Friday, November 30, 2012

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas, everywhere we look..

I saw this idea on Pinterest, and it tweaked my thinking cap--so found this sweet little snowman at home; brought him to enjoy Christmas in the Archives--and taking some of the tourist pamplets I promote for Heritage Tourism--created my own scenario...see what you think....

Then, going with the theme I've adopted for the Canebrake Oral History Series: A Window into Our Collective Past--Christmas Memories Shared: I chose a Christmas from my childhood in the 1950s era and decorated our pre-lit tree with red, silver and white ornaments; a paper garland made from my scrapbooking cardstock inventory; some silver ball garland and will find the star for the top.

Underneath the tree, I'm planning to place a red felt tree skirt; until then, I'm using a checkboard rug; a dolly in a crib; a blackboard; some go along with the lyrics to the most popular Christmas song: Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. I created a songsheet with part of the lyrics--will borrow a pair of skates and always can find a book, especially in a library.

If you're in the 'neighborhood' of our library, would love for you to drop in over the Christmas Season--enjoy the trees that will be found from the top to the bottom; the garlands of joy we've spread from end to end; and perhaps pick up a book for reading; an audio tape or book on CD for your listening pleasure; check out the archives for some family research to share with your kith and kin during the holidays; or just visit with us--we'd love to have you spend Christmas with us. You might enjoy our little Christmas Village.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Week

We had such a lovely Thanksgiving, despite the fact that my youngest two could not make it!! We missed them dreadfully! Can't wait till Christmas in just a few weeks, hopefully, they'll be joining us for that special family time! On Thanksgiving afternoon, both my sisters joined us, so we had my younger sister, her spouse and three sons; our older sister; our mother; my oldest daughter, her spouse and two sweet little grandsons for a sumptous Thanksgiving feast! We were so busy sampling all the goodies spread in the kitchen, we forgot to take photos! However, we did take some photos outdoors while a game of ball was played, and handprints were drawn on the Memory tablecloth we do every year! What fun! Alex's tiny handprint went on there this year, and young John got real creative with a colorful turkey handprint. I'll post a pic or two for ya'll!

John Kirby at 4 years

Alex at 7 months

We played and made such wonderful memories! Claire, Chris, John and baby Alex came over Friday evening to have some fun in the kitchen with Grandma--we had the ingredients for making Christmas Trees with Ice Cream Cones, frosting and trimmings! Even though Claire wasn't supposed to have any of the dairy product that was in the frosting, it sure was hard not to want to 'lick off the excess'! So, John and I did our best to help her out, and I'm sure that little boy was still on a sugar high when he attended his first ever Iron Bowl Game the next day in Tuscaloosa!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A snowy scene on Belleview Avenue of the Pritchett House (my home) a few years back when we had so much snow!

Photos for Before & After

The gravestones were wrapped to protect them from the painting of the iron fencing surrounding the cemetery.

Tim Mulhern, of Salem, OR, is getting ready to start the painting of the fencing.

Sandy Mulhern, of Salem, OR, a descendant of the John Green family buried in this historic cemetery is walking around the cemetery prior to the re-painting of the fencing.

Historic John Green Cemetery at Burnt Corn, AL

Conecuh's John Green, b 8 March 1790 in Abbeville County, SC & d 7 July 1882 in Conecuh County, AL is buried in the historic cemetery that bears his name near Burnt Corn in Conecuh County just off the Old Federal Road. According to a biographer, John was an "amazing man whose life spanned the presidencies of George Washington to Grover Cleveland. He was largely self-taught, but achieved much in his lifetime. John was an Alabama pioneer; served as an attorney; was a successful farmer; established a school in his community in which he also taught; and was a state representative during some of this country's most trying times. John Green was an honorable man and a well-respected citizen of his community." If you would like to find out more information about him, you can access his family files at The Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library Archives; the Alabama Department of Archives and History; and also online at many websites.
In 2011, the John Green Cemetery Preservation Association received a grant with the Alabama Historical Commission to restore and preserve this historic cemetery. Over the past year, members of the families interred in this cemetery have been working hard to preserve, repair, and restore as much of the cemetery as possible. The AlaTrust, Inc for The Lowery Family of Burnt Corn, AL have given the John Green Cemetery Preservation Association access to the cemetery in order to restore and preserve the historical cemetery and we are eternally grateful for their cooperation in this process.
The Cemetery is located in Section 26 of Township 7 North, Range 9 East, on lands formerly owned by John Green, Sr., about 16 miles northeast of Evergreen, AL. It is about 100 yards up a hill on the right side of the highway (CR15) coming from Evergreen and is near the village of Burnt Corn. The cemetery is surrounded by a four foot iron fence.
This past month, family members from Oregon, Mississippi, and Texas have been here working on the cemetery. Ground penetrating radar was completed, and several more graves were discovered, some outside the fencing area; cleaning and repairs to the graves were made by Mr. Charles Thomas of Eagle Eye Masonry; and the grass has been cut, weeds mown down; fencing been repaired and painted; planter boxes are being constructed and native plants will be planted; an arbor similar to the original gravehouses once located at the cemetery is being constructed; and other items on the 'to do list' are being checked off. The photos being shared here are just a few of the ones that will be indicative of all the hard work being completed. If you want to see a success story about a long-ago, seemingly-forgotten cemetery, let me take you on a tour of the Historic John Green Cemetery!

A few of my favorite things

I had found these old Barbie Comic books stuck back in the closet--thought I'd share them with you. Having daughters who played with Barbie dolls, I have tons of paraphanalia that go along with Barbie--who knows, one day, they might need to send their kid to college, and they can sell all their Barbie stuff! Ha!

Of course, having three kids and lots of grandparents, aunts and such, we always had books for them to read---way before iPads/Pods/Kindles/Computers & phones! These tiny storybooks come in a little cardboard box and are precious! I love them!

When books are discarded at the library because they are old and worn-out, or torn or just being replaced with newer, fresher bindings, I try to keep an eye out for those to do with children and animals! This one is a favorite of mine, and I've read it to every child who will sit still long enough for me to share it with them! Sweet!

My bestie friend, Veronica Lambert, knows how much we share in our love for those who can't help themselves: animals. So, as an avid Barbie Doll collector, she gave me one! This one is all mine! The others are hand-me-downs from the girls, but I try to keep them all intact and together. This is the only one that has stayed in the original packaging and isn't allowed to be played with--though I've surely been tempted!

Thanksgiving Dinner is coming, and Barbie here is serving it up in style, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Elves at Work already

Already, the atmosphere is changing in the stores, in the towns, in homes across the country--as we prepare our homes and communities, and our hearts for the joyous season of Christmas--where we celebrate the birth of our Saviour! We celebrate getting together with our families and friends, eating wonderful dishes from our past, and trying new ones! We start decorating the library for the holidays, sharing this time with the many patrons and visitors that come into our daily lives from near and far. I saw this cute little elf in a card catalog and thought I'd share it with ya'll! Just too cute to pass up!

I'm thinking of a particular theme this year for the Genealogy Department, and believe this little fella will fit right in! Also looking for some folks who want to share some Christmas Storytimes with us here for the Second in our Canebrake Oral History Series: A Window into Our Collective Past. Be sure and watch for an announcement on our Canebrake History Facebook Page, as well as in The Evergreen Courant and on this blog! Looking forward to seeing you soon! You never know who might pop up to say: Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Importance of Oral Histories

This past month, I've had the immense pleasure of participating in the Black Belt Oral History Project--whereby I've set up appointments for folks to be interviewed by a young student at UWA-Livingston, AL. It was inspiring to see the folks we chose for the project come and be interviewed by this young lady; the enthusiasm that they had as well as her own for the project. Along with this, I had already chosen Nov. 8th as the time for our own series to begin: Canebrake Oral History Series: A Window into Our Collective Past beginning with the Oral History Collection of the late Mrs. Sarah "Sallie" Emily Ellis Weekley presented at the library by her grandson, Steven Wallace. We had a wonderful time on Thursday evening, the occasion being her birthday (she was born in 1877) in Ireland, Monroe County, AL, having moved to what would become known as the town of Repton, Conecuh, AL as a young child. In the 1950s Sallie was interviewed by a cousin, Jac Vernon Brantley and these conversations had been recorded on Dictaphone tapes, which then were transferred to cassette tapes, and through a grant with UWA-Dr. Tina Naremore Jones, the tapes were restored, formatted and digitized into CD media. The University of West Alabama Center for the Black Belt Studies; The Alabama Archives and History; and the Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library all received copies of the CDs. I'll be posting some photographs of last Thursday evening's event! The first photo is of Sallie as a young child; the second photo is her grandson, Steven Wallace during the presentation at the library this past Thursday evening.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Old Farmhouse Feelings

My old house was built circa 1910-1913--so it's at least or almost 100 years old! It needs a lot of TLC and hard work, and I try very hard to provide both. Would love to win one of those 'complete renovation/restoration' awards--like HGTV or TLC Channel does from time to time--but until then, I just scrounge by! Thought some of you might enjoy looking at the photographs I've taken of the different rooms--the house has always been known as The Pritchett House; and I've actually entertained the thought of one day turning it into a quaint B & B with a Genealogy Twist! Since that's what I do! It's still rumbling around in my head, and heart! When my genealogy pals come to town, if I have room, I do offer them to stay! The front of the home looks out on Belleview Avenue--that would have faced the lane to the courthouse back in the day. W.E.B.J. Pritchett and his wife, Minner lived there, and then, some of the Pritchett descendants; the Cannon girls and boys; but it was always owned by the Pritchett family till my parents bought the home to keep it from being torn down and four substandard homes being built on the lot that stretched from Liberty Hill Drive/AL83 to Belleview Avenue. The rear of the home is located on Liberty Hill Drive, a busy four lane today, but it was just a lane when this home was built--actually, the 'real' street was Belleview (and it was still dirt track when the home was constructed) and the woods behind it would become a busy four-lane highway much later. By the time I was born, circa 1955, the two lane was already busy and then, the interstate came along, and it got even busier as the main traffic corridor between I-65 and Downtown. Mr. Pritchett was a Blacksmith, I believe, and probably walked to work up near the old courthouse. Today, I still do a fair amount of walking back and forth. It's convenient to town; but if you want to go toward the eateries at the interstate, I suggest driving!
Take a gander with me through my home:
This is the rear of my home--where the driveway is located, and my wonderful screened in porch that I spend a huge amount of time on--as you can see, the huge lawn at the back was a wonderful stopping place for the 'pink flamingos'! Ha!

Garden flag on screened in porch always bring joy to my heart!

My kitchen, with an original painting by Sharron Sellers Owens, a Conecuh native, living in Monroe County with her own Art Studio! I love my sunflower painting!

Vintage Finds & Places of Inspiration

This is the opposite corner of my studio-that pie safe I've had forever! It holds my books and also my genealogy information, scrapbooks, and countless other things I use for research; the filing cabinet is mostly filled with genealogy info, and it sits atop an old coffee table to keep it up off the floor and also without breaking my back! The Quilt that is hanging on the wall was created by the late Virginia Smith Wilson, my children's great grandmother. She made it for when Claire, my eldest, was born in 1979. Bless her heart, she didn't get to live long enough to see the twins! The poster is a pride and joy as it pictures many talented craftsmen and women who make up the Black Belt--one in particular I loved dearly was the late Mrs. Kathryn Tucker Windham--and she signed it! I've been putting together a scrapbook of my own excursions, explorations; events and activities and it's a 'work in progress'! I covered a typical notebook with chintz cabbage rose fabric; and have placed all kinds of neat things in there--doing one for my GARDEN book too!
Will be posting some more photos of my home, and vintage finds, so hope you'll enjoy my tour!
These jugs were part of my heritage too--or some I've found!

This is my creative space--where I can be inspired by my family, friends, and things I love to do! The old library catalog holds all kinds of wonderful treats for scrapbooking; and arts & crafts; the old changing table has been around the block several times, used for baby changing and when the grandbabies aren't here, it's used for holding fabric that is waiting to be turned into something fun! The sewing machine was a gift from my creative buddy, Diane Sosebee; it was her sister's machine. The bookshelf is sitting on top of my old drafting table that my Dad refinished years ago--it was in a dumpster in bits and pieces--was lovingly restored, and it's so much fun to use! The button jar is my mom's and it's filled with inspiration too! My idea board is overflowing with ideas! The quilt scrap is one of my grandmother's quilting scraps; my scissors holder I purchased some 20 years or more ago at a craft fair; my books--oh, the books I have!

Friday, November 2, 2012

November & Christmas is coming!

Got a jump on Christmas last night, and Turkey Eatin isn't even here yet! Planning a "thirtyone" party with my friend, Jennifer Wright--and Open House where she can showcase her product--and we 'put up' her Christmas Tree! WoW! Pretty tree, three parts, and already lit, with snowy branches! all we had to do was put it together in the correct order! Ha! Easier said than done! It was pretty though, and should take a photo of it!
Trying to locate my Thanksgiving tablecloth and Memory Jar I always use at Thanksgiving--can't wait for the kids to all be at home at the same time! We have so much to be thankful for this year! Have found some wonderful ideas through Pinterest and my online blogging friends, to try for holiday decorating! Am eager to try the new ideas! And new recipes!
Need to decide for myself if I will purchase a living tree or cut tree this year--I've done an artificial tree the last few years; however, it was shedding so terribly last year, I gave it away! So, now, am back to 'no tree'! Uh Oh--that will never do! I have tons of Santa themed ornaments and always enjoy getting my 'old friends' out and remembering who gave what to me, or what occasion prompted buying or making this one and that one! It's like going down Memory Lane each and every Christmas as I attempt to decorate every room in the old Pritchett House for the Holidays! I usually start after Halloween and have several items except the tree done by the Friday after Thanksgiving! I get the tree up and going, and have so much fun doing that--I dunno about it this year--will have to just wait and see! There's just so many things I want to do and so very little time!