New Blog – New Theme Day

In my quest for just the right theme for my dear-to-me-yet-mostly-neglected blog in the last year or two, I am changing the theme (background and set-up of the page) about as often as I post a blog.  I want something clear and easy-to-read.

This one looks promising.

IMG_8489

I WILL find the perfect theme!

It’s bright; it states the name and purpose of the blog well at the top; I kind of like the apron signature on the top left with my mission statement and AAA, etc., at the top so anyone curious can click on them to find out a little more about me.

I haven’t changed much or any since I started blogging, so no need to update.  Maybe I’ll swing by there to make sure.  Maybe I should put an updated photo, but I haven’t changed too much there either:  a few more wrinkles perhaps, a few extra pounds that will be gone by spring or sooner.

summer in a nutshell

               OOPS!  NOT ME!  MY DAUGHTER!             But isn’t she beautiful?

Keep going all the way to the bottom, and it very precisely and easily lets you leave a message–

I LOVE MESSAGES! 

— as well as gives you other sites to visit, “Tasty Tidbits,” or topics from which to choose to read, “Whet Your Appetite,” or how to subscribe to my blog.  Free.  You can subscribe to something for FREE!  Now isn’t that an incentive?cropped-cropped-blogger-bren-20111.jpg

 

 

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On Being Me

cropped-cropped-blogger-bren-20111.jpgSoooooo I haven’t blogged in awhile.  That doesn’t mean I don’t want to or I don’t have ideas flying around my brain in the middle of the night (when I really don’t want to get up and get on the computer because I would really like to sleep).

Soooooo I have chosen to change the theme of the blog periodically until I decide if I am going to keep blogging (more than sporadically) or chuck the whole project that I started those years ago.  Annnnndddd, since I can never make up my mind about almost everything, I need your help, you faithful few.  Check on me every now and then and tell me which theme you like best.

This one is One Strange Town (or something like that).  I really liked it for a few minutes.  Now, I’m not so sure.

Old Gringo Women's Sora boot

Old Gringo Women’s Sora boot

The winner will receive an awesome prize.  A prize worthy of Blogville.  A prize-almost-not-quite-sort-of-like the prizes my favorite blogger Pioneer Woman gives away.  She gives away the neatest stuff.  Do you know she has a line of dishes at Walmart?!!  And it is so cool.

She blogs about her dog a lot.  And her cows.  She even has a basset something-or-other in the dishwear.  Is dishwear a word?  It pops up with a red underline.

I need a dog… or some cows… I want to market my dishwear or underwear or whateverwear at Target.

My goal is to look around here and see what I have of interest to blog about (according to my college English classes that should really be “of which to blog”) (at least I think that’s what they taught me – it’s been a long time since I was in college).

My garage!!!  I have so very much stuff in there with BIG personality.

I’m going to go check it out!

Little Will and the Clan

Momma and newborn Will

Momma and newborn Will

Just because I think he’ll have to be a wrangler to handle those wild animals that this little guy has been adopted into, I got him a pair of baby cowboy boots and a bandanna bib.  He was only 5 pounds and some ounces when he joined us, but I’m expecting the little guy to grow… and grow fast.

He was graced with some mighty tall and fine looking parents.  Good parents that just couldn’t quite take care of him, so they searched and searched and found just the right set of parents they wanted their little boy to know as his very own.  And this set of parents came with a herd of youngins that would love him and cuddle him and play with him, and, I would suspect, even someday fight with him.  A family.  A good family who had prayed for just the right son to bring into their fold.

cousins

cousins

One of these days, sooner than we like, he will be sitting on the couch with the Illinois cousins and his two sisters and big brother. But for right now he’s very content to be snuggled by whoever wants to grab hold and snuggle.

snuggling

snuggling

one happy Daddy

one happy Daddy

Our little guy is just that right now:  little!!  We have been used to his big sister who also comes from tall genes and looks four instead of barely two.  And she has been used to the limelight and the attention, so when Mawmaw asked her if she wanted little Will, her answer was a firm “No!”

just fine without a baby smaller than me, thank you very much!!

just fine without a baby smaller than me, thank you very much!!

The three-turned-four-child household will be going through a lot of changes this year.  A big part of those changes is from our little Will joining the clan.

What a great change!!

such a cutie!

such a cutie!

 

 

The Hogbottoms Have Turned Into Wild Boars

The usually meek and mild, sweet and sugar, grown-up Hogbottoms have shelved their mellow ways for the fast-paced, furious and frantic wild run made for the boars.  Yes.  You heard it right.  Wild boar run!

Hogbottoms on the run!

Hogbottoms on the run!

Our normal Hogbottom  activity is, well, something like this:

hogs at the trough

hogs at the trough

It all began with the elevator ride with a bunch of drunken beachgoers.  We had already gotten on the elevator, and if we had just pushed the floor button instead of standing there like a herd of dumb hogs, we would have missed the whole incident that has resulted in our boardom.

The door opened and the surprised group (after all there stood three women) began to enter.  The drunken surprised group I should say.  Three men of varying ages and one woman.  The older man was subdued; the next young man was only throwing out some bad French occasionally, but the gal who stepped all over Terah’s feet and the youngest guy were putting on a show.  Rubbing her cheek, the young man was speaking French to her as the woman laughed and spoke English, then some French.

Since none of us speak French, it could have been the song lyrics of Frere Jacques for all we know.  I do know they were not French.

The lady was speaking to the older man about his son, and the older man was apparently just trying to hang on to the wall.  So we have surmised all sorts of scenarios of the relationship between the lady who was much older than the amorous young man and the rest of the group of men.  I’m sure the truth would be much less interesting.

They are on our floor.

The young drunk very obnoxiously jerked and jerked on the outside security door instead of using a key until it came open.  Maybe they didn’t have one, but we were right there standing with them.  They could have asked us if we had a key.

No.  He proceeds to tear up the door so that now it is more difficult to get into.  We now usually have several tries before the key opens it.

This made the Hogbottoms slightly perturbed with the neighbors down the hall.  And their room just happens to be the door on the right as soon as we walk in that outside door.  And every once in a while Dar gets a little frisky.  So……

The first time it happened we were all surprised!  Scared the snot out of us.  Dar was in the middle of the group meandering back down the hallway to our room.  She put out her arm as we passed their door and knocked!

You have never seen those Hogbottoms move so fast!  We were bumping into butts and using elbows to push each other out of the way.  Lisa was looking back at the group (oh, yeah, she got the lead that night.)

That night?!!!!

It happens often now.  The running and laughing down the hall that is.  Since the first two or three knocks by Dar and Terah (if I name one I have to name them all), we are now trained to just take off running at the first whiff of a potential knock.  One Hogbottom smells the threat and begins to run; the rest of us take off too.  Butts and elbows and backward glances abound.

And the laughter.  The hilarity is more contagious than the running, and because we are laughing so hard, it’s all we can do  to get to our apartment and flatten ourselves against the wall and door to not be seen by the occupants of knocked door.

As I have thought on our knocking on the door of the drunken elevator riders, I have decided the joke is probably on us.  Not once have we heard the door open to see who knocked nor has anyone yelled out anything.  I imagine the only people we are bothering would be the poor souls on the floor below us who have heard the wild boars running.

My Sunday Thing: Praising God at the First African Baptist Church in Savannah

the sanctuary

the sanctuary

This photo is from the web site of the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia.  It is taken from the pulpit looking back toward the door that goes outside, the door we came into Sunday morning to spend in worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

It was awesome!

The HHHs are back.  The Hogbottoms are on our annual trip to Hilton Head (thus the Hilton Head Hogbottoms).  It’s only been two days and true to our name we have bellied up to the trough at several wonderful restaurants and ate like the hogs little piggies we are when we come to this lovely island.

Today after our fantastic time in worship with all the others at church, we strolled along Bay Street looking for a place for lunch.  We settled on Your Pie, a great pizza place.  Just a little spot on the corner a couple of blocks from Montgomery Street where the First African Baptist Church is located.  Great crust, great toppings!  Of course, it only took a few hours till we were starving again.  This time is was the Crazy Crab on the island.  YET another good choice!  Cheesy grits, crab cakes with chipotle sauce, grilled shrimp, parmesan crusted grouper.  These people know how to cook!

But the highlight of the day was the worship service of the morning.  The coming together to give God our time, our thoughts, our offerings, our love.  As the song says that we sang this morning, “Forget about yourself.  And worship Him.”  I wish I could have had a video of the congregation singing that song because it was powerful.  If you haven’t heard it, take the time to listen to it.  Just click here.

The offering was made important:  blessing God, giving with joy and fellowship with Him and each other.  We took our tithes and our offerings one at a time down to the front and dropped it in two buckets.  Coming in a line, one after another, adults came with sealed envelopes, young ones came flapping their dollar bills.  The Hogbottoms came with folded money and our visitor card.  Dropped in to mingle with all the other joy from giving.  The whole time the choir and congregation singing I Will Bless The Lord At All Times.

It’s a song by Joe Pace with these lyrics:

I will bless the Lord at all times, He’s good

I will bless the Lord at all times, He’s good
I will bless the Lord at all times, He’s good
I will bless the Lord at all times, He’s good

He’s good, so good, real good
Each and every day of my life
I’ll bless the Lord for He’s good

Yes.  I’ll bless the Lord.  At Hilton Head.  At Savannah.  At home.
He’s good.  Real good.

And worthy of my Sunday morning.

The Day of the Mysterectomy

For a month I hadn’t slept well (actually it was probably years) which meant I was extremely tired which meant I was rather anticipating that “getting-put-under” moment.  Sleeeeeeeeep.  It was worth going under the knife.

And, of course, I trusted Dr. Garwin.

So I got all gussied up in my hospital gown, hopped into bed, and laid bare my arm for the I.V.  It wasn’t long till I was feeling loose and relaxed, so I inquired of the little nurse if they had put something in the I.V. to relax me.  She just looked at me a little odd and said, “No.”  So I guess it was just the lying down… or the finally “getting-er-done”… or the I-just-can’t-imagine.  Whatever happened during the pre-surgery moments caused me to be so relaxed that I was downright silly.

It wasn’t long till I noticed my pastor and his wife walking down the hall.  I leaned way over the bed so they could see me and yelled, “Hey, you guys, come on in.”  This wasn’t a private room.  It was a long room with lots of beds with people in those beds awaiting various procedures or surgeries.  Jack and Millie had a bit of a surprised look on their faces as they came to the bed.  Maybe I’m not that friendly on a regular basis.  I know I hadn’t been that happy for quite a long time.

It was time to go; the big moment had arrived.  I was wheeled into the after-pre-surgery-pre-surgery room.  This was the room between the super relaxed room and surgery.  The room where they made sure you didn’t remember anything of what was to come.

I liked this room.  I really liked this room.

Sandy, Doc’s great nurse, had arranged with me for her husband who was in nursing school to come in and observe the surgery… as long as he brought me a shake later.  So all the players were there:  Doc, Sandy’s husband (I still don’t know his name), and all the other people who poke, prod, cut, sew, suction, etcetera.

We were shower capped and ready to roll.  I was in relaxation haven.

this soooooooo hurts

this soooooooo hurts

Until the next day.  The day I clicked the little button in my hand hoping it would just keep pumping that pain-relieving medicine into my bloodstream.  I had no idea that day those masochists set it on a timer.

At some point during the day Doc came in to check on me.  She stopped right inside the doorway with this huge grin all over her face.

“What?”

“You don’t remember anything about yesterday, do you?”

“No. What’s so funny?”

“I told them you weren’t going to remember any of that.”

“Any of what?”

“Oh, you were saying all kinds of things.”

“I was?  What was I saying?”

“Wow, this is great stuff!  What is this, man?  I love this stuff.”

I know it sounds like I am an old hippie.  I know how it sounds.

Doc goes on to tell me how they all really enjoyed the show I was putting on; I must be a happy drunk, so to speak.

Last but not least was Sandy’s sweet husband who brought me a shake, a chocolate shake.  Who also enjoyed the show:  the cutting, poking, prodding part and especially the “I love this stuff” part.

It’s still all a big mystery to me though, and truthfully,  I don’t want to know how it’s done, what happens in the surgery room, none of it.  I’m happy with the mystery… especially the mystery of that forget-forever-pre-surgery shot.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be…

… a quilter.

Those handmade quilts with the beautiful designs in them are awesome pieces of artwork.  I have some that are probably 100 years old.  And I love them!

Which is why I want to quilt.  Which is why I want to be just like these ladies.

hard at quilting

a quilt like mine

… a horticulturist.

When I become a horticulturist, I will know every plant by its Latin name.

cannabis sativa or cannabis indica

cannabis sativa or cannabis indica

See?  I have already learned there is a difference in the cannabis plant.

I can't even say it's name!!

I can’t even say it’s name!!

EEEEEEEEEK!!!  How did that thing get in this blog?  Am I going to have to deal with those to be a horticulturist?

The real story of my horticulture endeavor shall be growing plants that will have color names because I can’t even remember the common name for them; thus, I will have blues and yellows in my gardens.  Perhaps chartreuse or salmon or — well, the list is rather lengthy.  

my kind of plants

my kind of plant

… a traveler!

traveling down life's highway

traveling down life’s highway

From east to west in our little home on wheels (when we get it) we shall travel the country, meeting people and making friends, seeing all the sights, living in warm weather when it’s freezing-your-butt-off temperatures at home.

The plan is to have a little more horsepower than this RV with perhaps an added amenity or two or three.  Plusher pleasure is my goal.

 

… an actor at Universal!

Darla at Universal

Darla at Universal

Yes.  This is the plan for my sis and I.  We are going to drag our husbands down to Florida in the winter months so that she and I can work at Universal.

We can’t wait to see you all there!

… a sleeper.

(Yawn.)  A goal that’s been a lifelong goal is to sleep at night.  To just go to bed, lay  my head on the pillow, and start snoring.  I’ve seen people do this, and I’ve heard it’s quite common; however, my dear father passed the no-sleeping gene down to me. (Thanks, Dad.)

But while I wait to grow into that, I’m going to count all the things I have grown up to do so far.  Sort of like counting sheep.

garden… scrapbook… play piano…….. (yawn)……. bake… cook………(yawn)………….paint/maintain pools…..wire houses…………(yawn)(yawn)….nap in the car…………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Soothing the Soul with Seeds

THE FINISHED PROJECT

The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse

It’s not too big; just right.  It’s not fancy; a hodgepodge of containers and lids-with-no-Soothing the Soulhome to catch water.  I’m not a seasoned greenhouser, horticulturist, grower-of-good-stuff.  But, it’s already sprouting something.  I’m not sure if it’s a tomato plant or a sunflower seed from the dirt I used to sprout the tomato plants.  All I know is the little plant is coming up in the tomato lid.

I  dragged out all my seeds; it didn’t matter how old they were.  Some were in packages from the store; others were in containers; the seeds I had saved from plants in my yard… or someone else’s yard.  I guess I’ll know what they are when they turn into mature plants.  It’s the growing I care about.  Watching the seeds turn into something to nurture.

seeds are all planted… some I have no clue what they are.

seeds are all planted… some I have no clue what they are.

As you can see, my little greenhouse is as haphazard as I am.  The seeds that were in marked packages, got marked as that.  The others are just those surprise plants.  I’m so excited to find out what they are!

Soothing the SoulSince the greenhouse sits on the site of the sunflower house, there are already sunflowers poking their little heads up through the lime and rock, asking “What’s going on here?”

Soothing the SoulThere are other plants coming back to life after their winter siesta: peonies, sunflowers, sage, coreopsis, lilac, honeysuckle, ivy, bulbs of many varieties, lamb’s ear, baby’s breath, butterfly bush, roses.  Just to name a few.  The summer plants that have been waiting patiently in the garage for the spring rains are partying it up in the sunlight and April showers.  Or downpours as is the case right now.  Over six inches in 24 hours.

The rest of the oasis — my backyard — is a mess.  A big pond of muddy water sits where we had to dig up the sewer line, still waiting for the extra dirt it needs after settling.  The fence is down for the backhoe.  The deck is a mess of “stuff” for summer fun that needs cleaned and set to rights.  The pool is covered with the plastic that is covered with rain water, awaiting the right temperature for the uncovering.  Right now it’s just getting rain water pumped off.

But I know in a month, after a lot of hard work, our backyard will once again be that beautiful place of peace and tranquility.  Better (almost) than going to the beach.