Friday, August 31, 2012

Living From Scratch: Crock Pot Hot Process Soap – LOTS of pics!

Living From Scratch: Crock Pot Hot Process Soap – LOTS of pics!: I'm so excited to share this with you! I knew people made their own soap long ago and there were some people crazy enough to still do it, b...

I can't wait to try this. I'm so excited. So Simple. I think I've found another great blog!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Senior Advisory Meeting

Patrick Country High School held their first meeting of 2012 about college preparation, FASFA, and deadlines that must be met. This was not the first time I have attended this annual meeting. I had hoped to get my husband to go along thinking it might help him see some of the rigorous events that will take place. Of course he bailed out on me and Tori. I suppose it is easier to stay in the dark. It also makes it easier to complain about the various things that are going to take place within a few months. It was a real eye opener for Tori too. Before she had come to live with us she had fell way behind in school and lost one grade and was on the verge of losing another. Through hard work and the grace of God, she has caught herself up and is doing quite well but to get this done she has a tremendous load when it comes to school. She has taken on extra classes to graduate on time. I'm praying that she doesn't become overwhelmed. Judging from her face and her heavy breathes, she was feeling stressed.

I am personally grateful for these guidance counselors that Patrick County High School employees. They are very informative and they cover all the gray areas of college preparation. When I graduated from high school there was almost no information given unless you knew the question to ask or the directions you were trying to take. This is probably why our school Patrick County are so successful.

The meeting was totally geared to students but they also touched on areas that I have been trying to work out in my own life. Ms. Lackey, the counsellor showed statistics on income and job retention that definitely affirmed I probably need to further my education. I am a high school graduate but I have no post-graduate  education. In 1989, this wasn't a problem work was plentiful for those willing to do it. That is not the case now. I'm not really convinced it will help me in finding a better job. I also wonder where are all those professional jobs at because they are not in Stuart, Virginia. This is just another thing to pray about.

Thank you for stopping by Southern Direction Blog and thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and concerns. As always have a very blessed day.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Primitive Cat On String

This is a re-post. 
I pulled these out the other day.
Their a little crazy but they make me happy to look at them,
so I thought they might make you happy, too.
So  I was feeling a little crafty today. I am more of a do-it-yourselfer than artistic or crafty but that is what makes primitive crafts a good choice for me. I had been thinking of doing something featuring cats and this is what evolved. It's not a complicated so I just kind of winged it. I'm sure you can too. 

Here's my cats on a string. If you like another animal or shape as long as it's fairly simple it should work out fine.

First, I drew a simple cat head out of paper and cut it out.

Next, I selected the plaid flannel from my stash of clothe.
I thought the browns gave it an old feel.

Then I pinned my pattern to my fabric and cut two set.

The more I looked at the fabric I was convinced it didn't look aged enough.
That's when I took the leftover morning coffee and a teaspoon of salt along with my material; brought it to a boil and let it soak a bit.

When my clothe was dry; I sewed, stuffed and attacked the twine.
Miss-matched buttons added that crazy cat feel and voila!

My cats on a string.

Don't worry. Lack of perfection just adds to the whole primitive feel.
Thanks for checking out my DIY.
Have a blessed day.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hummingbird Through the Window

Can you see him??
Oh my, can you see my dirty window?

Saturday At Chantilly Farm

What a fun way to spend a Saturday. We loaded up and drove up to Floyd, Virginia to Chantilly Farm. They were putting on there annual car show. The town of Floyd is a wonderful artisan community but it is also deeply steeped in the old southern tradition. I am quite ashamed that I forgot the camera but in the rush of getting out the door I didn't realize I had left it until we were about half way there. Oops.....

The town of Floyd is amazing; main street is full of artisan shops and speciality restaurants. Don't let me leave out the music that bubbles right out from every corner. They had a very nice Farmers Market going on but we didn't have time to stop but it was full of vendors and folks.

We had to keep focused on our destination. Chantilly Farm is on out of town and the drive leads you through the beautiful rolling fields and working farms, tractors, trucks, and various farm equipment. It is makes a country girls heart feel very at home. We passed a white frame church that was simple and quite beautiful, rolled on through a crossroad and we were there. There we found the huge rolling field full of old classic cars, trucks, and tractor. There is a deep love for old cars here in the south and the folks at Chantilly coupled that with a stage with local bluegrass bands, barbecue cookers, sweet pastries, and don't forget the corn hole tournament. My husband tried to not be a total kid as he rummaged through parts hoping to find those special things he needed for his own projects.

With our bellies full and our interests peeked we rolled on back down the winding mountain road to home. It is well worth the gas. I hope to go back to Floyd again with my camera in hand. I'll be sure to share with you. If you get a chance to travel in the southern direction stop by Floyd,Virginia; you'll love it.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I  wish I felt like I was in the right place or the right time. I have recently become addicted to blogging. Which has my husband questioning and my children wondering because new age and technology is not what  usually makes me happy. My parents are funny when talking about computers at all. They feel there is something not quite right and possibly a little demonic about them but for me I have come to the conclusion computers and technology is just another type of tool. You know if you need to drive a nail get a hammer but if you need information the internet is the tool. What has become ironic to me is that I myself use this technology to connect with the things of the past, the world before computers ruled, when life was physical, something you could touch. Just today I was ready a blog that really connected with me because I had a similar experience so I was inclined to post a comment and  a word of encouragement but after typing quite a comment I could not get that comment to post. I had to type that crazy word(word that's not a word to prove I'm not a computer but a real person word) but it would not except it. It would not except it several times. At that point, I was feeling like myself; very physical. It's all O.K. I didn't smash or bash anything but I wanted to. I think I might have said some devil words. Now, fully composed I am sure Gd was just reminding me that today is Friday; the sun is shining; and I should be mowing right this minute.

So if your reading the sun shining?...should you be mowing right now?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Death of the Refrigerator

Well it happened. Yesterday our refrigerator died. This is a bitter sweet turn of events for me. We went through this tragedy about two years ago and if you've every had it happen to you; you know you have a mess on your hands.
This picture will probably make you wonder why the thing hadn't quit working before now. The refridgerator we had before was a Frigidaire. We had bought it new but it must have been the dud. That's when this old Montgomery Ward model became our stand in. We were glad when my brother offered it because we were really caught off guard. But oh...was it ugly. I don't think Montgomery Ward has been in business for at least 20 years. It was beige and rust color but it did work and should have been a temporary fix. But I had a hard time looking at it. So I painted it. I bought a can of chalkboard paint and went to work on it.
My husband thought it I was nuts but it became one of my best conversation pieces and all the kids loved it no matter if they were a toddler of a teen. If you needed to leave a message it was perfect. Montgomery was host to the most amazing artwork. It was hard for almost anybody to walk past and not jot something down. I think I became the favorite aunt just because the children liked to write on that refrigerator. It was so well used that I repainted the doors twice but now and era has ended. Yes, Montgomery died. He's also been replaced with a new, sleek, black Frigidaire.
Oh well, out with the with the new.
I wonder how many of you call a refrigerator a frigidaire? My grandpa did. It didn't matter what brand name it was. Somtimes I still do. What about you? Is it just southern slang? 
Thanks for stopping by Southern Direction!
Have a Blessed Day.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

OMG! I Need More @$$ets

OMG...I have finished fridays mowing. Yes...this is Saturday so you know I'm still running a day behind. My front yard is quite a hill. I think it is even an illusion because it is so much steeper than it looks. There's where my problems usually take place. On that crazy hill. For about the last eight years I've mowed with a riding mower. Before that I mowed with a push mower. In my mind I know I should still push mow that hill but the fact is I have become lazy. My mower can bearly pull the hill. My husband can mow it without any problem. My cousin came by while I was mowing and wanted to mow the hill because I think he thought I lacked the good sense to mow the hill. But I have concluded the real truth is that they weigh more than I do. I will start spinning so I'll sit to whichever side so the wheel will get the traction it needs. Sometimes I still find myself in a problem spot.

I always hearing women gripe about the size of their behind. Mostly that they think what they have is too big but I want to encourage you to be happy with whatever you've got. It may be that you really need it after all. That also got me thinking about how annoyed I was with the last few magazines from Good Housekeeping and Ladies Home Journal. The only point I can get out of any articles is that if your a woman of any age you must be lacking in one way or the other and if you have a small fortune to spend they can surely tell you whatever product will help you through your situation. When I read these articles I think there's no wonder so many woman have so many self-esteem issues.

We all have things about ourselves that we wish we could change but I think we just have to learn to do the best with what the good Lord has given us. Well I think I'm through blurting out what's on my mind. If you've endured this negative post I do want to thank you for stopping by Southern Direction. I wish you a blessed day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Good-Bye Cotton

                                       Edmund Franklin "Cotton" Williams
                                       November 8, 1932-August 13, 2012

Last night my mama and I drove to the funeral home for the viewing of my great uncle Cotton. Visitation at funerals always leaves me with a mixed bag of thoughts. Of course, there is always a wish to comfort the family of there loss but often there's a kind of connection a person can only get from being surrounded by family and true loved ones. I am blessed to come from a large family on both my mothers side and my fathers side, so when a death comes along there is quite a turnout.

I hadn't attended the Williams family reunion in quite sometime. Seeing aunts, uncles, and cousins I hadn't seen in a long time is honestly entertaining. The comments are always made about how good the older relatives are looking or at least how well they are looking for there age and of course they always hug my neck just like I was twelve years old again. I have to admit those kind of hugs make me feel like I'm twelve again. My sister and I sat down on the bench beside Mama and we whisper to each other, as we compare who looks like who, and how nice it is too see everyones children. I also get a little melancholy while noting all the family members that have past on since the last visit at the funeral home. I'm not a person who dwells in the past but it makes me wonder what will become of our world when the souls that make-up the foundation of our families are gone.

Uncle Cotton was one of those stones. He had been nicknames "Cotton" when he was a small child because of his cotton white hair. I have only know him with white hair so the name Cotton always fit him well. Cotton was an excellent farmer. He grew some of the best tomatoes you'll ever see. He loved his wife and two daughters. He always had a smile and a kind word. There was no doubt he loved God. I also want to share a poem Cotton wrote about thirty-five years ago. It is about the church he attended. When the church was first established it was located in old store building on the side of Highway 704. Since then, the church has grown to a wonderful number and resides in the beautiful building. It is the church he attended until he was called home.
   The Old Country Church
by Cotton Williams

I love the Old Country Church
Even though it doesn't have a steeple.
You can look everywhere.
You will not fine any better people.
We have as good a preacher
As I have ever heard.
Why? Because he preaches the true gospel Word.
I know that people are falling away.
It is not the Preacher.
Oh, how I wish they would stay.
I know that it's hard to face empty pews.
But wherever you go, you will find just a few.
He teaches the Word of God,
That's why they won't stay.
But to me, it's good until judgement day.
I have heard lots of other preachers,
They all know the way
But he is the on that makes me want to stay.

I know this poem is probably very simple to alot of folks but I liked it. It was the words of his heart. Thank you for stopping by Southern Direction. I encourage you to make time for your family; they can't be replaced and as always I wish you a blessed day.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vice President Biden Visits Stuart

The town of Stuart was buzzing yesterday when Vice Presdient Biden stopped by our town. His visit has really got folks talking. He was only in  town for about thirty minutes but managed to greet quite a few folks and get a hotdog from our little dinner, The Coffe Break. What a great honor!

Coope Clean-up

I thought I would share a picture of my happy girls. I'm so glad I took advantage of yesterday's weather to clean-up the chicken coope and throw down some new straw. I don't know if you can see the excitement? They where cooing and curious. Anything different excites my girls.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


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Back to School

That's right! This is the kids first day of the new school year. I dearly love spending time with my children but I am so ready to get back to some sort of routine. I am also ready for them to get back to a routine. I am also looking forward to have time to drag out crafty thing and work on projects that I've been putting off. I will also be enjoying sleep. I work the night shift so when everyone is home sleep comes seldom. I am positive that they where very glad to get back to school too. After all, school is where everything happens. Their friends, sports, clubs, dances, plays,etc. I wish I had taken a picture to share with you but I forgot. Sorry.. besides I had one nice dressed boy, one daughter in nice shorts and cute new Tshirt but crazy girl was rocking one crazy outfit. I would have preferred a change of clothes for her but if you are a parent of teenagers you have probably learned a very important rule by now......pick your battles.

With all that said, everything is wonderful and it looks like we are going to enjoy another sunny day. WhooHooo....thank ya Lord for the sun. I hope the sun is shining on you where ever you are. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Salt Lick Love

Jud and his salt block
Wow..I've never seen him so wild-eyed

Jealousy #1 and #2
Jealousy #3

Oh my! We decided to pick up a salt block for Jud yesterday. He has gone crazy for it. Petey and Diesel wanted to give it a try but one lick on that block was enough for them and you know it... the girls won't be left out. These are undoubtedly the most curious animals around.

I was going to be educational and post some dietary needs but after researching what is on-line about goat diets I was afraid I would scare you off from even having a goat at all. I have no formal training on animals I do what my Daddy did and what Papa would do when it comes to caring for my animals. I also take the perspective  a little like raising children. If I waited until I had learned all the facts, I still be waiting to have either. I think mostly good common sense will lead you in a right direction.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunny Sunday

I am so thankful for the sunny day. I captured some pictures of my sunflowers to share with you. I hear folks in other parts of the country praying for rain and I pray they get some too. Here in Stuart we have had rain everyday. I can't remember a day in a least a month we haven't got rain. I managed to mow yesterday but the grass was wet. The grass was wet last week when I mowed; so you know my yard looks horrible. I have considered trying to mow twice a week but with the high cost of gas I don't think so. If it every dries I will surely have a rake in my hand. We'll just be thankful for what the good Lord gives us and enjoy this wonderful day.

Hummingbird Attraction

My usual Sunday morning ritual is sitting on the front porch with a good cup of coffee and my Bible in my lap. I love the morning air and the variety of birds that dart from limb to limb of the trees and shrubs. I have been especially entertained by the little humming birds that enjoy the rose of sharon bush at the corner of the house. Last Sunday I was a little put back at how amazed they were with me. I was sitting very still watching him when he decided to come very close to my face and give me a look. I also had a fear he might drill my head. Either way it was unusal to me.

I am no photographer but I want to capture my little friends on photo. This will not be an easy task. They are so quick that by the time I see them and pick up the camera they've darted away. I thought I would set with camera ready and aimed and they would surely come into view....not. I sat waiting and ready until my patience ran out. I set the camera down and you now it here came not just one but two hummingbirds. The pair frolicked and zoomed; I was so taken in watching them play that you know it. I missed the picture.

Now you know my new little obsession. When I catch them with the camera I be sure and post the pic.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hiking the DeHart Bike Trails


Map of Bike Trail

Jack, Alisha, and Petey
Pic of DeHart Park in Woolwine

Beautiful Park

This made a cool pic but we couldn't figure out
what it was.
Lots o' Obstacles


I thought I would share some pictures of the kids and I hiking the bicycle trails at DeHart Park in Woolwine. I had been thinking of cleaning up my bike at trying out some trails but I thought it best to walk them to see what I might be in for.

First let me say that if you have never been to Woolwine, Virginia it is simple beauty at it's best. DeHart Park in Woolwine is tucked in the folds of the mountain and is very nice. The park has restrooms with working water and nice tennis and basketball courts along with a good shelter for family picnics.

We took a good look at the trail map and decided on walking the shiner's trail. The trail is full of grades and obstacles that would be great for those riding bikes. A small creek with narrow a bridge was quite enjoyable for my son Jack and Petey our dog. Mountain larel is all around and wonderful moss and of course there is wildlife. We encountered a box turtle and I almost stepped on a black snake; so keep you eyes open you are in the woods.

For us this was about a 20 minute drive from the house and made it very convenient; but if you are traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway it's just a little skip of to the park. I hope you enjoyed the pictures from our day hike. I hope your inspired to take a hike in your neck of the woods and as always thanks for stopping by Southern Direction.

Have a blessed Day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Old Home Love

Our present home

Our prior home

I am so glad to received my latest issue of Folk magazine. One article that I really connected with was Old House Love by Anne Lorys. In the article she is basically taking the reader on a tour of her quaint Victorian cottage. She goes on to explain how she and her husband came to live in this little fixer upper. She also describes her love for old imperfect homes. It was as if she was describing me!

I grew up in a small country home. My first home after leaving the house of my youth was a brand new mobile home; which is very typical for our area. Most folks start out in a mobile home of sorts and later build a house on their piece of land. Regardless I thought I had really made it. I had new appliances, new carpet, a heat pump.

 After my first marriage ended. I moved back to the house my grandmother had lived in. At one time the house was acclaimed as the Scales-Ellington plantation but by the time I had come to live there it had been through quite a bit of changes. The era of when you covered the wood floors and panelled over the old bead board had taken it's toll. The house had also been vacant for a few years before I began renting it. Thankfully the rent was cheap and I also think I received some healing for my heart being back in the house that was full of so many memories. Living in the old house was quite a chore. The plumbing was horrible, the floors were ratty, winter would work you to death just keeping heat. If snow fell it was very common for it to blow through the cracks in some of the back rooms. The old house had also become home to a variety of creature. Oh, but what a treasure on a hot summer day the big double doors open, gentle breeze that cooled the house. The huge winding stairs, the nine foot ceilings and that wonderful smell that only that house had. Not a old bad smell but the sweet smell of home. I thought I would buy it. I thought I would live there until I died.

After the owner refused to sell and realizing that we had to truly find a place of our own; we purchased the home we live in now. It too is a older home, built in the 1950's but we could already visualize  the transformation. Ten years of ups and a few downs hasn't left opportunity for too much remodeling. It's more like you fix it as it comes along. I'm sure my husband think a newer home would be great and I think the kids might wish for a more modern home. The still share this place we call home and all in all we're a blessed family in a blessed little home.

I'm inspire that there are other that share old home love just as I do but whatever home you live in I wish you well and pray that all the hearts that dwell within your walls are blessed too.

p.s. // I love this blog and the magazine is beautiful.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chickens and Hens

Chickens and Hens(plants not birds) are truely a staple if you are wanting to add country or southern style to your home. Most often you might see them planted in a pot at your grandma's home but they seem to be making a strong comeback in modern gardening too. For some reason I thought they were a house plant; but my Mama recently explained they are perinial and do quite well outside in beds. She had planted a few herself that were already mutiplying. This lead me to divide up the ones I had in a pot on the porch and make a bed of chickens and hens for myself.

I'm sort of a potluck kind of gardener. I mostly use what I have whether it's rocks from around the yard or old busted brick and block. I also decorate with things that are not common. In this bed I used a decorative chicken my daughter gave me and a busted iron skillet I found in the weeds just outside the yard. In the south, it is very common to find objects just pitched to the edge of the yard; so keep your eyes open you never know what will be there.

No time is spent in the yard without the real hens coming to check it all out. They are always most curious and very nosy. I hope you are inspired to try your own chicken and hen flower bed. I can't wait till the whole patch is covered and I can't post even more pictures.

Have a blessed day!