November 17, 2012

Thank you

I can't thank all my friends, family, and Russel enough for the support that I have received this week. 
I went in Wednesday to have a rather large ovarian cyst removed.  Dr Woods (the best dr I could have ever asked for) removed the cyst as well as my right ovary to keep the cyst from returning. 
I recieved so many texts, emails and phone calls of support before I went in which made it much easier.
Russel, mom and dad all spent the day at the hospital with me. Nurse Russel has taken care of my every whim all week.  I'd have never made it with out him.  I have been blanketed with gifts, fruit baskets, cards, meals, flowers, phone calls, and texts.  It really makes recovering quite a bit easier.
thank you all

November 9, 2012

Five Years Ago....

Five years ago today I got the call at work that 
my mom had fallen off the top of a load of hay and broke her back.

I don't really recall too many specifics about the week mom was in the hospital.  
I stayed with her almost every night at the hospital and even a few nights after she got home.  
It's scary to think (even at 28 years old) that a parent who has done
for you their whole life couldn't get out of the bed. 
But what good news can you get from a broken back???  
That you can be repaired with surgery.
And she was. 
  She'll probably kill me for putting up this picture but this was on 
Thanksgiving about 3 weeks after "the fall". That is her tortes shell that she had to wear for a while after the surgery.  At first I know every movement was hard and discouraging but with in days of being home, mom was doing on her own.  Strapping on her tortes
shell with no help from us, doing book work, cooking meals.  I remembered thinking dad would kill us both the first day that we ventured to the downstairs (with no help) to get some things that she wanted for upstairs.   

I may not remember all the specifics but I can tell you the important things that I learned:
~ true family and friends are there when you need them ~
I thank God everyday for the people that He puts in our life
~ sometimes motivation has to come from a swift kick in the bum ~
because when you are hurting and wondering whether you'll ever be the same again, the best thing is the cold hard truth that you have to work for it
~ the people you work with become your family ~
because not once did anyone say you need to get back to work - but just to do what I had to do
~ God works miracles ~  
that is just plain and simple

I call my mom every November 9th to wish her a happy anniversary.
Happy? you ask - yes HAPPY because we are all blessed for the way things turned out.  

November 8, 2012


When I can't find the perfect card in store I go to
to pick out cards to send to people.  The card store has some great cards. 
So go to the link above and and use code : CCN2433

 It includes Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years and you can schedule them to deliver whenever.
Happy Day for Free Cards! 

November 7, 2012

A short trip...

It has been almost 2 years since I have seen my friend Allison and her family.  
In June, Allison's mom Kitty emailed me about a Southwest flight sale.  
I snagged a round trip flight pretty cheap for 5 months into the future. 
5 months took forever!  But finally last weekend I flew to Greenville, SC for a long awaited
3 day vacation.  the 5 months drug on but the 3 days sped by.   
We drove Saturday to Charleston to spend the day and then back to the farm that milks Kitty's jersey cows to pick up a heifer on the way home(Pendleton).  
Allison and I near the market in Charleston

These flowers were made from palm fronds by some young boys on the pier.  I ended up getting this 
small set and then a bunch of 20 too.  I loved them so much. 
We ate lunch at A.W. Shucks and walked the length of the market place twice.  There were so many talented artisans there.  I also bought a crock that you bake a whole apple on in the oven...It looks like fun. 
A Carnival cruise ship was docked at the pier waiting to go out on a cruise. 
It was a little windy but a beautiful place to visit.
Notice it is just Allison and I in these pictures?  Kitty was the photographer for the day and only got in 
one picture with us....and that was on Kitty's camera!  I missed out.  

This was such a great trip.  We reminisced over the "good ole days" and made new memories too. 
Kitty's poor car will never quite be the same after picking a very nauseous me up from the airport...but that is another story for another day.

Wheelin in the Country

On the Sunday before Halloween we went to Wheelin in the Country in Summertown, TN.
It isn't too far of a drive for a good place to ride trails.  
I have NEVER in my life seen a place so busy.  The sheer number of people
and off road vehicles was amazing.  
We met some friends there and rode the trails.  

 We stayed up too late the night before so I was tired.  Russel did all the driving.  He was my chauffeur for the day.  Dave took his 4 wheeler and hauled our RZR there. 

Our day was pretty uneventful - just good riding - until we got a LITTLE stuck in a mud hole.  
Russel was trying to go around the edge and we just slipped on down in.  
Notice Russel is still in the RZR braving the muddy water that was up to almost the seat level on his side.  
I got out promptly - to protect my camera  - yeah right.  I didn't want to be muddy and wet the rest of the day. 
Missy came to the rescue with her newly installed winch.  Lonnie worked the winch and got it hooked up. I took pictures. Aaron supervised.  We are a well oiled machine.   

Halloween Trunk or Treat

I didn't get but a couple pictures of trunk or treat this year at the church.  
It started earlier than we expected so we had to jump into our
costumes after decorating out car. 

Here is our monster car.
The kids had to reach into its mouth to get their candy. 

 And here Russel and I are in our costumes.  
We love dressingup because the kids at church think it is hilarious...until Russel 
chases the screaming kids into the church that is....

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Every year in the fall I like to make Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.  
These don't have to be a fall only food but that is when I like them 
best.  I can eat 1 or 5 cupcakes with a big glass of hot apple cider and 
be so content.  It is the BEST fall sweet ever.
And it is simple enough that anyone can make them.    

Take one large can of pumpkin pie mix and combine it with one box of spice cake mix.  
I usually use my mixer to make sure I get all the clumps out.  
Pour into individual cupcake liners.  
This recipe makes about 20 cupcakes rather than the 
24 that your box of cake mix would make normally.    
Bake according to the cake package directions. 

Your finished product is a soft, moist, sweet pumpkin spice cupcake.
If you don't like icing these cupcakes can stand alone with no icing.  
They can also be topped with sifted confectionery sugar.  
But I like them best with cream cheese icing.  
I don't have a picture of a finished iced cupcake because I was running 
late getting these ready for the church auction and fall fest and I forgot. 
But there are pictures above of the icing and decorating bags and tips.  This was 
my first try at applying the icing without using a knife.  With some helpful tips from my friend
Cacy and an online tutorial I got the hang of using the basic tips to make cute cupcakes.  
They were delish - You should really try this super easy recipe.    

Sweet Potatoes

Every year around the end of December, Russel sticks a sweet potato 
in a glass of water in our kitchen window.  As sprouts start to come off the potato 
we pull them off and put them in another glass to start growing roots.  
Then come April 15th we plant the sprouted potato vines into three stacked
up tires that are filled with dirt and manure.   
 Then just before the first frost, we dig (push over) our potatoes.  
We usually get quite a haul as we did this year.  But this year we also
grew one BIG DADDY potato.  The one I am holding is ONE potato
and it weighed 4 lbs all by itself.  Can't wait to slice this bad boy up and make
some tasty sweet potato fries (for 10 people with a potato this big)
Also this year is one more new addition.  Elizabeth and I had a first encounter with this 
little lizard when we were planting the potatoes in the spring.  I figured he 
would be gone by harvest time but said knowing my luck he would run across
my hand and scare me to death...lo and behold that WAS his plan.  But 
Russel convinced me that he wouldn't bite me so I picked him up to 
play with was pretty chilly out side since we obviously dig potatoes in the
dark and he was pretty slow moving.  Cute little thing once I knew he wouldn't
bite me.  We put him back in our mound of dirt to bury in for the cold night.  
Then we hauled all our potatoes in for the fall.  

Happy potato eating! 

November 1, 2012


To my awesome friend DR Kristie Guffey!

Yep - You head me right.  My friend Kristie has defended her thesis and is now a Dr - not an MD Dr - so don't be going to her with your boo-boos but Dr, Professor, or just plain awesome Kristie Guffey.  
She has been working hard for this for a long time and I am so very proud of her and her dedication.  

So we went to Flemings for supper last week

 Then when I told the waiter to make sure he didn't fling my lobster tail across the restaurant because we were celebrating. He asked what for - Kristie said because of our birthdays (we were a little late celebrating this year) and I said because she was now a Dr.  So because it was our birthday he brought us each a celebration treat which was four super delicious truffles and a $25.00 gift card each to come back before the end of November.  Fleming's treated us birthday girls right! 


Because 26 taillights just aren't enough

October 17, 2012

A little bit of Halloween

Last night I finally finished my Halloween craft for the church auction (and one for me too)
I found the instructions for this at Keeping It Simple.  The author of the blog, Kaysi, does 
a great job of giving simple instructions for this craft. 

Here is my rendition

I purchased a 10 foot 2*4 and that is long enough to make two of these crafts.  
The super nice guy in Lowes looked at me a little funny when I carried him 1 piece of wood and asked him to cut it into 10 pieces.  But he complied.  
I sanded the ends good to decrease the chance of splinters and then I got to work spray painting.  

 I didn't have any craft paints on hand so I bought outdoor spray paint when I purchased the 2*4.
The spray paint was easy going.  I painted one wide side plus both skinny sides of each block one night (2 coats) and then flipped them to finish the other sides the next night.  
Kaysi used vinyl for the hair on Frankenstein's monster.  I taped off my hair line and spray painted the hair.  
My way - was the wrong way - I should have either a.) used vinyl like the instructions said or b.) used paint marker for the hair.  Lesson learned! I did however use spray paint for the black behind the mummy's eyes instead of vinyl and that worked fine.  

I painted the face on Frankenstein's monster with a medium tip black paint marker.  I replicated from the blog because I have no imagination when it comes to drawing.  The paint marker was very easy to work with. 

As per instructions (didn't I say I love easy peasy instructions) I ordered vinyl from Expressions Vinyl to use for the facial features of the ghost, pumpkin and mummy.  I was scared.  I cut out with punches or scissors all the facial features.  I have never used vinyl with my Cricut but I knew that I had to in order for my wording to look like anything.  I had heard of Cricut Craftroom where you can design your image or wording on an online "cutting mat" and then send it to your Cricut to cut.  I decided if I was going to do it I was going to do it all in.  No need not to jump in with both feet.  I downloaded the Cricut Craftroom software to my laptop - it did take a while - and upgraded the firmware to my Cricut and I was on the go.  Doing the vinyl transfer was super easy.  I can't wait to order more vinyl and do more vinyl crafts as well as using the craft room to make scrapbooking tags and background easier.  

YAY for Halloween crafts and all the good new things I tried and loved.  
Thanks again to Kaysi at Keeping It Simple for doing just that. 


October 10, 2012

Pickett Off Road

Well - I say Pickett as in Pickett State Park but I think we were actually riding on private land that is part of the forest - if that makes sense.  We drove one weekend through BFE to a stop sign and went another 15 miles...Seriously we bypassed the place we were parking at we were so far n the middle of nowhere.  
 With three trucks and five people who all left from different places to end up at this same place is beyond me but we all got there.  It was a perfect day for riding.  Cool and comfortable. No need for a jacket yet we weren't dripping with sweat either.  
With Missy's GPS we found the car hauler (below)that was made into a bridge. did they get a car hauler way up here???  
We experienced a flat on our RZR and a small mishap (of Russel shooting on down an overgrown unmarked trail) that caused a fair amount of curse words to get us out of.  We survived, got muddy, got chiggers, got tired and had a blast.
As we were leaving we decided that there must be a better way home.  Sure enough we were less than 10 miles from HWY 90 that leads right on over to the Parkway in Glasgow.  Next time we go....that will be our route there and back. 

Robertson County Dairy Show

It's been over a month since the Robertson County dairy show but it did happen and we did have a good turn out.  5 farms participated this year.  With three youngens running around showing this year and big E really getting big enough to want to show in a lot of the classes it was rather hectic...but I loved it.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.  All three kids did a great job showing.  Little E and R aren't really big enough to show in lots of classes but big E is and she is very good at showing.  We had to have the talk about - NO you are NOT going to win every class but that is because Nanny and Papa and aunt Stacey don't have enough time to get the calves up as babies and feed them to be HUGE calves in the class.  You will have classes that you win and classes that you lose but the fun is in the showing.    And WE HAD FUN!

The heifers and cows all washed and waiting...the one picture of Russel and I.  It was hectic and we didn't get as many pictures as I normally do.  

All three kids in the ring practicing with their heifers before the show.  

The kids in their classes.  Big E won showmanship for her age group.  R placed 2nd. And in little E's class they give out first place to all the kids that show.  So proud of all three of them. 

In other Fair news - mom and I both placed in the fruit and vegetable classes. 
I placed with 3 of my photos in the photography section and with both my stuffed owl and my baby bib in the sewing section.  YAY!

October 8, 2012

Fall Festival - Won't you come???

Our church's fall festival is on Saturday October 27th.  
There will be:
Activities for the kids from 3 to 5 pm including a hayride, games and face painting.  
A BBQ supper from 3 to 6 pm - $6.00 for people 11 and up, $3 for 10 and under
Trunk or Treat at 6:00 pm 
AND immediately following Trunk or Treat will be our church auction.
All proceeds benefit our church's general fund.  
Here are some of the auction items:
Miranda Lamberth autographed cd
$25 certificate for BB Kings
Hooters Gift Pack
Robert Duvall auto photo
2 single day passes to Dollywood
$25.00 game card to Dave and Busters
Cross Earrings and Necklace from $10 Boutique
A Therapy Pillow from Relax Wraps
Free exam and x-rays from Brett Winchel Chiropractor
Buy one get one free at Grand Ole Golf
Cook book samplers and cd's from Lifeway
Cuts and other services from Rodelles styling salon 
Shampoo and Conditioner from Fantastic Sams
Hunter Hayes signed CD
4 tickets to the Nashville Zoo
20% off at Free Will Tattoo in Nashville
$50.00 gift certificate to Melting Pot
6 Large Pizzas coupons from Papa Murphy's
10 free visits to Monkey Joes.  
Lap Quilt by Stacey Stoddard 
Halloween craft by Stacey Stoddard 

We would love to see you, your children and family  on the 27th for our fall festival.  A good time is always had by all. 
We are still getting donations daily for the auction.    
AND if you would like to donate an item for the auction we would be very grateful.   

If you would like to come and need directions or see something you want to bid on please let me know.

Happy Fall Yall!

October 5, 2012

What were they thinking???

What were they thinking at Victoria's Secret when they sent me a BLACK VIP credit card?????
I know the picture is a little blurry but it is so shiny you can see me smiling at my black credit card in the reflection. 
PLEASE someone tell me that ALL the new VS credit cards are black and that I didn't get a black one because of my bad bra, panty, & bathing suit spending habits!
That's all...I am heading to the mall going back to working hard.  ;)

October 4, 2012

What have you been up to????

It always seems like August and September are super busy months for us.  
We are busy in August getting ready for the Robertson County Fair.  
I don't know what makes September so busy but it always is.  
Here's a few pictures of our month (and I promise to get fair pictures up eventually):

 On September 22nd Lacey, Tracey and I did the women's 5k in downtown Nashville.  There were tons of women there getting their groove on as this was a 5k and a half marathon.  Out of the 551 women running the 5k, Lacey place 38th with a time of 30 minutes and 3 seconds, Tracey places 82nd with a time of 32 minutes and 25 seconds, and I finished 174th with a time of 36 minutes and 49 seconds.  You may know me and KNOW that I only run when something is chasing me so this time was a Personal BEST for me.  I was only trying to finish is less than 40 minutes which would have also been my best time ever but with all the women and the enthusiasm (and knowing that Tracey and Lacey would be waiting forever at the finish line for me) I got my groove on.  It was great.  I hurt for a week after that but it was great. 

I also have found myself being super crafty this month.  Who knew???
I bought this dry sink at an estate sale for $30.00.  Now it isn't an antique but it is older.  I pulled the back and doors off.  Russel will have to make a new back and help me repair the doors so this is as far as I have gotten thus far.  I have painted with chalk paint that I made myself and once everything is put back together and painted I will distress this.  It is going on the back porch.  
For this portion of the blog I want to give a shout out to Sue and Margie at Wright Way Estate Sales where I bought the dry sink  Sue is a great family friend and if you need any estate sale help she would be a great choice.  Also shouting out to Annie Farrar of The Farrar Four who is also a great friend and has been answering my endless questions about painting and distressing wood....with no complaints might I add. 
If you are interested in the paint colors, the blue is French Riviera and the "off white" is toasted almond both by Olympic Paints. 

 As I said - I have been crafting and these are my latest.  I made a few onesies for friends having babies - and there has been a baby boom for our friends as of late.  
Leslie at work asked if I would make a bigger version for her youngest Jacob for his school pictures.  She tried on his outfit last night... he insisted on the house shoes and trophy.  If you are interested in a onesie or shirt of your little boy let me know.  I may get into making these for sale. 
 I don't have any pictures of Russel and I for the month but I have pictures of a dozen donuts that we destroyed one weekend.  I normally LOVE Shipley donuts but we went to Krispy Kream because the hot and ready light was on.  The blue donuts are cotton candy...yes I said cotton candy YUMMY!
The others are a mixture of caramel apple and maple donuts.  Now the cotton candy and caramel apple are seasonal so get them while you can.  Both were delish.  But my go to donut is always a maple and these didn't disappoint. 
September is also a HUGE birthday month in our family.  This is my niece Rachel with her genie pig that she got for her birthday.  She is so excited. 
And Happy birthday to the rest of our crew celebrating their birthday's this month:
ME!  Issac, Sarah, Hudson, Brad, Ruby, Yolanda, and Mark....and also my friend Kristie who is like family too.  

September 19, 2012

LST 325

Russel came to work today at lunch time and we toured the LST 325 ship that is docked at Riverfront Park. 

This ship is really cool to go into.  It is a landing ship tank that delivered tanks, troops and cargo first in World War II.  This ship actually landed on the beach at Normandy.  

The most interesting part of the tour was talking to the 45 crew members that actually sail the ship from place to place.  They know the ins and outs of the boat as well as its history.  There were also lots of former members of the Navy that were touring the ship and hearing their recollections from being on ships like these were amazing.  

The bottom two pictures are from the tank deck.  This is where many of the vehicles were parked but also has side rooms that contained parts, laundry, mechanical shops, and the likes.  Below this level is where the engines were.  You could actually look down through a plexiglass plate to see the engine room.  
The top two pictures are from the bunk room and top deck.  

The LST 325 had several gun mounts and some actual ammunition you could touch and see.  
It was all amazing to look at and walk through.  

I believe the LST 325 is going to be docked in Nashville for tours through middle of next week and will be in Clarksville for a few days after that.  
Here is the link to the site for the LST 325 if you are interested in more information or tours while it is in town.  It is normally docked in Evansville where you can tour it when it is not out on trips so if you live in or are visiting that area then you will have more chances to see it.  

Happy Touring.  

September 14, 2012

Fabric Fanatic

Did you know it is National Sewing Month? 
No?  Neither did I however Jo-ann's is touting it in this month's flier.  
So that means I have to get sewing.  Yes the ad pulled me in and I went and bought fabric.  

The top fabric I am using to make a pillow case cover for a neck roll pillow my MIL gave me. 
The middle fabric is for more owls.  These will be auctioned at our church fall auction and festival. 
The bottom fabric is for a lap quilt that I am also making for our auction.  I will post pictures later once I finish the quilt along with the information for our fall festival. 

Along with all the super cool fabric I will be making owls, pillows and quilts with, I got some outdoor fabric to recover the two seats of the chairs that sit on our back porch.  Several years ago I had gotten some navy fat quarters and recovered these.  They quickly faded and needed replacing but I am just getting to it.  I just pulled the old fabric off and put the new fabric on and stapled it down. It was easy peasy.  I had extra fabric so I also made a little quilt sandwich to go on the table for Mr Frog to sit on.
This was a MUCH needed update as you can see from the first picture with the "blue" fabric on the chair seats.

I love how just a little fabric and staples can give something a whole new updated look.  I just purchased a dry sink that I am going to paint and distress to match the tan and teal in the fabric of the chairs as an addition to our back porch.

Happy crafting peeps! 

September 10, 2012

Birthday Weekend

I had an WONDERFUL birthday weekend.  I only wish Russel had been home to share it with me.
I had my camera with me all weekend and yet took no "real" pictures. My camera has not been feeling the love lately.  I did snap a few with my cell phone - You all will laugh at what I actually took pictures of.
Friday at Lunch time with Mr Peanut in the arcade. 
Going through the car wash on Friday night. 
A balloon Harley at the Hendersonville Flea Market

Sunday night celebrating with Sarah for her birthday - this is the card as I could download it off line.  I don't know why our picture isn't centered. 

Yes  - I know it is sideways but I couldn't get it to turn on here for some reason.  This is the actual picture they took and printed for us....see how we were centered???  Anyways It was a great supper and wonderful celebrating with family. 

I know that is a very odd assortment of pictures for a birthday weekend but what can I say? I am an odd picture type of girl.  
So beyond the weird pictures there are no great pictures of how much fun I actually had!  I spent Saturday morning with aunt Tina and Stephanie going to Hartsville for the Strawberry Patch Barn sale, a trip to the orchard, and lunch.  The barn sale gave us all sorts of great ideas that we hope to one day follow through with.  And of course I got to visit with my good friend Annie from the Farrar Four.  
Saturday afternoon Tina and I made an impromptu stop at the flea market in Hendersonville.  It had so much cool stuff.  That will surely be a place we go again.  The on to an estate sale in White House that was SUPPOSED to be open until 5:00 but that closed at 4:00. :(
On Sunday I went to church, had lunch at Cracker Barrell with my parents and grandparents, tore my kitchen apart looking for a mouse, and had supper at Demos with the Smith part of my family.  Another awesome day.  
The only thing that would have made it better was if the hubby had been home - he makes all my days better.  He makes my heart sing and my soul flutter - which is a gift I get from him every day.  

Thanks to all of my sweet friends and family who sent cards, texts, & emails and even called and sang great birthday renditions for me.  I am truly blessed.       


September 7, 2012

Sorry Peeps - No pictures and no real posts right now.  Russel's laptop went on the fritz so he took mine with him for work and I took his to get fixed. 
I do want to say however that I am having a frustrating day.  It is one of those days when you just want to smack the sense into people.  I have no idea why there are people in this world that assume that they are better than everyone else.  People that expect that they are the say all end all on things that aren't even in their control.  All I can say is God give me patience - I need it.  

Hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.  

August 24, 2012

Just because...

...he's the cutest sweetest doggie in the whole wide world. 

If you don't know, I have a hard time getting great pictures of Hunter ever since that fateful day I took him with me (because Russel wasn't home) to have his picture made for our free Olan Mills 11*14 picture.  Every year the volunteer fire guys come by for donations.  When you make a donation you get a card for a free 11*14 photo when you come get your picture made at the Fire Hall on a certain date.  We always donate and only once had Russel and I went to have our pictures made.  They turned out good and the next year I had the certificate and thought I would get a picture made of Hunter because well - it was free and why not.  I didn't want a picture of me sitting there by myself.  So we got there and Hunter was pretty laid back but I couldn't get him to sit on the white back ground and stay and look in the right direction.  So the photographer lady suggested that I sit with him to get the picture.  I wasn't really prepared for that but hey - once again - free picture.  I sat on the floor with Hunter and got him still and looking in the right direction and POOF! the big flashes went off and you would have thought someone stuck firecrackers up Hunter's rear.  He mowed over me running for safety away from the things that looked STRANGELY like very close lightening.  The picture - that took as the lightening went off actually was pretty good and yes I have an 11*14 of me and my dog - go ahead and get on with the dog/ cat lady jokes.  But now when someone gets out a camera Hunter still tends to shy away - especially if a flash goes off.  I try to be careful and turn my flash off when I take his picture.  So I will occasionally get a good picture of my furry friend but he always has an eye on me and my camera.          

August 20, 2012

It's Fair Time in Tennessee

It is finally that time of year in Tennessee again.  
There are county fairs going on all over the state.  
This week is the Wilson County Fair.
We won't be showing at the Wilson County Fair but I will be out on Thursday night helping to clerk at the Dairy desk.  If you are out and about at the fair come see me.
Next week is the Robertson County Fair.
We will be showing in this fair as we have for years.  I don't ever remember not being at this show.  
When I was young (4-H and FFA age) we showed at about 4 or 5 shows a year.  Now we only have time to go to the one but I still enjoy it just the same.  Tracey's kids are starting to enjoy the showing and we always have at least one calf for each of them to show in showmanship.  Elizabeth really stepped it up last year and showed in several classes.  I am so glad that they are enjoying it as much as I did at that age.  Plus what kid doesn't love a day out of school?

So this year we will be at the Robertson County Fair on Tuesday August 28th.  The show is in the livestock barn and starts at 7:00 pm.  Come visit us!  and for my diary friends - BRING SOME COWS!  We always enjoy having the barn full to capacity.  

August 15, 2012

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

My mother in law and I had talked a couple times about the Zoo at Grassmere and how neither of us had been before.  My father in law was able to get some reduced price tickets through his work so the whole family headed to the Zoo on Sunday.  It was a beautiful day. 
The elephants and giraffes were Debbie's favorite animals.  That is a Red River Boar in the top right hand corner.   

I liked all the animals.  I know they are wild animals but they all looked so cute and cuddly.  I can't imagine getting to cuddle with any of these creatures though.  

The park had a bamboo trail with lots of HUGE bamboo running near the cages.  This stuff would make a great privacy fence.  
In the top right hand corner is a picture I took of Ross taking a picture of Debbie taking a picture of an antelope.  Oh the circle of life. 

Kayleigh went with us to the zoo and I think she had a great time.  

Alligators, Flamingos, and Debbie with all her boys (Ross, Hudson, Ryan and Russel)

Military Tribute

Last Sunday there were State troopers all around the interstate at exit 108.  I kept wondering what they were doing  - is there an escaped convict, are they doing a random dui stop (on Sunday afternoon?), are they closing the interstate, are they just shooting the shit under the interstate bridges - what the crap were they doing.  It didn't take long for me to find out.  As Sunday progressed I started seeing small groups of military trucks, hummers, and haulers going by.  They were headed to Heritage High School just down the road.  It turns out that there was a whole unit (unit, battalion, brigade - I don't know the proper term) that was moving and they were staying the night at the High School.  It was really a pretty cool site to see.  Later on in the evening my dad called.  He said that he had sat in the driveway on the 4 wheeler and waved as some of the groups passed. They were honking and waving back.  Moving at such a slow speed on the interstate I seriously doubt that smiles and waves were the kind of hand gestures that they may have been getting all day.  Dad wanted to do something to salute them the next day so we rigged the American flag to the front end loader on the tractor right up by the road.  It was perfect.
I got out of the house in time Monday morning to take some pictures before coming to work.  About 500 troops stayed at the High School and they were making their way back to I65 North all day Monday. 

August 14, 2012


Just call me slacker - I know it has been nearly a month since my last post.  We went to the Zoo on Saturday and I am going to post some of those pictures soon.  I am just so not into being on the internet away from work right now.  :)  Talk to you all soon.

July 23, 2012

Ice Cream Recipe

I had some requests for my homemade ice cream recipe so here it is.
Girl Scout Thin Mint Ice Cream
3 boxes (3.5 ounce) instant chocolate pudding
3 cans (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
@ 7 cups whole milk (depends on how much to get to your "fill line")
1/3 to 1/2 a cup crushed thin mints (or grasshoppers or any chocolate and mint flavor cookie)

ATTN: I have a maker that MAKES 4 quarts of ice cream - you only actually put about 3 quarts of liquids in before you start freezing.  If you have a larger or smaller maker you can adjust the recipe.  

Wisk instant pudding into milk.  I usually start with about 5 cups of milk and add the rest "to the fill line" in the maker so that I don't overfill my maker.  
Add in the sweetened condensed milk and wisk until thoroughly incorporated. 
DO NOT add the thin mints yet!
Pour into your ice cream maker and fill to the "fill line" with remaining milk.
Start your freezer like normal.  
About 15 minutes into your freezing cycle wipe all the salt and ice from the top of your canister.  VERY carefully remove the top.  Your ice cream should be starting to thicken. 
Pour in your thin mints.  
Then take a wooden spoon or spatula and push the cookies down through the ice cream. 
Replace the top and continue your freezing process per the manufacturers instructions until frozen.

As much as you may want to add extra, PLEASE fight the urge to add TONS of thin mints.  It is better (more is always better) in reality but your ice cream won't freeze right.  I say that from experience.  About a 1/2 a cup is all the maker can handle before it bogs down.  Then your ice cream doesn't freeze the rest of the way.  

I am adapted this recipe from one that we found a couple years ago on
The adapting part is what flavors you put in your ice cream.  The first time we tried this it was with white chocolate pudding, macadamia nuts, and white chocolate chips.  
 Next time I am thinking peanut butter pudding and chopped up Hershey's bars for a Reece's cup type ice cream.  Really the options are endless.  So pick up a few ingredients and head to your own back porch to make some ice cream, watch the sunset, and listen to the crickets chirp.  That's what summer is all about.  


July 18, 2012

Pharamacy Prices

Have you ever called and checked for different prices at different pharmacies?
I never have but now I think I should have because I was mighty surprised.  
I ALWAYS just went to whatever pharmacy was closest or most convenient or where I might be picking up something else.  Well - I need 2 prescriptions filled so I decided to make some calls.  
Here is what I found:

Rite Aid - 
Prescription #1    $21.99
Prescription #2    $188.99
Kroger - 
Prescription #1     $7.29
Prescription #2     $198.29
Walgreens - 
Prescription #1     $15.19
Prescription #2     $175.99
Publix - 
Prescription #1     $5.95
Prescription #2     $149.95
Walmart - 
Prescription #1     $5.72
Prescription #2     $152.40
I was quite surprised - I say that because I normally have prescriptions filled at Kroger or I will be leaning toward Publix or Walmart and when it is a prescription that I am not on my death bed for I will probably call and check the pricing.  
I also found out that:
 Publix provides some different antibiotics for FREE.  Yes - I said free so if you are getting an antibiotic you might want to check their list.  
Walmart has lots of different prescriptions for $4.00. And they have a prescription finder online where you can look up some meds and their costs. 
Kroger also has some $4.00 prescriptions and a look up for those.....but you can also get your pet meds from Kroger Pharmacy as well. 

I guess that this whole blog comes down to - Take your prescriptions into your own hands....If you are paying out of pocket and aren't knocking on death's door - take a minute and call the pharmacies to see exactly how much you will be paying.  

Happy Wednesday. 


July 4, 2012

Happy belated Father's day to all the dads

Happy belated Father's Day to all the Fathers in my life. 
We celebrated father's day with my family at Mom and Dad's house. We played in the pool and grilled lunch.  We celebrated father's day with more grilling with Russel's family.  Nothing like a good cookout to celebrate the men.

It was also our last significant rain fall.  Of course we were in the pool AND trying to stay dry from the rain.  
 TL - Jessica, Mark, Ross, Russel, Hudson, & Ryan
TR - Brad, Papa, Phillip, Russel, & Ethan
BL - Brad, Papa, & Phillip
BR - Ross, Russel, Hudson, & Ryan

 TR - Russel with our nieces and nephew
TL - Hunter taking it all in
BL - Trying not to get rained on
BR - I swear I will melt