Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

San Diego Here I Come

Sssshhhhh! I got up this morning at 3:30. I have tried to be quiet so I don't wake up the rest of the house. Who in God's green earth schedules a plane ride for this ungodly hour in the morning? I DO! I am one of those who likes to get there and get busy. Everything is sitting by the front door waiting for my ride to arrive in less than ten minutes. I am headed to San Diego today for the NEA=RA(National Education Assoc.=Representative Assembly). It is to quote my friend big union meeting. We aren't really a union...but we are a powerful organization and there are going to be 10,000+ of us there. It is a time when we decide what needs to be done in education so that the kids get the education that they deserve. It is always an interesting convergence of people. Many states ARE union states, like Michigan. They are always pushing union based boycott WalMart because they are non union. Alabama is a right to work state. Many of us live in rural areas where Wal-Mart is our only shopping choice without driving several miles to shop at Target. The rest of the issues deal with class sizes, teacher certification, and things like that. It won't all be work. There will be time for us to explore the great city of San I am taking my lap top and planning to do a series of blogs on location. That should be fun! I hope you all have a great day! I hear my ride so I must sign off for now. I am B'ham bound to catch my plan! ¡Adios muchachas! See you on the flip side!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pelham 123

I told you all that my sweetie took me to the movies the other night and we did not have much of a choice of what to see. Our little rural town has a little movie theater with three screens. I love the guys who own I try and keep my business in town. They are really good about getting current hits. The last movie we went to see what UP so I felt I owed Frank a movie. The choices were narrow...Transformers 2, Drag Me To Hell, and The Taking of Pelham 123. I chose the later because I love Denzel Washington. If you like suspenseful action movies then you will love this one. The only drawback is John Travolta's language. It is horrendous. I teach high school and even I have never heard the "f" word slung around so much. The movie kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. When it was over I made a vow never to ride the subway again as long as I live. I loved subways until I saw this movie...and I will ride them again....I fly after seeing all the Airport just takes me awhile to get over the terror of a high-jacking and hostage taking. So, if you don't have anything better to watch I suggest you go see this movie...just remember there is a lot of foul language. John Travolta is a very scary was a far cry from his roll as the momma in "Hairspray." Have a Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Farewell Salute to My Dear Friend Claude

In this picture, taken three years ago at my Dad's 80th birthday party is one of the dearest men I know. His name is Claude Farris and he is just precious. He was my Aunt Shirley's boyfriend. Both of them have cancer. Today, my sweet Claude lost his fight with the big green monster and went home to be with his first wife and Jesus. I am thrilled that he is not going to be in pain any more....I am sad because he is leaving a huge hole in my heart. I adored this man. Several years ago...about ten I guess, Claude had everyone over to his house for a big cookout and sing along. He made sure he called me to see if I would be there. I apologized and told him how sorry I was but, I had tickets to see Garth Brooks and I could not pass that up. After that event passed every time I saw Claude he would tell me he'd been replaced by Garth...I'd argue that he hadn't...and he would play pout. It was our standard greeting. When he was diagnosed with cancer two years ago the playing subsided. Claude was in so much pain and just trying to everytime we would see each other I would assure him that I would never choose Garth over him again. He was my sweetie....and he was. I will miss Claude very much and I know a lot of other people will too. When you go to bed tonight...say a prayer for his family...and for my aunt. They will feel his absence the most. See you tomorrow for my last post before I fly out for San Diego.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Virtual Me vs Extreme Karen Makeover

My friend Leigh over at Tales of Bloggeritaville posted about Caress body wash and offered up a free coupon so I had to go. While I was there I also entered to win a trip to NYC!....and made a virtual me. The virtual me is one hot mama. When I finish with the Extreme Karen Makeover...maybe I will look half this good. If I do...I will be one happy camper! Enjoy your weekend...and if you like Caress, are a coupon clipper, or have been wanting to try it but thought it was a bit pricy...head on over to Leigh's site and grab a coupon, make yourself a mini me....and enter the NYC contest! Good luck to you!

Trees That Would

The following story is by Bill Greer, and appears in the book Chicken Soup for the Veteran's Soul This story is one of two I am thinking of using for my invocation at the NEA RA in San Diego next week. I have to give the invocation on July 3rd and I am nervous. I did the first choice yesterday and here is the second choice for today. I would love for you to read over the two and comment and let me know which of the two speaks the most to you. I want this to be good guys. So a little help would be greatly appreciated. Honestly, I think this one is my favorite...but...
"Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."
Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."
Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter" ... and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree a woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree so I'll take this one", and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.
Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time. Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.
The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best." This is a lesson I definitely need to learn. Sometimes I question the choices God makes thinking that my way would have been better. Silly girl!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fifteen Things God Won't Ask

I have been asked to give the invocation in San Diego next week on July 3rd. I will be attending the National Education Association(NEA) Representative Assembly(RA)...or as my friend Steve calls it "The Mega Union Meeting." I am a member of the AEA (Alabama Education Association) and we are not a union. We do not belong to the AFL-CIO. We ARE a large organization that is very concerned with protecting the rights of teachers and students. So since you guys are a captive, sort of, audience I thought I would try the two I am thinking about using out on you. This is Friday's post and I will post the other on Saturday. Please comment so I can make up my mind. I need help. I want to be profound and make a powerful statement. I have never been asked to do this before...and to be honest I am nervous about it! Wish me luck. The two that I have chosen are both anonymous. No one seems to know where they came from. What a shame because they are both great!

God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but will ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.

God won’t ask the square footage of your house, but will ask how many people you welcomed into your home.

God won’t ask about the fancy clothes you had in your closet, but will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.

God won’t ask about your social status, but will ask what kind of class you displayed.

God won’t ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask if they dictated your life.

God won’t ask what your highest salary was, but will ask if you compromised your character to obtain that salary.

God won’t ask how much overtime you worked, but will ask if you worked overtime for your family and loved ones.

God won’t ask how many promotions you received, but will ask how you promoted others.

God won’t ask what your job title was, but will ask if you reformed your job to the best of your ability.

God won’t ask what you did to help yourself, but will ask what you did to help others.

God won’t ask how many friends you had, but will ask how many people to whom you were a true friend.

God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights, but will ask what you did to protect the rights of others.

God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived, but will ask how you treated your neighbors.

God won’t ask about the color of your skin, but will ask about the content of your character.

God won’t ask how many times your deeds matched your words, but will ask how many times they didn’t.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Please Help Me....I Can't Take Anymore Frustration!

What a day it has been. I got up at 5:30 this morning to work on my online classwork and was really accomplishing a lot when my mom came in asking me what time WE were leaving to go have lunch with my aunt in the Valley. I looked at her and said, "I never said I was going to go with you guys for lunch. I am leaving for San Diego on Tuesday and have to get two weeks of work done before I go." She was oblivious to my comment and pressed on. I got frustrated and finally did what she knew I would do...gave in and told her, "Fine! I will go....only we can't leave til I get this particular assignment done." She was thrilled....I knew she would be...I on the other hand was now frustrated, aggrivated, and all the other -ated words and trying to work on my project. Six times during the next hour she returned to my little sanctuary I call an office to ask what time we were going, when would I be finished...anything to just drive me up the wall...and finally she achieved her goal...I was at the top of the I said, "Mom, can you just go away and leave me alone so I can concentrate and get my work done." She left the room...and went to tell my dad I was being hateful. I felt the anger rise higher as I got up and went to the kitchen to explain to both of them that this was an important class, I could lose my license without enough continuing ed hours, it was for fifty hours, and I had to get two weeks worth of work done before I left on Tuesday morning. She laughed....and the sound was like pouring salt in an open wound. I reteated to the office and knocked out my paper...on communication(of which there was none with my mom)...changed shoes and told them it was time to go. She was as giddy as a school for those of you who have not read my past need to be aware. I am not a heartless "B" mom has dementia/alzheimers. We left and drove to my aunts. I kept the radio on so I could adjust my mood before we picked up my aunt. The place we were going to was called Chick's Cafe...and it was buffet. Oh joys....many of you know I am doing an Extreme Karen Makeover and the thought of a buffet made me sick. My aunt, Shirley was delighted that I was mom had said it was her idea in the first wasn't. She was surprised that I was along. We went into the restaurant...and to my delight....I could eat a vegetable meal...hallelujah. I was so excited! The conversation with my aunt was good and I loved seeing my father eat as well as he did. My aunt, also a cancer patient...ate well too. My mood lightened a bit. We returned to my aunts and then headed home. I was so excited because I had so much work to do was not to be done...just yet. My sneaky mom....wanted to take the scenic way home...and she spoke through my dad....she would get him to ask me....and I can't tell my dad no. I would do anything for him...especially right now. He looks like a troll doll with his little tuft of hair in the center of his head....he lost his hair during chemo/radiation. I have almost lost my dad a couple of times in the last telling him not an option. We ended up going home through BFE. It took 2 hours to make an hour trip home and by the time we got here...I was frustrated again. Sigh! After getting home I got back in my car went and picked up stuff for my booth at Longleafs Antique Mall, went and unloaded it and put the stuff out for display. The booth is very full now and very inviting. There is something for everyone I think. All the booth work took an hour and then I returned home. My parents are gone...who knows where....but that is another story for another day! Frank came home and is taking his princess (me) out tonight....dinner and movie. least the frustrations are over....for now at least.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Have You Ever Eaten at Jason's Deli?

Wow! I have you ever eaten at this place? Well, today my parents and I took Kat out to lunch for her birthday and she wanted to go to Jason's Deli. I had never eaten I was very agreeable. I love deli food. I grew up with a fabulous Jewish deli nearby...and pastromi on rye...with swiss cheese and spicy mustard...and of course a pickle spear rings my chimes. Of course, I know...I can't have that...because I am watching my calories...and with that sandwich...I would eat all my calories in one meal. We got there...and I had cup of tomato basil soup with a fruit plate that had some of the best looking strawberries and pineapple on it. I ate most of my lunch...but not all and sent the rest of the fruit home with Kat to enjoy later. My dad had a New York Yankee (my dream sandwich) is made of hot pastrami and corned beef with swiss cheese and spicy mustard on rye bread. My mom had a stuffed potatoe with broccoli, bacon and cheese. It was huge! I have never seen a potato that large in my life. Kat had a southwestern style soup that looked wonderful and a fruit plate too. After lunch we went back to her house and she opened her presents. My mom got her the traditional pajamas...she expects to get them and is disappointed if she doesn't. I gave her a passport holder she had been eyeing....and Itunes card...we both have Ipods....AND a new journal. She was thrilled. Brian had come through on Tuesday with a Wii fit(now we both have one), a Spa treatment day (lucky girl), and a new CD she had been wanting. She had some great other gifts too. It was a great day....but...if you are ever in Montgomery...or near a Jason's Deli...and you like deli food...this place is a must!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Munchkin!

Today, June 23rd is my daughters 29th birthday. I called her after she got off from work and sang the Birthday Song to is a tradition. Her sweet husband, Brian, took off today and is spending the day with her....treating her I am going to take her to lunch tomorrow. I am going to take my there is an added element of tension but I can't go and not tell them where I am really going. I can only go to so many conferences....sigh! Kathryn was born at 5:59 p.m. She was the cutest little red headed thing you have ever seen. From the moment I held her in my arms I was totally and unashamedly in love with her. She has held my heart from that moment on. Her smile lights up a room. Her spirituality is electrifying. She is an awesome person...even if she is mine! If she weren't my daughter I would still want to be part of her life...she is just that kind of person. You would adore her...I know you would. So..Happy Birthday were the best gift I have ever received! Have a Happy Day!

Leaving on a Jet Plane

It is just a few minutes after four in the morning. I am sitting here wondering if I slept at all. I remember 12:30, 1:45, 3:29...but I feel rested....right now. I am up so early to take my friend Mary to the airport in Birmingham. She has to be there at 6a.m. Her busband, Bill, could have taken her...but he has to be at work at 7:30 and that is really cutting it close. I, on the other hand, do not have to be anywhere this morning so I volunteered. Am I crazy or what? Mary is flying to Bangor this morning. She will meet her brother Troy in Detroit and they will fly the rest of the way together. They are going to see their sister Noel. She and her husband Jerry live in Bangor in the cutest house...right near town. It is a walk away. Did you know that Stephen King also lives in Bangor? He lives about 2 blocks from Noels. His house looks like the Adams Family house. It is a bit scary...even in the daytime. No wonder the man writes such quirky books. Anyways, Mary, Troy and Noel are having a sibling reunion. This is something they have not done in a while. She is so excited to be going. I am excited for her because I went with her one year and this trip is fabulous in the fall. If you have never been to the Northeast in the height of fall foliage at it's should go! It is aweseom. Well, this time next week I will have already left for the airport. My flight LEAVES at 6:45. I have to be there no later than 5:30. I am flying out with some AEA (Alabama Education Assoc. buddies) and we are San Diego bound for the NEA (National Education Assoc.) yearly assembly. My friend Steve-O likes to call it my big union meeting. I wonder who schedules these red eye flights anyways. I DO! On the flying there side I like to get there in time to check in and explore. On the flying home side I like to leave as late as I can and get home as late as I can. Have a Happy Tuesday. I am off!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Come Monday It'll Be Alright.....

Leigh at Bloggeritaville let me know last night that there would be an award for me over at her blog today and I could hardly wait til the morning to go see it! Leigh's friend Sherrie said, "this is how the award works: This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award." How truly kind. I am so appreciative at such a gesture. The award also ask that I tell 7 "random" Things about me. I am sure that there aren't many sins I haven't already confessed on my blog but here goes:

1. I was a grand prize winner on a television game show several years ago. The show was Top Card and it was on The Nashville Network. I blew it all by not freezing and not being able to answer the question which cartoon character answers the question, "Where are you?" I hate Scoobie Doo to this day!

2.I equate singing with breathing and can't imagine life without either.

3. I have been to 47 of the 50 United States and am currently missing Alaska, Michigan, and Vermont.

4. I love good storytelling. I love to be in the presence of a really good storyteller - like Kathryn Windham Tucker - I believe in ghosts and spirits so she delights me and I have heard her several times.

5. I grew up on the Atlantic Coast but now think there is nothing lovelier than the Gulf area beaches from Florida to Alabama.

6. I adore thrift stores, yard sales, and auctions. I don't necessarily have to buy. I just love the hunt of a bargain!

7.I am a preachers wife and can fill a pulpit myself as a certified lay speaker for the United Methodist church.

And now for the awards. I can honestly say that almost each and every one of these ladies below I am in contact with daily in some form or fashion. I look forward to their comments on my blog and I love reading and commenting on their posts. I feel as though I have known them for a long time and a few of them I have known forever. I work with some of them, blog with some of them and enjoy their presence in my life each day. I have been truly blessed to know each of them and have been encouraged by them many times throughout the sickness of my father and dealing with aging parents. Their comments have been what has gotten me through many trying days. I am blessed to call them my friends and I am certain that you will feel the same way when you meet them. Please stop by and visit their blogs and let them know I sent you. My 8 folks that get this award are:

1. Trina - we have worked together for a long time.

2. Jeannie

3. Joy

4. Anissa

5. Amy

6. Sweet Tea

7. Xazmin

8. Trina of the Perry Family

Congrats to all the award winners. Have a great week and stop by and visit when you have a moment. I might even have a tall glass of ice tea waiting for you with your name on it!

African Thunderstorm for Monday Musical

This is the most awesome group I have ever heard and had to share it with you. You need your sound turned up for the first minute and a half to experience the thunderstorm at it's finest. The group is from Slovenia and known as Perpetuum Jazzile. They are absolutely amazing and I hope you enjoy this video today! Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day

Today is Father's Day and I have two special men in my life that I love dearly. The first one is my father. As you can see he was quite a handsome man when he was in the Navy. He has lost most of his hair right now due to chemotherapy, and he is slower to speak and his memory is not as sharp as it once was but he is still just as handsome as he was least to me. I wanted to marry him when I grew up. The second man in my life is my darling husband Frank. He is not the father of my daughter, Kat, but he loves her like one and I think she would agree that the feeling is mutual. He is a loving father to his Amy and is proud of both of HIS girls. He is an exceptional guy too. He is funny, loving, helps me take care of my parents, allows them to live with us....did I say he helps me take care of my parents and still loves me?, he is kind, always right (at least in his mind), and just an all around great guy. I am blessed to have two such incredible men on my life's journey. Today is their day and I want to let them both know that I adore them. Happy Father's Day to my guys and Happy Father's Day to the rest of the Dad's out there. God Bless You All Real Good!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Uncle Billy

It is late and I am tired and sad. As much as I talk about Still Magnolias most of you know that my cousin Amanda and I sing and write songs together. Years ago we wrote a song called Grandpa's Music that is on our CD. Anyways, the song is about growing up at my grandfathers where music was the pulse of the house. The Avondale mill whistle would blow and my grandfather and his buddy's would get together in his living room and play music until late into the night. As kids we were not allowed to stay up and be part of this excitement...but we would get our pallet, do you remember those things? used to sleep on the floor, and drag it just as close to the door of the living room as we could get it without being seen. It usually worked and we would fall asleep listening to gospel, blue grass, folk ballads, country music, all the great crooners of the time period. It was heavenly. When we were big enough to play a whole song, that had at least four chords, all by ourselves on the guitar we were allowed to play with the big boys. is a sad day in my little world. The last remaining member of the player/singers of the mill group died this evening. He was known to most of the town as Uncle Billy. He worked for years at the A and P and managed a pack a sack on Hwy 280 at the top of the river bridge hill. Everyone loved him...especially me. He was a dear sweet man....and the cool thing is that he was actually related to a cousin. He was just my mom's we always called him Uncle Billy. He was one in a million and he will be sorely missed by this town, by his family and friends, by the music world. God Bless his precious wife Liz, his daughter Sherry and his grandsons and great grandchildren. His death will live a huge void in their lives. When you go to bed tonight...lift up a prayer for his family. God Bless You All Real Good Tonight! K

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hi! I Am Karen and I Am a Spirit Jumper

Today I was reading some blogs when I came across one that touched my soul. It is by my blogger friend Jacki over at Counting My Abundant Blessings. For a while now we have been praying and keeping up with her brother Mike's battle with cancer and today she issued a challenge for her readers to pay it forward through an organization called Spirit Jump. Spirit Jump is a program that directly connects a gift giver with a person battling cancer. It was founded in November, 2008 by two young women who have both battled cancer. Wow, I thought that is so very awesome. It was so awesome that I found myself joining immediately. You all know my father and aunt both are battling lung cancer and I thought what a great way to do more. The Mission of Spirit Jump is this: "If you have a shop, artistic abilities or even an extra card in your drawer and you want to give it to a person in need, send Spirit Jump an email that you want to be a Spirit Jumper at They will then connect you directly with a person in need, or they can give you a list of names, a brief description of what their particular cancer battle is and you can choose. When the match is made, They’ll give you that persons mailing address and then it’s up to you to send the gift. It’s a simple. I truly believe that "If you decide to be a Spirit Jumper you will be overwhelmed with the joy and warmth you feel when giving a gift. Additionally, every Spirit Jumper is welcome to write a post on their website and tell their many readers about your shop, blog or website. You may include links, photos and any information you want to be featured on the site. They encourage you to also include why you decided to donate, who you donated to and maybe even a photo of what you donated. This will be wonderful exposure for your shop, blog, website and you will be lifting someone’s spirit, it is a WIN, WIN" situation for all involved, don't you think? If you are interested and want more information then click on the link I provided for you at the top of this blog. You won't be disappointed I can promise you that. There are a lot of cancer patients out there who need some extra love. Can you pay it forward?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Turtleneck Turtle Race for Alzheimers

When I moved to Alabama in 1976 I was amazed at all the little festivals there were. The cotton festival, the peach festival, the boll weevil festival(only in the south would there be a festival for a bug.) Four years after I moved here the greatest event I have ever attended kicked off. It was the Turtleneck Turtle Race for Alzheimer's. The tradition started in 1980 and pits amphibian against amphibian in a fun, family event. Few competitors leave empty-handed, awards are given in multiple categories, including best-dressed, best-decorated, etc. The coolest thing about this event is that all proceeds benefit Alzheimer's disease research. In 1980 that did not mean a whole lot to me because no one in my family had ever suffered from Alzheimers. In 2009 it means a great deal since I have two parents suffering from this dreaded disease. If you are not busy at 8 a.m. on Saturday, are the proud owners of a racing turtle, like to run(there is also a human race prior to the turtle event), or just plain bored....come to the T.C. Russell Airport Park and participate in the turtle races. When I decided to blog about this today it made me think....I wonder what events my blogger buddies know of and are willing to share. Heck...I might find a new event to attend. So what event takes place in or near your town? Care to share?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Mary!

Today is my dear friend Mary's birthday. I call her Mar si dotes (after the song Mar si dotes and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy)...for the longest time she thought I had made this up...I wish I could say I was that original...but I am not...and just think of all the royalties I would be raking in....anyways I love celebrating her special day with her. On her 50th birthday I had a free trip to Hawaii and took her. We spent a week enjoying the sights and sounds of Hawaii. Her sweet hubby Bill kicked in and sent us to the big island to see Mt. Kilaua. It was awesome. Today, I don't have a free trip to give her...but I am taking her to Lafayette, AL to the Main Event (a really cool spa) and we are having Aveeda Pedicures. How fun does that sound? We don't have a whole lot of time together today because she works every Tuesday and Thursday nights at the hospital as a Rad Tech and tonight is her night on, so we will have to cram in a wonderful few moments of being pampered. I can't wait to go! There is nothing I love more than a good pedicure...unless it is a really good massage. Now that is total luxury. If I ever when the will be massages and pedicures every day....or at least every week. I have to tell you my Mary story before I sign out. Mary and I both teach at BRHS. She is a Special Ed Science teacher and we were both hired the same year. During a bomb threat or fire drill....I don't remember which one....Mary hung her foot in a storm drain and the school, fell and broke her ankle. I sat with her until they were able to move her. We became best buds from that day on. We have children the same age, we love the same things, we are both transplants to the area, and I would have to say she is the closest thing I have to a sister. Her sister lives in Bangor, ME so they don't see each other a lot and Amanda lives in the Valley...but works in I don't see her a it is like the old Sonny and Cher song..."I got you babe!" I don't believe in reincarnation...but if I did...Mary and I knew each other in another life. We complement each other Mutt and Jeff. I am the tall one...she is the short one. Soulmates are not always easy to come by in life...and when you do it is a joyous thing. Mary is mine...and if we ever are not friends...I will have to kill her....she knows too much about me. Of course...I know just as much about her. LOL!...But then...that is what friends are for! Happy Birthday Mary and I hope we celebrate many many more!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

Well after my wonderful Sunday experience at Mangarelli's Pizzeria I woke up this morning to discover that it is just another manic Monday. I am going to house sit for a bit this morning to let some workers into a friends house because she is out of town with her grandbabies. I have to admit it makes me kind of happy to know I can escape my own house for a little while. Summer has been tough being home with my parents all day....every day. My mother is very good at finding things they want me to do. I was planning to work on my scrapbooks, but lost interest in that when my mom stood over my left shoulder and watched every move I made....and commented on it. I will save scrapbooking for a scrapping party where I can sit unmolested for a good 8 hours and just scrap. Sigh! I really should be deep cleaning the house today but I will save that for mid-week. I want it really looking good for the weekend and Father's Day. Who knows...we might have company. Tomorrow I am taking Mary to the Main Event in LaFayette for a pedi treatment for her birthday! I can't wait. Of course...I am going to have the same treatment. It would not be very nice of me to make her do it alone. Right? With that said...if I can just get through this manic Monday....tomorrow will be bliss. What is that Scarlet O'Hara says after Rhett leaves her....tomorrow is another day!....and maybe if I am lucky less manic. Have a Happy Monday all!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mangarelli's Pizzeria

I had an amazing Sunday. First of all I got to spend the afternoon with some old friends, Rhonda and Robert Gaskins. Robert was our best man at our wedding. Their daughter Abbi and her husband Paul have a fabulous restaurant in Fayetteville, GA that is a must if you are ever in the metro Atlanta area. Rhonda had a chicken parmesian pizza. It was 18" of pure delight. Paul makes his own pizza sauce and dough...and oh my it is soooo good. Robert had a grilled chicken parmesian sandwich and it looked awesome too. Frank ate a meat lovers pizzarone and it was killer. I have never seen so much meat on anything in my life. I had spaghetti with marinara sauce (home made sauce of course!) and a salad with balsamic dressing that was to die for. You all know I am working on my weight. After the meal was over Paul brought out dessert for the not-so-faint-at-heart - Cannolis that he makes from scratch and cheesecake that his mother makes appeared on our table only to be devoured by those who still had some room left. I have to admit I took a fingernail size piece of the cannolis and what I sampled was heaven on a plate. Let me tell you the music was wonderful, the food was to die for, the atmosphere is killer and I want my blogger friends to know that these kids have a winning combination. I am enclosing the address for you so if you are ever in the Fayetteville area you will stop don't even have to be in the area....we drove two hours to enjoy this....and trust will enjoy it! They have a monster 30" pizza that if you can eat yourself of an is free and you get a whole bunch of other prizes to boot. I promise "you will be hooked from your very first slice" truly was love at first bite for me!

Mangarelli's Pizzeria
Address: 749 W. Lanier Avenue, Fayetteville, GA, 30214
Phone: 770-461-8787
Hours: Mon. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Sun. 11:00 - 5:00

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tagged You Are It!

My sweet friend Xazmin tagged me with listing 6 unimportant things that make me happy. I've done this tag once before...but there are for sure more than 6 unimportant things that make me I'm glad to list 6 new ones!

1. Going to San Diego for a week to attend the NEA Representative Assembly in three weeks!

2. Being a preacher's wife with the nickname, Mrs. Preacher

3. Singing with Amanda, or as Still Magnolias, and with the Praise Band at church.

4. Holding my sweet little nephew(actually cousins child) Drew and watching him stretch, smile, and laugh out loud.

5. Losing weight.

6. Being with Kat, Ramona, and Amy.

Now I tag:


LA Girl





Saga of the Wreck

I watched the news Tuesday night but saw nothing about the wreck. Weds. morning I discovered Channel 5 Mobile on the room television and discovered the wreck was a mess...there were three people injured but no one seriously....oh and also heard there was a bit of road rage sometime after we managed to pull across and go back an exit. Someone got mad and duked it out with another driver. Silly boys! We arrived safely at the conference in Mobile. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel and it was lovely! It is the old Adams Mark. I had a wonderful time. Our view was of the water and on Thursday we got to watch the Holiday Cruise ship port. It was awesome coming in and seeing it from the 25th floor. Thursday night we ate seafood at Zekes on the bay and it was awesome. If you have never eaten at Zeke's and are ever in the Mobile area try it out. Of course I have tons of favorites in Mobile. The Original Oyster House and Wentzels also rock my culinary world too. Mobile is a great place to visit...see the U.S.S. Alabama, Bellingrath Gardens, you are only 20 miles from Foley and mega outlet shopping, wonderful places to eat, history at its finest....I love me some Mobile for sure!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mobile Here We Come.....Or Do We?

Greetings from Mobile, Alabama. What a day it has been. My friend Marian and I left Alex City about 1:30 this afternoon....planning to be in Mobile befoe 5....but the best laid plans of mice and men....when we passed the Perdido exit number 45 traffic as we knew it ended. All we could see on both lanes of southbound I-65 was red lights as brakes were applied. After sitting for what seemed like forever....was more like 30 minutes....three wreckers hustled down the shoulder of the southbound lane. Cars and trucks began taking to the median and going back to exit 45 to take US 31 down to the next exit. Another 45 minutes passed before a trucker got out of his vehicle and told us all what was happening. His suggestion....turn around or be prepared to wait forever. A motor coach had turned over on the highway on top of a car...and another car was in a ditch. It looked bad...the wreckers were trying to figure out how to get the motor coach flipped....and out of the center of the road. We decided to jump the median and chance US 31. I am kind of glad...because I had never actually seen Bay Minette. It is a cute little town. We rushed to get to our hotel in Mobile so we could watch the news....but alas we missed it....we are watching now to see if we hear something about it on the late news. Several people here at the conference with us....did not turn around and saw the wreckage as it was brought back up the southbound lanes. They said it would have been a miracle if everyone involved survived....but we don't I guess I am requesting prayer tonight for travelers....and those travelers in particular. I am sure the motor coach owners had insurance...but what a lousy way to start a vacation. God bless all of us in we travel this summer. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What Do Hands Say About a Person?

The hands you are looking at are my parents hands on their 50th wedding anniversary almost 10 years ago. My father's hands are the top ones....doing what they have always done....shielding my mom. That was a job he took very seriously when I was a child after the death of my brother especially. I have always thought my father had the most interesting hands....they were very strong...yet the skin was always so soft...except for at the tips of his fingers where there were callouses from working hard with them. When my dad was a young man....he had an accident at one of the draw bridges in South Florida. He had ridden it a cowboy....fixed some electrical ailments...but when it came down it had not settled...and his finger got caught in the gap and he lost a chunk of one finger....that was the finger he would always point at me when I would get out of would bring me back in line very quickly. My father never used his hands in anger. His hands were always for uplifting his fellow man and when you look at his hands...even his 83 year old see a man who worked hard to take care of those he loved. My mom's hands are on the bottom of the picture. My mom also has strong hands...yet they are hands that needed protecting from harsh realities of the world. If she ever hurt anything when I was a would be her her hands carry a lot of life lessons around on them. My parents still hold hands...and I think that is pretty cool for an 80 and 83 year old. Of course now it is more done to steady the other is still a sweet gesture...don't you think? My hands look like my parents...just newer. I too have calloused fingers...but mine are from playing the guitar, I don't have a job that would warrant callouses. Oh, I have scars and bumps, knots, bruises....but when you look at my see someone who is willing....willing to take on the world....for a friend. Frank has the coolest of hands. He has beautifully long, graceful fingers (mine are short and choppy)and you can tell from his hands that he has used them to support himself for a long time. His finger tips have callouses....and he is not afraid of hard work. I love to put my hand in his...because like my father...his hands are very reassuring...and protective. Do you ever look at people's hands? Do you ever wonder what they do? Do you ever wonder what story their hands have? I do all the time...just like right now...I am curious as to what your hands say about you?

Friday, June 5, 2009

We're Just Like You, Only Prettier - Confessions of a Tarnised Southern Belle

I have just finished a wonderfully light and funny read that I have to tell you guys about. It is by Celia Rivenbark and if you get a chance to read must...especially if you live in the South, are interested in the mystic of the South, or are a wannabe southerner. The book is a collection of hysterical essays about southern life, southernese, southern ways, and southern style. It is a combination of tales of marriage and family, a faulty Christmas toy, WT (white trash), and a day at the spa. This book is NOT for the faint at heart...there are a few cuss words....but even with them it is a delight. The chapter titles will leave you in stitches. I have finished the book so if there is an interested party out there who would love to read it....let me know and I will forward it to you.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Extreme Karen Makeover - End of Week One

Well, it has been seven days since I started working on the new and improved me and I am very excited today....I lost 10.1 pounds this week. I have been working hard on drinking 8-8 ounce glasses of water every day, cuting out carbonated beverages, drinking green tea(for the antioxidants), watching my daily caloric intake, and increasing my exercising amounts....and it paid off. I stood on the scales at the doctors office and could not believe it when the scales registered a 10+ pound loss. I told the doctor what I was doing and he told me it was a good campaign to follow....told me not to be disappointed if next week the drop was less....but that this was a great start. Well....I am hoping next week is a good week too. I only exercised three times this week. Next week I will have exercised five times. I have been totally amazed at how much food I was really consuming. One night this past week we had Italian sausages done on the grill. I love the things(throwback from State Fair days when I was a kid). I ate one...just one...without a bun....and some veggies to go with it. I was full when I left the table...and later got to a normal meal...I would have probably had two...on buns...with onions, peppers cooked in oil...with chips...and baked beans. I am truly ashamed of my old eating habits...but hopefully...this is a way of the past. I have eaten out three times this week and still kept it under budget. Whoooo hoooo....keep praying that I will endure! I can't wait to start seeing a difference...and posting pictures of the New and Improved Me!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

One Of Those Days!

Well, summer is here and I wish Calgon would take me away. Most of my readers know that my parents live with me and the high point of my dad's day is watching our 52" big screen television, which my husband gave up to him...rather reluctantly. Anyways, yesterday we were in the string of thunderstorms that blew through the central part of Alabama dropping over 2 inches of rain....and lightening hit our big television. My dad has no short term I have told him numerous times since last night that there is no picture...just sound. I have tried to set up a chair for him in my bedroom so he can at least watch my little bedroom television...but I am not sure he understands. My mom - losing long term memory....asks me continuously...what is wrong with the tv? I want to scream....and of luck would have it....finances are not where we can run out and buy a brand new big screen tv to replace it! To top it all dad came home from his 7 a.m. doctor's appointment with a walking boot on. What was the Othropedic thinking???? The man can barely walk with regular he has a rocking boot thing on. It is going to be one of those days I think. I know this is probably a trivial thing to most people...but it is a major deal for me right now. I have to find a way to keep my dad happy and I am trying to find a tv...besides the little 13 incher I have hidden away in the closet to take to the booth to sell. Keep your fingers crossed that this is just a minimal and temporary set back...and that I survive summer at home with my parents!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fears and Phobias...Got Any You Want to Share?

I don't like spiders or snakes...but they are the least of my concerns. When I was a small child I was shut up in a cedar chest for what seemed like an truly was only several minutes. Because of this event...I am a claustrophobic today. I have worked over the years at getting a handle on it...but, I am not fond of the smell of cedar today...and will panic if I am closed up in a place where I can't get air....ummmm that would be like elevators and big crowds that are pushing. I go to concerts. I just get there and give myself time to get where I am supposed to be ....without being pushed by a crowd of people. I ride elevators too....but not with a crowd. At the Space Needle in Seattle...the elevator operator....took me up....alone. I was thrilled....I got to go up...and was not bothered by a crowd of people....coming down...was not as was crowded...and what takes less than a minute seemed to last hours. Oh well...I had one good ride!

The other thing I am afraid birds. I saw Alfred Hitchcocks movie, "The Birds" when I was a child and have been terrified of large gatherings of birds ever since. So, you can imagine the surprise I got in Italy...when we entered the Piazza and there they were....thousands of them....and my students...and daughter...wanted hold corn in my hands and let them walk on my arms and head. It was not going to happen....or so I thought...the next thing I knew...I was standing there like a scarecrow....almost physically ill...with two pidgeons walking toward my face. It was then I knew the difference in fear...and phobia. A phobia is an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation. A fear is to be afraid of. least I know I an not an ornithophobiac. I just am afraid of birds. I was flogged by a duck at the tender age of 10, and a chicken at the age of 6. Birds and I have a long history...and it is not pretty. Of course....I must say....I was trying to get the duck's baby....before it entered the water...and the chick away from the I probably deserved the does not make it any easier to be around birds. So, what are you afraid of? My husband says he is afraid of nothing...and to be honest, I have never seen anything that bothered him like birds do me. But then...maybe he has never been flogged by poultry. He was a firefighter for twelve years...I guess their fear is different from the rest of the world. As you can tell I survived the Italian pidgeons and lived to tell about it. Birds are a part of life...and we have an just leave each other alone....and we are all fine with that. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Extreme Karen Makeover

I normally do Musical Monday...but to be honest I am not feeling it today. The picture is of my daughter and me on April 17th. I am not someone who likes to talk about physical flaws....but today I feel I have to. You see,that was the day I decided that I disgusted myself and had to do something about my weight and appearance...maybe....I might start trying in the summer....I just couldn't before. Sound familiar. I have always been good at the I am starting tomorrow. Well...I decided last week....I was through planning to start. I was starting. I have been on a 1200 calorie diet now for a week....and managing pretty well. I have to admit...Casey's chocolate chip cookie birthday cake was one of the toughest things I have had to do without. I have a little fat book...that tells me all my calories...and chocolate chip cookies are out of the ballpark.....sigh! I actually had to call my friend Mary and tell her we would not be able to attend Casey's party....I knew that cake would be my downfall. I actually feel better...I am least 30 minutes a day....drinking a ton of water....and actually liking it....and drinking 1 can of diet coke a day....WHOA....for those of you who know me...that alone is a feat. Anyways...I looked at myself in the mirror one day....and decided...I wanted to be healthy...and feel better about myself. The great thing is...Frank loves me...just as I I don't have to do this for him....I am doing this...for no one but me. I plan to keep you informed as I succeed....and succeed I plan to...I have given myself a year to reach my goal weight...I can't wait to drop a dress size...heck I can't wait to put on the clothes I own and feel like they are a little bit too big....that will be a thrill. I told my friend Mary today...when I start dropping...I was raiding her closet...she is a size or so smaller....and has some of the cutest clothes. When I reach goal...I am going on a shopping spree. Wish me luck and stay tuned for more updates. One more thing...I am telling you this hold myself accountable. I am hoping you all will keep me honest and be encouraging....and when I reach goal...I can encourage someone it forward. Happy Monday.