Thursday, June 28, 2018

Home of the Red, White, and Blue Hodgepodge

Yesterday was Wednesday . .. which means hodgepodge (thanks Joyce!) and I fell asleep before blogging last night. I'm going to answer the questions anyway!

Before I do that, I must apologize - blogger no longer sends me emails when someone comments on my blog and since I don't check my blog every day . . .I don't always realize that someone has commented. Also, it seems to me that I should be able to comment directly to each comment but for the life of me, I can't figure it out! If you've visited and I haven't acknowledged your comment, I am so sorry! I will try to visit everyone's blog and leave a comment!!

Now to the questions.

1. Security or freedom? Can you have both? Explain.
I'm going totally simple on this answer - of course, you can have both! Just thinking of a "security system" in a home . . .there is still freedom! I can't wait to read all of the deep answers because at this point in the morning, I don't have any deep thoughts!

2. If you could visit any historical American site what would it be? Why?
I've never visited the statue of Liberty (nor have I been to New York!) and I would really like to go there. I just googled top ten historic US places and Yosemite is on that list. We have several friends who have just returned from Yosemite and listening to their stories makes me want to visit. Our young friend who just returned applied through the lottery system and received a ticket to climb this . . . and she did! This picture doesn't do justice for the STRAIGHT up climb. She said that you pretty much have to pull yourself up with upper body strength. Her pictures and other pictures on the internet show how steep the climb is. Needless to say, I would like to go to Yosemite but I have serious doubts about climbing this!

3. Free as a bird, free reign, be free of, free enterprise, free trip, walk away scot free, free for all...which 'free' phrase can best be applied to your life in recent days or weeks? Explain.
Free reign - queen of my household - hahahahahaha!

4. Something in your frig that's red? Watermelon!! Also, I meal prep on Sunday afternoons and a lot of the lids to my containers are red

Something in your house that's white? All of the molding and doors and the tile backsplash right in front of me Something in your view that's blue? a stack of napkins left over from Tuesday night!

5. July 27th is National New Jersey Day. Have you ever visited The Garden State? no (actually, I have flown into and out of Newark - isn't Newark in New Jersey?) If so where did you go? Are there diners where you live? maybe? Have you tried Taylor Pork Roll? no  Do you like to play Monopoly? I used to play but haven't played in years Salt water taffy-yay or nay? ok - neither yay nor nay How do you feel about shopping at the mall? I do most of my shopping on line Springsteen, Sinatra, or Bon Jovi-you have to pick one. Springsteen

Raise your hand if you know why these add-on questions are appropriate on National NJ Day. Are they all "from" the state of New Jersey? I've heard there are some nice beaches there but we compare everything to the white sands and blue water of our gulf coast.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
If you are my friend on facebook, you've already seen this picture but my brother-in-law, Bill, who suffers from Parkinson's and has the best attitude of anyone you have ever seen . . .is riding his "bike" to raise money for cancer. We are so impressed with what he is doing - physically pushing himself to be stronger and live a better life all while doing something for someone else!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Silly Sunday questions and answers

I found these questions over on Sunday Stealing and meant to answer them last night but time ran out as I meal prepped for the week. The writer of that blog scours the internet for questions during the week and compiles the questions into a list for Sundays. Here goes: 
1. When was the last time you went to the doctor? Do you like your doctor?
Which one? I have 3 regular doctors - internist, gynecologist, allergy doctor - and I like all three a lot! I get two allergy shots every month so I'm at least in her office fairly often but I don't always see her. I see the gyno just once a year. She is the kindest doctor. She is one of those folks with whom I would love to be friends! Speaking of friends, my internist is my best friend's husband! I definitely love him. We've raised our children together and we are in the same supper club.

2. My back is itching, will you scratch it for me?
I will if you are my child or maybe my husband . . . other than that, I'll show you how to back up to the door and scratch your back like a bear!

photo credit - borrowed from the internet

3. Do you have nice handwriting?
I have lovely handwriting MOST of the time. I hand addressed all of the wedding invitations for our daughter and I hand address some special correspondence at work. When my hand gets tired though, my writing can get sloppy very quickly!

4. We are sending you to either New Zealand or Canada, which one do you choose?
My first choice would be New Zealand but just yesterday I was in a conversation about a trip to a bed and breakfast in Canada where my husband and his twin brother would like to go. It sounds a little remote for me so I might need to choose a luxury hotel. My hubby has been to Saskatchewan two different times for fishing trips and flew into the area in a tiny float plan.

5. Do you sing in the shower?
Did you mean, "do you croak in the shower"? I don't sing or croak in the shower. I used to be able to sing - was even in All State Choir and in a small ensemble when I was young but it must be true, "if you don't use it, you lose it" because I can't sing anymore!

6. Have you ever been streaking? If so, how far did you streak and did anyone see you?
Does through the house to the laundry room for a towel count? I've been skinny dipping but I don't think I've ever actually streaked. My son does have a story about streaking though!

7. How soon is too soon for Christmas decorations and music playing in the stores?
I would prefer that decorations and music start on the day after Thanksgiving. I definitely think that too early encompasses all of October and November up until Thanksgiving but that is just my personal opinion and I really love Thanksgiving!

8. If you celebrated Halloween as a kid what was the costume you wore at 5?
You want me to remember a costume when I was 5 years old? hahahahaha! Some of the standard costumes were princesses with these weird masks that you could buy at the store and gypsies because it was an easy costume to make. We always went trick or treating in our neighborhood and I LOVE Halloween to this day. We live in a neighborhood where we have about 1200 trick or treaters and it is so much fun!

Weren't these princess masks scary???

photo credit - borrowed from the internet

9. How many cavities have you had in your life?
Maybe 6? All of them were when I was much much much younger and the cavities were in those back teeth on each side.

10.  Is there anyone you regret meeting.

I had to pause and think a moment. I don't think so. Even my worst memories of a few people caused a ripple effect of learning in my life. As I thought about people in my life, my memories flickered over one area. I was abused as a 5 year old and I did sit here and wonder what life would have been like if I had never met that man. If I had never met him, I might not have trust issues still today. If I had never met him, I wouldn't have memories that still haunt me today but I also wouldn't have the empathy that I have for others. I also wouldn't know the power of forgiveness - I never EVER have to forget AND I never EVER have to allow my children or grandchildren (or any other child) be put in that kind of situation but I can know the power of forgiveness. Even the people that I haven't particularly "liked" in my life have shaped me and help me grow in some way or another. 
 too deep!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Reception at the Wine Loft

Laura and Mark and I (and I hope Scott and his parents) were so pleased with the reception. Y'all - if you are local and you need a venue for a "smaller" crowd (will hold up to 250 max) . . .the Wine Loft is where you want to go! I've planned many events over the years and I've never worked with a group of people who were so fun and easy. Kristin is the event planner extraordinaire and Mike is the owner. They are awesome. 

We were on a fairly tight budget (remember I'm married to a man who loves a good spreadsheet!) and I was determined that we were going to stay pretty close to that number. I shared our budgeted number with Kristin and she did it - she gave us a lovely reception with yummy food and a great alcohol package and we came in right under budget!

This post contains lots and lots of pictures so you can hang around and see all of the loveliness or check back for a wordier post about non-wedding stuff later.

This is one of the arrangements made by Flowers from the Heart - Linda Bearden. They were so pretty and added just the right touch of "wedding" to the cool downtown vibe of the Wine Loft.

The food was not only tasty but so beautifully presented.

I'm ashamed to say that I do not know the name of this wonderful bartender but all of the folks working the reception were kind, helpful, pleasant, and downright awesome (I need a new word for awesome!!).

We served Thai Peanut Chicken Satays and Filet Mignon Satays - yummmmm! We needed some food items that did not have cheese as an ingredient due to some allergies in the groom's family and The Wine Loft was so accommodating!

We served mini crabcakes and shrimp and cheese grits (they even made several servings of grits without cheese!). I don't eat crabcakes but I heard
they were delicious!

The Wine Loft has black sofas arranged in groups around small tables with sheer curtains between the groupings which soften the look and even provide a tad of privacy, if needed.

Since Laura and Scott are not "right out of college" but graduated several years ago and have been employed for several years, the guest list included lots of their friends (and rightly so!). We love the friends that our "children" have chosen!

Laura was so gracious to invite a few of our friends from church as well.

There is a cobblestone/brick street right across from the Wine Loft and that street made for great photo opportunities. The Wine Loft is located in the downtown area and our downtown has been experiencing a revitalization over the last several years.

We bought tiny bottles of bubbles to blow as the couple left the reception. I love how the photographer caught the actual bubbles in the photograph!

Here they are as they were leaving the reception in the cool car!

Here are some more pictures of the cake table and some more shots of the food. The Wine Loft provided the white tablecloths. Actually, the Wine Loft provided just about everything!

Mark said that no one ate the fruit and veggies BUT I DID!! Actually, I know that some other people at least put the fruit and veggies on their plates!!

We had cheese cubes and a selection of hummus (I want to type hummuses but that can't be a word, can it??).

Laura loves baked Brie and we tried the Wine Loft version when we went for the tasting and Laura definitely wanted this on the menu. Their Baked Brie Platter is pleasing to the eye (I'm running out of descriptors!) and very tasty!!

My favorite thing served by the Wine Loft was the Prosciutto Wrapped Fig Canapes (pictured above). I wanted to eat ALL of these . . .I did eat several . ..quite a few!

Another shot of one of the wonderful bar tenders - look how cool the old doorframe is behind him and I love the glass shelves on the black metal rods. Look at the details of the bar itself.

The bride and groom had a snack in the back tasting room and then joined the party!

Gavin, brother of the groom, introduced them as they entered. Once again, The Wine Loft made this part easy, too. We took the Ipad and Laura (or Scott?) had preloaded the first dance songs. I think it might be crowded to have a live band at the Wine Loft but it could probably be done! (speaking of the Ipad, we left it at the Wine Loft and Kristin is so wonderful that she texted the couple and asked if they needed her to drop it at their hotel!! - that is above and beyond, y'all!)

In addition to the sofas arranged around the outside of the room, there are high top tables with barstool chairs through the middle of the room.

I decided to throw a few fun pics in -- Mitch and Donna above (friends from church)

These ladies were members of the same small group as Laura when she lived in Auburn. They are such wonderful young women!!  (they hosted a party for Laura)

Above - family -- We love our family! Laura has spent every Fourth of July and every Christmas night with these sweet people (and weddings and funerals and the list goes on and on)

Below - Laura's friends from the Tuesday night group that meets at our house (and their significant others)

Brooke - the matron of honor and her husband, Marcus

Chris and Christie

Katie and her friend

Below - Terrie (far right) knew to ask the photographer to take some different group photos at the reception and she grabbed me and our supper club friends - we've been together since 2004 and we've raised our children together. Laura always joked that when she found the right man, he would have to meet the approval of all of the daddies in supper club.

Below - Mark and his bestie!

Mark and some of the daddies from supper club plus a few other daddies from Sunday School - I'm still wondering what Mitch said . . .

Laura and Scott with their Sunday School class (below)

The Wine Loft provided a space for dancing - I love this picture of the groom dancing with the daughter of one of Laura's small group friends -- look at her hair!

I have no idea if this friend knows this shot was taken but it is a funny shot - and you can see the space for dancing!

Laura, Mark, and me surrounded by some of our Tuesday night "graduates." Mark says they are all "our kids" and he is right.

another shot of the outside of the Wine Loft and more bubbles

This is a shot from across the street as they were getting ready to leave

All along the sidewalk, there are little tables and chairs so folks can even sit outside on the sidewalk! I would think that would be nice in the fall here in the deep south!

So I've mixed my review of the Wine Loft (they get FIVE STARS and an excellent rating) with just some fun pictures -- the wedding ceremony was truly a worship service and the reception was truly a fun party!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summertime Summertime Sum Sum Summertime Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. Summer is upon us this week in the Northern hemisphere. Tell us three things on your summer bucket list.
Spend lots of time at the neighborhood pool - I've been changing into my bathing suit in the bathroom at work and going straight to the pool . . .what an awesome way to unwind! I get in and exercise for about 20 minutes and then dry off a tad before heading home to prepare supper and ride the bike.

Go zip lining - maybe I should wait until this fall when it cools off??

Stay cool!

2. Something fun you used to do as a kid in the summertime?
Summers were almost magical when I was a kid. We would roam all around the neighborhood and play all day. We would stage elaborate Miss America contests - one time we were setting up the runway (the picnic benches end to end and the table was the stage - I kid you not!) and we dropped the picnic bench on my toe . . .and broke my toe! We played kickball ALL the time - I loved kickball!!

3. Rootop or backyard? Why?
Both!! We don't actually have a backyard but we have a courtyard and I love sitting outside - I just realized that both of these pictures are of my feet!!

This is not actually "rooftop" but it is our top floor porch. We love sitting up here either in the early mornings or early evenings. The two ceiling fans make it almost pleasant.

This is the view from the middle of the porch.

4. Do you read food labels? Place importance on them? Make an effort to find out/care about where your food comes from?
Yes, I almost always read the labels and I think they are important. I'm very aware of the sugar and I always like to see how much protein and fiber. I ALWAYS check the labels on seafood - we are very particular about where our seafood was caught.

5. A song you'll have on repeat this summer?
My most listened to playlist has a couple of songs by Imagine Dragons - I know those aren't really "summer" songs but I have songs by Pink, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Mandisa . . .and I'm embarrassed to tell you that "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) by Beyoncé is also on my most listened to playlist! I like all sorts of music!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I celebrated a BIG birthday last week and my sweet hubby surprised me by inviting friends to meet us at a local restaurant. This restaurant is in a former bank building and he reserved "the Vault" for our party.

My co-workers surprised me with balloons and a fruit basket and diet pepsis and all sorts of other goodies. I felt loved!