development. So far we have relocated over 20,000 plants.

We move what we can to a safe place where they can continue to grow and thrive. You can help by calling us. All we need is written permission from the land owner or another person in authority to enter the property and remove plants.

Forsyth County Master Gardener Plant Rescue

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Polishing up the axe

Media General, which owns the Winston-Salem Journal, has announced that they will cut 11% of their workforce.

source

Plans include "reducing the workforce by approximately 745 in the Publishing Division."

I may scream.

Pollyanna

Pollyanna is quite striking.

Look.

Pollyanna also needs a home.

FCAC

Goodbye EOGs

Today was the last day of EOGs for my third-grader. We celebrated by going creekstomping for a few hours after school.

Sadly more than one person who asked where we were headed (I showed up at pickup dressed to impress in old sneakers and muck-about clothes) had the same follow-up question: What is creekstomping?

creekstomp, also crickstomp
verb
To go walking in a creek in a manner that purposely gets your feet wet. One doesn't leap from rock to rock and squeal when one's foot slips in, for example. This can also be done on horseback (traditionally bareback); again the intention is for the horse to walk directly on the creekbed.

I learned to creekstomp at summer camp in Transylvania County. I spent hours in the creek looking for garnets.

We're here again.

On the wall of simplyummy

The last few times I've gone to simplyummy in Reynolda Village, I've been enchanted by the artworks of one Svetlana Baklanova, who fabulously grew up in the design studio of and under the tutelage of her grandmother, a couturier in St. Petersburg, Russia whose specialties included "fur accessories". I think a background like that automatically engenders amazing creative abilities.

Myself, I grew up on a cul-de-sac, and my Mom drove a station wagon. That's why even my doodles are sad.

Svetlana Baklanova
simplyummy

And the winner is...

(of this contest)
Ginger

whose winning entry whipped in at 1:13 PM. No fancy maps, not even a doodle, but win she did. Many other correct answers came after hers. Oddly enough, only one or two exceptions, they were perfectly divided by gender, with women referring to Germanton Rd and men referring to Rte. 8.

And the correct answer is...

Standing in the grass just off the west side of Germanton Rd./Rte. 8 just south of the back entrance of Vulcan Materials Company looking north toward the entrance itself

Congratulations again, Ginger! Now when you sneeze, those around you may say Gesundheit, but your nose will be saying Danke Schön!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You're invited


Earline heath King
Allen Joines
Winston-Salem Living Magazine
Associated Artists

Pomp and Circumstance

That's what he's processing to in this picture - Pomp and Circumstance. The youngest graduated from preschool today. This fall he'll begin kindergarten.

No more Lunch Bunch.
No more musical productions with 2 year olds in them.
No more sleeping until 8 because preschoo0l doesn't start until 9.

Thank you, Mt. Tabor UMC Preschool, for three truly wonderful years.

And I mean EXACT... (XIII)

First person to email me the correct and exact location where I was standing when I took the above phono-photo wins a spectacular prize of unparalleled quality from the vault of such items I have amassed in my home. Specifically he/she wins...

Christmas mini-tissues! This brand new package of ten (10) tissues fits neatly in your briefcase, in your glove compartment, in your cargo pants knee pocket! It's handy! It's dandy! You'll be full of holiday cheer each time you sneeze! Want to bring a smile to a pretty lady with allergies? Be gallant and offer her a tissue! Then wait for the laughter to begin when she feasts her red-rimmed, itchy eyes on the chihuahua who forgot to put on pants!

As always, click on images for larger versions. As always, Esbette is ineligible to play.

Fresh Market Snack Mixes

"Where's my healthy breakfast?"

"Honey, this is a healthy breakfast. You always have a healthy breakfast."

"Mrs. _____ said we needed to make sure to eat a healthy breakfast during EOGs."

"Yes. You can tell Mrs. ______ you did if she asks."

"Can I tell her what I ate?"

"I'm sure she'd find it fascinating, dear."
-this morning
-----

I cannot wait for the end of this, End-Of-Grade testing week. This is an inordinate amount of pressure to put on nine year olds. They are acutely aware that they must pass the EOGs to avoid summer school, and even those who have done wonderfully gradewise all year don't feel safe.

WSFCS information on EOGs

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Local Numbers

$556,730,000 = Total Visitor Spending in 2006 in Forsyth County

$2,739,290 = Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Operating Budget for 2008-2009

$272,768.00 = Expected Administrative Expenses for TDA in 2008-2009

$272,768.00 < 10% of $2,739,290

General Rate of Return (Visitor Spending) on TDA expenditure (Operating Budget) : 20,223.88%

Dear Mr. Kaplan:

I appreciate your efforts to ensure that Forsyth County money is being used properly. However the numbers don't support your position. Not only that, but going by the numbers alone, the TDA is indeed one of our community's best investments. I am sure you love Forsyth County as much as I do. Please redirect your love and attention to other ways to better Forsyth County.

Best,
Lucy Cash

Ted Kaplan, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners
Ted Kaplan's unfounded concerns about the TDA

Carwash Today? -->Yes -->No

Peace Haven & Robinhood

I truly believe that when you're paying $3.76/gallon for regular unleaded, they should at least give you the blasted carwash for free.

Back in the day you got a free carwash for any fillup over $10.

Today I spent $50 and got nothing.

Day One of I Will Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Feast your eyes on Pep, aka The Canine Trashcan, The Vole Assassin, The Sleeping Princess.

Pep is a sweet dog, but wow, she lives up to her name. She jumps like a kangaroo. She darts like a tadpole. She runs like a gazelle. Unfortunately her high octane energy means walking her translates to being yanked in every direction at a run. So usually I just take Salsa places. It's frankly easier.

Today, I decided that needs to change. Hardcore dogwalking training has commenced. She did great for Day One. By the end of the walk, she was walking next to me and not choking herself to bits by pulling. Both of my arms are still in their sockets.

So tomorrow we will walk again. And the next day. And so on. And so forth. Until she too is fit for Reynolda Gardens, for Salem Lake, for Downtown.

Of course if this doesn't work, there's always Pet University sponsored by Furever Friends.

Local Curiosity

The CG Hill Memorial Park
Ancient Poplar Tree

An ancient poplar tree sprouted on this site before Columbus sailed for the New World. It grew to great height and breadth. After being struck by lightning, it decayed to form a hollow center which provided a hiding place for possessions. A man hid his cow and calf there to save them from Union Soldiers during the Civil War. It gave travelers shelter from the rain and couples called it the "Loving Tree". This tree has long witnessed the weather, nature and generations of Forsyth County.


C.G. Hill Memorial Park

Monday, May 19, 2008

Newsweek's rankings of the Top US High Schools (Public)

185 Mount Tabor Winston-Salem N.C.
1294 West Forsyth Clemmons N.C.


That's it for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

the full list
WSFCS

ATTN: Library lovers

Volunteer to help at the Friends of the Central Library Book Sale.

We need your help to organize thousands of items and work the sale. This sale is vital to our continued support of the many and diverse programs at the Central Library. Please contact us to volunteer. An hour or two from you will make a huge difference in the sale's outcome!

We have openings for volunteers on:
  • Wednesday, May 28 from 12 noon to 6:00 pm (organizing & sorting)
  • Thursday, May 29 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (organizing & sorting)
  • Thursday, May 29 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Friends' Preview Sale)
  • Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Sale)
  • Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Sale)
  • Monday, June 2 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am (Clean-up)

  • [A FOCL board member will be working at every shift.]

As a thank you to our volunteers, you may choose three free regularly-priced items from our huge inventory (see below for details). Additionally, if you are able to help with clean-up from the sale on Monday, June 2 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, you can pick from whatever is left for free!

PLEASE CONTACT US ABOUT VOLUNTEERING! Email us at friendsofcentrallibrary@gmail.com or call us at 703-3018.

Want more information on the sale? Keep reading...

This year, the sale will include:
  • Old magazines from the 1940's to present (new to the sale)
  • Local history titles on Winston-Salem and NC (new to the sale)
as well as the following popular categories:
  • Fiction & Biographies
  • Popular Paperbacks
  • Children's Books
  • Videos and CDs
Friends Preview Sale (New Friends may join at the door!): Thursday, May 29, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Other sale dates and times:
Friday, May 30, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday, May 31, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
BAG SALE from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

-----

Central Library

Local Re-find (a new feature)

Every week our own beloved suemo scours the city and the surrounding area* for yard sales, tag sales, garage sales, etc. I don't. Every week, she sees amazing at amazing prices. I don't. Accordingly she's calling bragging rights.

Once a week, she will be sharing with us some amazing item we who do not make the sale rounds missed by our dismal failure to join in. A photo of this item, the price, and the general location will be posted in the lefthand column.

Today's item: Behold! 25 cents, y'all. Near Shattalon and Yadkinville Rds.

*another reason suemo is taking no prisoners in the "And I mean EXACT..." contest. I've become determined to stump her. Life Goal determined.

From the patio of Krankies

Law Enforcement Torch Runners, Third Street

more info
Special Olympics North Carolina
Krankies

Manners

"...so we put the two dogs in the backyard, tethered away from the playground."

"Wait a minute." I hold my hand up in the air, though MPB can't see me on the other end of the telephone line. "Dogs?"

"Dogs. Two."

"But isn't N. terrified of dogs?"

"Yes."

"Did she tell you she was bringing dogs? Were the dogs included in the dinner invitation?"

"No. She just showed up with them. But she was very gracious about them. When she saw that N. was upset by them, she offered to put them back in the van."

"MPB, that's not gracious! Gracious would have been asking in advance if the dogs could come!"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Water, water everywhere

We left early, taking a cooler packed with a picnic lunch, fully knowing that the afternoon forecast called for storms that would provide a clear end to the outing.

We walked along the river, we balanced on the train tracks, we stomped in the creek. We ate watermelon and tried to teach the art of skipping stones to the boys, who ignored us in favor of making leaf boats. They floated them toward tiny waterfalls and cheered gleefully when they came out the other side.

We had a marvelous time.

Pilot Mountain State Park, River Section

Today's Winston-Salem Journal

...is the best Sunday edition I've read in a long time. Janice Gaston's article about a North Carolina boarding school for obese children is excellent. Scott Sexton's column about an event honoring a seven year old is superb. There is a fantastic piece about the Greek Festival's beginnings and another fine one about a guardian ad litem.*

I'm just about to dig into the Living section now, and I've long ago finished my first cup of coffee. A two cupper, people! Swoon!

If you don't take the paper, it is well worth seeking out a copy today.

The Winston-Salem Journal

*There are also news articles of the "this just happened" variety, but since I get almost all my news online, I didn't factor them in.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Date Night

We tried to go to the Greek Festival, but traffic was horribly backed up in both directions. We never even got close. So now we're back at Firebirds, stuffing ourselves silly.

Strawberry Cheesecake Purse

If only it were edible.

“Pocketbook Anthropology: A Treasure of Handbags"
, though August 16, 2008 at the WFU Museum of Anthropology

Prettiest Church in Town

I used to think Reynolda Presbyterian was the prettiest. Then came the ugliness. I waited. And waited. But the thing is, the ugly red gash of earth is still there. Ditto the construction trucks. Also all the extra signage about why the church is expanding, who is handling the expansion, etc.

(For goodness sake, people, if you are going to do something that rips at not only the landscape but also at the hearts of so many, couldn't you at least finish the job quickly?)

Anyway, this is my new choice for "prettiest church in Winston", the lovely First Baptist Church, which fronts on Fifth Street. There are other very pretty churches, mind, but this is the one whose exterior most pleases my eye.

First Baptist Church

Friday, May 16, 2008

Prom Season

Taking photos at C.G. Hill Memorial Park

Salsa and The City

Salsa accompanied me downtown this morning. We ran an errand, then took a stroll.

At left, she considers playing a quick game of checkers on Marshall Street.

At right, she tries desperately to sniff a cat on Fourth Street. Sadly she is thwarted by a plateglass window.

Whaa?

Trade Street

Found the website, but I'm still completely lost.

IOOF

Hanging from a pole near you


Downtown is all gussied up with planters and hanging baskets now.

Visit Downtown

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Whee!

As requested, a garden update. On the top row, that's a scented geranium and crookneck squash.
In the second row, that's lime thyme blooming in a pot with applemint. The photo next to it is of a tiny cherry tomato.

This last photo, the tiny white blossoms that grow in enormous, round clusters, is a closeup of my neighbor's bush, which is probably ten feet tall. I have not the foggiest idea what this bush is called, nor can I lay any claim for it looking so beautiful, but I'm ever so hopeful someone will email me and tell me what it is, because I want like twenty of them.

Cemetery, Mt. Tabor UMC

The headstone is original to the date of burial, I think, but this footstone is clearly more recent.

Research your own Civil War family history here.
Recently I read and enjoyed this book (fiction).
My late father loved this book I gave him for Christmas one year (non-fiction).

K & Dubya

Esbette was unfamiliar with the breakfast possibilities at K & W, so I acquainted her with them at the one on Healy. She was giddy to see cheese toast, cheese grits, breakfast ham, and other fine Southern delicacies on the line. Sadly a piece of my bacon dropped from my hand onto the floor under the table, and the whole thing went horribly tragic.

K&W Cafeteria