Friday, January 29, 2016

Elliston Place Soda Shop

I've always loved an old-fashioned soda shop.

It was where all the crowd found out 
you were going steady,
where you wore his letter-jacket,
first heard what would become "our song"
on the jukebox.

Nashville still has a gem of a soda shop,
Elliston Place Soda Shop,
in existence since 1939 in the same location.

It's still where a guy takes his date for a milkshake.

Especially on cold winter days when she really
needs to get out of the house.

And especially when she hasn't had anything
sweet to eat in six weeks.

How were those chocolate milkshakes?

As a preacher friend used to say:

"Good enough to make you want to 
smack your momma."

She did resist the slice of pie he took home--
coconut cream pie like his momma used to make.

And what was their song?

"Put your head on my shoulder...
maybe we will fall in love."

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Gladys Taber Says It Best

"The winter sun burns her white fire along
the snow-deep meadows."

"Ice glitters on the cold side of the branches,
melts and falls with soft sound."

"Deep winter,
dark winter wind,
heavy blowing snow."

"But snug warmth within,
and in early mornings,
the pale apricot tinge on the snow,
more beautiful than one could dream of."

"Dark comes early these days.
It changes the whole rhythm of life
in the country.
Supper is early, by the applewood fire."

"The white night outside is beautiful
and vast as the ocean."

[All words above by my beloved Gladys Taber,
Connecticut countrywoman, in the January 1954
issue of Ladies Home Journal.]

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Treasures from the Gorge

Treasures don't always come from a store,
the one above came from a small gorge on our property.

There, beyond the shadow of the tree on the left,
between the folds of two hills is a gorge that previous owners
used as a dumping ground.

It's about halfway between our house and our waterfall.

[See HERE for a post on my old blog showing our waterfall.]

Our youngest son Defee found the tall part of the fireplace set five years
ago in the gorge and used it as a mantel ornament in their first house.

And on New Year's Day of this year Defee found the grate of the
fireplace set in the gorge and took it home.

We were so surprised when he cleaned it and saw that it perfectly
matched and fit the tall piece he's had for five years!

Our daughter-in-law will use the fireplace set in their garden
where the cast iron piece will become a garden treasure.

And when Defee comes home again he will, as always, 
explore Valley View's Gorge to find new treasures.

I laughed when he texted me today that his "fantasy career
is to be an Indiana Jones type archeologist."

Maybe he'll do something with this next time he comes home.
Recognize this name?

It's another treasure from the gorge at Valley View...

It's an old Enterprise gas stove!

Seems a shame not to rescue it, doesn't it?

Some of my prettiest vases have come from that gorge,
old soda pop bottles that sons and grandsons have brought
me over the years.

And that fireplace thingy that Defee found?

Surely it once stood in the old fireplace that's in our office.
It's been closed up since R.H. took out the old wood stove we once heated with.

Here's a secret: Maybe I should throw some treasures in the gorge just
to entice children and grandchildren to come back home and find.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fair Warning: A Gazillion Family Holiday Pictures

Granddaughter CC is such a charmer and she loved watching the hens.

The holidays are over, our family have returned to their own homes,
and I am finally posting pictures--a gazillion of them.

Monday before Thanksgiving was sisters here for lunch when Deb came to Nashville.
Here's my sister Teresa and her husband,
and Teresa and Deb with Deb's granddaughter,
only sister Jenn was missing this day.

We sisters let Fred and R.H. get a word in every now and then.

Next, Defee and Wallace arrived bringing our two granddaughters.
Wallace was my sous chef early Thanksgiving morning--or was I hers?
And Nora was such a good helper!

Wallace will kill me for posting a picture of her in her PJ's but
if I looked as beautiful as she did Thanksgiving morning--
after a sleepless night with baby CC sick--I'd put mine here too!

And she had us right on schedule by Thanksgiving afternoon.

Table set, dinner ready, and Amens said.

Beer bottle on table, these are not magazine photographs, people.

Two sons and their families present for Thanksgiving dinner,
our daughter and son-in-law absent, at their home in FL,
Zack and Courtney made the rounds of her family,
introducing Zack, but came by afterwards.
Isn't she beautiful!

Thanksgiving over, we had to say goodbye to Defee and Wallace and the girls,
and before we knew it, Christmas week came and our daughter Christy, son-in-law Bryan,
and their two schnauzers arrived, ready to help us celebrate.

I think we were too busy getting ready for Christmas to take many photos,
but Christy and I cooked, she and R. H. grilled out one night,
we talked and laughed and watched Christmas movies,
and Christy and Bryan managed to get in quite a bit of shopping in Nashville--
all week in pouring rain,
muddy paws of 5 dogs getting wiped at the doors.

And the night before Christmas Eve
Christy and Bryan's son Alex and daughter-in-law Melissa
came for dinner.

We failed to get any pictures but this is Alex and Melissa
where they just moved to new jobs after graduation.
Can you guess what city they now live in?

The next night was Christmas Eve and Zack brought two of his friends to join us.
Tom and Brett's family live out of state, well one's family lives out of state,
and the other one's family lives in Canada!

Zack's snuggling up there with Zoe, one of the schnauzers.

The next morning was Christmas Day so after my traditional Farmer's 
Breakfast with buttermilk biscuits, it was time to open gifts.

Christy, with their Maddie and Zoe in nests beside her.


R.H.  with Otis in his lap--see the one big eye open...

Zack had to leave his bulldog Bentley at home--just too many dogs present.

Other family joined us that night for dinner but once again we forgot to get pictures.

And before long it was time to wave goodbye to our dear daughter and her husband,
Florida seeming very far away.

A few days later we welcomed back Defee and Wallace to help us celebrate
a new year approaching--oh yes, they brought two sweet little munchkins with them!

Here is a rare moment when the girls were at rest,
about time to read bedtime books.

I got lots of shots of the girls playing but most of them were a blur, like this....

Okay, I admit I helped that one along a bit.

There were wonderful days of talk and meals and uncles visiting.

Some excursions out and also a visit from Zack's high school friend
and his family who now live in a much colder state
than our TN that broke records for high temps.

New Year's Day night, grandsons Caleb and Drake, and Drake's girlfriend Emily
joined us for our traditional meal of pork loin cooked in sauerkraut and white wine,
collard greens and black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes and cornbread.

Zack and Courtney had parties to go to but here's another cute picture of them...

Again, completely forgot to take pictures but here are Emily and Drake
dressed for this year's Christmas Ball of his Army Reserve unit.

And here is grandson Caleb with them...

Drake and Caleb grew up next door to us and were R.H.'s helpers outside
here at Valley View when they were little,
along with grandsons Alex and Luke. 

What's a man to do after his kids and grandsons all grow up and leave
him to take care of 24 acres by himself, I ask you?

Well that's about all the family holiday pictures.

It was  cozy and relaxed...

Even though we had our moments of looking like rock stars...

All good things must end, wonderful holidays and a gazillion pictures.

Everyone went home and I was more than a little blue,

wasn't I, Milo?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

"No use, men, you'll never understand."

[Woman's Home Companion, October 1943]

"No use, men, you'll never understand.

To you it's just a lot of waves and curls...

But to Betty it's all that a brand new permanent can mean to a woman.

Something to fortify the do the soul good."

The above "public service" announcement, sponsored by the Brewing
Industry Foundation, appeared nearly two years into World War II,
when keeping the morale up was important.

They sure got it right, didn't they, ladies?
A visit to the hair salon is great for a woman's spirit, isn't it?

Here's the young woman who for almost two years now has gotten me over 
the trauma of years of bad haircuts.

Meet Stevie, a hair professional who listens and cares and advises
and treats me as if I were a country music star.

We also have so much fun talking and laughing that I leave there 
feeling as if I've been to a great therapist. 

Thank you, Stevie, it's not "just a lot of curls and waves,"
it really does do my soul good!

And men, I don't know if you truly understand that,
but I think R.H. does get it that a hair appointment with Stevie
sure perks up his wife.

A young man at the front desk of the salon was nice enough
to take the above picture,
but here's the side and back view that R.H. took when I got home. 
Don't ask me why I wasn't smiling;
I really was very happy inside!

Who out there has a Stevie in your life? 
Or are you talented enough to do your own, like my friend Tammy?
Or do you dread those hair appointments like I used to?

Is this a frivolous blog post, dear friends?

If it wasn't frivolous to the Brewing Industry Foundation in 1943 wartime,
maybe we should consider a haircut as necessary as a trip to the doctor or dentist--

and a lot more fun!