Monday, May 31, 2010

#151/365 Gratitude

My husband and I found a cemetery here today and took some time to walk among those who have gone before us. We were especially moved to spend a few moments remembering Mitchell Porter, buried in Shiloh Cemetery, in Pigeon Forge, who was *there* when our nation was born. Think of it.

And to all those who have fought and died since, in service of our country, in defense of my freedom and the liberation of those oppressed peoples around the world...thank you. We owe to you, a debt that can never be repaid.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

#150/365 Vegas of the Smokies

What a mess this town is.

It makes me laugh (helplessly).

And want to hang out in our cabin til the crowds on 3-day-weekend-steroids *leave* already.

Oh. my.

#149/365 It's not like I was using it...

CollegeGirl is on a cooking spree. Seems with additional time (summer), comes additional energy to be directed. She has chosen cooking. Which couldn't make her less my daughter than much of anything else. ha

She needed cooking wine (huh?). We happened to have some in the pantry (double huh?).

She is welcome to it.

But she better bring me something good to try.

Friday, May 28, 2010

#148/365 Life *is* Too Short

A cute, clearance goblet from TJ MAXX that had to come home with me.

A gift for someone else? That's what I told myself when I bought it. heh heh

We shall see....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

#147/365 Special Delivery

I recently received this text/photo from CollegeBoy. He attends college in the town we used to live in when he and his sister were small and must have been feeling nostalgic.


One of the funny family folklore stories recounts the time our college student/nanny locked herself and my two small children (approximately aged 3 and 5) out of the house. Before the days of cell phones, you were pretty much on your own if this sort of catastrophe occurred.

They had, apparently, locked the screen stormdoor, but left the interior house door unlocked (not unusual--nice way to stay safe, but let the breezes in) and then, had left the house through a different door (also locked).

So, what did Janelle do? She (gently) shoved 3 year old Alannah through the mail slot (right hand side of the photo; small square door, under the window--click to enlarge) and coached her to unlock the door. Brilliant!!

I still remember coming home from work and how the kids raced over one another's words, in their haste to tell me the story first.

And how embarrassed Janelle was. lol

And how I laughed and assured her, it could have happened to me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

#146/365 Happy Birthday, Rachel

She wanted her Dad to make her homemade apple crisp, with pecans and cranberries (topped with vanilla Breyer's ice cream, of course) and he was happy to bake it for her.

Caleb and Mama. He helped her open her presents. Why, yes that *is* Christmas paper. Thanks for noticing. lol

She asked for a Willow Tree figure of a little boy with a gold heart and a box fan and that is exactly what she received.

Dad also threw some cash in her card (Thanks, Dad). And prior to dessert, we all went out for Chinese. Yummmm....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

#145/365 Best in Show

Love that little dog. Best therapy ever.

Most expensive hobby, too, but somehow that doesn't matter.

Doesn't she look just a little like a baby harp seal? :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

#144/365 There Are No Words

I thought I'd post these photos as a part of "Wordless Wednesday". That seemed most appropriate.

See, I am a believer in the "Thumper Rule". And I don't have anything nice to say about what I am about to share.

Because it is weird.

And unlike anything I have ever seen in a cemetery before.

It is not comforting or sentimental or decorative or beautiful.

It is not typical, expected or easily comprehended.

Unless, I'm missing it BIG TIME.

Without further prefacing, here is a marker in the same cemetery as the Morris' family.



The threesome.

Angels? Aliens? Children? Women? Men? Who can know?

Look at the size of the hands in relation to the head. So WEIRD. Please know that for a LONG time, there *was* no head in the hood of this being. Promise. We used to call it the Grim Reaper or E.T. (depending on our mood--ha!) Now, this teeny head?


Creepiest cemetery thing. ever. ^^^^^ "We are here to stay"??? What the HEY?

::blink blink::

Sunday, May 23, 2010

#143/365 Memorial Day

We surely miss that man. All of us. Every day.

This is my mom-in-law's marker. Funny family story is that Virginia did not (and still does not) know who ordered the "Beloved Wife" inscription. Dick denied doing it, as did both of her sons. She was actually rather offended, at first. HAHA

This is Mark's Grandpa.

And Mark's Grandma. She was a wonderful woman. She disliked her middle name (Irene), lost her mother in childbirth, when her younger sister, Leona, was born; idolized her father, lost her best friend, her brother Freddie, at age 12; had a pretty rotten life, but laughed and loved until she died at age 99. I loved her.

This is Virginia's mom and dad. Kitty was her mom's real name; not a nickname for Katherine, as I first thought.

Howard delivered 3 of their 4 children (including Virginia) himself at home, because each time, the babies came before the dr. could arrive. Can you imagine??

I wish I could have known them.

Thankfully, I have eternity to look forward to....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

#142/365 The DeThroning

Brian and Amanda are inheriting the rocker than belonged to his great grandmother. So, the chair that will rock Ayla, rocked her gg-grandmother (as an adult, not as a baby--in case, you were confused).

And it looks a bit tired, really. But, I think a set of new cushions or re-upholstering these will make it all spiffy again.

Driving down the road with this thing in the van (taking the place of one of the captain's chairs), made me think thoughts of the famous Griswold's 'Vacation' movie and their grandma (or was it Aunt?). ha

Oh dear John! It was Aunt *Edna* and this chair belonged to ... our Grandma Edna. (pauses to decide whether to laugh or cry--opts for fond smile of remembrance, which is completely what our Edna would want).

For over 6 long years, Caleb has reigned supreme as the ONLY grandchild. So, it would be perfectly natural to expect the dethroning to be a bit traumatic and it was.

me: Caleb, honey, can you move your hand, so I can take a picture of Ayla and Grandpa?
(don't you love his Alfalfa sprout?)

me: Thanks for moving your hand (snicker).

C: I'm just touching her....

Isn't she lovely?

Perfection. Fresh from God.

Little Ayla Renae looks just like her Mama.

We pray a long lifetime of love would be yours.

#142/365 Welcome

Heretofore, no longer known as "Land of Lincoln", but "Land of Ayla".

Yesireee. It's grand-daughter sniffing..., er, I mean, 'meeting' day. :)

Bring. it. on.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

#141/365 Roadside Kitsch

This is a motel on an old highway in a small town in Iowa.
This establishment now also has a tatoo parlor for your inking pleasure.
Remember when 'phones', 'TV' and 'air conditioning' were BIG DEALS?

Oh, look! This old motel used to have a pool.
THAT was a big deal to my brother and I when we traveled, as kids.

Wait. What is THAT? ^^^^

Bwahahaha! How clever and funny.
The tilt of this dragon's head seriously cracks me up. LOL
You just never know, do ya? (chuckles)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

#140/365 Chrissie---UPDATED

You can read about Chrissie's homecoming on her Mama's blog.

Chrissie's heart has been healed. Please pray for her family's comfort and broken hearts.

I will trust the Maker.

And I pray I can learn to "Boss My Heart" as well as Chrissie.

Here is a necklace created in her honor. I think it is lovely.

You can purchase one here, with $30.00 of each sale going to help the Patterson family.

UPDATE: I purchased my "Boss Your Heart" necklace. I pray it will honor Chrissie and my Father.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#139/365 Boyfriend??

As we walked the aisles of S@m's Club the other day (what did we come here for again?), I remembered I had been wanting a nightgown. I saw these two-packs and caught up to the hubs and asked if I could toss it in the cart.

He said, "Sure" (of course, he did) and we continued to shop.

As we were leaving the store, he was looking over the receipt and he said, "I thought you said you were getting a nightgown?".

I laughed and pointed them out. He looked at me with a puzzled expression and said, "WHY does this say 'boyfriend' on it?". LOLOL

Monday, May 17, 2010

#138/365 No Problem

I will be trying to "No Flour, No Sugar" diet with the hopes that I will feel better and get better. I hope I can make this a rather permanent change, but am not at all feeling legalistic about it.

I needed to find 'replacement foods' for things I didn't think I could do without, like a morning granola bar, chips (occasional), crackers (occasional) and treats like cookies (not so occasional-ha!).

So here they are. ^^^

Today's new and improved granola bar from the health food section of the grocery store, was so-so in teaste, but certainly not a deal-breaker. It just tasted a LOT less like a candy bar than the FiberOne bars I had been eating. LOL

Overall, I am hoping to lose weight, increase energy, get better sleep, lower my cholesterol and blood pressure, get rid of acid reflux, and improve mood.

Tall order? Yeah. But, it's something I want to try.

Oh and if I can see results? I hope to reduce the ridiculous number of meds. I take daily.

And save the money toward another vacation. :D

Sunday, May 16, 2010

137/365 Something's Gotta Change

A second blood pressure medication was added to my first. I am making some progress, but my physician was still not pleased (enough). I will go back for another check up in a few weeks.

Oh, I may look swell on the outside (hahaha), but the number of meds. I take on a daily basis is ridiculous. 15 medications? Plus, a monthly injection and 2 inhalers and one allergy nasal spray? Are ya kidding me??

Tomorrow's photos will give some clues about what I might try next....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

#136/365 Lots of Love--UPDATED

Here is our picture of us with our little dance team friend, Amanda. It feels like we watched her grow up. She graduates this year and is off to the U of I this fall.

My mother-in-law, Virginia (center), her nephew, Jack and his wife, Doris. This photo was taken at Mark's third cousin's high school graduation open house. Got that? Pay attention! Might be a quiz. ha

Here is Mark pinning a corsage on his mom, as we head out to the Mother-Daughter banquet at her church.

And here we are, about to head out to the banquet. Being goofy. :)

And here I am, 10 hours later, about to get the hey outta them clothes, them pumps, them leggings, etc. and get into my jammies. That is one exhausted woman.

Long day.

Lotta love.

PS The very first event of the day was another graduation open house. I ::gasp:: forgot my camera, so I have no photos of us with the happy graduate. :( I hope to pirate some once they are posted on line. lol

Friday, May 14, 2010

#135/365 Exit Strategy

When I cannot stand what my job description has become for one more day, this ^^^ is my exit strategy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

#134/365 That's an Understatement

Ummm. Yeah. Not your Grandma's Phonebook is an understatement. Sheesh. I found this to be freakish.

There were multiple panels of information all about ME on this site. Some of it laughably wrong (I assure you, we do not live in a home worth over 1 million dollars--haha), but most of it was scaryclose to right.

So, go to the site called Spokeo, put your name into it and see what come up about YOU.

After you stop hyperventilating and swearing you'll become Amish, go to the bottom of the page and follow the directions to remove yourself from the directory, unless you really LIKE the masses to have access to all that information about you.

It will ask for your email (and I admit, it did seem icky to give these creepers any more info than they already have), but it is to send you a confirmation and a link to follow to (finally!) remove yourself from Spokeo. (shudders)

Who thinks of this stuff?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

#133/365 CollegeBoy Dreams


I am proud of and happy for CollegeBoy.

He only has one more year left and he will be a college graduate.

I look forward to watching him launch fully into adult-hood.

And so does my wallet. ha