1987 weddin day

29 Years Ago, I Married

1987 weddin day

Today I’ve been married 29 years.

October 23, 1987. The year of oversized shirts, big earrings, and mullets.

We met at church when I was home for the holidays; I was a junior in college, and

he was a sophomore.

He was attending school, here in Indiana, and I was in Missouri.

He studied business, and I was in education.

Can you believe an old boyfriend introduced us?

Fast forward…soon after we were engaged, I left to teach in China for a year.

I was 23 and he was 22.

Yep, an entire year.


(me and a few students)

Some people thought I was nuts to do so, but it all worked out in the end.🙂 Obviously.

We both knew I had to go. Felt it was my calling, and I knew we’d both regret it if I didn’t.

I think it made us stronger, actually.

Long before we were serious, I had planned to teach there; so, off I went.

Communication was tough.

Oh, I did try to make a call this ONE TIME.

I had to “make an appointment” to get help with getting a call out to the US, and it had to be done through the government officials’ office. Three men sat around STARING at me as I uncomfortably began to speak. I constantly was trying to hear my fiance over the multiple Chinese voices I heard coming across the line.

I grew increasingly frustrated.:/

They were all  trying to talk over me as I struggled to hear my fiance’s voice; it was a true Chinese, party line!

I don’t know what happened but in the midst of that chaotic, but short call, abruptly the phone went silent. Ended!

Later on, I found out my hubby/fiance thought I hung up on him. Whaaaa?!


Yeah, right. I finally save up money to call you, clear around the world, and in the middle of our conversation decide I need to hang up?

Anyhow, I found out that he really couldn’t hear me, thought I was in the middle of a big party, with a bunch of Chinese friends🙂 , AND… I hung up the phone.

Clearly, that process was never attempted again!!

(I wanted to stay engaged. HA)

Plus, it was so expensive.

So, the only way we could communicate was by cassette tape.

Late nights consisted of me lying on my cot, head on a bag of beans (pillow) surrounded by a mosquito net, talking very low, into my handheld tape recorder. (I didn’t want to  disrupt my roommates, nor have them hear my conversations.)

Now that we were engaged, I had more serious questions.

I mean, we WERE still getting to know one another…

“How many kids do you want? What are your thoughts on where we should live? What did you do today?” Then, I’d rehash the day usually adding all the funny cultural differences and stories in full detail.

(I like lots of details.)

Then I’d WAIT.

Wait for weeks.

And another tape would arrive with all my answers.🙂

It was fun, and a daily diary of sorts. It helped the time pass.

It was a lifeline, and  it helped me get through the year.

One Christmas tape, had me and my roommate singing all the familiar carols while adding our own hysterical lyrics that reflected living abroad.

Our families really got a kick out of that one.

We worked really hard on those lyrics.

me and tim

So, we still have all those tapes.

LOTS of them.

We haven’t relistened to all of them, in full, but a few years back I started to play one for my teenaged kids, and hubby walked in very confused asking whose voice that was.

He couldn’t quite wrap his head around it.

It was a time warp, really.

Finally realizing that low, “mushy” sounding voice was his own, he quickly asked  demanded we turn it off.😉

I think he felt somewhat embarrassed as our kids listened intently, hardly believing what they heard.

I don’t think the kids thought that was truly him!🙂

I remember times while living in China, I’d go outside and look at the moon (thinking about life) wondering what he, or my family members, were doing clear across the other side of the planet.

And thinking…we look at that same moon just at different times.

So, here we are 29 years later.

Still together. We’ve seen a lot of life.

We’ve weathered some really tough storms, too.

But, together.

That’s KEY.


WE honestly grew closer, not further apart.

Through some of the toughest times that LIFE’s curve balls could throw.

Many of them my health battles.


That year apart just may have taught us a whole host of things that would later keep us grounded, and working together.

I think I’m just now realizing this as I type.

Perhaps, that year apart solidified a firm foundation for the rest of our lives and getting us through many more years together!

God has surely been with us the whole way.


NOTE: I dedicate these reflections to you, honey. I thank God for the gift he’s given me in YOU!

Engagement pic with the Falcon fans.

When Your Dog is Jealous of Mom

No kiddin’ this is what my daughter’s dog does every time she tries to Facetime me.

Dog jealous of Facetime with mom.

Her name is Daisy. Daisy was in need of a home, a few years back.

They already had another dog from the pound (Tebow), but this puppy was being driven around the Walmart parking lot, by a couple, asking if anyone could take her.

Yeah, my daughter couldn’t resist.

They even got featured in their engagement shoot.

(pictures by Haley Dawn Photography)

The little brat (“the paw”) is bottom right.🙂

Engagement pic with the Falcon fans.

But Daisy will either lay right on my daughter’s face, or put her paw over her face.

She’s even blocked the camera with her body.

Can we say S P O I L E D?!

Dog jealous of Facetime with mom.Dog jealous of Facetime with mom.

My daughter, and I can only see each other (via Facetime) as she lives in Georgia, and I’m in Indiana.

This dog is going to be so jealous when my first grandbaby arrives…Sure.of.it!

Fall 2016 women's clothing from Marshalls stores.

Plaid Vest and Denim at Marshalls

Plaid Vest and Denim at Marshalls

So, my loving husband got me some great, fall clothes at Marshalls.

I was tagging along with him, on his business trip, to Maryland. LUCKY ME.

We don’t have a Marshalls store near us, so when he asked if I wanted to stop in after dinner, of course I didn’t hesitate.😀

I love fall clothes, and Marshalls had some of the CUTEST vests ever!

I really don’t shop all that much, but when I do, I love a good deal!


Rarely do I even go to the mall.

I try to not to spend full price on anything, but this was a little different in that these were new, 2016 fashions, and not on sale.

(Kind of a first for me…no really, just ask my hubby.)

AND having had healthier days this year, I found myself getting out more, and actually felt like dressing which led to shopping.😉

My itching (this skin disease) has been much better and clothes, besides pajamas, are now more of an option for me.🙂 Thank. the. Precious. Lord.

I usually could only stand so much clothing, on my body, maybe an hour or so, then back to pjs it was.

The clothes had to be soft, soft and SOFTER.

Did I say SOFT?

Therefore, my fall wardrobe needed a bit of an overhaul.

You know those sweaters you have had for years, and the fuzz balls are now so offensive, you have no choice?

Ditch ’em.

Yes, you must.

Even if it is your fa   vor   ite.

It just can’t handle one more fall season.

Trust me.

So, before leaving for our trip, we had a garage sale,

and I did just that.

I rummaged through my closet, and drawers, throwing out heaps of ratty things.

I also gave tons away,


So that counts, right?

I had clothing dating back to the 80s.

Oh, and about 8 lbs. of old, costume jewelry…love jewelry.

(As soon as I throw it out, I will be looking for it..just wait.)

I know we can’t keep it all, but everything is cycling back around. I could so easily re-buy the same, exact, items I gave away (to Goodwill) many years ago.

i. e.

wide belts

desert boots


jean jackets

jean vests

jean purses

patched jeans

acid washed jeans.

I have noticed this is the year of “jean everything”

Yep, it’s all coming back.

OK..my thoughts are all over the place.

I digress.

Anyhoo, I did appreciate the hubby’s thoughtfulness.

♥Thanking my main man!

and well,

our 29th wedding anniversary IS just around the corner.😉

Fall 2016 women's clothing from Marshalls stores.


Here’s the online link if you want to “browse” Marshalls or find a store for yourself!

PS Marshalls didn’t ask me for a recommendation; I just liked what I found!

Plaid Vest and Denim at Marshalls

vest– British Khaki


shirt– Ellen Tracy


booties- Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita booties from Marshalls

These booties were so COMFY and easy to slip on! A great, suede feel to them too!


squirrel stealing bird food

Sneaky Squirrel

squirrel stealing bird food

My fault, I should’ve remembered not to lay out the seed on the ground, this time.

I thought, “Man, I have a lot of hungry birds out there.”

Till I saw this guy.

Lone squirrel

Gettin’ full for fall

I’ve lived here for 15 yrs., and I’m just now catching this one and only squirrel crossing the patio each morning.🙂


Mission BBQ Restaurant Speaks Patriotism

Mission BBQ Restaurant Speaks Patriotism

We seem to eat a lot of BBQ where we live.

We. love. it.

AND, we are very picky about our BBQ, so I was both curious, and a little apprehensive about it.

We hadn’t heard of this particular restaurant; then again, we hadn’t been to the Patuxent River, MD, area in years.

Outside the restaurant, there was a nice patio area with picnic bench style seating.

Mission BBQ Restaurant

I really wasn’t expecting the interior to look the way it did, but Mission BBQ screamed absolute patriotism from the minute we walked in!

Mission BBQ Restaurant

I guess that’s to be expected being right across the street from the Patuxent Naval Air Station, not sure about the other locations.

NEVER have I seen so much, military paraphernalia, under one roof, aside from military museums.

I had a hard time eating as I didn’t know where to look first..it was all so interesting.


I wanted to take it all in and look at everything.

Every square inch had something interesting to read or look at.

Mission BBQ

This was at our booth.

Missions BBQ plaque in honor of Sgt. Paul Fisher KIA

There were interesting articles, captivating pictures, even clever ways of displaying items; including, recognizing our community heroes like police, firemen, etc.

Missions BBQ honoring community

I love ANY PLACE that pays tribute to our great men and women of the military as well as those who support our community. [Hence my previous article  referring to my military family.]

You can choose a variety of smoked meats placed on or off the bun, lean or fatter cuts.

You then have a seat and wait for it to come out.

I chose the leaner beef brisket, (just the meat) while

the hubs had the brisket sandwich with fries as his side.

My side was the mac-n-cheese…IT WAS DELISH!

Probably the best/creamiest/cheesiest macaroni I’ve EVER had at a restaurant, for real.

(And I’m very picky about my mac-n-cheese!)🙂

My meal also came with a piece of cornbread. I guess I missed that part when ordering.

The brisket had that Texas, oak, smoked flavor like you cooked it around the campfire.

Mission BBQ menu is here: http://mission-bbq.com/menu

They even have a gluten-free menu.

How did I miss getting a picture of our food, though!😦

So, here’s some images for you: FOOD and SAUCES

Our history was on the walls, the tables and booths.

And of course, I had to find the Marine Corps emblem imbedded among several branches on our table.

Marine Corps insignia in the table at Mission BBQ

Even the cardboard caddy holding the six, different, choices of sauce, recognized the MIA and POWs.

Some of my favs were the KC Classic, and the more vinegar based Carolina.

Mission BBQ Sauces

They had a blend of spices and speciality sauces, up by the drink station, too, that I found to be so yummy.

Mission BBQ and recognizing POW MIA

Did you know National POW/MIA  is recognized on the third Friday of every September?

I guess I had forgotten when that was. My own Uncle Terry had been MIA for decades. (I hope to share that story, soon.)

Terry A. Hoffman MIA 1968 USMC

Coming back from the men’s restroom, my husband said, “You should see what’s in the guys’ room.”. He told me the walls were plastered with 1940 pin-up girls

not surprised there,

but then mentioned that the Farrah Fawcett’s poster was hanging above the men’s urinal.

Once again, NOT surprised.

For you young kids…it’s ICONIC.

That poster probably hung in just about every, young, teenage boy’s room across America!

Including my husband’s. (It was the only poster he ever had.)🙂

So, naturally I wanted to see what was in us gals’ restroom.

I was trying to guess,

I thought, TOP GUN images FOR SURE!

As I rounded the corner looking for my restroom, guess whose face was peering down at me?

Tom Cruise in Top Gun fighter plane

Yep, Tom Cruise in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

We actually had jets flying overhead as we walked into the restaurant. I just love the sound of those things.

Later on, I noticed a few pilots had walked in.

They’re unmistakable aren’t they?

Once inside my restroom…

But of course…I should’ve guessed.

Lots women sending their lovers off to war with a kiss. Also infamous poses.

women sending their men off to war with kisses

 I was trying to imagine what they must’ve been feeling when those pictures were snapped.

The manager at Mission BBQ was going around visiting with people, and I noticed how he greeted patrons like they were family. I overheard him sharing about the restaurants and other cities where they have locations.

So, I’d recommend it. It’s a fun and interesting place with great food to boot.

Mission BBQ Restaurant

I was glad to see homage paid to all our military, and community service workers,

for once,

so for that fact alone, I would eat there.

Do you have a Mission BBQ near you or a favorite BBQ restaurant you like to visit?

Don't judge...for you can never know another's pain.

Don’t Judge…You Cannot Know the Pain Someone Is Going Through

Don’t Judge…You Cannot Know the Pain Someone Is Going Through


Don't judge...for you can never know another's pain.