GMA Highlights

Hi and Happy Friday to you!!   I watched part of Good Morning America today and enjoyed seeing the reunited Backstreet Boys.  I had forgotten how much I liked their music!

These five guys who will be celebrating their 20th anniversary next year have great harmony!  That was showcased in the songs they sang this morning.  Hope you got to see it!

They had a large crowd who enjoyed seeing them perform again as I did.  And, they enjoyed singing along and took over a few lines of these familiar songs.  It was great!  The band is working on a new CD which is scheduled to be released next year!

—-On GMA, they mentioned that Robin Roberts’ mother, Lucimarian Toll, had passed away yesterday.  Thankfully she was able to say goodbye to her mother and was there when she died, according to the news reports.  Robin’s mother was quite an inspiration and they wrote a book together and had an article published in Guideposts as well.

I was very sorry to hear about this loss — especially since Robin is also dealing with her own health crisis.  She has myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease of the blood and bone marrow.  She will be off since she will be having a bone marrow transplant.  Her donor is her sister Sally-Ann.  My prayers go out to Robin and her entire family.

——-This morning, they showed a flag flying over Central Park with four inspirational words of Robin’s: Light, Love, Power, and Presence.  This was the first time I’d seen them and I realized that I wanted to write about them.  I don’t know exactly what they mean to her, but I can share what they mean to me.

  • Light — my first thought is the Light of Jesus Christ! As the Bible states, He is the light of the world.  Another thing I think of is the light of the sun and how amazing it is to see when it rises in the morning and sets in the evening.  The shadows and how it shines through the clouds on many mornings and evenings are stunning.
  • Love — as the Love Chapter of the Bible states, the greatest of these is Love!  Love is patient and kind and so many other things.  Most importantly it is accepting people as they are and wanting the best for them.
  • Power — the Power of the Holy Spirit is an amazing thing.  Power for good is so precious and can lead to amazing things.  And, the power from electricity or seen in a lightning strike is a wonder to behold.  Electrical power keeps a family cool in the summer, keeps ice cream frozen, and the computer working.
  • Presence –this to me is about being there and engaged in your life.  It is so easy for life to pass us by.  Before we know it months and years have passed without us doing what we want or truly being an active participant in our own lives.  My prayer is that we can truly enjoy and experience each and every day to its fullest.

It was quite a morning on GMA which I have been watching for years.  The show today was entertaining and inspirational!  Keep up the great work guys!

Trader Joe’s

I am so excited that there is a Trader Joe’s in Knoxville, Tennessee!

My husband and I went for the first time on Sunday since we needed to grocery shop!  It was a bit of a drive from our house, but so much fun!

Many of the staff members came from other stores around the country which is really cool.  I didn’t get to ask them what they think of East Tennessee but will have to do that.

We did meet one nice man there from Tennessee.  He was honored to be chosen and seems to enjoy his job.  Good for him!

The store was super busy and quite a few items were out of stock.  But, this didn’t bother me since I am glad business was booming!  My fear had been they wouldn’t stay open for very long.  If the last few weeks are any indication, they should be here a while.

I was introduced to Trader Joe’s in San Diego, California.  This was the cool and super healthy grocery store we’d go to while on vacation.  The food we could find there was such a treat and tastes fantastic!!!

They have organic and natural food and the prices aren’t that different from other stores – some are more and others are the same.  Even better is much of the food tastes better than many other places.

On Sunday, being able to bring the groceries home to my house was great!  Until this week, I’d had to bring them home in my suitcase that I was either carrying on the airplane or checking.  They don’t ship their products so you have to go to a store to purchase them.

I am so exited to share with you some of the items I have savored yesterday and today!  Yesterday afternoon and evening, I had their Powerberries — one of the best dark chocolate treats I have ever had — and the mini mint chip ice-cream sandwiches.  This is another favorite since mint chip is my favorite kind of ice cream!  YUMMY!!!!

This morning we enjoyed some of their wonderful low-acid coffee!  It smelled fantastic and tasted even better.  And, I had their blueberries on my oatmeal.

And, for lunch I made Portobello mushroom ravioli with both marinara sauce and alfredo sauce and a salad with grape tomatoes!  Yummy.  Then later in the day, I enjoyed a pear and Havarti cheese for a snack, as well as their kettle corn at a different time.

A day of this fabulous food was such a treat and I am so excited for us to enjoy more items. I will have to pace myself so I don’t overdo it.  You see, I am not sure how often we’ll be able to go and shop there.  But, it is a treat to enjoy the taste of this organic, preservative-free, and additive-free food!!

I do enjoy each time going to this store!  This is one of my favorite places to shop!  How about you?

Have you been to Trader Joe’s?  I do recommend it!

Steel Magnolias

I recently saw an ad on Lifetime for a new “Steel Magnolias” movie that will air this fall.  A new take will be presented by this network and I am so excited!

This is one of my favorite stories ever made into a movie.  I like the closeness of the six women, the things they go through, and the fact that the southern hair salon is so important in their lives and the storyline.

Both this new movie and the original that was released in 1989 are based on a play.  The play is quite fascinating to see since it is only the six women in the story — M’Lynn, Shelby, Ouiser, Clairee, Truvy and Annelle.  And, the entire play takes place in Truvy’s salon.

The play was written by a man named Robert Harling who lost his sister to diabetes.  He is an amazing writer and truly has, in my opinion, a great insight into women and how they relate to each other.

When I was in college, I studied the play in one of my classes and loved it!  And, we as a class got to see the play.  That was before the movie came out.

It was neat to then see the translation to the big screen.  The movie added many different locations for the action and the lines and added men to the cast.

Some of the best lines ever in a play/movie, in my opinion, were in “Steel Magnolias.”  A few (but by no means all) of my favorites are:

  • “I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special,” Shelby tells M’Lynn
  • “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion,” Truvy says
  • “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin’ across your face.” — Truvy
  • “Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.” — Annelle
  • “There’s so much static electricity in this room, I pick up everything but boys and money.” — Truvy
  • “Well, you know what they say: if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!”– Clairee
  • “I have a strict policy that nobody cries alone in my presence.” — Truvy

The 1989 movie starred Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Shirley Maclaine.  This was a phenomenal cast and I liked each actress in the part they she played.

Since the themes and content are universal, it will be neat to see a new version of this story with an African-American cast.  I look forward to a new set of six actresses making the parts their own.

The new cast includes Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Phylicia Rashad, Condola Rashad, and Adepero Oduye.  The first four ladies I have enjoyed in many movies and television shows.  The last two I am looking forward to learning more about.

I can’t wait to see these ladies in the parts which I love so much!  And, I like the fact that I will be able to watch it on my television at home.  I just have to check and see when it will be airing.

Are you looking forward to this remake?  Please share your thoughts and comments!  I’d love to hear from you.

On Mondays and Character

Hi to you!  Hope you have a great Monday!

Here’s to the beginning of the week and the start to a new adventure.

Mondays are usually tough and to be disliked.  But, today, let’s try to think of this as a day of new opportunity, instead of another beginning of the usual drudgery.

I know it may not be easy but I would like to be positive and turn over a new leaf!!  Are you with me?!

Here’s to making the best of our new day!!  Hope you have a fabulous one!


Here is a great reminder that I came across this morning:  “Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.”  So very true!

Showing good character may be a lost art but it is still very important!

I feel we should live by the golden rule and treat others as we would like to be treated.

To Good Character!!

“In the end you should always do the right thing even if it’s hard.” — Nicholas Sparks

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.” – Abigail Van Buren

Patti’s Ponderings

Hi friends!  Hope you have been having a great week!  Here are a few thoughts, observations and ponderings from the week.

Can you believe that we are more than halfway through August already?  I sure can’t.  Many school districts, private schools, and home schooling families have already started school for the year.

That to me is way too early.  When I was growing up, we didn’t start until after Labor Day!  The summer would start in June so we’d have nearly three months!  I really am showing my age, aren’t I?!  I know there are some places where that is still the case, but not many anymore.  I hope that we’ll switch back to that.


I found a paperweight with a great quote on it over the weekend.  It says, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”  by Sir John Lubbock.

There is a lot of truth in that.  We read in our own thoughts to almost everything.  So, we can become predisposed to thinking a certain way.  For example, if you are having a bad day, or are just down or upset about something, you will more than likely see just the negative or the bad in things that day.

And, on the flip side, if you are having a fantastic day, you may not see or sense that a friend or family member isn’t as in the clouds as you.  And, you will sense only the positive.

This quote reminds me to think about others and what they may be going through and try to see the positive things in life, if possible.  That is what I got from it.

I would love your thoughts on this quote!


On of my favorite grocery stores opened this past week in Knoxville, but I was unable to make it and still haven’t been there.  Terrible, I say.

Trader Joe’s is now within driving distance of where I live and I am so excited!!  This is a great store that I have always enjoyed visiting while being in Mission Beach, California (San Diego).

My parents went on opening day and said it looked just like the one we are used to in CA!  YEAH!  They found all that they wanted.

The fact that it is close to home now is great.  They have organic food without colorings, preservatives, and other items that aren’t good for us.  And, they have a lot of special foods that we love!!

For example: all of the ingredients to make lentil bruschetta, lobster ravioli, butternut squash ravioli, pear sauce (like applesauce), mini chocolate-mint ice cream sandwiches, and sesame-covered cashews.  These are just some of the many items that I really like!!

I am so looking forward to shopping there very soon!  Thanks Trader Joe’s for coming to the Knoxville area!!


I have been buying many used books and one new one lately and am having a ball!

We have been to a consignment shop, several used book stores as well as Barnes and Noble and have enjoyed browsing in each location!!

The books that I bought were:

  • a book of inspirational thoughts that my former work supervisor had written and published (this was found at a consignment shop in Pacific Beach, CA — amazing!!).
  • a book on writings about children with special needs (can’t wait to start reading that one)
  • a book about people who live to be 100 years old and where they live (should be a fascinating book about why people can live that long — I want to know some secrets!)
  • Dick Van Dyke’s biography (I have liked him in Mary Poppins, his show with Mary Tyler Moore, and Diagnosis Murder – he is great) — this was on sale
  • Carol Burnett’s biography (her variety show was one the funniest every on television.  Have you seen it?  The best was when she dressed up as Scarlet O’Hara. “This was from my curtains (and included the rod) — makes me laugh every time. this was also on sale
  • “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” by Aimee Bender.  This one I bought because of the title.  I can’t wait to dive into the cake book!
  • and the new book that I bought was “The Family Beach House” by Holly Chamberlin.  I read a book this summer called “The Story of Us” that she wrote and loved it.  And, I can’t wait to read this one.  And, I may have to do a blog about that book and my own family’s beach house.

Later friends!  Happy days, happy reading, and happy shopping!

2012 Olympics

Last night the 2012 Olympics ended in London, England with a fun send-off.

Over the past two weeks, the world came together to compete and it was great to watch.

I have always enjoyed the Olympics!  Seeing the pride in each athlete for his or her sport and for his or her county is exciting.  For all of these people from all over the world to peacefully get along and show such fantastic sportsmanship is something that we can all learn from.

And, to think some of the winners were determined by less than a second on the clock is truly incredible.  Never is time as important as when you are beating a world record or within 1 /100th of a second to determine the winner.

Something else that I am always so blown away by is the number of hours each day that the athletes devote to their sport.  They practice, play, etc. for 7 to 8 hours a day for years.  The sacrifices they make are incredible for that medal.  Sheer determination and grit must keep them going as their muscles ache.

At the opening ceremonies on July 27, I was fascinated to see athletes from all over the world, including countries that I have never heard of before.  Each person had a story on how they arrived and sadly, there wasn’t enough time to hear about all of them.  A few countries had fewer than 5 people competing.  Isn’t that amazing?  And, what an honor for them.

The City of London and the country of Great Britain were welcoming to the world.  I think they did a great job hosting.  The venues seemed nice and the music in the opening and closing ceremonies was fun and enjoyable, although a bit over the top at times.  But, that’s what it’s about, isn’t it?!

What I got a bit frustrated with was the television coverage on the network.  For the most part it was great, but they seemed to be very heavy in a few events while leaving out others altogether.

I know they can’t air everything, but I wish, for example, that they had aired a few women’s soccer matches, including gold, on the network — or at least part of the match, rather than on a cable channel that some families don’t have.

I have to say that since that is my only gripe, I as usual enjoyed the entire spectacle that is the Olympics.  The photo is one that I found online.  Isn’t it a great one?

Seeing records broken was fantastic!  Swimming, running, teams winning women’s beach volleyball, and women’s basketball, men’s relay swimming team, were some of the records that I enjoyed watching.  And, cheering a favorite team to victory was fabulous as well.

For the most part, the athletes showed amazing sportsmanship.  A few were quite frustrated at winning silver as opposed to gold.  I can see how that would be frustrating, but to me receiving any medal — gold, silver, or bronze would be an honor.

Please share your memories and favorite moments.  I would love to hear from you!

On to Rio de Janeiro in 2016!!   I do like that we only have to wait two more years for the winter Olympics.

940 Saturdays

In a recent issue of Reader’s Digest, there was a short item titled, “940 Saturdays.”

This caught my attention because it said, “940 Saturdays is the number of Saturdays between the day your child is born and the time he turns 18.  The phrase might serve as a reminder to cherish the time you have with your child and to use it wisely.”

Despite being very short in length, it was a very powerful article in a great magazine.  And, I have been thinking about that time frame ever since I read it.

So far, I think that Kirk and I have made the most of our almost 260 Saturdays with Ian.  He will be 5 years old in October so that will be the 260th Saturday give or take.  I figured that by multiplying 5 years x 52 weeks that we have in a year.

Already that many have gone by?  Wow!!!  How is that possible?  It seems like he was just a baby, then learning to crawl, learning to walk, learning to write his name, learning to use the bathroom (still being worked on but great progress has been made).  And, we have enjoyed hundreds of other new experiences with him.

I know that as Ian starts school, these weeks will go by even faster.  And, that makes me a bit sad, I must admit.  How about you?  On the other hand, it is a joy to see him learn new things, find his own voice and thoughts, and discover his world.  Ian has his entire life ahead of him and that is very exciting!!

When our kids are young, I think that we feel we have all of the time in the world and that having them grow up will never come.  Day-to-day and year to year sometimes are very hard and we may feel that it’s a struggle to get past.

But reading a number like that made me realize that the time isn’t endless.   We have a limited time with Ian as a young person to teach him what we can and have as much fun with him and make some amazing memories.

An important job for a parent is to teach our child or children how to take care of him or her self or themselves and be able to live away from us one day.  At this stage in Ian’s life, I can’t even fathom that.  There are so many steps to get him from here to there.  But, I know that it is coming one day.

We have a great life in front of us and I am excited and honored to be on this journey with Kirk and with Ian!  I look forward to us savoring each week as we make the most of our time together!

And, I also look forward to knowing Ian as a man and hopefully meeting his family one day.  I hope to regularly see him and spend time with him throughout his entire life.

Even after the end of these 940 Saturdays, there are so many more to enjoy with him!!  I can’t wait!!

I wonder if we can truly realize how precious this time is!  I am going to make a conscious effort to do just that!  How about you?

Happy Anniversary

I’d like to propose a toast to my brother and his wife and my sister and her husband.

Happy Anniversary to my siblings and their spouses this week!

My brother, Richmond, and his wife Beckie, celebrated their 18th anniversary yesterday!  My sister, Cindy, and her husband, Cody, celebrate their 19th anniversary today!

They are both close to 20 years of marriage.  That is very impressive and something to be celebrated!  Thus, the toast which I wish I could share with them in person!!

I remember being in both weddings and what fun they were.  In Cindy’s wedding, I was honored to be the maid of honor!  What fun it was to see her walk down the aisle in her gorgeous cream wedding gown that a friend of ours made and all of the wedding party dressed in cream and green outfits.  It was great to have Cody join our family.

And, then a year later, Richmond and Beckie wed.  I was a bridesmaid and we wore beautiful purple gowns.  This was one of my favorite bridesmaid’s dresses (no nightmare outfit there!!).  It was fun to have another sister in our family and to see my brother so happy!!

I am the oldest of the three of us, yet I was the one who married last in our family (5 years after Cindy).  All of us found and married our true loves at the right times in our lives.  And, for that I am thankful.

Both of these couples have shown me what marriage and real commitment are all about!  They have shown love and caring for one another, they have fun together, and are great to be around.  True love is an amazing thing to see!

I think all of us learned about the commitment of marriage from our parents who celebrated 47 years this summer, our grandparents who were married 66 years before my grandfather died, and our great-grandparents who were married for 70+ years.  We come from a long line of long marriages!!  Cool, isn’t it?

And, they have taught me about parenthood and how to discipline a child with love.  I am so proud of Cindy and Cody and Richmond and Beckie and their wonderful children.  And, I remember when they all were born.  Each one is so different yet so very special.

My family is such a blessing to me and I am so fortunate to be close to them!  I love you Cindy, Cody, Gussie, and Aiden; and Richmond, Beckie, Isaac and Rachel!

Some quotes about Anniversaries — some sentimental and some funny:

  • “Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him.”  ~H.L. Mencken, A Book of Burlesques, 1916
  • “Our wedding was many years ago.  The celebration continues to this day.”  ~Gene Perret
  • “A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.  The order varies for any given year.”  ~Paul Sweeney
  • “The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds – they mature slowly.”  ~Peter De Vries
  • “Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.”  ~Author Unknown
  • “Spouse:  someone who’ll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed single.”  ~Author Unknown
  • “It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”  ~Rita Rudner

Happy Sisters Day!

“Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters.” – from the movie White Christmas.

That song is among my favorites from that classic movie!!  “Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister and Lord help the sister who comes between me and my man.”

Thankfully I have no sisters like that! Can you even imagine?

Today is National Sisters Day!!  I’d never heard of this day until reading the newspaper this afternoon.  So I felt compelled to share how fortunate I am to have such great sisters – one by blood, six by marriage, and others who are very close friends.

I want to say to my sisters – I love you and am so glad to be your family!  In my immediate family, that is my blood sister Cindy and Beckie, my brother’s wife.  (They are pictured with me above – Beckie in the center and Cindy on the right.)

We have a lot of fun together and get along quite well.  They are both a blessing to me and my life!  I enjoy spending time with them and always wish it could be more.  This summer we had some time together with our kids and my parents and that was wonderful.

And, I have sisters through Kirk’s family – Linda Hope, Linda, Diane, Anne, and the late Kim.  They have been an additional blessing and although we don’t see each other often, we still have fun together.  During the time that Kirk and I have been married, we have gotten to know each other better and have made some fun memories!

I also have several friends who are like my sisters.   I am so glad to know Tammy, Jennifer, Dawn, Karen, Pam, Kimberly, Missy, Ann, Vicki, and DiAnn.  Each of them has shared a great chapter in my life and I am so grateful for that!!

There are many other friends who also mean the world to me and I wish I had the room to list them all.  You my friends are special to me regardless of your name being here!  I love you gals and know that you all rock!!

A few quotes about sisters:

  • “Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of.  You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there.”  ~Amy Li
  • “A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.”  ~Marion C. Garretty
  • “A sister smiles when one tells one’s stories – for she knows where the decoration has been added.” ~ Chris Montaigne
  • “More than Santa Claus, your sister knows when you’ve been bad and good.”  ~ Linda Sunshine


There was a song in the 1980s with the line, “Reunited and it feels so good.”

I was recently reunited with my husband Kirk and it’s been great to see him again!  Because of his work and me going to a family reunion/vacation, we had a month apart.

That wasn’t fun but we could at least talk regularly and communicated by e-mail.  Still, it isn’t the same as seeing each other every day and I really missed him, despite all of the people I was with.

During this time I thought about all of the military families who are apart for 6 months to a year or even longer.  I honestly don’t know how they do it!  I have a new respect for them and how they have to live for our freedoms.  My hat is off to these families and their friends as well.

Ian has also enjoyed being reunited with his daddy.  “I missed you Daddy,” he told Kirk.  This morning when he woke up, he made a point to come in and see his Daddy and make sure we were still together.

They gave each other hugs and talked and said “I Love You” to one another.  It was a beautiful thing to watch!  They are right back to their normal pattern and relationship!

Throughout the month, Ian would occasionally ask about Daddy but didn’t always want to talk to him on the phone. A few times he did and told him all about our adventures and that he was learning lots of new things.

Reunited and it feels so good!  Indeed, it is wonderful to reunite with the ones you love.