Courtney S. Barr

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Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Two of the 92,000+......

So, Marcus & I opted to go to A-Day on Saturday rather than making it to his niece's 4th birthday party. (I know some of you are shocked, that means you don't know me & Marcus). Alabama football is very important in our house. It is a form of tradition & entertainment that we celebrate every Saturday every Fall. I actually have not been to an A-Day in a few years, we are usually out of town, & at first I thought we may miss this one due to Regan's birthday (and the fact Regina would not let us make it a Bama-Birthday), but Marcus was adamant from the day he knew the two would occur at the same time that we would be in the stadium not Calera.

The morning began with the Tide Pride luncheon at the Coliseum. The coaches talked, Saban's was short & sweet. We ate & spoke with some wonderful people. We attended it with Aubrey & Cheyenne Martin. (she looks so cute pregnant -they are having a girl!!) Aubrey holds the same feelings as Marcus = Alabama not party. He even has a sister that he doesn't speak to anymore because she married an Auburnite & painted the kids' bedrooms orange/blue!

After the luncheon, we wandered towards the stadium. Stopping at the Bama Bookstore to visit Marcus' old boss & good friend Hal. The walk there was unreal. You would have thought Spring & Summer had just been whisked away & opening weekend was here already. Vendors were everywhere, RVs, tailgaters, kids, music, football chants, students, it was surreal. I truly was surprised the number of people outside the stadium was staggering. Marcus & I had already begun to feel like this was the biggest crowd we had been around for an A-Day, but when we walked into the stadium we were in awe. All but one side of the upper deck & the new section of upper deck was full. I mean full, as in my first question to him was "will we be able to find a seat?" We climbed the steps in the student section and found 2 wedges of area in the middle of a row near where we used to sit when we were students. The band was in the section beside us so the air was full of music & excitement. Of course this is just a scrimmage, catch 22 type of situation. You want your offense & defense to look good, but with a scrimmage it is hard to do that as well as the coaches are only going allow so many plays to be seen since it is televised and your opponents are usually watching. The second quarter rolled around and as I glance in the seats around me the overhead speaker announced that the other two decks were now open. In minutes the seats were flooded.

There we were, 92,000+ faithful, watching a scrimmage covered in Crimson & White. Cheering with the band, the wave flowed through, and I almost teared up. So many of these people will only be able to attend this game (it is general admission), so many children will only see these days. It is a sad yet happy thought. The faithful showing their belief, their hope, their faith, their love of an institution. We had a blast. The game was good, Marcus laughed because I told him I was rooting for the Crimson team (they lost though 20-13).

Overall the beginning of our day, the bulk of the day was a blast!! Don't worry, we did go to Regan's house afterwards to celebrate her birthday... each gift wrapped in Bama paper of course. She had a great day, enjoyed our gifts & company and even kissed me on the cheek & whispered a ROLL TIDE.... what an end to a great day.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rainy days....

Well this weekend was another round of good ol'crazy Southern weather. Now I know that the northwest & east & middle America get hit too with these things, but this time of year is odd for a cold snap in my area. But when it did occur,yesterday, I actually found that staying inside in the Spring can be as much fun as being cooped up in the winter (well as much fun is a stretch for winter too, but you get me).
Marcus, Bear, Bubs and I had gone to Camden to spend "memorial day & dinner on the grounds" at a community church called Reaves Chapel. Now this is one of those picturesque single room churches that is the epitome of faith: A simple dwelling holding complex variables, but all together they form a bond of belief & strenght like no other. Anyway, it thundered in the distance, threatened to rain, but it held off. We all ate the wonderful 'little old lady' good southern food and packed it in to get home before the storm really set in.
By the time my brother, his twin sons, Marcus & I got to my parents house the rain had begun. The satellite system blinked a few times so we decided to board game it. 1st on the block: Me & the twins playing Clue. After a few rounds it was time to sucker everyone else in. So the big guns were out: STAR WARS Monopoly. Now for those who don't fully know the extent of Marcus & my competetiveness - it can get ugly. Also, Marcus-Monopoly = VICIOUS BUSINESS MAN!! I know you are thinking " sweet laid back Marcus " NO! it is really "shrewd deal making monopolizing corporation man Marcus" And as usual he beat the tar out of us!! lol It was so much fun. My brother Eric has the worst luck & the twins, God bless them their young innocence and learning curves. Me, well Monopoly in my house means Marcus is King. And it seems the same title is met in my parents... We are planning a beach trip this summer, Marcus will take Monopoly and we will all have to suffer to 3000$ rents at Boardwalk (Courasant on this board) and the mischievous giggle of a man who truly understands and loves Monopoly...
-More on the beach trip later-
Needless to say, we had a blast staying in, listening to the rain, talking, winning, losing, and just playing. Thank goodness sometimes for rainy days...

Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter & Spring - New every year, but old traditions...

Every year Easter sort of resignates with Spring in my mind.

Whether Easter comes early or late a palette of pastels, white mary jane sandals, or pants that scream of a linen cotton blend rush at you on Easter Sunday. Azaleas blanketing the road side, crimson clover in the fields, all new flowers & plants but they return like an old tradition every year.

My favorite old world tradition is hats. I love to see the hats come out in stores, you know, normally they are blended into the accessory department with little propaganda. But come the week of Easter & hats of pastels or navy, with faux flowers, mesh netting, and teases of traditions long ago. I have only worn a hat at Easter when I was a little girl. Even then, it was probably once. But when I when I see them, Easter is what I think of. Photos & movies depicting the southern ladies with their widebrim hats and hair perfectly coiffed in an intricate updo come to mind and I smile.

This year was no exception, I went into Steinmart with Marcus's niece to get her an Easter prize and their they were. Some were still just sitting in the accessory department, the berets & cowgirl hats. But in the boutique department with the spring hued clothing they had set up a stand beside a mirror with so many colorful and beautiful hats! I smiled, fingered a couple, and sighed. Now, I am not a slave to fashion, I have my own style and I portray it with pride, for a brief stint around 13 hats were my thing. I wore everything, course that was also when the show Blossom was on tv and Blossom (the main character) and her best friend Six wore them everywhere, so it was sort of the teen girl style. This year though is funny, not only have the hats appeared as tradition holds them to, but due to the temperature drop, shawls & wraps of beautiful pastels, bright bold colors & demure earth tones were on display right when you walked in near the hats. I smiled again. I LOVE a shawl or wrap. I immediately decided that a long white flowy skirt, a brown top and cute ballet slippers that I was wearing to church on Sunday would be perfectly accented with a deep tropical blue solid shawl! to my delight they had the perfect one. This accessory I could wear with ease and no discomfort or over-indulged self awareness as I might with a hat, since I wear shawls and wraps quite often.

Now you must understand Marcus & I have not been home on Easter Sunday in about 7 years. I mean home as Camden. 2 years ago we spent it with my best friend Tracy in our new home in Tuscaloosa, last year Marcus was on a hunting trip, and the years before we were traveling every time. We always manage to acknowledge the holiday, many times with church going activity, but there have been the lapses when we were traveling. So this year we decided to go to Mary Ann's church (next weekend we are going to be with my parents for the weekend). Her preacher is a very nice man, I am not a fire- &- brimstone- loud- hollering (even if on light biblical subjects)- preacher fan. This he is. Worship for me is more personal but with passion, less intimidating. I honestly just don't handle the screaming. I LOVE the music, praise worship is always beautiful be it an a capella song softly sang or an up tempo beat of guitar & piano & drums. But when it comes to sharing the gospel with me, preaching on God's word, I just don't do the intense hollering of the word. Maybe I should I don't know...

Easter Sunday's message is one of those old - new things too. No matter the churches I have visited. Their focus as it should be is the resurrection, the reason for the holiday. Each year you hear the same message, but because some people may have never been to church or read a Bible, or just never opened up their hearts the message becomes new. It creates a beginning. So much like Spring and its flora & fauna. We all know the plants bloom, we see some new flowers that we didn't know existed, but for the most part we just know its there and never really take time to take it in. I took time Sunday, I listened and I remembered the teachings from my youth, the beauty in the story. I am sure that the preacher when he looked at me thought I had no real emotion, for I am not one that stands up and raises her hands to the sky in praise while he speaks, nor prays aloud while he prays. But there are a flood of emotions when I hear the story and think about the message.

My faith is strong, and my beliefs stem from those old traditions of my parents sharing the message with me. Some people think you HAVE to go to church as a child or adult to get anything of the concepts but you don't. Now that I am older I understand the fellowship part of church, but as a child, your parents/guardians/adults around you can teach you in a way so different and so special. Mom has always imparted some sort of Easter message no matter what church we were attending, I always loved to get an Easter basket, no not just the candy, but the card with the message or the subtle gift of the gospel. A bracelet that says FAITH, or a book that has a good teaching of morality. those impressed upon my heart. That they would take the time to share those parts of themselves with me. Church was always good, you learn more of the details there, but the feelings, the emotions, came from mom & dad. This year, I was a little upset because since we are older & we were going to his family, there was no basket from mom & dad, no card, no book. It moved me in a different manner, I was ashamed to have slacked this year as well. Normally I give mom a plant & dad something nice, at least a card. But this year I did not make the time to do so. That is something new that I want to curb before it begins to be an old tradition. I should have at least given them something of the holiday, so that I could impart a bit of my faith back to those who have given me so much....I am going to fix that somehow.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great Easter & I will surely be typing again soon....

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Have you ever just wanted Summer to hurry up or for Spring to really set in? I normally am pretty content with each season, though in Alabama winters can be a bit erratic. This year has been no exception. We have finally begun to have this beautiful Spring weather and then this morning I hear on weather radio that the week ahead should see some very cold drops in temp. Now wait a minute. My spring attire has finally arrived in my closet ready to wear, white linens, white purses, pale Easter pastels are quietly waiting their turn to be worn & then you tell me it is supposed to get cold???? again! Crazy. Patience is taught in so many forms that we tend to not even notice the lesson. :)

Well with the chill there is also supposed to be rain. Now we do need the rain, but I really hope the rain makers take the weekend off.

I find myself excited right now. With everything that has been going on: Bear & just regular work week, it is surprising to be feeling so refreshed and ready for... something. I am already getting in the mood to travel. Go SOMEWHERE. Do SOMETHING outside my every day. We are doing a mini-trip to Camden Sunday for Easter, we are doing this holiday with Mary Ann, then the next weekend we go for Memorial Day at Reaves Chapel with my family. Interestingly enough the two mini-trips are getting me salivating to get in the car and travel. I know: Camden = Salivating = Travel???

I am hosting a Pampered Chef party on Friday night, my theme is Taste of the Tropics! Obviously that verifies the readiness for summer & sun. I have never had a 'party' like this so I am a bit nervous, but very excited. Even if only about 10 people get to come, that is okay. As Marcus says " you always like being the hostess" and I do. Something about keeping people happy, seeing them enjoy my home, my company. there is probably some psychosematic study that could be done on me, but oh well :)

Anyway I wanted to post today. Just for fun. Just some thoughts... I hope the sun shines wherever everyone is today....

Monday, April 2, 2007

A new week

Well it is Monday again. The weekend & month has passed as we now head into April.

The weekend was good. Friday night after being so stressed & tired last week, I decided to be productive. See, we have been battling what colors to paint rooms and we have bought all the 'paint' accessories except for the paint. Yes, I know, but committing to color can be hard for me because I redecorate so often. Anyway, there are marks ALL over our white walls from moving in and 2 years of occupation. It just so happens that the builder left a 5 gallon bucket of our interior wall paint when we closed so that we could have it if we needed it. So me, my roller brush and some very loud music went to town. I discovered that once I leaned forward to the wall to correct the marks that already annoyed me, there were millions more everywhere! I repainted every wall in all rooms but the guest room (I needed one room that did not reek of paint fumes for when we went to sleep). Marcus had to work late so from 5:30 to 9:00 I painted and just let all my work stress out into the walls, the trim, everything I could. It was so therapeutic & rewarding. Marcus came home and noticed all the clean walls and was quite impressed. He zoned out for a while and spent some time with Bear.

On the topic of Bear, we are giving him the antibiotics (for fever) & the prednizone pills. So far he has had 3 really good days (FR-SAT-SUN). We decided to give him the pills and watch him closely, so long has he has those good days, where there is no visible pain & no more blindness, we will give him the pills and let him enjoy his last weeks, months, whatever God deems. If for any reason we see serious pain return & his body begin to ignore the pills or he just quits 'living' then we will make that dreaded date and help him find peace. We hope that this is the right decision, it feels right, so with that we will continue to follow the guidance we seek.

As for Saturday, Marcus had to work from 9 to 4 pm, so again I decided to be productive. Turned up the music, the dogs relaxed and enjoyed the company, while I cleaned, then I began on some projects, painting some frames that I wanted for some pictures, hung some wedding photos, began the extremely large amount of laundry deterioration, and just enjoyed the day. I missed Marcus, but I did get a lot accomplished. A husband is a great help, but sometimes it is easy to get in your own zone and just go. Once he got home, we just sat around and enjoyed the evening, we did not even cook or really eat until late just because. It was nice.

Yesterday though we were both productive. We cut grass, I weeded the flower beds and cleaned off the deck. I used the weed eater on all edges and repotted some plants. Marcus really worked on the small amount of grass that we have in the yard and made it look very nice. Once done we wandered inside around 7:30 p.m. just before the rain began. It was a good Sunday. I truly hope that it is a nod towards how this week will be...