Saturday, September 8, 2007


I must not be too good at this blogging business as I don't seem to keep it up regularly. I love to read other people's blogs, but yet, I never get around to writing in mine. Anyway, it's 1:00 am and I am waiting to get a call from my daughter-in-law that my son has arrived in Switzerland. He is traveling for the next week overseas and I am anxious to know that he arrived safe. Do any of you ever worry and fret until you know that your children have made it safely to their destinations? Now, I know that he is a grown man, but he is still my baby and I want to know that he got there okay!!!! So, since I can't sleep, I decided to jot down some things here. Actually, I sleep very little lately so I guess I could be writing more often. But I am up working into the night usually. I am trying to start my new business and there never seems to be enough time to get everything accomplished. Hopefully, my new website will be up in a couple of weeks. I am frantically trying to get all the pictures taken, downloaded and descriptions written of the heirloom children's clothing that I make. I did not realize that starting a business, even a home-based one like this, would be this overwhelming. Hopefully after all the website issues are completed, things will settle in and I can get back to what I love the best....sewing!!!! I sent the cutest little daygown off to a baby shower today. It was yellow batiste with a little yellow and brown shadow worked giraffe on it. I prayed for the little unborn baby the whole time I was making it. I hope the little gown will be a blessing to the new mother. I love to think about the little babies that I sew for all while I am sewing for them. I ask God to bless them and keep them and hopefully they will be drawn to him at an early age. I pray this for my own grandchildren all the time and I just like to pray for all these other little babies that I sew for too as it seems to make the sewing more personal, even if I don't know the children or their parents. I love to enven put scripture into the hems of the slips of my christening gowns as another blessing to the children. I will be posting pictures of some of these gowns and the slips with the scriptures on the website soon. Children are truly a gift and heritage from the Lord. I just ask God to bless my son tonight as he travels and give him traveling mercies. I will turn this over to my Lord and not be anxious. Maybe I can sleep now.
God's blessings on anyone who reads this....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Super Nana

Grandy and I spent this past weekend babysitting our two darling grandchildren, Collin, age 3 and Annie Frances, age 7 months. Erin and Matthew went away for the weekend to Atlanta and left the babies with us. We were so excited to have them and they seemed equally as excited to see us when they arrived on Thursday evening. There is nothing else in the world as wonderful as when Collin gets out of the car and runs as fast as he can to jump into our arms and give us a big "squeeze hug" to greet us. Annie Frances just starts kicking her legs as fast as she can when she sees us. Erin and Matthew were reluctent to leave and stayed until early Friday afternoon before departing. After all, this was Erin's first time to be away from Annie Frances. This baby is definitely a "mama's girl" and of course, Erin is still breast feeding her a couple of times a day, so this was going to prove to be quite challenging with Annie. Collin has stayed with us many times by himself since he was 2 months old. He loves to come to "nana/grandy house" as he refers to it and is always eager to push Mama and Daddy on off. He also did not want Annie Frances to stay so that he would definitely reign supreme for all the attention, but this wasn't going to happen.
Erin and Matthew needed a little R&R and we were more than happy to have our babies with us. Annie did pretty good on Friday evening and I got her to bed but she would not take a bottle of milk. Saturday morning, again the same, but I filled her up with her cereal and she seemed pretty content for awhile. Then I think some homesickness for her mama started setting in. She seemed to be constantly looking around as if hoping that Erin was going to walk around a corner and rescue her. She was fretful with both me and Grandy and only seemed to light up when she saw Collin as I'm sure he reminded her of home. I don't know what we would have done without him. He will go up to her and hug her and talk baby talk to her and she just lights up! On Saturday, we were invited to go over to one of our friends to swim with her and her 2 grandsons that are 4 and 1 and were also visiting from out of town. This was our first time to take Collin swimming, so we were a little nervous. But Grandy donned his swimsuit and he and Collin were both like ducks in water! Collin had a great time and did not want to come out of the water. He and Whitt loved playing in the sprinkler beside the pool and filling up buckets of water and pouring them on the plants. Annie Frances was a little fussy, but my other friend Nancy, rocked her in the swing until she fell asleep. Thank goodness! But she only took about a 20 minute nap, so when she woke up, we wrapped things up and went home. They both fell back asleep and slept a good long time that afternoon. Later that afternoon we made a trip to Uncle Drew and Aunt Lindsey's to feed their dog. Everyone seemed happy on the ride over and while we were there they enjoyed playing with the dog. But oh my goodness, the ride home took on a new meaning for blood curdling screams. I don't have a sun visor to screen out the sun in my car like Erin does, and the afternoon sun was in Annie Frances' eyes. She began her tune up and it lasted all the way home with so much gusto that Grandy and I might have new nerve damage to our ears. We never could get her to be very happy again after this for the rest of the evening. Even though she eats baby food now and had no trouble consuming that, she really never would take a bottle of formula for me. I was able to get a little juice down her, but that was it. Next time we babysit, we have frozen breast milk ready, which we should have done this time. (Grandy is not too sure about these little pouches of frozen breast milk in our freezer however. He hopes he doesn't mistake it for ice cream!!!! I do too!!!) Anyway, Erin and Matthew made a hasty trip home on Sunday morning to retrieve the little darlings. Collin was napping when they arrived, but let's just say Annie Frances had a hissy fit when she saw her mama and daddy. She had been rescued at last!!! Erin and the kids stayed over on Sunday and even on Monday as Erin was not feeling too well, so all in all, we had the kids with us for 5 days. Now this was great for us as we love every minute of spoiling and doing everything these little ones want, but poor Erin is paying for it today!!! Collin has not been a happy camper since he left. He cried and cried and keeps saying he wants to come to "nana/grandy house". Now don't you think that this makes me feel so good but yet so sad to have to leave him. I don't think Annie Frances is missing us too much though!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Encounter with Redtail Hawks

I have spent just about my entire weekend sitting on my screened in porch watching a family of redtailed hawks in the trees in my back yard. I am totally fascinated by birds of prey and I love watching these incredible birds. I have known for some time that there was one hawk that stayed in the trees in the back yard, but I didn't realize there were more. I came home one day at lunch and saw this beautiful bird sitting in the leaves right down below my screened in porch in the yard. He was sitting there in the leaves, fluttering his wings back and forth in a frenzy manner. I was so shocked that I screamed out when I saw him. It frightened him/her (I can't recognize their gender on sight yet) that he flew up into the trees carrying a baby armadillo in his talons. Oh my goodness was I shocked. Ever since this, I have been watching for him and hearing his screeching call out in the trees each day. On Saturday morning, I was sitting in my wicker rocker looking out over the woods and all of a sudden a big dark shadow appeared across the yard and the hawk flew right up on the roof above the porch. Again, I was startled, but I stayed calm and quiet this time. He sat on my roof and would poke his head over the roof edge and look in the screen at me. How exciting to see him eye to eye. It was almost like he was trying to connect and make friends with me (or maybe he wanted to eat my cats who were having a fit on the porch that he was up there)! When he flew off up into the tall pine trees that are about 100 yards from the porch, I noticed another hawk sitting in the tree. This captured me that there was more than one and I began my quest watching them the rest of the weekend. Finally, I've figured it out. There is a male and female and then I saw two more smaller hawks that must be their babies. At one point I had all four sitting just a short distance from me in the tree watching me watch them. Wow what an experience! I think the parent birds were trying to teach the young ones to hunt. We have many squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits out in the back wooded area. The young birds are still sort of clumsy. They will try to fly from one branch to another and sometimes they miss on the landing and have to scramble and fly to another branch. The hunting doesn't seem to be going real well either. This afternoon I saw the two young birds each sitting in different trees watching a squirrel on a tree in between them. At the exact same time, they each flew off aiming for the squirrel and almost collided. The squirrel survived and ran frantically down the tree. There is much screeching by all of the birds as the parents seem to be calling to the young ones. We had quite a thunderstorm this afternoon, but they all stayed out in the tall pine tree under the branches during the rain. Once the rain ended, they all began soaring through the trees again. I've tried to get Andy to come out and watch them with me. He isn't too interested. He truly is not a bird lover like I am. Anyway, I truly appreciate these magnificent creatures that God created and I thank Him for sending them to live in my back yard. I really needed this diversion this weekend to take my mind off of some of my problems. Thank you Lord.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Summer storms

It's storming out tonight. I've been sitting out on my screened in porch watching the thin blue shafts of lighting snake down through the black silhouettes of the trees. I'm drawn to watching it. The drum of thunder rolls on and on like a concert. I listen as it rambles away into the distance, thinking that is the end of it, only for another charge to begin before the last one ends. I smell the rain, but it hasn't gotten here yet. It's coming and we need it desparately. The ground is parched here as we are in an awful drought. One of the worst ones we've had in several years. I love sitting out here in the blackness on my porch watching and listening to the storm. It's mesmerizing and just brings back so many memories of sitting on the big front covered porch at my Grandmother and Grandfather's house in the summertime. We would all file out there after the dinner dishes were done and take our appropriate places. Papa would be positioned in one of the metal chairs up by the railing. The little round fire on the end of his cigar was all you cound see shining in front of his face. My brother would usually sit next to him in another metal chair and they would begin the methodical rocking back and forth in their chairs in unison. Grandmother and I would snuggle together on the glider. She still smelled like the supper she just finished cooking and as I lay up against her, the apron she always wore was slightly damp. Back and forth we would go in a rhythmic swing and I could hear her shoes click on the floor as she pushed us gently. Fireflies would dance in and out of the big arborvitae bushes that framed the porch. The smell of those bushes was pungent and mingled with the sweet aroma of Grandmother's petunias growing in concrete planters along the front railing and the curling smoke of Papa's cigar was an aroma that I will never forget. I loved those smells. I can't walk past a flat of petunias at WalMart or see a package of Tampa Nuggets behind the counter at a gas station, without thinking about that porch and summer evenings there with my grandparents. We loved to sit out there during storms. The dark shadows of the porch hide us all out of sight only until the flashes of lightening would fill the surrounding air and we would all see each other's faces for just a moment. "One, two, three, four, five" we would count until the thunder began. Papa would say that was how many miles away the lightening strike was. I don't know if this is really true or not, but we really believed it and couldn't wait until we saw another blue flash to count again. Rain smelled sweet on that porch and the little splashes that bounced on the concrete railing rolled down to moistened the porch's brick floor. Grandmother would warn us all to be careful so we would not slip and fall. We would stay out there until bedtime or until Papa's cigar burned out, whichever came first. Summer storms on that ole porch were magical. I'll never forget them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Summer Hours

My office instituted new summer hours for us to work this week where we can get off at noon on Fridays. We have to work 40 hours (specifically from 8:30 - 4:30). But we can make up the remainder of the 40 hours in any way that we want to as long as we meet 40 hours. Some employees are working from from 7am - 5pm or from 8am - 6pm on Mon-Thurs and 7-12 on Fri. Now, I really would like to get off at noon on Fridays. This would make for a longer weekend or give me an opportunity to go up to Nashville to see the kids earlier on Friday. But boy is it hard for me to get up and going to get to work by 7! For those of you who know me, I am definitely a "night-owl" and love to stay up til 1 or 2 am each night. (I do my best work then). But no can do, if I have to get to work by 7!!!! Andy loves this as he is really a morning person and he likes having me get up early with him. He likes to chatter away and talk about everything under the sun early in the morning. I don't like to open my mouth except to brush my teeth!!@!!&##!!!! We'll see how this goes.....Anyway, I decided I would like to share little tidbits about my family history, experiences, relatives,etc. here in each blog. I figure this might be a good way to help my family remember all these things about our relatives. So, here goes....My paternal grandmother was my favorite person in the whole world. She was just the most wonderful grandmother anyone could ever have and I still find myself thinking about her and things that she did and that she taught me everyday. She died when my kids were still babies, so they never really got a chance to know her. But I have always tried to tell them wonderful stories about her so they will always know her. First of all, her name was Tollie Maddox Hankins Hankins....yes, I know that is wierd, but she and my grandfather were distant cousins. (You know we do things like that here in Alabama!!!) Actually, they were about 12th cousins so that really doesn't count (much???). She was the 5th child out of 7 and the 4th daughter. Her father was so disappointed when she was born another girl, that he refused to think of a special name for her and said, "Let's just name her Tollie, after the mule!" And Tollie it was. This name just fit her to a T however. It just seems like a name for a happy-go-lucky, funny and fun-loving person and that she certainly was. Always smiling and full of a little mischief, everyone loved to be around Tollie (and me most of all!) I love you Grandmother and miss you so much!!! I am trying to be just like you were as a grandmother to Collin and Annie Frances. Well, since the rooster will crow in just a few hours for me, I better try and go to sleep. Andy tells me to just lie still and I will be able to sleep. Yeah, right! His mother use to tell him and his brother and sister that when they went to visit his aunt in Florida who did not have air conditioning. They nearly smothered to death trying to sleep at night, but Pat would tell them to just "lie still" and they wouldn't be hot!!!! That just doesn't work either for a menopausal 55 year old!!!! Wish me luck at sleeping.Toodles and God bless.....
by Dixie Di
9:03:00 PM
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

What a great weekend!

This has been a wonderfully relaxing weekend. Lately our lives have been going 90 to nothing and we have had trouble catching up with ourselves. Don't get me wrong, I function best at the fast pace but every now and then, I need a little slow down and do nothing. That is basically what Andy and I did this weekend. First of all, we found out that Andy got the job at UAH as assistant basketball coach so we had to celebrate on Friday evening a little. Now a big night for us is a blooming onion and the Special with a glass of ice tea at the Outback! I know, you're jealous! So we ran down there ate and were back home and watching tv by 7:30. I told you, we really know how to do it up big!!!!
Saturday was slow paced and relaxing too. Andy worked in the yard and I sewed. Andy watches his sports on his tv downstairs and I sit on the screened in porch and smock and watch the Food Network and listen to the new baby birds in the tree right outside the porch. Now it just doesn't get any better than this. I just can't tell you how much I love my screen porch! I wait all winter to get out there and when the weather gets warm enough, I stay out there as long each day as I can.
Our dog barked all night last night, so I didn't sleep too well. I stayed home and slept in while Andy went to church. I feel guilty, but I sure did need the sleep. We repeated our usual again today...Andy on coach downstairs and me on the screened in porch. The weather was just right to be outside, not too hot, but a really beautiful day. We cooked out tonight and ate on the deck.
Now we just haven't been this lazy and non-stressed in I don't know when. Just a real good weekend. This was good cause next week starts to really get busy again. I leave in less than 1 month for my big show in Arlington, TX and I'm not ready yet. Still lots to do. I will be working overtime for the next couple of weeks.
Plus all the things I want to get down for Royal Southern Baby. I designed a couple new outfits this weekend for Annie Frances that I plan to include on the website. Erin and the babies are coming on Thursday so we can have their pictures made in their Easter outfits for Sew Beautiful. Can't wait to see those little punkins! I talked to Collin this weekend and he asked me to go with him to the grocery store to see the lobsters. I think he thinks I'm just around the corner! We'll go see them when he comes to Huntsville this week.
Well, since I only got about 3 hours sleep last night, I better get some shut eye before Hank starts barking again. The moon was out last night and he could see things in the woods, so he decided to do his guard dog duty!!!!

Toodles!!!! and God bless you!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Here goes nothing....

My daughter, Erin, talked me into starting this blog today. I'm not really sure how this is going to go, but I will give it a try. I enjoy reading my daughter's blog and several others that I check in on every day or so, but sometimes this seems very nosey that I am peeking into others lives! Now, that's not to say that I don't like a little nosieness here and there. I do enjoy hearing about my daughter's family each day. I can't wait to see pics of those grandchildren each morning when I get to work. (more about them later....)
Other blogs seem to have interesting tidbits of info each day and I'm not sure that I have all that much to offer. Life here is rather hum-drum with me going to work each day, coming home, fixing dinner and then I retreat to my sewing room to work on my sewing projects while hubby, Andy glues his eyeballs to the tv! Exciting, huh? But I will try and give my little reflections of wisdom when they occassionally drift through my gray matter...nothing too earth shaking coming yet! Ha!
Andy and I both are all together nuts about our two grandchildren. Living in Huntsville, AL 100 miles from them, keeps us from daily visits, which is really good for all concerned, but it does allow us to see them at least 2-3 times a month. I don't think I can go longer than a couple of weeks at a time to see them. I don't want to miss out on them growing up. I had the most incredible relationship with my grandparents when I was young and my children spent their toddler and elementary school years living just a few blocks from my parents. I feel strongly about family bonds and how important it is to share in your grandchildren's lives. (Hopefully, just to share and not to interfere too much!) Anyway, I can only imagine that this blog will be mostly about my two sweeties, Collin, age 2-1/2 and Annie Frances 5 months. Just bear with me...I should have titled this blog, Nana's Braggin Rights instead. Luckily, you can click off when you get fed up with my flowing expose on how wonderful, beautiful, smart, and just the cutest kids in the world that my grandkids are!!!!! Well, that's even about all that I can take for one night.

God's blessings on all who read this....