Friday, December 31, 2010

Ugh!

I have let people's perceptions of life control too much of me. I do the best I can to make everyone happy and worry and stress when they aren't.

I need to break free of worrying about other people's happiness. I am sorry I can't please everyone all the time.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Claire is Eight (tomorrow)

I may not have time to post tomorrow.

My Claire will be 8. My baby girl, THE baby of the family is turning 8!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snowflakes for a 10th Birthday

Delaney had her tenth birthday on Sunday. We had a fun day with the family, with cupcakes, presents, The Nutcracker Ballet, and snow flakes blowing in the unusually cold Alabama air. It was a perfect day!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Merry Christmas, Alabama

One year, a few years ago, I wrote a Christmas letter to put in my Christmas cards. I included a portion of this song's lyrics. I have experienced several places that were home and many, many faces that were home. Merry Christmas to you all!


Merry Christmas, Alabama
Merry Christmas, Tennessee
Merry Christmas, Louisiana
To St. Barths and the Florida Keys

Merry Christmas, Mississippi
Where I started this wild and crazy run
Such a long way from that first birthday
Merry Christmas, everyone

And Merry Christmas, Colorado
Though far from you all I have roamed
'tis the season to remember
All the faces,
And the places that were home

'tis the season to remember
And to count up all the ports of call I've known
And to thank his mercies tender

For I'm never far from home

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Connection

Elizabeth Edwards has died. I don't know her, but her life has something in common with my mother. She happened to get breast cancer. Cancer than showed back up later, spread in her body. She would then live years, knowing that cancer was no longer something she would get over.

I remember when John Edwards was running for President, I was mildly drawn to him as a candidate. He did seem to possess a boyish charm. I admit a weakness for a Southern boy. When Elizabeth's cancer as announced, I knew there was something amiss with him and/or their relationship. I remember calling my father and talking to him about it. I know some people disagreed with my conclusion, but I think the right, noble, honorable thing would to be to have made an announcement that his wife and children needed him. That running for office would have to wait.

I am saddened that Elizabeth's children are without their mother, no other can fill that role in the same way.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mistletoe


Anyone have some growing in their yard? I want some. I have trouble finding it to purchase, and I am cheap.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rudolph

I admit, I am 34 years old, and I LOVE Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The Rankin Bass version. I own way too many figurines, stuffed animals, ornaments, pins, etc. I love them all.

Did you know it is currently on tv? I popped some popcorn and the girls and I are watching.

My favorite song is Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas. That Burl Ives/Sam the Snowman is awesome.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving in Madison, AL

We Hosted Thanksgiving this year.

Monday, I cooked apple pie and cornbread.

Tuesday, I cooked cranberries and peanut butter pie. I was thinking of my mom today. I wore her wedding ring. I spent many Thanksgivings in Verona, MO, where my mom was from. I remember Grandpa would help out by mashing the potatoes by hand. Grandma made wonderful Apple pie.

Wednesday, I baked bread and went to a Lyle Lovett concert.

Thursday, I cooked turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and peas. We went to The Galaxy of Lights.

Friday, I shopped. Josh cooked biscuits. Later, I cooked soup. Oh yeah, I watched the Iron Bowl. I do live in Alabama.

Now, I must rest...

The mashed potatoes are amazing, recipe thanks to my friend Quincy. I can't get enough. I decided to have a bowl of potatoes instead of soup.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things



The Orange mug was found at Books A Million after a work party. I was with my co worker Carol. She bought it for me and saved it for my birthday.

The stainless steel travel mug gets used everyday. It is amazing that it keeps things hot for hours or cold for hours. I have given many of these for gifts and most of those nearest and dearest to me have one.

Peace was my word for 2009. I happened to find this Starbucks brand mug on sale at Kohls after Christmas. It's my "holiday" mug.

I love Anthropologie, Josh bought me an initial mug from there. It's a sturdy cup with a good hand feel.

A few years ago, I had a student who gave me a Starbucks card for a gift. I bought this mug. I think of her and my other former students when I use it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What's Always Been

One thing that Josh has always had since I met him, besides his boyish good looks and charm, was his Honda Accord. Yes, when I met Josh in the Fall of 1996--He had this car.



All of our dating, we rode in this car. We took this car from Cape Girardeau, MO to Key West, FL for Spring Break back in 1997. We drove to Tucker's Place where Josh presented me with my engagement ring in this car. Yes, I could go on and on. We drove away from our wedding, moved to AL, brought home both babies from the hospital, and traveled MANY a mile in this car.



I gave the keys to the new owner and asked them to come get it whenever they wanted, knowing that I was going to be busy all evening. I didn't want to see it driving away.

Oh I will miss you Honda Accord.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sunshine Family

When I was little I had these dolls. They were sort of the Hippie Cousins of Barbie. They owned a craft store and had a van. They came with a booklet that showed you how to make accessories for them using household objects. I remember cutting a foam cup and creating a chair. I think it involved brown marker to make it look like wood.



I wonder if my mom was hoping I would be content with the responsible Sunshine Family? I loved them for a bit, but then I met the Upbeat Beauty--Barbie. Sandals and craft stores just couldn't compete with the sparkles of Pink and Pretty Barbie (my first Barbie).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ah Zac Brown

Concrete and cars are their own prison bars
Like this life I'm living in
But the plane brought me farther I'm surrounded by water
And I'm not going back again


Ah to be surrounded by water, I love the ocean. I tell Josh all the time that I am not joking. I want to settle at a beach somewhere.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sad Tale

I went to Books A Million today looking for a book. I didn't see it and asked the sales associate to look it up for me. None in stock, which was a good thing. I went home and found that same book on my book shelf of yet to be read books.

Tell me I am not alone in this sad tale.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Confession

I love Halloween!

I hope everyone had a great weekend, mine was BUSY with lots of fun events! Whew, I am exhausted!

Cutesy Words

I dislike the term "besties" in regard to best friend. I don't use the term best friend either, I have friends. I don't rank them. This may be my issue. I know I have odd hang ups. :)

I also dislike "preggers" and "preggo" for pregnant.

I really dislike "potty" and never use that word. In my preschool class you use the restroom.

I may just dislike cutesy words.

The Girls


Our family has "The Girls". Josh told friends of ours when they had a second daughter, they will forever be "The Girls".

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Teachers

Who was your favorite teacher?

Third Grade--Miss Canepa showed extra attention to a shy little girl, who didn't care much about school work.

High School--Mr. Whitener had patience with a talkative high schooler, who didn't excel in French, but tried really hard.

College--Dr. Pratt took the time to listen to my questions, whether or not he had the answers to them or not

Thursday, October 21, 2010

State of the Union

I don't think we would be better off if Obama had lost.

I don't think the current President has had much to do with our current economy. I know he will be blamed for it, but I think this situation was brewing long ago.

I do think voting is important, so vote and use your voice.

Exercise

I am lazy, I admit.

I have logged in at least two miles for 10 of the last 11 days.

Gotta get back in the groove...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Smells that's for Sure

I have a very strong sense of smell. This can at times drive my husband crazy. For some reason, my house smelled bad when I arrived home from work this afternoon. I have laundry going, the dishwasher is running, and the garbage is taken out. I hope I have remedied the situation. YUCK!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Linda Sue Adams of North Little Rock, Arkansas

I made your apple tea bread yesterday. It is wonderful, no surprise. Your recipes never seem to fail. Oh and I made your jambalaya for friends over the weekend--good enough to make me forget about that horrible Razorback loss to Auburn for a few minutes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pink Feather

Today Claire earned a pink feather at an Indian Princess meeting. Somehow in a strange course of events, it flew out the window. She arrived home in tears. We had very little time, Delaney needed to be at church for practice. I took her to the street where she lost it. We pulled over and walked around looking. A few minutes later, a car stopped. A man asked, "Are you looking for a pink feather?" Startled, I said yes. He gave me Claire's feather. He said he thought that must be what we were looking for. He has seen it a ways up the road. He stopped, picked it up, turned around, and gave it to us. After he gave it to us, he turned around and went on his way. How many of us would do this for a stranger--for a pink feather?

One thing about this man, he had a little girl with him. I assume his daughter. He probably would want someone to help him if his daughter had lost something, even as minor as a pink feather.

Thank you to the man who saved the day by finding Claire's pink feather.

The Food You Leave Behind

I was reading a cookbook I picked up at a thrift store. The recipes don't seem to be what I am looking for, but in reading about the recipes I was inspired. One of the contributors mentioned that in her family part of the legacy they leave behind are their recipes. Her grandmother's cookies, great grandma's pie crust, there were the examples she listed.

This reminded me of my recipes. I often make "my mom's party mix". I had just made a huge batch a few days prior to reading about this woman's family recipes. I think of my mom and my father's mom when I make our taco sauce. It is strange and sort of unusual, turmeric isn't an every day sort of spice to be included in an old recipe made from trial and error two generations ago in Southwest Missouri. I have two recipes for brisket, my mom's and my mother in law's. They are similar, but not quite the same.

What food memories does your family leave behind?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Confessions of a Lackluster Student

Homework gets the best of me. I have crazy expectations for my girls. I know they are bright girls, I expect them to be amazing. 89% doesn't cut it, did you see that I just said? That is ridiculous. Why am I so much of an ogre about grades? My own parents weren't that way. I don't recall a single mention of my lackluster elementary school grades.

Oh yes, I was a terrible students until about 5th grade. I had no interest at all. I scribbled down answers so I could move on to the next thing. If one person turned their work in, I would quickly finish up too.

Even given their flawed genetics from my side, my girls work hard and show great interest in school. I hate that I am such a nag about an 89%. I sometimes fear they will take after me and my lazy Elementary habits. Sure, they can have my sense of humor or my knack at conversation--but I want for them to have their Daddy's grades.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Christmas is Here, Well Sort of

I love Fall, it is perhaps my favorite season. I say perhaps, because I like when each season comes. I enjoy living where we have four seasons, although admittedly, our winters tend to be mild.

Fall brings romantic notions of beautiful falling leaving, brisk walks outdoors, and snuggling under a pile of blankets. I love pumpkins and apple cider and the traditional fall tastes they bring. I love Halloween, even though it seems to be frowned upon by more and more churches. I love the simple joy of trick or treating and seeing the children in their fun costumes. I have a special love for The Great Pumpkin.

Fall seems to usher us into The Holidays--Halloween leads into Thanksgiving, which brings us to Christmas. Of course, Christmas to me is a whole Month. In the chaos of December, all the plans and my two girls have birthdays. I may be a fit frenzied, but I love the Celebrating and FUN of Christmas. I like the bright gaudy colors, the mixture of old sentimental ornaments and new favorites. I never will claim a perfectly decorated home for the holidays, but I have a home full of treasured memories. Some of these memories are triggered by objects, but many more are remembered in the baking, writing cards, wrapping gifts, the songs we sing. I am sure Josh will bring out the Christmas music in a few weeks.

I feel the coolness in the air today, it brings me fond memories of Autumns past and an anticipation of the future.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lyle Lovett

Josh and I were able to see the talented Lyle Lovett perform in Nashville a few nights ago. The musicians with him are amazing. Opening for him was Lilly Hiatt, who I enjoyed.

At one point, I thought--I have a perfect life. I felt so lucky to be there sitting next to Josh listening to great music in the Ryman Theater. The next morning, I found out I had locked my dad and the girls out of the house for a little while. Thankfully, our neighbors had a spare key!

Isn't that life? It is perfect and imperfect all at once.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Changes

My pastor is leaving our church. He is leaving to be a coordinator for our brand of Baptists at the state level. I think it seems like a great job–but I am crushed emotionally. He is respected and loved. I trust him completely with my questions and doubts. For nearly ten years, he has been my pastor.

The process of going through changes can be trying on a church. The fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of what the new pastor will be like. I don’t know how to completely process this all. Most of all, few people love change.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What is Happy?

What does happiness mean? I would say I have a pretty great life. I have a husband who I am glad to be married to. I have two children, who are great kids. I have a job I enjoy. That seems like a recipe for happiness. Add in three soccer practices, two soccer games, homework supervision, baton lessons, church responsibilities, and household duties--I feel a lot less joyful. I actually feel a bit exhausted!

Oh well, I better run. I have to take the girls to baton, church dinner, and then church services...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tanning Beds

I don't get this. I am not a tan person. I don't want to be. I like to think I am open minded at times, haha. This is one thing I do not understand the "need". When I was 16, my Aunt Nancy died of melanoma. I know this is a major reason I feel so strongly about this.

Why increase our risks? I know, it's not a 100% guarantee you will or won't get skin cancer. I know that people think they look better, at least for now. I also know most of us have seen people who are too tanned, and it's not a great look.

I may be a stick in the mud, but I care about my friends and think tanning beds are a bad habit to get into.

Linda Sue Adams of North Little Rock, Arkansas

Josh told me I should put her name like that, so if she ever searched her name she would see this.

So, Linda Sue, I made another of your recipes tonight. Make that two, I forgot about the banana bread currently baking. I love your cookbook, As You Requested 2. I would love As You Requested. I have searched...and searched. I hope every time I am in North Little Rock to find one at Goodwill or Savers. Alas, they are too good for anyone to part with. I even asked your daughter about it at my husband's class reunion.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Football

Truth be told, I know more about football than most other sports. I grew up going to the Festus Tigers' games.
My dad and I went to many home games, beginning when I was very young. Many times I would find Bro. Mike, my pastor and a Texas raised football fan. I am sure my little kid questions probably drove him crazy, but I never knew if it did.

Slowly over many years, I gained a decent understanding of the game. In my family, we weren't allowed to run with the other kids unattended. I had to sit and watch the game, so I did.

FHS, Rah Rah, anyway, I may not have a Texas sized love of the game. Perhaps I don't get into the rolling of the tide or the waring of the eagles, but I do know a few things about football.

I told Josh a few minutes ago, maybe I will be a Saints fan. He said that I already was. I cheered for them last season. I am always the last to realize.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Low Country

Josh and I had a successful first attempt at a Low Country Boil tonight. Maybe it is destined to become a Horton Tradition. We covered the picnic tables with paper and ate outside. It was fun and delicious.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Solidly Average

I have managed to surround myself with smart people. Since childhood, I have had friends who were classified gifted. My best friends in high school were the types to be number 1 or 2 in our class. I went to college and somehow managed to find friends with full scholarships and sky high ACT scores. In adulthood, I have found wonderful friends--alas, also smart people. I even married one.

Throughout high school and college, I was always a good student. Good enough to get decent grades, but falling just short of recognition. I desperately wanted to be in National Honor Society, but always fell just short of qualifying. One of my teachers, who was the sponsor of NHS, told me he wouldn't think any more of me if I was in NHS. Which was nice, but I still feel like it was a goal I never accomplished. In college, I graduated with a 3.48. Which means nothing other than I earned a degree.

I have always been ok at most things. I wasn't the smart one, the talented one, nor was I the beautiful one. Is there pride in being solidly average? I don't think so, I think I need to be working on that.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Book Club Update

Some how I got really confused and book club is really today. I thought it was Tuesday for a week or more. I still didn't finish, or even hardly begin the book. I am not going to book club, because I do plan on reading it and don't want it to be spoiled. I guess I will miss my Green Machine tonight.

Green Machine is my favorite drink at Kenny Mangoes. It is green tea with honey and lemon.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I am supposed to be reading this for my book club, that meets in two days.

I have 500 pages to go.

This does not look good for me completing this book.

I was more interested in reading this book until I HAD to read it, sound familiar to anyone?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Are you up for it?

My cousin, Andrea, gave me a challenge. A list of my favorite songs, I was up for it. I quickly found 18, deleted some, added some, up to 20, 19...added one back. Ok so it's 20 songs. A bit more than probably one album, so be it. I have my list and my explanations on what and why. It's three pages long.

Yeah, I know I have a lot of stories to tell.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Purpose, Perhaps?

I like my job. It's true, I really do. I sometimes forget that in the sea of lesson plans and the dreaded evaluations. I don't get paid to play all day. Yes, I have been told that I am lucky to play all day. I am lucky, but not because I play all day. I have opportunity to teach 22 unique, quirky, and fun Four Year Olds this year.

I admit, I feel left out at times. I am not free for lunch dates or shopping trips that take place during school hours. I sometimes think that it would be fun to be with my friends. When I tell Josh this, he tells me quit working if that would make you happy.

My students do bring happiness, and more than happiness, they provide purpose. As silly as it may sound, I know I am meant to be where I am. I am meant to nurture their minds and spirits. I want them to know they are capable and important. Do I love sweeping crumbs and cleaning up spills (or worse)? No, but it's all apart of the bigger purpose.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tired

Lots of practices, lessons, church, work, school...all back in full swing. I like being busy, I don't like obligations that make me feel stressed.

There is a big difference.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Home, House, Sweet or Not?

Our first home, well it's our current home. I fell in love with my house the moment we drove up the drive.

Our house is small. The neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks, a pool, or park. We have so many trees we can't grow much of anything in the backyard, including grass. For a long time, I used to have to tell people to turn left past the roosters (seriously).

On the other hand, we have great neighbors. We love our school. The roosters are gone (for now at least). We have a big yard, full of potential. The house could be paid off before the kids are in college, my favorite feature.

We have worked hard and done a lot of projects. Josh thinks that this will be good one day when we want to move, that the house will be updated. I think the more we do, the more I will want to stay.

Sometimes I think a bigger house with lots of extras would be nice. An office, bonus room, spa tub, guest room, they all seem appealing. Is it really necessary? Do I really even want these things?

Home Sweet Home, although I'd follow Josh anywhere, even if it just across town someday.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

I enjoy shoes, it is not surprise.

I took every single pair of shoes I own out of my closet yesterday. I decided to seriously scale back. I ended up throwing away four or five pairs, that were too used for donating. A few pairs ended up in a donate to charity bag. A LOT more than I want to admit ended up in two bags that I gave to friends to look through.

Now I have room for more, just kidding.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Life Philosophy by Lynnea

1. Go places--experience your own community and beyond. Those who know me, know that I don't sit around home.

2. Be well educated--I am not a naturally brilliant person. I worked hard in school and kept up with those who were.

3. Listen to live music--There is nothing better than a concert. It's the talent of the artists usually, but sometimes the joy is in the experience with the crowd.

4. Read whatever you like--There is nothing wrong with being interested in things that don't fit your day to day life, or that others don't understand your interest in.

5. Ask questions--This is what defines me the most, I am not lacking in questions. No one has all the answers, but keep asking.

6. Be honest, but not harsh--Truth is vital, but without judgement and ego.

7. Be kind--I once heard, do not let a generous thought pass. That statement changed me. There really is always time for kindness.

8. Write letters and notes--Everyone appreciates mail.

9. Don't forget where you come from--I am who I am because of my parents and the people in Festus, MO who loved me.

10. Embrace the mystery--This is hardest of all for me, there is mystery in love and faith that can not be understood.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

They were amazing (to me).

I love this blog. She wears really interesting combinations. I find myself checking it daily. Those who know me know that I sometimes wear "gaudy" things. I like odd patterns and bright colors at times. It's sort of my "thing".

I have thought about having orange be my trademark. I told this to a friend a few years ago, and she told me orange was already my trademark. I do own a lot of orange, in varying shades. I think I may need some awesome pumpkin orange pumps. When I was in high school I had a pair of autumn orange suede lace up oxfords. They sort of looked like what you imagine pilgrim shoes to look like. They were amazing (to me).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Possibly a Pre-Mid Life Crisis

I am 34 and I bought these jeans.



I had several witnesses who gave me the go ahead. I bought a size up, so they are not frighteningly tight. I plan on wearing them with my boots this Fall and Winter. They will stay tucked in great.

I have some longer tunics, sweaters, and some shortish sweater dresses that I imagine these would work great with.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Distinctive Huntsville Dishes

Huntsville Times listed 20 Distinctive Dishes


I have had 12 of the 20.

I have not had the chicken with white sauce at Big Bob Gibson's or the big "8" pizza at Big Ed's. Those are two things I would like to try.

I've had a quite a few Kitchen Sinks at Stanlieos. Without at doubt Papa Gyro makes an awesome Gyro. Greenbriar knows their hushpuppies, I like mine with white sauce. My pick of the list, is the "Hot Damn" sauce at Po Boy Factory. That stuff is awesome, they claim its a mixture of secret ingredients. Keep on mixing it up and I will keep on eating it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cooking In the Kitchen

This afternoon I have been cooking like crazy. Lasagna for dinner. Then I decided I had peppers and tomatoes, let's make Taco Sauce! Oh and while that is simmering, let's make some banana bread with those over ripe bananas. I noticed the bag of onions from Sam's. I might as well chop up all the onions and freeze them for later.

It's not too many cooks in the kitchen, but perhaps too many things cooking in the kitchen.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mac MacAnally at WC Handy Festival

I was invited at the last minute to go to see Mac MacAnally at the WC Handy Festival. I hesitated before jumping at the chance. It was Josh and my anniversary and we had other commitments that evening with the kids. Josh told me to go, and he took the girls to the other event. Mac has written some of my favorite songs.

This is the playlist:

Blame it On New Orleans
It's A Crazy World
The City--Seriously one of my favorite songs, makes the top 25 or so.
Down the Road
Down By the River
Dark Ages
Pop Top Hop

Mac Solo:

Miracle
Cafe on the Corner
Opinion on Love
All These Years

This Time
College Fund Medley

Bound to Get Down
Little Blue Pill
On Account of You
Last Man Standing--has one of my best lines ever,
I might as well admit it
There's been a time or two
When I contemplated retiring for a while
But a hundred years from now
They'll still be asking how
As they gaze upon my taxidermic smile

Back Where I Come From
It's My Job--This one is probably in my top 5, I listen to this song over and over obsessively.

Encore:

I Heard it Through the Grapevine

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thoughts?

I preface by saying I know very little about the writer, Anne Rice. What I do know is not more than pop culture references. I find this quote interesting. Can you live a life as a Christ follower apart from a church or group of believers? I am sure it is possible, but I relate to Christianity as the community of believers.

Anne Rice's Facebook:

My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become
.

Lost

Have you ever lost something that was priceless?

My mom wrote letters to members of our family that she hid away. After she died, my dad found them and gave them to us. I lost my letter. I read it only ONE time, put it away somewhere special--it's been five years. I don't remember the location of that special place. I tell myself, maybe it's supposed to be that way. I keep wondering though, would read it differently if I had it?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Territories



I traveled to somewhere new, San Antonio, Texas. Josh and I went for a long weekend. We ate a lot of really amazing food there. I especially loved a smokey salsa from Rosario's. We managed to eat there twice during our stay.

We wandered, shopped, toured, and ate our way through The River Walk, San Jose Mission, and The Alamo. We stayed at a charming, unique place--The Riverwalk Vista.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I hope it's good.

I am currently making this, more details to follow.

It's Spicy, if you make it less cayenne may be better. It may become chili starter if I doesn't mellow a bit.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Blackberry Breakfast Bars

Blackberry Breakfast Bars

2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted

For filling, in a medium saucepan combine berries, sugar, water, lemon juice
and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for
about 8 minutes or till slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from
heat. In a mixing bowl stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon
cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir in melted butter till thoroughly combined. Set
aside 1 cup of the oat mixture for topping. Press remaining oat mixture into an
ungreased 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Carefully spread filling on top of baked crust. Sprinkle with reserved oat
mixture. Lightly press oat mixture into filling. Bake in a 350F oven for 20 to
25 minutes more or till topping is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into
bars.
Makes 18 bars.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Very NOLA Bathroom

Last Fall, we started our half bath re do, Josh gutted the whole thing. It has been finished for a long time, minus the trim and art work. In the past few days all the finishing touches were completed. It looks amazing.




I bought this watercolor in Jackson Square. The artist told me about his life growing up in the French Quarter. He asked me where I was from, he proceeded to spell "Huntsville" and told me he was always good at spelling. He had struggled with arithmetic, he said it held him back in school. He talked about his first job unloading bananas on the docks of the Mississippi River. I stood and talked to him a long time. He talked a lot about his family members and how most of them are gone now. He was 89.




This is a roof slate that had been on a building on Royal St. I found it at a thrift store during my visit to Cape Girardeau this summer. I has info about the artist on the back. I found the fleur de lis hook at Hobby Lobby.




I'm in love with the pedestal sink. Josh also put in the new tile floors and white trim.



Don't you want to come over and see my NOLA bathroom?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

When it rains, it pours...



We made a trip to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens with some friends. We had a rather fun, soggy ending to our visit.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Less, a lot less

Could you imagine only having 50 things.? I love one of his 50 are a pair of Frye boots!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beware of a Spotless Cookbook

Oh I have plenty of clean, perfect looking cookbooks. They don't get used. A few old trusted books are easy to spot. They have some wrinkling of the pages from steam and drips. They have some spots of spices and such.

This cookbook is my favorite. My mother in a law gave it to my for Christmas the first year Josh and I were married.



This Banana Bread is the best I have ever eaten. You can tell I have had this page open a few times.



I have brought this Jambalaya to many families with newborns! Countless people have had it for dinner at my house or church potlucks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Updated Reading List

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsoon

Couples by John Updike

36 Arguments for the Existence of God-a work of fiction, by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

The First Christmas by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan ( may save this for near Christmas)

The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark

The End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's a boy for my friend Quincy!

I am so happy for my friend Quincy and her family. I can't wait to see the newest member of her family! I love them all. Meeting them is one of the reasons I love my job so much. I have met the greatest people teaching there. They are truly each unique special people.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

When the Coast is Clear

Here is a link to Jimmy Buffett singing an updated When the Coast is Clear at the Gulf Shores Concert to Support the Gulf. I know it will seem dramatic, but the lyrics actually make me teary eyed. I love the Gulf Coast. I have a goal of owning land in Baldwin County. I have spent so many wonderful days there.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

I bought three pairs of shoes in Arkansas.

A pair of vintage from the 50s maybe early 60s suede with a black ribbon tie--beautiful in great condition. Hand lasted the insole says--amazing how great they look and for only $7 at Savers. They have the original store sticker that is Pfeifers of Arkansas. Pfeifers was bought by Dillards in 1963. They had stores in Little Rock and Hot Springs, so this pair didn't travel far in those years, or perhaps they found their way home.



New Tula by Birkenstock black one strap sandals for $5 at Goodwill



Tatami Birkenstock blue and Purple marbled looking sandals for $29 at 1/2 of 1/2 which seemed like a steal until I found the others for $5.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On the Road and In the Air

I have been a few places in the past few days. I have many stories to tell, but not quite yet. You will have to settle on another native Missourian's words for now.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ~Mark Twain

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bible School


Josh and I had a booth in the marketplace for our VBS this year. We were studying Joseph and the theme was Egypt.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Toner, Paper Jams, and Microfiche, Oh My!




This is where I worked for three years. It was a happy place most of the time, Periodicals at Kent Library. I made sure the magazines were in chronological order, copied microfilm and microfiche, filled copy paper trays, changed toner in the copiers, and helped patrons find things.

I still love periodicals. Although sadly, Advertising Age wasn't on the shelves a few weeks ago. What a shame, that was one of my favorites.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3



Awesome! I love all three of these movies.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mighty and Muddy

The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise... Mark Twain




Oh yes, it's the Mississippi River. It's the familiar content of going home.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fall of 1996



I lived in Myers Hall. It was a change, my first two years I lived in Towers East. I still had my faithful roommate Paula. We decided to move to Myers, which was the upperclassmen dorm. It was on the opposite side of campus, near the library. It was also co-ed by floor, which was different for me.




Josh's Room Door--I would walk down the stairs and think of a reason to see if his door was open.



My Room Door--Paula and I lived here only one semester, but it was a great one.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Home In My Mind's Eye

My childhood home, the home my parents lived in for 25 years, does not exist. It is true. FEMA bought the home through a buy out program and later the home was torn down. It was a lovely home. I came home from the hospital to this home. I backed out the driveway college bound from this home.

Of course, this was one of my first stops when I arrived in Festus, Missouri. I ate some IMO's pizza, filled up the gas tank, and drove home. It's amazing how nature takes over.




I grew up on a two and a half acres with the Joachim Creek behind us. On the Right of our property line was a train track.



This is where home would be, on the corner on Harrison Lake and Old 21A, although when I was living there it was 2210 West Main.



In my case, you really can't go back home.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lots of Books

These are some of the books I have stacked in my bedroom--a lofty goal of Summer reading.


Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott, who I really enjoy, although I have read her nonfiction works. Finished 6/14

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsoon

Couples by John Updike, once I again, I have read his nonfiction works

Mississippi Solo, A Memoir by Eddy L. Harris--already started this one, Finished 6/16

36 Arguments for the Existence of God-a work of fiction, by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway--Finished on 6/24

The First Christmas by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan ( may save this for near Christmas)

The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark

The End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt--almost half way on this one. Finished 7/14

Three Wishes, A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Wy to Love and Motherhood, by Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand. Read 6/10

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Best of Who I am

I read today on a church's sign, "Great Friends Bring Out the Best of Who You Are." I think I noticed this more because of my wonderful weekend in Missouri. My life has been full of friends and mentors.


Denise was on staff at the Baptist Student Center when I was in college. I wandered into her office many times for advice, and once talked up a pair of clogs so much that she went to Dillards and bought herself a pair.


Audra, Clay, and I were Summer Missionaries together on the Southeast Missions Team. We talked and laughed for hours.


My college roommate through Towers East years and on to Myers Hall, Paula. Paula and I had disk gun wars, called a girl who was named Jen, Hazel, because we couldn't remember her name, and did all sorts of silly roommate things.



Audra and I decided to get together this year and somehow settled on meeting in Cape Girardeau, where we went to college. I didn't want to leave on Sunday. We talked, laughed, shopped, admired photographs and art, and ate mediocre food.


Somehow in the small world that we live in, my high school friend currently attends church with my college friend. John, Renee, and another college friend, Tracy, met me at Pasta House.

Monday, June 7, 2010

It takes a village?



These women are apart of the village that raised me. I don't know if it was necessary to have a village, but I can't imagine it any other way. My mother had wonderful friends, who have always told me I am beautiful, smart, and funny. Who doesn't need that growing up?

I brought some scrapbooks of my family. Josh told me as I was packing that if there was ever a group of people who would be interested in my scrapbooks, it would be them. I knew he was right.

Of course, being with them brought up memories of my mom. They all loved and miss my her too.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Back in Town

If all goes according to plan, I will be in my home town tomorrow. I am so excited. It has been four years since I have been there. Festus, MO here I come.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Political

A friend of mine said she wouldn't have expected anything other than me voting Democratic today. That sort of surprised me, because I like to think I am a moderate.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

When you have a contract for a new roof...

it will begin raining everyday. Just thought you'd want to know. No rain dancing necessary.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Little Summer Spooky



Jack Skellington: [singing] What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere! What's this? There's white things in the air! What's this? I can't believe my eyes, I must be dreaming; wake up, Jack, this isn't fair! What's this?


Today I am wearing my Jack Skellington t shirt. I bought it at Disney World. I love it. Then I realized, I have few places where it is appropriate to wear. I can't wear it to teach Preschool. Even on Halloween, we don't do Halloween at school. I can't wear it to church on Wednesday or Sunday Nights, well I did wear it once with a jacket over it. So, today on Summer Vacation--Jack came out of hiding. I even wore dark grey eye makeup for the occasion. The cashier at Sam's liked my shirt, we went on to have a conversation about Tim Burton movies. Remember, Big Fish is awesome everyone.

So, maybe I cause some to wonder with my Halloweenish shirt. It's fun to put a little spooky in the Summer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unique

I read a sentence posted by a friend on facebook that captured so much in a simple sentence.

I enjoy being someplace where nobody expects me to fit in.

I never imagined the freedom that would come with being expected to be different.

I am probably quite average, but don't tell me. I like to believe I am unique.

Monday, May 24, 2010

True Compass

I finished True Compass over the weekend.

I was moved to tears, which says a lot for several reasons. I rarely am moved to tears by books or movies. I just don't tend to get emotionally involved with the abstract. In this case, there are no big surprises in the sadness. I knew that the oldest brother of Ted Kennedy, Joe Jr., died in WWII. The writing of the chaplain coming to door asking for their father sent me to tears. As we know, history tells us of other terrible losses by this family.

Since I was a small child, I have known that Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, the child born to President Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy, died of hyaline membrane disease. I was born prematurely and had this condition. My dad tells of hearing this diagnosis and immediately thinking of the Kennedy's baby who did not survive because of this lung condition. He knew it was a very serious matter. When I read the emotions of this lost baby, I can't separate the fact that I could have been that lost baby.

Ted Kennedy lived a life different than most. He had wealth and power, above all was human--and flawed. His Compass was his faith in God and the love of his family.

Beans and Cornbread

I grew up eating a lot of pinto beans. We always had fried potatoes and cornbread with it. In the summer, we would have sliced tomatoes too. This was my mom's favorite meal, she added sliced onion to her beans. I liked colby cheese with mine. My brother and dad often topped their bowls with ketchup.

Today, I made a pot of beans. My mom would use the beans the next night in chili--I may just have that tomorrow.

Sometimes the best meals don't contain fancy ingredients, but are filled with memories.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Very Happy Very Sad

I recently read The Village Watchman by Terry Tempest Williams.


"How are you doing?” I would ask.
“Ask me how I am feeling?” he answered.
“Okay, how are you feeling?”
“Today? Right now?”
“Yes”
“I am very happy and very sad.”
“How can you be both at the same time?” I asked in all seriousness, a girl of nine or ten.
“Because both require each other’s company. They live in the same house. Didn’t you know?”


I have been told in life to experience true happiness one must also experience sadness. I don't know if that is true, but I have had times where I could have answered. "I am very happy and very sad."

Friday, May 21, 2010

VACATION!

I don't go back to work until August!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beep, Beep, Jeep

I want a Jeep.

A Jeep Wrangler that I drive around with the wind in my face. I think it may be a pre-midlife crisis. Although, I have wanted one for several years, so maybe not a passing fancy.

It's not practical.

It's not sensible.

It's not a reality.

I really want one.

Maybe an orange one, perhaps a copper color--hey, I'd take whatever color I can get a deal on.

Well. maybe not pink.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just Be Happy Everyone

I admit, I like peace. I can't handle conflict. Even the idea of potential conflict can send me into a mess of worry and stress. Thankfully, I live a life of very little conflict.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Travis Mc Gee



I collect these books. They are a mystery series from the 70s. Travis Mc Gee is the main character. I bought my first one in Key West on my honeymoon.

I like the older issued covers better than some reprinted ones. Today I found one at a seldom visited thrift store. What a fun day!

It's Retro

Love this!

I just bought one of these at a thrift store today for $1. I love it. Josh is only slightly embarrassed that I am going to toting this baby around now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Craftiness

I am sometimes crafty. I don't claim any true artistic talent, but I have moments of crafty glory.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Scarlet Begonias

She had rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes.
And I knew without askin’ she was into the blues.
She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls,
I knew right away she was not like other girls, other girls.


Yeah, I have red begonias in my flower beds. Would you expect anything less?

Things I Notice in My Bedroom RIght Now

1. Sailboat painting by my friend Leslie

2. Pile of Magazines

3. Three wilted blooms from the azaleas that my girls picked me for Mother's Day

4. Overflowing laundry basket

5. Half burned candles

6. Three pairs of sandals

Monday, May 10, 2010

Motto

Not all who wander are lost--Life is Good T shirt.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sea Shells



While in Nashville, I feel in love with these shams. They had them displayed with a solid coverlet that was very similar to what we already use. I saw the tiny bit of blue on the shams that matched our wall color. I knew they would be perfect for our bedroom. I have Key West related things on the walls. Josh surprised me with them for Mother's Day. One day when the bed is made I will post a photo. I am so excited.

I was so thrilled with my new bed linens that my Mother's Day has consisted of three things so far.

1. Church

2. Lunch

3. LONG afternoon nap


I love it. I am not as good as Pottery Barn with the staging. :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Number 1


My mom loved Mother's Day. She wanted a corsage to wear to church. We always were at my grandparents' house for Mother's Day. It was so important to my Mom that my Dad drove to Alabama to pick me and Delaney up and then took us to my Grandma's house--it's a long way from Madison, Alabama to Verona, Missouri. That year was my first year as a Mother and my mom made Delaney and I matching dresses. I proudly wore, even though it was not my taste and lavender. My mom was thrilled.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thanks to Our Parents

Thanks to our parents, Josh and I were able to go on two overnight trips last week. My dad came and watched the girls early last week while Josh and I were in Atlanta. We were home for two nights and then we were off to Nashville with Josh's parents taking over.

We are so lucky that even though they live 300 and 500 miles away, our parents take the time and effort to visit often. They also don't mind watching the girls while we skip town.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oh The Stories I Could Tell

We survived a crazy day of floods, closed roads, and tornado warnings. In the end, we made it to the concert on time. There was no leisure time to eat dinner or change clothes prior, but we made it and that was good enough at that point.

Tornado sirens while driving in unfamiliar areas are scary. We pulled ended up at Cool Springs Galleria, the parking lot flooded in many areas. They recommended no one leave due to all the flooding. Many cars were underwater in the parking lot. I asked a group of young men if they knew a way to get down town without going on 65, which was closed near where we were.

After many hours of waiting and moving at a snails pace, we made it to the concert. The mayor of Nashville and a police officer went on stage prior to the concert to tell us of road closures and recommended not leaving downtown. Thankfully, we were already had a hotel room. The hotel room had flooding issues on the ground and first floors. We thankfully were parked in an area that did not flood, although the lot was flooded in some areas.

Driving home, one section of the interstate was flooded in all lanes North and only the shoulder was passable in the South bound. Thankfully, we were heading South and made it without any detours home. It rained to hard cars were slowly driving with their hazard lights on. We saw cars underwater stranded all over.

Oh the Stories I Could Tell.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Banana Wind 1997 St Louis, MO

My First Jimmy Buffett Concert--I wore a JB shirt of Josh's. It rained and my raincoat lining bled all over the shirt. I was horrified and my mom and I spent hours scrubbing the dye out of the shirt. I am still surprised we managed to get it out. My mom was not scared of mixing chemicals when stains called for it. This was about five months after Josh and I started dating.

Set:
01 One Particular Harbour
02 Cuban Crime of Passion
03 Holiday
04 Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit
05 Come Monday
06 Why Don’t We Get Drunk (Two parrotheads from the Crowd Sing)
07 Jamaica Mistaica
08 Only Time Will Tell
09 Barometer Soup
10 Fins
11 Cheeseburger in Paradise
Intermission
12 Son of a Son of a Sailor (w/Ralph and Robert)
13 The Onion (Peter Mayer on Vocals)
14 It’s My Job (Mac and Jimmy)
15 Desdemona’s Building A Rocket Ship
16 Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
17 The City (Mac on Vocals)
18 School Boy Heart
19 A Pirate Looks at Forty
20 Southern Cross
21 Brown Eyed Girl
22 Margaritaville
First Encore:
23 Volcano
24 Beatles Abbey Road Medley
Second Encore:
25 Lovely Cruise

Jimmy Buffett List

Here are a few songs I love that I would like to hear in a concert someday.


Love in the Library

When the Coast is Clear (Josh informed me I have already heard this one--it's a good one)

Brand New Country Star

Delaney Talks to Statues

Lone Palm

Merry Christmas Alabama

Livingston Saturday Night (for the man I met on a Marta bus once after a concert who told me he had been to 27 concerts hoping for this song)

Amazing...

Jimmy Buffett in Atlanta was amazing. I was happy to hear my favorite song for the second time live. The concert had an awesome playlist and JB seemed to be in good voice. Although we prepared for rain, the weather was perfect...maybe a bit cool.

The Show:
01 Nobody From Nowhere
02 License to Chill
03 School Boy Heart
04 It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (w/Mac)
05 Pencil Thin Mustache
06 Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
07 Volcano
08 Take Another Road
09 Boat Drinks
10 Where the Boat Leaves From (Zac Brown Band Cover, w/Zac Brown)
11 One Particular Harbour
12 Big Top
Intermission
13 Everybody’s on the Phone
14 Woman Goin’ Crazy on Caroline Street
15 Creola (Nadirah)
16 Cheeseburger in Paradise
17 Come Monday
18 Son of a Son of a Sailor
19 Cuban Crime of Passion
20 A Pirate Looks at Forty (w/Zac Brown)
21 Back Where I Come From (Mac and Jimmy)
22 Tampico Trauma
23 Southern Cross
24 Margaritaville (w/Zac Brown)
First Encore:
25 Last Man Standing
26 Fins
Second Encore:
27 Lovely Cruise (Solo Acoustic)

Ended the Atlanta trip with a trip to IKEA and a Varsity Fried Peach Pie (chili dog and Varsity Orange too).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Five Years

I am profoundly changed.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Loaf

I am amazed that I can bake bread. I know that seems silly, I have been baking for awhile now. I can't help it, bread is amazing.

Tonights bread:



Friday, April 16, 2010

Our House

Roses are a blooming.



Rhododendron are beginning to show their color.



About five (six, seven ?) years ago we planted rhododendron, who thrive in the shady area behind the deck. I admit, I chose them because in It's a Wonderful Life, Mary hides in the rhododendron when she loses her robe walking home from the dance with George Bailey.



My new day lily garden--or at least one of them. The birdbath came from my grandparents and needs to be filled with water.


At our house, a few roses are blooming. The azaleas are nearly in full bloom. The dogwood tree is beautiful with it's beautiful white flowers. The rhododendron are full of buds with one tiny bit of pink showing through the green. My new day lilies are up and green. I can't wait to see them in full bloom later this Spring. The Lily of the Valley and Lilacs I planted last year have shown themselves. I even have a bit of life showing from the blackberries and raspberries that survived a hot, dry summer (with some neglect I admit).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

34

Three Apple Fritters is the tally for this year.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

34 Things





To be donated tomorrow to the thrift store--34 items less in my home.