Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sarah Belle

 She was born February 24, 1923.
Look at that precious little face!

Here she is at about four holding her baby brother, John.

This is my favorite picture of my Paw and Maw, taken around 1940.  
I love the smile on her face! (And the hint of one on his!)  
She was young and so in love.

Here she is in February on her birthday.
88 years old and tootin' her own horn! 

Here we are on August 20th.  Eight days before she died.
 I thank Brian for this precious picture.

She was my grandma, my Maw.  She was 44 years old when I was born and she was mine for 44 years.  She gave me so much, taught me so much.  She was such a wonderful, adoring mama and Maw to all of us.  That's why she held on as long as she did.  For us.  I pretend that I was ready for this.  I wasn't.  Even though I saw her when she was having bad days and I knew her time was getting short, I wasn't ready.  I didn't want to let her go.  There's never been a day in my life that she wasn't there, that she wasn't where I could get my hands on her.  The past three days have been hell.  My chest is heavy, the tears come easily.  I know, I know, I know she's in a better place, she's not suffering anymore and she's free.  Free from that nursing home bed that held her captive, free from nurses who poked her and lost their patience with her, free from pain, free from worry and the bad dreams she had, free.  I know all that.  I still want her.  I want her here, well, happy, fat and sassy.  I'm selfish.  She'd had bad days before and had bounced right back and had really, really good days.  We laughed and talked and I crawled up in that bed with her and laid on her, just breathing in that sweet smell of her and listening to her heart beat.  

How blessed we were to belong to Sarah Belle.  All of us.  We're a huge family.  Maw had seven babies of her own, Gene, Brenda, Rick (my sweet, loving, incredible, handsome daddy), Robert, Linda, Carol and Wendy.  We lost Uncle Gene to a car accident in 1973.  All of those babies grew up, got married and had babies.  Kim, me, my brother Ricky, Debee, Angie, Adam, Jennifer, Kevin, my baby sister Ami, Jeremy, Lesley, Ryan and Sarah, Maw's namesake.  And some of those babies have had babies.  Maw's great-grands.  Lesley, Blaine, Cindy, Jessica, Christopher, Skyler, Emily, Tabitha, Cambria and Bennett.  We are her legacy.  We'll keep going so she will keep going.  

Maw was the greatest cook ever!  She taught my mama how to cook so I was blessed twofold there.  It's their fault I'm chubby.  :)  We spent every Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve at Maw's house.  I can still smell that kitchen.  

Maw loved her stories.  She's the reason I grew up loving CBS soaps.  Young and The Restless, As The World Turns and Guiding Light were staples in the Hall family.  Shoot, those folks WERE Halls as far as we were concerned.  We worried over them, talked about them, like they were family.

And let me tell you, Maw made the rounds every Christmas morning, to everybody's house, to see what Santa Claus brought.  Even after we were teenagers and were getting stereos and clothes, she came.

And when I met my Larry, she was so supportive.  She always told me she wanted me to be happy.  She knew that I was.  And she was just so tickled that she and Larry share their birthdays, they're both February 24th babies.  So was Uncle Gene.

I always said, "I'll see you later, Maw!" when we parted, at the nursing home and when she lived on her own.  I say that now.  No goodbyes for us.  I'll see you later, Maw!  But until then, I'll carry you with me, in my memories, my short stature, my Hall legs and my heart.  Your little Kewpie Doll will love you forever.

Happy Birthday, Lisa!

We had a birthday party for Lisa today at work and as always, we had a table full of food and lots of fun and laughter.  I needed that.

Here's what we had!

 Michelle made these delicious (and pretty!) 
lemon cheesecake squares!

 Cheryl's famous homemade onion dip 
that is out of this world!

 Lisa P's yummy little pickle 
roll-ups that we love so much!

I'm sure there's some kind of law against Dr. Patrenos' brownies with the butter and brown sugar crust on top. Good Lawd.
I made...guess??
Buffalo Chicken Dip!  :)

I hope she won't mind but I stole this picture of Lisa off her Facebook.  It was taken last month when she and her family vacationed in Hawaii.  I absolutely love it and I wanted to share it here. 

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!
Thanks for being such a wonderful friend to me.

What I'm loving Wednesday!

I'm loving my Maw.

Sarah Belle Holley Hall Beard
February 24, 1923 - August 28, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mama!!

Today is my mama's birthday!  
I ain't saying which one.  You wouldn't believe me anyway.

The older I get and the more pictures I post on Facebook, the more I get told, "you look just like your mama!"  That always makes me happy.  I think it is so cool how you can look at somebody and see where they came from.  I do it all the time.  I've always seen my daddy in my face and now I'm seeing Mama.  It's a blessing to look like my mama but what I really want is to look like her on the inside.  

My mama is the strongest, most generous, selfless, giving, loving, protective, friendly person I've ever known.  I've never known one time where she put herself over us or Daddy or anybody else for that matter.  She's raised beaucoups of children, loved on everybody she knows like they're family and led a life that makes Jesus proud of her.  She's what people mean when they say "beautiful inside and out".

She's exactly what I want to be when I grow up.  :)  I want folks to say, "you act just like your mama!", too.

Happy, happy birthday, my sweet mama.  I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

You is kind, you is smart and you is important

In the movie, The Help, that I finally got to see this afternoon, this "you is kind..." line was the most precious exchange between Aibileen, a black maid, and Mae Mobley, the little white baby girl she took care of as part of her job as maid to the Leefolt family.  Not only did these women cook and clean and do laundry for these white families, they also raised their children, loved their children, taught their children.  Mae Mobley is completely ignored by her mother and is kept quiet with cake so she's a little butterball.  Aibileen makes it her mission to make sure Mae Mobley knows that she is loved and that she is special.  I was just SO TOUCHED by this one little part!!  

The movie is awesome.  Amazing.  Funny.  Sad.  Sissy Spacek is hilarious as bad girl Hilly's mama.  I loved the scene of her eating chicken salad and watching her story, a very old Guiding Light! 

The movie is about three women, Skeeter, a white girl who was raised by a black maid (the amazing Cicely Tyson!), and Aibileen and Minny, two black maids.  Skeeter, who aspires to be a writer, comes up with this idea to write a book of stories told by the maids, their own thoughts and feelings about being maids for white families, about taking care of white babies while their own babies are at home being raised by someone else.  The maids don't want any part of it at first because we ARE talking about 1960's Mississippi, at the very cusp of the Civil Rights Movement.  They could lose their jobs or have their homes burned to the ground or worse, they could be killed for even talking about it.  Skeeter convinces them that it'll all be anonymous and they start telling their stories.  Those stories become a published book that rocks the city of Jackson to its core.

I absolutely LOVED it!!  I laughed out loud so many times and I cried twice.  I thought Hilly (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) was just too twisted for color TV and I was tickled to death at her comeuppance.  Did Minny really DO THAT or did she just say she did??  Hmmmm. 

I was happy to see Lafayette from True Blood playing sweet, good guy, Henry the waiter, too.

I loved the beginning, I loved the end and I loved all the in between.  

I expect lots of Oscars to come out of this one.  'Cause they is kind, they is smart and they is important.

Friday, August 26, 2011

There are 10 types of people...

...those who understand binary and those who don't. 

This is what I'm learning in school. How to read binary, hexadecimal and octal numbers and convert them into each other.  I think I'm getting it!!  My instructor told us that once we get this down, Digital will be the easiest class we've had yet. I remember analyzing series/parallel circuits (HARD!!) and solving linear and quadratic equations (RIDICULOUS!!) so I'm really looking forward to an easy class!! 

This look easy to you? 




Yeah.  I'mma have to study.  :)

Fill in the blank Friday!

One of life's most simple pleasures is sleeping in on a rainy day.

People who call me JUST to sell me something make me want to punch someone.

I like patchouli because it's sweet, warm and earthy.

Brouhaha is a funny word.

If I had to choose one beauty product to use every day for the rest of eternity, it would be a really good volumizing shampoo.  I cannot stand for my hair to go flat!!

I'm happy that it's Friday!!  I'm doing a whole lot of nothin' this weekend and like it.

I would never drink a beer.  Yuck.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I'm loving Wednesday!

I'm loving that God once again guided the hands of these good people to bring my mama through another successful heart procedure on Monday!

And I'm still loving this picture of a beautiful hibiscus that I found growing outside the hospital!  :)

I'm loving these two pictures Ami took of me last Saturday!

 I hadn't seen a maypop bloom since I was a little girl!
I was so tickled to find this one just growing wild beside that old dirt road.

I'm loving that I'm back in school now!

My first class was last night.  I'm in my last semester of the diploma part but I found out last night that they ARE going to offer the specialty classes at night starting in January so I'll be able to pick a specialty and get my degree after all, without having to transfer to another school!  Yay!!  I had to buy this lab from RadioShack for my class.  Didn't know that till last night either and the store here only had ONE!  Guess who got it today??  I'm taking Digital and Microprocessors this semester and when I look back to when I started in Direct Current sixteen months ago, I remember thinking, "I'll NEVER get to Digital!!"  But now I'm there!!  Yay!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

New to me

Y'all know I've been wanting to get another TV for my guest room/office but I just didn't want to buy one new.  I wanted to get one secondhand (or even thirdhand!) for frugality reasons and to make a better choice environmentally.  I was talking about it at work to Michelle, our nurse who cooks and bakes the most fabulous things and knits and roasts her own coffee beans and has a hippie heart like mine that longs for San Francisco, and she said she had one just stored in a closet in her apartment and after she talked with her hubby, told me I could have it! 

So I went after work today to pick it up.

Y'all.  That thing is 80 pounds (I googled it!) of awkward, bulky tank.  It's a 25-inch Sansui and it's in excellent condition.  I was worried that it wouldn't be by the time I got it home!!  We had to carry it down the stairs of her apartment, rolling it end over end, robot-walking it side to side, anything we could think of to get it to my car.  It was so hot, our hands were sweaty and it kept slipping.  I thought I was going to DIE right there.

It wouldn't go in my trunk but it went into the back seat, along with Michelle underneath it.  She slipped out the other door, we said our goodbyes and I left, not knowing how in THE hell I was going to get it out of my car and into my house without busting it wide open.

I thought about it all the way home and when I got home, I pushed my office chair out to the car, pulled and tugged, prayed, tugged and pulled, pushed my hair out of my eyes, prayed, tugged some more, got half of it into the chair, huffed and puffed, pulled some more until it was all in the chair, the chair's hydraulics collapsed under its weight and the TV almost fell out onto the driveway screen first, ohmygod, I grabbed it just in time, threw my weight onto it to hold it in place and started slowly moving toward the front door.  I got it in the house, as far as just inside the front door.  But it was IN!!!  And it was COOOOOOOOOL in here.  Then I collapsed!!  For just a minute.  I pulled and dragged and rolled it until I got it into the room it was going in and had it hooked up to my Directv cables in less than five minutes.

And now I'm watching Caddyshack!  :)

Thanks, Michelle!!  I'm sure we'll never forget this afternoon!  Ha!!

Fill in the blank Friday!

My idea of pure perfection would be if everybody was open-minded and accepting of other people's ideas and beliefs, whether they be religious or political.  Oh, and a little bungalow on the beach would be schweet, too.

Oil makes the world go 'round.  And that makes me sad.

If it weren't for that blankety-blank candy drawer at work, I would have lost weight this summer! :)

Bloggers are going to rule the world!

If I had my husband at home, I would be very happy.  So happy that I might even become a 50's housewife like the girl in this picture.  NOT!!  I'd never be able to keep my mouth shut.  And cooking supper from scratch every night??  Puhleeeze.

I'm glad it's Friday because this has been another long, exhausting week!  Between that leaking pipe in the yard, broken toilets and a phone that rings off the hook at work, I'm ready for a quiet, restful weekend.

Something I'm excited about is going back to school on Tuesday!  I'm ready to learn how digital electronics work!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I'm loving Wednesday!

I'm loving that I got my yearly mammogram today!

You may not think that's something to love but I love my girls and I do all I can to make sure they stay healthy.  I think mammograms have gotten an erroneous bad reputation.  They do not hurt.  So if you're out there reading this and you've been putting off getting your first mammogram because you think they hurt or are uncomfortable, girl, make an appointment!  If you're 35, you should have already had your baseline mammogram, one they can compare your yearly ones to once you hit the big FOUR OH.  Technology is a beautiful thing and the equipment they use now is so much better than that of even two or three years ago.  The shelves are padded and soft and rounded and YOU control the pressure.  It's a little pinchy but that is IT.  There's no pain whatsoever.  Mammograms can't catch 100% of cancers, no equipment can, but with regular mammograms, the chances of catching something small and in its early stages are so much higher.  

Get your mammograms and protect second base!  :)

I'm also loving that I'm not losing 100 gallons of water out in the yard today!  Yay!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No fish pond for me!

Okay, so I wait all day to hear from the city about the water leak in my yard.  They never call.  I get home this afternoon and there's a little swamp growing out there!  AND water is bubbling out of the ground!  I call the water department back but of course, it's after 5:00 and they're closed so they connect me with 911 and I feel a little guilty when she answers, "Houston County 911, what's your emergency?" and I say, "I got water in my yard" but what can I do?  They connected me!

I tell her that I just want somebody to come out and tell me whose responsibility it is so I can get it fixed if it's mine 'cause it's GUSHING WATER EVERYWHERE OH MY GOD AND I'M A HIPPIE TREEHUGGER AND IT'S KILLING ME FOR THAT MUCH WATER TO JUST BE GUSHING LIKE THAT DON'T YOU CARE ANYTHING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT????????

She said she'd get somebody out here as soon as she could.

He shows up about 6:00 and told me and my neighbor, David, who'd already offered to fix it for me, that it was indeed my responsibility BUT that he would dig it out for us.  And he did and he wrote down everything we'd need and stayed until about 6:45 talking to us and telling us what to do.

I took his little list to Lowe's, got the stuff, went by Sonic and got some supper and came back and David and his daddy fixed it!!  In about two hours!!  What a wonderful neighbor I have!!  On THAT side, anyway.  On the other side, uh-uh.

Here are a few pics!!

 A root had cracked the coupling in the pipe
(They saved me the cracked coupling as a souvenir.
I told 'em I was gonna put it on my mantel.  Ha!
What's funny is I probably will.)

Here's some dirt!  :)

 David calling his daddy

Brand spankin' new coupling!

I don't know when the leak started but I'm guessing it's been a few weeks.  It just took a while for it to break through the ground.  Coincidentally, my water bill came today and it was $5 more than it usually is and showed that I used 160 more gallons this month than I used last month.  'Cause it was leaking into the ground!!  I can't stand the thought of 160 gallons of water just wasted like that!!  Next month's bill should be a doozy.  Oh well, it's fixed now and I learned a LOT.  I think I could even do it by myself next time!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm just gonna throw a couple of fish in there...

...and have my very own goldfish pond like Mama and Daddy have!

I came home today to this little puddle in my front yard.  We haven't had rain in days so there must be a leak in the line somewhere.  I called the city and they're going to come out tomorrow and look at it.

I hope it's something they'll take care of but it's closer to my house (like RIGHTTHERE) than it is the road where the meter is so it's probably going to end up being my responsibility.  Oh, the joys of homeownership!  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Today I...

...finally got something at Aldi that I don't like.

Two skint-up toes

I went this morning to get a few things and when I opened the door to the refrigerated case to get a carton of eggs, the door opened on top of my foot.  Owwww!!  And I absolutely had on flip flops.  Y'all remember that if you go to the store in Warner Robins.  The door opens low and it has a sharp edge!

...cooked a pot of cabbage and ham and tried cooking brown rice in the crock pot.  Both turned out great!

I love brown rice but I don't like for it to be crunchy.
Three hours on high in the crock pot gets it just right!

...'bout decided to call Channel 13 on MGT.
When I started the electronics program at Middle Georgia Tech in April of last year, I was told that if I came to class, studied and maintained a 4.0 average, I was in the co-op program.  The golden job at Robins Air Force Base, where you work six months and go to school six months until you graduate.  We all were told that.  Guess what?  It wasn't true.  It was a hoAX, as my old buddy, Lewis Grizzard, used to say.  As soon as we were all eligible for the co-op (six months in, 4.0 average, blahblahblah) in December, my friend, Caitlin, and I (the only girls left in our class by then!) were accidentally left off the interview list so we didn't get our first shot until March.  The base interviewed 80 students and hired 11.  All guys.  Okay, so then we get our second shot, right?  We wait until after we finished up the linear electronics class in May and were told our interview would be in June.  Then it was pushed back until after the semester starts in September and TODAY, I get an email (well, I got it last week, I just didn't check my school email until today) telling us it's going to be the end of November.  I will finish and graduate in December.  I am almost done!!  And this illusive base job, that I'm not even sure that I ever wanted to begin with, is STILL a carrot danglin' in front of my face.

Why am I letting them do this to me??  I'm 'bout ready to call Lorra and let her come do a story and expose them for the fake they are.  They are still lying to students, still promising base jobs when there ARE NONE and are still enjoying record enrollment because they lyin'.  Still getting that HOPE Grant and Pell Grant money.  Still selling textbooks for $100 a piece.  It's infuriating.

I do not believe that things happen accidentally.  I believe that every rejection is God's protection so I'm not too very upset about this.  I see His Hand all in it.  He knows me, He knows my heart.  There are lots of places I can use my electronics education and do good.  Or not.  Maybe I won't ever use it.  But I know that I'll never think of the past sixteen months as a waste of my time.  I have learned so much about a field that previously, I knew absolutely nothing about and I've learned so much about myself, that I CAN do something besides finance.  And I CAN do trig!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday!

The TV show that I watch and would be embarrassed to tell anyone about is probably not a TV show.  I only watch a few shows regularly, True Blood, Rescue Me and The Office.  BUT I watch a truckload of Lifetime movies and yeah, they're kinda hokey.  Larry calls that The Manhater Channel.  Ha!  I swannee, though, once you sit down and watch one, you've watched three before you realize it.  Especially on the weekends.  Or is that just me?  :)

An item of clothing that is worn and torn but that I love far too much to throw away is a pair of black cotton pajama shorts that I got at Target six years ago.  They are most raggedy.  Big old hole in the butt and everything.  I sleep in 'em just about every night.  I love 'em.  

My grocery store impulse buy is nail polish.  I go in there to get a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, maybe some bananas and I'll find myself in the cosmetic aisle every time!!  I only polish my toes and since I'm barefoot more often than I'm not and when I'm not, my toes are still showing 'cause I've got on flip flops or sandals, they got to be pretty, right??  

One thing in my life that I could give up but probably never will is Facebook.  I'm totally addicted.  I love expressing myself through my statuses and comments, keeping in touch with my friends and family that I don't get to see very much and just last week, I created a page to bring all my hometown folks together.  It's been so much fun reminiscing and talking about home and sharing memories.  400+ members and still growing!!

A little indulgence I have is a Dairy Queen cone every Sunday afternoon.  Yeah, that's probably why I haven't lost any weight this summer!  I leave Larry at 3:00 and just as a treat on Sundays, I'll stop at DQ and get a vanilla cone.  And sometimes, I'll get it dipped.  :)

The junk drawer/area in my house is virtually nonexistent!  I can't stand clutter!  I do have a utility drawer in my kitchen where I keep extra batteries, matches, a couple of flashlights and my collection of loose screws and nails but even that drawer is neat and organized.  

If you looked in my purse right this second, you would find a small makeup bag filled to capacity with the necessary makeup should one get caught in a torrential downpour and have to redo her face lest she scare folks, a small bottle of contact lens solution and a contact lens case, a spare pair of contacts, a pack of tissues, my old-school address book that still has my sweet mother-in-law's address and phone number in it and for that reason, I'll probably never get rid of it, my silver opera wallet that Ami gave me for Christmas last year that I LOVE, my checkbook with the hippie-peace-love-happiness cover that I bought on Etsy, six blue ink pens, my cell phone and my Canon PowerShot camera.

And yes, my pocketbook weighs 53 pounds.  :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

 Today is my daddy's birthday!  It's a big one, too.  
In dog years, he'd be like 455 years old!!  Ha!
Happy, happy birthday, Daddy!!!

I hope you have a day as wonderful and fun as you are!! 

I love you very much!!! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What I'm loving Wednesday!

A Wendy's baked potato for lunch!

I have just been craving these lately.  99 cents is a very frugal lunch!  :)  I added my own no-cal spray butter, lowfat sour cream and fresh chives that I grew from seed in my laundry room windowsill.  Yum!!


And there's THIS today! 



Macon, GA (31201)

88°F (31°C)
Feels Like:93°F
Wind:9 mph

88 degrees and low, low humidity. Well, low for Georgia. It feels not even a little bit like fall but much, much better than yesterday.  :)

Friday, August 5, 2011


For about five or six summers now, I've had a housemate.  Well, a porchmate, anyway.  A little lizard that I call Sammy.  He lives in a crack in the concrete on my porch stoop, just under the front door.  

I've talked about him to Larry and to my family but until today, I never got a picture of him.

I realize that this is more than very likely NOT my original Sammy but probably his great-great grandchild but I was still happy to finally snap him!  I've been carrying my camera around with me all the time since we started doing the scavenger hunts last month and when he shook his little bright blue tail at me today, I was ready. 

 I googled him and he's a blue tail sandveld (or skink).
He looks like he'd just had lunch, too!  Fat little belly!!

 Ain't he beautiful??