Today was a little bit of a rough day. I had two different friends talk to me about what has been on my heart and I could not feel more blessed to have their counsel. Sometimes when you ask for prayer in one area...the devil goes around poking for another soft spot.
Anyway, here's the next list. This one was one of my favorites. Since I need a wee bit of a boost today...here it is!
81. SEC Football
Every Saturday during football season in the Fall, and any other time that there's a game on...I'm so there. I love SEC Football the way people up north love professional football. Specifically, I am a University of Alabama fan...but I also love Auburn and watch Georgia and at least one other team every year...usually Florida, Arkansas, or South Carolina. I detest LSU (sorry, William) and Tennessee, and I don't get all hyped up about the Mississippi teams or Vanderbilt. Unless, of course, they are playing any team outside the SEC.
Except Penn State. I have family there, and I give them an exemption. (RIP JoePa.)
I mean...even Dixie and Rebel give them an exemption...
|Rebel and Dixie...ROLL TIDE!|
|Jill with JoePa|
|Penn State attire courtesy of my cousin, Jan|
Sad but true.
One of my favorite "road trip" foods is Skittles. I love the original (red) and the purple bags the best...although I will scarf down the blue bag and even the chocolate ones.
Yes, I did say "chocolate." The only problem I had with them was that they all tasted the same.
Skittles aren't all one flavor...they are a "rainbow of flavors" and the main bag has red, orange, purple, green and yellow ones. I know this...because I'm OCD enough to empty the bag and then eat them according to color.
I know. I'm a bit of a snob about it, too.
In my hierarchy...red is the king, purple is the queen, and the rest of the them are just...whatever. But in the end...all are "retired" so to speak.
Okay, sorry...because they are like 100% sugar...they are on the "no-fly" list...but I did enjoy dreaming...
83. Third Day
Several years ago, I hopped a bus with the youth group at my church (Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church) and went to hear Third Day with Michael Smith and Max Lucado. Since this was technically a three-fer for me...I had no problem with three hours (or whatever it was) down there and three hours back for a two hour concert. I mean...Big Dave and I have driven 3 1/2 hours to the beach, fried ourselves (okay, just me), and driven 3 1/2 hours back in a day when we were newlyweds.
It was worth it.
Totally worth it.
First of all, Mac Powell, the lead singer for Third Day, can sing. Really sing. Not engineered in a studio...but live...he sounds just as great as he does on the CDs that I listened to on road trips (and sang to...)
See? Acoustic versions don't lie. :)
But this one is my favorite...
84. Christmas Lane
In my hometown of Thomaston, Georgia, each Christmas becomes a lights-fest of sorts. It started years ago when one family started putting out a life-sized Santa (his head even turned) and lit up their yard in a big way.
Soon, the entire neighborhood followed suit, and it became a magical place to drive down and see the sights. In fact, my sister made a trip to Thomaston this year so that her children could ride down Christmas Lane.
I'm sure that my friends who live with this for months every month would beg to differ...but down South we don't see snow very often. Usually at some point in time each winter, there will be talk of snow and we will all take off and buy milk and bread.
The annoying thing with snow in the South is that A) the power inevitably goes out, B) nobody knows whether to show up to work or not and C) we don't know how to drive in it.
But when it snows...and the power actually stays on...it is SO much fun. Of course, it never lasts...but frankly, that's okay too.
86. People Who Give Practical Gifts
Although I strive to be one of these people...sometimes I tend to miss the mark. I'm likely to give something that is more sentimental than practical, and people don't exactly know what to do with it. I've learned through the years to give things that can be consumed...like restaurant gift cards, stationary, or food. And folks seem to appreciate not receiving their eighth Snuggie or a statue of a skating pig that I thought was "cute." Of course, that didn't really happen...me purchasing the skating pig.
I was the RECIPIENT of the skating pig. Dirty Santa. Boo.
My sister-in-law, Melanie (who is technically not my sister-in-law anymore...but I have never been one for technicalities) gives the best gifts. She will find something practical that you can use and will get it for you. Sometimes she can even give you a gift that you didn't even know you wanted until you open it and are delighted. She's that good.
The older I get the less "stuff" I need...and the more I am into "shared experiences" like going out for a movie or dinner with friends. But every so often, I really love it when someone gives me a truly practical gift that just hits the mark...like my friend, Carrie, did last year when she gave me a gallon of Chick-fil-A diet lemonade. Rock on.
Tonight we received a wedding invitation for a sweet couple that is getting married next month. The envelope is vanilla and is hand addressed in beautiful calligraphy. Wow.
When something is done in calligraphy it says "this is special" in a way that few things can. I am in awe of the perfection that this particular calligrapher employed and I'll be back to practicing again very soon.
I love doing calligraphy and I'm continuing to practice to keep getting better. After all...nothing says "this is special..." like a hand lettered envelope, right?
88. East of Eden
In the very earliest days of cable television, Ted Turner's Atlanta cable station WTBS, was available to us in Thomaston. Each Sunday, they would run an old movie and I started watching these intently. It was through this that I was introduced to many classic movies...and I'm not even remotely surprised that Turner Classic Movies (TCM) exists today.
One Sunday, I was watching and "East of Eden" with James Dean came on. I was all into the story...which is a modern interpretation of the Cain and Abel story. It was based on a book written by John Steinbeck of the same name and covered two generations rather than the one that was shown in the movie.
"East of Eden" was James Dean's first movie...before "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant." Most people don't realize that he only made three movies before he died in a car accident. But boy, did he make a mark. In "East of Eden" he played Cal...who was the modern version of Cain and Julie Harris played the girl, Abra, who was torn between the two brothers Cal and Aron.
At least Steinbeck kept the names consistent with the whole "C" and "A" theme so it was easy to keep up. That and the fact that the father's name was Adam.
I'm not kidding.
Anyway, I loved the movie...and I went and found the book. I wasn't disappointed at all...and ended up reading it several times through the years. It's thick...but it's good. Several years ago, someone got the idea to do a mini-series and cover the entire book. Jane Seymour was in that one. I saw it too...and loved it.
89. Maya Angelou
Several years ago I was watching Oprah for some inexplicable reason, and I saw Maya Angelou on there reciting her poem "Phenomenal Woman." I remember thinking to myself..."Whoa." I've enjoyed reading the books that she has written about her life and what has inspired her to write. She is my favorite poet...and I even "follow" her on Facebook. Yeah, I'm cool like that.
Here's another favorite...
Here's a little history I found on YouTube...it is only four minutes long...so enjoy...
She is a phenomenal woman. Indeed.
90. British Accents
Call me just-like-everyone-I-know...but I love to hear someone with a British accent speak. I realize that our Southern accents are somewhat charming...but a British accent? Off the charts awesome. Think Jude Law in "The Holiday." Yes. Just Yes.
Thanks for reading tonight...as always...and for the support you've given me for the past several weeks as I've tried to keep my mind off of food and on all of the many wonderful things that I love in life. Okay, even if some of them ARE food. I still have a few more lists...stay tuned...