Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Sometimes it seems like I'm just running in place and never getting anything done, but this is a day that was pleasing.

I made a promise to write something on this blog every day in October, and I almost made it - just a few days beyond my control.  Today is the last day, and I won't try for that in November.  I will try to record the major happenings though.

First thing to be pleased about was getting the water leak diagnosed and repaired. This time the refrigerator repairman came and fixed the broken line. We hope his diagnosis was correct and that his repair was good. As of now, we have ice and water at our disposal, and no water is coming from anywhere. It cost less than the plumber, and together they were cheaper than getting a new refrigerator or, worse, a new floor and cabinets.

Then my sewing project from yesterday worked out.  I won't say it was easy, and finally I just held my breath and whacked off a corner, but in spite of these washed out pictures, it's exactly what I wanted.  I'll try to get Mike to take a good picture when I get the ruffle around it.  It's actually a pretty color of yellow, and the smocking is yellow, white and pale aqua.  It's better if you click the picture.  The smocking was the easy part! 

Next up was this stroller bag that I mentioned yesterday.

The instructions were great, and I had no trouble with the construction.    I think if I did it again, I would reinforce it with some stabilizer.  It is a little floppy, but I guess it's supposed to be that way.  And the flap seems too long now.  I think it will be fine when it's stuffed with whatever is going to be carried in it.

 I think the black and white lining goes fine with the yellow.  I don't have a stroller to hang it on, but the loops on either side snap over the handle.

There is a shoulder strap too for when you want to take it off the stroller and carry it.  I still have to find some snaps and figure out just where to put the them.

I love it when things come together easily.  Those rare times.

Candy is ready for trick-or-treaters.

 This is only for emergencies if we give out of the chocolate.  I haven't eaten enough to make my tongue burn yet, but I'm working on it.

With the help of the oldies but goodies radio station and a sudden sense of guilt burst of energy on Mike's part, the bathroom is getting painted.  I'm only allowed for for admiration.  It's paid off to have been a messy painter in the past.

I'm not sure how long I've lived with those blue tape lines and paint cans in the tub, but it's been several months/years.  It's funny how you just learn to live with something and not mind it after a while.

I was worried about the color being too dark, but I think it's just right, especially after the trim is brightened up.
 It sure beats this.

I got this text today and then it was on Facebook.  It's a little creepy but funny too.  Emily said she could have gotten one with a bow but might want to wear it again one day.  She'll (futurebaby) be cuter as a watermelon next year. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sewing Day

It's started off that way.  Let's see how long I can stick with it today with so much else needing to be done.

The project I'm rescuing from the trash can this morning is this.

I wasn't actually going to throw it away, but I did consider abandoning the project and using the smocking for something else.

I had an idea in my mind - no pattern or even picture than I can find now - of putting a panel of smocking diagonally across the corner of a receiving blanket.  It looks like now it may work out if I can neaten up my piping a little.  Using a new machine takes some getting used to different feet and measurements.  This is yellow batiste, and I'll line it with something that I'll decide later after a trip to the heirloom shop in Wetumpka.

I did complete a project yesterday.  These critter burps.

This is a good way to get back in practice using my embroidery machine.  I made a different "learning mistake" on every one of them.  I just used dish towels for the front and flannel for the back.  I'll try some different ones later.

If I can get the blanket to work out to my satisfaction, I'm next going to do a stroller bag.

There is a nice tutorial on the web site. Let's see if I can pull that off. I've had this yellow and white rather thick chevron fabric for a few months now, and Emily liked the black and white for the lining.
 It almost makes me dizzy, but the instructions looks doable.  We'll see...

Mike is at Wal-Mart now calling about Halloween candy.  Some years we have a bunch of kids, and last year we only had a few.  He likes M&M's and I like Smarties, so we'll get those 2 for sure.  He refuses to hide them from me, but I like them so much I'll eat them until my tongue burns.  They're perfect for working - separate them by flavor and line them up on my desk.  Never mind.

 Mama and I used to freeze our leftovers and dole them out all winter.  Maybe she'll hide them from me.

Our water pipe woes may not be as bad as we expected - except for paying a plumber nearly my week's salary to tell us the problem is in the refrigerator.  There is a nick in a line that carries the water from the water pipe in the wall to the water dispenser in the door, and it's been building up in the refrigerator somewhere and leaking out the back.  I hope that's true, but it was a scary running-water noise.  We have to wait until Friday for the refrigerator guy to come and get my next week's pay to find out for sure if that's it.  I'm over wanting new appliances, so I hope it's easy to fix.  It's fine with me to disable that whole ice-making mechanism.

This weather is drinking coffee and knitting weather, but I'm going to make myself go back to the sewing room and fuss over piping - fabric piping and not water piping.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Memory Plants

Having lost another of our parents last week and bringing one of the beautiful plants from the funeral home, I was just thinking that my living room is now a sort of memorial, and every time I pass through and see a particular plant, I think of the person it's connected to.

This beautiful peace lily was sent by Mike's great-uncle Bill and cousins Dave and Susan, Judy and Mike.  I'll treasure it and also think of Roy's sister Nell who died last month (Dave and Judy's mother and Bill's wife).  We so enjoyed their making the trip to Roy's funeral and had such a good time catching up on the families.

I hate to even do pictures of the next 2 plants. I really should have a before picture, but I just pruned this rubber tree plant back to half its size. It was pretty much taking over the living room and not leaving any place to sit. This is from my mother-in-law Eleanor's funeral 5 years ago and sent by ACG, the company Mike worked for at the time. It has certainly been hardy, just quietly going about it's business and getting bigger and bigger even when ignored. I'm going to try to root several more little rubber trees from the cuttings.

I'm not doing so well with Daddy's peacy lily. There were actually 2 of them about half the size of the one above, beautiful as a pair on each side of a door in various houses. They lived in Mississippi, North Carolina and Georgia. I lost one along the way and had to repot the other one, so now I'm keeping it going as a small plant, but I think I like it that way.

Kathy and Alan sent me pictures of the other plants from the funeral.  So pretty.

The peace lily from Alan's employer, Henderson Sewing Machine Company in Andalusia.

The rubber tree plant from Polly Rushton, Roy's cousin-in-law and the illustrator of the Uncle Fuddy-Duddy books.

And this beautiful croton from Chad and Robin Morris, Kathy and Alan's nephew and wife. 

It's nice to have these living reminders of the ones we loved.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Easily Pleased

I wasn't totally convinced I needed a Smart Phone, but I received one - a very, very smart phone.  I immediately got overwhelmed with apps and putting things on the pages and all the cute little things you can do.

So pretty much all I do now is use it like a phone and check emails and go online for some of my favorites.  I don't like to type on the little keyboard, so I send texts and emails only when forced to.

It is nice when away from home to be able to do all these things, but I haven't downloaded many of the things people seem to like.  No games for sure.  The GPR thing is nice when you're lost.

It's been all of an hour, so I can't remember where I read about an app for consolidating all those stores cards you accumulate and have to scan for discounts, but it seemed like a good idea.

I'm always scrambling around to find the right one, and at least once I've offered the librarian my Books-A-Million card and vice-versa. 

It's called Key Ring, and it's free, so I downloaded it and put it on page 2 of my phone. I did it on the first try too.

It was fun to scan the bar codes in and then choose the store from a long list. If it wasn't on the list (like Southern Homes and Gardens), I just put in "other program."   But then you take a picture of the front and back of your card so you always know which one you're looking for.  For some reason, the library one didn't use the pictures I took.

 Then when you go to the store or library, you just hold out your phone instead of your card to be scanned. 

We're not yet convinced that the funny-looking bar code thing is going to work, but I guess we'll find out soon.  You get updates on specials or coupons also and can share your number with someone else (I guess they have to have the same program).  I'm not going to get ahead of myself right now.
I'll be doing really well to remember I have this app when I'm scrambling around trying to find my library card.
We got a package from Guatemala.  Yummy.

 Instant coffee for Mike.

Hot chocolate for all of us.

And several flavors of regular coffee.  Can't wait to try them.

This is the chocolate before it's added to the milk or water.

I used milk.  It's a little bit more trouble than instant hot chocolate but so worth it.  Just in time for a cool windy October afternoon.

Thanks to Dina and Gaby for thinking about us.

All is not happiness in the kitchen though.

This is where the refrigerator went and where there was once a lot of water.  We seem to have had a leak where the ice maker tube connects to the water pipe.  I started hearing it last week, but we some people decided it was just the ice maker and that it would be fine just turning that off.

And we went out of town for several days and came back to still more water-running sounds.  There was not actually a lot of water under the refrigerator - not enough to seep out and give us the clue we needed - but it had gone into the wall and under the tiles.

We'll be seeing the plumber nice and early in the morning and finding out how good our homeowners insurance is, if necessary.  Mike took off some molding, and there doesn't seem to be any damage to the wood.  Let's hope it gets resolved without a lot of tearing down and replacing.

I got to do more baby holding this morning, but I forgot my camera.  I had the 2- and 3-year-olds for awhile.  I love talking to them and seeing how many interesting things they can do with marshmallows in their mouths.  Sarah had a paper cut and manged to milk that for a whole bunch of sympathy.  She and Tyler are the perfect ages right now to be cute and charming, but later when I was in the baby nursery and 2 more toddlers were added to the mix - well, I'm not sure who was doing what, but I heard some wails and cries of "That was MINE."  I'm glad Whitney got to handle that while I loved on Bronner. 

He really is the sweetest, calmest little boy.  I looked at the clock at 11:10 and kind of panicked over how I was going to entertain him for 45 more minutes, but the time just flew by, and he never cried once.  I may have had to pull out all my  rusty old tricks, but he played himself to sleep (bored with me), and I got in some practice for next year.

As I was looking for something else just now, I found this old picture of Sarah I took some time ago.  She was watching some older children play with a bunch of balloons and wasn't sure she wanted to join in.

Next May Sarah's twin baby brothers/sisters will be added, so things will stay lively for a good while.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ryan's Tribute

Even though Wednesday was a sad day for saying good-bye to Roy, it was joyful too for celebrating a wonderful life and for all his friends and relatives to gather and share memories and just enjoy seeing the ones that we haven't seen in years.  Everyone agreed that there was nothing that he wouldn't approve of on that day.

Roy's former pastor spoke at his funeral and asked beforehand for things that we remembered or made us think of Roy.  He was such a personality and such an interesting person that there were a lot of stories and memories that Dr. Cushing used.

Unfortunately, Ryan was not able to get to the funeral, and his email did not get through in time to be used, but it expresses all our thoughts so clearly I thought I would include this for the ones who missed it.

From Emily:

Ryan and I talk about Granddaddy and Grandmama a lot, and they are our major role models. It means everything to me that Ryan knew them and loved them, and that he can remember them with me. And together we can tell our children about them.

From Ryan: 

Roy was tenderhearted, selfless, optimistic, and invariably cheerful.

He was always attentive and interested in the conversation, no matter how silly or insignificant, and he always, always had something to add.

He was sharp as a tack, full of wisdom, insight, and unique experience, all of which he shared freely and often.

Roy was hospitable and welcoming both into his home and into his family, and it became immediately clear that he cherished family above all else.  This value of family seemed to be the motivation for everything he did and it was infectious. 

By simply being around him, he passed along his cheer and his high regard for family to the rest of the Windhams, the Rays, the Wiggins, the Binderts and beyond.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 1 Peter 3:8

Monday, October 22, 2012


Roy Windham
03/25/1924 - 10/21/2012 
A good man - husband, father, grandfather, brother, father-in-law and friend.
He lived a life to be proud of and lived it to the fullest.  We'll miss him.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday catch up after a useless Saturday

Yesterday I wandered - just roamed around and lit on nothing. I hardly ever have days when I can't find one thing to do that pleases me.  Therefore, I wasted it - the whole day.

So today I've worked the afternoon away cleaning the kitchen, sweeping, mopping, scrubbing.  Just awful.  It helps motivate me when someone is going to come sit at your kitchen table in the morning.  Our friend Daniel is bringing me a typing job and will need to sit down and talk about it.  He thinks I'm a good housekeeper.  I hope he always gives me a day's notice before he comes.  I hope he knows he's the only reason my kitchen gets cleaned lately.

No time for digging up family skeletons and no Andalusia adventures to talk about.  I'll have to have more time.

Since I'm hungry right now, this picture is appropriate. Debby and I stopped by the frozen yogurt shop in Andalusia Friday and got a cup.

I'd like to say the healthy one with all the fruit is mine, but unfortunately I got carried away with expresso and dark chocolate and peanuts and maybe a few other things too.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Perfect Day

The problem with having a day work out just like you expected - and even better - is that it's not half as much fun to talk about afterwards and to try to sort out too many pictures.  This may take more than 1 day.  Not that it's very exciting or even interesting to those outside the family, our revisiting old home places that are no more and visiting cemeteries where my grandmother and great-grandparents are buried.

A good bit of the day was spent just talking and remembering these people and places and marveling at how many, many years have passed since they were young people and parents raising their children and working on the farms.  It makes you aware of how quickly life passes.  We did have at least one discussion of what our headstones should say!  Or our urns.  We decided we might want to honor our children with our presence even after we die. 

It is nice that a good many of these relatives had nice long lives, most of them living into their 80s and at least into their 70s despite not having easy lives.  Even our great-grandmother Elizabeth who had 10 children in 15 years lived to be 77. 

So anyway, I'll get into that tomorrow after I talk to Sherry, the family geneologist, and sort through some of our questions.

I have to mention again how lovely it was just to drive on such a beautiful day, just soaking up the October sunshine and seeing pumpkins and haystacks and fall arrangements along the way. 

When I got to Debby's, Gus was excited to see me, although this pictures doesn't prove that.

I made the mistake of stepping out of the car into his territory, and he had to reclaim that before he could greet me properly.

We took time for a quick game of Fetch the Otter before we left and a few knee and ankle kisses.  I didn't wear his favorite shoes this time, so he lost interest in getting them off.  I took a few more pictures, but they're just blurs. 

Our first decision for the day was where to eat lunch, and we chose the first place we came to (not a hard decision):  David's Catfish.  It was nice and uncrowded, and we had a chance to catch up a little bit over our lunch baskets of fish or shrimp.  I never leave there without having cheese grits.  I meant to ask Debby if the waitress bringing us a fresh drink-to-go was a hint that we'd stayed too long or if that's something they do now.  A nice touch anyway.  We would need a little refreshment during the afternoon.

It seems most of the family lived on Antioch Road in Andalusia.  There were four different homes that we would visit when we were children, but only one of the original houses is still standing.  Debby and I remembered different things about different places, and since she's younger, I'll defer to her memory!  More about all that tomorrow.

This was a funny thing that Debby and I pondered over that Mama solved for us last night.  I knew there were twins in the family because I grew up hearing the names "Buddy and Sis" and knowing they were twins.  So when we came across these 2 people born the same year right next to my great aunt and uncle's markers, we figured that's who they were.

Except for the dates:

How could one twin be born in July and one in September?  We pondered over that a little bit.

It turns out they were husband and wife and they were the parents of those twins.  Daisy was not born a Dunn (Beasley, I think) and remarried an Ellis after Cleve died at a young age.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day Trip

Mike left for Texas yesterday, and I'm meeting Debby at her house in a couple of hours and going to Andalusia.  The weather is perfect right now, but it might get a little hot for wandering around in cemeteries. 

It will be nice to just get into the car and ride and enjoy the beautiful day.  I probably won't get home tonight in time to write anything, and I know the 3-1/2 people who read this blog are checking to see if I get my daily paragraphs. 

If I don't forget my camera, I should take a lot of pictures today.

The front porch mandevilla.

I wonder where we'll eat lunch.  So many possibilities.....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tying up Loose Ends

 It's about time to get this bishop hemmed. 

It's the first one I ever made, probably 10 years ago.  I'm not crazy about the sleeves or the neck binding but not sad enough to redo them.

Also not sure why I chose such pale colors.  It looks a little better in person.

The second of the burp towels.  There is a reason for his red head - like being lazy and not wanting to get up and get a water-soluble topping and reaching for a plastic bag instead - and then noticing too late that the plastic bag had red print on it.  I have no explanation for why one of his legs is deformed.  Poor chick. 

Checking to see if this bunny head is too big for a onesie.  This will be my first try at embroidering a onesie.  I understand how to do it - let's see if I can follow through.

This cloudy fall day was perfect for doing a little knitting. 

That's probably enough loose ends for the day.  I actually turned the TV on and watched (or listened to) 90% of a movie and then abandoned it - just walked away and didn't go back. 

Debby and I get to have a day to ourselves tomorrow to eat lunch together and go poking around Andalusia and bringing back memories. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Good Morning.

I overslept and couldn't get my hair to work.

 Mama's doctor's office was ready for Halloween.

She enjoys her visits with Dr. Bolen.  He listens to her and laughs at her jokes and makes her feel better by just going.  That hasn't always been the case with her doctors, so I think she's found a good place.
So catching up with yesterday.  I got to go someplace I had not been.  I knew there were fairgrounds in Montgomery and that there was a fair last week, but I didn't expect to visit. 

Barbara had entered two of her quilts in the competition and needed to pick them up. 

It's huge.  There was kind of "the party's over" atmosphere around, but there were plenty of people working to disassemble things.  Here are a few random pictures I took on the way in - all accompanied by the sounds of roosters crowing in the next partition - hope no one forgot to take them home!

Here are Barbara's two quilts. She didn't get a ribbon, but I don't know why. She was hoping to get a critique to see where she could improve, but it didn't happen. I would have given her 2 blue ribbons!
Sorry this picture doesn't show the true colors. It was beautiful. And look at that border. That's not easy!

I really love this one too. It's just beautiful, and I love the red backing.


I peeked at one of the winner's quilts.  I have to admit it was beautiful with a lot of applique and complicated-looking quilting.

So we'll concede this blue ribbon and plate.
Some interesting quilting here.  Really pretty.
Just a few pictures as we headed out.

Pretty lonely looking now.

This is the view I'll have of the audience if I ever decide to have a circus act.  I'm thinking lion taming - but then I wouldn't be looking up at the audience much.

  Saving the best for last.

This is the quilt that Barbara has just finished. It's really my favorite. I think she should enter it in next year's fair.

I've never been a batik lover, but I'm seeing some pretty things lately.  I want to do one just like this.  I don't really have anything started - or anything.

Anyway, it was a nice day for exploring and admiring quilts and having a nice lunch and catching up on our lives.  It was a much-needed getaway for me.

From this - although there has been a lot of progress made.

When I got home this morning, this was laying on top of a stack of pictures.

Taken around 1952 or so back when riding in the Glass-Bottom Boat at Silver Springs was pretty exciting.  Lots of people we don't know, but that's my brother and me with parents behind us.  There were just a couple of people not as excited as us!