Category Archives: Family

CY365: Photograph Vignettes

Create A Collage

A vignette can be any collection of items that have special meaning or significance to us or a a loved one.  Today, I have created a photo of some tools that I have that my Dad used when he was able to work.  As a young boy, I used to always watch in awe as he would use these tools to draw these very detailed images that would then be used to build something.

Drafting tools that my dad used when he was able to work.
Drafting tools that my dad used when he was able to work.

Christmas Ornaments

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Thanksgiving Desserts

Eleven years ago, my then-girlfriend made me a Chocolate Meringue Pie like what you see below.  It was this pie that sealed the deal and the following May I made it official (we got married).  Today she still uses the same recipe and makes the most mouth-watering desserts from scratch.  Below are two of the desserts that will be enjoyed tomorrow during our Thanksgiving meal.


I was just now sitting outside on the front porch of our house as the storm is gathering and coming this way.  I began to remember things; things that I don’t remember often, but when I do, they are comforting.

I remember:

  • Sitting in my grandparents’ backyard on evening like tonight.  There may or may not have been a storm brewing.
  • Seeing the “plastic glasses” that my Neenaw (that’s what we called her) had her iced tea in, flavored with those ReaLemon lemon juices.
  • Smelling the cedar plant that used to be located at the corner of Lee Street and Chapman St in Greensboro, mixed with the smells of the barbecue being smoked at the Stamey’s nearby.
  • I don’t like cigarettes, but there is a comfort in the sweet tobacco smell of the cigarettes my grandparents used to smoke.  There was something about that scent when we were outside.  If you’d been there, you’d understand.
  • Feeling the grass under my feet, even though I didn’t run around bare-footed a lot.
  • The sounds of the aluminum frame chairs (the ones that didn’t fold) with the strapping for the seats.  There is a sound that they made when you moved them as they hit each other, or scraped against the grass.
  • The huge oak tree that was in the back yard that shaded us and would rustle when the wind was blowing…like it is doing right now outside.

It was quiet outside except for the occasional car that would drive by or the dog barking in the background.  As I closed my eyes and felt the air outside, these things started to come back to me.

It was a nice memory.

Hummingbird Bistro Grand Opening!

This afternoon, I thought it would be fun to help the girls set up a hummingbird feeder.  We have planted a cardinal flower, which is supposed to attract hummingbirds, but so far we have had no customers.  So, I thought we would add a new item to the menu.

I took Morgan and Emmelyn out to Lowe’s to get a little feeder, and we came home to set it up.  To begin, we started to create our nectar.  I will include the very simple recipe at the bottom of this post.

IMG_0951IMG_0950Each of the girls had a hand in mixing the solution and also helped to
carefully pour it into the feeder when it was done.  While cooling, I went out to the shed and picked up one of our Shepherd’s Hooks to hang the feeder on outside our window on the side of the house.
IMG_0958Now we just get to wait and see if we get any interested birds.

Nectar Recipe:

1 part sugar
4 parts water
Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes and let cool.

It used to be customary to use red food coloring in the solution to help attract the hummingbirds.  I have read in some places that the red dye can cause mouth sores to form in the hummingbirds, which is obviously not the intended outcome.  We chose a red feeder so that we wouldn’t have to add food coloring to the solution.  For more detailed information you can check out this article about how to care for the feeder and making the nectar solution.

High Point Fire Station 10

Morgan and Emmelyn checking out the firefighter cabin of Engine 10.

Today, we took the girls to visit our local Fire Station.  We got to tour the entire house and get a glimpse into the life of the firefighters that work there.  Thankfully, they did not get a call while we were there, though I am sure it would have been an awesome sight to see these guys throw on their gear and head out to do what they do best…save lives.

Morgan and Emmelyn got to climb inside of Engine 10 to see what it is like inside.  Fireman Raymond Blue provided information about the trucks they use at the station and how some of the components of the fire truck work.  He even took the time to demonstrate the fire suit that the firemen wear when they go on a call.  He told us that in academy, they time gearing up down to under a minute.  I’m not sure he met that mark, but since it wasn’t an emergency, I think we can cut him a break!

We are very grateful for the time that Captain Ron Holbrook and Fireman Blue took to give us the tour.  We would also like to thank them for the very important work they do to keep us safe.  It takes a very special type of person to run towards danger to get someone else out and for that, the firemen of Station 10 in High Point, as well as every other firefighter, have our respect.


Ten years.DSCN0247

My wife and I have been married for ten years.  On this date, in 2004, we stood in our living room and said vows that linked us to each other for the rest of our lives.

We have certainly had our share of ups and downs. I’m sure there are times she wondered if we were going to make it.  I am fairly certain I don’t deserve someone like this.

Joanna has stood strong at times I know other people would fail.  She has stood behind me when I didn’t think I could stand.  Joanna is the “helper” that God intended from the Garden of Eden.

Joanna, as we continue to celebrate our first ten years together, know that I would do it all again.  There is no one I would rather go with through the battles we have been through.  You are my solid place to come back to when I need to get my head straight and the one who keeps me on the right path.

I love you dearly.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures