Subject Matter

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall and Football

As it turns out, MOMD is an Alabama football fan. He is a transplant from Ohio to Alabama. His son is a student there so we were invited to tailgate with his son and friends before and after the game. It is my first Alabama game though I have lived here all my life. I enjoyed the company and the game. The weather was nice, 82 degrees, with a slight breeze. Our tickets were given to us by an acquaintance of MOMD. They were great seats, around the 50 yard line, and most importantly, we were in the shade the entire game. I took a few photos to remember the game. MOMD enjoyed the college life for a few hours, hanging out with the kids. You don't realize that college is the best time of your life until it's too late and you are in the middle of a job you don't like and bills that are always due and there are demands on you that you don't want to meet. You try to tell the kids that but they just don't see it. They think life is so hard with all the study and tests but it isn't, it's the best time!
The Million Dollar Band took the field before the game. The cheerleaders got the large crowd all excited about the game.
The teams warm up and the excitement builds.
Here is the first play of the game. . . .
here is the final score. I was glad the team won for my first game. It made the rest of the evening a lot of fun. Of course the highlight of the day were the Nachos Grande that were covered in jalapenos! I had a great time in Tuscaloosa and especially enjoyed spending it with MOMD!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Life if so full of changes. Sometimes I would like for things to remain the same, at least for a little while, but they don't stay the same, they are constantly changing. The weather is changing and I do enjoy that! But there are some changes that I just don't like. My life keeps changing. I have had many changes over the years that were exciting and fun and changes that were painful and sad. One change that has happened lately is with my son, the Handyman. He is twenty four years old and an outstanding young man. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, the Tough Chick, for three years. I was really hoping for some grandchildren to come along soon. But, my son was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. It started with a random pain in his lower back, like maybe he had a kidney stone. He was in a good bit of pain and luckily went to the doctor. He is not one to go to the doctor regularly unless he has a problem that just won't go away. Tough Chick got him to go and have it checked to see if he indeed had a kidney stone. They did an ultrasound and saw "something". NOT a kidney stone. He went from doctor to doctor having xrays that whole day. They sent him for a biopsy to see what the "something" was. We were all waiting for the doctor to come in and tell us what he found and he came in and just said it... CANCER. I almost had to shake my head because I was sure that wasn't what he just said. But it was. He was certain it was cancer but uncertain as to the type of cancer he had. I was blissfully unaware that there were different "types" of cancer. I have since learned a whole lot about it. It is always best to know everything you can about an enemy. I was shocked that it was something my "baby" would have to face. It is amazing how, when faced with a trauma, a grown man can quickly turn back to a three year old in your mind. Tough Chick fell apart and luckily her dad was with her and he was able to help her. Handyman was stilled drugged from the procedure so he was oblivious to what the doctor was saying. I was hanging onto every syllable coming from the doctor's mouth. I wanted to know what I was going to be dealing with. The surgeon was blunt but honest. He gave me information, and in his own concern and query about this particular cancer and where it was located he gave me clues. (It was in an unusual spot, the middle of the abdomen. It didn't look like pancreatic cancer, it looked like testicular cancer, but we won't know without further testing.... wait on the results of the biopsy, he said.) I just wanted it out of him and my son back to normal. Where this tumor was located apparently isn't a place cancer usually starts. So we had to find the original source. Dr. V called a cancer surgeon to see if he could see us immediately and the next day we started our journey down a path I never wanted to be on. In a span of two weeks we had been to several doctors, Handyman had taken a leave of absence from his job. He was viewed inside and out from head to toe. A battle plan was formed and the fight has begun. We have been on an emotional roller coaster, and I hate roller coasters, for the past three weeks. Many changes have taken place. We have had a few attitude adjustments and now we have our game face on and are fiercely fighting the enemy, CANCER! Handyman started an aggressive round of chemo. It was five days, all day, of chemo. It was tough on him but he faced it bravely and is through with round one. DING DING DING!!!! We will have two more rounds before we evaluate again. He has two weeks off to recover his strength and gear up for round two. I am so very proud of how he has faced this problem. I,on the other hand, am waiting to fall apart, but AFTER the enemy has been defeated. We have had so many people encouraging us and praying for him. I know that God will heal his body. I also know that we all have lessons to learn from this. I hope that we learn to never take one single day for granted. That we appreciate the small things and love our families and friends unconditionally. If you have read any of my older posts you will have read about the pennies. That seems to be the way God reminds me that He is still right beside me and is taking care of me even when I don't realize it. The day that Handyman, Tough Chick and I were seeing the surgeon, to find out what we were about to face, we stopped for lunch on the way. I found a penny on the floor of the restaurant and smiled. I knew before we ever talked to the doctor that everything was going to be okay because God had just reminded me that He will go before me. All my life when there have been mountains that were in my way, God would go before me and remove them so that I didn't have to climb them. Most of the mountains were "me made". I felt peace and calmness before going in to see the doctor. I knew that whatever he told us we wouldn't be facing it alone or unarmed. I put that penny, that I call "a blessing", in my pocket to remind me to let God be in control. I have it sitting above my dressing table in my bedroom so that I can see it every day and be reminded. I made a necklace from the penny I found when my daughter was in a car accident. I don't know what I am going to do with this penny when the enemy is defeated. For now it sits and waits, like me, for the enemy to be obliterated. I know that everyone has enemies to face and mountains looming ahead, but I hope that you face them with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords at your side. When He leads the battle, the defeat of the enemy is eminent. He has the ability to move the mountains. That is not to say that we won't face difficulty or have pain or sadness but we won't have to handle it alone. Nor do we have to use our own weapons. We have pea shooters compared to weapons of mass destruction that God can provide to annihilate the enemy, whoever or whatever it is. We just have to depend on Him and His strength. If you let Him, He will speak to you in a way only you can hear, because you are the most precious thing to Him. He won't let you face things alone as long as you call on Him. Be encouraged to put on the Armor of God daily because the enemy is always creeping around. Be prepared by reading His word and praying. He will be there for you, just as He is there for me and my family right now. Don't delay, call on Him today!
Be inspired to Have a great Labor Day!!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Empty Nest!!!!

A few weeks ago I noticed that a Mockingbird was building a nest in the Crepe Myrtle in my backyard. I went inside and removed some dryer lint and placed it on a limb next to where she was working. I sat quietly in the backyard and watched her take twigs and pine straw and some of that lint and build a fine nest. A week or so later there were eggs. I was preparing to leave on my trip to Gatlinburg and I forgot to take photos of the eggs. I didn't get to photograph them at all because they were already hatched by the time I got back from my trip.

There were four cute little screaming, hungry babies in the nest when I returned.

From my vantage point, in the backyard, I watched the mommy and daddy birds taking turns hunting and feeding their growing family. The babies were voracious eaters. It was a constant rotation of feeding almost all day. It was amazing to watch the birds alternate coming and going.

This activity continued for a week or more. As I sat on my screen porch I could hear the babies screaming for more food. The parents worked continuously, one after the other, feeding the babies as a team. I don't think a single bird parent could keep up with the demand, it definitely took two birds to keep the family fed. I have a garden near by and they picked the bugs off the plants as fast as they could and fed the babies.

Yesterday, I was sitting on my porch watching the Hummingbirds feed, and photographing them, when I noticed that I didn't hear the screaming babies. I saw the mommy bird sitting on the fence but the babies were chirping instead of screaming. I turned my camera and zoomed in on the nest and I caught the babies leaving. It was all very exciting. One by one they took flight until all were gone. I just kept watching and snapping pictures. Be sure to click on the photos as a baby leaves in each one.

All that is left is an empty nest. I wonder if the bird couple will start over and raise another family or will they totally abandon the nest. I will be watching and waiting to see what happens. I know that today they are probably resting from all the work they put in to raising their family. Are they sad to see them all go? Will they still see their babies? What happens to the family once the babies leave home?

I too have an empty nest. My two baby birds have flown the nest and though they come back from time to time, I am still trying to decide what to do with the nest. I am not going to abandon it because I love my little nest, but I am changing it around. I am spreading my wings and trying to find my place in the world of creativity. I don't know where I am going or what I will be doing but I know that I will be enjoying the journey along the way. I will be sharing my nest with you as things settle in. It is all a disorganized zoo of chaos right now but little by little I am feathering my nest to take me to the next phase of my life. It is exciting to think about where I might go or what I might do. I am really grateful to have MOMD to go with me. I just had my fiftieth birthday last week. I can hardly believe I am 50!!! I still sometimes feel 18 and yet I look in the mirror and realize that those years are long ago gone. I have a great life. It is not without bumps in the road but an interesting adventure none the less. I feel inspired to spread my wings and fly but I don't know where to go. So for now I am sitting on the fence looking out at the possibilities. Life is a journey. It could be a short journey or a long one, only God knows, but I plan to spend each day of the journey grateful that I am blessed beyond measure. I am creatively inspired to journey on. I hope you have a creatively inspired day too!!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vacationing in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Tennessee

We took a family vacation last week to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Tennessee for a family reunion. MOMD (man of my dreams) and I had a wonderful time with family! We wandered around Gatlinburg seeing all the sights and enjoying some great food! Here I am standing in front of the stream that ran in front of our hotel. We watched a cute little beaver scrounge for food while sitting on the balcony overlooking the water.

We met the rest of the family at a beautiful mountain cabin above Pigeon Forge. It almost took your breath away when you saw the view from the deck of this beautiful cabin.

It rained most afternoons and cooled things off but the very first night we saw a beautiful rainbow after the rain. That was a good sign that we would have a wonderful time. And we did!

I have so much I want to share about the trip so I will save it for tomorrow. I had a really great time with MOMD's family. I got to spend a lot of my time just chillin'

It's nice to find the time to just put your feet up and enjoy each other's company!
Hope this inspires you to spend some quality time with your family soon!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!!!

I hope you have an outstanding holiday with family and friends. I am going to be spending the day with my son and daughter-in-law, my mom and MOMD! The only way it could be better is to have my daughter home and MOMD's children included as well. Maybe next year! We were all together for Memorial day and that was fun. I want to thank all the members of the armed forces who are currently active and those inactive for all they do for the freedom we have as a nation. I am grateful for the freedoms we have. Many times we take all that for granted. We are truly a blessed nation. One Nation under God. Amen!

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Clothes!!!

Why is it when you are extremely happy fat always follows? I am coming up on a year with MOMD and in that year I have gained 40lbs. (I have also never been happier.) I am going to a family reunion with MOMD's family and I have discovered that I can't get into any of my summer clothes from last year. I went shopping and I couldn't find clothes to fit that were cute and affordable. I don't like the size I am but I can deal with that I just don't want to look like a "fat old lady". (I may be one but I don't have to look like it!!!!)

When I was in high school and college I made most of my own clothes. I didn't like to look like everyone else and I couldn't afford what I really wanted wear so I made my own. I learned to sew when I was 8 years old and I got fairly good at it over the years so my clothes didn't look "homemade". I decided to try once again to sew or embellish my own clothes.

I found some really comfortable t-shirts for less than 5 bucks each so I bought several in different colors. I saw some examples and tutorials on the internet for some really cute tops so I sat down at my sewing machine to try my hand.

I started with two light blue v-neck t-shirts.

I wanted a more rounded hem so I cut the bottom in a semi-circle.

I used the hem on both t-shirts since I needed some pieces that were 1" wide. These were the right size. I cut them each into two pieces so I would have four strips.

I cut 4-2 1/2" strips from the t-shirt I was not going to embellish.

I stitched a seam down the center of the 1" strips. I used the fold of the hem as a guide for the center. I pulled the bottom thread to ruffle all four strips.

Then, I cut open the 2 1/2" strips to stitch together to make two long circles for the ruffles on the hem. I pulled the bottom thread to ruffle them and pinned them to the t-shirt. I stitched the bottom ruffle to the shirt first and then the top ruffle just above it following the semi-circle shape I had cut previously. After finishing the ruffled hem I pinned the four ruffled strips in a "paisley" shape at the shoulder and hip of the t-shirt and stitched them in place.

The finished shirt is both flattering and comfortable. I am a little thicker around the middle and the embellishments add a distraction to the negative while complimenting the positive. I loved the finished shirt. I can't wait to wear it on my trip. It only took an hour to do this and it cost less than $12.00 to make. I may even come back and add some beads or "sparkle" to it. I haven't decided yet. I will take a pic of it if I do.

I enjoyed making it so much that I found a plain white tee with a scoop neck and added some quick flowers to embellish the neck and added a few tucks to the sides. I added 15 flowers that I made around the neck. The flowers were made from some pieces of sheet, sheer curtains and tulle. I hand stitched the flowers onto the shirt and hand stitched the tucks on the sides. That took less than 1/2 hour to do and it only cost $3.00! I can't wait to wear my new shirts!

I hope this inspires you to do something like it for yourself. If you do send me a photo. I would love to see what creative things you came up with. I have a few more tees to work on. I will post the photos of them when I get to them. I apologize for the poor quality photos. I had the wrong setting on my camera when I took the pics. It was a last minute thought to take photos. I got caught up in the creativity and forgot to take photos along the way.

Leave a comment or suggestion for the other shirts. I would love hearing from you. Have an inspired day!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Faithful Friday!

We use the phase "thank God it's Friday" all the time but have you ever really stopped and thanked God it was Friday? I was sitting on my back porch this morning having a little quiet time before I got my day started, listening to the birds sing and enjoying the coolness of the morning when I thought about how grateful I was that it was Friday. I am really very grateful every day for just one more day but I forget to voice that gratitude to God sometimes. Have you ever wondered why we are left here on earth after we accept Christ as our personal Savior? Why is it we are not just brought to heaven right then and there to serve the Almighty King? We are left here on earth to live among sinfulness and selfishness and the activity of our enemy, Satan, until we die or until Christ returns and takes us back with Him to live in Paradise eternally. I was reading my devotional book, "Morning and Evening" by Charles Spurgeon and the devotion for the day addressed this very thing. The verse is from Romans 14:8..."We live unto the Lord". We are left here on this battlefield to live each day unto the Lord. We are to be actively working bringing others to know His love. We remain on earth as sowers of good seed, as plowmen to break up the fallow ground; as heralds publishing salvation. We are here as the "salt of the earth", to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are left here as workers for Him and as workers with Him. Our lives must answer its end. We are to live earnest, useful, holy lives to the praise and Glory of his grace.

That is a lot to do and be! I know that I fall short of that daily but I keep trying. God blesses us with so much if we will look around for the beauty that surrounds us. That is all a gift to us. The whole world could be gray. The birds could all make the same sound and be the same dull color. The flowers could all be gray as well but they are not! They are vibrant and colorful. There are so many different sounds and smells and colors and they are all a gift to us to enjoy. God is the original artist and His work is never ending. We are to be like Him. Today, pick up the brush that is life and paint your own masterpiece in the world. I want to inspire you to be an "Arty" blessing today!!!!

These flowers were a gift from the Creator and I am sharing them with you. I wish I could share the beautiful scent these flowers have but you will need to find your own for that. I would love for you to share your beautiful "gifts" with me. Leave me a link to your photos in the comments. Be Inspired!!!!


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