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Today’s photo and commentary are only marginally related.  I’ve posted this photo before, back in February.  I wanted to post it again today because it matches my mood.  I’m feeling blue because the economy is bleak and people are hurting.  The unemployment rate is way up, job availability way down, and even families who have lived comfortably in the past are feeling the bite of this recession.  In Anderson, we’ve had at least four local restaurants close in the last month.  It’s disheartening to see this happen…to watch the demise of peoples life savings and their dreams.  And it saddens me to see even more people become unemployed.

If you follow this blog, you know that I work for a local non-profit agency called Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM).  Non-profits feel the bite of a tough economy too.  Although donations can go either up OR down in lean times, almost always peoples needs and requests for services rise.  And indeed they have risen!  At AIM, they are up 40% from last year, which was already up from the year before.

I work predominantly in the Hunger Ministries of AIM.  During the last two months we estimate that we’ve distributed food valued at $100,000.  We’ve seen nearly 1500 families through our food pantry and another 400 or more thorough Manna Distributions.  AIM’s Emergency Assistance program has spent $110,000 during this same two month period, helping people with needs such as rent, mortgage and utilities.  The Women And Children Suceeding program (WACS) has provided assistance in excess of $50,000.  This all totals up to a tremendous amount of money, and we find ourselves left with little to continue meeting the needs of those who need our services.

I’ve not lost faith though, and neither has Kristi King-Brock, AIM’s Executive Director who says, “God has sustained and BLESSED this ministry for over 19 years and I have the faith that God will continue to bless AIM.  However, we need your help.  Please pray for AIM, please give and ask others to give.”

Visit our website to learn about how you can help.  Call 864-226-CARE (2273) to speak with someone about how you can make a difference in the lives of hurting families.   afs

Oh BTW, today’s photo is of a portion of the stadium at Clemson University.  I originally named the photo “Moon Over Death Valley”.  Although it obviously does not feature a human face, it nicely portrays the face of this well-known and well-loved stadium.  I hope it counts, because I’ve entered it today in a photo challenge over at I ♥ Faces.  Take a moment to go check out my entry (#551) and all of the other “blue” themed entries.   And please, wish me luck!   😉

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I’m afraid that today’s post truly lives up to the “eclecticism” part of this blog name.   Searching around for some inspiration for commentary to go with photo, I learned some rather interesting new bubble gum trivia.  I hope you don’t my sharing it with you here.

Did you know…

…that the energy Americans expend everyday chewing bubble gum could light a city of 10 million people for a day?

…that bubble gum was included in ration kits of soldiers serving in WWII?

…that studies have shown that chewing gum helps people to concentrate?  (Really?)

…that chewing gum helps improve memory?!  (If only I could REMEMBER to chew more gum!)

…that thousands of years before gum was invented, people of all cultures enjoyed chewing on gums, resins, and latex secretions of plants.   YUM 😛

Well, I’m sure that’s way more than you needed (or even wanted) to know about gum.  Today’s photo was taken outside of Gattytown in Greenville when we took Kellen and a friend recently.  It’s just one of the many fun and colorful things that I snapped that day.   afs

 Resources:  WikiAnswers;   All About Stuff;   GumAssociation

We were scheduled to be at the beach this weekend, but changed our plans to go another weekend soon.  We’ve been really busy running lots of errands, picking up last minute items before the start of school, and preparing for a community yard sale next weekend.  We’ve been so busy in fact, that I’m having a bit of remorse about our decision and am wishing that we were lounging in the sun on the beach, or perhaps sipping a cocktail on the deck of a seaside cottage with our only delimma being to decide what type of seafood we’d like to have for dinner. 

Hence today’s photos from past trips to one of our favorite areas of the South Carolina Low Country, Hunting Island and Harbor Island.  I’m allowing myself to travel back for a short visit after all….if only in my mind.   afs

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See these GREAT and BEAUTIFUL TracyJoy camera bags?  Well, the I Heart Faces photography blog is giving one away!  Go and check them out for yourself!

 

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You might remember this photo from a couple of months back.  I originally posted it on March 9.  I’m posting it again here today because I’m entering it into a weekly photo contest  at “I Heart Faces”  photo blog site.  It’s my first attempt at entering one of their weekly competitions, so say a prayer and wish me luck!  If you’d like to check out my photo and the other silhouette photos in this weeks contest, you can click the icon link above and go directly to the site.

03-09-09

I find that I keep going back to look at this photo.  There’s nothing much special about it but I find the silhouettes fascinating!  This couple was walking their dog across one of the dikes on the Clemson University campus as the sun was setting behind them.  I usually don’t do much in the way of editing, but I did crop this one some.  Even in it’s original size, the fact the man was wearing his cap backwards really stood out to me.  afs

 04-28-091Looking through my archived photo files I found this beautiful Harbor Island SC sunrise from a few years back and wanted to share it here.  I live in the Upstate of South Carolina, but I love the Lowcountry area of our state in a BIG way!  The nature, the beauty, the sense of peace that surrounds me when I get close enough to smell the salt marsh all combine to make me most happy each time I’m able to go.  I love making my home in Anderson, but consider the Lowcountry to be my OTHER happy place.   afs

 

If you’re not familiar with the area you can learn more by visiting the following links…

http://www.discoversouthcarolina.com/see-do/islands-coast/lowcountry-resort.aspx

http://www.southernliving.com/travel/south-east/backroads-guide-to-carolina-lowcountry-00400000009568/

http://www.acebasin.net/

04-20-09

My friend Lessie and I get together when we can to go photo-trekking.  We both enjoy taking photos, we both have daily photo blogs, and we both learn more when we practice together.  We got together on Saturday and ending up doing a little “photo tracking” you might say.

While walking these tracks, we had a nice, young, “helpful” man in a Jeep YELL  gruffly at us to “get off the tracks”.  We wondered why he was so concerned, since there was no sign of a train coming.  We probably shouldn’t have been up there and did eventually see a sign to that effect.  We were being a little adventurous I suppose (adventurous by my standard anyway 🙂 ),  but we felt safe enough.

My husband told me later that high-speed trains use that track and that should a train have come, we might not have had enough warning to be able to get out of the way without getting hurt.  Lesson learned I guess, but it was really interesting to walk the tracks and I’m glad that we did it. 

We saw countless discarded old railroad spikes and I even brought a dozen of them home (although Heaven only knows for what reason.)  Our perspective of traffic and businesses from the tracks was quite unique too.  I enjoyed it.  We both took a wide variety of photos of the tracks and then Lessie noticed the wording that you can see in the photo above.

We also spotted a fuzzy caterpillar making his way down the track.  Of course I had to snap his photo too.  I did a little research and think this is an Eastern Tent Caterpillar, which morphs into a rather plain looking moth.  Judging by the photos that I saw, he’s living his best-looking days now.   afs

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This rather homely looking bird seems to have found his place in the world near this drain in a lagoon at Hilton head Island.  We spotted him at this same spot on several different days.  This particular day, we caught him standing on the back of the some turtles.  Evidently the turtles didn’t mind one bit.

Speaking of turtles, these three are obviously stretching their necks to catch the warmth of the sun’s rays.  When he saw this picture, our son Kellen said “hey, that looks like the cell phone signal bars”.  I guess he’s right.  Can you hear me now?   afs

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04-14-09

Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM) held it’s 3rd Annual Golf Tournament at Thornblade yesterday.  Rain was forecast, so many who were anticipating this event were holding their breath and saying extra prayers.  Prayers were answered as the rain for the most part held back and allowed play on the beautiful course at Thornblade.  I came out for the morning to help where I could, and to take a few photos.
One of the teams in action

Hard at play!

Teams head out onto the course.

Teams head out onto the course.

Like many others, I follow the photo blogging of Denton Harryman from Greenville Daily Photo, and invited him to join us as a volunteer photographer.  I looked forward to meeting him and was thrilled when he responded that he would be happy to participate in our event.  In my opionion, it’s always great to have more than one photographic perspective at an event such as this.  I only regret that I had to leave rather early in the afternoon, so I missed spending any time getting to know him, as well as interacting with other AIM volunteers, staff and tournament players.

Special thanks to event sponsors, and the many others who contributed to the success of this event!  The time, effort, and funds you put into this will be paid back into the Anderson community through the programs of service that AIM offers to families in need.     afs

Thornblade is a beautiful course!

Thornblade is a beautiful course!

 

04-13-09While in Hilton Head, we visited Harbour Town in the Sea Pines area so that we could see the lighthouse there.  We ate dinner close-by at the Crazy Crab.  James and I both had seafood platters that were VERY good! 

One thing that really stood out to me was the utilization of bicycles on the island.  I’ve been to places with bike paths before, but never have I seen them so well utilized as on Hilton Head.  Although we didn’t rent any this trip, we decided that next time we have to go with the flow and get on the bicycle band-wagon!

Now, James and Kellen did rent some banana bikes at the beach and used them to race on the shoreline.  What a shame that I have no photos of that!  I guess I should tell you that Kellen won.  🙂

From our vantage point at the Crowne Plaza where we stayed, we could see the daily maintenance and cleaning of the rental bikes that they provide.  They were well cared for as you can see here.   afs

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In need of rest, relaxation and a change of scenery, we spent the past several days on Hilton Head Island, SC.  We never had visited HHI before and found it quite beautiful.  We shared our visit with LOTS of other families on spring break and with the wildlife in the area.  Here James has captured two of the native islanders.   (more to come…)      afs

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Thanks for visiting! Enjoy today’s photo and if you have time, scroll down to see previous photos dating back to August of 2008. Nothing fancy, just everyday bits of my life and the lives of those around me. Please say hello or leave your comments by clicking “comments” above any photo. I post a new photo every day, so bookmark me and visit often!

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