Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jungle Jim's

  Before I write my blog today, I want to say that my prayers and thoughts go out to all the people who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.  I cannot imagine the loss they are going through although a few years ago many in my city suffered a huge flood that devasted many homes.  It takes a long time to get over something like this.

   I also want to show just a few more pictures of how beautiful Tennesse was last week.  Four days ago David and I were in Gatlinburg where it was a pretty Autumn day. Today they have seventeen inches of snow.  Wow.

  Oh, and a few barn quilts........

  On our way back home from Tennessee, we stopped by our oldest son's house to visit.  Our son really knows how to entertain.  He asked us if we wanted to go to a grocery store.  Whoopie!  I do not like to go grocery shopping anymore than I have to.  I try to do it all at once, once a month.  "This is the biggest grocery store in the country," our son told us.  Okay, we were up for it.  Jungle Jim's is an international market started as a small produce stand years ago and has grown into what it is today. 

  What it is  today is a destination, not just grocery shopping.  There are foods from all over the world, but that is not all.

   As you near the store you see  all kinds of animals.  Giraffes, elephants and more.

  Then you grab a cart and go inside.  Or you just walk in to look.

  You go inside and your senses are hit from every direction. 

  There was a sushi counter with every kind of sushi imagineable.

   There were chefs preparing the sushi right before your eyes.

  There were famous soups hanging around.

  Fresh fish, anyone?  Pick your fish and they catch it and clean it for you.  Can't get any fresher than that.

  Popeye and Brutus was there. Or is that Bluto?

  The S.S. Minnow was there but I didn't see Gilligan.

 Here's our son, Jason, standing if front of one of their world class bathrooms.  It's been featured on television and is a regular bathroom with a port-a-potty entrance. 

  David couldn't resist.  Look at all the stuff I kept giving him to carry.  I knew we should have gotten a cart.

  There were animatronics performing throughout the store.

   There were hundreds of honeys.

  There were cases of cheeses.

  There were gobs of greens.

  There were crowds of crab legs.  Never had crab, but I know I would like it.

  There were green foods.

  There were brown foods.  Many foods I had never heard of and would not know how to begin to prepare them to eat.   It was all so interesting and fun.  We spent two hours there and did not see half of it.  I want to go back and just spend a day.  This store is located in Fairfield, Ohio near Cincinnati and is worth the drive to see.  My son did know how to  entertain us that day and we had a great time.  

   It was a fun vacation from beginning to end.

   Here's to vacations and having a home to come back to.  Bye.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Meet My Other Sisters


  Davie and I have been having so much fun on our vacation. We took the photography class where they said your subjects should always look into the sun when taking a picture.That is why we are both squinting.  Lovely picture, don't you think?  Oh, well.  I have to introduce you to my two sisters I visited while .in Tennessee

   This is my sister Imelda.  She and I decided to dress in purple on this particular day.  She's my "hippie" sister who left home to join a commune back in the sixties.  She sure has remained young looking.  We had a nice long conversation until I told her she needed to use a little extra hair conditioner on her hair since it was beginning to look like straw.  She became very offended and stalked off.  I won't be seeing her again for a while.

   This is my twin, Belinda who refuses to color her hair.  She likes to go au natural and won't let any beautitian dye a strand.  Funny, she wore purple that day also.  She and Imelda don't get along very well.  She's a spinster who lives in the mountains and runs a still, but don't let her know I told you that,  I drank her moonshine one time and I couldn't sleep for a week.  Probably won't be seeing her very soon either as she is planning to move to Antarctica to study plantlife there.  Sad, she doesn't know there is no plantlife there, or is there?

     This is my new friend Maggie, or was it Marge?   I don't know what she is looking at unless she thinks those pigeons on the roof are going to start bombing us.  Anyway, she helped run a little museum in a little town we passed through in Tennessee.  She knew so much about the history of the area.  At one time this town had had many mills where they made socks, blankets and other things.  The last one closed just a few years ago.  She told us so many interesting stories.  You know those loops you use to make those old fashion potholders? They use to be the end cuts of socks.  We bonded and she said "Come back again."  I probably won't be getting by this way again, but Marge, or Maggie will always be my friend. 

   Here's Dave in front of a dazzling creek running through the Smoky Mountains.  It did shine like this.  Love the Smokies.  Gatlinburg, not so much.  Too many people and too much traffic.  We were glad to get out of there.   I'm a country girl and like wide open spaces. 

   I'm looking forward to seeing two of my favorite friends soon.  I hope they haven't stirred up any more skunks.  Bye.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

     Being on the Appalachian Quilt Trail has been so much fun.  If you like quilts, fabric, antiques, good home cookin', southern manners, beautiful scenery and some excitement, you really should try to do this one day.  Except for the excitement. 

   The second day out we were in the small town of Scottsville.  We knew we were going to like it as soon as we came into  town.  Every store had scarecrows and Halloween decorations in front of them.  The scarecrows were really creative.

  There was the red elephant,

  a ghoul coming out of a television,

  a cook grilling fingers, eyeballs and intestines,

    a flying saucer that was sucking people up with that green hose.  I didn't get the picture of that.

   There was a mechanic getting the "bugs" out of a car.


  There was Jesus casting the old devil into hell.  Halleluhah!   There were so many more, but I have other things to show you.

      Our trip was really planned around quilt blocks that were on barns, houses, the sides of stores and just about anywhere. 

  We barely scratched the surface as there are supposed to be over seven hundred quilt blocks.

   There was a park where I walked where they had quilt blocks displayed like this along the walk.


 There were almost as many in Kentucky as there were in Tennessee.  I have so many pictures, and this is just a few.  
  We saw Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home.  There is a creek in back of this cabin where it is told Abe almost drowned.  How history would have been changed if he had.

  There were so many houses like this out in the country left abandoned never to have a family to laugh or cry or celebrate in them again. So sad.  I wondered what made the people just up and leave and no one moved in in their place.

The Fall colors were at their zenith.
  The scenery was beautiful.  We live in a wonderful country and I have not been in a state that didn't have some beauty.  Well, except Kansas unless you like wheat fields for hundreds of miles.  Some think that is beautiful and it does provide food for people.
    Now I told you there was some excitement.  In Scottsville, while David was in an antique shop, I ran next door  to the Dollar General to buy a journal to write in.  I was sauntering through the aisles looking at this and that when a man came along and turned to a clerk who was standing nearby and started to say something to her and he fell down flat faced right in front of me.  He just lay there and I reaced down and rubbed his back and didn't feel any breathing.  I told the girl to call 911.  Suddenly he started coughing and said, "Pamela" and tried to get up.  I told him to stay down and rubbed his back until Pamela came.  I don't know if she was his wife or what, but she acted nonchalant about the whole thing and said he does this all the time.  Well, he scared the c%$@ out of me!   Later I saw them in the store and he looked really wobbly and I asked him if he was alright and he said yes. My heart didn't stop beating fast for quite a while.  The only thing I was thinking when it happened was, "I wish I was a nurse or doctor."    I just hoped I did the right thing rubbing his back and talking to him. 
   Glad the rest of the trip has been relatively peaceful.
  Here's to falling leaves, quilt blocks, and time with your favorite person.  Bye.
 Oh, I will have to show you a picture of my sister Imelda.   I will later.  And my new friend. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012


 God has blessed us with noses that can smell.  My nose has a stronger sense of smell than most.  It's both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing when cinnamon rolls are baking and a curse like this week when a skunk sprayed somewhat near my shop where I do my projects.

   I got up one day last week and went out to my shop to do some things and I smelled skunk. When I opened my shop door, it smelled like the skunk had been in there although there was no way it had been.  I lit three candles and turned on the air conditioner to circulate the air  Now it is several days later and the smell still lingers, although not as badly.  Thankfully, none of my fabric picked up the smell.  Now I am worried that we have a vagabond skunk wandering around our house just waiting to spray some unsuspecting person.  Me!!   I know we have possums because we had one in our trash can once and I know we have raccoons because one time a pregnant one took over our dogs' house and wouldn't let them in and I had to call animal control to come get it.  We also had a rabid raccoon stopping traffic in front of our house once.  It stood up in the middle of the road and rolled around and acted weird so I had to call animal control again.  That is why I am very careful to get my dogs rabies shots on time every year.  Raccoons have been known to kill dogs. And a rabid raccoon biting a dog would not be good.  Since my dogs are outside all the time they must be protected.  By the way, do you spell racoon with two cs or one?  I'm too lazy to check it out.

  Now back to smells.  Smells can make us think of things.  Sometimes when I smell a bologna sandwich I am transported back to elementary school in the school cafeteria eating lunch with my friends.  I still have the lunchbox I used when I was in grade school.  Mom would pack a bologna sandwich, some homemade cookies wrapped in wax paper and sometimes if I was lucky potatoe(yes, we were taught we could spell potato with an e)  chips also wrapped in wax paper. There were no ziplock bags back in the fifties and no clingwrap either.   There were no food police either telling us what we could or could not eat.  Funny.  People ate so much more unhealthily back then,lots more fats like real butter and lard, but people weren't fat because they worked hard and children played outside all the time and didn't sit in front of a television or sit playing games on an Ipad.  We were out running, skipping, jumping rope, riding bicycles and playing outdoor games.  Anyway, we had this one cook at our school who made the best cinnamon rolls.  The day she baked them, the school would smell like warm cinnamon rolls all day.  We could go back for seconds and many a time I went back for a second cinnamon roll.

   There are smells that remind us of seasons.  I cannot imagine a Spring without the smell of lilac.  We had a big lilac bush in our front yard when I was a girl.  I loved taking a book outside and laying underneath it and reading.  Mom would have me cut sprays of it to bring in the house and the house would smell like lilac.  I now have a few lilacs in our yard and they always mean Spring to me. 

   Fresh cut grass or hay makes me think of Summer.  When I was a girl, Daddy would cut and bale hay and straw enough for the long winter ahead.  I loved working in the barn in the haymow helping to stack the bales of hay.  They would be stacked clear to the rafters and we had a huge barn.  The barn would smell so good with the fresh hay in it.  My brothers and I would climb on the bales and my brothers even made a cave once and we crawled through it. It was kind of scary because the hay bales could fall down on us, but the added fear made it even more fun.  We swung on the hay hook that was suspended between our two haymows. Boy, it was fun to live dangerously.  I have a danger streak in me even though I am a very cautious person.

    Fall brings burning leaves and the smell of pumpkins when they have a candle burning in them for Halloween.  Now you can't burn leaves. You can't even have an open fire we learned.  We were burning wood in our firepit one time and our neighbors(the mean ones and my kids know who I am talking about) actually called the fire department and the firemen came in their fire truck and came back and told us someone had complained. They seemed kind of sheepish telling us and we knew who had complained.  Well, it turned out we needed a screen on our firepit so we went right out and bought a whole new little fire stove with a screen for outdoors and had a fire and roasted marshmallows the next day and hoped our neighbors would call the fire department again. I know, that is probably not a nice thought, but you have to know these neighbors.  We have lived by them for 35 years and they have never been nice to us.  But, back to smells.  Wood burning makes me think of Autumn also.  I love the smell.  I would have a campfire every single day on cool days and just sit and look at the flames.  Now with our new stove, we can do it without getting in trouble.  The dogs stretch out near the fire and warm themselves. They like it as much as David and I do.

   Winter brings the smells of pine and snow.  There is a particular smell on a snowy day.  If something can smell cold, it is snow.  Winter is when I bring out most of my candles and burn them every day.  Sometimes my house smells like chocolate, and sometimes like pumpkin spice, and sometimes like honey buttered rolls, and sometimes like patchouli.  Some people hate the smell of candles burning and I hate not having them burning.  If you come to my house, you will have to warn me so I won't burn a candle while you are here. 

     Smells make you thing of certain people. When I smell caramel corn or horehound, I think of my dad.  He loved making caramel corn on cold winter days, When we kids had been on Bond's hill sledding,we would come home to dad's caramel corn  It would still be warm and sticky and gooey and we ate big bowls of it.  It's one of the only things to eat I remember my dad making.  My dad always had horehound to suck on also.  A couple of years ago I had trouble with my throat and found that horehound helped.  You can buy it at the Goodwill store.  Really. It's not used or anything.

  Think about the smells that bring back memories to you.  I have many.  Too many to mention in one blog.  It is wonderful most times to be blessed with a good sense of smell. I won't even begin to tell you about the wonderful smell of a baby's head.  If they could bottle that they'd make a fortune.

  Here's to wonderful smells and memories that go with them.  Bye.


Friday, October 19, 2012

There She Goes!

  I was going to write about smells today, but something has happened so I will write about smells another day.  Two weeks ago David said we needed to have a tree cut down in the dog pen by the fence as it was rotted out.  So I called Frank's Tree Service and Frank came out and said he could do it in a few day.  Two weeks went by.  Yesterday we had alot of wind.  David comes home and says, "I see the tree was cut down today."  I said, "What! I didn't hear any saws going, They couldn't have cut it down without me hearing them."  Oh, oh.  We went out back and low and behold, the tree had fallen down. 

   Let me give you some background on this story.  Our neighbor, Norm, behind us has had a big tree come down in his front yard and a tree come down in his side yard that fell on his truck. Well, guess where our tree fell?  On his garage.  Yes.  Sounds horrible, but the tree got caught in a big pine he has on his property and did very little damage.   David got on the roof of Norm's garage and cut out a bunch of the smaller limbs to take the weight off the tree. 

   My job was to pile up the branches as David cut them off.  This is one pile.  Love doing this kind of work.  We use to go to Camp Atterbury years ago and cut wood for burning in our stove and it was wonderful being out in the crisp Fall air in the woods and piling wood into the old truck to keep our house warm in the winter.

  I called Frank's last night and they were here early this morning with their expert crew to cut the tree off the garage.  It was not an easy job as the tree could fall on the garage or take out our fence(several of the boards were already broken) or fall down on the doghouse or the new chicken condo.   Not the new chicken condo!!!!!!!!  We haven't even gotten chickens yet.

  They finally got it off the garage but were still trying to keep it from damaging more of the fence.  See Frank, how strong he is holding that big tree trunk all by himself?  They had several boards holding it up.

 Miss Belle Grumpy Paws was in a snit because we had her and Bonnie fenced off from all the action.  Sorry, but you gotta do what you gotta do. 

  The tree was finally down and the wood stacked and we were hungry.  We hadn't had breakfast yet so David got out the griddle and went to work.

  A real lumberjack's breakfast.  Yum. 


  Here's to mighty trees. May no more of them fall on Norm.  Bye.