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!”

Monday, January 31, 2011

Remembering Alex Brown

Last night I watched Extreme Home Makeover as I do most every Sunday night.  I love the show!  It is one of those shows where people do kind things for the less fortunate or hurting and have a chance to pay it forward.  To me....this show is a marvelous act of grace.  Last night however, I really did not want to watch....but as soon as the opening story was told I was hooked.  The family to get the new house had lost their daughter, Alex Brown, in a terrible car accident a year earlier.....and were trying to get states to enact laws to ban texting and driving.  In the process of making people was costing them their home, their jobs, everything else....but they still trudged on.  Well....I sat there, watching their story and cried.  Texting is something I am totally against.  I have watched people drive down the road and veer into my lane...because they took their eyes off the road and put them on the key pad of a phone.  Is someones latest facebook update....or a text stating IDK worth your life....or the life of someone else?  If you are going to text.....then let someone else drive.  I was so moved by their story that I joined the cause and signed the pledge not to text and drive.  If you would like to read more about this remarkable family then go to their  foundations website Remember Alex Brown and I hope you will sign the pledge too.  I want you to get to know a little bit about the Browns.  I know you will be as touched by them as I was.  "We lost our daughter, Alex Brown, in a single car accident as she drove to what seemed like just another ordinary day of her senior year in high school. Although no other vehicles were involved, Alex was not alone. The cell phone on which she had sent and receive over 10,000 text messages in the weeks preceding her accident was with her. Alex lost her life to texting while driving. Although Alex is no longer with us, her memory lives. We hope you choose to do the same. Through Alex's memory we hope to educate others about the dangers of texting while driving.  To honor Alex's memory we formed The Remember Alex Brown Foundation (RAB). The foundation's website is a place to tell your story, to learn from others and to make a difference. Please share your memories with us or view stories on their site. As you drive today, please put your cell phone away and drive safely. Your messages will be there when you arrive at your destination. Make sure that you arrive safely, too.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Project 365 - Week 5

Wow it is hard to believe that another week has passed and January has come to an end.  I have made it through a whole month on Project 365.  Thanks Sara for introducing me to this wonderful activity.  I am actually keeping a notebook of pictures I want to take throughout the year so I can hunt for them.  I don't go anywhere without a camera these days and I am always looking for things to express the day.  I am glad you stopped by and hope you enjoy my offerings for the week.
Sunday was not as busy as most.  I did not feel spiffy so I took a Sunday nap....not really true...I took a Sunday sleep.  I slept for over 4 hours and woke feeling groggy...but hit the ground running to head back to church for our Revelation study and choir practice.  I love choir practice.  It is so much fun after we practice to just sing.  Beth, our pianist, will ask us if there are any songs we just want to sing and everyone throws out something....and we just sing for the fun of it.  I wanted you to see the inside of our church this week so I kicked off the week with pictures of the front of the church.  I think it is a beautiful, spiritual, and peaceful place.  I love altars.  When I was at the Arbor in Alex City I used to be in charge of creating altars....and now I just enjoy them.

Monday night we began a new bible study at Betty Vardaman's house.  We are doing Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted by Phyllis Shirer.  It is going to be a great bible study.  We all gathered and had some coffee and refreshments before we began the video and discussion.  The girls were all so funny when I pulled out my trusty little Nikon Coolpix.  I am one who hates to be on the lens side of camera so I understand their antics very well.  I love these ladies and they are the kind of friends that if I die...they all know they are to come into my house, find my Beth Moore Breaking Free book, and burn it.  Now that is a friend...risk a Breaking and Entering charge to make sure no one ever sees what I wrote when I was breaking free from past bondage.

Tuesday was a dreary day.  Since the beginning of school they have been working on our boy's gym and I have heard power tools and men yelling outside my window for months now.  We were supposed to get a NEW gym...but the money was not we are getting a remodeled one.  The funny that our whole school is like that....the original building is 60 years old....and there are just these odd little additions scattered randomly all over it.  The new gym will be no exception.  I just wish they would hurry up and get through...but we have had such lousy weather that I am not looking for that to happen anytime soon.  I did however enjoy the day of no sound....and snapped some pictures to show what a mess it looks like.

Today was my 8th wedding anniversary.  Eight years ago...Frank and I walked to the front of the Arbor at the end of the regular service and were married.  It was the first and only wedding to take place there.  I thought today should be a picture of something that is a reminder of that beautiful day.  One of my favorite pictures in wedding the hands on the bible here is ours....eight years later.
Thursday we bowl.  It is poor etiquette to take pictures of people bowling because the flash throws them I did the second best thing....I thought I would show you my pretty purple ball and bag...and cute new pink heart shoe covers.  I am coveting a rolling bowling ball bag at the moment....and a new ball.  I would love a Hammer.  BUT....I also want a new Nikon or Canon camera....decisions decisions...I am thinking the camera will win out.  April is not that far of these would be nice....hint hint!  I also want...just kidding.

Frank had class in Birmingham this weekend so I was flying solo....sort of.  I invited my friend Mary to come and spend the night with me so we could have some girl time that we so desperately have been missing since I have moved.  My Spanish II classes worked on a Costa Rica project today on the computers in my room.  I have one group of just girls and I was telling them about Project 365 and they just had to have their picture taken for my Friday here they are.  The bell sounded finally at 3:14 and we finished up at school, went by her house and grabbed her stuff, and headed to Rock Mills.  We stopped and ate supper at Gedneys before we got to the house.  This was the first time Mary had eaten in the Roanoke there were many choices for her....Gedneys, TJ Rockers, Sonny's, or Jon Boys.  We ate and headed to the house and watched....Wizards of Waverly Place...can  you believe that?  A perfect night for a chick flick and we watched Selena Gomez.  Actually...I watch it often....along with the Food channel.  We checked our emails, talked, sat in the recliners side by side and said nothing at times...I love that about my friend....I don't have to entertain her....nor she me....and we don't have ackward silence when we don't talk.  We finally called it a night about 11. 

Mary and I got up this morning and went exploring and scouting photo ops.  Mary is a photographer buff too.  We ate breakfast at the Farm House Restaurant in Roanoke, shopped a bit, went to our friend Tammy's house on a chance that she might be at such luck....she is the principal at Randolph County High School...and I am sure there was some athletic event going on.  I showed Mary all my favorite things about Rock Mills and one of them was St Barnabas Church...which is down the road from my house on Hwy 22.  I love red doors.  I have pictures of them from everywhere I have ever been....they fascinate me.  So St. Barnabas, with its bright red door had to be photographed today.  In the yard is a church bell that is interesting I just covered all the bases while we were there.

and of course, as I have done every week since I began this journey I am closing my week out with a church sign.  This week is from the Baptist Church next door to our church.  I love the message of this sign.  I think I fell in love with Frank at first sight.....but how awesome is it to know....that the minute God saw me....He loved me...even though He knew all I would be and do.  It leaves me speechless.  Have a blessed day tomorrow. 

I Want To Sing A Song

Amandas post for Saturday over at  Beth Moore's Living Proof Ministries Blog  was called "Songs in the Car" and it reminded me also of some truly wonderful times in my life when music + car = memories.  I grew up in South Florida and both sets of my grandparents lived in Alabama.  The drive...back before Interstates....took close to fourteen hours.  How do you keep two small children happily occupied in the back seat of a Chevy for that long?  The answer to the bonus round question for SING!  My parents loved to sing.  I could sit and listen to my parents sing for hours.  My mother would start the Song Fest off with something like, "Oh You Can't Get To Heaven In A Rocking Chair" and before the trip was over we would be singing "Bally Hi"  from the South Pacific.  It is no wonder I have a reportoire of thousands of songs.  Just think about it....three minutes per song times 14 the math...that is a lot of songs...pretty close to 300.  When it was just the three of us, after my brother died, we still sang....there were new show tunes, big band hits, you name it....we sang it.  We would even take the hymnal from the house and sing every song in it.  I thought this was how everyone traveled.  All my mom's family did....they were all musical.  Later in life I discovered that some people actually prefer to travel in silence....what a rude awakening for me....and what a boring trip.  When my children came along....we sang....we have sat in the drive way to finish belting out our favorite line from many Sandi Patti or Larnelle Harris songs.  I was delighted when Kat began to experiment with harmony because that made the music even better......Even now that my nest is empty....Frank and I have sat in our carport....or in a parking we(mostly I...though he humors me a lot) can hear the last line of something.  I love it that Frank sings too.  It thrills me to hear his rich voice blending with mine.  I have planned trips....where music was a key element....going west....songs had a western flair....or they were about states we were traveling in or through.  Oh does rock my world.  This past summer I went on a Girls Gone Wild trip to Michigan....Kat and I had loaded our Ipods with much great music....I was driving....and when I drive...I love to bump it up...and get everybody singing....and it was sort of working....until one of the passengers...felt she could not text with the music loud enough to hear.  No problem....I am a team player....and we had just gotten I turned it down low....and bumped the speakers to the front.  It was then requested of me to turn it down even lower....because again it was interfering with texting.  I turned it off....totally.  Excuse me for messing with your fingers with my music.  I was glad when we stopped for gas and I could shake it would have been a long 6 days if I hadn't.  Music returned and things lightened up a bit.  I learned a great deal about sharing space and actually worked on some patience skills....but that is another post.  My fondest memories all revolve around let me ask you....what do some of your fondest memories revolve around?  The kitchen, a fireplace, a repeated trip...would you share it with me?  I'd love to relive a memory with you.  Happy Saturday and be sure to come back tomorrow for my week in pictures.  This has been a fun week.  I can't wait to share them with you.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Little Tongue Will Do You

When I was a child my mom was a firm believer in at least trying everything that was on your plate.  Well...that is all well and good as long as it is not weird beef tongue.  We had a butcher shop we visited every Friday to get the our meats for the week.  It was my favorite part of grocery shopping because we also go lunch meat there...and Jake had the best pastromi on the face of the earth.  He also had homemade fresh breads made by his wife.  My favorite was pumpernickel and Jewish rye.  So every week I knew we were going to get bread and pastromi.  One night when I was older and working after school I came home hungry and there....nestled in the bottom of the fridge was the red paper from Jakes that he ALWAYS wrapped my pastromi in.  I decided to take the lazy way and just reach into the paper and grab a couple of slices of hand went refridgerator lite.....and it stuck on whatever was in the paper.  I mean...STUCK.  It just latched onto my hand.  I screamed and fell backwards onto the floor and the meat went sailing up to the new dropped ceiling tiles...and stuck.  I looked up...and a tongue was hanging down towards me.  I screamed again and this time my dad came rushing in to see what the commotion was all about.  You can imagine how he guffawed when he saw me laying in the floor, pointing to the ceiling, and there was the tongue half hanging towards me.  Needless to say...when my mom put it on the table the next night for supper....I was not having any of it.  To this day I have never eaten Beef tongue and have a thing about cows, horses, etc....licking me.  GROSS!  Did your mom ever make you eat anything that you found totally repugnant?  Drop me a comment and let me know what it was.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

When the Day is Done

I love topics about sunset and sunrise.  To me it represents hope and faith, and the gift of waiting.  Sunsets always remind me of my dad. When I was a little girl they meant he would be home shortly.  when I was older we would sit up on our roof and watch the sun set.  Sunsets with my dad were always special times....they were our time. This past week I took a few sunset pictures on my trek up and down Hwy 22.  The first one is on a day when snow was predicted in North Alabama.  I thought the thick layer of gray clouds with the split of sunset made it look like I was heading into a lake of fire.  It truly was beautiful.  I am thoroughly enjoying doing Project 365 because it means my camera is always on hand.  I never knew you could take such cool pictures driving down the road.....I do slow down if nothing is behind me....just FYI.

This picture is my favorite.  Does it not look like there is an explosion up ahead.  The sky is so blue above and then that ball of fire is peeking through the trees.  I actually had to pull over to get this one.  The sun was setting behind me and I could see this in my rearview mirror....and just had to see it face to face.  If you can't look at this and believe in God...hummmm....something is not right!

What a cold and dreary day this was.  I pulled over for this picture too.  I think the temperature at the time of the shot was somewhere in the low twenties and the wind was really whipping.  This sunset looked like embers to me....and were not warming like those of a fire would be.  I found a wide spot in the road to stop and get this picture.  Sunsets and sunrises are really cool to me.  I rank them right up there with barns and hands.

My final sunset and I think it was the perfect one.  You can see such detail in this one.  Even though the sky is blue it was still very cold outside and I took the picture stopped in the middle of the road.  There was nothing behind me and sometimes that is great coming up and down Hwy 22.  I have wanted to take a picture from the Tallapoosa River bridge but have yet to find it when no one was coming either way so I could stop briefly and snap a few.  I have a year to get that shot.  I have started keeping a notebook of shots I want to make....and am really enjoying searching for the perfect picture every day and being creative with my pictures.  I am a still photographer.  I found a wonderful poem about sunsets that I thought I would leave you with today.  It is by an Englishman named David Harris.  I think he too sees sunsets as something very special.
  Just Beyond The Sunset
Just beyond the sunset

Someone waits for me

Just beyond the sunset

Lies my destiny

Where the purple mountains

Lie in deep tranquillity

There I’ll find the treasure

Of love eternally

Just beyond the sunset

Waits someone so fair

Just beyond the sunset

All alone they wait there

Their hair is golden

The colour of the sand

Their eyes sparkle in the night

Like diamonds in your hand
Just beyond the sunset

Lies a home for me

Where the world is peaceful

Like a paradise should be

Just beyond the sunset

Someday is where you’ll find me
Written - July or Aug 1966
David Harris

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hodge Podge on My Anniversary

It is Wednesday, and my 8th wedding anniversary, and Joyce has again posted some really thought provoking Hodge Podge questions for today. I love trivia…so I look forward to this Wednesday neme so I can see what kind of wildly random answers I can come up with.
1. Will you watch the Super Bowl? If so who will you root for? If you are outside the USA what is the 'big deal sporting event' in your own country? I live in the US and watch is a relative term….I will LOOK at the Super Bowl commercials (my favs are always the ones involving the Budweiser Clydesdales) and the half time show(unless it is the Who again. They were really lousy last year)…that is about it. I really am not a fan or follower of football. I would rather be watching a sappy girly movie or reading a good book.
2. Is ignorance bliss? Tough question but my answer would have to be yes, ignorance is bliss to most…if you are ignorant of something then you don’t have to waste energy worrying about it. On the other hand my problem is that not knowing would drive me insane.
3. Which of the seven dwarfs are you? (and just in case your Disney is a little bit rusty, here they are-Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy) Today I am Sneezy (actually….Drippy would be a better choice). I really should be at home in bed…but where am I….working. Most other times I am Happy or Sleepy(I reserve this one for weekends only).
4. When you are riding in the car with another couple how do you organize the seating? (Men up front? Women up front? Couples sit together?) I don’t organize where people sit. I tend to sit up front because I get car sick. If we are going a short distance I may ride in the back with the other female. When my parents lived with us…I always rode in the back….my dad had really long legs and arthritis and it was difficult for him to get in and out of my little HHR.
5. What is beauty? Beauty is the quality in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or lifts the mind or spirit.
6. If someone asks you to bring an appetizer or a dessert to a party in their home, which would you choose? I am not a great baker…so it would have to be an appetizer. I for a catering company in my spare time (can you hear me laughing hysterically here?)....she is a fabulous cake maker....I do the other stuff.
7. What is your crowd pleasing go-to appetizer? Black Bean Salsa.  It is so easy to make and yummy to eat.  Black Bean Salsa recipe:  2 cans of black beans, drained.  1- 8 ounce pkg of feta cheese crumbled.  1/2 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of oil, 2 cans of shoe peg corn, drained, 1 bunch of scallions, chopped, 3/4 c apple cider vinegar, garlic salt and pepper to taste.  Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight of for at least a couple of hours.  Serve with scoops or Tostitos. 
8. Insert your own random thought here. Frank and I married at the end of our Arbor church service.  You know at the time where people come up to join the church....or pray...well we came down and were married.  There were about 50 people there who were not members of the church....the was the congregation.  It was the sweetest service.  My daughter Kat stood up for me and our good friend Robert was Frank's best man.   I have worked for Deborah at Your Day for a long time.  She has done the cakes at all my children's wedding receptions.  It was fun having her do a cake for me.  Sometimes in life....we get a chance for a do-over.  I was fortunate enough to get one.  Have you ever had a do-over chance in your life?  What was it?  Leave me a comment and share it with me.  Happy Anniversary Baby.  He reads my blog every morning....isn't he a wonderful guy?  I think so.  :-)  Hava a Blessed Wednesday

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Navigating a Life Interrupted...I Am A Jonah

I am feeling a touch of crud and a bit blue this morning.....there is no sunshine is cold, wet, and could be could be snowing, icing, or tornadic...but it is just the kind of weather that makes you want to roll over and go back to sleep.  Unfortunately....that was not a choice I could make this morning.  I have to work.  I DID spend the night with Mary and Bill last night....we started our new bible study....and oh my is it going to be a good one.  The study is called Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted by Pricilla Shirer.  She is so dynamic...and her book is even better.  I learned last night that interrupted lives are probably an accurate desciptor for everyone.  No matter how deliberate we plan....something always comes along and messes with OUR plans.  Yep, interruptions come in all sizes and shapes.  No matter how hard I try to avoid them....they are there....lying in wait for me....and sending me into a tail spin most times.  In the past 18 months my life has definitely been interrupted.  I moved to Rock Mills, I left the Praise Band, My mom was placed in a dementia unit and we have had many ups and downs there, my cousin's husband was diagnosed with ALL, ....yep...interruptions all over the place.  I have to admit...there have been a number of times when I just wanted to throw up my hands and run....just like Jonah.....but....then last night...sitting in the safety of my special Bible Study group....I learned something very valuable....these are NOT interruptions.....they ARE Divine Interventions.  God is sending me somewhere I don't necessarily want to that I will turn to Him and allow Him to control my life.  Wow...If I learned that much last night...I can't wait to go back and learn more. I am a Jonah..."I want to serve long as it is convenient.  I desire to do His will....until it is a tad uncomfortable.  I want to hear His long as its message is one I'm supposed to pass on to someone else.  I don't want to have my plans interrupted.  Oh yes, I am a Jonah, and I suspect that in one way or another, you are too."  So let me ask you this morning....Have your life plans ever been interrupted?  Have you ever run from God?....if you answered yes to either or both of these questions....guess are a Jonah too.  I want to share this study with on Tuesdays for the next seven weeks I am going to pass on to you the nuggets of truth I learn every Monday night.  I hope you will stop by and enjoy the journey with me.  Happy Tuesday Whereever you are.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Truths About Life?

I got an email from Amanda over the weekend.  She rarely if ever sends a forward to when you get a forward from better read it.  I laughed out loud at this one...because most of these things I have either...felt, thought, said, or done.  What about you?
1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.  (I have a group of friends that I have done bible study with since before Frank and I married.  We have a pact that if one of us dies the others will go in, get our bible study books, and burn them....especially Beth Moore's Breaking Free workbook.  In order to Break Free....we had to own up to stuff.  Now honestly....that definitely is a friend....who will risk a breaking and entering charge to get your journals.)
2. Nothing stinks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong. (This one is the one that used to happen to me a great deal.  I would be so positive I was right....and then....the moment would hit....and there would be nothing I could do about it.  I have learned over time to ask myself....will being right here matter in five years?  ten?  If not...I don't waste my effort on it.  I don't HAVE to BE right.)
3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.  (I quit taking naps when I was 4.  At school it was an issue because all the other children took them....and I didn't.  Man....what was I thinking.  There are many days at school I want to tell my classes to pull out their little nap mats and lets all take a nap.)
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.  ( I can be the queen of sarcasm....and am so good that most of the time people get a confused face....wondering....if I was telling them the truth.  I keep it in check at school with the kids.....but every now and then....the Queen rises to the occassion and can't stop when a student asks, "Do we need our books today? or "Are we doing anything today?"  I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying...."nope, today we are napping all period."  Then I want to hit the back of their heads like Gibbs does Danozo on NCIS.  Yep, a sarcasm font would be the bomb.)
5. How are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?  (I really struggle with this one.  I can fold those flat ones all day long....but the fitted ones...what do you do with those corner pockets?  I think someone invented them just to drive me nuts...and you should see me folding sheets.  I have really short I look hysterical anyways.....but I won't mom will make me go back to pressing them.....and believe me...that is not happening in this house.)
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?  (I loved learning cursive.  I remember when we started making those cursive letters....I would practice making them just like my teacher did.  I wish handwriting was still taught.  I have some students that I only accept papers from them that have been typed.....ahh yes, they will be great doctors...cause you certainly can't read their handwriting.)
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood. (I mean come should even stay...."Steps 1-4 - You know how to get out of your neighborhood....and if you don' need to stay at home.) need to go to Google Maps....and type in the directions from the United States to Japan....and scroll down to directive #31.  You will get a charge out of that one.  Somebody has way to much time on their hands.
8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.  (The one nice thing about living in the that our obituaries, especially in small towns, give you a great bit more detail.  When my dad died...I discovered that you actually have to PAY to put one in the paper.  I thought that was a public service...wrong....and it is so much per word.  That may be why cause of death is left out.  I know we had planned to put an obit in the Palm Beach Post Times for my dad....he still had a lot of friends living there....and it was going to cost me $450.00.  Needless to dad had an obituary in the Coosa Times and the Alex City Outlook.)
9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired. (Yes I I can't....wait...I think it was last year)
10. Bad decisions make good stories. (This is especially true if you are a blogger or storyteller of any kind.  So with that said, if you have a comeback for any of these....or a new one to add....leave me a comment.)
It is Monday....and that means I will be spending the night with Mary and going to Bible Study.  I have to finish packing and getting ready for school.  Thank God I do not have bus duty this week.  Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow morning....same bat time...same bat channel!  Ciao!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 16th - 22nd - Project 365

It is Saturday night and I have taken all my pictures for the week and cannot wait to share them with you.  We worked up at my mom's today so I am truly to tired to come up with something witty and bright on my own.  I hope you enjoy my week in pictures and if you get the chance go and check out Sara's.
What a weekend we had.  Sunday we had church, ran home, let the dog out, grabbed a McDonald's burger, headed to Opelika to East Alabama Medical Center to check on Renee and her dad.  These trees are between Lafayette and Opelika and line Hwy 431.  They are gorgeous when they are blooming, have color, or are full of leaves.  I will make sure I get pictures of that during my 365 days.  After we left Opelika...we came back...let the dog out, went to funeral home for a viewing for Ms. Laura (a church member), grabbed a Subway and went home and crashed.  I was grateful that tomorrow was a holiday from school.

Monday is my bible study night in Alex City.  I usually spend the night with Mary.  This week we decided to do a Sip n Strokes party to kick off our bible study and what better way than painting a cross.  If you have never done should!  It is great fun, quite relaxing, and we all had a great time.  Mary is the top picture.  Mary and Kathy are looking at Bonnie's real painting in picture two and Susan and Debbie are painting in the last two.  There were twelve of us there.  Mary went home and we hung her picture in her newly painted living room.  It was beautiful!  Both of us felt quite accomplished.

We eat lunch in my room everyday.  With only 22 minutes for the meal it is really difficult to get to the cafeteria....and besides it is a lot quieter in my room.  On Tuesday Trina, Trina's intern, and Samantha (Sam) were all that were there.  Nobody wanted me to snap them actually here is my bunch.  Don, Laura, and Kristen were not there to eat on Tuesday.  I will get them another day.
 I finally got around to hanging my picture on Weds.  I came home from work early with a terrible stomach issue.  I went to bed and slept most of the late afternoon.  Frank went to church and did Youth for me.  I woke up when he got home and we put the picture up.
Thursday night is bowling night.  We went to see my mom, went to her house to get a cowboy for the Towler Farms sign.  It is one I made for my dad years ago.....and he never even put it up.  We went to Jakes for dinner.  The food was great.  Frank had hamburger steak and steamed veggies, I had chicken fingers and a twice baked potato.  It was so yummy.  Jakes is in a place where several restaurants have been...and not made it...but the owner...Jake...has such a great personality....I think he will definitely be successful.  I brought half of my dinner home and will have it tomorrow for lunch.  We didn't get home until after 1.  My mom fell and was taken to the ER in Alexander City.  I am just grateful we were already in town.  Friday is going to be a long day.

Friday night we ate at Gedneys.  It is a local Roanoke establishment.  The food is always good there.  Frank and Jessica (one of our church members who lives in our backyard) were cutting up....good thing I had my camera on hand for their shenanigans.  About halfway through dinner I felt every bit of energy I had been storing all day zapped out of me and I knew I had to find a bed quickly.


Well...everything was going well until my sign for today.  No matter what I did I could not make it stand up right.  I have deleted, rotated, reuploaded, you name it....and it won't I am tired and want to go to bed....and here is my picture....NOT getting right....!  Have a blessed week!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Best Laid Plans....

Last night was bowling night and it is always a late night.  Frank and I were excited to be bowling the Lake Four group....we love the Henry's and McAlisters.  They are such sweethearts and we enjoy them.  At the fifth frame of the third game Frank's phone was my friend Mary and she told us to check my phone.  I discovered a missed call from Adam's Dementia Unit.  My mom had fallen, had a big knot on her head, and was taken to Russell Medical Center for x-rays.  I could not get out of the bowling alley fast enough....we got to the ER and there was my room 10....all alone.  You can imagine if you know me at all....the beatings began in my mind before we left Idletime.  She was sleeping and the Rad Tech came in and spoke with us about the pictures they had taken....the nurse popped in and asked, "Did the nursing home not call you?"  Again....I began silently beating myself.  BTW....I am wearing my phone as we speak....and on sound....not vibrate or silent.  I pulled a chair up next to my mom and held her hand while she slept.  People wandered in and out....I sat in agony....Frank went out to the car and they came to get my mom to make a hip xray.  When she returned they gave me some good news...she had the bone density of a much younger woman.  The ER doctor came in....gave us his know....ER doctors have very little bedside manner.  This man was as dry as they come.  They finally read the xrays....and sent her back to Adams...and we headed back to Rock Mills.  What a night.  It was 1:30 this morning before I laid my head on my pillow and closed my eyes.....5 would come early....and it did.  I have bus duty this week so there was no extra sleep for me.  I WAS planning on scrapbooking tonight with Sundra at Rocky Creek....but I think I am making a date with my pillow.  I went to see her this morning and talked to the Infection Control Nurse....they have hooked my mom up to a warning monitor...anytime she sits or lays....she will wear this....and it will alarm if she tries to get up.  I brought her old faithful black shoes home with me and took out her New Balance tennis shoes.  They are going to check her meds this morning.....and the five Ensure Boosts a day she is taking have been working...I have to buy her a size 12....the size 8/10's are too small.  YEAH!  My bright spot for the day.  Frank, Marcie, Sherry and I are working at the house I really do need some sleep.  Pray I make it through the day....right now I feel as if I am running on fumes.  Have a Blessed Friday.  I can't wait to share my pictures with you tomorrow!  I have been a busy bee.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Yesterday one of the few emails I got was from my bowling sister Debbie.  Our school system is changing email providers....somebody probably forgot to renew a contract...anyways...we can't get school email....or at least we couldn't before I left.  Yesterday was a stinky day for more ways than one.  I woke up with a queasy stomach...and by the time I got to school the stomach was not cooperating at all.  I spent the first part of the day huddled over with my face on my desk just trying not to cry.  I finally texted my boss and asked for a sub.  You know it is bad when I go home...especially after the middle of the day....but home I went....stopping along the road to leave my mark...and when I got there I curled up in my bed and went to sleep.  My temp was 100.1 and I felt like ....well you know.  Frank did my youth class at church last night and I took another power it was after 11 when I finally went to bed....and here I am....weaker...but feeling more stable.  I am going back to work today....and hopefully will stay.  With all that useless information shared....Debbie sent me a great email called truisms....and since I am still not 100% thought I would share it with you....since my brain hurts this morning.  They are quite profound.  Enjoy them and my little side comments too.
1] Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble; it is a "steering wheel" that directs us in the right path throughout life. (Funny that they used that analogy...since my drive time to when I have my Hwyy 22 Conversations with God...behind the steering wheel.)
2] Do you know why a car's WINDSHIELD is so large & the rear view mirror is so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, look ahead and move on. (Obviously they have not seen the windshield of my HHR...I think the front and back are about the same size.)
3] Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write. (Did you know that I am 56 years old...and have two friends I have been friends with since I was 5.  Wow...51 years...that is pretty cool huh?)
4] All things in life are temporary. If going well enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong don't worry, they can't last long either. (Amen)
5] Old friends are like Gold! New friends are Diamonds! If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a base of Gold!
6] Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end! (These are the times I find myself catching my breath...only to realize it isn't the end....and waiting to exhale.....when will I learn?)
7] When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn't solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities. (Sometimes it makes me wonder if HE is sure I have those abilities.)
8] A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision." (My biggest fear was always losing my hearing and I never thought about a difference between losing my sight and losing my vision....have you?)
9] When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them; and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.
10] WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES; it takes away today's PEACE. (This is one I have to work on....I worry sometimes....and you know...when I worry I think I am telling God...He isn't in charge...or can't handle something....WELL  I truly do believe that my God is if I do....I need to get over the worrying....and go on with living in Him.  Can I get an amen this morning?)  Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hodgepodging on the 19th of January!

It is Wednesday and time for my weekly hodgepodge post.  I enjoy doing this and sometimes it brings back a lot of fun memories.  I hope it does for you.  If you want to read some of the others or participate yourself then hop on over to Joyce's blog and see what she has posted.  I know you will enjoy it.
1.  Do you like your name? Were you named after someone? If you have children how did you settle on their names?  I hated my name when I was younger…it sounded so countrified…especially when my mom was mad at me and called me by both my first and middle name with a southern twang. My name is Karen….just like it looks…pronounced….Kare…..N….period….but when I was in deep trouble…my mom called me….Kay Wren……and then would add….Leigh (pronounced Lee)….I would just die. Well one day my godmother told me what my mom almost named me and you
know….Karen Leigh sounded pretty danged good. Try Francis Mathilda on for size. OUCH! My middle name is Leigh….so is my mom’s and daughters. It was also my grandfathers first name….so it is a hand-me-down name. I actually loved it…until they pronounced it Lay at graduation. It was not so cute then. I write under a pseudonym sometimes that I handpicked myself (Leigh Granville Claymore)…and it suits me just fine…but then so does Karen. My daughter Kat was going to be called Emma Leigh after my grandparents….but after spending several days in the hospital due to complications….and having nurse Emma Lee (the nurse from hell)….I was watching television and there was an actress named….Kathryn Harold….and I loved it. So Kat was given her name. I did not start calling her Kat until she was in high school. Her nickname was munchkin.
2. How do you define success?  According to is a matter of achieving stuff....but stuff is not what rocks my boat.  To be a success you have to be a giving, loving, caring person....and follow this verse in Isaiah.  Isaiah 40:31: 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Now…THAT is success.
3. Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy?  Definitely Jeopardy. I am a trivia nut. I love the stuff. My cousin Amanda, my daughter Kat, and I used to take Trivial Pursuit cards on trips with us and ask each other questions. Talk about some people who have too much time on their hands.
4. If you could own any single object that you don't have now, what would that object be? A Nikon or Canon new digital top of the line camera with lenses.
5. What is something that inspires you? I have to agree with Linda and say it is music, especially hymns. It is one of the few things that can soothe the savage beast in me when it is raging.
6. Meatloaf-yea or nay? If its a yay how do you make yours?  Nay...100 times NAY!. I have hated meat-loaf all of my life. That is about the nastiest stuff….next to SPAM(stuff posing as meat) that there is. Frank loves the stuff….and I hate it so much I can’t even stomach making it. NASTY!
7. Which is more admirable-the ability to organize and be methodical or the ability to adapt and make do?  I am the spontaneous one! I have a knack for flying by the seat of my pants in a windstorm. I love to be organized…but function quiet well when I have to make-do.
8. Insert your own random thought here.  Why does the full moon affect the kids at school like it does....and at the nursing home.  It is like herding cats in both places!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fishing With Daddy

Until the day my dad died I called him daddy.  I loved this man.  He took me fishing, taught me how to shoot a gun, taught me how to macrame, taught me how to cook, and taught me how to worship.  He was an awesome man.  I was fortunate enough to see my father baptized when he joined the Baptist Church in Forsythe, GA at the age of 60.  How cool is that?  One day my dad and I left early in the morning to go fishing out off the turnpike.  One of his favorite fishing holes was there but you had to get there before sun-up in order to get the good fish.  It was wonderful basking in the warm South Florida sun as it rose high over the scrub pines and basking in the warmth of my dad's affection and attention.  I was in heaven.  About an hour after we started fishing I caught a huge bass.  I am talking it was a monster.  It weighed every bit of 4 pounds and to a 10 year old that was something else.  I fought like a trouper and finally my dad helped me reel the fish in.  We got it in the sandy area at the edge of the water....and my dad turned to get the stringer.  He was so proud of our big fish.....well....remember I said I was 10.  The fish was so before my dad could turn back around with the stringer....I laid the fish in a small amount of pooled water to wash it off...and ZOOOM!  My big pride and joy....was gone.  About the time my dad turned around with the stringer to see a water moccassin swimming toward me....also in the little pool of water.....he drew his pistol and shot, killing the snake....but terrifying me.....and I screamed holy murder.  My scream echoed forever...and my dad started packing up our stuff so we could make a quick escape....just in case the Water Patrol or Game Warden had heard the scream that followed the gun shot.  All that remained as a reminder that we were there....was a dead snake.  I was so afraid I had made my dad mad and that he would not take me fishing with luck would have it....the next Friday night we were on the Southern Blvd bridge fishing for snook.  I caught a 10 pound one on that trip.  I loved fishing with my dad and took every opportunity to do that.....and then one day.....about age 16....I became a girlie girl.....and the days of fishing at the turnpike with my dad were gone.  We still went deep sea fishing.....but no more canal fishing.  Sigh!  Do you have a special parent story you want to share with me....drop me a line in the comments section.  I would love to hear it.  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Father Knows Best

My daddy was a wonderful guy.  I absolutely adored him.  He saw that I had everything I needed....and enough of my wants to make me appreciate them.  We were not rich by any means....we were blessed.....I just did not know it at the time.  My friends all had things I didn't and wanted desperately....homemade and hand-me-downs were a major part of my vocabulary....and wardrobe.  One year, near my birthday, after having watched the comedy show Laugh-In, I asked my daddy for some go-go boots for my birthday.  I learned really fast never to do that again.  I had never seen my father go into such a snit over a pair of shoes.  "Daddy," I whined, "All the girls are wearing them."  To which he replied, "And if all the girls jumped off the Tampa Bay Bridge....would you be joining them?"  I truly was shocked.  This man was the love of my life....and he was denying me a basic need want.....white go-go boots.  I cried....and even my tears did not move the man....he responded firmly, "This is a Christian household and I will not have my daughter parading around West Palm Beach like a common hooker."  I was old enough to know that the hooker he was talking about had nothing to do with fishing....and knew I had better leave this one alone.  The vein in the left side of his neck was standing up....and his caterpillar eyebrow on the right side of his face was raised.  This was I began to back paddle and changed the subject....rapidly.  I gave up my dream of a cute little neon striped knit short dress (mini skits were popular then) and a pair of go-go boots.  Daddy bought me a pair of Weejuns with tassles instead....they were sturdy and sensible shoes.  Fast forward to the 90's.  During a time of pro-ration at the school our faculty had a Faculty Follies to raise money for the school.  The teachers put together a revue for the kids on the last day of school before spring break and then redid it that night for the community.  Costumes for one of the acts included go-go boots.  One of my fellow teachers had a pair of navy blue my size....and she let me try them on and wear them awhile.  You know...they were terribly knowing my daddy was right about the things...I traded them back to Leigh and slipped into my Weejuns....with tassels....and continued practice.  I guess Father Really Does Know Best huh?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 3 of Project 365-What a Crazy Week This Was!

Sara over at Make Music From Your Heart has week 3 of Project 365 up and ready to view and link here goes.  It has been a weird week.  Sara has asked for prayer for her friend Joanne who has suffered a please do that when you say your prayers tonight.
Sunday we called evening services off because severe icy weather was moving in and we did not want any of our people risking a wreck to get to church.  After the 11:00 service we went to lunch at the Hong KongKing Buffet with Tyler, Adam, Beth and Ron.  After lunch we took the boys and went to Wal-Mart to get a few supplies we thought we might know....the just in cases.  We took the boys back to Tyler's truck at the church and then rode down CR 91 so I could get a picture for my Sunday shot.  There is a house down that road that has a mill wheel, planes, and a weather mill made from tin or sheet metal in the yard and they fascinate me.  We ran by the house and I picked up a birthday present for Lyndi...she will be 17 tomorrow and her Bella was showing off her pretty sweater.

 Monday night was the BCS Championship Game and since we did not lose power and were pretty much iced in I read while Frank watched the big game on television.  A couple of my former students played for Auburn and it was exciting to see Michael Goggans name walk across the screen.  I was pulling for them to win because they were players....and because this win made Alabama the first state to have back to back BCS National Champions AND Hiesmann Trophy winners.  How cool is that.  Michaels dad is one of our assistant principals and he and several other friends were in Glendale at the game.  I am not a football fan per say.  I don't "go for" anyone as my students say.  I am a Wildcat(BRHS...not Kentucky) fan and that is about it.  I have degrees from both Auburn and Alabama...and just don't like all the rivalry stuff that goes on. 
Tuesday morning as most of you know...I attempted to go to work....but the roads between Roanoke and Alex City were closed in sections and I could not make it.  I did not get out of the house again after that....except of course to take these interesting ice pictures.  I think it is really pretty when ice freezes on the shape of a branch...or leaf.  The two bushes are in the front of my house....which by the way was frozen solid.  The last picture is what would be grass...but was more like a frozen lake in my front yard and very treacherous.

Wednesday the schools were still closed in Randolph County and we decided to cancel church because it was so cold.  I think the high that day was like 23.  Since we did not have church Frank and I decided to go and have dinner at one of our eating establishments in town....T.J. Rockers.  The restaurant is quaint and has a lot of music memorabilia all over the walls.  It isn't a Hard Rock...but it is interesting.  Frank seemed to enjoy himself that night.  He had their hot wings and that always puts a smile on his face.

Thursday night is bowling night and I just did not have time to get a picture during the day.  When we got home Thursday night I decided to use something from the house so I took a picture of a cross Frank gave me several years ago.  It is made from the timbers of the Alex City First United Methodist Church when it was remodeled.  The wood is actually from the original church.  I love it.

Every day when I drive to and from Alex City I pass this church on Hwy 22.  It is Daviston Baptist Church and I love the way that it is nestled in the trees and off the main road.  At night it is lit up....I will have to try and get it one Thursday night after bowling so you can see how pretty it is.  It reminds me of the old gospel song, "Church in the Wildwood."

Frank got real creative with our church sign this week.  I thought I would leave you all for this week with a smile.  I thought it was cute and we have already had a couple of calls from people who got a chuckle from it.  Have a blessed Sunday.  Please pray for the Bartlett family....their mom, Mrs. Laura passed away this morning.