Friday's Fave Five: Better Late than Never

I’m posting a little late today; we’ve been exceptionally busy the past couple of days! Better late than never, right? Joining Susanne at Living to Tell the Story with my FFF.
1.      My favorite text is from MS. I told him I was planning on meeting an SLP that I know out in the cyberworld, and here is his response:
2.      I ran across what is becoming my favorite quote yet again. This time, it was in an Etsy shop.
3.      Favorite search. MS & I had a discussion about some foods, and being able to eat alligator on Fridays during Lent came into question. I inserted it into Google and got a response.
4. Funniest thing I saw on Facebook this week:
5.   Favorite moment:
I ran into a high school friend & his wife on Sunday night. CH & I were eating at our usual Sunday night Mexican Restaurant. He came up to me, said my name, and said, “You don’t know who I am, do you?” It took me about half of a minute before I realized who it was. I don’t think I’ve seen him since I graduated from high school, and I had never met his wife. They sat down and chatted until our food came, and it we talked like we had known each other forever. We (the high school friend & I) lived away and came back to the Small Town after 20+ years.

Friday's Fave Five

I'm joining Susanne at Living to Tell the Story with my fave 5 for the week:

1. Favorite Freebie:
CH & I spent Sunday afternoon at the movies. We hadn't been to the theater in forever, so we took our free tickets from Christmas 2014 (Yes, I said "2014"!) and saw Zoolander 2. We still have tickets from this past Christmas to use.

2. Favorite memory that was made this week:
Since we were on a 2 hour delay for 2 days this week, I was able to go to Daily Mass. Daddy didn't go on Tuesday, but he went on Wednesday. There was only 1 other person in the church at the beginning of the Rosary (which is said prior to the beginning of Mass). As we were reciting it, I realized what a beautiful memory Daddy was making for me. To be kneeling there next to him, reciting prayers that he & Mama taught me as a child. It was amazing to come to that realization.

3. Favorite Text(s):

4. Favorite quote: 
(I tried to find the origin of the quote to give credit-as well as give credit for the photo-but couldn't find either.)
5. My Favorite Picture is a toss up between these 2:
You may have to click on the picture to see this, but the bird on the left is giving the other bird an earful.
 My acrobatic squirrel is back.

Thankful Thursday

Once again, I'm linking up with Knit by God's Hand to look over the past week and be thankful for the little things.
This week, I’m thankful for…
...surprise snowstorms after we get to school.

…teachers who take their students out to play in the snow before settling down to work.

… Stations of the Cross. It’s a beautiful thing. If you don’t know what it is, this link should help you out.

…spending the day baking cookies.

…yucky days off from school (too bad it was already a holiday1)
…British series that keep you busy during yucky days off from school. If you haven’t heard of “Broadchurch”, check it out on Netflix.
…2 days of 2 hour delays for school. It gave me the chance to go to daily mass both days.

…quick activities to keep my students busy that also double as homework.

…coming home after Saturday evening mass to a cooked dinner. YS had a chicken breast over spaghetti squash & marinara sauce waiting for me. I had been wanting to try spaghetti squash instead of pasta; I was very much surprised at how good it was!

What are you thankful for?

Long Weekend Wrap-up

Thank goodness for long weekends! Friday was a weird day. I got to school before 7:00 because I had a meeting at 7:15. It was snowing when I left the house, but the roads were just wet. The buses were already on their way, so they had to continue on to school. We weren't supposed to get anything, so we were a bit surprised.
The view from my window.
Once school was let out, the roads were all clear, so there wasn't any reason for early dismissal. Some of the classes had their Valentine's Day parties early, which meant they were all hyped up on sugar all day, so it was pretty much a bust of a day for them.
Friday night was the first Stations of the Cross for Lent. There were only about 50 people there, if that many. My parish switches between Spanish & English for every other Station. It is a bit difficult to concentrate during the Spanish ones.
I had to run some bread over to church Saturday morning for a funeral, so I popped into the Adoration Chapel for a while. The light coming in and reflecting the stained glass onto the tabernacle was just beautiful.
The rest of Saturday was laundry. And then some friends on Facebook started talking about Broadchurch, which is a British tv show. I don't know why the British shows are so much better than ours, but they are. This one is excellent. I started off the show bawling my eyes out (it has to do with the murder of a 12 year old boy), and ended the first season the same way. 
Sunday, CH & I had a couple of movie passes from last year that we hadn't used, so we saw Zoolander 2. Call us weird, but we think movies like that are hilarious. I was glad we didn't pay to see it, but CH said he would have paid to have seen it. 
I've never been a big fan of Valentine's Day, so I fixed supper at home and we just laid low. I just don't see the need in buying stuff and fighting the crowds in a restaurant.
Yesterday we woke up to the roads being a bit of a mess. Thankfully, it was a holiday and we didn't have to get out.
We have a 2-hour delay this morning (unless they end up calling the rest of the day off). It's better than nothing, I guess!

Fave 5 for Friday

Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts the FFF. I'm joining in today for the second week in a row!

Favorite Meal
Vegetable Gumbo. We kick off Lent on Ash Wednesday with fast & abstinence from meat. I’m not a big vegetable eater especially cooked vegetables- but this was really good.

Favorite text ( from 1 of my sisters on Tuesday when it was snowing but we didn’t
have a snow day): “Where are you? I was able to get her back on Wednesday when she was at work and we did  have a snow day!

Favorite wallpaper for my phone

Favorite picture
 This was right before I chased him off of the bird feeder for the 100th time.

Favorite quote of the week
Our finger prints don't fade from the lives we touch. - - -Judy Blume

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday! Time for Thankful Thursday with Rebecca from Knit by God's Hand.

I’m Thankful for...
fellowship with women in my parish.
(By the way...the distribution didn't work out very well. We had 3 desserts, 1 appetizer, and a variety of wine!)

.Good lab results, proving that watching what I eat & losing weight is working! (23 pounds so far...11 to go!)

teaching my students that our county is not the center of the universe.
 snow on the playground. I love the way the playground looks when there’s snow.

selfies with someone who shares my name. You don’t see 2 Mary Coopers in the same room very often!
 having a day off on Ash Wednesday. I was planning on taking a half-day since it was time for my mammogram, but I had a bit of a dilemma.: My appointment was at 8:45 and Mass was at 8:00. I would have to leave Mass early and still be a little late for my appointment. Since we had a day off, I was able to make my appointment on time and go to Mass at Noon. Win-win! 

running into a quote again. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard this quote before, but lately, it just keeps popping up.
being able to use social media during Lent.

What are you thankful for this week?

Baking Weekend

Is the weekend already over? There is snow in the forecast, so I may be getting another "snowcation" this week.
I had planned on catching up on reading blogs Saturday morning, but it's hard to do that when the wi-fi is acting up. So, I read from a book and ran some errands. Oh, and did some laundry. Then I baked. I made one last attempt on a King Cake. I found a recipe from Betty Crocker that looked like it might be easier than the one I tried last week. I think I let it rise a little too long. I put it in the oven with boiling water; the recipe said to let it rise for an hour (which I did), but since I did the oven thing I probably shouldn't have left it in so long. It actually didn't taste bad, but still wasn't as good as the real thing.
I'm going to hang on to the recipe and try it again next year.
I also baked something to send to the boys for Valentine's Day and finished it on Sunday. CH said that I should just send them money and let them buy their own, but then it wouldn't have the love baked into it!
Sunday, CH & I went grocery shopping (have I mentioned how much I love the stress-free shopping at Publix?). We stayed home and watched the Super Bowl. It was a win-win for me: Peyton is a favorite son around here, and we lived just outside of Charlotte when the Panthers came into existence, so I didn't care one way or the other who won.
Was anyone else as disappointed in the halftime show as I was? Honestly, ColdPlay's lead singer was having a really hard time singing the opening song, and Beyonce needs to hire a new choreographer. The commercials were very disappointing, too.  I was in bed by 9:30.
I have to add that when they announced Lady Gaga as singing the National Anthem, I rolled my eyes and said, "Great". I was so very pleasantly surprised. She has an amazing voice and was very respectful.
Come on, snow!!!

Friday's Fave Five

I haven't linked up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story in forever, so it's time!

1.  My favorite auto equipment for the week:
    Jumper cables. If you read yesterday's post, you know why I said that.

2. Favorite phone accessory:
    External battery. When I got out of community band practice Wed. night and found my dead car battery, I realized my phone battery was also dead. Something wasn't right in the electric universe for me that night!

3. Favorite moment of the week: 
    Thursday morning, after I got to school, I saw and heard a little girl (maybe Kinder or first grade) walking by the office, singing. No one was around, and she was just singing her little heart out!

4. Favorite quote of the week:
   "My life would be easier, but it wouldn't be better." (Victor, Jenny Lawson's husband, responding to her statement that his life would be easier without her. This is from the book, Furiously Happy). *sigh* How he loves her; even with all of the health struggles. 

5. Favorite Instagram picture:
 This is YS, pizza dough spinner extraordinaire, at work:
I hope you found some favorites in your life this week! Have a SUPER weekend!

Thankful Thursday

I'm joining Rebecca at Knit by God's Hand to stop for a few minutes and be thankful.

I’m thankful for:
a husband who gets the taxes done.
date night!
…  taking the backroads with my sweetie.
Google. Yep, I said it. Last night, as I was leaving community band practice, my car wouldn’t start. The battery was dead. The young lady who sits next to me and plays on Sundays with me stayed to help me out. I had cables, but neither of us had actually jumped someone off. Google to the rescue! We hooked up the cars and it started right up!
Good books. I just finished listening to “Furiously Happy”, Jenny Lawson’s second book. If you know someone with mental illness or even if you don’t I would highly recommend this book. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You may cringe at some of the language, but I don’t think the book would be the same without it. Oh, and listen to the bookagain, I don’t think it would be the same if you didn’t hear Jenny’s voice telling her story.

What little things or big things happened in your life this week that you’re thankful for?

Reminiscing Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Describe love using all five senses.
Looks: happy
Smells: divine
Sounds like: music
Feels: magical
Tastes: sweet

2. February is Canned Food Month. What's your favorite food that comes straight from a can?

3. A principal in a UK school recently sent home a letter to parents requesting they(the parents!) dress appropriately when escorting their children to/from school (basically saying please don't wear your pajamas) You can read the letter here. It's gotten a lot of publicity, both positive and negative. Your thoughts? And do/did you ever make the school run (or hit Starbucks, Walmart, etc) in your pjs?

NEVER. I figured it would be just my luck to have an accident on the way to or from. How embarrassing would that be to be on the side of the road, in your pj's, talking to a policeman?
Working at a school; however, I see parents come in all.the.time in their pjs. 

4. Crew neck, V-neck, turtleneck, scoop neck...which is most prevalent in your wardrobe?

Crew neck. I don't think I look good in scoop necks, so I have zero.

5. I read here recently a list of four things to avoid so you wake up happier. They were late night snacks, hitting the snooze button, social media just before bed/upon waking, checking emails. 

Are you guilty of any of these behaviors? Which on that list do you need to work harder at avoiding?

I don't do late night snacks or hit the snooze button. I'm guilty of the others, although I'm trying not to do the social media thing. Guess I need to add check emails!

6. Share something you remember about a house you lived in as a child? Of all the homes you lived in as a child, which did you love best? 

I have so many memories of the house I grew up in. We moved in the house where my daddy still lives when I was 9 months old. The screen door slamming in the summer (no air conditioning), being cold in the winter (because daddy set the thermostat on slightly above freezing to save money), being scared of going to the basement at night...I could go on & on.

7.Your favorite movie based on a true story? 

Brian's Song. Hands down. I didn't even have to think about it!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Can you believe Ash Wednesday is next Wednesday? Since I'm a bit Mardi Gras obsessed right now, I have to wonder if it's a bummer for the La. tourism for the short season between Epiphany & Ash Wednesday. 
On one side, the Iowa Caucus restored my hope in the American people...for now. For the other side, I'm not so sure "flipping a coin" is the best way to choose a candidate. How humiliating...that should tell both candidates something.

Exploring East Tennessee: Winter Edition

It still amazes me that CH can take me to places in East Tennessee where I've never been. Actually, I guess it shouldn't surprise me. He loves to go exploring. While growing up, we didn't get out much. Daddy didn't just say, "Hey! Why don't the 12 of us hop in the car and see where the road takes us?" The only time we all got in the car at the same time was when we went to church, or in the summer when we went swimming in the mountains to escape the heat.
So...CH is introducing me to places in the area I never knew existed. Saturday, we went to Cosby, Tn. This is a very small town near Gatlinburg, but in a different county. It's actually in a county that doesn't have a great reputation, but that's beside the point. Cosby is so small, it doesn't even have a website. Seriously.
We specifically went to Cosby for lunch. Yes, we drove a little over an hour to eat lunch. Oh, but it was soooo worth it! Our view:

 It's hard to see, but there's a birdhouse on the top of one of the limbs in the picture below. (I didn't take my big-girl camera in.)
The food was excellent, the view spectacular, and the company wasn't too bad, either. I definitely want to go back in the spring when the apple trees are blooming. Oh! And the fall, too. One of my sisters goes in the fall & gets some amazing apple pies. There is also a market on the site, where you can buy fried apple pies, apples, chow-chow relish, apple butter, along with various jams and other fruit items. Oh, and they have different varieties of apples, too. 

During the season (which I'm assuming would be any season except for winter), there is a candy store and a couple of other buildings that are open for business.

When we left, we had the choice to go back to the interstate, or take the scenic route. We decided on the latter, and headed toward Gatlinburg. We saw the entrance to the Foothills Parkway and thought about taking it. We turned, and then realized that it went to the interstate (we're pretty sure that's where it goes, anyway.) We turned around, but not before we saw these guys:
As we drove closer to Gatlinburg, we decided to drive through the Artists' Colony, which takes you on back-roads and allows you to miss all of the traffic and congestion in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge. Most of the places were closed for winter, but I would highly recommend visiting this area if you're in G'burg. As we were driving, we saw some animals on the hill. CH said, "Those look like buffalo"; then we saw a sign that said they were indeed buffalo. He didn't stop so I could change my camera lens and get a better picture; but, in his defense, I didn't tell him to. Guess he wasn't mind-reading at that moment!

We ended up checking out a couple of stores in Kodak, which is right off of the interstate. If you've driven to G'burg from I-40 and have taken the exit where Bass Pro is, then you've been to Kodak. You just didn't know it.
To summarize:
Drive to Cosby. Eat at Carver's. Visit the G'burg Artists' Colony. Get out and just ride around. You'll never know what you'll find!

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