Friday, July 27, 2012

Southern Summer Days

“Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.”

~Quote from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Several years ago an old friend of mine wrote me a letter.  Yes, a real honest-to-goodness letter consisting of paper, ink and a postage stamp. She used the quote above in her letter and it made an impression on me.  While trying to find a photo to fit the quotation, I realized the perfect photo for me was right in front of me on my table.  Saturday at the flea market, I bought only two items.  The photo at the top of my blog is one of two old black and white photos that I bought that day.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Thoughts of Summer

Today I was having thoughts of summer and was remembering the prologue in James Agee's book, A Death in the Family.  Blogger Stephen Janson called this prologue "one of the greatest pieces of prose in the English language".  I agree.   Below are a couple of quotes from the prologue, favorites of mine.


We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville Tennessee in that time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child.  (one of my favorite quotes from the book)

On the rough wet grass of the back yard my father and mother have spread quilts. We all lie there, my mother, my father, my uncle, my aunt, and I too am lying there… They are not talking much, and the talk is quiet, of nothing in particular, of nothing at all. The stars are wide and alive, they seem each like a smile of great sweetness, and they seem very near. All my people are larger bodies than mine… with voices gentle and meaningless like the voices of sleeping birds. One is an artist, he is living at home. One is a musician, she is living at home. One is my mother who is good to me. One is my father who is good to me. By some chance, here they are, all on this earth; and who shall ever tell the sorrow of being on this earth, lying, on quilts, on the grass, in a summer evening, among the sounds of the night. May God bless my people, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my good father, oh, remember them kindly in their time of trouble; and in the hour of their taking away.  (This passage I can relate to very much.  In my family we would lie out at night on spread quilts, watching the stars while homemade ice cream was being churned.  Sometimes the quilts would be spread when we would be eating watermelons.  I have such strong and sweet memories of such simple old times)


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tales to Tell: What Mary Saw

Mixed Media 5 x 7 inch Collage:  pencil, watercolor, ink, white out, photographic paper, Sharpie pen, matte coating and Mod Podge.

What did Mary see?  Mary B. Wade was an actual person who faithfully comforted injured Civil War soldiers.  Her "kind, winning and motherly ways made her always a great favorite with the soldiers" who always called her Mother Wade.  She was still going strong at the age of eighty.

I learned about Mary while reading a 145 year old book we have in our Civil War book collection.

She came to mind when I was thinking of how we all have tales to tell ... our life stories. 


Monday, July 16, 2012

Blue Skies Turn Gray

Painting by

This morning while walking I got a blog idea entitled "Blue Skies".  The blue sky was so brilliant with wispy type cloud formations.  Some had hard edges with soft hazy centers.  I started snapping photos and was enjoying the morning.

Yesterday while walking, I passed my neighbor's daughter getting into her car parked out front of their house.  It was very early, about 6:45 am and she had another woman with her. I spoke to them with a cheery "good morning".  The daughter returned the "good morning" with a smile as she got into her car.

The neighbor's daughter had been visiting her family across the street for several weeks now.  I had not known any details of this visit.  I work at not being a nosy or meddlesome neighbor.  I also work at being very friendly, speaking and smiling as I throw up my hand at all I pass.

Yesterday Clint and I saw an ambulance and fire truck over at their home, the daughter's car was still parked out front.  I might add the daughter seemed very youthful in appearance and had pretty long blond hair.

The daughter died several hours later yesterday, in the early evening hours.  I can only imagine their grief.  I am all shook up about it.  Clint asked me, "what can we do?", when we learned the news this morning.  It is hard to imagine someone who seemed so full of life being gone a few hours later. 


Saturday, July 14, 2012

On My Nightstand

A few days ago I started Fifty Shades of Grey.  There's been much hoopla about this book.  I won't
do a book review here (your're welcome) but there is an interesting article here about this mega best seller.  My mother-in-law read it not long ago.  Recently we were having breakfast with her and some of her friends.  I asked one of her friends if she was going to read Fifty Shades of Grey.  She immediately retorted, "I am not reading that pornography!"  My mother-in-law had also recently read The Hunger Games.  My mother-in-law is only 89 years old.  When I asked her later if she liked Fifty Shades of Grey, she made me laugh when she said, "If only they had done something different, like go on a picnic or something." 

"After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper." 

Thus begins the story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar, and murderer.  A chance discovery convinces Glyver that greatness awaits him.  His  path to win back what is rightfully his leads him to Evenwood, one of England's most enchanting country houses, and a woman who will become his obsession.

A few years ago I had read a review of The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox.  Cox writes in the style and tone of Victorian England.  This book was a finalist for the Costa Book Award, one of UK's most prestigious prizes for writing.  Fog shrouded London during Victorian times has always given me goose bumps so this book was right down my alley.  Can you believe I ran across this book at the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission, KARM thrift store.  It cost a mere 99c.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Confession from a "Domestic Goddess*"

Photo from

Confession time:  When we bought this four and a half year old house last year,
the oven was very dirty.  We overlooked this of course but I could not imagine
a house on the market having a dirty oven. I mean, our house
on the market. It was constant work having the house perfect for the showings. 
 I was so exhausted from our house being
on the market for over ten months and over 150 showings!

I am not kidding, I have written before about the large number of showings we had. 
That large number resulted in a verrry tired wife and husband.  The first week we
moved in our Tennessee home, I bought some oven cleaner.

Fast forward another year.  What
I'm getting at is I don't believe the previous home owners had
ever cleaned this oven.  I cleaned the oven this morning.
I think it is the first and only time it has ever been cleaned.  I am
almost ashamed to admit it has
 been that long.  We will enjoy
our "new" pristine oven and stove.

(Yes, it has the self-cleaning option using the intense heat
and locking the door.  I have never been a fan of this method.)

This image was me a few months ago when we had
a fire in our toaster oven.  I had to use a fire extinguisher.
We have since learned of the fire hazard known as
a toaster oven.

 While looking for blog images, I ran across some doozies!

Cuter?  I must be downright beautiful by now!

*snicker*  *snicker*

This one is truly hilarious! 

*Domestic Goddess



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Cat Portrait

Yeah for me!  Today I completed my cat portrait.  It is 8 by 10 inches and was drawn with pencils.  There is something about a pencil drawing that continues to amaze me.  I suppose it could be the simplicity of what can be achieved with a pencil and a piece of paper.  Actually, I use set of six pencils that are different degrees of hardness and softness. I admire good drawings.

These days I/we have a lot going on.  I have several projects I need to complete. Last week we went on a little trip and had a good time.  We each have a birthday coming up before long and our nine year anniversary was last week. This month we have tickets to the "Blue Man" group show.  Clint has seen it before in NYC.  He even had a little blue paint on his white shirt when we got home.  Now a lipstick stain, that is a different matter.  (Sorry, couldn't help it ... can't help that I am sitting here typing and laughing at my own little joke.)

Hopefully everyone will have a wonderful, relaxing and safe July 4th holiday. 

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the world.