Sunday, June 29, 2014

Strange Coincidences

It's been an interesting weekend. I didn't really have anything on the agenda for this weekend which was a big relief since I have been super busy the last two weekends. Plus, we wrapped up the quarter at work on Friday and I was just ready to go home and turn my brain off for a while. I was in desperate need of unplugging and unwinding.

Friday night, I didn't do anything but lay on the couch. I think I may have watched one or two shows I had recorded during the week, but by 9:30 I was bored and had been dozing off and on and just decided to go on to bed. Please do not be jealous of this exciting life of mine.

Saturday morning, I went to see Jersey Boys at the movie theater. It was okay, more of a rental than a see it in the theater type. The music was good, but other than that it was just kind of meh which surprised me because usually Clint Eastwood directed movies are great. I was the youngest person in the theater by a long shot. I still had a nice time though, as going to the movies solo and getting away from it all is seriously one of my favorite things to do.

I think it was actually before I left for the movie, I was outside with Pippa and my neighbor Tina walked over to talk to me. She told me that a friend of hers had backed into my fence on accident a few days ago. Apparently the friend had seizures and had had a seizure before getting into his truck to drive and therefore didn't even realize he had hit my fence until she told him (she saw him do it). Hey, I didn't even notice anything had happened and I haven't had a seizure. Anyway, I told her it was not a big deal because I'm planning to have some of the fencing replaced where it was hit anyway and really there's not much damage at all and it wasn't all that big of a deal.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, my neighbor's friend called his insurance company and they are going to pay for the damage to the fence. It was super nice of him to call because honestly, I wasn't even that concerned about it but I appreciate him doing the right thing and taking care of it. This works out really well because when the insurance company pays for those repairs, I can have my back fencing repaired and the fencing and gate replaced in the front and just pay the difference. So, maybe it was a blessing that he ran into the fence since I've been wanting to take care of this anyway. The Lord works in mysterious ways, y'all.

I also took a trip out to visit my brother at work on Saturday, but I think I'll save this for a separate post because I can often be very wordy about nothing in particular and I'm quite sure I can be wordy about paying him a visit.

On Sunday, I went to church, out to lunch and then the the grocery store. I made it home just before it started raining. There were thunderstorms and rain all afternoon which was a perfect napping environment except that The Pip jumped on and off of me the whole time I laid down.

Sunday evening, I went by Target to get a couple of items that I knew Publix wouldn't have and as I was walking out, I saw a display with Cokes and Diet Cokes. I don't know if you have seen them, but the Cokes, Diet Cokes and Coke Zeroes all have "Share a Coke with..." and then a name. I was looking to see if there was a Natasha (if any of y'all see one, please get it) and I kid you not, there were three bottles on a shelf and the three names were Erika, Kendra and Justin which just so happens to be the names of two of my best friends and my brother. Life is crazy at times, don't you think?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursdays In Huntsville

I don't really have much of anything to write about today. I've been keeping busy but with nothing very interesting, or at least not interesting enough to write about. I will say the summer has been a nice break. I've spent very little time watching TV which I should honestly practice more often. I need to get in the habit of reading, a hobby which I once loved and somewhere along the way stopped doing.

I did want to mention Greene Street Market again. I've been four or five times this year and it's always so much fun. If you love in Huntsville, you should definitely check it out. It takes place on Thursdays from May through October from 4-8 p.m.

Last week, since I was told to stay out of the gym by the doctor, I went with Jackie and our friend Leah. We met at my house at 6:00 p.m. and headed out. Leah and I got some Piper and Leak Summertime Chai Tea to start things off. We also got some homemade popsicles and while standing in line we ran into Erika who had purchased a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Last Thursday was also the Arts Stroll for the month of June so we walked around downtown and perused the various crafts.

We made our way back to Greene Street and Leah and I got some Kettle Corn and Jackie tried some weird pro-biotic drink called Kambucha. I'm probably not spelling that right, but I'm too lazy to look it up. Before the night was over, we stopped by Big Spring Park. It was a gorgeous night and thankfully it wasn't unbearably hot.

I stopped by again tonight to get tea and kettle corn and I also picked up some sunflowers because they were so pretty and I thought they might brighten up the house. I also grabbed some dinner from Food Fighters. They are usually a food truck, or bus really, but they set up a tent at Greene Street. I had the brisket, mashed potatoes and coleslaw and it was really quite delicious.

Huntsville has so many wonderful things to offer and Greene Street is just one of those. Be sure to check it out before the season is over.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Pip's First Birthday

As mentioned in my last post, The Pip's birthday was this past Saturday. She is now a one year old dog, or seven depending on how you look at things (human years vs. dog years and all that). We didn't do anything to celebrate. I think I mentioned I tried to put a birthday shirt on her and take her photo but it didn't work out to well. For one, the shirt was way too big and for two she wouldn't sit still. The shirt says, "It's my birthday and I'll bark if I want to." Maybe next year it will work out. In honor of Pippa's first birthday, here are some photos of her from the first year of her life. You may have seen most of these before, but I'm sharing them again because, why not?

This photo was sent to me by the owner of Pippa's dog mom. She was about three weeks weeks old here. Clearly she looks terrified because the person holding her is wearing a Barner shirt. 

These next couple of photos are from when Pippa was five weeks old. Jackie and the kids and I went out to Hazel Green to look at the litter of pups and decided that Pippa would be the one I would eventually take home. We liked her Brindle coloring and she seemed relatively calm. Clearly she was putting on a show for everyone. 

The next two photos are from August 16, the day she came to live with me. She weighed 10 pounds and was still rather little. Those first few months were interesting/trying. 

She started to grow and the hound in her began to come out.

Pippa became a good snuggler/pillow. 

She learned that hanging out with children at Fall Festival can be exhausting. 

She graduated from puppy training, although I dare say she should probably go back for more. 

She learned that all the good stuff comes from the stove. 

Here she is on the day of her first birthday. 

She's turned out to be a pretty good dog. Happy first birthday The Pip!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Another Weekend, Another Wedding

It's hot, y'all. There is no doubt about it, summer has officially arrived. The days are hot and sticky and you start sweating as soon as you open the front door. Summer in the South - some things never change. I will say, though, that I am surprised by the amount of bugs there are this summer. I've always heard if the winter is very cold then the bugs won't be bad; but, that does not seem to be the case this year. Seems like there are more beetles this year than I have ever seen. I'm thinking I may need to get one of those bags that catches the beetles. I suppose that doesn't have much to do with what I've been doing, but I did want to mention it so thanks for hanging in there with me and my random moments. 

The weekend for me started with a Friday night grass mowing. I had not mowed in almost two weeks and it was time that the yard be tamed. I got started about 6:15 p.m. and finished up close to 8:00 p.m. My ankle was rather swollen (because of my leg) by the time I was done with the yard work. So I spent the rest of the evening with my foot propped up on a pillow so the swelling would go down. I did this while laying in bed. Yes, I was in bed by 8:30 p.m. on a Friday night. Please do not be jealous of my rock star lifestyle. 

On Saturday morning, I was up by 6:00 and spend the morning cleaning and doing laundry. It was The Pip's first birthday and you would think I might have done something fun or crazy with her; but, no. I did try to put a birthday shirt on her and take her photo, but that didn't work out too well. So, I just told her happy birthday a lot. I don't think she really cared one way or the other. 

In the late afternoon, I got ready for my friend Katie's wedding. Jackie and I know Katie from church and so we went to the wedding together since neither of us were fortunate enough to have an actual date. The wedding was sweet and simple and short which is probably how most people like it. The bridesmaids dresses were beautiful and Katie looked gorgeous! Her dress wasn't my style, but it looked great on her. She was a beautiful bride. 

The reception was in the South Ballroom at the VBC and there were 500-600 people in attendance. They had a buffet with  plethora of food, all of which was quite good. Jackie and I mingled amongst all our friends and never really stayed at any one table for long. We stayed until the cake was cut and served because, as you probably know, I am a lover of cake and this cake was worth the wait. Very moist and delicious. 

After the wedding, Jackie and I hung out on the front porch to people watch and then ended up going over to our friends Jonathan and Caley's house so we could hold their sweet baby for a while. We love spoiling that baby! It was another busy but fun Saturday spent with people I love. A big congrats to our friend Katie on her nuptials. I wish you all the happiness in the world!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Week's Happenings

It's been a busy week this week, y'all and also a little unusual because I haven't been able to do some of my normal activities.

Sunday night we had another softball game and another loss and I did not even have fun playing. I was in a bad mood and so were some other people and it just did not make for a fun experience. Not to mention that I fell on my wounded leg which caused the wound to bust open and become extremely disgusting.

Monday night I went to my women's Bible study group where the aforementioned wound was examined by various and sundry ladies who told me I needed to go see a doctor and so I did just that on Tuesday morning. The doctor never used the word infected, but he did use the word "concerning". My ankle and foot had also begun swelling the night before and so that was also cause for concern.

The doctor gave me a Tetanus shot and some antibiotic cream and told me to do a wet to dry bandage and change it three times a day. He said if it wasn't better in a couple of days to call him and he would call in an oral antibiotic. He also told me to keep my foot elevated and to take the week off from working out and softball which freed me up for family dinner on Tuesday night.

So, Tuesday after work, I headed over to my Aunt Linda's house for family dinner and enjoyed the food and more importantly, the company and also some leftover wedding cake. I could have stayed all night talking to my family, but my foot was extremely swollen and I was so very tired and so I headed home around 7:45 p.m. I was in bed and pretty much asleep by 9:15 p.m. and slept all night.

Wednesday was work and church which was nothing out of the ordinary. Thursday was a big day at work and in the evening. Some time last month I threw my business card in the fish bowl at Zoe's Kitchen and last week I found out I had won catered lunch for 10. So, I was blessed to be able to treat my team to lunch Thursday afternoon. We had steak and chicken kabobs, hummus and pimento cheese with pita, a large salad and chocolate cake. They even brought cups, ice and tea. It was all super delicious and it was nice to be able to have conversations with my team members that didn't involve work.

Thursday night, Jackie and our friend Leah came by and the three of us went to Greene Street Market and then walked around downtown perusing the Arts Stroll. We stayed out for a couple of hours and just enjoyed each other's company and the nice evening. It was hot but not blazing. We ran into lots of people we know, most from church, including Erika and Leah's in-laws.

I've still got yard mowing to do for the week which I hope to get knocked out on Friday night and then there is another line up of activities to keep me busy through the weekend which will hopefully make for some good blogging material. Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Wedding Celebration

Saturday was filled from start to finish with activity and there was little time for rest. It was my cousin Anna's wedding day and it was also the day before Father's Day which meant that in addition to my normal household chores, I also had Sunday lunch to prepare and had to stop in time to get ready for the wedding reception. Anna was married in a very small church that had no air conditioning and so just a small group of people were invited to the wedding. 

The Pip was ready to get up about 5:00 a.m. I guess since we get up at that time during the week she decided the weekend should be no different. It worked out well though because I was able to get started on the cleaning and the laundry and start cooking and preparing for Sunday lunch. Early on in the morning I realized I was out of dishwasher detergent and an emergency run to the store was in order. I was brave and decided that since the store was less than a mile from the house I would let Pippa stay out of the crate while I was gone. I was back home in less than 10 minutes and I'm pretty sure she just stayed at the window the whole time I was away. She (thankfully) didn't tear up anything. 

Mid-morning I managed to get a small nap in and then got back to it until I took a break a little after 1:00 p.m. to go get my nails done, using the gift certificate Jackie's parents gave me for Christmas. I came back home a little over an hour later, took care of some more things around the house and soon enough it was time to get ready for the big party. 

The invitation to the reception said 6:30 p.m., but I am perpetually early and I got to Mooresville about 6:00 p.m. Anna's reception was at The Dance Hall and the parking was on the main highway and golf carts ran back and forth from the cars to the dance hall. It was also a short walk away and so I just walked, enjoying the evening stroll as it wasn't too terribly hot out. 

I ran into the wedding party as they were walking to the church and was able to pass out hugs and handshakes before the ceremony. I also got to see Anna before she headed to the church and she, of course, looked gorgeous. I made my way inside the dance hall and was quickly greeted by Sydney who was there with her parents, new baby brother, and her grandmother (my dad's sister) and so I sat at the table with them. 

The serving line started around 6:45 p.m. or so and all of the food was delicious. There were a lot of choices and it was all so good. When Anna and Randy came into the reception, the party really got started. There was a live band and no one had been dancing until the bride and groom arrived. Sydney and her gang left pretty early on and my Aunt Linda sat at the table with me the rest of the night. The table was right by the dance floor so we had a good view of all the shenanigans. I ended up dancing with my cousin Chris and y'all, I danced until I was covered in sweat. It was a blast. Everyone seemed to be having so much fun. I think we all could have danced for a couple more hours. 

Anna and Randy left the reception around 9:30 p.m. and I left soon after, hitching a ride to my car with Chris and Amy and Aunt Linda. I was home a little after 10:00 p.m. and you would think that after all that dancing I would be able to sleep the night away, but it was just the opposite. I actually tossed and turned and was in and out of sleep all the while having visions of dancing at the reception in my head. I guess I wasn't ready for the night to end. 

A big congrats to Anna and Randy who are such a fun couple! I wish them all the happiness in the world!  

Greer before the wedding

Anna and Greer before the wedding

Anna and Randy's first dance

A blurry photo of Chris leading the dance line

Anna and Randy dancing their way out of the reception

Monday, June 16, 2014

Blue Plate Broadway 2014 - A Grand Performance

It was another busy weekend and I feel like I went non-stop from the time I left work Friday until I closed my eyes Sunday night. Friday afternoon, I left work around 5:00 p.m. and made a trip by Publix to pick up some items I needed for Father's Day lunch. I ended up buying a Styrofoam cooler and a bag of ice to keep all of my frozen and cold items frozen and cold because I wasn't planning on going home right away. 

After the Publix run, I made a stop at Taziki's for some hummus and pita to have for dinner and I then drove to Huntsville High School where I ate that dinner in my car before watching the 2014 Blue Plate Broadway show. You may recall that for the past three years, Troy and Ashlyn have gone to a performing arts camp each summer called Blue Plate Broadway and at the end of the week-long camp, the children put on a performance of the songs and dances they learned. It is always such a fun week for the kids and the performances are amazing. 

This year was no exception. The show was the best one yet. I cried multiple times throughout the show because of how proud I was of these two kiddos. They are really growing up fast and becoming their own independent grown little people and it has been such a blessing to be a part of watching them grow. Both Troy and Ashlyn had solos in the show and they did so great. The show was hilarious and fun and just an all around good time. Jackie told me that on the second night at the end of the show, they announced that half of the proceeds were being donated to a girl named Lindsey who was a junior counselor. Lindsey is blind and has been a part of Blue Plate Broadway for the last three years if not more. Since her text books need to be in braille, they are more expensive than regular textbooks and so I have no doubt that the donation was a big help to her and her family. I've gotta say I'm kind of glad I wasn't there for that announcement because I would have squalled like a baby. 

After the show, I headed on home. The kids' paternal grandparents and aunt were in attendance and I didn't want to take away from that visit so I told Jackie to pass along my congratulations. I went home and straight to bed for I had a large day ahead of me on Saturday and needed a good amount of rest before continuing on with my weekend. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Photos From My Phone: June 2014 Edition

Jackie made a comment in the last post that I should have posted a photo of my leg and so I thought; well, maybe I should. So, since it's been a while since I've done a "Photos From My Phone" post, I decided to do just there. Here's the June 2014 Edition...

When I was in Hawaii, I bought some nail polish that changes color in the sun. Out of the sun it's a natural almost flesh color (above) and in the sun, the color is a dark pink/light maroon (below).

This photo is of me and Ashlyn after her dance recital a couple of weeks ago. She did a really great job dancing!

I walked in on this scene after taking a bath one night.
The Pip cannot be trusted!

Pip has taken to laying and jumping up on the picnic table that is in the backyard. This night, Jackie had come over for burgers and we had to put Pippa in the house; otherwise we would not have been able to eat at the table for her jumping up on it. 

This is Greer, my cousin Lauren's little boy and he is holding my Aunt Linda's puppy Lucy Lou. I'm sure Lucy was thrilled. 

This was the scene outside of my voting precinct last week. The church where we vote was also having VBS; so, there was fun and games in addition to voting. 

This is pretty much normal for me and The Pip.  She likes to lay as close as possible to me and it can be suffocating at times.

And finally, I've saved the best for last. This is a photo of my leg from Thursday night. This is four days after being injured. Still not completely scabbed over, but it is healing and starting to itch which is a good sign.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Movie, A Thunderstorm and Another Strawberry

After my busy and fun-filled Saturday morning and early afternoon, I went home and pretty much immediately fell asleep for a nap. I slept a couple of hours and woke up just in time to watch California Chrome lose the Triple Crown.

Jackie came over a little while later and we went out to Bridge Street to The Scene Restaurant and  the Monaco Pictures. You may recall that back in December I won dinner and a movie for two at the Galaxy of Lights Fun Run and so we redeemed those vouchers. We each had salad and sushi for dinner and we got tickets to the Prive area for "The Fault in Our Stars."

Nevin got me the book for my birthday and Jackie has read it a few weeks ago and I finally read it last week and so we went to see the movie fully expecting to have a big cry. The movie was well done. It was about as close as it could get to the book. There were very few things different than the book; but, as is always the case, the book was better. I don't know if it's because I knew what was going to happen or what exactly the deal was, but I didn't cry nearly as much as I thought I would while watching the movie. I definitely cried more when reading. There was a couple sitting to my left and y'all, that man cried more than both me and Jackie. He was sobbing loudly. I almost asked him if he was going to be okay.

During the movie, a thunderstorm came to town and it rained heavily and hard and thundered loudly the whole time we were in the movie. I didn't even know if was supposed to rain. Thankfully, we had used the complimentary valet parking that Bridge Street is offering during the construction of the new Belk and so we didn't have to trudge through the rain after the movie was over. Someone else got to do that for us and it was nice.

Sunday morning was church, after which I made my weekly trip to Publix and then came home and watched Formula One which has become my new obsession thanks to that movie "Rush". I now want to go to a Formula One race.

After church Sunday night we had our first softball game in a month. I'll spare you all the terrible details and just leave it with these words...we lost. The main thing is we all had fun. Everyone I talked to has said they had a good time and really, that's all that matters. I cut up my left leg rather badly and it now had a huge strawberry on it which is still trying to heal. It looks ridiculous and hurts like crazy. I had the good sense to order some ball pants this week and they should be in before our next game, that is if I play. I may sit out a week and let my leg heal. Time will only tell.

The softball game ended the first full weekend of June and the first of many busy weekends in a row. Looks like summer is in full swing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Apparently I Should Be a Trolley Tour Guide

Well, I don't know about you all, but this past weekend was way beyond busy for me; but, it was fun and entertaining and all around great.

Friday, I took off work at noon so that I could take The Pip to the vet to get weighed for the month and get her monthly heartworm medicine. I also needed to go by the grocery store and then had an appointment scheduled for 3:00. My appointment ended up being cancelled, which freed up a couple of hours so I ended up going to see Maleficent at at the movie theater which was really great and I would definitely recommend.

After Pippa and I returned home from the vet, I spent the rest of the night doing a little bit of cooking and also taking care of some laundry. I had thought about mowing the grass, but it rained and therefore grass mowing was out of the question. It was a rather low key night which was needed considering how busy the rest of the weekend was.

Saturday morning, I finished up the cooking from the night before and took my dishes over to my grandmother's house. My cousin Jessica and her husband Nathan have just moved back to the States after living as missionaries in Africa for the past year. They have agreed to live with my grandmother for at least tree months as a trial run and then if it works out they will make it a permanent arrangement. I think it is so great for my grandmother and for Nathan and Jessica too.

Jessica is in her mid twenties and as sad as it sounds, we really don't know each other well. We grew up seeing each other at Thanksgiving and Christmas and that's about it. Since these two are brand new to Huntsville, they have no idea what Huntsville has to offer. So, Jackie and I agreed to take them around town and show them some of the highlights of our fair city. We all met for breakfast at my grandmother's house first and my dad and aunt and uncle also came. It was a fun morning having breakfast with everyone.

When breakfast was over, the four of us headed out. I thought we might be gone for a couple of hours, but it was four hours before we would return. We went everywhere from Hayes Nature Preserve, Monte Sano State Park, Lowe Mill, The Botanical Gardens and just about everywhere in between. We had a great time. It was nice to spend some time with Nathan and Jessica and to show them this city we call home. The lot of them told me I should be a trolley tour guide so, maybe when I'm retired I'll take it up. It would no doubt be loads of fun!

Upon returning to my grandmother's house, my cousin Brittany ad her husband and Sydney and the new baby were all there, My grandmother had us granddaughters go back to the "Alabama Room" and stake our claim on what items we wanted and we were allowed to go ahead and take them with us. She was doing some cleaning out and needed us to go ahead and take what we wanted. I got two Alabama mugs, a photo of my dad as a boy, and a whistle my Papa used when coaching football. I also got a Madison Academy button which I will absolutely be wearing come fall.

The best prize of the day was a rather gaudy Alabama ashtray. It is a white ashtray with a red elephant on it. My grandmother said it was the first Alabama gift she had ever gotten for my Papa. She said it used to have beautiful ivory tusks and that my cousin Benny had broken them off - this did not surprise me. She also told me that I'd better not be putting any butts in there.

I also came across a fantastic picture of my Papa on Bourbon Street at, no doubt, the Sugar Bowl. My grandmother wasn't ready to part with it, but when she is, it is mine. Jackie said I should pose the same way the next time I am in New Orleans and I think I will, friends; I think I will.

It was such a fun morning with my family and my bestie. I am so thankful I got to spend some time with these people whom I love so much. It was no doubt one of the best Saturday mornings I've had in a while.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Book Review: The Loving Kitchen by LeAnn Rice

I've got another book review for you today and this time it is a cookbook titled "The Loving Kitchen" by food blogger LeAnn Rice. The subtitle of the book is "Downright Delicious Southern Recipes to Share with Family, Friends, and Neighbors," and so I'm sure you can see why I chose this book for review.  I actually had never heard of LeAnn Rice prior to selecting this book for review; so, I checked out her blog and found lots of fantastic looking recipes and immediately knew I had made a good choice. 

There are seven recipe sections in the book which include the following: Morning Fare, Bountiful Breads, Starters and Salads, Soups and Sandwiches, Entrees, Vegetables and Sides and Desserts. . Each section is filled with scrumptious recipes that seem fairly easy to make and would be a great addition to your dinner table, church potluck, or to cook up and take over to a friend. I, for one, am very excited to try out the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie. Some of the recipes are accompanied by photos of what the finished product looks like and if you are like me, then you are naturally drawn to these recipes more than the ones without a photo. 

In addition to all the great recipes, Ms. Rice also provides a small blurb about each of the recipes, some indicating how she came by the recipe and others saying what makes the recipe great. Throughout the book, the author tries to emphasize how you can show love to others through food and cooking - a great and very true concept if you ask me. 

At the end of the book, Ms. Rice has two sections (Reaching Out and Gathering In) that provide a list of ideas that you can use when you are trying to reach out to those in need or when you are having people into your home for a meal. Both sections are well worth the read and will perhaps encourage and motivate you to help someone by cooking a meal for them. 

All in all, "The Loving Kitchen" is a really great cookbook and one that I'm sure I will pull out from time to time when looking for inspiration on something to cook. "The Loving Kitchen" is published by Thomas Nelson books and is available in paperback form or can be downloaded to an e-reader. The book can be purchased for around $20 at retailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Friday, June 6, 2014

And The Winner Is

Congrats to comment #1, Jackie, winner of "Raising a Princess" by John Croyle. A copy will soon be on its way to you! Thanks for reading everyone, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tales from the Poll

Well, in case you didn’t know, this past Tuesday (June 3) was primary day in the State of Alabama. I worked the polls once again and once again had some interesting experiences. Y’all, I’ll start off by saying my patience with the older folks I work with is running thin. In that it was all I could do at times to not lose it on these people. Look, to me anyway, working the polls is not that difficult. I, however, work with people who care more about socializing with every Jim Bob that walks through the door than they do about paying attention to the details of their job and as a result ridiculous mistakes are made and it makes me crazy.

The first mistake of the day was when a voter came in, was marked off the list and just ran over to the sign in sheet to sign her name. She signed the Republican sheet like she knew what she was doing and then when she was handed a ballot and went to vote, she realized she had a Republican ballot and said she wanted a Democratic one. So, we had to mark her name off the Republican list and move it over to the Democrat list and she voted as she wanted. Later on in the day we received word that someone had complained to the Secretary of State’s office and if I had to guess, it was this lady.

Later on in the day, when a worker came to the bottom of a sign-in page, instead of turning the page of the book, she flipped the book and the next two people signed in where witnesses sign. One of the two voters was still in the building so we were able to get that lady to re-sign.

A few hours after that, I walked in from having stepped out to the restroom, and a ballot was just sitting atop the machine because the machine had spit it out and the voter of that ballot was nowhere to be found. Long story short, the voter didn’t mark the ballot correctly and there was no one manning the machine because the man who had been there all day took a bathroom break and our inspector (who was told to watch the machine) was in another world.

It was just a few minutes after this that our numbers didn’t balance. Y’all, it was a frustrating day. We weren’t even that busy but all these mistakes made me want to pull my hair out. I’m hoping to become inspector of my poll one day and when that happens, I will be bringing in some younger people who can think clearly and perform their duties well and with a sound mind. Some of the workers are really not bad, but there were three working on Tuesday that I would never have back if I’m being honest.

What’s crazy about all these mistakes that were made is that the turnout wasn’t even that great. We only voted 316 people during the 12 hours the polls were open. People never cease to amaze me. I had people refuse to vote because they didn’t want to choose between Republican and Democrat. I had people come in that appeared drunk or high. Thankfully, no one was belligerent, which I had totally expected since this was the first time a photo ID was required. In the past you could use your voter registration card which does not have a photo. We also had a new voting machine this go around and very few people noticed it.

Hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or so they say. I will say it’s still good to watch the American system at work and when I read the pledge aloud that morning, I got goose bumps and almost started crying. I’m proud to be an American, y’all. However, I do know one thing, despite all the stress I’ve been under at work lately, I was very happy to return to my normal routine.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Weekend Didn’t Exactly Go As Planned

Overall, I would have to say I didn’t do too much this past weekend, and yet, it went by in the blink of an eye and I accomplished almost nothing I wanted to accomplish. C’est la vie, people, c’est la vie.

Friday night was Ashlyn’s dance recital and so, I, of course, planned to be there. That’s what “godmothers” do. FYI, Troy has started calling me his godmother and now my cousins are his godcousins and so it’s turned into this big hilarious thing for all of us. My friends Paul and Leah had also invited me over to crash their dinner party and so I stopped by their house for some delicious kabobs, rice and fresh fruit.
Jackie had me on standby because Ashlyn’s dance wasn’t until after intermission. She had originally told me to be there at 8:00 p.m. but text me later and told me not to come until 8:30. The recital was at Lee High School which is only about three miles from my house; so, I wasn’t worried about being late.

I arrived at the recital just as intermission began and quickly found Jackie’s parents and a seat. Ashlyn’s dance was the third dance in the second act so it wasn’t too long after arriving that I got to see her take the stage. She did a great job and looked like she was having a lot of fun, which is most important. After her dance we all met up in the lobby, gave her a big hug and parted ways. She headed off to camp and then rest of us went home.

Saturday morning I had planned to take Pip to the vet to get a weight and a heartworm medicine for the month and then wanted to go see a movie. However, there was a crisis at work and so I stayed home to monitor emails and phone calls and do what I could to help the situation. Finally, I decided it was safe to take a shower and leave the house.

I went to the hospital to visit my cousin Brittany and her newborn baby. This makes Sydney a bog sister and although I didn’t get to see The Syd, I did hear about how excited she is to have a baby brother. I’m sure she will be a great big sister.

After visiting with the cousins, I went to Publix and bought a few groceries to cover me for the remainder of the weekend and through the work week. I actually went to the one downtown because it was closer and more convenient and for the record, I still prefer the one on Whitesburg.

I unloaded the groceries and put them away and then hung out with The Pip for a while before heading out into the heat to mow the grass. It was rather tall this time around and so it took a little over an hour to get it all cut, bagged and looking good. I was glad to have it done for another week. The rest of the evening was spent taking care of laundry and doing a bit of cleaning and just generally being lazy.

On Sunday I went to church and then after class, Jackie and I met the kids as they embarked from the bus after returning from camp. We then grabbed some lunch at Mellow Mushroom and I headed home to take a “nap”. My Sunday afternoon naps haven’t been very nappish since The Pip has come to live with me. It’s more like a rest, if you can even call it that.

Sunday evening I went to church where my dad preaches because my friend Claudia and her parents Drue and Doyle were visiting and we had plans to socialize and eat dinner with my parents afterwards. Claudia is my parents’ age and her parents are, of course, older, but they all had a lot of people in common and it’s a wonder that they have all never met before. We got them all together to talk about a missionary in Fiji that my dad had met as a kid and ended up talking about that and a whole lot more.

I finally got home around 9:00 p.m. and had just enough time to take out the trash, wash my face, take care of another load of laundry and go to bed. It wasn’t the ideal weekend in that I didn’t get to cross everything off my list, but I suppose that happens from time to time.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Raising a Princess

~~ This Giveaway is Now Closed ~~

I've got a book review and a giveaway to start of this first week of June. The book is "Raising a Princess" and it is written by John Croyle. Those of you who are Alabama fans probably know John Croyle as a former defensive end at the University of Alabama; but, Croyle is also a father, and the founder of Big Oak Ranch, a home for abused and neglected children.

The subtitle to "Raising a Princess"is "8 Essential Virtues to Teach Your Daughter." The book is loosely based on the Proverbs 31 women and when you take the first letter of the eight virtues, you get the word "princess" These are virtues we as grown women should remember to uphold as well.

The eight virtues are as follows:

Praiseworthiness - A princess is made in the image of God and is therefore worthy of praise. "Your daughter's worth, just like yours, comes from what God sees when he looks at her.

Righteousness - She chooses to make others feel loved and special by choosing to live God's normal, which may not necessarily be the world's normal.

Initiative - "Be open to what God has in store for her, and don't focus on imposing your own agenda." Let your daughter not only see you succeed, but also let her see you fail and how you handle both of these circumstances.

Nurture - Teach your daughter how to nurture others, but also show her there is a difference in caring for others and not being a doormat for others to walk all over.

Character - "Character is the joy of running the race set before you and feeling God's pleasure as a result." This section speaks of raising a daughter with good character, of forgiving her when she makes bad choices and not rescuing her from the consequences of those bad choices.

Empowerment - Teach your daughter to pray, to trust God, to be confident and satisfied, but still hungry.

Servant-Heartedness - A person with a servant heart does for others for the good of others, not for the recognition that comes along with good deeds. Don't be self-centered, and do practice serving others every day.

Stability - Provide stable parenting for your daughter. Help her to know you will always love her, never lie to her and always be there for her.

"Raising a Princess" is a really great book for parents raising daughters. It's definitely one I plan on keeping and hope to read again one day if the Lord sees fit to bless me with a daughter. There are lots of great lessons and teachings in this book that we should pass on to our daughters to help them become the Godly women we want and need them to be.

I'm happy to announce the nice folks at Shelton Interactive have provided me a copy for giveaway. If you are interested in reading "Raising a Princess" by John Croyle, then leave a comment on this post and you will automatically be entered to win. The contest will be open until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. and I'll announce the winner on Friday. Thanks for reading and good luck!