Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sunday Stealing from The Queen's Meme

 

Thank you to our host, Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World.” She searches the internet every week to come up with questions for Sunday Stealing. This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. This week’s questions are from The Queen’s Meme. I'd love to hear your answers!

Stolen from The Queen's Meme

1. January usually has ample amounts of snowfall in parts of the world. Did you ever make snow cream as a kid? We don’t get a lot of snow in Alabama but I actually remember making snow cream one of the times that it did snow.                                                                                                                                

2. January is one of the months with 31 days. What are you going to do with that extra day?
I will probably be doing the same thing as any other day. I’ll get up at 5:00 and exercise and shower and go to work. At the end of the day, I’ll come home and prepare and eat dinner. Hubby usually does the dishes. Then we will watch a couple of episodes of Ted Lasso or Castle. Those are the two shows we are watching right now. We are actually watching Ted Lasso for the second time through.

3. In medieval times superstition dictated that the 1st day of January was significant for prosperity, or lack of it, in a person's life. Farmers put a flat cake on the horns of a cow and they danced and sang songs around the cow until the cake was thrown to the ground. If it fell in front of the cow that meant good luck; it if fell behind the cow that meant bad luck for the rest of the year.
Do you have strange New Year customs in your household? This year, we opened the front and back door on New Year’s Eve and ushered out the old year and welcomed in the new. We usually make a big pot of gumbo on New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day, we always eat black eyed peas, some sort of greens, ham or pork tenderloin, and cheese grits. The black eyed peas are for luck, the greens are for money, I can’t remember what the pork is for, and the cheese grits are just because we like them. I usually make cornbread to go along with this meal.


Gumbo at the very beginning before
it cooks down


4. On January 14, 1986 motorists were required for the first time to wear seat belts? Do you always buckle up? Why or why not? I do always wear my seatbelt. I’m a rule follower so that is one reason but I also do think they protect us in the case of an accident.

5. Have you ever blabbermouthed something to a significant other that in hindsight you really should have kept to yourself? I can’t think of an exact instance but I have found that I can’t talk about someone in a negative way to my husband because he never forgets.

6. Have you ever written anything on your blog that you wish you could take back? I don’t think so. I think I probably self censor most of the time.

7. Are you the blabber or the blabbee? Tell us your most embarrassing blabbermouth moment. Most of the time, I not either one. My job requires a high level of confidentiality so I know how to keep my mouth shut. A week or so ago, I did have diarrhea of the month. My son and his family had covid and I didn’t realize that my 5 year old granddaughter didn’t KNOW that she had covid and I said something on the phone to her. Luckily, I don’t think she had slowed down enough to really listen to what I said.

8. Who is the biggest blabbermouth tattletale in your household? We laugh about this a lot. We say it is our son. My husband is on a “need to know basis.” His words – he says to tell him if he needs to know, otherwise don’t tell him.

9. You are the Blog Paparazzi! Which blogger's real photograph are you most interested in getting?
I think it would be cool to meet Ree Drummond in person. I actually think it would be cool to meet all of the different bloggers.

10. If you could hire the loudest and most skilled blabbermouth in the universe to do your talking for you and advertise it well, what message would you like to spread to humanity? Be kind to one another. Everyone doesn’t have to think the same but be KIND! I’m sure there are more profound messages but that is what popped into my head immediately.

11. Are you always on time or just a tad late? 99% of the time, I’m a tad early.

12. Is there someone in your life that irritates you regularly about not being on time? One of my husband’s brothers is always late. He’s been late as long as I’ve been in the family. It used to irritate me but most of the time now, I just laugh about it. We also have some other relatives that are always late and I just laugh about it, too.

13. Can you think of a time when you were late for something and it was REALLY a big deal? I cannot think of any time that it really mattered. My husband is always early for most things but when we were newlyweds, we would be late for church every Sunday. We would get there in time for the sermon.

14. If you were on your way to work and had five minutes to get there, would you stop in the road to rescue a crossing turtle? I hate to say this but I probably wouldn’t stop . . .but then I would worry about it the rest of the day.

15. Have you ever had to actually punch a time clock? I have not. I did have to fill out a time card for one of my part time jobs years ago but most of my jobs have been salaried.

 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you to Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for the questions.

I would love to read your answers. You can answer in the comments or you may copy and paste the questions into your own blog and connect up here.

1. January 25th is National Opposites Day. 'They' say opposites attract...do you agree, and if so is that a good thing? Or do you subscribe more to a 'birds of a feather' philosophy? My husband would immediately say “birds of a feather” but I’m not so sure about that. My husband and I are very different yet we do have the same values. We both believe in God and we both are active in our church and Sunday School class. Now that we are older, we both LOVE to travel and we love to entertain but we have ZERO NADA ZIP hobbies that are the same. Wait – I take that back. We both exercise every day and I guess that is a hobby. I love to read. He never reads. He loves the outdoors. I have major allergies that prevent many outdoor activities. He doesn’t mind sweating. I really hate to sweat.  He is more conservative politically than I am.  I imagine (not sure if this is true or not – maybe y’all can tell me) . . .I imagine that couples who are very much “birds of a feather” might be the couples who rarely fight or get irritated with one another. We don’t always agree on everything which can lead us to have a “disagreement” . . . or stronger. I can’t wait to read answers from other folks on this one.

2. Something you're glad to have behind you? Something you're glad is ahead of you? When I turned 50 I said that I was leaving all drama behind. That is not totally true but it is mostly true. I think I’m glad to have child rearing behind us. Looking forward, I’m glad that we are hopefully going to have some good empty nest years filled with fun, friends, and travel.

3. Your favorite hot food? Cold food? Are you a fan of breakfast for dinner? I love a good bowl of hot soup. I don’t want it lukewarm. I want my soup hot.  I also love a fluffy and hot baked potato and a good steak. Alright, I also love good Mexican food! I can’t pick a favorite hot food. I really love French fries hot out of the “grease” (not my air fryer ones) with salt and ketchup. My favorite cold food is an ice cold diet pepsi. That isn’t food though.  How about a frozen margarita? Nope, not food either. I’ve been cutting up ripe bananas and freezing them on a cookie sheet. When frozen, I put a couple of bananas into the food processor and whir away. I then add about 8 or 10 frozen cherries and then I add a handful of fresh blueberries. I whir all of this until it is the texture of ice cream. It is delicious y’all. Oh my goodness – no sugar other than the natural sugar in the fruit and it is almost better than ice cream. Regarding breakfast for dinner . . . I think I probably like it better for dinner than in the morning.

4. Are you someone who always arrives to appointments/events early or do you tend to run late? Last thing you were late for? I don’t remember when I was younger whether I was on time or not. I think my daddy was always early so I probably was early or ontime even when I was younger. Mark is ALWAYS on time so for all of our married years, we have been early. Last Sunday I was running a little late. Mark left ahead of me in one car and I just couldn’t get myself together. Since I’m employed by the church, I usually get there around 8:00 on Sunday mornings and work some before worship. I came sliding in the door very close to 8:30 last week.

5. "What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?" John Steinbeck....Your thoughts? Nope! I like a couple of days of cold a year with maybe one day of a little snow and then I’m ready for spring and summer weather. Where I live, we don’t have harsh winters but we do have all four seasons . . .there are some days where we might experience more than one season . . .literally in one day. It could be in the 20’s during the night and swing up to the 60’s. We usually only  have a couple of months of winter and I’m always ready for it to go away. The good news is that even in the winter, we usually have a week or so of cold temps (lows in the 20’s high’s in the 30’s or 40’s) and then we have a milder week where highs are in the upper 50’s and low 60’s. Then we might have a few more days of cold and then a few days that are a tad warmer. On my old phone I had a picture of the thermometer on my dashboard. It was February and it was 82 outside. We just never know!

6. Insert your own random thought here. It has been a long time since I was a college student and every day I am totally amazed at the changes. I’m also totally amazed at what I’m learning in my sociology class. Taking the class online isn’t that big of a deal to me because we’ve done so many zoom calls over the last 2 years. My daughter teased me about being the teacher’s pet because so far I’m doing really well. We have had assignments but no exams yet. The first exam is the first weekend in February and I’m a little nervous about retaining 3 chapters worth of material plus 2 Ted Talks plus 1 youtube video plus several lectures and a whole lot of "vocabulary" type words. EEK! I hope my brain isn’t too old to retain it all.

 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

weekend recap X2

I didn't have time to do a recap last week so I'm going to do a "two weekends" recap.

On the 15th, we drove to a nearby town to see our Granddaughter #1 cheer. She is 5 :-) and is cheering for the community basketball team of 5 and 6 year olds. As we were turning onto the last road my phone rang and it was our son telling us that the game had been cancelled due to the coach having covid. We agreed to meet them at their house and visit for a few minutes. 

First, we got to see the cute cheerleader and she did a cheer in the driveway for us. You can't see the giant "cheer hairbow" in the back of her head. Is that just a southern thing? Extra large hairbows even for softball teams and cheerleaders? 

Granddaughter changed clothes quickly and we got to see her other new trick. She has learned to ride her bike. 

The Barbies are called "brother" and
"sister" and they were along for
the ride.


We left their house and I did a quick return at Talbots. It just so happens that Trader Joe's is in the same parking lot as Talbots so we went there, too. It was packed with people. I saw those chips on an end cap and Mark had to have them. He said they were pretty hot but he ate the whole bag over the course of a couple of days.


After we got home from Trader Joe's, we actually ate lunch and took a nap and then I worked on baking cheese straws. (more about cheese straws later)




The weather was cold and gray so that night, we cooked some of the other things we bought at Trader Joe's. We had butternut squash which was yummy along with green beans. I had bought a bag of cauliflower rice with seasonings and I fixed that and it was really good. The "patty" on top is a shrimp burger, also from Trader Joe's. It was pretty good. I did mix up some cocktail sauce and horseradish and dipped each bite :-).


Sunday was church and Sunday school and Mark stayed with his mom and he fixed lunch for the family. 

Jump ahead to this past weekend. I worked from home so I didn't work "traditional" hours that day. I had an early appointment at the allergy doc for shots and then I took a very quick trip to the local campus of the college where I'm taking an online class to get a student ID. I guess it is official. Actually, I've already turned in a couple of things for a grade so it is definitely official. I got home and did my real work (the one I get paid to do!!). 

Saturday morning found me actually sleeping "late." I slept until 6:50. Mark was at his mom's and the house was quiet. The cat woke me up by patting my face!

My boss was having a meeting at our church and I had ordered boxed lunches from Honey Baked Ham for the participants. Boxed meals meant that people could spread out and eat in their cars or outside, etc. due to covid restrictions. Mark went with me to pick up the meals and they were short staffed at Honeybaked and the boxes weren't ready on time which created a flurry of texts from me to B. Finally, all of the meals were loaded into my car and we made the drop off.

We headed home and ate some of the Male Chavinist Chili that I got from a friend's blog last week. I had put it in the crockpot on Friday. 


literally a photo of my computer
screen!

I think Mark and Harvey (cat) took a nap on the screen porch in the sunshine and I studied.

yes - I'm making note cards of
info - I'm old and I'm back
in college. I also ordered
an actual textbook from
Amazon even though
we have a link for the
online text book.

On Sunday, Mark headed back to his mom's to relieve the sitter while I went to church and taught Sunday School. I headed to his mom's after Sunday School to visit for a little while and to eat lunch with the two of them. Then I headed to a Wedding Tea for the daughter of a friend. I was one of the hostesses and I had been assigned cheese straws. Remember that I baked them last weekend. Cheese straws freeze beautifully so you can make ahead! I had also volunteered to wash the dishes. I try to volunteer to be dishwasher every time I'm a hostess. The Tea was held in the home of another friend and her home is gorgeous.

aren't these vases cool? She got
them at Davis Wholesale Florist.
You can see a tiny bit of the ceiling
of her kitchen - it is reclaimed wood.


cute little bride decoration

The table was so pretty.
We served cheese straws, nuts, petit fours,
sandwiches from Ouslers, fruit kebobs,
coffee, and pink punch.

I wore my cute boots and I thought my feet were going to fall off by the end of the party. Seriously.
It was a beautiful party and it was well attended and she received so many amazing gifts. The way we host Teas is that the bride and her mother and the hostess whose home we are using stand at the door and greet every guest. If the future mother-in-law attends, she stands there, too, and is introduced to everyone. There are a couple of hostesses who handle the gifts. One takes the gift from the guest and runs it upstairs or to a back bedroom where the gifts are opened, logged onto a list "giver's name and gift given" and then displayed on beds or tables. The guests come in and are greeted and chat with bride, etc. Then they move to the food table and fix a little plate, etc. and stand around and talk. There is usually a hostess assigned to pour punch and to keep the trays replenished. After the guests eat and mingle, they go "see" the gifts that are displayed. When the party is over, the gifts are packed back into boxes and bags and the daddy of the bride or the future groom usually show up and help load all of those gifts into the cars to take home. The hostesses in charge of the gifts have a nice list to give to the bride to aid in her thank you note writing. I know that teas and showers are handled differently all over the country but this is pretty standard for here. The hostesses all go together and buy a big gift from the bride's registry - we bought the duvet cover. The hostesses all turn in their receipts to one hostess and she totals up total cost of the party and subtracts what each person spends. Checks are written or money is venmo'd so that every hostess ends up spending the same amout. It works like a finely oiled machine. We bring out the silver and crystal pieces and it is quite lovely! This is the way my mother-in-law hosted teas and the way my peers and I host. My daughter loves to use the pretty things but most of her generation doesn't want the silver, etc. I wonder what a tea will look like by the time our granddaughters are grown women. Where you live do you still host "fancy" parties or only casual ones? Showers are much more casual but still done nicely.


Sunday, January 23, 2022

Sunday Stealing comes around again!

 Stolen from League of Extraordinary Pen Pals


1. Would you rather be the guest or the host? I have the gift of hospitality, as does Mark, so we love to host and pre-covid, we had friends over often. I must admit that it is sometimes nice to be the guest – to just show up and enjoy.
 
2. What do you like to wear when you feel fancy? I love dresses and wear them often and if I were to dress up “fancy”, I would wear a dress, too. For “fancy” . . .give me a little sparkle, please.
 
3. How often do you try something completely new? I know that I answered this question this last week . . .was it on Sunday stealing or was it on the Hodgepodge on Wednesday?
 
4. Do you enjoy weddings? I do enjoy weddings. We are invited to several weddings this spring. I need something new to wear. Maybe I need some sparkle (see #2 above).
 
5. Have you ever had something customized? We had some bookcases custom made for our last house that I literally drew on a piece of graph paper. One end was the entertainment center with book case in the middle and the right end had a slide out keyboard desk. We knew it wouldn’t fit in the house we live in now and tried to sell it – no one wanted. We tried to give it away and had a hard time with that. We finally gave it to the Habitat ReStore but we had to dismantle it and move it to our driveway in order for them to get it.

I’ve had dresses, etc. monogrammed for our daughter when she was growing up. There is a shop in a nearby community with a sign outside for “men’s bespoke suits.” If I were a man, it would be pretty cool to have a suit custom made!
 
6. Do you cook spontaneously or meal plan? I usually meal plan. I’ve always tried to map out at least a few dinners per week so that I know what to purchase at the grocery store. I really like to meal plan my lunches, too.
 
7. Books you like to read over and over. I don’t like to read books more than once.
 
8. What are you really good at? See #1 above – I’m a pretty good hostess! I’m also really good at my job.
 
9. Do you sleep with windows open or a fan on? We sleep with a fan on for white noise – it is not blowing on us. I can’t sleep with windows open due to allergies. In Alabama, we run the air conditioner about 8 months a year.
       
10. What is the easiest recipe you know? I could ALMOST make brown sugar brownies in my sleep.
 
11. Are you comfortable starting conversation with strangers? Evidently so because I come home with someone’s story every time I go anywhere.
 
12. Do you prefer quiet, or ambient noise when you relax? See #9 above – we sleep with a fan on for white noise. If we are traveling, we use the Bedtime Fan App on our phones.

13. Who is your most adventurous or exciting friend? Several of the young adults that have made their way through our home have done some really adventurous trips. Most all of them have traveled out of the US – some for a semester abroad; some for fun; some for adventure. We’ve had two young adults – a guy and a girl – both have done The World Race – this is 11 months and 11 countries. This is a mission trip but more than a mission trip.
 
14. What do you eat when you can’t decide what to eat? We have several “go-to’s” that are quick and/or easy to make. Sometimes we might eat cereal or oatmeal. One of my favorites is a low carb tortilla with a little cheese and a little olive oil . . .cheese quesadilla.
 
15. Do you have any funny pet stories? We have a cat. He is a rescue and his name is Harvey and he is spoiled rotten. Harvey loves to have his teeth flossed. Seriously. He wants us to floss his teeth every single night after we floss ours. Also, my mother-in-law does not like cats and every time she would come to visit, he wanted to get in her lap. She might not remember a lot right now but when she was here for Thanksgiving, she remembered that she DOES NOT like cats. Harvey also loves little fluff balls – you know like the red ones you use to make Rudolph’s red nose in a craft? Harvey’s are a little bigger than that but he carries them around and talks to them and puts them in his food bowl – we guess to share with them?? He is a funny cat. My husband had a dog named Rip and Rip loved waffles and SUPPOSEDLY he would say “waffle waffle waffle” which caused them all to laugh. I never heard it so I can’t vouch for this story!

Harvey the cat 



 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Popping in for a hodgepodge

Thanks to Joyce for the questions! Please feel free to answer in the comments (because I love reading the comments) or copy and paste the questions into your own blog and link up here.

From this Side of the Pond

1. It's National Popcorn Day-my favorite! Are you a fan? Sweet or salty? A good or great movie you've seen recently (at home or in a theater, either one)? 

I love popcorn! Please give me all the salt. Yesterday, I had a tiny bag of microwave popcorn and I partially burned it and I ate it anyway! I think it was way past the "best by" date so there were a lot of unpopped kernels and it was already a tiny bag. Mark is not a movie watcher so I don't see many movies. I have been known (pre-covid) to go to the theater by myself. My kids thought that was so weird but I think my daughter understands now.

2. What's something you didn't realize was going to take so much of your time as an adult? Adulting in general, right? How about planning the menus and buying the groceries and cooking the meals? Since the beginning of covid I have used shipt - not every time but some. Another thing that takes far more of my time than I ever imagined is "worrying" about my adult children. It is not really worrying because I do pray about it and turn it over but sometimes I take it back. I can't wait to read other's answers for this question.

3. Your favorite yellow something? Forsythia! Forsythia screams "spring is coming -- hang on! I promise it is coming. You just have to wait a little longer." I hear it speak to me every year and I hang on as I wait for more daylight and more sunshine. 

This is not my photo but it sure is beautiful! I
borrowed it from the internet :-)

We walked over to the pond in
our neighborhood last week
and I snapped this photo. I'm
not totally sure this is forsythia but
I think it is. Forsythia is usually the
only thing blooming here
at this time of year.


4. Why do you write? I enjoy writing. Sometimes the words just need to burst forth. I also hope that someday my kids will go back and read some of what I wrote and it will help them to remember. My mom died when I was so young that I sometimes have a hard time remembering. I wish I could ask her questions. Maybe some of my posts will answer questions for my kids.

5. Share a favorite memory associated with snow. I think it was in 1982. We had a huge ice storm and then snow on top of ice. I was at a doctor's appointment at UAB and my car was in the shop. A friend had agreed to pick me up after the doctor's appointment. The front moved in more quickly than the weather forecasters had predicted and businesses - including the doctor's office - closed up and sent everyone home. My friend finally made it to the doctor's office to pick me up and we started back toward his mom's house in Homewood (suburb of Birmingham). They were closing roads before we could get to them. We finally parked his car in a gas station parking lot and I cried and the owner of the gas station who had just locked up . . .unlocked the bathroom so I could use the facility (Scott if you are reading this I hope you are laughing because you would have been right there with me). The reason I needed to use the restroom was we were going to WALK to Homewood on the expressway. They had closed the expressway and there were cars pulled off to the side. We started walking from Highland Avenue to Homewood. We finally made it and I remember being so cold! At some point the power went out because the weight of the ice broke tree limbs which broke power lines, etc. We were iced in for 3 days with his parents. We popped popcorn in the fireplace. I think we may  have even cooked a meal in that fireplace. We sang songs - the friend played the guitar. I made the mistake of saying I was bored and my friend's mother (Alva was her name!) told me that there was NEVER a reason to be bored. I had my first lesson in how to polish silver that day. I found this picture on Al.com from the 1982 ice storm (but there was some snow, too). Just in case you don't know or have forgotten - I live in the deep south. This was a big storm but I do have fond memories from that 3 days.

picture credit - AL.com

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I've shared with y'all about my sweet mother-in-law. We were there on Sunday for lunch and time with her and family. Our granddaughter #1 made a blanket fort on Gmom's walker and it was the sweetest moment. They were discussing the name of her doll (Sister) and they were discussing how to make the blanket cover more space. We are trying to cherish these moments.





Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sunday Stealing

 


Thanks so much to Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World.” She finds the questions for us each week and “steals” them and we answer them!

Stolen from League of Extraordinary Pen Pals

1.      Do you buy things when you want them or wait for sales? It depends. My husband says that I say, “I like it. I want to buy it.” That should answer the question quite well. I always feel as if I lucked out if I find something I like and want to buy it and it is ON SALE. That is always a win.

Do you think time moves slowly or quickly? My daddy used to say that the older he got, the faster the time went. I thought that was silly. I no longer think it is silly! I sometimes feel like time is moving at warp speed.

How often do you spend time alone? My husband loves to go to his family farm and when he is at the farm, I’m alone. He also has been staying with his sweet momma at least once a week and I’m home alone on that night. It worked out well this past week. I got a lot of studying done for my class.

He was at the farm pulling the SD cards
from the game cameras - I love to watch
these beautiful animals! I was studying . . .
and maybe texted a friend.
Mr. Coyote was also caught on camera.

What’s something that has changed in the last month? The days are longer – not much but a minute or so each day since December 21. We’ve had some incredible sunsets and sunrises at our house and every time I see one, I remind myself that the light ALWAYS wins. I know I’ve said this before so y’all may be rolling your eyes at me BUT I have realized this year, even more than other years, I need daylight – I need sunshine. I thrive in the light. I wither in the dark.

This was 1.14 - I drove around the block
so I could take the photo and a minute
later it was cloudy and the sun
never came out again. So often
in life we miss the chance and it is
gone but not this time!

This was one morning this past week from
our front porch.

I literally was on a hunt for this sunset. The
sky looked like it was on fire. There is a kid's
baseball field near our house - I literally 
pulled in their parking lot and jumped out
and snapped!

This was taken right before the one above.
This picture doesn't do it justice. This
sunset looked like fire in the sky.


What’s the best part of your job, profession? I love the team that I am privileged to work beside every day. Most days, I actually LOVE to go to work. We are encouraged to be creative thinkers. We get to do work that matters.


How many pens do you have? Really? I have no idea but between home and work, I have a lot. I reorganized kitchen drawers last month and have a ton of markers, pens, and pencils. I have a small flowerpot at work that is stuffed with markers, pens, and pencils. I really enjoy using good pens. My favorite is Uniball Vision Elite.


What are your healthiest habits? I exercise every day and I try hard to eat healthy foods every day. I need to drink more water but diet pepsi tastes so much better.

Do you have a favorite postage stamp? I bought some Day of the Dead stamps this year and they were really cool.

Who did you talk to the most this week? I don’t know if I talked to one person more than others, but I talk to my husband every day. I talk to my boss every day. I talk to my daughter almost every day. I talk to one of my sisters almost every day. I’m an equal opportunity talker.

What’s on your bedside table? A lamp and 4 pictures in frames. When I sleep at night, my reading glasses are usually on the bedside table, too. That’s it – no clutter.

How often do you try something new? Probably not often enough. I try to be open to new things.

What are some of your grocery list staples? Diet pepsi, coffee pods, green beans, ritz peanut butter crackers . . . by staples . . .do you mean shelf stable or the things I buy almost every week? I actually just looked up grocery staples because as I’m typing I realize that the majority of what I buy is fresh – lean protein, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, half and half (for my husband’s coffee pods). According to one “legal” definition of staples, it does include fresh products. I’m going to have to think about why we need a “legal” definition of grocery staples.

Do you have a favorite poet? I do not unless we count Dr. Seuss.

What interesting fact do you know? I’ve always been fascinated by twins (I’m getting to the fact – hang on!). I had twin aunts, but I only knew one of them. The other died as a child long before I was born. I was the youngest grandchild on my daddy’s side, and I always said that I would be the one to have twins – just joking around. In high school, two of my best friends were identical twins and those twins (Kaye and Faye) and I were roommates when I met my husband . . .who is an identical twin. We married and two years later . . .we had fraternal twins – boy and girl. So where is the fact – did you know that twin births continue to increase? There are several reasons – women are waiting until later to have children . . .and twins occur more often as a woman ages. Also, there are more women who see fertility doctors and drugs, IVF, etc. increases the odds of having twins.

Do you fold laundry right away or do it later? From where I’m sitting, I can see the dryer and there is a load of clothes just sitting there waiting to be folded! My answer would be: it depends on whether or not there is a load in the washer waiting to go into the dryer! If so, I fold immediately. If not, they might sit there until I need the actual clothes, or I need the dryer. I shouldn’t tell that about myself!





Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Hodgepodge

I'm joining up with folks on our Wednesday Hodgepodge and I'm running really late writing and posting! Thanks to Joyce for the questions! 


 

1. What do you wish you'd done more of last year? Less of?  I' wish I had spent more time in prayer. I was just asking Mark what he wished he had done more of. I'm not putting the first thing he said. He and I both agreed that we wished we could have eaten more inside good restaurants and spent more time with friends. What do I wish I had done less of last year? I probably should have spent less time playing on my phone - looking at Facebook and Instagram.

 

2. What's the tallest building you've ever been in? Do you have a fear of heights? The South Central Bell building I worked in ws 30 stories. Mark used to have a membership at a private dining facility and it was on the top of a 32 story building. I've climbed to the top of a fire tower and that was pretty tall!



3. Do you have a word for the year? Elaborate if you'd like to elaborate. I do not have a word. I think it is such a cool idea and have considered it but have never done it.

4. January 11 is National Milk Day...are you a milk drinker? What kind? Your favorite recipe that calls for milk (cereal doesn't count)? I am not a milk drinker. I;ve been buying more almond milk lately. Mark's family makes homemade ice cream - a cooked custard ice cream. It is really yummy. My newest favorite though uses heavy whipping cream and is Irish Coffee. Irish Coffee is the one treat that I have allowed myself to have that has sugar in it. It has about a teaspoon of brown sugar in the coffee. I actually made some this weekend.


5. What excites you most about the future? What do you miss about the past? My class started last week and it is exciting to be learning something new! I miss loved ones and friends who have gone before us - does that count as the past?

6. Insert your own random thought here. Covid is rampant here as it is in many places. So far Mark and I have been healthy. We've been trying to live life somewhat normally but we've been wearing out masks. 

We had a couple of friends over recently and I love gerber daisies - 3 in an very old pepsi bottle!


Monday, January 10, 2022

10 on the 10th

Linking up with Leslie over at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After for the 10 on the 10th post. The prompt for today is what are my 10 prayers, wishes, hopes or goals for 2022 and maybe a reflection on how I hope 2022 will be different from 2021 . . . and 2020.

So here goes nothing:

1. I pray and hope and wish that covid would go away forever. I know that is probably not going to happen but I wish it would. I'm so tired of sickness and masks and shortages of covid tests. So many people I know have been diagnosed with Covid this week!

2. In 2022, I also pray for those who want to conceive a child but have been unable to do so or have conceived and miscarried repeatedly. I pray for successful doctor's appointments and if necessary, successful treatments. I pray for healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

3. In 2022, I hope that we get to travel internationally. We have the travel bug bad at our house. If you have read any of my recent posts, you know this about me all ready.

4. I really want to reach my goal weight in 2022. I've lost so much but it is such a battle at this point. I know in my head that WW is the best plan for me. It is a healthy way to eat and live life. You don't leave out major food groups. I must admit it is hard when I see all of these people on social media talking about how much weight they have lost on programs like Optavia. Back in the late 80's or early 90's, I did Optifast when it first came out and it messed up my metabolism so much. I lost tons of weight and gained it back in 6 weeks. My goal is to be the healthiest I can be but somebody better move the food. I actually made my husband throw away a small plastic container of homemade cream cheese frosting because every single time I opened the fridge when I was cooking this week . . .that icing said "you know you want to eat me." I don't eat sugar anymore and normally I don't crave it. It was the leftover frosting/icing from this cake that I baked for co-workers.


5. My online sociology class began this week with a zoom orientation. I hope and pray that I can be successful as an "older" student. I've completed the first assignment which was to read the syllabus and notes from the professor and answer 15 multiple choice questions. I now have to read some chapters online, read a lecture, watch a Ted Talk and write 300 words (assignment for this week). My boss snapped a "first day of school" picture of me.


6. I hope to spend more time with friends. We have such a wonderful friend group but the last two years have been tough on in person gatherings. Everytime we start to gather again, covid ramps back up. We have scheduled our supper club for the last weekend of January and I'm hoping that covid numbers are on the decrease again by then.

7. I pray for our granddaughters to know without a shadow of doubt that God loves them and is always with them -- ALWAYS. I also hope they know that Gran and Pops love them very much, too.

8. In 2022, I wish that our Tuesday night group would grow again. I would personally love for it to grow in number but I want each of those young adults to grow in their faith. So many of our young adults have gotten married (yay!) or moved away for wonderful jobs (yay!) but with covid, it has been hard to grow the group. We are actually taking the month of January off. I've decided that I need a little head space.

9. I'm also praying for my sweet mother-in-law and for my husband and his siblings. I'm praying that even when she is confused, she knows that God is right there with her. After my father-in-law died 34 years ago, she said that she would think of Emmanuel - God with us - when she was sad or overwhelmed with grief.

10. I pray that in 2022, I can be a better wife, a better mother, a better Gran, a better friend, a better co-worker -- a better person all around. I pray that I can love everyone and I pray that I will be less judgmental. I still have lots of room for growth.

What are a few of your prayers, hopes, dreams, and goals for 2022?


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Sunday Stealing

Joining Bev for Sunday Stealing! She finds the questions. We answer and then join up to read other's answers!

Stolen from How Far Will You Go?

1.  What was the warmest welcome you’ve ever received? I’ve thought of two examples – neither are perfect examples but here goes: Thirty years ago next month, I attended the Walk to Emmaus which is a 72 hour spiritual retreat. I think that was the first time that I ever truly experienced radical hospitality. I felt welcomed by those working the weekend from the moment I walked through the doors until the moment I left on Sunday.                                                                                                                                         

My other example is a couple in our Sunday school class. We recently went to their home for dinner and they are VERY laid back. I’m a number one on the enneagram so I like to have my meal preparations planned out to the minute. She was making souffles when we arrived and she had never made them before! They have this ability to make people feel totally welcomed into their home.


2.  What was the best thing about your youth? My mom died when I was a sophomore in high school so when I read this question, I felt like I took a mental step back so that I could see the whole picture not just her death. Stepping back allows me to see so much more. Our youth group and youth choir at our church kept me afloat. I was an excellent student and actually loved school. I was in the color guard in our band. But what was the best thing? I guess it was the people who stepped in to fill the shoes my mom left. Mrs. Lane, Mrs. Parker, a few of my teachers – oh my goodness, those mothers and their families were my lifeline. Isn’t it interesting how sometimes the best things come from the worst things?

3.  Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met. I’m having a hard time with these questions – I have more than one answer! Years ago, when we were very young, Mark had a business associate whose wife was from New Zealand. We were at a business dinner and she was asked to say a blessing and it was so different from what I had heard before. I remember wanting to hear about her – what it was like to live somewhere so far away, etc. Now, one of my co-workers is an amazing musician and he is friends with tons of people – Broadway stars, famous musicians, etc. Today I watched a Ted Talk for my sociology class (just FYI – college is very different in 2022 vs. 1984!!!) and the person speaking is Freeman Hrabowski. He was 12 years old and from Birmingham, AL (I live in a suburb) when he heard Dr. Martin Luther King speak in his church. He participated in the children’s march and was put in jail WHEN HE WAS 12 years old. I’ve not met him but he was “in” my kitchen today and he was pretty interesting!

4.  What is the least you’ve ever worn in public? I have a nightmare where I’m trying to get to my locker and I’m naked. I’m thankful that didn’t happen. I did go skinny dipping when I was about 20 and we were in a pool where we could have been seen. This was pre-Mark!! I guess that would be the “least” I’ve ever worn in public!!

5. What was the worst vacation you ever took? One spring break, I took the kids to Gatlinburg – just the two kids and me. On the first day, Glenn and I went down the street and went up to the top of the space needle. Laura was too afraid and stayed in the hotel room. We got up the next day and something was wrong with Glenn’s neck. He was in horrible pain. We loaded up and drove back to Birmingham and went straight to the pediatrician. I think the doc gave him a muscle relaxer. When they were about 18 months old, we drove to the beach which probably took us at least 5 hours. We got there and it started raining and they evacuated everyone the next morning for a hurricane. We had 2 porta cribs and all the stuff necessary for 2 littles . . .loaded it all back up and drove home.

6.  What room in your home do you spend the most time? I spend the most time in our kitchen/family room area. Mark probably spends the most time in the garage!

7.  Who made the strongest first impression on you? I do not have an answer for this one.

8.  What was the most surprising action you’ve ever taken. I registered for a class and have started it – I’m still surprising myself. Actually, maybe even more surprising is that I stepped up to teach our adult Sunday School class 30 years ago. I did NOT speak in front of large groups. I’m still teaching today.

9.  When was your life most out of control? I got married right out of high school. After about a year and a half, he left. He had realized that he was gay. This was in 1978 in Alabama. For the first year after he left, I was in a pretty big downward spiral. Now I cannot imagine being married to him (if he were still alive – he died of AIDS). My life with Mark and our kids has been pretty amazing.

10.  What would you be best at, were you to change careers? I’ve always thought I would make a good chef or a good dietician/nutritionist. I would also be a really good teacher or professor.

11.  What is the cruelest thing a person has ever said to you? I don’t think I want to answer that question.

12.  What is the best thing you ever won as a prize? I won a bottle of Pappy van Winkle for my husband!

13, What is your strongest argument against capital punishment? I would have a hard time taking the life of anyone.

14.  What have you been most ignorant about in life? I have a tendency to be na├»ve and to stick my head in the sand. I went to a couple of workshops/training sessions on people who have been involved in sex trafficking. OH MY GOODNESS. One of the corridors for sex trafficking runs right through our city – actually only a few miles from our home.

15.Where would you most hate to be pierced? I don’t think I would want my nose to be pierced. There are some other places I would want to be pierced either but I’m not even going there.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Snow Day . . .NOT!

I love looking at the pictures on other blogs -- especially those where the yard is blanketed with snow. Our weather man - James Spann - was predicting a small amount of snow for January 3. It was supposed to snow during the night. Some areas in Alabama did get several inches of snow. Some areas within a 30 minute -- actually within a 15 minute drive from us had about 1/2 inch of snow. This was what we awakened to see on Monday morning. I was a tad disappointed!!


There was a little snow in our courtyard.


There was a little snow on the rooftops and a little snow on the playground in front of our house.


There was a little snow in our neighbor's backyard. 


The good news is that the roads were fine. We both went to work without any problems.

It has been cold here this week. The low last night was in the 20's yet by Sunday, I think it is going to be 60 again. If you don't like the weather in Alabama, wait about 5 minutes and you might experience the weather of a different season!



Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 From this Side of the Pond

1. Share one happy moment/memory from the holiday season. I just wrote a HUGE post about our Christmas. Please feel free to read it. I think one of the most special moments would be knowing that my 96 year old mother-in-law was surrounded by ALL of her children, grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren on Christmas day.

2. Let's be reasonable with our expectations going into this new year, k? What is one thing you'd like to accomplish/improve/complete/do in 2022? I want to get to my stupid goal weight. I was up 2 pounds this morning from yesterday. I did not eat 7,000 extra calories yesterday. If you have never struggled with your weight, you might not understand but it is SO FRUSTRATING.

3. Every January 1st (since 1976) Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse or just general uselessness (go here to read more about how the words are chosen). Here are the words/phrases they'd like to see banished in 2022-

wait, what?-no worries-at the end of the day-that being said-asking for a friend-circle back-deep dive-a new normal-you're on mute-supply chain

Which of these words/phrases do you use regularly? I think I tend to use "no worries" or something similar. 

Which of these words would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why?

I'm definitely tired of new normal and supply chain!! I don't think I even have to explain why.

Is there a word/phrase not on the list you'd like to add? We've used "pivot" a lot as a church staff since March of 2020. I wouldn't mind if that word went away though I've already used it in one text message today.

4. Best thing you ate in the month of December? My cheese grits on Christmas morning were pretty delicious. My sister-in-law made a coconut cake and my son said it was one of the best cakes he had ever eaten. 

5. January 5th is National Bird Day. Are you a bird lover? I do enjoy watching the birds. What's your favorite bird to see in the wild? We love watching the hummingbirds (not right now) as they flit to and fro in our yard. It is amazing how territorial those little things can be. It is also amazing to hear the loud sound made by their wings. Choose a phrase from the list that follows and tell us how it relates to your life currently...eat like a bird, bird's eye view, early bird, bird-brained, free as a bird, a little bird told me, or kill two birds with one stone. I'm normally an early bird. We get up every single day at 5:03. It was nice to sleep until 6 or 6:30 during the week between Christmas and New Year's.

6. Insert your own random thought here. I'm so disappointed that Omicron has gone nuts everywhere. I keep hoping that we will get to some point where we don't have to wear masks, etc. I cannot believe how many people I know personally who have had covid since Christmas Eve and more are diagnosed every day. I even have a younger friend in the hospital on oxygen with covid pneumonia.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Sunday Stealing - New Year!

 Linking up with Bev over at Sunday Stealing.

1. Something that made you cry this year? First of all, I’m normally not a big crier. When I was much younger, I made the decision that crying made me too vulnerable. The craziest things make me cry now – like when the firefly (lightning bug in the south) dies in The Princess and the Frog or when Ted Lasso lets his wife go. I did cry at Bill Arnold’s funeral this year. His wife died a few years ago and there was such finality when he died. I also cried this year when someone hurt my feelings – they basically accused me of being a thief and that was not and is not true.

2. Something you want to do again next year? I want to travel internationally. I know I’m a broken record – I have mentioned that in just about every blog post this year.

3. Talk about a new friend you made this year. We met a couple back in 2020 (so not actually in 2021), but I feel like our friendship has grown much over the past year. Also, we are participating in our neighborhood supper clubs and I feel like we are making friends that way.

4. How was your birthday this year? I turned 63 but I do not feel old! The week before my birthday we were at the beach with our family and had lots of fun. A few days after my birthday, we ate at a new restaurant – Blueprint on Third and really enjoyed it. We had a gift card which made it even better.

5. Favorite book you read this year? I’ve read too many good ones this year. I loved Four Winds and I loved American Dirt. I also enjoyed Our Woman in Moscow and The Personal Librarian. I also read the first two Harry Potter books and loved them. I know I read at least 67 books this past year.

6. What’s a bad habit you picked up this year? I’m desperately trying not to pick up the habit of stress eating. I thought I had conquered it but I find myself eating more when Mark is staying with his mother. I do not want to “pick it up” again.

7. Post a picture from the beginning of the year. This was on January 7, 2021.


8. Post a picture from the end of the year. You said 3 pictures, right?

we toasted the New Year (before midnight)
with sparkling cranberry/apple juice
this year. Mark doesn't like the
taste of champagne and we
saw this in the store - problem
solved!

These two pictures are out of order.
We make gumbo on New Year's Eve
so this picture is finished product
along with cornbread (no sugar in our cornbread).

This is the giant pot at the beginning.


9. A memorable meal this year? We ate at Blueprint on Third (see above) for my birthday and it was yummy. We also ate at Hot and Hot and their meals are always memorable.

All four of these photos were
from our meal at
Blueprint. Mark's appetizer
was fried oysters.

Mark had shrimp, alligator,
and fried fish.

I had grilled snapper - yum!

My appetizer - love shrimp!

Actually, the most memorable meal was one we didn't get to eat. One of the nights we were at the beach, Mark and I were at a restaurant eating dinner. We got a text from one of our nephews that their dad had been caught in the undertow. He said he was going via ambulance to the local hospital. We literally asked the server for our check and left our food on the table. Just FYI - he is fine. He did get caught. He did swallow a lot of salt water. They did release him from the hospital after several hours. He actually felt bad for a couple of days. We joke about it now because our nephew's text made us think that our brother-in-law was not going to make it. This was one of those events that happen in families and it is terrifying at the time but becomes a story to be told over and over.

10. What are you excited about for next year? See #2 above – we have a trip planned this year and possibly a second trip and we are hoping covid stays away enough where we can travel.

11. What’s something you learned this year? Just last week I learned how to change the sim card from my husband’s old phone to my old phone plus I set up both phones. What did I do before YouTube videos? You can learn to do almost anything with a YouTube video!!

12. What’s something new about your place of residence (room, home, or general location) now vs the start of the year? We bought a new sofa this year – same exact design as last sofa with a heavier duty fabric. We commissioned our niece to paint a picture for our kitchen and that is new, too. This picture is large. We needed a large piece of art for a large wall. 


13. Favorite place you visited this year? Ireland – hands down.

14. Did you keep any New Year’s Resolutions? I’m not big on resolutions. I have made a few over the years and have definitely tried to keep them. Sometimes I do . . .and sometimes I don’t.

15. Will you make New Year's Resolutions for 2022? I haven’t written down any resolutions but I have thought about goals for the year.