Don’t Stop and Smell the Flowers…

Don’t Stop and Smell the Flowers…















I’ve started running again. Back in May I suddenly stated having a tremendous amount of upper back pain. I had started a new workout program and assumed I had pulled something. Thanks for nothin’ Chalean Extreme. My doctor recommended an MRI.  Whew! Those are a barrel of monkeys, aren’t they? The MRI – not my favorite thing to do ever. The craziest thing was the music. I asked for Rock and they played ‘Wild Thing’ on repeat. The Troggs not Tone Loc.

Bottom line, I was diagnosed with this crazy thing called ‘Degenerative Disc Disease.’ Now you’ve probably heard of it because lots of people have it. That is, lots of people your Grandma’s age have it. True story: When the doctor looked at my MRI results he guessed my age at 70. Apparently I’ve lost all the fluid in my first three discs. Weird, huh.

Now I like Hydrocodone as much as the next girl but since an addiction to prescription pain killers isn’t on my bucket list I decided to go to physical therapy to see if I could get any relief.

It’s a bit better. I’ve kind of given up on any kind of total relief so I decided to toss the doctor’s whole ‘no exercise’ thing into the wind.

I love running. I do! I mean, mostly it’s a walk/run/pant thing but there ya go.

The place I run is so pretty that it’s easy to get distracted. It’ll be easier once the winter kills all the wildflowers.

photo 2

Wildflowers? Weeds?
photo 1

Whatever. They’re still pretty.


I wish I knew their names.


Purplificus Pretties.


Yellowrific Stems.

Alabama Wildflowers


Red Things. My naming is getting worse isn’t it. 

Hey! Here’s why I really need the winter to hurry up.

Alabama Snake


This guy! I do not need to see him anymore while I run! Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, he’s not poisonous but it would probably still hurt to step on him and get bit.

So…running good. Flowers good. Snakes very very bad.

The Writing Porch

The Writing Porch

This year Rick Bragg was the speaker at Vive Le Livre. Vive Le Livre is a fundraiser the Huntsville Literary Association puts on for the library. Past speakers have included Carl Hiassen, Scott Turow, and Bill Bryson. On a side note if you ever get the chance to see Carl Hiassen you should definitely go. 

Here is the man himself, signing my friend Leslie’s book.


Now like everyone else in the state of Alabama I read All Over But the Shoutin’ when it first came out so I was very excited to get to hear him speak. If you haven’t read the book it’s a memoir that contains some pretty painful scenes from the author’s childhood. It’s also a remarkable funny book. I read it with one shoulder bent towards ‘I can’t believe he said that’ and the other bent towards ‘thank goodness he said that.’

His topic on this night was the craft of writing.

If you follow me on Twitter you know I got  a little out of control live tweeting the event.

He started out by talking about the concept of the Muse. You know the Muse, the goddess of inspiration to writers and the like. He said ‘I don’t believe in the concept of the Muse. My muse is called a deadline. It’s called a contract.”Rick Bragg quote on writing

I thought that was so important because I follow so many bloggers that say ‘I’m just not in the mood to write’ – which is fine, it’s their blog after all. However, there are plenty PLENTY o’ times I write when I’m not in the mood too.

I mean, really, I haven’t seen the premieres of Nashville or Modern Family yet! Obviously I have other things to do besides blog. Oh, yeah. And run the house and all. 

He spoke of people’s perception of the muse as a creature of the fae, a fairy creature. His muse, he surmised, wouldn’t have been like that. No dainty wings or slight build. He thought his muse would be more like a character out of Lord of the Rings. He writes about some dark things after all.

He basically said that people over romanticize writing. He talked about friends he knows that have to have a specific type writer, a specific location, specific weather etc. before they can write. He didn’t hold this in high regard. I believe his words were ‘that’s writing for rich people.’

He remarked that he doesn’t like to write but he loves to have written. Oh, that’s so true of so many things isn’t it!

Quotes on writing


Mainly he talked about how much dang work writing was. He stressed that it wasn’t a gift. It was a craft that required a ton of work.

Rick Bragg quotes on writing

And there’s the rub isn’t it. Anyone can knock out a 20 minute blog a few times a week. But to write, to really write…whew! That’s a whole heck of a lot of work!

Good thing we have people like him that will do it!

Dot Mom

Dot Mom

This weekend I hopped in the car with some friends and went to Dot Mom. Now normally going to anything with ‘Mom’ in the title would be something I would secretly make fun of. However, Jen Hatmaker was going to be there and I was ready for a night away from the minions.

Here’s my ladies.


Good gravy. Look at these women. Since I still apparently operate at the maturity level of a junior high girl I look at this group and think ‘man, if I looked like these girls my life would be totally perfect!’

True story.

There’s this one girl in our Bible Study who admitted the other day that she gets nervous around people that she doesn’t know. Now that’s probably a true statement for 99% of the population.

But….this girl? She’s beautiful. And I don’t mean ‘hmmm, that’s an attractive young woman.’ Nope, I mean this girl is the cover of J Crew gorgeous. And I literally had trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that she could ever be nervous. I’m such a moron. I was all ‘but…but she’s so pretty. How could she be nervous.’

Y’all can pray for me. ; )

I love going to conferences. Lots of new people to annoy  love on with my extrovertedness. Say what, Spellcheck? That’s a word. Go home, spellcheck, you’re drunk. 

When we got to the hotel we realized that the Tennessee Tow Truck Association was there too. So, we were sharing space with them. It wasn’t hard to see who belonged at what convention:


I’m thinking the man awkwardly standing around may not have been there for Dot Mom.

The conference was great.


Lauren Chandler leading worship


Meeting Boo Mama – for real, this woman is pretty much living the life I covet. Successful blog and book AND she was so nice when I met her.


Hearing Jen Hatmaker speak – Dude. She rocked it. Even though her talk completely conflicted with some of the others it was still amazing.


Being introduced to Vickey  Courtney’s work. I had never heard of her but now just want to sit at her feet and soak up her wisdom.

Vicky Courtney Dot MOm

Hanging with my Allume girls. Sadly I didn’t get a pic but my cousin Jenni and my friend Heather are going to Allume this year with me. So excited.

And then there was this.

The program before I got a hold on it:


The program after I got a hold of it.


It was clear that God had really gotten a hold of me during the conference due to my reaction and having lost my charger – a text exchange between my husband and myself:


Oh, he’s so cute isn’t he…

Either way, Dot Mom was a huge success – language mishaps and all.