Friday, October 31, 2014

Good morning, Lisbon!

We managed to stay awake till 8:00, then we crashed and slept till 8 this morning! Yay!!!

After our shower upon arrival at the hotel yesterday, we did a little exploring of our new neighborhood in search of a market for some (we have a mini kitchen), and yogurt (breakfast). My Man has gone in search of a pastry or two this morning while I am enjoying coffee in bed. Ahh, that is what I call a vacation!

There are eateries everywhere around this (and every) plaza, but we chose a simple flat rate place that offered a salad bar (good variety), soup (we didn't get to them), and grilled meats (chicken legs, pork, sausage)...all for $7,90€. And it was good.

After dinner, we sat up on the roof terrace and enjoyed the view...but not the temper tantrum of a little we called it a night.

Due to an airline strike, Bob and Lynne won't arrive here until late tonight. Bugger. They miss a whole day here, but we all adjust. That is the nature of travel--stay flexible.

Today we shall ride the HO HO bus and check out the city.

Life is good, y'all!

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Foggy Amsterdam

We just arrived and it is foggy. So am I. No sleep at all on the flight over. MM managed pretty well. No surprise there.

The flight to Lisbon departs in just over an hour, so we are enjoying 30 minutes of free wifi.

All is well. A shower and a nap will do wonders!

Cheers, y'all!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Travel day!



Since it is travel day (today AND tomorrow), enjoy a bit of German Chocolate Cake…and some cheesy little punkins:

Fall Punkins

Our flight doesn’t leave from ATL until 9something, but we need to get down there ahead of rush hour, so will be saying so long to our mountains after lunch.

There is a 2 1/2 hour layover in Amsterdam tomorrow, then on to Lisbon.

I will blog as able, peaches.  Tag along!

And now, back to double-checking my list.  Almost D fer Done, y’all!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

One more sleep…

2 bags

Two bags are out, ready to fill up.  These two, plus our backpacks, will do us, and they will be checked.  We have a stopover in Amsterdam, so we hope the bags make it to Lisbon with our arrival Thursday.  If not, we are there five days ahead of the cruise, so it should be alright.

Today, MM and I will go early vote and get other last-minute chores taken care of now.  He just left with two kitties, taking them to the vet for their check ups.  They do not like seeing the carriers out, smart little critters, because they know it will be a ride they won’t like.  Poor thangs.  We have to leave them behind tomorrow, but they will be in good hands.

I have my list out and will be checking off stuff today.  Yippee!  I look forward to a to-done list.  We got our flu shots (have you?), so that can be checked off.  And yes, I travel with lots of hand sanitizers.

Life is busy in paradise today, peaches, topped off tonight with Ansley’s choral concert.

All for hugs... and HUGS for all!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Taste of Fall

Testing blog press

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Sunday, October 26, 2014


The work crew:P1240233

Good crowd!


Great food:


The honorees…and of course there was a very special cake:


A good time was had by everyone…and all the party animals were home by 8:30. 

The end.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

It’s almost party time

The food table is ready for some great food…

LNRV party2

The tables are all set and ready for the folks…

LNRV party

Haley decorated a cutting board for everyone to sign:

LNRV board

And it even has a “Thanks…” from our family on the back side.

Ready or not, tonight we will celebrate Chuck and Mary Lou’s retirement as managers of our RV park.  At least they will still be near by to help out if we need them, and will finish out this season so that we can go on our trip.

The suitcases come out tomorrow!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

TBT–Junior-Senior Prom

These photos were stamped “Dec 62,” but the prom was actually back in the spring of that year.  The first one was taken from just inside our front door.  I always loved that piece of furniture behind me.  We called it a “secretary,” because there was (is) a desk section right behind me on the right side of it.  Nan has this piece, the little stinker.
Redding photos 001
Here is a 180 shot, next to the fire place that contained a gas heater:
Sandy Jr Sr Prom 2 001
Date Johnny died a few years ago, but I did see him at some of the class reunions.  He was a really nice guy.
Too bad these aren't in color because I can’t remember exactly what color the dress was.  I’m thinking it was a mint green because I do sort of remember the orchid he gave me having a green bow on it.  His mom was a florist, so she did an extra good job on the corsage for this special occasion.
How ‘bout those gloves?!  I was definitely styling back in those days.  Fond memories for sure.  This is the little house I grew up in, back when it was all white, had more trees around it, as well as a big Camellia bush and flowers out front.  My Mother could make a fence post sprout, and loved working in the yard.  Me, not so much.
712 First Ave 11.07
Ten years after that prom, I was a married lady with a baby.  These have been the best years, thanks to my very special MM.
Life is precious, y’all.  Enjoy it now…make some good memories.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

T minus 6

The things a sister has to do'

Good morning from a chilly Nawth Jawjah. It is 38 outside. Brrr...fall is officially here, and the leaves will soon be peaking. Well, the leaves that are still holding on for dear life, that is. The winds have been knocking a whole bunch on the ground already.

So it is about time to bring out the suitcases, sharpen up the to-do list and the packing list, clean off the desk, arrange the kitty sitter...yes, we are going on a cruise. Not just any cruise. It is a river cruise in Portugal. And then another cruise, starting in Spain!

If ya travel that far, ya might as well take advantage of being there! And so we will.

Six more sleeps, and a lot to get done between now and then.

Stay tuned, peaches.

Let the listing making begin!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The new black and other stuff

Ansley needed a “fall ball” dress, so Haley invited me to go dress shopping with them yesterday down in the big city.  We found the ideal dress at a great price on about the 3rd or 4th stop (note STOP, not store…huge difference).  It is a cute, girly, short black dress that will eventually get posted here when said girl is all decked out for the ball.

I wanted to get a black quilted vest for an upcoming trip since I will need to dress in layers for various weather.  I have a white quilted vest, but a gal needs variety, right?, and since the uniform of the day on this trip will be various black pants, I need a black, medium-density vest.  My current one is for COLD weather and is too bulky (and not needed) to take on this particular trip.  Gals will understand that logic.

No vest was found to meet my requirements and within the price I was willing to pay at the first few stores we visited.  Finally, I saw this cute pewter metallic one and the light went on in my head—this would also go with navy blue!  Bingo!  It was reasonably priced, and is now mine…and it had daughter, and more importantly, 16 y/o granddaughter approval!  Triple score!!!


The other bags contain a cute scarf, in addition to some tee-shirt hangars (if you haven’t tried those, get some—they are great for small-neck pullovers and lightweight sweaters), a travel pillow, and other less than exciting stuff. 

Haley needed some new running shoes, so we actually went to a (highly recommended) shoe store that specializes in active footwear, complete with know-how on what shoe fits which activity best.  We both got an amazing education (and help) on feet, shoes, and shoe inserts.  Haley is now the owner of an awesome pair of running shoes…and I will try some inserts to make my feet happy for all the walking I shall be doing.  More on that another day.

I loved spending time with my gals yesterday.  Oh, Macey, Faith, and Lil Haley got home this morning from their fabulous trip to DC with the 8th grade.  They are totally ready for their own beds (and undoubtedly a bit of peace and quiet).  I look forward to hearing all about it…soon.

That’s it from foggy Paradise this morning, other than I’m doing some retirement party planning today (in honor of our park managers).  It’s a busy, gray Toos-day, y’all!  Come on, Sun…

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall festival time

For over 40 years, the Sorghum Festival has been going strong.  This year’s event, now over, was a huge success.

Sorghum Festival2

Joan and I checked it out Saturday, and found lots of happy folks enjoying the crisp, then warm, fall day.



A bunch of contestants participated in the “biskit eatin” contest:

Biscuit eatin

These folks didn’t need any dinner that night, that is for sure!

Life is good in the GA Alps.  Y’all come up and visit next year, ya hear?!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happy Birthday! And more…

Blatantly stolen from Amy’s FB page, complete with her tender message:

Happy 8th Birthday to this sweet boy! He brings us so much joy and laughter. There isn't an animal he doesn't love, a fish he doesn't want to catch, a friend he doesn't want to hug and a stranger he doesn't want to talk to. I love you to the moon and back.

Alex is 8

So true.  Grumps and I love you, too.  You are such a blessing to all our lives.  I am glad y’all got to enjoy a day at the zoo today.

And this gal is in DC with her classmates, visiting with old Tom at Monticello:

Macey at Monticello 10.14

These kids are getting entirely too big!  Yes they are. 

Everyone had a busy day and will sleep well tonight.  We are lucky to have a short fella spending the night with us.

That’s the news from Mayberry, y’all!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sunny Friday

We hit New Hampshire at its colorful peak last week, so here are a few more shots of that loveliness:

Llama farm2



The gals stopped by a farm stand and picked up a few fresh veggies for dinner:



And we even spied a wee fairy door!


Lynne was a fabulous tour director and kitchen manager, along with chef Bob…the accommodations and food were superb, as well as all the excursions.  Can we do this again next fall?!

Life is good when you get to spend time with family and friends, and this trip was definitely rated good.  No, make that GREAT!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TBT - Tim

We sure wish you could be with us for your birthday today, but we can’t make that happen.  I remember this cute little fella from when I married his uncle back a few decades ago.  Our Tim was always a very interesting guy.Tim Bell

He grew a lot taller.  And lived and loved a whole bunch in his 40-something years…and was also loved a whole bunch. 

Tim, Bob, Dick (2)

Everyone misses you, buddy.  Gone, but not forgotten.  Ever.

I have been climbing the ancestral family trees on MM’s side lately, and have found several more grandparents we knew nothing about.  I now know more about MM’s relatives than he does, and am duly recording it in my family tree program. 

The Internet is a marvelous tool for ancestral digging, since it would be impossible to actually travel to all the places our relatives lived and look up local records.  Of course it is also like putting together a giant puzzle, since there are many spelling mistakes, typos, etc., out there.  It takes a lot of cross checking of facts…so the information does change occasionally when new facts are found.

I know our kids are glad I am doing the digging, but I sure hope future generations keep up the recordings! 

Family history is important, and unfortunately, there aren’t any older folks now left to answer our (many) questions.  Get the information while you can, my friends!

Life is precious, and family history needs saving.

Are you keeping records?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

This is the view of Quechee Gorge (or “George,” as Bob/Lynne’s kids called it).  It is known as Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon, and is known as one of New England’s most popular natural wonders.  It is a looong way down there.  Trust me.  And there were lots of folks joining us on the bridge.  Very popular spot.


This is a popular (to me) local spot.  Sorry to scare you away this morning, Mr. Heron.  He is in the water on the R side, undaunted by the ducks swimming toward him.  He loudly told me off as he flew away.  Hmm, I apparently interfered with his breakfast:


Remember I said we got lots of rain yesterday?  Yep, the lake rose almost 2’ by mid-afternoon, and that rain washed all kinds of debris and mud from its shores.  Said debris plugged up some culverts here, flooding some roads…and a mudslide over the mountain closed a major road to Mayberry for several hours.  It was a mess!  Two (smart) kitties remained inside ALL day long…helping (?), in between naps.  Our neighborhood was without Internet all afternoon and evening, but at least we had electricity, thankyouverymuch.

We welcome the sunshine this morning to begin the drying out process.  Mother Nature rules, but I sure wish she would share this rain somewhere it is actually needed.  We are crying UNCLE!

Enjoy your Hump Day, and respect your Mother!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wet and windy Tuesday

Fortunately the rain stopped for the annual fall parade Saturday (that we missed), however the kids left their nice band uniforms home to avoid ruining them.  That’s our Macey on drums…

Macey parade…and Ansley playing clarinet.Ansley band

Thanks to Auntie Joy for taking the photos for me.

High winds knocked down a bunch of tree limbs across the roads south of town, so I just read on FB.  Our fabulous road department is on it, and probably 10 Bubbas with chain saws are also out clearing driveways and roads as well.  Our guys are prepared!

MM got his truck loaded up and left for work already.  He has one final mowing/grinding job to get finished, and then he is done.  He is ready to retire again.  Sounds great to me, especially since we have another adventure on the horizon!

I have plenty to keep me occupied while MM is away today.  The camera is now on my deck (along with untouched mail), so I plan to download and sort through the NH/VT photos…and take care of paperwork (less exciting).

Wait…it’s raining.  A comfy chair, two kitties, a book, a cuppa coffee………oh man, how tempting!!!

Life is wet but good in Mayberry, y’all!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Saturday and Sunday

Friend Dixie had never been to Vermont, so the 10 of us fixed that yesterday. We had a nice walk about Woodstock. And a stop at a very nice glass place, complete with glass blowers and many lovely pieces of everything glass. Nice stuff!

We visited an interesting raptor center and saw lots of permanent resident Eagles, owls, and other birds of prey that can't be rehabilitated, including this cute fella who entertained us with his musical Whoo Whoo songs:

Lunch at a nifty craft beer place was great, then a stop to check out Queechee Gorge to see if it is still awesome. It is. Had to delete photo.

Another fabulous dinner at Chez Bell last night, and goodbyes to everyone this morning.

MM and I are now on the bus to Boston, heading home. Happy to be going home; sad to say so long to all. It was another great family and friends visit. We are all taking home good memories. More photos will follow...eventually.

Life is very good, y'all! Safe travels.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Critters and cuties

Lynne took the ladies to an alpaca farm yesterday. Very interesting, as was the yarn shop.

The above is part of the weaving area, not the shop. I don't knit, but now possess two lovely alpaca scarves that I will enjoy forever.

Later on Lynne took several of us on a walk through the local quaking bog. Sweet Marls was our tour guide, 10 y/o granddaughter. Rats, photo is on camera. I did get a phone of 4 y/o Miss V:

And these old ppl enjoying a nice lobster dinner:

Off to VT today.

WYWH, y'all! Gotta post while I have service.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

On lazy pond

The group had a busy day yesterday. With high winds, we could only go 3/4 up Mt. Washington on the cog railway, but it was an awesome experience. The views were outstanding, with bright fall colors below, and frost on the upper areas.

Bob took us on the Kacamagus Hwy on the way home and oh my, how beautiful...God's palette was quite a treat.

The guys are resting up this morning, doing some serious nothing.

Bless their hearts. It was 37 here this morning. Brr...inside, looking out, is still a treat. Maybe the pair of loons will come back and entertain the guys...but will they notice?

Lynne is taking us ladies on another adventure shortly. Stay tuned. WYWH!

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Thursday, October 9, 2014



Annual Ladies trip…late ‘80s in Orlando with cuzn Steph, as well as Mom and Les.ORL Ladies trip.Mom.Les

Moi, Ginny, Grampa Les, Steph(behind Les), Marj, Lynne, Mom Margaret, Carolyn

Each day of our trip was always an adventure of shopping, eating, sightseeing—whatever—just having fun and enjoying each other.  After dinner evening we would have “show and tell” and Mom (not a shopper—AT ALL) produced her very own shopping bag (I can’t remember now what it was that she purchased) just so that she wouldn’t FLUNK show and tell!  We all got a kick out of her good nature to fit into the shopping fun.  Ahh, the memories.

We are creating more memories, and carrying on a tradition the Bell gals have done since the very first trip in 1984.  Lynne had to miss that trip to NY due to having a baby, but Mom and Steph both joined the rest of us gals for an outstanding time in the Big Apple.

Mom, Les, Marj—we miss y’all!  Ginny, wish you could be here, but we are still carrying on the family tradition, and will do so as long as we are able.  Absolutely.

Life is good, y’all!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

NH greetings

The flight was smooth and Bob was waiting at the bus stop for us. Great service. And a great dinner.

This was our early morning greeting here at the pond:

After our fabulous breakfast bar:

Gals are heading to town; guys are off doing their thing.

Divide and conquer! Later gator.

Life is good, y'all!

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Suitcase is out!

Oh bother.  I see a suitcase.  That means a trip.  Am I included in this trip.  Can I go, too?  I wanna go.  Pretty please?!

Missy watching

Sorry Missy.  You and KC will have the kitty sitter here for just a few days.  We won’t be gone long though. 

Another cruise?  No, not a cruise this time.  We are going to NH to see the clan (including Don and sis Carolyn) and a few friends.  There will be good food, adult beverages, lots of conversation, and laughter (always) thrown into the mix.  And fall scenery and temps, and a couple of cutie patooties living next door to Bob and Lynne.

Oh yes, we’ll have a fine time.  And the time simply will fly by all too quickly.

We leave at o’dark thirty (yuck) tomorrow to drive to the Atlanta Airport and fly to Boston…but the early flight will be worth it…by the time we arrive at the sweet pond where Bob and Lynne live.  Can’t wait!  They also have some beautiful sunsets waiting, just for us, so we have been told.  Way cool. 

The nawthern Bells and the suthern Bells will have a blast.

I will definitely be posting some phone photos.

Cheers, y’all!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Here is the family exposing our Swiss exchange student to some fine American culture and food at the Atlanta Hard Rock CafĂ©.  Sven (sitting next to Haley) got to experience a lot of new foods and places while living with us for a year, and he learned a whole lot of Southern expressions in the process!

Fall '14 001

He was a welcome addition to our family, and a sad loss to our hearts when he died a year after going back home to Switzerland.  I still miss him.

Count your blessings, my friends.