Sunday, April 14, 2024

It's time for Sunday Stealing!

 I'm joining up with Bev and all of the thieves this week for Sunday Stealing:

1.    What have you been the most ignorant about in your life? I’m going to answer this with the thing that first popped into my head. I believe I’ve been ignorant about racism. I’m not ignorant about all racism. I’ve been ignorant about the depth or racism. I’m not even sure how to put words to my thoughts. Working on a church staff for 20 years has allowed me to see things I might never have seen before. Also, going back to school at my age has been eye opening. I was born in 1958 and I was in the sixth grade when our school was integrated. I could be wrong, but I feel like there were many things we weren’t taught that are a part of our history. I feel like my eyes have been opened to injustices. I hope to do better. I will do better.

2.    What in the world would you most like to see protected? Are we talking about humans here? If so, I would love to see my family protected. Are we talking about our planet and natural resources? We better get on the ball and protect many things.

3.    How do you waste the biggest chunk of time each day or week? I imagine it would be scrolling on the internet. Some might consider writing blog posts as a waste of time but I don’t. I really want to say that I waste time sleeping. I often feel like if I didn’t need to sleep, I could get it all done!

4.    Who is the scariest person you've ever known? I’ve known several scary folks over the years! I had a few teachers growing up that were pretty scary haha! I did have a professor many years ago who terrified me. He was mean. There was a family member, who is now deceased, and he was a bad and scary man. I doubt I will ever tell that story on my blog. I had a boss at AT&T who could go totally nuts. He would shout and scream. I would go to the bathroom and pray – seriously! It was interesting though because he and I actually had a good working relationship most of the time.

5.    What was the job you enjoyed the least? This is my list of employment and it isn’t that long – I wrapped Christmas and Mother’s Day gifts in a local dry goods store (that was what it was called back then) during my senior year of high school. I went to work for South Central Bell on the morning after I graduated from high school. At one point, we became American Bell briefly and then we became AT&T. When I had our twins, I stayed home a couple of years and then I worked part time for the regional manager at Tambrands (it was the mother company of Tampax!). Then I worked part time at a Crane and Hoist company making cold calls and filing. The guy that owned the company was someone I had worked with at South Central Bell and AT&T. Then I stayed home for quite a few years and I’ve been working on staff at the church for 20 years. I didn’t hate any of those jobs.

6.    What thing about your family are you the most proud of? I can’t really take credit but our kids turned into awesome adults. I’m proud of who they are. I’m proud of Mark and his siblings for keeping their mother at home in her house for as long as they have. It hasn’t been easy for them.

7.    What kind of power do you want most? I’m assuming you don’t mean gas or electric? Haha! I don’t know about power. I’ve seen power abused so often that it makes me nervous. I guess I want power over my own self – to eat right and exercise and be kind.

8.    What's the best piece of advice you ever received?  I’m 65 years old. I’ve received LOTS of advice over the years. I do remember my daddy telling me that there were going to be things I had to do as an adult that I didn’t want to do, but you did them because they were the right thing to do.

9.    What's the thing you know the most about? I know my job and I know it well. I know how to cook and know a lot about cooking (but not at the chef level – just everyday cooking and cooking for a crowd). We use a database at work and I used to be the one over the database. At that time, one of my coworkers called me “the grand poobah of Shelby” because I knew so much.

10.    When were you most moved by a ceremony? I have been to several funerals that were very moving. We went to the swearing in of one of our young adults for her branch of the service.  I didn’t expect to be moved by that service, but I was.

11.    What is the best gift you ever gave to someone? I won a bottle of Pappy van Winkle bourbon and gifted it to my husband. It was a great gift!

12.    What is the cruelest thing you've ever suffered? That is a tough question. I’m not sure I want to answer this one.

13.    What's the single nastiest thing you've ever done to someone? I hope I haven’t done many truly nasty things in my life. I did recently think about writing a post and apologizing to people (not name names) from over the years. An example would be where I made someone feel less than in order to build myself up.

14.    What problem do you think is most common among friends your age? We are getting old!!

15.    What is the strongest craving you get? I am not a hugger, but every once in a while, I truly crave a hug. I will ask for a hug. I crave diet pepsis when I don’t have one. Every once in a while, I’ll “crave” an excellent cheeseburger and fries.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Alabama Remodeling Excellence Award

I mentioned that our builder had a professional photographer coming to our house to take photos to enter our house in the Alabama Remodeling Excellence Awards. We were entered in the Insurance Renovation Category and we won! We don't get anything . . .but still! I was hoping they would share all of the photos with me but this is the only one I could snag.

Here is the video of all of the winners. Go to 56:34 to see our house - our portion is about a minute long. Our building, ELM Construction, was and is amazing. Their designer is Liz and she is now one of my favorite people. She was so willing to help us.

 This afternoon, the builder texted and said that a local community magazine has reached out to them and would like to feature our home in a summer edition. I'll keep y'all posted!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

It's a Hodgepodge

 I'm joining up with the Hodgepodge gang! Thanks to Joyce for the questions.

1. Do you complete your own tax returns or hire out? Something you've found taxing lately? Mark is a retired CPA. He was the CFO of a company but he still knows how to do taxes. He has always done our tax returns. Is it possible to find a person taxing? I'm going with yes. There is a person that before I even see them, I dread the interaction. I find him very taxing.

2. It's spring (in the northern hemisphere anyway)...would you rather spend the day hiking in the great outdoors or planting a garden? Do you/will you have a garden this year? Flowers, vegetables, or a bit of both? Since I am allergic to every grass and tree, I don't spend much time outdoors right now and that makes me sad because it is beautiful in Alabama in the spring. We don't have room for a garden, but if I did, I would want some flowers and some veggies!!

3. Do you consider yourself a patient person? In what sort of situation is patience not desirable? Are you happy with the degree of patience you have in your daily life? If not, what can you do to cultivate more of this quality in your life? In my 20's, I prayed for patience. I had a tough boss at AT&T and I needed patience. At 28, not long after I prayed for patience, I found out I was pregnant with twins. I have much more patience now than I did back then. I've always thought that was an interesting turn of events!! One of the areas where I still lack patience is when I'm driving. Other drivers . . . why would you drive 40 on an interstate where the speed limit is 70? I have so many why would you's when I'm driving. I can't wait to read your responses about what sort of situations where patience is not desirable. I need to take big deep breaths when I find myself impatient. If I'm in a line somewhere, I try to pray for the people ahead of me. Sometimes it is successful and sometimes it is not.

4. Do you like the flavor cinnamon? If so what's your favorite something made with cinnamon? I do like cinnamon. I like to bake apples and put a sprinkle of cinnamon on them. 

5. Learn by watching or learn by doing? Elaborate. I prefer to watch a couple of times and then to start doing. I think I learn by both.

6. Insert your own random thought here. I received my grade on my paper and I felt sure it would be at least a C . . . maybe lower. I was pleasantly surprised when I made an A. It is not a high A, but it is an A. I'll take it. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

April's 10 on the 10th!


I am joining up with the gang for 10 on the 10th. Here you go . . .Questions are above and my answers are below. I'm publishing tonight so I can answer the Hodgepodge questions tomorrow.

1. I love pink! I have a great pink Jackie dress from Tuckernuck that is awesome. 

2. My birth stone is pearl or alexandrite. I was never fond of alexandrite when I was a kid. I actually love pearls! I have multiple pairs of pearl earrings and several strands of pearls.

3. If I had a space, I would love to grow fresh tomatoes like my daddy grew. Alabama dirt is good for tomato growing!! I would also like to have a flower garden. We have a tiny lot and not enough sunshine in spots where I could plant a tomato plant. I guess I could find a way to plant some flowers in amongst our shrubbery . . .but I probably won't.

4. "This above all: to thine own self be true," is a pretty good quote. Did he also say, "All that glitters is not gold."?

5. I love our earth and I'm so happy to live here and I am trying to take care of it . . . but I probably won't be celebrating Earth Day!

6. We were not in the path of totality but we had only a sliver of light showing. We went outside and shared a few pair of glasses so that everyone got to look. Quite a few years ago (2017?), we had another eclipse and we went onto the front lawn of the church to watch. I've been at work at the church both times!

7. We don't listen to a lot of music around our house. I remember listening to "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Hey Jude." We need to listen to more music.

8. I do not have a favorite wife of King Henry. Herman's Hermits sang a song, "I'm Henry the VIII I am . . ." and I remember belting out that song as a kid! The lyrics were silly and it must have been fun to sing.

9. I actually didn't remember that there was such a thing as a birth month flower but I looked it up and mine is a rose or honeysuckle. I think both are very pretty.

10. My first car was a shared vehicle with my older sister. It was a Comet and we called it Vomit the Comet. It was not an attractive car. My first car that I purchased was a Datsun 310GX and I loved that car. We sold it after we got engaged or married. Mark had a company car and I drove his ugly Chevy Citation.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Sunday Stealing

I'm joining up with this week's thieves for Sunday Stealing. Thank you to Bev for stealing the questions!

1.  Name a TV series show or shows in which you have seen every episode at least twice: We’ve watched and are rewatching Frasier! We’ve also watched all of the episodes of Big Bang Theory twice. I’m actually thinking of starting over with Big Bang Theory. I also need to go back to the beginning of Young Sheldon. I didn’t finish all of those!

2.  Name a show or shows you can't or would not miss: We stream now so rarely watch anything live. We are currently watching Will Trent, Bones, and The Rookie. I think we usually watch these a day or so after they are live. We also love Mariana van Zeller and her exposés! 

3.  Name an actor or actors that would make you more inclined to watch a show: While Mark has been out of town, I have watched Book Club and Book Club 2 and I really enjoy all of those actors. I like Matthew McConaughey and I like Shemar Moore.

4.  Name an actor or actors who would make you less likely to watch a show:  Usually, I don’t judge something I want to watch by the actors. I have a hard time watching things where people make total fools of themselves in situations that could happen in real life. I love a good comedy but usually not at the expense of a person. I know that sounds corny, but it is true.

5. You're having a lovely dinner party for friends and family.  What will you serve for appetizers, main course and dessert? I have a few great stand-by appetizers – There is a cheese and pecan spread covered with jalapeno jelly that is excellent or my bacon/club crackers. I make an excellent lasagna but would not serve that to company because Mark isn’t a big fan. He will eat it when I make it but he would NEVER request it. He doesn't like Italian food. If it was a fancy party, I might serve beef tenderloin with twice baked potatoes and Asian slaw. I would serve German Chocolate cake as my dessert. . .or maybe Carrot Cake . . .or Pecan Pie with ice cream.

6. Snow storm!    You've got house guests and you're all stuck inside for the night. What do you prepare for dinner.  Will you watch a movie? Which? If I had the ingredients on hand, I would probably make a couple of pots of chili or soup and homemade corn bread. I don’t know if we would watch a movie or not.

7. We are going into New York City for the weekend. Where do you want to go? I just want to go to New York City. I’ve never been! One of our nephews is a doctor in New York City! Our kids have been but I never have.

8. You are going to night school.  They offer courses in writing short stories, painting, piano or guitar lessons, simple home repairs, baking, and gardening. Which do you pick (or make up one of your own) and why? I’m back in college taking online classes through a local community college and this semester I’m taking American Literature. It has involved writing so a short story class might be interesting. I think I would also like to take a flower arranging class. I’ve taken a flower arranging class one time before and really enjoyed it.

9.   Ever been to a Drive In Theater? Would you like to see Drive In Theaters make a come back? I remember going to the Drive In Theater when I was growing up and then as a teenager. There is one about 30 minutes away from our house. I haven’t been to that one. It really wouldn't affect me too much if those theaters made a big comeback. We usually offer a couple of movies in the park in our neighborhood during the summer - the HOA provides popcorn.

10.  Should towns provide community entertainment like bands in the park, fireworks on the 4th, community picnics or is the cost just too much? I love community functions. We have a gathering in the summer in our neighborhood. Our town has a fireworks show for the fourth of July. We used to have a jazz festival in the neighborhood and it was awesome! The person who was in charge said it just got to be too much. 

11.  What would you change about your town if you had the power? I wish we could get rid of crime! Our community is fairly safe. I’m not sure what else I would change.

12.   How often do you find yourself shopping for groceries? I place a large grocery order once a week and then Mark or I end up stopping at least one other time during the week for various things.

13. Do you have a favorite night time snack? I love Premium Minis – they are miniature saltine crackers. I also love no sugar fudgsicles.

14,  Do you buy in bulk and what kinds of tips do you have to save money on grocery shopping? We don’t buy a lot of things in bulk. We go to Costco often but rarely buy gigantic packages of things. I think I save money by ordering groceries online through Shipt. If I’m wandering the aisles of the store, I tend to put more things in the cart.

15. Let's have a picnic in the park.  What foods are we packing and will we cook anything there or is it all prepared ahead of time? I think I’ll prepare it before we go! We definitely need chips and watermelon (or another good fruit) and maybe some carrot sticks and dip and some pasta salad. For our main course, we have great BBQ in Alabama so maybe we will order BBQ or smoke a butt on the smoker and have BBQ pork sandwiches. Picnics in Alabama often include BBQ, potato salad, slaw, and baked beans. 

Friday, April 5, 2024

She Is Home!

The last few weeks have been so crazy. If you've read previous posts, you know that our daughter had pre-eclampsia. She spent 18 or 19 days in the hospital. At 35 weeks and 1 day, on March 21, she gave birth to our newest granddaughter. Our daughter went home from the hospital on the 28th. It was a rough ride. Our newest love went home on April 1 after spending almost 12 days in the NICU. We are now the proud grandparents of THREE girls!!

She wore her mommy's dress home from the hospital just as her big sister did.

Mark's mom will be 99 in July. These booties were some of the last she made. She made them for every baby in the extended family plus friends. I'm not kidding - she made 100's of those booties of all colors. Our twins had their own 37 years ago. The pattern was intricate like a little tiny pair of shoes!

We changed her into some more comfy clothes!

Big sister was at grandma's house. The other grandparents live in the same neighborhood so they help a lot. Granddaughter #2 was so excited to meet her big sister.

This is our daughter holding everyone.

I delivered treats from other family members. We've all been trying to give her extra attention. It was tough for your mommy to be gone that long. One morning while I was there, Laura and I took her to the pediatrician and then we went to Target and bought several things for her.

She and I played while I was there. She loves to be outside. She and her daddy have some tiny plants they are nurturing for a garden.

Their lima beans are in the ground and growing. I had forgotten what I learned a million years ago in elementary school science how the lima bean grows. They are so cool as they unfurl.

They have pretty flowers in their backyard, too!

This was dinner on the last night I was there. The sisters were having a picnic on the floor.

One of my jobs was to get up before 5:00 and take care of the 5:00 a.m. feeding and the 8:00 a.m. feeding. It was a sweet time of snuggling.

After a few days, I drove home and traded out with Mark again. There are multiple reasons for us splitting our visit - one is they don't have a guest room and it is also easier for us to split up so that one of us is here with our crazy cat who still has PTSD from the fire. It is a real thing, folks!

Anyway, Mark stopped at Bass Pro Shop on his way south and bought a purple fishing pole for granddaughter #2. When our kids were little, they would fish in our backyard. Mark called it the "Backyard Fishing Show." I need to find some of those pictures of them when they were young. But for now, here she is with her pole!

After I came home, I had an appointment at the allergy doc, a dentist appointment, time with granddaughter #1, a haircut, and a lunch meeting, plus I went to the office for a little while.

For this sweet granddaughter's birthday, I promised a trip together to Claire's. I picked her up after school yesterday and we headed to Claire's which is conveniently located in their Walmart! After spending a long time in Claire's, we looked at the craft section in Walmart and trotted over to the pharmacy section to buy some toothpaste for her. She is getting so grown up!! When we got back to her house, we had to take a picture of her with one of her purchases (little chair) that she bought to repurpose as a Barbie chair. She wanted to send the picture to Pops because he is the principle Barbie player!!

Our office was closed this week and I feel like I've used every moment. I'm very appreciative for that time off. It wasn't restful, but it was good. It was truly good!


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Easter Recap

Maundy Thursday service was beautifully moving told through the stories of Judas, Peter, and John.

After the service, Mark and I cut up multiple pounds of carrots so that I could make Copper Pennies for Easter Sunday.

We attended the Good Friday service and it was amazing. The service ends in darkness and silence. It is one of the most powerful worship services of the entire year.

I worked the Welcome Center on Saturday night and then joined Mark and our neighbors for worship. The entire church was decorated beautifully.

We had several photo opps set up throughout the campus. We decided to take one silly photo first.

Then we took a real photo!

Sunday morning's sunrise was spectacular!

I was at work by 6:45 a.m. and Mark went to the neighborhood sunrise service. He said it was lovely.

We all got a text from Eleanor (standing beside me) wanting to know if we could gather for a photo. We met at 7:30 a.m. and grabbed a great photo. 

After church, the family all gathered at Mark's momma's house for Sunday lunch. We had multiple salads and cheese grits and Honey Baked Ham.

Our friend, Wynn, joined us and he brought a coconut pie which Mark is displaying!

We always have a huge flower cross on the lawn of the church.

Our sweet new baby was still in the NICU on Sunday but Laura, Scott, and granddaughter were able to attend worship.

Glenn, Lauren, and granddaughter #1 were at their church.

It was a wonderful Easter week/day!