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Livingston, Tennessee- plan a trip and I’ll meet you there!  Once is not enough!

Two hours from Sage Hill (base of the Cumberland Plateau)  Livingston is in the Upper Cumberland, gorgeous country, rich history, thriving town and friendly folks!

The original Overton County Courthouse was burned by guerrillas during the Civil War to cover up evidence of pro-Confederate acts, and was rebuilt ca.1868

History Bite…Dec.22,1961-An American soldier was killed in an ambush at a military airfield in Southeast Asia (Vietnam) for many years he was considered to be the first American to die in that war. That is questionable now and for another time.
However, Davis is a hero and holds a special place on the Courthouse grounds and the hearts of Overton County folks.

Sweet sorgum and molasses are among our favorite health foods…the best can be found in Muddy Pond, a delightful Mennonite community. Awesome!

History Bite…This was a surprise to me. Overton County is one of Tennessee’s top counties for oil and natural gas production.

If you are a hiker…Standing Stone State Park is a few steps away, and if you are a marble player, they have the 38th annual National Rolley Hole Marbles Championship coming up this next weekend I think.

I was impressed with all the fun things to do and the history of course is my first love.

So much to see and learn…so little time! But, we try!

My desire to pack a bag and roam never wanes!

I won’t bore you with the reasons why not over the past year, we’ve all experienced the same game.

My summer coming up will be quite different from the previous one….ready or not, the choice is mine.

This past Tuesday was a sample run…took me north into the neighboring 3 counties. Saw a lot of spring activity, fields greening, fields plowed under, and fresh, rich dirt gleaming in the sunshine.

Made a special stop at my favorite nursery for things I don’t or can’t grow from seed. River View is located at Thompson Station… a huge place and all the plants are grown there and from Non-GMO seed.

I came home with 12 Azalea shrubs, perennial salvia, and Sea Salt hand-soap!
Oh, and 8 bags of Raised Bed Soil blend…good thing I drive a Jeep!

Mealhouse love Dessert done right!

Saw some old friends and sat on a bench and chatted for a while…a marvelous treat!

By now I was getting hungry, with a late breakfast I had passed on lunch, early dinner was sounding good.

Two choices…come home and cook, or…Marcy Jo’s is 20 minutes from Sage Hill…right on my route….Marcy Jo’s it was.

https://www.roryfeek.com/marcyjosmealhouse

This quaint little place has an old history, more recent history, and a much bigger story and purpose.

Gifted and gracious people, making it count!

https://www.roryfeek.com/farm

 

 

 

 

brunch

Feb.7-2021

A very British Affair…

A lovely invitation arrived in my inbox a few days ago.

Brunch at noon
Poppy And Parliament
Huntsville-Twickenham

(History of Twickenham)
http://huntsvillehistorycollection.org/hh/index.php?title=A_Brief_History_of_the_Twickenham_Historic_Preservation_District

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Just let me say…we are all good food critics/cooks in this family…so dining out can be a challenge!

I could not have been more pleased, the welcome, the service, the food, the coffee, and the atmosphere was spot on!

Smoked Salmon on dark Soda bread with Chive scrambled eggs…perfection!

Randy and Michelle shared breakfast for two….sausage, bacon, potato rounds, baked beans, Black & White puddings, sauced mushrooms, (amazing!)

Now, the trip from home to the location was only about 45 minutes, however, it takes me through a section of Huntsville I have not visited in 2 years…..through the A&M Campus/ parts of Old Town that still has vintage charm.

I was disappointed to see one of my favorite Farm Market Retail stores had closed the doors.

But, an old and popular Meat and Seafood spot is still thriving. Rockets-Meat and Seafood Market.
https://www.rocketcitymeatshuntsville.com/about

A lovely outing with my family…what could be better!

Blessed and Grateful~

I have this beautiful little book entitled:

(My South–A People, A Place, A World Of Its Own.)
Based on works by Robert ST. John.

I feel like sharing some of my favorite thoughts.

“My South is a state of grace.”

(and so it is indeed)

In my South, getting called by your first and middle name, or your full name is NEVER a good thing!
**I heard my full name a lot, this I know to be true!!
Just look at this innocent face…I’ll leave it there to be pondered.
fields
From cotton fields to sunflower fields…My South was where your hands and your name were sometimes all you had….we learned to use both of them wisely.

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My South has big families where everyone remembers everyone else’s birthday.

I grew up with 23 aunts and uncles/29 first cousins/2nd and 3rd cousins ?? too many to keep up with! A few years ago we had over 300 at a family reunion from that group…some have passed on in the last 2 years and our reunion was put on hold this year.
Then there are all those new babies in the last 3 years..it’s a good thing!
Oh, I should clarify, these numbers are from our maternal side only…..😂

Sweet dreams~

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MY South is azalea and magnolia trees, and kudzu and daylilies!
Listen to the trees, they know the secrets of the rest!
If you know anything about kudzu, you know it is a blessing and a curse!
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In my South, we know where we come from.
Our ancestors are much more than names.
Every year we gather at the family cemetery plots to pay our respects with beautiful flowers and lots of memories.
Sometimes picnic baskets and sometimes another’s back-yard or kitchen table.
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In my South, you can still find the middle of nowhere!
Image may contain: tree, plant, house, sky, grass, outdoor and nature
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My South is more than a place on the map.
In My South, there is a link between family and land, of lives sacrificed in it, because a sense of place is that important.
~
storm
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The road that took us home for so many years, until one day it didn’t, and sometimes, one really can’t go back. Bittersweet memories…forever….forward~

From our house to the main road, and where we boarded the school bus was 2.8 miles long. A narrow country/dirt road bordered on each side with trees and the railroad tracks on one side…wild roses grew amongst the trees from end to end.
Midway on this route, I and my first cousin had a Fort (built from limbs, boards and other scavenger finds…from time to time we would decide to spend the day in our fort instead of going to school. ( We were 8/9 years old and tomboy to the core.)
That didn’t last long, the teacher ratted us out and the rest is history I just as soon forget!

Some 70 years later, the wild roses are still growing on my grandparents’ home-place.
I’m still partial to wild roses.

road  road road wild
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God Bless this land…America!

Dickens

Christmas As Seen Through The Eyes Of Dickens~

The Christmas Story…according to the Christmas Bible story, Christ came down to earth from heaven to be born at Christmas, because of his love for all humanity.
Christmas Through the Eyes of Dickens~(1812-1870)
( a cry for social justice )
Christmas in Scrooge’s day…in 1843 Christmas was much less commercial. Many people went to church, and many followed the ancient tradition of making merry. however, nothing was allowed for or geared to the working class or poor classes of people
We all know the heart-tugging story of “A Christmas Carol” by- Charles Dickens…what many may not know are some of the historical facts that inspired this classic.
The English Christmas was at a low ebb when Dickens was a youngster.
The growth of the city exploded in the 1800s and became known as “the Fever-Patch.” It was the first big industrial city in the world, and it was dirty, extremely polluted, and unhealthy. the disease spread quickly…there were four cholera epidemics in Dickens’s lifetime. plus regular outbreaks of typhoid, scarlet fever,, and other ills. Two hundred open sewers ran into the Thames River…and more than half of the London population took their water from it for cooking, laundry, bathing, and drinking.
Much of today’s London was built in the 19th Century,
it was full of dark alleys and lanes, the streets were crowded, noisy, and very dirty.
Almost anything was bought and sold, the atmosphere was more akin to a modern third-world city than modern London. Many of the vendors were children-there were no child labor laws such as we have today. Many worked as young as 5-sweeping the streets.
The growth of the city exploded in the 1800’s and became know as “the Fever-Patch.” It was the first big industrial city in the world, and it was dirty, extremely polluted and unhealthy. disease spread quickly…there were four cholera epidemics in Dickens’s lifetime. plus regular outbreaks of typhoid, scarlet fever,, and other ills. Two hundred open sewers ran into the Thames River…and more than half of the London population took their water from it for cooking, laundry, bathing, and drinking.
“A Christmas Carol” was written in 1843, as was the first printed Christmas cards. However, in 1843 many very old traditions were still being celebrated. Some dated from ancient pagan midwinter festivals-which was celebrated long before the first Christmas. The latter part of the 1840s began to see signs of new customs and ways that brought London out of the disgusting conditions it had become famous for.
After the success of ” A Christmas Carol,” Dickens wrote a Christmas story each year for the next several years, including The Chimes,(1844) and The cricket On The Hearth (1845)-none were as popular as A Christmas Carol. It added a new word to the English language (“a Scrooge” is a miser…very few stories have done that.
Today’s Christmas is commercial in a way Dickens could not have dreamed of…but in part and thanks to him, we still feel that Christmas should be a time for family warmth, wholesome fun, kindness to others and especially children…his vision lives on~ RIP Charles Dickens.
Merry Christmas~Tis the Season~to read a great classic!
The Sage Hill Farms Family~

New Year

January 1, 2021
🎆

Happy birthday Kathy Stevens/our first niece, long career in nursing,

mother of one, grandmother of 2… Love you Kathy.

Rose Bowl game at 3…Alabama v Notre Dame,

2nd Quarter…21-7 Alabama! (played in Texas!)

Friends coming for coffee and pie-Apple, just like mother made!

Manifesting a Happy, Healthy, and Great New Year!
Make it count!!
Paying close attention to the little things I may have taken for granted over the years. Something special about this year?

jasper    Jasper Square

tree

Most don’t live in real-life castles, however, don’t doubt that we have a few!!

My home ground, where my deepest roots and earliest memories of life are stationary. Sweet Home Alabama…words that ring my bell…be it Christmas or a stroll in the Sipsey Wilderness! (my birthplace)

For different reasons this year, and little to do with the COVID demon, we are not one big grouping. However, we have had smaller visits, and special they were/are.

Yesterday I made my way south to drop Christmas goodies to my eldest son/family…my son and his eldest were at work, so I’m sharing this pic instead of a live shot…made by the younger one of the clan…a seasoned part-time/freelance photographer…while he works through Nursing school!
Quite talented and innovative young man.

The drive was gorgeously winter, the traffic was heavy?? People are going somewhere! The coffee and home-baked cookies were delicious…hugs warm and knowing.

Family…the best security we have.

Tis the Season…to cherish family!

family    playmemory        chris

blue
Some Christmas History~

We’ve all heard the term “Those who do not know and learn from history are bound to repeat it.”

Here we are….The best offense is a good defense-Talk about it, write about it, live it, celebrate it…Preach it!!

 

The middle of winter has always been a time of celebration.

Even Pagan celebrations were a ritual born of beliefs that followed the only spiritual guideline available.
Long before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter.
In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, (the winter solstice,) through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, large logs were set on fire and people would feast until they burned out-sometimes lasting 12 days.
In the early days of Christianity-Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced.

By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion.

In the early 17Th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, canceled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.
The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.
After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America’s new constitution. Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.