Friday, August 31, 2007


Never, never, NEVER thought I'd say this. Yesterday I joined a Fitness Club. Me. Yes I did. We have a place here in my town that is like Curves, but this is run by a Christian lady, who has achieved great strides in fitness and weight loss. She must have lost 150 pounds. I went with a friend yesterday, not sure if I would be able to do everything...but, I DID! EVERYTHING! TWO TIMES AROUND! And, I went back today. And did it again...2 times! I am proud of me.

I have made a committment to get healthy. I am dieting. [I have been doing South Beach, but the exercise lady swears by Dr. Gott's NO SUGAR, NO FLOUR Diet...and she should know!] And I am exercising, and I am taking a health supplement that a lady in our church sells called Mona Vie. It's full of vitamins and minerals, and anti oxidents, probably some swamp slime and who knows what, but my brother in law says it has changed his life. It has some kind of berry they found in the far reaches of the universe that is supposed to have wonderful healing powers. We'll see. I am NOT a nut who falls for crazy things, but several people I respect highly have seen a big, I'll give it a try. Now if one of these 3 new things in my life kills me, we'll never know who to blame. Except for myself...for taking so long to get with the program.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 30, 2007



This is one of my classes of 4 year olds. Are these not the most precious souls? Look at those faces! The first week of school, each day was a different color day and they wore clothes that color. When I made this pic I told them to say "Mrs. Owens is silly!" As you can see...they sure believed it!

This is their teacher, Mrs. Wright. I don't like her much, though...shes a size 2! Only kidding...she's a sweet, sweet lady.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


My friend Lynne tagged me to do this here goes:

ACCENT: Southern through and through, Ya'll.

I DON'T DRINK: coffee...smells great, tastes nasty!

CHORE I HATE: Unloading the dishwasher.

PETS: Scooter, a 12 year old wire-haired fox terrier. Love him to death!

ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS: Well, I have a new laptop, that I LOVE! I also have a cell
phone, a Palm Pilot that I rely on daily, a Nintendo DS that
is my mind candy when life gets lumpy.

PERFUME: I don't wear much, but my favorite is a little known kind, called
Niven Morgan Gold. I found it in Destin and have since found it closer to
home. It is a very light fragrance. You can usually find it in speciaty

GOLD OR SILVER: Well, I have a whole wardrobe of jewelry in yellow gold. But my
tastes changed, and now I wear all white gold in my fine jewelry.
And, I love sterling silver also.

INSOMNIA: I haven't slept all night in so long, that if I did, I'd probably be 6 ft.
under! My biggest complaint now is NIGHT SWEATS! YUCK!!

JOB TITLE: Well, my preference is QUEEN, :)....but my kids at school call me Mrs.
Owens. My boys call me Mom and my husband calls me all the time!

MOST ADMIRABLE TRAIT: I asked Alex what he thought this would be, and he immediately
said,"compassion." Well, I thought he said "Fashion", and
while that is a fine trait to have, it would make me appear
to be quite shallow. I felt much better when he corrected

KIDS; Adam Ryan is 32, his wife Suzanne is 32, Alex Townsend is 25, and Ian David
is 24.

PHOBIAS: Lightning, spiders (actually any bug), and DENTISTS!!!

RELIGION: I am a Southern Baptist, and active in my church.

SIBLINGS: I have one sister, Joy.

TIME I WAKE UP: Usually I wake up about 5:30 every morning...or earlier if
Scooter's bladder calls.

UNUSUAL TALENT OR SKILL: Gee, that's hard. I think the skill that has served me the
most is my ability to stay calm in an emergency and do
what has to be done quickly.
I also love arts and crafts and can figure out on my own
how to do the things that interest me.

VEGETABLE: I like tomatoes, broccoli, and black-eyed peas. Hate beets and

WORST HABIT: I am a pack rat. I just hate to throw things away...I may need them.

X-RAYS: Probably everything I have has been shot at one time or another. The

FAVORITE MEAL: My Mom's beef liver in gravy, with her mashed potatoes, and fruit
salad...with sweet tea, of course. And ANYTHING chocolate, for

Thanks Lynne, this was fun. If you are reading this, consider yourself TAGGED!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Joy, Mom, Tonja......8-18-07
Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens
Just one more pic to share from the Birthday Bash. I LOVE this pic of us! We are so blessed to live close and get to spend time together whenever we choose. I thank God for my beautiful Mom and my sweet sister...(yes, she's beautiful too...and don't we look so much alike?)
I found a picture frame for Joy for her birthday and it had this scripture on it...which I think is so appropriate....


To me it was a reminder that every thing in this life that brings us joy and happiness and contentment is a gift from the Father to us. Each time we smile, we should say, "Thank-you" to Him who is the giver of smiles. I admit that I sometimes take them for granted as if they are somehow 'owed' to me. But, they are not and I vow to remeber this and make my thanks known to God for his rich blessings.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens
I have been trying to get these pics since last week. You remember the unfortunate accident with my is still in intensive care, so I am depending upon the kindness of others to share their pics with me. Thanks Joy and Adam.

Our family has 5 birthdays in the month of August, so we always have a Birthday Bash at some time during the month. This year Mom was hostess and we had a wonderful dinner. A table full of goodies. Our "family" consists of 3 extra loved ones. Bill and Pat are our dear friends and pop's riding buddy. And Uncle Allison and his family lived next door to us while we were growing up. He had 3 daughters and we all were truly like a family. They were Aunt Katherine and Uncle Allison to Joy and I , and Mom and Pop were Aunt Eloise and Uncle Clyde to their daughters. Aunt Katherine and one of the daughters, Brenda, live with Jesus now, and the other 2 Jolene and Jan , live quite a distance away. So no family gathering is complete without these 3 joining us, too. In the picture above, celebrating birthdays in August are, sister Joy, brother in law, Tommy, myself, brother in love, Bill, and my beautiful Mom.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens
Is this not a beautiful sheep? While Alex and I were in Birmingham, we stopped in at a little shop called Lamb's Ear. A funky little shop with lots of unique items. Since I am a collector of sheep...I fell in love with this one. It is made of a concrete like substance I knew immediately she wanted to be mine. Next thing I know Alex is paying for her. Then he turned to me and said, "Happy Birthday, Mom."
Is that a good son, or what? You know, it's not the gift that matters so much to me (though I LOVE it) ,,,it's the fact that he saw how much I like it and he wanted me to have it. God bless his heart.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens

This is my sister and today is her birthday. She is as sweet and kind as they come, and is loved by especially! People tell her all the time that she looks so much like me...the funny thing is, I have to keep reminding her to say, "Thank-You!" :)

She'll kill me for this: Who do you think is the older sister?

NOTE TO JOY:" Na-na,na-na,boo-boo!"

HOME ALONE......The Next Day

It is now 6:27a.m. I surfed the web till about 11:00, watched 3 episodes of AMC, read in my new book, and fell asleep on the couch around 2:30. Oh, well....not so productive, huh? And, now it's off to breakfast and then work. I'm thinking I'm gonna need to come home from work and take a nap. I'm also thinking I know what I have to do on Saturday!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


There is a strange thing happening at my home today. I am in one else is here. Friends, this does not happen very often. I can't remember the last time, actually. Alex has an appointment for a medical test in Birmingham in the morning, and since school has just started, I hated to ask off. So, Don was able to take him. They left this afternoon and will come back tomorrow. It is really quiet, with only the sound of Scooter snoring under my feet. Now what am I going to do with these 14 hours. There's a South Beach Frozen meal for supper tonight, and I am meeting 2 sweet friends for breakfast before work tomorrow. I know I'll not sleep well...never do when Don is away. I'm not scared...just not completely at ease. So, I'll be up late, I'm sure. I need to clean out my closet....well, just actually hang up a bunch of clothes, and put my shoes away, and hang my purses up...just everyday maintenance that has not been done everyday for a while. Or I could watch this week's episodes of All My Children which I have on my DVR. I got a wonderful book from Tina for my birthday, I could start on that. Oh, and yesterday, Don bought us a Dyson vacumn cleaner. The lady who cleans for me has been saying we need one for a while...the old Electrolux just ain't cutting it any more. Ya'll, if I had known haw much stuff was in my carpet, I would have moved out. This thing is amazing. My dog, Scooter, is a fox terrier. He is not meant to be a house dog. But,he is Alex's companion, and so he has taken up residence inside with us for 12 years. He sheds terribly, and it's a wiry little hair that just sticks into everything. I thought I had been doing a fairly good job of keeping it vacumned up...but, what she got out of the carpet yesterday was unreal. O.K. that's enough vacumn talk. I'm not going to do ANY mundane tasks for the next 13 1/2 hours. I could get all the clothes in the hampers washed and put away....but, why? Actually, the reading thing is sounding really good...then a little AMC...then some more reading. Sounds like a plan, huh? Oh, what about the closet?'ll keep.
Oh, why don't I just take a nap and decide when I get up?.....Night, Night.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


While perusing the blogging world today, this post caught my eye. Jill talked about her BFF, her treadmill. This reminded me that I have one of those friends too. But, I have not been treating her very well. I never spend any time with her, actually, I do my best to ignore her, and sometimes I even try to bury her,,,under a pile of clothes! No, this is not the way to treat a real friend. And she is such a giving soul. I know for a fact that she wants nothing more than to help me better myself. She waits for me so patiently, never complaining or bringing attention to herself. She's like, "I'll just wait over here, under the window, in the bedroom till you want me. I don't have any where else to be, so I'll just be here when you are ready to spend some quality time together." I know I should be ashamed. I've been taught better. I know how to treat a friend. I guess I just need an attitude adjustment. So, I promise to do better. First of all, I will dust her off, being careful not to cause a sneezing fit, the dust is so thick. Then, I think I'm going to take her for a walk. Yes, that's what I will do! She likes walking. And she doesn't even mind if I run a little, she can keep up. I think I'll play her some good music, too. We both like walking to a beat. And I resolve, here and now, to visit with her everyday! She's gonna be so surprised! My legs will probably have a few negative things to say for a few days, but I think I can get them in line, too!

Monday, August 20, 2007


I have put it off for as long as I can...the vacations with fabulous restaurants to visit are gone, the long summer lunches with friends are past, the birthday parties, and back to school celebrations are finished....there's just no more reasons to put it off. Well, I'm sure I could think of something...but I'm strengthening my willpower here, friends. THE DIET STARTS TODAY. Actually, it started this morning, and so far, so good. Oh, it is going to be a long hard battle, but it must be done. The first 2 weeks are supposed to be the worst...but, you can do anything for 2 weeks...right? Come on, sisters, let me hear some encouragement. I prayed this morning that God would help me stay focused on my goal, and not yield to temptation. In case you can't tell this about me, I'm an immediate gratification kind of girl...So waiting for the payoff is hard for me.

EDIT: I tried to post this last night, but someone who is visiting from Birmingham had my mouse and I couldn't post or even turn this baby off. So actually, this is day 2 now!


I do hate to be the odd woman I'm playing, too. Besides, someone tagged me, I think, and I just haven't had time. So here goes:

1. TWO NAMES YOU GO BY: Tonja and Mrs. Owens...but my friends call me the Queen!

2. TWO THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW: A sleeveless black dress and black flip-


4. TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO: Go to the beach and read.

5. TWO THINGS YOU WANT VERY BADLY AT THE MOMENT: For Alex to get some pain relief
and for the building of our house
to get started.

6. TWO PETS YOU HAVE HAD: We had a black lab named Jake years ago, and now we have
Scooter, a Fox Terrier who is 12 years old.

7. TWO THINGS YOU DID LAST NIGHT: Tried to learn the workings of my new laptop, and
went to bed early.



10. TWO THINGS YOU ARE DOING TOMORROW: Going to work and washing clothes.

11. TWO OF YOUR LONGEST CAR RIDES: Dothan to Pennsylvania, and Dothan to California.

12. TWO FAVORITE HOLIDAYS: Christmas and Easter.

13. TWO FAVORITE BEVERAGES: Diet Dr. Pepper, and sweet tea with lemon.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


It's my birthday today, so I have decided to tell you 54 things about me. That's just a random number, you understand!

1. I am a born-again Christian, and I am going to Heaven when I die.

2. All the members of my family are saved, as well. We will all live together with the Father one day.

3. I am a nurse, but for the last 20 years, I have been a kindergarten music teacher.

4. I love, LOVE, L-O-V-E Chocolate. If God made anything better, He kept it for Himself.

5. I have an addiction to Diet Dr. Pepper. It is one fine drink. I would be such an unhappy person if it was ever taken away.

6. I love fashion. I try to keep up with the trends...not the fads. But classics are still the best. I love to wear linen, long skirts, boots, flip-flops, cute little sweaters, and anything denim!

7. I think one of the greatest of God's creations is MUSIC. I almost always have music playing where ever I am. I like all kinds of music...except rap and heavy metal. I like to hear 1 artist as opposed to a band...with the exception of the Eagles, Chicago, and the Beatles. I love James Taylor, Carly Simon, Michael Buble, Sandy Patti, Chris Rice, Norah Jones, Nicole Mullen, Natalie Grant, to name just a few. I also like to listen to old Disco music...and 50's and 60's oldies.

8. I love, LOVE, L-O-V-E peanut butter. Anyway at all...but it's best eaten right off the spoon.

9. If I could live anywhere else in the world...I would choose Maui. My favorite place on earth. If I ever run away from home...that's where I'm going.

10. I think shoes are fabulous! As Cinderella said, "A pair of shoes CAN change your life!" I can always find a reason to buy another pair of shoes. I could never have too many. They can be so much fun and completely change an outfit! I like sneakers, flip-flops, sandals, flats, loafers, mules, wedges, kitten heels...but NO high heels. Well, I do have 2 pair of black...but I only wear them if someone dies.

11. Purses are right up there with shoes. I love purses! I think a complete wardrobe should have a purse in every color. And you can never have too many black or brown ones. I like big ones, little ones, shoulder bags, clutches, totes, and handbags. I don't usually pay too much for them, but they must look well made. I have only bought 2 outrageously priced purses...well, one of them was a gift. I think it is a shame when you see an otherwise well-dressed woman and she has a tacky ole purse with her. People notice these things.

12. I love my dog. He's a fox terrier and he's 11 years old. I had never been a dog lover until we got him. Now I can not imagine my life without a dog. He is THE best listener, and he loves matter what.

13. I love to collect. I don't know what the urge in me is, but I like to have collections of the things that speak to my heart. I collect primitive sheep, heart shaped rocks and stones, little boxes, the letter "O", tiny salt cellars and old garden statuary. Crazy assortment, huh?

14. I dabble in all kinds of art. At the moment, I am doing a lot of collage work. I have fun doing bead work, scrapbooks, distressing old furniture, arranging flowers.

15. I have a hard time throwing things away. I always think I may need it again for something. And I don't want to be without the things that have meaning to me.
Which leads to a lot of clutter in my life. I have tried to do better, and conquer some of it, and occasionally I am able to part with some things. But, it is hard. No, I'm not one of those people you see on Oprah that can't get into their houses, but I just want to keep my stuff. Last year, I got into one of those "clean-out" moods and took about 50 articles of clothing and about 20 purses to work and gave them all away. They want me to get "moody" more often.

16. I really enjoy reading. I love books. Just the thought that between those 2 covers is something I don't know, but can find out about sets my heart aflutter.
You know, you can find out anything you want to know from a book. Anything. My Dad encouraged me to get a book and read about things that I didn't know about. My parents would not be shocked at whatever I would read (not that I went too far out). I was taught to study about things and ways that were different and weigh them against what God's Word says. I am open to different ways of thinking about things, and to the fact that I may not always be right. However, the Bible is my standard. If anything is opposed to what God says, I am, too.

17. I think trees are beautiful Watching a bare tree put out its new leaves is the essence of spring. How fortunate are the birds who make their nests in the branches. How cool it feels to sit under the shade of the big ole sweet gum tree in my backyard. And, when the leaves start to change color, I love to sit under my tree and read let the leaves fall down on my book and my head and into my lap. I love to see the leaves dancing across the yard as the wind sneaks up on them. Looking at a bare tree against a winter sky is such a study of complexity . Oh, the shapes the limbs and branches make. How different it looks when it is undressed. (Well, don't we all?). And after the tree has gone through its starts over to delight us all...once again. Thanks God!

18. I ABHOR the packaging on CD's. It comes as close as anything to making me say something I shouldn't!

19. My favorite T.V. shows are Lost, House, Monk, and What Not To Wear!

20. The only reality T.V. that I watch is American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and Design Star (HGTV)

21. I play solitaire every night before I fall asleep...on my Palm Pilot.

22. I could live fine without air conditioning. Everywhere I go, it is too cold!

23. I love to travel...anytime...anywhere.

24. I very rarely take a bath...always a shower.

25. I am a very fast reader. I learned speed reading in college and still use it.

26. I have lived in the house I am in for 28 years. We raised our sons here. But, I am ready to move on.

27. I love to peruse greeting cards. I buy them way ahead of when I need them...and , of course, can't find them at the proper time.

28. I started dating my husband when I was in the 10th grade. He was a big 'ole Senior. Then I followed him to college.

29. I started taking piano lessons when I was 6 years old. I continued to study piano in college, and I taught private lessons at home for 22 years.

30. I have never learned to swim well. I can take care of myself...but could never save anyone else. I have a fear of water over my head.

31. I am very frightened of lightning. Especially when it is jagged and I know it is striking around me. And, I know I shouldn't be...but ...oh, well...

32. I have written several children's musicals (preschool level). Both with my original songs, and with other published music. I hope to get these published in the future.

33. The favorite meal my mom cooks for me is liver and onions in gravy. She makes real mashed potatoes...with the lumps in...just like I like 'em. She makes a fruit salad and biscuits to go along with it. Friends, that is fine!

34. I watch Fox news every day. I really like Shepherd Smith. He is so funny. They are the only news program I feel like I can believe.

35. I rode a motorcycle to school when I was in high school. I was very popular with the guys! :)

36. My favorite outfit to wear is jeans, and a white shirt. Maybe a blazer and boots or flip flops or tennis shoes.

37. My eyesight is very poor. I have worn glasses since I was in the 5th grade, and I think I needed them before then. I have tried to wear contacts, but can never get a clear vision with them.

38. My husband and I own a Powersports Business. We sell motorcycles, watercraft and ATV's. We also sell clothing for riding. All my boys started riding as soon as they were able...but never on road until they were legal...and NEVER...NEVER...NEVER without a helmet!

39. I have begun scrapbooking in the past 3 years. I wish I had started when my boys were small. It is hard to go back and try to catch up. Plus, the memory is just not what it used to be.

40. God blessed me with a wonderful sister, Joy. We are 2 years apart in age...I'm the oldest. We have a great friendship and she is always available when I or my boys need her. My boys adore their Aunt Joy. And, she, them. They go to her with things they need to talk about with someone other than a mother. I respect that, and never worry that I would not agree with her advice. She is quite an accomplished pianist and is the pianist for our church. She is a gift from God...and I taught her everything she knows. :)

41. I do not like frozen ice cream..I like for it to get mushy a little before I eat it.

42. I love to make things for people as gifts. It seems so much more personal, and I like to think of things they really would appreciate.

43. I like to hang the toilet paper with the end coming OVER the roll. It IS the correct way.

44. I do not like camping outside. We did it for a week when I was a girl and we have done it a couple of times since we were married. I do not like to sleep on the ground, I do not like to sleep on a mat. I do not like to sleep on the same plane with little creatures and critters.

45. I have been trying to document my family history for my children. My mom is from N.C. and my dad from Atlanta. I know that in years to come, they will not make the trips like we always have. And I have a desire for my grandchildren to know their roots. So, I am scrapbooking old pictures of homesteads, churches, people, etc.

46. One of my favorite quotes: "Be careful when you point your finger at someone else...notice that there are 3 pointing back at you."

47. Another favorite quote: "Your character is revealed by how you act when you know that no one will ever see or know what you did."

48. My favorite quote of my Pop's: "You can never out give God."

49. My husband is one of the fairest people I know. He is one of those people who can look at both sides of the situation clearly and rationally, and then carefully make a decision. He is very wise. He has gained much respect in our community for this and for the fact that he lives his Christianity every day. Our business is conducted on God's principles, and nothing less is tolerated. I am very proud of him. But he is also the s-l-o-w-e-s-t man in the world. And, I have not been blessed with the gift of patience.

50.I like to have lots of little lamps burning in a room...I do not like overhead lights.

51. I have 2 nieces who I adore. Tara and Lori. They are such sweet girls, and I am so proud of all they have accomplished. I would do anything for them.

52. I love my Daughter in Law so much. She is a godsend to Adam and our family. I couldn't have chosen any one else who would become so dear to me as she has. I call her my Daughter in Love.

53.I can not believe I started this project. I am just not that interesting a person. Thank goodness I'm not 80! If you read this to the end, I know you are truly a friend!

54. I want to LIVE til I die!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens
No...we are not teaching a new religion....It is just my brain cells burning up with these hot flashes. Thankfully, I caught this goof and changed it before we had open house last night. But not before the teachers all had a good laugh. That's all right's fixed now and I just PRAISE GOD that I caught it in time.

This is a picture of my classroom. One whole wall is mirrored, as you can see. Which, as you can imagine, is just wonderful for my self esteem. Especially since these extra pounds have obviously found a home they like and are refusing to vacate the premises. I have to sit and teach every day.....facing this mirror. Bad hair day? It stares me in the face all day. I can't have the kids facing the mirror because they think they have found the grandest thing in the world when they see themselves in the mirror. Being a music teacher, we do a lot of moving to music. Some may call it dancing....I prefer to say it is strange and unexplained movements made by the bodies of those who are enthralled with the music they are hearing. Anyway, it is a lot of fun for the kids to see themselves while we are playing and moving. For learning...not so much. I'm not much of a dancer...but , you know, they don't care. They just care that their teacher says, "It's o.k. to listen and move. Look, I'll do it with you. Use this wonderful body God gave you. See what all it can do!" One of the things children need is a chance to explore their feelings. Music is a wonderful way to do this, and it's not nearly as scary if we're having fun, and everyone else is doing it, too.

So, I also PRAISE GOD for music. For putting such a joyous feeling deep into our souls. Music can enable us to express many different emotions, the greatest of which is praise and worship to Him.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Hi friends. I am feeling in kind of a reflective mood today. Must be all that nitrous oxide still having an effect on me. I have been working at school all week, getting my room ready for open house tonight. We have to take everything down for the summer, and put it back up when we start back. Bummer! But, I have found some new things to put up in my room, and I think it looks pretty good.I had made a picture, but on an old camera. My good one is still in intensive care. And I can't get the pictures to load onto the computer. Maybe I'll have some help later. It seems that life is going by so fast sometimes. Does it to you? I just took my room apart and now I'm putting it back together. And, come Monday, I will be in the routine that will govern my life for the next 9 months. I don't know if it is age or what, but I'm not sure I want anything to govern my life for 9 months anymore. I want to be able to do WHAT ever comes up...WHEN ever it comes up...and not be bound by any GOT TO's. Am I making sense to anyone? I know how fortunate I am to have the job that I do. It really is a Godsend. I love the people I work with and they could not be any more accomadating of the time I have to be away with Alex. I also know that if I stayed home all day...everyday, I would go stark, raving MAD! I just am not a domestic kinda girl. I like to be out and see people. And, I LOVE being able to work with children. So, why am I even having these thought? Why is this even an issue with me? I don't know. Must be something to do with this'PERSONAL SUMMER' I'm going through. I just notice that life is going by too quickly...and I want it to slow down. Please. If you don't mind. I'll just wait right here...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Well, friends...I've been back in the dentist's chair today. Ever since I had the root canal done, the area around it has been sore. But, I've tried not to complain, just suck it up and go a big girl. You know...So, I thought when I went in to my regular dentist today, she would put a crown on it and all would be well. There would be peace in the world...or at least in my mouth! Why I thought it would be that easy is beyond me. I go bopping in to see her and the first thing she says is...well let's take a look and see why it's causing you trouble. So, she looks...and then she says, "Now, Tonja, you know there's more work to do on this tooth." WAIT. RIGHT. THERE. "I thought it was all know the drilling and the shots and the drilling...". "No, we still have to clean out the cavity and drill it to get it ready for the crown...and I want to check and make sure there is no infection there. Let me get the nitrous ready." "Yes, please." Still under the asumption that it was going to be an easy thing, I knew I was badly mistaken when they sprayed the numbing gook in my mouth and it went down my throat. On top of that my allergies are so bad today...I could not even breathe that delicious nitrous...I had to breathe through my mouth...and I thought my throat was probably paralyzed because of the numbing gook. "This is not going to be one of my better days", I said to myself. And I was right. Here she comes...needle in hand and proceeds to give me shots...No, I don't know how many...I was concentrating on trying to force my lungs to breathe because I figured they were paralyzed by now.
So, she commences to drilling and drilling, and drilling. Whatever is she finding to drill on? I thought the monster man from 2 weeks ago drilled it down to nothing. Obviously not. She finally is satisfied that everything that once looked like tooth is forever ground to dust, and says she's finished. Next they make the temporary. Yucky, but manageable. Then...then...THEN...they mix up this slimy toothepaste feeling stuff that tastes like devils brew...put it in a saucer and shove it into my mouth. " Bite down and keep your teeth closed. We'll be back in 10 minutes." TEN MINUTES! It was bad enough to gag a gnat! Get the picture, friends. I'm laying there with the pig nose contraption on my face, teeth clenched tightly, trying to force a small opening in the good side of my mouth so that I could get some air in, and all the time telling my lungs to breathe in and out. No air through my nose...none. This stuff in my mouth is slowly turning to cement, and the oldies station on the radio is playing, "Knock 3 times on the ceiling if you want me, twice on the pipes if the answer is no..." The longest 10 minutes of my life. They finally decide to free me from my misery. They put on the temporary and say to come back in two weeks. She said, "Now, don't worry, there won't be any shots, or drills, or death by cement. It'll just be real easy." "Can I at least have a few whiffs of the nitrous?",I say. They laughed...they thought I was kidding!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007


Had to buy a birthday present for a friend turning 50 tomorrow and found this on the cutest plaque. Thought I'd share it with you. I especially like 'E', and 'K'.
A void collagen
B loom late
C elebrate
D ance at weddings
E at more chocolate
F all in love again
G o grey
H old hands
I nspire
J ettison grudges
K iss like you mean it
L augh
M end fences
N urture friendships
O pen doors
P erspire with aplomb
Q uit whining
R ekindle romance
S poil babies
T each someone to read
U pset convention
V olunteer
W ear red
eXpect joy
Y ield gracefully
Z ing

Saturday, August 11, 2007

FOR MOM - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Sunday is Mom's birthday. So here is notice to the world: I have the world's best mom. God was looking out for me when He sent me to her and Pop. She's all the things I hope my children find in me. I am blessed by her daily. As are all the members of the family.

Ilove you, Mom!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens
Thank you, Kat, for giving me this award. What a sweet surprise it
was to find it on your blog.
When I looked up what 'nice' means, Webster's says this:

1. discriminating, fastidious

2. marked by delicate discrimination or treatment

3. pleasing, agreeable, well-executed

4. well-bred

5. virtuous, respectable, choosy, particular, persnickity, picky

I was feeling pretty good about myself...until I got near the end of #5!
Who knew that 'nice' meant all that? But, it's true, I do find myself being those things,too, at times.

The award states:" This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blogging friends, and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. It is also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world."

So, Kat, I think you are the embodiment of those words. You are everything the award states. I have so enjoyed getting to know you, because you know..."NICE."

And so are these friends: Dianne, Tracey, Jean, Lynne, Leah, Rhoda.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

THURSDAY...of the last week of summer vacation

Thought you may enjoy seeing "AUBIE" and his friend, Ian. Yes, this is the official Aubie. Pretty cute, huh?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

WEDNESDAY...of the last week of summer vacation



Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, Diet Dr. Pepper in the other, body throughly used up, totally worn out and screaming,"WOO HOO, what a ride!"
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Tuesday, August 7, 2007


When I woke up this morning and read my devotional, it asked me this question: "Is there any area of PERPLEXITY, CONFUSION, and CHAOS in your life? Then invite God to show you His wisdom in this situation." PERPLEXITY, CONFUSION, and CHAOS? Well, I would say so!!!
I made it to the office and had to face the 'ear annoying' Felicia. "Good Morning, Mrs O. You look so pretty this morning. I know you are looking forward to getting this little 'ole tooth problem fixed. You just sit down right there and I will get the doctor. He is so anxious to meet you and get started!" ..."Felicia, shut your mouth or talk like an adult. I do not look pretty. I have on the same clothes I wore to the funeral yesterday.. And FYI this is NOT a 'little 'ole tooth' is a major source of PERPLEXITY, CONFUSION, and CHAOS! And I think that is semi-Biblical! And another thing... never tell a frightened to the point of wetting ones self that the doctor is anxious to get started. I do not want the doctor who is going exploring in the tiny crevices of my mouth with huge machines that have drilling bits on them and scary noises, to be anxious. I prefer him to be a tad on the cautious side, if you don't mind. Slow and sure." Unfortunately, she had left the room and didn't get to hear all my advice.

"YES,MAM, He's sure ready for you!" I had to hold my own hands to keep from slapping her as I went by. OH! JOY! HERE'S THE BARELY OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL LOOKING DOCTOR! Bounding into the room, all happy like and OBVIOUSLY excited to begin his adventure for the day. First he shows me the x-ray I brought from my dentist. "Oh, I can surely see why she sent you to me. This is going to be a tough one!" STOP. RIGHT. THERE. What is wrong with these people? Have they never gone to the 'ALLEVIATING PATIENT FEARS' Conference? They surely would have learned that you never tell everything you know, because this could cause a PERPLEXED, CONFUSED, and CHAOTIC patient to have an episode of some kind that would not be a pretty way to start the day. It could even involve the holding of legs up in the air, or using said legs to run fleeing from the building...spit bib flowing in the wind. Then he proceeds to show me the new x-ray he just made and said again (in case I had not died dead away the first time)" this one is going to take quite a bit of work. Look...this root has 4...4!...branches and top of the branches have died so I am going to have to try to find them in there. Here let me give you a shot or two, and we'll get started." After the 3 shots, I asked him to give me 3 more just to be on the safe side. He laughed...a little maniacally, I think. Then he said, "I am not going to give you a shot in the roof of your mouth, because they really, really hurt. I just don't like to do that if I don't have to. But, you just let me know if you feel anything and I'll fix you right up." He. really. said. that. He then proceeds to try to stuff a raincoat down my throat, but it just will not stay. So he says, "Looks like I'm gonna need to give you one more the gum...on the other side of the tooth...right next to the roof of your mouth." "Hold up, I say. You just told me how painful that it really necessary?" "I"m afraid so, but, don't worry, I'll just use the medium size needle instead of the large one."
"Oh, you are just too kind." They will need to replace those armrests on their chair before the next patient comes in. I RIPPED THEM OFF!!!

Such began my hour and a half in the torture chair. I really did not feel any pain while he was doing the actual procedure. And he did seem to be fairly efficient. But, he and his partner in crime...the young Felicia talked throughout the whole thing. But, not so I could hear them...low enough that I was straining to hear what they were saying. I could only catch a few words now and them: swimming pool, bigger drill, starting to school, another pick, football game, that big drill again... They missed the RUDE TO YOUR PATIENT CONFERENCE, too. The last thing he said, while he was still playing war in my mouth was," Let me hit that another few times just to make sure..." "Come on Doc, hit me a few times...I know a leg lift trick that just might surprise you.

When he felt like his team had won, he showed me the newest x-ray of what he had just done. I don't know what it was supposed to look like...BUT it looked like 4 tiny daggers were deep inside that tooth. What a sweet visual. "Here's a prescription for some may not need it. I don't think you'll be in pain...but you will be really sore...actually the whole side of your face will feel like a bad bruise." I pay, and try to to smile and be gracious and not put duct tape over Felicia's mouth, and escape to my car. "OH JESUS, I am indeed PERPLEXED, CONFUSED, and CHAOTIC. I thank You for leading that doctor to give me a prescription of Lortab. I thank you that I did not make a complete fool of myself. I thank you for not having to hold my legs up in the air and count. I thank you for keeping me from doing bodily harm to Felicia. And, now , please help me drive to the store to get the drugs and get home. Amen" And He did. And I have stayed there most of the day. I got up to eat a banana and fill you guys in, cause I know you wouldn't be able to sleep until you heard the 'rest of the story'.

LOOK! It is time for another Lortab! Good-nite!

TUESDAY...of the last week of summer vacation - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


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Monday, August 6, 2007

MONDAY...of the last week of summer vacation...

This morning we attended the funeral of a young man,45 years, who died on Friday. He was sick for a short time with bladder cancer, and was in much, much pain through out his ordeal. He had buried his first wife 20 years ago, and was left with 1 daughter. He met and married a girl in our church 18 years ago with 1 daughter from her first marriage. Then together, they had a daughter. The whole extended families are in our church also. I have known him all my life. His uncle did part of the service and our pastor did another part. His wife said that this was not a funeral, but a celebration of his life. And, it was. One of the last things Mart said was, "I'm not afraid to die, I'm just afraid I might not have done everything the Lord wanted me to while I was here." Friends, that is a sermon in itself, isn't it? Cindy asked the pastor to be sure and give the plan of salvation in the service, so that anyone who may be there and did not know Christ, would have the opportunity today. What a testimony to the love and strength of God. He WILL give strength to those who need it...and His strength is enough.

Alex had a particularlly bad night last I was up with him for 5 or 6 hours. So, today, I'm a little weary. And guess who woke me up this morning? Felicia (she of the high pitched and cutesy voice) calling me to remind me of my appointment with the D-man in the morning. And did I need to know the charges since I did not have insurance and did I have any questions. HUH!!!! "Yes, Felicia (of the annoying cutesy voice) I am aware of my appointment. I have been aware of DOOMSDAY since the beginning of June. It has been like a cloud of scary hanging over me everywhere I have been this summer...I thought about it on the beaches in Maui, I thought about on the beaches in Destin, I thought about it as I've sat in church, I thought about it as I have visited in Birmingham...I know when it is!!!!
And, I do not have any questions...they will all be asked when I get how many shots of novacaine can I have?" No, I didn't really say that...I just said,"I'll see you in the morning."

Don left this afternoon for Colorado. He is going on a big motorcycle ride out there. This is an invited only type of ride. It is through the-------------Mountains. I confess I do not remember what mountains he said it was.....because I was thinking of Felicia and her wake-up call! And I do not know geography very well, either. All we teach of geography at MY school is learning the name of our town. So please send a prayer up for his safety as he rides.

And this would probably be a good time for y'all to get down on your knees and start the petitions to our Heavenly Father for this big 'ole scaredy cat. You may need to throw one in there for Felicia....cause I'm sure I am NOT going to be in the mood to hear her in my time of distress.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


ALMOST GONE! Summer, that is. My summer vacation, I should say. I have just one week left before I get back into the routine that structures my life 9 months out of the year. I always feel, at the end of May, that I have a l-o-n-g summer ahead of me. Lazy days just waiting to be filled with one whim or another. Days to do just as I please, and nothing more. Then August rolls around and I wonder where the days went, and what did I fill them with. Of course, this summer I spent 8 wonderful days in Maui with my 2 BFF. And I spent another 7 days at the beach in Florida with my sweet family. I tell you this friends, my soul comes alive at the beach...whatever the state. So, I have been richly blessed this summer...and I know it. BUT...I still am not ready to move into the "school year."
My last week...hmmm, this is how it's going to go. Monday, I have a funeral to attend for a young man in our church, And Tuesday....DUM DA DUM's D-Day again. But this time, I have to go to an endodontist for the root canal on that tooth that started out my summer on a sour note. Oh, pray for me sisters. I have to be there at 8:45. Don is leaving tomorrow for Arizona for the week, so it will just be Alex and Scooter and I. On Wednesday night, I have part in a program at church. That leaves me Thursday and Friday. Saturday, I have a decorating job to finish up. Then Sunday, and Monday's off to work. And, it will be so good to see my friends who I teach with and then to see my children again the next week. I think that what I have described is the feeling of 'ambivalence'. I dread ending the summer, but I look forward to the starting of school. I dread getting back into a routine, but I really do get more accomplished when I am. I dread fixing up my classroom for the year, but I love it when I see those sweet faces come to class. Oh, well it's coming, whether I like it or not. So, I might as well like it....but only after Tuesday...I'm not going to like anything until Tuesday is over!

Friday, August 3, 2007


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens
Here is a new statue that was placed at the rear entrance to our new preschool building at church. This statue and the one following were given to the church by an anonomyous donor. Obviously someone who loves children very much. Maybe someone who has 5 grandchildren......anyway. they are beautiful. I enlisted the help of my friend Bill to get this one moved into place. This is a new little tree, and my hope is that the tree will grow around it and eventually it will look as if the swing is in the tree. Of course, it's God's tree and He can shape it any way He wants, but maybe He will like my plan. Of course, I will have to move some of those plants around the little boy, cause I really do not believe he's gonna grow any taller...even if I do pray about it. :)


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens
This is a photo of the new fountain that was placed in front of our new preschool building at my church. I think it is so fitting for the space.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


My friend, Jean, asked me about how the baskets were used. I e-mailed my cousin, Lisa, who know everything there is to know about anything that happens on a farm. She's just amazing! She raises these teeny, tiny little horses now. So cute. Anyway, she said this,"the baskets were used to stack tobacco on. The farmer carried the sticks of tobacco to the market. When they got there, they took the bundles of tobacco off the sticks and stacked it on the baskets to be sold. The baskets actually belonged to the tobacco market." Just thinking of this has brought back so many fond memories.

I used to spend a good bit of time every summer in NC. I had several uncles who were tobacco farmers. I can remember getting up early with my Uncle Arthur Lee. He would let me go with him to pick up the "hands" which is what they called the workers. He would buy me a pack of crackers and a coke at the store for breakfast. I always thought I was getting away with something when I had that! :) All the hands would get into the back of his pick-up truck and off we would go to the fields. Now, my Uncle Arthur Lee was larger than life in my eyes. I adored him. He would "give me a job to do"...which I am sure of now , amounted to keeping me out of the way of those doing the real work. But, he made me feel like it was a very necessary task. He even paid me. We would take a break around 10:00 or so, and go back to the same store for another coke (every soft drink was a coke) and pack of crackers. Back to the fields to work till lunch. Then, we would take all the hands somewhere for lunch and me and Uncle Arthur would go home to a dinner fit for this hard working team. It was always amazing the amount of food that was prepared for lunch every day. And always these huge biscuits. The cook was either my Aunt Marie of my Granny Merritt who lived next door. Oh, the amount of food my Uncle Arthur and his son Harry could put away. And the tea... they always had the biggest glasses I had ever seen. And they would have them filled 2 or 3 times. After lunch, they maybe would talk for a few minutes...then it was time to go gather the hands and get back to work. It was about this time that I looked for an excuse to stay at the house. Sometimes it worked, sometimes, it didn't. I can remember my Uncle saying to me one day as I was trying to escape the work of the afternoon, "You said you were going to work, and that's what you are going to do. You have a job to do and you are going to do it. Don't be telling me you want to work and then quit when it gets too hot. Use those lily white hands to do something." You better believe I marched my little self to the truck with nary another word. And I did my work...without complaining. He always tried to sound tough and gruff about things like that...but he was just an old softie! I sure do miss him. He died from lung cancer years ago, but I hold him near and dear to me in my heart still.

I remember little bits of the tobacco work. I know the workers sat on the back of combines as they travelled down the rows of tobacco. They would pick some of the leaves and lay them across the sticks...first one way and then another. It was tied on with string, I think. So that there would be tobacco hanging down on both sides of the stick. These were then hung in the barns to cure. They had heaters in there and we would have to go check the barns several times a day to be sure all was well. I can still remember the smell when you would open the doors to the barn where it was curing.

My Mom said that when she was a little girl, she and her brother and sisters would take turns staying in the barns at night with their daddy. I think they had fires then. She said that is one of one of her dearest memories. They would pick ears of corn from the fields as they went and roast them in the fire.

These are people who are so dear to me. Uncle Arthur Lee lives with Jesus, and Aunt Marie, his wife, is the one who helped us so much with Ian. She is an angel in my eyes. My Aunt Evelyn, who I have always though was so beautiful, is such a sweetheart, and my Uncle Charles is just a crazy old man!:) He's always cutting up, and playing, but he is a dear soul. They have 2 kids, Chris and Lisa. Lisa, is the go to girl for info on anything farm related. And Chris still does some farming, I think. As a matter of fact...The folks at GAP came down to Chris's fields several years ago to film one of their national TV commercials. My Uncle Jefferson was a chicken farmer...he had about a million or so. And his wife Aunt Della Mae...such a sweet lady. There was also Uncle Elwood who ran a little country store...the kind where the hands would go to eat b'fast or lunch, and his wife Betty. Oh and lots of other cousins:Kaye, Tony, Jeannie, Kim, Debbie, Cheryl Lynn, Woody. And now they all have kids of their own.

Family...what an all encompassing word. How blessed I have been to have only sweet memories when I hear that word and when I think back on my childhood. I realize how fortunate I have been. I can see the wisdom of my parents encouraging my sister and I to spend part of our summers there, in another world from the one we lived in in Alabama. Learning a different way of life, not better or worse...just different. I believe that all the things we experience in our lives help to mold us into who we are today. And the lessons we learn from people along the way go into our storehouse of memories to remind us of who and what we should strive for in this world.

"Thanks for the lessons...and the memories"

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens
This is one of the treasures that hangs in my sun room. It is an actual tobacco basket from my uncle's farm in North Carolina. It is even stencilled with the name of the town. This one was actually used, and shows its wear and tear. Now that so much is automated, they don't use these, and they are getting harder to find. I hung this little sign I made on it to remind me to go the extra mile.