Archive for the ‘Enjoying the day’ Category

Casting on My way

October 20, 2018

There’s method of creating the first loop for your knitting project. It involves an overhand loop and a resulting firm knot at the base of it. I’ve been troubled about the knotty part for years. When you are running your fingers along the cast-on edge, you can feel the knot.

I don’t want to feel the knot. I work a lot of items in the round using a circular needle or double points. Socks, hats, mittens, sweaters. Almost any article of clothing can be knitted in the round.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video to show you how to make this loop. Click here.

One day as I was creating the first loop for a project, I stopped halfway because I realized that I had the answer right in front of me.

That loose end hanging on the right? Push a loop of that through the place where my thumb is.

Now it’s like a baby bow tie.

Push the loops up into a rabbit ear position and slide the needle through.

Now let’s add some stitches. I do this by inserting the 2nd needle between the stitches on the 1st needle, looping the yarn around it like I’m knitting a stitch, and pulling the yarn back through to the front and sliding it on the 1st needle.

Now I have 3 stitches! I continue to add stitches in this manner until I get to my goal. For this hat, I’m using 100 stitches cast on a #5 circular.

I join the ends by distributing the stitches all the way around the needle until the end meets the beginning. Then I add my short end of the beginning yarn to the working yarn and use them as one yarn to knit the next two stitches.

I work knit 2, purl 2, for ribbing until it is about 1.5″ long.

I switch to stockinette stitch for several more inches, then reduce the number of stitches every few rounds to finish the top. You get the idea. I’ll get better directions later.

I used a lot of Red Heart yarn when I saw all the fun transitional colors that they offered. Plus I needed cheap yarn for this science project.

The BabyGirl had asked for a Messy Bun hat. I created a pattern. Some of the openings at the top are more generous than the others, since some of our buns are more generous than others.

What a pretty, smooth join.

Yes, I am in the car at lunchtime modeling an almost finished hat.

I found that I could get 2 Messy Bun hats out of 1 skein.

So I have a whole pile of hats. Plus a smooth join that I have not seen anywhere else, so there’s that. If I had uncovered this 50 years ago, I think I would have been a much more confident knitter. And more confidence means you don’t model your hats in the car.

You just put them out on the Internet for random strangers.

A New Project

August 27, 2017

The contents of the cart reveal a new and exciting creation. 

No, people, I’m not making cat food quiche or dog food trail mix. The clue is the wax paper. 

My friend Lynda, who just happens to be Sugar’s cousin, has a clever little Etsy shop that features Scottish tartan jewelry. I ordered some jewelry from her for several Christmas presents, and the gifts arrived in these adorable little paper packets. Lynda makes the gift envelopes from vintage papers sandwiched between wax paper layers and then zig-zag stitched together. 

I was in love with this idea. I actually felt guilty that I was getting so much for my money. The item I purchased plus? An amazing gift holder. Lynda did all the work for me. 

I wondered if I could figure out how she did it. But you can see that now it is August, and I haven’t done anything more than wonder. 

Suddenly Lynda’s shop “Diva Designs” had the very tutorial that I needed offered for sale. It’s only ten dollars, people! Ten. Dollars. 

Even I have ten dollars. 

After the instant download, I realized that I needed some supplies, like wax paper, hemp cord, and something called Washi tape. Your friendly WalMart should have these items. At least mine did. 

Note: HEMP cord, which has nothing to do with cannabis, or the possibly pronunciation of Washy tape (was-high). 

I suppose you are thinking that it is sad that my kitchen set-up lacks wax paper. But I’ll bet that if your kitchen has wax paper, it has probably been there since the last century. I wonder how long wax paper lasts? Yours is probably still good. I won’t judge you if it’s not. 

I have downsized so much that I don’t have any old books that I could tear pages out of. Don’t be shocked about the page removal part. Who is going to miss a page out of a dictionary? That’s what Lynda uses, in addition to any other vintage-looking book that you could pick-up at a yard sale or thrift store. 

I found an old cookbook. If I don’t have wax paper, you can rightly guess that I am not doing any farmhouse cooking. 

I couldn’t find my button stash, so have a look at the first few that I made, pre-buttons. 

I had ordered some photo cards from VistaPrint a few weeks back, but had no way to give them away as a little gift, and I supposed a legal sheet of paper might be the solution. I had an old DAR record that became an experiment. 

This was actually perfect. It can hold up to 6 sets of 5×7 cards and envelopes. 

I located the button stash. 

A bonus recipe with this one.

So go see my friend Lynda at “Diva Designs” at Her tutorial is like Gift Envelopes for Dummies. I’m living proof. 😸

We’re Out Like A Scout

July 16, 2017

Someone had a simple idea. 

Someone (Sugar) thought maybe we should get kayaks and learn how to kayak. 

Sounds like a good plan, only we know nothing about the art of kayaking. So I messaged a friend who might possibly know something, because I had seen a photo on social media of her in a kayak. 

I messaged her to ask if she knew where we could look to buy kayaks besides WalMart. 

Oh, she knew. She knew A LOT.

She invited us to join her and her husband to go out in their kayaks at their river house. She knew when the tide would be right, and what kind of kayak we should use, and which landing we could put in, and what we should wear. 

So apparently this kayaking deal involves more than meets the eye. 

Sugar the Map Guy decided to take a look at different points of the river where we might put in. 

Which means a day trip. 

At Salzburg Landing, there’s a lazy section of river with a boat ramp. Off to the side, there’s a trail alongside the river. A tree along the embankment had toppled over years ago but continued to grow. 

On the other side were marsh grasses, and the leftover marsh reeds from last year’s Hurricane Matthew formed a line at the highest point of the tide. 

We’re facing south, and you can see some of the erosion from the ages. 

A big oak still clings to the top of the embankment. It’s a little past midday, and it is HOT OUT HERE. 

Now we’re at a section that might be called a Boneyard. There’s a beach on Edisto called Boneyard Beach, but it is much larger than this little mini-Boneyard. 

On the way back to the van, we catch this perfect moment. 

Another view of the trail back and the line of dead dry reeds to our left at the base of the embankment. The smaller line of reeds to our right is most probably from an ordinary high tide. 

The plan is to find out how far it is from Salzburg to the abandoned railroad trestle near Knowles Island. We found out that you can’t get there on a kayak unless you get out at the end of Boyd’s Creek and carry your kayak overland to get to the Broad River. 

I had read that a fishing pier had been built at the site of the old trestle, and that it was wheelchair friendly, and even though I am not wheelchair-dependent and I don’t fish, I had been wanting to check that out…

So it’s not like we can just fling a kayak into the water and paddle off as if you were on a lake or other still body of water. 

These are salt-water bodies of water that are dependent on the tide. Let’s imagine that you are a beginner (waves hand wildly in the air) and you put in at high tide as it turns, and get swept out to sea. 

It’s really getting hot out here on this metal pier, and we turn for home. 

Do we go out in little boats with friends? That is a story for another day. 

(We do!)

Another Treehouse

May 21, 2017

Sugar decided to make another cat perch for the cats that live in the woods next to where I work. 

I’ve been approached two times in the past week by interested people who have seen the cats hanging around in the morning waiting to be fed. No one had a problem with it, and they were surprised that I had trapped them for spaying and vaccinations. Apparently ordinary people don’t realize that other ordinary people can be agents for change. 

Like Sugar is an agent for change. 

He brought two different boards to choose from. 

Next he checked the brackets that he mounted directly onto the tree trunks. 

He screwed the bigger board to the brackets, and, quick as you please, he’s done. 

Little Miss Sassy Pants and her sister stayed well away. The sister is so far away that I couldn’t get a clear photo, even with the zoom lens. 

The platform is big enough for an ant deterrent system, which consists of a large shallow bowl of water with a smaller bowl of food set into it. The water creates a barrier that the ants can’t cross. 

We’ll see tomorrow if the system worked. 

The Welcoming Committee

April 21, 2017

The two feral girls that I trapped, neutered, and released a month ago have finally shown themselves. 

Apparently I move too slowly for them. 


A Marker for Mosse

April 16, 2017

Sugar had a plan.

We went to the graveyard, and measured an existing marker. Sugar’s plan was to make a matching marker for Mosse.

After surveying the scene, he selected a spot.

After what seemed an interminable wait, which in reality was not, he was rewarded with this.








Now, during the wait between the ordering and the installation of the marker, I found more references to George Mosse online.

Lieut. Col Balfour, commander of Charlestown, Prison ship Torbay, Charlestown harbor, May 18, 1781.

WE have the honor of enclosing you a copy of a letter from Lieutenant Colonel Balfour, commandant of Charlestown, which was handed us immediately on our being put on board this ship; the letter speaking for itself, needs no comment; your wisdom will beit dictate the notice it merits. We would just beg leave to observe, that should it fall to the lot of all, or any of us, to be made victims, agreeable to the menaces therein contained, we have only to regret that our blood cannot be disposed of more to the accompaniment of the glorious cause to which we have adhered. A separate roll of our names extends this letter.

With the greatest respect, we are, Sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servants,

STEPHEN MOORE, Lt. Col. N. C. militia,

JOHN BARNWELL, Major S. C. militia,

(for ourselves and 130 prisoners.

Major. General Greene.

On board the prison ship Torbay.

William Axon, Samuel Ash, George Arthur, John Anthony, Ralph Atmore, John Baddeley, Peter Bonetheau, Henry Benbridge, Joseph Ball, Joseph Bee, Nathaniel Blundell, James Bricke, Francis Bayle, Wm. Basquin, John Clarke, jun., Tho. Cooke, Norwood Couvers, James Cox, John Dorsius, Joseph Dunlap, Rev. James Edmunds, Thomas Elliott, Joseph Elliott, John Evans, John Eberley, Joseph Glover, Francis Grott, Mitchell Gargle, William Graves, Peter Guerard, Jacob Henry, David Hamilton, Tomas Harris, William Hornby, Daniel Jacoby, Charles Kent,

Samuel Lockhart, Nathaniel Lebby, Thomas Listar, Thomas Legare, John Lersesne, Henry Lybart, John Michael, John Minott, sen., John Moncrief, Charles M’Donald, John Minott, jun, Samuel Miller, Stephen Moore, George Monck, Jonathan Morgan, Abraham Marietto, Solomon Milner, John Netsville, jun., Philip Prioleau, James Poyas, Job Palmer, Joseph Robinson, Daniel Rhody, Joseph Righton, William Snelling, John Setvenson, jun, Paul Snyder, Abraham Seavers, Ripley Singleton, Samuel  Scottowe, Stephen Shrewsbury, John Saunders, James Toussiger, Paul Tayler, Sims White, James Wilkins, Isaac White, George Welch, Benjamin Wheeler, William Wilkie, John Welch, Thomas Yoe.

On board the schooner Pack-Horse.

John Barnwell, Edward Barnwell, Robert Barnwell, William Branford, John Brake, Thomas Cochran, Joseph Cray, Robert Dewar, William Desaussure, Thomas Eveleigh, John Edwards, jun., John W. Edwards, William Elliott, Benjamin Guerard, Thomas Grayson, John Gibbons, Philip Gadsden, John Graves, William H. Hervey, John B. Holmes, William Holmes, Thomas Hughes, James Heyward, George Jones, Henry Kennon, John Kein, Stephen Lee, William Mayer, GEORGE MOSSE, William Neusville, John Owen, Charles Pinkeny, jun, Samuel Smith, William Wigg, Charles Warham, Thomas Waring, sen., Richard Waring, John Waters, David Warhyam, Richard Yeadon

Published by order of Congress,



Married, on Thursday evening, the 2d inst on Black Swamp, by the Rev. Alexander Scott, Mr. ROBERT G. NORTON, to the amiable Miss SARAH MOSSE, daughter of the late Dr. George Mosse, of that place.


George Mosse vs. Henrietta Trezevant – Judgement for the plaintiff ninety dollars & Costs. (From the Savannah court records)

George Mosse vs. Henrietta Trezevant – On the 31st day of May 1805 appeared Charles Harris Esqr. Attorney in fact for the defendant in the above case who paid Costs & produced Alexander Netherclift as her Security for the absolute payment of the debt according to the Judiciary Law on the stay of execution for sixty days.

Henry Schely vs. George Mosse – Judgment for Plaintiff, Forty three Dollars, four cents & Costs.


In the year 1794, Messrs. Jonathan Clarke, George Mosse, Thomas Polhill, and David Adams, proposed the erection of a house of worship for the Baptists, in Savannah. The whole number of Baptists did not exceed eight or ten. About this time the Rev. Mr. Reese, a Baptist minister from Wales, visited Savannah, and encouraged the design.


In 1800 the church formed a constitution for its government, which was signed by H. Holcombe, F. Holcombe, George Mosse, Phebe Mosse, Joseph Hawthorn, Mary Hawthorn, Elias Robert, Mary Robert, Rachel Hamilton, Esther McKenzie, Elisabeth Stoney, and Martha Stephens.

(My note: Phebe is Phoebe Norton Mosse, Elias Robert is possibly the brother of Sarah Robert Lawton and John Robert, Esther McKenzie and Elisabeth Stoney are two of the Mosse daughters.)

We wonder what else we will find out about this pioneering family.

The Gifford Rosenwald School

April 1, 2017

Sugar and I are on our way from Point A to Point B, and we see a sign that tells us that there is a historical marker coming ahead.

Because we are two crazy kids out on a history mystery, we are compelled to pull over. Ignore the bread maker on the back seat.

Wearing eye-ish makeup and everything. YoursTruly, not Sugar.

Gifford is a wide spot in the road with a blinking yellow light. I would say “flashing” yellow light, but that might imply urgency, and there is nothing urgent happening in this sleepy little place on a Sunday morning. There’s a police car on the side of the road, parked in a spot at just such an angle that you would suspect that you are being surveilled and quite probably being ticketed for being nonlocal. However, the police car was unmanned, and was simply a decoy. There was no donut shop in sight. I would guess it was the only police vehicle in the hamlet, and the community got every ounce of usefulness from the car’s prescence.



Gifford Rosenwald School, sometimes Gifford Colored School, was built here in 1920-21. It was one of 500 rural schools built for African-American students in S.C., funded in part by the Julius Rosenwald Foundation from 1917 to 1932. The first of four Rosenwald Schools in Hampton County, it was a two-room frame building constructed at a cost of $3,225.

(Continued on other side)

(Continued from other side)

Gifford Rosenwald School had two to five teachers for an average of almost 200 students a year in grades 1-9 until it closed in 1958. That year a new school serving Gifford and Luray, built by an equalization program seeking to preserve school segregation, replaced the 1921 school. The old school has been used for church services and Sunday School classes since 1958.


This is the first reference that I have seen to “separate but equal” that wasn’t in a book or on the news. This is powerful stuff. I didn’t know that there were actual schools built to reinforce this notion. It seems odd to me that there was already a school in place for black children, but another one was built, perhaps to a different standard and modern construction, in order to maintain “separate but equal”. That is not to say that the old school didn’t need to be replaced. And now I want to know what the companion white school looked like and where it was.

Jim Dumas: “My Roommate is a Native of Paris”

March 15, 2017

Jim Dumas was a writer of news and features in the Paris Post-Intelligencer. He was recovering from a heart attack at a health care facility in East Tennessee when he met my father, his roommate, who was recovering from a broken hip. 

Is or isn’t this a small world?

After a serious heart attack Jan. 6, after which stint surgery was successful, I was moved to NHC Farragut for skilled care. My roommate, who stands 6-foot-6, was recovering from a broken hip. 

One of his sons, Bob, who lives in New York, is down looking after him. It wasn’t until an inquiry from my daughter that I learned the patient, Roy Rawls, was born and raised in Paris, as was I. 

Roy started naming off a list of his kinfolks a mile high, including the late Hip Rawls, who for many years operated a service station on North Market and Rison streets, as well as Curtis Rawls. 

He recalled other friends and relatives who worked with the railroads and Paris Manufacturing. His son recalls Mule Day and the World’s Biggest Fish Fry. 

“Paris was a friendly town and a good place to live,” Bob Rawls recalled. 

The Rawls moved to Lenoir City after World War II started and Roy found jobs with TVA and Oak Ridge’s atomic plant. 

Then he interviewed a sleep -talker. 

Seldom have I heard of a writer putting together a story based on what a sleep-talked said. Move over, Ripley. I’ve been there, done that. 

In the last column, I wrote of a spry retired coon-hunter named Roy Rawls, a Paris native. I never knew Roy when we grew up in Henry County, for he moved his family to Lenoir City and a job with TVA. He still has some relatives in Henry County, including Joy and Lowell Brisendine. 

From the talk of his relatives, he must have been a great hunter. From his sleep talk, Roy had to have been a crafty man at the art of treeing the coon. 

In his sleep, Roy described his coon hunts as real life, not excluding the usual jargon beloved by hunters. 

“Good thing we brought Old Tom, ’cause I don’t think this new pup is going to do the job,” I heard him say. 

Roy was upset because a man who had promised to deliver two good dogs at the railroad depot hadn’t kept his part of the bargain. “Hard to count on this new breed of hunter,” he mourned. 

“They’ve got that coon on the run, and I hear Old Tom at the front… can always count on Tom.”

I heard him say: “Paul, don’t let Old Mag get too far asunder from the pack; we could lose the coon.”

“The weather’s somewhat colder than last, and that bids for a good haul if the snow holds.”

The hunters – probably numbering four – talked about their next hunt and who would provide the truck. About midnight, they headed home with four coons treed. 

“We’ll add these to the supper we’re having next month. Hope some more hunters show up next, or they might get left out of a good feed.”

Rawls also talked about some of the years he worked with TVA, continuing to make reference to snakes. That’s where we’ll cut off. 

Anyway, try to interview someone’s sleep sometimes. 

Mr. Dumas passed away in 2005, and as a coincidence, it was in Lenoir City, where my father lived most of his life.  Thank you, Mr. Dumas, for sharing these stories of my father. 

O Winter: Where Art Thou?

March 9, 2017

I love springtime. 

I don’t love springtime in February and March. 

Springtime is weeks early this year. Weeks!

It makes me worry that the summer temperatures are going to be unbearable. 

The azaleas in Savannah are said to be in their prime. 

That alone is generally reason enough to go, but Savannah has entered a phase, like Charleston, where the tourist season is year-round. Annnnd it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, so the foliage will be prime for party-goers, not that this will be the prime reason to go when there’s drinking to be had. 

We have only had 2 nights this “winter” that hovered at freezing. 

It appears that the warm weather is here to stay. 

Sugar’s sawhorses are happy about it, because they have a plan, which involves a cat…

Good-bye, Winter. Maybe we’ll see you next year. 

FlowerFest 2016

January 19, 2017

Y’all know what time it is. We had actually planned our FlowerFest for the week prior, but changed our dates when we decided that we needed to see Mama Florrie instead. So glad we did, and got to see her one last time. 

If you have followed along in our past FlowerFests, then seriously, you could probably skip this series of blog posts. It’s pretty much the same, yet each year has its quirks. 

Like this year, we scored some awesome mistletoe from a tree that was blown down by Hurricane Matthew in Laurel Grove. 

Annnnnd we’re off…