Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Answer to Movie Quiz 4/26


It was right on the tip of your tongue, wasn't it?

Next quiz: Saturday

Monday, April 28, 2008

Magic Moments Monday

I think this will be my last Magic Moments Monday. I've given it two months, and it doesn't seem to be appealing to more than a friend or two. So if it doesn't work, move on. This is not to say I won't be posting Magic Moments as I remember or experience them, and I hope you will do so also, but we won't be making it a Monday regular anymore.

That said, this little girl's blog, Alexander's Heart, is my Magic Moment this week. Please take a few minutes to read her story, and her efforts to Pay It Forward.

Hints for Movie quote

Okay, how about it co-starred Jeff Daniels and Dennis Hopper?

If I told you who it starred, that would be too easy.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday at the Movies

Ready for another movie quote quiz? Here ya go:

Harry Temple: All right, pop quiz. Airport, gunman with one hostage. He's using her for cover; he's almost to a plane. You're a hundred feet away... Jack?
Jack: Shoot the hostage.

The movie came out in 1994. Anybody recognize the quote?

Answer on Tuesday. Hints before, if no guesses.


Pinky from Cheese in My Shoe tagged me about 11 days ago, and I finally got 'er done!

The Rules:
1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

Okay, my memoir is: So many projects, so little time.

Not very profound, maybe, but it really is the story of my life.

Just a short list of unfinished or yet-to-be started projects:

1) Finish the 2005 and 2006 taxes.
2) Paint the front porch railings. Seal the front porch and steps. (I think this year is also the year I'm supposed to re-seal the back steps and deck. Oh, and the back porch needs painting, too.)
3) Measure the area I want for my raised bed garden, find a lumber yard and have boards cut to fit in the corner pieces I already bought. Research soil mixtures, buy many many bags of the stuff and dump it in. Buy plants and insert into the dirt.
4) Buy the mix for the plastic molds for stepping stones in the yard and down to the raised bed garden. I've had the molds for at least 3 years. Of course, I haven't figured out yet what all goody things I'm going to put in them, so I have to peruse yard sales for more marbles, glass I'm willing to break, etc.
5) Paint the master bedroom. We haven't painted anything but the master bath since we moved in in 2003, and that was only because we had the bathroom remodeled.
6) Make a list of the stuff I can't do and contact Loose Screws or Handyman Connection to come do it all.
7) Finish DD's sofa quilt. Fortunately, I only started this one last September, so it hasn't been long on my list.
8) Decide on trees and shrubs to fill in where I've lost trees the last few years, buy,and then plant them.
9) Reseed bare spots in yard.
10) Make summer table topper.
11) Cut and sew backings for, then sandwich, quilt and bind 6 tops.
12) Read photography book DD bought me for Christmas, as well as about 12 other books bought in the past year.

Let's don't even talk about the hook J-Man wants me to put on his end table, or the picture I wanted to hang that has been sitting on the back of the bookshelf since 2004, or the box of Cherry Ames books that I can't fit back in the sewing room and is just sitting in a corner of the guest room.

Sewing and quilting projects in various and sundry stages of non-completion have their own category, and their own zip-loc bags.

And then work wants me to come in extra for meetings, etc???? Are they NUTS?? I can't even figure out when to go on vacation!

Well, I visit all the blogs on my sidebar, but mostly lurk, so I'm going to leave the tagging part open. If you're up to the challenge, go for it! But please let me know so I can come read your memoir!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bite Back

BooMama is participating in a challenge to provide mosquito netting for children and families in Africa--50 in 50 hours. BooMama was one of the bloggers who took the Compassion tour to Uganda a couple of months ago. The link is on my sidebar or you can go directly to her site and contribute there.

If you haven't checked out her blog, you have missed one heck of a treat! The woman cracks me up, and the fact that she is a fellow Alabamian doesn't hurt one bit! I can just hear the accent!

Oh, and guess what? I got my first letter from my newest sponsored child, Aduri from Bangladesh!
She told me the names and ages of her whole family, asks for prayers to "stay healthy and study nicely" because she wants to be a doctor.

Bless her heart--very ambitious for an 8-yr-old who's attending school for the first time ever! And Aduri, hon, I will pray for exactly that!

2008 joke of the year

Nominated as best short joke this year ...

A 3-year-old boy examined his testicles while taking a bath.
'Mom', he asked, 'Are these my brains?'
'Not yet,' she replied.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Signs of the times

Soon. I promise to get off the red, white, and blue topic soon.

But, have you ever heard of the term "blue star mothers"? Well, in WWII, families would display a blue star for every child they had in the service. It would be hung in the window for all to see. If the service member was injured, a silver star would be affixed to the blue star, and if the son died, a gold star was affixed to it. The banner or plaque or flag could be flown during times of war or hostilities.

Two of my co-workers have children in the service. Susan, whom I mentioned before, has two sons, one who just came home from Iraq, and one who is still there. She has power of attorney for the deployed son, and it has weighed on her, making sure his affairs are managed and bills paid. Tomorrow, she's flying to another state to check on his house and belongings and, well, his girlfriend! I made her a banner and gave it to her last night at work, since I won't see her again for a couple of weeks:

Based on the fact she was speechless for a few minutes (a real rarity for her!), I'd say she likes it.

M.'s daughter and son-in-law are both in the service, and she is raising the baby granddaughter until mommy comes home, hopefully in late May or early June. This is the banner I made for her:

She works in ICU, and they were having a bad night last night. I pulled her aside in a quiet moment and gave it to her, with Susan standing by. M. burst into tears. Seems her daughter was to complete a mission 4 days ago, and M. hasn't heard from her yet. I cannot begin to imagine how she's feeling right now.

You know, my only child is a mere 2 1/2 hours away, working in a job she loves, and preparing to move to a new town for a new job in August, when she'll be 8 hours away. I've been missing her, since my schedule and hers haven't jived enough to see her since February. But that is nothing compared to what these moms face every single day. They deserve more than just a banner, but it's what I can do to support them. I truly need to count my blessings.

Movie Quote answer

Yea! Pinky got it first, though Steph wasn't far behind.

Libby didn't know this one til she googled it, but in the spirit of fair play, didn't post the answer.

Yes, it was "The Princess Bride", one of my absolute favorite movies. I must have watched it a couple dozen times, and I always seem to catch something I missed before. I keep saying I will have to read the book, but never seem to remember when I'm at the library!

Shall we do this again, say on Saturday? Saturday at the movies? I'll warn you now, I haven't seen a lot of the current movies, both because of other interests and the lack of really good movies out there, in my opinion. So you might have to dig back a few years!

Magic Moments Monday

Okay, folks, it's belated Magic Moments Monday again! Here are the revised guidelines:

We're looking for moments that can be big or small, that brought sunshine into your life or someone else's. It can be something that gave you a new insight, something that helps you get through the week, some memory to keep. What happened this week, or in the past, that made you realize once again that Life is Good?

Last week, with all the flag debate, etc., veterans, patriotism, and flags were on my mind. Late, after midnight one night, I admitted an older gentleman to our telemetry unit. He was very tired, it was late, and there were forty-eleven questions to ask to fill out his database. Once or twice, he dozed off as I stood at the computer, entering information.

In the course of obtaining his medical history, I found out he was in WWII. I stopped, walked over to his bed, fished his hand out from under the blanket and shook it. "What was that for?" he asked.

As is my custom when I knowingly meet a veteran, I told him I wanted to thank him for fighting for our freedom and protecting our country.

I got the feeling this doesn't happen often to him, because he didn't know quite what to do for a moment. Then he gave me a beautiful, shy smile, patted my hand, and said "You're welcome."

I don't know if I'll ever see him again, but he knows that at least one American appreciates what he did for us.

Your turn.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Movie Quote Answer

I'm disappointed. Not one of you tried to guess the quote. Are they too hard? Are there no other movie buffs out there?

Well, here's the answer anyway.

As Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith are racing to leave the mother ship (in Independence Day) with the enemy in close pursuit, and the huge port closing fast, Jeff Goldblum says, "Faster! Must go faster!"

In Jurassic Park, when his character has a broken leg and he's lying in the back of the jeep that is being pursued by a Tyranosaurus Rex, he also says "Faster! Must go faster!"

I'd heard that he and Will ad-libbed some of their lines in "Independence Day", and I'm thinking that was probably one of them.

Ready for another quote? Anyone gonna play this round?

Okay, I'll give you an easy one. In what movie does this quote occur?
"Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The End."

Answer on Tuesday!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quilters--Need Opinion!

I have an opportunity to buy a Bernina 1130 from a woman in my quilting group, who also teaches Bernina classes at the local quilt shop. She bought a new one, and has had a hard time letting go of this one, but decided to sell it for $650.00, including the manual and the $150.00 walking foot.

I think, from looking around online, that this is a good price, and I'm betting she has taken very good care of it, because that's the kind of person she is.

Do any of you have this model and what do you like about it? Anything you don't like about it? Is it expensive to maintain or to buy parts for? Is it easy to use? Is this as good a price as I think it is? Should I buy it or should I amass a bit more money and buy a newer model, since these were made between 1986 and 1992?

The first person with the money gets the machine, and she has put an ad in the newsletter which will be out within the week. When I emailed her about it, she told me to call for an appointment to see it and try it out. Any suggestions as to what I should ask, or look for? I had hoped some day to have a really nice machine, such as a Pfaff or Bernina; I just didn't expect it might happen so soon, so I am not as prepared as I should be.

Any help is appreciated!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Faith Restored

Good news here!

For those of you have been following the whole flag debate, and I do appreciate all your support, there has been a new, gratifying development.

I still will not identify the young lady or her blogsite, because I truly do not want to stir up any trouble or hard feelings. But she contacted Cookie, one of our Vietnam vets, and they both have given me permission to post her email:

I've been debating whether or not to respond. While I could go on and on why I don't think I'm hiding behind recycling, or address any of the other hurtful things that have been left by commenters in the last week, instead I'll just say this: I am so thankful for veterans. I am so incredibly grateful for you -- that you were selfless and served our country. In no way were my bags intended to suggest otherwise. I realize you don't know me, but please know this: I am exceptionally patriotic. I love my country and am proud of it. I have served in the Peace Corps and as a government employee. I am regularly traveling internationally and try with all my might to leave others with a good impression of Americans. I simply didn't realize what an offensive move this would be for so many others.
This flag issue taught me a good lesson; while I still do not think I'm wrong, I will not take what the flag means for others for granted again. Things (items) do not hold sacred value to me. Instead, the meaning behind them do. And while I realize we fundamentally disagree on this point, I will repeat I did not intend to offend you or any other veteran by sewing with a flag.
Again, my thanks for serving our country and for voicing your views.

Now THIS is the young lady I thought I'd grown to know a bit. And I'm sure it won't change her life any should she read this, but I am very proud of her response. I will enjoy her blog again, because she reminds me so much of my own daughter,which is why I began reading in the first place.

Okay, so how do we educate our young people? This is what I wrote on another friend's blog:
I don't know where my generation has failed in teaching these young people respect for those symbols of our freedom. Maybe it was the whole shameful anti-war, Vietnam, Woodstock era, where draft cards, bras and flags were burned with abandon, and amorality was embraced that influenced what we taught--or didn't teach--our children.

After all, we baby boomer/flower children grew up pledging allegiance in the schoolroom every single day, some of us the offspring of WWII vets, so it's not as if we can plead ignorance.

Somehow the flag has become insignificant to many young people. The fact that one commentor said she had found a lot to think about in the posts makes me think we have failed to convey to them what our parents and grandparents instilled in us.

But if we older Americans must learn to be more environmentally conscious as evidence of patriotism, (and I think that is reasonable and timely) the younger Americans must learn to understand the symbols and traditions that represent our country.

Maybe the children of this generation, the ones whose parents have served in the military, a non-drafted military will come to understand what it meant to them to see our flag flying while they were on foreign soil, not knowing if they would ever return. These men and women have volunteered to be there, so they believe in what they do. For them, the flag must be a tangible representation of all they hold dear.

And please understand, I am not undermining the Vietnam vets, just because they were draftees for the most part. In fact, I apologize to them for the sorry reception they received as they came back from an unpopular war. I never want to see this happen again. I believe that, as Americans, a strong, free country, we have a responsibility to protect the underdogs of the world, the oppressed, those who cannot stand up for themselves. There will always be bullies in the world, and the victims will always need someone to fight for them and show them they are worth fighting for. And those champions must always be supported, must be thanked for what they do.

I mourn for those who won't come back. I grieve for their families. I don't want any of our people to die for what they do. But I don't see world peace ever happening, not with human nature being what it is.

Well, I have strayed from my original subject, and I apologize for rambling on.

Just wanted to thank this gal for what she has done for this country, too.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Answer and New Movie Quote

I'm surprised no one attempted a guess! Don't you people watch movies????

It was Jeff Goldblum to Will Smith in Independence Day, as they are attempting to leave the mother ship after implanting the virus! "Again with the Ooops!"

Now, what phrase did he say to Will Smith that is an exact repetition of one of his lines in Jurassic Park?

Anyone? Anyone?

No cheating!

Answer in a couple of days or so.

City Girl

I was grubby. I hadn't had a shower and I was stinky. So there was no way I could go.

I'd been working at cleaning the yard of leaves, trash, sticks, etc., taking frequent breaks since my knees still bother me. The groomer called to say Tandi was finished early, but was having a good time, so I wouldn't need to rush over to get her. Tandi needs all the socialization she can get, so I kept working awhile more and soon it was 2:45, later than I'd planned. Rather than jump in the shower, I just jumped in the truck, pink garden shoes, straggly hair, dirty clothes and all. The groomers didn't care--they'd been dealing with dirty dogs all day.

On the way back, Tandi trying to climb into my armpit, I heard a guy on the radio interviewing some guy from The Grand Re-Opening of The Tailgate Market. In my little town. I didn't even know there was one, but the guy said he had prawns. Prawns?! My husband LOVES prawns! I don't ever remember having any myself, but I am the original shrimpaholic, and ginormous shrimp HAS to be better than regular!

When I was pregnant with DD, my dad used to take me over to Catfish Cabin in Birmingham. On Mondays they had All the Boiled Shrimp You Can Eat. Tuesdays were All the Froglegs You Can Eat, don't remember Wed. Thursday was All the Fried Shrimp You Can Eat, and Fridays they provided you with All the Catfish You Can Eat. I know they hated to see my dad coming. My dad could put away all of the above and I was my dad's daughter when it came to shrimp. On Mondays we would peel and eat and peel and eat and call for another plate and peel and eat. On Thursdays, we would just eat. We could not be distracted by the plates of hush puppies and bowls of cole slaw. We were on a mission. Did I mention they went out of business long ago?

I SO love shrimp! Remember in Forrest Gump, when Bubba is explaining all the things you can do to shrimp? Bubba: "Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it."

Well, not exactly; he forgot shrimp scampi. And shrimp and grits, which I'd never had before moving here. Omigosh, that stuff is wonderful!

Sorry. I was momentarily distracted. The radio. So I listened a little more closely to the announcer; the tailgate market is open every Thurs. from 3-6pm from now til October. It was 3:15. I was a good 20 minutes away from home, 25 minutes away from the tailgate market and I was grubby. What to do?

I opted for home. J-Man barely got "hi" out of his mouth before I was telling him the prawn story. "I know how much you love them," I said. Psychology. "They are really advertising on the "Q". I don't know how much longer the prawns will be there."

"How much are they? Where did they come from? How big are they? What time do they close?" He can be maddeningly DENSE sometimes. "Come on, let's go on down there."


"Look at me," I told him. "I can't go like this and it's almost 4:00. You go. Get however many you want. I'll put the chicken back in the fridge and we'll have shrimp instead."

It took three times for him to understand the directions, but he went--and came back with six pounds of prawns. SIX pounds! Right now the shrimp are coming from Florida, but later they will come from up the coastline. J-Man said the place smelled like a wharf, the shrimp were so fresh. He was about the 7th person in line, but he came home with 6 pounds. "Oh, yeah," he said. "The guy beheaded and deveined them for us."

Beheaded? Deveining I knew--I usually had to do a little of that with boiled shrimp at restaurants. But beheading? They have heads?
I opened the plastic bag. HOLY COW!

Do you see the SIZE of those things?

Dang! They looked really real! I mean, they didn't look like the little pink shrimp I usually peel and eat. Thank goodness J-Man had the guy behead them. I would hate to go shrimpless the rest of my life. Never mind the waste of good Prawns tonight.

Got out the Zaterain's--enough to cook 4 pounds of shrimp, it said.

Well, we were eating about 1 1/4 pounds, but there was no way to divide the bag of seasonings. I put on my gloves (no WAY I was touching those big gray things with blue-green tails and long antennae with my bare hands--are you nuts?) washed the shrimp, put the remainder in bags in the freezer, and cooked 14 prawns in enough seasoning for 4 times that many. Oh, well.

Noowww, they looked like the pink, curled up shrimp I usually eat--only bigger, of course.

Add brown rice, (frozen french fries for hubby), a big tossed salad and cocktail sauce. Aahhhhh.

I still haven't had a shower. I'm sporting blue slippers instead of pink garden clogs, and I'm sunburned.

But oh, so content....

And there are 4 more pounds in the freezer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


There is a young lady whose blog I have read from her first entry. Now, I haven't been in blogland that long, but I went through her archives and read every entry she's posted. She's bright, funny, giving, thrifty, hard-working, and loves her family. I have enjoyed reading about her work in 3rd world countries as well as her self-set goals to participate in a triathlon--which she did. I don't agree with her politics, but I appreciate that she is not apathetic about the world around her. I enjoy her cooking adventures and her ability to stretch her budget with imagination.

But last week, she purchased an old flag from a yard sale (where it never should have been in the first place, but that's another story), cut it up, and made it into 2 tote bags. Now, I figured she was just unaware of proper flag etiquette, because I have read enough of her blog to believe she had only the best intentions. So I told her that while I applauded her creativity, I felt she was in violation of flag etiquette, and linked to a source that, besides giving instructions on how to dispose of a flag, clearly states it is not to be used to wrap or carry or hold anything.

One of her commenters took issue with my comment and poked fun at it. Other commenters tried to explain what the flag meant to them, particularly as vets and families of current military personnel, and one offered to buy the bags from her, so he could properly dispose of them. Admittedly, some comments were a little abrasive, but for the most part, folks were kindly in their criticisms.

When she didn't immediately address these commenters, I took it to mean she was truly considering what was said and I expected to find an apologetic posting. Actually, she was out of town and didn't see the comments til she returned. And when she did comment, it was to acknowledge that not everyone agreed on everything, and she thanked them for leaving comments. That would have been fine, if she had never written the next sentence--in which she flippantly pointed out that there were gazillions of other blogs and the disagreers could surely find someone more to their liking elsewhere.

Her readers all applauded her "recycling", stating they felt that burning or burying the flag was odd, outdated, not for today's world, and not worthy of being adhered to. Some plan on copying her efforts. Those of us who disagreed were considered to be "close-minded oafs", "morons" who need to find something more useful to channel our "moral outrage" to, and were generally chastised for stating our opinions. One commenter ridiculed Cookie's analogy of cutting up a grandmother's treasured wedding dress, which I thought was an excellent parallel.

Did these young people never pledge allegiance in school? Have they forgotten the words, or did those words mean nothing to them?

Why do they think that, no matter what the etiquette is, they are under no obligation to follow it just because they consider it to be outdated? If people disagree, that's fine--lobby to have the guidelines changed. Until they are, they should be respected and followed. Maybe it's a shame there are no penalties or fines attached to the violation of these guidelines.

At no time did this young lady aplogize for offending veterans of military service, or those who have loved ones in service now. And that is what I find most disturbing. Some of the last people on this earth I would want to offend or hurt, are our vets and our troops. They are out there voluntarily, far away from the ones they love and who love them, away from the comforts some of us take for granted, in conditions not too far removed from those this girl strives to rectify in other countries, risking their lives to protect the underdogs from their oppressors. Whether or not you agree with the war, or any past wars, our vets and troops deserve to be respected and remembered. Not disregarded. Not ignored. Not derided.

And this is why I removed this young woman's blog from my list of favorites, and will no longer be reading her entries. I am very disappointed in her response, and in the responses of most of her fans, and just cannot support her site with my hits anymore. I support their right to post their opinions, whether agreeing or disagreeing, but I choose not to fill my time or my mind with them.

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Edited 4/17 to add: I haven't mentioned the name of the blogger or her site, because I didn't want to stir up any trouble there. Let me say now that she has contacted one of her commentors and they have exchanged honest, respectful emails, and, though she feels the "thing" is not as important as what it represents, she understands now what the flag means to our military. The commentor, a vet himself, is satisfied that she did not mean any harm, and has published a follow-up response on her blog putting everything behind them. Let's us do the same.

Garfield on the Oil Crisis

A lot of folks can't understand how we came

to have an oil shortage here in our country.


Well, there's a very simple answer.


Nobody bothered to check the oil.


We just didn't know we were getting low.!


The reason for that is purely geographical .


Our OIL is located in






Coastal Florida


Coastal Louisiana












are located in

Washington, DC

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Two Certainties

Well, they're done. I owe the federal government $205.00 and the State of NC owes me $843.00. That's for 2007. I will keep you updated on the fates of 2005 and 2006.

Not lost on me was the irony of the H&R Block office being directly across the street from the Thos. Shepherd and Sons Funeral Home.

Again with the Oops!

Magic Moments Monday slipped by me again. I think it was the all-nighter here at home that threw me off. (By the way, does the title ring a bell with anyone? I'll give you a hint: Jeff Goldblum said it. Or something similar to it. Answer coming tomorrow)

I had a hard time coming up with a magic moment this week. I didn't have any trouble coming up with a couple that made my blood boil; my nature is to see the negative in any given situation, and it's a constant struggle not to give in. Often, I lose. And I am the one who loses.

Re-reading my last post was a good example. I was fretting a little about not being able to talk to the gardeners, or get over to the herb gardens, or take more photographs, instead of simply enjoying the day. And there was plenty to enjoy:

1. Susan drove; I just rode along, not worrying about traffic or directions, etc.

2. Susan has a mini-Cooper convertible!

3. When we actually got our passes and drove into the estate, she put the top down and I just laid my head back and looked right up into the trees as we drove under them.

4. Susan is a great audience; she thinks I'm funny.

5. She is like my husband, in that she can talk to anyone anywhere and enjoy herself. I am too inhibited, too socially awkward, and that makes me self-centered, as I don't take the initiative to find out about other people.

6. She struck up a conversation with the harpist and soon we were all telling hormonal stories and laughing at our common plights.

7. She didn't mind stopping while we walked for me to take pictures or rest my knee occasionally.

So next time I want to go, I think I will call Susan up and make plans. Because it really wouldn't have been as much fun by myself.

{Here's what I mean by Magic Moments Monday: BIG Magic Moments can be few and far between, so let's scale it down a little. It doesn't have to be something that gets you through the week ahead, or a blinding revelation. Just a Moment that brought a little sunshine into your life or someone else's, a Moment that was special to you, made you think, brought a new understanding to you or someone else. I'm trying to become more aware and appreciative of the gift of Life.

Now post about that on your blog, and link back to here, and let us all know you have something to share. We'll do this every Monday [give or take a day or two til this gets to be a Firm Habit with me].}

Your turn!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Biltmore Gardens

Thurs. was a beautiful day to go to Biltmore, though I am planning to go back by myself in the next two weeks. I enjoyed going with Susan from work, but she was more into the shops and I really wanted to be outside. We did hit the greenhouse (and shop) and made it out to the walled garden before it got late. AND, we went to the winery (shop) where Dr. B's wife was playing the harp.

I won't show a photo of her here, but I did try to get a couple of her hands. She's been playing since she was 9 years old and was a marvel to watch. So very graceful. I used the sport action on my camera hoping to catch her hands as she played, and not a pose, but that dimmed the available light significantly. There was probably a way to correct that, but I am still woefully ignorant about this camera.

In one of the greenhouses I found this stunning, albeit strange-budded flower:

Maybe it's a balloon flower?

Then there was this lovely blue one:

Here is a close-up of the petals--isn't it amazing how they were layered?

A very odd-looking cactus:

I loved this arrangement in an old birdcage. I added that item to my list of things to watch out for at garage sales and flea markets.

Outdoors, I snapped a photo of this container arrangement, because I never think about combining multiple plants in a container, but love it when I see it done:

The fields of tulips and other flowers were just breathtaking, and I know these photos don't do them justice:

Wouldn't this color combination make a stunning quilt?

Running up the hill from the greenhouses was a covered walkway, covered with grapevines (currently bare of leaves) and benches to sit and view the fields. There are gardeners available daily to answer questions, but we were too late to talk to them on Thurs. (Another reason to go alone next time.)

I want to find out the name of this tulip and plant some in my yard next fall:

We walked toward what looks to be a gardener's quarters, but reminds me of the book "The Secret Garden".

Just under the bridge, we saw this:

There was sign denying admittance, but you know how it is when you aren't allowed somewhere; it just makes you want to go there all the more.

But outside the gate, we saw this one rose blooming:

To the left, downhill from this grove of trees, are the azalea gardens which should be blooming in the next couple of weeks.

Mine are already starting to bud, so I will know when to go back.

There were many times while driving the grounds I wanted to stop and take a picture, but either Susan was talking on her cell phone to hubby, or talking to me about something and I couldn't interrupt. We had a really good time, as she is lots of fun, but next trip will just be my trusty little camera and me.

Edited to add: For a really gorgeous look at that blue flower, or the pink tulips, etc, click on the photo to enlarge. That blue one makes me smile every time.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Four nights off. I was scheduled for 4 nights off. Count 'em: Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri. In a row. Yippee!! I had so many plans to get "stuff" done. Work in the yard for an amazing couple of sunny days, sew, air out the house, and go to Biltmore Gardens with a friend.

Then I changed it. Oh, well.

My little trainee, the one who calls me Momma? Well, her REAL Momma is flying in from the Phillipines today and "Debbie" was scheduled to work tonight. So we swapped shifts, and she will work for me Sunday night. At least it breaks up my 3 shifts in a row! So, although I hate having only one night off, because it really does a number on my sleep pattern, I have a solution: I will come home on Sunday morning, sleep all day, stay up all night, sleep all day Monday and work Monday night.

Now, what can I do with Sunday night? I will SEW! And watch what I want on TV. To be fair, J-Man always says, "If there's something you want to watch, just let me know and I'll turn this off." But I figure there's enough else around the house to do that I can't just SIT AND WATCH TV. So I putter and catch bits of programs and occasionally "rest" and watch a movie. (Who am I fooling?)

Judy L. is hosting another quiltathon on her site, and though I can't participate for all of it, I can be the P.S. to the day.
So I will post photos if I can, and catch up on "Medium" and whatever sappy movie is on Lifetime and not clean because I don't want to make a bunch of noise and wake J-Man up. Of course.

Okay, maybe I'll mop the kitchen floor. And fold laundry. But that's ALL!

Oh, and yes, I got to the Biltmore gardens yesterday, but I'll post about that later.

Have a nice weekend, everybody!

P.S. That new photo on my header was taken at Biltmore.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Most Amazing Mom

You know, I thought I had it rough when I had to push a stroller for my daughter and a wheelchair for my husband when we went to the mall many years ago, but that was nothing compared to what this mom has to do every day:


Edited 4/13 to add: Well, darn it, I can't seem to forward the video from my computer and can't forward the address from my friend's email. Since you can't see it, let me tell you: it was a news spot of a woman with no arms, I mean NONE, not even at the shoulder, who is married and raising a baby boy. You should have seen her change his diapers with her feet. AND pick him up. And drive and go through a drive-in window, etc. If I can ever figure out how to load this up, I'll repost.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Well, heck. Not only did I miss Magic Moments Monday, I missed Tuesday, too. I think the rain waterlogged my brain. But today has dawned beautifully sunny and warm, so I am going to catch up here, and post a Magic Moment anyway.

Slight revision: BIG Magic Moments can be few and far between, so let's scale it down a little. It doesn't have to be something that gets you through the week ahead, or a blinding revelation. Just a Moment that brought a little sunshine into your life or someone else's, a Moment that was special to you.

For example, yesterday I got up after a 3-hr nap (after working the last 2 nights) and went for a much-needed haircut. It was another cloudy, sometimes misty day, just like the many we've had over the last 3 weeks. Several of us were sitting in the waiting area, and as the shop is semi-open, you can see about 4-5 stations from the door as well.

I was reading and not paying much attention to those around me, when a male voice said, "Smile, ladies! Everyone looks so solemn."

I looked up to see a tall, older gentleman, having just had his hair cut, standing near the door, a big smile on his own face. It was hard to resist smiling back.

He went on, "One of those Italian romantic poets once said, 'A beautiful woman without a smile is like a rose without a fragrance.'"

And then he was gone, leaving women in various stages of beauty-making all in smiles.

Your turn!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Listen to the Rhythm of the Pouring Rain

Today was one of those restless days for me. I just couldn't seem to settle down to one thing. I got all the paperwork together (I thought!) for the People at H&R Block, but the appointment wasn't until 4pm. We were also waiting on the plumber to call us back. He's going to need to do some more work, and we didn't know if that would be today.
I wanted to be outside, but it's been raining, and when it isn't actively raining, it's either too muddy to do anything, or I'm asleep. I can see mole hills from the window, but there's nothing to be done about it today. The rain is needed, no doubt about it, but could I please have just one sunny day when I don't have to be somewhere else? Sigh.
Remember this from about 6 weeks ago?

Now look:

Feb. 26:

April 4:

(No, it hasn't rained continuously since then, but it sure seems that way.)

Doesn't it just make you want to be out there? Except for the rain, of course.

J-Man was on the computer and watching some of his endless number of taped shows. Reruns on DVR. BORING. I wandered into the sewing room, but didn't want to get started on something and have to stop for the plumber, or my appointment. There are 5 or 6 new books on my shelves and the latest Quilter's Home just came in, but I can't seem to concentrate on reading right now. (Don't you hate it when your kids act like me?) Looking out the sewing room window, I noticed the new bird feeders I put out last week were getting low. Hmmmm, that would kill a few minutes. So I sloshed outside between showers to refill them and look who came to dinner!

Carolina chickadee

Mourning Dove

Cardinal, the NC state bird:

I think this is a tufted titmouse:

This might be a grackle;

Some are camera shy:
(purple finch or song sparrow?)

And some love to pose:

Some prefer the tubular feeder:

Some want a little more solid footing:

And others prefer to search the ground for extras:

Some just can't decide:

And some just want to observe:

I think this is the most variety I've seen in one day, and then we saw one at the backyard feeder today we've never seen before. Neither of us has found a picture of it online, yet, but we're still looking.

Some days it's hard to get any sewing done for stopping and watching these little guys. Literally: guys. Most all of them are strikingly marked, so they must be the males, right? I wonder if the females are already nesting? I've put out some threads and bits of batting and tiny strings of cloth on the bushes, but can't tell that any are gone yet. Maybe it's a little late to do that, or maybe they prefer other materials. I think I'll research it a bit.

Oh, and somewhere I saw an article on the kinds of trees and shrubs to plant if you want to attract birds and butterflies to your yard. Since we've lost 4 or 5 trees in the last couple of years, we might as well replace them with critter-friendly greenery. We should start a list.

Soon the hummingbirds will be back. Time to clean their feeder and find my recipe for the nectar they love. It used to be with my recipe cards, but I didn't see it last week when I put them all in my new rose-patterned box. The formula is probably on the internet somewhere.

Excuse me, but could I please take the rest of the spring off? I have so much to do.....