Saturday, December 31, 2011

All gussied up on the Dream

Logan, Haley, Ansley and Macey:




Brian, Faith, and Haley A…






Jason, Amy and Alex…wee Will got left out of the photoSad smile


We sure love these kiddos.  We are all mighty blessed!

Goodbye 2011.  We created lots of good memories this year…and plan to create even more in 2012!

Hugs to all our family and friends everywhere!!!

Life is an echo; what you send out comes back - Chinese Proverb

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cruise fun

Margarita from Bulgaria was our head waitress on the cruise, and she was a hoot.  She entertained us each night with toothpick tricks…presenting an arrangement, then telling us to come up with a specific solution by rearranging one or two toothpicks.  Very thought provoking, and our table got at least three or four correct answers!

Logan ordered pork chops one night, and this is what she first presented him P1020907with:



And an order for chicken soup was insteadP1020888……………………..this rubber chicken!




We certainly all had a great time.  I tried to include some elegant night photos, but will have to post in shorter batches.  Our wi-fi here is mighty slow right now.  Bugger.

So yesterday we met Johnnie, Susan (local long-time friends), and Bill and Vickie (also long-time friends, but they are from NJ) for the first time at the new John G’s on the Beach… that is no longer on the beach…but the food is still awesome and the ambiance still the same.  Vickie is cooking Saturday night for us.  Pasta…and she is a great cook.  Oh boy, oh boy!  None of us are big NYE celebrators, so that will be our big night, topped off by a walk on the beach…and probably back at the moho long before midnight.  Maybe I’ll remember to take some photos Saturday night.  Sheesh.  I flunked photos yesterday….maybe because we were too busy talking and eating.  Ya think?!

That’s it from paradise, y’all!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Beta sisters and other stuff

Beta sister Carrie and hubby Laton are full-time RVers who have been in the W Palm Beach area since P1020943August.  Lucky for us, we got meet them (for the first time!) at lunch today at fabulous Schooner’s for good food and lots of laughter.  Too bad they are leaving this weekend, heading to Virginia.  Safe travels!  We’ll see y’all down the road again.


Our wee girls wanted to have a ‘salon day’ last week on the cruise.  Here is Amy relaxing and waiting for her turn to get beautifed.


Macey painted my nails, then Haley A was working on my hair…


Ansley and Faith were waiting their turns.  Somehow or other I didn’t get a photo of Haley D or Macey.  We were busy!

Thanks, girls, for all your hard work.  Can we have another session soon???  And a massage?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Fabulously festive floating foreign Forced Family Fun (onboard the Carnival Dream)!

Here is the whole group, all 13 of us sporting our FFF shirts:

FFF on the Dream

What started out as merely FFF (Forced Family Fun) in 1989 with GROANS from our kids because they did NOT want to go on a long camping trip with us, has progressed to adding many more Fs to the scenario over the years (although some of them were perhaps an unmentionable “F” or two during the teenager years).  Now that the kids are all adults, they seem to finally appreciate the trips just a tad more. 

Everyone enjoyed the fabulous cruise (how could they not?!)…especially the short folks.  They enjoyed the pool, water slides, Camp Carnival, 24/7 ice cream machine, etc.

Carnival is definitely the Fun Ship!  Just check out these smiles.  But vacations must end…and so it has.  Everyone is back in their respective homes, enjoying all the good memories we created last week.

And the door decoration grinch?  Who knows.  Our Ho ho doordoor first began losing a few letters…the “H” was the first to go; then it returned…and left again, along with its matching letter.  Next went the snowflakes.

Then everything got gone except for the belt buckle, which got ripped apart and rearranged.


Poor door.  At least the door grinch had a sense of humor.

The end.

So what is your favorite memory of Christmas 2011?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Snowing on the Carnival Dream!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!

Our kiddos sure enjoyed well as the fake snow.  It was truly a magical night...and cruise.  Where else could we find snow in the Caribbean in December, but on the Carnival Dream!

Put some smiles on your faces today, my friends.

Life is good!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day


Jesus is the reason

Joyeux Noël
Glædelig jul
Frohe Weihnachten
Buon Natale
¡Feliz Navidad

From our hearts to yours…wherever on this good earth that you live…may you know the joys and blessings of this day.

Merry Christmas!

The Traveling Bells


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Goodbye Dream!

Goodbye, towel buddies. Goodbye, room steward. It is back to reality, doing my own laundry and cooking. Bugger. It was fun. Photos will follow. Heading to the kitties and the Moho

In the meantime, have a blessed Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

And the winners are…



Yes!  Dick and I are the corn hole champions today, and we each got our very own, FIRST genuine gold plastic ships on a stick this morning!  Woohoo for us!!!  This is a proud moment in history, ppl.

So it is sunny and 77 outside, smooth sailing on this sea day after a bumpy ride last night.  It didn’t bother us at all, as a matter of fact, we slept quite well.

The ship is all decorated for both the Christian and Jewish holidays, and we like that.  Someone is liking our gel stick-on door decorations a little too well, b/c they have been rearranged, removed, and returned all week…but now my HO HO HO and snowflakes are GONE.  Bugger.  I didn’t mind it up until now, but GONE is ticking me off.  All that is left is Santa’s red and black buckle, that somebody actually broke!  I hope the thief gets coal in his/her stocking!

Food has been pretty good…enjoying the chilled soups, of course…and the chocolate melting cake.  Our waitress brought me a piece of tiramisu with a candle in it last night.  She has been entertaining us with toothpick tricks each night.  More on that when we get back home. 

So tomorrow is our final sea day and the rumor is that Santa will be onboard.  I sure hope so.  I’ve been good.  Well, mostly good.  Well, today has been a good day thus far.  Does that count?

That’s it from the Dream.  WYWH!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Leaving St. Maarten

Greetings as we leave St. Maarten.  Apparently bad weather is coming, so the CD announced early this morning that we would be departing early...and that a lot of the shore excursions would be cancelled.  I am sure there were a lot of complaints registered, but it didn’t affect us at all.

We got off the boat and walked around the shopping area near the pier, enjoying the scenery, then returned to the ship for lunch...corn hole, and reading on the balcony.

What a perfect way to spend my birthday!

Thursday and Friday are sea days.  Love them!  Life is good, y’all.  WYWH!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas greetings from St. Thomas

With a slight rain, but who cares mon? Not us!
Life is good, y'all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Leaving port yesterday. Sunny and beautiful in Nassau today. Monday is a sea day. Food is good. WYWH!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Carnival Dream–Day 1


Carnival Dream

This is the beauty we’ll be boarding today in Pt. Canaveral for a week of fun, fun, FUN!  She was parked in Nassau the last time we were there, so I got a quick photo to save for a future post, long before we even booked this cruise.  How’s that for planning ahead?!

We are heading to Nassau (oh well), St. Thomas and St. Maarten on a Forced Family Fun trip.  And yes, I will pass the pedi inspection today!

There may be rain in the forecast, but we don’t care.  Any day on a ship is a good day (now that hurricane season is over).

I will blog when I can, so come along and join us!

Life is good on the high seas, y’all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cruise, minus 1


moho set up

So this is what we looked liked yesterday.  Ladder out so the windshield could be washed before putting up the sun shade.  Slide out not out yet so that Dick wouldn’t bump his head on it while getting stuff in/out of the basement.  Gotta protect that bald head.

He picked up the pressure washer this morning and is out cleaning the pads.   I’m doing laundry and getting all the file folders in place…it’s feeling like home sweet home, on a smaller scale!

The kitty sitter just came by to meet our furbabies, so that is checked off my list.

Passports are in my purse.  Check.

Luggage tags printed.  Check.

Almost ready.  Gotta go get a pedi.  Tomorrow’s the big day!  Carnival Dream, here we come!!!  Tag along with us.  It’ll be a fun week.

Life is sunny and warm here in paradise, y’all!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rolling, rolling…


Green quartz, pearls, crystals

I did manage to do a little beading before packing up all my supplies.  These are green quartz balls, potato pearls (that don’t show up well), and Swarovski crystals. 

Today will be mile after many mile, but I’ll be keeping my driver hydrated and alert, while doing a little surfing on my phone.  Nice arrangement.

Hello, Sunshine State!  You’re looking mighty warm.

Life is good on the road!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the road again…



Y’all know what this photo means!  We are loading and leaving…later today, south bound to warm weather.  We’ve got to get set up and get a few things done on our site, introduce our new kitty sitter to our furbabies, and get stuff done.

The cruise that was so far in the future is almost upon us…Dick is packed, but I haven’t finished with that yet, but it won’t take long.  That is happening  BEFORE lunch today or I’ll make myself sit in time out (hey, that doesn’t sound like such a bad idea!)

I’ll sneak in a howdy to my blog buddies in between doing laundry and all that other stuff.

Have yourself a great hump day.  Leaving one paradise for another.  Life is good, y’all!  Zoom, zoom…

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Incredible photo

The gentleman who drew this is Joe Castillo. He went to Asbury Theological Seminary, and did this during a chapel service.  It was fascinating - he told the Gospel story - each part of Jesus' life – and he was drawing the story as he told the story.

The class didn't realize until the end what the entire picture was.   A rare talent!!!

The 'longer' you look at this picture, the 'more' you see.  Biggify, and check it out.


Look at the lines the artist used to draw this picture of Christ.  It is of scenes from Christ's life.

In the Circle of God's love, God's waiting to use your full potential.

May God Bless You and Yours!

Hat tip:  Dee Barronton

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweet gals

Our gals started out the day as yummy gingerbread house builders…house builders

They progressed to cleaned up sweeties, and a newly confirmed big gal.  It was a meaningful service at the beautiful cathedral in Atlanta, well, the short gal thought the service was LONG.Ansley, Macey @ cathedral  Unfortunately it was late enough in the day that photos of the awesome stained glass windows are not totally awesome.  Bugger.

So Monday is finish some projects, clean off my desk, and pack for the cruise day…with Tuesday being the finish-what-didn’t-get-finished day!  Goals—iHas them.

Gotta go check my list!

Have a fabulous, non-boring Monday.  Life is good but busy in paradise, y’all!



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quote of the day…


Feel rich

I certainly feel RICH…and I know you do, too.  We have blessings in abundance, despite the loud crying I am currently hearing from downstairs, coming from Alex; followed by an I’m sorry from Will.

My suspicion is that there is no blood involved; hold on………..…now confirmed.  Apparently there was a chair and a head that connected, by accident, of course.

As I said, blessings in abundance, despite a few altercations every now and then.  Life is never dull…who wants a dull life?!

It is a special day for our Ansley as the collective families gather for her confirmation at the cathedral in Atlanta this afternoon.  This is quite a milestone for our young lady, who has been studying hard.  I hear there will be a pasta celebration for dinner tonight.  I vote for that!

But first…breakfast for the boys, followed by exchange of duty with the arrival of their other grandmother!

Life is good…and very blessed!

Saturday, December 10, 2011



KC, warm floor

This is KC’s favorite spot on a cold winter night…the heated bathroom floor…when he is not in our bed, that is.  Somehow even with the sun out, he and Missy know it is COLD outside and aren’t even hovering by the glass door, asking to go out.  Yet.  We have two wee boys today, so the kitties will want to escape…soon!

I have a few beading projects to finish up in between doing stuff and more stuff.  Time is getting short, with that upcoming pesky cruise looming near.  Who’s going with us?  Saturday departure…for the cruise part.

Thank you, Jamie, for telling me how to zoom in for photos on my phone.  Why didn’t I think of that myself?  Quit laughing.  I heard that.  Linda asked about that young girl in the video and what she was doing.  Well, she was taking STILL photos of someone…she stood in that spot almost the whole evening…and was totally annoying.  Obviously moving my camera so that she was out of MY viewing area did not get her out of the view of the lens.  Sigh.  Lesson learned.

Stay warm.  It’s chilly in paradise, y’all!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Check out this video on YouTube:

Sent from my iPhone

iCarols for iPad

Ansley enjoyed playing more than her clarinet last night! Merry music...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hallelujah Chorus, Alaska style

This ought to put a smile on your face, and get your foot to tapping!

Stay warm.  It’s cold and feeling like Christmas in paradise, y’all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remembrance and thanks


Troops stockings

Today being Pearl Harbor Day (1941) is a perfect time to give thanks for all those who have served our great country to gain and keep our precious freedom.

Our military are still scattered all over the world, leaving behind family to keep the home fires burning in their absence.  They all need our support, whether it is a prayer, a card, a care package…or a simple thanks any time you see a service person.  Any positive gesture would be appreciated.

Come to think of it, a thankful attitude toward everyone would make this world a much better place to reside.  Share a smile today.  They are free, so give generously.

God bless our troops!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

St. Nicholas Day


St. Nicholas

Strictly speaking, the tradition of St. Nicholas is not synonymous with the role of Santa Claus in the U.S..  As practiced in many European countries, the celebration of St. Nicholas is separate from the Christmas holidays, and occurs during the 2 weeks prior to December 6th, which is St. Nicholas's day. Sometimes St. Nicholas Day is the main holiday for gift giving, and not Christmas.

Did you know that?  Now you do.

St. Nicholas was born in 271 AD and died around December 6, 342 or 343 AD, near the Asia Minor (Turkey) town of Myra, where he later became Bishop. He performed many good deeds and was a friend to the poor and helpless, and upon his death, myths soon sprang up about him all around the Mediterranean Sea. He was reputed to be able to calm the raging seas, rescue desperate sailors, help the poor and downtrodden, and save children. He was soon named as the patron saint of sailors, and when Myra was overthrown, his bones were transported by sailors to Bari, a port in Italy, where a tomb was built over the grave and became the center of honor for St. Nicholas. From here the legend spread on around to the Atlantic Coast of Europe and the North Sea to become a European holiday tradition regardless of religion.

Hopefully you have all been good and the jolly fat man will come visit you on the 25th.  Maybe this year we should all want a little less…and give just a little more. 

Now that would be a great Christmas attitude!

Life is good in paradise, y’all!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Peace…and love

Angel Sparkle


It does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble,
or hard work.  It means to be in
the midst of those things, and still
be calm in your heart.
                     ~ unknown

Today I am wishing peace for my sister, who would have celebrated her 29th wedding anniversary on this date.  Roger is healed, but his absence leaves a hole in many hearts, most especially hers.

I love you, Nan.  May you find some peace in all your happy memories, children, and grandchildren.

Hug those you love.  Life is too short for regrets, y’all!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Just trying to help…

Hi Sweetheart,
I am sorry about getting into an argument about putting up the Christmas lights. 
I guess that sometimes I feel like you are pushing me too hard when you want something. 
I realize that I was wrong and I am apologizing for being such a hard-headed guy. 
All I want is for you to be happy and be able to enjoy the holiday season. 
Nothing brightens the Christmas spirit like Christmas lights! 
I took the time to hang the lights for you today and now I will be off to the golf course. 
Again, I am very sorry for the way I acted yesterday. 
I'll be home later. 
Love you……

Christmas lights hung

~~I think this guy will get coal in his Christmas stocking!

Today is girls day out—our area BSP annual council luncheon is today, so the sistas are gathering at Lake Lanier Island to eat, exchange Christmas ornaments, and GAB.  Lots of that!  And some shopping for Joy, Joan and I afterward.

Y’all do something fun today.  Later, gator…

Friday, December 2, 2011

Computer assistant

NOT!  It is difficult typing with one hand, as Brian knows only too well.

KC puter ktity

Cats always know when you don’t want them around, because that is just when they show up.  And try to help.  I do love this boy, even when he gets in the way of progress, bless his little heart.

I have discovered there is a drawback to using the iPad, which is on my desk to the left of KC.  I now find that when I am using my laptop, I often tap the screen…and wonder why nothing happens…and laugh!

I entertain myself sooo well!  I heard that snicker.

Have yourself a lovely Friday.  Joy and I are off to a special Christmas concert tonight up (that means we are heading north) in NC.

Life is good in paradise, y’all!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas isn’t just another holiday

Christmas blinking bannerIf you celebrate CHRISTmas, then you might want to watch this video and heed its advice:

Merry CHRISTmas, my friends!

What is tops on YOUR Christmas “want” list?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Goodbye, November!

I wasn’t kidding about our local color being Nov coveBROWN.  Fortunately, there are evergreens scattered around to break up the brownish monotony of dying grass and bare tree limbs.  Our lake disappears in the winter, turning instead to a small stream, leaving us with bare banks.  It’s too cold to get in the water anyway, but still.  Oh well…another reason to spend the winter in sunny south Florida, right?!

So the snow yesterday was a non-event, as we knew it would be.  It was pretty as it fell…and even nicer that it disappeared and didn’t stay.  November is too early for lingering snow, ppl!

I have the wee boys this afternoon, so the plan is to work on Christmas cards while they nap.  Y’all know how plans go…and then enjoy a Christmas concert tonight with Joan and Joy.  That will launch the Christmas Season in the right spirit.

Are you ready for December to arrive?  Who has decked the halls?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Who, me?


photo (4)

No, I haven’t seen Will’s lovey anywhere.  Honest!

Lucky KC got to spend yester-rainy-day all curled up on the guest bed…guilty as charged…with Will’s lovey.

No snow here yet.  It is creeping in from the west and probably will hit us around mid-day.  I guess that means that I am required to run to the store this morning and buy milk and bread…whether we need it or not.  NOT!

So today I have the turkey carcass, but no turkey left for turkey soup.  Bugger.  We’ll have to settle for turkey broth, with rice and veggies.  Check.  This is a soup kind of day.

Whatever you do, make sure you smile today!  Wait…it is 8:10, and I see a few flakes falling.  Hello, Winter…in the space of two minutes, we now have some serious snow coming down!

Oh my!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

Another shopping opportunity…for some folks.  Me?  Doubtful.  It’s just another Monday closer to our cruise, so it is a great day.

Here are the little buggers who beat me at marbles Saturday.  It’s all in the luck of the cards…or not… and they didn’t favor me one bit.  I’m ready for a re-match tonight!

Grammie, girls marbles

So yesterday I put a red bow on the grapevine wreath on our front door, put the Christmas flag on the small garden pole, and plugged in Frosty to shine out the front window.  D for done.  Instant decorations.  Not even a small tree this year, since we won’t be home for Christmas.  We shall, however, enjoy the Carnival Dream in all its Christmas finery.  We are counting down the days, about to say goodbye to November. And the weather folks are saying North Georgia is gonna get snow in the morning!  Yikes!!!  Brrr…

Frosty will probably be a happy guy.  Not me!  And no, he can’t go out and play in it.

Stay warm, y’all!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mayberry Thanksgiving

The buffet line started on the L for plate pick up, then ended at the silverware/napkin corner.  Everything was OH SO GOOD!


Everyone is invited (required!) to come back Monday night and finish off the leftovers!

This photo of the pumpkin mousse looks likeP1020813 creamy mustard, but was delish and much more appetizing in small containers with whipped cream on top.  There was pumpkin cream cheese cake, chocolate pie, chocolate delight, and pecan pie.  And no photos and certainly no calories.

Amy and Macey arrived wearing my colors, so Haley P1020815quickly snapped this photo.  She and I are frequently the ones in matching colors, but somehow avoided it yesterday.

What is that white blob over Amy’s shoulder???  A little photo editing might help.

We played a few games of marbles after stuffing ourselves.  I wound up playing with the three young gals.  Ansley beat us, but the big gals cleaned up the kitchen, so I really came out the winner!

So today everything that is now clean will get put away.  And Haley will, pretty please, send me some of the photos that she took.  I’ll put away my fall decorations and at least get a Christmas wreath on the front door.

But more important, I was talking with my three girls last night about our door decorations…………for the ship!  Woohoo, we are cruising in less than 3 weeks!!!

Life is good in paradise, y’all!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grins, crafts, fun and food!


Roger Howell, Sandy

I’m so happy Joy shares Roger with me.  He has enough love for both of us, no doubt.  Thanks to Gene for the photo.

Joan is checking out the bling at the Resort yesterday:

Joan, bling

We resisted temptation.  Just barely.  We did enjoy seeing lots of crafty items:


And the weaver:


As well as the wood carver and all of his wares:

wood carver2

And then we met our own guys for lunch.  It was a fabulous day.

So today is our family and friends turkey day.  Also known as mob intimacy, since there will be close to 20 folks attending.

Dick will get the ham and turkey in the smoker this morning (ham drippings make a mighty tender and tasty bird!). 

There will be appetizers during the game time, followed by dinner:  ham/turkey, cornbread dressing, corn pudding, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad, fresh cranberry sauce, glazed carrots and parsnips, pears with blue cheese, rolls…what am I leaving out?

Oh yes…desserts!  I think I’ll leave those descriptions until another day.

Who’s hungry?  Come on over, y’all!  Life is good in paradise.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday. Really?



No leftover turkey, no store shopping…however there are plans for the day, of course.  Joan and I are going to Brasstown Valley Resort to a major craft show.  Really major.  I should remember to take a photo or two, especially since I didn’t take a single photo last night.  Bad blogger!

No photo of sweet Roger (Joy’s dad), no photo of Melissa in her tee that announced “Bun in the Oven.”  No proof of Anna making gravy or Billy making biscuits or Joy getting all the delish food on the counter.  Brother Gene was mighty busy with his camera, so maybe I can get one or two, pretty please!

So tomorrow is our big thankful day.  This afternoon will find me in the kitchen chopping and prepping.  I so love family/friend gatherings!

I’ll put my camera on the kitchen counter, ready to use.  Maybe someone will see it and think to use it!

It is 28 in Mayberry this morning.  I am dreaming of cruising!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!


Happy Thanksgiving

Wherever you are, whatever you do, stop and give thanks for all your blessings on this special day.  We are all blessed beyond measure.

Dick and I are pleased to share today’s celebration with Joy, her family and friends.  They are all part of our extended family.

Our Thanksgiving Day (it’s a movable feast!) will be celebrated on Saturday, when our family and friends gather here for food and games.

Come join us.  The door is always open.  Love and hugs to all across the miles!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Boomer turkey and other stuff

So here is Brian playing with Missy, that hussy.  She loves MEN, but I can’t blame her. 

Note the absence of his cheese hand.  Now he has a molded half-cast. 

The underside is open.  Velcro straps attach it Brian, Missyaround to the upper side.  Simple.  He has to un-do the upper ‘flap’ to use his R hand to move his L fingers for exercise.  No voluntarily using his L hand yet.  At all.  He brings his boots over to have Amy or Jason tie them every morning.  Poor baby.  He has also learned that it is difficult to fold laundry with only one hand.  Sweet Faith is helping in that department.  He’ll survive.  It’s not forever.

My iPhone didn’t take such a good photo, so B&W helped salvage it.  Oh well…seize the moment as it happens with what is available.

So, lots to do to get ready for the Saturday feast.  My list is started and I need to get busy.

But first…here is a true family funny:

Alex - I want a boomer turkey for Thanksgiving.
Amy - What is a boomer turkey?
Alex - You know, where you get a gun that goes boom and deads the turkey.

My turkey is deads and thawing in the fridge.  Got yours?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ugh…oh no!



Some folks need to check the mirror before leaving their stateroom!


Seriously?  This person thinks this hairdo is attractive?  Oh my!


Different strokes.

Always be careful about a paper trail…


Enjoy the smiles.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!