Sunday, August 30, 2009


The fine art

This is the "Stairway".....

...And this is the closet under the stairway.....

My husband is half Italian (His father was a 1st generation Italian American...and his grandfather was one of the last of the immigrants to enter America through Ellis Island). My husband has fond memories of visiting his Italian grandmother for a whole summer when he was 14 years old. They drank wine with every meal (not breakfast) which my husband, of course, thought was "cool" at first, but then it became just a mundane part life. Because he had access to it, it failed to have the allure it might have had, I guess. He learned to drink responsibly? He also learned to literally clean his plate before asking for seconds....He has vivid memories of reaching for more chicken and getting swatted in the back of the that , in his words, it "laid his face down on his plate"...Ouch! Anyway, he looked at his grandmother in shocked surprise and she said, "Moncha, moncha", and pointed to his plate. Apparently he wasn't finished until he had cleaned every inkling of meat off of the chicken bone! To this day, he cleans the bones of pork chops, ribs, steak, chicken.......and then looks over at my plate to see if I left any meat on the bones on my plate (His grandmother would have been disappointed in me:)!
Anyway, we always have red wine in the house due to his Italian heritage, and, lately dear old Hubby has taken up the fine art of! The first step, of course, was to find a spot for this delicate undertaking (I never realized how much care has to be taken for jostling of the bottle, no light and coolness are important........So.....he decided to do it in the closet under our stairway.
Now, keep in mind this closet is used for storage also, so you will see odd things in some of these phots that have nothing to do with making wine:)

Inside "the closet under the stairway"...

We had to set the vat on top of paint cans to make it high enough for the siphon to work;

This weekend, I had to help him siphon the wine....being careful not to stir up the sediment created by the grapes and oak chips in the bottom....from the plastic container into a six gallon glass jar.....

This will have to sit "still" for about ten (I'm not positive about may be 28 days, now that I think about it, but HE knows, believe you me!) days to ferment and ....... hmmm...get better? It has to absorb and mature so that there is a fullness to the flavor. I do think you have to stir it up every few days and then let it become "still" again.

After that you siphon it into a five gallon glass jar (All of it won't fit, so you will get a couple of bottles of "newer" wine from this) where it, again, becomes "still" for several more days (maybe ten or so?).

This is the 6-gallon glass jar, but the 5-gallon will look the same only a tad smaller.
I have never seen my husband truly read and follow instructions as he has with this wine-making!

The "Mad Scientist" in action:)...I'm not sure why I love him:)

Anyway, as I was helping him yesterday and he was telling me all of this, I couldn't help but compare this to our life in Christ......the "maturing".....the sitting "still" periods to allow Christ to work within us after the "strring up" of life all around us....the "sediment", the "dross" we try to allow to settle to the "bottom".....but yet if we don't follow the instructions God laid out for us in the Bible and through our quiet times with Him, we end up "mixing" some of this dross or sediment back into our lives.

Be still and know that I am God.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God.....

There is a light trying to click on in my head about wine, old Christ. I just know there is a life-lesson here somewhere......

Have a Lovely Day!

Monday, August 24, 2009


I grew up in this old antebellum home dating back to the pre-Civil War years....Somehow Sherman missed it on his march through the South. It sits atop a hill overlooking the pasture land surrounding it and is surrounded itself by grand old towering pecan trees. (We used to have to pick up a bucket full of pecans every week round about November:). There is a huge magnolia tree on the front corner that beckons to all children to climb up and sit amongst its branches.

I've been told that one of the Confederate Generals stayed there one night. I've also been told that there is a hidden treasure under one of the two black walnut trees on the land. As a child, my brothers and sisters and I spent many hours digging for that "treasure". Supposedly the "treasure" is the silver that belonged to the family that lived there during the Civil War. They buried it so the "Yankees" wouldn't get it.

We never found it, but the story itself and the many hours of imaginative play it lent to my siblings and me (and later to our children) as we (and they) searched for the "trea-shu" is, I think, the real treasure!
There was also the story about a man who owned the house in the late 1800's or early 1900's who died - gasp! - IN the room where my parents had their bedroom. His name was Mr. Quarrels.....Late at night we just KNEW we heard him creaking down the big old dog-trot hallway....and up the narrow stairs leading to the attic bedrooms. When our friends would hear floor boards creaking in the night, we loved to bravely and calmly say, "Oh, It's just Mr. Quarrels. He won't bother you."

My mother still lives in the house (My father died last August). It still has the original doors and the old locks on the inside.
The narrow staircase is still there.
The big old hallway that runs from front door to back door is still there. Most of the pecan trees and, of course, the huge magnolia tree. There is an old "cannon" that sits in the front yard to "greet" father put an old pipe of some kind on a set of old wagon wheels that he found somewhere.....He liked the old Civil War effect.It's still there, too...and it really does look like an old canon:)

Treasures.....Memories, too, are treasures......They have helped to make us what we are....
Have a Lovely Treasure-Filled Day!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


HI - 5's

fun poems
all ages


The Hi-5 Boys & the Hula-Hoop Girls….
Laughing and having fun!
They all “Hi-5” and “Hula-hoop”
until the day is done!

Hi-5’s and Hula-hoops!
Slappin’ hands and twirlin’.
Hi-5’s and Hula-hoops
Fun for boys and “girl-ins”!


We ride the bus…
It will take us to school.
We ride the bus….
And we have a rule.

We stay in our seat…
No walking around.
We stay in our seat…
The rule says SIT DOWN!


Run, run, run…
Here comes the bus!
Run, run, run…
No time to fuss!

The bus is here,
And you are late!
Run, run, run…
That bus can’t wait!


Here comes the bus!
Do you not see?
Here comes the bus!
And it’s coming for me!

Here comes the bus!
It’s full of children, too!
Here comes the bus!
And it’s coming for you!


The Coca-Cola Chicken…
Look at him struttin’!
The Coca-Cola Chicken…
He’s afraid of nuttin’!

The Coca-Cola Chicken…
He makes me smile!
The Coca-Cola Chicken…
I like his STYLE!

These are only a few of the poems and illustrations from a little booklet that came into being during my stint as the owner of a lovely little folk art gallery. I sold the original booklet and gave it away with purchases of Chris's art. I no longer sell the booklets or the art, so I thought I would share them with you:)

The opening page of the booklet includes these words and note from the author:


Author’s Note: (from the booklet)
Many of these little poems came into being several years ago during my stint as the special education teacher at Dixie Elementary School in rural Russell County, Alabama. Most of my students had reading difficulties to the point of having lost all interest in even trying. So, after going through all of the “normal” routes, techniques, and material, I decided we needed to “jazz things up a little”…After years of failure, these children had already decided that they would never be able to read very well, so they had quit trying….Hence, I decided to create fun little poems with their spelling words for the week and write them on large tablets (as well as typing them on sheets to keep in their folders) that I placed on an easel. We practiced these poems for a week, and on Friday the children were graded on reading accurately with expression, etc. We would then go find audiences such as kindergarten classes, the principal, secretary, etc. to entertain with our reading. The children loved this! It built up their confidence, and they perfected their reading abilities without realizing that they were LEARNING!
(And they also learned their spelling words!)

Meeting Chris Clark and his wonderful art stirred up memories of these poems and prompted the creation of this little poetry book.
I think Chris’s art brings out the “child” in all of us!



Wednesday, August 19, 2009


"Do all things without murmuring (or grumbling....or complaining) and disputing."

-Philippians 2:14

May Your Day be filled with a
Plethora of Pizzazz and Rollicking Razzle Dazzle!


Monday, August 17, 2009

L Is for Lollygag
Quirky Words for a Clever Tongue
My lovely niece gave me this book for my birthday last year. She knew I LoVe words....and that I enjoy giving my students InTeRestiNg vocabulary words.
Quite a smattering...a plethora....oodles of words....we could have a jamboree and be johnny-on-the-spot with any word that one needs. No jittery-skittery heebie-jeebies with this book around! And that's no FLAPDOODLE!

Oh fiddlesticks!
Have a Humdinger of a Day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Well, today was garbage day in our neck of the woods....and it brought to mind another column by The "Pundit of Pittsview" .......

Yep, Garbage Trucks are Good Things

When you get to thinking about all the good things and bad things around, it gets right interesting.
The garbage truck is one of the best things I can think of. Aspirin is a real good thing. Paved roads, Sunday afternoons, a cola on ice, and finding your newspaper are all pretty good things.
Not finding your newspaper in your box after you have gone out in your bathrobe at daylight to get it is not a good thing. Everybody will agree that a sore thumb is not very good, either.
Loud radios, weddings, Macon Road in Columbus, and people who say “My God” all the time are on my list of bad things.
I think I’ll put down sevens with a line across the middle of them, too. It makes the 7 look like a backwards F. Whoever thought that up, anyway?

Garbage trucks rate high with me because until just a few years ago, no garbage trucks came to Pittsview. All we have to do now is put our garbage in a sack on the side of the road on Friday morning. It has gone – disappeared – by dinnertime.
I don’t know what they do with all that garbage, and I don’t want to know.
Before garbage trucks, you had to do something with it yourself. Finding a place to dump it was a problem. The food in the garbage was not so bad. Oh, it might smell bad, but at least the food would finally rot, or the ‘coons, possums, and ants would eat it up.
The tin cans, broken plates, and old light bulbs were harder to do something with. Styrofoam and plastic were the worst, though. I still find pieces of Styrofoam cups around the ditch where we dumped our trash.

Aspirin is on my list because it is good for anything from a sore toe to a headache. Aspirin is sort of like that joke about a thermos bottle….”How do it know?”

And paved roads! I was driving up a hill over near Nuckoll’s Crossing in the rain the other day. I remembered going up that long, slick hill with my daddy in the good old days.
He drove the car while I was out in the rain putting pine boughs under the wheels to get up that hill. The car would move up 2 or 3 feet, and I would grab that muddy pine limb and put it in front of the wheel again.
Over and over I had to do that until we got to the top of the hill. I would be so muddy by then that daddy did not want to let me back in the car, but he always did.

Sunday afternoons, especially in the spring and the fall, are really nice. If you have gone to church like you are supposed to do, and you’ve had a big dinner, that is all you’ve got to do for the rest of the day.
Since I don’t watch the stupid ball games, I usually just piddle around in the yard – not work, now – just piddle. I might wrestle with my dog awhile, sit in the yard swing and watch a hawk, or take a walk in the woods. Do nothing, really.
It is perfectly legitimate to just be lazy on Sunday afternoon. Sometimes I just think about garbage trucks.

(January 3, 1985, - the East Alabama Today section of the Ledger Enquirer)
Have a Lovely Day!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This is where I have my devotional time before I begin the day:

And this is where I grade papers, pay bills, and plan lessons for my students:

This is the book my 8th graders were assigned for summer reading:

This is the test they had to take on Friday, August 7:

And these are some of the answers I received for question #7….

7. Theme: Think of a lesson or moral this story could teach. Give an example from the story of how your theme“fits”.

I love making them THINK rather than just regurgitating answers….especially on books they read:)....

Have a Lovely Day!

Monday, August 3, 2009


I wrote this poem several years ago for the first day of school to put in the teachers' boxes. It has become almost a tradition, now, to drag it out again every year for the first day of school:)

The time has come, Folks…Be on your toes!
Is your classroom straight…Are your desks in rows?

We're molding young minds…the future's in our hands!
Scary thought, huh,…as we make our plans?

We will face this day….We will face this year.
We will tell ourselves we have nothing to fear!

Our students will listen….They'll do whatever's assigned.
They won't talk during class….They'll stay focused and mind.

They'll be perfect angels….Every day will be great!
Nary a student nor work will ever be late!

Ha! Who are we kidding?!…We know they're not perfect.
They'll test us at times….And the "system"?….They'll "work it"!

So let us go back to "molding each mind".
God has put us in charge however short be our time.

This is our chance to teach them to think…
….to follow directions….To swim and not sink.

This is our chance, Folks, to share what we know…
…to guide these young minds in the way they should go!

P.S…….And may the Lord help us to
"run and not grow weary… walk and not faint"
- Isaiah 40:31b

Have a Lovely Day!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

ScHooL DaYs.....

This is Elmo......
He oversees me as I teach my classes:)

Elmo is a 5 ft tall hand-carved solid wood angel.
Isn't he wonderful?
This is the doorway to my classroom:
I usually "become" Mary Poppins for a whole day on one of the "Dress-Up Days" during homecoming week....Can you believe many of today's young people have NEVER seen the movie MARY POPPINS?
And this is the view from the doorway:
The big painting on the wall between the windows was a collaborative effort during my daughter's senior year (2001 - 2002). My daughter and others in her art class ALL painted this for the Riverfest Festival in Columbus, GA. I don't remember exactly how I ended up with it, but I truly cherish it!
This is the view from my podium:
And this is my desk...I promise I will clean it off before the students arrive!
Alas!...With school beginning next week, my posts may not be quite so frequent...
Have a Lovely Day!