Friday, November 21, 2014

FULL . . .OR . . .EMPTY

I was thinking today about how much food MOST of us will consume over the next few days.  In our Tuesday night small group, we played Halloween trivia back in October and this week, we played Thanksgiving Trivia (as our ice breakers).  I can't remember the actual numbers, but the amount of chocolate consumed in October and the amount of turkey consumed in November would blow your mind. (ok - had to look it up -- in 2011, 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the US (all year) -- we eat on an average of 46 MILLION turkeys on Thanksgiving day ALONE!!)  (Americans purchase 600 million pounds of candy per year for Halloween . . .I would believe that after our 800 trick or treaters!!)  My mother-in-law buys a 24 pound turkey every year for Thanksgiving!!  I have a picture of our turkey from last year - it was huge!  I would like to show you but for some reason, I cannot get the picture from my phone to my computer. (wonder if German Chocolate Cake - homemade - counts in that chocolate consumed at Halloween???)

We are a people who love to eat . . .and we (talking about our family here) have enough money to purchase the foods we want and the transportation to drive ourselves to the store or the farmer's market.  We also have multiple grocery/market/combo stores within easy driving distance to our home.  I'm certainly not bragging about this.  As a matter of fact, I'm humbled by this.  During November, I've been writing thank you's to God every morning.  It is amazing how our attitudes can and will change after saying thank you for multiple things each day.  We can even get fresh vegetables year round!

So where am I going with this?  Are we not serving turkey this year?  Yes, we are - probably another 24 pounder + a 12 pounder that Mark and I purchased for our neighbor to fry for us.  Fried turkey? Yes, thank you!!

A picture just arrived in my inbox . . .yes, it is!  Mr. Turkey, himself! . . .No . . .not Mr. Turkey but a platter of pie slices . . .lots of pies.  Mark's momma usually makes 7 different pies.  Mark wants a slice of six of those pies (he doesn't like pecan - yes, he is a southern boy.  I don't know what happened to him)

He's here . . .it took over 20 minutes for a picture to move from my phone (which is sitting 3 inches from my computer) to get to my computer.  That is just weird.  Here is Mr. 24 pounder himself in all his glory . . ..drum roll, please.  Golden brown on the outside . . .moist and juicy inside!

This is where I'm going -- there are a lot of folks who do without good food during much of the year. Hopefully, they will go to one of the local shelters on Thanksgiving day and have a meal just as lovely as the one we will be eating at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday night.  But what about those other days?

We are having a Community Wide Thanksgiving service at our church - Trinity UMC - 1400 Oxmoor Road Homewood, AL 35209 - on Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m.  We will be collecting non-perishable food items for Greater Birmingham Ministries.  First -- a quick commercial: we would love for you to come and join us.  Rev. Brian Erickson will be preaching and it will be GREAT.  This man is a man of God and he can PREACH.  There will be great music.  Our Sanctuary choir and the choir from Dawson Baptist will combine.  You can read about it here.   But DID YOU HEAR ME? We will be collecting non-perishable food items for Greater Birmingham Ministries.  This morning, I called GBM and asked if she could give a list of much needed items to me.

They need:
Cans or bags of dried beans (pinto, kidney, navy, black-eyed peas, etc.)
Cans of corn
Cans of sweet potatoes
Cans of English peas
Cans of tomatoes of any tomato product - sauce, paste, etc.
Plastic (remember that - plastic!!) jars of applesauce
Cans of good fruit - my note here -- packed in juice -- buy what you would buy for your kids - peaches, pears -- buy the good stuff!!
Canned meat - not just tuna, but chicken, salmon, ham
Canned soups - chili, good filling soups, ravioli, spaghetti, beef stew - something to fill up an empty belly
They need boxes of powdered milk or cans of evaporated milk
Boxes of pasta, rice,
Plastic jars of peanut butter and plastic jars of jelly
I read recently that you should always try to purchase plastic jars for food banks or cans or boxes (as much as possible) because they hold up better and food items don't get crushed.
They could use cereal - once again, buy good cereal - cold cereals, grits, oatmeal.
Staples such as flour, sugar, corn meal.

We have much for which we are thankful.  Oh goodness - we have MUCH for which we are thankful.  Be generous.  Do something nice for someone who doesn't have as much as you.

Now thank we all our God . . .with hearts and hands and voices!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hodgepodge Wednesday

A fellow female blogger . . .and a faithful United Methodist, I might add, has a fun hodgepodge today and I thought I would participate.  Check out her blog:
and actually, I just realized that she got the link from another blogger

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! So glad you joined the fun here today. It is freezing here in the deep South (very cold - brrrr!).  What better way to stay warm than participate in the weekly Hodge Podge.   

 1. What's something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?  oh my goodness . . .I think I take way too many things for granted -- clean drinking water is just one of many.  
2. The color brown-love it or no? What's your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?  hmmmm . . .not sure that I am a fan of brown.  I have a brown skirt that I wear often but that is about it.  I have lots of tan, taupe and oatmeal things in my home that I love from sofas and chairs to wall paint!!
3. What's something you're looking forward to today?
I'm so shallow . . .a new episode of Modern Family tonight!!  I'm also looking forward to a long weekend (next week - Thanksgiving).  I need a break to just "be at home."
4. The word 'feminism' is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you're a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?
I've never considered myself a feminist.  I don't think I have a problem with the word.  Heck - I am a strong southern women.  I do notice if a man doesn't open the door for me - or offer to help if I'm carrying something heavy.  I do actually feel very accomplished when I do something "strong" -- like yesterday, I wanted to cut a big branch and the only saw I could find was a hand saw and so while I cooked for Bible study, I also sawed (trying to make a Thanksgiving tree).  When I finally cut through the branch, I cheered for myself!  It was a thick branch!!
5. What's something you personally can't eat without making a mess?
I can't eat anything without making a mess.  I feel like every shirt or dress I own has a splash of something on the front.  My mother-in-law says that is what happens when you have "bosoms" - hahahahaha!
6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?
My friend, Donna, brought a honey bear to me and it is sitting in my office!!
7. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude.
Give thanks with a grateful heart . . . give thanks to the holy one . . .give thanks because he's given Jesus Christ, his son. . . .I also love the old hymn, "Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices . . ."
8.  Insert your own random question here.

Next week is big family meal or small intimate one?  
I'm going to answer her question . . . .we have a fairly large one  . . .always at my mother-in-law's house -- always at 6 or 6:30 p.m. -- because she wants to light the candles on the table -- all the traditional foods - turkey and dressing and gravy (dressing and gravy are my all time favorite) and all the sides.  I'm making twice baked mashed potatoes and cranberry/apple casserole.  A neighbor also offered to fry a turkey for us, so we bought a turkey - heck - why not?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Birthday month

This month, my "babies" will have a birthday and they will be 28 years old.  How could that be?  Surely I am just 28 years old myself!!!  Actually, I was 28 years old when I gave birth to these two babies . . .and I was scared to death.  I remember that day (actually that "in the middle of the night") like it was just yesterday.

Our funny story from that night - and this is TRUE . . .Mark had a company car - seems like maybe it was a TBird.  My water had broken and it was not time - they were coming 6 weeks early!  Mark made me stand in the driveway and wait while he covered his seats with black plastic bags and then he made me sit on them on the way to the hospital so that I wouldn't ruin the company car.  Today I can laugh about it - not so much back then!!

Another funny story - our neighbor was a nurse practitioner and she had been over to visit earlier in the evening.  When my water broke . . .we weren't sure . . .so we called her!  In the middle of the night, we called our neighbor and woke her up to ask her if she thought my water had broken!

I stayed in the hospital with my babies for several days and I had the hardest time telling them apart (of course, I could tell them apart if I was changing their diaper).  I kept having to ask "who do I have? who am I holding?"  Of course, that only lasted a day or so and then I knew who they were by their cry and many other ways - in addition to looks.

It seems like they should still be little . . .or at least in kindergarten . . .or maybe college.  How could they possibly be grown ups?

They are indeed grown up and I am so proud of them.  This picture was taken several years ago but it was the only one in my computer.  I'm glad it was there because now I have not just two children but three!!

Where has the time gone? Faster . . .and faster . . .and faster :-)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

One very looooong post

I thought I would do a quick run down on our fall.  The main reason I'm recapping is because of my poor memory!!

So . . .we started off with a week long trip to Orange Beach and it was wonderful.  I felt like it was the first time that I had relaxed since I had been in the new job.  The weather was amazing.  I didn't do anything except sit in the sun, talk to my sista, hang out with the rest of the fam, read books and craft a little.  Heaven.  Happy place!!

Lauren caught a baby crab.  Tiny!!

It rained in the middle of the day at the first of the week, so we went to Doc's Seafood Shack and had some yummy seafood.

I loved spending time with Becky!

It was a fried food palooza!  Is that even a word?  I don't think so because my computer has underlined it in red . . .hmmm.

Sweet tea and pina coladas.  Makes sense to me!

 My goal was to read a novel, mystery, etc. every single day.  I didn't quite meet my goal but I came pretty close.  I think I talked too much!  Does that surprise anyone?

A pirate ship appeared on the horizon one day.  I trotted to the end of the pier to take pictures.  I was sort of hoping they would pull up close and say, "come aboard matey" or some other fun something or other.  They didn't.

We saw LOTS of BIG sharks.  People - you might want to think twice before getting in the water.  There were swarms of sharks around the pier at night.  Lots, people.  Lots!

Glenn practiced with the casting net.

Mark and Glenn caught fish and we picked up fresh shrimp . . and fried everything in sight - fried green beans, hush puppies, corn nuggets . . .we never eat fried food at home.

We sat on our balcony almost every night.  Heaven.  Yep.

Then we were back to the real world which included Magic City Miracle.  I blogged about making seed bombs last year.  This year, Mark and I manned the food drive bins at the Pig in Bluff Park.  I practiced my eye contact and "sales" skills that afternoon . . .and sweated a considerable amount.

 We've watched a lot of Auburn football - War Eagle!

We've hosted the young adults every Tuesday night.  This was the mission project night.

Just in case I've never said it - :-) - we love these young men and women.  They have become family to us!!

One of our favorite places in the new house . . .is the upstairs porch.  We have done a lot of "porch sitting" since we moved in.  Love it.  Yes - margarita.  It has been a stressful year.

We decorated . . .and I mean decorated . . .for Halloween.  Our neighborhood gets into the holidays.

I have shopped for and purchased some new furniture items.  Isn't this the cutest bench?  I bought it at a local antique shop and it is now sitting at the foot of our bed.  It is the perfect place to sit and put on your walking shoes!!

Same antique store - bought this for the corner of the dining room!

Oh yeah - about that decorating.  I wanted to win the prize - but we didn't :-(  But it was fun anyway.

Our newest adventure involves a big cat named Charlie.  Laura rescued him (or however you say that!) and he is staying with us for the month.  He is a sweet kitty!!

I also shopped for antiques, etc. in this cool store in downtown Bessemer.  I didn't buy anything but it is such a cool old building!!  Isn't that the funniest name?  The Paisley Pig - love it!

Well, dang - more margaritas?  

We are now up to this weekend.  There is a sundog or rainbow in this picture.  It was so incredibly cool - sort of like a fat and short three colored rainbow.  I have never seen anything like it.

I volunteered to work at the neighborhood Halloween party.  I met lots of new folks.  Lord, help me - I can't remember their names!!  A cold front blew through - literally BLEW THROUGH the pavilion.   The evening was called "meet, eat and trick or treat."  We served pizza and raw veggies and dip and kettle corn and cuties and juice boxes and water bottles. 

There were children everywhere.  Really.  There were a lot of Elsas and a lot of Olafs.

People go ALL OUT in our neighborhood.  Look at the tricked out golf cart.  No, we don't have a golf cart but lots of folks do.  That is the side of our house - just in case you haven't seen it yet.

This daddy is Olaf - a big Olaf.  His white baseball cap has a carrot nose!

I've shopped for more accessories.

On Saturday, Mark and I walked down the hill just two blocks and we were at the Moss Rock Festival.  It was COLD.  I had on shorts and sandals because I had been for an early morning pedicure . . .and I couldn't change shoes or pants.  I almost froze to death.  I am never ever cold.  Once again, hear me - I almost froze to death.

One "booth" had goats for petting . . .and an airstream trailer.  I guess the goats live in the trailer???

 They had art out the wazoo.  Mark liked one painting and thought it was $150 . . .it was $1500.  oops - we didn't buy it.  Did I mention that it was cold?  Really!

We also hosted our supper club this weekend.

Guess what we served in these mason jars?  iced tea?  yes.  water?  yes.  margaritas?  (again - really?) yes!!  I bought these cute paper straws . . .but they fell apart in the drinks.  It was still fun to use them.

So now we are all the way up to today.  Oh wait - I forgot to tell you.  Last year (old neighborhood) - we had four trick or treaters.  This year, we had about 800.  It was so much fun.  We ran out of candy.  We turned off our lights.  People kept on ringing the door bell.  Mark was not polite to said people.  Oh well.  While I was sitting on the porch in the cold . . . handing out candy (at the end, folks were getting one smartee or one jolly rancher - no kidding), I thought to myself, "I am so dadgum happy."

So back to today - today was all saints sunday and worship was good.  A lot of really good folks went to be with Jesus this year.  We sure do miss them.  then we went to Gmom's for lunch.  Mark took me to a tea on the way home - he let me out in front of the house and I went in to the party and he drove around the block!  After that, I bought groceries and I've done about five loads of laundry and I have chicken cooking downstairs (ten pounds of chicken to be exact) and I'm telling you about the weekend.  My clock says 9:04 but we also had the time change this weekend.  Could we possibly have anything else?  I'm tired but I have a smile on my face.  How about you?