Cool air…

Cool air…

It takes very little to make me happy.  Precious time with my sweet family.  A slow, steady rain or warm sunshine with a gentle breeze.  Blue skies overhead with white cotton clouds.  A comfortable place to call home.  (Notice I did not say large or extravagant…just comfortable with a few of my personal touches.)  My books and time to read them.  Sustenance of course.  My morning coffee, good food, good water and maybe some Sweet Tea.  Warmth for the winter here in this cozy condo…and cool air for the summer.

The A/C unit that came with this condo that I rented almost two years now was original to the building.  My sweet “landlady” had previously had refrigerant added to it – twice.  However, there was a leak and no amount of refrigerant (which is expensive) would last that long.

It has been hot and humid here – think Memphis.  The condo had become very warm and uncomfortable.  So, thankfully, she ordered a new Lennox central air conditioning unit.  I was so glad!

Last Friday, they arrived with a very large crane.  All the central air units are on the roof – although I’ve never noticed them from outside.  The A/C unit was unpacked and securely attached to a sturdy-looking harness.  Then the crane did its work.  The unit literally dallied back and forth in the air.  I held my breath.  The next thing I knew it was unloaded and the crane lift was coming back down.  It took a few more hours and then all the work was done.  Installation successful.  Sweet cool air surged through my cozy home.

I wished my grandsons had been here for the show!  When my now sixteen year old grandson was less than two years old, he knew the names of all the earth/heavy moving equipment.  He couldn’t pronounce them completely, but he knew them.  All John Deere…of course.

 

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Annie…

Annie…

Annie is a beloved member of my firstborn’s family.  Annie is the most beautiful  Golden Retriever that I have ever seen.  She is even prettier than Alex, our family Golden for 15 years.  Annie is a light golden and came from championship stock in North Carolina.  I fell in love with this little ball of light golden fur the first time I saw her.

Now, Annie did have a strong will.  I’m thinking she may have been the “alpha pup” in the litter.  However, she has been trained beautifully and is a wonderful dog.

I wish that I could download the awesome pics that are on my iPad of Annie and me from my last visit with them.  (My computer version is not compatible with the iPad PC version download unfortunately.)  Annie climbed up on the sofa with me and snuggled in my lap!  She thinks she is a lap dog!  I was talking on my phone at the time and she kept looking up at me as if to say, “well, silly Grandmom, get off the phone!  Can’t you see I need some attention.”  So that’s just what I did.

Annie loves living in Montana now.  The family hikes, climbs mountains, wades streams and camps and it’s right down Annie’s alley!

I will be in Montana for a visit on August 20th and I can’t wait to see all of them…including sweet Annie!

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See Annie’s lip curled up?  She was talking to me when I took this photo!  It was Thanksgiving in Memphis and she was temporarily detained outside.  She wanted to be inside with the huge crowd of people!  That would have been fine with me.  She couldn’t understand why I just would not rescue her!  I would have if I could have, Annie…

“I’ll go to my grave loving you”…

“I’ll go to my grave loving you”…

The year was 1975.  My sweet, gentle Dad had heard this song on the radio and asked me if I could find the record for him.  He loved my Mama dearly and he loved this song.  At the time, I was not a fan of country music – and definitely not a fan of the Statler Brothers – but I bought a tape player and the song for him (and a few others).

I watched as he listened to the sweet harmony and the words of the song…and his eyes teared up.  The next thing I knew, there was a tear trailing down my cheek.

He did go to his grave loving Mama and his four daughters and all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren…four years before Mama.

I think about this song from time to time…and about Daddy’s love for and commitment to his family.  I’m thankful for that legacy.

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 The preview photo at top was taken about 1952 at the Memorial Gardens Cemetery.  

I wrote a post entitled “All Too Soon” about the photo and the years on Mamie Road here.

Losing another good one…

Losing another good one…

James Garner: 1928 – 2014

Some people make an impression on you without even trying.  They just can’t help it.  Tall, dark and handsome James Garner was one such individual.  No doubt, you will fondly recall him in Maverick and The Rockford Files.  Remember the role he played in 1963′s The Great Escape?  If you didn’t see it, rent it.  It’s worth two hours of your time.

I loved him in Murphy’s Romance.  He and Sally Field were perfect together.  He was her first love; she was his last.  Then, of course, there is The Notebook.  It’s time to watch it again…after I buy some tissues!

Rest in peace, James Garner.  You made this world a better place.  Here is his biography.  He didn’t have an easy early life but I’m thankful there was joy and success in the end. 

 

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JAMES GARNER

 

I think I will buy some old fashioned popcorn this afternoon – you know, the kind you pop on top of the stove - and curl up and watch this movie tonight!  Just me with my memories of James Garner… 

 

Peace that passes all understanding…

Peace that passes all understanding…

It has been an unusual week.  A week where, on more than one occasion, I have had to pray for comfort in missing those I’ve lost…for understanding…for intercession…and for the peace that passes all understanding.

sch_noitems_leafThankfully, no one is ill in my family.  No one is dying.  No one is facing a severe crisis.  Although, I did have to take my precious daughter to the E.R. the other night for an injury to her knee.  Required an x-ray and several stitches, but she is fine.  We laughed a lot in the E.R. – she through her pain.  We were remembering all the other times we’ve taken her to the E.R.  She has always been fearless and has only one speed – fast!  Fast in track and the hurdles.  Fast and competitive in basketball.  Now, she’s a happily married wife and a busy mom of four.  Still she doesn’t slow down.  I threatened to superglue her to the sofa with her leg elevated.

sch_noitems_leafMy A/C has been out and turned completely off for the past 24 hours.  The thermostat registered 83 degrees in the apartment.  I have a vertical Honeywell fan that has been attached to my hand.  I tried sleeping with it facing me last night…not too successfully.  Thankfully, the A/C repairman arrived this morning and I came close to hugging him!  He added refrigerant and the condo owner will decide whether to exchange the ancient unit (which has a leak) for a more energy efficient one!  That would help on the electric bill!  In the meantime, it is cooling down.

sch_noitems_leafI have a sweet Facebook friend named Bonnie who is sitting by her son Brandon’s bedside.  His cancer has resurfaced and he has begun his second round of painful chemo.  She listens to his moans and feels helpless.  She cries out to her Abba Father for mercy and healing.  There are people all over the world praying for this family.  I am one of them. Bonnie’s father and Brandon’s grandfather was David Wilkerson, author of The Cross and the Switchblade.  Pat Boone portrayed him in the movie by that name.  This family has been through so very much pain and loss.  My heart hurts for them.  Please join me in prayer to our YAHWEH-RAPHA “the Lord Who Heals” (Exodus 15:26) for Brandon’s healing and peace for this family.

sch_noitems_leafThrough all the changes in my life, those I share and those I do not, my ABBA Father reminds me that HE is in control…

   “There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s Kingdom. His timing is perfect.

His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus, keep me in Your will!

Don’t let me go mad by poking about outside it.” 

― Corrie ten BoomThe Hiding Place

 

Sweet gift of song…

Sweet gift of song…

My heart melted, and tears came to my eyes, as I thought about what a gift this sweet child is…and how different his life might have been.  I’m thankful beyond words that God picked this precious child to be a part of this family…all the way from Ethiopia.

And I’m especially thankful for his sweet gift of song…

Note:  for the “re-enactment”, it is “Bob the Tomato” playing the lead role.  My little grandson believes in giving all of the actors a turn at their five minutes of fame.

He loves Curious George!

He loves Curious George! (age 3 & 1/2 here)

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time at all, then you know that I dearly love my grandchildren.  I found this little post gem while browsing through my previous blog of four years, My Southern Heart.  My little charmer is five & a half now but just as loving and entertaining as ever…

I dream of puppies…

I dream of puppies…

There are some mornings that I awake thinking I must take the dog out…and then I remember:  I don’t have one.

I visit my daughter and my sons and I love each of my granddogs:  Annie, Bernie and Kiana.  When I visit, I’m faithfully followed around, kissed and slurped on, enlisted in a game of fetch (I throw, they fetch)  and have my lap turned into a pillow for each of them – even the big ones! The problem is when it’s time to go home – they don’t come with me.  For now, I cannot have a dog based on the condo rules.

So how do I comfort myself in regards to longing for a pup?  I do a little research and plan for the future.  I’m nothing if not positive you know. So if/when I can have a dog, what kind do I want?  There’s the question.  I’ve always thought that I wanted TWO yellow labs, but I’m not so sure now.  I thought I wanted a large dog – but that was when I was younger and maybe a tad more energetic.  Maybe I should get a “lap” dog?!  You think?

Maybe I should just volunteer at the pet rescue center?  Oh, no.  That won’t work.  I’d want to bring them all home with me…

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Ah, the Border Collie (above & below).  The most intelligent dog in the world.  They MUST have a job.  Period.  They will round the children or you up if there is no livestock.  Devoted family dog.  Sweet and loving.  

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I love the Miniature Dachshund!  They are beyond adorable!  However, they are very fragile and bark a lot!  Don’t think I want a “yapper”.  But you have to admit – they’re cute!

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The ENGLISH Cocker Spaniel.  Again, very cute!  They have a great reputation as a family dog.

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Well, hello, cutie pie!  Boxers make good pets from what I’ve read.  What a cute face!

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Then, of course, my sweet Labrador Retriever.  This time in chocolate!  I can vouch for this breed.  

Smart as a whip, devoted and loving.

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I saw a little fellow just like this one below, along with his gigantic parents, at an AKC national dog show.

The Newfoundland is amazing.  I would take you in a heartbeat, big guy!  Would you just look at that face?!  

Granted, when he’s full grown he will take up a lot of room but that’s okay with me!  
If you don’t have room for him, you can purchase the adorable poster here.
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Below:  Don’t let appearances and that innocent face fool you.  

Oh, yeah, he’s little and cute now but this English bull dog gets BIG and bossy!  

And they insist on their share of your bed according to my friend Shirley who has two!

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A friend of mine loves this breed below:  the Blue Heeler or Australian Cattle dog!  

I have to admit he’s really, really cute.  

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Photos courtesy of the internet.

Books on my bedside table…

Books on my bedside table…

There are not enough hours in the day to read all the books I want to read.  Granted, I’m a fast reader…but still.  I love walking into the library and just standing there, taking it all in:  thousand of books lining the shelves on every topic imaginable.  No, there not enough hours in any given day.  There are other ways I want and need to fill the precious days as well:  spending time with my children and my grandchildren (which means I fly a lot), sewing, knitting, spending time outdoors when the weather is nice, working on ancestry.com and my family history book, managing to cook enough to “survive” and  taking care of this apartment to name a few of the things that keep me busy.

Currently, I’m reading an old one by Mary Higgins Clark that I seemed to have actually missed:  No Place Like Home.  I have most of her books on my bookshelf except for this one.  It seems vaguely familiar but I don’t believe I’ve actually read it.  Just a few of my other favorite authors are Karen Harper, Patricia Cornwell, Catherine Coulter, Nevada Barr, Barbara Delinsky, Mary Jane Clark, Colleen Coble, and Dee Henderson.  I think I’ve read most of the works of each of these writers.  I especially liked the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson.

I also just purchased a new one by another of my favorite authors, Karen White, entitled A Long Time Gone.  Can’t wait to make time for that one.

So if you’re looking for a new book for your bedside table, check out one of the authors below.  You could not go wrong with any of them…

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“baby everything”…

“baby everything”…

I’ve been accused, on more than one occasion, of loving “baby everything”.  What can I say?  It’s true.  I do.  I realize that there are some animals that grow very quickly (i.e. piglets) but, oh when they’re babies, they’re so cute!  Give me a state fair – pretty much any state fair – and the first place I’ll head will be the barns.  It may be too late in my life for me to have a horse, but I still love them…especially little colts or fillies.  Be still, my heart.

And now, for those of you who also love “baby everything”, enjoy the photos!

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Above:  If I had these two adorable yellow lab puppies, I would name them Emma & Darby!

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Below:  Yes, I know she is not a “baby”…but she makes my heart sing!

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Below:  “Okay, Triscuit!  Hop out of the basket!  I need to gather the eggs!”

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The top five  photos courtesy of the internet.  The remaining photos are mine.

Lemon Banana Bread…

Lemon Banana Bread…

I spent late Thursday afternoon in the dentist chair for – what turned out to be – a marathon session:  two crowns, one filling and a last-minute wisdom tooth extraction!!  It’s just as well I did not realize before the fact that the wisdom tooth would have to be “pulled”.  It’s easier to be brave when you don’t have days to fret about something.

So, for the past three days, I’ve read, watched a little TV, napped and taken it easy.  After three days and torture to my stomach, I am giving up the antibiotic!  Yes, I’m an RN and I know better…but the side effects are worse than the cure.  I’ve eaten lots of greek yogurt and soup, but this afternoon I decided I was actually hungry.  Hungry for some warm banana bread!  Thankfully, I had three ripe bananas in the fruit bowl.  So I followed the recipe below for a delicious loaf of warm lemon banana bread…with a drizzle of Iowa honey.  Yum…

Lemon Banana Bread

1 stick of butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

the zest of one fresh lemon

1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 scant teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease & flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.  In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar mixing well.  Add eggs.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and bake approximately 50 – 55 minutes depending on oven.  Enjoy warm with a little butter & a drizzle of honey!

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