20 November 2012

Scoobee~doobee~DOOOOOO {note my husband's retro shirt}

I'm not sure what's up with the distorted line in the middle of the picture, but I think that it isn't too distracting.  Ya know, til I go pointing it out.  Now ya notice it, doncha?

So here's a few shots featuring Ginger, and a couple with Sophie co~starring.  Ginger's legs are not really featured here, to scale.  But I think the general impression has been made, no?

It's extremely difficult to get Ginger to stay still for a picture, she often hides her face, presenting you with her back.  So I had to take these pix on the sly, cuz she's camera shy.

Since I finished the shawls and wraps, I've been working on a wide scarf for charity.  It's Red Heart's acrylic {heather and cherry red, which actually reminds me a bit of a sock monkey}.  This is about two and a half feet.  I've been knitting it in between all my other activities, meetings, lunches, and pretending I'm an important butterfly.

16 November 2012

scratching the yarn itch

  Happy Birthday to me!

Pictured here is my shipment of 106 skeins of yarn that I got for a really, Really, REALLY good deal.  Ya wanna smack me right now, doncha?  snicker

14 November 2012

Freshly Squeezed

Couple weeks ago, I'd started this...the pattern calls it a shawl, but I think at best it's wide enough to be a wrap or a wide scarf.  It's Bernat cotton.  I'd put it on hold while making the other shawl, the blue one pictured in previous posts.

Blue Shawl

I just finished this around 1pm, just in time to give it to my friend who is due to give birth to her fourth and final child next week.  The shawl is a lil smaller than I'd want it to be, but it's plenty large enough to use as a shawl or a lapghan.  It's knit of Bernat cotton, blueberry and fruit explosion.

Sophie's new friend: Ginger

These two could have been named Ying & Yang.  Sophie, is our two year old lil chiweenie who is a very compact twenty pound sweet girl who would make an excellent ferocious derby gurl with a wicked hip~check, has been with us since she was a ten week old five pounder.  Ginger is not quite a year old, by all accounts.  She too is a mix of chihuahua, but the Italian Greyhound is the predominant breed in her.  She is allllllllllll leg.  Fully grown now, she is about twelve pounds.  So we now have a short dense lil dark girl and a tall {comparatively speaking} leggy blonde one.  They get along like they have been besties from birth.

08 November 2012

One of my latest projects

This is one of the two shawls I've been knitting for about ten days now.  This is cotton, Bernat's fruit explosion and blueberry.  I'm using a set of size five needles, on 1960's set of Sear's interchangeables that I found on eBay last year {earlier blog entry}.  This is about seventy rows of a 180 row shawl.  There are about 150 stitches per row now, when it is finished, there will be close to six hundred per row.  I really want to get this done, as the person I am doing it for will go on maternity leave next week.

07 November 2012


Last week, I cried, from intense sadness and also then from intense gladness.  The week started with our tiny puppy slipping into a comatose state from a hypoglycemic event.  Which means that she had low sugar, which apparently puppies of smaller breeds often have; as their pancreases don't fully develop til about age six months.  I didn't know that.  So her sugar dropped, her body temperature started to drop, and I took her to the vet's right away.  It was a bad day, all the way around.  She seemed to be getting better, but wasn't responding as fast as the vet thought she should.  He thought that maybe her brain was affected by the hypoglycemia and hypothermia, and he took her home with him that night.  She died at three that next morning.

It happened so fast, that initial incident.  I cannot believe how thoroughly she captivated our hearts, and found her niche in our home.  Sophie moped around and was quiet and kept checking the kitchen or just around the corner for CoCo.  She will not be forgotten.

I am glad tho, that this happened whilst we were still here, and not while our house/pet sitter was here while we were in Natchez.  We were able to spend some time with CoCo.  We discussed if we should go for our trip as planned, and decided that yes, we should, as there was nothing to be done {altho we did cuddle with Sophie that night and our trip was two nights instead of three}.  So our anniversary was a bit more quiet, more laid~back, more low~key.

We enjoyed our annual Natchez visit, to the BluffTop Bed & Breakfast.  It was great to spend some quality time with my husband, to celebrate our four visit, our third anniversary {having spent our honeymoon there too}.  One afternoon, we sat in a downtown cafe; he read to me, while I knitted.  I was intensely glad to be with him.

24 October 2012


I won't even attempt to catch up on all the doings and goings on around here, except to show two pix from yesterday.  One is of CoCo, she is a lil over thirteen weeks, a lil small and young for the surgery to spay alone; but she also had a hernia that needed repair.  So the doc did both procedures in one surgery and that way she wouldn't have to be exposed to anesthesia multiple times and all that other good stuff.  See how nicely her lil pressure wrap matches my husband's t~shirt?  They are bestest buds!

CoCo is fine, a bit sore.  But she's a trooper and has responded well.  I took her today for the vet assistant to change her wrap and to check her over.  CoCo pee'd before she left their office yesterday after the procedures.  But hadn't pooped yet, she saved that for my arm, on the way home.  Wasn't that sweet of her?

I'll take her back to the vet again tomorrow, so that he can check her over and make sure all's well.  CoCo is rambunctious in her play this evening and with the few excepting squeaks, she is just peachy!  The doc said that her external staples could be removed in about ten days.  Those staples look like they'd be hurting her, but I think she is ok~~she's certainly acting all frisky and fine!

Oh!  And I bleached my hair yesterday.

And my guest bathroom mirror needs cleaning.

{That was soOOOoooo blog~worthy.}

09 October 2012


Sophie loves having a sister.  So I have to steal my moments when I can.  Otherwise it's all play, play, play!

06 October 2012

Fallen Ripples

So earlier this month {well, last month, it's so hard for me to believe we are in October already}, someone in one of my crochet yahoo groups {HEY, fellow fiber freaks!} showed me a pattern of deconstructed granny squares in dark and light blue and white.  I kinda liked it, but the zigs and zags and squiggles hurt my eyes and made me a lil nauseous {some prints and patterns do that}.  I really like the idea behind it tho.

Also, last month, I spoke with the folks over at French Camp a few counties over.  They have an annual event scheduled for a week from today, their Harvest Festival.  Folks donate handcrafted items to the organization, designating the funds to go to either the academy or one of the seven local churches.  Then those donated items are auctioned off on the morning of the Harvest Fest.

So I combined the two ideas, and this was the result.  I'll be donating this along with some other items to French Camp's Harvest Festival.  It's a small afghan, or a larger lapghan, all depends on your perspective.

introducing...CoCo, newest member of the household

CoCo, eleven week old yorkie/spaniel mix
So, Sophie is a big sister now, and she is enjoying it!  She has a playmate!  This might become her new favorite!

CoCo's foster parents brought her out for a house visit last Sunday afternoon.  I wanted to keep her right then, of course.  But when Jerry brought her home on Wednesday afternoon, Sophie and I met them outside.

Sophie turned two the following day.  TWO!  A teenager...and the terrible twos, all at the same time...

Shaddow doesn't really want to have much to do with these younger whipperschnappers, so she spends as much time as possible outside, or down near mom's place, basking in the sun.  She is getting too old for all these hubbub and shenanigans.  She wants her rest.  So keep it down.

23 September 2012

For my crazy cool crochet critters

  This is what my hair looks like prior to moisturizing it.  A nice big ol' poofee foofee 'fro.  A few weeks back, while standing in WalMart's beauty aisle, gazing at the many Many MANY conditioning, dressing, treatment, moisturizing, etc options, I drew this comment from a fellow shopper, "I said to myself, that is one crazy cool soul sista in need of some serious hair help.  mmhmm"  What followed was some great advice, some good chuckles, and tons of questions ~~ the advice was from her to me; the chuckles were mutual, and the questions were from her to me.  Go figure!

12 September 2012

PaPi WurBukZ!

Look!  It's me, with my first perm in ten plus years...probably closer to fifteen, now that I think about it.  It won't look like this for long, but I'm liking it.  So does my mom, cuz I did stop by to visit with her after spending six hours in town, four of which were at WalMart's SmartStyle Salon.  My hair is super thick and takes folks a long time to wrap in rods, tho it's relatively short.

So when I walked in the door, my husband saw me, a huge grin spreading across his face.  He asked, "where's Daddy Warbucks?  Oh, yeah, right, that's me!!"  I'm glad that I can make him grin like that.  I'm glad that he makes me laugh like this!

05 September 2012

spinning uselessly

bitch, bitch, bitch; whine, groan, moan; weedle, snivel, snark...

K, now that I got that outta my system, perhaps I can focus; cuz that's been the problem lately.  I'm not focusing on any one thing.  So I have many Many MANY projects started, but haven't been in the mood to get much accomplished on any one of them...let alone a few or many of them.

Let me just list a few things I would like to get busy with, to get done, to check off my mental "to~do" list:

Miss November, a lil baby girl due a week or so after my birthday, is baby number four, with two older sisters and one older brother.  She will be the youngest as her parents most likely will not have more children, as it's a nice sized family.  I've made something for the other sibs, would like to make something for her, have started a few things, but as of yet, nothing resonates just right and says, "this right here is just THE thing".  My fingers will know, I suppose...

Miss January is due in that wintry month.  She is baby number one, the first grand for all the grandparents concerned.  She may be the one and only in the family, or other sibs may come later.  I'd like to do something for both her and her mother.  Again, the exact right thing has not yet presented itself, despite my searches and other attempts.

Couple are wedding in just a bit.  I'd sorta thought of something, but then decided not to do that, as it didn't fit the Couple at all.  So...

Now, I can do something, anything, just to have it done.  But that's not usually the way I like to do things.  I like to have the perfect fit between gift and giftee.  But I think I may do something, anything, just so that I can reassure myself that I can actually FINISH something {anything}.

02 September 2012

it's all in the perspective you choose

I'd love to write something profound to accompany this posted painting, but the random thoughts triggered are fleeting and better left unsaid, as they are not well~developed and rather incoherent at the moment.
Vladmir Kush's "Anticipation of Night's Shelter"

03 August 2012


Wow, I started this yesterday and finished it today.  It's my first counted cross~stitch in years.  I did one, well a partial one, when I was in uhm seventh grade?  Home Ec.  That was almost thirty years ago {...wow...}.  Then almost ten years ago, I did some plastic canvas and then used the same principles to make a keepsake quilt for my friend's baby.  But this is the first actual counted cross~stitch I've ever completed.  I improvised a lil with the legs, cuz I wanted to give it character.  The back looks atrocious, but you can't see that, cuz I didn't take a pic of it.  There are a few places where my stitches get really wonky, with one side of the X a bit shorter and the other side a bit longer, so it's really sorta lop~sided.  But if I didn't go pointing out all that, would you have noticed?

28 July 2012

Speaking of roto~rooter...

Feeling kinda skanky, I stepped into the shower and just barely got wet when the shower cut off.  Which was really weird, cuz all the other faucets worked just fine.  So I hopped in the other shower and got squeaky clean.

  When my husband got home from the grocery store {we needed buns for the burgers he plans to grill this afternoon along with corn, oh my salivating drooling self, if you've never had grilled corn on the cob, go get you some, get you some NOW}, he joyously changed into his Dickie~Bibs and crawled under the house.  Joyously, I tell you.  The man hates to sit still unless he feels that he put in a productive day.  So the task of checking to see if there was a broken pipe was a welcome one.

The great news is that there does not appear to be any leaks, broken pipes, etc.  We'll need to call Mr. Fix~It, the all around do~it dude who can fix just about anything and do almost as much.  I'm thinking the lil shut~off mechanism {it's usually a plate that twists and turns with the knob} inside the faucet/pipe for the shower snapped off and fell into place so that the water is off for that shower.

Of course, what the hell do I know?  It could be something else.  Which is why we need a plumber~dude to come in and figure it out.  One who is considerate, thoughtful, good, efficient, and best of all cheaper than our bank~account's holdings.  Fortunately, we know one!!

Healthy husband, happy husband

or is it the other way around?

Either way, my husband is a happy healthy one.  We just went for his colonoscopy yesterday.  I say, "we" cuz it was a team effort.  Not too crazy about the doctor, but then again, I'm not exactly thrilled with most doctors.

The nurses, on the other hand, were great.  They answered all of my questions, checked in with us numerous times, and were efficient.  Very thoughtful.  They didn't even rush us thru recovery, even tho they were due for lunch and we were the last in the building.

This colonoscopy was routine, a follow~up from five years ago when he'd had a few polyps removed, which is very common.  Last time, his eldest daughter went with him as his first wife had already died.  His eldest daughter said that he had quite the tales to tell, cuz anesthesia does that to most folks.  They get all loopy.  Some folks get extremely happy, cuz they are all relaxed and enjoying the tension~free drug~induced state.  Most get sleepy, which is why driving is best left to someone else.

So I drove, my husband blissful.  He was either sleeping, or smiling a dopey happy grin, or telling me how much he loves me.  But then again, that's not so very unusual.  If he's clean, in his jammies, laxing in his recliner~~then he is usually sleeping, smiling, or heaving a huge sigh followed by declarations of love.  Cuz he's so sweet to me.  Even when he's just had doc r, roto~rooting round his nether regions.

20 July 2012

Counted~Cross Stitch

Last autumn, I stopped in to visit with my friend in Pennsylvania while Jerry and I were on our trip to the Knittreat.  We enjoyed several hours of chatting and sipping tea.  So my friend sent me the pictured card two months later, also with the cup to remind me of our tea filled visit.

This is the friend that visited us last week with her family.  She does very nice work, yes?  Counted~cross stitch, click on pic for enlargement to see detail.

Flowers of the Month

My mom embroiders quilts, wall~hangings, etc.  In fact, this one pulls double duty!  Mom made it for me about five years ago, as a wall~hanging that covered my windows above my bed when I lived on the farm.  Now it is used as a quilt on the guest bedroom that contains my bed from before I was married.

Her work is very good, entirely by hand.  The back of her work looks beautiful.  When held to the light, no loose threads, knots, etc are visible.  She's my mom, I know, and I may be biased...but objectively?  She's awesome!

Dare to Dream

My mother had made this for me around ten years ago.  She embroidered and quilted it entirely by hand.  Some folks asked to see some of her work, cuz ya know, I was bragging on her.  So click for enlarged view to see detail.

17 July 2012

Fire in the Bowl

The above bowl was painted/glazed and fired last week when my friend and her family were here.  It's the second piece I've done, with the leaf pictured here being the first piece.  I did the leaf a few weeks ago, when my friend from Chattanooga was here.

I'm still getting used to the techniques, what the brushes can do, what the layers of the colors do, and how things will look on the finished product.  It's a learning experience!  It's fun, tho I think sometime I will go when I am by myself so that I can really take my time.

Some Pix

My husband and our chiweenie are posing here, a few days after Father's Day last month.  His youngest son sent him this shirt, which Jerry loves.  Funny thing, when I took the picture, my camera's  feature which focuses on the face didn't frame my husband's face, nor Sophie's; but it did frame the dog on the t~shirt!

All these pillows were in the corners of this sofa, but Sophie rearranged things to suit her.  When I took this picture, she looked like she could be advertising for the pillow~tops that align your spine just right.  What a sweetie!

Last night, Jerry came running in, "the spider was this big!" and so I grabbed the camera and we got a shot of this next to a half~gallon container for scale.  It really was "this big!"  Click on the pic for an enlargement will be more accurate, as I shrank this down so it didn't scare unsuspecting viewers.

12 July 2012

Bidding farewell

Well, after a leisurely morning, a few movies, and a lunch at Mugshots; my friends and I picked up our freshly glazed and fired ceramics.  I'll include a pic in a future blog of my yarn bowl {"fire in the bowl!"}.  We returned to the house, where the rest of them watch a movie, while I napped for a bit til Jerry came home from work.  Then we saw our company off.

Now Jerry and I have watch a couple movies this evening.  It's going to be a SOMSA* weekend.  I am really looking forward to that!!

*Sit On My Sorry Ass

Today {or ya know, yesterday...cuz it's after midnight}

So here we are, late Wed night, early Thursday morning.  This morning when I woke up, I felt kinda weird, so I sat up for awhile even tho it was five.  After my husband left for work, I went back to bed and slept a lil longer.

Then when I woke up for the day, my friend and her son had both been ill to their stomachs, apparently the pizza they'd eaten the night before didn't agree with them.  Whatever it was passed tho, and my friend and I watched "Kiss the Girls".  Then I, my friend, and her husband braved the downpour and went to Woodlawn, a small community a county or so away which has a furniture facility in the old school campus.

After we returned from that, my husband was already home as he'd taken the afternoon off, so that he could grill chicken quarters for my friends and mom.  We had a nice afternoon and the food was so good it made my tummy very happy!  Later, Jerry made us all shakes, and oh my, does he spoil me rotten!!!

The other three adults went to bed early, while me and the kids watched a couple movies.  One was "the quiet" and the other was "orphan".  The first was eh, so I deleted it after we watched it.  But "orphan", dude!  That was a good movie and I saved it so that my husband and I could watch it this weekend.

Tomorrow, my friends will leave later in the afternoon, or early evening.  That way they can drive the night thru and the kids can sleep, with the family arriving back home in Pennsylvania on Friday.  Hopefully, our ceramic pieces will be ready for pick up tomorrow afternoon before they go, so that they can take them with them; but if not, it's no problem to mail them when they are ready.

It's been fun to have them here, we'll have to get together more often than once every ten years and then boom, twice in nine months.  Perhaps we can take turns, and see each other at least every other year, sorta like the Olympics...either the summer {us in the south} or the winter {them in the north} occurs every two years...just an idear...

10 July 2012

Late Night Posting

Well, I missed posting yesterday, having posted late Sunday night but being too tired last night.  So let me think, we girls did go have mani/pedis done {their first} and then we went to see my mom for a bit.  Mom said that my friend's daughter does look lots like her when my friend was her age.  Since mom knew my friend since she was ten, I'd say she was qualified to know!  We caught up for awhile and then came home to join her husband and son for a few minutes before my husband came home from work.

Then mom brought some of her wine over for a tasting.  There was strawberry white zinfandel, Arkansas Indian Peach, Cherry Chocolate, and Ozark WildBerry.  We have a partial bottle left from our annual autumnal trip to Natchez last year of Miss Scarlett, a sweet red muscadine wine that the winery there makes.

In the meantime, we girls have become looming fools.  My friend has bought her own set of round knitting looms, so there are more than enough for the three of us to be working on an assortment of hat sizes at one time.  We've made hats for babies, for children, for adults, for ourselves, single brimmed, double brimmed, no brimmed, acrylic, super soft and plush, blue, green, white, pink, and just about any other combination of hats there of!  It's been fun and I get to figure out how to correct mistakes without ripping the whole hat out and redoing it.

Today, we went to the local public library, then for lunch at Lil Dooey's, a local favorite.  I ordered a sampler to share, with fried green tomatoes, fried okra, and fried pickles.  Then my husband and I had bbq, while the kids had chicken tenders, and their parents had the daily special {great burgers}.  My husband took the afternoon off and took their son fishing, while we girls went to Dandy Doodlez and painted plates, trivets, and bowls.  Then I took my friend and her daughter to Tuesday Morning, where we each found some finds.

Time's flying by and before you know it, our visit will be thru!  I think they are having a good time, so that's good.  I know I am.

09 July 2012

Today, after we were all up and about, and I ate my third breakfast and drank my second pot of coffee; my husband went to work at the library and the rest of us set off in my lil cute car.  We drove over toward Columbus and chatted about cat~fish farming and other Mississippi sights and smells.  Once in Columbus, we drove thru the old cemetery, Friendship, and visited the weeping angel {for the Teasdale family}.  I told them the bit about what we know as Memorial Day being started at the Columbus Friendship Cemetery, as the women in town would decorate the soldiers' graves for both the Union and Confederacy dead.  It was a sign of honor and respect, and is a true tradition that continues thru much of the USA, having its roots ri'icher, in our Golden Triangle.

Then we drove around, looking at various homes and building styles and such.  I pointed out the Palmer Home for Children and told them the back story there.  We then decided to head on over to the Waverly Mansion, as I wasn't sure how much time we had left before they stopped accepting guests for the tours for the day.

Melanie, Rob't Snow's daughter, was gracious and my friend and her family had a blast and enjoyed themselves very much.  We walked the grounds afterward, and altho we all were so heated and damp, we enjoyed the staying of the heat, instead of the climbing soaring humidity.  The sun was beginning to set and the hottest part of the day was past.  We also took a walk into the old family plot, viewing some of the stones and such.

Then we drove back to Starkville, taking the back roads thru West Point and out past what til recently had been Oktibbeha County Lake.  We stopped to eat at Abner's, a chicken spot that is truly a local favorite.  Then we drove home, thru the odd storminess.  It was a long day, but we all showered and settled in for FernGully {1982} with the adults struggling to stay awake and the kids wanting to stay up past our bedtime {we adults were zzzzonked!}.

We'd talked about plans for the next few days, and I'm about ready to head to bed myself.  The house in quiet except for the chirping crickets that my husband had bought yesterday for bait when he and our friends' son went fishing, out back at our two small ponds.  The dogs are slumbering, with Shaddow doing her Zzzzzzzzzen breathing.


Have a good start to your new week!

{HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my husband's youngest son, he's 29 for the first time; whereas my mother is celebrating her 29th for the uhmmm 37th time this year; at this rate, she's still younger than me!   ~*snicker*~}

08 July 2012

LOOK~~more childhood friends!!

Yesterday, my bestest friend from childhood who resides in the town we grew up in came to see me from Catawissa, PA {on the north branch of the Susquehanna River}.  She and her husband are celebrating their twentieth anniversary next month.  Dude, she's old!  Well, only five days older than me, but still...And her hubby is uhhhhhm, 8?  no, 9? years older than her.  Their two children came down too, Daughter is thirteen {how the hell is that possible?!?} and Son is eleven.

They'll be here til Thursday, when they must return to PA, as it is slightly more than a thousand miles {about eighteen hours, with minimal stoppage for gas and restroom breaks} and my friend must rest a bit before returning to work on Sunday night.  So, yesterday we visited, unpacked the food they brought for me {sweet lebanon bologna, extra sharp cheese, and ring~bologna} as well as the cases of assorted sodas {Big Ben's Bottling Works makes some of the strongest soda, including Moxie, which will put the curly hairs on your chest, it's that potent}, then She and I went over to see my mom quick before we ended up getting texted by two folks and called cuz "we're hungry".  So my husband and I took them to China Garden, for the buffet, and then split up, guys in one car to go to Noxubee Refuge and the girls in the other to drive around and do some story telling.  Then we met back at the house where the guys went fishing and we girls started to loom/rake~knit some hats.  We watched a movie, the first four episodes ever of Futurama, and we all dropped off like flies as the night wore on.

Today, I'm not sure what's in the works yet.  My husband and I, along with our chiweenie {my lil "schnausage dauk"} Sophie went for coffee {humans} and TOTS! at the TOT~SPOT! {Sophie}.  We read our papers when we returned {humans}, while Sophie took her early~morning nap. The rest of the house is still snoozing along with her.

A few years ago, when my husband and I wed; I had told my out~of~state friends not to worry about coming to the wedding as I wouldn't have much time to visit with them and so if they made the trip here, it'd be better to wait til some other time when we could actually focus on each other and catch up without tons of distractions.  I'm glad that we are able to spend the time now!  I think tho after this, we're going to be thru with company for awhile, but then again, it's hard to believe it is this late in the year already, right?

So, I may not be around much this week, or you might see an entry EVERY DAY {gasp}.  Cuz I was using my blog as a way to journal events and thoughts and such, so that I can look back and be all like, oh yeah!  That's what was going on in my life then.  But in the past year, I've kinda gotten away from that.  So guess what?  I may be BACK.  {does that scare ya?  no?  well, good.  cuz if'n it did, you shouldn't be here; skirtee kat}

Good Sunday to all!

07 July 2012

First Knit Project, Summer 2011

I couldn't find these pix in a post from last year and there is probably a good reason for that, besides the fact that I didn't post them; I am pudgier than I'd like to be, but that's ok, cuz LOOK AT THE HOODED SCARF!!  Not bad for my first knitted project, eh?

Yeah, and my favorite qualities I like about myself the most are how incredibly modest and humble I am.  {huge eye roll}

As always, click on picture to view enlarged.

27 June 2012


Wahoo!!  Earlier today, I was at JoAnn's Fabric in Tupelo and guess what I came across?  Ok, yes, there was some awesome fabric.  There always is.  But no, that's not what I meant.

Yes!  Yarn!  Glorious, soft, squishable, furzy yarn!  And even better, I found some for the awesome price of fifty cents per skein.


It was Bernat's Pipsqueak.  Twenty skeins in Pretty in Pink and ten in Baby Blue.  Wahootee~hoot!

24 June 2012

doings and such

Well, the year is almost half over and I've only a baker's dozen of entries since January!  I'm not going to do a complete update, which is what has been so overwhelming and actually keeping me from posting; but I will share some stuff that has been going on recently over the next few entries.

Brenda and I went to high~school together in Pennsylvania, stayed in contact thru our college years, and then lost touch in our mid~ to late~twenties.  I'd moved to Georgia and then Alabama and then went with my father to Colorado for a few months.  He still lived in PA, so when I was there visiting, I called Brenda's mother's place and found out that Brenda had moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee years before!  Right around the same time I moved to Georgia!  Turns out that we only lived a few hours apart, so when I returned to AL, we re~established contact and kept in touch over the years, thru my next several moves.

This past week, Brenda came to hang out with me for a week here in Mississippi.  Her daughter was at summer camp at the Tennessee School for the Blind near Nashville and her son was staying with his father for the week.  Brenda's husband had to work {as he already planned to use his vacation time next month, when the entire family will celebrate the daughter's sweet sixteen}, so he wasn't able to join us, but maybe next year.  So this is the first time in six years that Brenda was able to take a trip away from home, without the kids, for an entire week!  Wahoo!!!

Brenda is completely blind.  She can see only extreme bright contrasted with extreme darkness.  So if we were inside a darkened house and then stepped out into bright sunshine, she can sense that change.  But if she were outside when the sun is setting, she wouldn't see the gradual darkness, tho she would eventually know that it is dark.

So I describe lots to her about our surrounding environment, whether it is driving, walking, indoors, and what not.  I didn't realize how much stuff I don't really take an active notice of until I started painting verbal pictures for her.  We even got the various maps out and I showed her the outline and how the road cuts thru the state or county and where we live and where town is and such and so forth.  As a child, she loved maps, and I still do; so that's cool, cuz it helps to orient us in relation to where we've been, where we're going, and where we are.

Last Saturday, I went to Chattanooga and Sunday we returned to Starkville.  The foothills of Chattanooga eventually fade away into rolling foothills in Birmingham, and then the land flattens as we drove west thru Tuscaloosa into Mississippi.  Occasionally, I'd not provide enough detail and she'd ask what river we were crossing, cuz she'd feel the road surface change to a bridge.  Sometimes, it'd be water, but it might be just as likely to be a bridge over a ravine or an overpass, since we stayed on the interstate for the most part.

My mom joined the two of us and we went for soups, salads, and sandwiches at Newk's after we got into Starkville Sunday.  Monday, I took her on a driving tour of Starkville and some of the surrounding area.  We went to the university's library on the main campus; on the fourth floor is the Charles Templeton's Music Museum.  There are scads and scads of gramophones, Edisons, Victrolas, automatic pianos, player pianos, display cases, and such.  Templeton bought these items when they were newly invented and produced, acquiring them from about 1880 thru the 1930s.  The entire collection of Templeton, an area business man who loved rag~time music and lived during the era when that was contemporary, was gifted to MSU.  A student gave us a tour of the holdings, demonstrating and playing several of the pieces for us, including a few models of the Victrola and what was one of the first jukeboxes.  She was very gracious about allowing us to take our time, as I fumbled for some adequate words to describe some of the features that are so very different from our own era of technology.  The student did a wonderful job answering questions and allowed us to inspect several items up close so that mere words didn't have to suffice.  Kudos to her!

We ate at so many local places this past week, including Lil Dooey's, Mugshots, BookMart DownTown's Cafe, Local Culture, La Terraza, City Bagel, HalfWay House, and I am sure that I am forgetting a place or two.  I tend to avoid franchises and chains, preferring to support local stuff that gives local flavor; local eateries help to give a town its identity, like Jim & Nick's BBQ in Birmingham.  However, we did hit Sonic, Logan's and Pizza Hut while on our trips to and from Chattanooga as that was where she wanted to go, and this was her vacation. 

Monday afternoon, we were able to actually go inside the Chapel of Memories.  Altho I've often sat outside the Chapel and listened to the bells and carillon, I'd never been inside before; so that was extra cool.  The Chapel of Memories is a favored site for weddings and such for the MSU alumni.  It was constructed in part, using the bricks from the original old dormitory that had burned a century ago.  So in addition to having some current significance, it also has a bit of history.

Brenda probably now knows more about Starkville, MSU, and the surrounding area's history then most folks who call Oktibbeha County home.  I kept asking her to stop me if I was giving too much detail, but she pointed out that she'd rather have too much than not enough.  So we visited Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, as well as attending a presentation at our local public library about Mayhew Mission, which started what eventually became the influx of European settlers into the area, pushing out the Choctaws, and leading to the development of the railroad, Boardtown, and eventually Starkville.

I'm not a huge shopper, but Brenda had asked to go to a few specialty stores.  So we went to a few places that are unique, including Aspen Bay Candles, which are made here in Starkville.  That store was awesome, as there are different lines of candles, various scents in each line, complete with a variety of products in addition to candles {like room freshners, reed diffusers, linen sprays, soaps, etc}.  The various lines are all presented and packaged differently, so it was an interesting few hours of leisurely inspecting products.

Most places were really cool about letting us poke around and stuff.  The art galleries and museums were staffed with excellent folks!  The museums here are very small and highly specialized, for instance, there is one that focuses on over four HUNDRED different types of clocks.  We didn't visit that one, but I'll check it out some time in the near future.

On Thursday at noon, the Columbus Arts Council hosted a free mini~concert by several of the students who are taking part in this year's summer camp by the American Wind Symphony Orchestra.  It was awesome!  There was also a show on Saturday night, that we didn't go to.  If you ever have a chance to see this floating ensemble, DO!!  It's well worth it and very unique.

We also watched a few movies here at my place, including the latest X~Men and Despicable Me.  Describing X~Men wore me out, I ended up going to bed immediately afterward.  I had it downpat, the whole describing thing, but some of the action sequences got kinda confusing, what with all the names, characters, outfits, special abilities, who was who and what they did to whom, and all of it is occurring simultaneously.  We started to get a kick out of how many times I ended up saying, "meanwhile" to talk about different engagements of the battle toward the end of the movie.  It took about three and a half hours for us to watch a two hour movie cuz I kept having to pause things and then we'd go back and rewatch a sequence after a detailed description with me just mentioning key words here and there the second time around so it could flow better.

At one point during our driving around, this was in the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, I bit my tongue and cheek.  Do you realize how difficult it is to talk with a sore tongue?  I was trying not to further irritate it, yet be clear and not slur.  However, I had to take a break from narrating.  As we drove back into town, Brenda was able to say what we were passing as we did, cuz we'd been down that road several times.  So I said, "great!  You drive for awhile!"

Brenda has a great sense of humor, tho sometimes it will take folks by surprise cuz there are some things that folks think are taboo and she pokes fun at herself.  Like saying that she got distracted, missed the sign, had to drive around the block, and by the time she got back, the parking spot was taken.  Didn't see any other.  So she parked in the handicapped spot, do you think that's alright?  She asked, and at first the store's employee was nodding her head, but you could see it dawning on her, and then she didn't know that it was ok to laugh.

One of the favorite parts of the week was our visit to Dandy Doodlez, a local business where you paint the preformed ceramics and then they fire it, so you can pick it up.  Brenda likes dolphins and I like leaves and trees.  So we each painted away.  The folks there were nice and helpful, tho the one woman kept gesturing while talking with us, which is fine, except she didn't use the accompanying verbal cues; but we were able to find everything and had a good afternoon. When I pick up the finished products, I'll take pix and post them!

We stopped in Birmingham on our return trip to Chattanooga and visited with some friends that Brenda knows.  They treated us for lunch at Jim & Nick's BBQ.  It was awesome!  Also, we had the best service ever.  When we got there, it was lunch time on a Saturday, which meant there were people waiting to be seated.  But as we crossed the parking lot, from my car to the restaurant, I spoke to one of the employees to ask if it was ok to park where I did.  She assured me that it was fine, and then she went ahead and I think spoke with the manager.  I'm not positive.  But I think so, cuz he met us at the door, and seated us immediately.  I wasn't expecting that.  On the other hand, we were definitely the blind leading the blind, since we'd formed a sort of chain with me as the seeing~eye person, leading Brenda, who lead her friend, who lead her husband.  We're all different sizes with the two ladies being slight and thin and me being a big girl {which was good since I was leading the way} and the husband being a large man, tall and broad.  We had a good time and there was lots of laughter, both at ourselves and at the various situations, including one of the t~shirts that was available at the restaurant {"you can smell our butts!" with a large smiling pig's face}.

This morning, I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, so got on the road and traveled back to Starkville, arriving just as my husband opened the door to take Sophie on her weekly tot~run.  Jerry, Sophie and I went to Sonic and got our breakfasts.  Jerry and I had egg and meat burritos, with coffee; while Sophie got the tots.  So that was a great way to start my Sunday!!

12 May 2012

new neighbor

My mother is moving here to Mississippi!  At the end of March, a new~to~her trailer was moved from a different county to her new patch.  While her new home is structurally sound, it needed a lot of scrubbing, deglossing and Krud Kutting, carpet and pad removed, tacking strips removed, and other prep work.  Then two coats of KilZ stain blocker to all the painted walls and ceilings, tho some of the walls are paneled or partially paneled.  The prep work was intense and exhaustive.

So she is now painting the two top coats where applicable.  She's getting ready to lay the tile on the floors where the carpet/pad was ripped up.  The kitchen cupboards and drawers have been scrubbed, the hardware soaked and replaced.   The window blinds have been replaced, the ceiling fans have been scrubbed, and all the outlet and switch plates have been cleaned {just need to be replaced}.

She's done at least 97% of the work herself.  My husband has been pouring quickcrete parking pads for her, as when the gravel was brought in for the pad for the trailer placement for proper drainage {new laws}, the trucks were so heavy that the asphalt parking tabs were torn up, chewed up, and spat out.  Apparently no matter how you slice it, thirty yards of gravel is some heavy shit!

Some folks are coming in to help move all her stuff in, and while they are here, they will be putting the skirting on the trailer.  Perhaps they will even hang the gutters and downspouting so that when it rains, she doesn't need to worry if the wind will find any cracks or crevices and damp spots appear later.  They might even be able to replace a kitchen light {the one that had been there was a frightful mess}.

Welcome to Mississippi, Mom!

{and happy mother's day to you}

05 May 2012


I've been promising some pix of projects I've recently completed.  As always, click the pic for an enlarged view.  So without further ado:

These left and right pix are of the same throw.  I was messing with the lighting and also the angle, so the colors don't hold true; however the shot to the left is closer to being an accurate representation of the colors.  This throw is too large to be a lapghan, yet too small to be an afghan.  This is my mom's welcome~to~mississippi throw.

An original shawl that I created as I went.  It does have a lil collar, the two sides that drape to the front of the wearer are crocheted while the rest is knit.  Just having fun!

03 May 2012

Cotton District Festival

So a few weeks ago was the Cotton District Festival here in Starkville, MS.  It was held just a bit earlier than usual this year, because the last few years have been so extremely hot that particular day that we were down in numbers, the vendors were down in sales, and it just wasn't quite as much fun as it had been.

This year, Cotton District Fest morn dawned a bit chilly, overcast, and windy.  Which was a nice change of pace, til I realized that the wind was blowing and tearing the sheets from the pads of paper at the writers' booth, making it a nuisance to flip back a few pages to read what others had written, what with having to remove the weighted water bottles first.  So altho we had a nice turnout, it wasn't a huge success.

But most of the other booths seemed to be having a fair number of folks visiting, which was great as far as the festival as a whole goes.  The stands that had the longest lines appeared to be the food booths, especially those serving piping hot plates of bbq, pulled pork, chicken, ribs, jambalaya, shrimp skewers, etc.  The ice shacks and sno~cone vendors were not so happy cuz folks were shivering enough as is and didn't need cooling down.

It was crowded, with families and children and dogs on leashes.  Great fun!  At one point tho, I was hustling to the secure a limerick from being tossed to the wind when I turned my ankle.  I stifled a few explosive curses, which probably made me look as tho I were in even more pain.  The guy that caught me practically carried me over to a chair, the entire time saying, "coming thru, she's hurt, coming thru"; which was sweet, but not accurate, as I think by that time the pain was diminishing, tho my ankle was swelling.

A fellow writer who is very creative and very good at being the social liaison for the writers group jumped into action and rushed over to the first aid tent, which had ice, but no bags to put it in.  The fireman leaped to her aid tho and produced a rubber glove to fill with ice and charged over to the booth where I was propping my foot up to keep the ankle from swelling further.  He asked repeatedly, "an ambulance?  should I call the ambulance thru?"  no, No, NO.

However, a few of us came up with a limerick which captured the experience; but damned if I can remember it...but I do know that there was something about ice in a rubber glove and the fireman showing love and time flying like a dove.  There were even two or three young girls who dropped by to help finish the limerick.  So happy to help, by providing the incident to write about.

I have to praise you like I should

There is something catchy about FatBoy Slim's "Praise You" that I really like.  I'm sure that it drives some folks bonkers, cuz it is very repetitive, but I like that simplicity and it falls in line with my admiration of "tell me something good" and the encouraging endorsement of being appreciated and appreciating others and tell them so.

The reason I've been thinking about these things is because my husband has been so very loving, caring, supportive, accepting, and a bunch of other exceptional qualities that I'm sure my friends get sick of me harping about ~~ literally harping, I have a tiny harp that I whip out and flutter my fingers across while singing his praises.  Did that just make you throw up a lil in your mouth?  Good, that serves your cynically jaded self right.

I've been extremely exhausted for quite some time.  Dreams, nightmares, night~terrors, jumbled and jangled, and when I awake, I'm exhausted.  It would seem humorously ironic, to be exhausted from sleep; but it isn't.  It's terrifying.  Cuz your mind begins to play tricks on you, or at least mine does.  Humans are meant to get sleep, restful, restive, peaceful, lovely sleep.

In the past, nappage has served to provide a great gap to give relief when I've had a rough night.  But that doesn't even seem to be working well anymore.  I easily reach the depths of REM, where the ongoing twisted adventure of anxiety awaits to suck me down and spit me out, even more exhausted than before I slipped between the covers.

Yes, I am addressing this with both my counselor and my pDoc {in this case, she is a nurse~practitioner who specializes in psychiatry~~I'm loving this woman to the nth degree, esp since it took so long for me to find her}.  I've been yappling about it of late with just about anyone who knows me, including unknown folks like you and you and that guy over there with the gum in his hair.

My husband has been right along with me, offering to slay the beasts and demons in my dreams.  He's my hero, always.  Thing is, he can't enter my dreams at will.  I can't seem to control much in the way of my dreams, either.  So his suggestion of calling him forth into my dreams to save the day isn't really viable, tho it is so sweet and loving that it almost makes me cry.  Which these days, it doesn't take much to make me weep, lack of peaceful restive sleep can wreck all kinds of havoc.

I know I haven't been posting much, or often.  Part of that is simply life events and part of that is lacking the energy to focus well.  However, that may be changing.

I have been knitting afghans, lapghans, fashion scarvettes, shawls, and caps.  Some pix are forth coming.  Also, I've been rereading Susan Wittig Albert's The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter.  It's a series that I'd begun a few years back, but since she's published more, so I've reread the first few so that I know where I am in the story line.  I'm enjoying them, even if they do take me awhile to get thru...I end up reading paragraphs several times before I realize that I'm not retaining anything and need to pick this up some other time.

In a way, all this seems very similar to ten years ago...with the huge difference that I'm not quite so panicked about it and also that my husband lends me a security that gives me the chance to feel safe in facing these things.  He deserves all my love and he has it!!

20 March 2012

St Paddy's Day at the BookMart DownTown

This past Saturday was St Paddy's Day.  The event at the BookMart DownTown included a limerick contest, readings, dancing, music, Irish soda bread, and lots of colorful costumes.  For some reason, I really like this picture.

I think it is because the dancer in the background seems to be watching over and listening to the reader in the foreground.  The blurriness makes me feel like I'm granted a view of the angel/dancer/sprite.  If it were clearly focused, then I'd only be able to see the reader and not the otherworldly figure watching over us all.

But that's just me, and that's the feel the event had for me.

Revisiting Sophie's pic from last spring

Sitting here at BookMart DownTown, waiting for my eMail to send some pix, I thought of this lovely lady when she was even lil'r than she is now.

10 March 2012

Country Roads

Our local art's council's Art in Public Places theme for this year is Country Roads.  The show was hung last week and will be displayed thru March and April.  There are four of the writers from the Starkville Writers Guild who wrote poems and short prose to accompany the photographs, sketches, paintings, and other art pieces.  The reception was last night and wow, there was a nice crowd and I met quite a few people, including several artists whose work I did written reactions for.

Later this month, I will revisit the show to take some pictures and view things to my content.  Last night I didn't want to fight the crowds to do so.  Hopefully I'll post a pic or two here in this blog so that you can see some of the pieces.

for my jerry, my wonderful husband

This Saturday, March 17th, is St Paddy's Day.  Our local writers' guild is meeting, and directly afterward, we will move downstairs at the BookMart DownTown and engage in some performance art; which will be a good combination of interpretive dance and the reading of limericks.  This may be cheesy, but heartfelt cheese it is!

My wedding and marriage are great
His name to you I will relate
My husband, Jerry
He makes me merry,
For me, exists no better mate

07 March 2012

ooooooohhhh happeeeeee dayyyy {wahoo!}

not my artwork
This last week, first my husband and then myself got all snotty and drippy and cruddy.  It was a mess and we both felt like kah~RAP.  My husband rarely gets so sick he misses work, but he took off early one day and missed the next.  Then a few days later, I got all weepy and itchy.  I would have thought it was seasonal allergies kicking in, except for the fact that it seems like I "caught" his cruddy~crud.

So now we're both feeling oh so much better.  Waaaaay better.  Like so much better that I almost broke out the dancing feet and skipped across our pollen filled yard.  But I didn't.  Cuz that would have triggered sneezing, wheezing, and more hacking.  And that would have been such a dumb~ass move.

It's a sad state of affairs when you're grateful to be able to blow your nose.  But it feels so nice to be able to breathe deeply without the burn of congestion.  And hopefully I'll be snot~free in a jiffeeeee...

03 March 2012

what is becoming a monthly blog...{sooOOooo NOT happening~~promise!}

It's come to my attention that another month has gone by with nary an entry here.  But it won't be very much longer before I begin to post on a regular basis.  I'm just trying to catch up on a few things first.

So here are a few things that I've been doing in the meantime...

The creme/brown/white piece to the left is what I am currently working on.  I think it will probably be an afghan, sized for a twin bed, when I am thru.  It's a series of ribbing, in stockinette.

This is the lapghan pictured in the previous entry.  Here it looks square, but it also naturally becomes more diamond shaped.  I'm not terribly fond of this, but my husband says that he thinks it is kinda cool.

And a rather patriotic lapghan seen here is one by one ribbing, stockinette.

I looooOOOoove stockinette.


Last week, my husband had the crud.  It was bad enough that he missed some time from work and also missed his physical therapy.  Then I came down with it yesterday.  I'm feeling some better today, but ugh, what crappy crudd it is.