In the interest of keeping my hands busy, I do pointless needlework. It’s better than smoking or biting one’s nails, and produces cute, colorful little doilies, pretty cotton dishcloths, and sometimes, friendship bracelets.
my daughter in law’s designs…
I wish I could do work half
She does lovely silk ribbon embroidery.
I’ve just realized that I have lived long enough to be fashionable again. It all started when Martha Stewart went to prison. I’m not interested in whether she committed a crime, or whether said crime held a candle to other criminal deeds of the same ilk—and by that I mean those committed by our own home-grown thief, Richard Scrushy. I’m not here to talk about that.
Martha, whom I have always admired for her drive and energy and success in her chosen field, was accused, tried and convicted. And she took it—not like a man, but like a Lady. She didn’t file appeal after appeal in order to stay out of prison. No, she politely asked the judge to let her begin her sentence as soon as possible so as to get it behind her. She also politely asked if she could be incarcerated in a prison near enough for her aged mother to visit her. What class.
Then, five short months later, Martha was released from prison. She, being newsworthy, was photographed leaving prison wearing black slacks and black turtleneck sweater, with a grey-green crocheted poncho over all. One photo caught her arm raised in a wave so the poncho’s scalloped edging was visible. In case you didn’t know, ponchos are “in” this year; they are fashionable, you see them for sale in every shape, form, color and material wherever you go.
Then, a few days later, there was a story in the Sunday paper about the country’s leading yarn manufacturer, Lion Brand, being inundated with requests for this pattern. Everyone wanted to make Martha’s poncho, which had been a gift from a fellow inmate the day before her release. Said inmate crocheted twelve hours a day, I heard. Continue reading
Concert of the Year! (2004)
Harry Connick Jr. came back to town on Monday, June 14, 2004, for his make-up concert, just as he promised. Earlier in the year at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater—renamed for some cellular service but it will always be Oak Mountain to me, Harry’s concert at the open air arena was rained out after about twenty minutes. We would have stayed, but you can’t argue with a lightening storm.
There was no charge for those of us with tickets to the rained out concert. Julie’s HCJr fan club connection got four seats for herself, her local cronies Charlotte and Debbie, and friend BreAnne who drove down from Huntsville when our fourth had to cancel. We were in the Civic Center Concert Hall, so it was a much drier event—but only in that it did not rain on us. Maybe once you have been soaking wet with someone, that experience erases any restraint there may have been—you’re closer, you have a shared experience. For whatever reason, the Birmingham audience was looser, freer, louder than I have ever seen at his concerts in the Civic Center. Continue reading
Last night’s meeting marked the one year anniversary of the library book club that I attend. My, what a difference from the first few meetings, with only 5 or 6 in attendance, all quiet and shy of voicing their opinions. Last night there were over a dozen ladies, all with something to say about the book we had just read: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson.
It was difficult for some to realize they weren’t in Alabama anymore. The short days and the long winters in Scandinavia make for a difficult existence, one without a lot of indulgence in laughter and light-heartedness. Bad things happened and the glum and fatalistic Norsemen seemed to expect nothing more. Seen through the eyes of a teenager named Trond, life in Occupied Norway went on.
Years later, once Trond Sander had fulfilled his obligations to his family, he just wanted to retire from the world “to think”. A life of quiet contemplation may not appeal to everyone, but that is what he wanted–just him and his dog and a little cabin in the woods. His neighbor turns out to be the brother of his childhood friend and this sparks many memories, of his friend, of his father and of the last time he saw his mother smile.
The author left us hanging, left a lot of unanswered questions, and left us wondering what happened next. This is part of its charm, that we could continue to be involved with the characters long after we finished reading the book.
Granddaughter Gwen and I went shoe shopping this morning and it went better that I had feared. She has inherited a narrow and thin foot that is hard to fit — no shoes from the discount stores for her! I took her to the same children’s shoe store that I bought her father’s shoes from. Her shoe size is on the cusp between children’s and women’s sizes. We were in luck and found a pair of athletic shoes and a pair of burgundy loafers, each of which needed an added footbed and tongue pad to take up excess room. Dress shoes did not work as there was no place to put a tongue pad. But with two pair of shoes that fit and a stack of socks, we felt we had done a good morning’s work. The shoe store keeps track of purchases and according to their “Buy Twelve pair and get the Thirteenth Free” policy, I had a nice discount!
“What’s that smell?” Gwen asked as we left the shoe store. “I’ll bet that comes from the bakery next door,” I replied. Gwen thought it a very good idea to draw customers in by venting the good yeasty, cinnamon-spice smell into the street. We each picked out a pastry to take home for our luncheon dessert.
We drove over Red Mountain where a statue of Vulcan God of the Forge looks down over the city of Birmingham. The leafless trees afforded us a good view of Vulcan and his pedestal as we passed by Vulcan Park on our way to Birmingham’s Southside, the restaurant and entertainment district. “What’s the difference” Gwen asked, “between a cafe’ and a restaurant?” Her question arose at the right time. We parked on 10th Avenue and walked back toward the Five Points South fountain. “Here is a cafe” I said, “with tables on the sidewalk–casual dining. Restaurants are usually more formal, darker and more expensive.” Continue reading
Posted in Entertainment
Tagged Alice in Burtonland, Birmingham, fantasy, Five Points South Fountain, Frank Fleming, God of the Forge, Movies, shoe shopping, Sloss Furnace, Vulcan, Vulcan statue