Children of the Corn

Indiana is corn central.  My little seven acre spread grows wildflowers, weeds, wildlife, trees, more weeds, grass, the flowers I try to put in to make the place look more manicured, lightening bugs, and a lot more weeds.  We have two garden areas we are starting to work on, but it’s not easy.  We don’t have farm equipment, we have garden equipment, and it makes the work harder and longer.  Farm equipment is very expensive, so for now, garden equipment it is.

All around us though, are farms.  Corn and soy beans are the two main crops, but this year we’ve noticed more wheat fields popping up.  Corn and soy bean prices are flat, so I suppose the farmers are branching out.  Immediately adjacent to our property on one side is a corn field.  It has to be GMO corn, because the corn fields of my childhood couldn’t hold a candle to these guys.  The stalks are about ten feet high, there’s barely any room between them and they are so glossy and green they look like plastic.

Last night my daughter and I walked over to the next door field and took some pictures.  I didn’t have either of my good cameras, so these are cell phone photos.  Some of them are pretty good quality, some of them not as much.  I hope you enjoy them.  :-)

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Giant clump of Queen Anne’s lace, weeds, and sticks at the end of a work area.
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Sunbeams shining through waning weeds.
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Corn, behind the weeds that are actually the main crop of the country.
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Queen Anne’s Lace, or pretty weeds.
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I grew up in the boonies, don’t remember corn roots looking quite this way.
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More root fingers.
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Corn tunnel.
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I have no idea what this is, but it was really tall and kind of pretty.
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Don’t really need to worry about he who walks behind the rows, cause he can’t get through them…
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Another angle on the corn tunnel.
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Baby corn starting, or is this where politicians come from?
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Just pretty.
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Country roads.
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Almost full moon over the corn.
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Soy beans across the road.
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Ahhhhhh…
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soooo TALL!!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my untouched cell phone pix.  I’ll have to take the camera out next time!

Have a great day, and please, be kind to someone.  Please.  :-)

Abandoned Apple Farm Part Two

Since I posted my first entry featuring pictures from Fagley’s Apple Farm a while back, I’ve received a number of requests for more pictures from that day.  Since I’m still recovering from a particularly nasty case of bronchitis, I have some extra time and thought today would be a good day to make this post.

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Just the front window.
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Grape Arbor out front.
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More orphaned books.  I don’t remember them having so many books, but I was pretty little when Mom took us there.
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The place was just full of stuff that they just walked out and left behind.
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I just like this.  I do remember their products being sold from these baskets.
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This photo was taken from the side of the store and shows the old house that goes with the property.  It also looks completely abandoned and allowed to begin to decay. The windows seem to be gone.  It’s open to the weather.
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This bottle was sitting on the mantle in the store.  Sorry it’s a little blurry.  I like it anyway.
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I have no idea what these are from, but I thought they looked cool.
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This is what I like to call a Walking Dead photo.
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Fall colors
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Immediately behind where I am standing to take this photo, is the highway.  It wasn’t this close in the past.  Where the sign is, giant mounds of glowing orange pumpkins used to lay in autumnal glory.  Also, to the right of the corner of the building, were giant mounds of pumpkins, and there were long tables filled with gourds under the arbor. It was beautiful.
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This is another Walking Dead scene.  I can just picture zombie arms coming through those slats.  It was a seriously gloomy fall day until right before I left, and my imagination was running wild.

I hope you enjoy these photos.  When I left here, I went over to Eastfork Lake and took some pictures over there.  You can find what I’ve posted so far in First Photo Post: Old Bethel Methodist Church.  Click on photography in the word cloud on the page and scroll down til you find it.  Also, follow me on Facebook.  Just search for Message Discipline is Required.

Have a great day! Hold fast, SPRING is coming.  Be kind to one another.  :-)

 

The Solo Conundrum

 

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View from The Cliff, in my favorite California beach community, Laguna Beach. Would it be weird to go there alone?

My husband has to go to L.A. for a week in April to something called a Controls Summit. Controls buy our food and heat our house, but zzzzzzz… I don’t even know what that is, other than its math-y and full of controls guys talking about controls things. Anyway, I’m not invited, so who cares, I AM invited to go along and keep him company when he’s not in meetings that could’ve been emails etc. By keeping him company, I mean being there when he gets back at night because he’ll be busy all day long. That means I’ll be on my own, all day, every day for five days.

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These Mission Bells remind me of the Eagles…

Couple things for you to understand.

  1. I love LA. I’m the only person in my family to do so, but my mother looked at Los Angeles like it was the promised land and that got pretty deeply instilled in me at an early age.
  2. My oldest child is 19 years old. I haven’t been alone in almost 20 years.
  3. I haven’t been alone in 20 years. Especially in a city the size of Los Angeles. Can I go to Disneyland by myself? Would I cry from loneliness? Would the Haunted Mansion and The Pirates of the Carribean be the same without my kids? Would wandering through the shops in Laguna Beach be fun without my husband? Because when I say I’ll be alone, I’ll be ALONE. I DO have a friend in California, but she lives near San Franscico and she works, so…
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Last time we were there, she was not a legal adult, and he was not big and almost an adult.

Will my adult daughter and giant, almost adult, son survive here at home alone? That’s stupid because my son is like buh-bye, have fun, leave me pizza money. I know my friend down the street will drive the boy back and forth to school, so I’m good on that front.

I’m nervous about it, but I think I need to do it. I regularly complain about the lack of adventure in my life, and this would surely be an adventure.

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This photo actually makes me start singing Hotel California in my head.

I’ll keep you posted.

Have a great day everybody. 😊

 

The Cincinnati Ballet’s Cinderella

My family frequently gets me ballet tickets for my birthday, because I love it. I wanted to be a dancer, but my knees gave out in my teens and that was that. I used to cry for a few minutes at the beginning whenever I went, but I no longer do. I DO however watch their feet. A. Lot. Last night at The Cincinnati Ballet’s new production of Cinderella, I got to watch a bunch of really beautiful feet.

Victoria Morgan has been the artistic director and CEO of the ballet since 1997. She has consistently done a fantastic job, but the last few years have seen the Cincinnati Ballet rise to another level. I know PNC Bank sponsored Cinderella, but there is no doubt that our little Ballet company has had an infusion of cash. What has always been excellent choreography by Ms. Morgan, is now accompanied by lavish sets, and beautiful costumes. Last year’s Alice in Wonderland was beautiful, the reconstituted yearly Christmas treat, The Nutcracker (a Cincinnati Ballet staple for as long as I can remember) is likewise beautiful and now this new version of Cinderella. I have one word, WOW.

I love story ballets. I can’t speak to any of the recent collection ballets, because I’m really stuck on the fairy tales, and I haven’t been to any of the other ones recently. I don’t usually like it when people muck about with the story, Rogers and Hammerstein’s politicized Cinderella, I’m talking to YOU, but the little bit of mucking the Cincinnati Ballet did with this Cinderella was fine with me. They included her father, which I thought I’d hate, but didn’t, it made the absence of her mother more poignant, and the fairy godmother had help, which I also thought I’d hate, but which I ended up loving.

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The Ugly Stepsisters from The Cincinnati Ballet’s Facebook page.

 

This show was Cinderella in all her glory accompanied by breathtaking sets, I cannot tell you in words how gorgeous the ball scene was, and something I’ve never seen in a ballet before, puppetry.  The mice, a dancing broom, and Lordy, Lordy, those carriage horses! Costuming that literally made me gasp, picture the ball, filled with Degas ballerinas, and two of the best ugly stepsisters I’ve ever seen. They were played by Jake Casey and James Cunningham, and as is often the case with those ugly gals, they stole the show.

 

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Cinderella, from The Cincinnati Ballet’s Facebook page.

Janessa Touchet was our Cinderella and she was the perfect mix of delicacy and strength that characterizes Cindy. Patric Palkens was the Prince, and he was perfect. Very handsome, very powerful, both he and Janessa were technically excellent. Pairing all the talented dancers of our company with the beautiful score by Sergei Prokofiev made for a remarkable night. There were a couple of accidental bobbles as a result of fake snow and leaves on the stage, but if you weren’t looking right at the spot, you’d never have noticed. I can usually find some fault in shows, but I honestly cannot find fault with this production. The Cincinnati Ballet has elevated itself to a first rate, big city Company, and I couldn’t be more proud. Look out NYC, we really don’t need you anymore.

If you have a chance, go tonight or tomorrow. It’s a perfect choice for Valentine’s weekend.

Have a beautiful day! 😍

Book Opinion: Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes

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Adolph Hitler.

I was raised by parents and grandparents who lived through WWII and the Great Depression. I didn’t realize until about ten years ago, that the America I grew up in was very post war in its sensibilities. I was surrounded by the greatest generation and their independence and strength. I was raised on those values, and one thing that has always fascinated me because of its extremity is WWII era Germany. I couldn’t understand it, and Adolph Hitler was and is, the ultimate boogie man. One minute you see him smiling and petting his dog in what looked like a scene that anybody would be in, the next minute you see him screaming and shaking his fist, spittle flying, weird little bangs separating, thousands of sycophants Seig Heiling and snapping up that infamous salute.

The pageantry created by the Nazis was second to none. Red, black, and white go so well together after all. The uniforms were flashy and they made every effort to show mainly tall, well-built, handsome, blue-eyed blondes to reinforce their agenda. The parades, the bonfires, (hey, are those BOOKS in there?) the snappy flags and the shiny black cars. Then you find out about the beatings, murder, destruction, concentration camps and world domination ambitions, and the contradiction that was Nazi Germany becomes something that you try to figure out, but can’t.

When I saw this book at Jo-Beth Booksellers, I couldn’t resist. I read the book jacket, so I knew it was satire, but I had to see what Timur Vermes imagined the Furher (sorry, I don’t know how to do umlauts) would do if he came back. What I found was more an indictment of modern civilization than an indictment of Herr Hitler, although I guess you can’t really make him any worse than he already is.

So anyway, Adolph wakes up on a beautiful, blue sky, sunny day in a vacant lot somewhere in Berlin. At first, he looks around for signs of the war going on, but sees none. He is in full uniform, it’s a little smudged and smells like gasoline from a cleaning attempt, but overall, he’s in pretty good shape. He winds up being taken in by a newspaper kiosk guy who tells him the year and helps him out. He also hooks him up with tv producers because he thinks the Hitler thing is an act.

Hitler is a smart guy obviously and figures out really quickly that something strange has happened and he wants to get his political career going again. To make a long story short, he learns about modern technology and people and finds all of it ridiculous, still hates Jews etc., and becomes a big celebrity. And of course, nobody believes him. The entire country is furious that he won’t reveal his real name, because they don’t believe him, and he’s ready to call in the SS to take care of the people who keep asking. Just like vampires, werewolves, and witches, modern society doesn’t believe in the monster, and ultimately, it’ll cause them trouble.  By the end, you can see that if he remains persistent, the modern sheeple are going to end up following him.

I enjoyed the book overall. It made me think about how ridiculous modern society is. It pointed out yet again, that even though a threat, or a negative anomaly can be as plain as the nose on your face, we often, in our enlightened modernity, deny it, even as it’s taking over our lives. I’d kind of like Vermes to write a sequel, where the monster really comes roaring back, in all of his muderous, evil, mastermind glory, not funny this time.  It would be the most successful horror story of all time.

If you enjoy satire, you might want to give this one a look. It really did have a number of LOL moments, and the way the speeches he makes are laid out in the book, you can almost hear that old black and white boogie man screaming, and shaking his fist, spittle flying, and weird little bangs separating.

Have a great day, and spend part of it with a great book. 😊

 

Book Opinion: Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

 

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I’ve reviewed a couple of Koontz’s books on here over the last couple of years, and I had some issues with them. They had great story lines, but the writing wasn’t what I was used to from one of my favorite authors. I chalk it up to changes somewhere in his pipeline of editors etc. Well, let me say, he’s baaaaack…

It’s going to be very hard for me to talk about this one because I don’t want to ruin it for you. This book has an incredible twist that caught me off guard, and that doesn’t happen often.

The heroine of our story is a woman in her early twenties named Bibi Blair. Bibi was brought up by surfer/successful business people parents in California. Bibi is very intelligent and has been all her life. As an adult, she is a successful, but still up and coming author. She’s engaged to a Navy Seal named Paxton, who is on a super secret mission in the Middle East, and he’s out of reach for much of the novel. One day, pretty much out of the blue, Bibi begins to have odd physical symptoms. She calls her mother who gets her to the hospital where it is discovered that the intrepid Bibi has brain cancer. Serious, incurable, brain cancer. What follows is Koontz at his best.

The Valient (capital V on purpose) Bibi’s story is filled with suspense, mystery, the ever present in Koontz’s work, golden retriever or two, some murder, a few interesting characters, a quest to save Ashley Bell, and most important, some supernatural events. I really can’t go into too much more detail because I absolutely do not want to spoil it for you.

If you are in need of a well written, interesting supernatural thriller to keep you company while it’s cold outside, you might want to give  /Ashley Bell/ a chance. Much like one of his other beloved characters, Odd Thomas, I think we’ll be hearing from Bibi Blair again.  I was driving in my car this morning thinking about this book, and I realized that it reminded me in certain ways of a very famous work of fiction that has been made into a technicolor extravaganza, and since the wildly successful film, has woven bits of itself into much of our culture. Sadly, I can’t tell you WHICH technicolor extravaganza I refer to because it might spoil the surprise. It breaks my heart and hurts my brain to not tell, but I have to be brave.

Have a beautiful day and be kind. 😊

I Went Floating in a Pod Today

I am, and always have been a fan of wellness and alternative therapies. I like to try to stay well, because maintenance is better than repair. I have a hard time relaxing my body, so I’m always looking for ways to de-stress, because everyone knows stress will kill you, and that thought creates stress, so… you see my problem.

I’ve always wanted to try a sensory deprivation tank, because I can’t imagine anything better that floating in warm water in pitch dark silence.  The other day I stumbled across a brand new local place to float. The first in Cincinnati, so I went online and made an appointment. You can find their website here:

http://taofloatloft.com/

When I arrived at the loft, I was escorted into the Yin Float Room.  It’s a fairly small room with dim lighting (you can brighten it if you want) an awesome shower in the corner, and what can only be likened to a space craft sitting in the middle of the room.  You are given a quick, because it’s easy, low down, and left to your own devices. You take a shower first, no conditioner please, it wrecks the water, put in your earplugs and climb into your pod.

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This is what pod looks like. From Tao Float Loft’s Facebook page.

There is about a foot of skin temperature water filled with enough Epsom salts to make you float (think Dead Sea) a blue light, an emergency button, a neck pillow and and an underwater speaker in the pod. You have full control of the lid, I recommend keeping it closed so you stay warm, and the light.

So anyway, I got in and the minute I sat down, my legs shot up. You have to make a concerted effort to keep them down because of the bouyancy of the salt. I laid back, enjoyed the light for a couple of minutes and turned it off. It was completely dark, and the music that is playing when you first get in goes off after a couple of minutes so it’s silent. I booked a 90 minute float because I kind of have runaway ADD, and I knew it would take at least thirty minutes for me to zone out, and I was right. I moved around some, enjoying the sensation of ” mermaid hair” and the feeling of not sinking. I left my arms out to my sides, clasped them across my stomach, put them over my head, you know, getting the feel of things. I put my feet against the bottom and stretched my arms over my head as far as they’d go, and my fingernails, which are longish, barely touched the top of the pod. I’m 5’8″ so I figure it’s at least six and a half feet long. At least. It must be four or five feet wide, and I could sit on the bottom and still have a couple of feet of head space. I’m pretty claustrophobic, and I had zero issues with being inside it.

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Somebody floating with the light on. From Tao Float Loft’s Facebook page.

After another twenty minutes or so of song lyrics, book lists, conversations, to-do things, and general mental buzz, I started to come down. As I began to relax, I decided to give my float an intention, like I do at yoga sometimes. I asked that my creativity be stimulated, and that I would appreciate any insights God had for me. As the relaxation deepened, my body sank into what I guess is good float form. The sitting apparatus sinks down, but still floats. The backs of my heels sank down, and my knees bent slightly as if I had a pillow underneath them. My neck sank below the water, but my face stayed above it. I saw a couple of strange things in my mind’s eye, I’ll share them, because it was weird and I don’t understand. First, I saw a face that I can only describe as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, carved out of wood. It’s was super weird. He looked like a carving on a piece of furniture from the Black Forest in Germany. That faded away, and I saw a profile of a male lion. It looked like a cross between a line drawing and a wood carving. That morphed into the profile of a wolf (which I believe is one of my spirit animals) then nothing more.

I guess I was asleep. At some point, I half way woke up, and the only way I can describe how it felt is this… I felt like I was in the highest quality, softest, memory foam mattress ever, made for a fairy princess. Every part of my body was supported and I was sunk down in something. I moved a little bit and was surprised to find myself in water. I sighed and was gone away again.

The music comes back on five minutes before the end of your session. If you don’t hear it, the filter comes on and the jet from that will wake you up. I came back about two minutes before the filter came on. I turned on the light and started moving around so I could get up. Got out, took my shower, and was done. I felt like I’d been asleep all night. The guy at the front desk told me that one hour of floating equals four hours of sleeping. I believe it. I bought a three float package. I’m going back next week. I’m excited to see what will happen as I get good at letting go. If you have a chance, do it.

Be kind to someone today. 😊❤️

 

Faces of the Audubon Zoo : Part Two

I originally intended to put all my faces in one post, but once I got started, I realized I had more than I thought and I don’t like to make photo posts too long.  Hope you enjoy my non-mammals.:-)

Lovely flamingo.  They were very vocal.
Lovely flamingo. They were very vocal.
Some kind of duck.
Some kind of duck.
I love peacocks so much.  I've always wanted one but they are so loud, I'll have to be satisfied with peacock art.
I love peacocks so much. I’ve always wanted one but they are so loud, I’ll have to be satisfied with peacock art.
Turtles are cool.
Turtles are cool.
Weird zombie chicken duck bird. Fitting for New Orleans.
Weird zombie chicken duck bird. Fitting for New Orleans.
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Some sort of pelican.
I love these birds and I think their eyes are fascinating.
I love these birds and I think their eyes are fascinating.

I like to take pictures of faces because they are so expressive.  I believe that animals have very similar inner lives to humans and I enjoy trying to capture a little of that.

Have a beautiful day and be kind to someone.:-)

Faces of the Audubon Zoo : Part One

New Orleans is the home of my soul.  Seriously, I think I lived there in another life.  On my latest trip, I finally made it to the zoo.  I have very mixed emotions about zoos.  I love the conservation work they do, but caged animals, even when they are in lovely habitats make me sad.  Nevertheless, I went, I enjoyed, I saw some beautiful animals.

Bored bear
Bored bear.
The leopard was asleep until he heard my camera noise.
This leopard was asleep until he heard my camera noise.
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Fantastic face:-)
So handsome
So handsome.
I told him he was handsome, and he smiled at me.
I told him he was handsome, and he smiled at me.
Orangutan hanging in a hammock.
Orangutan hanging in a hammock.
Rhino
Rhino
Ahhhh, that feels good...
Ahhhh, that feels good…
I love giraffes.
I love giraffes.

I hope you enjoyed my mammal faces edition.  Birds and reptiles will be next.

Have a wonderful day and be kind.:-)