Thursday, December 19, 2013


When I was young we were so poor that the only heat in the  house was the fireplace, so in the winter we would all sleep on pallets on the floor in the living room. The house was so old that the wind would blow through cracks in the floor & ruffle the quilts we were lying on. One morning when I woke up I found lots of little "glass" balls lying around on the floor. I gathered them all up and lined them up on the fireplace hearth trying to figure out what they were while warming up.

Suddenly they started to melt,  POP POP POP, and an awful stink filled the room.


Thursday, December 12, 2013


Not only will the Moulton parade be cold and wet tomorrow nite but would-be stargazers could find the stars aligned against them as the Geminid meteor shower peaks Friday 13th. According to the National Weather Service in Huntsville, those intent on catching one of the year’s biggest meteor showers will have to brave temperatures of 40 or below and a nearly 100 percent chance of rain and sleet.

“It’s really not going to be the best time to be watching meteors,” meteorologist Robert Boyd said. Saturday night, he said, the rain is expected to continue until after midnight. “But systems like this can leave really thick clouds behind them,” he said. Decatur astronomer Jim Lewis said if the clouds don’t get in the way, the moon might. “The moon is not in a good position for that,” he said. “It’s going to be full on the 17th, so it’s pretty bright already.”

The meteors will be most visible after the moon has set but before the sun rises — about 3:30-6 a.m. Saturday and 4:30-6 a.m. Sunday.
Boyd said the latter viewing opportunity will be the better bet. “It looks like Saturday night and Sunday morning it may clear up some, but it’s going to be kind of touch-and-go and could take its time to clear out,” he said. “Although the way things have been moving lately, I’m more optimistic.” Lewis said those who make the effort to view the celestial sights might be rewarded, despite the odds. “You just don’t really know,” he said. “The moon’s not going to be in the best position for viewing, but you still might catch a few really good ones. You can’t always predict the best meteor showers.” And anyone — not just rural, county residents — can see them.

“You don’t need a telescope for meteors,” Lewis said. “As long as you don’t live in downtown, the lights shouldn’t be much of a problem. Just find a dark place outside your house and dress warm.” The Geminid meteors are one of only two meteor showers not originating from a comet, but from fragments of an asteroid. The shower appears yearly Dec. 7 through Dec. 14.

Thanks to the Decatur Daily for all the facts and quotes

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


These brave Moulton, AL teen-aged guys were raising $$$ for the softball team. I had a blast watching them! My great nephew was one and I'm so proud of him

Sunday, November 24, 2013


This is the place I've spent most of my waking moments for the last 34 years, the paper mill in Courtland, Alabama.

 I've been in  the boiler house all that time and it's where I learned to operate heavy machinery, produce electricity with steam driven turbine generators, trouble shoot pumps & motors, boss men around (like I needed lessons doing that!), control things from a DCS I/A system and multiple other skills that will be useless to me soon.

You see the mill is closing down. Not due to anything wrong with it or because the crew are incompetent; but because someone in a corporate office in another state who has never been in an actual paper mill decided that there was too much paper in the market and we were the biggest (and highest producing) mill around and it was easier to shut down 1 mill instead of several others.

Not only will this devastate the lives of  myself and my crew members but it's having a terrible impact on all the surrounding counties.

This is the only major industry in my home county. The schools have always had paper donated from IP for use across the system. That donation saved the schools $40,000 each year. Plus, there is no way to know how many students might be lost if parents move to seek other jobs. International Paper’s financial input to my county now is approximately $400,000 to the county’s general fund, $147,174 to road repair, $588,696 in school taxes and $235,478 in hospital tax.There's no way to recover from the loss that the mill will have county wide.

I'm 58 so I'll can suck it up and try to get by on my pension  until 62 rolls around and I can get Social Security but the younger folks are having to leave to find jobs elsewhere. Homes and cars are going up for sale all over the place but who has the money to buy them now that a large majority of people are facing unemployment?

Sometimes it's hard to look for the silver lining when all you see are storm clouds. They say "this too shall pass" but that doesn't make it any easier nor the future look any brighter. Thank goodness I have my health and a loving family.