Photo Friday, er, SATURDAY

Yeah, I planned on getting this post up last night, but as you will see I was otherwise occupied…

Anyway, here’s a few shots from the last week or so:

**This is a LOT of snow for middle Tennessee! View from last week out of my kitchen window–

**This is one of those Edible Arrangement bouquets, that’s completely made of fruit– first time we ever got one, and it was delicious! Also? Very photogenic:

**And a close-up, just to make you hungry…

**OK, I’ll let you in on a very fun little-known fact. Every once in a while when Bill and Gloria G. come into town, they call a bunch of their local friends and invite us all out to dinner– because you know, Bill doesn’t get enough time with them on the road every weekend. The cast changes every time, depending on who’s in town and it is always such a great time. We usually meet at a big family-style Italian restaurant and get a room in the back if it’s available, mainly because we can be a rowdy bunch, but last night we were just right smack in the middle of the restaurant. It cracked me up to watch the double-takes of some of the diners that must have been Gaither fans when they realized that the loud table with a ton of food on it was also full of singers! It was especially funny when someone happened to be celebrating a birthday at one of the tables– there was some REALLY nice “Happy birthday to you” harmony coming from our table!

So here’s some shots from last night’s dinner:

** The cast, starting on the left and going around the table: Michael Randle, Lynda Randle, Billy G., Peggy Benson (one of Gloria’s “Friends Through Thick and Thin,” Bob Benson’s widow), Joy MacKenzie (another of the “Friends Through…”, and Editor At Large of Homecoming Magazine), Mindy Buchanan (Sue’s daughter), Gloria, Ladye Love Smith, Russ, Joy Gardner, Sue Buchanan (“Friends Through…,” author, columnist for Homecoming Magazine,) Marcie English, Mike English, Reggie Smith, Landy Gardner, Vickie Greene, Buddy Greene.

**Russ loves him some Gloria.

**It is so hard to keep Sue Buchanan away from all of the boys…

**Want to know why these women look so happy?

**It’s because we just all finished dinner…

**… and they are bringing the desserts! Of course, Marcie and I both have tremendous self-control, and eat like little birds–


I am holding on to Sue’s sleeve just in case she tries to a) take that giant spoon full of tiramisu away from me or b) tries to cram the whole thing in my mouth at once. It could have gone either way with her, that girl is a wild card.

**I’ll leave you with a shot of one of the women I admire most in the world. Gloria is such an incredible writer, a deep thinker, a voracious reader, a loving friend, mother and wife. She is also a lot weirder than you think.

Enjoy your weekend, dearest readers!

56 Responses

  1. KellyBurton

    I spot some unicorns in those pictures! I love your sharing it with those of us who only see ‘one side.’

    And PS: I am a total geeky fangirl of Gloria Gaither. I will treasure the last photo!

    And a question: Am I going to need bigger hair to move to Nashville? It seems likely…


  2. tori

    kellyburton– Honey, join the Gloria Geeky Fangirl Nation! And yes, you will need to amp up the hair. However, though I have only seen you once, if memory serves you will be just fine– lots of good raw material there.

  3. rachelbaker

    Seeing as we’re faithful, regular readers, we are entitled to a share of any money you make through blackmail … right?

  4. drobin99

    Having been on a few cruises with this “gang” I can attest to the authenticity of the photos and the fact that none of them are staged. So…Tori, I’ve got your back!

  5. Eldonna

    Oh how fun it would be to walk into a restaurant and see y’all there having dinner. And Tori–love your necklace.

  6. LindaB

    Well, that looks like too much fun for anyone! And you look adorable, Mrs. Taff!

    That red checkered table cloth is a nice touch for an Italian restaurant! Makes me want to sit down and have some spaghetti! I’m making lasagna tonight……got the sauce simmering. Maybe I’ll find a table cloth like that one, put on a Homecoming video, light a few candles, and pretend I’m YOU!

    Gee, when Bill or Gloria Gaither call and ask you to join them for dinner, how could you say “no”? “I’m sorry, Bill, but we’re replacing all the batteries in our smoke alarms tonight! Then our family is having a little fire drill. Catch us next time.” ROFLOL I bet he never hears “no, thank you”! I wonder what that would be like?

    Anyway, thanks for the pictures. Loved ‘em!

  7. Meredith

    Awww….that looks like a fun time! How is Sue B doing? I read the last Homecoming Magazine where she talked about her daughter Dana losing her cancer battle. What is the current situation? I would imagine those articles probably have to be written quite a bit ahead of time, so I just wondered if you could give us an update. Thanks!

  8. DonnaMariePatterson

    I think I might change my religion. If I believe in reincarnation, then maybe I can come back as a Homecoming artist. Nah, probably not. It’s too hard for me to be good. :)

    p.s. I loved your necklace too!

  9. tori

    rachelbaker- I’ll get back to you on that…

    drobin99– Thank you. (And also? BURN any cruise pix you have of me immediately!)

    Eldonna– Yeah, it is fun to watch– you can see people thinking, “Naw… can’t be.”

    LindaB– Well, speaking for myself, I’M never gonna turn down a free dinner– the great company is gravy!

    Meredith– Sue is doing as well as anyone could, under the circumstances. She is supported and surrounded by so many people who love her.

    DonnaMariePatterson– Trust me– they ain’t that good! (Kidding– they are flawless angels, every one of them. Especially Russ and I.)

    I love my necklace, too! I should really make up a good story and say I got it from, and it was made by a very exclusive silver jewelry artist… But then the bargain-hunter/cheapskate in me comes out and I end up telling the truth–Got it at Stein Mart! For $20!

  10. jonny

    OK, I just could not help but wonder if any of those beautiful, godly women, probably with gorgeous singing voices ta boot, were single = / My bad!! The last, and only time I was out at a place like that was around six years ago in So Cal with Joe and Gym of Undercover, plus a friend and family members of their’s. We had been in their little studio all day working on the vocal tracks/melody line in a song Gym wrote in the eighties, but Joe had re-visited. I don’t know when I had eaten so much at one sitting in my life!! The next morning I could still feel and taste the massive piece of chocolate cake I had for afters. Fortunately I could take a lot of the food with me and it covered all my food requirements the next day on the bus trip back to Nor Cal.

    OK, a left over from the last post. After LB’s inspired writing to Mostly, I then came across this projected on a big screen where I help out most Friday nights. Maybe it’s old hat for some, but all new to me and many others there last night.



  11. LindaB

    OH WOW! Thanks so much, Jonny, for putting sharing that link with us! That is amazing! It made my day, for sure!

  12. jonny

    The only, I mean ONLY, thing I would have added to that is “and He never gives up!”

  13. Silver Hair Fans

    Tori….What a Great bunch of pictures….What fun you all must have had!! I would have loved to have been a “fly on the wall” at that restaurant and watched it all.

    Let me ask you…my Hubby and I are going to the Gaither Homecoming in Toledo, Ohio on March 20th….Will be working David’s (Phelps) table…do you think I dare take a copy of Gloria’s “Walrus” picture along for her to sign…Or would they call “Security” and haul me away!! ;-)

  14. tori

    jonny– LOVE that! ANd I totally agree with your ‘add-on.’

    Silver Hair Fans– YOU BETTER NOT!

  15. Silver Hair Fans

    Tori….(cuffing foot on the floor)….”OH OK!!” LOL ;-)

  16. Silver Hair Fans

    ( scuffing ) :-)

  17. bettyrwoodward

    It looks as though you all had a great time, the photos are amazing. It really did make me hungry. Glad you had a good time. You share the blackmail money with Rachel and then she might be kind to her old mum!

  18. gracelynn

    Tori – (Yes I’m still alive LOL) You all look like you had a blast! I love your necklace too. I love the pic of Russ and Gloria. Ask Marcie can I help her with some of that cake LOL – I could use a chocolate boost tonight. Love ya lady and can’t wait to see you again!

  19. auburn60

    What? No Gordon and Kimberly?
    Tori–Next time I’m in Nashville I expect you to take me to the same restaurant–and stick straws up your nose for my entertainment.
    As a born and bred Southern girl I have lots of tips for ‘big hair’. I need mine big so I look taller. I used to bend over, flip my hair and brush it, stand straight up and spray the towering mess with hairspray. Very attractive.

  20. jonny

    OK, not all had big hair, FWIW. There did seem to be quite a bit of make-up on at least one as well. I wonder how much money would save giving up the big hair and copious amounts of make-up…

    Also, if one looks closely, after the shot of the one woman about to wolf down the massive slice of chocolate cake, in the following one she seems to be regretting, or thinking twice about, having gone down that gluttonous path… = )

  21. jonny

    Should have been…

    ‘I wonder how much money would be saved giving up the big hair and copious amounts of make-up…’


    ‘I wonder how much money one would save giving up the big hair and copious amounts of make-up…’

    I guess it all just got a little too complicated for me before Saying it!. = /

  22. auburn60

    Um…jonny, you have now stopped preaching and gone to meddlin’. Make-up is as much a part of getting dressed as putting on underwear. My first thought,on seeing Marcie’s picture, was ‘Oh,I like that lipstick–wonder what brand and color it is?’

  23. jonny

    Didn’t mean to preach. It was an honest question. But, now that you’ve mentioned it, that makes some sense. I’ve often felt there was still something missing after I’ve put my underwear on… = /

  24. auburn60

    As a huge fan of Sephora–I can help you out.

  25. jonny

    I knew someone here would come to my rescue. LB may not be too happy about you reading this first and coming to my rescue, though. And I believe she knows where you live… = /

    Actually, I have to admit, I’m no stranger to make-up. I’ve won two awards for make-up jobs I’ve done in the past. One for an amature film I made as a teen, another for a professional theater thing I was directeing. Oh yes, plus an honorable mention for another play that I helped out with make-up last minute because I had a free night and enjoyed the artist I volunteered to work on. We had plenty of time, so I took my time. He also stated it was the best job for that cahracter he had ever seen. He’d played the character at that point around twenty years. It was the last time we had a moment together while he was still with us. He passed on shortly afterwards. FWIW.

  26. LindaB

    Jonny said, “‘I wonder how much money would be saved giving up the big hair and copious amounts of make-up…”

    That was spoken like a typical MAN!!! Do yourself a favor and someday when you marry that girl of your dreams, NEVER say that to her! At the least, she’ll roll her eyes in disgust. At the most, she’ll throw something at you and you could get hurt! You’ll thank me for that safety tip someday. Trust me. (And if she’s from the South, she’ll just shoot ya!)

  27. LindaB

    Jonny, just what HAVEN’T you done in the area of the arts and music?

  28. auburn60

    Actually,I carry a Taser instead of a gun. Funny image,huh?

  29. jonny

    So far the potentials in my life have been extreme minimalists in that department. Actually, it’s been pointed out to me by some Europeans that they are often surprised at how much make-up American tend to endulge themselves with. I guess European women just have a different set of endulgences…

  30. jonny

    Is good ol’ pepper spray passe these days??

  31. jonny

    And that was kind of cruel, LB. You know good and well that the woman of my dreams has been taken for some time. There’s nothing left for me to do now but wait and settle for less!!

  32. LindaB

    Well, I can’t disagree with ya there! LOL ;)

    Didn’t you recently meet a nice girl that you had lots in common with?

  33. LindaB

    That’s funny that Europeans think Americans wear too much make-up!!! That’s a big selling point here——all they have to do to get folks to buy their make-up and skin care products is to advertize that it’s from Europe, or “used by European women”, or discovered in Europe! We’ll go buy up a boat load of it then!

  34. jonny

    “Didn’t you recently meet a nice girl that you had lots in common with?”

    Haven’t heard from her in four weeks. Maybe we had too much in common = )

  35. LindaB

    LOL Maybe!

    You said you hadn’t heard from her in weeks? Why not call her yourself? Don’t tell me you’re shy! Maybe she’s waiting for you to call her.

  36. jonny

    She told me not to contact her. I have sent a few text messages from time to time for various reasons, though. No response from those.

  37. LindaB

    Well, her loss! Keep on looking and praying!

  38. delightedabroad

    That was a fun time ! Thanks for sharing. I’m soo glad I read this before having breakfast otherwise I would have to look at a weirdly ‘decorated’ screen :-)

    About make-up: from my point of view it really looks as if European women use less of it (at least in Germany).

  39. rachelbaker

    Delighted, I think generally you’re right, European women do use a LOT less make up than American. The average English woman definitely goes for the more subtle look.

    There are exceptions though, as our unofficial ‘ambassadors of all things shallow’ to the US display proudly (thinking about Victoria Beckham and Katie Price).

    I wear make up once every couple of months if you’re lucky and could not get my hair to be ‘big’ if I bought every can of hairspray in the shop. If I ever visit Nashville I will need serious help.

    Vive la difference!

  40. delightedabroad

    rachelbaker, I agree with you and I would also need a lot of help to get my hair ‘big’ (though it’s long enough)…

  41. heffa

    how random my fist ever comment is sharing my experience of Autism now Im commenting on make up! auburn60 on my one and only trip to the states I discovered Sephora, wow make up heaven (if thats that blasphemy sorry!)
    rachelbaker you dont need make up your skin is flawless like your mothers!

  42. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I was enjoying all of the pictures, smiling as I went along, and came to the last picture. Not expecting that picture of Gloria, I cracked up. However, I think I have seen a picture similar to that one before. What a fun time y’all were having….and that’s better than even a great meal.

  43. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Johnny, I loved your video…..made me want to stand up and shout!

  44. jonny

    Cool! Glad it worked for you too, Barbara = )

  45. Stribet Kat

    What a wonderful evening…and I’m *so* hungry now!

    Late on commenting but just had to as this was such a fun share.

    Me thinks I’d of feigned being the birthday girl just to get an extra dose of harmony had I been there :)

  46. belinda

    Oh My Word! I can’t believe I am finally back in!

    Love the pictures! Love this blog! It is good to be back!

  47. jonny

    Great to have you back again, belinda!! = )

  48. LindaB

    Tori, what was the occasion for the edible arrangement, if I may ask?

    Welcome back, Belinda!

  49. tori

    YAY! BELINDA’S BACK– she broke the code!

    LindaB– Russ was able to get some Homecoming tickets for someone and they sent that as a thank-you.

  50. LindaB

    We were in Chicago a couple years ago, and were waiting outside of a restaurant I read about in a travel magazine that was suppose to have the best breakfasts in town. There was a long line to get in, so their reputation must have been well earned. So, bored, we walked down the street a ways while waiting and saw this little shop that did those fruit bouquets. And since it was cold outside, we went in. They were so nice and they offered us some of the little bits of fruit that were left over after they cut the flowers out. We said no thanks, but they brought us coffee and fruit anyway—–it was like a fruit salad with odd shapes in it! They also gave us a big plastic container of it to take home! They sold containers of the leftover fruit pieces too.

    Just a random piece of info in case any of you ever want to make a big fruit salad and would like to buy a container of it already cut up real cheap! I live to serve.

  51. jonny

    I’m just having a difficult time believing you said ‘no thank-you’ to free sweets, even if fruit, and coffee, LB. Maybe it was the waiting out in the cold for awhile…

  52. LindaB

    Well, I didn’t want to spoil our appetites for the much awaited and anticipated breakfast at TOAST’S! It was wonderful, too!!! We should have ordered one breakfast and split it! We couldn’t begin to eat it all, and couldn’t take it back to the hotel either. I recommend TOAST’S to anyone in the Chicago area. That’s my unpaid commercial for today!

  53. heffa

    Please look back at From heartache…., my son Connor has left a comment on how he feels about being Autistic and would love some comments bless him, thank you all xx

  54. jonny

    Wow!! I’ll zip over there, read, and comment ASAP!! Yea, Connor!!

  55. bettyrwoodward

    Well done Connor. It is a pleasure to know you, you are a very special boy that God and we love deeply.

  56. LindaB

    Heffa, thanks for giving us the “heads up”! I wouldn’t want to miss Conner’s message! How sweet and articulate he is! And very very wise! I loved the message and love this child! I commented……of course……..and it was lengthy, as usual. Bless his heart!

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