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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Remembering Margaret

In memory of my friend, Margaret
A very Special Lady
December 27,1942-January 24,2008

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the the end.

He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years. (1934-1998)

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth...
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars...the house...the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile..
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy's being read
With your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Author Linda Ellis

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another day of Cold!

Well, we have smashed records with cold temperatures - 12 days of below freezing and snow every day since the 18th of December. Now that's cold. I am going into hibernation - look for me in the spring. Here are a few photos.

Snow covered road on Spear Branch

The cows that eat this hay will never have a square meal!

Just a little work - I'll have a nice cabin!!

That's it for today!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Day below Freezing!

Well, we have had another day where the high temperatures for the day are below freezing. That makes 11 this year and it is only the 11th of January. How long can it last?

That's it for today.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Still Cold!!!!

Well, it is still cold. The high temperature today was in the 20's and low was around 12...doesn't warm up much during the day. The only warm place I can find is next to the stove. If you're looking for me that's where I will be until we get some warmer weather.

That's it for today.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Well, it is another cold, snowy day in extreme Northeast Tennessee. All this snow reminds me of winters past when life was a lot simpler.

One of my favorite memories was the first snowfall. Back in those days when we didn't have television or even a radio to broadcast the weather we depended on the signs. If it looked like snow - it was probably going to snow. Sometimes a lot and sometimes a little.

At the first sign of snow my grandmother would dig out a big ol' kettle and fill it full of water. When the water was heated to a rolling boil she would stir in some salt and cornmeal and let it cook. We would have the biggest pot of mush you had ever seen. We would ladle up a bowl full of that mush, add some butter, sometimes some milk and have the most delicious dinner. It was simple but good.

Another memory was buckwheat pancakes. We grew our own buckwheat and had it ground at the mill. On a cold snowy evening, she would take the griddles from the wall and we knew we were in for a treat...buckwheat pancakes and homemade syrup and butter.
Yum! My mouth waters just thinking about them.

On another note, I recieved a note from Clyde, one of my faithful readers. He commented on my Carter Issacs stories and the fact that he had played basketball with Carter in grade school...Funny you should mention that Clyde, because Carter and I were talking about the same thing that very morning. He told me what a good ball player you were. I think there is enough material there for another story.

Until then, That's it for today!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

7 of 31

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words - here's a few.

That's 10,000 words and that's it for today.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cabin Fever

Well, the thermometer on South Church Street read three degrees this morning. This snow, ice and cold can really get to you. You can get cabin fever in a hurry.

Cabin fever is what you get from spending too much time indoors. You get a feeling of being isolated and away from the world. In the winter when there are shorter days and not much sunlight and the temperatures are like they have been for the last few days it is the perfect ingredients for a case of chronic cabin fever. Lack of exercise also contriutes to the mix. It is just too cold to get outside much.

There are lots of things you can do to keep your mind occupied so you don't get cabin fever.
There's reading. When I was a kid I would curl up in an old overstuffed chair behind the "Old Buckeye' with my favorite book or the Sears catalog and read or look at the pictures.
Now I use the internet for a lot of my reading. Since most of my RV friends are in warm places this time of year I can travel right along with them through words and photos. Ellie and Jim are in sunny California, Ed and Marilyn are in South Texas along with Ginger and Jesse, Linda and Howard, and JoAnn and Doug are in "not so sunny" Florida. (It has been cold there). It helps to see the warmer places and know what they are doing --- until I step out the door.

You can also sleep a lot - bears hibernate - so why can't people.

You can take up a hobby - I thought about stamp collecting but it is pretty difficult to remove a stamp from an email which is how I get most of my mail.

You can also just go outside for a walk. Just the change of different scenery from four walls is good. In this kind of weather my walk is pretty short though. No three mile walks in the park until the temperature moderates a bit.

You can also keep in touch with your friends. Just pick up the phone and call them. They may be glad to hear from you. I will be waiting for my phone to ring!!!!!

Another way to get rid of cabin fever is to make a great big pot of Potato Soup!! A few potatoes, a little bacon, some onion, celery, a few carrots and some milk and you have the ingredients for one of winter's best comfort foods.

Ohhh! that sounds so good --- I am headin' for the kitchen right now.

That's it for today.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

All about the Weather

Well, the weather report is about the same freezing cold, snow and no respite in sight....We are all trying to stay in out of the cold and keep the stove warm. Everone seems to be talking about the weather and reminiscing about previous winters. The temperatures have been on the moderate side the past few years so this extremely cold weather is difficult to deal with.

I was talking to a friend of mine, Carter Isscas, and I asked him to tell me a few things about past years and how difficult it actually was. I love talking to him. He has lots of great stories and doesn't mind telling how it used to be in the "olden days" He's got more stories than Carter's got liver pills.

He is 79 years old and told me he has seen lots of big snows and three blizzards in his lifetime. The blizzard of 1936, it snowed so deep that his dad had to shovel a path to the woodshed in order to get wood for heat and to feed the dogs. He said the snow was up to his armpits and it was difficult to get through.

The Blizzard of 1977 also left a lot of snow and it was very cold. He said he had about 4 farms where he kept cattle and he had to go to all four places to feed and water the animals. He would have to break the ice on the pond in order to get water for the animals to drink. He said there were three or four horses and when he turned them out to get a little exercise they took off running and ran right across the pond.....didn't even break the ice.

The blizzard of 1993 happened when it snowed 4 consecutive days, March 13,14,15th and 16th. It snowed so much he couldn't get the barn doors open. He had to carry feed to the cattle. One of his neighbors asked him why he didn't use the tractor to haul the feed. He told him the tractor wouldn't go through snow when it was three or four foot deep.

He also remembered that in 1962 Mountain City TN was noted on all the National Weather Channels as being the coldest city in the USA with temperature at 25 below zero. At the same time Shady Valley was 32 below zero-- another friend said it was so cold when he went to milk the cow she had frost all over her body and instead of a bucket full of milk he only got about a pint.Normally she would give a whole bucket full.

I will be glad when it warms up a bit and I bet the animals will too!!!!

That's it for today.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Well, the temperatures have not changed for the better -- We are still in the "Deep Freeze". The newspaper says we are to have high temperatures in the 20's and lows in the single digits for the remainder of the week. This seems to be the coldest winter this area has had for quite sometime.

When I was a kid I didn't really mind the cold and snow. There seemed to be lots of things to do. We looked forward to a "no school" day. There were outside chores to be done such as feeding chickens, hogs and milking the cow. The water would always freeze in the creek and we would have to break it to get drinking water for the animals. Since we had no running water in the house and the drinking water sat on the back porch we would bring it in at night to keep it from freezing.

Being outside was our idea of fun. We would bundle up in our coats, boggans, mittens, boots or galoshes and out we would go. We had some rabbit traps we would set to catch rabbits so with snow to our knees we would tromp to the places where we had set our traps. Sometimes we would have to clean off the snow from the top and around the door so the rabbits could get in.
We didn't realize with one or two feet of snow the rabbits wouldn't be going anywhere anyway.

Sometimes we would take the lid off the washing machine and use it for a sled. We didn't have a real sled - we had an old homemade one but it didn't work very well. On the washing machine lid we thought we were flying down the hill.

Another pasttime was playing checkers. We only had one or two toys to play with and no games. One day my grandpa made us a checker board. he took an old piece of cardboard and marked it off into squares and colored the squares with red and black crayons. Then he took some wooden spools and cut them apart and colored them red and black. Our checkers were different sizes but we didn't care - we learned to play checkers on that old piece of cardboard.
It was a real treat when Christmas came that year and underneath the tree was a checkerboard and real checkers. We were so proud.

I still like a good game of checkers. Peanut, are you up for a game. I bet I can still beat you!!!

That's it for today.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Deep Freeze

Well, I feel like I am living in a deep freeze. The temperatures have plummented down to single digits and the wind chill is below zero. Someone at church today mentioned 13 below. Now that is cold. It looks as if this cold weather will last through the week.

It is so cold even the squirrels would rather eat birdseed than dig for buried nuts.

It is a good day for staying inside. Maybe I will break out that new book I got for Christmas if I can pry my frozen fingers away from this keyboard.

That's it for today.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2 of 31

Well, while reading blogs of my friends today I found this quote. I liked it and though I would share it. Thanks Marcie!!

Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah got that right. We usually have pretty good ideas but often they simply don't turn out the way we thought they would. We need to learn how to redefine the things we do in order to have them live up to our expectations. We need to remember that God does answer prayers but we can't dictate His answers.

We can't go back and re live last year or the year before and try to get it right but what we can do is to live each day one by one, enjoy all it has to offer and
embrace the fact that the time we have on this Earth is limited and life is just too short to be making mistakes. Do what you love in life and be with the people you love.

That's it for today.

Friday, January 1, 2010

One of Thirty One

Well, it was a great dinner, quality time with friends, a little snackin', some football (even though Tennessee lost), sparkling grape juice, and watching the ball drop in Times Square --A wonderful way to start A Brand New Year.

The feeding frenzy also continued into the New Year -- Hardee's for breakfast and the traditional New Years Family Dinner. Hog Jowls, black eyed peas, green peas, pea salad, did I mention peas? Then there was the cabbage, fried cabbage, boiled cabbage, cooked cabbage, cole slaw, and a traditional cabbage dish with a recipe Tuck brought back from the Phillippines.
There were also many side dishes too numerous to mention including my favorite green beans (Thanks Emogene). After all of that there was the dessert table, peach cobbler, chocolate cake, Red Velvet Cake (another E specialty), banana pudding, pie, and others which I did not partake of. I can tell you though I did have three desserts before my brain kicked in and decided all that dessert would surely go to my waist!!!

A great time was had by all. Thank you Faye and Harold for your hospitality.

According to tradition eating black eyed peas, cabbage and hog jowls are to bring money and luck. The peas are to bring money or prosperity because they swell when they are cooked. I prefer to eat green peas - at least they are the color of money...
The hog jowls, I am not so sure about - people say if you eat them they bring good luck but I am not so sure -- since it didn't bring much luck to the hog. The cabbage, I love so my opinion is I can skip the jowls and eat twice as much cabbage and that is exactly what I did.

After all that food and family time I was ready for a nap--my favorite blanket and pillow and I was down for the count.

A wonderful day and I look forward to 364 more of them this year.
That's it for today!!