Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: Volume 3

You knew it was coming eventually!

I was sitting in the doctor's office today, waiting on DMN (Driving Miss N) to get out of her appointment. Huge cardio doctor's office, comfortable waiting area with sofas and loveseats scattered around the room. I was polite and took an armchair (a very comfy one) in a secluded spot so as to let the actual sick people and their family/friends have the more spacious seating.

One seating area was taken by a family. Another was completely empty. I was in the mid-section.

Elderly couple--at LEAST 75 comes in. Sit beside me. Go figure.

They're having a rather loud conversation that I try really hard not to eavesdrop on.

Until this gem:

"Well, if the doctor gives you a clean bill of health today, we'll have to try something sinful tonight!"

I *think* they were talking about food...


Monday, September 28, 2009

Recipe of the Week -- Turtle Martinis

Remember this recipe?

Well, I've adapted it. Surprise, surprise!

It IS a perfect girls night drink...or romantic cocktail...or just plain yummy if you happen to be on your own for the evening! This is similar to my originally posted recipe, except I have added my notes AND an additional vodka. Which means the drink packs a bit more of a punch, but it's soooo good!

Turtle Martini

cocoa powder
powdered sugar
caramel sauce (in a squeeze bottle)
chocolate sauce
2 ounces vanilla vodka (I use Stoli)
1 ounce chocolate vodka (I use Three Olives)
2 ounces white creme de cacao (or dark if you prefer more of a chocolate look)
2 ounces Praline New Orleans Style Pecan Liqueur (ok, if you can find this, you're doing MUCH better than I am. I simply use a Praline syrup that I found in the specialty section of my Publix)
crushed ice
Turtle candies

mix cocoa powder with powdered sugar until it's sweetened to taste. Take large martini glass and very carefully coat the rim in caramel sauce, being careful not to let it drip too far down the sides. then, dip the entire rim of the glass into the sweetened cocoa powder, being sure to coat all of the caramel so that you have a "dusted" caramel effect. put just a drop of chocolate syrup at the bottom of each glass for color.

(that whole step really is for show...but it's yummy and looks cool, so worth it if you have that stuff on hand :)

for the drink, shake vodka, creme de cacao and praline liqueur/syrup in a martini shaker with ice to chill. Fill the martini glass with crushed or shaved ice, strain the drink into the martini glass.
(ok, just to be clear, that's the recipe's suggestion. I don't let ice get in the way of good vodka. So my martini is NOT on the rocks.)

the recipe says to garnish with a half of a Turtle candy by making an incision and hanging it on the rim of the glass. I say eat the Turtle candy and drink up!


Monday's Memory -- or not

Today I'm dry from tears cried and I have no new words. So I'm going to simply post a reading that was shared last night at the tribute for Randy and LaJuana and leave that as my post for today. Kind of fitting that I normally do a memory on I'll be reflecting on joyful times spent with these dear friends, as well as the painful growing seasons we walked through together.

(don't worry about me though. I'm sad, but I'm well-loved. And I hope to be back to regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow)

Bits and pieces.
Bits and pieces.

People. People important to you, people unimportant to you, cross your life, touch it with love or carelessness and move on. There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of relief and wonder why you ever came into contact with them. There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of remorse and wonder why they had to go away and leave such a gaping hole. Children leave parents; friends leave friends. Acquaintances move on. People change homes. People grow apart. Enemies hate and move on. Friends love and move on. You think on the many who have moved into your hazy memory. You look on those present and wonder.
I believe in God’s master plan in lives. He moves people in and out of each other’s lives, and each leaves his mark on the other. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who ever touched your life, and you are more because of it, and you would be less if they had not touched.
Pray God that you accept the bits and pieces in humility and wonder, and never question,
and never regret.

Bits and pieces
Bits and pieces.

Lois A. Cheney, (God is no Fool, 1969)


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekends are Wonderful...

First, the wordle:
(join Shannon to make your own!)

Girl's Night, Boyfriend Time, Bittersweet Goodbyes

Last night was a fun girls night (complete with turtle martinis and vodka pasta...yum!) at my friend Laura's...
Tonight as soon as I get done babysitting I'm spending a little down time with Anthony...just a quiet night watching a movie or playing a couple of video games (most likely)
And tomorrow our church says goodbye to my dear friends and our worship minister. Randy has accepted a position at a church in Atlanta, so we bid him and LaJuana goodbye officially tomorrow.
I go through moments of great sadness, but I think it'll really hit me the first time I pick up the phone to call LaJuana after they leave.

I slept late this morning and have been a lazy bum all day, there's football on tomorrow, and I am well loved.

So all is well.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Bad Haiku Friday

You come once a year
With only 5 grams of fat...
I love you so much


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday's Ten -- Your Bucket List

Welcome to Thursday's Ten! Please link up or grab the button (and let me know so I can visit you) and write your top ten list! It can be about anything or nothing, what's going on in your life or 10 of your favorite things. Or you can go with the theme I've picked out.

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about goals. Some of them silly, some of them strange, some of them deep and real. I am planning to do a big "30 before I'm 30" year starting next March, so I guess this post is kind a precursor to that.

What's on your bucket list? The things you want to do before you leave this world? That's what Thursday's Ten is about this week.

(clearly there are more than 10 things that most of us want to do before we die...just pick out 10 to share!)

Here's mine:

Bucket List

1. Get married and have children
2. Visit Ireland
3. Volunteer at an eating disorder recovery center
4. Drive the coast of the western US in a convertible...from Washington to SoCal.
5. Become licensed to teach yoga
6. Take a cruise
7. Enroll in a ballroom dancing class
8. Run a marathon
9. Learn to swim
10. Attend an Inauguration

sign up on the linky or grab the button and let me know you're participating...see you on your blog!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Book Review: Beautiful Mess

When I signed up to review books at Thomas Nelson, I had a few ideas in mind of what I would like to review. Honestly a book about business, even the music business, did not appeal.

However, when I saw that Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio was up for review, I jumped at it. You see, I live in Nashville. I happen to go to church with the lead singer of the band and his amazing family. I babysat his children before his oldest daughter could drive (actually, my first introduction to him was when he and his wife, who I knew fairly well, walked into their house from an awards show and I stuck out my hand and said "I'm Lora. I've been watching your kids for the last few hours." :-)

So with that personal history, and knowing that the band had some rocky times right about the time I was getting to know them...I decided to pick this as my first review.

A Beautiful Mess is written in an engaging and story-like narrative. From the first word I was drawn into the story of Diamond Rio--a story I thought I knew quite a bit of. In the first few chapters we are introduced to the band from the beginning of their story. Time is also taken out for biographical chapters of each of the band members. I honestly found that part to be a little tedious, and perhaps not placed well in the flow of the book, but each of the band member's story is important to the story as a whole. All in all, I would have kept the biographical information in the book.

Some of the other statistics in the book that dealt with the band and their career were a little too much for me personally, but I can understand and appreciate that true fans of the band would want all of that information and the extra insight it provides.

Overall, the book kept my attention and was well-written. I would recommend it first for true-blue fans of Diamond Rio, as it is centered on the band. However, it's also a wonderful story of how God can work in the messes we make out of our lives--and how He is working through every situation, threading each piece carefully into the next. And because of that, I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to read about how God can work in ordinary lives and make them extraordinary.

Happy Reading!

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers


Dear Tennessee,

When you go and decide to make the news, could it not be for something like this?

MEMPHIS, TN – Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery fist-bumped the Dalai Lama as he arrived in Memphis for the National Civil Rights Museum’s “Freedom Awards.”

The Dalai Lama was greeted at Tom Lee Park by Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery and Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Tuesday afternoon, September 22, 2009. Mayor Lowery shook hands with the Dalai Lama and then grabbed his hand and showed him how to fist-bump. Lowery then told the Dalai Lama that he, “always wanted to say ‘hello Dalai.’” Both laughed at the gesture and joke.

Later, the Dalai Lama explained – laughingly – that smacking fists is considered a sign of violence. The Dalai Lama seemed to be amused by the greeting.

The Dalai Lama is in Memphis to receive the National Civil Rights Museum’s International Freedom Award at the Peabody Hotel, Wednesday, September 23. The award is given to an individual who has had a global impact or has impacted the state of human and civil rights abroad.
Which begs the question: is the mayor of Memphis 12 years old?

Of course, politics out of Memphis usually leave the rest of the state shaking it's head.

I suppose it's better than being reminded that for the umpteenth year in a row Tennessee has made the nation's fattest list by having one of the highest populations of obese citizens...

But really? Could we try a little positive press next time? Or a slightly more normal view of our state?

Thanks much,


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Titus 2 Tuesdays

A new host is in town for Titus 2 good bloggy friend Bethany has taken over while Shanda takes a bit of a break. So make sure to go to her blog and link up for today!

(Isn't it funny how that works, by the way? I have a few friends through these blog relationships who I feel like I would hang out with on a regular basis if we lived close enough!)


Today I'm going to introduce you to Emalie. Emalie and I met years ago when I was teaching. She was a good friend of my friend Martell.

Emalie came back to the classroom a couple of years later, and in God's perfect placement landed at the middle school where I was teaching. She inspired me to be more patient, more kind, and more loving in my approach to my students...not that I wasn't those things before. Emalie has a way of looking at people and situations in the best light possible. She complimented me on how patient, kind, loving and wonderful I was in the classroom...and it made me want to be MORE of those things. (if that makes sense)

She was the classroom I'd stop into on my way out of the building that last year when things were rough, if I needed to vent/cry/laugh. She always had a funny story to tell, or a listening ear.

Emalie is one of my biggest fans, which means a lot. She asked me to teach her 3 granddaughters piano lessons about 3 years ago, and that relationship has continued to this day. I get to see Emalie at least once a week these days, and though she's moved on to a different position in a different school and I am...well, doing whatever I'm doing...we still find time to connect. Often she'll meet me at the door when I come to teach with a bowl of soup or a hot cup of tea. She's had me come to her church to teach the youth group there how to make jewelry for a fundraising project. And she's still that listening ear or funny story I need.

I'll never forget the email from her telling the story of driving a couple of students home when a fire broke out in the backseat of her van (?!?!?) and they ended up stamping it out with the box of underwear she had collected for some ministry...

That's Emalie :-)


Monday, September 21, 2009

250 posts and 5 words!

My friend Brooke was playing this game the other day and I asked to play along!

She gave me 5 random words, and I am supposed to write a little something about each one.

The 5 words she chose for me were:


Great words--I think she knows me pretty well!

So without further adieu, here are my expansions on each word:

The thing without which I think I would forget to breathe. Music has been such a part of me for my entire life, and I can't imagine going through a day without breaking into song or picking up an instrument. I have to create it, I have to hear it. It's as close as my heartbeat.

What I once thought I was incapable of--loving, or the receiving of it. That was a dark time, and by God's grace...I have found that I DO have the capacity to love and be loved. And it's a beautiful, wonderful thing.

I think I learn this one daily. I grew up in a church that took compassion seriously, and put a lot of emphasis on seeing and responding to the need around us. I'm grateful for this foundation. Right now, I'm temporarily working in an office that helps with the relocation of refugees in our state. If I didn't have compassion before this time, I do now. I've called Anthony on my way home to tell him about a file I saw that day. Imagining these people who are in their 70s starting over again...seeing the hope in the faces of the children on the paper copy of their immigration cards...wondering how those that timed out without finding a job are doing now...
It's a completely different side of the picture than when I was teaching. But it's an important piece, and I'm grateful to be spending a little time doing work that matters, even if to some it seems mundane.

I started this blog just for a creative outlet...invited a couple of friends to read it...and am continually humbled that someone actually reads and enjoys what I have to say. It's become much more than a creative outlet--I feel like I've developed friendships, gotten to know some amazing people, and stretched myself in ways I would never have imagined. I can be honest and just be ME here. There's no putting on of a mask or pretending that I have it all together.

Hmmm. This one is a little more challenging. I don't think any of you need my stats (28 years old, 5 ft 8 inches...) I doubt you want to hear my life story (although if you stick around long enough you'll get most of it.)

I'm a daughter
a friend
one who loves and is loved
one who simply doesn't like some people and doesn't really know why.
a musician
a teacher
a student of life
I use proper grammar when I text
I sometimes interrupt friends when I get excited
I separate candies by color and number
sometimes I cry
And through it all
"I know You love me..."
I am a daughter of the King.

So there you go. For a chance to play along, let me know you want 5 random words, and I'll assign them to you--it's fun!

OH. And because it's my 250th post...
I'm going to let you ask me anything yet again!

Fire some questions at me!


Monday's Memory -- The One Where I Buy My Own Place

Wow, do I ever look young in that picture.
Well, I was. I still remember the guy at the first mortage company I called saying "Most 23 year olds don't buy houses."
This one did. And went with an option other than Mr Grumpy-pants. Ok, so I was 24 when I closed and moved in, but the deal was set in motion before that birthday.

I was a lot skinnier then, and my walls were not the color I would have chosen...there was an awful border around the kitchen...and my dad spent the weekend he and mom came to visit fixing 2 of the 3 toilets in the place.

But it was mine.

The furniture and decor was "early graduate" or "late college poor"

But it worked.

And while I accumulated more "stuff" and bought better furniture eventually, I don't know as I'll ever forget the moment when I signed those papers.

Responsibility, adulthood, and overwhelming joy.

I've had a few scary moments over the last 13 months when I thought I may not be able to keep the house. Thankfully (so far) the mortgage company has been very understanding and willing to work with me.

But it's definitely reminded me not to take this home, this place of refuge for me, for granted.



Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekend Wordle/SWS

In honor of UT today (although I'm sure it's not going to go well for them in Florida!)
Go see Shannon and link up to participate!

Maybe this headache will go away?

Yeah...3 days straight now.

On a more positive note:

There's a piano in my house!

I'm "babysitting" a piano for a friend until she gets a big enough place. I LOVE having it here because I can play anytime I feel like it!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Bad Haiku Friday

Oh, Nashville drivers:
Rain is not that big a deal.
Please stop slamming brakes!

(join Laura and make your own bad haiku! I'm loving this meme :0)


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday's Ten: Where You Live

Welcome to Thursday's Ten! Please link up or grab the button (and let me know so I can visit you) and write your top ten list! It can be about anything or nothing, what's going on in your life or 10 of your favorite things. Or you can go with the theme I've picked out.

I have a friend visiting me right now, in town for a convention at Opryland Hotel. My house is slightly cheaper than the hotel :0) so she is bunking here.

Now, Angie's been here a few times, so I don't feel the need to "show her around town" like I once did. But if she were brand new to town I definitely have 10 places I'd love to take her (and a few of them she still hasn't done!)

So that's today's Top 10. What 10 places around where you live would YOU take a brand new visitor to your area?

Here's mine:

1. Radnor Lake
gorgeous area, great hiking, easy/intermediate and difficult trails (so something for all), and wildlife at every turn.
2. Pancake Pantry
you've gotta do it at least ONCE while you're in Nashville. The line out the door is legendary, but it's worth it for the experience!
3. Cheekwood
Botanical gardens--so with every season it changes just a bit. My favorite is the Japanese meditation gardens though. Soooo pretty and peaceful. I could spend hours.
4. The Zoo
We're members, so our guests (up to one per person, and children under 3) are free! It's a pretty zoo, and we're always getting new animals and exhibits. It's come a LONG way since I went for the first time in college and remarked "there aren't any lions or tigers OR bears...oh my!"
5. The Village
a grouping of eclectic shops and restaurants...definitely a cross-section of Nashville culture!
6. Parthenon/Centennial Park
A replica of the Parthenon in Greece, it even houses Athena (and an art museum). The grounds around are gorgeous as well, and hold events such as walks/runs for charities, swing dancing, Shakespeare in the Park, free movies on the lawn in the summer, and community concerts.
7. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
for the country music lover, or just plain music lover. It's something you do once.
Now if you're hardcore into country you should also do the honky-tonks, the Ryman, and Grand Ol Opry.
8. The Frist Center
Nashville's major art museum, and it's always got a traveling exhibit. My favorite so far was the Impressionists, which is really no surprise!
9. Trader Joe's
I'm not kidding. Unless they have Joe in their city I take my guests to meet him.
10. Franklin, TN
Voted the best small town in Tennessee for several years, Franklin is an adorable town with tons of history, a quaint town square, and cute shops and places to eat.

Of course, I'd love to take my guests to a concert or Titans game, walking up and down 2nd avenue on a Friday night, and to Opryland Hotel...but those are the places most tourists see. I like to be a little different!

What about you? Where would you take me if I came to visit YOU?

Sign up on the linky or grab the button and let me know you're participating...see you on your blog!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Crazy Neighbor Lady Chronicles; Volume 4

Remember the Crazy Lady next door?

Well, ladies and gentlemen...she strikes again.

I was babysitting the other night when Mattie (who is the normal and fun lady next door) texted me.

"There is another note taped 2 her tree. I'm afraid 2 look"

Of course I urged her to look at it, and later on I get another message:

"It was about the tree."


I was thinking dog a request to remove the squirrel that continually pelts the cars...a hate letter about Mattie or me...

My response was

"Sounds about right."

So I called her a bit later and she told me it wasn't written on normal paper. We spent some time upon returning from work the next day trying to figure out exactly WHAT it was and finally decided it was a towel like you would wash your car with.

(We couldn't just go up and touch it. She was home and the blinds were open. Cra-zy doesn't need any encouragement to come out and start a conversation with us.)

Later that night, under cover of darkness and noting that her blinds were closed I touched it and confirmed that our conclusion was indeed correct.

So the question is...

does it make her MORE crazy or less that she had the forethought to write it on something like that just in case it rained?

You want to see the note you say?

All right then.

Note the size of that tree, ok?

Now here's the note:

"Unless you have an order to cut down this tree, please just trim off the dead parts. I changed my mind as it does provide some shade & helps keep heat out.
Do you have an ordet order to cut down the tree (bush should be) at side of house. I hope so.
Any question, knock on 725 door. Thanks"

Uh...last time I checked the yard crew/association doesn't communicate via notes. Nor take orders from residents to cut down trees if they're not damaging anything or in danger of falling on our roof.

And it's been this point...for a full WEEK. It's HUGE. I've had 3 people come to my house in the last week whose first words were "What is THAT?"

It's in front of MY parking space.

Can I leave a note asking for no more crazy please?

Oh well. Gives me something to blog about.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Recipe of the Week -- Cake Mix Cookies

A few weeks ago, Marin posted this amazing recipe

And I may never, ever lose this weight now.

Actually, that's not an issue. They go like crazy when I take them anywhere. Definitely not a cookie you'll take home leftovers of.

Here's the cookies I made the first time:

This recipe is the easiest cookie ever.

1 box of cake mix of your choice (the first time I used the lemon she suggested. I have since done carrot cake, white cake with toffee crumbs mixed in, red velvet cake...they are pretty much all amazing)
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg

Combine all ingredients until blended well
Roll dough into individual balls
Press dough into circles and arrange evenly on baking sheet
Bake at 375 for 9-12 minutes (I do 9 because I like mine a little dough-ier)


I should mention that I had never even bought, much less used, shortening before in my life. But well worth it.

And cream cheese icing on the carrot cake/red velvet cake cookies is to DIE for.

That is all.



Monday's Memory

Ah, college.

These 3 girls were my suitemates my first 2 years at Trevecca, and have become lifelong friends.

Our freshman year we looked like this...

And we were young, a bit naive, silly, serious, hopeful for our futures, and clueless about the life God had in store for us.

We had Thursday night suite nights, stayed up late watching old tv shows on VHS, skipped classes and chapel together occasionally just to reconnect and destress, and laughed, cried, sang and prayed...a LOT.

It broke my heart when Lindsay and Gwen elected other options for college our junior year. Bethany and I stayed close, but the fabulous foursome never got together during college again.

In 2007, we gathered again, for the first time since the end of our sophomore year.
Bethany's wedding was a joyful time for all 4 of us!
She's since had a baby (sweet Elijah)
And Gwen has come to visit me
And 2 or 3 of us have gathered elsewhere
And we've promised to get the 4 of us together again...soon.
Because Bethany and family will be going to the mission field in the next few years.
So time together is precious.

But every time we do get's as though we've never parted.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Just popping in...

to put this up.

I'm exhausted, and I have company coming this week so I REALLY need to clean and cook something for her to have at her I'll be back later to report on the weekend!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Of course I remember.

In the midst of working, packing for retreat, looking for permanent work, and generally living my life...I've read a lot of facebook statuses and blogs today that reflect on this day as it was 8 years ago.

Some are poignant, all are honoring, and I'm torn between focusing on that day and focusing on this day.

Do I remember?

Of course I remember.

I was 20, and in college. The world as I knew it was smaller then, and I was enjoying all that the (small, private, Christian) university life had to offer.

We were in our 8:30 music theory class when someone came in late--not an unusual thing at all, but the way he frantically interrupted the prof to tell us all to get online NOW was unusual. We were sitting in front of these awesome Mac flat screens, and we all went to CNN as our professor turned on the TV.

And we sat in horror.

Class was obviously dismissed, and we headed to the student center...because no one wanted to be alone. We crowded around the teeny tv in the lounge, never minding that there were larger tvs in some of our rooms, much less the dorm common areas. It started with about 20 of us, then grew until there were probably 200 people in the space usually taken up by less than 100.

And then something happened.

The bell tolled for chapel.

And silently, simultaneously, 200+ college students turned and walked up the hill.

Not because we had to. Chapel requirement was the last thing on our minds.

Because it was ALL WE KNEW TO DO.

Chapel was the first place I heard a sound other than a news broadcast since we first found out the news.

It was the sound of nearly 2000 people on their knees before a God who they loved, honored and adored...and didn't understand nearly as much as they had thought 3 hours before.

It was anguish, despair, hope and healing all at once.

And all we could do was believe God heard.

The rest of the day was a flurry of activity--calling friends and family in the areas affected, comforting those on campus who hadn't yet heard from their loved ones, trying to go to the American Red Cross to donate blood only to be turned away because the whole of Nashville was doing the same...

And in the midst of all that activity...God heard.

And though my world is larger today, and I stay busy

I still know that God hears.

So yes, I remember the yesterday of 8 years ago. And of course I mourn for those lives taken abruptly and too soon, and for the tragedy the world experienced--and still experiences.

But my focus is on today. Because God is here, because He hears, and because I can't change what happened then.

But I can remember, and realize how I am better now than I was before that day.

Tonight and this weekend I will be at a retreat with a youth group--some of which are to young to truly remember the events of that day.

My responsibility isn't to try to sensationalize a past they can't possibly appreciate.
My responsibility is to teach and convey to them what I've learned as a result of that past.

And that--that I can do.

God hears.

As far as my experience of September 11, 2001 goes...that's all they need to know.

Bad Haiku Friday

titans disappoint
but oh my what a great game!
glad football is back.

(go here to participate!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday's Ten

This is my first ever Thursday's Ten that YOU get to link up to!

I'm going to try to make a button for this little meme soon...but I'm pretty positive that one of my readers would be much more suited to this task, so if you have any suggestions about templates/websites to use for it PLEASE let me know!

Today's theme is a pretty easy one, I think.


10 things you love (or hate) about this season!
(if you're in another season, you can write about that...or you can choose not to follow the theme at all! Just please participate with your own list of ten things!)

Things About Fall in Tennessee

1. Lots of orange...not only in the trees but on the TN Vols fans!
2. Titans stadium is packed for every game, and early services at area churches see a big boost since people want to be there (or at home) for kickoff!
3. Squirrels throw acorns at you
(or at least the one that lives in the tree between my neighbor Mattie and myself does...)
4. It finally gets to be nearly perfect weather. Humidity is down, but there's still a nice warmth in the air
5. I finally get to pull out all my fun fall clothing!
6. AND I have an excuse to buy a couple of new items in the "new fall colors"
(which have been nearly the same for years, but who cares?)
7. Pumpkin spice lattes are back!
8. Less sun = more hiking with the boyfriend
(right honey?!)
9. Regular TV comes back, thank goodness
10. Soups are back in season. I LOVE me some good soup!

school starts again, and while that means no traffic, it also means no teenyboppers at Target on my lunch break...which is rather nice!

So...that's it! Please sign Mcklinky and join in!!!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9 Great Things About 9

(or 9 odd things about me)

I've always had this thing for the number 9.

I first realized it a few years ago when it came to my attention that most people set the alarm clock for an even number. I never have. If I want to get up at 6:30, I simply set the alarm for 6:29.

(my dad does something similar, only reversed. He sets the clock for 6:31)

It goes without saying that I set the microwave, kitchen, and other timers with a 9 at the end if I possibly can.

(do you all think I'm insane yet?)

So today... 09/09/09 ... is a day that I almost want to celebrate.

But since people would probably look at me oddly if I asked them to come over to celebrate the number 9, I'll just have a little party on my blog.

Here's some info I dug up on our friend google!

1. The number 9 holds special rank. It is associated with forgiveness, compassion and success on the positive side as well as arrogance and self-righteousness on the negative, according to numerologists.

2. The number 9 is quite important in many worldwide faiths, including Judaism, Christianity (9 fruits of the spirit, among others), Islam, Hindi, Tao, and Baha'i

3. The Chinese culture very highly regards the number 9, in fact the Chinese dragon is made up of 9 animals.

4. The curse of the ninth in classical music refers to the superstition that if a composer writes a ninth symphony he/she will soon thereafter die. Started with Beethoven.

5. Cloud 9 is apparently the happiest place on (or above) earth

6. The most dressed up you can be is "to the 9s"

7. Cats have 9 lives

8. Sudoku. Hello. It's all about the number 9.

9. Mathematically speaking, it bring symmetry. After all 9 x any number equals a number that itself adds up to...9. (9 x 3 = 27...2 + 7 = 9, etc)

"The whole nine yards"
"A stitch in time saves nine"

I know, I'm a little nuts. But you love me anyway, right? Right...



According to my horoscope today, my confidence is waning.


Today I am working in an office, surrounded by great people.

I'm doing work that matters, even if it is mundane.

And while it's temporary, it's steady.

For that I am so grateful.

Tonight I get to spend time with a friend's 3 young daughters while she is in rehearsal...

And then I get to babysit for Izzy :0)

Pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks (one iced, non-fat, no whip please).

The Titans open the football season tomorrow night.

I brought San Pelligrino to work today.

We met Jack

My kitchen is a mess, from the mint chocolate cake I made on Monday.
(which is gone. 15 family members + several office people...ok, I may have saved one piece for A and me...apiece...)

My heart is full.

And while, yes, there are bills that need to be paid and the question of when and how that will happen is present

and a great friend is moving

and friends have cancer

and life is crazy, unpredictable, and sometimes pretty damn hard...

I'm doing ok in that confidence department.

God is good.

Boo to you, horoscope of today.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Free Books!

I can't believe I've never noticed this before...but I hadn't!

I read 3 great reviews: here, here and here
And I thought
"I want to review a Max Lucado book TOO!"

So, I clicked on a button just like this one:
I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

and waited patiently to hear whether I had been accepted to review for Thomas Nelson Publishers.
(they are, after all, less than a mile from my house. Support the locals and all)

I didn't have to be TOO patient, for just a few minutes later I got an email stating that I had been accepted.

I should receive my first book soon...
But before that, I'll be reading Max Lucado's book as a PDF format. Stay tuned for the review!

Do YOU know Jack?

We do.

More so now than ever :)

It took about an hour and a half to drive there...through beautiful country roads with little teasers all over the place about the distillery.

As we drove through the gate we realized that it was a holiday weekend and CROWDED!

We went inside and signed up for a tour and were told we would be waiting awhile.
So we wandered around and read all the info in the visitors center, before being rescued.
(by the way, this pic of Jack is life-sized. He was 5'2!!)

We had just heard a tour called and commented that the guy who was guiding seemed like a lot of fun. A moment or 4 later, he approached Anthony and I and asked how many of us there were. We told him 2, and he asked if we'd like to go now. Of course, we jumped at the chance! He probably saved us an hour or so of waiting AND he was a lot of fun.

So we boarded the bus, and away we went!

A moment of silence for "that slow sippin' Tennessee whiskey"
Ron, our guide, explained to us that in the past they used to give a free shot of whiskey at the end of the tour. After disappointing us by telling us they no longer do that, he did tell us that we had a unique get a free shot of jack on the rocks. Here's mine:
(it was such a bad joke I HAD to to...)

The safe that killed Jack. He got angry and kicked it one morning, resulting in infection and eventually death.
Here Ron gives us the recipe for Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey

We weren't allowed to take pictures of the production, but let me tell you. We got to smell the sour mash, and we got to breathe in the whiskey that is nearly done. Amazing!

Enjoying our the end of the tour!
Now, Lynchburg, Tennessee is in what's known as a "dry county". Those aren't found where I come from so let me explain: alcohol cannot be bought/sold anywhere in the county. Not in stores, not in restaurants, nowhere. So...the distillery has a bit of a loophole. They can sell commemorative bottles in their gift shop that contains the "product", but see...they're just selling the bottle as a collector's edition. We were thankful for that particular loophole!

We did both buy a commemorative bottle of Jack. There were two to choose from, and we each got a different one so that we could enjoy more. We've decided that this should really be an annual trip so that we can get each year's bottle.

However, to get the licensed merchandise, we had to walk about a half mile to the town square. The general store is what carries all the Jack stuff. Here's a shot of it.

I kind of wish we had ended up with more time to explore the square--it was a typical small town feel and looked fun. But we had to get back for our poker night (which I did VERY well at, by the way) so we hoofed it back to the car after buying our merchandise.

(A got a shot glass, I got a shot glass that says Jack Rocks as well as a mason jar glass and a few other small things)

So there you go! We enjoyed the day immensely, and were both glad we'd made the effort to finally get out there!