Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday thoughts and things


Whew…this moving back in is a job.  But we are making good progress…and the moho fridge is now empty, which explains why I haven’t had time to download my photos yet.

I had one of those “but first” days all day yesterday.  I would start to do one thing, and then would think “but first, I need to do…”  Once I had to go back to the bedroom to re-think why I heading to the laundry room (no, it did NOT have anything to do with laundry…for a change).  Ya gotta laugh at yourself, right?  I have lots of opportunities to do just that.

Today it is snailmail.  Move that mountain.  The fun just keeps on rolling.

Good thought for the day:  Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

Share a smile or two today.  I will.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Home, sweet home

Lido deck

The lido deck is but a memory.  Reality is unloading the moho, snailmail, laundry, and other chores.

Welcome home!  The good part is that home includes hugs and kisses from all the tall and short kids.  It was great seeing them all last night.  Chores can wait…as can the photos I need to download.  Tomorrow is another day…and there is only a self-imposed deadline to get everything back in order anyway.  It will all be done when it is done.

Thought for the day:  All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

And I do.  I am blessed beyond measure.

Life is good, y’all!  I hope you feel the same way.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rolling home

This baby pulled in to the pier next to us as we were leaving Nassau Sunday morning. What a beauty!

We stopped in Perry for the night and are headed home, still in the rain. Yesterday shorts and flip flops; today jeans, fleece and socks. Sheesh.

Happy birthday to Haley today. Dad and I love and are blessed by you, sweet daughter of ours.

Life is very good, y'all!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Land ho!

Hello, Miami!

We are just off the ship, heading to the Moho to close up and hit the road heading nawth.

It was a great weekend, but home sounds even greater.

Life is good, y'all!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hello from Nassau

Will it rain or not? Who cares, mon!

We enjoyed a nice dinner and two comedy shows. Couldn't fit in the main show. Dick is inboard reading while I am on the pier catching a signal. It's fun watching the folks. I'll have some photos to post when we get home.

We are docked next to the Fascination. We sailed on her awhile back.

WYWH. Life is good!

Carnival Imagination–Day 2


Just in case you are wondering where we are.  This is it.

More later…

Friday, March 25, 2011

Carnival Imagination–Day 1

Carnival fantail

Dick and I will gaze upon this famous fantail once again, onboard a Carnival Funship.  We can be found on the Lido deck around 1ish today, ready for lunch.  Next, we will find our stateroom…unpack…and be ready to set sail for a short weekend cruise, expecting lovely weather.  We are only going to Nassau and back.  This is cruise #9 for us with Carnival.  We are taking this one mainly because we want the ‘biggie’ cruise in October to be the magical #10—Platinum, baby!  That means PERKS.  Nice perks.  Bring it on! 

At this writing, I’m thinking I’m leaving my computer at home (less to tote).  I will get off the ship at least long enough to download my email with my iPhone, using the free wifi on shore (gotta save money where we can, right?).

So we shall relax, read…and perhaps find some interesting folks on this cruise.   Regardless, we will have a nice time for sure.  And I’ll post a photo or two.

Have a great weekend, y’all!  WYWH!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winter in the Mountains - 1910 - 2010

Grab a cuppa coffee or tea when you have 7 minutes to view some absolutely beautiful scenery of the North Georgia mountains, accompanied by a bit of mountain music.  You won't be disappointed.  But be forewarned, you'll want to go visit this magical place.  Put it on your bucket is beautiful any season.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Critters. We have them.


Ferocious for sure.






Sleeping Beauty…tired from blogging maybe?

No critters were harmed during this observation.  Or overworked.

The end.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday stuff

Friends and food go together so well, especially friends we’ve known many, many years.P1010432  Dinner was great last night with these two, catching up on all our kids and grandkids, and remembering happy times.

Jimmy already had two little boys when he met sweet Cathy.  Next arrived a beautiful baby girl (who now has her own baby girl). 

We were visiting them a couple of years after Ashley’s birth, and Jimmy remarked about how much he loved his little toddler; wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world, but one thing he knew for sure:  those are young men’s toys!  So very true.

So yesterday was a learning experience with making a two-strand necklace.  Not too bad for my first try.  I did learn a thing or two to make it easier and better for next time.P1010430

I’ll be playing again today…then I’ve got to start putting everything away, getting ready for Monday’s departure.  But first, there will be one more cruise!

Thought for the day:   Always choose life.

And I would add:  Life is short.  Make fun of it!  Stay tuned…

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday, Monday…

Again?  Wow.  Time is flying on by.  In one week we will be pulling outta here and heading to Mayberry.  But there are still a few more things to do, a few more folks to see, and a cruise to take!

Dick washed the moho Saturday afternoon, so I played with beads.  I pulled out a variety of P1010426green beads that I had been itching to play with, and so I got on a roll and made a few necklaces and earrings for my stash pile.                                                                                              

I was getting low on a particular wire I needed, so I stopped off at the bead store after church.  I found several other things on sale, plus the nice lady in the check-out line behind me gave me a coupon to use for my purchases.  That rocks!  I can buy more beads, right?  That’s the new math.

So today’s plan is to finish up a two-strand necklace and begin on a couple more, then meet long-time friends Jimmy and Cathy for dinner. 

Time is running out, and we are not finished with stuff and people yet!  Yikes!!!

Thought for the dayTake a deep breath. It calms the mind.

Will do.  And maybe I won’t drop too many beads. 

Enjoy your Monday, y’all!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Super perigee moon


This was my best moon shot last night at about 8p, just as this big hunk of cheese was rising above the palm trees.  This is the closest to Earth that it has been since 1992.  Hmm, hopefully we’ll be around to see it again in another couple of decades.

But what will be going on then?  We currently have devastation in Japan; a madman loose in Libya causing  way too much havoc; fuel prices soaring; and jobs and the housing market still in the toilet.

My, oh my.  What a mess.

I am very happy that all my family and friends are safe…and send prayers to everyone in all those trouble spots here and abroad.

Count your blessings, folks.

Life is short ...forgive quickly, love truly,
laugh uncontrollably...
and never regret anything that made you smile.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Observations on growing older…


~Your kids are becoming you...and you don't like them...but your grandchildren are perfect!

~Going out is good..
Coming home is better!

~When people say you look "Great"... they add "for your age!"

~When you needed the discount, you paid full price. Now you get discounts on everything...
movies, hotels, flights, but you're too tired to use them.

Disclaimer:  The above opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Griswolds.

Go out and have a little fun, and have a super Saturday.  We sure will! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

All pretty now…

After letting the newly pressure cleaned pad dry overnight, TJ arrived and had us pick out paint colors for the speckle job, then he left to go purchase same while his worker put up a spray barrier for the curbing and plants.P1010384

Then he pressure blew out first one color all over the pad, then the second one, both fast drying paints. 



Ta da!  All pretty now and ready for a customer.




TJ will do the same treatment to this pad after we leave.  Soon.  It suffers from being severely ugly and haphazard, a result of several different owners.  There will still be some redneck cooking happening out there, even after the pad is upgraded.  There is no point in putting heat INSIDE the moho on a warm day, right?  That’s just being sensible!

Have a great weekend.  We have no plans, other than the usual Friday night gathering.  We expect to enjoy every minute of it. 

Don't audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.

Life is good, y’all!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Pat’s Day!

There are many good reasons for drinking,
One has just now entered my head.
If a man doesn’t drink when he’s living,
How in the hell can he drink when he’s dead?
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

Dick’s roots definitely go back to the Emerald Isle for sure.  Mine are rumored to, but I haven’t found the connection.  Yet. 

Ireland is an absolutely beautiful country, with friendly folks who are tourist friendly.  If you have never visited, it needs to be on your bucket list.  Just sayin'.

Today is set aside for EVERYONE to at least act a little Irish and have a good time.

Don’t forget to wear your green today, or you may get a wee pinch!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday in paradise

Well, there was SUPPOSED to be a live, iPhone photo of the Griswolds out on the intracoastal, in a boat, with Johnnie and Susan.  Hmmm, no photo.  That is because I am housebound with a slight infection, and a new med that "can cause headache, dizziness and stomach upset."  Everything is a trade off, but at least the original problem is already getting better.

And being the good wife that I am, I told Dick to go ahead and go...without me.  He did.  And he didn't take his camera.

I shall be better...and will simply drown my boating disappointment at the beading table, and all will be well.

But first, here is some advice found on a church sign:
Forbidden fruits create many jams.

That's life in paradise, y'all!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beware the Ides of March…

Unlike Julius Caesar those many years ago, I don’t think today will be an unlucky day here in paradise.  Luck is mainly what you make of life, right?

Do beware the dropped ice cube, we have discovered.  It is hard on bP1010377are feet, but a total fascination for Missy. 

First, she stares.




Then she attacks:



Next, she settles in and licks the cool drops, and bats the cube around just a little more…until there is no more.

Ah, not a care in the world for our Missy girl.  She is one pampered kitty.  Nothing to beware of on this day, or any day.

The end.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday stuff


Here is a view overlooking the beautiful Carnival Glory lobby.  Dick and I frequently sat in those seats on the lower left and enjoyed some good music in the evenings.  And no smoke!

The major music we are hearing this morning is the guy pressure cleaning our pad next door, and that is a good sound.  This is in preparation of doing a speckle paint job, and a seal coat that will finish up the work that Dick began.  Photos will follow, of course.

I have a few chores to take care of, then it is time to play in my beads.  At least that is the plan.  Who knows what the day will bring?  It’s all good, especially considering the bad news coming out of Japan.  That is just heartbreaking and too awful to even comprehend.

Advice for the day:  Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

I am looking outside at sunshine, greenery, and flowers, all wrapped up in warm weather.  I definitely plan to go outside and soak up that goodness.

Life is good in paradise, y’all!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Imagine this!

Carnival fantail

The Griswolds will be seeing this famous fantail again soon.  March 25, to be exact, for cruise #9 on Carnival Imagination.  We have never cruised on this particular ship, so off we’ll go for three nights to the Bahamas.  Bleh.  We go more for the cruising than for the ports.

We had already decided to do a transatlantic in October out of Barcelona on the Epic, and had made our flight reservations, only to discover there are several smoking complaints on the cruise boards about the Epic.  Rut roh.  That won’t work for us, especially on a TA...and we had not booked the cruise yet.   A quick check reveals that the Carnival Magic is doing a TA a week after our Barcelona arrival…with John Heald as Cruise Director (that rocks!), so Dick booked that and looked for something for us to do in Spain in the interim…and found us a Costa cruise that fills in the gap between arrival in Barcelona and departure on the Magic.

The 16-day Magic cruise puts us in Platinum status, with some really good perks, which is the main reason we are taking the short, bargain hop over to the Bahamas for #9.  Carnival counts number of cruises, not number of nights onboard as some other lines do, for their loyalty programs.

So many cruises, so little time.  Who wants to join us???

Life is good!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday stuff…

Thought for the day:

If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

This is especially true, after seeing all the devastation in Japan on TV.  Sister Nan reported on the phone last night that when she and her family lived in Japan back in the ‘70s, they experienced earthquakes quite often.  Fortunately, there were none during the  two weeks we Griswolds were there visiting! 

Their nuclear problems are extremely scary…all the death and destruction…it is just horrible.   People need to evacuate, but where can they go and how can they get there?  Are the earthquakes over?  Who knows.  What about the after shocks?  Those are still going on and can do quite a bit of damage.  The consequences of this earthquake will be felt for a very long time.  So, so sad.

Count your blessings, my friends.  Life is very fragile.  And precious.    Please consider yourself hugged…and pass it on.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday already?


It was confirmed again last night just why I don’t like karaoke—most folks who get up and sing have more enthusiasm than talent.  Sheesh. 

We had a rapid cold front move through West Palm yesterday.  I was out on an errand in 70 degree weather when the rain started.  Bam…rapidly the temps dropped to 58, and I was in shorts!  The thing about Florida is that if you wait just a short while, the weather is bound to change.  And so it has.  Today will be sunny all day, with slightly cooler temps.  Not too bad, since Joan called and said there was snow on the mountain back home.  I do not want any part of snow, thank you very much.

I have slacked off on sharing life’s laws and need to fix that.  Here is one you may not know about:

The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss/spouse/child will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

The end.

Cheers.  Have a great weekend, y’all!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Glory photos continued…

Yachts in beautiful St. Thomas Harbor.
Colorful bus in St. Thomas
Sandee, Dick-y, Zane-y, and Barb-y having fun in the MDR (main dining room).
Sarge caught pole dancing!  (Sorry the flash hit the pole.   At least it didn’t bounce off  the back of Dick’s head.)
Magic Charlie performing tricks again!

Oh man, I’m in cruise withdrawal.  Raise your hand if you want to go again!  I can be packed in about an hour…meet y'all at the dock!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Glory cruise photos…


Zane and Sandee in Nassau.


Server John Heald at tea time.


Ron Pass, John Heald, Princess Barb @ Cinna-bar


John Heald, Al Ernst (two funny guys)


Sandee, Bee, Bobbi, moi, Barb (photo by Sarge)

I will post more tomorrow.  Happy Wednesday, y’all!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blogger Cruise 4: Evil Crew meetup

Here is John Heald, Carnival's Senior Cruise Director, at the Q&A session for the Evil Crew.  I didn't know it, but I am in the video (wearing my lovely crown), over John's L shoulder.  How funny!  I thought I had gotten out of camera range.

John hates Barney...with a passion.  (Yes, Haley, I know he is a dinosaur not a bear as I mentioned in my haste.  Senior moment.)  The Crew, of course, had to inundate John with Barney this and Barney that.  Those are Barney socks around his neck in the video.  John was a good sport about all the silliness.."

As the four of us were loading up the car with our luggage after the cruise, I heard a familiar voice yelling goodbye to us.  It was John on the curb in his sweatpants, waiting on a cab to take him to the airport to go home to the UK and his girls.  I blew him a kiss and gave him a big smile and thumbs up.  He totally rocks as cruise director.  I look forward to cruising with him again.  In October...maybe.  More on that when plans are firmed up.

So tonight is Shrove Tuesday pancake night at church.  Who is celebrating Mardi Gras with us???

Let the good times roll, y'all!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Glory be--Bloggers and bears!


This group of bloggers stuffed 51 bears and donated them, along with a fair amount of money from us AND Carnival, to the sick children at St. Jude’s Hospital.  This was certainly a very worthy cause, and a lot of fun.

Zane is third from L on the front row.  Sandee is next to me on the second row, L side.  This photo was taken from the Carnival site that has a nice write-up about the event.  Click here if you want to read more about it:

So the unpacking is done, and another load of laundry is going.  It is time to tackle the snail mail…after I go get it.  I arrived back at the moho with laryngitis, which is a bit better today.  Smarty pants Dick is not allowed to say how quiet it is around here.  Would he do that?  Only if he got the chance!

We are in Motosat time out.  More like—dial up.  We apparently used more than our ‘fair share’ of bytes last night, so they put us in slow mo penalty box for 24 hours.  Bugger.  The fact that the satellite was UNUSED all week doesn’t count one bit, no sirree.   We’ll survive…and I’ll visit my buds when I can.

Enjoy your Monday!  That’s life in paradise…

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Home again, well…motorhome home!


Goodbye, chocolate melting cake.  Goodbye, room steward.  Goodbye, nightly shows and daily ports.

And goodbye, Barb and Linda.  We 4 got off the ship, through customs (no one dares to question royalty in her crown!), and northbound on I-95 in rapid time and on up to WPB and the motorhome.  Luggage transferred to Barb’s trunk, and off they went.  Linda is visiting friends in Orlando, and Barb is headed to So. GA and her furbabies.

It was a fabulous cruise, although Linda decided cruising is not for her, and now it is back to the real world—the washing machine is doing its thing.  Missy was happy to see us.  Snail mail can wait till tomorrow.  Hello reality!

Thought for the day:  However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

Life is good, y’all!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Carnival Glory–Day 6–Sea Day


Check out those smiling faces!  Zane, Sandee, Barb, Charlie, and of course Empress Bee.  We’ve had a blast…with old friends, and now new ones.

We enjoyed the show after dinner, then the Punchline Comedy Club, especially the late “liar’s session,” led by Senior Cruise Director John Heald.  Contestants were our fave comedian Al Ernst, another comedian, and the current cruise director of the Glory.  They truly kept us laughing…and up late.

John assembled the ‘beards’ for a Q&A session for the bloggers this morning.  This was an excellent learning experience for all of us, complete with a preview of John’s upcoming website change.  Neat!  And the gift of a new tee shirt…that we wear to tea with John shortly, followed by a farewell party for the bloggers, and a whole group photo.  Talk about needing a wide angle camera!  There are over 300 bloggers on this cruise!!!

All good things must end, so it is time to pack for our departure tomorrow…and try to figure out how to get our room steward smuggled inside the suitcase.

And it is time to dream of another adventure.  You knew there would be one, didn’t you?  Stay tuned; plans aren’t finalized yet!

Life is good.  Hugs from the sea, y’all!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Carnival Glory–Day 5

Grand Turk.  Arrived this morning at 11, with a heavy rain cloud just off the beach.  Liquid sunshine arrived at 11:20.  Bugger.Grand Turk  We had planned on renting a golf cart and riding around the island, all of 7 miles long.  But instead, we waited 2 hours for the rain to wash over the island and went ashore for Plan B—ride the bus around the island.  Nope.  All sold out, thanks to the added arrival of the Ruby Princess.

It was just as well, since rain began to fall once P1010313again.  So we are now back onboard, ready to sit by the pool’s covered area, and read.  We adjust well.

Saturday is a sea day, then Sunday is arrival back in Miami.  The week has flown by.

Tonight is ‘elegant night,’ so we hope to get a shot of our group all gussied up.  Be still my heart.

Hugs from the Caribbean, y’all!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Carnival Glory - Day 5

Sarge, Bee and the flat cats enjoying the Evil Crew party with John and all his new underpants and lots of stuffed Barney bears--John's most hated toy...and a Barney cake. We love John enough to give only the very best!

WYWH in San Juan, y'all!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Carnival Glory - Day 4

Greetings from beautiful St Thomas! Dick and I ran into Barb and Linda on shore. No, we are not all staying together as a group. Everyone does his/her own thing.

Dick purchased some rum. I did not see anything I needed.

Heading back to the ship. Having fun in paradise, y'all! WYWH.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Carnival Glory–Day 3

Fun Day at Sea.  But first, see what was for dinner at the steakhouse last night.    Dick and I both had escargotP1010202…not entirely how we anticipated it would be prepared.  The little bowl contained escargot soup, which was more tasty than them sitting on the mini-muffin caps.  I chose lobster bisque for my soup; Dick had French onion soup that was a bit on the salty side.
My filet mignon was D.I.V.I.N.E.  Fork tender.  Perfect.  Creamed spinach, sautéed onions and fresh mushrooms.  Yum.P1010205  Heaven.  A small bowl of coffee ice cream and decaf topped off the wonderfully good meal.  Great service, certainly good company of tablemates Bee, Charlie, Sandee, Zane, Barb and Linda.
Dinner was followed by the production show (great), a brief visit to the piano bar to listen to Ron Pass (also great), and then laughs at the comedy club.  Fun for all!
Today was the build-a-bear workshop for children atZane, Sandee, Sandy St. Jude’s Hospital.  Here are the three muskeeters with their completed bears…Zane, Sandee and me:

And now the whole “Evil Crew” is off to have tea with John Heald, Carnival’s Senior Cruise Director, at 3… then meet with him again at 5 for a cocktail party before dinner. 

WYWH.  Life is good on the high seas, y'all!!!