Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians, 4. 8

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mobile Bay


Jason and I took a couple of days and drove over to Mobile before Christmas. We stopped at the Visitor Center upon arrival and picked up the brochures for the "Must Sees" and started our 3 day visit. We toured downtown, and visited Three Chocolates for Mobile's best! We had lunch at Felix's Fishcamp. DELICIOUS and great view of the bay. We drove to Fairhope on our second morning for breakfast at Panini Pete's....Beignets and Coffee in the French Quarter. This town is fantastic! Beautiful flowers and many quaint shops. Also a great pier and a walkable town. We kept heading south through Gulf Shores...and then took a Ferry over the Mobile Bay to Dauphin Island. That was fun...car and all on the ferry. It took about 45 minutes to cross the Bay. We drove up to Bellingrath Gardens. The original owner made his fortune in Coca Cola. We toured the Gardens and home. Beautiful and I imagine in the Spring it is breathtaking. We ate at Two Dollar Bills and had the most delicious Catfish. We stayed at a Marriott Courtyard...nothing fancy...but they did have an indoor pool, which we enjoyed. It was nice to get away to a city we'd never visited...and it is ALWAYS nice to spend time in the car with Jason. He is STILL the most interesting person I have ever met. I just love listening to all he has to say. We visited a Botanical Garden and did a lof of sightseeing in town. Some beautiful antebellum homes. A very nice city....easy to get around and GREAT FOOD!
We had hoped to connect with my first cousin, Lynne, who lives in Gautier, Ms. Seems to be about 46 miles from where we were staying....but we were unsuccessful.
On our last morning we ate at Denny's....whoopee...and then toured the USS Alabama. That was so much fun. I decided that after touring the ship...I would definitely want to be an Officer if I lived on the ship and I would NEVER want to be sick...the Sick Bay looked HORRIBLE. We climbed down ladders and through many hatches...I cannot imagine life on a battleship. It really was the most interesting day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Merriest Christmas!

Dear Friends,

As promised I am posting a photo of Jason and me. We had the best Christmas! I offered to work on Christmas Day so that one of the other Supervisors at work could be off, and so we celebrated with Robin and family on Sunday, December 23. We started with Sunday Dinner at our home ( 1pm). I got out my mom's fine china, and served Roast Beef, Baked Potatoes, Green Bean almondine and crescent rolls....and the O'Donnell favorite...Ambrosia. We opened gifts we had for them, watched football and had a nice afternoon together. Robin and Michael left...we kept the kids until 7pm when we headed to their home for snacks and more presents. Robin is AMAZING...she fixed the most delicious wings...Beer Bread, Pizza DIP...veggies with dip and her traditional HOMEMADE FUDGE. We took photos and just enjoyed the evening together. I am so blessed to have the most wonderful family. As I watched the kids open their presents...remember Robin and Michael give 1/ Something you WANT, 2/Something you NEED, 3/Something to WEAR and 4/Something to READ...I was overwhelmed with the goodness of our Lord and Savior, who gives eternal life and so much joy in this life. Hope you enjoy the photos...Robin just sent a few. They are off to Titusville this evening. Jason and I will watch over Tigger while they are away. More about Tigger on another POST.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

You can't go back...

but it's nice when you feel like you've never left. Last weekend, after a long time away, I flew into Ft. Lauderdale for a two day reunion with the Ya Ya's. ( ever seen the movie? Well these gals are my BFF's, to use the vernacular.) After 9/11, life changed in so many ways. For me, life as I knew it at Delta would be changed forever. Everyone has a story...here's mine.

For anyone in the Corporate World you know there's always a new book your CEO is pushing everyone to read. All you need to do is walk through a bookstore and find the "Latest Best Sellers"...In 2001...it was WHO MOVED MY CHEESE. It really is a good little book...good message...and when our Supervisor made it mandatory reading...I should have known...there's a big change coming. A decision was made to close Delta's City Ticket Offices. My office in Palm Beach and the offices in West Palm and Palm Beach Gardens were CLOSED in November, 2001.

For 20 years this close knit group of women would be forced to go their separate ways. As it turned out...3 of us stayed with Delta...one in Ft Laud...one in Palm Beach and one in Tallahassee. The other 2 retired. When you spend 40 hours + a week with the same women, you share everything. We had our kids together...we traveled together...we experienced all that life has "together"...we helped each other with life's challenges...we laughed together...we cried together...we learned from each other. So parting was more than sweet sorrow. It was the toughest thing for all of us....so we made a pact! Meet regularly forever. At first it was every month...now it's probably once a year (occasionally more often)....but when we meet...it's as though we were together just the day before.

I know I'm the oldest blogger on our little circuit...so let me say this to you sweet young women...WORK HARD at your friendships. Don't ever take them for granted. I am so thankful for the women in my life. One day you will be so glad you stayed in touch. I know I am.

Monday, December 3, 2007

We're SMOKIN...

The Ackley's new ORION COOKER
We've added a new cooker to our collection. When we moved to Tallahassee we added the big FRYER...we have enjoyed Fried Turkeys at Thanksgiving and WINGS that are outta this world....but today we opened an early Christmas Present and I've included a photo from their catalog. It's an ORION COOKER. We cooked 2 slabs of ribs tonight. ....we were breaking it in for our Christmas Eve Dinner. Jason is becoming quite the OUTDOOR CHEF.
It uses charcoal on the bottom and top....it has a rack inside and a drip pan...you can cook roasts, turkeys, hams...ribs...obviously....yummy ribs. The temperature is supposed to drop down to 33 degrees tonight...it's about 58 right now...we sat out on the deck and the heat and flames from the coals put out enough heat to make it comfortable to sit outside. I kept wanting to roast marshmallows while we were chatting.
I look forward to having the O'Donnells....Botleys and maybe the Turner's again for another cookout and evening of fellowship. Hope we don't have to wait too long.
Mark and Julie....I know you had to eat a lot of half cooked chicken when Dad decided to get a smoker...I was laughing to myself when Jason said he wanted a "smoker"...but this is so much more. Maybe one day....you all will get down here to enjoy a rack of ribs with us...until then...I'm still lickin my fingers.