Friday, December 26, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

December sunset. For other skyward views, please visit Sky Watch Friday, and click on one of the many links from around the world.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuscaloosa Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas from Tuscaloosa! This is the tree outside the courthouse. The lighting ceremony kicks off the Christmas parade and the season.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa 911

Poor Santa ate one too many Christmas cookies and got stuck in this chimney. Firefighters to the rescue! This cute Christmas display is on the roof of Station 1 every year. This building is for sale now because Station 1 is moving to its new building soon. Wonder how they'll get the chimney on that new roof?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tiny Tinsel Tree

This tiny tinsel tree with Santa and the Elves came from Woolco. When my husband was little he begged for and it was in his bedroom every Christmas. When we married over 20 years ago, his mom gave it to us. Alas, the lights no longer work, but it's still plenty sparkly!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Foggy Night

We've had the strangest weather this past week -lots of fog, almost every day all day and night.
It gets old after a few days. It's just SO gray. Not very festive, except when it makes the street lights all glowy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Moon over Christmas Shopping.
For more skyward views from around the world, check out Sky Watch Friday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Stairs in the main hall of the Jemison Mansion (sorry about the blur, wrong setting on camera...)

Stairs leading to the cupola/widow's walk. These were closed off due to the ongoing renovation.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas at the Jemison Mansion

Christmas tree in one of the front parlors. Look at the size of the molding/framing around the window!

Click to enlarge to see the details around the fireplace, the mantle decorations, the mirror and the reflected original gas lamp chandelier. (oh, and the food looks nice too!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jemison Mansion 2

This is a closer shot of the Jemison Van De Graff Mansion in Tuscaloosa. Here's the view from across the street. Last Sunday was Christmas Open House. Notice the grates under the porch. The family moved their bedrooms to the basement during the summer. These grates were part of the "air conditioning." They also had a "refrigerator" - a deep dry well in the basement to keep food cool.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Friedman Bedroom

When Croxton's Raiders came through to burn the University of Alabama at the end of the war of Northern Aggression (yes, we were already defeated) the Battle home was spared. By that time, there were over 25 family members living in the house and they were all starving together. The family, like the south, lost their fortune and their home. In 1875, Hungarian immigrants, the Friedman family bought the house. Victor Hugo Friedman was born that year in this room. He lived all of his ninety years in this house and died in the same room. He left the house to the City of Tuscaloosa to be used and enjoyed. He asked that people be allowed to touch the furnishings and only asked that no "hard liquor" be brought into the home.
The City used the land behind the house to build the YMCA. He also acquired the Jemison home and donated it to be used as the public library.
More on the Jemison home tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

SkyWatch Friday

Mistletoe against a blue sky
Happy Friday everyone!
Please visit SkyWatch Friday for views from around the world.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Battle Bedroom

This is the Battle bedroom in the Battle Friedman home in Tuscaloosa. The Battles were the original owners. The furniture in this room is theirs. The bed is hinged so that it in the summer, it could be pulled to the middle of the room and the headboard and footboard removed. They did that so that the breeze could blow through the room from the windows. If you've ever been in Alabama in the summer, you know why. It's miserably hot, even at night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Performance

At the historic Battle Friedman Home Christmas Open House, this Tuscaloosa Belle was playing Christmas carols on her violin. There were also Belles dressed in period clothes to greet guests at the door. Look at the size of the square column behind her. There were four in all flanking each side of two parlors. The house was originally built in 1835 and was only four rooms, these two parlors and two bedrooms above each. It was the townhome for the Battle family whose plantation covered parts of three counties. The family stayed there during the social season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Inside the Battle Friedman Home

Christmas tree in one of the front parlors. I missed pics of the other parlor because it was FULL of people. I hope to go back before the holidays are over to get better pictures, and just to hang out and enjoy. One of the best things about this home is that the last owner, Dr. Victor Hugo Friedman, left strict instructions that the home was to be used and enjoyed, not treated as a museum. So you can sit on the furniture and touch the books and the piano!

(CDP purists, pretend you don't see these additional photos)

Ceiling medallion in the same room. The fixtures were, of course, originally gas burning.

...and I'm saving the best pic of this room for tomorrow, stay tuned.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas, Southern Style

Yesterday was Christmas Open House at two of Tuscaloosa's historic homes. It was my kind of day! This week, I'll be sharing photos from inside both. This is the front of the Battle-Friedman home. Click to enlarge so you can see the plaster painted to look like rose marble! If you're ever in town, be sure to visit this lovely landmark. The home has an interesting history that you'll only hear from the sweet historic preservation society ladies who will give you the tour!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Remember Pearl Harbor

This sweet little pin belonged to my husband's grandmother.
"Remember Pearl Harbor" was the battle cry on the lips of most Americans during World War II. Today we remember the lives lost in the Japanese attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941.
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Coleman Coliseum

Coleman Coliseum is the home venue for the University of Alabama's basketball, gymnastics, and volleyball teams. This is part of the front view. The building is huge and seats over 15,000. It opened in 1968 as Memorial Coliseum, but had a name change in 1988. When I was in college, it's where we went for registration and schedule pickup. Now, of course, all that is done online.
Coleman is used for commencement ceremonies and other large gatherings, including concerts. "Superstars who have performed on its stages include Elvis Presley, Tom Petty, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Reba McIntyre, Jay Leno and Hank Williams, Jr. "

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Jemison Van De Graff Mansion

Please click to enlarge so you can really see this beautiful old home. It's the Jemison-Van de Graff Mansion and it's a Tuscaloosa landmark. When I was little, it was the public library. Now, the Tuscaloosa Visitors Bureau houses the basement, the main floor is rented out for functions, and the top floor is rented by a couple of businesses.

Monday, December 1, 2008


If you look closely between the diagonal slats in this bench and the grid of the window screen, you can see a neighbor's cat making himself at home on my back porch! If our cat had known, it would have been an ugly scene.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Fire Station

This is the new fire station being built near downtown Tuscaloosa on Greensboro Ave. It's really big because will be replacing two fire stations, numbers 1 and 5. It has a pretty copper colored roof that really shines in the sun.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

True Colors

Today is the Iron Bowl, the football game between the University of Alabama (my alma mater) and their state rival, Auburn University.
Roll Tide!!!
Final Score: Alabama 36, Auburn 0
This victory is particularly sweet. We haven't beaten Auburn in YEARS. AND, we've NEVER beaten Auburn in our own beloved Bryant Denny Stadium. It's about time! The curse is broken!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Skywatch Friday

Fall leaves against a blue sky. Looks like a few green leaves are still hanging in there.
For more skyward views, please visit SKYWATCH FRIDAY.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Turkey pic from last year. This year's is in the oven. Hope it turns out 'fit to eat.'
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Tuscaloosa's Riverwalk is a 3-4 mile walking/biking trail along the Black Warrior River. It includes a couple of nice parks and the boat launch of the Bama Belle.

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Day of Thanksgiving Break

I spent the day at my parents' house with my favorite kiddos.
Niece is sick & can't play outside. :( So, we made leaf rubbings and cut them out. She likes the blue ones best. Nephew's favorite cousin/best bud left town for the holidays. Then, it poured down rain. Mom says you can NOT ride your four wheeler in the pouring rain. Unfortunately, that was AFTER he had already made a round or two and was soaked through to the skin.
On the ride home, disappointed nephew said,"It wasn't much of a day."

Thanks to Kathleen at Southern Artistic Touch for tagging me. Be sure to visit her blog. Her posts are always intersting, plus she's an artist AND she plays James Taylor on her site!

The rules of this Meme are:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six Random Things About Me:

1. I play piano. Not a virtuouso, but I can rock the Baptist Hymnal.
2. I love old/vintage/antique stuff. I'm pretty sure I was born in the wrong decade.
3. My sense of smell is my superpower. It is also very annoying to others.
4. Organizing things makes me happy. Ironically, I married Mr. Disorganized.
5. I'm a PK. (preacher's kid -- but I'm one of the ones who turned out okay)
6. I'm a treehugging, recycling, reducing, reusing, conservative. I know, go figure.

Tagging the next six:
1. Tanya at Around Roanoke, VA
2. PJ at Pensacola Daily Photo
3. Halcyon at Jackson Daily Photo (who just returned from China)
4. Helen at Mainz Daily Photo
5. Antonia at Sofia Daily Photo
6. Lily Hydrangea at Long Island Daily Photo

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Countdown to Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving...a time to give thanks.
Also a time to use the dining room and the good china. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

View from the Top (2)

I took this from the top of the courthouse this summer when I had jury duty. This is facing northwest. You can see the bridges to/from Northport in the background. (upper right)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I know the stores are full of Christmas already, but I don't want to skip Thanksgiving. We all have so much for which to give thanks.

Psalm 100 (King James Version)

1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Tuscaloosa News

This new modern building is the home of the Tuscaloosa News. They moved in a few years ago from an old building where they'd been since 1959. This building faces the river and will soon overlook an amphitheatre. The Tuscaloosa News is now owned by The New York Times. Oh, the irony.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

On Veterans Day I'm so grateful for this country and every single person who has served it in the military. This picture is from the service for my father-in-law, who served in the Marine Corp and had the full ceremony at his funeral. Today I think of him and my own Daddy, who served in the Navy. Their generation signed up if they weren't drafted first. It was expected.
I'm also thinking of my Daddy's brother who received his draft papers on his 18th birthday. He was in 11th grade. He left high school and after basic training went straight to the front lines in World War II. When he came back with his high school buddies that made it, they were allowed to go back and finish high school. He was a true American Hero. He never talked about it. And we weren't allowed to ask. He died a couple of years ago. I wish I had told him how proud and grateful I am. That's the first thing I plan to tell him when I see him again in Heaven!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tree Ablaze

I'm savoring every single day of Fall and taking in all its color I can before the stark days of winter. I pass this lovely flaming tree every morning on my way to work. This is another drive by shot. I cropped it so you couldn't see the power lines! :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another Kind of Art

Since I shared my Grandmother's sewing box earlier this week, I thought I share a bit of her handiwork. I loved this doily so much, I had it framed. She would have laughed and said that was a waste of money.
(sorry about the flash spot, amateur photography...)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Not What It Seems

-A beautiful long drive lined with water oaks
-A stately white columned building with a domed cupola
Not exactly what it seems...not an antebellum plantation.
Just looking at these pictures, you might never guess that this is Bryce Hospital.
Founded in 1861, Bryce Hospital is an inpatient psychiatric care facility with adolescent, adult, and geriatric units. The property borders the University of Alabama, which is in negotiations with the state to buy it.
Bryce has a very interesting history and is listed on the national historic registry. Wyatt vs. Stickney was a class action lawsuit filed in 1970 on behalf of an adolescent patient at Bryce. That case "formed the basis for formed the basis for federal minimum standards for the care of people with mental illness or mental retardation who reside in institutional settings." -badly needed standards that were long overdue.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Skywatch Friday

Full moon over suburbia, regrettably in a neighborhood without underground utilities.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Old Sewing Box

I mentioned a few posts ago that I love old sentimental family stuff.
Here's a card box that we found in my grandmother's home after she moved to Heaven.
It's filled with little scraps of her tiny crochet work, thread, empty spools, needles and a couple of old wrinkled embroidery patterns. My grandmother and the women of her generation could do it all. She sewed clothes, quilted, crocheted, knitted, embroidered, and tatted tiny lace. Amazing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Horne's Bar B Q

If you've ever been to Tuscaloosa, this great neon sign on 15th should be familiar. Horne's Bar-B-Q on 15th street beside Forest Lake was around way before fast food. That's their chimney in the background. The restaurant is still in business but under a new name, Mike and Ed's. Click to enlarge so you can read the sign - Beef Pork Chicken, then the round part says Hickory Smoked and has a picture of a pig dancing over a fire! Hilarious.

Monday, November 3, 2008

First Chili of the Season

Last week was our first real cool snap (that means cold weather, y'all) and the perfect opportunity to make chili.
I used a different seasoning, so this pot turned out extra spicy.
It made me think of a couple of family sayings.
My Daddy would say, "Woooo, that'll take the hide outta your mouth."
My mom-in law would say, "If we eat this, we'll have to straddle the creek!"