6/30/2011

Secret

There's a secret in my pantry
That's only for me.
A little grocery bag
That's as quiet as can be.

It's tucked in a corner
Save from view.
Inside is a secret
Shall I give you a clue?

Some days I need
This secret in a sack.
Some days it helps
To get my sanity back.

It may be a leftover
From candy making days.
Buying too much
Sometimes really pays.

You may have figured out
Just what it could be.
Not just a one-piece band,
But a whole Symphony!
( Unfortunately, YS walked by as I was taking a picture of the bag in the pantry and figured out what was in there.  Guess I need to find a new hiding space!)

6/29/2011

Hodgepodge for the 4th


Once again, Joyce has graciously provided us with questions, this time with a patriotic theme.  Want to join in?  Click on the button above, copy & paste the questions in your post, answer, then don't forget to link up so others will know you've joined in!

1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?
A good football play, a soccer goal being made, a child who has been working on a certain sound finally getting it, someone who has struggled at something achieving what they've struggled.
 
2. What's your favorite patriotic song?
God Bless America and the National Anthem.  (Sorry, couldn't pick just one!)
 
3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?
I do think opposites attract.  In some ways CH & I are opposites, but in other ways we aren't.  We do balance each other out, for the most part.
 
4. You're going to get a behind the scenes look someplace...where would you like that someplace to be?
The Vatican.
 
5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)? 
Just up to Dollywood, which is about 30-45 minutes away.  
 

6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?
I have no idea.  I'm not real big on fireworks, after seeing them at the National Mall in DC.  Nothing else compares.  The Small Town used to have "Freedom Fest" with a pretty good display, but they didn't have it last year due to budget cuts.  I don't think they're going to have it this year, either.
 
7. Of all the 'beauty products' you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?
I keep my products pretty simple.  Right now, I don't have anything that I would consider to be overpriced.
 
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Last Saturday, CH & YS had the opportunity to see OS in his element...on the job at the river.  They said they had a great time, and were impressed by OS' guiding ability.  
 

6/28/2011

Debby Downer

Yesterday afternoon I finally got around to checking out Facebook.  A friend of mine posted a link to a newspaper article about the former priest at the parish we attended in SC.  He had passed away on Saturday.  He was such a sweet, dear man.  Our loss is certainly heaven's gain.
While I was looking for the funeral arrangements, I got a message from another friend in SC.  She let me know that the son of some friends had been in a wakeboarding accident.  It didn't look good.  By the time I had chatted with the first friend, found the arrangements, and checked out a few other things, I got a message from friend #2 that the boy had passed away.  He was 19; the same age as MS.  He had a brother who is the same age as OS.  In fact, the brothers made their 1st Communion and 1st Reconciliation with my oldest boys (with the priest who had just passed away officiating), as well as going to school with them and CCD (Catholic Sunday School).  We had been in Supper Club with their parents.  You wouldn't find a nicer family than this one.  They are well-known in the community, yet they aren't the kind of people who only act like they know you in certain situations.  Mom is prim & proper; the epitome of a southern belle, even though I think she's from the north.  Both of them would give the shirts off of their backs if they needed to.
To be perfectly honest, I was always a tad bit jealous.  They appeared to be the perfect family:  upper middle class, good kids, close family, nice house.   This absolutely breaks my heart for them.  I spent the whole hour of adoration in tears for them.  The thought that they'll have to walk into their house, see his things, and know that he's gone.  The thought that they'll have to make funeral arrangements for their little boy:  choose music, a suit for burial, and a casket.  The heartbreak they must be going through just rips my heart apart.  I know he's in a better place, but I grieve for the family.  They won't know the joy of seeing him graduate from college, get married, or have kids.  I just keep imagining that Sunday, they woke up and went to Mass, just like every Sunday.  They probably went out for brunch/lunch, and went about their normal Sunday routine...until they got "the" call.  I imagine that they made the 1 hour drive in about half of that time.  He was put on life-support, but there was no brain activity.   I'm assuming they had a decision to make.  A decision that no parent should have to make.  I would hope that the decision was made for them and they were spared that.
My heart goes out to whoever was driving the boat that he was wakeboarding behind.  It also goes out to whoever was with him on the lake.
When MS came into the house, I hugged him harder and a little longer than usual.  Please pray for the family, that they may find peace in God's mercy.

6/27/2011

Meet Me on Monday: 50th Edition



Blogging  is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read  and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is  this person!?"  I know them...but yet I don't know them!  I want  to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great  way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five get to know you  questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we  can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Java will add a linky so we can follow who participates and get to know them  better!!  Be sure to link the POST and not just your whole blog!!

Questions:

1.  What is your favorite food?
Wow.  Java is starting off with a hard one!  I don't know that I have a "favorite"; it depends on where we're eating!
 
2.  What color scheme is your bedroom?
Right now it's a sage green, but that may be changing once we finish remodeling our bathroom.
 
3.  Do you carry a donor card?
I don't have a donor card, per se.  I do have the donor box checked on the back of my license.
 
4.  In your opinion, is the glass half empty or half full?
I would say half full, but here what a few other people have to say (courtesy of Phil Deer (realist and cynic lines), Catherine Trafford (school teacher line), Jane Benad ('next round'):

The optimist says the glass is half full.
The pessimist says the glass is half empty.
The project manager says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
The realist says the glass contains half the required amount of liquid for it to overflow.
And the cynic... wonders who drank the other half.
The school teacher says it's not about whether the glass is half empty or half full, it's whether there is something in the glass at all.
Anyway... Attitude is not about whether the glass is half full or half empty, it's about who is paying for the next round.


5.  Vanilla or Chocolate?
Chocolate.  I don't even have to think about it!

6/25/2011

TSMSS: Strong Enough



Every Saturday, Amy gives us the chance to share some fellowship by way of songs that are on our hearts.  To participate, or to check out some songs, click here.

6/23/2011

Bear?

As I was walking this morning, it was still kind of dark since the sky is overcast.  The girls & I are walking along beside a wooded area, when I hear something.  It's a sound I can't place.  It could have been a branch falling, or.... It's not unheard of that a stray bear could have found it's way down to the small town.  I quickened my step, forcing the girls to stay on the walkway and to not stop and sniff anything, or else they may end up a bear's breakfast.  I made sure my cellphone pad was unlocked, so that if I needed to call 911 I could do so in a hurry.    I kept looking over my shoulder until I got to the lower side of the park (where the playgrounds and open spaces are). 
When OS & MS were in high school, I drove by the elementary school to find quite a few emergency vehicles and the wooded area next to the creek had been roped off.  The first thing that came to my mind was:  "Where were the boys last night?"  Luckily they were at home, so I was a bit relieved.  Then, I thought maybe they found a body down there.  Later, I found out that there had been a bear spotted.  This happens every now and then.  Just a month ago, one had been spotted in Knox County...far away from its usual home. 
Suffice it to say, I have a crazy imagination sometimes.  The sound I heard was probably just a branch falling.  We've had quite a bit of rain and high winds the past few days, so it would make sense that it was a branch.  Then again, it could've been some homeless person waking up!  (For the record...I've never seen a homeless person in the Small Town, much less in the park!)

6/22/2011

Summer Hodgepodge

Every Tuesday, Joyce comes up with 7 questions to answer, then link up and see how everyone else answered.  Here are this week's questions:

1. Summer's here-whoohoo! What's your favorite sight, sound, AND smell associated with summer?
Favorite sight:  lightening bugs.  Sound:  Cicadas.  (I know they can be annoying, but you've gotta admit, it does say "SUMMER"!)  Smell:  coppertone suntan lotion.

2. Fireflies or lightning bugs...what are they called in your neck of the woods?
Lightening bugs.  (See #1)
3. What is something from the past week that reminded you of your childhood?
Walking by the "King & Queen's chair" in the park.  There is a cluster of rocks tucked on a hill; there are a couple of rocks that appear to be a couple of chairs, plus a smaller chair.  We would pretend that the rocks were the castle and the chairs belonged to the king, queen, and princess.  The castle was complete with a dungeon, but I was never brave enough to go down there; the thought of snakes being in there was enough for me to stay away!
4. Define 'the good life'.
Being able to spend time with family and friends, not having to work, having someone to cook for me, sitting on the beach and having someone bring me drinks, etc...
5. Tell us what we'd see if you took a snapshot of your desk/work space?
I don't have a "work space" this summer.  I have my laptop while I'm sitting on the couch.  I have done some online Professional Development course...in the comfort of my couch!
6. Peaches or watermelon...yes, you have to choose.
That's soooo easy:  watermelon.  I don't like peaches.

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.
Uh.  No.  Never.  I have no desire to go, either.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I saw this clip on youtube, and it had me laughing so hard I was crying!

6/21/2011

Taking it Easy

"Summertime...and the living is easy"
I've been taking it easy from the blogging world for the past couple of weeks.  I honestly just needed a bit of a break.  Don't we all need that at one time or another?  Nothing much has been happening in the Small Town, so I haven't had a whole lot to talk about.  Weird...I know.  Even for me!
I have spent the past couple of weeks involved in Beverly Lewis' "Abram's Daughters" series.  I just needed a break from my usual mystery/whodunit books.  Plus, I've always been fascinated with the Amish way of life.  I'm too much of a modern convenience type girl to ever consider living in that world.  Plus, I'm almost legally blind, so I would have to wear glasses instead of contacts.  That one thing would keep me in the modern world!  Not to mention no internet/air conditioning.  Yep, God put me just where I need to be!
CH spent 1 1/2 weeks in DC for work.  YS & I talked about going up on the "Megabus" and staying a few days, but then decided to just be homebodies.  The Megabus is a bus that runs from Knoxville to DC.  It would've cost me $22 to ride up and taken a couple more hours than driving.   ( Sometimes you can get tickets for as little as $8.)   There is internet service available, too.   CH rode it up last time he had to go up and said it wasn't bad at all.
OS is busy working on the river as a raft guide.  He took a class last week to be certified as a white water rescuer.  (I think that's what it is, anyway!)  He is really enjoying living and working on the river.
MS is taking his Freshman English this summer at a community college.  He didn't take it last school year because he didn't want it to mess up his GPA.  He said that at his first class, the instructor told them that they were going to take an hour and get to know each other, because she thought it was important for them to get the college experience.  Then it hit me that he was probably in there with kids that just graduated from high school.  So, yeah, he's thinking he's the BMOC (Big Man on Campus).  He's also working as a sub at the swimming pool.
YS is just taking it easy, practicing on his bass guitar.  He has band camp starting on 5 July.  They do a week at the school, then go away to a college for the 2nd week.  Then, he'll have a week off before school starts.  I know it's early, but the school system is on a "modified year-round" schedule.  They rotate going to school for 9 weeks, then 2 weeks off.  It made total sense until this past year when they went to trimesters instead of semesters.  Now the breaks come at a weird time of the trimester instead midway in the semester.
Hope everybody is doing well!  I'm off to visit and see what everybody has been up to!

6/19/2011

Meet Me on Monday




Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five get to know you  questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we  can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Java will add a linky so we can follow who participates and get to know them  better!!  Be sure to link the POST and not just your whole blog!!

Questions:

1.  What feature of the opposite sex do you notice first?
Eyes.

2.  Do you talk to yourself?
All the time!

3.  What is your current relationship status?
Happily married for 27 years.

4.  Do you have a garden?
We've thought about a garden, but then decided we didn't need one since my dad and a sister have one!  Why do all that work when we can sponge off of them?  :) 

5.  What is your favorite licorice flavor?
Just give me good ol' licorice and I'm a happy girl!

6/16/2011

The Titanic

The following is only my opinion.  I did not receive reimbursement of any kind for my review.

Yesterday, YS & I played tourist in a nearby tourist town.  This museum opened up a year ago, and we hadn't visited it yet.  When you get in line, a "crewmember" gives you a boarding pass:
On the back of the Boarding Pass is a name of a passenger or crew member.  (This reminded me of The Holocaust Museum in DC.)  Throughout the museum, you looked for your name in the displays.  YS had a young man who was a first-class passenger and was a bit of a playboy; he did not survive the accident.  I, on the other hand, was a 19 year old with a 10-month old baby; we were 3rd Class Passengers:
In case you can't read it (you can try clicking on it to enlarge), Leah Aks was headed to Norfolk, Va. to meet her husband.  While in her cabin, she heard a strange sound, wrapped the baby in a blanket and made it to the top deck.  John Astor's wife grabbed the baby and put it in a lifeboat.  I went through the whole museum and saw several things on Madeleine Astor, but nothing on Leah.  At the end of the museum, there is a wall that lists all of the passengers.  They are divided by which class they were, then if they survived or perished.  Leah and her baby were both on the survivor list, but I didn't know how they were reunited.  On my way out, I asked one of the workers, and found out that they were reunited on the Carpathia, the ship who rescued the survivors.
I googled Mrs. Aks, and found out that her great-granddaughter lived in Knoxville at one time.  Mrs. Aks gave her daughter the middle name of "Carpathia".  I also found out that, while on the Carpathia, Mrs. Aks walked by a woman with a baby, and she immediately recognized it as hers.  She went to the captain, who required proof.  The baby had a birthmark on his chest which was confirmed, so the baby was returned to her. 
I expected the Grand Staircase to be scaled to the real thing, for some reason.  It was beautiful, but small.  I think I expected the museum to be set up as the ship was, so that was a tad bit disappointing, too.  The artifacts from the Titanic were interesting to see, but they seemed to have the same things in every room.  They have one room set up so you can feel how the air felt that night, and how the water felt.  There is no way that I could've survived even for 5 minutes in that water.
The Titanic Experience had interesting points to it.  Would I go again?  Probably not, but I am glad I went once.

6/13/2011

Meet Me on Monday



Blogging  is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read  and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is  this person!?"  I know them...but yet I don't know them!  I want  to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great  way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five get to know you  questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we  can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Java will add a linky so we can follow who participates and get to know them  better!!  Be sure to link the POST and not just your whole blog!!

Questions:

1.  What is your favorite yogurt flavor?
Vanilla. Yeah, I like to live on the wild side!

2.  Ankle or knee socks? and on the same theme, white socks or coloured??
With my tennis shoes:  white ankle.

3.  How is the weather right now?
Hot, hot, hot.  It feels like it's already August.

4.  Are you a fast typer?
Yes.

5.  Red or White Wine?
Red, as long as it's sweet.  Lambrusco is cheap, but it's red and sweet!

6/11/2011

TSMSS: Believe




Here's a song that I just heard.  No matter what's going on or how low I feel, I will believe.


Visit Amy to share what's in your heart this morning.

6/10/2011

Friday's Favorite Fave

Time for another Friday's Fave 5.  Already.  Where did the week go?  Before you know it, it will be time for me to go back to work.  :(
Link up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story to share your fave 5 for the week!

1.  Angry Birds.  Okay, maybe this shouldn't be one of my faves for the week, because I'm about ready to kill those little pigs (or whatever they are) who mock me when I don't get all of them.

2.  Spur of the moment movie with 2 of the boys. 
I should've re-watched the other X-Men movies first. 

3.  6 a.m. walks with the girls.  It's a perfect time...except when Ally doesn't wake me up until 6:30 and we end up meeting a couple of other people in the park.   I guess I'm going to have to start setting my alarm.

4.  Getting the air conditioner fixed.  For the 2nd time in 6 weeks.  Apparently they missed a leak the first time. 

5.  Finding a cd with some pictures I had forgotten about. 
There's the one with MS when he was in 5th Grade playing Robert Kennedy in a play:

A picture of the girls looking out of the dining room window when we lived in SC:
OS jumping on his bike:
YS taking the host up to the altar during his First Communion:
(Check out the intense face...he was so scared that he was going to drop it!)
YS' first run of the season in baseball:  (Don't miss his right fingers crossed!)
I had completely forgotten about the cd that had pictures from my parents' 50th Anniversary!  Here is a picture of them with their kids:
(That's me on the right in the blue dress...30 pounds lighter than I am now!)

6/09/2011

Signs

As I was walking the past few mornings, I realized that there are signs all around us.

 Signs of past races:
Signs of past storms:
Signs that there may be wildlife where we least expect it:
(And, no, I didn't stick my head in there to check...especially after reading this post from Southlakes Mom!)
Signs of  remembrance:
 (This plaque is in memory of the high school art teacher)
 Signs that although there are some people who don't care:
There are still some that do:

Signs that it's too hot for picnics:
 Signs that we need rain:
Signs that we still need prayer:
(This is a prayer request box that is in the park.  It is located across the street from the Methodist Church.  Surprisingly, there are pieces of paper and pencils that appear to be undisturbed.)
 
 And, once I got back in my yard, signs that I still can't keep things alive:
But, there may be a tad bit of hope for me yet:
(These are 2 plants that I bought last summer...they're barely hanging on!)


What kind of signs do you see as you're going on your daily walk, or going through your daily activities?
Here's a sign that I saw in Moes' bathroom the other day.  What a great reminder!

6/08/2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Time again for the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Joyce has come up with 7 hodgepodgy questions to keep our brains thinking during these hot days!  Want to join in?  Click here, cut & paste the questions in a post, and don't forget to link up!


1. Do you and your family enjoy camping? What do you enjoy most/like the least when it comes to family camping? When was the last time you camped?
Let me put it to you this way:  My idea of roughing it  is no continental breakfast.  CH & the boys like to camp, and I can tolerate it...as long as it's in a campground.  No squatting and using leaves for me!  I love sleeping in a tent, especially in the rain (as long as there are no leaks).  I don't enjoy having to actually get dressed to go pee, but I love having a campfire.
 


2. Did you attend a summer camp when you were a kid? Is that a happy or not so happy memory?

Let's see...I lived in a house with 9 other kids.  Every day was camp.
3. Over the course of your life, what have you probably spent more time pondering than anything else? 
The true meaning of life.  (Just kidding.)  I'm not much of a "ponderer".

4. Which of the seven natural wonders of the world would you most like to see? There are many lists of 'wonders' but this is the standard natural wonder list-Mount Everest, The Great Barrier Reef, The Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, The Harbor of Rio de Janerio, Paricutan Volcano and The Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights or the Grand Canyon.  There are so many cool things in our country!

5. What was your first real job? 
If by real job you mean professionally, than it would be as a speech pathologist in a school in NW Ga.  I was hired before I graduated from undergrad school.    If by real job you mean where you had to be responsible and be on a schedule, then it would be the basketroom at the pool during the summer.

6. Lemonade or Sweet tea...which do you prefer on a hot summer day? 
I really like sweet tea, but everytime I drink it I end up in the bathroom with stomach cramps.  Okay, I know that was definitely TMI!  Lemonade is okay, but I'm not much of a lemonade drinker.  Just give me a glass of water and I'm good to go.

7. What is something that always brings a smile to your face? 
A baby laughing or cooing.  There is the cutest baby in Mass every Sunday.  This past Sunday her big brother was playing with her, and she's just at that stage where she will kind of squeal instead of laugh.  It was just adorable.  

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Some days we all need to hear words of encouragement:


And, for more inspiration, here's a webcam for the baby eagles that aren't too far from the small town:

Webcam chat at Ustream

6/07/2011

Summertime

Who loves summer...raise your hand!  It's just a different, slower pace.  I've had summers when I've slept late and didn't accomplish much.  I've had summers when I needed a summer vacation to get over my summer vacation.  I seem to do better when I have a schedule.

There are some definite advantages to walking in the park at 6:00 a.m.:
~ It's cool.
~ I have the whole park to myself.  This also helps with the girls, because they don't know how to behave when they see another dog in the park. They see that as an opportunity to whine and make all kinds of weird noises to get noticed.
~ Since no one is out that early, it doesn't matter what I look like.  Throw on shorts/sleeveless shirt (my old tennis shirts are great for this) and a hat, and I'm good to go.
~ The birds are singing, and are waking up to start their day.
~ I'm able to take some time and think about what I want to accomplish that day.

 I come home, take some time to cool off and say some morning prayers, take a shower and get ready for Daily Mass.  Then, it's off to Mass, followed by coffee & a bagel at Panera with "the old folks" every morning except Thursday.  I really enjoy sitting around with this group.  They're all a lot of fun and are still very active in their lives.

So, now do you see why I listed "afternoon naps" as part of my Friday's Fave Five last week?
Here's a song that means "summer" to me.  This song came out when I was 10 years old. Everytime I hear it, I think about summers at the local pool (which was THE place to be), laying out on a towel in the grass, and hearing radios blaring in the hot summer sun.



What reminds you of the summers of your youth?

6/05/2011

Meet Me on Monday








Blogging  is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read  and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is  this person!?"  I know them...but yet I don't know them!  I want  to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great  way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post four get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we  can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Java will add a linky so we can follow who participates and get to know them  better!!  Be sure to link the POST and not just your whole blog!!

Questions:

1.  What is was the last piece of candy that you ate?
Dove Milk Chocolate.  Only 1 piece (I'm on the weight loss train, remember?  Choo-choo!). 

 2.  Do you "read" in the bathroom?
Sometimes.  If I'm in the middle of a book, I'll take it in with me.  (TMI?  Probably!)
 
3.  I can't stand when someone _________?
Doesn't say "excuse me".  Manners, people.  Manners.

4.  Do you do daily, weekly or monthly grocery shopping?
Bi-weekly.  I get paid every 2 weeks, so that's when I get groceries.
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