Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Hear It's Fall

All the signs are there.

Back-to-school sales. Pumpkins and colored leaves in all the stores. Corduroy and fleece in the fabric shops. Football games,

But it's not fall for me yet. Not with the temperatures in the 90s and air conditioner going all day. Not with blue-white skies and sidewalks radiating heat. Not with crunchy brown grass and wilting plants. I gave my azaleas a pep talk this morning and promised them rain this weekend - lots of it. They've heard that story before.

Mama got her flu shot early this year. Last year we had to drive out of town to get it because of the demand. So we can check that one thing off.

While she was waiting at the pharmacy section of Big C, I made another coupon run. I came out with 3 Right Guard deodorants, 2 Edge shaving creams, and 2 Revlon lipsticks for ---- 80 cents. And brought home more CVS money to spend next time. I think I made a profit of about $4 while I waited for her.

It got a little confusing at the cash register when the cashier coveted my lipstick color and wanted me to open it after I paid. When I opened it, I didn't like it but she did, so she let me return it and get another color. We were flinging CVS cards and coupons and lipsticks around like crazy. It was fun, but if I came out for 80 cents, I'm satisfied.

I also did well at Publix again, saving $63 and spending $90. I had a brief argument with a cashier over the wording of a coupon: $5.00 off a 2-count item doesn't mean you have to buy 2 packages, just that there are 2 in the package. She was blinded by the number 2. She stood her ground, so I just put my 2-count item back and went to another store and got two 2-counts items - free.

I'm enjoying talking with old friends by email and FB this week. I'm not why they all came out of hiding the same month, but it's very nice.

If it doesn't rain this weekend like promised, I will not be happy and neither will my azaleas.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Uncle Fuddy-Duddy is Alive and Well

And keeps on with his adventures.
My father-in-law has published his 3rd Uncle Fuddy-Duddy book, and there is a great article about it in the Andalusia Star-News.

The story of "fix the moon" always makes me have tears in my eyes. It makes me think of those simpler days and that little family perfectly happy to be walking home together. It makes me miss my mother-in-law Eleanor even more. The toddler in the story is my husband, and now he has grown up to fix the moon for his family - many times.

I know the work that went into getting these books written, typed, proofed, re-typed, re-proofed, and finally published, and we're really proud of Roy and of Polly for her amazing illustrations. If the stories don't entertain you enough, the pictures certainly will.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Almost There

Warning to guys and Debby: Sewing related only.

My only goal today was to finish the daygown that I've been working on. I'm lagging behind. You can go here and see some of the finished ones. Beautiful. Every one different.

And mine, thread dangling, no buttons, unhemmed, but I'm proud of it.

So I didn't actually finish, but I'm down to sewing on buttons (easy!) and hemming (should be easy), and finishing a little bit of the embroidery that I'm going to retrace on the hem - also easy but not possible today.

Tomorrow maybe.

This week for sure. And then I have another project that I WILL finish before I start on another.

The giveaway that I mentioned last week I wasn't fortunate enough to win, but I did win in a way. When I went to the winner's web site, I found a pattern of hers that I love. It's a cross-stitch pumpkin. I'm not sure why I like it so much, just that it's different and looks like fun to do.

But NOT this week.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I wish my day would unfold just the way I think it's going to when I wake up in the morning and plan the day. If it did, I would have done wonders yesterday: Working outside while it's cool. Vacuuming and straightening the house. Making my grocery list and lining up coupons for Wednesday.

Then, when all that's done, working on my sewing projects.

Sewing the lace to the entedoux on the little daygown sleeve was relaxing and satisfying. It's just getting the lace gathered the right amount and doing the pinning that takes so long. And I'm unhappy with my granitos and will take them all out and replace with French knots.

I guess it's a good thing I did that before going outside instead of waiting to reward myself later.

One of my main goals today was to clean the birdbath and neaten up the flower beds in the back yard. I can't believe I've ignored that thing so long.

I usually just pour Clorox in to sit awhile and then go back and scrub it, but I was out of Clorox. That never happens. Instead I just grabbed the laundry detergent and did the best I could with that and a brush.

It does look a lot better. Not that the birds notice. If they even come to bathe and drink, they're too worried about the cats to care whether the water is clean or not. But I like it.

I then pruned and clipped and watered for awhile and then my enthusiasm took a wrong turn.


Sullen wet-dog expression.

She made the mistake of brushing her hot, dusty body against my legs while I was holding the hose. I sweet-talked her into sitting beside me and then betrayed her. I held her collar and sprayed her all over, telling her how cool she was going to be and didn't that feel delicious. She was having none of it though and would have run away if I had not held onto her collar - bent over - for a long time.

It was when I stood up that I knew I had made a mistake. Pain. Bad pain. I saw Darby's you-got-what-you-deserved look.

I tried lying down with a heating pad and a muscle relaxant, but getting up was almost impossible. I emailed my supervisor and begged one of Mama's pain pills and went back to bed for a good 2-hour sleep.

After that, it was a little better, and I managed to work most of my hours. It's just that it takes away my motivation to get anything done. If I sit to sew the lace on my other sleeve, it will be painful getting up after sitting. I can't do any more yard work. I can't vacuum or pick up anything lower than my waist. It will just have to wait.

And I've already heard from Emily, "So you're not doing those exercises I sent you?! It's just weak muscle tone! It'll happen again and again until you do something about it!"

What exercises?

Maybe I'll go do a search and find them.


Monday, September 13, 2010


Since my last smocked project has stalled and is waiting for me to gain enough patience to put on a new bias neck band, this fantastic giveaway caught my attention.

Laura Johnson is a talented seamstress and pattern designer whose blog is Ellie Inspired. She is giving away a smocked dress with your choice of fabrics - finished - complete. Plus a crocheted hat or hairband. No sewing on the mean old bias neck band. No making buttonholes! Just 3 things to do: Go to her patterns and choose your favorite one. Well, not so easy, but I finally did. Then follow her blog. I already read it periodically, but now I've become a follower, so I won't miss anything. And post an entry on my blog, which is very easy! Anyone can enter even if you don't have a blog. The only thing is you have to enter my name!

Or if you don't enter, keep your fingers crossed for me.

I did make some progress on the blue daygown. I finished about 3/4 of the embroidery and am ready to sew on the lace. Pictures later. It's too messy right now. I need to hurry because Jeannie wants pictures this week. I'm not sure why I'm so far behind because I like nothing better than to settle down for a little embroidery and hand sewing. Maybe it's the yard work that's kept me busy this week or the doctors' visits and lots of little interruptions. Or the good book I've just finished and another one started.

I've reconnected with another old friend by Facebook today. Actually her mother was my friend, and Bree and Emily were friends, but somehow she grew up and became a grownup with children, and now it's just as comfortable talking with her as with her mother. Her grandmother Emily was my Sunday School teacher in the late 70's, and that's where my Emily got her name. One of the sweetest ladies ever. Now Bree has a daughter named Emilia, named after her great-grandmother. It's been so long since I've talked to anyone in Thomaston, and it's nice to catch up a little bit.

I have a morning full of errands tomorrow. Maybe something interesting will happen to write about. I'll take my camera. You never know.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Weekend Visitor

Ella from Birmingham. She's a good guest. She guards the front window (or, more likely, looks for her people to return). The cats have come out from under the bed and sleep in the same room with her. Darby has accepted that she won't play with her and tolerates her. I think Mama enjoys having someone to ride her walker to the mailbox every day.

I think everyone is enjoying the cooler weather. I know it puts me in a much better mood to go outside and be able to feel that little autumn nip. Time to get out the pumpkins and fall candles. And order the coffee. Pumpkin Spice. Autumn Harvest. Cinnamon Roll.

When we were in Destin last week (2 weeks ago?), Debby bought these at Harry & David's. Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds.

I bought these because they make me happy. I love the little sugar spoon.

I plan to not run out of good reading. Two of the books are ones Debby loaned me and are "beach reading" type of books. Sometimes I don't have high hopes for that kind of book, but I'm reading The Island by Elin Hilderbrand, and it's so good I can't wait for a chance to read it every night. I really do like her writing.

Here are some more she bought that I'm looking forward to reading.

The Texas vine has not disappointed - now that I know when to prune it. I would wish for a few more blooms on top of the fence and not sitting on the wheelbarrow and trash can, but I'll take it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blog Renewal

If this blog is meant to be a journal of my life, I've left out whole chunks of it for future generations. So, I'll try to dredge up some activities. Still waiting on the camera cable to download pictures.

I've just finished my bargain breakfast of cantaloupe (1/2 price at Publix) and vanilla yogurt (0.25 for a 4-pack). I had put couponing on hold last week because of being out of town, but that cheered me up a little. $110 worth of groceries for $76. I don't like going in the drug stores especially, but there are too many free or under-a-dollar things to just pass by.

Have I mentioned how much I love our Publix here? Probably 20 or 30 times! It's like when people walk in the door, they become nicer. It may have something to do with the disposition of the manager because he is unfailingly cheerful and helpful. I think he's the manager. I never look at the little pictures they have on display. He's a young guy of 31, he mentioned today when we were talking about the senior discount. I always ask to make sure the cashier includes it, and he says he always gives it to people he thinks are over 30 because people are funny about their age, and he doesn't want to miss anyone or insult anyone.

I was searching for something in the frozen food section and ended up chatting with a lady there. I'm not even sure what led us to this topic, but she mentioned that her husband died last year and that their 61st anniversary would have been last Friday - the same as ours, Aug. 27th. She told me how lonely she was and how she missed the things they did together, like buying groceries. You could see how painful it was for her to be walking down the aisles by herself. She knows it will get better, but in the meantime it's a pretty hard thing. Maybe I'll run into her there again. I can't help thinking about her.

I had an email from an old friend last night, one of my very first friends, Tonnie. She had just gotten on Facebook and wanted to see if I wanted to go to Dairy Queen in her Fiat. Such memories. That car was small enough to drive down the sidewalk on River Falls Street. Don't ask me how I know! We were friends from church even though in different grades and in the band together and had a bunch of fun.

They had a cabin at Gantt Lake and her dad taught me to ski.

She comforted me after I ran over a dog the night I got my driver's license. Actually I think she enjoyed telling that story a little too much.

We told each other all our secrets - and they're still safe, not that it matters any more and not that we can remember most of them.

She was in our wedding and I'm sure was the instigator of the roadblock afterward to make sure our car was properly covered with shaving cream.

I'm looking forward to lots more remembering.

I talked to both daughters yesterday. Elise is loving her new job a lot. We seem to talk every day now while Emily stays so busy that I don't talk to her often at all. Her friend Natalie has just been visiting for a week, and they had a lot of fun, and Ryan's parents are going to visit in 3 weeks. Such busy lives. Makes me exhausted to hear about everything they do.

I want to sew this week now that I've gotten most of my work behind me, but it's harder than it should be to do it. Seems like there is always something getting in the way of it. I've been reading a bit and need to go to the library today. Debby gave me 2 books while we were at the beach, and I'll start one tonight.

I just finished the book Still Alice by Lisa Genova. It's about a 50-ish brilliant woman who develops Alzheimer's disease. Seen from the affected person's perspective, it is just a terrifying disease, not only for the affected person but for the caregivers. This is the author's blog explaining how she came to write the book. I haven't read it yet (the blog), but I'm looking forward to it.

Even though the temperatures are still hot, I can smell fall in the air in the early mornings and at night when I let the cats in. They want to spend more and more time outside chasing dragonflies and just basking in the sunshine.

And it's football season! I believe there is a game tonight to watch. I'll have to try to remember how to work the TV remote again.

Now it's off to Wal-Mart for Mama's medication refills. I'm not sure I can contain my excitement.