Joe’s Knows Italian

Many a Shelby County, Alabama resident will tell you about the culinary landmark known as Joe’s Italian. Built on the foundation of love, quality ingredients and fresh, delicious food, the “baby” of Papa Joe and Mama Elvira has been serving up the best in Italian cuisine for years. Sadly, in 2013 Papa Joe, who was a staple on a stool in the front of the restaurant passed away. However, his legacy of amazing food lives on.

IMG_7097.JPG

 

On my most recent trip, rushing to try to dine in less than 45 minutes before Wednesday night service at Church of the Highlands I branched out on a limb and sampled the pizza my dinner companion ordered. It was a CHICKEN ALFREDO PIZZA made with Cream sauce, roasted garlic, red onion, chicken, fresh tomato & basil. Gaze up there at it again. Go ahead. I know you want to. The pizza was as good as it was pretty! Ample cheese was not overshadowed by fresh herbs, seasoned chicken, the savory cream sauce and a sweetness to the crust which was the perfect combination to balance out the red onions and tomatoes. The pizza was perfect, in my opinion. It really was. I felt the need to hop on a gondola and speak the little Italian I learned from two years of classes in college.

I ordered my usual children’s portion of Spaghetti and Meatballs covered with fresh parmesan cheese. You can’t really see it from my picture, but there’s enough on this “small plate” for two meals. Trust me. I ate my leftovers for lunch. This was especially easy to do when paired with their fresh bread and herb, olive oil which comes as freely as the oil flows.

 

IMG_7098.JPG

To top it off, being so big it toppled over, is their famous Strawberry Cake. I was too full to eat dessert before church, but boy-oh-boy, the four forkfuls I ate around 9pm hit the spot and didn’t even keep me up all night.

IMG_7099

12341554_10153741934478769_6924665840487994629_n

 

Joe’s Italian is located at:

21 Weatherly Club Drive​, Alabaster, Alabama 35007 (205) 663-4111

Opening Hours:

MONDAY – SUNDAY
​​10:30am – 9:00pm

The food at Joe’s Italian is delicious. That’s the only word I can use to describe it. The staff is friendly, especially our server Felicia who clarified her name by saying, “as in Bye Felicia”, and the environment is perfect for a hot date, a birthday party, a quick meal before church or a family feast just because you’re in the mood for Italian. And while Papa Joe no longer greets his guests at the door when they arrive, his presence is surely felt throughout the restaurant.

@AngelaMMoore316

Praying Simple Prayers

My church, Church of the Highlands, observes 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer starting the first Sunday of each January. This time of the year, and when we do it in August are always a tremendous blessing for me. It’s also a challenge too. I’ll be the first to admit that when taking spiritual gifts assessments, the gift of intercession (prayer) isn’t on the top of my list. I don’t know if it’s on my list at all, as other gifts are what I’ve been given. I’m so okay with that, because I know I know how to talk to my Daddy (God) in my own special way, and I know I know some people who REALLY know how to go the distance for themselves and others like me because intercession is their undeniable, number one gift. What a blessing!

With that said, I’m a simple prayer girl. I try to talk to God throughout the day, much like I would talk to a friend. Often it’s sporadically (with the exception of our “Good morning. Thank You, Jesus” chit chat early each day), and often it’s as things happen, right off the cuff whether in the car, at work, or in the shower, and it’s mumbled from my mouth or urgently delivered straight-forward to Him like He’s right there with me (and He is), as situations are unfolding. I cover the biggies in life regarding my loved ones and me and want to become even more disciplined and strategic about that, but I also want to be even more intentional about coming to Him regarding things perceived to be not so big of a deal. God cares about us, which means He cares about it all, big or small. No thing is too simple to pray about and believe God’s best concerning.

Have you ever thought about praying for the following for yourself (or others)?

  • Rejuvenating sleep and set aside time of rest regularly
  • A trusted, committed (inexpensive) babysitter
  • A drama-free day
  • A supportive team player in the greatest area of need
  • An extra measure of peace
  • An opportunity to ride on the passenger side not always having to drive
  • Needed items on BOGO (buy one, get one) at Publix
  • Meaningful talk time with spouse and/or children in the car or at home
  • Things to work or last longer than they’re expected to (think cars, washing machines, air conditioners, hair styles and the like)
  • An unavoidable opportunity to finally say “I’m sorry” or say “I accept your apology”
  • Peace, support and effectiveness for your supervisor
  • Regular opportunities to exercise with no exceptions or excuses
  • A chance to meet a need or surprise someone with something special
  • An easy, breezy bedtime routine with children or babies
  • Quick, easy, delicious, affordable meals for your family each night
  • A friend (as in God sends one)
  • Waking before the alarm sounds
  • Family dinners at the table sans the technology
  • More energy
  • Favor with things you need (or even things you want)
  • Enough time and the wisdom to use it to balance what’s on your plate
  • An automatic smile on your face as your natural response to life

God_answers_prayers

@AngelaMMoore316

 

More Than a Movie

Today wraps the final installment of the “At the Movies” series at Church of the Highlands.

I’m so grateful for this opportunity to grow closer to God and my loved ones as we shared an hour and 15 minutes over the last four Sundays experiencing every emotion known to man, meeting all kinds of wonderful movie characters, eating pound cake in church, some enjoying Coke and popcorn and all leaving with one of the most important ones…hope through the love of Jesus.


  
  
  
  
While the At the Movies series has ended, and most of my readers were not able to experience what I’ve been blessed to know, feel, see and witness over the last month, I pray something as simply special as a movie speaks to you at your point of need. It can happen. Trust me. I know.

@AngelaMMoore316

Are They Really Your Friends? Are You Really Theirs?

Yesterday I had an opportunity to do what I love most doing on Mondays. I spent the afternoon with some amazing high school students from Birmingham’s Woodlawn High School during my Steps to Success Small Group through Church of the Highlands. During our short hour together each week I bring in professionals (mostly friends and family of mine who attend Highlands and/or love God and have something to say about life and careers.) Yesterday was no ordinary day, as three presenters joined my co-leader and me in sharing their testimonies of how they ended up in their careers in banking and media. The conversations wrapped a bit earlier than normal, but not before us all having the opportunity to spill some tea (as in tell our business of mistakes made in college and earlier in life) and drop some knowledge (as in tell our business of what it took to overcome mistakes made in college and earlier in life). My prayer is that the students left empowered. Not too oddly enough, I also left encouraged. One underlying and overriding theme of what each presenter said was the importance of having a good circle of friends. We each shared something about wisely choosing our friends for now and later. This principle applies to those younger and those of us not as young.

one_good_friend_is_more_by_love2b

Friend is a word which gets tossed around more often than the buffalo sauce on a pile of hot wings during football season in the south. To me it’s inappropriately overused. My parents would often say, and I believe today that “everyone isn’t your friend”. I’m no “Friendologist”, but I believe there are many different facets to platonic relationships which often go misdiagnosed because friend is the easy word to say. I often wonder if words like associate, colleague, confidant, classmate, co-worker, acquaintance, ally, mentor, supporter, and other words get jealous of the word friend for being used in places which rightfully belong to them.

So what is a good friend? I’m glad you asked. Do you have good friends for yourself? Are you one of them for others?

472ebb00ed9642948596bd5f94a731f0

  • A good friend exposes you to purpose, and ushers out your best.
  • A good friend covers you in prayer.
  • A good friend genuinely celebrates your blessings.
  • A good friend helps carry your burdens…and not to the ears of others who don’t need to hear.
  • A good friend loves you where you are, as you are and helps you get to where you’re going.
  • A good friend asks before assuming.
  • A good friend is someone you purposely seek to see the best in and believe the best about.
  • A good friend is someone you trust with your heart and don’t hold hostage for the mistakes of other no-good-friends from the past.
  • A good friend can make you cry from laughter and wipe tears from pain…and sometimes at the same time.
  • A good friend will pick up the phone before picking sides.
  • A good friend is worth an “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” as often as needed
  • A good friend doesn’t have to be just like you to like you.
  • A good friend can love you without liking the choices you make or things you do.
  • A good friend should have the liberty to correct and direct you in love, as often as needed.
  • A good friend is someone you can see your older/growner/wiser self continuing to grow older/growner/wiser with through thick and thin.
  • A good friend isn’t always the one you’ve known the longest, see more frequently, or talk to most often. Sometimes it’s one who’s there on an ANB…As Needed Basis.
  • A good friend is someone who doesn’t make your face squinch up (homemade word alert) like you ate a rotten Meyer lemon when you see them or read their name on your caller ID, IM, DM or email.

friendship-quotes-4-3452

@AngelaMMoore316

You COLD Busted!

One of my favorite songs from the 80’s was Oran Juice Jones’, “The Rain”. In that melodic tale of love gone astray he belted out an often falsetto-esq tune about catching his unfaithful lover “walking in the rain”. With an infectious beat and a hypnotic hook, as if the song couldn’t get any better, mid-way through it goes into an all-out hip-hop inspired bridge (as in take me to the bridge), with my favorite line being “Now close yo mouth cause you cold busted”. When I tell you the middle school me loved that part! I loved that part, and suppose as indicated by the fact that I’m incorporating it into a blog post today, at 43-year-old the same must be true.

 oran_juice_jones_-_juice_a1

So what does Mr. Juice Jones have to do with my life? Glad you ask. I’m headed in a different direction with this one so hold on tight.

Yesterday, after leaving work and before going back to work I decided to ride by a place representing something for which I was believing God. I’d only seen it online and wanted an up-close, “I have to see it for myself” view just to, well, see it for myself. After surveying what needed to be surveyed I began to head back to my destination of home before returning to work. I was focused on studying the environment I was in, when out of my peripheral view I noticed a car that looked like one of which I was very familiar. I reduced my speed to examine the cautiously moving black Mercedes with tinted windows. I slowed to an almost turtle’s pace. The driver of the other vehicle didn’t see me as they too tended to surveying what needed to be surveyed. And boy, there was some surveying going on. I used power from my right “lymphadema” wrist I didn’t know I had and laid on the horn, probably startling the driver as I now recall. Like a scene from a gansta-style, B-movie, we met window to window, pressed our buttons to roll down those said windows, stared and glared in disbelief then both broke out into a laugh that lasted so long I can’t recall when it actually stopped. And as if it were made just for me, the words from Mr. Juice Jones came to mind and out of my mouth as I said to the driver, “You cold busted!”

Who was this mysterious person? Glad you asked. It was my Mama, doing what caring, loving, supportive humans do. In the middle of the day with dilated eyes and glasses that would have made Ray Charles look even more fly, she was coming by to “see it for herself”, and pray (even though she didn’t tell me that’s what she was doing). I shared this funny story with my sister who quickly informed me that she had already been by the day before. Wow! Now that’s what I call love, and faith. My Pastor Chris Hodges preached a message on this past Sunday from Church of the Highlands called Better Together. He talked of the importance of not doing life alone and having others in your corner in times of good and bad. That’s what that 2pm Pelham, Alabama exchange with my mother was for me. She didn’t have to be there, and I wouldn’t have known that she was there joining me in this prayer had I not been there to see it for myself. She could have been home, shopping, napping, running errands or doing any other thing a 68-year-old retiree does, but instead she was exercising her faith and joining her daughter in that same exercise to see what God has in store.

(So, I snapped a picture of her near the “Scene of the Faith”. She begged me not to tell anybody I saw here there. Of course I said I would, hence this blog post. I hope today is one of those days she’s not reading by post.)

 photo

And that, my friends, is what life is about. We all need and deserve people who are there for us whether we know it or not. I pray that everyone has those kinds of angels on earth whose faith, love, sacrifice, example, encouragement, support, prayers and kind actions toward us continually remind us of the amazingly beautiful and awesomely wonderful promises from God which are sure to come to pass…one way or another. 

May your days be filled with the best possible reasons to say #YouColdBusted

@AngelaMMoore316

The Power of a Circle

Yesterday I almost cried. For seven months I’ve been spending either my Monday or Tuesday afternoon with students from Birmingham, Alabama’s Woodlawn High School through a Church of the Highlands Small Group called Steps to Success. Like clockwork these amazing 9th-12th graders would trek across the street from school to the Birmingham Dream Center, filing in one-by-one, some with smiles, some with giggles, and some with looks of sheer exhaustion, after spending a day learning within the four wall of the traditional academic atmosphere.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 4 photo 5

Week-by-week they would come for another round of education through the small group I was blessed to be able to start just to spend another hour or so learning. Sure, there was Little Ceasar’s free pizza and the occasional Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Yes, there were my corny jokes, standard “Hey, y’all” when they walked through the door and required picture taking when they departed. Certainly there were amazing co-leaders leading and helping organize along side me like Mr. William, Ms. Jones and Ms. Helen from the Dream Center who made it all happen for us each week with welcome arms and a warm smile. Absolutely there were the speakers who showed up to give back each week sharing their professional advice, personal “oops, I made a mistake”, stories of struggle and triumph, wisdom, connections and God-given love. Don’t believe me? Just check and see who and how AWESOME they are. BTW…my friends and colleagues ROCK! #blessedtoknowthem

September 8: First and Lasting Impressions in Business and Life-Angela Moore

September 15: Law and/or Finance-William McKenzie

September 22: Mock Interviews and Networking –Angela Moore and Rikki Ross

September 29: Public Relations-Chanda Temple and Jeniese Hosey

October 6: US Air Force-Lacy Gunnoe

October 20: Media- Pamela Cook and Tasha Simone

October 27-Owning Your Own Business- Kim Colvin, Chandra Sparks Splond, Pastor Mike and Dee Edwards

November 3: Business and Public Safety- Annetta Nunn and Charlie Glover

November 10: Community Engagement-Bacarra Mauldin, Tanika Harrell, DeShunn Wilkerson, and Jennifer Hatchett

November 17: College 101-Kristalyn Lee

November 24: Science and Technology-Russell McClinton, Kaye Williams and Cynthia Byner

February 10: Soft Skills- Rikki Ross and Angela Moore

February 17: Design-Traci Ann Moore

March 3: Social Justice and Youth Leadership-Rebecca Harkless and Angela Moore

March 10: Social Work-Walter Robinson

March 17: Videography, Photography, Graphics-Patrick Johnson, Eric Jones and Terria Jones

March 24: Community Leadership- Taneisha Tucker and Charmel Taylor

April 7: Health- Michelle Bridges, RN

April 14: Life Enrichment-Dr. Mark Sullivan and Cassaundra Davis

April 21: Following Your Dreams-Joe Lockett, Melva Tate and Comedienne Joy of The Joe Lockett Show

April 28: The Truth About High School-Angela Moore

May 5: Law- William McKinley

May 12: Closing Ceremony with Returning Speakers

20323_914774888573745_1040599164670703714_n 10345984_835921669792401_7158812109678264890_n 10675553_832093270175241_8707835989786546410_n

1553043_832092716841963_1173513625995435296_o 1743723_832036400180928_300802366578500973_n 10426173_828340337217201_1772085132977133115_n 10469831_835921673125734_4014312597337159700_n

Most importantly there were the students! These future veterinarians, computer program designers, cosmetologists, engineers, music producers, politicians, public speakers, medical experts, civic servants and sports analysts who also just so happen to be some of the brightest million dollar and nationally known scholarship winners, robotics team leaders, horticulture experts, basketball players, playwrights, student ambassadors and all-around good people filled the room and filled our hearts each week with their mere presence. Sometimes braving the cold, potential snow and heat while others were home, hanging out or being ordinary teens, these extraordinary human beings showed up each week and soared. The ease at which they trusted the help of strangers, pouring out their thoughts and questions had me in awe. Their spunk, inquisitiveness and support of each other inspired me. The things they learned and taught simultaneously in our often-lopsided circle will stick with me forever.

11054415_910059259045308_7092166391045169063_nphoto 1                                 photo 2       photo 4 photo 5

Who knows where all these mighty agents of change will go in life. No one but God for sure. But I can speak on behalf of all those who spoke to them during the Steps to Success Small Group and safely say I’m glad I was in the circle along for a part of their journey, and can’t wait to see where it takes them.

11139382_947063182011582_7874591271363767106_n

@AngelaMMoore316