If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Evie!

Today is a special day because three years ago you chose to grace us with your presence and we are so glad you did!

You are like a multi-faceted, sparkling jewel!

Adventurous and Playful...














Loved and Cherished.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cold Snap

We are experiencing a cold snap - you know, that day or two when the temperature drops down into the range where we would think it is comfortable in the winter months but in the spring after we have been enjoying sixty, seventy, and even some eighty degree temperatures it seems c-o-l-d.  I think the old wives' tales say that this is blackberry winter or dogwood winter or something like that.  I don't know whose winter this is but it is a bit nippy and breezy out there after we have had several sunny and warm days - and after Mike and I have already planted a few little veggies in our garden. 

These are days that I enjoy, though, in reality.  We have been working just enough to get sore and tired but not back into condition for longer days and grass cutting and weed pulling and extra chores that the sunny and warm weather beckons us outside to tackle.  It reminds me not to get in too much of a hurry to plant flowers or sow seeds and to step back and give Mother Nature a little bit more time.  So, it gives us an excuse to take it easy on a Sunday afternoon - which, by the way, is exactly what we did this weekend. 

It also gives me a chance to have a last blast of some cold-weather-type foods.  So, I stirred up a pot of chili.  Then, later this week we might also enjoy chili-dogs, hay-stacks, Frito-chili-pies, or pour the left-overs atop a salad from the jar!  Yum!  I also dug deep and found a recipe that used to be a go-to for me when I was a busy farm woman.  It comes from when I worked with chores that kept me out at the barn till it was later than most people even think about eating, much less stirring something up for supper (the evening meal for those of you who are hoity-toity). I could come in from the barn and stir up a pot of chili or something equally as quick, easy, and filling simple, tasty, and nourishing, dump the ingredients for this cake into a pan and we had a gourmet meal in a jif! 

Dump Cake is also a recipe that was a good one for when you got a call from a friend telling you they were going to stop by for a visit.  Mercy!  God help any good southern woman who doesn't have something to dish up and serve guests!  The name of it sounds terrible but the taste of it makes up the difference.  I sometimes like it with some vanilla ice cream melting over top of it or with pecan pieces sprinkled on top just before baking.  In a stretch, it could be called a fruit cobbler, I guess.  Mostly, I just think it is delicious. 

Anyway, I couldn't find my old recipe and a quick search through my favorite cook books didn't turn it up either.  So, I had to resort to surfing the net do some further research for the recipe.  Even though I had heard mention of her cookbooks and blog, I had never visited The Pioneer Woman's site.  Boy!  I sure have been missing out!  I got distracted did a little more research and found several recipes I plan to try.  I highly recommend that you click over HERE and check it out. 

I did have to adapt The Pioneer Woman's Dump Cake Recipe just a tad.  She used margarine in her recipe and being the good dairy farmer's daughter that I am, I just couldn't bring myself to do that.  Plus, I don't buy margarine.  It is just one of those things I that is deeply ingrained into my raisin's.  My Daddy told us that if we don't support the hand that feeds us who is going to do it?  Therefore, we always have REAL cheese and REAL butter in our household.  (Mike must have been taught the same things because he never has mentioned it.) 

That advice is just one morsel of the wisdom imparted upon us when we were growing up on the farm.  Another bit is that a lady is a woman who can be knee-deep in cow manure one minute and in less than an hour be decked out in a dress, hair fluffed, and smelling like a rose.  A lady isn't one of those pampered, pale-skinned, women who don't know what it means to really work.  Being a lady is a woman's actions and includes more than just her appearance.  A real lady knows how to work hard and appreciate others who do.  She treats other people with respect, courtesy, and consideration and presents her best at all times.  I think I got this lecture morsel of wisdom imparted upon me when I was trying to shirk some chore so I could go to the house and get spiffed up and fluffed up to impress some no 'count boy (maybe even the man to whom I'm now married!).  At the time I didn't question how my Daddy would know the qualifications and characteristics of a lady.  I guess I just knew the qualifications and characteristics of that man and how I could easily get his number ten boot in my fanny.  At any rate, when I reflect now, I guess he was pretty much on target with that one, too. 

So, back to my recipe, instead of margarine, I simply used all butter.  HERE is my adapted recipe for the Dump Cake.  It and our pot of chili warmed us up on this breezy evening!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Family Gatherings

One thing that is hard to coordinate when combining two families in marriage is the visitation and celebrations of holidays.  We all want to be at every family gathering so we can catch up on all the news of the relatives.  Mike and I like to see the granddaughters and watch them play.  We enjoy learning what is going on in the lives of the nieces and nephews.  Yet, it always seems we are pulled in more than one direction on such occasions.  This past Easter was no different.

We decided well in advance that we didn't like splitting up and going in different directions - him to his family's and me to mine.  We did that last year and it just isn't what works for us.  We like to be together as much as we can - sharing the experiences.  The first year we went to his family's Easter gathering first and then trekked over to my folks'.  We were too full to eat at both places and didn't get to visit with either set of relatives as much as we would have liked.  Plus, we felt rushed at both places. 

This spring was kind of unique, too, because my mother seemed to be the one who needed the most help.  She has been suffering terribly with pain in her hips and legs.  [First, it was thought to be risidual from her knee replacement and then the fall in the creek which cracked her hip.  (Yes, she does WAY too much and thinks she is invincible.)  Then, the thought was that perhaps some physical therapy might help the situation.  When that didn't seem to be working, she revisited her doctor and he scheduled surgery which took place last Friday.  She seems to be doing well and is recovering nicely with hardly any pain at this point.  So, we are grateful for another huge blessing!]  Bridgette and I went over and pulled weeds and did some cleaning - Bridgette was far more industrious and productive than me.  You can read about that afternoon HERE

So, on Easter Sunday, all the folks who gathered there at Mom and Daddy's simply brought a dish or two and we had a delicious feast almost like we always have.  Mom and Daddy had baked a ham and had rolls ready to go in the oven when Mike and I got there.  Mike decided that we also needed another meat and decided to roast some chicken on the grill.

Saturday night found him mixing concoctions and injecting it into the chickens.  Then, on Sunday morning he rose and began his culinary magic.  He likes to cook with charcoal and seems to be in heaven when he gets to cook for other folks.  I guess cooking can be therapeutic for us even though it is a lot of work!  Here is a shot of his work in progress.
Chicken leg quarters with his specially concocted dry rub sprinkled on top

He also roasted three whole chickens.  I must say, I ate my share of these!  They tasted just as wonderful as they look here.

Yes, I forgot to take photos of everybody assembled and the delicious feast we had while we chatted and caught up on all the news that is news with one another.  Trust me, though, that it was all fabulous.  Mike and I learned about Dwayne's new purchase of a lawn mower for Brenda.  (She cannot have something too modern or fast because she has a reputation of being a bit wild behind the wheel - like the time when we were young girls and she ran through the plank yard fence and just circled back through and finished cutting the yard.) 

When we finally had things back to normal - chairs put away, the tables collapsed back down from being stretched with the leaves added, dishes washed, and left-over food stored in the fridge, Mike's family had dispersed and gone on to other family gatherings or returned home.  So, we missed out on seeing all of them. 

I'm grateful to have sons who respect their wive's family and cherish their wives enough to want to spend time with their extended families.  I'm also grateful to have a son-in-law who is an only child and his parents are willing to travel and share their time with us.  I hate sacrificing and missing out.  I'm greedy and want it all.  I wish I knew of a way to solve this issue and make it where we can be with both crews without feeling rushed or missing out.  Does anybody have a solution?

I think the best thing I can remind myself of when it comes to such situations is that I am grateful to have close family ties with both my own parents and children as well as with Mike's parents and children.  I am grateful that we are all healthy and the ease of gathering together when we can is simply a matter of a short trip down the road and we are not separated by long distances or even oceans.  I hope that I can always enjoy the luxury of having family nearby where we can get together.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Snacks Before Supper

Some days when I get home from work I feel like I am just starving - could eat the paint off the walls.  Is that a conditioned thing from when I got home from school and Mom gave us a little snack and sent us to the barn to do chores?  Is it some sort of emotional eating disorder thing?  Most days I can fight off that urge to snack late in the afternoon but sometimes I just cannot do it.

Yesterday I did that thing our mothers always tell us not to do.  I made myself a snack before supper.  I was also craving my comfort food - chocolate.  So, I made myself an individual serving of chocolate cake using the Five Minute Mug Chocolate Cake recipe that you can find HERE

The real beauty of this recipe is that it dirties almost no dishes.  It can be mixed in the mug you cook and eat from.  I did mix it in a mixing bowl yesterday so I had three items to wash up in order to cover my tracks before Mike came home expecting dinner. 

1.  The mixing bowl
2.  The measuring scoop
3.  The mug

I thought it might be a good time to share one of my favorite kitchen tools.  I learned about it HERE from Susan at Between Naps On The Porch

I liked the look of Susan's so well that I not only ordered one for myself, but also got one for my mother, my mother-in-law, and my four daughters!  It works just as well as shown in the promotional video about it HERE.  I ordered them HERE from Sierra Trading Post. 

One of the features which is not mentioned in the video is the magnet that is on the bottom of the scoop.  That is a handy feature if I wanted to keep it here on the fridge, I guess.

However, it wasn't so handy when it stuck to my sink and I had a hard time pulling it off.  (No, I didn't rush for the camera and reveal my dirty dishwater and all, I re-inacted it here.)
I'm sure I was a funny sight pulling it away from the side of the sink and dishwater sloshing everywhere! 

Note:  I am not being paid to advertise this product.  I just really like it and wanted to share!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Morning

Here is the view looking off my front porch. 

What a promise!

Happy Easter to you and yours.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Following Their Dream

A few years back (October, 2006) this young couple took a big step and began to follow their dream. 

They focused on building a business in hopes of establishing a career.  At first it was humble beginnings, a big lump in their throat, and lots of faith.  They rented a small metal building hidden back behind another business.

 I'm sure they felt as small as they look in the photo below - dwarfed by the leap they had taken and swallowed by the responsibility but smiling with excitement at making a go of this big venture.  Daily dedication and hard work have helped their business to grow.  I'm often told by Bonnie that it takes the team of the two of them to make this work.

I can easily see that the two are exceptional partners - she is the perky business woman dealing with the customers day-in-and-day-out.  She always wears a smile and has a chipper and cheerful outlook to greet everyone who walks through the door.  Stephen is the no-nonsense fellow who keeps things organized, supervises the young fellows who do the loading and unloading, and provides the machismo needed for some of those livestock producers and farmers (not that I don't think Bonnie doesn't have that firm side when she needs it or that Stephen isn't the pleasant 'how-may-I-help-you-ma'am kind of fellow when the occasion calls for it).  Yet, they truly tend to work together and balance things harmoniously and seamlessly.  So, for the past several years, they have made their business work and grow.

Maybe Mother Nature was foretelling the future with this rainbow seemingly ending right at the corner of their rented building...
With all the multicolored tubs and buckets out front, there is a rainbow on both ends!

Due to their dedication to the goal, they are now taking another big step.  There have been hurdles to overcome and obstacles to work around.  There have been frustrations and headaches galore.  Yet, like anything worth having, they have stuck it through and persevered.  Then, back when the weather was just beginning to be shivery and frost was crisp in the air, the foundation for their own building was begun just a few miles down the road from their current site.

Next came the framework and things suddenly seemed to begin taking shape.  That dream started looking like a reality.

At this point I remember thinking and beginning to worry that they were taking on too much.  This seemed like more than a progressive step - it was more like one of those giant leaps!

At times I think we have all been alternatively giddy with excitement and shivering with fear.  I know that Mike and I have also been furrowed with worry and concern - just like anyone would be for their children.  Yes, I am not really as open-minded and reasonable about this new venture as some folks might be because Stephen is Mike's son.  I love these two folks shamefully!

I drove by there today and this is how it is looking:

Doesn't it look fabulous?  I can hardly wait to see all that stock they have stacked atop one another in that little show-room spread out in this larger building!  I can hardly wait to see their smiling faces as they greet their customers and load their merchandise.  Soon the billboard on the bottom will be old news and taken down and the billboard on the top will be the new home of their business!

If you are in the middle Tennessee area and have pet and livestock feeds and needs, stop by and let Bonnie and Stephen load your vehicle.  Their smiling faces will make you feel at home.
We hope they will call upon us when they need support.  We are ultra proud of their accomplishments.  We are grateful for all who have supported them.  We love them beyond measure.  We wish them the best of luck! Keep following your dreams...

Friday, April 6, 2012


I have been on spring break this week and the weather has been gorgeous.  So, Mike and I worked together to get our garden started.  I know it is a bit early and we have taken a chance, but spring fever has just taken over!

First, we planted potatoes.  Even though we have never had success with this, we are giving it a strong try. 

Then, Mike tilled up some new ground - a place where he had some vegetables when he first moved here and claims the best tomatoes ever grown came from that little plot.  The good thing about this new-to-me plot is that it will have shade late in the evening!
The first row of our garden.

We have bell peppers, a couple of banana peppers, cabbage, and broccoli in the ground!  The above shot shows the 'special formula' Mike has me use to get things started.  I cannot reveal much more than that but each spring since we have gardened together our plants have gotten a pretty good start in spite of weather threats like flooding, drought, etc.  So, I am not going to question his wisdom!
Sweet Bell Peppers



Finished Row

I worry about having to fight grassy weeds all summer, but Mike assures me that he has a secret potion trick plan and that won't be a problem.  Stay tuned.

Spring Storms

I went over to help out at my parents' house today.  Mom has been having back trouble and is just beyond going.  She is in such constant pain it hurts me to watch her.  When I got there, my daughter, Bridgette was already there with her daughters and Mom and Daddy had trouped out to her therapy session.  Bridgette, Lillie, and Lydia had already dusted all the furniture in the house.  So, that left the floors to clean, the fridge to clean out, and a few other pick-up-and-straighten-up tasks to do.  Plus, Mom's flower beds were overgrown in weeds - something we would never see if Mom were not feeling poorly.

Knowing that a spring storm was headed our way, we decided to zip outside to work on the flower beds.  Bridgette began by attacking one area like she was killing snakes and she never let up till the storm rolled in.  It didn't take her long to fill a five-gallon bucket full of weeds and dead twigs.  I had almost a full bucket from the area where I was working.  So, I tromped off to Daddy's tool shed to get the lawn tractor and cart.  Of course, it was in the shed behind a couple of other things.  Then, when I got it out - every tire on both pieces of equipment needed air - isn't there always something like this so that nothing is just a quick little chore?  Being the first time the equipment was used this season, of course it needed some maintenance!  Anyway, by the time I got back to the yard with the cart for us to dump our weed buckets into, Bridgette had pulled another huge pile of weeds!

We wound up pulling enough weeds out of about half Mom's flower beds to fill the cart heaping full twice - Bridgette pulling the lion's share - before the thunder began to rumble and big drops of rain began to fall.  (I think Bridgette and I were thrilled to see the storm roll in so we could stop!)  I quickly dumped the cart and trekked back to the tool shed.  I got pretty damp on my walk back to the house from the tool shed.  Then, the bottom dropped out! 

At first there was just big drops of fast-falling rain - a typical spring shower.  Then, there were a few pings on the tin roof of the house and barns and little pecks at the windows where the hail was hitting.  Finally, there was hail falling and bouncing round everywhere!  Lillie commented that it looked like popcorn popping. 
Here is what it looked like peeking out the back door.
(I don't know what that glowing loop at the side of the photo is, though.)

We stood at the back doors and watched for several minutes.  The hail was only about marble sized but it was really coming down fast!

The shot below shows Mom's rose garden (and doesn't it look beautiful and weed-free?) with hail beginning to pile up.  Also, notice the crevices between the pavers of the patio.
You can also see on the horizon how the rain shower was pelting down at that point.  The temperature quickly changed from a muggy, humid, sweaty hot to a cool, damp, breezy chill.
Here is a closer look at the weed-free rose garden...

The little pellets and marbles of hail quickly piled up and more kept bouncing around.  (Guess who weeded this area?  Of course, I went over it once and dumped my bucket.  Then, when I came back, I could hardly tell I had done anything.  So, I crept over it again.  It is no wonder that my mother has always been in good physical shape - or that now her body is wearing out!  Keeping things looking like a National Park around there is hard work!)
Here is a better shot of the patio and how the hail rolled to a stop between the pavers.

Take a look just beyond the patio area, past the table, toward the bird bath.  Look at all the little hail piled up there!  (Notice I'm not bragging on that area so much?  Guess who weeded that area over on that end?  Nope, not me!  It does look really good, though!) Also, notice how it is still pouring rain.
Almost looks like a dusting of snow there doesn't it?

The power went out at about the time I finished shooting these photos.  So, we couldn't vacuum the floors or work on cleaning out the fridge.  It seemed like a good time to nap to me and I climbed into a recliner and dozed a bit.  When Daddy dashed down to the house from where he was working to repair a tractor, the power had just gone out.  When he came into the house, little Lydia asked him if he had gotten scared with the thunder and lightning and gave him a hug.  What a sweety!  All-in-all I think a bit over two inches fell during that hour.  Then, the electric company got the power restored and we swished around cleaning before we departed for home.

Everything seemed greener - almost like the nitrogen in the hail was already working!  The air was fresher, the temperature was cooler, and the world seemed like a cleaner place.  I love a good spring storm!  (especially when it gets me out of pulling weeds!)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Scientific Trials

When I was in college as an undergraduate, I worked at one of the university's test facilities.  I shudder to think that what we were doing was a part of research!  As a young kid, I certainly didn't take the tasks I was doing as scientific.  The researching professor would design a ration for feeding the animals and expect us to measure and weigh each element of that ration before feeding the animals.  I'm sure that in the mind of the researcher we were accurately weighing or measuring each element precisely and accurately - certainly not what we did - Oh, I think that is about three pounds, or that is close to a cup... 

Now that I think of this as an adult and read periodically about medical, technical, mechanical, organic, or botanical research that impacts my life every day, I imagine that all research is probably conducted about the same way and shudder to think that my health and my safety are dependent upon such results.  ARGH!!! 

I focus on this topic because I am conducting a bit of scientific research myself.  Oh, it isn't really about health, organics, botanics or something all that lofty and important.  It is purely personal.  You see, Mike has some cats.  No, Mike has WAY too many cats here on the farm.  I always grew up having a barn cat to keep the mice away from the livestock feeds.  However, with this many cats, there shouldn't be mice anywhere on this eighteen acres in this county in the southeast!  There are at least a dozen cats out at that barn!

First, let me say, I am not a cat lover.  Secondly, we have way too many cats.  As fate would have it, the cats sort of gravitate here to the house periodically.  I have tried various methods to try to keep them away from the house - envision hand clapping, chasing with a broom, Annie Oakley with a BB gun...  I realize they know that we feed them and this is why they seek our companionship.  However, we only feed them at the barn.  At any rate, one of the reasons I don't want them here at the house is my porch furniture.

In the summer I put cushions on the front porch furniture and we sit out there sometimes especially during a summer evening rain.  Mike also inherited this wrought iron sofa - no cushions - just the frame.  I like this piece of furniture and like to use it.  However, without cushions, it is uncomfortable, to say the least.  Yet, cushions cost more than a brand new sofa and cushions.  So, I have improvised.

Last summer, Jessica and I stumbled across a deal on a chaise cushion at Olde Time Pottery.  I got three of those cushions and it worked perfectly on the sofa.  You can get a glimpse of them below and read about other projects I've tackled HERE.

The cushions are a bit faded since they have weathered outside constantly for the past year, but still functional.  I'm thinking about giving them a fresh cover but because of the cats, I hesitate.  You see, one of them, in particular, has made this her favorite bedtime roost.  I've tried lots of deterrents but none seem to work.  Then, I Googled did a bit of research and learned that cats don't like aluminum foil.  They even sell these blanket-like upholstery covers that have a foil backing on one side to prevent animals from climbing and laying on furniture.  That seemed way to expensive to me.

Being the experienced researcher that I am, I decided to conduct my own study.  Guess what!  Cats do not like foil!  I haven't seen them on the sofa cushions.  I have seen no evidence of them on there, either.  I think it works!  My reading told me that it would take about a month to train the animals to stay away.  I think that is a small price to pay. 

Who says science isn't important in our lives?  When will I ever use these research skills I used to ask my teachers.  Now I know!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Miss Bobbie

An important lady in my life died this past weekend.  I grew up going to fairs and livestock exhibitions and knowing her and her family as if they were an extended part of mine.  She put in a good word and helped me and my family career-wise when I was finishing college.  Then, when Bridgette was born, she was like a second mother to me - coming over or calling every day for a while to check on us and just generally share her time.  She was a role model, a mentor, a wise advisor, a strong supporter, a good cook who shared her bountiful table, and a good friend to me.

She also was the first person who was our babysitter when my Bridgette was six months old.  She kept Bridgette all day long so I could go with a group of young teenagers on a picnic trip in the Smokies.  When we got back to pick Bridgette up, she was just as happy as could be and laughing and enjoying all the attention being showered upon her and probably never even missed me but it had been a long, long day for me fraught with guilt and worry at leaving this little mite who had been so dependent upon me for the past year. 

This woman's obituary bespoke only the tip of the iceberg about such a woman.  When I read the opening line - "after a lifetime of serving others with a kind and gentle spirit..." - I just broke down. How I wish folks could say that about me! Isn't it amazing how we can read something like that and really, really wish we could be that way but know that there is just NO WAY that it will EVER come to be? Why just this morning when I was doing a menial task for Mike - one that I hate with a passion, cutting his hair - I was mumbling, grumbling, cursing, frowning, scowling, and muttering about it in hopes of finally getting through to him how I hate to do that and wish he would just go to a 'real' barber. Yet, the entire time he just sat there with a smile on his face and enjoyed the attention. And, really isn't that all it was about? He could easily stop off and get a 'real' barber to cut it on any afternoon drive on his way home. There are ample opportunities. However, he just loves the attention and I begrudge that. No, I don't begrudge that he enjoys attention from me, I just begrudge having to snip off the ends of his hair. I would shower him with all sorts of attention that is MY choosing, but this is one way that Mike chooses and here I am being awful about it. 

Miss Bobbie's obituary said: "She was pre-deceased by her devoted husband of 46 years."  If nothing else, doesn't this speak volumes about the woman?  In this day and age with more than 50% of first marriages ending in divorce and the rate going up exponentially for subsequent marriages, forty-six years is nothing to sneeze at.  I'm sure there were times when she mumbled and grumbled about her husband but this woman probably did more to cheerfully give her husband attention in one day than I could ever accomplish in one year.  Notice also that it states that her husband was "devoted."  Yes, he knew a good thing when he saw it and never spoke ill of her or called her some sort of disrespectful name or treated her with anything but appreciation.  He revered her and stuck by her when times were easy to celebrate joint accomplishments and he was the same when the going got tough and suffering was shared.  His nickname for her was "Little Mama" and she lived up to every inch of it and then towered over his big frame with her love at times, I'm sure. 

The obituary also stated that, "she was a faithful partner in their family dairy farm operation and they raised two sons who continue the family tradition."  The words in that statement which stand out to me are "faithful partner" and oh, how true that was.  She might not have been the one tromping in the mud and muck every morning and afternoon all those years.  She might not have been the one toting or lifting each day, but she always had meat-and-three and huge glasses of sweet, iced tea on the table when her husband and sons and anybody else, for that matter, entered the door.  Plus, in her kitchen she also served as a short-order cook catering to their desires.  She might not have worn a shirt-waist-dress, heels, and pearls every day but she was the epitome of June Cleaver when it came to house-keeping. She kept the home tidy, inviting, and comfortable.  She also managed the book-keeping part of the business which is not unlike managing the office of a small corporation.  Not only that, but she could often be seen outdoors pitching in to help out with the farm chores , chasing a cow, or driving a piece of equipment just like any other farm hand.  How do you think those two sons knew how to continue the family tradition?  They learned it from their parents and grandparents and she was truly a role model in teaching them as a partner in the business operation.  She was a partner in the operation in every sense of the word.  Knowing how important it is to have a partner, I certainly am reminded that I should strive to be a stronger one in my own marriage.

The newspaper memorial further said, "her grandchildren were truly the light of her life and they brought her much joy in recent years."  I know that the children her sons and their wives gave birth to were the ones referenced here and Miss Bobbie's eyes did light up and her whole countenance became glowing in those young children's presence.  I could have predicted this almost thirty years ago, though, when I saw her nurturing the little mite I left with her for the day.

The obituary went on to share more information about her unselfish attitude, "her life of service had a wide outreach through her work as a Pink Lady and the UMW at her church. She hosted countless farm visitors."  She embraced others and we felt her hugs long after her physical presence was miles away.  Wherever she went she was looking for ways to make life more pleasant for others.  Never seeking the spotlight, she was always the one in the background accomplishing the little things to pave the path and make it smoother for others.  I wonder how many young people would benefit from recognizing a role model like this who is a public servant as well as a private one like this woman was.  Somehow I'll bet we wouldn't have such a cultural attitude of entitlement these days if there were more folks like Miss Bobbie.

She was one who showed a genuine interest in almost everybody who crossed her path.  As the obituary stated, "Her legacy is that of an inquisitive and ever concerned nature that put all others before self."  She asked questions and truly was a life-long learner.  In her youth she was a school teacher and that learning about others and gathering knowledge was a part of her nature.  She wanted to know people, not just be an acquaintance.  She wanted to lift people up and make them better, not just encounter them.  When I think of the number of people I encountered this week, I wonder how things might have been so, so different for them as well as for me if I had been more inquisitive and concerned and put them before myself.  The world might certainly look different today.

The obituary ended by saying "her generosity will be deeply missed by a wide-ranging host of friends."  Even though we had drifted apart over the years - her living in a different geographic part of the state that is a good four-plus-hour drive.  We didn't have the opportunity to talk every day or drop in for a visit or even just bump into one another at the grocery.  Yet, I will certainly be one of that host of friends who will deeply miss her and her generosity.  

Rest in peace Miss Bobbie.