Friday, December 2, 2011

Steve McQueen

By the '70s, he was the highest paid actor in the world.

Here, he was just somebody's best friend.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods, to Aunt Suzie's House

Thanksgiving 2011 in Alabama was lots of fun! My sister, Susan, invited us to her house for a feast, and it was a great one. Yummy food, family, games and relaxation made the day a memorable delight.

Pictured above are the young set, who gave thanks and reveled enthusiastically, and who especially enjoyed the chocolate brownies. From left to right: Kendall, Kiley and Reed, pictured with Bentley the Bear.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Made This

A while back I decided to make some changes in my kitchen/dining room decorating scheme. I had the world's heaviest kitchen table, which has been in my house for maybe 26 or 27 years, but no dining room table. So, I decided to paint my big country kitchen table, collect some assorted chairs to paint white, and use those in my dining room. The results are just what I was hoping for!

So, then I had no kitchen table! I did, however, have some white spindle-type table-leg-looking things that I had salvaged from my cousin's refuse pile by the side of the road. He had recently replaced his porch railing, and these were the throw aways.

So! It seemed plausible to me that having things that looked like kitchen table legs could easily be translated into having a table.

After much puzzling over planks and boards, after much measuring and marking and sawing and drilling, hammering, screwing and glueing, then painting... voila!

It's a table!

I would like to add that my daughter was especially pleased with my choice of placemats! But that was just for the picture.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Freeing the West Memphis Three

On August 28, 2011, in Newsweek Magazine, reporter Mara Leveritt wrote about the long fought for release of Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelly and Jason Baldwin. Below is a link to that article.

I'm wishing "best of luck" to these three young men, who were children themselves in 1993 when they were wrongfully convicted of murdering three 8 year-old children in West Memphis, Arkansas. There was no evidence against the three convicted teen-agers, other than the fact that Damien Echols read William Blake and Steven King.
A defense lawyer for the West Memphis Three said they were convicted because "at the time they were easy targets."

Friday, August 19, 2011

"West Memphis Three" May Be Released

Six innocent lives were destroyed in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993. Three 8 year-old children were brutally murdered, and three teen agers were convicted without any evidence against them.

Today, the young men who were unjustly convicted may finally be set free!

If Innocence Matters, these young men should never have been suspects, much less convicted felons.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm

...after they've been to Second Samuel, GA!

Here we are! The citizenry of 2nd Samuel, along with a few interesting four-legged characters from Jimbo's farm. And the temperature out there was only about 99, maybe 100. But we were an intrepid and undaunted bunch, determined to get one good picture for our beloved director, Nell Richardson. And, did I mention the biting goat?

And here are the ladies from the Change Your Life Hair and Beauty Emporium, listening as that sweet little gentleman, B Flat, pitches a fit.

This is the local watering hole of Second Samuel, GA, known as The Bait and Brew.

Second Samuel, a play by Pamela Parker, is set in a small town in Georgia, just after the end of World War II. The story begins as the town mourns the death of one of their most beloved citizens, Miss Gertrude. She's that tall lady who taught piano lessons. But after her death, certain secrets are revealed and turmoil ensues!

It was my pleasure and privilege to be among the cast of this excellent story that ended with the advice: Just love one another. And, as U.S. so wisely stated, "It's not our place to judge, now is it?"

Just love one another.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Starring Ramey Channell as "Ruby"

Second Samuel, a southern comedy by Pamela Parker, will be presented at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, located on Montevallo Road in Leeds, Alabama, the first two week-ends of June. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays, June 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 7:30 PM. Matinee performances will be Sundays, June 5 and 12, at 2:30 PM.

This very popular Pulitzer-nominated play, set in a small Georgia town in the late 1940s, is brimful of laughter, with a smattering of tears and a few surprises as well. As the play opens, it is summertime and the town folk are preparing for the funeral of Miss Gertrude, one of their most beloved citizens. But the serenity in this sleepy rural town is suddenly shattered when dark secrets are revealed, causing discord, debate and astonishment in Second Samuel, GA.

And, you get to see me in my acting debut, more or less, portraying Ruby, an employee of The Change Your Life, Hair and Beauty Emporium, along with an impressive cast of accomplished performers who know what they're doing.

Tickets are $15 and include hors d'oeuvres and beverage during intermission. Reservations are highly recommended: 205-699-2404

Friday, May 6, 2011

Alabama State Poetry Society's Spring Fling

Hello everyone! I've been trying to get a new post up here for days! Everytime I address the issue, something happens and I have to put it off again. But, here's the news.

Alabama State Poetry Society held the Spring Meeing at the beautiful Newton-Davis House in Odenville, Alabama. That's where I ran into my first blog problem. I wanted to post a picture of the meeting place, and I'm sure I have done so before, but now every picture I try to display is the size of a postage stamp. And what's the use of a postage stamp sized image?

But the good news is, I won two First Place poetry prizes, and you can see a great write-up in The Leeds Herald at

One of my prizes was 1st Place in the Christmas in July Contest, even though it isn't actually July! It was really Christmas in April! The requirement for this unusual contest was to do a parody of any Christmas carol, with an added "occupational twist." Here's my winner!

Oh, Fa!

Deck the walls with book and journal
Fa-la-la-la-la the library
Foolish fiction springs eternal
Fa-la-la-la-la the library
Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel,
J.D. Robb, Peter Straub, Stephen King,
Books divine and books infernal
Fa-la-la-la-la, the library!

Some are fragrant, some are pyooey!
Fa-la-la-la-la, the library.
All must have the decimal Dewey
Fa-la-la-la-la, the library.
Penned by authors, scribes and hacks,
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, fol-de-rol.
Meanwhile I'm lost in the stacks.
Fa-la-la-la-la, THE LIBRARY.

Some folks find their life's ambition
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Following some holy mission
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Doctors, lawyers, thieves, musicians,
Fa-la-la, bless them all, la-la-la
Me, I'd rather just go fishin'
Winter, spring and fall, THE LIBRARY!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The First Day of Spring occurred right on schedule, Sunday March 20th, along with the strange and mystifying influences of the Vernal Equinox. At my house, Hawk's Hill, and here at The Painted Possum, this event is ALWAYS celebrated with the joyous act of balancing eggs in the kitchen. The glee with which I address this task is always the same, no matter how many times it is repeated. Shouts of "WOW!" and "There she is!" and "LOOK, another one!" reverberate throughout the house ... and my kids look at me weird. Their usual response is "Yep."

Then I start yelling for someone to bring me the camera.
This was the first little egg to go up. The information I received said the exact time of the equinox would be 7:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, and usually the eggs are easier to balance the closer it gets to the appointed time. But these were balancing with no effort at all at about 11:00 AM.

According to Wikipedia, equilibrium is the condition of a system in which competing influences are balanced. So, apparently, the competing influences of the shape of the egg, the weight of the egg's contents, and the force of gravity, along with some unknown factor, are balanced on this specific day of the year. There are abundant theories about the balancing act of hen's eggs on the first day of Spring, and it is a rare and unequaled delight!

Do we know how to have fun in Alabama?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day - Birthday

Guess who was born on February 14th, Valentine's Day?
Of course, it's our own inimitable Willie T., the darling of Moonlight Ridge!
When we were kids, he kept my sister and me entertained, amused, and mystified!

Some things, (and some people) never change.

Here's a Valenitine possum for Willie T., aka Donnie Nock.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

So, Summer's Not Here

Looks like it wasn't summer after all! After a big snow overnight, the temp is now 30 degrees. It seems to be stuck at 30 degrees.

So much for rubber sandals and straw hats, James.

But just look at these pictures from the magic camera of my daughter, Buffy.

This is such a phenomenal photograph! I'm amazed and mesmerized by this image.
Awe inspiring!

And, here's the love of my life: my grandson Reed having a time in the Alabama snow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Summer's Here and I'm for That!

Got my rubber sandals, got my straw hat!

Thanks to James Taylor for those lyrics.

It may be a little early to start welcoming summer, but at least the sun is shining and the temperature is above freezing. This is progress!

And, today is my friend Steve Clarkson's birthday! Happy birthday, Steve! I tried to post Steve's illustrious picture, but I couldn't get the image to transfer. Maybe he's non-transferable. I'll have to try some slight-of hand manipulation.

Hey, Steve, if you're reading this, send me a non-copyrighted photo!

Steve is an excellent musician, gardener, photographer and wall-builder. Not to mention lover of possums and all things marsupial.

Monday, January 24, 2011

How to Catch a Possum on Movie Day!

It's movie day here at The Painted Possum! It's been a long time since the last movie day; as a matter of fact, it's been a while since my last blog post here. But, chalk it up to The Winter Doldrums. Also, life in general is like sliding down a very fast sliding board.

Hoping to find an illustration for you, I Googled "Possum on a sliding board." Oddly enough, I didn't find a possum on a sliding board.

However, here's something interesting I did find, at Handy Tricks From Quatemala, by Tim Anderson:

How to Catch a Possum

Don Filberto explains how his father used to catch small animals. He'd prop a box or basin up on an avacado pit or another smal round object. He'd put a weight, such a a board (or in this case, a machete) on top of the box. The animal would go inside to get some bait, the box would fall down, and 'voila', you got yourself a captive possum. I don't know what 'voila' is in Spanish. But Don Filberto added that his father would move the pan or box around until the animal's tail was poking out, then grab it by the tail.

So, I can identfy with this. While life is INDEED like sliding down a very fast sliding board, there are interludes when life is more like being a possum trapped under a pan with an avacado seed ...
Back to Movie Day!
Today's movie is The Road to El Dorado, one of my favorite movies, an animated comedy film by DreamWorks Pictures. The two main characters, Miguel and Tulio, are voiced by Kenneth Branaugh and Kevin Kline, and the soundtrack features music by Elton John and Tim Rice.
The movie begins in 16th century Spain where two con-artists, Miguel and Tulio, using loaded dice, win a map that shows the location of El Dorado, the city of gold in the New World. They stow away on one of Hernan Cortes' ships, escape with Cortes' war horse, and end up in El Dorado, where they are mistaken for gods. And why not?
According to Wikipedia, the story is inspired by Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would be King and Voltaire's Candide.

Also, there is a cute little animal that I like to think of as a possum, although it may be an armadillo.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow On the Mountain, Run Boys, Run

Did someone say SNOW? And COLD! In honor of our horrific weather, I'm repeating this informative and eye-opening account from an older post, giving a brief description of the birth of a snowflake. Many snowflakes, to be perfectly honest.

Snowflake formation begins when water vapor condenses on microscopic dust grains. Each snowflake's unique structure is caused by chemical reactions and everchanging temperatures.

Snow actually rises before it falls. As a droplet of water vapor rises higher, it freezes into a six-sided crystal. Because ice forms fastest around the edges, cavities form. Faster growth on corners causes branches to sprout, and cavities create interior lines. As the flake rises, temperatures get colder. At 10.4 degrees Farenheit, branches are wide. At 8.6 degrees, new growth is narrower. When the snowflake grows heavy enough to overcome the force of rising air, it falls. As the snowflake falls, warmer temperatures cause more side branches to sprout with longer and narrower tips. Hence, snow.

Some of us waited until many, many of the weighty formations plummeted to earth, then out we went for a rare frozen frolic.

At least one Mr. Possum found the lure of the soft white stuff irresistable, and trotted out for a brief stroll.

Possum in the Snow
Possum has a snowflake stuck to his nose.
His fur keeps him warm when the cold wind blows.
He's on his way home for tea and puddin'.
I asked him to come to my house, but he wouldn'.