Sunday, October 31, 2010

Clever, simple holiday decorations…

This idea totally requires NO skill whatsoever:


Ingredients:  glass outer vase; smaller glass insert vase, flowers, candy corn for Halloween.  Period.

Put water into the insert vase, cover top with aluminum foil.  Place inside larger vase.  Pour candy corn between the two vases (aluminum foil keeps candy from falling into the water.  Trust me.)  Put flowers into insert vase after you remove the aluminum foil.  Easy peasy.

Here is another version, using a Mason jar and a twine bow:


For Thanksgiving, use cranberries instead of candy corn.

For Christmas, use peppermint candy.

Keep husband and children away from the goodies at all times.  Good luck with that!

The end.

Happy Halloween orange sq

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday stuff


I just love these trees.  They are beautiful every year, and it is interesting watching their various stages of fall progression.  This photo tells the wordless tale.  The trees over on the L will soon look just as red as those on the R, unless we get more wind and rain…then we have piles of leaves blown everywhere!  There is a cemetery just behind the trees on the R, so the pretty leaves provide a perfect covering for that resting place.

Across the street from the cemetery is a former bank, turned library, that was eventually outgrown.  Grants are providing a new building, so this old structure is being torn down, making room for a modern, larger facility.  The only thing constant is change, right?


And speaking of change, it is time to change from a mowing mode to leaf-sucking mode at our RV park.  The leaves are far more problems to us than the grass is, another part of ownership that we didn’t know or even think about when we built the park back in ‘95.  So Dick is over playing in the leaves, and I am getting ready for a dinner party for 10 tonight.  No, I don’t want to trade jobs, honey.  I’m enjoying smelling the Cuban Pork that is cooking in the crock pot.  Yumm…folks arrive at 5.  Bring a non-meat dish and come on over. We’re stirring up some good stuff!

Halloween critters

Friday, October 29, 2010

Public service announcements



Ouch.  Do NOT do this, my friends.  It is so wrong!   (Judy C. sent this photo to me, and she got it from Sally B.—don’t know who actually took the photo, but it’s cute.)

So what are y’all doing this Halloween weekend?  We are having several friends over Saturday night for Cuban Pork.  Now that’s some very good stuff, especially since it goes in the crock pot.

Tonight I plan to fix a pasta dish found over at The Pioneer Woman.  She has some great recipes (and stories), so I’ll let y’all know how dinner turns out.  I fixed scallops, couscous and veggies last night, but next time will use a little more garlic.  Hey, I was in a hurry to get to the band concert (which was sweet).  The players all got to dress in their Halloween costumes, which made it more fun for them and helped calm their first-concert anxieties.

And there was a major announcement made to everyone in McDonald’s yesterday by  two y/o Scooter:

I went poo poo on the potty!!!

Which is why he was in McD’s as a reward (whatever it takes to get that boy potty trained!).

Life is good!

Halloween Boo

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spider Man!

hay spider

I sure wouldn’t want to meet up with this critter in the dark!  We’ve had so much rain here in Mayberry that he would just float away anyhow and not be a problem.  Leaves are now on the ground; leaves are in the rain gutters (next door)…but no tornadoes or major problems happened, so that is a good thing.

So the meeting and program for the sistas went well the other night.  I showed the gals how to pack light for any trip and gave them a printed hand out to take home with them as a reminder.  Easy cheesy lemon squeezy.   We’ve all made the mistake of lugging too much STUFF on trips, and that’s just silly!

Miss A will be playing in the local band concert tonight, so us proud grandparents will be there to applaud and cheer for her (and the others). 

But first, the daily question…what do I want to fix for dinner??? 

Halloween bats

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Hope Diamond and other baubles

The Hope Diamond (45.52 carats...India) has existed for more than a billion years.
Since it formed deep within the Earth...
...the Atlantic Ocean has opened, closed, and opened again.
...the dinosaurs have come and gone.
...humans evolved and spread across the face of the Earth.

Over the past three centuries, a rich human history full of mystery and intrigue has made it one of the world’s most famous gemstones.

The Hope Diamond is renowned for its flawless clarity, rare deep blue color, and eventful history.  It is surrounded by 16 white diamonds and suspended from a platinum chain bearing 46 more diamonds. 

That is, when this hunk of rock is in place.  You see that it has been removed.  Removed?  Why on earth???  That is because in honor of the 50th anniversary of the gift of this diamond to the nation, it is getting a new setting next month:
Neither setting would ever be in my beer budget jewelry collection, but I do appreciate the beauty and history fine baubles.

Check out these little beauties:
Napoleon gave the Diadem (tiara) to his second wife, the Empress Marie-Louise, on the occasion of their marriage. Originally the diadem, commissioned in 1810, was set with emeralds, which were replaced in the mid-1950s, with turquoise.  Marjorie Merriweather Post purchased the diadem from Van Cleef & Arpels and donated it to the Smithsonian in 1971…just in case you were wondering.  And the necklace was owned by…hmm, I didn’t get that info and can’t easily find it online at the moment.  I hate when that happens!  Just ooohhh and aaahhh…and know you wouldn’t want to own nor wear this anyway!

These can be seen at the National Museum of Natural History in DC. 

I still have my solid gold plastic tiara that will proudly go with me on the BC4 cruise.  This Duchess has her priorities in order.

Have a Spooktacular day, y’all!
Pumpkin boo

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday thoughts and things…


My best buds will be here for a meeting tonight, inspiration for me to clean house a bit, not that any of these gals would arrive bearing white gloves, you understand! 

We have a cultural program at each meeting, so I’ll be working on some ideas for that part, as well and the food part.  Oh yes, we always have food, along with our fun and fellowship (sistership?), so that Harry & David’s wonderful dip is definitely on my to-make list.

Sweet Ivana wondered about this dip stuff.  A ‘dip’ is frequently made from softened cream cheese or sour cream, with lots of good stuff added to it (chopped onions, spinach, artichokes, etc., and spices), and is served as an appetizer.  Potato chips, corn chips, pretzels or crackers are used to scoop up the dip, hence the name and the action—dip the chip into the dip.  But NO double dipping!  There are a bazillion recipes for dip that can be found in the Appetizer section of cookbooks and online.  Some appetizers wind up being the whole meal.  It happens.

So the knee decision is to rock along and avoid surgery a little longer.  After all, techniques and tools just keep improving, right?

Today is all you have; make it a great one, y’all!  Don’t be afraid…

Ghost Boo

Monday, October 25, 2010

Off we go...and other stuff...

Away we go doing stuff.  Yesterday was chock full of doing stuff--church, a meeting, lunch.  Then back home to pick up stuff to take to Haley's house for our scrapbook class.  I was the hostess, so that meant that I provided the munchies and drinks.  Easy peasy.  I made the ever popular Harry and David dip (one block of cream cheese, mixed with one-half jar of H&D Pepper and Onion Relish.  Delish.  Sorry, there are no leftovers to share!

Enjoy your Monday.  We sure hope there are no witches out on the road with us today!  We are heading south to see the knee doc...times two.  Legs shaved...check!  That would be mine, not Dick's.  I just wanted to be perfectly clear about that, y'all.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Arlington National Cemetery

The first military service man interred in Arlington National Cemetery was on May 13, 1864.  Many notable and not so notable people are laid to rest here.

My good friend Joan’s father is buried here at Arlington, so we all wanted to visit the cemetery and to pay our respects especially to him.  He is interred right here in this beautiful, serene setting.  I put my hand on his tombstone, and thanked this man I never knew for his service to our country, and for the wonderful daughter that he birthed:


And just behind where I was standing to take this photo is a large grassy area; a perfect spot for the six of us to sit and enjoy our picnic lunch, which we did.  Our two granddaughters will remember this experience forever.

We next watched in reverence the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns:


On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.

The white marble sarcophagus has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classic pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor.

The Tomb sarcophagus was placed above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. West of the World War I Unknown are the crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.

Two Unknown Union Soldiers were interred on May 15, 1864. They were the first of nearly 5,000 unknowns now resting in Arlington National Cemetery.

Also located here are two presidents, William Howard Taft (I didn’t get a photo of his grave), and John Fitzgerald Kennedy:


Arlington Mansion and 200 acres of ground immediately surrounding it were designated officially as a military cemetery June 15, 1864, by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Scene at Arlington National Cemetery

More than 300,000 people are buried at Arlington Cemetery.

Veterans from all the nation's wars are buried in the cemetery, from the American Revolution through the Iraq and Afghanistan. Pre-Civil War dead were reinterred after 1900.

(All of the above information on dates and facts was copied from the official website.)

Although this photo was taken at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, it is still a reminder to all of us:



God bless our troops…and thanks to all who have served our great country!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lovin' from the oven...

Lean a little closer. Can you smell this chocolate-y goodness? Be still my heart! These babies are going to a BBQ party in just awhile.

BBQ and all the trimmings, friends, and chocolate.. here in Paradise. Life is very good, y'all!

Enjoy your Saturday...
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall is here...

Pasta lunching today with a gaggle of gals at beautiful Brasstown Valley Resort. WYWH!

Or join me at the football game tonight, working the concession stand. Do I know how to have fun or what???
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Road hazard

I interrupt the previously planned post to bring you this awful sight, but let me first point out that Dick was NOT injured:

dump truck

The dump truck was totaled, but we don’t care about that.  We have another one.  I do not have another husband, nor do I want to break in another one!

The location is the road he has been working on, and this was the last pass of the day along the edge, where Dick was compacting the surface treatment with the heavy truck.  The truck got over at too much of an angle, did a slow roll, crushing the cab, breaking windows, and making a general mess, but Dick was able to crawl out of the upper window…with only a slight cut on a finger.  At least he thought to use his cell phone for the photo to show me.

We can live without this much excitement, thank you very much.

I am counting my blessings…and so is Dick.

Life is precious.  Go hug your loved ones, y’all!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Washington highlights

We were all humbled by seeing the Vietnam Wall…


And the Korean War Veterans Tribute…


The WWII Memorial…

IMGP2112 Stitch

The Lincoln Memorial sure is a big building…



President Lincoln inside in all his Georgia marble grandeur.

The Washington Monument and the reflecting pool (with the Lincoln Memorial building at my back)…


Oh, and some special smiling folks.  Say cheeseburger!  Where’s Grumps???


More tomorrow…

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We're not in Kansas any more...

And neither are these ruby red slippers!   Miss A is admiring them at the National Museum of American History.  Haley and I took Ansley there last Wednesday, leaving the slugs behind.  They had had their fill of museums by then...couldn't face ONE more.  And they totally missed out on the bestest one.  This museum offers something for everyone, and can't possibly be done in one day.  We picked out the spots we wanted to visit, and made tracks, seeing first the ever-changing display of first-ladies' dresses.  Some of them were really OLD...and getting very fragile, which is why the displays are changed often.

Here is the real, dismantled and rebuilt kitchen of Julia Child, America's favorite chef.  When Julia Child moved back to her home state of California in 2001, she donated the kitchen from her Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to the Museum. The exhibition features the actual kitchen, including the cabinets, appliances, cookbooks, kitchen table, and hundreds of utensils and gadgets. The exhibition gives visitors a peek into the working kitchen of one of the world’s best-known cooks, and explores how her influence as an author and host of several television series changed the way America cooks. 

All three of us gals could have spent an hour admiring all the details in this little number:
Representing the home of a large, affluent American family of about 1910, this dollhouse was built by Faith Bradford, who spent more than a half century accumulating and constructing the miniature furnishings for its intricately detailed rooms.  She donated it to the museum in 1951.

With all the collections displayed, exhibits, hands-on spots, art, cars, boats, planes, trains, buggies, engines...whew, the list is endless...there is something there for everyone to enjoy...and to learn about our American history.

Haley and I were especially happy that we did not live in this particular wash tub and lye soap laundry era, although I did reside in the clothesline era:
And we are both glad that we have progressed technologically beyond this contraption:

Hmm, this reminds me that I still don't have a new laptop.  Mr. Dell is out of parts on the particular model I am interested in, so I hurry up and wait...and research some more.  Rats!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Birthday boy!

Oops...Doodlebug thinks no one will notice this little piece of frosting missing on his birthday cake, but Grammie busted him!  Not intentionally, of course, so that spot became his very own corner of cake.  He had his local cousins, uncles, auntie, and friends, as well as all three grandparents to help him celebrate.

Lucky boy.  Plus, he got lots of fun loot.  And pizza.

Life doesn't get much better than that, when you turn four and are well loved.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Home, sweet home!

It is sooo good to be back home.  Missy had to go smell every corner of the house and make sure everything was just as she had left it a week ago.  Boy have our leaves changed in a week's time!  The rain has knocked quite a few down on the ground, but the colors are popping out nicely on the leaves that are still hanging on.  I think next weekend might just be peak time.

We've left the moho parked in the yard so that we can get the mattress out (never did like it) and replace it with a new one (we hope we'll like!).  Maybe we'd better sleep out there for a few nights, just to make sure this one is to our liking.  And if it isn't?  Plan B???

So I hope to download lots of photos of our wonderful trip and do some sorting and editing, but I do need to unload the moho and get laundry going...all those mundane tasks after a trip that just need doing.  Dinner is at Amy's house tonight.  Woohoo!!!

Have a super Sunday, y'all!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heading to Paradise

The Griswolds, parked on Kim's cul-de-sac, then enjoyed fab company and fab food. The kids all had a wonderful time together...and hated saying goodbye this morning. Promises of future visits eased the parting, especially with the reminder of a lake, jet skis, and boats in Mayberry. Next summer, here they come! And Kim loved her pearl bracelet.

So now we are rolling south, enjoying the fall beauty along the way. God has a mighty paintbrush! We are blessed! Make some good memories today y'all.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

National Cathedral

We had a date with the head verger to take us down to the crypts to pay our respects to two family members, where we discovered that Helen Keller is interred nearby in the same vault area! The girls were impressed with that, the official tour that followed, and the gift shop. This cathedral is a must-see for everyone. We stayed for evensong, but the girls were not impressed with the lack of singing for the congregation. Nothing like the brutal honesty of children.

All of us are now rolling south, heading for another treat--overnight @ my niece's house for cousins to get acquainted. Sweet!

Life is good. Make today special, y'all! We sure are.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

My little Indians

The Griswolds send greetings from the Natl Mus of the AM Indian. These two have Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw blood in them, so they are excited about learning some history here. And it is raining, so today is a good day for a museum visit.

Stay tuned...
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

American History Museum

Dick, Logan and Macey are gonna be sorry they stayed home! What a neat place. We could spend all day here...there is sooo much to see!

WYWH, y'all!
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Known as the Last Survivor of Pearl Harbor, this cutter is now docked here in Baltimore Harbor as a museum. We all enjoyed our tour and education, especially this Coastie:). Then we toured two more ships and a submarine. busy day!

Life is good...Dick's knee, not so good.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Paying respects

We are with the brave heroes, paying our respects to those who fought for our freedom. Thank you, from the bottom of our collective hearts.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Griswolds have arrived!

Wow...we are driving around the National Mall! The girls are excited. They want to see and do everything. The weather is perfect. WYWH!

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

On the road again...

Off at the crack of 9, with these two onboard. We made sure their parents didn't sneak off and head south!

Lotta miles and smiles to go. Life is good!
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Griswolds are going to DC!

And this time, we are taking some of the junior Griswolds!  Haley and her family are actually the instigators of this trip, taking advantage of the fall break from school to take the wee girls to DC for a great learning experience.  They asked us to tag along, so we of course jumped on that opportunity.  Boy howdy, it'll be fun! 

We'll take off after school is over today.  Everyone is packed and ready to go.  Is is about a 10 hour drive, so we'll go partway up tonight so tomorrow will be an easier day.  I've got a crockpot dinner going that'll be ready for us whenever we decide to stop and eat.  Easy peasy, plan ahead.

On the road again...come along for the adventure!  Have a great weekend, y'all!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just another day in paradise...

I pulled these two cards out of my ready-made stash to send out as 'thinking of you' cards.  Not the best of photos, but oh well, can't re-do them now.

So the cleaning went fairly well yesterday; cooking today.  And doing laundry.  Something went wrong with the septic alarm thingy, so Dick has to fix it this afternoon after he is done with road building.  He gets the last of the grindings today, so he HAD to git 'er done.  My laundry can wait.  Huh?  We are leaving tomorrow! I have boys coming this afternoon, and company for dinner tonight!!!

Oops, so he brings over a hose and hooks it up to the washing machine drain hose and then runs it out the laundry room window.  Can you say REDNECK?  He doesn't want any more water going into the septic tank until he knows what the problem is, so a couple of loads of water will run out on the ground and I can get the laundry done this morning.

I inquire is the hose gonna blow off

Naw...the fitting is might suck air and not work quite right is all

Do you see where this is going?  First, there was a bit of a leak at the hose connection.  I put a bucket under the connection, but smartly stayed close by to keep watch...and then I hear the blow!  Fortunately, this is a smartwash machine, so it uses low water...and the floor needing cleaning anyway.  Sigh.

Life is never dull in the trailerhood!  Rednecks R Us!!!  Bless his heart.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pretty pearls

Well, I think this is pretty! I used more of my potato pearls, but these are smaller. The blue pearls are Mountain Blue, and are just a little unusual in color, but I think the recipient will like it.

Dick and I both got flu shots yesterday and the final booster of our hepatitis series, so we shall have a healthy winter.
Today is cooking and cleaning day around here, so Dick skidaddled out to go play road man.

Whatever you do today, count your blessings. Life is good, y'all!
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