Sunday, May 27, 2007

Playing on the beach

These are my contributions to the fun. The horse was my tribute to Barbaro since it was almost a year to the day when he won the Kentucky Derby.
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Arrival in Florida

These were taken right after we got tents set up and just before the storm rolled in that soaked everything IN the tents. Yeah, we slept in wet beds that night, with LOTS of sand. But I think these beach grays are Julia's colors. Check out those eyes!

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camping in Florida


Can you tell how wet everything was after the downpour we had? Sand was sticking to EVERYthing.
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Our gator

He was just resting beside the water.

We were really only about 10 ft from him, but it looks farther here.

!...and he yawned.
Obviously we weren't bothering him.
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Panama City Beach at night

From the Beach at St. Andrews Park. The beach was completely empty with a bright moon overhead and lightning in the distance. A little frightening for a woman alone with 2 kids, but awesomely inspiring as well.

This was the bay side looking toward the port of Panama City. The limb looked a little like a creepy hand in the water.
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Get Ready


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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Photo shoot

This is my daughter and her friend.

My daughter is about to turn 16 and we are wanting to throw her a party with Tiffany blue, silver and pearl white for the colors. Anyone know where we can find Tiffany blue balloons?
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The benefits of living in Nashville

I have been meaning to write a blog with this title for some time, but I honestly think this could be a series of posts rather than a single post. If you are a music lover, hold on to your hat.

We have some of the BEST, I mean the ABSOLUTE BEST music here. If it isn't native to here, we ship it in. But there is an awful lot of native. Which is the subject of an entire post in itself.

But for now I want to tell you about two things in particular: The Ryman auditorium and the concert I saw there last night.

The, where to start. It's truly a legend in itself. It was built in 1892 as a church! It was called the Union Gospel Tabernacle and it seated less than 3800 people. With the addition of the Confederate Gallery (balcony) in 1897 its capacity was increased to 6000. Shortly after Captain Ryman (the man who had it built) died, it was renamed in his honor and became the venue for many lectures and shows throughout the years. In the 1940's, the Grand Old Opry moved in and made the Ryman its home. There it remained till 1974 when the Opry moved to its new home-the Grand Old Opry House where it remains to this day. I remember hearing talk of the Ryman when I was young and how it had fallen into disrepair and the subsequent renovations that took many years.

Today it is beautiful and it remains a wonder. Even with the addition of the balcony, there is NO bad seat in the auditorium. It is said to have the second best acoustics in the world, surpassed only by the concert hall that is home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! Absolutely, any concert you attend there will astound you at the amazing quality of the sound anywhere you stand.

The Ryman is, for the music lover, a jewel venue. And last night, my wonderful oldest child, Megan, took me there for the Seal concert. This was my mother's day gift. Now I love his voice no matter what, but WOW. I don't have words. It was amazing. Top it off with time alone with my oldest daughter, a few reminiscent moments (like realizing that my baby was driving ME around downtown Nashville and learning that she likes the same music I liked when I was young and free of responsibility much like her). I mean if riding around downtown with the windows down and Kansas blaring out of your speakers doesn't bring back memories, then you haven't lived! We enjoyed a glass of wine at Olive Garden TOGETHER (before you teetotalers have a fit, one thing my daughter and I do have in common is a love for good food and good wine. But we both partake in MODERATION) along with that sinful black tie cheesecake and afterwards went to the Starbucks on West End and had a cup of coffee on the patio. We had a WONDERFUL evening. (Megan, I had a really GREAT time, thank you!)

We also discovered a new artist we like. Shane Alexander.

Now, this is a shameless plug for this guy, but before you blow rasberries at me, let me tell you this. I have grown up in the Nashville area. Spent my life here. I've been around "stars" and wannabe stars ALL MY LIFE. (That could be another blog post about the benefits of living in Nashville. The ability to get to see performers who are just starting out has some wonderful benefits, but occasionally you run into some that when they say they are musicians, you just nod your head and go "okaaaaayyyy".) I DO NOT get gaga over famous people.

Heck, Johnny Cash came into the store where my Daddy worked all the time. Johnny and Barbara Mandrell were "members" of the churches I went to although you didn't see them there very often. (yes, we live in the same town where Johnny Cash lived) My son fished off Lorrie Morgan's deck. Roy Acuff used to go for a walk in the mall in the mornings before it got crowded. Dottie West gave me a starburst. Louise Mandrell got mad at me. I worked at the Crook and Chase show in the late 80's as an intern. Heck, I even got asked for my autograph just because I worked with Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase! I've seen how people get crazy over anyone famous. I've seen stars make a**es of themselves. I have no desire to fawn over them. If you think for one second how these people have to smile and be nice to people who really do look and sound crazy, you want to avoid appearing like that at all costs. Especially when you have to live around them and deal with them on a daily basis. Besides, I have found that while some of them were genuinely very nice, most are so fake, I really don't want to find out that the ones I do like are the fake ones.

But this guy, Shane Alexander was really good. So I went up and told him, "Hey, I really like your stuff". He thanked me and I made way for the rush of gushers. I don't do that...ever. I just don't think the push through the crowd is worth it to make myself look just like them to a person who is probably already thinking, "these people are nuts!" while wearing a plastered smile. I don't blame them a bit. I really, really, like this guy's music. Go take a listen.

Benefit #1: One of the best music venues in the world-The Ryman.
Benefit #2: Getting to see great concerts ANY time-on any given night there is music being played SOMEwhere in Nashville.
Benefit #3: Getting to hear up and coming talent before most everyone else and
Benefit #4: Sometimes, A LOT of times, for free! (the original reason I wanted to write a blog by this title) But not last night.;-)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Catching up

Hey out there!

Here is a rundown of what has been going on at the Meade house for the last month.

Amanda's Horse Show-she got one sixth place ribbon out of 10 classes. She did great, but the judges didn't like Kody-he's a little rough looking and she doesn' get a choice in what horse she rides.

Trip to south Alabama/Florida to see family and camp one really wet night on the beach. We brought home half of it in our tent and sleeping bags. But after the storm rolled out, the sky was perfectly clear above us so we went to the beach to look at the stars and watch the rest of the lightning in the distance. Me and my two youngest were the only ones on the beach and we were at St. Andrews. No city lights, but the moon was brilliant and the white sand simply glowed! Absolutely beautiful and majestic. What an incredibly AWESOME God we serve!

Softball season begins again, full swing and now hubby, tired of the politics of the city league is venturing out to start his own tourney team. I don't want to brag, but he is absolutely the BEST coach. The girls all love him and want to be on his team. He has never had any trouble getting parents to help because he is so good with people. This is definately his gifting.

Trip to Huntsville, Alabama to see my 55 YEAR OLD sister graduate from nursing school!!!!! She is a widow and a mother of 6 and SHE DID IT! I am so proud of her! Yes, B, I did tell you age...AGAIN!!!!

Two scrapbook nights at our church that I hostess. I love these times with the ladies and we are really growing! I don't spend as much time preparing for these monthly scrap nights as I would like so I often end up just visiting and helping rather than getting anything done myself. But I love it anyway.

Finally nailing down plans for the road trip I am going on to Austin/San Antonio, Texas the first week of June with my newly graduated sister and our mother. I plan to get to meet blogging buddies for the first time while there. YAAAAAYYYY!!

And last but not least-cramming in as much homeschooling as possible so I can have the kids ready to go back to school next year. Be praying for us. I desperately want to continue until they are ready for high school, but financially I don't think I can continue to expect my husband to bear all of that burden alone any longer. He has to put in so many hours that he can't feasibly take on a second job and we can't afford to go through another cold season/Christmas without more income. Pray that he will find favor with the powers that be at his work and they will finally compensate him for all the extra time he gives them. Salaried positions....I won't say it. I'm sure you know.

Thanks for reading this! Hope it's not another month before I post again. No I plan to post some pics from the last month so it shouldn't be.