Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter Wonderland HodgePodge

From this Side of the Pond

Join up with Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond - copy her questions into your blog and answer . . . and link up!

1. 'Hurry less, worry less'...what's your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How's it going so far?
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I so wish this could be true!  I will say that the snow last Friday definitely slowed me down. We don't get a lot of snow in Alabama and we especially don't get between four and five inches. We did last Friday. Mark was out of town and I watched a million Hallmark movies - back to back and made Christmas ornaments.

horrible picture of me - keeping it real!
I don't even have the right kind of clothes to
wear - hoodie under a wool coat!

I was out in the street with all of the neighbors
it was so beautiful!

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?
Isn't that what my husband is for? Just kidding - sort of! Actually, we don't have to do a lot of winterizing here. We have some faucet covers that we put over the outside faucets if we have freezing weather. Just FYI, I have lists for everything. I have lists for my lists!

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc).  What's the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?
I've replaced a lot of my grains with veggies this year (I type those words as I sit at the island in the kitchen munching on a fake chip!) I don't drink milk very often so that won't affect me. I love lentils and chickpeas and already eat those quite often.

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site 'Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.' What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?  Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.  If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?
really? Ultra violet? Purple is the favorite of one of my sister-in-laws so she should be happy. I don't think I have anything purple in my house!

5. Favorite book read this year?
I've read lots of good books this year - Boys in the Boat was excellent. I also reread The Nightingale earlier this year - good book, too!. My Kindle Fire died a few weeks ago and I ordered a new Kindle Paperwhite. I couldn't wait until Christmas. A day without reading is torture! I read while I ride the stationary bike every night. I've read a ton of James Patterson and at least 40 cozy mysteries (my secret pleasure that you now know about). In addition to pleasure reading, I also read so that I can teach adult Sunday School each week - one of my favorite books this year was:

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
We had our church staff Christmas party yesterday and it was so much fun. We had pot luck lunch and everyone ate together. We each had a stocking that our co-workers had filled with notes of encouragement and tiny gifts (candy, cookie cutters & recipes, clever treats). Santa ate lunch with us and then handed out stockings and the senior pastor was Santa's trusty sidekick.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?
Workin' Hard?
Living the Good Life?
Another one bites the dust? (just kidding)
Mother of the bride?
The Empty Nest?
Eat More Chicken and Give Up Desserts?
I have no idea what this chapter would be called.

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what's the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?
Really? There is such a thing as National Microwave Oven Day? Who knew? I sure didn't. I love to heat left-over soup in the microwave. I heat my lunch in the microwave at work almost every day - either left-overs or something I've meal prepped on Sunday afternoon. I guess I could live without one but I would have to change my habits - especially my lunch habit.  I really don't like to microwave meat (like left-over pork tenderloin or hamburger patties). It does something weird to the meat. I would almost rather eat left-over meat cold.

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?
This question is almost as hard as question number 1!
I love "Away In a Manger" but I know that the idyllic version in my head is not what that stable/manger looked like. I'm sure it was a smelly place.
We Three Kings of Orient Are . . .that would be pretty cool - riding in on a majestic camel to see Jesus.
I know -- how about . . .
While shepherds watched their flocks by night, All seated on the ground, The angel of the Lord came down, And glory shone around. "Fear not," said he, for mighty dread Had seized their troubled minds; "Glad tidings of great joy I bring To you and all mankind.  To you, in David's town, this day, Is born of David's line A Savior, who is Christ the Lord; And this shall be the sign: The heavenly Babe you there shall find To human view displayed, All meanly wrapped in swaddling-clothes And in a manger laid. "
Can you imagine sitting out in the field - stars shining overhead and an angel appearing to tell you about the long awaited Messiah?? Oh my goodness.

borrowed from the internet - thank you!

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you've ever taken.
We've driven around the island of St. Martin and it was quite lovely. We've been on some pretty drives in Hawaii. One of my favorite drives is through Magnolia Springs, AL. It is truly a lovely place.

5. What's something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)
new IPhone
gift certificates to my favorite places
peace on earth
politicians who are honest and good
good health
happy and healthy children and grandchild

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I've had a hard week - not sure why. It is getting dark so very early. I've been really busy. I royally screwed up something at work on Monday. You know - a typical week.  Today, I sneaked off from work just a few minutes early (thank you!) to see my grandbaby. I hadn't seen her in a week and a half which is just about the longest I've gone without seeing her (I apologize to those of you who live long distances from your grandbabies). She and Mark were playing with stickers and money in his truck when I got to her house. She immediately said "lap" and "help" and "sticker" and "GRAN!" Oh my goodness, I held her close and smelled her hair and soaked in some love and the world tilted back into the right place. Pure bliss, folks. I can't help but wonder if that is how God feels when we choose to spend time with him?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

God Bless Us Everyone!

What's up with you and yours? Have you decorated your house? Christmas Tree in place? Presents purchased and wrapped?  Nope? Join my club! I've done a few things but not nearly enough yet.

I just thought these Christmas balls were so pretty that I snapped a photo - sorry!

On Saturday, Mark and I drove to the city where our daughter lives and visited with her and her future husband for a while.  She cooked her first meal in the new house and we were there to eat it - that was very special to this momma!

After lunch, we drove to the Shakespeare Theater to see A Christmas Carol. I must say that I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the production. I loved how Shakespeare was decked out for the holidays!

Before the production, carolers were singing from the balcony.

We were told that we couldn't take pictures of the production but I snapped one of the program and one of the main backdrop.  The scenery in this play was spectacular. I cannot imagine the hours of work that went into creating the scenery.  We had seats on the third row so we could see every detail clearly. The costumes were outstanding, too.

On Sunday night, our neighborhood had the annual "lighting of the tree." I signed up to bake cookies this year . . .because I have backed out of going the last couple of years.  If you have cookies to deliver and you've already walked to the townhall, you might as well stay.  Poor hubby - I dragged him to all sorts of things this past weekend!

We were headed to see the "lighting" of the tree but the moon put on a show all its own on Sunday night.  Here she is rising between the two house across the street from us.

My pictures of the actual event are not very good. It was too dark and I didn't figure out how to touch the screen to add more light until it was too late.  I know now! The Chamber Choir from our local high school performed as did an ensemble called "Ten Bucs Worth" (school mascot is Bucs).  They were all very good.

This was the moon still putting on a show when we arrived at the town hall (two blocks from our house).  She was really beautiful.

The tree is not a real tree but a ginormous pole with strands of lights that run to the ground. After the choir performance, everyone in the crowd counted down - ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one . . .and the light appeared. It is really quite lovely and my picture doesn't do it justice.

Since we were already out and about, we walked around our neighborhood a little. Almost everyone has participated in the white lights in our front trees this year and it is magical.

We finally put the decorations on the tree.

I finished decorating the mantle and I really like it this year.

I love our nativity - some Fontanini and some wooden pieces from Bethlehem.

I found a fun red and green plaid cloth at Bed, Bath, and Beyond last weekend and picked it up (and had a coupon!). I love the fun and casual look.

I pooped out after this little bit of decorating on Sunday afternoon. We need to do some work to the outside - wreaths and garland and bows. We hung beautiful garland up over our door on Sunday afternoon and it is hanging by one hook this afternoon.  It is way too tall for me to reach without a ladder so I'm hoping that Mark can fix it when he gets home.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Iron Bowl 2017

Football is REALLY REALLY important in the state of Alabama. I believe that the Auburn/Alabama rivalry is one of the strongest rivalries in the country.  Alex Kirshner wrote this in a recent article: "The Alabama-Auburn Iron Bowl might be the college football’s best, most impactful, and nastiest rivalry game. The two fanbases despise each another, and there’s not a lot of love between the programs themselves, either. This series is a blood feud between Alabamian neighbors."

Mr. Kirshner pretty much hit the nail on the head.

My husband is an Auburn graduate.
His twin brother is an Auburn graduate.
Our twins are Auburn graduates.
Our daughter-in-law is an Auburn graduate.
We bleed orange and blue in our house.

The Iron Bowl was played on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and Auburn won!
It was an amazing game.

One of the long standing traditions is the "rolling" of Toomer's Corner - even if you aren't an Auburn fan, you probably heard about the man who poisoned our trees. You can read about that here.

photo borrowed from the internet
We weren't in Auburn after the win but Mark was so excited after the game that we had to do a little bit of rolling!  We rolled the tree in our own front yard!

Our neighbors across the street (also Auburn fans who were at the game!) have a tiny sapling tree that is from Toomer's Corner. Mark and I sneaked across the street and draped a few pieces of toilet paper on Ms. Lu's and Mr. Dave's tree.

What a fun night!  This weekend's game against Georgia . . . not such a good ending . . .but it was fun while it lasted!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Throwback Thursday

This morning, I was scrolling through the pictures on my Surface Pro and I realized that my pictures on my tablet go as far back as December 2011.  I pulled some just for memories today.

Becky (one of my sisters) and Joann (our step-mom) . . .
our step-mom died this year - she was a lovely woman
inside and out.

John Wesley folks (our Sunday School
class) making PB&J sandwiches for a
local shelter

Laura (l) and Kim (r) - I love laughter and this picture makes
me so happy

more friends - dressed up for a wedding
at our age, we get to go to lots
of fun weddings!!

Hubby hanging out with the guys

different wedding!!

more sweet friends at the same wedding

popsicles with friends - now that
is awesome!!

Can you sense a theme here? Memories and friendships?
We MUST get together with these friends soon - we've
promised to do a better job of "meeting in the middle"
but our busy lives have intervened

oh my goodness - I miss this sweet friend
there will always be a hole in my heart
Without Nancy, I wouldn't know

This was our annual Talbots shopping spree - sister-in-law,
sweet mother-in-law and me several years ago

I sure do love these folks!  Our kids and some of our nephews
(we are missing Grace in this picture)

friends having fun at a New Year's Eve
party at our house several years ago

more sweet friends - who have now moved
out of town

love this picture!!

this one is pretty cute, too!!

Sweet Katie -- and Mark's eyes are closed
We are so glad that Katie is cancer free now!!

more friends - helping with a wedding shower
mixing the "punch"

Three sweet friends - one just happens to be my
sister-in-law, too

Lots of sweet Sunday School friends - hosting a couple's

I just needed to be reminded today of all those in our life - those we love (this is by NO MEANS a picture of everyone we love!! -- lots of folks are not present in these pictures).  I just snatched a few from my photo folder and took a trip down memory lane . . .needed to be reminded that I am loved and that I LOVE, too!  Bonus - I smiled a lot and remembered a lot!