Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Putting away Christmas...

Christmas decorations are still up around our house and it is December 28th. I’ve been under the weather (and the bedcovers) since Christmas morning with fever and all that goes with it. But even without the sickness, our decorations would still be up.

When do you take down all the trees, wreathes and such?

My mother-in-law would always leave her decorations up through Epiphany. That's what her mother did, too. Lots of people do that. As a girl, I remember my mother leaving up the decor until after our family Christmas which was usually on New Year's Day. We had it then because my older brothers and their families were making their own my parents, my sister and I would have the normal Christmas morning, then a week later we’d do it all again!

Our little family celebrates on Christmas Eve morning...and have for 37 years. Christmas Eve services would keep us tied up all evening on the 24th. And then we were always on the road either through the night or first thing on Christmas morning as we’d head to Appalachia, Virginia (for what will always be some of the best holiday memories I will ever have). Most of my Ohio family members were in the ministry, too, so we usually didn’t have a Christmas celebration together after my sister and I left home.

Our daughter is now married and they join us on Christmas Eve morning for breakfast and opening presents. Again this year we enjoyed a relaxing time with our kids. Joe and I would have driven to Virginia on Sunday afternoon to celebrate Christmas with the Greens, but when I woke up feeling puny with a fever, those plans went in the dumpster.

There’s always something a little sad to me about putting away Christmas. And here is the point in the blog where I should come up with something inspirational, like, “don’t put away Christmas in your hearts...keep it all year long!” And we should! Or I could focus on the real reason a Christmas even exists in the first place. “Jesus is the reason for the season” is not just a neat little phrase. It’s truth. Period. ‘Nuff said. But I'm not the preacher in the I'll leave that to the professionals and just try to live what I believe. Jesus loves me and I love Him. I'm so glad God sent His Son and I want that to show in my life every single day in one way or another!

But when all the carols have been sung...the Advent candles put out one last wrap has been recycled...cookies have been consumed...the date on the eggnog carton has expired...heavyweight fruitcakes have been put out for the birds (unless it’s a Texas Fruitcake from Collin St. Bakery)...and my jeans are a little tighter from all of the parties, fellowship and food....I must admit that I get a little sad.

I enjoy coming home at the end of the day and turning on the lights on five of our six trees. it would defeat the whole purpose if I were to put lights on the Charlie Brown tree!

Plus, I don’t like to haul out all the boxes and start putting things away because I can never get it done and re-packed into the closet in one day. Of course, I never get it decorated in a day either and the boxes are everywhere then, too. It’s just different somehow when it’s over...

But I will pack it all away and reclaim my house. My green plants who love the sunlight will be back in the bay window and we will once again have a normal traffic pattern to walk through the house. And when the trees are boxed up, my hubby will roll his eyes when I suggest rearranging some of our furniture. I LOVE to rearrange rooms! (You know those little glider-thingies that help you slide your heavy furniture around more easily? I found out those are awesome!!!)

When I put away Christmas, not only will I reclaim my house, I’ll get a head-start on the new year’s resolutions: a place for everything, and everything in it’s sewing room is my ‘go-to’ place every single day, whether I have an appointment with the sewing machine or not...and my diet, that four-letter word.

Ah, yes. My diet. I got a head-start on that, too! I’ve lost seven pounds in four days while I’ve been sick. Some way to do it, huh!?!

Well, I’ll close for now. It’s time for more crackers and a cup of tea in my favorite mug. (My favorite mug reads: “If there is chocolate melted all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.”)

Blessings to you for a wonderful 2012...Happy New Year!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bathroom Scales

I’ve read that it takes 21 consecutive times of doing a task to make it into a habit.

I weigh myself nearly every day. It’s a habit. Some will say it isn’t good to weigh every day, but it keeps me honest. So I strip off my gown and stand on the scales ‘nekked as a jaybird’ so as not to add a single ounce to the already too high number.

This is part of my ritual that comes just after getting out of the bed each morning and making it up (including all the unnecessary pillows) before I make my short trip into the little room. Making your bed when you REALLY have to go to the little room speeds things up immensely! Of course, in the little room, I do the most important thing first…again, so as not to add a single ounce to the already high number.

Then I step onto the scale. I either celebrate with a little happy giggle or step down and shove it back under the chair so I don’t have to be reminded of its report for that particular day.

But this morning I realized that I do something while I’m standing on the scale that makes no sense. I don’t even think about it. I hold in my stomach! I do!

Why would I do such a stupid thing?
Am I thinking it will cause me to weigh less when I do that?!?
Will it somehow magically decrease that number that shows up in the little window?

No…I’ve realized the ugly truth. I hold in my stomach simply to be able to see the numbers.

What is silly about all this is that I’ve had eight abdominal surgeries and I can’t really hold in my stomach at all! It is actually a ‘holding-attempt’ on my part, which is pathetic at best!

One thing I will never own is a “Garfield-scale!” You know the one that makes snide remarks when he steps onto it? I don’t ever want to hear my scale tell me things like:
• “One at a time, buddy! One at a time!”
• “If you’d go on a diet, two underdeveloped nations would have enough to eat.”
• “Good news. Herman Melville wants to write a book about you.”

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Random Thoughts:

• Who decides what the flavor should be on the envelope glue you lick for greeting cards? I have been on a diet when I would actually enjoy tasting the glue because it was a little sweet. That is pathetic.

• How do male psychiatrists deal with a menopausal wife?

• Does the Pope ever find a piece of furniture in the dark, hurt his toe, and then say something bad under his breath?

• Who decided that one could drink whatever came out of a cow’s udders?

• What does your hairdresser think when he/she runs into you in a social situation? Are you having the kind of hair-day that they hope no one in the room knows that you are a client? It takes a lot of guts for me to sit next to my hairdresser nearly every Sunday morning.

• When a dog’s treat rolls under the refrigerator, will he EVER forget that it went under there?

• Do angry chefs really spit on your food when you send it back because it wasn’t done quite to your liking? I don’t like seasoning on my steaks and always order them “naked” so one time when I was served an obviously seasoned steak, I jokingly told the server to either rinse that one off or get another for me. She came back to my table about two minutes later with the same steak, sitting in a puddle of water! I am not kidding!!! (After sharing my dilemma with the restaurant manager, I got a free dinner…but kept wondering if the chef or server got even with me one way or another.)

• When a constantly screaming child’s parent FINALLY gets up and takes the kid out of a restaurant after about five minutes…is it okay to applaud? I did that one day at Olive Garden, but I clapped very quietly under the table. (…and I know that there are kids that have special needs and have a rough time in crowds, but it seemed pretty certain to me that this wasn’t one of them, so don’t hate me for clapping quietly.)

• Do you think Regis is driving his wife, Joy, nuts now that he has retired from his television show?

• Will we ever get away from reality TV shows? Please tell me we will!

• Why do we get on elevators, then turn around and watch the doors until it’s time to disembark? Are the doors going to open by surprise?

• And speaking of elevators…why not sing while we’re riding? My hubby did that once. We got on a crowded elevator for a lengthy ride and he invited everyone to sing a song with him! We sang “You Are My Sunshine” even as we stopped on every floor. As people got off, then others got on, we kept singing. When Joe and I reached the top floor and got off…one gentleman (who had boarded on the main floor with us) remained on the elevator. Joe asked him if that wasn’t his floor, too. He said, “No. I just wanted to finish the song with you.”

• Why do some people never miss a good chance to shut up? I have a button that reads: “I love the sound you make when you stop talking.”

And on that note, I’ll end the ponderings for now.

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful: Final Installment

I promised in my last blog not to be too serious in this blog posting…but I am thankful for the normal things everyone else is thankful for: my husband, our family, our house, our church, my faith, being able to live in the great city of Alcoa, living in a free country…you know, all the normal stuff. But when I think about it all, I realize I’m thankful for other things, too…so let the thankfulness begin!

I’m thankful for flameless candles. As many candles as I have in my house, you’d think it was a Catholic Church minus the statues. And all the candles are the kind you must light with a match or lighter. One exception: the candle in our bedroom. Hubby and I both wear masks hooked to C-Pap machines when we sleep. With the hoses and headgear we resemble the characters in the opening bar scene of the first Star Wars movie. (Get frisky and we'd electrocute one another!) But my hubby has to have oxygen along with the forced air from the C-Pap. If I decided to set a romantic mood and light a candle in our bedroom, it could turn deadly with a lit candle and oxygen. Hence, the flameless candle…a battery-operated, slightly scented, mood setter.

I’m thankful for multiple pairs of eyeglasses, reading glasses and contact lenses. You wouldn’t think I could be thankful for them at all because I lay them down and lose them on a regular basis. I don’t need them all the time so I might need a little GPS device that will take me to them when they’re lost...of course, unless a pair is on my head, which has happened many times.

I’m thankful for my dog, Dobie. He starts his day curled up in my lap as I lay in bed reading the morning paper. When I come in the door after being gone for five minutes or five days, I still get the same greeting…as if I am his favorite human! Then when my hubby comes in, I am reminded of who Dobie’s real favorite human is.

I’m thankful for nail polish. It fixes things. Runs in stockings…broken teacup handles…bumpers. I had a navy blue van that got a little crunch on the back bumper that was terribly visible, so I used my daughter’s navy-colored nail polish and hid the mistake I’d made by backing into someone’s sedan. The only damage on the other car was a little navy blue paint on their bumper.

I’m thankful that Skyline Chili was created.

I’m thankful for make-up. If you saw me in the mornings without it, you would understand why.

I’m thankful for Ore-Ida coming up with those frozen potatoes that I can steam in the microwave, mash them with a little butter and milk, and have people think I worked a lot more than I did to make that side dish.

I’m thankful for Sam’s Club. Where else can I buy 18 rolls of paper towels in a pack or a 24 roll package of bathroom tissue? My hubby is thankful that when we shop at Sam's while all the food samples are out, he doesn’t have to take me to a restaurant on our way home.

I’m thankful for pre-lit Christmas trees…peanut butter…my recliner…my Verizon phone with navigation, a guitar tuner, and a rubbery plastic cover around it because it gets dropped so much.

I’m grateful for facebook because I’ve been able to reconnect with friends from childhood, former churches and my family

I am grateful for my “MacBook Air for Dummies” book…for seat warmers in my CRV (except when I don’t realize I’ve dropped a piece of candy that ends up being melted into my pants when I’m on my way to a meeting)…for good neighbors…hair products…and Intuition Razors because I shave my legs every day and they don’t cut me to shreds. (Yes, I shave my legs every day. If I don’t, I can’t get to sleep at night. Maybe I’m OCD about this, but my legs always feel good when I climb under the sheets!)

I’m thankful someone thought of belly-button rings, because I may need to have my belly-button pierced, so I’ll have someplace to hook my bra a few years from now!

I’m thankful for Reese’s Peanut Butter Minis because I don’t have to waste time unwrapping them. I can just zip open the bag and chug! I’m thankful for our gym where I can walk on the treadmill, ride the bike and hopefully work off some of the calories I’ve consumed from the aforementioned bag.

I’m thankful for Panera, Cheddars, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel and Five Guys. I’m thankful that my husband doesn’t expect me to eat at Chick-Fil-A every time he does. I’m thankful my daughter and son-in-law are cooking Thanksgiving dinner and I’m not.

And I’m thankful for those of you who actually read to the end of this blog…and not because you might be OCD and just had to finish it.

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful: Part Two

More thankfulness oozing from me…this time for my daughter Hannah Elizabeth Green Slaughter…thus, part two. Her daddy was the subject of my first “Thankful” post…which makes sense since she wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him!

I never truly understood my mother when she would say that she loved so much she thought her heart could burst. Now I get it.

I understood it the first time I felt her flutter in my belly…the first time I saw her moving in the ultrasound as the nurse kept explaining what we were looking at. I had seen enough ultrasounds that I knew what to look for, but poor Joe just kept saying, “uh-huh” until he finally told the nurse he had no clue what she was pointing at. So she jiggled my tummy a bit…the baby began moving her legs and all of a sudden Joe could see this little person we had both fallen in love with!!!

And then she was born. Details are too many to share in this posting but one day I will tell you about the miracle that Hannah Beth really is. I was totally taken with this little blessing. All newborn babies look like Winston Churchill. Or at least until MY baby was born! She was beautiful…is beautiful.

I’m thankful for the little girl who was so curious at every turn…who would walk through a store when she was three years old and look with her eyes and not her hands. She would literally hold her hands behind her back, walking and looking at merchandise. Sales people were amazed at her. I was proud of her. Then we’d take her to restaurants and she would order asparagus. Servers would ask how we got her to do that. I have no clue. But I can tell you that at the age of 26 she is one of the most adventurous foodies I know!

When I think of all the sketchpads, pencils and markers we would purchase before a trip so that Hannah could draw in the car…I am thankful that investment paid off. She is an amazing graphic designer and illustrator and gets MONEY for what she loves! I’m thankful that HGTV took notice of her work and have her in their employ.

She makes me smile! My daughter is quirky…she has a style all her own…brown eyes (I always wanted a brown-eyed baby)…incredibly long eyelashes…a smile that is infectious and a laugh to go with it. Hannah is inventive, sassy, curious, and creative. She is a boot-lover…wears pearls…can put an outfit together and add that ‘just-one-more-thing’ to make the look perfectly hers! Her tastes in clothing, decorating, cooking and everything else she ventures into make me want to be like her when I grow up!

Music flows easily from her fingers and through her voice. A friend told me yesterday that she doesn’t really know Hannah, but loves watching her lead worship music on Sunday mornings because it just makes her happy. I understand that. It makes me happy, too.

My daughter is married to a gentleman. A handsome, thoughtful, musical, smart, stylish, talented (did I mention handsome?) man. I could likely compose a blog all about him but he’d hate that. But if I were to mention one more thing I’m thankful for that is connected to my daughter…it would be my son-in-law. I really like this guy!

I enjoyed the baby she was…the little girl…the kid…the teenager and the college woman. But I can tell you that as fun as all that was (except sometimes when hormones were raging during her teens) I really like the woman she is now. Being her mom is the best thing I could have ever have been!

Oh my. I’ve become WAY too serious in these two blog postings!!! It’s time to get back to my normal nonsense. Before Thanksgiving I will definitely find some funny things that I’m thankful for.

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful: Part One

You know how I can tell that Thanksgiving is near? Because the cost of Halloween stuff is 75% off in the stores and Christmas decorations have been up since October!

Somehow we just breeze right through these last months of the year, don’t we? While I’m contemplating emptying my “Christmas Closet” this week (and splashing my house with decorations that will remain up until the first week of 2012) I don’t want to skip the “being thankful” part.

Maybe it is pathetic that I just typed that last sentence…

I am thankful every single day!

For instance…I’m thankful for my husband, Joe.

This is a man who loved his mother dearly, showing me that he knew how to treat a lady…the one that is my best friend who makes me laugh…sleeps next to me every night wearing a C-Pap mask just like I do (if we got frisky with those things on, we’d likely electrocute one another)…the one who sings “Only You” to me at random times…has this cute little growl when I rub his back as we’re hugging…dances with me in the kitchen…the man who, so he won’t awaken me, carefully takes the magazine from my hands and the reading glasses off my nose because I’ve fallen asleep before he climbs into the bed…thanks me after every single meal, even when it is just a peanut butter and banana sandwich because we are both too tired to bother with anything else…the guy who doesn’t order dessert but offers to help me with mine…the guy who clicks his pen while he’s thinking (which drives me crazy but at least I know he is awake and in control of the TV remote)…the man who is an excellent provider…my leaf raking hero (I’m the blower)…the one who knows my favorite store (C.J. Banks) and shops there for Christmas…who tells me I’m beautiful even when I’m not wearing makeup and have on my favorite gray lounging pants and a humongous tee-shirt with Mickey Mouse on the front…the man that comes up and wraps his arms around me while I’m doing dishes…and gives me playful squeezes when I least expect it (and lets me squeeze him back every time)…who brings the paper-plus-a-poodle to me in bed every weekday morning…the guy who is delightfully the same at home with me as he is everywhere else he goes…who seems to know when I need encouragement…loves me unconditionally…who feeds my soul in every Sunday morning sermon and throughout the week with the very life he leads…a man I don’t deserve, but am very thankful he chose me to be the one he took to the cemetery to propose to…and the wonderful father to our daughter, which brings me to my next blog posting. This is just some of what makes me thankful for Joe. There is much, much more.

Will you be thankful to God for someone or something today?

Have I helped you make a start on that?

Good. Then my job here is done…until next time.

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


They used to be called Used Cars. Now they are called Pre-Owned Cars.

Instead of using the search engine on your computer to obtain information on the World Wide Web you just Google it!

I’m awfully thankful that I never heard my daughter say, “Mom, I think I must have poison ivy because I have an uneasy irritating sensation in the upper surface of my skin that must be the result of a mild stimulation of my pain receptors.” By the time she’d have said all that, I could have already pulled the anti-itch cream out of our medicine cabinet.

Many merchants have instructed employees not to say “Merry Christmas!” In order not to offend any shoppers, they must say, “Happy Holidays.

Because some folks want to be politically correct, our schools don’t have Christmas Break anymore…it’s called Winter Break. Give me a break!

Why can’t they just call something what it is?

It used to be called Constipation. Then it was called Irregularity. Just this morning, I heard a new one for constipation: Slow Intestinal Transit. Eating breakfast at that moment, I almost spit out my mouthful of oatmeal (long-cooking, of course, for Intense Fiber Therapy) when I heard that one!!!

But I totally understand why Hemorrhoids are not called Piles anymore. That’s just disgusting!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Laughter makes my face hurt!

With all the trips I’ve made the last several months one thing has remained constant…laughter. I’ve been with people that made me laugh, laughed with me and even had a few times when people laughed AT me!

Have you ever been with a friend and you start a story, the friend adds to it and pretty soon both of you are laughing uncontrollably? You can't even finish the story because you’re both crumbling into laughter with every breath! That happened to me several times this summer. It happened to me today when a friend and I had lunch and stayed at the table waaaay too long, laughing and talking and laughing some more! Thank you, Angie…I needed that!

While in Ohio I spent a night at my friend Linda’s house. Linda Daft is this sweet, precious, gullible friend and I just couldn’t help myself. I cannot share with you what we giggled about because I’d have to kill you, but I can promise you that I laughed so hard my water broke and I’m not even pregnant!!!

On a trip to Delaware I took a side road and spent one night with friends from my radio days in Chattanooga. Ed and I worked together at a couple of stations. (I’ve mentioned him in a previous blog…the guy that was smart enough to know I wasn’t a reporter.) I hadn’t seen them in a while…in fact hadn’t seen her since I sang in their wedding 26 years ago. Ed and his wife Tricia live in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Driving there was a pure joy because the countryside was so beautiful! I enjoyed a delicious meal in their home. And FABULOUS dessert…Oatmeal Pie! (check out Tricia’s blog “Saving Room for Dessert” at After dinner, we sat in their den and visited for a long time. The dogs kept us entertained. Abby, the Jack Russell Terrier, is one funny little gal! There is a drawer where she hides her treats and will sit there staring at it till someone opens it for her! She also loves to chase laser lights and sunlight with shadows. Funny little girl! So is Mocha, but she wasn’t quite as goofy as her ‘sister.’ Between laughing at the dogs and telling stories from ‘the old days’ I think I laughed more than I had in a long time. In fact, when I went to bed that night, turned out the light and got very still…I realized that my face hurt! It actually hurt! Ached! And my cheeks were still sore the next morning! It’s good to laugh like that every once in a while…

I continued my drive the next day to spend the weekend in Delaware, where I had the opportunity to reconnect with another friend from radio whom I hadn’t seen in 20 years. Kathy and I have stayed in touch over the years even though we haven’t been face to face, and again, laughter permeated the conversation. We shed a few tears, too. Kathy and I have tons in common! She has this great sense of humor and we have always had fun together…this visit was no exception. The only problem was that it didn’t last nearly long enough!! (by the way, she is the lovely lady I'm hugging in the above picture...taken at RX-107 where we worked together in 1990 and 91)

Then there was the visit with our host at his condo in Delaware. I say ‘our’ because my sister and I spent time with this friend from Ohio...a friend that I’ve loved since I was 9 years old. Vangie flew in…I drove…and we had a great time at the beach even though it rained the whole time we were there. Ron lives in Baltimore and invited my sister and me to visit him at his condo at Rehoboth Beach. The three of us spent plenty of our time laughing. Time may have passed but we were all able to pick right up where we left off…

The best person I can laugh with is my husband! Joe is one of the funniest people I have ever known! I heard his laugh before I ever laid eyes on him! No kidding! I turned around to see who had that WONDERFUL, full laugh and there he was. Maybe I could say it was ‘love at first laugh’ because I truly was attracted to that laugh. And it sure didn’t hurt that he was a hunk! Still is!

There have been nights when we’d lay in bed and talk about our day…pretty soon laughing uncontrollably…then adding something else to it, causing more raucous laughter! I remember when our daughter was little, she would yell from the other end of the hall: “I wish you two would be quiet! There are SOME people who have to go to school tomorrow!!!”

It’s better that she heard laughter instead of arguments.

Proverbs 17:22 in the New Living Translation reads: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” So, obviously, friends…to quote James Brown: “I feel good….doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo…just like I knew that I would now…!” (for the rest of the day that song will be stuck in your head)

There are times when I don’t think I have anything to laugh about, or even smile about. But then something happens and I laugh so hard that I have tears running down my leg.

If this blog posting made you laugh, then I’ve done what I set out to do!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Big Squeeze

Had my annual mammogram this week. My sister and I call it ‘the big squeeze.’ If this topic is a little too personal for you, stop reading here.

Okay, so you’re still reading. Either you’re an advocate of the preventative measures that we should go through to catch breast problems in early stages…or maybe you’re interested in my take on the whole 'squeezing' process. Or maybe you’re just curious how in the world a well-endowed woman responds to a mammogram. I can tell you that she responds with being sore (but thankful for a tool to pinpoint problems early). She also responds with amazement that two plates can come together and...well…I’ll save that for later just in case you want to stop reading now.

When the tech asked me if I do regular breast self-exams, I was embarrassed to tell her that I only do it when I think of it. And I don’t think of it much.

That isn’t good enough.

There is a history of breast cancer in my mother’s family. Her older sister had it. I don’t remember details about it, but Mother told me that her father had a lump removed from one of his breasts late in his life. Don’t even know what the biopsy results were…but I know Grandpa had a heart attack when he left for Heaven. I’ve had a complete hysterectomy in 1992 but I’d rather tell people I’ve been spayed because it gets more laughs. Because of the “spay-ment” I take a dose of estrogen every morning and night. That drives up my chances of breast cancer. And I’m stupid enough to have spent all these years NOT checking myself regularly.

Not anymore…

I’ve made the decision to take care of this on a regular basis. I’m going to mark my calendar and DO this! I’ll mark it just like I do to remind myself to give our poodle Dobie his heartworm medicine. The pharmaceutical company provided the reminder stickers and they are in the shape of a heart because (obviously) we love our dogs so we’ll give them the meds they need.

That heart will also remind me to do my monthly breast self-exam. I love my dog. I also love my breasts. Yes, they are bigger than I’d like, but I like how my clothes fit with them.

Friends, I am living proof that God answers prayer! I didn’t really need a bra until I was 16. You think I’m kidding! It’s true. I learned how to make a perfect collection of tissues to fit in my bras…all the while praying that God would give me real breasts. Maybe I sang “Fill My Cup, Lord” too many times because I’m totally blessed! Before starting my diet last year, I was a DD cup. After losing 30 pounds, I’m down to a D cup. It was kind of exciting for me to shop for bras again! I can buy pretty ones!

Is any of this offending you? Well, then why in the world are you still reading? I told you to stop! Didn’t I tell you to stop?

Okay…back to The Big Squeeze.

The machine that takes these important pictures is massive. There are pedals on the floor on each side so the technician can adjust the plates and angles with just a little tap of her foot. As I stood where the technician told me to stand and leaned in just like she told me to lean…she ‘stretched’ me across the plate. (Small-breasted women can stop reading now because you will NOT understand what I’m about to describe.) The technician stretched my breast across the plate and then stepped on the floor pedal that lowers the other plate onto the top of my breast. That plate, in turn, flattens my D-cup endowment to the depth of a Cracker Barrel biscuit. Granted, it looks like a biscuit as big around as a dinner plate…but I think I’m pretty close with the depth. Please don’t let this scare you out of getting a mammogram. My description could be better, I’m sure…but I am trying to help you picture this whole scenario and I’m always happy to use food comparisons.

One breast down (so to speak) and one to go: I stand again and lean again…just like I’m told. There’s another giant Cracker Barrel biscuit stretching out before my eyes, but this time the tech says something like “oh dear!” And my biscuit is getting flatter! Suddenly she releases the plates by hand and said, “Mrs. Green, your foot is on the pedal.” It was ME flattening out that giant biscuit!

I had moved my leg/foot to the side because my right knee hurts most of the time and after all, I was standing in an awkward position. Moving my foot allowed me to stand more comfortably. The problem was I moved my foot over to the little pedal on the floor and I didn’t feel it! I can tell you that I certainly felt the effects of that pedal before the technician released the plates!!!

Are you still reading? You okay with all this personal stuff I’ve shared?

I’m glad you kept reading. I hope your reading of this blog entry will encourage you to take care of your breasts. Check them regularly and have regular mammograms, according to your doctor’s recommendation.

And, while the technician is placing your ‘ta-tas’ on the plate…it might not seem important, but be careful where you place your feet!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Predictable Creatures of Habit

This is a redundant title, but considering I went off on Geraldo Rivera for his redundancy in my last blog posting, I’ll claim ‘creative license’ and forget it.

Do you have little habits…or quirks, if you will?

I do. I will not take your time listing my bad habits. Beside the fact that there are too many for just one blog posting…a lot of my bad habits are visible for all to see. One example is bad eating habits. One look at my shape gives that one away. Clue Phone, Beth…it’s for you! Some are good habits such as making the bed as soon as I get out of it. I do that even before I go to the little room to relieve the pressure that has been building in my bladder since the night before when I killed off a 16.9 oz. bottle of water. I call that my physical alarm clock, but for blogging purposes, we will call it ‘going to the potty’ first thing out of the chute! And trust me when I tell you I can make a bed in RECORD time!

If I make my bed right away, two things are accomplished:
1. The room looks so much nicer with our bed properly covered and filled with the odd number of pillows – seven – that I anal-retentively place there every day. (I have this compulsion to put an odd number of pillows on the bed, an odd number of decorative items on our mantle, tables, etc.)
2. With the bed made, I won’t be tempted to prop myself up in it again just to read the paper and chance falling asleep because I’m so comfy!

They say (whoever ‘they’ are) that if you will do something 21 days in a row, you can form a habit. Maybe that is why I’ve had such a bad habit of eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Mini’s! I’ll soon need to join RPBMA (Reese’s Peanut Butter Minis Anonymous) to help me stop that habit after the summer I’ve spent traveling! I’m almost certain I’ve had them 21 days in a row!

But I digress, which is something I seem to do here on a regular basis.

My husband is a ‘creature of habit.’ When we eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Sazon, he orders Diet Coke and a #6…or “numero seis” as he loves to pronounce it to the server (who might not be impressed that Joe can speak two words in Spanish – but I am). When he eats Chik-Fil-A (his favorite) he orders a Diet Coke, Waffle Fries and a Chicken Sandwich. (I would impress you with knowing the combo number, but I don’t eat there with him enough to become familiar with it.) When he isn’t dieting, he orders a Brownie to finish off the combo. Cracker Barrel: the Wholesome Morning Sampler with what else?!? A Diet Coke!

Then there is the whole shopping-for-shoes thing. My sweetheart will go into the Rockport Outlet Store in Pigeon Forge, search the L O N G E S T time for the perfect pair of shoes, pay for them, bring them home, leave them in the shopping bag for a several days, take them out of the bag and set the box down with the shoes still in it (for another few days), pull them out of the box and walk around a bit on the carpet…put them away and then wait another week before deciding whether to return them for another pair. Then the whole process starts again. Comfort is important and something my husband takes quite seriously!

As you see, my husband is a creature of habit. Or maybe I should say he is predictable but only with certain things. If you want to know a real creature of habit, you should meet our toy poodle, Dobie. This creature is like a little old man with his routine. Do not mess with his routine.

Dobie sleeps in a crate. He loves to be next to us while we’re sitting, but doesn’t particularly enjoy sleeping with us. He might start out there, but will end up in his crate before the night is over. A dog that puts himself to bed is an okay pet for me! (Why couldn’t my kid do that?!?) I do like it in the winter though, when he enjoys the cuddly comfort of the quilt and his female human. Of course he only gets to enjoy it until I have to go to the bathroom on those cold mornings because the bed gets made!

First thing in the morning when Joe opens the front door, Dobie eagerly makes his way outside while his male human gets the newspaper out of the box at the end of the driveway. He only stops running long enough to do the necessary ‘outside work.’ If the neighbors’ girls are in their yard ready to get in their car for school, he makes a beeline over to them, runs around them once as a greeting, then comes back to our yard. If he only has to do his first job, he wastes no time then heads to our front door to wait on his human. If he has to do the second job, he starts doing circle eights in the yard…making them smaller and smaller until he hits just the right spot to leave his special fertilizer. Inside the house again, he curls up on his blanket and pillow which is always on the couch…watches Joe finish breakfast in the kitchen…then waits until he is at the very same spot in the dining room before jumping off the couch and to our bedroom (where he knows the male human will pick him up and put him in the bed with the female human).

At night, he has another routine. At 11:00, whether we are ready for bed or not, he expects a quick run outside. He will either sit at the front door and stare at us until we ‘feel’ it, or he will start jumping around on our shoulders and chests – back and forth – wanting one of us to finally say those four magic words: “Want to go out?” When he is back in the house he usually goes straight to his crate, waits for us to hand him a treat and close his door.

At first it really bugged my hubby that a dog had him “…figured out.” Now Joe takes pride in how smart our little guy is. But if I could get Dobie to talk to me, it’s a good bet that he’d tell me how proud it makes him to have us on a good schedule!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Is my blood pressure going up?

I have a bone to pick....a beef.

Maybe it is because I’m a ‘nit-picker.’ (By the way, exactly what is a nit-picker?)

Maybe it is because my father always reminded me that enunciation while singing or speaking is important, as well as giving facts succinctly.

Maybe it is because I’ve been in the radio business and even did time in a newsroom. *

Or maybe it is because I am back on my diet and have been without any carbohydrates for the last two days. That’s probably my reason for the irritability… It can’t be PMS because I’ve been spayed.

What’s my beef?

It is people who give the time redundantly. Example: “The impact of the storm will begin around five a.m. in the morning.” Hello? Pick one…either five a.m. or five in the morning…not both! I never liked Geraldo Rivera but my husband is watching reports about Hurricane Irene on Fox News, so I’m stuck with GR because he has the remote. Geraldo just bugged me with giving the time redundantly. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg got it right! Good job, Mr. Mayor. And please don't let me forget to mention Geraldo’s stupidity in using clips of catastrophe movies to open each of his reports this evening…which would scare the crap out of anyone who fell asleep watching the news only to wake up to horrible scenes from “The Perfect Storm” and “Final Impact” thinking that is what is actually happening!!!

But I digress…
I could also spout off on reporters who don’t know how to pronounce words such as nuclear and realtor. And dead air. Dead air happens when an announcer isn't paying attention. Or when the emcee/minister/host announces a speaker, but the speaker isn't there and we all have to wait to watch him/her walk up to the microphone while we experience...yes, dead air. I could. But I won’t. You know why? It’s because I need to get to the kitchen and drink two more bottles of water to make myself think I’m not starving right now!

Tonight I need to sleep in my tee-shirt that reads: “I have PMS and a gun. Any questions?” At least that will give some warning to my husband and the dog that I’m not in my best mood tonight. And besides…I have a headache.

* Thankfully, Garry Mac, news director at WGOW/KZ-106 in the early 80’s and Ed Buice, news director at US-101 in the mid 80’s…both recognized that I was NOT a reporter, but an air personality/deejay…and gave me their blessings as I moved from the newsroom to the control room. People, I got paid to talk! I should be a millionaire!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wasting Away

I wish this posting were about wasting away to nothing because I’ve been dieting for the past 11 months. Alas, it is not. I’m blogging about wasting time. Or maybe I haven’t really wasted time at all…

Ever since arriving home on August 14th from three weeks doing plenty of work and a little play, plus 1,200 miles on my CRV, I’ve been tired. I hit the ground running, the day I left home for my trip and kept up a pace that was more difficult than I’m used to. Now that I’m home, I’ve unpacked and put the suitcases away. Laundry has been caught up and the house none too worse for the wear from my husband’s ‘bachelor-days’ with only a toy poodle for company. He saved all the daily newspapers that were delivered for three weeks…just in case I wanted to peruse them. Isn’t that sweet? I haven’t looked at a single one so he carried them to the big recycling bin we roll out to the street every other Friday. But it was a nice gesture on his part, don’t you think? And even nicer that he hauled them to the garage because that was a honking big stack of newspapers!

I’ve accomplished things that have needed to be done but not much else. In fact, today I’ve accomplished nothing. No wait…I did scramble some eggs and make toast for my overnight company this morning. And I cleaned up the kitchen afterward. The dishes are now nice and clean in the dishwasher because I remember turning the upside down happy-face-magnet to the upright position. That means the dishes are clean now, which is one small accomplishment for this Monday. And I called the pharmacy to renew some prescriptions. I didn’t have to bother finding a phonebook because I know the pharmacy’s number by heart. (Why does one say “by heart” when it really means it has been memorized?)

Other than that, I’ve pretty much passed the entire day away doing nothing of importance. I say that, but is relaxing really unimportant? That question caused me to ponder, so I 'googled' the question “Why should I relax?” and it took me to some pages that came up with lots of relaxation reasons. One specifically spoke to me in mamablogger365 (at…and I quote:

“…we rarely give ourselves permission to take the day off….and when we do, we nearly always feel guilty about it, as if we don’t deserve it. But here’s the kicker. Taking time for ourselves should not be considered a ‘nice to have’, but a ‘must-have’.”

I like that woman already and that’s the first blog of hers that I’ve looked at!!! She is the mother of two children and likely fills her days with many exhausting things, which is called “life.”

Now I don’t have any children at home…my daughter will be 26 in a few weeks and has a home of her own to keep up with…so WHY do I feel guilty that I haven’t done anything of value today?!? Are the things that are considered “of value” things that require manual labor, driving to the next meeting, buying groceries and putting food on the table, cleaning up after a weekend that saw busy-ness of it’s own, etc?

After my guests left, I made a couple of phone calls from my recliner…with numbers that were in our church directory right beside me (didn't have to find that either!). Those calls were important. One call was to see how a friend of mine is feeling after being in an automobile accident on Saturday night. Her husband is in ICU and she’s been scrambling to take care of insurance, police reports, medical stuff and dealing with a husband who’s been hurt pretty badly and is sedated because of so many injuries. I offered to do some of those things for her, but she replied that they were all things she had to do on her own. Besides, the busy-ness of the business was helping her cope, she said. I’ve been praying for her, her husband and granddaughter as they recuperate from the accident. Hey, that’s another thing I do while I’m sitting in this wonderful recliner! Pray! I do my devotions, Bible reading, etc. in this chair…and I pray here. And you can pray for them, too: Allen, Donna and Kayla.

But why do I feel so guilty for not having done anything of substance today? Usually I’m going full-speed ahead with not much time to spare. Maybe that is why I feel useless today. I’m usually so busy I can’t see straight! As I’ve vegetated in this recliner today, I’ve fallen asleep on two separate occasions…and one of those was while typing this blog! (That’s not a good sign!) By the way, I TOTALLY take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger!!!

The house has been very quiet. The only noises I hear are of the refrigerator running…the dog “barking” in his sleep with these little whimpering bark-like noises while he is curled up and laying completely still…and my fingers hitting the keys of my laptop. One wrong number has pierced the silence today.

Actually, I HAVE accomplished something today! I’ve rested! Let my guilt-trip make a landing at this very moment! I’ve earned this rest! I always close this blog with the same phrase and you’ll be reading it in a moment. This is the same quote I used to sign off from my radio show every morning. I’ve accomplished what that quote challenges me with! And now I've rested! This whole summer has been crazy, making three trips to Ohio, one to Virginia and one to North Carolina. All for wonderful reasons…and all while I’ve kept up with the duties I have here at home in Tennessee! I’ve enjoyed it all, but it’s been hectic. I haven’t been wasting time away today. I’ve been refueling!

If I had it all to do over, I’d do it all over again!

Wait a minute…if I had my life to live over, I wouldn’t have time. I LOVE MY LIFE!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Reunion Wrap-Up

40th Reunion
East Clinton High School’s Class of 1971
August 13, 2011
Wilmington, Ohio
100 East Clinton High School Seniors graduated in May of 1971. We all went our separate ways in the world. Some stayed close to home and others scattered from coast to coast. We’ve gathered for reunions many times, but I think this one is my favorite.

36 members of the Class of ’71 gathered this past weekend to have some fellowship and get reacquainted with one another. And we all looked pretty good for our ages! ☺

Truth be told, there were some that we hadn’t seen since graduation day. I finally gave up trying to remember one guy and asked his name…but it didn’t make me feel quite so embarrassed because he had to ask for my name first! I asked our class president about nametags. Penny replied that as long as she was in charge, we’d have to figure everybody out on our own! Good answer, Penny. It helps keep the aging mind sharp doing things like crossword puzzles, word scrambles and faking it through a dinner with people who look somewhat familiar but you can’t remember the names. But I think all of us looked pretty doggone good for the years that have been added to our faces and other parts. I told one friend that I consider my body a Temple of the Holy Spirit, but that I’m adding on a Fellowship Hall. (When I was pregnant, it was a Family Life Center…and now that I’m 58 and things are shifting, it has become a Multi-Purpose Room.)

Two of our ranks are now widowed. There have been several divorces and we met new spouses. And then some are still married to their high school sweethearts. To my knowledge, two of our classmates have passed away – Vic Bernard and April Stirr. One almost left us this past year – Bill Musser – but God must have had other plans. Bill and his wife were there with us for most of the evening.

Some of these classmates were labeled “12-year Seniors” in our yearbook, The Galaxy, which meant they attended school in that system all 12 years. There are four or five girls who grew up together – born and raised in the same small community – and it was special to see them laughing with one another again.

After dinner, we each stood and shared where we were from…introduced spouses/friends in attendance…and told what we’ve been doing all these years. Some are already retired! Wow! When it became my turn, I got to say something I’d always wanted to share with my classmates. It went something like this:

“In 1969, I came to your school as a junior. I didn’t want to be there. I had left a school that I loved because my dad had been transferred to another church to become their minister. I walked into the halls of East Clinton High School reluctantly, but with no choice in the matter. Then something happened. You took me in just like I’d been with you all along. I didn’t expect that. Suddenly, I was a part of things…making friends, learning and enjoying my life. I will never forget you for that. Thank you.

I might not have realized it at the time…but they changed my life! I finally got the opportunity to say what had been on my heart for so many years. These people helped me feel like I belonged there with them. And I did. Lifelong friendships developed because I went to that school. I had my first love…and my first broken heart there. I sang in the school’s talent shows…was a cast member in several plays…and even won the female Thespian award at our Senior Awards Assembly. I got a good education. (I didn’t set the woods on fire with my grades…even though I could have if I had put in more effort!) And I learned that I could speak in front of an audience…something that my schoolmates encouraged in me. Who knew that would end up being my life’s work!?!

I didn’t really follow the teachings of Jesus in my younger life. I could talk a good game but He wasn’t in charge. In fact, I was 20 years old before I finally said “yes” to Him without trying to add some amendments to that Yes. I had been living my life for me…for what made me happy…what gave me pleasure…and what was most convenient. All the while, God had a plan. I wasn’t in on it. I didn’t really care about the plan. He had His mighty hand on me all the time. I just didn’t realize it.

Oswald Chambers was a wise man. Regarding that last paragraph, here are two of my favorite quotes from him:
"Faith never knows where it is being led, but it knows and loves the One who is leading."
“I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate. "

I should be glad that God doesn’t give me everything I ask for. I would have missed out on knowing and loving some pretty amazing people!

Lest you think I’m sermonizing – I’m not. That’s my husband’s job. And lest you believe I’m getting waaaaaay too serious in this posting…let me put your mind at ease. You are used to lighter, funnier fare from me and that is what you’ll get!

There are several things to remember when you’ve just attended your 40th high school reunion:

Aging is not for wimps.

Not all men should use “Just for Men” hair color. In fact, no men should use it. It neither blends the gray nor leaves you looking younger. Leave the color to the ladies.

If I could have pretty gray hair like Teda Bowermaster Henline, I sure wouldn't be messing with coloring my hair blonde! But I don't, so I do.

Bald can be beautiful.

Wrinkled was not one of the things any of us wanted to be when we grew up. So we have ‘laugh lines’ that add character to our faces. (…with the other parts, you’re on your own.)

I’ve had necessary surgeries on my eyes, wrists, abdomen, knees and feet. If I keep getting stuff fixed, by the time Joe and I have been married for 50 years, he’ll have a whole new girl! If I could just stop the effects of gravity…

And going to a reunion with a zit under your left nostril isn’t that big of a deal if you use enough makeup! ☺

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Timing. It’s important in almost every aspect of life.

When my husband is delivering a sermon, timing is important when he illustrates the point he is making. A question can be asked in a court of law and timing can affect the way it is asked or the answer that is given. A comedian knows that bad timing can hurt the bit in the routine…bad timing and the joke could end up being a dud.

My ‘timing’ problem isn’t earth shattering, and years from now it won’t make any difference. But this weekend, my graduating class from East Clinton High School will get together for our 40th reunion and I’ll be seeing old friends for the first time in a long time…some I haven’t seen since that day we received our diplomas and turned our tassels back in 1971. (side note…does anyone else think ‘turning our tassels’ sounds a little like it could be taken sooooo many different ways?)

But I digress: my timing problem is that my 58 year-old face will be sporting a pimple this weekend. A zit. A pore in my skin has become inflamed. Just yesterday it was a minor irritation that I didn’t think anything of. Today it has taken on a life of it’s own. I’m thinking of naming it after someone who really irritates me, but there are too many choices to narrow down to one name.

After mentioning the pimple on my facebook status, I’ve received several suggested “cures” for my problem: hemorrhoid cream, zit cream, eye drops and Windex. Maybe if I try all of them, I’ll sit more comfortably and see clearly! ☺

Then there is another thing I could do: put on my makeup just as I normally do, but add a little “Cindy-Crawford-mole-look” to it by using my eyeliner on the zit. But if I do that, could a little speck of the eyeliner somehow creep into my skin and make a permanent brown mark in that pore? Or could I end up sweating and instead of having a little brown dot on my face, I’d end up with a racing stripe? Hello, Tammy Faye Bakker!

One bad thing about this particular pimple is its location. It would be so much better if it were around my hairline just as so many have been in the past. I can pull some wisps of hair around in just the right spot and – voila – invisible zit!!! But nooooooo. My pimple isn’t around the hairline. It is directly under my left nostril. As I posted on facebook: it ain’t right. It just ain’t right.

Maybe at this reunion we’ll all be so busy looking at how bald some of the guys are and how much older all of us look that no one will notice how the skin under my nose is going through puberty.

P.S. Since I posted my zitty status on facebook, I’ve found out that one friend’s face will be sporting a chin zit…another smashed her toe at work this week and it will likely be sporting a dinosaur band-aid in her sandals…and the homecoming queen shut her van’s rear door on her nose which now has a cut on it. Must be something going around. Or Murphy’s Law. Or just plain everyday life.

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Hep, me, Momma...hep me!"

It’s hot!
How hot is it?
It’s hotter than a firecracker in July.
It’s hotter than Hades.
It’s hotter than an oven.
It’s so hot that I’m taking cold showers and it’s not for the normal reason!
It’s so hot that I’m thinking about Christmas!

Our daughter, Hannah Beth, was fascinated with our Christmas tree each year. Her first Christmas - age 3 months - I would put her in her 'Kangarockeroo' seat while I'd be working on some projects on the floor beside her. She would stare at all those lights for the longest time! If I moved her to another location in the room, she'd be checking everything out, then find the lights and stare again!

When she was older and talking a little bit, we would see a Christmas tree...any tree...and the conversation was always the same.

Me: ooooooh, Hannah Beth, isn't that pretty?

HB: uh-huh.

Me: what is that?

HB: (stern look on her face and shaking her finger) no-no-no!

Then there was the year that I'd decorated the tree, hoping that she would still just be fascinated with the lights. Every time she'd get uncomfortably close to the tree, I'd say: "no-no, Hannah...look with your eyes and not your hands." That worked. For a while.

Then her curiosity got the best of her! When I'd decorated the tree that year, I put the 'special' ornaments and any glass ornaments up pretty high so they'd be safe. Hannah Beth still knew to look with her eyes and not her hands, but Momma was on the telephone...and HB was in the living room. All alone. And there was a tree. And there were ornaments on that tree that had pictures of her in them. These were things she must see! In the midst of a long-distance conversation (does anybody still make long distance calls?!?!?) with my friend Ninkey, suddenly there is a crash. I threw the phone down and ran into the living room just as my beautiful little girl hollered, "Hep me, Momma! Hep me!" She had pulled a tall lightweight chair around, stood on it and must have reached up to touch some of those 'special' ornaments and pulled the tree over. Things lay there in this order: the floor, Hannah, the chair (which was tall enough to have her pinned in and protecting her from all those branches, etc. poking her in the eyes) and last - the tree. She wasn't crying. She wasn't scared. She just 'needed' some hep! She'll soon be 26 years old. And every once in a while, when she needs her momma...she'll know that I'll be there to hep her.

I am getting ready for a three-week trip...not a vacation...but a ten-day camp, some family visits and my 40th high school class reunion. Before I go there is soooooooo much to be done! I get a little overwhelmed sometimes as I think about leaving here in one week...not seeing my hubby during those weeks because he'll be here at home...and all the things I need to be doing to get ready. I need hep! I lean a bit toward the anal retentive personality and have to have everything 'just so' before I go. I have to-do lists, last minute shopping, and boxes that i'm filling and music that must be chosen before I ever leave home (because I'll be leading the music at this ten-day camp). Every once-in-a-while I get a little stressed thinking of all there is yet to do. Prayers on my behalf would be welcome and appreciated.

I have a prayer someone shared with me that hangs just above my computer screen and is a reminder of how really anal retentive I am! Allow me to share it with you...

Lord, help me to relax about insignificant details, beginning tomorrow at 7:41 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

God, help me to consider people's feelings even if most of them ARE hypersensitive.

And help me not try to run everything. But if you need some help, please feel free to ASK me!

Help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they are usually NOT my fault.

Lord, help me to be more laid back, and help me to do it EXACTLY right!

God, help me to take things more seriously, especially laughter parties and dancing.

God, I need patience and I want you to give it to me NOW!

Please help me not be a perfectionist in everything I do. (is that spelled correctly?)

And Lord, help me to finish everything that I sta

Guess I should say “Amen” on the end of that prayer. Okay, Lord...I know you'll empower me to get all this done, so I won't stress out at every turn. Thanks for the hep, Lord!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a make your life count!

Monday, July 4, 2011


My nails and cuticles are a mess…and I hurt all over. But for all that, I have a sense of accomplishment, and that feels really good! Maybe I even look a little better, too. If you want to understand that statement, keep reading.

I’ll begin by explaining that I logged 997 miles on my Honda CRV’s odometer in the last week, starting with a drive to Ohio to celebrate my brother-n-law’s retirement from full-time ministry. It was a special time honoring 37 years of excellent shepherding and loving several congregations.

While in the Buckeye state I decided to pay a visit to the lady who was my sister-in-law for 18 years. I had two boxes filled with memorabilia I’d been saving many years for her grown children…things found in my parents’ home when we cleaned out their belongings. It was a wonderful chance to catch up with Audrey because we hadn’t been together for more than many years. After the divorce, I was (and still am) thankful to continue a friendship with her. Those boxes had been passed between my home and my sister’s home for about a dozen years so I was glad to pass them along to Audrey. It was time to ‘clean’ them out from the clutter I’ve managed to not manage over time. (…and I’m the one who used to teach Organizational Workshops! Note the key word here: used to.)

Next on the agenda while in Ohio, was to clean…I mean really clean…our little cabin at Camp Sychar in Mt. Vernon. The cabin is only 11½’ x 12’ but cleaning it still took a while! My neck and shoulders still haven’t recovered from washing the walls and ceiling! But when I move my things into the cabin later this month, I won’t have to do as much work as I usually do each year. It gave me a good feeling to have that behind me…

Five generations of my family have been attending this camp annually. My first trip there was when I was four weeks old and we stayed in tents back then. The tents have all been replaced with little cottages/cabins and the one my husband and I stay in was where my parents stayed in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Next, my sister took it over when Mother and Daddy moved to a larger cabin. Now, it is our little “cabin, sweet cabin” for two weeks every summer. And since I was in Ohio anyway, I did what my mother-in-law called “deep cleaning” (did I EVER)!!

After a little R and R, I headed to Virginia to prepare our family home for a surprise birthday dinner for my husband. More cleaning. Lots of cleaning in a house that isn’t occupied regularly is a big chore. I worked hard and still didn’t get it all done. The birthday dinner went well and our family and friends got to have a nice visit. The next day, I resumed the cleaning after everyone headed home. And going through the cupboards and clearing off the counters gave me a good feeling. I’m sorting through things for the family members to look through. The big things are already claimed and moved out. And now I’m moving some of our things into the house and mingling our furniture, etc. in with the belongings of my mother and father-in-law’s. It is our home now but I don’t ever want to take away the feeling of ‘home’ that Mary Ruth and Roy built into the place where they raised their wonderful family. It has been quite meaningful for us to bring furniture and paintings that belonged to my parents into the Greenhouse! And everything seems to blend together really well…just like Joe and me! (insert smile here)

I drove home to Tennessee last night and guess what I had waiting for me? Yes, more cleaning…laundry…unpacking and organizing. My nails and cuticles are still a mess, but my toes are going to look great while I’m doing all this work. I’m getting a pedicure tomorrow!

My friend Carolyn Barker gave me a cute little wooden freezer magnet that speaks a great truth: “Housework makes me ugly.” That means I should hire a housekeeper so I can be totally beautiful! If it is indeed TRUE, then all the beautiful women I know either have housekeepers or really dirty houses! ☺

Remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Did she really say that?!?!?

There are times when words come out of my mouth without a thought. Sometimes, in fact, I don’t just put my foot in my mouth I exchange feet. Have you ever done that? You say something completely innocent but when it falls on someone else’s ears…the meaning is totally different! Let me share a funny exchange from many years ago…

Joe and I lived in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia where he was the pastor at the United Methodist Church. On Sunday evenings, I led a group of musicians in our Praise Band for the worship services. This was before all the technology we have these days and Joe would use the overhead projector to flash the songs on the wall for the congregation to sing. In the band we had a lead guitarist, a bass player, rhythm guitar (me), a drummer and two gals who added beautiful harmonies to our songs as I sang lead. There were times when the girls would add some extra percussion to a song…maybe a tambourine or some wood blocks, etc.

During rehearsal one Sunday before our evening service, we were doing a song that needed a little something extra, so I turned and said, “This would be a good song for you girls to get your knockers out.” They both looked at me…looked down…then looked back at me. Everyone in the band began laughing. You see, I couldn’t think of what those wooden sticks that they’d hit together were called, so I called them ‘knockers.’ It’s been about 25 years and I still don’t know what they’re called! And what in the world were they all laughing at?!?!?!?

Once I finally realized what I’d said, I joined in the laughter! Just before the service, our bass player (hubby of one of the girls with the ‘knockers’) told Joe about my little ‘gaffe.’ The laughter erupted all over again, but this time my husband couldn’t stop. And then it was time for the evening service to begin. All through the announcements and the music, Joe did his best not to burst into laughter. As he ran the overhead projector, there was this perpetual grin on his face that made him look as though at any moment he would fall over on the floor laughing! After the music was done, I said a prayer just like I always did before we would hear the message.

Joe stood up at the pulpit, silent and smiling… then buckled over and began laughing uncontrollably! (Oh please, Joe…puh-leeeeze don’t tell them the stupid thing I said!) After a few moments, he composed himself and then asked the congregation, “Have you ever just been overcome with a spirit of laughter?” And then he laughed again….but never revealed what had started it.

Whew! That was a close one…

He finally composed himself and delivered a wonderful message…at least I figure it must have been because they usually are.

I can’t tell you what he talked about that night – but I can tell you what gave him the “joy” that night. And it had absolutely nothing with the fruits of the Spirit! ☺

By the way, what are those knocker things really called?

Friends…if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Joe's First Wife

Joe and I just celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary!
We went to a new (to us) Italian restaurant in Knoxville for dinner, and Joe told the waiter that 37 years is the longest he’s ever been married. I thought that was pretty funny.

I love our wedding pictures. Joe looked so handsome with his long hair and thick sideburns. I never really saw his ears till we were swimming in the hotel pool on our honeymoon, but of course I'd only known him for three months! When would I have had time to look at his ears?!?

We are fortunate to even HAVE photographs from our wedding! The photographer I’d hired did not show up. Fortunately, no one told me that fact and I blissfully went through the wedding ceremony totally unaware that anything was wrong. I was so fixated on Joe at the end of the aisle that I never noticed the photographer hadn’t taken a picture of my father escorting me to my groom…a picture that was part of the package I’d ordered and placed a deposit on. But my brother Joe, who has often been my hero in different situations, had come to the rescue. When he realized my photographer wasn’t there, he quickly called a seminary student he knew (who took pictures as a hobby) and asked him to capture the wedding for us. Doug Caldwell was in the shower when Joe called, but made it to Estes Chapel in time to shoot some pictures from the balcony during the end of our ceremony. Thankfully, Doug saved the day…so to speak…and we have beautiful photos of our wedding!

What happened to the original photographer? He died the week of our wedding! His wife was so distraught that she didn’t contact any of the clients who’d hired him. Totally understandable…

In every parsonage we’ve lived in, I've had a picture on the wall of us cutting our wedding cake on May 31, 1974 in the Sherman-Thomas Student Center of Asbury Theological Seminary.

In 1980, as one of our church members, Glen, was in our home and noticed the picture…he asked who the woman was with Joe. (I was a platinum blonde at the time he saw the photo and he didn’t recognize me because by then I was wearing very short hair and a few more pounds…) I told our friend that was Joe’s first wife and she was a wonderful woman. He told me that he wasn’t aware that Joe had been married before and thought it was really nice that I displayed their wedding picture in a prominent place of our home. I told Glen that she was so wonderful that I felt it was only right to hang their picture where Joe could see it now and again.

By that time Joe came in the room and spoiled the fun.
He told our friend that was indeed his first and ONLY wife and asked if he didn’t recognize me in the picture.

Well, I thought it was funny…

Never forget…if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Beside my daughter's (which I've mentioned in other posts) there are several blogs I like to follow. A couple of them are some I check out nearly every day to see what's new.

One of those is by Tricia Buice, a friend in Fredericksburg, Virginia whose husband was a co-worker of mine at a few radio stations. Tricia's blog "Saving Room For Dessert" can be found at and always has yummy recipes...not just desserts. It will be worth your while to check it out - especially on Mondays. She has decided to make and feature a pie every week of 2011. 52 pies! I commented on her blog recently that I'm thankful I can't gain weight just looking at her blog...because everything looks soooooooo good! She has plenty of pictures to go with each recipe from the ingredients to the finished product. Check it out.

Another blog is one my daughter got me into following called "Sew Weekly" and is at
This stay-at-home seamstress/wife/mom from California makes beautiful clothing and posts the pictures and descriptions of what she's made...the successes and the failed attempts. She re-vamped it this year and has people from other parts of the world participating in weekly sewing projects. She shops for vintage patterns and vintage fabric, utilizing them in her creative way. Too hard to describe it all, but suffice to say that this one would be well worth clicking on.

Rachel Corbin Lafon has a blog called "Just Sew" that shares some really neat ideas. Rachel lives in Texas.
I've known Rachel since she was a little girl and now she's a talented wife/mother/seamstress/piano teacher who sews for pleasure and to make a little extra money. She has an Etsy store you can go to after checking out her items. She has an embroidery machine that makes me want one! Uh-oh...I am coveting. Breaking a commandment. Sorry.

"Simple Creations by Andrea" is a great blog to look at for ideas on kids' gifts or clothing. She does other things, too, but these are my favorites. From Hendersonville, North Carolina, Andrea says she is "...just another mom with a hobby." Visit her at

"It is Well" at is by Martha Cate Shamblin Spencer who lives in North Carolina. She is a photographer and posts pictures and thoughts in beautiful ways. Just read her blog a little while ago and have tears in my eyes... It is more than photography. Martha Cate shares her heart. You'll be blessed.

These are just a few blogs I thought I'd share with you. Hope you'll take the time to look at them!

If you have a pulse, then you have a purpose...make your life count!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Random thoughts on moving, Preparation H and cursive handwriting

Researchers say a woman’s skin ages about 11 days every time she goes to bed without removing her makeup? So I am diligent about not doing that. You’ve read before – if you follow this blog regularly – that I spend a lot of money on skin care so I don’t have to spend a lot of money on makeup. If my skin is in good condition, I can attribute it to always cleansing my face before bedtime, using quality products morning and night, and having Lena’s genes. My mother’s skin was beautiful!

Last night I was tired enough that I just wanted to crawl into the bed. All I could think of was brushing my teeth and putting my worn out body in between those nice soft sheets, but I still needed to remove my makeup. I wasn’t in the mood to go through my skincare routine…it takes too long when I’m tired. I noticed a package of Preparation H Medicated Wipes with Aloe on the sink’s vanity. Hmmmmm… My sister uses Neutrogena Makeup Remover wipes to remove her makeup.

Wipes + Makeup That Needs To Be Removed = It Can’t Hurt To Try

The only thing it didn’t remove was my mascara. Now, I’m not recommending that you abandon your regular beauty routine and begin treating your face like a hemorrhoid, but when in a pinch, give it a go! (insert smile here)

Now that you know Preparation H isn’t just for hemorrhoids, keep reading…

Years ago one of my brothers told me that he used Preparation H on the sore results of removing an ingrown toenail and it healed up quickly. On my inquiry as to why he thought of using a hemorrhoid ointment on his toe, he said that it was red and hurt (“Preparation H shrinks swollen membranes…”). Plus he didn’t have any antibiotic ointment at the time. Same thing happened to me not long after that so I gave it a try and it really does work! Remember, it “…shrinks swollen membranes” quite well. Really! Disgusting, I know, but it worked.

Now if Preparation H worked on sore muscles, I’d be all set because I’ve spent the past seven days in Ohio, packing and unpacking…helping my sister and her husband move from a 12 room home into a small apartment in the Otterbein Retirement Community in Lebanon, Ohio. Brother-in-law Gary is retiring from 36 years of ministry in the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church. My sister, Vangie, has been in poor health recently and wasn’t able to get any packing done on her own. Thanks to the efforts of many, the majority of the things were packed into boxes and moved about 5 miles from the parsonage to the new place. Movers arrived on Monday morning and that went quickly. One of the reasons my brother-in-law thinks it went smoothly is because I had printed out stickers reading “Yes” or “No” and after cutting them up, I taped them to the appropriate items. The “Yes” stickers were assigned to the furniture and boxes that should go on the moving van. The “No” stickers were for things that are not being moved until Saturday morning. The movers had everything on their truck within 45 minutes! And now it is time for the furniture wearing “No” stickers to be loaded onto a U-Haul truck and transported to our homes in Virginia and Tennessee. And I’m driving the truck! This will be a new adventure!

For the most part, we have their new apartment looking like “home” as we continue to put things in their proper places. I have carried furniture, packed boxes and hurt in muscles that I forgot I had, but spending this time with my sister and brother-in-law has been special. We’ve worked hard, laughed and made some new memories. After an exhausting five days, we have enjoyed a little rest today and I’ve had the opportunity to rummage through some letters (on her invitation) that my sister saved…letters I had written to her while she was in college. Those letters from a 16-year-old girl revealed a lot to the 57-year-old woman I am today. They contained details of my days and nights, heartthrobs and heartaches, and all the things that were important to me those many years ago. I even got creative in the way I wrote to her. One was a letter written within letters…the entire page had the word “DEAR” on it with my letter to her written inside the D, the E, etc. I recall another letter I wrote to her in a circle. That one was weird. I also noticed that I was trying out new styles of cursive, but always ending up with the same style I’ve always had: slanted and a nice mix between both my parents’ handwriting. I don’t try new styles of cursive anymore…I have my own style.

Sometimes when I try to read my hurried handwriting, I think I should have been a doctor.

Never forget…if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sleep Eludes Me

It would be nice to get into bed at a decent hour, lay my head on the pillow and gently fall asleep. No need to count sheep or blessings. I could just close my eyes and fall into a nice deep sleep, wake up in the morning, feeling rested and ready for a new day. It would be nice, but it hasn’t been my regular routine for a couple of weeks. Frustrating…but I’ve been able to accomplish lots during my sleeplessness: organizing kitchen drawers, cleaning out the refrigerator shelves, bins, etc. and hanging things. Yes, I am that good! I can hammer nails without waking my husband. Skill.

I don’t really have that much on my mind…nothing more than the usual…so that doesn’t seem to be the reason sleep is eluding me. I haven’t had any caffeine since Thursday evening. It’s four o’clock on Sunday morning and here I am, wide awake, typing a blog about not being able to sleep! What’s wrong with me?!? My alarm is set to go off at 6:30 a.m. so I can get ready for church. I can’t doze off in the middle of the service.

And now, here I am, watching a western on the History Channel! I’m watching a western!!! In the middle of the night! This is when the wife of a minister should be getting some rest so she doesn’t embarrass herself by falling asleep in the middle of her hubby’s sermon…while sitting in the choir loft! But I must admit that watching Kevin Costner in a cowboy hat, wearing a badge and boots is worth staying awake for…since I’m already up! And now, I realize that I’m hungry and should probably pop some corn and finish watching this movie! Wyatt Earp, popcorn, orange Kool-Aid and typing this blog entry on my laptop…could be a good combination, but not sleep-inducing.

I remember being in a church prayer meeting one night when Joe and I were newlyweds in McClure, Virginia. My husband invited a friend of ours to pray for the requests that we would write on a legal pad, adding names and situations each week then marking as we’d have an answers to prayers. Our friend prayed on and on for the longest time that night! Sometime during his lengthy explanations to the Lord about all the situations concerning the names on that list, I put my head down on my Bible. Our friend finally said “Amen” and folks started leaving the room. They must have thought their new pastor’s wife was quite spiritual because there I was, with my head on my Bible, in a ‘posture of prayer’ and sound asleep!!! Finally, the long pray-er’s wife walked over to me and announced: “You can wake up now, Beth…he finally finished praying!” In that deep spiritual moment, we chalked up another funny story to tell and I had a nice nap.

By the way, I opted for pimiento cheese on white bread instead of popcorn. Wyatt Earp lived happily ever after. It’s 4:45 in the morning and I need to wake up in less than two hours.

Remember, if you have a pulse, you have a make your life count!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Hair (not hare)

Easter 2011 is now in the memory books. We enjoyed a delicious meal at our daughter and son-in-law's home with family and friends, came home where hubby and I sat in our favorite chairs and napped. The perfect Sunday afternoon...

You're about to read a story my hubby loves to tell on me that goes back to our first Easter in Alcoa, Tennessee: 1996

When I need to have my roots touched up, I run to my hairdresser and get that taken care of as soon as possible. But before that happens and my hair is in need of a 'root-job' I take extra steps to get it whipped into shape for the day. This particular Easter Sunday morning, I was in bad need of a root-job, so I went through each step to assure my short, frosted hair would look a little thicker/taller.

Step 1: wash hair

Step 2: mousse it and blow it dry

Step 3: hair spray all over, then go do something else

Step 4: come back and use curling iron

Step 5: hair spray all over, then go do something else

Step 6: come back and tease hair all over

Step 7: hair spray all over, then go do something else

Step 8: come back and style hair

Step 9: use one last blast of hair spray to hold the creation in place

But on this particular Easter morning I'm referring to, I somehow stopped at Step 7. Not sure how it happened, but I'm guessing that I was rushing around, making sure my 10 year old daughter was ready for church and maybe the phone rang or something. Whatever made for an "interesting new look" for me. My daughter never said anything to me about the way I looked, so I went on my merry way.

Keep in mind as you're reading this that many churches have a large amount of CEO's who attend our Easter services, so some of them were meeting their new minister and his wife for the very first time...even though we'd been there since June of '95. CEO's are the members who "Come on Easter Only."

Folks at church greeted me warmly and many of them glanced at my hair. Will Shelton, one of our senior high youth (who is now a UM minister/seminary student) commented on how great my hair looked! Some of his friends did the same...

I never had occasion to look in a mirror while at church because I didn't need to use the rest room. Oh how I wish I'd had too much water or juice that morning...but if I had, Joe would have one less funny story to tell. I sat in my usual place at church and some visiting friends (who would be lunching with us after service) were there with me. During the musical benediction, just as I always do, I walked out of the sanctuary holding hands with my minister/husband, stopping at the main doors so we could greet the church family and guests as they left the church.

Cut to lunch back at our house:
Delicious food is on the table...we enjoy our guests...dessert and coffee are served...and then we retire to the den to extend our visit. I finally make a visit to the "powder room" for the first time since Step 7. Screaming, I ran out to my husband, daughter and guests and asked, "Did my hair look like this at church?!?!?"

Husband: Yes

Me: Why didn't you tell me my hair looked like this?!?

Husband: I thought you were trying out a new hairstyle.

Me: (insert sarcastic tone here) Well, what do you think of it?!?

Husband: I don't really like it.

My sweet daughter and our friends all agreed with my husband in thinking it was a new 'do! Duh! I don't think so...!

End of story. My husband is kind enough to ask me before he shares this story publicly. But since I've finally started to learn that life is much better when we can laugh at ourselves, it isn't so humiliating to tell it on myself.

Will Shelton still remembers my hairdo from that Easter morning. When he gets married someday, and his wife is preparing for their first Easter service in a new appointment...I hope he'll be sure to check out his wife's hair before they leave for church.

Remember: if you have a pulse, you have a make your life count!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Company is coming...!

There is no better way to get me to clean my house than the knowledge that company will arrive soon! We live in CHAOS...the Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome...a big part of the time. That is sad, because I used to teach organizational seminars. Key words here: used to.

Actually, I practice what I preach/teach, but when life gets a little too busy, which it has been lately...things sort of fall by the wayside.

In the past month, I've:

begun teaching a young lady to sew (she hasn't come back for any more lessons, so I don't know if she hated it or me...or decided it wasn't as fun as she thought it would be or it could be that she's a teenager and has a LIFE!)

led the worship music for three separate weekend retreats

wrote/acted in the comedy sketches for one of those retreats

did my stand-up comedy routine (sitting down) for about 160 ladies at Middlebrook Pike United Methodist Church

been practicing with an awesome director and choir (as a soprano and one of the narrators) for our Easter presentation/cantata which will be presented this weekend (no, it isn't Easter, but that's when we always do it!)

had the wonderful privilege to participate as part of the worship teams at our church every Sunday night and on some Sunday mornings

reorganized my kitchen, switching everything into cupboards on opposite sides of the room (poor hubby is still baffled)

cooked a few meals (key word: few)

kept up with the laundry (clean skivvies!)

bought some new clothes to fit my (hopefully) continually shrinking body because my daughter can't stand to look at me in my baggy jeans (the make-me-feel-skinnier-even-if-they-DO-look-awful-on-me-and-I-wear-them-anyway-when-I'm-not-going-to-see-her jeans)

attended more committee meetings than I wanted to...but ended up being glad I was there for each of them

repaired a couple of knit shirts for my neighbor, did alterations on several prom dresses, a wedding dress, a mother-of-the-bride dress and a couple of pants for a woman (whose legs were way too short for the amount of denim in the legs of those jeans!)

taught a Bible study for my hubby one Wednesday night

spoke to our Junior and Senior Youth about "Mercy & Grace" last Wednesday evening

did all the regular stuff that I do on a day to day basis

and shaved my legs every single day just like i have for the past two years. Okay, shaving my legs isn't that big of a deal, but it is the only new years' resolution I've ever kept in my LIFE!!!

I'm sure I've left out a thing or three...but you get the idea. It is Monday night and company will be arriving on Wednesday. The downstairs is nearly clean and the upstairs rooms will be tackled in the morning. What is funny about all this is the people who will be visiting are the very people who are so easy to have as guests that I really don't have to go to all this fuss. But I am...because I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE!!!!

Hope they notice that I've dusted. Last time they were here, they could have written their names in 3-D on my table in the den...

Always remember: if you have a pulse, you have a purpose...make your life count!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This woman loves to watch television shows like Chasing Classic Cars, Inside West Coast Customs and Overhauled with her hubby.

We have some movie channels that come with our Charter Cable, but watching cars being restored is quite interesting to me. I used to see Xzibit (the guy that shows up sometimes on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition but I can't remember what else he does) when he hosted Pimp My Ride...but haven't seen that show in a long time. Is it even on anymore? And then there is Mecum's Auto Auctions where you can see the financial returns on Wayne Carini's investments. Wow!

But I digress.

What is it about these car shows that I enjoy so much?!? I suppose the restoration process is what captures my attention. Something that looks beyond repair or value to the everyday person's eye can be changed into a vehicle that could fetch a pretty price...well, that simply amazes me.

Maybe that's the same reason I like to view What Not To Wear because Stacy, Clinton, that hair guy and Carmindy do the same thing for a woman that Foose does for a car! There is a sermon illustration in here somewhere, and if my husband reads this, he'll likely find one...but I don't do sermons. There is something to be said, though, for taking something in terrible condition and worthless and making it into something of great value. So can I get an "amen" from the corner?!?

Again, I digress.

In 1972, I paid $500 for a 1967 red Ford Mustang. It burned oil a little bit, but my daddy did some work on it, and it ran like a top! Thank you, Daddy.

Then a fiancé kept it running like a top (even though he was a Chevrolet man). Six weeks before the wedding we mutually agreed that we loved one another but not enough to spend the rest of our lives together, so we called it off! While we were together he added many bells and whistles to that Mustang! Thanks, Dean.

We parted in July of 1973 and the next February, I met the man I was destined to spend my life with. After we became engaged, wedding plans were made. I tried to keep on a small budget since I was paying for the wedding myself. Because I had been living on my own for three years, I figured my parents didn't need to...

So, when it came close to the big day, I sold my beautiful red Mustang to pay for the wedding. I paid $500 for it in 1972 and made $750 for it in 1974.

When I get hacked off with my husband, I tell him how much I miss my car.