Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Not in the criminal way. That was just to get your attention.

My favorite aunt collected mugs. She had so many that she had shelves built close to the ceiling around her kitchen so that she could display them. I remember asking her once how many she had. If I remember correctly, the amount was around 300. She could tell you a story of how each one came into her possession.

I don’t have anywhere near that. I too can tell you how each one came to be in my care.
When I bought my first computer at the Gateway store, I was given a gift that included a ball point pen, a small spongy cow, notepad and a coffee mug. All of it had the Gateway cow logo on it. The cow was a good source to squeeze for stress relief.

I was a testing monitor with a first grade teacher once and she gave me this mug. It came in a box listed as mug and mat. It had a square of linen cloth with the same flower design as the mug. It took the place of a saucer.

On a one day trip to Alabama Shakespeare Festival with the Palm Wine Society, each tourist was given a mug along with some other souvenirs by the PWS sponsors. This was the trip where one of my favorite authors, Pearl Cleage was live and in person. You can read about it here.

DH would have cup of coffee before leaving for work. This was his cup.

Mrs. C. gave me this mug when DH died. I find myself using it when I’m feeling
down. The poem surrounding it is comforting

Last year’s vacation to Seattle, Washington I purchased this mug.

Seattle=Coffee. It’s a given.

Actually I purchased two. I gave one away as a gift. Since this post I have broken this cup  11-18-2012

This mug was from a student as a Christmas gift. The picture on the inside was unique.
It has thick walls and it seems to make whatever is inside taste better and hold the heat.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bed Express

Not to be outdone, I slept in my bed last night.
I was careful how I slept.

After lodging two very large books on top of an underbed Rubbermaid storage container, I carefully laid myself down on the other side of the bed.

I made sure I didn’t do a lot of tossing and turning.

This morning I awoke to a still level bed .

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sleeping Tight? Not Tonight

No pictures (breaking my own rule) Just a rant.

I have one bed and that is the one I sleep in.
I had my newspaper, Crystal Light, and Wayne Brady playing. (Yes, Wayne Brady. I like his voice).
I got ready to lay down and the box springs and mattress caved in.


But only in one corner. My response, )(*&%$##%.

It's a Pulaski bedroom suite I saved up for over 25 years ago. I had seen it at Braswell Furniture. They are no longer in business. It's mahogany wood. It was called something like Dolly Madison, Lillie Langley. SOmething like that.

I ended up not buying it from Braswell's. I knew people who ran a family furniture store. They're out of business too. They ordered it for me directly from the factory and I paid a considerable amount less.

I enjoy sitting in bed reading. I guess over the years it was bound to happen one day.

The ledge inside the bed rail where the mattress sits came partially loose up toward the head. I've never used slats. It didn't come with slats.

I've removed the mattress and box springs and made an attempt to screw the ledge back into the rail. The ledge won't screw in flush to the rail. The box spring still won't fit back inside.

When I was a kid, we were jumping on a bed in our basement and broke it. That is we thought we'd broken it. A couple of slats had fallen out. Our older visiting friend told us to get some bricks from outside. She propped them underneath the sagging end. When my Dad saw it we got grilled about it and then we got physically punished. Our friend was safe at home with us left to suffer.
I'm tempted to do something like this right now until I can have it repaired.

I'm not happy about having to sleep on the couch. My bedroom is my sanctuary.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PAINT THE TOWN RED is an annual fundraiser for the American Red Cross.
This quote from their website:

"For one night in April… the blank brick walls
and window fronts of 2nd Avenue North in Birmingham’s Loft District will be
transformed into canvases for stunning digitally created art: graphic art,
digital photography and digital animated shorts… all projected.

In it’s third
year, Paint the Town Red is an innovative fundraiser for the Birmingham
Chapter of the American Red Cross. It combines stunning visuals, eclectic live
music and great street food. Vote for your favorite entries, introduce kids to
the future of creativity and indulge your eyes in a visual feast April 16, 2011
from 6pm to 11pm."

Once it becomes dark, visuals are projected on the ceiling of the dome. This is similar to what is done at a planetarium.

While waiting for night to fall rock music was played and visitors danced inside. Young and old.

Joe Minter, folk artist chatting with a fan. His works are made from recycled and found items.

You can see more of his work here.
Ginger at deepfriedkudzu.com
is a big fan of his and the link to the pictures were taken by her. She also has a great blogsite.


Found objects placed on stands. Once night fell a projection of images were displayed on it

Three spherical screens similar to umbrellas projected one movie. I thought this was interesting.

This is some of the digital wall art. On this one it showed the underside of different cars slowly crawling across the screen/wall.

There was a picture but it looks as if this company is more interested in advertising.
Vendor and artist. Paintings on plywood.

The found pieces of wood appear to depict skyscrapers in the forefront of a skyline.
Belly Dancer
Lighted hula hoops being twirled.

Improvisational Dancers. I asked the name of the group and they didn't have one.
Fire twirlers

Not sure where to put them but they were so elegant I had to have a photo. They were inside the Masquerade . Not sure if this was part of the Red Cross fundraiser or another fundraiser.


Monday, April 18, 2011

What Is it with women's love affair with shoes? I've asked before and I ask again.

This is the tale of a post I began back in March. My craft didn't work out but I'd already posted my before picture so I wasn't letting it do to waste.

I saw my first pair of Icon shoes and I was in love. The person I saw wearing them was an older lady with a cane. Hers were oxfords. I'd never seen anything like them before. They're leather shoes painted with works of art. I went to the website and WHEW! the price blew me away. I remembered that she said she'd gotten hers on Ebay. These are a couple of pair that were for sale there. Granted they're less expensive but they've been used. I don't buy used shoes.
They've already been molded to someone else's foot. Check out this black pair. You can see the difference in width from when its orginal owner had them. I decided I was going to experiment on an old pair of loafers I have. PROBLEM 1. I can't draw or paint. After much contemplation I decided I would copy something from the computer. Then have it laser copied at an office supply store. I'd cut it out and decoupage it to the top part (I don't know what it's called) similar to the ones in the pictures above.

At first I wanted a clipart picture of SCUBA divers studying a reef on one shoe. On the other shoe I would place a picture of a school of angry looking sharks, poised to attack. I was unable to use the textbox on my computer to place the sharks. I remember being able to do it with my other software but this wasn't cooperating. Maybe I could cut each shark out individually and glue it on the background scene.


Too time consuming and tedious. I would need to choose something else. I surfed the NET for pictures I might want to use. I finally settled on this one by Archibald Motley Jr.

I'm a lover of the Harlem Renaissance. Motley was a painter during that era. While downloading the picture I ran out of color ink. I live a distance from an office supply store so I went to Walgreens where they do refills. I sat in the car and asked the clerk to call me on my cell once the cartridge was refilled. IN about 20 minutes I got the call, went in to get the cartridge and was told it didn't pass the test.

Disappointed I retrieved the cartridge and headed for Wal-Mart. I use Lexmark 16/17 black and 26/27 color. A cartridge usually costs about $26-28. Wal-Mart wanted $41.00 for one cartridge.

I left it there.

Next stop Staples. I didn't want to drive that far but I did. When I got there they didn't have what I needed.

By this time I was pretty pissed off.

So I tabled the project.

When I finally got everything I needed. A brand new, genuine black and color Lexmark cartridge, the printer wouldn't work. I've done everything I know of to get it to work.

Unless something is black everything comes out with an overpowering red tinge.

I don't think this project is going to get done.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church sponsors what is called Red Door Arts. According to its brochure, “The purpose of the group is to encourage creativity and arts appreciation in parishioners and friends through art workshops, lectures and performances, through an annual creativity weekend and through other special events throughout the year.”

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church These are a few shots of the inside of the church. The cozy, evening glow emitted through the windows was so relaxing.

It was a wonderful program lasting only one hour. The voices were clear and powerful. St. Andrews sanctuary is small but I was so impressed with the ability of these artists to sing without a microphone. They each came in from the back of the building singing a portion of Walk Together Children. The baritone was robust and full-bodied. The tenor engaged the audience with his fine musical qualities and enunciation of each word. The melodious soprano was hypnotizing exhibting her ability to reach upper ranges.

I enjoy exploring different types of music and societal differences. I feel it is important to learn about others so that we may understand each other better and perhaps someday have peace. It was refreshing to sit and drink from the fountain of culture.

The concert was held April 7th, at 6:30 p.m. A series of African- American Spirituals were performed by these talented musicians.

Terrance Brown is a baritone. Dr. Brown is a graduate of Samford University and Louisiana State University. He has performed in numerous operas portraying various characters. He has traveled extensively. Dr. Brown is Director of Vocal Studies at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama.

Kevin Thomas, tenor completed his music degree at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He has performed in countless opera and theatre presentations. He is a professional chorister at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham.

Tiffany Bostic-Brown, soprano has traveled through the USA and Europe. She is known as a concert artist, recitalist and operatic artist. She frequently performs in operas undertaking numerous characters. Dr. Bostic-Brown serves on the faculty at the University of Alabama in Florence, Alabama.

Jason Turner was the pianist. The Rev. Dollie Howell Pankey was the narrator.

To accompany each song a narrative was read . These narratives were a part of the Slave Narrative Collection. These are stories written in the 1930’s by the WPA as they were dictated to the scribe by people who had been slaves. There are over 2,000 interviews from former slaves on record. Each one allows the former slave to tell in their own words what life was like in bondage.

Jason Turner is presently the organist for St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. He is an experienced musician who has served as Choirmaster and Organist for several churches. He is presently Director of Independent Presbyterian Church Day School in Birmingham,Alabama a highly respected educational facility in the city. He holds degrees in education and an associate degree in nursing.

Rev. Howell-Pankey is a musical artist, teacher, pastor and songwriter. Her music ministry career spans over 35 years. She has served in several churches as a spiritual leader. She presently pastors St. James CME in Jasper Alabama


Friday, April 1, 2011

The Bad, the Ugly, the Good

THE BAD I’ve never made pie crust from scratch. I always buy them frozen. I’d purchased a bag of fruit from ALDI. In a previous post I raved about the pear cobbler I’d had at Gabriella’s. Using the increasingly ripening fruit, I decided to make my own pear cobbler. I planned to use a plum cobbler recipe for the filling. I found a recipe for a No Roll pie crust.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons milk


1. In a 9 inch pie plate, sift flour, sugar and salt. make a well in the center and pour in oil and milk. Mix with a fork, then press into the bottom and sides of pie plate.

2. To bake: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C.) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Assemble the crew, flour, sugar, milk (I used evaporated) salt, oil (I used olive oil) and a well used pie pan. I mixed all of these ingredients in the pie plate and began pressing it out around the sides and bottom. I poked holes in the sides and bottom before placing it in the oven to bake. When I took it out of the oven the sides were lacy looking and the crust was a golden brown.

THE UGLY Unfortunately, it didn’t hold together. It could easily be scraped into large crumbs. I think there was too much oil but, I’m not a chef so who knows? I scraped everything into the middle of the pan and threw it out for the birds. Low cholesterol bread crumbs so to speak.

That’s when I decided to stick with the tried and true. Gather the crew again .

In a bowl beat one large egg with 1/2 cup of sugar, 3 TBSP of melted butter and 1/3 cup of milk.

In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup of flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir into the first mixture until smooth and well blended. Peeled and sliced pears placed in casserole dish sprayed with Pam. TBSP cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup cold water. Pour over pears.

Add cup sugar (or to taste) 1/2 tsp each, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well into the pears.

Top with batter. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown.

The batter will spread to make a sort of crust. Cool and eat. THE GOOD The moral of this story is to stick to what you know. THAT'S IT ***