CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

September 30, 2014

October 2014 Welcome Message

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

OCTOBER 2014 WELCOME MESSAGE

Follow me on Twitter #CarolynCHolland

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Each time I drive down our local section of the Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30) in Pennsylvania more trees strut their vibrant colors. Mother Nature’s wardrobe change is well into transitioning from monochromatic greens to brilliant red, gold, and bronze.  It’s striking—and a good reason for living in this part of God’s world.

In September we spent a lot of time in Slippery Rock, 82 miles away, but the problems are almost resolved and we won’t have to travel back and forth so often.

Last November my husband Monte finally trimmed our knarled, bent over, apple tree. He was concerned that this action would stop producing its 3-6 poor apples. He was mighty surprised at the number of apples old faithful produced. I slaved over a large kettle making applesauce, some of which I froze to enjoy when the snow lays a two-foot blanket over our yard.

Our snow pea, green bean, and floral crops were enjoyed by a deer with a disfigured leg. We must improve our deer fence next summer. However, we did have a good crop of potatoes. Well, good being relative…in days of yore I would have considered my yield to be meager.

Coming in October: Ligonier Days with its wonderful parade, food booths, craft booths, and people. For several years I’ve photographed it from a second floor window, with gratitude to the tenant for allowing me to do so. The Beanery Writers will have a table in front of Second Chapter Books from 2:00-5:00 p. m. on Sunday. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello.

The weather so far this month has been fantastic. Monte has been painting the house and the patio, both of which will be completed next spring.

Enjoy this wonderful month. It could be a bitter winter.

Carolyn Cornell Holland

November 1, 2014

Descending Laurel Mountain in Ligonier, PA

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DESCENDING LAUREL MOUNTAIN

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.

ALONG THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY (ROUTE 30E)

Below:along the Lincoln Highway en route to the crest of Laurel Mountain

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The WordPress photo challenge for October 31, 2014 is descent—experiment with your point of view and angle, or go even deeper with the theme.

I decided to play descent straight, having just taken another set of pictures while descending Laurel Mountain. The pictures were taken by me through the car window as my husband drove  along the steep descent

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October 30, 2014

Sears Employees Demonstrate Kindness

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SEARS EMPLOYEES DEMONSTRATE KINDNESS

Making a Difference in a Customer’s Life

Even though the wet spot under the car could be a remnant of the rain that fell the previous night, my suspicions were raised: Was there something wrong with the car? As a sensible human being I don’t trust mechanical contraptions.

I’d driven 40 minutes that morning, from home to the 2014 Health & Education Expo, a senior health expo supported by the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners, the Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging and other county agencies. I met Kim Ward, Pennsylvania State Senator, whom I’d previously contacted on legislation on open adoption records for adult adoptees. I’d taken advantage of several offerings—a hand massage, a back massage, a hearing test, a blood pressure reading, lots of candy samples, a snack.

And I’d enjoyed a presentation by KDKA-TV news anchor and caregiver advocate Jennifer Antkowiak titled Don’t Stress! Coping with Caregiver Stress.

It came time to leave, so I went to my car and saw the suspicious almost-puddle under the hooded part of my car. I pulled out my camera (of course, very low battery) and snapped a couple of shots of the wet spot

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141029 DSC03905Ebefore I drove to the mall across the 4-lane highway and parked behind Sears, where I had to make an exchange. I accomplished my mission and, not having to rush home I wandered around the mall stores for a couple of hours.

Wanting to drive home in daylight I went to the car just before sunset. As I approached the car I noticed an almost-puddle under the front of the car.

141029 DSC03907EOops. My suspicions had confirmation. I again pulled out my camera and snapped a picture.

The car had a problem, and I had about 7 miles of wooded highway to drive through, a drive that would make a lone woman vulnerable if the car was disabled, particularly at dusk or later.

My cell phone had experienced problems and wasn’t working, and I hadn’t picked up my husband’s cell phone. I’d been enjoyable incommunicado all day, but now I was concerned.

I went into Sears and stopped at the service desk closest to (more…)

October 26, 2014

Tie the Thread on My Finger

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

TIE THE THREAD ON MY FINGER!

Remind Me

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 41:9   Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharoah, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings….” (NI)

DISCUSSION: Finally, the hand of God jogged the cupbearer’s memory, creating a situation that brought release for Joseph. Pharoah needed interpretion of two dreams, and the cupbearer told of Joseph’s gift. Pharoah sent for him. (5: pp. 102)

REFLECTION:  Forgetfulness is a characteristic of mine. Once I complete a task or leave a situation, it is done. I no longer remember details as I move on to other things.

I excuse this as part of today’s high technology information age where one cannot take time to reflect, a memory enhancer, because the requirement is to multitask or to run from one event, memory or thought to another with no pauses in between. Time is of the essence. Production is what counts.

I also tend to have what I call “specific name and date memory deficit.”  It is not age related. Throughout my school years I has trouble with courses needing specific name and date recall—history, Latin, science. I recall substance, not specifics.

On school tests, I would (more…)

October 25, 2014

Ghoulish Halloween Photographs

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

GHOULISH HALLOWE’EN PHOTOS

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Hallowe’en…an opportunity to be something different from who we are, to free us from the boundaries of who we are, an opportunity to try on a totally different, perhaps oppositional, personality. A time to do something different…

Thus, I took photographs of my son-in-laws Hallowe’en decorations. Michael loves Hallowe’en and goes all out making my daughter’s front yard ghoulish. I decided it was an opportunity to play with my photoworkshop, and so came up with the following results.

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(more…)

October 23, 2014

11 Unique Facts About New England Lighthouses

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

11 UNIQUE FACTS ABOUT NEW ENGLAND LIGHTHOUSES

(Also try the questions at 11 Unique Facts About Lighthouses )

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 Lighthouses in New England…sounds very romantic, although the life of a keeper can be challenging. Recently, the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle was named the best lighthouse. I learned it does have one special feature: on Sundays from May to October you can climb the 44 steps to the Watch Room, then a ladder to the Lantern Room. This adventure will certainly be on my non-negotiable list of things to do in New England if we ever travel there again. After all, Portsmouth is where I spent my younger years.

But I digress. Below are 11 questions about New England lighthouses. Have fun!

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QUESTIONS

  1. What was used for the first fog signal, installed at Little Brewsters Island Lighthouse?
  2. What horrifying event occurred at Minots Ledge Lighthouse (near Cohasset, Massachusetts) one of the first screw pile lighthouses?
  3. From what lighthouse do romantics interpret to signal “I love you?”
  4. What was a lighthouse keeper’s annual salary in 1879, which held steady well into the 20th century?
  5. In August 2013 the federal government closed out an auction for Boon Island Light Station, New England’s tallest lighthouse. What was the top bid for this lighthouse built in 1855 on a tiny rocky island six miles off Maine’s coast.
  6. Which New England lighthouse has traveled the furthest?
  7. Which lighthouse boasts an enormous first-order rotating Fresnel lens fitted with a green light?
  8. What happened to the first lighthouse keeper in America, George Worthylake?
  9. Name the most haunted New England lighthouse.
  10. What special item did Nubble Lighthouse keeper Eugene Coleman inherit from the previous keeper?
  11. What four unique facts describe the Boston Harbor Light?

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BONUS QUESTION:

What four features describe the Boston Harbor Light?

To learn the answers click on MORE

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken from the boat

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken from the boat

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October 21, 2014

Finite Creatures We Are

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

FINITE CREATURES WE ARE

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Cemetery in East Lamoine, Maine

I’m eyeing the stone of Louis and Mary Googins des Isles, circa 1794-1825

Interesting this WordPress prompt, finite creatures, appeared the day I after I did research on deaths and funerals in Downeast Maine in the 1790s-1800s. Lest you think I’m strange for picking this topic I’d better inform you that I was researching it for my novel, in which one character, Mary, must deal with having her husband Louis sail for France in 1812 and never being heard from again (oops—there is a surprise in this true life story that mimics the later well-known epoch written by Tennyson, Enoch Ardon).

Thus, mortality has been on my mind these days.

The prompt asks At what age did you realize you were a finite creature, that you not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

Two of my earliest memories are of death.

Our family dog, a cocker spaniel named Buffy, died after being hit by a car.

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The man whose car hit him made a pine box for his burial. Buffy was buried under what is now an addition to 29 Spring Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I don’t recall my age but I might have been 5 or 6 years old. During a burial “service” I ran about the yard laughing. Was this an apartness from death or a (more…)

October 19, 2014

Angel Rescues Traveler in Massachusetts

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

ANGEL RESCUES TRAVELER IN MASSACHUSETTS

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A Night Time Ride to Safety

Along a Circuitous Path as

Angel Rescues Traveler in Massachusetts

(A Devotion)

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 40:23, 41:9    23. But (even after all that) the chief butler gave no thought to Joseph, but forgot (all about) him. 9. Then the chief butler said to Pharoah, I remember my faults today. (AMP)

Luke 17:18   Was there no one found to return and to recognize and give thanks and praise to God except this alien? (Amp)

Related Scripture:   Luke 17:12-19

REFLECTION:  Gratitude. For major events. And most commonly rudely forgotten.

For Joseph, who interpreted the dream for the chief butler and whose request to be recognized to the Pharaoh was “forgotten.” For Jesus, nine healed lepers neglected to thank him.

I, too, can be ungrateful. I don’t express gratitude often enough.

Sometimes, though, verbal thanks seems insufficient.

I traveled to New England by myself in the spring of 1996, and left Brocton, Massachusetts after 7 p. m., unconcerned about finding a hotel. I would be on a main road. No problem. I’d drive towards Merrimack, New Hampshire and stop along the way.

Wrong! I was traveling through a “bedroom community.” No motels!

At 8:45 p. m. I stopped at a drugstore in a strange town not too far from Framingham. “Are there any motels around?” I asked the pharmacist. Neither he nor the customers knew of any.

One customer said she felt bad. She had a spare room, but she also had company. She knew a place in Framingham but the dark night, the late hour and the heavy construction would create travel difficulties, particularly to a stranger. But she knew of a Bed & Breakfast out in the country. She’d call from her car phone.

A room was available! She drew me a land-marked map, then said (more…)

October 18, 2014

WP Photo Challenge: Refraction

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

REFRACTION PHOTOS

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The October 17, 2014, wordpress photo challenge is refraction.

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October 16, 2014

In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Malignant Fear

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

IN HONOR OF

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH:

MALIGNANT FEAR

 Tamara D., Guest Writer*

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 Speed Racing Heart

Stomach dropped to the floor

Breast smashed like a pancake

Too late to run for the door

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Deep breathing to the count of four

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Something is Not right

They need to (more…)

October 14, 2014

Dreamy Scenery Photographed

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DREAMY SCENERY

CAPTURED IN PHOTOGRAPHS

Note: Also see Dreamy Relationships Photographed

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The WordPress weekly photo challenge for October 10, 2014, is dreamy

Pictured above: Sun rays in my Laurel Mountain Borough, PA, yard.

Below are some dreamy scenic photographs.

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View of an unidentified pond

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Fence line in Ligonier Township, PA

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