Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Look at me, I'm an Ice Cream Truck!

Well, I'm a wannabe.... trying to be, ice cream truck.  I've finally decided what I want to be when I grow up.

I found this challenge while reading Max Lucado's How Happiness Happens.


Be the equivalent of an ice cream truck in your world, the person people are glad to see.  Be the voice people want to hear.  Drive the happiness truck.  And see if you aren't the one smiling the most.  Will the world be different because you tried?  You bet!

The challenge is to "alter the joy level of 100 people over the next 40 days."  And to keep a journal to describe the encounters and what I learn along the way.

It sounds like I may have some lessons lined up for me for the next 40 days.

Want to join in?                          

Saturday, June 6, 2020

A Water Hose and a box of Tide laundry detergent

Let's see, where did I leave off last time when reliving my childhood memories?  Oh, yeah,  I was saying that in front of the electric fan was the best (and coolest) place to dry my just-shampooed hair.  (I was probably a teenager before I got my first blow dryer.  It was baby-blue and I loved it!)

And speaking of haircare:  My favorite summer shampoo sessions were outside - with the water hose and a box of Tide laundry detergent.  My hair was (and still is) thick, thick, but fine, fine.  So it pretty much just sheds water instead of it soaking through to my scalp like "normal" hair does, or at least I assume it does.

Our only bathroom had a toilet, a sink, and a bathtub.  No shower.  So shampooing, especially the rinsing, my hair was quite a challenge.  The problem was solved in the summer though.  I would go outside with my towel and whichever shampoo/cleanser I felt like using that day.  I would turn on the faucet and a cold, cold blast of water applied to my head from that green hose was sure to bring down the heat index by at least 15 degrees!

The hose helped me direct the stream of water all the way to my scalp like I could never do in our bathroom sink.  Then, I would lather up; sometimes with Tide detergent (no joke), sometimes with dish detergent (usually lemon-scented JOY), or sometimes the boring normal shampoo for normal hair.

Lather...lather...rinse...rinse...  Squeaky-clean hair.  We never had cream rinse (conditioner nowadays) to follow up with. It makes me cringe now to think of those "harsh" cleaning products in my hair, but I always had shiny, healthy hair as a kid. 

Friday, June 5, 2020

Summer Memories

My summer reads (re-readings actually) are stirring many memories of my childhood. 

The Help, because of the southern setting in the 1960's.

And Ramona Quimby while not a necessarily a southern setting is about a little girl growing up in the 60's.  (And, my current haircut reminds me of Ramona's.  I should never have picked up the scissors. Wah!)

Summer, most especially, is the backdrop for most of my memories.  Memories...some good...well, I choose to remember "mostly" the good ones because that's the way I am.

My Background:

     I was born in July 1959.  (That would make me what?  About 29 now? )   😉   So, most of my childhood memories span the 1960's.

    I've lived in, or right outside of, the same little Alabama college town all my life.  My daddy worked at the cotton mill just up the street from our mill village home.  Mama was a stay-at-home mom most of my life, except for the five years she worked in housekeeping at the nearby college.

     My aunt, uncle and two boy cousins lived next door to us and my maternal grandparents lived just four houses up the street.
    Daddy got an hour lunch break at the mill and was able to come home for lunch since we lived only two minutes away from his job.  Mama cooked a 12:00 mid-day meal which we called dinner.  We would have supper some time after Daddy got off work at 4:00 in the afternoon.  Dinner leftovers were usually put in the cooled oven to await suppertime.  And no, as far as I know, none of us ever got food poisoning from food left out of the fridge all afternoon.

     In my memory I can still smell the pintos, fried okra and biscuits cooking.  And when I smelled boiling tea, I knew Daddy would soon be home for dinner and for our own special game of hide-and-seek.  It usually went something like this:
I would find the "perfect" hiding place.  A place Daddy would never think to look in.  But he always found me immediately.  "Daddy, how did you find me so quick?"  I'd ask, amazed.  "I just smelled you,"  he always answered with a smile.
     Not until I was grown did Mama crush my image of my daddy's extraordinary sense of smell by telling me she usually told him where I was hiding so that we could get on with dinner.

   Electric Fans, Air Conditioners, and a New Bedroom

     As an adult, something as simple as switching on an electric fan in the summer brings back those long ago memories.  I think I was probably ten years old or older before we got our first window air conditioner.  Until then, and even after that life-changing event, a fan was still a necessity that  we could not have lived without.

     No matter how hot and humid the day, Mama wouldn't turn on the ac while Daddy was at work because Daddy didn't get to work in an air conditioned space.  He worked on the mill's shipping/receiving yard.  But on those hot, smothery afternoons, you bet Daddy would turn on the ac as soon as he walked in the door.  I don't know for a fact, but I think he would have appreciated the house already being cool when he got home.

     Back to the electric fans:  The ac was only used to cool the main living areas of our small house; the living room, kitchen, and the bathroom (if the door wasn't closed).   And that electricity hog ac was turned off at night when we went to bed anyway, meaning sweltering bedrooms all the time.  (We didn't heat our bedrooms in the winter either, but that's another batch of stories.)  

     I shared a bedroom with my older sister and the electric fan; just the three of us.  When I was very young, my sister and I shared a double bed and I slept next to the wall, where I didn't feel a whole lot of air coming from the box fan sitting way down on the floor.  I would wake up all sweaty, wrapped like a hotdog in my sister's cast-off bed covers, with my face smushed up against the wall.  And it wasn't just your normal smooth sheetrocked  wall.  No, evidently the 1960's style for walls was a roughed-up finish of some sort.  I'm guessing it was supposed to look like a textured plaster wall.  I sported many skinned knees and elbows for sleeping too close to, and being too friendly with that pale pink wall.

     Then, a dream-come-true happened!  Daddy started making plans to build another room on to our four-room house.  This room was to be a brand-new bedroom for my sister and me.  And unlike our old bedroom, everyone wouldn't have to walk through it to get into the rest of the house.  And Daddy was even building us two closets!  One for me - all mine and only mine - and one for my much-more-grown-up-than-me sister.  (She's eight years older than me.)

     It seems the dreaming stage for this new room lasted for years.  I'm sure that's just because I'm looking back through a child's eyes.  But that room finally became a reality and Daddy did it all by himself.  My Daddy was the smartest, strongest, bravest man (in my eyes) that ever lived.

     This beautiful room had a shiny hardwood floor that Daddy sealed with the same type of sealant used on the cotton mill's wood floors.  Nothing would scratch that light amber colored floor.  And the sealant made the floor so shiny, I was sure anyone could see under my skirt just like an image in a mirror.  The walls of the new room were covered with a medium-colored paneling (the newest style).  No more pink walls for us.  And then....

     Moving Day!  I'm sorry to say that I don't really remember the actual moving.  I don't really remember how old I was - pretty young I suspect.  But, I do know we moved that electric box fan in with us.  And at some point, my sister and I got separate beds because this room was large enough for two!  In the summer months (and also spring and fall), that fan's breeze was aimed between our beds each night.  I remember dangling my head, and as many limbs as I could,  over the side of my bed, trying to catch a cooling touch of the fan's breath.  I would dread getting up in the mornings because as soon as I got out from under that fan, into the hot, humid air, I would feel like I was melting.

     And in front of that fan was the best (and coolest) place to dry my just-shampooed hair.  But that's a tale for another day...  

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentines Day!
I'm spending the day with my sweet husband.  I've made him sugar cookies (his favorite) and he got me flowers  (my favorite no-calorie gift).  Chicken Fajitas (cooked by me) are on the menu.
What about you?
Got special plans?
Hope your day is special in every way.  I'm so glad you stopped by. 
Thank you for not forgetting me.

Friday, August 23, 2019

My DIY Kindle Stand

Since the weather has been a little on the warm (sweltering) side the last few weeks here in Alabama, I have indulged myself with quite a bit of one of my favorite indoor hobbies...Reading.

I sneak in reading time all throughout my day.  I especially like to read while sitting at the table with my morning bowl of oatmeal and cup of coffee.  I am a book lover through and through, but I have found out that it's much easier to eat and read with my Kindle than it is with a book.  I always have trouble propping a book up, keeping it open, and turning the pages while dining.

So, I made a hands-free Kindle stand that also doubles as a cover.

This is what it looks like when opened up.

It has a tab on front that snaps shut.  I like to throw my Kindle in my bicycle basket and ride to a quiet place to read sometimes when camping, and the cover gives it more protection while being bounced around in the basket.


 You can find lots of free tutorials on-line to make covers for your gadgets.  Here's the one I used:   DIY Sewing Ipad/phone Case Stand.   Other than the obvious size changes, since I made it for a Kindle instead of an iPhone, I also made a couple of other small modifications; one because I wanted to and the other because I had to. 

I wanted a wrist strap to make it easier to carry the Kindle around, and to hopefully keep it from slipping out of my hand too easily.  I am so glad I added that!

And for the modification I had to make?  The tutorial  instructs you to make little corner tabs on the inside of the case into which you fit the gadget.   But evidently, either my gadget is too fat (sorry Kindle),  or I made my seams a little too large when sewing the corner tabs in.  Either way, the Kindle wouldn't stay in the corner tabs and I was constantly having to readjust.

So, to fix the problem, I had this package of Industrial Strength Velcro that claims to hold up to 10 lbs. 

After placing a strip of the hook side on the case and the matching loop side on the Kindle, the problem was fixed.  It doesn't budge.  I won't even try to fiddle with the little fabric corner pieces the next time I make one.  I'll just stick the Velcro on and be done with it.
I made this cover probably a year ago and still love it.  I'm thinking I may have to make a new one soon though as this one is beginning to look a little shabby and dirty.  The downside is, you can't launder them because of the cardboard or plastic that is used inside to make the stand rigid.

But before I make another Kindle cover, I have a new project I'm excited about.  I'm getting a new laptop and want to make a pretty case for it. 

The projects just go on and on.  Such fun!