This is the first day of the rest of my life and I'm marking one item off my "bucket list." I love telling stories, yarns, etc. and for the past 25 years have written weekly articles for the DeKalb Newspapers and now I get to try blogging. It has been said of me that I write about old days and old ways, along with modern tales of our adventures here on The Windy Knoll, our home place. Drop in just any time to see what's going on. Now let me say up front I'm no Julia Childs or Paula Dean - not even a distant relative - but I will be writing about cooking now and then. As best I can remember the only thing considered fast food in this house is a cake mix. I cook from scratch like the old timers used to do. I'll be posting old and new articles and in most cases the published date will be to the right of the title. That way you can read along (with a few pictures) and see what the aging process has done.

A Shopping Trip to the Mall

As Saturdays go, mine are usually cleaning and studying.  Now that fall is here I have to fit in football.  As many of you know, I am a UGA fan.  GO DAWGS!  Well, Saturday was not a highlight, but they are my team none the less!

I like to get my errands out of the way early.  Like Mother, I want to get to the store before the crowds and get home.  I do love my home time!  Well, Saturday was a day for a dreaded trip to the mall.  Many of my friends just love to shop.  They browse and caress the items on the racks.  They try on this and that, just to see what they think they might like.  Not me!  I have a picture of what I want in mind, locate that article, try it on, pay and leave.  Shopping is NOT one of my greatest pleasures, especially when it is clothing for me.

Since I have lost my weight, I have found that clothes shopping is not quite the chore it used to be.  I just love to have a new outfit every month or so and this was one of the things I would be hunting on this Saturday.  I happen to have, what I refer to as a linebacker figure.  I have a broad back but narrow hips and the misfortune (?) of the noa$$atall syndrome.  I will leave it at that.  One of the designers which fit me well is Jones New York.  This designer’s garments tend to be trim through the hips and fit me nicely.  I love Jones New York.

My husband wanted some new sheets.  He despises when the fitted sheet pops off during the night, causing his feet to get all tangled and he fights the cover the rest of the night.  I must admit that he and I have very different sleeping habits and rising habits.  I like to get to bed early and play the TV all night long.  I long for cool air and warm covers.  He, being part orangutan, is perpetually hot!  He wants dead quiet and a fan blowing.  He sleeps in and the smallest noise wakes him.  I rise EARLY and now have to leave the house just as he is getting up.  So, the best fit for us for sleeping is separate rooms.  Several years ago, he bought himself a new mattress without me being there.  Now I have no problem with the money spent, but he bought a mattress that is about 2 miles deep!  Sheets are hard to find that will stay and he did not have any that would stay put.  Hence, another item for the shopping list.

So, off I go to Stonecrest Mall, destination – Macy’s.  MacysI  knew they carried Jones New York and that they have an excellent linens department.Stonecrest

jones new yorkFirst stop – women’s clothing.  I walked and looked at the signs.  I walked some more.  I must have covered the downstairs of the department store twice before I got wise and asked a saleslady where the Jones New York collection was located.  ”We no longer carry Jones at this location, ” was the reply which I received.  UGH!  I was disappointed.  I wanted a new black skirt and maybe a pair of black slacks.  I thanked her and walked away to pout.  No new outfit for me on this day.  Oh well!

Next stop – linens.  I love pretty linens – sheets, bedspreads, towels, kitchen towels, and the like.  I walked and looked and dreamed and finally found the sheets which I thought I could not live without.  Checking the price tag, I quickly changed my mind!  Who in their right mind would pay $300.oo for two sheets and two pillowcases?  Certainly not me.  I continue my search.  The saleslady came to my aid.  I explained my problem of the extra deep mattress – 16″ and she had just the ticket!  The DaMask collection are made to accommodate mattresses up to 18″ and then they have an extra deep line that would fit mattresses up to 21″ deep.  The colors ran from jewel tones to dusky pastels.  The jewel tones are new for them this year.  I got a pale, dusky green for Mark and a cinnamon color for me (my mattress is a Sleep Number and I love it!)  I got both of these sets and extra pillowcases of both colors for well under the price mentioned earlier.damask sheets

So as I left the department, I passed the towels.  I dreamed of purchasing a closet full of new towels as ours are getting well up in years!  They still work, but they are getting a bit ratty.  ”Maybe another day,” I lamented.

I had one more stop at the Best Buy to make a return.  Now I had my receipt in hand but was beyond their 15 day return policy.  They would take it back but I would get a store credit instead of the refund.  Just dandy!  Mark and I are the worst about using this type of credit.  I did not want that so the very polite, young man suggested that I shop for a few minutes and just “trade” the unnecessary part in.  Okay, this should be easy.  So, off I go, wondering with money to burn!  Well, I best buymust admit that I left with more items than the credit was worth.  But, we will enjoy the movies which I purchased.

I waited for Mark to get home to try out the new sheets.  I left them in the package so that he could have the pleasure of pulling them out.  He liked the color and remarked that he hoped these would stay put.  Making the bed was a joy on this occasion.  All the other sheets for his mountain of a mattress was like stuffing a size 14 behind into a size 8 pair of jeans.  You would need a crowbar!  I had struggled many times to get his sheets on the bed.  Not today.  This was so easy.  The new sheets, I think the tread count was 650, felt so soft and sleek!  And new sheets smell good to me.  I am happy to report that the new purchase was a big hit!  The fitted sheet installed easily and stayed put all night long!

Taking care of a spouse’s needs and wants are all a part of my variety of country living.

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

More Old Pictures …

UPDATE SUNDAY SEPT. 14, 2014  4:50 PM EASTERN TIME.

NOTE: I have just had a conversation with Donna and I just assumed that the “sweetheart” photo at the top of the blog was Mr. John and Mrs. Crumly. Well it is NOT the Crumly’s. I was wrong. The photo is of Donna and HER high school sweetheart, Brad Harvey. Who is now her loving husband. So sorry.

Updated 11:50 central time, USA.

Writer: Donna Harvey.

High school sweethearts.

This is Donna (Crumly) and HER high school sweetheart, Brad Harvey.

Since I last wrote about old pictures I have been perusing my iPhone and discovered a wealth of old stuff.  I know we all have history to get to the place in time we call the present; it is just that some of us have more history than others.  It is also strange to me that no matter the amount, we have the ability to look into the pictures and see an old place and time and almost put ourselves back to that same time.  I have always believed the mind is the most fantastic “computer” that has ever been, or ever will be created because the Lord was the one who created it.  Some of the smallest things can transport us back in a flash and yet we are still in the exact spot without moving.  I hope thinking of old pictures has caused you to dig up some of those old pictures and reminisce just a little.  Perhaps all of us have lost someone or something (like a dog or cat, who was our best friend) over the years.  We are each so very blessed by so many little things which we can stop to count, if we pause long enough.

Mother (in back facing camera).

Mother (in back facing camera).

Remember the song that Bing Crosby, and oh the wonderful voice he was blessed with, anyway, he sang “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.”  Those lyrics were written by Irving Berlin and then there is the Hymn “Count Your Blessing” by Johnson Oatman, Jr.   The refrain goes something like “Count your blessings, name them one by one; county your blessing, see what God hath done! Count your blessings, name them one by one; And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”  Seems like in this day and age (here I go again, sounds like my mother) that we just don’t have enough reminders to stop our rush about schedule and take time to count our blessings.   Oh boy, did I diverge here but well deserved.  BRAD & DONNA-001The first picture that I share is my own and my darling sweet husband when we were just sweethearts and we were at the Windy Knoll when it was the Lang farm.  As you have heard previously, when Dad came back from the war (WWII) he farmed this place one year and he also ran a movie projector in town, I guess that was in Geraldine, so he was up late showing the movies and changing the film.  Then he would sleep late to catch up a little in the mornings and Exie (my grandmother) would just pace the floor and the porch, just outside the bedroom windows (which were raised) saying the crop would never be made because that boy would just lie up in bed sleeping.  Mother was very protective of the one-she-loved-best and also said that when he got up he would almost run his short legs off getting the fields plowed.  I have heard her say that they made more crop the year daddy farmed than any other year on this farm.  Anyway, that was the only year that dad farmed and he went to Marietta, GA, to Lockheed-Georgia Plant and got a job.  Was probably not too hard for him since he had been a mechanic in his tenure in the Army Air Corps (later became the Air Force).  The three of us moved to Georgia and that is where I have been and where the folks stayed until daddy took early retirement from Lockheed to come back to the farm (Mother always said he loved the land and I have to say it is a beautiful spread).

iPhone_9112014 187-002Then I have found another picture of granddaddy with a large sow.  Wow!  He must have been proud of that pig and look at those little piglets?  I am aware that at some point in the life of the animals they are called shoats and the dictionary says it is “a young pig, especially one that is newly weaned.  Wonder why one would call it by a different name?  It is no longer a sucking piglet?  Would shoat tell something about the age and how big the piglet might be?  Language is another strange thing that we just use and don’t know a lot about.  Oh well, more things to ponder.

Then I find another where I have a made  picture of Donna and Beth.  You have heard the story about Beth (and it is not Elizabeth but just Beth) being my 8th birthday gift.  I love to introduce her as my oldest sister but you know that I am 8 years ahead of her but she is the brightest one in the family.  Beth is Mensa and I am proud of her for that.  iPhone_9112014 147-003She is the educated one in the bunch and still is getting educated.  I have heard it said of one of the cousins that he was a professional student and I tend to think that Beth really does like being a student.  She had just had way more on her plate in the last 6 months that school would allow but somehow she is making time to finish her Ph.D.  Boy, am I ever proud of her (I know mother would have been too, although she sometimes chose strange words to let that be known.).  In the past we would be able to talk on my way to work and she was headed to school to teach but this year she has changed schools and has to start earlier and I haven’t changed my times so we miss talking to each other.  We have solved the problems of the universe during those drives to work.  Anyway you just enjoy this sweet picture of young girls.  iPhone_9112014 176-002And let me just show you a more recent picture of Beth, when she is absolutely worn out.  iPhone_9112014 089-001She does tend to push a little bit and has to have some rest.  Isn’t it just like a sister to show something like this?  Can’t wait to hear from her now, and I am sure I will HEAR from her.  Heeheehee

iPhone_9112014 002-003

 

After my daughter, Kay, died, it seemed to me that family pictures were something that I realized I had not had made.  Jennifer had been adopted and Britnee was the only child that Kay had left.  Bless her heart she loved all her children but could not take care of more than one and then had to have help.  iPhone_9112014 205-001So we went to Olan Mills and had the only family portrait that I think I have ever known of us having made.  I did not buy a big picture but I bought all the proofs, hoping I would have a big one made.  Well, I have kept up with the location all these years.  And you can tell by the clothes that this picture of John and Billie Crumly was made at the same time.  iPhone_9112014 206-001I have to laugh as I always thought daddy was quiet but he is anything but.  In this picture you can tell his mouth is screwed up and I just imagine that he was cracking some kind of joke.  Mother always tried to call him down but he would just go on with his carrying on anyway.  Glad he still does.  He loves children and when we go shopping with him he is always talking to the kids.  Sometimes mother’s look at him a little strange because they have to teach their children to “Not Talk to Strangers” but how does this little old man teasing with the children fit in.  Oh well, this is just a little reminiscing and pulling out old pictures and old memories which are all a part of country living.

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

The Proposed Hydrangea Bed

After Mother died, I was walking down the driveway at the Windy Knoll and wondered what would happen to all of her beautiful hydrangeas that line that walk.  Many were “strutting their stuff” (Mother’s saying).  I thought of the shady side bed at my house.  The shade is provided by one of the biggest river birch trees I have ever seen!  There are also a few dogwoods, but their shade is insignificant.  I think it would make a lovely bed for all those plants!  I think I can also nestle some hostas there as they are suffering from too much sun in their current location.

IMG_1421One of the arrangements for the funeral was from my oldest (from kindergarten) friend and her mother.  Cathy and Earline have been friends of my family and me since Cathy and I were in kindergarten.  Let me stress that I have friends who are chronologically older than Cathy, like her mother, but she is still what I consider my oldest friend!  I will admit that I will be old before she will as my birthday is 3 days short of a month before hers.  We have had this running joke for the longest time!  But I have gotten way off track.  In the arrangement they sent was a mophead hydrangea.  Cathy told Donna that she wanted that plant to go to me for my garden.  But since my spot is not yet ready, it is in the ground at the farm.

I know that I will be able to get Daddy to root several cuttings from each plant.  He is so talented at rooting.  Mother IMG_1422always said that he could root broom handles!  He does something with Gold Bond foot powder and cat litter.  I will have to ask him if anyone wants more information on rooting.  That job will wait until later, perhaps in the early spring.

So my task, and my husband’s task that he does not know about yet, is to get the designated bed cleaned up!  Mother would be ashamed of how this bed currently looks.  Just look at these pictures.  But when will I get it done?  I am a full-time teacher and a graduate student!  I travel to Daddy’s at least twice a month and I have a household to tend!  But where there is a will there is a way.  So why am I embarrassing myself?  So that I will finally get off my duff and get to work!  Now that you all know, you will be wanting updates.  Give me a month …please!

IMG_1420Doing yard work must become a part of my country living!  UGH!

Posted in Gardening

Making Aunt Joyce’s Cheese Straws

This weekend was a hoot!  I got to the Windy Knoll early.  There was a funeral on my husband’s side of the family, in Sandy Springs, which I felt that I must attend.  As Sandy Springs is at least an hour from me, the funeral was at 10:00 A.M. and then return to school, I would have had less than 2 hours to work with students…all that adds up to a personal day.  So after the funeral I continued on to Alabama.

When I arrived I finally got my windshield replaced.  Sand Mountain Auto Glass came to the farm and did the installation for about $70 less than I could find in the metro Atlanta area!  Thanks to the man at the Boaz carwash, I saved money!  Well, not really!  The hard drive on my laptop was in the last vestiges of life and that repair bill was $160.  Cheaper than a new computer and a trusted friend did the work.  All data saved and I am laptop computing again.  :-)

So, what to do with the remainder of a Friday afternoon?  I suggested we make cheese straws.  Mother frequently had a gallon bag of cheese straws for me.  I have hauled and eaten cheese straws from Austin, Texas to Washington, D.C. and south to Tampa, Florida.  They are very yummy!  Thanks to my Aunt Joyce for sharing the recipe.  She used to make them for weddings and other events she would cater.  She was an awesome cook.

IMG_1410Off to the super market for extra sharp cheddar cheese (1 pound).  Daddy had plenty of margarine ( 1 stick), plain flour (3 cups), salt (1 tsp) and ground red pepper (1 tsp).  I decided that we would make the recipe twice as Daddy loves to munch on them too.  So we got 2 pounds of cheese.

Mother grated her cheese by hand, or I think she did, but I was not up for that task and relegated it to old Cuisinart Food Processor.  Well, that was a chore!  I could not get it to work!  As it turns out her bowl fits backward to what mine IMG_1413does.  Daddy figured that out and the cheese was quickly grated.

“Daddy, get the mixer out for me please”

“What? Your mother kneaded the dough by hand.  She always complained that her shoulders hurt

afterward.”

“I am sure they did after working that stiff dough.  I may have to finish up by hand but that is what IMG_1414electricity and machines are for.”  So, I mixed all the ingredients by mixer and kneaded very little by hand.

Next I rolled the dough into logs and fed them into the cookie press.  I have purchased many modern presses to make cheese straws at home.  They were all plastic and would not stand up to this stiff dough.  Mother and Daddy found a used Cookie King on ebay.com several years ago.  It is shiny copper and metal and really does the job!  It was and still is Daddy’s job to use the cookie press to get the dough onto the cookie sheet for baking.  One making of dough makes a gallon bag full of straws.

Now let’s talk about the red pepper.  Mother liked them spicier than the 1 tsp caused.  I put a bit more too. IMG_1415 They have some kick to them but oh they are good.  I think that extra pepper causes me to stop before I over eat.

At some point during the second making I commented to Daddy that this was one of Mother’s and his activities and that just because she was gone from us we should not abandon these particularly good treats.  He agreed.  Thinking about this now, baking from her recipe box is a joy for me and helps to preserve her memory in a tangible way.

IMG_1416Fine eating fits my style of country living!

Aunt Joyce’s Cheese Straws

1 pound sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
1 stick of margarine
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper (add a tiny bit more for a bit of zing!)

Mix all ingredients.  Using a strong cookie press, create stings of dough.  Cut into eating lengths PRIOR to baking.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Straws should NOT be brown on top.  They should feel firm and crispy.  They many be a bit brown on the bottom.  Spread on a kitchen towel to cook before storing in an airtight container.

 

 

Posted in In the Kitchen

Candy Making

And so now is the time for making Christmas candy — it’s not that we need it — it’s just the way it is.  It would make a nice gift, but John says its too good to give away.

Anyway we got our ingredients together and company came in so that delayed us. Then we got started and the telephone started ringing. Oh my!!  John did the stirring and stirring.  He had trouble getting the marshmellows and chips to melt and put the boiler back on the warm eye and finally we were ready to do the dropping on waxed paper.  I kept telling him he was making the pieces too big, but he just kept dropping anyway.  Again I said, “Make the drops smaller.”  Apparently, he didn’t hear me and just as we finished and I put the boiler in the dishwater, the telephone rung again.  By the time I finished the conversation and reached for the camera (and you know I’m not a photographer), John had already taken a piece of the good stuff to sample. See the empty space in the picture.

Perhaps this will be the only candy we make this year, but John has a delicious peanut brittle recipe and then there’s that wonder pecan brittle recipe.  Maybe after Christmas I can share them — they are worthy of trying.  Good eating……this is country living.

EASY FUDGE

Melt a stick of butter and add 2/3 cup of evaporated milk and 2 cups of sugar.  Cook 6 minutes stirring all the time and then add a bag of chocolate chips and 16 marshmallows.  When marshmallows and chips are melted, drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.  Let cool and then store.

Fudge cooking and being stirred

Fudge cooking and being stirred

Fudge Finished

Fudge Finished

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

Old Pictures Tell Tales ….

Writer: Donna Harvey.

Having been with Daddy, we had wandered out to the sun porch where your favorite author loved to spend hours and hours.  The view is very pleasant to look at the beautiful hydrangea garden that has been developing over the past few years.  I have sent a number of special hydrangeas and they have shown their lovely blossoms this year.  Some mop heads and some lace caps.  The lace caps, to me, are fairly new.  This is the area that daddy has been trying to weed and neither he nor I can spend much time pulling the foreign greens as the backs will just not allow it.  Ten to fifteen minutes is about the best we can do at one time.  But I wander just a little.   I can also remember that my daughter Kay had held on to this cabinet and all of a sudden we found her standing with us in where we were working on some project in the floor of the living room.  Wonder if Beth had a school project?  This was the first steps that Kay made and no one saw her.

In this cabinet there is one drawer and I opened the drawer and began looking at the things that were stored there.  I find a picture of Billie Crumly, who you know loves quilting, with a group of her quilt buddies when they traveled to Europe and she is waving at the photographer from the coach. IMG950795_2-001 Now I wonder if this was a train or a bus but I believe the overhead and seating look more like a train.  I think this was in April 1987 when her first great-granddaughter was born in April and it snowed in Georgia.  She told a tale of being on a subway in Paris and was lodged and couldn’t budge when the other quilters left the subway.  In a panic, she yelled “Make way for the lady with a baby!” and she said the sea of people parted and she was able to get off the car.  She had a great time and left her love at home to tend the farm.  They even named one cow ‘Bae’ who was the name of the husband of one of her hosts in Amsterdam.

IMG950793_2-002There are other pictures of Billie Crumly quilting and she is in front of a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  She looks happy quilting.  (I wonder if this is her quilt that she wanted on as a casket spread that has disappeared from her antique trunk?  Someone has that quilt and knows she has it!  God knows!)  Oh well, I have discovered that life goes on.  During the first few weeks of Mother’s death, I would hear laughter and wonder just how those people could possibly be laughing.  Didn’t they know what I was going through and that my mother has passed away?   Life does go on.

Then I find a picture of both mother and daddy laughing while at some sort of quilt get together.  Looks like mother could have been talking and she did give talks and traveled to many guilds and groups to educate on some of the old quilt methods and even on one trip we made to the Western Caribbean, gave a talk which turned out to be the talk the next morning when I would hear folks whispering.  She talked about ladies and men’s underwear being made of flour sacks, which she said were softer than many other sacks.  Some ladies made drawers and put some of the writing in special places.  Words like “Self Rising” and Mother’s Best which  I will leave it to your imagination as to placement of these words.IMG950786_2-001

Then I have to show you some of the quilts that Mother found to be special,  Sun Bonnet Sue, I suspect she made or at least I know she made more than one.  I think Beth has the one that was used on her bed when she was young.  IMG950789_2-001I notice one of mother with a microphone and I know the basket quilt beside her is one she did.  The baskets were stenciled on the quilt and the sliping (pronounced slipe-ing) was placed between the baskets.  Lovely quilting was done there too.  I think I have mentioned in the past that Billie Crumly was a bit of a purist about the hand quilting being the preferred method of quilting.  She always said the younger generation wanted the faster method of machine quilting to just get the quilting done.  When I made the quilted and appliqued tree skirt for Beth that I hope she will talk about and show you around Christmas time, Mother had taken the quilted tree skirt to someone who did machine quilting and it was indeed a beautiful job but not the hand quilted work that Mother would have done.  She thought the tree skirt was lovely too.

Then I just have to include a picture of Mother beside one of her quilt friends.  She had so many and I now wish I had written down many of the names and kept track of where they lived and how mother had known them.  Isn’t it funny how hind sight is 20/20.  Time I think is the enemy because we get so very busy doing so many things and trying to get stuff done that there just isn’t time left for what now seems much more important than it did them.  Quilt guild meetings, quilting talks, memories from pictures are all just another part of country living.

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

Needlework Projects 1995

Tedious – according to two dictionaries I have means wearisome and/or boring.  I don’t necessarily agree.  Some of the needlework I do is ‘close’ work requiring patience and it’s challenging, to say the least, but certainly not boring.

One day this week, it fell my lot to do two jobs that were very tedious and very tiring.  A friend wrote a note on a card with tatting attached and my immediate thought was “Oh, I can do some of these for gifts.”   Well, it was fun doing the tatting, even though tedious.  To begin with I painted (and I can’t paint) foliage stems and leaves on blank writing notes.

Notecard-with-tatting

Notecard-with-tatting

Then to the matter of gluing the tiny tatted ringlets in place so that they look like blossoms – first the ringlets were dipped in Elmer’s Glue (one by one), removed with a toothpick and then placed in proper position on the notecard.  On the sample the blossoms are painted; however, I really like my tatted blooms (ah!) and have opted to leave them just as they are.

To add insult to injury, another friend sent a sample using the tatting in a little different way and I wanted to try it, too.  Am I ever gullible!  With this method, three ringlets with long threads (stems) were tied together with another piece of thread to make a bow.  Tedious!!!!  I have finished enough for two givings and I quit.

That same day I decided to complete a job started by a very crafty lady.  Mairlyn had constructed three Santas from an old quilt I had given her.  They were to be gifts given by me and I wanted to make the bags, attach them to the backs of the Santas and then stuff the bags with miniature toys – or whatever.  At least that’s what I thought I wanted to do!  Tedious is not the proper term for this task -

it would have to be something stronger.  I had never even held a hot glue gun in my hand to say nothing about using one.  With the tiny items gathered together and the gun plugged in to heat, I lined up the Santas to do what I expected to be a minor procedure – wrong!

Santa-Claus-001Just to find a few scraps of Christmas greenery turned out to be a major  job (any other time I would see bits of greenery as I looked for something else).  Pulling down a big box that I knew contained greenery, I discovered a batch of ornaments made several years ago which needed hangers (another job for the glue gun).

As I pushed a tiny car into a bag, two other items hopped out and went all the way to the floor.  Now I had to hold the bag, keep what was in it from falling out and retrieve the fallen items.  How did I get into this?

By the time I finished, my fingers were burned (as well as stuck together) my shoulders hurt, my neck hurt – even my elbows hurt, but I had three cute Santas, hangers applied to ornaments and a few note cards for giving.  But never again!!

Next year I hope I remember to shop at the junk store and just stay with crocheting, knitting, tatting, smocking or whatever I can do with a needle and enjoy country living.

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Visits Hightower Trail

IMG951403Perhaps you have heard of the fund raising event, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  This event is to raise money for ALS.  Many have done it.. TV celebrities, sports heroes and coaches, movie stars.. you name it.. they have done it.  What is it you might ask?  Well, it is really pretty simple.  Collect money so that someone can watch you get a bucket of ice water dumped on your head.  IMG951405

The challenge came to my school on Friday!  I think all the schools in Conyers were having a challenge.  There was  even a bet from our superintendent that he would participate at the school which collected the most.  My school won with over $1,000.  But he was not able to be there on Friday, so we will see him getting dumped on Monday.

IMG_1367[1]Friday was an awfully hot day.  The ice melted as quickly as it was dumped into the buckets.  Mrs. Bates was such a sport!  IMG_1372[1]Also a teacher from each grade level was dumped prior to Mrs. Bates.  The kids loved it and we raised good money for a worthy charity.

IMG_1371[1]Supporting worthy causes is definitely in my country living!

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

A Slow Day

It has been a very slow day today, Saturday, at the Windy Knoll.  Early this morning Daddy and I made a dog food run to Walmart in Boaz and stopped by the Crossville First Methodist Church to pick up our Boston butts, cooked and ready to eat!  When we got home Mike stopped by and asked Dad to help him get his truck back home.  It was in the repair shop and Mike needed a ride.  Off they went.  I went to get my hair done at Regina’s and while I was gone some beautiful cookbooks were delivered from the 75th anniversary of the Geraldine First Baptist Church, where Mother was a charter member…the last to pass.

Since I got home at about 12:30 – NOTHING.. Not a…

telephoneThe telephone has not rung, and no one has darkened the door.

Daddy has for the largest part, gotten along very well on his on.  He can cook, but often goes to the senior center to eat lunch and then, as was the habit when Mother was alive, just nibble for supper.  He can do laundry.  He had learned as a child, but in recent years, as Mother became less able to carry and walk at the same time, did it more and more.  He vacuums, sweeps, and can do it all.

Loneliness…that is my fear.  lonely man 2Where are the church friends?  Where are the people who think about him?  For those of you who know him, you know my daddy is a people person.  He loves to talk, joke and generally carry on!

Perhaps I think too highly of my fellow man.  Perhaps I am too critical.  I wish someone would take the job of calling Daddy everyday or getting up a phone tree to phone or visit everyday.

Yes, it has been a slow, and would have been a lonely day, but I have Daddy and he has me here today.. but what of Monday and Tuesday and…..

lonely man 1Is loneliness to be a part of my father’s brand of country living?

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now

About Washing Quilts

NOTE: I have added two photos of quilts my grandmother made for me in the early 90′s that did not appear in the original blog.

A quilt my grandmother made.

A quilt my grandmother made.

As I stuffed this old quilt down in the washer, I couldn’t help but think of how it used to be to wash a quilt.  I know how to try to clean them without the washer, but  . . .    The quilt now spinning in the washer is an oft-used quilt from our bed and I wanted it freshened up before winter arrived.

A quilt my grandmother made.

A quilt my grandmother made.

Old quilts were filled with cotton — batts, way back, did not exist and cotton was stretched or carded straight from the field (with seeds removed) — as a filler.  There were no washers — in fact, there was no electricity.  At our house the quilt was soaked for a bit in a tub full of water and then put over in the black wash pot.  The pot had a roaring fire around it and the water boiled and the quilt was moved around with a long and stout stick called the “battlin’ stick.”  When it was time to get the quilt to the rinse water, it took two people to lift it and get it in the first rinse tub.  We move the hot quilt around and turned it over and over in an effort to get the soapy water from the pot out.  Now it’s moved over to the second rinse tub.  After moving it around for a bit it was time to wring the water out.  Doing all this was a big chore and my mother always tried to arrange for washing quilts to take place when my daddy was around to help.  Next the quilt went to the clothes line and because of the weight maybe an extra propping stick would be required.  Propping sticks were used to raise the wire up to keep the quilt from dragging the ground.  Of course, a sunny day was chosen as the best time to wash a quilt and oft times during the day the quilt would be turned over to help with drying.

Nothing smells as good as the bedding dried outside on the clothes line.  It’s just another memory of that style of country living.

Stenciled Basket Quilt

Stenciled Basket Quilt

Posted in Country Life – Then and Now
Billie & John Crumly 1945 Part of what Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation"