Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today I Give Thanks For...


Mashed potatoes


Sage stuffing

Pumpkin Cheesecake

(What else did you think I'd pick today??)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Take Me Home Country Roads

In just a wee bit I'm hitting the road for "home."  Barring any unforeseen accidents, I should be there in about 90 minutes.  Thanks, that is, to the Interstate Highway System - otherwise it would be MUCH longer.

Anyone out there know WHY Interstates are so wide? Who they are actually named after?  When they started?  Thanks to my friend, Amanda, I do!  And today I'm VERY thankful for them.

Honey, I'm HOME!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mix It Up

One carrot cake
One batch of cream cheese frosting
Four Derby pies
All mixed an ready to go by 7 AM.

That's what I'm talkin' bout, baby!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alice Wassam and Oprah Winfrey Are Now Friends

I’m just kidding but HOW COOL would that be.  I know there is all that controversy and stuff and all, but hey Oprah needs friends, too!!  And come on, that would be just flat out COOL!

Anyhow, I know I wrote an entry here about being thankful for my friends, but over the last few days, I’ve become particularly thankful for Facebook.  Oh don’t roll your eyes – you love it and you know it!  As a matter of fact, most of you who are reading this right now are reading it via Facebook and those of you who are not know that you have Facebook open in another Window.  Come on. Admit it.

(The first is admitting you have a problem.)

The last several days has seen me stumbling upon friends that I thought were lost forever.  And while I don’t anticipate spending the holidays with them, it was still nice and it put a huge smile on my face.

So THANKS creators of Facebook!!

Now I just need to figure out a way to block those Farm- Yo- Cafeville apps! 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let It Out

Whether used to wipe tears, soothe a runny nose, or wrap up used gum, Kleenex are a GREAT thing.  Between Sunday and today I've used about a pallet worth of the things.  Plain, no aloe, no lotion, no color.  Just good, old Kleenex.  Use them in place of tp, napkins and paper towels.  They can make your hair curly, help blot away excess lipstick, and other beauty tips.

I am loving me some Kleenex.

Bless you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Spoonful Of Sugar

I am one of those people who avoid taking medication of any kind.  Bottles of Tylenol, Advil and Aleve sit unopened for years.  It's just who I am.  As a matter of fact, when I moved from Orlando to Florence then Florence to Chapin, I threw out several bottles of stuff that had been prescribed for various ailments over the years - virtually all unopened.

However, I am nearly religious about making sure that Lucy Jane receives her 1/2 Meloxicam each day.  Lucy has hip dysplasia in both hips (quite common for dogs her size) and Meloxicam has been, well quite literally, a miracle drug.  It allows her to run, yes run.  Get up, lay down and even, sigh, climb up on the couch (no, she is NOT allowed to do that, Erica!!).  Lucy's spoonful of sugar?  One tablespoon of yogurt.  She looks more forward to that than anything else in her day.

Thank you, all you WONDERFUL scientists who created/discovered Meloxicam.  Thank you, you wonderful veterinarians who decided to try this drug on dogs.  And most of all, THANK YOU Wal-Mart for giving me 6 months of Meloxicam for $10!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beep Beep

Remember dial-up?

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Tuesday 3-Fer

So I have just a few hours left to get this in for Tuesday.  I know, bad, right?  But if you know me in real life, you know how crazy the past few days have been.  It's a lame excuse, but it's what I got.  So, with that said, my Tuesday 3-fer are:

1. Organ donors
2. Insanely intelligent cardiac surgeons
3.  Prayer

Several months ago, I wrote here about my brother, David.  The quick update on him is that it was finally determined that he had a bum heart.  Bummer.  And that he needed a new one (and a kidney for that matter).  So after several trials and errors, on Sunday morning he got the long awaited phone call.  An unknown person in South Carolina (of all places) had died and had signed their organ donor card.  THANK YOU GOD!!  So my brother drove himself to the hospital where for the next 10 hours he went through the process of getting prepared for another major surgery - only this time he was getting a new heart.

At some point during the day, the lead cardiac surgeon on my brothers case decided that instead of starting the surgery at the moment the organs landed in Pittsburgh he was going to delay surgery until he could actually look at and inspect the heart (and kidney) himself.  THANK YOU GOD!!  My brother's chest has already been cracked open twice in the last 9 months - this surgery needs to be the last time and if this heart was not absolutely 100% perfect for him, he would be totally out of options. 

Turns out my brother has a big heart, because this heart was too small. So the surgery was canceled and the heart (and kidney) went on to another needy recipient.  (Turns out, this is semi-common - who knew?)

Meanwhile in Florence, SC, a group of amazing and wonderful friends were covering my brother (and me) with prayers and hugs and love.  THANK YOU GOD for the power of prayer, and the protection and comfort that it offered throughout the very long day.

Become an organ donor.  It's easy.

Thank a cardiac surgeon today (ok, let's just make that ALL doctors).

Pray for someone.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Help Me, I'm Falling

Fall-Foliage-1-Large.JPG.jpgI've heard all the complaints and reasons why not to, but I will admit, I LOVE FALL!  Yes I know things are dying and yes I know this means winter is right around the corner, but




Who in their right mind could not love a GORGEOUS Pear or Sugar Maple in the fall?  Or the smell of a freshly baked apple pie?  How can you resist the urge not to jump in to a pile of raked leaves?

Grab a few pumpkins.

Plant a few mums.

Eat a caramel apple.

Feel warm and toasty and just happy.

There is not one single thing I don't love about Fall.

Only God could orchestrate such a perfect change of seasons.  Only He could create something whose beauty is not only evident when it appears so full of life, but SHOUTS its glory when it is dying.  Like His Son who lived so that when He died His glory, splendor and majesty were that much more breath-taking.

I love Fall.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Like A Good Neighbor

I began my plunge in to the world of insurance on February 12, 2002.  Up until that moment the only thing I knew about insurance, and for that matter, State Farm, was that I had insurance AND that it was with State Farm.  But the insurance gods smiled on me and a poor, unsuspecting insurance agent (Ritchie Skipper) took a chance.  (Don't worry, I don't REALLY believe in insurance gods - well... no... ok... maybe...)

My only fear was that I never, EVER, wanted to become like Ned... Ned Ryerson... (from Groundhog Day - if you've never seen that movie or haven't seen it in a while, WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!!).

And here I am, 7 1/2 years later, new city, new poor, unsuspecting agent.  I am BEYOND grateful for my job.  In this economy, especially in South Carolina, a job is a mighty precious commodity and I am thankful for the one I have.  It may not be in the city I want to be in and it may not be EXACTLY what I want to do, but I have a great job.

Thanks, State Farm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Thursday 2-fer

HEY what happened yesterday?  Suddenly it was nearly 11 PM and I realized, "I HAVEN'T BEEN THANKFUL FOR ANYTHING TODAY!!!"  I mean I was insanely thankful for LOTS of stuff yesterday - like leftover YUMMY pizza and Jell-o Sugar free chocolate pudding and double coupons, but I didn't tell y'all that!!

And now it's today and I STILL haven't done anything of substance!  So here we go - my Thursday 2-fer!

I am GRATEFUL for clean water!!

Somewhere someone knows the statistic, but I think an incredible amount of people (884 million) live in this world without clean water.  Heck, even in Belize it's not completely safe to drink the water - even to brush your teeth!  This brings me to my second thing I'm grateful for - missionaries!

My sweet friend Angela, severs with Living Water, International, down in Pucallpa, Peru.  Living Water exists to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed drinking water, and to experience "living water" - the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So Angela (and up until a few months ago her WONDERFUL husband, Tommy) is down there helping people not only get clean drinking water BUT to experience TRUE, clean, living water. 

Sha Angela (and ALL my missionary friends) - I heart you AND I am grateful for you!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Can You Tell Me How to Get?

When I was little, I thought Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was only seen in my area, because, well, I actually did live in Mr. Rogers neighboorhood.

When I was little, I used to hope each and every day that at the end of "Romper, bomper, stomper, boo" that Miss Sally would say, "I see Alice..."  She never did.

When I was little, I was convinced that Lampchop was real and not just a sock puppet.  "No really, Mommie - HE IS REAL!!"  I was reminded of this conviction for a long, LONG time...

When I was little, I wanted to "Send it to ZOOM"  Boston, Mass, 0-2-1-3-4.  I never did.

When I was little, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, the Cookie Monster, Oscar, Grover were my friends.  They still are.

Happy 40th birthday, Sesame Street.  I am very grateful you were such a huge part of my life.

"Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street"

Monday, November 9, 2009


Mexican food.  Minus beans.




But I love me some Mexican food.

Minus beans.

Cause I hate beans.

I see a visit to La Bamba in my near future.

But without the beans.

In case you missed it - I HATE BEANS!

But these posts are supposed to be about things I'm grateful for and WOW I am grateful for Mexican food (just, please, no beans).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

See All The People!

Remember that kids hand thingie (it wasn't a game), where you lace your fingers together, form a steeple with your two index fingers, door with your thumbs, and chant, "This is the church, this is the steeple, open the door and see all the pople!"  (How many of you just attempted to do that??)

Can you imagine living somewhere where doing that could potentially put your life in danger??

Living here is nice and comfy US of A, I know I totally take for granted to whole idea of being able to worship God openly and publically.  I can sit in the middle of Starbucks (drinking a Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino, of course) and read my bible.  I can go to Moe's with friends, bow my head and thank God for my Billy Barou.  I can invite a new friend to church and pray he hears the Truth.

I can do all of this without the fear of being arrested, beaten and possibly killed. And while most of the world enjoys this freedom too, there are some places where the threat of suffering for their faith is a very real and daily danger.  Those people who risk this danger are my heroes.

Today I am grateful for being born and raised in the United States, for my freedom religion, and for those who fought to give me that freedom.  Today I also pray for those who still don't have that freedom.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hello Operator?

Being blessed to have friends throughout the world (turns out BFJ isn't serving in Africa anymore - WHO KNEW?!?!), I tend to make the most of my Sam's Card.  AT&T Worldwide calling cards are W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L!

I love that fact that for very little money, I can call and wish a 6-year-old happy birthday in Belize.  And sometimes I just love the feeling that the world doesn't seem so big and folks so very far away.


(I'm slowly venturing into the whole world of VolP or internet phone calling.  Not TOTALLY there yet, but I think it may make me say BUH BYE AT&T.  But by slowly venturing, I mean, I've googled it once or twice.  I did say slow.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Potty Mouth

Indoor plumbing.

Enough said.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lucy Jane Brown and Stray Cat Wassam

I would be a bad pet parent if I neglected to say how grateful I am for my sweet puppy and kitty.  Lucy Jane came home with Jen and I back in 1999 when we lived in the 'hood.  Folks were telling us to either get a gun, an alarm system or a big dog that barks.  Instead we got Lucy (well she is big).  Lucy's barking was directed mainly at the telephone ringing, the hair dryer, or sirens (which, living in the hood, we heard LOTS of).  She was terrified of the coffee grinder and kept us awake all night when her "blankie" was left in the dryer.  (She couldn't sleep without it and therefore she wouldn't let either of us sleep.  She kept pacing back and forth between our rooms acting very anxious.  About 3 AM one of us figured it out.)

Once we brought Lucy home, all the neighborhood cats who hung out in our back yard scattered except for one, horrifically abused, mite of a thing (we weren't sure if it was a cat, a rat or what at first).  Lucy and this THING were inseparable.  As a matter of fact, the first time I laid eyes on it was when Tall Paul called and told me to look in my back yard.  There was my Lucy Jane sleeping in the sun with this THING curled up on top of her.  Later we realized it was a cat that had been so abused that it would literally bring tears to your eyes.  Jen and I refused to touch her without plastic baggies on our hands.  But shine, she was a sweet thing.  And MAN did she love her puppy!

For months we referred to her as the sweet kitty.  Being allergic to cats (and, well truthfully, a disliker of all things feline), actually having her as a pet never was really an option - at least that's what I told myself (and Jen). 

About 3 or 4 months into our happy co-existence, Lucy attempted to jump out our front (closed) window (at least this is what we think happened).  Whether it was to get out to her cat, or to someone who may have been attempting to get in, we'll never know.  But the result was a nearly severed paw and a house covered in blood.  I was on vacation in DC (yup - lived there for nearly 10 years, but I saw more on my vacation than I did while living there) and Jen came home to a horrible sight.  Jen called me, FREAKING out (understandably) and was rushing Lucy to the Vet ER.  After our 2nd or 3rd call, my cell phone died and I wasn't even close to being someplace where I could charge it.  Jen's instructions to the vet was to save her, but not to anything heroic (???).  They saved our girl but sewed her paw on crookedly (which Jen FINALLY admits is true).  Since this was Lucy's first real visit to a vet, she was registered as Lucy Jane Brown.  I've never changed her last name, even through 2 moves.

Sweet Kitty (it never occurred to us to give her a real name) healed from her abuse and is now one of the most beautiful cats you'll ever see (and, as I tell her daily, the ONLY cat I'll ever own and love).  Since she was a stray and was never going to be a pet, Jen and I opted to not worry about taking her to the vet (she really is one of the healthiest cats you'll ever meet).  But our WONDERFUL vet down in Orlando allowed us to purchase stuff for her and had her registered as "Stray Cat Wassam."  Once I moved her to Florence with me, Tall Paul declared that she could no longer be called a stray cat.  And, truthfully, she spends more time sleeping on my bed than I do, so yeah, she's not a stray.

My Lucy Jane acts every bit her age (which we guess to be somewhere near 14) but at times she's just like she was 10 years ago.  Often I look at her sleeping peacefully on her bed in front of my fireplace and I cry because I know she won't be with me forever.

They are my girls and I love them with all my heart.  I have no clue where the future may take me and I'm realistic enough to know that they won't always be with me, but for now, wherever they are is home to me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Friends Are Friends Forever

Of course the follow up to being grateful for my family is being grateful for my friends.  SHINE I have me some AMAZING friends!!  They are spread far and wide:  my BFJ serving over in Africa, sweet Angela down in Peru and Duffy Wuffy up in the great White North.  Some are as close by as the office right next to mine while others feel worlds away in Missouri.

I've laughed, cried, argued and mended fences with many.  Some have seen me at my best and stood by me during my worst.  There are several for whom I would move heaven and hell to help and many whom I would drop everything to be by their side if they needed me.  And I fully believe that they feel the same about me.

Each and every one of them is a gift from God.  And I stand in awe over the friendships He has blessed me with.  There are many to whom I don't feel worthy of their love and support.  And there are many more who I don't think have any idea how I feel about them - how much I love and admire them.

These folks, they are my friends forever.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We Are Family

Growing up my family was definitely not the norm.  As a matter-of-fact, I think I was the only one of my group whose parents were divorced.  But I had my ma, and my grandma, and my "brudder," and of course a smathering of aunts, uncles and cousins.  We were far from the most dysfunctional family in town though we did have our moments.

Things today are a wee bit more off kilter, but we are still family.  I am beyond grateful for them.  They're mine and I love them. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today I Am Thankful For...

Day two and already I'm getting behind.


So what am I most thankful for today?  That's easy, peasy, nice and cheesey!  My "new" iPhone!!

Ya gotta love being able to talk, email, text, listen to music, watch a video, Twitter and Facebook all with one simple handheld device!  Plus there's games, pictues and SO MUCH MORE!!

Ah, iPhone, how I love you so!!

So what's one thing you're most thankful for today?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart

It's November 1.  To me, this means all SORTS of things.  First off, it is OFFICIALLY the start of Christmas music playing.  Don't scoff.  It is and you know it.  You're a closet November 1st Christmas Music Listener.  Admit it.

This year, for some reason, I really, REALLY want to immerse myself into the season - the whole season - and enjoy each and every moment of it.  I want to experience things I've avoided, take time to soak it in, and enjoy this time of year for what it is - a time of thanksgiving for all God's done for me and rejoicing in the birth of my Savior. 

So since it's November 1st, besides listening to Christmas, I want to kick off a month of Giving Thanks.  Each day I'm going to list something I'm thankful for and I really hope you'll join in.  It doesn't have to be something deep or meaningful; it can be something as simple as being thankful for Ziploc bags (which really are a great invention!).  There's no particular order, it's just my random list.

But since it is my first day, however, I do want to say that the thing that I'm absolutely most thankful for is my salvation.  Thank you, God, for sending Your Son to die for me so that I may have eternal life.

What are you thankful for today?