Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I am so grateful for the opportunity to study on-line as a distance education student, something not available to me as a young person, even had I had the direction and focus to pursue a degree through completion. I will be attending Liberty University, the largest and fastest growing Christian Evangelical university in the world, founded by the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr.
I am studying Introduction to Christian Thought and Development Psychology.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Seersucker bigshirt with shirring and pleats looks so lovely. We provide the finest plus size blouses and plus size shirts for the price.
- button-tab sleeves to roll up or not
- patch pocket
- shirttail hem
- the highest quality casuals
Seersucker women's plus size bigshirt with shirring & pleats by Mainstreet Blues®
Not My Favorite!By Woman Within from Knoxville, TN on 10/7/2009
Sizing: Feels too large
Length: Feels too long
Sleeve Length: Feels too long
Cons: Poor Fit, Washes Poorly, Wrinkles Easily, Oversized Sloppy
Best Uses: Casual Wear
This was not my favorite and I was disappointed. It was oversized and sloppy, and does not have any shape because it is so lightweight. Wrinkles way too easily. Wore it once and won't wear it again.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Gingerly placed back in the woods behind our house, surely the turtle will find his way back to his creek bed and Tar will eat his normal breakfast as usual.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Then, we noticed the sign. Translation: Throw All Fish Back!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
That's right, just outside my front porch, I slipped in the mud and fell face down in the cold, gooey stuff. I was unable to stop the fall as my right leg slid out from under me, ultimately stretching as far as it would go before I hit the ground. When the shock wore off after a few seconds, I immediately felt the burning in the back of my right thigh, but I sort of dragged myself to the porch railing then limped up the stairs, chucking my muddy shoes on the porch before I entered the house.
What a sight I was! Mud from head to toe, I limped to the bathroom and put myself back together, but I was in pain. My dear, compassionate son, who's also a CNA, insisted on driving down from Oak Ridge (30 miles) to make sure I was okay. I was; no torn muscles, just overly strained (from never having been used, no doubt). Nothing was broken, either a testament to the soft muddy ground or my soft, flabby body. My thigh ached and I had to sit on the edge of the chair to avoid putting pressure on the bruised area. My son reminded me that he had suffered much worse traumas from playing soccer all those years.
I am better today; most of the pain has subsided and I can walk without limping. Now I can laugh about my mud bath. I don't think it's what Cleopatra had in mind. At least I can now say that I have learned to do the splits.
Don't expect pictures.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
It makes me yearn to garden, then I remember, I do not have a green thumb. I recall the Chinese evergreen my girlfriend bought me for Christmas. "Even you can't kill that," she said. Wanna bet? I forgot to water it -- at all; dead by February. Again, another case of sheer neglect. I'm so ashamed. I'd love to have roses, but I dare not.
Still, my yard looks awful--pools of muddy sludge and sprouts of wild onions growing taller with every raindrop, sparsely dotting the landscape (or lack thereof) in front of my house. I'll make a good effort as soon as the ground hardens a little bit; mow down the onions and spread some sod. I think I'll buy one of those roll-out flower beds and lay it down in front of my house to see if it blooms. Just my luck, the rain will stop and I'll be forced to remember to water it.
MyHusbandTheTruckDriver was headed home from Chicago Friday on I-74, on what should have been a fairly easy trip, getting him home by noon on Saturday. Just his luck, thousands of other people decided to converge at the Shelbyville, Indiana, exit just as he was approaching the area. So what tied him up for 3 hours or more and caused him to travel 5 miles in the same time frame he should have been able to travel over 150 miles? The long-awaited grand opening of the $200 million casino at the Indiana Downs racetrack. Somehow, he didn't feel it was worth the wait.
Friday, March 13, 2009
I saw the most magnificent display yesterday. Bradford pear trees all in a row, their bulbous contours ablaze with their white blossoms thick as snow. For a brief moment they'll wear their dressing gowns, then don their comely raiment as a debutante presented in the spring.
I must put the Christmas stuff away!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
That being said, I am beginning to build a portfolio and more faithfully contribute to my journal, more for myself at this point than any second-career, post-retirement aspirations. So I was initially pleased when I was accepted by a marketing firm to join them as a content writer. I thought it might be a way to add to my portfolio and gain a bit of recognition, and perhaps a few dollars, for myself.
The catch is, were I to join them, it would be as a ghost writer; I would have no rights to my words, would essentially be selling the rights to my articles to the marketing company and its clients. I would not be able to include my articles in any other form of print or publication or, I assume, use them in my portfolio. They want 400 word articles; they pay $4 per article. That's only 1₡ per word. One Cent Per Word.
So, my question to all you professional writers out there is: Is this a good way to start? What are the pros and cons of becoming (an underpaid, overworked) content writer? Yes, I could go read forums and subscribe to newsletters for feedback, but I thought this would make a good post. Comments welcome.
Note: Image created by me.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The thing about bumper cars is just when you think you have a clear space to break away, the car behind you abruptly changes direction and lunges into your personal space. So it was with the silver El Dorado with the tow hitch that I watched pull securely into his parking space directly opposite me before I backed out of mine.
Now I will sheepishly admit that I am not the most alert driver, but I was watching where I was going. Clearly through my rear view mirror, I saw the El Dorado safely parked, lights off, as I slowly moved backward in my own vehicle. Then, without warning, just like that annoying little bumper car that comes from out of nowhere and rams you when you least expect it, thud! Seems the driver didn’t see me back up when he decided he had pulled in at an angle and needed to back up himself and re-park. Well, truth be told, maybe I didn’t see him all that clearly either, and it was a rather minor bump, although it left a 3” gouge in my rear bumper. The tow hitch was not harmed. It’s still amazing to me how all 50 cars in a parking lot the size of a small city find it necessary to park in the first 3 rows.
Business concluded, and having decided to continue to enjoy the gorgeous pre-spring day, I drove merrily on my way with a few more stops left before it was time to pick up my son, Aaron, at work. Carefree, on our way home at last, we made one last stop at the convenience store for gas and a paper. While I darted into the store, Aaron pulled between the car at the pump and the curb to park and wait for me. Then, it happened again; not a thud this time, but a pop. It must have been a little too tight a squeeze, for the right front tire scraped the curb just where its metal frame and concrete were broken and left exposed, jagged and rough. A non-repairable hole in the tire, oh my! And no spare.
AAA to the rescue, but at my expense for the new tire, and possibly the tow since the distance to the local StuffMart Tire Shop (the only retailer open at 6:55 p.m. on a Saturday night in East Tennessee, imagine!) may have been more than my coverage allowed. We’ll see. Fortunately, a call to the RegionalConvenienceStoreChainEmergencyManagementNumber promised retribution if I would call the office on Monday and report the claim.
Note to self: No more wild rides.
Myhusbandthetruckdriver hit Chicago Saturday morning where he waits to pick up his next load. All weekend in the terminal is not so bad; at least they have a TV in the trucker lounge; it has better reception (usually) than the one in the truck. Monday morning he is off to Oklahoma; hopefully home next weekend.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
But he’s never sold a single piece, not because they weren’t marketable; he’s just never been inclined to sell his work. Don’s motto is, “If you charge a dollar, you lose a friend.” Still his pieces have become very popular in the community where they have been displayed over the years or given as gifts to friends and family.
Fond of carving caricatures, Don won a blue ribbon at the Tennessee Valley Fair in the early-90’s for a carving he dubbed “Knicker Knockers.” It was group of 4 golfers with movable heads wearing polos and golf pants and standing near their golf clubs.
Once while being treated for heart problems, he met a lady in cardiology for whom he carved several wooden name tags that she could pin to herself. She was thrilled with the gift, and now that the woman, nicknamed “Shorty,” has passed away, McMurray muses that at least one of his carvings has gone to heaven.
While McMurray enjoys carving his more lighthearted pieces, he says he has more respect for his more serious carvings, such as the nativity which took him more than two years to complete. (It’s the only piece he has ever tracked the completion time on.) Starting with the Baby Jesus’ face, he was so dissatisfied with the outcome, he started over on the other end of the piece of wood. Always beginning at the face, which McMurray says is the hardest part, he laughs about it now and calls it “twin Jesuses.”
Most of his work can still be found displayed throughout his home, pieces such as ducks and Indian pieces, and a piece bearing the Kingston logo. The rest are stored in five boxes in the basement which is where his workshop is also located.
The craft that he loves comes natural to him. He has been doing woodwork all of his life, and a 4-poster bed in his home testifies to his skill and the quality of his work. He says he took up the carving hobby after he became a card-carrying member of the Smoky Mountain Wood Carvers group, and he hasn’t looked back since. The culmination of his years of work will be a public exhibit at the Kingston Community Center on March 9th.
And although he has slowed down a little over the years, saying he’s lost a little of the feeling and a little of the attitude, he’ll return to his work table often to finish those undone pieces. And sometimes, when the wood calls to him, he’ll even start a new one.
Photos courtesy David Doonan/Roane Newspapers
Sunday, March 1, 2009
March is here and winter will soon be behind us for another season. He keeps promising me I will go with him in the spring.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Among my aunt's possessions passed down to me I found a recipe book she had been maintaining for many, many years. Weathered, worn, and rubberbanded to hold the many loose pages and clippings, it contained handwritten recipes, newspaper clippings, printed and typewritten recipe cards on everything from cardstock to the back of old maps and sticky notes. I smiled as I browsed through them, as many of them she had received from me, and there they were, stuck in her recipe book in my handwriting or within a card or letter I had written her. Many more dated back to the years she was working as a secretary for Puncheon Engineering in Cincinnati (where she met her late-husband and my uncle, Otis), as they were typed on old Rolodex cards from the firm's files. A meticulous saver, I can't say how many she actually tried for herself, but certainly all of them left an impression on her and a thought that "she might try that some day."
In her memory, I have started another blog: My Aunt's Recipes. It contains all of her notes, recipes, and helpful hints as I found them in the book. More for myself and a tribute to the memory of Aunt Loraine, I am working on the blog as I have the time. Quite a few recipes are up already, and the link is here in my sidebar in case you want to take a look or try a recipe or two. We also have another family cookbook that my Uncle George has compiled and maintained (The Matthai Family Cookbook link also in my sidebar), and some of Aunt Loraine's recipes are in there as well. (Uncle George, you can add any you like.)
Enjoy as I share my memories and tribute with you.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
But today I offer the lighter side of Craig's List: the ads that somehow make you giggle because you really don't know what in the world they are selling, or the grammar/spelling is so atrocious you actually have to read the ad to see if it's really something you want/need or not. For instance:
There's the ad selling CHICKEN POOP LIP BALM - $3. What in the world is chicken poop lip balm? I thought of my cousin Cathy (http://www.lifetimelearning.blogspot.com/) when I read this; maybe she'll know.
Chicken Poop Lip Balm is actually made of all natural ingredients (so chicken poop isn't natural?) like soy, jojoba, sweet orange, lavender, and beeswax. No chicken poop whatsoever. It goes on very smoothly with a hint of lavender aroma, and quickly works to soothe and soften chapped lips (or put it on your elbows, ankles, anywhere you want softer, smoother skin). A novelty item, to be sure, but effective and a hot seller right now.
So how did it get its name? A little girl from Kansas grew up, designed the product, and named it after her grandfather back home on the farm. Seems when she was child, every time she would complain that her lips were chapped, her grandfather would threaten to coat them with chicken poop so she wouldn't lick them. Have you tried it, Cathy?
Someone in the business section is trying to sell this SCAFFLE. According to The Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Scaffle), to scaffle is to steal a small or insignificant object, or to steal something that belongs to someone who will not care upon discovering that the object was stolen. The definition denotes theft, but maybe not morally wrong theft.
"I scaffled a donut from Bob; he had too many to eat anyway."
Scaffle can also be slang or the street term for drugs and the drug trade. I don't think that's what this guy was selling. I guess a workman worth his hire doesn't necessarily have to know how to spell.
It's also very popular to sell a REFRIDGERATOR or FRIDGERATOR on the List, as well as CHESTER DRAWERS.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Fort Southwest Point began as a militia post known as the Southwest Point Blockhouse. The Blockhouse, which included a stockade, was built by militiamen in 1792 and commanded by Brig. General John Sevier. Constructed high on a bluff at the mouth of the Clinch River where it enters the Tennessee, it was located at the boundary of the Southwest Territory (Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio) and the Cherokee Nation, on the only east-west road between Knoxville and Nashville (known as the “North Carolina Road” or “Avery’s Trace,” constructed in 1788).
Sevier’s militia used the Blockhouse as a base from which to curtail hostilities between the Cherokee and Creek Nations and the white settlers heavily migrating into the Tennessee. In 1793, an attachment of regular Federal troops joined Sevier’s militia stationed at the Blockhouse; and by 1794, it was their duty to provide armed escorts for travelers journeying west through the Cherokee Territory from the Blockhouse to Nashville via Avery’s Trace.
With additional Federal troops being sent to Tennessee to control the escalating territorial disputes between the Euro-Americans and the Cherokee Indians, who still claimed the majority of what is now East Tennessee, Congress authorized the construction of much larger fort about ½ mile down-river from the Blockhouse. Completed in 1797, one year after admittance of Tennessee to the United States, the Fort was commanded by Colonel David Henley as agent of war and housed over 400 troops at its peak.
As the territorial wars were ended, the U.S. government shifted its role to that of protectionist with the Cherokee. The troops became the peace keepers as they escorted travelers across Cherokee territory, less in an effort to protect the migrating settlers from attack by the Cherokee and more to ensure the travelers did not illegally settle on Cherokee-owned lands. By 1801, the need for Federal troops was greatly reduced and Fort Southwest Point became the headquarters for a newly-appointed Cherokee Indian agent, Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs, who also served as military agent for Federal troops in Tennessee. By 1807, Fort Southwest Point had lost most of its more important functions but remained in use until around 1811, primarily as a supply depot for handling shipments passing overland from the east and then down-river to other posts along the expanding American frontier.
Fast-forward 150 years to the first archaeological investigations conducted at the site by the University of Tennessee in 1974 and 1975. The digs exposed portions of the foundations of six-foot buildings and netted a large cache of fort-period artifacts, as well as evidence of prehistoric habitation, including infant burial, storage pits, and sherds. The remains of a massive stone wall at the west end of the structure was also uncovered.
In 1984, the recon-struction of the Fort on its original site was begun as a cooperative effort between the Department of Conservation and the City of Kingston. As a result, the location of 13 buildings were positively identified and the Fort’s general plan was approximated. The most recent study done in 1996 by students from Roane State Community College along with the Department of Conservation revealed the details of a third major building, now known to have housed administrative and storage facilities.
role in the westward expansion of America through an orientation video and many interpretive exhibits. The Fort today offers a learning adventure for all ages, with scheduled tours and special weekend events for the whole family; and it is free to the public (though donations are gratefully accepted).
And if you’d like a keener look into the past, keep your eyes and ears open for a ghost or two. Whether the spirits of some fallen soldiers on the frontier or the ghosts of some early settlers returning to stake their claims, they have at times made a surreal impression upon a few astute visitors who claim to have felt unseen presences or heard faint whispers and gunshots in the background.
Smith, Samuel D. “Fort Southwest Point.” The Tennesee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. 2002. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 21 Feb. 2009 <http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net>.
"Fort Southwest Point." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 Jan 2009, 07:28 UTC. 22 Feb. 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fort_Southwest_Point&oldid=264422274>.
2002-2005 John Norris Brown. Part of John Norris Brown.com. 21 Feb. 2009 <http://www.johnnorrisbrown.com/paranormal-tn/sw-point/>.
*Fort sketch from:
Smith, Samuel D. (Editor) 1993 “Fort Southwest Point Archaeological Site, Kingston, Tennessee: A Multidisciplinary Interpretation.” Tennessee Division of Environment and Conservation, Division of Archaeology, Research Series No. 9., Nashville, Tennessee.