Posted by mountainmelody On 12/31/2010 07:51:00 AM 0 comments
I'm still recovering from's to a better year ahead in 2011!
Posted by mountainmelody On 12/28/2010 08:20:00 PM 0 comments
Don't look now, but Jesus is coming back in 1843. You heard it here first, folks.


Posted by mountainmelody On 12/26/2010 11:08:00 AM 0 comments
Two inches of snow are on the ground at my house--the first white Christmas in almost 100 years. But I'm not there!

Merry Christmas!

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/25/2010 10:08:00 AM 0 comments

random Christmas trivia

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/24/2010 02:46:00 PM 0 comments
Baptists of the eighteenth century viewed Christmas as "worldly and popish."

Alabama was the first US state to officially recognize Christmas as a holiday. It did so in 1819.
Posted by mountainmelody On 12/22/2010 09:01:00 PM 1 comments
This year I'm looking for my first white Christmas!!!

the Christmas story

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/22/2010 09:32:00 AM 0 comments

trying to better understand this interesting place I live...

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/17/2010 07:41:00 PM 3 comments reading this book and watching this video.

from around 1910

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/16/2010 06:32:00 PM 0 comments
“Birmingham with her congestion of wealth devoted to selfish and worldly purposes presents a situation that should appeal to the heart of every true Christian.”

from 1923

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/15/2010 05:51:00 PM 0 comments
"In another generation I believe that liquor ill have disappeared not merely from our politics, but from our memories."

from 1921

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/14/2010 06:48:00 PM 0 comments
Women’s gifts to charity:
7 pairs shoes
1 bed
1 suit furniture
1 sewing machine
63 chickens
1 quilt

from 1919

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/13/2010 06:39:00 PM 0 comments
Watch out, world. I've been back in the archives again, digging up crazy old stuff like this. Okay, so this isn't technically part of my research project, but it's just too good not to share!

Alabama snowfall

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/12/2010 02:17:00 PM 0 comments

Don't's real snow.

Posted by mountainmelody On 12/10/2010 09:42:00 PM 1 comments
Some day I would like to go to a Christmas market in Europe. Beautiful....but freezing cold, I'm afraid. Nice to visit but not to stay!
Posted by mountainmelody On 12/06/2010 07:30:00 PM 0 comments
How fat is America?
Posted by mountainmelody On 12/03/2010 07:27:00 PM 0 comments

currently reading

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/29/2010 07:05:00 PM 0 comments

prayer for Advent

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/28/2010 11:08:00 AM 0 comments
O Lord our God,
we confess that we have slept through the night,
our world darkened by our sin,
and our energy sapped by our striving for unworthy goals.
Make us watchful and keep us faithful
as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;
that when he appears,
he may not find us sleeping in sin
but active in his service
and joyful in his praise.
Posted by mountainmelody On 11/27/2010 06:19:00 PM 0 comments
". . . The past has such magical power. The beauty of its motionless and silent pictures is like the enchanted purity of late autumn, when the leaves, though one breath would make them fall, still glow against the sky in golden glory."

~Bertrand Russell
Posted by mountainmelody On 11/26/2010 11:58:00 AM 0 comments
"I wonder if followers of Christ 150 years from now will look back at Christians in America today and ask, 'How could they live in such big houses? How could they drive such nice cars and wear such nice clothes? How could they live in such affluence while thousands of children were dying because they didn't have food and water? How could they go on with their lives as though the billions of poor didn't even exist?"

~David Platt

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/25/2010 08:51:00 AM 0 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 11/22/2010 07:30:00 PM 0 comments
"Tell about the South. What's it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all . . ."
~William Faulkner

I love this kind of stuff...

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/20/2010 10:00:00 AM 0 comments

Did you know that 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible?

“You will never, never go wrong if you stand openly and unashamedly for the KJV as being your final authority, above every single other authority on Planet Earth.”
--David Otis Fuller, KJV-only advocate

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/18/2010 08:31:00 PM 1 comments
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold,
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

--Robert Frost


Posted by mountainmelody On 11/15/2010 12:30:00 PM 0 comments
Not enough students signed up for my class, so it was canceled. I'll try again next semester.

Too bad! Maybe next time I'll put up posters that say "Take Me for BP!"
Posted by mountainmelody On 11/13/2010 07:40:00 PM 0 comments
I'm having so much fun preparing for the class I'm teaching! I really love learning. Let's hope the students at least don't hate it!
Posted by mountainmelody On 11/11/2010 08:09:00 PM 0 comments

the great wisdom of 30

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/08/2010 05:32:00 PM 1 comments
Okay, people. Now that I'm old, I have to acknowledge something that I have learned and finally admitted:

My mother was right.

Here's just a sampling of the good advice that she gave me, and that I eventually decided to take:
  • Don't put elastic in the dryer.
  • Take your vitamins.
  • Don't carry something by its power cord.
  • Floss your teeth.
  • Clip your fingernails over a garbage can.
  • Always give people the benefit of the doubt.

So, all you young whippersnappers out there...listen to your mothers. :)

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/06/2010 01:40:00 PM 0 comments
I have four different thermostats in my house right now, and none of them works right.

It is 58 degrees in my house.

And my parents are coming to visit tomorrow.

Remind me never, ever, ever, ever to own a home.

back to old pictures

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/04/2010 08:32:00 PM 0 comments

Atlanta flowers

Posted by mountainmelody On 11/01/2010 07:17:00 PM 0 comments

Posted by mountainmelody On 10/30/2010 08:15:00 PM 0 comments
I'm in Atlanta with thousands of religion scholars. Yay....I think?

another old picture

Posted by mountainmelody On 10/27/2010 07:51:00 PM 0 comments

before and after

Posted by mountainmelody On 10/24/2010 03:07:00 PM 0 comments
Here's a picture of the property I live on now--in the late 1930s.

Here's a similar view today.

Check out the growth of the tree in the upper left corner, among other things.


Posted by mountainmelody On 10/22/2010 08:57:00 PM 0 comments
When I teach a class, I am never going to do anything to make any of my students feel like this.

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou
Posted by mountainmelody On 10/18/2010 10:19:00 AM 0 comments
Southern landscapes

happy fall!

Posted by mountainmelody On 10/16/2010 01:07:00 PM 0 comments


Posted by mountainmelody On 10/12/2010 08:03:00 PM 0 comments
96% of people in Birmingham describe themselves as Christians--the second highest of any US metropolitan area.

Birmingham has the highest rate of church attendance of any US city: 67%.

64% of people in Birmingham believe strongly in evangelism--the most of any US city.



Posted by mountainmelody On 10/10/2010 03:30:00 PM 1 comments
My blog seems to be getting boring. Facebook and Twitter are more fun, and I do a lot more there. So I changed my blog template, so you can at least have something new to look at. :)

"Lost in the South" clips from the Oxford American

Posted by mountainmelody On 10/10/2010 12:38:00 PM 0 comments



Posted by mountainmelody On 10/10/2010 11:25:00 AM 2 comments
God, you have given us enough to meet our needs
and those of our neighbors.
We confess that we value accumulation more than sharing,
and that we blame those who lack for their need,
never recognizing that you wish to provide for them through us.
Forgive us our overflowing storehouses
and unhealthy appetites.

a boring update

Posted by mountainmelody On 10/04/2010 08:51:00 PM 0 comments
Hmm, I'm still here...nothing too exciting. I've been working and studying for the class I will be teaching. This is MUCH better than studying stuff for my dissertation. You can talk to me in person for my reflections on that experience (if you catch me in the right mood).

Anyway, now I'm the professor...strange!

found in my yard

Posted by mountainmelody On 10/02/2010 05:54:00 PM 0 comments
I wish my power bill were only $8.63!
Posted by mountainmelody On 10/02/2010 10:29:00 AM 1 comments
living in a church


Posted by mountainmelody On 9/30/2010 08:44:00 PM 0 comments
Today 45% of Americans ages 25 to 34 are married.

In the 1960s, more than 80% of Americans ages 25 to 34 were married.
Posted by mountainmelody On 9/26/2010 03:30:00 PM 0 comments
my choir

now on to my next hobby...

Posted by mountainmelody On 9/26/2010 02:26:00 PM 0 comments
Try not to be too jealous of my exciting life. ;)


Posted by mountainmelody On 9/23/2010 07:13:00 PM 0 comments
On my trip, I somehow lost my watch. The funny side of this was using my phone for an alarm. It was stuck on New York time, so I had to set it to wake me up at like 1:30 AM every day!

I'll have to buy a new watch, but that won't be very expensive.

I also broke my glasses, unfortunately. I had put them in the pouch in the back of the seat in front of me on the plane when I was trying to rest. I shifted my foot the wrong way, and POP--there went the glasses frame.

That mistake is either going to cost me $3 in super glue (unlikely to work), or $350+ in an eye exam and new glasses (more likely).

This turned out to be quite the expensive trip!

it's a long trip...

Posted by mountainmelody On 9/21/2010 02:04:00 PM 0 comments
approximate travel time: 22 hours
time difference: 7 hours

High temperature in Prague: 68 degrees F (20 C)
High temperature in Birmingham: 95 degrees F (35 C)


Posted by mountainmelody On 9/20/2010 02:11:00 PM 0 comments
We're missing you in Prague!
Posted by mountainmelody On 9/18/2010 08:10:00 AM 0 comments
what I'm not doing
thinking about my dissertation
stressing about my dissertation
studying my dissertation
being upset about my dissertation
thinking about all the $$ and 100,000 Delta miles I spent to come to Prague (okay, well, maybe I'm doing this one a little bit)

what I'm doing
whatever I want to do!!
Posted by mountainmelody On 9/17/2010 12:45:00 PM 0 comments
WHEW. I did it!!

I can't say how glad I am that that's over--and glad it had a happy ending!

hour(s) of torture

Posted by mountainmelody On 9/14/2010 08:08:00 PM 0 comments
Friday, Sep 17
6 PM local time (or perhaps a little earlier)
11 AM Alabama time (or earlier)
Posted by mountainmelody On 9/14/2010 06:15:00 AM 0 comments
This feels like the Olympics: you practice for years, but have only one brief chance. The pressure is intense, and everyone is watching you. Except, of course, in the Olympics you know your routine. Here, you are at the mercy of whatever questions they ask you.

Is this really the best way to determine your academic knowledge? When I am in charge of the world, things will be different. :)
Posted by mountainmelody On 9/11/2010 06:37:00 PM 1 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 9/10/2010 08:47:00 PM 0 comments
Last night I was trying to sleep when a roach jumped onto my pillow. That's about how my life is going these days.

non-depressing post

Posted by mountainmelody On 9/07/2010 07:57:00 PM 1 comments
Meet my new friend.
Posted by mountainmelody On 9/05/2010 01:47:00 PM 1 comments
I know this sounds ridiculous, but for the past month or so I have sometimes been very tired again...fortunately, not most of the time.

things I would rather do than defend my dissertation again

Posted by mountainmelody On 8/31/2010 08:41:00 PM 1 comments
eat chalk
sleep on a bed of nails
get stuck inside an elevator
eat brussel sprouts and celery for a week
walk in the snow barefoot
have a root canal


Posted by mountainmelody On 8/28/2010 03:10:00 PM 0 comments
For the third time in the past year, I am busy studying my dissertation stuff and probably won't be on here much.

Maybe at some point in the future I can finally move on to other projects. Until then, I don't really have much to say about it.
Posted by mountainmelody On 8/26/2010 11:56:00 PM 3 comments
invited to teach a class at Samford

very, very bad:
required to go defend my dissertation again
Posted by mountainmelody On 8/25/2010 11:38:00 PM 0 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 8/25/2010 12:29:00 AM 1 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 8/21/2010 09:48:00 PM 0 comments
Just the view flying in to Alaska was amazing. It's going to be a great week!
Posted by mountainmelody On 8/14/2010 01:02:00 PM 0 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 8/12/2010 08:54:00 PM 0 comments
waiting :(
Posted by mountainmelody On 8/11/2010 09:35:00 PM 0 comments
Aand I'm back to those tired, draggy feelings and sleeping for ridiculous numbers of hours when I get the chance. Awesome.

random fact of the day

Posted by mountainmelody On 8/09/2010 11:58:00 AM 1 comments
In Hawaii you can go to school barefoot, and go to funerals wearing shorts.


Posted by mountainmelody On 8/06/2010 07:09:00 PM 0 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 8/05/2010 07:13:00 PM 1 comments
I came back...sigh.
Posted by mountainmelody On 8/04/2010 06:46:00 AM 0 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 7/28/2010 12:37:00 AM 0 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 7/25/2010 09:10:00 PM 0 comments
Hawaii = amazing!!
Posted by mountainmelody On 7/24/2010 09:26:00 AM 0 comments
I got upgraded to a faster flight to Hawaii and a FIRST-CLASS SEAT all the way! Try not to be too jealous! ;)
Posted by mountainmelody On 7/19/2010 04:28:00 PM 0 comments
strange signs from abroad
Posted by mountainmelody On 7/17/2010 08:20:00 AM 0 comments
A week from today I'll be on the way to HAWAII!!!
Posted by mountainmelody On 7/12/2010 04:14:00 PM 0 comments
This weekend I visited Graceland for the first time. I had never been before, even though for the first six years of my life I lived less than a mile away. We went by that house too:

I'm not just dying to go see more Elvis memorabilia, but it was worth seeing once for sure!
Posted by mountainmelody On 7/07/2010 08:35:00 PM 0 comments
Here are a couple of landmarks in Durham, North Carolina, where I visited last weekend.I'm kind of surprised they let them keep these up today! Vulcan they're not.
Posted by mountainmelody On 7/05/2010 02:31:00 PM 0 comments
Here's a picture of my friend's kitten during my visit, just hanging out.

dissertation, take two

Posted by mountainmelody On 7/02/2010 06:09:00 AM 0 comments
503 pages
1,458 footnotes
1,619 paragraphs
147,928 words (including footnotes, bibliography, etc)

I'll just say here that I sent it in. Now I need the examiners (ahem) to recognize its amazing, world-changing brilliance and approve it. :)
Posted by mountainmelody On 6/29/2010 07:14:00 PM 1 comments
dissertation = torture

excuse me, can you direct me to the second floor?

Posted by mountainmelody On 6/26/2010 01:17:00 PM 0 comments
It's been awhile since I've been to Europe, and sadly, I'm never able to stay for too long. It must be rubbing off on me, though.

Today I was helping paint a local ministry center. I remembered that we were painting rooms on the second floor. But I couldn't remember if that was the floor directly above the bottom floor, or the floor above that!

I think my dissertation has fried my brain!
Posted by mountainmelody On 6/26/2010 07:51:00 AM 0 comments
not from my old magazine, but from someone else's.


Posted by mountainmelody On 6/20/2010 07:14:00 PM 1 comments
Curious readers may be interested to know that I have three wells in my yard. I thought there might be four, but I can't seem to locate the fourth one right now. Informed readers are free to fill me in.

None of the wells are in use now, since several years ago the mountain went on "city water" (woo hoo!). Apparently the wells had a tendency to dry up. One neighbor still keeps dishpans in her sinks to capture extra water.

Here's the first well, all covered up (and prominently placed not far from my door):

Here's what it looks like on the inside...complicated:

Here's the second well, or what's left of it. Again, a beauty:

The third well is in the yard between my house and my neighbor's house. It's so covered up with weeds in the summer that it's hard to see, but maybe you can get a glimpse of it:

I have to say that I'm grateful for faucets that pour out water on demand!

sacred harp

Posted by mountainmelody On 6/15/2010 08:28:00 PM 0 comments

National Sacred Harp Singing Convention
First Christian Church
Birmingham, Alabama
June 17-19

Everyone should come! It's a Southern tradition you really have to experience for yourself.

Decoration Day

Posted by mountainmelody On 6/14/2010 07:02:00 PM 0 comments
I enjoy reading books about Southern folklife, like this one about Decoration Day. We never had Decoration Day where I grew up in the city, but they definitely observe it here in rural Alabama!

I'm sure there's more I could say on this topic, but that's all for now. Anyone have any good Decoration Day stories or memories?
Posted by mountainmelody On 6/12/2010 09:21:00 PM 0 comments
random but interesting photo essay on Mississippi tornado shelters
Posted by mountainmelody On 6/12/2010 02:36:00 PM 2 comments
Okay...I've decided that Facebook and even Twitter are way more interesting than blogging these days. You can keep up with me there.
Posted by mountainmelody On 6/06/2010 09:15:00 PM 0 comments
What a horrible thing is debt!
It is so binding, so grinding, so blinding!
It is so wearing, so tearing, so ensnaring, so despairing!
It is so harassing and so embarrassing!
It is so stressing, so distressing!
It is so pressing, so oppressing and so depressing!
We worry, fuss and fume and fret
And lie awake in grim regret,
When we’re in debt, when we’re in debt!

-1942 magazine
Posted by mountainmelody On 6/04/2010 09:30:00 PM 2 comments
I analyzed this image in today's presentation.

And now back to that small paper that I'm endlessly revising...
Posted by mountainmelody On 6/01/2010 07:01:00 PM 0 comments
busy...back later.
Posted by mountainmelody On 5/31/2010 02:54:00 PM 0 comments
I think a woman's place is in the home. And she should stay there after she gets home from work.

-1976 magazine
Posted by mountainmelody On 5/29/2010 12:18:00 PM 1 comments
Alabama church signs
Posted by mountainmelody On 5/27/2010 08:46:00 PM 0 comments
The conference went really well. Now back to work: my job by day and my dissertation by night.'s a fun life I live these days, people.

fun with the 50s

Posted by mountainmelody On 5/25/2010 08:13:00 PM 0 comments
Here are some images from the presentation I'll give tomorrow. Could be fun! :)

Posted by mountainmelody On 5/24/2010 03:03:00 PM 2 comments
Now I'm at a religious studies meeting in Atlanta. The fun never ends!
Posted by mountainmelody On 5/23/2010 12:54:00 PM 0 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 5/22/2010 07:18:00 PM 0 comments
Dear well-intentioned friends, church members, coworkers, etc.:

It is difficult to have dozens of conversations a day about a topic that is extremely discouraging to me. I need you to distract me with different, fun subjects!

I'll give you a brief update when I see you, if you want, but let's talk about something else for now!
Posted by mountainmelody On 5/20/2010 06:17:00 AM 0 comments
Posted by mountainmelody On 5/15/2010 05:08:00 PM 0 comments
Come hear me sing spirituals at the Alys Stephens Center tomorrow night at 7 PM!


Posted by mountainmelody On 5/15/2010 07:57:00 AM 1 comments
For the past week I have worked on my dissertation non-stop, from the moment I got up until the moment I went to bed. I took a break only to go to church and to choir practice. Fun times.

I have completed another draft, this one 487 pages long.

Now for more waiting, and waiting, and waiting...

I'm not sure which is worse: revising or waiting!


Posted by mountainmelody On 5/14/2010 09:45:00 AM 0 comments
What about social equality? That is the devil's bugaboo. Social equality comes from the debasement of both races. In the saloon and brothel there is social equality. But when we can lift them above such places of sin and shame, we eliminate all danger of social equality. Except where all moral standards and ideals are obliterated, social equality in the South is impossible.

--1915 magazine
Posted by mountainmelody On 5/12/2010 10:04:00 AM 0 comments
Society needs woman's interpretation of life in every department of it. The world needs the contribution woman can make to its welfare, and this contribution can never be given in full measure so long as the notion prevails that her thoughts, her feels and her actions are of real worth only when they have been strained through a masculine percolator.

--1925 magazine
Posted by mountainmelody On 5/07/2010 12:08:00 PM 1 comments
And now for a solid week of dissertation torture...

Wish me luck.


Posted by mountainmelody On 5/03/2010 07:19:00 PM 1 comments
Curse of the Good Girl: "...the pressure to be liked by everyone, generous to a fault and flawless at everything you do. Good Girls are taught to be modest and teeth gnashingly friendly. They are not so good at self-advocacy, saying no, putting themselves out there, and dealing with constructive criticism."

back to the future

Posted by mountainmelody On 5/03/2010 08:22:00 AM 0 comments
Today's woman anticipates mail by rockets, supersonic diswashers, plastic plumbing, paper clothes, and typewriters that will write as she talks.

-1964 book

more old stuff

Posted by mountainmelody On 4/24/2010 10:10:00 PM 0 comments
Well, if I have to keep slogging through all these old magazines for my dissertation, might as well share some of the fun stuff. Here's a quote from 1949:

Perhaps no single influence in a home has within it more help or harm for children than does the radio. There is a wide disagreement as to the type of programs children should hear. The radio industry is trying to improve the kind of programs it sends out for children. Educators, publishers, program directors and parents all must work together toward this end. Parents certainly should be as careful of their child’s radio listening as they are of their books, movies and associates. If a child stays glued to the radio too much, a parent might examine the lack of satisfactions that child realizes in his home life.

Interesting how things change so much over the years, but aren't always really that different!
Posted by mountainmelody On 4/19/2010 04:19:00 PM 1 comments
I don't really want to talk about my dissertation, besides to say that it's one of the most frustrating experiences I have had in my life.

I'll let you know if I ever finish it.

Thanks for understanding.
Posted by mountainmelody On 4/16/2010 09:04:00 PM 0 comments


Posted by mountainmelody On 4/15/2010 02:50:00 PM 2 comments
Not sure what's wrong with me this year--getting old, perhaps?

Yesterday I slipped and fell again...this time on some loose gravel. Seriously, I feel like an old lady even talking about this.

I ripped up my knee pretty good and have a humongous, swollen bruise on one side of my hand. Ouch!

Maybe I need to be more careful!
Posted by mountainmelody On 4/13/2010 06:16:00 AM 1 comments
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.


Posted by mountainmelody On 4/08/2010 06:14:00 AM 0 comments




good website

Posted by mountainmelody On 4/06/2010 08:39:00 PM 0 comments
I've gotten about $35 in Amazon gift cards so far:
Posted by mountainmelody On 4/04/2010 08:14:00 AM 0 comments

Easter Sunday

(slightly strange but mostly cool video)

Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Posted by mountainmelody On 4/03/2010 04:45:00 PM 0 comments