Monday, August 31, 2015

Madison Monday!


Madison, Alex, Will

Monday is a mighty special day to this middle cheeser.  Madison is a big 9 today, and is greatly enjoying her birthday season.  A weekend trip to a waterpark and a baseball game over the weekend…Amy is taking in cupcakes for the class today…and planning a family celebration for Wednesday.  Rock on, lucky Maddy Girl.  Today’s YOUR day.  Those stinky cousins had better behave…or else!

MM and Dan spent most of Saturday at the church parking lot, working on the curbing there, while I finished up the Moho transition.  I got the better end of that work deal.

Everything needed to be ready at church for a big event.  We had a brother/sister Celtic musical and storytelling act in the Garden Saturday night (along with food, of course)…”The Unruly Bard Experience.”  Boy howdy, were they entertaining.  Tom told (and sang) some wonderful stories, accompanied by Ann (the harper…Tom’s description…reference the sibling connection) on a small harp.  Ann also sang (beautifully) and played the guitar.  They were much appreciated…and need to do this again.  Srsly. 

Tom, Ann music

Music, food

So MM is back over at the church parking lot, working on waterproofing the curbing he and Dan got cleaned up…and I am on a mission to learn how to be an assistant to our church webmaster.  Can an old dog learn new tricks?  Hopefully.  Wish me luck!

Goodbye, August.  You were not such a hawt month after all, weather wise…and we are very grateful.

Life is good…….especially when a cutie pie is celebrating a birthday!  I am sure there will be CAKE.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rolling home

We all had fun, but we are now homeward bound.

This was a great campground, plus we rode around the lake and found another good one on the north side. Choices! We like that. And, only about an hour from home.

Joan and I did ourselves proud at marbles...and at good food. We need to do this again!

Life's too short not to enjoy it, y'all.

Happy Thursday.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Carters Lake

Carters Lake is a 3,200 acre man made body of water, built and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is used for hydropower, flood control, and recreation.

Dan delivered Joan, me, and two kayaks near this swimming area so Joan could give me my very first kayak experience. It was successful...and fun! Even with all the wind, we stayed afloat.

We definitely need to come back to this great campground for a family retreat. The kiddos would love it.

I know, I know. We live on a lake, so why would we leave it? Because Georgia has lots more treasures to check out and enjoy, that's why!

So the new tow dolly worked well except for one teensy error. MM put the emergency brake on during the strapping down process and didn't even THINK about releasing it. The emergency brake controls the rear tires, so he managed to "flat out" a tire by dragging it for several yards on our gravel road. Bless his heart. He won't get fired! And he will replace the tire. Thump, thump goes the tire.

Our weather is fabulous--wake up to 55, warm up to 75-80. Love it. And so far, no bears.

Life is good in the woods, y'all!

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Test run!


Moho new tow bar

MM wants to hook up the Prius to his new invention this afternoon and take it out for a test run.

Wish us luck!

In other news, I wimped out on the pavilion party yesterday.  It was soggy over there, plus more rain predicted, so I opted to move the party to our house…which guaranteed that the expected rain didn’t happen.  Murphy’s Law!

It was our BSP Beginning Day, heralding the new sorority year.  We had 31 folks here.  I was apparently too busy playing hostess to take any photos. Trust me, the food was good and plentiful, and so were the good friends.

Wish us luck…again.  Stay tuned for details!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

River baptism, mountain picnic!


Haley baptised

Saturday was a mighty busy day.  Lil Haley was baptized (along with her cuzn Cort) in the Nottely River by her Uncle Jeff (yay!!!).  Two new (committed) Christians.

Brian, Haley, Faith

Haley's baptism

Clan Bell/Arnold then celebrated at the local pizza place, while Clan Bell/Dyer went to a local retreat place for our church picnic.  Fun, and food for kids of all ages:

church picnic kids

drone flying

Madison, drone time2

Roland, drone

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…no, it is a drone.  Raymond was brave and let the kids fly it, which Madison thoroughly enjoyed.  She wants to go back out there next year!

sing along

Corn hole games, ladder golf, badminton, kids playing chase and four square, and a sing-along…or just sitting, watching, and enjoying.  The teens stayed out at the retreat dormitory for more games, a bonfire, and an overnighter, while us old ppl brought home the wee ones, got them showered (man, were they sweaty), and put them to bed.  With no objections!

Life is good (and never dull) in our mountain paradise!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Mist-er Man


Dick, mister

Maintenance Man has been doing just that recently.  The a/c units at church have been acting up.  I don’t know why, since they are only 20 years old!  Anyway, he would get one unit to behave, then he would get a call that something wasn’t right, and he would go back and tinker again.  He’s good at that.

So, he had to go to the big box store to purchase a few parts, and lo and behold one of those boxes contained something that didn’t go to church and will definitely score big hits with the grandkids:  it is a mister/light/radio player!  And it was majorly on mark down, since the summer is nearing the end, and MM couldn’t leave it sitting there at the box store.

It is all self-contained, but the mega battery needed charging (my job) while he got everything all put it together.

He was pleased as a kid at Christmas when he called me out to come see it with the light shining (not on in the photo), and music playing from his phone:



It works!  And is on rollers, so we can roll it over next door to the pavilion for a party for the big kids tomorrow.  Or put it on the golf cart.  Whatev…MM will get it moved where it needs to go.

Our big night out last night was seeing the Oak Ridge Boys perform at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds.  The acoustics are good (and loud!), but the seats aren’t very comfy. Oh well… the group performed well in a two-hour, no intermission single show.  They announced that they will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this fall.  This is a well-deserved honor.  Sing on, boys!

Oak Ridge Boys

So today, we get three chitlins after lunch, and MM and I are taking them to a church picnic later today.

Party animals be us, mountain style!

Who wants to join those chitlins and try out the new mister?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

TBT–Sweet Sven


Summer '15 001

This is Sven, our Swiss exchange student.  I think we were putting him on the plane to go home after living with us from ‘93-‘94.  He sadly died in ‘96, but we all did fly over a couple of times to visit with him and his family in the intervening years, and have been back to see his dad.

We still miss our Sven-ie.

But life goes on, complete with ever so many changes since 1996.  My heart will always hold my sweet, Swiss son in a special place.  He loved, loved Mayberry.  And us.

Good memories.

Share some hugs and smiles today with those you love.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Reunion catch up

MM and I arrived at my cousin Will’s farm, White Oak Pastures, Saturday afternoon to check into one of their four cabins that are for rent.  Before going to the cabin, we got the grand tour of their many farm operations:  cattle, geese, chickens, hogs, vegetables…wow!  It is quite an operation, so go check it out.

Joined later by other cousins and one aunt, we enjoyed a fabulous dinner under the fairy lights at the open-air farm Dining Pavilion.  Even on a hot August night, the five Bad Ass Fans (yes, that is the name!) kept us cool.  Along with ice-cold beer and wine.

The family reunion luncheon feast was in full swing by noon on Sunday.  As predicted, there was food galore.  This, plus a dessert table:

Carly Redding, food table

There were close to 50 folks there, including my two sisters, Nan and Delle:

Nan, me, Delle2

Cuzn Pat and hubby Fred arrived from just down the street in their respective wheels…beep, beep:

Pat Lewis

Fred Lewis

By 2 pm MM and I were northbound, heading back to the cool mountains…with cake, potato salad, and deviled eggs to share with Haley’s offer of a light supper.  Perfect!  Neither of us were very hungry anyway.  This was a great ending to a good weekend.  Plus being back in our own bed.

Life is good…especially when we can gather for a happy event.  This was NOT a circus at all…and we had several first timers there.  I’ve gotta get busy on my family tree stuff.

See y’all again next year, ya hear?!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Off to the circus!


Fam Reunion clowns

I am sure this cartoon will be playing in my head tomorrow.  Haha…couldn’t resist posting this funny.

Cake.  Check

Coleslaw makings.  Check

Camera.  Check

Wine, beer.  Check

SOWEGA, here we come!

Live.  Love.  Laugh!

Wine.  Check

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bake me a cake...

While my assistant naps, I shall be playing BettyDamnCrocker by baking my fabulous Triple Chocolate Cake. My mouth is drooling already.

Normally I don't like to fire up the oven when the A/C is on, but a special occasion is calling--namely, the family reunion mentioned yesterday.

No way would this southern gal dare show up to this family gathering with a store-bought confection. Heavens to Betsy, my dear Mother would be aghast at such a fundamental faux pas. Ain't happening! No way.

MM will probably show up in time to lick the bowl. He has a way of managing that timing. And for showing up just when the last grocery bag is already removed from the car.

That's life in Paradise today, always made better by a little bit of chocolate.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

TBT–Redding reunion time!



August is always family reunion time is hawt southwest Georgia in a teeny tiny town that just barely marks a spot on the Georgia map.  This brings thoughts to mind of so many who definitely won’t be there.  My dad died in ‘65.  This is such a classic pose of him, sitting in “his” place at the head of the kitchen table, with his arm propped up on the fold-down ironing board (wish I had one of those!), with the ever-present cigarette (yuck) in his right hand.  In all likelihood, there is a glass of whiskey on the table, which was ultimately the root cause of his early death at 46.

My Mother won’t be there either, since she died nine years ago.  Gone also are my older brother and a younger sister.


There are just two sisters-in-law left in my dad’s generation, and I know for sure that at least one of them is coming to the reunion Sunday.  I’ll be there so that I can visit with all the gathered kin, armed with my computer to collect any new info that needs to go into my genealogy program…and to share what info and photos  that I have to anyone who is interested.

One thing is for sure, in addition to all the talking, laughing, reminiscing, etc., there will be a whole lot of good southern food on that buffet table, along with plenty of sweet tea.  That is as sure as the fact that the sun will rise in the morning.  No southern family reunion is complete without an abundance of food and sweet tea.

I’m gonna miss my Mother’s pound cake…but hope that sister Nan will make it to bring.  I’m thinking of taking my Triple Chocolate Cake.  My kids will be hoping some will be leftover!

Family—food—fun…yep, there will be “a plenty” of all three on Sunday.  In hawt SOWEGA.  Do I hear a grateful amen  that the community center is now air-conditioned?

Monday, August 10, 2015

We are family…

Dick, Don, Carolyn
Celebrate good times, come on!  Yep, that song is currently playing on my computer, and it also sums up our weekend very nicely.

MM’s sister Carolyn and DH Don spent Friday night with us, so of course all the kids came over and we had lots of food, fun, laughter…with a whole bunch of family craziness also thrown in for good measure:
Ansley, Madison
As well as a little bit of laziness…after such a great dinner (thanks to my girls for their meal contributions…and MM for being the grill master):
Madison, Faith, Brian, Will
Sandy, Haley, Ansley
Don and Carolyn left Saturday after a local tour of projects, then Sunday was another busy day with two very special church services—bishop’s visit in the morning, and a (new, awesome) organ dedication and recital in the afternoon.  The recital was performed by a young, world renowned organist (lucky us!), who literally rocked the rafters with passionate sounds and enthusiasm.  Man, was he good.  One song was performed using only his FEET.  It was NOT a boring program at all.  Even MM liked it, which is high praise indeed.

So now it is Monday, and the guest room is ready for the next whoever that shows up around here.  We can always whip up  a little something, and are always ready to show off our mountain paradise.  And kids.  They get included a lot…because they are so dang much fun.  And they will even share their dress-up clothes!

Celebrate good times, come on…any time!

What song or lyrics sum up your weekend?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Family tradition


Xander, Ella

Some of you are wondering about my cycling nephew, since his blog has been pretty quiet lately… 

His last post was July 9, but that doesn’t mean he is frozen in time!  Not hardly.  He was steadily pedaling through lots of “no service” areas and unable to post.  He had a deadline to get to Oregon in time to meet his dad, just E of Portland, last Saturday.  They both made it…and have been having a blast together with friends and family this week.  Bob wanted to help celebrate Xander’s 20th birthday on the 4th.  Happy Birthday, Xander!  You will definitely remember this particular birthday.  Continue to enjoy your long ride…with the darling Miss Ella!

Speaking of birthdays, a big happy birthday to baby sister Nan (grandmother of Xander)!  Our Mother had a tradition of calling (far too early) on our birthdays, and singing the HB song to us kids.  Nan and I have carried on that tradition to each other (at a more reasonable hour of the morning) each year since her death.  Nan missed my call today.  I left her a VM on her phone.  I’m sure she listened, laughed…and promptly hit DELETE.  It’s the thought, not talent, that counts, right?!  It’s a family tradition.  I will see your face soon, but until then…ta da…Smile!



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

Let’s do it!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ready to tow and go!


Moho Prius tow bar

Check out MM’s latest project.  Those ramps (which have been a tad modified since this photo) is what I will use to drive the Prius up onto that metal cradle where the front tires will sit, making the ramps pop up under the car frame.  And out of the way.

The metal frame pivots, making it possible to BACK UP the car when needed.  Yes, that feature is needed.  Trust me.  The Prius sits low, so MM added those cute little wheels to make sure the car doesn’t bottom out anywhere, and makes it all track better anyway.  I think. 

Moho, Prius tow

When we get to a campground and unhook, this apparatus then is flipped UP, clamped, with those ramps hanging down out of the way…and I drive the car to the campsite.  Easy peasy:

Moho new tow bar

We will have to christen this new invention soon on a shake-down trip, preferably to somewhere not having temps in the 90s!  And when my guy feels better.  He had draining sinuses all of a sudden yesterday afternoon, bless his heart.  He woke up this morning with a headache, still drippy nose, and feeling pretty yucky.  I am keeping my distance from his germs…with love, of course…and thoughts of chicken soup.

Hello, Monday in Mayberry!  Tomorrow will be a better day, so sez Miz Scarlett. 

Nurse Sandy over and out…wish Missy and me luck with our patient!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Birthday boy!



Such a sweet cutie pie.  Brian was about 6 months old in this photo…that had to be quickly snapped because he couldn’t stay sitting up all by himself for very long:


Still a smiley boy at 4…

Brian is 4

Wow, the time has flown by.  Brian is now considerably older…happily married…and he has a wife and teenaged daughter to give him a hard time about getting older!  Spread the good cheer around…Brian has a birthday!!!

Brian, Faith boating

Birthdays are always something to smile about, that is for sure, because that means you are still on the right side of the dirt.  Something else is for sure…Mom needs an updated photo of all three of you together!

Cheers, honey.  We love ya to the moon and back!!!