August 31, 2012

Small Town America- It's Worth Holding Onto

A Georgia Girl's View- of Plains the Hometown
of President James Earl Carter & Rosalyn Smith-Carter

I grew up a bit southeast , though not far, from Plains Georgia. 
 I'm thinking it was about a three hour's drive away but in the
1940-50's that was not a trip often taken.  Three hours away was
almost ANOTHER COUNTRY. In Bacon, Ware & Pierce
counties there were small towns much like this
[Alma, Blackshear, Waycross] and like Plains they all have struggled to maintain any semblance of the past we once knew.  I am fortunate to have memories of these now historical Main Street settings and now in the 21st century live in one of those that has managed to hold onto some of that flavor from the past.  As with all these small town experiences they are now surving only through much hard work and ingenuity of local , usually lifelong residents.  A short tripto take in these sights is well worth the time.  For many it's just Nostalgia..for my generation-It's Real.

The Plains Inn is above the large antique store,  wonderful inventory and lots of it.  Bring Money.
You will spend some.  Find the Inn on the internet at  It has seven rooms each decorated with a different theme including one PRESIDENTIAL SUITE.

Back Streets

This is actually a 'back street" behind the Main Steet strip of business. It's a COMMUNITY CENTER..Mr. T took a seat in one of those big rockers  and if we'd had children with us they would have been playing in the area just behind me -they must have had young children in mind with the sand box area. I understand from the info I picked up the community center is available  and used for both private and Community events. 

Scenes from the past- Still With Us

One has to wonder if Plains residents or visitors appreciated what we are seeing  here today-Likely not.  We usually dream of what we imagine in the future  and drool over what we once had  and are now struggling to hang onto some of it so many years later in the 21st century..

Seeing the Sights - Plains, Georgia

Upon entering the distinctive, large antique store  visitors are greeted with the life size
 free standing images of Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter on Bicycles.  

Searching for the Perrrr-fect BLT~

I  just have to tell you about our lunch at the "Buffalo Cafe. I have long recognized that when restaurant choices are limited or I am unsure of what to try in a new place it's hard to go wrong with a basic BLT. I recall saying on numerous times, "No one can mess up an order for a BLT."  I have been proven wrong..But it not at the Buffalo Cafe in Plains, Georgia.  I placed my 'safe choice' order and they produced a Perrrrrrfect Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato Sandwich.  I can enjoy playing the Tourist Role in good spirits if I can manage to be served decent food in a decent place..fancy or simple, the requirements are the same. If I had known  how pleasant the outdoor garden area was out behind the Cafe we would have enjoyed our little meal outdoors. I suggest you try that when you slow down and take in Plains, Georgia. Tell them a Georgia Girl from Mershon sent you.

Here we go, gotta spend that money we just "saved" on the
Burlap Deal so lets try for a light lunch at the

When you enter the Buffalo Cafe keep walking straight ahead past the cash
register & through the supply storage area and out the door you will
find this lovely lovely surprise. Sure, take your lunch with you and pop up an
 umbrella to make your shady spot..enjoy the back side of Main street.

 Jonell found that $4.00 tablecloth at the first stop-
Let's see what else we can uncover down here.
A lovely tablecloth [52 " square ]  ''like new" condition for $4.00 and the little man let me help him with labeling some sweet, vintage table linens.

Mr Bobby here must be a really nice man. He's the one who readily agreed on the $1. each
price for the burlap peanut bags. I don't think this was the first time a tourist had asked to
take a picture with the warning that it would end up on an internet blog.
{post script ]
That would be 'Bobby Salter' I'm thinking after reading the sign outside the store.

It's time to say good bye to a little spot along the way-barely a Crossroads. I don't think the spotlight has changed the pace around here.  It's kinda like the pause that refreshes-takes one back  to another time-when everything was slower, quieter and seemed so much smaller & uncomplicated. It was!

Another Alley~

We found another Alley-[Plains, Georgia ] Leading from the main street sidewalk between one of the shops and the Buffalo Cafe>leads to The outdoor brick wall garden at the rear of the cafe. Look carefully and you might catch a glimpse of the "gardeners" at the other end of the alleyway.

August 28, 2012

Lest I Forget~~To Be Thankful

I choose to look at what is right and not dwell on what is wrong. If I can't fix it, no need to spend time beating myself up over it.

 I simply choose to say: "Jesus, would you get that?" [ Isn't that just the neetest phrase-"Jesus, would you get that" ]

I have so many reasons to praise God:
  • Zack and Samantha both got braces off -beautiful smiles! Hooray God! Our daughter and family finally got settled into a home just 3 hours away after being 18 plus hours away in Iowa for 5 years.  Hooray God! Our oldest grand daughter Dylan has gotten back in school [college] Way to go-Praise the Lord!
  • We just took a half hour off to go vote in local election-Thank God we are can vote and expect it to be counted.  And Yes, thank God we have a good automobile with gas in it to go vote. 
  •  A church family member just told us she's praying for us-Thank you God-we are counting on those prayers.
  • The weather thanks to Isaac  is so unpleasant and thank God for AC.  Hooray God! Did I mention how thankful we are to have AC that works..a few weeks ago we came home from Doctors' appointments to find our AC totally disabled. We panicked. Thank God the dealer we purchased it from 6 years ago realized we had a LEMON and arranged to do the right thing and totally replaced it! AMEN! Hooray God,
  • Ted's birthday coming up in a few days & I thank God I can run to the store and buy supplies for a family gathering. Have I failed to mention what a Joy and Blessing our four children, their spouses and the Grands are to us? They are! Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow !
  • I have socks to keep my feet warm and dry. I hear many people in the wake of super storm Sandy do not.
  • I still have my husband with me as we are 71/75 years old. Many women around me who are my age are already alone.
  • My small pantry is basically full..more groceries than I will use before our next grocery shopping
  • While I have little bank account is not completely empty I have no real needs. If challenged to make a list of 10 things I actually all honesty I could not. 
  • All our adult children have jobs-some people do not.
  •  This is not the complete Thankful List but you may abandon me if I try to complete it. Now, make your own THANKFUL LIST.

We know there are difficult days ahead..but we don't travel this journey alone. He promised.
 p.s. April 2014  When I made the notes above Ted had just had his first Chemo & looking back we had at that point used up several of the 18 months we had left together on earth.

God is Good....Still


August 27, 2012

Whatsoever Things Are True~ A Praise the Lord Anyway Day

.....whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praise worthy—think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Yes there are days when we do battle with our thoughts, with things unseen, even things that will never be a reality in our future.  I don't always win.  The One I serve always does.
I don't always have the demeanor of a Victor and I do know where this doubt, fear, confusion & even questioning originates. It is without a doubt satan, the evil one [no capitalizations here] who is  now roaming 'to and fro' seeking whom he may destroy.  That would be me he's intent upon defeating.
I Corinthians 14:33 'God is not the author of confusion...." reminds me it is such a good thing to memorize scripture. do  battle with when  we are engulfed with turmoil, doubt and questioning. 
Today is one of those  early days of this journey just begun and I admit there are 'defeaters' swirling within my inner self. I am tempted to compare my life to non believers asking why. There are momentary feelings of envy, dissatisfaction, insecurity and recalling thoughtless words I have heard spoken: "Good things happen to good people." People mean well. They don't think about those within hearing who are grieving or suffering.  I am not angry.  The questioning is brief but I have learned over the seven decades past that satan will use anything 'not tied down.'  [anything not  "good, true, pure, right"]  as he attempts to cause me to stumble knowing when I stumble others will trip over me.

This births another thought:  " God I truly want to come through on the other side of this life event closer to You.  Give me a supernatural abilty to love, to forgive and to endure, to be truly content with what I have and where I am."
James 1:4  And let  endurance have its perfect result [work], so that you may be perfect and complete [mature], lacking in nothing.
My 'silver fox' is at a peaceful contented place with what he is facing.  I see no doubt & no questioning in his demeanor.  I want to be 100% there with him on the same page, however; I do feel the burden is different and weighs differently [if not heavier] when it's your loved one  who faces the  challenges with it's uncertainties and sometimes suffering.
Lord Jesus forgive me when I give this to you then go back and pick it up again.   The life You have given us has been so incredible and rich. The popular phrase "Life is Good" doesn't even begin to work nor is it adequate to address or describe the love and joy ...But LIFE IS GOOD. satan cannot take that from us and to quote my 'love'...God is still in control.

Praise the Lord,Anyway!

August 26, 2012

Yes It Is Our Laundry Room~

No ladies.. not a double seater OUTHOUSE from 1900. It's an OUTDOOR LAUNDRY ROOM- built in 1937.  I  am COMPELLED to share on
Kelly has asked us to show our laundry rooms and I could not resist.. there is not likely to be
another OUTDOOR LAUNDRY ROOM.  People asked when we chose this house if this
would be a problem. I saw moving laundry equipment inside and eating up precious square footage as a bigger negative, not to mention the issue of noise.  Since it's only a few yards from the steps leading up to the deck, it's not an issue for the old folks [us]. The short walking distance is merely an opportunity for staying active.  No, you don't get to see the inside because the outside is a much more interesting view.

Take note of the square WASH TUB hanging on the side of the building and  btw we installed a separate water heater here and only turn it on during laundry day then it's off again.
  No charge for the money saving tip

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Stop over & check out all the serious creativity at Stringtown Home blog

August 19, 2012

~ On the Way Home

 Okay, so it's not The Longest Yard Sale Adventure- You work with what you have. It often seems one comes across the  FINDS when you're not even searching,however; I must admit I have over the years learned to  have a mental list of sorts stashed in a 'back burner' file and it's like turning a switch, flipping that file open when we get out at an unexpected roadside flea market or walk into a nondescript junky [ say grunge] place-that mental list just seems to slide forward and as my face begins to show a
silly little "I've got a secret" kinda look, give the place a quick appraisal.  Yes, there are possibilities here! Wait, don't look so eager-you don't want to rob that shop keeper of the joy of actually making a pitch and wrapping up an easy sale because he is good at what he does. In other words-a little 'poker face' might be in order.The games we play-but what fun we have playing them.  Over so many years Ted has learned and occasionally he is even ahead of me. [remind me to tell you about the BURLAP BAGS]Anyhow~ there they are out along the two lane highway ..the small group of impromptu vendors. It hasn't been a good day & they're giving it up-loading up  their trucks/vans.
After a few minutes of  obligatory haggling over price and condition we quietly conferred, agreeing there was nothing unreasonable about the price of the bicycle. It had all the features I want..meaning NO's  only speed is whatever physical effort the rider invests in it. Now I Would have no excuse for not exercising. No fitness center trip to town-no special equipment...Just me and my Bike. I don't think I have ever had a bicycle of my own [life long] only access to those of our kids.
No it was not new. No it was not perfect. Yes, it'showing some rust here and there. Yes, it can use some sprucing up but that's not major. Even the tires seem okay after My husband aired them up properly. He adjusted the seat to Low, Lower, Lowest [ hey I'm short people] and adjusted the handlebars to Mom angle. so now all I  have to do is FIND MY SNEAKERS. But-no, you will not hear about the first couple of trips up the hill to the baseball park. I will only allow you this much personal and personally embarrassing information-IT WAS A CARDIO WORKOUT. Oh, yes I almost forgot to drop the $$$ info -a mere $30. for my first wheels-at least it's not a tricycle. I just remembered in my 'basket' stash I have a woven [if not wicker] basket for a bicycle. It's a start..when we 'get all dressed up" I will share again , I promise!
[There is a part II to this 'stops along the way home' ]  jh
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August 14, 2012

Aiken House & Gardens: Simple Pleasures

Aiken House & Gardens: Simple Pleasures  Sharing Carolyn's Simple Pleasures post-perhaps it will inspire us to create a serene spot in our own "yardens" and linger "awhile". Dreamy~we deserve it!

August 13, 2012

This is The Day....

I started my morning off by rushing around... breakfast... seeing the hubby off to work... getting my little one dressed... off to the bank... bills paid.... groceries... cleaning... rushing, rushing, rushing.... Without a doubt, it has been a Monday.  I think Monday's are so difficult, because they follow Sunday.  I really don't think they are busier than the other four work week days, but Monday's are difficult because they follow Sunday...

Aaaah, Sunday.  What a day!  Relaxing, full of family, time to worship, naps, yummy meals.... Sunday. 

It's so easy, once our work week starts to forget exactly why we LOVE Sunday so much.... the best part about Sunday, is time worshipping....

In the midst of my crazy morning, I was reminded, that despite the fact that it's MOOOOOONNNDDAAYY, it's still the day that the LORD has made....

Today I made a printable to remind us all... click the pic - print some off - share them with friends, family members, strangers you may meet - share them with yourself (put it on the dash of your car, fridge, mirror, etc.)..... remember, God's not just the Peace Speaker on Sunday - He can be a part of your mundane Monday, too!! 

Hope you all have a wonderful week!!


August 10, 2012

Can We Find Gramma & Pop Something to Do~

[Turn them loose with a little free time on their hands and they end up in the old Downtown Montgomery ALLEYWAYS - ] 
On the way back from another necessary trip to Birmingham we decided to indulge ourselves and check out the Montgomery  Wintzel's seafood restaurant location. I had been WAY BACK IN THE 1960's to the original location in Mobile [that's a story!] but had never been to one of the several new, updated  Wintzels restaurants. By reputation and browsing the internet menu  that it had to be at least  wonderful. It was. We knew about  the downtown restoration -a glimpse of the changes. Ted spotted the ALLEY -noted we might check it out-A first glance into the alleyway & I am retrieving my little digital camera. Our response?  This setting is breathtaking- as we  remember prior to this fabulous project it was nothing more than functional, utilitarian space getting you from point A to point B to take care of business. My take away from this little tourist walk through-Bring Family and Friends and stage some to die for photos-

What a great spot for taking [staging] photos

The scene with the lime green chairs  was once [pre restoration] a utilitarian loading dock-
And the view with multiple balconies is now trendy loft apartments-

A bit of free time and they are roaming the city-yes, the Alley[s] in downtown Montgomery [Al].  Alleys- not what they once were.

After winding through the ALLEYS this is where we came out-
 My husband the model..he has become resigned to my Camera
in hand -now when I point he just gives in and
 waits for me to capture  the moment-
"She's going to do it-I might as well let her do her thing  & get
done with it." [th]

These tables line the center of one Alley-Do you understand
SPEECHLESS/DROOL [that would be ME]

Yes, I know I am showing off THE BAR SCENE..just ignore that
and look at the brick work and the repurposing restoration-I
seriously doubt if it were this beautiful when it was first built or perhaps
the transformation gives us the new [or renewed] Appreciation for the
work -the craftsmanship, the vision.
Please visit as I share this at:

August 06, 2012

A BLOGGER~What Is That?

*Warning: You may want to schedule your reading-It's a lengthy post
This will not be a Stump the Old Lady game- I have answers for you.
Just a preface to my explanations for what I do:  My 'starter blog' was/is 'Down the Lane' at  .  This was early 2009 and as I scroll back to THE BEGINNING [smile here] I see that I had hardly an inkling of what I was doing. I lay awake nights trying to figure out how to actually use the blogspot site and make it do what I wanted to do.  As I made  progress with this site, born and maintained [ minimally] with the intent of recording as much as I could of my family roots,  factual history and of course all the stories recollected from 'way back then-' I also visited other blogs and became restless with  the subject and boundaries I had set for myself. I wanted to stretch and challenge my writing as well as photography and use of the technology. 
The Butterflies
Recognizing that  many of my stories of days gone by ended with or included the phrase: "Like Gramma's House" that was the direction I was to go. I began with that one thought and was reminded very soon that one cannot predict where the path to creativity leads and one must make time for living life else there will be nothing about which to write. Creativity cannot be forced or placed on a has to grab those ideas and develope  before it flits out the windows and off with the butterflies.
A Reminder: My initial motivation for blogging was simply to have  hard copy to place in the hands of my loved ones for a time when they paused to remember and asked themselves: "I wonder what Gramma/Mom was thinking."  Along the way my writing style has improved [or perhaps not-don't tell me ] and I have come 'a way' with the picture taking- [not the place for  your critiques] since however poorly my presentations are now- you must note that I am the Mom you did not give the camera to unless you wanted snapshots w/o heads, arms etc, you get the "picture". Improvement is improvement-no one can deny me that!
My struggle with blogging continues to be resisting the urge to make changes as I see the work of others who are notably so much more talented, capable and likely to be considered at some point  'professional.'  That's okay now. I do resist that temptation. I am content with staying focused on remaining true to who I am and my original goal for this effort. [This is the spot for your reassuring comments or APPLAUSE.]
~Now, let's return to the post subject- " You are  A Blogger-What is That?"

  • A few days ago we had out of town guests /friends from my husbands high school years and as we were about to enjoy our fancy little luncheon on the deck I grabbed my camera [they are all seated, ready to eat] and as I backed away from the staged scene and aimed my handy dandy digital I said: "Sorry about this-I AM A BLOGGER"..first time I have actually said that. Add this to my Biography! :^) *you can see this event recorded with the post title: "Old Friends for the Day"
  • I admire all the super, incredibly gifted bloggers whose paths I cross-has anyone noticed how so many are Canadian neighbors!? Is it something in their climate?
  • Because I blog I am constantly aware of 'pictures' around me-in our daily activities I see the snapshots that need to be recorded and shared.
  • At 71 years old I have been so blessed to have had many opportunities to use the talents and abilities God gave me. I say it this way: "If you live long enough you get to do lots of things." I have.

    • Blog Reader  Bearing Gifts
      Another fringe benefit with this venture is actually connecting with people you have never met in  'real life face to face.'' I've been in awe of Carolyn at & wondered at her sharing gifts from far away blog readers.  Are you ready for this? I recently received my very own FIRST GIFT FROM A BLOG READER whom I have never met. I must confess she has a connection to one daughter-in-law in a city not far away. After being referred to  and reading [ how much, I don't know ] I received this gift from her [pic]. Yes, Yes..brag time here, forgive me if I promise not to do it again?  Scratch that-no promises here. Liz, you did not 'make my day' lady- you made my month, at least. I am honored-Thank you.
    • Bloggers are such generous people. These ladies [all my contacts are women] are so eager to promote what everyone else is share their ideas and resources. We seem to think blogger 'giveaways' are simply a way of attracting followers but not so--We just love having other people share in all the fun we are having-and creating.
    • Prior to this Blog effort I only knew a BLOGGER to be a political animal...young 'journalist' wannabees gaining attention by spreading unpleasant or often untrue news via the internet. The bloggers I connect with are intelligent, gifted people like me with interests that extend into politics but that is not the focus of what they do.
    • In the beginning [blogging] I was introduced to some very popular blogs with zillions of followers but some of them convinced me my blog focus would never be to share minute details of the personal lives of friends/loved ones in a way that would embarass either them or this writer. Content that is too 'in your face personal' is not considered appropriate for this sharing place.
    • Re blog content that is too personal for publication: Sometimes one must 'read between the lines' to discover exactly what is going on at Like Gramma's House..1. If a follower is a close friend or loved one she will know 'the rest of the story' 2. If a reader is not a close personal contact then they won't have a need or  interest in the details that are not spelled out. Enough said!
    We continue to learn:..It is important to know when to stop. NOW!

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    August 03, 2012

    Wisteria Blooms in August? Who Knew?

    Can it be my wisteria is blooming on August 3rd in South Alabama? Who knew? 


    Apparently I have more to learn about this beautiful vine that grows wild all over and in the spring the breath taking blooms and heavenly smell just don't last long.  My husband did not seem to be surprised..mumbled something about how much rain we had at the right time..[google it]

    August 01, 2012

    Is August Really Here?

    What is  one thing about Summer that I love??

    ..SUMMERTIME   It's just the way God made us. In the midst of winter's cold we long for Spring.  As we settle into the changes that spring brings I look forward to seasonal changes that come with summer..yes even in the deep south [Alabama] and  as summertime begins to drag on there is nothing like the daydreaming  of Fall that is soon to be but again as we are face to face with Thanksgiving [gatherings, food, football games, Christmastime decorating] we can't resist whispering a  prayer for a little honest to goodness Winter weather. On any one of those surprise snow days it's not a surprise to find me in minimal clothing padding around in the snow covered yard and deck [w my camera]. It's just the way God arranged my DNA.
    What is one thing I like about Summer? The Beginning...a long rainy day when the there's been no relief from the stifling heat day after day. What else? A snow cone with that silly straw I call a STROON, going barefoot on freshly cut lawn, swinging in the backyard swing when there's a little breeze and icy cold lemonade..real lemonade-homemade lemonade. Oh yes add cold sweet Watermelon to that and wait did I mention fresh home grown tomatoes and fresh [from the little back yard patch] sweet corn . Just one more thing -I almost forgot the flowers blooming each in turn and the surprises that show up now and then..little flowers you gave up for dead..there it is in full bloom again.  And if I had a great hammock to hang in a perfect spot I would really love  lazy summer moments in that hammock.  But as August is showing up just now I will be true to form...You can be sure I will begin to long for Fall Weather in a few days. That's just the way God arranged my DNA.