Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thankful Thursday!!

~~What are YOU thankful for
on this beautiful Thursday morning?~~

I need a bit of help today. I've got an elections class this morning, so I don't have time to write a compelling, excitingly funny post for my blog...

Could you do it for me?

Of course, you can!

All you need to do is post a comment telling me at least one thing you're thankful for today. It doesn't have to be long and wordy (like ME). This is a simple exercise -- you don't even have to sweat! Even you lurkers can come up with an easy comment here.

It's really easy! Just click on where it says "Sweet Comments" just under my signature at the end of this post. When you click that, another smaller window will open. Just type a little sentence sharing what you are thankful for today. Then click either Name/URL (Where you can put in whatever name you want to) or Anonymous (if you click 'anonymous' let me know who you are in the body of the comment). Then click Publish Your Comment.

There! You're all done! Wasn't that easy? Participation always feels good! Don't you feel better about life in general now?

I'll start us off...

I'm thankful for my gas guzzling van. Not really the gas guzzling part...but the part that is paid for and it gets me where I need to go...most of the time!

Now, it's your turn... Can you help me out here?

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

But, Seriously...

Being serious is not exactly my forte'. But my spirit is crying out for me to be serious today.

If my topic today causes you not to ever want to read my blog again, then so be it. Sorry, I'll miss you...but I have to say what I need to say today. If not, I think I'll bust! So here goes...

I've been listening to newscasts since last Friday reporting the death of a beloved Carnegie-Mellon professor, Randy Pausch. If you've never heard of this guy, you must live under a rock! Anyway, Mr. Pausch is famous for the last lecture he delivered at the University. He had been diagnosed with Cancer and his prognosis was that he had less than a year to live. His lecture was entitled: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. This excellent lecture was videotaped and uploaded to You-Tube and became a favorite very quickly. If you're interested, you can watch it here. I really enjoyed the lecture; it was entertaining and inspiring.

The video was passed along on e-mails and blogs. Soon, Mr. Pausch wrote a book: The Last Lecture. This book quickly became a huge best-seller. Mr. Pausch was invited to appear on news shows and talk shows across the country--even Oprah! I watched several of these shows and Mr. Pausch's zest for life was contagious. Last night on ABC, an entire show was dedicated to him with excerpts from Diane Sawyer interviewing him over his last months of life.

Yet, even as I watched many of these shows, I became more and more sad for this man. Why? Probably not for the reasons you are thinking. Yes, this man was facing a serious illness and death in a very short period of time. Yes, this man would leave a loving wife and three small children. Yes, he was such a young man (my exact YOUNG age!). But the saddest part of all --to me--was that although this man seemed to have it all together; seemed to live his life in a strong, moral manner; it appeared to me that he missed the real point of life.

What made me sad? Let me preface this by saying I'm not here to judge him in any way...but never--not even ONCE--did this man allude to the fact that he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When asked about 'religion' his answer was that [my paraphrase here] "that is a private thing, but my father who was a Presbyterian was the finest Christian man I ever knew."

In his lecture, he joked and said, "I have experienced a deathbed conversion; I just bought a Mac." Whether he did know Jesus -- or not--I don't know, and probably will never know until I enter Heaven myself. I'm not here to stand in judgment of this man...I can only judge MY heart. But I'm so very sad to think that such a wonderful man MIGHT have just missed out on the most important thing in this life--I truly hope not.

So, I'm going to tell you a few points in MY personal belief system right here. If this offends you, I'm sorry...just ditch me from your list...AFTER you read this first!

--First and foremost, let me say that I believe the Bible is God's Holy Word. I believe EVERY word was inspired and breathed by God. I believe EVERY word ...every jot and tittle is true. That is my definitive resource for the way I believe and live my life.

--I believe we're ALLLLLLL sinners. Each and every one of us. Being sinners, we deserve death -- not everlasting life in Heaven with God.

--But, God, who created us, LOVES ALLLLLLLLL of us and doesn't want us to live apart from Him. He loved the world so much, He gave His ONLY son [Jesus] to die on the cross so that we could live eternally WITH HIM!!! It took Jesus, who lived a perfect life, to bridge that gap FOR us.

-- No matter how 'good' a person you are; if you don't KNOW Jesus, you will NOT be living eternally in Heaven. You can live your life by the most morally upright standards possible; tell the truth, love people, do good works, etc.; yet STILL not qualify for Heaven. Nobody can be 'good' enough to qualify for Heaven. Jesus is our qualifier. He is the One who gave His life to wash our sins away.

--Today, toleration is a huge buzz word and we hear it often. Folks get upset if you say Jesus is the only way. But think about this. If Jesus is the only way, then everyone needs to know it, right? Not liking the information doesn't nullify the information. Oprah says there are many paths to God. Jesus cannot be "the only way" and "not be the only way" at the same time. There can't "be a God" and "not be a God" at the same time. What we like or what feels good to us doesn't matter if it's not true.

-- No matter what Oprah or anybody else tells you...JESUS is the one and only way to Heaven. He said, "No one comes to the Father, except by Me." He didn't say you could pick and choose the way that was right for you...he said that He was IT!

I came to personally know Jesus when I was in 3rd Grade. My daddy had just become a Christian and he shared a little book called "The Four Spiritual Laws" with all of us kids. Through this little book I realized my need for a savior and I asked Christ to be my Savior. We had gone to church for as long as I could remember and I can't say things took on a new meaning for me right away. What makes this so cool is that God is so willing to take you from wherever you are! Whether you're 9 years old or 39 years old or 99 years old....He loves us and wants to be our savior! You don't have to wait until you're '''good''' enough! (You never are!)

But in 1973, I attended an evangelistic meeting in Chiefland, FL at the football field. That night I realized that I needed to re-visit the decision I had made at 9. I had to decide if I meant it --or not. I decided that not only did I mean it, I was ready to live like I meant it.

Since that night, the Holy Spirit has worked in my life -- teaching me the way God wants me to live. Gradually, my whole life started changing...sometimes in small ways; sometimes in BIG ways. Sometimes I was obedient to the voice inside me -- other times NOT. Sometimes REALLY NOT!!!! There are times I still cringe when I think of some of the really not's! But since God loves us unconditionally, He has this great way of never giving up on us. He is always there with His arms open, welcoming me to His embrace.

The BEST thing? He's not done with me yet! I love the children's song "He's Still Working On Me" because it never stops this side of Heaven. I've been blessed to have wonderful mentors throughout my teen and adult life...some that will never know how much they blessed my life. So, in return, I strive every day to honor God so that I can be the witness to others just as these godly folks have been there for me!

So, that's what is on my heart tonight. If you remember that I'm writing this for my future will know why I wanted to be VERY clear as to where I stand on how important it is to know JESUS. It was the most important decision I ever made.

Sorry if you were looking for light banter...she'll probably be back tomorrow or the next day.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Accomplishing Something 101

Major confession day, folks. Can you handle it?

I'm NOT a neat-freak. I do like eating off of clean surfaces, but dishes left in the sink have never been a particular problem for me. I'm also a clutter-aholic. My whole family has a clutter problem. Oh, an empty chair? Just stack that stuff right there! So there, I've said it. I live in what FlyLady calls CHAOS = Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.

But today? Well today is special...this date now includes a beautiful star on my calendar. Why you ask? To be perfectly candid and honest...I accomplished something today. Now, to all you worker-bee women, my accomplishments would probably seem minutely small. In comparison to MamaWeso, it would probably look like I just stayed in bed this morning. Well, actually, I did stay in bed a lot later than usual--simply because I could. But when I got up, God gave me an idea!

This wasn't by any stretch of the imagination a UNIQUE idea. But the fact that I actually had an idea at all on a Monday morning was something of a miracle in itself!

Having visited in a number of different homes over the last few weeks, coming home to mine was pretty crummy. Not that I wasn't happy being AT home with my sweet family -- it was just rather disgusting and depressing LOOKING at my own home. It's a mess! Has been a mess for quite some time! But I'm absolutely SICK of the mess!

Mr. Fix-It never complains about the mess, because he likes doing what he calls "LIVING in HIS house!" He is convinced this means he should leave his shoes everywhere, bring as much 'stuff' as he possibly can into the house--stack it wherever he can find a spot, throw away as little 'stuff' as possible -- and the ensuing clutter makes it nicer LIVING in said house--apparently. We won't even talk about what that means for the outside of the house.

But I digress--as usual. So, here's the deal. I'm tired of reading how Princess Deb's been working to clean her castle without her kids home and getting so much done. I'm tired of going to my friend's home and hearing her say how much of a mess everything is (when it is spotlessly clean without clutter!). I'm tired of staying in my SIL's beautiful (without clutter) home (which is spotless --YET she works with her builder hubby all day long!) I'm also tired of nagging Bex about getting HER part of the chores done. I'm tired of looking at all this mess and being absolutely too lazy to do anything but get the dishes and laundry done because I don't know where to start and it just makes me more depressed. Remember me confessing before that I'm a lazy bum? Believe it!

So this morning, I had an idea. TODAY will be different! It's such a rare thing these days that I have a day I can actually STAY at the messy house --why not do something about it? So here's my idea (remember, it's not really new...just haven't thought of it in awhile!) order to encourage myself to ACCOMPLISH something...I'll set the timer on the microwave for work AND play.

Please take into consideration, that my sweet Bex, is a champion piddler (like her Dad!). She could easily spend 20 minutes putting on one shoe. This has been going on a lllloooonnnnggg time. When Bex was younger --not the mature 16 yo she is now -- I would 'race' her to see who could get dressed first. This ALWAYS worked for my dear, sweet, competitive Bex! I didn't even care if she won, I was just happy she was finally ready to go!

So today, I had a plan. I set the timer on the microwave for 20 minutes...we raced to see who could get the most done in that time. Wow! I was amazed what vast amount could be accomplished in a mere 20 minutes! Since this was so successful, I set the timer again for 15 minutes. This was our play time. We could either spend time on the computer, read a book, talk on the phone or whatever. But after the 15 minutes--it was back to work for another 20. We did this over and over and over until Mr. Fix-It came home. (Now, you allllll know you can't do anything after your husband gets home!...Isn't there a law?)

Oh, yeah. It really sounds silly when it's written out like this -- BUT IT WORKED!!!! No complaining from said 16 yo, no complaining (or nagging) from Mom, and we made a lot of progress.

My kitchen is now spotless. Rarely used appliances stored away in the cabinet; dust no longer changes the color of the counter-top; the counters have been sanitized to within an inch of their life; the soot-blackened pan from this day and sink has now been shined by Soft-Scrub (didn't know that would do it, tried everything else first, but it worked beautifully!); dish drainer has been emptied AND Cloroxed; floor has been swept, vacuumed, and mopped; 1,000 gallon trash can emptied (okay, it's not really THAT big!); rugs cleaned and shook; and only 3-pairs of shoes are lined up at the door. I even managed to put barbecued chicken in the crock-pot and a recipe of Egg bread in the bread machine. Oh, it smells nice right now!

All the clothes have been washed, folded and put away. (Except for that pesky overnight bag that I PROMISE to empty tonight!--but they're clean clothes!) The tops of the washer and dryer have been cleared of unnecessary items that just seem to accumulate there (Must be those lone socks that put things there...when they aren't mating with hangers!); the new Bounce box has actually been put in the proper container; and the tops wiped clean of that dirt and dust that seems to always live there.

The living room has been de-cluttered, blankets folded, and vacuumed. Bex also used one of her 20 minutes to get her piano lesson done. I loved working to that sweet music! (No banging, no tears...long story)

===>Rabbit trail coming: For piano, Bex is working on the song, "He's Been Faithful" by Carol Cymbala. Ahhh...makes me cry nearly every time...I love it for several reasons I'll talk about another time. You can listen to a piece of it here. Here are some of the words...

In my moments of fear, through every pain, every tear,
There's a God who's been faithful to me.

When my strength was all gone, when my heart had no song,
Still in love, He's proved faithful to me.

Every word He's promised is true;
What I thought was impossible I see my God do.

When my heart looked away, the many times I could not pray,
Still my God was faithful to me.

When days are spent so selfishly, reaching out for what pleased me
Even then God was faithful to me

He's been faithful, faithful to me.
Looking back, His love and mercy I see
Though in my heart, I have questioned
Even failed to believe
Yet He's been faithful, faithful to me.

I just LOVE that song. ===>Rabbit trail ends here.<=== Now, here's the really best part. Lots of elbow-grease bathroom is spotless! Where in the world does all that hair come from? Surely, not off my head!!! Though, considering Mr. Fix-It has a flat-top haircut, I guess I can't blame it on him! How do I have any left on my head? I want a pretty counter like the Princess... but I'll just settle for a clean one without all the clutter that seems to accumulate here, too...must be those pesky socks again. Honestly, most of the grime does come from Mr. Fix-It -- he's such a MAN; he works hard and doesn't mind getting dirty. But he does try not to make too big of a mess. (He's even been known to sweep the floor when he realizes it was HIM who tracked in all that dirt; but he'll never admit it!)

So this probably doesn't sound like a whole lot to you neat-nik cleanaholics. We did do a few other deep-cleaning things...but it would make FlyLady very proud to see the 'zones' that got the full treatment today. Mr. Fix-It came in and was so impressed (he loves the smell of Clorox! LOL!) he actually went back outside and started mowing the yard! What would he do if we cleaned all the clutter out of the dining room where we could put our table back in there? I shudder to think! (Yes, the dining room is a whole 'nother story for another day.)

Bex and I will be in town for the next few days, so we'll have to just hit the high spots for the next few days....Oh....but wait till THURSDAY!!!

Stay tuned.

(If you're looking for some great ideas for getting your kids to work -- Check out Talk About it Tuesday at the Lazy Organizer!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dragging, Nagging and Possum

Wow! Today is already Saturday. The whole week flew by so quickly, I'm still trying to catch my breath. It's funny...I unpacked my suitcase from a week at camp on the first day home...but my 'overnight' bag from this week is still sitting on my bedroom floor with clothes in it. What's up with that? In my defense, today is the FIRST day that I'm able to stay home all day --no trips to town! Wahoo!

Another weird thing. After two weeks of camp where Bex (formerly dd...hey, that's what she wants to be called here...) worked really hard and had to get up early each day, I've had to nearly DRAG her from bed this week and NAG her to get her chores done. That's Me, Miss Drag and Nag! Yet today--a Saturday--when we could both sleep in...she WAKES ME UP! at 8:30 to say "Mom, I'm going down to ride the horses." WHAT??? Could you just leave me a note?

Isn't it amazing how teens can wake themselves, eat breakfast, dress themselves and be ready to leave the house before 9am--without any nagging -- when it's something THEY want to do? Yet, during the week it takes an Act of Congress to get them going. Since we're homeschoolers and we have the entire week to work, weekends have traditionally been fun and play days. I think I'm going to have to take lessons from the Princess Deb on how to get productivity out of my teen on the weekend!

My dilemma today is what to cook for supper tonight and for my Sunday School party tomorrow afternoon. Why such a dilemma? If you remember from my busy Saturday a few weeks ago, my propane stove was on the blink. Well, that was the 12th of July. Today is the 26th. My stove has still not been repaired. Actually, nothing is wrong with the stove/oven. The problem apparently lies with the piece that attaches to the tank--the regulator.

Not really a big deal, but Mr. Fix-It has been...ummm...fixing other people's things...but not ours. (Classic?) His girls were gone the first week (it was out of sight and out of mind); his wife missed a few days of the next week; and he's been...ummm...busy for the past two weeks.

Since I've been home, I've been having to be creative providing supper for my family. Mr. Fix-It is very patient and understanding...especially considering HE is the only one who can fix the problem! (Oops! I'm falling into NAG mode...must stop that!) Breakfast and lunch are generally cold or microwaved (i.e., sandwiches, cereal, leftovers, etc.) -- but we're even realizing that we do miss the occasional cooked egg, boiled egg for tuna, pancake or other such meal which requires the stove or oven for breakfast or lunch.

At this moment, I'm enjoying the aroma of raisin bread in the bread machine. I'm trying a new recipe and really hope it turns out well. If it does, maybe I'll take some to the party. I've used the bread machine over the past few weeks to keep Mr. Fix-It in Egg Bread. This simple recipe makes it easy to keep him happy. He LOVES Egg Bread. Give him a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter and he's got lunch for several days. He's really not hard to please. (Especially when he knows HE is the one who should be fixing the nagging, just facts...)

Since eating out isn't an option these days, we've used the grill enough to be tired of hamburgers and a steak or two. If we cook another grilled cheese sandwich on the George Foreman I think I'll scream! The other night, I cooked my friend Jessica's recipe for 'Creamy Italian Possum' in the crockpot. It was good and had enough for a few leftovers. Yesterday at WallyWorld, I bought a container of Lloyd's Barbecue and a bag of buns. So I fed my family (and had leftovers) for $5.38! Come to think of it, maybe I'll make barbecued chicken in the crockpot tonight. But I still don't know WHAT to cook for my Sunday School class party tomorrow?

So what do you think? Any ideas? It would be very embarrassing having to stop at Publix for something to take to a party with other women who are fabulous cooks! What can I make that is either savory or sweet for tomorrow--without a stove or oven? Help me out!

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

**Thankful Thursday**

Hi, All! I'm back from my quick trip to Gainesville...which leads me to what I'm thankful for on this Thursday.

I'm thankful to be home SAFE
and in one piece!

As I returned home after midnight (this morning) I don't think I've ever been so thankful to be riding with my sweet DD at the wheel. still don't understand...but I'll fill you in!

Sunday morning, my friend, who sometimes calls herself Dixie, asked if I would be interested in riding with her to Gainesville, FL for a couple of days. (I seem to be particularly attractive to folks heading that way because I have a wonderful dear brother (DB) and SIL who live there and LOVE having company, thus eliminating any hotel expenses. [I'm kidding...not really...] Also, knowing how to get around town is a big plus!) Dixie's daughters were participating in the 4-H State Congress at the Univ. of Florida and she wanted to see them perform on Tuesday night and Wednesday night. Since I haven't had a chance to visit my DB since Christmas, I agreed to keep her company --and of course, made reservations at DB's hacienda.

We headed out Tuesday morning (with Dixie driving). Saying that "Dixie is directionally challenged" is like saying "a few folks live in China!" This woman --whom I dearly love!!!--could get lost changing lanes on the Interstate! So, with me as her GPS, we were on our way.

Along the way, we stopped at a nice seafood restaurant in Lake City called Cedar River. Lots and lots of fried food later, we made it to Gainesville.

Since our stay was so short, I really wanted to spend the evening with my family. That meant somehow getting Dixie to the right place, at the right time --without me. After arriving at my DB's, I started working on HOW to get her to the correct place at the University to watch her daughters perform. We got out the telephone book to find a local map. I showed her the easy route, gave her specific directions --complete with girl directions (AND man directions). Surely, she couldn't miss it; the directions were very easy. After going over the directions again and again; we both still had our doubts as to whether she could successfully navigate herself to the correct address.

Thankfully, (remember, it's Thursday!) my DB came home before she had to leave. Being the wonderful DB that he is, he programmed in the route in his own GPS. Apparently, this did the trick. She was even able to follow the directions to get home!!! If you don't know Dixie, you really don't understand how amazing this was. For those of you who KNOW Dixie, you do!

Tuesday night, I enjoyed spending the evening with my DB and his sweet wife. Guess what? They took me to a new seafood restaurant down the street called...Cedar River. Great fried shrimp! I ate it. It was delicious. I was thankful not to have to cook dinner at home.

Wednesday, my dear Daddy took me to Sonny's for lunch. He had wanted to take me to Cedar River (obviously, the IN place)...but I begged him to take me elsewhere --since I had eaten at Cedar River TWICE the day before! After a relaxed lunch, we spent some time at the mall (eating ice cream) where I would be meeting up with Dixie later in the afternoon. What a treat for me! We had a wonderful visit. I'm so thankful I had his undivided attention for several hours! At 71, he is extremely active and it's rare to get him off when he can relax and not have to rush off to another appointment.

Yes, I'm finally getting to the reason I was thankful to have a 16 yo driver.

The Wednesday evening program we attended to watch Dixie's daughter perform...FINALLY ended a bit after 10pm. (I was thankful it was only 10pm--after watching the entire show, before they would announce the winners, we had to endure an interminable amount of time watching 13 "Air" bands perform to mind-numbing, teeth jarring, LOUD banging and framming music.) After getting the girls back to their dorm, we still had a 2-hour drive ahead of us.

Dixie had not slept nearly as late as I did that morning, she was much more fatigued than I. I offered to drive, but since she works at an Insurance Company, she wanted to drive since it was HER car. (No, I don't really understand that...but whatever.) I was thankful that I-75 was not overly crowded that late at night...but the semi-trucks were plentiful.

Things went fairly well until we transferred onto I-10, just north of Lake City. By this point, Dixie was really tired. Many times, I reminded her to 'go the speed-limit' because she would start slowing down real slow when she would pass a vehicle, or get to talking. By the time we got about 40 miles away from our exit, she started getting really, REALLY tired. I won't go into the details of how she terrified me many times. I did tell her! At one point, I was almost ready to ask her to stop and let me out. Mr. Fix-It was going to pick me up at our local truck stop anyway...he would surely come a few exits more to pick me up on the side of the road?? I was ready to be at Lonesome Pine (not Heaven!), but I stuck it out.

We finally made it to the truck stop, if it hadn't been so nasty...I would have kissed the ground. A few minutes later, my van pulls up with DD driving. After spending the previous 3/4 of an hour fearing for my life, I was NEVER so thankful to climb in with that 16 yo driver!!!!!

Me and Dixie are still friends...I'll drive next time.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

*Top 10 Tuesday* ...Why Leave Comments?

Receiving comments is encouraging and I appreciate ALL of them! So, for all you LURKERS out there --YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE -- here are my...

Top 10 Reasons for Leaving a Comment
at Lonesome Pine

10. Leave a comment...because you like what you read -- or DON'T! Maybe it would help me come up with less boring blog-fodder--or NOT! Hmmm...maybe I could make up some exciting stuff!

9. Leave a I can visit YOUR blog and leave a sweet comment for YOU! I do this regularly and have met some really cool folks along the way. Are you cool enough?

8. Leave a comment...because you don't go to someone's house and not let them know you stopped by. Yeah, I know it's not the same thing...but it IS sorta.

7. Leave a comment...because those same 4-5 folks shouldn't have to carry the whole load of my self-esteem!

6. Leave a comment...because it makes other folks 'think' people actually like me, thus helping my self-esteem.

5. Leave a comment...especially if you're from outside Tallytown so that folks will be impressed that I have a wide audience--they don't know you're probably from my family!

4. Leave a that I can have double-digits like the Princess--thus boosting my self-esteem.

3. Leave a that I can have a little excitement in my life. It keeps me from having to make up fake names to post fabulous comments that make me sound wonderful!

2. Leave a I can sleep at night; not having to wonder why there were 65 pageloads and only 3 comments...was it that bad?

1. Leave a comment...It's the RIGHT thing to do--because we all need encouragement these days!

There you have it! Yes, it's all about ME! (Of course, if you know me...I hope you don't really believe that!!!! If you do, leave me a comment! LOL!!) Surely you can find a reason to comment on this post, at least?

I'm off to Gainesville with a friend for two days. I just love to travel! Mr. Fix-It and dd will hold down the fort here at Lonesome Pine--pray for us all!

Stay tuned.

Added on Friday: Only 9 comments? Won't SOMEBODY have mercy on me and put me over into double digits???? PLEASE!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Blog Stats and Singing to Snakes

As I prepare to leave town (AGAIN!), I was glancing at my Blog Stats. This exercise is both exciting and depressing. I'm amazed there are actually more who stop by Lonesome Pine than the 4-5 folks who regularly leave comments. With 65 pageloads, there ought to be more than 4 comments! Work with me here, people!!! (Just kidding...sorta)

I know some just happen by and hit 'Next Blog' really quick when they see how boring it is...but there are maybe a few others who stay awhile and browse. Why should this excite me? IDK.

Lately, I've had a lot of hits because of the VBS song A-ya-wiki, B-ya-wiki, C-ya-wiki. Outrigger Island is a popular VBS curriculum from LifeWay, so they must all be trying to get a jump on their VBS week. None of them left comments. They should have! I could have given them a lot of advice about decorating, running up and down stairs, etc.!

Okay, this is kind of I have to share it. One of the Google hits was from this search: "does singing scare snakes"!!! TRUE--that's what it said!!!! It hit on my post Blueberry-Blurb where I mentioned I was singing to scare off the snakes while picking blueberries! I was JUST KIDDING! I WAS singing, but it doesn't scare them off! Just goes to show how careful you have to be about info off the web.

So, I'm headed to Gainesville with a friend tomorrow. I'm excited about seeing my brother and his sweet, wonderful wife. Maybe I'll have a chance to have lunch with my Dad and get to Chiefland to see my wonderful brother, SIL and nieces.

Don't miss tomorrow's has an assignment for YOU!!!

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Volleyball Camp...Just a Glimpse

Today, as promised, I'm posting pictures from our trip. You can click on a picture to make it bigger. (Bear with me here, remember, this is for the girls!)

Here is the first wave that actually arrived at the school on time at 4 am! They were much more awake than the parents who dropped them off.

One of our first stops. The Varsity in Atlanta. The ambience is a lot of fun...the food leaves a bit to be desired.

If you have teens -- this is quite a common sight. Thank the Lord for digital cameras.

Our first full day of camp. Everyone is still pretty rested and ready to go.

Let me tell you, this kid can eat!~~ Hey, Mom! She DOES eat healthy stuff...we just couldn't figure out where she put it all!

Actual playing time. I'm not sure why I only got a few pictures of this. I promise to do better next time!

This is the bed I had to climb up AND down was not a pretty sight!

Here is the chair I had to use to climb up and down. Notice the rocker part? Like I was not a pretty sight!

It wasn't unusual to see I-pod's being shared amongst the troops.

One other note that has nothing to do with volleyball. The shirt dd has on was from 3rd grade TPRD softball... it finally fits in 11th grade!

Just a little scene from the bathroom...this is actually less than 1/2 of the girls. They did pretty good taking turns...but a lot of silliness kept it fun!

The bathroom even had 'emergency' facilities in case all the stalls were full. Wasn't that sweet of them? (A couple of the girls were absolutely mortified that I would even take a picture of these!! {grin})

Are the beds really only made for one person? Well, where else are you gonna sit...a chair, you say? You're kidding, right? maybe there weren't enough chairs when they all gathered in one room!

Meeting downstairs in the lobby. The only place warm enough!

Team meeting after lunch...can you believe they are actually LISTENING???

Notice the wheelchair? This young lady injured her leg on the 4th of July. She came to camp anyway and watched everything. She's normally our setter, it nearly killed her to sit this one out! The girls took turns wheeling her around. Since the dorms and some of the facilities aren't quite 'wheelchair accessible' was quite comical at times! The only time she got dumped --during camp--was once in the gym when she was doing wheelies and went over backwards. Scared 10 years off my life!

More listening!

Here are some individual pictures...this is my sweet dd. I wanted to put pictures of the girls here so they can see them, but I won't put the real names since I don't have their parents permission.



Hubert's Girl


Just call her "BEAUTIFUL" (?!)

CHA-CHA's Big Sister




Our coach's little sister just happens to be on our team.

After 3 days of hard work, everyone was a bit crazy! On the bottom row (far left) is our team coach beside our camp coach, Aletha. She was a fabulous coach and lots of fun!

See the miniature volleyballs the girls are holding? Here's the scoop. We didn't win the Winner's (Gold) Bracket of the tournament --they each received t-shirts. We didn't win the Loser's (Silver) Bracket of the tournament -- they received little pieces of candy. (We did BEAT each of these teams during pool play.) So after presenting those awards, Coach Shymansky (Ga Tech Head Coach) said they had to "give another award to a team that was absolutely unflappable. No matter whether they won the point or not, they were excited and you couldn't get them down." (He said more, but that's the part I remember him saying.) Anyway, out of 23 teams he gave our girls what I'm calling the Un-Flappable Award! Our girls decided these were the best prizes of all. I think it really shows how much 'heart' our girls play with. Hopefully, that 'heart' will equal 'points' this season!

After leaving GA Tech, we moved on to Lithia Springs, GA for the evening. We were hosted by the Johnson's and their church. The girls enjoyed their Youth Room with Air Hockey, a pool table, mini basketball hoops, etc.


We joined the Youth at Colonial Hills Baptist Church for their Wednesday night meeting. Mr. Johnson led us in singing Praise! songs, then shared a great message about not being afraid to be recognized as Christians. He also told a great story about being chased by an owl! The girls won't soon forget!

This is only about 1/2 the luggage spread out at the Johnson's. Can you imagine? No, honestly really can't!

Here are about 1/2 the girls getting ready to bed down for the night in the Johnson's Rec. room.

The Varsity team plus Mrs. Johnson, top right in the striped shirt and last season's Asst. Coach in yellow.

Here's a video where our coach is explaining to the girls what happened in the Coach's Meeting on Tuesday night. Note: She usually doesn't But she was pretty excited--so cut her some slack!


Stay tuned.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm Ba-a-acck!

As I dragged my effete body out of the bed this morning, I mentioned to Mr. Fix-It how wonderful it is to shower in my own dirty tub and sleep in my own bed even with cat-hair. Apparently, while we were away, our crazy cat decided to camp out on our bed (which is normally a BIG no-no). Mr. Fix-It denied any knowledge of such...but the cat-hair told it's own story. I was just happy to be able to "fall" in rather than have to "climb" in to bed!

Oh! Since I missed *Thankful Thursday* I'll just give you an abbreviated version right now. Did I mention how thankful I am to be able to use my OWN toilet paper? You know, the kind the little old ladies sit around and quilt? Now, before you groan and think "Oh, come on Meggy-girl! Suck it up, and put on your big-girl panties!" Oh, my goodness. You've heard of 2-ply and 1-ply paper -- well, GA Tech uses 1/10th ply!!!! (I can hear my friend Ka-rul groan and say "hmmm...this sounds vaguely familiar...") I'm not exaggerating. You could see through it like a spider web! I don't have a clue how it was held together enough to put on a roll. Needless to say, they didn't save any money on me --it made me use 20 times the lengths I would normally use! Note to self: Next time, take a roll of my own.

Our trip home from Volleyball Camp at GA Tech was very easy and uneventful. I drove one of the mini-vans with four middle school girls. Although, I wasn't really excited about taking the driving job...I was tempted into it after hearing that the a/c worked! (The coach really knows which button to push!)

It was quite an experience! One in the back refused to wear her seat-belt first. Of course, after I clearly explained that I would stop and assist her in leaving my car...she decided she would rather wear it and be mad. (She got over it!) Apparently, my 6th grade, shot-gun navigator is a restaurant connoisseur. As we passed each exit, she would read each restaurant sign, then recite their menu and start discussing all the yummy food she had eaten at each! In the middle seat, were two young ladies who loved making faces at all the truckers and discussing the physical attributes of each driver and giggle, giggle, giggle! The barrage of giggles from all four was nearly deafening, at times.

Even though I didn't know any of these girls before the trip, I think they all ended up enjoying the long drive. I managed to overhear enough "so and so is sooooo cute!" to blackmail them for quite a bit after school starts!!

We arrived home about 1:30am after having to jump-start the battery of my car at the school and stop for gas on the way home. My sweet dd slept until 11:30 this morning!

I've spent all day trying to catch up on e-mails and my Bloggy-World. During this time, I've managed to wash a few loads of clothes, watch part of Facing the Giants with dd, make tea, eat, and wash a few dishes. I haven't managed to get out of my night-gown...and since its 5:30, I might better go shower and dress so that I can pretend to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for when Mr. Fix-It comes home.

Stay tuned. Pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Update from GA Tech!

Hi All! I'm writing in the Volleyball Locker Room again...I think I called it a Training Room yesterday...but it's actually the locker room. They have big screen tv's, comfy leather sofa's, computer stations, a little kitchen, lots of fruit everywhere, and of course, the huge white board.

Our girls did very well again yesterday. They are learning soooo much! The camp is divided into two sections. The first section is made up of 11 teams which are considered the most competitive (better) teams. The other section with 12 teams is made up of some of the smaller schools or bigger schools with less advanced teams. We aren't sure how we got into the first group (we think its because of our conference 12-0 record last year)...but we're happy to be here and we are competing very well with these really good teams!

Last night, they had a meeting just for the coaches (from 23 teams). The head coach here at GA Tech was telling them how important communication and celebration was for the team. He singled out our little team. He asked our coach how big our high school was and she told him there were less than 70 -- everyone gasped! I don't think she told him that 6 of the 10 we brought to camp are homeschoolers. LOL!! Anyway, he said "these girls are the most competitive in the gym. They aren't very big and they aren't the most athletic here, but they are always talking to each other and celebrating like no team I've ever seen! I'm over there trying to put a ball down on them and they keep hitting them. They're in here beating the best teams we've got because they are soooo excited!"

(NOTE: I'm not boasting...okay, maybe a little! So, since I am "a little" I'll say that my sweet dd is doing amazing too! Several of the coaches have remarked on how hard she hits for the tiny thing she is! I'm done.)

Some of these are HUGE schools with HUGE players. In one game we actually beat what we call "the professional team" from a private school here in Atlanta -- it was AMAZING!

One coach who works with our team each day has been so wonderful. She is very encouraging to the girls, yet she holds them to a standard and works them hard. Our girls will never be the same after being here.

Neither will I after climbing up and down off that bed in the middle of the night--in the dark!

This afternoon is tournament play. Hopefully, we'll do as well as we have been doing.

Then we will be heading just outside of Atlanta to the Johnson's. Mr. Johnson is a former coach from the school. Our JV team will be meeting us there. Their camp is tomorrow--just one day. We'll stay at the Johnson's tonight; sleep-in in the morning and do something fun tomorrow while waiting on the JV to finish. Then, we'll be headed home to Tallytown.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday at GA Tech

Hi All! I'm still at Ga Tech with our Volleyball this is going to have to be short! Short? Yes, I'll try.

After leaving home at 2:30 and the school at 5am, we drove to Atlanta with an a/c that only worked part of the time. We were thankful for the "part" of the time it worked. We got here yesterday around 11am, went to the Varsity for breakfast/lunch, chilled for about an hour until we could check in at noon.

We are staying in a dorm Circa. may have been remodeled in the 80's. I'm remembering very clearly WHY I never lived in a dorm when I was in college! I have my own room with two beds that are chest high. I have to climb on a chair to get into it. With my dizzy, this ain't exactly my idea of fun. However, my bed is very comfy and I slept snuggled up under a sheet and two blankets last night just fine!

Did I mention that the a/c is not adjustable? The thermometer in the room registers a steady, balmy 62 degrees! Me? Complain about too much a/c? NEVER!!!! But all of us are freezing up here when we're in our rooms. I've been outside most of this morning for that very reason.

It ain't fun walking down the hall to get to the bathroom -- or taking a shower in the group shower. So I set my alarm for 5am this morning and took a PRIVATE shower! LOL!!

To get from our dorms to the gym is 3 blocks...3 LOONNNNNNGGGG blocks when you're walking TO the gym because it is all uphill. Walking back to the dorms isn't quite so bad. We have to make the round-trip three times a at least I'm getting my exercise.

This morning I am down in the GA Tech Volleyball training room on their computers. LOVE IT!! These folks have been really nice and hospitable.

I've got to's lunch time for the troops. We're eating at the Training Table where all the athletes eat. Food is plentiful and fairly good; definitely filling...but then I get to walk again!

I may try to bring my camera with me to post some pictures the next time I come down here.
By the way... it's wonderful spending time with dd this week. Our team is also doing VERY well considering we're playing/working with some HUGE schools with HUGE players!

Stay tuned!

*Top 10 Tuesday* --10 things I still want to do...

I'm still on the road at Ga Tech Volleyball Camp with our high school team. Anybody around Atlanta up for a trip to the Varsity? I'm sure we'll make it by there before the week is up..."Whata Ya Have?" Thanks to Blogger's post options I scheduled this before I left home.

Today's topic is inspired by the movie "The Bucket List." I haven't seen it, but it has been recommended as an 'adult' movie worth watching. I'm sure I can come up with a million other things...but this is my list--as of TODAY! I have lots more spiritual goals...those are on a different list. These are a little whacky, so am it fits!

10 Things I Still Want to Do Before Heaven

#10 -- I want to...Visit Alaska, Australia and New Zealand--each for at least a week or two. I have no desire to go to Europe (except maybe Austria because Mr. Fix-It's grandfather was born and raised there).

#9 -- I want to...Travel the country by motor-home for at least a year or two like my friends, the Stewarts. Since we homeschool, we've thought about doing this for years. Unfortunately, dd keeps vetoing the idea unless we pull a horse trailer for her horses, the dogs and the cat.

#8 -- I want to...Write a best-selling book about my adventurous, exciting life. Yes, it must be a best-seller or its not worth doing. Of course, that would mean I would actually have to have an adventurous, exciting life to write about...oh well...this might take a while.

#7 -- I want to...Hang out at my vacation home in the mountains of North Carolina or North Georgia...I'm not picky. I love those mountains! My friend Cindy has a house in Hiawassee, GA. They just head north when it gets hot here in Florida. (I'm trying not to break that ticky tenth commandment.) It would be nice to have a vacation home just about anywhere, but I could live in the mountains, I'm sure. One day, after this, that and the other, we'll have to think about doing this.

#6 -- I want to...Take cool pictures and learn how to edit them like the Pioneer Woman. There is plenty of information out there in Blogger-World, should I ever get a minute to actually READ it!

#5 -- I want to...Be in a position to adopt a passle of kids [...maybe not all at once]. No more 14 year olds...I would want a better chance to make a positive difference in their lives! Hey! They could go with us in our motor home (that we don't have yet!).

#4 -- I want to...Be a healthy weight, wear fabulous clothes and feel good about myself, again. I'm working on this step at the Mall at a time!

Okay, these top 3 are serious...not really silly...but I dream and pray that these will truly be accomplished before the Lord takes me home to Glory.

#3 -- I want to...See my daughter get married to a wonderful, godly man who treasures her.

#2 -- I want to...Hold my grand-babies and watch them grow.

#1 -- I want to...Be more intimate daily with my Lord!

Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wild Weekend...nearly done

Ahhhh... God is so good! Don't you know it?

Finally! This afternoon after church, I had the blissful opportunity to nap. After sleeping for a few hours, I feel refreshed and ready to meet the coming week.

A bit of an update: Friday night's "Hot! Hot! Hot!" event was a smashing success. We had a capacity crowd (near 100) and everything went off without a hitch! We did have to add an extra table for overflow...but two sweet men came down and took care of that in short order!

For food, we had all the fixin's for taco's, burrito's and any other Mexican O's you can think of! We had beef, chicken, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, olives, cheese, guacamole, onions, and probably a lot I can't remember. Several ladies brought home-made desserts that were absolutely sin waiting to happen! Before I even fixed my taco plate, I hit the dessert table. I had some wonderful stuff that I think was called some sort of fruit trifle. It was in layers and absolutely Yummy!

Just an editorial note here:

I truly believe that you should eat dessert first. Let's say you save it for a normal person. What if the Lord takes you home in the next minute? -- You'll never regret missing the meal part...but you'll surely wish you'd gone ahead and had that dessert! Also, what if the meal fills you up? What a terrible waste of good dessert by saving it for last!

[That little helpful hint is a freebie for all my loyal readers!]

One of my friends led the singing. After a few praise songs, she made those ladies get up and do the Mexican Hat dance around the tables. It was hysterically funny!!!

Our pastor's wife was our featured speaker and she did a fabulous job, too! Remember the scripture from Ezekial? She talked about how even with all our blessings piled in, we can feel like that empty pot. Then God has to heat things up, refine us--teach us, until we're cleaned out enough to appreciate our blessings again. Well, that's not really a good paraphrase...but that's what I heard and it meant a lot to me!!!

So, after all the food and decorations were cleaned up, lights turned out, etc...I dragged my exhausted body to the car to head home. As I was pulling out of the church parking lot about 10:15pm, I noticed the 'voice mail' notice was on my cellphone. I knew that it would be my girl leaving a message for her lonesome mom! Sure enough, it was!!! Wow! It's amazing how energizing it was just to hear her voice.

Then, I dialed her number and got to hear that sweet girl say "Hi, Mom!" Ahhh...relief. As we talked, she told me a bit about her fantastic week and that she was sooo tired she really wanted me to come pick her up that night. Ohhhhh, how I wanted to do that! I was just a pinch away from doing it, too! If it hadn't been so late, and if it wouldn't have been about 25 miles one way to pick her up, and if I hadn't been so absolutely exhausted, and if Mr. Fix-It wouldn't have fussed about wasting gas and that I would see her the next morning anyway...I would have turned that car right then and there towards Havana!

Instead, I hiked up my big-girl britches and just talked to her on the phone as I drove towards Lonesome Pine. I arrived at home shortly before 11pm, kicked my shoes off and fell into bed. My legs were so tired and sore from walking in the dreaded heels, I had to get up about 2am and take some Tylenol so that I could sleep.

On Saturday morning, Mr. Fix-It declared that he had some tire services to perform on my van before we could drive it all the way to Marianna for the Volleyball party. Since we would have to leave the house by 10am, he headed outside in the already hot sun to work on my car.

I had to get up and make something to take for the picnic and decided on Potato Salad. Our gas was out on the stove (from the day before) but I had had the propane bottle filled Friday in town so I knew that would be no problem. I set to peeling potatoes. As I got close to having them all peeled and ready to go on the burner, Mr. Fix-It set about hooking the propane up. He came in to light the pilots on the stove...and the burners wouldn't hardly light up. What??? After fiddling around with things, he decided the 'regulator' wasn't working right. So how am I going to cook this big pan of potatoes?

If you know me, you KNOW I am the Queen of Plan B, C, D, E, etc. So, on to Plan B--Use the extra burner on the grill outside. So I take my nice, pretty, stainless steel dutch oven out and set it on the grill's gas burner. Yes, it cooked, but the whole outside of my pan is now covered with soot! Yuck!!! Anybody have any ideas on cleaning that mess up? I know I'll probably have to buy some Kilz...another day.

So we head to town to pick up our sweet dd. It was sooo wonderful wrapping my arms around that sweet, tanned girl with the swollen right eye covered with poison ivy! We headed towards Marianna, slowly, because Mr. Fix-It realized when he was changing the tires, that the right front wheel bearing was flopping and needed to be replaced ASAP.

[At this point, please note that "I" being the sweet, wonderful, submissive wife that I am...did NOT mention to him that said submissive wife had been 'advising' him that wheel had a problem for months and months and months...which is WHY we had already purchased the appropriate part to fix it and it had been riding around in the back seat for months and months and months, etc. and that NOW, was not really a great time to have said wheel fall off the car! Rant over...]

So! We decide to drive Hwy. 90 all the way to Marianna, so we wouldn't be pushed to drive fast on the Interstate...thus adding nearly an hour to our drive. However, I must say, the drive was beautiful through the rolling hills and farms between Tallytown and Marianna. It would have been immensely relaxing had we not been a bit tense from listening to the roar and whining of the wheel bearing!

We made it to the picnic. Blue Springs Recreation Area is absolutely beautiful. We had a great time...except for one slight incident that my darling dd will NEVER forget...but will go unreported here lest she never speak to me again!!! She'll definitely remember...heh,heh,heh!

Our return trip was equally relaxing and tense, but we enjoyed the beauty of God's creation, listened to dd snore in the back seat and made it home safe and sound. After arriving home, dd and I washed clothes, Mr. Fix-It worked on the car. I'm happy to report the job has been completed and the van is now back in working order...with the slight exception of a bad tire that needs to be replaced fairly soon.

I'm glad to report that my Sunday School lesson based on Revelation 13 (The Anti-Christ) also went well this morning. Guess what?! It doesn't matter what the Anti-Christ does...JESUS IS THE VICTOR!!!! As long as we know Jesus as our personal Savior and trust him with our heart and life...we'll win too! The Anti-Christ can affect us physically -- but NOT spiritually!!!! AMEN!

After church, dd and I headed over to the nursing home to check on a friend, then to Mrs. Becky's to let her get her Jr. Becky-Fix (since dd missed her day with her last week and will miss the coming week). I'll tell you about our sweet friend, Mrs. Becky, one day soon. Then, we headed home for lunch and a nice, long nap!

It's now 10:30pm local time and we're busy packing for our trip tomorrow. That means in about 5 1/2 hours, we'll be heading towards town to catch the team van. Last I heard, the a/c might not be working. At 4 o'clock in the morning, that won't be much of a problem...but during the day in downtown Atlanta...oh, my goodness. I don't do well without a/c! (Yes, I'm a wimp!) PLEASE pray for me AND the van!

Oh, by the way. Our Illinois trip has been postponed again. Praise the Lord! I'm sorry we won't get to see our southern Illinois relatives, but trying to prepare for camp with the thought of not being able to come home and decompress a day or two was starting to weigh on my mind a bit. My sweet Daddy is too busy this we'll re-schedule when we get home.

One more thing before I go. If you haven't checked out my friend's blog here...I respectfully request that you do so. After reading it you will know what to pray for. If you will lift her and her family up to the Lord this week, I'd be soooo grateful! She's doing the foreign mission thing that I'm so THANKFUL God hasn't required of me. My job --and yours-- is to hold these folks up before the Lord in prayer. Thanks in advance for helping me here!

Sooo, dear reader (or readers, as the case may be?)... you have your marching orders. Pray for me and dd, pray that the team van will continue to work properly, pray for my friend in Brazil, and if you have a bit more time you might want to pray for Mr. Fix-It all alone with all the animals to feed...[do you hear me snickering???]....

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Frenzied Friday!

Whew! What a weekend I have before me! Tonight, is our Women's Ministry quarterly event. Our theme is "Hot! Hot! Hot!" based on the scripture from Ezekial 24:11 (NLT) .

"Now set the empty pot on the coals. Heat it red hot!
Burn away the filth and corruption."

Sounds interesting, huh? Since I'm the "Special Events Coordinator" [big title!] I have a million and one things to complete before 6:30 tonight! We're decorating in a Mexican fiesta theme and will be serving tacos with all the trimmings for dinner. One of my favorite gals will be leading the singing and worship time; our pastor's wife will be the featured speaker and she will be fabulous. Can't wait to hear what the Lord will say through her tonight!

In addition to all the last minute things I have to accomplish for Women's Ministry, my sweet dd's volleyball coach called yesterday and said she would really like another adult to go to camp with the team next week. Of course, ME, being the team mom should go, right? So, of course, I volunteered to be ready to leave at 4am Monday morning to spend the week at Georgia Tech with our wonderful bunch of teen girls. So much for my relaxing week hanging out at home! (At least I'll be able to squeeze my girl every day!)

In addition to those dad (71 yrs old) is wanting to travel to S. Illinois next weekend for a family visit and wanting me to go with him. I can't let him go alone! So that means, coming home from Ga Tech, washing all our clothes, repacking and heading out the next day...

So....let's see. Today, I get to spend this crazy Friday getting ready for WM event, get home by 10 pm, study my lesson for SS on Sunday, Saturday morning pick up dd from friends who brought her home from camp, go straight to Blue Springs in Marianna for Volleyball swim party, come home for friend's graduation party Saturday evening, complete preparations for SS lesson (based on REVELATION!!!) for Sunday morning, wash all of dd's camp clothes, help her pack for Ga Tech camp, pack my clothes, get the house ready for me to be gone, make sure Mr. Fix-It has easy-to-prepare food available for the week, be at church for the 8:15 am service on Sunday, teach my SS class, rush home, cook lunch, etc......okay, enough already--I'm overwhelmed with all the things that have to be done in the next 48 hours. I've got to get off this computer and get busy!

You may not hear from me for a while....Pray for me!!!!!

Stay tuned. (only a few more hours till I get to at least TALK to my baby!!!!!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

**Thankful Thursday** Mr. Fix-It

I've noticed, as I surf around Blog-World, that many folks use daily themes to help them come up with ideas for content for their blog. Thus, Top 10 Tuesday and now Thankful Thursday comes into play here at the Lonesome Pine.

We're all thankful for the big things God has blessed in our lives: salvation, life and health, our family, our church, etc. But so many times we forget about the little things we should be thankful for. Thankful Thursday is all about counting those little blessings.


So today...

A few things I'm thankful for,
as I think of Mr. Fix-It!

I'm thankful that Mr. Fix-It doesn't mind taking care of yucky bugs --or frogs that come in the house. We live in the this is pretty common. Lately we've had the invasion of those huge, tree crickets. He's used to the screams of his girls "Dad! There's a bug in here!!!"

I'm thankful that Mr. Fix-It usually takes the trash out without me asking him to.

I'm thankful that Mr. Fix-It doesn't have a weak stomach. Whenever anyone at our house is sick and throwing up, Mr. Fix-It is always there holding our hair, offering a cool, wet rag and a soothing word. At our house, dd doesn't holler "MOM!!" when she's sick...she hollers "DAAAADDDDDYYYYY"! He also cleans up the mess!

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It is so trusting. He gives folks the benefit of the doubt--until they prove him wrong.

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It is such a good daddy. Among the many things he's taught our sweet dd, he's taught her to be a Pyromaniac...he loves fire. He's taught our dd to shoot things...he loves guns. He's taught her how to get dirty...she's not a priss. He's taught her to love the outdoors...he's always up for adventure.

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It likes to call me on my cell phone. Although my cell has to be attached to my person every minute I'm away from him [grrrrr]...I'm thankful he cares enough to worry if I don't answer.

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It truly can fix just about anything. That's not to say things get fixed much at our home...but when the rubber meets the road...he usually fixes things, eventually.

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It likes to wear the same color socks every day of the week. Same color...same style. I HATE matching socks. This makes it so easy!

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It can sleep ANYWHERE at ANYTIME. We often joke that we could stand him up against a wall and he'd sleep. If Mr. Fix-It is still for more than two minutes...he naps. I don't know that he has ever watched a movie all the way through in one sitting. My brothers marvel that we ever had a child...

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It works so hard to support his family. It's not easy being an outside worker in this awful Florida heat.

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It bathes and fleas the dogs.

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It likes to mow the yard. I'm not thrilled he mows down all my I've learned to live without them.

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It gets along with all my brothers. I've often thought that if we were ever to divorce -- my brothers would keep him and get rid of me! (Okay, maybe not...but I don't intend to ever test that theory!)

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It is trustworthy and honorable. His word is truly his bond. His friends know they can count on him...even if its not convenient for him [or his family!].

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It is easy to buy clothes for. His size hasn't changed (even a little) in the last 26 years!

I'm thankful Mr. Fix-It doesn't fuss at me about MY size...which has changed a LOT in the last 26 years. He loves me anyway!

There are many other Mr. Fix-It things I'm thankful for...but this will do for today.

Stay tuned. (Only 2 days till...)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Several folks have asked me if I took the picture of the butterfly in my blog header.
My answer, "I wish!" No, I didn't take the photo in the header, but I do have some butterfly pictures I would like to share. A few years ago, while visiting in Gainesville, my dear SIL took us to the Butterfly Museum at the University of Florida.

The biggest thing I remember about that day is that it was HOT! VERY HOT! Apparently, butterflies don't do well in air conditioning. I, on the other hand, don't do well NOT being in air conditioning.

The picture to the left is me and my SIL. Her married name is exactly the same as mine was before I got married. Cool, huh!? She's from Venezuela... so her name is the Spanish version of mine--so we don't get mixed up too often. She has a better tan. So even though I dearly love her--I still have to hold that against her.

We did enjoy the visit, though. The butterflies were beautiful, plentiful and friendly. Here are some of the better pictures we took.

Oops! I don't know how this one slipped in here!
No butterflies...but my sweet dd. It's amazing how much she's grown up in the last two years.

Can you pick out the butterfly here? I loved this guy's camouflage!

One of my favorite pictures!

Another favorite!

Stay tuned. (Only 3 days until...)