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!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday, Monday

Amy had the two “mothers” over for dinner last night.  Joyce recently had neck surgery, and Joyce, Amy, rag quiltthoughtful Amy put together this rag quilt for her to take with her to the hospital.

The quilt is made from 3 shirts that belonged to Jason’s dad, and one of Jason’s denim shirts, so it has lots of sentimental value.  And is pretty dang cute.

Pam and Jennie (two sweet BSP sistas) helped get Amy started on the quilt while I was away, not that I would have been much help, seeing as how I have never made any kind of quilt.  But still.  Just shows you how important these “aunties” are to our kids, even when the kids are old enough to have kids of their own.

Speaking of kids, the grammies and Amy will be at school today having Thanksgiving lunch with the wee boys.  Grandma:  all the fun with none of the work!

So today is menu planning and grocery list making, getting ready for turkey day.

Every year I fix a glazed carrots and parsnip dish, and marinated Roma tomatoes.  Yum.  Both recipes can be found at

What are some traditional Thanksgiving family dishes that you serve? Not counting the turkey and cranberry sauce!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mighty hunters

Dick and Dan are on their way home, loaded down with venison for the two freezers.  And tired.  

I see some freezer re-arranging in my immediate future.  And laundry.  Ya think?

Anyone have any good venison recipes to share with me?  I may have to visit Mr. Google to find 101 ways to prepare venison, since we'll be eating it all winter long.

It's just another day in chilly paradise.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mistletoe Market

Joan, Joy and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the crafts. Lots of different stuff to tempt us, but we were good.

Lunch out, then a jewelry party at Haley's house.

Having fun in Mayberry!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday stuff



I have just now downloaded 515 photos that I need to sort through, stitch, crop, label, and organize.  Groan.  Note to self:  on a long trip, take the laptop!  That is where my (Windows) photo program is located…and I could have been working on them in my spare time during the cruise.  Lesson learned.

So the predicted cold front did just that…it is officially 25 here in Mayberry this morning, but a balmy 32 outside at our house.  Brrr.  Get ready, Barb, this is heading your way.  I am definitely grateful for the sunshine…and already thinking about the upcoming cruise!  Oh yes!!!

Today is Beta birthday lunch with my sistas.  I always look forward to seeing them…guaranteed fun!  And tomorrow there is a local Christmas market to attend.

Life is good in Mayberry, y’all!  Anyone have good weekend plans???

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blue skies


Carnival fantail

After three overcast rainy days, I am seeing a tad of blue skies this morning, but no fantail anywhere in sight.  Bugger.  No Lido, no chilled soups, no room service, no piano bar, no room steward.  Reality has set in…it is doitmyself time!

So Brian is doing well, looks great and is managing one handed.  He will go for a PT evaluation tomorrow.  MM and I taught Brian, Faith, and Haley2 how to play marbles last night (after enjoying some awesome chili and cornbread).  We need to find someone locally who can make these boards, because after playing, everybody wants one.

The sun is finally shining and I am having corn hole thoughts, but alas, the paperwork is still not done.  Play or work?  Play or work?  I have to be an adult.  Bugger.

That’s life in paradise, y’all!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good news!

Our cheesy boy is driving home!  He doesn't have much pain, so OTC meds are working fine.  He will stop at the outlet shopping center to buy some non-tie shoes.  It is sure hard to tie a bow with one hand, he has already discovered.  He will learn to adjust being one handed.  After all, it is only temporary, and for that we are grateful.  Very grateful.

So yesterday I finally got the suitcases emptied, clothes washed, and mostly put away.  I had two wee boys all day and overnight, so I was a bit delayed but that's perfectly OK.  I don't have any deadlines to make, other than finishing up mail piled here on my desk.  That is today's rainy day project.

Another bit of good cruise news--I came home a pound lighter, and MM only gained 2!  He literally had ice cream every day, AND frequent desserts after dinner.  I was a good girl and didn't over indulge, but was still surprised at a weight loss.  Sweet!

The chilled soups were D.I.V.I.N.E.  I tried almost every one of them.  Love, love them.  The other day at lunch they listed a chilled apple curry soup.  When I gave my order to the waiter, he told me that maybe I didn't want to order that, as it is the WORST soup on the whole ship!  That really surprised me.  I laughed and told him that I had eaten it before and that I really like it.  Not that I would want it every day, but still.  And it was good.  They are offering lots of new combinations, so I tried as many as I could.  A couple of times I asked to have my chilled soup as a dessert, rather than as a starter.  Yum!  Love it.

Happy Wednesday.  Count your blessings, y'all, and say a wee prayer for safe travels for Brian!  Thanks...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mr. Cheese Hand


Cheesy Brian

Here is our cheesy boy, still under the wonderful blessing of nerve block.  Pain is around the corner!

June is taking such good care of him…as Dick did with June back when he was a student at GA Tech, babysitting June in exchange for home cooked meals from her parents.  What goes around, comes around!

Surgery started later, and lasted a bit longer than anticipated.  The tendon is delicately stitched back together.  No major nerves were severed, thankfully.  He will be able to do physical therapy here in Mayberry…and promises to be a good patient and not un-do all that fancy stitchery—he doesn’t want to go back under the knife again………….either knife!

We count our blessings and give thanks for the medical team, Al, and especially June.  You rock!

Thanks, everyone, for all the good thoughts and encouragement.  Accidents happen when you least expect them to happen.  And when you least want them!  Brian won’t be scuba diving on our upcoming cruise, but he will eventually be able to use that pointer finger again. 

That is what matters.

Great relief here.  Life is good, y’all!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Home, sweet home...and pacing

There is no place like home, despite the suitcases that need to be emptied, mail that needs attending to, marketing that needs to get done, etc.  We are happy to be here.

Fall colors have basically left Mayberry all dull and brown, with leaves blowing everywhere, or still clinging with their last hope on the tree limbs.  Time marches on, and Mother nature confirms that November is solidly in place.  It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost upon us, but it sure is.  I need to go turkey shopping!

So photos will have to wait a bit to get downloaded, as well as trip details, but they shall be forthcoming.  Right now I am worrying our son through outpatient hand surgery in Charlotte, wishing I could be there.  Feel free to help me worry and pray.  I have faith in the medical team, of course, but I am his mama and he is still my child, especially when anything goes wrong.  He was using his pocket knife last week to pry something open.  It slipped and cut his palm, apparently severing a tendon to his L index finger.  Hopefully it is easily fixable.  He has to live with a cast for 6 weeks, small nuisance for having a usable finger for the rest of his life.

I'll let y'all know tomorrow how he is doing.  Thanks to niece June for taking such good care of Brian.

That's it from paradise.  I need to go pace the floor awhile.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sitting and waiting

Good morning from the Magic, docked in Galveston. We are waiting in the dining room for our luggage tag number to be called. No hurry, since our flight leaves at 4.

Home. Sounds good. The trip has been fun, but home is where our we want to be. For awhile, until the next big adventure.

Happy Sunday...and happy birthday, Joan!

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday at sea

Final sea corn hole games, but we bombed out.

We have our transfers to the airport, leaving somewhat early tomorrow, so I shall have plenty of time to read blogs while waiting for our afternoon flight Sunday. I have missed my buds! And my family. My shugah supply has run out:). Home sounds mighty fine.

Life is good as we chug into Galveston, y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Friday, November 11, 2011

Destination: Unknown!

No, that is not us...that is the title of the new show time that Carnival introduced on board the Magic Wednesday night. It features Jason Byrne and the Carnival singers and dancers in a show featuring illusions, fireworks, and lots of high energy. The current cast will leave the Magic in Galveston, replaced by the new cast. Change is good, considering all the loyal Carnival repeat cruisers who appreciate new entertainment. Corn hole, speaking of entertainment, is the bean bag toss...two slanted wooden boards that have a hole in each, into which 4 bean bags are tossed. There is skill and scoring involved. It has been fun and friendly competition. MM and I are developing our tossing arms. Who's ready for a game? Today is a sea day, as is tomorrow as we head into the Gulf of Mexico toward Galveston. Home is sounding mighty good. We have missed everyone and look forward to being back in Mayberry...soon. What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Freeport, Day 2

So yesterday MM and I practiced corn hole, then got off the ship and walked around this local marketplace on the pier. Two Diet Coke purchases later, we boarded the ship in time for the corn hole game, losing on the second round. At least the powers that be listened to us and brought out a second set of the game! Duh...they had a second set onboard already and didn't think to use it??? Oh well...

We knew that the show would be crowded last night, with John being onboard. And who did we see way ahead of us in our hallway when we were heading to the theatre? John, walking forward, talking with the room stewards along the way. CD James introduced John on stage, and he was warmly welcomed and was his usual funny self. He immediately praised the staff and crew, acknowledged that he knew lots of folks were disappointed that he did not make the inaugural crossing, but he at least wanted to pop over and say hello, even though it was only for one night...flying over on Ohmygod Airlines to get here! He flies back to Miami today, then Houston tomorrow.

John invited folks to greet him on the Promenade after the show (more on that another day), and we did see him....with a long we opted to pass on by and let others have a chance to visit, since we have had our time with him on previous cruises. Bugger. Wish he could have stayed longer.

The side thruster repair apparently is going well. We depart at 8p tonight, then have two sea days, arriving in Galveston Sunday morning. We will stay onboard today and enjoy the quiet ship.

Life is good. WYWH!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fantasy neighbor

Hello from now sunny Freeport where we were welcomed with liquid sunshine and a water gun salute for the Magic's first arrival in the Bahamas. MM and I will go ashore after lunch, with less crowds exiting. Jean C (bloggers cruise bud from Canada) said at breakfast today that John is only spending tonight with us. Bugger. I was hoping he would cruise all the way to Galveston with us. We shall see.

Rough seas again all night, so it feels good to be docked and not rocking. And it will also feel good to hit land for a bit today.

Laid back and loving life. WYWH!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Lovely street scene from the HOHO bus.

So today is sea day 6 in a row. At least the weather is improving.

MM and I lost our first round at corn hole yesterday, but we'll try again for the afternoon round. The ship badly needs to purchase a second set! It seems to be the most favored activity.

We went to the past guest party last night before dinner. Entertainment is another illusionist tonight. We shall try to get in on the early show. There is always Ron at the piano bar. We are there at least for awhile every night. No, Ivana, he is not worldly famous...but he could be...he is talented and personable. MM and I rode the elevator with him the other day.

Big news...John Heald joins us in Freeport tomorrow. Woohoo!!!

That's it from the high sea, where life is good. WYWH!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sea day #4 - rain

But what the heck, we are on a cruise, so it is a good day. This is our room, but we have a bonus tub room with sink! Not too shabby, and certainly all we need.

We hit the midway point at midnight last night between leaving the Med and reaching Freeport. We still have a long way to go, arriving Wednesday. Today we have no network TV, but we still have plenty of books, activities, and things to do. We saw Secretariat, and half of Casino Royale.

They definitely need another corn hole set. There are too many folks signing up to play on the one set, so we gave up because there is no way everyone can get a turn with the time allotted for the activity. Bugger. We've met lots of nice folks, something we enjoy a lot.

That's it for today on the high sea. WYWH!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sea day on the Lido

Sunshine, live is good!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lucky me!

Dick and I attended a pro photo talk with none other than the famous Radu this morning, and he gave me this signed panorama photo!!! And we have been to Monte Carlo, so that makes it even more special.

Our kids will be proud to know that we were the corn hole champions yesterday. Who says sea days are boring? Not us.

Happy birthday to Empress Bee today! Miss you; send special hugs to you and Charlie. And to Ivana, so I could not finish that lovely bowl of pasta, but my guy sure did...and we have been back for more. The food onboard has been good everywhere. We finally learned to get to the theatre early to get seats. The comedic juggler was excellent, and we have had some good musicians. Magic guy...not so good, plus we could hardly see nor understand magic does not work!

Big new dance venue last night had to be cancelled due to rolling seas and safety concerns. A female impressionist (not impersonator!) quickly filled in the slot and was awesome...what a voice range. Hope to see her again.

We may lose satellite ability by tomorrow, since there are only fish in the ocean and they don't require a signal. Weather is sunny, windy, and 70ish. Seas are calming down. Perfect. We got to enjoy the galley tour yesterday...also learned that we will be in Freeport Wed and expect to depart @ 5 on Thurs, losing a sea day en route to Galveston. Apparently we need all 6 sea days to get to the Bahamas period, no matter which port, however we have to use Freeport for their repair facility. No choice. Bugger. We will manage.

Life is good. WYWH!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hello from Lido

Enjoying live music on the Lido. Tonight is elegant night. Seas are a bit rolling. Not many at lunch. Five more days at sea. We are enjoying everything. WYWH!
Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Glad we didn't have to stand in line earlier!  Beautiful city with perfect climate. 

Las Palmas, Canary Is...beautiful and sunny. Onboard the HO HO bus, ready for our tour.  WYWH, y'all!