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.’

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. (

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


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!

Girl cousins !


Harper, Finney and Kristen
Anne Love ,Kristen And Finney


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



Connie And Uncle George 2015

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

Coffee beans
Blue Print
Ice House

IceHouse. Cool lights
Ice House

Katy Trail
Off Katy Trail

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.

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.

New Orleans via Amtrak 🚆

Amtrak is the way to get there! You end up right in the heart of everything!

Bring your own food and drinks. You can check your big bags. It is super comfy and we love the observation car. We usually hang out there visiting,reading,snacking.

We always enjoy staying at The Montelone! It’s a great location and very comfortable!

We ate at 3 great places while we were there!

Willa Jean is a must for breakfast. We had dinner at Compère Lapin and brunch at Bywater American Bistro. Get reservations at all of those!

The Christmas decorations were not up at the Roosevelt(weekend before Thanksgiving); yet but the Ritz looks fabulous! The Montelone decorations were being put up while we were there and they were also wonderful!

The lobby of the Ritz

#visitneworleans. #neworleanswedding. #Montelone. #Ritz #amtrak

Yellowstone Adventures


My first time to Yellowstone was an adventure! The fields and farms we passed en route to Yellowstone were the most amazing color of gold! We entered on the Western side.  It was a girls trip and we did the whole Western loop in 24 hours. We stayed in the Park at a very eco friendly hotel called Canyon Park. I stuck a picture of the cute bear soap from the room! It was new and nice. Alot is closed this time of the year. The whole park closes next week!

We stopped in Ashlan Idaho for a root beer float at Frostys drive-in on the way . We think it has been featured on Diners,Drive-in and Dives.

Then on toward the Park! We saw bison first! Then elk . It was a great grandfather and 5 ladies. No one was pulled over looking at them. I’ve never seen anything that big. The grandfather( I assume) hid so it was hard to see him or get a picture. I think his horns were the size of a small WV. We saw a lot more elk but nothing compared to that first group we saw! When we were leaving we did see a male elk bugling and chasing 2 female!

We came upon 8 or so cars pulled over next. and it was a mama and baby grizzly! They were amazing to watch. They were right next to the road!img_1901

We were on the way to see Old Faithful and had to get there on time. It erupts every 90 minutes. There are MANY geysers in the Park but this one is the most predictable.img_1902

I highly recommend going to Yellowstone. But go when the tour buses aren’t around. This was a great time! It is a wonderful National Park and makes me proud of America! 🇺🇸

img_2032-1Grizzlies 56082156168__8b8eb1e7-a344-44c3-ac9a-45f69930752e

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone


Friendly tourist

Crystal Springs Tomato festival🍅🍅

First of all you need to get there early to buy any locally grown tomatoes!🍅

Second of all it is small town America at its best!🇺🇸

This is my second trip to the festival. The whole town decorates and welcomes all visitors!

The downtown area is very quaint . The whole square is filled with people. There are booths that sell everything from leather belts to baby clothes to jewelry! There are politicians everywhere and yard art to buy!

The produce section has all kind of veggies and local honey and jams. Like i mentioned get there early. It opens at 9. We got there around 1030 and most were sold out.

There is a band playing and a car show! If you see someone selling fried green tomatoes get them, they were delicious!

Here is an article from USA Today .

NYC and Bruce Springsteen on Broadway June 2018

Last weekend for Jimmy’s birthday we went to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway. I had never seen him but have been a fan forever but Jimmy has seen him a couple of times many many years ago. We stayed at the Warwick which I highly recommend it. It is in a great location and a very comfortable hotel. My only complaint is no coffee pot in the room.The first night we went to see the musical called Beautiful  about Carole King. It was very entertaining and great music. We ate at Benjamin’s steakhouse before that. It was delicious and a very New York type steakhouse. That afternoon we had taken an Uber to Chelsea market and Highline. We could have spent a lot more time there. It was very crowded on a Friday afternoon but we enjoyed walking around.On Saturday we went to the 911 museum. We just did the general admission tickets and stayed about two hours. We could have stayed longer. It was fascinating. I learned a lot and it is a very well-done museum. I highly recommend it. Then we went to Eataly . It is a block away from 911. It was fabulous, we tasted a lot of foods and bought a few items to come home with.Saturday night we ate at Osteria Del Og. It is an  Italian restaurant in the theater district. We only had to walk a couple blocks to the show after that. We could have split the pizza and salad there. Everything was very homemade! Reservations  recommended.We got to Bruce Springsteen on Broadway an hour early. People were lined up and waiting for him to pull up. So we waited for that across the street from the theater and watched that happen. After that We went through very thick security. Once inside We bought a few souvenirs and a bottled water and M and M‘s. Bruce came out right on time and immediately started playing acoustic guitar and piano and talking. It wasn’t like a Regular concert where you stand up and sing along. We loved it and cannot get over how close we were to him. Patty came out and did two songs with him. I highly recommend going to the Bruce Springsteen on Broadway show if you can get tickets. It is a very small theater and has a great acoustics. He signs autographs afterwards .The next morning we woke up and went to an open AA meeting at a Czech Presbyterian Church. It was very interesting. Then we went to Redeemer Church PCA and then after that we went to Sarabeth’s for brunch. We sat outside at Sarabeth’s! It was right across from Central Park and next to the Ritz.We then sadly returned home… we were there about 55 hours.

#bucketlist. #BruceSpringsteen #Broadway

Church Hill, Mississippi

Around Mississippi

Christ Church located in Church Hill Mississippi was built in or around 1858. The marker says the church was first organized in 1790. It is on a beautiful lot that is situated in a unique way on a small hill. It is Gothic-style architecture and is still holds services once a month.

Its a national landmark and first Episcopal congregation in Mississippi in 1820. A lot of the furnishings ( pews and chairs) are original.

There is a lot of history along the Natchez Trace. This community is right off the Trace near Natchez.

Below are some iPhone pictures I took.

The graveyard around the church is very old and very interesting. If you could clean all of the tombstones there is no telling what all history is hidden there. I could read some of them and 2 of my favorite tombstones were “Our Papa”and “Our Darling Edgar”.

Walt Grayson has filmed some of his “Look Around Mississippi” TV shows here.


My first 5K

My high school friends have been doing these for years (plus half marathons) and this time I got invited!

The experience was really none like I’ve had before.

4300 people were registered to either do the 5K or half all at Seaside FL. There were people everywhere!

It was really entertaining and fun to speed walk with your friends in a big crowd!  Bud and Alleys caters the food afterwards! There were Massage tents and PT tents . I went to a PT tent and had a sweet South African girl work on my knots in my shoulder.

Vera Bradley was the sponsor so everyone got a VB bag when they finished!

I’m not saying I’ll be doing 5Ks every weekend but this one I would love to do again! That part of Florida is beautiful!