Saturday, December 26, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year!

What a blessed Christmas -- our first Christmas with our granddaughter! It was wonderful having everyone here for Christmas morning and getting to see Kate with all her presents! Of course she really liked the tags -- and books -- best!

She's so cute crawling around. It was fun to watch her learn to climb up the step into the dining room and kitchen and see how far she could go without getting stopped by an adult! And when she's told, "no, no," she sticks out her finger and shakes it! How wonderful it feels to have her stick out her arms to come to me!

Casey, John and Kate have moved on to the other grandparents' home now, and Anna will go back to Atlanta tomorrow. We'll see Gary and Carolyn tomorrow who are down from Birmingham, and Walker and his family will be in town on Wednesday! So, we'll be watching Tennessee (Walker's alma mater) play on New Year's Eve, and Auburn on New Year's Day!

We truly are blessed and very grateful for our wonderful family.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

Sometimes we get so caught up in the rush of Christmas, we forget the real reason we celebrate. This beautiful song was sent to me by my friend Terri Anderson in Minnesota, and it comes from St. Louis County in Missouri. My prayer for all is to focus on the real reason for this season . . . Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

CiCi, Anna and Kate's weekend!

This past weekend was Casey and John's fifth wedding anniversary, so Anna and I got to babysit while they took a short trip to Nashville to rest and relax. We decided it takes two to take care of Kate (and Cherokee, the dog -- but don't tell him he's a dog!). When she's awake, she's on the go and crawling everywhere and getting into everything!

We had so much fun feeding and playing. She loves her flower puff finger foods and beef and vegetables -- but she hates cereal and tries to push it away.

Kate really did good with us and didn't cry much. She loves playing with CiCi's glasses -- and cell phone -- and the TV remote. Forget the bright shiny toys that make noise -- she wants the grown-up toys!

It was a delight getting some time with her without her mom around -- because when Casey's around, she doesn't want anyone else! I can't wait to see her this week again for Christmas. But I know she's going to have more fun with the paper and bows than the toys!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting ready for Santa!

Casey took some photos of Kate with Santa and in the snow last week that I've meant to upload.
Doesn't Kate look so cute peering at Santa in wonder? Evidently, it wasn't long before she pitched a fit and wanted down! Casey said it was so funny to watch Kate's face change from wonder at Santa to screaming to get down! And now Kate hates every Santa -- even stuffed ones!

It's been so long since it snowed enough to get a snowball here that I can barely remember.
I think it was 1993 when we had the big ice storm. It was calf show weekend and we had a thunderstorm the night before and woke up to snow and ice everywhere. Anna was stuck at Camp Victory -- and I had to go to work. We had lines down everywhere! Kate got her first snow last week, and I love this little stocking cap!
Anna and I get to babysit next weekend while Casey and John take an anniversary trip! Yea! Can't wait!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yeah, Baby!

What a fun -- but so busy -- weekend! The best part was having little Kate with us for the weekend -- along with Casey, John, Anna and Zach! Because of the Auburn-Alabama game being on Friday, messing up the whole Thanksgiving weekend, we had our family Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, and Gary, Carolyn, Brian and Amanda came down from Birmingham.

It took a little while for Kate to warm up to us -- and Stacy scared her and made her cry! I tried to tell him to use his "indoor non-school voice!"

Along with the Civic Club Rival Run that we did Sat. morning -- and Casey and Anna ran in -- we had Jenna's wedding that Anna was a maid-of-honor in. The wedding and Jenna were just beautiful -- and so sweet. We certainly wish Jenna and Brent a wonderful life! Kate even did some dancing -- no, not by herself. She can't even walk yet!

So Stacy and I brought Kate home after she conked out at the reception while the kids stayed til the end! That's just what you do for your grandchild! And so worth it!

Casey and I went up to the attic and got down some of the girls' toys for Kate to play with -- that get to stay here at the house! I think I need to find a toy tub! Of course, the Tinker Toys (Casey's favorite), the Fisher Price Zoo, a couple of My Child dolls, sock monkey, rocking chair . . .

So you can see we had a fun weekend! And the best part is we get to see her . . . ugh, them . . . again on Friday for the big game . . . well, the game. Don't know how big it will be this year. Not expecting too much! But I'm going to baby-sit while everyone else goes to the game! What I'll do for my granddaughter! Isn't she cute?

Monday, November 16, 2009

We're just a statistic

With the healthcare debate in Congress, it was only a matter of time before the government got into deciding how many people saved by cancer screenings was enough to make it worthwhile.

Evidently 15% of women saved by early detection of breast cancer isn't enough to recommend mammograms for women age 40-49. That's because some are false-positive and may cause some women discomfort and stress from having a biopsy when they might not actually have cancer. What's the discomfort of finding out they actually do have cancer and it wouldn't have been found if they hadn't had the mammogram?

And earlier this year it was testing for prostate cancer. Nope, don't need it any more according to the government. Not enough people saved to make a PSA test worthwhile or cost-effective. Again, the discomfort and stress of a biopsy aren't worth saving a few lives. You're supposed to make your own "personal health care choice" about whether you need the test or not based on your own "beliefs and values."

These reports were made by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, "an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention that reviews the evidence of effectiveness and develops recommendations for clinical preventive services." What it really is? A panel of experts funded and appointed by the government of the United States. And it has no oncologists on its board of experts.

Basically, they look at statistics and decide if the statistics warrant the expense of tests. Is it any wonder that these reports come at a time when the government wants to cut back on health care costs? What better way than to get rid of expensive tests? Why bother if you can't save enough people with those tests?

Is this what we have to look forward to for our future in healthcare in the U.S.? Going backwards in decades of research and trying to save lives? Now what it's down to is the question: "Is the expense worth saving 15% -- or must we have 25% -- but why not make it 50%?"

I know why it's worth it! For my brother Walker, diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 45 -- wouldn't have happened with these new guidelines. Ask him if the inconvenience of a biopsy and treatment was worth it?

For my friends Lynn and Ann and Janet and Dianne and Deborah and Alice -- all diagnosed with breast cancer under age 50. Ask them if they were worth it? You better believe it!

This is a comment from one of the articles I read on the subject: "When examined at the level of individual case histories, screening saves lives, period. About 95 percent of women diagnosed early with breast cancer now survive their disease. Most of that gain came from early detection (self-exams and mammograms) despite what the large population statistics may suggest. Until we figure out how to identify whether your cancer, diagnosed early, will kill you or not, get screened, or risk becoming one of the people who end up on the wrong side of the statistics."

Read the article in the Wall Street Journal about mammogram recommendations. Read the article about prostate screening. Then you decide if you or your friends or family are worth the expense? Evidently our government doesn't think so. To them we're just a statistic.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone -- and be safe!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Trick or Treat

My cute little munchkin!
For Halloween, Kate is going to be a chicken, Casey will be a cow, and John will be the farmer! Of course, photo is by Casey Cooper Photography. So nice to have a professional in the family to take such cute pictures!

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Aaaahhhh Vacation!

I've been needing one of these vacations . . . the kind where you're not in line and in a crowd every minute or rushing off to a reservation . . . one of those vacations where you can just "mosey"! Well, Stacy and I just took a trip to New England to "watch the leaves change!" How much more laid-back can you get?

Although it didn't start out that way! We had a flat tire before we even got to Enterprise! Stacy put on the spare. Thanks to Jim Whaley's Tires (just before you get to Wal-Mart) in Enterprise for helping us out with a new tire and getting us on our way to Atlanta. At least we weren't on a tight schedule since we were spending the night in Atlanta and flying out the next morning! We managed to make it to the Marriott Airport before too late -- and the Marriott bed made it worthwhile! Plus they have a "park and fly" policy so you can park your vehicle there (free of charge) for up to 8 days and take their free shuttle to the airport! Now that's the way to go -- and we didn't have to remember where in that airport parking lot our vehicle was!

We flew into Portland, Maine, on Sunday on AirTran. I was able to upgrade to business class the night before when I did our online check-in (for just $60 each) -- and now Stacy's spoiled with the big cushy seats and good service! It is soooo worth it! Arrived on time and went to Alamo (best price) to get our rental car -- a red Chevy Impala, very clean and fairly new!

Thank goodness we took the Magellan GPS, because I would have gotten us so lost and we'd probably still be up there somewhere in northern New Hampshire trying to find our way back! We drove across New Hampshire and just across the Connecticut River from Dartmouth College to Norwich, Vermont, where we were staying three nights at the Norwich Inn. It was a cute inn -- small town. Our room was on the second floor -- in blue and white with a comfy kingsize bed with a small sofa and flat-screen TV. The bath was tiny, but cute. There was a pub downstairs and we ate there one night and two nights in Hanover at Molly's Restaurant (the hangout for Dartmouth).

On Monday we rode down to Quechee and Woodstock, VT, then on up following the Green Mountain Forest to Stowe and Waterbury. The scenery was just beautiful -- everywhere. We stayed on two-lane roads and avoided the Interstate -- and just "moseyed" along!

On Tuesday, we woke up to snow! Then it turned to rain. We were heading to northern New Hampshire through the White Mountains. The higher up we got, it began to snow -- really big flakes. It was so beautiful! We stopped several times to take pictures. From Conway, we headed up toward Mt. Washington -- but it was getting foggy by the time we got there and we didn't try to go to the top (thank goodness)! Then the GPS got stuck and wouldn't tell us where we were and I had to get us back by reading the "paper map"!

On Wednesday, we checked out and headed south to the Vermont Country Store (my mom's favorite store and I promised her we'd go!) Then on over across New Hampshire to southern Maine. We spent the night there in Kennebunk at the Kennebunk Inn. Cute room, but very small. I managed to get Stacy to stop at one antique shop!

Stacy wanted "Maine lobster," so we went to Kennebunkport and walked on the beach there -- didn't see the Bushes, they must have been out of town -- and ate at Bartley's -- the home of Mrs. B's famous blueberry pie. Stacy got his "giant" lobster, and I had a wonderful prime rib -- and we shared some of that blueberry pie -- and it's just as good as they say it is! They had photos of the Bush family all over the restaurant and said that Mrs. B's pie had been on Air Force One!

And on Thursday, we headed back to Portland to fly home. It was a great vacation -- with beautiful views, and rich fall colors, and snow! And to think it was all Stacy's idea!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kate's dedication

Dedicating Katherine Lee Cooper to the Lord - what a wonderful day of blessings for our family!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kate's Dedication Weekend

We took the great-grandmas to Madison this weekend for Kate's baby dedication at First Baptist Church of Madison. I don't have the photos from the dedication (didn't want too commercialize the service with too many cameras) -- so I'll have to get those from Casey. But, needless to say, Kate was beautiful in the georgeous christening gown Casey was able to use from her photo shoot for Sew Beautiful magazine.

During the dedication, Kate just looked at the pastor just like she knew what he was talking about! She was very sweet, but kicked her little feet under the dress and looked around like she was thinking, "What am I doing up here with everyone looking at me?"

We had the whole family there -- Coopers and Hatchers! Anna and Zach came over from Atlanta, John's parents Mitchell and Kaye (PaPa and Nanna) came from Wadley, John's sister Dana and Lance Raughton came from Auburn with their boys Langley and Landon, Great-grandmas Adalee Stockley (my mom, Nanny) and Mary Hatcher (Stacy's mom, MawMaw), and Stacy and me (PawPaw and CiCi)!

Langley and Landon were so sweet and cute with Kate and got her to chatter and laugh! It was a wild time -- and I know Casey, John and Kate were happy to get some peace and quiet when we all left (although most of us stayed at a motel)!

Saturday afternoon the boys went down to Hartselle to the land Casey and John will build on in a few years -- and us girls went to the Madison Street Festival and ate at the Main Street Cafe in the old Town Hall. Then we all watched the exciting Auburn-Tennessee game that night (War Eagle for the big win)!!

Casey had a great chicken pie, artichoke dip, bacon-wrapped cocktail sausages and her delicious Paula Deen punch for after the church service -- and a DELICIOUS cake in the shape of a cross to top everything off. What a great weekend spent with everyone we love most!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


It's been a long time since our yard was rolled! It may have been when the girls were in high school, but I can't remember. But it's "Homecoming Week," and yesterday at Civic Club the talk was about whose house had been rolled and how many times! Tonight as I was putting on a new bedspread in Anna's room, I noticed some lights out front in the driveway. Then I heard some talking outside and someone banging on the front door. It scared me a little, so I hollered at Stacy to answer the door. Well, I waited and heard him talking, so I went outside.

The Sheriff's Deputy was on my front porch, and there were boys all over the front yard. It seems they had rolled the tulip poplar out front (it's about the only tree we have left in the front yard). Just lucky for them, the Sheriff's Deputy was driving down our road about that time and said he saw the white toilet paper blowing in the lights. Then he saw the eight boys trying to hide behind the tree! Oops! Busted!

They made the boys take down all the paper they could reach -- I wouldn't let them climb the tree because I didn't want anyone to get hurt -- and Stacy made them put the paper in a box and pose with it! Then Stacy went over the whole yard with a flashlight and made them pick up every piece of white in the yard!!! It was too funny! One said he almost jumped the fence. Good thing he didn't, there's an electric fence on the other side!

I don't know what will happen to them tomorrow at school! I told Stacy not to be too hard on them. I can remember doing a few pranks when I was in school -- and I got caught sometimes, too! It's not as bad as the donuts someone did in the yard once with a pickup truck! Right after we moved here, some of Stacy's students built a structure spelling out a nickname they came up with for him! I remember telling him at the time, "At least they used some of their construction skills they learned in Ag!"

What makes all this even funnier -- one of the boys was the Sheriff's son! I'm sure that poor Deputy didn't want to make that call! I kind of feel special -- like I'm one of the crowd!

Friday, September 11, 2009

GOD and DOG!

This is perfect for a Friday! It made me feel so good when Tammie sent it to me! (And I still miss Ashley, my dog.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kate's first Auburn game!

What a fun Saturday on the Plains! We got to see our daughters and son-in-law -- all of their fun friends we've come to know over the years through Auburn -- and especially our baby Kate!

Since Casey didn't get tickets this year, I (generously) offered my ticket to her so I could babysit Kate during the game! I know, I'm such a generous person! So Anna and I strolled baby Kate over to the new student union center just opened -- it's located in the Haley Center parking lot next to the stadium. Beautiful building. The second floor has many seating areas with comfy sofas and chairs and TVs tuned to the game! Airconditioning! Starbucks and Chick-Filet! Just a walk down the hall to get a little crowd noise! After last week, I don't think I could have made it to the top of the upper deck to our seats anyway!

Casey made the cute Auburn dress Kate has on! Since she's learned to smock, Casey has been sewing up a storm, and she smocked the AU on the front of the dress. My favorite photo is the one of Kate in her sunglasses -- "cool Auburn chick!"

It was 2:30 a.m. before we got home, but it was worth it! War Eagle!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fish Fry Weekend!

It's been a beautiful, fun weekend so far! It was so nice to wake up slowly this morning and not have to rush off to a meeting or work!

We had a Scattering Seeds mentor luncheon this morning. About 30 of us went to Highland Oaks for a lunch. My mentee couldn't go, but I picked up Lynn and we went along with the group! Then tonight we had a fish fry at MawMaw's with Greg and Jessi, and Gary and Carolyn (who are in town from Trussville for the weekend). Great to see them and Jessi again. Got to see Jessi's senior portraits -- very good, of course -- she's a beautiful subject! She's enjoying her senior year.

We get to see baby Kate next weekend at Auburn's first game! Maybe I need to stay with Kate while everyone goes to the game!!! Wouldn't that be nice of me? She's sitting up all by herself now! Here are some of the latest photos Casey took of her for her 6 month story board!
Check out what Casey's been photographing lately -- in addition to Kate on her website.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mouth of the South

Every year, the American Advertising Federation 7th District has a very important competition in July called "Mouth of the South." Actually, it's a "lip-sinc" competition that they take very seriously. The teams spend a lot of time selecting songs, choreographing, costuming . . . keeping each AAF club's songs and plans a secret until the night of competition.

Dothan's AAF club entered the competition for the first time last year, but we didn't place. So this year, we enlisted the assistance of choreographer extraordinaire Ron DeVane to help us with our skit with a 1974 theme. As this year's president of AAF-Dothan, I felt it was my duty and obligation to assist my team of board members Kerry Farrell, Gina Burdeshaw and Patrick Liester in our quest for that elusive trophy. Competition's tough! Some teams have 15 or more members and are much larger than our club.

But this year, we brought home 3rd place! That was from 11 teams that entered! We were very proud of ourselves and had a lot of fun in the process with practices! Kerry and I braved tickly mustaches, twirling nightsticks and having to walk through the hotel lobby wearing police gear -- but that's nothing to what Patrick and Gina had to do with Gina dressed as a teenager and Patrick as a 70's lounge act with a "fro"! But our selfless obligation to upholding AAF-Dothan's honor was a success!
Thanks to everyone who helped! We may look ridiculous -- but it was so much fun!
But it all wasn't just fun and games! We also attended many meetings and workshops that will help us to benefit our club -- and got to meet "Scott the Nametag Guy" (that's Scott in the middle) who spoke to the group about branding. I would say all around it was a good weekend!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Anna's Family Weekend

Anna and Zach spent the weekend in Huntsville with John, Casey & Kate! She says they had a blast, and she's posted the photos on her All Things Design blog. Kate laughs and giggles now, she is so cute and funny! I'm jealous! It will be Labor Day weekend before we get to see her again at Auburn's first ball game. Can't wait to see her decked out in her Auburn gear!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My girls' weekend in Buckhead

It's seemed like a long week at work, even though I took Monday off! I spent a wonderful extended weekend with Anna last weekend -- just us girls! We got to see Casey, John and Kate when they stopped in on their way to a friend's wedding in Warner Robbins. Anna was thrilled to see how much Kate has grown and interacts now! Then Anna and I saw the movie Julie and Julia Fri. nite -- a great movie. It was fun to find out about Julia Childs' life since I can remember her on TV -- as the "first Food Network Star"! Meryl Streep can play any part, I've decided! She was so good.

Then on Sat. we took a Calligraphy class at Paper-Source at Virginia Highlands in Atlanta. I didn't do too bad, but we found out it takes a lot of patience (I like to do things fast and get them done) and practice (where's the time?)! We had fun and feel like we can try it on a few things now -- maybe not professionally, but for fun! That store is wonderful! I bought some plain cards to try my new embosser tool on -- Anna had just got one and it's really neat!

We ate lunch at the Swan Coach House -- a beautiful tea room restaurant at the Atlanta History Center. I had the chicken salad and shrimp salad -- delicious. But I should have worn my hat, dahlin'!

We had fun shopping and eating. Anna lives in a house with three other girls -- soon to be two if you know someone looking for a place to live in Atlanta -- and we destroyed the connections to their big TV trying to hook up her roomie's DVD player to watch Ballet Shoes. Never did get it to work -- Zach is going to have to fix it! I'm usually pretty good with connecting cords, but this one beat me! So we watched Ballet Shoes (great movie - watch it!) and Twilight (I don't get the obsession with this one, but everyone loves it, I laughed through most of it!) Anna and her roommate Ansley - and Tiffany at work - are obsessed with that movie.

And then on Sun. Anna took me to Scott Antique Market -- and I was in antique heaven! It is absolutely huge and filled with wonderful jewelry and furniture and things you won't see anywhere else. We talked to a guy who handmade beautiful tables with unusual metal legs. I can't wait to go back -- hopefully before Christmas!

We had a great weekend -- maybe next time Casey and Kate can join us! Casey, John and Kate stopped by MawMaw's on Wed. on their way home from the beach. Nanny came over too, so the great-grandmas got to see Kate -- and me too! I just can't get enough of her!

And now Anna has offered her talents on Etsy's website. It's a neat place where people can sell unique items they make and produce. Her Whatever Is Loveley site: "Present in style with Whatever Is Lovely Prints, a noble stationery and design company by Anna Hatcher Design, llc. I’m Anna and my goal is to create a praiseworthy and stress-free design process that has an end result that you will not only love but will present you or your event with style!" So if you need anything designed or printed, check out her Etsy site or her All Things Design blog.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kate is growing up!

I'm late - I know I'm late with posting my photos from the weekend visiting with baby Kate. Although my photos aren't "professional" -- she squirms a lot, so some are blurry -- she's just too cute and we love her! Enjoy!

As Stacy said, "She's on full feed now!" No, she's not fat! But she sure has filled out! She's now eating cereal and applesauce and some squash her mom Casey made with her other "mom friends." I remember doing that when the girls were babies. I smushed up sweet potatoes and other vegetables and froze them in ice cube trays. (Do they still make ice cube trays?)

Kate interacts more now and smiles and makes cute little baby noises! But when she gets hungry -- you better feed her! I was trying to stick to Casey's schedule when we baby sat, until Stacy said, "Fix that girl a bottle!" as she was screaming!

Her Pawpaw is so funny with her -- they spent a good bit of time outside on the porch "having a moment," as Stacy said! Until she had a poopy diaper, then he held her like a sack of potatoes and hollered, "Someone get her!" Oh, it's funny! Can't wait to see her again -- and see how much she changes!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Our sweet girl!

I'm sooooo excited -- we're going to Madison this weekend to visit Kate. Well, we're going to visit Casey and John too -- of course we are! And we get to babysit Saturday while they go to Birmingham! Here are two of Casey's latest photos of Kate. I can't believe she's almost 5 months old!

Casey has updated her photography website and blog. Check them out!

Since I'm plugging Casey's business -- I have to make a plug for Anna's design business. They're both very talented! Anna's done some beautiful work. Check it out here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

One Small Step

This week is the 40th anniversary of the famous "Walk on the Moon" in 1969. There were many skeptics back then who thought it was some kind of Hollywood production -- these were the same people who thought "wrestling" was real, by golly!

There are many life events where I remember where I was when it happened -- when President Kennedy was killed (in school) -- when Martin Luther King was killed (living in Memphis and on my way to the community center and having to go back home because the city was going bezerk) -- when Richard Nixon resigned as President (a sophomore at Auburn Univ.) -- when Elvis died (working at a small newspaper in Camilla, Georgia, and I drew an editorial cartoon for the paper) -- when the World Trade Center was hit by "terrorists" (working at Wiregrass Electric, and we couldn't tear ourselves away from the TV, for days).

But the landing on the moon the summer after 9th grade was one of the most poignant memories of my youth. I was at a bowling alley in Memphis with my best friends Kathy and Rose -- and I'm sure some boys were involved there too. Why else hang around a bowling alley? We watched it on the TV there and were amazed. The pictures are a little grainy -- but hey, we didn't have HD back then!

What an era growing up in the 60s! We went from full skirts with petticoats to bell-bottoms and halter tops! We were only allowed to wear dresses to school until 1969 -- and then it had to be pantsuits. By my senior year we could wear blue jeans -- bell-bottoms of course, with embroidered flowers down the leg and the hems frayed out! Those were the days before pantyhose -- when you had to wear a girdle or garter belt and hook the hose on!

Kids today complain that there isn't anything to do, but there wasn't much for teenagers to do back then, either! Hanging out with my friends at Shoney's in my family's Rambler stationwagon -- baby blue, no less, with the little wood strip down the side! Sneaking into the drive-in in the trunk of a friend's car -- to watch werewolf and vampire movies! And you better remember to take the speaker out of the window before driving off! Stores weren't open on Sundays -- and the stores owned by Jewish families closed on Saturdays. Going to church or community dances on the weekends -- always with a live band. That was when the dirtiest dance was the "gator" -- nothing like this booty stuff they do today!

We were living during the "cold war" and worried about nuclear war. My friend Susan had a bomb shelter in her basement -- and all public buildings had signs for where to go in case of a bomb. I had many nightmares during those years about trying to get to a bomb shelter -- you know, where you're running but you just can't get anywhere? It was the beginning of technology and computers -- and the end of innocence. I can imagine how my parents must have felt back then -- kind of how I feel now when I see kids with pink hair, tattoos and piercings all over their faces -- how I feel when I see "big brother" becoming real life.

One of our required readings in high school was the book "1984" by George Orwell, written in 1949. The novel has become famous for its portrayal of government surveillance and control and its increasing encroachment on the rights of the individual. The government was "big brother" and ruled every aspect of their lives. Orwell may have had the date wrong, but the changes I see now in our government are closer to big brother every day.

Sorry, I had a Nanny moment and got sidetracked! Get off your soapbox Cary and back to Apollo 11 and the first moon walk! For those of us who were between kindergarten and college in 1969, the "walk on the moon" was the biggest thing that had ever happened in our lives. It marked our lives just as the Great Depression and the Second World War marked our parents' and grandparents' lives -- and how "September 11" will mark my children's lives. Wow, where have the last 40 years gone!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Life Mission Statement

In our Sunday School lesson this morning, we were discussing mission statements, and we were challenged about our own personal mission statement. So that got me to thinking about what my personal mission statement would be? What do I hope to accomplish with my life here on Earth -- and after?

My Personal Mission Statement: To give my all to my God first, my family, my job and my community with a smile and a good attitude.

I didn't always have a good attitude. Just ask my mom about my teenage years! Moody was my middle name! I grew up in church -- we were Episcopalian. But I always wanted to know how I could be sure I would go to Heaven when I died. Episcopalians don't always stress a personal relationship with Jesus -- you get confirmed and it's assumed you're a Christian. Then in my teenage years, I went to MYF with my Methodist friends and got involved with Young Life. That's when I first heard about dedicating my life to the Lord -- and I accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour at a MYF retreat when I was in ninth grade. One of the most defining experiences of my life was the month I spent on Work Crew at Young Life Camp Frontier in Colorado.

Ask me where I feel closest to God, and my answer is in the mountains. They're beautiful and majestic -- and I can just see the majesty of God there. I still can't believe my parents let me fly (for the first time ever) alone to Denver (I had just finished my junior year of high school), then take a bus to Colorado Springs where a bus from the camp picked us up! I can't believe I did it either -- I was friendly but kind of shy (yeah, I know, you can't believe it!). I didn't know what my job at camp would be when I left, and all the way there I prayed, "Dear God, I'll do anything, just don't make me clean bathrooms!" I figured since I had worked in restaurants, I might get to be a food server -- the really cool job!

Well, I get there and guess what my job was? Yep, cleaning bathrooms! To this day, I still have a thing about clean bathrooms! Another girl and I had the job to scrub toilets, showers and sinks and mop the floors of the campers' bathrooms (they had one big one for the girls and one for the boys with multiple showers, etc). And boy they could make me really mad tromping in mud on my freshly washed floors!

But, see, God has a plan -- and He's always made me learn things the hard way! I learned to do a good job at whatever He had for me to do -- and to accept whatever He had for me to do. So I became an excellent bathroom cleaner! And God has rewards! The guy on Staff who was responsible for plumbing was "really cute"! So when someone dropped a ring down the drain or got it stopped up, I sat on the counter and talked to the cute guy while he fished it out! And I learned how to take a drain apart! Life lessons!

And when I got home from that summer, I had a better attitude that's pretty much stayed with me all my life. I've had tragedies -- my parents got divorced, we had a baby boy who was stillborn, and my sister died from Lupus at age 32. But I've also had many blessings -- my husband and two wonderful daughters and my granddaughter Kate -- a good job where I could be close to home -- some great friends and my mom close by!

So my desire at the end of the day is that I've been able to make someone's life a little more pleasant that day -- that I've been able to make my community a better place to live -- that I've helped my children to become responsible Christian adults. What more could I ask for? Thanks, Lord!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Aaaah . . . a holiday!

I told someone at work yesterday that it would make me happy if I didn't have to change out of my pajamas for three days over the holiday weekend! It was a nice dream, but I'm having fun getting my den back in order today. We got the big 25-year-old entertainment center moved out (with the help of one of Stacy's students) and the new cabinet delivered. So now the "vintage" stereo system is hiding under a bed until Stacy gets his "man cave" built -- don't know where we're going to store the monster speakers -- and I'm shopping around for a new surround sound.

Here are some more photos from Father's Day weekend -- plus my new den furniture . . .

We got to Skype Kate this morning! She's now on cereal and filling out more! Hopefully we'll make a trip up to see her in a couple of weeks.

We're going up to Fox Lake to visit the Byrd's for the 4th, then our church is having the Family 4th at the Rec Park on Sunday, so we'll be going there and I'll be helping to serve hot dogs and take some photos. We had some really great fireworks last year, so looking forward to more and better -- but it's gonna be HOT! And not in a good way! We haven't gone under 95 degrees in weeks, and most days it's over 100. Better take my hand-held funeral home fan!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kate comes to Hartford . . .

What a great weekend! We had our first visit from Baby Kate -- along with Casey and John and Anna and Zach! It was the best Father's Day gift for PawPaw (I'm calling him PeePaw) -- and I kind of enjoyed it too!

Casey, John and Kate met me in Dothan Friday afternoon; and after a visit to the Baby Store (I got to rock and change a poopy diaper while Casey shopped), John took my car to Hartford and Casey, Kate and I went to visit MawMaw in Westside Terrace and Nanny at her house (the great-grandmas). They enjoyed getting to see how much Kate's grown since they saw her at 2 weeks! Then Anna and Zach arrived around 10:00 and it was crazy house after that!

We got to baby sit while Casey and John went to a wedding at Panama City on Saturday! Despite having a cold and stuffy nose, Kate was wonderful and so much fun. It just melts my heart to have her smile at me. She has this way of holding her hands like she's praying! Casey says the day care ladies call her "the praying baby!" I learned how to make bottles again -- she gets really mad if you don't feed her when she's ready -- or if you stop in the middle to burp!

I tried to talk Kate into staying with us for another week -- but she wanted to go home with her mom and dad! I know I'm not going to be able to wait another two months to see her again -- we may just have to find an apartment in Madison! (Just kidding, Casey!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The two hour drug test!

Surprise! When I arrived at work this morning, I found I had been selected -- no, not for a promotion -- no, not a raise -- a random drug test!

I guess it was time. In my 24 years working there, my number's never come up for that prize before. So I headed out to the warehouse where the pregnant nurse was supervising the drug testing in the men's restroom. I go in and sign up, empty my pockets and set my Blackberry on the table. She asks me to pick out a cup -- they all looked alike to me, but I chose one. She poured some blue stuff in the toilet, and I sat down to "get the sample."

Well, low and behold, I couldn't go! I went just before coming in to work. She ran water to get me in the mood -- and I just couldn't get more than a couple of drops in that little cup. She said that wasn't enough -- I had to fill it to the white line! So we had to stop -- but I couldn't leave or be left "unattended." She followed me to the kitchen so I could get some water. I drank 5 cups. Sat there for about 15 minutes and thought I could go.

So we did the procedure all over again -- select a cup, blue stuff in the bowl, sit down with my cup. Tried to relax. Got just under the white line. Tried the water again. While the water's running, I hear someone whistling. Then I heard a toilet flush and a male voice say, "Oh, I didn't know you were in here!" Our engineer had come in (he said the nurse was asleep when he walked in and didn't think anyone was there). Said when he walked by my stall he thought those didn't look like "men's shoes!" Thought I was going to die! Still couldn't go! I've never had this problem before. That urologist must have done a jam-up job on my surgery! Had to stop again.

Meanwhile, there was one guy waiting to do his test -- he had the same problem as me, so I didn't feel as bad. While he was "doing his thing," I sat in the hall outside and drank a Diet Coke this time. Nurse sat with me while I drank my Coke. Tammie and Larry laughed at me (this was in their department.) Me and the nurse got to be good friends talking about kids and husbands and stuff waiting for me to get the "urge." Finally . . . after 2 hours of trying to pee, I got that cup filled! Good thing too, because she only had one little cup left! Relief!

But then I spent the rest of the day running to the restroom every 15 minutes! I hope it's 24 more years before I get picked for that task again!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Girls raised in the South . . .

What an exciting week ahead! First, we get our first "Hartford visit" from baby Kate this week -- just in time for Father's Day! She just over 3 months old, and I cannot wait to show her off at work and church! This is Casey's latest photo! Doesn't she look like she's saying, "What in the heck has she put on me this time?" My true little "southern girl" -- they're raising her right!

Second, the whole crowd is coming home -- Casey, John and Kate -- and Anna and Zach! And third, my new furniture will arrive on Wed. just in time for the crowd -- and we'll have a sofa sleeper so Anna won't have to sleep on the sofa! I haven't quite got Stacy on board for the entertainment center change, but he's coming along!

I love being from the South -- and here's something that was sent to me a while back that I love. You know "GRITS" stands for "Girls Raised In The South?"


  • Southern women appreciate their natural assets: Clean skin. A winning smile. That unforgettable Southern drawl.
  • Southern women know their manners: "Yes, ma'am." "Yes, sir." "Why, no, Billy!"
  • Southern women have a distinct way with fond expressions : "Y'all come back!" "Well, bless your heart." "Drop by when you can." "How's your Momma?"
  • Southern women know their summer weather report: Humidity - Humidity - Humidity
  • Southern women know their vacation spots: The beach - The rivuh - The crick
  • Southern women know the joys of June, July, and August: Colorful hi-heel sandals - Strapless sun dresses - Iced sweet tea with mint
  • Southern women know the movies that speak to their hearts: Fried Green Tomatoes - Driving Miss Daisy - Steel Magnolias - Gone With The Wind
  • Southern women know their religions: Baptist - Methodist - Football
  • Southern women know their country breakfasts: Red-eye gravy - Grits - Eggs - Country ham - Mouth-watering homemade biscuits with momma's homemade jelly
  • Southern women know their cities dripping with Southern charm: Chawl'stn - S'vanah - Foat Wuth - N'awlins - Addlanna
  • Southern women know their elegant gentlemen: Men in uniform. Men in tuxedos. Rhett Butler
  • Southern girls know their prime real estate: The Mall - The Country Club - The Beauty Salon
  • Southern girls never insult; they just say, "Bless her heart . . ."
  • Southern girls know the 3 deadly sins: Having bad hair and nails - Having bad manners - Cooking bad food

More Suthen-ism's:

  • Only a Southerner knows the difference between a "hissie fit" and a "conniption fit," and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.
  • Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."
  • Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, as in: "Going to town, be back directly."
  • Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.
  • Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!
  • Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.
  • Only a Southerner both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.
  • No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
  • A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.
  • Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines ... and when we're "in line," we talk to everybody!
  • Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.
  • In the South, y'all is singular, all y'all is plural.
  • Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.
  • When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!
  • Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea (not available above the Mason-Dixon line) indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.
  • And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say,"Bless her heart" ... and go your own way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chair confusion . . .

I've ordered my sofa and reclining chair . . . now I need two side chairs (both the same) to complete the "ensemble." So here are some choices I've found online -- some are from Overtsock and some from Target. They've all got good reviews. My sofa is cream color, the chair is blue, green and cream print. I love the first one, but is it too wierd? Give me some feedback!

Monday, June 8, 2009

What happened to my voice?

How can you make a woman miserable? How about taking away her voice for three days?

I've lost my voice and don't know where to find it! I don't know what happened. I had a cold that I brought home from South Carolina, but I was feeling better by Friday. Then I played "Texas Hold-Em" -- strictly for charity, you understand -- Friday night! It was fun! Never played "serious" cards before -- but this really was for fun since we weren't playing for money and it was for the Cancer Society! The only other woman playing was Tessa - my daughter's age! It took me a while to convince the boys not to call me Mrs. Hatcher -- they were all my daughters' ages too! And I hung in there for a while! Made it to the take-down to two tables from three! And, seriously, I didn't holler a lot! I was very dignified! It might actually be more fun than Bunco!

Anyway, when I got home, I had to cough some -- and no, no one was smoking cigars in there -- and then my voice disappeared! So far, it hasn't come back, and it makes it a bit difficult to communicate -- especially when communication is your job!

Hopefully it will come back by Friday. That's our Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society, and I'm the emcee for the Luminaria Ceremony and Survivor Dinner!

We've got the cutest t-shirts -- well, my Texas Hold-em t-shirt was cute too, Paul! But our t-shirts for WEC were designed by daughter Anna and look really good. We're going to have so much fun Friday night -- fun, food, walking, talking (I hope), dancing -- and all for a good cause. I've lost too many friends to cancer. All the money raised goes to the Cancer Society for research to find a cure! Want to donate? Click here!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Road Trip!

Before I start on the road trip, I just have to post this photo of our beautiful baby Kate in her cute little dress mom Casey smocked for her! Isn't she just precious? I cannot wait two weeks for her to come visit -- well, and Casey and John too!

I just returned from a road trip to South Carolina for a few days to visit my brother's family and see my nephew Graham graduate from high school. I took my mom, and then we met up with Anna in Montgomery (she was on her way back from a week at the beach). Anna drove the rest of way once we got to Georgia (thank you Anna!) -- I HATE driving through Atlanta! Eight lanes of traffic with people buzzing all around me -- it makes me a nervous wreck! I love our little two-stop-light town! The only thing between me and work is a four-way stop!

While waiting on Anna in Montgomery, I stopped at Rooms To Go (thanks Mary Tyler for the suggestion)! Just wanted to check out the Cindy Crawford sofa I found on the Internet. Well, with a little help from my mom and Anna (she totally dissed my choice of chair, said it was too 'hotel lobby') -- I ended up buying the sofa, which I totally love, and a reclining chair in blues, greens and cream. Didn't find slipper chairs to go with them, but I'm looking on! I can't wait to get my furniture in a couple of weeks! Haven't told Stacy yet, though, so shhhhhhh!

Actually I haven't seen him since I left on Sunday. He left the day I got home to take three of his FFA students to the State Convention in Auburn! They're having a big time and will be home tomorrow.

So, I digress! Getting back to the road trip! We ate out Sun. nite and I had some excellent fried catfish and huspuppies! Mon. nite, they had a ceremony for Graham to receive his Boy Scout Eagle Scout degree. Very proud of him! That's quite an accomplishment -- and his dad (my brother Walker) and his brother Charles both are Eagle Scouts. Walker smoked some great ribs for dinner afterwards and we all enjoyed some time with their friends and Frances' family!

Then on Tues. nite Graham graduated -- in a huge class of over 600 -- in 1-1/2 hours! What a change from our little 50-member classes here! It's a very nice new school in Spartanburg County. And they were very strict about yelling out during the announcement of the names, which they needed to, and escorted out several detractors! I think that should be done here too -- it should be a dignified ceremony for all.

On the way home, we stopped at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton, Georgia, for a tour and "wine tasting." They weren't making wine that day, but it was interesting to see how they do it. It is very beautiful there -- would love to go back to the spa sometime! Maybe we can do that as a "girls" trip sometime -- or we could take the guys and let them play golf while we "spa"!! Thanks Walker and Frances for your hospitality -- and the great BBQ!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Facebook . . . now bring on Twitter!

It took me a while to get into Facebook. I kept thinking it was this horrible teenage thing where you wrote nasty messages on the snotty girls' walls and posted party photos. What started as something I intended for work -- for our Youth Tour -- turned into something personal as I kept finding "friends!" I realized I couldn't combine "work" and "personal," so I'll develop another Facebook wall for the work thing.

Someone at a conference I attended in the past year commented they should rename Facebook, "Reunion Book!" Well, it's true. I've found people I haven't talked to for years from my high school in Germantown, Tenn. I found one of my best friends from high school now living in California who was in our wedding that I had lost touch with. We've got this little group going called "Germantown Alumni."

I'm now a member of "Auburn Fans," and "Fans of J.T.," and "Fans of BBQ!"

And every day I'm adding new friends! My kids friends! Students I've taken to youth conferences! My friends recommend other friends! My whole world is opening up!

I read an article in a magazine the other day about old people taking over Facebook! Yes, it's true! I'm sure the teenagers are really mad! All us old people are on Facebook and can find them! It's not their "thing" anymore -- the old people have figured out a way to navigate the mysterious world of Facebook!

And I won't even go into "Twitter!" I feel like Mr. Rogers . . . "Won't you be my neighbor?"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A decorating dilemma!

I've been thinking for a while about changing up my den -- and possibly getting new furniture. With the addition of Kate to our family, we're going to need a sofa sleeper before too long. Now that I've got the idea in my head, I've been looking around on the Internet at furniture. I haven't seen anything in the stores around here that I like as well as what I found at Rooms To Go online. Everything at the furniture stores in Dothan is either too dark of a color (for my already dark paneled room) or too traditional. I just love Rooms To Go's Cindy Crawford sofa bed shown here in taupe. I love the tufting in the back and seat cushions.

The only store I know of is in Atlanta, but not sure I want to drive up there to pick up. They say online they ship for one price, no matter how many items you purchase. So that may be the way to go.

And these are some of the chairs I like -- I know I want a club chair, but I'm tired of the flowered one I have now. I also have a chair and a half, and it's just too big. I want a regular club chair and ottoman to prop my feet up on to watch TV and read (this is the first red chair pictured).

Then I'd like two accent chairs. Not sure which I like best, but I think the one with the arms. And I want to move my desk armoire over to the right and get rid of my huge entertainment center and get a console cabine to set my TV on.

That's the idea, anyway. But whatever I buy depends on the room arrangement -- so I need your help. My den is long and narrow with a big brick arch in the middle of a long wall with our fireplace and sliding glass doors on a shorter end. It's always been hard to arrange this room because of the length and TV placement (which can't move, because I don't want to re-wire everything!) So take a look at the room diagrams below and tell me what you think! You can do this yourself at Better Homes & Gardens website. It's really easy -- just drag and drop pieces of furniture -- and you can change their color too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nice guys don't always finish last!

It's the year of the nice guys! First J.T. won Survivor -- a truly good old southern nice guy!

Then Shawn won Dancing with the Stars -- so cute and sweet and innocent! She reminds me of my niece Jessi with her facial expressions!

Then tonight Kris won American Idol -- so cute and humble! He even said Adam should have won! Adam will go far anyway with his talent and now the contacts he has. And the Idol show tonight was amazing with so many stars from my era! Lionel Richie, Kiss, Rodd Stewart, Santanna! Wow!
And today is Anna's birthday -- happy birthday sweetie! What can I say? She's truly one of the nice guys (or should I say girls)! Have a great one!
And I just have to post these two photos of Kate that Casey took and I stole off her blog! This dress was Casey's when she was a baby -- and she looks more like Casey here! Kate's growing so much -- I want to see her and kiss her so bad . . . and yes, she does love her mommy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yes, I've become an addict!

No, not drugs -- Dancing with the Stars and American Idol!

I've been watching DWTS for several seasons now since my friends Chellie (at South Alabama EC) and Terry (at West Florida EC) got me hooked. Every time we had a co-op meeting, they were always talking about Dancing contestants and who they liked and didn't like. So I had to start watching so I could converse like an expert addict!

So now tonight is the finale, and I'm going to be so sad not to have it to watch each week! And all three of the final contestants are so great. Gilles is so hot, and seems so humble too, I just love him. And Melissa, I want her to win to show that bachelor something. And Shawn is just plain cute! Here it comes . . . third place is . . . Melissa. Shucks! So who's it going to be?

While I'm waiting . . . I'll talk Idol. I loved Danny -- and he was kicked off last week. Both Kris and Adam are great -- and Adam is so versatile. Until tonight when he came out in that long black coat -- that was a little too goth for me -- so I'm rooting for Kris. He's just too cute and I love his voice! And I haven't watched American Idol since Anna moved out! I just couldn't get into it until this year.

And then there's Survivor. I've never been interested in that show either . . . until this year when a young man from Samson, J.T., was selected. I really can't say I watched the whole program, but I'd tape it and fast forward until the end to see if J.T. was still in. I kept hearing rumors that he was 5th or 6th, but he was hanging in there until the end. I was so excited he won! Everyone who knew him talked about what a nice guy he was -- yea J.T.!

Here it comes . . . Dancing with the Stars winner . . . Shawn. Oh well, my third choice. Adam will probably win on Idol tomorrow night now!

They better start Design Star on HGTV soon or I'll bust!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

My conference in Las Vegas was last week, so Stacy went along for the fun -- while I worked -- at least during the day! We stayed at Bally's, one of the older hotels but that's right in the middle of the strip -- next door to Paris and across the street from the Bellagio (fancy). After we checked in, we ate at Bill's Gamblin Hall and Saloon (across the street and next to the Flamingo). It was pretty good, and very reasonable (I had a BBQ burger). We had to check out the Bellagio, one of the newer hotels, which had a beautiful garden area they were re-working. On the lobby ceiling are 2,000 spectacular hand-blown glass flowers commissioned by world-renowned artist, Dale Chihuly. It's almost too beautiful to describe.

There are really quite a few things to do in Las Vegas that are free, and the water show at Bellagio is one of them. The water is choreographed to classic Las Vegas music and shoots up in the air and twists and turns, it's really beautiful. By the time we passed through Planet Hollywood and Paris (check out the Eiffel Tower behind us), I was exhausted, so I chilled out in the room while Stacy went to check out the casino at the hotel. You can't walk anywhere in Las Vegas without walking through a casino -- they've designed it that way!

We had early meetings on Tues. and got to hear Tony Hsieh, CEO with, on "Building A Brand That Matters"; and Nadira A. Hira, a writer with Fortune Magazine, on "The Wired Y-ers: Understanding the Social Networking Generation." Both of these were excellent -- Zappos concentrates on the "best customer experience" (giving their WOW experience) with free shipping and returns. As a "baby boomer," I've always found studying the different generationational characteristics following us boomers very enlightening. I've spent so much time thinking "why don't they just change and do it right," when I should be concentrating on the best way to communicate our message to them. Which is one of things we're doing now on our WEC website with videos and Twitter -- and I guess what I'm doing now with "blogging!" See, I do learn things at these conferences! I've really begun to enjoy the "social marketing" available through blogging, Facebook and Twitter.

That night we joined several from other Alabama co-ops to go down to the older "original" Las Vegas -- to Fremont Street where the Golden Nugget and Binion's is. They have the "canopy of light and sound" -- a several-block-long covered area where they have a laser light show each night. This area was a lot of fun with street artists and musicians. We had dinner at the Golden Nugget with Dianne and Jimmy Hale (Sand Mountain Electric Co-op).

On Wed., Stacy took a tour to the Grand Canyon. I passed on this -- I'm not too fond of heights, and they don't have railings on the Grand Canyon! Actually, the tour he signed up for was over-booked, and he got upgraded to a better package for the same price -- so he was thrilled. He boarded a plane with 17 Indians (from India), then took a helicopter into the Grand Canyon, took a boat ride up the Colorado River, flew on a helicopter out to the south rim, visited with some Native Americans -- and had the time of his life!

Meanwhile, I was doing my duty. We had the Spotlight on Excellence Luncheon that day where we received our awards -- four Awards of Excellence (first place in our classification) and one Award of Merit (2nd place). We were very excited and honored to have received these awards. One was Brad's for the Relay For Life photo (on the cover of May's Alabama Living Magazine), and the other 1st places were for our website, our E-Newsletter and our Total Communications Program. The 2nd place was for our Employee Newsletter. As a little perk during the luncheon, Janet and I got to have our photo taken with Elvis -- and then he left the building!

That night we all went to the "Don Arden Jubilee" show at Bally's -- a general Las Vegas style show. (We had a half-price coupon, nice!) The costumes and sets were georgeous. Afterwards, we ate at a cafe in Paris -- great special of steak medallions, and of course, creme brulle for dessert -- my very favorite!

Thurs. afternoon Stacy and I visited several of the hotels to get the Las Vegas experience! We found the monorail system to be the best way to get around faster -- and save our feet. My favorite was the Venetian with its Grand Canal winding throughout and gondola rides (no, they weren't free and we didn't do); St. Mark Square where we got a $5 bowl of glacee (Italian ice cream); were entertained by the Artiste del Arte, a musical presentation in the ancient Venetian style; and enjoyed a "living statue!" The musical star flirted with Stacy -- which thrilled him no end -- and he kissed her hand! After all that traveling around the world, we were so tired and sore that I talked Stacy into the "water massage" at our hotel. You just lie down in a machine sort of like a tanning bed, and the water pressure massages you from head to foot. Felt great for our tired bodies!

Thurs. night Stacy and I had tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Love at the Mirage. It was amazing -- done to the music of the Beatles. I can't say enough about the acrobatics and sets and costumes! Stacy even liked it! I hope some day to see another Cirque du Soleil! After the show, we watched the volcano show in front of the Mirage.

On Fri., we all took a tour sponsored by NRECA to Hoover Dam. It is huge -- and fascinating that it was built in five years in the 1930s. We got to go down to the generating plant and walk through rock tunnels hundreds of feet under the ground. Can't believe those transmission towers protruding from the rock faces at 45 degree angles. And to think it's original intent was water management and not power production -- that was just a by-product. They are in the process of building a bridge down from the dam that I would be afraid to drive over! If you ever have a chance to see it -- go!

So Las Vegas isn't just for gambling -- in fact you can find plenty to do without even hitting a slot machine. They just steal your money anyway! It was a fun trip -- and educational -- but it sure was good to get home and sleep in my own bed!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Relaxing Mother's Day

I had a nice relaxing (sort of) Mother's Day today! Although the girls couldn't come home, I got to talk to both of them and hope to visit with Casey and Kate on the webcam later!

Casey made me a "brag" book of photos of Kate -- and Anna made me two CDs of beautiful music! I love both of them -- and I'm just grateful that my children love me and call me often. A lot of people don't have that.

We started off the morning with Sunday School and church -- where we had baby dedication for 11 babies all born this past year! So cute -- and none of them cried! Then we had lunch at MawMaw's -- chicken salad, layer salad, corn, butter beans and poppy seed rolls, and she made a wonderful cake she got the recipe for from the Wiregrass Living magazine. My mom came over and went to church with us, and Greg was there for lunch.

Came home and have been washing clothes and packing for a trip this week. We're going to the NRECA Connect Conference -- where we've won 5 awards this year! Yea! I'm excited because these are the first "Awards of Excellence" we've won. And most are for things I worked on -- Best Website, Best Newsletter (employee newsletter), Best Electronic Communication (for my E-Newsletter), Best Photo (that's Brad's of Lorrie's son Will at last year's Relay For Life that was on the cover of our May Alabama Living magazine), and Best Total Communication Program. Because of our size (22,000 meters), we're in competition with co-ops much larger than us (the category is 20,000-50,000 meters). So yea!

I had another Mother's Day present from Stacy yesterday -- he killed a moccasin in the yard! I hate snakes! There aren't many things I absolutely hate. I don't like mice or spiders or roaches, but at least I can smack them with a shoe or something to kill them. I don't like getting close enough to snakes to kill them. I bought a big ole' sickle thing at an auction once to use to kill snakes, but Stacy did something with it and I don't know where it is. I honestly don't know why God decided to make snakes -- and why He let Noah put them on the Ark. Maybe they just snuck on! And forget about getting close enough to it to see if it has a diamond shaped head and slinty eyes! For me, the only good snake is a dead snake!

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My visit with Kate!

Everyone wants to see new photos -- so here they are from our visit with Kate last weekend! She is so cute, but when she gets mad, she doesn't want anyone but her "mama"! She was screaming when we arrived Fri. nite, but calmed down (with Casey) so we could go eat at Stacy's favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrell! We had a new waitress, so it was slow going on getting our drinks and food, and Stacy didn't quite get the chicken salad he wanted, but my pancakes were great and the coffee revived me to enjoy visiting until bedtime.
On Sat. we drove to Nashville to the Opry Mills Mall to shop. I didn't buy a thing! (I had already shopped some for Kate before we went up!) Kate did so good all day sleeping in her stroller -- and I would sit and push while Casey did some shopping. The boys enjoyed a tool store and Bass Pro Shop! On the way back, we stopped in Franklin to eat dinner at a Mexican restaurant, Nachos, with my high school friend Dottie and her husband Doug (it was Doug's birthday). I haven't seen Dottie since our last class reunion several years ago, and we had a great time catching up!
On Sun. before we left, I helped Casey put a tree stencil on the wall in Kate's bedroom. It was a stick-on stencil she got a Ikea in Atlanta while visiting Anna the first of last week. So Kate visited two new states last week -- at the age of 2 months! Oh, how long can I wait to go back?