this is a test

just making sure this thing is still here.

back later this weekend with a post.

have not felt bloggy this week.


Happy Trails

It all began a little over three years ago and this phrase was one of the first pieces of advice I remember him giving us. Dr. Dusty R. Johnston - our new president.
The cowboy.
The Texan.
The leader.
One of us.

Now gone back home to his great state of Texas.
Very happy indeed for him and his family.
His new college home will soon come to know the stories & the style.

We have been fortunate to have him.
I think he has been fortunate to have us too.
Friday was his last day at work and there was a small "cookies & punch" send-off.
Nancy suggested we all wear the Dusty Johnston uniform: white (or other plain,no nonsense) button down shirt, jeans, boots, & hat because "imitation is the highest form of flattery."
I do think he was flattered.

I carried extra hats for those who might not have a hat to wear.
We have extra hats at my house.
It's just how we are.
That "Peruvian" as she called herself in this picture is Tina.
She will be leading us as the interim president from now until we find someone new to take us on.
She will do a great job, I have no doubt about it.

Those other two clowns are Rick & Ronny, our Physical Plant guys.
I think Ronny looks quite natural in his hat...Rick....not so much. He's more of a baseball cap kind of guy.
Tina had a little gathering in Dr. J's honor at her home last night.
Dr J & his son Jerod had fun telling stories on each other!
Instead of buying a "going away" gift, we put together a scrapbook for Dr. J.
I truly think he loved it!
It is full of all things that scrapbooks should be full of: memories, pictures, stories, pretty paper & embellishments!
He'll enjoy looking through it over & over. I did as I was putting it together!
I'm adding to my bucket list that someday those I have worked with will spend the time & energy on a scrapbook for me. What a fantastic gift!

More shots from the evening:

Nancy & JoanAdam & Michelle
A sickly Fred and Karla.
Sweet Joan again.
and Scott and Amy. Scott is taking a picture of me taking his picture!
I truly wish the best for Dr. J and his new endeavor.
Three years is not a long time, but he has left a lasting impression on us all.

Let a new era begin...


Country Text

so I took down my Country Text Etsy widget for a while.
It seemed a little outdated, what with the holiday JOY stuff still up.

I had actually planned to spread some LOVE for Valentine's Day, but it really just "snuck" up on me and I didn't get it done.

I have some other ideas for new stuff floating around my head for Country Text, but for now it will just be idle and quiet.

I was very happy with how things went for Christmas and hope to expand on that next year as well as holidays in between.

I thank all my friends & family for supporting my efforts and encouraging my work both past, present and future!


how excited am i!

Remember me posting about Mandie's giveaway?


you guessed it...I did!!!!

What a great way to start a week.

Check out the link again and make a purchase.
I plan to order some coffee.
I think it would make a nice gift.
You should do the same.
No, really!

Thanks again Mandie.
I think you pretty much rock!


weekend recap

Wow I'm posting two days in a row. go me!
Twas a good weekend.
Mom & I spent yesterday visiting Granny, Judy & Cindy.
Oh, and this cute little guy:
This would be Rocky.
Rocky is a Schitzu and Maltese mix. a/k/a malshi.
He is precious!
Here is another shot with Cindy in the background.
I love his cool face markings. He has a perfect mask across his eyes.
I told her Zorro would have been a cute name for him too!
She loved it and decided to make Zorro his middle name. =)
I'm happy that he is bringing her so much joy.
She truly deserves some joy in her life!

Last night (Valentine's Day night) we went out to eat with friends in Batesville.
Colton's was the restaurant of choice and it was very good.

Moving on to today, I went to church and took more photos afterwords for the directory.
Came home and got in on the Round Robin scrap over at SIStv.
It was very fun. I had never participated before, but hope to again sometime.
Here is my creation:
This was a picture of us from Thanksgiving that I had been wanting to scrap.
The gist of the game is this: the hostess posts a page with one or two elements and everyone gets 20 minutes to do their page mimicking their page, and the second person adds an element and posts theirs. The group gets another 20 minutes to add their interpretation, while the next person in line adds another element. It goes on till everyone has the chance to add something. Confusing sounding I know, but it is loads of fun!
My addition on this one was the title. I felt like I was on a roll, so I decided to keep on scrapping!
I broke out my new Retro Modern collection and scrapped this photo of my friends/co-workers and I at our Christmas reception.
I love this picture!
I love this collection too!
I totally recommend it.
That groovy ribbon flower was sent to me by Jann Gray. Is it not adorable?
I thought it was perfect for this page too.

This gorgeous sunset was a nice ending to a great weekend.
Tomorrow is a holiday.
I will be working though because we use this holiday as a "banked" holiday for the Christmas vacation.


Happy V-Day

I'm not big on Valentine's Day.
Feel it is too commercialized.
Of course, most holidays are.

BUT, I did want to wish anyone who might happen by a
Most lovely and loving Valentine's Day!

I'm making a quick trip with Mom to see my Granny, Aunt, Cousin today.
Always a good time!

Tonight will be dinner out with several other couples more than likely.

The greatest love story can be found in the 13 chapter of 1 Corinthians.

Back in January when Mandie and I were doing our diptych project, one of our prompts was "love". this was my entry for that day:
I encourage you to go read in that chapter today on the day of Love!

Speaking of Mandie....
She has a little giveaway on her blog with today being the deadline.
She is passionate about CompassionArt.
Her post is HERE.
Go and check it out.
What a great thing to do for V-Day!

And Mandie, to you I say thanks for your passion...it is people like you who help spread the word about these great projects!


Greatest Monday

Something lifted me today.
I know what or should I say Who it was.
My heart has been heavy lately.
I get this way during the dead of winter.
Then with all the ice, cold and craziness that came with it, I've just been in a funk.

After a wonderful Sunday school lesson yesterday about persistence in praying I felt the need to keep the lines of communication open today with God.
It worked people!
I had a great little talk with Him this morning on my way to work, and kept the conversation going all day.
What a novel idea! It's no big secret or new thing, it's just simple praying.
No fancy prayer language and no structure, just a talk with a best friend.

I was determined this day would be a great day:
That I would be productive.
That I would be a beacon of light to others.
That I would fight back ugly thoughts.
That I would think before speaking (okay so I failed on this one).
I think I will try this tomorrow.
If it works on Monday (typically a cruddy day), just think how great Tuesday will be!

Try it for yourself,
Sincere, persistent prayer.

The weather and sunshine also helped as a mood elevator today.
I've officially got it: Spring Fever!
Love looking forward to it - makes me somewhat giddy!

To top off the day I got this in the mail:

Ordered it from the SIS Boutique and am reveling in it's marvel!
The name of the kit is Winter Detox and let me tell you it definitely will make you forget the winter blahs!

Highly recommended!
And what a great way to top off an already good Monday.

Bring on Tuesday - I'm ready for it!


25 random things

Okay, so I have been tagged about a bazillion times to do the 25 random things on Facebook.
Decided I would post it here on the old blog too.
  1. I am named after my Mom's favorite movie star when she was a girl: Kim Novak.
  2. If I would have been a boy, I would be Jim Ed. Can you say "redneck?" I would have been okay with it though because number 1, I would be honored to be named after my grandfather (Jim) and Dad (Ed), and number 2, I can get pretty redneck at times!
  3. I don't bite my nails, but I have a horrible cuticle habit.
  4. I have a mad obsession with Taco Bell mild sauce. Always have...always will.
  5. I won a live pig one time by catching it while it was greased.
  6. I love video games and become a little crazed with "getting to the next level".
  7. I use ellipses ...way....too...much....
  8. I move my mouth to the words I'm typing and there is a rumor that I move my mouth to what I just said after I just said it.
  9. I am a Christian - not really random, just real truth!
  10. Ideal vacation is being on the beach with no agenda, schedule, watch or phone!
  11. I sew - pretty well too, but my machine is jacked up right now. :(
  12. I am totally and completely afraid of mice....like I cannot sleep if I see one.
  13. Speaking of sleep: I sleep with my head completely under the covers.
  14. I hum constantly...people mistake it sometimes for a good mood, but really I am just humming and don't realize it.
  15. I love my stepchildren just like they were my own.
  16. My favorite font is Century Gothic.
  17. My mom is my hero.
  18. I love love love to take pictures but hate seeing my own picture. ugh.
  19. I don't really keep up with movies or even watch too many, but I have a new found obsession with Coraline which began today. I WILL go see this movie in a theater.
  20. I do not like talking on the phone and get easily distracted.
  21. I am thankful for my parents for instilling in me the value of a good, solid work ethic.
  22. I laugh a lot and cry a lot....sometimes at the same time!
  23. I never pay full price for clothes and it absolutely thrills me to get a "good deal."
  24. #24 was my number when I played basketball - just like U.S. Reed - Arkansas Razorback bball player who made a 50 foot shot to win a game at the NCAA tourney in Austin, Texas. I was there and got his autograph before the game. Always thought it was my lucky number, therefore I'm only posting 24 random things.
I am now tagging anyone else who might happen upon this and feel the need to get 25 random things off your chest.

I will go further and challenge you to post one random thing about yourself in a comment to this post.


Ice Storm - one more time!

I'm sure I've bored my blog readers plenty with ice storm pictures and stories, but I just had to post one more day....day #3.

Yes, Thursday.
Not that I could tell you what day it was at the time.

By then, every day was the same.
We spent the first part of the day on a cat & mouse trying to get Alex with her boyfriend.
Unfortunately it was a lost cause.
We were sitting at his house while he was sitting at our house!
No cell phone service at all.
It was like a bad movie.

We checked on the the Ash Flat campus of the college where I work.
There was electricity and phone. It was quite odd.
We went for a Wal-Mart run and purchased a bunch of junk food, while hubs was getting gas.
By the time we got home the sun was out and the skies were clear and blue.
I snapped a bunch of photos of the frozen splendor/ugliness (whichever was you choose to view it):

Next thing I knew, there were bucket trucks pulling in the driveway.
YAY! We might have power.
Don't worry, we didnt get it until the following day because we had some limbs on our line to the meter loop.
These guys were a contract crew, hired by our local electric cooperative: NAEC, to do some repairs.
I love my local co-op for all their hard work during this ordeal.
Those guys are real troopers.
See this guy in the bucket truck?
Alex's friend and our neighbor, Seth.
Seth horseshowed with us for several years and he and Alex have been like brother & sister growing up together.
Graduated from high school last year and went to lineman school in the fall.
He was hired by a local crew.
I am very proud of him for working so hard.
His dad works for NAEC too.
I love my small town!
I love the fact that Seth helped get us on our way to electricity!

After those guys pulled out, we went out to Mom's.
It had been two days since I had talked with them.
I had finally gotten a text to go through and got one back from Robert that they were okay, but I still wanted to see them and make sure!
We made it past the line hanging down across their driveway just in time to see the most gorgeous sunset and sky I believe I've ever seen! (new blog banner)
Here is what boredom will do when you are a kid:
Goofy Jake was wearing (or attempting to wear) someone else's jeans, along with someone else's socks on his hands, and his sweatpants on his head. All along playing with this huge limb.
What a guy!

Let's fast forward to today.
It's been over a week that this ordeal began.
Many people still don't have power, but many more have it than was expected at this point.
We've got National Guard here, FEMA, and Red Cross.
There are still shelters set up for those needing a warm place to sleep & shower along with a hot meal.
Schools are back in session and people are finally getting back to semi-normal lives.

I'm personally ready for some springtime and little flowerbuds and green pops of color.
For short sleeves and flip-flops.
For now, I'll continue wearing my sweats and socks and attempt to find the beauty in the gray of winter.


More Ice Storm drama

What a difference a day makes!
This is day two of the ice storm...the worst day.
From Tuesday until Wednesday meant more ice and then a covering of snow.
We had no power or phone.
Many people were even out of water.
Lots of people are still without power even as I type this a week after the storm began!

On Wednesday morning I looked out my window to the following images:
This fella' was our saving grace for three days minus over a hundred dollars in gas, which we waited 2 hours in line for on Thursday.
We were even able to take a quick warm shower with him powering our little household.
Thank you Mr. Lincoln Welder and Hubs who is a wizard at all things electric and getting things done.
We headed out early bundled up in our Carhartt coveralls (Yes I was quite fly!)
and chainsaws. The power company trucks were already lining up to assess the huge undertaking they had ahead.
We headed over to our friends who live WaaaaaaAAAAy back in the woods and holy moly the roads were covered with timber!
Their neighbor down the road (pictured on the tractor) had already cleared from his house to the main road and he helped us (or Hubs) clear on to their driveway.Here is their driveway.
Amazing huh?

The wild part was we heard another chainsaw and it was our friend Tony on the other side working toward us. Evidently he had been up since first light to start working out with his tractor and a chainsaw.

This picture is hubs and Tony trying to cut through.
You can barely see them!

As beautiful & sparkly as the ice looks, it has literally left no timber unharmed.
It has made our gorgeous country so ugly in only a 24 hour period!
I am totally amazed at the destruction.

The f5 tornado that plagued my hometown and surrounding area almost one year ago was very destructive and left many people devastated - nothing compares to losing one's home I would not think. But this ice storm has affected every single person in my region. Heck across several states even.

How could something so disastrous still hold such beauty?
After we left there, we headed to town to search out gas for the welder.
Us and everyone else!
We sat in line for two hours at the bulk gas plant that had power.
It was worth it though, because it was my night to shower! :)

That about covers Thursday.

Stay tuned for Friday.


I'm baAAAck

Sorry I've been MIA.
The ice just got us... and I mean got us good!
Got electricity back Friday night,
but no phone/internet until today.
Was without cell for two days.
Amazing how dependent I am on these things.
Also amazed at what I am truly thankful for.

the Ice storm holds many stories and pictures.
My camera was one thing vice the ice couldn't take away!!!

more to come soon.