“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 know there’s 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.

MAMAANDDADDY1968

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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” and the years on Mamie Road about it 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.  

border_collie_puppy

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.

english cocker spaniel

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

Fawn-Boxer-Puppy-12-Weeks

 

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

Smart as a whip, devoted and loving.

labrador-retriever

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…

books1

“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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fairgoatsonspools

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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!

A thank you dinner…

A thank you dinner…

After a few days of stifling heat with unbearable humidity, today has been cooler.  Presently, it is up 81 degrees – warmer now than it has been all day – but it comes with a strong breeze to temper the heat.  I’ll take that.

My downstairs friend and neighbor was kind enough to feed me for a couple of nights when my neck/arm pain was so unbearable.  Tonight, I am having her for “supper” by way of a thank you.  It’s still a little too warm to crank up the oven but I’ll turn down the A/C and do it anyway.  We’re having homemade meatloat, fresh green beans, rice and fresh fruit salad.  Dessert will be Weight Watchers ice cream sandwiches.

I hope this post finds you well and staying cool – or warm if it’s cold where you are!  Below is the meatloaf recipe.  If you try it, let me know what you think!

 

A Really Good Meatloaf

1 & 1/4 pounds very lean ground beef

1/2 finely chopped Vidalia sweet onion

3/4 sleeve crushed Ritz crackers

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Toasted Onion Herb by Victoria Taylor’s Seasonings

Mix well and form into a loaf.  Place in glass dish.

Meatloaf topping:  1/3 cup Ketshup, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.  Combine and spread over top of meatloaf.

Bake at 350 degrees about 55 minutes or until done.

Happy Fourth of July…

Happy Fourth of July…

Happy Fourth of July!  Today has been a quiet day with more than my share of reflection.  The 4th of July always brings back memories for me.  Mama’s birthday was the fourth of July.  It  was always a time of reunion and a big celebration for our family.  Now, my parents are in Heaven and their descendants are scattered – mostly across the South except for my family which are in Montana, Iowa and Texas.  (My youngest keeps reminding me that I gave them roots and wings.)

The Patriot” with Mel Gibson came out in the year 2000.  I did not/would not/could not see the movie until, finally, earlier this year I watched in tears.  Somehow I knew that the movie would have a profound effect upon me.  It did.  I had been searching my family’s history back through the generations and knew that several of my ancestors had fought and died in the American Revolution.

It’s one thing to read about this nation’s history and fight for freedom in a textbook’s black and white, but to see the bloody sacrifice orchestrated across a screen is another thing altogether.  The fight for our freedom continued through other wars down through the years.  That fight continues today.  I’m thankful for those who have given and continue to give so much that we may enjoy the freedom that we have.

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My daughter and her husband and their family are in Kentucky visiting his parents, so I spent the afternoon and early evening with my friend and neighbor downstairs who was also alone for the day.  She prepared a delicious meal of garlic rosemary chicken and potato salad.  I’ve been battling a bulging disc in my neck with the pain that accompanies it, so she insisted that I come empty-handed and hungry.  There were strawberries and ice cream for dessert.  When I’m feeling better, I will reciprocate with a meal she will hopefully enjoy as much.

 

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