Tuesday, November 12, 2019

RH and the CMA Awards

Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CST, we'll be watching the CMA Awards, same as we do every year. 

And we'll think back to the CMA Awards of 1997 when RH was there.

Okay, maybe he wasn't exactly inside watching the show, but he made it as far as the Red Carpet with some pretty ladies on his arms. 

Walking up the carpet in a tuxedo.

Over and over.

A friend asked him and two of our sons to escort various lesser known attendees up the magic carpet before the celebrities arrived in their limousines.

So maybe he didn't actually get to see Garth Brooks win Entertainer of the Year but then neither did Garth, who was on the road.

He didn't get to see Trisha Yearwood sing How Do I Live (without you), used in the soundtrack from Con Air

And just think--eight years later Garth and Trisha were married, although that totally has nothing to do with RH, he says.

He really would have liked to have been inside that night to hear Deana Carter sing her Strawberry Wine or Shania Twain sing anything.  

But it was not to be, he was just another pretty face on the red carpet that night in 1997.

There was a rumor floating around that the crowd outside thought he was a millionaire Texas oil man.

Sounds about right to me.

So we will be watching the CMA Awards on November 13, 2019. I'm looking forward to seeing three female powerhouses host this year--Carrie Underwood, of course, but with Dolly Parton and Reba, who I understand will once again be singing Fancy. Will she be wearing the famous red dress again?

There are going to be some similarities with RH's special time back in 1997. Again Garth Brooks is nominated for Entertainer of the Year, and Brooks and Dunn are again nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year. Both won in 1997 but will they win again 22 years later when up against all the youngsters?

I must admit that I enjoyed watching this awards show more back in the days when Johnny Cash and June Carter were sitting in the audience and performing. The Man in Black and his wife were customers at our garden center. 

Those were the days when country music stars were our neighbors, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs living right across the street from us, with my best girlfriend living between them and Brenda Lee going to high school with us.

But RH and I will be watching the CMA Awards on ABC Wednesday night, by golly. Because that's what you do here in Nashville.

Will any of you be joining us?

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Our Autumn Front Porch and 7 Year Blog Anniversary

Many thanks to everyone for your sweet wedding anniversary wishes on my previous post! 

On our anniversary I burst out laughing when I read my devotional for the day. David Zahl wrote about unconditional love:

Imagine if I locked my dog and my wife in the trunk of my car. After an hour, only one of them is going to be glad to see me.

That tickled my funny bone and it kind of reminds me of something I question anytime I publish a new post here at the Window after doing one of my disappearing acts for a few weeks, or in some cases months.

Will they still be glad to see me?

 Tomorrow will be seven years since I published my first blog post at Across the Way, here: https://awindow-lookacrosstheway.blogspot.com/2012/11/our-fledgling-flight.html

There have been times when I've stopped blogging for a while but I always came back. I even started this blog at the Window and thought I'd given up Across the Way only to end up keeping both going.

Going yes, sometimes sporadically, true.

I remember when I announced that I was leaving blogging at Across the Way and one friend asked if I could just check in occasionally, even quarterly. 

Sometimes I seem to be doing just that. Like all the things on our front porch, I'm not getting any younger. In fact we might even qualify as antiques.

We may soon even be obsolete.

There are occasions when we decide to pretty ourselves up a little.

 Pretend like we're still Spring Chickens.

Times when I ask RH to buy me a beautiful corsage.

He bought me two beautiful corsages for the porch for our anniversary and a trunk full of pumpkins for both porches, the back garden and the house. 

All without rushing me in my choices, following me around with a big cart as I wandered around the Nashville Farmer's Market, a special place to me as I'd gone there since a child with my little sisters and our father who bought produce for the middle Tennessee Kroger stores.

The best anniversary present ever!

RH also planted a new tree, (see picture above) his 4th Japanese maple since we moved here almost three years ago, his 12th new tree planted in the front yard alone--how's that for a man past the three-quarters of a century mark?

You can also see the new project he started behind the new Japanese maple. Not sure what it's going to be when he finishes it but a trailer full of beautiful rock sat on the grass in front of the park bench for two months while he pondered the design. 

I'd asked for a pretty sidewalk/path but I have a feeling this is going to be more than that. And it may be spring before it's finished as my guy started another project in our back yard that's now taking up his time.

Meanwhile, I decided the old girl--I'm talking about our front porch--deserved at least one new accessory, a pretty rug.

I spent hours online searching for one with just the right colors. I hope you like it because I am so in love with it!

Thank you so much for visiting here! Even when I sometimes play hide-and-go-seek with you. 

Old and cracked as I sometimes feel I still want to make like The Terminator and say...

I'll be back! 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019

In the Garden On A Foggy Morning

I woke while it was still dark and went to my office after letting BreeBree and James Mason out to go potty and back in again, trying to keep the house quiet and let RH sleep in for once. I got lost in Instagram far too long--and I don't even post there.

When I got up to open the curtains and realized there was fog I grabbed the camera and went outside. 

As always when I open the kitchen door, I looked at the pond but it was lost in the mist, as you can see below, beyond the grass.

The garden seemed more colorful this foggy morning, and I wondered if it was because my eyes were still dilated from my ophthalmologist visit the day before when colors did seem more vibrant.

To my surprise when I stopped to google this to see if there was a possible scientific reason for it I discovered that there was.

While water vapor is colorless, the condensed water droplets that form and allow us to see fog can highlight the colors of their surroundings, taking the rich colors in view and fading them to the background like a natural gradient.
 May 5, 2009 post, colourlovers.com/blog

So that explains why these pictures look as if I had enhanced the colors but haven't as shown by these zinnias planted by the cupola.

The foggy conditions really show up the marvelous colors and crusty texture on the cupola roof. RH saved this piece for a focal point in our new garden when we moved here, and it covers an old well. I love looking out at this cupola from my kitchen window.

I don't think I ever showed you the second terrace that RH finished this summer, with the help of a grandson, made out of old concrete roofing tiles. I love how it turned out.

RH left a triangle area of sand in the corner for the birds to sand bathe in. Our thrasher family love it. And between it and the small first terrace that RH and our son made the second spring we were here is a flower bed that got planted to caladiums last summer. Like many garden projects this summer, it never happened but we'll plant it full of spring bulbs soon. 

The green garden chairs are all askew, pushed back for the sprinkler that RH has run every evening in our record-breaking heat.

The large canna musifolia hasn't suffered from the heat. It came back this year and again is huge.

Another Japanese maple waits in its pot for RH to plant when cooler and wetter weather comes, the fourth Japanese maple he's planted since we moved here nearly three years ago. He got this $100 beauty for $11 in the September tree sales.

Hi James Mason, come on down and join me in the garden! The new steps here are especially for James Mason who has IVDD and needs easier access up and down.

The kitchen porch looks a little messy by summer's end. A tarp covers a piece of furniture that will go underneath the big kitchen window outside that is RH's grilling area, but first it needs to be weatherized. And a cherry tomato plant has sprawled over the railing onto the porch. We have to watch our steps or squash little green tomatoes.

This little path leads back to the HVAC unit past pots of herbs. A gate keeps my babies from digging in the area. See the little maple tree growing up by the fence? RH always digs up maple seedlings and transplants them in the fall but will have to cut down this little guy. He grew up outside the fence but then grew inside so it will be impossible to move. I've asked RH to at least wait until after it puts on its autumn coat.

Let me show you a little beauty we got this summer, a garden obelisk sundial that sits on a favorite rock by our cupola bed.

Thank you for coming to my little foggy morning garden tour. Would you do me a favor and look at the plant growing in front of the zinnias? It has the prettiest leaves but so far no sign of flower buds.

Does anyone know what this volunteer plant is? We used to feed the birds in this area before moving their feeding station outside the garden fence so perhaps it's something that was in birdseed?

BreeBree doesn't have a clue.

And James Mason couldn't care less.

Had any foggy mornings in your garden lately?


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Hello Again & A Followup Post

Hello dear friends and family! While I haven't posted here very much this past summer there is something about October arriving that makes me want to create more often on my blogs. 

All of your comments on my Labor Day post about the jobs you first held as a young person meant so much to me. I feel as if I know you a little better for it. 

If I recap some of those jobs here would you overlook that the pictures are tail-end of summer pics and not in any way reminding you of our beloved Autumn? Which has not actually showed up here in Nashville yet. We're still breaking records for high temps.

I was first hired as a shopping center sidewalk Easter Bunny and one commenter, Obscure, once had to don a Hello Kitty costume at her first job as cashier in an upscale supermarket. She did not say whether anyone tried to pull her tail. 

Melanie worked in her father's grocery store before a wide variety of later jobs, and Brenda worked in the same one that her mother had when she was her age. Sweet!  

Karen put the curly Q on the top of iconic Dairy Queen ice cream cones, and Vicki worked at the local Wee Tee Golf.

Both Lorrie and Madame Là-Bas had berry picking jobs, raspberries for one, blueberries for the other. And if these jobs were in the amazing climates where these women live now, that wouldn't be a bad job at all.

Many of you were babysitters but only one, Kim, had a paper route too. That was RH's first job, starting when he was eleven years old. 

And hurrah for the nice woman on his route who called his stepfather on the phone one bitterly cold snow and ice morning and demanded he come pick up little RH. She insisted it was too cold for him to be delivering papers on his bicycle that day. She's my hero!

Of all those who said babysitting was their first job, one babysitter's mother-of the-children also left a list of chores to be done. Tammy, Christy had one that did the same thing and she never went back. I mean, really!

Diana began as a timer in a lingerie factory while Sandy worked in one that made televisions. Later on Diana worked for NBC in the same field as our Christy is in for CBS. I'd like to match those two up for lunch!

Sheri's first real job was a stenographer, and Beach Gypsy was a waitress.

 Poppy was a hostess at Kentucky Fried Chicken but as a senior in high school was chosen to read announcements on the loudspeaker. If you've ever heard her voice on Instagram you'll know why they chose her.

Carla started her sons out working on their grandparents' dairy farm when they were little boys -- and now one of them is proudly serving in the defense of his country!

Cathy packed things to be mailed out at a relgious store, which made me think of my first post-high school job that was typing things up to be mailed from a religious publishing company. I hope she was as lucky as I was.

Much earlier than Cathy, I'm sure, my workplace was as far from the Mad Men 1960s office atmosphere as was possible. I never saw any male executive make a pass at a girl working for them. Women were treated with courtesy by the men, who were all gentlemen.

I know you're waiting for the "but" or the "except" --there isn't any. Squeaky clean. Whether we wanted it that way or not.

My last two pictures are of foraged wild stems that RH cut last week, my attempt to bring a little Autumn feeling into our house that is as yet still bare of pumpkins and gourds. My annual trip to Nashville Farmer's Market must wait until we at least drop 10 or 15 degrees outside.

But the glorious red gladiolas are always a summer must for me, and this year I only remembered them as summer was ending. 

Thank you for visiting me! Are you decorated for fall or Halloween yet?


Sunday, September 1, 2019

What were your first jobs?

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

I love this old photo of our three sons taken back in the 1990s. I remember stopping them that hot summer morning, when they were leaving for work with RH, to take this photo. I also remember feeling so proud of the hard workers they were.

There's not much these three guys can't do--and their sister also! Only one is still working in the family business of roofing and remodeling, and he took it over a few years ago when RH went to semi-retirement and I retired fully from the bookkeeping and office end of it.

This picture made me start thinking about my first jobs. I wonder if any of you have as odd a resume as I did as a child?

When I was little my father was produce buyer for the Kroger grocery store chain in mid-Tennessee, and in October my little sisters and I would dress up in cute Dutch costumes from his Holland bulb rep, complete with wooden shoes.

Each Saturday that month we would go to different local Kroger stores in Nashville where a big spring bulb display was set up in the parking lot. Music played on the loudspeakers outside and my sister Deb and I passed out Dutch cookies to customers. Our little sister Teresa was in costume too, an adorable toddler holding tight to Mama's hand. My fourth sister Jenn was still only a future gleam in our father's eye.

I doubt if we got paid anything but we got to keep our costumes and eat cookies so we were happy.

I hated my second job but it only lasted a few weeks. When I was 15 my father found me a job as a sidewalk Easter Bunny for a local shopping mall where every bratty little boy pulled my fluffy tail as I handed out candy Easter eggs to children, hopping up and down the sidewalks outside the stores.

Thanks for that one, Daddy.

The next one was better, also found by my father for me with a man we went to church with who owned a soda fountain shop. I was good at this job and my milkshakes were to die for.

During my junior and senior year of high school I found myself a job for the month before Easter at a local dimestore owned by a wonderful couple who were so sweet to me. My job was to make up beautiful Easter baskets and I got to combine all kinds of toys and books with the candy in the baskets, add beautiful pastel colored cellophane to wrap them in and a big floppy bow at the top.

This skill came in handy later in life when we had four children.


Mr. Doochin tried his best to get me out on the floor waiting on customers after Easter was over but I was too shy for that. Later on they turned the store into an art supply store that I shopped at as long as they remained in business. And each time I went in, Mr. Doochin teased me about being too shy to wait on customers.

The summer I graduated from high school I went to work part-time in our church office. This was mostly volunteer work as my boss, the pastor's wife who was church secretary, assured me that I should be paying her in exchange for the office training she was giving me. That was fine with me because I knew she would be giving me a good reference to a job I wanted at a large religious publishing house in Nashville. 

Silly in love me, an engagement ring on my finger, wanted a job, not college. It wasn't until our first two children were in elementary school that I went to a community college.

I worked a few days a week that summer at church, typing and learning to run copies off on the large messy mimeograph machine. I learned to answer the telephone properly and be discreet enough not to discuss anything said on it with my friends. I listened to a lot of advice on proper business procedures and business etiquette. And each week I entered the Sunday offering amounts from envelopes into a ledger. One time I found a $20 bill in one envelope and gave it to Mrs. Harrison. She smiled a funny little smile but didn't say anything.

Later on in life I wondered if that had been a test. If so, I must have passed it because by September she helped me find a good job at the publishing house uptown as receptionist for one of the magazine departments where I got to type up accepted articles for the magazine after they had been proofed by an editorial assistant. 

After a year they transferred me to another department as a stenographer, a promotion. A couple of years later I passed the test for editorial assistant and was waiting for an opening for that when I decided to leave work when RH and I bought our first house and decided to start a family.

Those were my first jobs and I'm grateful for the experience of them--well, maybe not for the Easter Bunny impersonation. What were your first jobs? Any Easter Bunny embarrassing moments for you?

Happy Labor Day to RH and our four children, and Happy Labor Day to each of you!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Supper Thyme

Did you ever put thyme in pie?

If you haven't, consider putting it in blueberry pie now that summer is here. 

Here's the link to Southern Living's Thyme-Scented Blueberry Pie.

I added a cup of frozen cranberries to the recipe because I didn't have nearly enough of the
blueberries the recipe called for.

RH said it was the best blueberry pie I'd ever made, but maybe that had something to do with the crust. The recipe calls for refrigerated crusts, which I've been known to use, but I had been wanting to make a crust with vodka so tried it.

Oh, my word, the vodka does make it so tender!

Recipe here from Cook's Illustrated.

The recipe called for the crust to be made in a food processor. I had never done this but I bet many of you have. I am directions-challenged but read the recipe over and over and finally did it.

You can't possibly know how proud of myself I was to do this instead of using my trusty old pastry blender.

I'll tell you one other thing I did last week for the first time in over a year--I drove myself to the grocery store and shopped alone, carried in the groceries alone when I got back home.

And I was so proud of myself! You see, part of what I've been doing the two months I was on my blogging break was going to physical therapy two times a week, three times a week the first month.

I've had bad knee pain since January and was diagnosed with patella femoral pain syndrome, similar to runner's knee. The therapist also discovered I had tibialis anterior tendonitis. 

Since I had felt this winter that I was soon going to need a walker to get about, I have been faithful to my PT appointments and doing the exercises at home. And next week, God willing, after almost three months, I will be finished with PT but of course must continue the exercises at home--if I know what's good for me.

So that, combined with my computer being down for three weeks, made it easy for me to almost drop out of blogging. 

But a blogger I am and so to blogging I returned in my last post. Just as once again driving gave me a renewed sense of independence, so blogging gives me that indefinable unexplainable feeling of accomplishment too.

Those of you who blog or are on Instagram, etc., do you feel this way too?

No one may really care what we had for supper except ourselves, but isn't it fun to share?

The organic vegetables above went into Jacob's Lentil Stew, recipe here. I also added a couple of turnips to it as we really like the tang they add to vegetable soups.

Thank you for reading my rambling supper post. What are you having for supper?

Here is supper. It smells good.
It looks good. It tastes good.
It is good.
All good things come from You.
Gunilla Norris in
Being Home