Sunday, June 30, 2013

A New Journey

(Please remember this was first published on 6-6-09.)  

4th of July on the trails 2009 018Because the purpose of this blog is to record the events of my life, I must tell you of a new journey , one that neither my husband or I wanted to take. Today I am consumed with the possibility of Stan being diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. I am in a waiting room at UAB as I write this. We knew something was wrong. For several months I have watched him get weaker, just not being able to do small tasks, and requiring rest after each effort.
We have a wonderful Primary Care Physician who really listens and after describing our plight, he ordered special blood work which came back “positive” for MG. The second round of tests came back “negative”. Next came a referral to a local neurologist with many more tests. Some came back convincingly “positive” and some “inconclusive ". His opinion was that we see the “expert” on Myasthenia Gravis at UAB, Dr. Shin Oh. We were really hoping not to have to get on this merry-go-round. In the interim, he agreed to put him on the drug, Mestinon. This drug is only effective for people with MG. So, if in fact it helps, this would be another diagnostic tool for Dr. Oh. It has helped! He takes it three times daily and approximately 45 minutes after he takes it, he is stronger. Right before another dose is due, he is growing weaker again….very short-lived but effective.
Our local neurologist faxed all his records to Dr. Oh. I talked with his nurse and she said to expect a call sometime in AUGUST! Dear God in heaven!!! This was last week and today, one week later, we are at UAB! “It’s a God thing”, my sweet daughter-in-law said. I believe it.
I had heard of this disease. I remember Aristotle Onassis had it. I learned to pronounce it….and I started my search, gathering information from every web site, forum, and chat room, learning much more than I ever wanted to know. To me, knowledge, even if it isn’t good, is comforting. I hate all the unknowns.
Stan will be going through yet another another series of tests today. That sweet man! EMG and nerve conduction studies will be done. Afterwards, we will talk with Dr. Oh. We are praying for a diagnosis.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bream are on the bed

Our beautiful Carol Anne!

You think he is having fun?

Great fish, Carol Anne

Carmen won the state record in her age group with this one!

Katie scores!

On this day, Krista & Matthew had rather watch.

Our Katie is into this!

Rob enjoying a quiet moment on the river.

Our wedding date forty+ years ago was determined by when the bream were on the bed"! My SH has always enjoyed fishing and has instilled that love in me, our children and grandchildren.

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For those of you who don't understand this........bream are small game fish which usually come to shallow water to lay their eggs around the first full moon in May. Dogwoods are in full bloom.
You can smell it when bream are bedding. They usually "bed" at about the same place every year. They love redworms and crickets. They are real fighters and will make you think you are catching a huge fish. That's the reason they are a "fun" fish for children to catch.
In 1997, we sold our fishing boat when we moved to a townhome. We didn't give much thought to fishing for a year or two. We walked on the trails near our home and from time to time would see people fishing. Hmmmmmm. We discovered we could ride our bikes and carry fishing gear too. Well, a new world was opened! We fished, travelling with our bikes, for a few years. Well, all that changed in 2008. My SH (sweet husband) broke his kneecap one week before I had Total Knee Replacement. You should have seen us! We had an interesting Summer.
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Enter, THE LADY. A golf cart that allows us to carry all fishing tackle, snacks, radio, cell phone(for emergencies only) and get to all our "bream beds".                                                                !cid_492
My two fishing buddies, Josh & Matthew

Matthew had rather play with a big stick.

Cody is a great fisherman.
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He also has a nice bass boat.

Wow!  Sorry, I got carried away with my pictures.
Have I convinced you that we LOVE fishing?

Our son, Steve,  fishing for bonefish

Marian has a good one

Our sweet Carmen!

We love fishing! All kinds of fishing! We have even fished for salmon in Alaska (another story).

Rob & Josh fishing a bayou in New Orleans.


Rob fishing the backwaters of the beautiful Tenn. river.
My mother took a spin or two on "The Lady".
Sweet boys!
This is our daughter, Nancy.  She is also Cody's mom.
She's not into fishing yet.

Yes, we do love fishing!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Rainy Sunday Afternoon On The Trails

The rain had stopped.  I needed to be outside, so off I go to the trails.  My golf cart (The Lady) is my best friend during fishing season.  So perfect! Thank you, SH!  As I was saying, a quick little stroll (on The Lady) of course, was just what I needed.  I also had a few redworms and my fishing tackle, just in case.
These trails run right along the beautiful Tennessee river and are a part of Point Mallard Park. Come along with me on this overcast, rainy afternoon.

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No one playing golf……mmm

See the “horse tree”?
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A view of the Tennessee from the trail.A rainy Sunday afternoon on the trails 017

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Still no one playing golf, and it’s really overcast.
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It is just rain!A rainy Sunday afternoon on the trails 020

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We call this, “the secret garden”, an alternate way out of the park.
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Ah, back home, dry, and in my jammies!

(Another post moved from my old blog to the new one.)  Thanks for 
coming by!
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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Perfect Place for Children to Learn Good Manners.....

The perfect place for children to learn good manners is at home. “Please” and “Thank you” are still the “magic” words, and we are doing our
children a favor if we insist they use them until they become a habit. As a
grandparent, I realized recently that we, too, play an important role in teaching our grand children good social graces. First they must hear us
using these words. Then we must reinforce what their parents are teaching
them by insisting on the same responses. It takes us all—parents, grandparents, day care workers, teachers—to teach a child.
I’m convinced one of the major problems with children today is a lack
of respect—for anything or anyone. We must teach them to respect authority
and to respect their elders. They must be taught that sometimes there will be
no explanation for why they must do as we say, other than because we are
older, wiser and care about them very much.
Mealtime should, above all, be a pleasant time. Children who see their
family enjoying food and each other will follow their example. This is also
the perfect time to practice good table manners. Our children were taught,
if they finished before everyone else, to ask, “May I be excused?” They also
thanked their mom(me) by saying, “I enjoyed my dinner, etc.” They were
not allowed to complain about the food.
Children do not automatically know the proper way to greet people.
We have to show them! Practice showing a three-year-old how to shake
hands. Teach them to smile and look the person they’re greeting in the eye.
Make a game of it.
Don’t sell these little people short. It is so important to never forget.
that they are just that: little persons who must be taught—by all of us.
Reminder:  This is a post that was first published on bcpmylife.  I am in the process of transferring all to my new blog, Message From MiMi.   Thanks for coming by.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Need A Yard Man!

I walk down my tiny, garden path several times each day, dead-heading, pulling weeds, filling holes that those pesky chipmunks keep digging. As I get older, just as personal maintenance requires more effort, so does doing what I enjoy most, gardening. You would laugh if you could see (I’ll show you later) how little of a lawn and garden I’m talking about. The thing is, I need a yard man who will dig where I tell him to dig, plant what I want planted, and clean up after himself. He cannot ask me why I want to put another shrub in that place. He cannot pressure-wash my concrete pieces and clay pots that I have patiently grown green moss on. He must get excited when something blooms and ooh and ahhh. He absolutely cannot prune anything! What do you think? Is he out there?
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Big pot is waiting on “yard man” to plant little gem magnolia

Patio and path always a work in progress. What's blooming in my garden 015 
2 more urns “waiting for the yard man.” What's blooming in my garden 021

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Thanks for coming by!

Remember, this was first published on my blog, bcpmylife.  I am in the process of moving all posts to my new blog,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Friendship Garden

I came across this post from my life several years ago. We lived in a hundred year old home in the historic district of our town. Reading this brought back memories that I thought you might enjoy. I know I have pictures (somewhere) and I will share them (sometime). Enjoy!

My yard is a collection of memories. It reminds me of my childhood,
family, and dear friends. As Spring presents itself again, I remember…
The wisteria we dug from the riverbank creates an umbrella of fragrant
blossoms each Mother’s Day. The stone bench that sits underneath used to be a fireplace mantel in a field hand’s old house on the farm where my
husband grew up. Buttercups from my mother’s yard—so old she doesn't
remember who shared them with her.
Snowball bushes brought from the yard where I grew up are a pleasant
reminder of that time. The little dogwood seedling given to us by some
dear friends, was brought from the woods on their farm. Its branches
now cast shadows over the goldfish pond. The old rocks that Mr. Turner
(the caretaker of the Wheeler plantation) let us have to frame our pond,
remind my husband of the years his family lived on the Plantation as
sharecroppers. The English boxwoods are another treasure from that
historical place.
The fragrant Carolina jasmine growing on our fence is a treasured gift
from Mrs. Anne B. Wyatt, a former neighbor and dear lady. How I
wish she could walk in my backyard with me again. The smell of
sweet-shrub in the late afternoon as I brush its branches remind me
of Bill(my husband’s brother who died this past winter). He was always
sharing his plants with us.
The bird bath is an old piece of statuary we purchased at Mrs. Case’s
estate auction. This is a pleasant reminder of a sweet lady. Irises
were shared by many including my Aunt Annie and Aunt Madge.
I always forget how beautiful they are until they bloom again.
The Seven Sisters running rose bush is one we brought from Ma Ida’s.
The gardenia by the back steps with its heavy, sweet-smelling blooms
was given to us by the White’s next door—such good neighbors!
The Lady Banks rose, hydrangea and ferns came from our son’s
back yard. Oak leaf hydrangeas were brought from our daughter’s
hedge. (She hates them!)
The sun dial has a special place in my flower garden. It’s another
reminder of treasured friends. My sister gave me the purple columbine.
It comes back every year as a reminder that she will always be there
for me.
I’m waiting for the ginger lilies to poke through the earth again. Their
blooms are as fragrant as gardenias and as delicate as orchids. The
thrill of their flowers in late summer and early Autumn remind me of
a good friend, Frances, who shared the tubers with me.

As I sit here in the warm sunshine of early springtime, I wonder about
the quince and the mock orange. How old are they? Did someone
share those? I look at the Jackson vine and wonder if someone
besides me(in another time) enjoyed the shade it gives the front porch.

My mother recently told me as she walked in my back yard, “You
have three shrubs there and you hardly have room for one!" Well,
I like it that way. I have lots of friends!
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Fresh Tomato Tart

This sooooo simple and good!

One sheet of refrigerated pie crust
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 to 5 ripe tomatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Line a tart pan with the pie crust. Spread with cheese.
Sprinkle with basil. Arrange tomato slices evenly over cheese.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
That's it!
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.
Slice into wedges and serve hot. Garnish with additional basil
Serves 6 to 8

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Katie's Birthday Week-end

Our oldest granddaughter has just celebrated her eighteenth birthday. This past week-end marked the seventh year she has brought a group of her friends to our house. We love it! Sometimes they stay one night and sometimes two. This year we had six high school seniors! Some things we have learned from this experience:

1. It is all about food. They might not touch a thing that they ate last year. Our Katie is a vegetarian so we are very in tune with that. Their granddaddy's main focus is to have every snack they have ever loved (mostly sweets). On our bar before they arrived was a cake stand with iced brownies, another cake stand of rice crispy treats, and another with banana nut muffins! I commented that our luck would be that they had all given up sweets for Lent! That was not the case but Katie did inform me she was on the "Daniel Fast". Even after a detailed explanation, I still don't understand. They all like Paninis but you better ask what they want on them because they will know if you put swiss instead of provolene cheese.

2. Relax.....even when they drive themselves up from Birmingham....even when you have beds for all of them and they choose to all sleep in the same room. Did I say, sleep?
They went to sleep at 5:30 a.m. (they said) I went to bed at my usual 9:00 p.m. When they told me they watched the movie, Nemo, that warmed my heart.

3. Never doubt that you are making memories. They talk every year about everything they have done other years. We have tie-died tees, gotten facials, pedicures/manicures, gone to movies/plays, always eat out at least one meal, and do a lot of "just hanging out".

This year we went to a play at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. The play was "Spelling Bee". I had Katie look at the reviews to make sure she thought it would pass. She thought it looked "hilarious". So off we go. I could not understand anything they said. I did not understand their jokes. I laughed when the girls laughed! They loved it! (and that's all that mattered).

It's been a great ride.....and next year she'll be at college. Life goes on.

Remember, this was first published on bcpmylife.  I am in the process of moving all posts to my new blog.  Thanks for coming by.

A Prayer To Begin This Day

Lord, as I begin this day, open not only my eyes but my mind and my heart as well. Help me find joy in every experience, every conversation, every mundane task, every chance encounter. Help me see the rich pattern that forms from the ordinary events of my life. Save me from so hastening through life that I am blind to its beauty, so focused on myself that I miss its priceless joy, its endless wonder.
Lord give me grace to see your goodness active in simple things–a quiet cup of coffee shared with a friend, a meal enjoyed with colleagues, full of laughter and optimism, the healing touch of beautiful music, the bliss of becoming lost in a good book, the smile on the face of a child, the grateful eyes of one I’ve been praying for.
Father save me from lost opportunities and wasted time. Remind me that my days are rich in pleasing moments, that the large problems which disturb my sleep mostly turn out to be little ones after all, and that for all its turmoil and sorrow, it is still a world of beauty, and that I am of all people most richly blessed. For your Son Jesus’ sake. Amen
(Steve DeGweck, St. Luke's Episcopal Church)

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Simple (and oh, so good) Italian Dinner

Pork Tenderloin
Fresh Asparagus
A Gratin of Onions
A good hearty Bread

Preheat oven to 475 degrees, Using your hands, rub tenderloins(I usually cook two, they come packaged that way) with olive oil. Next, coat generously with fresh, cracked pepper and Paula Deen's seasoning mix, or you can use just salt. Place in oven on cookie sheet covered with foil(easy clean-up). Bake until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees. Remove from oven and wrap in foil.
Prepare fresh Asparagus by breaking tough ends off and washing. Cook gently in saute pan with 2T. of butter. Salt lightly.
Take six to eight sweet onions, Vidalia or Texas sweet (or both). Slice thinly into rounds. Place them in mixing bowl.
In small mixing bowl, mix: 1 cup mascarpone (try it! so creamy), dash of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon just cracked pepper, 3/4 t. fine sea salt, 1/4cup vodka(optional), 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1t. unsalted butter. Mix everything except the Parmesan cheese and butter. Add this mixture to the onions and mix until onions are coated well. Butter an oval baking dish and spoon onion mixture into bowl. Spread evenly and scatter Parmesan cheese over all. Bake @400 degrees approx. 25min. or until golden crust forms. Serve this into warm dinner plates with tenderloin on top so that meat juices seep into onions. So good!

Serve with a good Italian bread (Publix has great breads).
Some good red wine will complete this simple meal. Enjoy!
I don't have many photos in the blog posts that I am transferring.  Why?  My guess is I didn't know how to do it!  Oh well...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Times Of Our Lives...

Oh, my goodness....What an emotional ride!
I'm trying to determine where to start writing. We have had fun times, sad times, and all in between, within the last two weeks. It all started with the unexpected death of Stan's sister, Katherine. She was such a dear sister-in-law and we will miss her.

Next, we travelled to Birmingham to spend a few days with our three granddaughters. That was so much fun! A word for grandparents who are dealing with the constantness of young children, they get easier! Our girls are 13, 16, almost 18. They really are so trust-worthy and just about take care of themselves. We played the game, "catch phrase" which I would highly recommend for families.
This visit was cut short when we received a call that our daughter-in-law's mother had died. We knew she was very sick but were caught off-guard by it happening as soon as it did. She lived with our son and his family. We left Birmingham (in a blizzard) headed to Louisana, inappropriate clothes and all. We needed to be there. A painful time for our family, especially our two grandsons(eight and eleven), was made bearable by concerned family and friends.

One funny story, our eleven year old, Josh, went with us to pick up some groceries. We had asked the lady in the bakery to suggest a dessert. She did and we bought it. As we were in line to check out, I told Josh if the dessert wasn't "great" we were coming back to the grocery store and tell the bakery lady. With a mortified look on his face, he said "no, MiMi! This is Louisana! We don't complain, we just eat and be happy". I love that!

This was first published on life, some time ago.  Remember, I am moving all my old blog posts to my new blog.  Thanks for coming by.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hydrangea Heaven

My hydrangeas are just beginning to bloom.  I gathered an armful this morning and you don't even miss them.  So wonderful!  These blooms are called "endless summer".  
The blooms are first "pink" and the older blooms are pale "lavender".
I'm in the mood for some "blue" with all these blooms.  A
tablescape is a fun way to enjoy your dishes without cooking a meal!
Everything you see here, china, napkins, placemats, vases, orbs, and urn are all thrift store finds. 

Add caption
flatware is a recent purchase from
One Kings Lane
I love it!  The quality is amazing.