Thursday, October 29, 2009

Really Quick on Thursday

I have two seconds to post something....

Have to leave for Huntsville to get my hair cut, but I wanted to move away from the 1979 wedding theme.

I have been playing with my camera and have taken a few "experimental" pictures - soon I can be posting more pictures of what my stories are about.

This will be my 3rd trip to Huntsville this week. Monday I went to the gyn. Yesterday I had to go to my "gum specialist" - a periodontist - and today a hair cut. ahhhhh...will be glad to not be going down Hwy. 72 for a while.

Big weekend - only I think bad weather is in the forecast and I get really nervous if loved ones or anyone is on the road during bad weather. I hate it myself.

Today is good weather wise and my sister is coming up. Saturday Laura Beth, Ada, Sarah, and Kate are supposed to be traveling to Scottsboro - but I've warned them about the weather. Sarah might come today. LB and Ada - well, I haven't heard back - and Kate has something she really wants to attend on Friday night in Auburn - so - I don't know.

I should have lots of subject matter for taking pictures. Grandchildren!

I'm going to close now. Hope to post in a better fashion later - but my music has changed back to those Hymns I love. I love them all - old Hymns with great theology in them - but I can't put the whole Hymn book on my playlist. :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wedding Day

So these are the other 2 pictures that I have to put up here.
It's raining today but it wasn't raining 30 years ago.
It was a very beautiful, crisp and pleasant October weekend when Charlie and I married.
We both were working in Birmingham, and I traveled down to Evergreen on Thursday before the wedding on Saturday. Charlie came on Friday.
I remember how exhilerated I felt driving out of B'ham - so excited to get home - Mom had so many gifts waiting for me to open - and had invited my aunts and grandmother to come over for coffee and watch me open my gifts that had been piling up. Mary Ann was there, too.
Then, on Friday friends and family began coming into town.
Compared to today's weddings, it was very lowkey - but I loved it. It was traditional and the usual nuts and mints and Cake in the Church fellowship hall for the reception.
Our rehearsal dinner was at a banquet room at the Holiday Inn in Evergreen and I loved that also.
So - Charlie gifted me, last night, with a new camera!!!
Wow - totally unexpected - this was a year I wasn't even thinking gift - and he knew that - we are just so stretched right now with stuff - so I forgot to even think in terms of anniversary gifts. He really surprised me. It's a great camera and he consulted with Sarah and Ann - because Sarah has just recently bought a camera for herself and Ann has been window shopping for cameras for herself. I love this beautiful super duper camera - but now I have to learn how to use it.
Can't wait. I love just holding it.
Charlie has a busy long day at work - I have much to do, getting ready for the weekend when all the girls will be here, plus Mary Ann - but I am grateful to be in this marriage, to love Charlie and know he loves me, to feel safe - I am grateful for our good health at this point - for our 4 girls and 5 grandchildren(counting little John who is still due to arrive in February)
Of course what I am the most grateful for is what I've said before - that God has revealed Himself to us - that He "set His love on us" , He foreknew us, way, way back there, that we have no other reason to be here on this earth other than to bring Him Glory. All the other stuff are blessings upon blessings - and even though they are unfun - the trials are blessings also - God giving permission for the trials to be in our lives in order to shape us into His image - His Kingdom Come, His Will Be Done, On Earth - Just Like It Is in Heaven

Monday, October 26, 2009

30 years ago tonight

I was at my wedding rehearsal.
I wish I had more rehearsal and rehearsal dinner pictures to put here on my blog. I only have written one of these to cd, but I have more. This one is of Daddy and me, walking down the aisle at the rehearsal.
Tomorrow is mine and Charlie's 30th anniversary. I better put my "Charlie and Elizabeth Anniversary Songs" back up just for tonight and tomorrow.
Right now? 30 years later? Charlie's ironing a shirt. He got in late from work. I got in later than he did - picking Ann, Ellie and Andrew up from the airport, with Luke helping me. And I've been out at Ann's, helping her go through reentry. All moms know what I'm talking about - the unloading of the car, the unpacking of the "stuff", the feeding of the children, the bathing of the children. The getting things absorbed back, in a reasonable fashion, into the fabric of the household.
Luke's been with me during the day and Steve at night, while the other 3 traveled to Albuquerque. 2 of those nights Luke stayed with Charlie and me.
That's all for tonight - Just had to post something regarding our rehearsal night - I wouldn't have thought about it except that as I left Ann's, the radio was on a station playing oldies - and of all things - it was one of those songs that I've had on my playlist - which reminded me of when I was dating and falling in love with Charlie....awwwww. I got emotional.
Happy Anniverary to us tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Rest of the Story

Chapter 2
Once Upon a Time

In the last post, or the one prior to the pictures, I ended with William Morris having died in 1838, leaving his wife Mary to continue the farm/plantation - with the help of her sons - some having married and moved to their own farms nearby.

Enoch Lafayette Morris is the main character in this final chapter of the story.
Enoch, who was known as FATE MORRIS throughout the area, was 29 when his father died. He had married at age 21 and already had 3 children in 1838.

Living close to his mother's plantation, Enoch Lafayette Morris farmed his own land, his own plantation. Mary outlived William Morris by more than 20 years. She was close to 80 at the time of her death.

Enoch lived with his parents until he married Elizabeth in 1830, at the age of 21.

Enoch and Elizabeth Morris had 8 children, 3 boys and 5 girls.

Siney E., Mary Cameron, Susannah A., Margaret Jane, William, Martha E., John Wesley, and Abel H.

I have the dates of their birth and their spouses, but I think I might lose my reader if I name those. Perhaps I've already lost my reader. There's an amazing turn of events in this story if you'll just hang in there.

Here it is. Elizabeth and Enoch had been married 19 years when, in 1849, Elizabeth was accidentally shot by her brother as they sat talking in her home. During their visit, her brother "slapped" his gun causing it to fire and strike Elizabeth. She lived for 16 hours following the fatal accident.

Looking at the birth dates of her children, they were 18, 16, 13, 11, 9, 6, 3, and 1 when their mother, Elizabeth, died. Enoch was 40 when his wife died.

Such shock and grief, and waiting those 16 hours - before she died.

I've tried to imagine the time of day - a visit it seems would have been early afternoon - making that long vigil last through the night and early into the next morning. Where were the children? Who was there? How did her brother suffer from that event? The horror of it. And Enoch being without his Elizabeth and having his 8 children to love and nurture. It was said that his mother lived more than 20 years after her husband's death - therefore she could still have been living when her son and grandchildren suffered this severe loss.
This is what we are told.
After Elizabeth's tragic and untimely death and with the help of his 18 year old daughter, Siney, and his servant, Julia, Enoch cared for and nurtured his younger children. He remained a widower for almost 3 years.

And because of that tragic event E. L. Morris's next family unfolds - the family of which I am a descendant. That blows my mind - knowing about our Sovereign God - over all of life's events - which is too big for me to wrap my brain around - He is a mystery yet He reveals Himself to us - So Amazing!

In 1852, Enoch married Rachel Irena Calloway, who was born in February 1831. She was 21 and Enoch was 43 when they married. There was a close family connection -the culture seemed to be connected in those small communities in the late 1800's. Rachel Irena Calloway was the sister of Joshua Calloway, Sr. She was the aunt of Joshua Calloway, Jr., who married Enoch's & Elizabeth's 4th child, Margaret Jane.

Enoch and Irena Morris, after their marriage in 1852, had 9 children - 2 boys and 7 girls. Adding to the 8 children Enoch and Elizabeth had, this made 17 children for Enoch and Irena to parent. Siney, the oldest, would have been about 21 when her father married Irena.

The children of Enoch and Rachel Irena were

James Abram, Frances Caldonia, Enoch Lafayette, Jr., Sarah Tom, Nancy Ann, Laura Dora, Sereny, and Carlie.

Enoch was 65 and Irena was 43 when their last child was born.

Sarah Tom Morris was the 4th child of Enoch and Irena's 9 children, or the 12th of their combined 17 children. She was born in 1862. The Civil War began on April 12, 1861. Alabama had seceded from the Union on January 11, 1861.

Below are some images from that time - the men who voted for secession, the cover of a book which has been written about life in Southern Alabama during the Civil War, and a map showing the battlefields of Alabama. It shows no battles in Conecuh or Monroe County - which tells us that perhaps there was a sense of safety from the bloodshed of the war, not emotional, but physical safety. In these same records, which I have, it is told that Enoch's 3rd daughter from his first marriage to Elizabeth was Susannah. Susannah lost her first husband in the Civil War. He died in 1867. Susannah was 31 when he died. She married her second husband and she was 40 when he died. She married a 3rd time and she was 67 when he died. I am ascertaining she had learned from her father how to handle grief and trials. It is a descendant of Susannah who has afforded us this information regarding William Morris through Enoch and Irena Morris.

Enoch was 53 and Irena was 31 when Sarah Tom was born. I have no information of his involvement in the war.

Sarah Tom Morris married James Nelson Northcutt on December 12, 1878. She was 16 and he was 21 when they married. I just called my sister to ask her how many children "Mama Sally" and "Grandpa" had. She thinks it was 9 or 10 and said, "hold on", as she started spitting out their names to herself, while I waited on the phone. I scribbled down their names as she was mumbling them to herself - she knows them by their affectionate names, as we heard our Mother and Aunts tell their stories over the years.

This is what I heard Mary Ann say: "Let's see, there was Walter, Enoch, Jim, Elbert, Charlie, Mattie, Annie, Bertha, and Aunt Sissy - yes, I think that's it".

I'll begin the ending of this story - I notice that Mama Sally, who was Sarah Tom, 12th child of Enoch and 4th child of Rachel Irena Calloway Morris, named one of her sons Enoch Layfayette Northcutt and she named my granddaddy, Elbert Calloway Northcutt, after her mother. Probably the others were family names as well. Enoch who was known as Fate Morris must have had a strong character to instill such a sense of family and committment and perseverance, and a love and enjoyment of life. He was well known throughout the county for his musical talent. With his fiddle in hand, one could usually find him providing the music for many of the social gatherings of Monroe and Conecuh Counties.

Enoch was 91 and Irena was 69 when the 19th century came to a close and the 20th century began. They both died during the first decade of the new century and are both buried in Monroe County.

Fate(Enoch) Morris was an old man when his grandson, Elbert, was born. Irena wasn't as old, but probably felt her age just as much as Fate did, seeing as she had given birth to 9 children and mothered 17. I wish I knew Elbert's affectionate name for his grandparents.

Elbert married my grandmother, Mary Ella Henderson, in about 1915 or perhaps December 25, 1914 - as the New Year of 1915 was about to unfold. Because my cousin interviewed Ella before she died we heard her answer his question, "How soon after you married did you and Elbert start having children?" She laughed a bit and looked around and said, "Well, about as soon as it takes." and she was still snickering. Apparently they might have had Lucille 9 months after they married. Mother was born 3 years later, and Florence 3 years after that. Mary was born in another 10 years. Elbert and Ella must have figured something out - seems there was a bit more pregnancy management than their parents and grandparents had had. I did research the history of birth control - seems Margaret Sanger was beginning to influence our culture in that regard, about that time. She was causing quite a stir.

Mother and her sisters always had stories about walking up to Mama Sally's and Grandpa's house. I think the day Mary was born, Mother was 13, Florence 10 and Lucille 16, they were told to walk up to Mama Sally's during the delivery. They walked up the railroad track to get to her house. Mother said this to me, once, about Mama Sally, "She was just so kind and sweet". Mother was always in awe of how she raised "those 5 big 'ol boys". They were tall people. I think probably Elbert inherited Mama Sally's temperament and then Mother inherited Elbert's. I didn't get that gene. When we named Sarah, it wasn't directly after Mama Sally, because Charlie has an aunt named Sarah. We liked the name and knew that we had two close family members with that name. So our Sarah became Sarah Edith Rhodes.

Sarah Tom was 72 when she died. James Nelson was 97 when he died.

Elbert died in 1966 and Ella died in 1990.

Mother died in 2006 and Daddy died in 1993.

And now we living out 3 more generations who descended from William and Mary Watson Morris of Virginia and North Carolina.

Images of the 1800's

If you are reading this post and wondering why I am posting images of the 1800's, then you'll need to read the post prior to this one. There you will find the beginning of a story to go with these images, which are for your imagination as you read the completed story in the next post.
Child's Shoes

Little Girl's Calico Dress

Interior of 1800's Wealthy Home

Horse and Buggy

South Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia
In other words, city life, in the early 1800's

Lady's Dress

Montevallo, Alabama


Family Traveling by Wagon to more fertile land

Current Photograph of 1800 Farmhouse in Alabama

Another current photograph of another 1800's farmhouse in Alabama

Farming in Florida in 1800's

Farmers in Iowa in late 1800's

Once Upon a Time.... Virginia,

there lived a man whose name was William Morris.

It is said that he was a native of Virginia. This is before 1800, we know, because that is when we are told he married Mary Watson of North Carolina. They married in 1800 and moved to Georgia.

We'll have to use our imaginations in determining how they met. He was from Virginia, she was from North Carolina

Can you see this map? It is the United States in 1800. North Carolina and Virginia are close, and not knowing where they lived - well - perhaps by wagon William Morris had travelled to Mary's community and met her there - or perhaps Mary was visiting relatives in William's native Virginia and met him there. We can only guess about that. Perhaps marriages were still arranged and someone knew someone - I'd like to think they met and fell in love - that she was a lady he was drawn to - that they were kindred spirits and it was God's sovereign hand which brought them together. I believe that's what happened.
When William and Mary married in 1800 they moved to Georgia to farm. He was a farmer by trade. That's what has been told to us. We don't know why they didn't stay in Virginia - or in North Carolina. Did they leave family to go to Georgia? Were they able to visit by wagon? Was there better land in Georgia? Was more land available and more fertile?

We know this much - they lived in Georgia for more than 20 years. That leads us to believe that William was successfully farming his land, there in Georgia - and he and Mary were successfully having children as well. Their fifth child was born in May of 1809, in Georgia. His name was Enoch Lafayette Morris. He is the name I want you to remember and follow. His life and story has awed me. But, then, so does William and Mary's life amaze me as they moved and changed and left family and friends to prosper and live and support their 10 children they would eventually have. Surely together they had a very strong work ethic, teaching their children the same....

William and Mary Morris moved by wagon, with their 5 children, to Alabama and settled in Monroe County near Burnt Corn.
By 1830 they were well established on their Alabama plantation. William's cash crops were corn and cotton.

Below are more maps to give an idea of how the government was shaping Alabama and the boundaries were changing rapidly each decade.

Alabama in 1810

Alabama in 1820

Alabama in 1830

The story we're told says "they moved to the fertile lands of Alabama - because the government was beginning to open this land up to settlers". It involved the tragedy of the Indians and their Trail of Tears. That's a whole other story.

Another fact, if you don't know - Alabama was admitted as the 22nd state on December 14, 1819.

William and Mary had 10 children. 5 boys and 5 girls. Their youngest child was born in Monroe County in 1826.

Thomas, Malinda, Mary(Polly), Elizabeth(Betsey), Enoch, Nancy, William, James, Martha, and Robert.

In the winter of 1938 William Morris died. His youngest child was 12. Enoch Lafayette Morris was 29. If they began to have children right after they were married, and - don't we assume they did? - then their oldest child could have been 37. That would have been Thomas who was married and living on a nearby farm with his family.

Now read these known facts thoughtfully - and know that as you sit in your chair - your ancestors lived out their daily lives in such a manner - and you are where you are - and if you trust Christ - then you know His hand is in our lives and orchestrating events - He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and we are dust - but in his Love and Sovereign Grace - he breathes life into us as we respond to His gift of redemption. And never doubt that your daily tasks matter in the scheme of things. You're being shaped and molded yourself, as you teach your children, as you encourage those around you, as you look to your creator God to make you into His image - to advance His kingdom - your trials matter - your successes matter - they are in His hands - If you are His.

Now read the rest of the story regarding Mary.....and consider the strength God had instilled in her.

In the will of William Morris, he named his wife, Mary, as sole recipient of his plantation home and more than 160 acres of his farmland. The remaining parts of his lands would be sold and the money divided among his ten children.

For the remainder of Mary's life, she lived in their plantation home and farmed her land. Her two youngest sons, James and Robert lived with her and helped with the farm work. Robert continued to live on the plantation and oversee the farm work, after he married.

I will call this post Chapter 1.

I have to do my own tasks for the day, but am eager to tell the rest of the story. A new post will follow shortly.

Let me also say this -

William and Mary Morris were my Great Great Great Grandparents. I just learned about them last week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Back in Scottsboro

I've changed my music.

I'm in need of some hymns.

I went to the new church Sarah and Kate are attending - last night I went - while in Auburn. The name is Plains Presbyterian and it is brand new, meeting in the sanctuary of the Lutheran Church there in Auburn.

They have a Praise Team - my cousin's daughter, Claire, plays the piano, there are 2 men on guitars, and 1 young man on a viola(looks like a violin). We sang this hymn last night. I love it. They serve the Lord's Supper every Sunday night. "Come to the Lord's table"...they say.

It was all a huge blessing and I'm so grateful that God has revealed Himself to my children and they have been brought to life - I'm grateful that He revealed to them or created in them a hunger and passion to be completely His. That is all that matters in this world - that we are His, completely. We've been bought with a price - His Blood -
He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God. Fall on your knees with head hung low.

Actually, the message was about that last night at church....

Our Father, our Abba Father, King Father, Holy Daddy - who is in heaven -

Hallowed, Holy, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Holy be your name.

Your will be done .....on EARTH....just as it is in Heaven.

There's nothing more to ask for...oh....

Do give us this day our daily bread...our daily needs....which You know more than we know....

Forgive us our trespasses AS WE FORGIVE those who trespass against us....

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.....

Yours is the Kingdom
Yours is the Power
Yours is the Glory
Forever and ever...Amen.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

not McDonough and not Scottsboro

Who knew? I'm spending Sunday in Auburn, AL!!

Anybody who has ever been a college student knows that college life has its own unique version of stress. It's definitely not the real everyday world - not regular everyday stress - but it's different and it can produce a lot of pressure. Combine that truth with the kind of genes that my girls have inherited from me and BOOM! you get meltdowns! On Friday when Laura Beth brought me back to Auburn, Kate was honest, yet kind, telling us that school was building up in the pressure area - several tests and papers, etc due this week. I felt for her and we helped her navigate thru weekend game traffic by dropping her off at places and circling the block - that eliminated her having to find parking places - so she was able to get several tasks done - we had a really good Friday middday with each other and all parted company - Sarah back to her fine arts world, Kate to Toomers to study, Laura Beth and Ada back to McDonough - and Elizabeth hightailing it back to Scottsboro - beebopping down the road (or up the road) in the Corolla - which is driving great by the way - since Steve nearly killed himself in it when the tires blew out - but we have really nice tires on it now and it drives great - really!

Saturday morning - Charlie and I whistling in the dark - loving the Saturday - farmers market - anticipation of the evening game events on TV - and the phone rings - we were in the middle of moving heavy things out of the art studio so I can resume my project of the makeover I'm giving the art studio. I heard it from outside and ran in to get the phone. Sad Sad - poor Kate was losing it - and who could blame her? Her computer had completely crashed! College students cannot have a computer crash and go on with their lives - it can't be done. Kate didn't have time for anything, not a smidgen of anything extra, and certainly not the crashing of a computer.....because besides all the school work, she is a semi-wedding director person for a friends wedding next weekend. There was so much on her computer regarding that and all the emailing with folks - not to mention that her cell phone is "limping" - it's working but not very well - communicating with her on the phone is a bit challenging. Chunks of sentences are not heard. One has to fill in some of the blanks.

Bottom line? I knew that this MOM needed to head to Auburn on that very day and do a bit of 911 rescue and recovery - Kate just needed a personal assistant and that would be her Mom. She also needed a new computer. And that isn't a problem since they give those away for free at Best Buy..... :-) ....... just kidding of course. So - we had several phone calls back and forth - Kate borrowed Sarah's laptop for the afternoon - I did a bit of this and that and drove out of Scottsboro by 2:30 pm on Saturday - yesterday - and came straight to Kate's house at 6:00 - hearing the noise in the stadium - where Auburn was off to a good start playing Kentucky - but I understand that it didn't end well - oh well - not my problem - we were at Best Buy soon after my arrival (wanting to get that done before the exiting traffic began) and we got Kate her new laptop - amazing how empty Best Buy is in Auburn, AL during a football game. We grabbed some food at Zaxby's and a movie at a Red Box machine and got back to Kate's house for a cozy evening watching what I would call a wonderful movie - Kate was pretty much playing with her new computer....The name of the movie is "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving" .... It was a random one that Kate picked out and she was putting disclaimers all over it - but it looked clean and good and cozy and was based on a Louisa May Alcott short story. I loved it!!! Photography was beautiful and it had a hint of Little Women to it.

Kate's church is a new one here in Auburn - and meets at 5:30 pm - It's a "spin off " from the one she's attended these four years in Auburn - Anyway - we're not at church this morning - I've already cloroxed, lysoled her bathroom for her - since I'm not a very late sleeper - neither is she, actually - I just thought - with all the stress - nothing like a clean clean bathroom as a picker upper - Right?

Oh - last night at 11:00 I asked, "What time is it?" and that's when Kate told me, "11:00". I was wowed! No wonder I was so sleepy - I was headed for bed - Kate was headed for Sarah's - where her buds were gathered after the losing game - College Life - no boundaries on time - etc - in the evening - and I said, as a Mother is prone to do, "No wonder ya'll are so tired - you stay out so late!". Kate agreed and left for Sarah's. I just begged her to remember to lock the door and she did and I do remember her coming in but it was a brief moment for me - I slept so good. This morning she told me she came in at 1:00.

Anyway - plan is to take care of the cell phone this afternoon - have no idea what that will entail - maybe a new cell phone. I'm just so grateful that money grows on trees. We have a money tree and we just go out and pick money off of it. One has to appreciate my synical sarcasm. I'm just kidding.

Anyway - this house Kate lives in is really really comfortable and nice - she has the sweetest roommate who has the sweetest parents and it's a very loving environment - I say her parents because I feel their touch all over the house - little extras and they are down here more often than we are - very nurturing place - I love it - but her sweet roommate happens to be gone for the weekend.

Okay - I've gotta close this - but I have a very unique story to tell on my post - I was working on it yesterday when the crisis hit - it has to do with family tree situations - and I was telling Kate the story last night which prompted her to rent that movie - but the story is all in my brain - and I will put that post together when I get back to Scottsboro. I'll probably return tomorrow, but maybe tonight -

One sad thing - our church is having a Fall Family Festival out at Mike and Mary Brattons gorgeous home - well it's an outside thing and I've really looked forward to it - so I'll be missing that today - lots of pumpkins and hayride stuff and hotdogs and desserts and coziness and warmth in the midst of some cool weather. But any Mom would much rather get to her little girl and help, if at all possible, and then her heart can relax a bit

I did grab a lot of my cd's that I seldom listen to - yesterday I grabbed them - because the Corolla radio is awful - but the CD player does work. Normally I listen to Tim Keller going down the road - but I was in the mood for music. I have a lot of old classic stuff - as in rock and also classical music. I listened to an entire Tony Bennett cd, a Linda Ronstadt cd, a Louis Armstrong cd, a Vittorio(romantic opera voice) cd, and finished up with Bach. On the Linda Ronstadt cd I sang along with her - very loud - and I had her turned up very loud - Linda and I were singing so loud together going down Highway 77 through southwest Alabama - that I missed a phone call from Laura Beth on my cell phone. I sheepishly called her right back and explained that Linda and I were doing a number together and got a little loud.

Okay - that's all - and I'll be a Scottsboro lady again by tomorrow probably and certainly Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mid Week in McDonough, GA

I'm here in McDonough - with Laura Beth, Ada and Scott -

I traveled to Auburn on Sunday and had a good visit with Kate, meeting Laura Beth at Kate's house - we had lunch together and visited a couple of places and people in Auburn.

Laura Beth and I arrived in McDonough around 8:00 - phone calls from Scott informed us Ada was anxious for us to be there. We made it a late arrival on purpose in order for us not to interrupt Community Group which meets at their house each Sunday evening.

I got the greeting I was hoping for, from Ada - we came through the front door and she looked for a second and came running toward me, past Laura Beth, with open arms. That precious little bitty thing hugging me so hard. It's too much! Sometimes she's shy and intimidated at first, if it's been a long time since we've seen each other - but this time it had only been a few weeks.

To read what we've been doing, just go to and Laura Beth describes our handiwork on her blog. I feel like Jillian on Biggest Loser as an "organizer trainer" instead of a "bodybuilder trainer". I have no mercy. I've stood over both Laura Beth and Scott growling at them, making them throw away, throw away, until it hurts - and then throw away some more. Just kidding. But I am forging ahead. They are both quite the packrats - cute and sweet - with a precious little redheaded Ada - but packrats all the same and it's just easier to wait until another day to clear it out. Actually - I'm a packrat also - an organized one, but a packrat. I guess we all have that in us. I live going through stuff and getting rid of - and then there's always more to get rid of.

Anyway - it's been fun and a good visit with the Moores here in McDonough. Ada has attached herself to me - I've rocked her a lot - but not to sleep - I thought for sure she was asleep tonight, but wasn't - just almost. She has so much energy and climbs and hops off of everything.

So - there are still things they'll have to do before John arrives in February - but between all the housework Laura Beth had done before I arrived(she's blogged about that recently) and what we've done this week - I think it's not so scary for her knowing there'll be a new little baby in the house in about 3 1/2 months. And I've gotten in a long overdue visit with Ada.

I return to Scottsboro on Friday and am anxious to see my 3 little "knotheads" when I get back - I highly recommend reading Ann's most recent blog - her blog is
It is hilarious and so cute about Luke and his halloween costume - and Ellie's pretend activities involving her cake in the frig. plus her pretend classroom activities. And Luke's obsessive compulsive nature - awwww. He's so tenderhearted and so sensitive.

Children and the way their minds work - Ada, right now, is scared of certain shadows on the wall - always asking what they are and looking really worried. Also strange noises frighten her - especially when we're downstairs and someone is upstairs - the sound of people walking up there - even when she knows it's mom or dad or me - it bothers her until everyone comes down.

Well - it's late - we have to get an early start tomorrow - going into the city to get LB's hair cut - It's one of the "Fancy Antsy" Atlanta hair places - last time I was there, getting my hair cut, was when I was here helping Laura Beth after Ada was born. All 3 of us went that time and all 3 of us will be there tomorrow. I think Ada was about a week old. Here it is 2 years later and Laura Beth is pregnant with her little boy.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October Hydrangeas

One more tribute to my Hydrangeas.
It's turning into a collection -
of dried blooms around my house.
Visually they please me so to look at them.

Thanks to Sarah and her camera and photography skills, I have this picture of dried blues in an amber vase which Kate gave me several years ago.

My outdoor arrangement put together in September has taken on an October look -

and still on the bushes mauves and blues remain even into fall .

This last one amazes me - ever hopeful - perseverance even when the garden is shutting down -
I am traveling to McDonough, GA today - by way of Auburn - having lunch with Kate and Laura Beth - and riding to McDonough with Laura Beth.
I'll post during the week from Laura Beth's computer and will be back in Scottsboro on Friday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Painting Project

This blog is about my favorite things - what I like to remember - memories - and....those little pleasures that are a part of daily living - very simple ones - like the first cup of coffee in the morning - strong and hot and dark - but even before the first cup - the smell of the coffee brewing.

Top on the list of what gives me a kick - projects - painting projects - projects that involve sanding things and restoring things and giving things a new look - furniture - rooms ....

This week the little house that sits behind my big house is getting a new coat of paint on the inside. It's called the "Art Studio" but its name is misleading. Art Studio implies that I do a lot of artwork out there. I don't - but it's a great room. Very cozy and makes me think of being outside but inside at the same time. There are windows on 3 of the 4 walls and it's as if the outside comes in.

Monday the project began - fortunately the room was nearly empty because it had been cleared out for Sarah this summer to work on ideas for her senior project which she is working on presently in Auburn. She'll graduate with a degree in fine arts in December. Had some pretty good holes in the wall from shelves that had hung since 1994 - utility shelves and not very esthetically pleasing - not creative - so that involved the wall putty - letting it dry - sanding that and reputtying and more sanding - all of that was pretty easy.

Tuesday I went to Home Depot and got my paint. The palest, palest whisper of pink - not little girl pink - not pepto pink - but a blush of it - On the paint card it reads "Bleached Shell". The windows and baseboards also are getting a new coat of paint - a warm white. That paint card reads "Pot of Cream". - The floor is a sheet of vinyl or linoleum. It's the cheaper of the two so I think that's vinyl - I've googled how to paint vinyl floors or linoleum floors - and am going to get a paint that is a deep chocolate brown. I picked it for it's color but of all things - the paint card reads "Bear Rug".

Yesterday, Wednesday, having everything ready for painting, I headed out to the studio in my paint clothes - the ones with paint all over them - and discovered a few ants in the threshold of the door. Not surprised because we had had a few in our kitchen - typical for this time of year - changes of seasons and all of that. Made note to self - get those little white discs that take care of that. As a temporary solution I got some ant spray which is really just a topical fix. When I put that nozzel in the crack of the threshold next to the door facing - WHOA! It was as if I'd stepped on a large ant hill. Swarms of those tiny little ants - I attacked full throttle with that ant poison - still thinking I'd get the discs later - I got all of those and went to the other side of the threshold - did the same thing and again - huge swarm - again the major blasting with the ant poison - and a resignation and decision, knowing, "I've got to go in, get a shower, put on decent clothes, go back to Wal Mart, for the 3rd time this week, and get all my ant stuff to get those guys. I did all of that - got back home - placed the discs and resumed my painting project only to discover that I didn't have the disposable paint pan liners. HAVE to use those! Simplifies cleanup - so - back with the decent clothing, back in the car - and this time to Sherwin Williams - I just couldn't do Wal Mart or Home Depot again - too big - too deep.

Finally toward the late afternoon I began to apply paint and into dusk I was working - It was very satisfying and I am headed out there again today to finish - the ants are gone - because I've already gone out there with that first cup of hot coffee to check things out. The ants are also not in my kitchen anymore - those little discs are wonderful!

When I work on a project like this - it's the same as what I've said about cutting grass - my thinking is all over the map - but mostly I think of Daddy and all the projects Mother had him do - I feel like him when I'm doing stuff - As a little girl I did follow him around watching and watching - seeing how he did everything. I can see him in his paint clothes and his regrouping when he had to go back to the hardward store for something he needed. Sometimes I hopped in the car and went with him. I guess I watched him so much that it must of reminded him of being a little boy, watching his dad - because, once, Daddy turned to me with smile and told me how when he was a little boy he'd get so excited watching his Dad work on something, building something. He said he would begin to giggle just watching him - just in the thrill of seeing it done. I remember absorbing his story, pondering and being able to imagine him in that moment. His telling me is vivid in my mind.

I didn't only follow Daddy around. I was with Mother more than I was with Daddy, it seems, or at least equal time. Often I was sitting and watching Mother on the sewing machine - all of that fascinated me - and in the kitchen when she was cooking - I loved watching her and occasionally getting to stir or pour something in - children hanging out with their parents - when they aren't playing alone or with siblings and friends - those are learning and growing experiences - memory making - learning about life - I loved it.

Now that I've posted on this blog - as I sit here at the computer with dried paint all over my hands and arms - I've got to get back to my project - can't wait!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Speaking of this being wedding month...

This was supposed to be for yesterday - but I didn't finish it - and now it's the day AFTER Ann and Steve's anniversary. Happy Anniversary anyway.

Today is Ann and Steve's Anniversary - their 7th anniversary.

Wow - I was definitely involved in that one.

I remember the day after I knew they were getting married, I felt rather overwhelmed and drove to K-Mart and purchased 2 packs of large index cards and a box to hold them. They weren't officially engaged, I just knew they were going to be. And it all just fell into place after that. I think that getting those index cards and the box to file them - well - that gave me some order to the big event we would be planning.

So - Happy Seventh Anniversary to Ann and Steve - To the Mom and Dad it's an event to put together. To the Bride and Groom - it's their wedding day and it belongs to them.

The day was beautiful and it was, for us, a great day of fellowship and celebration. Lots of friends and family.

That is all of my post for now and perhaps I'll write something this afternoon. I'm in the middle of a lot of small and medium size projects.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Turnip Greens, Old Pictures and October

One has got to really love a food item in order to stand at the kitchen sink and piece after piece clean and strip, etc. What am I referring to??? Turnip Greens. Charlie bought them at Farmer's Market today. We both LOVE them. That's what I'm doing this morning - cleaning them - also going to boil the green peanuts he bought. That's football food - watch the game - eat boiled peanuts. It's a Rhodes tradition and he was raised on boiled peanuts in the fall. But they have to be green - not just raw. He's a peanut snob about that and doesn't trust some of the stands selling boiled peanuts. He thinks they are passing raw ones, boiled, for green ones. There's a difference.

Also got some sweet potatoes from this dear man who sells them. I haven't met him - but Charlie knows all those folks down there and we love their fresh vegetables. Peas and Green Beans, stringless, fresh tomatoes - can't beat it - but it's about to be over and I don't can any of this stuff. My sweet neighbor, Wanda, gave me fresh okra this week, and last week, Laura Beth's father in law sent some with them to us. Had fried okra at Sunday lunch. So good. Charlie and I even like the boiled okra.

Back to my turnip greens - when I have those cleaned and cooked - that's like solid gold. Last year I froze some and the Pot Liquor(turnip juice). Love it. Charlie and I had those frozen greens last week with sweet potatoes. I tried to make Cracklin Bread, using fried bacon pieces, because I didn't have cracklins. I feel that project coming on. Trying to get my cracklin bread to taste like my grandmother's. I've got to tweak it and work with it until I can say...that's it....that's Ella's cracklin bread. It's like a kind of cornbread with a very hard crust - cooked in a little oil in a black skillet - so good if done right. Mother could do it...she didn't think she could - but I loved hers - but Ella was just known for it - and I think Mother referred to Granny's Cracklin Bread - so I guess it was handed down.... only I seem to be fumbling the ball. Oops.

Okay - so yesterday I went to CVS Pharmacy and put some random photos on a disc. Old Black and Whites which have a lot to do with what I blog about - my fond memories, etc. Now I have a few images and I intend to get some more. It is very time consuming to do that and I can't do many at a time. I did 27 yesterday - that's the most I've done so far. In my dreams I would have a really good scanner at home, a really good printer(not my mediocre one) and an updated computer with terrific graphic software. I have amateur software. But it's all fun to do and the creativity is a bit limited without top quality equipment - but it's fun.

Back to my turnip greens and trying to find a reason to put one of pictures up here. When I'm cleaning the greens and switching them from one side of the sink to the other, getting that dirt rinsed off - I am reminded of watching Mother in her double sink - and when she let the dirty water out in order to get new clean water - well - it made such a noise going down the drain - and still does actually - it would scare me - so I would hold my ears when that took place. So the picture below is Mom in her kitchen, first year she was in it. I love this picture. It is a classic 50's retro kitchen.

It's still wedding month - plus Ann and Steve have an anniversary on October 5 - this Monday - so I will continue to post some of Charlie and me and maybe think of stuff to say - maybe find letters Mom and I wrote each other during the planning stage leading up to the wedding. It's also beautiful fall weather month and October 2009 is outdoing itself. It's wonderful and delightful and aren't we grateful for how God made this world?!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

First Day of October

October means Fall - Pumpkins - Leaves turn - Warm - Cozy -

In my life it also means wedding month.

Charlie and I married on October 27, 1979. This year it will have been 30 years.

So - I picked songs that remind me of him and us and me and when we were dating.

I was 28, he was 26. We were single, working, living in Birmingham. Didn't feel so green behind the ears anymore - we both "felt 'out on our own' ". There was music on the radio and there were lyrics about falling in love. I tried to find some of those that reminded me of when we were dating - Boz Scaggs was really popular at the time and if I hear his music on oldie stations it reminds me of dating Charlie - I have a hard time remembering titles and artists - so there's one song in particular that I can't remember and can't find - maybe I'll find it later.

I don't like to post any harsh music - mostly easy listening and I doubt anyone hangs around on this blog long enough to listen to all my songs - but there's one in the middle of my playlist - words and music are a bit hard and anyone would think they don't suit my personality - that's because you don't really know me that well - sadly Charlie has found out over the years I can be a bit hard to "live with". When the soundtrack for "What Women Want" came out he and I were listening to it(I'd bought it) and the song, well, I hate to spell out the title, it isn't a nice sound at all, the title, by Meredith Brooks was playing. He said it reminded him of me. (He didn't mean that awful title, but the words. He wouldn't have called me that word. It's so derogatory) He was laughing when he said it. awwww. :-( I wonder if most men find that out about their wives - after the weeks and months have passed - and we get really comfortable with each other. Or we get really selfish with each other. Anyway, I had to explain that song - it's not my usual kind of music on here.

The first song, the Kenny Rogers song, reminds me of where we are now. It's been 30 years - I don't really listen to Kenny Rogers - and never did that much - but he does some nice easy listening.

I hope Christ has shaped me and molded me enough to make me nicer. I think it feels like he has. Marriage in the early years for both Charlie and me was a huge shock to our system. Neither of us knew we had to change so much and give so much and adapt to things we had absolutely no interest in. For me it was Football and Hunting. Good grief!! I was going to so many Auburn Football Games! Once I even took a book with me to the game. If anyone knows me at all then you've discovered I'm a talker. Charlie is not that by nature. He's quiet, subdued mostly - (except during an Auburn Football Game!)

I now enjoy Auburn Football. Charlie enjoys our long conversations and is patient with my "stories". We've lived through giving birth to and raising 4 girls. We're about to be done with the college years. We've both lived through my menopause. That's huge and noone warned us about that one. It looks different on everyone and you don't know you're in menopause until it's all over with. So you look back and say, "Oh! that explains all of that".

30 years of living together, going to bed, waking up, doing the daily routine - guiding our girls - making a lot of mistakes - having a lot of successes. Charlie's dad died of Lung Cancer in 89 or 90 - Daddy died after living with Alzheimers for at least 5 years - in 93. Mother died just because it was her time - in 2006 about 3 weeks before Laura Beth married Scott. We've lived through 2 weddings and 4 grandchildren with number 5 due in February.

Praise God that He revealed Himself to each of us before we met and we understood that He was to be Lord of our lives. That's not simple - as we're in this marriage and God working junk out of our lives - and our hearts - well - things can get really sloppy at times - But God is the Redeemer and Savior and Lord.

Charlie is a solid man - with much integrity - we never questioned during any heated fight that we'd ever consider not being married. I never had to doubt him nor did he have to doubt me. I'm grateful for that and we really really really really enjoy having each other at the end of the day. We've never been really ooshy gooshy about each other and our love. We just belong together as long as God has us on this earth.

How did we meet? I reluctantly went on a blind date with him. He was fresh out of law school and his first job was in Scottsboro. A friend had visited him in Scottsboro - she was here on a job related task(she too was graduated from law school) and she learned that single life for Charlie in Scottsboro was, ummm, not really suiting him. He was traveling to Birmingham each weekend to stay with friends. I was working in Birmingham. She pleaded with me to date him and I refused and refused and refused. I hated blind dates. They were always unsuccessful. Finally I agreed. She set it up - he called me. We went out. It wasn't love at first sight. I was feeling weird about the whole thing and just awkward. We found out we had a lot of friends in common, that we'd known all the same people during Auburn and Birmingham. We had lived in the same places at the same time. The first date was enjoyable enough - plenty to talk about - I just was feeling weird because everyone was watching and waiting for us to immediately fall in love. So time went by - we did a few things together - but sparks weren't flying and he just started dating this other girl. I was relieved. Enough of that. But then we were in the same crowd - we knew each other - and with the pressure of dating off of us - well - the chemistry began to happen. He and the other girl weren't really connecting and I was all about getting him back in my court. I did, he did and there are a lot of little stories in between. But the short of it - we met in August of 1978 and married in October of 1979.

Once we knew we were engaged Charlie began to look for a job in Birmingham - he wanted me to keep the job I had - and he had only been out of school for one year and working in Scottsboro for one year. He got a job in the District Attorney's office in B'ham. He was one of many many assistants there in B'ham. We lived and worked in B'ham, married, for one year. 6 months into our being married I got pregnant with Ann. That wasn't planned, but it wasn't unplanned either. It was just, "Oh well." Then Dwight Duke, D.A., began to woo Charlie back to Scottsboro and with my being pregnant and our wanting me to be able to stay at home - well - we came here and have been in Scottsboro since the end of August 1980. The first weekend here was First Monday Sunday. I don't think Art in the Park had begun then, but it was a big First Monday Sunday and we were on the square - with my parents who had helped us move - We lived in Goosepond Apartments.

That's how we began life in Scottsboro. Our first anniversary I was 6 months pregnant. Crazy. Charlie bought me roses and we grilled steaks on the little deck thing of our apartment. We ended up burning them because we were standing inside the sliding glass doors and started kissing a lot. :-) Then we remembered the steaks and they were on fire. Those kinds of things really make Charlie mad - he loves a good steak - so he went from lovey dovey kiss, kiss, kiss, to "I'm SO MAD ABOUT THIS"! I had to calm him down and convince him it wasn't the end of the world. They were charred, but who cared. I was pregnant and we were in love. Yay! You can't beat that.

I gotta close - lots and lots of stories. 30 years of stories. Good and Bad. It's life.