Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Carnival

I just love going to the Fall and Spring Carnivals and watching all the faces, eating someone else's funnel cake, and wishing I was young enough to still WANT to ride all those twirling monsters!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Can You Jump Rope?

I've spent many an hour jumping rope in my day. I've skipped to Cinderella dressed in yellow - more times than I can count. But never, NEVER EVER could I jump like these girls...... Amazing! (please be patient... it is slow to load... but I think it'll be worth your time)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back to Back BAD Weather

Tornado on Friday afternoon- major damage in area.

On Sunday night a major wind storm caused extreme property damage over a large area of North Alabama. It has been explained as a 'gravity wave' wind......

And neither of these photos does justice to the true amount of damage!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter 2009

Easter 2009! Our oldest daughter and her husband joined the church today. Their oldest daughter was Christened here about five years ago and today their four year old son and one year old daughter were Christened.

I've included a photo of the Christening gown. My first cousin Martha Pullen ( had the gown made for our youngest Molly, sixteen years ago. The oldest granddaughter wore it and today the baby.

We will put it back in storage for the next baby to come along.

I can tell you that is one more hard to iron dress. It took me about 1.5 hrs to iron it. I counted last night and including the lace on the sleeves and neckline.... there are 31 ROWS of lace.
There are three rows of 3-pin tucks and two rows of 5-pin tucks.

We also have water that was brought back for us from the River Jordon that is used for the Christening

Friday, March 20, 2009

Great Spring Break 2009

I have found my new vacation spot ---- Fort Morgan Beach! It was wonderful... like the beach use to be!!!! Laid back, quiet, beautiful!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Month of March Travels!

Beach Bound-
ALL the KIDS and I will be heading to the beach for Spring Break! We are lucky enough to have the use of this beach house for the week for just the cleanup and linens fees!

We will leave here on a Saturday around noon and return the following Friday.

Supper Club
Then Steve and I will host our Supper Club on Saturday night at the cabin.

Nashville Bound -
Then I'm probably off again. I may have to attend a conference for/with a friend in Nashville from Sunday - Thursday as a stand in grant writer.

Then I'm already scheduled to be in Nashville from Thursday night through Sunday for a PETS (Rotary's President Elect Training Sessions) conference.

Looks like I'm going to have to buy some of that hand-washing laundry detergent!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


On March 21st, we will be Co-Host for our supper club. Supper Club is 17 couples (not all will attned). This event will be at our CABIN....

I need a special MENU. Host and CoHost will provide the main dish - meat ... with the other couples being assigned to bring the 'fixins' for the main couse, appetizers, bread, and dessert.

What should we fix? Should we have :

Oddles of Noodles with all the sauces
Over roasted Flank steak
Basic Spring time Ham

Come on... I need help... if each of you would offer at least one suggestion menu that would REALLY help me out!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Well... If you call that snow..............

Just a slight (and I do mean slight) dusting....

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow......

Doesn't seem like North Alabama ever gets snow at the times you would think you would... But the are now predicting from 1 - 4 inches for the first day of March.

Go figure...............

Friday, February 6, 2009

Have you cut back?

With the economy on the down swing, have you made any cuts to your budget?

Some of us have! It almost been almost a week since we have been 'out to eat'. This is a major deal for us. When our youngest was a toddler, she one time found her coat and while trying to put it on, she said "Bite Bite"! Meaning it was time to eat and we needed to head to the car.

Now I think I'm as good a cook as the next, but heck this shopping, cooking, and cleaning up is getting OLD.

I plan on cooking chicken tomorrow night and with that done..... it will officially be one full week WITHOUT the family eating out! I know that it has eased the strain on one wallet and bitten into another.....! lol....


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Question to Make a Monkey of You

As most of you know.... I work with people trying to help them get from where the are today to where they want/need to be tomorrow. The title of this story caught my eye and I will save to use with when we do our "Mock Interviews"..

Hope each of you is having a GREAT Day---- and if you live anywhere that is as cold as it is here this morning--- I hope you are staying warm!

Now the story from the Wall Street Journal by Joann S. Lublin....

A Question to Make a Monkey of You

Worldwide Panel LLC, a small market-research firm, is getting flooded with résumés for four vacancies in sales and information technology.

However, officials expect to reject numerous applicants after asking them: "What is your greatest weakness?" Candidates often respond "with something that is not a weakness," say Christopher Morrow, senior vice president of the Calabasas, Calif., concern. "It is a deal breaker."

[Managing Your Career] Robin Eley

The weakness question represents the most common and most stressful one posed during interviews. Yet in today's weak job market, the wrong answer weakens your chances of winning employment.

Some people offer replies they mistakenly assume that bosses love, such as "I am a perfectionist." That response "will be used against you" because you appear incapable of delegating, warns Joshua Ehrlich, dean of a master's program in executive coaching sponsored by BeamPines Inc., a New York coaching firm and Middlesex University in London.

A careful game plan could help you cope with the shortcoming query in a way that highlights your fit for a desired position. Job seekers who field the question well demonstrate that they can "take initiative and improve themselves," Mr. Morrow says.

The key? Thorough preparation. Career specialists suggest you take stock of your weaknesses, focusing on job-related ones that won't impede your ability to perform your duties. Tony Santora, an executive vice president for Right Management, a major outplacement firm in Philadelphia, says an information-technology manager flubbed a 2007 interview by choosing a personal foible as his reply: "My true weakness is that I am a terrible cook."

Rehearse your responses aloud, role play with a friend or videotape yourself -- but don't memorize your words. As you review the video, look for aspects "you would like to change so you can continue to get better as you practice," says Peggy Klaus, a leadership coach in Berkeley, Calif.

The IT manager changed his tune after practice sessions with fellow job seekers and a counselor in Cincinnati for Right Management. He instead said he worked such long hours that he found it difficult to stay current with world events. So, he spent 30 minutes every evening catching up at home.

When the manager pursued an opportunity at a global drug maker, his revamped response "really resonated with the interviewer," says Mr. Santora. The manufacturer hired the man.

It's equally important that you consider an employer's corporate culture. While being interviewed by a start-up, "you could say, 'My weakness is I get bored by routine,'" says Ben Dattner, a New York industrial psychologist.

Last month, an aspiring executive director of a nonprofit group in suburban San Francisco nearly jeopardized his selection because his reply to a variation of the weakness question ignored one of its core values, according to Ms. Klaus, a board member there. Near the end of his interview, she wondered whether he might have problems with any aspects of the job. "No, I am confident I could do it all," the prospect declared.

Weakness Warnings

A sample of wrong answers to the most common interview questions:

"I have no weaknesses"

"I am a workaholic"

"I can't seem to meet tight deadlines"

"I am impatient with incompetent people"

"I lack judgment when I'm under stress"

"I sometimes make mistakes with my work"

"I'm detail oriented"

"I like to drink now and then"

"I can't tolerate trite interview questions like this one"

Source: WSJ reporting

His flip comment dismayed Ms. Klaus, because she felt he lacked awareness of his weaknesses. She says his response raised doubts among board members that "he would be able to take critical feedback," an attribute the organization values highly.

Because the man was well-qualified, the board gave him a second interview -- and demanded a fuller explanation of his weak spots. He said he had been "unprepared for that question and nervous about coming out with a big fatal flaw," then described his tendency to make decisions too fast during workplace crises. Board members' doubts disappeared, and they picked him for the nonprofit's top job.

Ideally, your reply also should exclude the word "weakness" and cover your corrective steps. Dubbing your greatest fault a "window of opportunity" signals your improvement efforts should benefit the workplace, says Oscar Adler, a retired Maidenform Brands sales executive and author of the book, "Sell Yourself in Any Interview." For instance, he suggests, a salesman might note that he sold more after strengthening his facility with numbers.

When an interviewer pops this nerve-wracking query, your body language counts as well. The wrong nonverbal cues undercut your credibility. Certain candidates hunch over, glance furtively around the room or wring their sweaty palms. "They sort of look like they're being asked a question they can't handle," says Mr. Adler.

Maintaining eye contact, regular breathing and a broad smile impress employers that "you're prepared for the weakness question," says psychotherapist Pat Pearson, author of "Stop Self-Sabotage!"

For the same reason, you seem thoughtful if you pause before responding. But don't wait too long. "If you're going to take a minute," Mr. Morrow cautions, "I've just identified your weakness."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Drive to Go From the Factory to the Classroom

Pamela Becker spent 13 years assembling Buick Skylarks, all the while studying part-time for two degrees as she looked for a way off the General Motors factory floor. Now, 29 years after starting her studies -- and at the height of the crisis in the auto industry -- Ms. Becker is a college instructor helping displaced Michigan auto workers reinvent themselves.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Six MORE!!! ughhhhhhhhhhh

Greetings from Punxsutawney

That silly Ground Hog said he saw his shadow..... even though it was very overcast. I'm wondering if it could have been from bright shine of the Steelers Victory?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good Grades............

Just a quick note that BOTH my girls are making the best grades they have in a long time!

G.... is making all A's on all her college classes!
M.... had the best progress report since 4th grade (she is now is 10th)

Answers to prayers are beginning to arrive!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank You!!!!!!

Little Progress on Adult Literacy

One in seven adults lacks the literacy skills required to read anything more complex than a children's book, a staggering statistic that has not improved in more than 10 years, according to a federal study released last week.

The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy surveyed more than 18,500 Americans ages 16 and older and found about 14 percent could not read, could not understand text written in English, or could comprehend only basic, simple text. This study's predecessor, 1992's National Adult Literacy Survey, also found that about 14 percent of the 24,000 adults interviewed lacked moderate or advanced literacy skills. Because the overall population of the United States has grown by about 23 million adults, the number of adults with low literacy skills has grown by 3.6 million since 1992. (more...)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ohio Funeral.....

Well, I made my trip to Ohio and made it home in one piece. This was not a trip I had wanted to take or even planned on. But when a family member passes away.... you get in the car and go.

My Aunt Pat passed away on Sunday night in her hometown in Ohio. She was my Mother's middle brother's wife and was well into her 80's. But still it was somewhat unexpected.

I am very glad that I made the trip! I was able to connect with family members that I had not seen in a very long time. I met the children and grandchildren of my cousin and realized we have a lot more in common than I thought. It was funny to realize that we all have some of the same traits even though we have never REALLY been around each other. (ie... After cooking a big meal my cousin didn't have a place at the table. When I was trying to rectify the situation... her daughter said "Don't worry... when Mother cooks she never eats".... Hey I thought that was just me!

The private internment and the Episcopal service were both very nice. Being from the South, it takes a little getting use to to realize how different funeral/burial traditions are in different regions of the country.

I also got to see my share of SNOW. Around here everything completely shuts down when there is an inch or less..... but there.. the world was moving at a regular pace with over a foot of snow on the ground. It snowed an additional 2 inches the first night I was there but they seemed to think nothing about it. ALL the roads (except in the cemetery) are plowed before anyone gets up!

Thanks for all the condolences and safe travel prayers!

Monday, January 19, 2009

On my way to Ohio.....

I know that it will probably be a while before anyone checks in and sees this post... but wanted to post this picture...

I left the deep south a little worried about what the weather would be in Ohio... but I ran into snow less than an hour from the house! Crossing Monteagle was a little interesting but not bad. I hear there is snow on the ground in Akron but the roads are ok!.........

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I ordered a new Gadget!!!!

Actually I ordered two of them.... One for my oldest to use in her college classes.... and one for my youngest to use in her high school sophomore classes! Yes I wanted one for me but I really don't have any REAL use for one. Maybe they will let me play with theirs or borrow it if I go to a conference.

The Livescribe Pulse smartpen places a computer inside a writing stylus to deliver a pen and voice recorder that remembers everything it writes and syncs it all with your PC.

There is a tiny scanner in the tip of the pen that picks up invisible dots in the special paper to keep a timeline of where the pen comes into contact with the paper. The pen can have its voice recorder activated, so it records audio while the notes are taken and afterwards, simply by touching the pen to any point in the notes, you can play back what was being said at the time.

If this sounds amazing, it is and it works. A journalist colleague swears by the smartpen now. Livescribe sells notebooks of the special Dot Paper, and users can even print out their own Dot Paper using a 600 dpi or greater printer.

Here's a video to help explain (it's a bit cheesy but it is aimed at students).

The pen is designed to make note-taking - for journos and for students - really easy. What's more, the pen uses handwriting recognition to solve maths questions and translate words. No, I am not making that bit up.

The notes can all be downloaded onto your computer using the Livescribe Desktop. The system is Windows compatible and there is a public beta to download for Mac users. A starter pack of the pen, the software, some of the special notebooks and other bits of kits costs around $149 for the 1gb and $199 for the 2gb. The Livescribe website is here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

No one wants to talk education.... How about food?

The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating

beets cabbage
Maybe you should be eating more beets, left, or chopped cabbage. (Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times, left

Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden has created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t. But some of his favorites, like purslane, guava and goji berries, aren’t always available at regular grocery stores. I asked Dr. Bowden, author of “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” to update his list with some favorite foods that are easy to find but don’t always find their way into our shopping carts. Here’s his advice.

  1. Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.
    How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power.
  2. Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
    How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.
  3. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.
    How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.
  4. Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol.
    How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.
  5. Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants.
    How to eat: Just drink it.
  6. Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants.
    How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked.
  7. Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death.
    How to eat: Roasted as a snack, or sprinkled on salad.
  8. Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them “health food in a can.” They are high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins.
    How to eat: Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, on toast, or mashed with dijon mustard and onions as a spread.
  9. Turmeric: The “superstar of spices,” it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
    How to eat: Mix with scrambled eggs or in any vegetable dish.
  10. Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don’t spoil; associated with better memory in animal studies.
    How to eat: Blended with yogurt or chocolate soy milk and sprinkled with crushed almonds.
  11. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories.
    How to eat: Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.
I know everyone is disappointed that the beloved 'lizard' appetizer didn't make the list! But I'm sure you eat SOMETHING on here. So... what do you eat of these and do you have any recipe suggestions?

Schools tap '21st-century skills'

To prepare students for a fast-changing future, teachers are reaching beyond the R's.
By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo
For decades, the emphasis in public education has been on making sure that students can read, write, and do math. But can they apply those skills in a real-world scenario, such as designing a bridge? Can they identify what information they need and use digital tools to find it? (read more.....)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wake up call..........

My phone rings this morning at just about the same as my alarm clock. Oh no.... what's wrong with who- (is my thought). Those very early morning calls usually mean that someone at work is sick and won't be coming to work. OR someone you know has died during the night.

I couldn't get to the phone in time to answer it and I did not recognize the number. So when I got my eyes completely open and on my feet- I returned the called.

CALLER- *Hello
ME *Hello- I recieved a call from this number this morning.
CALLER *Oh I'm so sorry! I have a new phone and I put it in my pocket and realized I accidentally hit a button.
ME*- Oh that's ok.
CALLER- *Ann- What'sNext this is Lemonette...
ME - omgoodness Lemonette... You sure are up early.
CALLER - yep- just on my way to work....

So if anyone needs an early morning wake up call.... I can give you Lemonette's number.

To those that don't know - Lemonette is a Youtube person.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rains and flooding......

Today we have had more than our share of rains in this area. There are roads underwater, roofs leaking, and basements flooded everywhere. And they have even delayed schools 2 hours tomorrow due to water over roads.

I spent a good part of the afternoon on a ladder with my head in the ceiling at our office trying to pinpoint the source of our leaks. We now have 5 buckets in the ceiling catching drips from several different directions. Hopefully they won't overflow before morning.

I checked our basement a little while ago and found one very tiny leak where water is seeping through/under the blocks! Hopefully our walls and Mother Country's walls will continue to hold! Please say a prayer!!! Cuz I have no desire to start sweeping water!!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fun afternoon!

I had a great time this afternoon watching children play on this playground. It was shirt sleeve warm even though it was very cloudy. There is nothing like watching and listening to small children squealing with delight as they whirl around and round on the merry-go-round, or swinging high and trying to touch the sky, or zooming down the slippery slide!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day GOOD LUCK Food by Mother Country!

I hope you were able to have all the Good Luck Food for New Year's Day!

We were lucky enough to have ALL the Good Luck food (plus some) with Mother Country tonight. And EVERYONE had at least a tiny bite of all the 'important' foods. We should be in good shape for 2009!
Sliced Tomatoes
Cooked Cabbage
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Cooked Onions
Hog Jowl
Pot Roast
Black-eye Peas
Turnips Greens
Fried Corn
(not shown)
Pecan Pie
Buttermilk Pie

New Year's Eve 2008

January 1, 2009

animated graphics

Happy New Year's to everyone! It's Going to be a Good Year! It's Going to be a Good Year! It's Going to be a Good Year! Yea!

Well we survived the big Gala. It actually was a lot of fun and I think we actually may have made some money. We had lots of people that called the last day and probably had more people this year than last! The auction items went good and every one had a good time.

The Band was very good.... and yes Sue - Blondie keep his clothes on. The dance floor was full pretty much from 10:30 till midnight. But they did not have that HUGE following that I was worried about but a good crowd. I'll post pictures a little later.