Sunday, June 27, 2010

Good morning, God!

Good morning, God! Thank you for a good night's rest. Thank you that today is Sunday. Thank you that we live in a place where we can go to church and worship you freely. Thank you for the awesome John Wesley class. Father, they are our family and I ask that you bless each one of them.

Lord, I ask for your comforting presence to surround all of the Nelson and George family today and in the coming days. Father, when our heads can't understand the death of one so young, our hearts know without a shadow of doubt that we can trust you. Thank you for the witness of their lives.

Father, there are so many who are sick and hurting. On this day, I ask for your blessings and comfort and peace for Jeff and Melinda and Maria and Anna. I pray for Jeff's mom. Lord, I also pray for Uncle John. Help him to recover quickly from his surgery. Please also be with Mrs. Charlton. Father, I pray for Laura - that you guide her steps; that you protect her and the other bridesmaids while in Nashville; that you wrap your arms around that car as they drive home and keep them safe; that you protect her from all evil. I pray for Glenn as he studies for his big test. Please give him recall of all that he has learned. Protect him also from evil, Lord and keep him safe. Help him as he begins his job search to find a job where he can be happy. Please be with Lauren also as she is finishing up her classes and practicum. Help me to be a good mother-in-law to her. Please be with her mom as she faces some health issues. Please bless Mark and fill him with Your joy this day. Lord, as always, it sounds like a laundry list. Thank you that you are God and that you hear our prayers - no matter how long they are; no matter how poorly worded they are. Thank you that you are already at work in all of these places and in places I haven't even thought to mention.

Now about today, Lord. Please give words to our preacher. Please guide him through the sermon. Please fill our church building with your love and grace and the power of your holy spirit so that we might only breathe in to experience you.

Forgive me of my sins, Lord. I'm sure there are many :-) Guide me as I facilitate the lesson today and open our hearts and minds as we learn about our Christian brothers and sisters and their beliefs. Bind our class together and help us to be one. Help us to be your hands and feet wherever we go.

I love you, God and I praise your name. I see the sunshine and I hear the birds singing and I give you thanks. I ask that you help me to "so order" my time that I'm productive for you and once again, Lord, I say, "as you wish today. . . as you wish!"

In your holy name I pray,

Friday, June 25, 2010


Achoo! Achoo! That is the sound that I make . . .quite often. I was diagnosed with allergies for the first time when I was about 20 years old . . .and now I'm 52. I went to an allergist about a month ago. One of the first tests they did was a lung function test and I didn't pass. I'm one of those folks who always wants the best score . . .so not passing was not a good thing. She prescribed an inhaler and we set up the second appointment which would include new allergy tests. I arrived at her office a few minutes before 3:00 yesterday. First thing . . .lung function test. Once again, I didn't pass. So they gave me an inhaler sample and I had to take two puffs . . .and wait. Then they started the allergy testing. It has certainly changed since the first time I was tested 20+ years ago. She had 4 trays with 10 "prickly" things sticking out of each tray. I had to take off my shirt and put on a hospital shirt (not a full gown . . just a shirt) and lay on my stomach on the exam table. The assistant then placed all four trays on my back at one time - 40 pricks!!!! I had to lie on my stomach for 20 minutes and then she came back in and measured the reactions. Oak Trees - knew that! Dust Mites - knew that! A little cat (not a lot!) and a little dog - actually knew that also! Then the doctor came back in and talked to me again and told me that she wanted to schedule an X-ray of my lungs. I'm going to be honest. The lung x-ray is freaking me out. My dad died of lung cancer and the doctor told me that my lung function is not good . . but I don't think she thinks it is asthma. So I'm scheduled for a lung x-ray this week. Then she decided to do 13 more individual tests. These tests show that I'm allergic to some other trees. She wants to wait to decide whether I need shots or not. I'm supposed to buy a cover for my mattress and a cover for my pillow and start using those immediately. I also have a different kind of inhaler that I'm supposed to use at night for a month. She wants to see me again in a month. I think I'll call my internist . . .

Anyway, I know that my posts are usually about fun things or about Sunday School lessons or fresh veggies . . .fun and pleasant things. I guess this is just a real post - a real post from a middle aged mom . . .who is a little bit scared. Oh and I forgot to tell you how long I was at the doctor's office. I was pulling out of their parking lot at 6:18 . . .over 3 hours. I'm so glad that I took a fun book by Mary Kay Andrews. I read a lot of pages in 3 hours :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beach vacation

Our family has been to Orange Beach/Gulf Shores almost every single year. Usually we rent three condos at Four Seasons and our family has one and Bill and Rebecca (Mark's brother and wife) usually stay with us. Sometimes my sister, Becky joins us. This year, due to the oil situation and other circumstances, we went without family. Our friends, Gary and Dona went with us. Instead of a week, we just stayed a few days. This is the scene from the pier looking down at "our" space on the beach. The sand is usually gloriously white . . .it is not white this summer. This was a common sight. This is a tractor pulling a trailer filled with workers. See those tiny orange spots? Those are the backs of safety vests. Each one of those is on a person. Each of those persons was transported to wherever clean-up was needed.

This beach usually has sun-bathers, etc. It is sadly empty.

I will admit that we found other fun things to do. Here is a picture of Mark sitting in a cute hand-painted chair. He agreed to go with me . . .after several refreshing beverages.

Those cute little chairs were on the lawn of this beautiful old house . . .which is the Orange Beach Art Center (or something like that -- now you know why he needed several refreshing beverages.) What we discovered was that this house was the original "Orange Beach Hotel." There was no road when the hotel was built and all the guests arrived by boat. Isn't that cool?
We also ate at our favorite restaurant. We actually ate there twice. What is our favorite restaurant at the beach? The Original Oyster House!! I enjoyed shrimp two different times!
Gary does not have a beam of light shining from his head. The blinds were drawn against the bright glare and that one blind had a teeny tiny gap . . .so Gary looks like he has a vertical halo!!
We spent a lot of time walking up and down the pier looking at fish.

I told Gary that he looked like a monkey getting ready to swing from the bars. I can't believe how much Gary's sons look like him - the resemblance really shows up in this picture. I'm not sure what Dona is doing - probably trying to get out of the picture.
This picture was taken at Zeke's Marina. We were going to eat at the Shrimp Basket because someone had recommended it. Imagine our surprise as we turned into the parking lot and saw the sign for Wolf Bay Lodge. We used to eat at the "old" restaurant all the time and it was blown (or washed?) away in the last hurricane. Needless to say, we went to Wolf Bay Lodge.

I love this next picture. A thunderstorm had rumbled through about an hour before this and I just happened to catch the light just right.
While we were walking around the docks at Zeke's Marina, we saw these guys taking this boat out of the water. It was an amazing process to watch.

This picture is for all of our "boat owning" friends. There are three 350's on the back of this boat. The girl working at the marina said that this boat would "haul ass." Then she said, "Excuse my language." Her t-shirt said, "I bait my own hooks."

Here we are on our last morning at the beach. You see those gorgeous blue skies behind us? It was another beautiful day at the beach. . .with a little oil.
Boy, these pictures are more out of order than my last post!! I took this picture because I wanted you to see how few people were on the beach. That is Mark sitting on the beach because he said, "I want to put my toes in the sand." That makes me think of the Zac Brown Band song . . .you know the one. During past summers, this section of chairs is all rented and there are several families (including ours) camped out on the sand. Mark is literally the only person on the beach.

I can be happy most anywhere there is sunshine and a book. I read the newest Miss Julia book and loved it just like I've loved her other books.
I even bought new beach flip flops this year. Aren't they cute? (I know this a random post!)

This pier is usually filled with fishermen and rods and coolers. Once again, Mark is the lone inhabitant.

This is my second favorite picture of our vacation. It is a sad picture, though. I'm looking through the gate . . .down an empty pier. There should be men and women fishing and spouses bringing early morning coffee to the fishermen. There should be folks casting big fishing rods and catching fish.

I hate to end with my sad picture . . . .so I'll end with joyful words. The worst day at the beach is still better than the best day anywhere else :-) We had a nice vacation. We laughed a lot. We love to laugh so that was good. We probably drank too much. I know we ate too much. We sat in the sun and soaked up some much needed Vitamin D. We even ate ice cream cones. Joy! Yes, Joy!!


These pictures are totally out of order . . .but rather than rearrange, I'll just "narrate." My birthday was on a Monday this year and we were supposed to be at the beach . . .but due to oil, we decided to work on Monday and Tuesday and then go to the beach on Wednesday. I arrived at work to find surprises in my office. I am so blessed to work in such a wonderful place surrounded by friends. Kristi gave me this really cute tote bag. I carried it to the beach and have been carrying it around every day since. Donna gave me a really cute lunch bag. It also has an "L" monogram. Most of us bring our lunch so I know that I will use it often. Ann gave me a gift card . . .and I will be spending it soon. I'm excited about Mary's gift - subscriptions to not one but TWO magazines!! Amy bought my lunch on Tuesday and it was yummy - burger and fries from Sam's in Homewood. I love their burgers but rarely eat them because there are at least a million Weight Watchers points in one!! Phella came to the office on my birthday and brought lunch and pie and another great gift. I received little surprises all day long and it was so much fun. Isn't it amazing that we are never too old to enjoy birthday surprises?
These are my presents at home. Let's see . . .really cute beach picture frame from Gary and Dona!! See that black and white fabric in the right hand corner? That is a wonderful apron from my sister-in-law, Susie. The bright fabric in the left corner is a great handmade beach/tote bag from my sister, Glenine. (remember my other sister, Becky? She gave me a skirt and top when I visited with her in Houston in April). My gifts from Mark were wonderful - gift certificate to Talbots and a gift certificate for a pedicure. As I type this, I realize how loved and spoiled I am!!

We always celebrate all birthdays on Sunday. Doesn't matter whether your birthday is on a Monday or a Friday, we celebrate on Sunday. I requested German Chocolate Cake. My mother-in-law makes a killer German Chocolate Cake. The filling between layers is the traditional yummy coconut filling. Then she makes this fudge icing. Delicious!!

Being a middle-aged mom doesn't mean that I have to stop celebrating. Instead, I think each birthday is more special than the one before!!


I love tomatoes! For years, we tried to grow some in our backyard but our spot didn't receive enough sunshine! This year, we are trying the container approach. So far so good. I can't wait to pick the first ripe tomato and have a bacon and tomato sandwich!

Supper club

We have been in the same supper club forever . . .really, it seems like we have been together forever. We meet once a month and there are six couples so we only have to host twice a year. The host provides the main dish and everyone else brings the sides. Kim and Dave cooked a wonderful flank steak. It was yummy! We had two appetizers - Bonnie brought a delicious Mexican layered dip and I made a spinach/artichoke dip. Our problem is that we all eat so many appetizers because they are always yummy. We had salad and roasted veggies and an incredible cake. Here are two of the guys . . .literally . . .Gary and Guy. Here is part of the crew - Bonnie, Kim, Phella and Mark.

Here is Dave. . . .and here is Laura!

Mark and I count our friends as one of our biggest blessings!!

more of my guys

Another day of fishing on THE LAKE. Once again, I don't think it is fishing . . .I think it is "catching." I love these guys!

Lingerie Shower

This is the season of showers! A few weeks ago, I helped host a baby shower and showed you our fun "pink explosion." These decorations take on a little different "pink" tone. This is a lingerie shower hosted by our daughter and the other bridesmaids for Lauren W. I made a garland for the mantle . . .not of cute baby onesies but of lingerie!! Once again, I used my silhouette SD machine. It sure is a handy tool! Laura did the decorating. She found these giant "diamonds." They are so cute. You can see that this tulle is not "baby shower pink." There is an under layer of black.

Laura ordered the cake from a local bakery - Savage's. I think it is pretty cute! There was cake left over and there was one "bosom" on a paper plate and I asked Mark to carry it to work with him. Since I work in a church, I think I would have felt a little silly because even sitting by itself on a plate, it was obvious that it was a bosom.

Here is the table all decorated. Laura did a great job!

Sorry, Mark and I weren't invited so I have no pictures of the actual shower. Guess that is what happens when you become middle-aged parents!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Guys & Fishing

This is THE LAKE. Yes, I meant to capitalize those two words. Mark has wanted a lake for as long as I can remember and finally his dream was realized a year or so ago. This lake has been dreamed about and talked about for years and years. After much planning and after much dirt and tree moving by some unbelievable dirt moving machines, Mark has a lake on his family farm. The first picture is the lake on a gorgeous day. The sky is blue, the water is blue, the trees are reflected in the water. Beautiful!! But the next picture shows a day that is even more beautiful to Mark and Glenn - this picture shows a beautiful day of fishing. Here is Glenn - I actually think they were "catching" last Monday - not just fishing!

Here is Mark. The fish are still small so they catch them and throw them back. . . .so they can grow into BIIIIGGG fish!!
This blog is about my two guys whom I love much . . . .these are two guys who LOVE to fish. This is a blog about happy men!!