Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter cookout



friendly competition


warm weather!

Siblings and cousins and generations and friends, our family get-togethers are always fun. Catching up on the latest, seeing how much the kids have grown, listening to all the future plans. 

Talk ranged from prom to recipes to wedding plans to religion to teenage drinking.

Beanbags and horseshoes, and campfire and s'mores, grilled food and sunshine, and sweet tea in red solo cups.

Long lost cousins catching up, talk of school, boyfriends new and old, dissing parents, trying on dresses!

Monday, April 21, 2014

prom 2014

the transformation

the shoes

the best friend

the two dates

the mom

the selfie

the dinner

Thursday, April 17, 2014

milestones and memories

It is that time of year for the high school prom, another milestone in growing up. We've all been there, played dress-up, flowers, dresses, tuxedos, danced, posed for the cameras, a rite of passage.

Our youngest granddaughter, Madison is going to the prom on Saturday. She has everything lined up, the dress has been altered, flowers ordered, nails are being done on Friday evening, hair and makeup session on Saturday morning, pictures will be taken Saturday afternoon, restaurant reservations are made for Saturday evening, much ado! Needless to say pictures will be posted here next week.

We all have prom memories, but these are my favorite:

On the occasion of my sister-in-law Sue's 60th birthday (9 years ago!) a letter was sent by Jim Comer, author and friend of the family. Jim couldn't be at the momentous occasion, but sent his thoughts, and just before it was read aloud, Sue said a few words about Jim, about growing up, and old friends, and as an afterthought she turned to her longtime friend, Charlotte, and said, "He may have taken one of us to the prom, I don't remember…" But Jim obviously remembered.

About forty four years ago.
I remember a night around 1961, maybe 1962.
It was May.
Dogwoods had bloomed.
Atlanta smelled as if it had been perfumed by God.
I drove up to Mount Airy Drive in my parents' white Ford Galaxie.
I was wearing a rented tuxedo.
My father had been called on to affix the studs and get the bow tie on properly.
I was acutely uncomfortable, but thought I looked pretty spiffy for a 115 pound senior at Brown High.
And I was about to enter forbidden territory.
The Junior Senior Prom at Southwest.

I walked to the door of the Tidwell home carrying a box.
A $7 box with a gorgeous orchid in it.
Oh ye of tender years, I know $7 doesn't sound like a big deal to you, but multiply that number by at least five or more and you'll get an idea of the big bucks I'd spent.
As I walked into the living room expecting to see Sue ready to walk briskly out to my chariot, I was met by a houseful of people.
The entire family.
A few neighbors.
Aunts and uncles may have driven in for the occasion.
There were cameras and flash bulbs.
I think we had chips and dips and pigs in a blanket.
After about forty photos, Sue and I finally departed.
Ms. Tidwell the younger looked magnificent.
I wish I could tell you the color of her dress, but I'm too old to remember and not clever enough to lie.
I know it was colorful.
And I'm sure she gave me a buttonaire for my lapel.

I remember very little about the rest of the evening except that we had fun.
There was much crepe paper stuffed in wire mesh.
Low lights.
A decent band.
I recall dancing and laughing and admiring of how grown up we all looked.
I hope I took Sue someplace wonderful to eat afterward.
But that part of the evening is lost in the mist.
What I recall with clarity and great fondness is our send-off.
It was pure Tidwell.
Full of family, love, joy, food and lots of laughter.
That happy sound and that wonderful family will resonate in my memory long after I can no longer see in the mirror at all.

(an excerpt from "To Sue on the Big One" by Jim Comer)

Jim is a dear friend of the family and a very talented writer and much more - meet Jim HERE.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Saturday, April 5, 2014

it's picnic time

Work was slow this week and I actually got a quilt started and finished!  

watched some quilting videos - "find a large flat space to lay out your quilt sandwich, tape down with blue painter's tape"

"put extra tables around your work space to support the weight of the quilt"

grass-green backing fabric - in case the quilt is actually going to be used for a picnic blanket

as I was down on one knee in the wet grass the thought came to me - do I just make things so I will have something to photograph?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Melissa and Keith went to California

Carrie and Daniel went on a cruise after stopping on the way to do the Bacon Race 

Kyle and Madison went to Florida to see their cousin get married 

It seems like everyone in the family is traveling except us - we are usually the ones away from home, lately it is reversed! We are happy to keep the home fires burning, feed the pets, etc. Glad everyone is back home safe now!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

picnic basket

Picnic Basket quilt - a free pattern from Martingale

The pictures on the pattern are nice soft colors, subtle… I apparently don't understand subtle, my version ended up very Bright… like put on your sunglasses bright…

This is the first time in a long time that I am making something that is not going to someone else. There is no deadline, no color matching. It is very liberating, to just do something for the fun of it with no pressure. Of course while sewing I kept thinking of who I could give it to eventually.

Sticking to my expertise of only squares and rectangles... this one was lots of fun and went together very fast. Picked out the fabrics at Wal-Mart which is an experience in itself. The prices are so much cheaper than the quilt store and they usually have fun novelty fabrics (like watermelons and ladybugs), but you have to take the bad with the good. Like service. Which is usually pretty good, but I apparently was there at shift change and waited 15 minutes when finally the little old lady from the dressing rooms came over and tried to figure it out. And while waiting, you get to see lots of folks, as the fabric is on the aisle to the bathrooms, saw Amanda and her girls!

Then a teenager came up with her prom dress in a long bag and said she needed some fabric to match her dress so her mom could take the fabric to the tux rental to match a cummerbund, she just stood there waiting for someone to fetch her a piece of fabric. The dressing room/fabric lady told her to help herself. The girl looked clueless, so I offered to help, and asked to see the dress. She showed me and said the color was called 'pink grapefruit'. I told her if the seams were big enough she could just snip some fabric from a seam and take that to match, she looked at me like I had lost my mind, cut her dress? So I started walking down the aisle to look for a similar color while she just stood at the cutting table to wait for me. I motioned for her to walk with me… and got more of the story - her mom was going out of town to get a good tux, not a local Ellijay tux :). I asked if it had to be fabric or did she need just a color, as there were other options like yarn or silk flowers (seeing these things as I was going down the aisle), when I noticed her nail polish, it was the exact color. I suggested she go look at the nail polish colors and pick out one of those to send. I told her my granddaughter was going to the prom, Madison, and she said, "I know her, she is in my grade. You are Madison's grandmother?" Sorry Madi hope I didn't embarrass you :).

Back to cutting my fabric at the table, the lady finally got all the pieces cut, more folks were waiting by now, and then she had to figure out the scanner. I miss the days when we had a real fabric store in town, but shopping at Wal-Mart is always an experience and often entertaining. 

free pattern HERE

Monday, March 31, 2014

just another day in the woodyard

Sophie helping grandpa

So what if the temp is in the 30s? You know what they say, when you cut/split your own firewood it warms you twice. 

Wood splitting project done! well except for the hauling and stacking. And what is that bright shiny new toy?

He said 'we' needed one of those new vertical wood splitters, easier on the back for the old man. Then he brings out a folding chair? What?

all tuckered out

Thursday, March 27, 2014

small town doc

In this day of fast-paced, assembly line, find a doc on a list, impersonal medical experiences, the home town doc is a thing of the past. Even more so now that a local dentist has retired. Dr. John Walton has been in the same little office for 32 years, on the side of the road by the movie theatre way before there was a movie theatre there, across the road from Home Depot and Wal-mart, when he started out the view was just trees.

Dr. Walton was never in a hurry, would sit and talk for as long as you wanted to. Over the years we have heard all about Dr. Walton and his family and activities. He used to work on wooden boats, he likes to go to Asheville, he likes to hike. We heard about his daughter who had a brain tumor when she was younger, all about his son going to college.

On my last visit, after checking on my new crown, instead of the usual chit chat, the doc disappeared into the next exam room. I looked over at Anissa and said, "Gee, I was going to at least shake his hand, tell him bye." She said, "Don’t even go there or he will lose it."

Then while checking out, Joan talked about how they watched Carrie grow up from a child into a 30-year-old woman… then she started in, glassy-eyed and sniffling.

The girls in the office, Joan and Anissa, upon finding out last fall about the impending retirement, started planning a memory book for the doc, and asked all of us patients/friends to contribute something for the book. I hope is it overflowing with good memories, just a small token of the impression he has made on all of our lives.

Dr. Walton,

You have an excellent 'chairside' manner. You always greet me like an old friend, asking about the family etc. At one point I wondered if you had notes in the chart like, "She worked at the hospital, she likes hiking - kids are Melissa and Carrie - ask where Buddy is working now".

You distract us by telling stories. One of my favorites is about when your son went to camp and forgot his toothbrush, a whole week - a dentist's nightmare! Stories about hiking, boat building, your family. When I get home from the dentist, Buddy asks, "What did the Doc have to say today?" Or when Carrie comes from the dentist, she calls and says, "Dr. Walton says Hi!"

Thank you for taking care of our family all these years. And thanks for not reporting us to the authorities when Carrie came in with a busted lip/tooth from her 'scooter accident'.

I hope you enjoy your early retirement. Continue on your quest to find the perfect hiking trail (one without bugs, snakes, or poison ivy) and let us know if you do. Enjoy the peacefulness of nature along the way.

Keep in touch, we are on Facebook and blogs and if you are lucky we will sign you up for Buddy's annual Christmas Letter!

The Tidwells - Buddy, Susan, Melissa, and Carrie

Monday, March 24, 2014

senior advice

went to lunch with my OLDer sister-in-laws (? sisters-in-law), today is the OLDest one's birthday (Kay Curbow is 72!). These two OLDer ladies ordered first, receiving the SENIOR discount, then the server gave me the senior discount by association - GEESH!

These ladies are always entertaining and have a wealth of experience to share with us younger folks, like…

Always take your coupons

Always ask for the senior discount

And my favorite - advice on greeting cards - from my sister-in-law Sue some random person… "I have a whole collection of greeting cards - birthday, anniversary, valentines, every special occasion I just pull a card out of my stash and give it to my husband Alan, he admires it and thanks me and lays it aside - after a few days I pick it up and put it back into the stash for next year. I make sure not to put any dates or ages, he doesn't remember, I have been doing that for years!" ladies - let's keep this one a secret!

senior mail

Son-in-law Keith walks in and sees our mail on the kitchen counter 
and says to Buddy, "Didn't you used to get Playboy?"

and last but not least - we watched Last Vegas over the weekend, 
it was pretty good! (for a bunch of senior citizens)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

yard work

colors of spring - yellow blue green

sliced and diced

a slice of life - wrinkles, rough edges, curves

reduce, reuse, recycle

last year's bird nest - will it be reused?

Friday, March 21, 2014


we had some trees taken down that were leaning toward the house...

so now we have LOTS of firewood

the good thing is it is close to the house

the bad thing is it needs to be cut up and split

party this weekend - wood splitting and hauling and stacking - woohoo!

the woodshed will be full for next winter

I was just wishing I could get outside in this nice weather... 

be careful what you wish for