Month: September 2014

Daily Thoughts

We are still going to the South Cheatham Choral Society singing practice on Monday nights.  We are enjoying it but it is different than how we sing at Church.  At Church we just sing and at the practice we have a director.  She is very nice but she tells us when we can breath, how fast and how slow to sing, we must hit notes just right and not “slide up” to a note, and she makes adjustments to the songs constantly.  We don’t mind but there’s so much to remember while you are singing.  It does get easier but one song is in Latin.  You have to think of how to correctly pronounce the Latin words and how to sing the song at the same time.  We still like it!

Jeff walked down our driveway Saturday morning and he noticed a large hornets nest hanging on a low branch of a tree on the edge of our yard. The tree is really on our neighbors lot but the branches hang over in our yard.  Jeff and our neighbor mow that area of the yard.  Both of them had mowed a week before and there wasn’t a nest there.  They would have known that it was there because it was hanging so low.  Other branches were hiding the nest.  Jeff called our neighbor and told him to not mow because the nest would hit him on the head.  Last night when we got home from singing, Jeff sprayed the nest.  He checked on it later and there was still some hornet activity.  He went back again later and sprayed it again.  This morning there didn’t seem to be any activity and he cut the nest down. He walked up on the back deck with it and showed me how large it was.  Jeff the “Hornet Killer”!

We are keeping 3 of our grandchildren this week for 5 days.  We will be going back and forth to Dickson to take the boys to school.  We love our grandchildren!

We moved into our house on November 9th last year and the leaves were off the trees.  We are watching the leaves begin to change colors-so beautiful. This is our favorite season!

The birds are starting to come back.  We have been seeing bluebirds on our deck.  Jeff also said he saw an eagle flying down to the creek again.  We realized that it is close to time to go buy birdseed  and suet again.  Jeff refused to feed the birds all spring and summer.  Not a good landlord is he?


Daily Thoughts

Talking about Hurricane Hugo in yesterday’s blog, I started thinking about inventions.   Most inventions were “invented” because of a need. Technology changes constantly.

We would study about inventions in 4th grade.  We would have big discussions about them.  A 10 year old had only ever known the latest technology-cell phones, computers etc..  The kids didn’t know what a typewriter was.  I explained that when I went to College I had to type all my papers.  You had to use carbon paper (I had to explain that also) and if you came to the end of the paper and made a mistake, you had to totally retype the paper. Boy-don’t we love computers now and spell check.  The dictionary was the spell check of my day.  Who has a dictionary now (book)?

Telephones were all connected to the wall.  Recently we watched a show that was made when there were no cell phones.  The policemen had to go to a house or find a public phone booth.  We did not get a microwave until Kathryn was 3 years old.  I remember when I rented a VHS player from Kroger and rented a VHS tape when Kathryn was 7 years old.  That was the first time we could watch a movie like that at home.  It was amazing!  Later we purchased a VHS player.  Who has a VHS player now?

I’m not complaining about technology and inventions.  We get so used to them that when something doesn’t work it makes a big difference in our lives.  How have things changed just in your lifetime?

Daily Thoughts

Sometimes you see things that you’ve never seen before.

Many years ago, we were on a major road in Charlotte (NC).  We were stopped at a stoplight and we were about the 4th car back.  The car behind us became impatient and decided to do something about it.  The driver (I thought was a young person) drove off the road to the right and went on the sidewalk  He proceeded to drive on the sidewalk until he came to the gas station on the corner and then he turned right and sped off.  Our mouths dropped open!  We were glad that there weren’t people walking on the sidewalk at that time.

Hurricane Hugo hit Charlotte (NC) around 1987 in the fall.  The weather reports warned that the hurricane was coming and they told the coastal areas of South and North Carolina to prepare.  It was going to be a “bad” one.  The hurricane decided to change paths that night and it hit Charlotte (for those of you who don’t know where Charlotte is-it is not by the coast-250 miles from the coast).  We went to bed & Kathryn and I woke up when outside sounded like a huge, very loud train was coming through our house. We were scared. Jeff slept on!!   Kathryn and I didn’t sleep well the rest of the night.  We woke up and there was no power.  We could not see outside to tell what kind of damage was done to our house/yard.  Finally the sun came up and we looked out in the yard-there were at least 20 tall pine trees down in our yard.  Everyone else in the neighbor had many trees down also. The house was not damaged but several trees hit our fence.  Hurricane Hugo hit Charlotte hard.  There were trees of all sizes and shapes down everywhere-in yards, on cars/houses, and on the streets. We did have a radio and listened to the directions etc.. for the emergency. The city of Charlotte was totally shut down because of trees everywhere and no power.  Jeff’s mom and dad lived in Mobile AL and they were used to having hurricanes and knew how to prepare for them. (We could have asked them what to do to prepare.)  No one in Charlotte knew that the hurricane was going to veer there.  It’s very hard to understand how bad things can get when there isn’t any power anywhere!  No gas station could open because you need electricity to pump the gas up from the tanks.  For the first few days, no one could drive anywhere anyway because of all the trees on the roads.  Even emergency vehicles couldn’t get through.  After the sun came up,  you could hear only one thing-the sound of chainsaws.  Everyone that had one was out trying to clear the roads.  Jeff had one and thank goodness he had some gas. He cut all our trees into logs and stacked them up in a row in front of our house.  You couldn’t go to the grocery for food/water because the doors were electric and all the cash registers are electric.  People wanted to buy chainsaws etc.. and they couldn’t.  Finally some managers opened the grocery stores and let one family in at a time and used handheld calculators to add up the groceries. All stores made calls to other towns not hit by the hurricane to bring water, food, and supplies like chainsaws to Charlotte.   We opened our big freezer and took every thing out.  We were lucky that we had gas hot water and an in-ground gas grill.  We grilled all the food that we could.  At least we could take hot showers.  All schools were cancelled for more than a week.  We called our families and told them that we were OK.  We had a burner on our gas grill and at least we could heat up soup and things like that.  Our power was only out for 3 days-we were lucky ones.  Some people didn’t have power for one week or even 2 weeks.  We had candles and flashlights but many people did not.  The way society is now electricity is essential to everything.

Daily Thoughts

Some weeks are rather boring and you don’t go anywhere or do much of anything.  Then you wish that you had more to do.  Some weeks there is something going on everyday (or night) and you just want to stay home a little more.  I think the best weeks are when you have things to do but you also have the choice of being home and doing nothing or getting things done that need to be done.  We’ve had a few busy weeks!

We decided to go to Wears Valley with my sister and her husband in a few weeks.  Many people go to that area for their fall breaks.  Most cabins were booked solid during October.  I lucked out and found a cabin that was booked for October except for the 4 days we wanted in the middle of a week.  The cabin has lots of room, a pool table, and a small theater room with theater seating.  The cost isn’t bad when you half the costs. We like just being in that area, eating at the Apple Barn, shopping at the Outlets/window shopping, and going to the Arts and Crafts area in Gatlinburg.

Jeff is turning over our garden.  He planted some fall crops-green beans, spinach, and swiss chard.  He has been starting a compost pile.  It takes a while to establish a good yard and garden.

Yesterday, we were at Lowes in Dickson and who should we see?  Dale and Durell.  They just got back from Canada.  Their trip sounded wonderful.  A few weeks after we moved here in November, we went to McKay’s.  Kathryn called us the next day and asked us if we enjoyed going to McKay’s.  We asked how she knew we were there.  A couple from her church saw us there (we didn’t see them) and told her.  Everyone should be on their best behavior at all times.

I cleaned out the refrigerator yesterday and realized that we are out of fresh vegetables and fruit.  Road trip!  We like vegetables!  Our grandchildren like vegetables also.  Maggie just loves broccoli.  She eats her broccoli and then goes to everyone else and eats their broccoli.  I make sure that I have broccoli when she comes to our house.

Jeff loves dogs and he becomes familiar with the dogs in the neighborhood.  If families have dogs down here, they have the underground fences.  There is a family that has a cute little white dog (a terrier of some type) and they walk him up and down the road. His name is Duncan.  Every time we see Duncan we speak to him.  One day, as we were leaving, we stopped our car and talked to Duncan and his mother.  When we were coming back home, there was Duncan and his mother again out walking.  It was funny!  We stopped and asked her if they had gone home.  She said that they were on their second walk of the day.

Daily Thoughts

I am a big movie buff!

I have loved movies since I was small. When you’re small, you watch all the children’s movies.  I guess my love of movies started with my dad, Ben-whom our grandson is named for.  He took me to the Disney movies when they either came out or were re-released.  “Snow White”, “Cinderella”, “Lady and the Tramp”, and I’m sure there were more of them but I can’t remember.  My dad said that I loved “Cinderella” and my favorite part was about the little mice.  Particularly Gus Gus.  He said I laughed and laughed over him.  I was probably 3 or 4 at the time.  When I was a married adult and a mother, my dad gave me a Christmas gift.  I opened it up and it was an ornament of Gus Gus.  I cried!  Your daddy is still your daddy.  Also, I loved the “Lady and the Tramp” because of the dogs.  Back then, the movie theaters sold books etc.. about the movie in the lobby of the theater.  Dad bought me the book of “Lady and the Tramp”.  I looked at it and looked at it for years wanting a dog.

There are some old movies that are just great!

“The Maltese Falcon”



“King Solomon’s Mines”

“The List of Adrian Messenger”  (this one is out of print but I was lucky to get a copy)

Old Sherlock Holmes movies and Charlie Chan movies

Alfred Hitchcock movies  (old black and white ones)

I’m sure I’ll think of others later.

I’m sure that I will talk about movies again at another time

We’ve had a very nice Gospel Meeting this week at Kingston Springs.  Last night, Jeff looked back at the front door and here came our son-in-law, Mitch, and our grandson Henry.  Needless to say, we moved over on the pew.

Daily Thoughts

We got to eat dinner with Mel Gibson, the movie star, one evening in Charlotte North Carolina.

Mel Gibson was staying in Charlotte while making the movie “The Patriot” in South Carolina.  It had been headlines in Charlotte telling about him and the movie.

Jeff and I went to our favorite Japanese Sushi bar one evening.  We sat at a table where Jeff’s back was to the door and I was facing the door.  We were eating and I looked up to see coming down the isle one big man walking in front of Mel Gibson and another one walking behind him. (Body Guards) Mel is not as tall as you think and he had long scraggly hair.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  (I’d never seen an actor up close before.)  I was sitting right in front of a table that was behind a curtain.  They walked past me and sat down at the table and pulled the curtain closed.  I got excited.  I leaned over and whispered to Jeff-“That’s Mel Gibson.” (I had to whisper because he was sitting right behind me.)  Jeff leaned over the table and said “What?”  I whispered again “That’s Mel Gibson.”  Jeff says  “Who?’ louder.  I leaned closer to Jeff and tried to talk a little louder “Mel Gibson is sitting behind us.”  This went on for a while.

He finally heard me and he asked if I was sure.  I said if he didn’t believe me he could look around me and look through where the curtain didn’t close completely.  He leaned over and looked and he couldn’t see anything.  He looked again and all of a sudden he says loudly “THAT’S MEL GIBSON!”.  Mel had leaned back in his chair where Jeff could see him clearly.  I told Jeff to talk quieter because they could hear every word we said.  We continued to eat but we wanted to turn around and stare at him or talk to him but we didn’t.  As soon as we walked outside, I called Kathryn and asked her to guess who we just ate with.  She made guesses of Panther Players etc..

The next time we ate ate there, there was a new item hanging in the Lobby.  Mel Gibson had taken off his outer shirt and he had signed it to the owners.  He also left a hat for them.  The owners had put both of these things in a “shadow box” so they could be displayed in their lobby.  We never saw Mel Gibson again but I feel that we did get to eat with him (well real near him).  We watched the movie “The Patriot” when it came out.

Daily Thoughts

We still haven’t put all our things away yet.  We moved into our new house on November 8th.  It’s been almost a year. We still love it here!  We don’t miss North Carolina.

I think part of the reason that we haven’t finished with the house is that for more than 4 months last summer (2013) we totally remodeled our old house while living there.  Bedlum!!!  We had lived there for 28 years and it needed remodeling so that it would sell.   Workmen were in the house constantly, no kitchen (had to eat out at least twice per day), and most days we had to take things off our beds to be able to go to sleep.  We had to have our furniture etc.. stored for the summer.  We only kept 2 Lazy Boy chairs, TV’s, lamps, kitchen table and chairs, beds, and dressers in the house. Guests would come and we could only sit at the kitchen table.  We couldn’t find our clothes or most anything.  Very tiring time.

I must admit I am a Pack Rat!   Part of it is being a teacher.  You don’t want to throw anything out because you might need it at school.  We have thrown things away and donated things.  We still have more stuff.  More throwing things out now and still donating.

My car never went in the garage last year (or Jeff’s) at all-too much stuff in the garage.  Jeff has promised me that I can put my car in the garage this year.  I want it cleaned out before “bad” or “cold” weather.  We’ll see!

Where do people get stuff?  You can look at it and see your life.  This is stuff from when your children grew up. This is stuff from vacations.  This is stuff from hobbies.  These are the books that you read and collected.  Here are clothes that are too small, too old, too big.  You look at some stuff and wonder why you ever kept it at all.  I realize that some people are not Pack rats and that’s wonderful!

We have made progress-slowly, I must admit though.  Once we reach a certain point of organizing and getting rid of things, we can stop and realize that we can get more stuff!

We are making our house very comfortable for us.  I guess we’re making a home!

Daily Thoughts

Ben and I were talking a few minutes ago about reading.  He said that he had almost met his AR reading goal for this 9 weeks.  He loves to read.  This got me thinking about how this is an inherited trait in our family.   My dad, Ben, loved to read and I read constantly when I was young.  Kathryn liked to read and now our oldest grandson loves to read.  Isn’t that a nice thing to be handed down from generation to generation.

I collected the old book series “The Boxcar Children” for many years and probably have over 35 of them.  Even many years ago it was hard to find what I call “clean nice books” to read out loud to children at school.  I have always read novels to my 2nd-3rd grade students.  I love mysteries and I tried instill that love in my students.  We think that my collection of the books are in the attic,  I just need to talk Jeff into going up in the attic and looking for the one little box.  I’m pretty sure that Ben will enjoy reading the interesting mysteries. We can tell that Henry will also be interested in reading.  He is in the beginning stages of learning how to read.  He’ll be 5 next month.

I have also collected the series of adult  mysteries “The Cat Who..” and the alphabet books by Sue Grafton.  I met Sue Grafton several years ago at a bookstore signing.  She is from Kentucky and I’m from Kentucky so we talked about that wonderful state as she signed my book.  I can’t remember which book she signed-I need to go look.  I believe that she’s only up to W and it stands for Wasted.  She also has a house in California.

We have books on tape that are mysteries and we listen to them when we are in the car.  Right now we are listening to the J. A. Jance  Detective Beaumont Series.  We get hooked on books!

Daily Thoughts

My mother did not like pets at all.  We never had any when I was growing up.

When Jeff and I got married, I asked for a pet. We had moved into an apartment that would not take dogs but they would allow cats.  We got a kitten and named her Pumpkin.  The first few nights she was so lonely that she slept on my stomach.

Most of the time since then we have had a cat.  I know that many people do not like cats.  I do!!  I like their independence.  I like their attitude that they are the owners of the house and the people who live there are their personal servants.  Cats ignore you until they decide that they need you.  Jeff has always fed them, played roughly with them, and changed their cat litter.  I have always held them. The cats have always been indoor cats.

When Kathryn was 4 years old we started her in ballet, tap, and acrobatics classes. When she was about 9  years old, we walked into the dance studio and the teacher told her to go look in her office.  On the floor was a box of kittens.  The teacher (knew just what to say) told Kathryn that she was going to have to take them to the pound.  Kathryn, of course, begged and begged me to take a kitten home.  Soft-hearted me agreed so we took the kitten home.  Kathryn named her Lucky because she was lucky not to be sent to the pound.  Lucky became Kathryn’s cat.  She slept with her and stayed in her room a lot.  Lucky was a cricketer!  That is to say she didn’t go to England and play Cricket but loved to catch crickets and eat them.  Kathryn had a problem with that.  Kathryn didn’t like crickets!  Lucky would take the crickets to Kathryn’s bed and eat them under her covers and leave the little cricket legs there.  Kathryn would get in her bed and we would hear screaming.  Jeff would have to go get cricket legs out of her bed.  (To tell you the truth, I would not like cricket legs in my bed either.)  Even to this day, Kathryn doesn’t like crickets.

Lucky liked Kathryn to be at home.  When we would come home from school, Kathryn would go in her room and find her stuffed animals on the floor.  She had book cases and she arranged her toys etc. on the shelves. To punish Kathryn for being gone, Lucky continued to push things off.  One day we came home and opened the front door.  We had a split-level house and there were steps going up and steps going down. There was yarn going down the first set of steps, on the landing, and going down the bottom steps.  We carefully walked up stairs and followed the yarn.  Kathryn had yarn on the bottom shelf and the cat had picked up the yarn and carried it down the hall, down the stairs, and into to the den downstairs. We would never know what we would see when we came home.

Kathryn went to college and of course left the cat at home.  Lucky became my cat and started sleeping with me at my feet.  She would lean against me.  Cats are always cold!  Luckily, I did not get cricket legs in my bed!  We had Lucky for at least 18 years.

Daily Thoughts

It is darker outside when I get up every morning.  I watch as the sun begins to come up.  My den faces West so I can’t see the sunrise.  There is a certain time where it looks yellowish outside.  Today there was also fog in the farmers field across the creek.  Eerie looking!

For 11 years (maybe 12) we met Kathryn and Mitch in the Gatlinburg area during the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Since we all only had 4 days off of work it made it easier to see each other without driving 10 hours or longer one way.  We stayed in different areas and different cabins.  There were some cabins we really liked and some were OK.  The more times we stayed, we determined which areas we liked best.  The last few years we stayed at out Wears Valley.  One of our favorite places. Ben thought that his grandma and grandpa owned the cabins that we stayed in.

We didn’t do too much-ate a lot of food, played board games, watched movies, caught up with what was going on, and we went shopping or window shopping.  There was one place that we went to every time we were there.  It is called Alewines Pottery.  It is located in the Arts and Crafts Area of Gatlinburg.    Every time that we would visit we would buy one or two handmade mugs.  We have all sizes, shapes, and colors of mugs.  I drink my coffee out of them.  We did not go to Gatlinburg last Thanksgiving because we had moved here on November 8th.  I realized that I missed buying my new coffee mug.  I’m trying to think of a reason to go to Gatlinburg.  We love the mountains.  They are so peaceful and beautiful.  We always said that we wanted to buy a mountain cabin (if we ever won the Lottery, that is.).  We feel that we have moved to the mountains.  It is so beautiful here!