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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Senior Citizens Don't Have to Act Old!

Senior Citizens Don't Have to Act Old!

My new "playmates" know how to have a good time! In fact, I haven't had so much fun in one day, in a long time!

I just returned from an overnight trip around the Northeast Georgia mountains, in the rain! However, neither tornado watches, nor torrential rain could dampen the spirits of the First Baptist Church, Peachtree City, Georgia, Senior Adults, "Joy Travel Group!"

The first Sunday Ed and I went back to First Baptist, a couple of months ago, Martha Boynton told me she was "putting in" my name to help with the senior adults' trips and speakers! I considered that, talked to the "pastor in charge" and got on board! I'm now officially the new "trip and program planner," and I'll have input twice a year from the executive committee!

Sara Smith did an excellent job planning our recent tour of multiple destinations in Northeast Georgia. She crammed at least 15 hours worth of fun into 12 hours! We departed Peachtree City at 8:30 Tuesday, stopped for snacks and a bathroom break at McDonald's in Gainesville, then went to Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, to watch some "babies" being born by "C" (for Cabbage) Section, in the Cabbage Patch.

We had a delicious three course lunch at Let's Go to Bernies in Sautee-Nacoochee. We also went to Nora Mill Granary and the Old Sautee Store.

The main trip "theme" for our trip was places associated with the 1950 movie "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain" based on a novel by the same name, written by Cora Harris. The movie featured Susan Hayward, William Lundigan, and Rory Calhoun.

"On location" filming showcased areas in and around Helen, and provided jobs for many local residents. The Granary and the 150 year old Chattahoochee United Methodist Church both figured prominently in the movie.

Our last stop before heading to our motel, the Best Western in downtown Helen, was at Fred's Famous Peanuts. We sampled roasted, boiled, and fried peanuts, along with peanut brittle, apple butter, apples, and ciders. They also had some AMAZING pork rinds, and I don't even care for pork rinds! The praline pecans called my name, and I had to buy some for an immediate snack!

Carol, our tour guide from the hotel, arranged a showing of the movie "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain." Shirley McDonald, from Clayton, was Susan Hayward's "Double." Before the movie, Shirley shared photos, newspaper clippings, stories and interesting tidbits about her 8 weeks in the movie business, making a little over $7.00 a day.

The hotel provided hot dogs, soft drinks, popcorn, etc., for us to enjoy during the movie in the conference room. "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain" was an example of the way movies ought to be! Clean, dramatic, romantic, moral dilemmas, and a happy ending! After the movie, I shared my two newly published Chicken Soup Christmas stories, and some photos to go along with them. The "party" broke up around 9, and I went to my room and watched t.v., and hung out with my new friend Jean.

We had a nice breakfast, which was included with our hotel, then the fun resumed! The group enjoyed more shopping, buying apples, and a nice lunch, before heading for home Wednesday afternoon.

Trips are already scheduled through January, and speakers through March. Volunteer speakers, with interesting topics, help stretch our budget. We are also looking for inexpensive trip destinations, for day and overnight trips. Any suggestions? Any volunteers?

If you're interested in meeting interesting, enthusiastic, dynamic people, bring a dish to share, and come to our November 9th potluck lunch, (usually the first Tuesday, moved to the second Tuesday, because of the election,) First Baptist Peachtree City, at noon! If you're over 55, you're welcome to join the group--if you think you can keep up with us!

The Cabbage Patch, under a tree full of Bunny Bees.

The Doctor getting ready to do a C (cabbage) Section.

Blue screen means it's a boy.

Cabbage Patch Baby Boy!

Two red-haired babes with friends!

Some of the Joy Travel Gang
Checking out the nursery.
Newborns in the nursery
Babies waiting to be adopted.

Sara Smith and Pappy Boynton blowing bubbles with giant bubble wands at the old Sautee Store.

Chattahoochee Methodist Church featured on the movie "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain" - filmed at locations around Helen, GA.

Stained glass in church above-Jesus standing at the door and knocking.

Inside church.

Fred's Famous Peanuts!
At Fred's Famous Peanuts
Sampling those delicious pork rinds!
Feeding frenzy!
Chillin' at Fred's.
Fred's famous dummies! (Grown Cabbage Patch kids.)
The cooler....and sign.
Pretty honey.
Fall colors....

Monday, October 25, 2010


Photos of our First Baptist Family Reunion Homecoming, and
some of the Synergistic Servants of First Baptist!

Yurapan and Jamie Wyatt--Co-chairs of our church Homecoming Family Reunion.

Place setting and poem on table (explaining the friendship bracelet/bookmark ties used to secure the silverware in the napkins):

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.-- Matthew 18:20

Following Jesus sets us free

We’re members of God’s family!

Red and yellow, black and white,

We are precious in His sight

Untie your napkins and save the strings

They can be used for many things!

Whenever you gaze upon these colors

Pray for your church family sisters and brothers!

…Serve one another in love.—Galatians 5:13

View inside tents.
View of tents in front of church.
Another view of tents.
Ed and Jamie getting our plates for lunch!
Mona Williams, photographer of some of the photos in this blog, behind (putting bunny ears on) Angie Davis, on the right, and to the left, Nancy Allen, wife of our retired pastor. You can see some of the crowd behind, under the tent!
Retired former pastor, Dr. Harold Allen, with longtime friends and church members, Patrice and Melvin Bailey, and their grandson, Joshua.
Above: Photo of 4 buffet lines, with some of the additional dessert tables below.
synergy syn·er·gy(sĭn'ər-jē)
n. The interaction of two or more agents or forces,
so that their combined effect is greater than
the sum of their individual effects.

Sunday, October 24, 2010
Today I saw amazing evidence of God's synergy, as our church family gathered for a Homecoming and "Church Family Reunion." As I mentioned previously, Yurapan King and I were co-chairs for this church-wide covered dish luncheon (potluck). With God's help, and lots of volunteers, Yurapan and I helped pull everything together in less than a month!

Over the last few weeks, scores of volunteers began preparations. They made "friendship bracelets," bundled and wrapped silverware, transported a thousand chairs and dozens of tables, and performed numerous other tasks, some highly visible, some obscure.

Yesterday, Saturday, volunteers erected a circus tent in front of the church. (This was no small feat! It involved about 20 guys wrestling a 60X90 mass of muddy, grass covered canvas over shrubbery, and up onto support poles. Then, all the poles had to be tied to stakes, for which holes had to be drilled into asphalt. After that, each stake had to be sledge hammered into the ground!)

The guys enjoyed good-natured bantering, and lessons on teamwork, in the midst of mastering a challenging task. Part of the job was "real" work! Part of the job was standing around watching others do the "real" work! LOL!

Today, we had dozens of volunteers working in the kitchen and surrounding areas, warming, cooling, slicing, mixing and otherwise preparing and putting out hundreds of food and beverage items. People put tablecloths on tables, set the tables, filled bread baskets, fixed drinks, and FOUND multiple other ways to help!

Working together, in unity, we accomplished much more than we could have by working individually. As a result, 900+ people served themselves, sat down together to eat, and enjoyed a bountiful feast, in record time!

It took all the men pushing and pulling together at the appropriate times to erect that tent. It took lots of well-coordinated volunteers, working in cooperation, to have the entire meal ready, on time, and organized into four separate buffet lines!

Diverse members, with diverse talents, worked together to accomplish our goals! We exceeded every expectation for the event! We had more than enough food, more volunteers than we could use, and more people attending than most expected! A good time was had by all! I heard the comment that it was "a taste of Heaven on Earth" yesterday, at First Baptist Church Peachtree City, Georgia. I tend to agree!

I know synergy is a phenomenon I have observed in health care, and in other organizations with which I am involved. Sometimes it is blatantly obvious that enhanced outcomes are possible with the right combination of input. However, in God's economy, His "interest rate" always far exceeds our expected yield! The results of God's using His people, who are synergistically working together for His purposes, are exponentially greater than what seems "possible." When we seek God, then step out in faith, we know we can expect an adventure!

Working together synergistically, our "church family" can accomplish miraculous goals. Dr. Allen, our former pastor (retired), reminded us from whence we came, and of how often, in the past, we had stepped out in faith and accomplished God-sized tasks. Dr. Allen reminded us that, with God's help, the best is surely yet to come for First Baptist Peachtree City!

God's Spirit was evident at our "Church Family Reunion" Homecoming. Love abounded, under the tents, on a perfect fall day! We were challenged and encouraged, by Dr. Allen, to move forward, together, in faithful anticipation of what God is going to do next in our church!

God was honored through renewed relationships and through the recommitment of His Body, (the church) united toward the common purpose of following God's will! What a great day! To God be all the Glory! Amen!

Photo album from Church Family Reunion Homecoming Lunch. A preview of the photos is shown below!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cookin' Up a Storm!

NOTE: I am in the process of launching a new website that will be a resource for finding and sharing traditions. Please sign up to be notified when it launches!
Thank you!

This month, I've got a lot of "food things" going on! Those of you who've known me for a long time, know I enjoy cooking, especially sweets! I used to entertain a lot, and I frequently cooked for huge crowds, "with a little help from my friends" (and family!)

I love doing party food, "fun food" for kids, and comfort food. I've helped cater many weddings and special events for friends over the years. I also helped cook fellowship suppers at church for many years.

As an empty nester, I'm not cooking as much. I HAVE been trying some new recipes, and we usually like those I get from the Publix in-store chefs (Southern grocery store chain.) Ed and I tend to "graze" from the refrigerator a lot. We have to eat a lot more leftovers than we used to when we had teenagers! These days, I find myself looking forward to opportunities to cook for groups of appreciative diners on holidays!

My first "food thing" is a covered dish lunch I am co-chairing at my church next week, which could encompass feeding upwards of a thousand people! Preparing for that many people requires some "figuring!" I'm also gearing up for a bridal shower at my home. The honoree is the bride who is responsible for Brittany's first "Bridesmaid" honor!

Brittany's being a bridesmaid has brought to mind my own bridesmaid experiences. I was a bridesmaid at least 9 times (that I can remember off the top of my head, while I'm writing this. Have any of y'all been in more weddings than that?) Seeing the cost of wedding apparel has made me wish I could still buy bridesmaid's gowns at "cost," like I could when I owned my bridal shop in the 80's! LOL!

My other "food thing" is putting together a cookbook as a Christmas Greeting for family and friends. BK (Before Kids) I did a "Favorite Recipes of the Wyatt Family & Friends, 1987" Cookbook for Christmas. In 1992, I did a Cookie Cookbook as a Christmas "Card." I had grand plans for more cookbooks for separate food categories each year. I've been collecting recipes, but the additional cookbooks just never happened. This year, my niece Tricia, has taken it upon herself to compile another cookbook using my previously collected recipes, with additions.

We're "documenting" some of our taste testing, as these photos attest!
The first picture is a fresh peach cobbler, made from my maternal grandmother, "Gan's," recipe. The second is Arlene Hankins' salmon!
I'm looking for an online cookbook site, so we can share the book with more people! Any ideas? Any recipes to share? Bon Appetit, y'all!

My Grandmother--Gan's--Pie

1 stick butter or margarine
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar+1/4-1/2 cup for top (less if fruit is sweet, or to reduce sugar--she used one cup for tart raspberries)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup milk
Fresh fruit, but no juice (Raspberries and peaches are great. Maybe 4 cups.)

Melt butter in baking dish. Sift together flour, up to 1 c. sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk to dry ingredients, then pour mixture over melted butter. Add fruit, sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar on top. Bake at 350 until golden brown, maybe for an hour.

Arlene Hankins' Baked Salmon

2 t. olive oil
3 t. dijon mustard
1 t. dry or 1 T fresh basil
small tomato chopped
2 T parmesan cheese
2 T lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley as desired
4 salmon fillets

Put salmon into greased/sprayed baking dish. Mix ingredients, and put on top of salmon fillets 30 minutes before cooking. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes, or until meat flakes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

An Adventure "Bucket List"

My friend, Deborah, went sky diving to celebrate a milestone birthday. I have absolutely no desire to follow her example! Seeing our friend, Bob, came hobbling into church with one leg bent at the knee, supported on a scooter-like thing, from breaking his foot skydiving, did nothing to change my mind! (The scooter thing did seem easier and more fun than crutches. I'm going to keep it in mind in case I ever need crutches again!)

Several more people have recently expressed to me their desires to mark their 60th birthdays by jumping out of planes. I encourage them to "go for it" and volunteer to take pictures for them, but do not plan to join them jumping! I wouldn't mind riding in the plane, and told one friend I'd even push her out!

I think I am pretty adventurous--not a daredevil like Brittany--but, I have always liked to "push the envelope" with unusual, and maybe sometimes just a little risky, "adventures!" Usually, I'm just looking to enjoy something new and different.

When we were talking about sky diving, I told my friends that I had been motorized hang gliding at the old "Tut's Hang Gliding Heaven," in Rabun County, and that was as close as I wanted to get to jumping out of an airplane! I just came across the photos from THAT adventure! Here they are!

Thinking about some of my former adventures has made me start compiling a list of all my adventures. I started on the adventure path at an early age! While I'm at it, I think I'll work on an "Adventure Bucket List." It will probably be mostly travel adventures! I think I've just about gotten all the "dangerous" adventures out of my system! I just don't heal as quickly as I used to, and I've found that it is possible to REALLY hurt myself! LOL!

I'm curious: What was your favorite personal adventure thus far? What adventure is at the top of your current "to do" list? Leave a comment with your answers below! I'll have to think about my answers and get back to you! Maybe I'll publish my list!

Much love and laughter!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Old Friends

I recently spent 4 days with "old friends." I'm referring of the length of our friendships, not our ages! Chronologically speaking, we ARE getting older, but these are some of the "youngest at heart" "girls" I know! We refer to ourselves as the "Beach Chicks," as a nod to one of the terms for "girls" in 60's & 70's vernacular.

We have rented a beach house together for the last nine years, to celebrate our unique, "lifelong" friendships. Some of us were in the church nursery, as toddlers, together. Others moved to town when we were in elementary school or junior high.

We have come to appreciate how rare such close friendships have become in our transient society. It's almost inconceivable that some of us could have known each other for over 55 years, when we still feel about 19!

Cell phones, e-mail, text messages, and Facebook help keep us current with each others' news. But, whether or not we are actually "in touch," we can talk to each other, or see each other, and pick right right back up where we left off--whether it was 5 minutes, or 5 years, ago!

There are other men and women, mostly "locals," who pop in and out of our beach weekends. They come to renew their own "friendship bonds," share the fun on and off the beach, and join us for forays out to local restaurants. This gives us "out-of-towners" more of a connection with our hometown, and a "fix" to tide us over till "the next time."

During this year's beach weekend, my high school best friend, Julie's, daughter, Jeannine, was in a coma in California, suffering from the side-effects of e-coli. (Jeannine is making a miraculous recovery, now!) Another lifelong friend had just lost her son in a tragic car accident, and a cheerleader friend's mother had just died.

Our absent friends were constantly in our prayers, and on our hearts, that weekend, as we became increasingly mindful of just how precious life is. Even as we grieved, we counted our blessings. Pictures and updates on children and grandchildren, reminded us that our lives are full and God IS Good!

As I was writing this, I called Peggy Perry in Jacksonville for some "mental supplementation." I was having trouble recalling some details about our trip. As we say at the beach, "it takes a village" to remember things these days! I find myself smiling, just thinking about my "old friends."

I came across this photo of Beach Chicks in the mountains, and it prompted me to write this blog. The other three beach photos capture more of the essence of the Beach Chicks.

I want to try express some thoughts and feelings for which there ARE no words. I want to say "thank you" to my Beach Chick friends, and to all my other friends. Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for what you mean to me. Thank you for all you have given to me. You are all in my heart. I smile when thoughts of you come to mind. Pictures of you are among my most treasured possessions. Thanks for your love, and thanks for the memories! I love you all!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My New Creed: The Lion Chasers Manifesto

I loved Mark Batterson's book "Wild Goose Chase," and "In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day" is life-changing, as well. He're's the Lion Chasers Manifesto, with a link to Mark Batterson's Blog. Just had to share it! And, let's all keep "Dancing on the Journey!"
Read it. Live it.
Much love and laughter! Jamie
The Lion Chasers Manifesto
by Mark Batterson
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Grab life by the mane. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


As my husband, Ed, told me yesterday, while quoting Steve Martin's character, Navin Johnson, in "The Jerk", when Navin first saw his name printed in the phonebook, "I am Somebody Now!" (Dialogue & video below.) I just received copies of the Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Gift of Christmas book, in which two of my stories are published!

I wrote one story about how our family has taken photos of us wearing Santa hats in fun and unusual locations, for the last ten years or so. The other story is about my Nativity collection. I got the idea from my friend, Ruth Maldonado, and a gift from friends, Steve and Nancy Hanes, actually started the collection.

I wasn't expecting the books until later in the month, so it was a pleasant surprise when Ed brought them in. I received 10 copies of the book for each of my two stories. In addition, I will be receiving a modest check! I'm not only published, I'm PAID!

Seeing my name in print, does confirm to the world that I am a published "somebody," but it's more important that I KNOW I am "somebody" who is important to God. Actually, we are ALL "Somebodies" who are precious in God's sight. What a blessing!
This special gift edition Chicken Soup book, with deluxe endpapers and red satin bookmark, is available exclusively at Wal-Mart, and retails for $19.95.

I will be having a couple of book signings next month to benefit This organization, on whose board I serve, provides survivors of childhood sexual trauma, including sex trafficking victims, a safe place to heal and "start over." Wellspring will receive all the profits, $10.00, for each book sold at the book signings. I will let you know when the signing events are going to be held, so you can help spread the word!

From: "The Jerk:"

Navin R. Johnson: The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!
Harry Hartounian: Boy, I wish I could get that excited about nothing.
Navin R. Johnson: Nothing? Are you kidding? Page 73 - Johnson, Navin R.! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.