Tuesday, November 20, 2007

True to Blogger Form...

True to Blogger form I am dedicating one of my own blogs! There are always some sorts of nominations and dedications going around and now it is my turn.
Let me preface this by saying that my dedicated excerpt comes from a book I read today (yes I read the entire book in one day) by Rick Mckinley called "This Beautiful Mess." Read it, read it, read it. It is the Rick guy that Donald Miller talks about in "Blue Like Jazz." I am very inspired in many ways after reading this book. Each chapter has a poem that relates the the message he is conveying. While I was reading this poem I immediately thought of Heather Truett. First because she loves poetry and second she loves her babies. And there is a third, and that is because each of her posts always are in some way "soul searching" in some way. That's a good thing. So Heather this poem by Nathan Bubna called "Sylvan's Request" is my dedication to you today because it made me think of you.

"Sylvan's Request"

"Will you color with me?" asked Sylvan.
"Not right now, I'm going to go do.."
something important.
I went to do something I needed to do, didn't I?
Oh no.
What a glorious invitation I passed on today.
I could have colored!
I never color anymore.
I saw I wasn't good at coloring, so I stopped.
Growing up is dangerous like that.
It's so easy to forget that playing isn't competing,
so easy to confuse the serious with the important
or the skillful with the valuable.
Sylvan wanted to color while Leo played in a cardboard box
and Violette carefully balanced a pillow on her head.
How silly they are.
How wonderfully, worshipfully, beautifully silly!
But me?
Well, I had to do something important.
-Nathan Bubna

Hope that you enjoyed!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy Camper

This weekend we camped with my in-laws at Wind Creek State Park on Lake Martin. The experience was refreshing, relaxing, and re-motivating (?) I was reminded the goodness of simplicity. T-shirt, jeans, flip flops, and a car quilt was all I really needed. Hiking outdoors and spending time by the campfire is what Fall is all about -not to mention Oktoberfest brewed beer and grilled hamburgers. It was really neat to see families gathered around picnic tables and kids riding their bikes with no worries about reckless drivers or pedophiles. With Fall changes occurring literally all around us it was really refreshing to absorb God's creation in the trees and the crisp cool air. I loved going to sleep at night with the scent of camp fire smoke on my clothes and in my hair. I wonder how I can bring the experience home with me? By appreciating little things like a cup of hot coffee, picnics in the back yard, reading a few verses from the Bible outside on the porch before getting ready for work, and by planning more getaways like this one. Here are a few pics. from the weekend.

Me and Nick by the lake

At sunset


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Fall

10. Mums
9. Haunted hayrides
8. Football
7. Fall Clothes
6. Shows begin their new seasons
5. Chili and other warm comfort foods
4. Flipflops and hooded sweatshirts (deserves a whole new category othe than fall clothes)
3. Cool days and frigid nights
2. The leaves changing color
1. Pumpkin Spice Lattes

My favorite Fall month: October
My perfect Fall music: something like jazz or swing
My favorite Fall something new necessities: a new longsleeve white and/black longsleeve fitted cotton shirt, new Rocketdogs/Merrils, new jeans, chapstick, and anything "spice" scented candles.
My favorite Fall activities: windowshopping, hayrides, horseback riding, walks outside before sunset, collecting leaves, drinking a hot treat on the porch, opening the windows in the living room to let in fresh air in the morning.
My favorite Fall meal: Thanksgiving of course (that's still in the fall right?)
My favorite Fall memory SO FAR: Asheville NC, October 2006 - our last night in town, sitting at Barley's upstairs by the window, watching the sunset and sky fade from bluest blue to pinkiest orange right above the bare black treetops. We sat at that cold window drinking draft Pumpkin Spice Ale for hours just the two of us (Nick and me of course) talking and laughing and loving Fall.

What are some of your favorite Fall memories?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Perfect Weekend

It truly was a perfect weekend.
Friday afternoon I shopped with Laura Mc. and enjoyed watching her face light up and wheels turn in her head as she discovered the joys of shopping at Kohls! The discounts, satisfactory customer service, and convenience all in one trip that produced a plethora of outfits for work and pleasure (i hope i used that word correctly ;) After we shopped we joined our hubby's for wings and beer at...Wings, surprise! It is always fun to go out to eat with company who are as fun as those two.
So fun that Saturday morning we all had brunch at our favorite local restraunt Sinclair's in Old Cloverdale. We browsed through Cafe Louisa, Mandy Bagwell's Gallery, Capitol Book and News (where I met Cheryl ;)and then watched a quarter of the Huntingdon Hawks get creamed by...um, sad, I can't even remember who they were playing. But it was a beautiful day nonetheless. After the early afternoon in Old Cloverdale, Laura and I headed back out for some more shopping...I bought some essentials: unmentionables and some FABULOUS Vera Wang flats that if I were Heather T. I would have a picture linked...HERE...but I don't :( Anyway, they are black, they are flat, and they are fabulous. I also purchased a matted and framed black and white photograph of a Cala Lily to hang in our guest bathroom. The original price was $59.00. I selected the picture under the assumption that I would be spending roughly $30.00 because it was on sale at 50% off but when I got to the register it ran up as...$13.00 WHAT THE HECK! I was so happy and it looks as great as I hoped that it would. That evening we & the McFee's shared deliciousness at our second favorite local restaurant Jalepenos! Have I ever mentioned that their margueritas are THE BEST? And their cheese dip, and their salsa, and every thing on the menu THE BEST. Onward to the Mielke's for a little AU football...I won't go there. Actually I didn't go there because LMc. and I went to bed...my bed and slept from 9 till what? about 11:30pm? It was nice. Not so sure the guys had a great time.
Which brings me to Sunday. I woke up at 8:30am which is only 1 hour later than the perfect time to wake up...I drank an entire cup of coffee while I checked FB, MS, gmail, and Blogs. A wonderful weekend morning tradition. After computer time I cleaned my house top to bottom and lit all of the new candles I forgot to mention that I bought on Saturday at Hobby Lobby because all candles and candle holders were 50% off. I'll insert a little from Stephanie's blog and agree that clutter in the home drives me crazy and I won't have it (not her exact words at all). I cooked supper, watched "Never Been Kissed" wrote this blog, and now my love is pulling up in the driveway (for real) which means I am done describing my wonderful weekend except to say that while I did enjoy having the McFees all TO MYSELF (YAY!!!!) I did miss a certain out of town couple ;) you know who you are.
I'm blessed and not checking for typos!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

On a Much Lighter Note :)

My sister shared this little video with me and, well...let's just say it brought a smile to my face :) Thanks Mere.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My Broken Heart

It has been difficult for me to find the motivation to write lately due to my broken heart.
For twenty years I have watched one side of my family struggle hard. Divorce, indifference, lies, broken promises, threats, and now drug and alcohol abuse are ruining my loved one's lives...and I am watching it happen first hand.
It is so ironic...one of my favorite shows on A&E is "Intervention" and on Tuesday an intervention is just what I was a part of. This intervention was a result of seeing the most horrific scene I have ever seeen in my life...in my father's living room on Monday night. For two hours I watched as someone I love, while under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, dope, and rage, ripped through furniture and my father's arms and my arms and my sister's arms while foaming at the mouth all because he doesn't know how to deal with his pain. It took a grown man and myself to keep my brother from leaping across the room to slap his mother for asking what is wrong?. In between each outburst of blame and profanity, suicide threats, and cursing God, my brother, who I love so much and can still remember as the blonde little boy who wanted to be Peter Pan on our living room couch, would just fall to his knees and tremble as he cried. He is clearly someone battling huge demons inside. By the end of the night, my 60 year old father was soaking wet and pale as a ghost. I never want to see what I saw again and pray that I will be able to forget the images of the two men I love so much rolling in the wet grass and again on the living room floor and my red faced brother in a headlock begging for one of us to kill him. Here is the most devestating part...on Tuesday he refused the intervention. He is 22 years old and doesn't believe he has a problem. He insists that maybe he "just shouldn't drink if it makes him that crazy." He says he is in school and that he won't drink any more and that he is "fine." And everyone else involved, except me, is accepting that answer. "Well maybe it won't happen again", "He knows what he did was wrong" "Let's just see how he does" is what I am hearing from the same people that watched what I saw.
Brother if you are reading this just know that I am your biggest fan and want to see you get the help you need and deserve, no matter what anyone else says or thinks.
And some of you are probably thinking "why would she write all of this? I would never!?!" Because...the internet is so...public? And my answer is I have no idea why but I didn't want to bullshit through some topic I didn't really care about when I knew what was actually on my mind. Most of the people reading this are some of my best friends anyway and so I just thought you should know.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Observe the observant

Today was the first official work day for teachers, faculty, and staff a.k.a "Team MPS." It is always fun to sit back during the first faculty meeting of the school year and check out the new faces...first job, new to that school, new to the county, new to public schools, etc. The new ones are way fun to watch because they have these giddy little grins on their faces the whole time, and they laugh at every joke, and they raise their hand at every rhetorical question. Trust me, I'm not being cynical...and I am not saying that I don't share the giddy grin, but there is something different about a person and the way they look before you actually get to know them and before you learn what is really going on in their little heads.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My Summer Summary

This has been a wonderful summer. Ten weeks of seemingly ordinary events has given me the chance to relax, work, travel, read, spend some time with friends, and as a result, realize just how quickly time flies.
The summer began with the death of my beloved grandmother, Kelly Coleman. Kelly died at the age of 90 but in those 90 years lived a very full life. My fondest memory of her is simple...sitting at the kitchen table with her...chatting about ordinary things, smoking a Pall Mall -laugh out loud-. She always offered me one by saying "You want one Miss Priss" - again laughing out loud because I never considered myself prissy but it's ok because I always felt prissy when I smoked. If you have ever really enjoyed a cigarette or some other form of smoked tobacco you will know what I'm talking about. This went on for about ten years. My mother always shrieked when she had to watch me smoke with my grandmother, "Laura when are you going to quit that nasty habit! You don't do that all the time do you!?!?!" I would glance over at Kelly, who knew darn well she wasn't the only one I shared these occasions with, and would say every time, "I guess I'll quit when she quits." So when she quit, I actually did too. I have had a few hiccups but for the most part...I do claim to be a "nonsmoker."
I worked for a few weeks in June and July at a local pecan shop. I worked the register as people checked out and also served up a good portion of Mayfield ice cream. I snacked on Betsy's cheese straws and Honey glazed pecans and ate lunches across the street at the Farmer's Market Cafe...mmm delicious.
This summer I read two books: Running with Scissors by Augusten Bourroughs; I also watched the movie and felt it was very accurate...but I like the book better. I read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK - anyone who loves the coming of age/civil rights era/Southern flare type...picture Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird) running away from home and meeting Idgy (Fried Green Tomatos) except Idgy is black. Easy reader...couldn't put it down...changed my life. Now I am on "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert and so far it is amazing! It is a memoir of "one woman's search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia" - NYT. Anne Lamott says, "A wonderful book, brilliant and personal, rich in spiritual insight." My favorite time to read in right when I wake up in the morning. I prepare a steaming cup of vanilla caramel coffee and hop right back in bed! I am more focused in the mornings and less likely to fall (back) asleep.
I went to a few weddings this summer. Not much to report about these. I am happy for the couples. I love seeing my friends/relatives. The food was good. I still hate high heels.
In July I went to North Carolina with Nick and the MFUMC youth group on a mission trip. I helped restore an old condemned trailor. My room mate was our Pastor J. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her. We talked about almost everything under the sun. I also enjoyed getting to know the youth participants on a deeper level. Overall the trip was a huge success. (re-reading this paragraph reminds me of what a creative writing journal entry might be like in fifth grade, LOL). Also, on the trip, I had my first White Water experience. I was really nervous about it at first...especially when I felt how cold the water was! After we took the first rapid...the sights, the sounds, the sensations, I was hooked! It was so awesome to feel that rush and scream as loud as I wanted! I loved jumping out of the raft...in my clothes...during the calmer parts of the Ocoee and getting to really take in the Beauty that God as created.
Lunches this summer are worth mentioning. I strongly recommend: The Farmer's Market Cafe, Jalepenos, The Blue Moon Cafe, Chris' Hot Dogs, Mrs. Mary's, J. Alexander's (Nasheville, TN), Chick-Fil-A.
Monday I start work again. Teacher/Staff Development. Apparently my office and therapy room has moved down the hallway. Absolutely no complaints. I don't know many other SLP's that are even given an office and room to themselves. And by the way, November I will reach tenure. Again, how quickly time flies.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Quarter Life Crisis" Crisis???

(PREFACE) Some of you might remember a blog I posted Saturday September 30, 2006 called "Quarter Life Crisis." I started off my post by saying that I did not know the author of this essay that I was quoting but that I had received it in a CHAIN EMAIL ...and the email (which I still have) is dated 3/21/2005. And today 8/2/07 I get this email ...

On 8/1/07, Brenda-But my friends call me Lola wrote: Brenda-But my friends call me Lola has left a new comment on your post "Quarter-Life Crisis":


It has come to my attention that my article, Quarter Life Crisis, an essay written for PLAY magazine in April 2001 is up on your site. I am very flattered but disheartened to find that I was not given credit for my work.

My piece was a very personal essay that was about myself and friends and has unfortunately been published online in some areas without my byline. I do not mind the essay being up, I wrote it to help young people like myself but please do be kind enough to give me credit.

I am sure you understand why I would require credit and worse how devastating plagiarism can feel.

Thanks so much!

Brenda Della Casa (Lola)
Author, Cinderella Was A Liar

So this is my attempt to give credit where credit is due.
And may I just state for the record, I never took credit or cash for this piece. I thought by posting "Author Unknown" I was being ...polite???

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Enjoyable Post

After reading Jason's latest post I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite gals on one of my favorite shows:

"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous." - Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Rather than my own commentary, I give you some of my favorite pictures that remind me of the mentioned relationships; Thanks Carrie!

"Something New and Exotic"

"Something Old and Familiar"

"Those That Bring Up Lots of Questions"

"Those That Bring You Somewhere Unexpected"

"Those That Bring You Far From Where You Started"

"And Those That Bring You Back"


And, finally...

"The Ones Who Love the Me I Love...No matter What"
Nick, Ali, and Me

I have really enjoyed this post :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

On the Road Again...

Mr. Muffin and I are leaving for the summer mission trip Sunday morning and there are just a few more things that need to be done around the house before we leave. I look forward to a week of being outdoors, surrounded by nature, working, Phase 10, and getting to know other members of our church more personally. Pastor J. is going as the other adult female chaperone which I am really excited about since there have not been a lot of down time opportunities for us to hang out and get to know each other. The five gals that are going are active in MYF and also attend the girl's Bible study on Wednesday nights that I am a part of. Each girl is very conversational, silly, and best of all low maintenance! What I mean is that I won't have to worry about being woken up at 4a.m. by the sound of hairdryers or worry about someone blowing a fuse so that they can straighten their hair at camp! Last year I heard wonderful stories about the quality time spent rocking in chairs after a hard day's work overlooking the mountains on the porch at Hinton. I started a really good book a few days ago by Elizabeth Gilbert called "Eat Pray Love" that I hope to read some during our down time. My prayers are that we will be the hands and feet of God for those in need and that each individual will experience God in a new way. Also, I am praying that my back will not be a burden on my efforts of physical labor. For those of you who don't know I suffer from severe lower back tension that sends really intense pains and muscle cramps into my hips. As you will read in Mr. Muffin's blog, there will be a new blog dedicated to our progress and photos during our stay at Hinton! Have a great week and keep us in your prayers!

P.S. Ali Carrie will be enjoying her own vacation at Camp "Muffin-Laws."

Thursday, July 12, 2007


This past weekend I traveled to Nashville, TN. I have always heard that Nashville is so awesome I was really looking forward to going. The purpose of this trip was to visit one of my best friends that I had not seen in two years. For nick-names' sake I will call her "Ms. J". Personal and complicating circumstances are the reason for the separation, but the issues have been resolved and for that I am very thankful. We didn't do as much sight see-ing as I hope to do next time. We visited the Loveless Cafe, J. Alexanders, Borders Books, Green Hills Mall, and Broadway at night. The trip was devoted to what friends do best...talking, listening, catching up, and growing. I came away from the trip with a new appreciation for my self, her self, and the experiences that have shaped us since we left Tuscaloosa in 2004. Throughout our all night, and I do mean ALL NIGHT, conversations I gained a sense of motivation and excitement to live my life with a "fresher perspective?" I am really trying not to sound super cheesy but it is kind of hard not to. The best thing I learned on my trip was to stop battling the many things I battle internally on a daily basis. Foods, for example. (Guys may not understand this completely but to all of my ladies I know you will.) I can't remember a time in my life where every bite of food that I took was not apprehended or dreaded and every day that passed without exercise I didn't rehearse some negative self talk like "you should have gone on a walk or at least gone to the gym for thirty minutes...you have to go in the morning before you go to Wal-Mart because if you don't go in the morning you will skip working out all together....see you didn't go this morning and now it has been one week since you exercised! oh well in two days it will be Monday and you can start then..." It gets very tiresome and drains so much joy out of my daily life to worry as much as I am prone to do...not just about food but about bills, people dying, Ali getting run over or kidnapped, my boss making my cry, people thinking I am mean or shallow...all kinds of stuff that according to statistics...aren't likely to happen. You often hear people say "choose your battles wisely" and I think I am on my way to really understanding what that means. This is not an apology. It is a celebration! God Bless the people in my life that put up with me. And God Bless me too.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Thoughts on Getting Old

It has been so long since I posted. Here is a shot as interesting my peers. I received an email from a friend and I thought it had some thoughts worth mentioning. If you are sensitive to CHEESE you should step away from this post NOW. I especially like the list of "How to Stay Young." So here goes; enjoy!

"Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old
is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited
about aging that you think in fractions.

"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a
half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the
next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're
gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . you become 21.
Even the words sound like a ceremony . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like
bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're
Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the
brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and
your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a
day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch;
you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the
90s, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a
little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.
Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them."

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening,
whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's
workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who
is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets,
keepsakes, music, plants, and hobbies, whatever. Your home is your

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable,
improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next
county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath away.