Monday Music #3

 

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. I was born in Georgia, then lived there again in the late 80s. Though I grew up in Florida, Georgia has always been that other home I dreamed of. The land of  grandma and cousins and summer vacations.

 

 

 

Midnight Train to Georgia

L.A. proved too much for the man
(too much for the man)
(he couldn’t make it)
So he’s leaving the life he’s come to know
(he said he’s going)
He said he’s going back to find
(going back to find)
What’s left of his world
The world he left behind
Not so very long ago
Oh yeah

He’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ll be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He kept dreaming
(dreaming)
That one day he’d be a star
(a superstar but he didn’t get far)
But he sure found out the hard way
That dreams don’t always come true
(dreams don’t always come true)
Oh no
(uh uh no uh uh)
So he sold all his hopes
And he even sold his own car
And bought a one way ticket back
To the life that he once knew
Oh yes he did
He said he would

I know he’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on the midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He’s leaving
(he’s leaving)
On a midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
He said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine

I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
Ive got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go
(her man, his girl)
I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
I’ve got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go right now
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)

Written by James D. Weatherly • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

Monday Music #2

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. Jacksonville, Florida is where I grew up, so enjoy this tribute to my hometown.

 Jacksonville

It wasn’t even in my plan
A week in the sun and some fun in the sand
I was really only passin’ through
It all began on Ocean Drive
Standin’ in line for a burger and fries
Coincidentally, so were you
We took a quiet corner booth

Didn’t plan on hangin’ out in Florida
Never was too good at standin’ still
Suddenly it’s lookin’ like I’m gonna
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville

I’m givin’ up my walkin’ shoes
While the wind and the waves wash away my blues
And you help me lose track of time
Rock and roll, you’re holdin’ me
Rockin’ in your arms by a rollin’ sea
It wasn’t easy makin’ up my mind
I can see forever in your eyes, your eyes

Didn’t plan on hangin’ out in Florida
Never was too good at standin’ still
Suddenly it’s lookin’ like I’m gonna
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville
Kill a few more days in Jacksonville

Songwriters: Pat Mclaughlin / Joshua Otis Turner
Jacksonville lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Ole Media Management Lp

Costco Favs

Yes, I know Costco isn’t a local store, but this is the first time I’ve been a member.  I have found a few favorite items that I  can’t get anywhere else, so I thought I’d share.

  1. Mango Peach Salsa.  Sometimes those people who give out samples really do get us customers to buy. When I was in Costco a month ago, the elderly lady giving out samples was having trouble opening a new jar, so I gave her a hand. I’m so glad I stopped and tasted, because now I love this salsa. One way I eat it quite often is with the next item.
  2. Chicken & Cilantro Mini Wantons. This takes literally five minutes to prepare! Then, I add some of the Mango Peach Salsa, stir it in about 30 seconds until warm and yum!
  3. Aussie Bites. I discovered these at my son & daughter-in-law’s house. They are wonderful to pack in a lunch!
  4. Cashew Clusters. Packed with nutrition, these tasty morsels are perfect for throwing in a backpack for a hike or in a lunchbox. These were a hit with our grandson.

Do you have any Costco Favorites? 

Monday Music #1

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. And I’m attached to some places that are or have been homes for my loved ones. I’m starting out this first installment of Monday Music with a song simply titled Birmingham by Randy Newman.  Newman is a prolific songwriter with numerous awards for his work.

 

Birmingham

Got a wife got a family
Earn my livin’ with my hand
I’m a roller in a steel mill
In downtown Birmingham

My daddy was a barber
And a most unsightly man
He was born in Tuscaloosa
But he died right here in Birmingham

Birmingham Birmingham
The greatest city in Alabam’
You can travel ‘cross this entire land
But there’s no place like Birmingham

Got a wife named Mary
But she’s called Marie
We live in a three room house
With a pepper tree
And I work all day in the factory
That’s alright with me

Got a big black dog
And his name is Dan
Who lives in my backyard in Birmingham
He is the meanest dog in Alabam’
Get ’em Dan

Birmingham Birmingham
The greatest city in Alabam’
You can travel ‘cross this entire land
But there’s no place like Birmingham

Written by Randy Newman • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Alabama Reads

I’ve been working through some books that are either by Alabama authors, or take place in Alabama, or both. Here are a few brief reviews.

I Wish I Was in Dixie collected and edited by Marie Stokes Jemison and Jim Reed
This is a collection of stories from all across Alabama, from Birmingham to Montgomery to Tuscaloosa.

Dear Slave – poems by Irene Latham. These are rich retellings of stories taken from the mouths of slaves and recorded by Ruby Pickens Tartt many years ago.

I Still Dream of You by Fannie Flagg.  This was an enjoyable read and one that had me doing a little research about Birmingham. I read this for my book club, but no one else was able to finish it that month.   😦   You can read more of my thoughts HERE and HERE.

Fried Green Tomatoes At the Whistle Stop Cafe – also by Fannie Flagg. I couldn’t read this without picturing Kathy Bates in the role of Evelyn. I STILL want to go to the cafe in Irondale!

 

The last book is one I DON”T recommend – Looking for Alaska. I read it mainly because I heard it had a lot of references to the Birmingham area, but it didn’t really. Sorry, John Green fans, but I just didn’t like this and am disappointed that it is marketed to middle schoolers. I think all the reviews on Barnes & Noble were written by teenagers.

So, I will continue my Alabama quest at a later date. Right now my reading is headed to Ireland.

Dream On

 

 

“Cancel subscriptions to Southern Living, Veranda and Southern Lady magazines”  

 – I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg

dream

In Flagg’s book, the main character, Maggie Fortenberry, is making plans to kill herself, but she just can’t leave the world without putting everything in order first, including canceling her magazine subscriptions. I am familiar with all three of these magazines; in fact, Southern Living and Southern Lady are both published right here in Birmingham. In another fact, I worked for Southern Lady for two whole weeks. But, that’s a long story for another day.

The bad thing for me about magazines like these is the desires they stir up. Everything is lovely and perfect… and usually expensive. Granted, there is a lot of good information between the pages, such as gardening tips and recipes. But, then again, I don’t have a green thumb and don’t cook like I used to. Maggie Fortenberry didn’t really garden or cook, either. So, why do we get these magazines?

Sometimes it’s fun to just dream. We think about houses we’d like to live in one day, places we’d like to visit, clothes that are lovely. Others of us get inspired: I could make a table like that; I could paint my room that color; I could visit that town on a budget. There is a lot of potential good if we peruse the pages with a little common sense. Or, we can just cancel those subscriptions altogether.

I’ve Been Set Down

bham2

Birmingham, Alabama

This post is coming up from a deep well of I don’t know what. Ruminating on friendships past and future. Looking for words of wisdom from scripture and finding nuggets in unexpected places. Surfing the net sometimes provides providential words of encouragement and exhortation.

There is no ideal place for us to serve God except the place He sets us down. We are not to run from it on a whim or sudden notion, but we should serve the Lord in it by being a blessing to those among whom we live.  -Alistair Begg

I have been set down in Alabama; deposited in this south deeper than Florida. Here the grass is softer and the roads hillier; the accent thicker and the seasons more varied. Tornadoes have replaced hurricanes and I have discovered white BBQ sauce. But, God is the same. No matter how much I vacillate, He is the same.

And to quote a fictional character:

 God will put you in the right place. Even if you don’t know it at the time. –  Alec Hardy (quoting his mother)  in Broadchurch

So, I believe I’m in the right place, no matter how I “feel” about it. Maybe I have not yet seen why. But, in our pursuit of becoming foster parents, I think perhaps this is our right place. In taking the steps to follow our desire to foster, it’s been like “going down the chute”.

You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute. – Tina Fey

Meteorological Summer

Screenshot 2017-06-01 11.04.07

The above tweet inspired the following poem – Happy Summer!

 

Meteorological Summer 

 

Today begins meteorological summer.

Between spring training

and the World Series

we count the days of sunshine,

bemoan the rain,

even while knowing how much we need it.

In this day of hurricane predictions

and trying to forget last year’s drought,

we pause to give thanks

to the God of summer and all seasons.

To the One who allows us to hear

the crack of the bat

and feel the passing breeze or warming sun

and see the dewy-eyed newborn

and smell the meadow blooms and forest greens

and taste the savory blessings.

 

 

Red Mountain Is Calling And I Must Go

After this week’s wonderful online Kindred Spirits Book Club chat about Lassoing the Sun, a chat that included the author, Mark Woods, I was inspired to come up with  my own take on John Muir’s quote: Red Mountain is calling and I must go. And go I did, for a little hike on a beautiful Alabama  morning.

I headed towards the Smythe trail, labeled “difficult”, and  yes, I was breathing a bit heavy  on that portion of my hike. Then I hooked up to the north trail. I am a terrible map reader, so even with the map and signs, I ended up in a different spot, but mainly because a portion of the north trail was closed off. So, I only hiked 2.2 miles, but it always takes a while as I stop for photos along the way.

 

On my route I met with people running, biking, hiking, walking the dog, and segwaying.

 

 

Red Mountain has a lot of lovely pieces of the past, bits of buildings left from the mining days.

I also spotted a sort of cairn on a picnic table- I’m so proud I now know that word!

cairn

 

This is Muir’s full quote, which appears in an 1873 letter from Muir to his sister: “The mountains are calling & I must go & I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.”

I didn’t like what I read about Muir’s view of Indians, so I decided to do a little research on the man. Here are a few things I learned:

  • Muir founded the Sierra Club
  • He often expressed the idea that humans had no more intrinsic value than any creature of nature; this is known as a bio-centric view.
  • “All in all, there seems to be in Muir some grudging respect for Indians, but it is often masked behind the institutionalized racism that underlies his writing.” –
  • John Muir could not see the Indians for the trees. – Roy Cook
  • Although Muir claimed to oppose the oppression of Native Americans, he fully supported the extraction of Miwoks from Yosemite, referring to them as “dirty,” “deadly,” and “lazy.”
  • Muir was more concerned with human perfidy toward bears (“Poor fellows, they have been poisoned, trapped, and shot at until they have lost confidence in brother man”) than with how Native Americans had been killed and driven from their homes.
  • .. in his writings, Muir said the squirrels he killed on his ranch in Martinez, Calif., were disgusting pests out to ruin the orchards. But he described the squirrels living in his beloved High Sierra as hard-working creatures like those later popularized in the Disney classic “Snow White.”

 

So, after reading around the internet a bit, I have come to the conclusion that Muir, like the rest of us, is flawed. Yes, he did some great things and he had some noble goals. As for his view of Indians, it seemed to changed over time and not for the better. My takeaway is this: Be aware of others. Love and protect God’s creation, but not at the expensive of man, God’s highest earthly creature.

Baseball

glove

May, 2017 – SGC

 

I’ve been thinking about baseball since I joined my husband at a baseball reunion a few weeks ago. You can read about that HERE.

Seeing how much the game of baseball meant to these guys reminded me of a wonderful kid’s book I read called Baseball Saved Us. You can hear the book in the video below.

 

When my son and his family were in town last month, we went to a Baron’s game. Even though there was a rain delay, we had a great time. The grandkids made friends with some other kids while we waited for the game to start.

 

game

April, 2017

 

My hope for the summer is to make it to the new SunTrust Park for a Brave’s game. Because, what’s summer without baseball?