This is gonna be a long one. You might wanna pack a lunch or something.

This weekend was… amazing.

You guys know how ragged out I was, right? Ok, well I didn’t even know the full extent of the toll that the stress the last week in Arkansas had taken until I got to Kansas City. I realized I had been running on about 5 hours of sleep a night for the last 10 days or so, and trust me– I don’t do well with that!

In the car on the way from the airport to the hotel I called Liz to do a quick check-in and she told me that Sarah had had a very rough night. It’s like the weight of the whole experience kind of came crashing down on her and she woke up in the middle of the night feeling really frightened. She was crying in the dark, and asked the nurse repeatedly to please call her mom (who was at the hospital hotel) and let her come to her– AND THE NURSE WOULDN’T DO IT.  I was outraged and hurt so badly for Sarah. The thought of her feeling scared and crying for Liz just undid me.

So it was in that state of mind that I took the stage to do the opening keynote in the Marriott ballroom at the Westside Women’s Conference! Yeah. At that point I fully expected that by the end of my little speech those lovely ladies sitting out there in the audience with their sweetly expectant faces  were going to rush the stage and demand their money back. Possibly while beating me severely about the head and shoulders with their Bibles. So I thought I better just come clean. I basically announced that because of the recent events in my family I was just not as well prepared as I wanted to be, so I would probably have to rely on my notes which I HATE to do. And also I was feeling pretty raw and my emotions were very close to the surface so I totally might turn into a blubbering mess at any moment. It was like, the worst intro of all time– a giant disclaimer that pretty much said, “So happy to be here and oh by the way–THIS MIGHT REALLY SUCK, LADIES!”

And then? God totally showed up.

I can’t even tell you what I said that first night, because I abandoned my notes about halfway through it– but somehow, it apparently all hung together and in spite of myself, people were blessed. I am not even remotely being falsely modest– any good thing that happened that night had very, very little to do with me! The women could not have been kinder. That night I slept like a baby, woke up feeling rested, skipped breakfast and spent most of the day quietly in my room. I finished writing a piece that I had begun while I was in the waiting room during Sarah’s surgery, and by the time I headed downstairs for the closing keynote, I was rarin’ to go! Again, I pretty much made it up as I went along- but you, dear readers, were mentioned repeatedly because I was talking about the power of community and of course, in MY life that has to include our ‘Bloomr Nation! I also showed them a 6 minute video introducing the Magdalene program — and those wonderful ladies then proceeded to go to the table in the back and bought EVERY SINGLE PIECE of Thistle Farms product I had brought! (Which granted, wasn’t a lot because it had to fit into my one extra suitcase, but I was able to bring $405 home for Magdalene!)

The whole weekend was full of so many incredible moments and encounters. Somehow in spite of all of the stress and emotional exhaustion, I really had fun. It tickles me beyond measure that so many of those fabulous women are coming over here and commenting– I feel like I’m bringing them home to meet the family! I thank ALL of you, new friends and old, for your support over these last couple of weeks.

Here is something I started writing in the waiting room during Sarah’s surgery, and finished in my hotel room in Kansas City– I read it during the closing, and I wanted to share it here, too.

I truly love you guys.



We have our own private waiting room.

I think that’s because Sarah is having such an extremely long, complicated brain surgery, but actually it could be because last Wednesday when they first brought her into the ER she had a seizure while they were waiting and my sister Liz went all “Terms of Endearment” on ‘em and grabbed the wheelchair and started barreling through closed doors to get some help despite more than one nurse yelling, “YOU CAN’T GO IN THERE!” as Liz whizzed by. They got their own private room after that.

So now that we’re going to be waiting here for hours and hours, the powers that be probably figured they’d be better off kind of sequestering us from the get-go. This shows tremendous foresight on their part. My family is an extremely polite and well-mannered bunch—unless you happen to be moving too slowly while one of us is having a seizure—but if you assemble a gaggle of us all together in one place it can get kind of loud.

Mostly laughing.

Even under these conditions.

Which is just one of the many reasons I love being a part of this family.

As I sit and look around this crowded waiting room, I’m struck by two things: one is that there are currently no less than 5 laptops being balanced precariously on various and sundry laps—all of them Macs of course (apparently our family tree is an Apple), with the glaring exception of Liz, the rugged individualist. Her husband John, Sarah’s daddy, is sitting quietly beside her, one eye on the door. Every couple of hours a woman comes in with a report from the operating room—maddeningly vague, basically, “Things are fine, they’re still working”—and it’s almost time for another update, so John is watching closely. The second thing that strikes me about this scene is that my brother Jonathan is leaning against the wall with his eyes closed, sleeping standing up like a horse. He’s been here almost 12 hours now. When Liz and her family brought Sarah to the hospital in the pre-dawn hours of this glorious spring morning, Jonathan and his wife Cyndi and their daughter Caroline were already sitting outside on the curb waiting for them. Sarah’s brother Zach in Nevada, and her other two uncles and their families, Matt in Nashville and Joel in L.A., are keeping a long-distance vigil, checking in by phone and Facebook, anxiously awaiting news.

The rest of us have been steadily streaming in all day. There’s Leah, Sarah’s beautiful younger sister up from Houston, ensconced in a pleather recliner with a red fleecy throw draped across her legs—it’s kind of cold in here. Her husband Craig and 2 ½ year old daughter Perri arrived a little while ago. Craig took off work and he’s on Daddy Duty so Leah can be here around the clock. Perri is watching Barney on an iPad, and as I watch Liz watching her I can see that her face has relaxed its tightness for the first time all day. Just for a minute she’s a doting grandmother instead of a worried mother.

There’s my nephew Daniel the Computer Genius sitting over there in one of the two nylon portable sideline chairs he brought in from his car trunk to handle the overflow. He’s eating wasabi peas one by one out of a plastic Fresh Market container and scrolling around on his computer with the other hand, looking for a funny website that he wants to show us. His brother Andrew is here, too, straight from work and still wearing his motorcycle leathers, which never fails to unnerve his mom, my other sister Carolyn. He may be a 36 year old man, but she can’t get over the fact that he still occasionally rides that dang motorcycle after having not one, but two wrecks all those years ago. She’s done some time in hospital waiting rooms herself, so she can’t help scolding him a little, then just sighs and shakes her head—whaddya gonna do. He smiles and hugs her; they’ve done this dance many times before. My Madi is perched on the arm of the not-very-comfortable two-seater sofa languidly leafing through a magazine, pausing only to look up and laugh at something funny someone said, while simultaneously carrying on a nonstop texting conversation with her friends back in Nashville. I’m so glad she insisted on jumping in the car and driving down here with me when we got the phone call about Sarah—it’s comforting to have her close.

There are two faces conspicuously missing in this room—mom and dad, both 95 now, waiting prayerfully at home for some news. Mom would probably prefer to be here with us, but she has to take care of Daddy these days. Her tiny, barely-90-lb. self walking right behind him as he slowly shuffles from the bedroom into the living room, one hand protectively hooked onto the waistband of his pants—like she could do anything about it if he fell! Heart of a lion, that one. We’re taking turns checking in with them regularly, standing out in the hallway when we call them on our cellphone because even though they always put us on speakerphone, we still have to talk REALLY LOUD.

This is the gathering of the tribe, the circling of the wagons. I’m proud to say I would expect no less of us, and I know we would be doing this for any member of our family. But here’s the thing: we’re not the only ones crammed into this waiting room. I’m watching a phenomenon unfold here that both humbles and astounds me. Apparently we have another ‘family’ that I wasn’t even aware of until today. There’s a community of people out there who are connected to us—some directly, some tenuously, and a sizeable contingent who are actually total strangers.

Many of the local ones have shown up in person. Sarah’s fiancé Tom has had several of his co-workers come and sit here with him for a while, bringing homemade cookies and good wishes from the other ones that couldn’t get away. His mom and sister brought pizza and hugged all of our necks, wiping away a few tears and saying how they felt like they already knew us. The woman who owns the company where he works has dropped by twice today. She’s responsible for the wasabi peas we’re all passing around. She brought in a big bag full of healthy snacks to keep us from just eating junk all day, and two cold jugs of sweet tea, the elixir of the South, complete with plastic cups and a big bag of Sonic ice. There are two of Liz’s long-time friends, Nena and Susan, looking around for a clear surface to set down a colorful stack of magazines and one of those fancy edible bouquets of fresh fruit—that’s gonna hit the spot. These two women probably helped change Sarah’s diapers when she was a baby. They’ve had a front row seat as she grew into adulthood—she might as well be one of their own. Susan brought her own place to sit, a rolling walker chair that she’s used since her bout with surgery a short time ago. She sits quietly chatting with Liz, and a couple of times when no one is looking, her head bows and she nervously twists a Kleenex around one of her fingers.

All day long they come and go. Neighbors, couples from church, people from work, parents of children Liz taught in preschool, the mother of the girl her son Zach dated in high school—friends, and friends of friends. They suit up and show up, bringing food and encouragement, sharing smiles and stories of how such and such had almost the exact same surgery and everything turned out JUST FINE.

And from the screens of those five laptops come more messages of hope and love and concern. People from all over the country and even around the world have somehow heard about Sarah and are sending encouragement. Maybe they go to one of the churches where Russ is friends with the pastor– he called a bunch of them to ask for prayer. Or maybe they read about the surgery on Facebook or Twitter, or my blog. For whatever reason and by whatever means, we share a connection now. And because are connected, these people, known and unknown, stop in the middle of their day and offer a prayer for Sarah—my sweet, courageous, about-to-be-a-bride, 29 year old niece with the big blue eyes and the I’m-gonna-kick-this-tumor-in-the-butt attitude.

This is the body of Christ in action.

This is what community looks like.

Love poured out, running down the sides of my soul like butter on pancakes.

And it’s gorgeous.

**Perri with her Aunt ‘Sedda’, before surgery

650 Responses

  1. jonny

    Speaking of pancakes, I should get some breakfast ! Haven’t eaten since lunch yesterday, FWIW.

    Thanks so much for ALL of that, Tori !! If this were facebook I’d be hitting the ol’ “Like” button ! And thanks so much for allowing us to be a part of you and your family’s life. It’s a wonderful gift, and seriously appreciated = )

  2. tori

    Aw, sweet small j– you’re fast becoming a legend here in the states in ways your little rockstar heart never even imagined!

  3. LindaB

    What awesome writing, Tori! I felt like I was right there in the waiting room……….but I guess I kind of WAS! Because you have opened your heart and life to us here on your blog, I feel so close to your family and I’ve never met them! And I worried about Sarah so much that day that I couldn’t get anything done around here for checking on F.B. every five minutes for any news! And when the surgery went on and on, I still couldn’t go to bed without hearing if it was over and if it went well. That is your fault—–you made us love you and your family so much! You just write too good…….and you are so dadburn nice! I’m so relieved that the surgery went well and has not affected her face at all!!! That’s what she was worried most about, and God took care of that worry! And that it was benign is icing on the cake! And after the good news today about the shunt, I feel kind of Pentecostal-ly——-I might shout or something! I JUST LOVE OUR GOD!! I don’t understand all His ways, but when the chips are down, He comes through for us! And He’s put us in this wild and wonderful family of God! What’s not to love??

  4. LindaB

    And one more thing—–I wish so much that I could hear your talk that I called the church to see if they video taped it…..and they didn’t. Next time you speak somewhere, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE record it so if we can’t come hear you, we can buy a tape of it. You can raise more money for Magdalene House maybe!

  5. jonny

    Well, Former, I WAS up all night; checking facebook and this blog constantly, throwing up a few prayers. And grateful for every second of it !! Maybe it’s that martyr thing in my gene pool I’ve recently learned about = )

    Alright, Tori, what’s with dropping the ‘legend’ bomb, but not giving any DETAILS !! You must have been around enough sensitive ‘rock-star’ egos to know something like that could keep up nights, bugging everyone around us about it !! “Hey, what do you think she meant by that ?” “When she used the word ‘legend,’ did REALY mean ‘legend’ legend, or was she just being polite !?!” Etc.

    By the way, some new and astounding things have been happening with thos two songs I’ve thrown the lyrics up here for from time to time. If you have time, and are interested, I could give you an up-date. I don’t know if it’s worth bothering all those on your blog with… AGAIN !!

    Peace, and thanks again for all the up-dates = )


  6. LindaB

    Oh and….”Love poured out, running down the sides of my soul like butter on pancakes” is BRILLIANT! Good job!

  7. jonny

    Oh, and I knew, just KNEW Former would follow suit once I broke the ice in the comments section ! She like that little sister who follows you around when you’re in high school trying to be all tough and cool ! = )

    Oh, and if your still up LB, we could try doing that long distance song thing.


    P.S. Agreed about the ‘pancakes’ line !!

  8. jonny

    You were also in a dream I had last night, LB. I hink it’s the first time that happened. Anyway, we were talking on the phone and for the first time EVER I was going to here your voice. It was not what I expected. Almost like a little girls voice. I don’t remember what we were talking about though, I just remember trying to match that voice with the person I’ve come to know on-line, and through a few pitures.

  9. delightedabroad

    This is just amazing! How I wish I were better with words in such a situation – however my thoughts and feelings are really not as sober and reserved as my comments might suggest.
    LIndaB, I absolutely agree: I’d love to see/hear Tori’s speech.

  10. delightedabroad

    Tori, I can attest that God sometimes uses you when you feel completely incapable/incompetent; and though you have no idea what you’ve said it’s far better than you could have imagined – that’s our God!

  11. VA-Cathy

    Amazing. You never cease to make us feel like we are an important part of your life. I too have a close loving family. Not one that gets together as much as we should, but one that if you need us, we’re there! My aunt that had simular surgery to your neice’s had 8 children. One of them had very recently passed away before her surgery but the other 7 were there, as well as their families and a bunch of us neices, etc. We really filled up some rooms too. (We were at the same hospital that Tony Greene was in. Our group was clearing out as his group was coming in) I admire the love that you all have for each other. It and your faith are an inspiration to us all, whether it feels that way to you or not. Your attitude of “me??” is what makes you so wonderful, and makes us love you!! You have to know too, that as many communications as you receive letting you know that they’re thinking and praying, there are that many or more that are praying that you don’t know about. Thank you for sharing with us!! Some of us had just recently remarked on how you hear bad news – “please pray”, etc but when the prayers are answered and things are going good, you don’t hear it. Thank you for your “follow thru”!!!


    Ok, as someone who was at the retreat and heard the talk I would still like to have a video of it. I could listen over and over. Tori truly is amazing.

    jonny – I want to know how to hear your songs.

    You all may not realize it, but everyone in KC feels like they know you a bit after listening to Tori. You would be so touched if you knew just how much she loves all of you. I think she tells you, but there was such joy emanating when she spoke that it flowed off of her and onto the crowd.

    Westside is a truly amazing church and Tori fit right in. God knew who we needed to hear and showed up in her message. when she was done all I could think was Man I want to be friends with her. I think she rocks and we could really connect. LOL

  13. jonny

    Thanks for the photo of Perri and her Aunt ‘Sedda’ ! Much appreciated = ) And after working with hundreds of tots in my life, it never fails to amaze me how quickly they grow up = / Seems like yesterday we were getting an up-date on her fab Sock Monkey party, or pictures of her drooling about, filling her nappy while the rest of you were bowling !

    Oh, and if there’s any ‘legend’ stuff going around about me, it’s your fault, not mine ! (See, told you this would keep me up) You went out of your way to invite me to this shin-dig ! TWICE !! Totally your fault ! *fold arms across chest; roll eyes* All your’s, not mine !

  14. jonny

    @ Sorry, nothing recorded yet. Former and I are trying to see about doing it live over the phone to see how that works out. If it does, Rachel would probably be next; if she’s game of course = )

  15. sweet lil' redheaded dumbass

    Just so Andrew doesn’t have a heart attack or anything, I think he’s 36 or 37. Let me put it another way: I’m 4 years younger than he is and there ain’t no way I’m 40.

  16. auburn60

    I heard a sermon Sun. that made me think of Sarah and what God was showing us in her situation. I almost stood up in the middle of church and went “Yes! Yes! I get it”..which would have been kind of uncharacteristic for me. But the series of sermons has been on ‘facing your Goliaths’, and Sun. the point was: that David took 5 stones with him, but it only took one stone to slay Goliath, because David had the Lord on his side. And David ran…RAN…toward his battle with Goliath. Goliath called David names, made fun of him and His God and David merely said, “I come in the name of the Lord of Hosts…” . And I have thought of this all this week, especially as the ‘shunt surgery’ threatened yesterday and through prayer, God resolved that issue while we watched! Sometimes I think my ‘Goliaths’ are fear and not trusting God enough. When will I learn?

    And I have to say…not in a bragging way, but in a totally grateful way, that your description of the waiting room at the hospital sounds EXACTLY like what my church experiences whenever there is a medical situation for any of us. We are THERE, overflowing waiting rooms, and I have seen the effect that has on non-believers. I love my church family so much for being a family that truly is the Body of Christ. Just like here. Just like us.

  17. tori

    Oh dear lord, I meant to say 34! Yes, I was lying about his age but I meant to do it in a FLATTERING way… (And you cannot possibly be over 30. Simply not allowed.)

  18. jonny

    Thanks Auburn60 ! Neat stuff, and so true. I find it hard to present a greater witness for the reality of our Lord and His Kingdom than believers seriously coming through for each other.

  19. LindaB

    Amen Alyson and jonny!
    My heart is so full this morning…..I’ve been thinking about how awesome it is to call on God when our hearts are trembling in fear, and even though our faith is fragile (especially when our children are in danger), the Spirit of God grabs those pitiful faltering words of ours and RUNS with them to the Throne! I don’t know exactly what happens when a believer’s prayer reaches God’s Ear and He decides to answer it with a “yes”, but I know it gives me goosebumps! This song expresses what’s in my heart this morning so well…..and I imagine Sarah’s Mommy and Daddy and the whole family are feeling the same.

  20. rachelbaker

    I first read this earlier this morning, very soon followed by the latest. fantastic, update on Sarah on Facebook. You could have warned us – not just about the length of the post – but about the content! I had to open the door to a group of friends coming round for our midweek homegroup, and that was a lot of emotion to have to deal with in such a short time!

    I used to be hugely sceptical about the ability some people had to ‘make friends’ with people they had never even met, through the internet. Now look at me, I love you guys! I too, am blessed with a wonderful human family, a great local church family and this amazing, encouraging, international hotchpotch of a family I’ve found in cyberspace – many of them right here.

    LindaB – when jonny sings his song to you down the phone I want you to record it somehow so we can all hear without his international phone bill soaring! Is that a good plan? what do you think jonny?

  21. Vicki

    I love you. Praying continously.

  22. jonny

    Sorry, no recording. The phone bill is not an issue.

  23. rachelbaker

    no worries, jonny, just an idea.

  24. jonny

    I’m also not 100% it will work in the first place. It would to be in ‘hands free’ speaker phone mode. My concern is that certain strings on the guitar will be heard over my voice. Similar to when one is talking on the phone and certain back-ground noises seem to come through louder and clearer than the voice right next to the phone you are trying to listen to. Hopefully we get to test it soon, though = )

  25. LindaB

    Rachel, that’s alright…..I don’t think I could pull it off anyway—–I’m techno-challenged. I still can’t work my answering machine very well. Heaven help me if I ever get a pacemaker!

  26. anna

    ok, so…i am from Europe, from Romania and i still feel part of that huge family you talked about…feels good…i had tears in my eyes reading…i am amazed what a united family you have Tori, it makes me envy you …in a good way….thank you for considering us part of it.

  27. jonny

    WOW ! Romania !! How did you ever stumble across this blog from over there, Anna ??


  28. jonny

    And what’s that LB, if you ever get a ‘pancakemaker’ ??

  29. sweet lil' redheaded dumbass

    I’ve enjoyed 28 years a few times.

  30. syjsmom2

    Just pulled out my retreat notes from the weekend and was reflecting on Tori’s comment “it’s love poured out runnin’ down the sides of my soul like butter on pancakes!” I just love this visual! Thought I better check the blog and being new at this, didn’t even imagine I’d have comments back at me! How cool is that? :-) As Tori said, Lean In, Dig Deep and Be Brave! I’m delighted to meet you all and like others have said, feel like I already know you! You all are celebrities to 260 ladies from Kansas City! :-) God Bless!

  31. syjsmom2

    Do I have to sign up for gravatar to get my picture uploaded here?

  32. jonny

    @ syjsmom2: And at least ONE of us is fast becomming a legend in the states ! But I ain’t spilling !! *zippin’ close a zipper guesture across tightly pressed lips*

  33. syjsmom2

    @jonny – so I can’t become a legend if I can’t get my picture uploaded? Drats!

  34. anna

    jonny, we love Gaither Vocal Band and the homecoming friend here too…so i started checking them on FB …now most of them are contacts, from there…..the rest is history…it is impossible to miss Tori Taff…she’s on Gaither community, on twitter, on FB, everywhere and she’s adorable, so i feel i’ve known her for a long time….

  35. syjsmom2

    @johnny – oh gosh – I’m such a newbie! You were referring to my previous post about you all being celebrities! Duh! Sometimes I wonder…LOL!

  36. alipet813

    Why oh why was I using my full email for posting?? You would think I had never been on a blog before!

    Syjsmom2 – I don’t know about you, but next year I want them to video our speaker or I want my phone video camera ready to go!
    I couldn’t agree more about the pancakes comment. It makes for a vivid understanding of the overflowing love that is for sure.

    jonny – maybe you should let LindaB’s answering machine pick up and you can leave her a song on it.

  37. Barbara M. Lloyd

    ”Love poured out, running down the sides of my soul like butter on pancakes”

    We may not be able to express it so beautifully and completely as our Tori….but, oh how blessed we are to be able to feel it.

    Praising God for His wonderful works on Sarah….and continuing to pray.

  38. LindaB

    Oh Allison, that would never work——I’d never find it again! I heard a message on my answering machine last week from November, 2008 reminding me to vote for John McCain for president on Tuesday!

    I, for one, am so happy to see new commenters on here! YAY Allison, Anna, and syjsmom! I think you’ll like it here in Tori-land! We laugh and have a good time, we share, and we pray for one another when we need it! And we are from all over the place! It’s a very cool thing! Please come back often and join in! (Tori confided to us once that she is a “comment whore”! No kidding! So come back and comment often and make her happy! And us too!)

  39. LindaB

    Also, welcome ldf!!! You commented on the post before this one, and I didn’t want you to think no one saw it! We’re glad you joined in! Come back often!

  40. jonny

    She is.

  41. jonny

    In truth.

  42. jonny

    A comment (the word LB used).

  43. jonny

    We ??

  44. jonny

    Obediant slaves.

  45. jonny

    Oh, and the reason I’d be calling LB and Rachel to share where one of the songs is at now is because they helped in putting it together. As such, at this point, it’s jjust for their ears only.

    Peace !


  46. LindaB

    Yes, jonny, I do have a “pancake maker”! And I can whip up a stack of pancakes so fast, I had racing stripes painted on it! ;)

  47. MostlySunny

    Well, this just made my day!!!!! I had my Sunday School class praying for all of you! The body of Christ is truly a beautiful thing, especially when it’s working in high gear. Hope her recovery is fast and amazing. Thanks for keeping us updated.

  48. jonny

    @ LB: *sigh* You’re still a taken woman, though. Little good it does me = /

  49. LindaB

    LOL You’re crazy, jonny! Ya know, I’m 63 years old now and thinking about my will. Maybe I’ll designate that pancake griddle to go to you!

  50. jonny

    Maybe, but at least I’d still get a few good pancake years out of you !!

  51. rachelbaker

    Praise God for more great news about Sarah!

    jonny and LindaB – its so good to see your relationship back on track!

    I think the only solution to the issues we are facing is to hold that Bloomr nation convention we’ve been talking of. As our leader, Tori would be the obvious choice for main speaker and jonny could provide live music.

  52. jonny

    Uhm… Maybe I should just do a few songs opening for Russ = /

  53. jonny

    Oh, and of course Former is responsible for the pancakes and root-beer = )

  54. bettyrwoodward

    Anna – Rachelbaker and I are from Europe as well. Both in the UK and just to keep you informed Rachel is my daughter!
    Really good news on Sarah.
    Linda B We are the same age now! Glad that your relationship with jonny is back to ‘the old times’!

  55. jonny

    Well, Former and I have never really stopped. We just took it ‘outside’ for awhile. For example; the other day on her facebook profile…

    Former: “Made chocolate cupcakes with my Chloe tonight! Let her do all the cool stuff……like put the little paper cups in the muffin tins. Break
    some eggs! Measure out flour and sugar and stuff and get all messy! Fun!!!

    jonny: “It sounds like fun ?”

    Former: “I should send you one, jonny! They’re better than pancakes even! ;)”

    somebody else: “Ahh thats nice. I love baking with my little guy. He loves it too!”

    Former: “I just let her do it her way…..with a little guidance from me. There were some “uniquely” decorated ones! LOL but we had fun! Her
    favorite part is breaking the eggs!! She loves that!”

    jonny: “Yep, breakin’ a few eggs is an art at any age ! As well as decoratin’ stuff ? Well, to be honest, I’m not into things with chocolate so much, nor cup-cakes generally; but I’m always up for a care package or two !! ? We rock stars live for those little perks in life most people seem to neglect when they think of us. Oh sure, we appreciate the sent undergarment or two with an interesting photo of one’s self declaring everlasting devotion to some sort of legend/myth type image one may have of us; but whoever thinks of the box of home-made peanut butter cookies ? lemon squares ?? Or, quality root-beer !??


    Former: “ROFLMBO! Well, small j jonny, I’m going to check out the brewery that makes that root beer and see if they ship overseas. But
    you’ll have to tell me your address and then you risk me hopping on a
    plane and comin’ to one of your concerts! And embarassing you in front of your cool rock star friends!!! And I will!”

  56. LindaB

    The thought of ME jumping on a plane to Finland, waddling back stage after one of jonny’s concerts in my polyester stretch pants, bubble hairdo, and luggin my Tupperware container filled with pancakes and cupcakes while sipping on a root beer is just TOO TOO HYSTERICAL!!! You would pretend you don’t know who on earth I am, jonny! And I wouldn’t blame you!

    To you newbies here, we aren’t always this goofy, just when Tori is away for a while. And since she is due to go out again to Seattle on Friday, things may go amouk around here. Poor Tori—-she hasn’t figured out yet how to lock commenters out after a reasonable time. (Yay!!!) (You stay out of this, Daniel!) So….beware. Enter at your own risk. As the most responsible and serious one here, I will do my best to keep order and decorum. Honest.

  57. tori

    Re: “As the most responsible and serious one here, I will do my best to keep order and decorum…”

    1. Momma Lloyd just did a spit-take with her coffee.

    2. See: ‘inmates running the asylum.’

    3. (The backstage scene you just described is going to keep me giggling all the way to Seattle!!)

  58. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Gracious, sweet Tori, I hope I didn’t get any on you….because I almost choked!

    And, Linda dear, you left out that you would be crackin gum as you took that delicate walk. Gotta have sound effects.

  59. syjsmom2

    Hey everybody – just realized I miss out on a bunch when I don’t check in often! My name is Pam – so you don’t have to call me syjsmom2! Just don’t know why work has to get in the way of this bloggin’ – it’s just not fair! Have a blessed day each and every one of you!

  60. rachelbaker

    Hi Pam, welcome to this encouraging, love-filled madness. You’re very welcome here!

    And Momma Lloyd wasn’t the only one who did well not to choke (!)

  61. LindaB

    I forgot to mention that there’s a piece of duct tape on my Tupperware with my name written on it——that indicates that I am a church lady and have attended a lot of church pot lucks….and lost a few pieces of Tupperware. I think that keeps my “witness” believable. Just keepin’ it real!

    Barbara, I don’t NEED gum to get that crackin’ sound—–my knees provide all the sound effects these days.

  62. LindaB

    Have any of you ever seen a “church lady” who has just discovered someone “took” her $35 Tupperware round cake taker (with carrier) home with them??? It’s not pretty……but it’s very funny to watch! She is in a tricky place—-does she throw a big fit right there and look “unspiritual” in front of all the other church people, including the pastor and his wife? Or does she let it go and just keep an eye out for it at the next pot luck and gently confront the culprit then? What if the pastor’s wife took it by accident? It’s a terrible quaundry. But $35 is $35…..after all.

    I don’t know how I got on that subject. A.D.D. maybe.

  63. LindaB

    I still miss that care taker.

  64. LindaB

    I mean “cake” taker. I got a little emotional thinking about it.

  65. syjsmom2

    That is too funny LindaB! One other method to protect your tupperware is to put a return address label on it! Unfortunately, they fall off after washing, but the church ladies continue to do it. I really like the duct tape idea! It comes in all different colors now too! Not to mention all the wonderful colors that Sharpies come in – you could make a fine label on your cake taker! :-)

  66. LindaB

    Thank you, Pam, for that tip! I hope you keep hangin’ around here!

    Another way to keep your Tupperware safe, when they put out the list of food they need for the next dinner, get there early and sign up for potato chips. ;)

  67. syjsmom2

    LindaB – I LOVE it! What a great suggestion!

  68. LindaB

    Well, where did jonny go? Maybe I was a little too honest about the backstage visit?

    If you want me to hear your song, jonny, you need to hurry while I still have my hearing! (I can’t believe I gave my phone number to a rocker finally…….at the age of 63!!! Too little, too late I think. My husband suggested I give him my cell phone number, too. And my Medicare info. He’s so funny. LOL )

  69. LindaB

    Pam, you’re gonna fit right in here! LOL

  70. jonny

    Next time you’re over at YouTube LB, you may want to search and check out: “”Perfect Pancake” – “Sid the Science Kid””

    Also, it is more likely the first time we meet LB would not be you coming over here and standing out like a sore thumb, but me looking like a European middle-aged junkie never-quite-made-it rock star the cat dragged in from half way around the world to a Gaither event. I’ll probably have a bunch of senior women comin’ over and offering me ice tea, some home-made something or other sweet to eat, and the four spiritual laws ! You’ll probably have to come to my rescue with that piece of Tupper-Ware you got back from the pastor’s wife full of pancakes and a bottle of honey sweetened root-beer ! Everything would then be nice and pleasant for awhile, until… Candy shows up. Even though I’d try my best to hide it, she would get an ever so slight glance from me that you would catch. Instantly. Then I would have the remainder of the pancakes taken from me, and shortly after Candy hears your knees in action heading her way and turns her head around to see what all that ruckus is; all hell breaks loose and she misses her time on stage because she couldn’t get all that pancake, syrup and butter cleaned up and out of her hair in time !

    No matter how one looks at it, whether here or there, us meeting face to face at some point is never going to be a win-win situation for anybody = /

  71. tori

    Well, it certainly would be for me.

    I’d be the one rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically and scaring small children. In syrup.

  72. LindaB

    Well, jonny, it would be worth it just to see Tori rolling on the floor in syrup. (I hope it takes place in HER house ’cause I’m not cleanin’ up that kind of mess!)

  73. Odie Boggs

    Wow felt as if I was there with you all!! So glad your family and friends could be there for each other. Thank God for His good people that reach out when there is a need!

    Why are waiting rooms always cold??

    Still praying for you all!


  74. meb

    What an amazing community. And really that’s what life is all about. The community that you share with those in real life and here in the blogosphere.

    Prayers continuing here in Seattle. And did I see somewhere in the comments that you are coming out this way?

    There really needs to be a bloomr nation conference somewhere, sometime, soon.

  75. jonny

    Oh, and for those who came in late, and/or haven’t put two and two together yet, I also have a thing for Candy Christmas as well. This developed during the shock of finding that Former’s husband was indeed alive and well; and still very much married to LB. Something she wrote awhile back gave the impression he wasn’t around anymore. Anyway, I knew Candy was a taken woman as well, but at that point I could care less. She was my new eye Candy <3, and that was that ! Yes, they were rough times. Well, Former didn't care for this AT ALL so I've not brought her up for possibly over a year now to help keep the peace over here. I'm guess I'm just a sucker for older, taken women into Southern Gospel Music = / Lord have mercy.

  76. LindaB

    ROFLOL The Lord has a lot of it,…’re lucky!

  77. jonny

    So, do we try and hit the triple digits again before the boss’ next installment, and while continuing to pray for Sara as well ??

  78. bettyrwoodward

    I’m sure we will make triple figures again the way this is going. I want to watch that meeting between Linda B and jonny as well, can we all come!

  79. rachelbaker

    Yeah – we might break records this time!

    Still praying for a complete recovery for Sarah. The great thing about this international community is that she is being covered in prayer 24/7 – we’re all awake at different times, and God never sleeps.

    I wanna be there for the big meeting too – pllleeeeaase! And Tori, if there was syrup involved, you wouldn’t be scaring MY small children, they’d be diving right in!

  80. delightedabroad

    I don’t want to be responsible for not reaching triple figures…:-)
    Of course we won’t forget to keep on praying for Sarah & the whole family – however we’re able to write, uh, funny comments…

    (I’m relieved I didn’t have to put down Flitzi today *wiping forehead*)

  81. Gramma Jac

    Oh jonny, Oh jonny,….I now have the cookin’ with chemistry song flitting thru my brain!! But it’s competing with “Oh Johnny”–a VERY old song!

    We’re at 81 I believe. I’m leaving for the day, so I expect triple digits when I get back!

    I’m off to the hospital where my Father-in-law is having heart surgery. Prayers would be greatly appreciated!!

  82. LindaB

    Gramma Jac, we will pause from the chatter and pray for your father-in-law—-that the surgery will go very well, the recovery uneventful, and he gets to go home soon. Keep us posted!

    I’d like to ask you all to pray for my mom today. She is 84 and is having a health problem that may require surgery——and she is dreading it. Please take her before the Throne today.

    And, of course, let’s keep praying for Sarah today. According to her Facebook, her catscan yesterday was “unacceptable” and she was unable to go home today as they had hoped. The spinal fluid was not draining as well as they would like. I know she was disappointed. So, let’s keep running to the Throne for that sweet girl!

  83. LindaB

    I don’t know if I mentioned this before, (it’s hard to believe I missed saying something, huh?) but I loved the picture of Sarah with her little niece Perri snuggled in her hospital bed with her. That was a precious photo, Tori! Did you take it…..or did Madi?

  84. rachelbaker

    I will certainly be praying for your Father-in-law, Gramma Jac, and for your Mom, LindaB. Still praying for Sarah as well.

    Delighted – I’m glad Flitzi is still with you.

    LindaB did you notice that Gramma Jac was singing to YOUR jonny?!

  85. jonny

    lol ! No one sings to this boy but Former ! Not even Candy gets THAT priviledge !! >= (

  86. LindaB

    YES, I DID, RACHEL!!! I may be old, but I’m not unconscious…….yet. LOL

    Liz, Tori’s sister, posted this this morning:

    “Sarah Update Thursday AM: Today’s CT scan looked great! They should be here soon to pull the shunt and said she MAY get to go home today!!!!!!”

    Her post last night was less hopeful, but this one is lookin’ good!!! I know it will be a relief for Sarah’s mom to have her at home so she can care for her there and do without those trips to the hospital every day and worrying at night if she is okay and getting good care. I always worry about hospital borne infections myself!

  87. jonny

    A friend of mine’s wife died from a hospital borne infection mere months after being married. The operation was a minor one as well.

    This is the first time I’ve felt any relief from the news concerning Sarah. I hope this is a sign that the worst is over for now.

  88. rachelbaker

    Thanks for letting us know, LindaB! Thats great news! I aint gonna stop praying though.

  89. LindaB

    Liz just posted that the shunt is out and Sarah is going home today!!!

  90. rachelbaker

    Wow!!!! Thank God!

  91. delightedabroad

    This is really good news!!!

  92. jonny

    And we’ll soon hit triple digits TOTALLY adding to the day of days for Tori when it comes to good news !! = ) God is just too good sometimes !

  93. bettyrwoodward

    Brilliant Praise the Lord! Thanks for the news Linda.

  94. alipet813

    Thank you Lord for that wonderful update on Sarah. That is wonderful news! Sometimes I think people heal more quickly once they get home.

    I would also like to add a family to the prayer list. The Kempf’s in KS lost their 9 year old son to brain cancer this week. He fought hard, but the Lord took him home. Please continue to pray for this family. They have 2 other small children that are missing their brother as well. Very tough!

    On a lighter note, I was cracking up about the tupperware LindaB. Is that a little passive aggressiveness with the chips? LOL You could also do soda. That’ll teaach ‘em when they are missing your fabulous cooking!! How long does it last if you write your name right on the cake taker with a sharpie? Then they might have the cake taker, but they certainly can’t take it anywhere!! Esp not church!

    When I started this comment is was #92 – triple digits are coming!

  95. rachelbaker

    Oh, I will certainly pray for the Kempfs. Such a tragedy.

    Having before lost certain ‘cake-takers’ at church lunches, I am taking notes on all these strategies. My favourite one is the potato chip option though (we call them ‘crisps’ over here).

  96. jonny

    I was seriously into salt ‘n vinegar crisps when I was in your neck of the woods, Rachel !

  97. rachelbaker

    Salt ‘n vinegar are my favourite too jonny, but I’m trying not to snack at the moment so I’ll not think about them too much.

  98. auburn60

    SMH. I step away for a few days and what happens? Anarchy! Just trying to read through some of this is making my head spin.

    I’m going back to my corner until Linda’s meds kick in…


  99. LindaB

    We all will pray for the Kempfs, Alison. What heartache those parents are experiencing today! And I know this little boy’s siblings have a big hole in their hearts today too.

  100. jonny


  101. bettyrwoodward

    I’ve just been asked what I’m going to take to a coffee and dessert meeting. I decided to take fresh fruit. Its better for the weight and needn’t be taken in a dish so I wont lose it!

  102. rachelbaker

    I was waiting for someone to write something profound for the 100th comment because I couldn’t think of anything. Thank you jonny – that was exactly what needed to be written!

  103. rachelbaker

    Oh, and congratulations to all. I hope Tori is duly impressed, and we have contributed a small part to what has been a great day for her.

  104. LindaB

    ALYSON! COME BACK!!! I have a dream I need you to interpret!!!

    (Okay, I lied to get you back here. I didn’t have any dream. But jonny did! He dreamed he called me on the phone and my voice sounded like a little girl’s. LOL That’s funny because I don’t know how many times I’ve been told by telemarketers, “Can I speak to your mommy or daddy, little girl?”

    Oh, and Alyson, I hate to tell you this, but my meds have already kicked in…….this is as good as it gets today. I don’t know, but after I’ve prayed for something or someone and I see God’s mighty Hand move on behalf of His children, and prayers are answered… I get a little giddy……..manic even. I’m serious. Am I the only one that this happens to? At first, I just want to sit quietly somewhere, listen to a moving worship song (like “I Love the Lord”) over and over and just thank Him for Who He is and how faithful He is. Then I want to party!!! So,……Alyson, should I go see a shrink? Or a caterer for the party?

  105. rachelbaker

    Oh LindaB, no need for a caterer, we’ll bring and share – each in our individually personalised tupperware containers!

  106. LindaB

    That’s a plan, Rachel!!!! I’ll bring the chips! LOL


  107. rachelbaker

    Tori’s invitation to ‘pack a lunch or something’ in the title of this post, is taking on a whole new meaning!

  108. Phyllis S

    Just took a “few” minutes, if ever you could read these posts in a “few” minutes, and saw your post about your mom. Girlfriend, have put her on the prayer list and said a very special prayer for healing. Give her a big hug….

    Did I just read that jonny was giving you up for Candy Christmas? That’s just not right. jonny that backstage visit may be much more, now that you have let the cat our of the Christmas bag…HoHoHo, you better watch out!

  109. LindaB

    I’m not too worried, Phyllis—–whatever Candy’s got, I can double!!! LOL

    Thanks for the prayers for Mom! She said she was feeling better this afternoon.

  110. jonny

    I did NOT give Former up ! I found out in a drop a guy in ice water way that LB was indeed a TAKEN WOMAN !!! OK, so is Candy; but at that point I could see the trees through the forest anymore ! I questioned why I was even born, my purpose in life, my salvation !!

    It was not pretty.

  111. jonny

    “could not see the trees…”

    Sorry, I was a little emotional there. Forgot to double check what I was posting = /

  112. tunnelgal05102

    We’re all glad you felt your time with us was a success. We were all certainly inspired by you. We all hope Sarah continues to work toward getting well.

    Lots of Love!!!!!

  113. LindaB

    Back to your knees, Gang! Just in—-

    “From Leah (Sarah’s sister) : “They are about to head to the er, fluid is leaking.”

  114. Barbara M. Lloyd

    For goodness sake, this is starting to sound like an up-and-coming Caregivers’ Greeting rather than a Caketakers’ Get Together between jonny and LindaB and all of their support cast. Instead of using tupperware, how about considering buying very inexpensive plates and consider them a donation of sorts?

    LindaB, you have to know that yoour mother will be in my prayers. Folks, her mother is adorable and maybe even funnier than Linda…..and then there is her grandmother who surpassed ‘em all in that department. Consider hearing something like, “We’re gonna make it but we won’t look like much when we get there.”

    I will be praying for the brother-in-law and the dear Kemp family. Losing a child has to be the worse thing in the whole world.

    Praise the Lord….for answered prayers…..Sarah has gone home from the hospital. I know her pretty eyes are sparkling….but no brighter’s than Liz’sz.

    Can we make it to 200, folks?

  115. Barbara M. Lloyd

    On TV today, they showed the Gaither video, “Heaven,” and Madi and Char had a part in it three or four times. They were adorable! But I can’t believe how much they have grown since then. Bless their sweet little hearts! Wished I could have reached right in there and hugged them.

  116. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Oh, and by the way, today is March 31st…..and “my” Russ has another terrific cd that was supposed to come out in March. But who is counting? Me!…for pete’s sake.

  117. Gramma Jac

    LindaB–sorry I sang to jonny!! So glad it didn’t start an on-line fight! :-)

    It’s been a LONG day but my Father-in-Law came thru surgery well–thanks for the prayers! He had a valve replacement and triple bypass, but he’s pretty tough for an 81-year old. As a matter of fact, he’s still farming and his big pre-surgery worry was how his crops were going to get planted!! Anyone drive tractor? LOL!

    jonny, loved the “100”. Perfect,….were you sitting on the computer waiting?!?

    I love this group! And a belated welcome to the newcomers. Love the ideas of a get-together–but don’t forget my idea of a Tori Youtube channel. (ToriTube?)

  118. Gramma Jac

    Oh and any Sarah updates?

  119. jonny

    From Leah: “CT scan looked okay but can’t figure out why the spinal fluid is leaking so being put up in a room again…”

    I do all this through my phone.

    It would be nice if the get-together was this Spriing. Our guitarist is at Berklee studying until at least the summer. We could try and do the opening thing for Russ together = )

  120. rachelbaker

    Praying that the leaking will stop!!

  121. jonny

    Yep, hope they get to the source, reason for it, on that one as well !

    And regarding your observation earlier that Tori’ s invitation to ‘ pack a lunch or something’ in the title of this post has taken on a whole new meaning; well what about, ‘This is gonna be a long one’ ?? Could she have known, even then, that we would be hitting triple digits ?? = /

  122. rachelbaker

    ha! maybe she did – I wouldn’t put anything past Tori :)

  123. blondie

    Okay, I can’t simply lurk anymore. I had to comment. I have read Tori’s blog from day one and (I think) EVERY comment y’all have posted. I feel as if you are my family, too. LindaB, I’ve re-told many of your hilarious stories. I’ve laughed with all of you, cried with all of you, and used the blog and comments to help give my life a semblance of normalcy when many other things were changing. Thank you all! Auburn60, my home church is just as you describe yours, isn’t it such a gift?!

    Tori, we’re praying for Sarah and the whole family. Hope your trip is great!

  124. jonny

    Since day ONE and NEVER ‘said’ anything until JUST NOW !! HOW is that humanly possible !?!?! Well, what-ever. Glad and grateful you finally said ‘hello,’ Blondie = )

    I can’t really say ‘welcome !’ can I = /

  125. rachelbaker

    Yay! A delurker! Now you’ve made the step make sure you join in often, Blondie. Welcome to the bloomr family.

  126. rachelbaker

    I’m a little bit confused how we all managed to help with ‘a semblance of normalcy’ though. Normal isn’t really normal round here lol

  127. jonny

    Case in point, probably.

  128. bettyrwoodward

    Welcome Blondie. Hope to see more of you in the future.

  129. blondie

    rachelbaker, I’ll admit I laughed when I wrote that thinking of the responses that would get. Normal? Really?! :)

    jonny, if you knew me, you would know how VERY surprising it is that I was this restrained this long!

    Thanks everyone! Good to be in the sunshine and not lurking in the shadows anymore. (she said, with a goofy grin on her face)

  130. jonny

    Uh-oh, should I be more than a little frightened right now, blondie… = /

    “jonny, if you knew me, you would know how VERY
    surprising it is that I was this restrained this long!”

    Yeah, I kind-a know a thing or two about lurking-in-the-shadows blondes ! *turns head up and ever so slightly to the right, fiegning a modest look whilest his chest swells up a bit*

  131. auburn60

    jonny-my daughter graduated from Berklee! So glad to see it spelled correctly!

    Linda-I had a dream the other night about George, George and Jeb Bush, coffee and worms. VERY weird.

    blondie-my church family totally keeps me going. Glad you joined in.

    Momma L.- Is that the video where Char says ‘Heaven is a good place for people’ in a very sincere way?

    My other daughter is moving to Nashville in 2 WEEKS and has managed to get herself JURY DUTY for 10 more days at least, (how’s that for timing?) and still finishing up her job here. She has to find an apt and get moved and get all her stuff out of my house and maybe buy a new car and …aaaaargh! (I speak fluent ‘pirate’ when I’m stressed.)

  132. tori

    blondie– YOU DELURKED!!! HAPPY, HAPPY DAY!!! Welcome– see, it’s not hard to comment!

    EVERYBODY– I love this comment thread so much, I’m reading it every day. I’m in Seattle, WA (Bellevue, actually) with a bunch of other Nintendo brand ambassadors and today we are headed to what Charlotte refers to as ‘The Mother Church': Nintendo Headquarters! I’ll keep checking in, more to come, love you guys.

    Please keep praying for Sarah and my sweet, exhausted family.

  133. LindaB

    Blondie——WELCOME, GIRL! But I’m afraid if you’re looking for a sense of “normalcy”, you’ll have to look somewhere else! Just come here for FUN!!! Often!! (Hey, you aren’t the singer Blondie that sings “Heart of Glass”, are ya? Well, it could happen! We already have one rocker on here.)

  134. LindaB

    Alyson, are you tellin’ me that you had a dream yourself and don’t know what it means? What happens when a dream interpreter dreams and there’s no one to interpret their dream? Is that like if a tree falls in the woods, and there’s no one there………oh, you know. (Sometimes thinking gives me a headache.)

  135. LindaB

    Tori, you’re touring the Nintendo Headquarters and are happy about it?
    Was the ambassadorship to The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company taken?

    Just kiddin. We love you too! And are praying for Sarah and your family to get off that roller coaster and for Sarah to get better and better……AT HOME!!

  136. LindaB

    I wasn’t joking about saving all those little hotel shampoo and creme rinse bottles——take ‘em home with ya!! In case we really do have one of those double dip recessions!!! My husband has a whole collection of them!!! If the economy goes belly up and no one has anything—–WE will have clean and soft hair!!! Which is really funny ’cause he has about five hairs on his head!!! LOL

  137. LindaB

    I think we can break 200 without breaking a sweat!!!

  138. rachelbaker

    Yep, still praying for Sarah and the whole family.

    LindaB, be careful, those things have sell by dates you know, they might lose their cleaning capabilities after a while, and more importantly, the fragrance could change A LOT.

    jonny – I’m not sure we are ready to know about your experiences with shafow-lurking blondes!

  139. rachelbaker

    I meant shadow, oops.

  140. LindaB

    “….be careful, those things have sell by dates you know, they might lose their cleaning capabilities after a while,…..”

    Rachel, when you only have five hairs on your head, that’s not gonna be a big problem! LOL

    What does that say about my hubby, who’s nearly bald, and stockpiles shampoo?

  141. rachelbaker

    Ummm, it says that you two could well be a perfect match (sorry jonny).

  142. LindaB

    LOL I’m afraid you’re right on!!!

  143. jonny

    I’m good. Now I just have to wait for the one I’m made for, and visa-versa. And; I should probably stop messy about with lurkie-lou blondes hanging about the Bloomr shafows !

  144. rachelbaker


  145. alipet813

    Just stopping by to say Hey during my lunch break.


    So, I am gathering now that auburn60 is also named Allyson? That confused me for a minute! I was wondering why I was being asked to interpret dreams. LOL I mean I can make up some answers to that…

    Our house is getting renovated due to water damage and I have to pick this weekend like I am moving. GEEZ! Someone pray my husband and I don’t kill each other. We don’t do well with moving scenarios.

  146. alipet813

    oh excuse me *pack* this weekend.

  147. alipet813

    johnny – when I try to look at your profile I get blocked for “mature/adult content”. What the heck are you doing on your profile?

  148. jonny

    There’s no ‘h.’ Serious ? If so, what profile ??

  149. rachelbaker

    Alison, I wouldn’t swap placed with you for anything. I’m not good at the whole packing thing, and I’ve moved way too many times in recent years.

    Just for the record, when I click on jonny’s name (which I assume is the profile you refer to), I get through to the website just fine – and it isn’t dodgy in the slightest!

  150. blondie

    jonny, I really was just referring to the fact that I can talk a blue streak when I want to, so my restraint has been to keep quiet this long! LindaB, you’re right, it’s the FUN I come back for again and again. Now the disclaimer *Any resemblance between me and the Blonde Rocker to whom you refer, is purely co-incidental (and by the way, non-existent) but still, fun to think about*

  151. auburn60

    Yes, I am an ‘Alyson’. Do you know what the name means? ‘Truth and Honesty’.
    My husband says that should be ‘Brutal and Frank’.


  152. Shella

    Greetings from an April Fool. I’ve been reading all the comments and laughing…and laughing…and laughing. The comments of Linda and Rachel regarding “free shampoo” (and the use thereof) struck me as particularly funny. Unfortunately, I must have laughed a little too loud as my co-workers have been giving me strange looks and asking if I’m okay. I keep saying that I am (just a small fib – I hope) as I try to look dignified (though it’s hopeless, I’m afraid). The fun and laughter are worth it, though – so thanks! And Happy April’s Fools Day to all.

    Still praying for Sarah and her family.

  153. rachelbaker

    Shella – welcome to the fun!

    Blondie – we’re looking forward to you making up for lost time now your ‘blue streak’ has started.

    So, we’re over 150 – what’s the record?

    Still praying for Sarah.

  154. Gramma Jac

    I’m starting to think we need to have a “Cast of Characters” on the side somewhere. (And I do mean “characters”–speaking for myself too!!!) You know “So-and-so’s name is such-and-such, mom to whomever, and descended from British royalty”!

  155. LindaB

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the newbies that finally started commenting on here!!! We’re gonna have a GREAT BIG GIANT FAMILY!! Yay!!!!

    I’m packing to go away with my hubby for two days…..staying in a beautiful hotel/resort……..we need more shampoo, he says! We also take those little packets of coffee you’re supposed to brew in those little tiny coffee pots. We find if you use about three of those in a regular coffee pot at home, you can brew a decent cup of java! HEY, ya never know when the stock market will plunge again!! And we can’t live without clean hair and caffeine!

    I’m taking my laptop though……so I can monitor this blog to keep you guys on the straight and narrow!

    p.s. We NEVER take towels. We have high standards! Really.

  156. LindaB

    WELCOME STELLA!!!! Nice to have you here!! Come often, comment always! (That’s MY motto!)

  157. Phyllis S

    I forgot to tell you that I went to a used bookstore to purchase the needed book to make the wreath for Mardi Gras. I found a store close to work and spent my lunch hour looking for “just the right book”, after looking for sometime the owner asked if he could help and I explained the size, approx. number of pages and it needed to be old. While I am going thru the gyrations, I noticed a peculiar look on his worn face, his next question to me was, “so you are going to take this book apart and make something to hang on your door”. Yes, that is what I am going to do, at that point his words were, “I cannot knowingly sell you one of my books to destroy”. I left!

    Unfortunately, I got sick and never did find another book store, but I will ask before I spend a lot of time looking if they will sell me a book to mutilate.

    I love my books, just not a much as he did.

  158. LindaB

    Alyson,….BRUTAL AND FRANK??? Bahahahahaaa! I hadn’t noticed that about you!!! That has to be a false rumor!

  159. rachelbaker

    Phyllis – just don’t tell them next time!!

  160. bettyrwoodward

    Haven’t laughed this much for quite a while. I hope we are keeping Tori amused between the games she is playing at Nintendo. Anyone know what the record for comments is?

  161. delightedabroad

    I need to join in the request for prayer: in short, I had to leave my husband in the hospital’s stroke unit (presumably) for the weekend. He didn’t really have a stroke though the symptoms were similar, he couldn’t speak properly – messing up letters and words and feeling dizzy for some time. He is so despondent having to stay in hospital. So I’d be glad for backing in form of prayers :-/

  162. Phyllis S

    delightedabroad, your back is covered with prayers, keep us updated.

  163. rachelbaker

    I will be praying for you and your husband, delighted. I hope he makes a swift recovery.

  164. alipet813

    Sorry jonny – I didn’t mean to add the H. At work we have some firewall and it says you have adult/mature content. I will try again when I get home!

    Alyson – I think brutal and frank is a good description for me too! LOL

    Gramma Jac – I really need the cast of characters. Sometimes I am completely lost!

    LindaB – are you the reason the hotels put those special hangers in the closet that don’t come out? Everyone LindB and her husband are coming Glue everything down but the shampoo and coffeee!!!! Just how mnay hotel pens and notepads do you have?

    Phyllis – I love my books too. I don’t know if I could help shred one. What exactly is this project?

    Delightedabroad – praying for you and the hubby

  165. Phyllis S

    I guess I just blabber to much, esp when I am doing a fun project. Have to learn to keep my mouth shut, but if I have not learned it in 63 years, doubtful this old dog will learn a new trick.

  166. Phyllis S

    OK, jonny, what is the # count?

  167. bettyrwoodward

    delightedabroad – praying for your husband and you too. Prayers are rising from this blog in large numbers. God is Good.

  168. bettyrwoodward

    Oh Phyllis S not another one who is 63. How many of us are there? Certainly me and Linda B. Anyone else going to own up?

  169. delightedabroad

    Phyllis S,in terms of digit counting: I think we once had over 200

  170. Phyllis S


    During the Christmas holidays, Tori shared with us a wreath that she made, and also the tutorial from Youtube. Of course, mine will never match Tori’s, but I just have to try.

  171. jonny

    Yep, delighted, got your back ! A few proffered already = )

    And, yeah, I guess I’m too hot for some of those firewalls !

    Been playing with words again…

    I, I’d rather be you

    As lines diffuse
    Like aged tattoos
    And hands fall through
    A wrath or two

    I, I’d rather be you

    As eyes spark green
    And bathe in Spring
    Or Kelly’s blue
    When love seeped true

    I, I’d rather be you

  172. delightedabroad

    Thanks for all your prayers – may I add a little thing? This sort of excitement has a bad side-effect on me: my appetite is almost gone which carries a risk for someone who escaped from anorexia by a hair’s breadth (years ago but the risk is still immanent).

  173. jonny

    Yes, I believe we went a little over 200 last time. I’m pretty sure, with all this new de-lurking help, we should hit at least 300.

    And thanks for all the sharing, D ! Love you, much = )

  174. delightedabroad

    I’ll do my best going to bed for some sleep…hopefully my thoughts won’t start running like a hamster in it’s wheel.

  175. blondie

    Delighted, I’m praying for you and your husband. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Hope you’re snoozing sweetly even as I write this.
    Anyone heard an update on Sarah?

  176. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I needed a place to come and moan tonight. I have been baking cakes, both for my Easter dinner and because my grown kids often come and search my freezer for a cake to take to work or serve to dinner guests in a pinch. I guess lightning hit the switch and my second freezer in the garage was without electricity for probably a week. Tonight I threw out five homemade cakes: apple, cherry, coconut, red velvet and strawberry. (m-o-a-n) I figured if I came here to whine a bit, it might lift my spirits knwing that I am also working toard that 300 posts.

  177. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I’m back, determined to keep working at it……Welcome Blonde and Stella. There may have been one more, but I’m old ya know. The number 63 sounds so good to me….so very young.

  178. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Not quite finished yet because I wanted to tell Grandma I am thanking the Lord her father-in-law is doing well.

    And to tell Delighted that I certainly will be praying for your husband, sweetheart….and for you.

    Then, to Tori…..praying continuously for sweet Sarah….and believing.

    Remembering you all in prayer tonight…the spoken requests and the unspoken. I love y’all.

  179. jonny

    I think the record up to this point was around, if not, 225. We all forgot to bring extra oxygen and had to head back down after that.

  180. jonny

    @ Barbara: Mercy ! Five home made Momma Lloyd cakes in ONE night !! Respect. I think you may have just put all the 63 year olds hanging out here to shame = /

  181. rachelbaker

    Oh, how disappointing, I was expecting so many more posts while I was asleep (!)

    Delighted, thank you for being so open with us, I am praying for you both.

    Momma Lloyd, you are entitled to moan, what a sad waste of hard work (not to mention delicious cakes)!

  182. jonny

    Oh, I get it !! Sorry Momma L, I mis-read the first time. I thought ‘threw out’ meant quickly put together. I thought you made these five cakes in one night because your freezer was on the fritz. Sorry you had throw away, toss out, five cakes because of what happened ! My bad, and my condolences = /

  183. jonny

    Oh, and my father graduated from CAL Berkeley, so when I heard of this place some of my Finnish friends were going to that sounded similar, I could help but think to myself: “hmm, I didn’t know Berkeley was an internationally famous music school ! Or that it is located in the East coast !! Hmmm, something seems a little fishy here…”

  184. Gramma Jac

    I hate to ask, since you just lost so many, but MAYBE Barbara, could you bring cake to a get-together? And BTW, I’m NOT telling my kids what you do for yours, I don’t want them to get any ideas! (Actually, they’d probably prefer grabbing a pan of lasagna their Dad made! Shoot, cake is cheaper!)

  185. Gramma Jac

    Oh, my Father-in-Law didn’t have the greatest day yesterday–sitting up in a chair wore him out, BP is still a bit low, so still in ICU. Thanks for all the prayers!

  186. Gramma Jac

    Hope we get a Sarah update today!

  187. Gramma Jac

    “This is gonna be a long one. You might wanna pack a lunch or something.” Just read that and giggled–if we’d only packed a lunch, we’d be pretty hungry by now! We would have eaten the defrosted cakes!

  188. delightedabroad

    Short update: Hubby seems to have had a slight stroke after all; a minor artery was (almost?) closed in the area where the speech center is located. He is awfully scared! Please continue prayers…

  189. rachelbaker

    Delighted, I’m praying for healing for your husband and peace for you both. Also still praying for your Father in law Gramma Jac.

    I’m sure Momma Lloyd will bring a cake to our get together – I’ve been longing to taste one of them – they’re pretty famous.

    jonny – I have my oxygen ready this time.

  190. Gramma Jac

    Delighted–our prayers are there. The best word in your entry was “slight”, so hopefully he will recover quickly. (FYI, I’m a Speech Pathologist who works geriatrics, so lots with strokes.)

  191. rachelbaker

    From what I’ve seen on twitter/facebook, it looks like Tori has been gaming late into the night. Sounds fun.

    LindaB – have you arrived at the hotel? What is the shampoo selection like?!

  192. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Good Morning everyone. I’m waiting for my younger son to come and take me shopping so I thught I would help get to that 300 number!

  193. rachelbaker

    Thanks for your help, Momma Lloyd. Its afternoon here already – where is the weekend going?

  194. bettyrwoodward

    Still praying Delighted and Gramma Jac and for Sarah as well of course.
    You’ll soon be having an excited Rachel on here as her football (soccer) team are winning.
    Tori seems have enjoyed her late night (early morning) gaming. Hope you’re right about the freebies Rachel.

  195. carsmith

    Continuing to pray for sweet Sarah and the family as well as for Delighted’s husband,and Gramma Jack’s father-in-law.

    Momma Lloyd, I’ve heard all about your famous cakes. The thought of all that work and expense going to waste……….OH MY.

  196. carsmith

    Oh Yeah! Linda B…… keep me in stitches. Loved the remark about signing up for potato chips. Most families have someone they would prefer not cook but bring drinks or chips.

  197. rachelbaker

    Well, as my Mum promised I would be, here I am, very happy that Newcastle United won 4-1 this aftenoon! Its one step further away from the threat of relegation, so its good.

    jonny, we’re nearly at the next milestone – are you standing by?

  198. jonny


  199. rachelbaker

    you can always be relied on

  200. bettyrwoodward

    Still praying Delighted and Gramma Jac and for Sarah as well of course.
    You’ll soon be having an excited Rachel on here as her football (soccer) team just won. I guess she never told you that she is a big Newcastle United fan
    Tori seems have enjoyed her late night (early morning) gaming. Hope you’re right about the freebies Rachel.

  201. bettyrwoodward

    Sorry it told me I hadn’t sent that last comment so I sent it again!

  202. rachelbaker

    Mum??? Why did you repost what you had already put – and spoil jonny’s moment! Time to start apologising and grovelling!

  203. rachelbaker

    It was a serious waste of the 200th post!

  204. bettyrwoodward

    So sorry jonny. I am duly apologising and grovelling!

  205. rachelbaker

    Quick – we need to get to 300 now so jonny can have another chance. Where is everyone. LindaB??? What is the shampoo like?

  206. tori

    (OK, so you guys know your timing for “running up the comments” could not have been more perfect, right?! Any new people I met this weekend who are gonna check out my blog will be VERY impressed by my numbers! DON’T ANYBODY TELL THEM DIFFERENT!)

    *making shhhhhh gesture and slinking away*

  207. bettyrwoodward

    I think that might take a little longer but I’ll try not to spoil it again. I presume Linda B doesn’t have an internet connection or else is too busy to even try the shampoo

  208. rachelbaker

    Tori – as jonny said – we are your obedient slaves!

  209. carsmith

    Lovin the new direct flights to Destin. Off to see our dear friends but will be checking in to see how fast this post reaches 300.
    I know Sarah has been getting prayers from Niceville.

  210. Gramma Jac

    WhooHoo–over 200 whomever hit the mark!! jonny, are you over the disappointment ’cause wer haven’t heard from you?!

  211. Gramma Jac

    “wer”??? Should be “we”.

  212. Gramma Jac

    Do we have to remove Betty’s repost from our official count?? Oh no, are we breaching some Blog code? LOL!

  213. delightedabroad

    Hi folks, you were busy!
    So I’m back from hospital and the situation itself didn’t change BUT this afternoon hubby was in way better spirits (do you say so?). However I feel a little drained now :-/
    I’m so grateful to know prayers are on their way! That really helps a lot, thank you so much!

  214. rachelbaker

    Delighted – thank you for the update. We are still praying for both of you. You worded ‘better spirits’ perfectly by the way.

  215. Gramma Jac

    Yeah! How is his speech? So scary for both of you, I’m sure! We’ll keep praying? BTW,where are you? (I forget who is where!)

  216. delightedabroad

    At noon time he had again some difficulties to get the letters in correct order but it was a lot better in the afternoon. He just had to concentrate on a few words.
    Gramma Jac, we are in Germany, Greater Stuttgart. Which means about 30 km from the city.

  217. rachelbaker

    Seeing as the comments have dried up a bit, I thought I’d share a story from my family from a couple of nights ago. Just before bedtime I was about to do Beth’s bible study notes with her, and found her looking very concerned. Beth is 4 and is learning to read, and had been trying to read her notes before I got there. I asked her what was wrong? She said ‘Mummy, why does my book say ‘all bouncing is wrong?’! I looked at her book, and explained to her that actually it said ‘all boasting is wrong’! Poor thing, she wouldn’t have coped if she wasn’t allowed to bounce any more!

  218. jonny

    lol ! That’s too sweet = )

  219. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Okay, now I am going to tell a children story. One I have told many times before, but since we are couinting….

    When my younger son was in second grade at a Christian school, they were studying the Rapture when my grandmother went Home. Mark was very close to her and I knew he was having a hard time. After the funeral he said this to me: “I know where she has gone but it still hurts my heart…and then a few minutes later: “Mommy, would it hurt your feelings if I asked you something?”….”when the Rapture comes, do you mind if I fly on up ahead with Mom-Mom Jester?”

    Have we hit 300 yet?

  220. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Everybody keep rooting for Russ Taff to win the Dove Award for Best Christmas cd of the year. And if you haven’t gotten it yet, you are missing out on a real blessing.

  221. bettyrwoodward

    It’s a brilliant CD if you haven’t heard it. Not up to 300 yet I’m afraid.

  222. jonny

    Well Rachel, I’ve been checking this blog all day, as often as possible to be there for number 200. For awhile it kept sitting at 198. I kept checking every minute or so after that to see when you, or someone else, would put up 199 and I would come in and take care of my number 200 duties. Well, next thing I know it’s jumped up to 208. My first thought was Johnnie finally joined and in her enthusiasm just let the Say it’s rip !! When I saw what actually happened I couldn’t help but think to myself, “This is what happens when you invite our moms to the party; anything could, and more than likely will, happen !” I then remembered this IS a party, aka blog, for moms AND grandmothers ! Soooo anything, and everything, is even more more than likely to happen; and then some !! = )

  223. bettyrwoodward

    I really am sorry jonny. It really was a mistake. Please let me stay on the blog. I’ll try and be more careful next time. Pretty please!! Even though I am a grandma.

  224. jonny

    Um… I’m the outsider her Betty, not you. I’m constantly at the mercy of all you mums and grandmums. Surprised you’ve all kept me around this long to be honest ; )

  225. bettyrwoodward

    You’re no outsider jonny. It wouldn’t be the same on here without you to keep us in control. Just accept my apology and we’ll both stay!

  226. Gramma Jac

    You’ll both stay or I’ll leave too!!! :-) You’re both awesome and so often you (collectively) make my day!!!

    Do I hear an “Amen”?? (That should be good for a few more posts! LOL!)

  227. LindaB

    Okay. I’m home. We’re at comment #226! And our goal now is 300?? I’ll take it from here. LOL (And you know I could!)

    I see Sarah is slated to go home again today. Ya know, it may be just me, but shouldn’t someone who had 15 hours of brain surgery a little over a week ago AVOID ROLLER COASTERS??? Poor thing! And poor Momma!!! Back and forth, back and forth! Makes me dizzy. It sounds like this spinal drainage problem (which sounds unbelieveably serious to me) is a common problem after brain surgery. I’m praying that God will take over the management of her spinal fluid, that she will start healing, and feeling better and better every day……while AT HOME, for goodness sakes! No more moves! I wonder if she has headaches from the surgery? A car ride cannot be comfortable, I imagine.

  228. LindaB

    So……is jonny our official comment announcer when we turn the hundred marker? I didn’t get that memo, I guess! LOL Well, that’s good——he needs a job on here to keep him busy and out of trouble.

    Delighted, I’m so sorry to hear your husband gave you a scare this weekend! I’m glad to find out the stroke was “slight” and am praying for him to completely recover! I know how you feel….when my husband had a heart attack a couple years ago, I panicked——-I was afraid he was going to leave me here with our kids!!!! I can’t face them alone!!! LOL I’m also praying for you, Sweetheart!! You take care of yourself!! Eat something……anything……eat for your hubby and us! If something happened to you, what would your hubby do then……or what would we do here on Babybloomr without YOU? If we lived closer, I’d bake up something and bring it to you and make you eat!!! Don’t make me come over there!!!

  229. Gramma Jac

    I’ll come with you!! Sprechen zie Deutsch? (Or something like that,..High School German was,…um,…a year or two ago!!)(OK, the “Gramma” moniker gives me away!)

  230. LindaB

    “Most families have someone they would prefer not cook but bring drinks or chips.” Carsmith

    That reminds me of a story. (Be nice!) My best friend and neighbor has a sister who tries to cook, but she loves peanut butter and thinks if she adds it to anything, it will be better! She makes potato salad, and adds a cup of peanut butter. She makes lasagna and adds a layer of peanut butter! She stirs some in her spaghetti sauce. And it’s disgusting! We used to have potluck dinners and barbecues together —-our family with theirs, in their back yard. And her sister would bring her latest culinary masterpiece, with a liberal addition of peanut butter. So, my friend would try to steer her in some other direction. But she would not be detered! Finally, one time she talked her into bringing potato chips! And she agreed! So, here she comes to the party with a couple big bags of chips……and some chip dip she made with French onion dip mixed with PEANUT BUTTER!! We had the hardest time not laughing! She thought she was the best cook in the world! We didn’t want to hurt her feelings for anything! So….we ate some. Oh boy. Not good.

  231. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Can’t count, but I can type….and help the count go up.

    Okay, Tori, here’s the facts: I have seen LindaB rolling around on the floor in a supermarket in either Kentucky or Ohio….but not in syrup, and it was positively funny!!! Or, was that Betty Morris? Regardless, it was funny…. thank goodness, it wasn’t in my home town. My little ‘ole sisters would have had her in the middle of a prayer circle with hands layed on firmly, praying up a storm.

  232. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Then there was the time her husband got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and Linda jumped out of bed, made it up beautifully and hid in the closet to confuse him when he came back to bed.

    And then…..oh well, I’ll save that for another post.

  233. LindaB

    Barb, I feel your pain at having to throw out such labor intensive, grocery budget-busting homemade cakes! Are you sure it was absolutely necessary to throw them out? Cakes have a lot of sugar in them and usually keep a long time unrefridgerated. I hope you’re not like my mother——if any little thing didn’t go just right during the making of her baked goods, OUT THEY GO TO THE GARBAGE! When we go to her house, first thing we do is look in the garbage for edible cookies, pumpkin rolls, candy, banana nut bread, or apple cakes. (Not really……just making a point….don’t start making jokes about me eating from a garbage can, jonny! You’ll hurt my feelings. ;)) She makes those things all the time and freezes them, like you do, Barb. Once I found a loaf of banana nut bread that she had just thrown out because she forgot to put the nuts in it. Good grief!

  234. LindaB

    Barb, are you talking about the time we made Jolene’s birthday dinner in a hotel room in Cincinnati? Five of us met there for the weekend of a Homecoming concert nearby and to celebrate a birthday. And we went grocery shopping for the stuff we needed in a Kroger’s in Kentucky across the bridge?

    Jolene wanted my chicken broccoli Alfredo and I cooked it in our little hotel suite kitchen. Betty was watching me make it and I melted three sticks of butter in a pan, poured in a quart of heavy cream, and Betty pretty near fell on the floor!! “You’re gonna use ALL THAT BUTTER??? AND HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM???? Are you trying to kill us??” Well, I had to tell her that THAT’S what Alfredo sauce is—–very fattening! Anyway, I made it and she ate it. In fact, she ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day. Of course, that doesn’t mean it was that good, it’s just that Betty HATED to waste anything!! If I’d put peanut butter in it, she would have eaten it! LOL

  235. LindaB

    LOL Barb, you’re tellin’ all my secrets!

    Now you all know why my husband is losing his hair—–living with ME! But it was hilarious…..even from the closet!

  236. LindaB

    Okay! I was just kiddin’ about “taking it from here” and bringing us to comment #300 all by myself!! I’m just trying to catch up. Come on, Kids——talk it up!!!

  237. LindaB

    Rachel, our hotel was nice, but nothing exciting in the shampoo department. Same ol’ same ol’. (I hope I spelled that right.)

    Gramma Jac…..still praying for your father-in-law! How was he today?

  238. Gramma Jac

    My FIL is improving; out of Intensive Care, PTL! Today he was goofy from meds,…told my MIL he was at the train station. Dang those drugs are good! :-) People stayed away today because he started the day still in Intensive Care. But being the last day of the weekend, several family members (e.g. the grandkids) are stopping in tomorrow,…pray he doesn’t tire too much!


  239. jonny

    Wlecome back LB ! And thanks for helping keep the count up, Barbara ! I believe we’ve entered uncharted territory as far as the number of posts go on this blog. And people could start saying and doing some truly strange(r) things up in this exceptionally high altitude as well ! Like take all their clothes off and run around like a mad woman telling revealing, or embarassing stories about other Bloomrs ! Right now I’m grateful none of you know me all that well !! I’m seriously counting my blessings, as well as the number of posts on this thread, at this point = )

  240. jonny

    And thanks for the up-date Gramma Jac ! Sounds promising = )

  241. jonny

    Oh, and no worries, Betty. All is forgiven. But, not forgotten ! That was pretty funny ! = ) And Rachel’s “MUM !!!!!” response afterwards… Classic ! = )

  242. Gramma Jac

    I’m trying to think of a profound question we could all answer to get us up and over 300–but I can’t! Must be the thin air at this altitude. (I almost wrote attitude–yeah, that too!)Ideas jonny? But I’m keeping my clothes on, thank you very much!

  243. delightedabroad

    Good morning everybody, I’m ready for take-off to the hospital and I just wanted to do my part in reaching 300 :-)
    I’ll return later – hopefully with good news!

  244. jonny

    Hopefully, D !!

    Oh yeah, sorry about the taking clothes off remark. That was imsensitive of me. I’ve helped out in a few homes for the elderly in the past and some of those staying there could suddenly start doing that as well; even at sea level. I forgot that could be hitting a little close to home for some of you here at Bloomr = / My bad !

  245. jonny

    Ooh, that brings up an idea. Maybe some of you could share a ‘senior’ moment or two ! I think Betty may have had one at the 200 mark ; )

  246. rachelbaker

    jonny, I’m only 32 and I’ve had a fair few senior moments in my time – the only problem is I can’t remember most of them! I’m not joking either. This is me. NO long term memory.

  247. jonny

    What was your last ‘Say it’ referring to Rachel ?? I saw that it was directed at me, but not sure why !? = /

  248. jonny

    And Happy Mothers Day to Betty, Rachel and all other mummies here at Bloomer this may apply to !! = )

  249. jonny

    Oh, I probably should have mentioned that I have short term memory issues = /

    So, no long term memory… Does that mean you have trouble remembering who you’re married to from time to time, or who your kids belong to ??

  250. jonny

    I guess for the 250th post, I’ll throw up a prayer request. It’s a finance thing though, not a health concern. I’m now just short of three months behind on rent and JUST found out a friend in the states a owe money to had a seriously huge, and unexpected, bomb-shell dropped on him and they have a couple weeks to come up with a way to get enough money together to save their home. He, understandably, would appreciate if I could pay him back now as well. I always find it uncomfortable to ask for prayer when it comes to financial things because motive can sometimes be mis-inturpreted. Not asking for money, but prayers for these situations would very much be appreciated. He knows best why He is allowing what He has and is allowing, and I personally pray His purpose for allowing all this be fully realized.


  251. Gramma Jac

    Oh jonny (There I go with that song again!), don’t hesitate to come to us with whatever your prayers needs are! We’re praying!!

  252. jonny

    Thanks. Seriously appreciated = )

  253. rachelbaker

    Will be adding these situations to my prayers, jonny. Thanks for telling us.

    And as for memory loss – I haven’t forgotten any members of my family yet! Not quite that bad. I am just always amazed at other people’s ability to recall details of things that happened years ago. There are whole years of my life that I couldn’t tell you any specifics that happened – although I could put together a general overview. I forget events, places, conversations and even people. What I do remember are images, some ‘real’ images of things I have seen and some ‘mental images’ of the way things have made me feel.

  254. rachelbaker

    And .. over 250!! The air is getting thin up here!

  255. jonny

    Thanks, Rachel !

    Going back to the root beer topic, sort of, a little grocery store behind the building where I live received a tiny shipment of Boylan’s Original Birch Beer ! Man, it’s good ! Interestingly enough, I’m told there were only two shops in Helsinki that had it when it came into country last week, or just shortly before that. One of which just happens to be my fave little shop in my neck of the woods = )

  256. jonny

    Oh, and the Birch Beer is sold out already. So is the Cream soda in that one shop, but apparently that flavo(u)r was picked up by at least four stores over here, one quite big, so it still may be available before the next shipment hits Finland in around two months. Hopefully sooner if it really is as popular as it seems = )

  257. jonny

    Oh, and for those not familiar with Boylan’s sodas, they stem out of New Jersey, have been around a hundred years, have extremely cool bottles with painted on labels, among other things, and use cane sugar as well as still using the same, or similar other original incrediants only ! Rather impressive if you ask me.

  258. rachelbaker

    Birch Beer?

    Now, I’ve heard of root beer because my brother discovered it in America and likes it, but birch beer? Thats a new one for me.

    Is it made with birch sap? I’ve tried that before, freshly drilled from the tree (one of the many delights of having a husband who is into bushcraft and foraging for food in nature).

  259. jonny

    The only new flavor still on the shelf from the end of last week is Grape.

  260. jonny

    @ Rachel: I always thought it was from the bark of the tree somehow, but I’m not sure. The first time I had it, end of the Nineties at a ghost town in Nor Cal, it was red. Boylan’s also makes a non-original Birch Beer that is red as well. It may have been their’s I tried back then.

  261. jonny

    Sarsaparilla, Root Beer and Birch Beer all pretty much tastes the same. At least since the early Sixties when one incrediant was banned from Root Beer and Sarsaparilla. Being into this stuff as I am, I would really like to know what various Root Beers and such tasted like originally, and before the big change.

  262. rachelbaker

    Sarsaparilla? See, we English do miss out on quite a bit, never seen or heard of it.

  263. jonny

    Oh, and there are, or have been, a couple Root Beers here in Helsinki from time to time. At the moment, and for some time now, there has been A&W in cans. I tend to avoid it though becuase I’m not into the high fructose corn syrup. My fave sweetner for these things, and Cream Sodas, are pure cane or honey.

  264. jonny

    Yes, they are extreme vintage Americana ! Interestimgly enough, the first time I had Sarsaparilla was at the very same ghost town I first had Birch Beer, but when I was a kid.

  265. rachelbaker

    Wow, you are a real connoisseur!

  266. jonny

    Oh, and the first two Boylan sodas to hit the little store in my neighbo(u)rhood were (pure) CaneCola and Black Cherry. That was just under two months ago and both flavo(u)rs sold out in under two weeks. This time they ordered more Black Cherry than the other flavo(u)ors, so there is still quite a bit of that on the shelves. I do”mt think they expected the Original Birch Beer and Cream to go so quickly = )

    Well, I think I’ll take a little break now and check the count !

  267. jonny

    Yeah, I guess I am. Really interested in trying that Root Beer Former has mentioned.

  268. jonny

    I’m also hoping Boylan’s Root Beer makes it over here, but I tend to doubt it. They same shops also bring in the A&W stuff.

  269. jonny

    Oh, and I have made my own Sarsaparilla and Root Beer over here as well. My dad sent me a bunch of exracts many years ago. Probably from the very same ghost town since they moved closer to it, and where they now live, around that time he sent them.

  270. jonny

    Well, Rachel, do you think we could get to 270 before the others in the states start waking up ?? = )

  271. jonny

    Oops, mis-count ! That WAS the 270th post on this thread = /

  272. rachelbaker

    I think we just did!

  273. jonny

    Yep. We both posted our response to that at the same time, though ! = )

  274. jonny

    This is often the worst part of being a Bloomr; waiting for those in the states to wake up and at some point check in !! = /

  275. bettyrwoodward

    Thanks for the Mothers Day greeting jonny and I am praying for you.

  276. LindaB

    Okay, this is just too weird…….we are here talking about the finer qualities of vintage root beers with a rock star living in Finland on a blog owned and overseen by a gospel singer’s wife who lives in Nashville but is in Seattle to visit the Nintendo headquarters while we rack up 300 comments talking about prayer requests and assorted nonsense. Is this the Twilight Zone? LOL

  277. jonny

    Thanks, Betty. And yes, Former, relating to something you wrote earlier, I was looking forward to the 200th spot. Would’ve probably Said something different, possibily unexpected from the 100th Say it, but could somehow tie in with an idea I had for the 300th. Probably something in the vain of, “Been here, done that !”


  278. LindaB

    Small j jonny, my daughter is also a connoisseur of root beers and prefers the cane sugar sweetened ones over the high frutose corn syrup ones. There is another brand sold around here called Stewart’s Root Beer. She loves that one. And also a line of sodas called Jones that she gets at the health food store. Also Hire’s Root Beer has been around for ages (I drank it as a young girl), and a brand from out of Detroit called Faygo. It all tastes pretty much the same to me, except maybe the Jones one, which may have an edge over the rest. The Frankenmuth Brewery one is very good, but it didn’t come in sugar free, which makes it inadvisable for me to chug it. I forgot to check out if they ship overseas, but I’ll try to get to that this week. My daughter is moving this week, and things will be chaotic….but when isn’t it around here? That, on top of my senility, makes it hard for me, jonny. But I haven’t forgotten you.

  279. jonny

    Sorry, should’ve written “Said!” and “Say it!” Probably that short term memory thing again rearing it’s ugly little head = /

  280. rachelbaker

    It is kinda crazy round here, isn’t it LindaB? Good though.

    jonny – I’m looking forward to 300, but we’re all going to get nervous when we’re in the late 290s in case we all press ‘say it’ at the same time and inadvertantly steal your thunder.

  281. LindaB

    That’s a real possibility, Rachel! Maybe we could all pause the chatter when we reach 295 and then jonny can just post away until he reaches the goal of 300! Then we’ll all have to comment about it and we’ll be halfway to 400 before we know it!

  282. jonny

    OK, I usually do a bottle of Stewards when at SFO. There’s one place I do an American breakfast at before my flight takes off that sales Stewards. I believe it’s HFCS, though. Even though it’s a pasted on label made to look like a painted on label, I do have a Steward’s bottle in my collection. I basically have a ‘pasted on label’ free collection. Maybe some day I’ll come across an old school painted on label Steward’s bottle = /

    I’ve had Faygo at old Sac and/or Old Town Placerville where all my family live now, but don’t have an empty in my collection. I believe they may be pasted on labels.

    I’ve also had Jones and Hires. Would love to get a Hires painted on label bottle at some point. I’ve even used images from old Hires Root Beer adds for various event posters ! I can’t remember what the Jone’s bottles were like, though = /

  283. LindaB

    I want to challenge all you lurkers out there who never comment—–please please please say something!!! Anything!!! And if you’ve read through all the above comments, we want to commend your perseverance and patience! We want you to join us on here! Don’t be shy! Just tell us a little about yourself. Please?

  284. bettyrwoodward

    Right I am keeping quiet now until the 300 is reached so I don’t mess it up again! Oh and I don’t like root beer!

  285. LindaB

    jonny, if I ever come across a painted on label of Hire’s, I’ll grab it for you! (Oh my, this blog has affected my life alright—-now I’m searching for root beer bottles with painted on labels! What next?
    So….you’re really serious about this root beer hobby of yours, aren’t ya? Cool!

    BTW, I will surely pray for your financial situation to be worked out for your good and God’s Kingdom.

  286. jonny

    Yep, a lot of women don’t. A good Cream soda seems to be the one most ladies prefer. And no need to over react, Betty. It’s all in God’s good hands anyway = )

  287. LindaB

    ROFLOL BETTY!!! Don’t do that!!! We need you here! Don’t clam up on us! I need you—–us 63 year olds have to stick together!

    BTW, Happy Mother’s Day to you!!!

  288. LindaB

    I like root beer actually. But I have to drink the sugar free kind now. When you are on a diet and just want a little sweet taste in your mouth after a meal, sipping on a cold root beer does the trick for me.

  289. jonny

    Thanks, Former ! Prayers appreciated. And yep, I sort of am. More of a side hobby, though.

  290. tori

    You guys are cracking me up!!!!!

    OK, I am stuck in Denver. Flew here yesterday from Seattle to change planes, got to the gate and they announced that our plane was having problems, wouldn’t be in (if at all) until after midnight which wouldn’t put us home until about 3 or 4 in the morning. Ad THAT was iffy. Luckily, there were five of us, all bloggers, so while Carrie (who’s Cuban and passionate and a great negotiator) went to talk to the customer service people, Lindsay and I sat down on the floor and started using Twitter– found a @flyfrontier address and started tweeting that we were stuck and we sure hoped Frontier would do the right thing and put us up in a hotel. Within minutes I got an answer from the Frontier people AT THE AIRPORT and Carrie kept talking to the customer service people and we ended up with hotel rooms paid for by Frontier, so we wouldn’t have to sit at the airport for hours just to find out if they were going to fly out or not. (I think they eventually did!) Just woke up here, going with the other girls into Denver for the day– first flight they could put us on doesn’t leave until 7 tonight and we got the last tickets on that one!

    Girls are home alone, but at 18 and 14, that’s not too big of a deal. I’m sure ready to be home, though!

  291. jonny

    Agreed about sipping a cold Root Beer, Sarsaparilla or Birch Beer after a meal. Even more special when hard to come by. Oh, I do tend to do a lot of Barq’s Root Beer when in the states. It’s my one HFCS weakness when state-side = /

  292. LindaB

    Guess what gang? I joined Weight Watchers this week. Well, actually it wasn’t completely voluntary—–we now have a new concept in the world of health insurance called BCN Healthy Living. If your doctor says you need to lose weight, (and what doctor doesn’t say that?),you have two choices—–join Weight Watchers and they’ll pay for it, or wear a pedometer and average 5000 steps a day (it’s hooked up with your computer)….and if you don’t, you’ll pay higher copays for office calls, drugs, and other medical services. I call it the Nazi system. And if you miss a doctor’s appointment (like every three months doctors suggest you have a diabetic checkup), you’re put in that higher paying group. I choose W.W. Hubby chose the pedometer. He thinks if he’s a few steps short of 5000 a day, he will strap it on the dog and let him run outside. He thinks that will actually work for him! Can you see the computer geek back at the insurance company whose monitoring those pedometers……”Hey Mac, look at this—-I think this guy is……auhhhh… looks like….he’s…..chasing a car down the road?? And stopping at every fire hydrant!”

  293. LindaB

    Tori, have fun in Denver.

    I heard on the news this morning that because of that hole opening up on that Southwest Flight that a number of similar planes were taken out of service, and that caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled. Maybe that’s the reason for your problems at the airport. Don’t mean to make you nervous, but I’d wear that seat belt the whole flight if I were you!

  294. Gramma Jac

    We’re nearing the big one,…how many of us are watching this “live” and from where? I’m in Wisconsin. I do drink root beer, don’t like cream soda.

  295. Gramma Jac

    Is everyone scared to comment for fear of taking jonny’s place?!? :-)

  296. Gramma Jac

    Tori, if you’re still out there–how’s Sarah?

  297. LindaB

    jonny, we’re three away from 300! Hope you’re not sleeping!

  298. jonny

    You must be in touch with your masculine side, then ! = /

  299. LindaB

    Now it’s TWO AWAY!

  300. jonny

    Nope, wide awake.

  301. delightedabroad

    I like brown ale.

    I’m back from hospital but need to ‘re-collect’ myself :-/
    I’ll comment a bit later again

  302. jonny

    Well, D got number 300, lol !! By the way, where am I !?? And WHAT happened to all my clothes !?! OK, this is more than a little awkward = /

  303. LindaB

    Bahahahahahahaha!!!! THAT’S your momentous statement on the 300th reply—-“Nope, wide awake”???? Did I screw it up this time??? LOL

  304. LindaB

    I think YOU, jonny, had the 300th post!

  305. bettyrwoodward

    Glad you were wide awake on 300 Jonny. Now it is safe for me to comment again!

  306. jonny

    Oh, and just in case you didn’t know D, Root Beer, Birch Beer, etc, has no alcohol in them. They are all ‘soft’ drinks = )

  307. Gramma Jac

    According to my computer, your “nope, wide awake” was 300! Your brilliant comment made me dizzy–or maybe it’s just the altitude! LOL!

  308. Gramma Jac

    308–we’re halfway to 400! (Yes, I do see the half-full glass as practically overflowing!)

  309. jonny

    Well, maybe Former. I read your “TWO AWAY” and did what I thought would be a set up on 299 for 300. The idea being; wide awake, then suddenly noticing I have no idea where I am, (cause none of us have ever been here before) then at the same time realizing I’ve been running around like a loon without a stitch on, and having no idea where all my clothes were all my clothes had gone. It may have been a touch too subtle, and/or complicated, though = /

  310. LindaB

    Yes, I, being 63 and a bit absent minded, didn’t count my own reply when I announced it’s two replies away from 300!!! LOL We’re all a bit loopy and disoriented from the sheer thought of 300 replies on Babybloomr!!! jonny’s even babbling about losing his clothes! I think he’s losing his mind!! Snap out of it, jonny!!! Grab a root beer and pull yourself together. We have work to do.

  311. LindaB

    Yes, Betty——-you are free to post as much as you want!!! Get to it, Girl!!

  312. jonny

    Actually, I believe this only goes to prove that even after a year’s worth of rather expensive theropy, and accepting for some months now that it would never work out between us, you still have the ability to affectively distract me, Former = /

  313. bettyrwoodward

    Actually I’m half asleep – not wide awake. We have had visitors for the weekend so two very late nights.A great time though. The beds are changed and sheets washed but I am now off to church so I will not be here for a few hours.

  314. rachelbaker

    Look at all the fun I missed while I was eating dinner! CONGRATULATIONS everyone, we did it … and we’re still going! Yay! Do you really thing there are more lurkers out there, LindaB, reading everything we say? Quite a scary thought. AND how did we reach this milestone without Johnnie? She’s definitely missed around here.

  315. LindaB

    You’re right about Johnnie, Rachel! Ever since she got that grandbaby, we’re chopped liver! LOL

    Come back, Johnnie! Join the insanity!

  316. LindaB

    jonny, you are definitely in need of some expensive therapy!! ROFLOL!

  317. LindaB

    Rachel, sometimes I think there aren’t anymore lurkers hangin’ around, then one or two comment and say they’ve been reading all along…. and I am amazed that they could resist the urge to say something all this time. They must be strong silent types. I love hearing from them!

  318. rachelbaker

    Me too. If they’ve put up with reading our comments for any length of time, and still come back for more. then they’ll fit right in.

  319. LindaB

    Yeah, if they’ve read our comments and haven’t reported us to some bloggy police or something, I like ‘em already!!!

  320. LindaB

    BTW, we’re having a blizzard here in Michigan today……IN APRIL!!! This morning it was kind of warm and the snow had all melted, then this afternoon the snow clouds rolled in. The roads are treacherous and you can’t see two feet in front of you!
    People always say that if you don’t like the weather in Michigan, wait a minute and it will change!

  321. blondie

    Hey, I’m so proud of you, over 300!! I knew you guys could do it. And yes, I’ve read every comment – too funny! Jonny, I like Root Beer, too. Don’t know if I’ve ever tried cream soda. Delighted, how’s your husband today, and Gramma Jac how’s your FIL? LindaB, your comment about the discussion of vintage root beers with a rock star from Finland on a blog by a Gospel singer’s wife in Nashville made me laugh out loud. This has to be real, no body could make this stuff up!

  322. LindaB

    LOL Blondie—-no one could make this stuff up!!! I even looked up a site that tells what time it is in other parts of the world so when jonny says something weird, I can check out the time there and I’ll know it’s because it’s in the middle of the night in Finland and he’s talking in his sleep……maybe in a root beer induced stupor. Or when Betty says she’s going to church, I can tell if she’s a 7th Day Adventist or not! Or when Rachel says she’s eating breakfast in bed, she’s not in bed in the middle of the afternoon! I can keep better track of Delighted in Germany too!

  323. Gramma Jac

    1:15 p.m. in Wisconsin–rainy, but too warm for snow! Sorry LB, but you can keep the snow!! Tired of winter–but (even tho’ I’m a glass-half-full kind of person) I’ll be the one this summer complaining about heat and humidity!

    They always say that there are two seasons in Wisconsin,..winter and road construction. I work in a town that often floods in the spring, but the main highway (which takes me to work) is high. In the great wisdom of someone, they tore out the bridge NOW to redo it, which means that if it floods the detour is under water! Not sure why they didn’t wait a month!

  324. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I kept reading and the closer we got to 300 the more nervous my stomach got. I don’t poarticularly care about heights so I’m staying away from the edge.

  325. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Wonder if root beer, etc., are any relation to sassafrass tea?….where you go out and find a root along a bank of dirt in the woods, then take it home, scrub it, and boil it to make the tea. Delicious! And the price is reasonable.

  326. Barbara M. Lloyd

    There was a time I really liked root beer…..until I wasz a month and a week late wth my first baby. My doctor told me to take castor oil. I decided to put it in root beer. I really don’t care for root beer anymore….but I have a beautiful baby who has grown up to be 55 years old.

  327. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Golly gee whizzzz, it takes a month of Sundays to get down here to post.

    I have a feeling Tori’s next post is going to be all about Denver. If you were going to be shipwrecked on an island or figured into a layover at any airport, wouldn’t you want to have Tori with you? Hmmmm, and maybe the rest of her family, too?

  328. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Yep, Linda, it was Jolene’s birthday celebration….or preparation there of. And how about those delicious and beautiful homemade cookies Jolene’s mother brought for us? By the way, youse a good cook, sweet pea.

  329. LindaB

    OH YEAH! Barb, we were in cookie heaven for about three days!!! She made a boatload of ‘em too! We just ate them too fast! LOL

  330. LindaB

    That’s funny, Gramma Jac—-they say the same thing about Michigan—-there’s winter and road construction. Must be our northern states freeze and thaw so much, our roads are always a mess.

  331. rachelbaker

    LindaB – I am highly entertained by the idea of your husband strapping the pedometer to the dog! I think you chose the better option by the way! So glad our NHS means we don’t have to pay the ludicrous amounts of money for health insurance that you guys do.

    Momma LLoyd – a month and a week late?? I was about to say that there is no way I would have drunk castor oil – but at a month and a week I probably would have done ANYTHING. Daniel was 2 weeks late and that was more than enough, thank you.

    Tori – I hope you really enjoyed your impromptu day of fun.

    Blondie – I’m glad you’re still here.

  332. rachelbaker

    Ah, I must be getting tired. I could have split that last comment into at least three posts!

  333. delightedabroad

    In contrast to what I’ve said earlier I don’t really FEEL re-collected today. Hubby still has to fight fear, there are still times when he has trouble speaking correctly (not as severe as yesterday though)and he’s crying a lot. I do my utmost to uplift and motivate him.

  334. jonny

    Yes Barbara, Sarsaparilla/Root Beer has its origins in sassafrass tea ! It started out as sassafrass tea, then got carbinated and the rest is history. There is an element in a sassafrass that is an extremely wee bit not good for you. It was decided, in the early 60’s I believe, to have it removed from Root Beer and such. The sassafrass root flavoring, to my knowledge, was then replaced by the safer winter green flavoring. But, kept its darker, caramel brown sassafrass coloring. I’m guessing coke stole its color scheme from pre-existing sassafrass based drinks. I have to proof of that, though. I’m guessing sassafrass based drinks were the first cold carbinated sodies to exist. Those or Cream sodas.

  335. rachelbaker

    Delighted – I am still praying for you both. Thank you for keeping us updated.

  336. bettyrwoodward

    Still praying delighted. It must be hard for you both.

  337. Gramma Jac

    D- Besides the fact that this is hard to handle, with a stroke comes the possibility of emotional lability, where there’s sort of an exaggerated emotional response (crying or sometimes laughing) that is secondary to the neurological insult. With a slight stroke, this too shall probably pass.

  338. jonny

    Sassafras albidum–“Sassafras albidum” (roots)–safrole. The oil from these roots is believed to be carcinogenic so artificial versions are generally used instead.

    And it seems Sarsaparilla comes from a different source. Also for Root Beer, the flavoring could come originally from the sassafras root, or bark.

  339. jonny

    Yep, thanks for the up-date, D ! More prayers proffered = )

  340. Gramma Jac

    You know,…so much has happened this last week to this group. But with that came our marathon toward 400(?) with all of us on-site more and able to be praying and supporting each other. I would say that is one loving God we serve!!

  341. jonny

    From another source on the net…

    Sassafras is the “root” in root beer. However, in the mid-60’s, the FDA
    discovered that a chemical in sassafras called safrole caused cancer in rats, and proceded to ban its sale for edible uses. This sent the root
    beer industry into a frenzy trying to find a replacement flavor (they
    eventually came up with something that’s a combination of licorice
    root — that’s not anise, and doesn’t taste like it — and wintergreen).

    Many people (myself included) believe that safrole is only dangerous
    when extracted from the sassafras root itself (there is a common
    theory in herbal medicine that there are other chemicals present in
    the plant that cancel out the harmful effects of things like safrole).

  342. jonny

    Well stated, Gramma Jac. At least I thought it was = /

  343. jonny

    Oh, and concerning any out there who still might simply be lurking around in the shadows; I can safely report that there aren’t any more blondes lurking about !

  344. delightedabroad

    In fact I like drinking a glass of wine as well – not WITH the beer of course! :-)

  345. LindaB

    OMG, jonny! You REALLY ARE a connoisseur of root beers!! You know everything about the subject!!! I’m impressed! Here I thought rock stars laid around and slept all day…. and partied all night!! And now I find out you study the history of root beer in your spare time!

  346. jonny

    That was all a long time ago, before my rock star days; but thanks = )

  347. jonny

    This was also before Google and Wikipedia, for what it’s worth.

  348. jonny

    1798 The term “soda water” first coined.

  349. jonny

    1810 First U.S. patent issued for the manufacture of imitation mineral waters.

  350. jonny

    1819 The “soda fountain” patented by Samuel Fahnestock.

  351. jonny

    1835 The first bottled soda water in the U.S.

  352. jonny

    1850 A manual hand & foot operated filling & corking device, first
    used for bottling soda water.

  353. jonny

    1851 Ginger ale created in Ireland.

  354. jonny

    1861 The term “pop” first coined.

  355. jonny

    1874 The first ice-cream soda sold.

  356. jonny

    1876 Root beer mass produced for public sale.

  357. jonny

    1881 The first cola-flavored beverage introduced.

  358. jonny

    1885 Charles Aderton invented ” Dr Pepper” in Waco, Texas.

  359. jonny

    1886 Dr. John S. Pemberton invented ” Coca-Cola” in Atlanta, Georgia.

  360. jonny

    1892 William Painter invented the crown bottle cap.

  361. jonny

    1898 “Pepsi-Cola” is invented by Caleb Bradham.

  362. jonny

    1899 The first patent issued for a glass blowing machine, used to produce glass bottles.

  363. LindaB

    Oh my, jonny! If I ever need a question answered about carbonated drinks, I’m callin’ ya!! Forget Wikipedia!

  364. jonny

    1913 Gas motored trucks replaced horse drawn carriages as delivery vehicles.

  365. LindaB

    I wonder how Sarah’s doing today? I’m gonna skip over to Facebook and see if Liz has posted any news.

  366. jonny

    1919 The American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages formed.

  367. jonny

    1920 The U.S. Census reported that more than 5,000 bottlers now exist.

  368. jonny

    Early 1920’s The first automatic vending machines dispensed sodas into cups.

  369. jonny

    1923 Six-pack soft drink cartons called “Hom-Paks” created.

  370. jonny

    1929 The Howdy Company debuted its new drink “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Sodas” later called “7 Up”. Invented by Charles Leiper Grigg.

  371. jonny

    1934 Applied color labels first used on soft drink bottles, the coloring was baked on the face of the bottle.

  372. jonny

    1952 The first diet soft drink sold called the “No-Cal Beverage” a gingerale sold by Kirsch.

  373. jonny

    1957 The first aluminum cans used.

  374. jonny

    1959 The first diet cola sold.

  375. jonny

    1962 The pull-ring tab first marketed by the Pittsburgh Brewing Company of Pittsburgh, PA. The pull-ring tab was invented by Alcoa.

  376. jonny

    1963 The Schlitz Brewing company introduced the “Pop Top” beer can to the nation in March, invented by Ermal Fraze of Kettering, Ohio.

  377. jonny

    1965 Soft drinks in cans dispensed from vending machines.

  378. LindaB

    Found this on Liz’ FB page:

    “Sarah has had a quiet day at home watching Perri play in the back yard and napping. The spinal fluid situation seems to have stabilized!! She doesn’t have a lot of stamina but that will come in time…….good day!”

    Thank God for a good day for that poor girl!!!

  379. jonny

    1965 The resealable top invented.

  380. LindaB

    Okay, jonny…..have you heard of Vernor’s?

  381. jonny

    And a worn out family, I’m sure ! Thanks for the up-date, LB = )

  382. jonny

    Yes, I have. Drank it a lot when I was in the ‘thumb area’ of your great state for around four months back in the mid-late eighties.

  383. jonny

    1966 The American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages renamed The National Soft Drink Association.

  384. LindaB


  385. jonny

    1970 Plastic bottles are used for soft drinks.

  386. LindaB

    What about Nehi?

  387. jonny

    1973 The PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate ) bottle created.

  388. jonny

    Loved Nehi when I was a kid. The main small town grocery store we went to had it, so did the main local Mexican restaurant that people came from other cities to eat at. It was seriously good ! Fave flavo(u)rs were Strawberry and Grape.

  389. jonny

    1974 The stay-on tab invented. Introduced by the Falls City Brewing Company of Louisville, KY.

  390. jonny

    1979 Mello Yello soft drink is introduced by the Coca Cola company as competition against Mountain Dew.

  391. jonny

    OK, all that ‘time-line’ stuff was recently gleamed from the net. Can’t promise how accurate it all is, but seemed fun, maybe even interesting enough to help spike the numbers here = )

  392. jonny

    Soft drinks can trace their history back to the mineral water found in natural springs. Bathing in natural springs has long been considered a healthy thing to do; and mineral water was said to have curative powers. Scientists soon discovered that gas carbonium or carbon dioxide was behind the bubbles in natural mineral water.

  393. jonny

    The first marketed soft drinks (non-carbonated) appeared in the 17th century. They were made from water and lemon juice sweetened with honey. In 1676, the Compagnie de Limonadiers of Paris were
    granted a monopoly for the sale of lemonade soft drinks. Vendors would carry tanks of lemonade on their backs and dispensed cups of the soft drink to thirsty Parisians.

  394. jonny

    Joseph Priestley

    In 1767, the first drinkable man-made glass of carbonated water was created by Englishmen Doctor Joseph Priestley . Three years later, Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman invented a generating apparatus that made carbonated water from chalk by the use of sulfuric acid. Bergman’s apparatus allowed imitation mineral water to be produced in large amounts.

  395. jonny

    John Mathews

    In 1810, the first United States patent was issued for the “means of mass manufacture of imitation mineral waters” to Simons and Rundell of Charleston, South Carolina. However, carbonated beverages did not achieve great popularity in America until 1832, when John Mathews invented his apparatus for the making carbonated water. John Mathews then mass-manufactured his apparatus for sale to soda fountain owners.

  396. jonny

    Health Properties of Mineral Water

    The drinking of either natural or artificial mineral water was considered a healthy practice. The American pharmacists selling mineral waters began to add medicinal and flavorful herbs to unflavored mineral water. They used birch bark, dandelion, sarsaparilla, and fruit extracts. Some historians consider that the first flavored carbonated soft drink was that made in 1807 by Doctor Philip Syng Physick of Philadelphia. Early American pharmacies with soda fountains became a popular part of culture. The customers soon wanted to take their “health” drinks home with them and a soft drink bottling industry grew from consumer demand.

  397. jonny

    The Soft Drink Bottling Industry

    Over 1,500 U.S. patents were filed for either a cork, cap, or lid for the carbonated drink bottle tops during the early days of the bottling industry. Carbonated drink bottles are under a lot of pressure from the gas. Inventors were trying to find the best way to prevent the carbon dioxide or bubbles from escaping. In 1892, the “Crown Cork Bottle Seal” was patented by William Painter, a Baltimore machine shop operator. It was the first very successful method of keeping the bubbles in the bottle.

  398. jonny

    Automatic Production of Glass Bottles

    In 1899, the first patent was issued for a glass-blowing machine for the automatic production of glass bottles. Earlier glass bottles had all been hand-blown. Four years later, the new bottle-blowing machine was in operation. It was first operated by the inventor, Michael Owens, an employee of Libby Glass Company. Within a few years, glass bottle production increased from 1,500 bottles a day to 57,000 bottles a day. Hom-Paks and Vending Machines During the 1920s, the first “Hom-Paks” were invented. “Hom-Paks” are the familiar six-pack beverage carrying cartons made from cardboard. Automatic vending machines also began to appear in the 1920s. The soft drink had become an American mainstay.

  399. jonny

    Sometimes a guy’s gotta do what I guy’s gotta do…

  400. jonny

    400 !

  401. auburn60

    All right…let me distract you from all this counting:

    We were rolling along, getting ready for church this morning. Things were pretty normal…as normal as Sun. mornings ever are around here, when I got ready to get dressed I could not find a bra! Not a white one, not a red one, not a black one! I turned everything upside down! Now, most of you don’t know me but there is no way I was bouncing off to church without the proper foundation garments. (Did you see what I did there?) Just wasn’t happening. I found a couple of bras belonging to the girls, but while we are all sufficiently endowed, we are not interchangable,if you know what I mean.

    I’ve had all day to ponder this mystery. I think the daughter who is moving may have grabbed a bunch of stuff from the laundry room and packed it up. I intend to ask her when she gets home from work. Or the dog dragged them out to the far corners of the yard. Or someone planted their new spring container garden in them. IT’S A MYSTERY.

    I have had issues with underwear before. Tori probably remembers when I nearly missed part of FF because my intimates were locked in my motel bathroom, along with various repairmen and strangers with pliers and wrenches. I guess I’ll order some more bras tonight and hide them somewhere safe. Not sure where that will be,however. Some things should be sacred.

  402. jonny

    Did you ever make it to church ??

  403. jonny

    Oh, and I found out that my neice graduates from high school the 28th of May. If we could plan the Bloomr convention around that time, I could kill two CGI birds with one stone. Wouldn’t want to harm any real birds = /

  404. jonny

    Oh, and Mrs. 60, sounds to me like an April Fools joke gone amuck. Have you checked with LB about it ??

  405. auburn60

    Never did. Sent husband and son on while I turned drawers, shelves and laundry room upside down.

  406. auburn60

    Linda is the only one worthy to fill my bra cups.

    J-I think May 28 is Family Fest.

  407. LindaB

    OMG, Alyson! Don’t get us started on THAT subject!!! Remember a few years ago, right here on this blog, we went totally over the edge…..lost complete control and almost lost our membership to Babybloomr???? But Tori is just too nice to give us the boot! Or shush us! You were feeling particularly chatty that day, and I hadn’t taken my Ritalin yet—–all the planets were lined up and we were off and running. Remember?

  408. jonny

    I remember. First time I ever blushed in my life = /

    It couldn’t be on the 28th of May anyway because I would have to be in Nor Cal on that day, that weekend. Possibly the weekend before, or after.

  409. jonny

    And to date, only time.

  410. delightedabroad

    I’m sorry I have to admit that I’m in an emotional low right now. I know I’m carried through by God and all the prayers which is exactly what keeps me going. I’ll rely on God to provide the necessary strength, motivation for hubby.

  411. bettyrwoodward

    Well jonny thanks for getting over the 400 without me around. If ever one of the grandchildren are doing a project on soft drinks I will get them to read this blog!
    Really good news of Sarah – thanks Linda B
    auburn60 – I think jonny might be right about the April fools joke.
    Well off into another Monday now. Have a good day everyone.

  412. bettyrwoodward

    Sorry delighted only just got to read your last posting. We are still praying for you both.

  413. jonny

    Yep, we are = )

  414. blondie

    delighted, the first thing that came to my mind when I read your post was this, “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” That’s from memory so it may not be the exact quote, but you get the idea. We are all praying for you. Imagine yourself and your husband being held up by a huge net of prayer. (((hugs)))

  415. Gramma Jac

    Wow, I get some sleep and we’re way over 400! Interesting stuff jonny about soft drinks! You’ve had soft drinks EVERYWHERE–where are you from originally?

    Prayers for all–including the lost undergarments.

    Auburn and Linda, when was the incident that almost got you removed?!
    That would be worth a trip down archives-lane!

    I bet Tori is so proud of “y’all”! (Can I use that contraction–heck I’m originally from southern Wisconsin!!LOL!)

  416. jonny

    I’m from California.

  417. bettyrwoodward

    I’m as English (Essex) as it gets!

  418. rachelbaker

    Whoa, thats a large number of comments. Thanks for the history of carbonated soft drinks jonny. I’m a diet coke girl myself!

    Still praying for you and your husband, Delighted, during this worrying time. Praising God for the news on Sarah, and continuing to pray.

    I too, am tempted to go back though the archives to see what made jonny blush!! It could well be I was here for it, but you know what my memory is like.

    I’m very English, but a cross between Essex and Geordie – which are possibly the two most commonly stereotyped sort of English people that you get – and I fit neither (I am relieved to say)!

  419. LindaB

    Were you here when that post happened, jonny? You didn’t comment, did ya? You were afraid, weren’t ya? LOL

    Rachel, the post started out with Tori talking about getting ready for Char to go back to school, and they were going bra shopping. It went downhill from there! So, I think it was in August and just before the back to school thing. And I think it was in 2008.

    We’ve had a lot of fun on this blog, didn’t we? Remember the one where Tori told us to Google our name plus the word “is”? That was hilarious!

    Delighted, we are praying for you, Dear! Be strong! Be of good courage! You can do this! And your strength will inspire your husband! Keep us up to date on what’s going on. And remember—YOU ARE LOVED!!

  420. jonny

    Yep, I was there. I’d been able to block out the experience up til now, though = /

  421. jonny

    OK, for those not in the know, Former has successfully contacted the Frankenmuth Brewery and they will ship their Frankie’s Root Beer overseas !! Thanks, LB ! Seriously appreciated = )

  422. LindaB

    Bahahahaha, jonny! Sorry to bring it all back! You gotta expect some shananigans when we’re working on 500 comments!!!

  423. LindaB

    And about the root beer, you’re welcome! We’ll see if you like it or not since you are definitely a connoisseur of the brew!

  424. jonny

    Oh, and another neat thing about Frankie’s Root Beer is that it may just well be the only root beer sweetened with sugar from sugar beats ! I grew up, literally, with a massive field as part of my back yard which grew sugar beats; among other things !

    Here’s what I found on the net…

    FRANKENMUTH (WJRT) — (10/28/10) — Something new
    is brewing in Frankenmuth.

    The brewery is known for the variety of beer created and served there. Last month, a softer drink showed up on the menu. “When I was 10 years old I started making root beer,” Brewmaster Jeff Coon said. Since then, Coon has been perfecting his recipe, using ingredients like fresh vanilla, wintergreen and licorice.

    But the most important ingredient for Frankie’s is locally grown. “The sugar industry, especially here in Frankenmuth, is a huge one with sugar beets. That’s why we use local sugar,” Coon said. Coon uses 500 pounds of sugar to make a 25-barrel batch of “Frankie’s.” He also sells it by the 12-ounce bottle.

    He started brewing it to serve his younger customers. “Still, more than anything, it’s kids. But there are a lot of adults who don’t necessarily drink beer that will try it and like it as well.”

    We asked Clio High School senior Hannah Close what she thought of Frankie’s. “It’s good. It’s really different. Not like other root beer I’ve tasted. It’s not quite as sweet, but it’s got its own unique flavor.”

    “When you first taste it, yes, you have the sweetness. Yes, you have the aroma of root beer, but then after it goes down, there’s a distinct bite, where it’s like, yeah, that’s pretty good,”

    Coon said. You’ll notice there’s a dachshund on the label of Frankie’s root beer. That’s because since the 1930s, the dachshund has been used in advertising at the Frankenmuth Brewery.

    Coon says he’s excited about the way Frankie’s has caught on, and is working on a plan to make it available at retail outlets.

    (Copyright ©2011 WJRT-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

  425. jonny

    OK, that could’ve broken down into bite sized Say it!s. My bad = /

  426. rachelbaker

    jonny – I hope it tastes really good.

    LindaB – Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I just found that post in the archives. It was in my lurking days and I remember reading the first comments but didn’t see what happened afterwards. Seriously??!! I’m not going to say anything else in case people are still lurking.Do you know what really annoys me though – I was lurking – and I didn’t know you, Alyson, Tori. Momma Lloyd or anyone – and you had never even heard of me … and that was the year I (and my entire family including Mum) were AT familyfest. I could have met you all in the flesh (I maybe even walked past you), I could have even met themema. Why oh why did I lurk? Never lurk!! If you can remember back to 2008 – snd saw nearly 4 year old and nearly 2 year old girls with English accents dancing in the aisles – they were MY girls. I really hope I didn’t miss my ONLY chance to meet you all.

  427. rachelbaker

    Oh and jonny – if THAT made you blush – I reckon LindaB and Alyson could meake it happen again easily!

  428. LindaB

    Oh my goodness, Rachel!!! I remember that whole delegation from England!!! Betty (themema) and I were both working Russ’ product table! I bet we did meet!! But we didn’t know it! My goodness! And if you ever visited Russ’ table, you saw Barb too—–she is his favorite fan and she’s usually in close proximity to his table too—-keeping an eye on things……and us!

    Are you plannning on attending F.F. this year?

    jonny, that Frankenmuth Brewery info is interesting! Isn’t it amazing that someone in Finland can go online and find out so much stuff about an establishment in a little town in mid-Michigan?

  429. LindaB

    Blizzard and ice storm, complete with thunder and lightning yesterday. Sunshine and warm temps today. Snow and ice all melted away. Weird weather here!

  430. jonny

    Actually, I fear they could, but was hoping my ‘fessing up’ to it like that would cure them from ever really wanting to try and do it in the future. Like if we ever met face to face with lots of people around. They may be tempted, but then would reason, “Heck, we already got him once. Might as well leave the poor soul alone this time ’round !” kind-a thing.

  431. jonny

    Actually, Rachel, I fear they could but was hoping my ‘fessing up’ to it like that would cure them from ever really wanting to try and do it in the future. Like if we ever met face to face with lots of people around. They may be tempted, but then would reason, “Heck, we already got him once. Might as well leave the poor soul alone this time ’round !” kind-a thing.

  432. rachelbaker

    That is weird weather!

    I wish I was planning on attending this year – I don’t think its going to be possible for a long time, sadly. 2008 was probably a one-off, it was the start of a three week holiday we had in the smokey mountains, and its a bit too far to go for a weekend – especialy with the family. My only hope is if I can persuade Jon to stay at home with the kids for a long weekend and I get to FF or GF by myself one year. Its a long shot though!

    The whole clan are planning to go back to the Smokey Mountains in August 2013 but that (obviously) doesn’t coincide with Family Fest.

  433. jonny

    I don’t think that’s happened too often before !!

  434. jonny

    I was referring to the double-ish post we just experienced.

  435. jonny

    Well, Rachel, what about our Bloomr shin-dig ?? You would be able to zip over for that I hope… = /

  436. rachelbaker

    Hmmmm. jonny. I would do my very best, but there are so many things that would make it hard! If I couldn’t make it I would demand to be video-linked in!

  437. jonny

    Well, maybe to help get us over the 450 mark, some of you die hard Russ Taff fans-for-life could share a word or two on why, or how-come ??

    And/or those seriously into Southern Gospel Music could list their top three artists and a word or two on why they bless you so ! = )

  438. LindaB

    Did I ever tell you about the first time I met Russ Taff???

    First some background—-I loved Russ Taff’s music since the first time I heard him singing with the Imperials. Long before I knew Tori, long before he signed up with Bill Gaither’s Homecoming. I own every recording he ever made——including when he sang a duet on the Young Messiah with Sheila Walsh! If he sang a duet with anyone, I had to have that recording! My kids had to listen to his recordings over and over and over again! I loved his passion when he sang about the Lord. I loved his unique voice….there are just a few great singers that you KNOW who’s singing immediately after hearing the first note, and he’s one of them. I loved the emotion that came through his vocals…..he made you glad you were a believer! He made it “cool” to be listening for the Trumpet of Jesus while the world listened to different voices! I was a fan of southern gospel growing up, but kind of got away from it. But the Imperials brought a new “style” to that music! It was more contemporary, more exciting, smoother more complex harmonies, … yet the same beautiful message.

    Well, in about 2004 I signed up on the Gaithernet site at the urging of my husband who wanted me to learn how to use a computer since I was dragging my feet into the internet age. He figured I’d be motivated to be on the site and learn about Gaither’s Homecoming stuff. And I was. Tori chatted on that site and I got to know her a little. And then, a my friend Myrna asked me if I’d like to go with her to Toronto and a Homecoming concert taping!! And she had worked Russ’ table before and said she’d introduce me to him! Well, that was an offer I couldn’t refuse!! So she stopped by my house and picked me up and we drove to Toronto, stayed in a lovely hotel, and went to the concert! We checked out Russ’ table during intermission and he wasn’t there. We hung around for a while but didn’t see him, so we went back to our seats so we wouldn’t miss the second half. And all of a sudden, I looked back and THERE WAS RUSS TAFF coming down the isle about two sections over and I don’t know why I did this—-I don’t usually behave this way, but I dropped my purse and camera and took off running to where he was, with Myrna behind me! I got up to him, and I’m gonna admit this right here, my heart was pounding! I stopped him and didn’t even give Myrna the chance to introduce me like a decent southern lady would have done.

    Now, I had sort of made notes before I ever left Michigan on what I would say to him. I was going to say, “Russ, I’ve been an avid fan since you first started singing with the Imperials. I went to see you whenever you were within driving distance! I have every recording you’ve ever made! (And then most of the things I said above about his voice and “emotion drenched” vocals!) I practiced it. I had it down!

    So, there he was….standing right in front of me….and what did I say? I blurted out, “I LOVE YOU, RUSS”! Yep! That was it! I’m sure I looked like a lovesick St.Bernard! Here was a 50-plus grandmother……a pillar of the community…..a church going, somewhat dignified woman declaring to this man who didn’t know me from Adam that I loved him! I forgot my speech. I forgot my name! It was so embarrassing. And before he could say much, (what could he say?) Bill called him up on stage for the next part of the concert.

    When I got home, my kids knew how much I was looking forward to meeting him and my youngest asked me, “What did you say when you finally met him, Mom?” I told her and she FELL ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING! “You DIDN’T Mom? You didn’t?? Did you??” I thought we were going to have to call 911—-she was laughing so hard, she couldn’t catch her breath!

    Then, when I got back on Gaithernet, folks wanted to know all about how my meeting went and I told them the truth. They were laughing their heads off, and then Russ came online and posted, “Linda, I love you too!” HE READ WHAT I SAID! At first, I thought it was Tori messin’ with me—-’cause she’s funny that way, but after a few minutes, he convinced me it was him! I was sitting watching TV with my hubby when this happened and I said, “Honey! Russ Taff is chatting with me on G-net! Can you believe it?” And he said, “So……does that mean you won’t be making popcorn like you promised?”

  439. LindaB

    Sorry jonny…..I don’t do “a few words”!

  440. jonny

    No, but you could have easily broken it up in it more shorter Say it!s instead of lumping it altogether in one big long one… = /

  441. bettyrwoodward

    My love for southern gospel started with the Gaither Trio. We came to South Carolina in 1991 and were given some of the Cathedrals tapes. In 2000 we heard that Bill and Gloria were in London and although we didn’t know it then that was our introduction to the Homecoming series. We started buying the tapes and it sort of snowballed. As Rachel said we came to Family Fest in 2008. Then of course the highlight was when Russ came to our church and home. That was a long story but all in God’s timing. On his final day here we, that is Stuart and I (not Rachel), had a meal with Tori and the girls as well as they had just arrived in the UK. What more can I say? Nothing else on here but maybe when we all meet in person. Can anyone else get to Townsend Tennessee in August 2013?

  442. jonny

    Oh, man. I just read it. Oh, man. Oh, man. Oh, man. I feel for you, and your husband. Did the poor guy ever get his popcorn ??

  443. jonny

    @ Betty: I should be able to. Lord willing, of course.

  444. jonny

    OK Former, if you TRULY have everything he ever sang some sort lead on, I’ve been looking since my early twenties for a record I listened to shortly after I came to faith. There were two songs that I played every morning on it that I believe were both done by Russ. The LP was, I believe, a Dan Huff project, a compilation type thing, and The Dan Huff Project could have also been the title. The ONLY song title I remember on it, and I don’t believe it was one Russ sang, was I’ve Got Jesus On My Side. Would you know which album I’m referring to, and if so, what’s the title ??

  445. jonny

    Well, only ten more Say it!s after this one and we should have finally douple our previous Say it! record ! For what it’s worth, of course.

  446. delightedabroad

    You’re just so uplifting :-)

  447. alipet813

    Wow! I go pack my house for the weekend and literally miss hundreds of comments! That is crazy!

    I wish I could just take a nap at this point, but I am at work and will pack more when I get home. I would probably be done if I hadn’t kept making excuses to leave.

    A couple of things after reading this novella.
    1. At the women’s retreat my roommate said her husband puts peanut butter in his chili. EEWWW! Even she said it wasn’t great and she likes his cooking.
    2. Delighted, I am praying for your family.
    3. I liked Peach Nee-Hi however that is spelled. There are too many posts to go check. I can’t find it anymore, but my grandma and I both loved it. It was one of the few things were weren’t allowed to just take from her fridge.
    4. Today I am wearing my dtr’s bra because my husband confused them in the laundry. Uncomforable! She is thinner around than me!!
    5. LindaB – died laughing at your Russ “meeting”.
    6. jonny – you know ALOT about root beer and soft drinks in general. Wow!

  448. delightedabroad

    Yeah, I’m home, worn out and tired but praise the Lord I can tell some good news: today they’ve done several medical tests and some results were promptly available – negative. In this case meaning what they tested was fine.

  449. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Bless your sweet heart, Rachel, I wish you had come over to Russ’ table and introduced yourself. You would have gotten a lot of hugs just for saying “hello.” And, I would have been the one who had white hair and was wsearing a button that said, “No. 1 Russ Taff fan.” It’s the badge that LindaB and Betty (themema) have been tryhing to steal from me for years. Around them, I always have had to sleep with it under my pillow. In fact, they have treatened to come to my funeral and take it off my bosom as I lie there helpless. I threatened them that i would reach out and bop them on their heads should they try such a thing. Actually, now I suspect LindaB thinks I will leave it to her in my will….but I’m taking it with me.

  450. Barbara M. Lloyd

    jonny, I’m thankful your reports are coming back negative, sweetheart. Praise the Lord!

  451. delightedabroad

    That also means hubby is way more relaxed which in return helps improve his speeking ability when there’s again a time of “speech tumbling”.

  452. Barbara M. Lloyd

    The first time I met Russ…and Tori…was in 2002. I had talked back and forth with Tori on pm’s before then and I had been sending every woman and a few men on Gaither (for years) to Russ’ table at all of the concerts to give him a hug and smell him (oh dear, if you ever smelled him you would understand why this would be a special thing. Admittedly, it does sound a little strange….that is, until you have once smelled Russ.

    Anyway, my younger son and his wife and I were on the Gaither cruise to Alaska and, while I was especially looking forward to it being a Gaither cruise and with my Russ aboard, I had told my kids many times that I could never be one of those women who made fools of themselves over the artists. I had more dignity than that.

    One day, my daughter-in-love and I (Donna) were standing waiting for an elevator to go down and the elevator door opened but it was going up. Then I saw Russ inside the elevator and with one leap I was inside and standing almost on top of Russ Taff. Poor Donna almost got caught in the elevator doors trying to keep up with me. And there I was gushing to Russ, not only about him but about Tori, too, and he told me where she wouldbe that night so that I coud meet her. I asked for a picture and he suggested that I wait until e get off the elevator, which I agreed might work better… then Donna took our picture and Russ was carrying that famous coffee cup.

    The next day I met the Taffs in a shop onshore and discovered Tori to be just as delightful in person as she is on paper. I immediately filled out papers to adopt the Taff family.

  453. jonny

    Oh, and speaking of Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Birch Beer and Cream sodas being a side hobby of mine; when those of you who like to visit antique, or old Americana type places do so, please keep an eye out for tins signs that promote such. I do have one ‘re-issue’ that is a yellow rectangle and simply says ‘Root Beer’ on it. There was also an early Nineties re-issue of a Tarzan Cups tin sign that would fit in nicely with the other stuff I have as well. OK, back to Russ and Southern Gospel coveting…

  454. Phyllis S

    jonny, have you ever had sassafras?

  455. Phyllis S

    I am not sure where it grows, but we have it here in south Louisiana, we make an awesome tea and cold drink from the roots, it taste just like root beer, but then again I guess it is.

  456. Phyllis S

    Are we going for 500?

  457. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I never let my church-lady friends go into my kitchen, laundry room or computer room…..because I am afraid they would orm a committee to either have me committed or quickly grab some annointing oil and throw me into a chair and sourrond me, praying loud and fierce for me. Now, i could handle those prayers and the oil might be good for dry skin during these winter months but heaven help them if they ruined one photograph of my Russ posted everywhere. I told Madi that women sent me pictures of themselves hugging her dad and they told me they wsere getting those hugs for me…and I asked her if I shuld believe them. She said she didn’t think so because they looked as if they were enjoying it too much. She was much younger then and wise beyond her years already.

    In case you are wondering and even if you aren’t….my children are positively happy that I am having so much fun in my widowhood years…..and they have come to love the Taffs, too. They are surprise though that times have reversed to where they come into my home they have to turn down this rock music so they can hear themselves talk….when I used to have to do that to them when they were in their teens.

    Hope you all are rootin for Russ to win the Dove Award on Sunday night at 7:00 (est) on Easter. I am so please and excited that he has been nominated, for goodness sake!

  458. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Sorry jonny, some things just can’t be broken up into different segments. And this post adds to the numbers.

  459. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I remember when LindaB caught Russ in the middle of that aisle, but what she didn’t tell you was she spit cookie crumbs all over him while she was talking. Seems she and Myrna had bought dozens of maple cookies and they almost got in trouble with the border patrol.

  460. bettyrwoodward

    Great news delighted – still praying

  461. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Then recently LindaB went out to untangle the dog who was caught up and there had been a big snow….our sweet Linda had on her nightgown and bunny slippers. In trying to get to the dog without getting her bunny slippers totally soaked, she fell into a bank of snow, while a neighbor was on the way to their mailbox. I guess the question would be, which end was up, Linda? The answer could depend on whether or not you are ever again invited over for coffee.

  462. rachelbaker

    Delighted, I am ‘delighted’ that things are more positive and am still praying.

    I am enjoying these stories ladies, keep them coming!

  463. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I love you, Linda.

  464. jonny

    @ Phyllis: No, I’ve never had sassafras. Not to my knowledge anyway. And it looks like 500 is do-able. Right now I’m just on auto pilot until Tori starts a new topic. Then I’ll probably take a little Say it! break for awhile.

    @ Barbara: I was only referring to Linda’s one post. It doesn’t, and never did affect you. It’s all good ! = )

    @ delighted: Can’t remember if I’ve commented or not, but sounds like seriously good news ! Thanks again for the share !! = )

  465. rachelbaker

    I’m so pleased my parents and brother heard the advert for the London Homecoming in 2000, or I don’t know how long we’d have been ignorant of the whole phenomenon. I didn’t hear about anything else for WEEKS, and when they bought their first video, I began to understand why! (I was at University in Newcastle that night in 2000, and if I remember rightly, was enjoying an Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin concert while they were in London. My night was very, very good too, but probably not as life changing)!

  466. jonny

    OK, Barbara, you claim you ‘Love’ Former, BUT is she truly the air you breathe ? The cloud you step on that prevents you from ever touching solid ground again ?? Is she ALL you think about day in and day out, even in your sleep ??? Please be careful when using that word on this blog. Preferably not one to be used lightly when referring to the female species of my Southern Gospel dreams = /

    For what it’s worth, naturally.

  467. rachelbaker

    Oh, and most of my University friends thought my musical taste was weird when it was dominated by the country tinged singer-songwriter vibe. When I added southern gospel to the mix most thought I had gone completely insane.

  468. rachelbaker

    jonny – you are too funny!

  469. rachelbaker

    When it comes to Southern Gospel – its the harmonies that do it for me! The current GVB makes the best sound I have ever heard, and I could listen to the Martins all day long. The Easters make me smile, and the Hoppers seem just so nice. The Isaacs nearly acappella CD is spectacular. I really like Wes Hampton’s solo CD, mainly because it reminds me so much of all the Steve Green records my parents played when I was growing up.

    I was a Tori fan before I was a true Russ fan, but once I’d heard him live I was totally sold. It was a pleasure spending time with him, and the girls still talk about playing with him at Grandma and Grandad’s house whenever his voice comes out of the car stereo (regularly). I will always remember the weekend Russ was at Mum and Dad’s church as the most exhausting of my life – he didn’t see me at my best!

  470. bettyrwoodward

    Rachel – I should think you were tired that weekend as you only just made it as Daniel had just been discharged from hospital.

  471. jonny

    I’m just doing my best to keep spirits up while attempting to hit 500, and quite possibly beyond, before Tori’s next blog post !

  472. rachelbaker

    Oh, I also like Michael English. I have to say, like with Russ, until I heard him live, he wasn’t a particular favourite, but seeing him in concert (with the GVB) changed that. (Wes is still my favourite GVB member though – shhhhh – I could be a groupie).

  473. bettyrwoodward

    I presume Tori hasn’t got home yet. I wonder where she is?

  474. bettyrwoodward

    You are a groupie, Rachel. You told me that as I was taking pictures of you with Ernie Haas and Wayne Haun.

  475. jonny

    All these stories are so special, and wonderfully taylored to each one experiencing them !! God is just too cool sometimes = )

    As far as harmony stuff goes, make mine the Blind Boys of Alabama ! = )

  476. rachelbaker

    When you say ‘only just made it’ – you mean 15 minutes late and you saving us seats complete with sandwiches, as I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours (or slept)!

  477. rachelbaker

    Big storms in Nashville again, I hope everyone is OK.

  478. bettyrwoodward

    OK but at least you only missed a bit of your brother opening for Russ. Fortunately Russ did see you during the next couple of days as well.

  479. rachelbaker

    Ah, yes, my brother. He’s another one that impresses me more live than on cd.

  480. Gramma Jac

    Who is your brother?

    Wierd weather in WI too–sun shining while it rains/sleets.

  481. Gramma Jac

    I’m a newcomer to Southern Gospel–really got in to the GVB January 2010. Mark is my favorite and I think I have just about every CD/DVD he’s done solo, including books. My Grandsons LOVE the Piper the Mouse book that has all the stories with Mark reading them on a CD. When I pick them up at the airport when they come to visit that’s the first thing Cole asks for in the van. (Morgen doesn’t talk much yet!)

  482. Gramma Jac

    I didn’t meet any of them when I went to their Green Bay concert in October,…but I imagine I would embarrass myself somehow!

  483. Gramma Jac

    Big confession–I own NOTHING by Russ. Your votes for where I should start?

  484. Gramma Jac

    (That last question might get us to 600!! LOL!)

  485. rachelbaker

    Ooooo Gramma Jac, are there any rainbows? I love rainbows.

    My brother is called Dave Woodward, he is a Christian singer-songwriter (well actually, by profession, he’s an air traffic controller but he’d love to be able to do music full time). There aren’t that many opportunities in England. Russ was kind enough to ask him to opem for him in his concert over here.

  486. rachelbaker

    I’ll let LindaB or Momma Lloyd point you in the right direction when it comes to Russ!

  487. Gramma Jac

    I probably can’t afford all their suggestions!

    I checked youtube–lots of Dave Woodwards. Did he write “Things Change” and is this him?

  488. bettyrwoodward

    You can here a bit of Dave on I agree with Rachel he is better live!

  489. bettyrwoodward

    Yes Gramma Jac that’s our David. Rachel actually writes some of the songs with him but she probably wouldn’t tell you that!

  490. rachelbaker

    Yep – that’s him Gramma Jac

  491. Gramma Jac

    Rachel is also a songwriter?!? Cool!

  492. Gramma Jac

    491–where’s jonny? (oops now 492)

  493. Gramma Jac

    Hope he’s stripping his clothes again! :-/

  494. Gramma Jac

    OOPS–that was supposed to say NOT stripping his clothes! Oh man!

  495. Gramma Jac

    See, I’d definitely embarrass myself meeting the GVB!

  496. bettyrwoodward

    jonny where are you?

  497. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Well, I’m not jonny and I sure hope I don’t take the 500 spot from him, but I wanted to answser his question about my love for LindaB before this post went to heiths I could not climb.

    jonny dear, there are all kinds of love and in the purest sense, we as Christians are told to love one another. It doesn’t say to love only the opposite sex in this command….it says everyone. But I will have to say what a little old lady in my church used to say: “Honey, I love everybody; but some are just a little bit easier to love than others.” And, jonny, our LikndaB is very easy to love.

  498. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Grandma Jack, bless your sweet heart, you couldn’t buy a bad Russ Taff cd. He goes everywhere from Christian Rock to Southern Gospel and even a cd that’s Country…..and he has two Christmas cd’s out. My kids can’t believe that I like his Christian Rock, but I do. Often I go to sleep at night with Christian music playing and very often it is Russ singing. The only problem wth Russ’ rock is that I almost get up in bed and dance with my sheet, ’cause it’s a bit difficult to go to sleep. Why don’t you start with “The Best of Russ TAff” dvd? It’s all Southern Gospel songs sung by Russ during the time he has been with Bill Gaither. Then you can expand backwards orforward after that because I gaurantee you won’t wsant to stop with that one recording.

    I just watched on tv today “The Best of David Phelps” and it got me so excited when David would hit those high notes and Russ would be standing beside him doing his very own spirit-filled Russ Taff shuffle. Not only does Russ have a beautiful and undeniably-Russ Taff voice, but he also has specific moves from his face to his toes that make him especially wonderful to watch. And his heart is as beautiful as his voice.

    Besides that, he has great taste….he married our Tori. And, they are a terrific couple….with two terrific girls. Gracious, I could post 500 pages all by myself if we are going to stick to the topic of the Taffs.

  499. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Oh, Grandma Jack, did I tell you that Russ has been nominated for a Dove Award for his Christmas cd? (just pretend I haven’t told you because I kinda like saying it again…and again, dear heart) The awards will be at 7:00 p. est on April 24th.

    And besides that, he has a new cd coming out any day now….and I can hardly wait to hear it! Boy, are you in luck, Grandma Jack! (lol)

  500. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I hope jonny gets to post on the 500….but if not, there’s always 600, for goodness sake. I love you, jonny……

  501. auburn60

    I can do Townsend in August of 2013! It’s about an hour from here!

    I met Russ, Tori and girls all at the same time. Tori and I had e-mailed for a while and I had looked for her all over FF and Gatlinburg without success. I was starting to think she wasn’t really there. I met Russ because I stopped him to ask where Tori might be. No ‘I’m your biggest fan!’ or ‘ I love your music!’ …just ‘Where’s Tori?’. HA! He probably thought, ‘What’s her deal?’…

    Tori and I squealed like 12 y.o.’s when we finally met face-to-face. And I talked to some of the best teenage girls that afternoon: Madi, Patience Randle,Morgan Easter and Morgan Younce. Sweet,smart girls. I THINK it was later on …maybe another year…that I told Russ he needed to change out of his ‘medals’ shirt to go to lunch. Then realized I had actually said that OUT LOUD! But he just laughed.

    I’ve gone to see Russ in small churches when he’s come close to where I live. I’ve gotten ‘hugs and sniffs’ for Momma Lloyd but never been able to deliver them. And I’ve driven home smelling strongly of Russ Taff cologne! Tori doesn’t usually accompany him on those but Madi tears up the job at the product table. She even patiently answers ‘Are you Madi or Charlotte?’ about 20 times in one evening.

    What were we talking about?…

  502. auburn60

    Oh yeah…Gaither people. Well, I love Gordon Mote and Lynda Randle and no one is nicer than the Booth Brothers (no one-none-nobody).

    I met Bill last year and that was cool. Would LOVE to have a deep conversation with Gloria. Oh and Emily Sutherland…well, she and Scott just might be as nice as the BOOTH’S. It’s a close call!

    And all TAFF’S…goes without saying…

  503. jonny

    No, Barbara, I think you got the 500 spot. And deseverdly so, if you ask me = )

    I actually caught a bit of shut eye, but grateful my suggestion took us over the 500 water mark = )

    Sure Gramma Jac, we know what you REALLY meant ! But I ain’t tellin’ !!

    Yep, Barbara, got what you meant the first time, and yes she is. She is also a lot of fun having a lot of fun with so I threw in the Say it!s what I did.

    Hope that’s everything I sgould have responded to ! Congrats everyone ! I think Tori owes us all a Root Beer, Cream soda or diet Coke now. Something in that vain anyway ! ; )

  504. jonny

    OK, ‘sgould’ should have been ‘should,’ as one has probably figured out. I tried to correct it before it went public, but wasn’t fast enough and it was too late to un-do any damage done = /

  505. jonny

    By the way, I wonder what happened to Former… Still waiting for an answer to my one Russ Taff album question = /

  506. Gramma Jac

    jonny, I won’t tell either! = ) (And I tried the quick fix be4 it went public,…that obviously doesn’t work!)

    My family thinks I’ve gone nuts!! I sit and laugh at my computer! (‘Course my youngest is 16 and thinks everything I do is a bit strange!)

  507. LindaB

    Oh my goodness! Folks! I watched my 3 year old grandson all day so my daughter could move into a new condo. I AM EXHAUSTED BEYOND WORDS! I watch him tomorrow too. I am too tired to wade through all the comments I missed since I posted last, so I’ll try to do that tomorrow sometime. After grandson goes home, hubby and I are going away for two days—–it’s our 43rd wedding anniversary! But I’ll take my laptop so I don’t miss too much!

    Ya know, when there’s this many posts, it’s hard to find your place if you step away for a while! I hope Tori gets home soon!

  508. jonny

    Something I just came across on a facebook page. Sort of fits where I’m at at the moment.

    ” If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.” –Mother Teresa

  509. rachelbaker

    That is beautiful, jonny, and true.

  510. rachelbaker

    Gramma Jac, I’ve never been called a ‘songwriter’ before LOL. There are many on this blog more talented at that than me. I just love to write, I love to write ANYTHING, and sometimes my writing takes the form of lyrics.

  511. rachelbaker

    Alyson – Emily Sutherland is on my ‘want to meet’ list. She’s just below Tori!

  512. jonny

    I’m not all that sure I’d want to actually meet Tori face to face. She sort of intimidates me. Don’t know if, or how I could deal with her wanting to bear hug me like I’ve read she’s done, and making loud feminen type squeally noises, as she’s also been reported to do from time to time when meeting someone for the first time. There may even be wet slobbery kisses on both cheeks involved as a result of all my God-given rock-star attributes. I believe this scenario needs to seriously be avoided at all costs. I’ll just keep admiring her from a-far, even when in the same room. And yes, I have an exccellent disguise all worked out for the Bloomr get-together should one ever materialize. I’ll dress as someone into Southern Gospel Music !! Of course the Candy Christmas t-shirt may be a give-away, but I’ll risk !!

  513. jonny

    Oh, and I have no quams about meeting Russ face-to-face. I ain’t smelling him, though. Barbara’s say-so is good enough for me on that one !

  514. jonny

    A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold December morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that a thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

  515. jonny

    Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

  516. jonny

    A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

  517. jonny

    In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

  518. jonny

    No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

  519. jonny

    Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

  520. jonny

    This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social engineering experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

  521. Gramma Jac

    Father-in-Law update. Yesterday he was much better and they initially said he could go HOME today–but because he’s primary caregiver for my MIL, they didn’t think he was up for that, so decided on the nursing home closest to his house for 1-2 weeks of rehab (leaving today).

    Last night I had to teach a class a floor below him. I had the class set up and had a few minutes so ran in to see him. He was completely disoriented and could barely string together a sentence. I had students that were going to be walking in the door and his nurse was busy, so I called my husband and told him to call. Evidently his blood sugars were goofy. He’d shot up to 300, they gave him insulin, and he had gone down to 60 and was still dropping. I stopped back after class and the nurse “suggested” that if they didn’t have this under control by today, we should dig our heals in about him leaving the hospital at all today. Unfortunately, all of this is falling on my hubby’s shoulders–so pray for my FIL, but also for wisdom for my husband.

  522. Gramma Jac

    BTW, I have 2 careers–which is a bit strange. Yes, I’m a speech pathologist in nursing homes. But my class last night was my other career–I’m a childbirth and lactation educator and birth doula. Don’t ask how I ended up working on both ends of the life spectrum!!

  523. Gramma Jac

    I’m starting to think about a third career,…songwriter?!? LOL! Tori, Rachel, jonny,…anyone else? I’m getting inspired! (Singing–“There once was a girl from Nantucket,”…no won’t go there!)

  524. Gramma Jac

    I’m off to work now–won’t be checking in for awhile. Tori may be intimidated by our numbers and not want to interrupt! Naw, she wouldn’t be intimidated by US, would she?!

  525. jonny

    Prayers being proffered up, Gramma Jac ! Thanks for all the up-dates !!

    Oh, and the tin root beer sign I have says, “Old Fashioned ROOT BEER” on it. Got it from Old Town Placerville, California.

  526. Gramma Jac

    OK, I’m back–forgot I can’t go to work early, I need to vote on my way out of town and polls don’t open for awhile.

    I have this crazy brain that doesn’t always shut off when it should:

    There once was a girl from Nantucket
    Who fell down a hill with her bucket.
    “I fell down a hill?
    But my name ain’t Jill!
    My pail is bent, I’ll just chuck it!

    Ta-Da–NO obscenities!!! jonny, put music to it and we may have a hit on our hands!! LOL!

  527. Gramma Jac

    Ok, OK,…I’ll stick with 2 careers!

  528. jonny

    I don’t know, GJ… I’m still pondering the profound implications, the myriad of colo(u)rs and meaning of life layers, and all the reasons for getting up and carrying on potential in that “My pail is bent” line ! I wouldn’t throw in the towel on that third career just yet !!

  529. auburn60

    jonny–Tori doesn’t slobber. :)

  530. auburn60

    Oh, and Rachel…I personally think Emily is just about the best ‘ Gaither ambassador ‘ they have…she’s smart,funny, friendly and real.

  531. LindaB

    “I’m not all that sure I’d want to actually meet Tori face to face. She sort of intimidates me.” (jonny)

    Meeting new and fun type people may make you uncomfortable. MEET THEM ANYWAY! (Loved that piece by Mother Teresa.)

    Grammajac, I am praying for your father-in-law! This must be frightening for him! And your husband. (And I think your limerick is brilliant! Good job!)

    “I’ll dress as someone into Southern Gospel Music !!” (jonny)
    I’ll loan you an outfit—–one size fits all.

    Rachel, you’re a songwriter too? I’m so impressed! Do you write mainly for your brother? Can we have an example of your lyric writing? I would love it!

    Barb, I am hoping and praying for Russ to win yet another Dove Award on the 24th! Come to think about it……has he EVER been up for an award and DIDN’T win it? I can’t remember any time! AND, about all the beans you spilled about me, I love you too, Sweetpea! ;)

    jonny, I don’t know what album you’re talking about. Ya got me! Russ did sing a song (I Still Believe) that I THINK was a Dann Huff song. He also had songs on the soundtracks of several movies—–like The Apostle (Ain’t No Grave–one of my favorites). He was reported to have a song on the soundtrack of a Steven Seagal film (Fire Down Below), but I bought it and Russ wasn’t on it! I recently discovered that he sang on a Glen Campbell album that I didn’t know about. It was a gospel album made shortly after his conversion. I have one album made by Glen after he found Christ that is very very good! One song (Come Harvest Time) makes me cry every time I hear it!!! But I’m rambling. Maybe Tori would know what album you’re talking about. Or Russ! You’d love meeting him, jonny—-he is so dang nice!! He doesn’t have the ego that I thought he would have being a multiple Grammy and Dove winner, and having the phenomenal success he’s had! And he only hugs you if you hug first! Whereas Tori waits for no man!! LOL (BTW, whatch you got against hugging?)

  532. jonny

    What do I have against hugging… I’m AUTISTIC and extremely sensitive about who touches me !! Also making a big scene, or fuss about it = /

    The album I’m referring to is an early to mid-eighties Christian complelation thing. Before he did I still Believe.

    @ auburn60: she once confussed she did. Here on this blog, if I’m not mistaken. She may not normally do that, though. She also let me know she would hold little to nothing back if, and when we did meet. So in putting two and two together; and based on past women meeting me for the first time experiences, I’m preparing myself for some serious slobberin’ !

  533. rachelbaker

    LindaB, I am painfully and ridiculously shy about stuff I write, but seeing as I trust you guys, and even if you think it is a load of rubbish, you’ll be nice and say something supportive, this may be the place to come out of my shell! If you go to my brother’s website that Mum posted somewhere above – the songs ‘carry me home’ and ‘dark world’ are two of mine.

  534. rachelbaker

    jonny – my husband doesn’t do hugging either. In fact, the time when he thought he should get over his hesitancy and give my mum a hug, he got hit by a bus! True story! He says he always knew hugging was a bad idea!

  535. LindaB

    Rachel! I can’t wait to go there and hear your song! Carter has arrived and as soon as I get his pancakes and juice ritual overwith, I’ll go take a listen!!

    jonny, so THAT’S why you are scared of Tori! You should be!! LOL No, I’m just kidding. She is a gracious southern lady and will be very sensitive about making you comfortable! No worries there! It’s ME you got to worry about! LOL (Still joking. Can’t help it!)

  536. LindaB

    RACHEL!!! YOUR HUBBY GOT HIT BY A BUS WHILE HUGGING YOUR MUM??? DID SHE GET HIT TOO? You can’t drop a bombshell like that and not tell us all about it!!! PLEASE! (This has got to be good story!)

  537. jonny

    Like the titles, Rachel !

    Oh, and I should probably clarify that the reason I usually end up getting all wet when meeting a woman for the first time is becuase at some point they end up throwing their drink in my face. I’m guessing Tori will use some restraint, especially in front of the SGM crowd, and will hopefully only slobber a little.

  538. jonny

    @ Former: Love it when you’re in a joking mood, and on a roll ! Please don’t stop, or apologize, on my account = )

  539. LindaB

    Oh my!!! jonny!!! What do you say or do that prompts women to throw their drinks in your face??? Or…..maybe you better not answer that!

  540. LindaB

    Tori, what state are you in today? Colorado? Texas? Oklahoma? Do you feel like a gypsy?

  541. LindaB

    jonny, I think you would love Russ’ self titled album and his “Medals” album! That was back in his brooding, rockstar like era. And have you ever heard his “I Cry” song? It reminds me a bit of a Roy Orbison song. It’s being played around here a lot on the Christian radio station that usually only plays contemporary. I’ll see if I can find a link to the video. Tori’s in it too!

  542. LindaB
  543. LindaB

    Someone asked what Russ albums I’d recommend for someone who has none, and I’ll have to say—-if you only can own one album, it’s the absolutely best Christian album of all times I.M.O.—-and a Grammy winner, of course! Russ sings the lead on most of the songs, it’s an Imperial recording that came out in 1980, and it’s entitled “PRIORITY”! I’ve worn out two of ‘em! And it’s the one where he sings “Trumpet of Jesus”!

  544. jonny

    OK, I’ve known of Russ since his Imperial days. LOVED Water Grave as a kid. LOVED Walls of Glass. Gave a cassette copy to my sister in the mid-eigties, she wore it out ! Could not stand Metals. It was more like a pop-star playing around with rock. Just didn’t work for me, and still doesn’t. Sorry Russ and Tori ! I did like a lot of tracks on the Russ Taff self titled release, plus it had a great looking cover, but I was already familiar with the original versions of a couple songs he did on it, I Still Believe and Lowlands. I Still Believe had some great stuff vocally on it, but at the time was still more into the original. I probably appreciate his version of it now more than back then, for what it’s worth. I still can’t listen to that version of Lowlands, though. Whoever was responsible for it cut quite possibly the best line from the song and it’s just not the same anymore. At least not to me. A shame really, because from what I can remember, everything else about his version of the song was really good. Also, it’s the only Russ Taff album my Christian music buddy in Germany likes.

    My fave Russ Taff album I’ve heard so far, and still holds up for me, is his frist Christmas one.

  545. bettyrwoodward

    I like this new Christmas one as well – different.
    As for Rachel’s songs I think Dark World is something special.

  546. jonny

    OK, Rachel, throw those lyrics up here; possibly in two separate Say it!s, please = )

  547. bettyrwoodward

    To save Rachel time which she’s putting the kids to bed I’ll put the words on. First verse and chorus in first say it amd then the rest in the next.

  548. bettyrwoodward

    There are people using drugs, they need to get away,
    And people using people ‘cause it’s just a game they play,
    There are rulers making war to keep the status quo,
    While desperate men make bombs for a cause they hardly know.

    It’s a dark world, they’ve bought the devil’s lies,
    It’s a dark world where evil is disguised,
    It’s a dark world, can the light ever rise
    In this dark world?

  549. bettyrwoodward

    OK This time when I try to put the next verses on it tells me its a repeat say it but they’re not here!

  550. rachelbaker

    think it might be ‘where evil’s been disguised’.

  551. bettyrwoodward

    There’s an old man trapped in bed, his wisdom is ignored,
    His kids can’t spare the time, they don’t want him anymore,
    There are thousands of children who never get a name,
    Life stopped before they’re born, it’s a holocaust of shame.

  552. bettyrwoodward

    So we sit and shake our heads at the depravity,
    I claim to know the truth, but who would listen to me?
    We can see their desperation, we can hear their cry,
    We stay in our small corner, ‘cause we’re too afraid to try.

  553. jonny

    Cool ! Sort of a folk, protest vibe to it ! = )

  554. rachelbaker

    yeah, that one is fairly folky. I’m not usually that political, I wrote it a few years ago, and felt the need to write two songs about heaven pretty much immidiately afterwards to counteract my negativity!

  555. rachelbaker

    The final chorus changes ‘they’ve’ to ‘we’ve’ and there is a slightly more upbeat bridge involved somewhere.

  556. jonny

    That first Say it! was based on the first verse and chorus. I really like them, Rachel ! = )

  557. bettyrwoodward

    The computer obviously didn’t want you to get to read it it keeps throwing me out and telling me its a repeat say it. There is an ending as well saying we should let His light shine in us in this dark world.
    She wrote this in 2005.

  558. rachelbaker

    Thanks jonny.

  559. jonny

    Interesting, I don’t find it negative at all. Exposing, yes. Dealing with some horrible truths and realities, of course; but not negatively so. My two cents. It isn’t present as hopeless, or without hope to me. That would take it to the negative. It could also be enlightening for some, and as a result, hopefully freeing in some way, or degree.

  560. jonny

    Maybe Rachel should now just throw the whole thing out in one big Say it! so that it’s possibly less confusing for some to follow.

  561. rachelbaker

    I agree, jonny, but I don’t know if everyone would. Maybe it was that I felt the need to stop focusing on the things of this world for a while, and lift my eyes to God’s majesty and the wonder of eternity. The next two songs were called ‘heavenly minded’ and ‘beyond’!

  562. bettyrwoodward

    There are people using drugs, they need to get away,
    And people using people ‘cause it’s just a game they play,
    There are rulers making war to keep the status quo,
    While desperate men make bombs for a cause they hardly know.

    It’s a dark world, they’ve bought the devil’s lies,
    It’s a dark world where evil‘s been disguised,
    It’s a dark world, can the light ever rise
    In this dark world?

    There’s an old man trapped in bed, his wisdom is ignored,
    His kids can’t spare the time, they don’t want him anymore,
    There are thousands of children who never get a name,
    Life stopped before they’re born, it’s a holocaust of shame.

    So we sit and shake our heads at the depravity,
    I claim to know the truth, but who would listen to me?
    We can see their desperation, we can hear their cry,
    We stay in our small corner, ‘cause we’re too afraid to try.

    We’ve got to let His light shine,
    We’ve got to let His light shine through us,
    We’ve got to let His light shine through us,
    In this dark world.

  563. bettyrwoodward

    OK that the whole thing in one say it!

  564. rachelbaker

    Yep, but the chorus gets repeated and changed!

  565. LindaB

    Why Rachel—–THAT’S BRILLIANT! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!! You’re really good! Do you write the music too?

  566. rachelbaker

    Have you listened to it LindaB? No, I don’t usually write the music, David is the musical one, although I more often than not have a say in it – I started making sure of that after he recorded some music to some words I had written (‘Beyond’, I think) that was nothing like how it sounded in my head, and I’ve never liked it because of that!

  567. jonny

    Well, that’s what I was kinda of getting at, the whole thing from Rachel with the repeated choruses and changes. I’m quite interested in those sort of ‘little’ details.

  568. rachelbaker

    jonny, if I could find it written down anywhere, I would copy and paste but it seems to have vanished for now!

  569. jonny

    OK ! When you’re able to then = ) By the way, wonder if we’ll hit 600 before Tori takes over again…

  570. jonny

    Oh, and I’ve more than once been dissapointed with the end result of a song I was helping on lyrics with. Either a last minute ‘better idea’ change in the lyrics that wasn’t checked, or OK-ed by me, or something re-worked musically from what was originally worked on. In ALL cases, the song bombed, or did not reach its potential everyone working on it originally believed it had. Sad, really, but part of working for, or with others I guess = /

  571. LindaB

    “Oh, and I have no qualms about meeting Russ face-to-face. I ain’t smelling him, though.” (jonny)

    You might not be able to avoid it! As Tori has told us numberous times, Russ believes if a little is good, a whole lot is even better! And she’s right. (But it smells good though, Russ!)

  572. LindaB

    Rachel, I’ve been up and down these 570 replies and can’t find your brother’s name again! I want to hear him sing! Can you post a link to his site?

  573. bettyrwoodward

  574. rachelbaker
  575. jonny

    Well, should only be a measly twenty-five more posts after this one ! Oh, and I finally came across the honey sweetened Root Beer and Cream Soda I often have when in the states on the net. It’s Thomas Kemper’s !

  576. delightedabroad

    I can’t resist to step in and helping the posts increase :-)

  577. delightedabroad

    Oh, that is a weird sentence, I must be more tired than I thought…

  578. rachelbaker

    We understood it completely though, Delighted. How are you?

  579. LindaB

    Yes, how are you, Sweetheart? Are you eating?

  580. delightedabroad

    I feel relieved because hubby will be change from SU to ‘normal’ ward. All results were ok. To date, they couldn’t find the cause.

    At the same time I feel exhausted, adrenalin is going down :-/. (And additionally I’ve had a somewhat restless night.) LindaB, I’m eating – though at minimum level. Over the day I feel to tense to eat more than a few bites.

  581. bettyrwoodward

    Still praying for you both delighted. I agree with Linda you must eat!

  582. delightedabroad

    Oh, my fault: it should be ‘I feel too tense to eat more than a few bites AT A TIME’ which means I try to have several small snacks over the day. For supper, my mil provides a warm meal :-)

  583. jonny

    Yep, eat. Some pharamcies also have special drinks for those who have a hard time eating, but should keep their weight up. For example, Chemo-theorpy patients. Maybe try something like that ??

  584. rachelbaker

    I am glad you are being looked after – I think we all wish we were near enough to help.

  585. jonny

    Change of subject, and out of curiosity, has Russ EVER Said! anything on this blog, or has its caretaker forbidden him from ever doing so ??

  586. delightedabroad

    You are all so sweet, I’m moved to tears!

  587. jonny

    I thought that was your husband’s job presently = /

  588. delightedabroad

    jonny, there are different sorts of tears – at least for women…

  589. delightedabroad

    Do you agree, ladies, or do I have to say ‘at least for me’?

  590. rachelbaker

    oh, many sorts of tears!

  591. bettyrwoodward

    Agreed many sorts

  592. jonny

    For guys, too ! Just couldn’t resist an attempt to try and put a smile on your face in light of all you two have been through recently ! = )

  593. LindaB

    Oh yes….many kinds of tears—–tears of joy, sadness, gratitude, looking at something so beautiful it moves one to tears,….. fear, pain, and when the Visa bill comes.

  594. delightedabroad

    And you were successful, thanks :-)

  595. jonny

    Oh, and I believe 600’s in the bag !

  596. rachelbaker

    jonny, are you on standby? I’m kinda hoping this will be the last century mark before Tori comes back … as much as I’m enjoying this!

  597. LindaB

    One of those nutritious drinks is called Boost. Don’t know if you have it there but it’s really good. It has all the nutrition you need to keep up your strength. But I’m sure your mil’s cooking tastes a lot better! Bless her heart for cooking for you! How sweet!

  598. rachelbaker

    I’m hoping Tori hasn’t been affected by the storms and power cuts in Nashville. She’s been very quiet .

  599. delightedabroad

    As far as I’ve come to know Tori, being quiet is everything but typical for her, right?

  600. delightedabroad

    And we’ve done it!!!

  601. bettyrwoodward

    So now I can go to bed. Goodnight all.

  602. jonny

    OK, I think I may have found the big daddy, grand mother of Sarsaparilla sodas on the market today ! Jackson Hole Soda Co. Snake River Sarsaparilla !!

    “(Five Stars) Absolutely delicious! This is everything you want in a sarsaparilla. It has the subtle taste difference that makes it different from a regular root beer. The carbonation, creaminess, and spice were all spot on. As far as I am concerned this is the best sarsaparilla out there, so if you can find it, don ’ t hesitate to pick up this treat straight out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming (which I hear is a beautiful place to visit).”

    They apparently can be found at some Fred Meyer stores. This beverage can also be purchased from the Old 52 General Store in Sabin, MN or online at

  603. jonny

    Good night Betty, pleasant dreams ! Hope Tori’s put something new up by the time you wake up = )

  604. blondie

    “I am glad you are being looked after – I think we all wish we were near enough to help.” rachelbaker
    Well delighted, I am near enough to help. In the same country anyway. As long as I have my trusty GPS, I can find you! Lemme know if you need anything. Seriously! You’ve already got my prayers.
    Linda, your Russ-meeting story is too funny! I’ve already told it three times!
    jonny, I really like the quote from Mother Teresa and the story about Joshua Bell – amazing!
    rachel, your song! I’m impressed!

  605. blondie

    I could have split those into several comments – shoot!

  606. blondie

    jonny, have you ever heard anything from the days when Russ was with “Sounds of Joy?” That’s reaching WAY back…

  607. jonny

    Nope. I think I read on-line about him being with that some years ago, though.

  608. jonny

    Oh, and I don’t think there’s any need to split Say it!s up anymore. I think it may pretty much be the end of the road for this one soon.

  609. Gramma Jac

    Oh, I’m weary! I’m actually stealing a few minutes on the computer–I voted at 7 a.m. and I’m still at work at 8:30 p.m. Took time out this afternoon to drive to my hometown and get my FIL admitted to a nursing home for a couple of weeks of therapy. For someone who works in nursing homes, I was still blown away by all the paperwork, questions, etc. And poor Art, still goofy from meds and blood sugar that’s “off” just couldn’t grasp all the questions.

    So the one funny moment–he can barely follow the questions, then they send in a nurse (a very nice nurse) from the Philipines who he can’t understand!!! She’s repeating over and over “When did you have your last bowel movement? What is your bowel movement pattern?” and he can’t understand. Evidently she just didn’t have the English skills to rephrase it in a more “down home” way!!! I helped when I could, but not with that one–maybe he doesn’t want his DIL talking about his bowel patterns!!! :-/

    And my dear husband was impatient with all the questions and with all the things we had to do (like marking his clothing). I told him to look at the bright side; when it’s my turn, he’ll know how to admit me!! He said he’s just dropping me at the door!! :- )

    By the way, I may be a Gramma, but I’m a long way from N.H. placement, I hope!!

  610. Gramma Jac

    Congrats to all on the 600 mark!

  611. LindaB

    ((((Grammajac)))) What a day we’ve had! I’m praying that your dear fil adjusts easily and makes progress and gets to go home soon. And you get some quality rest!

  612. Gramma Jac

    I feel SO SO hugged!!!

  613. Gramma Jac

    jonny, are you still pondering the depth of meaning in my Nantucket song?! LOL!

  614. jonny

    Nope, caught up on some shut-eye instead ! = )

  615. rachelbaker

    Blondie, you’re in Germany too? Wow, there are almost as many of us in Europe as in the USA!

  616. jonny

    @ Blondieå By the way, where in Germany are you ?? I’ve lived in many cities through out all of Germany in the Eighties and early Nineties !

  617. jonny

    By the way, could still use prayer support on my situation as well. Seem to be hitting on dead end after another.


  618. bettyrwoodward

    Praying jonny

  619. jonny

    Thanks = )

  620. rachelbaker

    Still praying, jonny.

  621. Gramma Jac

    Yup , prayer from here too! For jonny, for Sarah,for Delighted, for everyone!!

  622. jonny

    = )

  623. auburn60

    Sorry to not be around the last few days…have been getting daughter #2 ready for her move to Nashville and all the other regular crazy stuff keeps going on as usual around here. Daughter 2 found an apt. yesterday and texted me last night that ‘Russ Taff was performing right around the corner’ from her new apt. What are the chances? I told her to run in and say ‘Hi’ but she wouldn’t do it.

  624. jonny

    She could’ve at LEAST smelled him for you ! I don’t know, kids today…

  625. auburn60

    jonny–I resisted the whole ‘sniffing’ thing for a long time…seemed weird and kind of invasive,y’know,sniffing someone else’s spouse…Sort of canine… :)

    But, as has been stated before, if you get close to Russ you’re going to get a whiff of that cologne. Before I knew Russ better I would give him a hug to give to Tori, and drive home saying ‘What IS that smell in my car !?!’ before I realized it was the cologne.

    ( Now,BTW, I hug Russ for Russ…I love his willingness to be an evolving person. He would be the first to tell you his history and his struggles, many of which I identify with, and he doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what the rest of us are: a struggling child of God, grateful for His Grace. At least, that’s my take. But Russ doesn’t need me to speak for him. Take it away Russ… :) )

  626. delightedabroad

    Isn’t God amazing? We’re home. Yep, both of us!

  627. bettyrwoodward

    Fantastic news delighted. God is good.

  628. jonny

    Cool, and cool ! Thanks ladies for sharing, clarifying and up-dating !! = )

  629. rachelbaker

    That is great news, Delighted.

  630. Barbara M. Lloyd

    I’m so out of breath by the time I get up here, I am unable to count. Have we hit 600 yet?

  631. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Tori, are you home yet?

  632. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Madi and Char, send out for pizza….or come on down here.

  633. bettyrwoodward

    That was 630 mamma lloyd

  634. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Taking a line from an old television question……Russ, do you know where your wife is?

  635. Barbara M. Lloyd

    You know, we could have worked ourselves into Tori’s busy schedule if only we had chosen for our get-together one of the several states where she landed during her trials and tribulations of getting back to Tennessee.

  636. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Welcome home, Tori!

    (will somebody please give me a cuntdown on our climb toward 600, for pete’s sake….and for my sake, too?)

  637. bettyrwoodward


  638. jonny


  639. jonny

    Yes, Barbara, I believe it’s safe to say we’ve reach 600 by now = ) And pizza doesn’t sound half bad !

  640. jonny

    640, I believe.

  641. jonny

    OK, a Root Beer and such up-date. I’ve been planning on sending a cool Finnish care package to a cousin I connected with for the first time in our adult lives last New Years; and her three amazing kids. Her oldest is autistic, like myself. I didn’t know that until I met them the first time this year. My doctor suspects it’s somehow in my mom’s family gene pool. Anyway, she was grateful I contacted her again because she had been wanting to send ME a care package as well ! A Root Beer care package ! I kid you not !! Only the best, she said. No HFCS stuff. She didn’t have my e-mail or mailing address, though. Oh, and she’ll also throw in that five star Sarsaparilla for me to try = ) I may not be able to pay my rent, but I’ll soon be up to my eye balls in vintage Americana soda pop, lol !! = )

  642. jonny


  643. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Oh my goodness Delighted, somehow I missed your post where you said BOTH of you were home……that is wonderful news!!!! and, yes, to God be the glory. Wish I were there to hug y’all right now!

  644. jonny


  645. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Can anyone tell me a quick way to get to the end of the line? When I finally get here, I suppose it is my JAWS program that causes it, but I keep flipping back to the beginning and have to start all over again. Guess I’ll just gonna have to go and have a cup of sassafrass tea to build up my energy.

  646. jonny


  647. tunnelgal05102

    I must bring up the Women’s Retreat again.

    I found an angel there. Her name is Christina Estes. She emailed me today that she got a new car and wanted to donate her old car. She remembered that I spoke about needing a new car during one of the sessions. She emailed to ask me if I was interested in receiving her old car free of charge. She truly is an angel!

    I hope everyone is doing well and all my prayers go out to
    Tori, Sarah, their family, and everyone else’s!

  648. jonny

    Neat ! Thanks so much for sharing that !! = )

  649. jonny


  650. Barbara M. Lloyd

    650….’nite all

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