AtoZ Letter 'A' Photo Review and Reveal

True to this Blog Title...CollectInTexas Gal...I have a Collection of AtoZ  Themes.  Three from previous AtoZ Challenges and this year, 2015, makes four.  As you may have noticed, I am somewhat of an 'Over Organizer'...eye roll...go ahead and eye roll, too!  Most of the time, the 'OverDoSue' trait serves me well, and I think the 'Challenge' is one of those times.

Letter 'A' in my first AtoZ 2012 Challenge...AtoZ Family Tree...featured my Great Great Grandmother Julia Ann Akin.  Akin was her maiden name which I would never have known had it not been for this photo.  It was the only  named photo in an 'Album' from the late 1890's that I inherited from my Great Grandmother.  Many of the photos in that Album were the focus of the 2012 AtoZ Challenge. 

After much photo detective work and research into the name on the back of this photo, I was able to determine the identity of this woman.  She was Julia Ann Akin's sister, Palmyra, which made her my Great Great Aunt.  Her story, how she came to be in the Album, and how she got from Tennessee to Texas...Palmyra~Bride of the Desert.

You can browse all of the 2012 AtoZ Family Tree Post via the TAB under the Header.

The A Frame~AtoZ Letter A was the introduction to The Lone Star Quilting Guild and it's members.  Rather than explain the preface for this theme here and now, you may read the introduction/reveal...AtoZ 2013~Inspired by Texas Pioneer Quilters.

The 2013 Challenge was truly a challenge for me in writing fiction based on my own quilting experiences and family history.  It is my favorite challenge theme...so far.

This year's theme may take over as my Favorite...or...I may have to have Two Favorites!

Can you have Three Favorites?   It's my party, so I guess I can! 

The 2014 Letter 'A' was a fictional trip back in time to one of the most historical and tragic events of the 1900's.  Alfred and April's Brush With Disaster starts off the challenge based on my collection of vintage photographs.

Again, you may read about how this Theme developed in the introduction/reveal post...Why Genealogy and Old Photos for 2014 AtoZ Challenge.

And, finally, we are to this year's Theme for the 2015 Challenge.  Growing Up in the 1950's and 1960's theme is inspired by a collection of photos taken mostly by my Mother during the two decades.  Some I had seen over the years of putting together scrapbooks, but many were discovered in a shoebox in the top of my Mother's closet.  These photos, along with my own collection of photos and scrapbooks from the 1960's make up this year's A~Z posts.

will give you a feel for what is to come in this years theme.
As for this years Letter 'A'...my First Grade photo and report card will  tell ALL!!
...Please come back on April 1st for...
All A's and One A-


Hoop Shooters Since 1941

Today starts the 'Elite Eight' Bracket of 2015's March Madness.  It's a big Hoopla!  Of course you know that without being a College Basketball Fan as it takes up a good part of the evening TV viewing time the last couple of weeks in March and into April.  This year I noticed that Northern Iowa made it to the Sweet Sixteen Bracket before losing out to Louisville.  I mention this in particular as it reminded me of another Iowa Basketball Team...my Mother's High School Team.

The team photo is from the collection of Mother's BFF, Phyllis, with whom I visited last month.  Phyllis shared the photo and their 'Basketball Story' with me and now seems like a good time to share with my Family Readers and my Blog Readers.
Thelma and Phyllis finished Country School with the eighth grade.  In order to further their education they moved to town and enrolled in Exira High School.  Neither one had ever seen a basketball game and new nothing about the skills or rules.

Phyllis remembered their first year in 1941, trying out for the team:  "All the town girls had been playing since 3rd grade, so we had to 'bluff' our way through...pretend we knew how to play...it was hilarious...very hard to complete.  During the summer, Thelma went to her Aunts in DesMoines, and when she got back she had grown 4 inches.  Until then we were the same height...then the Coach paid attention to her and gave her one on one training as a guard.  She was the tallest one on the team.   Thelma loved basketball."

Like Mother...Like Daughter...20 years later!
Like Grandmother/Great Grandmother...Like Grandsons and Great Grandsons...68 years later.
Thanks Mother...Hoops are in our Genes!
In Loving Memory
My Brother Stacy...Go Duke!
My Mother Thelma...Exira Spartans 1941-43


AJ Lauer Introduces Sue and Dolly

Have you noticed the Owl Be Watchin' Badge on my Sidebar?
Do you know what a Minion is?
I didn't the first year I participated in the AtoZ April Challenge!
I do know now! 
 I am one...with 'One Goggled Eye' on the AtoZ Challenge during the month of April.
 AJ Lauer, Team Leader and Co-Host for the Challenge, begins the introduction
of her team of wHooligans...with Me.
Would you like to know my answer to this question asked by Barbara in Caneyhead?
Have you ever been to Texas and if so, what part?
Really, have I ever been to Texas!
Read my answer on AJ's Blog post


In The Midst of March Madness...

...there was The Great and Powerful AtoZ Theme Reveal Blogfest!!!

It was Great!  It was Powerful!  It was Revealing! 
Over 500 AtoZ Bloggers signed up for the BlogHop.  Did I make it to all 500?  No, but I visited and commented on as many as I could for two days...March 23-24...and will continue until Opening Day Wednesday, April 1st.
This being my fourth year on the AtoZ April Challenge,  I felt prepared for my Theme Reveal with CollectInTexas Gal decked out with a 'Challenge Header', a Theme Card, the AtoZ Badges, my 1950's-60's Photo Collaged Background, Sidebar Tags and most important of all....my AtoZ BLOG ROLL.   Check it out on the Sidebar.  I'll be adding more as I continue to visit the Reveal List. 

Ya'll are welcome to join me...


AtoZ BlogHop Theme Reveal

Welcome to CollectInTexas Gal's AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal.
This is my Theme...
A collection of stories and photos based on my Mother's Shoebox Album
and my 1950's and 1960's Scrapbooks!
Here are a few Photos and Story Titles!   Can you 'Match' them together?
Letter A....All A's and One A-
Letter B....1950's Bathing Beauty Bombs
Letter D....Dad and Sixteen Hands Dan
Letter O....Operator~It's a Comb Not A Wand
I look forward to visiting YOUR BLOG! 
I will leave my Signature Link for an easy one click trip to MY BLOG!
AtoZ 2015 Challenge AJ's wHooligans
{make YOUR Signature Link....HowTo...HERE on AtoZ Blogging Basics}
Thanks for Blog Hopping by...please leave a comment so I can return your visit.
Back to AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal List....HERE


A Lot On My Sewing Plate

As much as there is on my 'Sewing Plate', there is more on my 'Other Stuff Plates'.  Some of those plates are stacking up and getting dangerously close to toppling over.

On top of the plate pile are the remaining AtoZ Letters to be written.  Down to a place setting for six at that table. 

Wow! I just had an IDEA for Letter 'T'.  One down...five to go!

From the stack, I must begin putting together a 'Place Setting' for Two.  There is going to be a wedding in our family, and 'Family Heirloom Table Treasures' are on that Plate. 

My work plate has been quite full this month, and that is a good thing as it keeps me inspired to get back to my 'Sewing Plate'.  You have no idea how hard it is to put other stuff plates on the back burner when you are highly exposed to a 'Plateful of Fabric' for hours every day.  I have to remind myself that my 'Fabric Plates' at home are stacked to the ceiling and filling every nook and cranny. 
You know, having one's 'Plates Full' is a blessing...the Irish said so just a few days ago. 
"May there always be work for your hands to do."


Past Patterns and Persnickety Presentations

First, I should explain the daily changes going on here with backgrounds, headers, and sidebar tags. I am experimenting! It's not because I don't have anything else to do...I do...and should be doing whatever else I do, but don't want to do it right now, so I'm doing this!!! Clear as mud, huh?

Secondly, for those of you who are wondering what's happening in Sue's Sewing World...no present day sewing, but lots of BackInThe Day Sewing as I write my posts for the AtoZ April Challenge.

For example, these Butterick Patterns and Singer Tracing Paper from the 1950's and 60's.  Oh, and the photo of my Easter outfit made in 1963...and, yes, I made it.  It has been fun going through Mother's Sewing Stuff and Photos.  By combining her memorabilia and my scrapbooks and photos, I have managed to write all 26 posts based on the Letters of the Alphabet....even X,Y, and Z.  Bet you can't guess what Z will be about?

Here are some of the treasures found in my Home Economics Scrapbook.  Do you remember Mimeograph paper?  The Letter M post will highlight some of the mimeographed HomeEc Assignments from my Scrapbook. 

When you see them, the grades, comments and pickiness  of my HE Teacher
you will better understand my ....Persnickety Presentations!
SignUp for the Ato Z April Challenge....HERE
SignUp for the March 23rd AtoZ Theme Reveal....HERE


How I Customize Blogger Background...It's March Madness!

Believe It or Not...This is the last change in Header, Background, Sidebar,
and all the rest of the Blog Design Stuff...
Until April 1st!!!
March Madness is upon us so it is a good time to have some mildly maddening messing around with Blogger Design Options.  Do you ever want to do that...mess with your Blog Design?  I am notorious for changing Headers and Sidebar Tags to fit a monthly theme.  As for the Background Design, I usually go with what Blogger has to offer in their selections ranging from Art to Travel.
But it's March Madness, right, so why not go a little 'Off the Deep End' and experiment with Bloggers Custom Background Option!  Yikes!!!  What if I March in there and MessItUp?  Guess What, Ya'll you can play around with it before APPLYING it to your Blog. 
Here's How I Customized the Background....
~Select a photo from your files.  I use Windows Live Photo Gallery.
~Resize the photo to the Gallery Option SMALL.  Enhance with the Edit Options...color, straighten, etc. and SAVE in appropriate file.  I have a file for each month...so it is in MARCH 2015.
~Open DESIGN Tab on your Blog.  Window will display this...
~Click on Customize...next window will show your current background image in a small box.
~Click on Customize...below the small box and follow instructions for downloading your photo.  It will not download if photo is not correct size.  You may have to adjust according to what sizing program you use.
~Once photo is accepted you have options for how it appears on your blog.  Mine is Center Aligned, Tiled and Unchecked box for Scroll with page.
Here is the  Photo I used to customize the Green Bead Background.
By changing the Alignment Options you get different views.
Remember...it's not CHANGED until you HIT....APPLY To Blog !
Have some March Madness Fun!


The Hand of Friendship...An Irish Blessing

If you dig around in your Family Genealogy Records long enough and search far, far and away...you might discover your Irish Roots.  Or, if you are like me...your Scottish Roots and your Irish Kissin' Cousins. 
  Wannabe Irish/Scottish? 
Just Share the Blessings!
His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer.  One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog.  He dropped his tools and ran to the bog.  There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself.  Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings.  an elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.  "I want to repay you," said the nobleman.  "You saved my son's life."
No, I can't accept payment for what I did, the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer.  At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.  "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked.  "Yes," the farmer replied proudly.  "I'll make you a deal.  Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy.  If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of."  And that he did.
Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.
Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia.  What saved his life this time?  Penicillin.  The name of the nobleman?  Lord Randolph Churchill...His son's name?  Sir Winston Churchill.
Someone once said...
What goes around comes around.
Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Sing like nobody's listening.
Live like it's Heaven on Earth.
The Irish say...
May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
Pass it on...Happy Saint Patricks Day!


I'll Be Brief...But Picturesque

It has been quite sometime since I've even thought about being 'Brief' on any subject I blog about.  Wait...I take that back...I do think about being not so 'wordy'...but then...well, you know...I get carried away....like now, when I've just stated 'I'll Be Brief'.   Then there are times when I have no idea what to blog about that will be interesting, relevant to anything and most importantly...reader worthy.

I think I have just embarked on one of those times with this 'I'll Be Brief' post. 

Quickly, just a few words excuses about my March Time Schedule, Blogging, Replying, Visiting or better yet, the lack of....
1.  Work schedule has increased from part time 4 days 4 hrs. to 5 days 5-6 hours.
2.  Writing AtoZ April Challenge posts ahead of time.  A thru I ...done...M,N,Q done...J,K,L,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z to go.
3.  Minion duties for AJ's wHooligans...see sidebar AtoZ Badges...still time to SignUp.
4.  Walking in and out of 'Pretty Space' Sewing Studio.
5.  That's enough excuses....don't you think?

Thank Goodness it's Friday...Ya'll have a great weekend!


Sewing Studio...Not Just Another Pretty Space

I can only Create/Sew/Work for so long in a 'Messy Space'...then I have to do one of three things. 
~Walk out and shut the door.
~Straighten and clean up the latest Project Mess.
~Rearrange the whole SewSheBang!

Over the last few months of sewing Aprons, Sling Bags and Blankets I did two of those things.  Number one was to walked out and shut the door...not too hard to do during the coldest days of February.

Two, was to straighten, clear and clean to make room to make more of a mess.  Before long those two options begin to get on my last Messiness Nerve!  When that happens there is only one thing left...you guessed it.

The Great SewSheBang Re-Arrange!  It usually happens right after a round of getting ready for setting up my Booth at the Chicken Farm Art Center.  True to form...it happened the day after!

Only this time it was not just organizing baskets, shelves and button bins, but moving them and the furniture they occupied to make room for a Cutting Table. 

Not a new one, but improvised from an eight foot table formerly used in the storage room.  Bed Risers make it just the right height, and the space underneath...well, it works for storage of Scrap Bins and Stacks of Stuff.

I'm loving the eight feet of table top.  There is room for TWO 36 inch cutting mats.  That leaves 24 inches for Tools and space for 'Working Fabric Baskets' and layout space for patterns and stuff. 

Once I get in the Great SewSheBang Re-Arrange Groove, it is much like everything else I do...I don't know when to quit!  I had that under control this time around.  Yep, I resisted messing in the YarnARama part of the room, and the Junk Jewelry Jumbles.
I have to admit, I did straighten some skeins of yarn and clear off the Jewelry Jumbled table, but that was it. 
How could I not...it would have made the Sewing Studio...
Not just another Pretty Space!
PS...It's been three days and I have not created ONE thing in the Studio.  I walk in and walk out...and yes, shut the door!  I just can't mess up that Pretty Space!


Measuring March...Inching Along Til April

March weather...still a hot cold topic...even here in Texas...and we've only just gotten the first week of it under our belt buckles.
At least here in Texas we have not reached the point of Measuring March in Feet....of sleet, snow and ice. But, let's talk Temp Measurements...yikes, it's been cold...even the migratory Yankees are complaining about having to get out their Parka's and Mukluks.

And if that's not an indication of March gone Mad...the Daffodils are refusing to bloom.

What can I say except we will 'Inch Along Til April'.
Oh, and I will make more APRONS!  The first batch were a test to see how they would sell at the Chicken Farm's First Saturday Event. I'm happy to say, they did...sell.

Even happier to report that the 'One Size Fits All' design was thought to be ingenious! How does that work, you asked? It's all in the 'Apron Strings'! If I tell you...then I'd have to...well you know, and I'd rather sell you one.

The next batch, hot off my design board and Janome sewing machine, will be a mix of T-Towel Whites and Cotton Solid Bright Colors for Spring in hopes March will march into April by leaps and bounds instead of inches.


National Grammar Day...Let's Diagram It

**Best laid plans in the Planner Calendar Book, don't always plan out like I planned. How's that for a good grammar sentence?

If I were to diagram that sentence it would look like an underground rat's maze with no way out.  But, that is what I would have to do to in order to double check if I had correctly identified all the parts of a sentence.

Getting the subject, verb, direct object and even the prepositions and their objects were no problem, but dang, those dangling participles.

Yes, it was yesterday....National Grammar Day....and I had planned to give it the Highlight Spot here on CollectInTexas Gal, but the 'Geek Grammar Gods' zapped my Internet Provider and suddenly SuddenLink was not linked.  So, here I am a day late and SEVERAL dollars short! 

Okay...on with it! (that was not a proper sentence and so grammatically incorrect I'm surprised auto-correct did not explode)

However, it is an example of how far off the proper grammar wagon I have fallen.  My English teacher in 1959-60, who also taught me how to do a proper 'hook shot', is probably jumping through heavenly hoops at the disgraceful grammar, punctuation and spelling that flows from my A's in English brain.  Then there is the run on sentences and rambling...yikes!  Sorry Coach!  It's a sign of the times!

And that is the truth!   The Good Grammar GuRu's of yesteryear have been replaced with the Google Guys.  Webster has been replaced with an Urban Dickins and Phonics has been replaced with Spell Check...thank the Geek Gods!  (or is that just me?...probably not)

And now, for the 'piece de resist-ounce' in 21st Century Google Grammar Greatness....
I kid you not!
PS...**About my first sentence...Sentence Diagram-1AiWay would not diagram it.  Reason given:  Could Not Find A Complete Sentence!
It was not even fit for a Rat!


Time Travel...My Scrapbook Theory

Time travel...moving between different points in time...has been a popular topic for writers of science fiction, for movie makers and goers, and of course for astro physicists and followers of space science studies.   Now, I'm no 'Astro-Physicist', and for sure I am not a writer of science fiction, though some may disagree after reading my Family History Stories, but I do believe in Time Travel.  In fact I am a practicing Time Traveler with numerous Passports, Time Machines, and maybe even a Wormhole or two.

I only recently realized this phenomenal ability and knew I had to include it in my repertoire of extraordinary BS theories.  That's Bachelor of Scrapbooking...don't tell me you were thinking anything else!

I should have kept count of all the Scrapbooks I have done over the years. That number along with the unfinished ones shelved on the never ending bookshelf wall, gives me the right to add that BS after my name.  That and the files and files of Scrapbooking Papers, Pens, Stickers, Glues, Albums, Acid Free Everything and so on.

I'm pretty sure there is a Scrapbooking Gene, and I inherited it from both of my parents.  This in itself is phenomenal.  It makes my BS twice as significant and undeniably a 'Force Within Me'.

 Now...go ahead...say you are skeptical about Time Travel and my Theoretical BS.
At this time, I am not at liberty to divulge more of my Time Travel resources or the impressive time travel oriented stories pulled from my BS Gene Pool. 

I can tell you they are on Bloggers exclusive and highly scientific Publishing Schedule which begins on April 1st.  I promise you, it took all of my Time Travel Theoryness to figure out that Time Clock BS...and I'm not talking scrapbooking.  If nothing else, setting that Time Machine is a confirmation as to my not being a Rocket Scientist.

I hesitate to continue this line of writing where, I am sure you are tired of reading between the lines of all this heavy scientific jargon, but as I said, the security is tight and I still have a few 'Worm Holes' to dive into before I can nail down the final Letter Z.

Fortunately, there is still TIME for YOU to SignUp and TRAVEL around Blogland for the AtoZ April Challenge. 

The A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays.  Since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on.

You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day. The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

This is my fourth year as an AtoZ Participant and my first year as a Minion.  Each year I have written posts based on a Theme, and this year, as you may have guessed, my theme has to do with Traveling Back In Time through family photos and scrapbooks.

I will blog about and fully reveal this years theme on March 23rd on the AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal...it's a Blog Hop.

Here are Links for YOU to get more INFO and SIGN UP!


The Lion Roars In...Even In Texas!

Somebody...Shoot that Lion!   
Everywhere you look, it's about the weather.  On the television, on the web, out my back door...Enough already!  This is not how I wanted to start March here on CollectInTexas Gal.  Surely, there are more interesting things to blog about than the weather.  Give me a minute while I go check the news!  I'll be right back.

Just as I expected.  I should have stayed with the old proverb...'No News is Good News'.  But No, just had to start this 1st day of March off with stuff like Ebola, Alien Reboot (whatever that is), those damn Yankees and more news on bad winter weather.  One thing that is encouraging on that front, though, is the piece on 'Winter bad for worship'....perhaps the 'One' on high Yahoo's...and will  'Let the Sunshine In'. 
Okay, I'm done on the subject of the weather. 
 I should quit before I bring on more bad winter weather...like a lightening storm!
I am outta here...like a...
I know...but it's the closest thing I got!
Welcome March!