Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Charles Rather Alderman at large...Edwards Mississippi

For some reason,the pictures are not in order. So beginning at the end....
The above is Mrs. Rather congradulating her husband.
Mayor Perkins shaking hands with the new alderman at large Chasles Rather.

Judge Ivory Britton swearing in Charles Rather, our newest town board member.

Hinds county Gazette
Christiansen's Comments

Non voters want and demand their rights and privileges, but it is said, “If you don’t Vote, You can’t complain.”

Well, fact is….This is America….therefore even if we don’t vote, we are nevertheless allowed the same privileges of those who do vote. This is America so Everybody in America entitled to representation, the young, the old, all races, all religious faiths, even the unborn are represented.
One of the privileges, we have as Americans, is to disagree with those who are elected to offices…someone who has never cast a ballot, for what ever reason…In many cases it is just because we do not want to be inconvenienced, has the same right to protest, to whine and complain…. as those who do vote. And the same right to call elected officials to beg for help.

I said that to say this: when we do not make the effort to vote, when we do not take any responsibility .…. we are free loaders, we are parasites, we want, demand and expect something for nothing.….Americans who do not vote are riding on the backs of those Americans who do vote, of the citizens who see voting not just as a right, an honor and a privilege…but also as a responsibility …..it is by the voting and holding our elected officials accountable for their action that American is free.

I am on my soap box this morning because , we in Edwards had an election, December 2, to fill the Alderman at large seat, left vacant by the late Robert Jack Smith …Lots of folks did not vote…The election did come up with out much notice so maybe that is why…But there will be a run off Tuesday December 23...so we get another chance to have our say in our city’s government.

Another thing, when we vote especially, in our local elections it shows the men and women who are willing to take on the job of directing our cities, that we do appreciate them and their willingness to serve. Please vote.

I know you have noticed, you just can’t buy good souse anymore….. you have noticed….Right? As we speak I am making a batch of ….I am thinking this might be my best batch yet….I added a bit more vinegar….In a couple of hours it will be set , I can cut off a slice, lay it on a cracker and I will know for sure.

That’s it from here…201 Luster Street….call if you need me.
PS if you have a good souse recipe email it to me, GloriaChristiansen@gmail.com my goal for this winter is to perfect the perfect souse recipe.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanksgiving in Raymond Mississippi

This is the Hales home on Main Street in Raymond Mississippi, where I enjoyed lunch Thanksgiving day. Of course this picture was taken last Spring.

HCG December 4 2008
Thanksgiving day, I was invited to have lunch with the Hales, Cliff, and Nancy, and their children Carolyn, Joel and Blanton over in Raymond. This time of year…well, all through the year…but especially at season, the holiday season, I become nostalgic for a time that has passed by…wishing today’s children could have the uncomplicated childhood I knew…..a life lived at a slower pace…Such as when I was a kid, the whipped cream on top of the pie, came from a cow that had been milked that morning…..ran through the separator on my aunt and uncles back porch and whipped fresh for lunch. …It didn’t come from an aerosol can.

I drove over to Raymond ….The drive was beautiful, there was still lots of fall color, I pulled up and parked in front of the Hale’s home, a beautiful old home, two story, with a wrap around porch, dressed in white wicker furniture. The children were in the front yard playing kick ball with their grandparents Keith and Peggy McKey, watching from the porch swing was Keith’s mother, Carolyn McKey.

Little Carolyn came to greet me…I was carrying birdhouse, a hostess gift, I handed it down to her, Her eyes lit up, “We get to keep this?” It was just a simple thing I had made in the shop, but she was thrilled… I spoke to the ball players on the lawn and the one fan in the swing…Then went into the house passed through the front room, into the dinning room, the table was beautifully set , I found Nancy, in the kitchen, pretty as a picture, calmly engaged in preparing a meal for her family and guests. .

A colleague of Cliff’s, Tony, joined in the festivities of the day…Tony is originally from Oregon, so this was his first time to experience a southern Thanksgiving meal…Tony being from Oregon I doubted he was familiar with cornbread dressing…so anxiously I watched Tony, waiting for his reaction when took his first fork full of cornbread dressing….The Southern Thanksgiving meal is not all that different from the Midwestern ones I am familiar with…..except for the dressing…..I like it now, But years ago when I took my very first bite of cornbread dressing…I just about could not swallow it…I was so startled by the texture. But Tony liked it straight away.!

The meal was lovely, as was the company. When I left the Hales to come back to Edwards, I dove up Main Street, looped around the square and passed back by Cliff and Nancy’s…as I passed I saw the children on the lawn playing, men folks on the front porch….dogs romping in the yard You all, right then and there I had an epiphany! I came to realize, A 2008 Mississippi thanksgiving was not all that much different then a Nebraska Thanksgiving in 1948. On Thanksgiving Day Carolyn, Joel and Blanton’s they were surrounding by family, food and friends….……

And ,the Hale children when they grow up, no matter where they go, they will take their very own memories….of Thanksgivings spent on the front porch, the sound of screen doors opening and closing, dogs out in the yard catching Frisbees, and of course cornbread dressing. They do not need my old memories about cream separators…they have their very own.

The Hale Children may or may not recall my being with them this thanksgiving and that’s okay….But I can think of an honor no greater then to be part of someone’s childhood memories….

Love to all and call if you need me

Friday, November 28, 2008

Harley's Funeral and the decorating of the Christmas tree

Harley Loved parties!

Jac and Suz

Harley was laid to rest in the rose bed.

Harley as he was at visitation....

Christiansen's comments
Hinds County Gazette

November 27 2008

Much has happened since I last was here. Our poodle, Harley, who was at least 16 years old, had to be put to sleep Monday two weeks ago.

John found Harley, abandoned, on the Natchez trace, one hot afternoon, in July of 1994. We were puzzled as to why, because, when John found him he was groomed, well fed, and showed no signs of ever being abused. But with in a very short time, we understood why he had been dumped beside the road. . Harley was not a good traveler….He loved to ride …but he barked and whined the whole time he was in the car. John and I soon came to believe his first family took him on a vacation…thought he would get tired of barking and whining and shut up on after while, but he didn't and they took the yapping as long as they could and just had to put him out, before they lost their minds….So we had no hard feelings toward his first family. ….And Our family were blessed with years of enjoyment from Harley’s faithful companionship.

Then one of my daughter ’s family cats, Baby Girl, had to be put to sleep this week, she was almost 18 years old, they had had her very nearly as long a they had Garrett. Baby girl’s passing made me conscious of the fact that my three cats, Boo, Scout and Harper Lee could out live me. If my cats live to be 20, I will be in my 80s…Elderly animals are not easy to tend to…you have to love them to deal with their little messes, piles and puddles for sure. …and Harley eating manners became quite untidy in his old age… food morsels dropped every where and he upchucked a good bit …his breath was just awful.

When I die who would take of my elderly cats and dogs? I would not want them to go to a shelter.. So I have made the decision will not be getting any more pets…and pray I outlive the animals I have.

I have good news!…I spent a bit of time the last couple of weeks being tested, scanned, and probed….There is no sign of cancer any where…I get the port out Tuesday! That chapter of my life is Over!

My Christmas tree is up and decorated! My buddies, Jacqueline and Suzanne, came over and did it for me…They were feeling sorry for me…what with Harley's death and me having to endure those tests. Actually it was Jacqueline who did the decorating…Suz had medical malady of her own, resulting in a big bo bo on her pointy finger, it was bandaged up in such a way, that it made the entire hand nearly unusable….But Suz did her part…she was a great encourager to Jac. Decorating a Christmas tree, is tedious job, but Jac brought a CD of Christmas music, So with music playing, and Suz’s encouraging words, her giggles of delight and big smiles of approval…It wasn’t long until the tree was up and lit and beautiful.

Me? What did I do while my friends were decorating my Christmas tree? Not much....I did get up to refill a glass now and then....But, mostly, I just sat there with my feet up,... watching… and Thanking God for friends…....

Love to all

Call if you need me…..


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Relief At Last! Relief at Last!

Hinds County Gazette
Christiansen's Comments

Relief at last!! Relief at last!!

It is over ! After months and months of endless campaigning….Finally It is over! America has selected it’s new president. An African American, Barack Obama. Mississippi, is perceived by outsiders, as a racist state, gave him 43 percent of their votes….not a majority, but still and all when you consider 37 percent of Mississippi is black, There had to be some cross over voting…..probably on both sides.

Wednesday morning I had several calls, wondering how things were down here in Mississippi. I don’t what were they expecting…Maybe we‘d try to secede from the union, because we have a black president elect or we would rioting in the streets.

My world is rather small and my associations are mostly with white folks, probably McCain voters…but when it was over and the votes were counted…Naturally there was some disappointment…but I heard not one word about race…it was where he stands on some of the issues…

This is what I want the world to know about us white folks in Mississippi , we are not in a rage, about an African American being our new president….We have put the soon to be first family on our prayer list and we have moved on…to work, to school, into the woods to deer hunt….And of course to the Mistletoe Market.

If I was guessing, I would say Mississippi is more willing to get along then some other places…The races in Mississippi have their differences that is for sure….But unlike other places in the country, here in Mississippi both sides are well aware of those differences….Both sides know it will take time to resolve those differences….and realistically there maybe some difference that will never be fully resolved.

However I said all of that, to say this, if all the world got along as well as we do in Mississippi, it would be a far better place. The black folks in Mississippi know that it is highly unlikely that a white person is going to vote for a Democrat of any race for president…but that does not keep them from chatting with us while standing in line at the polls waiting our turn to vote… asking about each other’s families.

Our differences do not keep the white farmer from cranking up his tractor to pull a black family out of a ditch…or a black man from helping a stranded white lady change a tire.
But you will be happy to know…Both black and white Mississippians have made great advances in one area….They are both much more tolerate of Yankees. So come on down…for a visit.

Love to all

Call if you need me


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Edwards Baptist Church

Edwards, Mississippi

Keenager Lunch at the Baptist church

We are beginning to gather....left side

right side

The Ragaroos from Raymond entertained us

The nice ladies of the serving line

The Ragaroos

The Ladies of the EdwardsBaptist Chruch put on a luncheon every fall for the keenagers in and around the comunity, we all look forward to the event.....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Robert Jack Smith Alderman at Large

Robert Jack Smith Alderman at large passed away Saturday.


Cemetery Clean up Day...In Edwards

Sunday afternoon October 19, I write for the Hinds County Gazette the following:

We here in rural Hinds county are holding up well, considering all that is activities, we have been attending. The month of October is one, of perhaps only two, that the weather is reliability pleasant enough to plan large out door events for great masses of people. The Mississippi State fair, the Canton Flea market, the Old Court House Flea Market in Vicksburg, Raymond has just wrapped up two weeks of pilgrimage events. There have been country church homecomings, school carnivals etc.

Yesterday was Cemetery Cleanup Day here in Edwards. Our leader and chief organizer Mr. Knocky Askew earlier this month was having serious trouble with his back, he had pain that had become quite unbearable. So early on there had been a bit of panic regarding Cemetery Day, rampant speculating, questioning if Fall cemetery Day would even take place this time. And there was much whispering amongst us, wondering what would happen if Knocky could no longer over see the cemetery? What if his health forced him to hand over the plot maps? and that jig, constructed of 2x4s, used by the men digging the graves to establish the width and length of opening? It was undisputed that it would take a least three people to replace Knocky.
Knocky was in the hospital several days, and had a procedure to relieve the pain….We were all tickled when Knocky arrived, his son, Dan, brought a golf cart to the cemetery and from that golf cart Mr. Knocky was able to over see, advise and make suggestions on the work going on at all corners of the cemetery. The pain in Knocky’s back is still there quite a nuisance, it is a lingering, nagging pain, but, is no longer unbearable, Knocky Askew is a very special man.

Then yesterday evening the Dan Mashburns over in Bolton, held their much looked forward to, annual ‘Pig Pick’n’….many of the folks attending the Pig pick’n had also been to cemetery day, or the toured homes on Raymond’s pilgrimage.

There was no is complaining for sure…some as they were leaving the Pig Pick’n were already talking about the fish fry they would be attending come Sunday afternoon.

With Sadness in my heart I report:
Edwards Alderman at large, Robert Jack Smith, died Saturday…Robert Jack had been fighting cancer for a very long time. Mr. smith was an Edwards Icon, after retiring from Cal Maine, he was a familiar sight around town…if there was a water leak he was at the location watching, seeing that the job was job right.

Over the years Robert Jack was my go to guy at city hall….he never dodged me, and I could always get him on the phone and he listened until I had all my piece said…. and as far as I know, he never lied to me, he did not make promises he could not keep. Robert Jack will be missed, in fact I had been missing him for a while, I noticed he had not been at any of the recent water leaks…I meant to ask about him….I didn’t and now I am sorry…..I would liked to have told my friend good bye.

Love to all, call if you need me.

My grandson, Garrett, that was in the car wreck…he is doing ok…he has to go to rehab three times a week and he will not be able to go back to school until January…but he is ok…thanks very much for your concern and your prayers.


Friday, October 17, 2008

What Next!? 'Christiansen's Comments' Hinds County Gazette

Late Sunday afternoon October 12.….It was another beautiful day here in mid Mississippi…
I write this: for the Hinds County Gazette’s Christiansen’s Comments,
to be published October 16 2008

Last week, banks were failing, markets were crashing….not just here in the USA but all over the world. There were Many heroic attempts to fix the markets and financial system, so far none have worked. I feel sure by the time the stock market opens again on Monday… they will have come up with yet another scheme to test.

But I see some silver linings in this. First, I heard it said many times while watching this thing unfold on the TV, when talking about folks loosing their retirement money…. “ corporations only obligation to is their share holders” , They do not operate these multi billion dollar companies for the greater good of all…It is bottom line only. And that is how they should be managed. But did they forget ? It is not just the bizillionaires who have lost money buying stock. There were a lot of “Main Streeters” who have their pension funds, their mutual funds, their 401Ks invested in the markets. Maybe when this over, just maybe, Wall Street will consider Main Street when making investment decisions and chose less risky endeavors, for retirement funds….

Why did we let them do in the first place? Because we trusted these people, They knew what they were doing…they were the professionals. Fact is, there were a lot of snake oil salesmen out there and we bought snake oil, in the hopes of getting rich..
The good I see coming from this, we may become a more cautious nation….if we are told we are being sold a red, ripe, juicy apple but, it smells like a rotten egg,…we may stop, take a minute to ask our selves do we believe our eyes or our nose.
Second good thing I am thinking might come out of this fiasco is, we may take this country back to quality. All the “Experts” seem to agree that in the end it will be the consumer , that will bring America’s economy back to prosperity . But Since our money will be tighter , we may be more selective in our choices…we may no longer buy that expensive coffee maker that self destructs in a month or so. We may not want those slacks that pill when they are washed, the shoes that come unglued in the rain….the lawn mower that won’t crank etc. Therefore to sell us goods, companies may have to take a few dollars off the bottom line and put those dollars to work making/importing quality products.

Another good thing might be….When the dust settles, the big companies may see they have to do better with their customer relations… They may have to take some dollars off the bottom line and hire a few more people to answer the phones…knowledgeable people who can actually help.…I for one ,am sick and tired of being left on hold for great lengths of time and in the end there is no resolution to my problem.

The forecast is many businesses are going to fail before this thing is resolved…..I have great hopes those who are left will be better…perhaps put some effort in to training their workers so when we ask a question, somebody.. some where in the building will have an answer…companies, the Wal-Marts, the home depots, the phone folks, etc have not treated their customers well…but we like trained rats have kept buying…if they didn’t have what we needed, we bought what they had…and made do the best way we could.

Maybe the companies left standing ,… Will go back to basics, sell what they know…I do not need my grocery store to sell TVs….or my drug store to sell clothes.

Young people do not remember , back in the day , a man could make a living for his family working in shoe store, selling shoes…A shoe store sold shoes…that’s all they did, I don‘t think they even sold socks…..they fitted the shoe to your foot…if your heel was narrow you could get shoes to fit! A man could make a living pumping gas and fixing tires. …and mamas stayed home. Those days are gone for good I am afraid, I was just pointing out far the pendulum has swung….jobs that are looked down on now ….Jobs nobody wants…. not that many years ago, men could earn a living wage doing. “Pride goes before the Fall“ any job may look good before this thing is runs it‘s course.

Even the most optimistic economists, business reporters and Wall Streeters, are saying it is going to take a very long time to come out of this financial muddle, some predicting as long as a decade. Wall Street and Main Street are in for some tough times
Only the Lord knows for sure what the out come will be.

Who knows, I may have to take in boarders…instead of having some one clean my house, I may be out on the street looking for a job cleaning a house. Maybe I will have to raise chickens and sell eggs…. No matter what happens, I pray I do not become a whiner…. I can’t stand a whiner.
Call if you need me


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Raymond Mississippi Has it going on!!!!

October 7 lecture by author Minor Ferris Buchanan
on his book
Holt Collier,His life, His Roosevelt, His Hunts And The Origin of the Teddy Bear

Hinds County court House In Raymond, Mississippi

Prominent Raymond Citizen, Fred Brooks enjoying the reception after the Lecture At
The home of Mayor Isla Tullos....

Author arriving at the Mayors beautiful home on the Square.

For more information on other planned events visit the Friends of Raymond at

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wall Street Main Street

Just Beyond my shrubs is Main Street, Edwards Mississippi

Christiansen’s Comments
Hinds county Gazette 10-09-08

America’s economic crisis has been…..well, it is like a train wreck you know what’s fixing to happen, is going to be horrific…. you don’t want to watch, but you can’t help yourself. ….I was glued to the TV Friday as the House of representatives were getting ready to vote on the Bail Out Bill. Before the vote the chatter from the TV commentators and politicians was mostly positive, this bail out is just what the nation needs…..the stock market seemed to agree….the Dow was on the rise …over 200 points. An exuberant news person on the floor of the stock exchange, alerted us that when there were enough votes to pass the bail out package, “there will be a great cheer from the traders“ , because this is the medicine Wall Street needed to save us all!

I was bothered, as I watched, waiting for the vote, by all of the folks who were saying “There is a disconnect between Wall street and Main Street…Main street Just doesn’t get it!” they were bellowing this because the polls showed voters were outraged by the Bail Out Bill.
As I am not Wall Streeter, so I must be Main Street, and I am the first to admit, I am not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I did pass high school Latin…which is no small accomplishment! And because of Brain’s experience with Latin, Brain believes, if somebody had taken the time to explain to me just how this Bail Out plan was going to work, I could have understood.

Some these people said, that Main Street would get on board when they couldn’t get a car loan, or a mortgage. Another guy suggested that if Main Street didn’t cooperate they would be in soup lines. Now there were conflicting ideas on what Main Street should do….One guy said, if the consumer didn’t start buying again soon or this Bail Out would be for not. …another opinion was belt tightening was in order.

And when oil prices began to drop, the folks on the TV screen (By this time it was unclear to me who were reporters and who were Wall Streeters,….everybody behaved as though they had a dog in the hunt, there was not much impartial reporting happening) They were seeing the price of oil dropping as a bad thing. If you remember not all that many days ago rising oil prices was a bad thing…because the consumer had to buy high priced gas, therefore he did not have as much money to spend on goods…Boats, cars and all of those ship loads of stuff coming from China…inflation was on the way!!!

I did learn something about short sellers by watching the TV all day Friday. I had heard the term but did not have a clue as to what short selling was all about. But what I learned has me scratching my thick head. As I comprehend it , short sellers borrow stock, millions of shares… they then sell that borrowed stock in hopes of driving the stock price down, they then turn around and buy back the stock, at the lower price and they have made a profit!! There is some question if maybe short selling has had something to do with the volatility, Wall Street has been experiencing….well duh! Short selling has be suspended for a time…

In the same short selling conversation …the subject of Hedge Funds came up…hedge funds are designed to make money in an up market or down market, they were skimpy with the details as to how they manage that seemly impossible feat. But they did hint that these hedge guys are a stealthy, sort of the Darth Vaders of the financial world….And they did warn , if hedge funds start crashing, we haven’t seen nothing yet.

As I continued to watch the events of the day unfold, there was “Breaking News” … two banks Citi and Wells Fargo are in a fight, they are both wanting to buy a failed bank, Wachovia, a bank that has billions in bad debt,…..Now to me and my financially unsophisticated self, that just don’t make good sense…..unless the buyer winds up getting great piles of tax payer money…tax free …..because of this bail out package….

The vote finally came….I did not see the predicted cheer…when the vote was over and Wall Street had been bailed out,. What I did see was the traders immediately turned from the giant TV monitors, and began selling stock …the market had been up, going in to the vote, but, after the vote it began to tumble. At the end of the day the Dow had dropped 157 points. The TV people were at a loss to explain the happening at the stock exchange…some began to speculate that this 700 billion was not enough.

I am not clever enough to know if the congress has done the right thing by passing this Bail out Bill. But I do know money has not been the answer to fixing our public schools…seems no matter how much money is poured in to the school system….the situation just gets worse.

In light of recent events, I thought of Dolly Parton and words she spoke years ago, I think maybe on the Johnny Carson show, …Dolly said, “If we don’t humble ourselves, the Lord will do it for us.”

From this financial crisis may come the humbling of America.

We have had a fantastic ride….we may now have to pony up and pay for that ride.

Love to all
Call if you need me.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hinds County Gazette...Christiansen's Comments..Thursday October 02 2008

HCG October 02 2008
The week has not been uneventful. As you know the first of presidential debates between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama was held at Ole Miss this past Friday, and because of the debate, Thursday and Friday’s classes were canceled, giving the kids a four day weekend.

So, because of the debate, Grandson Garrett, a freshman at Ole Miss, left Wednesday afternoon to come back to Madison to see his folks, somewhere around Durant his car left the road and rolled over ten times…I don’t know who was counting, but there were lots of witnesses to the accident, one man told Angela, Garrett’s car looked like a crushed coke can. Garrett’s car thankfully did not roll in to the path of any other vehicles, his was the only car involved.

The first lady who got to him, happened to be a nurse, she asked Garrett his name…he didn’t know it...but he asked the lady if she would call his mother, he was able to tell her the phone number, but did not know his name, Bless his Heart……many kind people stopped to help Garrett.

Well, I was already out done with John McCain for saying he was not coming to Mississippi for the debate. We in Mississippi may not be up to snuff on the latest fads and fashions and we may not be as sophisticated as they are in McCain’s home state of Arizona or his place of employment, Washington DC ….but , we of the South, what we do know, is our manners and we know it is just rude, not to show up, when your hosts have gone to so much trouble, not to mention the expense.

What time you show up for a Mississippi event you have been invited to, well, that is another story, because, rules of etiquette differ depending on what part of Mississippi you happen to be in…. you can, I am told, show up late in the social circles of North Jackson, quite late in fact. However, here in Edwards we expect you to be on time, if you are late, we will be polite, but you run the risk of not being invited again.

When I got the news of Garrett accident, I stated out loud, “McCain better come to Mississippi or I am really going to be mad!” He did come, the debate took place, I did mean to watch, but I was exhausted and fell asleep. Why is it that sitting at a hospital, doing nothing, makes you so tired, and sitting on the front porch, doing nothing is so relaxing?

They brought Garrett back to Jackson, to the University Hospital Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, he went in to surgery, when I walked in to the hospital I did not know what I would find. Garrett is an only child, so I fully expected to find his mom and dad, crying, wringing their hands, and puddles of tears on the waiting room floor. But they weren’t… they were thankful, no news from the doctors put them in despair…Garrett was in surgery 5 hours, every update that came out of the surgery room, they were more thankful….he had an injured shoulder and his arm had to have a steel plate, it was broken so badly…Garrett may have to have another surgery…..But no matter, they smiled happily and thanked God.

Angela and Kenny had their boy…Their boy was broken and bruised…But, their boy was alive….Many mommies and daddies go to bed every night, their hearts filled with memories of a child that is no longer with them.
Love to all

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I didn't write a Column for the Gazette last week...I was busy!

Feeding cats

Picking my last tomatoes...

Picking up limbs and sticks....

And baking an apple pie!

Good week here at 201!


Sunday, September 7, 2008


Preparing for Gustov....

First signs of Gustov

But we were still smiling

Finnally after days of rainy and cloudy days, there was sun

on the sun porch.

HCG September 4 2008
I am writing this on Sunday morning, August 31, hurricane Gustov is in the gulf of Mexico headed to the Louisiana coast. It is a category 3 right now.

I have done everything I can think to do to get ready. Yesterday I filled my truck and the gas cans with fuel, when Katrina hit, there was not a vehicle on the place, not my car, not the old truck, not even a lawn mower that had enough gas to do anything with…except Johns car, he had a full tank, not because Katrina was coming, John always had a full tank of gas…he regularly lectured the kids and I, “You don’t have to wait until the engine starts to sputter to stop for gas.” Needless to say if we ran out of gas we did not call him…He would be very grumpy. Now that John is gone I do keep gas in my car…I have said many times I listen to him much better now, then I ever did when he was alive….he isn’t here anymore to get me out of my predicaments, so I had to change my lackadaisical ways.

I have got candles and flashlights on the ready, I have lots of canned food…very little in my frig or freezer…since Katrina I do not Buy! Buy! Buy! just because it is on sale…my freezer was stuffed when Katrina blew in to Edwards and turned our lights off…what a waste…I said I was not going to do that again and I haven’t….in fact my freezer stays unplugged most of the time.
I went out this morning and got the front porch ready, took down the ferns, brought in my house plants, laid the furniture down, all I have left to do is set the swing on the floor…I will leave that until last, so I can sit out there until the strong winds arrive.

I have kept my laundry done up…My basket is empty…when Katrina hit, I had laundry piled up every where…I don’t remember why because, I usually do a load or two everyday…..but what ever the circumstances, I had baskets of sheets, and towels, jeans, and t shirts….it was very depressing to look at…how long was the electricity out? Nearly Two weeks wasn’t it? Far too long to have to look at piles of soiled laundry.

I am off to Church now…

I’m back…stopped by the grocery store while I was out very busy, many buggies in the isles…but it was not chaotic. Folks were calm and polite…not pushy. The drama seemed to be at their gas pumps…folks trying to back in to gas lines..lines were quitw long

This might be our last day with out lights for a while…..So now I have put my electricity conservation plan on hold , I have pushed all of the buttons my air conditioners cranking out cold air…I have my water heater going too…I am going to take a long hot luxurious bath tonight…and tomorrow I will take a long hot bath every 3 or four hours…until the lights go out…

Call if you need me

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Christiansen's Comments Hinds County Gazette...."Brain" has been thinking...

My 1920's Kitchen and bathroom.

HInds County GazetteAugust 28 2008

Brain has been thinking again…..
In the span of one generation we have went from one car families to everybody has a car…many families have more vehicles then drivers…at one time we did here at 201.
And TVS most homes have a TV for every watcher….I have 3 hooked to cable….

And it seems the smaller families have gotten the bigger and grander the houses. And some of the bathrooms in these houses are as big as bedrooms….the showers can spray water from 3 and four places….…Does time spend in one of those luxurious spa bathrooms equal money spent to build them? I imagine if I had a big gigantic bathroom I would enjoy it. But not ever experiencing such extravagance, I am having a very hard time imagining what one might be doing in these bathrooms to warrant such a grand space.

I watch Home and Garden TV sometimes, they have this show that takes us though the process of folks picking out and buying a house….I can not believe what some of these people say as they are looking at these homes…in nice, well maintained homes they will say things like….”We would have to gut this bathroom, there is not but one sink.”, Or “these kitchen cabinets will have to be replaced” because they do not fit in with “Our life style”. On the inside, many of those buildings appear more like furniture showrooms then homes.

We also have in the same generational span have turned our schools from centers of learning and community involvement into, I don’t know what. But many are no longer safe. Schools resemble prisons more then places to absorb knowledge.

The city of Jackson in a generation has went from a quiet southern city…to where now many parts of it come across like a third world country..

Brain has been contemplating on this dilemma for sometime, so I could go on and on…….But I will try to get to point and keep it short, because I know you have things to do. This is what “Brain” wants to know….Have we given up some of our quality of life…when we voluntarily isolate ourselves from family and community?

Sunday evening, my friend ,Peggy and I went to Raymond to the play they were putting on at the Methodist Church…the play was fabulous, talented people of all ages participated, the play was funny and the music outstanding…it was a packed house. It was better then anything I have seen on TV in years.

As I sat there laughing and clapping…my mind was taken back to a time ,when life centered around, church, school and community…..We may not can recapture the past….but several times a year, thanks to the efforts of the community, we can go to the Raymond and recall our own fading memories.

Love to all and call if you need me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Saturday Morning at Jordan's Chapel

HCG August 21 2008
Turning 65 is not the demoralizing occasion that younger people, those 50 and under , imagine. Two friends of mine turned 65 last week. One, a lady, I will not say who…Because Looking at her you would not think it...she is beautiful …she works out so she looks like a million dollars and is having the time of her life. And near the end of the month she will adding new exciting element to her life

Getting older means less responsibilities, we are not having to set up all night waiting for a teen to come home…our children are doing that. We are not having to scrap money together to send kids to college, keeping them in cars and clothes…. our children are doing that.

Past 60 we are perceived to be moderately incompetent. ….therefore much less is expected of us ….. So, up on waking in the morning…my day is mine…I can do what ever I want…play in cement, or splatter paint on paper and call it “Art“ (Sounds a bit like kindergarten doesn‘t it?)…I can cook or clean…But I must confess, I do not regularly choose the latter chores to fill my days

Not that we do not have responsibilities…we do, lots of them…but we are more able to choose what we want to be responsible for. Our cats and dogs….That reminds me of what John said one rather difficult evening years ago, when our kids accused John and I of liking the animals more then them, John responded by telling them, “Well they don’t wreck cars, and they don’t ask for money.”

When younger if you slide past normal even slightly, you were thought of as crazy , as someone who needs to be hemmed up, or medicated…or both . Old people who step off center are described in quite affectionate terms like….eccentric, colorful and zany. In the British TV comedies they refer to them as “Old Dears”

I started out to tell you about the birthday party I went to Saturday Morning…and got lost in all of that babble. Hobbes Freeman, turned 65 and Gordon Cotton and a bunch of friends had a party for him, down at Campbell’s Swamp, a covered dish a hymn singing at Jordan’s Chapel. There was a big crowd….it was standing room only.

It was a perfect day! Well, it was perfect after I got my covered dish decided on I made this lovely roast beef….But after it was sliced it was not so delightful….it was just grey…so made a garlic dressing and poured over it…the roast taste was somewhat improved, but the dressing did nothing to advance it’s appearance, so I mixed in some olives and pickled vegetables…better …But still did not have an appetizing appearance…it needed something.

Then I spotted a large, red, high sided platter, a piece of Phyllis Tagget’s, Southern Fired Pottery, it is very organic and artsy …Hobbes is an artist …I wanted my covered dish to be if not spectacular in flavor… at least look interesting . …..I dumped the grey roast out of the Pyrex casserole into the red platter and voila! My roast turned into a work of art!

Phyllis does neat work…and she is getting in to glass too. I don’t have any of it but, I did see a prototype of a Christmas piece…it was like you were looking down at a farm from an airplane….or maybe even from heaven? Phyllis’s non artist husband Jessie had made it…so it may not have made to cut. I loved it….“Christmas Fields” is what he and I were calling it….
So back to Hobbe’s party, It was perfect ! The music was perfect, a quartet sang old time hymns… unaccompanied ,no piano, no organ…just a little pitch pipe to get them started…Jordans Chapel is officially Methodist Episcopal. Unofficially there is a good bit of Primitive Baptist mixed in. Of course it doesn’t make any difference…it is all Christian…folks who love the Lord and want to sing about Jesus and what he has done for us.

When we get to heaven ,I will be very surprised ,if we are sorted by which particular denomination we were affiliated with here on earth….But if we are, there will be several corrals I can follow my Sheppard into….
Love to all and call if you need me…


Sunday, August 17, 2008

The south without cotton? Could it really happen?….. Is another era about to pass?

HCG August 14 2008
Saturday night it was cool enough I did not have to turn on the air conditioner in the bedroom….I am trying to conserve electricity, I have been hearing terrifying tales concerning recent power bills. … Five and six hundred dollars!!!!

So I am testing out a new scheme that I recently hatched up to save power and money. Last weekend during our power and water outage, I was advised to turn off my electric water heater…it seems that if the heating element comes on and there is no water in the tank…you are running the risk of burning out the element., so I turned it off. I did not turn the heater back on that evening…I took a shower before bed, the water was hot, furthermore the next morning when I went to washing dishes, the water was still so hot, I had to add cool water to keep from scalding myself….So to make a long story short…I am experimenting with just how long I have to let the water heater run to get a day’s supply of hot water…Thirty minutes seems to be plenty long enough. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am easily entertained….I am having great fun.

I did get my electric bill this week…even though the rate had increased…my bill had not gone up! I was tickled…I have all compact florescent bulbs, I no longer need my freezer on a daily bases, so I pulled its plug….when I run the air conditioners I put them on 80. I am a very good girl….Not only am I am saving money! I helping to save the planet! That bill was proof.. my conservation measures were paying off.
I was still busy congratulating my self on a job well done….…. when on the second page of my bill I spotted this statement “Reading is estimated due to animal in yard.” So it is no telling what I really owe.

Yes, that is Peggy Ann and I out ambling around Edwards again…. As many of you know we both have had some health issues, but we are now healthy and ready to hit the pavement again. We are not Olympian fit. But our endurance is great….we can walk as far as we ever could….it just takes a lot longer. Thanks so much for the words of encouragement.
I got a bit homesick for Nebraska, When I saw Corn pickers at work in the fields last week. Here in Mississippi corn seems to be King now…. In just the last couple of years cotton fields have turned to fields of corn.

I am already nostalgic for the sight of a cotton field spreading across the landscape to the horizon., for watching the cotton as the season advances, ….The spring planting, setting it’s blooms , then it bolling out…crop dusters flying low to defoliate the cotton, and the final stage being picked and hauled to the gin.

The south without cotton? Could it really happen?….. Is another era about to pass?
Love to all, and call if you need me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Summer Babble...from Hinds county Mississippi

HCG July 30 2008

Here we are again, smack in the middle of a long hot Mississippi summer…It is not only my cats that are losing their enthusiasm for summer…. The figs are getting ripe, but only the most dedicated fig aficionados are showing much interest….even home grown tomatoes seem to be losing their charm…As I make my way around town, I see red ripe tomatoes still hanging on the vine.

I want to know something…I have resurrection fern growing on the limbs of my pecan trees…well, the other night a big limb fell out of one of the trees, it had rained so the fern was lovely, lush and green on parts of the fallen limb…In fact it was so pretty on two of the biggest logs I had sawn up, I just could not bring myself to throw them on the back of my pickup for the disposal run.

I am thinking on carrying those two logs to the back yard and placing it in the flower bed. Okay now, This is what I want to know…Do the logs have to be alive for the fern to survive? Let me know…or time will tell and I can let you know.

I wish I had something newsy to tell you all….but I know nothing…the biggest event in my week was that limb falling out of the pecan tree. It was a big limb too…very big limb…I am so proud of myself…I sawed it up all by myself. Thanks to the late Mary Floyd and Ms Genie Angelo, two of my gardening heroes.

When I go to thinking an outside job is too difficult for me to take on…I think of Mary and Genie…they, well past the age I am now, did not back off from the physically difficult tasks.
Having said that…I must say this…I often call for help…but once in awhile I like to take on a really hard chore… just to prove to myself, I can still do it, if I have to.
There is something very satisfying about hard physical labor….When I was taking the chemo, work was one of the things I missed the most….I do not mind packing bags of cement, toting rocks, digging holes, sawing limbs…but I do not like dealing with bags of groceries…I do…. but I don’t like it….

call if you need me

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's hot in Central Mississippi! Christiansen's comments,Hinds County Gazette

Painted cncrete leaf....
This cat I could find with out effort on my part.

HCG July 24 2008
How hot is it?!
It is so hot here in central Mississippi, that my cats are no longer concerned with what passes through their yard. My cats before it got so hot would lay, very still, on their bellies in pounce position, fully focused, ready to challenge anything that moved, a falling leaf, a dog’s wagging tail, bugs, butterflies, birds and mice…. Now they just sprawl lazily in the shade, if something does happen to pass their way…the only interest they show is, maybe, a twitch of an ear, or the very tip end of their tails may move slightly.

Big semi trucks are still scraping bottom and getting caught at the top of our new railroad bridge. But with no apparent damage to the bridge…some superficial scuffing is all I could see. I wonder what kind of concrete formula they used…seems to be indestructible….if I had that formula, my cement leaves could quite possibly still be around at the end of time.

I have been busy making and painting my concrete leaves…I have told lots of people they are welcome to come watch…If you were one of those people please come. I am home most of the time…except on Tuesday mornings…that’s when I go to art.

Speaking of art…I finally finish the painting I was doing of the old Railroad bridge…I didn’t like it. And tried to abandon it unfinished, But my instructor BJ Crawford insisted I stick with it ….It is now framed and hanging in here with me….I must say it is growing on me… the frame has improved it greatly.

Egrets have come to town! I don’t ever remember ever seeing Egrets inside the Edwards city limits. Only in the county riding on the backs of cows in pastures. …But recently I had observed several town. Then this week I had one in my very own front lawn…..he was strikingly beautiful…his bright white feathers against the dark green grass. He stayed a short while and was gone…I hope he comes back….I feel sure my golden retriever, Charlie, would not mind carrying him around on his back. Wonder what has happened to make them want to come into town?

The PBS series Antiques Road Show was in Atlanta this past weekend, I love Antiques Road Show…Try never to miss it. I am in hopes, one day, someone will have an item that is worth thousands of dollars and I will have one just like it in the attic.

Sheryl and Cleve Payne, the Queen’s Hill Paynes, had tickets to get in…won’t it be fun if they get on the TV? I asked, but have already forgotten what Sheryl said they were taking. Amanda, Sheryl’s niece, Barbara and Lee Pennebaker’s daughter went too….Surely one of them will get on TV….If one of them does get on and I find out when it is going to air, I will let you know, so you can watch too.

This is the first column on my new computer, Ruby. Ruby is a laptop, I think I like her…I do not ajust to change as readily as I once did…

I did not have Microsoft Office installed on Ruby, so even though I have saved my columns to an external Hard drive from my old computer …I can not open them! To open computer files you have to use the same program that they were created on…. Frustrating! So I am going to have to spend that money and get that Office program put on Ruby…..Life is grand! But not ncomplicated.
Love to all,
Call if you need me….let the phone ring …I maybe be elbow deep in concrete.

I don’t know what the out come of us will be if we don’t get a major rain soon…Last week I was on a farm over in Warren County, the roads going through the corn fields were dust….the first four inches had turned to a fine powder……..When we go with out rain for protracted periods….I think of what mother said as Katrina was blowing out side, “I am not afraid of any kind of weather except drought.” Mother grew up on a dry land farm in western Nebraska……. Pray for rain

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mr. McCain, Mr Obama while you are in Mississippi, I would love for you to drop by for a visit on my front porch...

My Bread pudding....many folks claim it is the best they have ever eaten.
My carmals
My Baklava

My daughter, she will be awake by the time you get here.....

HCG July 3 2008
I use to be a good cook, and didn’t mind saying so….without a doubt I made the best hamburgers ever, and my liver and onions were to die for…I could go on and on. But apparently I do not cook much anymore…You all, last week I went to use the stove…poach some eggs or something…my stove was dusty….Do you hear me dusty! Not greasy from frying…not crusty from pots boiling over…Dusty from lack of use…

Oh! I have been conducting an experiment, (now that I live alone I am noticing, I have begun to do some bizarre stuff. But of course I do not recognize my behavior as unusual, until I open my mouth, then I get that look….you know the one, raise eyebrows and perplexed stare…. that look the old ladies get, who live alone with their out of control cats and spoiled dogs, in big, old, dilapidating houses. What goes around comes around; I gave the look, now I am getting the look…I have gotten the look most recently while explaining my experiment.) Now then, Back to my experiment; as you know the price of everything is going sky high; laundry detergent cost nearly $15 a jug, I went to wondering if I could use liquid dish soap…It takes such a little squirt to get a nice suds. You all, it works! And I get very dirty!….. I am here to report, my overalls are clean as a whistle, except for the blotches and streaks of paint…dish soap does not get paint out but, Tide didn’t ether. My Experiment may be a grand success because of our water over here in Edwards, granted it is brown, but, it is very soft….

Well, it has been settled Mr. Obama or Mr. McCain will be the next president of these United States. I suppose it is too much to ask that it be a civilized race to the White House…. Why can’t each candidate tell us how they stand on the issues and let go of the name calling and mud slinging? Why do they have to holler and yell, scold and scream?

But that vicious strategy of campaigning must work for the candidates or they would not continue to use it. What does that say about us Americans? We the voters? We tune in to the nightly news eagerly, just hoping, to see a bruised and wounded candidate, not only being ripped to pieces by his opponent, but also by the press, and those media people, they rip, and tear with such glee. And the speculating the news people do ….It is shameful!

We are appalled at the thoughts of dog fighting and Cock fighting…It is unlawful….people go to jail for such….But we don’t mind watching, fellow human beings, our candidates being publicly humiliated….by rhetoric which often by the next day or two we find out, was not based in fact.

What astonishes me is that we can get anybody to agree to run for president or any political office for that matter. I have come to wonder how many first-rate, capable, people stay out of politics just because of the brutality of it all….Not just them, but their families are brutalized.

Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama will be debating in Mississippi…Didn’t I hear that? At Ole Miss? Baark, John, while you are you Mississippi I would love to have you drop by my front porch…. come have a glass of mint tea and a green bean sandwich. But Let me hasten to add, I am not inviting you to a debate …I believe you can tell a lot about a person and where they stand by ordinary conversation about everyday happenings.

Before you come to my porch I must warn you…do not try to win my vote by telling me what you are going to give me for free …tell me what you are going to do for this nation and how you plan to get our economy healthy to where we can earn our own way.
Love to all and call if you need me.
Happy Birthday America!!!!!