Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I love answering these hodgepodge questions each week.  They give me a starting point for my thoughts and I love reading other folk's answers, too!  Join up over at

  It's officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?
As I walked out the door onto the screen porch this morning, the humidity hit me like a wet blanket and I said out loud, “well it is indeed summer in Alabama!”  I love June (even though it is hot!)  because it is my birthday month!  I really love June because the days are soooo long.  I love the fact that it doesn’t get dark until at least 8:00 p.m.

Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?
I can float.  I can dog paddle.  I’m a lousy swimmer.  I took swimming lessons at the YMCA as a young adult!  It was embarrassing.  I think I almost drowned.  It is a good thing that I was cute.  I made sure that our children learned to swim early – they could do a basic crawl at 3 years old and swam on swim team, taught swim lessons, etc.

I don’t own a single pair of sunglasses and I desperately need some.  I’ve been shopping for a pair.  I’m willing to pay up to $150.00.  I get motion sick very easily.  As soon as I put on most sunglasses, I get that motion sick feeling.  Somehow my vision is slightly distorted by sunglasses and oh my goodness – it makes me feel ill!!  Our daughter has costas and loves them.  I tried some on but haven’t found the right pair yet.  Any suggestions?  Anyone else have this same problem?

 What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others? 
I think I judge others way too often.  I know this sounds ridiculous since I’m overweight, but I do judge others who are overweight.  Maybe it is because I want to change it in myself (but don’t seem able to do so) so I see it in others???

  Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What's a road (literal or figurative) you've always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you? I would love to travel “down a road” to Ireland and Scotland and Australia and New Zealand and the list goes on and on.

  Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what's your favorite flavor? 
Oh my goodness – in Alabama (started right here in our town), we have Steel City Pops (Birmingham – steel mills).  These are THE BEST popsicles I have ever eaten in my life.  I love the coconut one.  It is so delicious!

  Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what's involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what's Brexit) Is this news you'll follow or is it something you think won't impact your life in any way shape or form?
I know what it is.  I know that Mark was watching the stock market.  I know that most people thought it was going to go one way and it went another way.  I’m thinking maybe I would be an 8 on the scale.

  Share a favorite song on your summer play list.
I have been listening to Lauren Daigle all the time lately.  That is not really a “summer play list” but just what I’ve been listening to most often.  Have you heard her?

Insert your own random thought here. 
We are going to two different lakes this weekend with friends/family.  We went to another friend’s lake house last weekend.  I'm so thankful for friends and family who share their lovely homes on the water with us.  I love being out in the sun.  I love having a tan.  I HATE that it is bad for you. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Foodie Friday

I love to eat - if you know me, you already know that about me.  So . . .let's talk about food, ok?

Remember I told y'all about eating at Hattie B's Hot Chicken? and that we loved the black eye pea salad?

We are going to a friend's lake house tomorrow for lunch and I decided to try to make black eye pea salad . . . so of course, I googled recipe for black eye pea salad and looked at a bunch before I found one I might like.  I found one over at Kalyn's Kitchen and I'm tweaking her recipe (though I'm sure it is great just as is!!).

I'm using two 12 ounce bags of black eye peas.  I must agree with Kalyn - I'm surprised that you have to cook them first!  (but you do - I tasted one!!)

So cook up some black eye peas (that sounds southern -- cook up some black eye peas!!) with some garlic (I didn't have cloves but I had minced garlic in a jar!)  I also salted the water.

While the peas are cooking, I chopped a green pepper and a red pepper.  I want to add a little jalapeno but I'm not sure I have any - I'm going to dig in my refrigerator and see what I can find!!  I'm also going to add chopped green onions just like Kalyn did.

For the dressing, I squeezed a whole lime and zested about 1/4 tsp.  I added 4 tablespoons of olive oil and I added a teaspoon of cumin and a 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder and about 10 red pepper flakes.  I also added a healthy shake of Lawry's season salt.

The peas are taking longer to cook than I anticipated.  I'll let y'all know how it turns out!!

UPDATE -- after resting overnight, the pea salad was too dry.  I mixed up a cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup sugar; 1/4 cup white vinegar; big splash of balsamic vinegar; another good shake of red pepper, coarse ground salt and black pepper.  Poured this over the peas and allowed to marinate until lunch time -- delish!

We have invited neighbors (two couples) over for dinner tonight - this is a first for us.  We have a tendency to hang with our framily and family.  We have invited neighbors to our gumbo party (but we didn't have it this year!!).  Guess what I'm serving?  beef tenderloin - oh my goodness - I love it!  The Pig (piggly wiggly) had beef tenderloin on sale last week for $9.99 a pound and I stopped in while they were on sale.  I'm using an old tried and true recipe that an older lady in our church congregation shared with my sister-in-law 30+ years ago.

6-7# beef tenderloin serves 12
Remove almost all fat and remove silver skin.  I bought one that was pre-trimmed and Mark still had to do some trimming last night.  You need a very sharp knife.  Leave a little fat.
Marinate overnight - I used about 1/4 cup Ken's lite Caesar dressing and 1/4 cup Ken's olive oil and vinegar dressing and a healthy sprinkling of Cavender's seasoning and a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce.  (all of those are guestimates -- I don't measure)

Remove from fridge and allow to come to room temp (about 45 minutes)

heavily pepper and garlic salt outside of meat

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

cook 30 minutes for rare
40 minutes for medium
50 minutes well done (this would be a crime!!!!)
rest at LEAST 15 minutes before cutting

I'm also going to serve oriental slaw (I thought I had shared that recipe before but I can't find it on my blog) with teeny tiny roasted new potatoes (olive oil and kosher salt) and bread.  I just happen to have "homemade by Susie" German Chocolate Cake in the freezer for dessert.

Last but not least, we did go to Hot and Hot for my birthday dinner.  The food did not disappoint.

The heirloom tomato salad is so good.  Those are fresh peas and little pieces of fried okra scattered around.  I love this salad.  Mark - who doesn't like tomatoes at all - even loves this salad. Mark actually ordered two appetizers.  He ordered boudin balls (I didn't get a picture!!).  He was full after his two appetizers!

Being full never stops us from eating (how stupid is that!).  Mark ordered pompano and it was served over avocado and tomatoes (he didn't eat those tomatoes - they weren't heirloom!!).

I ordered chicken "fried" steak.  The steak was cut into sections with a piece of fried chicken "skin" stuffed between.  It was served with fingerling potatoes and buttermilk gravy over greens.  You see that tiny smear of gravy on the left side of the plate - it was sooooo good!  Mark loved my chicken skins and helped eat the beef, too.

Needless to say, we were actually too full to order dessert.  Really - we were too full.  It was delicious.

Those are our dining escapades . . .yum yum!

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Last night, we finished week three of our current Tuesday night study --
#Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World by Craig Groeschel. It is a “light” study – just perfect for summer – 5 weeks. 

It is amazing to me that even through a “light” study (not deep – sort of fun) that God can still speak loudly and clearly.

Did you know that yesterday was national selfie day?  Yes, there is evidently such a day.  

Here is my poor attempt at a selfie . . .with filters :-)  My eyes look crossed because I'm not coordinated enough to hold my phone and touch the button at the same time!!  Had to leave my reading glasses on because I could not see . . .oh well . . .

We talked about being authentic last night and about having a veil over our face as Moses did (2 Corinthians 3:13 refers back to the Old Testament Exodus 34:35)

We all wear masks (veils) almost all of the time.  We have a work mask and we have a church mask and we have a family mask and the list goes on and on.  When are we real?  When are we authentic? Mark even pointed out that we “try” to wear a mask with God.  We fool ourselves into thinking that we are fooling God.

Our masks continue right into social media.  We put filters on our pictures.  We try to do things that we think are Instagram worthy.  When are we real?  When are we authentic? With whom are we authentic?

Brene Brown – a great author, writes this about authenticity “authenticity is cultivating the courage to be emotionally honest, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.  We let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are.

I love her definition!!

What mask are you wearing today?  Can you take it off?  Will you be authentic?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What a Mess!!

Yesterday, I noticed that my office is a complete and total MESS so I took a picture of my desk.  Look at this crazy mess!!

I brought my silhouette cameo to work and I’ve been cutting out a banner for “the calm before the Stork” – a new ministry in our children’s department.  I have a tendency to create and make a mess and then clean up all at once!  I’m going to have to do some cleaning before Sunday J!!

What else do we see in this picture?  In the background you can see a shirt hanging over a chair.  Elaine and Noah got married at Trinity on Saturday and a groomsman (or groom?) left a garment bag and a shirt . . . and my office is the pick up spot!

My birthday was last week and sweet Graham (3 years old!) picked out my balloons and they are still happy so they are still here.  People keep stopping at my door and they ask, “Is today your birthday?  Happy birthday!”  I then have to explain that “no, my birthday was last week but my balloons are still happy!”

I recently made a sign for my office door – This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it – I like it ok but I want something else.  I even googled “decorations for church office door” or something equally as crazy – no luck.  Any suggestions?  I could get a big “E” – would work for both Elliott and Erickson!!

My office is indeed a MESS right now but it will be clean soon – surely!  I decided to google “creative and messy people” and found a great Huffington Post article – here is a quote:
At the same time, a study by Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, found that a cluttered environment helps increase creativity.
“Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” she said.

So there!  Are you creative?  Are you messy?

Monday, June 20, 2016

We are Framily!

Urban Dictionary defines framily like this:

A member of your circle who is more than a friend but not a blood relative. Combining the words friend and family. Someone very significant in your life not in your family. Joined by hearts and souls, not bloodlines.

We have been blessed to have framily and we recently spent a whole day together.
It was awesome!

We are indeed joined by hearts and souls, not bloodlines.

We give thanks to God for our framily!

riding around was so much fun!

I love these people!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wednesday Hodge Podge ACTUALLY written on Wednesday

check out everyone's answers at From This Side of the Pond

1. If you could sit beside and/or jump in any lake in the whole wide world today, which lake would you choose and why?  
We have so many choices in Alabama!!  Our friends have a house on Lake Tuscaloosa and we always enjoy spending time with them – that would be good!  It is actually raining here today so a fun sunny day at the lake sounds so nice.  Lake Martin is a really pretty lake.  Our daughter stayed with a family on the lake when she first moved down that way.  She sent this picture last week.

I could jump in this!!  On the 25th, we are going to a friend’s house on Highland Lake.  It is a smaller lake “community.”  It is really neat.  This past Saturday, I went “fishing” with Mark (I cast (casted?) one time – then I took pictures).  I DO NOT WANT to jump in this lake.  It has been fertilized and it is green right now!!

Here is a peaceful view of the same lake -- isn't it amazing how we can look at something in a different way?

2. What's your favorite 'fruity' drink?  Limes are fruit, right?  They count, right?  Margaritas!  I also love Moscow Mules – ginger ale (or ginger beer), vodka, and a lime’s worth of juice – yummy!!

3. I read a list here of thirteen things to do right now to simplify your life. They were-

clean as you go, re-evaluate your relationships (cut toxic ties), unsubscribe (too many blogs and websites), de-clutter, write down your daily goals, reply to emails right away, forget multitasking, create a morning routine, re-evaluate your commitments (which hobbies and responsibilities are most important to you), say no, clean up your computer, and plan your day ahead

Which of the tasks listed do you currently find most helpful in keeping life simple? Which item on the list should you adopt in order to simplify your life this month?
I try to clean as I go (sometimes!); at 58, I’ve started cutting those toxic ties!!  I need to unsubscribe – I get way to many junky emails!!  I keep a daily list and love accomplishing things on the list!  I have a loose morning routine but there is a routine.  I have lots of commitments and don’t plan to re-evaluate those anytime soon.  I’ve actually been trying to clean up my computer some.  I still have a million emails in my inbox but I’m working on it - - I promise!!
Yes, I know that I didn’t answer the exact question.  Sometimes I just run with it!

4. What did you do the summer after you graduated from high school?  I graduated from high school on one day and I started working at South Central Bell (now AT&T) on the next morning.  I had not had my 18th birthday yet and my daddy had to sign a release for me to go to work (child labor?  Full time?).  I learned a lot in that job!  I didn’t start college until a couple of years later.  South Central Bell had a tuition program and I took most of my classes at UAB and some at Jeff State (jr. college) at night.

5. Are you a fan of podcasts? If so what's a favorite? I rarely listen to pod casts.  Sometimes I listen to Ted Talks . . .and I listen to sermons on our church website (told y’all about those the other day).

6. Do you think today's fathers have it harder, easier, or just different than fathers in the past?  I think being a parent is always hard – very rewarding – but very hard.  I think parenting is different these days.  Dads are much more involved in the care of their children. We had twins so Mark had to help and he was great but he still hunted and fished on the weekends and I did the birthday parties and the chauffeuring.  I think more dads show up at those events these days.

7. Tell us one way you're like your father? Or not at all like your father if that's easier?
My dad always had a temper.  I have to work at controlling my temper.  I like to think I’m like my dad – he was a good man.  In reality, I think I’m more like my momma.  I definitely look more like her.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My birthday was yesterday and I think it was one of the best celebrations of my life!  I’ve had a couple of incredible parties over the years given by friends and those were wonderful, too.  This year, I started my birthday by reading as a guest reader for The Overflow Foundation which just happens to be hosting a camp in Tarrant - my home town.  I was saddened by the condition of many of the homes in the neighborhood but these children sang happy birthday to me, made giant cards for me, and seemed to enjoy the book I read.  These children made me smile from ear to ear.

Since my birthday fell on a Tuesday, I was surrounded by young adults in the evening – they brought desserts and cards and treats for me and they made me feel so special.  (Kate standing beside me)  Yes -- I blew out ALL those candles - cupcakes, regular cake, ice cream cake and individual cupcake!!

Laura came home from Auburn and when I got home from work she had decorated the kitchen.  

My co-workers showered me with cards and treats and gifts.  My sisters both sent a package.  My mother-in-law made German Chocolate cake for Sunday’s dessert for my birthday (it is one of my all time favorite cakes!!).  

Tonight, Mark is taking me to Hot and Hot, a wonderful local restaurant and I plan to get the heirloom tomato salad and who knows what else.  The chef is Chris Hastings who beat Bobby Flay on Iron Chef and he was also a James Beard award winner.  Eating at Hot and Hot is a real treat and I’m excited!!  He uses as many local ingredients as possible. 

Chef Chris Hastings making his fabulous tomato salad.
doesn't it look amazing???  I'm so excited!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Is it really HOT?

Last night Mark and I ate dinner at a new restaurant in town with two of our friends. We had an enjoyable dining experience. Want me to tell you about our experience at Hattie B's Hot Chicken?

We arrived about 6:15 and the line was to the door. We snagged a dirty table and Mark bussed it as I offered, "gross don't touch that" comments!! I held the table (tables were in high demand) and Mark got in line. The line was really long but moved fairly quickly. Mark said the employees taking the orders were really nice. Of course, Mark made a new friend in line - anyone surprised?  When you arrive, you go through a line - order - get a number - someone delivers your food. I had read a review that rated the black eye pea salad as their best side. We both ordered that as one of our sides. Mark is an adventurous eater so he ordered "hot" dark meat. There are stages of heat:




Damn hot

Shut the cluck up hot

They also offer "southern."

Glenn and Mark discussed the food beforehand and Glenn told Mark that medium is not hot enough. (Glenn has eaten at the original Hattie B's in Nashville.)

I ordered southern tenders - 3 giant tenders - I could only eat two!! The southern fried was nicely seasoned. The white meat was pretty and tasty (no weird pieces) and not greasy at all. I ordered fries and black eye pea salad. The salad did not disappoint. Yummy!! The fries were basic ore-Ida type fries but they were seasoned well and there were so many that I couldn't eat all of them. We also received a couple of pickle slices and there is a piece of white bread in the bottom of the basket (to soak up grease?? - or hot sauce???)

Mark had two large pieces of chicken and they glistened!! He ordered cole slaw - said it was ok and black eye pea salad (loved it and wants me to learn to make it).  He thought the black eye pea salad was so good that he said if we ever eat there again, he plans to order two servings as his sides.

Our companions ordered mild chicken and said it was spicy enough for them.

The wait staff was pleasant.  The food was good and plentiful. Mark was able to get a craft beer. I had a Sprite!  

The evening was enjoyable time spent with friends.

So.... Was the chicken hot? Yes! Mark said "whew" several times during dinner.  He also said, "this chicken is hot" several times!!

Fried chicken is not at the top of my favorite list but I would eat at Hattie B's again.

Mark loves fried chicken. He enjoyed his hot chicken but LOVES the fried chicken and waffles at Skycastle (just down the street from Hattie B's).

Both restaurants are located in the Lakeview district of Birmingham (there is no lake!).  It is a cool area with lots of bars and restaurants.  I said to our table companions on Friday night that I would bring out of town guests (if we ever have any!!) to the Lakeview District - there are lots of good restaurants and it feels safe to walk around at night.

All in all - chicken gets four stars; black eye pea salad gets five stars; other sides get 3 stars; wait staff gets 5 stars (just my opinion).  Would I eat there again?  Yes!

Note: I was not paid nor given free food from Hattie B's or Skycastle- they don't know me at all!!

Sent from my iPhone (I typed this in my notes section while Mark was bush hogging at the farm - no wifi . . .no service . . .notes section came in handy!

Friday, June 10, 2016

on my knees . . .

 Most of you know that I work in a church - I talk about it all the time.  I love my job for many reasons but today I'm going to tell you about one reason.

On Fridays, if there is to be a baptism on Sunday, I walk to the other end of the building.  The sacristy is on the far side of the main sanctuary.  I leave the baptismal certificate, a baptism candle for the family, and a letter on the counter in the sacristy for the acolyte to put out on Sunday morning. (or the acolyte mom)

This morning, when I walked into the sanctuary, the light was perfect.  Sun was streaming through the stained glass windows so there was just enough light in the room.

I actually thought about light in my life . . and how light always wins over darkness.  I'm so glad because sometimes life seems dark, doesn't it?

But I promise not to get off topic today - so what is one of the things that I love about working in a church?  When I walked back through the sanctuary (after leaving the candle, etc.), I felt the need to pray.  I had already spent time in prayer this morning and I have a tendency to talk to God throughout the day YET I felt a strong urge to GET ON MY KNEES and pray.  So I did that very thing.  I knelt on one of the kneeling cushions and I looked up at the big cross and I poured out my heart to God.

I am thankful to work in a place where prayer is not only allowed but encouraged.  I count that as such a blessing.

Where is your favorite place to pray?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wednesday Hodge Podge . . .once again on Thursday

Check out From This Side of the Pond blog - always interesting . . .and read all the responses to her Wednesday Hodge Podge questions.

1. I read here a list of 13 things you should do in June. I'm paraphrasing a little but basically...

Go on a road trip with your best friend, pick fresh strawberries, host a garden party, take a morning run, treat yourself to a flower bouquet, spend a whole day hiking, discover a new coffee shop, try a new ice cream flavor, read at least one book, visit a Farmer's Market, make a swing for your home, and visit a new city.

Which thing on the list do you most want to do? Of the activities mentioned, which one holds the least appeal? How many on the list will you attempt in June? What's one thing you'd add to the list?

I would LOVE to go on a road trip with my best friend – preferably to the beach – but that is not going to happen any time soon!  We’ve already had strawberry season in Alabama so there aren’t any to pick (but I sure do love fresh strawberries).  

I think the least appealing choice would be to discover a new coffee shop because I don’t drink coffee (though I think coffee shops are pretty cute!).  I’ve probably already read a book this month (yes, I know it is only the 8th – I love to read!).  I probably will not attempt to build a swing, though I have asked my son to build a small table for my screen porch.  We have a wonderful “farmer’s market” in our church parking lot and I’ve already shopped there this month and will shop some more.  (J & S Produce -- Jason and Sheila are great and Jason has an amazing testimony)

I probably will not treat myself to a flower bouquet or spend a whole day hiking (temps are already in the 90’s here) nor will I probably visit a new city.  I would like to add that trip to the beach to the list . . .but that is not going to happen in June.

2. What's something you could do today to feel more peaceful?
Take time to breathe!  My boss often says at the beginning of a meeting, “take a deep breath” and then he opens the meeting with prayer.  It really helps!  I should spend more time in prayer and more time reading the Bible.  I should allow the worries of the world to just float on by me.  Last night, in our young adult group, we talked about how when we compare ourselves to others, we are less content (which is less peaceful).  With social media, we see the highlight reels of other people’s lives and we are looking at the day to day stuff of our own – they don’t match up so we become less and less content and less and less peaceful.

3. June 7th is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. Are you a fan? Swiss mocha, rocky road, chocolate chocolate chip, peanut butter and chocolate, or a dish of plain chocolate...what's your pleasure?  I am not a chocolate ice cream fan.  I do like Blue Bell ice cream – Happy Tracks – creamy vanilla ice cream loaded with chocolate covered peanut butter cups and a dark chocolate fudge swirl.  We do not keep ice cream at our house though – we would eat it way too often.

4. If you came with a warning what would it say?  Watch closely – pressure builds until it explodes.  I do not react healthily to everyday irritations and issues (like family health/job/etc.) and then all of a sudden something tiny happens and I have a complete melt down.  I recently had a meltdown over three $10 t-shirts on our anniversary.  Happy 32nd anniversary to Mark!

5.What's the most interesting website you've visited in the last week?  
I don’t have time to browse the internet often but Mark and I did listen to a sermon on Monday night.  I guess this is a shameless plug for our church website.  Mark and I attended different worship services on Sunday (I served communion in Traditional and he attended Contemporary with our daughter).  I wanted him to hear the sermon that Brian preached.  If you would like to hear it, listen – it is really good!!

6. Spring, summer, autumn, winter...which season are you? Why?  
I’m that tiny sliver of a season between spring and summer – not too hot yet but the pollen is gone.  I love sitting outside on the porch and I love being outside then – but it is a tiny sliver of time in May usually.  I do love summer – soaking up the rays of the sun at a pool, beach or lake.  I don’t like summer when I have on nice clothes and it is so hot that sweat happens!!  I love the crisp cool that comes right at the beginning of autumn.  I do not like long sleeves nor coats so I don’t really like winter!!

7. "You lose sight of things...and when you travel, everything balances out." ~Daranna Gidel
Would you agree with that sentiment? Explain why or why not.  
I certainly think that travelling – especially outside of the US – puts things into perspective quickly.  I LOVED our trip to Israel back in February but I wanted to kiss the ground when we got home.  . . yet I’m ready to go somewhere else.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
This is really random – I’m a list maker.  Are you?  I do best if I make a list of all the things I need to do each day.  I imagine I have some attention deficit issues . . .so a list really helps.  There is great satisfaction in marking things “completed” on that list.  My daily lists are comprised of both work tasks and personal tasks intermingled.  I could never keep up with two lists J

Thursday, June 2, 2016

To love and to cherish

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Dana.  She grew up going to church in another part of the state and while she was living in Birmingham, she became involved in a Tuesday night group (yes, the one at our house!!).  She and her sister, Cara, faithfully attended the group almost every week and the host family considered both girls to be "just like their own."

There was also a boy named Matt.  Dana was asked to contact Matt and tell him about the Tuesday night group.  They had met years before at Auburn but I didn't know that story until several weeks later.  Matt and Dana's friendship was renewed and the friendship turned into love.  Mark was sitting at the table on the porch with Matt and Dana one Tuesday night.  Matt turned to Dana and said, "hey - would you like to hang out together sometime?  like other than here?"  Dana's reply was "yes."  The rest is history!

Matt and Dana were married last month and they asked me to read the scripture during the wedding.  I was so very honored to be included.

The rehearsal was on Friday night and the rehearsal dinner was at a local country club and we were able to sit with Mollie and Brian (Brian officiated at the wedding) at the dinner.  Mark talked Brian's ear off (is anyone surprised?).  Mollie and I worked on solving the problems of the world and laughed a lot in between.  One of the waitstaff approached Mark and said, "George, your table is over there."  I said, "this is not George."  More conversation ensued and the wonderful waitstaff employee had his picture taken with Mark!  George is in a rotary club that meets at that country club every week.  It is funny to me that they are still so identical!!

The wedding was lovely - I didn't faint or fall down and I was able to somewhat hide behind the lectern.  Brian did an awesome job (as usual) on the homily.  Matt and Dana said their vows and promised to love each other forever . . . and then Matt and Dana were pronounced husband and wife.

The reception was at a venue downtown.  The food was yummy and they had moscato, which I love (Mollie told me that it tastes like a popsicle melted in the glass!  Guess that is why I like it!) A side benefit was the fact that we got to hang out at the reception with Glenn, Lauren, Laura, Katie and Brooke.  Some of that group are our biological kids and some are those we claim just like we claim Dana and Cara.

Three beautiful girls - Brooke, Laura, and Katie --all dressed up!

Father/Daughter dance - we were upstairs looking through a window at the dance floor.

Sweet baby girl stayed with her other grandmother and Glenn and Lauren had a "date night" to the wedding.

We love getting to know all these young adults - they are such a blessing in our lives!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Join us and answer some questions!!
1. Tell us about one fun thing on your June calendar.   This weekend, we have two fun things.  We get to keep our 2 month old grandbaby for part of the weekend while our son and daughter-in-law go out of town.  We are also going to a friend’s family farm on Saturday for the day with our supper club.  We are going to do some porch sittin’ while the guys fish or whatever.  We will be about 20 minutes from our farm and I think Mark has to drive over there and put out some fish fertilizer (lake fertilizer?) or something like that.  I look forward to spending time with good friends.

2. How careful are you in the sun? Do you tan or burn? Do you make it a point to see the dermatologist every year?  I’m somewhat careful in the sun.  I love to tan.  I know that is not smart but tan fat looks so much better than pasty fat!!  If I plan to be sitting out at the lake or pool, I always use SPF 15 (sometimes I use SPF 8 on my legs).  I don’t use sunscreen on a daily basis.  Mark, Laura, Glenn and I tan easily – I have the lightest skin of the four and I can get a good tan – Laura and Mark have olive skin so they can tan easily.  I have the ruddy toned skin (Cherokee Indian – Native American) blood.  Glenn has a mix of the olive and ruddy.  Yes, both Mark and I see the dermatologist fairly regularly.  He has told us that we have skin that is “not prone” to skin cancer but we still see him – probably once a year.

3. Describe a time when you wanted to 'throw in the towel'?  oh wow – that is a tough question.  I tend to over think these things.  I know!  Last month, when I was typing the agenda for our administrative board meeting . . ..I would type it and make corrections and email it to the chair of the board.  Almost as soon as I would send it, someone would email me or call me and say, “we’ve changed our mind.”  I changed it so many times and I was soooo frustrated!  I could have easily thrown in the towel!  I found the cartoon below on and thought it fit nicely!

4. What's a song you love that has a day of the week in the title or lyrics? ok - the only songs I can think of are oldies . . .I even googled this!!

5. Are you a fan of berries? Which one's your favorite? What's the most recent berry dish you've eaten? Which blueberry breakfast food appeals to you most-blueberry pancakes, blueberry yogurt, or a blueberry muffin? 
I love most all berries except raspberries, though I do like raspberry sherbet.  Last night, I had spinach salad with blueberries, feta cheese and Ken’s lite Caesar dressing.  Yummy!!  I really love strawberries, too.  Mark’s favorite berry (I know you didn’t ask but I’m telling anyway) is blackberry. . .fresh picked from the woods made into a cobbler.  Back to your question, I like all three – blueberry yogurt, pancakes and muffin . . .but last week, I made a delicious baked blueberry oatmeal.  It was really good!!

6. What's something you want to do before your next birthday? 
Well, my birthday is in 13 days so I’m not going to be doing anything real adventurous between now and then.  How about before June of 2017?? . . .I would like to lose 100 pounds!  I’ve been eating healthier for the last few days but of course, I just ate a cookie.  I would love to zip line, too!

7. June 1st is National Say Something Nice Day, so let's all say something nice here. 
I had the nicest massage this morning!  I work with some of the nicest people ever.  I live in a nice home . . .in a nice town.  We have nice friends.  I can’t say anything nice about politics right now so I decided to stick with some easier items!!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I just wrote a blog post about perspective and I’ve been thinking about that topic all week.  All of us, no matter how dire our situation, can think about the nice things (using your word from above!) in our lives – some of us have great families, some of us have wonderful friends, some of us have excellent health, some of us are in top physical condition, some of us have adequate shelter and food.  Everyone that I know personally has clean drinking water (I know that many in the world do not).  Some of us ate a delicious lunch today.  Some of us have air conditioning (it is about 90 degrees here today).  So much of life is about perspective – how we see our world around us.  One of my top five strengths (I love strengths finder!!) is positivity and my glass is not just half full but my glass is usually about to brim over.  Perspective.