Friday, July 31, 2009

Positively Positive

A few days ago, Sue at Sullivan and Murphy tagged me to post five things about myself.  I've participated in a couple of these blog tags before, so I've been wondering what I could share that would be new and different.   I finally decided I would post about five of my pet peeves, and I've spent all week thinking about what to include, and the more I thought about it, the madder I got.

untitled All of that was before Joycee at Granny Mountain introduced me to Positive Day.  Positive Day is the creation of  Jennifer at Dust Bunny Hostage and was inspired by her 13-year-old daughter.  Since I've always considered myself to be a "Glass Half Full" kind of person, I decided that I had wasted enough time this week thinking about my pet peeves so I would instead post five positive things about myself.  Here goes.

  1. I couldn't ask for a better family.  How did I get so lucky?  First, I had a happy childhood with two wonderful parents and two siblings that I still love to hang out with.  Then I was lucky enough to meet LBeau and acquire another great family.  We raised three outstanding boys, and we now have two beautiful daughters-in-law and two precious grandchildren.  And I'll share a secret.  We're expecting grandchild number three in February.  Congratulations to Ben and Claire, who are shown practicing for parenthood with our granddaughter Lauren.lauren 004
  2. I have some terrific girlfriends, most of whom I met through church, so I need to give a shout out to Asbury United Methodist Church as well.  We share books and other stuff (thanks Janice), give parties when our children are getting married (that's happening more and more these days), offer advice, do lunch, and just enjoy being around each other.  Judging from this picture, I'd say we are doing our best not to contribute to Alabama's ranking as one of the fattest states.tailgate party 015
  3. I love my home.  When we built it in 2001, we built it as a spec house, never intending to move in.  We had our old house on the market and had bought a lot to build on.  However, our house sold before we even broke ground, so we decided to move into this house "for the time being."  So eight years later, I think we're here for a while.  I'm lucky that my job provides me with great resources for keeping it "fixed up."  Today I'm getting a fresh coat of poly on the front door.Beaumont Residence 013
  4. Now that my children are "on their own," I'm fortunate that LBeau and I have been able to do some traveling.  It's such a thrill to be able to see the beauty and wonder of God's creation.aug2008trip 157
  5. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve the good fortune of being born in this time and place.  When I think about all of those people who don't have the privilege of living in this great country, it just boggles my mind.  Accordingly, I'm feeling pretty positive about the ability to delete all of those emails I get that go on and on about some injustice or another in our country, most of which aren't even true.  Okay, I'll admit that this last thing about the emails was going to be one of my five pet peeves, but see, thanks to Joycee and Jennifer, I can focus on the positive.  I can choose not to read those emails and simply hit the "delete" key.

So that's what I want you to know about me.  Now you can head on over to Dust Bunny Hostage and see what everyone else is positive about.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

From Bikini Wax to Kate Spade

A Sunday Favorite

writeroval-1-1 Each Sunday Chari at Happy to Design gives us a chance to revisit older posts that some of you may have missed.  I have been using this weekly event as an opportunity to post things I wrote before I got followers.

The original idea behind my blog was to write about life with LBeau.  In fact, at the time I started blogging my children were all eager to participate.  I should have known better.  None of them ever made a single contribution, and thus my blog has evolved into a conglomeration of thoughts and observations that include not only life with LBeau but other stuff as well.  Today I am sharing one of my earliest posts about LBeau.

About 13 years ago, LBeau and I started walking every night in our neighborhood. We mapped out a two-mile route that took us about 35 to 45 minutes to complete. Shortly after we started, our friend Glenda joined us, and we gradually added more friends until our group numbered 10 at one point.

When it was just the three of us, we often had some unusual conversations. Glenda and I said that we were educating LBeau in the ways of women. One of the earliest of those talks was about bikini waxing. LBeau had never heard of such and wondered why any woman would put herself through such torture.

Our group is now back to just the three of us, since our other friends have gradually dropped out. Last night we were talking about Ben's and Claire's bridal registry. Glenda asked me about their china and stemware patterns, and I told her that they had registered for a Kate Spade crystal pattern.

LBeau said, "Kate Spade? I thought she did purses."

Glenda and I were impressed that he had learned enough to know that Kate Spade designed purses. We think his education has come a long way since our bikini wax conversation and that he's ready to lead the men's team in a game of Battle of the Sexes.

By the way, we also noted that Glenda and I are out of the bikini business, but that doesn't mean we aren't still hot.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pretty Pink Toesies

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At our house these days we're seeing lots more pink, and we're certainly enjoying having a baby girl around to keep our three sons and our grandson in line. We've decided that baby Lauren is definitely going to be a girlie girl as she shows off her very first pedicure.

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bijw9y For more Pink Saturday, be sure to visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound. You just won't believe how many folks are showing off their pink treasures.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Sneak Preview

Next month I will be hosting a bridal tea for my friend Glenda’s daughter Anna, who is getting married in October.  Where I grew up, a bridal tea is simply a tea, and the only gift the bride receives is something from the hostesses.

In Birmingham, the Bridal Tea is really a shower.  I learned that the first time I was invited to a Bridal Tea when the invitation read, “Registered at….”  I decided that was a clue that I was supposed to take a gift.

When a guest arrives at a Birmingham Bridal Tea, someone greets her at the door, takes her gift and whisks it to another room.  There someone else, not the bride, unwraps the gift and records it in the bride’s book.  Then another hostess takes the gift and displays it on a table for all the guests to see.

A few weeks ago, Connie, Wanda and I made a road trip to Oneonta, Alabama, looking for fabric so that Connie could make a special tablecloth for my dining room table.  We had in mind something that would work with the color of my walls.

As soon as we walked into B & B Fabric Outlet we spotted this beautiful silk, and the color was perfect.

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Here’s a close up of the detail.

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The good news is that it was 109” wide, so all Connie had to do was hem it.  After the tea, I’ll post pictures of our table.

New_size_125_tall Now for some real tablescapes, visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.  Hundreds of blogger have been playing with their dishes this week while I’ve been recovering from playing with grandchildren.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

At Least She Didn't Die in a Shoot Out

Dorothy Viola Southern passed away in Colorado Springs, Colorado, earlier this month.  Dorothy was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and her obituary appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last week.

Dorothy was married by the time she was 13 and had two children by the age of 16.  She later gave birth to three more, and her three children who are still living "are glad she died peacefully and not in a shoot out."

Although her children marveled at their mother's tenacity, work ethic, ingenuity and sense of humor, they say that "she never learned the art of contentment or anger management, which she desperately needed."  However, her obituary claims that she "got off to a rocky start and really never had a fair chance."

In addition to her three children, Dorothy is survived by 11 grandchildren, whom she delighted in "except sometimes when she was living near them."

During her lifetime, Dorothy married nine times, and "almost to the end she was still making people laugh, cussing people out, and looking for the perfect husband."

Rest in peace, Dorothy.  I'd say that you're still making people laugh even in death.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm—Part II

!BQFpWEwB2k~$(KGrHgoOKjEEjlLmZ(ZQBJ29nmTBG!~~_1 LBeau tells me that he needs some blades for his razor. For years he has been using a Gillette Sensor razor, and he likes the regular Sensor blades. A few months ago he bought one of the Gillette Fusion razors. It's still in the drawer; he hasn't even removed it from the packaging.

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"So what about your new Fusion razor?" I ask.

"Well, if I start using it, then I'll have to start buying blades for it, and they're really expensive," he replied.

What do you suppose he was thinking when he bought that new razor? If you have any ideas, please post them in your comments. I'd really like to understand him better, but after almost 39 years of marriage, I don't think it's going to happen.

I can tell you one thing, though. Men really are from Mars, and I haven't even read the book.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Putting a Shine on Things

Pic_for_Body_of_Blog3 It's a new week and time to show the world what wonderful transformations we made last week.  Susan is hosting over at Between Naps on the Porch, and she's got an amazing metamorphosis happening right on her front porch.  It reminded me so much of THIS POST that I read on another blog a few months ago, only this one had a different outcome.

So what amazing transformation took place in my house this week?  Well, I took this…

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and turned this…

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into this.

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I know it doesn't seem like much, but you can probably tell that I've been putting this little chore off for months.  Heck, it may have been a year or more since I polished the silver service.  I just kept telling myself that slightly tarnished silver was soooooo shabby chic. 

But even I have to admit that this was way beyond shabby chic.  In fact, it had gotten to the point that whenever I served a meal in the formal dining room, I just tucked the silver service under the sideboard.  I guess I thought nobody would notice it.  So now it looks like new, and I can scratch that chore off my list for another year.  Well, maybe I won't wait that long this time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I’ve Been Tagged—A Sunday Favorite

writeroval-1-1 Each Sunday Chari at Happy to Design gives us a chance to repost an earlier blog in Sunday Favorites.  When I’ve been able to participate, I’ve mainly been reposting entries from my early blogging days, before I “met” most of you.  This post originally appeared on October 8, 2008.  Realizing that my profile is somewhat limited in information (I haven’t listed any favorite books or movies or stuff), I decided this post would tell you a little more about me.  When you’re finished reading, be sure to drop by Happy to Design to see what others are offering.

JB tagged me to participate in a game of Blog Tag. My task is to write seven random, weird or funny things about myself. So here goes.

1. I drive a red Ford F-150, extended cab. This is my fourth red pickup truck. The second one was supposed to be Dakota Beige. I had special ordered it, but when it came in another salesman sold it and they had to scramble to find another one for me. It turned out to be another red one, so I've just stuck with red ever since.

2. The radio in my red Ford F-150 is usually tuned to a sports talk radio station. We have a good local station here in Birmingham, even though the talk usually centers around Auburn and Alabama.

3. I post on a Razorback message board using the handle Petunia Pig. I started with the old KARK message board about 12 or 13 years ago. Everyone on that board eventually migrated to the PigPen message board, and when PigPen folded I started posting on the Hawg's Illustrated board.

4. My grandmother name is KBeau. At least that's what we are teaching Walker to say. Ben's friends were the first to call me KBeau. The name comes from my first email address, We joined AOL when it was a DOS program and the only people you could email were other AOL members. Unfortunately, when I went to another service provider, KBeau was not available. Since I'm KBeau, Larry is naturally LBeau.

5. When I was a student at the University of Arkansas, I was known in the Kappa house as the Tube Queen. I would study every night in front of the television, and at noon I didn't miss many episodes of As the World Turns. Now that I build and remodel homes, I probably haven't watched a soap opera in 15 years.
6. My hair is its natural color, which is blonde, liberally sprinkled with gray. A lot of people think I get it highlighted, but whenever I've spent the $60 or so to highlight my hair it looks just the same.
7. LBeau says that I have the perfect job. I get to talk a lot on the phone (Nextel radio), boss a lot of men and spend a lot of money.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Grancy's Cocoa Muffins

cocoa muffins 003 I stopped in at Murphree's Fruits and Vegetables yesterday to load up on fresh produce. I came home with field peas, butter beans, yellow squash, silver queen corn, strawberries and Sand Mountain vine ripened tomatoes. The Sand Mountain tomatoes are Alabama's answer to the Arkansas Bradley County tomatoes that I grew up on.

Grancy and Poosie 50th anniversary All of that fresh stuff just called for a batch of my grandmother's cocoa muffins. Grancy made lots of cocoa muffins, particularly during the summer when she could get fresh purple hull peas and butter beans. Poosie, my grandfather, loved to sop up the pea and bean juices with a cocoa muffin, fresh from the oven, and he always accompanied his meals with a gigantic glass of iced tea, sweet of course and with a big slice of lemon. Here's a picture of Grancy and Poosie on their 5oth Anniversary.

cocoa muffins 002 So I went digging into my file for the cocoa muffin recipe that Grancy wrote out for me sometime after LBeau and I married. Your basic cocoa muffin ingredients are sugar, butter, eggs, flour, cocoa, baking powder, milk and vanilla. I doubt that Grancy ever really used a recipe. She made these for so long that she just knew how to measure by feel.

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Recipe Notes:

  • "Cry. butter" is creamery butter.
  • I did not sift the flour with the cocoa. I stirred the flour, cocoa and baking powder together and added it to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk.
  • I increased the milk to 3/4 cup.
  • I sprayed my muffin tin with a little PAM.
  • 25 minutes is too long. They were done in 20 minutes.

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These looked so delicious that I had to have one with a little butter and a cup of coffee right after they came out of the oven. But I'll be sharing the rest tonight with LBeau when I serve him all of that fresh produce.

Foodie_Friday_Logo_2 Now run on over to Designs by Gollum to see what everyone else is cooking up on this Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Red, White and Blue

fourth table 020 Since I didn't get my 4th of July table ready in time to post last Thursday when everyone else was showing their All-American colors, I decided to post it this week. So please bear with me while I regress.

I wanted to use this old red and white quilt for my table cover. Since it wasn't big enough to use alone, I decided to layer it over a plain white tablecloth. This quilt use to be my everyday tablecloth on my kitchen table back when I had a red kitchen. Lately it's resided at the foot of the bed in one of my guest rooms. I thought it was perfect for the 4th of July.

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The dishes are Italian Countryside by Mikasa, and the glasses are Argus by Fostoria in cobalt blue. I registered for these glasses when we got married in 1974, so they're practically antique. I seem to be getting lots of mileage out of the $1.00 napkins from World Market. This time I tied them with raffia, since my table was taking on a picnic look.

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My flatware is a combination of two patterns that once belonged to my great aunt and uncle, Don and Dorothy Blanchard from Lewisville, Arkansas. They never had any children, so I inherited it because each piece is monogrammed with a "B." The more decorative pieces are inlaid silver in a pattern called Guest of Honor by Holmes and Edwards. The other pieces are sterling but have no other markings on them, so I have no clue about the pattern. I also used my pewter salt and pepper shakers.

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All of the flowers came from my yard, and I "arranged" them in three quart-sized canning jars. I just went out and cut whatever was blooming—daisies, lantana, chaste tree, butterfly bush, Joe-Pye weed, ribbon grass and purple fountain grass.

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New_size_125_tall Now for some serious eye candy be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. There you'll find her relaxing and hosting Tablescape Thursday, and you're sure to find links to other great tablescapes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Accomac Revisited

daylilies 016 When I wrote about my trip to visit my cousin in Accomac, Virginia, little did I know that I would be going back a month later. But after leaving Annapolis on June 14 to help Brent, Katie and family move to Savannah, that's exactly where we headed.

When we were in Accomac in May, the garden featured lots of iris in bloom. You can see some of them HERE. This time the daylilies were putting on a show. Here are a few.

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These are just a few of the varieties of daylilies that my cousin Mary has planted in raised beds all over the Accomac Hotel property. My only disappointment was that the Mary Belle Belin, named for our grandmother, was not yet blooming. But I did snap a few pictures of some beautiful hydrangeas.

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And for a bit of garden whimsy, here's a clever use for a retired urinal.

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For more Outdoor Wednesday, take a look at what Susan has in store at A Southern Daydreamer. You surely won't be disappointed by what others are showing in the great outdoors.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ringside Seats

We had great seats Saturday night for the neighborhood fireworks show, so I decided to try out the "fireworks" setting on my camera. Although these are not as good as a professional would do, I was pleased with the effort.

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And the grand finale…

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jerusalem on the Mississippi—A Sunday Favorite

Hunter and Bono 2 writeroval-1-1 It's time for Sunday Favorites, where Cheri at Happy to Design invites us to repost a favorite blog post from the past. This Sunday instead of reposting one of my own entries, I am inviting you to read something that my oldest son Hunter posted on his blog (H.B.log) on November 20, 2006. Because of his growing church, Fellowship Denver, that he helped plant, Hunter quit blogging in April of 2007. However, his blog is still on the web and is linked above. That's Hunter on the left, by the way. I'll let you figure out the identity of the gentleman on the right.

When you've finished here, head on over to Happy to Design to see other Sunday Favorites.

memphis_pyramid_1 My weeklong tour of the mid-south finds me in Memphis this Friday, and one thing you quickly notice as you drive through the Bluff City on a fall weekend: Memphis is the most pluralistic city in the South. Pluralism refers to the phenomenon of many different religions, philosophies, or world-views living together in the same place, often competing for public affection. Memphis fits the definition perfectly, as the city is a battleground for no-less than six SEC football teams. Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas all have huge fan bases in Memphis. Unlike neighboring Birmingham, Little Rock, Nashville, or Jackson where one team is clearly dominant, Memphis is a melting-pot of collegiate loyalties, paralleled only by its BBQ rivalries (Rendezvous, Corky's, Interstate, or Neely's). In many ways, Memphis resembles the first-century Jerusalem that Jesus visited. It too was a factional patchwork including:

The Pharisees, holier-than-thou Law-keepers. In Memphis (anywhere, for that matter), this would be the Alabama fans. They subscribe to the Laws-of-Bear, measuring all coaches against the houndstooth standard of Paul Bryant. Bama fans pretend to practice the most highly-evolved form of southern football, but in reality their program is a crimson-washed tomb, glitzy and glittery on the outside, but rotten to the core on the inside. Visit Tuscaloosa on a Saturday these days, and you'll see a postcard perfect Bryant-Denny Stadium inhabited by a team that can't beat Mississippi State.

The Sadducees, monied, aristocratic, priestly-types who have made peace with the Romans and are content to preserve the status quo. In Memphis, this would be the Vanderbilt fans. True, the status-quo means few gridiron wins for the 'Dores, but these are the only fans in the SEC who can chant with integrity, "That's alright! That's OK! You'll go to work for us someday!" Vandy fans are running the law firms that make life miserable for the Pharisees, and their membership in the SEC is a strictly-business decision, taking their cut of the conference booty brought home by the high-revenue programs and using it to build the med school instead of a 90,000 seat stadium.

The Hebraic Jews, cultural and ethnic Jews who were born and raised in Jerusalem (as opposed to the more suspect Hellenistic Jews, who were ethnically Jewish but culturally Greek). In Memphis, this would be the Ole Miss fans. The closest SEC campus to Memphis, Dixie doesn't get any deeper than Oxford, Mississippi on gameday. The frat boys still wear navy blazers and ties while their Chi-O dates don cocktail dresses. Rebel flags flap in the breeze, controversy be damned. And in The Grove, pregame BBQ, potato salad and Crown-and-Coke are served with fine china and real silver.

The Hellenistic Jews, ethnic Jews who have lived most of their lives outside Jerusalem and as a result are not as culturally-pure as the Hebrew Jews. In Memphis, this would be the Arkansas fans. Located in geographic no-man's-land, Arkansas is not really deep south, but not really west. For most of their storied history, these fans lived in the old Southwest Conference, which didn't practice pigskin at the same level as the SEC. Ten of the other SEC schools have been members since the conference was founded in 1932, but these little piggies didn't came all-the-way-home until 1991. Thus, they are eager to prove their Southerness and are hyper-sensitive to being treated as second class citizens by other SEC fans. "Can't they just hate us like they all hate Bama," Hog fans plead.

The Gentile Dawgs, poorer, rough-neck people who can crash an otherwise sophisticated cocktail party (editorial confession: I was flipped-off four times Saturday by an old-man Dawg-fan). In Memphis, this is the Mississippi State fans. Starkville, aka Starkganistan, is not on anyone's short-list of most-charming southern towns. As a result, Dawg Fans can be treated like second-class citizens in the Memphis pecking order. The football team's weekly-changing uniforms testify to a program that is still trying to find its identity in the tradition-rich SEC, but the leghumpers can bite when not taken seriously (ask the Pharisees).

The Romans, citizens of a distant empire trying to keep control of a wily outlying city. In Memphis, this would be the Tennessee fans. Though technically the university of the state that Memphis inhabits, Knoxville is farther away than all of the other five schools, a 360-mile camping trip east on I-40. Yes, they have a huge coliseum and a fat, cheatin', bloodthirsty emperor, but the Vols are hardly feared or revered in Memphis. Blue chip Memphis recruits are just as likely to play somewhere else (especially if a Pharisee can come up with $200,000) and the Great Pumpkin is not worshiped here like he is in other parts of Tennessee.

Now, what does all of this have to do with the already-not yet? Well in the Bible, we are told that factionalism and division and tribal warfare are actually a result of "the fall," the rebellion of the creatures against their creator that threw the whole world into a civil-war. In many ways, 1st century Jerusalem and 21st century Memphis reflect this state of affairs; the world is "not yet" God's kingdom. But one man promises to unite them all. "Whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:16-17).

In other words, Jesus is Lord, which means that Bear Bryant is not Lord. Archie Manning is not Lord. Jackie Sherrill is not Lord. Frank Broyles is not Lord. General Neyland is not Lord. They cannot unite all kinds of people under one roof, but Jesus can. One day, he will bring together all kinds of seemingly-opposed people in one New Memphis. The Roll Tide Twins will lie down with the Vandy Lawyer who will lie down with Colonel Reb who will lie down with Big Red who will lie down with the State fan who flipped me off Saturday who will lie down with Smokey the blue tick coonhound. Jesus will unite them all. But today is not yet that day. Until then, Go Hogs!