Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Don't Know What to Say

About Everything.
I'm so relieved and grateful that Scottsboro wasn't hit, but I'm so sad for those families whose lives have been hit and hurt so badly and so tragically.

These candles are from Wednesday Night
with no power.
But so many families had no house which had no electricity in order to have the need to burn candles.

It was Ann's idea,
because she has 3 small children,

to travel to South Alabama
where my sister, Mary Ann, lives.

We're here.
Steve stayed in Scottsboro.
So did Charlie.

We drove from Scottsboro to Ft. Payne to get to I-59.
We saw Pisgah and Rainsville on Thursday when we travelled.
We saw the path of what had to have been a monster tornado.
We saw that destruction.

That was after Steve had been to Stevenson to get gasoline in Ann's van -
He was car # 61 in line.  He counted about 60 cars ahead of him, getting gasoline.

Charlie and I had already driven to Stevenson, very early,
having found out at Food World that Stevenson had power.

We were skeptical but then delighted when we saw lights in the large Stevenson sign.

First stop, McDonalds, for coffee.  and Egg McMuffins.  That, too, was a very long line.
It was worth it.  Hot Coffee.

And then bags of ice, to try to salvage food in our refrigerator and freezer.

We did find a friend with freezer room and a generator.

Ann and I travelled Thursday afternoon, neither of us having showered.
So glad for Mary Ann's electricity and hot water.

Today we visited my Aunt Mary and Cousin Melissa.

We will return to Scottsboro when they have power.
I keep talking with Charlie and Ann talks with Steven.

Although it's very very pleasant down here,
we're both anxious to return home.

I am so very thankful to have a home to return to.
I wish everyone did.

Monday, April 25, 2011

People Are Coming and Going and

coming and going and coming.....
We had a wonderful Easter.  Especially nice this year.  
I think it's because we had Laura Beth, Ada and John with us for a week and it was a really good time....
I think.  We did some "problem solving" - like with Laura Beth's mysterious rash?allergic reaction? - not sure yet  exactly what it is - (go HERE on Laura Beth's blogpost and scroll all the way down to get an idea of what I'm talking about).  I also got some very good grandmother time in with John which has been lacking and he hasn't, up to this point, really known me at all.  So - good times with John.  And Ada, as always.  Although, I will say, she is particularly attached to her mommy right now and while she loves having "Near" around, she certainly wants Mommy nearby.  I remember Ellie going through that when Ann was first pregnant with Andrew.  She would not let Ann out of her sight.  So - stages and phases with these little ones.  Have to get through them.

Church was particularly good on Sunday.  I loved it.  Steve was passionate in what he taught out of Corinthians 15 and the music was especially good.  I loved it all.

And now..... drum roll.....  our lunch menu.  Yummmmmmeeeee!!!

Ann brought:
Asian Slaw
Deviled Eggs
Coconut Cream Pie
Elizabeth brought:
Hot Chicken Salad(a casserole)
Asparagus, Marinated
Potato Salad
Frozen Cherry Salad
Peanut Butter Pie
CupCakes(Magnolia Bakery Recipe)
Laura Beth brought:
(because she was in town and away from her kitchen)
Paper Plates
Plastic Cups
Sara Lee Rolls
Milo Tea

It was all delicious but sadly all came to an end.

Our tummies were full and we were all pretty tired.

Laura Beth and Scott and children drove back to McDonough.
Charlie and I had some down time and then
my sister, Mary Ann, arrived.

She has really been wanting to see the children only she couldn't get here for Ada and John.
She spent the night at Ann's.  
We've all been together today.
Tonight they're all at Luke's T-Ball Game.
I'm here alone doing this but am about to spruce things up a bit.

Tomorrow Mary Ann leaves and most of the Baldwin family will be arriving at my house.
Jamie and Beth Baldwin.
Joy and Ben, Brennan and Knox Finch.

They are using my house and yard to have a bit of an Easter get together.
I'm so glad.  Can't wait to see them - only I need to do some picking up.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Seder Meal

Celebrating freedom in Christ, all that He did for us, setting us free from the slavery of sin and death.  Riverside Community Church, Scottsboro, Alabama, April 22, 2011

The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt

The Seder itself is based on the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt

"You shall tell your child on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' " 
(Exodus 13:8)

Thus, Seder participants recall the slavery that reigned during the first half of the night by eating 
matzo (the "poor person's bread"), 
maror (bitter herbs which symbolize the bitterness of slavery), and charoset (a sweet paste representing the mortar which the Jewish slaves used to cement bricks). 

Recalling the freedom of the second half of the night, they eat the matzo (the "bread of freedom" and also the "bread of affliction") 

and 'afikoman', 

and drink the four cups of wine, in a reclining position, 

and dip vegetables into salt water (the dipping being a sign of royalty and freedom, while the salt water recalls the tears the Jews shed during their servitude).

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  
Colossians 2: 13-14

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Come Thou Fount

of every blessing
tune my heart to sing thy grace;

streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise!

Jesus sought me when a stranger
wandering from the fold of God.

to rescue me from danger,
His precious blood!

Here's my heart, Lord,
take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died, 
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Have John Today

The grandchild who doesn't know me so well - but it's only taken 1 and 1/2 days and I think we're connected.  I think he likes me.
It usually comes naturally - all that grandparent bonding - but John likes men the best - and he really likes Charlie - he automatically goes to Charlie - and I'm told he automatically goes to his other granddaddy - so .... he's a man's man.  I guess.  But he loves nurturing and I think he's realizing I'm the "other" nurturer, in this household.  So ....

John and I have had a good day.  I don't have pictures because Laura Beth took my camera with her.

She and Ada are with Ann, Ellie and Luke.  They're celebrating Ellie's birthday in Huntsville.  Ellie's birthday is on Easter Sunday - so today's the day for celebrating.  Andrew is with Steve.

Back to my house later for Cake, gifts, and Pizza.  To be followed with Luke's 2nd T-Ball Game.


I was thinking.  As I followed him around the yard - keeping him out of trouble - like the street - and climbing brick steps - and watching to see if he doesn't swallow the leaves and grass he picks up and plays with - and making sure his bare feet don't walk into trouble.

Finally - on the back porch...  I let him climb the steps , walk the length of the porch, go down the ramp with my guarding him from accelerated speed and falling, back around to climbing the steps and the whole cycle all over again.  This was his choice.  He wanted to keep doing this.  I wanted to let him, plus I knew it would get him VERY tired for a good nap.  We did that whole cycle several times.

And.... it was the love I had for him - wanting him to be able to explore and learn and experience - but protecting him from what he didn't understand - wanting him to learn his world and not be scared of it - but within limits and boundaries - and the thrill of watching him and letting him feel like he was doing something.... using his gifts of arms and legs and health and mind and intellect and interest -

What I was wondering.... how does that parallel with God and His being our Father and His watching over us and sometimes He lets us get hurt and sometimes He doesn't.  I don't know.  I was just wondering.

Enough of deep thought.  The entire birthday party has just come in the back door.

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's Friday

I haven't written a thing on here since Monday when I told about walking.

I walked one hour each day of this week.  Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday.

I haven't headed out today because, well, my first morning activities use up most of my momentum.  I have incredible momentum first thing in the morning.  If I walk, though, for only an hour, it makes me feel like I've earned down time - so I either get on the computer or bible study in Isaiah - or computer or read book or computer or bible study.  It's back and forth, back and forth.   And don't get that much done "in the house" after that.  I do get lots done in the yard after that because that's like going out to play.  I don't really need momentum for that.  

I somehow got a flat tire in my lawn mower on Monday and it's being repaired.  Geez!  How long does it take to fix a flat tire?  I still don't have it back.  I guess I had to get on a repair waiting list.  So - sadly, my yard isn't looking so good.  I could have been weeding but, well, there have been extracurricular activities away from my little acre this week - so - if the reader lives in town and thinks my yard is looking shabby - that's why.  I can't wait to straighten all of that out.

I will include pictures of 2 of this week's activities.  I wasn't going to since, well, Ann has already shown pictures of Luke's t-ball and yesterday we went to botanical gardens and I know she'll be putting those in a blog - or not - it's hard for her to get to a post.  Time consuming.  and Esther will have her own set of pictures to post.  Ann's blog:  Esther's blog: 

Monday night:  Luke's first T-Ball game - blurry pictures but very natural and captures Luke's pleasure in the whole event.  That's Ellie's adorned wrist (with bracelets) in the bottom left corner.  Luke was waving back at her.  That's Steve in the blue shirt (tall man) talking with the another man.  Steve is Luke's dad and the coach.  

Luke, kicking dirt, doing typical baseball gestures and movements.
I asked Ann where he learned them.  He looked authentic. 
Steve had shown him a few.
Like how they fiddle with their hat, adjusting it, on and off.

 Charlie and Andrew.
It was very very windy that afternoon.
A storm was due to arrive later, and it did.

Next pix:  Yesterday Ann, myself, Andrew and Esther Bratton, Charlotte Bratton, and Mary Bratton all went to Botanical Gardens in Huntsville.  Esther and Ann were the representative young moms.  Andrew and Charlotte were the cute babies, and Mary and I were the two grandmothers.

Both Ann and Esther were taking lots of pictures.  

but here are just a few.

Andrew climbing, insisting noone help him, "Andrew do it!", 
climbing up to the slide.

Andrew very mad here,
because Ann is not letting him walk in the water trough.
We didn't think it was allowed.
Just for looking.

There's a very unique miniature train and track and village set up.
The kids and adults love looking at it.
I love it.  I assume the other adults do too.
Here is Andrew watching it.

Precious, beautiful, sleepy Charlotte. 
Isn't she gorgeous?

Andrew climbing on the butterfly chair.
Again, "Andrew do it!" 
No helping him or he gets really mad.

Taking a rest.
Ann, Mary, Andrew, and Charlotte asleep in the stroller.

So - how we change in a year.  I pulled out a few of last year's photos of the same excursion.

Andrew was in a stroller and not walking - so he mostly watched.  With no hair on his head!

While Ellie and Luke were on the same slide which this year Andrew loved.

You may wonder where Ellie and Luke were yesterday.
They had gone with Steve to Chattanooga on Wednesday.
All spent the night there with Nana and Poppie (Diana and Wayne - Steve's parents).
For about 2 days, Ann was a one child mommie if you don't count Abigail in her tummy.
That can be a unique experience when you're not used to it.

But this morning and my momentum.....walk or clean house?  I'm cleaning and then if I can beat the rain,  I'll walk.  I've already decided that if I can't beat the rain - well - I have a long stair case.  14 steps.  I could walk up and down those as an alternative exercise.  It gets a little boring - but - I could do that. 

I'm excited that I've stuck with the walking and hope to continue.  Still, my eating isn't quite as lean and green as I'd like it to be.  That's tough toward the end of the day.  I do great until about 3:00 and then, the grazing wants to begin.  

 Oh, and this  - I get a few comments from time to time.  My blog isn't really one of those kind which draws comments - but just know that when I get one - I really enjoy it.  I just never know the best way to respond to it.  It always feels like I'm ignoring someone who just spoke to me.  Which so isn't my personality - so - I don't expect comments - but they are fun when I get them.  Thanks.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday in Scottsboro

And the green is breaking out!
I love it, I love it!
Green Leaves, Green weeds grass.
Okay.  I got up and walked.  Did NOT know I would do that.
Here's the thing....
While in Point Clear I went to the outlet malls with Charlie.  No, that's not an error.  I went with Charlie.  When on the coast, the outlet mall is the last place I want to be.  I don't necessarily like to go if it's raining - unless there is a condo full of people and we all are crowding each other out.  On a rainy day, give me a book, a crossword puzzle, a movie, laptop....

Charlie isn't a mall person either.  Neither one of us are good shoppers - but if we really really really are looking rough in the clothing department - well - either one of us will find our way to a clothing store.  Charlie needed khakis.  Suits and khakis are his work uniform.  Khakis for casual days.

Back to the mall and walking this morning.

I do like the clothing brand, Jones of New York.  And there is one of those in that mall in Foley.  so - ugh.  The dressing room mirror.  Sad, sad, sad.

I'm just curious if committed walking and committed healthy eating  can somehow make these almost 60 year old legs not quite as lumpy.  I will have to pray that God will keep me motivated if it's something He is about me doing.  As I walked I knew that one day doesn't change a thing - yet, it's a start and it's one day at a time.

When I went to bed last night I didn't really think I would get up and walk.  It didn't even cross my mind - although I had thoughts on the drive home about how I wish I would do that.  But I know me and I know I always talk myself out of it.  I was so very tired last night when I went to bed.

I woke early - in the dark - who does this?  Brain has to remember what day it is, where I am?  What's going on?  What daughters are okay and where are they?  I do family roll call in my brain - Then I ask myself if I want to get up or stay in bed.  I was thinking get up and work on my Isaiah bible study - and then, honestly, the walk idea came into my brain and I actually wanted to do it!!  I really think it was God getting me there!  Yay!  I hope we keep it up!

I also need to do it from here on out - don't I?  for the heart.  The heart.  My heart and brain.  Need to keep those healthy - for my children and grandchildren.  Healthy old age works so much better for everyone than unhealthy old age.  It's not just about the person - it's about family..... and friends, too.  But it's really whatever God wants, isn't it?  Always checking that out.  Which direction are we going in, Lord?

So - for today - we'll strive for good health - within reach and reason - until it all takes a different turn.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

We Leave Today

and I'm ready to get back,
still, what a nice place!
So I'll continue around the grounds with my pictures - I think the statue below is in memory of a gentlemen who recently died - and he had worked at The Grand Hotel for so many years

Inside the main lobby.

I loved this tree.  The only tree I've ever wanted to actually hug.
Live Oak is certainly a fitting name. 

And so we come to the end of our walk around the grounds.

On the first floor is the spa where I would be getting my pedicure and manicure.
That was so very much fun!!

That's it.
Now I have to pack my things and go home.