Sunday, June 1, 2008

Snakes Alive!

Sundays are always great days to be lazy. Sleep late (we missed church today),watch lots of movies on the couch, veg out on junk food and just take it easy. Nothing exciting. Nope, that's not exactly the way the day played out here. We did laz around most of the day as it was so hot and humid and a big storm was moving in. We just sat around and waited on it. But late this pm, I was watching the wind start to blow in when I noticed that my flag was still up on the front porch. Now this is not just any flag, mind you. It's my Halloween flag that has been up since October. Why you ask? Well, I have tried several times to remove the pole from the holder, but everytime I did, it was stuck. I kept forgetting to ask Andy to help me get it down, but today when I saw the wind blowing it, I yelled for Andy to help. He did much to his regret. We both tugged real hard on it from both sides and it really seemed to be in there. Andy was barefooted and and standing right next to the brick steps going down the front porch. One more really good tug and the pole popped out, but down Andy went off the porch with it. Now, for those of you who know my husband, you know he is very athletic and agile. With momentum going down, he flew over most of the steps but never fell down, righting himself on the bottom step. Or maybe we should say his toe righted itself on the step! Momentum still intact, he is now jumping and running up the sidewalk in much pain. Almost as fast as he is going foward, suddenly he is stopped and coming back again. You see, he was just inches from stepping on a 4 foot rat snake sitting in the sun next to our front flower bed! WHOA!!!! I screamed, he yelled and headed back up the steps to the front porch. Now we noticed that his toe was bent up perpendicular at a 90 degree angle to his foot. I didn't know just what to look at.....his toe or the snake. I immediately thought we should get a shovel to kill the snake, but Andy was more concerned with his toe. I asked if he needed a trip to the ER and he said no, so I whipped down and jerked his toe out straight to get it back in line. A little yelp and we watched the big snake slither back into a hole in the wall of the flower bed. Andy's toe is all bandaged up tonight. Drew, my orthopedic rep son, thinks he needs a little pin put in it. But I have broken my toe twice now and both times I just pulled it back out and wrapped it up tight with surgical tape. That does the trick even though now my toe is very crooked and looks like someone ran over it with a car. Guess Andy's will be too. Now, I just need to take care of some moth balls and the snake tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ode to Kenmore

Last night was a sad night. My 29 year old, (yes, I said 29 year's old) Kenmore dryer finally cranked out it's last load of clothes. If this is not a testament to Kenmore appliances, I don't know what is!!!! I got this dryer when Erin was 3 years old and she is 32 now. It has been an incredible appliance. We have had to have the belt replaced once or twice, the element replaced years ago, and the timer control that turns the dryer off when the timer is up has been broken for about the last 10 years. We treated the dryer with great regard and would go down and open the door to turn it off when the clothes were dry.

Last year the little catch that holds the door shut broke. My son in law rigged me up with a big bungee cord to hold the door shut. Then the dryer was back in business. Matthew then looked up on the internet and found that little part for the door and replaced it. That gave us another year of use. But last night, after drying 1 load of clothes, it ran and ran, but never warmed up to dry the clothes. I knew the element was once again burned out. I checked with Kenmore today, but unfortunately, they do not make this part for this model anymore and cannot fix it. So, we will finally have to purchase a new dryer and I guess we will have a departing ceremony as this one is hauled off to it's final resting place. I hate to add to the landfill with something that has been in our home for 29 years, but we don't have a choice. I am really consciously thinking "Green" now with everything I do. I guess I could research what the appropriate "Green" thing would be to do with the dryer first. Anyone have any suggestions? Now I will have to start researching new dryers and what we want to get. I'll say this however, it's definitely going to be a KENMORE!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Off to Nashville

I'm heading out on a road trip to Nashville in the morning. It has been 9 whole days since I last saw the grandkids, so I gotta go get my fix. And, after all, Collin asked his Mommy tonight at dinner, "when am I gonna get to see my Nana again?" Well, you just can't let a request like that go by and also Annie Francis has learned about 4 new words this week. I just gotta go hear her! The kids gave me a computer video camera for Mother's Day so that I can hook up with them and see the kids on my computer and they can see me. It's great, but if just doesn't beat the real thing!

Andy and I would really love to move to Nashville. Don't know exactly how the son-in-law would feel about having us that close all the time, but we love the city and of course would love to be near the kids. I'm sure we would want to be back here in Huntsvegas when Drew and Lindsey have a family though. I'm just lucky to be able to take off anytime I want to and go see them now.

I will mix the visit with a little business and work with one of my seamstresse while I am up there. We are busy getting ready with our Holiday collection for Royal Southern Baby and I have many things to give to her to finish. Erin and I will be doing a "trunk show" in Atlanta on June 6th at one of her friend's house. We are really looking forward to it as Erin will be able to catch up with a lot of her Atlanta friends. We will do this trunk show and one more in June and then we will have to get ready for the Junior League Christmas show in Nashville in November. This was a great show for us last year and we are looking forward to promoting Royal Southern Baby there again.

The weather has been wonderful here this week. Very mild, sunny days. A couple of little showers, but for the most part it has been beautiful. Andy and I have eaten on the screen porch every night and then watched our favorite show, Bill O'Reilly, and scoped out the political mess we are in. I don't know if anyone else feels the way that I do, but if I was prone to anxiety attacks, I almost feel like having one given the political and economic future of our country. As if this is no secret, I am somewhat outspoken about my views and feelings on anything you would like to get me stirred up on, but why can't these crazy liberals see what a mess they are getting us into? I just hate that our wonderful country is so blasphemed by the awful media, (not FOX) and that many poor, uneducated people are totally taken in by their spins! Don't they see that all the money we could use for gas, schools and education, poverty, etc is being shoved into the Democratic cesspool? Anyway, I'm getting way off track....

I have a huge Angel Wing begonia growing on the screened in porch. It is on the top shelf of the etergie out there and some little birds have decided to turn it into a nest. They have a little space in the top of the gable of the porch that they sneak in and bring small pieces of pine straw to build the nest. Arthur and Guthrie, the cats, are going crazy watching them. Tails twitching and ears are perked up as they think they might catch one. I think I am going to have to move the plant out onto the deck however. If baby birds hatch out there, I don't know how they will ever learn to fly and get out of the porch. I need to look up on the internet and see if the mama and daddy bird will come back to it once I move the plant. Anyone know? I guess I will leave it till I get back on Friday.

I have to come home and get ready for our big Memorial Day weekend...more sitting in the wicker rockers on the porch while I sew, watching Bill O'Reilly and checking out the little birds. Boy, are we boring, but peaceful and happy. I feel guilty with all the tragedy going on in China and Burma everyday. My heart breaks for all those parents of the children trapped under the schools. I pray for God to have mercy on them all. I give thanks for all our blessings and for living here in the United States.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back to Posting....

I can't believe it but it has almost been one year since I last entered a post to my blog. Lots of water has passed under my bridge this past year. I am now officially working from home for myself and Royal Southern Baby. So much has happened this year and it has all been challenging but exciting and wonderful. Erin has helped me so much with the business and we are growing by leaps and bounds everyday. Our website, is getting hits and I am getting many wonderful calls and orders for my designs. Erin has been handling much of the marketing for the business, but recently she learned how to do shadow work embroidery. I think she really loves it and she has a real talent for it. Her work is incredible. Tiny, precise stitches. I know our clients are truly going to love her work on their garments.

We have done a couple of Junior League markets and several home trunk shows. We have a real exciting trunk show coming up in Atlanta next month with all of Erin's old Atlanta friends. We can't wait to see them all and will bring lots of pretties for them all to see.

The summer will keep us busy traveling and getting ready for the holiday markets in October and November. We are working night and day right now on all the Holiday collection and will begin taking orders for Holiday garments next month.

We have also been asked to do a photo layout of Annie Francis' nursery for Sew Beautiful magazine this next month. We will have to "spit-shine" her room to get ready for the photos. I will add pictures as soon as we get these back.

My precious grandchildren are my creative stimulation and my complete joy. Collin is now 3-1/2 years old, smart and beautiful, of course. He just cracks us all up with his cute little remarks. You can't get anything past this boy. Annie Francis is 17 months old and absolutely full of herself. She is beautiful, witty, cunning and busier than Collin every was at this age. We absolutely can't stop her. She goes full steam ahead all day long and then crashes soundly in her bed to sleep at night. (Collin still does not like to go to sleep). I know, I am a totally biased grandmother, but they are two of the smartest and cutest kids I've ever seen.

I'm still rocking and sewing daily on my screened in porch and the honeysuckle is smelling sweeter this year than ever. We have had many thunder storms and lots of rain these past few weeks and I think it has totally invigorated these vines. The aroma is almost smothering on these late spring evenings. I have a mama and daddy sparrow that have built a nest in my fern on the porch. The cats are going crazy watching them dart in and out. I know this may sound dull to some of you, but I thank my heavenly Father daily for this sweet slow pace of my life out on the porch. It is fuel to my soul and my creativity for my business.

But alas, it is springtime and this year's basketball season is over. Once again, we await to see if Andy is going to change jobs and thus we might be moving. This is always going to be the life of a basketball coach and especially when you coach in college. I will miss my porch and yard, but if God chooses a new life for us somewhere else, I will find another porch.

Hope to post some pictures on my next post. Have lots of beautiful new designs to share.

Keep the faith!

Friday, January 4, 2008

It's a New Year.....

Happy New Year!

It's been so long since I've posted anything that I almost forgot how. Things in my world have really been busy lately. The grandkids are doing great and I am spending lots of time with them. Just babysat them for 5 days while their parents went to the mountains for New Years. Annie Frances started walking while they were with me, so this was certainly a big highlight. She was busy, busy wanting to go everywhere and get into everything. But sooooo cute. Collin was a good big brother helping me take care of her and keeping her from getting into all of his toys. We got Grandy a Wii for his birthday and Collin learned how to really play it while they were here. He is the only 3 year old that I know that can beat me at bowling and golf!!!! He still has a little trouble with tennis, but he loves the boxing too. They were both just too cute and fun. Erin stayed a couple of days after they came back and we worked on the Royal Southern Baby website and things for the business. The website is up and running now and we are getting lots of good response. Erin and I both are gearing up for 2008 to be a big year for our business. We are going to the market in Atlanta the end of this month and have lots of new ideas and plans for both Royal Southern Baby and Tollie's Times. We will be introducing a new website for Tollie's Times later this month called We hope to have additional gifts and vintage looking clothes for little girls on this site. Look for lots of new fun things coming. I am really enjoying working with Erin on these projects. She has lots of wonderful new ideas and helps to keep me motivated and excited. Another goal for 2008 will be to introduce another new newsletter for little boys called Collin's Gazette. We hope to give lots of wonderful creative ideas to little boys and girls for good old fashioned play time. Whats wrong with playing jacks, hopscotch and stick ball, having tea parties, camping out in the back yard with a tent and a flashlight or going on a scavenger hunt? These types of play activities were certainly entertaining enough when I was a child and kept me and my brother busy. Kids today don't have to be glued to the tv or the computer games to have fun. We hope to just tickle the imaginations of the children who read our newletters enough to make them want to bake cookies with mom, play dress up and have an imaginary friend for a while. Children are little for such a short time . We need to nuture them gently and keep their little minds free from too much "world clutter" while we can!!! Time to go and sew....