Monday, December 19, 2011

The Comedy of Errors at Logan’s Roadhouse

Logan’s Roadhouse knows I love them, Ole Boy and I visit at least once a week.   Lately, they’ve given us some real characters for servers, though.  Yesterday, the server was just bad.   ‘Nuff said.  

Not too long ago, our server…whose name was not Buffy (but I somehow felt she could have worn the name well, so that’s what I have nicknamed her) took our order, and that’s where the fun began.     We decided to do the Three Course Meal, because having fallen off the diet wagon, I was looking for all things diet unfriendly!    I ordered the crispy fried tilapia fillets, which is a brand new item on the menu (a semi-important detail), and I asked for the fried mushrooms for the appetizer.   Buffy brought our salads right out, but no ‘Shrooms.    After 20 minutes, we finally asked about the appetizer, which I’m thinking should have been brought out before the salad…she winked (oh, yes she did) and said, “Let me check on those for you!”   She comes right back with a basket, and says, “Sorry for the delay on that!   Be careful, they are piping hot!”   They were barely warm.

When our entrĂ©es finally arrive, she brought me the Tilapia Santa Fe.   When I told her I ordered the fried tilapia, she said, “Oh, this is how our tilapia is served!”   I said, “The menu said fried,” and I showed her.  She said, “Oh, well, nobody ever orders that, so I just assumed you wanted the Santa Fe.”    I said, “Well, it’s a new item…”  

The three course choice comes with dessert.   When we were finished our entrĂ©es, she brought our bill, which charged us for the three courses, and thanked us for coming in.   I said, "We haven't ordered dessert..." and she winked again, and said, "Oh, yes, I know!   I'm just waiting for you to tell me what you'd like."  

Buffy told us she was from New York, and hadn’t been here long.   I told her that she didn’t have an accent, so I wouldn’t have guessed she wasn’t from the south.   She then said she was from “upstate” New York, and that’s why she didn’t have a strong accent.   As we were leaving, she said, “Bye, Y’all,” in what I’m almost certain was a Kentucky twang, certainly not upstate New York.

I think I’ll put Buffy on my “Naughty” list, but keep Logan’s on my “Nice” list.  Hopefully, I’ll have my Naughty and Nice list complete and posted by tomorrow.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Musings

While walking along the aisles of colorful bulbs, trees and tinsel, my spirit sometimes grieves.   It happens at least once every Christmas.   I whisper, “I’m sorry, Lord,” as I search for the one little section among rows and rows of Santas and reindeer where I can find a Baby Jesus.    I know that Santa is not the problem…it’s the heart of greed during what should be a celebration of the birth of a savior, and that’s why my spirit grieves.   It is rather sad that so many of us feel we must “buy Christmas,” and too many of us go in debt to do it.   We forget that Christ already paid the price, and way too much money is spent on lavish gifts to satisfy the demand that the season has become.   I get caught up in it all, and I’m just as guilty.   I’ve set some limits this year, and I’m doing my best to abide within those limits.   It ain’t easy!

Santa & Baby Jesus

Christmas Tree Pictures, Images and Photos
I really love Christmas…and I know that I can’t change the world, so I am sure to keep the true meaning close to my own heart.   Jesus really is the reason for the season.   You won’t normally find Santa decorations at my house, but I don’t preach “No Santa” to my little Angels.   I am most likely guilty of referencing Santa to them myself.   Is that hypocritical?    I remind them what Christmas really is; they know about the Baby Jesus…but sadly, they are much more excited about Santa.   I was just as excited when I was little; but with four older siblings, I never believed in Santa.   I knew to wait up, hiding behind the door of my bedroom, to sneak a peek when Mom brought the gifts out.   I don’t believe I ever made it, though.  I always fell asleep.

I love Christmas not only as a celebration for the birth of Jesus, but because I see more human kindness during this season.   Families make a bigger effort to spend time together.   People are a little more giving.   Children with sparkling eyes dance with glee, for no reason other than their own private joy that it’s Christmas!   I know Christmas is not a joyful time for everyone…for those of you who are missing someone special this year, my wish for you is peace this Season; real peace, from God Himself.

When I was a child, it took two lifetimes before Christmas would roll around again; these days, it takes two blinks and a nap, and here it is again.   December already!   Time for the hustle and bustle of the season…already I’ve been asked several times if I have all my shopping done.   I’ve hardly started!   There are very few things that I get in a rush about, shopping has never been one of them. 

I hope you, my friends, have a moment or two to stop and breathe in the delight of the season, and amidst the hubbub of shopping and preparations you find rest in the knowledge that a King loved you so much that He died to give you life.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

More Vacation Details on a Six Word Saturday....


Just when you think you've heard enough about my short trip to Gatlinburg, I bring it up again!!    

While we where there, I found something better than the Fountain of Youth…I found the Fountain of Chocolate!   While in Gatlinburg, Ole Boy and I stopped at the Golden Corral…we don’t have one of those in my neck of the woods.   They have a pretty good breakfast bar, and some really good breakfast pizza, (I love that stuff).   They also had a chocolate fountain.    

 Do you hear what I’m saying?
A fountain of Chocolate!
We covered strawberries, macaroons, pineapple, and Rice Krispie candy in chocolate.    And ate it all.    There’s no wonder I gained a few pounds.    No, no wonder at all!  (Pictures not mine.)

We also ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., another place that hasn’t made it to Small Town, Alabama, yet.    Considering that Alabama is a large part of the Forrest Gump movie….well, never mind.   But judging by the other restaurants in my area, either of these places would do great.  If you ever get the chance to eat at Bubba Gump’s, you should.   It’s a little pricey, but very, very good.

The rest of these pictures are mine... 
Clingman's Dome
(I cheated here...this was last year's pic.   The rest are current, I promise)

It rained all day Friday, and unbeknownst to us, at some point, some places began to get snow.   We woke up to a chilly, but clearing, Saturday morning, and after eating breakfast at The Old Mill Restaurant (my favorite place to eat breakfast in the Smokies…other than that breakfast pizza and chocolate fountain, that is…we headed to the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.  That's where we found a mini-winter-wonderland.

Roaring Fork
Roaring Fork
Roaring Fork
Roaring Fork

Somewhere in the Great Smoky Mountains

I loved how the sun was hitting only one part of the mountains...

Downtown Gatlinburg, TN
Downtown Gatlinburg
Notice the two different times on the clock,
Neither were correct.
For more Vacation 2011 Pictures, Click Here.

** Cate over at Show My Face hosts Six Word Saturday,
where we are challenged to use only six words to describe our lives...or something!

(for more Six Word descriptions, visit Cate @ Show My Face!)


Monday, October 31, 2011

Vacation Edition Musings

Ole Boy and I "snuck" away on a vacation to East Tennessee and North Carolina.   We went a little later than we normally do this year because last year, the color was still mostly green.  Bryson City, NC, was first on our agenda.   Travel on Wednesday was perfect...sunny and warm!   However, the next day, our train ride was anything but sunny and warm!   We left for Gatlinburg after the ride, and it began to rain.

Bryson City, NC:
Our train ride was fun but COLD!
It finally warmed up on the second half of the journey.
Nantahala  National Forest
Nantahala National Forest
(The train stopped here for a short layover.)

I snapped a lot of pictures, but between the jostling of the tracks and the movement of the train (and the limited talents of the photographer) I didn't get a lot of clear pictures while we were moving.  Here are a few:




These flowers were at the depot.
I was a little surprised to see them!

Bryson City, NC

It rained most of the day Friday.   We did get up before daybreak and go to Cades Cove.  It was very overcast with a few sprinkles here and there.   By the time we were leaving, we saw a baby bear in the top of a very tall tree, and it was really beginning to rain.   I took a few pictures, but between the rain and the darkness of the morning, the little guy looked like a mere shadow in the top of the tree.   He finally came down, and I took a few more pictures.   Not knowing where Mama Bear was, I didn't get too close.  Some people didn't care about Mama Bear, and they got in my way, so I didn't get to take too many pictures.   To say I whined about those folks would be an understatement.

Same little bear, Cades Cove
  Baby Bear...he didn't turn out too clear, 
but you can see the little cutie.
Little Bear,  Cades Cove

More From Cades Cove:
Cades Cove
The color was past peak, but still pretty,
prettier in some places than in others.
Cades Cove
The not so cute....
Gooblers and Gobblers, Cades Cove
Gooblers and Gobblers
We were blessed with beautiful color in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg  Bypass
After seeing how past peak North Carolina was, I was 
a little concerned about what we'd see in Tennessee.

Gatlinburg Bypass
I needn't have worried!
Gatlinburg Bypass
And this is one of my favorite places in Gatlinburg:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Newsday Tuesday: The Musing Edition

 We had some news in my neighborhood yesterday…my credit union, the one I use that is located a mere quarter mile from my house, was robbed yesterday.   The guy handed the teller a note that stated he had a bomb strapped to his body.  They gave him an undisclosed amount of money; he left on foot…and went to my little neck of the woods.   I live in Small Town, Alabama…these things just don’t happen every day!   I consoled myself last night with the thought that surely he wouldn’t still be hanging around the ‘hood with the ABI and FBI, police and sheriff deputies after him.   He was.   He was picked up about 10 hours after the deed a mere short walking distance from my house.  

Sometimes I surprise myself at the “news” videos I will watch.   Afterwards, I ask myself why I watched it…but I never have an answer.    And if it’s not enough that I watch the video, I’ll read the comments, and if I’m in the right mood, I’ll make a few comments, too.   From the comments, I have realized that there are people in this world who are bona fide nuts.     I’ve also learned a few things.  

Some of those videos stay in my mind for a while, like the Chinese toddler who was hit by two vehicles.   I have no words for what I saw…but the images are still in my head.  Disturbing.   If you haven’t seen that clip, you are better off not knowing that these things go on in our world.

I watched the video of Gaddafi being captured.   I really couldn’t tell anything at all about that piece of raw footage.   There are people who think he shouldn’t have been killed by the people he’d terrorized all these years…I think he reaped what he sowed, just as each and every one of us will.

I am not watching Dancing with the Stars this season.   I rarely watched a full season of it, but this time, I couldn’t stomach of the contestants, and as it is with every season, I didn’t even know who half of them were.   Stephen Davey said something on Wisdom for the Heart this morning that has stuck in my mind:  “We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance.”   Enough said.

I don’t watch much TV…most of my news comes from the internet.   As I peruse the news sites, I can’t find any good news, only more reasons for me to keep in mind that I live in a crazy world, a very crazy world.   With all that’s going on outside my box, I would not be surprised if Jesus’s return isn’t so much closer than we all realize.   I wonder what I’d do differently if I knew that He was coming back before the end of the year?   Would I sit around surfing the ‘net, or watching The Biggest Loser, or worrying about my diet…or would I be doing all I could to make sure my loved ones got their acts together?    There are things we shouldn’t take for granted, having a tomorrow is one of them, we aren’t promised tomorrow.

This week in History:

v  The telegraph turns 150 years old.
v  Pablo Picasso was born in 1881.
v  The New York City Subway opened in 1904.
v  In 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation.
v  “96 Tears” was the number one hit in 1966.
v  President McKinley’s assassin is executed in 1901.
v  The Statute of Liberty was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886.
v  Congress enforces prohibition in 1919.
v  In 1984, an infant receives a baboon heart.
v  In 1972, President Nixon suspends bombing in Vietnam, and in 1973, he vetoed the War Powers Resolution.
v  British naval fleet attacks Norfolk, Virginia in 1775.
v  In 1945, the United Nations was formally established.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vacation Last Year....

I wonder what my beloved Great Smoky Mountains look like this year?
Here's what they looked like last year... 



Near Mount Airy/Pilot Mountain, NC

Near Mount Airy/Pilot Mountain, NC




Virginia (That's Ole Boy moseying along.)




Mingus Mill
Oconaluftee, NC

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Modern Day Miracle...

Part 3
Read Part One:  "Death Answers to God, and He Said No" 
Read Part Two:   "Memphis Miracle"

In 2005, some 17 years after the accident, Ron began often having double vision.   He went to an ophthalmologist, who informed him that he had 20/15 vision, explaining that his eyes were better than normal.  Having no explanation for the double vision, he sent Ron for an MRI. 

After the MRI was complete, the tech and Ron were looking at the results, and the tech turned to Ron with a stunned look on his face and asked if he’d ever had a head injury.   Ron told him, “Yes, some years ago.  Why?”    The tech pointed to a black spot on his X-ray and replied, “Nothing.”   Ron said, “Nothing?  Man, it looks like something!”   The tech said, “That’s what I’m telling you, it’s nothing there, because it’s nothing there!”

Ron asked, “Nothing?  Like no brain?”   The tech nodded, still looking at Ron with that stunned look.   Ron asked him what that part of the brain controlled, and the tech told him “Motoring skills.”    Ron asked, “Like moving, walking, running, jumping?”   The tech nodded, looking Ron straight in the eye in disbelief, and said “Yes.”   Ron was silent for a long moment, then he got tickled and began to laugh.  He said, “Well, now!  This is kind of crazy!   I move around pretty good now, and I don’t even have the brains to do it!”  The tech almost smiled, but his stunned, astonished look kept him from it.

Ron’s last word on this story:   "Now try to tell me God is nothing but Awesome!"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Memphis Miracle

Part 2
Read Part One:  "Death Answers to God, and He Said No"

August 2, 1988:
The night of the accident, Pastor Neil Silverberg and friend Kevin Mullins drove Jane to Memphis.    Ron was completely comatose, a state in which he would remain for over three weeks, and continue in a semi-comatose condition for another two weeks.    The doctors were not giving any hope that he would ever wake up.   During this time, friends and family were only allowed to visit in 10 or 15 minute intervals; however, the nurses noticed that when Jane talked to Ron, his vital signs would improve.   They began allowing her to stay for hours.   When she played recordings of their children, five year old Mandi and three year old Marty, talking and singing, his vital signs would really elevate. 

Much prayer was said for Ron and for his family.   Within in a few days of his arrival in Memphis, Ron’s dad, Paul, and his mother, Jeri, arrived.   Jeri and Jane went to the chapel and prayed every day.   One day, they were in the chapel with several others, when a young black man, dressed in all white, knelt down in front of Jeri and asked, “May I pray for you, Mama?”   She replied, “Of course, you can!”  He prayed, got up, waved his hand and said, “Now there is Peace.”  Then he left.   Jeri later looked for the man, but he could not be found.   She wondered if an angel had visited her.

Sitting with Ron every day, Jane knew he was responding to her, but when she relayed that to the doctors, no one would believe her.  They told her that these were just involuntary movements, but Jane knew differently.   He was responding appropriately to her requests for a hand squeeze or other simple gestures.  When Ron did fully awake, they performed another scan.  Family friends Will McFarlane, Kevin Mullins, and Parke Crisler were in the room when the doctor told Jane that there were still absolutely no changes.   At that point, Jane became a little exasperated, and told Ron that he’d better do something to let the doctor know that she wasn’t nuts.  Ron lifted his hand and gave a short wave to the doctor, and the room erupted in joy!  The doctor was somewhat stunned by Ron’s reaction to Jane’s request, but Jane simply said, “I told you he was responding!”  

Throughout the whole ordeal, Ron and Jane had great support from family and friends.   During the six weeks in Memphis, there was only one night that Jane didn’t have a church member with her.  Her parents and church family watched over the children, doing all they could do to keep Mandi and Marty’s lives as normal as possible.   Jane was still in Memphis on Mandi’s first day of school, even though it broke her heart to be away, Jane knew she didn’t have to worry about her children.

In Memphis, though he was waking up, Ron still faced a long road of recovery.   He was paralyzed on his left side, he still had a tracheotomy, and much of his memory was gone.   He had to relearn everything, including how to swallow food.  He was soon transferred to Spain Rehabilitation Center in Birmingham, Alabama, for rehabilitation.  Over the next months, Ron went from a wheelchair, to crutches, finally to a cane, slowly improving.   He then spent six months working with Timber Ridge Restoration Ranch in Benton, Arkansas, to restore his memory. 

The road was a difficult one, and even though Ron was making progress, there were times when Jane still had doubt, heartache, confusion, and even anger.   It was as if the person she had known since she was 13 was gone, and someone who only resembled the man she’d married had taken his place.  Over the next two years, Jane came to realize that her idea of the path for Ron’s recovery and God’s plan were different.   She decided in her heart that even if Ron didn’t get any better than he was at that moment, God was still God, and she chose to walk with Him.  When she accepted those things she couldn’t change, Ron’s condition improved even more.

To talk to him today, you wouldn’t know that Ron ever had severe brain damage.  He walks, talks, drives, plays a mean guitar, dreams of driving his Harley again, and praises his Lord daily. 

L-R Jeremy (son-in-law), Mandi, Marty (son) Wife Jane, Ron

But that’s not the end of the story.   There is one more little thing that God did…something that proves without a shadow of doubt that Ron is a walking, talking miracle.  

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