Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joyce did a little red, white and blue in our Hodgepodge today and some other "deep" questions.  Enjoy!

1. What can the average citizen do to honor a military veteran and/or those currently serving?
Send notes of encouragement and appreciation to the soldiers serving and even a care package occasionally..........attend patriotic events...........celebrate the patriotic holidays with flag flying and letting others know you are proud to be an American.......

2. Besides a flag what is something you own that is red, white and blue?
Well, I've wracked my brain trying to think of something and besides the wreath on our front door, I do not know of anything else.

3. Does love really conquer all?
No, that is wishful thinkingIf it did, half of all marriages would NOT end in divorce.  The US has the highest divorce rate of any country.  How sad!  And, I doubt that anyone that gets married ever intends for their marriage to end in divorce, but folks still opt to divorce.  Love certainly helps but sharing life goals has to be added to the equation in a marriage.  Okay, let me hush, I'm straying from the question..........

4. Strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie?

Oh, it's blueberry pie all the way for me.  I've always loved blueberries and have never cared for strawberries.

5. Do you share personal stuff with your hairdresser?
I love my hairdresser.  She's been doing my hair for years and I've known her for way longer than she's been doing my hair.  But, I do not share personal stuff with her but I share a lot of my life with her.  Now, does that make sense?  Well, guess I'm thinking you probably mean stuff that really no body has any business knowing and I do not share that with her or anyone else.

6. Does money lead to selfishness?
It certainly can but it doesn't have to.  Folks can become more self centered the more money they make/have or they can become more giving and ready to share with others. This could be a wide range discussion for sure.

7. What piece of furniture in your home most needs replacing or refinishing?
I don't think that I have anything that is in glaring need but I do have 2-3 old accent tables that could probably use refinishing but it's doubtful that they will ever get it.  I'm perfectly happy with them just the way they are. ~smile~ 

8. Insert your own random here. 
Our little Clancy man is here and he and his Poppa had a good time taking him on his first fishing expedition yesterday morning. He was a tired little boy and took a very long afternoon nap.  His Mom and I enjoyed a little "retail therapy" while they fished.  It worked well for all concerned. ~smile~ 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Miscellany Monday

Oh, Monday, Monday, it's time to be random with Carissa.

The Cousins.......
Last weekend I was in Virginia to celebrate my Aunt's (in middle of above picture) 90th birthday.  Her four sons decided a fun way to do that would be by hosting a family reunion.  What a grand idea!
I was able to see cousins that I had not seen in years and years.  There were only two missing out of the entire family, so that's pretty good I'd say.  A lot of great memories made while celebrating a lovely lady.

Tough Mudder...........
I had never heard of Tough Mudder until last summer and that was when my brother informed me that he was going to be competing in a Tough Mudder event last December in Florida.  I went to their website  and when I saw the words, "Probably the toughest event on the planet," I had all kinds of mixed emotions.  I mean, I love my brother, he has a wonderful family and why would he even want to do such, it's beyond me. ~chuckle~  But, he survived the event in December and decided to give it another try last weekend  at an event in Minnesota.  Really????  And, once again, he lived to tell about it!  And, I must say, I'm truly  impressed!!!! What a guy!

Different kinds of Bloggers......

Isn't it interesting to see all the different kinds of blog designs?  And, how the longer you read blogs and the better you get to know the author of the blog, their blog design fits them to a "T."  And, if you are ever privileged to meet  a "blogging buddy" in real life, their blog takes on a whole new meaning to you.  Also, you can almost always tell (without reading their profile) if the blogger is younger or one of us more mature bloggers. ~smile~  The younger ones seem to like a really pale color font and a very tiny font.  Just wondered if I was the only one to make these observations. ~wink~ And, isn't it interesting to read all the various topics discussed on blogs.  Oh, my!   And, just FYI........I'll be sportin' a new blog design in the near future.  My gal, Karen Valentine, at Valentine Designs, is hard at work.  I know you can't wait to see what we've come up with this time. ~giggle~ Stay tuned.......

A Special Day in more ways than one.....

We have the flags flying at our house and yes, it's because of Memorial Day and I'm saying that we're also flying them because Bridget and Clancy are arriving this afternoon! Yea! they will be here until Saturday and we're gonna cram all the fun we can into these few days. I think that's a "flag flying occasion."

Happy Week!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday's Letters


This is my first time to join up with Ashley for Friday Letter'sOne of the bloggers I follow participates and it looked like a fun meme, so I'm giving it a try. Plus, I might meet some new bloggers. ~hope-hope~ And, I've always loved writing letters.
Dear Aunt Mary and Aunt Wanda, What fun it was to be in Virginia with you last weekend and celebrate Aunt Wanda's 90th birthday. It was such a great idea to center the celebration around a family reunion.  You are both so dear to me and I know it would have thrilled my precious Momma to know that all of us were together.  I look forward to our next visit and I'm so sorry that almost 1000 miles separate us.

Dear Grocery Store, I cannot believe that I spent $174.22 for groceries yesterday and I did not have one single bit of meat in that cart.  WOW! Of course, I am preparing for our daughter and Grandson's visit, but still, I'm thinking groceries are wayyyyyyyyy too expensive.

Taken Christmas 2011

Dearest Daughter, I am so excited that you and Clancy will be arriving Memorial Day afternoon.  I know that the time you are here will not be nearly long enough, but we'll sure try to make the most of the time we have with you.  Drive safely and we'll be anxiously awaiting your arrival. By the way have I told you lately that I very much dislike the 13 1/2 hours that separate us.....~tear~

Dear Nyquil and Dayquil, Please "do your thang" and knock this cold out of me.  I'm quite sure it came from the cooties on the flight I made this past weekend.  But, I need to feel better! I have things to do, people to see and places to go.  Do you hear me????

Dear Phillip, I am so thrilled that you won American Idol!  I think you are likely the most humble contestant that has ever won the title.  Please, never loose your humility and may your year ahead just be the beginning of great and mighty things in your life. And, when you were no longer able to sing because of the tears and headed straight to the arms of your Dad and Mom----well, can I just say that it almost melted this Momma's heart.

 Dear Self, Always remember you are a Southern Gal and Southern Gals sometimes have to put on their big girl panties and deal with it.  Life can deal tough issues, but never forget that you are tougher and serve a God that is even more tough!

Happy Friday Girlies!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Hodgepodge time, yipee for Joyce who always comes up with great questions.  Click on the button above if you would like to read more Hodgepodge.

1. What's something you miss about the 1980's? If you're too young to miss the 80's how about the 90's?
Oh, my, while I love being connected, I think we can almost be too connected today.  In the 80's we were still writing snail mail letters, calling friends on the home phone and spending our time doing things besides time on the computer, the IPad, or other technical gadgets. I wouldn't necessarily want to be without my computer or my cell phone but I often think that I likely need to be wiser in my use of them and I bet bunches of other folks do too. ~sigh~

2. Do you have a library card? If so, how often do you visit?
I have not had a library card in years and years and years and I absolutely NEVER go to the library.  I guess that's another sign of how the internet has taken over our lives.  Who needs a library when you have the internet?  And, I'm not saying that is necessarily a good thing.

3. What's the secret to success?
Webster's says success is "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose."  So, if that is true, then when someone achieves their goal or is working towards their goal, they are successful.  Problem is, there are a lot of folks today with no aim or purpose, therefore, never have or know the joy of being successful.  Many folks associate success with financial gain and while that may go along with some success, it, alone, doesn't make one successful.

4. This is National Backyard Games week...what's your favorite backyard game?
There have been no backyard games played in our yard in years and years.  We do enjoy watching the Grans play with toys in the backyard from time to time.  But, when I was a little girl and even when our children were small, we loved to play croquet.  I played it all the time and could never get enough of it.  Perhaps I should invest in a new set and get us back into some backyard games.

5. If I dropped by today what would I find on your coffee table?
You would find some Andrea birds, candles on holders, coasters and the latest edition of our Shutterfly album (as shown above).

6. Do you own a bicycle? When was the last time you rode a bicycle? Is that something you enjoy?
No, I do not own a bicycle and I cannot remember the last time I rode one.  And, no it is not something that I enjoy.  I'll stick with the treadmill for my exercise. ~laugh~

7. What's your favorite cheese?

I don't think there is a cheese that I do not like.  Well, maybe Hoghead Cheese.  I've never tried it but the name somehow sort of makes me want to say "yuck."  I pretty much think everything is better with cheese on it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am an American Idol fan but this season has not been one of my favorites for sure.  There has been a lot of talent but, Skylar, who was my very favorite, did not make it to the final two.  I loved Hollie and was so glad she made it to the top 4.  I was not crazy about Joshua, even though he was a Louisiana boy.  He just did not have soothing enough voice for me, it seemed like he was hollering.  Of the top two, Phillip and Jessica, I'm going to have to go with Phillip.  Jessica is so, so talented and has such a beautiful voice but has little to no stage presence.  I'll be tuned in tonight to see which one is the new "American Idol."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Miscellany Monday


Yep, that's right, it's Monday again!  Is it just me or are they really coming faster and faster?  Just all the more reason for us to make everyday count.  I'm off to be miscellaneous..........

The Playhouse...........

 Doesn't this look like fun?  This is Hanna Beth's new play center/house.  Her Daddy, Grandpa and Uncle built this for her from the ground up.  It was not a kit either.  They priced the ones you buy and put together and then went and priced buying the materials themselves and building it.  The savings was unbelievable so with a collective effort our little Princess has something she will enjoy for years and years.


If you have been reading my blog very long then you likely know that I grow and love African Violets.  It was something that I began when my paternal Grandmother passed way.  She had always grown them when I was a little girl and a friend, who knew this, sent me two African Violets when she died.  I decided at that time I was going to see if I could raise those two and now I've probably grown a dozen or more and currently have 5 that are thriving.  While I have researched growing violets I never knew that they came in a miniature size until about a month ago.  A friend of mine was telling me and then sent me a website where I could order some.  And, that's what I did.  I was so intrigued by their tiny size (2" in diameter) and decided to "try my hand" with them as well.  They(pictured above)  arrived just a few days ago and I think they are so cute.  And, let me add, I just joined the National Society of African Violets.  Doesn't that sound impressive?  ~giggle~

Such creativity........

We had our annual Ladies Spring Event at our church last month.  The theme was, "Women of Influence."  You've heard me brag about a lady (in the picture above)  in our church that is a "master" floral designer and she did the above arrangement for the event.  Needless to say, it caused quite a chatter among all the ladies that attended. It doesn't matter what the occasion may be, this lady has the creative juices to design the perfect arrangement.  We call it "working her magic." 

 Grab a pole...........  

In the past month we've gone with our son and his family to a little pond not far from where we live to do a little fishing.  Well, I don't fish but rather enjoy sitting on the sidelines and watching Hubby, son and DIL fish.  Hanna Beth even gets "into" it once in a while.  And, as you can tell from the above pictures, it doesn't matter the size of the fish, it's just all about catching them.  We go late in the afternoon and it is so peaceful and a nice way to end the day and enjoy being with one another.  
May your week be filled to the brim with wonderfulness! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Favorite Traits of My Mom

As this week  has progressed, my thoughts have turned to memories of my Mom.  This will be my 4th Mother's Day without my Mom and in many respects my feelings of loss have gotten better, but when Mother's Day rolls around I can get teary eyed just thinking of her.  I thought it most appropriate to share some of my favorite traits about my Mom with you today.

The importance she felt for her family............
I remember my Mom telling me many times that as a little girl she would dream of one day being married and having children.  It was her only desire in life.  Mom's Dad died when she was barely 2 and then her step Dad died when she was 12.  She spent most of her life with only her Mother (and siblings) and said she felt she really missed something special by not having a Daddy her entire life.  She longed to have a her own family with a Daddy, Momma and children.  And, that dream was fulfilled on April 8, 1950 when she and my Daddy were married.  

They had 3 children and Mother was never happier than when she was caring for us or for Daddy.  She provided for us a loving home with an atmosphere of peace.

Her Godliness
Mom viewed her position as wife and Mother as the highest of callings by God.  About 8 years into their marriage my Dad surrendered to the ministry and my Mother was quite quick to say that she was called at the very same time.  She truly viewed her role as a pastor's wife as one of  her callings too.  This calling meant that she would often play "second fiddle" to the church and it's members.  And, it would mean that she would often have to be both Mom and Dad to we children.  I never remember hearing her complain but rather always reminding us of our Dad's service to God and it's importance in our lives.

Mom, Dad and Me when I was 2 years old

Her adaptability.............
When my Mom married my Dad it meant that she would begin a life of adjustments.  She was from Virginia and it was there that they married while my Dad was serving in the Navy.  Daddy was from Ft. Smith, Arkansas and once he had fulfilled his duties to the Navy it was his desire to take his bride and new daughter (me) back to his hometown to make a home.  In 1952 the miles that separated  Virginia and Arkansas were nothing but two lane rough roads and it took 3 long days to make that 1000 mile trek.  So, once Mom left her Mom and brothers and sisters she had no idea when she would see them again or talk to them.

Mom and Dad's first house built by Dad and his Dad

 Then when Daddy entered the ministry she knew that would likely mean many moves over the years and some that might take her even further from any family.  And, the years did take them miles away from either set of family and we often spent Christmases and holidays with just each other.  Did I hear my Mom complain? No.  Yes, she would express her desire to be with family and even as a young child I knew that her heart was hurting to see family.  But, again, she knew this was her calling and we were  right where the Lord  intended us to be.

Me and Hubby (now stop laughing)

Once my two brothers and I got married and left home we all three moved away, many miles away.  Now, Momma did not even have her children near enough to enjoy.  And, remember there was no email and no cell phones and talking long distance was a rare privilege for us.  Dad and Mom's ability to travel was limited due to Dad's ministry but we would manage as best we could and Momma would hold her head high and try to hide the sadness that her heart often felt as she longed for her family.

My Mom pondered a lot and was a very deep thinker.  I now look back and nearly know that no one knew all that was on her heart and the times that she was likely quite sad.  But, she would never have wanted anyone to know that she struggled with any aspect of her life or had a deep sense of longing for her family.

I am so grateful that for the last 10 years of her life she and my Dad lived here in the same town as me.  They made the decision to move here once Daddy retired and we enjoyed the time we had to the fullest.  Mom was thrilled to be able to share in our lives and the lives of my then, teenage children.

I struggled for a time about her sudden death  on Dec. 1, 2008 but soon realized that God truly did us a favor by taking her so quickly.  She did not suffer or linger but went almost immediately into the arms of the ONE  she had served so faithfully her entire life.

As someone said to me when she died, "you will through this, but you will never get over it."  How true!

May you be especially blessed this Mother's Day! 

Thanks Rachel for Friday Favorites! For more favorites, click on the  button below and read on. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Hodgepodge time and Joyce never fails us.  She's always full of great questions and you can decide if we're full of good answers or not.  ~chuckle~
1. What is a pet peeve you have when vacationing?
A lot of my traveling is done by flying and carry on luggage drives me insane.  I carry my purse and a small tote big enough for my laptop and a couple of magazines.  Even though the airlines have "supposedly" put limits on carry on, it is still amazing to me the items that folks bring on to the airplane and stuff in the over head bins after they have knocked your head off with it first.  And, of course, we know that what goes up, must come down.  That means it takes forever to deplane.

2. Would you describe yourself as a light packer or do you need everything in your closet plus the kitchen sink? 

Well, I am ashamed to say that I may not need the kitchen sink but I need everything else.  These were my suitcases for our recent trip to Charleston and the one on the left has nothing in it but stuff for my my hair, my face and bathing.  Is that crazy or what?  Of course, it is all neatly organized in little cute bags, but really!  And, I had two hanging up bags in additional to these two suitcases.  I keep saying I'm going to learn to "travel lightly" but I'm no where near there right now.

3. What's the best lesson a child ever taught you?
To live spontaneously!  Kids do not plan a thing they do, they fly by the seat of their pants.  It would be foolish to think as adults that we can do without some time management and direction in our lives.  But, every once in a while, we all need to live spontaneously!

4. Share one piece of advice you'd give a recent graduate as they attempt to enter the job market?
Always stay true to your ethics and morals and try to find something you know you will enjoy doing for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  The enjoying part may be a tad bit difficult in today's economy.  I'm afraid a lot of graduates are having to take jobs that they probably wouldn't even consider taking just to have a job.

5. What's your favorite lemon something?
I would have a hard time refusing anything lemon, but it's hard to beat a good piece of Lemon Meringue Pie. Makes my mouth pucker just thinking about it.

6. Flat sandal, wedge, heel...your favorite footwear?
I'm a wedge gal but on some occasions I do like a heel (not a 3" but more like a 2").  I do not know how any woman, young or old, walks in some of the shoes today.  And, some of them do need to take "walking lessons" from what I see at times.

7. What do you like best about a beach holiday? If you're not a beach lover (GASP!!) what do you dislike the least?
I do love the beach and funny as this sounds, I do not like sand and have no desire to get in the water.  But, the beach  brings relaxation and a real tranquil spirit.  I love to sit and listen to the waves roll in and watch the sun rise and set over the water. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

 This precious lady is my Aunt Wanda.  Today is her 90th birthday.  Yep, that's right and this picture was taken last year, so you can see that she is a well preserved woman.  She is the only sibling left in my Mom's family and she was the oldest of five.  Her four sons will be honoring her with a family reunion birthday celebration on Sat. the 19th in Williamsburg, Virginia.  And, guess who is going?  Yes, that's right!  I would not miss it for anything in the world.  I will not only get to spend time with my Aunt but I will be seeing cousins that I have not seen in 45 years. WOW! I am beside myself with excitement.  Talk about blog fodder!!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Miscellany Monday

I always enjoy Mondays. It's the first day of a new week and I get to begin it with Carissa, what a delight.  And, I'm especially glad to have the last few days behind me. (more on that to follow)

Not so minor procedure......

I was scheduled for a minor Peridontal procedure this past Wednesday.  It was only minor until the Dr. began the procedure and then found that the area was full of infection.  So the minor procedure suddenly became a major procedure.  I had to end up having a bridge taken out, a tooth pulled and an implant stake put in and a skin and bone graft over the area.  Yea! I know, sounds awful and let me assure you that the 3 days following the procedure were just that --- awful.   And, that isn't cotton stuffed in the side of my jaw in the picture above. ~smile~   I am not 100% just yet, but I am so much better and feeling very close to normal.  I will feel even better once I go back this Wednesday and have this mouthful of stitches removed.  It was most humbling as I moved from the bed to the recliner for 3 days.

Growing up.........

Is that not the cutest little behind you ever did see?  I mean really!  Our little Hanna Beth is growing up so fast and is such a delight to be around.  She has that wonderful skin that turns the most gorgeous tan with just the slightest bit of sun.  And, those pig tails are just the icing on the cake. Truly a gift from God!

A former student.......

 About 25 years ago I had the privilege of teaching the 9th and 10th grades girls in, what was then known as Sunday School.  I taught the class about 4 years and it was one of the most delightful experiences.  Girls in the 9th and 10th grade are generally trying to get life figured out, making big decisions and finding their way.  The young lady in the picture above with me is one of my former students.  She has been married several years now, is the mother to 3 children from ages 16 to 6 and lives in Alabama.  I was able to reconnect with Wendy when she was home recently. It was great to hear about her life and all that is going on with her..  She has always been one to recall many conversations that took place inside our SS Class those many years ago. It was a special time in my life and hopefully in theirs.

A special thank you.......

  Last week I wanted to say a special thanks to some ladies and the first way that came to my mind was to send them flowers.  Well, I do love flowers but I do not always like the containers that florist use to put the arrangements in.  I decided that I would like to put these in some special containers and went to one of our local thrift stores to see if I might find something that "fit the bill."  I hit the jackpot and found these 3 vintage looking pitchers.  I took them to a local florist and asked them if they could put some miniature roses in them and deliver them for me.  They loved the pitchers and thought they would make up beautifully.  And, they did make up beautifully and hopefully the ladies that received these felt very special.  

May you be especially blessed this new week!  And, don't forget to make it count.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Charleston, oh, Charleston

I have been looking forward to sharing with you some of the hi-lites of our trip to Charleston.  I thought Friday Favorites would be a great time to do that.  While there were many favorites, I've saved the best for you.

Hubby and I loaded up the vehicle, and headed off on the morning of Friday, April 13th.  Suitcases had everything imaginable, we had a "snack box" on the back seat, a full tank of gas and when you are traveling with my Hubby, you will always have a clean windshield. ~chuckle~  And, yes, we do travel with a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Windex in our vehicle at all times.

We stopped in Birmingham Friday evening and then drove on to Tommy's sister's house in Flowery Branch, Georgia on Saturday.  She and her husband are the most gracious host and hostess and

and we always enjoy sharing time with them.  We were off to Charleston on Sunday morning with plans to stop back by their house on our return trip and visit for a day or two.

We arrived in Charleston early afternoon and knew just from our drive in that we were in for a wonderful time.  We stayed at the historic King Charles Inn and it was located right in the heart of everything.  Plus the room was extra large with lovely furnishings

and a lovely place to return to each evening after a long day of seeing the sites.

We unpacked and then took off walking the historic downtown area. We particularly enjoyed seeing the old homes and we even got to tour a few of the ones that people currently reside in.  We enjoyed the gardens of the homes more than the actual home.  The homes weren't exactly our idea of welcoming and comfortable. ~wink~
Monday found us at the famed Boone Hall Plantation.  It was probably one of the most favorite places we visited.  We  

enjoyed the beautiful grounds and the history surround the plantation.  There was a young lady, Sharntell, weaving the beautiful Sweetgrass Baskets on the lawn and we enjoyed visiting with her and hearing the history of the baskets.

  Of course, I could not resist buying one of them.  There were crafters weaving them all over the streets in downtown Charleston, but it just seemed more special to me that she was weaving hers on the grounds of the plantation.

One evening we decided to go one of the Pedicab tours.

We had already walked miles and miles that day and this seemed the perfect way to end our day.  Zach was our guide and he was such a pleasure and such a fantastic guide.  He rode us around for about an hour, pointing out and telling about the various landmarks in the historic area.

 We talked to him about his job as it seemed to us to be a very hard job physically.  He went on to tell us that he is a competitive bike racer, loves riding the bike and this job allows for him to have a very nice income and to stay in shape at the same time.  Hummm.....He is a graduate of Charleston College and is saving his money to go to France for a couple of years to tour and visit. He says that this job pays very well.  And, Hubby and I said, in unison, "it should."  ~smile~

Another day found us at The Middleton Plantation. It was a beautiful place but just did not hold for us the charm that Boone Hall had.

Our last day found us at Fort Sumpter.  There was not a lot of beauty involved in this but we were glad that we rode the ferry over to see it.  It is certainly where a  lot of American History took place.

It was a fun filled 4 days in Charleston and we're so glad that we finally got to visit it.  We headed back towards Atlanta on Thursday morning for some more family fun before returning home. 

But, as the saying goes, there is just no place like home. So, we were happy folks when we pulled into our driveway to end a wonderful time away.

Thanks Rachel for hosting us each Friday with Friday Favorites! You're the BEST!