Hello Everybody !

I want this to be a place where creative folks can come and express ideas, talk about art, music, photography, writing, books, magazines, ghostly encounters, history, events of importance to creative minds, and just have fun. I also hope to share adventures and stories along the way. If you would like to be a guest or if you have an event that you would like to share please email me at lindajburns@gmail.com

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Times They Are A Changin'


Don’t  Tread  On  Me
Sabers rattle, drummers drum,
as something  wicked our way comes. 
Turn out the lights boys, close the door.
This is the one you’ve waited for.
This time they come to steal our souls,
our homes, our lives our baby boys.
To kill our brothers  in the streets.
False eyes to Allah must concede.

This time the signs are in the skies,
so choose the lines of truth and right.
No longer will we bend at knees,
but remember our fathers' “Don’t tread on me”.
We will not flinch. We’ll forge as steel.
Death to enemies of good and will. 
We’ll stay the course and tow death’s tines.
God help the ones, who cross the line.
We’ll die for what we know is true,

Seeking FREEDOM in all we do.

God bless this fight and see us through.

America forever … red, white and blue!
jb Sept 11 2010

I wrote the above on the 10th anniversary of 911. And even sadder now is that the same date is etched with more bloodshed in Benghazi a year ago. I will never forget those men and their bravery.
As we approach September 11 again, with anxiety I might add, please pray for a peaceful day of remembrance and that no more horrors occur on this now sacred day, now known as Patriot's Day. Whatever the truth about the whole story and who is or is not responsible, many innocent people are dead and at what cost?
As many have said previously, " the cost of freedom is NOT free"
May God bless the United States of America!
 © Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

You Know You're From Tupelo

Brick Kilns, Tupelo, Mississippi
Without the title above, many of you would be saying just what in the world is this?
In Tupelo's past, several of these brick kilns used to set alongside the railroad tracks at Crosstown (corner of Gloster and Main). I really never knew much about them, but for the fact that bricks were actually made here, but this history is getting fuzzy now with time. I would love to know more. 
My brother and I used to go on photo shooting binges and we photographed so much of old Tupelo. Problem is with our families many moves and life I seem to have lost a vast array of what we had captured. I am still searching through things that have been stored over the years hoping to find my goldmine. Not that these pictures would mean anything to most anyone else, but they mean a great deal to me as we captured something that is no longer available for the most part. That "something" is a part of me and seeing some of these things again assures me that I actually did live this wonderful life and that it was not a dream.
Life was so much richer then, so vibrant and clean. Colors so pure, air so fresh. Honor, respect and a good name ruled the day. Big deals between men closed on a simple handshake with no need for lawyers.Old family and colorful stories still overflow with bright and shiny memories. Things that can never be replaced and are priceless.
So from time to time I will share my wonderland with you as I rediscover its bits and pieces. If you have old photographs or some interesting story about Tupelo that you would like to share here, just send it to me.
I am part of this land, as were my ancestors just up the road. And sometimes when the moon is bright you can almost hear them whisper on the breeze. . .
way down South.

 © Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Solitude of Sorts

Did you ever have one of those days when you felt like you were walking the road of life totally alone and misunderstood?

It's been one of those days when nothing has gone quit right. I'm really not feeling sorry for myself or about the day, for God has been good to me.  This day just made me very sad and weary. I feel isolated and quite alone, and just want to curl up in a fetal position and sleep for a week.

And it amazed me at the folks who contributed to this mood. Friends, boss, work, even family all got into the act at one point or another. Surely hope that I don't make people feel this way. I am making a note to myself to try to be a better person and think before I open my big fat mouth or assume I know a situation when I am actually clueless. Or to ignore people, make them feel invisible by my actions or make fun of them because they are not my idea of perfection or beauty. To ask people around me how they are feeling and to actually listen.

Have you stopped to think about the person sitting next to you right now? What have they been through today? Did you add to their burden or did you make it lighter? Did you think about anyone other than yourself today? Do you care?

And mostly, what do you think your Creator would think of you this moment, if it were your last and how you went about using  this simple, quiet, precious  day of life you were given?

If you are allowed to wake tomorrow, what will you change?

 © Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Missing Blue

I have been fortunate to know and love some great animals in my time. Everything from cats and dogs, to possums, barn owls and even Mocking birds. Many odd creatures have graced our humble home, and I have learned much from these friends on our journey together. Many have come and gone and I never quit missing the ones who leave, whether they pass, find new homes or disappear, as did Blue. I still have seven rescued furry kids that live with me along with some fish.
Blue Dog came into my life by chance. Everyone in my neighborhood knows how I love animals and will not tolerate their mistreatment. One day I came home to find two dogs cowering in the corner of my backyard. They were sick and hungry and I was a bit disturbed that someone had put them over my back fence in the yard with some of my other dogs. I have no idea why they didn't fight except that my dogs are very gentle and only seem to have interest in the yard squirrels and birds.
One of the new recruits was a small female black Labrador and the other a male, was a pit bull, at least mostly pit. I named the lab Sugar Bear and the pit with one blue eye I named Blue Dog. I could tell they had been abused and starved and I fed them, took a great deal of time with them, gave them medicines to heal them and gave them lots of love. They adjusted well to being fed on a regular basis and were soon healthy and playing with the other dogs like they had been together from puppyhood.
I love all my dogs very much, but Blue just stomped right into my heart. His hind quarters were strangely marked. When he was walking away from you, it looked like he had on pants. I don't know how many times I smiled or laughed at that crazy dog with the pants on. He and Sugar had obviously been together from birth. That, or they had been roaming together for a while. They were always together and shared most everything in life. Best friends, or partners. I was never sure.
Then one day I came home and Blue was gone! It was like he just disappeared back to wherever he had come from. I don't know which was more upsetting, the fact that Blue was gone, or what it did to Sugar. I don't know if who ever left them in the first place stole him back (as my yard is a fortress because I love my animals), and there is no way to get out unless someone takes you out or lets you out
At any rate I was heartbroken, but poor Sugar was devastated! She looked everywhere for Blue and cried and laid around and would not eat. She was so pitiful. Why they left her I still wonder, but fortunately I have a big red golden retriever named George. George is so loving and picks up on a lot of things even people miss. I wonder if he knew how badly she was hurting somehow because he had experienced his owners moving off and leaving him tied to a fence with a one foot rope (with no food or water). I had brought him home several years before.
Whatever the reason, George started being Sugar's new friend. He picked at her and played with her and oh so slowly she came around. She will not eat unless George takes a bite first and always looks at him in new situations as if to say, " is this okay"? I don't know what will happen if anything ever happens to Georgie.
But anyway. If you are somewhere and see a pitbull with one blue eye and pants on, say hello Blue Dog, your Mom sure misses you and then give me a call.
Hope you all have a great holiday weekend, and remember to hug everyone of your furry babies, and your human ones too, every day. They are a blessing. And oh the love they give...
Peace and Love *
  © Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

I'd Rather Be Sailing

Aboard the True North IV in Cozumel, Mexico
This was one of the best days of my life. I was on a cruise from  the Cayman Islands to Mexico and took an excursion for a sailing regatta. Turns out the ships we were racing turned out to be a former America's Cup of Dennis Conner fame from years back and a Canadian ship the True North IV.
All deck hands were vacationing souls led by a hearty crew of sea loving sailors. The place was Cozumel, Mexico on a bright , shiny afternoon. All the crew were assigned tasks and each was given a crash course on what to do. Then we set sail.
The course was set for a 12 meter regatta. Ships had been chosen by a coin toss and off we went. Nothing on this Earth can compare to the feeling of flying over the deep turquoise ocean as fast as a ship can go with the wind in your face and your hair blowing out behind you.. All worries and cares drift away and you are one with the water. Dips and turns so far over one could almost dip a hand into the water if the hands were not so busy grinding and listening to commands. Tags and more tags and what was a short race felt like time standing still. Strangers bound forever by an experience like no other. Then at last America's Cup dipped in front of us to take the race.
But everyone here was a winner. No losers were had this day.
I will keep this feeling in my heart forever and if I am very lucky perhaps I might get a second chance to feel the sea flying underneath me and feel that perfect peace. It may sound silly to some, but I became a forever sailor this day.

 © Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Meet George Burns

Meet George. I have had many, many dogs and cats and various other odd animals that have come to live with me from time to time, but George is the sweetest, most gentle animal I have ever encountered in my lifetime. How anyone could move off and leave a poor animal tied to a chain-link fence with only about a foot of rope is beyond me. He had no food or water. It was very apparent the family had moved from the house and I thought they were coming back for him and just got delayed. I got a comfy collar and a secure long lead and put him up under the car port out of the weather. I fed and watered him and took him for a walk. No one came. The next day no one came and he seemed so very sad and kept cuddling up to me.  I left my phone number and address on the door to the house, and the next day he came to live with me. The people never came back or called. I already had a black Labrador at the time (Baby) that my husband had rescued in the middle of an expressway, and they became the best of friends.
This picture was taken in younger days around the time he sired a great litter of puppies (16) for which I learned the valued lesson of "fixing" most all the animals. Fortunately the puppies were all incredibly healthy and we found a good home for each and every one. Now days George, like me is growing old. I sit with him on the back porch a lot and we talk about his day. You never know what George is going to get into, even at his age. One of his favorite things is to eat figs. He also hates hanging flower baskets and will tear them to shreds and jumping on trampolines and into swimming pools. But those are stories for another night.
There is a huge old fig tree by the backyard gate. It has some lower branches that he can climb and reach his figs when they are in season. He loves to eat them right off the tree. I think the first time he encountered one on the ground that he might have believed it to be a sticky tennis ball. But after he lapped the first one down he was hooked. I worried about it for a while, but like most things with George his stubborn streak wins out over my guarded concerns. He spends more of his day chasing squirrels and napping in the sun. He hates indoors so you find him out back with the neighbor cat (Sam). They are also great friends.
We have a large fenced in yard that is kind of like a park and when the little house dogs come out they all still have a romping good time. Sugar Bear, another Labrador likes to stay in the back with George all the time. I guess they are the yard watchers.
At night both George and Sugar Bear sleep on the back porch. They won't come in. Guess they don't like the confined space, but they love the porch so I let them do as they wish.
There are seven friends here now. They all have either been abandoned or have disabilities but there is a lot of love here. No one gets left out or left behind. I love each and everyone but that Georgie dog ... he just stomps right into your heart.
May God bless all the animals in whatever situations they are facing, for their love and innocence is pure heart.
And the words below came from the love of all.

Old red dog
with the golden, laughing eyes,
so wise in years;
I wonder
what you think
as you run to meet me
with wagging tail
and your big dog smile.
We’ve been together for many years now,
since the day I found you
hungry and alone
and brought you
to your forever home,
where you have been
my special friend.
So many words
to describe you,
but none of them fit exactly right
as there is no other dog,
quite like you.
We are both aging now old friend,
each of us a little slower,
and  a little less frisky these day;
though we still watch moon rises and fire flies
in the stillness of our backyard
on warm Summer evenings.
 Whichever one of us
gets  there first my friend,
you know the drill. 
In case I haven’t told you enough,
I love you to the moon . . .
my old red dog.
 © Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More Computer Art

This is another of my computer art pieces. It is copied of sorts from a photo I took in my kitchen once upon a time. I used a watercolor technique for a base and the eyes took forever as I couldn't get them the way I remembered them, but finally I found Harpo in there.
She was an amazing cat and someday I will tell you stories about some of her escapades. Later in life she loved to sleep in the kitchen where she could stay warm and always be near a treat.
Surely do miss my Harpi-cat. She was unique and such a pretty girl.
Goodnight my friends, wherever you may be.

 © Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Computer Art

 Island Flower by Joyce Burns
One of my favorite things to do is computer art. Many people don't understand it and for some weird reason say you are cheating art itself by doing art on a computer. I am here to tell you that it takes just as much thought and effort to put together a computer drawing or painting as it does conventional art and sometimes I lose all track of time and realize five hours later that it is 2:00 am and I need to be sleeping. We virtual art geeks don't get any credit for what we do, but it is born of love for the joy of creating.
This creation was inspired by a picture I took of this beautiful tropical flower in Freeport, Bahamas. Life in the islands is so laid back and the colors so rich you can almost taste them. These orangey colors reminded me of a Dreamsicle icecream treat that I used to get as a child from an old country store at home.
Anyway, I will share my love of creating from time to time so hope I don't bore you too much. Sometimes I may just drop in one of these with no writing and let you imagine your own story about it.
Thanks for dropping by and here's hoping you have your own sweet island dream.
Goodnight : )
 © Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013


Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Brother Ronnie

It's funny sometimes the more you try to bring something into focus, the further away it seems to slip from you.  Photographs and memories seem to fade around the edges with time. But I will remember you !
Today is the anniversary of one of the most painful nights that I have experienced to date in my life.
Seven years ago in the morning I lost my brother Ronnie to cancer. We had a long, hard battle. I sat with him alone this night and breathed every breath he took and felt every pain. In the morning I told him it was okay if he needed to leave that I would be alright until he came back for me. Oh how I lied. I don't talk about it much as even after seven long years it is still almost too much to bear.
Its a long, long story but Ronnie protected me from the day I was born. He even named me.
He was seven years older than myself and I swear I don't know how he put up with me.
Mother was divorced not long after I was born and in the time period in which we lived she suffered the finger wagging of society, even though he left her to raise us without ever looking back. He just walked off and I didn't see him again until after I was twenty-one. She never spoke a bad word about him, but she suffered much.  Ronnie was always looking out for one or the other of us.
Needless to say we never had any money to speak of. Mother worked every day and did the very best she could. My grandparents (her folks) lived with us too. Grandpa had been a barber but became severely disabled after he was in a fire. Grandma became babysitter and caregiver. So there were five of us. And now there is just me, and once in a while the reality of it all just grabs you by the heart.
But back to my point. Ronnie was the best brother anyone could ever have. When I was in high school, I wasn't going to get to go on a class trip and Ronnie worked extra shifts at his job and surprised me with the money to go. And he made sure I got my class ring. How do you repay that kind of love? And that was him all the time. Such a giving heart with everyone.
That was one of a million things he did for my family. People now don't know what love is. They think its money and presents but its sacrificing for one another, not because you have to, but because you want to show that love. No it wasn't perfect.. There are always times you don't see eye to eye with those you love. But I know in the end I would have given my life in exchange for any of the other four of my family.
So I guess my quest here is two fold. One to tell you about my amazing brother. (He was an awesome writer too and inspired me to try to be my best). But the other thing is to cherish the ones you love and tell them over and over as you may lose the chance when you are least expecting it.
As for my family, I still love you everyday of my life, with every breath, and especially you my sweet brother. I hope that you are all rejoicing in heaven and that one day you WILL come back for me.
I miss you so.  Love, Joyce
© Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Far Away Faces

I always wonder what will end up here in an evening.
I love playing with art programs and color and haunting looks so this is what came about playing with color and light earlier.
Everyone has many faces and though you think you know yours, it is never the same. So many factors play into a face; so many of life's lessons bend and shape it daily. Smiles, frowns, ups, downs, love... death, rich, poor, smart or dumb as a box of rocks. Painted and photographed, written about and lifted in song. Smooth faces, faces with scars, old faces with lines of hard earned wisdom. Fat faces, skinny faces, and many rainbow colors of faces. Some with tattoos and holes and all manner of things. Faces that are worshiped by many and others, though magnificent go unappreciated by a single soul, even unto death.
But if you want to gain a treasure, look at the face next to you. Chances are its a face you love, or maybe a face only a Mother could love, but each one is unique and made by God and stamped with a purpose.
As for me, I choose to love faces of all kinds :)
Just me observing in this big old world.
Sweet dreams; may they find you and grant you peace.
© Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Get Your Hand Outta My Pockets

In wondering what I would talk about tonight I had no idea I could go into such a funk over an insurance company!
I opened my car insurance renewal bill and much to my surprise they had raised my rates forty-six dollars a month! WTH? Nothing had changed in the last few months. No accidents, no tickets, so what? I started dialing 1-800.
At almost midnight I am calling an insurance company I have been with for almost seventeen years and trying to find a human to talk to. And ENGLISH damn it. After being on hold for approximately fifteen minutes (and this is near midnight) I finally hear a human voice. She's says quietly, "And what can I do for you tonight"? I wanted to scream into the phone by now but I calmly told her that I was confused about my bill.
By then I had pulled up my own account on my computer to the recent activity. OMG!
It seems that in February the company changed my due date without telling me! They installed a new computer system and oops, "we're sorry" guess that's when the date got changed. So she fixed that (supposedly...we'll see at a future date) and then I see the words LATE CHARGE on my computer screen! I got instantly furious as I am OCD about paying bills. So when I pointed all that out she said, "oh my", I'll get that removed.
So she decided she has everything fixed and I ask why I am being charged $46.00 more and she says, "it must be your credit score". To which I replied, "NO WAY IN HELL"! 
I have a great rating which I work very hard to keep and she says, "well I don't really know then". I said "by the way what has your credit score got to do with your rate if you have NEVER missed a payment and it has always been paid on time"? "Well that's a good question", she replied. She said she really didn't know and I should call the Information Department tomorrow. Can't wait to hear that logic!
So I still don't have an answer and she said, "by the way I can't fix the renewal date, sorry", (even though they are the ones who screwed it up). So I have to pay my bill eight days earlier than usual so I won't get a late charge because who knows if it's fixed or not?
Everyone has their hand in your pocket now! I used to be able to help other people once in a while, but now it is a struggle to eat. This has become a ridiculous problem that even the smallest of items in you life seem to cost at least four or five dollars and most things end up costing hundreds.  And every way you turn its a few extra dollars and a few more taxes. I would like to retire one day, but looks like I'll be eating cat food at my current pace.
Do these people think there is no limit to how much money a person has? Maybe its true for the rest of you, but not for me. Where are people getting all this money? Stealing it from others? Using plastic? I need insight, so please enlighten me wise ones.
I guess when America has come to the point where there are more people not working than ones who are its time for a change.
Sorry for all the rambling but gees Louise. Enough is enough.
And for all those folks who voted for a change? I'm still waiting to hear there has been one. Think you might have driven your ducks to a bad market! Eh?
Later friends. Save me a Margarita.

© Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Beginnings

Recent months have flown by. I don't know where a little over half a year has gone and I wake up and wonder what I have been doing all this time. I haven't even downloaded the pictures I took last September, much less the months after that. Its like I've been sleep walking through life and I have no excuse except for negative energy and wondering if the United States was going to turn into a police state.
But you can't worry about " what if " all the time so I am resuming living.
The above photo was in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I also visited New Orleans for a return visit, the Caymans and sailed in a regatta in Cozumel. Not necessarily in that order. 
It was a nice trip. Wish I was back there tonight, especially in Georgetown. It was so pretty.
 I also finished my second poetry book," Fragments ". Just can't seem to get around to publishing it. Have new short stories too but not sure what I want to do next.
At any rate, I think I am back, so check back here once in a while if you want to see what's going on.
God bless all my friends, family and aquaintances. I hope life finds each of you happy and blessed.
See you soon.

© Joyce (Tidwell) Burns, ChynaMoon Creations, Chyna Moon Press,  1997-2013