Thursday, October 31, 2013

HalloWine advice!

And a shot of my two munchkins before Unka Brian, Aunt Faith and lil Haley whisked them off to the square Saturday for their trick or treating:

Have a Spooktacular day, y'all!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Soup's a good thing!

I got this recipe from friend Barb, which is pretty dang close to the soup at Olive Garden, which I always order when we go there for soup/salad.  The Travelingbells declare it delizioso...or is it deliziosa?!  Anyway, we loved it...and it will be made again:

Pasta e Fagioli

  • 1 lb turkey sausage, diced (I used ground beef, since that is what I had)
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 C onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced (I used more)
  • 3 oz pancetta 
  • 4 C fat-free, low sodium chicken both
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced (I will chop next time)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans white kidney beans (or great northern), drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14.5 oz cans) low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5 oz cans) low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 TBSP parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 C ditalini pasta
  • grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, etc., for serving


Brown the sausage. Saute the onion, garlic and pancetta in EVOO until tender. Toss everything into a large 6 qt crockpot. Stir well and cover. Cook on low for 8 hours. During last hour, add the pasta.

Editor's note:
Mayberry didn't have pancetta, so I used black-pepper bacon (which was good).  I did find the ditalini pasta, and think I will use a bit more next time I make this.  It totally filled my 6 qt. crockpot, so I have plenty to freeze.

Love me some one-pot meals.  Pass the crusty French bread, please!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crazy Saturday

I have two rowdy boys this chilly Saturday. Woke up to 32 here, but officially 24 elsewhere. I like my temp better, thankyouverymuch. At least the sun is finally out, so it will get a bit warmer.

Love my lil card dude...who could use a hairbrush:

Love this other lil Jammie boy, too, sporting new specs:

MM has gone to the electronic recycle place with all the dead and/or outdated stuff while I am playing with said rowdy boys.

I think I have the better job.

So what's for dinner tonight? Pasta e Fagioli soup. Just the thing on a chilly night.

Who wants to join us? I need to put down the cards and start my chop, chopping.

Life is good in Mayberry, y'all!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Foxy Friday

And this was not funny!Red-Fox-Road.

MM and I were sitting upstairs in our office talking and enjoying our morning coffee when I noticed a strange look on his face.  What???

I looked out the window where he had been looking and saw a fox (not this one—internet image) running down our driveway toward the house.  Two kitties were outside!  I flew down the steps to go outside and yell at the critter to go away, but MM called down mid-run that  the fox had already gone toward the woods.  I went out and yelled anyway.  It made ME feel better.  I don’t want him/her near the house.  Period.  I’m territorial.  This is OUR space.  YOUR space is in the woods.  Stay!

Scared.  I was.  Kitties are back inside (32 was not to their liking).  Barkely is running around sniffing.  Good dog.  Whew.  Good critters accounted for…check. 

All is well.

Life is never dull in Mayberry.  I’ll settle for a little dull right now.

Have yourselves a ginger peachy, fox-free Friday! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chilly Mayberry morning

Our blast of cold air arrived, so we had to break down and turn on the heat last night. More cold to follow. Officially it is 32 this morning. The kitties went out when I snapped this, but I don't think they will stay. Even Mowing Man (yes, he has another job) went to town for breakfast but came back home instead of going out to work. He said it was too cold to work. I agree.

The last time I looked, it was still October. It is not a good sign of what is to come when we turn on the heat this early. Just sayin.

My fleece robe and cuppa are mighty comfy this chilly morning. I may stay put in my robe, because I have a project for today. My camera has been officially declared pretty useless, so MM has a replacement coming for me. I need to clean off the memory card and work on photos anyway, so today it is.

Shopping yesterday was fun with bestie Joan. I asked her on the way home just what she had bought for herself? We laughed because we both pretty much flunked personal shopping, getting stuff for hubby/home/kids mainly. That's the way we roll.

Stay warm, peaches. I need to go put some socks on my cold feet.

It's just another chilly Mayberry day, where life is mighty good...and kitties are still outside.

Share a smile or two, y'all!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Joan and I are off to do some retail therapy today, so enjoy this sweet moment from The Wedding. The new family is braiding three small ropes to symbolize their future life together...forever.

Have a fab Wednesday. Life is good, y'all!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Overcast Tuesday

So this was my 4-hour view yesterday:

MM said the cruise control worked well, although the windshield wipers had a mind of their own and decided to wipe occasionally.

Cruise control is broken on his F-250. And it is not automatic. I used 5 of the 6 gears...for 4 hours. That man has himself a good woman. Do I hear an Amen?

And for the last hour or so...think mountain driving...I was pulling this:

Granted it is a lightweight boat trailer, but I was fearful I would forget it was back there, since it was hardly visible. Whew. No casualties to cars or mailboxes.

Sweet hubby offered to take me anywhere I wanted to stop for dinner, but I just wanted to get home where nice leftovers were waiting to be heated and I didn't have to be concerned about parking a truck and trailer. Rain check on that nice dinner, MM. I earned it.

I think I have mentioned life is never dull with my guy. He's also a keeper.

The newlyweds will be back today; laundry is going; kitties are sleeping. The leaves are popping a bit more, but are also rapidly falling. And the sun stays mostly absent, adding more chill to our fall air. We will blink, and it will be November.

That's life in Mayberry, y'all! It's the very best place to be.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Another project

It cranked.

Anyone need a used ambulance? Maytag Man has purchased this lovely new project. No, he is NOT gonna become Medic Man. I forbid that. This is supposed to be a temporary ownership. It had better be.

Hello from Podunk, SC, where MM has officially been placed on truck shopping ban, bless his heart. He already has enough projects to last him two lifetimes. Uncle!

I will be following this thing back to GA.

Wish us well. MM is tinkering with the motor. It may be a long day! Fortunately, we are in his work truck...with tools. With parts.

Life is never dull with MM, y'all.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

The New Mr. & Mrs.!

It was an absolutely fantastic wedding. Everything went well, and I know there are some good photos that will show up.

I was sort of busy, so enjoy these from my phone.

Everyone held sparklers to light the way for Brian and Faith to descend the steps to the parking lot to make their getaway. Some of the guys added the required trailing, noisy buckets to the truck bumper. It's the right thing to do.

And this morning MM and I are slowly enjoying our cuppa joe, content with our expanded family.

Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes. We are indeed mighty blessed, and continually grateful that we moved to Mayberry, where our three kids found their soulmates.

Life is good, y'all, despite tired tootsies!

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Girls night!

A quick HI this busy day---Wedding Day!

Faith's four sisters had a fun evening last night for the bride, the moms, and Brian's two sisters.

We had lots of good food, plenty of laughs, and lots of getting to know the other side of the family, as these photos will show:

It is time to go pick up flowers and decorate.

Stay tuned.

It's gonna be a memorable day, with lots of love and smiles.

We are getting a new daughter-in-law, a new granddaughter, and lots more good family.

So blessed!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Lucky 7!

It is tradition in Amy and Jason’s household that the birthday person gets breakfast in bed on their birthday.  Alex got a candle in a special treat.

Alex is 7!

He’s a happy camper.

My Mother always called us (too early) to sing Happy Birthday, so Grumps and I (of course) called Alex and sang to him (condensed version) before he left for school.  Thankfully, it is the love that is conveyed, not the great singing voices.

With five kids in my birth family, I truly don’t remember any birthday celebrations for any of us…no parties, that is for sure.  I am sure there must have been cake, because Mother was a good baker.  And with my birthday being a few days before Christmas, guess what………no birthday presents in my past either!

It seems that parties for small kids can be “over the top” these days, and I am not for that, but I do want each child to feel special on their, well, special day.

That’s how we roll.

Do you have a special birthday tradition?

Grab a donut while you are thinking…if there are any left.  Hurry!

Life is good in Mayberry today, filled with lots of love for birthday boy Alex.  Lucky boy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rainy Thursday

We have off and on drizzle today, with a cold front moving down. I will have to bring in my orchids pretty soon to keep them protected. They don't like cold.

Speaking of, I took Alex to the doc yesterday. Meds are now doing wonders on the boy, so he has gone back to school this morning. Everyone is happy.

Line dancing this morning, Thursday supper with friends, healing grandson...yes, life is definitely good.

And a wedding on Saturday!

I need to check my to-do list.

It's all good. I am all smiles.

How's your day?

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday, two boys

Alex is coughing and ran a fever last night, so I have both boys while Amy goes to a business luncheon. Tough duty indeed on this fall morning.

Be good to your kids...they pick the nursing home, so I hear. It's easy being good to our great kids. Blessed.

The weatherman said our leaves will peak in two weeks. The wind is knocking off a whole bunch of them already, while the sun is playing peekaboo this morning. I just want good weather for THE wedding this Saturday.

Brian and Faith. Saturday. Excited!!!

Germs, begone! Alex has a birthday coming up, and we have a time for sickness this week. No sirree.

It's just another day here in Mayberry, y'all! It will be...good.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Foggy Monday

Even though it is foggy, it is sooo good to be home.

Missy was glued to MM's lap all evening, so she is giving me equal time, along with some kneading, this morning. I got equal treatment from KC last night, who wound up being my pillow partner this morning. There's nothing like kitty breath early in the morning! They missed us.

So today's excitement will be unpacking, laundry, and a visit to the beauty "saloon," as my sweet friend Helen called it.

We enjoyed seeing the new color that popped while we were gone. A little sun is needed before I can get some photos though.

Vacation time is over...and it is back to room steward, no dining room with staff. Sigh. And I have to think about something to fix for dinner. I've enjoyed being spoiled, but that came to a screeching halt yesterday for sure.

Home, sweet home. Check.

We are happy to be here, of course!

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Boston Sunday

Brilliance views:

Good morning from Logan Airport! Y'all don't need photos of planes, right? These two are from one of hallways to the specialty restaurants and bars.

We had no problem taking the city bus to the airport, with one change of buses for $2.50 instead if the ship's shuttle for $27. No thank you. We are putting our savings toward an earlier flight home. Win/win to get us home about 3 hours earlier. We likey.

Ursula and Roy followed our path to the airport...and we ran into them again, having a good laugh over them stalking us.

MM is hooked up to his iPod and is playing on the iPad with Logan's free wifi. He likes. We have an hour before boarding.

It has been fun, but home is where we wanna be.

Life is definitely good. Happy Sunday, y'all!

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Brilliance @ Portland, ME

Good morning from cool, overcast Portland!

We got on the city HO HO bus...$5 for all day. We rode to the old town center but got off because the bus was too hot.

MM found a Starbuck's, so we are sitting and watching the traffic as he checks his email. He needs a smart phone!

Many of the buildings remind me of European cities we have visited. We are always drawn to the old stuff.

We left Roy and Ursula on the bus. Guess who just walked in here! Roy came to get coffee while Ursula is across the street making a phone call. We are being stalked!!! JK.

Ursula waved after I snapped the photo. Sweet people.

Portland is a neat old city.

So our waiter has learned that I like the chilled soups as dessert. They are soo accommodating.

Peach and strawberry. I think the honeydew was my fave though. Imagine a green soup. Yum. I forgot to photo it.

MM is concentrating. Bless his heart.

So we are off to walk about and enjoy the scenery.

Life is good, y'all! WYWH!!!

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Brilliance @ Bar Harbor

Hello from a lovely town park overlooking the harbor, with home in the background...RCI's Brilliance of the Seas:

We had to tender over and with the long lines to disembark this morning, we stayed onboard and watched a movie...Jack Reacher. Excellent! We both have enjoyed books by Lee Child on the JR series.

Tonight is another formal night; Portland tomorrow. Boston and home on Sunday. It is nice to be back in the US...with phone service. I like to stay connected.

The weather is fabulous, much like back in Mayberry. The leaf color is a bit further along here than the other stops we have made. We are only seeing pigeons thus far. No whale sightings. Bugger.

Life is good. WYWH, y'all!

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Brilliance in St. John's NB

We have a sunny, cool day for out walkabout the old town. We have saw the reversing falls and other sights when we did the Moho caravan here, so we are enjoying more of the city than we gift to see last time.

Cruise is going well. Bar Harbor tomorrow, with folks hoping the national park will finally be open. Glad we visited on one of our previous trips because it will probably still be closed. Bugger to politicians.

WYWH, y'all! Life is definitely good, aye?

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Brilliance, Day 3

We had a smooth day of cruising yesterday. Right after breakfast, we were walking by the atrium when the dancers appeared, so we sat to enjoy the show. It was practice for this aerial show that we saw right after dinner:

Awesome! Those guys have muscles and more muscles.

The real stage show later on was the guy who sang the theme from "Happy Days." We enjoyed him; the comic the night before, not so funny. Oh well. Tonight is the first production show.

Hello from Halifax. It was raining this morning upon docking an hour late due to high winds. Ursula reported at lunch that she and Roy waited 1 1/2 hours to get back on the ship after their excursion to Peggy's Cove. We are staying onboard and reading, happy that we have been here twice before and have seen the highlights, including Peggy's Cove.

We have a Crown & Anchor member private party to attend before dinner. And a luncheon for same tomorrow, a sea day.

There is a variety of live musical entertainment onboard, so we are enjoying that. The cabin hallways are quite narrow, but it is overall a nice ship. We've met lotsa folks from GA and TX, y'all! One couple at our dinner table for 12 (!) is from Atlanta.

Having fun. I just enjoyed a line dancing class.

We will be in St. John's, New Brunswick Wednesday. WYWH!

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Brilliance day 1

Just in case I don't post tomorrow (sea day), here is a look at home, sweet home for this week:

Sitting in the cruise terminal waiting to get onboard, I spied sista Ursula and Roy from Mayberry! What are the chances of that???

Our 3 chitlins at Quincey Market before heading to the airport and home:

Miss y'all already. Be safe.

We have two hours before our own departure. A nap might be in order.

We will be in Halifax Tuesday. Check.

Miles and smiles, y'all!

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Rainy day in MA

How did I get to be the short one???

We hugged and said goodbye to everyone and are now heading to the pier in a light rain. Not a good Kodak day, but we shall manage.

MM will drop me and the luggage off at the pier, them go return the rental. Check. Good plan.

Aww, it was fun, but a new adventure begins.

Come aboard. We have a sea day tomorrow...time to relax and explore the ship. Check.

Life is damp but good, y'all! Safe travels to everyone.

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Here comes the bride!

Sweet Heather...

Gussied up auntie and uncle:

Beautiful old church:

Almost "I do" time!!!

Life is good, y'all!

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Lobstah roll!

Yummy. That's what's for lunch here in rainy Westford:

Miss V said CHEEESEEE!

WYWH, y'all.

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