Friday, June 27, 2008

Party at the Rhodes'

Today is Friday. Charlie took yesterday and today off from work to do things around the house and yard. I love it. He is the District Attorney of Jackson County, so what he "deals with" has a negative feel to it - Crime - so he needed two days away - tacked onto the weekend.

We're having a little "party" tonight. Steve (our pastor, son-in-law) is having his Dad and Brother-in-law, niece and nephew visit him and Ann and the children tonight. So... we're all eating at our house tonight. Ann and Steve's treat, but we're providing the location. For more on Steve's dad, see my website list, Hoffmantown Church. Wayne is described as a gentle giant. He's a dear, down to earth, loving man gifted by God to teach the gospel. So is Steve's brother-in-law, Eric. He'll be here tonight. Also coming are Mike and Mary Bratton, our closest friends here in Scottsboro. We go way back, with a lot of history. Hollen and Jonathan are with their Dad, Eric, and will be here also - cousins to Ellie and Luke. So - Charlie and I have been cleaning inside and out. I basically shoo'ed off Ann and the children so I could get the house picked up, first, and then cleaned. YAY. I love a clean house. It's really not clean all over, just the main living and eating area.

Menu for tonight: Steak on the grill, Sauteed Mushrooms, Smashed, buttered baked potatoes, Salad, Rolls, Tea and the decadent dessert from my last post, Turtle Trifle.

The last and only time Wayne ate at our house was in December 1999. Ann was a freshman at Auburn. Steve had just come to Scottsboro as our youth pastor at Calvary Baptist. Ann hardly knew Steve. I was just having them over because I knew Wayne was in town and I wanted them to have a good meal. We invited Mike and Mary then. We were all new to Steve and Wayne. It was a great night. Ann was home for Christmas, but wasn't at the house for the meal. She did come in and she visited a little. There was no Ann and Steve at that time. They didn't connect until about a year later. So, here we are, 9 years later, 2 babies later, with one on the way. Same people, but we know each other a WHOLE LOT better.

That's us on this day.

Diary Entry(see last post):
Tuesday, June 26, 1962: Dear Diary, Marilyn Mason came to play with me today.
Wednesday, June 27, 1962: Dear Diary, I went swimming today.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Day in My Life + 1 Decadent Recipe

This has got to be quick.

Going to be more of a journal entry than an attempt at a creative blog post.

I woke this morning as usual - rather early - I like that.

Had to be dressed and ready to go by 8:00. Dentist appointment in Huntsville at 9:00. I could write a book on dentist appointments. Since I cut my first tooth, it seems, I've been going to the dentist. That is where my health breaks down, from the neck up. My brain is somewhat demented, and my teeth. It's like God said, "You know what, we're not going to let her have great teeth or gums." Whatever. Chalk it up to The Fall. So, as I always say, "If that is as bad as my suffering gets, it ain't that bad". I do not like going to the dentist, yet, there is this connection - as with band directors( my dad was a band director), with those experiences during my formative years. So, this morning - dentist by 9:00 and I so hoped I'd get a good report. He's not actually a dentist. My dentist is here in Scottsboro, but he has sent me to a gum specialist, since I was 40. I'm about ........

I wasn't quick enough. It is now very late at night. The fam. showed up before I could finish whatever I was going to say..... So, went to my gum specialist today, left there, and from his office to Belks at Parkway City Mall I called Laura Beth, and then Kate called me as I was trying to wash my hands in the restroom, then Ann beeped in. We hung up and as I was trying to get through the "China" section without buying any, Sarah called me. Shortly after that Charlie called me ( I was still in the China section). I did not buy any pretty pieces. I milled around the clothing department, and left with a few items, down to the Estee Lauder counter and bought what I had gone there to get. Purchased two pairs of shoes - on sale - and went to my car. I was very hungry and made it to Wendy's in Jones Valley. I learned later that Ann, pregnant Ann, also was very hungry on her way to Burger King at lunch, trying to get to food before the nausea took over. She said she was dry heaving as she approached Burger King. That's the first trimester for you. I, on the other hand, was just basically very very hungry and got my Jr. Cheeseburger and Diet Coke and scarfed it down. From there I went to Publix, for a few things - and then back to Scottsboro. Took all my things by my house, checked mail, and drove over to Ann's, who needed to run some errands. She was without a car, and Luke was napping - Ellie was being told to nap. I ended up in the bed with Ellie, while Ann did her thing, and we both fell asleep. Good nap. I woke up before Ellie did, quietly slipped out of bed, Ann was home, I went home - it was 4:30 by then - sat at the computer - Charlie came home - we caught up a little - he left to get Ann and the kids because Steve had his thing with the youth tonight - As I was beginning the post above, they all walked in the door and I saved this to draft.
Now, after Charlie and I have finished one of 4 movies which we rented, I am completing this very trivial post. I hear thunder. YAY.

Okay, these are the four movies we rented: Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, Cleaner with Samuel L. Jackson , Charlie Wilson's War with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, and The Brave One with Jodie Foster. I picked them all out, last Friday Night. We just finished the final one tonight, The Brave One. We liked all four of them . I will say this: Bucket List uses profanity and abuses God's name , plus has some bad theology, but it is real and very funny. Charlie Wilson's War was my least favorite and had way too much nudity in the beginning. I always cover my face and I recommend that. I wouldn't have even understood it had my Charlie not been there to interpret, because it was based on a true story which involved world events which happened in the eighties - when Afghanistan beat Russia in the cold war and it was the beginning of the fall of communism in Russia - I actually nearly fell asleep in the middle of it. But Charlie liked it a lot. I really liked Cleaner - it had suspense and human interest - and a good ending. Same as The Brave One.

One thing to mention: On the way to Huntsville, after phoning my friend Mary, I put in a Tim Keller CD, teaching from 1 Peter. (Tim Keller - see Redeemer Presbyterian under Websites) I was listening to him again on the way home and as he was teaching he quoted from a very old hymn, a verse which is a favorite of mine. He just broke into the quote and I love it so. Here it is: "Well may the Accuser Roar of sins that I have done. I know them all plus thousands more, Jehovah knoweth none." I was pretty excited about that.

Another little something I might do in my blog is this: I have a "Five Year Diary" from the year 1962. I kept it during my 5th grade year and into the summer . I'm thinking that each day I will write what I wrote on that same date in 1962. It's not much. Only a sentence or two and not very creative. But it gives a speck of a clue as to what I was doing on this day 46 years ago.

June 25, 1962 - Monday - Dear Diary, last night I spent the night with Jane White. Today we went swimming.

This has got to be the most mindless blog entry ever - To make up for that I will now end with a recipe - the ingredients are some of what I purchased at Publix today.

8 oz. mascarpone cheese(or cream cheese), softened
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (2-lb) frozen pecan pie, thawed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup chocolate fudge topping
1/3 cup caramel topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1. Beat cream cheese(or mascarpone), whipping cream, and vanilla extract in a large bowl at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth and firm.
2. Place half of pie cubes in bottom of a 4-qt. trifle dish or tall, clear 4-qt. glass bowl. Spread half of whipped cream mixture over pie cubes. Drizzle with half each of chocolate fudge topping and caramel topping. Sprinkle with half of chopped pecans. Repeat layers.
3. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
NOTE: For testing purposes only, Southern Living used Edwards Georgia Pecan Pie, Smucker's Chocolate Fudge Topping, and Smucker's Caramel Flavored Topping.
You ought to see the photo in the magazine.
Looks luscious.
Final item - Charlie, Ellie, Luke, Ann and I all gathered around the tomato plant in the very back and watched while Ellie, under Charlie's supervision, picked our first ripe tomato. Ellie had the honor of carrying the tomato, very carefully, back to the house. We all walked very slowly so she wouldn't drop it. Sorry there are no pictures to show.
Good Night.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Four Girls

Ada in McDonough - June 14

Ellie and Luke in Best Buy , June 19

June 19, Best Buy, Ellie and Luke

My intention is to not write about these 3 little bits, because their moms are writing about them on other blogs. But they do occupy a good bit of my time and thoughts. As do my four daughters:



Laura Beth



I intentionally listed the youngest first. That would be Kate. She is Katherine Wilkerson, born February 15, 1988. I was 36 when Kate was born. Her middle name, Wilkerson, is my maiden name. So much has been written in my previous blogs regarding my grandfather, John Wilkerson. I haven't yet told a lot about my Dad, Frank Wilkerson, but plan to do that. Katherine isn't a family name, but it is just so pretty, isn't it? My mother was rather vocal, unusally so, when we decided to call her Kate. She so wanted us to call her Katherine. I don't care if people want to call her Katherine. It was a tough choice, but I do love the name Kate. Kate is a Junior at Auburn University, majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management. This summer she is on support staff at Camp Maranook. (See my list of websites) She attends Covenant Presbyterian in Auburn. (again, websites) Both Camp Maranook and Covenant have played a large role in growing Kate as a believer. I am blessed by the things she shares out of her experiences at both places.

Kate will be home at the end of July, for about 3 weeks before she has to return to Auburn for Fall Semester. I'll be glad when she gets here. She'll be preparing for some upcoming responsibilities at Auburn, as well as getting her apartment ready to live in. This will be her first time to live in an apartment. Up to this point she has been in the dorm - not her favorite experience, by a long shot, so she is really looking forward to the apartment life.

Sarah is Sarah Edith.

She is my 3rd daughter and has her own blog - the title is My Art and is listed on my list of blogs.

Sarah was born January 24, 1986. I was 34 when she was born. Her first name is a familiar family name, from Charlie's family and from my family. Charlie's aunt, (His Mother's sister) was Sarah. She is no longer living, but I was around her some, and she was a very pleasant lady - cheerful and all smiles. My Mother's paternal grandmother was Sarah. Mother and her sisters called her "Mama Sally". Mother told me that her "Mama Sally" had a very kind and gentle temperament and was the mother of six sons, and four daughters.

Sarah's middle name, Edith, well - that is my mother's name. Edith Nelson Northcutt. Mother was named after "Mama Sally's" husband, James Nelson, because they shared the same birthday, September 6. The name, Edith, isn't used much anymore. Names have a way of returning to popularity. I love it because it was mother. I do think it is interesting that we tend to end up with names that blend with our nature. Sarah is a gentle and peaceful soul, much like Mom. Mother was a bit of a worrier, though, and Sarah is not that. In fact, Sarah always tends to trust that things will work out.

Sarah, like Kate, attends Covenant Presbyterian in Auburn. Sarah is a Senior at Auburn.

I love Covenant for the impact it has had on Sarah's and Kate's spiritual growth.

Sarah, too, was at Maranook, the summer before Kate started there. She was a counselor. That was Kate's intro to Maranook, and this is Kate's second summer there.

Laura Beth is my second daughter. She was born August 12, 1982. I was 31 when Laura Beth was born. Her name is Laura Elizabeth Rhodes Moore. She married Scott on April 29, 2006. She is named after Charlie's aunt, Laura Nona Ray. Laura Nona was a teacher and a librarian. Interesting, because Laura Beth loves books, loves reading, majored in English, got her Master's Degree in Secondary Education. Her middle name, Elizabeth, is, of course my name, but it is also Charlie's mother's name. Elizabeth Ray Rhodes.

You can learn more about LB on her blog, All Things Ada, under my blog list. Ada is Laura Beth's baby(see pictures above) and is named after my great grandmother, Ada Chapman Henderson. She was my mother's Maternal Grandmother. Mother loved her.

Laura Beth is unique in the lineup of sisters because her birthday is in August. The others' birthdays are all within 3 weeks of each other - 12/24: 2/1: 2/15 - That is birthday season for us, and then we jump over to August for Laura Beth's birthday, and now for Ada's on August 5, which is also Scott's birthday. Just a bit of Laura Beth trivia.

Another tidbit about Laura Beth which differentiates her from her sisters is that she is redheaded. See above photo of Ada for the true color of Laura Beth's hair. The sun and highlights and age have changed it a bit, but Ada has Laura Beth's hair. My other 3 girls have blonde hair, like Charlie's. Again, time has darkened it a bit, but I still regard them as blonde.

And my first born.

Ann Bailey Rhodes Barber. Ann was born February 1, 1981. I was 29 when Ann was born.

She too has a blog, titled: The Barbers. (see blog list)

Ellie and Luke in the above photos belong to her, and she is expecting her 3rd in February. I should have a blank space above for this baby's would be picture - because "it" is already having an affect on what we do. Ann is very tired, often sick, but mostly tired - and needs quite a bit of help. Even the knowledge of its arrival has already caused Ellie to be quite "clingy" to Ann. All of that has changed the picture a great amount.

Ann is named after my sister, Mary Ann. Her middle name is after Charlie's great grandfather Jefferson Davis Bailey of Florala, AL. There is so much family history there, which I am sure I will write about at some point. Again, the name thing. Ann, as a little girl, looked so much like Mary Ann as a little girl - it was spooky. Question: Does God even do that? Direct the naming of our children, knowing how he created them. It seems like it. He is sovereign. That is such a mystery which my feeble brain cannot handle, especially in the middle of a hot June afternoon.

Ann's birth ushered me into motherhood. It was her arrival which pulled back that curtain and revealed a depth of loving someone which is hard to describe. I felt it with every birth, but before Ann's I had not experienced it.

Ann is married to Steve. They married October 5, 2002. They lived in Albuquerque(see Hoffmantown Church under list of websites) for 4 years. Ellie and Luke were born in A., NM.

They moved here a year ago, for Steve to pastor our new church, Riverside Community Church. It will soon be on my Website List.

Those are my four girls. I have read through each intro and again, as always, feel guilty for not writing the same amounts, nor the same kinds of things about each one. I am afraid each of them will read this and say, "That's it??? That's all you have to say about me???"

They are all four unique, yet share a few of the same qualities. They are more different, than they are alike. Thanks to God's sovereign grace, through nothing any of us have done, they are all born again - yielding to Him - seeking Him to be Lord of their lives. That is the absolute truth. I don't have any idea why Charlie and I should be so blessed, nor them, but we are. In the end I know, it's all for His Glory, to advance His Kingdom. My prayer: "Lord, Empower us to do what You would have us do." Again, God's sustaining grace.

Plus, He has blessed us with two very kind, believing committed sons-in-law. I don't ever doubt their best intentions for my daughters. That spells S-A-F-E-T-Y.

Here is the flip side for all of us. We have a lot of drama. FOUR GIRLS plus ME!!! Are you kidding? That is a lot of estrogen! And so much of our sinful nature still unbroken. It wouldn't do for me to write some of our worst moments, some of MY worst moments.

They are, indeed, my greatest treasures. I can't thank God enough for the way they are. I've told them this, but if I were in a private place with any one of them - I would confess to each daughter, "You are my favorite". Each one is my favorite. They are each so far beyond where I was at each of their ages. That was always my prayer, that every generation after Charlie and Me, would be stronger spiritually than the generation before it. That is after my prayer that I have begged God that each descendant after Charlie and me would "Love Him with all of his/her heart, soul, mind and strength". I don't want any of my great greats to not be eternally with Christ in Heaven.
Okay - so after this I will speak of my girls, who are extensions of Me - and I will know that I have introduced them in this blog.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New beginnings, Clean Slates, New Pages, Simple Pleasures etc.

This morning is the beginning of a new day and it is the beginning of a new week. I love that. I love new beginnings. (Reminds me of the gospel - Jesus offers us the ultimate new beginning - a new life.) As an artist I've always loved a clean piece of paper. There is so much possibility. I hate the part where I mess up. So, I love opportunities to start over again. (Repentance and grace - saving grace and enabling or sustaining grace - ask me a question if you don't understand). And I love when I don't mess up. I love that. Across the board, not messing up .... with anything. (Jesus saved me from my own tainted good works - I lean toward being the elder brother instead of the prodigal - I think I would rather be the prodigal - He seemed to get it better than the elder brother ) But the thing is I mess up more than I don't. Or so it seems. I just like doing something right. That matters a lot to me - like making a bed.
Mother taught me that lesson - how to make a bed properly. I remember being with her and I can see the whole scene. Tucking in the sheets neatly, few gathers - Layering the blankets and having the bedspread just so.... with the edges straight, parallel to the floor. Mother would never leave a bed unmade. (Mine upstairs is unmade, but I know that no one will see it and I intend to get to that) In Mother's later years, when she needed a full time caregiver to help her out of bed and to get her shower, she still wanted to see her bed made, and she supervised it. She would sit in her chair while the person attending her made the bed.... and she would point out places any of us missed, places which were uneven. She wasn't mean about it, so we had some good laughs over it. Jane(her nurse) or Mary Ann, or me, if I was in town, would tease her about being so bossy. The thing is, I knew what she was talking about.... and as her daughter, I wanted to beat her to those spots, get to them before she had a chance to point them out. She had been my teacher, and I had been the pupil. I wanted to show her that I had excelled beyond even her skills. I enjoyed pleasing her with the perfectly made bed. All of this is an overstatement of making the bed, but it is a simple pleasure. That is another thing I like; simple pleasures, the daily ones. A clean sink in the morning, when I go to make coffee. Or, the smell of coffee, when Charlie has already made it. The first cup of coffee in the morning, that's the best. I wonder if those people who load it with cream and sugar feel the same way about the first cup. It seems that the pleasure of the first cup is common only to those who drink it black. I'm not sure. In an earlier post I mentioned that I had worked for the past 3 years, after being at home for the previous 25 years. Now I am back at home. Coming home, after being gone all day, is one of the things I miss. A whole day of being gone, and walking into my house. I love that. I confess that the first thing I would want to do, after taking off my shoes, is have a glass of wine. That first glass is like the first cup of coffee. Again, clean slate, clean palate.
Back to the bed thing; who doesn't love the smell and feel of clean sheets? That is intoxicating. And back to my hydrangeas. I am still enjoying my arrangement which is on my mantle. I never tire of seeing it. There are so many simple pleasures which we can give ourselves, which make our daily lives very enjoyable.
An organized closet. That's great to me. Not saying I have all of this done, but I'm working on it. One thing at a time. My mom always said, "Everything has it's place", or "Everything should have a place". That's referring to the house. So, if things get cluttered, I have a place to put them, or perhaps I should toss them. These are random thoughts.
But it's all about Monday morning and the possibilities. I'm going to get busy so I don't lose the morning.

(Pictures make a post so interesting, and I haven't mastered that detail. Perhaps today I will photograph some of my "simple pleasures", "tasks accomplished", and post them separately.

Have a great day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

2 Letters

My post from yesterday was a verse penned by my Grandfather. Now it's today, and I have found two letters written by him. The first letter is the one from which came yesterday's post. I can't imagine anyone being interested, unless you're like me and enjoy looking intently into the lives of those who have lived before us, when our culture and society were a bit different. Let me just say that when I understood the gospel, at age 16, and said "yes" to all the truth of the gospel of Christ, Granddaddy and Grandmother had already died. I wondered about their salvation. I knew that they had lived with the highest integrity, were moral in character and were loving parents, leaving my Daddy with a safety and security that he passed on to me. I knew that they had been active members of their church, but I didn't know about their redemption. In my early twenties when I was living in Troy, AL for a brief time, I went to vote. I was with my Daddy, and a very old man who was a volunteer at the polls began to talk with us. It came to his understanding who daddy was, John Wilkerson's son. His face lit up, and we all began smiling. He had been in Granddaddy's Sunday School Class. He said, "If ever a man knew Jesus, Mr. John did".

The following letters are just a cameo of their daily lives in Troy, AL.

June 22, 1951
Dear Edith & Frank:
I thought of writing you a letter, but I am afraid I will not have much to say of interest to you. You know how we live & what we do - and our everyday life is not very exciting. I have a very comfortable office where I occupy my time about every day. I haven't used my fan there this year. I have a South East window thru which comes the prevailing wind. Later, however, I will need the fan. Nettie & Halbert left at 7 this morning for Montgomery. Nettie goes to her dentist(Foster) and to find a good chiropodist, if there is such a thing, in Montgomery.
We think & talk of you & your family all the time and hope to see you at not too distant a time. Frank, I am really writing this to send you a check which may come in handy. I have no doubt you can find some way to use it. We all always enjoy hearing from you and especially Mary Ann's comments on current events; We are getting anxious to see her again. We would like to see Mr. & Mrs. Northcutt again, and all the rest of the family also.
I am feeling pretty good right now. Am taking care of myself, and don't often run up & down the Court House steps two at a time. - Get enough sleep - Cook breakfast about every morning - (Halbert toasts the bread - but can do the whole thing)
Think how bad it would be if day was everlasting, & there were no night. - No rising sun, no morning dew, no morning glories, no smell of bacon & coffee - no new day with its chance & opportunity of starting all over again -
Much love & good wishes for both of you -
I told Nettie I was sending the check out of her money.

(Mary Ann is my older sister. She was 2 1/2 at the time. Halbert was my Daddy's oldest brother, a bachelor and lived with Grandmother and Granddaddy. Nettie was my Grandmother. It was short for Antoinette. Mr. and Mrs. Northcutt were my Mother's parents and lived in the same small town where we lived. Granddaddy was an attorney, hence, the Court House steps. He was in his very late 70's if not early 80's when he wrote this. In the following letter he'll mention his telescope. His hobby was astronomy. He and Halbert built an observatory. It was in their back yard and quite unique. Perhaps in another blog I'll post pictures of pictures of the observatory which they built...If I can put my hands on them. He also built one for Troy State University which, at the time, was a college. I find it interesting that in that letter he mentioned nothing about Mother about to give birth. She was 23 days from delivering me. Again, a different time and society rules were different. )

Next Letter - I was 4 days old.

July 18, 1951
Dear Frank:
I feel like writing you and Edith to join Nettie, who has already written you in expressing our congratulations and our joy over the coming of the dear Elizabeth. Isn't it wonderful that we can feel so free of apprehension and so confident of the outcome, these modern days of good hospitals and trained doctors and nurses. My mother & father lost 5 of their first babies. As a child I was almost raised on coffee with biscuit crumbled in it.
Well, of course I know there are a lot of happy Northcutts over there now. Nettie & I brag every day about Mary Ann & Elizabeth to our unfortunate friends. We can't wait to see & hear Mary Ann's comments on the new baby. I hope this hot spell will relax before you bring Edith & the baby home. I told Mr. Moll about the happy event & he nearly had hysterics. After Edith comes back, and we have a cooler spell of weather perhaps we 3 can run over & spend the day. Nettie & I wake nearly every day any time from 4 to 6 am. We could nearly get there before breakfast. For the past several years the heat of the summer has been pretty bad on me, - butI am learning to take it now, I believe, without any doctor's advice. We have a cool house. - especially a new electric fan for the front hall. I sit down, turn on the fan at night, put my heels on the cushion and read - & Nettie goes to see the neightbors. I am trying to be more considerate than that. - and we sit on the porch at night - at least until a mysterious form of small mosquitos begin to bite me. & nobody else & I have to go in.
If the money gets low again, let me know.
I had 20 women from the T.S.T. summer school around to look thru my telescope recently, & with Halbert's help managed to let them all look thru the telescope at the moon. One fat lady, standing up on the stand, stepped off into the air & hit the floor. She seemed to have no bones broken. & did not complain afterwards. I could bring my six inch over some time & let Mr. Northcutt look thru it.
With love to Edith & all the family.

(Mr. Moll mentioned in this letter was Daddy's musical mentor. He greatly influenced Daddy and was quite a figure in Troy, AL. He was Herman Moll.

That's Friday's Post. I have quite a connection to Troy, AL. That small town shaped my Dad, and many of his ancestors.

Again, Favorite things and what I like to remember. I knew my Granddaddy for a very brief time. He was a large figure to me, and seemed serious to me, as a small child. Still, knowing him through my Dad's stories, I feel a strong connection to him.

The End, for today.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday Night

My Blog is about remembering people and things in my past or present, and my favorite things. Those are all the same to me.

It's the end of the day, and it has been a full day. But I want to post this favorite "quote" by my Grandfather, John Halbert Wilkerson. It was included in a letter to my parents in June of 1951, a few weeks before I was born. He was writing them a letter, before the days of computers and cell phones and land phones with low cost long distant plans. Long Distant Phone calls were rationed out. They were not frequent. After updating Mother and Daddy on his and Grandmother's daily life in Troy, Alabama, and wishing them well regarding the upcoming birth of their second baby he closed the letter with the following:

Think how bad it would be

If day was everlasting

and there were no night,

No rising sun, no morning dew,

No morning glories,

No smell of bacon and coffee,

No new day with its chance and opportunity

Of starting all over again.

John Halbert Wilkerson

June 22, 1951

Good Night.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pictures to go with Frame Shop Story

See end of Frame Shop Story, or This is what I'm doing after I post blog.
My good dirt. Can't wait to open those bags.

Posted by PicasaRosemary, Basil, Rosemary, and Sage

The Frame Shop

Today I had lunch with my friend, Sue. Her birthday was yesterday, so I took her out to lunch today.

We were destined to be friends. She grew up in South Alabama, and her best friend in high school was one of my closest friends in college. During College I only heard about "Mary Sue" in stories about their high school days, told by Debbie, our friend. Life went on and Mary Sue married Gerald and he went to law school. Meanwhile, Charlie was in law school also. Well, Charlie and Gerald landed in the same town. Gerald as a defense attorney. Charlie as a Prosecutor. We were all very young back then. I soon learned that Mary Sue was now called Sue. Sue and Gerald joined the First Methodist Church. Charlie and I joined Calvary Baptist Church. Because of zoning, their 2 boys attended a different elementary school than my 4 girls. We communicated at Bar functions, and soon saw one another at Jr High events, and then High School events. Their 2 boys were about the age of my 2 oldest girls. Our lives were somewhat parallel, but they were in the "boy world" and we were in the "girl world". Then our children graduated from high school, except I still had two in high school.

4 years ago I ran into Sue at the K-Mart parking lot. We did our "catch up" talk. She was moving her dear mom, 90, the next day to our hometown. The conversation went down avenues, and before I knew it, she was asking me if I would like to work for her, should she actually open up the frame shop she and Gerald had been discussing. I said, "Maybe", with fear and trepidation. I had not worked since 1980. She hadn't held a fulltime job since about then, but had done some office work for Gerald. (Her major was in office administration). (Speaking of which, she knew my sister-in-law, Charlie's sister, before I did. They were in the same major and met in classes there.)

In June of 2005, Sue opened up her Frame Shop. It was called Sue's Custom Framing and Cards. I had learned the basics of mat cutting and matting, in college, and I had that inclination to "frame" and do projects, but I didn't officially know how to frame. Sue and I, in that year of research, prior to the shop's opening, went to a 2 or 3 day Explo thing where all the framers and frame vendors get together in Atlanta at the World Congress Center. It was overwhelming, but inticing. That's a whole other world, the world of framing. It was fun and left us each with our brains swooning. Again, it was Sue's doing. I couldn't have, or wouldn't have known how, to pursue it any further. But Sue did and she opened up her shop, after having gone to a week of classes to learn the basics of framing. She taught me, in the week prior to opening up her shop, what she had learned in her classes. She had bought all this lucious equipment, had wonderful work tables and storage pieces built. It was a dream for one who enjoys that sort of thing. I do. It was a miracle for me to be able to do it. I am much the homebody. I could almost be a hermit, except that I really, really like people. A LOT! We are all fascinating to me - all the varieties.

In the 3 years since she opened the shop, she and I have worked through some of life's biggest events: For me, the marriage of one daughter; the birth of 3 grandchildren; 2 daughters graduating from high school and beginning college; and the death of my mom. For Sue, her youngest son graduating from college, spending a summer hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and beginning a ministry at SIFAT in Lineville, AL; her oldest son completing and graduating with honors from law school and beginning his career; and the death of her mom. That doesn't touch the daily stuff of life that comes up when one is involved in relationships with family and friends.

Sue closed her shop on May 31. For me I prayerfully made the decision to return home fulltime,for maternal reasons. I feel a need to be at home again. For Sue, retail is a tougher row to hoe than she and I realized, and the economy certainly doesn't help. A really good profit is great incentive to actually keep a shop open. But we had the opportunity to do some great framing projects. We were told that we did a really good job, and I know we welcomed everyone with open arms. It didn't matter if they spent money or not, although it sure was exciting when they did. I've been told by Sue that I'm user friendly. She is super duper user friendly. She is wide open to everybody, and I have never met a more positive, hopeful person. She has a tremendous faith in God, through Christ, and loves people.

I am grateful for the opportunity, at this age, to learn a new skill. Just to know that I can.

Another huge thing...remember the wonderful work tables I told you about? Well, in dissolving the business, liquidating, etc., Sue and Gerald were left with 3 work tables. I dreamed of how I could buy one in particular. I figured and figured, but told myself , NO. We still have 2 girls in college, remember? Gerald called me on the first day of my first week at home, not working. He was giving me that work table. I still can't believe it, and don't yet know what I'll do "on it". It's so big and so perfect. I want to do projects, but am not sure yet which ones. It was such a generous gift, and it blessed my heart greatly. Still does.

So, that's my story for the day.

Before I had lunch with Sue, I bought some good dirt for one more container tomato plant, (we have 3 already) plus 3 herbs to plant - rosemary, sage, and sweet basil. Also some plant food. I'm going outside now to play in the dirt.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Mother with my oldest daughter, Ann, who is pregnant with Mother's first Great Grandchild. That was December, 2004

Mom in 2005 - probably 85 or 86
I like to remember the people in my past. Of course I think of my mother almost daily. Mother was born September 6, 1919 and died April 5, 2006. She was 86, soon to be 87. She was Edith Nelson Northcutt Wilkerson. She married Daddy(Frank Godsey Wilkerson) August 3, 1947. Daddy died August 8, 1993.

Mom, of course, taught me a lifetime of lessons, and as I blog I expect that I will often talk about the things she taught me on a daily basis. As is so often the case, I didn't even know I was learning so much until I was well into my adult life. Mom was of that WWII generation. They understood the power and the value of daily disciplines. I am a baby boomer, so who knows what we have passed on to our children. Time will tell. I think it's been talked about, what we are passing on, but I'm of the opinion that most of us will have to be 80 plus, or into eternity, before the culture knows for sure.

Below is a youthful picture of Mom. I don't have a scanner, so I had to take a picture of a picture. Hence, the fuzziness of it. Below that picture are a few things that remind me so much of her. I have so many things. The plaid dishes are some that I have reordered off of Ebay. Mom received a complete set of those as a wedding gift in 1947. They came from an upscale gift shop in Troy, AL, a gift from my Dad's brother and his wife. Over the years the pieces were broken and eventually there was none left. When I learned how to use a computer, these dishes were some of the first things I found on the search engine. I began to order a few pieces at a time and have built up my collection. They are Organdie Plaid, by Vernonware. There's a juicer, and a blue vase, a glass vase, and a photo which is hanging in my kitchen. In the photo is Mother, my sister in the middle, a friend in the foreground, and I am on the right. We are in the kitchen and Mother is on the phone, smiling. I'm guessing Daddy was photographing the scene, and she is looking back at us, smiling. I've always loved that picture, even as a little girl. It was such a typical slice of our life.

Mother was blessed with a heart to love God. She pointed us toward Him. She also was blessed with a strong, yet gentle character. Here's the thing....we were all very typical. We were real people, imperfect. There was always tolerance for mistakes, irritations, but there was just such a safe feeling. Also, we laughed so very much. Lots of laughter. I inherited from Mom overactive tear ducts when laughing. Her eyes watered, my eyes water. We loved to laugh. Mom was one of 4 sisters. They all stayed in the same South Alabama town, along with my grandparents, and I grew up with 10 cousins, plus my sister. There were 12 cousins. As cousins we felt more like siblings. It was a delightful existence.
Now I am going to end today's rather serious blog, which was unintentional, the sober nature of it, with a verse which I found when I was about 25. I believe that most everyone can feel what it is saying.
Thanksgiving in the Nursery
Oh, for an hour in that dear place!
Oh, for the peace of that dear time!
Oh, for that childish trust sublime!
Oh, for a glimpse of Mother's face!

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Monday, June 16, 2008

To Complete the Day

So this is all for this day, Monday. I have spent way to much time setting this whole thing up. I will have to check with my girls to find out the simplest way to post pictures along with one entry. I have much, too much, to do, to spend this much time at the computer....although I do enjoy it. Time has gotten away from me. I need to clean, and complete a letter to my daughter who is away, working at a camp. I need to finish my bible study preparation for Thursday night. I am a "facilitator", a word I need to look up in the dictionary. To me, it means I don't have to be the teacher. There is yard work to do. This all started this morning, when I was emailing my "camp" daughter, and promised her I would email her pix of my hydrangeas. It's a mom thing. The next thing I know...I'm blogging. So, see you tomorrow....or the next day. Below are a few picures I managed to download.

June 16, 2008, a very hot day.

Taken from the shade of my magnolia tree.
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Hydrangeas and My House

Who can duplicate that color?
The young bushes which I won't disturb.
In the shade of a Crepe Myrtle.
My art studio in the background and two young Hydrangea bushes in front of the fence. Gardening reminds me of when I was young and small. Playing outside in the dirt. I loved it. I played so hard, all day in the summer. I had friends. We all played. We worked at it. Life was good. I had my trials, which we'll talk about later, I'm sure. But today is about my hydrangeas, or God's. And they bless my heart.
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Today is Monday June 16. My first attempt at blogging. I've been intrigued by it, having 4 daughters who are bloggers. I have a total of 4 daughters. I found myself here because I have been photographing my hydrangeas and there is a "button" which says BLOG THIS. I did and was ushered through setting up my blog address. The title of today's blog is MORE THAN A LITTLE INTIMIDATED. That's because, in this blog community, I am somewhat intimidated. I suppose I'll get more comfortable with it. It's like entering a strange room, filled with so many people, and not knowing what to do with myself. I don't want to embarrass myself, but it won't be the first or last time I've embarrassed myself.

The title of my blog is Cinderella, Little Furmaid and Sleeping Judy. I chose that title because I want to write about my favorite things. That phrase is one of my favorite things, and it was coined by my 3 year old granddaughter, Ellie. She loves those three beautiful ladies, the princesses of Disney. There are more, but those 3 are her favorite, right now. When we say Cinderella, Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty, she hears Cinderella, Little Furmaid, and Sleeping Judy. It sounds like the title of a book, or at least the title of a chapter in a book. And then one could write about so many things: things we love, things we think we love but they soon evaporate, things we're confused about but the confusion is better than the reality, and then what is best, when the reality is better than the confusion. It goes on and on. I just like saying and reading it in print. Cinderella, Little Furmaid, and Sleeping Judy.

I will attempt to post pictures of my Hydrangea Bushes. They are young, but not babies. They have produced beautiful flowers this season, and I've not let myself cut many. I usually cut them for inside arrangements, but I don't want to lose any size on them this season. I want to have really big hydrangea bushes. Today I cut a few more and took pictures of the bushes and the ones I cut. Also, my house and how it looks on this day, June 16, 2008.