Oxford MS #HottyToddy Ole Miss game #TheGrove

We had a great hot weekend in Oxford. It’s a awesome place to go visit! We had some new discoveries this past weekend I’d like to share. Anytime we go to Oxford we have best time catching up with friends we haven’t seen in years and checking out what is new!

The Snack Bar was a great surprise! We had never been and loved it! It’s dark so we had to get our phones out to read menu. The trout dip was a wonderful appetizer. We loved the choice of zero proof drinks on the menu. Its rare to find something on the drink menu for people who don’t drink. We were thrilled! We had no problem getting a reservation and the service was the best!

Then we visited The Creamery …it’s a new ice cream place on the Square. We enjoyed it so much that we went back Sunday after lunch at St Leo’s. We love to support locally owned places while in Oxford. The owner of The Creamery is Hudson Magee. His parents opened up the William Magee Center for Wellness this weekend. It is a new place for students to go. Prayerfully it will make a big impact on students and help them with all the stresses and other things that go along with college.

Our tailgate was fun but hot 🥵.

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Family in the Grove

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Ole Miss Players praying before the Game.
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The Creamery

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Courthouse on the Square
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Purple Honey

Mocktail menu at Snack Bar

Glacier 🏞 National Park

 

 

 

We love traveling and adventures! Glacier National Park is the most beautiful place! We have loving being in Montana with low temperatures and no humidity. GNP  is a wonderful place to spend a week or long weekend! I’ll share some of our favorite places.

The first day we went to Avalanche Lake and then St. Mary’s falls. Below are some of those pictures. Also we this was our first Flathead Cherry stand stop! 🍒

The second day we booked a Flyfishing trip out of Lake Stream outfitters in Whitefish. We met our guides( we had bought our fishing license online the night before)  and got ready to go. It was a beautiful river and we had more luck before lunch than after lunch. But the best part was seeing an eagle eating a fish and then another eagle try to go get another one. 🦅

The the next day we headed to Logan’s Pass. This parking lot fills up early.  It was rainy and cloudy but we forged ahead. We hiked the Garden Wall and the Highline Trial.

The next day we toured Proof Research in Kalispell.

And hiked Whitefish Mtn.  The boys rented mountain bikes. 🚵🏻‍♂️

The National Bison Refuge was the adventure the next day. We drove past Flathead Lake which was incredible .

Whitefish Farmers Market is incredible. It is on Tuesdays from 5-730.

We tried to go back to Hidden Lake or Highline  Trail but could not find a spot in the Logan pass parking lot. My son described it as a Games of the Thrones scene. But we went west and found the Gunsight Pass/Jackson Glacier overlook. We hiked Gunsight Pass. . It is a tough hike mainly for people backpacking there for a couple of nights. But we hiked down to the most beautiful waterfall/Creek area, had lunch and then hiked back out. It was a strenuous steep hike out but also beautiful.

Here are some of our delicious dinners. It was nice for my adult children to cook most nights. We did enjoy Tupelo Grille and Last Chair. The Sweet Peaks has delicious homemade ice cream.  Also Whitefish has a very active recovery community. There are many meetings and all times every Day! The Presbyterian Church has a room just for recovery! Most of the AA meetings were open.

I highly recommend Montana and GNP for a family vacation. Get bear spray, bear bells and walking sticks. We love traveling and exploring the 🇺🇸 USA!  We have so much to be proud of and a lot of Gods creation to see!

 

A long weekend in Washington, D.C.

One of my husband and I’s favorite place to visit is Washington D.C. I loved there during college and went back after college .  We lived there again  when my husband was in his fellowship training and one of our sons was born at Georgetown,  my sister and her family live there, my son and nieces live there, and this summer my daughter is there interning!

Each time that I get to go DC I like learn or see something new! This time was the Renwick Gallery.

I had heard of it before but never had the chance to go. On Saturday morning, my son picked us up and we headed there. We got there before it opened, so we walked around the White House waiting for it to open.

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Selfie at the WH
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320 mirrored stainless steel rods that are LED LIGHTS in grand stairway.
Cool hanging glass that lights up differently each time.

The coffee mugs were made for veterans.
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David’s Best Temple. A glowing sanctuary..every tiny piece of carved wood is where people have written personal notes.

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Michael Sherrill sculpture

As well as seeing new things, I love to go back and visit some of my favorite museums. One of them is is the National Portrait Gallery – I could spend all day in there!

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Elvis

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Michelle Obama
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John F. Kennedy
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Barack Obama

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George W. Bush

My daughter is interning in a Mississippi Congressman’s office and she gave us a lovely US Capitol tour! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

My 2 children, who both work on the Hill.

Jefferson Davis, Mississippi

Appropriations committee room in the Capitol

One of my husband’s favorite places in D.C. is the sculpture of Albert Einstein, which is next to the National Academy of the Sciences. He makes sure that each time we visit D.C., we make a stop.

Of course, one of our favorite things to do is go to wonderful restaurants! From The Tombs to the Tune Inn to Rasika to The Plume at the Jefferson to Succotash and to Central and Rosa Mexicano — they were all delicious!

Seared tuna

Sisters

The Jefferson

Rosa Mexicana

Tune Inn Capitol Hill

Succotash


But the BEST place we ate was Rasika!
It is an Indian restaurant that was one block from our hotel .. the crispy spinach was unreal!913B52B5-8FE1-49DA-9922-2149772368E1We enjoyed our long weekend in D.C. and can’t wait to go back soon!What is your favorite place to visit/eat in D.C.? I am open to any and all recommendations!

Another trip to the Tomato Festival 🍅🍅🍅🍅 2019

Every year in Crystal Springs, they host an annual Tomato Festival. Many politicians, delicious food venders, and tons of antique cars everywhere you turned! We enjoyed walking around and taking it all in. We bought tomatoes and pork skins. We got to meet the Tomato Festival Queen and saw the Tomato decorations all over town. We went inside the beautiful Kitchen home, ate some Tomato cookies, and saw all their decorations.

We learn something new each year we go, so this year we got there early to be sure that we got to get some tomatoes🍅

2 of my friends went really early to do the 5K. It was HOT, but they survived! 🏃🏼‍♂️🏃🏼‍♂️ The weather was nice and the festival was in full swing around 10 when we arrived.

Crystal Springs seems vibrant with the landscaping and downtown area looking great!

This year we took a tour of the sawmill and the beautiful farms outside of town. Of course we stopped off at Arva Lees to see all her rooster collections and her decorated tree.

Tomato Festival Queen
Tomato shaped cookies.

Eula Mae

The Pyron’s

The Abrahams

FarmGirlFlowers for our 30th anniversary

58148178689__23f50809-3b91-4b84-84fc-40761262d7b1It has been an amazing 30th wedding anniversary year. We celebrated in March in Hawaii with a 10 day trip!

Our oldest son got married and that brought back so many memories.  I had the best time looking through our wedding album before his wedding. His wedding reception was at the same venue where ours was and they left in the same getaway car 🚙. It was a special time!!

Then on our actual day June 3rd I got the best surprise in the USPS mail!

My husband had heard of FarmGirl Flowers from Brene Brown. He went online and ordered them! What a great thing! They came wrapped in a super cool burlap bag.  They even put a candle and some nuts in the box.

They lasted almost 2 weeks! The peonies were stunning!

It was a gift that I’ll never forget!

 

Cossar State Park – annual family reunion 2019 and history of Cossar Family reunions

The weekend after Memorial Day every year has been a 3 day family reunion in Oakland, MS. It is across the highway from Charleston, Mississippi, where the Cossars are from. It is at a beautiful State Park in North Mississippi named after my grandfather, whom we called ‘Papa Keet.’  https://www.facebook.com/cossarstateparkfriends/

Finney and Harper playing golf

Tallahatchie Tervis (double solo cup)
At EN house. Probably 1983.

Picture of a Papa Keet

It used to be Yocana Ridge State Park but in 1979 the Legislature renamed it George Payne Cossar State Park. (https://law.justia.com/codes/mississippi/2010/title-55/3/55-3-83)

My grandfather started the family reunion tradition in the 60’s. We used to gather at the Holiday Inn in Grenada, MS.

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Holiday Inn Grenada

At Cossar State Park, we rents cabins – we try to get them all next to each other so it is easier to visit all day long! There are several things we like to do each year. On Thursday night, as everyone is arriving my cousin Walter serves crawfish and everyone eats either inside the cabins or on the porches!

His mom (My Aunt Litup) used to have the best tomato and onions drizzled with Italian dressing. On Friday at noon she served gumbo to whoever didn’t play golf. (She always got the crab bodies from Billy’s Seafood in Bon Secour because the crabs sweetened the gumbo). Walter And Katherine also bring a delicious Boston Butt.

Uncle George and Katherine And Walter Becker

2015 George and Chip
Meggie And Luci 2015

Joe Perry, Connie, Pepper And Bob Taggart 2019

On Friday nights is the Catfish fry. My uncle Greezer and Angie do all of the work! It is delicious. After dark a stick fire is made. ( A stick fire is also know as a small bonfire).  Marshmallows are roasted and smores are made. . There are many memories happening and stories being told as the night goes on.

On Saturday the family sometimes goes to my uncles farm and fishes . It is in Teasdale Mississippi and called Pebble Creek. It is a beautiful piece of property.

Jimmy and Sanford fishing 2015

This past year the trot line was brought back to life and the biggest catch was made!

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Girl cousins !

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Harper, Finney and Kristen
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Stickfire
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Anne Love ,Kristen And Finney

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Bones and Greezer and girls
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Pontoon boat riding
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Fancy Trotline
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BIG Catfish caught by Lee Cossar Taggart

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Connie And Uncle George 2015
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Uncle George
Bones and Greezer 2015
Lunch at BTC 2015

 

 

A Visit to the Big D-Quick Weekend

It was such a fun weekend trip!

First stop was the new Hazen Jewelry storefront! Wow. What a beautiful store!

Frances Phillips at Hazen Jewelry

We had a great chat with Frances Phillips! We also made a few purchases They had recently opened up a storefront in Dallas!

Then we drove out to Fin and Feather which is a neat fishing camp that was started in 1800s. It is about 20 minutes from downtown Dallas. It is private but reminded me of Mississippi lakes ..with very cool cottages built around one of the lakes.

Next we played tennis on a public court right in the middle of Highland Park/University Park. It was beautiful court surrounded by lush green trees and bushes!

Dinner was at Mr Messro which is now Doce Mesas! You can come as you are. They have The best guacamole and cerviche! It is apparently also a place to see Troy Aikman .

Saturday we walked the Katy Trail via the SMU campus. SMU was very well laid-out and lush! The Katy Trail a super cool 5 mile trail right in the middle of town. It was very well maintained and easy walking. We stopped at Mashburn and then walked to the Ice House.

We stopped off at

Beautiful flowers

Central market

Central market
Cool spices

Spices
Coffee beans
Blue Print
Ice House

IceHouse. Cool lights
Ice House

Katy Trail
Off Katy Trail
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Mashburn

Blue Print and then Neimans on the way to dinner, we ate at Honor Bar. The tip there is to go early! It was delicious but always a line to get in. It’s in a cool shopping area called Highland Park Village .

Next was Central Market. This is similar to Whole Foods and also Trader Joe’s but way more! I could have stayed there hours! I bought some Hawaiian coffee with coconut plus a few other things!

Sunday was the highlight! We attended church and worshipped at The Men of Nehemiah service. It was a very spiritual! It is a very impressive program in Dallas.

I recommend going to Dallas ! It was such a beautiful place!

After long walk on Katy Trail,

Pic from my sons wedding from a month ago!

Hawaii 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

img_0639It is everything you imagine and more! We had the most wonderful time.

We stayed 10 days. The first 4 were in Honolulu at the Hilton there. I felt like it was New York City. We moved out to a VRBO in Kailua from Monday to Saturday.

We explored and did a lot of hiking, beaching,reading,eating and going to Open AA meetings. We discovered what a wonderful AA community is there and LOVED the 7 am beach meetings. Jimmy got his 9 year chip there! Kailua was definitely our favorite!

Here is link to vrbo.

http://www.manumele.net/map.html

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View from top of Diamond Head Crater at sunrise

 

 

Our story about alcoholism( and Alanon!)

Exactly 9 years ago my husband and I had a “talk”. I didn’t know what was going on but I knew we couldn’t continue living like this. I made an appointment with a counselor at our church. My husband had been drinking nightly by himself for years. I had no idea we were living in active alcoholism. We both didn’t know the first thing about this disease. He wasn’t happy I was going to the church counselor. BUT He agreed to come to the appointment the next week and the ball started rolling! We met weekly individually and separately for 2 months . The counselor was very wise and had my husband evaluate his drinking and come up with the idea he needs to do “something”. After many different scenarios he finally had him say he could/would try to only drink one drink a night. Well that sounded great to everyone but didn’t pan out. The very wise counselor knew it wouldn’t .

When we realized that wasn’t working we went into action. His brothers were now on our team. My husband thought they were NOT on his team but they were. My husband was very paranoid at this time. His brothers were super helpful and got him to a “detox” . The professional staff there ( at Pine Grove) after a few days recommended 90 days of inpatient. My husband didn’t think so! So he left! We tried regrouping and meeting again daily with the counselor. Finally (3 days later) after an unplanned and unthought out Intervention, we ( hours and hours and hours later) got him to admit he’d go to inpatient treatment. It wasn’t a good night. I had his Dad come over and sleep on the couch. My husband was extremely depressed.

His 2 brothers,2 friends and our 3 sons were at the “intervention “. Like I said it wasn’t planned but God had it figured out. This is one of the many things that happened in this journey where God answered prayers we didn’t even pray!

The next morning he didn’t want to get out of bed. He said he felt like he was going to his funeral. Our children were all around (12th,10th,7th and 6th grades). One of my sons came into the bedroom and wrote down bible verses for him to take with him.

We finally got in the car to head south! A good friend drove him in his car. That was one of our compromises..he could have his car even though he couldn’t drive it while he was there. His brothers and I drove behind them . It felt very gloomy and dark and dreary. My stomach was in knots. The few people and family who knew were praying back in Jackson.

We dropped him off . It wasn’t fun at all. He was VERY depressed and mad 😡!

Well he stayed and bought in! It took about 45 days for for him to really realize he needed to be there! He stayed 45 more! There were MANY moments where God went before us! We knew he was in this trial with us but time and time again he proved that to us! One was having his TL (Therapuric leave) timed where he could be at his oldest sons high school graduation. He missed a lot while he was gone. One uncle took our daughter to the daddy daughter dance at Cotillion. Another son had a high ankle sprain in high school basketball. All grandparents and aunts and uncles came to my oldest sons senior party. This would be his first season not coaching our youngest son in baseball. Many people stepped in with carpooling, grocery shopping and bringing meals! Our church really was at a lost as what to do. He was a church officer and wrote most of the preachers from rehab. He thought they would want him to “step down” from his position. My husband realized our church needed to be better prepared for this type of “problem”. He started working on that as soon as he got home. I’m attaching 2 different forums where he spoke at church. He has spoken at other churches and and told his story at AA speaker meetings. I’m very proud of him. He’s very open to telling anyone anytime his story. He says it helps him as much as it helps the person who needs help or guidance.

Our life has drastically changed in last 9 years. I try my best to live one day at a time. I’m full of empathy for the alcoholic/addict/alanon who hasn’t found recovery. I’ve learned a lot in Alanon and open AA meetings. I’ve learned to stay in my own hoola hoop and stay in my lane! I’ve learned to work on me. That’s all I can control!

We are planning our oldest sons wedding(4/2019) now. One of my husbands “things/thoughts” he had on the way to rehab was “How will I do a toast at our children’s weddings?” ” I’m going to be gone on my birthday ” etc.

I understand God plans and He knows everything but it’s awful hard while you’re in the middle of it! God loves those he gives trials too! I’ve realized I need to just go through them and not around it or under it. James 1:2 was a verse I had to really ponder! Let Go Let God was also super important.. saying that helped me remember to hand everything over to a God!

I visited every weekend and took the children some. We wrote letters. They were special. We had been living life on separate roads but now are on the same road walking side by side. A lot of times we’ve felt God was so close to us he was riding our shoulders. God restored our life and Marriage! I also could attend church sometimes with him while he was there . The rehab took them to a “rock-n-roll” Baptist church and we really enjoyed it. I realized that it doesn’t matter what your worship looks like as long as you’re worshipping.

While at rehab there were lots of crazy things happening all the time. I was juggling a lot at home. When he got a call home he had a lot of stories to tell about all that was going on there. I wish he had written a book. There were some bizarre things happening at rehab.

He now goes to ALOT of meetings a week. I go to a few also . They are so helpful! I am amazed how good I feel when I leave a meeting. Mostly other people’s problems are way worse than mine. It puts things in perspective. Alcoholism is a family disease.

When we used to hear that someone went to rehab we immediately thought bad. Now when we hear that we are thrilled! It means the person is getting better! They are getting help! Rehab/Treatment is good!

Another thing that has helped me is talking about it. It gets it out of your head and takes the power away! Also my husband likes to say the aa community was so anonymous that he didn’t know here was a way out!  Because of that he shares his story all the time and is willing to talk to anyone anytime.  He is not anonymous.

http://www.fpcjackson.org/resource-library/author-index/jimmy-moore

https://al-anon.org/