Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rainbow Omega Dinner 2009

Last night Tony and I went to the 2nd Annual Rainbow Omega Benefit Dinner here in Huntsville. It was a really fun evening. Rainbow Omega is a home for developmentally disabled adults, and my friend (Jackie’s cousin) Little Mickey Payer lives there. The dinner is designed to raise money for Rainbow Omega so that they can continue with the work they do there. They have about 80 residents and it is truly a wonderful work. I encourage you to go to their web site and read more about all the wonderful work they do:

Last night’s speaker was Dick Hoyt, the father of the father-son Team Hoyt. His son, Ricky, was born in 1962 and shortly after diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Through determination and effort, Ricky is now able to communicate through a computer and together Dick and Ricky compete in multiple marathons and triathlons all over the country. I cannot even begin to tell the story as it should be told, but you should definitely go to their web site and read their story – it is one of the most inspirational stories you will ever come across.

The dinner was good. There was salad, of course; and the main dish was chicken florentine with pasta and vegetables. It was pretty good too. Although I tend to think that the chicken at these sort of events is always a bit rubbery. But, overall it wasn't bad. It was definitely better than some other dinners I've had. The dessert was either lemon cake or chocolate. We both went for the lemon. It was lighter and not as rich or sweet as the chocolate looked. It was a really fun night. Here are some pictures from the evening.

Tony and I at the dinner.

I think we look kind of scared here.

Here's one of me and Little Mickey.

I took this one of Lisa and Candy when they weren't looking.
It looks like they are having a laugh.

The salad and dessert.

The main course.

The reason I attend.

The guy playing the harp took this photo of me and Tony.
Do we look like we are on the moon?

Tony wanted a new twitter picture. So, I took this one, but he didn't like it.
I guess he'll have to look for another pose.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Troy and Ashlyn's Birthday

Kids are so funny. I don’t have any of my own right now, but certainly hope to some day. This past Saturday, Jackie had a birthday party for her two kids. Ashlyn turned six on Friday, September 25 and Troy turns seven today, September 28. So, on Saturday, she had a party for both of them. Once all the kids arrived, Troy wanted to play Hide-And-Go-Seek. Apparently no one was listening to him because he got out the sidewalk chalk and wrote this. It gave me a chuckle.

The kids had awesome cakes. Ashlyn’s was a Barbie and Troy’s was Harry Potter themed.

The kids played a game where they had to wrap the birthday boy and girl in toilet paper to make them look like a mummy. It was a race to the finish.
If I remember correctly, the girls won. Girls rule, boys drool!

Jackie's sister Melissa put together all the games. She is a genius when it comes to kids' birthday parties and other creative things. If I'm lucky enough to have kids one day, I hope she'll come and organize their birthday parties.

Melissa's daughter, Madeline also helped with the arts and crafts. She taught the kids how to make dogs out of Mardi Gras beads.

All the kids had a good time and so did the adults. I even came home with a prize. Should have taken a picture of it. Oh well.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Alabama vs. North Texas

Last weekend (yes, I know I should have posted this sooner) I went to the Alabama vs. North Texas game with Jackie, our childhood friend Tina, and Tina’s husband Chad. We scored seats in the luxurious skybox at Bryant Denney stadium and now we don’t want to go back to slumming it. We got spoiled, it’s a rough life. Here are some photos from the joyous occasion.

Here we are when we arrived at the game. I amde sure to have someone take this picture right when we got out of the car because it was ridiculous hot and humid and I knew we would be looking terrible in a matter of minutes.

Our view from the skybox.
We got there early so we could drool over everything before anyone else arrived.

Here's Tina and her husband child.
They are expecting their first baby, a girl - Cecilia Anne, in January!

The band was right below us which meant we were able to hear them really well.
That was awesome because I love a marching band!

A sampling of the free food we got to munch on!

Alabama coming on to the field.

The coin toss.

The start of the game.

My favorite part of any game at Bryant Denney stadium is the Bryant Denney stadium dog! Love it! Ate two! Wish I had had room for more. There's nothing in the world like 'em!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Don’t Order Stamps From!

Listen up readers. I love snail mail. One of the best parts of my day is when I get home from work and open up the mailbox and look inside to find fabulous pieces of mail.

There’s nothing like a hand-written note! An email just isn’t the same. I love to receive notes or cards or letters in the mail. Call me old fashioned, but it makes my day.

I love catalogs. Don’t get me wrong, I like to browse stores online as well, but a catalog is so much easier to use. You can flip through it and ponder things and then go to your computer and place an order if you want.

Samples! Samples are fabulous! I sign up for every free sample I can find because it means I’ll be getting some mail and something free too! Usually samples come with coupons and I love coupons!

I also love it when packages are in the mailbox! It means that I can finally listen to that CD I ordered or wear the clothing I ordered or use the fabric I ordered, or… well, you get the picture.

Mail is fun. Email is a faster and more convenient way to communicate, but you can’t get a package through your computer – at least not yet.

The whole point of this is to let you know the following Public Service Announcement: Do Not Use to order stamps and supplies.

You see, the beef I do have with the US Postal Service is that the lines are usually long, the employees are usually unfriendly, and the price of a stamp increases every darn year. So, this week, I decided to order stamps from in order to avoid the long line and the unfriendly employee (unfortunately the price of a stamp is out of my control). So, on Monday, I placed my order. The order ships first class and is supposed to send you a tracking number when your order ships. I needed my stamps this week and I thought, well, surely if I order these today and they ship first class, I’ll receive them in a day or two – WRONG!!!!!! Today is Friday and I still have not received my stamps. In fact, I had to drive to the actual Post Office yesterday to buy a book of stamps – theoretically a book that I have already purchased, yet not received. Another thing that gripes me about this situation is that they charged me right away. That would be okay if I had actually received the stamps.

Today my order said still pending. So, I called customer service. I had to talk to 300 computers before I reached a human. Don’t companies know that while trying to navigate thru all the computer activated menus that the customer on the other end of the line is getting angrier by the minute? Trust me, this is true. But the time I finally reach a human, I am so mad, I’m ready to come thru the phone line! The human tells me the order shipped on the 15th but cannot provide me a tracking number, which the web site says it will provide. Not only that, but an item shipping within the continental United States shouldn’t take all week to arrive.

Bottom line – it’s no wonder the USPS is going bankrupt. With terrible customer service, undeliverable promises, and the increasing price of stamps, I’ll be surprised if this country isn’t down to one day a week delivery soon – and that’s just depressing. So, don’t order from Just drive on down the Post Office in your town and deal with the unfriendly postal worker there… it will save you a lot of headache and hassle.

Thank you for reading and have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Alabama vs. Virginia Tech

Jackie and I went to the Alabama vs. Virginia Tech game this past Saturday. It was in Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. We stayed overnight on Saturday with one of my sorority sisters, Virginia, and her husband, Mike. Believe it or not I didn’t even take a picture with Virginia and Mike. I’m not sure how that happened, but it did. It was the first time I had seen Virginia in about 10 years! It was so awesome to see her and meet her husband. Her kids were away for the weekend. We headed to the Georgia Dome around 3:00 or so and tailgated with some of Mike’s friends. There were so many people in and around the Georgia Dome and it was also stifling HOT! I wasn’t prepared for that because we had been having nice weather here in Alabama and I expected the same in Georgia. After we got inside and sat down, I started chatting with the lady next to me. It turned out that she is the wife of my orthopedic doctor! It’s such a small world. We had a really great time, made even better thanks to Alabama pulling out the 34-24 win in the fourth quarter!

That's Shaun Alexander in the red cap and white shirt.

Here's the Million Dollar Band coming off the field before the start of the game.

The players all shook hands before the game.

Getting ready for the kickoff!

Jackie and Nat tired, but having a good time!

It's Chris Fowler and Lee Corso updating those watching at home at the half.

That big guy in the middle is Mount Cody! I like to get a picture of him at every game!

Final Score: Alabama 34, Virginia Tech 24!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Isn’t it great to have friends? How would we make it through life without our friends? I have a group of friends that I get together with to watch American Idol. During Idol season, we meet once a week. Now that Idol isn’t on, we only meet once a month, and there is always so much to catch up on when we do finally get together. We often see each other at church or email each other, but nothing beats getting together and catching up on each other’s lives!

This is Candy and her sister Kendra. Yes, they are little people and they are awesome! They both have great personalities and are very funny! They always make me laugh.

This is Amy. She had her first baby this year. She is a volleyball coach and also a mental health counselor. Needless to say she always has interesting stories for us.

This is sweet Erika. She is very good about writing hand written notes. She also loves to cook and she makes the most wonderful treats. She has good intuition and will often stop by just when you need a pick me up.

This is me. I'm apparently telling a story.

Here are Shawna (left) and Lisa (right). Shawna has had to deal with a lot of illness over the past year or so but she is feeling a lot better for which we are all thankful. She is very talented and right now is teaching me to sew. She also makes stationary and has a lovely singing voice.

Lisa is also very talented. She is great at decorating and always lends a helping hand when needed. She's also a good confidant!

Here's Morgan. She is the daughter of Lisa and currently has a new boyfriend. She also got a really nice ride when she turned 16 earlier this year. It looks like she is writing something in this photo. Maybe a love letter??

Last but not least is my friend Jackie. She doesn't get to hang out with the Idol gals that often because she is a single mom. Here she is with her two kids, Troy and Ashlyn. Jackie and I have been besties since we were toddlers and I am so thankful to have her as my friend. Today is her 31st birthday and I wanted to give her a shout out today! Happy birthday, Jackie! Hope you have many more!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ma Payne

My great-grandmother, Lizzie Payne Ricketts, or Ma Payne as she was known to my family, passed away on Friday, August 28. She was 105 years old! Incredible! She was still active until the last few months of her life and needless to say we were all very blessed to have had her in our lives for so long!

My dad conducted the service yesterday. On Sunday night he asked our cousins and other relatives to tell him some of the things they remember her saying or a favorite memory. I wanted to share some of those with you.

She always loved Christmas parades and would go with me and my family every year when I was a young girl and then we would eat at Britling’s even though no one else liked to eat there.

When she was 59 she learned to ride a bicycle and my dad got to witness that! How fun that must have been!

She walked all over town and never owned a car.

She loved my grandmother’s cats and would call them “Ma’s Sweet Thangs.”

She always gave everyone a peppermint stick for Christmas.

She was the original re-gifter. If she didn’t like a gift, she would stockpile it in her house and then give it to folks that came to visit. And in more recent years she would just say she didn’t need it and try to give it to someone right there in front of you.

She would open all her Christmas presents at once even though we were supposed to be taking turns around the room.

She always had packs of gum to give you.

She carried Luden’s cough drops in her purse.

She had such a sweet and gentle laugh.

She always wore a bonnet wherever she went.

She would always say, “Ma loves you.”

I’m sure there are many, many more things I could say about Ma Payne. I’ll probably remember three or four after I post this. But I wanted to share a few memories of her today. She was a remarkable woman and she will be missed.