Saturday, March 23, 2019

Celebrating The Oldest Former President Jimmy Carter

Here is a post I wrote on Jimmy Carter in 2010, when I visited his birthplace in Georgia.  Yesterday, Jimmy Carter became our longest lived President.

He still lives outside Americus, Georgia in a modest house on a family compound.  He still teaches Sunday School and visitors can come and participate in the class.  (If you do, unpaid plug, you might want to consider this wonderful Bed and Breakfast.

More recently (2015), Carter has been treated for melanoma that spread into his brain. He also has an extensive history of pancreatic cancer, the cancer that Jeopardy host Alex Trebek is receiving treatment for. 


They called him....

The Peanut President

Jimmy Carter has always fascinated me.  He came seemingly out of nowhere, seemed to have what it took to be President, but once he got into office he never succeeded.  Yet, in private life, he has succeeded beyond what may have been his wildest dreams.

What in his upbringing, what in his childhood values, what in his education made this man?

And why has this area of Georgia grown organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and others?  What here was so special?

We are visiting the Americus/Plains area to find out. In this blog entry I am concentrating on Jimmy Carter the man.

This is the house that Jimmy Carter grew up in.


Jimmy Carter grew up outside of Plains, GA in a solidly middle class family.  The actual town, which no longer exists, was called Archery.  The realities of rural life in those days created a childhood of lots of hard physical labor.  His father, loving as he was, did not believe in keeping anything on the farm that did not "pay its own way".   And this was hard farming, although the Carters were rich enough to have tenant farmers.  Still, Jimmy worked side by side with area black farmers, performing distasteful chores such as "mopping cotton".

"Miss Lillian", Jimmy's mother, was a nurse who did not turn anyone away, black or white.

Jimmy's father encouraged Jimmy to work and play alongside of the local black farmers.

The Carters grew cotton, peanuts, and sugar cane.  Student farmers still raise these crops at the homestead today.  They kept goats for meat, and mules to plow the fields.

In this windmill, is the germ of using "alternate energy".  There is nothing new about windpower.


The Plains High School the Carters attended has been closed (as part of consolidating various school districts).  This is a classroom set up the way it would have looked for Jimmy Carter in the 7th grade. Like so many famous people, Jimmy Carter credits a high school teacher, Miss Julia Coleman, as another great influence on his life.  In 1940 Eleanor Roosevelt invited her to the White House to honor her.  I highly recommend reading about her life.


 This is the outside of the high school.

Plains was the "Big City" for Jimmy Carter.  This is what it looks like today:

Jimmy Carter lives just outside of Plains today, and when he is in town, teaches Sunday School at his church.  This is Jimmy Carter's "Church Home".

When we had first planned our trip, Mr. Carter was not supposed to be in town but this has since changed. We weren't able to change our plans but it certainly would have been interesting.

So, Mr. Carter - we wish you many years of quality life to come.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Sun Rises #SkywatchFriday

It's the first Friday of Spring, 2019, and we may get a snowstorm.  Even if it's rain, it's still going to be nasty.  It's been raining since yesterday afternoon and is raining now.

Still, the birds were singing.  I should learn from them.


Fortunately, on March 13 we had a nice sunrise.

The one on March 14 wasn't too bad, either.

And even the last sunrise of Winter 2018-19 wasn't all that bad.

Now, any day now, it will be True Spring in the Binghamton area of New York.

Join Yogi and other bloggers who watch the sky on #SkywatchFriday.

Tomorrow, a blog post about President Jimmy Carter, who today became the longest lived President in our history.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Sighs of Spring

Yes - that wasn't a typo.  "Sighs of Spring".

We want winter to be so over.  But winter is going to be around for a while over.

We may have a winter storm on the way where I live in the Southern Tier of upstate New York on the way.  We are already under a winter storm watch.  Nothing like a March storm - I dread them more than winter storms. These storms can bring feet of wet, gloppy snow that brings tree downs.

Meanwhile, there are flood warning in 15 states.  Weather gone wild?  Can anyone deny something bad is happening with our weather? 

Meanwhile, some years, we still have lots of snow on the ground, but not this year. Still, there isn't much blooming.  There aren't signs of any bulbs coming up in my front yard yet.  On the side, there have been daffodils peeking through the soil for the last month or so, but they are stuck in neutral.

But my good news is I have outdoor flowers.  My white Lenten Rose has just opened blooms that have been waiting to open since January.  Let's hope now that the flowers will survive if it snows.

Meanwhile, on my exercise walk, I saw this tree (not an ornamental) starting to bloom.  Hard to see but they are small red flowers up there.  And yet...a snow storm in the forecast.

Spring, where art thou?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Oh Spring Where Art Thou? #WordlessWednesday

The long wait is almost over in upstate New York.  Spring comes today at 5:58 pm. 

Almost all the snow has melted, although we had flurries Monday and Tuesday.

Sap is running in the trees.  It is leaking from the Norway Maple in our front yard, staining the passenger side of our car.  The tops of trees glow red.

A magnolia in downtown Binghamton waits patiently for the age old signal only plants can hear.

"Awaken.  It is time to bloom."

But not just yet.

(A final note:  my heart goes out to the people in the Heartland being affected by extensive flooding, having been through a flood myself.  I lived in that area briefly and used to have family in Iowa. )

Join Esha, the Skygirl, and Natasha each Wednesday for #WordlessWednesday.

New to #WordlessWednesday but would like to participate? Well, here’s how you can join Natasha and Esha Just follow our three easy steps:
  1. Post a picture on your blog that speaks for itself. It could be from your adventures, experiments, life’s quirky moments, travels or just plain random shots. Or absolutely anything that stoked your being. Or made you think.
  2. Add our badge to your post and add a backlink to our posts.
  3. We’d love it if you read, comment and share all the posts linked at Esha and Natasha's sites.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Suddenly Unknown Address

Sunday night, I was (unexpectedly) online, ordering various computer parts.  My desktop had been giving me trouble for several months.  My son had done some temporary short term fixes, but, Saturday morning, I turned my computer on - and, several minutes later, the computer turned itself off.

Long story short, my computer, which dates from the big "Windows XP Support is Ending" era, died.  Son thinks it's the motherboard.  Because of its age, it isn't worth fixing.

So, there I was, ordering parts son would use to build me a new computer.

To my great surprise, two of the sites said the postal service could not validate my address.  That was news to me. I've lived at my current address for longer than some of my blog readers have been alive.  I do not live out in the country.  I am puzzled.

I found shippers such as UPS have "address validators" and, at least according to UPS, I exist.  That's reassuring- I think.  So, maybe I can face this upcoming April challenge with a new computer, if my address is indeed valid.

But why would my address become invalid?  That still is making me wonder.

There's one additional challenge,once I get my new computer - learning Windows 10, which I have never used.

It will keep my mind young, at least.

Are you participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?


Monday, March 18, 2019

Blogging from A to Z Reveal

 (If you are looking for my Music Monday post, click here. )

The other day, my son called me a digital hoarder.   Yes, and I can blame blogging for some of it.

I started to blog in April of 2009 so, sometime during April's Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I will be marking my 10th anniversary in the blogging world.  Not only that, but the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is celebrating its 10th

My theme for this year took a lot of thought.   But, in scrolling through the over 8,000 photos on my iPhone (no, I'm not kidding, and I have an old iPhone with another couple of thousand) trying to find a photo of April the Giraffe, it came to me.

My theme for Blogging from A to Z 2019 is:  Finding America Through Photos.

I love blogging.  I love (amateur) photography. Since 2012, when I purchased my first iPhone, I've been to many places in the United States:  various parts of New York State, including New York City.  Florida (three times).  Virginia (several times).  North and South Carolina.  Georgia. Missouri.  Arkansas.  New Jersey.  Pennsylvania.  Maryland.

Wherever I go, I take pictures.  Not so much of people, but of things.  Quirky things.  Historic things.  Plants.  Birds.

Why not share some of those pictures with you?  I don't mean pictures of the normal tourist attractions.  (Ok, well, maybe a couple).  No, I find other things. 

What is going to be more interesting is that the motherboard on my desktop computer has gone bad, and guess where I had already put some of these photos, trying to get a head start. (Oh well. Just adds to the challenge.)  Hold breath that my laptop (which is over six years old) holds out.

I hope you will join me on this journey, starting April 1.
I'd love to have you join me.  In fact, why not comment below (with a link to your blog) if you plan to participate!

If you are new to A to Z and want a guide, an experienced blogger shares some hints with you. 

Here, you can see one of my "first of April" posts for the 2017 A to Z.
April the Giraffe (who is in the news again, just coincidentally)


By the way, it is not too late to sign up for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  I hope to see you there on April 1.

March Musical Birthdays #MusicMovesMe

(If you are looking for my Blogging from A to Z Reveal post, I changed my mind about posting tomorrow - please click here).

It's time for another episode of my favorite thing to do on Mondays - #MusicMovesMe.

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only on this music train, please!)   First, there is XmasDolly,   Her co-conductors are:  Callie of JAmerican Spice,  and ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥   Also, co-conducting  is  Cathy from Curious as a Cathy .  Last but not least, there's - (said humbly) me.
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Every other week, we are asked to blog about a musical theme.  The other weeks are free weeks. 

For the month of March, we have a guest conductor - Patrick Weseman.  Today, he asks us to blog about musicians born in the month of March.

There's quite a selection of March musicians, it turns out.

Lady Gaga (March 28, 1986) has become a giant of the music world.  I am partial to "Born This Way" (warning, possible disturbing images.  The song itself starts about 3 minutes into the video.)

I remember Carrie Underwood (March 10, 1983) from her American Idol days, when it was obvious she would be a star, and she is.  I decided to go with "Smoke Break".  I nearly picked "Jesus, Take the Wheel" but I had heard this on another music blog several days ago, and immediately fell in love with it.


James Taylor (March 12, 1948) with Fire and Rain.  My favorite of his songs is The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald but I've found that people either love or detest that song. Oh well, thank you for readers who corrected me (sorry, Gordon Lightfoot!) but at least I posted a real James Taylor song!

 Diana Ross (March 26, 1944) with a live performance of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" in 1979.  Picking a song from her extensive career is nearly impossible.

Last but not least: Steven Tyler (March 26, 1948) of Aerosmith.  Hmm, which one of their many hits should I pick?
I'm picking "Dream On" from 1973 which was written by Tyler.

Hurray for March!

Join me again next week for another episode of #MusicMovesMe.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Dream and a Giraffe

Two years ago, Animal Adventure Park near Harpursville, New York had a pregnant giraffe by the name of April.  Wanting to keep their fans updated as to the progress of her pregnancy, they installed a web cam in her stall.

Internet lightning struck.  April, as they like to say, went viral, and hundreds of thousands of people watched April give birth in - of course - April, of 2017.

It was a bit of a rocky road, this event that took everyone by surprise.  There are many people who oppose the concept of zoos.  But millions of others took April, Oliver, and the eventual baby - Tajiri - into their hearts.
Putting things in perspective - yes, April is that big
 I, so fortunate because I live only about 20 minutes away from Harpursville, was one of them. 

I even visited April, Oliver and Tajiri later that year.  But then, other things took precedence in my life.  April became a distant memory.

Life went on at Animal Adventure Park, though, and, with about 304,000 other people yesterday, April gave birth to a baby boy yesterday.  The labor was uneventful and mother and little baby giraffe boy bonded quickly.

So why should this matter?

Because the owner of Animal Adventure, Jordan Patch, was not an overnight success.  He started out with a dream and a camel by the name of Maxx.  This isn't Maxx, by the way - he died (from old age) a couple of weeks before my spouse and I visited.

When the Internet chose April to go viral, Jordan Patch saw an opportunity to help save the world's giraffes.  Giraffes are vulnerable to extinction.  Several species (yes, there is more than one giraffe species) have already gone extinct.  He used the publicity to raise money and awareness.

He has also raised awareness of the world of special needs (as my regular readers know, I have an autistic brother in law) through his young daughter, Ava.and their charity, Ava's Little Heroes.

In a perfect world, no animal should have to live in captivity and have their births live streamed on You Tube.  The animals at Animal Adventure, yes, should be roaming wild in a world where they never have to worry about climate change, or poachers or encroachment of humans on their territories.  But that is not our world.

I hope that one day, it can be.