Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nourishment of the heart and soul

What a great day Miss Craig had today...Doctor Henry came in today to say that her heart rhythm's were looking great and that she hadn't had a fever in almost 24 hours, so he said that she could go home today or tomorrow...her children wanted her to stay at least until Monday, so we think she'll most likely come home tomorrow. As a treat to her close friends and loved ones, her children have "given her permission" for her to come to our home versus going to a rehab, and I think she'll do just great! What a treat this is for those of us who have usually been on the receiving end of her sweet love...e'hem...custard, anyone?!?

Yes, I'm confident and trusting that she'll do really well in making a full recovery to her usual busy self! And if I do say so myself, I come from a rich heritage of ladies that can make a mean pallet on the divan (must be said with all of southern accents) as Alal always called it. She's already looking sooo much better! I've got the house ready, menus planned, a fire in the fire place, and she's sure to have plenty of rest and recovery...although I've teased her about having quite a bit of laundry to fold in her awake hours! [;)] Seriously, I'm just kidding!

Back to her day today, I have to say that the hospital does have a problem or two here and there (what hospital doesn't?), but to hear scripture and prayer over the PA system really struck a tender nerve with priceless is that?!? And this afternoon, it was so wonderful to see those, dressed in their church clothes, coming to visit their loved ones...and then the pastors that also came to minister to the weak. I just really enjoyed observing the nourishment that so many of the patients received both in heart and soul. Yes, it was an unusual Lord's day, but a blessed one at that!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

National News Alert - Craig turns down trip to Walgreens!

National News Alert - Craig turns down trip to Walgreens!

On Friday ( was just on Wednesday...I'm so tired, I don't know what today is), as I was finishing up a newsletter that I'd been working on here and there, I kept getting odd phone calls from a sweet friend...and I offered to run her down to Walgreens and the grocery store with us...she turned it down! Then after getting a call from her daughter, we went over there to check on our sweet friend, and she really wasn't herself; she was extremely weak and dizzy. So after talking to Julie, a friend that's a cardiac nurse, we decided it would be best to go ahead and "go on to the hospital to get checked out."

Well, in true Miss Craig fashion, (I just have to paint this story, for it's hysterical!), she certainly didn't want to put anyone out by taking up any more of our time, but after we convinced her that it was the right thing to do, she said, "Well, what do you think I should wear?" We told her that she looked fine wearing what she was (it looked comfy to me!), and she said that she would be right back...she was going to change her clothes regardless. So Julie took our girls with her (a huge treat to them!), and after Ricci and I waited for Miss Craig for a minute or so, I went to check on her...and she had completely changed her clothes from head to toe!

She dressed as if she was going to a Christmas cantata...after just the right outfit was assembled, then we had to pick out just the right pin to put in her lapel, her favorite perfume, grab some new tic-tacs and then pick out the Fall-season Kleenex! Although I was really anxious to get her to the ER, it was hysterical and I couldn't help but laugh at her! She does remind me all too much of someone else!

I'm thankful that God was faithful in allowing us to get down there to the ER in our timely fashion (key word "fashion" not "timely"), for when we got there, they took her immediately in, for her heart rate was really high (an understatement)! After a really long afternoon/evening in the ER, they finally admitted her to the hospital, for her heart was still in fibrillation.

I will never/ever forget how immensely kind she was...even when they had so many failures getting two IVs started, she'd sweetly say, "I know; you're doing the best job that you can do." Then there was the common unenthusiastic but still cheerful, "Oh, happy day." She was continuously so kind, sweet and gentle to everyone, even though she wasn't feeling well at all. After 8 hours of staying in the ER, she was taken to another floor for a couple of hours before being admitted into her own room. Bless her heart, her kind, sweet, gentle, appreciative spirit never once left her; she is such an inspiration to all.

After Ricci saw that we were settled, he went on home to get a couple hours of sleep before retrieving the girls...who were enjoying their sweet digs...especially Annie, who came home with a gorgeous brown egg laying sweetly in a make-shift baby bed of hay and straw, and she excitedly told us that she also brought home some fresh goat's milk that she would feed to her baby chick once it hatched! Thanks, Jen and Julie!

This afternoon, her son Paul came to be with her, and I'm just now getting back home (I know that she'd do that for any of us in a heartbeat), and it was a real honor...but I'm exhausted! Ricci's mom graciously offered to move the family's Thanksgiving celebration to tomorrow (Friday), so we'll be driving down to be with them tomorrow...after a good night's sleep!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm too old for this!

If this month gets any crazier, I'm going to drive myself down to the nut farm...I know that they at least have clean sheets down there; right?!?

Trying to get back into the swing of things after this last little trip ('vacation detox' as Auburn calls it) has been for the birds! We all came back home pooped and flirting with colds...then just as I was trying to get back on top of laundry, homeschooling, etc. Annie walks through the room with her hair doin' something funky! Looking at her across the room with my early morning eyes' squinting at her, I asked her what was up with her hair. Upon further (and closer) investigation, I realized that it was gone! G-O-N-E! Reflecting back onto one thing that Nancy Wilson said down at the beach...."Remember to act, not re-act." So I calmly walked upstairs to find what was "gone" only to see that I couldn't find any remains, so I calmly asked her to come upstairs and show me where it was....she had hidden it. Uh....then...I re-acted! I fell apart, and it was a downward spiral from there! I knew that whatever occurred that morning would "make a memory" so I was being careful about what I said or did, but oh...I cried and cried and cried! (For those that know me really well, they know that I don't love change, and I don't love false teeth or hair...I know...I'm weird! So this really sent me over the edge in a horrible way!) And before you mention it to her, please don't...we went out and purchased quite a few new hats, so we're hoping that we can keep it respectfully quiet around her for a Charley optimistically pointed out, it's hat season after all! And she does look really good in hats!

So as I've tried to recover from that "episode," I've also struggled with a birthday that I didn't want to see come...or go...but who can stop time? And the elections....but we won't even go there...other than to say that some of us (me!) need to remember to vote once more in this election run-off! Urghh...I gotta remember that!

Knowing that I'd had a difficult week, sweet L said that we needed to get out and just enjoy some fresh air and laughter, so we got our fams settled and then hit the town (shopping, dinner, coffee and lots of great conversation, serious and hysterical)...just what I needed! We had such a great time that we didn't even pay attention to the time, and when we was already morning!

Knowing that I was supposed to meet another gal-pal at Barnes and Noble at 7AM for a book signing (who signs books at that hour?!?!?), L knew that I just couldn't do it if I drove back home to drive right back out there, so she and I quietly slipped into her house (closer to B&N) and crashed for an hour or two before sneaking back out to go catch up with Rebekah, our other nutty gal-pal, who got me psyched about meeting Glenn Beck! L didn't have much interest in Glenn Beck, but she went anyway to show her loyal friendship...and because she hoped in the slight chance that Martha Stewart might make a surprise appearance in being there signing some of her books! Sadly, she wasn't! But Glenn was!So after recuperating from that all-nighter that I'm feeling too old to be able to pull off anymore, I once more tried to get back to the land of the living. And after all, this is when life really speeds up! "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" (Hope you don't mind that great Christmas song stuck in your head as it is mine; I love it!) A little shopping for the day and some cooking for our traditional "friends' Thanksgiving" over at Kendall's (fun/fun...thanks, Kendall, Shell & Co.!), then we thoroughly enjoyed getting together that evening with our supper club for a little bday party for LarLar and myself (fun/fun...thanks, Leah and Cici!) Note to self: get more Woodchuck Amber Draft Cider for the next supper's soo good!

So the rest of the week has been filled with a little of this and that...homeschooling, laundry, housework (um...I think I dropped the ball on that one), shopping, cooking (that's the fun part!), finalizing this next month's newsletter for our homeschool group, etc.

We're all getting that great feeling of excitement with the chill in the air as well as the adrenaline rush of jumping into the shopping crowds as we prepare to celebrate our season of Thanksgiving and our Lord and Savior's birth! Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And we're off....

This time of year is just's's hectic, but it's amazing! Just some of the enjoyments of the season....the glowing colors of fall (and this year has proven to be more spectacular than anyone could have predicted!), the beautiful sound of the fall leaves' falling and blowing around (especially as little feet swish their way through them!), the incredible smell of the heat coming on for the first time (yes, I'm sure it's not good for you, but you will find all of us gals' hovering our heads over the vents to breathe it in with joy!), the excitement of seeing who is going to play the first Christmas commercial (will it be Cool-Whip or Hallmark?), the remarks of criticism that we hear and make regarding which store that plays Christmas music "too early" while we secretly hum along with it?!? November is always full of pleasures both great and small!
This November seemed to hit me without warning! I swear the other day I was thinking, "I wonder if we can get in one more trip to the pool?!?" Then Jen's birthday (November 1st!) was here...happy birthday to you again, sweet sis...I love you with all of my heart!
Trying to take advantage of the glorious weather, we invited the college students that attend our church over to our house for chili...our church parish group and friends helped host it...there were over 40 here, and although I fretted about our not having enough food, the weather, etc., it turned out great! There was more than enough food, and the weather could not have been more perfect!
And then that week we were off for a trip that I knew was off in the distance...not until the beginning of November! Well, before I could sit down and think about it, it was November! It was time to go and cast our votes...then go get our free Starbucks...then send the dog and fishie on their "vacation" and then begin packing our things while anxiously watching the electoral votes' accumulating. After doing all of that we put a few last minute clothing items for our trip in the wash and went to bed knowing that our great God is providential and knew all along that our nation's politics would be 'changing.'
The next morning, we awoke to find that perhaps we should have inspected all of the little pockets before washing our favorite clothing items....aghhh...there was ink all over our clothes! And we're not talking our 'stay-at-home clothes' but our 'go-clothes' as the girls call them! Some of our nicest 'go-clothes'!
Thankfully, some of our friends that were traveling with us as far as B'ham, reassured us that it couldn't be all that bad...until they saw them! But they whisked them away (no pun intended) ahead of us on our trip to B' Motown where they spent their first day of vacation in the capable hands of Mo, my new best friend! And we met up with the rest of our travel peeps and drove on to B'ham to visit the Birmingham Museum of Art where we visited the incredible DaVinci really was great! There are things that I just didn't know about DaVinci before that exhibit...for instance, he was left-handed and drew from the right to the left to avoid smudges, etc. He hid many drawings inside of other drawings or writings. He did many dissections (until the pope put a stop to it) just so that he could know the intricate details of how muscles/bones/etc. worked together. And there were several writings of his that could only be read by looking at it in a was fascinating to get to know him better!
After spending some time there, we drove on to the B'ham Zoo to catch up with Lars, Bubs and Nan. And K-ren even came to join us! It was a great afternoon to enjoy the zoo...I can only recall seeing one other couple there with a child, so we pretty much had the run of the zoo! And again...the fall leaves were amazing!
After a fun romp through the zoo, we went to have supper with K-ren (it was sooo good to see her!) before heading over to the hotel! There we met back up with Lars, Nan and Mo....who is a big-time-bad-time hero! She got almost everything out of our clothes...they were practically as good as new! I will never figure out how she did it! I've been told that Mo has this spiritual gift of laundry stain removal, and now I believe it! was a long but fun day!
The next morning we awoke early to have breakfast with K-ren before she headed on to work; then "we" repacked the car and headed on further south via Dothan, AL to have lunch with sweet Uncle Charles. We had a wonderful afternoon with him...albeit too short, for my cell phone kept ringing, and it was my nephew saying, "Ya Ya, are you here yet? Well, where are you and my cousins?" And prayers were answered...Uncle Charles set us up with lots of fresh pecans and peanuts, raw and boiled, a couple of jars of muscadine jelly... hmmm! The love we have for him and feel from him is immeasurable! He is so wonderful! And as the mayor of Graceville, he's quite a busy fella, so we had to let him go, and we once more hit the road.
The drive down to Sandestin for the conference didn't seem to take that long...we stopped for groceries and then drove on to the condo where Meems, P-Daddy, Jen and the kids were awaiting us. After "we" unpacked the car, we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed over to the conference center just in time to hear Steve Wilkins begin a session on "Friendship." The conference this year was especially great...Steve spoke on friendship while Doug Wilson spoke on the different rooms of the home. I'll be happy to share my notes with anyone...I want to re-listen to the sessions, and I can share the link to hear the audio recordings.
Later that evening Nate came in, so we all put the kids to bed before spending some time together...trying not to wake the parents, ours that is!
The next day we raced from here to there...not my favorite feeling, but that evening Cricket and Lovey were in a talent show...they sung Andrew Peterson's "Matthew's Begats" once more and tied for first place with our friend Brittany! Woohoo, girls! The only thing a little skeptical is that the prizes were awarded in $2 bills...something that only one man I know carries....hmmm...I still have to ask P-Daddy about that! When our family friend Andy interviewed them after they sang, Cricket leaned into the microphone and said, "We've even sang this on stage with Josh Groban!" And Lovey quickly corrected her..."You mean..Andrew Peterson!" It was too cute! I just least Cricket mistook AP for Josh Groban and not one of the other cd's in the car! (Not that there are bad ones....we just have a pretty well-rounded appreciation of music!)
The next day was rushed once more...too many things to see and do when at home! Jen, Nate, Eric and I threw (with help from Drue and MaryAnn! Thank you!) a little 40th Anniversary party together for Meems and P-Daddy...if they had known about it, they wouldn't have gone, but we were able to successfully pull it off! Woohoo!

Then a little shopping at the outlets (there's a sign when you enter the Beaches of South Walton that says that one must not visit the area without shopping at the outlets), so that's just what we did! Then we raced back to the condo to get everyone dressed for the ball! The entire trip was such a blurr that I didn't even slow down enough to take all of the photos that I should have, but here are a couple of cute photos from the evening!
Mimi made the granddaughters matching skirts...they are so beautiful! Thanks, Meems!

Cricket and her dance partner were dancing so well, but I could only catch her photo from the back!

Sarah kept trying to convince Mimi to swing her like YaYa...I made the mistake of twirling her through one too many Virginia reels...and that gal's getting too big to hold and twirl, but oh the twinkle in her eye made it so worth it! She loved it!
The girls ended up having a few fellas in line to dance with them...AngelWings did say that the "McPherson boys" were quite good dancers! I thought you'd get a kick out of that, Joyce! What a fun evening it was!

The next morning, I awoke before the sun came up, so I gently woke up Cricket, and she and I hurriedly ran down to the beach and sat quietly on a towel, wrapped in blankets, as we watched the sunrise. It is something that is there every, single day...and we don't even think twice about the glory that it is! What a special moment it was when we watched it so quickly rise up over the gulf waters and move so quickly away from the horizon! Thank you, dear Lord, for that special morning!

Then at church later that morning when we took communion, Cricket looked up at me and said, "That bread's not too bad!" Then after we 'partook' the wine, I have to say that Cricket had me about fall out of my chair with laughter when she looked up at me and said, "And the wine doesn't taste too bad either!"

That afternoon and evening....I loved sooo very much! We had such a relaxing Sunday dinner...relaxing all but for the face and stomach muscles that ached from laughing so hard at Mom's telling us every detail that she could remember about a family from her childhood that had a chest full of confederate money. She had us all rolling! Then the afternoon consisted of peaceful rest and then a mad dash back to the beach to watch the evening sunset.

Then we returned to the condo for a yummy dinner (if I do say so myself...Mom, Jen and I all took turns preparing the meals at the condo, and I had BBQ chicken slow-roasting all afternoon in the crockpot). And after dinner, the grandkids began a highly competitive game of hide'n'seek. A game that not even the adults could resist! And although we limited the hiding places to the bottom two floors of the condo....there were more hiding places than anyone could have imagined! Even baby Quinn got in on the action!

I'm still not sure who won the many games...AngelWings who stayed hidden the longest by standing in a hidden corner of one of the showers, Drewby who stayed hidden wrapped inside a comforter that was rolled and laying atop a piece of furniture, Cricket who stayed hidden laying under a coffee table/ottoman that had only three visible inches under it, Lovey who was hidden behind a chair that clearly had no room behind it, Ricci "and others" who were hiding in a long closet...each time one was found, they'd step out to give themselves up...all the while they were quickly closing the door to keep other peeps hidden. It was a hilariously (word?) good time!

The next morning, we requested 'late check-out' just so that we could hit the beaches "just one more time" to breathe in that good, salty air!

"Sring me 'round one mo' time, Ricci! Pwease?"

Then we sadly packed up the condo, said our goodbyes and drove over to Meems and P-Daddy's house for a few minutes before heading back to the winery....I mean, home!

It's hard to believe that we were swimming in the gulf earlier that day, and as we traveled closer and closer to home, we were having to adjust the car temperature to warmer and warmer. When we stopped in B'ham for a late supper with K-ren, it was freezing...relatively speaking not literally...but by morning, literally!

Little vacations from temperatures, seasons, etc. make one realize just how blessed we really are! And it often makes coming home all the more special...even if it does mean that we're back in the rat-race of this hectic, crazy but amazing season of life!

"Home again~Home again~Jiggety Jig!"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Calling all early voters!

Did you vote early?!?

I didn't, for two reasons: one...I'm slightly OC, and I want to know that my vote was cast on "the" day and two...mainly for the fact that I love the hype of standing in line with my fellow voters...friends/neighbors that I haven't seen in a long time!

Anyway, a friend of mine sent this to me, and I thought some of you early voters might be interested in this website...

I would assume that most states would have this web-opportunity to make sure your ballot was officially received.