Archive for February, 2010

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!

Red Rubber Ball

One of my favorite things about the BlissDom conference– and YES I AM STILL TALKING ABOUT THE DANG BLISSDOM CONFERENCE– was the opening keynote speaker. Seriously, I wish you’d been there. The session was entitled “ReDiscovering Play: Bringing Fun and Passion to Your Word…and Life” which frankly? Didn’t make me jump up and down. I knew if the BlissDom powers-that-be were bringing him in he had to be good, but I figured he would be some kind of ‘motivational speaker,’ and those words always immediately make me picture Chris Farley in that SNL skit :

“I live in a van down by the river!”

Also, when I saw that the title of his address talked about ‘rediscovering play’ I was a little suspicious that he was going to make us get in touch with our inner child by doing some sort of group games or something– you know like those kind they do at baby showers and you have to play along so everybody doesn’t think you hate babies and pregnant women but what you really want to do is just stand up and yell, “I don’t WANT to try to guess how many inches around her baby belly is! That’s kind of creepy and I don’t really care! Here’s my answer: BIG! Her belly is BIG!” Yeah, I am a lot of fun at showers, be sure and ask me to your next one.

Anyway,  I showed up for the keynote a few minutes late and plopped myself down on the floor at the verrrrrry back of the ballroom next to the power strips. That way, if it wasn’t riveting I could always just go on Twitter and make snarky comments or maybe ease myself back out of the door…

The speaker captured my attention immediately He was this kind of goofy-looking little African American guy with glasses named Kevin Carroll. He was animated and enthusiastic, and he was matter-of-factly telling the story of his childhood, which was horrible by anyone’s standards. Addict parents, ends up being shuttled to grandparents, left to raise himself. Oh here, let him tell you himself– this is a very short little excerpt from some other conference, but it will give you an idea– by the way, speaking of giving people ideas, I saw this first clip on Ali Worthington’s blog yesterday (she’s one of the founders of BlissDom) and that gave ME the idea to share it with you all:

Don’t you just love him?! Here’s another peek at a project he did involving another red rubber ball:

Isn’t it interesting that the grown-ups didn’t really take the opportunity to play with that crazy giant ball, but the kids ran straight for it?! I love the idea of using the ball to symbolize your passion, your ‘big, audacious, ridiculous’ dreams.  I know that these are not radical new concepts, but it is a very motivating way to get you to think about finding your own “red rubber ball” and chasing it to your heart’s content. Kevin’s words really inspired me to play more, enjoy the blessed gift of my life and continue to look for what makes my heart sing.

So, the obvious question that I would love to hear about from all of you is…

What’s your red rubber ball?

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