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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Magnolia Plantation near Charleston!

Hope you don't mind more pic's of my trip last week. It has taken me all week to recover and to think that my landlady is still gone and enjoying herself in Florida. She so wanted me to go on to Tampa with her to the debate there but I had to get back to the North Forty.

One reason I had to return is tomorrow night I am going to Austin to take my grandbabies to the Harlem Globe Trotters Show. This was part of their Christmas from me. They are both excited and I am too.

Today I wanted to show you the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens near Charleston. While Barbara was doing a lunch with Newt I begged out so I could see this famous plantation.

This plantation is located on the Asley River and has been owned by the Drayton family since 1670's.
The home was so different looking from most southern plantations that I have seen.

This one had a huge basement that surrounds the home and you had to walk up a lot of stairs just to reach the veranda and entry into the home. Of course there were the huge porches surrounding the home.

It is famous for it's beautiful gardens and where the most ancient azaleas and camellia collections in America were developed. Also I found out that the garden is where azaleas were first planted out of doors in a landscape setting.

I only got to visit a very small part of the gardens because the tour bus left early to take us back to Charleston.

 Look at these pansies planted in a cross flowerbed with a gorgeous statue.

On the plantation four of the slave houses have been saved for tours.
I found these quarters sad and each house except the one shown here was divided with a fireplace in the middle to serve two living quarters for two families. Very small with only One small room for a family.
Look at the size of this Oak tree. I thought the ones out here on the North Forty are huge but I believe these in South Carolina have them beat.

The slaves on this plantation grew rice instead of cotton. Charleston is famous for it's Golden Rice.

I was quite surprised at the swamps all through out the land. The plantation was once 1500 acres but after the civil war the family had to sell 1000 acres in order to keep their land.
These are palemetto trees that are famous all in the Charleston area.

This is one of the many lakes that we rode across on the tram. If you look closely you can see a big ramp out in the lake built for the aligators to sun theirselves. We were told to be careful while touring the grounds because of the aligators. Take it from me with the luck I had been having on this trip I stayed close to the main house. lol I was bound and determined to try and get back to Texas with all my limbs.

Since this was winter time the azalea's and magnolia's were not in bloom but we did see some beautiful camelia's. Every time I tried to take a picture of a camelia bush the tram would move and my pic would be fuzzy.

I stood there that afternoon trying to picture this plantation back in the day when it was in it's full glory. I just can't imagine living like these people lived. If not for their slaves they never could of managed. Which of course this broke my heart thinking of their hardships.

While touring the grounds the tour guide showed us a man driving around the property and said he had lived there all his life and his family had lived in one of the slave houses. He now owns a piece of the land and still lives on it. I thought I heard he was 92.

Hope you have a nice weekend planned. I am looking forward to mine since I am seeing my family. I have not seen them since Christmas Day so you know how happy I am to be able to spend some time with them. I can't stay long because I am suppose to have renters moving in my home on the lst and I am still cleaning and painting over there. Also we had a tornado come through here last night and boy do I have a mess to clean up but it could be a lot worse. Just limbs thank goodness. So I have that waiting on me when I come home.

Thanks for coming by and visiting with me.

Love to all,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Charleston's Historic District!

After the debate in Myrtle Beach we headed for downtown Charleston and stayed several nights at the Old Hampton. Gorgeous old hotel with a courtyard that reminded me of New Orleans. Here Barbara is checking in and right by her side was Henry the bellman.
Henry ask us to call him Happy which we were glad to do. He sang and danced his way through his work day. I never met a happier man in my life. Born and raised in Charleston.

I found all the people in Charleston to be warm and friendly.  My hope is to one day return to this beautiful city and enjoy my time there with no meetings.

In the Lobby I caputured Barbara while we were waiting on our tour of the historic district of Charleston.  We got to the hotel early so we were able to take a 90 minute tour and I loved it.

I begged our tour guide not to mention Newt's name or the debate so we could enjoy the day. lol
They did have to get on that subject once or twice but he was kind enough not to let it happen for long.

Several homes were in this color of pink which we both loved.

It was a bus tour and since Barbara and I were lucky enough to be the only two on the tour I jumped back and forth to one side of the bus taking pictures. Of course there were way too many beautiful homes to capture but I did manage to take a few.

Our tour guide was excellent. He knew his history of not only Charleston but the United States. I have to find his card he gave me because he has written a book. He also did ghost tours at night and if I could of slipped out of one of those conferences unnoticed I would of loved to have taken one of those. lol 
According to our guide most of these homes are all single family dwellings which I found incredible since their huge. He did show us some where just some older ladies lived there by themselves. I can't imagine Can You?

 Every time I saw one of the horse drawn tours I made a mental note to take one but we left before I could. I also very much wanted to tour Fort Sumter by taking a boat to the island and then tour the fort.

I have more pic's of Charleston's homes but I know you have seen enough.

It stormed here today on the North Forty so I was able to take a nap and download these pictures. For some reason I just don't feel good. I think the seven days of constant going has finally caught up with me. Would you believe though Barbara is 78 and is still on the road chasing the politicians.

She makes me feel like I am really out of shape. My back held up pretty good but I found that I took a lot of pain pills in that week so maybe that is one reason I don't feel good since I returned home. I am back to taking only a few a day.

Our next stop after the Hampton was the Beautiful Charleston Place where all the politicians were staying. I will try and do that post tomorrow. In both Myrtle Beach and Charleston we switched hotels twice so that added to the confusion. Charleston Place was the most beauitful but the Hampton was located where I could walk easily around. The Hampton was right across the street from the old train station and it looked just like the one in the movie Gone With the Wind.

I loved all the history in Charleston. Lovely place to visit and I think I could easily live there.

Love to all


Monday, January 23, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

The ole saying be careful what you wish for is certainly one I should remember for myself. When things are hectic around the North Forty I am wishing I were traveling. Then when I get the chance to see some beautiful places I am wishing for the North Forty. Go figure!

 The first night in Myrtle Beach we stayed in the Sheridan where the debate was being held. Security was so tight it was hard getting around. These pictures were taken across the street from the Sheridan where they had a rally the night before the debates. I thought this was pretty neat how they carved each candidate in a huge pile of sand. No sand castles just Republicans.

I do know that if I ever hear or see another politician in the next few weeks or Fox News I am liable to admit my own self to the State Hospital in Austin. Two GOP debates in less than a week was incredible but oh so tiring.  Here is a picture from the Rooster's Nest as Barbara called our seats of the debate in Myrtle Beach. We were not allowed to take pic's but Ms Pearl just had to take one quick one.

The first debate in Myrtle Beach was a lot more interesting than the one in Charleston. It may be because I was so tired by the time that debate started I felt myself almost falling a sleep during the two hours they were talking. Of course the first five minutes with Newt defending himself against his ex-wife's interview was pretty hot and you could feel the steam coming out of his ears all the way where I was sitting but other than that question it was boring.

Ms Pearl did her best to stay contained during the trip. I did though have to request to drop out Saturday and fly home from Charleston. My landlady is a sweetheart but she wanted to drive from there to Tampa for another debate and I could not do it.

We went to sleep at night listening to Fox and woke up to Fox at 5:30 every morning so my nerves were shot after seven days of Fox.

I missed though getting to stay in Savannah on the way to Florida but we did drive through it for a half of an hour going to Myrtle Beach and I got to take a few pic's.

My favorite City was Charleston which I will share some of those pictures with you in the next few days. Right now I am so tired I feel like a Zombie. I flew out of Charleston to Houston Saturday evening and when I got home late that night Tinkerbell cried when she saw me. Well at least that is what is sounded like to me. I of course cried when I saw her and my other babies outside. That night I could not sleep because she made me rub her the whole night. She purred so much I was worried about her. lol

Never have I been missed so much while away on a trip.

I do have some funny stories to tell when I can get the ole brain ticking again. But wanted you to know I am home safe and half way sound. Enjoy these pic's of my short half hour on the beach in Myrtle Beach.

This is where we stayed one night at the Hilton. I wish we could of stayed longer here because of it being on the beach but Barbara found out that there was a debate in Charleston so we packed up and headed for Charleston. I only had maybe thirty minutes one afternoon free to walk this beach.

When I agreed to do this trip it was for the debate in Myrtle Beach and then come home but as you know it ended up being two debates. I think if I had been prepared for what all is involved in going to these debates I might have had a better time. I did not pack for parties, conferences and banquets that were going on twenty-four hours a day and everyone that Newt was at she tried to be there too. I begged to be left in the room or on the beach but not even begging got me out of these meetings.

It was intimidating to be around all these delegates and their families dressed to the nine's while I brought nothing nice enough to attend these different functions. It upset me to the point where on the night before I flew home and the last banquet I attended I was throwing up back in the hotel room.

Barbara kept telling me I should not care about how the others were dressed but it bothered me a lot and I found myself several times clicking my heels wishing for Kansas or Texas. lol

I missed all of you and hopefully in a few days I will be caught up with you.

Next post I will share some beautiful pic's of Charleston. I am in love with that city and want to go back again when I can just be a tourist.

Thank you for all the sweet comments. I missed you too and I am so glad to be home.

Love to all

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Charleston South Carolina Today!

Gosh I have missed Blogging with you! I am still a hostage of my landlady and today we are in Charleston. I think if your going to be held hostage that Charleston is place to be. It is a everything I ever imagined it would be.

Here is the bridge we crossed going into Charleston from Mrytle Beach.

The GOP debate was more than I expected. I actually dreaded going but I did enjoy the actual debate.
When I get back home I will tell you of my adventures going to Mrytle Beach and the debate. I will also share pictures of the Beach.

Here is one of the streets in Charleston. I took a lot of pic's of the old homes. Some of them are pre-civil war homes and are gorgeous. Can't wait to download them.

When I agreed to this trip it was for the debate only in Mrytle Beach but now we are in Charleston for another debate. So yes I guess I am lucky to be able to see two debates but I had planned on being home today. Now the way it looks it's likely I may not be home until next Wednesday because she not only goes to the debates but goes to Town meetings where New Gingrich will be and any place else he might attend so this trip is dragging out.

I felt bad because she is having a fit to leave Charleston and drive to Tampa or somewhere in Florida for the next debate but no way can I be away from home that long. Poor Tinkerbell is never going to forgive me now.

I told her I could fly home and she could drive on to Florida but I don't think she is going to take me up on that. After driving 18 hours the first day and 12 hours the second day to get to Mrytle Beach it would not hurt my feelings at all if I flew home. haha

Ms Pearl has did her best to not come out during this trip but let me tell you there were so real close calls that I have admit she did make small appearances. There is only so much politics you can listen to in a 24 hour day. In the hotel rooms Fox News is on and I don't dare change the channel. We even sleep with it going. Trust me if I never see or hear Fox News again I won't complain.

While we were in Mrytle Beach one of the nights we stayed at the awesome Sheridan where the debate was being held and we were walking in the front area of the hotel where the big concrete pond is shooting water up and is a lovely fountain. Well I came so close to being knocked into the water that all I can say is God's Angels were with me because I managed to only get one foot and leg wet. My friend and landlady tripped and fell. Since I was in front of her I blocked most of the fall and she was not hurt but she knocked me backwards and all I could think about was my back. I did not even think of the fountain being there. Somehow I guess me trying to hold onto her kept me from falling backwards into it.
Talk about embarrassed! One security officer helped me out of the fountain and several tried to help her.
If I had fallen completely in I would of died.

Security was so thick at the Sheridan and surrounding area that is why they were there to help us. Going inside the debate was worse than boarding a plane.  lol

I am sure that it will be that way tomorrow for this debate in Charleston. If the debate tomorrow night is as good as the one Monday night then I will enjoy it.

You know I miss you and have been wishing you were here with me because then I know it would be a great trip. Would love to do this trip sometime in the fall when there is not one politician within a hundred miles of here.

Much love to you and Sweet Dreams!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Blogazine Guest Kathy/ Leaving for a While!

Tonight I want to introduce you to another sweet friend out here in this huge world of blogging. Meet Kathy from the blog Shawkl!

She has been patiently waiting for several weeks for me to publish her story so sit back and enjoy my new Blogazine Guest.

Oh but first let me tell you this crazy story.....My landlady Barbara phoned me last night and told me to pack my bags we were leaving for Mrytle Beach, South Carolina. Well tonight not more than an hour ago she phoned and said to be ready by 2AM that she was coming by to get me. Something about having to get to the Republican debate early because she has an appointment to sit down with Newt. Are you kidding me? Two in the morning. It is already late tonight and so who can lay down and try to sleep for a few hours. haha If I know Barbara she will be here long before 2AM so I guess I need to try and at least lay down for a while.

I looked on map quest and it is over 1200 miles to Mrytle Beach and she drove 1175 miles to get to Texas today so we could leave in the morning. Crazy right? Now where did I last see my Prozac?

OK Now let me introduce you to Kathy!

 Hi, my name is Kathy…but most folks know me as Shawkl (Shaw – K – L)  which is the name of my blog and my “cyber space” name on several other boards. I am in my mid-fifties…and live in a tiny little town in Alabama…almost on the Georgia line.  My entire family lives here…all six of my siblings and their children, my mother, my two children, and my three grandchildren. So, it’s a nice place to be. I am retired and now get to call my time my own! Before you get too bored…let me share photos of two mermaid silkies I embellished for a friend. In the first one, my friend beaded the baby…and the mother was done by me.  

 The second also required me to bead a cabochon for the mermaid’s staff.

My stitching began at an early age…mostly to dress my dolls. I did not really get serious until graduating from high school; and mostly it was cross-stitch, crochet, and dress-making I attempted back then. Even to this day…anyone in the family that needs pants hemmed or patches sewn on their jackets…brings them to me.  Over the years…I’ve been the “family sewer”. Not just quilts…anything that needed to be done. Wedding dresses were my job as well for several in the family…here is my niece’s wedding dress…with her 15ft train.  At this wedding, I also made the flower-girl’s dress; and because I’m also a crafter… made the flower girl basket and all of the bridal party’s flowers.

Over the years, I have done plenty of cross-stitch, Hardanger, and long stitch needle-arts. Quilting did not become a passion until the 1980’s after attending a class with a friend in Indiana. Since the 1990’s, I have taught quilting. Sometimes in my home, sometimes at craft shops, quilt shops, the Alabama State Fair, or at the local college.  This year, I’m also offering more “traveling classes”. But, mostly rely on my blog ( as a vehicle for me to instruct and share my stitching adventures.
Even though I have been quilting for about 30 years now…Crazy quilting has only recently come into “vogue” for me. I have no idea what took me so long to try it! And, now that I have…it has been a primary focus of mine for almost three years now! It is also the reason I began my blog. I have stitched on a lot of crazy quilt round robin blocks and different projects in this short amount of time. Most days, I have a needle in my hand about six hours of that day. In 2010 my tote bag “The Queen” won first place in the Crazy Quilter’s International Yahoo Group’s purse contest. She has over 400 hours of embroidery work on her…and I was very proud that she was recognized as a favorite among such great and accomplished needle-artists in this wonderful group!

Just recently, I authored my first book “Embellishing Crazy Quilts”, available at and autographed copies are also available from my studio at . This book  gives me another opportunity to share my stitching and embroidery motif patterns…and hopefully it will also entice more folks to try crazy quilting. 

 My second book is also in production and I hope to have it out this spring or summer. It deals with a traditional quilting design that I have been teaching for decades.  Plus, I also have three other book concepts that I have not started stitching models for…but they have been in my head for some time. One has been in concept for over ten-years…and the cover photo (in my head) is of a wedding gown with the train showing…and it is full of shadow appliqué flowers flowing down from the dress bustle.  The train is totally designed and about 1/3 of the way appliquéd…but it had to be stored away when my grand-daughter was born in 2003. It’s difficult to work on a large project when you have a little one at your feet…with sticky fingers! Here is a sample of one of the shadow-appliqué floral patterns that will be incorporated into the wedding train.

Apparently, I write like I talk…long winded! So, let me finish by saying that presently I dabble in stumpwork and want to do more of that in the coming months…and I recently got interested in learning about Brazilian Embroidery as a natural progression (I think) of dimensional type stitching. I stitch a lot these days…and quilt very little…but have several Un-Finished Objects that are long-term projects to also keep me busy! Thank you for reading such a long post! And if I hope you will check out all of my tutorials and blog posts at Big Hugs! Kathy (aka Shawkl)

 Kathy Shaw

Thanks Kathy for sharing this with us. I appreciate you for taking the time to show us all your gorgeous pieces. I enjoyed this very much.I started a quilt years ago of pictures of my family and I tried to finish it with the crazy quilt look. Now it makes me want to pick it up again and finish it.

 Be sure and visit Kathy's sites.  She is quite the inspiration and I am glad she is my friend.

Not sure when I will be back home but am taking my computer with me so hopefully I can log on now and then. I have never been to South Carolina so I know I will have lots of things to share with you when I come home.

Just realized it is Friday the 13th ....glad I did not know that earlier in the day. hahaha.
Boy I hope my computer is not fixing to crash on me I had so much trouble trying to do this post every time I thought I was going somewhere I would take two steps backwards.

Miss you already but I will be back

Love to you

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Cowboy/Christmas Pics Too!

Yes I know it is already mid January but you know I run late all the time so please bare with me while I show a few pictures I took at Christmas. Not many by me because I was too busy enjoying the day to snap a lot of pics. Chad or Christi got some of me and the grand babies that I am going to have to get them to send them to me. In this top picture I bought Tinkerbell the bird toy that Patti was talking about on her site Arkansas Patti. Most of you know and love Patti. Now that is a woman that can write some tales. She just wrote one about Elvis. A must read!

Have I mentioned before that Tinkerbell is fat and lazy well this proves it right here in this picture. She does not play with this toy unless I lay it on the bed and she can enjoy it lying down. What a life this girl has before long she will be too big for her litter box then what.

Here you see my two grand babies Bailey and Kaci handing out toys. They love doing this and what a great job they do of it. After their all handed out we open one at a time so it takes a long time for our present opening.

Look at my sweet Kaci! Every year she ends up with something on her head while opening present. I think this is a gift bag.

Love this picture of Bailey! He is demonstrating or explaining something to his Aunt Christi.

Kaci is giving her Dad his present or is she helping him open it. This is my middle son Clint. What a handsome young man!
My baby girl Christi. Sitting back waiting on her presents. I think your beautiful Christi!
Bailey has his eye on something. Look how serious. He must be watching Kaci open one of her gifts.
Chad is my other handsome son on the couch with Bailey.  Sitting in the chair to his left is my lovely
daughter-in-law Andrea.

Not a lot of pictures and of course I don't take really good pic's but wanted to share my happy day with you.

I noticed a clothes basket in the floor near Kaci. hahaha  I guess someone brought their gifts in it from Austin and left it sitting there for me to capture. I normally don't have one in my living room.

The green on the walls is the color I am using with the rose paper upstairs. I think it will be a good combination. Have not been upstairs to work on it this week. Hopefully in the next few days. I have
to take breaks because of my back. As most of you have been kind enough to mention that I should be careful and not over do which is one of the reason I have not worked on it in a few days.

Another reason is I have let myself go bat crazy over one of my kittens that lives outside. He has gotten something that has caused him to be loosing hair in patches. I talked to a vet and he thinks he might have
ring worms. I of course flipped out when he told me that. Just what that poor cat needs and me. I have washed my hands so many times today I feel like a Prune.

I took your advice and made the Cowboy some chocolate peanut clusters and took them to him yesterday evening. We stood on his porch talking for a long while and I have to tell you something really funny. I already shared this with Maggie from Mumsy Fur Kids site but I will now tell you. Yep her name is Maggie too and she has been kind enough to try and calm me down for the last few days about my fur kids. Another friend of mine who can write some good stories. She started a new blog just about her furry kids and it is a fun site. Thanks honey for helping me this week. I appreciate it.

After a while he mentioned something about he had been wondering what to give me for Christmas and I thought he said something about fixing me dinner or something to that effect. I for some reason was embarrassed that he had been talking to his daughter about what to give me because we are just neighbors and I did not want him to get me something.

Any way I interrupted him and said, "I have something in mind you can give me for Christmas!" Honey if you could of seen the look on his face. I felt so bad for him because I don't know but that must of really scared him. I think I laughed and then said, "One of my kittens is in trouble and I don't know what is wrong with him." Before I could finish what I was going to say he quickly volunteered to take him to the vet the next morning. I then did not know what to say because I just wanted him to come over the next day and look at Snowball and see if he knew what was wrong.

He was probably so relieved when I told him it involved a cat and not me that he did not know what to do.

Well we stood there back and forth me saying one thing and he another and finally I agreed he could take it to the vet if I paid for it. So when I left the plans were for him to come by this morning early and pick him up.

I was grateful for this kind deed and got up at 6am this morning so I would have time to be dressed/make up on and no purple pj's when he came by. Well I waited all morning and worked in the front part of the house and yard so I could hear him if he showed up. About 1pm his ex-girlfriend called me who I really love and told me that he was working on one of his horses that was bleeding. I of course told her no problem and she said he still planned on coming today. I guess it turned out to be a big problem because he never showed up.

A couple of days ago I googled ring worms on cats or animals and there were quite a few people suggested using Apple Cider Vinegar on them and also Selsum Blue Shampoo. Some swore by the Apple Cider Vinegar to wipe on them two or three times a day and some even give it to them to digest.
They all claim their cats were cured by doing this. Naturally I went to town bought the vinegar and gloves. Can not tell you how paranoid I am about getting this too. Oh man I would just freak out.

Anyway I can hardly walk today from trying to chase the cat down to doctor it. The first time went okay because he is a friendly cat and did not know what I was doing. was another story.
I put the vinegar in their cat food and some in the water. I also ordered the tablets from HEB yesterday.
Those are for me and Tinkerbell. haha

Hopefully the cowboy will show up tomorrow and my Snowball can be taken care of. Christi, Kaci and I have become quite attached to these cats and I would hate to see something happen to them.

Thanks everyone for coming by and leaving me such sweet comments about my room redo. I will be so glad when I get that project over and done. You gave me some great ideas and I can't wait to try them.
I also have thought of a couple of things that would be good to do in there also so I am excited to see if it all pans out.

After talking about the cat I have got to go jump in my tub. Scrubby dub dub. Can you tell I have a problem with worrying about what he has got.

Sweet Dreams