Monday, March 2, 2015

hugs and prayers

the purpose of the prayer shawl is to give comfort to whoever is wearing it

but it just might work - to pray for spring?

this one found a home yesterday with Linda recovering from hip surgery, 
I hope it makes her feel warm and snuggly like a big hug

Sunday, March 1, 2015


a fun day out 
shopping with the girls

another last time...
the last prom dress shopping trip

as the nest continues
to empty next door

the lasts continue

Saturday, February 28, 2015

snow fun


beach or bust!

snow cream!

at the top of Burnt Mtn

The big snow of 2015! It was pretty while it lasted. We all stayed connected by Facebook, lots of pictures of snowmen, rulers, 4-wheelers. The local Gilmer Sheriff Department kept us updated with road conditions and pictures and provided entertainment with their funny posts. 

It is over now, not so pretty any more. Just hoping this is it for winter 2015, bring on the spring!

2/26/15 - the weather on my laptop
wish we were there!

Key West January 2012

Friday, February 27, 2015

Grandma Gatewood's Walk: book review

It was 1973, sitting on the front porch of this old farmhouse, visiting our nearest neighbor a mile down the road, Mrs. Lola Mealer. I loved listening to her stories, my favorite was about the time Granny Gatewood walked down the road and set a spell, taking a break from her walk on the Appalachian Trail. Mrs. Mealer told us all about the little grandmother setting out to hike the trail, she described her tennis shoes and knapsack. I was delighted to read about my neighbor in the very first chapter of this book, Grandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben Montgomery.

She caught a ride to Charleston, West Virginia, then boarded a bus to the airport, then a plane to Atlanta, then a bus from there to a little picture-postcard spot called Jasper, Georgia, “the First Mountain Town.” Now here she was in Dixieland, five hundred miles from her Ohio home, listening to the rattle and ping in the back of a taxicab, finally making her ascent up the mountain called Oglethorpe, her ears popping, the cabbie grumbling about how he wasn’t going to make a penny driving her all this way. She sat quiet, still, watching through the window as miles of Georgia blurred past. 
They hit a steep incline, a narrow gravel road, and made it within a quarter mile of the top of the mountain before the driver killed the engine.
She collected her supplies and handed him five dollars, then one extra for his trouble. That cheered him up. And then he was gone, taillights and dust, and Emma Gatewood stood alone, an old woman on a mountain.
She pulled from the box a drawstring sack she’d made back home from a yard of denim, her wrinkled fingers doing the stitching, and opened it wide. She filled the sack with other items from the box: Vienna Sausage, raisins, peanuts, bouillon cubes, powdered milk. She tucked inside a tin of Band-Aids, a bottle of iodine, some bobby pins, and a jar of Vicks salve. She packed the slippers and a gingham dress that she could shake out if she ever needed to look nice. She stuffed in a warm coat, a shower curtain to keep the rain off, some drinking water, a Swiss Army knife, a flashlight, candy mints, and her pen and a little Royal Vernon Line memo book that she had bought for twenty-five cents at Murphy’s back home.
 She stood, finally, her canvas Keds tied tight, on May 3, 1955, atop the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, the longest continuous footpath in the world.

Grandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben Montgomery tells Grandma Gatewood's story, 40 years after her death and almost 60 years after her first AT through-hike in 1955. Research included her diaries and trail journals, newspaper clippings, interviews with family and friends and folks met along the way.

Learning of the trail by reading an article in National Geographic, Emma Gatewood couldn't stop thinking about it. She took to heart the part about only a handful of people having hiked the entire trail from one end to the other - all men - and she vowed to be the first woman.

She loved to walk and loved the woods, so one day she just left. She didn't tell anyone, not her children or grandchildren. She said they were all grown and gone, that she would send them a postcard.

The AT's southernmost point was not always on Springer Mountain like it is today. From the early 1930s until 1958 it began on Mount Oglethorpe, which is just 5 miles up the road from my house.

When Emma Gatewood got out of that taxicab on the top of Mount Oglethorpe, she read the inscription on the monument there and proceeded down the trail/road. The trail took a sharp turn but she missed the marker and stayed on the gravel road until she came to the farmhouse of Mr. and Mrs. Mealer who were nice enough to let her stay the night. This was her very first of many encounters of nice folks along the way, and some not so nice. That morning she started out on the walk of a lifetime. With her trademark Keds sneakers and denim knapsack she went where no woman had gone before, making history along the way.

Before her stood mountains, more than three hundred of them topping five thousand feet… and finally - five million steps away - Katahdin.

Another book about real people doing extraordinary things, right here in Georgia, right here on our road! Reminds me of An Appalachian Childhood by Deany Brady, good reading!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

taxing times

HR Block tax software is what I use every year to do our own taxes. I swear by it and swear at it. I hope the folks who make this know what they are doing because I do not. Well, I know most of it, but every year it seems like there is a hurdle, or let's just say, a puzzle to figure out.

The program asks you questions just like a tax preparer would. Depending on the answer you give, the next screen will open up to follow that line of thought. If you go back and change your answer, a new set of questions will follow.

For instance say someone bought a new truck for work. The question is (hypothetically) - did your employer insist that you buy a new truck? Well, no. Oh well then you cannot claim these expenses off your taxes. Wait, backspace backspace previous screen. Well, yes I believe my boss did say for me to buy a new truck. Alrighty then, here are some different questions to see if you really used this truck for work.

The frustration is, all I can see is one screen at a time. I imagine in the background there is an elaborate flow chart with arrows - if she chooses this box, then we will take her down this road. I just want to see all the roads and charts and possible scenarios so I can choose which direction I want to go. Not that I would do anything dishonest or anything, it is just that without knowing all the options, I might be missing out on a deduction.

For now I am plugging in different answers to see how many roads there are hidden in this new truck enigma. I did find that if it was a nonpersonal vehicle like an ambulance or a service truck with shelves built in and no seats, I could claim a whole truckload of expenses, but of course I won't do that. I mean it is just a truck. Although it does have toolboxes in the back, and a portable office in the back seat, and there's hardly room for anyone to ride for all the work stuff... mmm

Actually for several months out of the year it is an office on wheels. There is even a laptop holder that fits over the steering wheel, AC plug for the laptop, 4WD to get into the muddy jobsite, bluetooth speaker phone to talk to the main office in Atlanta, okay this is getting better. Maybe leave out the part about the surround sound and heated steering wheel. But of course this is all hypothetical, just thinking out loud.
taxing: requiring a lot of effort, energy, physically or mentally demanding, exacting, challenging, burdensome
who does your taxes?


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

ripple effect

ripple afghan

One of my current projects, ripple afghan. A friend asked me if I had finished this yet (she had seen in a few weeks ago just started). I told her this is the thing I work on when I am tired and want to sit and rest. Do you work on more than one thing at a time? Is it attention deficit or multi-tasking?

Thanks to Paula the Quilter for this inspiration and pattern, using all one color Red Heart yarn. Paula, I didn't intend to get the exact same color as you, but this was the one that spoke to me. 

Crochet and quilting, ripple and bow-tie, yep that about sums it up on my couch. What is on your couch?

ripple afghan