Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fiddlin' for Wishes!!

The Devil's Come Down to Georgia, Baby!  And we LOVE IT!  Because be honest, who doesn't love some Charlie Daniels!!

I am so excited to show yall this....I've been waiting impatiently for weeks for all of this to come through. 

I hope you get just excited, and want to be a part of it!

So here are the facts:

Charlie Daniels, the one and only, loves the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

So he has signed his fiddle, just for us. 

And sent it our way.

So we're raffling his fiddle away.

To make WISHES come true.

Right here, in Georgia and Alabama!

Here's my owl modeling the raffle tickets. 

You can have one chance for 5 lil' ol' bucks.  Or for a better deal, buy 5 tickets for $20! 

We'll draw the lucky winner on August 15th! Mail me a check, cash, or I'll meet you at a rest stop if I must, but for pete's sake....there's FIRE on the mountain, run boy run!!!

So get your ticket, we're FIDDLIN' FOR WISHES!!!

(If you're interested in purchasing a ticket, you can email me at or call me at 706.662.7919)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Phone Purge

Disclaimer:  This post is of no significant value whatsoever.  I will jump subjects, and say random things.  So, basically, pretend we're talking on the phone.....

I realized Sunday as my 80 year old grandfather was learning to navigate the likes of a smartphone, just how many pictures I take with mine.  And then how I proceed to leave them there to rot.  So today, allow me to purge.... 

Recently it was discovered my oh-so-perfect, never-had-to-wear-braces mouth full o' teeth has been invaded by cavities.  And yes, I am now aware I should must floss daily to prevent this from repeating. I hate flossing. But now floss sticks are my friend.  If I don't make friends with floss, I'll have to endure more shots into my gumline for fillings which will leave me with a crooked smile and a numb nose for 4 hours.  And that would suck.  (I'd like to blame the frizzy hair on the dentist too, but I'm afraid that's just me)....
This is Wilson, in his new pool because it reaches nearly 100 degrees every day. Every doggie should have their own pool.  Wilson thinks it's the greatest thing since Beggin' Strips.

 Roscoe loves me.  And I love him.  I do not love my shiny face after a day by the pool.
 Do yall know those greeting cards with the big ol' dog heads with tiny bodies on them that are so funny and cartoonish?  I think I could market Roscoe as a model.  He's one funny dude.
 Speaking of funny dudes....  I laugh out loud everytime I look at this one.  And yes, there's always a story, but I think yall should make up your own and guess.  ;)
 Oh, oh! I'm so excited about this!!  This is a very special fiddle...and it's autographed by someone very special too!!  But...I think I'm just gonna wait and tell you about it later, and hope you'll all wanna get involved!  Consider this your sneak peak!
 Ahhhhh....this is my favorite place on earth.  I suppose this one speaks for itself.

Remember the pups from Christmas time?  They were only like the cutest stocking stuffers ever?!  Here they are now.  All growed up! :)  Bentley is on the left, that's Jessie's hell'un.  And mama's pup, Charlie, is on the right, who just baaarely passed obedience school this week, but did squeak outta there with a cap and gown.  Seriously.

 A month or so ago we loaded my car top to bottom, front to back til there was barely room for me!!, with cases full of bottled water.  I thought I might have to air up my tires again when it was all over with!

 And then we loaded up some trucks to the brim with anything and everything you can imagine donated by the amazing people in Columbus and our Auburn Club.  And the trucks pulled out to help Alabama's tornado victims.

Sweet Ethel, dad's doggie.  Will fetch a tennis ball and bring it to you and drop it at your feet like a guuuud girl.  Over and over and over again.  This giant labrador has become a very sweet and patient big sister to her 3 pound Maltese brother.  It's pitiful and sweet, I suppose.

 A sushi catepillar.  Who crawled straight to my tummy.

We clearly eat sushi too much.  (This was not even catepillar night.)  Our chef experiments on us.  And in the end, named a roll after me.  No it was not spicy, or expensive, or any other jokes out there, thank you very much!  I think it was very.....sweet, right Jeffrey?? 

Aww, let's wrap it up with my sweet thang.  On date night.  Being oh so patient with me taking his picture.  Can't you see it in his eyes, being oh so patient?  ;)

Ok, maybe I'll be back next time with some words of wisdom.


Or maybe just pictures of more people, less dogs.  Peace out.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fathers who have my Heart

I am so blessed to have very special men in my life, and was honored to celebrate them this weekend for the fathers they are.  Let me tell you about the guys who have my heart....

There's Jeffrey, who I'm smitten with.  I could give you a list of the reasons why (like I did here) but there's only one this weekend, and it's because of the daddy he is.  Though falling in love with a man with children can be intimidating, because I've certainly learned it's not as easy to be a part of their lives as it was Jeff's, there's one thing I'll never doubt....Jeff has been, is, and will be an amazing father.  Every time he mentions those children's names, its with the most love a man can have.  And then I find myself loving him more, uphill and down. :) 

So Saturday when he came home from work, I told him to head out back.  There was a little surprise waiting on him.  Luckily, by lunch it was still overcast and breezy so I set up a little Father's Day picnic for us poolside.
And yes, as all special occasions warrant around these parts, Jeffrey had to eat on the "special plate."  ('Cause Jenn loves a tradition, and Jeff is ever so patient with me)

So we had a yummy lunch of crabcakes (yes, I sure did make them!) and salad, and I told him what a cool pop I thought he was.

And we spent the afternoon floating in the pool being worthless.
And then Saturday night the tables were turned....and my sweet thang took me on a hot date.

We dined at Buckhead Grill, a really yummy restaurant in town, where the calamari appy isnt rubbery like some imposters but actually quite perfect.  Props to the chef.  My "bikini martini" made me feel quite fancy. favorite part hands down is the way Jeff looks at me across the table when we go to dinner, and cracks a smile.  He tells me I'm beautiful, over and over (like when I have a mouth full of fish) and I know he's gotta mean it.  Who else could think that unless they're just so comfy and in love??  Ok, so maybe there's a few reasons I like this guy this weekend.  Let's just say he aint half bad.

Sunday:  Switch gears!  It's Father's Day. Jeff went to go celebrate with his kids, and I went to go love on the man who I hope to become more like with each day.  Could he be any more handsome here??!!   hehe  (See where I get that thick, curly hair now?)

I could tell you a million things about my father that make me so proud to call him mine.  Is every child so proud?  I truly think mine is an exception.  I have friends who go to my father for advice.  He's like the wise old (sorry dad) owl, so full of wisdom and knowledge.  He has guided me through personal relationship struggles, with care and concern and tenderhearted advice, and then can become a financial advisor and accountant when I was a fresh college grad clueless as to how to make my own way.  He knows his faith, and can counsel me when I come to him with religious matters of the heart.  He is a gentle giant, at 6'5" with a deep deep voice, he has a way of commanding attention in a room, without being sturn or authoritative.  He has a captivating personality, with a knack for telling the best stories.  As tall as he is, children flock to him, and are captivated by his presence.  He is a leader.  He has fixed my flat tires, bandaged skinned knees, hung apartment blinds, moved me in, moved me out, moved me in, moved me out :), tied shoe laces and hair bows, built playhouses, and kissed booboos, ran off boys and shook their hands, healed broken hearts, loved and forgiven unconditionally.  He's taught me to drive, and shoot, and fish, and ski, and love, and listen, and forgive, and pray, and learn. 

Daddy, I love you.  Love, Punkin Head ;)

My PawPaw is another Father I simply am crazy about.  And for my friends who know him (and Mimi) they are smiling, and probably giggling too.  At 80 years old, we still can't get him to fully ""retire" from the tile business he's build and known all his life, and we hear of little side jobs he still sneaks out and handles.  And just last weekend he and daddy were putting up the latest shooting house on our hunting land he's been building in the backyard.  He never stops!  I love this man, his stories, his history, his integrity, his strength.  His family fought hard to give him a good life in America, but he's so proud to be Italian, and tells us often of our family there, and stories of his own.  He's proud to be an American, and the honor of wearing a Soldier's uniform to fight for his country, and I love to hear his stories of being overseas and the friends he still has from that time.  His proudest accomplishments are his four children, my mama being one, and his wife of almost 60 years, and I love to watch this big strong man talking lovingly of them all.  I can see how proud he is, and how much he loves them.  And I love him just as much.

PawPaw is also one of the few 80 year olds I know that surfs the internet.  Daily.  I get more emails from him than I do anyone I think!  Isn't that great!  Needless to say, he's into technology, so he loves checking out our cell phones....(though he thinks what we pay for them is rediculous!)  You know, back in his day....

So as soon as I showed him the Google Earth feature....those giant fingers when to zooming, and pinching....and our geography lesson ensued. 

We were listening to the coolest story (with visual aid all the way down to the street!) of him going home as a young soldier to Celano, Italy, to his family's home town.  He and Mimi have been back many times since, but this story brought tears to my eyes, and listening as he went back and forth from Italian to English and his sweet accented voice escalated (and repeated :) warmed my heart.  As it does every time I see him.

I also squeezed in a visit with my Grandmudda, who is my heart and soul, and represents two other amazing Fathers, who happen to be grandfathers to me.  One was Wes Parker, who passed away last year, and who I wrote about here and here.  He took care of Grandmother, and she him, for the last 15 years, and was my second grandfather, if not by blood, by love.

And this man is my Granddaddy.  What a hunk.  He died when I was 10, but I have so many precious memories with him I tear up thinking about them!  He was so strong, so dignified, so present.  (Just like my dad)  I never came to the lake without there being Skittles waiting on me (I was the grandchild who didn't want chocolate), and I always loved the Worther's Originals he had in a bowl.  I spent hours in his boathouse watching him work, or fishing off the dock or that itchy fiberglass boat, or being pulled behind the pontoon.  He was a prison warden, tough when warrented I assume, but gentle and loving to my Grandmother, his boys, his granddaughters, his neighbors, his friends.  Everyone knew Mac.  You had too, you were missing out if you didn't!  I am so thankful I knew him too, if only for a few years, because I can see him in my Dad, and hopefully that good stuff will be passed on down to me too.  I know he was one heckuva dad, because mine's about perfect.
So if you're still with me all the way through this, Happy Father's Day to your dad too!  To the men in my life, the ones taking care of me on Heaven and Earth, I love you. I love you.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Girls Night In

 Sometimes I just need some girl time, and I definitely have the best girls around for that!  And sometimes that time doesn't even involve skinny jeans and a margarita, but some stretchy pants and pizza instead.  :)  And that's just what we needed this week.  And it hit the spot.  So with some Marco's pizza on the way, and the wine being poured, the gossip began!  Oh, and the babies were passed around too!  I was so excited to see Ashley and her newest arrival Mallory, who hung with us all night!  I guess she needed a GNO too from her big brother, the head butt-er! :)

And this angel, Avery, fought bedtime too, but with these baby blues, even Lisa let her break curfew and stay up with mama and the girls.
I managed to get Kristin behind the camera when she stole Mallory for some lovin,' but Brandi, Lisa, Ashley, and I were a little shy apparently....clearly our focus was the QT we were having.  
Which is fine by me.  I love you girls, and love our girls nights in.  Can we please put the next one on the books, like, now?

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Hello Kitty Saturday

Saturday was Miss Abigail's 5th birthday, and she is crazy about all things Hello Kitty so it was only fitting her mama deck the house out in all things pink and Hello Kitty-like!  It was perfect, and Abigail had the best day with all of her friends! (For your family tree, Abigail is Stan and Loretta's daughter, and Stan is Jeff's baby brother :).  You with me now?)
After the crowd arrived, and I do mean crowd!, lunch was served, and then it was present time!  Check out the oh-so-precious HK wrapping paper!
The big kids (like Nana and Uncle Jeff) found a seat around the birthday girl while wrapping paper and bows went flying.

I dare not cast a vote in who won best present award between Mama & Daddy's Helly Kitty bicycle OR Nana & Grandaddy's patio set that was just her size!  Both were loved on many times through out the day!

Though she had originally planned to wear this HK shirt I'd had a sweet friend make for her (Thank you TT!!  She did LOVE IT!), when Loretta found matching Mommy and Abigail HK shirts, there was no question what the outfit of choice would be for party day.  Loretta's sister even made them flip flips to match.  :)

The party eventually made it's way outside to the blazing heat where at least the kiddos kept cool in the pool, while we sweated off the cake and icecream on the patio. 
I could eat my man Garrett, up.  He and those goggles.  Oh my heart.

It took an army to keep them this still for a picture.  And some very quick snapping.  And then they were off!
Dad and his buddy.  Love these guys.  One day Kyle will know it.  Jeff knows now, see it in his smile?
The party, as I'm learning, tend to turn into all day events.  Which is fine by me.  I like it around here.  Kids crash inside with movies and games.  Adults grill out and hang around the porch.  There may or may not even be some kareoke and impromptu dance sessions.  Guess you'll never know..... :)  However, if you need a good DJ, my boyfriend's for hire.  But I digress.....

Here are the Star Search finalists....ur, I mean....the girls after a great Saturday in Juniper.  Me, Loretta, Shaundra (L's friend from church), and Jennifer (Adam's wife). 

Stan and Loretta were great hosts, thanks for letting us crash your home all day long!  And most importantly, Happy Birthday to Miss Abigail!  Love you sweet girl!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

 First off, I have, or am recovering from, the flu.   In June.  What a joke.  I have brushed off getting a flu shot for 31 years, but mark my words from here on out I will be getting one.  After the first round of duking it out with this beast, I am completely exhausted.  It's like nothing I've been through before.  Imagine strep throat on crack.  Plus the worst bar fight you've ever been in (well, not that I've ever been in a bar fight, I can just imagine how sore one would be).  I haven't even had the energy to literally put one foot in front of the other.  And you know what the doc said...."Push fluids."  That's it.  And I managed to talk him into a z-pack because I cannot breathe.

BUT....prior to Tuesday morning, I did manage to have a great, jammed packed Memorial Day weekend! 

Last Saturday was spent in Juniper at Jeff's with a day of swimming with the clowns and cousins and a cookout.  If I'm keeping it real, I was a serious grouch potato that day.  I have no idea why, maybe now it was the ominous foreshadowing of the flu....or just because I'm female....but I was paving a tiny warpath with my mental bulldozer.  But there are some things that cheer me up every time.  I wish I could say it was Jeff and his terms of endearment Saturday.  But not this time.  It's was mama's cooking.  Man please.

My mood turned quick when she presented my favorite squash casserole (Hallelujah!), fried okra, ribs that Adam had been smoking all day....oh, and strawberry shortcake for dessert!  And we all thought we'd be swimming off some calories after dinner, but a few of us had other plans....

So we hung around Nana and Granddaddy's for a while, playing on their Kubota, and of course feeding Franny (that's Frank's baby, you know), and rocking under the patio, until it was time to call it a night.

On Sunday Jeff and I had a big day planned!  Toby Keith was playing on Ft. Benning, and we knew it was going to be a great concert!  I don't think we realized however, exactly what we signed up for as we hauled our chairs to the open field 4 hours before he was to come on to grab our spot in the sweltering the temps reached 100 degrees....with no wind to be found.....  WOW, it was hot, and as Jeffrey kept reminding me, "And we did this voluntarily??"  Ha!  We had plenty of time to walk around, grab drinks, it was definitely a bottled water kind of day, check out all the vendors, while listening to the two opening acts

Oh, let me say this...these pictures were taken with my camera phone because my real camera was hijacked at the door.  Yes, I know you're not supposed to bring cameras, but who really does that??  Apparently army installations with drug dogs really search people.  Whatever.

So anyway, I have my good days and bad days working here....lately I've been a little more leary than usual not having a National Budget and all, but one thing I will forever be grateful for is the respect I've earned for our military.  I always had it I'm sure, with my father, and grandfathers all being serviceman.  But there's a sense of displacement as a child, probably of them protecting me as well, that keep me from truly understanding it.  Now I do working here.  I know what it's like for these soldiers to be able to take a break and go to a concert, and play football with each other....all while still wearing the uniform that protects us.

That picture above, one of the opening acts Glorianna is singing this song about soldiers, and I loved when I looked over and saw those big strong guys waving their hands in the air.  I wonder how often they get to have fun like this?  I mean, they're not really allowed to go "downtown," I see them walking around the malls shopping, and most of them are from so far they have no family here to cook them squash casserole and fried okra. 

Wow.  We are a hot mess.  You should have seen me in my cowboy hat.  It was practically melted to my head.  Some moments should not be documented.  I really should've had a camera.  We were not that far from Toby.  But I am not profficient with a Droooooid.  Anyway, TK puts on one heckuva show. Seeing as how this concert was on Ft. Benning, he talked a lot about his USO tours overseas, his love of the military, and his pretty strong opinions on some things!  haha!  But if you've ever heard some of his songs, you already know what I'm talking about!  He ended with American Soldier, and Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue which just seemed so emotional.  I remember first coming to work here, soldiers seemed so different as they walked by in their uniforms, they just seemed to stick out.  As I listened to these songs, on such a special weekend, this little "civilian" couldn't be more proud to stand amongst all those "green suiters." 

Frankly, I couldn't think of a more appropriate place to be on Memorial Day.  I had my favorite veteran beside me, who I am so very proud to call mine, and all these troops fighting for little ol' me, and you, every day....Toby Keith telling Bin Laden where to stick was all pretty bad ass.  (pardon my french).  Oh, and all while eating a funnel cake and sweating my booty off.  Isn't that what America is all about?!  :)

Monday was all about recooperation.  I spent my time bouncing back and forth from the pool to the lounge chair, while my favorite cabana boy served me my cocktail of choice.  We cooked a mean dinner of tuna, salmon, scallops, zuccs, and jalapeno poppers--all on the grill....and wrapped up a near perfect weekend with smiles on our faces.

Happy Memorial Day, God Bless our Troops!

And one last thing....get your flu shots, people.