Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cruise itinerary...Copenhagen to NYC!

Holland America Lines Eurodam will be our home for 26 days, beginning 8/4 in Copenhagen and ending up in New York on 8/29. Here is a map of our route:
We'll be met at the airport in CPH on 8/3 by Dick's nephew, Jeff, and partner Bjarne. They hosted us once before, as well as son Brian for part of his European cycling trip, and Amy and Jason when Doodlebug was just a baby bump. We'll only be there overnight, but we'll pack in as much visiting as our jet lagged bodies will allow.

On Monday, we'll board the beautiful new Eurodam for a grand adventure. I plan to set up daily posts in advance so y'all can at least follow our itinerary and have an idea of where we are and what we'll be doing. I am culling/stealing pictures where I can to help keep it interesting. I will have Internet onboard, however my past experience has been slow connections onboard, and NO uploading of pictures. That will have to wait until our return, unfortunately. But....y'all leave me comments, because they will be emailed to me and I can read them!!! Life's short...go cruising.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coyotes and other critters...

First of all, this is not my photo. We were out on the lake Sunday afternoon, and I happened to spy two critters down near the water, one very greyish, and the other black. A black coyote? I have never seen one, so I googled it and found this picture of one. They do exist; I wasn't seeing strange critters! They didn't like us motoring near them, so they took off up into the woods, but you can bet I'll be looking for them again!
Amy and I saw a spotted fawn running in our yard yesterday, with perhaps its twin scampering off into 'our' way to snap a picture of those fast guys! And just at dusk last night, we saw a doe grazing near our campground. I love watching wild life.

This morning I am keeping two really cute two-legged critters...Doodlebug and Peanut will stay here while Amy goes to a meeting. Throw me in that briarpatch! I've gotta stock up on some sugar, since we'll soon be off cruising again. Stay tuned for those details! Life is good.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Butter Pecan Cake recipe

I was asked for this recipe, so here it is. It is super moist, and very easy to make. Enjoy!

Mix together:
Butter pecan cake mix
3/4 c oil
1 can coconut-pecan icing
4 eggs
1 c water

1/4 c confectioner’s sugar
1/4 c pecans

Spray bundt pan. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar and pecans in bottom. Pour cake batter on top and bake for 55 minutes @ 350 degrees. Let it cool for several minutes, then invert onto a cake plate.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

From Podunk to Paris!

Captain Dick, Joy, Sarge, Hank and Lois (Miss Bee stayed on the porch with Parker & Missy)...
Sarge and Bee doing some serious porch sittin'......
We went to Haley's dock so she and the girls could ride and visit with us. Afterward, Lala joined us at Rib Country for dinner, followed up by coconut cake/coffee on Bee and Sarge's porch. We were talking so much we seriously fell down on photography duties! Check out Bee's blog for three nice pictures (that she'll have to email me, pretty please!)
Who'll be wearing which jersey and drinking champagne on the Champs Elysees today??? We'll be watching!
Life is not just good, it is GRAND when you can spend time with family and friends! BTW, Happy belated Birthday to Jerry!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday preview...

Hank and Lois will be right here in Mayberry this afternoon!!!
Of course these two are joining in on the fun.........Bee and Sarge..... And so is friend Joy. We are hoping for good weather so that we can go out in the pontoon boat...I'll bet we'll see baby Will and his cousins today, too. Here is Doodlebug after getting his first official the same barber who gave his daddy his own very first haircut! We like traditions in this family. What cutiepies!!!

I'll be getting some serious 'sugah' this morning keeping 'da boys' while Amy goes berry picking. Today is the final time trials for the Tour, so we'll be watching that while we wait for our guests to arrive. Tomorrow is the big day in Paris, but TODAY is the big day in MAYBERRY/PODUNK. Life is good, y'all, complete with a coconut cake made by Miss Bee! Later........

Friday, July 25, 2008

No royal servants in sight...sigh

It would be nice to sit on the deck and enjoy the scenery, but alas...chores must be done and those royal servants are nowhere to be found, so I get to dip out the litter box, do the laundry, bring out the vacuum, pull out the furniture polish.......wait, that may be going entirely too far and I may have to think about that one! Maybe Lois and Bee won't notice a little coat of dust when they come over here tomorrow. Ya think? I know Joy won't mind. Certainly Dick, Hank and Sarge won't care at all, but us gals always want to have everything looking just right when company comes a callin', especially when they arrive for the very first time. Oh well...what gets done, gets done.

We recently had all our computers networked, and I certainly learned the hard way just where and how to do a back up on my info. The darn learning curve is very painful when you lose info as I did on Thursday. Fortunately it wasn't very much and I could easily recreate it, but I'll bet I won't make that mistake again (no...just a whole slew of other ones!). Sigh. I'm ready for a cruise. Oh yes, we'll do that tomorrow, but it'll be in a lowly pontoon boat here on our lake. A big cruise is coming up soon, so stay tuned for that! And stay tuned for lots of pics of us blogging buddies getting together. Yaaayyyy!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Will I live to be 80?

First of all, a very happy birthday yesterday to Logan. Dinner was great with the kids and other in-laws. Another day on this side of the dirt is always a good one!

So in thinking about the future and wondering how long we'll live, here is a cute one:

Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, "Will I live to be 80?" I recently chose a new primary care physician. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing "fairly well" for my age. A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him, "Do you think I'll live to be 80?"

He asked, "Do you smoke tobacco or drink alcoholic beverages?"

"No," I replied. "I don't do drugs, either."

Then he asked, "Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?"

I said, "No, my other doctor said that all red meat is unhealthy!"

"Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, boating, fishing or relaxing on the beach?"

"No, I don't," I said.

He asked, "Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?"

"No," I said. "I don't do any of those things."

Then he looked at me and asked, "Then why do you give a crap?"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crop 'n cruise...

A scrapbooking cruise is happenin' in February, and Amy wanted to know if I wanted to go...Haley, Joy and Debora, too. Heck yeah! Oh yes, where are we going? Nassau and Coco Cay? OK, I don't care if I get off the ship or not. Dick's birthday happens during that weekend, so I asked if he wanted to go and he is going. Not to scrap...just to cruise! What a guy! And all the other gals said YES, too! It is on RCI, but that's OK. Now let's see...Eurodam in August, Celebrity (maybe) in December 'down under,' Carnival Valor in January. Hmmm, do we like cruising? Ya think?????? Life's short--go cruising! Then 'scrap' it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hello, Dolly, er, kitties...

Dolly is bearing down on Texas, but Missy and Parker are totally unconcerned here in Mayberry.
And I wanted to show y'all my one picture of Dale Hollow Lake (KY), taken from the resort patio. It was a bit hazy, so the picture doesn't do it justice, but it sure was pretty to see.
Some 60 or so folks gathered in the Jury Room this morning, waiting an hour for the judge to finish her business upstairs to then get down to our group to tell us what to expect, and to start roll calling and panel pickin'. I got on panel #2 to comprise 38 bodies to be quizzed by the attorney from each side, then go sit and wait while the two sides cut/keep the ones they wanted. The two panels then had to march back upstairs and sit while they finished up their reject pile, and that was the one I wound up in! duty this week.

And then.........we met Bee and Charlie for lunch! Big WOOHOOOO. The Grebowskis are coming to Mayberry/Podunk this weekend, so we had to make plans. Big plans. Oh yes, a bit of fun will be had by all. Stay tuned.

Dick and I went to the local tech school for a massage last night. That's a little peace of heaven, especially after sitting at the puter all afternoon trying to catch up! Life is good!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday fun on the water...reporting for Monday duty...

Piglet decided no way was she gonna jump from the top of Old Bill's dock! "Not happenin'," she said. At least she was brave enough to climb up there......... Pooh, Piglet and Shadow. Good boy, Shadow.
Hey, Grumps, I'm big enough to drive the boat!
Doodlebug playing chamber of commerce and waving to all the boaters...
Yummmm, that watermelon sure is good...
Something cold to drink, Mom? Little Dill is sleeping through all those bumps.......
That's a pretty house up there hiding in the trees. Is that a tree house??? Can we go play there?
Walking the dog, Mayberry style...yes, the dog is on a rope, swimming...with his life jacket on!
Lois, I hope you enjoyed the preview for next weekend. I am at the courthouse today, doing my civic duty, reporting for jury duty. Bee sez she knits nooses when she has to serve. Gets her excused every time. She's a mess. Will let y'all know if I get picked or not. Life is good!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hillbilly Ten Commandments...GA Caviar.......

The Hillbilly's Ten Commandments
(Actually posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Harland City, KY)
(1) Just one God
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa
(3) No tellin' tales or gossipin'
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin'
(5) Put nothin' before God
(6) No foolin' around with another feller's gal
(7) No killin'
(8) Watch yer mouth
(9) Don't take what ain't yers
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff

I was asked for the recipe for Georgia Caviar, so here it is:
Drain cans of: whole corn, black beans, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, Navy beans
...or beans of your choice or whatever is in the pantry!
Add: chopped onions, green onions
Add: can of Rotel tomatoes, UNDRAINED
Black pepper to taste
Optional: package of dry Italian dressing

Very good on crackers, scoops or as a side dish. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Saturday!

Friday was a long day for us. We left about 9a and drove the ‘toad’ over to Dale Hollow Resort, just over the line from TN in KY. We enjoyed the lunch buffet at the restaurant, staying inside in the a/c, rather than eating on the patio. We did have a good view of the beautiful lake...hmmm, we always wind up on water wherever we go, and of course had to drive down and look at the marina after eating. Next we checked out the campground, which has an interesting layout (cg owners like checking out other campgrounds...go figure!)

Some friends back home own property on the Cumberland River, so we had to go look at it and see what it looked like. Dick’s knee was hurting by then, so when we stopped for fuel ($3.81/gal., cheaper than home though), I took over and drove back to the cg...6p arrival. Did I mention a long day???

The kids wound up going to the Wonder Works place...a lot of scientific/virtual stuff that they all enjoyed.
And now we say goodbye to Pigeon Forge and goodbye to the is travel day...then it is time to unload everything, start laundry, go through mail. That’s no fun! I’ll certainly be checking in on all the blogs that I neglected due to the intermittent Wi-Fi service we had in PF. Next time, we’ll just have to park in the sun and use our own satellite.
Happy Saturday, y’all!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Shopping, swimming and having fun in PF...

Yesterday was a good day. Dick and I spent the morning watching the Tour, while the wee girls watched Disney over in their camper. We all needed to pay homage to Wal-Mart, so off we went, followed by lunch at Red Lobster. The girls both received Disney store gift cards for their recent birthdays, so that was on the agenda after lunch. Those "credit cards" (as the girls called them) were burning holes in their pockets for sure.

Then it was back to the cg pool to show off Miss M's newly learned skill of swimming underwater, taught to her by her big sis! They had a ball...

Next, they had to try out their new River Rat tubes, floating down the river next to the cg...
We were hoping that Bee and Sarge could bring their grandsons over for roasting marshmallows, but they had other plans...
Missy and Parker joined Dick for a brief nap on the sofa after all that activity!

Today, Dick and I are heading over to Dale Hollow, KY, in the 'toad' (the vehicle we tow, get it?) just to check out that area for future camping adventures. The kids are staying here and playing in the water. Hmmm, wonder who'll have the most fun? Life is good, y'all!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The brakes work great!

Yep, not 5 minutes from our home, there were two cars up ahead, one turning L, one behind the turner. The second car started to accelerate, then slowed down and did a bat turn to the L, no signal, no brakes. Our brakes work mighty fine and we didn't eat their bumper...sheesh...and no slopped out Sloppy Joes! I hate dumb drivers, and y'all wouldn't believe how many folks pull out in front of a big motorhome. Another guy looked like he was gonna pull out in front of us and Dick laid down on the horn. It works great, too. At least that guy waved at us...with all fingers! Missy sat in Dick's lap most of the way here, and Parker snoozed in mine. They were both good.

We got all set up and walked across the campground road to the kids' campsite and watched the little girls play in the river. It is very shallow...a good floating river. Our dinner was good...Haley made broccoli salad, brought sliced cucumbers in Italian dressing, raw baby carrots...and we polished off the cake for dessert. We all took a walk around the campground after dinner to walk off the cake, and the girls played on the playground, went for a swim in the pool and then we all sat around and watched the campfire Logan built....but it was so hot we had to keep moving back from it! Camping with kids requires a fire...but no one remembered marshmellows so we need to pick up some today so the girls can toast them tonight...yuck!

We are having to use the cg wi-fi, since there are too many trees to use our own satellite dish. I remember the days when we always wanted to camp under trees, but funny how that has now changed with the Internet. Their system is slow, because there are too many folks using it! Oh well........we'll manage.
We all plan to go and do a little sightseeing and shopping today. The girls want to either go to the splash park, or maybe just swim in the cg pool. Sooo many choices. Life is good!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pigeon Forge, here comes the Griswolds!!!

We are busy getting the coach all loaded up to hit the road nawth to Pigeon Forge this afternoon, joined by the Jr. Griswolds--Haley and her family. I just made "Georgia Caviar" and have it chilling, and am going to throw some sloopy joe makings in the crock pot to be cooking for tonight's dinner while we are being able to do that! We'll be staying down the road from Bee 'n Charlie at Twin Mountain RV Park, having fun with the kids! Life is good!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fete Nationale, and Le Tour de France

The French Revolution begain in 1789, and Fete Nationale is celebrated in recognition of the storming of the Bastille on 7 July 1789. This is equivalent to our celebration of July 4, our national Independence Day, and a very big celebration all over France each year on July 14. There is nothing quite like seeing the Eiffel Tower with all the lights shining, and/or fireworks all around. My oh my, it is quite a sight to see. And another sight to see is Le Tour de France, the most prestigious bicycle race in the world. Dick and I had the pleasure of being there for the '03 Tour with son Brian (a cyclist) and a young lady, also a cyclist. We followed the Tour through quite a few towns. Brian and friend rode some of the course ahead of the official riders, no small task, and Dick and I would be waiting at a local pub at the end of their ride to feed and hydrate the tired cyclists and load up the bikes. Dick and I enjoyed our pick-up and drop-off duties...and waiting at the pubs because they were always on the Tour route and we got to see the guys whiz by.

The Tour begins the first Saturday in July, so it is going on right now. Thanks to TIVO, we get to watch it every day! It is a three-week race through France, ending in a grande finale in Paris on 7/27 on the Champs-Elysees. We will be watching...and celebrating with the winners!

Brian and I have served on the local organizing committee for our section of the Tour de Georgia, a big deal up here in these mountains. We've got some kick-butt peaks those Tour riders were surprised to find over here on this side of the pond. Here is our proud son presenting Lance with his 3rd place award in '04. Oh yes, Dick, Brian and I are big cycling fans. Can you tell???
Now y'all know just a little bit more about the TravelingBells.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Scrapbook class results...

Ann and Joy are looking through the Close to My Heart catalog and some card samples after our class yesterday...

...while Will sleeps through it all! Big brother stayed home with Dad...

And these are the two pages that I made, well, we all made them pretty much just alike. The round thingys aren't glued down yet. I'll wait until I pick out photos to go on the pages, then decide where to put the embellishments. We used Liquid Glass around the edges of the round thingys after first 'distressing' the edges with black ink to make them stand out a bit. Haley taught us to score the lines around the solid squares (do this on the wrong side), then use sandpaper on the raised lines to make them 'pop'out. Very simple, but very interesting technique, don'tcha think?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cake, class and camp...

Are those enough "Cs" for ya? This afternoon is scrapbook class, and I am the hostess, so that means I bring the 'goodies.' I made this Butter Pecan Cake to take. The gals love the Harry and David dip made with cream cheese, so that is going with me, and maybe some peanuts for something salty. Yummmm. We always have fun and learn new stuff, meeting every other month. If you want a sneak preview of what we are making, go to Haley's site and click on Training & Events for 7/13...cute!

OK, now you know about cake and class. What about camp? Well, Miss A had a fine but tiring time at 4H camp this past week, her very first time REALLY away from home with no family around. At 10, that can be tramatic, but it worked out well. We had Miss M for an overnight, which was fun just to have her one-on-one. That gal is a mess, always keeping us laughing. I don't know where she gets that trait.

Is that all the info on camp or camping? Of course not...our name is the Traveling Bells, and travel we will! Haley sent an email to us saying they are going to Pigeon Forge for 3 nights and did we want to join them next week? Of course we do!!! We'll stay two nights, and then we are off to KY for at least two nights with Amy and her family. That trip may be short if I do indeed have to be on jury duty the following week; otherwise, we'll stay longer. Seize the day, or the week...or whatever we can do! We sure enjoy spending time with all our kids, tall and short. Life is good!!! Hope y'all have a happy Sunday.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Democrat, Republican, or Redneck???

Thanks to Joy's dad, Jolly Roger, for this good one:

Are you a Democrat, a Republican or a Redneck?

Here is a little test that will help you decide. The answer can be found by posing the following question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an (insert name) Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife and charges at you. You are carrying a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do? ...........................................................


Democrat's Answer :
Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
Does the man look poor or oppressed?
Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
Could we run away?
What does my wife think?
What about the kids?
Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
What does the law say about this situation?
Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
Should I call 9-1-1?
Why is this street so deserted?
We need to raise taxes, have paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior. This is all so confusing!
I need to debate this with some friends for few days and try to come to a consensus. ................................................................

Republican's Answer:
BANG!!! ................................................................

Redneck's Answer:
Click..... (Sounds of reloading)
Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?!
Son: 'Can I shoot the next one?!'
Wife: 'You ain't taking that to the Taxidermist!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Redneck tank top...

Now I ask you.......who looks at a pair of men's briefs and says hmmmm...I can make a nice summer top from these!! On the other hand...$6 for a three pack is a pretty good deal!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grandma's wisdom...

Little Tony was staying with his grandmother for a few days. He'd been playing outside with the other kids for a while when he came into the house and asked her, 'Grandma, what's that called when two people sleep in the same room and one is on top of the other?' She was a little taken aback, but she decided to just tell him the truth. 'It's called sexual intercourse, darling.'

Little Tony just said, 'Oh, OK,' and went back outside to play with the other kids. A few minutes later he came back in and said angrily, 'Grandma, it isn't called sexual intercourse. It's called Bunk Beds. And Jimmy's Mom wants to talk to you.'
~~~Y'all have fun today...I am over at Haley's in "Scrap Camp" this morning, and back again tonight for another session. Gotta get those pics in albums!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lucky 13!

Happy Anniversary today to Haley and Logan!!! Enjoy your special day...thanks for making two great grandkids. We love you...Mom and Dad

And a little funny...

Soon after marriage, this one lady's husband stopped wearing his wedding ring.
She asked, "Why don't you ever wear your wedding band?"
He replied, "It cuts off my circulation."
"It's supposed to!" she yelled back.