Friday, August 26, 2016

NO COTTON In Them Old Cotton Fields Back Home

This is what my Grandparents cotton field looked like in the 50s.

This past week I was back in Cleveland County where I grew up, and I drove by what was my Grandparents' farm when I was a kid .  The property is now owned by someone else, I'm not sure who, and the house seems to be in good shape, but not currently occupied. 

Cotton fields before the cotton is "ripe".

Grandma's house facing west.  The three windows upstairs is the bedroom where I would sometimes spend the night.
The front of Grandma's house. 
I actually lived next door to my Grandma's, but I spent a lot of time visiting with her in that house.  Back in the 50s her farm, about 50 acres, was planted mainly in cotton.  The land was tended by a family whose daughter was one of my best friends growing up.  My father did not farm, so I didn't have to pick cotton, but I did pick cotton for the tenants and got paid for doing so.  I actually liked to pick cotton, something none of my friends understood.  (I suppose if I had had to pick, maybe I wouldn't have enjoyed it so much.  But I liked getting PAID.) 

Those old cotton fields back home are now "planted" with solar panels.  It has been turned into a solar farm.  I understand that the landowner gets about $500 to $600 per acre for leasing the land.  Not bad since there's no work involved for the "farmer". 
Cotton now replaced with solar panel farm. 

But I was more than a bit sad to see the farm used this way and to see the area grown up in weeds otherwise.  My grandparents always had a beautiful lawn out front and the property was kept in pristine shape.  No more. 

The trip back to Cleveland County was a bit nostalgic, and Thomas Wolfe was right.  'You can't go home again."

Monday, August 8, 2016

Books, Books, and More Books: Organizing our Books

Bookcases in the study. 
Dan and I both have been collectors of books for many years,  and we always found it hard to get rid of any book.  Finally I decided the time had come to downsize and organize our extensive book collection. (Dan if you are aware of this, please understand.)  I had already donated boxes of books to the Library where they will likely sell them at their once a year book sale.  I've found it is difficult to give books away.  First I tackled the books in the study.  Two thirds were given away, and I organized the remaining sixty books using The Paper Tiger, a system we have used for years to organize our paper files. 

The Paper Tiger filing system. 
I assigned each book a number and entered the information into Paper Tiger.
Each book was given a number, and the information on that number was inserted into the Paper Tiger system.  A small sticker with the number was affixed to the spine of the book.  (I'm thinking in the future it might be easier to use white ink and print the number on the spine.)

If I want to find a certain book, I just search, say for The Hobbit.  Paper Tiger tells me where the book is located. 
Search Paper Tiger for The Hobbit.
Paper Tiger tells me where the book is located. 

There is The Hobbit, number 14, on the bookcase in the study. 

Dan thought that only books should be included on bookcases, but I always like to include some of our collectibles as well.  He tolerated my including objects other than books. 
A carved moose that we purchased in Maine years ago. 
Santa Clara pottery that I collected in New Mexico in the summer of 1968.   
Now if I can only tackle the books in the living room, the den, the dining room, the kitchen, and the bedrooms (oh and the garage suite) perhaps I can readily locate a book I may be looking for. 

By the way, and I am not getting a kick back, I heartily recommend The Paper Tiger for organizing anything that you can put a number on.  Perhaps when I have finished cataloging the books, I can start on my pottery collection.  Not!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Look Back to Dan's 80th Birthday: 2007 *

When Dan turned 80 in August 2007, I arranged to get a few family and friends down to Westmoore Family Restaurant for a surprise party for Dan.  Dan thought we were just going down to meet his daughter Mary and son-in-law Dave for dinner which we often did, so he was quite surprised to find a number of folks there to celebrate his birthday.

Dan had always enjoyed limericks so I asked friends and family, even those who couldn't be at the party to write a limerick for Dan for his birthday.  I received over 80 limericks from all over the country.  It was great fun and Dan enjoyed them immensely.  Here are a few of the limericks.

Joe Richardson who was with Dan during the crocodile attack sent in several.
Many of his graduate students sent in limericks.
A friend and colleague of mine from Louisburg who himself was a great lover of limericks sent in this one.
Even my grandchildren who were then 12, 10, 8, and 6 wrote one with my help.
Patrick had fun with this.
Friends James and Virginia Tucker from Greensboro.

                     While Cruising an African loch,
                      Dan encountered a hitchhiking croc.
                      He said, "Tell you what, keedo,
                      I'll get into my Speedo
                      And race you from here to the dock."

From Sally Kendall (the Da-Bob was Bob Kendall a graduate student of Dan's.  Sally was a graduate student in botany at Duke.  Sally and Bob have now been married 50 years, and are our wonderful friends living in Maryland.

                In order to fill his life's mission
                of drilling deep lakes with precision,
                he hired Da-Bob,
                who made my heart throb.
                To me, twas his finest decision.
This was a really fun birthday party, and Dan thoroughly enjoyed all the limericks that were written in his honor. 

*  I wasn't blogging back in 2007, so I did a look back on this one.  Today would have been Dan's 89th birthday. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Gadding About at Duck Donuts in Raleigh

Duck Donuts (I think they began in Duck NC in the Outer Banks.)

Ordering at the counter.
I'm not really that much of a donut fan.  Every now and then when I drive by Krispy Kreme and they have their HOT sign out I may stop for a donut.  But the other day grandson Brooks introduced me to RISE biscuits and donuts, and then someone told me about Duck Donuts and I was very much in need of a trip out of the house this afternoon, so I convinced Debbie to go try Duck Donuts over in North Raleigh.  We picked up my friend Marcia on the way. 

A dozen Duck Donuts.

They have an amazing variety of donuts and you can order to your specifications.  We bought a dozen with a variety of flavors, icings, toppings, etc.  We each had one there.  Marcia took two home with her---another for her and one for Bob.  I kept two here at the house and I sent the remaining five home with Debbie to share with her family. 
Marcia's glazed donut.

My donut with vanilla icing, peanuts, and drizzled with salt caramel. 
They had a special donut, but we didn't try it.
Got a small box to send donuts home with Marcia.

I've got to get back in my routine of Eating Less Sugar.  I usually only eat dessert on Sunday, so a friend texted me and asked "Is it Sunday today?"  As I recover from my knee surgery, I told her that every day in August was going to be "Sunday"!  Oh, I will probably use a little self control and not have desserts every day of the month.