Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of 2014…


And I would love to say, END of jaw stuff, but at least I can say that it is better.  My golf ball sized salivary gland is smaller, but not gone, and still uncomfortable.  Bugger to that.

Sweet Doctor Empress Bee checked with her fabulous medical source, who recommended hot compresses and massages of the affected area.  That has helped, and I know I will get well.  I declare it to be so!

Eating is still a challenge.  I managed a nice bowl of minestrone soup last night.  We are meeting friends for lunch today (I’m ready to get outta here!), so there will be a certain fisherman’s stew that I hope to manage to eat for lunch.

Our resort is having a traditional NYE dinner party tonight, and MM bought tickets for us to attend.  I predict an early night for us to go visit awhile, eat dinner (well, MM can), and then come back to the coach…with a boxed-up dinner plate.

Whatever y’all do tonight, be safe, Peaches.  Goodbye, 2014.  I look forward to 2015 and all the adventures awaiting us!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sick sucks!

It started with an ear ache Christmas Eve, then I woke up yesterday looking as if I had mumps on that bad ear side. Bugger. Don't even ask for a photo of that!

We arrived in WPB, and I immediately went to the nearby clinic. I have an infected salivary gland, in addition to an ear infection. Lucky me.

I am on drugs, so I will beat this. Meanwhile, I am beached on the couch...but grateful that it has been yearS since I've been sick. And grateful for my onboard care team. I have had several cat scans already this morning, but have to schedule a real CT one to rule out a salivary stone. Never heard of one; don't want one, thankyouverymuch.

Tomorrow will be a better day, ever the optimist!

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Have a Merry and blessed Christmas to all!

From the TrAveling Ding a-lings and kitties and Gang

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve is upon us



But first, a huge THANKS to my bestie girls for our fabulous outing yesterday in honor of my birthday, beginning with front-door pick up, a glass of wine, and three of my most favorite and funny gals on this whole planet.

We began our spa visit (after shedding clothes and donning robes), with a light lunch while relaxing on loungers by the fireplace.  Can it get any better than that?  Yes, it can.  One word:  massages!  What a piece of heaven on earth.

There was more…this time, relaxing on loungers, in front of the fireplace, with wine.  Oh yes!  Talking, laughing…I love my girls.  Did I mention that?

We have declared that this will be an annual event.  The Queen has spoken, and The Queen rules.  At least occasionally.

Thanks, my sweet girls.  I love y’all to the moon and back, but now it is time to get grounded back in reality, and get stuff ready for tonight’s family Christmas Eve celebration.

Our CE tradition is the family church service, followed by dinner here, then opening of Christmas gifts.  This works well for all the kids, then they can spend Christmas Day with their other families.  We share.

From our home and hearts to yours, may you each have a very blessed Christmas, wherever you are.

With love from Sandy and Dick.

christmas spirit

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Two more sleeps!

This is what Mayberry looks like today, minus the band. That's our drummer girl Macey there on the L at the Christmas parade a couple of weeks ago. Her sister is up ahead somewhere, playing the clarinet. I wasn't there, darn it, so this photo was blatantly stolen from a friend...who doesn't mind.

Small town living is the best. Cold weather, not so much. Two more sleeps and MM and I are outta here, going to find warm weather. Hallelujah!

I have soup makings ready, and a pork butt marinating for our family Christmas Eve dinner here tomorrow night. I'll put the crockpot on the deck tonight with the pork slow cooking, that way we don't have to smell it all night and all day. Not that it smells bad (quite the opposite), I just don't want to smell something cooking for that long.

So my birthday season continues today with my terrific big girls...our wee girls are not going along with us.

I know we will have some girly fun! Check back tomorrow and read about it.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Lucky me

Thanks to Will, I will have soft hands and happy feet! He picked ME as the recipient for the school Christmas craft project from last week. Lucky me!

Thanks to everyone for my birthday love. And it isn't over yet! My sweet big girls are kidnapping me tomorrow for lunch and a special afternoon adventure. Casual dress required, and the shaving of legs. I think the word SPA was mentioned. I may never return home! JK, honey.

My Marvelous Man surprised me very much with spring tickets to a Celtic Woman concert, and overnight reservations. Way to go, babe! Love it. And you.

I sit here and say to the world that I am one very blessed woman........who is absolutely grounded in reality. Yep, it's time to make up the bed, start laundry, load the moho, yada, yada. Normal stuff. No room steward, no chef, no maid...but no complaints. I am surrounded by love of family and friends.

It's just another Monday in Mayberry, y'all!

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Birthday lunch

Everybody say cheese!


Birthday gal, MM, Brian and Faith:


Aunt Amy and her mini-me-Macey and Madison:


Sweet girls with short boy who has two hollow legs:


Haley and Logan:


We talked; we laughed; we ate.  Oh what fun!

I love y’all bunches!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Toad stool

I laughed when friend Barb suggested MM’s double decker hauler for the toad/4 wheeler might be called a toad stool.  Here it is loaded up…for practice:

Toad stool

They are not all battened down for travel.  MM just wanted to see how they look and take a final measurement—6” shorter than the moho, so it will tow just fine and dandy.  That MM is one smart and handy guy.  I think I’ll keep him.

And also this guy, who is having a birthday today:

Jason, Amy tacky sweaters

Jason is another handy, dandy guy to have around.  He and MM often get themselves into a lotta trouble together, with all their many projects.  Yessirree.  They sure do.  We love’em anyway, bless their hearts.

So today’s big project is to clean the inside of the moho, and get it whipped into shape to depart.  Soon, and without the toad stool.  Only the “toad” is going with us.  And the kitties.

My leaving to-do list is all printed out, and I’m checking off stuff!

It’s just another day in the cold N GA Alps, y’all!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

TBT–Christmas(es) Past

Haley posted these two “pre-Amy” photos on FB this morning:

Haley, Sandy, BrianHaley, Brian

So I had to do a little digging to find a few more that included their new baby sister who arrived a year or so later:Kids Xmas '78


scan0002scan - Copy

The last photo was dated 1984; the first pair had to have been taken in ‘75, since I was very preggars Christmas ‘76 (that’s the way this mom’s calendar memory works). 

And now, all these sweet little kids are grown and have careers, families, and homes of their own.  The time has flown by…all too rapidly.  And I still have about 89,572 more family photos to scan in! 

So the cycle of life and memories continues, as does the scanning.  Help!!!

Have a ginger peachy TBT, y’all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Double-decker car hauler

MM has been a mighty busy boy, working out an engineering design for a double-decker car hauler that will haul both the ATV and the “toad” (our car) behind the moho (mainly…it could also be pulled by a truck, of course.  Be prepared!).

This particular trailer (that he already owned) didn’t quite work, so he went back to the drawing board and figured some more.

Dick, 4 wheeler trailer

And back to online shopping, where he found a trailer in Atlanta that he could easily modify. 

First, he had it sandblasted by a local guy to rid it of salt and rust:


Then, MM welded on some more braces, added a tool box, and then painted it all over with black gunk (a rust preventative):


This guy hates, HATES, to paint, but it was a necessary step for rust prevention.  Git-er-done!

He made the upper rack for the ATV…and more painting:


Here is the mostly finished product, ready to use whenever we need to haul both items!


Ramps attach to the back end to drive up onto the bed, but they were still wet and drying up at the shop after having the gunk applied, so they aren’t shown.  They store somewhere (I think he said UNDER the trailer.  Anyway, he has it all figured out.  At last.

MM’s happy. 

His hands are still speckled with black gunk.

Did I mention he HATES to paint?

Happy trailering, honey!  Good job.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ring, a-ling, a-ling…


Brasstown Ringers

Joy and I attended a lively handbell bell ringing performance at her church yesterday afternoon.  The Brasstown Ringers once again brought a beautiful selection of music to entertain the audience, and get us all in the Christmas spirit.

Haley and I took lessons with this group a few years ago to help us with our own wee handbell playing at our church.  Unfortunately, it takes lots of practice and lots of folks to make a handbell choir, and we just don’t have enough folks dedicated to this endeavor.  Bugger.  Maybe someday we can get active again.

MM and I did run into Mrs. Claus the other night, hanging out with some old guy dressed in red, but who wasn’t Santa…but we won’t tell on her, and I know y’all will keep it a secret!

Mrs. Claus, Lamar

My sweetie and I are still working on year-end stuff.  I need to do some Christmas gift wrapping, check my list twice (you can’t check it just once), and get a few more things cleared off my desk.

It’s just another day in cold Mayberry, where we are already dreaming of palm trees and flip flops.

Life is good, y’all!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Baby, it’s cold outside…



The official temp was 20 this morning when I woke up waaay too early.  That’s OK, because this body is staying inside until it warms up!

Don’t we have the cutest little elf?!  Amy did a Christmas gift project for Will’s class Thursday, so I went over to assist her…and get some sugah from my wee sweetie.

Amy had already made up a big batch of hand/foot scrub (Epsom salt, olive oil, peppermint oil).  She had the kids place the crystals in small Mason jars, add a paper Christmas muffin cup on top of the lid (great idea!), then screw on the lid ring, and place a small bow on top (why didn’t I get a photo of the finished jars?  Sheesh).  She had product labels for the outside that I placed on each jar, and I wrote each child’s name on a label that went on the bottom of the jar to identify the owner.  Easy peasy and useful gift for each child to take home to mom, dad, grandma…anybody.

That Amy is a good mom.  She has done a class craft for all three of her kiddos, spreading lots of Christmas cheer in the county.  It’s fun to pay forward a little happiness.

I have a warm, cuddly girl sitting in my lap this morning.  She doesn’t like the cold outside any better than I do, and it also means that MM is not here.  She is such a daddy’s girl, but I settle for second best and am OK with that status.  I remind her that I am the one who cleans out her littler box, but that never moves up my rank.  Sigh.

Stay warm…and spread some Christmas cheer, y’all!

Friday, December 12, 2014


Gosh, I got so busy I forgot to post a photo this morning, so here are two…a photo of all my siblings (I am second from R):

mickey,sandy,donna kay, delle,nan

Sadly, only three of us are still living (this photo was taken when brother Mickey died a few years ago):

Redding gals

We still line up in birth order!  Some things never change, no matter how old we get.

Carry on.  And stay warm!  It’s been a cold day here in Mayberry.  Me no likey!

UPDATE:  Blogger would not let me post this last night.  What’s up with telling me I am “forbidden” to post?  First, annoying word verification (that I can’t get rid of), posting ads (that I did NOT approve), and now this?  Mama ain’t happy!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Merry Kissmas!

Dang it. I didn't get a single photo at the Christmas party last night. Our hostess had two large crockpots of soup, and everyone else brought salads and desserts. Yummylicious! And a good time was had with the sistas.

Thanks to Haley for creating the little cards for me. I gave each of the gals this little care package to help get them through the holidays. Everyone needs extra kisses, especially chocolate ones.

Winter is about to wear out its welcome around here. At least there is no snow, but our temps are not even getting up to 50 until maybe Friday. I am seriously counting down the days till Christmas, and it is not because of Santa. Well, the fat man is keeping us here to celebrate with the kiddos, but then we will leave the cold in our rearview mirror!

I'm checking a few more things off my to-do list, despite my desk still being a mess. At least I am slowly whittling down that mass of paperwork, no thanks to my two assistants, bless their hearts. Because of said cold weather, they both want to stay inside...and help. KC makes a terrific paperweight.

Y'all stay warm...and enjoy a little piece of chocolate every now and then.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I can see clearly now...

Great success for Brian and LASIK eye surgery yesterday. Great relief for Mom to talk with him this morning! Nurse Faith took good care of him last night, waking him up for eye drops as prescribed. She's a keeper.

His eyes feel a little bit scratchy this morning, but he was able to drive himself back to the doc for his check up. Kudos to the surgical team!

So, the usual December stuff is going on around here--finishing up Christmas cards, Christmas online shopping, year-end tax (boring) stuff.

Tonight is our annual Beta Sigma Phi Christmas party, as well as the choral and band concert our sweet girls are in. Of course they are scheduled on the same night! Urrrggh. I need a clone!

Despite the cold, my two assistants wanted out this morning. They rewarded me by bringing in a little birdie that unfortunately got played with a little too much.

How's your day going?

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

It must be Christmas season!

A group of ladies at our church put on an annual Advent Wine Tasting, and it was yesterday, another fine event, especially enjoyed with my two lovely daughters:

Of course it was held on the same day of the Christmas party at the resort for folks involved in all that land work that's been going on. We had to get gussied up for that one:

Not too shabby! MM cleans up, when he has to!

Have yourselves a ginger peachy Sunday, yall! Today we will be back in relaxing clothes, that is for sure. Back to normal.

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tacky, tacky

You be the judge--tacky, or perhaps merely vintage?

Last evening in photos at the Kris Kringle Market...Ansley (far L, almost sporting a red bow in her hair) and the high school choral group:

And some of Ansley's adoring, sometimes annoying, fans:

And the balloons are still floating this morning...and not popped...yet!

It's raining outside; thank goodness basketball games are indoors this morning for the chitlins. Grammie will be cheering them on, while Grumps hightails it to Atlanta to pick up a trailer for another project.

Busy Saturday, but that is just normal life here in Mayberry.

Happy Saturday, y'all!

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday fun. Really?

I get to keep these three munchkins tonight while Amy and Jason go to a tacky Christmas party. She had the nerve to come over yesterday to raid my closet! Can you imagine that?! OK, so I hadn't worn that particular Christmas blouse in maybe 15 or 20 years, but there is no reason to laugh at it. It may come back in style! She promises photos.

Someone, that would be me, seriously needs to tackle the Christmas card list and get cracking. At least everything is now on the dining room table, so I consider that positive progress.

This dreary day is a good one to sit and work on projects. Even the kitties don't wanna stay outside, bless their little hearts. And y'all know how much help they will be!

That's the excitement in Mayberry on this Friday. Just life being (somewhat) normal.

Who wants to come over later and play Uno with us? Game on.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014



Virgil Redding, Pat Maddox, Sandy

This is my cousin Pat and me with our grandfather Virgil.

virgil redding,allene maddox,sandra redding

Pat’s mom (Daddy’s sister Allene)…and a group shot:Redding Family Group Picture 7.48

This photo was made July 1948, and most all these folks are now gone.  Cousins Pat, John, Phil, and Faye are the only ones left.  The blonde boy on the front R is my brother, Mickey, who died just a few years ago.  My father is back R, who was one of 10 children—two brothers and one sister shown here.  My mother was off birthing my sister, I suppose, since she is absent from the photo, and July was the right time frame for the photo and Donna Kay’s birth. 

Too bad there is no one around to tell the story, because I am sure there was a good story that could be told with this much kin  all gathered in one spot.  That new baby girl was born with some complications, so that probably brought everyone together.  We’ll never know for sure.

Although I only have one memory of this grandfather, I did and do know everyone else in these photos, and am happy to preserve a little bit of the past.

Making memories, one photo at a time.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Scary sounds

KC, warm floor

Our boy scared us last night.  We heard some awful animal noises outside way after dark, with no KC indoors.  Still no boy at 2a, or 4a.  Mommie was worried.  MM got up at 7, and there was the boy, minus his collar, wanting to come inside!

He is tired, but fine, and not telling anything about his adventures.  Butthead!  How do you put a kitty on restriction?

Since we are running out of November, I did my five-minute Christmas decorating yesterday—red bow on grapevine wreath on the front door, Christmas table runner on dining room table, fake tree placed in living room (topped by a red bow), and some Christmas tea towels.  D fer done.  Simple, no fuss stuff…because it will have to be put away before we head south to the land of palm trees.

I love the smell of a real tree, so I need to dig out my Christmas candles.  Yep, I forgot those.

Sure, I miss having a big tree, filled with all the special decorations we’ve collected and enjoyed over the years.  Those are part of the legacy we will leave for the children and grandchildren to enjoy, because I’m thinking big-tree days are totally over in this household of two.  I’m OK with that.

Have a great Sunday.  I plan to walk a bit in the woods, hunting for a blue kitty collar.  Chances are slim to none that I will find it, but I will try.

Life is never dull.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday, playing catch up…

Ansley fall ball

I finally got a photo of Ansley (on the L), all decked out for Fall Ball with two of her besties.  Somehow or other in all the teenage haste, no photo was taken of her alone.  She is loving the ease of her short hair after donating for Locks of Love, remember?  Sure you do.

Did y’all know that both black and green olives grow on the same tree?  Not me.  Bob learned the hard way that they are NOT tasty right from the tree.  I would trust him on that tip.


We literally saw hundreds of acres of terraced olive groves that are centuries old.  These terraces were created by manual labor.  Think about that!  OUCH, says my back.


The Portuguese government has control over where grave vines can and cannot be planted…in the shale ground.  The vines never get watered, except by what rain provides and shale shares.  Shale is good, because it absorbs the heat of the sun that then gets released to the vines during the night.  They even use shale strips to stake the grape vines, rather than use wood stakes.  That solves a rot problem!

Check out this orchid “tree” that was in the lobby of the Lisbon Ritz:


There were dozens of pots containing hundreds of orchids in this big, fat arrangement.  Really outstanding.

This photo was taken from the rooftop of the Ritz, overlooking a beautiful plaza and the city of Lisbon:


It was 23 at our house this morning.  Thankfully, the sun is out and we are now above freezing.  This is unusual for the North Georgia Alps, even for late November.  I’m thinking palm trees already!

Who wants to go to Florida?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Turkey and all the trimmings

MM attacking the turkey:

Logan bought an infrared cooker and this was its maiden try out--no oil, healthy cooking. Boy, was that bird both moist and tasty. I brought home the carcass and am making a big pot of soup for tonight. Yum! The house is smelling mighty good.

We had all the usual Thanksgiving menu items, and everything was delish, as usual. Everyone brought a dish...or three. Haley had it all organized quite well (no surprise there). Maybe she will do it again next year, now that she is so experienced?!

Not to let Mother Nature be outdone by the Halloween flurries, we also got a sprinkling in honor of turkey day. And it is cold today! If this keeps up, MM and I will be seeking some warm weather before Santa arrives! Brrr...

I feel for the folks without power in New England. Maybe Mayberry isn't so cold after all!

Today, I am especially grateful for electricity...fleece, and warm socks...and soup!

Stay warm, y'all!

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