Thursday, October 30, 2014


To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega
My baby sister Jane celebrated her 53rd birthday today ~ our family’s almost-Halloween baby.
As far as I can tell, she does not age ~ even though she’d be the first to tell you that’s not exactly true.
Happy Birthday, Jane!! Wishing you all the best of everything today and always. You deserve it and then some. Love you big time.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


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Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.    ~George Eliot, letter to Miss Lewis, 1st October 1841

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Riding The Rails

There's something about the sound of a train that's very romantic and nostalgic and hopeful.   ~Paul Simon img016
We’ve heard of these train excursions to and from the Cookeville Depot, but we’ve never experienced one until today. Neil thought it would be a fun thing to do, especially for the grandkids [and especially for Knox, who loves trains right now]. The Chamber of Commerce sponsored the excursion through the Tennessee Central Railway Museum ~ “Cookeville Super Fall Foliage Excursion Nashville Cookeville” according to the TCRM Facebook page. 
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Ready to ride the rails ~ hubby Neil, granddaughter Shelby, daughter Holly, grandson Elijah, daughter Kelly, grandson Knox, and moi [FYI: this photo has a little secret to it and I’ll tell you what it is at the end of the post]
The Cookeville Depot Museum has an awesome replica of how the West Side around the depot used to look back when folks traveled by train. Knox loves to watch the train go around the tracks.
The iconic neon Cream City sign across the street from the depot
Bird’s eye view
Waiting for the train
And here it comes!
You don’t realize how huge they are until you’re standing next to one. This train pulled into the depot and kept on rolling by. It was insanely long. Never did see the tail end of it.
Doesn’t he look like the quintessential train conductor?
Line up here and show your ticket.
We were in car #9400 [and that train was so long I wouldn’t be surprised if there had actually been 9400 cars]. Our seats were in the “dome”. Pretty cool.
The seven of us were a bit spread out but that was fine. There were about 25 other travelers under the dome. Great views from all around the car.
Leaving the depot and looking out the rear window ~ this was a short trip to Algood and back which took about an hour
Nice view from my window
We chugga chugged along the track slowly. The car swayed from side to side, at times strongly enough that we all swayed in our seats. [I’m happy to report I did not get train car sick]
Elijah Shelby Kay train ride  10 25 14
Knox Holly Elijah Shelby K train ride panoramic 10 25 14
Kelly took a couple of panoramic shots with her iPhone camera
Knox Holly Neil train ride panoramic 10 25 14
Because the leaves are turning so late this year, it wasn’t a particularly pretty ride. The lady with Tennessee Central who rode in our car said the trip from Nashville was beautiful. I imagine so, since there was probably so much more farmland. Our trip took us through mostly business and residential areas. There was a house or two that sat only a few feet from the tracks. I can only imagine what that must sound like when one of the L&N trains come rumbling through their neighborhood, carrying freight.
Algood does not have a depot. We stopped here [right by this beautiful orange maple tree in someone’s front yard] and had to wait a few minutes while they disconnected the engine cars and turned them around to hook up to the back of the train so they could pull us back to Cookeville.
This engine was at the front of the train [and there were several engine cars, I guess you’d call them] that pulled us to Algood. Here he is going in reverse to the back of the train to hook up for the trip back to Cookeville.
Going back in time…well, not really…just going backwards which was kind of a strange sensation at first ~ that’s the smoke stack at TTU
You can see the old post office up there on the left next to the Baptist church on Broad Street
Almost home ~ you can see the roof of the depot ~ I still can’t believe how L-O-N-G this train was! I think our car was somewhere in the middle. Someone said there were between 400 and 500 people on board.
Crossing Cedar Street
Took this picture as we passed through the train car below our dome on the way out ~ felt like I had just arrived at Hogwarts ~ riding the rails was such a neat experience, something I wouldn’t mind doing again someday. Knox said “that train was pretty cool.” It was.
Shared a pizza for lunch at Momma Rosa’s
Loved being with my peeps today! Hope your ever lovin’ Saturday was a cool trip, too.
Here’s my little “secret” to the group shot at the top of the page. We couldn’t all be in the same shot together [I took this shot] …..
…. and Neil took this shot ~ so using a little digital magic, I Photoshopped myself into the picture just above this one. Scroll back to the top group shot and check it out. I’m not an expert at Photoshop but it was a nice way for all of us to be in the same shot. Happy Saturday, y’all!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The BIG ONE ~ October Flea Market ~ Nashville Fairgrounds

When Neil and I get to go to the flea market [rare these days], we make it a point to go on Friday ~ to avoid the crowd that shows up on Saturday and Sunday. That didn’t work out so much for us today, because this is October at the Nashville Flea Market ~ widely known as “The Big One” and for good reason. I’ve never seen such a full parking lot or so many people or so much stuff. But it was a perfect day to be outdoors for a bit of junkin’.
Yorick? Is that you?   “a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy” I wanted to buy him but he was 38 dollars and I thought that was a bit pricey for a skull [but the Shakespeare is free for the taking]
Not to be outdone by poor Yorick
Vintage top hat and boots ~ whenever I see these at the flea market, I always wish my feet would fit in a pair ~ women back in the day had really tiny feet!
Lots of Halloween things there today ~ love the vintage decorations
Beautiful Mums and great pumpkins
You can’t swing a dead cat at the flea market without hitting a creepy [clown] doll
Hi ya, Mickey! I guess the nose is always the first thing to go
Seems like everyone was selling rusty metal letters of the alphabet and signs like this ~ which is right up my alley ~ rusty junk
For all you teachers and students out there ~ won’t be long
Did somebody just swing a dead cat? Creepy Cupie doll ~ I don’t trust it. It knows something.
Good to know ~ if you like goat milk. And look at that cute puppy face that sneaked in the picture
Don’t ask because I don’t know. You can insert your own caption here.
This is my gratuitous flea market self-portrait ~ it’s weird because I had no idea I even took this picture until I downloaded it on the computer ~ me and my shadow in the blinding sunlight today and somebody’s retreating foot
Where’s the rest of this rusting Chevy? I can see this in some guy’s man cave [maybe far far away from his wife]
Deer head on papasan chair ~ abandoned deer heads always make me a little sad ~ it probably came from some estate sale
Wild boar remains do not come cheap
Lunch! Mine. I got two because I figured they’d be small. But they weren’t. I ate them. Both. And it was good.
Maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad idea.  Did you know that President Taft [27th president] was a BIG man? At over 330 pounds, Taft was the heaviest president. Once, he got stuck in the White House bath tub and required six aides to pull him free. The tub was replaced with a new one large enough to hold four men. Want to know more fun facts about Taft? No? Yes? Here’s a handy link:  Don’t say I never taught ya nothin’.  [I photo bombed Taft]
I kill you!!
I know we’re not supposed to covet, but I coveted this awesome card catalog. It was only 900 dollars. I wanted to buy it.  But Neil said no. Go figure.
Speaking of Neil, he wanted to buy some toys. I said no. Ha! [not really ~ he was sifting through Thomas Trains to see if there was anything grandson Knox might not have]
Neil and I both coveted this cool work bench, although it would have been more useful for him than for me. I liked the color and all the drawers and cubbies and such.
I had to take a picture. The vendor told me it’s not just a can but an actual never been opened full can of pork chitterlings [or chitlins which you know if you’re Southern] He said he’s had it for years, displaying it at the flea markets, but no takers so far, although he offered it to me for free if I’d eat them. I told him I’d pass, thanks. Chitterlings are [usually] the small intestines of a pig, in case you were wondering. Here’s a fun fact for you about chitlins:  Chitterlings are often soaked and rinsed thoroughly in several different cycles of cool water, and repeatedly picked clean by hand, removing extra fat, undigested food, and specks of feces. They may then be turned inside out, cleaned and boiled, sometimes in baking soda and/or salt, and the water discarded  ~ ~ Sounds delicious. No? People do eat them. Not me, though. Not even free ones. I’ll bet you didn’t know the flea market could be educational.
All the Christmas holiday bases are covered here at the flea market
He’s half the man he used to be. Poor guy. How embarrassing.
Remember [if you’re a child of the fifties] how we used to play cops and robbers? Cowboys and Indians? We knew our Second Amendment rights even when we were six.
Mummy and child reunion? Sorry. Could not resist. We had a great time at the flea market today. We haven’t been since I can’t remember when. I picked up a few odds and ends ~ a pretty [and unusual] red Mason jar and a cool turkey platter to name a couple. I would show you but I didn’t take a picture of my junkin’ “treasures” [rust may have been involved in one of those things…maybe…and I can’t help thinking of that verse in the Bible where Jesus teaches "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21] Happy TGIF, everyone! Hope you treasured this beautiful sunshiny blue sky October day.