Wednesday, July 30, 2008


When I was about eight or nine years old, my sister and I would sneak off into the woods and go swimming in the creek behind our house. Well, I didn't actually swim, I was afraid of the water but I carried my inner tube and floated on that. The boys ruled this place. They had rope hanging from a tree and would swing out over the water and drop off, splashing all of us. We thought they were so brave, we never complained.

We were told over and over again not to go but the minute the grown ups had their attention on something else, away we went. It was probably about a mile from our home and this was in the days before parents panicked when their child was missing. They just waited on us, mad as a hornet. Mama would switch our legs with a small limb from a tree. She even let us get it ourselves, so of course we got the thinnest one we could find. I know now, that one hurt more than a large one would have. We didn't have our little lives destroyed by a spanking. We thought we deserved it for disobeying our parents. They whipped us, we got over it and all was well.

The last time I remember going, we stopped off to pick some blackberries on the way home. That is when the big disaster happened. My sister reached in and grabbed a yellow jacket nest. She was covered with those stinging things. She ran screaming to the house. Mama saw her coming and got a washtub, filled it with all the kerosene she had and stuck my sister in it. She finally stopped screaming quite so loud but she was in pain for quite a while after that. I don't recommend this treatment because I don't have any idea what it was supposed to do. It must have worked though because she was back to normal pretty soon. We didn't sneak away for the rest of that summer.

Monday, July 28, 2008


We all have humble opinions on blogging. I've seen quite a few posts lately about it. So here is mine.

I don't care what people put on their blogs or how they compose their post. I do like pictures though. If I like it, I will read it, if I don't, there are many more to read. If it is longer than a cat's tail in a room full of rocking chairs, with no paragraphs, I might ramble with them for a while but it's not my favorite type of post. I exercise the right to change the channel if I am unhappy with a TV show. I do the same with blogs. I mute the music for the most part, but that's not hard to do. Sometimes I like it.

If someone wants to talk about religion, I don't care. I am who I am and they are who they are. I don't think we can truly separate our opinions from our faith entirely because it is a lifestyle and not just a Sunday kind of thing. I know my faith flavors all my life. I just figure for the most part, I am not going to draw atheists to me. But some will come if they like most of what I write and aren't offended by my occasional reference to God. I have friends and family, who think they are atheists. I was one myself before I saw the light....Oops there goes that reference!
I have a blog built around my faith which cuts down on my need to preach on my gardening blog, for instance. But the occasional word might slip in.

I leave if I can't identify with your subject matter in some way. I have many interests, if you live long enough, you will. So most blogs have something that interest me. I stop reading if I get bored. I always comment. So far, I haven't met anyone I didn't like. I like comments, so feel free to talk to each other on my blog. To me that is half the fun. Just don't get in a fight. Don't make me come and smack you. ~[~

I am an old, dirt poor white, Southern, Pentecostal, woman with highly opinionated, conservative, right leaning, thoughts who also likes country music and Southern Gospel. There is enough there for everyone to dislike something about me. LOL--- But just so you know, one of my nieces thinks I am cool because I know who Daughtry and Sugarland are. : )

I try to stay true to who I am and I am drawn to those people who seem real to me. I don't go along to get along. I try to be kind and considerate of other people's feeling when I write but that is not always possible. Some people are just naturally offended at certain things. I try to find people who blog with honesty even if it is not politically correct.

An honest blog with no apology is what I like to read and what I try to write. I just want to make a few friends who enjoy the things I do. Those who share my views on the world and who will look on me as, I'm kidding about the Queen part. : )

Sunday, July 27, 2008



Should You Go First
By A.K. Rowswell

Should you go first and I remain
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
With happy days we've known.
In spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early fall, when brown leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you've touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I'll hear your voice, I'll see you smile,
Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain
To finish with the scroll,
No length'ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
We've had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death can not destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I'd have you to do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take,
That I may walk the same,
For someday down that lonely road
You'll hear me call your name.

Friday, July 25, 2008



A library is a collection of information, sources, resources, and services: it is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, or a private individual. In the more traditional sense, a library is a collection of books.

Okay, that is the definition in general. But if you love libraries the way I do, it is so much more than that. A library is a place you go to relax. To browse and find your creative senses set in motion when you look through the art or craft books. A desire to travel set aflame when you find that book on a country you have always wanted to visit. An urge to get out the pots and pans and cook something great when you glance through the cookbook section.

Then you go down the mystery row and find a couple of those, you just can't wait to read when you have time. And of course, a couple of new decorating books to look through, because our homes are always in transition or at least mine is. I remember the year it was all about Sunflowers and country. Your taste do change so you change your nest. There is the latest self improvement book and the latest fiction everyone is raving about. I probably won't read them all, but I check them out in the hope that I can find the time. I have my own book bag with a deep bottom and wide handle because I know, I will check out at least six when I go.

One of the sad things about Hurricane Katrina was losing my beautiful library overlooking the Gulf. It had large windows and you could sit at a table in super comfortable chairs and look out over the water. I did more dreaming than reading while sitting there. I will always miss it. We will have a new one, but it won't look out over the water and it wont be the place, I spent so many happy days.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Michael Lee...artist

If you knew how much time you had left to live, would you be brave enough to live life to the fullest? I just saw the movie "The Bucket List" and like many other people, I started thinking about what would be on my list. For those who didn't see the movie, it is about two men who are dying of Cancer and only have a few months to live. The title comes from the expression, "kicking the bucket" which is a term for dying. So before you kick the bucket, what would be on your list of things to do before you die?

I don't mean the things like organize your funeral, get your affairs in order, visit the family and tell them you love I mean those things you would like to do that you have never done. Maybe sky diving, or climbing to the top of a peak somewhere. You don't have to be able to do them. Lord knows most of us don't have the money the way the men in the movie did, to travel the world. But if you could do anything you wanted and money was no object, what would be on your bucket list. Here is a list I scribbled down in a hurry but I think some of these might even be doable. I'll start there!

1...Get rid of all my grass and replace it with soft, sweet moss. It would be so nice to walk barefoot on a lawn with springy, soft moss.

2...Eat at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

3...Clean out a space right in the middle of my woods and put a large waterfall there. The little animals would love it and I could sit back there and watch them when they came to play or drink. It would have all kinds of pretty flowers and plants and large flat rocks to sit on.

4...Take a trip to England. I've always wanted to go to England and see all those pretty, quaint cottages and gardens. I cut my teeth on English mysteries and boarding school stories so I have always been drawn to England. The countryside of England in all those movies I love, is always so beautiful. All that rain I guess makes for such pretty green scenery. It just looks greener than here in the States. I would love to go there.

5...Send a message in a bottle

6...Write that Great American Novel or at least a good mystery book.

7...Take out my guitar and start playing again. I play finger style and it has been a long time since I played. I stopped when I got sick a few years ago and never went back to it.

8...Go back to Charleston SC and take that canoe ride and see if Billy can paddle better than he did in That was fun!

9...Have fresh flowers all over my house, every day. For years, I would hold back enough to buy flowers at the grocery store each week. We couldn't afford much but I tried to get a small bouquet for our dining table.

10..Lead at least ten people to Jesus, before I kick the bucket!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Vincent-Van-Gogh painting of "Cornfields". I love these colors.

Perhaps it is the child in me that doesn't want to let go of a childhood too soon gone. Whatever the reason, I still remember as if it was yesterday, those long Sunday drives in the country. I long to go back to those good times when cares were far behind us. After a dinner (noon time in the South) of fried chicken and potato salad, we would all pile into the car and head out on the highway..well make that, into the country. We would ride around and see what the rural country side looked like. Most of the time we drove down the same old dirt roads and saw the same things week after week.

But once in a while we would take a new road. Now that was exciting. As city kids, just seeing animals in the fields and seeing the country kids riding their horses was fun for us. I loved looking at the corn in the fields and stopping to visit with some of the farmers and their children. We would drink ice cold water from their well. They didn't have a pump, they let the bucket down on a rope that was wound around the top and had a handle on the side. Sometimes they would have to pull up the bucket and take out the jar of milk in it. They kept their milk in the well to keep it cool for supper. Then they let it back down for their visitors who were dying of thirst. Sometimes the farmer's wife would take a stroll around her yard and garden with Mama and they would come back with fresh vegetables and some new cutting of a flower Mama wanted. This always pleased Mama so much. She would thank her with a big smile on her face.

Mama would always stop on the side of the road and gather wildflowers and put them in a pail of water, she brought along, just for that purpose. If it was blackberry time, we would pick a few berries in the tin syrup buckets, Mama brought with us. Or if we were lucky, we would end up with pears or plums from wild trees. Back then, no one shot at you if you were on their property looking for wild fruit or a Christmas tree for that matter. You can't do that now, you would at the very least get arrested. But back then, farmers didn't care. At least we never ran into any trouble.

After a few hours of just total saturation in the country smells and sounds, we would head back to town. We always ended the trip with ice cream at the local ice cream shop. I remember the taste of that lemon ice cream to this day. It was fun, free and probably very good for us to take that Sunday drive. We learned about farm animals and crops in a way that the city kids who didn't have this wonderful trip each Sunday, would miss but the most important thing was the good memories.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Today normal aging is considered a curse. Some cling so desperately to youth they become a caricature of themselves. Is this what now passes for growing old gracefully?

You wont catch me:

Swallowing 25 or more anti aging pills per day....I hate taking aspirin

Subjecting my body to cosmetic surgery,...they still use a knife, last time I checked. Why in all that is common sense, would you let someone cut you if you didn't have too?

Engaging in obsessive can take this one to the bank. It's not gonna happen

Fanatically dieting.......see above

Dressing in clothes designed for adolescents...... I know when to's no big deal. That's why they make jogging outfits, empire waist, jumper dresses, over-blouses and elastic waist pants. Or you could just exercise if sagging bothers you. There is a time for everything and what goes up will come down..,,you should feel like a comfortable cushion when your grandchildren hug you. Whose gonna play Grandma if you look like your granddaughter's Mother instead of her Grandmother. Give the kids a break,,,give them a real Grandma.

Mimicking the verbal expressions and hand gestures of teens. This one is just sad when you hear and see it. Especially if it is coming from someone who can't move their face. Grandpa should not be flashing any one the ROCK ON sign, and yelling YO...You flashed your PEACE sign when you were young and yelled CAN YOU DIG IT?'s their time now....move on! Surgery can't help elbows and hands enough to hide your age anyway.

I personally find all of Hollywood a little strange looking. Have you noticed how much they all favor? They all look like they have intermarried once too often. They don't have to worry about a flood in Hollywood. If one happens, with all that plastic they inject, they will all float. LOL

Thursday, July 17, 2008



Is getting old such a bad thing? I wouldn't want to go back and be young again and live all that angst over again...I certainly don't want to be young in this day and age. The world is a scary place for the young today. Besides, I've already been young.

The picture we have of an older person quietly seated in a corner, knitting, reading or nodding off to sleep is gone anyway. Today, people over sixty are into everything. They usually have a second career after they retire from the first one. The second one is usually more satisfying because they are not under so much stress to make money. They can find something they enjoy doing. I am eagerly looking forward to the rest of this earthly life and an eternity after that. I feel I am just getting warmed up.

“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
Albert Camus

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Painting by Ben Viegers

I love farmers and their way of life. My sister married into a farm family and got to find out first hand what it was like. I would go visit her on weekends and stay with her for a few weeks in the Summer. My memories center around their old barn for the most part. They sold milk in those large aluminum milk containers, to a dairy truck that came by every day to pick it up. I would go watch the milk process as they milked each cow and fed them. It was nice and quiet in the barn and very early in the morning, so you could still smell the dew on the grass when you walked up to the barn. Inside it was warm and lit by kerosene lamps, with their nice pleasant glow. There was this nice smell of hay and sweet, creamy milk. I would always drink a glass as they poured into into the containers.

There was one little cow that got personal attention. My Sister's Mother in law would get a little black, three legged stool, and pull up to the cow, all the time telling her what a good and nice cow she was. I could tell this was more than just a cow to her. She loved this cow and really enjoyed milking her. She asked me once if I wanted to see the star in the cow's teats and I leaned over to see. She sprayed my face full of warm milk. LOL. That's not the only trick she pulled on me. I was very gullible about farm things.

I did try chopping cotton one time. I was told to chop, leave a hoe's width and then chop again, It ended up looking so neat. I was very proud of myself. I also developed a really painful set of blisters on my hands. But the memory is still good.
I also picked cotton that Summer. I picked and picked,,,,cut hands and fingers, dragging that long heavy, cotton bag. By the end of the first day, I just knew I had made a fortune. My bag had a lot in it. We stepped up to the scales and weighed. I picked twenty lbs.. After all that hard work....everyone else had picked at least two hundred and some had a whole lot more, even the little kids outpicked me. I was just no good at this and retired the next day. There had to be a better way of earning movie money. They tell me a really good picker could pick three or four hundred lbs in a day. I don't know how they did it. I guess hungry children at home are a great motivator.

My first experience with a vegetable garden, brought the kind of embarrassing story you just don't want floating around the family and retold often. My sister had to go to town and in those days, "go to town", could take all day. They bought groceries, paid bills, got animal feed, visited the farm store for any necessary farm supplies, picked up their checks at the dairy, went to the drug store etc. They had to make sure they got all the supplies they needed because they only made the trip about every two weeks. I was told to go to the garden and pick some turnip greens and make some corn bread for supper. Now I knew how to cook fairly well at an early age but I didn't know how to harvest vegetables. I went out to the garden and pulled a good mess of greens, and gathered a few green onions.

I made the best dinner. I cleaned those beautiful white turnips and chopped them up, added the well washed greens, fried a piece of salt pork and added that along with some onion and made the corn bread. I felt really proud. My Sister and her husband came home all tired and hungry. I set the table, piled bowls high with the greens and juice, brought out cold glasses of milk and my pretty, brown and crusty cornbread...and then my brother in law took his first bite. He took another bite and looked at me. "Where did you get these greens" he asked..."On the first row in the garden", I said...he started to laugh and then my Sister joined in...I couldn't figure why they were laughing. Then he told me I had picked a nice mess of white radishes. I cooked the radishes and the tops, just the way you do turnip greens. But they ate the resulting greens, bless them and even said for radishes they weren't so bad...LOL....I guess if you are starving, anything taste good.

Monday, July 14, 2008


A lovely painting by Tarbell
Like another blogger on one of my favorite blogs, I do not feel like putting on the humorous post I planned. We both read a post that changed all that. Not all who post each day, have a good life. Some struggle on a daily basis just to do what the rest of us take for granted. If we can get out and do our gardening and are in good health and do not have memories that have scarred us, we are blessed. We need to celebrate each day.

So I am leaving you with a beautiful picture and a poem that will shake your world. And check out the blog below. If you are a praying person, say a prayer for all those who are victims of domestic abuse. This lovely woman presses on and finds joy, and makes my problems seem so small. Thanks Brenda for your big heart in bringing this to our attention. Brenda's blog can be found on my fav role at the side.

This is not a warm and fuzzy post, but it is necessary once in awhile for us to remember that not all is pretty in blog land as Brenda says. Remember all the hurting and lonely people, keep them in your thoughts and prayers today. And say an extra prayer for Alex, who inspired this post. The doctors have found a tumor on her liver and she is feeling sick today. I know God never puts on us, more than we can bear, but sometimes it does seem unfair that someone who has been through so much already, has to suffer more. Get Well Alex.


I lay in the silence of the darkness
and hear the echoes of the night
Laying next to you I hear you breathe
in the shadows of moonlight.
I want you to embrace me
but I can't stand your touch
As I feel your body close to me
the pain is just too much.

The aching of my body
and the bruises on my skin
How can you sleep just knowing
the torment that I'm in?
This pain you have inflicted
I cannot understand
How can you say you love me
with the palm of your hand?

For better or worse our vows of love
till death do us part
Were broken on our honeymoon
like a knife in my heart.
As you're sleeping soundly
my eyes filled with tears
Is this what I have to look forward to
for the next fifty years?

Silently I get out of our bed
and tiptoe to the door
I then slip into the shower
and fall silently to the floor.
Crying as I try to wash
the filth from my skin
The memories stay to haunt me
of this terror I live in.

Curled up on the shower's floor
crying my silent tears
I try to wash my bruises
and escape my fears.
I wonder why you hurt me
and say that it is love
Why take away my happiness
and all that I dreamed of?

Like a child to be punished
you say it's discipline
"For I must obey my husband
and show respect to him."
You say that I'm deceitful
and that I have affairs
I'm sleeping with the neighbour
I have lovers everywhere!

The pain of your accusations
cut me like a knife
How could you think I'd do that
even though I'm your wife?
So you hit me to remind me
not to fool around
The sanctity of our marriage
is just emptiness I've found.

As I wipe away the tears
I can still feel the pain
What is this need to punish me
over and over again?
You promised to protect me
but I can only wonder why
The same hand that embraces me
is the same that makes me cry.

As I crawl out of the shower
I had hoped to clear my head
But all I felt was hopelessness
as I returned to bed.
I lay there in the shadows
listening to you breathe
Wondering if I'll ever have the strength
and the courage to leave.

© Christina
4th July, 1995

My Quill and Pen

Sunday, July 13, 2008



"Oh no, Dear, that's for company". How many times did I hear my Mama say that. She would not use the things people gave her for gifts. She would store them away. She had enough perfume gift sets to stock a drug store on Christmas! She had towels and sheets, tucked away that had the most beautiful embroidery on them. But she would not use them even when our own towels and sheets were well worn. The only perfume I remember her wearing was an Avon perfume called Topaz. Maybe she preferred it to the expensive ones people gave her.

Her tablecloths were so beautiful with all the crocheted edgings. She thought these were too good to use. Most of them had embroidery in the center. I remember beautiful flowers in the center of one she did use for Easter. It was green linen with center flowers of white Lilies, yellow daffodils and some type of little pink flowers. Of course, these all had matching napkins. She didn't give dinner parties, she worked five days a week, so I don't know what or who she was saving them for. Even if we just used them on Sunday, she would have enjoyed looking at them instead of keeping them packed away.

We had company dinnerware and everyday dinnerware. Oh, how much fun it would have been to eat from those pretty blue willow plates. I have some vintage pieces from that time period now, and I enjoy sitting down with a cup of hot tea and toast in the morning. I wish Mama had enjoyed her pretty things. I fully intend to use mine.

Take a look at that beautiful wall hanging in the photo. Billy's Mama made that for us. When she gave it to me, I had left my glasses at home so I just thought it was quilted. When I got home and look closely at it, I realized that every blue, green and yellow bit of that beautiful hanging, was actually cross stitches. It must have taken her forever to do that. It is a fairly large and beautifully quilted, wall hanging. I got on the phone so fast and told her how much we loved it and how sorry I was that I didn't pay attention to what a treasure it really is. So, if you are going to a Christmas party and might receive a present from someone, you might want to wear your glasses..I'm just saying...

I tell Billy, I am using my things because I do not have any intention of letting the second wife have anything of mine. If they are going to be broken or stained or anything else, I plan on doing it myself. LOL..and I fully intend to be buried with my clothes and books. Same reason.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Gather Ye Rosebuds While You May is the name of this lovely painting by Waterhouse. I hope we are gathering ours now because it looks like tomorrow is going to be a scary place to be.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying,
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
~ Robert Herrick

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.
- - - - Kurt Vonnegut

Soon we are going to find out which inmate is in charge of the asylum...and I got to tell you,,,neither Candidate warms the cockles of my heart. I've never been involved in politics as a rule, but I am a Christian and tend to lean toward the one who has a respect for others and knows that life is precious and shouldn't be fooled around with.

There are certain standards in this world that are proven to work for the human race. When we fall below them, our nation suffers.

We are on the brink of so many breakthroughs in Science and Medicine right now and what we allow or don't allow is certainly going to come back to bite us in the behind if we are not careful. Who we choose to put in charge right now, is tremendously important. So, I don't believe this is the time to vote with your emotions. Vote for the one who you honestly think, can do the best for our country. We need a leader right now, not a dreamer. We are way past Camelot.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Wait, don't put your head on the chopping block,,,don't give up,,,I can help you. De-clutter, that's the answer! You can find more time and live a less stressed filled life, if you are not overrun with things.

I have decided to declutter my life...again. I gave it a good try, a few years ago when I got rid of all the clutter in my kitchen. Who really needs two of anything in the kitchen? I mean, if one goes out or breaks, don't I believe we will be able to acquire another? Where's my faith?

How many books can I really hope to read in my lifetime? I'm not talking special books here. I mean those on stained glass and upholstery. I won't ever get around to either of those things. Others that should go are those I think I should read, but never will. And clothes I never wear but keep because they were expensive or someone gave them to me, but I am just not the cowgirl or classic type. Some I even bought for myself, which can be filed under, "What was I thinking?". I am going to get rid of them. And those Nick knacks that I dust and dust and don't like anymore. Out with them!

I have clutter in other places in my life too. I find myself worrying about the same old thing, day after day? Either I should do something about it or have the wisdom to accept things the way they are. I should not clutter my mind with hopeless causes. Billy is never going to become less of a pack rat, just because I nag him. He loves free things. What can I say? I guess it means he is frugal but sometimes it borders on insanity. See my other blog on garden globes.

Now how about that body? When am I going to get on the ball and do those exercises I know I need to do to stay healthy? Or lose that weight? I do exercise but so far I am in no shape to exercise. LOL....Does vacuuming count as aerobic exercise? I really need to push more. And those same pounds I gained in the Winter are still hanging around. I usually start dieting at the first sign of Summer. What we have been hiding under jackets, becomes really out there, come Spring and Summer! I am going to work on losing that extra blubber clutter, starting now.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I have always loved this painting by Andrew Wyeth. It intrigues me. Why does she look so alone? She looks so thin, too thin. Since we cannot see her face, it is mysterious. Is she just looking back after she took a walk and just resting.... is she frightened of something? Is she crying or unhappy or is she happy and just enjoying lying in the fields? How old or young is she? She looks on the young side in the picture. Is she a real person or was she born in the mind of the artist?

I decided to do some research and found that Christina Olson was a real person. She was born May 3, 1893 and died January 27, 1968. Except for the last two months of her life, she lived her entire life in the house on the hill in the painting. She lived there with her parents until they died and then lived there with her younger brother Al until they both had to finally leave the family home in November 1967 because of health reasons. Christina was somewhat of a cripple but her problem was never diagnosed. In spite of that, she lived a happy life.

The house is located on a hill at Hawthorn Point on the coast of Maine at Cushing. Today, the house is preserved as a tourist attraction.

Monday, July 7, 2008


That is a picture of the Beautiful MS Gulf Coast. Where I have lived since 1970 and it is this sight that people come from miles around to see. I am blessed to be living here and very grateful. It is hard to be unhappy for long, in a place like this. There is something about the splashing waves and the crying of the Seagulls, that just restores your soul and brings peace.

I started this blog on growing older and how I deal with it, in an effort to put growing older in perspective. I wanted to share my memories and maybe touch a common chord with others about growing older. Growing old is not for sissies that's for sure. Sharing your feelings with others who may be trying to come to grips with the same things you are, does help. I try not to live in the past, but I find my mind wonders back there from time to time, back to good memories. That is not to say, that I don't have bad ones, I do, but they are not the ones that define me.

I find that after all is said and done, I have had a good life. I have regrets of course, things I could have handled better but you can't change things by beating yourself up. We need to stop throwing up camp around our mistakes and move on. Looking back on the "could have, should haves" is no way to spend the precious time we are given. We never know what lies beyond the mountain, till we reach the other side, so I'll just keep on practicing until I
get it right.

Along the way I have learned not to sweat the small stuff, and it truly is mostly small stuff we stress over. I try to find something I can feel good about each day and if the day is not perfect, that's okay. God never promised us an easy journey, just a soft landing. I have a deep emotional bond to my dysfunctional life. I sure don't plan on checking out any time soon.


Painting by Michael Bingham

Once in a while, there is a sweet smell that wafts in so softly, I'm not sure if it is real or a memory. The smell of lavender comes out of nowhere. I will be reading in my chair by the window or lying in bed, after the lights are out, and there it is. I am sure there is an explanation for this, but I don't know what it is. It triggers a very distant memory of bright white, clean sheets hanging in the Sun on a clothesline. I think it is my Aunt's clean linens I am remembering. Although I can no longer see the face clearly, I still remember scraps of things, from that time spent with an Aunt. I stayed with her during the Summer, because she lived in the country and I loved it. I think of her, when I smell lavender.

The smell of brown sugar reminds me of Saturday mornings and my Mama's homemade caramel rolls. Since Mama worked hard all week as a spinner in a cotton mill, this was the only time we got to spend with her. We were allowed to have coffee to go with our rolls, if we put more milk than coffee in the cup. The smell of that brown sugar and hot, buttery smell, was more than I could bear. I loved her homemade rolls.

Billy says there was a large, red clay, pit down from where our home is now, when he was a child. After it rains, you can sometimes smell the clay...That triggers a memory for me. We used to play on a large red clay, hill, when I was growing up....That hill is huge in my memory but it probably wasn't all that big. We took large cardboard boxes and flattened them out and slid down that hill on our stomachs, rather like those lucky enough to have snow will do with their sleds. Our cardboard sleds were great to us. We didn't know about snow,,,being born in Mississippi...but we knew that a red clay hill was shiny and slick from all the years of kids sliding down it. After a rain, we had to wait for the Sun to bake it again, but in the South, that happens quickly. We would play on that hill all Summer.

The smell of Old Spice shaving lotion, always reminds me of an Uncle. We called him Uncle Dude. I think he got that name because he raised horses and trained them. He would put me up on a horses back once the horse got used to the blanket and lead me around in the fenced in area where he trained his horses. Mama would have killed him if she had known about it. He said I was so light, the horse hardly knew I was there and it got them use to having a rider. I don't know about that, I just thought it was fun. I can smell that Old Spice today, every time I am around horses.

Certain smells brings back pictures as clear as photographs of scenes. Like the smell of cedar brings back my Grandmother's cedar chest to my mind. They have left the conscious mind but they are not forgotten. As long as we have our memories, people and places live on. Maybe we never forget anything. There is no proof that we forget. Maybe it is all still there just waiting for a smell, a taste or sound, to bring it all back.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


"The Open Door" A lovely painting by Shirley Reade

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
~T.S. Eliot

Saturday, July 5, 2008


You see that cat glaring at you? That is my little boy cat, Shad. He does not like his picture taken. Billy tried to sneak up on him and shoot him through the sliding glass door, but he still didn't like it. His usually perky ears are laid back and his expression leaves no doubt what he thinks about this. He is probably mad about being woke up from one of those 20 hour naps he takes.

The thing about cats, we don't adopt them, they adopt us. They may not be best buddies with the "ones who owns them", preferring the company of their neighbors. I had to keep telling my little Pepper, "Okay, now look here, you are "my" cat. You do not belong to the boy next door, who gives you way too many treats in an effort to alienate your affections". LOL... Every time I looked next door, there was my cat on his back porch. And he always smelled of tuna. That boy finally found a wife and transferred his love to her I guess, because Pepper started staying home after a while. If you don't have a steady supply of tuna, you don't get his love.

I love cat pics on other people's blogs. They always look gorgeous and so neat and such pretty manners. Mine are not like that. I have two more other than Shad. A little girl named Mesha (see avtar) and another little boy named Pepper. None of them will hold still for a camera shot,,well not one I can use. They always seem to be washing their bottoms when I try to shoot them. I can get a picture, if I want one of a glaring cat (see above pic), which I don't. I don't expect them to smile, for Heaven's sake, but would it hurt them to look pleasant for a second?

And the two boys, never "do" anything, just lay around and sleep. I mean, how much of your life can you sleep away? Don't they have any ambition in life? The little girl, Mesha, their sister, is quite active. She will climb trees, hunt for things in the grass, look up at birds, you know, cat things, but those boys, just eat, sleep, and scratch the backs of chairs, and throw up on the floor. OH, and wash their bottoms.

We have three small porches. It is an unquestioned fact that the back belongs to Billy and his smoker and grill, the front is mine for my flowers and the side porch is claimed by the cats. They all have their favorite spot. Pepper, who will be four soon,... if I let him,,walks around on the top rail and terrifies me. Billy keeps telling me, he is a cat and if he falls, he will be fine. I don't know about that. I know they are supposed to land on their feet, but what if Pepper was out to lunch the day they got the memo? It would be just like him. He did jump off the top of the back porch railing onto Mesha and broke his foot and hurt her front legs a couple of years ago. That is the day, he found out, he cannot fly.

Mesha, being the little lady, will lay on the steps, while keeping an eye on the boys. They just love to come by and pop her on the head. Shad likes to lay under or around anything that is available. His favorite place at the present time, is under a little table that is not big enough for him to get under, but he somehow does and anything on it goes flying. Of course when That happens,,Pepper jumps down on Mesha, who screams and runs off, while Shad picks his self up from the broken pot or whatever and walks off without a how-de-do, as if he didn't cause all the commotion in the first place. This takes place over and over and will, until I remember to get rid of the table. But of course if you have cats, you full well know, they will find some other way to get in trouble.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Have a wonderful and safe Fourth, everyone

"Ragged Old Flag"

I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin' there.
I said, "Your old court house is kinda run down,
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town".
I said, "Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit,
And that's a ragged old flag you got hangin' on it".
He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down,
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town"
I said, "I think it is"
He said "I don't like to brag, but we're kinda proud of
That Ragged Old Flag

"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
and It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it,
writing "Say Can You See"
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
tugging at its seams.
and It almost fell at the Alamo
beside the Texas flag,
But she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville,
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on
That Ragged Old Flag

"On Flanders Field in World War I,
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun,
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp, and low, a time or two,
She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent
by her Uncle Sam.
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
and now they've about quit wavin' back here at home
in her own good land here She's been abused,
She's been burned, dishonored, denied an' refused,
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.
And she's getting thread bare, and she's wearin' thin,
But she's in good shape, for the shape she's in.
Cause she's been through the fire before
and i believe she can take a whole lot more.

"So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night,
We don't let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On second thought
I *do* like to brag
Cause I'm mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag"

Thursday, July 3, 2008



I fully intend, one of these days, to learn how to use all those woodworking tools, I begged Billy to buy me. I want to make window boxes and trellises and a bench...a bench that future generations will marvel over and copy.

I have been planning this bench for a long time. I know just how I want it to look. I have a very old one now, that is going to need new wood soon, but for now, I love the fact that it still has it's first wood and as long as I don't fall through, I am keeping it that way. The iron frame is holding up well too. I also have a large plastic one that holds all my organic fertilizer and tools. It is not pretty or old,,just practical.

But the one I am going to build is going to be a bench that would look good in "The Secret Garden". It will look very old, of course. I just have one little problem. I am terrified of anything that can cut my arm off. Screwdrivers, drills,,,,I'm your woman, but a saw,,a skill saw?,,,that is a whole other thing. I am making it my firm intention to learn how to use that thing...hmm..I almost said, "even if it kills me"......already I am chickening out. Maybe I'll just get Billy to cut the pieces and then I will put it together. That sounds like a good plan.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Jean-Honoré Fragonard painting.

The other day I was thinking about the books I read as a child. I remember my favorite book was The Boxcar Children. This novel tells the story of four orphaned children who run away from their grandfather and start a new life of independence in an abandoned boxcar. For some reason, that totally fascinated me.

Upon the death of their mother and father, their grandfather assumes custody of the children, but they run away because they believe him to be cruel. Finding an abandoned boxcar, they start a new life of independence. A man named Dr. Moore, who lives in a nearby city, hires Henry to do jobs around his home, such as mowing the lawn and organizing his garage. With the help of Henry's income and living off the land, the children are able to take care of themselves until Violet becomes ill and they must go to Dr. Moore for assistance. This is when they meet their Grandfather and all ends well.

There were a lot of mysteries in this series and probably the reason I loved them. I graduated to Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. Then I discovered Agatha Christie. I still reread these whenever I find them. Of course I don't tell anyone, they would think I was nuts. A grown woman reading a children's book! I had a good excuse for a while though. I sold books on eBay for a few years and grabbed up every one of these I could find. I would read them first and then sell them. : )

The most requested books from my buyers, were the beautifully illustrated ones, Beatrix Potter, Kate Greenaway and anything with Tasha Tudor illustrations... Tasha touched my heart not only for her lovely art work but her lifestyle. She chose to live a simple life without the baggage of material things that can tie you down..she chose to dress mostly in 1800's style attire and to carry on her life in a simple manner without a whole lot of what we call "modern convenience". She loved plants and animals. They inspired and nurtured her. She died in June of this year at the age of 92. Her beautiful pictures will live after her, thrilling children and grown ups alike for years to come.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I remember very little about my Daddy's Mother. She died when I was young. I do remember her giving me and my sister, those little Hershey kisses in the shape of a teardrop, wrapped in silver tinfoil. She always had these for us. She kept them in a cedar chest with all her treasures. They were in a beautiful tin box that had these embossed birds, in jewel tones, on the top. I didn't know they were embossed at the time, but looking back as an adult, I can remember that box. It was beautiful. The candy always had the taste and smell of cedar. We loved to visit her, not because of the candy but because she was so sweet and caring. Even as kids, we knew this was a special lady. I wish I knew more about her. It is a big loss to me to have so few Grandmother memories. My Mother's Mama died before I was born and I don't recall ever meeting her Daddy. He might have been dead too. We never talked about him.

They tell me, my Grandfather was never the same after Grandmother's death. He lived with us for a while but one day, he just wasn't there. Daddy said he had to put him in a place where they could help him because he couldn't be left alone and both Daddy and Mama worked. I missed him and I understood why he missed my Grandmother so much. She had a lovely, serene way about her. A delicate way of talking and walking, and she dressed always in these soft, pastel colors. A real Southern lady.