Thursday, October 31, 2013

One of THE MOST interesting history lessons EVER!!

Today is the perfect day to tell you about our Sunday afternoon! Talking about a cemetery on Halloween seems just right!!  Our friend, Laura, asked us if we wanted to go with them to Oak Hill Cemetery on Sunday afternoon for a tour.   I remembered her telling us all about it last year and it sounded so interesting so we said, "YES."  I actually said yes even before I asked Mark.  I figured I could go alone if he wasn't interested.

We had our Celebration Sunday at church on Sunday morning and then went to Sunday School . . .and then scurried home to eat a bite of lunch and change our clothes.  (those of you who know that we usually eat with my mother-in-law . . .we were all supposed to eat at the church . . .she had the flu . . .)  After a quick trip home, we drove downtown to the cemetery.  Oak Hill is the oldest cemetery here . . .Oak Hill was established at the founding of Birmingham in 1871. 

There are lovely trees all throughout.  There are magnolia trees with huge roots which have caused a tremendous amount of damage to tombs and gravestones.  Now it is against the law (I think that is right) to plant Magnolia trees in a cemetery (at least in Alabama).

I took my "real" camera and only took the big lens with me.  I wanted to play and practice . . . and I did both.  I'm only showing you a few of the bajillion pictures that I snapped on Sunday afternoon.
The gates to the cemetery are so pretty . . .you can tell that it is downtown . . .the downtown streets surround the cemetery.
Here is our group waiting for the tour to begin.  I don't have a picture of me . . .but I was the smart one.  I had on shorts!!!  It was a lovely day. 
Here is our  tour guide . . .his name was Wolfgang - NO KIDDING!!!  Really!!  I know you don't believe me but it really is his name!!
He is hiding his plastic water bottle behind him . . .because of course, they didn't have water bottles back in the 1800's.
There are people dressed as many of the "occupants" of the cemetery.  As we arrived at each grave site, they told us "their" story and a little about the history of the time, etc.  Each person had done tons of research and knew all sorts of interesting facts about their "occupant."
Our tour guide also shared some interesting facts with us along the way.  This is a Victorian child's grave.  They made them to look almost like a "cradle" . . .see how the border is shaped in a "cradle" shape?  There were quite a few graves that were small.  Life was a lot tougher back then.
This lady told us a really interesting story.  Her name was Emma Hawes.  Her husband, Richard, murdered her and their two daughters . . .in order to marry someone else.  He spared the life of their young son by sending him to relatives in Atlanta.  There is an interesting article about the murders, the riot and the trial.
Here we have Charles Linn and John Milner.  They were quite entertaining.  One of them even handed out Reese cups (my all time favorite) so that we would say that his story was best.
Mark and I both thought that Charles Linn (Linn Park in downtown is named after his family) had an interesting story.   He was born in Finland and he stowed away beneath the deck of a ship when he was about six years old.  He then stayed on as a cabin boy (for a LONG time!!) and by the time he was 24, he had been around the world three times. 
John Milner (on the left . . .also the giver of Reese Cups) went to California to find gold.  He and his brothers were shipwrecked three times on their way back to the south.  He moved to Alabama and was an integral part of the railroads in Birmingham.  Of course, I loved that part because Mr. Milner became a train engineer also . . .and my daddy was a train engineer for the L & N Railroad.
I think these two guys are surely aspiring actors . . .or they have done this before.  They were good!
Mr. Linn spent some time telling us about his tomb.  There is a key on the inside . . .no key remains for the outside . . .which is the way Mr. Linn wanted it.  When "the rapture" comes, he wants to be able to unlock his door and step out!  Now that is cool, people.
The leaves started changing colors on Sunday . . .a few trees started a few days before.  I just had to snap this photo because the tree was so beautiful.  (as an FYI - today is windy and gray . . .and the leaves are falling quickly . . .and they have all changed colors!!)
There is some really cool architecture in the cemetery.  The monuments and stone work are pretty amazing.  There has been a large amount of vandalism . . .and also weather damage.  Someone in our group asked why the statues, etc. have not been repaired . . .our tour guide said they can't drill holes, etc. without risk of making the damage worse.
Gorgeous details on some of the monuments, crosses, stones, etc.  Our tour guide told us if we had to step over someone's grave, we should say, "Excuse me."  I loved that!!
This is one of my all time favorite characters.  Meet Madam Lou.  Yes, I do indeed mean "Madam" . . .and now I know why fourth avenue was always called the "red light district."  It really was!  Her brothel was on fourth avenue at one point.  There was a cholera epidemic in 1873 in Birmingham that killed lots and lots of people.  Madam Lou Wooster and her "girls" remained behind when others fled the city and turned the brothel into a hospital where they cared for the sick.
Madam Lou also told us that her life was the one who Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" character Belle Watling, the prostitute with a heart of gold, was based on.  There are almost always fresh flowers on her grave . . . still today.  Even more importantly, there is an actual award still given today.  I got this info from the UAB Public Health page --
The Lou Wooster Public Health Hero Award is presented annually to recognize individuals, groups, or organizations who are unconventional public health hero. The award is named in honor of Lou Wooster, the 19th century Birmingham madam who risked her own death by staying in the city to care for the sick and dying during the 1873 cholera epidemic. Her courage went a long way toward assuring there was a Birmingham for the leadership to come back to. When she died in May 1913, hundreds of empty black carriages drove by the funeral home to pay respects to a local hero. Recipients are driven by a horse drawn carriage from the School of Public Health to Oak Hill Cemetery where Lou Wooster is buried.
I've lived in this city all of my life . . .which is quite a few years . . .and I didn't know this piece of info.  I had such a good time - can you tell???
I cannot remember the name of this couple.  I think I saved one of the programs but who knows where it is at this moment.  I do know this . . .they were the first couple to live at "The Grove" which is now Arlington (an antebellum home here in town).
I was lagging behind looking for photo opps . . .just had to shoot this one - Allen and Mark wearing their baseball hats so their heads wouldn't get sunburned!
Just a picture of another interesting cross.
This lady is the widow of one of the two Birmingham police officers (I can't remember which one!!)killed in the line of duty.  They were the FIRST Birmingham police officers killed in the line of duty in 1901.
 Several men (criminals!) used nitroglycerin to blow up a safe at Standard Oil in order to steal the money.  The two policemen went to try to capture them and they were killed. 
I'm just totally blank on this lady's name . . .she also had something to do with the Grove (Arlington) -- maybe she and her husband were actually the first ones to live there . . .there must have been a connection between this lady and the couple up above.
This grave  holds a politician of some sort . . .and he loved his signature so much that he wanted it on his tombstone/grave marker. 
This was as we were exiting the cemetery.  I thought these folks were "characters" . . .but they weren't . . .they were dressed this way to go on the tour.  Can anyone tell me what the guy is with the cup on his head?  A beer pong cup, perhaps?  He is dressed in a fancy suit.
Oh - I forgot to tell you about this lady.  She was a SURVIVOR of the titanic.  I had no idea that any of those folks lived in Birmingham either!!  She wouldn't get into the lifeboat without her brother!!!  They were both saved on the very last lifeboat.  He was able to go with her because they needed a man who could help row the boat!!!
If you are still with me, there were a couple of other interesting things - there was a potter's field where many of the cholera victims were buried . . .and now they are buried really really really deep - there is about 20 feet of dirt that got dumped on their graves at some point.
There is also a section for soldiers -- both sides!!  I believe they told us that more than 200 Confederate soldiers and about 100 Union soldiers are buried at Oak Hill . . .they separated them though!!
So thanks for hanging out with me this afternoon to hear about our cemetery tour.  It truly was one of the most interesting history lessons ever.
Have you experienced some great entertainment lately?  good movie?  good "field trip" . . .like our cemetery tour?  good play?  I would love to hear about it!
Our tour guide also does a Ghost Walk tour through downtown Birmingham . . .and I saw an ad for a Zombie night at Oak Hill . . . .ooooooooohhhhhhh!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Do unto others . . .

Luke 6:31 -- Do to others as you would have them do to you. I've heard that all of my life. I grew up in a small church (compared to where I am now . . .but it was a decent sized church!) of another denomination.  I remember giving money to two different missionary funds at different times of the year . . .and I remember a box in a hallway where you could drop off eyeglasses . . .but I don't remember many "hands on" mission projects.  (if I have any readers from that church . . .and you have memories of some projects, please let me know -- I may have just forgotten in my old age).  I don't think we did many though because I remember when I joined the United Methodist Church, I was amazed at all of the ministry/mission opportunities.  I was amazed at how many ways there are to be the hands and feet of Jesus on earth.

So . . .with that in mind, we try to help our young adult group connect with missions and ministry.  After we complete a study, we have a mission night and a guest speaker night.  Most of our guest speakers have been connected with the various ministries. 

We had mission night two weeks ago and had a GREAT CROWD that night.  I don't even remember what I cooked and served for dinner (but of course, I could tell you if I pulled up my spreadsheet - yes, I have a Tuesday night spreadsheet of menus, etc.).  I CAN TELL you about the three mission projects that we worked on. 

Here is a picture of some of our young adults while they were eating dinner in the kitchen.

Project number one - we do this project almost every time.  There is a local United Methodist Mission congregation here in town -- Church of the Reconciler.  The pastor at Church of the Reconciler is Rev. Matt Lacey and he grew up at Trinity so that is such a cool connection.  What is this project??  We make 100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and put them in individual bags.  We put peanut butter on both of the insides of the bread so that the jelly doesn't go through the bread and make the sandwich soggy.  How does the Church of the Reconciler use these sandwiches?  As I understand it, they feed everyone a meal on Sunday through Friday.  There is no lunch on Saturday so they send a PB&J with the homeless folks so they will have something to eat.

In this picture, it looks like Wyatt is studying the peanut butter.  They had an assembly line all worked out.  As soon as dinner is over, we take away the centerpiece from the dining room table and cover the table with a plastic cloth.  A plastic cloth makes for easy clean up!!!  I NEVER purchase the right amount of PB&J.  I can't quite get the ratio down right.  I've tried purchasing enough for the "serving sizes" on the sides of the jars but that is never right either!!

The group at this table was assembling hygiene kits for Church of the Reconciler.  The John Wesley Sunday School class (the class that Mark and I attend) is so faithful to help the young adults with the supplies.  The young adults have the hands and are willing to take the time to make the kits but most of them do not have a lot of disposable income yet.  Many in our Sunday School class are willing to give money or purchase some supplies to help out.    The kits contain Hotel-size hygiene items- Twice a week they offer “hygiene packs” to the community consisting of various items: shampoo, soap, safety razors, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and other items.  This ensures that our community stays as clean as they can if they are on the streets, and presentable if they are lucky enough to get a job interview. (that little blurb was from their website!)  We've been told that the demand is so great for these hygiene kits that they can't keep them in stock.  They even use them as rewards for good behavior.

The kitchen table housed project number three.  This group was assembling baggies of sunflower seed kernels with a cute notecard.  (a copy of the notecard is below . . .on my computer screen)  These baggies were for an apartment complex where people with  mental illnesses live.  Many of them are diabetic so we don't make sweet treats for them.  I heard today that the folks LOVED them.  We are the only group that has ever made anything for this group of people.  We just don't know enough about mental illnesses (though our group now knows much more because of our guest speaker last week).

The seeds were to be eaten as a treat . . .but the play on the word "seed" went well with the idea.

I had purchased the supplies for a fourth project but passed that project along to another young adult group.  They were not able to complete the project so some of us in the church office finished them.  I purchased boxes of microwave popcorn at Target and a box of clear plastic gloves and a couple of bags of Brach Candy Corn.  Instructions are easy - pop popcorn.  Put a piece of candy corn in the bottom of each finger (as a fingernail).  Fill glove with popcorn.  Tie a knot in the top.  We made 75 of these hands for Community Church Without Walls.  Every Wednesday night at 6PM, Community Church without Walls welcomes 40-50 youth from the West End neighborhood of Birmingham for dinner and Bible study.  The John Wesley Sunday School class provides dinner for this group (which has now grown to 75 - 100 people - that sentence above was from the UMC conference website) of people on the fourth Wednesday of the even months.  It takes about 200 chicken fingers and a couple of big pans of mac and cheese and other stuff to feed them.  The young adults have made little treats for the children.  Many of these children have never had homemade cookies with icing (last year's Halloween project) or something as silly as a popcorn hand.   I know that treats aren't necessary.  I know that treats aren't going to end poverty.  I know that treats aren't the answer to a lot of problems BUT I DO KNOW . . .did I get your attention?  I do know that a homemade treat shows love and LOVE - especially the LOVE OF CHRIST can solve a whole lot of problems!!!

So . . .this might look like a silly popcorn hand . . .but the more I think about it, this silly popcorn hand was made . . .by someone who was in the process of being the hands of Jesus Christ!  That is a good thing, folks.  That is a good thing!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


We don't have a lake house or a beach house . . .actually, I guess we do have a "lake house" . . .in Wadley at the farm.  There is an old farm house . . . and there is a lake.  That old farmhouse needs lots of work.
Both Mark and I love the lake and the beach.  I love the sunshine.  I crave sunshine.  I desperately need sunshine.
We had planned our yearly beach trip with Hayden and Jan and Guy and Phella . . .but we just couldn't get it to work for all of us this year.  Phella offered their lakehouse and Mark and I jumped at the opportunity.
We went down for a weekend earlier this month and the weather was totally spectacular.  We had blue skies and sunshine and it was perfect.  We all went down on Friday.  We went for a long boat ride and I could actually feel my body "sucking" in some much needed sunshine.  I think I had my eyes closed for a large portion of the ride.  The wind was whipping through our hair and there was a slight nip in the air BUT THE SUN WAS SHINING!!!
We came back to the house and ate dinner.  Mark had arrived with fish from our lake and a fryer . . . and a bottle of oil . . .and all the stuff needed to fry fish.  We had some hashbrown casserole in the freezer and we also took some hushpuppies and some jalapeno poppers.  It was a good dinner and I'm sure we ate too much.
After dinner, Guy made a fire in the firepit and we enjoyed sitting around and chatting.  We had great plans to watch a movie . . .but we were all too tired.

This is the view from their deck.  I love that little boat house - sort of in the middle of the picture (to the left).

Guy and Phella got out the paddle boards - I think this was on Saturday.  It warmed up nicely after a very cool (jacket needed for early fishermen) morning.

Mark spent a large amount of time in one of their kayaks.  He paddled around all around.  He made these "fish catchers" by cutting up a swim noodle into short sections.  He then tied line and a hook on them.  He placed them all around on Friday night.  Guy and Mark got up early and went around to check on them on Saturday morning and lo and behold, they caught big catfish.

Here is Mark with one of his fish.  We've been to their lakehouse many times but Mark has never caught any fish - he was excited to finally catch some fish there!!

So . . .since they caught more fish, Mark cleaned them and fried some more fish for lunch.  I didn't eat fried fish for lunch BUT I did taste it.  It was actually very good.  I've been trying not to eat so much fried food . . .my gallbladder or something inside of me hasn't been very happy lately.  I don't even remember what I ate . . .grapes and cheese log, I think!!

Mark was a happy man - proud to show off his catch.  He and Guy made a good team!!

On Saturday evening, we had cocktail hour on the dock.  Phella arrived at the lake with her blender (like Mark - have appliance . . .will travel - hahahaha!).  We enjoyed some refreshing beverages and then ate homemade Mexican food for dinner.

I needed that mini vacation. We drove on back to Birmingham later in the evening because Mark had to get up really early on Sunday because he was in charge of making coffee at church.  We decided it would be better to go on home on Saturday night.  Guy and Phella spent Saturday night at the lake and drove back in to church on Sunday morning.  We thought about staying . . .but decided we better head on back.

I'm hoping that the sunshine from that weekend will hold me for a while.  Do you need sunshine like I do?  So far, I've been very blessed - good skin, tans easily without burning (with 15 sunscreen).  The dermatologist tells us that our family has good skin - hopefully, we won't have problems with skin cancer.  I wish we could just stay out in the sun and soak it all up and not have to worry about skin cancer.

It was a really good mini vacation . . .time spent with the best of friends . . .it was the last HURRAH of SUMMER . . .in October :-)  That is the beauty of living in the south!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

MMMMMMM Good - Savory White Turkey Chili . . .

Satisfying, Sumptuous, Savory Saturdays

The weather in Alabama finally feels like fall.  We never know what kind of weather we are going to have . . .if you don't like the weather today, odds are that tomorrow . . .or at least by the next day, it will be different.  I guess we live just close enough (4 hours) from the coast . . .and somewhere in the jet stream (can you tell I know a WHOLE LOT about weather??) that we have mild fall weather.  Sometimes it seems like we have two seasons here - Hot . . .and not so hot!  This week we have had some of those days with some real nip.  Last  night we even had a frost warning for our county . . .several hours at or below freezing.  We just never know . . .odds are good that I will have on shorts on Thanksgiving day.  The whole point about that incredibly long monologue about weather -- it has been cool enough to make soups and chili.  I love soups and chili.  I'm so hot natured that you would think that I wouldn't like hot food . . .but I do!!

Last Sunday night, I put a whole turkey breast in the crockpot and cooked it so that we could have some meat to eat on this week.  We also served honeybaked Turkey Breast (the real kind!) to the young adults on Tuesday night.  I realized that we had just enough honeybaked Turkey leftovers for a couple of meal and didn't want the other meat to go to waste.  On Thursday morning before I went to work, I threw a few things into the crockpot before work and when we came home . . .yummy supper!

The recipe is really for White Chicken Chili . . .but it was really good with turkey leftovers!!!!  Really good!!  So . . .ingredients are:

White TURKEY chili

chopped onions (a small to medium one chopped - or see my notes in recipe)
chopped turkey (or chopped chicken - whatever you have - I used all the left-overs - you could even use a rotisserie chicken)
1 can rotel - I used original
2 cans chicken broth
one Mason Jar of turkey broth (saved in refrigerator from cooked turkey earlier in week - this is optional -- I just had it on hand . . .and it was so rich and flavorful)
2 (or three) cans navy beans (I do not drain my beans - I like to use the juice in most of my soups)
a tsp or so of cumin

I sprayed the crockpot with Pam and added the chopped onions and chopped/shredded chicken.  I am going to be honest - I had a container of pre-chopped onions from the produce department and I used those - equivalent to a small to medium sized onion.  You could also use frozen chopped onions or a whole onion that you chopped yourself.

Here are all the pretty ingredients (minus a few) - what can I say?  It was really early in the morning and I have not been getting enough sleep.  Look at the color of that rich turkey broth.  You can see a small amount of fat on top.  I took a spoon and scooped the fat from the top and didn't put the fat in the crockpot.

Here is the turkey . . .I just dumped it out on a paper plate and chopped and shredded it. It does not have to be in uniform pieces, etc. 

This is what it looked like after everything was in the crockpot.  The rotel adds flavor and a little color but does not make it a "red" soup/chili.

I realized that I forgot to add some cumin so the cute little jar had his picture snapped all by himself.  I love cumin.  It is one of my favorite spices.  I need to google "difference between herbs and spices" - I think cumin is a spice  . . .

When we got home from work . . .it was great . . .because when you came in through the basement door . . .you could smell supper.  That is a comforting smell - something cooking after a long day.  I told Mark that I wished we had some cornbread but I want to make any.  We both remembered that there was a bag of Gourmet (yes! Gourmet!!!) Hush Puppies in the freezer.  Mark grabbed those and tossed them to me and we popped those into the oven - viola' (is that how you spell that??) -- instant cornbread . . .almost.  The  hushpuppies were a great addition to our White Turkey Chili.  My daddy used to cook hushpuppies all the time as his "bread of choice" after my momma died.  I always feel a sweet connection to him when I do something . . .and then remember that he did that, too!
This recipe is easy to throw into the crockpot on low all day or in a regular pot on your stovetop for an hour or two.  I will tell you that because I added that extra broth . . .the chili was not quite as thick as I like it.  I was standing looking into the pantry looking for a "thickener" . . .I didn't like anything I had on hand.  I spotted a can of cream of chicken soup and thought - what the heck - why not try it?  I opened it up and plopped it into the crockpot and turned the crockpot on high.  I got out my whisk and whisked the soup into the mixture and let it continue to cook while we baked the hushpuppies, etc.  It really added some much needed body to the chili.  I don't know if I would add it up front next time . . .probably not.  I don't think you would have the problem if you only used the two cans of broth.
I would love for you to link up and share a recipe.  My friend, Gayle, said she would share a recipe but didn't know how to do it on the blog.  I'll have to get one from her and share with y'all - she is a good cook . . .she makes great pimento and cheese among other things!!
So . . .link up and share.  I want to try Robin's date cake from last week but haven't been to the store yet.  It would have been a great addition to our White Turkey chili and hushpuppies!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Refueling accomplished here

Back in September, we took a trip to the Alabama coast with our son and daughter-in-law.  It was a MUCH needed vacation . . .and time of refueling.
(You can stop at this point if you want . . .family vacation picture overload . . .or you can stay and visit - I would love to share with you!!)
Mark and Glenn spent much time on the pier fishing . . .and catching . . .and cleaning fish.

That is one clean fish . . .hee hee!  Always makes me think of my nephew, Thomas, when he was a little boy.  He thought Uncle Mark was "cleaning" the fish . . .as in bathing them . . .and throwing them back to their mamas!!  We don't have catch and release men in our family - we have catch and eat folks.

I love getting up and walking out on the pier early in the morning.  The guys are out fishing and the sun rise is always so beautiful.

I was playing with my "big" camera lens . . .this shot of the pier was taken from our condo balcony . . .and it was quite a distance.  You can see Mark and Glenn out on the end of the pier.

I love this shot of the sea oats . . .I was playing with the camera again.  I was on vacation - figured I might as well PLAY!!!  I think it is almost worthy of printing on a canvas.

I love this shot also - you can see his feathers blowing in the wind!!!

Lauren and I would walk out to the end of the pier often and visit with the guys and check out the action.  You can see that Lauren has a book . . .she and I read a lot!!!  Good vacation!!!

Speaking of being out on the pier early in the morning . . .one morning, a wife (not this one nor Lauren), arrived at the end of the pier with breakfast for her husband.  It was early - not long after sunrise . . .and his breakfast was some sort of sandwich wrapped in foil . . .and BEER.  Now I'm not a beer drinker in the first place, but I cannot fathom drinking it for breakfast!!!

More shots as I played with the camera.

This is the very first photo I snapped on vacation . . .this was in our condo.  I think our "homeowner" was crafty because there were several homemade items in the condo.

This is embarrassing . . .but funny . . .this was our fridge at the beginning of the week.  Everything in the fridge is liquid (except for that baggie next to the diet pepsis - smoked sausage that Mark brought from home.)  None of our folks were drinking beer for breakfast . . . .but we did consume some liquids during our week of vacation.

I read this book . . . and LOVED it . . and highly recommend it.  Go out and buy it right now. . . .for many reasons.  1)  It is a good book  2)  It made me laugh and cry  3)  It is written by an author from Alabama  4)  The author lives in Birmingham (or at least teaches school in Birmingham - I have no idea where she actually "lives" . . .I haven't stalked her or anything!!)  5)  Support local!!

This is where we spent the most time.  We could not have ordered better weather.  It was magnificent - sunny skies; a breeze to keep the flies away (they can be horrible in September); warm sunshine - the kind you can feel all the way down into your bones . . .I was DESPERATE for some sunshine.

Yeah . . this cup tells its own story.  No more words needed.

When Glenn and Mark weren't fishing or sitting on the beach, they were frying fish.  Several times we ate fish . . .30 minutes out of the water.  I'm not a big fish eater but you CAN'T BEAT it when it is this fresh!!

I always take a project to the beach.  Does anyone else do that?  I can't stand to be totally inactive.  Over the years, I have dragged scrapbooking supplies to the beach . . .and one year, I organized all my recipes into a giant binder.  This year, I worked on the prayer vigil poster for a men's Emmaus Walk that was coming up.  The Lay Director's verse was, "Create in me a clean heart O God."  I cut out all the letters and packed them in a baggie.  During the week, I was able to complete everything except the actual names of folks praying.  I typed those when we got home and attached them.

Here is the finished poster -- a friend was kind enough to deliver it to camp for me because we had a death in the family the week of the actual walk. . .made my life a little easier.

No trip to the beach is complete without a trip (or two) to the Original Oyster House.  On my first trip (I was with Mark), we split an order of shrimp . . .and something else but for the life of me, I cannot remember what!!!  Lauren and I ate there on another day when we were out shopping around.  Just let me say that I LOVE shrimp.

It was a good vacation - much needed time of rest and refueling.  I told Mark that I was desperate for sleep.  When you are married to a fisherman . . .they get up at midnight sometimes to go fishing . . .or at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m.  We had a three bedroom condo and I told Mark that I was sleeping in the third bedroom so I could rest!!!  Some of our friends have laughed at us but that just goes to show how tired I have been this fall.
I'm so thankful that I am married to . . .and gave birth to two others . . .and one of those married another . . ..beach lover.  I would be so sad if we had to spend our vacations somewhere without lots of sunshine.