Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tonight James and I went to Memphis to see Mississippi State play Memphis in baseball at Autozone Park.

James had never been to the park, which is where the Memphis Redbirds, a minor league team affiliated with St. Louis Cardinals, play. I had previously been there with Jay to see the same two university teams play.

I love Autozone; it is the nicest park I have ever been in. I love that the centerfield backdrop is a group of pine trees.

And I most of all love to walk into a ball park and see my beloved State team on the field in their maroon uniforms. For many of this team it was my first chance to match their name to a figure. I compare them to previous players. Brad Jones, the first baseman, looks like Tommy Raffo, the first baseman from the 1990 team. Brian LaNinfa, the designated hitter, has the chunky physique of several DHs of previous years.

State scored an unearned run on no hits during the second inning and did not get a hit until the 6th. Then Memphis's pitcher just seemed to run out of gas.

Brian LaNinfa, the designated hitter, hit a home run to tie the gameat 2 each and then State went ahead in the seventh, 4-2. Brian LaNinfa hit another home run in the top of the ninth and the final score was State 5-3.

It was a good evening. I always enjoy going places with James. I like the conversations during the travel as we straighten out the world and other people's lives.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

New update on the tent:

I finally got the tent up and now I can't get it down.

The rainfly is down, folded, and put away. The poles for that are shock-corded so they just folded away also.

However, the poles on the tent have hinges. They lock into place and they are still locked into place.

The instructions for putting this tent up and taking it down are sketchy at best.

However, I will continue to work on it and I'm sure I'll be able to get it down someday.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I am so excited. I finally bought my tent.

I have been watching a tent at WalMart for more than a year, since last spring. I thought surely it would go on sale in the fall but it didn't. I watched the supply carefully and when they had one left I was going to buy it.

Surprisingly this spring, prime season for selling camping equipment, it came on sale for about 25% off.

Monday afternoon I tried to put it together.

I had waited on this particular tent because it looked like I could put it up by myself. The tent claimed to be a "First Up" tent and showed one person erecting it. When I opened it and found the directions the first thing it said was This tent needs two people to erect it.

I figured I am worth two other people so I set to work. I got the tent part essentially up but it called for reaching up and pulling some bars until they clicked. No way could I reach them.

I tried to put up the rain fly anyway but it was awkward. One person hard; two people easy. I have been in these situations before. My usual plan is to work on it a while, sit down and cry some, then go back to work. After a good amount of time, I decided to sleep on it.

Today I tried again, and I was able to set it up in the garage. One problem the previous day had been the wind which kept lifting the rain fly. It was difficult and awkward but I did set it up.

The tent is cute and it is maroon. At 9x9 it is one of the smaller tents at the store but it is plenty big, as big as I want, and as big as the tent George Rodney and I used for so many years.

I am going to Florida sometime this summer and Beth and I are going camping up north of Jacksonville at a state park. It will be nice.

I can't wait to sleep in a tent again.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

In Praise of Poorly Made Quilts

I'm requilting the Double Wedding Ring quilt my grandmother Big Mama gave me when I married 42 years ago.

It would not win a prize at the lowliest of county fairs, much less the big quilt shows they have now.

Mama's quilt is made from scraps, some are from feed sacks, some are flannel, some from cotton dress fabrics. The solid inside pieces are made from muslin, what we called domestic. She just used what she had. The little spoke pieces on the rings are meant to all be the same size, but they vary. She always used a red piece for the center spoke, but because the four pieces on each side aren't always the same, that red piece is visibly not in the center.

But I love this quilt above all others. I see my competent, strong, loving, and intelligent grandmother in each piece.

Today we have enough money to buy fabrics especially to use on quilts. We can match our colors. We can stray far from the need for bed covers, because blankets at WalMart are cheap.

Therefore, we now have the art quilt. They range from lovely to spectacular. Some are like impressionist watercolors; some are landscapes. None are ever meant to lie on a bed.

But Mama's quilts, and my quilts, too, are meant for the bed. They are utilitarian quilts, but like women throughout history, we try to brighten up our living space. To make something useful also be pretty.

These quilts are not quilted 10 stitches to the inch. The corners don't match very often but from our scraps and our imaginations we make something beautiful for our homes.

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