Wednesday, November 30, 2016


she may have her head in the clouds but her feet are set firmly on the ground. Who is she and what does this picture illustrate? She is my granddaughter Amelia and these are her hand crafted cloud lanterns that she has turned into a thriving business venture.

Each cloud lantern is handcrafted and will be unique in character. It comes with an LED timer tea light that does not emit heat! If you want your cloud to come on at 9pm every night simply set it to that time just once. After you hang it to your desired length with the included gold hook and wire your cloud will do the rest, coming on at 9pm and shutting off 6 hours later automatically! It's a fun addition to any room and appeals to all ages.

Amelia has always been a go-getter and it doesn't surprise me a bit that she is fast becoming a successful and glamorous entrepreneur. The picture of her on her Website illustrates this but to me she will always be:

... my little Amelia.  I can hear her moan all the way from Florida … “Oh, Grandma !”

PS: she also sells 100% essential oil soaps, lotions & lip balms handmade in Kalpana Hawaii !







Saturday, November 26, 2016


No, this isn't a story about the famous Rice Krispie guys. It's a tale about the sound they make… only much louder !

A few nights ago I was awakened by a sharp crackling noise and what sounded like beads hitting the floor. What could it possibly be? After a careful search, I found the culprit in my kitchen. My niece and I have been working on my property … trying to tame the encroaching trees and bushes. While doing so we became enthralled with the large, velvety pods that were so prolific and I collected a large amount of them, making it a display for my sideboard
Little did I know what I'd unleashed !!

These pods are erupting night and day. I can't believe the loud and sharp noise that they make as they open up and, of course, the big black seeds fly everywhere. Now I have the answer to my dilemma but where did these pesky legumes come from? At first I thought they hung from the trees but upon closer inspection saw that they were attached to the vines that encircle them.

Aha ! The mystery is solved. In the springtime the huge trees that define my property are
covered with Wisteria.
I have always loved to see that but (with apologies to you knowledgeable gardeners) never realized that they produced pods. 

It must be the time for the pods to open up and spread their seeds because the snap, crackle & pop is not just inside my kitchen. My property is alive with the sound and it seems to be telling me to pay closer attention to the beauty that surrounds me !

Monday, November 21, 2016

Did we “Throw out the baby...”

...with the bathwater? That's an expression that you surely know suggesting that one might accidentally throw out something good while attempting to eliminate the bad. It certainly seems to apply to our present dilemma.
I had not planned to staff the Democratic booth at our local precinct but a friend needed help there and called me. It was an eye opening experience. I arrived at 6 AM and was amazed to see that there was already a line waiting to vote. It kept up most of the day and looking back on it I realize from the results that a huge portion of them must have been voting for Trump. 

An interesting thing to me is how the people I knew reacted to my being there.  Only a few stopped to chat or gave me the thumbs up sign and only one gave me a hug. It makes me wonder how many people secretly voted for him and were embarrassed to own up to it. No wonder the polls had it wrong.

I certainly feel the unrest and need of so many of us but I pray that we haven't lost our capacity to feel deeply about our fellow man or woman, no matter the color of his/her skin or their ethnicity or religious bent.. It amazes me that so few seem to realize that we are a nation built of immigrants. The people who should really be ticked off, to my way of thinking, are the American Indians. They are the tribes that were here long before the rest of us and we've almost literally cast them aside. 
What hubris we American have ! I shake my head in dismay and pray that the “baby” will still be among us at the end of 2020

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Change of scenery ...

When I heard that Trump had picked Steve Bannon to be his top aide I felt physically ill. No wonder the KKK and other white supremacists have backed him if this is what they get in return.
I figured I needed a respite from TV and radio news so my niece Wendy and I got in the car and headed South 40 minutes to Rockingham, North Carolina in search of the remains of the “Great Falls Mill”. We weren't disappointed with what we found.
Although almost overrun with Kudzu vine the mill still retains an eerie air of elegance and has a colorful history. In 1833 this was a cotton mill. It was named “Richmond Mill” and was among the first of many cotton mills to be chartered in North Carolina. However it was burned down in 1865 by Union soldiers during the Civil War. It was reconstructed in 1869 and given a different name … The Great Falls Mill. 
The newly refurbished mill operated for the next 40 years until it was forced to close due to the Great Depression. It never became an active mill again but was used simply to store cotton.
At some point in the 60's the site was under consideration to become a textile museum but. in 1972, it once again became the victim of a devastating fire. Now all that remains are these ruins, eerily quiet and being swallowed alive by Kudzu.
(Interesting to note that “Hootie & the Blowfish” filmed a music video on the site for their song “Old Man & Me” in the 1990’s.)


Friday, November 11, 2016


Like so many others I am quaking at the thought of four years with Trump at the helm … but, it is what it is. It has put me in a reflective mood and I decided to go back and take a gander at the Presidents that have been in office in my lifetime. There have been twelve of them starting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Democrat. He was sworn into office on March 4th, 1933 … when I was 17 days old !

For the very few of you who do not know … FDR is the only President in our history who served 3 consecutive terms and was actually inaugurated for a fourth term but died in office on April 12, 1945. The Vice President Harry S. Truman took over and served until Jan. 20th 1953.

Now this down-to-earth guy from Missouri I remember well because my parents spoke of him in glowing terms. He is mainly remembered for making the excruciatingly difficult decision to drop the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima but his legacy is much more than that. 
Those of us receiving Medicare can thank him for getting it all started. He was a ferocious advocate for National Health Insurance and, although nothing came of it while he was in office he lived long enough to see it become a reality. In 1965 President Lyndon B Johnson, Democrat, signed the Medicare bill into law and Harry Truman and his wife Bess received the first two cards in honor of his past fight for government health care.
Truman was a very humble man who also fought for civil rights reform and was responsible for wiping out segregation in the armed forces. He is one of the most quoted of our past Presidents and is often pictured in the oval office with his famous “The buck stops here” sign.
The picture above sums up his philosophy and is eerily appropriate for today. I can only pray that the “gluttons of privilege” will be stopped in time … before they do indeed swallow up our country.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Back to the womb ...

As I write this it is Sunday the 6th of November and the dreaded day of reckoning comes this Tuesday. No matter what the outcome of the election I fear that we have some tough years ahead as a nation. I don't usually hide from facts like this but I'm so sick of the whole mess that all I want to do is go back to the womb and start over.

With that in mind I went back to my photo albums (some of you may remember when we actually pasted pictures in to albums instead of copying them to a computer !). I found this sweet picture that my mother sketched when she was in the hospital in February of 1933 just after I was born.

I was the youngest of 5 girls to be born to a Mother and Father who not only loved each other but showered that love on us all. When I remember that time I realize how simple life was then.
And here I am 10 months later …
It was my first Christmas and, although our country was in a depression and we had seven mouths to feed, we lacked for nothing. Gifts were few and mostly hand made but all came with love.

Of course I don't actually want to go back and start over but it pains me to listen to the hatred and nastiness that seems to be standard fare today… and to think that it may be the first thing that many of our children hear. They deserve so much more !

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Crazy weather …

It was not even November … but last Tuesday we, in North Carolina, were experiencing an early cold snap. We had just come through the wrath of hurricane Matthew and many of us were breathing easier with that behind us. However it seemed early to be so chilly and it made me wonder if other parts of the country were getting weird stuff too.

I switched on the weather news and was surprised to hear that parts of the northeast were actually getting snow ! Finding it hard to believe I emailed my daughter and her husband who live about an hour north of New York City and asked if there was any truth to it. 

Well, they say a picture is worth more than a thousand words and I can attest to that. They didn't write back … just sent this amazing picture of their back yard !