Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Encore! Try for Friday

Come Together~


Let It Be~

My thoughts~

1. I HATE that stupid pole. . .I SO wanted to move it when we finished the basement - $15K!! Just to move the pole - it is load bearing - not a chance.

2. It makes me smile to see them do this for fun.

3. Did you notice the Fathead Homer? A gift to Tom.

4. I can't believe these boys are 15 and 16 YEARS OLD!! What happened to our little boys?

Did I say that I LUV Try for Friday?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Doughnut Man Does a Dozen

Dear Sweet Precious Foster,

You're twelve today. You changed our life on April 29, 1996. You make us smile everyday. We love you, are proud of you and thank God everyday that he blessed us with such a blithe spirit.

With all of our love,
Mommy, Daddy and Trey

Monday, April 28, 2008

Quentin, We're Proud of You

Auburn’s Quentin Groves was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, the 52nd selection overall.

One day last year - about this time of the year - I went to Cary Woods Elementary School to check my son out early. I don't remember why.

I noticed a big guy sitting in the waiting area playing with a phone, or Gameboy or some electronic thing. I thought he must be some one's brother or dad.

I told Ms. Mitchell that I needed to get Foster and she got on the intercom to his room and asked Ms. Cope to send Foster up front that he was being checked out.

The big guy stood up, walked over to me and asked me if I was Foster Denney's mother. I looked way up until my neck hurt - and said, "Umm maybe? Depends. . ."

He chuckled and said, "Hi, my name is Quentin Groves. I spoke to Foster's class today. He gave me his autograph."

We both cracked up. I shook his HUGE hand. He told me that Foster was a trip and I told him that was nothing I didn't already know.

Foster walks in - they share a "we've been brothers forever" kind of handshake. Quentin tells Foster to stay cool. Foster says, "always, man, always!"

You know, Quentin could have left Auburn and probably gone higher in the draft last year - but he was speaking to fifth graders instead - making them feel good about themselves.

We believe in you, Quentin, and are very proud of you. We know you will always do well because you have what all good Auburn folks have - Character.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why I Love Holy Trinity

Mission Statement

Holy Trinity is a diverse and vibrant community of Christians who
seek to live the Gospel in the Anglican Tradition.

We are an inclusive, Christ-centered community reaching out to all who seek a deeper spirituality and relationship with God and one another. Our parishioners are multi-generational and come from a wide variety of backgrounds. At Holy Trinity families, children and youth are rapidly growing in numbers. We are an open and affirming congregation centered on a common faith in Christ. We hope you will worship with us soon.

DIVERSE, INCLUSIVE, AFFIRMING. Holy Trinity welcomes everyone - just as you are.

AND, I'm proud of our latest - Stewardship of Creation. We've created a task force to advocate for wise and just environmental policy and to provide opportunities for service in the stewardship of the earth. Yep, you guessed it - I joined the task force.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Missin' Daddy Blues

Daddy came to me in my dream last night. He said, “Baby, let go of those old haints now, ya hear me. Your life is too short for that kind of nonsense and you’ve had a good life – a lot better than you think.”

Wow, just wow. Profound. But, wait, what EXACTLY did you mean? Daddy?

He never had much to say when he was living. He told me two other times in my life to “let go of old haints.” He meant grudges and regrets.

For the most part, I think I’ve lived my life daily and real. But if I am truly honest, I have to say that deep down inside, where it really counts, I do have a haint or two.

Ironically, and somewhat comforting, I woke up to a computer message this morning from a former student – one of my favs – Connely.

Folsom Prison Blues was one of my Daddy’s favorite songs. I cried.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Pledge

Earth Day is Every Day.

What we've already done:

  • recycle all aluminum, glass, cardboard, and newspaper.

  • changed all of our light bulbs to compact fluorescents.

  • car pool everyday.

  • traded our SUV.

  • ride bicycles, scooters and motorcycles when we can.

  • walk when we can.

  • use refillable, non-disposable coffee cups and water bottles.

  • use reusable shopping bags instead of disposable plastic or paper bags.

  • wash our clothes in cold water.

  • pay all of our bills online.

  • got our heat pumps serviced.

  • keep our cars serviced.

What more we can do:

  • learn to compost.

  • use the library more.

  • get our name taken off more junk mail lists.

  • suggest to people who send mailings to create email lists.

  • walk more.

  • get programmable thermostats.

What do you do Every Day for Earth Day?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hear and Now

This documentary airs on HBO from time to time. I think the next showing is May 8. Check your local listings - You've gotta see it! It's amazing. It's won many documentary film awards including a Sundance Film Festival Award.

"In this deeply personal memoir, filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky documents her deaf parents' complex decision to leave their world of silence and undergo a dangerous surgery to get cochlear implants -- the only one of its kind that can restore a sense. At the age of 65, Paul and Sally Taylor decided they wanted to hear their first symphonies, hear their children's' voices, and talk on the phone. How will this operation transform them, their relationship with each other, and the deaf world they might leave behind? This is a story of two people taking a journey from silence to sound. The question is, what will they make of it, and what might they gain -- or lose -- forever?" Irene wrote that preview.

Hear and Now is Irene Taylor Brodsky's first feature-length film. As a producer and cinematographer, she filmed polygamist Alex Joseph and his nine wives in the Utah desert, investigated the fragile state of American health care, followed a fetish clothing designer (HBO's "Real Sex") and produced TV documentaries and shorts on subjects ranging from Bollywood to bluegrass music. In 2004, Taylor Brodsky won an Emmy® for "The Rural Studio," her portrait of late architect Samuel Mockbee and his legacy in the American South."

I met Irene in 2003. She was hired to produce a feature for CBS Sunday Morning on the Rural Studio program in west Alabama. We became fast friends. She won an Emmy® for that feature and the Rural Studio benefited greatly. A year or so later she moved to Portland, Oregon. She went to a "Women in the Arts" luncheon and was introduced and the group was told of her award for her work at the Rural Studio. Amazingly, at the luncheon was a friend of mine from my days at the law firm in D.C. who at the time was the program director for the Center for Arts and Humanities for the state of Oregon. Irene and my friend Carol are great friends now.

What was it Walt Disney said? It's a small world after all.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Finally, The Beach Photographs

This slide show is of our Spring Break trips to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Florida.

We love to go here. First of all, it is a state park with no development. The beaches are pristine with no lights. The peninsula faces West, unlike the other Florida beaches that we go to on the Florida panhandle. Because it faces west, the sunsets are amazing.

We've been five times. We only have photographs of three of those times. As I Blog, and Facebook and such - I'm getting better about taking photographs. Before, I had the attitude that things were not real. I wanted to live in the real moment.

Enjoy. We sure did.

Click on the link below - then "view as slideshow" for the best view. Sorry, I'm new at this. Any suggestions or help - please pass it on.

Denney Spring Break - a set on Flickr

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another Quiet Night at the Denneys

What? in the world was I thinking?

I know! I love these boys.

Introducing = Try for Friday, the basement band that plays at our house - you guessed it - on Fridays.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Soccer Tournament from HELL!

The first thing I want to say is that the tournament staff and the tournament itself was one of the best run I have ever seen - particularly because of the circumstances.

12 noon - Friday, April 4 - tornadoes hit Jackson, Mississippi. We are due to leave Auburn, Alabama at 3 p.m. to Jackson, a five hour drive, for a soccer tournament. I am going by myself with three 11 year olds. I think, GREAT - it'll be cancelled. Such a great mom, right?

2 p.m. - I leave my last meeting for the day at work. Check the phones and email boxes and no word from tournament staff. Our team caravan (two other automobiles) decides to leave at 4 p.m. because the storm is headed our way and we will have to drive straight through it. It's moving east and slightly north and we hope to miss it.

4 p.m. - we decide to wait 30 more minutes - phone the tournament staff - they say with great enthusiasm - TOURNAMENT'S ON. There are some areas without power, but tomorrow is going to be a gorgeous day - 75 degrees and sunny. Drive safely.

4:30 p.m. - we start on our way.

At about 5 p.m. we get to Montgomery, Alabama and I get a call from home - "Montgomery is under a tornado warning - what is the weather like?" UGH~ No rain, but to our right - just north of us the clouds look very ominous with little "fingers" pointing to the ground that look like they can turn into a tornado at any minute. We push on.

I'll spare all the details, but we did drive through some heavy rain, but no tornadoes.

We get to Demopolis and hear that our hotel in Jackson doesn't have power - to take our time. We stay at Hardees in Demopolis for two hours. . .ugh.

I get an AU Alert phone call. I work for Auburn University and because of all the campus shootings across the country, we have automatic notification of anything life threatening. Auburn is under a tornado warning - take cover immediately. I find my 15 year old son in Auburn. He is spending the night with a friend. Thankfully, they are in a basement. My husband is in our basement at home. Everyone is safe. No tornado hits Auburn.

We push on.

We get to our hotel at almost mid-night. Still no power. We get one flash light per room and four AA batteries. Joy. They tell us not to drive anywhere that night because there are power lines down everywhere. . . .the photograph above is the street behind our hotel. I'm not making this up.

I never slept all night. My car is in a pitch black parking lot with no security, there is no air movement in the room and I'm with stinky boys.

6 a.m. the next morning. Still no power. Get downstairs to the lobby and there is COFFEE! YES! Go back up, get the boys dressed for a 8:30 a.m. game. My door key doesn't work - UGH. At least the boys wake up and let me in.

7:15 a.m. in the lobby to caravan to the game - Games have been delayed FOUR HOURS!

What do you do with 11 year olds in a hotel and city with no power for FOUR HOURS - and it's pouring down rain? I put them in my car - we plug in several electronic things - and play electronic games and cards in the car! Why not in the lobby? Because there are 100 other U-12 soccer boys running around.

What happened to the nice sunny weather? Nobody could ever tell us.

FINALLY, it's game time. The directions to the field are wrong - our coach's fault. He gave us google maps and NOT the official game maps. I show up late - get yelled at by the same coach who gave me the wrong directions. I'm ready to pack it up and go home. Thankfully, another dad takes up for me - and I settle.

The fields are muddy, it's 40 degrees and the boys are covered from head to toe with mud - AND we lose to a team from New Orleans 6-0. UGH. Miserable.

We get back to the hotel and my new key doesn't work - it's pitch black and the door won't open. UGH. Luckily, this time a maid is in the dark hallway to let me in.

I get on the phone and find a new hotel in Pearl, MS. 25 miles away. We ALL go.

We get there check in - we barely have enough time to get to our next game. No showers - nothing.

We lose our second game 7-0 to a team from Baton Rouge.

Back at new hotel - MY KEY DOESN'T WORK! what? The lady at the desk tells me that Blackberry telephones wipe hotel keys clean! Something good to know.

We get amazing hot showers and the hotel has a washing machine. . .we're all set.

We go eat together - all 17 of us. I can't wait. Only we have to wait - 1 hr. At Ruby Tuesdays in Pearl, MS? Yep. Everyone is there from Jackson.

I go to the bar - and order a vodka martini, no vermouth with three olives, please. She laughs at me! Ma'am, Pearl is dry - we only sell beer! At least they have Corona! and limes.

I have a wonderful salad, grilled salmon with crab sauce, asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes and CORONA BEER! ugh! Should have ordered sweet tea.

Sunday was nice. We played a team from Hoover, AL - which is hilarious - it's a two hour drive to Hoover. We are more evenly matched, but Hoover pulls it out at the end.

We lose all of our games.

I tell the boys. . . .go to the bathroom . .. we are headed home, we are NOT PASSING GO, and we are not collecting $200. We're not stopping for ANYTHING.

We drive through for food and keep on going.

We arrived home at 4:30 p.m. yesterday, record time. I'm so exhausted I'm a walking vegetable.

The only funny thing. . . . .as we were running late to that first game . . . . a mild mannered little boy says to me . . ."It's OK Mrs. Denney, my mom acts like that, too, when she's upset."