Tuesday, September 27, 2016

college weekend

Family weekend at UA was very exciting! 

The weather was clear, the good thing being it did not rain on our game or campout. The bad thing was it was record-breaking HOT - "Tuscaloosa high of 99 breaks the old record of 97 set in 1961." Sarah and I 'thought we were going to die' in the heat and spent most of the time in the shady concession area, along with a lot of other red-faced folks.

The game was a blow-out, Bama 48, Kent State 0.

Enjoyed seeing everyone, Madison, Curren, Sarah, Matt, Meli, and Keith. Of course the best part was seeing Madison sign the national anthem on the football field with her back up music by The Million Dollar Band.

We saw Big Al and toured the campus a bit, shopped at the SupeStore tent, saw Madi's dorm.

We watched the band before the game and at halftime.

Then we escaped the heat and people, back to the campground, where it was nice and peaceful and cool. 

The long day ended with campfire, pizza, and s'mores, what more could you want!

~more pics and video here

Thursday, September 22, 2016

here's your sign

This granma is Bama Bound!

It is Family Weekend over at the U of A and the family is packed up and ready to go, I am hitching a ride over with Melissa and Keith, just like the Clampetts with granny in the back seat. Fingers crossed on the whole gas shortage situation. We even brought our own house and chairs, ready to go camping.

It is not quite good camping weather yet in Tuscaloosa (69 at night/95 in the day) but compared to $500 motel rooms, a campsite for $36 sounds real nice. We have our football game tickets, Bama shirts, and smart phones for pictures, what else do we need.

We will stand up for the national anthem like good Americans do but we might not hear the words, you see it is Deaf Awareness Week (International Week of the Deaf) and the national anthem will be quietly performed with sign language, a pretty neat idea, especially since it is our own little granddaughter who will be doing the honors.

Yes, the same one who volunteered to sign the national anthem at high school graduation last May. Madison has been petitioning for weeks to do this at this Bama game, sending emails, calling, trying to find just the right person to ask … and perseverance won out.

So our DVRs are set at home even though we are not sure the national anthem part will be televised, but we will be there in person. We will be the little family up high in the stands who are filming the silent anthem. We may not all have our hands over our hearts but we will be Standing Up. 

Don’t be nervous Madi, just over 100,000 of your close friends and family will see you in person and on the Big Screen at the game, and a few more from restaurants, bars, and couches across the nation… 

Go Madison! Roll Tide!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

dried apples

We learned to like dried apples from Mrs. Reece at Hudson Apple House, they always came with a warning from her, "Now don't eat that whole bag in one sitting, that is about 3 or 4 apples in there and you will get a bellyache!" Sweet crispy goodness, great for snacking, bet you can't eat just one :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sunday drive

Sunday morning drive. You have to get up early to get these shots, early to see the sun rise, early to see dew on the apples, early to see clear roads and no traffic. Because the folks from the big city love the mountains as much as we do. The apples are ripe, the pumpkins are big, the air is getting cooler, and the city folks are coming in droves. The locals know to get groceries (or anything you might need for the weekend) by Thursday afternoon, and then hole up in your little piece of heaven until Monday. Traffic backs up on Sunday afternoon all along the little towns with stop lights, folks heading back south, back to the city. Just thank goodness there is a 4-lane highway all the way now, not curvy narrow Highway 5 like it used to be, if they only knew. I don't blame them of course for getting away to the mountains. I would probably do the same thing if I wasn't lucky enough to live here already. But I am, lucky and blessed. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

hair thoughts

the evolution of hair

going through old pictures this morning

do you like your hair, does anyone ever?
I used wish I had naturally curly hair so it could just be…
but folks with curly hair say oh no you don't want this stuff

Toni perm 2-pack

but folks with curly hair want straight hair
you would think straight hair would be easy


like the look in my senior pic, easy, right? do you know what went into that look?
wash hair in shower at night before bed, because you couldn't wait til morning, the only hair dryer around was the big clunky hood to sit under

roll it up on curlers held in with bobby pins or those awful brush rollers with the pink plastic pins, ouch! and of course Dippity-Do to hold everything in place, sleep on it overnight, some girls even used orange juice cans, folks today won't know what that means

get up the next morning for school, take the hair down and hope it isn't all cattywompus, work with it til time for the bus

I've tried it all, short, long, straight, curly, shaggy, and of course the ever popular ponytail, the ultimate fix for a bad hair day

and what about bangs? what trouble those are, they had a mind of their own

back in school I tried using scotch tape on my bangs overnight, only to pull it off in the morning and have a tape line, I saw later that they invented hair tape - hey that was my idea

on to eyebrows, what is up with them? 

my granddaughter takes half an hour to put on her makeup with special attention to the eyebrows, but look at the results :)

speaking of eyebrows, nowadays mine are going all crazy on me, another perk of old age

I bet I could tape them down overnight

I wonder if they still make that hair tape

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

circle of life

One of the hardest quilt patterns to make, the Double Wedding Ring, with all those curves. The pieces on this one were cut with scissors, every piece. Then the prints were put together to form the arcs, then the rings, easing in the curves so it would all fit. A slight variation in the 1/4" seam allowance would mean the circle would not be round, and multiply that by 30 circles or rings. It took someone with infinite patience and knowledge and love to construct this, someone like Two-Mama.

The fabrics, colors and patterns, separately all look (to me) like they would never go together, but they all blend perfectly, thanks to the artistic eye of the experienced quilter in our family.

The huge quilt (96 x 112) was a hoss to work on, thank goodness once again for Peg Hasbrouck (the quilt lady) for her beautiful quilting on this one, she works magic with her giant machine. 

I added very little to this project, calling myself the closer, just coordinating the finishing up process. The binding. The label. 

As always, it took me a while to come up with a label, so much to say, trying to make it special. I finally decided to look beyond the original pattern of double wedding ring and called it the Circle of Life, tying together the bond between Jenny and her great-grandmother and the fact that Jenny had just become a grandmother herself this month.

Another project out of storage, into the light and life of family members to enjoy.

Thank you so much Susan for the quilt. It means a lot to me to have a piece of Two-Mama's work of art she made so many years ago. The time she spent on each piece to make each of the double wedding rings. The time you spent on finishing the back and edges and the beautiful message on the back, and to the lady who did the intricate stitching that binds it together. A lot of love went into this and I will cherish it forever. ~Jenny

Friday, August 19, 2016

outside the box

600" of quilt binding, slow and steady

I have these original hand pieced quilt tops, two Double Wedding Rings made by Two Mama. They have been living in this card board box, but my wish for them is to live outside of the box.

They need to have a home with family that will love them. Originally there was 3, the pink one being liberated for a family wedding. 

Jenny is the oldest of Two-Mama's great-grandchildren and she picked out the lavender one. The edges of this one are defined by the rings, making the edge not straight but scalloped. Jenny chose one of the pink sheets also in the cardboard box for the lining. The unfinished top measures 96 x 112! It will make a great family heirloom to be passed down through the generations. 

I took this one to Peg the Quilt Lady who worked her magic once again, handing back to me another masterpiece. She said, "Are you going to keep this one?"

No ma'am this goes to another of the granddaughters, share the love you know.

I was worried about the scalloped edges stretching out of shape, but of course Peg handled it, going around the entire quilt with stay-stitching to keep it in shape, such a professional.

Now for the binding. According to my guesstimating it will take about 560" so I cut about 600" of binding, on the bias, folded and pressed, ready to go. I watched a YouTube video on how to do scalloped binding and practiced making the scallops on a scrap piece. The fabric used for the binding was in The Box along with everything else, it was meant to be.

Just because these quilt tops ended up at my house does not mean they are mine to keep, but belong to the collective family and heirs of the one who made them - Two Mama. So now I am trying to get them out into the rest of the family, Lord knows my kids and grandkids will have enough quilts to divide up some day.

Precious memories boxed up, out of sight and out of mind. We all have them. Every once in a while we take them out, relive the memory they invoke, whether it be smiles or tears, and then pack them away again. But at some point in the process it is time to share them, give them to your kids or grandkids now, instead of later when they are dividing up your estate with heavy hearts. Do it now, so that you can share the stories that go along with them. Now, so that you can see for yourself the smiles or tears in their eyes too.

Thanks Two Mama for the heirlooms, I will get them out of the box and into the hands of some of your favorite folks. It is an honor to finish up your UFOs for you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

displaced in LA

Buddy: You know it's bad when the crawfish come up to your camper with their little claws raised to the sky wanting in with you.........if I just had water boiling.....hmmmmm.

The Flood of 2016.

Sunday morning, August 14th, Buddy walked down toward the office to see how bad it was, the lake was out of its boundaries, joined up with the adjacent bayou, water as far as you could see through the trees.

The rain had stopped but the news said the local bayou would crest the next day at 24 feet, a record level. So he decided he better get out while he could in the truck and leave the camper there. This picture was taken from the road at the exit after he plowed through with his truck, water up to the bottom of the doors. He called to say he made it out, "I took some pictures looking back after I made it to the other side, not sure if they took though because my hands were shaking."

He turned north out of the campground and made his way up and around and down I-49 which was down to one lane, closing up fast. And made it to a motel nearer the jobsite, far from natural waterways. Safe and sound and dry.

The campground posted this picture of the entrance looking down the driveway toward the office on Sunday evening.

and these on Monday afternoon, August 15th, near the office

The bayou has crested now and the water will take a while to recede. 

So he will go back to the campground maybe this weekend to see how everything fared. Our camper is in one of the higher areas of the campground, not a lakefront site thankfully. 

Luckily the job site fared well and work goes on.

Meanwhile back at home… the insurance guy says we are covered for flood or water damage on our travel trailer, just let him know.

Just another day in the paradise that is southern LA, and another reason to get the heck out of there!