Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sunday Stealing

 Thanks to Bev for the questions! Feel free to link up at Sunday Stealing or answer in the comments!

1.          When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

I must have been in a deep sleep when the clock when off and as I stumbled toward my phone to turn off the alarm I wondered "what day is it?" I don't think I looked into a mirror until I started drying my hair and putting on make-up.

2.      What shirt are you wearing?

It may be the last week of September, but here in Alabama the temp was in the high 70’s on Saturday with lots of warm sunshine. I had on a faded Land’s End tank top that is sort of orange.

3.      Do you label yourself?

Yes. Some of my labels are wife, mom, Gran, 1 on the enneagram, assistant to the senior pastor, Sunday school teacher, follower of Jesus. I struggle with labels about my weight – in my own head.

4.      What does your watch look like?

Here, I’ll show you! I love my watch. The watchband is from Amazon.

5.      What were you doing at midnight last night?


6.      Last furry thing you touched?

Harvey – our ginormous cat!

7.      Favorite age you have been so far?

I don’t have a favorite – there have been many good years!!

8.      What is your current desktop picture?

I don’t have one on my computer but on my phone, I have a picture of me with my two granddaughters.

9.      If you had to choose between $1,000,000 or to be able to fly what would it be?

This question is reminiscent of “would you rather” – would I rather have $1,000,000 or be able to fly? I think I might choose the money but on the other hand, it sure would be nice to fly above a traffic jam or fly to see my sister in Houston.

10.  The last song you listened to?

Overcomer by Mandisa! I’m a speaker at our church’s women’s retreat next weekend and that is my song.

11.  What do you do when vending machines steal your money?

Slap the machine, right?

12.  Would you move for the person you loved?

Yes. We’ve never had to move from this general area since we’ve been married but if we had to move, I would. It sure would be hard to leave friends and family.

13.  Name three things that you have on you at all times?

Underwear! Actually, I was just reading a scripture about clothing ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. I wish I could write that I have on those attributes of Christ at all times.

14.  What’s your favorite town/city?

The one we live in is pretty good! I guess my favorite would be Orange Beach, AL.

15.  Does anything hurt on your body right now?

I’m 63. What do you think? Actually, I just had the heating pad on my back . . . oh well!

Happy Sunday!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Happy Fall Y'all Hodgepodge

 Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Copy and paste the questions into your own blog and answer away or feel free to answer in the comments!! Thanks so much to Joyce for the questions!! If you want to link up, do so here!

From this Side of the Pond

1. It's fall y'all! Officially that is and in the northern hemisphere only, so if you're visiting from down under happy spring! Does it feel like fall where you live? Does it look like fall aka are the leaves beginning to change? What is your favorite fall color? Scent? Flavor? It does not look nor feel like fall in Alabama BUT in the next day or so we are expecting a "front" and the nighttime temps will be in the 50's -- that will feel like fall! Our leaves have not begun to change colors yet. I love orange!! I'm not that fond of fake scents like candles (allergies) but an apple pie baking in the oven or pumpkin bread (though I don't eat sweets!) smell pretty good. My favorite fall flavor is the dressing and gravy that goes with the turkey!

2. What's something you're not? I've started typing this answer 4 times already and still don't have a good response. I'm not always a quick thinker when it comes to snappy responses!!

3. Share a favorite quote related to fall and tell us why it's a favorite. My blog title today is a pretty good phrase for fall - happy fall y'all! I googled (just being honest here!) "favorite fall quotes" and I found this one that I love! I've always thought the leaves were dancing but flying sounds pretty good, too!

I'm assuming this is from Women's
Day magazine??

4. Besides Thanksgiving, what's your favorite fall meal?  Any kind of soup -- especially chili with grated cheese on top or Taco (Sante Fe) Soup or Creamy Chicken Noodle! Just FYI - Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year.

5. Share a favorite photo you took last fall? 

Our house decorated for Halloween last year!

6. Insert your own random thought here. I attended the funeral on Monday of one of the men from our church family. Bill's wife died in 2018 and Bill died last week. I'm not a crier yet I wept through his funeral yesterday. I think I'm mourning all of those we've lost over the last few years -- especially since the beginning of covid. Bill and his wife Gayle loved my children. When they were younger, they called our son "baby bear" and they referred to themselves as  mama and papa bear.  Gayle had my kids over to their house one time and taught them to do the four strand braid with plastic laces. I think it had a different name but I found this book on line just so you could see what I'm talking about. They made one like the one third from the top left -- twisty. Gayle and Bill were Auburn fans, too.

They loved our kids so much that they allowed our son to drive their convertible to his senior prom. I know that I have a picture from that night somewhere but here is a picture of Bill and Gayle in that car.

Anyway, if you are a praying sort -- please pray for Merritt and Katie and their families. I know they are mourning the loss of their dad this week.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday Stealing

 1. If America is one nation under god then are atheists citizens? Yes, they are citizens.

2. Is there anything that you believe should be banned for any reason? I just read the most interesting article about things that are banned (or illegal) in the US – quite interesting. If interested, check it out. I live with a man who owns guns (hunting, etc.) so know that about us before I tell you this. I personally think people should not own those big automatic weapons where they can mow people down in an instant. To me, those guns are for military use, etc. My husband does not own one but he would probably disagree with my statement.

3. How often do you eat too much? Evidently I ate way too much many times in the past. Over the last few years, I’ve worked hard to learn to eat less. One day last week, I ate way too many potato chips (ruffles) that were left over from a dinner party. It made me feel really icky.

driver's license photo then on the left vs a few
weeks ago on the right

4. If you died tomorrow, what mark would you have left on the world? I’ve taught a large adult Sunday School class for 30 years and we’ve facilitated a group for young professionals each week for about 12 years – I hope that someone – at least one person – has learned about Jesus. I hope that someone’s faith has been strengthened. I think that would be a pretty good mark.

5. Are you a city person or a country person? My answer is neither – I’m a suburb person!

6. What annoys you the most about yourself? I recently mentioned this in another blog post – I get annoyed with myself when I talk either too much or allow things to come out of my mouth . . .that should have stayed in my head only.

7. Who was your childhood hero? My daddy!

8. With nearly 100 channels why is NOTHING ever on? Your guess is as good as mine. We got rid of cable a month or two ago and pay $11 a month for Hulu with no commercials and we have Amazon Prime. We’ve actually watched better TV!

9. Would you adopt a stray kitty wandering through your neighborhood? A cat showed up on our deck back around 2005 and he became a part of our family – Snug! We had to have him put down and it almost killed us. We now have a giant cat named Harvey who is a rescue. He is indoor only because someone had him declawed at some point. Right now there is a cute kitty hanging out around my mother-in-law’s house and Mark has been feeding him (her?) but we can’t adopt another. Harvey would not tolerate another cat.

10. Which Lord of the Rings movie has the best ending? I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve not watched any of the Lord of the Rings movies.

11. What are you missing in your life? My life is pretty good. We have a lovely home. I have a wonderful husband who puts up with me. We have two beautiful children who are married to lovely people and they have given us two adorable granddaughters. Sometimes I have FOMO when I see pictures of families at their lakehouses, etc. but in reality I have all I need – I have enough.

12. What could you make a sculpture out of that's in the room with you right now? Playdough – granddaughter was here this weekend. I could also make one out of laundry that is clean and needs to be folded . . .I could even make one out of canned goods!

13. Do you believe in the lost city of Atlantis? It would be cool to see . . .if it does really exist.

14. Have you ever read The Little Prince? No . . . should I load it on my kindle and read it?

15. What fantasy book would you like to see made into a movie? Fantasy is not usually my genre. I look forward to reading other answers for this question.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Wednesday HodgePodge

 From this Side of the Pond

1. How would you define 'old'? At what age is someone old? My husband's grandmother lived to be 95 and she was asked a question about how she felt at that age. She said that she still felt like a girl inside! I remember when I was young, someone who was 50 seemed REALLY old. I'm now 63 and I still feel pretty young! I think "old" is a state of mind. I've been around younger people who seemed REALLY old and I've been around really old people who seemed young.

2. A place you've been that's old? Tell us something about your visit there.  I've been to Israel and sat on the some "original" steps of the temple - the ones where Jesus and Mary and Joseph walked. I've also been to the place where they think King David hid in the caves and that is even older.

some of the steps have been remade but
some of the steps are original

3. Something you miss about the 'good old days'? When were they anyway? I'm not sure when the good old days were -- It was nice when I was a child and I didn't have to worry about a thing. I do remember when life seemed more simple and maybe those were the "good old days"!

4. In what way are you a 'chip off the old block'? Or if you'd rather, in what way is your child a 'chip off the old block'?  I've been told that I look a lot like my mom. She died when I was 14. She had just turned 50.  One time someone asked our son who he took after. He said that he looked like me and acted like Mark and that Laura (twin sister) looked like Mark and acted just like me.

son on the far left; daughter in the orange shirt

5. Old fashioned, Old Testament, old timer, same old same old, old glory, good old boy, old wives tale...choose an 'old' phrase that relates to something in your life or the wider world currently and explain. I guess my answer would be Old Testament because we recently studied about the prophet Elijah.

6. Insert your own random thought here. I need to get on a better blogging schedule. Thank goodness for Jo who writes questions for us each week and thank goodness for Bev who "steals" the Sunday Stealing questions each week. I need to take time to write about other things, too. Do y'all have a blogging schedule? Do you write on certain days of the week? Do you pre-write posts? I did some pre-writing back in April during the blogging challenge. How much time do you devote each week (or day?) for writing your blog?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sunday Stealing

1. Who do you take for granted? I think I take my spouse (Mark) for granted. We've been married since 1984 and he is so good to me. He puts up with my crazy outbursts among other things. Just typing these words makes me realize that I need to make sure he knows how much I love him!!

2. Short, knee, or ankle skirts? (if a man, have you ever worn kilts?) I like to wear my skirts right above the knee. My calves are very muscular so I don't like for skirts to hit below the knee because it makes my leg look big :-) When I wear ankle (or to the floor) skirts, the garment has to be "made" just right or I look like a kid wearing dress up clothes. I’m wearing a gorgeous formal gown in our daughter’s wedding picture that is my profile pic and I did feel beautiful that day!

3. Do you wear a hat? Nope. My head was not made for hats.

4. Who's your favorite cartoon character? Pink Panther – I’ve loved him for as long as I can remember!!

5. Does break dancing impress you? Any dancing impresses me – I should say “just about any” dancing. I’m not a very good dancer.

6. Are you a miracle? Oh my goodness – I think we are all a bunch of miracles. In my mind (and heart), only God could take a tiny egg from a female and match it with sperm from a male and then GROW a HUMAN inside the woman . . and then have said human arrive through a birth canal (or C Section) . . .in my mind, the whole process is a miracle so that means we are all walking miracles!

7. Have you ever eaten tofu? Yes – I love it in hot and sour soup from the Chinese restaurant!

8. Does the moon have an effect on your mood? As much as I want to deny it, I think that the moon does affect many of us. I can almost tell you when it is a full moon without looking at the night sky.

9. Many people will say that the Harry Potter books are pure fluff with no literary value. Do you agree? I read the first Harry Potter book this summer while on vacation and LOVED it. I need to read the sequels. I think most reading provides some literary value – reading broadens our minds, allows us to imagine all sorts of people, places, and things, and increases our vocabulary.

10. What are you doing next Wednesday? I’ll be working at my desk throughout the day and picking up dinner from our church chef!

11. Why do so many people think Elvis is still alive? I have no idea. Seriously.

12. Are your hands cold? I’m a hot natured person but I just realized that at this moment, my hands are cold! Pre-covid, after Sunday school our class would circle up and hold hands for the closing prayer. I teach and even after teaching a million years, I’m still nervous. The person holding my hand always commented, “your hands are cold.”
13. Have you ever given blood? Yes. I gave once when I was in my early 20’s and fainted in front of a whole bunch of people! I didn’t give again until covid and I’ve given twice. I have O+ blood and they need it often. I didn’t give in the last blood drive because they hurt me so much during the previous two times but I’ll probably give again.

14. What SCI-fi books do you read? Sci-fi is not my normal genre. The closest to Sci-fi books would be Quantum and Spin – two books by Patricia Cornwell and I recently read The Noise by James Patterson. None of these are classified as Sci-fi but they are a little “out there” so that fits in my book. (no pun intended – ha!)

15. Have you ever belonged to a sorority or a fraternity? No, I haven’t. My husband was a Beta Theta Pi and our daughter was a Zeta – both at Auburn. I always loved volunteering for our daughter’s sorority during recruitment week. I didn’t know my husband back then but he says that his fraternity was like the movie, “Animal House.”



Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Thanks to Jo at From This Side of the Pond for this week's questions. You can answer the questions in the comments or you can copy and paste the questions into your own blog and link up here.

 From this Side of the Pond

1. Something you've done recently that required you giving 110% ? Instead of answering for myself, I'm going to answer for my husband and his siblings. They have all been giving 110% to help take care of their sweet mama.

2. What task-sport-chore-hobby-activity have you participated in or completed, that if judged, would land you a perfect 10?  Check out my post from yesterday about cheese straws! I'm usually VERY CRITICAL of myself but I think my cheese straws deserve a big 10!

3. What are ten of your favorite things right now?  

    1. granddaughter #1 

    2. granddaughter #2 

    3. no sugar added fudge pops 

    4. nice cream  - our favorite is bananas and fresh peaches 

5. clean windows -- just had inside and outside cleaned today and they are sparkling in the sunshine 

6. speaking of sparkling - have you tried sparkling ice? it is a flavored sparkling water with zero sugar - yummy! 

7. planning for our trip to Ireland 

8. mini saltines - but we can't find them in any store nor online. 

9. my job - I love my job! 

10. family and friends!!

4. Nine times out of ten I _speak before I think -- but God is still working on me.

5. Where were you when the world stopped turning, twenty years ago this week? I was at the gym on a treadmill and everyone in the gym slowly got off/down from the equipment and made our way to stand in front of the TV in total silence.

6. Insert your own random thought here. As I'was cooking for the young professionals that show up at our house on Tuesday nights, I opened the packages of pork tenderloin and almost freaked out. I thought there was something wrong with them. I grabbed the wrapper and READ IT . . .and it said "topped with smoked applewood bacon." There were tiny cubes all over one side of the pork tenderloins and I thought something bad had happened! I've never bought this one before. I'll have to let y'all know how it tastes.

Monday, September 6, 2021

The Right Tool for the Job!

There are so many titles for today's blog -- Try! Try! Try Again! -- Sometimes the Oldest One Wins! -- The Third Time is the Charm -- Are You Truly a Southerner? Any of those would have worked but I decided to go with "The Right Tool for the Job!" My mother-in-law and her mother before her were known for making cheese straws. My mother-in-law has made thousands upon thousands of cheese straws. This is where the title "Are You Truly a Southerner?" comes in -- if you aren't, you might not know of what I speak!! A few years ago, we found a local baker at a church kitchen who was also known for his cheese straw baking skills. He would sell a GIANT bag of cheese straws for $25-30 (price went up over the years). One of our part-time staff members would take orders at least twice a year and I would buy several bags to put in our freezer because you NEVER know when you might need to serve cheese straws. Cheese straws are served at bridal teas and showers; receptions of all kinds; birthday parties - you name it and cheese straws can be served. I've given baggies of cheese straws as Christmas gifts to neighbors. I've given cheese straws as thank you gifts!! I also always bought a bag to take to the beach for our family vacation. So what happened? The cheese straw man retired. What? We all cried -- what? He can't retire. Yes, I know -- it sounds like we are all selfish . . .and we are . . .sort of! I decided since he was retiring, I would learn to make cheese straws. I had a cookie press from Pampered Chef so I tried it. To make cheese straws, you need a tiny star. Well, this press didn't have a tiny star so I tried the tip circled below.

That tip made giant ugly cheese straws. I ordered a second press from another manufacturer. Once again, there was not a small tip amongst all of the tips.

The cheese straws tasted ok - I was using my mother-in-law's mother's recipe given to me by my sister-in-law. The problem is . . .you can't serve ugly giant cheese straws at a fancy function.

So I tried again and when I made this batch, as soon as the cheese straws came out of the oven, I sliced them in half and cut them into pieces.

I took the above two containers to the beach. They tasted ok but they DID NOT in any way, shape, form or fashion look like my mother-in-law's dainty cheese straws.

I'm off for a few days and decided to try again. This would be my third try. What is the difference you might ask. I asked my mother-in-law if I could borrow her cookie press. I mixed up the ingredients (lots of butter, lots of cheese, some flour, some red pepper) and stuffed the mixture into the press.

Look at this press. It is a true antique. It belonged to my mother-in-law's mother. My mother-in-law is 96 y'all . . .this cookies press is old. This press is operated by a hand crank plus IT HAS A TINY STAR TIP.

The minute the dough started extruding from the press, I knew that I had hit the jackpot! I actually got a little emotional thinking about the press. For a few moments, I felt like a part of history -- I am the third generation of women (though I'm in the family by marriage) to use this press.

I've been baking for several hours and my kitchen is a TOTAL DISASTER. Seriously! There is flour everywhere and the food processor is caked with cheese dough and the press will have to be scrubbed with a toothbrush.

The important thing is I had the right tool and it worked. I had the right tool for the job - an antique cookie press with a tiny star tip. It worked! I'm making these as thank you gifts for some folks who helped me a whole lot last week. Mark loves cheese straws, too, so at some point, I will need to make another recipe for him. In order to make these, you need a block of 3 hours or so. I had pre-grated my cheese early yesterday and bagged it and wrote the ounces on the outside of the baggie. That helped a lot! I'm not sure that store bought pre-grated cheese would work -- I don't think it is "wet" enough. Cheese straws are worth the labor, time, and expense. If you've never had cheese straws, I wish you lived nearby so I could share with you! They are yummy!!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Sunday Stealing Questions

Thanks to Bev over at Sunday Stealing for our questions today! You can answer in the comments or you can copy and paste the questions into your own blog, answer, and link up here.


1.What's your favorite TV channel to watch in the middle of the night? I’m rarely awake in the middle of the night so I don’t even know what is one TV at that time. If I ever can’t sleep, I usually read. A few times when I couldn’t sleep, I got up and wrote blog posts!! My favorite trick when I’m awake in the middle of the night is to do “an alphabet prayer.” I start with A and try to pray for as many folks as I can think of whose name begins with A . . . and then I move through the alphabet. Poor Zac rarely gets his name mentioned. I’m usually asleep about halfway through.

2.Which decade do you feel the most special connection to and why? I guess it would be the 70’s since I graduated from high school in 1976. But wait – maybe it would be the 80’s since we married in 1984 and had our twins in 1986. Both of those decades played a big role in my life.

3.What is your favorite oldie/classic rock song? Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

4.What Disney villain are you the most like and why? I just read the description of the top ten Disney villains and I hope I’m not like ANY of them. I guess appearance wise it would be Ursula! I know I REALLY don't look like her anymore but sometimes my mind thinks that is how I look!

5.Have you ever been a girl scout/boy scout? No, I was never a girl scout. Our daughter was a brownie and our son was a cub scout. My husband was a scout, too.

6.If you were traveling to another continent would you rather fly or take a boat? I would rather fly.

7. What are three of your favorite dog names of all time? We didn’t have dogs but my husband’s family did – They had Rip, Babe, and Sport after I came into the family so I’m going to go with those names!  I’m reading an Irish mystery right now and the puppies are named Dip and Thong! I’m laughing as I type that!

8. How do you feel when you see a rainbow? Hopeful – always hopeful.

9. If you were in the Land of Oz would you want to live there or go home? It might be a nice place to visit but I think I would want to go home.

10. What is the first word that comes to mind when you see the word:
Air: plane
Meat: steak
Different: people
Pink: granddaughter #1’s favorite color (too many words – sorry!)
Deserve: recipient
White: snow
Elvis: hounddog
Magic: Taylor Hughes – just saw him on Wednesday night
Heart: break – I have no idea why that popped into my head!
Clash: Titans
Pulp: mill (there are some paper plants in Alabama and they smell!!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Apple a Day Hodgepodge

Thanks to Jo for the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then join us here to add your link and share your answers or feel free to answer in the comments section below. 

From this Side of the Pond

1. As we begin this brand new month tell us, on a scale of 1-10, where does your life fall in terms of being in 'apple pie order'? Please elaborate. (1=nowhere near it, 10=practically perfect in every way)

This is a hard question to answer. I love to be positive so I want to say 10 but in reality that is not true right now.  Tonight, Bob Goff will be speaking at our church and I've been very involved in the process. I can't wait to hear what he has to say. Mark and I have heard him in person twice before and we've done all of his studies with our young adults. Bob Goff is a total positive (minus the worry if I have everything lined up) for my month. We are still dealing with Mark's elderly mom and that is not a 10. All in all, we live a really good life. 

2. An apple a day keeps the doctor away...are you doing your part? Red or green? Sweet or tart? Ever played the game Apples to Apples? Do you like apple pie? If so, ala mode or just gimme the pie? I'm not eating an apple a day but I eat fruit every day! I wrote this post about apples back in April. Let's see - I love a good red, sweet with a tiny bit of tart, firm flesh apple - please don't give me a mushy or mealy apple! I have played Apples to Apples one time . . .a long time ago. We don't play board games very often at our house. Apple pie with ice cream is yummy. I really love apple roll and you can read about it here.

3. Tell us about a time recently where you 'upset the apple cart' or the last time someone 'upset your apple cart'? Our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter #2 came home for the weekend two weeks ago. I ordered Chick Fil A online and paid and asked Mark and son-in-law to go pick it up. It turned into a huge fiasco and I totally lost it . . .yes, over Chick Fil A.  Basically, Chick Fil A upset my apple cart and then I upset everyone's apple cart. I'm not proud of that moment and I'm thankful for grace - lots of grace!

4. What are three words that come to mind when you think of September? Football, fall, time -- 

1. Football is an obvious answer and that would be Auburn football. In the state of Alabama, you pretty much have to choose - you are either an Auburn fan or an Alabama fan. We take football seriously in the south . . and in Alabama! 

2. Fall is coming - this week, there will be a hint of cool in the early mornings which is always a gift. We will still have hot temps but there will be a few days where we get a tiny glimpse of cooler temps. I will still be wearing shorts at Thanksgiving so we aren't talking cold weather anytime soon. 

3. Time - the days start getting shorter and shorter. Around the summer solstice, daylight arrives shortly after 5:00 a.m. Each day, sunrise is happening later and later and I know that we still have 24 hours in a day but something about the darkness makes it seem less.

5. What are you most looking forward to this month? I'm really looking forward to tonight! We will be attending our long time supper club and time with those friends nourishes and restores me. For the first time, we will be hosting one of our neighborhood supper clubs. We've never participated before but after Covid shutdown, I told Mark I wanted to participate. I can't wait to tell y'all about it after we host! We are also in an "out to eat" supper club that rotates every quarter and we have an outing planned. These "out to eat" supper clubs were born in our Sunday School class. Everyone who wants to participate signs up and we have a coordinator who divides the group into smaller units. A host is assigned for each month. The host's job is to find a restaurant that will accomodate the group, pick a date, email everyone with info. Then we gather at the restaurant and each couple or individual pays for their own meal. It works well and we get to know people better in smaller groups. I hope these activities get to happen . . .covid is horrible in our state right now.

6. Insert your own random thought here. I've registered at a local community college for classes that will begin in January. I'm having trouble getting my high school transcripts. I've been accepted pending receipt of this paperwork. Eek! I hope I'm not too old to learn a thing or two!