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Meridian, MS, United States
A sister, a mother, a rival, a best friend, an information junkie, oblivious. A dreamer, a realist, a believer just seeking His will for me. A procrasinator, a competitor, a country girl with city ways, a student, a mentor, a professional who thinks casual Fridays are a must, a fan. An anachronism, relevant, a cliche, an enigma, a wife with goofy songs and bedtime stories for my favs and one who is always striving toward giving you the best that I've got!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Over a week after Thanksgiving

It is over a week after Thanksgiving. Black Friday after-Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday are a distant tasks, done or not.  Live tree lots are becoming increasingly sparse.  Practically all the bowl games are set, I think.  I'm not a "big bowl" girl so I am sorta ignorant here.

Having gobbled (no pun intended) my  favorite meal of the year down with gusto, I am pretty sure all the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone.  If not, "Yikes!" Can you say,  "Salmonella".  That said, than why?

Is this still on my front door?!!!!

Am I in mourning for Thanksgiving?  Am I lingering too long?

Shouldn't I be motiviated by:
  • Christmast music streamed into every eating and shopping spot in town;
  • or Christmas deco in the drug store;
  • or shopping mall or restaurant; or cute-sy boutique shops;
  • or downtown;
  • or uptown;
  • or lakeside;
  • or holiday cheer;
  • or the generosity of mankind;
  • or the generosity of my God?



And so with over a week after Thanksgiving, I have switched door wreaths.  Join me, lead me or get outta my way!

Welcome Christmas holiday!  A time when we were all given the best that we've ever gotten....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In the "short" run

I knew I was in over my head, but I like challenges. It had been months since I had been truly dedicated to any legitimate workout regime, particularly running. I am a sprinter who lately sprints to the pantry for potatoe chips to eat in bed at night.  I run when want and sleep cause I can. I am not the spokesperson for Acsics; but again, I do like a challenge.

At best and about twice to three times weekly, my workout (mainly power-walking four miles at the Bontia trail) includes walking the straightways and sprinting up the steep hills just because I am too lazy to walk them. My workout partners (two colleagues) for today are distance runners.  Dedicated, goal-driven, regimented, training-for-marathons, point-earning distant runners who are, mostly, in condition.

So, the night of our arrival in Natchez for our two-day conference, we would confer on the time of our morning run (6:30 am); decide on our post-run breakfast time and venue (7:30 am Natchez Grand) and decide our route (about 4 miles to the Lousiana stateline and back).  A short run, they say.


This is a "short" run.

At the 9.5-minute mile pace and .7 miles into the short run, I had had enough.  So, I let my well-trained friends continue to run their way while I would finish my way and try not to die...Now, here is my list of the top ten things a sprinter sees in a distant runner's "short" run:

10. The backs of the distance runners.
09. Every crack in the sidewalk.
08. Every letter of every sign on the route.
07. Molehills which become mountains.
06. Hills that become great mountain peaks.
05. Dialogue bubbles full of profane symbols like:  #@*#!
04. Ants outrunning you on the route.
03. Road kill taking its last breath.
02. Grass growing.
01. No fricking humor in anything!

"Do you run at all?" was the question asked by one of distance runners when I jogged into our destination point ten minutes behind them.  (PLEASE SEE #1 FROM THE AFOREMENTIONED LIST).  Done.  Four miles.  Forty minutes with both them and me giving it the best that we've got...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Do-Over

At the beginning of summer, Memorial Day weekend to be exact, my hubby and I took a ride over to Jackson to attend the wedding of the son of some our good friends.  The wedding was held in a quaint old church in a not-so-quaint old neighborhood off downtown.  No bother.  The neighborhood did not impair the southern charm and gentility offered by the church or by the day, as the evening sun (just crested) began its descent across the warm western sky.

We were happy to be there.  It was nice to dress up and feel pretty and/or handsome and then watch a family celebration unfold.  It was a 4:00 wedding.  I love 4:00 weddings!

They are beautiful and dressed up, and white lace, and pearls, and black ties and cuff links, and black patent leather shoes, and long fake eyelashes, and silver glitter confetti, and organ music and harps and flutes, and boutonnieres, and freshly-shaven faces, and fresh-cut flowers, and garters, and rosey red cheeks, lips and kisses!  I simply love them!

A french horn announced the arrival of the groom. He entered solemnly and stood before the congregration in anticipation of his bride.  He was glistening.  We were all glistening and full of anticipation.  The ceremony was about to begin.

So now, it was time to light the unity candle.  A three-prong candelabra with candles for lighting that represented the brides' family on one side, the groom's family on the other side and in the center a candle for the couple.  It is to be lit as the parents are seated and just before the bride enters the sanctuary.  There are three sets of parents to be seated - remarriages but everyone is very friendly.

The groom's mom and new husband are first and they light the first candle of the three.  Then in was groom's dad and his new wife (our good friends). Groom's dad was going to sit down straightway but someone insisted he light the second candle.  He hesitated, but obeyed.  He did it.  He just lit the bride's parent's candle!  He sat down.  The assembly made a collective gasp and noted...Awkward!

Enter the bride's parents.  They walked up to the candelabara only to find no candle to light. It had been lit already.  What now?  They stood there.  Blank. Baffled. Dazed. Confused. Perplexed. Bewildered. Baffled. Blow!

Someone blew out the second candle.  I think it was the wedding planner.  The second candle was snuffed.  Gone. The bride's parents were now able to re-light the second candle.  They did.  In a quick reversal of fate and in a collective sigh of relief and in a burst of applause, the Do Over.

Everything in life should be so simply done over, so everyone could always give life the best that they've got...again.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Hiatus

It is an all-consuming, all-incompassing, all-hands-on-deck event on our campus.  Everyone pitches in for it.  Everyone.  Every department on campus is either represented in some way or plays a critical role in preparing for or presenting it.  Every facility is referenced or used during it.  It is truly a team effort.  It is the 2010 summer orientation program.  And now, "it" is over!  The last of four sessions finished Tuesday of this week at Meridian Community College.  Now, for about three days we can all exhale....

For the rest of the week, we are on a hiatus of sorts.  We will spend the rest of week not thinking, at all, about orientation.  Ironically enough, our post-orientation afterglow will not include recanting fun-loving antedotes about our new arrivals.  We will not speak fondly of the wide-eyed, bright-smiled, bushy-tailed freshmen who invaded our campus through late spring and all summer.  We will not share tales of how at the ninth hour MCC advisors were able to perform heroic feats by helping students create perfect fall class schedules with only a few keystrokes! We will not reflect on long lines, short treks, hot sun, and cold water bottles.

We will not reflect on our panic-stricken moments where seemingly great peril loomed because of minor technical difficulties, "brown-outs", no-shows, mis-steps, oversights, overestimations, underestimations, misdirections, mis-ques, losts, or founds.  No one will relish in the sighs of relief, smiles, the accolades, the hugs, the pats-on-the-back, the "thank-you's", the "job-well-done's", the "atta-boys" and "way-ta-go's".  We will not tally attendance, surveys, nor discuss outcomes, make projections, neither note points of improvement nor best practices.  No looking back..."We will do none of this because summer orientation is over and we are on hiatus," she said ironically.

Thank you Class of 2010!  We are excited you have chosen Meridian Community College.  Home of the Eagles!  ( MCC is the place where you can expect us all to give you the best that we've got...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Spa Rules

Larry was long gone to begin his conference agenda.  This left me by myself.  So after finishing an oversized, overpriced, over-caloried, flakey, and deliciously-buttery crossiant, a fragrant cup of cream-filled coffee, a tall icy glass of water and the crisp pages of the Money section of Monday's USA Today, it was time to leave the peace of my room's terrance to stroll across the foliage-filled atrium of the Gaylord Texan Resort to the outdoor pool.  It was a beautiful sunny late-spring Texas morning and I was determined to do nothing and to fully enjoy the peaceful surroundings offered up by the hospitable folks at the Gaylord.

After a short jaunt,  I swang open the frosted-glass double doors to the outdoor pool to find rows of perfectly aligned pool-side lounges each dotted with a fresh white beach towel and each spot offering limited solitude.  However at 8am, there was not another soul in sight, total solitude. Amidst the backdrop of silence only the sweet rumblings of jet sprays from the warm alluring waters of the hot tub spa.  So gliding pass the lounge chairs each adorned with a neatly rolled and particularly placed towel, gliding pass the 3-ft, then 4-ft, and then 5-ft crystal  blue waters of the pool reflecting Texas sunlight, gliding pass the cabanas, I found my destination pristine.  Now, off with my swim suit cover to a quick spray under the pool-side shower and two steps later, I sank quickly into engulfing spa waters to continue on my morning quest to do nothing, ALONE.  To be sure I (or anyone) will have every opportunity to do nothing, the Gaylord conspiciously posts the following Spa Rules and I found them to be easiest rules I never broke:

1.  No food, drink, glass or animals in spa or on spa deck. (Just finished my breakfast - left dog back home in MS)
2.  Max. Bathing Load: 6 Persons (Uh, by myself)
3.  Spa Hours: 7am 12 midnight (8:20am, I'm good)
4.  Shower Before Entering (Done)
6.  Maximum safe water temperature is 104 - check water temperature before each use. (Check)
7.  Children under twelve must have adult supervision (School's out; its 8:20am, this is not a problem)
8.  Do not use spa under influence alcohol, narcotics or other drugs that can cause sleepiness, drowsiness, or raise/lower blood pressure.(Is heavily-creamed coffee a narcotic?)
9.  Pregnant women, small children, and people with health problems should  not use spa without consulting a physician. (I'm going to be noncommittal here)
10.  Maximum use 15 minutes. (This might actually be a problem)
11.  No lifeguard on duty. (I'm good with this)
12.  No running. (No problem)
13.  No diving (Noooooooooo problem) 
14.  Keep all electrical appliances away from the spa. (No problem)
15.  Do not use the spa during stormy weather or if lightning is visible. (Check)
16.  Report any unsafe conditions to management (Would I have to get out of the spa?)
17.  Adress:  1501 Gaylord Trail, Building I, Grapevine, TX  76051 (Helpful if needed)
18.  In case of emergency DIAL 911 (Hopefully not needed)
19.  Nearest phone located at Towel Hut.(I took the Spa Rules photo with my cell; I think I'm good)
20.  NO DIVING (Again, noooooooooo problem)

Don't break your own Spa Rules and visit the Gaylord Texan at: where they seem to go out of their way at giving you the best that they've got...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

...but not in a good way

As a student recently emerged from our campus's placement testing center, I read aloud the graphic on his t-shirt which said, "Sometimes I Amaze Myself".  My immediate response was, "Me too, but not in a good way!".  I laughed.  He smiled.

In society, we used to say,  "I mean this in the best possible way, but..."  It was the phrase that prefaced a half-apologetic statement.  Today, in a more curt and less-soft spoken society, there is no apology.  Today, it is "but not in a good  way".  I find this phrase funny and maybe you will too.

So from anyone's perspective, for anyone's humor, try one of these on for size but finish each line with phrase "...but not in a good way"; and hopefully, today, you'll chuckle and please feel free to add your own so we can laugh together.

Sometimes I amaze myself,

Very few things surprise me,

I am so hot,

The grass is always greener,

I knew that,

It went viral on YouTube,

You'll taste, feel, smell that in the morning,

Nothing surprises me,


That is an interesting fragrance you're wearing,

It's a flattering proposition,

I'll take that as a "yes",

That's just great,

Well good!

American's got plenty of offshore oil,

You'll remember that,

Everything surprises me,

Despite the attitudes and actions of today's society which may be insincere, half-apologetic, sacrastic and/or cyncial,  I encourage you to just laugh so you can keep giving it the best that you've got, BUT IN A GOOD WAY!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Education, Sundry Items, and Garbitty Goop

A blog series and oxymoron; afterall, who plans a blog?  But, this series is a chance for me to share a hodgepodge of antedotes from educational professionals I know from all across the country.  These stories will be agenda, guilt, and calorie-free.  They are simply antedotes shared with me first-hand by some of the most humorous and skilled  professionals I've ever met throughout the secondary and post-secondary industry. I believe it takes great doses of both characteristics (humor and skill) to serve in this profession.  Enjoy some of the best that we've got...

I Cut Chikn
A college English instructor  had instructed her students during an in-class assignment to write sentences using past tense verbs.  She would recite a verb in its present tense and the students were to write their past-tense-verb sentence in kind.  As she progressed through her list of verbs, the instructor would pause to check the pulse of the class's progress by randomly choosing to read aloud a student's sentence.

About half-way through the assignment, she asked a student to show her the sentence he had written for the present tense verb, stand.  Her eyes were led her to the correctly numbered sentence only to find his written as a response:

"I cut chikn"

This student, although no Dickens, can now scantily formulate an introduction, body and conclusion of a one-page paper.

What is Your Major?
An anxious colleague, new to freshmen orientation and student advising on the college level, was meeting with a student who seemed well...very confident about college.

"Let's look at your file to see your course of study and see what your ACT score is"  Click. Click. Click.  "Ok, I see", my colleague said.  The student is Undeclared and the test scores not that impressive but no problem.  Scribble. Scribble. Scribble.  "Here is your recommended schedule." my colleague said as she dutifully handed the student the completed form.  She had accomplished her first advising session without incident.

Anxiety. Shmang-xiety.

"Let's discuss any questions you may have."  The freshmen reaches out to receive the schedule, glances at it and then promptly hands it back to my colleague.  "Why do I need to take these courses?"  My colleague responds with, "Well, these are courses for Undeclared majors like you who have your test score levels".

Without a beat between them, the student asked with great surprise, "Undeclared?"-
  "I'm not majoring in Undeclared; my major is CEO!"

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished by Someone
He was very stingy about class breaks of any kind, but a very sarcastic and cynical 9th-grade Physical Science teacher caved one day.  After all, the school's air conditioner was on the blink and it was the last period of the day.  It was not as though he would have to repeat his kindness with another class and no one better find out!

"I'll let everyone go at the same time but you only have ten minutes total! If you get a drink, fine.  If you dont, fine.  And, no noise in the hallway!  And, NEVER expect it again!"  The students, so thristy, are grateful and have the purest intention of following his directions to the letter.  No one wanted to squander this sacred opportunity.

On his "go", all the students cleared the classroom in order and in record time to round the corner to the closest water fountain only thirty feet away.  Loudly and immediately the teacher hears "UGH!"  It is quickly followed by a stampede of 9th-graders bolting back to his classroom.

"What is it!  What is all the commotion about? I knew you couldn't do!  Never again!", the teacher said assuredly.

"No! Please, no! Please don't be mad at us!" they exclaim.  "Someone vomited in the water fountain!"  The teacher had a HUGE BELLY LAUGH!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Yikes! Doh! Eureka! By George, I think I've got it! Oooooh! Yes! Yep! Hmmmm! Uh-ooh! Ugh! Oopsy!wow. Wow! Whoooa!  Ay Caramba!

That's It! Really? Really. really. Okaaaay. Grrh! Hmpf. Darn it! Dang! dang. * @ # !

No matter what you say when you say it, all of us have said something or thought something when we experience a revelation.  A relevation is that brief moment in time when something that was once a mystery to us becomes apparent to us.  We become more englighened.  I  believe Oprah would call this an "Aha" moment.

I admit this blog may be deep and heavier than my usual self, but isn't that the nature of revelations?  Bare with me; it won't last much longer.  Sometimes revelations are good and some are not so good, but they still happen:
  • It may happen when a surgeon discovers after closing an incision that a sponge was left in a patient. Uh-ooh!
  • It may happen when you finally get a math problem. Yes!

  • It may happen when you discover you have been banging your head against the wall (agonizing) over something you cannot do anything about anyway. Ugh!

  • It may happen when a family secret is finally out in the open. Really.

  • It may happen when you are looking into the eyes of the person on earth you love most, or are looking at a bird fly across the horizon or sipping coffee on your patio. wow.

  • It may happen when you have been searching for an answer to something in your life that needs an answer so your soul can rest. That's it!

  • It may (well, more likely) happen unexpectedly.  Whooa!

So you have a revelaton, but what has been the preparation for that time and place when that thing one does not know becomes something that one knows?  Is one prepared for what will be revealed?  Will one have done what is required so to be released from or relish in the next place of enlightenment?  Will you (I) be ready?

Will you (I) have given it the best that you've (I've) got...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mind Your Manners

This is a picture of Mrs. Jill Baker.  At my high school, she was my cheerleader sponsor and she constantly reminded our mostly all-girl cheer squad (particularly those with steady boyfriends) that as cheerleaders and leaders of the student body in general we were to be socially respectful and uphold certain behavioral standards.  One of which was there was to be abolutely no PDA's!  Public Displays of Affection, that is.

We thought it was ridiculous at the time.  No public kissing.  No public hugging.  Limited public hand-holding.  No visible signs of courtship in public that included invading the other's personal space inappropriately and  particularly no "mushy" stuff that could corrupt our public reputations or that appeared disrepectful to others around us.  At the time, it seemed like a ludicrous sacrifice in name of respect...both self and social.

At home, the neighborhood watch team was a league of neighborhood adults (mostly moms) who were not particularly watching for criminal behavior so much as they were making sure the kids in the neighborhood behaved well OR ELSE!!  If you didn't, you got it from one of them and then from your mama or daddy when you made it to the house because your folks were charter members of this club.  WE HAD TO MIND OUR MANNERS!

Boy!  It seemed like everybody in my growing-up life was concerned about public manners.  Why?

  • There were no cell phones to use where I could stand in line at the grocery store, or at the bank teller window, or at the fast-food counter or sit in the doctor's office or board a plane and have a loud and trivial conversation as others looked on annoyingly.

  • My underwear was not on public display from the beltless-sagging-five-times-too-large-for-me pants I was or was not wearing.

  • I could not text on my "futuristic" cell phone amidst a verbal conversation with another human being.

  • I was not rapping or singing a vulgar or sexually explicit popular song lyric in a public place so loudly that people plainly outside of my immediate earshot could hear.

  • There were not flip-flops worn to MY VISIT to the White House nor in my official photo with the President of the United States! POSTSCRIPT:  No such visit actually happened to me.

  • Anyway, was I bumping my favorite joint (song) on 18 speakers and a subwoofer stacked across the back seat of my car while sitting at a popular intersection awaiting the light to turn green?

  • Did I abruptly and out of context walk, talk, or yell out just as another person began their speech, prayer, scriptural reading, sacred moment?  Or did I do this during the national anthem or even during a meeting?  Did I?

  • I wasn't using profanity in public places at decibel levels high enough to be heard without the benefit of a microphone with no matter to what company was present (elders, authorities, children, or peers) just so I could emphasize a point or just because I could talk.

  • Did they think I was so quick to anger for any offense that I would damage someone else's property or person?

  • If I didn't have my pajamas on in public for any legitimate reason, then what was their problem?

  • Were all my male friends keeping their hats on while inside or while at the dinner table as a matter of fashion?

  • Did they think I thought it was ok not to tip wait staff out of humor?

  • Did I speak over or interrupt or even ignore the presence of adults or those in authority?

  • Was I too hot-headed to resolve a conflict with a gentle word or healthly dialogue - did every conversation result in an accusation, bad attitude, arguement or fallout?

  • Maybe, I always blurting out the most critically, harsh, obviously untimely, and rude comment regardess of its effect.

  • Was I just generally obnoxious beyond the obnoxiousness of todays' reality show personalities? (In introspect - this one may actually apply)

  • So then...

This is dedicated to everyone in anyone's life who taught or teaches that minding your manners helps all of us give each other the best that we've got...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't "Sleep" On This!

I'm posting my "Don't Sleep" list for 2010 because it's already April and mainly because these are things I think I would trivalize and/or avoid because I think I have more important things to do and lists help remind me of priorities.  Maybe you have one too?

10.  Spending a rainy Saturday afternoon watching my tv favorite show in syndication or via DVD while doing nothing else or reading a Sunday newspaper from the front page to the classifieds.

  9.  Watching Dr. Oz at least once a month.

  8.  Taking a day trip to fully enjoy an "off the beaten path" place I pass daily or in my common travels.

  7.  Assuming no one else has an "attitude" and then just kindly doing the right thing by them or making life easier for someone else.

  6.  Repurposing an item from a yard sale, vintage store, Salvation Army thrift store or swap store or from my home or donating what I can't repurpose myself.

  5.  Spending at least one hour staring at the stars on a warm summers night (bug repellent maybe necessary for this).

  4.  Laughing until I cry (a cliche but still worthy).  NOTE:  I did this recently at work and I definitely want to do it again.

  3.  Taking or having a great photo taken of myself and then sharing it with someone who really cares to keep it forever.

  2.  Learning a new word in a foreign language regularly.

  1.  Doing something so kind for someone else that's so totally unexpected that even God would smile.

And that's the way to keep giving it the best that you've got!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daylight Saving's Grace

I am sooooooooooooooo glad my first week to loose an hour of sleep each night happened during a week when I did not have to be somewhere, namely work.  Spring Break, though not technically in spring or maybe it's almost spring, happened just in time for Daylight Savings time.  That was just the other week for all of us at Meridian Community College.

We spent March 12-19 in respite at various places of generally our own choosing.  I, and maybe others,  decided quickly that I was not going to do anything worth doing with as much enthusiasm NOT to do it as possible.  I was really successful.

The first weekend of the break we entertained some dear friends (my son-in-law's parents).  They were rolling through the area in an RV as they drove from a six-week visit with our children in California back home to Long Island.  On Monday (mid-morning) when the guest rolled out toward their next stop in Atlanta, my baby daughter of 21 years and I jumped into my car and skirted up the road for a seven-hour road trip to north central Texas.  We pulled into my old stomping ground just before the closing of one of our favorite dives and so we ordered a full plate of Texas BBQ.

We can always count on Johnson St. BBQ, formerly Kelly's, to be awesome.  And, it was.  The next day, around noon, we got up and made french toast for everyone who dared stopped by to say hello.   It was french toast MS Gulf Coast Bed & Breakfast style.  You know the recipe.  The one from stale french bread browned until golden in a pan of real butter and then topped with dark brown syrup filled with pecans and rum or kaluha and calorie-free...wish.

Don't fret.  I walked it all off during a late afternoon of window shopping I did with an old high school friend at a nearby east Dallas mall called Town East.  We looked a lot, laughed a lot, liked a lot, but spent a little.  It was awesome!  We caught up with each other's lives and ate an early dinner at Cheddars where I enjoyed a grilled Portabello on ciabotta with a garden salad - just toooooooooooo gooooooooooooood!

Now, just so I don't provide blow by blow coverage of my whole spring break in the forms of the food and frolicking, I can sum it up by saying the rest of the week included a lot of  sleeping late,  goofin' around, more sleeping and mostly, no thinking about work.

Enter stage right, reality.  Today began the second week back at work and I was in a fog of sorts until I had an epiphany.  I discovered that I'm still running on Central Standard Time.  I realized that I'm still not ready to do all the stuff that should have been finished an hour ago.  I seem to have lost an hour.  You too?

Well, don't fret because just about the time you or I may fall far too behind, remember Daylight Savings time gives us more daylight to catch up.  Maybe they should call it Daylight Savings Grace?


Is that worse than loosing an hour of sleep in the first place?  Is that another epiphany?  Or is that simply more time to give it the best that I've got...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March Madness and the Final Four

Butler. West Virginia. They have clinched seats in the men's bracket. Michigan v. Tennesse and Baylor v. Duke play today. Those left standing will go to the big dance in Indianapolis and a national champion will be named later this week.  In the women's bracket, no final four yet; but we're close.  The ladies will "duke" it out the first week of April. I hear from the sports pundants that it is just maddening trying to determine who actually makes it to the dance, let alone who wins it all.  It's all a big guess, but I am just too ignorant about collegiate basketball to say more than that.  I used to be astute back in the Jordan/NC days.  But today, all I know about March Madness and the Final Four NCAA tourney is pretty much reflected in what you've just read.

These days, the terms March Madness and Final Four mean something slightly different to me.  In college recruitment, where I spend a lot of my professional concern, March Madness marks the near end of the full-court press, man-to-man coverage recruitment efforts that started  the academic year last August.  From last August to now, Meridian Community College participated in college days, career fairs, and community events all across the region.  We hosted campus events that brought prospects to our campus from all walks of life through open houses of our programs and services, job fairs, financial aid workshops, campus tours for students and their parents, local and state academic and career competitions, athletic, social, and theatrical events and etc.  We sponsored events in our community and at our local schools.   We've used all forms of print media and broadcast media to reach out to prospects and inform our community of the educational opportunities available at MCC.  We accommodated prospects who have called and visited our offices, whether they are from this part of the county or another part of the world.  We've played hard, and so August to March has been exciting!

Now, we will shift our attention (somewhat) to the Final Four.  Our Final Four marks the last four months (April through July) of an academic year where MCC begins its orientation season.  During these months, we will focus a significant amount of our time on assuring that those prospects we've met throughout the year will have everything they need to be in place at MCC, so they will be ready to register and attend fall 2010 classes.  Orientation gives students an opportunity to visit our college (on campus or online) as either first-time freshmen who are newly graduated from high school, or as Nontraditional students (adults 19 or older), or as International students, or as Honors students who are current high school seniors that have earned an ACT score of 20 or higher.

With the same level of adrenaline rush of winning an NCAA national basketball championship, we will welcome every student to our campus for the fall to usher them into a new phase of learning that promises to be as memorable as winning a national championship.   Unike the NCAA tournament, it is NOT hard to predict who is the winner when students arrive on campus each fall.

MCC is the winner.  If you are having your first college experience or have been away from us for a while, call to reserve your spot at orientation by calling us at:  601.483.8241 or 800.MCCthe1.  Let us give you the best that we've got...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Numbers are important.  In the year that Jesus was born, Joseph (from the House of David) and Mary went to Bethlehem under order from Caesar Augustus to be counted.  That count changed all of mankind.  Now, in 2010 the mandate to count citizenry is still in effect and numbers can still impact mankind.

Over the next few weeks, each U.S. household will receive an invitation from the government to complete a  2010 Census form.  You don't have to believe in the Bible story mentioned above to understand the biblical proportions of your household's response. 

Numbers are important:

There is safety in numbers.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Two heads are better than one.

Once bitten, twice shy...oops (wrong "numbers" analogy).

Numbers are important.

Now, I am not a paid 2010 Census spokesperson but I admit I do have an agenda.  I do believe a good number from the census count will help Mississippi with the appropriate congressional representation (so our voices can be heard on the federal level).  A good number from the census count will help in funding for public schools and roads and funding for programs for the vulnerable citizens (elderly and children) in our local communities.  A good number from the census helps us Mississippians attract a proportionate amount of federal dollars for our local and state needs.

I will not usually spend blog time or space for causes, crusades, or campaigns, but I thought a reminder to be counted so you can be counted on was appropriate.  Together, we can give the best that we've got....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cincinnati Chili


That was the self-assured response given us by the hotel conceirge as we entered the doors to Skyline, downtown Cincinnati. At the counter you could order up (get this) a 3-way, 4-way, or 5-way, served on a hot dog , over a burrito, or over spaghetti or etc, with or without a mountain load of cheese, small, regular or large.




We had landed an hour and half or so earlier and were famished. We had devised our game plan in the cab ride from the airport. We were to check into the hotel, get our bags to our rooms, refresh, and then meet in the hotel lobby to move briskly to lunch. So, in our taxi we asked our cabby, "What is local to Cincinnati that we will love to eat?"

"Cincinnati chili", he answered.

"Ok, where do we get it?"

"Skyline, and there's one near your hotel."

The driver had shared so much valuable and interesting info about Cincy that we were excited the conference had chosen this awesome city; but, we were more glad we'd luck up on this driver with an incredible recommendation of Cincinnati chili. So, bags unloaded and tip transferred, the taxi buzzed off into rush-hour, city traffic. Now, our plans to reconvene for lunch were in effect.

While waiting in the lobby for some stragglers in our group, a couple of us approached the hotel conceirge to ask (for confirmation), "What is local to Cincinnati that we will love to eat?"

"Cincinnati chili!" he exclaimed.

"The cabby told us that. Skyline?", we asked.

"Yep!" he answered and then gave us spot-on directions.

Well, reassembling in the lobby was a slight struggle. But moments later with our group in tact, we began our trek to Skyline which was only a few city blocks away!

Spot-on directions indeed. We arrived at Skyline with great anticipation and surprise to find the hotel conceirge had already arrived in advance of us and was seated at a table placing his order.

"Is it good?" we asked him.

"Everyday." he retorted.

This is where the story goes south...literally.

Six proud southerners, fairly well-traveled, and well-educated were dumbfounded. What is that taste? Nutmeg? No. Cinnamon. Maybe. Why is it so dark? I don't know. What meat is that dark? Maybe it's the chili powder (we discover later that it's chocolate). I taste only a little chili powder. I don't taste any! Why spaghett? I dunno. I asked for "light" cheese. I can't eat this! Well, I can; I paid for it. I never have to eat it again. It's as though a pumpkin pie fell into a pot of chili. Chili-what?!

Needless to say, Cincinnati chili is an acquired taste. Here's the website: or the receipe 'cause that's the best I've got...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Life as a Compilation Album, Ugh :(

Today while doing some light shopping, I encountered something that left me completely and utterly horrified.

Who was responsible for this monstrosity? Who let things get so out of hand? Who should be held accountable for this fiasco? Heads should roll for whomever granted permission for transforming some of the most carefree days of my life into a shrink-wrapped, digitally-mastered compilation album!

Not album. I mean CD.

No, I mean DVD.

Well actually, blue ray. Doh!

I think I mean the show on VH1 or MTV, "I Love the 80's". Or is that a reality show?

No. Is it a ringtone?


Now, I'm confused.

Anyway, shouldn't I have been asked to sign a release or something? Is this the sum of us: a decade of bad hair, bad fashion, bad judgement and "totally-radical-and-fur-sure" fun, all summarized in a 80's compilation album? Is this all that is left after spandex, Candies shoes, Jordache' jeans, the death of disco and the birth of rap? Now, I know the pain felt by the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's generations.

Well I, personally, am not ready to have the 80's revered as the "good old days". Who's with me???

Come on! Stand up and shout:



The 80's may be masterfully digitized, but I'm still giving you the best that I've got...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Hate Hills!

I hate hills. For this I am unapologetic.

I hate pan-roasted oatmeal. I hate corns on an otherwise perfect pedicure. I hate myself for missing that person who left as though they never missed me. I hate when my dog chews on our bed linen. I hate that math is not easy for everyone.

I hate the sound of high heel shoes so worn they click when you walk on tile floors. I hate weeds. I hate the dumb cist that went undetected for years and then ruptured on her liver and spewed poison throughout my mom's body, making her so ill that she never recovered.

I hate panty hose. I hate spinach or salad in my teeth and no toothpick or floss within 800 miles. I hate mopping. I hate vacuuming. I hate dusting. Ok, I hate housework. I hate that baking from scratch takes effort. I hate there are bad side effects to otherwise good medications.

I hate stretch marks and facial hair. I hate black shoes with black socks with khaki shorts and Hawaiian-print shirts. I hate being in a hurry for no apparent reason. I hate not being more disciplined. I hate having the hiccups.

I hate couscous. I hate snakes. I hate indigestion. I hate potholes. I hate being awake when I want to be asleep. I hate the perception that chivalry is dead.

I hate hills - they are tough to run, but I've got to give it the best I've got....

Monday, February 22, 2010


These days, I am not finding many folks talking like Dr. Phil. He routinely uses horse sense as he dispenses advice to the poor folks seated in the shrink seats on his well-lit stage during his well-watched talk show each day. Thank goodness most of us don't gallop about using our best Texas drawl spouting Dr. Phil-isms; but, I must admit I do miss hearing proverbs.

I remember hearing my mom (one of the wisest people I'll probably ever know) and the "old folks" use them around me when I was growing up. So here's the deal, though. I am trying to decide when I started saying them aloud myself and what does it say about me?

Does using these proverbs aloud to the folks I work with, using them with my children, my husband, or in casual conversations with friends or family mean I've cross some invisible wisdom-dispensing threshold and entered into realms of wisdom with the likes of my mom and the "old folks"? Probably not, but more often I find myself saying things like:

A stitch in time saves nine.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Haste makes waste.

Can't change a leopard's spots.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

That's a horse of a different color.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Waste not want not.

A man can work from sun to sun but a woman's work is never done.

Don't toss the baby out with the bath water.

Precious things come in small parcels.

Penny wise, pound foolish.

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

My fav:

To err is human but to forgive devine!

Do you have any? 'Cause that's the best I've got...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Barneys, emBellishment, Brood, Bumpkins, Baby boys, emBarrassment and Felicity Huffman

In the second or third season of Desparate Housewives (when it was "the" show to watch), maybe just after the first season of Curb Your Enthusiasm but definitely post-Christmas on a visit to our children in southern California, my husband thought it would be a good idea to take a quick shopping trip to Barneys Beverly Hills. He had heard Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm casually mention Barneys in the Curb dialogue. Plus, we had gotten some random, but embellished, Barney's gift from a friend a few years earlier. Also, the rental car place had really goofed up our reservations so we ended up with an uber nice Escalade for our use for the whole visit. Maybe my honey felt we could handle it.

He was curious.

I got it, so we went.

Now, my husband and I have six adult children between us, five baby grands (only two baby boys had been born at the time of this story), and a dog (doesn't travel, thank God or else she may have added to the drama that ensues). Although we took two vehicles, all of our daughters (four), both sons and a one son-in-law, the two baby boys, two strollers, and without dog (again thank God) pulled up to the valet parking of Barneys and poured out of the our son-in-law's Audi and our rented Escalade one by one. Our brood managed to reduce a roomy luxury utility vehicle to the size of an MG midget full of circus clowns. The parking attendants had to be amazed as we just simply kept coming.


We proudly tossed the attendants our "rental" keys and flowed into the immaculate, open-air sales floor of Barneys. Two fabulous floors of high-fashion labels where socks start at $45.00 a pair and yet there was no crowd.

Go figure?

Lighting in this place was so precise that each piece of merchandise (strategically placed and perfect and limitedly featured) seemed to be its own showcase. Unfortunately, the lighting also proved to wash my dark skin right out, my clothes soon seemed labelly challenged and I had an instant flashback to episodes of Uncle Jed, Granny, Jethro and Ellie Mae.


Was this just my insecurity? Was I just imagining that the sales staff was staring at us as though we had just deboarded a tour bus at the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Was I going to cave to the pressure of paying $45.00 for a pair of socks?


Then there they were...the opium of the female masses...Shoes...precious, PRECIOUS, SHOES! Gucci, PRADA, Fendi, Manolo Blahnik, Yves St. Laurent, Marc Jacobs all there. Ten eyes were affixed to the back of store and the high fashion was beckoning us across the airish lint-free wooden floor. To this, my hubby was good. He was the man; he and the boys opted to take the flawless and spiral staircase to the second floor which wound neatly up to the men's merchandise.

Well, all five of us girls had just about settled on sharing a pair of $1500.00 Manolo Blaknik (on sale) three-inch high slinky sandals when I noticed a very underdressed, unassuming, but familiar face discretely hidden under a baseball cap. I gingerly handed back to our eldest daughter the Manolos as though I was handing her her birthright. I slinked closer to the baseball cap, pretending that the regular-priced shoes had some how become affordable to me; and when I had gotten close enough to speak in a whisper, I said to the baseball cap, "I know you are busy, but I love you!"

She looked up from under her cap and smiled. I had loved her in the sitcom, "Sports Night" and seen her made-for-tv movies. I indeed am a longtime fan of both her and her husband William H. Macy. She extended her hand to shake mine and invited her assistant, Kim, over to meet me. SHE WAS GRACIOUS!!! I invited my daughters (all Deparate Housewife fans) over to meet both Ms. Huffman and Kim.

I remember how she referred to each of my daughters by name and briefly spoke to each of them about their interests. She even acknowledged my baby boys sitting in their strollers. We straigtened our hair and coats and Kim (assistant) took a photo and then the both of them were gone. Ms. Huffman never let on, but I think her shopping experience was probably just ruined by novice shopping with celebs in Barneys. We, on the other hand, were stoked!

We had to share our experience with our guys on the second floor. So, we boarded the elevators right off the shoe department. We loaded babies, strollers, coats, grins and excitement and then hit the button for the 2nd floor. The doors quickly closed and we lifted toward the second floor, but then....

Bomp! Bomp! Bomp!

A long loud alarm, sounding in intervals of three. Bomp! Bomp! Bomp! What's going on? Bomp! Bomp! Bomp! Is it a fire alarm, we guessed? Bomp! Bomp! Bomp! Oh, my God; it's the elevator alarm, we discover. Bomp! Bomp! Bomp!

Shame poured into the elevator and deflated any photo-with-Felicity excitement we had just experienced. We are reduced to silence cloaked by utter embarrassment. My youngest daughter, in her excitement, had leaned on the elevator alarm and now we had officially become novice TIMES A BILLION, plus a pair of $45.00 socks.

The elevator doors opened in pregnant-snail time with us facing everyone and everyone facing us. We were at full circle, unloading the elevator pretty much like we had unloaded the Escalade and Audi earlier, fanfare. It was time to go just as Felicity Huffman had earlier, no fanfare. Ever happen to you? 'Cause that's the best I've got...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

TGIF 'cause tomorrow's Saturday

Without much forethought I managed to find an outfit that required no ironing. My hair, though nappy, still laid pretty neatly and in decent order to my head. The scar from Wednesday's curling iron mishap was fading from my upper right cheekbone. As I left the house in hopes to grab my morning fruit for breakfast, there were no more bananas. That worked out because I only eat them for their nutritional value and because they don't have to be rinsed. The daily forecast was a high of 55 and I am pretty sure we hit 60. The Friday before it was snowing....

I was in the two-seater today and a ding in the door of "his baby" would not have been good. But as I pulled up to the usually highly-competitive parking lot outside of Ivy Hall, it was Friday. Very few classes on Fridays meant very few cars, so I got a corner spot on the third row. Perfect.

I had a To Do list on my desk for today, leftovers from the previous day; maybe even a previous life, but a To Do list just the same. I managed to get through most of it. I had two appointments that moved on cruise. Fridays end at 3:30 and I was in my car by 3:55 on my way to pick up two of my favorite little girls (my great nieces) and then home. At home, a text to my phone..."Anderson Cup?"
"Yup", I respond.
"Well, run when?"
"Let's start tomorrow morning at 8:00 am?", I ask.
"My hood, good trails, good hills, c u around 8ish."

What was a great ending to a great Friday! Smooth sunny Friday with the promise of an early Saturday morning run. So today, I got up and jogged/walked three miles with a friend that I haven't spent enough time with lately. That gave me enough energy to drive up to Starkville and spend quality time with my children and baby grands.

A good Saturday would not have been quite as pleasant without an awesome Friday! TGIF. Share yours 'cause that's the best I've got...