Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Who's been sleeping in my bed? A Halloween story


See this key? My house is so old that this is the key to my front door. It's original to the house. We have been told it was built in 1908. It sits on a knoll in a hollow, no neighbors, just woods and the country lane that snakes around the hills and dips and rises with the terrain. If I were to have car trouble in the middle of the night, I would feel considerable trepidation about walking up the long, dark, steep drive that leads to the house, especially as we leave no lights on at night.

I love this house and along with my husband have raised 3 children here. It definitly shows its age in some ways. It's creaky, groany, and prone to the winds howling around all its interesting cranies and corners, but it's filled with the memories of my children and now my grandchildren. But over the years, the girls and especially their friends have said that as old as this place is, it must have a ghost or two.. It was only owned by one family before we moved in, and although they all lived to be very old, none of them died here we have been told. I've always laughed at the notion of a ghost and still do for the most part, but now more than ever my kids are convinced we have one.

The house is four stories. A damp, kinda creepy basement, the first floor, the third floor where all the bedrooms are and a fourth floor attic that opens into one of the bedrooms.For the seventeen years we have lived here tucked under the eaves of the attic there has been a very old iron cot with a simple covering over it. None of us have ever bothered with it until a few months ago, when my youngest daughter saw an idea in Romantic Homes magazine to use an old cot as a couch on your porch. Excited, she called and asked if she could have the cot in the attic. My husband brought it down and we loaded it up and took it to her. The covering turned out to be a large piece of linen most likely from feed sacks. I washed it and put it away for a future vintage project of my own. At this point, we all pretty much forgot about the entire thing.

A few weeks after moving the cot, I decided to sleep in the little room the attic door opens off of. I had a cough and didn't want to disturb my husband. I had been lying in bed with my back to the attic door for about 15 minutes when I felt the distinct impression of someone sitting down on the bed. My mind did a quick check, "Did I put the cat out?" I remembered doing that so it couldn't be him. I told myself I was a tough, fearless old broad and to forget about it. That was working o.k. until it happened again. For the first time in my life I felt the sensation of the hair standing up on the back of my neck. What to do?! Instinct took over quickly I am happy to say. I flung back the cover, uttered a shrill "EEK!" (why do people do that?) and barreled down the hall sans pillows and practically wedged myself under my sleeping husband and this time I made darn sure I was facing the door the entire night.

Next morning I was on the phone telling my girls my tale illicting vows from all that they would never, never, never sleep in that room again. My husband had a different reaction. He thought a moment and then said, "Well, whoever that cot belonged to up there must be upset about his bed and is just looking for a place to sleep." Sorta like that cautionary tale about 3 bears and a certain blonde girl. Hmmph.

Not to be intiminated by any spirit in my own home, I was determined to sleep in that room again the following night. And yes, I did leave all the lights on. Oh, and I did fortify myself with a glass of wine. Oh, all right, it was 3 glasses. I guess I was the only "spirited" thing in the house that night, because I am happy to report that I passed the night in peaceful slumber.
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

pirate princess


Hilary is going as a pirate princess for Halloween this year. So, while the baby sleeps, I am sewing her costume. As I sew, I can't help but think of that old adage "the more things change the more they stay the same". The 5 year old awaiting her costume and the baby that is sleeping are both my granddaughters. Twenty years ago I was also sewing a costume for a 5 year old as a baby slept but they were my daughters. I enjoyed it then and I am enjoying it now. Maybe I am enjoying it more now because I realize just how fast 20 years can roll by...
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Anyone got a mop?


Cus my heart's in a puddle. I just went in and checked on my sleeping grandbaby and this is what I saw. She looks like a little pink butterbean all curled up asleep...
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I'm back!

No, I haven't been camping all this time, just busy. The camping WAS great, however. I only wish we could have stayed a night or two more. It is the only time that I am content to not have some sort of project in my hands. We tent camp but we do like a luxary or two. One of those being our airbed. We felt a little silly blowing the thing up at our car and then carrying it to our site on its side keeping it out of the dirt. Bored campers watched and I saw one or two snigger, but then I saw a young couple doing the same and didn't feel so bad. We had lovely campfires both nights and a lovely steak dinner our 2nd night out. We did some hiking too.

The funniest thing to me occurred when we hiking. The trail was an easy one and very popular because of numerous waterfalls and just the lovely creek that followed the trail. We came around a bend and saw several people stopped on the trail looking up and pointing. It seems a woodpecker was hanging out doing what woodpeckers do and everyeone was just fascinated, including us once we realized what all the commotion was about. Everyone stood silent, transfixed by this bird's activity, some murmuring at the sound he made, some wondering why he didn't have a headache, but all just marveling at nature's creation. It occurred to me that most of the people probably ahd every tech gadget known to man, many probably worked in big cities, and most likely lived in suburbs and here we all were stopped dead in our tracks by this bird. That is what our national parks are for: to see nature and realize in the seeing that in spite of all we have invented to entertain and amuse ourselves none of it comes close to what God has made.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Goin' campin'

Oh I just love to camp out! Real camping, as in a tent. We are lucky to live near the Great Smokey Mtn National Park, but unfortunatly don't get there as much as we would like. This is the perfect time of year to go too. The air is full of the scents and sounds of Autumn. I love to just sit by the campfire and listen to the acorns as they fall from the trees, picturing the squirrels bustling about packing their dens full with nature's offerings. I love hiking during the day and coming back into camp to enjoy a steak dinner and bottle of wine with my hubby. We usually sit with our feet propped on the fire ring and just talk. Mostly the talk is about the kids and grandkids and how we need to camp more often. In the background you can hear the murmurings of other people doing the same thing you are. Even tho you are in a campground (tents only) it is very quiet. I love the crisp chilly air and climbing into my sleeping bag and just listening to the breezes blowing through the trees, and smelling the smell of campfires. I imagine all the people who came here hundreds of years ago and try to put myself in their place as they did this everynight for many nights as they explored and settled these beautiful mountains. I always wish we could stay just one more night.

A Good way to showcase a small picutre


I received this photo from a swap partner over at Create a Connection. This rose is/was growing in a garden in Croatia. I thought it was so pretty and wanted an unusual way to showcase it. I tied my ribbon in a bow and glued the ends to the back of the frame. My eldest daughter had made this small memory board for me and I had the idea to hang the picture from it and prop it in a chair that I use for a bedside table in a small bedroom. It looks just perfect I think. Sort of a frame within a frame.
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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Virginia is for lovers and I love Virginia

for several reasons. Number one, I have two sweet, sweet granddaughters living there, so as often as I can I gas up the car several times and leave TN behind and head north. In about 8 hrs. I am in grandmother heaven holding my two little princesses.

Thanks to the internet, I've made a wonderful new friend who also lives in Virginia. We've managed to meet twice and both times it has been so much fun. She's a real sweetie.

Virginia is a must-see state for the history lover too. We always try to see something historical on every visit. We've done D.C. twice and are now exploring some outlying areas. Fredericksburg just reeks with our country's history. Right now it is my favorite town.

And I do believe the friendliest people of all live in Virginia. Being from Tennessee I am used to friendly people. My sister was with me on my most recent trip and we had episodes of these kindly people doing small good deeds for us. You know, the kind of thing that just leaves you feeling so good? Not to mention the fact that even tho they don't know you, they talk your ear off while waiting in the grocery store line or for your morning cup of Starbucks. Yep, they are a friendly lot. I can't wait to head up there again. For a lot of reasons.

Monday, October 1, 2007

From Croatia with Love


I recently signed up for a swap over at Create A Connection (link at right). The theme for the swap was "My Favorite Things". It was a lot of fun putting together a package containing some of my favorite things. But, contrary to the addage "It is better to give than to receive", it was even more fun to receive a package of someone else's faves.

My swap partner was a young woman from Croatia. I was so excited about that as I know next to nothing about that country and was anxious to learn from an actual citizen of that country. There was quite an age gap. In fact, she is the same age as my youngest daughter. But that was o.k. because my youngest likes to send me packages and they are always wonderful. So was the one I received from my partner.

Because she was born on the 7th of the month, she chose 7 of her favorite things to send me. My photograph shows some of them. There was a poem she copied and illustrated by her favorite poet Edgar Allen Poe, a sweet drawing of an angel that she also did, lovely rose soap, a gorgeous photo of a rose from her father's garden, a package of tea, a journal covered in a sumptious purple suede and the last thing of all gave me a such a laugh. It was a poster of Goran Visnjic-he is the hunky actor who plays Dr. Kovitch on E.R. I had mentioned in an email that the only person I was familiar with from her country was this actor. I went on to say I thought he was drop-dead handsome. So she got a copy of this poster for me. I promptly framed it and it now has a place of honor in my sewing/studio room.I can't wait for my husband and daughters to notice it. They will think this old gal is off her rocker.

An unexpected thing about this swap for me was that even tho we are a generation and miles and miles apart, some of her favorite things are things I enjoy too. It truly is a small world. Good job Vedranna!
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I've been away....


visiting these two lovely ladies. They are Isabella and Sophia. No, they are not fraternal twins, they are cousins born 5 weeks apart to my oldest daughter and my youngest. Aren't they beautiful?
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