A Perfect Schedule.

September 1, 2007

This past week has been a little different and has gotten us off our normal routine. Race week was interesting with 160,000 NASCAR fans around, but is now over and our little town is getting back to normal.

Then cousins from Richmond came to town, camping in Aunt Carol’s fifth wheel at the lake.  So we made several trips out there to visit and one day to sightsee with them. This morning we went out to say goodbye and witness the “giving of the quilts”.  My sweet mom and her two equally sweet sisters made these fabric works of art especially for the cousins who were duly surprised and grateful. 

 I am back to working on our project rehab house where the wall paper removal continues to challenge me… but I am winning with only a couple of rooms left to do. 

Yesterday Liza got her new chain saw and Paula Bunyan has been happily felling many small trees that were killed by this Spring’s extreme frost.  There are plenty of trees on this property so the dead ones won’t be missed and will be replaced in the Spring.

Yes, I like having a schedule. Liza’s mom had her own retirement schedule: bathing, coffee, dressing, US TODAY cross word puzzle, breakfast, housework, bill paying or letter writing until it was time for her to prepare the lunch sandwich she would enjoy during “The Young and the Restless”, “As the World Turns” and “The Bold and the Beautiful”, followed by a nap. And so it was, every weekday the same. It seemed to serve her well.

My own mom has a daily routine that I think helps keep her grounded: early rising, grooming, breakfast, projects like quilting, gardening, laundry (she still irons everything) and household chores. Then lunch with her soaps, nap, after which she reads until dinnertime. She reads everything: classics, mystery, romance, historical fiction, you name it. The reading is the reward for her busy and productive mornings. It is her schedule.

What would my perfect schedule be? How could I fit it all in a day? Rehabbing on our project house, reading, writing (which has been reduced to blogging too infrequently), cooking and caring for us, real estate and personal clerical duties, spending time with family and friends, studying and learning, gardening, music, oil painting and other art related activities, traveling…. Trying to find my way and set up a routine that makes me feel happy and productive but not stressed and over-booked. I’m probably not alone in this quest.

But I am grateful for good health and many options. Just sometimes caught myself saying, “I want to do so much but I don’t know what to do next!”

Warm wishes to all.


NASCAR in Bristol!

August 25, 2007







Every hillside and front lawn for miles around the Bristol Motor Speedway is host to campers of every size and shape filled with all-American auto race fans. They are a casual bunch for the most part, sporting bright coolers filled with Busch and Pepsi, and tee shirts picturing the racer they favor.

Yet Nascar fans are serious about their fun… showing up as much as a week early to garner a prized camping spot within an easy walk to the tracks. The race fans also fill every hotel/motel room between Knoxville and Roanoke. But then again, according to race fans, “There is no place like Bristol for racing excitement, down home friendly locals, and the beauty of this Tennessee valley!”

Mobile vendors provide a race parafinalia tent city just across the street from the speedway. There one can purchase clothes, mugs, bath mats, glasses, lighters, food, drinks, race car models, bath towels, key chains, posters, and much more usually inhanced with the name, photo, autograph, or race car number of your favorite racer embossed somewhere on the product.

We think the best spot to watch this race is in our own TV room at home, But Liza volunteered to drop of and pick up some family race attendees this year when she captured the photos above.

All this excitements got the best of us so we watched most of last night’s race and plan to watch the big race tonight on ESPN2.

I was personally amazed by the youth of some of the drivers and their amazing crews. Seasoned drivers were represented as well and all seemed positive and up beat about their sport. No bad boy behavior, drug testing scandals, or mean comments about their competitors. That part was refreshing.

The raceway chatter was about the new surface to the track which most of the drivers approved.

Hope you enjoyed our hometown veiw of Nascar in Bristol. Warm wishes and happy racing!


For all my Musician Friends, Sir Paul McCartney

June 17, 2007

Sir Paul

On June 13th, Sir Paul McCartney played at Chelsea’s new Highline Ballroom to a cozy crowd of only 700.  This semi-secret Manhattan club show was to introduce his new album called, “Memory Almost Full”.  Read what Rolling Stone Mag had to say about this night here.

Our famous DJ cousin, Helen Leight, out of Philly (WXPN) has been a Beatles lover since the beginning. And of course she was one of the chosen few invited to this New York show. Said the show was amazing and that she cried. I probably would have too.

Setlist:

“Drive My Car”
“Only Mama Knows”
“Dance Tonight”
“C Moon”
“The Long and Winding Road”
“I’ll Follow the Sun”
“Calico Skies”
“That Was Me”
“Blackbird”
“Here Today”
“Back in the U.S.S.R.”
“Nod Your Head”
“House of Wax”
“I’ve Got a Feeling”
“Matchbox”
“Get Back”
“Baby Face” (snippet)
“Hey Jude”
“Let It Be”
“Lady Madonna”
“I Saw Her Standing There”

Helen celebrated the anniversary of Sgt. Peppers at xpn with a special Philly concert

I guess as long as we live, Bealtles lovers will always know the impact this music has had on a generation of young people.  Now as we age, we know the value of the work is that it is timeless and classic and that we will carry it with us in our hearts forever.  In fact, it has helped shape us into who we are now… mature Beatle lovers!


Hometown Graduation

May 22, 2007



The Stone Castle has played host to the Tennessee High Vikings for over 70 years. With some of my own dear granddad’s labor, the atheletes there still, today, have a terrific stadium, a one-of-a-kind historic sports palace known as the Stone Castle.

Constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the New Deal, the Stone Castle is currently still in use. This stadium is a reminder of the post-World War II era, another time when high school football received top billing around the state.

Situated on the campus of Tennessee High School in Bristol, the Stone Castle Stadium opened on October 8, 1936. First known as the Bristol Municipal Stadium, the Stone Castle is constructed of coarse rubble limestone from another WPA project at nearby Beaver Creek, the stadium seats approximately 6,000 and features most of the original Medieval Gothic details. Its unique corner towers, arched entries, and crenellated walls clearly make the Stone Castle the most architecturally significant stadium in Tennessee.

Seeing the Stone Castle again makes me remember my own years of high school and MY senior year. Our football team was state champ that year, I ironed my hair to make it straight and my favorite music was soul plus Neil and Eric, Bette and Elton. (Still is.) It was an exciting time. 

My grandad help build it, my brother was a starting football player within it’s stone walls, and now my keeper nephew just graduated. MVP. Soccer. Honor Society. Good Person.

Only nephew, class 2007, is product of his own hard work plus effective and loving parents, caring grandparents, hardworking great grands, and so far back that records are scarce being near the beginning of our very country.  So many generations choosing these very hills and valleys for their home.

So much of which to be proud. Like being hugged by your roots. And now only nephew will be starting over. Starting over as a graduate from a castle in Tennessee where the spirits of generations before him will forever be his support.







PS. Nephew’s graduation presents included (among others) the newest Blackberry and a hand made quilt from his grandmother (my mom). Appropriate mixture of the old and the new technology!

Warm wishes until next post!


Great Radio = Helen Leight

May 5, 2007

Mid-day Host Helen LeichtThis is Helen, my Liza’s famous DJ cousin from Philadelphia. Check her out at xpn.org

Each weekday at 1pm, mid-day host Helen Leicht puts the spotlight on one song from an up and coming local artist. Philly Local picks have included Amos Lee, Mutlu, Melody Gardot, Jim Boggia, Hoots & Hellmouth, Phil Roy, Sharon Little, Scot Sax, The Swimmers, John Flynn, the A Sides, Hail Social, Dan May, The Brakes, and many more!

Tune in to Philly Local every Tuesday Night at 9pm when Helen presents a full hour of Philly Local music. Tune in to hear a variety of of important music from the Philadelphia area.

Having been in the biz for nearly 30 years, Helen knows EVERYTHING about the Beatles and rock music. We love you Helen. Adding you permanently to our blogroll! Check her out Monday thru Friday 10am to 2pm and Tuesday evenings from 9-10pm.

Helen Leicht in the on-air booth


USA Made Jeans???

April 28, 2007





As part of her Starting Over, and to take her mind off the recent family loss, Liza was back on the streets of our small town yesterday and snapped the shot above of this stately old brick building. This building houses the Pointer Brand company and does today what it has done for almost 100 years…. produce good quality, durable jeans. Pointer Brand (see my blogroll) is a family business that has never closed and never laid anyone off. Here is a clip from their website:

“The L. C. King Manufacturing Company

Around the turn of the century, Landon Clayton King was raising championship birddogs. Seeing a need for tough and durable work clothing, in 1913, he founded The L. C. King Manufacturing Company.

L. C. King believed that if he could raise championship birddogs, he could produce overalls and jeans of the same distinction. Carrying on the family tradition four generations later, Pointer Brand is recognized worldwide.

The L. C. King Manufacturing Company is proud to make everything in the U.S.A. Having survived two floods and a fire, it still operates out of the original location in East Tennessee. The employees make bib overalls, coveralls, carpenter jeans, hunting apparel and denim chore coats. Several employees have retired after 50 years of service.

Bill was L.C. King’s favorite birddog. Born June 20, 1922, he soon became part of the Pointer Brand logo. He won most of the local field trials during his reign. His pups sold for $50 in the mid-1920’s. They also were given as prizes at trap shoots in Bristol. On point he was described as very intense and showed excellent style and character.”

This explains their birddog logo… but there is more to the story. The first picture in this post is of my GREAT GRANDPA, Papa Smithson (1879 to 1958), taken somewhere in the 40’s or 50’s, wearing Mr. King’s Pointer Brand jeans!

My own sweet granddaddy (a proud farmer and lumberman) wore Pointer Brand overalls everyday of his life as I recall (except for a few hours on Sunday, or the occasional wedding or funeral). And now Liza has re-discovered this American treasure and will only wear Pointer Brand jeans.

Makes me wonder why anyone would buy off shore produced jeans when we have such important, historic and hard working businesses right here in our own country to support. Since Pointer Brand is very popular in other countries, but not being worn by our own pop culture icons, it makes me think of something my Dad often told me about creativity…. “don’t be discouraged… very often the closest people around you are the least supportive and understanding of your new ideas.”

Thanks Liza for reminding us to look for, and appreciate, the USA-made jeans being produced by hard working Americans right in our own backyard.

Warm wishes. anitamorrell.wordpress.com


Family News

April 13, 2007

This post is for friends and family. Liza’s mom (EC) had another stroke last night. Having problems speaking. In tests now at hospital. Cell phones don’t work well there. Will update here ASAP.

Not another Starting Over… please no. (First Exposure, about me) Warm wishes for EC.