Dec 28, 2007

Artistic Domesticity

I'm so excited with my new French Easel...I guess that was a Christmas present to myself. Found a good bargain yesterday at Alabama Art Supply. Had to have it. I tried it out in the kitchen today as I was trying out a Gumbo recipe I got from my Sister Grace Sister, Carole Foret. She's always inspiring me. This time it was her mother's recipe and she made this cute little book using IPhoto on the mac where she documented making the Roux (pronounced Roo) with her mother and her sisters. Now wasn't that a neat idea! I guess that will be my next project...been wanting to write a book! Anyway, here's some photo's from my day in the kitchen being domestic and artistic. Good combination!

6"x6" Canvas board $30 plus $5 shipping

Dec 26, 2007

Tabby Painting

Here's the latest. Shot this photo of my brother's cat sitting in the window a few months ago and loved the way the light hit him.

8x10 oil on canvas board $30 plus $5 Shipping

Dec 25, 2007

Divine Nobodies - Great book!

If you have to do something earthshaking in life to gain God's approval or be somebody famous, why would Jesus have been born in a manger? Why would the most profound miracles that we experience be those that pop up in normal every day life through the loving acts of strangers we meet every day? These are the kinds of questions posed by Jim Palmer in his book "Divine Nobodies" that was a gift to me from my sweet niece, Marla Delong of Knoxville. Jim found, on his spiritual journey, that he was putting so much energy into trying to do something great to please God (and others), he was missing the whole point of letting the Spirit live in his heart everyday and guide his actions. You have to read the book, he says it so much better than I can! It was so perfect for a Christmas read!


Dec 21, 2007

Watch the sky on Christmas Eve!!

My friend Dauna is quite a writer in my humble opinion! She supports our Science and Mission Systems Office as a writer (same office I support as a Program Specialist/Lead Admin Officer) and is also a fellow songwriter. She works right down the hall from me and is a really neat person. I'm so impressed with her writing. She makes science interesting, understandable (for us non-engineers) and fun. Please take a few minutes to read about the beautiful sky we will be blessed with on Christmas Eve. Get out your telescope! You may just see Santa while you're at it (wink)!

Dec 18, 2007

Fun With The Valley Cats

Last weekend our band, the Valley Cats, played for a company Christmas party for ICC (International Code Council)in Birmingham at the Grayson Valley Country club. We had a great time, great food, great new friends. Special thanks to KAREN NORTHY for the booking through our Gigmasters site. Here's a little video I put together from some clips that they were kind enough to take for us while we were playing. (My little Canon camera does a great job! I take it everywhere I go. )

Karen was very happy with our performance and wrote some wonderful comments for our site. Thanks Karen and ICC for the gracious hospitality and your kind words! It was a joy to meet you.

Never mind my 22 yr old daughter thought this video was from the 70's. The sleeves are a bit much I admit. Need some fashion somebody! The guys look sharp in their new shirts though, don't you think?

Dec 13, 2007

Mama G

Meez 3D avatar avatars games
Well, yes, I'm this skinny in my dreams...I don't know what happens to those digital pictures, they make me look so much bigger. My nickname in the Sister Grace group is "Mama Grace"...thus the Mama G that I cooked up at above.

Fun fun, you should try it. You create your own little characters and dress them. I'm going to play with this more when there's more TIME! Oh yeah, and btw, she's singing our original Christmas song that goes:

The reason for the season is that love came down
A savior sent to save us from ourselves
It's so easy to forget what the season's all about
When your mind's on everything else

Slow down, hear the church bells ring
Slow down, hear the children sing
Take the time to enjoy all your blessings right now
And if you're spinning too fast
Slow down

You started in September and your're still not done
The shopping and the baking and the cards
While you polish every spoon
Decorate every room
Don't forget to think about that star (and)

Repeat Chorus

There's no way to give enough to match what God has given you
And no one else is gonna miss all those things you meant to do (so)

Repeat Chorus

Copyright 2006
Tina Murrah Swindell
Whitney Hubbs

Merry Christmas below to see the Swindell's in action!

Couldn't help myself this little thing is so cute...

Dec 2, 2007

It's My Baby's Birthday!!!!

Ok, I've got a wedding at 4:00 it's 1 o'clock now and there's Christmas decorations laying everywhere in hopes of bedazzling the Swindell home. Maybe it'll happen soon! I was out until 1:00 a.m. the last two nights singing to strangers and I'm just about pooped, but, what am I doing? Taking a trip down memory lane. I started looking for a birthday picture to post and really embarrass my sweet 22 year old daughter and ended up spending 2 hours going through old pictures....seems like yesterday. I'm so proud of my baby who's grown into a wonderful, thoughtful, creative, smart and wise young woman. Here's some birthdays from the past that I discovered on my little trip this morning.....oh, well I stuck a couple in that weren't actually birthday but I couldn't resist. Happy Birthday Babydoll!!!!!!!!!!!! You are SOOOOOOOOOOO loved! Mom

Nov 28, 2007

Cairo Impressions

Hope you have your shopping and decorating done....I don't. I'm taking it easy this season...maybe it'll all get done...maybe not. I need some motivation here.

Here's the latest painting. My daughter Kacey wanted me to do a monochrome street scene from Cairo. Let me know what you think!


Nov 13, 2007

Ball Family Memories

Walter & Addie Ball were the parents of 13 children in Limestone county Alabama. Probably due to the loss of their mother when the children were young and the strong Christian upbringing, the family was very close all through their lives. My childhood is full of memories of family reunions and gatherings where I came to know and love each of them. They're all gone now and hopefully together again. These are some beautiful memories of the love of this very special southern family. Be patient when you click on the arrow in the box below. It takes a few seconds to start and the screen will be black.



Nov 11, 2007

Having A Ball at the Ball Reunion

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Oct 13, 2007

Hillary Brings Hope!

I'm not a big politics person, I guess I would call myself independent, but my daughter is a definite Democrat like my Dad was and she is a big Hillary Clinton fan. I must say I did find a lot of hope in Hillary's speech today at the Winfrey in Birmingham...maybe even a politician that I can almost believe in. She promises to bring change which we desparately need in this country. She promises to bring the troops home, to restore the middle class, health insurance reform, to do away with the unfunded mandate of "No child left behind" and to concentrate on alternative energy sources such as solar power. I have to say that she seemed real, dedicated, and experienced. It seemed appropriate that I was there with my daughter to see what could be our first female president. We were able to have seats at Bud Cramer's table just one table over from Hillary and we got to shake her hand. I told her "You give us hope Hillary!". I did snap a somewhat blurred picture of Kacey shaking her hand and I've posted a few others including one of her assistant who we saw run by the table with the makeup bag just before Hillary got up to speak. It was also a kick to see the secret service guys talking to their watches. We'll see what happens. We made a great memory!


Oct 8, 2007

BSC Homecoming

We got to go to Birmingham Saturday and have a cookout with our daughter's sorority, Pi Phi, and attend the first Homecoming football game since 1939. They just re-instated the football team after all these years. Kacey is the President of her sorority and has turned out to be quite a leader at BSC. Not that I'm proud of her or anything! She's truly making a contribution to the school in many ways and it will be something she can always look back on with pride. Hey, their banner was beautiful and they won first place with that! Go KC!

This is Kacey with her friend Lauren from New Mexico at the ballgame.


Quickie Monet

Ok, so I'm thinking maybe I should work on other things besides portraits. This is a quick one I painted last night from one of my photographs taken at Monet's garden in Giverny, France this summer. I have a virtual plethora of great shots from that trip to Cairo and Paris. They are so much easier and faster than portraits. Can't wait to get them all painted. I'll be working on these for a long while. More later!

Enjoy Columbus day!



Jul 9, 2007

Congratulations to Sister Steph on her birthday. She's loving her new red car! We went for a ride and stopped at Starbucks for a cup of mocha and cruised around the town. Yes, I said RED car! Happy Birthday Stephie!

Love ya!
Mama Grace

Jul 7, 2007

Top of the Mountain

It's a lucky day today, 7/7/07 and today we're at the peak of our mountaintop with our recording project. Today is the last session. This is a life long dream of mine to record but, more than that, it's the beginning of a new day for Sister Grace. Our wish is to spread some seeds for God's kingdom and this cd is only a tool for that work. At the top of this mountain we're looking out to "fields ripe for harvest" and we're just workers in those fields. Please pray for us on our journey.

There were a couple of other mountaintops reached this week. My friend, Ahthony, our web developer who supports my office, is at the Grand Canyon and sent these magnificent pictures yesterday. Then, this morning I read my daughter's blog that takes you on her trip this week to the top of Mount Saini. I was so proud this morning and so touched that they read from the bible at the top of that famous mountain that I cried and cried. Don't know why really but it was pure joy and humility and thankfulness for God's blessings to my family. You can read her blog if you click on "Kacey's Blog" over to your right on this page. It's unbelievable that she's 21 and already has seen so much and learned so much of life. Of course, I'm a proud she says, not gonna lie.

I hope that you'll be inspired by these pictures and let me know when you reach some peaks in your life too. Life's full of peaks and valleys, just have to pray for more peaks!


Jun 30, 2007

More Birthday Fun

Last night continued my birthday celebration with MORE FOOD...I went with my sweet friend Jennifer to Mikado to celebrate both my birthday...this is the first time we had a chance to get together...and her daughter, Britney's birthday. I haven't been to Mikado in years and it was lots of fun, especially the onion volcano! Now I'm in the mood to pull out the old wok.
I'm reading a great book about our town right now called F5 by Mark Levine. Bill couldn't put it down and convinced me that I needed to read it too. It's about the 1974 outbreak of tornadoes. It's beautifully written and not only is it a vivid reminder of those terrible tornadoes and their destruction, but it's about everything that was going on in our country at that time and the attitude and mood of the country. Bill was able to get an autographed copy and attended a session last night with the author at Athens State University. ...of course, I was at Mikado doing more celebrating! Check out the book! Many Athens people were interviewed and it is a great description of Athens in those days.


Jun 20, 2007

Saweet Birthday!

Today was my special day of the year and all day I've basked in the glow of warmth from all of my cherished friends. My sweet husband called from Philadelphia first thing to sing Happy Birthday with Harley, the grandchild of our friends Mike and Marge McGlinchey. Then it was on to work to find cards stuffed under my door and a phone message from Peggy Sue and sweet San, and call from de'Shawn inviting me to lunch next week. Jennifer had already called and invited me to dinner one night, Robye called for lunch too, then lunch today with my dear friends who I've worked with for years at NASA... Diane, Pam, Connie, and Adonna (we missed Christine!). After work Whit and I shopped for a bit, Kacey called from Egypt (to bad... the phone dying in the middle of that conversation), then fun with my "Sister Grace" sisters tonight. We had a little fashion party, dinner, gifts, singing, dancing, etc. I even got a card from Barry and Margie and e-cards from Kacey, Carole, and Marcia! Also, some great news that my brother Glen is responding very well to his signs of tumors where they had seen them a few weeks ago!! Praise God ...prayer does work! I'm so blessed with wonderful friends and family. Thank you Lord for every one of them and the special joys they bring to my life. Here's some pics from my special day. (To download you can right click and copy to your desktop). I'm feeling good about 51!!

Jun 17, 2007

Our Baby's in Egypt!!

We are so blessed with our daughter Kacey and, of course, are proud parents. She has been in Cairo for 2 weeks and will be there for another 4 weeks. She's studying at the American University of Cairo for her study abroad term this summer. She attends Birmingham Southern College and is majoring in International Studies. Check out the link (see the links to the right) to her blog that she's updating daily while she's there. We will be going there to visit her in a few weeks. Can't wait! Keep blogging Kace! We miss you here in Alabama!


Jun 16, 2007

Back At Duck Tape

Today I had a great day in Duck Tape studio with my sisters from our group "Sister Grace". We're almost done with our CD and I'm so excited that one day soon we will have it all packaged and ready to go. I'm so thankful for my group and the opportunity to do this. Love my sisters! My birthday present was a NEW CAMERA!!!!...(re: the post below where I lost my old one about 6 months ago on our kyak trip). I'm hoping to keep everyone up to date with our adventures now that I finally have a camera again. Be sure to sign up using the icon in the top right and get an e-mail when there's a new post.
Happy Father's Day to all the guys!


We went to Birmingham last night to see Bruce Cockburn and Ricky Lee Jones at the City Stages festival. Sorry Ricky Lee, you just didn't make the cut for me BUT Bruce Cockburn is a brilliant writer and genious guitarist. I've never seen better. Bill's been loving his work for years and now I understand. You have to see him by himself with his guitar. He can make it sound like there are at least 3 people playing. I thoroughly enjoyed that. I also got to know Mark Hamilton and his sweet wife Elizabeth and their two children, Sara Beth and Tanner. They had made dinner and invited us to join them when we stopped by their house on the way to City Stages. Mark was the lead singer for a band called "50 Pound Head" back a few years ago and recorded with Johnny Sandlin at Duck Tape where "Sister Grace" is recording now. I got to hear some tracks from their CD and he has a great voice! Here's a pic of he and Bill as we were hanging out at the VIP area.

More later!

New Camera! Finally!

Yea!!!! Happy Birthday to me. I'm ready to roll again!


May 10, 2007

The VP NewsFlash

At my office we're working on a quarterly newsletter that's really cool! I'm testing a way of polling folks to see what they think of it. If you don't work in my group you probably won't have any clue about this so please, bear with me while we play around with this poll. If you want to take it just to help us test that would be great too. Take the poll below...

Feb 6, 2007

In the studio tomorrow!

SISTER GRACE (check out our blog at will be recording with some of those famous musicians from Muscle Shoals at Ducktape Studio in Decatur, AL with Johnny Sandlin producing. (Check out Johnny's bio @ ) ....We start laying down rhythm tracks on four original songs tomorrow! We decided to jump off this cliff and see how it! It's going to be fun! More later 'bout that! Our first 4 songs are "Love Flows Free", "All Day", "Home Again", and "Your Love Never Fails". I'll keep you posted!

Feb 2, 2007

Sunset at St. George Island

This is a beautiful sunset we caught at St. George Island on our first Kayak adventure at the end of last summer. We tried a two person boat and decided we'd get two next time...of course I was just learning but we tended to row in opposite directions. We got pretty good at it eventually after spinning a few times. Ha! It was kindof cozy though...and Bill could row while I took pictures. I wouldn't advise taking a camera on these little excursions however...see my previous post ...I'm still mourning the loss of my camera. I'll get one soon!

Feb 1, 2007

The family farm...

Since I don't have a camera to take some wonderful snow pictures this morning...I strolled through my picture folder to see what struck a chord. Yep, this one did it. This is the farm where I grew up and I'm sad to say it's for sale. It could be a beautiful place for an auditorium and gardens for Athens. I've shared this idea with a few people and am dreaming that someone will agree. I sure do hate to see it end up as a subdivision....oh well, one can dream!

Jan 31, 2007

The day my camera took a dive!

I really have to get a new camera to keep things interesting here in blog town. This was one of the last pictures taken with my great camera before it took a little dip in the water and we had to say goodbye. (Tear) With this cold weather I'm longing for the nice warm day we had with our new Kayaks! Come on Spring!

Jan 28, 2007

Welcome to my blog!

I've been exploring! It's so nice to have friends who are not as technically challenged as I am. I'm learning about blogging and thought I would start my own. We'll see how it goes. Join me on this journey. Welcome to my world! Sign up by clicking on the subscribe button below to receive updates and we'll be in touch!


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