Weather Widget

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Good ending week

Sunday, October 31, 2010:
    Wow what a week of ups and downs, mainly for my oldest daughter, but that of course affects me as well.  To shorten the story, all ended really well. Things worked out very well for all the circumstances that were changing and hanging in air. A huge relief and a good feeling.
     Renee' and I spent Saturday at my youngest daughter's house. I helped her with more of her biology studies, we had pizza, sat by the fire outside a while. Great time. I enjoy helping her study because I missed out on a lot of that opportunity when she was young.  After leaving her house, we went to my mom's. She had cooked turnip greens, pork chops and cornbread, yummy! 
     Today, I have mostly rested. I joined my son and his family and watched them carve two pumpkins (mom and dad, Jill and William are too young).  They were surprised to learn that I have never carved a pumpkin.  It was nice watching their family together, sitting on a halloween blanket (tablecloth) and join together in the fun.  Also, I did work on my wool abstract rug off and on all day, being very gentle with my hurt finger. 
     Earlier tonight, Sadie and Sunshine started barking ferociously because someone knocked on the door. I cracked open the door and saw two little kids and I told them I don't have any candy. I had actually forgot it was halloween.  Sorry if I gave them a horrible holiday and I hope when I go outside in the morning they did not trick me somehow. 
     It's time to get ready for my work week. 

Until next time/Deb

Friday, October 29, 2010

Update and trigger finger

Friday, October 28, 2010:
        Another two weeks has passed since I've written. One of these days I'm going to quit saying "I can't believe how time flies".  But it sure seems to.  So thought I would write a little update.
       On Sunday, 10-17, I used my webcam and talked with my son and his wife in Hawaii. Also, I tried reading a story to my two youngest grandchildren.  Jill will be two in November and William was born this past April. They don't quite understand about webcams and, for that matter, neither do I.  I figured out how to put the webcam on my blouse and hold the book in front of me (and cam) and it works better that way. 
       On Monday, 10-18, I was off work. My dad (who will be 83 in November) came over and we worked in my yard. I have lived in my house about 15 years and used to keep up with raking the pine straw and trimming the bushes just about every weekend. For the past couple of years I have not kept up with all the yard work - trying to obtain the "natural" look - and it worked. But, I was beginning to feel like the growth of the trees/bushes and everything was taking over. Dad and I got a whole lot done and were both exhausted.
      The rest of the week, I worked and rested.  On Friday, 10-22, I drove about 10 miles to a place that sells firewood and they filled up the backseat of my Toyota Matrix (car) with $20 worth of wood. I unloaded it when I got home. 
       On Saturday, I built a fire. That evening my daughter Sharon and Jason (10 years old) came over. I was very glad to see Jason since he doesn't come over too often.  He was a huge help with the fire by breaking lots of the dead twigs that had been gathered from doing the yard work and he kept the fire going.  I grilled some hamburgers on the grill for our supper.  His sister, Jessica (13 years old) called and wanted to come over, so Sharon went back home to get her.  While they were gone, Jason and I used my pocketknives to whittle four sticks to use for roasting marshmallows. It's been a very long time since I had roasted marshmallows. Sharon brought graham crackers with chocolate bars to make Smores.  In a while, Donnie, Jason's dad came to pick him up because he was going to have a sleep over with a friend.  Renee' popped up popcorn (that is a Saturday night tradition for her) and she sat with us by the fire a little while and we all had some popcorn and listened to some of the music Jessica had on her ipod or phone or whatever the newest gadget is these days.  Since Sharon is studying to be a medical assistant, she read some of her biology lessons. It was nice memory and I do have pictures to upload. Sometimes my USB connection doesn't work, but I will add the pictures later.
       On Sunday, I built a nice fire in my new fire pit and worked on my book most of the morning. My oldest daughter, Marilyn and her boyfriend, Seth, surprised me with a pickup truck half full of firewood.  They wanted to rake some of the pine straw in the front yard, so I helped.  I accidentally disturbed a yellow-jacket nest in the ground and (thankfully only one) a bee stung me under my right eye. Oh what pain!!! It didn't swell too badly but I sure felt bad. I didn't get to webcam with my son and his family because of all this. So I went to bed early that night.
       About the trigger finger - no I haven't shot a gun - but, I guess from cutting the bushes, pulling vines, picking up wood, etc. for the past few days my right middle finger has had the beginning signs of a trigger finger.  It is an involuntary curling in of the finger, has to do with the tendons etc. This can worsen to where your finger would stay in a closed position, and become disabling - which I definitely cannot let happen because I type for a living, I play piano and guitar AND I like to hook rugs.  So for a couple of weeks I'm going to rest my hand as much as possible so that it will heal.
      So, until next time.  /deb

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The fire pit and more

Saturday, October 16, 2010:

It's been a while since I have posted. Let me see, where to start?
After our trip to Millers Creek :  The following Tuesday, Renee' decided that she liked this "away from home" lifestyle, I guess; so, she went to my parents for what I assumed would be one day, then one night, then two nights.  I was totally lost without her!  She didn't want to come home until the following Monday at noon. I tried to "enjoy" myself - you know, do things I can't normally do. I went to hear a bluegrass band at a place called Floppys about 30 miles from her. My daughter works there. It was good to do that for a change.  On Saturday I went shopping (more below) and then went to a pig pick'in at Floppy's and had a really good time. They had three bands, bluegrass, country and blues. Country was my favorite. I stayed out too late for a senior citizen but I enjoyed myself. On Sunday I decided that Renee' had to come home - for my sake and sanity!  I told her that she can never leave me for that long again, maybe one night, but no longer.  She resumed her routine as always and life was back to normal.

On Saturday before the pig pick'in, I went shopping for some new clothes to wear to work. I also found a pair of overalls - sooo comfy- and a pair of nice western style boots.  I was just in the mood, you might say.  At Sears they gave me a $30 gift certificate and it had to be used by the 19th.  What did I do?  I went back to store to spend my gift certificate today and finished out a nice wardrobe for the winter.  As I was checking out, they announced over the speakers that were having a give away - well we all know what that means - They'll give you this IF you buy that.  Sure enough - that is correct.  The girl demonstrated the 'miracle cloth' after she gave us 3 small swatches of it, and after we saw how miraculous it worked, she showed us the miracle mop and IF we buy one package of the miracle cloth (two pieces about 36" square for $22), she would give us another pack free AND throw in the miracle mop.  I now have a nice wardrobe and can mop the floor.

I had bought a new web cam a week or so ago because my two youngest grandchildren live in Hawaii (my son and his wife). I had previously been able to see them on their web cam, but I wanted the kids to be able to know who Lala-Nana is. Also, I thought it would be a neat idea to read them a story, or do a little puppet show.  So, last Sunday afternoon, we gave it a try.  First of all I need to practice holding things in front of the web cam - it's backwards.  Also it's difficult to read a book from that angle.  But it was fun to try it. Tomorrow we are going to talk again, and this time I have figured out how to read a book to them and at the same time let them see the book. I put the web cam on the collar area of my shirt - that way it is looking at the book so they can see too, and Nana can actually read it!  So we'll see how that works out.
These past two weeks I finished my 4th locker hook rug, the plum/purple and green one that I was going to use for my bathroom. Well, my bathroom is more lavender and olive, so I didn't like it for the bathroom, so I put it in front of my chest of drawers.  Pretty soon I will have a totally carpeted house with locker rugs! 

I bought the fabric to match the pillow/bedspread of my brother's, but haven't decided exactly what I want to design yet.  For now I've been working on my wool hooking. It is so tedious, it took a while to get back into the rhythm after doing the locker hooking.

I have also made pretty good progress on my book. I have written two scenes and also done some editing.  This is the second third of the book and I should be through the final "draft" pretty soon.  Then I will start on the last third.  I believe I might just get it finished and that will be super great.

At work things are going better than usual. I worked pretty hard reorganizing my office and the medical record room to make space for the new, much needed, cabinets they are buying. I am going to be off work Monday and Tuesday, but I think it will be nice to go back to my "new" office with my new clothes.

I tried to rent the cabins at our campsite but they are already reserved. My daughter had the idea of trying it in a tent but I'm afraid that wouldn't work too well with Renee'.  But, I thought that we could put up the tent in my backyard which is pretty private and at the same time we would have all the luxuries of the house.  Sharon said but we wouldn't be able to have a fire at night.  So, today after I bought my clothes, I went to Lowe's and bought a "city" fire pit - I really like the one I got. I went by my parents' house and they have a fire pit type stove in their yard and dad has quite a lot of wood, so he gave me a few pieces to start with. Also, my yard is full of twigs and branches etc.   When I got home, I put the fire pit together with Renee's help.  I set it up on my patio. I hosed down the surrounding area just to be safe (silly me - almost hosed down my wood!).  Renee' didn't want to come out because it was too cold she said.  Since it's Saturday night, she did make popcorn, so I sat outside about 3 hours, had coffee, popcorn, and played my guitar a little bit. 

4th LH Rug - purple/green
 What a great week I've had. Until next time/Deb 
PS: As I read back through this post, I realized that maybe I SHOULD post more often. I had more to say than I knew!

Abstract wool rug in progress

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Trip to Millers Creek

Saturday, October 2, 2010:
When I got home from work on Friday, I did not want to stay inside any longer. The weather was so beautiful. I just wanted to drive somewhere. Renee' had even called me at work that day and asked if we could take a trip. I imagine she gets tired of staying inside too.  So I decided, why not, we will just do it. I had been talking about going to a place in the western part of the state called, Millers Creek. It is where one of the characters in my book is going to live so I needed to see the place so I could describe it more accurately.  So made sure the dogs' food and water bowls were full, packed a change of clothes, etc.  Renee' had her many bags packed. I started to tell her that she didn't need all the things she was carrying but thought if that is what she likes to do, no problem.  By 5:30 we were backing out of the driveway.  I went by the bank to get a little cash and we hit the road. 

We got to Yadkinville around 7:00 and needed to use the little girl's room, and we were getting hungry. The first place I found when we pulled off the main highway 421, was a KFC. We decided to eat there, but instead of staying overnight in that town, we drove another 30 minutes to Wilkesboro.  When we turned onto Hwy 16 N, there was a Holiday Inn Express on the right and I pulled in.  I was told there was no vacancy. Oh NO, I thought - why hadn't I thought about that - I mean, the whole world doesn't operate on my whims!  The lady said there was a car race this weekend as well as the famous Apple Festival.  I informed her that we were going to Millers Creek (she said that is where she lived - I thought, are you the lady in my book - I'm losing it, right?).  Anyway, she told us about the Addison Inn just down the road.  That is where we stayed.  The desk clerk was so nice and friendly.  She gave me a 10% discount  - do we look needy?, I wondered.  Room 306, we were in it by 9:00. 

I know I've written about how wonderful my camping trips are, but I have to say that a little of the luxurious life ain't bad at all.  To understand one part of my enjoyment, I have to tell you that almost two years ago, I decided not to smoke in my house, so I go out to the deck, sun, rain, dark, hot, cold - that's the promise I made to myself.  Now the laws have been passed that you can't smoke anywhere, no restaurants, no public place whatsoever. So, when she asked me if I wanted a smoking room, I said yes. One bed or two? I asked what's the difference in the price - there was none, I said two would be good. 

Okay now - what made it so luxurious for me?   There was a coffee pot in the room. I filled the tub with hot water and plenty of bubbles, fixed me a cup of coffee, got my ashtray and cigarettes and I was Queen for a night!   Renee' also soaked after I finished, then she started watching her DVD.  (You see, I don't want to pay such a high water bill and when you fill up a bathtub, the bill goes up - but, on second thought, $80 for a hotel - how many bathtubs soakings could I enjoy!)

I stayed up until a little past midnight working on the book I'm writing.  Got a good night's sleep and awoke around 6:00, made another cup of coffee and woke up Renee'.  We traveled the rest of the day, just meandering a little while northward, then east, etc,

Less than 24 hours later, we were back home, I had driven nearly 400 miles. We had a great time.  Now we are glad to be back home.  Here are a few pictures I managed to take along the way. 

My two treasures from the trip. A perfect coffee mug, handmade clay piece by Phyllis Hinton Haile, $18.00, and a maple wooden turned bowl made by Bill Ramsey, $25.00.  I'm drinking a cup of coffee from my new mug as I'm posting this. It is perfectly made just for me.

Where we had breakfast. You pay before you are seated, you don't get a ticket and pay before you leave. Buffet breakfast, not bad - but I do think I prefer my breakfast cooked on a camp stove in the woods.

You can't read this, but the sign says "Millers Creek"

A view along the way, not too far from the Blue Ridge Parkway

View of power lines going up the side of a mountain

Mountains in the distance

New River General Store - felt like I was in a time warp machine. Hardwood floors, and old time candy counters. The lady even looked like Ms. Maggie in my book!! - like I say, I'm losing my mind or am I losing touch with reality!

Bench outside the store. Not a fancy flag pole but it was nice to see.

The front of the store, wooden planks or boards for a porch. 

Inside the General Store. Renee' was sneezing, I guess there was something in the store that caused it. The wooden counters, they have to be the original ones. The lady was nice enough to let me take pictures.  She was not talkative but not unfriendly either. Just an older appearing mountain woman - I did notice that she did shy away from the camera, so I didn't ask if I could take her picture.

Candy, apples, just amazing to look at. I bought some jelly beans, we got a drink, and I found a wooden black with white dots dominoes game in a wooden box for $10.  Did I need that? 

In the back of the store is a little counter where you can order a hot dog. You see the ladder backed chair - I think that might be where you sit and wait for the woman to fix it. It's an old chair, I could tell. This store reminded me of when I was very young. There was a store down the road a ways from my Nannie and Papa's house that sometimes I went to with my Papa. He had an old model Ford and there was a hole in the floorboard in front of the passenger seat (not scary, just a memory; you could say it was his form of the upcoming seatbelt because you sat very still to prevent falling through it). The only thing missing in this store is a pot bellied stove with a few old men sitting around, some leaning back in old wooden chairs, chewing the fat  (for those of you who are not from the south, "chewing the fat" translates into solving the world's problem in your conversation).

Very nourishing snacks for the mountain folks.

I was getting ready to leave after paying her and looked up and saw this. Some of the readers of my blog may not know what this is.  I is tobacco leaves.  When I was very young, my grandma let me "hand tobacco" - anyway that's another story.  What a site.  I should have asked the woman if it was for sale so I could roll my own!!!!

The necessities, rubbing alcohol, bug spray, deodorant, an oil lantern, mouthwash, toothpaste. I hate Wal-mart and Costco and Target - enough of that, I guess that's another story too. 

All the old bottles, the Raleigh cigarette sign, Levi Garrett - tobacco in a can, Prince Albert. 

Finally, after traveling lots of back roads (I don't like to travel on major interstate highways), we found a pizza place in Kernersville, just near Greensboro.  Again, the girl asked if I was over 55, I thanked her of course; and said, yes. She gave us a discount and charged Renee' for a child's plate, so we had buffet pizza and salad for $10 plus tax.  I decided we must look needy!  Then, I realized that was traveling in a part of the state unlike the city I live in with high crime, high finance, big corporations etc.  These folks were just plain ole good people - and that is one huge reason why I would love to move closer to the mountains.

Hope you have enjoyed our little trip.  /Deb

Friday, October 1, 2010


  This is a slideshow of some of my artwork. Oil/pastel/watercolor paintings, scratchboard, woodburning, wood carving, handmade clay pieces,  mosaics and beadwork.  I might use some of my painting designs in my rug hooking.   I have added slideshows of some of my other artwork too.  There may be some duplicate photos included. /Deb