Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Yesterday, here in Knoxville, they buried the young actor Brad Renfro. He was only 25. They found him dead in his home last week. The autopsy results are still pending.

Somewhere in my piles and piles of books is an elementary school annual with his picture in it. My son used to play basketball after school with him and they would sometimes ride bikes together.

I didn't realize who he was until after The Client came out and my son told me. Years later I asked my son why he stopped hanging out with Brad and he told me that Brad had a wild side that he just wasn't comfortable with. Even in elementary school he was already smoking and to my kids that was a big deal.

Brad struggled for years with alcohol and drugs and got into trouble many times. We would follow the news reports and shake our heads. Not in judgement, at least I like to think so, mainly just feeling sorrow. How can you not feel sorry for someone so young.

While Brad was being buried the news channels broke the story that another young actor, Heath Ledger was found dead ,in a New York apartment, with pills scattered around him. They think it was an accidental overdose or maybe suicide. Both young men left behind young children who will never know their fathers. How very sad. They were both talented and gifted actors.

So many of our young people today want to live a Hollywood type lifestyle. I read recently about a survey that has been give to high school age teens since the 60's. They ask students what they would like to be when they grow up. Formerly the answers were along the lines of doctor, teacher, nurse, engineer, etc. The most recent surveys given report that the number one answer now is...famous. They just want to be famous. How profoundly sad is that? With the advent of the Internet and especially You Tube many kids have posted some disturbing content just to get noticed. In a way bizarrely fulfilling that desire.

Right now the media can't seem to get enough of Brittney Spears. Reportedly they have already written her obituary. Even Dr. Phil, according to her family, "sold her out". Maybe if we quit buying the magazines, watching the shows or stopped clicking on the links. I don't know, but at least it is something. Maybe just pray for them.

Pics: Top: Brad Renfro. Middle: Heath with his daughter Matilda Bottom: Heath Ledger Not my pics of course.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Kids By The Dozen

Note: I am not Christi Cason and I don't know how to find her. Just a note for all those who ask.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I always wanted a big family. Since I can remember I always said that I wanted 6 kids. I didn't quite make it; we only have 4. If I had it to do over I probably would have gone for the 6.

I did however marry a man who was the baby of 12. Six girls and six boys.

There are about 65 grandchildren and probably around 20 or more great grandchildren. It makes for big and noisy family reunions!

With the writers strike doing away with new episodes of my favorites I've been surfing the channels more and I've found some really interesting new shows to watch.

My favorite is Kids by the Dozen on the TLC network. It is along the same lines as the shows they put on about the Dugger family.

It is educational and entertaining to watch these remarkable families in action. Each episode is about a different family. There are some really interesting ones. I can't say I would do everything the way they do, or that I agree with their decisions or the way they choose to live, but it is very interesting to watch.

I am amazed and impressed by the organization it takes. Some are better at it than others. There are great examples of living simply and there are examples of excess.

The one thing that has been evident in the episodes I've watched. There is a lot of love. No matter how crazy things get, they all seem to really love each other. That seems to be what makes it all work.

Another factor is that the parents, for the most part, seem to be extremely patient, even tempered people.

It is an enjoyable show and gives me a chance to indulge my fantasy of a house full of kids.

Pic: My husband's family in 1958. He is the adorable little guy, with the great big eyes, on the front row, far left. He was 3.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Beautiful Blogs: Warm Pie, Happy Home

It is COLD outside. 10 degrees this morning. TEN. That should be illegal!

I'm not crazy about being outside right now, so I've got more time to surf around different blogs and enjoy the creativity out there. I just found this blog Warm Pie, Happy Home.

Ruthann is a woman after my own heart. I love the visual when it comes to blogging and will admit that I don't read a single blog that isn't full of gorgeous pictures, or at least lots of pictures. Ruthann fits the bill perfectly!

She is a born decorator and has created a dreamy home for her family. We can't all live in fantastic homes like hers, but we can dream a little, be inspired by her enthusiasm and maybe pick up a few really good ideas that can be adapted to fit into our own homes.

Check it out and tell her Carrie J sent you.

Pic: Our side yard last time we were lucky enough to get a decent snow. It snowed in Alabama yesterday and not here! :(

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Piano Man

Mom, Sonya and Laura, this is for you. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

W. C. Handy, Won't You Look Down Over Me

Or: How I Spent My Christmas Break...

It has been harder getting back into the swing of blogging than I thought it would be. I've been busy since the first of January with 2 family birthdays and our anniversary. I'm almost ready to get things back to normal. We spent our Christmas in Memphis with our daughter. We had a wonderful time seeing the sights. I hope you enjoy the pictures. I'm very proud of the Pyramid picture. Lucky timing on our trip across the Mississippi made that one possible.

We spent Christmas day with a family that she works with. They were kind enough to invite our family and a couple of people that couldn't go home for the holidays over to their home on Christmas day.

We are home and safe, refreshed from our break and getting back in the swing again. I'll be sharing some pics I took of some great old buildings in Memphis and of Hurricane Mills, the home of Loretta Lynn. Until then, God Bless.