The Missing Element


Yesterday, I shared four blogs on which I’d placed substantive comments. Today’s Blogging 101 assignment is true. Of the four, one of them stayed with me enough to influence the direction for the STUDIO. But another of the four used the same technique — photography. Deanna’s photos of Clouds and Sunsets underscore the narrative in her posts. They illustrate her appreciation for God’s creation. She has a vast repository of photography from over the years that she continues to expand.

Another self-photographer, Chameleon, uses her own photographs as well. Her posts are written in both English and French — yet use the same photos. This speaks volumes on the power of a photograph and reminds me of the quote:

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

I’d like to amend that quote and add, “A picture needs no translation.”

The content of these two blogs focuses on completely different subject matters. But they both come across as more personal. And I think it’s the photography that makes the difference.

WP_FI_Photography copyWhile scouting for stock photography is an enjoyable pastime, personal photos seem to add a layer of authenticity to a blog. My only camera is the one in my Galaxy S3, which I understand can deliver quality images. It’s a welcome alternative to my broke-down low-mp Canon that’s held together by a rubber-band after being dropped. I’ve read about how the GS3 takes great pictures and that the various levels can be adjusted to affect different image styles. I think I want to add this layer of authenticity to a Commonplace STUDIO. What this means is that I’ll have to spend less time at the keyboard and get to snappin’.

I can usually tell a stock photo from a personal one. And, along with the stock photography comes the responsibility of attribution.

I’m more into the writing aspect of blogging; so the switch to personal photography will be a slow, methodical one. I know not to expect professional quality; but I do aim for my photos to be above “point and shoot.” So, I’ll continue to use stock photography, and work a suitable attribution style into my posts. And, of course, I’ll announce when one of my own images is featured. Wow. Who knew? “Blogging 101 is just what this STUDIO needed” said Miss Donna as she added yet another stock photo to the STUDIO. 🙂


A Little-Known Fact About Martin Luther King, Jr.


MLK_Speaking copyOr is it known but not talked about? After mentioning Reformation Leader Martin Luther in a page on Christianity, I decided to write on something I’ve wondered about for many years. I’ve often wondered how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s grandparents decided on that name for his father. So, prompted by next week’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I set about the task of writing on the circumstances behind his grandparents’ choice of names. Why did the Kings name his father after the noted German monk who sparked the Reformation movement?  Well, truth is . . . they didn’t — not at his birth.  I came across two articles about the origins of the MLK name. And neither of them say that the the grandparents named the father of the Civil Rights Activist after the monk.

The first report I came across was in an online issue of Forbes. What I found out there was that the elder King’s given name was Michael (some reports specify, “Michael Luther King”). Then after a 1934 missionary trip to Germany where he learned about Reformation Leader Martin Luther, he changed his name — and that of his 5-year old son — to Martin Luther King, Sr. and Jr., respectively. This is the most likely, and most repeated, version of the truth. It’s harmless enough and carries a level of charm.

This fact is also addressed in question 7 of the NPS’s Frequently Asked Questions About Dr. King’s Birth Home. Nestled among other questions about the home is a question about Dr. King’s birth name.

As I sought to gather more writings on the same explanation, I came across another that claimed the physician misunderstood what the child’s name was to be and wrote “Michael” instead of “Martin” on the birth certificate. My genealogical experience confirms this type of error was possible during that era; but it’s just not very convincing.

This post focuses on the charm aspect of the story; and will not probe into whether the names were legally changed. I can only imagine how King detractors would process this fact about him. I suspect their obvious treatment would be to focus on the legality of the name and documents that bore its signature. I stumbled upon it while preparing to write about why his grandparents chose that name for his father. Instead I found a little-known fact, with a varied range of significance, that we can only smile and wonder about today. Yes the circumstances and dates vary. But isn’t that the mark of a true legend? What I found was an unexpected fact that I am even more inspired to share.

So my relating the 20th century “Martin Luther King, Sr.” to the 15th century “Martin Luther” was not far-fetched in the least. My thought has been that the Civil Rights Leader’s parents named his father after the German monk who sparked the Christian Reformation. Well, the source of the name is correct. The only difference is that it wasn’t his grandparents who decided on the name . . . but his father . . . five years after young Michael was born. In the end, both the namesake (a word for which there is no antonym) and the original made substantial contributions to effect change in their respective eras and for posterity.

Read more about Dr. King

Read more about theologian Martin Luther

Appreciation Breeds Happiness

An appreciative heart is the foundation for happiness. Appreciate what you already have, are, know, see . . .  Set your sights on what will compliment what you already have.  Don’t always seek to replace it.  Your current state is God’s intention; and reordering it is His business.  Elevation comes after you apply His truths to your situation.  Blessing comes when God sees you making the most of what is. Be poised to readily release whatever — or whomever — threatens your ability to appreciate.

Many times, when I’ve had to remind myself to take stock of what I have, I hadn’t considered the added responsibility that would come with whatever was on the horizon.  To look out on the horizon offers inspiration; but I had to learn how to apply inspiration to reality.  Yes, that’s the key to happiness.


I found quite an inspiring challenge.  It appealed to my affinity for quote graphBadge_WCWics.  That’s probably not the right name; but it’s what I call them.  Since I had already created a handful of them that I shared on facebook, I thought, “Why not share them here as well?”  Then I came across the Words Crush Wednesday Challenge.  I love words too, Lisa. That’s serendipity.

✍ Be it Resolved

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “To Be Resolved.”

Rather than New Years resolutions — what about daily improvements? Do they count? And do they have to be called resolutions ? KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAnd do they have to be proclaimed publicly ? I try to make corrections as soon as I realize there’s a problem. I don’t think anyone does this; but the whole idea of New Years resolutions suggests that that’s the only time improvements can be made.

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.
Cavett Robert

I think I stopped making resolutions a few years after I realized my sister’s observation about me was right. She teased me about my habit of making resolution amendments. “You always say you’re gonna do something by Christmas .” Of course we laughed about it. But as soon as she said it, I knew she was right. It took me a while — as I caught myself stopping short of using Christmas as my deadline. If she were here, we would still be laughing about it. In fact, I’m smiling as I remember that the year-end holiday of Christmas was my mark for everything that needed to be done.

So, not only did I make resolutions. I amended the ones I had managed to actually keep with other improvements I thought needed to be made that year. I guess I tried the failed resolutions again the following year. Crazy . . . The mere mention of New Years resolutions can elicit a smirk and head-shake reaction from me. It’s actually pretty amusing to read other people’s resolutions as I think, “Did they actually wait until New Years to figure out they needed to make that change?”

Being my own worst critic, I’m happy to make self-improvements as the realizations arise. No, I do not make New Years resolutions. But I do look forward to reading other peoples’. It’s amusing to see that we all need to make similar adjustments.

I do, however, wish you a Happy, Prosperous, and Safe New Year.

To Be Resolved

The Year-End Holiday Season – 2014

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Getting Seasonal.”

The Holiday Season? My attitude toward the end-of-year holidays has, indeed, changed over the years. In a nutshell, I’m unfazed by it all. Let’s start with Thanksgiving. I’ve always known that it falls on the 4th Thursday in November. Recently, I found out why. In 1939, FDR gave in to the pleas of retailers and moved Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday. The reason was to lengthen the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas so that people could spend more money Christmas shopping. Don’t believe me? Read about it here A simple Google search will return many similar articles. These are just articles I selected for this post. Two-Day_Doorbuster - CopyThere was a time, when my son was younger, that I would arise at 0:dark:30 on “Black Friday” to be among the earlybirds to snag a bargain or two for Christmas gifts, decorating items or whatever. Earlybirds greeted one another and discussed what we hoped to find, compared notes about where to shop for what. Fast forward to 2014; and both the consumer and retailer greed level intensifies greatly. Stores are now open on Thanksgiving Day to lure the most eager shoppers. Public outcry of late has been for the boycotting of retailers who open on Thanksgiving because by doing so, they are taking their employees away from their families. People begin camping out weeks before Thanksgiving to be first in line for “doorbusters” which are another greed tactic of retailers. Consumers are aware of this tactic; and now know they have to be one of the first ones in line because the store has only stocked a few of the doorbuster items. It’s a hot mess dot com. It was several yeaDoorbuster - Copyrs ago that I became disenchanted with the gross commercialism and revelry of what I believed, at the time, to be a sacred holiday. I don’t get caught up in the shopping, buying or expecting gifts. And once it finally dawned on me to question the giving of gifts to each other on Jesus’ birthday, I never got an answer that made sense to me. So celebrating in this way, just as Christmas Day itself, has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. (More about that in a post I’m writing for this weekend.) Of course I’ll be happy to spend the holiday known as Christmas with my family — many of whom don’t bother to display anyyears-text.2jpg acknowledgement of Jesus or His birth. And, I will say this. During the days when I shopped frantically through Christmas Eve, I had a great appreciation for the stillness of space and time that enveloped Christmas Day. There’s a peace that seems to abound when the world stands still. Most businesses are closed. Even though I really don’t immerse myself into all the hoopla like I once did, I still appreciate this blessed silence. And I’ll be happy for those who can finally collapse from all the frenzy and return to their senses and business as usual. When it’s over, it will be over; and the world will be set back on its axis. Then we can prepare for a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

<a href="">Getting Seasonal</a>

After a Year on Facebook

I finally bit the bullet and joined facebook a little over a year ago. Since then, I’ve gained some social media “friends” and reconnected with many personal friends, family friends, and acquaintances from my hometown. I’m an old-school “booker” who chooses to keep co-workers separate from social media. As far as friends, I still haven’t hit the 200 mark — and that’s fine. I like this quote about social media followers:

The number of ‘followers’ you have does not make you better than anyone else. Hitler had millions, Jesus had 12.

I went from 0 to 60 — okay, 30 . . . okay, 12 — in a short span of time: 175 friends! That’s plenty for a small-town girl like me who never needed to be the center of attention. My older son was so surprised that I had joined the book . He reflected back to some of the feelings I had expressed about not having my business out there for everyone to see, being careful about the crazies that could crop up, not wanting to be associated with “friends” who posted objectionable content, using baud width and cyber time more constructively . . . You get the picture. Well, it wasn’t long before that same son told me, Momma, your posts are too long. You need to write a blog. Don’t nobody wanna read all that. I just laughed it off and kept writing, liking, and sharing.

Then I ventured off into Gamesville. What a waste of time that turned out to be! It didn’t take long for me to realize that the game apps were digital leeches that would defy every attempt of removal from my profile. I couldn’t turn for a prompt about a game. That got annoying real quick. Needless to say, my friends started sending me invitations to engage in some form of digital play. Somehow these invitations managed to override my initial feelings of creepiness about someone else knowing what games I liked. So I obliged. Then I noticed that despite my following the steps to opt out of a game, I continued to receive invitations to play. So I replied to each individual invite with a tactful declination including a brief explanation of my reason. Then I noticed other friends posting general, sometimes not so tactful, declinations on their timelines. “Wow,” I thought . . . “I’m not the only one who is annoyed by this.” Because I understood their position, of course, I “liked” their post. But I have yet to posts my own blanket declination.

A few months ago, I was moved to write a post about my objection to people using their smart phone cameras to record embarrassing videos about people they didn’t know for the sole intent of gaining attention on social media. Shortly thereafter, despite many “likes,” my “algorithm” changed — shrug. I still kick around in a few groups; but I limit my input to “likes” and brief comments. And I’ve finally learned to steer clear of controversial topics. The recent debacle with a certain (now former) congressional aide and her comments about the first daughters brought out the fangs in me. Trust me — it was not pretty.

So my timeline had become my puppeteer. Whatever popped up on it was what got me going. That’s not what I was looking for. In the back of my mind, I knew my baby was right. I needed to write a blog. So, here I am. I still check my facebook — but not as often as before. And I’m all the free-er for it. Hello blogosphere! I’m glad to be back.

Digging for Roots


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Digging for Roots.”

When I read about this challenge, the first thing that came to my mind was an observation I made within the approximately past five years. I could probably be considered a loner — nowhere near reclusive — just comfortable functioning independently of others. Comfortable in my own skin — yeah, that’s it. (In the cast of “The Big Bang Theory,” I would be Sheldon.) My observation showed me the basis of this attribute. I am the youngest of a family of four children. There are two years between each of my siblings but five years between the youngest of them and me. Even though my sister was splendid about making sure I was included in things where age didn’t matter, I still knew they enjoyed privileges I would have to wait years to experience. On the other hand, I got more alone time with my parents.

My dad and I savored pickled pig’s feet and crackers after he picked me up from Kindergarten. (You couldn’t pay me to eat one now.) My mom and I enjoyed shopping trips, puzzles, word games, restaurants. I owe my love of books and reading to being allowed to spend hours in the library across the street. And I had more “Golden Books” than you could shake a stick at. I remember going to the drive-in movie with them in my pj’s. Afterwards, Daddy would throw me over his shoulder and carry me into the house.

I remember the time Billy and Pat went to Chicago Bandstand. Our family gathered around the television, watchChicago_Bandstand_Postered and squealed with delight when we got a brief glimpse of them among the teenagers on the dance floor. Our family loved music; and it was one of the things that bridged our ages.

I still recall, however, that while they did teenager things together, I enjoyed one-on-one time with Momma and Daddy. They all attended school together (walking a few city blocks). But as the youngest, I attended grades 1 through 6 at the school where my mother was the secretary (riding across town in our family vehicle). My parents were pleasantly surprised when, at the age of 10, I debuted with “The Palmer Trio” — making our gospel group, “The Palmer Family Singers.”

Palmer Family Singers (1979; Gary, Indiana)

Palmer Family Singers (1979; Gary, Indiana)

Subsequently, I had no problem functioning alone. The greatest illustration of this attribute was when I decided to relocate my family from Gary, Indiana to Houston, Texas. After five years, and for five years following, I experienced the deaths of my mother, sister and older brother. While it was difficult when I couldn’t make the trip home for some of the surgeries, health episodes, etc., our bond transcended the miles. Our separation was physical only. And when I had my own health experience, updates to them were done by phone — multiple calls in a day between my sister and me were the norm.

I thank God for the faith that was instilled in me from a young age. That faith transcended the physical separation. Through the years, our dynamic and my place in the family structure prepared me to function independently — undergirded with my family’s love and support. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of each one of them, Daddy, Momma, Billy, Charles, Pat — my family. They have all gone on to Glory. But they prepared me to function independently with training in self-sufficiency.

Digging for Roots

Welcome to a Commonplace STUDIO (the STUDIO)


Welcome to A Commonplace Studio. This is my commonplace for all things digital — my main blog and proving ground for the topical blogs I have in the works. One is a genealogy blog; and the other is scrapbooking. You will also find articles about cast iron cookware — especially vintage. Some of my interests are Bible Study, Resale Shopping, Consigning. I’m considering categories that will encompass them.

I’ve blogged before — several years on Blogger. WordPress is new to me; and I’m happy with my decision to switch. In the beginning stages, I will sharpen my writing skills by responding to challenges. I’m also hoping to improve my blogging technique. I know your time is valuable; so my goal is to keep my posts within the 300-500 word range. Learn more about the STUDIO .