Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Remember Me?

Last Saturday I met my computer geek son who lives 2 hours north of me and handed my poor sick computer over to him for some serious doctoring. I hope he will be able to effect a total healing by this weekend, but I'm not sure that our priorities are the same. I hope I won't be disconnected too much longer.

courtesy of Google images
(Just a little eye candy to brighten up this boring post)

As for the rest of the happenings in my life....there isn't much to report. Work is busy, so I'm busy. I've done a bit of sketching, but nothing impressive. Little Elijah is growing like a weed. He is getting fat and chubby. So cute! The irises and narcissus are blooming in my yard. The weather is nice. I haven't read anything interesting in a while. I just took 4 books back to the library, all of which I tried and quit on before getting started very well...they just weren't very interesting. I picked out 4 more today. I'm hoping I like these better. I also checked out a book on hypothyroidism. I went to the doctor this morning, because I haven't felt well in a long time. (complain, complain) I hope he gets me fixed this time. I checked the book out because I am convinced that most of what ails me is caused by my under active thyroid. I think I am going to have to be my own doctor for the most part.

I've stayed late at work once again in order to use the internet here. The sun is still out so I think I'm going to get out of here and enjoy what is left of this day. I hope you are all well and you haven't let anything amazing happen to you while I've been gone. I wouldn't want to miss out on any good news.


ps I did watch two good movies from Netflix this past weekend. If you are a Jane Austen fan you might want to check them out. "Lost in Austen" and "Jane Austen Regrets"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm In Serious Blogger Withdrawal!

I'm logged on from work because my computer is completely locked up. I'm waiting on my son to have time to come down and wipe it clean and reboot it all.

I miss everyone! I'll be checking in this way from time to time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday Was NOT Any Better

My computer is under attack by a vicious virus. The Internet connection is slow and unreliable. My online will be spotty for the time being.

Watch out for Virtumonde and Troj/virtum-gen. So far I haven't been able to get rid of them. They are self-replicating.


Saturday, April 18, 2009


I was right in the middle of typing up a post on Rachel's laundry soap recipe for those of you who asked .....when I discovered I wrote it all down except......the number of cups of hot water to use....what was I thinking? Usually this wouldn't be that hard to resolve. I would just call her and ask....but she is at Disney World. Of course, this is the age of the cell phone....no problem, I'll just call....no answer......duh....she's busy having fun! So the recipe will have to wait. Sorry.

(starting to calm down...can tell my irritation level by the number of ellipses I am using)

I've been IMing with my TX son all morning about the virus that has been trying to hijack my computer. I have a anti-virus and a spyware application but after running it 3 times it didn't seem to be completely getting rid of it. So I called in the expert. We downloaded a trial of another anti-virus and tried it. So far I think it is working although the Internet is still running slow....so not 100% sure yet.

While trying to tell my son what I was seeing on the screen and not doing a good job of it he told me to do a screen capture and email it to him so he could see what I was seeing. So I did. He IMed me back..."it captured the screen with IM in front? I can't see the Norton screen ." Oh my gosh, I laughed at myself until I cried. "Stupid me hahahahahahaha" I IMed back. His reply, "Dork." Then "lovingly....dork." (ellipses love runs in the family I guess)

After all that irritation I had to take an Aleve. My shoulders and neck were killing me. Too much tension. So I decided it was time for a break. I covered up with my red crocheted afghan and put Nights at Rodanthe with Richard Gere and Diane Lane in the DVD player. Why, oh why didn't someone warn me that this movie is a major tearjerker?????? Not the kind of movie I needed to see today! Why would I ever want to watch a movie about a woman who has been jilted by her two timing husband, finds the love of her life in the middle of a stormy weekend, and after exchanging sweet love letters for months and months finds out he is killed by a natural disaster the day before he is coming to be with her forever....................ARRRRRRGH!

(recovering my composure now....)

This has not been my favorite day. I think I will go downstairs and try to make something pretty. I will only listen to soothing music for the rest of the evening. I will go get a icy Coke. I will eat some chocolate. I will be better later.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hometown Tour

It's time again for Postcard Friendship Friday. And in the name of friendship, I am inviting all my bloggy friends to take a tour of my hometown via postcard images.

Birmingham, was established in 1871, but Arlington antebellum home was built in the 1840s by one of the future founders of the city. It is located in Old Elyton, the first county seat of the area. The city of Birmingham quickly grew and encompassed the home. Today it is located in the middle of a long established neighborhood. Every Christmas the home is decorated according to the style in it's hay day. Tea and cookies are served by costumed women and attendees are invited to tour the home.

Birmingham's Byzantine inspired Beaux-Arts Terminal Station was the terminus for eight railway lines that came from and went to all sections of the United States. The station was built in 1909 and torn down in 1969 much to the continuing chagrin of historical preservationists. I vaguely remember going there. I mostly remember that it was huge and cavernous. In my mind's eye I see dust motes floating down from a high ceiling. I also remember going out onto the platform and seeing many different sets of tracks. I don't remember why we were there or when though. Too bad it's gone. The people who really remember say it was beautiful.

By the way, the city is nicknamed The Magic City because of the phenomenal pace of growth in its early years.

If you look you can find a post or two with a couple of pictures taken in front of this municipal building last year when I had jury duty.

The city is known for its steel industry. This next postcard is of T.C.I, Tennessee Coal and Iron Co. which later became U.S. Steel. This particular plant was close to my childhood home. In the years before the Clean Air Act it was not unusual for us to have to sweep coal dust from our front porch every morning. Many of my friend's fathers worked here. My own father retired from a cast iron company.

My family belonged to this church from the time I turned six until I was in high school. Later my two oldest sons would attend private school here for three years. We lived close by and they walked or skated to school. My middle son still tells the story of getting in trouble for skating through the church over to the school side one morning....only it wasn't him that did it. It was his older brother.

For many years I was plagued by a recurring dream about the steps in front of the church. I always dreamed that I had tripped and fallen and couldn't get up (before the commercial "I've fallen and can't get up" days). Everyone on the way into church was always frozen in place and starring at me sprawled on the steps.

This is the high school I attended, as well as where my mother and father went. It was built in 1908 and closed in 2006. It was a three story building with a courtyard in the center. I spent some happy days inside its halls. I meet my ex husband there and received my high school diploma in the gym.

I've written about this Chinese restaurant on the blog before as well. My family went here many times. My ex husband proposed to me here. We took our oldest children here before Joy Young's closed its downtown location in the 70s.

The Alabama theater is known as the Showplace of the South. My daddy worked here as an usher when he was a teenager. They wore white uniforms and gloves. It fell into disrepair and almost went the way of the Terminal Station, but forward thinking citizens banded together and began restoring the theater in the 80s. Today it is the venue for many theatrical performances and concerts. Old movies are shown here on a regular basis as well.

Birmingham is the home to many beautiful churches. St. Paul's Catholic Church is located downtown. I love the twin spires. About 10 years ago a modern building went up a block away. The new structure sports twin spires as well which can clearly be seen from the expressway. Whenever I drive by I always strain my eyes to catch sight of those four spires, the two modern and the two old ones.

And lastly, no tour of my hometown would be complete without this sight....Vulcan, the world's largest cast iron statue. He stands atop Red Mountain and towers over the city from his perch above us all. In fact, hometown author Anne George made him famous by referring to him in her Southern Sisters mystery novels as the "moon over Homewood" since his naked backside faces the city of the same name. You might like to give her "Murder on a Bad Hair Day" or "Murder Boogies with Elvis" or "Murder Runs in the Family" a read sometime. Just don't believe everything she says about our hometown.

Thanks for taking my vintage postcard hometown tour!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Like many Americans, I'm trying to put more money into my safety net these days. I'm taking my lunch to work more often. I'm avoiding window shopping and browsing because what I haven't seen in the stores can't call my name. Even so, it seems that the price of gas is on the way up again and grocery prices continue to be expensive.

Recently, my daughter mixed up a 5 gallon bucket of homemade laundry detergent for me. It only cost pennies. And it cleans clothes as well as the "real" thing. I've satisfied my need to decorate by haunting the local thrift stores. With a little imagination and some creative thinking home improvement "supplies" can be purchased there.

Let's step back in time to 1965 for a minute. Look what constituted a bargain 44 years ago. 65 cents could be saved here and another 65 cents could be saved there. After saving that kind of money a family could stop at the local drive in where hamburgers were only 15 cents. For only a $1.00 two parents could buy themselves and their 3.5 children a sack of burgers.

Those were the days!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Time to Paint

Brightly colored windows and doors have the most appeal to me, even if the paint is peeling and the door is hanging crooked on its hinges. It's time for me to paint my front door again. The paint is faded and dull. I wonder what my neighbors would think of an electric blue door.......

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The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
Flora Whittemore

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chateau de Chillon

Located on the shores of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) in Montreux, Switzerland, the rock on which Chateau de Chillon is built has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The islet fortress was held first by the Bishops of Sion and later by the Counts of Savoy from the beginning of the 12th century. Those who controlled the castle also controlled the access by travellers from Italy north into what is modern day Switzerland. The castle was captured in 1536 by the Swiss . In 1798 it became the property of the Canton of Vaud. Restoration work began at the end of the 19th century.

In 1816 Lord Byron and his friend Percy Shelley were sailing on Lac Leman (the French name for Lake Geneva) when they stopped to tour Chateau de Chillon. After walking through the dungeon Byron was inspired to write his sonnet, "The Prisoner of Chillon" chronicling the imprisonment of a Genovois monk, Francois de Bonivard from 1530 to 1536. Bonivard, the Prior of St. Victor's, Geneva, was chained to the in the dungeon of the fortress because he spoke out in favor of the Reformation and the independence of Geneva.

Bryon carved his name into a dungeon pillar.

My hair is grey, but not with years, Nor grew it white In a single night, As men's have grown from sudden fears: My limbs are bow'd, though not with toil, But rusted with a vile repose, For they have been a dungeon's spoil, And mine has been the fate of those To whom the goodly earth and air Are bann'd, and barr'd-forbidden fare; But this was for my father's faith I suffer'd chains and courted death; That father perish'd at the stake For tenets he would not forsake;

You can read the entire poem here.

my poster

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hallelujah, He Lives!

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies."

Praise God, Jesus' story does not end with His crucifixion.

Mark 16: 1-7
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”

Mark: 9-20
After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn’t believe her. Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them. Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead.“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lunch Hour Sketch

I haven't had much time at work lately to draw. But the weather has been pleasant which always induces me to sit in the car with the windows down, listen to the radio or a book and spend the lunch hour drawing. A co-worker passed the newest In Style magazine on to me and I flipped through it looking for some subject matter. I attempted to draw this guy.

I didn't get the shape of his face right. Mine is too long. His eyes don't have the McConaughey twinkle either.

I need lots more practice.

But hey, practice makes perfect doesn't it? Maybe one day.....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

He's Got Mail

Harry cuts a dashing figure of a man don't you think?

It's Easter and Harry's mother wants to gently remind him of the significance of the season, so she tucks this postcard into her most recent letter to him. She wants him to remember to go to services on Sunday. She's afraid he is often too busy to do so.

He props the card on the dresser of his rented room, where he can see it daily as a reminder of home and family.

This is the second year that Harry has been far from home on the holidays. He is a student of medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Here is a picture of Mother and Papa. Harry looks distinguished like his father, wouldn't you agree?

Mother has always loved to keep up with the latest fashions. She won't wear anything if it doesn't have a designer label.

Harry was too busy to attend Cousin Tessa's wedding last year, so mother sent a picture postcard of the whole family. That's Tessa's mother, Aunt Lydell, holding the family cat.

Harry is sweet on the short blond girl on the left who is only half seen in the photo card. She is his 2nd cousin thrice removed. She is a little young for marriage right now, but he thinks she will be the perfect age for him once he completes his studies. He is sure she will make a fine doctor's wife since she was always willing to play doctor with him when they were kids.

Harry knows that Mother does her best to keep him connected to the family. He's sure she is afraid he'll drift away just as Uncle Harold, the uncle he's named after, did. When Harold first emigrated to Australia, after investing in a sheep farm in the outback, he sent cards and pictures home on a regular basis. But following a strange letter chronicling his plan to order a bride from Indonesia, he has never written again. Maybe he was worried that his unconventional lifestyle would scandalize the family.

Harold sent a copy of this picture along with his proposal to his mail order bride.

The family worries about Harold, even after 15 silent years.

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday! Please humor me on my attempt to give you the back story regarding the Easter postcard to Mr Harry Curtis from his mother. I'm no MuseSwings, but I wanted to get in on the fun! Go here for more postcard mania.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Racked Up!

I have a long history of ferreting out killer deals at thrift stores. I was raised on regular forays to the local Goodwill. My mother assembled a very nice collection of pink depression glass that she purchased at thrift stores before the prices on that stuff went through the roof. She put my girlhood bedroom suite of a twin bed together with bargain finds of a mirrored chifforobe and a cute little dresser that sported a three sided mirror and a backless bench. After all the pieces were painted butter yellow and antiqued they made a sweet bedroom set.

When my boys were young and we were....lacking money for extras....I thrifted regularly for gently worn blue jeans and shirts. I supplied my little readers with plenty of books that I found there as well. I've always gone straight to the book section first. Interesting books, art books, old grammar school text books, thrillers, spy novels....etc, etc, etc. When I decided to begin collecting Little Golden Books my best source was the thrift store. That is until other people got in on the act. Now if it's not Disney, it's hard to find. But that's okay...I've bought more than enough already.

But in recent years, I decided that I just don't need so much stuff. I've tried to pare down...and for a collector type personality that is not easy. So, I swore off regular visits to "the exclusive shop" as my mother likes to tell people when they ask her where she got her cute purse or jacket.

I'd sworn off that is until I got the notion that I would like to start a new collection. On Saturday I made the rounds to 3 stores looking for this:

That's right. My newest addiction is collecting game pieces. I'd love to have vintage game pieces, but plastic pieces have their appeal as well.

I imagine that my granddaughters will love to dump them out and play with them. Maybe they will invent a game that they can market when they grow up!

I found these children's clothing patterns circa the 60s as well. For 25 cents I just couldn't leave them there. Especially after I thought about the seamstress who originally bought these and made outfits for her babies....45 years ago! Somewhere there are family photos of cute children with dimples and baby fat wearing what she made using these patterns. Maybe one of those dimpled children has grown up and makes clothes for her own kids now. For 75 cents I brought home a dose of a mother's love.

When I saw this lying on the bottom shelf I pounced on it. MINE, I thought. Then I saw that it had no price. The management is funny about unpriced items at this shop, so I put it back and walked away thinking that it just wasn't meant for me. But at the check out counter, I decided to make sure their policy hadn't changed. The cashier pointed out the manager and encouraged me to tell him about the item and ask. I decided that I didn't have anything to lose. Yippee....it was mine for $1.99!

It is missing it's stand but that doesn't bother me. It's big...big as a big big beach ball. I brought it right in the house and stuck it on top of the entertainment center. Seeing it there entertains me.

I love globes...this is # 3. It looks like you might be able to boast in the future that you were there when it all began. You were at the epicenter of Steviewren's global collection fever/fervor.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lazing An Hour Away

Saturday was a glorious spring day here. I spent some time on the deck watching the clouds. Baby leaves are sprouting on the oak tree from the top to the bottom. I'd never noticed that before.

Squirrels scampered all over the yard while this Robin wandered from treetop to treetop.

I managed to get a picture of him when he landed on the deck. Isn't he pretty?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wall Flowers

Is it just me or do these handles look like flowers to you too?

I love the colorful way my daughter brightened up her laundry area in the basement.

How about you? Do you decorate rooms in your home that no one sees except yourself?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dear Cousin Marion

The postcard is addressed to Miss Marion Ladd of Andover, Mass. U. S. A. and reads:

Jan. 12, 1919

Dear Cousin Marion!
This is a very pretty place. But
give me the good ole U.S.

Arthur C Jones

The caption on the front of the card says:
Paris. - Le Pont au Change et le Palais de Justice.
Exchange bridge and Law-Courts

The name Exchange bridge peaked my curiosity as to the history behind it. It seems that from the 16th century up to the 19th that both sides of the bridge were lined with the homes and shops of money changers, goldsmiths and jewelers. Everyone in Paris had to use the bridges to get from one side of the city to the other, making them the best places to sell wares and do business. When Baron Haussman modernized Paris in the 19th century, he had the houses cleared away and the bridges straightened. This left them the broad thoroughfares that they are today.

Here is a more current view of the bridge and the Palace of Justice.

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday! Be sure to visit these PFF participants today.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mostly Green Things

Moss growing on railroad ties.

Azalea bush in full bloom.

Succulents in concrete urn.

First fig on the bush.

Black cat with green eyes.