Saturday, September 25, 2010

Auburn vs. South Carolina and AU Minority Award

For two straight weeks, I was on the field for pre-game festivities.  One of my great friends and colleagues, Carla Bell, won the AU Minority Award.  Working with our students and our dean, I nominated and supported Carla for this award.  I was thrilled when she was chosen.  It is very deserving. 

 Carla, her sweet husband Roger, and the eagle.

Carla and family

 Me and Carla.

One of our professors, Tin Man Lau, was award the Alumni professor award. 

Carla and Robert Gibbs, White House spokesperson

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Auburn vs. Clemson Game

I had a great time at the Auburn vs. Clemson Game. One of our alumnae, Rebecca Hatcher, was on the field for pre-game festivities as a former Pam Sheffield award winner.  I was able to escort her on the field.

Rebecca and the eagle

Several of the previous winners.

My favorite former winners - Pat Wingfield, Susan Hubbard, Rebecca Hatcher 

Picture of the student section in "All Blue"

I accidentally glance over when they fed the eagle a treat after a great flight... a rat - eeeek.

This year's recipient, Joyce Ringer and family. 

One of my favorite families - the Stones (minus son, Stuart)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tara Maple's 40th Birthday and Maestro

On September 14th, we had the first meeting of the year for the Junior League of Lee County.  Our president, Tara Maple, led her first meeting... on her 40th birthday!   With a celebration during the meeting, we decided to extend her birthday at Maestro. 

Maestro is a (relatively) new bar and tapas restaurant in Auburn.  It was nice weather so we sat outside.  I am sure that the other patrons at Maestro were happy that we chose to be outside.  With five of us, all Type-A personalities, it got quite loud at times.  What a relaxing and fun evening with an amazing group of women!

Lisa ordered a tapas sampler.  It was so pretty, I had to take a picture. 

Me, Tara - the birthday girl, Lisa, Nancy, and Kathy

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Red Wine Under $9.99 and Recipes for People Who Hate to Cook Meat

As a new hobby, I have decided to test and review red wines under $9.99.  The way I figure it, everyone wins.  I am often a sucker for marketing and interesting designs.  So, when I was at Publix, I couldn't resist the bottle - Mad Housewife.  It is a California cabernet and was on sale for $7.99.  Now, I am by no means a Mad Housewife.  Actually, I am quite the opposite.  But, the bottle looked so intriguing. 

I was pleasantly surprised.  It had a lighter taste and was very smooth.  For a cheaper wine, it didn't have that aftertaste that leaves you thirsty.  And, it didn't give me a headache.  I would definitely recommend.  I give it 4 out of 5 corks. 

For those who know me, I am not a big meat eater.  I especially don't enjoy cooking meat.  But, when you are married to a meat eater, you have to figure out something.  I don't eat meat on the bone, ribs, wings, etc.  I eat a burger once every few months.  I can manage eating chicken, but absolutely cannot touch it raw.  I learned this the hard way.  As a newlywed, I tried to cook a chicken casserole using full raw chicken breasts.  I prepared and cooked it, but was so sick by the end that I left it on the counter for my husband to eat.  I promptly went to bed. 

So, I have figured out some work arounds.  I often purchase the Tyson white meat chicken in the pouch.  It is already fully cooked.  Because I don't like the texture of it right out of the pouch, I do put it in a skillet to get it more shredded and to make it drier.  (At this point, I am sure you feel sorry for my husband...)

This weekend, I made a chicken, broccoli, pasta, and cheese casserole.  After shredding and drying out the chicken, I cooked penne pasta.  I steamed the pre-packaged broccoli.  I mixed this all together with a little cheddar cheese and poured it in a Pyrex cooking dish.   I topped it with the chicken and more cheese.  I heated it at 400 degrees until it was brown and bubbly.  I thought it was yummy.  My husband asked for more meat to be included next time.....  Baby steps.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I ♥ Alley Jackson

I really do ♥ Alley Jackson.  (And, I do mean Alley Jackson and not Allen Jackson.)  I first met Alley when she was a sophomore at Auburn.  She was my first advisee when I became a Chi Omega advisor.  I didn't know what I was doing, but we figured out everything together.  Alley would come over to our house to escape the craziness that is college life.  I knew from the beginning that Alley is a special person.  She is beautiful - inside and out, caring, and so funny.  Alley is also a wonderful Christian role model.

It has been neat to watch Alley grow up.  She has worked at the Alabama Governor's Mansion and now works in Special Events at the Auburn President's Office.  And, she is only 25!  What an impressive resume.  Her job keeps her quite busy so we were thrilled when she came to visit us on Saturday night to watch the Alabama vs. Penn State game.  AJ and I had a great time catching up with her.

We decide to wear orange in the hopes of getting Penn State a win over Alabama.  It didn't work.

Alley cooked a blueberry cobbler for our dessert. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I ♥ Atlanta Building Science

I really do ♥ the Atlanta Auburn Building Science Alumni Group.  This great group of alumni has raised over $600,000 for our Building Science program over the years.  This fall we are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this organization. 

To support our Visiting Industry Professor endowment, our Atlanta Alumni Group and our Industry Advisory Council sold tickets for a chance to win a custom painted Harley Davidson FatBob motorcycle.  A little over 400 tickets were sold @ $100 each. 

To draw the winning ticket, the Atlanta group decided to incorporate this in to their annual fall social.   The social was held at Jocks & Jills in Atlanta during the Auburn vs. Mississippi State game.

The group had the bike at their annual golf tournament.  Of course, I had to try it out.

Skip getting the tickets ready to draw at half time.

Kelley picked an unbiased person to draw the ticket.

The crowd, especially Wayne Bylsma, eagerly awaiting the drawing.

The winning ticket was old by alum, Dan Messer. 

Kelley called the guy who won.  He lives in Ohio and told Kelley that he was recuperating from a motorcycle accident.  He said that he was thrilled to win because his bike was messed up from his accident.  He even said that he would drive to Auburn the following day (from Ohio) to pick up the bike. 

Skip counting up the money from the ticke sales.

Love these girls!  Sonia Grant and Julie Cannon are two of our Building science alumni.

Scott Maskell hosting our guests.

Skip and Dan back to cheering on the Tigers vs. Mississippi State.

Ruth Crittenden, one of our very successful female BSC grads.

It was a fun night in the ATL.  But, this made for a late night betting back to Auburn.  Glad we won.  It made the drive home so much more enjoyable.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend - Yipee!

What a great Labor Day weekend!  It started off on Saturday morning with me playing tennis at Saugahatchee.  I was asked to serve as the fourth person for doubles play.  I did inform the group that I had not hit balls in a year.  I held my own and the weather was great.  But, I did have to take a nap before the Auburn game....

I cannot believe it is already football season.  We visited two tailgates, including the Hodo's, before the game and sat with one of my alums in his suite.  AJ and I were joined by my dad and Johnny Minter in the suite.  And, my dad got to meet Lloyd Nix, the quarterback from the '57 season.  I didn't know that dad had always wanted to meet him.

My brother, Jeff, and his wife, Sarah, spent the night with us after the game.  We stayed up talking until 1:00 a.m.  I haven't been up that long in a while.

The next morning, Jeff and Sarah invited us to join them at the Georgia Aquarium.  AJ really wanted to watch the US Open matches so I went with them.  Jeff had given me a speech as we rode towards the parking deck of the aquarium.  He told me to not get frustrated with the crowds because he was pretty irritated the last time he was there.  So, I said, "Dada has a short fuse."  Charlotte loved this and kept saying "Dada has a short fuse" the rest of the day.  Of course, Sarah and I enjoyed this.  The Aquarium was amazing, but incredibly crowded. 

On Labor Day morning, I decided to relax at our club pool.  Thank goodness for the Adult Only pool.  The water was cool, perfect for laps.  Instead of swimming my usual mile or 1,650 yards, I swam 2100 yards.  It felt great and I had the pool to myself for 2 hours. 

When people starting arriving, I left.  The rest of the day I watched tennis with AJ and our friend, Chris.  What a great day and weekend.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Letter from Mrs. Jacobs - May 23, 1990

It has been a summer of reunions.  I had my high school reunion one week and then went on a reunion cruise with some of my college sorority sisters. 

In going through my high school and college boxes of "stuff", I found lots of pictures, notes, cards, old class papers, report cards, and much more.  I came across a letter from Mrs. Jacobs, my high school AP teacher.  It is dated May 23, 1990.  This was written a couple of weeks before our graduation.  The letter brought back a flood of memories of high school and in particular, my AP English class.  My AP classmates included DeAnna Colley, Kelly Cates, Laurie Jennings, Courtney Williams, Jason Hudson, LaShandra Banks, and Dori Hadaway.

Mrs. Jacobs really captured the spirit of our class in this letter.  I know that reading the letter now means so much more that it did when I was 18 years old. 

A couple of quotes from the letter:
"MY fifth period class has made this the best year I have taught in the "50" years of my career.  You are an exceptional group.  I have taught brilliant students before - some frightfully brilliant, but I have never felt the closeness of your class in any other group.  This is what I appreciate most in you."

"I have never experienced such a spirit of cooperation.  Whether you realize it or not, this is unusual.  This is also the key to a happy and successful life."

"My prayer is that you will continue to grow, that you will contribute as well as take, that you will always be as considerate of others as you are now, that you will never lose your positive attitude, and that you will be blessed with love, joy, and success."

Love, Mrs. J.

Often one receives compliments, but it is usually about something you did individually.  I really appreciate Mrs. Jacobs' insights into our group.  She gave us the highest compliments of all.   Mrs. Jacobs gave us all many gifts, but this letter might be the one I treasure most.  It is tangible, something I can read.  This means so much since I can't talk to Mrs. Jacobs anymore.  Sadly, she passed away a few years ago.  But, she lives on in all of us.....