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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

This article really spoke to me. Over the years, I’ve heard how hard it is to be a single person in the church. No one says anything. Everyone sits in groups; couples or families. Go in the door, sit alone at church, go out the door. Months and months go on and no one says anything.  On a holiday the family groups get bigger.  Still a single may be alone.  “Church hurts on holidays.”  How hard to have no place to go on Easter or July 4th but your own apartment.

ARTICLE

Thankfully in our family, one has the circumstances in place that when sick can call me and I am able to drop my job and go care for her.  I will drive a day and a half to find the other one if hospitalized or such.  Will anyone come when that one needs someone to speak up for them in an emergency?  Will you be the someone that can be on their call list?

But really, the church needs to find the single people.  NOT to play match-maker but to be a partner with them.  I like the idea from the article of 2 couples would connect with 1 single person.  If the single person needs a ride home from taking their car to the mechanic, they can text the group and see if anyone is able to pick them up.  Same with a couple, if the spouse can’t get off work or leave the children, maybe the single person could pick you up from the mechanic.   If the single person needs to have someone hold the ladder while they change the lightbulb on the 11′ ceiling, there is someone to ask when they could help.  The couple and single person could meet up for supper and the single wouldn’t have to sit in a restaurant alone like every other time.  The single person could be invited over to add another adult to your board game.  I know that a board game with 2 is only so-so.

I know I have a backup if my husband isn’t able to help in an emergency.  But what if there is no spouse?  No family near?

Will you be the person that a single person could call? 

Do you talk to a single person at your church?  Try it.  Talk this week and talk to them next week.  Sit with them.  Ask if you can trade phone numbers.  Offer that they can call you if they need a second hand or just to bounce an idea off someone.  Text them to make sure a hard task at work went OK.  Text them something funny.  Ask their advice on where to hang a collection at your home.  Ask for help on trimming a big branch.  Finish off with offering to go for a sandwich together.  Let them be a part of a family hike.

I know a couple that has a single every Monday night for supper.  Then the 2 women go to a ladies Bible Study together.  It is one of the few home cooked meals this single has ALL WEEK!  I think that is blessing someone so easily.  It is just Monday supper.  It isn’t a Christmas feast with china and silver place settings.  Just being around a table together.

Be the church.

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A quiet day with just the 2 of us.  Mostly a regular work day here at home.

A favorite supper of his: sloppy joes and mac & cheese in the Instant Pot. Easy for me.

 

One of my double petunia plants.  Some blooms on the same plant are more white and some more purple.

Yearly photo of how tall the corn is on the 4th of July!


He is more than pleased that he had tassels on corn on June 30th!  The first he remembers seeing them appear in June!

 

Amazing clouds that evening!

Finally the clouds started to empty and we got a bit that day.

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Both last summer and this year, we’ve been able to visit JP in Alabama.  A 10 hour drive that we have divided into 1 1/2 days but the hugs and fun times once there are wonderful!  Seeing him in person, chatting over meals, watching TV together, hiking, seeing his church, meeting friends and co-workers, his grocery, his world.  Fantastic!

Of course, photos of JP are difficult to capture!  Photos of his work or work site, not allowed!  So while I can’t highlight the big-deal fun we had, I can show you other things we did.


He is great at finding trails to explore!

I’m good at finding swings!!  🙂

The men going across the covered bridge.

How far can we lean out before mom freaks out?


Cullman County museum and another swing!



Roof of museum, the whole home, was lovely!  I wanted to get the 2 flags in the photo but no breeze that day.  Only like 102′ F!!


In case my friend or any family know this city.   This is in the museum.  The bedroom below is there as well for the man that came from Germany and bought the property for the county.  And a lovely old crazy patch quilt.


The same town had a wonderful antique store that was overflowing with antique pieces to add to your home.  Knobs, faucets, doors, fireplaces, wood planks… so much!!  So much $$ !!

 

The Crepe Myrtle trees were in bloom again on this visit.  I love them!!  And since I’m never sure there will be photos of me on a trip, I took a selfie.  The hot & humid melted look!


A visit to a Veteran’s War Museum.

The one & only store that sells what comes out of the bags lost and never claimed at the airports all over the country!  Nice quality but you had to hunt for affordable things.  I looked at the purses, but turned elsewhere at the $200 price tags!  I got 3 tunic/tops for a total of $24 so those were good deals!

Cooling off with the best popsicle ever!!  JP had been here with a church group so wanted to take us here.  So yummy!  Too bad I didn’t have a few more!  I think it was called Steel City Pops.  If you find one, stop in!

The food places he picked out to share with us were wonderful!!  Great BBQ places and southern food stops.  So much fun!

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June 2018

My double-nickel birthday year!  I started this jar of nickels on January 1st and besides several from the change bucket, not many more have been added from our pockets.

Before my birthday….

after my birthday!

Phil added 8 rolls of nickels for on my birthday!  He finds the funding of my own personal charity quite odd & funny!  I just thought it would be something fun.  I also got 2 (double nickels!) in Miss K’s birthday card.  🙂  No one that has visited has added to this but one has asked about it.

Supper out at my favorite – The Stone Eagle

New Orleans pizza – shrimp and hot sausage, plus onions & peppers. Yum!!

 

 

A free 5-piece serving of fresh beignets because she thought we waited a long time for my pizza. I didn’t think so but these were so yummy!!

 

But I had already want to stop at Portillo’s after supper to try their oh-so-famous chocolate cake. I brought over half of this home!! And I can make a better chocolate cake than that!  I won’t need to try that again.

 

The next night, I tried out my new microwave popcorn bowl from Miss K!  It is fantastic!! You need one of these!

It was hot & sunny which I love.
I got several cards.
A fun day!!

Have you earned your double-nickel birthday?

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Tried several places of real southern BBQ — oh my, if only I could make a pork roast end up tasting that good!!
This place was small and full on a Saturday noon, but oh.so.worth it!  We ate outside in the shade and it was just lovely!
The Purple Daisy Cafe’ just at the bottom of Lookout Mountain.  Very good BBQ pork & chicken that we sampled as well as the sides.  Personally, I loved the window valance!

Saturday road trip to Lookout Mountain.

From Alabama, to Tennessee, to Georgia, to Tennessee… to get to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga!

We rode the incline railway down and right back into the 1 hour line to go back up.  It was over 100′ plus much humidity so it was a long, snaking, cue-line waiting to get back on. The ride and view were fascinating though!

view from the top of the town and area below

We were only at the top view point, above the railway for a few minutes, just long enough for me to have the nerve to get to the edge for the photo above, when my text message went off that our car parking was ready to expire! We hustled back up more hill to our car and headed out for lunch.

After lunch, we visited the Chattanooga Zoo.  Not worth the cost of entry but they did have a steel giraffe!

Real giraffes would arrive sooner if only I had donated….

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Back in Alabama, we walked through Lowe’s Mill… a very cool old cotton mill factory filled with studios of a variety of artisans.  I was so glad JP had found this as a place we could tour.  I loved seeing the shops even tho most were closed, the front side was glass for viewing their wares.

They had 2 large swings and I loved swinging!   P doesn’t know my childhood experience with swings so thought I needed pushed.  Meanwhile, I was glad JP got good photos.  🙂

 

 

A hike in the Caverns Cave National Park – 1 hour cave tour on Sunday.


After lunch and a bit of shopping – one of JP’s hiking spots after a lovely drive up the mountain side!

Other highlights of our 3 days there — Our first Costco visit!   The struggle of being in the Bible-belt and trying to find a place for lunch out on a Sunday! And we learned to make a U-turn tho we felt guilty every time!!

We had to tell him goodbye Sunday evening as he is early to bed & early to rise, leaving by 7 a.m. for work each day.  We stayed that night yet and then headed home the next day.  A wonderful visit!

There were 4 quilt – sewing shops in the town on the Row-by-Row Experience and with the travel theme most had rockets, missiles, and NASA, & Army themed patterns.  I made super fast stops at all 4, they weren’t too far from each other, the men tolerated me, and I’m excited to have them from the trip.  I picked up another pattern on the way down and one on the way home.  Yeah!

Hopefully we get another visit in the new year as well!

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First Time to AL

We were both excited to finally get a visit to JP’s new place in Alabama.

It is about 11 hours of driving and we didn’t leave home until early afternoon so only tackled the long state of IL on our first day. The next day after a stop at only one quilt shop in Quilt City, USA, we continued to his town arriving about 2:30 p.m.   We checked into the hotel and cooled off a bit, adjusting to the temps over 100′ F.  He was soon off work and called that we could come meet him at his apartment.  We had packed his list of what else he wanted to have at his place from  home.   His Green list and his Yellow list made it in the car along with our 2 suitcases, a cooler of meat for him, and a cooler of snacks for us.  He was surprised!

Nothing like the welcome sight of seeing him come down the steps of his apartment after so many months of not seeing him!  Swoon!  The crepe myrtle trees lining his apartment building (and all over the city)  were in full bloom.  Stunning!  This is the view out his living area and the men making another trip to  unload.

He gave us good tours and activities for us to do while we spent 3+ days with him as he got Friday off by his new boss.  So thankful for all the comp hours he had already put in!

We saw the NASA Space Museum….  I have been a big NASA fan since the Apollo trips when we’d watch them in school. Seeing all this up close was fantastic!  Having an intelligent tour guide — tender to this momma’s heart!

This is the Marshall Space Flight Center.  (He was at Langley NASA Research Center before.)

Mostly I have photos of their backs…

JP offered to take my photo! (rare!) Me with one of the Space Shuttles!  The size – immense! The boosters it needs –  Just more than I could ever imagine!

 

It was Space Camp Graduation day and the kids got to ride the rides.  We chose not to be so sick being shot into the air!

In short, Wernher Von Braun led to the rise of Huntsville after they lost the cotton industry and the city is  now “Rocket City”.

This building had a whole Apollo rocket with all the pieces laying down so it could be viewed. Then one outside, standing up, seen for miles.

JP & me in front of an Apollo rocket.

They had a photo op place because of the kids’ Space Camp graduation day.  I wish I had gone to space camp! Some earned or purchased uniforms! I wanted one until I saw the prices!  But I got my “souvenir” photo!  LOL!

It was 105′ plus higher heat index while we were there.  Really we are melting in the photos!  He is used to it a bit more, working outside often in heavier clothes.
~~~

We got to see the base and the outside of the building where he works.  At least we have a bit of a visual in our heads now.  We couldn’t take photos or get out of the car at all while on base except to the NASA building where they had a gift shop that I walked through.  (Another NASA shirt for me from clearance even tho he isn’t working for them now and some postcards which are very late in being mailed!)
No photos.  No getting out of the car. This is all I have from the gate.  He said this was it, Mom.  So it is through the lovely windshield! The rest of our memories are saved in our minds.  Amazing!

part 2 coming….

 

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Spring Hike

2/19

Well, it isn’t quite spring yet but it was a lovely day to be out!  A week of days in the 60’s and one in the 70’s are a very rare treat for us in February!!  We hope to have these days in April and often need to wait until May.

JP drummed at church this morning and in lieu of a selfie, he accepted having Dad take our picture.  Here is the best of 2 tries.  Neither one likes to be in photos or take photos.  😦

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After lunch… a hike and fun in the woods —
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I love the old stone bridge there.  Supposedly, Lincoln, as a presidential candidate crossed over this bridge before and/or after the Lincoln-Douglas debates not too far from us.  I find the whole amount of work they did to make this amazing!

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too much sun yet on my camera….

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and here is all the way to where they blocked the flow for a pond decades ago!

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I take my own photos as otherwise there would none of me!

With having many warm days, there was a bit of creek flowing from the bridge and all the land was muddy.  Going back up the hill, I slipped.  Phil was near so I offered him the other end of a stick near me to be my “lifeline”.  The old and dead branch snapped apart as he grabbed it so I slid down farther. Oh well, muddy jeans aren’t anything new to our washing machine.  It was a funny episode and all the laughter was good for us.  JP asked where the video was now.  I replied it was in his pocket!!

JP found this amazing fungus/mushroom!  Pure white as snow and blood red on the inside!  Stunning on the forest floor of hundreds of shades of brown.

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And now we know it is the Sarcoscypha coccinea, commonly known as the scarlet elf cup.  It is found on forest floors, often under  leaves and such in late winter to early spring.  Quite brilliant on the mostly brown ground.   

28This branch had 2 on it.   We’ve never seen these before.  Probably because they are there in early spring and we are busy with spring work and often aren’t out hiking.  Amazing color & a unique creation!

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