Weekly Photo Entry . Hope #4

Today, I’ve been trying to focus on my next book,  “The Orples Make A Tree Home”. This will be book 2 in the orples series of books I hope to publish in the near future.  It looks like I’ll have to start out on kindle, and hopefully circle back and offer actual print copies soon thereafter.

Olivia is daydreaming about learning to read.

In this illustration, Olivia is opening the door for book 3 which will be “The Orples Learn to Read”.  I am hoping to create a series of books that will interest children of all ages with various little lessons on life lingering between the lines.   My publisher has set the age for my first book How Orples Came To Be from 9-12 years old but I disagree.  I think it is appropriate for children 8-80.  Either way, even though my post today reflects hope on a more personal level, I felt it appropriate for the overall theme of the week.

Todays gone by

One day, a long time ago, I read a little caption by “Ziggy” that has always stood out in my mind.  So in tribute to that statement (which is well worth sharing),  I came across  this photo, which is proof of the truth of the Statement . . . . . . . .

Enjoy today while it is here, because someday it will be a long time ago   . . . Ziggy

Looking through my photos to post in my efforts to fulfill my ‘post a day’, I came across this picture of my mother, who died in 1998, with my son, now approaching his 31st Birthday.  I have to ask myself, “Where has the time gone?” Looking back on this photo (taken in 1986),  memories of my mother (may she RIP), my children, when they were small, and all of the trips we took to Maymont Park in Richmond, Virginia, I am reminded of Ziggy’s wisdom.  We still visit the park often, but now it is my Grandchildren that scamper about playing with the animals, and spreading their wings.  As today becomes tomorrow, repeatedly, I am grateful for my old pictures that take me back to those todays, so long ago.

Weekly Photo Challenge . Real Hope for 2012

I swore I wasn’t going to get into Politics on my blog, but with the subject matter being “hope” and the political atmosphere being what it is, I couldn’t resist putting in my two cents.  Ron Paul has renewed my hope that we might be able to reclaim our Nation, our Constitution, and our rights, so I would like to give him the acknowledgement that he deserves.

Dr. Paul is doing pretty good, despite the fact the GOP wishes he would go away. They like Candidates on the team that will play their game and Ron Paul is not for sale.  Some people think Dr. Paul is too old to run.   He’s challenged his running mates to a 20 mile bike ride and so far, he doesn’t have any takers, so I would think age is not a problem.  Think of all of that wisdom that comes with it.

It looks like I’m not alone.  Nationwide, Dr. Paul fills the house at his speaking events.  People are hearing the message of freedom and experiencing the hope that one day we will get America back!


The Middle Finger . the story behind it.

In addition to your history lesson for the day, I hope you get a smile as well. I don’t know who to thank for the original lesson since this was a cut and paste from an e-mail I thought worthy of sharing.


The History of the Middle Finger

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as ‘plucking the yew’ (or ‘pluck yew’).

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and they began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew! Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F’, and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as ‘giving the bird.’


And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing.

Weekly Photo Challenge . Hope. #2

Okay, I admit it, this page is from the prototype of my book, but I couldn’t resist entering it anyway. Olivia runs into all sorts of situations where hope is a key factor in the storyline. This page represents one such scenario. The font in the printed book varies from the prototype, but otherwise, the  story is the same.

Run Olivia! Don't give up hope!

Reflections of An Autumn Day

This was one of my favorite ‘creek shots’.  The reflection of the sky overhead mirrored against the fallen leaves caught my eye and I simply had to try to capture the moment . . . before things changed.   Nature offers art as no man can.  Her colors are forever changing with the blowing winds, the change of the seasons, as the sun drops in the sky, or with the flow of water as it runs downstream.  The leaves dancing overhead fell softly on the waters surface on this day and were promptly carried away, only to be replaced by others.

The Watering Hole

If you look closely at the lower left corner of this shot, my horse’s nose peeped into the edge of the photograph.  We had stopped for a break and thus the beauty of this memory was captured for many to share.  Enjoy.

Handmade Orples

To go with my book, I decided to make some handmade orples and will be selling them on Etsy, so if you know anyone with kids that might enjoy having the characters to accompany the story, I’d love to accommodate their needs.

Orples with the book announcing their arrival

All of these little orples are handmade, so their facial expressions may vary.  Olivia has a pink crocheted ribbon and two leaves.  Oscar has one leaf as a beard to differentiate the two.

Orples and oranges in a basket.

I sometimes wonder what an original handmade “Sponge Bob” doll would be worth now, so figured in the event my book takes off,  I’d make a few sets of dolls for those that may want them as collectors items.  Although, these little characters can be machine washed and dried so they are just as suitable as toys for the wee ones.  Either way, they are original. It is my hope that once I get a few sequel books out, orples will catch on and become a household word. My next two books … “The Orples Make A Tree Home” and “The Orples Learn To Read” . . .  will probably start out as e-books formatted for Kindle readers prior to becoming print copies later. For anyone seeing potential in these little guys, here is your chance to get in on the ground floor. See you on Etsy! Just type in keyword “Orples”.  If you order a set through Etsy, your book will come directly from me, so I can dedicate it to whomever you desire to personalize your package.

Shadow Shot

This photo is a little blurred, but I always liked it for some reason. It reminded me of an abstract painting with the horse and rider (Magi and Me) apparent only because of the sun’s location and brilliance.  It brings back fond memories of a beautiful day.

Suggestions of a Sunny Day