Archive for January, 2019

Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here

January 29, 2019

I work in an office of women. Sometimes we don’t clean up after ourselves very well, just like at home.

At the end of the day, I’m usually the last one out. I do a walk thru to confirm that no bogeymen are hiding in the building.

Sometimes people leave the light on in the kitchen. Sometimes they leave dishes and/or silverware in the sink. Lots of times I wash them and put them in the dish drainer to dry.

Recently, the company that I work for fired the cleaning company. In their place, the company hired current employees to come in and clean. So if you finished your day job, you could come on the weekend and make extra money.

This made me consider how slack we could be when an unknown entity was cleaning the office. Now that I know that my work partner AlabamaKate is doing the cleaning, I’m trying to be a tidier person. It seems rude to leave things untidy since I know Kate is our cleaning lady.

Not everyone is showing the same awareness.

In the interest of promoting my agenda, I put a sign up in the kitchen.

Your Mother? She doesn’t work here.

Leslie’s House is for Sale

January 27, 2019

Sugar’s grandmother was Leslie Basinger Lawton. She lived, among other places, in a house on Edgewood in the Gordonston community in Savannah.

This early photo was possibly taken in the 1920s, because the house was reported to be built in 1920.

It’s for sale now.

We stopped by the house after we finished putting out Christmas poinsettias on Christmas Day. Because we are snoops, we took photos through the windows. By “we”, I mean “me”.

The man next door came outside and called over to us to see if we were buying the house. Sugar said no; his grandfather had built the house.

It’s a beautiful house. The real estate listing says that it has ties to the early Girl Scouts and that you could get it listed on the National Register.

I think the sunroom on the left of the house was a later addition. One of my favorite photos of this family is in this house.

Here’s a shot from the listing of the approximate same area.

Good luck, House. We hope you get a happy ending.

The Will of Jonathan Norton, 1774

January 22, 2019

Sugar has Jonathan Norton in his direct line. I found this will, like most things I find online and in real life, by looking for something else. These images are from




South Carolina

St. Helena Parish in Granvil County In the Name of God Amen – I Jonathan Norton Planter of the Province and Parish aforesaid, Being Sick and Weak of Body, But of sound mind and Memory – Do Make & Ordain this my Last Will and Testament in Manner and Form Following —First I leave my Soul to God who gave it and as for such Worldly goods as it hath Pleased God to Blefs me With, after my Lawful Debts are Paid, I Leave in Manner and Form following  —Inprimis. I give and Bequeath to my Son John Norton one half of the Tract of Land of Five Hundred and ninety six Acres to Him and his Heirs Forever with Fourteen Head of Cattle–Item I give to my daughter Mary Ann Scott one Negro man Tom, now in her Pofsefsion, to her and her heirs forever. —-Item I give to my Grand Son John Fendin One Negro Man Venter to him  and his Heirs for ever—-Item I give & Bequeath to my Daughter Jane, Fourteen head of Cattle to her and her heirs for ever —-Item. I give and Bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth, Fourteen head of Cattle to her and heirs for ever —-Item I give & Bequeath to my Daughter Dorothy Pheby Fourteen head of Cattle to her and her heirs for ever —-Item I give and Bequeath to my Daughter Martha Fourteen head of Cattle to her and her heirs for ever Item I give to my Grand Son Samuel Green, and my Grand Daughter Sarah Green Fifty Pounds Currency to each to be Paid by my Executors for a suit of Mourning for each –Item my Will is That all the Remainding part of my Moveables be sold at vendue and after my Just Debts are Paid the Remainding part be equally Divided amongst all my Children —- Lastly I appoint & ordain my Sons John and William Norton my Executors and my Daughters Jean, Mary Ann Scott, Execu Dorothy Pheby my Executrix to this my Last Will and Testament and as my Daughter Martha is not of Age my Will and Desire is that

The area where Jonathan Norton lived is now St. Helena Island in Beaufort County, but back in 1774 it was Granville County. This is yet another example of how people didn’t move but their address changed as districts and counties evolved.


my friend William Waight, do act as an Executor in her Room, to this my Last Will & Testament  Witness my hand & Seal this Fourteenth day of April in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Four and in the Fourteenth Year of his Majestys Reign ——

Jonathan Northon (L.S.)

In the Presence of us—-

John Edwards Junr.

William Maltby

George Eden

John Reynolds Stevens

Recorded Will Book 1774 – 1779 on Page 114.

Jonathan’s daughter Dorothy Pheby Norton married Dr. George Mosse. Their daughter Martha married Alexander James Lawton, and they became Sugar’s great-great-grandparents.

It was Jonathan Norton that donated 2 acres of land on St. Helena for a Chapel of Ease. Years ago before I met Sugar, my family would travel further out the chain of Sea Islands past St. Helena to stay at Fripp Island for vacation. I had always seen the directional sign for the Chapel of Ease off the beaten path, but never was able to go until I met Sugar, and we went out adventuring.

It’s like a spot of serendipidity, these little bits of my past that appear in my present. Thank you, Jonathan Norton, for writing a will and memorializing these people, black and white, who are now part of my life.

Super Blood Wolf Moon, 2019

January 21, 2019

It is hard for me to get excited enough to get out of bed to photograph something. Last night, however, I was awake anyway and looking online at other people’s photos of the lunar event.

I had already looked at the full moon during early dark, and the moon hung full and white in the eastern sky like a celestial grape. I was pretty sure I would not go back outside when the moon turned red in the freezing dark. I wasn’t sure when the redness would happen because it appeared that the lunar eclipse would happen over the course of hours.

At midnight I was still awake scrolling through Facebook when I saw another local person posting “BLOOD MOON”. Good grief. I might as well get up and walk outside.

There was no moon at all where I thought it would be hanging in the southern sky. This was strange. There were no clouds. I could see the stars. I leaned backwards a bit, literally pointing my chin in the cold night air, and what I saw made me exhale with delight.

There she was! A red dot just through the trees.

I have a digital camera somewhere that I used during my early blogging days. Tonight I used the iPhone, like always.

I’m pleased with my excursion out into the yard at 12:15am on MLK Day. If I were a primitive person, I might think this lunar event is a sign from the gods. Perhaps it is only a sign that I need to engage with the outside world more.

The Crazy Cat Lady Tote Bag: Part 2

January 21, 2019

I’ve been working on making tote bags made from empty pet food bags. The bag can only be made out of a plastic weave called Duraweave, and not the ordinary paper or plastic bags.

Purina Friskies is the food I prefer to buy. I have bought 9Lives, but the bag is some sort of plastic-lined paper and isn’t suitable for stitching. Plus I bought some upper end cat food on the 75% off rack at Petsmart, like 6 bags of various quality food, and now the little beggars won’t eat the 9Lives.

I have the bags listed in my Etsy shop which is named Catcatcher Corner. One woman sent me a message back in September to ask if the bags had an inside pocket for a cell phone or a set of keys. They do not. I plan for every inch to be used in the construction and there are no leftovers. I finally found a bag large enough at 22 pounds.

There was only enough leftover fabric to make one pocket. It was a bit of a hassle with the pocket construction and getting it all centered just so.

Keep in mind that I usually do not accept homework assignments from online strangers, but this was a challenge.

This is the same basic design as all the others with 20″ long straps.

You can see the pocket peeking out in the photo above. In the photo below, you see the pocket has been stitched into the upper hem, all sturdy-like.

The pocket is about 9″ wide and 4.5″ high, so yes, it is big enough for a cell phone or a set of keys, but I’m not comfortable with keeping those items in a tote bag. Just a personal preference, seeing as how I like to keep those things in pants or jacket pockets. A woman traveling alone needs to travel smart, and that means keeping resources close at hand.

I like the size and design of this one, though, and might just start making shorter bags, but that would leave fabric waste, and I’m not feeling that.

Design challenge accepted and conquered. I haven’t heard back from the original person inquiring about the pocket, which is not strange in this world of online bartering and demand. I suppose if you don’t ask, you won’t know, even though I make no mention of a pocket in the detail section of the bag construction.

And like always, your Etsy purchase helps feed this Lowcountry feral colony.

Just not with 9Lives. The cats have spoken.

The Cat Has Been Fed

January 19, 2019

Please. Ignore Cat.

A Dying Cause: Part 3

January 3, 2019

A new cat arrived at The Swamped! Plantation and Cat Catching Service Station.

I had arrived home in the early evening in that gray time-warped period known as the week between Christmas and New Year. What day is today? Is it okay to continue to eat pie all day long? Why are there no clean clothes?

I pulled right in the driveway, as always, and cats stirred and rose from their repose. Butter was in The Treehouse, Pop-Up was strolling in from the woods, and Georgia was probably asleep on my bed. Other cats stretched and made their way to the food stations in the dusk, waiting for a treat, when I saw a cat that I thought was Sue. Right there she was, not 5 feet from the car. But she was not Sue.

She was a classic tabby and white. Classic tabby is really a thing. Here are some images from Wikipedia…





This cat by my driveway was a classic example. The sides have more of a bullseye pattern.

She jumped up into the Treehouse to the food bowl.

She, or perhaps he, was cautious around me but not feral.

I set the trap, after making sure that everyone else had eaten and was full. She/he went right into the trap.

The following day, Sugar transported the cat to the shelter for further transport to the spay/neuter clinic.

She tested positive for feline HIV, and was humanely euthanized while anesthetized.

There’s another cat lurking about. I see him at night by the log near the Treehouse.

A cat trapper’s goal is to trap, neuter, return. Where are these cats coming from?

The Will of Joseph Lawton of Charleston & England, 1852

January 2, 2019

I went down a rabbit hole over the New Year’s holiday. I was browsing through some South Carolina wills, and came across this will of Joseph Lawton from 1852.

Sugar has a Joseph Lawton in his line who was born in the mid-1700s near Charleston. His Joseph, however, died about 40 years before the 1852 Joseph in what was known as St. Peter’s Parish in the Beaufort District near present-day Robertville in Jasper County.

Let’s take a look at the 1852 Joseph.



Box 95

No. 23

State of South Carolina

I Joseph Lawton of Charleston in the Said State, Merchant Make this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills heretofore made. I give and bequeath all My Lands in East Florida to My Son William Frederick his Heirs and afsigns forever. I give and bequeath to My dear Wife Sarah Margaret Carnie the sum of Thirty Thousand Dollars to be paid Out of My Estate before and preference to any other bequest hereinafter Made. I give nd bequeath to My Natural Daughter Annie Wife of Louis Lee Janon of New York the sum of Five Hundred Dollars per annum during her life time  I give and bequeath to the St. Georges Society of Charleston Five Hundred Dollars. I give and bequeath Two Thousand Dollars towards the building of a Church Now Contemplated to be Built under the regulations of the Established Church of England Near Delph. I give and bequeath to each of my Nephews and Nieces the Sum of Five Hundred Dollars, all the rest and residue of My Estate I give and bequeath to F. F. Whitehead and John D. Whitehead of Saddleworth in England in Trust Neverthelefs for such child or Children and the Child or Children of Any deceased child as I shall leave living at the time of my death, to be divided among them if More than one, is the following Manner, that is to Say, It shall be divided into equal shares, one More in Number than the Number of Said Children including as one the children of any deceased Child, and My eldest Son shall take two Shares and each of the Other Children one Share but if there be no Son then it shall be equally divided among the Children share and Share alike. The Child or Children of a deceased child taking the Share the parent would have taken if alive. My Will is that the Said rest and residue of My Estate shall as soon after the Said Trustees receive it from My Executors, as it can be done with

Will of Joseph Lawton  Page #2

a due regard to the security of the Fund be put out at Interest on Mortgage of Real Estate in England and that the Said Trustees apply as much of the Interest on their respective shares thereof as May be Necefsary for that purpose to the Maintenance and Education of My Said Children Until they respectively attain the age of Twenty one Years when their respective shares together with any accumulation of Interest thereon shall be paid to them respectively and in Case any of My Said Children should die Under the age of Twenty one Years and without ifsue his or her Share of the Said residue Shall go to the Survivor or Survivors and be paid at the age of Twenty One as aforesaid, the Children of Any deceased Child taking the Share which their parent would have taken if alive and if all my Said Children Should die under the age of Twenty one Years and without ifsue then I give and bequeath the Said rest and residue of My Estate as follows to Wit. I give and bequeath to My dear Wife Twenty Thousand Dollars in addition to what I have hereinbefore bequeathed to her. One Thousand Dollars to the Delph day School where I received My early Education Five Hundred Dollars to each of my first Cousins residing in England at the time of My death and the residue to My Nephews and  Nieces to be equally divided among them share and Share Alike. The provisions Made by this My Will for My Wife are given to her in lieu and in bar of Dower. I constitute Nominate and appoint My Worthy Friends William Nayler and William M. Lawton the Executors of this My last Will and Testament, and I do hereby empower them to sell Such part of My Estate Real and Personal as it May be Necefsary orexpedient to Sell in Order to Carry into effect the Provisions of this My Will. In Witnefs whereof I have hereunto set My Hand and Seal this Twenty Eighth day of April in the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and fifty two and in the seventy Sixty Year of American Independence.

Joseph Lawton (LS)

Signed, Sealed, Published and declared by the Testator Joseph Lawton as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at this request and in his presence and in the presence

Will of Joseph Lawton   Page #3

of each other have afixed our Names hereto as Witnefses

John Graveley

Thos. P. Smith

James B. Bours.

Proved before George Buist Esq. O.C.D.  April 16th 1855

April 19th 855   Qualified William M. Lawton and William Nayler Executors therein named.

Ex. G.B.

Recorded from Will Book No. L 1851-1856  Page #344

This Joseph Lawton of Charleston & Saddleworth and his family don’t appear to intersect with the Joseph Lawton of Edisto & Robertville. However, I’ve been in contact with a Saddleworth Lawton who might be able to shed some light on a possible relationship.

Until then, I’ll be poking around There’s an excellent chance that we will never know the answer.




12/19/1894: First Car to be Turned Out at the Lenoir Car Works This Week

January 2, 2019

From GenealogyBank: Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 12/19/1894, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume X, Issue 296, Page 3.


First Car to be Turned out at the Lenoir Car Works This Week.

The Lenoir Car Company will probably turn out the first car of the five hundred for the Southern Railway Company this week.

The Bass Foundry and Machine Company is turning out about 75 wheels per day while the car company is getting the boxes in shape.

I have just realized that it took two companies to make a rail car. I would suspect that the timing of the first car made for an exciting Christmas celebration and end to the year for the little town.

Happy New Year: 2019

January 1, 2019


Sugar and I were sauntering through Publix yesterday, and I saw this treasure.

Collards! From W. P. Rawl in South Carolina. I believe that this is the German Rahl family that settled in the mid-state. My online friend Missy Rawls is descended from that group.

Do you know how hard it is to type “Rawl” without the “s”? Even autocorrect changes Rawl to Rawls.

Happy New Year!