Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mop Head Hydrangeas
Flower Child's Gardens

These lovely white Mop Head Hydrangeas flank the right side of our Home here in West Bibb County, Georgia. There are about thirty plants in this planting. Several years ago an expert from Calloway Gardens gave a talk to a Horticulture Group here in Macon in which we were told that for maximum impact of a planting of flowers, place a large number of plants in an area and you will have a great impact when they bloom. Additionally these large and long drifts of flowers are very pleasing to the eye.
These Blue Everlast Hydrangeas will be providing beauty through October. The secret is to dead head the blooms once they are well past their peak. This planting screens the deck and provides a pleasant view as you walk toward the back Gardens.

The same planting of Mop Heads as the first picture in this Blog, but the vantage point was the front entrance way. Enjoy the flowers and if you want to see a larger view simply click on any of the images in my Blogs. Thanks and enjoy the Springtime beauty that abounds here in Middle Georgia.

Friday, May 30, 2008

National Garden Week
Flower Arrangement
Macon, Georgia City Hall

This arrangement was placed in the Lobby of City Hall, Macon, Georgia at the conclusion of the National Garden Week Proclamation by Macon's Mayor.

National Garden Week - 2008
Macon, Georgia
The Flower Arrangement which adorned the Portico of the City Hall of Macon, Georgia and the site of the 2008 Proclamation designating June 1 through 7 as National Garden Week.

A Close-up view of the Arrangement which was crafted from the Gardens of the Members of Vineville Garden Club. This Club is one of ten Garden Clubs that make up the Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc.

Macon's Mayor, Robert Reichert reading the Proclamation at Macon's City Hall.

Mrs. Jeanne Holliday, President of the Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc. accepts the Proclamation on behalf of the Members of all the Garden Clubs of the Federation.

Members of the various Garden Clubs and Mayor Robert Reichert and Mrs. Jeanne Holliday, President of the Federation posed for this picture.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dedication of The Korean War Veterans Memorial

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Shown here is The Honorable Kwang-jae Lee, Consulate General of the Republic of Korea as he participates in the activities after the Unveiling of the Memorial. During his speech to those asssembled he reminded us of our Countries involvement in the Korean War. Our country saw the loss of over 50,000 lives in this War. Over 75,000 Georgians proudly served, of which 740 were killed, 1040 wounded, 270 taken prisoner and 174 are still missing-in-action.
He also pointed out that the U. S. A. and Republic of Korea relationship is not just Friendship, but an Alliance sealed in Blood. Since the Korean War, the Republic of Korea has served with the United States of America, side by side in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the current War on Terrorism.
In concluding his speech Mr. Lee stated that he could not say his Countries gratitude any better than to say "Thank You!!!!"
Congressman Jim Marshall also addressed those assembled and he reminded us that citizens of all free countries often forget what Veterans have delivered to them. The ability to go about their daily lives.
The Memorial is composed of four panels with a total of eight sides. Above you can view the Korean Panel.

The American Panel

This panel contains facts concerning the Korean War

This panel features the symbols/seals of each branch of the United States Armed Forces. Also included is the POW Flag symbol.
This Memorial is located at 5530 Thomaston Road, Macon, Georgia. It is just West of the I-475 interchange at Georgia Highway 74, also known as Thomaston Road. It is a very impressive Memorial and certainly deserves the attention of all who love Freedom. The Flower Child urges everyone to visit this fitting Memorial. Additionally, it is imperative that you take your Children of all Ages to see this Memorial. There is an abundance of parking at this site, which is also the Post Home of Post Three, The American Legion in Macon.
Korean War Veterans
who attended the May 29th, 2008
The Korean War Veterans Memorial
Macon, Georgia

Shown above are the Korean War Veterans who were present for the unveiling of the Republic of Korea's donation to the United States of America. This Memorial is located at the American Legion Post Three in Thomaston Road, Macon, Georgia. It was placed here as part of the Korean War Veterans Highway which runs across the United States of America. This is also known as U. S. Highway 80.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"It is Not Fair"
The Flower Child understands that starting with the 2008-2009 School Year that the Hutchings Career Center and the Renaissance Academy, both institutions of education in Bibb County, Georgia will field complete roster's of Sports Teams. Additionally they are planning Proms for the Spring of 2009. It simply would not be fair to not allow these Scholars to have the same opportunities as the other High Schools in Bibb County.
Of course the other option is to limit the number of tickets each football player, soccer player or basketball player could provide to family members so that they could observe their respective family member participate in sport. Of course this is and would not be fair.
Yet the Flower Child read in the Wednesday, May 28, 2008 issue of "The Telegraph" in Section B, entitled "Officials: New rules helped graduation exercises" by Julie Hubbard that new rules enacted by the Bibb County School Board helped make the 2008 Graduation Ceremonies more civil.
Some parents addressed their concerns with a school principal that there were not enough tickets available. The article went on to state that "school officials said students aren't likely to get more tickets in the future."
This is a shame. We all decry the lack of academic excellence in our Society. We often hear how the Students of today are not as well educated as students of a few years ago. We decry the lack of respect that our Students have for learning, yet we want to limit the number of family well wishers who can attend a High School Graduation.
I have never read in our local print media where the number of attendees at a High School Basketball game was restricted to fifteen family members of the players. I have never read where the State Championship Basketball Games held in Macon each Spring have placed a limit on the number of attendees that could watch the games.
Yet we have a venue here in Middle Georgia that can hold between 8,000 to 10,000 depending on the floor seating arrangements and we limit Bibb County citizens to a total of 4,500 attendees for a class of 300 graduates.
This certainly does not sound or even appear to be willing to honor Scholars who are graduating from High School. It is no wonder that our Scholars do not strive to excell in education. The High School Sport Participants receive more respect and consideration that those who simply do well in their studies. I do acknowledge that there are those who are Scholars that also do well in Sport. Additionally, "The Telegraph" with their Golden Eagle program honor our Scholars in Middle Georgia. But this Blog is focused on the Bibb County School System.
So what are the challenges with a large graduation crowd that can not be overcome using the same methods that are employed for a large crowd at a Basketball or even Football event? I was totally surprised to read this comment at the conclusion of the article I read in "The Telegraph."
"Schools such as Hutchings and Renaissance may have fewer than 70 graduates, but you have to be fair to all schools, she added.".....""You have to give people the same number.""
So in order to be fair I suspect that our School Board in Bibb County will hire the required coaches for a complete sports program at both Hutchings and Renaissance for the 2008-2009 School Year. After all, we have to be fair.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008
Middle Georgia U. S. A.
This tribute was located at the Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home. Shown above are the four young men who lead the Procession of Colors, played the National Anthem, played "Taps" and the other music which was "Amazing Grace." This group did a grand job.

The Sons of the American Revolution also had a Color Guard Present.

This event brought together a large cross section of citizens of Middle Georgia as displayed in this picture.

The Keynote Speaker for this event was the Honorable Jim Marshall, U. S. Congressman from Georgia. His theme was "Take Time To Thank Someone Who Is No Longer Here." He spoke of one of his fellow warriors who saved his life with the handle of "BZ." Although "BZ" is no longer in life, Congressman Marshall thanked him for his heroic actions during his speech. Please note that due to the difficult lighting situation that the picture of Congressman is in Black and White simply because my camera captured too much light from the background.

This event was very special in as much as there was a large cross section of local citizens present, from young to old, to honor our American Heroes.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

VALPARAISO, Chile (May 15, 2008) Chilean Sailors prepare to raise the American flag during a Chilean and American wreath laying ceremony at the Heroes of Iquique Monument to pay tribute to fallen Sailors of the 1879 Pacific War. The George Washington Carrier Strike Group is conducting a Partnership of the Americas deployment to implement the U.S. Maritime Strategy of cooperation with South American maritime partners to promote interoperability and trust that will ultimately lead to greater hemispheric security.

NEW YORK CITY (May 21, 2008) The guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) steams up the Hudson River during the parade of ships for the 21st Fleet Week New York 2008. More than 4,000 Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen will participate in various community relation projects and have the opportunity to visit popular attractions in New York City.

The above photos are from a U. S. Navy Web Site and are released for appropriate promotion of our United States Navy. Now for a brief History of USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) please read the following which I also consider appropriate for this Memorial Day Celebration.

THE SULLIVANS (DDG-68) is named to honor five brothers from Waterloo, Iowa who served together on the USS JUNEAU during World War II. The Sullivan brothers: George, 28; Francis, 27; Joseph, 24; Madison, 23; and Albert, 20; lost their lives during the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942. They were adamant about serving together in spite of the Navy wartime policy to separate family members. Surviving the brothers were their parents, Thomas and Alleta, their sister Genevieve, and the youngest brothers wife, Katherine, and their son, James. The family today includes two grandchildren of Albert Sullivan: Kelly Ann Sullivan Loughren and John Sullivan.

I, the Flower Child, encourage everyone to remember the purpose of Memorial Day and to also reflect on the current generation of Heroes who are in Service in the U. S. Military. Thank You!!

As a Noun this word means reflection or contemplation. Today the Flower Child will reflect on some recent events and share them here for your own contemplation:
  • Just suppose that our United States was able to drill for oil in our own Gulf or even in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Now reflect back for a moment and suppose that we had actually started drilling in 1995 and the oil was being refined in one or two of our own new refineries. Would the Clinton Campaign have been more viable? Would the money crunch have hit her as soon as it did if the cost of fuel for the Campaign bus been more reasonable? Or even the cost of the Air Travel that her campaign often uses? To be fair, her opposition also has the same cost but I think that we all know that he is able to raise more funds! Enough said about that. It is a shame that we did not start the evolution to be more energy independent in a more timely manner.
  • Recently we have heard how the high cost of food items is having a major impact on the School Meal Program (Breakfast and Lunch) for our Nations Children. What do you suppose is the cause of this problem. I will let you think this one out for yourself.
  • As our Elected Senators and Representatives decry the ever increasing cost of the War on Terrorism I often recall that Airplanes, Tanks and Transports consume fuel. We all know that Uncle Sam does buy a lot of this stuff, but just as our own Fuel Cost increase I am confident that Uncle Sam has to face the fact that his Fuel also takes more dollars.
  • On a more local level, our City and our County Governments here in Middle Georgia are faced with the increased cost of Fuel as they commence their annual Budget Hearings. What will the cost of fuel be next January 2009? No one knows for sure, but I certainly feel that it will probably cost more than what we are paying today, May 22, 2008.
  • Even our School Districts must face the unknown cost of fuel to transport our scholars to and from our elementary and high schools. What is the project cost for the 2008-2009 School Year? If I had a crystal ball I would certainly tell them.
  • Then there is the Flower Child's own personal situation. My plethora of retirement incomes is driven by the "Consumer Price Index." Everytime that the prices for fuel, food and fun increase I automatically receive a pay raise.

As I terminate my contemplations and reflections today, I am amazed that our elected leaders have allowed this situation to develop for such a long period of time. We have become the victims of our on reactive mantra. Just think where we would be if our elected leaders had adopted a proactive mantra a mere thirteen years ago.

Of course we cannot go back to 1995 and redo our actions, but it would be nice!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flower Child's World (Continued)

A lovely Lace Cap at the base of the Climbing Hydrangea plant. These two plants have been producing an abundance of beauty for about four years. Always nice to behold.

A Planting of two Everlast Mop Head Hydrangeas which flourish at the entrance to the Deck. They bloom all Summer and are also nice to behold. You must deadhead these to enjoy them all Summer long.

A Varigated Lace Cap Hydrangea. This plant is a faithful bloomer which produces nice white flowers.

Flower Child's World
Several days ago I posted an entry about enjoying the beauty that abounds around you. Yesterday I took the opportunity to focus on the lovely Hydrangeas which are plentiful in the Gardens that surround my Home.
A Close-Up of a Climbing Hydrangea. They need a North facing wall or fence to even thrive here in Middle Georgia. This is the second year that this plant has provided blooms. It is a challenge to grow them here in as much as they like climates more to the North of Middle Georgia.

A long range view of the Climbing Hydrangea. You can barely discern the two blooms that are on this plant.

An Oak Leaf Hydrangea. This is one plant of three that were first planted in this location. This plant is very hardy in as much as it is the only one still growing. The local Deer population consumed the other two a few years ago.

A view of the Mop Head Hydrangeas that abound in the East Gardens. These plants are just starting their bloom cycle. Each of these blossoms can reach seven inches across.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wonderful Weatherby
also known as
Flower Child's World
The Flower Child will soon commorate his ten year anniversary of not smoking tobacco products. In fact the quit date was May 25, 1998. Well, one thing leads to another. My Doctor has now advised me that if I want to live a more healthful life and reach full maturity, I must get my act together regarding nutrition and exercise. Additionally I was informed that I should reduce my weight to 190 pounds. Of course this is a worthwhile goal. But there are challenges.
To this end, the Flower Child is attempting to consume more healthy food in small amounts; as well as engage in an exercise program that involves "brisk" walking. This involves walking four days a week for at least forty-five (45) minutes. I started this walking program last week. I vowed to my self that if I could quite smoking I could also walk the required four days a week.
So what does the above information have to do with "Wonderful Weatherby?" Let me tell you. My "brisk" walking program involves walking the quite streets of the sub-division where I live. Weatherby Plantation is nestled in the rolling hills of West Bibb County here in Central Georgia. I can walk briskly on all the streets and it takes me about 46 minutes. So if I keep up this program I will soon know every inch of the roadways in the sub-division where I live. I walk in the early morning when the air is a bit cooler and the weather is more pleasant. I have come to appreciate the surroundings of the "Flower Child's World."
Today I focused on the abundant beauty that surrounds the area where I live. The fragrance of the blooming Gardenias and the Confederate Jasmine was especially pleasant in the cool breezes this Morning. The beauty of the Knockout Roses and the blooming Clametis was also wonderful to view. Several Gardens also featured many Hosta plants which certainly thrive in shady areas.
Once back in my own Gardens I observed the lovely blooms on the Climbing Hydrangea which grows on our Chimney. The bloom pods on the Angel Trumpet plants are just beginning to form so within two weeks we can enjoy these beautiful flowers which actually achieve the size of a Trumpet Bell on a Band Instrument.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bibb County Georgia Tornado Pictures
Mother's Day - May 11, 2008

The scene on Westbury Drive just South of Eisenhower Parkway in Macon, Georgia. What a mess. Power poles snapped off and lines everywhere.
If the trees were not twisted off they were uprooted. Just one of many hundred trees that were on top of homes.
The above two images do not even show the devistation that happened in Bibb County on Sunday, May 11, 2008 in the early morning hours between 5:30 A.M. and about 6:30 A.M. The weather radio woke us up and the sirens were blaring. The Flower Child and his Bride took to the downstairs powder room and turned on the Television to watch the reports of an impending Tornado. The Television went off the air at about 6:36 A.M.
The above images were taken as we visited the area to ascertain if one of our fellow church members was O.K. Of course the phones were out of order and we had to travel through many tree laden streets to get to his home. We walked about one block to his house to find him at a neighbors home.
The power company has restored power to all the homes, except about 600 which are not ready for electric service at this time. At one time early in this week, 32,000 homes were without electric power.
Information available today, May 16, 2008 indicates that the damage to homes will most likely exceed $125,000,000.00.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I believe that it was only about six months ago that whenever I acquired Gasoline for My Pick-Up and/or Automobile that I would casually mention to the clerk at my local Middle Georgia Fueling Station that once Gasoline reached $3.00 a gallon that maybe Ted and Hillary would let us drill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I was raised in the Midwest and I was taught that the law of Supply and Demand had an impact on the price we pay for the resources we consume. As it now stands the World Supply of Gasoline is limited and the demand is quite high. Thus the high prices. Admittedly, the world supply of oil in the ground is unlimited; however the availability is limited by rules and regulations. Thus the supply is limited. If we could show the world's oil producing countries that we would use some of our own oil the price would have to drop. Basic economics will become the watch word of the day. If we appear to be willing to develop our own oil resources we will not be at the mercy of the oil producing countries.
Additionally, we could also follow the example of our French Friends. They rely on Nuclear Power Plants to produce electricity. Yet our elected leaders tell us that we can not drill where we have known oil desposits.
One more interesting aspect of this "crisis" is that we have three U. S. Senators who want to be our next President. My question for all of them is "What have you done to keep the United States of America Free from the Oil Barrons of the World?"
To me, simple economics that I learned in High School way back in the mid 1950s would seem to be the solution to our energy crisis. My Dad even told me about the simple law of "Supply and Demand." Too bad our elected leaders have not allowed themselves to work for the good of America.
So, in conclusion today, "Once Gasoline reaches $4.00 a gallon, will Hillary and Ted and their fellow lawmakers allow us to do the obvious?"
Again, Only Time Will Tell. In the meantime we will hear how our current crop of candidates will resolve our problems once they are elected to the Office of President of the United States of America. I regret that they all feel that they must wait until 2009 to even assist in resolution of our current energy crisis. Today would be a welcome start it they would only see the real world as we stand today.
Drill and Explore for Oil in the U. S. A. and start to construct Oil Refineries as well as construct Nuclear Plants in the U. S. A.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Haste Makes Waste

The Flower Child is confident that everyone has heard the old adage "Haste Makes Waste." The question I pose today is did the Citizens of the United States of America overlook the merits of John Edwards as a Presidential Candidate in an effort to make history?
We now have two minority Democrats struggling to become the "first" as the Parties Candidate to be considered in November by all the Citizens of the United States of America, as they vote for who will be the next President of the United States of America.
Did the Democrats in an effort to make a choice execute their votes in a hasty manner? Did they want to become the Party that broke the barriers, so to speak? One thing is for certain, John Edwards was well known and everyone knew what he stood for. During the last campaign for President, Mr. Edwards was on the Democrat Party Ticket to serve as Vice President. He certainly was exposed and explored by the media. In the current situation, the Democrats have two candidates who are garnering a lot of media attention as they struggle to achieve the Nomination. Each is in a serious quest for delegates for the 2008 Democrat National Convention.
All of this causes the Flower Child to wonder what would be going on now if the Democrats had rallied behind Candidate John Edwards? Could both parties now be focused on which Presidential Candidate would be best for America?
One thing is for certain, with John Edwards we had a better view of who the Candidate was and is. As it stands now, we have two who are promising "Change" and "the Expansion of Government" to meet the needs of voters, which may not be in the best interest of America.
It is also a truth that "Only Time Will Tell." There is great comfort in that phrase. But the major concern is, will it be too late once we are told the time?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hydrangeas in the Gardens

One Oak Leaf Hydrangea - Flower Child's favorite Hydrangea. The Deer enjoy this one.

A Lace Cap Hydrangea

A Michael Durr Mop Head Hydrangea. This variety will recycle blooms in great abundance. In fact in 2007 it was still providing beautiful blooms in November.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Wedding Registry Information for 2008
The 2008 Wedding Events are fast approaching. As young females and males consider the boutiques and department stores that they want to register with for their Wedding Gifts the Flower Child would urge all couples planning on lovely weddings this Summer and Fall to consider registering with the following Vendors. Times may be changing, but by following these simple recommendations you will be ahead of your peers as you prepare for "The Perfect Wedding" in 2008.
BP Fueling Stations - Gas or Diesel Fuel
Mobile Exxon - Gas or Diesel Fuel
Publix - Basic Food Items
Kroger - Basic Food Items
Rooms to Go - Basic Furniture
Ikea - Basic Furniture with very functional lines
McDonalds - Dinner Dates for the New Couple
Wendy's - An alternative to McDonalds
Chick-fil-A --A Delightful Chicken Dinner out on the Town
Admittedly these recommendations may be slightly different than last year, but please remember that Times are Changing. By focusing on the things that are really needed you can look forward to a reasonably successful marriage.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Flower Child's Economic Solution

While the plants in these Urns do not bloom, they do add an aura of beauty to the front entrance of the Flower Child's Home in West Bibb County, Georgia. Above you can see the view as you exit.
Of course there is also a refreshing view as you approach the entrance to the Flower Child's Home that he shares with his Bride.
A close up photo of one of the two urns which flank the front entrance. If you desire to view the Flower Child tending these lovely plants all you have to do is turn to Page 6A of "The Telegraph" published in Macon, Georgia on Friday, 2 May 2008. Have a Great Day and take time to enjoy the beauty that abounds in our Country.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Country Scene

The previous Blog regarding Communication Towers was also an excellent opportunity to capture this image. I shot the Communication Tower image and then looked to the field on the side of the road. Certainly a passive scene which reminds us that we all need to take the time to observe the beauty which surrounds us in abundance each and every day of our lives. All we have to do is stop by the roadside, so to speak, and enjoy the scene.