Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hodge Podge #315

1. We've reached edition number 315 here in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So tell us, what were you doing at 3:15 yesterday? Is that typical? On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high) what's your energy level usually like at 3:15 PM?
Wow - 315 sets of questions - Joyce is amazing!!  Let's see . . .I was working from home yesterday at 3:15.  I had been out of town helping my daughter and I got back around lunch time and worked from home.  Around 3:15 . . .I need an "after school" snack, don't you?  I always had a snack for my kids when they came in . . .so I think that must mean I have an afternoon slump until after a snack is consumed!!

2. A frisbee, a tantrum, a towel, a party, a punch, or a curveball...which have you most recently thrown or had thrown at/for you? Elaborate.
I've thrown a party . . . or three!  We've been in the entertaining mode!

3. What are three things that would help you right now. Tell us how or why.
                            1.  A day at the pool . . .with maybe just one friend . . .and a drink or two
                            2. Some extra hours in every day . . .I just need a few more hours
                            3. A million dollars???  Actually, for our daughter's townhome to sell very quickly

I hope you weren't asking for serious answers.  I can't think of serious answers because I might scream! EEK!

4. Do you think you're strong? Why or why not? What makes you strong?
I think I'm strong in several ways.  I think I'm strong because my mom died when I was 15 and my first husband left me after an 18 month marriage because he decided he was gay.  I lived through those and many other tough times and each one of those made me stronger. 
Physically . . .my legs are strong as can be - lots of muscles.  My arms . . .not so much!
Some days I'm spiritually strong - BUT ONLY when I rely on Jesus and keep my eyes on him so I can't take credit for that!!

5. Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What's your favorite book set sometime in the past?
I love to read.  Two of my recent favorite books have been The Nightingale and Wives of War.  Both of those are historical fiction.  I don't usually read historical fiction but really enjoyed both of those.  I actually have read The Nightingale twice and I don't usually read books two times.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
It is hot as you know what here in Alabama!  I truly think we could fry eggs on the sidewalk!  I saw someone post on Facebook that it was too hot to even go to the pool . . .that is hot!

Monday, July 24, 2017

#tohaveandtoharris . . .Celebrations . . .Brunch and wedding . . .and . . .

Be forewarned . . .photo overload . . .but so much fun . . . and lots of ellipses!

On Friday, I was so honored to be included and invited to the luncheon for Brooke's bridesmaids.  The luncheon was hosted by two of her work associates/friends at a home in Greystone.  I really wanted to take pictures of the artwork in this house - I loved so much of it.  That is not what this post is about - oops!  The hostess used "mismatched" china and cups and the tables were lovely.  She used lace gloves as the "coasters" -- she said they literally came on a very slow boat from China and just barely arrived in time for the party.  Our place cards were pictures of each of us with the bride.  The pictures were on a little clip inserted into moss inside a demitasse.  (I almost wrote demitasse cup but decided to look it up and the word itself means small cup so I would have said a small cup cup - so glad I looked!!)

This table was one of my favorites -- it was a table just for the flower girls and it was set just as lovely as the tables for the grown ups.

The little girls were sitting right behind me and the first course was a chilled strawberry soup.  They were not fans of this course.  I'm still chuckling as I think about their comments.  They were very polite as they told the hostess that they didn't like "this."

The dining room table was where the bride and bridesmaids ate their lunch.  I love those tall vases!! 
If you live in the south, you might know what the hostesses served for lunch.  Anyone want to guess (other than the soup)???
Chicken salad on croissants - perfect southern summer lunch
She served grapes and cheese straws alongside the sandwiches.

Thanks Christie for this picture, too

My sweet Laura on the far left had driven in from her house and we just met at the party.

Laura and her boyfriend, Scott, were here all weekend and we enjoyed their visit.  Laura was doing wedding stuff all day on Saturday so Scott even rode to the wedding with us . . .and was gracious enough to take our picture.

I was able to reciprocate and snap a quick one of Laura and Scott in the gathering space at the church before the wedding.

There were gorgeous floral wreaths hanging in the gathering space.

This is the church at our west campus.  I think it is such a warm and intimate space.  The flowers on the cross were quite lovely!!

Mark and I were headed to the fellowship hall after the wedding to retrieve our boxes of decorations and we ran right into the bride and I was able to get a quick picture with the beautiful bride.  We were headed to the fellowship hall because the bridesmaids had borrowed all sorts of things from us - from lanterns to metal candle holders to ribbon to wreaths, etc.  They used those items to decorate for the rehearsal dinner.

Isn't she lovely??

The reception was downtown at the Alabama Theater.  I love those giant old chandeliers.  This picture doesn't do it justice.

I also loved that they had a "movie marquee" made for their wedding - they used it at the church and at the reception.

These pictures are out of order -- the sanctuary looked so beautiful.  Below is a better picture of the flowers on the cross.

Brooke and Marcus had a lovely wedding!!

Four of our favorite young adults below the theater sign . . . Sean, Laura, Katie, Christie.  (thanks Christie - I snitched this photo from your facebook page along with the picture of the food above!!)

We love Brooke as if she were our very own and are so thankful that God has brought her into our lives.
Our weekend didn't end with the wedding . . . more to come . . .
Celebrate . . .come on!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

2nd Annual Fish Fry

We hosted our second annual fish fry last weekend.  We planned the party for July thinking there would be no rain (last year we had a monsoon on the night of the party in the spring) . . .you aren't going to believe this, but it happened again!  We had our courtyard ready and all of our outside porches ready . . .but no go! 

I've been using my three tiered basket for all sorts of centerpieces!!  You can see the box of gummy worm "bait" on the right behind the basket . . .you have to have bait!

I used all sorts of fish for decorations!

I made the bobber banner last year and saved it in a drawer in the craft room . . .and ta-dah!  If we have a third annual fish fry, you will see it again in 2018!!

See that bass peaking out of the watering can?

Some people have to use fake antlers but we don't!  My whole decoration scheme was red and white and I asked Mark to buy bobbers . . .and he brought home orange and yellow ones!  You would be so proud of me . . .I didn't say, "why in the world did you buy that color?"  I said, "thank you!"  Y'all this was a rare occurrence for me . . .my words seem to fall out of my mouth before I can catch them.  Thank you Holy Spirit for the clamp on my lips!  Not a single person said, "why do you have orange and yellow bobbers when everything else is red and white?" 

I found these cute fish in a local shop.  They are still sitting on the mantle just because they are fun!

More fish, more red and white, and cute fishing hole signs were located in the plant in the entry hall.

I love using this box . . ALL. THE. TIME.

I color copied the fish and cut them out and glued them to small dowels.  I used my same little bottle vases inside the big box.  I found the fun cattails, etc. at . . .drum roll please . . .THE DOLLAR TREE!  Granted, I probably have $20 worth of Dollar Tree weeds and cattails in the centerpiece but it was so fun to create.

We served beer and lemonade.  We used the little table right outside the door on the screen porch for drinks.  We used this cute picture of Mark and George fishing as part of the decoration.

I love my door hangers created by Marcy Hill.  I have one for all three doors.

I thought I took a few pictures of people - the most important part but there are no pictures on my phone.  My friend, Terrie, took this picture of the guys that are close church friends.  Oh my goodness - these men are all so special to us!!  Our kids were here and that was fun and we invited our next door neighbors.

Why do we have a fish fry?  Mark loved catching fish from the farm pond so we end up with an abundance of fresh fish so . . .why not share??  We keep the menu simple - a few appetizers, Asian slaw, hushpuppies, fish.  Two people brought wonderful desserts.  We told our wine drinking friends to "bring their favorites" . . .

What a fun night!  Mark and I love to entertain and we make a good team . . .and it helps to have lots of fresh fish!  (Mark and Glenn fried bass, snapper throats that Allen - second from right above - caught.  Mark also made gumbo that everyone declared the best gumbo ever with quail, Alabama crawfish, nitrate free sausage, lots of okra, etc.  - the gumbo was one of the appetizers and we served it in small 8 ounce cups)

We feel so very blessed - to have fresh fish in abundance and to be surrounded by wonderful friends.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Showers of Lemons!

A few weeks ago, we hosted a bridal shower for our friend, Brooke.  Her colors for the wedding are yellow and gray so I decided to use those same colors for the shower decorations.  I started thinking about all things yellow and decided to use lemons!  Costco has large bags of lemons for $7-8 per bag.  I bought four bags and used them everywhere -- even in the powder room!!

I moved my three tiered basked from the island over to the cooktop and filled it with lemons (and left the bananas because they are yellow, right??).  I made a big loopy bow from yellow and gray ribbons.

I have pictures of the table and food from several angles.

I served lemonade (of course!!) and water with lemons.  I used my champagne/sherbet glasses to serve yellow jelly beans!!  I ordered sandwiches from a local place called "Ouslers" -- they make chicken salad, pimento cheese, and cream cheese and olive sandwiches -- yum!!

The bride's new last name begins with an "H" so I bought this for her new front door but used it as a fireplace decoration.  We've used those little yellow pom poms for multiple parties now.  I keep hanging them in a closet until we need them again.

I took a picture of the family room because it is rarely this clean!!

Here is the basket from another angle.  I used my box that I normally keep on the dining room table - wrapped yellow ribbon around and made a bow and added some lemons - viola!

I even put lemons in the Waterford bowl that sits nestled inside the REAL antlers (we don't have fake antlers!).

Her (their) hashtag made a great banner!  I had the invitation propped against the lamp and the "party favors" were in the metal tub (more yellow and gray ribbon!!).

Hey Kat Bakes made the cookies and I made cute "Love is Sweet" labels for the bags.

Even the wreath on the front door had lemons (these were fake!).

I bought letters at Walmart and painted them to go along with the color scheme.  I purchased great fruit and raw veggies at Publix and I bought cheese straws from East Lake UMC.  In the picture above, you can see the little tiered round tray on top of the wooden box . . .those are baby bites from a local bakery.  They are sooooo good.  I toasted pecans and served cheese cubes with cubes of ham, turkey, salami, etc.  I placed the cheese/meat items on a tray inside the wooden box.

Once again . . .it is so rare that everything is perfectly clean that I just had to snap a picture.

Sweet bride in the middle and sweet daughter on the right.  My hair was HORRIBLE that day!  It was hot outside and I got up and took my shower and did my hair at 5:00 a.m. because the party started at 11:00 and I needed to get that out of the way but by 11:00 my hair was looking sad!!  The party was not about me (nor my sad hair!) but about this beautiful bride to be!!

The flower girls were big helpers.  They opened LOTS of the presents.

This sweet bride is a part of our family - she and Laura have been friends for several years and she was active in our Tuesday night group.  We tell people that we "claim" her as one of "ours" -- so it was such a pleasure to host a party for her.  She is lovely on the inside and on the outside!

What a fun shower of lemons!!  (p.s. did you know that when lemons mold, they have actual powdery hairy stuff growing out of them!!)

Hodge Podge - on time again!

Linking up with Joyce for Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.
I was the youngest grandchild on my dad's side of the family and I never felt like I was "anything special" - does that make sense?  We spent a good bit of time with my dad's parents and I remember sitting on their front porch and hearing the summer night sounds.  I remember celebrating Christmas Eve at their house with other cousins . . .and my grandpa had a tendency to give bags of groceries to each family.  As a kid, that was weird - as an adult, I totally get it.  Times were probably hard.  People were proud.  A Christmas gift was easy to accept.  My mom didn't drive and I remember my grandpa having to pick me up at school one day when I needed to check out . . .because of the cramps . . .and how mortified I was!  When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, my dad's parents stepped in and did whatever they could (I was a teenager).  The funniest story would take too long to type but it involved my middle sister and me.  We were spending the night and my granny thought my sister had sneaked out (she didn't!).  We laugh about that one often.

On my momma's side of the family, we only knew her mother.  My Granny George had put my mother in foster care due to some crazy things.  My momma and Granny George made peace at some point. I remember driving to Granny George's house (it is only a few miles from where I live now but it was an all day trip back then!).  She didn't have indoor plumbing and I remember using the "slop pot" and thinking it was horrible (but fascinating!).  I remember sitting on her front porch and eating saltine crackers.  I actually felt special to her though we saw her far less.  She sent flour sacks to my mom and I had some shorts made from those sacks. She sent a bobble head dog to me and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  I also have a quilt that she either made for me or had someone make.

As I've typed all of this I have realized that I don't think I have a single picture of me with any of my grandparents! How sad!

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?
I had a stuffed animal (monkey) and he had a plastic banana attached to his hand.  I evidently carried him everywhere and chewed on the banana.  I assume he was thrown away at some point!  I think I have a picture of me holding that monkey buried deep in my house (who knows where??).

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.
From the front of the house, I see a park with some trees.  We live in a planned neighborhood and we each have one tree planted in front of our houses.  The park is lovely - like a HUGE front yard (that we don't have to maintain!!).  From our back window, I see our lovely courtyard with three small trees and pretty plants.
Figuratively, hmmmm a little of both.  Sometimes the forest is so dense it is hard to see the trees.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

I do like most sour things.  I love grapefruit but can't eat it because it interacts with a medicine that I take.  I love Greek yogurt!  I actually have cherries in my lunch today.  I adore lemons and limes.  I like sauerkraut ok - we grew up eating "weinies and kraut" as a main dish and I like it ok on a hot dog.  I like to cook with buttermilk BUT WOULD NEVER DRINK IT - yuck!!  I've never eaten a kumquat.

greek yogurt parfait

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?
I've never eaten one and I'll have to think about my dish . . .lemon bars! margarita! Cherries - raw or in yogurt parfait!  Buttermilk - CORNBREAD!!

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.
crazy BUSY, good, exciting, stressful!  I can't make a sentence!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Love on your people.  Do you hear me?  Love on your people.  Don't have regrets.  Love on your people.  My step-mom died on Friday night (please feel free to read this post).  I wish I had spent more time with her.  I wish I had told her more often that I loved her.  I'm glad she is not in pain and
is with Jesus.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Birthday and Father's Day all rolled into one!

I'm only a month behind!  How could that be???  My birthday was in the middle of June and we celebrated by eating at Moss Rock Tacos and Tequila.  The best thing I had that night was the watermelon margarita.  We weren't impressed with the food AT ALL and that makes us sad because we love having a favorite restaurant within walking distance.

I received several fun gifts for my birthday (most are not pictured!!)  Glenn and Lauren gave me a "nice" band for my fitbit so if we are attending a wedding, etc. . . .the fitbit is incognito!!
They also gave me some other things (not pictured).

My friend from church, Donna, gave this watering can to me.  I love it!  I actually have it on my mantle at this moment.  Wasn't it clever how she put flowers in it and did the curly ribbon on the handle?

Another sweet friend gave me this hummingbird feeder and it has truly been the gift that keeps on giving.  I need to refill it today.  The hummingbirds love it and we have so enjoyed watching the birds.

Here are two of my favorite fathers with a strong willed little girl!  We celebrated my birthday and father's day at the same time  --  my momma always said that I was my daddy's father's day gift that year!

He loves this little girl which makes me love him even more!

I try to get as many pictures as possible of this sweet girl with my wonderful mother-in-law.

Mark's momma always has to make a cake for every birthday!

We tried to show Emma how to blow out the candles.  She looks just like Laura and Glenn in this picture (sometimes it is uncanny!).

She wasn't impressed!