Friday, April 27, 2007

Climbing Hydrangea in Middle Georgia

A close up view of the Impending Blooms

The entire Climbing Hydrangea on the North Side of the House

Many years ago while attending a lecture by a member of the Gardens Staff of Callaway Gardens I observed the image of a Climbing Hydrangea. I was impressed with the beauty of the vine and also the blooms. After the lecture I asked the presentor about growing such a plant here in Middle Georgia. I was quickly informed that the mini climate here in Middle Georgia was not adequate for such a plant to flourish. A few years later while on a Nursery/Garden Tour in the Athens, Georgia area I observed a Climbing Hydrange for sale for a mere $5.00. I did some research and placed this plant in a $20.00 hole. Pine Bark Mulch, Course Sand and Black Cow were the important components of the hole. I was also informed by various experts that this plant would not bloom here in Middle Georgia. But, that I could try. Now, some four or five years later I have observed impending blooms on the vine. Today I share the pictures with you. I do not know how long it will be before the blooms pop out, but you can be sure that I will share them with you here on Flower Child's Blog.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Recycling the Recyle Bin
Bibb County, Georgia

Attention Class: Yesterday evening, after fifteen years of faithful service I placed my BFI Recycle Bin at the Curb on top of the new Green One with all of our recycled items for pickup on Thursday, April 26, 2007.

As you can quickly ascertain from the image above, the blue recycle bin is still at my home here in West Bibb County. The Recycle Truck has long departed and it was determined that the Old, Fractured Blue Bin must be left here, where it has served so faithfully for the past fifteen years. (At least that must have been the thought of the driver of the recycle truck).

After three phone calls I was informed that I should place the Faithful, Fractured Old Blue Bin at the Curb and someone will pick up later today. My question and also concern is: "Why not pick up old fractured bins when they are left at the curb the first time in the company of their replacements?"

This second trip appears to be a waste of funds, but I was assured that they would not come unless there were more fractured and old bins in the area. All of this when the tree huggers are trying to have me use only one square of toilet paper for each bowel movement. It just does not compute!!!!! The "Flower Child" is confused.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Most of us have heard of the "ME" generation. I also think most everyone knows what this means.
Today I would like to share some of my recent observations:
  • The recent events at Virginia Tech have certainly displayed many real Heros from this tragedy. Many young students stepped forward to block doors and most likely they helped save lives!!
  • The young Men and Women who serve all freedom loving peoples of this earth by their involvement in the "War on Terrorism" more than likely have kept incidents such as 9-11 remote from the United States of America.

These are two examples of people working together on a team to resolve and/or even prevent tragic results.

Most of us know and realize that no one individual, no one person can survive on their own. I do not know anyone that can meet all of their needs and also live a useful life.

In my own life, I was one of six siblings. We all quickly learned the team work concept as we assisted our Parents on the small Family Farm. We even learned to share. I had to share one bicycle with five other siblings. Admittedly, I was a child in the dark ages before the advent of Television in Iowa, but one thing I can certainly state, "I did have the basic concepts of teamwork" ingrained in my mind at a young age.

As if I needed additional teamwork training; I enlisted to avoid the draft, in the United States Navy in August 1961. Ask any of your Family, Friends or Neighbors who have served in any branch of our Military about Teamwork training in "Boot Camp" or "Basic Training."

Just today I read a dynamic article by Jamieson Jensen on the Fresh Ink page of "The Telegraph." The article was titled: The evils of unstructured group work. This young scholar correctly pointed out one pit fall of group work. Any teacher or leader who assigns Group Work needs to include a requirement with this phrase which I quote, "You will all turn in a paragraph about what you have contributed," or "Each of you will be assigned one part of the project." Certainly great requirements to insure teamwork by all project participants.

All of this presented to validate the fact that those among us who continue to focus on "Themselves" truly prevent themselves from having a happy, useful or productive life.

We all know someone who is a member of the "ME Generation." Because of my childhood exposure to religion I am well aware of how fortunate I am. I have not had a perfect life, but I can also certainly state that I have been abundantly blessed. "ME Generation" people are so self focused that they usually are unable to function as positive team members.

As I conclude this Blog the most significant event in my life happened on March 24, 1940 when I became a "Baptized Child of God." As a member of God's team I am also an heir to eternal life in heaven.

As a member of God's Team I really do not have anything to worry about. The "Flower Child" does not have to be ME focused to have a happy and productive life.

Just last week we were made aware of four steps to live through the recent tragic events at Virginia Tech. I feel that these four steps can be applied to any difficult situation that may present itself to us in our lives. The steps are:

  • Connect with your Peers in the College Community to support each other
  • Connect and seek comfort from Loved Ones
  • Connect with a Faith Community
  • Trust in Your God

Again, You can see that in order to resolve the situation as you seek assistance in the four steps listed above, you can quickly ascertain that "Team Work" is vital, essential and also required.

I continue to be Thankful and very Grateful for all who serve for the good of all humanity. Thank You!!!!!


This wonderful blooming plant is a vine that likes to grown in cool soil, but the foliage and blooms love the warm sunshine of Spring. This image is one Clematis Vine that is growing in Flower Child's Garden. Delightful and attractive and always pleasant to view, you can be confident that the Flower Child will grow this plant as long as possible.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Retirement Planning

I have finally learned that sometimes a bit of humor can help a lot. Today I would like to quote a message I recently received entitled "Retirement Planning." The image was obtained from the World Wide Web.

Retirement Planning

If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00.

With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1000.00.

With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left.

If you had purchased $1000.00 of Delta Air Lines stock you would have $49.00 left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have had $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

It's called the 401-Keg Plan.
"Fired Works"

This exhibit of pottery is currently available for viewing in the Round Building, Central City Park, Macon, Georgia. The Flower Child visited the exhibit on Sunday, April 22, 2007 and even learned a few things. For instance, most of the pottery in the Southeast United States was fabricated near the Fall Line. Why, because the clay used was found near the Fall Line. As our Country was populated during the 1800s the potters generally moved West to be at the forefront of where the people were moving to. Thus the West ward movement. Locally, Crawford County, Georgia was the site for a vast number of potters. Of course, in this era, the potters fabricated items for the storage and preparation of food. I did not calculate the percentages, but a large number of the items on display at the Fired Works Show were for display and were considered art. No matter your interest, useful or artful pottery, the Fired Works Show is impressive. I enjoyed my Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bountiful Beauty

A Lovely Iris Bloom


Miniture Roses

Today the Flower Child would like to take the opportunity to share with you some Blossoms that are currently on display in the Gardens. I sincerely believe that we all must take the time to enjoy and appreciate the Beautiful World that our Creator has provided for all of us. We all must enjoy this Beautiful World in our own way. Admittedly the events of the past week have caused stress for everyone. Yes, we must all be rightfully concerned; but I also think that we must continue to appreciate the Great Blessings we all continue to receive. Thus this Blog today entitled "Bountiful Beauty." Thank You!!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

They Who Anger You,
Control You
Several weeks ago I observed the statement, "They Who Anger You, Control You," in a local Church sign board. This blog is the third one I have posted in response to the tragic events at Virginia Tech this week. Yesterday we learned that the killer sent a package to a media outlet which contained his wrath. As difficult as it is, the adage which is the title of this Blog is very appropriate. Again, may I remind the readers here that it is my sincere desire that "We as a Society Never Forget," the events of April 16, 2007.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Our America
As I watched the Convocation at the Virginia Tech Campus yesterday I made a few notes. We were informed that the events of April 16, 2007 were a Global Tragedy. Certainly true. The statement by the Vice President of Student Affairs, "Recover, but Never, Ever Forget," is certainly germane. The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia also had it correct when he advised all that "Comfort" for peers, family, friends and even all humankind was certainly needed and welcome at this time. Our President urged us all to rely on the Sources of Strength:
  • The College Community,
  • With Loved Ones,
  • The Faith that can be found in Houses of Worship, and
  • A Loving God.

Personally, I felt that the Convocation was well done and I can certainly appreciate what was said and done in the day following this tragic event.

As I stated in a previous blog, It is my concern and also my prayer, that we do not ever forget. When I state "we" I also urge our Leaders at all levels to remember. Thank You!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007
Today, as I reflect on the events of the date indicated above, all I can say is that I am shocked. Although it is difficult to say, this is but one example of the price our whole society has to pay to enjoy the freedoms that we here in the United States of America appreciate. We all have hear the adage: "Freedom is Not Free." This statement holds true today, just as it has in the past.
I personally feel that our Society today has to go back to basics. Before we jump off of the Deep End, please remember that our Society is governed by the values we as adults instill in our youth. I feel that we have not been doing too well lately. But then, each generation in our past history has always been able to say that about the upcoming citizens.
As we all contemplate this shocking situation, may I remind my readers today that as shocking as April 16, 2007 was, we must go forward. We were all in a state of shock on September 11, 2001 and even for weeks afterward. Yes, life must go on, but I also fear that six years from now we will have dim memories of April 16, 2007. This is a shocking statement you say. How can we forget? May I humbly remind you that we have far too many Adult Leaders in our Government who appear to have forgotten September 11, 2001. I find that statement shocking also.
Thank You for reading my Blog today.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Happy Dog

As reported on News 940 AM earlier today, the Dog that belongs to Flower Child does not need any medication to combat separation anxiety. This friendly Dog was named after Seaman, the dog that traveled with Lewis and Clark to explore the Lousiana Purchase and to also find a water-way to the Pacific Ocean. Although Seaman was a Newfoundland, the dog above is the closest that could be found at the local Pet Shop. Additional benefits of such a dog are that they do not require annual shots, do not chase cars and they certainly do not consume much dog food. In fact this dog is very docile and enjoys life traveling around Central Georgia in the company of the Flower Child.

Flower Child's Appointment
The Flower Child, also known as Alan, has recently been appointed as an Ambassador from the State of Iowa to the State of Georgia. For additional information please review this release:
I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed an Ambassador of the Great State of Iowa to the State of Georgia. In his announcement, "The Honorable Governor of the State of Iowa" appointed Alan, as the Ambassador to Georgia to promote Trade, especially John Deere Corporation Products and Corn Products.

While this appointment provides no financial gain for Alan, the fact that he will allow his Home State to continue to prosper is considered adequate and proper renumeration.

In accepting his appointment, Alan (a.k.a. Flower Child) indicated that he looks forward to promoting Iowa products in Georgia. Along with farm implements and Iowa products, it is also Alan's goal to promote education for the Children of Georgia. As a product of the Iowa education system, Alan has first hand experience in excelling in the famed "Iowa State Test," now known as the "Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)."

This should be a win, win situation for all concern. Georgia will become a greener state and ethanol fuel should also help in reducing the reliance on foreign energy. Additionally, the SAT and ACT scores for Georgia Scholars should improve.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Severe weather and Wars all cause death. In the case of War, most deaths happen to members of the Military, unless you are a civilian in the war torn country. Weather related deaths usually happen after appropriate warnings. Yet it is also true that some Weather related deaths happen with no warning. All of this stated to point out yet another cause of far too many deaths in our United States of America. Yet we never hear much about these tragic deaths in the media. I will copy data from the CDC Web site concerning "Water-Related Injuries."

In 2003, there were 3,306 unintentional fatal drownings in the United States, averaging nine people per day. This figure does not include drownings in boating- related incidents (CDC 2005).

For every child 14 years and younger who dies from drowning, five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than half of these children require hospitalization (CDC 2005). Nonfatal drownings can cause brain damage that result in long-term disabilities ranging from memory problems and learning disabilities to the permanent loss of basic functioning (i.e., permanent vegetative state).

A CDC study about self-reported swimming ability (Gilchrist et al. 2000) found that:

Younger respondents reported greater swimming ability than older respondents;

Self-reported ability increased with level of education;

Among racial groups, African Americans reported the most limited swimming ability; and

Men of all ages, races, and educational levels consistently reported greater swimming ability than women.

Groups at Risk
Males: In 2003, males accounted for 80% of fatal drownings in the United States (CDC 2005).
Children: In 2003, 782 children ages 0 to 14 years died from drowning (CDC 2005). Although drowning rates have slowly declined (Branche 1999), drowning remains the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years (CDC 2005).
African Americans: Factors such as the environment (e.g., access to swimming pools) may contribute to the racial differences in drowning rates between African Americans and white Americans (Branche et al. 2004). During 2002–2003, the overall age-adjusted fatal drowning rate for African Americans was 1.25 times higher than for whites (CDC 2005). However, these rates vary by age. During this time, African-American infants under one year had a fatal drowning rate slightly higher than the drowning rate of white infants (CDC 2005). Most infants drown in bathtubs, toilets, or household buckets. Among children 1 to 4 years of age, African Americans had a lower fatal drowning rate than whites. Drownings in this age group typically happen in residential swimming pools. African-American children ages 5 to 19 years fatally drowned at 2.3 times the rate of white children in this age group during 2002–2003 (CDC 2005). As children get older, drownings often occur in open water areas such as ponds, lakes, and rivers. If African Americans participate less in water-related activities than whites, their drowning rates (per exposure) may be higher than currently reported (Branche et al. 2004).
So The Flower Child's question and concern today is: Where is the public outcry concerning these tragic deaths? Or are these deaths so common place (nine each day) that they do not rate media coverage? I guess drowning is a lot like being killed in an automobile wreck. None of the National News Media will cover these events, unless there is a great loss of life and it appears that no one keeps a running total of the drowning deaths or puts it on the Sunday Evening News!!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Weather Radio
As I, the Flower Child, reflect on the Weather that we here in the Southeast United States experienced on March 1, 2007 and anticipate the weather that all the predictions indicate we may experience today, Saturday, April 14, 2007 I can only say that I am glad that I have a Weather Radio.
If you have not obtained yours yet, may I ask: "What Are You Waiting For?"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tour de Georgia
April 16, 2007
To view a Film Loop of the First Tour de Georgia, sponsored by Dodge, please visit:

The Flower Child has captured still images of the Tour de Georgia events of 2003, 2005 and 2006. For the 2004 Dodge Tour de Georgia I captured a video as the Riders traveled Georgia Highway 57 East of Macon. I look forward to doing a series of still images for this the Fifth Tour de Georgia.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

College Sports and the Media

Recent events cause me to publish this Blog. The recent Talk Radio Show Commentator’s remarks about the National Championship Girls Basketball Team and the situation at Duke University are both causes for great concern.

We are all told that Bad News Sells. That appears to be the mantra for both Print and Electronic Media. We must sell our product.

One of the basic concepts of our Justice System has always been “Innocent Until Proven Guilty,” appears to be pushed aside in the rush to beat a deadline or to be the first to feature a news article or picture.

It is sad when this happens. May I suggest that our Nation’s College Students who are engaged in Sport continue to conduct themselves in an orderly and correct manner. It is a fact of life that someone, somewhere will make a bad choice and then become the focal point of the news organizations in our Country.

Unfortunately, adults, from Talk Show Commentators to the members of our Nation’s Law Enforcement Establishment also make bad choices. In the end, Justice and Honor will win out, but at what cost. In some cases the damage done can not be undone.

May the Flower Child suggest today that each reporter, each photographer, each program editor, producer and media organization adopt this policy:

Each news event will be covered, but it will be covered accurately. If each reporter, each photographer, editor and/or producer handled every event as if his or her own Son or Daughter was the principle in the story.

I am confident that this era of incorrect coverage would soon be a thing of the past.

In fact, if our Nation’s Law Enforcement Establishment adopted this same mantra I would suspect that the events we have all watched play out over the past eighteen months at Duke University would never have happened.

In the meantime, I appreciate each Young Person who is participating in Youth Sport, High School Sport and College Sport in an effort to have a better life. I also appreciate those who are Scholars and also Athletes who are chasing their dreams.

It is so sad that we have thrown caution aside to have sensational news. I guess that is also why we have people slowing down while on the roads when there is an accident. We just have to see the blood and guts of a fellow human being.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Have a Blessed Easter

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bibb County School System
Relay for Life Fund Raiser
Saturday, April 7, 2007

This is the Vineville Academy Staff Softball team that played an exhibition game on Saturday, April 7th at the Bibb County Sports Complex as part of a Fund Raiser for the 2007 Relay for Life. Eleven Spirited Players.
This is the Sonny Carter Elementary School Staff that played Vineville Academy. The game was advertised as a six inning event, however by mutual agreement a seventh inning was also played. The Sonny Carter Staff consisted of thirteen spirited players. After the official Team Photographs both teams agreed to a combined picture. Just in case you are interested, the score of this annual classic was Carter 10 and Vineville 6. The author of this Blog, The Flower Child feels that this game is not an official sanctioned event because our National Anthem was not performed and we all know that is the official start of any legal Softball or Baseball game.
One of the dignitaries in attendance at this classic event was the Principal of Vineville Academy, Ms. Winters, shown here with a Staff member and her family.
He Is Risen

The Flower Child would like to take this opportunity to invite you to Celebrate the Easter Sunday Festival Service at "The Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity" at 1899 Tucker Road in West Bibb County, Georgia. The view here is after the Altar was Decorated for Easter and also set up for "The Lord's Supper." The service will begin at 11:00 A.M., Sunday, April 8, 2007.
USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)
Guided Missile Destroyer

As we all prepare to Celebrate Easter 2007 I would like to take the time to remind you, one and all that we can and also should be extremely Grateful and Thankful for the Young Women and Men who are stationed in Harms Way. These Heroes of the United States Navy, the United States Marines, the United States Army, the United States Air Force and the United States Coast Guard along with all of the members of the National Guard are allowing us to enjoy our Freedoms as they defend us all in the War on Terrorism.

Please remember them in your Prayers and Concerns as you gather with your respective families to Celebrate this Easter. Many of these Heroes cannot be with their families and it is my prayer today that they return home safely. In the meantime, I encourage you to log on to Operation Dear Abby to send your own note of Thanks and Gratitude:

This is a secure Web Site and I can assure you that when you use it that you will not receive any junk E-Mails. Of course, you will receive the personal satisfaction of having sent a message of support to our Nation's Heroes.

Friday, April 06, 2007

World War I

April 6, 1917 marked the date that the United States of America entered World War One. The use of horses as transport was being replaced by motorized vehicles. However, you can quickly observe in this image from the World Wide Web that both means of transport were being used.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Fringe Tree
Grancy Grey Beard

Although the official name of this plant is "Chionanthus virginicus" I, the Flower Child prefer the name of Fringe Tree. I have had this in our South Garden for about five years now. It always blooms in April and has a delightful fringe flower with a lovely fragrance. This image was from a previous year and the image was taken at night with a spotlight showing up through the shrub to capture the beauty of the flowers. It is starting the fringe foliage and within seven days should be at full beauty.
Napier House - Update
On March 29th I posted a Blog that recommended that the Napier House be renovated by the Bibb County School System for use as the Central Headquarters and that the New Central High School could be appropriately situated to allow this to happen.
Our School Board has indicated that the new high school could possibly spur renovation of the many homes in the area that are currently in a state of disrepair. My recommendation was that the School System could be an appropriate role model by not only preaching, but practicing what they state. As we all well know, the Lanier and Central High School Complex has a long stellar History. From the days that Bill Fickling and Ed Defore played Basket Ball, the Golden Boots National Championship Drill Team, and the Sugar Bear Band that preformed for several high profile National Political Campaigns, this school has maintained a high profile in our local History. It is with this legacy as well as the historic importance of the Napier House that I encouraged the preservation of the Napier House.
Of course I was made aware that such a renovation project would not be condoned by the Czars at the State level who control State Funding for educational facilities. If the powers that be here in Bibb County determine to conduct such a renovation it would have to be on the backs of the local tax payers. Or maybe a Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) to do this Napier House renovation. Or the project could be done with local private funding. All I know is that well before my arrival in Middle Georgia a dynamic effort was made to save our "Grand Opera House" on Mulberry Street here in Macon. This jewel is now the centerpiece of our entertainment complex. Thank Goodness for the foresight of these dedicated, and civic minded citizens.
Now, for the important aspect of this Blog. We all know that State Funding equals State Control. Cases in point, our fairly new Sonny Carter Elementary School could not be constructed to meet anticipated attendance levels. The data used by the State regarding population counts did not for one moment consider the impact of future and potential development in the West Bibb County area. Thus, when the school opened there was an abundance of "Trailers" to handle the enrollment. The same thing happened with the more recent "West Side High School" on Heath Road. "Trailers" still populate the landscape near this showplace High School also in West Bibb County.
I would suggest that if we ever desire to overcome the quagmire of a depressed County and an equally depressed School System that we just may have to do what is only correct and proper for our possibly dynamic future here in Middle Georgia.
I know for a fact that State Funding with State Control is not always serving the best interest of our goal of educating our future citizens. Additionally, as I travel around West Bibb County that there must be adequate resources available to fund education. Unfortunately a vast amount of these financial resources are funding the plethora of private academies. Now before anyone jumps up and down about funding for the private academies, I am also aware that the majority of these fine facilities also draw scholars from all the counties surrounding Bibb County. Thus I am aware that not all the money for these academies comes from Bibb County. What I am clearly stating is that there is adequate resources available right here in Bibb County to have an education system that equals or could even exceed that found anywhere in Middle Georgia. Case in point, the I. B. Program at Central is nationally recognized and acclaimed world wide. What a shame that we can not see outside of the box and do what is best for all of our Scholars. The future and also our future leaders demands that we do our best. This may mean that we step out smartly and do what is only correct and proper (I stated it again) to prepare for our very own successful future here in Middle Georgia.