Thursday, December 31, 2015

TBT - 2009 - 2015

Look at these sweet wee kiddos, way back in 2009 onboard the Carnival Holiday.  This was the final cruise (I think) before this ship was sold to another line.  Look at the little guy in his onesie!  Precious, precious.

Now look at all these BIG kids last week on the Sunshine.  They outgrew the porthole, that is for sure...and the onesie:

They are growing up entirely TOO fast.  Ansley is now sending sending out college applications.  How'd that happen?!

And, we've added two more kids to the family since '09:

Cousin love.  This makes my heart happy.

Now if my nose would get happy, life would be good.  Yes, MM shared his cold.  Bugger.

We'll be curled up in front of the TV tonight, celebrating NYE with two kitties, if anyone is wondering.  Probably asleep.

That's how we roll...or not.

Happy New Year's Eve, y'all!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

FFF fancy photo

We all cleaned up pretty good for our first elegant night onboard the Sunshine. Even the wee ones enjoyed the dressing up.

All three did very well with the almost two-hour dinners, thanks partly to modern electronics and entertaining older cousins. The staff put together one long table for the 14 of us, and we typically put kids at one end, and adults at the other. Worked mighty fine.

CD Jaime organized a tribute to veterans that MM attended (I missed it because two wee ones came to our room, wanting to play a game with Grammie!). This photo is from Jaime's FB page, so it is not mine, but I'm sure she won't care if I share. MM (back row center) was the only one present representing the Coast Guard:

MM said it was all a very lovely tribute.

He is still coughing...and is still horizontal. Poor baby. Missy is taking good care of him, of course.

Happy Hump Day. Nothing fancy or fun going on around here today, but that's OK. I wanna get my guy well...out out, pesky germs!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Another day in paradise!

What better way to start our day than a text from Susan saying meet them at John Gs for breakfast! Sorry, kids, I know y'all would want to be there.

Man, I had too many Warm Chocolate Melting Cakes on the cruise, so I need to cut back on the calories and get back to my daily walking goals. I fell short on my steps, sitting and playing games with the grands last week. Oh was worth it then, but today it is back to routines. Srsly.

We stopped and checked out BBQ grills on the way back to the Moho, since some scumbag stole our small Weber grill while we were back in Georgia. Pox on the thief! MM isn't sure what he wants, so we will keep looking.

Poor MM has a head cold. I don't want it, so we are trying not to share germs. Bless his heart.

Tonight is trivia with our breakfast buddies, so we will see them twice in one day. And will eat again.

What a life, here in sunny S Florida. WYWH!!!

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunshine smiles!

I am slowly collecting photos from the kids, so I will do some random postings for family posterity.  This will possibly include some posteriors as well, but a photo is a photo and random angles happen when so many folks are gathered, no matter where they are gathered.

The wee kids loved having two birthdays to celebrate while floating at sea:

Cake, candles, and kids just naturally go together.  Everyone joined in on the "Happy Burs-day" song.

Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed our aft wrap around balcony...and so did the kiddos.  I am spoiled for sure.  It held all 14 of us quite well...and quite often:
Good times were had by all!

For today, this is The End.


Forced Family Fun in '15

Our Christmas cruise this past week – above on the Sunshine.  Way back in 2011, below on the Dream:
Why weren’t we smart enough to line back up in the same places? 

Heck, we were doing good just to get a group photo with all those wiggle worms wanting to go into the dining room to eat dinner.

We had extremely high winds for the first three days at sea, making Amy and Jason a tad uncomfortable (understatement).  They were very happy to finally disembark in Aruba for the day.  The next day (Christmas Eve), we were in Bonaire, where all the kids again hit the beach.  MM and I just did a town walkabout, and then went back to the ship.  We had never been to Bonaire before, but it was just another small island…and we have seen plenty of those in our travels.

Grand Turk on Christmas Day was beautiful:
Brian and Faith did the “ride horses on the beach” excursion, while all the other kiddos swam and sunbathed…and were joined by B & F after their horse ride.    MM and I sat in the shade on the back row and enjoyed the views and swimmers, then headed back to the ship for lunch.  The sun quickly burns my skin, so I have to avoid it.  Bugger.

Saturday was our final sea day en route back to Pt. Canaveral, and the winds had thankfully died down… no hence no more queasy tummies.

I only did the “Social” package while onboard, so I only had Facebook—no emails or (otherwise) Internet.  I was pretty busy with the kids—we played lots of games in our (large) room, went to trivia a few times, laughed, had afternoon tea, laughed, ate, read, and played some more games.  It was a whole lot of FUN.  The “no Internet” was a test—and I didn’t like it, so I won’t do that again when away for that length of time.  End of test!

Jason and I both had birthdays while onboard, so it was nice for all of us to celebrate together.  I will post more photos another day.

Two kitties were mighty happy to have us back at the Moho, and we were glad to see them.  They behaved while we were away…as far as we know.

All in all, it was a successful FFF trip…well, except for the bit of seasickness.  If we cruise as a group again, we will have to have fewer sea days.  Check.  We can do that.

Spending time with our family and making memories—that’s what is us.

Life is very good, y’all!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Carnival Sunshine

Time to cruise!

Moho Man and I are heading to Pt. Canaveral right now to meet our special group of cruisers for a fabulous week. Come along with us!

A very Happy Birthday today to our favorite son-in-law Jason! We love ya bunches.

Life is good...come aboard and join us!

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Of mice and rice

The trip south was uneventful, and thankfully quiet. KC evidently got tired of protesting and behaved all day.

My *fun* began when I found some errant pieces of rice when we opened up an area rug. This is not my normal storage place, I can assure you, nor an indication of my (lacking) cleaning routines.

There was great, and I mean GREAT, evidence of a dry black bean and rice party that went on during Moho storage time. I left a large bag of both in a lower cabinet, obviously in their original thin plastic bag. I know better. I normally put things like that in sturdy plastic containers. Oy...

Note to self: go purchase (more) plastic storage containers today.

I will spare further details, except to say that I am moving slow this morning, and there is still a bit more cleaning/dusinfrcting that needs doing this morning before taking care of shopping duties.

Moho Man got us all set up inside and out for the most part, while I was doing party clean up. He will uncover and assemble this pile of tables and chairs today, that being a Blue Job. Party clean up is a Pink Job. Lucky me.

At least two kitties are happy, and will be on duty to apprehend any future rodents that hope the party tray is still available. HA...big surprise awaiting! Not even Mickey nor Minnie would be welcome right now.

So, it's time to get busy and git-er-done. I can do this. There is a deadline set, followed up by a hot shower. Only then can I enjoy this glorious Florida weather, y'all!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hump day!

Thanks to Haley for the photos of last night's band and chorus Christmas concert. Our three granddaughters performed...very well, of course. The whole concert was outstanding.

We met the clan for pizza ahead of the concert, got hugs and love after the concert, then hitched a ride to our waiting Moho and headed south. With KC singing the song of his ppl off and on for two hours. It's a good thing we love that boy, and it was a good thing to get on the other side of Atlanta and not to have to deal with rush hour traffic.

So far this morning, KC is a happy kitty, bless his heart.

And we have finally found some sun as we are rolling through Gainesville. Woohoo...bare feet on the dashboard...briefly, because that is not safe. But bare feet is good.

W Palm Beach, here we come. With much gratitude to our house sitter, suffering back in chilly nawth jawjah.

Miles and smiles, y'all. Welcome flip flops!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lucky me!

No, Blessed me.

My three gals and I had a lovely spa day this past Saturday to celebrate my upcoming birthday. A very big birthday.

Before our massages, we first went to the local resort to enjoy a decadent morning adult beverage in front of the fireplace, after we checked out the trains and gingerbread houses. The resort always has a large display of both every year, and of course tasteful Christmas trees and decorations throughout the property.

My masseuse did a great job on several achy muscles. I would surely pick him again.

We gals then relaxed outside on the deck and enjoyed a nice fruit and cheese platter, after one more treat--pedis! Yes, Peaches. Pretty toes. We haz them.

Talk about pampering! We were. We deserved it!

This is a great birthday tradition that we plan to continue. Forever, for each of our birthdays.

Thanks, sweet girls of mine. I will now pass the mandatory cruise toe inspection on Saturday! Lucky me.

Life is good, y'all! Everyone needs a little pampering every now and then, right?

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Two more sleeps...

Two more sleeps and these two cuddling kitties will be southbound.

They have never, ever cuddled in one kitty bed. And it wasn't even a very cold day, especially there in the sun room, but cuddle and clean they did with no apparent whopping going on. Miracles can still happen.

So MM and I are both mighty busy. He is his guy tinkering with the Moho while I do the kitchen swap...load up stuff from the house pantry and well as leave a semi-clean home in the process. Bleh.

My to-do list is long, but by Tuesday, it will be to-done and we'll be rolling. Ready or not!

Stay tuned, y'all!

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

TBT - 2006

Alex was just a wee babe, Christmas 2006.  Unka Brian didn’t know that this boy was gonna be his little mini-me!


And these wee girls are now both in high school.  Yes, HIGH school!


Nephew Travin is all grown up and married, as is his sister Megan, seen from behind with the long hair:


Those two belong to MM’s niece Debby, and hubby Steve:


Hey, it’s been way too long since these kiddos have been up to visit us here in the mountains.  Debby was “my” sweet little girl when MM and I got married, then as a teenager would come up to the mountains to our cabin when Amy was born to help “mother” her.

What goes around, comes around…ever so nicely.

Gosh, we are blessed with great and good looking family.

How sweet is that!  Let’s keep making more good memories!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas party time

MM and I got invited to the Lakewood Group party again this year, this time the venue was a place we had never visited--Barnsley Resort and Gardens, located near Rome, GA.

There is so much Civil War history here, along with lots of beauty, of course, in its many acres of gardens and a golf course. There are dozens of quaint cottages for accommodations located within the resort. Ours was charming.

After we checked in yesterday, I walked over to the ruins and visited the museum (and curator) for quite some time.

His daddy is from Mayberry, and is probably related to Logan. Small world. The curator's family lived next to the estate, and at least one long ago member worked there, so he has a love of the estate and has written a book about the history. Very interesting fella.

Of course, I now want to read the book, since I love history and family sagas...especially when the Great State of Georgia is involved.

The resort is definitely worth another visit, even without the Christmas party invite.

Life is good, y'all! Go explore it.

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday smiles

How 'bout that!

Southern Caribbean, here we come.

Flip flops.

Warm weather.

Steel drums.

Piano bar.

Comedy club.

No cooking.

Warm chocolate melting cake.

Bring it on!

Smiles, y'all, especially when it is 34 here in the N GA Alps!

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Not so Alone!


Alan Day

I was thrilled to actually meet the guy who won the new “Alone” survival series on the History Channel this past spring…Alan Kay, a local corrections officer and teacher of survival skills.  And nice guy!

He is sooo gracious with all the folks stopping and talking with him, photographing him, (annoying him).  I wasn’t gonna be one of those, but he and I wound up being alone in the corner of the store…and I knew the clerk who came over to help him…and the pull was just too great NOT to say HI, and what the heck, get a dang photo with him to prove it…so I gave the gal my phone and she pushed the button.  Sorry for the blur, but who cares!

Of course I had several questions I wanted to ask him about the show, but I resisted.  Poor thang was just trying to buy his wife (or mother) a Christmas present…and he made a good choice, BTW.  I’m sure he would much rather have been out in the woods, rather than shopping, but there he was and the opportunity presented itself.  MM highly respects this guy from watching the series, so I promptly texted the photo to him, bless his heart, since he wasn’t there to meet Alan.  MM texted back “rub it in.”  It’s a small town, so MM will probably run into him somewhere or other in the future…but he wouldn’t bother with a photo, much less a hug!  Lucky me to get that hug. 

We are a lucky community to have such a fine, young man to be such a good role model for our kids.  Alan is touching lots of lives, here and all around the world through this instant fame.  May he continue to do well.

At 28 outside, I see frost on MM’s truck parked out in the driveway.  By comparison, our expected 58 high today sounds balmy, but still not flip flop weather!  Brrr…when can we head south???

Life is good, y’all!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Rainy Monday in jawjah

Two smart kitties already decided inside is better than outside this morning.

These two sweeties took the two of us out to dinner Saturday night:

...and then to a concert...Mark Chestnut and Joe singers, in case y'all don't know who they are.

We sat on third row, center stage, and thoroughly enjoyed these awesome entertainers. Of course they sang, but they were also very personable--just two friends sitting on the stage, with only three other guitarist/vocalists. No band; no script. Pure, fun entertainment. They took requests from the audience, laughed at themselves, told stories on themselves and each other, like long-time friends can do. Totally unscripted.

It felt like a jam session amongst friends. Wow. We four loved it, and so did the whole audience, laughing and singing along.

It was a fabulous evening, from pick up to drop off. Thanks, Faith and Brian. Y'all rock! That guitar pick was thrown out and landed under MM's chair. I passed it on to our sweet benefactor. He deserves it.

Have I mentioned that life is good? Yep, it sure is. Even when it is raining...and two kitties are...................being two kitties!

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Goodbye, Virginia!

MM, Nan and I had a fabulous time...a very Happy Thanksgiving feast, lots of great food, with friends rounding out the merriment. Mob intimacy, as my mother-in-law always referred to large gatherings.

I brought up our marbles game and got Kim's family involved in several games. They are now hooked. And want to order their own game. I deserve a commission for all the business I've sent that marbles man! Ha.

All good times must end, so we three are on the road southbound.
I know two kitties will be happy to see us, despite the Ella smells we are bringing home. Yes, we were at the home of the famous Ella, who cycled in Xander's bike basket across the country this summer. Isn't she cute?!

Of course I wanted to bring Ella home with us. Bugger.

Life is good...and traffic is light. So far.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all our family and friends...

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Frosty Monday!

Yes, Peaches, that white on the shoreline is ice crystals, as in it is freaking 22 and *cold* outside! Brrr...warming up to 49 later. I will definitely be grateful for 49!

Two kitties thought they wanted to go outside just now...until I opened the door and the cold air blasted them. No thanks, Mom. We'll wait awhile. Smart kitties.

So, I played BettydamnCrocker yesterday, and made pumpkin spice cupcakes and Christmas "crack."

What is that, you ask? Saltines, drenched in melted brown sugar and butter, then topped with chocolate chips that promptly melt, then you cool and break them up into bite sized pieces. The kids get to sample them tonight. And sister Nan! Woohoo!!! I'm excited about her visit.

This morning I'm especially grateful for my morning coffee, fleece snuggle, and patio doors that let me view the morning coldness from my warm spot on our comfy couch.

Life is good, y'all! Stay warm and snuggle up today. Nan, safe travels.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Steel drums!

Joan and I are enjoying the music of the kids, Bands of Steel, while we are shopping at the annual Mistletoe Market!

Go, kids. Y'all sound great! Seriously. Drums, percussion...We will be ready for Christmas. Loving these happy sounds.

WYWH, y'all! It was 29 this morning. Brrr...

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Land of the free...

...because of the BRAVE!

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Fall Ball

My lovely girls had a blast getting all gussied up for Fall Ball Saturday. They all enjoyed a group dinner out before going to the ball, and then dancing, talking, and laughing the night away as only teens can do. Not that I was there to witness this activity. I do remember doing the same things too many decades ago.

I tell you, time is marching on entirely too quickly for my liking.

Ansley was recently honored at Senior Night, and has already received acceptance to a college or two.

This one will leave home in one short year. Haley and Logan are trying to get ready for that major event. Me, too.

We are all holding on to and creating more memories while we can!

Life is precious and good in our soggy paradise, y'all!

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Budding thespian...

Lil Haley played the widow Van Doren this weekend (and next) in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" at a local playhouse. Of course our little ham did an outstanding job.

Most of our clan was there yesterday to cheer on our gal:

Ansley and Macey both were laid low by head colds. Bugger to that.

Break a leg next weekend, Sweetie! We will still be cheering you on.

Happy soggy Monday, y'all!

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Treats only!

Our munchkins came over to show off their costumes before going to the town square where all the true fun was held. And to get their share of loot. Grammie had some chocolate to launch the fun.

Jason offered to bring them back, after they get loaded with sugar. We locked the front door! Ha.

Ansley was Raven from Teen Titans:

Not a dramatic bone in that gal's body, right?!

Life is good in the N GA mountains, y'all.

Here comes the rain. Goodbye leaves.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Feline Friday

These two rarely ever curl up together. Oh, they frequently groom each other, then one will throw a whap, the other will whap back.......and the chase is on. Fun.

This is the comfy love couch (love seat) as Amy called it when she was a young'un, where I sit and read. It has grown downright chilly here in the N GA Alps, so that fleece throw has felt mighty good across my elevated legs and warmed my feet.

KC and Missy called dibs on the fleece when I got up.

Dang cats!

It is 37 and foggy outside this morning. Did I mention it has gotten chilly? Brrr...

Move over, fur babies. I need to share that fleece!

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

TBT–Happy Anniversary!

It is only a two-year throw back, but still.

A very happy anniversary (last Monday) to Faith and Brian (and lil Haley) as they (continue) to celebrate two years of wedded bliss:


Faith, Brian 10.19.13

We pretty much today have a repeat of this beautiful scenery:


For those of you wondering, that couple on the R end are friends.  I didn’t birth either of them, so don’t try to figure out who they are and how they fit in…friends…and this was the only shot of our clan.  They would be a bit difficult to crop out of the photo at this point.  I think.

It was such an exciting, crazy day, two years ago when our families blended together:

Brian, Faith garter

Man, are we blessed.

Yep, Faith and lil Haley are keepers.  They have survived two years with US!

Life is good here in chilly Mayberry, y’all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Vietnam War Memorial Moving Wall

Our local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter, plus a multitude of local volunteers, played host this past weekend to the Vietnam War Memorial Moving Wall, one of four such displays that travels throughout the country.

MM and I attended the Opening Ceremony on Thursday. A stage had to be set up, bleachers placed, a sound system had to be procured--all things separate from the actual wall displays. Our UCHS Marching Band provided music (thank you, Ansley and Macey). Following a bugle call, the local Honor Guard did the Posting of the Colors, our national anthem was sung, and a dignified tribute followed for the Vietnam fallen, the Vietnam Veterans, and to all veterans.

A triple amputee delivered a powerful keynote speech, straight from his heart...with no notes. He has spent his life championing veteran affairs, as well as acknowledging thanks to all the families of these veterans, who often remain anonymous in the background.

School buses brought over many children, who will most likely never see the "real" wall in DC. Saturday's rain slowed the foot traffic somewhat, but with the Wall being open day and night, it gave working folks plenty of time to stop by and pay their respects at their own convenience.

A Morning Service was conducted on Sunday, and Monday saw a Quilts of Valor Program presentation (20 quilts given)...and later, the Closing Ceremony.

Special acknowledgment goes to friend Mike, who helped spearhead getting the Wall here, and to Jennie for having to live with him during the whole process! Recognition also to Dan for all his help, especially with set up and take down. This whole process took many, many hands to make it (successfully) happen. Kudos to our community, its leaders, and volunteers!

The annual Sorghum Festival began last Friday, and will gear back up this weekend. And the leaf lookers will be back. Traffic is awful, but it is just what we expect every October. November is just around the corner, and life will be back to normal.

Mayberry is a happening place...and a blessed place to live.

Y'all come see us!

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