Saturday, October 30, 2010

Eye Candy

WOW, what a beautiful day.  I do declare, fall has to be the most beautiful season of the year around here.  Just gorgeous.  I drove around to enjoy the autumn colors.  Everywhere I looked - was beauty, beauty, beauty. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fruitcake and Lake Cabin

Sweetz and I spent  the day with the seniors from our church.  There were only 8 of us today, but it was a beautiful fall day with just a little nip in the air.  We went to a fruitcake factory where everything from fruitcake to cookies to crackers to cocoa to coffees and teas and candy and everything in between is made and sold.  There were lots of varieties of goodies in a huge salesroom.  After we arrived we were informed the actual factory didn't operate on Fridays so would be unable to take the factory tour to watch them make all the goodies.  But we spent a bit of time in the salesroom and were given lots of samples.  We bought a few gifts but saw some customers there with small buggies literally loaded down.  The place was decorated for Christmas which is way too early for me but guess that helps put people in the Christmas buying mode.

Our group ate lunch at Sagebrush Steakhouse in a nearby town where we had a great time eating together at one large table in one of the dining rooms. Food was delicious with generous portions. And I couldn't help but snap a picture of the train as it ran on a track above our table.

After lunch we headed to one member's cabin retreat on the lake.  What a pleasant life that would be living at a place like that!  I would have stayed there forever to soak in the peace, but we had to load the van and end our day.  I left with a few pictures and a heap of pleasant memories. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Errands Followed By An Evening With Friends

After all that rain we had for two days, it was nice to see the sun and some dry weather today.  The sun came out this morning and it was warm - went up to 78* today.  This warm fall has been nice but it's rather unique for us here in Carolina. 

Sweetz checked the rain gauge today - over 5" of rain yesterday.  We didn't experience any damage and I was thankful for that.

A cheery fall yard banner

Thought this was different: a dogwood leaf with two distinct colors.  There's no blurring of the colors -  just a definite separation of red and yellow.  The holes were created by hail about a month ago.

I  ran some errands today: library, bank, and post office.  We are filling a shoebox this year for a little boy, so we also shopped for some goodies and fun things.  We stuffed that shoe box full.  Another task off our list. 

Tomorrow we are going with the seniors from church for a day trip. Not sure what all we will be doing/seeing but we'll have fun enjoying being together.  And I'll try to remember to grab my camera! 

Tonight I was invited to a friend's birthday dinner at a Chinese restaurant.  Sure was good and we had a great deal of fun laughing and filling in the details from the last time we were together.  I forgot my camera so there are no pictures to share.  Two ladies had recently been out of the country (one to Ireland and the other to Germany) so they shared their experiences and one even shared her pictures via her laptop.

It's mighty quiet downstairs - not sure what MainMan is watching on TV.  Think maybe he fell asleep in his recliner????  I might need to slip downstairs to check. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rain, Rain, Rain


We've had lots of rain, tornado warnings, and wind yesterday, last night, today, and even the present.  We are currently in a tornado warning until 8:45.  It's raining now with thunder all around us.  Seems to be multiple tornado warnings in our area.  In the meantime, I'll attempt to write a bit of what's been going on around here. I just see on the TV that the worst of this storm will come through our area at 8:25, and already I can clearly hear the wind and thunder around us.  Rain is beating on the house so might have to put this baby to rest for a bit and finish this entry later this evening. 
Yipes, it's here -- and it's definitely a noisy one.

I'm back and we survived. 

We both headed downstairs to hole up in the den which we thought would be the safest area of the house.  Sweetz popped some popcorn and we munched on that and sipped tea while we watched the local channels as they showed the doppler weather screens.  And sure enough at  8:45, right at the predicted time, the storm moved out of our area.  There are lingering rain storms but they are the normal kind, nothing frightening.  They predicted our area would get 3" of rain tonight and add those to the accumulation yesterday and earlier today, we'll be suffering from flooding.  Thankfully, our home is located on a high hill so the water runs downhill to several neighborhood lakes. 

Now, back to the normal stuff:  

We took the RV in Tues for a transmission fluid change, got it back today.  We'd still like to get out for a short trip but seems our schedule and weather haven't provided sufficient opportunities.  Sweetz wants to put a coat of roofing protection on too.  Then soon we'll be winterizing our house on wheels and putting the cover on.  Then we sit and wait for spring again.  Hopefully, by that time we will be moving out for an extended trip.  One can only hope and plan.  Oh, my, don't like that "hope" word, must see if I can find a synonym. Ahh, how about "trust".  Yeah, we will trust and plan.  That sounds better. 

I'll see if I can upload a few pictures from the past few days. 

Mom and I ate at a new restaurant in a beautiful home built with a view worth a million bucks.  Thankfully, our lunch didn't require me to dig into my saving$.  The family built a new home on the property and are using the old homestead as a restaurant.  We ate in the Florida Room (maybe I should call it the North Carolina room) overlooking the rolling hills and trees dressed in their gorgeous fall colors.

Here's the front porch of the home/turned restaurant.

And this is a shot of our area's rolling hills and fall colors. 

Yes, it really is a monarch butterfly.  I didn't believe it - thought it was a viceroy (a look alike monarch) but sure enough this is a male monarch enjoying his meal of pineapple sage blooms.  He was a bit wary of me so it was difficult to get a good picture.  We checked the internet to verify he was a monarch. And a beauty for sure.  A pure beauty!

A snippet of our back yard.  We seem to be experiencing subdued fall colors this year.

A slice of our front yard.  Dogwood turning red and poplars wrapped in yellow.

Our garden is slowing down to an occasional reward.  One bell pepper and one red banana pepper was picked today.  These are two black walnuts the squirrels must have left on the garden path. Sure don't want them sprouting in the raised beds, plus we learned the hard way that black walnut trees don't play nice with tomatoes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lexington BBQ Festival

Sweetz and I went to the Lexington BBQ Festival today.  What started out to be a chilly morning, turned into a beautiful 75* afternoon at the festival.  Here are some shots I took today -- Well, maybe/maybe not since the photo upload function isn't working properly.  But I'll try to add a few more photos a bit later.

Lots of people up and down the road.  And let me tell was quite a day for people watching.  All shapes, sizes, clothing and everything else in between!

Classic cars...a vintage camper nestled among a Mustang, Fairlane, Model A and lots of other beautifully maintained cars.  Owners sat next to them and reminded the lookers to not touch - they are definitely the babies of these proud parents.

I didn't take any pictures in this camper but it was adorable inside - decorated in the 50s red/black/white theme with lots of Coke items.
crab cake sandwiches...

A rifle used as a gear shift in one of the classic cars...

Sweetz had to have his ice cream fix - always chocolate, of course...

A cobra under the hood of a Cobra classic car...

Jewelry from bottle caps...

And a creative team creating a huge sand sculpture...

We skipped the typical BBQ and crab cake sandwiches because of the never-ending lines.  We ate in one of the downtown diners (Noah's), seated at a vintage table at the front window where we munched on delicious sandwiches while we watched the crowd stream up and down the vendor displays.  It was a nice day to be out and about on a beautiful fall day. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mountains and Hot Water Heater

Yesterday Sweetz and I went with the senior group from our church to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  They are a great bunch of people and we had a wonderful time.  We ate at a little diner near a restored mill.  The leaves had begun to turn their glorious colors, not as pretty as past years but nevertheless it was still beautiful and pleasant to get away and not have to worry about the driving.  The group is going another day this month to a fruitcake factory and to a dinner theatre in November.  Yippee, this retiree life is better than I was led to believe!!!

Today Sweetz and I had an appointment at Camping World for the removal and installation of a new hot water heater in our little RV.  We arrived 15 min early and they were ready for us.  After they had our cell number, signature, and keys, we were free to roam for 3 hrs.  Off we went to a large farmers market about a mile away.  The vendors had colorful pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn plus an assortment of lip-smacking vegetables, soup mixes, dried fruit, candy, and everything else you could imagine.  One vendor had the most unusual pumpkins I have ever seen - the colors ranged from gray to white to purple to pink and everything in between.  They were smooth, knotty, and bumpy with prices beginning at $20 and stopping at $55.  I took one picture before the vendor let me know that he didn't appreciate it so I moved on.  While we were at the market I never saw anyone buying even one of his pumpkins so maybe a better attitude would have improved his bottom line. 

Driving home with a new hot water heater
We were checking out some salsa when we got a call - the tech realized he had picked out the wrong hot water heater.  We wanted one with an electronic starter and the one he had was manual.  We got that straightened out and were banged against the wall with an even higher price tag.  Wow, those guys can really empty a customer's wallet in just a few hours!  While there, we also had the inspection done and it passed perfectly with all praise to Hubby for keeping everything in working order.  We walked the aisles in the "store" awhile but nothing seemed to be jumping up and down to get our attention.  They had a good selection of RVs in their back lot so we checked out many of them but didn't like something about each one - mostly boiled down to the price tags.  When the tech called to say our RV was ready, we walked around to the front and saw our little domicile on wheels and quickly decided she didn't look so bad after all.  It was unanimous: she's a keeper.

And we stopped at the Board of Elections and cast our early vote today.  Yipppeee, we did our part. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Road Trip

Today began and ended like a perfect fall day: a crisp morning followed by Carolina cloudless blue skies, a hint of autumn foliage, and a leisurely country drive.  Mom and I stopped at Jerry's Diner for a scrumptious broasted chicken wings platter.  Yummy, yummy.  After running a few errands, one of which was the delivery of the two tote bags I made for a local nursing center, we headed for the hills - yes, literally.  Started in the northern direction with not a care in the world, time to spare, and a full tank.  We chatted about this and that and enjoyed the drive to Anywhere.  Since there was no destination, we weren't disappointed when we arrived. 

The end of the line wound up being Philpott Lake Park near Bassett, Virginia.  Bassett is best known for the quality furniture they make in that small quaint town nestled in the hills.  A short drive takes you to the park and it's a pretty area.  Lots and lots and lots of trees and an overlook to a stunning crystal blue lake.  There wasn't much color in the trees which is quite unusual for this time of the year, but the paintbrush will come and then the colorful splendor will probably be over in a flash. But we as humans can't control the color which is in the hands of our Creator.   In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Gen. 1:1.  I took my camera hoping to capture some of the beauty today, but the tree colors are nearly all olive green with a token of red or a slight hint of orange occasionally.  But pictures were taken anyway.  We might go back in a couple of weeks to see how the colors have changed. 

Sweetz and I will be boarding the church van Monday for a drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I doubt there's much more color there, but that's ok.  It will be fun to spend the day with some super seniors or the Golden Agers as they want to be called.  Hope I don't forget my camera.

Right after I arrived home we had an unexpected visit from a couple from church who brought a loaf of homemade bread that Mary had just popped out of her oven.  Right after they left, no moss grew under my feet as I rushed to the kitchen for a slice of the bread.  Talk about delicious --- it was beyond anything I can imagine.  I mean awesome.  Yep, I had a second slice.  I put the rest of the loaf in a plastic container so it will remain as fresh as possible.  Can't wait to have some for breakfast.  Maybe with a drizzle of honey, or blackberry preserves, or merely plain, which is an inadequate word for this fabulous bread.  Mary and her husband Charles have befriended us at church and we have found they are such wonderful people with hearts of gold.  When I grow up, I want to be just like Mary! 

Perfectly Fall

Friday night which stretched into the wee hours of Saturday morning, my how time flies ----

This week has been nice - relaxing, and just full enough to please a quiet retired pair.   We were to take our RV in for the installation of a new hot water heater today, but Tim the Tech phoned to say they didn't have enough time to finish it today, so we rescheduled for next Tuesday.  And sometime next week Sweetz will take it in for the annual inspection and registration.  Hopefully, there'll be time in our schedule where we can squeeze in a few of camping while the weather is still perfectly "fall". 

Last night we went to hear Dr. David Jeremiah at the Greensboro Coliseum.  It was quite an inspirational evening.  We went with some friends who attend another church.  We met at their church and rode the van.  Sure was nice to be let off and picked up at the front door of the coliseum.  How's that for curb-to-curb service?

Tonight we decided to spend some time around the fire pit.  Then out came the marshmallow bag and hot dogs.  We roasted both to perfection and I must say everything was delicious. Seldom do the fire, the hot dogs, the weather, and the marshmallows meet perfection, but tonight it was that night.  A few moments of smoke in the eyes and one hot dog which broke as I was picking it up wasn't going to deter a crisp fall evening by the fire. 

Our garden still has plenty of perfect green peppers.  Looks like tomorrow I will pick a bunch and chop them for the freezer.  They will be delicious in loads of great recipes.  Yum Yum  It's getting late and I need to head for the bed.  Tomorrow is another day.  What to do with it is still up in the air.  I'm blessed to have had a today and a tomorrow is yet a hope.