Saturday, June 30, 2007

What I Saw

Windows in Mingus Mill . Great Smoky Mountains Park near Cherokee N.C.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Homeschool Links

Here is a site put up by the Florida Department of Education. It contains over 25,000 pieces of clipart, photographs, maps, links, and backgrounds for presentations, free for use by students and teachers. There are some great graphics and photos that would work very well for reports and projects. Enjoy and check out Crystal's blog for other tips.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Daughter Is Big In China. Huge I Tell You.

While my daughter was in college she was part of the Show Choir. They toured around the country during the summers performing at different venues. Her last year they performed at Disneyland. Apparently some Chinese officials of some type saw their performance and fell in love with them. They invited the choir to perform in China. Even though my daughter has since graduated she was invited to attend. Unfortunately she was unable to because of previous commitments.

Upon their return a friend sent this picture to my daughter of a banner that was hung in one of the cities they performed in. It is about 3 stories high. I've added a green arrow pointing at my daughter. They deserve all the attention because they are one impressive choir.

My Favorite Things

Years ago, before I started my current business, I had a crafts business. I was in several craft malls and I did art and craft shows in the area.

During that time I met Terri Byrd. She is a wonderful polymer clay artist. You can see her work here. Be sure to check out her galleries. Her work is extraordinary.

Much of Terri's work is out of my price range, except for her adorable little fairies. I fell in love with them the first time I saw them. They are so tiny, only about 3 inches long, and so whimsical and sweet.

When I was a little girl I used to play around the roots of a huge Oak tree. I created fairy rooms in the nooks around the roots. I would make beds out of grass and leaves and bowls and cups out of acorn caps. I would imagine that at night the fairies would come out of the woods and play in the rooms I made. In my imagination the fairies looked very much like the ones that Terri makes. I think they are perfect, right down to the tips of their tiny little toes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Blog I Enjoy

Check out this beautiful blog, My Cozy Home. This lady surely knows how to decorate her home and create a peaceful, serene setting.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Durbin Farms

We have a tradition when we visit Grandmas. We always stop at Durbin Farms in Clanton, Alabama for homemade peach ice cream and to pick up jars of their perserves and baskets of their delicious peaches and strawberries. They make great gifts. The market is located at exit 205 off I-65 and if you are traveling that way it is well worth the stop. The selection is great, and the folks are friendly.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


When I was growing up I was surrounded by quiet. It wasn't the absence of sound. Sound was always there. It was locust heating up in mid day sun, cows lowing in the field, chickens cackling in the hen house, my grandmother's sewing machine clacking as she pushed the peddle while she sewed a quilt top or if I was lucky, a new dress for me.

Maybe it was my sister chattering to herself as she played, or the fan in the window stirring the hot, moist air. There are sounds that will stay with me always. The sounds I heard while lying in the bed in the winter, waiting for the house to get warm, listening to my grandmother make breakfast. Hearing my grandfather come in from gathering eggs, or milking and talk over the day's plans with my grandmother. It was my grandmother pulling out her church hymnal, sitting in her rocker and singing the Shaped Note hymns she had sung all her life. Our home wasn't always quite so these memories mean even more to me.

Quiet wasn't the absence of sound. It was peaceful contentment, something you felt clear down to the soul, and these sounds were part of that. They belonged. They were part of what made life warm and good. These sounds were comfort, they were home.

I think that is why I love the mountains so much. They feel like home. Their sounds surround you and they become part of you. When you leave them the quiet you feel stays with you for awhile. I can't stay away too long because I need that peace.

I've never really liked living in the city. It never has felt right. I guess that is why the time I can spend away is so important to me. When I can't close my eyes and find that peace, when I can't find quiet, I know it is time to go home.

Picture: Cades Cove, my very favorite picnic spot.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What I Saw

These flowers covered the ground in the Smoky Mountain Cove where I spent a Spring morning. I don't know what they are. I spread a blanket and napped among them.

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin Luther

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

WFMW: Dishpans Rock!

I love dishpans. In fact, if I wasn't married, I would marry a dishpan. They are that good! I mean it. They are versatile, very useful, cheap( I get mine for a dollar), they help you clean up and they don't talk back!

I use dishpans in so many ways that the original post I wrote turned into something akin to a thesis, so I decided to cut to the chase and just list someways I use dishpans in my home.

* Carry dishes, silverware and condiments to and from the table.

* As a homeschooler we use them in many ways; as schoolwork In/Out boxes, to hold items we need to take to classes or lessons, for science experiments and craft projects and so on.

* I keep one under the bathroom sink with all the items needed for a good foot soak and pedicure.

* One for each child to hold clean laundry to be put away and items found in their pockets.

* To corral small jars and items such as butter on one shelf in the refrigerator. No more getting lost in the back.

* I also keep one to put small Tupperware or baggies that hold leftovers and items like onion halves.

* To hold cleaning items in bathroom and under kitchen sink.

* Storage containers on open shelving to hold items such as the dog leash, umbrellas, small toys, small kids books.

* Great for quick pick up of items to be put away. They are just the right size for kids to handle easily.

* Store parts to small appliances such as attachments for the vacuum. Keep all the baking items together: the beaters for the mixer, blades for the food processor, measuring spoons.

* Use a dishpan to soak and hand wash delicate laundry.

* Though not the most attractive option, in a pinch a NEW dishpan can be used as a large serving bowl for items such as potato salad, green salad or any other cold dish. Hmmm....I have visions of an enormous Holy Smoke Pie!

* To wash dishes. Gasp! I know, how UNoriginal but you know it really does help save water.

These are just a few of the ways we use dishpans around our home. Works for Me. I would love to hear any ideas that others might want to share. Dishpans holding my craft paint by color. Click here for the NEW WFMW!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Praying for Paris

Prayer isn't exactly what comes to mind when you think of Paris Hilton is it? Sallie over at A Gracious Home has a very thought provoking post about Paris Hilton. Regardless what your religious affiliation I think you will agree with her post.

I know I have reached Paris "overload" and have a negative reaction to even the mention of her name. Sallie's post made me realize that my attitude could use some adjustment. When it comes right down to it, Paris Hilton is no different than all of us. She is driven by the same desire for love and attention, and need for acceptance and belonging as we are.

Who knows why she is driven to act as she does. Who knows what has been said or done to her. Maybe she is just spoiled, but you know spoiling a child to that point is in many ways a form of abuse. Maybe she has lead a charmed life up until now and hasn't had to face the realities of adulthood, I don't know.

I do know if she comes out of jail unchanged and continues to act as she always has it will be very difficult to continue to feel sympathetic toward her. I don't think I'll have an easy time with that. That will be my problem to deal with and I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

Right now, I'll do my best to look at her with the eyes of a mom and pray for her, just like I would hope others would for my children if they made mistakes that ended them up in her situation.

Pic:Roses on Clinch Mountain

Friday, June 08, 2007

Teaching Kids about Money: Some Great Videos

(Note: This post was intended for last week Frugal Friday. Since it wasn't put up I'm connecting to it for this week.) Teaching kids about money is a long drawn out process. Some lessons are only learned by experience.

As soon as our children were old enough to understand we taught them how to evaluate their purchases and determine the best buy for their money. Allowing them to make financial decisions for themselves and then discussing those decisions with them, was the best teaching method I know.

We were never parents to purchase every toy that came along that our kids wanted. When the kids were old enough to start asking for expensive items we worked out a plan with them.

We stated the dollar figure we were willing to contribute, then we worked out a list of jobs the child could complete to earn the rest of the money needed. After the money was earned we taught them how to comparison shop and look for sales. We encouraged them to look for second hand items if possible.

I'm proud to say that my children all handle their money very well. They are savers and live within their means. None of my grown children have credit cards and operate on a cash only basis.

I found these great videos on YouTube that teach kids about budgets and money management. They are wonderful. I think they would be great supplements to any lesson on money management. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What I Saw

A local artist has decided to advertise his work by decorating his yard and home with the type items he makes. I love the giraffe. Sorry the dragon isn't more clear. It was taken by my son while I was driving by.

Recipe: Tennessee Caviar

This is a great recipe that I love to take to any gathering. I think it has several names including Texas Caviar. It is great served with tortilla chips or on Ritz crackers. It doubles very well and serves a large crowd when you do. BTW, incase you don't know,that is black-eyed peas in the pic, not Tennessee Caviar. I'll post a pic of the finished product when I can.

Tennessee Caviar.

2 cans black-eyed peas, drained.

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

(I have used 1 1/2 cup frozen corn, cooked and drained).

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

1 whole red onion (small), diced

1 whole green pepper (small), chopped

1 small can chopped black olives

3/4 cup cider vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Salt to taste

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine oil, sugar and vinegar; stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour liquid over and stir well.

This is best chilled overnight. Serve with tortilla chips or Ritz crackers.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


The theme this week at Rocks in My Dryer is keeping the kids from being bored.

My tips offered are for older kids.

Two things that kept my kids busy the most were:

1. The video camera. I taught them how to use the camera safely by age 10 or so. They made the most entertaining videos such as spoofs of TV shows and movies, ( A favorite seemed to be Blair Witch Project even though they never saw it they had seen many spoofs on TV and made their own. They loved using the night vision feature) talk shows, commericals, music videos(we have a great one of dancing boxes!LOL), you name it, they probably filmed it.

2. A hammer, some nails and a couple of boards. For some reason they loved pounding nails into boards. My son could spend a good hour or so nailing two boards together. Simple but effective.

I found summer to be a great time to teach kids various skills that required longer periods of time than might be available during the school year. We kept a fully stocked art box and supplies for every type of craft project you can imagine on hand. It is also a great time to teach cooking skills.

A great source for skills to teach older kids are Boy and Girl Scout manuals. You don't need to be a scout to learn the skills taught. These manuals are easy to find at thrift stores and yard sales or straight from the scout offices in your area.

If I can give one bit of advice to moms of young children it would be to teach your kids early to entertain themselves. I found that having chores for the kids to do when they came to me whining that they were bored prevented it from happening very often.

For more ideas check out Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What I Saw

Sunshine Hollow. A Daylilly farm north of Chattanooga, Tn.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Saturday, June 02, 2007

My First Crush

I was surfing around the Internet and found a picture of my first crush, the guy that I thought was the most handsome man I had ever seen. I think I was 6, watching television at my grandparents, the first time I saw him.

It was love at first sight. He was tall, I could tell, and all the men in my life that I loved were tall. My grandfather and his sons were over 6 ft. My dad had been around 6 ft tall. Yes, tall men were where it was at. Here he is. Yep, Jimmy Stewart. Wasn't he gorgeous? My grandparents had a black and white TV and I had no idea the movie I was watching was from almost 30 years earlier. Can you tell I lived a sheltered life? Everyone else at the time was crazy for Elvis or I guess, The Beatles by this time and I'm in love with Jimmy Stewart.

I was in love with Mr. Jimmy Stewart for several years actually. I was around 9 before I found out that he was actually my grandmother's age! I was so heartbroken! Why, oh why wasn't I born just 30, well....actually about 50 years earlier? I was destined to live my life with an unrequited love, and Jimmy, poor thing, he never knew what he missed.

Dancing Cadet Rocks!

I don't know how I missed this video up until now. I love it! This guy is so cute! The video reminds me of the dance sessions my kids have. I should get some video of that and put it up. They probably won't let me if they know I'll post it. Anyway, enjoy this guy breaking it down!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Use it Up Poster

Meredith had a link to Frugal For Life where there are some great WWII posters. I'm posting my favorite, which happens to bear my personal motto. I love it. Do you think we could all pull together and sacrifice today the way they did back then?