5/31/10

In honor of our fallen soldiers...

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis Courage: a mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty Hero: one that shows great courage Thank you to the men and women who have given thier lives so that we may enjoy the freedom we so often take for granted. You may be gone, but will never be forgotten.

5/30/10

From my sweet niece

I've been feeling a little blue today. My whole family is at a big camping weekend at my sister's camper. I wasn't able to go since I'll be visiting them in just a little while. My kids both had their own plans and my husband is at work.
I was sitting here thinking about visitation to the cemetery and how I figured there would be a lot of people decorating today. That led me to think about how I never get to decorate Daddy's grave on Memorial Day because I don't live there any more. I was kind of sad about it until my sweet, precious niece, Lori, sent me some photos to my cell phone of the decorations on Daddy's grave today. What a very pleasant surprise. Thank you Lori Beth, I love you.

5/28/10

Sunday morning smiles.....

This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.
These are cute and will bring a smile to your face.......
An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, "How do you expect to get into Heaven?" The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll just run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out!'" Finding one of her students making faces at others on the playground, Ms. Smith stopped to gently reprove the child. Smiling sweetly, the Sunday School teacher said, "Bobby, when I was a child, I was told that if I made ugly faces, it would freeze and I would stay like that." Bobby looked up and replied, "Well, Ms. Smith, you can't say you weren't warned." A child came home from Sunday School and told his mother that he had learned a new song about a cross-eyed bear named Gladly. It took his mother a while before she realized that the hymn was really "Gladly The Cross I'd Bear." A little girl from Minneapolis came home from Sunday School with a frown on her face. "I'm not going back there anymore," she announced with finality. "I don't like the Bible they keep teaching us." "Why not?" asked her astonished mother. "Because," said the little girl, "the Bible is always talking about St. Paul, and it never once mentions Minneapolis." And my all time favorite A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, he looked at the old pages as he turned them. Then something fell out of the Bible and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between pages. "Momma, look what I found," the boy called out. "What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked. With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered: "It's Adam's suit!!!"

The mother of the groom....

A wedding is a happy time. A blessing of the union of two hearts joined together. Many hours are poured into the big event. Arrangements are made, flowers are chosen, gowns are fitted. The beaming bride-to-be has spent months preparing for this day. The mother-of-the-bride glows as she sees her little girl walk down the aisle on her daddy's arm. It is a glorious, beautiful, momentous occasion. But my heart goes out to the mother-of-groom. I have been there. I watched that little baby boy I raised for so many years as he stood glowing, waiting for his bride to arrive to stand by his side. I remembered all the tears I shed as he grew up, all the joy he brought to my life. I was now handing him over to another woman who would love him as much as I do and would share an important part of his life. I would no longer be the one he runs to first with good news. I would no longer be the one he turned to for support or comfort in trying times. My little boy was now shouldering his own responsibilities. He was taking on a helpmate for his future. She will be the #1 most important person in his world. And that it is how it should be. But in the joy of the moment, I still felt the pain of letting go. He was my baby and I wasn't so sure I was ready to share him. But as I watched them exchange vows and saw the love they shared, I realized that I didn't have to let go. I wasn't losing a son, but gaining a wonderful daughter-in-law who would love him and care for him. So for the mother-of-the-groom on this beautiful wedding day, enjoy these moments. Treasure them and keep them in your heart. For he will always be your baby boy.

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is a loving time to honor those who have passed on before. Living so far from my birthplace, I do not have the luxury of visiting Daddy's grave on Decoration Day. I want to dedicate my blog today to my loving Daddy who I miss dearly. Daddy was not big on flowers. We had some flowers that grew on the hill behind the well house and every spring, as soon as they arrived, Daddy would mow them down so they wouldn't take over the hill. Every year when I think about decorating at the cemetery and feel low because I cannot go, I start thinking about how Daddy wouldn't even care if there were flowers on his grave or not. However, he was a skilled craftsman and loved to piddle in his workshop, making various wooden home decorations for mom. Cardinals, signs, furniture, tulips. So instead of offering flowers in Daddy's memory today, I found a pot of wooden decorations. Had Daddy seen this, he definitely would have made some like them. My posting of the Memorial Day "Flower" Pot is my way of honoring my Daddy on Decoration Day.
In loving memory of Luther Harden Garretson 1923-1999 from Brenda, Rachel, Mom, Andy and Jack.
This is the cemetery where Daddy is laid to rest in the Veterans section.
Though he is gone, he is not forgotten.
Though he has passed, his love still remains.
Our memories keep us from now ever after.
Until one sweet day, we'll see you again.
I love you, Daddy.

5/26/10

Update on the "little bit of everything" room

If you will remember, I posted some pictures of our all purpose room when I redecorated. I wanted a throw quilt for the back of the couch to add to that comfy home feeling I'm going for. I found one on www.collectionsetc.com. It has arrived and I'm in love. It is exactly the look I wanted. I thought I'd share it with you.
Have a great day!

Where does the time go?

Where does the time go? Just yesterday, I was at the hospital holding my 4th grandchild. In 2 more months, she will be 2 years old. What happened? How did the time go by so fast? They are small for such a short time. We hold them and rock them and watch them grow. And before you know it, they are not babies any more. As they become more independent, it is fun watching their personalities develop. Shelby has very firm ideas about her hair. We have been working with pony tails and hair clips for quite some time, with no success. The best we did was about 10 minutes with a hair clip one day. But Saturday brought a huge milestone in her "growing up" years. We did pony tails .... and she kept them in for about 3 hours. CELEBRATION!! It was so adorable. She tried to pull them out several times, but was grabbing the pony tail and pulling it, not the hair piece keeping it in. So when she pulled, she pulled her hair instead. We got a quick "OW" and she let go. Slowly they started falling on their own later in the day, so I took them out. But it was priceless to see her in pony tails. The only problem was, it brought home to me the fact that she is not a little baby any more. Which reminded me that none of them are. Caleb just turned 7. Garret just turned 11 and Alexis just graduated kindergarten. Where did my babies go? I enjoy them all so much and each one's personality is different than the others. But I still miss the days of cuddling them on my lap and rocking for hours. Even the boys, as old as they are, still want to cuddle up against me and hug on me. I love it. I hope that closeness never fades.

5/25/10

Congratulations

Congratulations to our little graduation Miss Alexis Caroline Boyle. She graduated this morning from kindergarten and we are all so very proud of her.
She had a slight problem with the cap. It kept wanting to slide off.
A beaming Alexis with her proud Mommy, Jamie, and her proud Daddy, my son Chris.
We love you, precious. Congratulations.

5/24/10

Choosing the right words...

This weekend brought a good reminder to me that we should always be aware of what we are saying and make sure the other person knows what we are talking about. How many times do you make a statement or remark based on something you were just thinking about, only to realize the person you are speaking to can't read your mind so they have no clue what you are even talking about. Saturday, my phone rang and it showed up on caller ID as my husband's work number. I thought it was him calling for something and when I answered a man introduced himself and said he was from the safety department. He asked if I was with Allen. Since Allen was at work, I thought that was a strange question. He then told me he just had a couple of questions they forgot to ask Allen for the safety report before they took him to the hospital. Yes, you can gasp! at this point. I sure did. I was like, WHAT! What happened? What's wrong? Where is he? Major panic attack. The man then explained what had happened. Allen had fallen and hurt his arm. He told them he felt fine, but they require you have anything like that checked out so he went to the hospital to have an x-ray. Fast forward, he is fine. It was a bad sprain and is in a brace for a few days, but he is already felling better. But therein lies the point to my blog. Would it not have been easier for him to let me know what happened at the beginning of our conversation? Not after he had already giving me a heart attack. So many times, we blurt out what is on our mind and the other part is like "HUH?". So always be aware of your words. Approach delegate situations in a upfront manner. My daughter works at Knife Works and one time when she was still living at home, she got a long gash in her arm and it bled profusely. They had to rush her to the emergency room to get stitches. I didn't have a cell phone at that time and was on my way home from work when it happened. When I got home, Allen came out on the porch to tell me to go to the hospital. Now here is a man who knows how to phrase his words. He said "Diana is fine, but she got hurt at work and is getting stitches so you need to go to the hospital." That was much better than "We need some info on Allen for the safety report and he's already left for the hospital."

5/23/10

Southern Gospel Sunday

Music is a great passion of mine. From Conway Twitty and Porter Wagoner to Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney. I love everything from Beethoven to the Beatles, from Cher to Bon Jovi. I love music. I love rolling my car window down, cranking up the Eagles and listening to Take it to the Limit. But none touches my heart or soothes my soul like good old Southern gospel. Nothing can heal pain, relieve stress, or give you hope any better than songs whose lyrics include "He fought the battle. I've won." or "Sometimes He calms the storm; sometimes He calms me." And who can't be moved by Vestal Goodman as she belts out "God Walks the Dark Hills." Or The Hinson's as they sing "The Lighthouse". Can anyone sit dry-eyed through Squire Parsons as he sings Beulah Land"? As you attend church this morning and join in the singing, remember the words from Psalm 100:1-2. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

5/22/10

Summertime

Summertime Favorites
Sunshine
Pool
Beach Vacation
Warm Sand
Cool Ocean Waves
Homemade Ice Cream
Picnics
Cook Outs
Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Potato Salad
Fresh Flowers
Lightning Bugs
Fireworks
Garden Vegetables
Fresh Peaches
Summer Storms

5/21/10

I'm not right in the head....

As we go through life, we all do things that make others look at us with that "ARE YOU CRAZY?" look. Sometimes we do things that are challenging to us. Sometimes we handle things like they are no big deal, when someone else would freak out if they had to do what we do.
Other times, we do things that make us wonder "Am I insane?"
Well, dear friends, I'm going to do something tomorrow that will probably cause many people, myself included, to think "ARE YOU CRAZY?".
I am going to spend the day with all FOUR of my grandchildren. That's right FOUR. The ages are 11, 7, 5, and 21 months. They are wonderful children and I have a blast being with them. Spending time with all four of them is never a problem. But this time, I spending time with them by myself. No Papaw, no parents, no aunts and no uncles. No help....at all.
Still, you may think, big deal, who couldn't handle four kids at once. Here comes the "am I crazy" part. I am taking them all shopping with me. Not just a quick run to the store, but my entire normal shopping Saturday. I want to go to Joanne's Fabric, Etc. to pick up some quilted material for tote bags. I want to go to Target to get a 12 x 12 Shadow Box frame for a scrapbook project. I want to go to Sears to look at braided rugs. I want to go to Staples to get a file organizer for my office. I want to go to Walmart to get.....well, it's Walmart, it's hard to tell what all I will end up with.
Then to make it even crazier, I want to do all these things at Turkey Creek in Knoxville. I want to take them all four to Steak & Shake for lunch. I want to spend the day just having an absolute blast and proving to myself, that even though I'm 53. I'm still cool. I'm still energetic and I can still handle four kids at one time AND I can take them all to the toy department and survive. Of course, the only thing I'm probably going to prove is that yes, I AM crazy.
Is it okay to ask that you pray for me tomorrow? I'm sure I'll need all the help I can get.

5/19/10

Welcome

In Hawaii, it's E komo mai. In France, it's accueil. Swedish say välkomna. But here in the U.S., we say Welcome. However you say it, it is a form of receiving someone with pleasure and hospitality into your home. We work hard to make our homes a place of comfort, a place where family and friends will feel welcome and enjoy visiting. The pineapple has been a universal symbol of hospitality and welcome for many centuries all over the world. To the Carib, the pineapple symbolized hospitality, and the Spaniards soon learned they were welcome if a pineapple was placed by the entrance to a village. This symbolism spread to Europe, then to Colonial North America, where it became the custom to carve the shape of a pineapple into the columns at the entrance of a plantation. Many of us today still use a pineapple motif in our home to show that our guests are welcome. I am one of those pineapple people. I want my guests to know they are also welcome to cross the threshold into my home. I needed a new rug at the front door (which is actually in the kitchen). I was at Family Dollar today and found this for $5.00. I was ecstatic.

My guests will always know they are welcome to come on in and sit a spell. This triggered me to realize that I have pineapples in several rooms in my house. Here are some of my favorite pineapple decorations.

So if you are ever in the neighborhood, drop on by. Guests are always welcome.

May your day be filled with joy.....

Do you ever have days where your life is just so full and your plans are so many that you just LOVE being alive. I have these days so often. God has blessed me with so much that I will never be able to thank Him for everything He does for me. Sometimes, just sitting at my desk, driving down the road, or reading a book, He just fills my heart with joy and my cup runneth over.
It's nothing elaborate or nothing huge. It's the little things. It's getting excited about taking a trip with a dear friend to go to my Mom's. It's knowing my Mom and sister will be coming back with me to spend a week. It's the gladness in knowing kindergarten graduation is coming for my granddaughter. It's knowing the summer will be packed with fun and exciting things to do
with the grandchildren.
J-O-Y. Such a simple word. Three little letters. But such depth of meaning and such peace and contentment you can find in Joy. Here are some of my favorites quotes about joy.
And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. - Psalms 35:9 Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal. - Unknown They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. - Psalms 126:5 Joy is the feeling of grinning inside. - Melba Colgrove Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. - Mother Teresa of Calcutta Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. - Isaiah 12:3 Joy delights in Joy - William Shakespeare When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness... all the good things. - Maya Angelou For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. - Psalms 30:5 One joy shatters a hundred griefs - Chinese Proverbs Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow - Helen Keller
But this is my all time favorite:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. - Habakkuk 3:18

5/18/10

Being comfortable in your own skin....

I have always heard people talk about being comfortable in their own skin. What exactly does that mean? I think it means that you love the way you look, the way you feel, the way you are. You are happy with the person you've become. A person comfortable in their own skin does not worry so much about what others think. We all know people like this. I've always envied someone that is content with their style. They wear what they want to wear and feel good about. They don't bow down to what fashion dictates. They do not let being over or under weight affect the way they dress and carry themselves. As a child, I think we all that inner peace that simply lets us be us. I was watching Caleb yesterday as the rains were coming. He had on his galoshes and my umbrella. Did he worry about what he looked like? Did he stop to think "Is this a good look for me?" Obviously not. You can tell by the natural grin on his face that he was as happy as a lark. He had on his fire boot galoshes and he was allowed to be out playing in the rain. It doesn't get any better than that for a 7 year old boy. We should all take a note from his attitude. It's not how you look or what you wear, but how you enjoy your life that makes you comfortable in your own skin.

5/17/10

Yesterday

Do you ever have one of those days that is just full. Full of blessings, full of fun, full of life? I'm recuperating from one this morning. The day started off with a quick trip to the grocery store for the pop for Caleb's party. Then Shelby and I went to Sunday School and church. I got to help out in Shelby's Sunday School class. Our church service was awesome. The choir sung one of my favorite songs and the sermon was fantastic. Then back to Diana's to change for the birthday party and head over to the park. It was a beautiful day and the weather was so nice. We got everything set up and about time to eat, the rains hit. It was a downpour and it was coming in sideways. The wind was blowing and it turned really cold. But we were under the picnic shelter so we survived, a little damp and a little wind blown, but not to bad. The kids had a great time. Garret was cold for awhile in his sleeveless shirt, but once the rain quit and they hit the playground, they soon warmed up. Alexis must have dried off every slide there. Her shorts were soaked from going down them all, but she didn't care at all. They had a blast. Michael took his motorcycle over for the party, since it was a motorcycle theme. I took this picture of Shelby and Caleb on it. If you look closely at her face, you can hear her thinking "Come on Caleb, just one ride. Daddy will never know." The party ended at 4:00 and I rushed home for a quick clean up and headed back to church for choir practice at 5:00. And I mean quick. I got home at 4:15 and was ready to leave again by 4:40. But I made it back on time. We had a real good practice and are learning several new songs. The service was awesome again tonight. For those of you who also follow Debbie's blog http://www.jeremiah-2911.com/ , you will remember when she hit her 100th follower she had a giveaway. Lucky #8 was the winner...and it was me! I got my gift package last night and it was fantastic. As you all know, I am really big on FAITH. It's what keeps me going day to day. Debbie really knows me 'cause look what I won. Plus they were perfect for my new room.
She also knows how much I love the beach and that I incorporated my beach stuff into my new room. Check out the seashell dish. That was part of my prize. I love it. The gifts were absolutely perfect for me. Thank you Debbie from the bottom of my heart.
So all in all, yesterday was a wonderful day and I need a day off to rest up from all the excitement!

5/16/10

Wonderful Memories

Seven years ago today, God blessed us with our second grandchild. He is a miniature copy of his father in so many ways, but many things he does reminds me so much of his mom when she was little. He is a mixture of both and it has combined to make him a true joy to be around. He has elected to have a motorcycle theme for his party this year, complete with Daddy's motorcycle at the party. He has even talked his mom into providing "tattoos" for all the kids attending. Should make for an interesting day. Happy birthday, Caleb Michael, thank you for providing us with many hours of entertainment and adding joy to our lives. We love you.

5/15/10

Top 20 Important Things a Mother Says

20. Be polite. Say thank you and you're welcome.

19. Be nice and play well with others

18. Wash behind your ears.

17. Always wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident.

16. Don't go near the water.

15. Don't let other people take advantage of you.

14. Stand up for what you believe in.

13. Don't stay out too late.

12. Have a good time.

11. What were you thinking?

10. Did I not teach you better than that?

9. Play good now.

8. Share your things.

7. Your face is going to freeze like that.

6. Don't make me come over there.

5. Just wait until your father comes home.

4. Don't make me count to three.

3. Let Mommy kiss it and make it all better.

2. Sit up straight and quit slouching.

And the #1 most important thing a mother says: "I LOVE YOU!"

5/14/10

The room with no name...

Have you ever had a room that served so many purposes you didn't know what to call it? It seems to be the room where you put everything you don't want to get rid of, but it doesn't match your other room's decor? We have such a room in our house. I call it the room with no name. It is my office, the spare bedroom, the den, the TV room, the kids play room, my craft room. Over the years, I have collected many things that end up in that room that have no underlying theme. I'm big on "Theme" rooms. It was such a hodge-podge. I had an Emmett Kelly shelf, a tea set shelf, books, pictures and all my craft stuff is in the closet.
Well, I finally decided to move things around and consolidate items in different arrangements so everything is mingled in together. I'm very happy with the results. I have a couple of items I need to pick up to get it like I want it, so it will be a work in progress. But I'm happy with the results so far. I didn't think to take before pictures, but here is how it is shaping up:
This flower arrangement was in the closet. Allen made it for me over 20 years ago for my Easter basket and had Mounds & Milky Ways stuck within the flowers. This shelf was nothing but miniature tea sets & tea for one sets. I scattered the tea sets into other areas of the room and even moved some to other areas in the house (I have tea pots and tea sets all over the house).
I even took one of my mini tea sets and put it on the stacked books below. Got that idea from one of my women's magazines. This is just a portion of my books. I actually have books in 4 of the 15 shelves in the bookcase unit. I even bagged up 2 bags of books to trade in at McKays.
I love baskets and try to incorporate them where ever I can. Since I had this room originally decorated with beach decor to an extent, I have blended some of my beach stuff in with other items. One basket holds material, the other has some yarn in it.
Across the top of the book shelf, I took some of my favorite Emmett's and blended them in with my baskets. The picnic basket is actually used quite frequently in the summer. I keep it stocked with paper plates and such but had no where to store it. So I built a whole basket theme around it on top of the book shelf unit.
The pictures below are the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico when we were at Pineapple Willies in Panama City Beach with my sister & her husband. The lamp is one that has been passed from my cousin, to my sister to me. The little Willow Tree angel is holding a seashell. The jar is shells my grandkids have brought me back on their beach trips. I tied a ribbon around the jar and slipped a spoon that has a dolphin on it that Garret & Alexis brought me back from the beach.
This is the couch view. It is not finished yet. I want some country style throw pillows and a lap quilt for the back. The afghan is just temporary. The braided rug is from the kitchen door and is just so I can see what it would look like. I'm going to buy a bigger one when I go shopping tomorrow. The black chest/stand at the end of the couch contains scrapbook supplies, ribbons, glue, etc. for my crafts.
I still have some more things to pick up to get it like I want it, but I am so happy with it so far. When I decided to redecorate and rearrange, I just did it immediately. I forgot all about taking pictures. Which reminds me, I need to add pictures for the wall to my shopping list.
Hope you enjoyed the unveiling of my new room. Have a great weekend.

5/13/10

My cup runneth over...

One of the most well-known chapters in the bible is the 23rd Psalm. We all learn it when we are little. Preachers wrap sermon's around it. It becomes bible study lessons. But as we grow older, do we really appreciate the depth of what God is telling us? Do we grasp the very purpose of His words? We search throughout the world for some kind of understanding; something that will put our heart at peace and rest our souls. The answer is in the words of that beautiful Psalm of old. In vs. 5 & 6, David reminds us of God's presence in our lives. "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." It is so simple when we allow ourselves to let go and let God. A dear friend in Arizona shared a poem with me yesterday, author unknown, that made me stop and think what a wonderful life I have and how I should thank God everyday for my blessings. Drinking from my saucer I've never made a fortune, and it's probably too late now. But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow. And as I go along life's way, I’m reaping better than I sowed. I'm drinking from my saucer, 'Cause my cup has overflowed. Haven't got a lot of riches, and sometimes the goings tough. But I've got loved ones all around me, and that makes me rich enough. I thank GOD for His blessings, and the mercies He’s bestowed. I'm drinking from my saucer, 'Cause my cup has overflowed. I remember times when things went wrong, my faith wore somewhat thin. But all at once the dark clouds broke, and the sun peeped through again. So. LORD, help me not to gripe, about the tough rows I have hoed. I'm drinking from my saucer, 'Cause my cup has overflowed. If GOD gives me strength and courage, when the way grows steep and rough. I'll not ask for other blessings, I'm already blessed enough. And may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads. Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer, 'Cause my cup has overflowed.
May your days be filled with sunshine and laughter and may you always drink from a cup that is overflowing. Have a wonderful day.

5/12/10

My Home Town

Welcome to my home town, Barboursville, West Virginia. Nestled among the hills I called home, the Village of Barboursville was founded in 1813 by an Act of the Virginia Assembly, before West Virginia broke away and formed it's own state on June 20, 1883. During the Civil War several skirmishes took place in and around the village. As the railroads and highways passed by, Barboursville became a quiet, residential setting of historic homes and figures. The population of the village has increased from 339 in 1814 to more than 3,000 residents.Yet, despite the rapid growth and modernization of Barboursville the village remains steadfastly proud of its heritage. According to the Department of Tourism, it is this unique blend of historical and contemporary sights that make Barboursville a memorable stop for any visitor.
But to me, it's just home. Let me take you on a tour of my home town.
This is the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue. Every business in town was located on these few blocks. Growing up, I remember Updike's 5 & Dime store, Plyburn's Pharmacy, Brady's Hardware, and the Stop & Shop. The First State Bank of Barboursville had only 2 tellers and about 3 offices in their small second story building. We had the Corner Grill, The Center Cafe and the Village Inn. And of course, there was Herrold's Barber Shop. Across from the some of the stores was Barboursville Junior High where I attended 7th, 8th and 9th Grade. Until recent years, we never even had a traffic light in town. But times do change and now there are a couple.
The following is an old Civil War Cemetery located about a half-block from mine and Allen's first house. We only lived about 3 blocks from "up town". We would walk up for Oktoberfest and coming home late at night, Allen would tell our kids stories about an old Civil War Colonel who was buried there and still walks the grounds at night looking for his lost soldiers. The boys would usually sneak ahead and run out and scare the girls about that time. And being little girls, they fell for it every time.
One of our biggest tourist attractions was the Old Toll House. It was used by the James River Co. to charge tolls for crossing the Guyan River until the first bridge was built. It was moved in later years into the center of town, where it still sits today.
Several years ago, land was purchased at the edge of town and they built a park, ball field, fishing lake and much more. Here is a view of the "Park". The park ended up almost as big a the whole town.
View of one of the modern day store front in town.
There is a public transit system in the neighboring town of Huntington. It makes regular runs several times a day through Barboursville. There are a lot of college students and wives who don't drive who take advantage of this. Growing up, my parents neither one drove. If it hadn't been for the "town bus" as we called it, we would never have ventured outside of Barboursville. On a recent trip to Mom's, I took my grandkids to the mall on the "town bus". Some memories are not really worth repeating, but the kids loved it. They want to make it part of their trip to Mamaw's every time now. So I guess it was worth it after all.
The old bridge. This bridge has since been replaced with a new concrete one with sidewalks. It was used to cross the river at the edge of town. We used to walk across it to go to Dr. Sadler's office and to visit my sister when she got her first house "across the river." I was petrified every time I walked or drove across it. Glad they replaced it.
This is a C & O train coming through town. Daddy worked at the C & O Reclamation plant in Barboursville. There are tracks going through town so you usually would get caught by a train and rather than sit and wait, we would usually "go around the long way" on the side streets to get by it. Many a summer night I would lay with my window open and listen to those long, sad whistles as the trains ran through the night. I still here them when I visit Mom and they are like a long lost friend.
Those are just some pics of the old home town. I hope you enjoyed a walk with me. Barboursville is still a place where neighbors visit on their front porches, you can walk around town on the sidewalks and see some of the same people that you saw when you walked the streets 50 years ago. Family is still family and friends are still friends. You can go back again and even though some things change, some still stay the same.

5/11/10

Life's Simple Pleasures

I love being busy during the day. Working, planning, scheduling, things to do, places to go, people to see. But the evenings are mine. I like to end my day by 5:30. I like to take a nice long bubble bath while Allen starts on supper. He has spoiled me so much over the years. I love that man of mine. As I soak, I read whatever novel is holding my interest at the moment. It is a wonderful way to wash away the stress of the day. With such a busy life, I need those moments to relax and unwind. I was thinking this morning of the simple little things that can take us out of our routine and give us that extra lift we need. For each woman, the simple things that she loves are different than everybody else. So I thought I would make a list of my simple pleasures that make me smile and bring me joy. You should make your own. We know that God and church play a major role in our happiness. We all know our families, children and grandchildren bring us joy. But I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the things you do that excite you for that brief moment in time, allowing you to drift away from the cares of the world. Here is my list:
  1. Sitting on the patio in the swing with Allen in the evenings
  2. Polishing my toes and fingernails to match
  3. Shopping for yarn.
  4. My daily bubble bath
  5. A new hair style
  6. Coloring my hair
  7. Rubbing a new lotion on my arms and legs
  8. Smelling jasmine and honeysuckle
  9. Walking down to the river
  10. Sitting under the weeping willow tree
  11. Watching Country Music videos
  12. Buying silk panties (too much info?)
  13. Putting on warm fuzzy socks on cold winter evenings
  14. Sitting in the sun with my eyes closed
  15. Sitting at the edge of the ocean with the waves licking at my feet
  16. Driving through Cades Cove
  17. Planting flowers and smelling their sweet fragrance
  18. Going for a Sunday drive
  19. Eating fried chicken, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, and corn on the cob
  20. Drinking an ice cold Pepsi on a hot summer day

Those are my top 20 things that make me smile. What are yours? I'd love to know what makes you relaxed and happy. Send me your list to brendakeefer@comcast.net and I'll post a list of the ones we all have in common.

5/10/10

Things to do......

As you all know, I am a list fanatic. I was working on my To Do List this morning and something occurred to me. I started wondering what would happen if I did not keep a list of things to do. The thought of it is mind boggling. I did not realize how busy my life can get at times. I currently have several lists going for work and for my personal life. My work list has a to do section, a return calls section, a contact for payment section and a promote services section. My home list is not much better. I have a list for my Pampered Chef party. It is broken down into three categories. One was the invitation list, one was the food/party supplies list to pick up at the store, and one is my wish list for what I hope to earn for having the party. Then I have a list I'm helping Diana with for Caleb's birthday party. This one consists of food and supplies and ideas for his gift from Mamaw & Papaw. Of course, Caleb has been a great help with that list since he has me take pictures with my cell phone when he sees something he likes (which is just about everything he sees). Then there is my vacation list. That is the one where I have my notes for all the places I want to visit and places I want to eat when me and Sherrie go to WV to bring my mom and sister down to my house for a week. Which of course generated the itinerary list for things me and mom and Rachel want to do while they are here. Which of course meant I had to do a shopping list for things I'm looking for while we shop that week. And all of these lists are just for things for the next 30 days. Where would I be without my lists? I think if I didn't keep my lists, I might actually have time to DO what is on my lists. But the older I get, the harder it is to remember things so I guess I'd better keep on with the lists. Well, I'd better mark "Write daily blog" off my list for today and get started on another list.

5/9/10

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day
I am very blessed to have the mother I had. When I think of my mom, I think of love, kindness, patience, understanding, warmth, homemade cookies, fried chicken and meatloaf, laundry on the line, walks to the library, endless games of Scrabble, Yahtzee and Rook, friendship, and the list could go on. A product of the 50's, I was blessed with parents who were the example of what love should be. I have nothing but wonderful memories of a closeness and bond that held us all together. There is nothing like a mother's love. My mom will 80 on June 10th and is still in very good health. She goes where she wants; when she wants. I thank God every day for giving me such a wonderful mother who set the bar for the rest of the family. When I was little, I would watch Mom clean, cook, play, and love us. I would think "Can I be you when I grow up?" What better tribute can we give our mother's than to strive to follow in their footsteps and be an example for our children.
I love you, Mommy.
My mother, Helen Louise Garretson
My sister Rachel, Mom, and me.

Rachel, Mom and me at the Chimneys last year.

Another special Mother in my life, was my mother-in-law. She has been gone almost 20 years and we miss her dearly. She had heart problems, but had been through successful surgery and lived a normal life for many years after the surgery. My father-in-law came home from work one day and she was on the couch with the phone receiver laying beside her. She had passed away and her death came as a great shock to us all. We wanted her with us for many more years to come.

She was the best mother-in-law a wife could have. She was always there for us. She loved me and I loved her. She was so easy to talk to. She had a warm smile, a gentle laugh and a nice tight hug to show you what you meant to her. She never interfered in our lives, but she was there if we needed her. Allen worked 4 ten hour days and was off every Friday. All the years that he worked that schedule, when Friday rolled around, he would head to his Mom's on Friday morning for a cup of coffee and a visit with just the two of them. She was a special lady and her passing left a void in our lives that nothing will ever fill.
We love you and miss you!
My husband Allen and his mom, Norma Louise Keefer (known to all as "Pete")
Allen and Pete on her last trip to Tennessee before her unexpected death. I dedicate this post today to not only my mother and Allen's mother, but I dedicate it in loving memory of our grandmother's who have all passed on to be with the Lord. Mary Elizabeth Garretson Rachel Irene Eden Pansy Keefer Helen Gray
 

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