Saturday, December 26, 2009

The best Christmas gift I received this year- the gift of time.

Christmas came like a tidal wave rising higher and coming faster than I could outrun. There were gifts to buy and wrap and the house to decorate. Christmas cards got mailed the Monday before Christmas, so if you didn't get your's June it's on its way. We always spend Christmas at mother's and this year was another good year. We ate and talked and played Dirty Santa. Butch and Jane were there and Rosie and Dallas, their son Mithchell , his wife, Doris and two beautiful daughters.Carey and her new baby girl, Carsen; Whitney, her husband Josh, Crissy and Arron; Jessie and Jeremy. What a houseful! Larry took pictures of all of us but I forgot to take any until it was time to go. So here is the annual family picture without Dad and June. We miss you sis and hope to see you soon! We lost Dad year before last.
Front row: Angie, me, Glenda and Larry. Back Row: Sherry and mom.
The week before Christmas I spent the night with mom and we had such a wonderful time. We watched "White Christmas" until we couldn't hold our eyes open any longer. The next morning after breakfast, we finished watching it and read her bible. Mom reads a chapter from the New Testament and one from ther old everyday. Afterwards we talked about Dad and Uncle Ellis, her older brother. She told me how Uncle Ellis introduced them and what great friends they were. I like how she put it,"Uncle Ellis thought your dad could do anything and your dad always tried to do whatever Uncle Ellis asked him."
My Uncle Ellis was a tall man and dad was short and wiry. I remember growing up I thought my dad could do anything. I remembered having a recurring nightmare where a monster was chasing me around the house. I remember thinking even in my dream that daddy was here and he would get the monster. Then I would have no trouble sleeping. Mother told how one time when they were living up North that Uncle Ellis was working at night and it was time for him to come home but his car wouldn't start and a blizzard had come. He called dad to come get him. Mom said that a neighbor went with dad and they had to dig snow out from the road to get to him. When they finally arrived, Uncle Ellis told them he sure was glad they were able to make it because some of the men were talking about him , threatening him, and he was afraid of what they might do to him.

Dad used to tell me stories of him growing up but I didn't write them down. So I came prepared this time and wrote it all down. Mom also shared another nugget of gold with me. My grandfather Sid died before I was born so I didn't know him at all. She told me he was a real good man. He told mother she was the daughter he never had (Dad had three brothers). Mother also told me that he used to sing in a quartet. My Uncle Louis could sing and play the guitar and his son, and grandson too. Alas, I didn't inherit any singing abilities, I can't even keep time. Then two ladies from church visited and got visit with more old friends.
Eddie and Missy spent time with us Christmas Eve and that was another cherished moment. Eddie has been working out of town for months so it was good to have him home again. My firend, Paula and Ken's friend Steve also came and had lunch with us.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just Like Heaven-book review

"Just Like Heaven" the audio book I just finished listening to is a delightful love story. A debut novel written by Marc Levy, an architect, writes about an architect whose apartment is haunted, but not by a ghost. Or is she? He is trying to figure out what she is and she is trying to convince him that she is real. Of course Arthur is the only one that can see Lauren and is her only hope for survival. What would you do for love? Read this book to find out how far Arthur will go and what risk he will take. This book is hilariously funny and has a wonderful ending.

It puts a whole new spin on "writing what you know."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Schmooze: Writing what you don't know

It's hard to believe that it was Saturday a week ago that Irene Latham came and did our schmooze entitled "Writing What You Don't Know."

I learned that it's okay to immerse your self in your subject and I also learned to call enough when you have saturated yourself with the subject. I have been reading up up on writing nonfiction so I was pleasantly surprised to see how much research had gone into Irene's "Leaving Gees Bend". Even more important, I learned how she kept it all straight and that she even uses her material for school visits. So if anyone is out there wondering what to get me for Christmas a notebook to keep all my research organized would make a nice gift. Hint hint.

Now for all those that are farther along than I am in their writing, here is a contest for you.
It is in the Jan 2010 Writer's Digest magazine. Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest. The entry fee seems a little steep until you consider that you will get not one but two critiques of your manuscript (providing you follow submission guidelines.
So here is the website to go to for the guidelines and entry form. and good luck.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

History Lesson

Sunday, Pat, Debbie and I ventured into the past and took a look at what a home decorated for Christmas in 1800's would have looked like. The wreaths in the background were made of vines and fresh fruit. The two behind us had lemons and apples and evergreens. This is the Belle Mont mansion that is south of Tuscumbia. We are standing on the second floor balcony and looking over the front lawn. Many houses in the south depict a an Ailee of Oak trees. This one was unique in that it had cedars.
Several had died so it was not uniform as it may once had been.

I'm always excited to find treasures in my own "backyard" when it comes to writing.
The house was built for Dr. Alexander Mitchell and was sold to Isaac Winston in 1833. It is thought that Mitchell was a neighbor of Thomas Jefferson and that this was the influence for this house.

I have visited this house for the last three years and was amazed at the restoration that is taking place. Each year adds a new improvement.

The house is now owned by the State of Alabama Historical Commission.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

happy birthday back at you, honey.

My husband's birthday is Tuesday and I'm tempted to get him something really mean as pay back for what he got me.

After working all day and night and getting home at about 12 am on my birthday, my husband comes home from work and makes us both an appointment to get our eyes checked. I knew he needed glasses because he kept buying those reading glasses at the dollar store until they finally didn't help anymore. But me need glasses? No way.
Well sorry to say it is yes way. So we go togther to pick them out and really I have no idea what to pick. I mean this is going to be a part of my wardrobe for a very long time and I don't want it to be out dated by next week.
I get a clerk to help me pick out what looks good on a square, slightly rectangular block and go from there. It will take a week before they will be ready.
To be honest my eyes were hurting from looking at a computer all day so I could hardly wait to get them. Thinking that the glasses would take care of everything, but they didn't I still can't see. Oh well. Anyway that is what I got for my birthday. Now for his, I looked at an electric razor because he does like to trim his own hair. This one has attachments to trim his ears and nose. Tempting but would he really like it? Did I really like my glasses? NO!
But still I don't give in. Then I remember he did take me out to a nice restruant afterwards so maybe it wasn't all bad. Hmm, he did mention a cushion for his back ...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

back from vacation

Edisto Island pronounced Ed is sto as in Ed is slow.
This is the unit we stayed in and the view from our deck. It was a double deck, the upper deck was screened in and had a table and chairs.
The last day we were there our neighbor spotted an alligator. There were signs everywhere: "Do not feed or disturb alligators" We didn't see any, but one day after walking around the island, I spotted a blue heron. By the time I got my camera it had flown away. On Thanksgiving Day we walked the beach and saw a school of dolphins. Earlier that day, Rachel and I had walked around the island and found a jelly fish, a sponge and a crab, besides numerous shells.
Ken and I had gone into to Charleston to see the "Festival of Lights" , there the schools made chrstmas cards the size of a door. Later that week we toured Chaleston and stopped at Kominsky's for dessert; a warm Toll House pie served with ice cream. It was heavenly.

I finished Wicked Will. It had some twists I didn't see coming, so if you haven't read this book yet you need to.
I also read the Last Apprentice: Clash of the Demons.It too was very good and I'm looking forward to tyhe next in this series. In the meantime, I am reading Hunger by Micheal Grant.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New workout equipment

I'm always bugging my husband for new work out equipment, you know a stationary bike or elliptical rider. Instead he got me a mop, broom and vacuum cleaner. Well I tried them out today and did get a very good workout and so did my house. It has been scrubbed from top to bottom and all the while I was thinking, I'd rather be blogging and had these great and wonderful things I was going to say. Instead I'm blogging about housework. I have washed all the clothes in the house today too including the sheets. I did finally settle down long enough to critique my writers groups submissions So now I guess I have procrastinated enough and while I have my butt in chair (BIC) I will progress to my own story. Sorry to say I am sorely lagging behind in the Nanowrimo month but every word counts towards the goal so I'm signing off now to visit my characters and see if they will cooperate with me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I have a new blog

Pat and I went to a blogging class at the Florence-Lauderdale Public library. It was free and it was just me and Pat. We had the instructor all to ourselves, and even learned a little about Facebook. We're coming into the 21st century like a sailboat slicing through the water. A little unbalanced and watching out for the boom. all sails raised and going with the wind in our faces and an occasional water splash to keep us focused.