On Saturday, our church hosted a Fall Festival for the community. There was nice weather…a little cool, a little windy…but no complaints from the kids who were playing games, getting faces painted, munching on pop corn, winning prizes, and jumping around in a huge inflatable! Then there were hot dogs for everyone…as well as a fleet of cars, full of candy, waiting for ‘Trunk or Treat’! I didn’t really get to observe the other areas, because my friend, Monty, and I painted without stopping for the whole time! Such fun! Too bad several of the festival go-ers wanted much more elaborate art work than we were qualified to perform.
We were distracted at one point by the cutest little monkey! He didn’t have any interest in having his face painted…but was happy to steal a hug and a kiss from us!
They then went to Abbeville to see John Thomas and the Fall Festival at Will and Tara’s church.
Hooking up with John Thomas, they stopped long enough to pose for a picture together…
Hold up for just a minute, John Thomas…we want to see your turtle costume…
Since Saturday, Levi has developed a cold. Teething and runny noses…they all go together. But, he put on his best face and made it through Trick or Treating (his version). First stop…Levi and Grandaddy…
And, one more…smile for the camera…
Isn’t that sweet face just the picture of happiness ? OK here’s a couple of cartoons…
On Wednesday, Joy and I took Pop back to Birmingham to see two more doctors about his eyes. We have been in the process of going from one doctor to another trying to find the answer to his particular situation. If you remember, these same group of doctors took care of all 3 of my boys…giving Alex and Adam miracles with their vision. Alex’s surgery was quite straight forward and he didn’t have any trouble. Adam, on the other hand, had several emergency situations, and had several operations to get his eyes better. He still needs 1 more procedure.
So, we knew we were going to the best…it is just a matter of getting the right doctor to diagnose and send you to another doctor and another to finally reach the one who can get the job done. And, finally, we have done that. Pop will be having surgery in early November and we have great hopes that he will be able to regain a portion of his vision.
I will not speak of specific doctors in this post. But some…not all…of the doctors here have failed in several ways. First in diagnosis, then it treatment, and in prescribing items to assist him. Friends…ALWAYS get a second opinion!!!
We found through the efforts of Joy’s husband Tommy, that there are quite a number of aids available to help those with poor vision. Pop was unable to read a newspaper or a book…unable to program his TV or even read a medicine bottle. In the grocery store, items not directly in front of him could not be seen. Can you imagine the frustration? But, with the aids that are available, he is now able to see his medicine bottles to be sure he is correct in dosage, he can read a newspaper even if it is just a column at a time, he can see the pages of a book, and now with his ipad, he can browse the web,,se pictures of his grandchildren and greats, and he can have the Bible read to him, chapter by chapter as he chooses. All this just with external aids that are available to everyone!
It disturbs me greatly that other people who have low vision are not informed of these aids to keep them involved with the written word. At The Callahan Eye Foundation, (affiliated with UAB) there is a department called UAB CENTER FOR LOW VISION EVALUATION. Here a doctor will evaluate you and show you a room full of aids to help you maintain the life you want to live. And, if, per chance, you happen to be a veteran, anything you need is provided free of charge!
These are things we never knew. Even when Alex was struggling so, trying to complete his education, some of these aids would have been such a tremendous help. But, we didn’t know. And, no one we saw told us.
If you know anyone in need of vision help…feel free to contact me via email and I can send you phone numbers and other info. It is so worth checking into.
We had such a lovely time while we were there. The weather was just beautiful! It could not have been any prettier. We were able to have dinner with Ian while we were there…at PFChang…YUMMY!
After dinner, Pop and Ian headed to the Apple store and Joy and I to a dress shop. Only time for one stop, and home and to bed. But Joy and I talked till way after midnight. Catching up and solving problems !
Coming out of the restaurant, there was a tree in front of our car. The leaves on it seemed to be shimmering in the lights from the parking lot. I had to take a picture of them. the other 3 called me ‘crazy’. But, I like it!
We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast the next morning. Again, such good food! Then Joy and I attempted to squeeze every bit of shopping we could in the 2 hours alloted. We managed to do a little damage and make a dent in our Christmas list before our 2:00 appointment.
Lovely trees next to drive. They were so bright against a blue sky. They were glowing!
Then we headed to the doctor’s center and were there till about 5:00. So, we got caught in that awful snail’s pace traffic trying to make it out of town…that took another hour or more. But, we made it home and we all collapsed into sleep. And, I have rested most of the day!
We love spending time with our Pop…even when it isn’t the most pleasant of circumstances. We have learned to take advantage of every opportunity to have fun and laugh. This time…we even got a lesson in antique household equipment. Out in front of the store was this old-timey washing machine. (Why this pic is sideways…I have no idea. I tried to fix it…but, alas…no luck) When he was a little boy, they had a washing machine like this and he was told to stay away from it. He didn’t. Instead, he managed to get his hand caught in the rollers, and did quite a bit of damage to his hand.
And, still today, he wears the scars on top of his hand. He says he did not play with the washing machine again. Oh, the hard lessons we learn in childhood.
So, now we will keep Pop healthy for a few weeks and get him started on his eye drops before surgery. And, plan a celebration when he is able to see better.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14
Tomorrow (Saturday) is the Fall Festival at our church. You are very welcome to attend. starting at 3:00. Come see me in the face painting area. Stay for the ‘Trunk or Treat’ and Supper. A concert will follow. I heard that the cutest little monkey around is coming to visit. I’ll show you a pic if I see him!
Are you as happy to see Autumn as I am? Seems as though summer went on forever! And, it was so hot…scorching hot…unbearably hot! I still like it better than winter. But now, here in the deep South, the heat has lessened and the leaves have begun to ponder whether they will fall again this year. It’s still pretty warm up in the day, but a little cool in the mornings and evenings. I love it.
I like everything about fall. Do you feel that way? I like to wear a sweater occasionally, and I love the festivals and fairs, and the feeling of celebration in the air. I have never been much of a Halloween fan. The boys went trick or treating and we always handed out candy…but it’s never really been that big of a deal to most of the folks we know.
The fun part of it has always been OK, but I do not go in for all the dead things and gory pictures and accessories. In my opinion, there’s too much violence in the world as it is…..why promote something that gives kids a chance to pretend they are involved. Now, I know others view it differently, and that’s just fine by me. Isn’t it a blessing that we live in a country where we have choices about the things we support or not?
By the way, this was not my intended topic for this post, but sometimes things just seems to write themselves. Does that ever happen to you? Please say it does, because I already feel a little bumfuddled!
Now THESE are the things I like about Fall! Well, maybe not the ‘raking leaves’ one. Who put that in there? However, I can remember the fun of jumping into a great big pile of them, can’t you?
I love the colors of fall most of all, I think. And, I wonder if that is because they are so ‘earthy’. The reds and the browns, and the golds, and the greens, and especially the oranges….they meld together in the nicest way, I think. There’s never any problem with them matching, because they just naturally ‘go together’. Our eyes are accustomed to seeing them next to one another. I suspect our Heavenly Father planned it that way.
This sign is more of the same, but I particularly like the way the color fades out and the words do, too. Creates a warm feeling. And, that’s another great thing about Autumn. I love to have a fire in the fireplace and sit close enough to warm one side…then turn around and warm the other. Something that has always amused me is how when people everywhere walk up to a fire…the first thing they do is put out their hands to feel it. I know they are warming their hands, but it’s just so common an occurance, that we all want our hands warmed first. Or else, we are just wondering if that roaring, crackling, bright orange and red thing is REALLY hot! And, if that’s it…I wouldn’t tell it!
“Then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and
spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine, and
For the last 2 weeks, Dothan has been thinking of little else than PEANUTS.
Dothan is a city located in the southeastern corner of Alabama, situated approximately 20 miles west of the Georgia state line and 18 miles north of Florida. Its name derives from Genesis 37:17: “letus go to Dothan.” According to 2007 Census Bureau estimates, the city’s population was 65,447,making it the largest town in this part of the state, and the combined population for the entire Dothan metropolitan area was 137,916.The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle.
Since more than one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced within a 100 mile radius, with much of it being processed in the city, Dothan calls itself “The Peanut Capital of the World.” And, so,The National Peanut Festival (NPF) — the nation’s largest peanut festival — is held each fall to honor peanut growers and to celebrate the harvest season.
The National Peanut Festival is the United States ‘ largest peanut festival. The festivities include games and amusement rides on a large midway, animal acts, agricultural displays, an outdoor amphitheater with live music concerts by national recording artists, beauty pageants, arts and crafts displays, contests, food and a two-hour parade. The National Peanut festival also sponsors and holds field crop exhibits with prizes awarded to each exhibitor.The 9 day celebration of the peanut harvest attracts more than 120,000 people, and has a history of 56 years.
The peanut festival also has other competitions, including Sewing , Cake Decorating, Photography, Cooking ,Art.
Rides and lights seem embedded into the night sky. The sounds of joyful shrieks slice through the air as the ferris wheel comes to a stop. You feel like you can see the whole world. The world is no longer dark. It is brilliant and exciting, and you are at the very top of it all. The ferris wheel comes down, and you are in the thick of a jungle of carnival exhibits, games, and more. Time itself whirls around you as though this energy will last forever though it is for just a moment.
And to top it all off, on Saturday, the big parade through downtown Dothan. Each community has its own float, and another for the queens from there, as well as businesses. Then there are the bands, and the peanut growers, and the military vehicles. The favorite for my children was always the big monster / tractor like truck that would come through the streets and drop thousands and thousands of parched peanuts in the street. Everyone runs to fill a bag or a cup and munches on them as the rest of the parade passes by.
This event is a ‘given’ in our area. So many county schools prepare all year to show their cattle or pigs or sheep. The bands practice, playing and marching, to show off for the crowd as they march in front of their community’s floats. Such fun…such mayhem…such tradition. The coming of ‘the fair’ is our signal that the holiday season has started…….we’ve just added one more celebration!
I don’t think my Mom ever was too big a fan of the parades. I don’t remember going too much as a child. I must have gone some, because I have some memories of us sitting on the curb together. And, I remember that there was always a friendly rival between the Dothan High School Band and the Carver High School Band. That was before the two schools were joined to make 1 high school. After I married, and had small children, we always went with my sweet MIL, Elizabeth. She loved parades, and she loved to have all the children there with her. Sweet memories.
And, it’s over…for another year…the queens have little to do until they crown their successors next summer. The recipes that won the recipe contest, have been printed in the newspaper and cooks all over the area have already tried them.
The youngsters that caught a pig in the peanut-oil greased pig contest have taken their little piggies home to fatten them and bring them back next year for judging. The World’s Best Corndog man has packed his little cooking wagon and moved it to the next event. And, the carnival rides have been loaded and moved to the next town…to delight children …of all ages…there as they did here.
I came across this beautiful picture on the Internet. It caught my eye and I just sat and looked at it . There was no -photographer listed…so I can not give credit. I came to realize that that it is made of layers of colors.
See the violet deep down in the water…
Notice the blue/greyat the bottom.
Then you will note a bright lime green,..on both sides of the bridge.
Then the most glorious golden color.
Next comes the orange.
And then a beautiful deep red.
All topped off, by blue sky.
“The Lord has done this, it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalms 118:23
rejoice in the LORD your God,
for He has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains…” Joel 2:23″
I just had a comment from my very wise and very wonderful friend, Rachel. She commented that the colors are arranged in the rainbow spectrum. The colors of a rainbow in order are RED…ORANGE…YELLOW..GREEN…BLUE…INDIGO…VIOLET. (ROY G BIV). i DID NOT EVEN PICK UP ON THAT AS i WAS STUDYING THIS PIC. NOW JUST WHO DO YOU THINK PUT THESE COLORS IN ORDER? THAT IS MY ‘GOD WINK’ FOR THE DAY. THANKS, RACHEL
One of the things I most like to do is read. I love books and can get lost in the pages. And, that is what happened to me yesterday. I had picked up this book for several reasons. One is that I read a review on it in USA Today last week. Also, another blogger who reviews books had recommended it highly. And, third, it had to do with a child, and that always captures my attention.
Yesterday morning, while still in bed, I noticed it on the table. I decided to pick it up and look through the first few pages…and try to save some time later in the afternoon to start reading it. I got up and got a Diet Dr. Pepper, and propped up in bed to scan the cover and reviews and such.
WARNING!!!!! Do not open this book unless you have all intentions of reading it in one sitting. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN!!! I did put it down twice to go to the bathroom, and then once to get another DDP and some Trail Mix. But, I read all 339 pages in about 5 hours. And, was totally captivated by this story.
On the dust jacket on the front of the book are these words…”Potent, darkly beautiful, and revelatory.” And, it can certainly be considered ‘dark’……but not to the extent you would think. The charcters in this book are in a terrible situation…a desparate situation. Terrible things happen to them. The writers lets you know it is happening without going through the details. But, that is not what is important in this story. It is the ‘spirit’ of Ma. It speaks to the maternal instinct and the lengths a mother will go to for her child. And, the child, Jack, is a child who is born with such an inquisitive mind and being so well schooled by Ma, that at the proper time, he is able to do what is totally alien to him.
And, speaking of LAYERS, you can see in this story how Ma’s mother taught her daughter things that help take her through this ordeal. Ma, in turn, taught them to Jack. Jack, then, teaches those around him what is important.
Oh, get this book. You will not be sorry. But, be warned…the laundry and the dishes and the dusting, etc. will go undone the day you pick it up and read the first page.
I purchased mine at Target. Also available at Barnes and Nobel and at Amazon.
I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful week for you and yours.
I am a Christian woman who has survived many years on the planet. God has blessed me with a wonderful family: husband, 3 sons, a dear DIL, and a precious grandson. I also have dear friends to keep me inspired. I am an artist of sorts and am finding my way through the great blessing of retirement. I recently retired after 20 years as a music teacher. Life is good!
"All your sons will be taught by the Lord; and great will be their peace." Isaiah 54:13
Read their stories... Adam Alex Ian