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