Sunday, April 30, 2017

Z is for . . . #AtoZChallenge

I CANNOT believe that I made it through the April A to Z blogging challenge.  I must admit that there were some days that I thought I could not write a word . . .and the words I did write made no sense . . .but I finished!  I'm cheering for myself - woohoo!!

Z is for . . . .


Unbeknownst to me, a Zonkey is a rare occurrence due to chromosomal differences.  You can read about that here.  When my kids were younger, our church had a day camp down past McCalla, AL.  Every time I drove there, we saw a Zonkey in a field.  According to the Huffington Post article they are very rare!  I always thought it would be fun to have a Zonkey - they are just so cute!! 

Z is for . . . Zion . . . Mt. Zion

One of my sisters may correct me (they remember FAR MORE than I do!!).  When I was a little kid, we went to Decoration Sunday every single year on the First Sunday of May.  In the back of my mind, we went to Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Hartselle, AL.  I have googled the church and it looks nothing like my 50 year old memory so like I said, I may be completely wrong.  I do remember that it was a long drive back then and we took food for dinner on the grounds.  There would be lots of singing and lots of food . . .and lots of flies.  I remember being warned not to step on the graves in the cemetery . . ."out of respect".  We had a great aunt who made homemade pickles and I remember eating those pickles in the car on the way home!!  In my mind, this is what that day looked like - little white church . . .lots of tables . . .but I think some of their tables may have been concrete!!

Z is for Zest

I love the smell of citrus - especially lemon and lime zest.  Not just citrus zest, but I think of living life with zest.  What is life without zest?  Life would be boring!

Last but certainly not least, I think of Zechariah and Zephaniah.

I thought I was going to feel terribly guilty when I opened these books of my Bible, but lo and behold (sounds like Bible language!) there are notes and marks in both books.  I probably need to reread both books!  Maybe I'll do that this week!

Are there any blogging challenges for the month of May?  I'll have to check on that!  If you've visited my blog at some point this month, thank you so very much!!  I've been blogging for quite a while and I received more comments in the month of May than ever before.  Thank you to the loyal few who always read whatever I write whether it is worth reading or not!!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y is for . . . #AtoZChallenge

I can't believe it!  I can see the finish line.  Today is the letter Y and I immediately thought of our group of Young Professionals that meets in our home every Tuesday night.  On Tuesday night, we had a picnic in the park.  Mark and I are so blessed to have a park steps from our front door.

Katherine brought her Eno and hung it with the assistance of one of the other young adults.

Some brought blankets and made themselves at home on the large expanse of lawn.

We cooked hamburgers and hotdogs and we served potato salad and lots of chips!  My friend, Lynn, made the dessert and it was her famous Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with fresh strawberries!!

During the long days of winter, Mark crafted a corn hole set and we carried it over to the park.  Someone brought a Frisbee.

The picture below is blurry but I love it!  We don't really ever grow up, do we?  When presented with a swing, many of us jump right on in!!

My memory on facebook on Tuesday was a picture from a girl's retreat that both Julie and I worked and in the picture we had on matching t-shirts.  At the picnic, we had on matching shirts wo we had to take another picture!!

I have no idea what Mark is telling them.  I think he was getting ready to say the blessing!!

It was a great night - 25 young professionals - lots of fellowship!

Mark and I thank God that we've been given this opportunity to spend Tuesday nights with these young adults!!

Friday, April 28, 2017

X is for . . . .#AtoZChallenge

The finish line is in sight . . I hear the crowd cheering, "she has almost finished!"  I'm running hard - cheer louder!

X is for


Yeah, I know it is not creative.  My brain is numb today.  I'm going to go home and take a 30 minute nap in a few minutes!!  Have you had a lot of X-Rays?  My mother-in-law is elderly and when she was pregnant with my husband and his twin brother (63 years ago), they took X-Rays of the babies.  I can't even imagine taking an X-Ray of a baby growing inside!!  When I go to the dentist, they cover my neck and all the way down to my toes (practically) with a heavy lead blanket.  I've had a few X-Rays.  Several years ago, my allergist made me get an X-Ray of my lungs - they were clear!  When I fell in my office a couple of years ago, they took an X-Ray of my hip while I was in the ER to see if it was broken.  I've had an X-Ray of a finger which I dislocated (not broken!) several years ago . . .when you plow into the handle of a door and you look down and your finger is hanging weirdly and you put it in place and it falls again . . .just a tad freaky!


I feel like I'm making a children's coloring sheet with all of the words that a teacher might use for X.
I've always thought it would be cool to play the big Xylophone (I guess that is what they are playing) in a drum line!  I need to google that!   (Yes, it is a big Xylophone!)


Xacuti pungent is a spicy chicken dish native to Goa, western India. Kashmiri chillies and other spices go into making the pungent, bright red curry.This recipe is one of the most famous and delicious Indian dishes cooked with chicken.  I've never eaten this dish but my husband loves red curry chicken so maybe I should learn how to cook it!!


I've never been to Xanadu - have you?

I must read some other blogs today to find out what everyone else used for X!!  

W is for . . . .#AtoZChallenge

W is for . . .

I just googled synonym for late that begins with a W . . .because I'm late with this post!  I kept thinking I would have a moment sometime yesterday but it never happened.  We had our supper club over for dinner last night and I worked most of the day yesterday and . . .it just didn't happen.  I almost said, "to heck with it" and then I remembered how close I am to finishing!

W is for . . .


I'm just a tad bit weary this morning!  I did go ahead and ride the bike just now because I have a very busy day.  Mark just said, "do we have anything we have to do on Saturday?"  My response, "NO and I may not leave the house tomorrow." 


Will, as in strong will! (not a sentence - I know that!).  I'm a strong willed person.  Mark is a strong willed person.  We raised two strong willed people.  Now our sweet granddaughter at 11 months and a few days is exhibiting signs of a very strong will.  Strong will can serve you well in life but goodness gracious - sometimes it is hard.  With a face like hers and with such a cute personality, even when she is strong willed, I just want to pick her up and love her!!


Not the kind you build between countries . . .but my maiden name.  I am really thinking about doing one of those DNA studies because I would love to know the origin . . .who am I really?  I've always wondered if Walls was Walz?


I have nothing to say about Whirlygigs . . .I just think it is a fun word! 

Worship and Work

I've shared about both of these with you before.  I'm blessed to work where I worship and I love both worship and work (most of the time)!!

This was not a fancy blog post nor a well thought out blog post, though I had jotted down a few W words in my handy dandy notebook (real paper and pen!!).

I think my X words are WIMPIER (extra points??) than my W words!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for . . . #AtoZChallenge

V is for . . .


I don't do vampires . . .I don't like vampire movies . . .they make me have nightmares . . .EXCEPT I can watch the old movie, "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" with Leslie Nielson directed by Mel Brooks.  It is quite funny and Mark and I have seen it enough times that we can quote some of the lines.  At one point, Dracula says, "It is nighttime, so it wasn't real, I was having . . . a daymare!"


We have the best vacuum cleaner.  It seems to really clean up the cat hair and dust bunnies.  Our vacuum cleaner is even better . . .because Mark is the one who vacuums every week.  One of the unique features is the attachment with a terry cloth pad . . .sort of like a Swiffer attached to the vacuum cleaner!!


Mark is around cars and trucks every day and he often calls them "vehicles" -- I just say car!  I do love my little red Ford Escape.  My favorite feature is the self parking feature.  My car's name is Ruby (yes, I'm one of those crazy people who names her car) . . .Ruby can park in the smallest of parking spaces.


Do you feel like you eat the same veggies all the time?  I need some new, "not fattening" veggie recipes - not casseroles - just good clean and tasty veggies.

Yes, the green beans below have bacon in them but they are definitely tasty.  I have a couple of green bean recipes that are good.

I love a good wedge salad!

I was evidently doing meal prep with all of the veggies pictured below.  I roast asparagus and Brussel sprouts often!  Not pictured - I also love roasted carrots.

There is nothing like a giant pan of fresh squash!  We also eat a lot of broccoli and baby green peas.  What are some other veggie ideas?

V is for Volcano

Have you ever been to a volcano?  Mark and I went to Hawaii about 29 years ago.  It was a wonderful trip - we left our six month old twins with my mother-in-law and off we went . . .flying across the country and across the water.  We stayed on the Big Island at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (at the time it was a really cool hotel - not sure about now??).  I will never forget as our flight descended . . .all we could see was black landscape.  It looked like we were landing on some outer space landing strip. 

V is also for Vegas

Mark had a business trip to Las Vegas the week of my 40th birthday (quite a few years ago!).  We spent several evenings roaming the streets and checking out all of the casinos.  I can't imagine how much it has grown up since then.  We saw a great show and ate some amazing food (and some not so amazing food!).  I guess this was before we had a digital camera and I remember taking some panoramic photos - I think we used a disposable panoramic camera!!  Have you ever been to Las Vegas?  What did you think?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for . . .#AtoZChallenge

U is for . . .


When our son was about 11 years old, he received a unicycle for Christmas.  It was his "big" gift that year and UPS finally delivered it around 7:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve - whew!  I was holding my breath!  On New Year's weekend, we had a death in the family and we were all home getting ready to go to the funeral.  It was cold and yucky outside so Glenn was attempting to ride the unicycle in the basement and had a crash.  Mark was piddling at his work bench (or weight bench) in the basement so he was immediately available to help Glenn.  I was getting ready to go downstairs to assist when Mark yelled up to tell me to stay upstairs . . .Glenn had thrown up . . .and I DO NOT DO WELL with throw up.  (thank God for Mark!)  We called the pediatrician (good old Greenvale Pediatrics!) and they said bring him in - sounds like a concussion.  I frantically drove to the pediatrician, they checked Glenn out and said "keep an eye on him" and we all rushed to the funeral.  The end.  (addendum - I don't know if he ever learned to ride the unicycle - I can't remember!!)  I should totally make up a new ending to this story . . .so after, the funeral . . .Glenn learned to ride the unicycle and juggle (he really can juggle) while riding . . .and became a FAMOUS circus performer!!


I think I have blogged about these horrible P.E. uniforms before.  Back when I was in middle school, we had to "dress out" for P.E. everyday.  Everyone HATED these uniforms.  I can still remember having to tumble, play basketball, tetherball, and volleyball wearing this uniform!!

United Methodist Church

I blogged yesterday about Trinity - our church.  We are a part of the United Methodist Church and we are a connectional church.  I found this on a website and thought it was pretty good:
Distinguishing Methodism from other denominations is the structure of the United Methodist Church (UMC). It is organized for ministry at several levels that maintain “connectional” links with one another. Both clergy and laity are elected to serve on governing bodies of the church, locally and across our conference.

United Methodists think of the local church as the visible extension of Christ in the world today. Ordained and lay ministers lead the local congregation, although every United Methodist is called to minister to others.

All people are welcome in the UMC – with open hearts, open minds and open doors. United Methodists speak many languages and live in many different countries with many different cultures, ethnic traditions, national histories and understandings of Christian faith and practice. Each congregation is linked in a covenant community of faith across the connected congregations.

I was trying to think of it in a more simple way -- our church is part of the North Alabama Conference.  I feel like I can go just about anywhere in the state and run into people that I know from other churches in our conference because we are so connected.  Our pastors are appointed each year - think of it as a large corral of pastors (sorry friends!!) -- all of those pastors are a part of our North Alabama conference.  Our Bishop and District Superintendents, along with a cabinet, appoint our pastors each year to serve in a church.  We have been BLESSED at Trinity -- our last senior pastor was with us for 22 years and we are hoping that our current senior minister will be with us that long, too.  Each church has a Staff Parish Committee and they are allowed input to the bishop regarding appointments.  You  have to remember that I grew up Southern Baptist where we issued a call (each individual church) to a pastor.  My explanation is probably not very good . . .but that is how I see it.

I'm worried about our denomination.  Right now, we don't agree on some issues.  If you are a praying sort, please say a prayer for the United Methodist Church.  We are good people and we all want to do God's will . . .we just seem to be looking at it in opposite ways.


I thought I had a picture of a pink unicorn on my phone but I guess I erased it.  I was in a store right after Valentine's Day and the stuffed animals were marked down 95% or something equally as ridiculous.  I bought a couple of unicorns and gave them to the daughters of two co-workers.  One unicorn as made its home in my office for when she visits . . .and it makes me smile.  It looks sort of like this - but cuter!!
I've been working on the remaining letters of the alphabet -- any suggestions for V, W, X, Y, and Z?

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for . . . #AtoZChallenge


After a Sunday blogging break, we are continuing on with the A to Z Challenge - this is our last week!

T is for . . . .

Tea - not the drink!

In our area, we love to host a good party.  When a person is getting married, friends love to "entertain" for each other.  One of the parties hosted for most brides is a Tea.  There is no tea involved. 

On Sunday afternoon, I was privileged to help host a tea for a friend's daughter.  We started planning several months ago.  Invitations were made and mailed.  Food assignments were made.  Last minute details were worked on into the wee hours of yesterday morning.

Debbie was in charge of the flowers and she did an amazing job!  Look at that basket on the door - it is beautiful!!

The hostesses usually purchase a gift together as the "hostess gift" - Michelle was opening our gift before the party started.  We gave her several pieces of All Clad - she will love cooking with those pots and pans!!

We served Baby Bites from a local bakery - they are soooo good!  We also served candied pecans, cheese straws (if you aren't from the south . . .these are not pieces of cheese - they are delicious yumminess!!), teeny tiny finger sandwiches - both pimento cheese and chicken salad; fruit kebobs; wedding cookies, handmade mints, lemon water, and punch (non-alcoholic).

Here is a picture of the bride and her mother and all of the hostesses.  The weather had been yucky and rainy but turned into a lovely afternoon.  My job during the tea was to open presents and call out the name of the giver and a detailed description of the gift which was entered into a spreadsheet by another hostess.  At a tea, the bride doesn't open the gifts.  They are opened in a back room (usually a bedroom and bathroom1!) and then displayed in another room for all to see.

She received some beautiful pieces of her china, crystal, flatware, and pottery.  She also received many beautiful towels and monogrammed sheets and some fun kitchen gadgets.  She also received more pieces of All Clad so she can cook up a storm!!  Parties like this are never hosted by family - always by friends.  I've heard that is different in some parts of the country.  A tea is a "dress up" affair - Sunday dresses or nice slacks.  We do host fun showers, too -- bar showers; recipe showers; tool showers, etc.  Those parties are often more casual - often couples - with a theme and fun food.

T is for Tarrant

I grew up in a small town.  We walked everywhere or rode our bikes.  We used to go to Kessler's Pharmacy and get a coke float or an ice cream cone (along with whatever our parents needed!).

Our family didn't have a lot of disposable income.  Looking back, I guess we might have been considered poor by some folks but I NEVER felt poor.  One of our BIG treats was a Friday night trip to Walker's Restaurant.  They had the best country fried steak!  They brought the cream in these tiny little glasses (for the coffee) and they would always let me drink it!  My sister found one of those tiny glasses in an antique shop and gave it to me for Christmas!!

Tarrant is not the same place it used to be.  Growing up in Tarrant was like growing up in Mayberry.  Tarrant is a much rougher city today with many people living below the poverty line.  Almost half of the people in Tarrant live below the poverty line.  My friend, Julie, has started a ministry called Overflow Foundation and they are working with the children in Tarrant a few days a month now.

When I lived there, people in neighboring communities wanted to pay tuition so their children could attend Tarrant schools.  We had an award winning band, an awesome football team, and a lot of smart kids!

My last T is for Trinity

Trinity UMC is a building but she is so much more than that.  Her architecture is incredible but she is so much more than that.  Mrs. Barbara is a faithful reader of my blog and she suggested that I blog about Trinity on "T" day.  I know Mrs. Barbara from Trinity.  That is what Trinity is . . .there is an old children's song  - I am the church. We are the church.  Trinity is a whole bunch of diverse people - from one end of the political spectrum to the other - who love Jesus and want to live for him.

Our children's area is so cool -- the Ark!

Almost all of our relationships are with people from our church.  I'm friends with Terrie (mother of the bride above) from church - we went to Israel together last year.

The group below is one of our "out to eat" supper clubs from our Sunday School class.

We serve God together.  This is in our Sunday School room which happens to be the ORIGINAL sanctuary.  We were making PBJ's for a local shelter.

In addition to being my church, my place of worship . . .Trinity is also where I work!  I get to work with some amazing people who actually love each other (most of the time!).

We've been in the same monthly supper club since 2004 . . .with friends from Trinity.

I eat lunch every month with three other mothers - we raised our children together.

Mark and I host the young adults on Tuesday night as a result of Trinity UMC (and a lot of work from God!!).

I can't imagine life without Trinity (and more importantly . . .without God!)

I have NO IDEAS about tomorrow - what in the heck is U for?  Umbrellas?  Unicycle?  (I do have a good unicycle story!)