Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween, y'all!

And don't forget to *fall back* your clocks tonight (and change the batteries in your smoke alarms). End of public service announcement.

Halloween (also spelled Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday of All Saints. It is largely a secular celebration, but some have expressed strong feelings about perceived religious overtones.
The colors black and orange have become associated with the celebrations, perhaps because of the darkness of night and the color of fire or of pumpkins, and maybe because of the vivid contrast this presents for merchandising. Another association is with the jack-o’-lantern. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, ghost tours, bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

Government logic!
However you celebrate All Hallows Eve, make it a safe and sweet occasion!

Friday, October 30, 2009

More fall in paradise...

Young Harris College. The colors were popping out nicely last weekend on this beautiful campus...the photos don't really do the colors justice though.
What a majestic setting for a church...where friend Joy manages the office...and blesses the congregation with her organ playing. It's nice having talented friends!I never get tired of all this beauty.

Although I don't particularly like the brown of winter that will be hitting us soon. But wait! That is what Florida is we'll escape down there after Christmas and forget the brown of winter and enjoy our flip flops and flowered shirts! Life is good!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday in the mist...

This sight a bit further up our road is not so appealing this morning through the heavy mist, but it will burn off to reveal the bright yellows by noon. Maybe.
Dick has to work on his bulldozer today because he needs to move it from one project to another. He needs it to help winch up a stuck mower. Really a steep place. A long way down. But first, he needs to find a really long cable. And get some gravel. Did I mention that his dump truck has a flat?

Poor baby. He's not a happy camper. It may be a long day.

I will stay home in comfort and do paperwork. That's fair, right? We both have jobs to do, and no, I don't want to trade places, honey. Thanks anyway!

I'll make sure there is a cold beer waiting for you, and a pot of soup. It's the least I can do for my hard working man!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

View from our driveway...

Well, I was out in the road, looking UP the road last Sunday afternoon. I doubt I will see as many leaves still attached to these trees when I go in to town shortly. The rain and wind are knocking the leaves down daily.

Even so, this is still just a bit of paradise. Despite coughs and a snotty nose...Scooter's, not mine! He spent the morning with me. And napped. Naps are great!

Enjoy your Wednesday, y'all! Mine does not, however, include a nap.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

See the colors!

I took this photo while out driving Sunday afternoon on our only pretty day in awhile. Yesterday was overcast; today it is raining. Obviously our leaves haven't peaked yet here in the GA Alps. That will probably happen this weekend is my guess.
Bee and Sarge, I hope you enjoy the view! Happy fall, y'all!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vegetable Chili

We had this the other night to rave reviews. I actually added browned ground beef to mine, so it is good with or without meat:

Vegetable Chili

¾ cup olive oil
2 zucchini, cut into ½ inch dice
2 onions, cut into ½ inch dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 can (35 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes, with their juice
1-1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 15oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 15oz. can chick peas (garbanzos), drained
1 15 oz. can white northern beans, drained
½ cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
4 scallions, white bulb and 3 inches green, sliced on the diagonal

Heat ½ cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, and sauté until just tender, 5-7 minutes. Transfer zucchini to a large flameproof casserole or dutch oven.

Heat the remaining ¼ cup oil in the skillet over low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté until just wilted, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the casserole, along with the oil remaining in the skillet.

Place the casserole over low heat. Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, the fresh tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, pepper, salt, and parsley. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes.

Stir in the kidney beans, white northern beans, chick peas, dill and lemon juice; cook for another 15 minutes. Stir well and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve with bowls of sour cream, grated cheese, and sliced scallions alongside.
Makes 8-10 portions

Hmm, good!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday in Mayberry...

But Friday time comes first before Saturday! Dick and I enjoyed seeing Hank and Lois yesterday. They already know Joy, but they got to meet friends Dan and Joan, also Airstreamers. The circle of friendship just grows and grows. Y'all come back soon now, ya hear?!

Today will be filled with bar-be-cue parties, lunch one place, then dinner at another place. Throw us in that briar patch. We are up for the challenge...we love friends, fall and BBQ! Life is good!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Little boys and puppies just go peas and carrots. It is fun for me to borrow that combination and not have to deal with either on a full-time basis. Doodlebug enjoyed playing with Dixie and Georgia recently when they came visiting with Don and Carolyn. We hope they'll come back soon.
And today, Dick and I will have fun visiting with some special friends at lunch. Hopefully we'll remember to take photos this time.

Enjoy your Friday. Ours is windy and overcast, but there is a definite forecast of hugs and giggles at lunch! Later, y'all!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Falling leaves...

Falling leaves and falling temps the past few days, but it is warming up a bit now.
These mums didn't like the cold temps either, and are now looking mighty pitiful. Florida is sounding pretty good, but we can't go down there till after Christmas. Bugger. And we have another cruise lined up before we go to Florida. Now that thought brightens my day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just for Sarge...

Carnival's famous Warm Chocolate Melting Cake...yummm. I ate two in your honor on our Holiday cruise this week, Sarge.

It was a sacrifice, but I did it out of love for you, my special friend. Every tasty, warm bite carried a prayer that you will be enjoying one (or more!) of these sinful delights in January. Dream away, my dear. And heal as you continue to kick cancer's arse. You'll win. Live Strong!

Enjoy your Monday, y'all. Wear a smile all day long.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy birthday, Little Bike Dude!

This cutie pie is a big 3 today!
At the rate he is going, these training wheels will be off the bike by this time next year.

Grumps and I sure love you...
And we are happy to say that there is no snow on the ground this morning, but baby it is COLD outside at 41 degrees! I'm so not ready for cold weather!!!
Have a great Sunday, y'all! Mine will feature a piece of birthday cake. Bee and Sarge, I'll be thinking of you both as I enjoy it, and I'll have a little something extra special just for Charlie tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday...and snow?

Wait a minute. Doesn't the calendar still show this as being October? Are we skipping fall, I ask! It looks like fall outside, with colorful leaves clinging to the trees, but the weather folks are saying snow tonight. And the overcast is saying it agrees with the weather folks. No thank you. Bring back fall. I wasn't finished with it yet, and neither are our trees. They have missed a few shades of normal fall palette for our GA Alps, and I definitely don't want to miss a single color.

Come on sun...I want to get some new photos at the festival this afternoon (the one above is from last fall--with sun). I'll have to work with whatever I have to work with, like it or not. See, I didn't end a sentence with a preposition! Haley, the wee gals and I will have fun regardless of the weather.

Whatever you do today, make it a fun one! Happy Saturday, y'all! Come on up and get a little southern culture with me and my gals!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Holiday FFF...

So here is a better photo than my 'crackberry' photo posted the other day, stolen from Haley's website. She has given a good rundown of the trip, plus added photos from the Mayan ruins trip that all the big kids went to see, so check out her site if you are interested. Dick and I never got off the ship until we docked back in Mobile!
She also tells a bit about the FFF name that started on our six-week camping trip out west in '89 in our Suburban and Silver Pullit (Airstream). All three kids definitely felt it was FORCED, because they sure didn't think it was very much FUN at the time, being the teenagers that two of the three were at the time.
The adventure got much better after our return when the kids saw in their textbooks some of the places we had visited. They loved being able to say, "I've been there...I saw that!"
Parents get smarter as kids get older. And now we enjoy the rewards of not killing our teenagers: grandchildren! And the cycle begins again. Forced Family Fun. The torch has been passed on to the next generation. Life is GOOD! From Mayberry with love...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Change of plans...

With the prez arriving in NOLA today and the heat, the Griswolds decided to save this destination for a future trip. We are heading to Mayberry instead and that is OK.
The ship wasn't the greatest...should have been retired long ago but it has one more trip to make. We still managed to have a good time. Will write more tomorrow. Life is good!
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Thursday goodbye to Holiday...

The Griswolds have landed. Adios, Holiday. Hello.....

New Orleans! Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!!! The Griswolds are coming...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday at sea...

Is this really what our outside stateroom looks like? Did I mention this is an older ship?

We'll suffer if we must. Do you feel our pain?

Y'all know this is a pre-post...but I'll fill in some gaps if/when I can. Who knows what kind of internet this ship will have. Did I mention this is an older ship?

Happy hump day, amigos!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If it's Tuesday, it must be Cozumel!

And so it is...

The last time Dick and I were here, we did not even get off the ship. The kids all want to go to the beach today, so I suppose that is what we'll be doing. Yes, I will have lots of sunscreen and a cover up, since I don't do sun.

Here is what Carnival has to say about Cozumel:

Long before Cancun became a popular destination, Cozumel was well-known as a diving spot and home to the world famous Palancar Reef, which gives divers the opportunity to view thousands of brilliantly colored fish. Non-divers can kick back on a sun-drenched beach, or enjoy any number of seaside activities, such as shopping in colorful marketplaces or dining in an open-air café.

I wonder if Cozumel is ready for the Griswolds???

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday in Progreso

The two wee boys are not old enough to go on the trip the ruins, so Grammie and Grumps will keep them today while all the big kids go on the excursion.
I think we can handle that job.

This is what Carnival has to say about this port:
A seaside retreat located just 40 kilometers north of Merida along the Gulf Coast of Mexico, Progreso is quickly becoming an important gateway for cruise ship guests. Founded in 1872 by Juan Miguel Castro and heavily influenced by the Mayan culture, Progreso enjoys a very simple and relaxed lifestyle. Its white-sand beaches, emerald green waters and cooling gulf breezes are a natural draw for vacationers from all over the world.

Simple and relaxed lifestyle? Bring it on...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday at sea onboard the Holiday...

Now here is our ship, chugging along toward Progreso. The kids will be enjoying the pool and kiddie activities.
I plan to read. Maybe nap. And have some Warm Chocolate Melting Cake.
Life is Good!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Forced Family Fun...

Say cheeseburger!

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Hello, Lido Deck!

We'll be sitting onboard here about 4p today.

Of course this is not actually the Carnival Holiday cruise ship that we'll be on. She is an older ship that is about to see the end of its service. It probably does not have a big screen TV, but that is OK. It will have enough entertainment and activities to keep four little kids happy, and that is all that matters.
Come along as we begin a new adventure! Bon voyage, y'all. Look out comes the Griswolds!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday fantasy...

Nice view that fantail on a Carnival Cruise ship. This is what we will see TOMORROW in Mobile. Woohoo...the Griswolds are going cruising, all 11 of us! How fun will that be?!!!

Here is the schedule:
Saturday - depart Mobile (that's in Alabama, y'all)
Sunday - at sea
Monday - Progreso (Yucatan) Mexico...ole, ole
Tuesday - Cozumel
Wednesday - at sea
Thursday - Mobile arrival

And then...hmm, just wait and see. The adventure doesn't end!

Enjoy your weekend. Ours will be GRAND!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy hump day!


No, these are not camels, silly.  They are llamas, and they are local, and they are cute…especially since I don’t have to take care of them.  And speaking of cute…

Amy begins a continuing ed class this afternoon, so Nana Joyce and I have two wee boys in our future on Wednesdays between now and Christmas.  Today is my turn.  Two bundles of little rambunctious boy energy all afternoon, peacefully interrupted by a nap, then recharged to begin all over again.  What fun…what?  Am I crazy???  Remember why God gave kids to YOUNG mothers??? 

There should be a long soak in the tub in my future.  With candles.  Maybe wine.  Sounds like a plan!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Smells and Bells...

That normally brings to mind church services (incense and bell ringing), but today it means Cuban pork cooking in the crock pot and Bells galore for dinner. Attending, not actually ON the menu. And Joy, our honorary Bell is always included. She is a brave lady to enter the family chaos that will happen tonight. Wine will also be served. Bon appetit!

And a call from Jeff all the way from Copenhagen at 5p to join our happy hour.

I love family get togethers.

Happy Monday, y'all! Cheers...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday in Paradise...

Sarge, this photo is especially for you, with love!

So I'll admit my guilty thoughts. I had visions of sleeping in and playing hookey from church this morning...after all, I went to church yesterday (our Silver Celebration), complete with the bishop and the whole enchilada. That counts, right?

But today is Children's Sabbath, with the children in our parish doing everything but preaching and passing the cup...and our two granddaughters have major roles. So God woke me up early, just to teach me Who is Boss and to get myself to where I need to be. Yes, Sir! Dick will be the pagan, going out to do some mowing. We'll pray for him.

And of course continue to pray for healing for friend Sarge. He hopes to go home from the hospital today. May it be so. And may you each have a blessed day, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Make it a great one! Love from the GA Alps...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Prayers requested...

Sarge is back in the hospital after his second round of chemo, fighting his battle against Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. His blood count dropped to near zero. I’d appreciate all my praying friends to remember Sarge and Miss Bee in your prayers. The old Sarge is determined to kick cancer’s butt and he sure can use your prayers to get him through this.

Thanks, Barb, for that notice on your blog so I could steal the details:-)

I love this photo of Sarge and Bee, sitting on our deck the summer of '08. Hank and Lois were there also, and it was a fun time. I want to have more fun times with these lovely folks, so let's pray Sarge back to good health. Thanks!

This is just an expected set back. Life is (still) good!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday fix...

Booklets were all finished late yesterday...until a snafu was discovered last night. Banging my head here on the computer. Can you hear it? Sigh.
So Friday is fix-it day. Fix the booklet. I figured out a relatively easy way to do that.
Then the next 'fix it' will be a large pot of Taco Soup for dinner tonight, since we have folks coming over. Who planned that during hell week? Oh yes, that would be me! Maybe I'll leave the lights low so the dust bunnies won't be noticed, since there has been no time for cleaning. Plus, add an extra glass of wine, and no one will even care!
Cheers, y'all!