I Heart Pink in a Parade

 

 

 

The 2011 Azalea Festival Parade, held annually in Wilmington, North Carolina, had a plethora of pink in it. And for good reason, y’all; azalea’s come in all shades of pink.  Everyone was wearing it – even the clowns. This one, with his pink-mobile, his pink feathers and his pink poodle, really got into the spirit!

This week’s photo challenge theme at I Heart Faces is “Tickled Pink!” I think the expression on this clown’s face captures the emotion perfectly.

I Heart Faces is a photography sharing forum that focuses on the art of capturing faces and their various emotions. Each week, people from across the world enter their favorite face photos.

Click on the picture for a better view and click the button to check out lots of other interesting hands, or to enter a photo of your own.

 

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Describing Wilmington, North Carolina

Today’s topic on The Daily Post is to describe the town where you grew up.

I was born in, and grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, where I still live today. I wrote about how much I love my hometown in a post titled Going Home. It was recently featured on Freshly Pressed, much to my delight, y’all.

Wilmington is a diverse city, made up of all kinds of people. It is a college town, a thriving port, a retirement relocation for many folks of the Northern persuasion, a historic southern city with roots going back to the Civil War, a popular travel destination, a beach lover’s paradise and a golfer’s dream.

It is home to the USS NORTH CAROLINA Battleship, the Azalea Festival, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the UNCW Seahawks, and the Wilmington Hammerheads. It offers a large  historic district on the riverfront, horse-drawn tours, an authentic riverboat, quaint shops, elegantly restored southern mansions, and  Thalian Hall – one of the oldest working theaters in the nation.

The city has been given the nickname “Wilmywood” since it became a major center of American film and television productions. Films such as A Walk To RememberBlue VelvetTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesEmpire RecordsCape FearBlack Knight28 DaysThe Crow (death place of Brandon Lee), Nights in Rodanthe and the controversial  film Hounddog were produced here, in addition to television shows such as MatlockSurface,  Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill.

I love my city; the sights, the sounds, the smells and the people. With my camera, I constantly try to capture  images that can showcase the essence of it – the customs, the food, the oak trees, the historic buildings, the battleship, the gardens, the salt air full of screaming sea gulls, and the lonely river that flows through it all.

Because I think a picture is worth a thousand words, I hope you enjoy this slideshow of some of my favorite photos that I have captured.

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Yee Haw, Y’all!

I’m so thrilled, so flabbergasted, so excited  cain’t hardly BREATH, y’all! Today was one of those Red-Letter-Mark-Your-Calender Days –  I got chosen to be on the front page of WordPress’s Freshly Pressed!

What makes it so gooses-bumpy excitin’ is that the folks over at Freshly Pressed picked a blog post of mine (Going Home) that just happens to be about my favorite subject – my hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina! I am so passionate about this beautiful spot of earth, that I used to own and publish a magazine about it! Called Scene Magazine, started by my dear Uncle Joe in 1975, it was a tribute to the people, the places and the beauty of my hometown.

As of the time of this writing, I have had 1032 visitors today, and have gotten 38 comments. A good day for me is about 40 visitors and five or six comments, so this is extraordinary!

Many of today’s comments have been about my dear, departed Grandmama Gladys. An artist, a writer, a poet,  a life-long Wilmingtonian who lived to be a ripe old age of 96, and quite possibly one of the world’s best Southern cooks, she was my inspiration and my teacher. Many of my blog posts have been about her, and I have another blog, called Rock of Gibraltar, that is about the story of her life, and showcases many of her poems.

As I read through the comments today, I could not stop the sudden rush of tears, and the feeling that, somehow, she knows and she is proud of me.

Oh, and the photo of the little cutie-pie in the cowboy hat? Yesterday my grandson, Kole, had some glamour shots taken at a wonderful photography studio here, in Wilmington.

Y’all should have seen me, and the crazy things I was doing to get him to smile! Jumping up and down, waving a blue feather  boa around, holding a toy in my teeth while growling like a dog and lying cheek-down against the carpet, hiding my big ole head behind a large block so I could play “peep-eye.”

Anyways, it was successful session, judging by the amount of photos I have to buy frames for, and I feel like the World’s Most Accomplished Grandma for all the smiles I coaxed out of him.

He smiles quickly and easily when he sees me. He’s my pride and joy, and I can’t wait to introduce him to all that our southern hometown has to offer. After all, what else are Grandmas for?

Signs in My City

I chose these images for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. To visit other cities, click on the button and link up with photos of your own town.


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Yesterday I wrote about the subject of home, and what my city means to me. Go on and read it, if you haven’t already. My love for my hometown city, Wilmington, North Carolina, is the reason I love to participate in The Unknown Mami’s Sunday in my City.

Every Sunday, folks from all over the world post photos of their cities, and I’ve seen some pretty decent photos, some pretty interesting ones, and learned a lot about different locations that I didn’t know. I hope that by posting photos of my city, y’all can get a flavor of what it’s like.

Today’s  slide show is a collection of some photos I took this year in and around downtown Wilmington. All of them have a sign of some kind or another in them. I like photographing signs wherever I go. I think they really showcase an area and give you a certain feel for its inhabitants.

A photography website that has taught me a lot (and it’s free!) is Digital Photography School. The subject of one of the tutorials was “Photographing Signs – Travel Photography Tip.” The author list several reasons why he likes to photograph signs when he is on trips.

He writes: “I set myself the task of photographing the ‘little things’ that we saw along the way. My hope was that in photographing ordinary, everyday aspects of the countries that we were traveling through that I’d capture the essence of the country.”

I hope my ordinary, everyday signs from around my city will give you an essence of what it’s like. I also hope I’ve inspired you to get out and capture a few “snaps” of your own.

A Tour of Photo Forums, not Memes

spincyclesmallThis week’s Spin Cycle topic is “Memes.”

I’ve been participating in various photo memes forums, almost from the first weeks I discovered blogging. As my son Kyle said, it gives me a place to showcase the thousands of photos that I have.

(We’ve been informed by Spritetskeeper that these are not truly “memes.” Technically they are forums.)

One thing I’ve never really posted about it is the fact that my husband and I attempted to publish a small, community based magazine called Scene Magazine a few years ago. We were laid off at the time, it was my uncle’s business that he was trying to sell  so he could move to sunny Sarasota, Fla. and it seemed like a fun idea to take it over from him.

I’ve never had more fun in my life.

Scene Magazine gave me a creative outlet to write about something I love passionately – my hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina. It also introduced me to the fascinating world of photography. Our camera started going with us everywhere, as we were constantly on the lookout for a stunning shot that would become our next cover.

Reality set in eighteen months later, in the form of a bill from Cobra Ins. I realized then that if I wanted to keep some kind of health insurance I needed to get a real job.

This left me with a large collection of photos of the beautiful area that we live in, as well as an addiction to taking photos that did not go away. I was thrilled when I discovered  City Daily Photo, a website that encourages folks to publish a photo a day on their personal blog of their own cities all over the world. When I found out that Wilmington, NC was not yet on the list, I immediately started Wilmington Daily Photo.

I get a kick of knowing that my simple photos of Wilmington, NC are displayed on the City Daily Blog every day, alongside  exotic places like Drammen, Norway and Sophia, Bulgaria!

This photo is not only displayed on the my About Wilmington page, but is an actual cover shot that we used for one of our issues of Scene Magazine. It is a photo of the Wilmington waterfront, from the other side of the Cape Fear River.

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I have since then become addicted to participating in all kinds of photo memes forums. Sometimes I post a photo on here (When Ginger snaps…) and sometimes on Wilmington Daily, depending on which blog I think the photo best fits.

This is a picture I posted for a meme called Macro Monday. This was posted on my Wilmington Daily Photo Blog.

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I posted this picture, of myself in a gift shop at The Biltmore House in Asheville, on a  meme photo forum called Ruby Tuesday. It was my first entry for this meme. I really look forward to Ruby Tuesdays. I find myself looking for red items to photograph all week long!

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This one was on a meme forum called Watery Wednesday. I called it Floating Downstream. We took this in Playa Del Carmen when we were on a cruise.

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This is a photo of my step daughter, that I posted on the meme forum called I Heart Faces.

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The majestic Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, posted on Wilmington Daily Photo, for a meme forum called Monochrome Weekly.

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My little grand daughter, Freya, looking at my husband, her “Pop Pop.” Isn’t this just worth a thousand words? I chose this one for a meme forum called A Thousand Words Thursdays.

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And last but not least, I can’t leave out Shadow Shot Sunday. This is a fun meme forum that has folks posting pictures of shadows, and the photos are always creative and interesting. This is one that I posted, of a couple overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway in Kure Beach, NC.

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I hope y’all will go and visit some of these photo forums and think about participating if you don’t already. And if anyone has any suggestions of any others that I haven’t discovered, then hey, comment me already!

K? Thanks!

You Might Recognize Wilmington

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Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard.

Y’all really ought to visit the lovely and talented Pseudonymous High School Teacher today.  Pseudo, as she’s affectionately referred to, lives in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Anyhoo, she has started a great meme over at her place called Travel Tip Thursday – every Thursday she and anyone who chooses to participate will do a little “travelogue” about a place close to home.

For the last five days, I’ve been posting about our Staycation. My 14 year old step daughter, Dani,  and her BFFL, Sella, are visiting us this month. They live in Upstate New York. We decided to take the two of  them on a vacation in our own backyard this year, and explore some of the things that tourists do and see when they visit our area. Things that we’ve always wanted to do, but that pesky little thing called a job keeps getting in the way.

So far it’s been a lot of fun, y’all.

We had a Girls Only Day, which included a luncheon at La Costa, manicures and pedicures, ear piercing and a shopping spree at Independence Mall. We took a tour of the Screen Gems Studio, where One Tree Hill is filmed, and went on a Haunted Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington. We hosted a Chicken Spiedie family dinner, played golf in Burgaw, went to Wrightsville Beach, and yesterday we revisited the mall and had dinner at Wild Wings Cafe, located in the Landfall Center.

Try the Garlic Garlic Wings, if you like garlic, y’all. They are to die for, I swaunee.

Today we are going to do something that I’ve wanted to do ever since it became available in Wilmington! We are going on a Segway Tour of the historic downtown area. It is listed as the number one top rated attraction in Wilmington right now by Trip Advisor. We are taking a two hour tour which will take us by several film locations and haunted buildings. It should be exciting – I will be posting pictures and details tomorrow.

And tomorrow night, the girls are going to be able to see a show, The Wiz, in one of the oldest, working theaters in the United States, Thalian Hall.

Wilmington is a beautiful city, rich in history and natural scenery. As a Wilmington native, I am so proud to show off my hometown. I love it so much that I have another blog called Wilmington Daily Photo. It keeps me busy posting a new photo of the Wilmington area every day. I hope y’all will check it out and see for yourselves why I think this place is so spectacular.

If the pictures make you feel a little like, Deja vu, it might be because you’ve already visited here, without realizing it. You’ve probably already seen one or more things that have been filmed in Wilmington. Known as “Wilmywood,” it is one of the largest motion picture and television production studios in the United States, outside of Hollywood, CA. Over 350 television and motion pictures have been filmed here since the studio was built by Dino De Laurentiis in 1984. It operated under the name DEG (DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group) until 1990, when it was purchased by Carolco (producers of the Terminator movies).

George Cooney, owner of EUE/Screen Gems, acquired the Wilmington Studios in 1996 and renamed it EUE/Screen Gems Studios.

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Some of the stuff that has been filmed here: One Tree Hill, Dawson’s Creek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Part I and Part II), Domestic Disturbance, Nights in Rodanthe, Sleeping With The Enemy, Lolita, Cape Fear, Firestarter, Blue Velvet and Surface.

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The Haunted Ghost Walk was pretty corny and our guide was a wee bit drunk, we think, but never-the-less, Wilmington is hauntingly beautiful at night. Here are a few interesting shots I got during the tour.

This is the fountain in front of the Alton Lennon Federal Courthouse building, where, incidentally, much of Matlock was filmed.

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Looking down Front Street towards Cape Fear College.

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This used to be our New Hanover County Courthouse. It is now used as a Visitor’s Center. The clock tower is a fine example of the architecture of the time.

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A staple of Wilmington’s downtown nightlife, Fat Tony’s Italian Pub is one of the stops along the Haunted Ghost Walk. It has a house brew that’s called the “Haunted Pub Brew” in honor of the ghosts (former guests of the old Orton Hotel that burned down in the 1940s) who are said to linger here at the site of their old haunt. You can’t find much more ambiance than this.

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The Bellamy Mansion is one of our most spectacular examples of antebellum architecture. Built right after  the Civil War by free and enslaved black artisans, for John Dillard Bellamy (1817-1896) who was a physician, a planter and a business leader. After the fall of Fort Fisher in 1865, Federal troops commandeered the house as their headquarters during the occupation of Wilmington. Now it is a museum that offers tours during the day, but it is a pretty sight at night.

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Driving Miss Lucy

spincyclesmallIt’s time to do another Spin Cycle. Finally. I know. This week the topic was “driving”. And, miraculously, I thought of something to say about it.

Now I have to admit, I’ve been real reluctant to write anything lately. I guess y’all could say I’m pouting. See, my new baby grand daughter, and her parents, my son and his girlfriend, are planning to move away to another state. And this news is just so …..crappy…..  that I’ve been in an awful mood about it.

But I do realize that folks move all the time, especially in this economy. And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my own childhood. My parents decided to move from Wilmington, NC, my hometown, to Eau Gallie, Florida when I was only five and my brother was a newborn. Now I know how lost my grandmothers must have felt, since we were their only grandchildren at the time.

But the two of them were good friends, having met on the job before either of them even got married. Both of these fine women were telephone operators for Ma Bell in the 1930’s. They both eventually married my grandfathers and settled down on the same street to raise their children. Both families attended a small Baptist church on that same street. My parents were the epitome of “childhood sweethearts”. They met as youngsters in Sunday School.

Having their children and grandchildren move to Florida in 1963 meant just one thing for these two lifelong friends, who were by then both widows. Road trips! My mother’s mother, Miss Gladys, being known as a tomboy all her life, of course drove. My father’s mother, Miss Lucy, being one of the prissiest women the South ever turned out, of course rode. Oh, and she talked. If there is one thing Miss Lucy was good at, it was talkin’ yer ears off.

I’m pretty sure she had some stories that probably lasted the whole trip.

To say my brother and I  looked  forward to these visits would be an understatement. It was a car full of love ( two grandmothers at once!)  that pulled into our driveway a few times a year, just in time for supper. They would usually stay for a few days, bestow us with hugs and kisses and gifts and plenty of grandma stories, and then make the trip back.

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The two ladies seated in this picture are my grandmamas. The one on the left, in the dark glasses, is Miss Lucy. The one on the right, clutching her purse, is Miss Gladys. I think this picture was made at Miss Lucy’s birthday, when she was about 89. When she passed away, a few years later, Gladys wrote the following poem, describing their road trips to Florida to see me and my brother.

LETTER TO LUCY

You passed the door of mystery
The door we’ll face one day.
We breath and live in this world
And one day we’re taken away
To a place with streets of gold
No sickness or sorrow there
Just love and beauty I am told.
God’s love is everywhere.

I’ll always remember my co-pilot
Who talked and guided the way
On trips to see our children;
It always took a day.
On 17 was the way to go
No super highways then.
Some day this I know
You will be my co-pilot again.

With Love,
Gladys (5/19/03)

I’m certain of few things, y’all. One is, I was very close to my grandmothers, even though I was growing up over 700 miles away. And I’m determined to be close to my grand daughter, if it’s the last thing I do. Two, I know my grandmamas, grand ladies that they were, are together again right now. Gladys was able to join Lucy last October. They are up there somewhere right now. And, of course, Gladys has the wheel.