Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks

Rose-breasted grosbeaks migrate through our area from about the middle of April until early May.  They seemed a little later this year. I watched the feeders for days before they showed up.  It was worth the wait.

I have been trying, without success, to get some photos since they have been here.  This morning, I managed to get a few by staying inside and not disturbing them.  These shots were taken through two panes of glass, so please forgive me if they seem a little fuzzy. 

They hide in the scaly-bark hickory tree just off the deck.

This handsome fellow seems to really enjoy the woodpecker suet.

I'm really glad I was able to get these shots before they take off for the northeast.  Y'all can come back anytime!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cornbread Festival

Yesterday, Hub, Baby Boy, Rachel, and I attended the Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.  South Pittsburg is where Lodge makes all those iron skillets to cook cornbread in.

I think the festival is twelve years old, and this was our third time to attend.  It was an almost-perfect day.

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage put on a good show, and their sponsor, Martha White, was generous with gifts and samples.

Cornbread Alley lets you sample many different kinds of cornbread, including some with chocolate chips and pecans.  They were all good, but after all that sampling, I was thinking it might be a little better with a pork chop to go with it.

With more than sixty vendors with real art, it was hard to choose what to take home.

I especially loved the bird houses.

It was hard to miss this one-man band clown.  His doll had eyes like Chucky and it kinda scared some of us. 

Then the clouds started churning, and we left a little sooner than we had planned to.  We were in Scottsboro when the rain began.  We drove the rest of the way home in the rain; thankfully, we didn't encounter any bad storms.

It was excellent kick-off for the festival season, and I can't wait until the next one.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Scripture: Spring

My beloved spoke and said to me,
    “Arise, my darling,
    my beautiful one, come with me.
11 See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
    the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
    my beautiful one, come with me!"

~Song of Solomon 2:10-13

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Time is like a flowing river, you can't touch 

the water twice. Because the flow that 

passed will never come back.

~Basit Babatunde

Friday, April 25, 2014

Quilting Class: Final Report

Some days, we thought winter would last forever, but it just seemed that way.  It is gone, chased away by sunlight and south winds, although I found a little pocket of it hiding under the hickory tree yesterday morning.  The end of winter also means the end of quilting class.

It was wonderful, productive, and a great learning experience for all of us.  It was tough for us some weeks; we battled sickness and the cold to keep our meetings.  I applaud the students who came out on nights so mean and cold that no other living things were stirring.  We made it, and we did good.

It is the love of good things, of things made with hands, of things that will last that compels students to give up a cozy night at home to show up for class week after week and patiently put stitches in fabric.

I met Pam Osburn (Rosyln Carter) when she came to work at the chemistry department at the University of North Alabama several years ago.  The chemistry department is just across the hall from the physics and earth science department in the Floyd Science Building, so Pam and I see each other often.  We usually talk quilts when we're together.  Of course, every time I complete a quilting project, I take it to work to show it off, and Pam always appreciates it.  I knew she would be the perfect student, and she was.  She recently became a grandmother, and wants to make quilts for her little one to treasure. She learned to make those tiny stitches immediately.

Ann Evans (Dolly Madison) has too many talents to list here.  She is retired from teaching university level math and technology.  She is an accomplished musician and has published fourteen books. Her mother had given her some quilt blocks around forty years ago, and after keeping them stored and moving them several times, Ann sewed the blocks together last year and made her first quilt. She was a wonderful addition to this class, and I can't wait to see the quilts she will make.

I didn't know Denise Davis (Jackie Kennedy) until I was preparing for this class.  A mutual friend told me that Denise would be perfect for it, because she loved all things crafty.  After we talked, I knew our friend was right.  Denise does a variety of crafts, including making decorated cakes that are beautiful.  She was a natural at hand quilting, and I have no doubt that she can make anything she wants to.  I see stacks of quilts in her future.

I have been quilting for many, many years.  I learn more with every class I teach, not just about quilting, but about patience, sharing, giving, and making tangible things that will last long after I am gone. I'm always sad to see the class end.  I'm going to miss y'all, ladies, and we have to get together to quilt again!

The Alabama State Council of Arts provided a grant to make this class possible.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share this love of quilting.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Scripture: Alive

I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

                      ~Job 19:25

Saturday, April 19, 2014


You believe
  In God, for your part?--that He who makes
    Can make good things from ill things, best from worst,
      As men plant tulips upon dunghills when
        They wish them finest.
                      - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Mid the sharp, short emerald wheat, scarce risen three fingers well,
  The wild tulip at the end of its tube, blows out its great red bell,
    Like a thin clear bubble of blood, for the children to pick and sell.
      - Robert Browning

Dutch tulips from their beds
  Flaunted their stately heads.
          ~James Montgomery

Thursday, April 10, 2014


At last, things are blooming at the Robertson manse. Thank you, Lord, for letting me see another spring time.

See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come.

                                            ~Song of Solomon 2:11,12a

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Scripture: Sanctuary

I have seen you in the sanctuary    and beheld your power and your glory. ~Psalm 63.2

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fishing at the Dam

It always makes me nervous when there is fishing too close to the dam, but these white pelicans seem to be enjoying it immensely.

White pelicans usually winter farther south than we are, but they seem to like it just fine here.  Their numbers have increased greatly in the past year, and they can be spotted just about any time near the dam and other spots along the river.

Could be that they love the fishing here.

They are beautiful.  We welcome them to our part of the state.