Friday, November 16, 2018

Fun Retreat and the Cotton Gin Festival

Missy Tippens

Hey, everyone! I thought I'd share a bunch of photos with you today. A couple of weeks ago I attended a Clergy Spouses' retreat. We met at Collinswood, which is a United Methodist affiliated camp and retreat center serving persons with developmental disabilities. It's located on beautiful Lake Oconee near Buckhead, Georgia (not the Buckhead in Atlanta!).

We had so much fun. And it was so good to see women I haven't seen in person in quite a while (I missed last year's retreat).

We had a great speaker but also did some fun things. One was a scavenger hunt, taking photos of us doing silly things in small groups, trying to race to complete the list first. This is one of my favorite photos. We were supposed to take a photo with all us with a mustache. Our group decided to use pine straw! :) It's hard to take a selfie when we're all holding our mustaches!

And here, we're posing like Charlie's Angels. :)

Later, a group of us headed into Madison, GA, to eat at this really cool farmer's market and eatery called Farmview Market. They had several types of food. I chose getting a veggie plate.

And y'all...these pimento cheese grits (below) were to die for!! I've never heard of putting the two things together but will be trying it myself at home soon.

Here's a look inside. It was huge.

Because of the time of year (right before Halloween), they had a lot of pumpkins and gourds.

There were freshly baked breads.

Fresh produce. I was fascinated by all the varieties of peas.

Some cute decorative ideas. Ruthy, here's an idea for your farm!

 They had lots of items from local artists and craftsmen. I loved these laundry washing soaps! They smelled so good.

And these handmade soaps and other products. Also handwoven towels.

Then some of us headed to Bostwick, GA, to go to The Cotton Gin Festival. It was the most gorgeous day for all of this. A little nippy and sunny. Trees starting to turn. We loved every minute. We were... Cotton Pickin' Blessed. :)

 A field of fancy tractors on display.

There was a field with tractors displayed.
 Beautiful churches in the area as well. 

And then this lovely view on the way home. Is there anything prettier than the color of the sky in October and November? I think not.

I hope you enjoyed your fall tour of a little part of Georgia!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Honor Flight!

I wanted to share this now, in honor of Veterans Day last Sunday. Veteran's Day is the celebration of the end of World War I, the signing of the armistice in Paris. World leaders met in Paris this week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of that signing, the official end to WWI... they signed it with the intent that there would never be another war. That intention didn't work out so well because lust for power seems inherent in some people and when you couple that with lack of conscience, you've got some rough stuff going on.

I have never been on hand to greet an Honor Flight before. This is a mistake I intend to remedy because being at the Rochester airport when the Honor Flight veterans come home is an amazing experience!

My friend, Paul Tramonto Sr. went on this particular flight. He was attended by my niece Amanda (also his daughter-in-law) who went with him as his "guardian". The guardian accompanies the honoree to all the events, memorials and helps see to their needs... And each honoree has a wheelchair available to them in Washington D.C.... even if they don't need it... in case they get tired. The planners want nothing to spoil or lessen the pleasure of the trip. They visit all the war memorials... they see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier... And they are treated like royalty.

They came home mid-day Sunday and this is what it looked like:

Veterans from several VFW posts are there!

American Legion post 603... look at those handsome fellows!

The Boy Scouts were practicing how to present the colors and salute!

A robotics class from a local high school here to greet the veterans!

This is some of our group!!!!! Welcome home, marine!

Me with Lena, Mary Ruth, Eli and Finn.... patriotic fun stuff to wear!

That's Mandy in the orange, pushing the wheelchair. Paul Sr. is on the right, hugging his grandson Adam... and Mary Ruth made eyes water when she ran down the hall to greet her Grandpa and Mom!

A better picture of Paul Sr.... I have no idea who took it, because that's me on the right... Beth, maybe? Jon? Either way, this was the scene as each of these veterans walked or rolled down the full length of the airport to the reception waiting at the other end.

It was wonderful. Inspirational. And there were ladies dressed in vintage 1940s clothes, ready to plant kisses on cheeks... and leaving "lipstick" lips.... It was so cute.

Everyone clapped. Everyone cheered. And there were two Vietnam veterans with tears in their eyes because it took over 45 years for them to get the welcome home they missed in the early 70s....

The whole thing was an amazing experience. Fun and thought-provoking and just a great way to teach children the beauty of sacrifice and the sacrifices required to maintain freedom.

A great day for all of us.

There won't be another flight until next spring because the weather needs to cooperate, but you can bet that I'll be there to greet some of those flights when they come marching (or rolling...) home.

God is good.

Multi-published, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne loves to get teary-eyed at emotional events and this one was no exception.  Feel free to friend her on facebook, follow her on Twitter or visit her website where you can see the list of over 40 books... or email her at 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November is Yellow

For the past few weeks I've been noticing that my neighborhood is yellow.
If October was mostly red and orange, lately yellow leaves dominate and give a gentle yellow glow to the air.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, I've got a mouthful.

And one hold out yellow rose.

Add in one sad dog in a yellow raincoat that is way too big for him, but it was raining THAT hard.

Please ignore the condition of the carpet. There has been construction going on for a week and the dust is embedded.

So this week, to continue the monochromatic theme, I have a white-ish/yellowish meal.

It was a dark and stormy night - after a cold and rainy day - and I wanted comfort food, so I cooked some orzo, diced some leftover chicken, and loaded on the cheddar cheese.  So delicious and filling.

I melted the cheese briefly, just enough to meld everything together.

And finally, some more yellow.

Even at night...

What does November look like in your neck of the woods???