Thursday, October 31, 2013

Treats for Halloween

Alone with Dex.  So peaceful.  Sun just coming up.  Just cool enough for my sweater and sox to be cozy.  He got a little attention from Queen Elizabeth and company yesterday.  They spiffed him up.
I'm a little jealous that he spends more time with them than he does with me.  Someone must help pay for his house. 

We are getting our Boo on with some help from these folks today.

Samson on parade.  Gramma trying to steal their chocolate

 the Princess has tamed the Dragon
Samson's new mayor

Trick or treat! Roll Tide

mystery man? Probably scratching the hair in his ear

Happy Halloween to all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Ha, ha, ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Porch views from the Hooch

This article will be in the West Point Valley Times News this week

We are enough. We all want to be skinnier, prettier, wealthier, more creative, more thoughtful, and more computer literate, the list goes on.  You know how to fill in those blanks. It’s Monday and most of us started working our list before our feet hit the floor. Research says that Monday mornings are the prime times for heart attacks due to our stress hormones peaking after a weekend of relaxation. 

Yesterday, at Fairfax United Methodist Church, I got to experience a wonderful sermon on being enough.  Sorry Ian, I was in your pulpit and it wasn’t from me either.  It was from a younger member of your congregation, the Hugging Boy.  This young fellow moved through every pew and hugged each person present in the congregation.  Amazingly, he got a hug back and a smile from each person he hugged.  I hope that congregation realizes what a gift they have. I’ve experienced many church” meet and greets” but none as moving as the one done by this young boy.  His message was the gospel, “You are enough” and “I’m hugging you”.  Thanks for the wonderful wordless sermon. 

God’s presence was felt on my Pine Mountain Saturday get away too.  My day included lunch at Rose Cottage; where amazing bread is baked, a little shopping, and a ride on top of the mountain in the Roosevelt State Park.  The next couple of weeks will be peak leaf time on that mountain.  It’s well worth the trip.  God is definitely going to put on a show there this fall. 

He is definitely showing off in my garden. I’m ready this year with my ring-side seat on the porch.  This morning it’s gently raining and the weather is sweater and sock worthy.  The squirrel that fussed at me last week when I wrote from this spot is snuggled inside the bluebird house. He chewed out the hole so he could squeeze his chunky self into a warm dry home.  I don’t think he has a fireplace and hot cocoa but anything’s possible in the squirrel world.  He’s probably snacking on some of my recently planted lettuce from the pots in my front yard. No Name, not my cat, hasn’t brought any furry gifts by today.  Perhaps he’s squished up in a bluebird house too—I certainly wouldn’t put it past him.

Another great thing about my porch is that it gives ample space to stretch out for a Sunday afternoon nap.  The couch is in the sun after lunch and the October warmth made it a true Goldilocks moment for sleeping. 

Remember this week that we are all God’s hands out there.  We are enough for this task as are the people we encounter who believe they have to strive to be enough.  Perhaps the little Fairfax fellow will serve as a reminder to all of us what’s important about worship. 

Don’t forget to sign up for Holiday Hope at Shawmut United Methodist Church on November 21 at noon.  It’s a program and lunch for those of you who have lost a loved one and are facing the holidays for the first time alone.  It’s free and all you have to do is call for reservations.  334-768-2341.



Monday, October 28, 2013


Check out this cool blog.  It's Ms. Nancy's daughter.  She sat on my porch yesterday and encouraged me to look her up.  Her blog is cute with fun designs, pictures and recipes. I aspire to such creativity but not enough to do much about it.

Queen Elizabeth toured Pine Mtn. with me this week.  Rose Cottage has the most wonderful breads and the croissants are----indescribable--only word I can think of is yummy,... buttery,... makes your mouth happy,... blasted to Paris with no jet...ok so I could think of more.  Queen E and I had the chicken/avocado salad sandwich and some kind of steak soup---go with half a sandwich unless you have recently walked a long trail in the Roosevelt State Park. 

Speaking of that park--took a short car ride on the top of the mountain from the country store to the first spot that you can get back to the main road to Callaway. So lovely. Couple of spots to pull off and enjoy the view of the valley below.  Trees are just beginning to turn.  Duke Boy and I usually do this one in the convertible this time of year.  Great spot for convertible therapy. 

Had to privilege of stealing the pulpit form Ian at Fairfax UMC yesterday.  It was United Methodist Women's Sunday and I was their speaker for the Pastoral Institute.  Cutest little hugging boy there.  He was about 10 and he went through each pew before the service and hugged everyone in the congregation.  No one escaped his embrace and ever single person that I observed smiled and hugged him back.  During my mini sermon I told them that it had in essence been a group hug. 

He helped me with my point of not having to be perfect in our worldly definition but that we are enough just as we are.  He didn't discriminate.  Hugged everyone.  We were enough!  Truly beautiful.  That little boy steals the sermon every Sunday morning. 

Stole this one from my niece, Laura.  She's in NYC finding her bliss. Isn't this an amazing pix.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Holiday confusion

This article will appear in the West Point/Valley Times News this week

Trips to the store are confusing.  Did I come for Halloween candy or an ornament for my Christmas tree?? If I did come for Halloween candy which kind should I choose?  Chocolate, suckers, lemon heads, bubble gum? And when I pick the kind that I want do I want Duck Dynasty? Batman? Dora the Explorer? Mickey Mouse?  If I buy what I like what will happen to it if I don’t have enough trick or treaters?  Exactly! Get the Dum Dum suckers—cheap, lots, and I don’t care for them.  I won’t feel bad when I throw them in the trash instead of back in my candy bowl. Ok, so that’s one holiday decision.  I must take a nap before I tackle the next holiday decision. 

We must have skipped right over Thanksgiving? The forgotten holiday but often the one we enjoy the most because it has food and Football.   There are a few napkins and plates and an occasional pilgrim available at the stores.   My Thanksgiving decorations are still in the “fall” box.  I’m like the store—just a few—fat pilgrim salt shakers, turkey platters, and a couple of svelte pilgrims who are delivering a Norman Rockwell turkey.  These guys won’t appear until the stuffed witches go back in the box. I try to limit my holiday confusion to trips outside my home.  I also have to build up my strength for carrying all those plastic tubs of Christmas treasures out of the basement. 

All these holiday trappings can be overwhelming to those of you trying to make it through the holidays if you have suffered the death of someone you love.  You probably can barely find your bedroom shoes much less your holiday decorations.  Even if you could find them—your decorations not your shoes, you probably wouldn’t want to display them because you’d feel guilty for celebrating a holiday without your husband, son, or mom or whoever there. 

These feeling aren’t right or wrong they are just feelings. On November 21, 2013 at noon, ET at Shawmut United Methodist Church, 2301-31st Street, Valley, AL we will share a meal with people who’ve experienced the death of a loved one. It will be a good one, lovingly prepared by people who know what it’s like to keep moving after someone you love has died.  We will also have a program about facing the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. You will leave with a decoration for your tree or desk drawer –if you have no intentions of putting up a tree this year.   It’s a free event sponsored by the Pastoral Institute, Shawmut United Methodist Church and the Naomi group for widows.  If you’d like to attend please call for a reservation, 334-768-2341 by November 18th so we can set a place for you.  `

Karen Erwin-Brown is the director of the Valley office of the Pastoral Institute.  She is a licensed social worker and marriage and family therapist. She provides individual, marriage and family counseling by appointment only.  Call 334-768-2341 to schedule an appointment or for more information.


Stretch checking out Dex

Craning my neck from my porch to see Stretch, the crane.  He's out on a morning walk near the site of the Hedgie vows.   That spot is frequented by geese , otter, and coyotes--also Double N.  Stretch normally sits in the cove across the river. Recogn he heard about Dex and was checking out the competition.  Stretch has been an object of my affection for the last 13 years while he's strutted and preened  trying to appear uninterested in the local fish.  Those poor unfortunate souls. Will have to point out Stretch to Queen Elizabeth. He appears to have flown off or perhaps has just turned sideways and disappeared.  It's not a trick I'm capable of .

Dex is a little chilly today.  He may be missing all the guys who have visited him for the last few weeks. Queen Elizabeth will sit awhile with her blanket but it's not like having guys with hammers and power tools.  He'll have to learn to enjoy quiet with an occasional train sound. 

Y'all have sent my hits over 10000.  Thanks for that.  Hope you find as much peace today as I have when I sit with Dex on the Hooch. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bye Frank

My porch is more of a Poindexter.  Those of you old enough to remember "Mystery Date" from the 60s, a board game, understand. He required nothing of you and was glad to have you just show up.  Content to be selected.  Honored.  Available.  Could go out on a moments notice.  He didn't care what you looked like. Wear the clothes you slept in--don't worry about your hair or that you breathe smells like last night. Of course, my porch is still  lovely while Poindexter wasn't much to look at.   But I'm going with Dex.  Kicking Frank to the curb. 

Cool, rainy morning. Thanks for letting me snuggle in Dex.

Queen Elizabeth & I bought flowers yesterday. My first of the season.  Lettuces, pansies, and a croton.  My pots are anxiously anticipating their new outfits.  Personification--got it bad.  Just ask Dex.

Time to do all those things that didn't get done all week.  Have a peaceful Saturday.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Frank entertains

With Frank again--need more coffee--nothing is perfect.  Duke Boy still snoozed.

Today Frank will help host a party for our group, The Naomi Project.  It's a group of widows who've been meeting since March.  They have all had husbands to die less than a two years ago. I almost said they'd lost their husbands, but unfortunately their husbands aren't coming back so they aren't lost.  They have held each other up during tough spots--anniversaries of deaths, weddings, and birthdays;
holidays, and lonely lunches.  Today we will plan how we want to minister to the next group coming out of our Holiday Hope luncheon in November.  Holiday Hope is for those who've had a loved one to die during the last year.   I know I'm only Holy Ground when I'm with these women.  They have blessed me and Duke Boy with their love and trust.  Pray for their continued recovery from their grief.

Daylight is creeping onto Frank. Squirrels are doing the Frisky Whiskey up a tree.  Fall is also creeping here.  Wonderful, but slight, chill in the air. 

Time to help Frank spruce up for his guests. 

Got get my own coffee.  Rats.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spending time with Frank

I've been with Frank for nearly an hour now.  His blue hat is coming into view with the morning light. He is quiet and let's me think and rest.  He provides a comfortable spot for me to sit and even has a plug for my laptop.  If I could just teach him to have the coffee ready....hmmm....He loves to listen to the early morning sounds with me...too many birds to name, chipmunks scurrying to hide from Double N, Frisky Whiskey up a tree--it's a squirrel poem--look it up.  Ms. Daily taught Hedgie Girl that one at East Lake...freeway in the distance--not disruptive--white noise .

Oh no...I'm discovered with Frank.  Duke Boy is coming.   Morning Joe will also join us. Rats.

He will bring me coffee...the perfect love triangle.

Frank has other lovers---sad and wonderful.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Spooky views

My porch got new pants so we can't sit on him for 48 hours.  They look great.  Barn red.  Love it.  Didn't think about my patriotic theme when I was picking.  White shirt and sky blue hat.  He's very cool.  So excited to get to put furniture on him after tomorrow. 

I did a health fair at MeadWestvaco for 2 days.  What nice people.  I've gone there for 3 years and never cease to be amazed at how happy and friendly they all are to me and to each other.  Thanks for the good vibes--especially helpful when you've gotten up at 4:30 to be there by 6 AM. 

BW's mommy had to be put to sleep.  Very sad for her family, who are my family.  We love you guys and you are in our prayers. 

Does anybody know what tomorrow is?  I'm thinking it'd be a great day to send my blog closer to 10,000 views.  Tell your friends to take a look.  I need about 300 hits.  Let's do it before Halloween.
wanted to share this cute pix of my family despite their choice of attire

Monday, October 7, 2013

Breezy day with my porch

I confess I'm with my porch again! This time we are listening to the rain together.  This is why I wanted  a porch.  It reminds me of Camp Sumatanga, G4 with just screens--laying in bed listening to the rain on the roof sooth me to sleep after a long day of crafting with kids.  Ok, cutting gimp can be very taxing...soothing a young boy after a mouse ate his bread dough roses that he'd left to dry, watching someone's popsicle treasure chest fall apart after an hour of painstaking I write I now know where most of my early therapeutic skills were honed. 

Back to the nice here.  It won't be long before I'll have to do a blankie and sox.  For now turning off the ceiling fan over my head was a must.  Duke Boy had to help.  I must get a longer chain. 

Today was Pastor's Appreciation Day at Shawmut UMC.  Lovely.  Great getting to lead the line with the Pastor.  Preacher's wife job does have its perks.  Grape salad, poppy seed chicken, Swiss chocolate cake, green beans.  I'm so sorry all my bloggers friends weren't there.  We had tons of food.  Thanks to all of you who pulled off that lovely event. 

Thanks too to all who helped me Turn 60. Where do we get these expressions.  Sounds like something that happens to silver.  Time to polish me?? Shine me up for the next party?  Anyhow.  Great family event with Hank and Shelia. Always fun with Miss Sunny, Jim Pop and newest future Miss Sunny.  Sopigopnopa and Tom.  Now I'm still partying with a  dance card of invites here in the Valley.  The porch will be jealous. 

Congrats to my babies that just celebrated 5 years of marriage.  My porch overlooks their wedding site.