Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pause

I’m going to get back to a second post of “around town” pictures. Just haven’t had time to go through the pictures folder, find them and put them in a post yet. But I did run across a nice video that really made me pause and think. I sure saw my impatient self in this video. Maybe you will see a glimpse of yourself in it as well. It will certainly make me look at the people I encounter through different eyes, and hopefully exercise a bit more patience. Can you imagine – if we could determine these things in others – how would we react and behave?

Paradigm Shift–Seeing Others Through Different Eyes

It’s been a rainy week so far, but at least only moderate temps. A bit dreary… it’s just that time of year when I begin to long for spring and flowers and budding of trees and bushes – the greening of the earth, the renewal of life as a new season comes. Of course it can be spring every day in our hearts as we are being renewed inwardly day by day.

I’ll be working on the next picture post from around town! Soon!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Around Town

The small southern city we live in now is known as the “Peanut Capital of the World.” This link goes to the Visitors Bureau page and you can learn some interesting things about the area known as the Wiregrass.  Back in the fall one Sunday afternoon Bobby and I went downtown and parked our car. We got out and just started walking, camera in hand. There is a lot of history here and many painted murals along the sides of old buildings tell a story of that history. Not being from here, I found it all very interesting. Of course, being a southerner, the history is familiar as many southern towns have similar histories.                           

                                 

There is a rich agricultural history documented in several of the murals.. from cotton to peanuts! Many worked in cotton fields and later, in peanut fields and technology advanced from hand planting and harvesting, to machinery. The two pictures below are close-ups of sections of a single very large mural.                      

My husband’s father was an army helicopter pilot at near-by Ft Rucker so I was interested in the mural above. It made me think of him. Apparently there was a malaria outbreak around here in the early 1800’s and it was severe. There is a recovery camp (tent hospital) depicted in one mural. I included the information plaque below. Hopefully you can read some of it when you click on the picture.                        

                                                       

                                              

There were a number of other murals scattered around downtown so I’ll make this a two part post. Stay tuned for more!

Have a great day.

Monday, January 03, 2011

De-Cluttering

Most of yesterday afternoon and evening I spent packing away Christmas 2010. It’s a dreaded chore that I have to psyche myself up for,  but the closer I got to being finished, the more satisfied I felt. Of course over the next 48 hours my back and feet and legs will feel the pain from the many trips up the ladder to the attic to put away all those boxes. UGH!  I cleaned up the kitchen from top to bottom as well, and packed away the Christmas ‘pretties’ in there.

I enjoy deep cleaning the kitchen because I love a product that I use when cleaning - Mrs. Meyers Basil Counter Top Spray. Oh goodness I do LOVE the smell of that spray! The room smells so wonderful and not at all chemical smelling. It’s a very gentle cleaner that leaves behind a light fresh and natural clean smell. It used to be somewhat difficult to find these products but several months ago W*l-M*r*t began carrying several of the lines of Mrs. Meyers products. If you have never tried any of the Mrs. Meyers products, you must get to your local W*l-M*rt. You will find them on the aisle where other household cleaners are found. They have their own section on that row.  It’s sad, but I get excited over this stuff!!

imageSome people think that packing away all the Christmas d├ęcor makes a home look bare and depressing. Not me! I LOVE the act of de-cluttering the house and the minimal / simple / clean look that results when all the decorations are put away. It’s fun to get it all out the first of December but it is so nice to pack it up again after Christmas. I love the clean, fresh de-cluttered look after a month of lots of extra stuff being out!

As I climbed up the attic ladder with the last Rubbermaid storage box in my arms – I heard the cheerful doorknob jingle bells ringing  inside the box – the bells that rang all month long, announcing every time someone walked in the front door. Their happy jingle was muffled inside the box but they were jingling nevertheless. It made me smile and I said out loud “Good-bye Christmas! See you again in 11 short months!” Smile

For now, we will enjoy the remainder of the Christmas candles – their warm glow and lovely scents. And we will enjoy a clean home and stay warm and cozy inside, anticipating the coming spring in a few weeks! In the newness of 2011 I am reminded of the old hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

"Great is Thy faithfulness," O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

"Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
"Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Welcome 2011–The Old Has Gone, the New Has Come!

The New Year came in with warmish, muggy rainy weather in the deep south last night. Thankfully we did not experience the severe weather that the Midwest had earlier.  We had a quiet night at home, watching TV. I did watch the ball drop in Times Square at midnight while Bobby snored soundly in the recliner. Dont tell anyone Yesterday Bobby made a huge pot of homemade soup and we’ve been eating on that yesterday and today. It was delicious!

Today we’ve been watching bowl games all day. Of course the one we were most interested in was the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, FL. Our beloved Alabama Crimson Tide played in that one and they won by a huge margin of 49-7 against Michigan St. What can I say? The SEC rules! The younger players were put in for a good portion of the game and still it was ugly as they romped over the Spartans as easily as the starters had. ROLL TIDE ROLL!!

What will we do for the next 8 months? I’ll miss my Alabama football but I can’t wait to see next year’s Crimson Tide! They sure looked good tonight and the ‘up and coming’ youngsters are going to be GREAT! Oh well… softball is just around the corner now so we’ll be busy with that!

The girls will be home for a few more days on Christmas break. School starts back on Thursday January 6th and I know it’s hard to go back after a break but the time will fly. The school year is half over now and in a few short months Hannah will be graduating and Katelyn will be moving on to high school. I just can’t believe how the time has passed so quickly. Upon their return to school, Hannah’s softball will get cranked up as the conditioning kicks into high gear.  The season will begin a few weeks later. In February Katelyn will try out for cheering at the high school for next year. I sure hope she makes it. Bless her heart, she has a very sore tailbone right now that makes it hard for her to move in certain ways. I really think it’s broken but there is little to do for that problem. She was shoved down hard during a game of yard football and it has been so sore ever since – for many weeks now. Does anyone know how long she will experience this pain? My poor girl. Worried

I read a good article called Resolutions For American Citizens by John Hayward, posted at Mommy Life.  You may want to read and carefully consider your resolutions with regard to your responsibilities as an American Citizen. It’s a very good article.

PartyWishing all my friends a HAPPY and HEALTHY New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Recap

IMG_13622010 – One of the coldest Christmas seasons I can remember. We even had snow across a large part of Alabama for Christmas day –almost unheard of in the deep south! I enjoyed this season with my two babies.  Hannah and Katelyn are growing up and I am increasingly aware of how short our time together is. In the blink of an eye they’ll be gone off to college and my days of mothering children will be over. Of course I’ll always be their mother but as they grow up and begin their own lives and families, my mothering responsibilities will fade to the IMG_1387background and we will become friends. And hopefully there will be grandchildren in my future, God willing.

We enjoyed the time of Christmas vacation from school – laughing, talking, watching tv together, baking and making Christmas goodies. We wore Christmas pajamas all day on some days.  What could be more comfy on days when the weather outside is frightful and flannel pajamas are so delightful!?

 Hannah and Katelyn did a little cookie baking and then while Katelyn was visiting at a friend’s house, Hannah and I did an afternoon or two of baking and dessert making. It was really fun spending that time together and I hope she will save that memory, as will I.

 Hannah was dipping pretzel sticks in white chocolate – one at a time, so carefully insuring each little stick got dipped to within a half inch of the tip, leaving a little handle to grab them by.  I asked her if she was getting tired of dipping them after a while and she said “Oh no… it’s fun!”

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While Hannah dipped pretzels, I made Ritz Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies. Not really sure that’s what they are called, but it’s my name for them! Simply spread peanut butter on a Ritz cracker and then sandwich another Ritz on top. With a butter knife, go around the edges cleaning any excess peanut butter that squeezes out. Then dip the cracker sandwich in melted chocolate bark and lay them out on a sheet of wax paper to dry. It doesn’t take them long! If you like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter (think Reese’s!) then you’ll love these.  We were busy all afternoon in that kitchen and it was delightful! Laughing, talking, creating and memory making. Even Casey kept us company, keeping a close eye on all the food prep!

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Over the weekend our oldest 3 were able to get home and we all enjoyed the family time. Bobby cooked a pot full of his renown gumbo and it was a hit! We made my mom’s Christmas punch (a yearly custom which my kids clamor for!) and a batch of her Christmas Snowballs (a pecan sandy/shortbread type goodie) and just had a wonderful time. All too soon and one by one, they had to say goodbye and head back to their homes. Though we loved having them all, yesterday afternoon there was a nice ‘quiet’ in the house… an ‘unbusy-ness’ which was welcome.

Today is December 30th – a quiet, chilly, damp gray day. We are staying in and winding down today. Tomorrow we will tackle the un-decorating and packing away of Christmas 2010. As always, it was bittersweet. I missed you mama. It has been 20 Christmas’s now, since you celebrated with us. So long ago, yet 20 Christmas’s closer to the day we will see you again! ♥