Mini Minnie Me - 31 MAR 2008

In TN, driving west on Innerstate 40 and I see a bill board about the home of Minnie Pearl but I didn’t get to see what exit. Then I saw this sign that looked like it said “Gender Switch Center”. It was five miles before I could turn around. Doubling back the next sign says 19 miles down the road, but I’ve got to check this out…what is it? You go in a guy and come out a girl? Or they make switches? Are they used for electricity or to give 40 lashes? Then I got close and saw what the sign really said: 
And there I was in Centerville, home of Minnie Pearl. 
I didn’t get to see a grinder as the center had closed awhile back; part of the collection is in the Chamber of Commerce which was not open. 
Tinky Winky loved getting to pose with Minnie, and wanted a hat just like hers. The town had an interesting layout; it was four blocks in a square with the court house in the center. 
I don’t know what kind of food this is…fruit, meat? Most certainly, Southern. Then back on I40 I spotted some more white animals: 
I’ve been listening to Eckhart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth’ and he was talking about the innocence of babies, even baby animals as they have not been influenced by their environment. 
And this calf brought home the message. You might think cows are just hamburger on the hoof but I've seen cattle on the farm display knowledge about their environment. They are shy around strangers and will move away from the fence unless you are the farmer they know. But this little guy was all curious and came over to check me out. It was fun watching the two calves play with each other. 
Again on I40 my eye caught something, I made a quick turn and was able to confirm what I saw…it just spoke to me on many levels. 
There may not be a lot of foliage on the trees but at least it makes it easy to spot the bird nests. At a rest stop I got to watch birds building their nests.

TW Rain Hat - 30 MAR 2008

Although we spent the night in TN, we dipped back down into NC to photograph some waterfalls. 
Tinky Winky put on a rain hat as this was how our day started. 
We stopped at Whitewater Falls and while I was distracted by rain drops on trees, TW fell out of my pocket and was nearly lost forever. 
If it hadn't been for a very observant little girl who saw me and TW together in the parking lot and told her parents where the newly found Teletubby belonged, it would have been a very sad trip home. 
After that, TW got strapped down with the water bottle. Happy TW at Whitewater Falls after we were reunited. 
Next we found Bridal Veil Falls…at one time cars could drive under this falls but now it’s blocked off. 
It was interesting standing behind the water. 
Nearby was Cliffside Lake which gave an strange view of a lake as it drops off into a stream. 
Then we detoured down to GA to try and find Minnehaha Falls near Lake Rabun but didn’t have any luck. However, the drive around the lake was so scenic, not finding the falls wasn't a disappointment. Now we’re back in TN heading to Knoxville.

White Burro - 29 MAR 2008

I love taking side roads; you never know what you’ll see such as this white burro.
Then we found a place that makes bird houses
…Tinky Winky was in 7th Heaven! 
And to top it off they had a white peacock.
That’s two white animals I’ve never seen before.We made it to the Blue Ridge Parkway but after driving 15 miles we ran into a road block. 
So we ended up down in the valley that we saw from the overlook. That drive was fun too because we dove through farm country and got to see lots of new baby calves. TW kept shouting, “Look, more veal."

Shop Critters - 28 MAR 2008

My class today was back at the Department of Corrections facility in downtown Raleigh next to the Central Facility. During class a dog starting barking, when it didn’t stop I noticed the class was looking very nervous. I said, “That’s the first time I’ve heard a dog barking here…wonder if a prisoner escaped?” (This was just what everyone else was thinking.) I looked out the window didn’t see any commotion so, I told them about a facility I was teaching at in Raeford where they told me there would be dogs barking because they were conducting K-9 training sessions. This put everyone at ease and we went back to training. Before long the barking stopped. 
While I was getting my AAA tripkit updated, Tinky Winky played hide-and-seek with the neck animals. My job is done, we start for home tomorrow morning.

Prison Bird House - 27 MAR 2008

Tinky Winky found another bird house to play in.
I just don’t think any bird would want to live there because of the first three laws of real estate...location, location, location. 
Last Sunday when we went to the Arboretum, they were having a bird house contest. It took a lot of effort to keep TW off the art work. Here are some of my favorites: 
  
  
  

The others were done by professionals but this one was done by a child under the age of 7:
 I liked it just as much...good use of mixed media.

Dandelions - 26 MAR 2008

While I was working, Tinky Winky enjoyed nature on a bright sunny day by picking me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. 
Being other worldly, TW doesn’t label blossoms as weeds or flowers. After taking a closer look, I have to agree with TW, dandelions are beautiful flowers.
  
  

Laundry Day - 25 MAR 2008

Today, Tinky Winky got into cleaning the laundry...literally!

Arboretum - 24 MAR 2008

Yesterday was beautiful, warm and sunny. 
The temperature was only in the high 50’s but the sun was so bright it felt very warm.
Today however, it’s in the 40’s and feels like an overly crisp fall day, right before a freeze hits, cold and cloudy.
We went to NC State Raultson Arboretum and got lots of nice flower shots. 
  
Tinky Winky started to study the maps planning our return trip to CA which starts Saturday.

TW Bunny - 23 MAR 2008

Leave it to Tinky Winky to find purple Easter Ears.

Korner's Folly, Kernersville, NC - 22 MAR 2008

After talking with some local tourists about places to visit, I went in search Korner’s Folly in Kernersville. 
This monstrosity turned out to be one of the most unique houses I've ever seen…the Southern version of the Winchester House. This place has 22 rooms, ceiling heights ranging from 5’6” to 25’ within three floors consisting of seven levels. 
No two doors are alike (I had to walk sideways through one) and no two windows are the same. 
It has 15 fireplaces, each with different ceramic tiles and several interesting mosaic pattern floors.
They had a build in ice box that was walled in brick between two rooms.
On the way back to Raleigh we pulled off the freeway, looking for a car wash and found this house that has a Giant Chair in the front yard:
...goes with February 8th entries: unique front lawns. (It was the size of a MINI Cooper.)