Friday, May 30, 2014

The horse tickler

Faith made a wish and threw her coin into the very famous Trevi Fountain.  But, look closely at her finger:

Faith, Trevi Fountain

Either she was gonna tickle the hoof, or high five the critter.  I’m not sure which.  And the funny thing is, Faith being the horse woman is very comfortable with any of them, even marble ones.  She got a good laugh at the photo…and it also made me smile, but she does that to me anyway.  Great gal; lucky Briney.  They are having a fabulous time.

This is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome, and is also one of the most famous in the world.  It has appeared in many movies, and countless photos.  We have a few somewhere ourselves.  Photos have to be strategically shot, because there are so many buildings entirely too close to it to allow long-range photos.  And always a bazillion tourists crowding it.

I’m glad we saw it, but we really don’t need to go back and fight the crowds.

Missy presented me with another snake yesterday, bless her little hunting heart.  Broom and dustpan to the rescue, yet again.  This is snake #3 in this month alone.  Uncle!  You’ve already reached your summer quota and summer isn’t even here yet.  These are good snakes, and I want them left outside, capiche?!

Have yourselves a ginger peachy (snake-free) Friday.  I’m hoping…

Thursday, May 29, 2014

TBT, c 1982


Bell grandchildren c 1982

The year was either 1982 or 1983, judging by the size of Jason there in Sean’s arms.  The tall guy is Tim.

Brian is in the front row with the hat on.  News flash:  He and Faith have safely arrived in Rome…where they will hopefully continue to BE safe and enjoy all the wonderful sights, history, food, and (good) experiences there.

Here is the gang for our farewell to WPB breakfast at John G’s on Monday, full as ticks after feasting on the fabulous cinnamon-nut French toast.  To die for…srsly.

Bell gang

Amy and I had fun trying to teach Don and Carolyn how to text and Facetime:

Don, Carolyn, Amy text lesson

Maybe there’s hope for these old dogs to learn new tricks…if only they can remember what we taught them!  We laughed a lot, so it was a good thing we were seated in the alcove away from most other diners.  We honestly tried to keep the noise level down!  We really did.

It’s just another day here in our mountain paradise, getting the moho ready for another adventure.  In June.  Involving some Rocky Mountains.  Yeah, baby!

Life is good, y’all!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

From Italy, with love…

Nice shot of Firenze, Ponte Vecchio at night:

Faith, Brian Firenze Ponte Vecchio

Throw in a little “bike porn” for daily travels:

Bike porn

…that is the view from their bikes…

And this yummy stuff is “on every corner”…thud…cioccolateria:

Italian cioccolateria

And “everyone” rides these:

Italian scooters

No thank you!  Not me.

And this news is just in from Faith, posted from Palazzo Vecchio a few minutes ago:

Yay! So happy I got my spaghetti and meatballs I've been craving since we got here! I have learned that this is not common in this region of Italy. It is a Sicilian dish, and so you generally have to go further south to find meatballs, but we found them, and they were delish! I got a pic, but I'll have to post it later! Also got to see the famous Uffizi gallery and the Bargello, both of which hold some of the greatest collections of art in the world including Michelangelo, Donatello, and so many more! Having the time of our lives! Ciao!

I am loving having this instant news from our kids as they travel so very far away.  Modern technology brings them just a bit closer to home…and my heart.

Keep making those good memories.  Ciao, my loves!  Pedal on.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Italian honeymoon—Florence, Pisa

Our kids safely arrived in Rome, and immediately took the train to Florence.  I am sooo grateful they have Internet access so that they can post photos for me to, um, borrow.

Brian, Faith Rome train station

They have already biked to Pisa to assist in the support of the leaning tower.  Here is proof:

Brian, bike, Pisa

Faith Bell, Pisa Tower

MM, Haley, and I were first there in, um, 1989…I think…and we got to walk all the way up to the top of the tower.  There are no guard rails at the top; definitely not OSHA approved, and it is very windy, even on a calm day.  It is not for the feint of heart!  I think it is still closed to the public for now.

I remember being surprised at how worn down the marble steps are leading up to the top, but considering construction began in 1173, and how many millions of feet have climbed these steps, it is no wonder they have obvious dips worn into them.

Brian, Faith

Here they are at the Arno River in Florence, with Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) in the background (no, Haley was not with us on that particular trip):

Brian, Faith Ponte Vecchio bridge

It is nice having our kids walk in the footsteps of where MM and I have traveled, and also MM’s mother before us.  Travel is in our genes, that is for sure, and I am so happy that Faith is now experiencing the country of her ancestors.

Ciao, my kids.  Safe travels…and keep those photos coming!

Monday, May 26, 2014


Sitting at PBI waiting for our flight to Atlanta. Thank goodness for electronics.

Had breakfast at John G's, then took Din and Carolyn around for some sightseeing.

Tim's service was lovely. It was great seeing lots more family and good friends. As I said before, it was a happy/sad occasion, but we have some closure now on Tim's untimely death.

Looking forward to home, and eternally grateful to all our military, past and present.

Life is good!

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday travels and stuff

Dick, Amy and I are heading to W Palm Beach, leaving Mayberry at o’dark thirty to go to the airport for our flight.

It will be a happy/sad occasion.  We are attending a memorial service for our nephew Tim, Bob’s oldest son.  We’ll see lots of family and friends, and share some good memories, eat dinner at his favorite restaurant, and take lots of photos.

Tim Bell

He was a cute little fella and a good guy; gone way too soon.

Tim, Bob

Tim, we’ll miss ya, buddy…and always remember you with a smile.  May you RIP…at last.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bon voyage!

I am not sure Italy is ready for these two, but Brian and Faith are leaving on a big jet today, beginning their delayed honeymoon.

They have a fabulous trip all planned out, with stays in Florence, Lucca, and Rome. Just the two of them, creating a lifetime of memories in a beautiful country. BTW, Faith-y has Italian ancestors, and this will be her first visit to Italy.

They will post photos as they can, and I will be snagging them. And sharing. Of course!

Safe travels, you two. You can't be replaced, but Dad and I will fly over and bail y'all out if we have to!

Life is good here in Mayberry for sure, despite already missing two of my kiddos.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Hello, Grammie

Do we get a treat? We're being good.

Of course!

I had another sweet visitor this morning. Alex brought over some fresh banana-nut muffins. Yum! Thanks, Amy.

Work, work:

No, those toys don't belong to MM, but he and his brother had some just like these back when they had the gravel pit. Big toys!
Expensive toys!!! Many guys are hard at work on this land project. It will be beautiful when completed.

My own work today involves laundry and a computer or two...with beautiful weather outside...calling me.

Who is having the most fun? Hmm...

I think the answer to that is Penny and Barkley! Another treat? Sure!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

TBT biker babes


My first bike

Our first born had just turned a year old in this photo.  And this was my very first bike, and it, of course, was a very second-hand bike.  MM and his brother had a gravel pit at the back of our family farm, so Haley and I would frequently hop on the bike and ride back there to see…and feed…him.

I always said that I married for better and for worse…and for lunch!  Two more children came along, then when all three were in school, MM started taking me OUT for lunch occasionally, since we didn’t have to also pay for a baby sitter.  Smart plan.

Today is the last day of school for all the short kiddos.  Haley’s class totally rocked their CRCT test scores, so she is mighty proud of them.  Teachers, of course, still have school to attend after today, so it isn’t summer for them quiet yet.  But soon.

I am sooo proud of Haley, Amy and Faith for being fantastic teachers and making a difference in so many young lives.  I wish I could tell a few special teachers how much they helped shape me over the years, but sadly that is not possible.

So, it is another beautiful day in our mountain paradise, and time for a pedi this afternoon, since it is finally flip flop weather.  Yay!!!  Me likey.

Have yourself a ginger peachy throw-back, thankful Thursday, y’all!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday stuff

Up way too early (for me), but MM has already left for work. I would rather still be like this...

...well, not in a chair, but still.

Instead, I will shortly hop in the little red truck, drive up to a machine shop in NC, pick up a part, then deliver it to MM at the job site. He needs it! Wonderful Wife to the rescue!

Then, meet the gang for an early lunch because I am scheduled to call bingo at the senior center at 12:15.

It is a regular fun factory around here, and this is further proof:

Yep, teeth fall out.

Will dentures be next? Or a cane? We are aging fast.

Off to have some fun...and hopefully not get lost...go past the red pole barn on the L and turn at the next road...look for the rusty metal roof on the shop...oy.

He says I can't miss it. Famous last words.

Have yourself a ginger peachy Wednesday. Mine will be.......interesting.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Graduate!


Will the graduate

Our wee boy doesn’t look happy, but he really was.  I’m not sure which is least favorable to him—standing in front of a group, or having his photo taken.  He totally dislikes both, bless his sweet heart, but he officially graduated from pre-K last night.

The school put on a fantastic program, making each child feel loved and special and ready to tackle the world.  Those teachers greatly added to their already good roots.  Watch out, elementary school, an awesome bunch of kids is heading your way!

That same boy has a soccer game today, so that is where Alex and I will be, on the sideline cheering on ALL the kids playing.  That’s the way it is done here in Mayberry, and everybody’s happy and good sports.

Check out the lake view of our downed red maple that Amy snapped:

tree down

Its twin trunk fell away long before we built the house.  We knew the tree had a problem, but were hoping the uphill roots would be strong enough to save it.  We guessed wrong, but enjoyed the tree while we had it.

Life is all about going with the flow, and so we do.  And we enjoy the game.

How’s your Saturday?

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Missy and I were just startled by a very loud noise!

Amy even heard it next door and called to find out what happened. Yes, it was LOUD.

Our view has opened up, but I will miss that sweet tree. Its neighbor can now spread her limbs toward us, so all will be well. She was a bit crowded.

Clean up on aisle...I mean, the cove, MM!

Life is never dull in Mayberry, y'all! Have a slightly less exciting Thursday.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Christmas on Wednesday

Well, it isn't Christmas in actuality. Maureen and I are going to help Coby finish cleaning out all the Christmas stuff still in her mother's basement this morning. The house is for sale, so all must go. I'm sure Maryan will be looking down on us, trying to get us to KEEP all that stuff, bless her heart. She certainly had STUFF.

So yesterday was mammo day, and all is well and done for another year. And I got some bargain shopping done! Love getting Christmas gifts ahead of time and at killer prices! A few things just may be going to these sweet gals, all spiffied up on Mother's Day:

MM had a water pump break in one of his machines yesterday, so it is a good thing I saved him some money while shopping! He has another pump ordered, but has plenty of other stuff to do in the meantime. Work, repair. Work, repair. Never dull for MM.

Happy hump day, y'all! Life is good for sure, well, except for that repairing stuff.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hard workin’ man!


MM sent me a couple of “before” and “after” photos of that major project he has been working on:before


And one more set:



He saves the good stuff, and gets rid of the bad stuff, creating nice views and desirable building sites.  That will certainly be good for our local economy.

That MM is definitely a hard workin’ man…for one more month, then he is D fer DONE!  We have another adventure on the horizon.  Details soon.

Have yourselves a ginger peachy day.  My assistants are already hard………………at sleeping!

You are never too old to learn something stupid!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Pink Tea Time


Pink ladies tea

Guy alert:  You will probably find this boring.  You were warned.

Joy, Joan, Jennie and I met a wonderful group of ladies at a local church for a “Pink Tea” on Saturday.  We were to wear a hat, if we had one.  And pink.  Check.  Can do.  Joy was the only one of us who wore a cute vintage hat.  I don’t own a vintage hat.  Mine are all serviceable hats, you know, the kind to keep sun off the face, not a fancy tea party hat.  I look dorky in a hat.  Totally dorky.  I am more of a “visor” gal.  I went hatless.

Back to the tea.  The decorations were lovely, people brought their own special, adorable cups and saucers, and the food was DELISH:

food table

An informative and humorous program on Vintage Hats was presented by Gail, and afterward, she evaluated some of our hats (no, I was not bored, despite this strange look):

Hat evaluation

Gail has over 300 hats and an equal number of vintage clothing items, all in a temperature controlled room in her home.  A ROOM, not a mere closet.  A WHOLE ROOM. 

This is a small sample of her stash:

hat table

Some of these hats have a hefty value on them.  Who knew?  Gail presented not only some of her hat collection, but a slide show of hats from many different eras in history.  Her knowledge is vast, and she kept us entertained with her quick wit.

It was a fun, girly afternoon, despite the rain, and everyone left, wanting to attend another tea.  Definitely!

The end.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day


MD flowers

My sweet hubby picked these flowers and foliage for me yesterday.  And that card?  He MADE it, but definitely not with my stamping stuff.  He made it on his computer and printed it out…and actually signed it.  Bless his heart.  He got major brownie points.  Of course!

I am thankful for Haley, Amy and Faith.  These sweet mothers collaborated and made dinner for ALL of us at Amy’s house last night.  Getting together with our kids is my most favorite activity, and it was wonderful.  Did anyone take any photos???  Dad and I celebrate you three mothers today!  Thanks again for everything.  Your guys better treat y’all like queens today, or they will hear from Queen Mom!

We are missing these two sweet moms, especially today:

Don, Margaret, Mae

This is the only photo I have of both moms together, so don’t pay any attention to anyone else.  Today is their day.

Hug your mom if you still have yours!  You never get over wanting to ask her one more thing, or to get just one more hug, but we both cherish great memories of these two mothers, and try to pass down stories about them to our grandchildren.  History is important, especially family history.

Happy Mother’s Day to all birth mothers, special mothers, mothers of the heart, or whatever motherly crown you wear, wear it well today.  It’s Mother’s Day.  You’re the Queen.  Love to all.

Life is a one-time offer.  Use it well!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Travel back in time…before children…1970ish.  MM still had hair then, too!

c. 1969

I was rocking those boots, or so I thought.  Who remembers those train cases?  All young ladies had one, way back when, and always used it for travel.

This photo was taken in Juliette, IL, at the home of Dorothy Booty (cousin)…I think.  Or was this on the grounds at the Washington National Cathedral in DC?  That would date the photo two years earlier.  Oy!  Label photos, ppl!!!  And date them.  The memory dims over time.  Trust me on that one!

Now progress many miles and smiles to 1993, chaperoning a high school Valentine’s dance here in Mayberry:

Dick & Sandy 2.92

And we’re not done yet on traveling…nor on these stacks of photos, but I am slowly working on them.

Have yourselves a ginger peachy Thursday, my friends.  I’ll be a scanning fool today!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Before and after

Thirsty, really old chair:

After one application of lemon oil:

I think I heard a big slurp sigh of relief from this old oak.

Three more to go, plus the table.

Amy has dibs on this set that we use as a game table. I bought it way back in the early '80s from Antique Warehouse in WPB, and she has always claimed it as hers. Where is she when it needs some polishing?!

Polishing furniture was my weekly Saturday duty as a child. Or at least that is the way I remember it. I can say for a fact that weekly tradition hasn't been fulfilled as an adult. It is a boring duty...but necessary. And I just couldn't go another day, seeing these dry chairs. Poor things, but they will feel a little snazzy when I am done.

At least my assistants aren't interfering. Missy is outside, and KC is sleeping on our bed.

It's just another Wednesday in our mountain paradise. I like that. And our chairs are gonna be happy, at least for awhile.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014



Bell Fam c. 1988

Look at those kiddos!  And MM’s mustache.  Thank goodness that thing didn’t last long.

I think this photo was about 1988.  Haley will probably remember when she wore that outfit and accurately date it.

This even older photo includes cousin Beth:

Amy, Brian, Beth, Haley

We’ve come a long way, baby!  Brian finally got more teeth…and even bigger feet.  And I need to go back and crop those edges out of the photo.  Photos are never done!

But I’m working on them.

Happy May Day Thursday, y’all!  Do something fun.

An ugly personality destroys a pretty face.