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!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

the trash room

its all in the raising

when you go off to college and rub elbows with folks that may be a little more affluent than you, whose trip to college did not include 3 cars and grandpa's trailer, maybe they flew in from parts around the country

and at the end of the semester instead of moving all of their accumulated stuff home, they just leave said stuff on campus

and say the campus has a designated area for this stuff, a.k.a. the trash room

and if you were raised by taking advantage of sales and thrift store finds, you might find the trash room intriguing

and say you are moving into a bigger dorm room this year and need a few things, so you make a list to go to Target, but before you go, you stop by the trash room and score a few nice finds…

not dumpster diving, but repurposing, reusing, saving stuff from the landfill and all, but more importantly not spending the $$ in your college fund

because you don't have rich parents who are funding your four years of fun and partying, you work for your supper literally, you get a job for the summer and you have your summer paycheck go directly into your college savings fund because you know you will need it later for food or housing or gas

when you earned the privilege of being there by way of your awesome ACT scores and earning a 4 year tuition scholarship and you continue to earn more scholarships along the way to pay for housing and food by sending in hundreds of scholarship applications and writing hundreds of essays because you know nothing is free

so when on your way to Target you walk by the trash room and see some perfectly good dorm furniture, you think, yes! Check this off my shopping list! Maybe a few free things do come along from time to time

actually you might get it honestly ... it is not unlike the story of your grandpa Buddy who would rescue discarded lawn mowers parked on the curb waiting for the garbage truck and take them home, maybe using pieces and parts from more than one to cobble a mower together to mow the neighbors' grass for spending money

it is about frugality and character and work ethic, but really it is all about the raising

Sunday, August 14, 2016

puzzle break

I miss going to the library. Until this week, it has been years since I stepped foot into the brick and mortar library - I read more than ever now but on my Kindle.

Did you know you can check out jigsaw puzzles and board games? They even had a jigsaw puzzle out on a table for folks to help put together

So of course I had to get one. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

celebration of life

Let me start off by saying there is nothing more life-affirming than a Varsity dog and fried peach pie. 

The second time this year one of Buddy's co-workers, a.k.a. Road Warriors has bit the dust, found in their camper after not showing up for work. Buddy had just talked to him on the phone a few days earlier. He was only 59, and it was this man's wedding anniversary. A very sad time in the company. I emailed Buddy's project manager at the main office and gave him the address and site # of Buddy's campground in case he doesn't show up one day... just saying.

These guys have a hard stressful job, working out of town for months at a time, away from family and friends, and having to work with idiots on a daily basis, all while watching the ever pressing deadline of the schedule.

Buddy did not make the trip home for his friend, Brad's funeral, so Melissa and I went in his stead. The obit stated it would be a Celebration of Life, and it was a celebration of life indeed, memories by old fishing buddies, letters read from daughters, a big turnout, a celebration.

I don't remember ever meeting this man, but I feel like I know him after hearing all the stories, he was apparently very much fun, always with a big smile, liked to fish and kid around and loved his family. And loved LSU, apparently, there were references to the college evident everywhere, one man (that looked just like Brad - maybe a brother?) had on a LSU jersey at the funeral. Numerous stories of Brad's sense of humor and infectious smile. The preacher, also a lifelong friend, said, "Brad is not here (pointing to the casket), that is just a shell… the nut went to heaven."

The three fishing buddies told stories of their 20 years together, no matter where they are in the country, they meet up for one week of fishing and camping and good fellowship in nature. One of them, an Alabama fan, even pulled out a LSU hat and put in on, saying, "I know Brad is smiling now, seeing me in, 1) a suit and, 2) a LSU cap."

There were a lot of co-workers there, management folks, estimators, project managers, a couple of the girls from the office (who as we all know do the real work). The president of the company, Marty, a long time friend who worked with Buddy back at Hardin, is going up to Pennsylvania to drive back the truck and camper for the family, which I thought was a very nice thing to do.

After the service I spotted the widow and waited my turn to speak to her. She looked at me with a questioning look, like do I know you? I leaned in for a big hug and told her I was sent to give her this hug from Buddy Tidwell. She lit up then, "Buddy! Brad loved Buddy! Are you Susan? Oh we love Buddy's Christmas letters, when it would arrive, Brad would make me stop and listen to him read it. Yep, Brad loved him some Buddy. Brad loved him some Buddy." She must have said that about 15 times :)

We continued the celebration of life by stopping by the Varsity on the way home, maybe overdressed in our matching black and pearls, but it was Sunday afternoon and in the South that is just fine.

So once again, you never know when it is your time or one of your loved ones, so call your mom or dad, give your kids a hug before they leave, share a trip to the Varsity. It is worth repeating, there is nothing more life-affirming than a Varsity dog and fried peach pie.

Monday, August 8, 2016

did you know

I learn so much just from hanging out with our grandkids.

Did you know you could make your own computer that you can hold in the palm of your hand? This little beauty has 2 USB ports, 1 ethernet port, bluetooth, and a lot of other stuff that I can't remember. But watch out it makes you hungry just talking about it, Raspberry Pi. See the cute animated video about it HERE. Kyle and Matt are into this big time, fun to see what they will come up with.

Did you know that you can order your groceries online from Walmart? Kyle and Allison do this, place the order, set a timeframe when you will pick them up, drive up to the special pick up area, someone comes out to your car with the groceries, which have been kept in a cooler to stay fresh. Maybe they will make a raspberry pie.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

make a plan

What does your future hold?

Inspired by Madison's 5 year plan (a college assignment) I challenged all the other kids to make a plan. What does your future hold? Think past the next paycheck. Living day to day is easy and what most of us do, but where will it get us in the long run?

Like the classic job interview question, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"  You could say, "Duh working here?" or, "Owning this company!"

Your plan doesn’t have to be a detailed spreadsheet presentation color coded for major and minor courses of study, which I must say was very impressive, Madison. Just think about it, write it down, shoot me an e-mail or text or whatever it is you kids do nowadays, but not snapchat because I think that disappears… weird, but something that will last. Or what about oldschool with a pen and paper and even cursive writing, now that would be great!

What is in your future? Graduation? Travel? Real estate? Family? Job? Building your own computer? Discovering a cure for Cancer? Taking care of your granma in her old age?  

Think about it. Write it down. It could change your life.

and make your granma happy

~photo Lookout Mountain Flight Park 2012

Friday, August 5, 2016

the ledger

This is it, the infamous ledger of Mrs. Tidwell.

A purchase from Woolworth for 79 cents. The first entry was for Sue's 1964 Rambler. Just look at that fancy cursive writing! Seeing that is like hearing a song from the past, memories flood in, Inez and her cooking, sewing, bookkeeping. She was a secretary back in the day when that was a good job, working at the Carpenter's Local Union hall keeping records.

We were lucky to have parents who were willing to help us out when we were in a bind, either with a helping hand or monetarily. But if it was to do with $, it went into The Ledger.

I don't think any of us ever saw it until after her death, but we all knew it was there, that records were being kept and we were expected to honor our debts.

We all had our own sections, with a tab for our names and lines and lines of debits and credits. What she could do with a ledger page and adding machine tape rivals the digital spreadsheets we use now. Extensive notes on why and how and when were documented. And once it was in the ledger, you either paid it off when you could, or you would pay later, which some of us ended up doing, our part of accounts owed coming out of her estate way down the road. 

Going through old files lately, shredding old tax returns etc. But not this, this is a keeper :)