Thursday, November 30, 2006

TSA Michigan on the Radio

In October Art and I were invited to be the guests on Ask the Doctor on WCHB radio. They thought a show about Tourette Syndrome would be a great topic and we are always happy to jump at a chance to promote awareness. I was nervous because unlike Art, I had never done a radio interview. I guess I shouldn't have been because I didn't have a problem answering any questions and it wasn't as intimidating as I had imagined. This is a photograph of me with Dr. Anderson. It was an awesome day! Thank you to Dr. Anderson and WCHB.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

morning dew

I didn't even know I had grapes until all of the leaves died. Since there weren't many, I didn't see them. Instead of picking them, I decided to photograph them and then my daughter showed me how to do the cut-out. I like this technique and am enjoying playing with it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Motor City

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Heidelberg Project

Click on the photo to view large.
I found this house while exploring Detroit with a friend, taking pictures. It was something that I had never seen before. I was later informed that it is part of the Heidelberg Project. I had heard of it as something negative in the past, an embarrasment and thought the city had destroyed it. I didn't realize that the project had been resurrected and is the biggest tourist attraction in the city of Detroit.

From the Heidelberg website:

The Heidelberg Project has transformed a hard-core inner city neighborhood where people were afraid to walk, even in daytime, into one in which neighbors take pride and where visitors are many and welcome. The success of the Project continues to provide hope and inspiration.

"See that house over there? That was a crack house...After the first three police raids, it opened right up again. After the fourth raid we couldn't stand it anymore. So we went over and painted the place. Pink, blue, yellow, white and purple dots and squared all over it. Up there on the roof we stuck a baby doll and that bright blue inner tube, and on the porch we put a doghouse with a watchdog inside...Now all day long people drive by and stop to stare at the place...Believe me, in front of an audience like that, nobody's going to sell crack out of that house anymore."

Tyree Guyton (from People Magazine, August 15, 1988)

I believe that art can change the world and Tyree Guyton has proved it. If you go to the web site you can take a tour of the homes that have been transformed into art. It hasn't been an easy journey. Mayor Coleman Young ordered the demolition of 4 of the houses in 1991. This happened during a time when abandoned houses became a risk to children walking to school and it seemed illogical to destroy the homes that were decorated so colorfully. Dennis Archer was elected Mayor in 1993.

In 1997, The Heidelberg Project receives a $47,500 grant from the City of Detroit for the development of a Cafe and Welcoming Center. In October council members Kay Everett and Sheila Cockerel declare war against the Heidelberg Project.

February 4th - 5th, 1999
Police cars block off Heidelberg Street. Within 90 minutes, an army of city workers and heavy equipment descends on the Project. Police helicopters hover over the scene. Many Detroiters are startled that the city was able to mobilize such a large force of workers and equipment in mere hours.

This action is not rational, this decision is political...and this attack is personal. The City Government is flexing its muscles like a schoolyard bully and using Detroit's limited financial resources to do it.

Local media quoted the city as saying the estimated cost to destroy the project would be approximately $18,000. If the city had given that money to the Heidelberg Project, we could have purchased and renovated one of the homes the city chose to bulldoze and set up a center for art and educational programs for local children - as we planned to do last Fall before the city declared war on the Project and made obtaining funding all but impossible. Instead the city has created another vacant lot...

The "Happy Feet" house is demolished as supporters rush to gather artwork from city lots for storage on private property. One of the vacant houses demolished was owned by a local senior citizen. City bulldozers also destroyed a house blocks away on Canfield Street. The Canfield House was owned by Tyree Guyton and used as a storage facility for artwork saved from the 1991 demolition of the original Heidelberg Project.

The Heidelberg Project began as an outdoor art environment in the heart of Detroit, but it has grown into much more. Today the project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of creativity to transform all those whose lives it touches. The Heidelberg Project offers a forum for ideas, a seed of hope, and a bright vision for the future.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Saturday, November 11, 2006

You are either part of a team, or you play alone for the rest of your life.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


So Fortunate

Some days I can't stop feeling sorry for myself, but really I am very fortunate. I have the most wonderful friends a person could have. I don't know what I would do without them. One of my co-workers and I were talking about how rough things were when she told me about a friend who ended up in jail because of drugs and alcohol. His ex-wife had remarried and then divorced by the time he was released. He has a child with her and when he returned to their lives they were remarried. He had his family back, got a job, and things were going well. Well they weren't so great. He ended up with a brain aneurysm, and died.

Ok, I didn't write this to make everyone depressed, (if anyone reads this blog), it was to make a point. No one knows how much time on this earth they have and we should live for today. It's hard to do some days, but we need to try. Thank someone who has helped you, tell your family and friends you love them, and don't put off keeping in touch with far away family and friends. Do a random act of kindness and smile.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my family and friends for everything they have done for me and hope to return the favor if they need me. I am the most blessed person alive.

Friends with Blogs

I just discovered that another friend has a blog on blogger. I would have known sooner if I would check my e-mail on yahoo once in a while. I've just been so busy and tired lately. I guess I am tired because I am so busy. Of course I would probably complain about being bored if I wasn't busy so there is no win here. Maybe I just like to bitch.

Today, when I was checking my neglected e-mail I discovered two more life changing things about my friends. One long lost friend got married and built a house and another moved to Michigan. My God! I will never neglect my e-mail again. I guess it doesn't help that I have 6 accounts to check and seem to go to the one that has jokes daily for me. I also have to check my MI-TSA mail because that is very important. Actually my biggest reason is that I spend so much time on Flickr because I am so addicted to taking pictures and posting them. I love connecting with other photographers and seeing what types of pictures they take and what they think of mine. I take pictures for me and I guess I've been a bit focused on that since it makes me happy....and I work too hard and have too many responsibilities to be unhappy.