Seeing Family and Fun Times on the Square in Columbia, TN

George fixed a fine meal Saturday night of pork chops, sauteed spinach with pine nuts and potatoes and corn. It was all so good.

The spinach is one of my favorites that we took away from a show called “Spain….On the Road Again” that had Gweneth Paltrow in it. It calls for the spinach to be sauteed in a really good EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, pine nuts added and a bit of fresh lemon juice which along with the olive oil and pine nuts make a great taste! And the pork chops were pretty tasty too.

Saturday afternoon/evening I was able to get started on the next video. Being that I cleaned most of the week and finished it Saturday morning put me in an excellent position to play with that this weekend. So great progress made. I do need to film a little segment for the “value added” portion, sometime this week or weekend. But I should be able to finish the video by the end of the weekend.

Around 11:00 yesterday I quit working on the video as we were meeting my Aunt and Uncle and Mom in Columbia. George had to stop at a gun store on the way to get a gun repaired. So we gave ourselves an extra hour an a half but it did not take very long at all. So we headed on down to Columbia and hung out on the square until our reservation time after driving around a bit.

George was excited to see places he never sees. We are always sitting on the sofa on our devices, all of us, including Mom, so while he has been to Columbia numerous times, he’s never been shopping there. He saw a gun store, and outdoor store, a baby shop, and he said “we are going to have to come back here and shop some day”. So, it’s really nice to have a hubby that likes to cook and shop! 😀

We drove around one of the local parks near the shop. I remember this area mainly as a ball park in my days growing up. And I believe the ball parks are still around that area.

Here is the court house taken through the car window. I have a video shot of it but will save that for the 3rd video or so coming down the pike. (I actually have enough footage to be several videos out now with all the Texas trip and now this outing). I kinda like that. And hope to get in a regular rhythm soon but I have to stop and figure out a few things about storage and back ups and my security system is about to be outdated with the new updates coming to Mac – so will have a brief interruption to get all that figured out. But back to Columbia…..

I guess I failed to say that this is my hometown of Columbia, TN. I grew up here. It is a quaint little town for the most part. The square area was not really where any of us hung out though back then. It was mainly open Monday through Saturday and you went only if you had business there. It is much the same today but there are more restaurants and even tap rooms and breweries and ice cream shops all about the area now. Back then beer was only drank at places everyone called “honky tonks” and quite frankly it was looked down upon. Now the breweries are like coffee shops all across America and a place for gathering like coffee, not a night club.

Excuse me for saying it but isn’t “honky tonk” considered a racial term now? I mean if we choose to be politically correct? lol. I guess I can say that word as there is a restaurant in Nashville actually called that in name. George says that the term “honky tonk” collectively is not as it’s meaning is a beer joint, lol. I beg to differ. Because “honky” is what a black person has called a white person for years, among other names. And if we were to tack on certain titles to the word “tonk” it would not fly. So I think I will take offense then to the “honky tonk” term. I am just making a point. I really don’t care who calls what or what calls who. But anyway all that to say that it was quite different back then.

While I’m on the subject of race here and speaking of past history. And in doing some research on line, I verified that there was a business district that was a black business district on a hill in the offshoot streets from the square. It was known as the “Mink Slide”. Don’t worry, it’s NOT my term, so don’t get mad at me, but apparently an official term that is in the history pages of that area. I was told growing up not to use the term in case it offended someone but in the realm of history since it was actually called that, I will mention that here only.

I’ll continue sharing some pics from the square. Then I need to get ready and head to work!

We went to the Taps on Main while walking around and had a C’Zanne’s while waiting for time for reservations at Puckett’s. Here it is below.

George and Uncle Ken took interest in this cool old car parked on the square. Got a pic of Mom and Aunt Martha here as we walked in to Pucketts.

George may have forgotten how to wear his mask! It was sooooo good to see everyone and to be able to eat out again with everyone.

We were incredibly full but we still had some Hattie Jane’s ice cream after.

What a wonderful day! A wonderful time with family. It was good time to go at 2:30 as we missed lunch and evening crowds. We will have to keep that in mind!

OK I’ve got to get ready and get to work. I’m almost caught up but have a few things I need to do today before the next payroll run. And after work I’m fixing chili. I have been craving it for a while. I crave it in August and also again in October – every year. I’ve not had many cravings this year but I think now it is more of a habit. Anyway it’s spicy so it will have some flavor and taste good!

A Blog Post About Nothing or is it About Something? You decide.

When I got up this morning and realized payroll is over I get to blog this morning, I thought Oh I have nothing to say really. But how many years have I been doing this? On the mornings when I have nothing to say, usually outpours my most deepest thoughts. That can be good or bad. lol. But it is what it is, my thoughts.

Now that I am over 50 and can’t remember anything from two days ago – lol, I often have to look at my photos to see what happened. I always take pics of things that are special to me. Looking back, not much happened in the last two days in my world.

A friend gave me a mask and it’s my favorite one yet. It doesn’t smash in my nose. It meets the protocol. Absolutely love it. Always make friends with people with sewing machines. ha. I’m just kidding. She was my friend/coworker first. But she came in with a pile of masks, having had fun with her new sewing machine. I wish I had become a sewer. But I became a blogger instead with my spare time. I think that is why I always want more time off is because I have a lot of creative energies that don’t get expressed. I would have a lot of hobbies if I could. I already do. But sewing never got flourished b/c of the time factor and probably the expense of having to buy a sewing machine worth having. But, I’ll take blogging. Anyway, I’m grateful for my friend giving me a new mask. If she will make more, I’ll buy some! 😉

But honestly in my opinion, I kinda think our world is moving fast out of the “Rona” as the young ones call it. I am seeing more and more without masks, just giving it up. Of course at work we are all OVER the mask thing, but of course it is required. I don’t mind wearing it to protect each other though. But yeah, we are kinda tired of it.

And yesterday, only having about 1/2 of a night’s sleep (which is never enough for my persona), I was very frustrated with the world. I am not sure that anyone but George knew of my struggles but I had just about had it with the world. I guess I should be happy that it waited til I hadn’t had enough sleep as others who have had enough sleep were already agitated with the world. I think that just about 3/4 of the people I had conversations with yesterday were agitated about this or that.

But me having not very much sleep, and on a payroll day, I just had to duck into my role and get it done the best I could. And not focus on the rest of the the earth. I just held everyone, including myself, up in prayer.

I’m sick of this year, I’m sick of Rona, I’m sick of all the racism (I’m not racist by saying that – do I really have to say that? This is mainly what I’m tired of!!!!!!!!!). I’m sick of politics. I’m sick of the weather. I’m sick of the floors at home. I’m sick of everything.

I know that is not the “….Tude” to have. But it is how my persona works. I like to fix life and I want it to be better. And for it to be better you have to recognize and state there is a problem. And when you state there is a problem, people think you are complaining. So it’s just best sometimes to just: ignore the Rona news, ignore the political news, ignore all the racial tension and judgement and false accusations, and just enjoy the weather whatever it brings.

We didn’t get much from Cristobal. Matter of fact most of our prewarned broadcasts never happen. The ones that they don’t focus on, spins up tornadoes. So you never know what to believe. I choose to just do my own weather forecasting, lol. Mainly by looking at the radar and wind energies and temps. Nothing wrong with seeing a black cloud coming and saying “hey it’s gonna storm!” With no warnings at all, this one had me wondering yesterday. This cloud was moving and heaving and I watched it as I was concerned it would blow up into a cyclone of sorts but the wind energy from the system had mainly puffed itself out.

I had to drink some serious coffee to get through the day on top of an e+shot.

I also knew not to push myself into getting a lot accomplished at home the last two days. I did nothing but work on getting my emails down, reading a few blogs for pleasure, and supporting my fellow bloggers.

Mom told me she had posted some pics from long ago. I think I’d seen them at some point but so glad she posted them digitally. Now they are mine too.

This is my grandfather, Chesley who my grandmother and several called “Chet”. I really miss him. This is my Mom in his hands. And my Aunt standing by his side. I wonder where it was taken. I think it might be in front of the house on the sidewalk on Dimple Court in Columbia TN where their house was at the time.

Here is my grandmother who I called “Nanny”. And my Mom. And what was the dogs name? Someone in the family will have to tell me.

And I think this was at the house on Dimple Court? It sure looks like it. Spent a lot of hours in that house. Nanny was the best housekeeper and an excellent cook.

Here is my Aunt Martha and Mom (left to right). And what dog is that? Ya’ll (Mom and Aunt Martha are gonna have to tell me). Was that Butch? Wasn’t there a dog named Butch?

I think that is the next door neighbor’s house you see behind them. Looks like they both want to hold the dog.

This is my great great grandfather. Was that Nanny’s father or grandfather? Or grandaddy’s father or grandfather? Who are they holding? Is that Momma? My family is going to have to tell me.

Aunt Martha will tell me as she reads my blog. She often comments as cocosmom on here.

Oh I did a post on Facebook yesterday or was it the day before – to just mainly have everyone remind themselves about judging others and not letting God have that – without just expressly stating it as you get raked over the coals when you even mention unity or that God loves us all. Is that real? Yes it is. So – A lot of people read The Shack. And a lot of people needed to be reminded about God’s love, forgiveness, and judging others. God nudged me to do this post.

I simply posted asking if anyone had read it and what their take away was and what would someone miss if they didn’t read it. I had overwhelming responses. Not everyone said what they got out of it or didn’t. I only really had one negative response. Everyone else said they loved it, either the book or the movie, and some gave reasons I was looking for. If the world could just stop and read this book right now with all that is going on, we’d all be in a better place. No one needs to be mistreated, everyone needs love, everyone can improve, we all need healing and it’s no ones place to judge another’s heart. I won’t accept or allow anyone to judge mine. I will tell you in a heartbeat that is not your job. I draw boundaries. No one knows my heart better than God. And I won’t be told to shush about everyone loving one another and about how we are all important in God’s site. That is just wrong.

Well it’s time for me to go to work. Payroll is done of course and I have to stuff checks for our TN plant and work on taxes. I received a milestone badge from wordpress having made 200 posts on the blog.

Ya’ll have a good day!

Work Dreams, Buy-Outs, Night Outs, and Geeky To Do’s!

Well, I’m loving this weekend! It’s been a great relaxing time. Kinda of a geeky unwinding as we near the end of our extended “hibernation” period. Past Valentine’s Day, and looking toward spring – although no where near it yet, it does begin to feel like life will emerge soon! We’ll be headed into March before long and will have more warmer days here and there, more flowers, and….more plans. The year will fill up fast, if not already getting there.

Having been able to sleep in to 6:30 or 7 instead of the 4 o’clock weekday traumatizing awakening – it’s been great to just sleep in, but on the other hand, you DO lose a bit of time. I’ll take the sleep as it makes me catch up from the loss of it during the week.

Waking up later makes you dream as you are likely to wake up during the dream and can remember it. Last night I dreamed that our work went out of business. And in during the last days of the business we had to volunteer (lol) instead of get paid and we had to move to a church to finish out the work. There were only a few that volunteered (why would anyone do this, lol?). Anyway I remember in the last days George and I (not sure why he was volunteering too) we had to move out the last of the belongings from the church pulpit, as directed by our big boss. (Yes this is weird.). I woke up as I thinking – what are we going to do with all this stuff, where is it going to go and why am I here doing this and where is everyone else? Oh well. Glad again to wake up and find I’m not moving office furniture from a pulpit, and I’m still very much employed. I do know we dream about our fears and also I do know that I have been a part of how many company buy outs now? Let’s see – oh let me count the ways and give my age, lol. In it each time, God took excellent care of me:

  • Cain Sloan was bought by Dillards. I worked downtown, that store was closed and a position opened up in Green Hills for me and it was where I met my spouse. Oh that is a story in itself. Best to not go there. Interesting times to say the least.
  • Cyanede Plastics – I left Dillards in search of better pay as I was “topped out” in that range and that was unacceptable to me – a new boss that didn’t know me was not going to fight for a raise for me like the old one- so off I fled for a better position encouraged by my Dad who said manufacturing held more opportunity – no weekends and better pay. No sooner than a month after landing that position I learned it was being bought by Atlantis Plastics. I learned a lot about manufacturing, safety, and hiring, and exploring the field of HR instead of “personnel”. But Atlantis Plastics closed the Nashville plant about 2 to 3 years in.
  • I went to Atlantic Envelope pretty much before the end of Atlantis Plastics. Both home offices had been in Atlanta so travel began entering my world, my HR experience expanded exponentially as I had worked under the best VP of HR EVER, a lady named Nancy who taught me so much and showed me that I didn’t have to be like everyone else to be successful, that I brought unique skills and unique ways of looking at things to the team. I mention that because I was always comparing myself to others. But I had to learn that it’s ok to be different. That said, about 3 years or so into that – there were changes. We were sold and we were bought out by a guy that bought companies and sold them. We knew we were in for a ride. I knew it was kindof a joke when the owner drove up in a jeep without any kind of license plate on it, and asked us to improve the business by “googling” our way through it. He knew nothing of running an envelope company and was having to do that himself I guess. I believe after that we were sold to another investment firm and then eventually sold to National Envelope which gave us several more years. An interesting survivor story from the holocaust, owner William Unger (his story and book was incredible) we were proud to be a part of our new owner. However, Mr. Unger at the end of his life, retired and his daughters took over the company. The envelope industry became very competitive in an age when internet communication was taking over, and companies like Fed Ex and UPS began using alternative materials like plastic and cardboard instead of Tyvek to do their shipping. National Envelope, unable to keep up with trends, and unable to maintain costs, went bankrupt. Arising from bankruptcy in a remodel circumstance, our plant with its loss of business from Fed Ex, was closed.
  • So on to my current facility which shall remain nameless and since I’m employed there still will not discuss company business. However no company remains exempt from the perils of the normal business world. Change can and does and will happen.

“Job Security is a thing of the past” is something that you often hear people say. I think that is a mistake to allow oneself to think like that. We have often placed ourselves at the mercy and power of our companies and not enough belief in ourselves. Read just about any modern day business book or personal self help book and the mindset of being able to market yourself and your own brand – is key. So regardless of the dreams one wakes up to find, and the scariness of the situation of the end of a job era – one must realize – it’s happened before and likely will happen again. Change is enevitable. God sees us through.

I didn’t even mention what George just went through with Gibson’s bankruptcy and the ousting of all the older crew there – we just cannot escape it – it seems regardless of the size of company or circumstances. However, it’s scary to go through it because we are always afraid of the unknown, but we do need to have faith in ourselves and God. So….dream on. lol

You never know where this blog will go. lol

Well, I have a hair cut coming on and you know I’ve been undecided as to what to do. But all in all – there was really only one or two weeks where I didn’t like my hair. It was a shock at first. But even when I didn’t like it – what I DID like was getting up and not having to do anything much to it. And I began to like it. 😉 So in a couple of weeks I have an appointment and I’m going to go let her cut it again like she did before only maybe not so short. Even if she does, it’ll grow out. I kinda want to let it grow but really I think I have to keep getting it cut short til the color grows out as I’m letting my original hair shine through. I had said I’d wait til 60 but I’m not wanting to put the chemicals in my body anymore. So I’ll keep it short for while longer and then let it grow to bob status again when all the color is gone, unless I decide not to.

Yesterday I had to laugh at the following. I pop in on this family from time to time as I do several places that are my favorites. I snapped this b/c I was thinking this guy was funny in his house shoes. I can’t for the life of me imagine that this family knows they are on line. But anyway. Here ya go. I mean is he not in his underwear? lol. It’s the shoes that got my attention.

So the day went fast yesterday and before we knew it – it was time to go out. We went to Southern Grist, which has very weird and hazy beer – but then not so much. Any I have ever had, I’ve liked there.

We met my BIL and SIL there, Kevin and Susan. And then we all headed over to Nicky’s Coal Fired (same parking lot) where we had dinner reservations.

We ordered an array of appetizers, pasta dishes, and a pizza for the table and did family style so we could taste a little of everything. It was wonderful.

And then we did dessert and espresso.

Grand time had by all.

While there, Susan and I figured out we would throw a double shower for two in our extended family that are having babies! I wanted to do something for Ellen and Justin (Justin is Kevin and Susan’s son and Ellen, Justin’s wife). I was entertaining the thought of how to do a shower for Ellen (who is in the Knoxville area) and Susan had wanted to do a shower for one of the cousins, so we decided to pool together and have the family in (at my house) for June 20th for a double shower – making it easier on the family to come together all at once. So we have a project to work on and I’m glad to team up with someone. Now we can get together in planning mode and decide how to do it – themes, address lists, invitations, food, etc. Looking forward to it. And Susan and I get some girl time in planning. We can meet for coffee or a beer and get our thoughts together.

Here’s a funny for ya. Made me laugh. Something to pull when you have to wait in line:

Yesterday, I bit the bullet and downloaded Pixelmator for the iMac. I did a couple of YouTubes on it to learn about it. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do a lot of making graphics with it using the graphic files. But you can take photos and put text on it and change photos and do frames and it has most of the tools that PSP (Paint Shop Pro) has. Almost the same. I’m just not sure if it will take my PSP type of files. I’ll check it out though and see if it will do the tubes. I really don’t do much of that anymore anyway. I mostly just like to make blog toppers and logos and things and I can still do that. Heck I really don’t even use blog toppers anymore with the current blog. I kinda want to change the way the blog looks but I’m scared to. It took so long to get this one going I’m afraid I’ll mess it up if I change. The problem is that I don’t have a large chunk of time anymore of my own except for a bit on the weekends. lol But I’d like one that you could decorate with the seasons. I miss that. But I like WordPress a whole lot better than Blogger and I get more comments from you guys which really make my day!

Today I also went in and redeemed my Audible card – I think it was my SIL gave me. At first it didn’t want to accept the code. George even watched me enter it correctly. I was about to give up and decided to try one more time and it finally took. So I spent the morning joyfully picking out three more books. They are: Michael Pollan’s “Cooked”, Tightwads on the Loose by Wendy Hinman about a family sailing around out there in the Pacific, and Thomas Sims, “On Call in the Arctic” about a doctor who is called to practice there. Can’t wait. I have several other books in the waiting on the wait list since I found several. So this was on my list and I just needed some time to sort through and find ones that appeal to me. I love the adventures and the biographies. I also kinda picked by buying the more pricey ones with the three credits this card gave me. You get more for your money with Audible versus buying a real book. I think I got three for the price one hardback book would have been. Looking forward to my commute and my ironing time now. 😉

While in there I researched how to delete my former books from audible. I don’t want the ones I’ve read crowding up my library. I’m weird like that. And it doesn’t appear you can share with anyone unless they are in your family on the family plan but they have to have audible themselves. So I just deleted them. I won’t ever listen to them again. Life’s too short. Too many books out there.

So, today I need to go to the store so I’m prepared for the week. And then I need to spruce up a bit and do some more laundry. It’s totally been a weekend of relaxing. I need to wrap our gifts for Christmas with the Irelands and “French nite” – still two weeks away. Going to spend next weekend with Mom though – well Friday night and will head home around lunch time or afternoon Saturday so I have half the weekend to do something. I need to gather my ID’s for the new license thing and try to get that done. I hear it’s really busy with everyone getting their upgrades but I want to get it done soon so I can get it out of my mind. I plan to maybe go at an odd time and do it – like mid morning or mid afternoon and just take an early or late lunch. If it takes two hours – so what – when you think of the time I’ve worked over. I also want to go to Hobby Lobby but that won’t be today! I need to finish getting my phone pics saved on my iMac soon so I can take more pics in Tulsa next month. Need to clear out my phone. Also have some shows to watch. And all kinds of fun stuff to do on my to do list. I love it when I get down to the good stuff.

The good stuff is all the geeky stuff – non responsibility stuff – learning, playing, creating, planning, watching, writing, researching. I geek out on this stuff.

So enough for today. I can’t write away my day! Gotta go be a bit responsible for a little while. What you all doing today?