Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Land of the free because of the brave.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

More Vacation Photos

These are just a few more pictures that I took while I was on vacation recently.  Memphis is more than just Elvis, but he is everywhere, on billboards and there is this statue on Beale Street:

Click on pictures to enlarge
Gibson Guitar factory - so interesting to see how the guitars are made.  This is one of three facilities in the US.  The lawsuit was mentioned briefly..

I would have loved to have taken home a "souvenir" but it wouldn't fit in my suitcase.  When one visitor asked if we'd be getting a free sample at the end of the tour, he was told that "yes, you can take as many of the air guitars that you'd like"!  I do have a beautiful new guitar strap for my guitar, however.  ☺

The display wall, below, has the acoustic guitars on one side, electric guitars on the other. This is just some of the selection:

Music is everywhere, especially on Beale Street, which is closed to vehicles except for police cars.  You're free to wander from club to club to soak up the Blues (and the suds).  This picture was taken on Saturday evening.  The later it got, the more crowded, loud and boisterous it became.

Not all of the music was inside.  There were musicians on the street as well.  I wish I knew who this singer is.  He has a fantastic voice and really belted out each song.  I would pay to see him in concert.  I wonder if he's ever cut a CD.

A trip to Memphis would not be complete without a visit to Sun Studio.  This is where Elvis recorded his first song.  Other pioneers of rock, e.g. Jerry Lee Lewis, and country and blues also recorded here.

Memphis isn't all music. There is also a great deal of history, including the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on April 4th, 1968.  I remember the day. The site is now preserved as a Civil Rights Museum.

There is also the mighty Mississippi and Mud Island with its depiction of the entire length of the river.  I enjoyed walking along the shore, seeing a paddle wheel boat off in the distance and thinking about all those songs and stories that have been written.

This is the Hernando de Soto Bridge between Memphis, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas. The picture was taken on the Tennessee side of the Mississippi River.

Next time, Clarksdale, Mississippi, the home of the Delta Blues....and then, after that, knitting!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I've returned from another enjoyable trip to the US South.  It's a favorite destination because of the music, food, weather and vegetation.  ♫ I LOVE the music ♪. The route I travelled was from Atlanta to Memphis, travelling through Alabama and Mississippi, with a stop in Tupelo where Elvis was born.  His humble beginnings are a long way from his mansion, Graceland.  Also in Tupelo I saw the destruction from a recent tornado.  I've never seen anything like that before.  So sad.  Here is the back entrance to Elvis' childhood home.

Click on any picture to enlarge it.
There is no way to avoid Elvis once you get to Memphis...not that I wanted to.  There are road signs and billboards with his face on them everywhere.  Simply put, Graceland is beautiful.

I was surprised that some of the rooms were smaller than I'd imagined, but there were a lot of rooms.  Besides the ones you'd expect, living room, dining room, kitchen, etc., there was the TV room with 3 sets lined up beside each other, his parents' bedroom and pool room.   Most of the house is very tastefully decorated in the style of the era, but there were some funky the "Jungle Room" where Elvis and his friends liked to hang out. The upper floor was off-limits, where Elvis had his bedroom, and where he died.  We were told that the floor was closed to visitors out of respect for the family.

On the grounds of Graceland was a building that was his father, Vernon's, office and there is a museum holding his awards. This is just a small portion of the awards he's won.  There was another room with gold and platinum records from the floor to the high ceiling.  It's one thing to know that he's won a lot of accolades, but it's mind-boggling to see them all.

Also in the museum was clothing Elvis wore onstage and in the movies, his army uniform and the clothes he and Priscilla wore when they were married as well as baby things for daughter, Lisa Marie.

There are still horses on the grounds and then we moved on to the Memorial garden where Elvis, both parents and his grandmother are buried.

The last line got cut off in this photo.  It reads "We miss you, son and daddy.  I thank God that he gave us you as our son.  by Vernon Presley".  There is also the lightning bolt with the letters TCB (Taking Care of Business).

Across the street from Graceland is the ticket office for the tours, the gift shop and two airplanes, one named "Lisa Marie".

Believe it or not, there is more to Memphis than Elvis!  Next time......

Monday, May 19, 2014

Victoria Day

Here in Canada, today is the Victoria Day holiday in which we celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria. It's a statutory holiday celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25th.  Her majesty's birthday was May 24, 1819.  Most people just refer to it as the May long weekend.

Normally, by the time the holiday rolls around, the snow and cold is behind us and nurseries are full of people getting plants for their home. Boats are brought out of storage and taken to the lake and cottages are opened up. Some knitters set aside their needles and don't knit during the warm weather, preferring to wait until the colder days' return (all too quickly, in my opinion).  SOME knitters, not me.  I knit year round.

Queen Victoria was a knitter, crocheter and spinner.  I wonder what she'd think of today's knitting with so many yarn choices, ways to connect with other knitters, patterns and tools.

Queen Victoria is Britain's longest reigning monarch.  I can't help but wonder if the soothing qualities of creating helped her through all the crises of ruling an empire.  Many years later we heard Elizabeth Zimmerman's motto, "Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises." I like to think that this way of thinking and life helped Queen Victoria.

While blog-surfing, I found this knitted Queen Victoria.  It's a cute likeness, well done!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Before The Week Is Over.....

I'll be walking in Memphis!

♫ I'm walking in Memphis
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale... ♪

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

R & M Afghan Update - 10 blocks

My Rowan & Martin afghan is coming along nicely and I'm happy with the results so far.  Two weeks have passed and I've finished the 6 squares for week one (on the left).  Four of the blocks for week two have been finished.  There are 9 of the blocks in this picture.  Square #10 is drying on the blocking board.

(A little over-exposed)
I'm going to stop at this point and work on the Mosaic sweater, now about 75% finished.  The afghan seems to me to be a good carry-along project so, when I go, I'll take enough yarn to finish the clue from week #2 and to complete week #3 - the pattern comes out on Tuesday.  For the first two clues you only cast on 41 sts.  I suspect that the week 3 clue will be about the same, give or take - a nice, small project that can sit on your lap on the plane or in the car.

I'm still on track for knitting all 48 blocks from yarn in my stash.  I don't plan to buy any yarn for this project.