Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Life Lately (the last couple of weekends)

I always think I'll have time to sit down and blog over the weekend or on Monday nights but since I've been taking this class . . .I have homework! My husband thinks it is so funny to ask me if my homework is done before we turn on the TV or before I do something fun! This post is a photo dump along with some details - mainly for me so I can remember life!

So here goes . . .I think I mentioned this in a previous post but we had a few events to celebrate and a couple of weekends ago we tried out a "new to us" restaurant -- The Front Porch at Ross Bridge. We loved it. Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandbaby #2 were here for the weekend so they were able to go with us.

I love a restaurant where I can get
a Moscow Mule made with
Grey Goose!

The empty plate in the forefront
held bacon bombs - Conecuh sausage
wrapped in bacon with some
sort of "candied" glaze plus
friend cheese curds. As you
can see . . .that plate was
empty. The plate behind
was Mark's and it was a
"Pulled Pork Stack" -
BBQ stacked on a fried
grits cake topped with
turnip greens and homemade
onion rings. They said it
was awesome!

The very next night, we went to another of our neighborhood supper clubs. I've enjoyed these so much. I think I've enjoyed them more than Mark but he has been a good sport about it. The hostess provides the main dish and it was a chicken and broccoli braid. It was good!

I didn't take the following picture but it was on Wednesday night. The doors to the left of the photo are the doors into our church Welcome Center plus the offices where I work. The sanctuary stained glass windows are the top windows to the right. Isn't this a cool photo? Multiple people captured this image.

I did not make this veggie tray but I might make one next year -- isn't it cute for St. Patrick's day? Speaking of St. Patrick's day, we had a zoom call with our friends we met on our trip to Ireland. We all watched the movie Belfast and talked about it along with sharing how we are all doing, etc. John, our fearless leader, timed the call to fall the day after St. Patrick's day so that was fun.

I got a pedicure. I don't know what it is about a pedicure and a leg massage but for just a little while . . .all is right in my world. Silly? Maybe. 

Remember I shared about granddaughter #1's birthday party here? We celebrated her birthday at my mother-in-law's house on Sunday of that weekend. We celebrate all family birthdays on Sundays! My sister-in-law made the cutest cake for her! She had a stack of presents and she wanted to measure the height of the stack by her height! She is much loved. You can see her sweet great grandmother sitting in the background. We are trying to include Mark's momma in as many events as possible.

sitting between her daddy and
her pops checking out
one of the gifts!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I made a WW (weight watchers) Shepherd's Pie to take in my lunches.

I used ground turkey - 99% fat free.
I cut those carrots with precision
which is a rare thing for me.

 I actually used an old fashioned
potato masher rather than my mixer

It was quite tasty in my

One night last week, we enjoyed Hibiscus Mead that a friend makes. It was actually very yummy and it packs a punch!

On Friday afternoon, I made German Chocolate Pies for my sister-in-law's birthday and I made Brown Sugar Brownies for a new neighbor and to give to our friend who made the Mead. I actually ended up making two more German Chocolate Pies on Saturday because the first ones got too brown. This recipe is from my mother-in-law's collection. The recipe was on the back of the Baker's German Chocolate . . .the price tag on the chocolate was $.89. It is $2.46 at Walmart now.

On Friday afternoon, we visited a brand new brewery that has opened near us. It was a gorgeous afternoon and lots of people were out and about. Mark did not like the beer he chose. He prefers a darker beer and ordered this one thinking it would be darker.

On Saturday night, we had dinner with our regular long-time supper club. I loved my friend's vases and I always love Gerber Daisies. These are our people with whom we do life (one couple was out of town).

On Sunday, after church and Sunday School, we made our way to my mother-in-law's house for Sunday lunch along with another birthday celebration - this time for one of my sister-in-law's. We provided the German Chocolate Pies and Redi Whip. The only picture I took was of Grandddaughter #1 climbing the tree in the front yard.

On Monday night, we went out to eat with our "out to eat supper club" from Sunday School and we went to one of our favorite places -- Blueprint on 3rd. It doesn't look fancy from the outside but the food is amazing. Birmingham has truly become a foodie destination and this is a restaurant I would highly recommend. I failed to take a single photo but there were 8 of us and we ate some yummy food! I borrowed this photo from Blueprint on 3rd.

That brings us to Tuesday where I took a couple of hours off from work and went to the zoom with hubby and granddaughter #1. I may save those pictures for one of my A-Z days.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Zipping in at the last minute for Sunday Stealing

 Happy Sunday! Thanks to our host Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World". . She scours the internet and finds the questions and we answer those questions. We then link back up and read everyone’s answers! Want to join us? We would love for you to do so. You can copy and paste and link up with us or you can answer in the comments.

This week’s questions were stolen from Pinterest

1. Are you living a meaningful life. I think I am!

2. What’s the one thing you cannot live without? My answer will be the most shallow – diet pepsi! Actually, I really do love diet pepsi but I would be sad to live without my family but I know that I’ve watched many others lose loved ones and continue putting one foot in front of the other. We all would have a hard time living without oxygen! I would have a hard time living where the sun never shined.

3. When is it acceptable, if ever, to break the law? Well, I have a lead foot and I’m not saying that it is acceptable to speed but I do. I’m a rule follower but if my children were starving and for whatever reason, I couldn’t get a job, I might steal to feed them. I just don’t know. Would I?

4. What do you want your final words to be? I love you. I want to say those words and I want those words said to me.

5. What do you think are the five most beautiful things in the world? The face of your own newborn child, the face of your newborn grandchildren, smiles (along with laughter), a spectacular sunrise or sunset, time with friends and family

6. What makes you feel empowered? After I accomplish something, especially if it was hard, I usually feel very empowered!

7. Which is more important–what you say, or how you say it? I can say things with a really snarky voice so for me, it is how you say it.

8. Do you live to work, or work to live? I actually love my job so it is some of both.

9. How do you think the world will change in 10 years? 50? 100? In 10 years, our oldest granddaughter will be 16. She has never known a world without cell phones and the ability to watch whatever she wants on TV instantly. I wonder if everyone will be driving electric cars when she gets her driver’s license? I truly cannot even imagine how it will be in 50 years and 100 years. Just think how much the world has changed in the last 100 years.

10. What is something you’re certain you’ll never experience? I’m fairly certain that I will never experience having a personal chef every day who stands at my cooktop and prepares my meals or someone to come into my home every morning and wash and dry my hair and put make-up on me.

11. What one responsibility do you wish you didn’t have? I could live the rest of my life and never clean house again! We normally have a friend who cleans our house every week. She actually has been teaching school this year. She used to be a teacher but wanted to make her own hours but with the teacher shortage, a school made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. She has actually been cleaning our house periodically at odd times but she tore her ACL and meniscus and had knee surgery a few weeks ago. Then she got a blood clot so she is out for a while.

12. What is something you’re embarrassed that you’re so good at? I’m not really embarrassed but my kids have been calling me “teacher’s pet” because I’ve emailed with my professor several times.

13. What’s the one thing you most want to achieve before you die? I really want to get my degree and I’m working on it. I also really want to zip line through some cool place like the tree tops of Costa Rica.

14. What’s something that offends you? People who aren’t kind!

15. What makes you most angry about the country? It depends on what day it is. I’m not big on sharing my political opinions.

Some of my answers today are downright shallow. For some reason, I just couldn't go very deep.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Time for a Hodgepodge

Thanks to Joyce for our questions. Please feel free to copy the questions into your own blog and answer and link up with us or feel free to write in the comments.

1. What's something you never seem to have enough time for? These days I'm struggling to find time to write. This weekend, I need to carve out some time and get a few posts pre-written for the April A to Z challenge. I love writing so I need to count that as important time.

2. If you could turn back time and relive just one day in your life, which day would you choose and why? There are too many to pick just one. I would love to relive parts of our wedding day. I feel the same way about the day our kids were born - I would like to relive PARTS of it. I loved the days our kids got married - each of their wedding days was great.

3. Something you enjoy making that takes a long time to prepare/cook? My mother-in-law's recipe for German Chocolate Cake would be my choice, though I don't eat sweets. I used to so I know how it tastes. It is a multi-step process but is so worth it.

4. A time recently where you needed/gave yourself a 'time out'? How do you do that? We were talking about this just a week or so ago. I didn't give myself a time out but my husband did! Our daughter and I were returning home from delivering a meal to someone from church. We were within a mile of our house and I got pulled over and I got a speeding ticket. Let me just say that I have a hard time driving the speed limit. Anyway, we pulled into our garage and I came into our kitchen and I was ranting and raving loudly. I was furious. Mark very calmly said, "go up to the guest room and close the door and stay there until you calm down." What is funny about it is I did just that! I think somewhere through the upset brain, I realized that I was totally out of control in front of our teenagers. It is a funny story now and I did learn several important lessons that day. Sometimes a time out is just what we need.

5. Something you've done recently that you'd describe as a 'good time'? We've been spending more time with friends. We took two friends out to dinner at an Indian restaurant on Saturday night and just being in a restaurant with friends feels so good. We have been participating in our neighborhood supper clubs and in our regular long-time supper club and both of those are "good times." We've spent time with our granddaughters in the last few week and that is ALWAYS a good time!

6. Insert your own random thought here. Speaking of time and not having enough of it . . .y'all know I'm back in school taking a sociology class this semester. It is all online and I had forgotten how much work/reading/writing is required in a college course. It might have been a few years :-). I've never met my professor face to face but she is awesome. She gives great feedback. She works to make connections with the online students. This professor is making my first "back to college" class such a great experience. She makes me feel like my comments are "worth her time."

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Sunday Stealing

Thanks to Bev at Sunday Stealing for our questions which she stole from Swap Bot. I would love to know your answers. You may answer in the comments or you may copy and paste the questions into your own blog. Answer the questions and link up with us here. 

1. Do you like sushi? No, I don't like it. Have I ever tried it? No . . .my family likes it and I think it looks beautiful on the plate . . .just no.

2. What color is your car? My car is black and her name is Black Beauty. Yes, I always name my cars.

3. What is your favorite thing about the place where you live? The person with whom I live! I recently talked about "where" we live but for me, it is also the who.

4. Are there brands of certain items that you will ONLY buy that brand? Ie paper towels, ketchup etc I buy Heinz ketchup. I usually buy Angel Soft toilet paper but since March of 2020, I sometimes have to buy other brands. I buy diet pepsi. I only buy diet coke or coke zero when I'm in another country and can't find pepsi products. I only buy diet Canada Dry ginger ale. I don't like the other brands very much. 

5. Are you allergic to any food? Animals? Plants? Medicines? I'm not technically allergic but I have a food sensitivity to cashews. They make me sick. I'm allergic to cats and dogs . . .and yes, we have a giant cat. I take allergy shots every month and I take two different allergies meds every day plus I have an inhaler and a couple of nose sprays when needed. I don't know about plants. I'm allergic to codeine.

6. Have you ever been stung or bitten by an animal? I've been stung by a bee and I've had a spider bite. I know that technically bees nor spiders are "animals." When our youngest nephew was a very little boy, a dalmation bit off a chunk of his ear.

7. Do you have a favorite bird? Do you feed the bird at your house or the park? We have hummingbirds in our courtyard every year. It is almost time for them to come! I love watching them. They are territorial and they do not like to share. We have feeders and we fill them with sugar water - 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 cup of water and boiled until sugar dissolves. Then we allow it to cool and fill the feeders. They love it.

8. What would you recommend binging on Netflix or similar? Several years ago, I binge watched Downton Abby. We got rid of cable last year so we tend to watch series now. We might watch two episodes in a night but neither of us sit still for much longer than that. We've been watching Castle. We watched Bosch and I recommend that. We also watched Ted Lasso . . .actually we've watched both seasons through twice. We also watched Absentia. I could not watch it right before going to bed though.

9. What is your proudest achievement? I think Mark and I raised two wonderful children who are now all grown up each with a daughter of their own. We made a lot of mistakes along the way but I hope they always knew they were loved.

10. Do you have or are you from a big family? I have two sisters - one is 8 years older and one is 13 years older. My husband is an identical twin and they have another brother and a sister and we all have a spouse and there are 6 children among us. Our kids are married and each have a child. When we are all together at my mother-in-law's house we are "large." I always wanted to be a part of a big family when I was a kid. My best friends were a part of a family where there were 5 kids and I loved to hang out at their house.

11. What do you do for exercise? I ride a stationary recumbent bike every day for 30 minutes and I walk a few minutes on the treadmill every day. Before we went to Ireland in October, I biked for 30 and walked for 30. I hurt my back which messed up my exercise. I kept riding the bike but the walking hurt BUT I'm now walking 13 minutes each day on the treadmill plus the bike. I've been moving up a minute a day each week. I'll be back at 30 minutes in a few weeks and hopefully I'm doing it slowly enough not to cause any issues.

12. What would be your favorite breakfast? (You didn’t have to cook it yourself.) First of all, do I have to eat it in the morning? Could I have breakfast for lunch or dinner? If so, give me all of the breakfast meats - bacon, Conecuh sausage, link sausage, patty sausage, ham. I'd also like a biscuit with gravy and cheese grits. I don't need any eggs. Have I ever eaten a breakfast this large? NO!! I probably wouldn't ever eat this much food at one sitting.

photo from - plus recipe!

13. Is there an item that you really want but can not afford? I can't think of anything. I could say a bigger house but we don't really need a bigger house. I would love to have a Wolf stove (red knobs!) with six burners and a double oven but what I have works.

14.  What was the farthest distance you made for your holidays? I'm not sure I understand this question. We've never had to travel far for an actual holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. My mother-in-law lives about 20 minutes away. We call trips "vacation" but I know that Peppa Pig says she is going on "holiday" so I'm wondering if this is talking about vacation?? If so, the furthest I've been is Israel. I'll be headed back for my fourth time in February 23. We are hopefully headed to Italy and Germany this summer.

15. Are you afraid of speaking in public? If you had asked me this 30 years ago, I would have told you that I was horrified of speaking in public. Since then, I have taught probably 1000 Sunday School lessons to our adult class. I was the "preacher" for one Sunday in our church. The Sunday is called "laity Sunday." I actually was the "preacher" in another church for their United Methodist Women's day. I've given talks on Emmaus walks. I was the closing speaker on our women's retreat in October. Do I still get nervous? You bet! Am I still afraid? I guess so. I will admit that when I finish, I'm always sweating buckets! TMI?


Friday, March 18, 2022

Granddaughter #1's SIXTH Birthday

I can't believe that our sweet girl is 6 years old. I remember when she was born and they placed her in my arms and I was instantly "in love" with this child. She celebrated her birthday this past Saturday at Let's Play. If you've never been to one . . .wow! Just wow! It is an indoor play area with climbing things and trampolines and spinning things.

She is into the movie "Descendants" which I haven't seen BUT she told me all about it last Friday when she stayed with us a few hours while her parents went out for a dinner date. The Descendants are the offspring of some of the Disney characters. I know there are kids of villains. I'm not sure if there are offspring of the good characters, too. Anyone know?

Sweet girl is front and center in the "dress up dress"
of one of the characters. She told me which one
but I can't remember - oops!

Here I am with Granddaughter #2.
She and her parents arrived from
out of town just in time for the

Here we are - Mark and I

She had cupcakes in the colors
from the movie

daughter & son-in-law (parents
of granddaughter #2)

It is a miracle that kids aren't
continually throwing up --
these spinning things are

granddaughter #2 playing

son and daughter-in-law (parents
of the birthday girl)

they were getting ready for the dance
portion of the party - they turn off
the lights and the floor lights up

Grand #1 - this is such a cool
thing. She and I colored a fish and
then with the swish of a finger,
the fish we colored was on the
big wall "acquarium" behind her.

that is our brightly colored fish

grand #2 says "cheese" for every
picture so she always has this
cute squinched up nose and eyes

the party room!

For those who know Mark, this
photo won't surprise you. He is talking
away! Here he is with Donna

It was a fun day and sweet grand #1 felt loved!! We can't believe she is six years old!!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday Stealing

Linking up with our host Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World" for Sunday Stealing. She “steals” the questions from the internet and today they are stolen from Manelligence.  

Stolen from Manelligence

1. What emotion do you experience the most? I’m embarrassed to say that my first thought was anger! I think I’ve worked through some of those issues (I hope!!). I want the emotion I experience the most to be JOY.
2. What embarrasses you most in front of other people? Making a fool of myself!! I actually don’t even like to watch a movie or an episode of a show of people making fools of themselves.
3. What do you love most about yourself? These days, I’m ok with myself most of the time. I love that I was (and maybe still am) a good mom and a good wife. I’m a hard worker. I do love one thing about myself – I love to laugh, and I have a loud laugh!
4. Who has influenced you the most? There have been different people in different seasons of my life. My sweet 96-year-old mother-in-law has been a guiding force in my life for almost 40 years. A couple of our previous pastors and our pastor now have all influenced me. Our children and my husband have influenced me. Right now, I’m being influenced by what I’m learning in my Sociology class.
5. What would you like to change about yourself? Our questions today are tough! We did a personality type test at work recently and one of my things . . . .I interrupt people. I'm trying to be aware of it but I keep forgetting.
6. If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Lie in a comfy chair on a white sand beach and read books – is that an option?


7. If you had the option of adopting a baby fox or baby koala, which would it be? Well . . .I think red foxes are pretty cute and if I’m honest, I’ve never thought of adopting either!
8. If you had to be on a reality show, which would it be? I would not fare well on a show like survivor. I might do ok on a cooking show or maybe one of the shows where they come in and do something fun to your house or yard.
9. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be? I love Ireland and I love Israel so either one of those for year would be awesome.  Maybe I should travel Europe for a year.
10. How many bones have you broken? I’ve broken a toe once or twice but that is all.
11. What do you fear about getting older? I’m not looking forward to the time when I’m not really needed.
12. How do you relieve stress? I try to exercise when I’m feeling stressed but sometimes, I eat – but I’m working on not eating when I’m stressed!!!
13. Are your feet the same size? I wear the same size shoes on both feet but as with most people, one is slightly larger than the other.
14. 100 kittens or 3 baby sloths? Baby sloths are so cute! Would they be willing to use a litter box?

15. What do you want more than anything else in life? I want to make a difference (for the good) in at least one life. I want my family to have good health and live a good life. I want to love and be loved. Yes, I know those are three totally different things but I would like all three, please.