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Scottish Festival and a bit of poetry...

The 38th annual Arkansas Scottish Festival was held at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas on April 7th - April 9th. This was the first time I'd ever attended. I'm sad to say I didn't even know the festival existed until last year. On Saturday, April 8th, a group of friends and I made the several-hour trek, determined to enjoy everything we could.
The weather was glorious, all bright, bonnie sunlight and mild temperatures. Seemed mother nature approved of the festivities. The campus was appropriately kitted out, and nearly everyone in attendance was properly *ahem* kilted out. 
Bagpipes playing, we ate meat pies--- well, mine was a 5-cheese mac & cheese pie--- watched clans parade their colors, got sunburned (darn our fair, Celtic skin), and wanted the day to last forever.
There were a host of competitions, everything from Scottish/Irish dance-offs, sheep dog trials, Tartan races, a Celtic poetry competition, piping and drum trials, even a bonniest knees competition (…
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And so it goes and goes and goes...

Life is all about changes.
We grow up. We grow old. The world turns. Things wear out, get replaced...get forgotten.

We have little control over the changes that affect our lives and the lives of those around us. We're just here for the ride. Sometimes, though, that ride takes a detour or two.

One thing I've learned--and maybe one of the few things that won't "change" for me--is, just because something is changing, doesn't mean we have to be happy about it. In fact, nowhere does it say we have to be happy about anything.

So, we can scream, cry, rail against the injustices of the world, pout, but, that will do nothing to stop whatever change is going on. If anything, it'll just wear us out so the change can progress with very little interruption from us worn-out souls.

Of course, conversely, a lot of good can come from change. There's a freshness, a newness, a bright something that wasn't there before---

And, it's trying to find this "good&…

Atticus Finch: The Perfectly, Imperfect Human...

Caveat:
I've read To Kill a Mockingbird more times than I can remember. I've seen the movie more times than I can count.

I haven't read Go Set a Watchman, yet---but, I will next week when I pick my copy up.

So, this post isn't a review for Go Set a Watchman, it's merely an observation and a superficial character analysis of a currently much talked about figure---I'll most likely update this post or draft another one after reading GSAW. But, I kinda have to get this out of my system before I read it.


~~~~~~~~~~~~

From what I understand, TKAM is really just a nugget of the original manuscript, GSAW---that in TKAM we were presented with Scout's childhood in full view, instead of in flashback sequences interspersed with Jean Louise's adult life and the relationship with her aging father--- as the ORIGINAL manuscript intended.

So, what we were presented with 50 years ago, was really only HALF of the story. We got half of Scout/Jean Louise. Annnnnd, we got ha…

The Long and Winding Road....

It's been a while...a long while.
What's that adage about life happening when you were busy making other plans? Yeah, that happened.

I remember finishing last year's A-Z blog in April, then I wrote my reflection post in May---which was closely followed by a depressing Mother's Day post (that I have since removed). And then,
there's nothing. After that, I sort of faded away from the blogoshere--quite unintentionally.

One missed blogging day turned into one missed blogging week, which became a month and now, finally, a year...

I never planned on dropping out of sight, but then, life stuck its nose in and messed up my plans.

Sad thing, nothing noteworthy happened during my year-long hiatus. I just did other things.

I did complete another year of NaNoWriMo-- my 8th year--in November! And, it was the first year that I blew away the word count goal and set my personal best at 85K!! So, there was definitely a noteworthy month during my absence.

Christmas came and went, an…

A-Z Reflections, year 4....

A-Z blogging challenge for 2014 has come and gone, seemingly without my realizing it. And, though I fell behind once or twice toward the end, I finished this year's challenge right on time. Really, I can't believe it's already over. I feel like I just finished my post for letter A...

Year 4, for this blogger, was a far cry from the tortured state of despondency that was most of Year 3-- I'll not mention the irony of this year's focus on death being easier to blog about than last year's foray into supernatural creatures, we'll leave that for my therapy sessions *ahem*
As always, A-Z brought with it, not only 26 days of unbridled and far-reaching knowledge (disguised as entertaining and thought-provoking blog-posts), but a chance to connect with new faces while reconnecting with familiar faces--who had perhaps drifted away--from A-Z's past. 
I am always amazed by the ingenuity and inspiration that comes from lumping a couple thousand folks together all wi…

Z is for...

... Zoonosis


The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe



Ending this year's A-Z on a morbidly good note, I introduce to you, Zoonosis!

This cool little name is given to the process whereby humans contract certain diseases from other non-human animals or where non-human animals contract diseases from humans....since we learned all about sharing in preschool----

And, boy, do we know how to share! In a review of over 1,100 pathogens, an incredible 61% were Zoonotic. So, for all those elitists out there who declare humans 'above' animals, looks like we're lumped right in with them when you're talking about exciting things like disease control.

I'm not going to list all the crazy diseases out there that we share with our furry, and not-so-furry neighbors. The list is depressingly long, and though this month's blog is all about the morbid/macabre, I rea…

Y is for...

... Yew Tree (Taxus baccata)


The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe




The Yew tree fits in the morbid/macabre ranks for a couple of reasons. First off, it's toxic. Most parts of the plant are deadly, but most deadly is the foliage--- especially if the foliage has been dried, this increases its lethal potency.

Secondly, the Yew is often connected with cemeteries. In fact, it's often planted in cemeteries throughout Europe and many older Yew trees have had their trunks carved out to open the tree up as a chapel in the cemetery. It isn't exactly known if the connection of Yew trees to cemeteries arose from the trees naturally long life or because its toxicity made it a symbol of death. Regardless, there are probably very few European cemeteries that don't have at least one Yew tree.

It's hard, though, to treat the Yew as an emblem of death when it is so l…