The Bourbon Soaked Mom

The Bourbon Soaked Mom

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Importance of "Building Up" Our Small Town.

 No secret, I am from a small town, and I adore it. Yes, that small town is Hazard, Kentucky. One of the main reasons that I started my blog was to showcase how unique, interesting and beautiful Hazard was in the past, is in the present and can be in the future. I've moved away, and ventured right on back. I've settled down here, and I am raising my children here. I could write a book on all the wonderful things about this place, the land, the people, the history, but I am only one person. It is so important for all of us who live here to stop being so negative about it, and take action in a positive direction to try and better it, not only for us, but for our children and our grandchildren.

I have posted many pictures of a sprawling downtown Hazard area in the past, a booming La Citadelle, streets lined with cars, and city sidewalks that are littered with PEOPLE. Why is it such a stretch to think that Hazard could be that way again? That our city could be restored back to it's former glory. We read about towns like Whitesburg and Pikeville who are bringing in new forms of revenue and businesses to supplement their dwindling economy. Why are we any different?

All of these things things start with people and ideas that later form into realities. Where is our young generation? It's time for us to step up and take the reigns. Why not? Why not us? We are the ones that will be here for the next forty of fifty years? We are the ones that will raise our kids here, send them to get an education here, perhaps they will settle here as well, and our grandchildren will start the same cycle. Why would we not want to take steps forward in a direction that they could potentially benefit from and be proud of?

It all starts with ending the negativity and bringing positive light to this place. Yeah, no doubt, this town has it's fair share of problems, but instead of sitting around and complaining about it, why not get up and try to come up with a solution. Get involved, talk to people, come up with ideas. It is so easy to take part in the community here, simply because we are a small place. If you have a voice, why not share it? Especially for something good.

We have many wonderful things going on, so I am not saying that we aren't getting there, but there is still so much more that can be done. Many are doing their part to get the ball rolling on restoring downtown, there have been new businesses to pop up, and more and more organizations to better ourselves have been established. Hazard is making progress, and that is AWESOME.

In short, stop letting people talk badly about the town you were born and raised in. If you live here, especially. Why would you not want to show the parts of Hazard that are unique, or cool? That is what I do, and I have gotten a wonderfully warm reception in doing so. If you are from Hazard but live away from here, why wouldn't you talk about the things that you remember Hazard fondly for, instead of tearing it down or belittling it, especially to people who may not know anything different than what you tell them. The first step is to just simply, be proud of Hazard, no matter the short comings, the negative press, or just general murkiness. We need more people out there to just say, "Yeah, Hazard is pretty awesome if you just take a deeper look."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Exciting News for The Bourbon Soaked Mom!

 Most of you know that I do this blog for fun, to share my random thoughts, to further advertise the beauty of our town and region, and to give you tips on how to thrift, and where to go to shop for cool and unique Vintage items. After much encouragement and support, The Bourbon Soaked Mom will now bring you guys Bourbon Soaked Vintage, an Etsy shop where you will be able to purchase unique vintage clothing, jewelry, accessories and other random items that I pick up and think my readers may enjoy.

Again, I have never tried my hand at actually "selling" anything, so this will be a trial run for me, but it is definitly something I take pride in and am good at. If you have any ideas, or any certain items that you would like me to keep an eye out for while I am thrifting, please email me and let me know. I am always open to suggestions!

My shop should go live as soon as I get all the listings up, and make everything pretty! You can pay directly online, and I will ship items to you! I will be posting the link, and giving more information as soon as I get everything ready. Keep checking back with me for more updates! Again, thank you for all your love and support of the blog and all of my endeavors.

-Courtney, The Bourbon Soaked Mom.

Our Perry County "Diner" Dynamic.

It is no secret that I absolutely love a country diner. I am terribly old-fashioned. The feel of a diner just relaxes me, and makes me feel so at ease, not to mention there is usually always a familiar face to sit and talk to. Perry County has no shortage of quaint little spots to go and enjoy lunch, dinner, or in some cases, a 4 am run for corn nuggets. (You all know you have been there.) I have decided to list three of my favorite places to take my boys to, simply because I could never choose just one. Each has their own little aura going on, and each is it's own brand of "special". If you are reading this from out of town, I do hope you take the time, passing through, to stop and check out some of these country cookers.

1: Circle T Restaurant:  Circle T has been a local favorite for years and years. Nestled quaintly in the Airport Gardens area, this place is always packed out for lunch and dinner, but also stays open 24-7. I can't lie, in my teens I was a frequent 4 am visitor for corn nuggets and onion rings. Myself and my friends used to eat there after every Perry Central football game, because the old field used to be right across the road. You could just walk over to it. I've walked in with my cheer leading uniform on many times and scarfed down a cheeseburger. They offer daily specials, but my favorite dish comes on Saturday. Chicken-n-Dumplings with fried okra and mashed potatoes. You can't beat it.Yesterday, I took my boys to lunch where I enjoyed a new dinner. Open faced roast beef, or Roast Beef Manhattan with mashed potatoes. Man was it good.
G enjoying his favorite, pizza bread.
Roast Beef "Manhattan"

2: Frances Diner: The home of the famous Frances Peanut Butter Milkshake, this little place has also been a local favorite for years. Just down the street from Circle-T and across the road from McDonald's, France's is so packed sometimes I have the park across the way. I went there last night for supper and ordered a cheeseburger and home made vegetable soup and it was delicious. I had my two babies with me, and several people just had them passing them around to everyone. That is the kind of atmosphere you have here. Everybody knows you, or at least someone in your family, and even if they don't, you're still "home." Not to mention, the "buggy burger" is practically famous.
Home-Made Vegetable soup with a cheeseburger.

3: River View Diner: This local favorite has just recently reopened and I am so glad that it did. My Dad used to take me here when I was little for spaghetti and garlic bread, and I remember sitting outside on the bench and watching the river flow past. I went there today, and it was too rainy and cold to let me kids get out and see it, but I know they would enjoy it so much. They also offer dairy-bar like service where you can park and order instead of dining in (which is also an option). They have delicious piled-high custards, that I love to indulge in. It's definitely worth checking out again, today I had their chicken and dumplin special with cornbread and beans and it was spectacular.

Hazard is full of awesome surprises. It is so important that we support our local small businesses and these gems are no exception. Chain restaurants are fine, but I would 10-1 rather call in an order and pick it up at places like this, as opposed to sitting in a drive-thru line for thirty minutes only to get lackluster frozen food. For all of you who read this from out of town, stop by and check this delicious spots out and you'll be sure to leave satisfied!

Friday, December 5, 2014

You're Tired? Me Too.

Touching on one of the very limited subjects that I know a few things about, motherhood. Today's end has found me very tired, agitated and just ready for the sun to go down. My youngest son has found the dog food bowl and helped himself to two handfuls of puppy chow, and my oldest did a nose dive (on purpose) off the couch and got a nasty bout of rug burn on his nose. I'm tired. I've not even eaten a bite today, if that tells you anything. I know my husband will come home, and the first thing he will say is "man, I'm tired." Yes, me too.

Moms get a lot of (for lack of a better word) "shit" for voicing how hard it is to actually be a  mom, or for even complaining about it, or expressing a need to just have a break. But I am not only talking about stay at home moms, I am talking largely in part about Moms in general. We are supposed to be this superhuman person with all this willpower, all of this endurance when it comes to raising our children, but in honesty, it's freaking hard. It crosses my mind at least three times a day that I am possibly ruining them, am causing them extreme psychological damage or am just making them spoiled brats. These little things do not come with a book of instructions when you take them home from the hospital and there sure as hell isn't a how to guide for moms on how to keep your sanity intact while trying to get them raised. Most people, and myself included, just play it by ear.

In my experience with being a stay at home mother, I always get asked the question, "What do you do all day? Don't you get bored?" Oh yeah, sure, because both of my kids sit all day, Indian style on the rug and watch cartoons and never want to eat, or have bottles, or play or need to be mentally stimulated. None of that. I do none of that. I just sit and twiddle my thumbs and hope they take care of themselves. Or better yet, I sit and practice my makeup and do my hair and try on my clothes and sometimes I take them out when I want to get a good IG pic, just acting like I am doing something with them. I am so tired of people's thoughtlessness to mothers. Better yet, it makes me even more irate when someone expresses their distaste for a Mother if she says she needs a break, or she needs some "me time". Seriously, just shut up if you have no clue what you are talking about, because if you say something like this, you obviously are clueless. This coming from someone who used to be the idiot that would have said something like that to someone with kids.

I wake up daily around 8 (if I'm lucky) and cook breakfast for myself and my kids. I make the coffee, and get my husband off to work. We read our stories, and we play. I cook them lunch, or maybe even take them out for lunch and to the library. Does anyone know how hard it is to wrangle two small children in public? Carrying your purse, the diaper bag, a paid of shoes here or there, snacks, a stroller, or car seat? I mean my goodness. I cook dinner, we play games, I make sure they aren't killing each other or burning my house down, and on occasion I get to shower or maybe even eat something! So yeah, I am tired.

The absolute worst, though, is when people make snide remarks about my clothes, or how I look, or my lack of makeup. You know what, if I am out I probably do have baby vomit on me somewhere because it's inevitable. I probably have no makeup on either, because I just do not have time to fool with it. More than likely I am wearing leggings or something equally comfortable, because squatting and bending in blue jeans is not any fun, and when you are out with two children, well, you do that a lot. But you better believe my children are dressed to the nines, in their best, and they look fantastic because quiet frankly, it's ALL ABOUT THEM. Always will be. My petty stuff has taken a back seat for the moment, even my own vanity, and trust me I AM VAIN.

What I am trying to say is, Mothers shouldn't have this stigma against them telling them it's not okay to take a break, or it's not okay to ask for help. Raising kids is a full time job, and for me IT IS my full time job. If I had a career to go on top of all that, I honestly think I may lose my mind. I stay with mine 24/7 and I love it, and feel so lucky to be able to do so, but I need and I deserve some time to myself now and then. It's easy to lose yourself in being a Mom, but it's also important to remember that you are someone other than being a Mom. You were someone before and you are someone apart from that. True, with me, it makes up most of who I am and I so proud of the person I have become as a direct result of my children, but I am also Courtney. I still like to have fun, laugh with my friends, go out. I'm still a good time, I promise, on the off chance that I get the opportunity to let my "mom hair" down.

So, to all my mom-friends out there, keep on keeping on and do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help,and be proud of the job you are doing for your children. To all those mom-shamers out there who further enforce the idea that all women who are mothers should be in throttle open-hold er wide-gung ho, mom mode all the time, with no complaints or qualms, well shame on you. You either (a) have no children (b)are just a mean person or (c) are some kind of Stepford wife robot. Your opinion should be best kept to yourself.

We all get by with a little help from our friends.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Christmas (Kentucky) Bucketlist.

I love Christmas, and if you are like me and have children, you look for every way possible to make this time of year special and magical. As December is kicking off, I took to the computer to compile a list of things I want to take my two little boys to, and I thought I would share them with my fellow bloggers. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and that you make it magical, especially for your children! 

 1: The Polar Express Dinner Train: Lexington or Bardstown

Climb aboard the Bluegrass Scenic Railway's Santa Claus Special for a scenic holiday train excursion past holiday scenes, elves and Bluegrass countryside. The 45-minute excursions leave from Woodford County Park on December 13-14 and 21-22. Departure time is 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with an added 11 a.m. excursion on December 22. Tickets are $13.50 adults, $12.50 seniors and $11.50 ages 2-12. You can purchase tickets online at (859) 873-2476.
This year you can board the Lexinton Dinner Train behind Rupp Arena enjoy the North Pole Express. On December 7, 14 and 21, Santa and Mrs. Claus will welcome you and your little ones to ride with them. On board you will enjoy a delicious meal, crafts and Christmas carols. Each guest will receive a special gift to remember this special journey. (866) 801-3463. 

2: Christmas at Whitehall in Richmond: A Victorian Christmas.

The holidays are off to a festive start when you visit White Hall State Historic Site’s A Victorian Christmas.  Costumed interpreters will be on hand to answer any questions as you stroll through the holiday bedecked rooms and learn about the Christmas customs celebrated today that were first made popular by the Victorians.  Goodies and hot apple cider round off this wonderful family event.  Tickets are $10.00 per person, children ages 5 and under are free.

3: Christmas Lights at Archer Park: Prestonsburg.
I always love driving through Archer Park's christmas decorations. It is just close enough to be a single trip and I can't wait to take G and River this year! It is just beautiful!

4: Scuba Santa's Water Wonderland: Newport Aquarium

Here you can meet Santa, and be on hand for his dive shows. They also offer overnight tours with special animal interactions, and breakfasts with Santa. Your children are also able to take their letters to santa and mail them there!

Meet and Greet Times:

  • 12:00pm and 12:40pm on Weekdays
  • 11:40pm; 12:20pm; 2:20pm and 3:00pm on Weekends
5: My Old Kentucky Home Candlelight Tours

My Old Kentucky Home is decorated for Christmas in the antebellum style beautifully accented by the glow of candles everywhere.  Guests walk thru the Home with guides available for questions, refreshments are served in the Kitchen behind the house. 

Adults $7, Seniors $5, Children 6-12 $3.50, under 6 free.  (Group Rates available)

Evening tours are available November 29 and 30, December 6 and 7, and December 13 and 14. 5:30 pm thru 8:30 pm.  If you can't make it to our evening tour, we are open 9 am to 5 pm  for guided tours.

6: Southern Lights at The Kentucky Horse park.

At Southern Lights: Spectacular Sights on Holiday Nights at the Kentucky Horse Park, horses of light "race" in front of a cheering crowd, clear a steeplechase fence, and graze in Bluegrass pastures. The unique horse scenes help make Southern Lights one of the most distinctive lights festivals anywhere and a time honored tradition among the locals. And with tens of thousands of shimmering lights, it's Kentucky's largest lights festival. You'll also enjoy animated scenes featuring Santa and his reindeer, elves, snowflakes and other traditional holiday characters as you drive along the four-mile route through the park.

7: Santa's Safari at Louisville Zoo

Santa is making a special stop at the Louisville Zoo and he’s bringing some of his North Pole friends along too. Enjoy a visit and photo with Santa, plus meet Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman ─ and special guests, a sun loving snow man and two icy cold princesses. Includes yummy refreshments, a fun holiday craft, special animal encounter stations, festive sing-alongs and more.
Be a part of Santa’s workshop where elves help families create a wonderful holiday craft. And of course, no visit would be complete without Mrs. Claus serving her famously delicious holiday treats and beverages (and hot chocolate or coffee too for the grown-ups). A complimentary photo with Santa will be provided to each child.
Then grab your special Santa Safari Passport and begin your journey through the Zoo’s heated buildings to experience one-on-one interaction with Zoo animals and Zoo educators. Bring your cameras!
8: Christmas at The Galt House: Louisville. 

Kyle and I stayed here while attending an Eagles concert a few years ago and we absolutely loved it. The place was beautiful and I can't imagine how fabulous it is with Christmas decorations. It's right in the heart of downtown and connects to the YUM center. There are several options to choose from at the Galt House.  Breakfast with Santa, Christmas Tea with the Snow Fairy Princess, The Great Mouse Dinner Mystery, and Pam Tillis dinner shows, Kaleidoscope tickets, overnight packages. It's honestly too much to even write down. I enlisted the website so you can go and see for yourself, but it all looks really beautiful.

9: Antebellum Christmas: Waveland State Historic Site

At Waveland State Historic Site, you can see what the holiday season was like on a Bluegrass plantation. Antebellum decorations, music, refreshments and costumed historic presenters will be featured at this year's Christmas Candlelight Tours from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. December 5-6 and December 12-13. Refreshments will be served in the plantation's 200-year-old log cabin. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students. (859) 272-3611.

10: Christmas on the Estate: Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate.

This year the Henry Clay Estate will open its doors for two Holiday Candlelight Tours on Sunday, December 7 from 5:30 8:00 p.m. and December 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with the last admission at 7:00 p.m. Enjoy live music on self-guided tours of the mansion and refreshments in the Keeper's Cottage. This year's theme is "A Currier and Ives Christmas at Ashland." Mistletoe from the Ashland Estate will be on sale. Reservations are not required. $15 for adults, $7 for young adults 17 and under and a family rate of $40.

11:  Ice Skating at Triangle Park. 

  The Unified Trust Company Ice Rink at Triangle Park opens for the season November 7. Bring your own skates if you'd like, but skate rentals are included in the price. The rink is open from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Kids feeling chilly? Grab some hot chocolate at the café beside the rink. And no worries, there are plenty of places to sit and observe if you don't want to venture out onto the ice yourself.The rink stays open through January 11.


Woodford Reserve:  Enjoy a Kentucky gourmet lunch at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Woodford County during Holidays at Woodford Reserve, November 23 through December 22, as well as December 28 and 29. Enjoy a traditional Kentucky holiday buffet with a contemporary twist prepared by Chef Ouida Michel. In the past guests have enjoyed selections such as roasted loin of pork, bourbon-glazed chicken, slow-roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon, pumpkin cheesecake and Woodford Reserve cake. Lunch will be served Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sundays 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Cost is $25.00 plus tax per person. Reservations recommended. The gift shop will be open and full of holiday gift ideas. (859) 879-1921. (Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Refererees, Docs and God: Journal of Country Doctor by Dr. Donald L. Martin

 If you ever have time to read my blog, you will recall that a few months ago I did a write up about one of my favorite places in Perry County, Homeplace. I had such a warm reception of this piece that I was thoroughly humbled and surprised at the amount of love and pride that Homeplace still, to this day, inspires in people, around here. The piece focused primarily on the history of the clinic and doctors who were involved there in it's heyday. Dr. Donald L. Martin being my primary interest, mainly because I was able to get in touch with his daughters, Carol and Gail. He also delivered my aunts and uncles at the clinic during the 50's. His daughters were gracious enough to supply me with pictures, and stories of their father, both of which I enjoyed so much. I still have people who email me and thank me for the article.

 I had no idea that Dr. Martin had penned two books. Gail absolutely made my year by mailing me copies of both. They are among my treasures, and that says a lot, because I collect a lot of books. The amount of people who have offered to buy them or made inquiries of where to find them has been overwhelming. I believe it is safe to say that Dr. Martin made quiet an impact in his 20 years as a rural doctor in Eastern Kentucky. As a tribute to him, as well as his wonderful daughters who made this article possible, I just wanted to share the first of two of his fascinating books with you and hope that everyone who reads this can appreciate and admire the kind of intelligent, compassionate and wonderful man he obviously was.

Dr. Martin, a graduate from the University of Louisville Medical school, did his internship at the Philadelphia General Hospital. He was a medical officer aboard the U.S.S. Delta AR9 during the Korean Campaign, and for 20 years he served as staff physician at Homeplace Clinic, a Hospital near Hazard, Kentucky. He later spent years in solo practice in Salem, Indiana.

"It seems to me that referees, docs and God have something in common. Mistakes by any of these three entities simply are not tolerated."

This wonderful little book is a collection of short stories by Martin, that span his career as a doctor, and chronicles what life was like in rural Eastern Kentucky during the 50s-60s. My favorites are clearly his recantations of life in Ary, Kentucky. As a physician at Homeplace in 50-60's, life could not have been easy for him. Many people here in the mountains (at that time) had never been inside a clinic or hospital, let alone seen a doctor. Martin included several stories about child birth, which I am sure he delivered many in his years in Eastern Kentucky. "There was no birth control pill and to sterilize anybody took an act of congress in those days. Consequently, families often included ten to fifteen "head of youngun" along with Grandma, and Grandpa and maybe Aunt Mary." So many folks around here come from large families and this is so true. My Grandmother alone had six children. It was just common back then to have so many. Kyle's Grandmother had eleven. Honestly, I could never even imagine the level of humility one would need to have, in order to raise that many children.  Dr. Martin recalls these days with a level of understanding and compassion. The selflessness that he must have shown during his time here must have been overwhelming. He was basically on call  24/7 and dealt with unimaginable obstacles. He manages to stay refreshingly positive and humble throughout his books, and I am quiet positive that many folks from this area owe him their lives.

One of my favorite stories in which Doc shared was one of "The Rattlesnake and the Pussycat." A squirrel hunter from Breathitt County had drunkenly mistaken a rattlesnake for a cat and tried to pet it, resulting in a nasty snakebite. As he was bit first thing in the morning, before the snake's venom supply had been sufficiently depleted, he was in pretty bad shape by the time he reached Homeplace clinic. After being in shock, the man was given numerous units of plasma and nearly 12 viles of IV anti-venom. In nearly his 20 years in Eastern Kentucky, Martin estimated he had treated over a 100 copperhead bites and only three rattlesnakes, citing that in the area (which still goes on today) that snake handling was a part of church service activity. "It was believed that if you had enough faith, the rattlesnake would not bite you. If you were bitten, and you had enough faith, then you didn't need medical care. It didn't always work that way. Some people were bitten, and some did die."

Martin came to know and admire many local personalities of that era. The glimpses and first hand knowledge he offers us is also a unique look on a lot of local history. These included J.S. Bell, Denzil Barker M.D., George Drushal and Hazard's own,Willie Dawahare.

J.S. Bell was the pastor at Hindman First Baptist Church, and was the power behind the formation of satellite Sunday schools and mission churches in Knott County. He was also one of the front line fighters in the dry-wet war that was going on during the time. "The dry-wet forces were lined up for battle in the little town and the politicking got hot and heavy. Matter of fact, to be too outspoken for the drys could be flat out dangerous. Brother Bell didn't flinch. He thrust himself into the fight with the drys and they won hands down. His family worried about his safety, but no one took a shot at him. I think about everybody admired his youthful courage."

Denzil Barker was the son of coal miner, from Knott County Kentucky. Through Alice Lloyd College, he receieved his education and then went on to Tulane University to receive his MD. Barker was also a leading member of Hindman First Baptist Church, and one of Dr. Martin's closest and most trusted friends. "He gave his professional life to the people of Knott County by simply being a darn good doctor, being available and living the life of service. We have worked toward a common goal. We have reared our families and we have kept in touch. The relationship illustrated the point that one of life's greatest joys comes through intimate friendship."

Willie Dawahare was a former mayor of Hazard, and the owner of Dawahares Men's Store. "Willie was a friend to about anyone that knew him. He was instant warmth, like getting close to a stove on a winter day. He liked to see people happy and was an instant success in making happiness." Dr. Martin was the first to tell Mr. Dawahare about the new procedure of doing open heart surgery and coronary bypass, using leg veins for the bypassed vessels, performed in Cleveland. After six months of contemplating, Dawahare underwent the procedure and came out a new man, with a new lease on life. Progress was certainly something that Dr. Martin soldiered, and he was extremely good at it, thankfully.

While Dr. Martin also reflects on many of his cases throughout the years, some of which my brain has trouble understanding, because I am obviously not a doctor, he also offers us up some wisdom concerning many of life's major subjects; marriage, illness, religion, beliefs, compassion and death. He states that "Discipline is like castor oil, it's awfully hard to take but can be very good for you if you need it." He notes that "courage comes easier for some people than others. What makes up the fertile soil in which courage grows? Positive thinking, encouragement from intimate friends, religious faith and conviction, a willingness to accept a possible failure and still go on. Perseverance and a refusal to quit." I think we can all learn something from this extraordinary man who served so many in his lifetime, and from all accounts, loved doing so.

 Of all of the stories that Donald Martin shared in this book, I think the story of "Polly" is the most appropriate, to show example of what kind of man and doctor he was. Dr. Martin had delivered Polly's first child, and she ended up coming back to him with several hemorrhages. After four setbacks, two trips to Lexington and a hysterectomy later, she once again was experiencing life threatening bleeding. Dr. Martin rode with her in the ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington Kentucky, for (what was then) four hours over extremely treacherous mountain roads. He wanted to ensure that they didn't lose her in the ambulance and felt that it was his duty to see to her. On the way he fell ill to motion sickness and was desperately miserable. Polly sang him hymns, despite her deteriorating condition and continued to squeeze his hand until they made it to their destination. She survived the ordeal, and was able to raise her son and keep the family going due, in part, to Dr. Martin's efforts. When he was leaving Homeplace in 1969, she came to see him to say goodbye. "Doc Martin, I didn't have time to go to town to get you nothing, so here take this." She put something in my hand. I hugged her and she was gone. I have never seen her since. After she left, I opened my hand and there was a crushed up dollar bill. That dollar is still precious to me. I wouldn't sell it for $5,000. It is in my office and framed to remind me of the event. It reminds me of the successful effort to save a life. It reminds me of the appreciation expressed by a simple mountain woman in the only way she knew how. It reminds me of the joy that is produced by loving and helping a fellow traveler on this earth. That is the bottom line of what it's all about."

Surely we could use more Doc Martins in this world.


My Favorite "Greyson" Photos

Christmas is around the corner, and it will be Greyson's third. I can't believe how quickly the time has ticked away. I love both of my babies to pieces, but my first born is clearly no longer a "baby". It seems like only yesterday that I found out I was going to be a Mom. I found myself sad this morning, looking at my boys and realizing that they are growing up right before my eyes. I wandered to Instagram, and then to old photo files and dug up some of my favorites of times gone by. I sure do miss this, and cherish these photos. Hold your little ones close, guys, they sure don't stay little long.