Monday, August 22, 2011

DISCIPLES VOLUNTEERING




On April 27th, Tuscaloosa county and other conuties in north and central Alabama were devestated by a severe outbreak of deadly tornadoes. In Tuscaloosa, over 70,00 homes and businesses were severely and totally destroyed including three schools, the Emergency Management Services headquarters, the Salvation Army headquarters, the American Red Cross headquarters, and a fire station and police annex. Fifty individuals in Tuscaloosa died as a result of the tornadoes. First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Tuscaloosa received money from Week of Compassion and other Disciples Churches to provided immediate and ongoing assistance to church members and others in the community. Shortly after the storms, members of our church and of Cottondale Christian Church met with our Regional Minister, Rev. John Mobley, and with Brandon Gilvin, Week of Compassion, and Josh Baird, Disciples Volunteering, representing our General Church, to begin exploring the opportunities to become involved in long term relief efforts.







Holt Peterson Road

Bridge over Hurricane Creek

Home in Alberta Community

Home off Hargrove Road

On July 31st, Rex and Pattie Williams, Mission Station Coordinators from Cherry Log, GA arrived to identify the work that was already being done in Tuscaloosa. They toured the city and met with groups who were also involved in long term recovery efforts to established partnerships for doing the work lying ahead. They made a trip to Nashville, TN to pick up a mobile shower unit and work trailers that had been used by Disciples Volunteering over the past year where they had been doing flood clean up and restoration projects.




Rex and Pattie Williams
Mission Station Coordinators

Mobile Shower Unit
Equipment trailers

The first group of Disciples Volunteering from Richlands, NC arrived on August 7th. It was a group of 22 volunteers, some veterans and some who were doing it for the first time. They were housed by Cottondale Christian Church .



Disciples Volunteering

First Christian Church

Richlands, N.C.





The group spent Monday thru Friday doing a variety of jobs ranging from working in the Salvation Army warehouse and distribution center to debris clean up and working on a Habitat for Humanity house build. One team worked on debris removal and clean up of a home in Alberta. The owner of the home, Abraham, shared his story of leaving his house immediately after the storm and witnessing the total devastation of his neighborhood. He said that all he could do was walk thru the neighborhhod and sign praises to his Lord for sparing his life. He posted a sign on the side of what was left of his house stating that "The Good News Is That God Is Still God."



Sign posted in Alberta home




Habitat build in Holt




Home being built

Clean up in Alberta





Getting Dirty for Jesus







Salvation Army distribution center


The group enjoyed a delicious pot luck dinner on Wednesday night provided by the members of Cottondale Christian Church. The pastor of the Richlands church, Gary Edens, and several other members, knew on of our former ministers, Gary Edge, who is currently serving Valley Christian Church in Birmingham. He had even baptized some of them in the 70's while he was in NC. He was able to join them for dinner on Friday night.

Cottondale Christian

covered dish dinner


reuniting

Rev. Gary Edge, Valley Christian, Birmingham, AL

Rev. Gary Edens, First Christian, Richlands, N.C.

If you would like to know more of the first hand experiences of the Richlands group, you can find them, complete with pictures, at www.fccrichlands.org


Thank you FCC Richlands for your time and talents and most of all for your Christian spirit. We are looking forward to an ongoing relationship with you. God Bless You.

















































































































































































































One of the first projects was to provide a place for the mission station coordinators to reside while groups working in the area. A couple from White, Georgia, David and Connie Spear, offered their time and talents to do some renovations in our Joseph Hornback Disciples House to make it available for this purpose. In just a few days, they completely renovated a bathroom, leveled some areas of the house, and did some other minor repairs to the area that would accomodate a couple who would be overseeing groups of volunteers .
























































































A youth mission group from First Christian Church, Huntsville, arrived soon after and did some major cleaning in other areas of the Disciples house and also did some volunteering in the community. They were followed on July 31st by Pattie and Rex Williams, Mission Station Coordinators from Cherry Log, GA. They did the preliminary work in identifying what work was already being done in Tuscaloosa. I drove them around town to see the devestation and they met with groups in the area that are also involved in long term recovery efforts. When they came, they also brought in the work trailers and mobile shower unit that would be used over the time volunteers would be coming.






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Friday, July 24, 2009

Alaska 2009

Monday July 6
Our day started about 6. I wanted to finish getting the house straightened up. I took care of the dogs while Buddy did his treadmill. There was still the last minute packing to do, too. We had a quick breakfast and got started. Of course I had to run the dishwasher and run the vacuum over the carpet. I called next door to the Rogers to verify all the info on dates. Mr Eugene thought we were leaving Sunday and had come over late last night to feed the dogs but he found out we hadn’t left yet. While we were getting ready to leave, we had a pretty nice shower so my plants got a good watering.

We left for the airport about 9:30, stopping only to get gas. Got to Jessica’s at 11:00. We wanted to get to the airport a little earlier than usual since we were on an International flight and had to check in at the counter. No problem. We had no wait, got checked in a flash, then got to the terminal to wait on the plane. Our flight arrived on time and left on time. We had a lengthy layover in Houston (on purpose) so had plenty of time to get from Terminal B to Terminal E. I received a call from Susie informing us that their flight out of San Antonio had been delayed and they more than likely would miss the connection in Houston. She told us not to wait for them. The flight out of Houston left on time and got to Vancouver on time. It really was not bad going thu customs. We checked with information, no shuttle to the hotel so we took a cab after exchanging some US dollars for Canadian dollars. Got to the hotel, where Patsy was waiting, and got to the room. Patsy and I went down the street (for a cookie) then sat in the lobby waiting for Susie, Nancy, and Ernie. They finally got to the Comfort Inn about 1 a.m. We all hugged and got Nancy and Ernie to their room then started settling down. We talked a while, but everyone was so tired. I don’t know what time we finally got to sleep.

Tuesday July 8
We all met in the pub where they serve the breakfast. We reviewed the various options for sight seeing. The weather was iffy but we set out prepared. We decided on the trolley tour, hop on hop off. The trolley goes all around the city. First we had to exchange our American dollars for Canadian dollars.









EXCHANGING OUT MONEY
BUYING OUR TROLLEY TICKETS


CROSSING THE BRIDGE

Our first “get off” stop was at Grandville Island. We crossed the bridge on foot then wandered around the area. We stopped in various stores and went to the farmer’s market.



HARBOR
















MORE HARBOR



FLOWERS

















FARMERS MARKET









ELEPHANT TAPESTRY











PARK WITH GEESE










CHANGING TROLLEYS

LIBRARY

POST OFFICE

We stopped for lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory and had a really good lunch.

INSIDE THE OLD SPAGHETTI FACTORY RESTAURANT

When we left the restaurant, it was raining pretty hard. We got back on the trolley and did some more touring. We didn’t get off anymore, and I didn’t have time to take pictures. We toured the Stanley Park area which was beautiful in spite of all the rain.

We got back to the Comfort Inn and sat around in the lobby for a while. Nancy, Ernie, and Buddy wanted to go to McDonald’s for supper. Patsy, Susie, and I went to the Pub and had a drink and shared some appetizers. We were all sleep deprived so we turned in pretty early.

Wednesday, July 8

We all met for breakfast then just kind of hung out. I needed a belt to keep my jeans up, so Patsy, Susie, and I decided to walk to Sears to see if I could find one. We stopped at several little shops on the way and I found one so we never got to Sears. We caught two cabs to take us to the dock and started the process of checking in and clearing customs. We moved thru the lines pretty quickly and were actually on the ship a little after one. Our room was ready but we had to wait a while for the luggage to arrive. We did lunch on the Lido deck and walked around the ship trying to figure out where we were and where we needed to be. Patsy and Susie were assigned to 1103 (no upgrade) and had a different table in the dining room. We were in room 6129 and Nancy and Ernie were in room 5119. We checked out the spa. First official thing on the agenda was the life drill. After we left port, the gift shops opened and we made a walk through. Our first dinner in the dining room was nice but we missed being all together. Ernie had bought wine for the cruise. After eating, we attended the “WELCOME ABOARD” show then turned in fairly early. I watched s”Slumdog Millionaire.” Our towel creature for the first night was a dog. Susie and Patsy didn’t get one and they didn’t get bathrobes either.

Thursday, July 9
Our first full day at sea! We started our cruise of the inside passage. We met in the dining room for breakfast. Susie was feeling a little queasy so she went back to her room and took a Dramamine. She decided to take one every morning as a precaution. We looked over the various tours and decided which ones we wanted to do. After lunch we watched a little of the ice carving then Patsy and Susie participated in the Chicken Olympics. They did well but didn’t win. We purchased our tour tickets and walked around some more. Thursday was the first Elegant Dining night so we got dressed up and had pictures made. We had a new table and Patsy and Susie were at a table for 2 next to us. They served lobster at dinner and it was good. After dinner, our wait staff danced for us (to Indian music). After dinner, we changed clothes and went to the show “Jazz Hot.” After the show, Patsy, Susie, and I joined the Karaoke that was in session. We didn’t quit til midnight. It was fun I was going to watch a movie but fell asleep.. Our towel creature for the night was a rabbit.
.

Friday, July 10
We stopped in our first port which was Ketchikan. The town was founded as a fishing camp and is built on steep hillsides. We visited the gift shop on the pier then wandered around town until it was time for our tour. The houses are built up on the hillside and to get there you have to climb stair. Patsy and I climbed 120 steps and took some pictures from the top. Even the stairs are given street names. In the town square, there is a monument of an eagle. We caught the Ketchikan Highlights Express and went on a tour of the city and made a visit to Potlatch Park. Our tour guide was Augustus Jones who was highly educated. He had a wonderful Earl Jones voice. We visited a recreated native Alaskan village Potlatch Park. There were many carved totems, one was 42 feet tall. There was a collection of old cars including a 1932 Packard, a 1924 Stanley Steamer, and 1937 Ford pick-up truck. Augustus took us to a tribal house and told us some of the stories. We then went to a carving house where the lady was doing a totem on commission. She had made most of her own carving tools because the ones that had been given to her were too big for her to use. After a stop at the gift shop, and some fresh baked cookies, we headed back to town. We got back on the ship for lunch (and so did everyone else).

After lunch, we visited Creek Street, a row of wooden buildings perched over the water on pilings. The brightly painted boutiques once catered to gentlemen seeking the company of “sporting women.” There was a museum at Dolly’s house with stuff from the frontier life. Ketchikan’s red-light district wasn’t shut down until 1953. Now it’s home to artsy galleries.

Patsy and I walked to the other side of town called New Town. We strolled down the boardwalk admiring the harbor and all the boats. There were beautiful stained glass banners on poles along the boardwalk. We found a street called Hopkins Alley but weren’t brave enough to explore it. The afternoon was absolutely beautiful. We did a little more time browsing the gift shops before we got on board. We sailed from Ketchikan at 5 p.m. After dinner, we attended the show “BLUES BROTHERS.” One of the movies on the ship channel was “Slumdog Millionaire” and I watched it Our towel critter was a monkey.

Saturday, July 11
The next stop was Juneau which is perched on the mouth of Gold Creek. It is nestled between the two mountains, Mt. Juneau and Mt. Roberts. Juneau can only be reached by boat or plane and is the home to 30,000 year-round residents. It is in the Tongass Rainforest. Over ½ of the world’s population of eagles live in Juneau. It is frequently called “Little San Francisco”

Our first stop was some of the downtown shops. In the town square, there was a local artist who was just beginning a painting of the beautiful flowers. We walked around the town square which was across the street from City Hall. Patsy, Susie, and I decided we would walk uphill to the Capitol Building. Nancy, Ernie, and Buddy did not want to make the steep walk. Outside the Capitol, there is a reproduction of the Liberty Bell. Since it was Saturday, the governor was not in her office but we did take pictures and Patsy bought a commemorative Alaskan coin. Across the street from the Capitol is the museum and the Fisherman’s Building. It is also close to the State Office Building which they refer to as the SOB. As we started down the hill, we saw them cutting into the rock preparing to construct some kind of building. There is very little soil on top of the rock. In Juneau, as in Ketchikan, the houses are built into the hillside. We ran into Ernie, Nancy, and Buddy as we were heading back down the hill. They had stopped for lunch at McDonalds.

Our tour for Juneau was to the Mendenhall glacier and Glacier Gardens. We took a short path thru the wildlife area before arriving at the tourist center were we viewed the glacier from an observation house. They showed a short movie about the glacier. There was a waterfall close to the glacier and some of the tourists had hiked to the base of the waterfall. The deep blue of the ice was something we had seen on our last trip. The denser the ice, the bluer the color. We just couldn’t get enough pictures. On the ride from the glacier to the garden, we passed a beaver dam and a beaver hut.

We then went to the Glacier Gardens located on the side of Thunder Mountain. It is actually a temperate rain forest. The garden was a part of a restoration project of an area that was affected by a landslide. The man who undertook the project had to restore it back to a natural state. In the process, he had an uprooted tree fall and get stuck upside down in the dirt. He decided to try to use the root system as a flower garden and it worked. So now, there are acres of upside down trees as well as many other beautiful flowers and plants. At one area, there is a viewpoint where we saw an eagle up close. From the viewing area you can see Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island, Auke Bay, Stephenson’s Passage, Admirality Island, and Chilkat Mountain, all landmarks in Juneau. We returned to the ship for supper but Patsy, Susie, and I got back off for a little more shopping. Nancy and Ernie went to the night’s show, “MARCUS RAYMOND.” Patsy and I did a little karaoke but didn’t stay late. I wanted to watch the movie “Marley and Me.”. The towel critter for the night was a turtle.


Sunday, July 12
Our next port was Skagway which is located in a mountain valley on the north end of the Tiya Inlet. It is home to year long 900 residents. One of the unique building is the Artic Brotherhood Hall on Broadway Street. It’s fa├žade is made of over 10,00 pieces of driftwood. It is located in the Tongass National Forest and was known as the “Gateway to the Klondike” during the Alaskan Gold Rush. Because there was no way to record incoming ships, they started painting dates, ships, and captains on the side of the mountain. Patsy, Susie, and I had an early tour of the Dog Sled Discovery and Mushing Camp. We were bused down a dirt road to the dog camp where we rode on a custom-built wheeled sled pulled by 16 dogs. We took off in a flash and had the equivalent of a carnival ride. After the ride, we were able to pet the dogs and had photo ops. They gave us information about sledding and the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest. The tour guide, Garrett, was from Texas. The musher was from Costa Rico. We got to visit and pet some of the older puppies as well. The dog camp is located at the most northern point of the Lynn Canal past Chilkoot Trail located on Taiya Inlet tidal flats. The scenery was beyond description. Definitely God’s handy work.

After lunching on the ship, we had a second tour, the Skagway Streetcar Tour. We rode on a 1920 yellow bus around the town and attended the Arctic Brotherhood show. At the show, Susie suddenly started coughing severely and we all just laughed at her. After the show, we went to the overlook and then to the Gold Rush Cemetery, final resting place of the scoundrel Soapy Smith. As we were headed back to the ship after the tour, the Whitepass and Yukon Railroad tour train was getting back. Steve Hites (Mr. Skagway) who did the Artic Brotherhood show did an afternoon show in Pharaoh's Palace after we got back on the ship. He did some more stories and songs from the gold rush

Sunday night was the second Elegant dining night and once again the waiters danced for us. Our assistant waiter, Goofy, who is from Bosnia, was one of the feature dancers that night. Patsy, Susie, and I had our pictures done again and did some of our own pictures. The show for the night was “SINGING WITH THE BIG BAND.” The towel animal was a frog.

Monday, July 13
Sitka was our next port. It is a small town of 9000 citizens. It is located near Mt Verstovia. It was settled by the Russians. Alexander Baranof was the chief manager of Russian Affairs. The architecture is strongly influenced by Russia as seen in the Russian Bishop House. It is accessible only by tender as the harbor is too shallow for the cruise ships. It is also a temperate rain forest. There are many boats in the Crescent Harbor. We walked around the harbor and some of the buildings before our tour. The O’Connell Bridge connects Sitka and Japonski Island.

The tour started in Totem Square and went thru town. We saw Swan Lake and other points of interest. We stopped at the Sheldon Jackson Museum were they were displaying items of the Tingit peoples (Indians). From there we went to St.Michael’s Russian Orthodox church constructed in 1840 and stated to be the mother of Russian Orthodox cathedrals for all America. The building burned down at one time but many of the original icons and artifacts were saved. Services are still conducted in the church. The last stop on the tour was the Harrigan Centennial Hall were we were entertained by the New Archangel Dancers, all girls. Our guide sang the state song. We learned he was the local Baptist minister. Nancy and Ernie continued the tour and visited the Raptor Center where injured birds are treated and returned to the wild, if possible. Buddy’s knee was hurting and he returned to the ship. Patsy, Susie, and I went back to the stores and looked at Russian baubles and nesting dolls. Susie and Patsy shared a reindeer dog. We went up on lookout point and got a good view of the town. We saw the line waiting to return to the ship and decided we needed to get in line. I had not eaten lunch and there was a girl and her mom selling home made cookies so we got some. There was also a young boy there doing Russian dancing trying to earn money for a trip he was making.

The evening show was “THE BIG EASY.” Our DJ for karaoke was absent (she had hurt her shoulder and had to leave the ship) and the new girl wasn’t very good so we didn’t stay long. The elephant towel was featured this night.


Monday, July 14
This was a day at sea. We attended the debarkation talk in the morning. During the day, we cruised the Prince William Sound & College Fjord which has 16 glaciers. I sighted a couple of whales during the day but not close up or for long. Activities for the day included the bean bag toss (Susie won a Ship on a Stick), the hairy men’s chest contest (we didn’t participate), What’s in the Bag (our team won 1st place),TV theme song trivia, and the final round of Battle of the Sexes. We arrived in Glacier Harbor at Whittier early evening. We bid Goofy farewell at dinner and did some packing. Ernie, Nancy, Patsy, Susie, and I played the final game of Bingo – fill your card for $1199 and both Patsy and I were just one number away from winning.

The finale performance was the “CARNIVAL LEGENDS SHOW “ featuring James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Garth Brooks, Madonna, Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. All the featured singers were people who had been attending the karaoke sessions and had tried out for the parts. Some of them were very good and a few were very bad. We had front row seats and cheered them on. Susie and Patsy got pictures after the show while I did some last day shots of the ship. Our parting towel figures were a MOTHER AND CHILD WALRUS.

Wednesday, July 15
Debarkation started at 7:00 a.m. We had an early breakfast then went back to our stateroom to wait for our number to be called. While we were waiting, we started watching the movie “Australia.” We saw about 2 hours of the movie before we had to leave. It was extremely windy in Whittier. WE traveled by bus from Whittier to Anchorage passing thru the one way tunnel that the cars share with the train. We followed the Turnigan Arm to Anchorage. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, next door to Wendy’s. We checked in about noon then grabbed a sandwich at Wendy’s before catching the municipal bus into town. Senior citizens got to ride for free. We took a shuttle to Ship Creek where the Ulu Factory and the Comfort Inn that we stayed in when we were in Anchorage before are located. From there we went to the Alaska Public Lands Information Center and watched a couple of movies about Alaska and the earthquake of ’64. We ate halibut at Humpy’s then caught the bus back to the Holiday Inn with a stop at Wendy’s for ice cream. At the bus terminal, a man who claimed to be a personal chef approached Patsy and told her how beautiful she was. It was apparent from his conversation that he wasn’t quite all there (not unlike most of the people at the terminal).

Thursday, July 16
We had a really nice breakfast at the hotel before Patsy left. We were sad to see her leave. We finished packing and took our luggage to Nancy and Ernie’s room. Buddy and Ernie went to the flight museum while Nancy, Susie, and I downloaded pictures to my computer. When the boys got back, we headed to Flattop Mountain in Chillgach State Park. From there we headed back to the city and had lunch at the Alaska Gourmet Sub Sandwich shop (Buddy’s favorite). Buddy, Nancy, Ernie went to Dog Sled show and Susie and I went shopping and sight seeing. We started off at Grizzly’s gift shop where I purchased some souvenirs. Then we wandered around town a little. Some sights we saw were a 3200 lb bucket which was a part of the Gold Dredge #5 in Nome, Alaska, an Alaskan Mint, a gold mine wagon being used as a planter, and a mural of winners of the Iditarod that was painted by Ziggy from Canyon Lake, TX. We went back by the Visitor’s Center and got a final picture of the Peace Arch before meeting up with the rest of the group. We headed back to hotel and then to airport. We left about 9 p.m. Alaska time and had a long night. Each seat had their own individual screen to watch movies, TV, listen to music, or play games. The screens stopped working for the movies and TV screens but we were able to continue playing games. We did get a snack supper (hamburger/salad/M&M’s) before giving in for a little sleep. The flight attendants woke us up about 4:30 with breakfast snack but I wasn’t ready for food. We arrived in Houston about 6 a.m. It was in Houston that we parted ways with Susie…we were in different terminals. We arrived in Birmingham on time, about 8:30, and got away without any delay. We got into town around 11:30, had lunch Pearl Garden, stopped at Winn Dixie for bread, milk, ice cream, and finally pulled into our driveway about 1. We were glad to be home and our dogs were certainly excited to see us. After a shower and brushing our teeth, we hit the bed.

I have posted a couple of albumns of pictures on Facebook and will try to get some on the blog site as well.

We've been home a week and I'm still dreaming about Alaska.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

APRIL

O.K. I am trying to get things caught up and I'm up to April. Lucy and Bob were staying so busy with all their exciting adventures that I was content to just read their blogs. I started the month off by giving blood. I have been a blood donor throughout the years, but it had been a while since I had done it. I just made the cutoff on the blood count so sat down it the chair. I did fine til the very end then I started getting a little woozy feeling. It took about 30 minutes and a lot of fluids to get to feeling better. I decided that my blood donation days were over!

We had a mini reunion of our nursing school class of 65. One of our classmates lives in Oregon and was in town visiting relatives. 6 of the 10 who were in the class got together (2 of our classmates are deceased). We had a good time and rehashed a lot of experiences.

The famous Blue Angels were in Tuscaloosa the first weekend in April I had a commitment on Saturday but Buddy went with his daughters and their families. He was on an antibiotic (for a spider bit) which caused him to be super sensitive to the sun, and he got a really bad sunburn.

That same weekend, we had Dexter's birthday party (2) at the church. We had a Handy Manny theme (Disney Playhouse). He had a ball. Jessica and Derrick took Dexter to Atlanta the weekend of his birthday. They went to the aquarium and the Coke museum. It was crowded because a lot of schools were on spring break.

Taylor had his birthday party (11) at the bowling alley. There were about 10 kids and as many adults bowling. Even Dexter (with Jessica's help) rolled the ball down the alley. It was cold in the bowling alley and very chaotic. I decided I was too old for that much excitement.

I was out of town a couple of Saturdays traveling around the state for our spring workshops for our CWF/DW region. I am the regional president and that is one of things that I get to do each year. We were in Cullman and Birmingham one Saturday and in Snow Hill, AL (rural area out of Montgomery) one Saturday. At the workshops, we present the study material and service projects for the upcoming year. It's a lot of work getting things ready and takes a lot of time driving to the locations. I delegated one of the workshops (in Pensacola, FL) to the VP who lives in south AL. We are also planning our fall retreat which will be held in a new location this year.

I made a couple of trips to out-of-town Lions Clubs to present some banner patches to clubs for their contributions to Alabama Lions Sight.

The University of Alabama had the annual A Day game on the 18th which meant that the church women sold hot dogs, chips, drink, and desserts at the church. We do this for all the home games. It is fun and a fairly good fund raiser. We have a lot of regular customers who have been coming for years.

April was National Volunteer Appreciation month. The hospital always does a nice luncheon for their auxiliary volunteers. For the past few years we have had it at Indian Hills Country Club. It's always a nice affair.

Buddy had a heart cath (which was good, clear coronary arteries) on April 22. He had been experiencing increased fatigue and shortness of breath along with a more irregular heart rate. His cardiologist did an echocardiogram and found that his prolapsed mitral valve was significantly worse and, after the heart cath, referred him to a cardiac surgeon.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

March Madness

I can't believe that March came and went so quickly. In addition to my normal activities, I made a trip to visit Mitzi and her family in Omaha and a weekend trip to Greenville, AL for a Lions Club meeting.



The primary reason for the trip to Omaha when I did (and risk SNOW) was to attend the musical production Of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" that was performed by the Papillion-LaVista Monarch Theater and Music Department. Christian was an understudy for the part of Benjamin (one of the brothers) and performed that role on the Thursday night that I arrived. He played the part of Jeb, one of the town boys, in the other performances. He really did a good job and he really enjoyed it. Another really good reason to go to Omaha was to see Alyssa and her adorable son, Logan. He is a very good natured baby and smiles all the time. I hope he keeps his wonderful disposition!



While I was in Omaha, I got to visit Mitzi's new office with the ALA. They have just recently moved to their new offices and were having an open house with lots of goodies. Mitzi made a fabulous hot wing dip and an artichoke/cheese spread that we ate for several days. It was strange being in Omaha without Lucy and Bob or Buddy and his family.

The Lions Club District Convention for 34 N was held in Greenville, AL, the end of the month. I went down on Friday and participated in the preliminary events which included a dinner and show. The weather was treatening but held off until after everything was over that night. It stormed all night and I got very little sleep. The meeting started Saturday with a fun walk to raise money for the camp for children with diabetes (which we had to do inside). The meeting was well attended in spite of the weather. By the time we finished, it was beautiful outside. Greenville is a typical old south town and there are a lot of historical buildings and gardens. I was ready to go home and didn't linger around to see any sites or take any pictures.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

RAIN AND SNOW IN ALABAMA


First it rained. On Friday (2/27/2009) it rained all day. We got 3+ inches during the day which caused the lake level to go up. When it finally stopped raining, the weather was balmy but we started hearing rumors of possible snow Saturday night. Anything is possible in Alabama!

Now for those of you who brave the snow all winter, this is no big thing. But when it snows in Alabama, everything comes to a halt. The stores are swamped with people buying milk, bread, and beer.

When Buddy and I got up this morning, the ground was pretty well covered with snow. It continued to snow all morning, sometimes quite hard. It finally quit snowing about 11:00 and the sun started peeking out. The temperature warmed up quickly so the snow started melting just as quickly. It was pretty while it lasted but it sure did leave the ground wet, wet, wet.

Here are a few pictures I took earlier this morning.


My neighbor's daffodils

Our mail box

Our house from the road

Just wanted to share our short-lived excitement.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's My Birthday!!!


O.K. It's official. I am a senior citizen and on Medicare (actually it started the first of the month). I am really quite proud of the fact that I have reached this age and still feel good (well, most of the time) and am generally healthy. In fact, I went to the doctor (gyn)yesterday and plan to see my medical doctor soon. I have no special plans for the day, not even volunteering.

The weather today is chilly and it even sleeted this morning. It's the closest thing we've had to snow this year and I am really thankful for that.

I want to tell all my family how much I love them. It's so good to know that we are all there for each other, something that is not true for all families.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

About Me

It is Sunday afternoon and I am sitting in front of the TV watching the Daytona 500. Yes, I do watch NASCAR even though I am not as avid a fan as some of my family members. I don't have a favorite driver nor can I quote any of the statistics but when you live in "The Heart of Dixie" it's hard to escape this sport. I won't bore you with any family history at this time but I would like to try to describe myself as I view myself.

I am a woman of faith who loves her family. I am educated even though I remember very little about what I learned from books, but I have learned a lot about people and life that I try to put into good use. I am a social person and love to be with my family and friends, but I don't like being with people who are fake. I am stongly opinionated and will share my opinions when appropriate, but I am willing to listen to the thoughts and opinions of others and I might even change my viewpoint if presented with honest, valid information. I have a tendency toward being obsessive-compulsive, but I have relaxed about a lot of things as I have gotten older. I am fairly organized, but I am still quite flexible. I am enjoying being retired although I am still quite busy doing things for my church, the Lions Club, and the hospital where I worked for many years. The very best part of being retired is that I am available to my children to take care of the grandchildren during times of illness or if they need to be away for some reason. I love to travel, especially to visit my family, and to see places that I have always wanted to see. I haven't made my dream trip yet, Australia, but I have been to Alaska once and will be going back (via water this time) this summer. I am an avid reader and read a little of everything. My favorite reading is detective/mystery novels. I like to sing with a group but not solo. I hate doing housework but can't stand a messy, disorganized house so I organize my clutter. I have strong leadership abilities but wish that sometimes someone else would take charge. I am a good helper! I spend a lot of time on the computer but still consider myself to be computer illiterate. I am a fair, considerate person and would never intentionally hurt someone in my words or actions. I am physically (and mentally, I hope) healthy other than the things that happen to everyone as they age. I hate cold weather because it makes my "bones hurt" (even though bones don't have nerve endings). All in all, I consider myself to be a nice person.