Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tuesday 4

I've never joined in for Tuesday 4 before but saw it on another blog and decided to hop on board. I've copied and pasted the intro and questions:

It's time again for Tuesday 4 held in memory of Toni Taddeo it's founder and previous host.   Thank you so much for joining in and helping to keep this alive. It is much appreciated.

It's Autumn and temperatures in many places will be going down, days will be shorter and leaves will be tumbling down. 

1. Do lower temperatures bother you or make you uncomfortable and are you more of a warm climate person? It was 58 here in my part of Alabama this morning and it felt DIVINE. Oh my goodness. I rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes and then I went and walked up and down the alley just so I could be outside a few minutes. I love a good hot day on the beach but I really do love a good fall day in Alabama!

2.  Do you like the colors associated with Autumn. Clothing wise do they look good on you? I love fall colors. It helps that one fall color is orange  . . .  which is also one of our favorite team colors (orange and blue for Auburn Tigers!). I can wear orange and red well.

3. Would you rather:… 

  … get lost in a corn maze or go on a hayride? go on a hayride

… visit an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch ? pumpkin patch

 … eat a caramel apple or  a candy apple?  I'm going to eat just the apple!

 …Cinnamon buns or Pumpkin muffins? pumpkin muffins (I even have a WW recipe)

4. There are 7,500 varieties  of apple.  What is your favorite and do you like apple pie? I love several varieties -- I bought Cosmic Crisp last week (yummy!) and I bought Pink Lady this week. I actually wrote a whole post on apples. You can read it here.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Italy/Germany/Austria Montage

I'm not sure why, but I'm having the hardest time writing about the rest of our Italy/Germany/Austria trip. I don't know if it is because of all that has happened since but I've decided to give myself some grace and just wait until I'm ready BUT I want to share this. I don't think you have to have a dropbox account to watch it. My boss put together a montage of our trip with music! Enjoy!

You can watch it here (and I hope you will!). It is just six minutes long :-).

Sunday Stealing


 NOTICE!!!!!  Bev's computer is dead and she has no way to create new Sunday Stealings.  Kwizgiver is guest hosting until she is back online.

Bev Sykes is normally the host of the blog "Funny the World.” (see above about Bev’s computer). Welcome to Sunday Stealing.  Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. Cheers to all of us thieves. 


1. If you were trapped in a room with the person who asked this for 24 hours, what would you do? The answer cannot be romantic or sexual. I’m assuming we are supposed to make up the question for “this” and then tell what we would do? If the person kept asking, “What time is it now?” I would probably yell at them after a while and tell them to stop. Mark’s mom’s memory is going (gone?) and she will continue to ask the same question over and over. I will say that it really gets on a person’s last nerve after a while. After 24 hours with her, my husband usually says he has been in the Twilight Zone.

2. If you could learn any language instantly, what would it be? My first answer is Spanish because I took quite a few classes in college and wish I could still speak it. I probably should answer with one of the REALLY hard languages because I imagine they would normally take much longer to learn.

3. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? I live in the Bible belt and I feel like this is one of those trick questions
😊. I will admit that I love to read and I would be sad to only have one book to read for the rest of my life.

4. Favorite song lyric?  I’m horrible with lyrics so I’m going with silly today. Our grandkids (and in-law kids) call Mark “Pop” or “Pops.” Our 6 year old granddaughter loves to “sing” this song to him. It is a cross between a song and a chant.


Hey what?

Are you ready?

For what?

To pop

Pop what?

Pop See Ko!


My hands are high

My feet are low

And this is how I pop see ko

His hands are high

His feet are low

And this is how I pop see ko

Pop see ko

Pop-pop see ko

Pop see ko

Pop-pop see ko

5. Favorite album? I’m going in an entirely different direction because I don’t own any albums these days. I think my scrapbook albums are my favorite. As far as I know, they made it through the fire and are in storage somewhere.

6. Which time of day would you say is best for you work-wise? I’m a morning person – all the way.

7. What do you think people assume about you from first glance? When I weighed 60+ pounds more than I do now, I always felt like people assumed I was lazy which is the farthest thing from the truth.

8. Favorite city that you haven’t visited? How could it be my favorite if I’ve never visited there? I would love to travel the world and visit all the cities! I would love to go to Australia and New Zealand or Scotland.

9. If you received $10,000 but had to give it away, what would you do with it? I would split it between our kids and grandkids and I would probably give some to our church, too.

10. What is one book you wish you could get all your friends to read? I’m reading Marriage, a History by Stephanie Coontz. It is my textbook for this semester. I’m going to be honest. The history of marriage is really interesting and it really makes me think about the definition of marriage we have today.

11. What is one movie you wish you could get all your friends to watch? Y’all – today’s questions are giving me a hard time. I don’t watch that many movies. The most recent I’ve watched – the old Top Gun, Chocolat, and Pretty Woman. Actually, let me change my answer. Everyone should watch Encanto! It is such a good movie.

12. If you could create one thing, what would it be? A world where we truly love one another! Since I don’t think I can accomplish that, how about a fun fall craft? Or a fun Christmas craft?

13. If you could play any musical instrument, what would it be? I really wanted to learn how to play the trombone when I was in middle school! Seriously. I think now it would be either the piano or the guitar. I did take guitar lessons for a while when I was in my 40’s but I wasn’t very good. I mastered Ode to Joy and that was about it!

14. What is your favorite item of clothing? I love wearing exercise shorts and tank tops from Land’s End along with flip flops or tennis shoes! I love wearing dresses – they are so much cooler and more comfortable than many other items of clothing.

15. What is your favorite card/board game? I’m laughing out loud. Not only do we not watch movies . . .we don’t really play many games. We’ve been playing Go Fish with our oldest granddaughter and it is fun! Mark and I actually played our version of Dominoes during covid and we enjoyed that.

Thursday, September 22, 2022


Thanks to Joyce for asking the questions!

1. Volume 478. Sounds like a lot. Where were you in 1978? If you weren't born where were you in 2008? 1978 was not a great year. I married right out of high school (December of 1976) and 18 months later, he decided to disappear. He did reappear (after I filed a missing person report) and we did divorce. Back in 1976, especially in Alabama, if you were gay . . .you tried to fit in the traditional marriage role. He couldn’t live a lie. He died of AIDS about 12 years later. In 2008, our kids were in college, and we were still enjoying have them home for weekends and holidays. I actually thought I started blogging in 2008 but I just looked and my first post was in June of 2009.

2. Raise your hand if you remember records playing at a speed of 78 rpm? What's a topic that when it comes up you 'sound like a broken record'? Yes, I grew up with a record player/stereo. My parent had this giant piece of furniture. There was a TV in the middle with a turntable on one end and I think it was a radio on the other end. I’m so sick of politics – some people (both sides) sound like broken records. I didn’t answer this question exactly as it was asked but I’m going with my answer.

Ours was similar to this!

3. What's the last thing you recorded in some way? I went to watch our oldest granddaughter cheer a couple of weeks ago and recorded a cheer for Pops (Mark) who was staying with his mother.

4. Thursday is the first day of fall (in the northern hemisphere). How do you feel about the changing seasons? Something you're looking forward to this fall? Considering it has been in the mid 90’s here in the middle of Alabama this week, I’m ready for some cooler temps. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The first weekend in October is our women’s retreat. I’m not giving one of the talks this year. I’m facilitating one of the small discussion groups. I’m looking forward to that weekend. My roommate is a fun friend and I love the young women working on the team.

I'm rooming with this sweet friend!

5. In what way (or ways) are you like the apple that didn't 'fall far from the tree'? My temper is quick like my daddy’s was. I look very much like my mother.

6. Insert your own random thought here. I know that I’m late posting but Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week have been very busy.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Sunday Stealing

Bev's computer has been broken so Kwizgiver has been writing our questions (thank you!). Join us!! 

Do you have any Pepto-Bismol in your house? I don’t think we do – we have immodium and maybe some Gas-X.

Do you have a favorite flavor of vodka? I have a favorite brand of Vodka – Grey Goose! I did buy some orange flavored vodka at one time and I may have sipped some straight from the bottle . . . shhhh!

Is your backyard big enough to fit a trampoline? ...and then some. In our actual home, we have a tiny courtyard – only an individual trampoline would fit. (disclaimer - that is not me! hahahaha!)

In the apartment, we have a lovely courtyard and I’m looking forward to sitting out there when the weather is more comfortable. We actually brought some of our outdoor furniture with us since the fire was only on the inside of the house.

I think a trampoline would fit but
if you fell off . . .you would be on
concrete or brick.

Every day I'm looking for the positives.
One of the positives is the courtyard/
back porch of the apartment. Mark
brought our porch plants from
the house.

When was the last time you had eggs? I made deviled eggs back in August. I made two batches of brown sugar brownies today and each pan needs 3 eggs so I used a half dozen today.

How often do you blow dry your hair, and what color is your blow dryer? I wash and dry my hair every day (except today!). I think my blow dryer is a weird shade of purple.

Have you ever gone to bed later than three AM? I’m sure I have in my 64 years. I remember when Glenn was little. He had croup and he and I sat in a steamy bathroom all night long. Does that count? When you travel internationally, you sort of sleep on the plane but it definitely doesn’t count as “going to bed” so I feel like that counts in some way or another.

Have you been to a surprise party before? I’ve thrown one surprise party for Mark. I guess it was for his 40th birthday. He hated it so we’ve had planned parties since then!! I’ve been surprised twice – for my 16th and for my 40th birthday. Both parties were given by friends and were sweet get togethers!

What is your least favorite month? I think it is January. Even here in Alabama, January has some yucky weather. My mother-in-law used to laugh about being sad in January because she said that during the holidays we spent all of our money and we gained weight from all of the good food which meant January involved dieting and budgeting PLUS yucky weather. (please know that I’m not making light of depression and sadness – that memory just popped into my head)

Have you ever gone to see a movie the day it came out? We don’t go to the movies very often so I’ve probably never been to see a movie on the day it opened.

Do you like movies/books about drugs, and why or why not? That is a really weird question (sorry!). We love CIA/Detective/Police shows like Bosch or The Americans and sometimes they include drugs but I don’t enjoy that. We did watch Marianna van Zeller’s expose on Fentanyl and it was pretty fascinating. She is a gutsy woman. We learn lots when we watch her shows. Here is the NatGeo link to the one on Fentanyl.

Do you have scrap paper by your computer desk? I don’t have a computer desk right now. I’m actually sitting at the island typing this. I sometimes use the tiny kitchen table. I do keep sticky notes and a notepad and pen nearby.

Have you ever kept a bag from a store because you liked it? I actually have one in my closet right now from our trip this summer (and I think I have two others from the same trip). I love this bag! According to google, the English translation of Stiefelkater is . . . .boot cat!

Was the last thing you drank carbonated? I drink diet pepsi and diet ginger ale every day.

Do you own any yellow clothing? I have a dress that has yellow designs on it but the dress is blue . . .with yellow. I don’t think I own anything that is totally yellow unless you count the VERY old yellow sweatshirt with a broken zipper. It is a "yard jacket" - you know what that means? You wear it out in the yard when doing yardwork, etc.

Last person you argued with? I’m sure it was my husband!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Perfect(ionist) HodgePodge

 I'm joining up with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond. Joyce asks the questions and we answer.

1. What's something you've learned from a younger person? I’m continually learning from younger people! My boss (senior pastor) is younger than I am and I learn something new from him almost every day! Almost all of my co-workers are younger and they, too, are always teaching me something. Just yesterday, someone taught me how to do something new in our database so that I can do it for her while she is on vacation later this fall. Eleanor is another friend at work and by education, she is an Old Testament scholar. Oh my goodness – she has taught me so much! When you hear the historical details that go side by side the scripture . . .and when you hear the original meaning of some of the words . . .it is mind blowing! Every week, we host the young adults and I learn from them, too!! Even our sweet granddaughters (3 and 6) teach us things – especially how to love deeply!!

2. Are you a perfectionist? Elaborate? Yes, I’m a perfectionist. Are you familiar with the Enneagram? I’m a number 1 – rule follower . . .who is a perfectionist. When I do things that aren’t perfect, I have this inner voice that talks sternly to me. It is hard to shut her up!!!

3. What makes you cringe? I cringe when others embarrass themselves.

4. September is National Honey month...do you have bees and make your own? Know someone who has bees and they share? Your favorite thing made with honey? We do not have bees BUT when my husband was a young adult he had bees along with his daddy. Actually, when we were dating (1982-1984) he still had bees. The honey was delicious. One of my co-workers, who just happens to be our associate pastor, has bees. She and her husband (also a pastor at another UMC) sell their honey. We’ve eaten several jars. Just yesterday I had a peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich on Keto bread. My honey may have cancelled out my Keto bread!

5. Where is your happy place? The beach is my happy place. I especially love going to Orange Beach, AL. I’ve been to several beaches in the Virgin Islands and I’ve been to Hawaiian beaches and I’ve been to the beach way down in Florida. The Alabama beaches (along with the Florida gulf coast) are white sandy beaches and they are so lovely.

6. Insert your own random thought here. We did a couple of fun things over the weekend. On Friday, I had lunch with 3 close friends. We usually meet on the first Friday of the month but had to postpone a week. On Friday night, we had dinner with our long time supper club. I’ve talked about them before. We’ve been together since 2004. We had great food – a shrimp boil. I took a great slaw that is a copy cat Zoe’s slaw. Zoe’s was a restaurant started in Birmingham and then franchised. Our two local ones have closed since covid!! A couple of folks brought appetizers – one made cajun onion rings. I only ate 1 and a bite of another one. They were SOOOO good! Another friend made tiny bamboo skewers with tomatos, basil leaves, and tiny mozzarella balls. Last but not least, the other friend made dessert – an apple cake with a caramel brandy sauce. I didn’t eat any of the cake so I can’t talk about it.

On Sunday night, we went to our neighborhood supper club. There were 16 of us at one house. Evidently one of the host/hostesses was sick and they had to combine some groups. I signed up for appetizer and made a charcuterie board. Another person brought little piggies in a crockpot with barbeque sauce. The host/hostess made Chicken Tetrazzini. Two different people brought green salad. One salad had both peaches and tomatoes in it and it was really good. Actually, both salads were good. Two other couples brought vegetables – one was a broccoli dish and I love broccoli. The other was stir fried green beans. They were amazing!! Meng, who is from China, made them and they had a kick! I have no idea what ingredients she used. Two people brought dessert and one was made by the neighborhood “baker” and it was an Irish Cream Cheesecake. It looked delicious. Someone else brought a cake from the grocery store bakery.

I didn’t take any pictures of people but I have a picture of the moon when we were leaving and a picture of the charcuterie board.


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Sunday Stealing

I'm joining up with Sunday Stealing! Come join us!

What flavor Popsicle is the best? My current favorite is the no sugar added chocolate Popsicle.

Do you have a DVR feature with your cable? We no longer have cable so we don’t have the ability to record.

How many drawers does your dresser have? We have a rental dresser in the apartment and it has 6 drawers.

Is your closet a mess? It is not too bad right now. A lot of my clothes haven’t made it back from a friend’s house. Our clothes were spread across several households. This apartment has two main closets in the primary bedroom and that may be my favorite feature!

Have you ever solved a Rubik's Cube? I definitely haven’t in many years. It seems like I remember lining it all up ONE time many years ago.

Describe your favorite pair of pajama pants: I don’t wear pajama pants! I sleep in cute and comfy night shirts.

What color is your wallet? Right now, I have two wallets in my purse. My giant brown one and a cute smaller teal one.

Do you find flea markets and thrift shops enjoyable? I might enjoy them if I went to them. I remember going to the flea market in Mobile with my son and daughter-in-law and it was pretty amazing. Sometimes thrift shops smell so funky. We have a children's clothing consignment sale at our church twice a year and I do shop there.

Have you met amazing people online? I think it is so cool to have blog “friends” from all parts of the world. I enjoy reading their posts because they look at the world differently which broadens my own horizons. So far, I've never actually "met" any of them.

Would you be happy if I colored a picture for you? Certainly! Do you color in the lines? If you do a good job, I might even hang it on the wall of the apartment!

What show do you think 'made' the 90's? I don’t think one show did. I imagine people might say Friends or Seinfeld. I googled shows of the 90’s and there were a few I enjoyed! Cheers, Frasier, ER, Murphy Brown, Home Improvement, Northern Exposure, 7th Heaven (watched with the kids).

Are you happier now than you were last year? I don’t think so. Remember . . . our house just burned and I had emergency surgery and we are living in an apartment? I do think I might be more thankful this year than last year.

What are you currently drinking? I just finished drinking a diet pepsi.

Do you trust people easily? No, I don’t think I trust people easily.

What are you looking forward to in the next three months? Mark is meeting with the contractor tomorrow and he said that it would be about 3 months before they could begin reconstruction of the house so . . .I’m looking forward to seeing progress. Last week, I went to the house and I was terribly sad afternwards. This week, I felt a little more hopeful and it looks more like a house UNDER construction rather than a house that burned. Here are some pictures of what it looks like this weekend.

This is our bedroom on the main floor.
Water came through the ceiling.

inside this wall cavity is the inside
of the fireplace where the fire originated.
The lightning struck the brick chimney.
I was standing right next to this spot
right before the fire broke into
flames. I'm so very thankful.

I'm looking up when taking this (see the
light coming in through the roof - hole
lower right side of photo). The beams
are charred way up.

The fire was upstairs but downstairs
suffered water and smoke damage.

This is the loft area at the top
of the stairs where I exercised
every day and where we played
Barbies with our granddaughters.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I'm joining up with Joyce and friends for Wednesday Hodgepodge. 

1. Tell us a little bit about the best birthday you've ever had. When I turned 50, I had a blow out bash that was so much fun! We invited TONS of people including some of our kid’s friends. A church friend hosted the party at her house. It was a great night!!

2.  In what way(s) have you changed in the last five years? Physically, I weigh a lot less now than I did 5 years ago. I think I’m more open minded now than I was 5 years ago. 

3. What's your favorite thing about the street on which you live? Normally, we live on a great street surrounded by amazing neighbors. Right now, we are living in an apartment over a hair salon. We’ve met our neighbors and they seem really nice. I can walk down the steps and go out on the sidewalk and there are two restaurants and a pharmacy and a park within steps of our front door. I’m looking for ALL of the positives.

4. The Hodgepodge lands on National Beer Day...are you a beer drinker? What's a recipe you make that lists beer as one of the ingredients? If not beer, how about yeast? I am not a beer drinker but I live with a beer snob. He loves beer and is very picky about his beers. He doesn’t like to be able to see through the beer but he doesn’t want a stout either. I haven’t cooked anything with beer in a long time but when we were young, I would make beer battered fried mushrooms and you served them with a horseradish sauce. They were sooooo good! I don’t know if I’ve ever made anything with yeast.

5. As I grow older I would like to be a woman (or man, if there are any men in the HP today) who loves fiercely and gives generously.

6. Insert your own random thought here. Have I told y’all that in addition to being in an apartment, the insurance company rented furniture for us and had it delivered. I’ve been trying to add a few things to make it feel more like home. We’ve had this deer skin on the end of a bed . . .actually in the room where the fire was the worst!! They were soaking wet (we have another one, too) and Mark took them outside in the hot sun and dried them. I would never hang a deer skin on the wall in our house . . .but I suggested hanging it in the apartment. I also went to Michael’s and bought a couple of pumpkins and a couple of throw pillows.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Pop on over hodgepodge

I'm joining up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge! 

1. Something you've labored over recently? I'm laboring right now over whether we can start back meeting every week with the young professionals. We've hosted them for years in our home. I cook dinner for them. I have a group of friends that rotates baking/making desserts. We do a study together, etc. We met last night for the first time since the week before we left for Europe . . .house fire . . .emergency surgery. It was so good to be together. I just can't decide if I am emotionally/spiritually stable enough yet.

They were playing "Get to know you" Bingo!

Poppyseed chicken, rice, green beans,
a big salad, rolls, and cookies

On a less serious note, I'm laboring over writing the posts from our Italy/Germany/Austria trip. It was wonderful so I don't know why I'm struggling.

2. How will you rest on Labor Day? I probably won't rest BUT I will enjoy being at home.

3. Margaret Mead is quoted as saying, "I learned the value of hard work by working hard." Would you agree? Where and how did you learn the value of hard work? My daddy taught us the value of hard work. I definitely agree that you learn the value of hard work by working hard.

4. It's National Eat Outside Day (August 31st). Will you? Do you enjoy dining 'al fresco' or prefer indoor seating? I will probably NOT eat outside. The temp is in the 90's and the humidity is high. This is Alabama.

5. Somehow it's the end of August. What was the best day of the month for you and tell us what made it so? Let's see -- I don't think I have ONE day that was just wonderful but I had several good things! I had lunch with 3 friends on August 5 and that was a good day! We try to go to lunch together on the first Friday of every month. I went to the neighborhood picnic on Saturday, the 13th and that was fun. I even won a great door prize! 

This one sounds silly but I worked the popcorn booth at our church carnival and had a great time!! 

We have so many young families in our church.
What a great night!

I worked with our friends Laura
and Allen and thoroughly enjoyed

Mark and I gathered with our supper club on Friday, the 19th. We've been together since 2004. Last Saturday, I met 2 friends for lunch. We grew up together and were actually roommates at one point in time when we were young adults. We were in each other's weddings, etc. On Monday night of this week, we went to dinner at the home of a neighbor and really enjoyed it.

6. Insert your own random thought here. I mentioned above that we went to a neighbor's house for dinner on Monday night. I've learned quite a few things as we've navigated having to move out of our home due to the fire and while recovering from surgery. Several friends and neighbors have invited us over to dinner - low key - just the couple and us . . . and it has been wonderful. The next time a friend is going through a crisis, I want to remember this: Fix a simple, regular weeknight meal and share it with the person. It is a good thing to invite someone to sit at your kitchen table and eat quiche and salad or flank steak and green beans or chicken with yummy fig compote on top or street tacos from Costco or pork tenderloin grilled to perfection.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunday Stealing

 Bev shares the questions each week and we answer and link up! Join us!

1. Your favorite sport. I live in the south so it has to be SEC football. War Eagle!
2. A quote to live by. You can’t live a positive life with negative thoughts. I just heard that on Saturday morning and I like it a lot!
3. A city in the US you would like to move to. I don’t have a specific city but if we ever moved, I would love to live on the beach. I don’t want to live NEAR the beach. I would want to live ON the beach.
4. 3 beautiful little things in your life. 1. Granddaughter #1 2. Granddaughter #2 3. The generosity of friends
5. What made you laugh today? I’m writing this on Saturday and I attend a WW meeting each week (Weight Watchers). There is an older man in our group whose name is Kurt. This morning, he imitated Richard Simmons and it sounded JUST LIKE him!
6. A good deed you did today – I haven’t done anything much today but I did smile at some folks.
7. Activities you like to do when you are bored. I love to read and I like to ride my recumbent stationary bike. I would love to craft but haven’t had time lately . . . and now we are in the apartment and I don’t have my craft supplies with me. I’ve bought a few new ones.
8. Are you a procrastinator? Sometimes. I prefer NOT to procrastinate but I do sometimes.
9. Your thoughts about dying – we are all going to die at some point.
10. What super power would like to have? I think it would be cool to be able to fly!
11. Top 3 Netflix series – we don’t watch Netflix but some series we have loved are Bosch, Chuck, and right now we are watching The Americans and Body of Proof.
12.  Things you want to do before you die – I definitely want to travel more!
13. Your biggest fears – I don’t even want to type any of my worst ones. It makes it too real.
14. What makes you angry? Rude people make me angry. Also, people who think their opinion is the only right opinion and are not willing to even listen to another. Just FYI – this goes for people on both sides of the political spectrum.
15. Do you listen to podcasts? I don’t listen often enough. One of my favorites is an episode on This American Life and it is called Act V. I like it so much that I’m sharing the link. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sunday! Sunday! Must be Sunday Stealing!


Today is Sunday so we must be writing Sunday Stealing. Bev steals the questions and we answer them and link up together. I love reading other's answers and I love when people comment!!

This week's questions were stolen from Friday Fill-in

1.   I am currently obsessed with . . . We’ve been obsessed with finding diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale in the cans and my son hit the mother lode last night. He bought enough for us to share!  
2.  Today I am happy because Mark is home from his fishing trip and we get to hang out with friends this weekend.
3.  The age I am is 64 and the age I feel depends on the day – some days I feel 35 and some days I feel every moment of my 64.   
4.  My favorite place is with my people . . .but Orange Beach, AL is one of my happy places.
5.  Something I have been procrastinating is . . .I do not have a good answer for this one!
6.  The last thing I purchased was a few groceries on Thursday night . . .and when I say a “few,” it really was not a lot of groceries . . . yet they cost $177.00.
7.  The thing I love most about my home is . . .well, I’m not in my real home right now but I’m going to go with “home is where my heart is.” Since Mark and I are together in this little apartment, I guess this is where my heart is.
8.  My most prized possessions would be . . .I guess my diamond necklace and earrings. I was sad when I thought they were lost in all of the craziness. I was happy when we found them!
9.  If I could be one age for the rest of my life, I would want to be maybe 50 ish. I know that sounds old but by the time I was 50, I knew who I was and could stand my own. I still felt young and was able to do a lot at 50. To be honest, 64 isn't bad. I'm happy to be alive and kicking and going about life at 64.
10.  My outlook on life is usually very positive.
11.  If you want to annoy me, don’t do things correctly (correctly means the way I want them done :-) ) or do them halfway.
12.  I am completely defenseless when it comes to roaches and spiders. I can kill them when I’m home alone but I don’t like to do so. I can't wait to read answers for this one - everyone else always has much better answers than mine!!
13. The bravest thing I’ve ever done was give birth to twins? Stand outside and watch my house burn?
14. Something that keeps me awake at night is not sleeping hahahaha! I have even tried Melatonin lately and I hate taking any kinds of pills much less supplements. We bought a new Nectar mattress. I’m hoping it helps. The rental mattress was not very good.
15. My favorite meal in the entire world is probably turkey and dressing and gravy and all of the trimmings – basically, the family Thanksgiving meal.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022


Joining up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge! Please feel free to copy and paste the questions and link up or answer the questions in the comments section!!

1. August is National Back To School Month...how does that make you feel? Share a back-to-school memory. 

I've always loved back to school - the supplies, the new lunch boxes, the new shoes . . .all of it. I just went downstairs to the pharmacy to pick up some Amazon packages and he had a display of colored pencils and crayons -- made my heart happy!! Speaking of "back to school," my class starts tomorrow and this time I registered as a "senior adult" so I only had to pay $123. This will be my 3rd class since I started back to school. I worked really hard to finish this last semester . . .I even struggled through taking my final exam with an eye patch.

2. Something you've learned in 'the school of life'? 

I hope I've learned a lot of things!! I've recently learned that our material possessions are just that -- material possessions. I've also learned that there are still a lot of reallly good people in this world.

3. Three words to describe your current mood.

Ready for Mark (that sounds weird but he is in Alaska on a big fishing trip and will be home on Thursday and I am ready for him to be home. Harvey and I have missed him -- Harvey is our cat).

4. A summer food you've eaten too much of/are tired of? A summer food you haven't had enough of? 

Due to our whole month of July being weird (fire, surgery, 16 days in a hotel, move to an apartment with an empty refrigerator), I don't feel like I've eaten too much of any summer food this year! I would love some more good watermelon and I need to eat some fresh peas!!

5. What small stuff do you sweat that you know you shouldn't? 

I worry way too much about what other people think. Mark asked me to read a book while he was gone. He rarely reads but read this book while we were in the hotel and while we had no TV in the apartment. The author is Shannan Martin and the book is "the ministry of ordinary places." She reminds us throughout the book that things do NOT have to be perfect - invite friends over and serve popcorn or chips and salsa. Love people.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I have a lot of blog posts I want to write. I really thought I would write more while Mark has been out of town but I've read several books. I don't think I've turned the TV on a single time. I painted a few walls in the apartment and hung some pictures. I've worked every day. I've washed tons of clothes -- still trying to get things clean and smelling fresh.

I cut construction paper to the size of the
photos and measured and taped. It made it
so much easier to hang the tiles.

These are photos from our
Italy/Germany/Austria trip. 
I might not hang Mixtiles in my
normal dining room but we
are on an adventure and I need
a little color and a little happy
on the walls!

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Sunday Stealing - We are Family!

 Joining up with Bev and friends for Sunday Stealing. Bev stole this week’s questions from Pinterest.

Today's questions have lots to do with family!!

1.      What would you like people to know about your mother? She died when I was 15 so I don’t have a lot of memories of her. She was about 5’ 2” tall and about 100 pounds. She was kind. She read her Bible a lot. She evidently lived through some really hard stuff when she was growing up which makes me think that she had courage. She was very smart.

2.      What would you like people to know about your father? Even though he never graduated from high school (GED), he was one of the smartest men I ever knew. He was also a very hard worker. He could “cuss like a sailor” (maybe because he actually was a sailor in the Navy).

3.      What was your childhood bedroom like? I don’t remember how old I was but we went to the local furniture store (Miller’s Furniture) and bought a new bedroom suit. My description will not do it justice. It had a slight Asian flair (like a pagoda) – the headboard was curvy. It was painted red with an antique finish. There was a touch of green and a touch of yellow. We had twin beds and a dresser.

4.      What was your favorite activity as a child? I loved to ride my bike and we played a TON of kickball on our street. I also enjoyed playing with Barbies and I’ve always loved to read.

5.      What was high school like for you? I had a good high school experience. I was not in the MOST popular group (the A group) but I had lots of friends and lots of fun. My mom died when I was a sophomore and I did veer off the path . . .for quite a few years . . .but I still had a good experience.

6.      Write about your cousins. On my mom’s side, there was quite a bit of dysfunction so I’m sure there are cousins I never knew. Cindy and Cathy were my Uncle Henry and Aunt Faye’s kids and I do have some sweet memories of being at our Granny George’s house and at their house. On my dad’s side, Willard aka Woody was the oldest and he and I talked maybe once a year. I really enjoy being around him and his wife, Ruth Ann. Janice and Gene were next and Gene is dead and the last time I saw Janice was quite a few years ago. Janice and my oldest sister were good buddies for many years.

7.      What was your favorite food as a child? I loved my momma’s homemade vegetable beef soup served with her cornbread.

8.      What was your most memorable birthday? I’ve had 3 pretty amazing ones. A family at our church (where I grew up) hosted a surprise 16th birthday party for me and it was very special. When I turned 40, a friend who has since died of cancer, hosted a small surprise party for me and I have sweet memories of that night. When I turned 50, I had a blow it out bash because my mom died at 50 and I always said, “If I make it to 50, we are celebrating.” Celebrate we did. A church friend hosted at her house. They brought in someone from a local restaurant to make part of the food. She has one of those amazing stoves and he made sandwiches to order – seems like it was cheesesteak and some kind of fish. We invited our whole Sunday School class (which is big) plus some other friends plus some friends of our kids. It was a great night.

9.      What world events were significant to you as a child? I feel like I was sheltered from so many things. We didn’t have 24 hour news. I do remember that we had dog tags made at school and we thought it was cool. In hind sight, I guess it was actually for identification!! I was 5 when Kennedy was shot so I don’t have any remembrances of that.

10.   What did a typical day look like as a child? During the school year, we got up and ate breakfast and walked to school. I loved learning then just like now. We played on the playground. We did homework when we got home and then played for a while. We got to watch a small amount of TV before bath and bed. In the summer, we roamed our neighborhood going from house to house. We did all of those things I mentioned above plus we swang and sang! We would get in the swings and swing as high as we could and sing all of the songs – I remember belting out “This land is your land. This land is my land . . .”

11.   Write about your grandparents. I never knew my mother’s father. He committed suicide. Her mother was Granny George and she lived “out in the woods.” Back then, it took quite a while to drive to her house. Now that there are interstates, her house is actually quite close to where I live. She was poor and I remember my daddy giving her some money when we would go to visit. He did it discreetly but I somehow knew. She lived in a little house and my oldest sister remembers stuffing newspapers into the wall to help insulate it. She didn’t have indoor plumbing and we had to tinkle in a “pot.” I think there may have been an outhouse in the woods behind her house. I actually have fond memories of being there and sitting on her front steps eating saltine crackers. That was literally what she had to give us as a snack. I remember that she sent flour sacks to my mom and I had quite a few dresses and shorts and tops made from those flour sacks. She also sent me a bobble head dog one time and I loved that dog!! My daddy’s parents lived in the same town with us. My grandpa ALWAYS had a big garden. We spent the night with Granny and Grandpa several times. My Granny always had little bottles of Pepsi in her fridge and I think my love of Diet Pepsi came from her house. She could make AMAZING biscuits without a recipe. Instead of bacon, they served “fatback” or “white meat” – something like that. I didn’t like it. She made great chicken and dressing and always had a closet full of home canned goodies from the garden. She loved to watch a soap opera – I think it was “As the World Turns” maybe and you had to be quiet when she was watching that. She quilted and she was a Methodist. My Grandpa was a Primitive Baptist and they went to separate churches!! They played a big part in raising my cousin, Willard. His mom was divorced (which was unheard of back then).

12.   Did you move as a child? I lived in the same house my whole life. My daddy built it.

13.   Who taught you to drive? My daddy and Coach Seale both taught me to drive.

14.   Which job has been your favorite? I love my job right now!

15.   What was the best part of your 30s? Our kids were in elementary school – I guess when I was around 34, they started kindergarten. I have fond memories of going on field trips with them and eating lunch at the school with them. 

    I don't have access to my photos so I can't share. Just FYI, I think all of my photos were saved in the fire - - or at least a large number of them. My scrapbooks were all in plastic tubs in a room upstairs so hopefully, no water damage. They might smell a tad smokey. I may have lost some photos from a closet that was in one of the hardest hit rooms BUT my baby book and my children's baby books and our wedding pictures were in there . . .and they weren't even damp. A friend packed those up on the day after the fire and got them out. They will probably smell smokey but they are safe!

Friday, August 5, 2022

Day Two - Italy/Germany Austria

You can read all about Day One of our trip here. 

Let's talk about Day Two!

Breakfast was provided at the hotel everyday so we started out grabbing a bite to eat. We boarded our bus with Helen, our tour guide, and headed to the Vatican for our Papal Audience. We are a part of the United Methodist Church . . .we are not Catholic . . .but it was still a great experience. Pope Francis is loved by the people because he has a heart for the poor, the immigrant. He is evidently a good Pope. It was SO HOT and we, along with many others, sat out in the blazing sun. We were told that we had to wear a dress that covered our knees and shoulders and even the men's shorts were to be longer out of respect. It was amazing to me to see what some people were wearing! Many places had a sort of thin hospital gown (disposable fabric) and if you showed up wearing inappropriate clothing, you had to wear that on top of your clothes.

After the Pope finished speaking, we walked around town and went to the Vatican gift shop where I actually bought some souvenirs (which are at a neighbor's house . . .I had all of the souvenirs sorted out on our dining room table on the night of the fire and as soon as we could get into the house, my neighbor saw them and packed them all up and took them to her house).

We walked down the street and some folks grabbed a gelato. The gelato shop had a door into another space where a woman was selling cigarettes and the packages have graphic details showing lung cancer, etc. (picture below)

We made a poor choice for lunch. The restaurant was a "lunch line/cafeteria style" and we had to wait a really long time in line and then the food was just not good. 

After lunch, we headed to the Colosseum and the Forum, etc. It was SO HOT in Rome. Yes, I know I said that earlier but I'm really glad we are from Alabama where the humidity is always high and summer temps are hot.

in line for our Papal audience

it was a gorgeous day!

The next day I found out we weren't
supposed to take pictures of the Swiss
guard. Just in case you don't know (I
didn't) -- The Swiss Guard or "pontifical Guard,"
makes up the smallest army in the world, comprised
of 135 men who act as the private body guards of the
Pope, and together with the "gendarmerie" (Vatican
Police), protect all entrance and exit points of the

See the tiny "tent" way up front? The Pope
sat under the tent.

There were so many people of all nationalities
there to see the Pope.

Selfie of the two of us . . . sweating!

I know my tennis shoes aren't a good
look with my dresses but some days
I just had to wear them.

If you can, zoom in and look at the
cigarette packages!!

I LOVED touring the coloseum. This semester,
my online class was Theatre appreciation
and we had talked about all of the events
that happened in the coloseum. Did you
know that they flooded the coloseum and
had naval battles inside? Really!!

Bottles of water were our constant
companion. I drank more water out
of bathroom sinks and crazy fountains
on this trip.

Here is our wonderful group of folks!

Here is one of the fountains --
there were fountains all over Italy/
Germany/Austria - you just filled up
and prayed for the best! Our tour
guide told us to put our wrists under the
water first -- it truly did help cool
the body! It was COLD spring water.

This is the Arch of Titus and is from
the first century and is located justed south east
of the Roman forum. It was constructed
in 81 AD by the Emperor Domitian. The
arch is in celebration of the fall of

One of our travelers found out there was
a bar on the rooftop. You could find large
numbers of us up there. We learned to
love Limoncello on the rooftop and brought
some home with us!!

One of the bartenders is front and center!

The view was lovely from the

We walked a LOT of miles on this day. I know why we didn't see many overweight people -- you walk everywhere and even though you eat and drink . . we didn't eat a lot of processed food.