Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooks and Goblins

Halloween is now history - and good riddance, I say.  Halloween has never been my favorite holiday - but I really like Thanksgiving or at least enjoying fall and the colorful leaves and the crisp air and the end of hot summers and pots of soup and cups of hot tea.  Ahhh, but it ushers in the cold weather, snow, ice, sleet, etc.  None of which make my favorites list. 

I lived in New Jersey for seven years - not one of my favorite states.  It was awfully cold and snowy making those seven years a struggle for my thin Southern blood.  I'm thinking Florida would be a nice place to linger for the winter months as a snowbird, then round out the year farther north or west.  It's a dream, because in this economy I don't think such movement is going to happen. And if it did, our government would probably find some way to tax my travel miles.  

A friend picked me up this morning and we spent some time  running some errands and then treated ourselves to a BBQ tray for lunch.  Now, that was some tasty eating.  We drove along on some country roads and enjoyed feasting our eyes on the gorgeous fall color in our area.  It won't be many more days before the leaves begin to fall in earnest and then the drab winter will be upon us.  I might have to paint our kitchen and dining room yellow to bring some sunshine to my days. 

Mom, Sweetz, and I ate at a little Japanese restaurant tonight - sure was delicious.  They offer a small portion option so I got that so I could limit the amount I ate as I try to stay firm in my healthy eating plan.  The fried rice wasn't on my plan so might have to tread on the treadmill awhile. 

I'm thinking my healthy eating plan needs a cute name...and not H.E.P.  No, it needs a catchy name so I must come up with something appropriate - but that will be a task for another day and another time as my brain is telling me kindly that it's time to end this day.  Good night all, pleasant dreams, and don't let the bedbugs bite. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rewards and Anticipation

Of course, our weather is nothing compared to the really frigid/snowy weather in the northeast.  But I did wear a light jacket for the first time today and obviously soon will be needing to get used to cold weather.  In a few weeks I will be lamenting the end of warm weather, dreading the colder weather, and anticipating the return of spring.

I'm thinking the OWS people need to go home and quit occupying public places and asking for donations for their cause.  I'm for each person getting a job, working hard, and saving for their wants.  Life wasn't handed to most of us - we had to work for what we have.  It's a struggle but is rewarding as you trudge through the daily grind of this life, meeting challenges as our country allows us the freedom to work our way to our goals. 

Church was great today and we went to both the morning and evening services.  Tonight's service was a singspiration and it was really good.  There is a lot of talent in this church we are visiting.  Two weeks from now, there's a church-wide dinner planned and I'm looking forward to it.  It will be nice to meet some of the families that we just shake hands with and greet on Sundays.  We had lunch with our friends Pat and Wil today at a seafood restaurant.  Lunch was pretty good and the time with friends was priceless.

Today is day #3 of my path to healthier eating.  I've done real well, and a few pounds have left.  Now, let's hope I can keep this up.  I'm meeting a good friend for lunch tomorrow and fortunately she has chosen a terrific local BBQ diner.  Yummmm.  And it's a fabulously healthy choice for me.

And now...I'm off to find my book.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pitter Patter

The rain started last night and it rained off and on throughout the night, so was suspecting our grandson's flag football game would be cancelled.  Sure enough, my son called early this morning to say it was raining and not to come.  We still need to get together with them though, if nothing else but to give Nathan his birthday gift - he turns a big 9 this year.  I filled two plastic pumpkins with some goodies, so wanted to give them to the boys - and since Halloween is Mon, I'm running out of time.  But their days are packed full of activities so there's not much free time.  We're trying to find a convenient time.

Talked to my mom awhile this morning.  Then had a long conversation with Linda (sister-in-law).  She's staying busy with a multitude of things since my brother's death.  Must be difficult getting all that done without his help.  Then she continues to have issues with drainage in her yard after a heavy rain.  She had some contouring done and drainage pipes added underground in the backyard to hopefully aid water run-off.  She now has six water pipes going out to the front to help keep the water from flooding the yard and hopefully not to seep in her basement.  She also just had the garage painted so is thinking she's about set for the winter months. 

She will be coming Thanksgiving week so we're looking forward to seeing her and enjoying her visit.  She told me about a few things she is making so I'm feeling a bit unproductive at the moment.  Maybe I will get bitten by the Productive Pilgrim soon so I can have things looking decent by the time she arrives. Naaah, I'll probably just go with the flow and not worry about it. 

The rain has stopped now and the sun is wanting to pop through.  Our foliage is just beautiful here with autumn colors ranging from greens to reds and all variations in between.  The leaves are falling and the raking job has already begun.  I'm thinking the leaves will all be down by Thanksgiving and maybe Sweetz and I can enjoy some leaf pile jumping before they are all shredded.  Nope, I still don't think I'm too old for that!  But for now I will enjoy the beauty around us and worry about all that work another day.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Stuffing

I've spent some time today gathering things to fill plastic pumpkins as a treat for the grandsons.  We'll be seeing them in the morning so all is ready. can I sit down awhile? 

My book awaiteth.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beyond The Frame

My friend, Pat, and I went to Graham, NC, today for an Impressionism sculpture show.  Awesome is the word that comes to mind.  They are by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. and are life size, made of metal, painted with automotive paint then a matte finish is added to eliminate the shine.  Yep, pretty awesome.  They are made to be  kept outdoors and everyone is encouraged to touch, feel, and enjoy.  We took pictures of us with the "people" and some without us in the frame. 

Johnson creates these life-size sculptures that look like famous Impressionist paintings from artists such as Monet, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh, etc. and ad libs with them too.  It was interesting to see his touch of humor in each one. 

Dancing on the porch

Johnson's first wife was the model for this sculpture.  Here's a close up of her head and shoulders. 

We had lunch at Graham Soda Shop which is located on the courthouse circle.  Their menu items all have legalese names.  I had the Interrogation chicken salad sandwich.  The dining room in this picture was in memory of the Fire Department and shows a firefighter sliding down the  pole through the ceiling near the center of this picture.     

Our son was here when I returned today and my mom invited us all down to her house for supper.  Yummy yummy, it was delicious.  And we had a great time laughing and teasing.  He said he loves his new job. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Rod By Any Other Name Is Still A Rod

Sweetz and I went to Lowes this morning to buy a replacement for a broken closet clothes rod.  Talk about a frustration.  They tried to show us the little lightweight metal hanging unit in the more modern closet construction kits.  Right.  Written right on the "rod", it stated it would hold 33lbs.  Now, how in tarnation is that going to work in a "normal" closet with a normal amount of clothes.  I tried to hold back my snickers.  Then the nice saleslady gave us the option of a wooden rod.  Off we scooted following her to the lumber section.  Sure enough, there they were.  Long round beautiful rods...pine.  Again, I tried to contain my snickers.  Ok, she says, how about this one on the other side of the aisle.  Right.  It was no better...made of poplar.  Both are LIGHT weight woods and would (no pun intended) never hold the weight of our clothes. She even made the suggestion of using a curtain rod!!!  It was all I could do to contain myself at this point. 

I asked her if there were any metal rods in the store.  No, she quickly informs me.  Told her it didn't have to be a "closet" rod, just a metal rod.  Nope, didn't have them.  Right. She even called the store manager...nope, don't have any.  Knowing well before this point that I was talking to an idiot...we opted to walk through the metal section.  Found copper rods...nope, way expensive and soft, of course.  Then we found some black iron rods.  Then galvanized rods a bit farther.  Soooo, Lowes doesn't have metal rods...  The Sweetz man chose the galvanized rod.

A friend called while we were in Lowes and wondered if I would meet her in Martinsville for lunch.  Sure, I said.  She gave me a bit over an hour to get there.  We grabbed the galvanized rod and rushed to the checkout. I arrived at Texas Steakhouse 2 min late, but hey, I thought that was a miracle to get there then. Of course, I was behind a very slooooow 18 wheeler, certainly must have hit 93.7% of the red lights, plus surely every crazy driver in that town.  She had just arrived and was checking out the menu when I was escorted to the booth.  Good food and good company. And I had soup in a bread bowl!  Seems a waste since there was so much bread left over but it looked adorable.  I had made her some cookies last night while chatting on Facebook, but in my rush, I forgot to pick up the bag I had ready for her. Bummer. I didn't tell her, but it would have been a nice touch if I had remembered them. Guess SOMEone will have to eat them... And no....I'm not giving them to the salesclerk at Lowes.

BTW, the rod has been cut to the correct length and is now holding all the clothes with no effort at all.  Fantastic!!!   

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New 2 Me

Not much exciting happened today, but hey, I'm not complaining.  Lovely quiet days are exhilarating in their own way.  And they can be so rewarding when there's no agenda.  I've tried to solve a few problems around here and have done fairly well.  Usually when I look at some of my favorite blogs I get inspiration in something I can do differently around here. 

I have is a small blackboard and I'm trying to figure out how to hang something to hold the chalk.  Years ago I had a little container attached to the blackboard frame but somehow it has disappeared.  Another of life's mysteries that don't seem that important anymore.  After all, it's fun now to find something new to use.  Well, I'm actually looking for something old to use in a new way. 

Yesterday I bought two tall blue glass containers.  This morning I washed them and they've been drying the rest of the day.  Of course, the lid hooks didn't work well so they were tweaked and now hold the lids on snugly.  I put spaghetti in the tallest one and it looks ever so cute.  Then the shorter one holds pretzel sticks.  It doesn't take much for me to be content. 

I washed the black embroidered silk jacket in cold water today and it turned out fine.  After it dries, all it will require is a touch up from a warm iron.  And I figured out a solution for the missing button... move the top button to the where the button is missing then attach a favorite pin or fabric flower to the top spot.  I experimented and came up with different solutions so I'll have fun exchanging them to suit my fancy.  I found several ideas on some of my favorite creative sewing blogs.  Sure, I could replace all the buttons to be alike, but what fun would that be?!                       

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Treadmill Awaiteth

Today, a friend and I went shopping.  When I picked her up at her condo, she gave me 4 nice long-sleeved blouses that someone had given her.  I'm glad she found a nice home for them.  One is kinda tight - and looks like I need to work on my middle.  Am thinking I need to get on the treadmill tonight.

One of our stops was a consignment shop in one of the towns where I found a  great bargain.  It's a black silk jacket with embroidered flowers all over it.  Then it was 25% off day, so I lucked out with a great jacket at an even greater price! 

Mom dropped by and brought us two slices of her homemade apple pie.  She has to be the world's best apple pie maker, so I ate my slice happily.  Now, I know I really need to head downstairs to the treadmill.  Wonder how long I have to walk to work off the calories of just one slice! But the whole time I will be thinking "it was worth every bite"! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Land of Snooze

Today was another beautiful fall day.  Sweetz and I went to church and lunched afterwards and then headed home to lounge the rest of the day away. 

A comfy nook in the children's room at our local library.  I love the upholstery on the big chair with all those books waiting on the shelves for me to read.

I picked up a good book I was reading and finished the last half and found myself sitting in the chair getting sleepier and sleepier.  So, off I went to stretch out on the bed and seconds later I must have been in the wonderful Land of Snooze.  Didn't think I was behind in my sleep bank, but must have been so this nap surely caught me up and now I'm ready to roll.

The sun has set and now it's dark and the lights are on.  I'm spending tomorrow with a friend as we head out to parts unknown to do a bit of shopping and surely grab lunch somewhere too.  Perhaps, just perhaps if we're lucky, we can find something to photograph while we're riding the roads. 

I need to call my mom and check on her.  And supper hour has come and gone and no meal is ready to serve.  Gracious, I'm slipping. Naps are nice, but they keep me from my "chores".  LOL



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Folklife Festival

Today, Sweetz and I went to Ferrum, Virginia, to their annual Folklife Festival.  It's a really neat place to spend the day.  Lots and lots and lots of walking but ever a great way to spend the day.  It takes place on the Ferrum College campus which is a beautiful school nestled in the hills and hollers of that beautiful state.  It's far from big cities but close to the natural beauty of the country. 

There was a horse pull with some of the most beautiful teams of horses ever seen.  They are so eager to pull that they are prancing and pacing even before the hook is put into the sled hole.  Over the contest, the sled is slowly filled with huge concrete forms to increase the weight.  The contest begins with teams of two matched horses hooking onto the sled.  We watched the contest until there was 6,000 lbs of concrete in the sled and most of the lower weight teams were eliminated by that time.  Although I noticed that some teams were left in their trailers until closer to the time the big weights were in contest.  When we left that field, the BIG boys were being removed from their trailers and were being readied with beautiful yet massive harnesses before being walked to the arena.  But there is just so much time in the day, and other displays and shows were being missed. 

So much to do: banjo playing, antique car show, coon dog water contest, hay baling, moonshine still demo, storytelling, mule tricks and jumping contest, sheep herding, tractor show, wheat threshing, craft exhibits, molasses making, pumpkin butter making, knitting lessons, weaving exhibits, wood carving, tours of various cabins, etc.  And I could go on and on.  It's a wonderful way to spend the day getting away from the modern stresses and out into the open on a perfect fall day. 

And there was some delicious food cooked by churches and other organizations in the area.  Food like you'd never find at the state fairs.  Nope, and how they make it so good in such quantities is beyond my comprehension.  We chose a fried chicken lunch with the sides and a drink.  Best fried chicken this side of heaven and it was HUGE. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Beautiful October Day

God blessed us with a beautiful fall day.  I would vote to have a lot more of these.  Let's say, I'd happily exchange some of the cold wintry days that will come plowing through especially after Christmas with days like we are experiencing now.  Not that we humans have any weight in getting the weather we like, but at least I can dream. 

I snipped some rosemary sprigs today and have them drying indoors.  I have plenty for my own use at this point, but now plan to share this batch with my mom who loves to add herbs to her dishes.  Fresh is best, but winters around here don't allow most of my herbs to thrive, but many do stay alive so I can usually harvest a few snippets to use occasionally throughout the winter.  But it's also nice to have some dried so I don't have to get my feet cold heading outside when I really would prefer to remain inside where it's warm. Umm, now that I think about it, I've seen soap for sale in specialty shops with rosemary snippets. Now, that might be something I could try to make. Obviously, I have lots of rosemary and need to figure out things to do with it. Did I say "easy" things to do with it? Yeah, easy is good.
The first herb to succumb will be the basil at the first frost.  Hate that, but it will happen.  I have four plants and am considering potting one of the smaller ones to see if I can keep it alive this winter.  There's absolutely nothing that compares to fresh basil. It doesn't dry well, but I do have some frozen. 

This is a Carolina wren's nest with three little broken eggs.  Guess those little guys made it.  The nest is really tight and secure and is constructed with all sorts of yard findings from leaves, sticks, and moss to cat hair and sweet gum balls.  That's my finger in the right lower corner trying to hold a stick that wanted to dominate the picture. 

It's about time for supper - am leaning toward something easy - maybe soup and a sandwich.  Easy is good.    

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Radio Surgery

The radio in our bedroom decided to quit last night.  Well, it didn't really quit, it just lost it's ability to quit.  Literally.  We had a sudden windstorm and the electricity popped off a few seconds and afterward I went around to reset all the digital clocks.  Note to self:  Why do we need so many clocks??? 

Ok, back to the RadioDown situation.  Well, the button where you set the time decided to not flip to that area, it wound around and around but it wouldn't stop at the time reset option.  In fact, the dial wouldn't connect with OFF either.  So the radio would play but it would NOT allow me to turn it off since the dial would NOT stop at the OFF setting.  I finally had to unplug it. 

This afternoon I decided I'd take the back of the radio off and see about fixing such a simple situation.  Right.  The radio back unscrewed easily and the dial buttons came off easily, and the innards slipped out easily.  (Lots of dust in there!)  Well, the area where the settings are located were totally sealed in a little plastic box with no access point.  It was doomed to remain a mystery.  After a few pokes and prods and some inspection, I could see nothing I would be allowed to fix.  So much for my attempt at fixing that hunk of plastic - and it landed in the trash.  Guess I should check to see where to recycle old radios before trash day.

Now, tomorrow I am off to WallyWorld to see if I can find another one.  Seeing how much I dislike WM, I just might stop at CVS or Dollar General to find a cheapie clock radio.  Why go to the big box store when all I want is a dollar friendly clock radio!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Three In A Booth

Today began with rain and so far it's still sprinkling a little off and on. Looks like we have gotten about 3/4 inch, but it's taken all day to get that amount. That's ok, it's still beautiful to see rain after the dry hot summer we experienced. 
Lunch was very nice today at Ruby Tuesday with a couple of friends I used to work with.  We haven't seen each other in awhile although we do email occasionally.  All three of us got the soup and salad bar combo and munched away as we enjoyed each other and tried to get caught up with all the news. 

Both of them are sharp dressers so I had to spend a little extra time finding something half decent to wear so they wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen with me.  Of course, both of them are retired too but they continue to dress in big circles around me.  It was thoughtful of them to take me to lunch and both asked about my brother and his last days with us.

Lynn told us about her "normal" days and how she stays busy making wreaths and sewing quilts.  Wow, I was impressed.  Doris is knitting scarves for Christmas gifts and said she gives so many away that she has to keep making more.  So, what am I doing?   Gracious, my little accomplishments didn't seem so special, but now that I think back on my year, I have been rather productive, although I have read lots of books and worked lots of sudoku puzzles too. 

I went shopping after lunch even though it was raining pretty steadily at that time.  I only bought a handful of things at the Dollar Tree, but didn't need any of them.  I asked myself on my drive home what was wrong - myself didn't answer.  Guess I'm still suffering a bit of depression after my brother died.  More time must be required to get myself back together to want to sew and knit and make things like I used to do in the past. 

I went outside before dark to try to get a couple of pictures of our rainy day but none were all that great in my opinion.  The fall color is pretty now, but with houses and cars and electrical wires sprinkled here and there, it's difficult to get a decent picture.  One day I need to head down the road with my camera to capture some good photos.  That will require a road trip, but that would be ok too.  Probably would help me in other ways too.  Sweetz continues to improve daily and I'm thankful for that blessing and also that I've escaped these nasty germs. 

Wasn't that something in the news today where the man in Ohio let all his wild animals loose and then apparently killed himself!  And the World Series begins tonight.  Nope - I won't be watching that, but did watch the rather spirited Republican debate last night.  Guess I'll get this entry loaded and then grab a book.  Doesn't sound like anything exciting will be happening around here tonight - well as least as I far as I can tell at this point. And that's just fine with me.  A lot can be said about tranquility.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Made an Impression!

Today was dentist day.  I broke a corner off a bottom premolar a few weeks ago and today was the day it was smoothed off and fitted for a crown.  I'd say I'm definitely a candidate for a crown - but I'd rather have one with jewels though!  Oh well, it was necessary - so an impression was made then tools and coded messages back and forth between the assistant and the dentist kept me in the dark.  Since I'm a prime candidate for a migraine, it was decided I'd wear sunglasses today.  First time for me although I should have done it ages ago.  But guess that proves we're never too old to learn something.  They sure did help!  No migraine today.

The numbing is just now wearing off although the assistant said it would take two hours.  Right!  My first shot was about 10:45 and it's 5:30 and it's still partially numb.  That's ok, it will wear off and it's not stopping me from anything I want to do.  Sweetz took me to the dentist's office today and ran a few errands while I was in the big chair.  When I was finished we headed out for some fried chicken at Jerry's.  Excellent place and it was soooo goooood.  Even though I had to chew on my left side, it didn't slow me down much.  On our way out of town, we drove by the beast's house - was hoping to see her outside just to prove she didn't have a job, but everything was snug as a bug in a rug.  So, I can't tell if they still live there, or not. 

A couple of friends/coworkers from work are taking me out tomorrow for a belated "bereavement lunch" since they weren't able to get our schedules coordinated until now.  I haven't seen them since my brother died, so it will be good to get together and do a bit of catching up.  One of them lives a block from the beast, so maybe she will know if the the beastly one is still in residence.  Would be nice to know that she's moved, but I can't be  given all my wishes.  Well, why not??? 

Sweetz and I spent several hours this afternoon raking, blowing, and mowing leaves.  He drove the big mower while I blew the leaves away from the flowerbeds, patio, edges, and walkway.  I also raked a big pile of leaves into the edge of the woods so we can use them in the garden next spring.  They make good mulch and also add nutrients to the soil when they break down.   Looking up into the trees, there will be lots of days left that will see us outside soaking up the sunshine and working on the leaves.  That's fall...and that's a good thing.     

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finished, Except for the Yawns

The Mister is doing better today - we decided to start him on Zicam and that seems to be working much better than the Day/NyQuil.  His cough and head congestion are so much improved.  That is good news because we still share a house and a life.  Plus it's written in stone that I don't want to get his nasty germs.  Hopefully, this is a sign that each day will get better.  That's certainly something to hook my hopes on and to call this stuff...finished.

Today I was invited to share a birthday lunch with some friends I used to work with.  But first I needed to fill my car's tank which was nearly to the point of chugging on fumes and which cost me $50 to push the needle to F.  North Carolina has some hefty gas taxes stuffed on top of the cost of the gas, so it wasn't a pretty sight to see the final cost ring up on the screen.  Wish we lived closer to Virginia where their gas prices are reported to be about 21 cents less/gal.  That adds up to a nice savings on a fill-up.  Oh well, at least I don't drive much these days so I'm saving just by having the car sit in the garage. 

The lunch bunch table was lively and it was good to get together with some real nice ladies.  After lunch I was invited to hitch a ride to Hamricks in Greensboro so that one of them could exchange some sweatshirts.  It was nice to enjoy the afternoon and some fun conversation. The Monday traffic was light and the store wasn't busy at all.  I didn't buy anything mostly because I really don't need anything.  Retirement means mostly khaki and denim hangs in my closets anyway.  I did notice everything I looked at was made overseas with poor workmanship and fabric quality.  I'll just keep wearing what I have for now since I don't need anything at this point. Won't be long before I need to work on my Christmas list but it's getting shorter also.  Maybe I'll just buy some gift cards and call in...finished. 

I took my camera but didn't take any pictures today - although the views from the car were beautiful with leaves turning gorgeous colors around here.  We did see some law enforcement officers at several intersections getting ready to block off traffic for the man who lives in the White House who's staying in our area tonight. None of us was interested in seeing him, so we continued on our merry way. 

Tomorrow I'm off to see the dentist for a crown for my princess
mouth.  Which obviously will come with a royal price.  I'll be glad to walk out...finished.  I didn't sleep worth a flip last night so hopefully, before long, I can this day...finished. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The fall colors are creeping in around us. What a blessing!  Each day the colors are a bit more pronounced with a promise of a full brilliance one day soon.  The leaves are floating down to the ground, especially when there's a bit of a breeze.  There's also a nip in the air in the mornings which is such a refreshing change from the heat of the past summer. Autumn is a treat for the senses which makes it difficult to stay away from the windows or even to stay indoors for long. Now, I wonder why this season has two names when the others have only one.  Tis something to ponder.  

I made a pumpkin roll yesterday afternoon which I cut in thirds and froze separately. I tasted a pinch of it and thought it was fit for a king.  Another blessing for future desserts.  One piece will be given to my mom when she returns from the lake and I'm planning to give the third section to a friend whose husband only has a few more days to live. How sad to think of the strain this family is going through. At least with both my dad and my brother, a sudden death has its benefits for the family although we never had the opportunity to say good bye.  But blessings come in different forms.  Nothing will take away the loss of her dear husband though.  They had a terrific marriage, one built on mutual and genuine love and I know she will miss him dearly.     

We were planning to head down the road to watch our grandson play flag football this morning, but Sweetz had a rough night with a nasty cold that he caught over a week ago while we were on our recent trip to Kentucky and West Virginia.  This one has not been an easy one to get over so he's having a tough fight to gain control. Maybe mountain germs are more difficult to fight. LOL  I'm playing the part of the nagging wife by constantly reminding him to wash his hands and stay out of the kitchen.  He's probably sick of hearing me tell him, but thus far I've remained cold-free.  And that's a blessing. I did wake to a headache this morning, but it's about gone now without taking so much as a single Tylenol, so am grateful for that. 

I'm definitely grateful for my blessings today as each day.  As the world grows more unsettled by the day with rumblings of discord, right now I am at peace.  Life is stressful some days, but we have to keep our nose facing forward and glean blessings where we can find them and give God the thanks He so richly deserves.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I know we should be patient when things go awry.  Well, I really am calm about my new situation.  And that surprises me.  It's temporary and I'll survive, but makes me realize how dependent I am on my internet.  Seems a mole has chewed into my internet cable which is buried underground.  Drat.  So, I am without internet at home - so here I sit at a little desk at our local library instead of being at home in my usual digs.  And to that,  I say, I'm glad there is a solution being worked on by my internet company.  This, too, shall pass. But a Verizon store that can fix me up with an air card is not far away...Something to ponder.

A friend emailed that they are headed out in a few minutes for a week at the beach.  The weather should be fantastic and I hope the family has a great time.  I just got a text from our son inviting us to come watch our grandson play flag football in the morning.  I don't think we have anything planned so that will be a nice Saturday outing.  Surely, lunch can be factored  into that scenario quite easily.  Ummm, seems food is often at the center of our thoughts.

I chopped some peppers to put in the freezer for winter use.  Seems a branch had broken so it was either save the peppers or let them go to waste.  Some were a decent size but most were not quite ready but I chopped them anyway.  It's hard to let anything go to waste these days. 

These early morning blushing pumpkins were just dying to get their picture taken.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two Choices

I had a decent night, if I discount a bit of tossing and turning to find a comfy position.  To my thinking, it might be time to invest in another mattress cover, this one is wrinkly and I feel like the princess trying to get comfy on a pea.   Well, without the princess part.  A wrinkle can sure create some havoc with sleeping positions. 

Yesterday I was out and about running some errands and spending some time with a friend.  Before I met my friend, I decided to shop for a couple of fall jackets.  I got a couple of lightweight long-sleeved jackets that I can wear either uptown or downtown!  One is beige and can be worn to church or when I want to look a bit snazzier. 

The other one is a denim jacket with some embroidery on the front.  Neat!  Now I'm ready to face the world.  What would be better than sitting in the dentist's chair today with my eye-popping jean jacket to dazzle the dental hygienist!  Only thing better would have been if I had made it myself.  Actually my plan was to look for plain jackets to restyle myself.  Nope, didn't happen.  This one was jumping up and down yelling my name.  It was a GREAT deal, so walked around the store with it draped over my arm hoping to find another great deal.  Which I did on another aisle - right there waiting for me.  A beige one - plain Jane but perfect fit.  Now, this one I could embellish if I felt the urge.  But am thinking I'll forego that step and just enjoy its plainness.  Sometimes in life being plain beige is the perfect answer...but then again, even Noah (as seen at the Creation Museum) sometimes jazzed up his outfit with some dazzling color.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Creative Juices

The Cold War continues to persist in the household with MainMan restricted from the kitchen and must wash his hands often.  So far, I have been blessed to have resisted the germs.  During my employed years, the colds would hit fast and furious, only to linger and sometimes return to full speed before slowly dying.  Unbelievably, since I quit work, I have not had a cold - nope, not even a wee one.  So glad I'm not working at this time and being cold-free is an added bonus.

Today found me in a creative mode so I created a few things.
But I only took pictures of the Spooky cupcakes I made. 

But I did make a list of items to get tomorrow.  Some items are on a grocery list which is understandable since we've been away for a week.  I'm going to try to continue to eat healthier now that we're home and then attempt to move to the next level of healthier preparation and ingredients.  We actually ate quite well while we were gone, only eating two small meals per day like we do at home.  It is easy to get in the habit of grabbing unhealthy items instead of fixing something healthy.  Surely I can do better in that regard.  The cupcakes are just a special treat - and actually already have all but a few in the freezer to have for occasional treats. MainMan obviously has some of his smelling and tasting abilities restored because he came through a bit ago and asked me if he could have a couple. I'm sure he smelled the chocolate cupcakes baking. Yes!  He actually asked me to fix him a little plate and a drink knowing I would not be happy to see him in the kitchen with germy germ hands.  He said he washed them but why take a chance, I say.  After all, I don't want a nasty head cold like he has.

Here are a few more pictures from our mountain week.

With cooler weather predicted, I'm thinking some upcoming evenings will see us huddled around the fire pit.  We haven't used it this season and it will be great to enjoy some quiet evenings with a marshmallow roasting on a stick.  Maybe even a hot dog grilled over the fire too.  That's really the best way to cook them.  Note to self: add hot dog buns to the grocery list. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Home - Safe and Sound

We left about 8am this morning from our overnight stop after munching on a delicious breakfast at our motel.  I chose the hot and tasty Belgium waffle.  There was a nice gentleman in the breakfast nook from Williamsburg, VA, who was on his way to attend a family reunion later that day.   He was a retired Navy pilot who entertained us with some of his life like his father losing his job in the coal mines and subsequent family move to Florida to find a job, meeting his wife, seeing the world during his Navy career, and his children being born overseas.  All interesting.  He was waiting for his wife to finish getting ready but she never appeared so wasn't able to meet her but he was certainly an interesting man. 

As we started down the highway, we soon encountered fog nearly as thick as pea soup. Was pretty though.  I was driving and snapped a few pictures out the front windshield. The fog seemed to last forever plus a mile or two, but maybe we were in high in the mountains.  I don't know where we were except somewhere on 81 heading north with Rhoda giving exceptional directions to our house.  She has such a trustworthy voice, so intelligent, and definitely in control.  If I misbehave, she'll quickly butt into my life with, "Turn around as soon as possible".  Yep, she's in control.   

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mountain Tops

We had a nice day riding through back roads on our way to Abingdon, VA. We stopped in the Cumberland Mtns to enjoy some gorgeous views and a short walk.  Back on the road we passed some beautiful scenes which I would have loved to have photographed on a more leisurely drive.  MainMan still prefers Fast and Faster as his preferred speed.  We stopped for a delicious lunch at Applebee's and got such large portions that we asked for Go 'n Tow boxes.  We were thinking we would warm our leftovers for supper but so far neither of us are hungry and probably won't be before breakfast in the morning. 

We saw the Barter Theater in Abingdon, but neither of the plays excited us to part with our money, so we roamed the streets of the downtown historical section.  Also, I wasn't interested in attending a dinner theater which begins at 8:15 pm - too late for eating and definitely too late a night for a duo of geezers. Spent some time in the old depot which has been renovated to house the fine arts council. There were lots of artists on location who were painting, fashioning jewelry, weaving, etc. 

After lunch, Speedy finally let me drive awhile so I got behind the wheel and the speed dropped to bearable.  I even snapped a few pictures while I was driving although the focus will probably be awful but at least I tried.  At one point I was driving 70mph on Hwy 81 - yep that's the speed.  Can't go any slower than that unless you want to be gobbled up by an 18 wheeler plowing into your rear license plate. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ridin' The Rails

Well, the sun has set on another beautiful day in Kentucky and we were fortunate to experience the day from sunrise to sunset.  It's beautiful here with fall colors developing over every mountainside and valley.  It's still predominately green, but the reds and yellows are forming more each day.

We spent the day on a scenic railroad trip in the Cumberland Mountains going along the river gorge and seeing some pretty fall scenes.  Yep, I took some pictures, but right now I haven't gone through them to decide which ones to post.  Forgive me, that will happen but not tonight.  I'll add some another night.

MainMan has a bad cold and I'm hoping he gets better with some medicine we picked up today.  And I certainly don't want any of those germs.  We'll head to Cumberland Gap tomorrow and then point the car toward home.  There will be at least a couple more days on the road before we return home.  Maybe he will feel great by then, but in the meantime I'll be stuck in a car with those same germs.  Maybe I should buy some Lysol spray!!!   

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mountain College Town

We traveled into Berea, KY today.  Pretty college town, quite clean and interesting.  Lots of shops with plenty of handcrafted things.  I understand the college has free tuition but the students have to meet rigid specifications in order to quality.  For example, they have to come from Appalachian regions, be from the top of their schools academically, have top SAT scores, and be from a low-income family.  They have to work 10-20 hrs a week around the college and their crafts are sold in various shops around town.  I found their wares to be top in quality but also top in price. 

Seeing I have no need of "things", it wasn't all that difficult to just browse and enjoy without buying more cluttering stuff.  Oh, there were beautiful things like handcrafted furniture, pottery, silver jewelry, in addition to hand woven and unique fabric items.  Ever so pretty.  Every one's home NEEDS these things!!  But I still didn't see anything I wanted.  MainMan was really shocked when I walked out of each shop with no bags. He rewarded me with a large cone of homemade peach ice cream.  And was it ever yummy!! 

We had lunch in a unique cafe, the Black Feather, which advertised that they use local fresh produce as much as possible.  Unusual with quirky youth around - but the food was delicious.  We had pinnini with chips, marinated yellow squash, and fresh peach iced tea.  We ate on a outside patio area on little round bistro tables.  Certainly was better than a burger at the Golden Arches. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ohio to Kentucky

Our morning drive was pretty as we drove through the mountains with fog most of the way.

We drove through Ohio some today but didn't see much that was interesting.  We saw the birthplace of U. S. Grant but not much else was interesting. Maybe we were in the wrong part of the state...

Then we crossed into Kentucky and the landscape changed dramatically, beautiful area. We ended up near Cincinnati so it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to the Creation Museum. That was a neat place. Enjoyed that immensely and took lots of pictures to remind me of the day.


Monday, October 3, 2011

West Virginnie Mountains

We left this morning about 8'ish and headed toward Ohio.  Made it to the West Virginia welcome sign at noon.  I77 is a nice highway which offers pretty views all around.  The fall foliage color is ahead of ours but not by much.  MainGuy didn't stop for any views or pictures so I made do with snapping pictures out the front windshield. The mountain views are panaramic so photos just show what's in front.  That's ok, I did take some shots from side to side too.  

Tomorrow should be more a more relaxed day - but we were amazed at how short the drive seemed.   The ride around town and sitting at traffic lights waiting for rush-hour traffic after we checked in our room seemed to take about as long as the trip here. Guess that shows how we've become spoiled with speeds over 65mph. We enjoyed a delicious meal at Crackle Barrel where a nice waitress named Lisa took care of us. 

We plan to spend tomorrow at the Creation Museum.  After sitting quite awhile in the car today, walking around will seem a nice change.  Plus I should be able to get some pictures in focus!

The gold-domed building is the capital of West Virginia in Charleston.  We did get sprinkles a couple of times today and the temps dropped to 53* for about an hour as we passed along the highest mountain elevation, but it's in a more comfortable range now.  The remainder of the week is predicted to have highs in the 70's so that sounds like terrific travel weather to me!    

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Clip Clip Clip

Yesterday, I headed over to mom's.  Little did I realize I would be out in the bushes with clippers in hand cutting and slashing through overgrown plants.  But that's what I did.  No electric clippers either.  The dear mom and I prefer the hand method so that just the right branch is cut at just the precise spot for the ultimate natural look.  Now the plants all look wonderful and have no "I have just been visited by the electric clippers". My trusty camera was in the car which was parked at the road but I was too exhausted to walk to the car to get it.  That's a sign of being over the hill tired.  On we plodded until the work was done.  Ronnie, the man who mows her lawn, was there so he offered to haul off the clippings.  That was priceless since I didn't think I would be able to bend over one more time. Then we rested for awhile and  contemplated how nice a restaurant supper would be.  

We chatted until our bones were rested enough to walk to the car. Then off we drove to Sagebrush for a steak dinner - since we thought we needed to be sufficiently rewarded for all that physical labor.  The food was delicious and Nicole took great care of us.  I didn't need any rocking to go to sleep, for the snores arrived easily and quickly. 

Now, it's another day and the skies are lightening.  Wonder what is in store for us today?  Well, for one thing, since we are planning a trip to Ohio tomorrow, there are a few things already on my growing list.  No RV this time - we will be "moteling" this trip and doing some sightseeing.  So, after we return from church and lunch with friends, I need to wash a few loads of laundry, pack, and check on motels along the way and back.  Also need to finish at least one volunteer project that's due.  Sounds like my day will be busy but a nice week awaits us as we see some of the country as yet undiscovered by us.  I'm definitely looking forward to some new adventures.