Wednesday, January 18, 2017

winter break

The unseasonably warm January weather prompted a spur-of-the-moment road trip over the weekend, after receiving an e-mail, "trip to the Gulf? Only 4 hours away!"

The signs greeted us as we arrived in Gulf Shores, AL: Welcome Back Snowbirds!

The restaurant was filled with white haired folks all catching up on the latest. The senior discount was extended to us also, why not!

The beach was wide and clean, and pretty much empty except for one geezer with a metal detector and one catching bait.

The local Dollar General had beach chairs so we sat and enjoyed the sun.

At night we left the window open and slept to the sounds of the surf.

A nice break in the middle of winter. 

more pictures HERE

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

library card

I collect library cards. In our travels, we visit the local library, tell the folks that we are in the area temporarily, and they almost always graciously give us a library card. We both have Kindles and rarely check out a real book, so we can check out all the ebooks we want. Different parts of the country offer different books, so the selection is awesome!

All of our libraries use the Overdrive platform to download ebooks.  That is until now…

Just arriving in Mississippi, went to the local library and got a card, came home, clicked on the library web-site, no Overdrive. A new platform, Axis360. No downloads, just streaming books through their APP which can be used on phones or desktop computers or the newest Kindle Fire. No access at all for older generation Kindles. And no downloads at all, just streaming? Which means you must have unlimited internet access, wifi, data… what is up with that?

Several Google searches found that this is becoming more and more popular with libraries as it is cheaper than Overdrive. Fingers crossed on all of our other libraries staying with the oldschool method.

Right now we have library cards at:

Georgia Download Destination (statewide)
Sequoyah Regional Library System (local to Ellijay)
Tennessee Reads (statewide)
Kentucky Libraries Unbound (statewide)
Rapid City Public Library, South Dakota
Bayouland E-LibraryLouisiana
Central Mississippi Regional Library System

I went back to the library here in Florence, MS and they confirmed my findings. So I asked if they had any audio books there in the library by Mississippi local, Jerry Clower. He is one of Buddy's favorites and there are a lot of his audio books sitting on our shelves back in Georgia. The clerk said no audio books, but there was a biography in hardback available.

So I am now reading the 1975 Ain't God Good! By Jerry Clower of Mississippi, signed by the author. It ain't the same as listening to his voice but it is still good. 

If you have never heard any of Jerry's stories about growing up in Mississippi, you must make the time, audio is best, actually here is a link to one:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mississippi girl

roadside marker, Star, Mississippi

Well it's a long way from Star, Mississippi
To the big stage I'm singing on tonight
And sometimes the butterflies still get me
When I'm in the spotlight...

~Faith Hill, Mississippi Girl

Friday, January 6, 2017

Déjà vu

Buddy thought he was back in Louisiana when he opened his Christmas gift/creation from Melissa….

Just Another Day in Paradise 

Gators and campers and golf carts with loud tunes playing and kids climbing on the camper and mardi gras beads and drive-through daiquiri store and boudin and crawfish. 

It made him smile, a good reminder of a place he's been... been there done that. 

Monday, January 2, 2017


Our famous author neighbor, Deany Brady, invited us all to her new house on January 1st. 

The neighbors gathered at Deany Brady's new farmhouse, built on the site of the old homestead. The word went out earlier in the day that there was no heat or water so come prepared. Deany was in great spirits and made light of the situation the way she knows best, making it into a story.

They had arrived the night before from California to no heat or water. It was cold in this new farmhouse, just like the old one. They called the local Wal-Mart and were told that they never closed, so off to town they went, in search of electric blankets and water bottles to warm their feet. They found the blankets fine but no water bottles anywhere, do they still make those? The closest things to water bottles they could find were enema bags, same basic concept, so got some of those too. They took off the tubing and filled the bags with hot water to put into the beds. Deany said the electric blanket worked okay, but in the middle of the night it needed some help, so she got up and took the rug off the floor and put it on top of the blanket. It really was like the old days now, the bed piled high and heavy with quilts to keep warm.

Deany is in the middle of writing her third book and I can only wonder if this latest adventure will become part of that. 

Some of the neighbors assessed the situation and soon had the pump running and heat on, that is one of the blessings of having good neighbors, always willing to help out, at least that has not changed over the years.

The new house has parts of the old house included in the construction, like the new rock fireplace/chimney made out of the rocks from the original chimney. The mantel piece is a solid oak beam from under the old farmhouse. The vintage tin roof on the porch is from the old farmhouse roof. The wainscotting in Deany's bedroom is from the paneling in the old dining room.

The family now has a new place to visit from California, they can sit on the porch and see Turkey Creek and Yonder Mountain just like when Deany was a little girl growing up here. They can tell stories from the past and make new memories here.

We met a lot of good folks for the first time, and reconnected with old friends too. Thank you Deany and Jeriann and David for sharing your new home with all of us, it was a great time. Looking forward to the third book in Deany's trilogy, due to be out this August on her 90th birthday!

more pictures HERE

Saturday, December 31, 2016

be happy

a new day, a new year…

…happiness is a myth. The moment you think you have it, your transmission dies, your house blows up, and your loved ones leave. ~Sean Dietrich 

Don't base your happiness on things or people, find happiness in yourself or things you can do or make or give.

Kids grow up and move away, that is how it is supposed to be if you did your job right as a parent, so don't sit around and cry if they don't call or come visit, they have a life now, a good thing.

Spouses don't always do the right thing, don't base your whole life or happiness on that person, enjoy their company as an individual person, don't be dependent, stand on your own two feet.

If your car breaks down or even if your house burns down, they are just things, yes even those treasured picture books, just things, you have your memories and hopefully your health, just move on.

If the person you voted for does not win, don't devote your life to protesting it and being angry and full of hate. It is just a thing, just one election, get over it and move on. Don’t base your happiness on a political thing, there are many more things out there you could expend all that energy on, find something good to do with all that passion and you will be surprised at the results. And hopefully after 4 years we will look back on this time and wonder what all the fuss was about, or we will all be nuked, either way it will be behind us.

Don't worry, be happy. Don't base your happiness on others, other things, other people, other events. You are in charge of your life and your happiness, so take charge, get out there and do the things up until now you have just dreamed about, take that trip, write that book.

Be happy with what you have, appreciate your life. Take a walk by the creek, climb that mountain just to see the view. Better yet share your happiness with others by connecting with family and friends and community, donate, volunteer, get our of your safe little cocoon world and be a part of the bigger picture, Just Do It!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

by design

Roll Tide scarf
Crimson Tide/houndstooth

Go Vols scarf
Gray, Big Orange and white checkerboard

I tried my hand at design this year, making up my own pattern for these two scarves, more fun than trying to read some of the patterns out there, and more personal.

This past springI was asked by my granddaughter to make a crochet tutorial online so she could learn while at college... she learned alright! Almost everyone got a homemade crochet gift from Madison this year! I got a cool blanket, my favorite color - purple:

She made countless hats and scarfs and cowls and even a Christmas stocking, so talented.

For years now I have wondered if the sewing and crocheting would stop with me. But now Melissa is sewing and made a quilt, and Madison is crocheting up a storm. 

So my work here is done, I no longer have to worry about sewing/quilting/crocheting being dying arts, this family is doing its part to keep them alive!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


surprise well kinda... :)

Did you ever get a wrong number, or in this day and age a wrong number text? It happens more often than you think, I have done it.

I got this text… it was not meant for me, but another Susan in Melissa's phone contacts.

The surprise she had been keeping for a LONG time was exposed in the click of a SEND button, oops.

Melissa made me a quilt!

I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see the pictures. 

You see Melissa is not the sewing type, that is Carrie who can sew, crochet, knit, she got that gene. Melissa is the IT specialist, but she is also very creative and imaginative (wait til you see what she made Buddy) - Melissa can do anything she sets her mind to, and she set her mind to make a quilt. For me. And she did. 

With help from her mentor and quilter friend Teresa who provided a sewing machine and operating instructions and lots of advice. And of course thanks to a lot of YouTube videos.

I wouldn't believe it if not for the pictures, yes lots of pictures, a whole picture book full of them to document this momentous event!

Wow. A quilt. For me.

Awesome! Thanks Melissa! I love it!