Sunday, May 25, 2008

Where Are You From?

If you don't know where you're from, you'll have a hard time saying where you're going. Wendell Berry, among others, has voiced this idea that we need to understand our roots to know our place in the world. There is a poem by George Ella Lyons called "Where I"m From". Below is a copy of this poem I took from the internet: Where I'm From

by George Ella Lyons

I am from clothespins, from Clorox

and carbon-tetrachloride.

I am from the dirt under the black porch.
(Black, glistening
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush,

the Dutch elm

whose long gone limbs I remember

as if they were my own.

I'm from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.

I'm from the know-it-alls

and the pass-it-ons,

from perk up and pipe down.

I'm from He restoreth my soul

with a cottonball lamb

and ten verses I can say myself.

I'm from Artemus and Billie's Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.

From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger

the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box

spilling old pictures,

a sift of lost faces

to drift beneath my dreams.

I am from those moments

-snapped before I budded

-leaf-fall from the family tree.

Here is a template so that you can make this poem your own if you would like. Just copy and paste the template into e-mail or word perfect or whatever program you want to use and get to work creating something about yourself that you can use in the "About Me" section of blogger or keep or just post on your blog as a poem about you! You can read my "poem about me" on my blog in the right column.
The WHERE I'M FROM Template

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.
I am from the _______ (home description... adjective, adjective, sensory detail).
I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)
I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).
I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).
From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).
I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.
I'm from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).
From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).
I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

Have fun and good luck composing your poem. You don't have to follow the guidelines exactly, just use it as something to go by for your own creation. If you have fun with this and post it on your blog, leave me a comment and let me know, so that I can read it. Thanks.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Twenty Things That Make Me Happy Besides Money!

1. Family

2. Friends

3. Sunrises

4. Smell of Rain

5. Books
6. Laughter

7. The Sound of Birds Chirping
8. The Satisfaction of Hard Work

9. Being Comfortable In My Own Skin

10. Getting rid of "stuff" I don't need

11. Giving

12. Good Hair Moments
13. Shoes

14. Coffee In The Morning

15. Cooking

16. My Home
17. Chocolate

18. Thanksgiving Dinner

19. Spontaneity

20. Handbags
Leave me a comment with some of the things that make you happy!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Saturday in Kentucky's State Capital of Frankfort

Bob and I went to Chili's for lunch on Saturday and it was such a pretty day, we drove down to the capital grounds to look at the flowers. The rose garden was not in full bloom and did not look as good as I have seen it in previous years. Probably, due to all the wet, cold weather we are having here.

The floral clock looked beautiful as did all the hanging baskets placed around the grounds.

From 1792 to 1830, Kentucky had two buildings serve as the capitol. Both burned down.
In 1830, a new capitol was built and was in use until 1910. A bitterly contested 1899 state governor election came to a climax when Democratic claimant William Goebel was assassinated at the capitol on his way to be inaugurated. The building was replaced due to the need for a larger building for a growing state government. Today, that capitol building is a museum.
In 1904, the Kentucky General Assembly chose Frankfort (over Lexington and Louisville) as the location for the state capital and appropriated $1 million for the construction of a permanent state capitol building, to be located in southern Frankfort.
The capitol was designed by Frank Mills Andrews, a distinguished and award-winning architect. He used the Beaux-Arts style and included many classical French interior designs. The staircases, for example, are a replicas of those that appear in the Opéra Garnier in Paris.

The basement of the capitol contains a small gift shop and an underground tunnel to the neighboring Capitol Annex building. I worked in the Capitol Annex for several years when I first started my employment in state government.

The Governor's Mansion is the current home of our Governor, Steve Beshear, and his wife, Jane.

Kentucky's Governor's Mansion is one of only a handful of executive residences in the United States to be open to the public for tours. Thousands of visitors from across the Commonwealth and around the world visit the Governor's Mansion every year. Contact the Capitol tour desk to schedule a visit soon.

I think Kentucky has a beautiful capitol building and grounds.

We walked around and took some pictures and enjoyed the warm sun for a change.

On the way home, we stopped at Sonic for ice cream. We both love ice cream and I got a hot fudge cake. Bob opted for some kind of banana and ice cream concoction. It was a very nice outing on a very nice day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rainy Day Wednesday and Thursday, Etc., Etc.

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day!

I think it has rained the whole month of May.

Bob is coming over today and we will pass the time playing gin rummy or eating! It seems we spend a lot of time eating when the weather is bad. We both like to read and always have a book somewhere nearby.

Yesterday, I worked in the yard but it was still muddy from the weekend rain. The tree limbs on the tall oak trees in my yard are all drooping from the weight of the water and it has poured all morning. The weatherman says more rain for here tomorrow. Everything is so green it hurts your eyes.

I am going to make some frog houses for my flower beds. I found some pictures and ideas on the internet this morning.
Concerning frog houses: Create a toad abode to shelter toads in a cool, shady part of your garden.

Dense leafy foliage close to the ground will provide cover for amphibians during the spring and summer months.

During the winter, piles of leaves provide cover for some frogs, toads and salamanders.

Let frogs and toads colonize your backyard naturally. Do not purchase frogs or toads to stock your new habitat, or move adults or even tadpoles from other wetlands to your backyard. When you have provided all that a frog or toad could want, just be patient and they will come to you.

You can use your imagination and paint coffee cans. You can also use flower pots but there must be water nearby, even if you just put some water in a container near the frog house.
You can spray paint the entire container and then paint on cute sayings like: "Toad Abode",
"Kermit's Place", "Frog Hideout", or whatever makes your house original.
A good rainy day project!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday is Washday, Tuesday is for Ironing.

It's Monday morning and I usually change the sheets on the beds and do the wash. It seems I always have a lot of wash for some reason! This morning as I was taking the clothes out of the dryer I thought to myself that I could probably do without anything in my house before I could do without my washing machine.

I remember several years ago when my washer broke and I had to make a trip to the laundromat. I piled all the dirty clothes in my baskets and took off to the nearest one I could find. Before leaving, I went through my change jar and picked out all the dimes to use in the washers and dryers. Now, you know how long it had been since I had utilized one of these places of business! I get there and fill the washers with clothes and detergent and get out all my dimes and the thing took quarters.......... There was no attendant at this place either. So, I had to remove all the clothes, put them back in the baskets, and back into the car and go in search of quarters at the nearest bank. I was afraid to leave all my clothes with no attendant.

Finally, back to the laundromat and filled the washers again and waited for the clothes to wash and dry. By the time I got back home, I had a splitting headache bordering on a migraine and I swore never to go to one of these places again.

I love my little laundry room in my house and my nice washer and dryer.

I remember when my mother had a wash house outside our house where she kept the old wringer washer and the rinse tubs. In summer she would pull the washer out into the yard, sit the tubs on the other side of the wringer and sort and wash piles of clothing for the family.

We were always cautioned about getting too near the wringer when it was running and getting our fingers caught. Then, she would hang the newly washed items on the clothesline outside to dry. Nothing smelled better or as fresh as sheets that had been dried outside on the line. I can remember waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh sheets on my bed and lilacs outside the open window of my room. These two things always remind me of my childhood. I still have my mother's old washboard that I have seen her use many a time.

Monday was always wash day at our house and Tuesday was for ironing. I do very little ironing these days with all the wash and wear stuff on the market.

When I think back how "momma" did it, I am so grateful for the convenient appliances we have today.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Country Road, A Campground, and a Covered Bridge

Bob and I decided to go out on Tuesday and ended up at the local Chinese Restaurant for their lunch buffet. We love the shrimp and all the vegetables and, of course, the soft serve ice cream for dessert.

After lunch, we went for a drive in the country and headed out of Frankfort toward Georgetown.

The first place we came to was the campgrounds at the Forks of Elkhorn. If you like to go camping, this place sits right on the banks of the Elkhorn Creek. It is located about two miles out of Frankfort and has a general store, laundry mat, and a pavilion that seats 200. You can swim, relax, picnic, and fish. Check out their website at :

We turned across a bridge and headed out into the country toward a little settlement known as Switzer, Kentucky. It was a beautiful day and nice to be out of the house and just riding around on country roads.

We turned right at the little fire station in Switzer and headed down to the old covered bridge.

The bridge was built around 1855 and is the official covered bridge of Kentucky. It was damaged in a flood in 1997 and had to have extensive repairs but is very sturdy now. You cannot drive through this bridge but you can walk across it and get a great view of the water.

People are always parking at the bridge and going fishing from the banks of the creek or picnicking off the rocks.

We spent some time walking around and reading about the bridge and continued on our journey to another little community called Woodlake. Woodlake consists mostly of a few houses. Many years ago, my father ran a country store in this little community but that was before I was born.

It was a nice way to spend a beautiful day and we enjoyed ourselves very much.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thomas Wyatt Visits His Nanna JuJu

I kept the best, most adorable little boy over the weekend. His parents, Rob and Sarah got out of the house for a little while to go shopping and take in a movie. Thomas Wyatt, my one and only grandchild, will be one year old on June 6th. He has been such a joy that has come into all our lives for the past eleven months.

I stayed with them for several days when he was born to help Mom and Dad adjust and it sure did not take Nanna but a few days to fall head over hills in love with this little boy.

He is just on the verge of walking but has not let go and walked on his own yet. He has some real nice teeth, too. Four in the top and two in the bottom and you better not stick a finger in that mouth!

It is so much fun to watch him discover new things and how hard he concentrates when trying to figure out just how something works.

He has a few words in his vocabulary like "Da-Da", "Hi", "Bye", "Momma", and lots of squeals and laughter.

TW loves to look out my windows at the birds and children playing outside and his curiosity about what is behind my cabinet doors never ceases!

TW is learning about apples, bananas, and some regular foods at this point and he had some brand new white lace-up shoes to help him with his walking but he is not used to them and likes just going barefoot a lot better.

Every time I see those little bare feet, it reminds me of a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Here is one verse from that poem:

The Barefoot Boy

Blessings on thee, little man,

Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!

With thy turned-up pantaloons,

And thy merry whistled tunes;

With thy red lip, redder still

Kissed by strawberries on the hill;

With the sunshine on thy face,

Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace;

From my heart I give thee joy --

I was once a barefoot boy!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Thursday Road Trip

Bob was feeling much better on Thursday and drove over from Lexington to visit. We decided to get out for a bit. The weather was beautiful except for the wind was blowing pretty hard but the sun was shining and it was in the 70's. I live about two miles off Highway 127, so we left my house and filled up with some very expensive gas, bought a lottery ticket at the little market for Saturday night since it is somewhere around one hundred, eighty million! (I could pass several hours just thinking about what I would do with that money.)

The first place we stopped was The Bread Basket. It is a very small store run by the Amish and they sell all kinds of fresh bread made daily. I bought a loaf of sourdough wheat bread to have for dinner from the young Amish girl in her white bonnet that waited on us. I could have bought one of each but I would have come home and "pigged out" since bread is one of my favorite foods.

Next, we stopped at another market just down the road about a mile and looked at all the flowers, bulk foods, and cheeses. I bought a nice tomato here and we both got a huge cone of soft serve ice cream. Their cones are $1.49 each and you make them yourself from the machine.
Bob says I really know how to pile that ice cream on the cone. He opted for chocolate but I love just plain, old vanilla.

Further on down the road, we passed a World War II army tank that is on display as you enter Harrodsburg. Everytime, I see this tank it reminds me of my son when he was a young boy. He used to beg to stop and look at it and read the names of the men from Mercer County that served during the war.

Harrodsburg is a small town but full of history. It was first explored by James and Samuel Harrod in 1767 and Fort Harrod was established in 1774 as one of the largest forts in Kentucky.

It is called the "Gateway to the West". I first visited Fort Harrod on a school trip when I was in the fifth grade. The outdoor drama, "The Legend of Daniel Boone" is performed each summer and worth your time to go see it. Another event, my son used to love when he was small. He loved seeing all the Indians and pioneer people.

We passed through Harrodsburg and stopped at a new Flea Market and Antique Mall that has opened on the outskirts of town. I love these places and can spend hours looking at all the items for sale. Bob gave out on me and went to find a place to rest. I looked at all the booths and ended up buying a book by Kentucky born writer, Robert Penn Warren. I especially love to read books by Kentucky authors. It is called "A Place to Come To" and is the story of Jed Tewksbury, born on a rundown farm in Dugton, Alabama at the end of the First World War.

Robert Penn Warren also wrote "All the Kings Men" that was made into a movie starring Sean Penn. It is a great movie. I am an avid reader and so are all my children. I think reading adds so much to one's life.

This is as far as we made it on our trip. By the time I finished looking in the flea market, Bob was tired and hungry. We stopped in Harrodsburg at McDonalds for a burger and headed back home. It was a good day! The sourdough bread was wonderful with dinner.