Wednesday, August 25, 2021


 From this Side of the Pond

Thanks so much to Jo at From This Side of the Pond for today's questions! You may answer in the comments below or you may copy and paste the questions into your own blog and link up here.

1. Is school back in session where you live? Is everyone in person or does your system still offer a virtual option? Are kids wearing masks? School started back a week or two ago here. Most schools in Alabama seem to start from sometime around August 6 through maybe August 17 or so. I think that the schools near me are doing only in person now and the ones near me are wearing masks . . . at least for 30 days. The covid numbers in Alabama are HORRIBLE right now. Our ICU's are full all over the state . . .literally no ICU beds available. The state health officer has strongly encouraged people to wear masks again at all indoor events.

daughter's classroom

granddaughter #1 started
kindergarten this year - big news!

2. Something you still do 'old school'? I schedule baptisms and weddings as a part of my job and I still keep a binder with paper forms inside. I have found that there is less chance of error if I have a piece of paper in front of me. I schedule LOTS of baptisms and weddings and anything I can do to lessen the chance of a mistake helps me! I do pretty much everything else on the computer.

3. One lesson you've learned in the 'school of life'? I should care far less about what other people think of me and I don't have time for drama. My answer might be two lessons but both are true!

4. When you were in school did you pack a lunch or buy a lunch? Your favorite thing to see on the lunch menu or inside your lunchbox back in the day? When I was growing up, sometimes I took my lunch. My favorite lunch box was a cute red plaid and I had a book bag to match! I did buy my lunch sometimes, too. I remember loving lunchroom spaghetti and our lunchroom ladies made the best homemade rolls - melt in your mouth! My kids always wanted to buy their lunches on Crispito days . . .and I read an article this week that there will be no more Crispitos. Tyson has a shortage of workers and a shortage of tortillas and so they won't be making anymore this year. Check out the article here.

5. August is National Family Fun Month. Tell me something fun you’ve done this month. Our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter #2 came to town this last weekend and we played a lot! Mark even made a trip to Ed's Pet World with granddaughter #1. She wanted a penguin and her parents told her they would go to the store to see if they had any penguins for sale. Just FYI - they didn't. Also, in August we hosted our long-time supper club earlier in the month. We've been together since 2004. They stayed until almost midnight which is unusual for us. We talked and laughed and enjoyed being together so much!!

Margaritas may have been
consumed at supper club!

I needed pinatas for table decorations for
supper club so decided to purchase
some that granddaughters would

6. Insert your own random thought here. We are having our Lil Lambs Consignment sale at church this week and I hope I can find some cute clothes for both granddaughters.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Thanks to Joyce for the questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge! We copy and paste the questions and answer on our own blog and then link back up here. Please feel free to join us or please answer in the comments!! 

From this Side of the Pond
1. Monday, August 16th was National Roller Coaster Day. Are you a fan? Did you celebrate? Last place/time you rode a roller coaster? I love roller coasters but I can't remember the last one I rode!! I didn't celebrate - aw shucks! My favorite roller coaster story involves our kids and Disneyworld. Our kids were in sixth grade and Mark had a business trip (CPE I think) at the Contemporary Hotel in Disneyworld. We had been to Disneyworld one time before right before our kids turned 10 and it was in the summer and things were sort of crowded. This trip was at the end of October. One evening it was raining a little and Mark was tied up in his class and the kids and I went back to the park. There was NO LINE and NO WAITING for Space Mountain. We got in line and rode it together and we ran back around and got in line again and rode it again. I made it through about 4 trips and then I sat at the exit while they proceeded to ride it about 11 times total!!

2. Tell us about a time in your life where it felt like you were figuratively riding a roller coaster. I feel that way right now. I've mentioned my sweet mother-in-law here before. She is 96 and we are taking turns spending the night with her. Along with that, I'm working a full time job and doing several other things and some days feel like a roller coaster. I keep reminding myself that God is right here with us.

3. Favorite treat to eat at an amusement park or state fair? Do I have to pick one? I love a good corndog with mustard and ketchup! I also love popcorn - when they pop it fresh and you can smell it all over the park. When I was still eating sweets I might have said FUNNEL CAKE! Oh my goodness!

4. Are you easy to get along with? Elaborate. I don't think so. Do I have to elaborate? I get along great with some folks but there are others with whom I struggle. I think I was probably worse when I was younger. This is actually a joke in our house but I had a hysterectomy when I was 42 and Mark said and I quote "They cut the meanness right out of you!" My PMS was a force to be reckoned with and I truly felt like I had no control over it. 

5. Something on your calendar to see-do-read-accomplish or just enjoy before month's end? Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandbaby are coming to our house for the weekend! I'm going to a friend's house on Friday for lunch with two friends. I have tickets to a local theater production (music evening) on Thursday night but that is my night to stay with my mother-in-law so I won't be going. We were invited to dinner tonight but tonight is Mark's night to stay with his mom so I'm not sure I'm going alone. Mark's birthday is this weekend! We aren't celebrating with his family until next weekend though.

6. Insert your own random thought here. We went to an Airforce commissioning service on Friday for one of the young women who attended our Tuesday night group. There were several things I loved. On the invitation, notice that it says they will start promptly. They did! Also, a chaplain got up to do the invocation and he said something like, "I'm going to pray . . .and we invite you to pray however you pray (or maybe to whomever you pray)". . .and then he said "Lord Jesus Christ" and began his prayer. Our friend will be a JAG and she set her sights on that goal and she never wavered. She powered through law school and through basic training and she never gave up. Have you ever been to a military commissioning?

Monday, August 16, 2021

Sunday Stealing

I grabbed these questions from Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World.” She steals all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere and we answer and link up!

Stolen from League of Extraordinary PenPals 

1.       What subjects lead you down a Wikipedia rabbit hole? Oh my goodness . . .I google everything and those results often include Wikipedia. I’ve looked up all sorts of things!!

2. How do you like to spend your birthdays? I want a party, of course! Seriously, I do think every year of life deserves a celebration of some sort. We celebrate all birthdays with extended family at Sunday lunch – doesn’t matter where your birthday falls in the week. Our birthdays over the last couple of years have been very low key. Mark and I have hosted a couple of parties for each other for a few of our significant birthdays.

3. Something you might take a little too seriously? I’m a number 1 on the enneagram so I have a tendency to want all things to be perfect and I’m really hard on myself . . . which leads me to take things too seriously at times. Yes, I know that life isn’t perfect. I’m working on it.
4. Describe a time you made a good decision for yourself. I’m trying to make a good decision now. I’ve ordered my college transcripts and I’ve talked to an academic advisor and I’m thinking about finishing my degree. Yes, I’m 63 years old. I might be the oldest one in all of my classes.
5. Something you’ve improved/gotten better at – When I was a kid, I was the one who made straight A’s with a C in conduct. The teacher would often write a comment about my level of socializing and the fact that I talked too much. As I’ve aged, I’ve worked hard (especially in a professional setting) to not talk too much.
6. What dish would you bring to a summer potluck? Asian Slaw – it is so yummy – shredded cabbage, toasted slivered almonds and toasted sunflower seeds, crunchy ramen noodles, chopped green onions and a dressing made of the dry seasoning in the beef ramen noodles, oil, sugar, and vinegar. It is delicious!

7. What do you miss about Winter? I miss very little about winter.

8. Share a summer memory – When I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money but somehow my parents scrimped and saved and we went to the beach every summer. We have kept up that tradition with our family and we have been to the beach almost every summer since we married. We have loved our times as a family!

9. Words you misspell or misuse the most – I truly cannot think of an answer. I know there are several but I can’t think what they might be!
10. Things you love to do, that can only happen in summer – sunbathe! Yes, I know it isn’t good for you but I love soaking up a few rays. We do live in Alabama so there are some days in the winter where I probably could still sunbathe! Most years, I’m still wearing shorts at Thanksgiving!
11. How would you describe your sense of humor? I love to laugh!!! I’m not particularly witty but I love hanging out with people who are!
12. Have you ever quit a job or career? I worked at AT&T for 11 years and when I went out on maternity leave with our twins, I didn’t go back. They called me when our babies were six weeks old and tried to get me to come back and I was getting about 3 hours of sleep a night. I turned down the job.

13. What are your favorite features of your cell phone? I love to take photos and I also love the kindle app! I also love to facetime with our granddaughters . . .though they always want to talk to Pops!

14. What scents always make you hungry? Let’s see – popcorn popping and another would be steak or burgers cooking on the grill in someone else’s yard.

15. What are you working on right now? We have a big event coming up at work with a big name speaker and I’ve been working with his people and our people to make this happen.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 From this Side of the Pond

I missed answering the Hodgepodge questions over the past couple of weeks. Joyce at From This Side of the Pond writes the questions and we answer and then connect back at her blog. Feel free to answer in the comments or copy and paste questions to your blog and link up!

1. What's something you would say 'runs in your family'? I think I could easily answer that lots of bad habits run in our family! I'm sort of joking. My family tends to be loud . . .the more excited we are, the louder we are. We also tend to have weight issues. I would also like to think that the gift of hospitality runs in my little immediate family - Mark and I have that gift and I think our kids have that gift, too.

2. A book, song, tv show, or movie you love that is centered around family. Mark and I loved Modern Family and watched it every week. Right now, we are watching Blindspot and the FBI team refers to themselves as family even though they aren't actually related.

3. Family matters, family ties, family tree, family man, family fortune, black sheep of the family, family values, one big happy family...choose a 'family phrase' that applies to your life currently and explain.  I guess it would be family matters. My sweet mother-in-law needs overnight assistance right now and the adult children are taking turns spending the night. Mark spent his night with her last week and then took my night. I'm still working 40 hours a week plus facilitating two groups a week and I really appreciate that he took my night.

4. Last thing you fixed for a big family dinner? If you're not the cook, last thing you were served at a big family dinner? We feed our young professional group on Tuesday nights and we sit around the table like a family so I'm going with this week's menu. I made Crack Chicken and Rice by Plain Chicken, green beans, salad, and rolls. A friend made pies for our dessert. 

5. What are three words you would use to describe your family. Loud, funny, Christians -- that is for my immediate family - Mark and I and are two kids (spouses, grandkids). Actually, our son-in-law is more of an introvert and I think we are probably way too loud for his taste :-) but he puts up with us.

6. Insert your own random thought here. Our neighborhood had a block party on Saturday afternoon/evening. It was much needed. The first few years we lived here, there were tons of neighborhood functions but covid did a number on everyone. It was so good to be out and about (actually outside) with lots of people.

we had live music to the left of the jumpy house

Mark and Dave enjoying a
cold beverage

our cute golf cart
War Eagle!

I thought this was funny -
a whole row of parked
golf carts

It had rained right in the middle of the afternoon portion of the party and we thought they might cancel but it kept going! Only one food truck stuck it out through the rain . . .and the sno cone truck stuck it out, too. One neighbor owns a real estate company and she and her husband donated a ton of door prizes. I won a $50 Fandango gift card and our neighbor won either $50 or $100 Outback card.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

10 on the 10th


Thanks to Leslie at Once Upon a Time Happily Everafter for the questions.

10 on the 10th.  The prompt for August is 10 questions about life-long learning.  Here are the questions.

1.    How old were you when you started school? Did you attend pre-kinder and/or kinder or go straight into first grade? I was 6 years old when I started first grade. We didn't have public kindergarten in my hometown back in the early 60's. I did go ONE day to a private kindergarten. I guess they allowed people to bring a friend one day.

2.    Were you a good student? What was your favorite subject? Yes, I was an excellent student. I'm a people pleaser and I'm a #1 on the enneagram and I'm competitive so I was always striving for the top grade. I loved Math and English. When my kids were little, I would ask them about their favorite subject - our son would always say "recess."

3.    As a child, did you take music lessons? Or play a sport? Do you still play an instrument now? Our family didn't have the money for extras like music lessons. We played neighborhood kickball and baseball but I never played organized sports until I was a young adult and I was the catcher on our church women's softball team. I was not a good player.

4.    Did you attend any kind of training or classes beyond high school? If so, what did you study?  Did you wind up working in a profession or job for which those classes or training prepared you? I took classes at a local junior college and also at a 4 year university but never got my degree. I would assume that my English classes would have prepared me and I've also taken classes on Excel and Publisher which I use often.

5.    Have you taken any personal growth or adult education classes for fun? During the year that was Covid, did you home school, learn a new app to work from home, teach yourself to do something you might have paid someone else to do for you? I'm actually meeting with an academic advisor on Friday to scope out my options. I did learn how to use Zoom during covid - lots of meetings via zoom and I taught and facilitated some classes on Zoom.

6.    What would you like to learn how to do that you don’t know how to do already? I took 4 Spanish classes in college and I should go back and relearn so that I can speak Spanish now.

7.    Name something that you learned easily. Then name something that was a struggle for you to learn to do. There have been two classes in my life where I struggled. I struggled with Geometry but I think it was the coach who taught our class. I also struggled with Psychology 101. The professor was a jack a** PLUS I had all four wisdom teeth cut out that semester with a two day stay in the hospital.

8.    What’s the last thing you remember learning? What kind of learner are you: visual, auditory, hands-on/kinesthetic, verbal, logical/mathematical? I'm always reading so I feel like I'm always learning. We recently had Eleanor from our church staff speak to our young professionals group about the Old Testament. She is our Children's minister but is also an Old Testament scholar. I learned several new things from her. I think I'm a hands-on learner and maybe somewhat of a visual learner. I'm definitely not an auditory learner. I can listen to a lecture but I need to take lots of notes so I can go back over it.

9.    Hard to teach an old dog new tricks, school of hard knocks, pass with flying colors, learn by heart, burn the midnight oil, pull an all-nighter, play hooky – which of these expression best fits your life lately? Why? I guess this week is burn the midnight oil . . . though I won't be staying up until midnight. We have at least one thing every single day and night this week. I'm trying to make sure I'm organized and have a list so I don't forget anything.

10. What is something you’ve learned from past mistakes? You can't always judge a book by its cover. Every time I judge someone by their appearance, I end up realizing that each person is unique and loved by God . . .and I need to remember that!

11. Bonus: Share your favorite learning/education quote. Does Dr. Seuss count? You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Sunday Stealing

Thanks to Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World". . Welcome to Sunday Stealing.  Bev steals all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere.  Cheers to all of us thieves!

 Stolen from Durward Discussions 

1.  What is the nearest book to you?  Your Kindle does not count.

Hope for the Hard Times Lessons on Faith from Elijah and Elisha -- I highly recommend it. The book was recommended by a friend who recently died of cancer. After he died, I used the book to teach a series of adult Sunday School lessons. We finished the book today.

2.  When was the last time you took a "me" vacation? Just me? I don't even remember. I love getting a pedicure every two weeks and that one hour feels like a mini vacay!!

3.  How many telephone numbers do you have? 2

4.  If you could fix one thing in the public school system, what is the one thing you would do immediately? I would allow teachers to educate rather than teach for testing. I would also give teachers a big raise! My daughter is a school teacher and I just helped her in her room -- I love working on her room with her!!

5.  What's your favorite Olympic event? I'm going with summer Olympics, right? Synchronized swimming :-). I also enjoy beach volleyball! How about women's gymnastics? I can't pick a favorite!

6.  Do you watch the Olympics? yes - but I'm not a big TV watcher so I don't watch constantly.

7.  Who is your favorite sports team player? I don't have an answer for this question!

8.  If you could travel in a spaceship to any planet, which planet would you like to visit and why? Mars? I enjoyed the movie Martian. That is the dumbest reason ever but I'm answering these questions after 9:00 p.m. and I am not a night person!!

9.  When was the last time you sat in a church? This morning! We are back to required masks but we are still worshipping together.

10.  Are there any aspects of blogging that annoy you? I have so many ideas in my head but have a hard time finding the actual time to write so that is sort of annoying. 

11. Have you ever gone to a party and snooped in the medicine cabinet? nope!

12.Do you watch reality TV? I watch HGTV and some of those are sort of reality. Hubby really enjoys some of the survivor/alone type shows.

13.  How many people can you call who have known you since you were in school? Thanks to Facebook, I'm still in touch with quite a few people who have known me a long time. 

14. Who, when, and where was your first kiss? This question made me laugh out loud. First kiss was Mike in the hallway at church after youth choir practice!!

15. You just got thrown out of your country.  Where do you want to become a citizen? My first thought was "Australia" but I've never been there so I just THINK I want to live there! I think I would like to live somewhere with a beach -- have a house right on the water.



Saturday, August 7, 2021

Happy Birthday Gmom!

I haven't been blogging much lately. I've just had too much on my mind and too many things to do. Also, sometimes I want to write things down but I don't want to offend anyone and so instead of censoring my thoughts . . .I just don't write. I've added "write" to my to do list EVERY SINGLE day this week and here it is Saturday and I'm going to write SOMETHING. 

My mother-in-law is a pretty spectacular person! She just celebrated her 96th birthday in July. If you live locally, please don't tell her that I told her age!! I think it is something to be proud of but she has never been one to reveal her age.

Right at the end of June she fell and broke her hip. She has only had one other broken bone in her life. She had a hip replacement and spent a few days in a local hospital and then was transferred to a rehab hospital where she wowed the staff. She stayed less than 2 weeks in rehab and then moved back to her home. Mark's sister flew in and stayed about a month with her mom and now we are taking turns spending the night with her and checking on her throughout the day.

She had only been home from rehab for a few days when her birthday rolled around. We celebrated her during Sunday lunch at her house. We have eaten Sunday lunch at her house for our entire married life -- actually, I was invited even when Mark and I were dating. That is an important thing to know because when the rehab staff came into her room and asked her for a goal -- her goal was to get home to her house and cook Sunday lunch for the family. I don't think she will be cooking lunch for us anytime soon. . .maybe ever again . . .but we can still eat lunch at her house by getting take outs or cooking the food at home and bringing it to her house.

She looks pretty good!
She was so happy because all
FOUR of her adult children
were around her table that day!

Caramel Pecan cake - She loves nuts! I bought
the cake from the Piggly Wiggly - a woman
in Alabama makes them and sells them
through the grocery store. I brought it
home and covered it in pecans.

The altar flowers at church. Mark
and I sponsored the flowers in honor
of her birthday. She actually started
this ministry. Our chancel area
is large and needs a large 
arrangement. The cost is
prohibitive if you have a florist
make them each week. My mother-
in-law started the flower guild
and their motto is "flowers to
the glory of God." Each week,
people can sponsor the flowers
($60 - going up again this next
year probably) in honor
or in memory of someone.
Then volunteers purchase the
flowers, cut flowers from their
own yards, and sometimes
from other people's yards and
make these spectacular
arrangements each week. Pre-covid
the flowers were dismantled on
Monday and many smaller arrangements
were made and carried to our
homebound members and to those
in the hospital, etc.

Church members and friends have been so kind to come by and visit with her over the last few weeks. Over the years she has been a friend to many and she is loved much. We are thankful for her and we love her so much!!