Friday, May 22, 2015


I love buying local - I wish I could purchase/support even more local farmers/establishments, etc.  One of our favorite local spots is The Boot at Preserve Village.  We can walk from our house and be there in less than five minutes.  We have a tendency to eat there about once a week.
About 18 months ago, I bought a Groupon for The Boot.  We were still living in our other house.  After we ate dinner (the first time!), we rode through the neighborhood and loved it.  I continued to buy Groupons and we continued to eat dinner at The Boot.  Every time, we would ride through the neighborhood and look at the houses.  There is a big map of all the lots in the main park and we would look at the layout and we would go home and pull up the Preserve website.
For years, we had talked about moving and downsizing and "getting off the big hill" and getting a smaller yard (our other lot was about 3/4 of an acre).  We decided to put our house on the market and it sold in the first week . . so we started looking.  We had been looking at houses for weeks online and we kept thinking that we would move to Homewood.
BUT every week, we would drive back over to The Preserve and we finally decided to move here . . .and we love it!  We are approaching our one year anniversary of Preserve living. . . AND we are still going to The Boot.  We want to take all of our friends there.  Here we were one recent weekend . . with good friends (we laughed a lot!!) .and guess what?  The beer was local!  Love Local!  Love our friends!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Yes, I know it is Thursday but I've been busy! Wednesday Hodgepodge


copy and paste the questions and answer them and link up here

1. Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?
I’m not sure that I “made” anyone laugh on any day but I can GUARANTEE that I have laughed – probably laughed long, loud and hard. I love to laugh. I hope I can find things to laugh about all the way up until the moment I die.  I hope that I make others laugh . . .one of our preachers told me that when he hears me laughing, it makes him laugh.

2. What's a simple question with a complicated answer?
What is the meaning of life? Or how about Why am I here on this earth?

3. Rhododendrons or have to choose. Are any currently blooming in your yard?
I love azaleas – maybe because we live in an area of the country where almost every yard has some azaleas and when they bloom, they are so pretty. We live in a new house and this is our first spring (we moved in June last year) and so we are discovering all sorts of things. These cute little bushes by our chimney are miniature gardenias! They are so cute! I borrowed this picture from someone on line – this is not our plant but you can see what one looks like. They are actually called Dwarf Gardenias.

In Alabama, we have a great growing season and everything is so lush here.

4. May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job? I have never worked as a waitress . . .unless you count waiting on my hubby and kids!! The only other waitress experience that I have had is waiting on tables at church – like for a fund raising event. I will say this – I’m a good tipper. I always feel like the person who waits on my table is either in school trying to earn money or is a parent trying to put food on their own table. If our service is even “decent,” I try to tip 20%. I would love to hear some other folks thoughts on tipping.

5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men?
Men . . .hmmmm. . . I think those horrible baggy pants that hang down so ridiculously low . . .I also don’t like seeing men’s butt cracks. I want them to make sure that their pants come up high enough so that when they squat down . . .

Women – I hate this new fashion where the whole middle portion of a girl shows. I’ve seen so many pictures of prom dresses and the whole middle section is exposed. To me, it just doesn’t look classy. It is one thing to have on a cute top and shorts and have some middle show but in a formal dress – I just don’t get it. I also don’t like mini dresses on people in their 40’s and up. Let’s face it girls – most ladies, especially after age 45, do not have the legs to carry off a mini dress and I sure don’t want to see someone’s hoohah. I don’t remember when it happens, but at some point, our knees are not pretty anymore – My friend, Susan (God bless her soul – I sure do miss her), always said that knees and elbows tell a woman’s age faster than anything. (I just re-read this section and my answer makes me sound old . . . oh well, I guess I am!)

6. Name a writer who inspires tell us why. I love to read and I read a large assortment of books. Today I shopped in our preacher’s office (he is retiring and after he packed the books he wanted to keep, we have been allowed to shop!!). I love some of the writers of old. On another note, I haven’t read the Harry Potter series but I’ve always heard that J. K. Rowling was practically homeless until she started writing. She inspires me in that way. I also made a friend at She Speaks Conference a couple of summers ago. She is writing and illustrating a book and she inspires me. 

7. What well known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?
I’m horrible with quotes!! I like them when I hear them or read them, but then I can't remember the quote!!  I googled quotes about vacation – sad, right?? I’ve rented a condo on a local lake for the long weekend and my daughter and a few of her friends will be going along. I told her that I didn’t plan to be the cook, etc. all weekend. I just found this quote and laughed out loud (see – I like to laugh!!) A vacation frequently means that the family goes away for a rest, accompanied by a mother who sees that the others get it. written by Marcelene Cox (this is not going to happen this weekend.)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
It is a gorgeous day here today. When I stepped outside this morning, the sun was shining and there was just a hint of cool in the air. I had a deep pang of missing summer. I loved long summer days with my kids. (of course, I’m only remembering the good part!!) We would go to the pool at ten when it opened and stay until we were ready to go home. We would go to the library. They would have friends over and play out in the yard. I guess my earlier sentence isn’t really correct. I’m not missing summer – it is going to arrive one way or the other. I’m missing being at home in the summer. Now, I would be all alone but I could still go to the pool and the library.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Baby Boy Rimmer Shower

There are certain stages of life.  You know - child, adolescent, teenager, young adult.  I believe that I am in the shower stage of life.  Over the last few years, we've had fun at all sorts of bridal showers and NOW we are hosting baby showers!!  About five years ago, several of us hosted a baby shower for a friend's grandbaby.  It was a pink explosion.  This shower was for a little boy (due in August) and it was all blue and green and mustaches and booties.  The mommy is the daughter of my very best friend in the world.  I still remember when Amy was born!!

I used my silhouette to make the invitations.  I made onesies and printed the invitations right onto the card stock and I glued bowties on each one.  I really enjoyed using my silhouette for lots of projects for this shower.

I made a mustache and bowtie banner for the mirror right inside the front door.  I even hung it in the shape of a mustache.  The whole time I was making all these things (and even today as I type the word!) I kept (and keep) saying moooostache.  Who knows why but it is stuck in my head!!

The tray in the center help party favors - chocolate mustache suckers and on the bottom of the tray, were bowties for everyone to wear during the party.  I didn't use the silhouette to make those but had fun making them!!

The garland hanging across the front of the chest is actually clothespins with paper bowties attached.  We played that old game - if you say the word baby, the person who heard you could take your clothespin.  The one with the most clothespins wins.

Here is the table in progress.  I had a bunch of blue tablecloths that I purchased for Kaylor and Sarah's shower (I could have sworn that I blogged about that shower but I can't find it!!).  (found a couple of pictures -- you can see why I had navy tablecloths for Kaylor and Sarah-- auburn colors!!)

Since I had lots of blue tablecloths, it was easy to use those and add those pops of green.

I typed up the instructions for the games.  Amy wanted to play games, so we did!!  I googled baby shower games and OH MY GOODNESS -- there are some crazy games out there . . .once involved a plunger between one's legs - I'm laughing again as I think about it!!  Needless to say, we played SAFE games.

I printed the directions for the clothespins and bowties in color on card stock and put them in white picture frames from At Home.

Here is a picture of the party favors -- I had never made chocolate molded candy before.  That was fun, too!  I don't know what we did before YOUTUBE - I love watching directions on how to do things.

Here are some of the cute bowties

Close up of the three tiered tray that my sister-in-law loaned to me!!

The baby Rimmer banner was onesies with regular ties.  I used three big puff balls on the mantle.

I used lots of green and blue tulle on the dining room table.  The menu was:
Big Manwiches (Hawaiian rolls with pimento cheese or Hawaiian rolls with chicken salad -- I didn't make dainty sandwiches because these were MANwiches!!)
Cheese straws (if you aren't from the south, you might not know about cheese straws - yum!)
Bow tie fruit -- two strawberries (pointed end to the middle) with one blueberry in between on a skewer
Bow Tie pasta salad
Baker's Brownies (my friend, Jeanne, has a business - oh they are good!!)
Iced sugar cookies (made from Mark's favorite recipe) - cut into - want to guess???? Bowties!!!!  Want to guess what color icing?  Blue and Green!

I also took clear plastic cups and stuck on a furry mustache.  I cut organic carrots into long narrow pieces and I cut celery the same way.  I put a dollop (nice sized) in the bottom of the cup and then stacked the carrots and celery on their ends (stand them up).

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wednesday HodgePodge ON FRIDAY!! (Saturday!)


 I started this on Wednesday night. Good grief - what in the world? Life has been a tad busy. So here goes with Wednesday HodgePodge finished up on Friday . . .now Saturday!! 
1. When is your next big deadline? What's it for? 
Tomorrow (which was Thursday!) - hosting a work luncheon for our Joseph Ministers (church members who volunteer to help with funerals).  This is the banner I made for the luncheon.

 Then my next "deadline" is to prepare a sunday school lesson for Sunday (along with some other work related items) -- hot dog! Just finished my SS lesson -- on Friday!! 

2. May is National Barbecue Month. Do you prefer cooking indoors or out? What's the best thing about a barbecue? What's the last thing you cooked on an outdoor grill? Mark cooked burgers for us on Saturday night - outside. Our son has a green egg and we love that smokey taste. In Alabama, BBQ is the meat - pork, beef, chicken. We EAT barbeque -- we don't barbeque on the grill. We "cook out" on the grill or we "grill" as in "let's grill some burgers tonight." Does that make sense? I do love actual BBQ - Saw's in Homewood, AL serves my favorite kind - delish! 

3. What is one thing on your "never again" list? good question - well, since I'm 56, my "never again" list does include not having any more children. I can't think of an experience . . .the kids and I went white water rafting on the Arkansas river about 10 years ago. I was scared to death the whole time but I wouldn't say "never again." Oh - I HOPE I never again have to move. Last year just about killed us!! We are coming up on our one year anniversary of living in this house. 

4. What's something that annoys you about people your own age? Something you love about your generation? I hate it when people my age talk down to young adults (I'm probably guilty of it sometimes). After spending time with wonderful young adults every Tuesday night for over five years, I've learned that they are wise in their own way. We need to listen to them, too. I also hate it when people my age ACT old. I still feel young on the inside!! What is something I love about my generation? I have lots of good friends who are a part of my generation - many of us are loyal! Our generation also still has some patriotism. I think it ended after us. I still get teary eyed at a sporting event when they sing the National Anthem. 

5. Lilac, iris, hyacinth, pansy...your favorite purple flower? I love flowers. Of course, I have a big fat ZERO amount of flowers planted in my yard. We do have a sweet baby magnolia with pretty white (not purple!) flowers!! I love pansies and I love iris (iris make me think of grandmothers . . .any one else?) 

6. What's a song that always calms you down? Amazing Grace . . .how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! There are several songs that we sing in Contact worship (our contemporary-ish service) that really make me slow down and take some deep breaths. It is Well With My Soul - that is a good one! 

7. What's the last thing you donated? Donated - as in a thing? We give to our church every week. Actually, I just have it cut right out of my paycheck. That is so dadgum convenient!! Maybe tithing shouldn't be "convenient" but it is wonderful because it comes off the check FIRST. We never miss it (well, that is not true - sometimes money is very tight but I never think to myself, wish I could get that money back from God) I guess the last things we donated were to the Salvation Army when we were moving. I think we donated at least three pick up truck loads of stuff to them. I hope they made lots of money from all that stuff. You just wouldn't believe how much stuff you accumulate in 22 years in one house. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. The last two mornings, traffic has been much lighter. I am so looking forward to driving to and from work in the summer. Traffic is about half what it is in the school year.  That is indeed a random thought, isn't it?  Too bad that light traffic didn't carry over for Friday afternoon - it was horrible!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's Day

Every Monday morning, several of us gather in a conference room at the church and worship for the following Sunday is planned.  Hymns are picked to "go with" the liturgical season or the sermon series, etc.  All through Lent, one staff member would ask for a funny song . . .and then someone asked for another one on a different Sunday . .. we didn't sing it either.  (you must laugh some every day, right??)  Who knew that so much planning went into each worship service??  During Monday morning's meeting, Andy kept singing this song (or one like it)
"M" is for the many things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.
  Just fyi - we are NOT singing that song in worship! 

Yesterday I realized, once again, that I know so little about our mother.  I remember some things and if I'm with my sisters and one of them mentions something, odds are I will eventually remember the incident, etc.  I know that she was part Cherokee Indian (as am I - of course - duh!).  I know that she was only about 5' 2" tall and weighed about 100 pounds for most of her life.  I know that she loved my daddy and she loved us.  I know that sometimes people hurt her feelings (isn't that weird that I can remember that??).  I remember that she was always kind.  I remember that she SLAPPED MY FACE (today that would be child abuse :-) ) in a department store in Tarrant (Aston's? was that the name??).  I deserved it, I am sure.  I remember that I had sassed her ONE too many times that day.  I think she was mortified after she did it!  I know that she had a troubled relationship with her mother but before they both died, they seemed to be at peace with each other.  Even though things had not been easy for momma and she was in horrible foster care at times, she still loved her own mother and wanted to check on her, etc.  I wish I could hear her laugh.  I don't remember if she had a soft voice or not.  I think she did.  She didn't drink alcohol (we had a bottle of wine in the fridge that was a gift and it turned to vinegar or something).  She didn't curse - well, once or twice I've HEARD that she said sh**.  She loved God.  She read her Bible and prayed.  She had a set of gold praying hands.  I wonder if someone gave those to her after she got sick.  She wore a lot of house dresses! You know what I'm talking about?  They snapped down the front.  I remember riding the bus and going to the doctor and walking to the hair salon with her.  I remember that she was a really good cook.

I LOVE this picture of her.  It is in an old cardboard frame and its home is in my craft room.  I would really enjoy an adult conversation with her.

We are the ones who made her a mother.  She is holding me - I'm the baby!!  Glenine is standing beside momma (she is the oldest) and Becky has the big bow tie (she is the middle one!!).  Momma looks like she is trying to smile - we were probably driving her crazy.

There have been so many times in my life when I've wished for advice about mothering FROM MY OWN MOTHER.  My mother-in-law has been like a mother to me and she has given some wise advice.  She has been wonderful.  It worked out great - she was the mother of twins and then Mark and I had twins.  She could UNDERSTAND!  

I had this picture of Laura (left) and Glenn (right) in my office.  They made a mother out of ME!! (they are wearing their baptism gowns that were made by their great grandmother . . .Mark and George wore them - that twin thing!  Then their two siblings wore one of them and now all the grandchildren have been baptized in one or the other of the two gowns.

There have been so many others who have been like a mother to me.  Inez Lane and my mom taught three year old Sunday School together.  Inez had a daughter about my age and we became friends - close friends.  After momma died, Inez was always there for me.  Here is a picture of Inez and her daughter, Karen.  I need to go see her more often!!  I bought a mother's day card for her but I don't know where those cards are -- shoot - glad I remembered - now I can hunt them!!  (sorry for that trail)

Dovie Parker was also like a mother to me.  I don't have a picture of her in my computer. (UPDATE -- her daughter emailed a picture to me!!  This is JUST how I remember her!) She loved me and I knew it.  (same with Inez)  They would not have put up with me so much if they didn't!  Mrs. Parker signed me up with their family for a pool pass.  One whole summer, I was Lisa Parker.  She hosted my surprise 16th birthday party.  

So many people have been like a mother to me.  It is amazing how God can fill a void if we allow him time to do it.  I have always had women in my life - women who were older (sometimes!) and certainly wiser.  I've been friends with women who could advise me (thank God!)

M is for the many mothers in my life!

Wednesday Hodgpodge

answer these questions and go link up over at From This Side of the Pond!!
1. What's a phrase your mother often said to you? If you're a parent, is this something you now say to your own children?
My mom died when I was a sophomore in high school and I’m now 56 so I don’t remember many things she said!! Sometimes my older sisters tell me thing about her. I like for them to tell me those things! I always said to our kids as they were leaving home, “remember who and whose you are.” 

2. What is a scent you associate with your mother or your childhood home?
My mom always wore Cody powder. I actually saw some in Walmart back before Christmas and bought some and put it in my sister’s Christmas stocking. Our mom also wore Chanel No. 5 perfume. I detest fragrances – HIGHLY ALLERGIC – so I can’t even remember what it smelled like. 

3. What's an activity you remember always doing with your mother (or someone who was a mother figure in your life)?
Like I said earlier, I just don’t have that many memories . . .that is sad, isn’t it? I do remember standing at the kitchen sink drying dishes as she or my sister washed them. I also remember having to ride the city bus because she didn’t drive. We would walk to the bus stop. I hated having to ride the bus – even as a little child. OH – I thought of a good one!! I would walk home for lunch when I was in high school. She was already sick with cancer but I was so self-centered that I was pretty oblivious. I thought she was going to get well, ya know? Anyway, my dad had to take a leave of absence to care for her – to take her for chemo treatments, etc. I would come home for lunch and we would have a sandwich (probably bologna??) and a bowl of campbell’s soup. We would listen to Paul Harvey while we ate.

4. Flared jeans, maxi dresses, and jumpsuits are 70's fashion trends back this spring. Are you on board? Which trend would you be most inclined to try? For the men...flared corduroys, wide-collared shirts, and floral prints...what say you?
Those things have already been “in” once in my lifetime!! I owned flared jeans, maxi dresses and jumpsuits. I saw bell bottoms in an ad the other day and thought, “what?” They say that what goes around comes around and I guess it is. I did have a really cool “jumpsuit” that was evening wear and I remember wearing it to some work function. I looked pretty darn good. I should see if I can find that picture. My date’s first name was Marshall but I can’t remember his last name . . .  I can't imagine Mark in any of those men's fashions!!

5. May 6th is Teacher Appreciation Day and also Nurse Appreciation Day. Is there a nurse or teacher you have especially appreciated along the way? Tell us why?
My favorite teacher would be my own sweet daughter. She is now working as an early interventionist (or some title like that). She is a born teacher. She taught swim lessons when she was just a teenager and has been teaching people things ever since. I also loved my senior English teacher back in high school – her name was Bess Studdard. I also loved my English 102 teacher in college – I can’t remember his name, though. He was such an encourager . . .and I did have the highest grade in his class (suck up!!) There have also been a few Sunday School teachers over the years who have had a tremendous impact on my life. Charlotte, Carol and Linda worked with the young adults at our home church and I came back to that church as a young divorced woman. Heck – they had no place for me but Charlotte, Carol and Linda opened their arms and loved me right back to Jesus. Yes, they did! 

6. If I came by your house, what would I find on your frig door?
You wouldn’t find a thing. Our fridge is stainless steel and magnets, etc. don’t seem to do so well. In our old house, we had an old white refrigerator and it was COVERED in save the date cards and funny cartoons and fun magnets and pictures from coloring books, etc.

7. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana made her royal entrance on Saturday, May 2nd. On a scale of 1-10, how much attention did you give to all the news coverage? 1=Who's Charlotte? 10=sat glued to the telly, cuppa in hand.
I do know who Charlotte is but I’ve never been one to follow the royal folks very much. I’m much more interested in the babies born into our church family over the last few weeks (and the ones still coming!)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Mark is going to the farm tonight (wednesday) to get his present. I am a lousy present buyer for him. It is just so very hard to buy gifts for him. I asked Glenn to help me to think of some ideas (Anniversary, Father’s day and birthday). I was thinking of a green egg but he has a really nice grill. Glenn mentioned that Mark had been talking about wanting crawfish in the farm lake. I googled Southeastern Pond Management and emailed them to find out if this is something I could do, etc. They are delivering 500 pounds of crawfish to the farm lake tomorrow (Thursday). Mark is actually thrilled! (do guys get thrilled? Don’t answer that. Whatever word would work for men – he likes the idea that we are getting crawfish.)  I hope he remembers to take some photos - it is so cool - they drive a big truck up and connect a hose (like a firehose but fatter) and shoot the fish from the tanker truck into the lake!!  I guess we could eat these but I believe they are actually food for the bass.

Friday, May 1, 2015

I'm a banner making maniac

That title sounds downright stupid but it is after 9 o'clock at night and I turn into a pumpkin about now with mush for brains.  I've been making baby banners lately.  The first one was for Baby Thayer - shower at work.  They had a sweet baby boy, Sam.  This was their third baby and they didn't find out beforehand . . .so gender neutral!!

The next banner was also for a shower at work.  This family knew ahead of time - another girl . . .now they have four little girls who are the cutest things!!  Her name is Hadley Kate. (please forgive all the crap on our island!! . .cheese straws, pecan pound cake, cups and saucers, kindle . . . good grief!!)

Last Saturday, I hosted a baby boy shower in our home for a long time family friend - the daughter of my best friend in the whole world.  I used mustaches and bowties so I had banners everywhere!

His big banner even had ties!  He will arrive in July and they aren't sharing a name yet - so baby Rimmer it is! (this is her first baby)

Last but not least -- today we celebrated Marie's upcoming arrival.  She knows it is a little boy (second little boy) and his name is going to be Oliver.  I personally love the colors she has picked for the nursery.  I am in love with these monkeys - just saying!  At the shower, Marie told me that the nursery has a jungle theme - the monkeys will match!  I didn't know - so cool!!

Mark is always saying that I need to start a business making things.  I think it would take some of the joy out of creating.  It would definitely add pressure and right now, crafting is a stress reliever.