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!”

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mace the Dog and Amazing Grace

Frank's sermon on Sunday was about Amazing Grace and it was wonderful as usual.  He started his sermon with a little story that has been with me all week and I just thought today would be a great way to end the month of June.  The story is about an old handyman who had a Heinz 57 dog named Mace. Mace was a great dog except he had one really weird habit: he liked to eat grass - not just a little bit, but in great quantities that would make a lawnmower blush. And nothing, it seemed, could cure him of it.  The old handyman tried everything, but nothing worked.  Mace continued to eat grass.  One morning the handyman got up and went to do a job.  However, when he got there he discovered that the tool he would need most on this job was not in his tool pouch.  He was quite distraught because without the tool he would not get paid and would not be able to pay his few meager bills.....or eat.  Sadly the old handman headed back home to his house.  As he neared his house he could see that his dog Mace had been eating grass again and had cleared a very large portion of it from the front yard and there it was....his wrench...laying in plain sight, glinting in the sun. Going out to get his wrench, he called the dog over to him and said, "A grazing Mace, how sweet the hound, that saved a wrench for me."  Sorry....I could not help it.  I laughed when I heard it in church and have laughed each time I have thought about it this week.  Of course this is really NOT how the song came to be....but did you know that the song Amazing Grace is a common tune and can be sung to other songs?  Go ahead, sing it to the Eagles, "Peaceful Easy Feeling", or the theme song from "Gilligan's Island", or "Greensleeves" (What Child is This).  It works. can also sing "Jesus Loves Me" to the tune of the "Flintstones."  The REAL song Amazing Grace has a  great story behind it.  “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound...” So begins one of the most beloved hymns of all times, a staple in the hymnals of many denominations, New Britain or “45 on the top” in Sacred Harp. The author of the words was John Newton, the self-proclaimed wretch who once was lost but then was found, saved by amazing grace. Newton was born in London July 24, 1725, the son of a commander of a merchant ship which sailed the Mediterranean. When John was eleven, he went to sea with his father and made six voyages with him before the elder Newton retired. In 1744 John was impressed into service on a man-of-war, the H. M. S. Harwich. Finding conditions on board intolerable, he deserted but was soon recaptured and publicly flogged and demoted from midshipman to common seaman. Finally at his own request he was exchanged into service on a slave ship, which took him to the coast of Sierra Leone. He then became the servant of a slave trader and was brutally abused. Early in 1748 he was rescued by a sea captain who had known John's father. John Newton ultimately became captain of his own ship, one which plied the slave trade. Although he had had some early religious instruction from his mother, who had died when he was a child, he had long since given up any religious convictions. However, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his “great deliverance.” He recorded in his journal that when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, “Lord, have mercy upon us.” Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and began to believe that God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him.
For the rest of his life he observed the anniversary of May 10, 1748 as the day of his conversion, a day of humiliation in which he subjected his will to a higher power. “Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’tis grace has bro’t me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” He continued in the slave trade for a time after his conversion; however, he saw to it that the slaves under his care were treated humanely. Among Newton’s contributions which are still loved and sung today are “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” and ”Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” as well as “Amazing Grace.” Composed probably between 1760 and 1770 in Olney, ”Amazing Grace” was possibly one of the hymns written for a weekly service. Through the years other writers have composed additional verses to the hymn which came to be known as “Amazing Grace” (it was not thus entitled in Olney Hymns), and possibly verses from other Newton hymns have been added. However, these are the six stanzas that appeared, with minor spelling variations, in both the first edition in 1779 and the 1808 edition, the one nearest the date of Newton’s death. It appeared under the heading Faith’s Review and Expectation, along with a reference to First Chronicles, chapter 17, verses 16 and 17.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)

That sav’d a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears reliev’d;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,

His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be,

As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

And mortal life shall cease;

I shall possess, within the veil,

A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

The sun forbear to shine;

But God, who call’d me here below,

Will be forever mine.
The origin of the melody is unknown. Most hymnals attribute it to an early American folk melody. The Bill Moyers special on “Amazing Grace” speculated that it may have originated as the tune of a song the slaves sang. Whatever it is....Amazing Grace is one of my favorite hymns...with or without the words.  How about you?  Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Hodge Podge Vol 33

Welcome to Joyce's Wednesday Hodgepodge questions...glad you joined the fun today! Read my answers, then you can play along by hopping over to From This Side of the Pond and linking up at  the bottom of her post (after reading naturally) and then hop over to check out some of the other blogger participants and see what they have to say.

1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?  Soldiers either deploying and coming home....and sporting events when the game is exciting and something unexplained happens.
2. What's your favorite patriotic song?
Of the traditional songs I love the Star Spangled Banner and I love America the Beautiful.  Of the non traditional songs I would have to choose Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA."
3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?
100% do I believe this.  Frank and I are opposites.  He is math brained and I am liberal arts brained.  He is very sure of himself.  I am not always.  He completes me and I complete him.  I think together we make a whole and that is what marriage is all about.
4. You're going to get a behind the scenes look someplace-where would you like that someplace to be?  Donald Trumps Mar-A-Laga in Palm Beach, FL. All my life I have ridden by the place and wondered what it looked like on the inside.  I have seen pictures....but I would love to walk in the doors and really look around.
5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?  20 miles to ride the Christmas Carousel in Valley, AL.  I like carousels but would not go out of my way to ride one.
6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?
Fourth of July 2009 at the Lake Martin Ampitheater and it stormed terribly to the point that they had to delay them.  Nothing like being outside on a hill watching it lightening.(NOT).  I enjoy fireworks and have since I was a child....when they are done by professionals.  I don't enjoy standing out in the yard popping them.  My favorite fireworks show was July 4th, 2002 at Thunder on the Hooch.  Still Magnolias were the headlines of the big fourth show and as I finished singing and as the first firework went off....Frank proposed to me.  That was a bang up Fourth of July.  One I will never forget.
7. Of all the 'beauty products' you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?
I don't have a lot of beauty products because I don't use them....but of some that I do have it would have to be the Bare Minerals.  I was given some for Christmas several years ago...and did a crazy thing and went and bought some more.  Griefus that stuff is high.
8. We are so fortunate to live in such a great country.  I have traveled it extensively (48 of 50) states and I have also been to other countries and I have to admit there is nowhere more beautiful and I love this country.  Happy Fourth!  Stay safe and have fun!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friday Night Date on Monday Night

Last night Frank and I had our Friday night date....except it was Monday night.  We ran a few errands early in the morning in Roanoke after Dale came to work on our house.  About 2:30 we headed to Auburn.  I wanted to exchange some blouses we bought in Mobile, I wanted to get Frank some plaid shorts I saw on a television Penny's ad, and I wanted to check out a new consignment shop called Sydney's.....and then we were planning to take advantage of Red Lobsters 15.00 Summer Extraveganza and try the four course meal they were offering.  I figured the meal would be smaller portions since you were getting four course for less than two courses cost.  Boy, was I surprised.  Course one - I had potato bacon soup and Frank had New England clam chowder.  It was a full serving and really good.  I could have actually stopped there.  Course two was our salads and cheese bisquits (I love those things).  Course three was the entree - I had fried shrimp (expected maybe 9...they were nice size shrimp....not popcorn size)....I got 20! Frank had wood-grilled shrimp skewers and habaƱero shrimp bites....he got two skewers of 6-8 shrimp and a plate full of the little cole slaw and rice pilaf.  Course four - Thank heavens....this is where they did hold back a was just was a to die for browni wedge, with a scoop of ice cream, and then chocolate and caramel sauce drizzled over the entire thing.  Frank and I had a great time.  The service was phenomenal and our waitress Kim was the best.  I got to see a former student (he has already graduated from college) named Jimmy and catch up briefly,  I got to flirt with my husband shamefully, and it did not cost us an arm and a leg.  The 15.00 we paid for the meal was definitely date night price....but a lot easier on the pocketbook than some of the plates Red Lobster serves.  All in all a wonderful time was had by all.  I love date nights with my husband!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bucket List Dreaming

Today is a day I will never forget.  It was on this day in 1985 that Route 66 ceased to be an official U.S. highway.  All of my life I have felt the magnetic pull of  U.S. 66(East to West Hwy - even numbered).  and U.S. 1(From Maine to Key West - odd numbered - North to South and I HAVE achieved this much of my bucket travel list).  Even as a little girl I was fascinated by this great highway, its dust bowl stories, the music, and would proudly tell everyone of the grand adventure I was going to have one day there.  I had researched it at the library(before the days of internet), had watched many movies about it, and I guess at a terribly young age....before I even knew what one was....this was my first bucket list item.  I know you are sitting there saying...."come on girl, it is just a road."  That is true...but it is more than any is a special road, filled with magic and music.  It is the Mother Road!   Did you know that Cyrus Avery, a successful businessman from Oklahoma, became famous because wanted to improve road conditions in his state....and his state alone.   Avery, now known to many as the father of Route 66, was charged with establishing what would become the U.S. highway system, by plotting and mapping the most-important interstate roads in the nation. The Associated Highways of America developed a plan for the nation’s highways. They laid out a highway system, organized a maintenance plan for those highways, established a systematic numbering system that replaced the previous tradition of naming roads (Lincoln Highway, National Old Trails Road, etc.) and a system of standardized, uniform directional, warning, and regulatory signs for the U.S. highway system. Cyrus Avery became one of the strongest supporters of the Chicago to Los Angeles route, a route that he wanted to pass through his home state of Oklahoma. "But....that did not happen because supporters of the major east to west route from Chicago to Los Angeles wanted to follow the Old Santa Fe Trail, which would by pass Oklahoma. This road would be linked with the Old Santa Fe Trail across the Southwest, which would then be connected to Beale’s wagon route through California to form the National Old Trails Road. Avery knew that a major highway through Oklahoma would boost that state’s economy so he relentlessly pushed for an alternate route. Cyrus Avery used a little known trail from the California Gold Rush that ran through Oklahoma, as he drew plans for the route that would become Route 66. He was successful in his bid to have the new route pass through his home state. This route was designated U.S. Highway 66. On November 11, 1926 a bill was signed in Washington creating the American Highway System. Route 66 along with the rest of the early two-lane roads became a reality. Our country had entered a new era. Great roads were to be built. Roads to carry a nation on the move, through hard times, war, and rebirth. Route 66 would become the most celebrated and famous of these two-lanes. Route 66, the "Main Street of America." Now it is simply a hit and miss highway.  Gone are the days of the wonderful two lane highways, replaced by interstates.....and many towns have been forgotten....and faded away.  But....back in its day...if you started in Springfield, Ill you would begin....where President Lincoln was born.  You can still get there today.....if you exit now....but then, then you went right through it.  Are you already hungy?  Are the kids in the back seat crying out, "Are we there yet?   How about a real road original, the Cozy Dog? The Cozy Drive-In in Springfield is another classic place that serves up a memorable (in a good way) meal to the Route 66 road wanderer. The one-of-a-kind family owned establishment actually predates Route 66 by about a hundred years, Funk’s Grove? Funk’s Grove is home of the world renowned Funk’s Grove Maple Sirup. Yes, that’s how it’s spelled. That’s the real old fashioned way to spell Syrup, and Funk Grove Maple Sirup is definitely the real thing!  In Missouri there are the old barns with painted tops that read "See Meramac Caverns."  There is also the Chain of Rocks bridge, Ted Drew's frozen custard, mom and pop motels....and no you don't get any skymiles for staying there....what you do get is a wonderful piece of americana that the interstates of our country took away from us.  Kansas is the next state you pass through if you plan to drive the entire length and there you will see 12.8 miles of the Mother Road.  In its day service stations were scattered among the way....remember those?  That was back when some man would come out and actually "service" your car.  The road was designed for Oklahoma.  Woodie Guthrie sang of this road, Will Rogers name was given to it, Catoosa had a blue whale and even from the beginning....and the great migration during the American Dust Bowl period, Oklahoma and Route 66 played a major road in the formation of our country.  Texas holds the Cowboy Motel, Britten Tower in Groome, the Bug Ranch ( and no it is not creepy crawly is VW beetles half buried in the ground.)  In New Mexico mom and pop business sprang up everywhere.  Motel Row with its neon signs were splattered across the scenery.  You will cross the continental divide here.  The road through New Mexico is not as good as the one through Texas...but the government is studying it (and we know how that is). Arizona was Indian country and everywhere there were touristy opportunities to see Native American life at its best, the Grand Canyon, and Canyon Diablo.  The end draws near and Route 66 actually ends right in front of the Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles.  That is actually one of the few sections of the road I have seen.  Yep, I am seriously going to plan this bucket trip....Europe will just have to wait.  I am going to set out to finish finding America....a little at a time.  Let me see.....I lack Alaska, Vermont.....and Route 66.  How much of America have you seen?  Last night on an episode of Undercover Boss one of the people told a story about her dad wanting to see the Grand Canyon.  Part of the reward she got for good service...was a trip to the Grand Canyon for her honor of the dad....because he never made it.  I have stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon....and let me tell took my breath away.  Happy Monday. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Project 365 - Week 26

It is that time of the week again.  Time for me to post my week in pictures and link up with Sara over at "...make music from your heart to the Lord."  This is week 26 and we are officially at the halfway point of the year.  It is still not too late for you to join in and start snapping.  This has been a crazy week.

Sunday, June 19th
I almost forgot a picture today.  Today is Father's Day and we had a phone call this morning alerting us to the fact the our pianist was enroute to the hospital.  I played all the hymns with the guitar.  When we got home we died.  The toll of the wedding we worked and family reunion from Saturday did both of us in and we slept all afternoon.  Honestly....I was comotose.  I went outside and say one of my daylillies blooming and captured it.

Monday, June 20th
Today we went to Alex City and took care of some legal business and got my hair cut at my friend, Jo's.  She has her house all decorated for the fourth and I loved this wreath on her front door.  She is so creative.

Tuesday, June 21st

 Our doxie owns the house and just allows us to live there.  Frank and Beau share a number of face-to-face conversations....especially when Beau thinks he needs to get his point across on what needs to be done.

Wednesday, June 22nd

We went over to Beth and Ron's to have prayer with her.  She is ill and needs to feel better.  They have an amazing yard and garden.  Beth's sunflowers are blooming, and we actually took that cabbage home and made coleslaw and cooked cabbage out of it.   I had forgotten how much taste cabbage out of the garden had.  We also were given some squash and my vegetable night was devine.  I took Beth (and Ron) a fruit cocktail poor mans pie.  Ron loves fruit cocktail so I thought I would give him some with a twist.  My mom used to make them because fruit cocktail was so cheap to buy.  Anyways....back to the garden, the baby squash are so cute and so is the little cucumber.  I love cucumbers.  WE NEED RAIN!

Thursday, June 23rd

Today was my daughters 31st birthday.  We went to Alex City to check on friend Mary who had had surgery on Tuesday.  Her birthday was last week when I was in Mobile and I had not given her her gift yet.  Her hubby, Bill gave her that really cool wasp catcher in my first picture.  Mary loves Fantasia and Mickey Mouse, she collects M.A. Hadley dishes and I bought her the blue salt and pepper shakers to go with her fleur de lis plate.  We took her to have lunch with her husband at Wendy's, messed around town a bit, and came home.  It was a good day!

Friday, June 24th

This was supposed to be my Sunday sign and I was going to say "nuff said."  I loved the little puppy lying in the shade of the sign trying to beat the heat.  Who knows...maybe he was a father....maybe she was a mother.  I just loved the shadow.

Saturday, June 25th

Today was CRAZY!  We had our cookout and spent the day getting ready for it.  Greg, Wayne, Taylor arrived early with the 20 x 40 tent.  We wanted to make sure people were shaded and cool.  After they left we finished steadying the tent and put up our own 10 x 10 tent.  I went inside and finished clearning the house and began preparing my part of the food.  We provided the meat, buns, and condiments....and asked our guest to bring a side.  We have some really good cooks in our church.  From salads, to desserts and mac and cheese if you left my place hungry yesterday, shame on you.  People began coming around 3:30 and by 4:15 Still Magnolias were singing our hearts out.  We stopped for a bit at 5 and ate and by 6 we were singing again.  I have to admit....singing again was AWESOME.  We have not had a whole lot of music in our lives in the past year.....and we need to fix that.  We finally wrapped it up around 8 when Mrs. Jean (in the read and white) came up and sang a couple of numbers with us.  It was so much fun and she enjoyed it.  It was such a fun day....but to be honest....I was dog tired when it was over and too tired to post this last night.   Have a wonderful Sunday!  I know I will.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Still Magnoias In Concert.....Again!

I am so very excited.  Today we are having a huge cookout in our back yard.  I have been planning this event for several weeks now.  I love to hostess things.  It thrills me to plan and implement a party.  We have the hamburgers and hot dogs bought, along with the buns and condiments.  There are white ultralite tables standing like soldiers, complete with folding chairs in our back yard.  In just a few minutes our neighbor Wayne will be over with a 20 X 40 canopy for Still Magnolias and the people to sit under.  There is a 10 x 10 canopy for the grills to go under.  The grass is all cut (thanks Frank), the grill and mower will be moved to the side of the yard.  Amanda will be here (her flight made it out of Cinncinnati last night after several attempts).  Rebecca wil be here....and Still Magnolias will have 4 glorious hours in which to sing for our friends.  Patti (Patti's Got Her Wheels On) will be here and so will Kimble.  But the most important thing to me is that Still Magnolias will be together.  We have not sung together....just us....since 2009 when we opened for George Jones at the Civic Center.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  Frank has done miracles with the flower beds....the yard looks great and as soon as I get off this computer I will become the tazmanian devil - vaccuming and mopping.  The rest is done.  Then it will be cutting up tomatoes and onions time....and before long it will be THE TIME!  There is a 30% chance of rain today...and you know...even that can't dampen my spirits right now.  I will be sure to make plenty of pictures....and maybe even a video.  I will be sure and post my pictures on my Project 365 post tomorrow.  Have a wonderful Saturday!  I know I will.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jesus Take the Wheel

I have always liked the Carrie Underwood song, "Jesus Take the Wheel."  The first time I heard it...I had to pull off the road so I could cry.  It was not until Yesterday that I fully understood the lyrics of the song.  Matthew 28:20 kept running through my mind, "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.  Yessiree he is!  Yesterday was another ordinary day.  About 10:00 Frank and I went to Alex City to see Mary (she had surgery earlier in the week).  We got there, I gave her the very late birthday present I had for her (I was in Mobile on her birthday), we met her husband Bill at Wendy's for lunch, went to Home Depot and I bought 6 more plants for my front garden.  Mary felt she needed to walk some more so we went to Longleaf and browsed through the antiques and wannabe antiques.  AFter taking Mary home we headed home ourselves and as luck would have  it found ourselves behind an eighteen wheeler around Hillabee Creek.  From Hillabee Creek to New Site there is no where much to pass.....and when we got to those couple of little spots there would always be cars we stayed put...knowing that in Newsite it four lanes and we would take him then.  Right before the road splits there is a sign that states, "slower traffic keep right."    Frank and I both expected the truck to move to the right lane.  When, after four houses he did not, Frank moved into the right lane to go around him.  We were between the cab of the truck and the body when we realized he was pulling into OUR lane.  Frank was amazing, he hit the horn, and then hit the yards of the houses to our right.  We hit a culvert, almost a tree, several hard dips, the truck moved back to his lane, and we ended up stopping at the old school house to check on the car.  It was amazing that in such a populated area....we did not encounter the first mailbox.  It was so natural just to go immediately into prayer mode while this was happening.  I KNOW there are mailboxes along that road....where did they go?  I could not believe it when we got out and there was nothing broken or missing.  I thought the whole front fender from my car was going to be laying in a ditch somewhere.  I figured the right tire would be bent and the frame of the side of the car would be dented.  The culvert we hit jarred my teeth hard and of course when I saw it coming I tensed my back.  Assured that we were good we returned to the car and resumed the trip.  At the local Foodland.....there he was....he stopped to get him a little something to eat.  I was still shaking like a leaf and felt like throwing up.  The human in me....wanted to stop my car, get out, and punch the man in the face.  The Christian in me would not let the human have it's way.  We were ok....the car seems back is a bit tender but ok, it was the ride of a lifetime...and Frank was a great driver (I would have flipped the car).  Jesus was definitely in control and Frank even said so himself.  What a ride!  When I got home I looked up the trucking company and called them.  I did not want to sue them....I just wanted them to know what happened.   True, semi's are big and drivers have many hidden areas....and passing on the right side is one of them....but we were close enough to him that he could have seen us by that point.....he knew we were behind him for several miles....or should have.....and HE should have pulled into the slower traffic lane.  There were multiple cars behind him.....duh!  That makes you slower traffic dude. The people at the trucking company were lovely and assured me that they would call this driver and tell him what he almost did.  The human in me went, "Yeah Right!"  The Chistian in me feels that was good enough.  She asked me if I wanted the driver to call and apologize.  I told her, "No, thank you....I just wanted you aware of what happened."  I felt much better after the phone call.  Thank you Jesus for taking the wheel and keeping us safe.  Have a wonderful Friday.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Momma's Birthday Wish

Today is my daughter's 31st birthday and I wanted to take a moment to recognize her in a special way.  I wrote a little ditty for her.  She has always fussed at me because I had not written anything about her and I could fill a book with stories of Kathryn alone....and who knows someday I just might do that.
The Story of a Life of Love

Thirty-one years ago, 1980, on June 23rd

Into this world a precious baby was born

Her name was to be Emma, but became Kathryn Leigh

And this pink little bundle gave a new life to me.
Waiting to celebrate were Peepaw and Granny

Doctor Stimpson was there and spanked her on her fanny.

Her daddy, a brother and sister were there

She had such a sweetest smile and a head of red hair.
From the moment of birth she had my heart in her hands

And was loved oh so dearly by all of the grands.

She was her Peepaws darlin’ and a munchkin to me.

To her daddy she was called Lil Miss Piggy.
Godparents Chuckles and Sue were so blessed

They loved her just like she was one of the rest.

I rocked her to sleep with Chattanooga Choo choo

She loved when I sang it and would always say whooo whoo.

Her favorite song was Mighty Like a rose

I’d sing it and then kiss her tiny turned up nose.

We traveled a when she was two, four, or six

We all had a ball and our time together - fantastic.
She swam like a fish from the time she was three

And her favorite past-time was playing Barbie.

She loved being in church and being with friends

She is a blessing and the joy, it never ends.
New Kids on the Block her favorite group

She kept up with them and knew all the scoop.

She would dance with abandon and sing harmony

And life with this child was a blessing to me.

At birthdays she and Jill would become the bow girls

Wearing their bows with the sparkles and curls.

They posed for pictures and rode in the boat

They swam in the lake or they’d lay there and float.

She was my change girl in three different schools

She adapted so nicely and learned all the rules.

First HHS, then Dadeville and finally at Radney.

At her first sock hop she was as cute as cotton candy.

We spent lots of time with the Prices in K’ville

Cades Cove, Gatlinburg, remember the still?

Remember P. Forge and the trip with the flood

We stayed in the cabin man this trip was a dud.

You came with me to school during each summer

Most kids would have thought that this was a bummer

You would clean and arrange my room nice and neat

You seemed to think this was a real grownup treat.
Then came the summer when you would get burned

That was a lesson I wish we’d never learned.

Our days were filled with debridement and pain.

I hated the sunshine and looked forward to rain.

Yet God really came through with a miracle or two.

And your legs healed so nicely and they looked brand new.

I remember changing your wraps and seeing burnt skin

And the smell is something I hope I never smell again.

Faculty Follies and traveling some more

Florida trips with Thompson were never a bore.

Remember the walk from the dock to hotel.

The pie in Jan’s face oh the stories we could tell.

Remember the graduations for Scott and for Jan

The Pacific Northwest and the back of the suburban

You named your section of the car Kathryndom

Old Faithful, Wyoming, and remember the gun?

Pacific Northwest was a great time you see….

But PEI with just the two of us was the best there could be.

The haunted feeling in Salem and the Seven Gables Inn

Neither of us slept and we locked ourselves in.

You would come to school with me during the summer

Most kids would have thought that this was a bummer

You would clean and arrange my room nice and neat

You seemed to think that this was a humongous treat.

Oh our trip to Cleveland and Helen and naming the baby.

Taking old fashioned photos and can’t forget Disney

Remember the Christmas trip with Eric and Sandy

Remember family reunions with Ramona and Mandy?

Having you Ben Russell was really a blast.

I hate it that those times well…they just did not last.

In New York we rode on the bus and saw sites

Being with you made this trip a delight.

We have shopped til we dropped both here and abroad.

Mackinaw, Frankenmuth, Italy, et al.

The huge trip to Bronner’s was really a site.

I can’t believe we were there….a day and a night!

We have shared many smiles, many miles, and some tears

You were always a constant o’er the past thirty plus years

You are more than my child you a friend, one of the best

I cannot wait to see what is in store and how you’ll be blessed.

I am proud of you munchkin, with your huge amazing heart.

And I knew that I would be right from the start.

I know God will bless you and make clear your way

Right now I must stop and say, Happy Birthday!

I love you, Momma

English 101

Before I share my own post I want to invite you to visit my daughter, Kat's brand new blog.  She began it yesterday after returning from her mission trip to Moldova.  I am so proud of her and I hope you will drop by and encourage her to continue.  Now...for the post I had planned for today.  I am an English teacher first and foremost and then a Spanish teacher.  My students always complain about how hard Spanish is and this is what I usually tell them when they start whining about the degree of difficulty in Spanish.  You think English is easy???   There is no other language in which
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row ...
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's face it guys, English is one crazy messed up language. "There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England nor were French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. So let me ask you today why it is that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?   If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?   How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.. English was invented by people not computers and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why when the stars are out they are visible but when the lights are out they are invisible.
Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?  You lovers of the English language might enjoy this ..
There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP'  It's easy to understand UP , meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ? We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warmUP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UPexcuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.  And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP . We openUP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP ! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP ,you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP .. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP...When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP .  One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP , is time to shut UP !  Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Day of Summer Hodge Podge

Welcome to Summer and Joyce's questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Want to read more zany answers then check out Joyce's blog by clicking here.  Want to play along?  Be sure to link up on her blog and share you own responses.
1. Summer's here-whoohoo! What's your favorite sight, sound, AND smell associated with summer?
Tough question.  My favorite sight would have to be all the lillies and Queen Anne's lace blooming on the side of these Alabama rural roads I travel.  My favorite sound is the sound of the summer storms.  My favorite smells would be fresh rain and fresh mown grass.
2. Fireflies or lightning bugs...what are they called in your neck of the woods?  They are lightening bugs around here and my yard has an abundance of the pesky little critters.  I remember as a child taking my grandmother's zipper jars and catching them.  We would sneak them in our room and watch them light up until we went to sleep.  When we woke in the morning they were usually dead.  Poor little guys!
3. What is something from the past week that reminded you of your childhood?  We had a family reunion on Saturday and it reminded me of all the ones I went to as a child.  My great aunt was there this year....she turned 107 in May and is sharp as a tack. 
4. Define 'the good life'.   Love of my family, singing for anyone who will listen, worshiping on Sunday, job security, and the ability to participate in the things I enjoy doing.
5. Tell us what we'd see if you took a snapshot of your desk/work space?  I would be embarrassed right now.  My office is in a sad state of disrepair.  I have all of my mom's stuff in here and just can't seem to get motivated to do anything with it.  That is one of my summer jobs.  I am also changing desks this week.
6. Peaches or watermelon...yes, you have to choose.  Hands down peaches.  I live close to Chilton County, AL and they have some of the best peaches on the face of the earth.  I love them!
7. Ever been skinny dippin'? Is that too much for the Wednesday Hodgepodge? Rest assured we won't need details...unless of course you feel you must but remember, this is a family friendly blog so keep it G rated.  I have never in my life been skinny dipping or chunky dunking as it would be now.  I don't like the idea of getting in water with nothing on.  Not appealing at all.
8. Did you know that on June 22, 1847 the doughnut was created?  Wonder what policemen did before that?  Do you like doughnuts?  If so, what is your favorite kind?  Mine are Dunkin Doughnuts and I loved the fruit filled ones the best.  Second would be Boston Creme.  We don't have a Dunkin Doughnuts in the general vacinity...guess it is a good thing. 
9.  I have two randoms today.  What is your favorite song that you associate with summer?  I grew up in South Florida and loved anything by the likes of the Beach Boys or Jan and my favorite summer song is "Tell 'em I'm surfing" by the Baggeys because it reminds me of summer days with my friends Carol, Kathy, and Donna at Momma Jones' house drinking sweet tea and playing cards as kids.  We would turn the music up and sing and dance around.  Whenever I hear this song I smile.

Happy Wednesday to you all!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Home Again, Home Again, Ziggity Zig

Oh how excited I was late yesterday afternoon when I saw I had a text message from Kat.  She was in the States and had turned on her cell phone.  I texted her back, hit send, and thought...."Oh no want to SPEAK to your baby."  So, I hit send and called her.  I would have been happy just to have heard her answering machine....I just wanted to hear her voice.  She answered and sounded so tired.  We talked for a brief few minutes and I let her go with a promise that she would call me when they landed in Atlanta.  They had another couple of hours of their Newark layover.  True to her word she left me a voice message about midnight Eastern Time and said they were headed home. Kat, Brian, and some others from their church have been on a mission trip to Moldova since last Monday.  Their mission was to love some orphans.....and knowing my daughter and her friends...that is exactly what they did.  They were working with Philip Cameron Ministries.  Prior to going on this trip Kat wrote a note on her facebook that I want to share with you so you can hear her story in her own words....
"I wish that I could be a more eloquent writer and that I could truly convey the overflowing emotions that I feel when writing this...
Hello Friends!
I just can't believe that Brian and I are leaving for Moldova in 3 days! God has been doing a mighty work in our lives in preparation for this trip. This trip is God's plan and desire for our hearts cant even imagine. Let me just tell you a quick little story.  Four years ago, when I was working at the Chapter One office (with Janice, Kimmie, and Rachel). I heard this man on Faith Radio talking about this country I had never heard of....MOLDOVA. He told of the perils that young men and women face in Moldova. It broke my heart to hear about young orphan girls aging out of the system and being scooped up by horrible predatorial people. I went to work that day and talked about Moldova around the morning coffee with my coworkers....and after that I could never forget the name of the country....God has continued to burden my heart for the children there. I won't give you any history or polticial lessons on Moldova because you can read that for yourself if you so desire...I'd rather you know about the children there. Simply stated...Moldova is a poor country and there are MANY orphans there. Many of the children in the orphanages have families who are alive who either don't want them or would rather not waste money on their care. Can you imagine...knowing that your family is out there...but would rather see you raised by strangers? It breaks God's heart. Over the last few years God has continued to break our hearts for what breaks his...Moldova. Brian and I have spent lots of time in prayer for the children and people of Moldova. Philip Cameron Ministries (the man who I heard on Faith Radio as it turns out) has formed a relationship with our church. We have been blessed to hear the girls from Stella's House share their stories on many occassions (check it out at In the spring the government of Moldova gave the christian organization, Philip Cameron Ministries, a previously state run orphange (that was in EXTREME disrepair). Anyway, Philip Cameron Ministries has renovated the orphanage and there are currently between 30 and 40 children there. We are going to be spending the majority of our time with these children just LOVING on them and showing them that we love them and that our amazing Creator does too! The orphanage is Providence Orphanage in Cupcui, Moldova. We will also be spending time with the Girls from Stella's House. This is Philip Cameron Ministries attempt to prevent these girls from being sold in to sex slavery. They give them a home, help them learn english, and help them establish and learn a trade ( all the while teaching them about and showing them God's love)...I'm telling you I LOVE this mission organization...and they are based in Montgomery, AL).  Ok...I realize that my story has gotten a little too long...and some of you are checking out mentally right I will recap with bullet points to drive it home (thank you Brian Jones)
■Moldova is a small country in Eastern Europe
■Poverty is rampant
■Child ABANDONMENT is rampant
■It is quite possibly the sex trafficing capital of Europe
■ There are children and young women there who need to see and know Gods love is real (THIS IS the MAIN PURPOSE of our trip).
I just wanted to give you all a chance to keep up with our team while we are in Moldova. 
Please pray for: 1. our safety as a team 2. That God will make a way for us to show His love to everyone we meet. 3. Flexibility as we adjust to Gods plan for our team and for our lives 4. Team unity and cohesion.  La revedere, (thats Romanian for Goodbye)  Kathryn and Brian"  Want to see pictures of their trip then visit the frazer link above and click on Moldova 2011.  Am I proud of these betcha.  I am as proud as I can be.  They are an exceptional couple and I think they are both mighty spiritual warriors.  I can't wait for them to visit our church and share with our congregation about this trip.  I can't wait to hug them.  I thank God for their safe return and know that this is only the beginning of many trips to come....I heard that in her voice last night.  Happy Tuesday....I know mine will baby is home!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teach Your Children Well

My nightmare began in September of 2009.  My parents were missing, then in assisted living, then in a nursing home, then my dad died, my mom had dementia....and the list goes on.....but today, today this post is about a warning/plea for all my readers.  Please, please, please....don't do to your children what my parents have done to me.  I know my parents loved me....but right now...I am not feeling the love.  I am feeling frustration.  But, I have learned some valuable lessons.  I am not going to do this to Kathryn.  My affairs will be tied up neatly with a little will taking care of business.  She won't have to be named Conservator of my business and then made Administrator of my Estate and be put in a position where she will have to wait six months to settle my estate and have to purchase a bond.  It seems like it is a never ending cycle.  I was made conservator of my mom's business while she was in the nursing home....but once she died so did that title.  I had to hire another attorney to probate the estate.  There is an ad that has to run in the paper for 30 days asking anyone who has a claim against the estate to submit their claim....and the end of six months I can settle these claims.  So now...we are in limbo.  I have to pick up the bond today and take it to the attorney.  The judge has already approved me as the it is just a wait and see time.  There are not that many bills out there...probably no more than 20,000 worth of medical bills.  There is a house, that Eric, my son is living in, there are some stocks that will be sold to pay the rest of the bills off.  I have been paying her nursing home bills out of her checking account for the past 18 months and that has taken a sizeable chunk of the available money.  Plus....over the past months...there have been little small bills for newspapers, power, water, magazine subscriptions, AARP Medicare Plus, clothes, goes on and on.  My mom and dad were savvy business people back in the day....but age and dementia took its toll on their minds.  Somewhere along the way my parents became afraid and did not want to put me on their checking account or anything else.  They could have put the house in my name years ago....but oh no!  Now, I have to pay for this...and pay for that...and pay and pay...and pay!  I am an only child!  I truly believe that one day a bunch of lawyers and judges got together and said, "Hey...there is money to be made when people die without wills...and we need to get in on the action."  This should have been simple.  No Will + One Surviving Child = Done Deal.  But, alas...that is not the way the legal system rolls.  So, I am off to the lawyers office to TCB.  Sigh!  Don't do this to your children.  My mom used to say, "People who take short cuts or don't take care of business just make someone elses life harder."  I didn't know she was giving me a warning!  Wish I had listened better.
UPDATE - I had a phone call tonight from someone who reads my blog on a regular basis and is the midst of this same nightmare.  She had some wonderful advice, great words of encouragement, prayers and just a sweet spirit.  I knew people read me....but until tonight had little grasp of how much my blog affects people.  How cool is that?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Guys!

Today is Father's Day and for the second time I am not spending my time looking through mushing or funny Father's Day cards because I don't have a dad to send one too.  I have been avoiding the card section at Walmart like the plague.  I did think it would be a positive thing if I posted about Father's Day.  The next three men are very important dad's in my life. 
Fred Douglas Sasser (4.14.1926 - 9.9.2009)
I wish you could have all known my dad.  He was a very special man and I adored him.  He loved to hunt and fish.  He loved his family.  He loved his Lord.  He definitely walked the walk and talked the talk.  Best memory of my dad.....rabbit kisses.  He was famous for them.  I'd give anything for one right now.
Frank Edmund Korb (5.9.1957)
The second man is my wonderful husband, Frank.  He is one of the neatest men you will ever meet.  He is funny, sincere, compassionate, a huge hockey and FSU fan, loving, a true people person if there ever was one.  He is a hard worker.  I would class him as not only my husband but one of my best friends.  I enjoy being with him.  He is the father of our Amy and loves my children as much as his own.  I wish everyone could meet him personally....he would have you in stitches in no time.  I love this man with all my heart.
Eric Michael Harrell (8.13.1970)
This is my son, Eric. He was not born under my heart....he was born in it. He and his sister, Jenifer became my children the day I married their day.  Eric was 5.   He is a precious person.  He has two children....Hayden (who is a Down's Syndrome) and Hannah Ruth (who was born at 26 weeks weighing in at 15 ounces).  He is an amazing father and loves his kids.  He is a single dad and is currently living in my mom's house.  He has worked hard to get it to where it was liveable.  He has a great sense of humor and is a loving guy.  I am blessed to have him in my life. 
I am a lucky lady to have/have had three such wonderful Father's in my life.  I wish all Father's out there a wonderful and happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Project 365 - Week 25

It is that time of week again when I subject you to all the shots I have made during the week.  I can't believe the year is nearly halfway through.  I have really enjoyed this and am glad Sara hosts it each week.  Want to see some truly wonderful pictures....drop in on Sara and see what everyone else has to offer.  Join in if you want to and link up and I promise you won't regret it. 

Sunday, June 12th
The sign for the week.  I was in Florida with Amanda on Sunday and when I got home I ran down and caught this picture.

Monday, June 13th
Still working on the glassware.  I put several items on ebay seven days ago....and nothing sold.  How it is back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, June 14th

We went by to check on Betty Jean and Larry and I snapped a few of her huge hibiscus flowers and the bee on the purple flower.  These hibiscus flowers are as big as salad plates.  They are gorgeous.  The bottom one was shy and kept hiding its face.

Wednesday, June 15th

Sunset shots from the 25th floor of our hotel.  We definitely had a room with a view.

Thursday, June 16th
I was at the AEA Leadership Conference in Mobile.  We had a luncheon on Thursday.  I loved Rebecca's outfit and thought I would share it with you.  Is she not classy?

Friday, June 17th
One of our congregation members has this sweet little house in her back yard.  It was where her grandmother lived once upon a time.  They are actually going to tear it down this summer sometime and Bonnie told me if I wanted a picture I better get it soon.  This little cabin has been painted by many Southern artists.  It just looks so perfect sitting there.

Saturday, June 18th
Today was the Prophitt family reunion at Amanda's.  On our way to her house we passed this lovely barn on CR 16.  I had to get a picture of it.  You know me and barns.  I love the things.

At Amanda's house we had figured maybe 38 - 40 family members would come to the reunion.....we had 51!  Amanda's house was bulging at the seams.  It was grand.  I think we are going to try and do it again next year.
My son, Eric and my sister/cousins, Melissa and Linda.

The greatest picture the right is my Aunt Polly (she was married to my Uncle Willie - my mom's oldest brother.) To the left is my Aunt Eula (she was married to my grandfather's twin brother, Gary and she was 107 in May.)....yep...I did not stutter...she was 107 and is sharp as a tack.  What a great day this was.  I love family reunions.  After the reunion, Frank and I left and headed back to the house to change clothes.  We were working Molly Blackmon's wedding at the First Church in Alex City.  We got home about 10:30 and were zonked.