Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Rare Day in June

And what is so rare as a day in June?

Me being able to spend a time with family.

My sister, Patti, and I drove by the river yesterday
morning on our way to our aunt's house.  It has been so
long since I have seen the fog on this river.

Yesterday morning I picked up my sister, Patti, and we drove to my aunt's house to pick out old photographs of our family.  My aunt passed away a few weeks ago and as I have written before, my brother, sister and I were "her kids". She didn't have any biological children of her own.  She had so many photo albums that we went through. Talking about memories, we sure stired them up yesterday.  Patti and I were very happy to have our old photographs.

Hundreds of family photos ...
my own life in photos.

My family and life in pictures ... three pounds worth
in a ziplock bag.

Can you imagine writing a blog about what's really happening in your life?  The things that might keep one up at night?  I can only imagine the response from my readers if I were to write what's really happening in my life.  Knowing my sweet and caring readers, they would be supportive!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Little Wicked Sense of Humor

Please turn up your volume before you experience my little wicked sense of humor. (It's short, friends, 1 min, 32 seconds.)

Dirt Devil-The Exorcist from MrPrice2U on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Diary

June 21, 2011

Dear Diary, how many years has it been since I have been away?  As you are aware, I started writing in my
diary when I was ten years old. There were not that many years that I did  not write in my diary but this last
time I stopped has been quite a few years ago, around twelve years to be exact. I have a blog now, that is somewhat similar to a diary since it is a "scrapbook" and record of my daily life.  I have "met" so many wonderful people on my blog.

Today my sister and I attended a meeting to discuss my aunt's will.  We met at a Chinese restaurant and as you can see, I have pasted only one picture in you.  That was as far as I got. Afterwards I did not even walk over to the beautiful lake and make a photo. I will have to say the Chinese food was the best I think I have ever eaten.  This restaurant has been around for almost thirty years, I had forgotten just how good it was.

The trees in the background can barely been seen, the wind
and rain was so intense.

Early this evening I was getting ready to take a bath and at first thought it was
my imagination that the lights flickered in the bathroom. I looked out the window into our back
yard and was thrilled to see some lightning bugs. It has been many years since I had seen one. I have been planning a blog devoted to lightning bugs and hope to get it done soon. Yeah, I know, some people
refer to them as fire flies.  A few seconds later my attention was drawn skyward at some
very fast moving dark clouds heading in our direction.

Never in my life have I ever been so surprised by how quickly the
weather changed. Within minutes the lights were out and the rain and wind was so intense, I grabbed my cell phone (to be able to call 911 later), my purse and flashlight.  (Still don't know how my purse was gonna save me).  I just knew the windows were going to be blown out, Clint is yelling for me to get in the hallway but he said later it was though he had not said a word to me. I was in a panic. There were many downed trees and we had  no electricity for over five hours. This storm ranks in the top three I have ever experienced in my life.

June 22, 2011

Tonight we had another violent storm around the same time as the one last night.  What is going on with this weather?  I had made the remark that another reason to move from Texas was to escape the violent storms. ha

June 23, 2011

Dear Diary, I am not making this up.  Tonight we had another bad storm!   Some of this activity occurred after we had gone to bed. This time Clint became more alarmed than me, I must have slept through some of it since I was not that alarmed. He couldn't believe I did not hear the worst. (Now Clint, do you believe me when I told  you I was exhausted? ;-))

The next morning my sister had sent me an email that read, "bad storm, are you up". She had actually seen our road named on the local weather channel as an area to be hit.  Yesterday there were still people in this area without electricity.

June 24, 2011

One of my brother's obituaries (finally) was published in one of the newspapers.  My sister had told me my brother had a friend, an elderly gentleman, who is in bad health and on dialysis. He and my brother had talked to each other daily and he had  become alarmed that he had not heard from my brother in a couple of days. This friend had called my sister recently and had talked with her for some time about my brother. We listed this man as a "special friend" in the obituary.

As soon as the paper came out, my sister drove to the friend's house and just happened to catch him and his
son returning from dialysis and going into the house. I was happy that she was able to give him a copy of the newspaper. The son told her he has gone downhill even more now, that he had a "touch" of pneumonia.

Being so very careful to spell the friend's name correctly, it was misspelled in the newspaper.  My sister
called the newspapers' attention to it, it was corrected in the online obituary and they agreed to run the corrected version in Monday's edition.

It seems typos are rampant in obituaries.

June 25, 2011

Having missed only one day of working out since I joined about two weeks ago, I am convinced this
has saved my life. I know that is a strong statement but I believe it is true. I had not been feeling well, mostly from all the changes and stress from the past year.

My confidence has increased some, I was not even intimidated today when at one time,
I was the only woman the place!  There were seventeen boys and men present. I've even made an appointment with a trainer next week for a personal assessment.  Hey all you single woman
who are looking to meet someone:  A fitness center such as this might be a good place to meet other like-minded people (men)  ... someone doing something positive and healthy in their lives.

Anyway, I am feeling so much better mentally and physically!  I have more energy.  Today I actually could see some definition under my upper arm ... the beginning of a firm muscle!

I am anxious for the day that I put on one of  my "littlest" black dresses.  It's sleeveless!  :~D

June 26, 2011

Well, dear diary, it was good to visit you again after all these years.  I have been away from my blog for too many days and need to get back to it.  I need to get all my new ideas on here and plan on doing so in the next coming days.

I'll be back, see ya later  ....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yesterday in Pictures

My sister, Patti, took me out to lunch yesterday.  We had a good time and visit.
We were going through old family photos and papers.

A hibiscus tree, we had one in our yard as we were growing up
up for as long as I can remember.  I know bees love these,
I was dodging a bee as I was making this picture.

My sister and I stopped by a comic and baseball card shop.
Patti is getting her grandsons interested in collecting
baseball cards.

I always love this country scene on
the way to my sister's house.

My sister's boyfriend's cockatiel, this is Skeeter.
He does such a good job whistling the theme song
from "The Andy Griffith Show".

Patti and Kevin were fishing under this bridge a few weeks ago.
Patti didn't catch anything but the attention of an "aggressive" snake
swimming toward her.  (Her description but any snake swimming
toward me would be called "aggressive", too.)

Not quite as aggressive as me fleeing from it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Breakfast of Champions: Frog Legs

 Saturday morning I was watching a murder of crows near our mail box in front our our house.  This crow was pecking around in the mulch for worms, or so I assumed.  I made a few pictures from inside the house and then showed them to Clint on my camera.

Clint says, "worm", it is a "FROG"!

Poor frog but such is nature ...

Hope everyone's Monday goes smoothly ...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Oh My Papa

Ever the inventor, my dad with the "corn cutting machine" he
designed and made.

Greencastle, PA

My dad and me on high school graduation day.


Taking a break from designing a machine.

Tysaman Machine Company
Knoxville, TN


♫ Always the clown,
So funny in his way ...  ♫

My dad, while on a deep sea fishing trip, drink in hand pretending
to be jailed on the boat.  Just one of his many Jerry-Lewis-Antics.

Florida, 1957

"Always the clown, so funny in his way" is a song lyric from "Oh My Papa.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Times They are a Changin'

 Goodness, I think I must have a case of writer's block that I hear so much about.  There, I got the first sentence out. (Taking a  big breath!)

Recently it occurred to me that the the "morbidly obese lady" from the carnival side show is without a job.  I felt I would be a little unkind using the "F" word to describe this lady and couldn't bring myself to use the adjective.  With morbid obesity all around us, no one would need to pay admission to see such a person.

This is such a sad state.  I know genetics and disease can play a part in becoming obese.  This American epidemic of obesity did not occur overnight and there are multiple factors.  Yes, the "changing environment has broadened our food options and eating habits."  There are greater selections of food products and fast food restaurants on every corner.  Multiple fast food restaurants on the corners!  Our portion size has increased dramatically in the past decades.

The more sedentary lifestyle with the advent of time and labor saving devices has also played a major role in this national epidemic.

One of my personal gripes about the food industry is the high fructose corn syrup that is in so many of our food products today.  It's cheaper than sugar.  The sweetened tea in most restaurants is like syrup to me.  That goes for regular soft drinks, too.  I don't drink them anymore. I also don't want it in my bread.

A couple of days ago I was reading a review of a new documentary entitled, "Forks Over Knives".  The film looks at how we damage our bodies by eating junk and how easily we can reverse that damage.  Reverse the damage?  Wow, I'd like to believe this is true.  This film centers largely on the work of T. Colin Campbell, a professor emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell, and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, a renowned  former surgeon at the esteemed Cleveland Clinic.  You may have heard of Esselstyn's book, "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease".  I am anxious to see this film.

Food for thought:  (Thought only, you might give it a second thought before you consume these foods:

Wendy's Baja Salad contains 1,990 milligrams of sodium---more than should be consumed in an entire day.

McDonald's Fruit and Maple Oatmeal contains more sugar than a Snickers Bar.  (I ordered this oatmeal not long ago and could  not believe it, it has 290 calories and 56 total carbohydrates without the cream.

Sonic Strawberry Smoothie contains more sugar than five Twinkies.

(The above facts about the fast food items came from an article in the The Baltimore Sun by Andrea Walker)


Well, I am not sure if this is a cure for my writer's block of the past few days but here it is :~).  The obesity epidemic has been an interest of mine for a long time. 

Healthy Eating, Everyone!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Mishmash

This great quote  came from Making Things Happen 

A few weeks ago Clint joined a 24/7 fitness center.  He had been trying to encourage me to join the center.  Not sure I was willing to commit, I told him I would give it some thought.  Many of my "thoughts" come to me around 4 AM during my insomnia periods. Thinking about some of the regular devotional books I read in the mornings (other times too), I just knew I would find some encouragement in these books concerning my decision. After reading Charles Spurgeon's Morning Evening, I started re-reading my now-out-of date Our Daily Bread. It is so true, "In sports and in life, short term pain is often the only path to long-term gain."  Truthfully, I knew what I needed to do as I think most of us do.

Last Monday I signed up and joined!  I love it!  There's been a lot to learn about the equipment.  Clint made me out a "routine" and I have been using it as a guide. My first work out day was Wednesday and the only day I took as a break was yesterday. It's so good to be around people doing something positive and see how hard they are working.

Clint and I like to go early, the fitness center is only a ten minute drive from our house.  I like the 24/7 concept.  You scan a card to enter and there are 911 "buttons" to push on at least 4 posts if you had an emergency. This morning there were a few minutes that we were the only two present.  The owner said the first eleven weeks he had signed up a thousand members.

Love the quote on the bottom, "Present choices
determine future rewards".

My crumpled routine that Clint planned out for me.
I've been keeping it in my pocket.

I laughed when my sister remarked, "You did 40 ab

No, I wish!  The 40 was referring to the pounds.

Changing the subject, in my previous post I had written about the death of my aunt and my brother.  There are so many coincidences in my life.  When I was working on my recent post about my Chihuahua, while looking for old photos, I ran across this very old ink drawing that my aunt did of me on notebook paper.  I looked at it for a few minutes and thought of her.  It had to have been around the time she passed away.

My aunt had written my name on the pinafore ruffles.

Recently I had written about us buying a new dining room set and buffet.
The table and chairs were new and we searched for an antique buffet/server.

Early yesterday morning I loved the way the sun was shining in the window.
I want to believe that the old and the new matched quite well. :~)

Last Monday I came up with an idea of a "Pizza Party" and had some of my family come over
My sister, my daughter and grandson came over. I suggested the idea of Bring Your Own Pizza since it seems everyone has their own idea of the perfect pizza.  We had a good time and it
was so good to get together.  My sweet sister also brought us a new bird feeder.

My daughter Lucinda brought a Chicken Alredo Pizza. 

Clint and I prefer the thin crust and have recently discovered
Papa Murphy's Pizza.

I also made an angel food cake with fresh strawberries.

What is it about a soon-to-be six year old boy and a
                   whoopee cushion?  (Or to quote  Clint, what is it about a 58 year old woman laughing about it?)                                                  

I know, we have no class
and were sooo totally uncouth but ... 

(It was fun!)

Lucinda brought these chicken wings with Sweet Baby Ray's
Golden Barbeque Sauce on them.

They were a favorite of Clint's.  Such a favorite that
the next day he bought himself another pound!

Friday, June 10, 2011

All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

My brother, James, always known to his
family as Jimbo

The title of my blog post today, "All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill."
is from Spoon River Anthology (1915) by Edgar Lee Masters.

My aunt Billie, giving another party to one of our family members.
This was a birthday party for my daughter, Lucinda, in 1984.

My brother  Jimbo and me.  (I sure have a big head
in this picture! :~) )  He was 14 months younger than me.

Please forgive me for my negativity on my last blog and this blog but I am just going to share what has gone on in the past three days.  In my last blog I had mentioned some of life's aggravations and my last sentence was that I was going to drink some red wine.  The "aggravations" are nothing compared to what happened not long after I posted that blog. My sister called a few minutes later and told me our aunt Billie had died at the age of 68.  We had been expecting this but it still came as a surprise/shock to us.  My aunt grew up with us since we lived next to each other on a corner and also with grandparents next door.  She didn't have any children so my brother, sister and I became her children. She was always lavishing us with gifts and taking us places, this went on for decades! After I heard she had passed away the other night, all I could do was just remember those long ago times. And cry.

Yesterday I was getting ready for my aunt's funeral service and was almost ready to leave when my sister called. My sister was hysterical and told me my brother had died!  He had not answered the phone on Tuesday evening when my sister had called him to tell him about my aunt's death. My nephew had found him yesterday at his home. Not yet sure of the details, my aunt and brother could have passed away on the same day.

Needless to say, my sister and I were not able to attend my aunt's funeral.  I called my cousin to tell her why and of course she was shocked with this lastest news. 

We just have to make it through these next few days, I am concerned about my own health and that of my sister's.

To my dear blog readers, I will be back on before too long.  You know me, I can't stay away from my blog. ;~)

Thank you so much for allowing me to share this with you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Little Prince Bambi

A twelve year old girl very happy with her dog.

One of my greatest dreams was to have a dog.  Not just any dog but a chihuahua.  Well, that's not totally true, for many years I wanted a collie like my favorite TV dog Lassie.  That was my favorite TV show.  I am old enough to remember when one could order a dog from a Sears and Roebuck Catalogue.  We didn't get the Sears catalogue but my cousins always had one.  I would turn to the dog page and start dreaming.

Getting back to wanting a chihuahua, I had heard a chihuahua would cure asthma.  As a child, I had severe cases of asthma and being able to breath better made me want a magical chihuahua more than ever!  It was after my parents divorced but one day my dad arrived with a chihuahua.  Prince lived for 14 years.

Sly one he was!  Pretending here to be asleep.  (With open eyes?)

Would you believe around this time I never had another asthma attack.  Maybe I outgrew it but I love to believe that Prince had something to do with it.  ;~)

P.S.  Tomorrow hopefully I will get back to visiting my favorite blogs and putting in my two cents!  :-D I have been working almost all day on transferring my health insurance from TX to TN. I had to reapply here. I am exhausted.  Not to mention being the object of a scam involving my most expensive etsy painting on Saturday morning and spending 2 hrs and 23 mins online Sunday ,while once again, McAfee was making my computer receive updates again and "fixing" this invalid key business ... for the second time since April.

I think I need some red wine ... NOW!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thinkin' Out Loud

Thursday Morning

It was past time for me to get back to my walking routine, my brisk 40 minutes every single morning.
I have never figured out why that first step of the thousand mile journey is the hardest.
This applies to so many of life's journeys, not just a daily walking routine.

Making that first phone call, writing that first word, applying
that first brush stroke ...

The above photo and caption was posted Thursday and that was as far as I got.  My daughter and I spent the day together and it felt so good to be with family.  I have to catch myself and not start counting days until I go to the airport to head back to Texas. It is still hard to sink in, "I am home here in Tennessee!"

Back to Thursday, I am "eating" my words, I have often remarked that I don't get bored.  The walking on this dead-end-street is sooo boring.  I might have to listen to music or books on tape.  Now there is another problem ... dogs.  First of all, I am a dog lover/animal lover and was blessed to have them for most of my life.

One close neighbor is letting a large dog out unattended early in the mornings.  The dog is staring at me from their yard and I am getting those "territorial vibes" from it, an instinct I feel requires my attention.  I felt I had to stop walking and just come into our house instead of walking past it.

This morning I headed out later than usual for my walk, I was walking around the circle at the dead end when a younger dog runs out and starts following me, I can feel his breath at my heels and think at any second he is going to bite me.  Meanwhile, the owner hears the commotion and starts calling him of course by this time he has almost followed me home.  BTW, this is the same dog that chased the car Thursday morning as my daughter and I drove around the circle.

It's hard to understand how people can be irresponsible pet owners. 

Brisk walking in my neighborhood had always worked for me as a form of exercise.  Clint recently joined a fitness center and had wanted me to join, too.  It's a few miles from our house, it is open 24/7 and you use a card for access.  I am beginning to think I might join this center after all. I could stop by anytime and even keep workout clothes in the car if I had to do it. I am going to give it more thought.  I hope I am not putting anyone to sleep with my thinking out loud rambling.

On a brighter note, Clint finally opened the new Blu-ray player box, it has sat there for over a week. In the back of our minds, we were dreading hooking it up.  We put both of our brains together :-D and it works!  We actually watched part of a DVD.  The hard part was getting the TV back to the cable mode.  This took about 20 minutes before I figured it out.  We really like our new TV and I had no idea the difference a "sound bar" makes.  Sometimes I can close my eyes and think we are at a movie theater.

Today we finally found some California rolls.  I was excited about something I found that I had never seen before on the shelves:  Sushi ginger in a jar.  I have always loved that ginger so I hope it is good. (It takes so little to make me happy!)

Wake up!  I am through sharing my boring day.  Maybe on my next post I will
liven things up with at least some photos!

Happy Saturday Night!

P.S. ...

I had almost forgotten I had included this picture at the bottom of this post.
Our street is right off this road, as one can see
there is no shouder for walking.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Another sleepy, dusty, Delta day ...

Bobbie Gentry on the Tallahatchie Bridge on November 10, 1967.

The bridge collapsed in 1972.

(Sad this bridge was not restored)

Ode to Billy Joe

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day

I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay

And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat

And Mama hollered out the back door "y'all remember to wipe your feet"

And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"

"Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"


And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas

"Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please"

"There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"

And Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow

Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge

And now Billy Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

And Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe

Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show

And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?

"I'll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don't seem right"

"I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge"

"And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Mama said to me "Child, what's happened to your appetite?"

"I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite"

"That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today"

"Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way"

"He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge"

"And she and Billy Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

A year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billy Joe

And Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo

There was a virus going 'round, Papa caught it and he died last Spring

And now Mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything

And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge

And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

"I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite"

(All the photos except the one of Bobbie Gentry above and the biscuits photo
are from Ernest Matthew Mickler.)

"Pass the biscuits, please ... "

"And mama hollered out the back door, 'y'all remember to wipe your feet'"

"And brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo."

"There was a virus goin' round,
papa caught it and he died last spring".

"And now mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything."

"Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday,
oh, by the way ..."

"And me I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge

And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge."


Every June the third I remember one of the greatest songs ever recorded.