Monthly Archives: November 2014

Teach Your Children Well*


A young lady at the Bleu Pub asked the Old Lady: “Is your son in the band?”

She seemed bewildered to hear that the Old Lady has no children and just came to hear the music.

“Besides,” cackled the Old Lady, “it would be more like my GRANDson.”

Blindfish opened the set, and OMG are these kids young!  They all looked to the Old Lady to be no more than about twelve.  But man, can these boys play!


Their songlist ran heavily to the Beatles and Pink Floyd, and they do more than passable covers of songs that the Old Lady has loved for decades.  Fundamentals, she thought, tapping her foot.  It’s just like the scales and Broadway show tunes she started out with in elementary school band.  Learn well these old psychedelic rock licks, and let’s see where they go when they start to create their own music.  The Old Lady can hardly wait.

Matt Mullis
Matt Mullis

A word about lead guitar Matt Mullis: he put more energy into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” than the Old Lady has heard live lately.  Watch this kid.

Balloon Assembly Line
Balloon Assembly Line

Balloon Assembly Line closed out the evening.   The Old Lady is keeping an eye on Kelby Clark as he produces fresh and new material every time she seems him.  The addition of Matt Mullis to the Balloon Assembly Lineup this night was particularly interesting.

Fresh.  New.  This is what the Old Lady looks for in live music.  And that’s why she listens to kids who could easily be her grandchildren… if she’d ever gotten around to having any.DSCF6129

Oh, and a word about the Bleu Pub in downtown Valdosta, Georgia: what a great venue for these performances.  The wood-floor ceiling and distressed-brick walls give the place the comfortable feel of somebody’s basement rec room while concentrating the raw energy of these bands.   The place was crowded and not really conducive to photography, and frankly the Old Lady was tired and not feeling terribly conducive herself.  So, sorry, guys, no good pix.


* lyric by Graham Nash







Lake Thoughts


The surface of the lake is a shimmering mirror, reflecting trees and clouds and skies.  It presents a smooth and placid surface to the passerby.

Underneath the surface, the lake teems with mysterious life.

The birds know it.DSCF3359DSCF3407DSCF3349

The turtles know it.DSCF3403

But the passerby might miss it without a closer look, a concentrated look that penetrates the silent surface to discover the tiny fish and mudworms that feed the birds and turtles.

We are like the lake.  Our faces are mirrors, reflecting what is around us and concealing the turmoil and the beauty that lies within.

Those who care about us are like the birds.  They know how to see through the mirror, to search the shores for our secrets, and that is what nourishes friendship.

God is like the turtle, equally at home above or below the surface, comfortably conversant with all the mysterious life that fills us.  God plumbs the depths of all that makes us whole and watches it all, with love.DSCF6106



Tellabration! is an annual world-wide storytelling event.  Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving storytellers gather in numerous places in many countries to spin their tales and listeners gather to appreciate this ancient art form.

In 2014 the town of Madison, Florida held its own event for the first time.  Local storyteller Wanda Violet pulled together the first local Tellabration! event and “B” O’Toole  of O’Toole’s Herb Farm provided the venue inside her Heartspace building.

O'Toole's Herb Farm, Madison, Florida
O’Toole’s Herb Farm, Madison, Florida

The Old Lady does love a good story!  From the comedic origin of turkey dressing to a legend about a dragon who learns how stories can heal old enmities, the Old Lady took them all in with open-mouthed wonder.

She particularly enjoyed Mattie Ann Barnes and Abby Ratliff, both young local ladies who are beginners but who already “get” this storytelling business.

Abby Ratliff
Abby Ratliff
Mattie Ann Barnes
Mattie Ann Barnes

Wanda Violet wants to start a storytelling group in Madison.  If this interests you email her at

Wanda Violet and grandson Joey
Wanda Violet and grandson Joey





A Recommendation from the Old Lady

Cindy Q Sings

A recommendation from the Old Lady:

If you are in the Valdosta, Georgia, area during December 2014 try to catch singer/guitar player Cindy Quick performing at Giulio’s Greek & Italian Restaurant which is located at 105 E. Ann Street near Valdosta State University.

Cindy has a full sweet voice and plays guitar with a delicate and lyrical touch.  She sits like an elegant jewel in a glass windowed alcove off one room of the restaurant all a-sparkle with tiny white lights among green plants.  Her repertoire of songs runs from James Taylor to Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen… and more!

She sets such a romantic atmosphere.  The food is excellent too.

Call ahead to make sure which weekend evenings she will be performing.   Giulio’s phone number is 229-333-0929.

Don’t miss it!  Listen to the Old Lady!

Journey: The Moonbow


When the Old Lady realized that it was the time of the full moon and that she was already in Tennessee, she headed for Kentucky to see the moonbow at Cumberland Falls State Park.DSCF5977

Cumberland Falls is a 68-foot-tall waterfall that produces a lot of mist.  Because of the way the Falls is situated, when there is a full moon it is the only place in this hemisphere where a moonbow can be seen.

A moonbow is like a rainbow, but instead of being formed of sunshine and rain it is formed of moonlight and mist.

The Old Lady did not even try to photograph the phenomenon.   The moonbow is elusive, ephemeral; it can only be photographed with special equipment and great skill.  It demands respect.

But it can be seen.  And the Old Lady saw it!DSCF6009

The next day, the falls offered a brightly beautiful rainbow.DSCF6011

The area also offers rocky, steep hiking trails that are well worth the walking for the many magnificent sights.DSCF5964DSCF5965DSCF5971DSCF5972DSCF5987DSCF5990DSCF5993What a glorious place to appreciate God’s Creation and the wonderful Journey we are allowed to take through it!DSCF5988

Journey: A Place Oddity

Sometimes the Old Lady stumbles on the strangest things out there in the wide wonderful world.

For instance, this oddly twisted wooden structure.DSCF5939

Chewacla State Park in Alabama hosts a lot of mountain bikers.  They pedal the trails, up and down hills, but for the more daring there are several wooden rampways in the woods.DSCF5937DSCF5938

And since it was Halloween while the Old Lady was there, appropriate decorations had been created.DSCF5936

But the Old Lady’s favorite was the Flamingo Grove adjacent to the campground hosts’ site.DSCF5948

Next to the beauties of God’s own Creation, the Old Lady has a fine appreciation for the oddities of humankind’s creation.DSCF5950DSCF5951DSCF5947DSCF5945DSCF5946


Journey: A Word About Camping


The Old Lady likes camping in state parks.

But she certainly has her preferences.

A word about gravel: UGH.  A lot of state parks now have gravel pads for tent campers, and signs forbidding placing a tent anywhere but on the gravel pad.

If you’ve ever slept in a tent on gravel, you know what this means.  If you haven’t, don’t try it.  Listen to the Old Lady!

Kudos to Rickwood Caverns State Park just north of Birmingham, Alabama, for its tent area.  No gravel, just a lovely leaf-covered landscape.DSCF5962

Oh, and the other thing the Old Lady prefers: weekday camping.  Fewer campers, less noise, more solitude.


Journey: A Beginning

The Old Lady embarked on a journey.

She did have a destination in mind; she wanted to get to Memphis, Tennessee, to see her late sister’s children.

But she didn’t know how long she would be gone, or what route exactly that she would take.  She started up through Georgia with the intention of doing some mystery shopping jobs in Columbus, Georgia and Auburn, Alabama.  She knew she would camp along the way, and that the first campsite would be at Chewacla State Park just south of Auburn.DSCF5932What fine fall weather for camping!  Warm enough to enjoy days outdoors, and cool enough at night to make a campfire both pleasant and needful.DSCF5934

Just sitting in a campsite during the daytime has its delights.  The Old Lady heard a rustle.  Something skittered.  Then another.  CHIPMUNKS!DSCF5940

A whole scurry of chipmunks came through the woods, apparently foraging.  They were spaced among the trees, each little hunter-gatherer on his own track as they moved from north to south.

A while later, the scurry moved back south to north, and each chipmunk looked as though it had the mumps.  Their cheek pouches were full of their findings and they were headed back to the den.DSCF5944

These are some of the things the Old Lady loves to find while traveling, woodland creatures and natural wonders.

But she likes to find man-made wonders, too… oddities along the journey.