Sunday, September 29, 2013

How'd you spend your weekend?

What a weekend!  Yesterday, Ami, Brian and I went to Atlanta to visit the grave of an old friend of ours, old friend for her, old kid I babysat for me.  Today is Wayne's birthday.  He would have been 37.  He was a deputy in Cherokee County and ten years ago, he was killed answering a call, doing what he did best, trying to help somebody.  He was a sweet kid who would do anything in the world for you.  What's so sad and the hardest to deal with, though, is that call was a false alarm.  We'd never been to his grave so Ami picked this weekend to go, to celebrate the day he was given to us.  After we got some help finding his grave (Crest Lawn is huge!!), we sat there a little while and talked and remembered him.  I think my most vivid memory of Wayne is how he would not go to bed when I told him to.  His little brother, Matt, would fall asleep on the sofa and I would move him to his bed but Wayne wanted to stay up and talk to me.  He would "just ten more minutes!" me until his parents drove up in the yard and then he would run to bed.  I babysat them for $2 an hour.  I'd give anything to have just one Saturday night back.

On our way to Atlanta, we stopped off in Forsyth and shopped at two thrift shops.  I went with my heart set on some record albums, some blue and white plates and some vintage bedding.  I got all that and more!  We went to Circle of Care and Family Thrift Store.  This is Circle of Care.  Yeah, I know.  We were overwhelmed.  There is so much to look at!!  I ended up getting two sheets and nine pillowcases for $8.50, two beautiful blue and white plates for $10, a pretty blue and white saucer for 39 cents (YES!!  39 cents.  Because it had a tiny chip you can hardly see.  I don't mind chips.  I think a chip in a dish (or cup or flower pot) just shows that dish had a life.  It has lived and has a story.) and 22 albums for $3.70!!  And a whole bunch of other stuff.  Here's a pic of my buggy.  :)

I got this gorgeous fall painting at Family Thrift Store for $10.  I love it!!  I joked on Facebook that it's hanging over our sofa right now and I'm trying to figure out a way to jump in it.  Do you blame me??

We had lunch at The Prime Palate and it was so delicious that it was borderline ridiculous.  I had a pork chop (and later fried chicken!), mac & cheese, cheesy potatoes, black-eyed peas, butter beans, green beans, cornbread and blueberry cobbler for dessert.  I was full as a tick when we left and sooooo miserable.  But it was a good miserable. :)

I talked to Larry this morning and he went to Wild Adventures yesterday!  And rode everything out there.  Including the 180 foot bungee jump.  I cannot tell y'all how many times I said to him, "you are SO crazy!" while he was telling me about it.  I lost count.  He had a blast, though!  He loved all the roller coasters and the fast-upside-down-take-your-breath nonsense of it all.  I'm kinda glad he went on and did all that 'cause this girl ain't crazy.  :) 

We're just about to the two-thirds mark.  October 8th, we'll have three months left!  Things have not gone the way we thought they would or hoped they might but that's all right.  One of our favorite scriptures is Romans 8:28.  God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.  God will work this for our good, too.  I don't believe God brings us to a trial without having something great waiting for us on the other side of it.  He has proven this to me over and over.  While this is indeed a trial, our something great starts January 8th and I cannot wait!!

I went to Willie's funeral this afternoon.  I don't even want to call it a funeral, though, because it was like no funeral I've ever been to.  It was a going home celebration!!  A celebration of Willie's life given for him by the lives that he touched.  That church was packed.  Standing-room only.  Full of family, friends, coworkers and classmates.  I was amazed from the beginning all the way to the end.  From the beautiful white horse-drawn carriage that brought Willie to the church, to the gun salute and the playing of "Taps", to the music, the memories, the tears, the laughter, the praise dance that had me sitting there with my mouth hanging open, to the breathtaking dove release at the end.  A wonderful, loving send-off.  I've never seen anything like it.  I'm so happy I went and was a part of that.

I've had a busy, busy weekend!  Now I think I'll follow Tabbie Hoffman's lead and take a nap.  :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013


When I went back to school in January to finish up the electronics program for my co-op requirement, I had to go on swing shift at work and one of the first guys to take me under his wing was Willie Whitehead.  Willie had been at the base for many years and was a master electrician.  He knew everything about everything and could just tell you what was wrong with something without looking at it.  I saw him many times just walk up to that plane, turn a few things with his wrench and walk away, saying, "there you go".  In addition to the experience and wisdom he brought to our crew, he also made a mean pot of coffee.  He kept our coffee going round-the-clock in the break room and when you work second shift, you need your coffee.  

Willie had this big toothy grin that just lit up the room.  He had contagious laughter and a crazy sense of humor.  He loved bananas.  He also smoked like a chimney in winter.

Part of my training that I had to complete was ops checks in Cell 6, where Willie was assigned.  Every single time Willie saw me in the cockpit, he would yell up at me, "Get down from there!" and just laugh and laugh.  He said I was going to get hurt and had no business up there.  It became our little private joke and I got to the point where I would just yell, "NO!" down at him before he had a chance to yell up at me.  That always made him laugh.  Willie fussed at me for cleaning the break room, too.  He said the guys wouldn't appreciate it or keep it clean and that I was wasting my time.  I'd tell him, "Yeah, but Willie, it's filthy and I can't stand it."  He'd just shake his head at me. 

Willie got sick this spring.  He didn't know what it was but he suspected his heart.  He went to the doctor who put him in the hospital for tests.  After countless tests and many uncertain days, it was discovered that Willie had stage four lung cancer.

He never returned to work.  He did, however, attend our Wingman Day fish fry Labor Day Friday and I am so thankful that I got to see him and talk to him and hug him and tell him how much we missed him at work.  He had lost so much weight and he was weak as a kitten but that smile was exactly the same.  He hugged me back and told me he was glad to see me. 

Willie passed away last week.  Just precious few months after he was sitting at his table in the break room eating his banana without a care in the world.  I'm sad.  I miss him.  I miss his grin, I miss his laughter, I miss his fussing at me, I miss his white hair.  

Willie, I know you're in heaven now but I wish I could tell you to "get down from there!" and come back to us.  But you're in a place where there is no cancer, no pain.  Only peace, love and laughter.  And I know our F-15's are even more beautiful from up there.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Compostable cup update

Nearly two years ago, I was given a compostable cup to put in my compost bin and I just wanted to give y'all an update on it.

It is still a cup.

I am disappointed.

Here's Day One.  All new and shiny.

Here's today, Day 662 (or thereabout)

It's not that much different.  Just old and wrinkly.

We're going to build a new compost bin in the spring, when Larry and I sod the backyard.  Something like this, made from wooden pallets and super easy.

I'm not giving up on that cup.  :)

Happy 1st Birthday, Lizzie!

After a quick change of plans, we gave our little Elizabeth Faye a pink and lime green birthday party Sunday afternoon.  Aunt Ami made all the beautiful decorations, including a birthday flag banner, a sweet little o-n-e banner for her high chair and an adorable Happy Birthday hat!


She got lots of cool presents, too!  A baby doll, some bubble bath, a cute little cook set with a skillet and a chicken leg, a Chatter Phone, lots of clothes and some books.  And she made THE biggest mess with that red velvet cake!  

Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl!!

Real Live Woman

I've been asked many times by readers of my blog and by my "friends" on Facebook if my family is as loving and close and perfect as we seem.  Well, we love each other, that's a given, but we're far from perfect.  No family is perfect and we are definitely not without the occasional meltdown.  Something has been going on in my family that has been bugging me for months and I've let it fester but after speaking my mind and getting everything off my chest at Lizzie's 1st birthday party (Sorry, baby!  I'm just so relieved that you won't remember any of that.), I have peace about it now.  I know where I stand and I know what I need to do.  And I know that I will no longer accept excuses for certain members of my family.  There's a song by Trisha Yearwood that I love called Real Live Woman and there's a line in it that I yell out in the car when I'm singing along with her.  Well, I pretty much belt out the entire song but this line is mine.  :)

And I no longer justify
Reasons for the way that I behave
I offer no apologies
For the things that I believe and say
And I like it that way

Here's the video if you want to hear the whole song.  It's my favorite Trisha song because it is how I feel about everything.  From the size of my jeans to speaking my mind to the man who loves me more than anything else on earth.

If you love me, great.  If you don't like me sometimes, well, that's okay, too.  And when I show my butt, love me anyway. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

The 20th already??

Wow!  This month is just flying by!  I just realized that I haven't even blogged about anything since the 7th.  I have been busy busy busy!!!  I worked last Saturday and pretty much slept all afternoon Sunday.  I'm taking this weekend off since this house doesn't clean itself and we have Baby Lizzie's 1st birthday party Sunday afternoon!  It's hard to believe that little baby is a year old already.  A lot has happened in a year.  She learned to laugh and patty cake, she got some teefies and she's thisclose to walking.  Oh, and she's getting a little brother or sister, too.  :)

When Larry went to Quitman, I prayed that time would go by fast for us and it really, really has.  We are a little over three months away!  He's taking a welding course right now and he's really enjoying it and doing awesome at it, too.  He joined the Student Leadership Council there at the college and he's involved with that as well as keeping things going at the Refuge.  I worry that he's going to burn out but so far, so good.  I guess it's just good that he's not like poor Jacob in the Bible, who had to do seven years of indentured servitude just to get a girl he didn't even want.  At least at the end of this, Larry gets the girl he wants.  :)

My sweet friend, Lisa Skinner, made Larry some chocolate chip cookies last week and sent them to him.  He said they were delicious!  Thanks, Lisa!  You are such a great friend to us.  And you shamed me miserably because I didn't think of it first!  :)

Three months nineteen days!  We can do this!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lazy Saturday

The first little scattering of leaves on the deck.
Only a bazillion more to come.
I just love all those cozy shadows!

I took advantage of some almost-fall sunshine this morning to dry a few things on the clothesline while Tabbie Hoffman tormented a squirrel.  
Or maybe it was the other way around.  

And my little mushroom girl, Willow, posed for this picture for me!  
I printed it right away and put it on my fridge.  
She had a busy day yesterday of cleaning, rearranging and eating apple pie!

I still haven't gotten my fall decorations down from the attic yet.  
I'm waiting for that first soup day.
Or maybe I'm just productively challenged.  :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday Supper - Pork Chop Casserole

I don't know if it's because I'm southern or if it's because I'm lazy but I love a casserole.  Just having the whole meal in one dish makes me so happy.  One of my favorite things to make is poppy seed chicken casserole.  And I make baked chicken thighs with red potatoes, olive oil and rosemary a lot, too.  I call that Rosemary Chicken and it's not really a casserole but it still all goes into a 9x13 glass dish so it's close enough for me!  So when I hear of a casserole I've never had or made, I have to try it.  The other night, one of the guys I work with had pork chop casserole leftovers for supper and I tried it and it was sooooo good.  He gave me the recipe and I made it today.  It was delicious!!

  • 4 pork chops (I used boneless pork sirloin cutlets)
  • 4 cups sliced potatoes
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • grated American cheese
Brown pork chops. Place potatoes in greased 2-quart baking dish. Saute onions in pork chop drippings. Mix together soup, milk, onions and drippings, salt and pepper.  Pour over potatoes.  Place pork chops over potatoes; sprinkle with cheese.  Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for about 60 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Serves 4.