Train Whistles & Granddaddy Alexander

Train Whistles & Granddaddy Alexander

(Like Wikipedia, I welcome people to add names & pics… I will add things as I find them).

 

steamengine_TVA

(Thanks, TVA for the pic.. this is a restored, 1904 engine that ran on Southern Railway!) 

William Oliver Alexander : May 15, 1875 – June 29, 1935. Southern Railroad Locomotive Engineer.

Friday evening September 28, 2018 location = Collegedale, Tennessee, Collegedale Greenway 

I was jogging beside the railroad track headed toward’s Collegdale’s Southern University, and I heard a train coming: Sometimes it’s a CSX train, and sometimes it’s a Norfolk Southern train. Traveling at about 35-40 MPH a Norfolk Southern diesel locomotive comes barreling into the clear. I smiled, kept jogging, and I waved. Of course, trains blow their whistles at the crossings, and the engineer had just passed the College Station Crossing. I had no idea if my waves would illicit a friendly blow, but THEY DID …. “Toot, Toot…. toot ,  toooooot”: I smiled from ear to ear and continued jogging. Granddaddy Alexander whom I never met (he died 31 years before I was born) immediately came to mind…. However….

Join me  the summer of 1988.

My dear friend of  mine, Loraine Morgan Hammontree (February 2, 1913- May 13, 1989) , and I had been cultivating our awesome, Varnell friendship, and she had said, “Uh, Haven, would you like to visit my sister (Ralph Morgan, I’m tracking you down for her name! LOL) in Dalton. She can tell us some stuff about Varnell from our childhood.”  Loraine’s sister was several years older than Loraine and she couldn’t drive, and neither could Loraine who had heart failure. I rearranged some of my busy, summer schedule (I was in town for the weekend from Lipscomb University Summer Semester where I was just about to finish my last year) , and we drove to Dalton. Loraine’s, sister was so hospitable and so sweet, and charming. I fell in love with her lovely demeanor immediately.

 

Loraine: Haven, I was just a kid and I don’t remember, but my sister remembers living in the Alexander’s house in Varnell. (Turning to her sister) Tell Haven about living there and Mr. Alexander.  Mr. Alexander was Haven’s great-grandfather.

Loraine’s sister: (With a huge smile). I didn’t know that! Let me tell you.  You know , Mr. Alexander had a fixed schedule, and we always kind of knew he was coming. He would begin tooting the whistle as he entered Varnell, and we would run down to the track. The train went right in front of the Alexander house, and he was going slow. Depending on what he had, he would toss it out to us kids. Sometimes, it was candy wrapped in sacks and sometimes it was bags of coal we needed for our coal-burning stove. It was like having Santa Claus!

Loraine: (Turning to me with a huge smile.) Yeah, just like Santa Claus, that’s just what I was thinking.

The visit was perfect, and I had spoken with someone who knew Granddaddy Alexander personally. I took Loraine home with a full heart and lots of joy.

Before I finish this Santa Claus tale of  Granddaddy Alexander, I ‘ve got to share one more thing (I could be dead tomorrow, and I want Carter & Ammon to know) LOL ….

Trains (Steam engines in the 1900s – 1930s) were steam engines and so different from the powerful diesels of today. The trains stopped at every “pig trail” in those days. Granddaddy Alexander’s route took him from Atlanta to Chattanooga. When stopping at the “pig trails”, boys from the local area would bring stuff (nuts, berries, live animals such as baby squirrels or baby opossums) to sell to him. He would buy whatever for a few pennies. On up the line, while stopping for water, coal, or passengers, he would let the animals go free. He sometimes would even take a baby squirrel or a baby opossum back to his house in Atlanta for Nanny, Madeline, and Florence to play with!  In a few weeks he would put them back in his pocket, take them to Inman Yard where his engine was then carry them back up towards Chattanooga where he would set them free.

Back to September 28, 2018-

As I turned around to face my jogging destination, I was overcome with emotion, and tears came unexpectedly into my eyes as I started sobbing  with happiness about Granddaddy Alexander as I trotted onward.

No one is ever perfect, but William Oliver Alexander was a good, caring human with a wonderful heart.  His girls (Mary Naomi Alexander Caylor, Gloria Madeline Alexander Kirk, and Florence L. Alexander Sheeley) adored him. Nanny always shared how he loved life, loved to joke, and loved nature.

With my memories and the wonderful avenue of the Internet and/or writing journals, I can keep Granddaddy Alexander and his story “alive”.

-Happy Saturday to all- Haven

Baby Clothes Comfort & Yard Sales!

Dress your baby for Comfort

Dress your baby for Comfort

http://www.parentingstrategiesonthego.com

 

Base your buying of baby clothes to your children’s comfort (Hayhoe & Churgwen, 2009).

Hayhoe, C. & Churgwen, H. (2009) , Planning for Baby- Clothing Fabric Choices, Care Labels Comfort, Fit, Size, and Safety. Virginia State University.

"Parenting Strategies on the Go" -Haven Caylor, Ed. D.

“Parenting Strategies on the Go” -Haven Caylor, Ed. D.

 

Baby Clothes Comfort Tips: 

(Except for special occasions consider these tips for buying and using baby clothes:

1) Buy at yard sales

Consider buying baby clothes at yardsales

Consider buying baby clothes at yardsales

“The neighbor behind my house is having a yard sale with a stacks of baby clothes. Even the used ones look brand new. You cannot even tell that her children used them. The lucky thing is that her children are a boy and a girl. You might find some things for Carter and Ammon.” (Parenting Strategies on the Go” p. 5)

I found dozens of outfits for Carter and Ammon at yard sales. The onesies were less than a dollar, and they were close to if not immaculate.

Unless you have an exceptional child at either end of the growth spectrum that doesn’t grow quickly or grows too quickly.

2)Buy a year ahead of time. If you are good at storing things (I’m not) buy ahead several years.

Several outfits for Ammon and Carter were bought on sale ( like $100/$120 dresses for $20) because they were purchased off-season. The best clothing from these sales are the Christmas dresses. We have found several Christmas dresses way up into the month of January.

3) Dress for comfort. Sleeper onesies are a must. If you just have to buy couture baby clothes, go for it. The babies don’t care, and they will grow out of them in weeks.

 

The majority of baby time is spent sleeping. Who has time for fancy clothes with a multiplicity of pieces. And, my goodness, the poop, pee, vomit, and drool that is going to cover them.

 

 

3 Tips for Planning a Baby’s Nursery

 

parenting_puzzle

 

“If you are a couple who is just starting off together who have agreed that you want children in the future or a single person who knows you want to raise children even by yourself, begin your strategies to make your house a home immediately so your future children can feel comfortable and safe (McGowan, 2010)”

Parenting Strategies on the Go p. 1

McGowen, S., (2010). Making a House a Home.. For Everyone. The Exceptional Parent,40, 21-23.

 

3 Tips for Planning a Baby’s Nursery

 

  1. Choose soothing colors for your nursery.
  2. Choose furniture to grow with your children.
  3. If at all possible, place the nursery beside your bedroom.

 

Soothing Colors:

Just a Few Soothing Colors: our "White-Lilac" is bottom right

Just a Few Soothing Colors: our “White-Lilac” is bottom right

Ammon and Carter were approaching 10 weeks old for their christenings. Our preacher came to our house for a preliminary “walk-through” on what to expect the day of the christening. He walked into Carter and Ammon’s White Lilac-colored nursery and said, “Wow, this color is so soothing.” BINGO! The color was planned to be both neutral (boy & girl’s nursery) as well as soothing. Too bright (yellow, red, or orange) might be too stimulating aiding hyperactivity. Too dark (black or burgundy) might be too depressing aiding in depression and melancholia. White Lilac was and still is great.

 

Furniture to Grow with your Children:

One day in the near future, Ammon and Carter will be in their own rooms, and they will choose their own colors and themes for their rooms; however, they will not be choosing new beds. We chose the Cocoon Nursery 1000 Series to grow with our children’s needs. They were first cribs then they converted to double beds. We have no plans to buy new beds, and when Carter and Ammon move out of the house one day far into the future, they can take their suits with them.

Cocoon 1000 Series: Please not this is NOT our nursery LOL

Cocoon 1000 Series: Please note this is NOT our nursery LOL

 

Place the nursery beside your room:

Crying babies with fevers, coughing spells, vomits, and bad dreams have quickly awakened me. I cannot imagine running across the house or upstairs to my children’s rooms. I want to comfort my babies ASAP. I am so thankful that from DAY ONE when we first laid eyes on our future house (some 4 years before Carter and Ammon were born…just a distant thought) we knew our child’s room would be adjacent to our room. At the appropriate time, Carter and Ammon will move to their future, solitary rooms.

Nursery Adjoins Master: Our room does not connect with Carter & Ammon's; However, our doors are 10 ft. apart

Nursery Adjoins Master: Our room does not connect with Carter & Ammon’s; However, our doors are 10 ft. apart

Thursday January 14, 2016: Educator Reception/Author Discussion

"Parenting Strategies on the Go" -Haven Caylor, Ed. D.

“Parenting Strategies on the Go” -Haven Caylor, Ed. D.

Raffle Tickets for the 12 Noon Drawing can the purchased the DAY OF the event: January 14, 2016-Thursday 11:00 AM -12 Noon. $200 Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Show your Barnes and Noble receipt of Parenting Strategies on the Go , get a ticket, must be present to collect your gift certificate if your name is drawn)

2100 Hamilton Pl Blvd #315, Chattanooga, TN 37421
Phone:(423) 893-0186

It’s Educator Appreciation Week at Barnes and Noble . Bring or rendezvous with a retired, semi-retired educator/mentor who has made a positive impact on your life for some refreshments and fellowship. Treat them to a new book from Barnes and Noble, take them out to lunch afterwards on Thursday January 14….

Homeschool parents, ANY PARENT if you are available, Grandparents, check out Parenting Strategies on the Go: to help create plans of action for teaching your children as you travel in 2016. One thing I would like to emphasize from the book is learning with Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.

Along with a discussion on teaching strategies from me, there will be special refreshments for everyone and activities for the students. Children 11 and under have the opportunity to become a Bookseller-For-A-Day and learn the ins, the outs, and the behind the scenes of how Barnes & Noble Hamilton Place runs. 12 and up will have the opportunity to work with a variety of electronic and coding workshops.

Christmas Hawk (Teaser)

 

"Christmas Hawk"

“Christmas Hawk”

“Christmas Hawk” on Amazon

 

Who would ever think Santa could use raptors (Hawks, Eagles, etc.) to help him find children for his nice list?

Written together with my two children—Carter and Ammon— this book speaks to young readers and imparts a timely lesson. Enjoy our This N That (WTVC-ABC Affiliate-Chattanooga, TN) Interview : photo below

 

This N That -11-23-2015 Interview with Brian Smith

This N That -11-23-2015 Interview with Brian Smith This N That Christmas Hawk Interview

 

The story follows a “Christmas Hawk” who is recruited, along with other birds of the world with keen vision, by Santa himself to help him with the names on his Nice List. This sees an adorable hawk find not only nice girls and boys but also those who are the givers themselves. After all, the Christmas spirit is all about giving.

The “Christmas Hawk” arrives just in time to remind readers that “it is always more blessed to give than to receive.”

 

Rock City's Birds of Prey Red-tailed Hawk, Cody

Rock City’s Birds of Prey Red-tailed Hawk, Cody

 

Christmas Hawk
Haven Caylor

Hawk and keen-eyed birds from around the world had been recruited by Santa Claus to watch children, place them on his Nice List, and in doing so, helping spread the spirit of Christmas. Some of Hawk’s friends from around the world called to help Santa included the Bald Eagle from Alaska, the Golden Eagle from Mexico, the multicolored, Chinese sparrowhawk from China, and the South American Caracara from Venezuela. Santa sent his helpers forth with magical reindeer food to help them fly faster.

Hawk’s area of the world included the Mississippi River, rolling plains, plateaus, and the ancient Smoky Mountains. With Santa’s special reindeer food, it did not take long to fly, watch the children being nice, and take note of their giving spirits. Outside her nest in a tall White Oak Tree, Hawk found a brother and sister who touched her hawk heart. Their names were Carter and Ammon.

Carter and Ammon had sent a letter to Santa asking for new bicycles. They were friends with their neighbors, Jenny and Henry, but Jenny and Henry’s parents were too busy for Santa Claus “shenanigans”. “Did you write to Santa for presents?” Ammon asked Henry and Jenny. Henry sighed, “What good would it do to write? Our parents don’t believe in Santa. They will not help mail a letter.” Ammon was sad…..

…. to find if Hawk has, indeed, chosen nice children with the Christmas Spirit please finish reading “Christmas Hawk” available from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

November 28, 2015-Haven reads "Christmas Hawk" to a crowd at Barnes and Noble

November 28, 2015-Haven reads “Christmas Hawk” to a crowd at Barnes and Noble

Christmas Hawk

My 1st Publication. Thank you, Ammon & Carter

My 1st Publication. Thank you, Ammon & Carter

Ladies and Gentlemen Christmas Hawk”

(Available at Amazon & Barnes and Noble)

Who would ever think Santa Claus could ever use raptors (Eagles, Hawks, etc) to help him with his Nice List? Well, Carter, Ammon, and I did, and the result is an awesome tale. It has the potential to be a Christmas Classic, and you all can help it make it one.

Carter and Ammon helped me write “Christmas Hawk” one December afternoon as we watched the Red Tailed Hawk who lives behind our house circle above our heads.

It would also be a blessing you would write a positive review after you read “Hawk”

Peggy, Janie, Kelly, & God…thank you all!

prayer-for-friend

Friends & Family

There was a chain reaction that started with Peggy Lamb (Carter and Ammon’s aunt) helped me get in contact with a local author, Janie Dempsey Watts (You need to read her Moon Over Taylor’s Ridge Moon over Taylor’s Ridge ). Janie gave me the suggestion to head to Barnes & Noble to speak with the manager Kelly Flemmings. I have been so blessed that these wonderful people have helped me to write. I now have 2 books! It took 2 years, but I did it.

 

My parenting/travel/memoir is Parenting Strategies on the Go , and I had a great “kick off” book signing at Barnes and Noble in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

My other book is Christmas Hawk