Monday, December 13, 2010

From Our Hearts to Yours: Merry Christmas!

As Christmas time
comes racing around the corner
this year I find myself
very much behind
with not a
single card addressed
or stamp stuck.
Then while thinking
what could I do in such a short time...
this was my answer.
I hope each and everyone of our family & friends
have a wonderful
filled with love and joy!
And so from our hearts to yours
here is our card
filled with
happy memories of
the last couple of Christmases with our family.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Special Date Night… The Levon Helm Band Concert


Who among my generation… (and those surrounding it) would not begin a spontaneous drool when asked if they would like to go to a Levon Helm concert?

For those who did not grow up in the 60’s and 70’s

or belong to parents who did…

(as for my babies… The Band provided  much of the soundtrack to their younger years)

let’s take a short peek back in time…

It began (for me) with “The Band”

Somewhere around 1968 through 1975,

levon The Band

The Band was one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world, their music was embraced as seriously as the music of “The Beatles and the “Rolling Stones”

The Band held a farewell concert at Winterland in San Francisco on Thanksgiving 1976.

It was a bittersweet time for many who thought the end of the Band was too soon.

(I wanted to weep!)

They called it “The Last Waltz” which included Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Muddy Waters, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and an all star guest list of peers & friends.

The event sold as a triple album & was filmed ,

becoming a historical “rockumentary”



 Levon Helm is a rock multi-instrumentalist and actor who achieved his fame as the drummer and frequently lead singer for The Band.


He is known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice and creative drumming style 

He has nurtured a tradition of professionalism with a deep respect for his craft and remains  genuine . He is a master storyteller who weaves his tales with a magic thread that ties us all. He beckons us to come in, sit a spell and enjoy.


Levon’s nimble drumming leaves no doubt that he deserves the title,

“The greatest drummer”,

bestowed on him by Ringo Starr.

Last evening, I had the tremendous

pleasure of accompanying Michael to the Concert Hall at the BJCC

where we attended a rare touring concert by The Levon Helm Band.

It was a most wonderful event!

The music was out of this world and  a

long time dream came true!

The first act was

“Secret Sister”,

two young ladies (actually sisters) from our own Muscle Shoals, Al.

Who could be luckier?

To actually be the front band for Levon on their first tour?


Second to take the stage was

Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs

Rays voice being like some kind of candy…

smooth, thick , maybe a little sticky..

but, with a little bite…

They were very enjoyable…

but, when they brought out the horn section borrowed from Levon’s band

they proved beyond the shadow of a doubt this band could really boogie!

After Ray left the stage…

the house lights came up and everyone stretched their legs…

while the stage was prepared for the main act.

Levon’s drum kit was brought out on it’s own little raised set…

When the lights dimmed…

then a long anticipated show began.

The fact that his singing is now limited,

(due to a fight with throat cancer),

gives the rare moments when he does sing an enormous sense of gravity.


Thank you Michael for

always treating me so special


we thank you Levon for such a wonderful show!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pictures of Michael W.

For those who have not had a chance to see pictures of our grandson in awhile I thought I would post some his Mommy and Baba have taken... and posted on facebook ...

So for those of you who don't look at fb here are pictures of

Michael W. Hall

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Baba and Michael with Mr. Pirate Pumpkin

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Michael as "Buzz" & Miss Scarlett as "Tinkerbelle"


Just clowning around


On the way to a camp out...


First time fishing

with Baba

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Such a happy boy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Through the Mountains

Over many years Michael and I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel near and far across our great land... we have seen many a sight and witnessed a few spectacles ...

yet, all this time Michael had never been to the

Smoky Mountains...

Now, I had been... although it was many, many moons ago.

If you had had the occasion to ask me my age on my first visit there I more than likely would have answered your query in the following fashion

"I am eight going on nine"

That was the summer my Mama & Daddy moved us from Birmingham back to

Albertville, on top of

Sand Mountain.

I was fortunate enough at the beginning of the summer to have spent some time in the home of one of my older sisters.

It was during this time the luggage and children

(including myself)

were loaded into the car.

I was beside myself with anticipation!

I knew not what to expect...

the only family vacations we had ever taken were to Claremont Springs...

where the highlight of the trip was to catch tadpoles in a jar and ring the large dinner bell in the yard..

but, that is a story for another time...

In the Smoky's that summer...

I learned of taffy candy and saw it being pulled in a store front...

Saw mountain streams, experienced narrow roads and steep cliffs...

and left nose smudges on the back seat window while looking all along our route for Bear and Indians !

On a whim this past Saturday,

Michael and I threw a change of clothes in our duffels and headed north east...

For a view out the window

(for those of you that feel like a road trip up the interstate, take a gander at the slide below...)

Michael had made reservations for our lodging in Pigeon Forge

(now this was new to me..

40 some odd years ago I don't remember there being such a place...)

The closer we got the more the excitement was building .

Maybe this time...

I'd see my bear.


We passed through several small communities scattered along the way...

then we turned left onto


after less than a mile or so

my heart began to get a queasy sinking feeling...

over the last forty some odd years...

Men, with big dreams of the all mighty dollar, had descended on this place of beauty with their bulldozers, wheelbarrows, concrete and asphalt.

No matter how you craned your neck or strained your eyes the beauty of the land was hard to find for all the billboards and neon flashing signs of this hideous concrete monstrosity , called a tourist destination.


I tried to look on the bright side...

had we children with us

they would have loved the dragons and castles..

the penny arcades and zipper cars...

the roller coasters, bungee jumps , miniature golf courses, The Magic shows , the Elvis Extravaganzas


t-shirt trinket stores


Our lodgings were exceptionally nice...

and my room mate,

extraordinaire !


(Note the Moose , next to Michael, in the picture above!!!)

Had to leave NH

and go to the southern mountains to see my moose.

I was very tickled to see behind our lodge a mountain stream!






With some wild life, too.



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That evening we ventured out

in search of sustenance

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We found ourselves sitting

in the "Alamo"


Our young waitress came to take our drink orders clad in a crimson t-shirt sporting a white A.

Michael tickled himself by greeting her with a hardy


She almost jumped out of her skin.


Our meal was delicious

and I was as full as a tick.

Sunday morning rolled around and found us leaving town with some of the crowds.


As we rolled out of town

my spirits began to soar...

maybe just maybe

all the neon,

concrete and plastic of

a Hollywood hillbillies dream

was being left behind186


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Gatlinburg had grown

the commercialization of the mountain side was evident in

this once quaint area too... 220 221 222 223



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And yet...

even with the additions of

all the t-shirt stores, old time photo shops, and ice cream stands

it still had a bit of a quaintness about it.

And I actually saw "the"

Taffy pulling machine through the window !!!

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And finally the park

and the colorful beauty

I had been anticipating since

our departure from

South Carolina


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A slide show of some pictures from the window

as we drove through the mountains...

We meandered through the mountains

stopping on a whim...

taking our time

drinking in mother natures beauty

while enjoying the quiet solitude of each others company.

Below a beautiful mountain stream

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Mingus Grist Mill









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Way over "somewhere" in the mountains we finally

pulled out the

"Talking Lady"



after she told us to turn around and drive back the way we had just come some twenty miles or so

and we said "no"

she took a deep breath ,

sighed and told us

"Then hold on... cause I'm shutting my eyes and my mouth!"

For the next 16 or 20 miles or so we turned "almost" in tight little circles going up, up and yet further up a very steep incline to find ourselves on top of a magnificent mountain.

On the other side coming down I let out a squeal as we approached a sign for

Looking Glass Waterfall



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Michael pulled over...

in the waning light

we were engulfed by the grandeur of the falls.

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This past week end was wonderful!

I am so glad we took a little time...

to slow down,

and not worry about

a speed limit...

to take our time and enjoy life ,

the beauty around us

and each other...

Life is definitely Good.