Tuesday, May 29, 2018

What's UP Tuesday?

What's up around our house these days? I am planning to write a whole bunch of blog posts about the wedding -- EVERY.SINGLE.VENDOR we used was over the top - excellent - and I want to give them all a shout out!!

This has nothing to do with what we did this weekend but our Sweet Bay Magnolia trees are blooming!

On this Tuesday, I'll just tell you what we've been doing lately. Over the long weekend, I gave thanks for those who fought and died for our country and our freedom. We attended church. We actually had someone take our picture in Sunday School on Sunday because we talked about posting pictures on social media and how everyone else's life looks better . . .There are usually about double this number of folks in our class.

We played with our grandbaby yesterday. She loves the twuck - she wants to get in the twuck. She and Pops were showing me how they play stickers in the twuck. This man had probably never been in a Hobby Lobby or a Michael's and he now makes weekly trips to "the sticker store" to buy new stickers for this baby girl.

I read a lot of fiction over the weekend. I read a whole book on Saturday while I sat in my chair with my feet propped up. Mark was at the farm and I read . . .and read.  The book was a thriller and I was hooked. This was one of the free books I could choose this month as an Amazon Prime member. I don't think I had every read anything by this author before and this is not even what I normally read but . . .

our cat, Harvey hung out with me
on the porch!
I also cut out and sewed ONE WHOLE seam on this tiny little gown. It is a bereavement gown. We had an older member who always made the gowns for us to keep in the church office for these HORRIFIC occasions and we gave away the last gown this year. I have always said that I could NOT make these - under any circumstance!! This weekend, I decided that maybe I should step up to the plate and do something for someone else.

I rode 10 miles a day on my trusty stationary bike!

I began sorting through 34 years of photographs. We pulled pictures for one of the bridal parties and so the buckets have been calling my name. I got totally overwhelmed and actually stacked most of them back up. I was thinking this was a weekend project but it is more like a month long project. Several folks have told me that I need to scan the pictures but they still have to be sorted - either before or after.

The weekend ended with the most incredible rainbow ever. It stretched from one side of the neighborhood to the other and the colors were the brightest I have ever seen. If you look closely, you can see that it was actually a double rainbow!!

What did you do over the long weekend? Rest? Work? Play?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Royal Hodge Podge

From this Side of the Pond
Today is Wednesday so it must be HODGE PODGE! Feel free to copy and paste the questions into your own blog and answer . . .then link up with Joyce.

1. The last place you visited/patronized where you felt like you were given 'the royal treatment'?
Just last week, we went for manis and pedis before the wedding. We love the folks at Sapphire Nails and Spa and the location is so convenient to our house. They accommodating our party of five with ease. We all left feeling pampered!

Harvey gets the Royal Treatment EVERY.SINGLE.DAY

I'm going to do a whole series of blog posts about the wedding and especially the wedding vendors - they were ALL amazing and all of them gave us the Royal Treatment!!

2. The last task you completed that was a 'royal pain'?
Let's see . . .sometimes . . .working in a church . . .we see not only the best side of folks but THE WORSE side of folks . . .so sometimes dealing with someone might be a royal pain. I have a better example!!  A guy ran into the back of my car on April 27. My insurance company - a well know one that has S.F. initials - has not done all they could do and we are LONG TIME faithful customers with very few claims. Dealing with this has been a ROYAL PAIN. (I have no idea why I keep typing in all caps - I think I'm shouting in my head!!)

3. How have your strengths helped you succeed? How have your faults hindered you?
As a church staff, we have all taken the Strengths Finder and also, we've taken/read the Enneagram. My number one strength is Positivity and having a good attitude and a smile on my face and the thought that it will all be ok, helps a lot! I'm a number 1 on the Enneagram and trying to make things perfect sometimes hinders me. Perfection can be a strength but sometimes it bogs me down.

4. If you found a remote that could rewind, fast forward, stop and start time, what would you do with it? Oh - good question. Joyce - where in the world do you find these questions? Do these questions come to you ion the middle of the night? Our grandbaby girl is growing up so very fast. I sometimes wish I could pause time. We are all healthy and whole so a pause would be nice to enjoy this season.

5. Any special plans for the Memorial Day weekend? Will you in some way honor or recognize the meaning of this day (remembering people who died in service to their country)? Have you ever been to Arlington National Cemetery? Does your town do anything special to mark the day?
Our office is closed on Memorial Day so I'm going to take Friday off and enjoy a four day weekend. I always feel a little sad when I look at social media and realize that everyone else in the whole wide world has wonderful plans but us. Yes, I know I sound a tad dramatic. As far as special plans to celebrate, we don't have any. We may ride down to our farm for a day and a night. I've promised Mark that I will go at some point. I will give thanks for those who gave their lives and for those who served. I have been to Arlington National Cemetery with our youth choir (I was a chaperone) and we were there on Memorial Day so we were able to watch the soldiers lay the wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Within a 30 minute drive from my home is a place called American Village. I've never been so I should make myself go one day this summer . . .they probably have events on Memorial Day!!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We bought new cushions for our front porch furniture and Mark washed everything and rubbed everything with teak oil . . .and we bought three new pottery barn chairs for our screen porch. Getting ready for summer!!

we do have a few decorations in honor
of Memorial Day

look at that tiny rocking chair!! Guess who
sits there??  It was her daddy's chair

someone (Harvey!) is getting Royal Treatment again
I spy with my little eye - a big kitty cat!!
these chairs are on the downstairs
side porch that is screened in - we have four of the
same chairs on our upstairs porch on the front of the
house (over the porch with the rocking chairs)

These chairs are our anniversary
gift to each other -- they are
THE MOST comfortable outdoor
One last thing -- a sneak peek of the bride and groom from Saturday -- our very own ROYAL family!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Five Minute Friday -- Secret

Today is Five Minute Friday -- we write for five minutes using a one word prompt and then STOP and then link up here.  Go!

Back when I was in my 30's, I decided to seek counseling from a professional because of a "secret" in my life. I will never forget the therapist's words to me, "We don't keep secrets but secrets keep us." If that thought has popped into my head once in the last 20 years, it has popped into my head a bajillion times. The therapist shared with me how when we keep things bottled up inside, they cause all sorts of illnesses - physical, mental, emotional. This was not a secret about something I had done.

I probably will never share my secret on a page like this for all of the world to see but I have shared it in the appropriate places - places where I could receive the help I needed. I have shared it in other safe places among close friends who could also offer help and sympathy and hugs and sometimes even empathy.

Just writing about this secret makes me think of the scripture about the heavy burden -- Matthew 11:28 - Come to me all ye who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest . . .those words are so true. Rest and peace are often needed.

So are you struggling with a secret today? Is a secret keeping you?  Seek a trusted friend and talk. Seek out a good therapist and talk. Seek out Jesus.

p.s. - this part is being written after the five minute mark -- once again, I'm sure that my writing is off on some other tangent than what our wonderful folks at Five Minute Friday bargained far. I always seem to go in odd directions!!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mother's Day weekend 2018

I love reading everyone's posts about time with their mothers. Y'all - if your mama is still alive, pick up the phone and call her today. I know today is not Mother's Day - just do it anyway!

So our weekend was fairly low key.

We went to our supper club on Friday night and enjoyed wonderful food and even better conversation. I love how our conversation can flow from the building progress/capital campaign at church to our grandkids to bird dogs/and/or poodles with ailments all within a couple of hours.

On Saturday night, Mark took sister and me (yes - he took me . .  I wouldn't say, "Mark took I" - one of my pet peeves and so thankful for honors English way back in Ms. Studdard's class) -- oops! Sorry about chasing that rabbit. Back to the story . . .Mark took sister and me to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner - my choice. Good thing sister loves Mexican, too! I choose my favorite Mexican restaurants by the salsa and the margaritas and this one has yummy salsa and ice cold and tasty margaritas!)

This is the blurriest picture ever but as Mark was paying the bill, I noticed this sign behind the register. It says, "Person in charge" and under that is written "Jesus."  It was really Hay Soos but I was actually stopped dead in my tracks by the sign - Jesus is in charge!

My main Mother's Day gift was a pottery barn honey wicker ottoman to go with the two new pottery barn chairs we purchased (for our anniversary). We have four of these same chairs on our upstairs front porch and they are so comfortable. We use our screen porch much more often so we decided we needed comfortable chairs for that porch, too. We convinced ourselves to order one more chair -- did that today!! If you are interested in the chair, check it out here and the ottoman is here.

We gathered at a local Chinese restaurant on Sunday after church. Mr. Chen's was my mother-in-law's choice for lunch and she didn't want take outs . . . she wanted to go TO the restaurant.  Our sweet daughter wasn't with us this year because she was cooking lunch for her mother-in-law to be!

My handsome son was sitting by his grandmother.

Y'all - my mother-in-law is amazing. I don't tell her often enough. If I told you how old she is, you wouldn't believe me!!

Here she is between two of her four grandsons -- the youngest grandson on her left and the oldest grandson on her right. The youngest grandchild of all is a granddaughter and I thought she was in this picture to the left of Thomas but my eyes are getting old. Our daughter is the oldest grandchild -- by one minute!! There are two other grand boys who were hopefully with their mom!!

Speaking of grandchildren -- here is the sweet daughter-in-law who gave us our first grandchild. We love daughter-in-law and sweet grandbaby, too!! Tiny Tiger is so stinkin' cute! She is a typical two year old - in constant motion, laughing one minute and pitching a fit the next. We are all strong willed and she gets that equally from all sides of the family. She chomped down on some Chinese food (rice and chicken and even a piece of carrot from my plate). We love our family so much!!

Mark was a good husband and brother-in-law. Since Sister is staying with us through the wedding, he bought her a mother's day card and small gift, too! Wasn't that thoughtful??

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A SPARKLY Hodgepodge

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 352

I can't believe Joyce has asked questions for 352 blog posts - that is amazing. Way to go, Joyce!! Today is Wednesday of wedding week but I'm trying to do a few things to keep myself sane . . .and one of those things is blogging! Feel free to copy and paste the questions into your own blog and link up with Joyce. If you aren't a blogger and you want to answer the questions, please feel free to do so in the comment section of my facebook page.

1. What would you say is your biggest day to day challenge?
I have way too many answers for this one question. Here are just two answers - from one end of the spectrum to the other --  I am challenged each and every day to live like Jesus. I fail way too often. I am challenged each and every day to make wise food choices and to make time for some exercise.

2. May 16th is National Biographers Day. What's a biography you really enjoyed reading? Is this a genre you read regularly?
I'm not sure that enjoy is the correct word but I remember reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. As I was reflecting about what books I've read (that means I was googling biographies - actually I googled 100 best biographies), I realized that I haven't read that many biographies. I loved the books by Corrie Ten Boom, but she wrote those herself with the assistance of someone else. I also loved The Boys in the Boat but I'm not sure that really falls into biography.

3. How important is keeping a clean house? Do you need to de-clutter your life?
I really love a clean house and I am VERY BLESSED to have a housekeeper who comes once a week to help out. I'm not sure that I could host the young professionals group every week without her assistance. After the wedding, I have a list (in my head) of all the spaces that I want to de-clutter (a couple of closets and a few cabinets)

4. You're the 8th dwarf. What's your name? Do I get to pick?? Bubbly? Sparkly? Sniffy? I really want to google "seven dwarf named sparkly but I am so afraid of what that would unleash!!

5. What's surprised you the most about your life or life in general?
I never dreamed in a million years that I would be married to such a wonderful man - 34 years this Saturday.
I never dreamed in a million years that I would live in such a beautiful home. I never dreamed in a million years that I would GET to go to work each and every day to a job that I LOVE. I never dreamed in a million years that I would teach a large adult Sunday School class for 26 years and counting This list could go on and on because when I stop to think about it, I feel so very blessed. I love a God who loves me back. I have people whom I love who love me back.

On a funnier note, speaking of life in general, I'm surprised that we are not driving the air cars like George Jetson drove in the cartoon.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
This was my view on Monday morning around 5:20 a.m. while I was taking a short walk. It was so lovely. This is about a block from my house.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Sunday in the South Including a Kitchen Shower

We have had such fun at the showers for our daughter and future son-in-law! It never ceases to amaze me at the generosity and goodness of people!

So last Sunday - not yesterday but a week ago - my sister and I drove to the town where my daughter lives and we attended worship with her. My future son-in-law plays in the orchestra so it was special to see him play that day. You can't really see him but he is a trumpet player!

After lunch, our daughter's future father-in-law treated us to lunch at a local BBQ restaurant. I was excited about the size of the diet coke (even though I'm a diet pepsi drinker) - the ball jar was huge!

My future son-in-law was excited that this country music star was also eating lunch at Country's BBQ restaurant.

This is Jamey Johnson . . .who sings . . .and who co-wrote Honky Tonk Badonkadonk. Wonder what he ordered?? I had BBQ chicken and it was quite tasty!!

My sister and I finally had a photo taken together. She does exist, y'all! I'm wearing the pink dress - just in case you wondered!

The shower was held in a really cute neighborhood very similar to the neighborhood where I live!

I love a beautiful silver service . . .and look at those lovely flowers. The home was lovely!

These are pimento cheese sandwiches . . .with olives chopped up in with the pimento cheese - yummy!!

They served the old fashioned punch that I remember from my childhood - green (lime) sherbet with gingerale poured over the top - oh so good!

Laura was showered with lovely gifts.

We both wore pink!! I had on really tall wedges (for me) and I'm still so much shorter!

Laura and the hostesses

Y'all - my baby girl is getting married this coming Saturday - I just can't believe it!!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Crawfish Boil

One of the beauties of living in the south is being able to entertain friends and neighbors "in the yard." Some of the best parties happen outside -- from tailgates at football games in the fall all the way to fish fries and on to crawfish boils!

Our son and lovely daughter-in-law host a crawfish boil every year and they have been so gracious to include us"old farts" by inviting us to the party.

Do you know what a crawfish is? Some people say "crayfish" - that is with a long A sound. Some people call them mudbugs (that sounds gross to me). Some people call them crawdads. I'm sure the list could go on but this is what they are . . freshwater crustaceans -- they look like a giant bug (hence the name mudbug) or if you want to be more refined -- they look like tiny lobsters.

There were margaritas and a keg of high gravity beer. There was cornhole and a kiddie slide. There was a tent over the back yard. There was a GIANT pot. There were desserts galore. There was pimento cheese (another southern favorite) as an appetizer. The kids ate mac and cheese (I snitched a bite to put out the fire in my mouth) and chicken fingers. There was corn on the cob and new potatoes . . .my son even threw a few shrimp into that pot for his dear old mama!!

There was even a tiny grandbaby girl and her pops!

When everything is cooked, it is poured out onto tables and everyone
stands around the table and eats (or you can do like I did and make a
plate and sit down!!)

There was a LOT of food!!

Lots of fun was had by all!

If you are a regular blog reader, stay tune over the next couple of weeks - I've been contacted about hosting a give away!!!