Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Around and About

Today was an around and about day - around and about the town running some errands.  Exchanged my library books for new ones.  Nothing compares to my grumpy mood when I don't have a book to read. But that situation was settled and I've already gotten deep into several chapters of one of the new ones, a second in a series.  Hope it's as good as the first one. 

I scooted around on several other errands and was back home in short order.  Didn't see anything to take a picture of, it's rather dull and drab around here during the winter months.  That's another reason to look forward to spring.  Nothing much prettier on this planet than seeing a new bud springing to life in the spring.  Can hardly wait!  In the meantime, we look forward to Christmas and the joys of our faith.  The stereo is playing Christmas CDs and filling my heart with peace and contentment.  If only we could have these feelings all year long.  Somehow life gets in the way.  

Sweetz and I put the tree up today.  Yep, and he really helped this year, right there at my elbow as we worked side by side.  It's pretty and I'm enjoying looking at the lights and the ornaments collected over the years while the music plays on.  


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Alcapella and Always In Tune

I attended a concert tonight at our community college where the 82nd Army Airborne chorus treated us to an evening of great singing.  No Christmas songs, but were All-American songs.  Loved the evening.  I went through the receiving line and shook each young person's hand at the conclusion. They were so YOUNG looking and eager to hear our comments.  I enjoyed talking with each one and to thank them for the evening and for their service. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sights and Sounds of Christmas

Linda left this morning and she called mom to tell her she arrived safely.  She had an uneventful drive back home, stopped a few times to stretch her legs, take a break, get gas, etc.  Undoubtedly, she's glad to be home again to get back to her own routine.

It clouded over a few times today, but finally about 8pm it decided to rain - one of those light sprinkling rains, not a full downpour.  Now, we're expected to get some cooler weather for at least a week.  Bummer, I was getting spoiled with our unexpectedly warm weather.  If only winter were this nice, then I wouldn't mind 3 months of it. 

Today I packed the fall decorations away for another year and Sweetz put them in our storage closet.  Then he proceeded to bring out the boxes of Christmas decorations.  So, I put out a few things. A pillow here, a towel there, replaced a picture with a wreath, etc.  Doesn't seem like Christmas yet; I'm still in fall mode.  My decorations need a lift like a different way of displaying them. Certainly am ready for a unique slant to decorating with them. Time to get out of the rut of the same ol' same ol'.  Something vibrant, something artful, something uplifting.  And where does inspiration come from?  Well, I went online and found a website, not much Christmasy on it yet, but mine will have to evolve a bit at a time. It wouldn't be much fun to have the house decorated in one day.  I like to display the sights of Christmas a bit along over several days as the inspiration hits.  

Another thing I did today was to work on some Christmas
projects. They sounded like quick ones, but, of course, nothing works out to be easy.  I did find satisfaction in my accomplishment and now I have some Christmas gifts already in the hole.  Woohoo. 

Had a call tonight from our son wanting to know if we wanted him to buy some gifts for the boys for us to give them.  What could I not like about that??  Sounds like a wonderful idea to me!!! Wonder if they will wrap them too????  Wooohooo, this gift exchange thing is getting easier each year.  This could become a habit.  Rake out a few bills and the shopping magically gets done.  Not like it used to be in my childhood days - we got a few gifts, mostly clothes, and were proud of anything we got.  These days, the kids have lists of what they want and parents seem to feel they have to supply the youngsters with everything on their list.  Whatever, I'm too tired of this annual Christmas train ride so find  I'd like to bury my head and not come up for air till January. 

Mom and I are going to a concert tomorrow night - will be nice to start the season hearing a military chorus - hope they sing all my favorite Christmas songs! Maybe that will get me in the spirit.  Will soon be pulling out Christmas CDs to fill the house with the sounds of Christmas.          

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Another weekend is just about to hit the hay...oh yeah, I'm not working so that's not important anymore!! YAY!!!  Love that I'm retired and don't have to dread Monday and the work which would  always be piled sky high in my inbox - not to mention The Beast growling in my face.  Must say some things are meant to be forgotten. I'm thankful.

We went to church this morning and then met Linda and Mom at a steakhouse for a delicious lunch.  And nooooo, I didn't order turkey anything. It was wonderful to taste something different. Felt I was beginning to grow feathers and talk Gobble.  Our lunch was good and so was the fellowship around the table.  All good things for which to be thankful.  

Mom and Linda wanted to go home for a nap, so Sweetz and I headed home for a quiet afternoon.  He and I headed out a bit before 6 to our church for the evening service where we were blessed with singing by Kim Hopper of The Hoppers, a gospel group.  That woman has a terrific voice, singing from a whisper to loud and I was so impressed with how long she could hold her notes with seemingly no effort.  Just beautiful.  Afterward, I stopped in the lobby and bought one of her CDs - it's playing now.  Very pretty.

After church we headed to mom's and spent the evening visiting with her and Linda, just returned home a bit ago.  We all had a slice of birthday cake with ice cream to stretch out Linda's birthday for yet another day, then sat around the table and talked about everything from here to there.  I saved a picture she wanted to a CD and also to her camera so now she can print it out whenever she gets ready.  I tried to print it, but my cartridge ran out of ink in the middle of the job. 

I ordered new ink cartridges online at the HP website today so they will come in a few days.  I seldom print anything, so waiting a few days shouldn't be too difficult.  I could go to  W*M but HP offered me free next business day shipping so it will be easier to just stroll to my mailbox than stroll the big box store's aisles.  Anyway, I'm sure I would buy something else besides the cartridges if I went to W*M, so this will be better for hanging onto my last pennies until my check comes.  Gotta pay our property taxes in a couple of weeks - yeah, and right here at Christmas time. Terrible timing.

Speaking of Christmas, on our drive to church this evening, we saw lots of homes decorated with outdoor lights, trees lit in windows, and wreaths on front doors.  But I'm still in Thanksgiving mode!  A doe ran in front of our car tonight, she was so graceful, but I was thankful she avoided our car.  A smashed windshield is not something I'd be thankful for...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lovingly Crafted

Linda, mom, and I went to Greensboro to the semi-annual Craftsmen Arts and Craft Show.  Not as many shoppers this year but that made it even nicer for me.  Not many people jabbing you in the ribs, walking over your feet, etc.  Actually, today nearly everyone was real nice and there were lots of smiles and occasional gentle nudges.  Quite a nice day. I saw several items I would have loved to have bought, but finally decided to keep my wallet closed.  I'm a crafty person so I know I could create it myself.  But the real truth is, I CAN but I usually don't.

There was a section of individually decorated trees.  I meant to go over to see them but then I got waylaid and they were forgotten but I snapped a picture. 

There was a huge Christmas tree made of balloons which made an excellent place for us to sit to pose for a picture.

I only bought two things. One was a beautiful button that I want to sew on a jacket.  The other one is a metal creation that will soon get "planted" in a flowerbed.  It is of a simple nativity scene which will eventually get stuck outside to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. 

Wayne played the trumpet and cornet.  Seeing his mouthpiece around the house or warming in his mouth was a common scene.  I saw a vendor who made wind chimes, lamps, key chains, etc. from pieces of instruments and noticed immediately a trumpet mouthpiece made into a key chain.  Mom loved it as a way to remember Wayne so she bought it.  She showed it to Linda who went back to buy one for herself. I play the clarinet and there were valves and such from an old clarinet made into the same items, but for some reason I was not so honored with a key chain remembrance.  Maybe I have to die first!  Now I have PROOF that my brother was the "Golden Child" but no one believes me!  hehe Good thing I am confident in my own skin, otherwise I could be jealous. 

Both Mom and Linda are suffering from colds, so I stopped at Wal*Mart on the way home and bought some Zicam in case their germs decide to play at my house. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Birthday Girl

My SIL, Linda, is still visiting us.  We have leftover turkey and  sides so after a nice shopping trip to Danville, we came home to a turkey spread which was easy peasy.  We put everything out on the kitchen counter and filled our plates with what looked good and then nuked them in the microwave.  I baked the rest of the dressing in patties and they were ready by the time the 4 plates were heated.  Talk about GOOD.  Yummy good food.  Easy too.  That's the best part.  Delicious food with no prep time, just heat and serve.  We still have enough for another meal or two for the four of us.  Might cave in and change the menu for variety.  Then in a few weeks, I will make a big pot of turkey soup.  Probably sounds yucky, but it is fabulous - and nearly free too.  Throw in some veggies, some rice or noodles and simmer for hours that produces some good eating. 

Today is Linda's birthday so we had a bit of a mini-party here complete with a cake and candles. 

We three ladies went to Gingerbread House to shop.  It's a specialty gift shop with some of the most beautiful things.  The place is decorated with gorgeous items that is presented to make your mouth water and your wallet swoon to be swiped. I got two things for Sweetz, can't tell you or take pictures...would be my luck he'd see that particular blog entry.  Gotta be a surprise. There are signs everywhere that no photography or sketching is allowed.  Bummer, my camera was suffering from major depression and rejection syndrome.  I even considered snapping a picture of the store once when I was behind a column and didn't think anyone would see me.  You know...just a picture of the inside of the store, not to snap a design to copy.  Just one for the blog.  But I just couldn't do it.  God said, "NOOOOO" so I put the camera back in my bag.  But, I'm telling you, that store is awesome.  

We stopped in Subway for a snack and then headed for another marathon look/see at Hobby Lobby.  That was fun, except the quality of the items are lower than Gingerbread House, so many items looked cheesy in comparison.  I did find a plastic storage bin with drawers to put some of my craft items in.  I'm excited.  It was half price for some reason, real dusty, but after a good cleaning it will be fine.  Ahhhh, so you want to see it? Sure, I'll go take a picture of it.  It has several drawers and there is a sectional top where crafting items can be stored while working on a project.  Also there are 4 wheels which haven't been put on yet.  In fact, I haven't washed the unit yet either.  I'll probably do that in a bit, or in the morning.

We are heading out in the morning for Greensboro for the Craftsmen Christmas Classic Arts and Crafts Festival at the coliseum.  All handmade items so I understand from all over the country. Wonder if photography is allowed on a "general scale"?  Beautiful weather today - loving this warmer November.  Winter will arrive soon enough so it's nice to get out while we can. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Bones

We had a good time today with the family gathered for the big turkey lunch.  Lots of good food and time together.

The best turkey, dressing, and sides ever!

We were truly blessed with family, food, and fun.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and today I cleaned and prepped the house.  My sister-in-law arrived about noon and we sat and talked awhile, then we wrapped some birthday and Christmas gifts she brought.  Sweetz came in from choring and mom arrived from her house so the four of us gathered around the table and tried our best to get caught up on the latest in each of our lives.  We occasionally talk to Linda by phone but being together in one room is better.

She spent a few days with her son and family near Raleigh prior to her arrival.  She left this morning from their home to spend Thanksgiving weekend with us and mom.  They left a bit ago to go to the grocery store to get some last minute ingredients for the food they'll fix tomorrow.  Sounds like our lunch will be nice and for once I hope no one worries about how many calories we are eating, but will concentrate on the blissful joy of being together.  We'll all miss Wayne but we will enjoy being with the remaining family members.

Our son and family will arrive mid morning tomorrow for the reunion of our families to celebrate Thanksgiving - a time to give thanks for all of God's blessings throughout the past year.  We will enjoy the traditional turkey and sides and everything will be fabulous, right down to the rolls and butter.  The turkey is in the oven now roasting away and churning up smells that blend the present with the memories of the past.  

I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Customer Appreciation

I went to the annual reception that Kathy, my financial advisor, hosted today for her customers.  She and her office help always do a fabulous job with delicious food and lovely venue.  This home was built between 1840 and 1850, by one of the first doctors in the city. The furniture in the manor are from area estates dating from the time period that the residents would have used these pieces. 

There was a photo album downstairs that showed pictures before, during, and after renovation.  Obviously, lots of hard work went into renovating this home to its beautiful condition today.  I forgot to take my good camera so all I had with me was a little point and shoot camera with low battery power.  But I did try to capture a few pictures to remember the day. 

I could kick myself for leaving my camera home because it would have taken much better pictures.  But, I'm not perfect although I get up every morning to try again to be my best.  The food was delicious but I really had to be careful to not overeat.  When I got home I entered my food into my online site and I can see it's going to be difficult to get full on the few calories I have left for today.  Guess I will be eating several stalks of celery for supper!!! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Tee Shirt Kind Of Day

What a gorgeous day we had here :)  Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous  The temps went into the 70s so I really enjoyed our gorgeous fall day! Sweetz and I mowed Mom's yard beginning late morning. Big Cheese rode the riding lawnmower while Weaker Vessel used the push mower in her back yard.  To be truthful, the back yard is much smaller but still a workout for this geezer.  But I made it and although I was tired, it was a good workout. The leaves were fairly thick so I had to make a second swing and in some areas I could have gone an additional circuit but decided I was just too tired.

After a short rest, I swept her screened porch and put everything back in its place.  Black bugs come onto the porch from under the wood edges at the floor on the outside edges, then die right there along the edge.  Yuck, lots of dead black bugs but away they went back into the flowerbeds.  No eulogy, no final words, no Scripture, no prayers, no flowers, no funeral...just scattered remains finding their final resting place among the plants where they probably began their lives.

This morning I helped Sweetz change the oil in the lawnmower and changed the spark plug plus something else that I don't know the name of.  Anyway, it worked like a charm and mom's yard is now mowed and the leaves have been mulched, neat as a pin. Although we worked hard, I still loved being outside in some unusually outstanding late November weather.  It began to cloud over late this afternoon with think, dark clouds.  A few scattered sprinkles hit the ground, but so far nothing more. Was thinking the rain would arrive on Wednesday but maybe I was daydreaming during the weather forecast...or planning a family Thanksgiving meal.

I started making a birthday card for my SIL this afternoon who has a birthday this week. Surely, I can have it ready by the 25th. Is that Thanksgiving Day?  Not sure - I will have to consult a calendar.  This retiree doesn't consult calendars very often, in fact sometimes I have trouble determining the correct day of the week.  And soon it will be 2012 and I'll have to struggle to remember to write that correctly. Sometimes I just want to say, "Stop the world, I want to get off" but that doesn't work.  We must walk this earth one step at a time and do our best each day.

I see the Congressional debt reduction supercommittee was not able to come up with an agreement. Not surprised. And the stock market sank on that prediction.  Tomorrow mom and I have been invited to a Christmas luncheon hosted by our financial advisor - wonder what she will say to do now?  Bet she'll say: "Let's keep things as they are and keep a close eye on them...things will eventually  improve".  Blah blah blah... Heard it Heard it Heard it...but not sure I believe that advice anymore.

Wal*Mart happily grabbed some of my grocery money this afternoon.  We will have a turkey for Thanksgiving - yep, I eventually settled on a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey and the trimmings.  My healthy eating program will obviously suffer, but I will eat a bit of everything (well, not the macaroni and cheese) but hopefully smaller portions will prevail.  It would be a good idea to limit my food intake on Wednesday and Friday and throw in some additional exercise.  Sure.  Well, at least it sounds good!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Look And Ye Shall Find

Yesterday when I arrived home from the shopping trip, I left my purse in the car and poked my keys in my pocket.  Then I walked all over the yard and lot and grabbed some dried fall stems to make an arrangement for the house.  I cleaned up that mess and straightened and rearranged some things, repotted the last geranium, put some planters in the shed, moved a small table indoors for the winter, etc.  I was ALL OVER THE PLACE, inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs, in the woods, in the flowerbeds, in the shed. 

Then this morning we were ready to head out the door to church when I realized I did not have my wallet and car keys.  Couldn't find them. The frantic search began as I backtracked all my paths yesterday, looking, searching, moving leaves, in drawers, under the bed, in the bed, in the laundry hamper, in the trash can.  Over and over and over again, everywhere I had been or where it could have dropped.  I kept praying for God to allow me to find them.  My credit card, debit card, and driver's license are in the wallet - a set of electronic key and remote are on the key chain attached to the wallet.  No answer from God, no keys, no success, no relief.  But I kept praying since I knew He knew where they were.  Surely, He didn't want me to stay home from church this morning just to be scrounging through the trash for a set of keys and wallet. 

Finally, 2.5 hrs later I remembered I had worn a light jacket since it was cool yesterday morning. So I rushed to the closet to check in the closet where I hung my jacket and.... there it was in the front pocket!!! Yay!!! Thank you, Lord.

 Another strange occurrence yesterday and my dropping glass items and breaking them.  Not sure why, but now I'm trying not to pick up anything made of glass.  Strange...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Dormant Creative Side

I headed out this morning to go to an Agriculture Extension Craft Fair in our area.  They do this at least every Christmas, not sure if they do it at other times of the year but it's always nice to see the handcrafted items.  I bought a handwoven basket and a towel with tatting on the hems.  Then I decided it would be nice to go to my friend's business downtown where she sells handcrafted items.  She makes a lot of the items for sale in the shop but also offers creations by area craftsmen like wooden bowls, silver jewelry, scarves, pottery, beaded items, glass painting, soap, herb blends, etc.  I bought a few items for Christmas gifts so I'm heading into the holiday season with a few things crossed off my list. 

After my friend, Jean, recently sent me a picture of a beautiful dried  arrangement she created for her fall house decor, I've been wanting to attempt to do one.  So, today when I arrived home from my morning shopping excursion, I walked around the yard and garden and picked a bit of this and that, dried flowers, seed pods, and grasses.  After choosing a pottery pitcher as the holder, I attempted to connect to my creative side of the brain.  Whatcha think, Jean??? 

Being in Tena's shop this morning, I saw many things I could sew,  knit, crochet, paint, etc. if I would only settle down to do them.  She's so creative and seeing her unique things just made me want to jump in with knitting needles, paint brush, crochet hook, and beads.  Might have to unleash some creativity soon and try my hand at some different jewelry techniques. 

Tena invited me to come to her store after the holidays and she'd teach me some new crafts, two of which are...gracious - forgot what she called them...something like pounded metal jewelry and the other one was punched felt items. She has evening classes but I don't want to get out in the evening with dark arriving a bit after 5pm.  But she said I could come during the day and we'd play with some new ideas.  She has all the needed supplies in her store and even has a craft area conveniently located near the rear of her store.

Sooooo...for now, maybe I can get back to painting again and I definitely have plenty of free wall space... 

Friday, November 18, 2011


I obviously needed some downtime today so I took it easy and allowed myself to rest.  This morning I felt like I was coming down with a cold: sneezing, running nose, achy, etc. So felt taking things slower and resting was the order of the day.  At one point this afternoon, I laid down on the bed and took a short nap, not long, but hopefully enough to give my cold a chance to disappear and not return -- ever.  That's a big wish, but wouldn't it be nice if we could wish good things for ourselves each day! 

Sudoku, library books plus TV, piano, and computer have been close by today.  No excuses, no laziness - just some needed rest.  And now I can report I'm feeling much better, nose isn't running, and the sneezes have stopped.  I did snip the branches off a geranium and put them in water hoping they will root this winter and I can enjoy new plants next spring to help spread the joy.  Then I repotted the pruned mother plant in a smaller container to overwinter indoors.  I have one more geranium to snip, but don't have a pot handy - maybe tomorrow I'll get that one done. 

We had a frost this morning - temp was 31* at first light so nothing will survive outdoors much longer.  I brought in my fern today from the front porch and have it hanging in a kitchen window.  I'll get tired of its fronds jiggling in my hair and move it to another window but for now it's green and keeps the memory of warm days fresh in my mind.  Winters are so tiresome, so seemingly unending and depressing.  Makes me ponder how the early pioneer women survived the cold winters in their log cabins, lean-to's, and sod huts.  I am blessed and have so many more options than those hearty folk who worked diligently for even the smallest things. Yes, we are blessed and I am thankful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Southern Christmas Show

Sweetz and I signed up to go on a day trip to Charlotte, NC, to the Southern Christmas Show with a group of people from our area.  So off we went to meet the van and the other nice people at 8am this morning.  Everyone was so nice and we had a great time.

After walking around a hundred or so vendors in the first (of three sections), we decided to sit and listen to a lady sing Christmas carols. 

She had a fabulous voice and at one point she came down from the stage and smiled at us and then asked Sweetz (all between verses of I'll be Home for Christmas) if he'd sing along with her in a duet.  He looked a bit helpless at first but went along with it and sang along with her on the last verse...and I must say he did real well!  I took a picture of his debut into his singing career!

And the two bags he's holding....I do believe those are my Christmas presents.  He's quite good at watching what I like and then going back to buy something I had admired.  Ummm, wonder what Santa picked out??? 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We're experiencing a weather front moving through over the day leaving us with lots of rain.  And it's rather odd to have lightning and thunder this time of year but I've noticed some over the past couple of hours. 

It was a rather odd day for me in another way: kinda in a funk, a bit sad, thinking of things that sadden the spirit.  Decided a nap was in the stars so took a snooze all wrapped up one of my grandmother's quilts.  That gave me some stability and felt cozy in my cocoon and slept like a baby until the phone woke me.  But it was refreshing and obviously needed.  I feel better now, ready to face whatever comes my way. 

I must admit to myself that I didn't eat healthy today.  Nope, I jumped wildly off the side of my wagon and ate whatever I wanted, drank sugary drinks and even had a piece of cheesecake. Hope this is just a fluke odditity and my willpower will return by morning.

Ok, that's behind me and now I need to climb back on the wagon and get with the program.  This is definitely not the way to lose weight and eat healthier.  Bad bad.  Must do better...tomorrow.

Tomorrow should bring cooler temps and new horizons.  More on that subject on tomorrow's post. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Out And About

I headed out this morning to travel over the river and through the woods to meet a friend in Martinsville for lunch.  It was nice to get out for a girls' lunch and to enjoy one of the last warm days this season.  Well, I hope we get more, but I take the idea of many more warm days with little hope.  The temperatures will drop and then will slide lower than I like.  Then I will be stuck inside with a sweatshirt on til spring peeps around the corner.  

While in Martinsville, I decided to take advantage of my freedom to check out some stores and do a bit of shopping.  We need a new mattress pad so found one at a decent price.  Then I wanted another set of sheets and I found them sitting on a shelf just waiting for me.  A few other incidentals nestled in my buggy including sewing machine needles and a piece of card stock.  Looked at a set of toddler's wooden blocks to spell out words...but didn't want to pay $12.88 for them.  That is ridiculou$ for a few wooden cubes in my estimation.  Might have to check out some yard sales or antique shops, if I can find any.  We used to have antique shops on one of our back streets in town, but they went the way of the dinosaur.  Was even thinking I might ask Sweetz to cut some cubes from some scrap wood and I'd paint/stencil the letters on. 

I stopped at JoAnn Fabrics but found I was overwhelmed with the prices of even small items.  I walked out with nothing. No use giving my money away for something I don't NEED.  Dollar Tree was a neat stop, lots of items in there if you don't mind returning occasionally to see the new arrivals.  I'm learning that when I find something, I better get it because it may be gone the next time I go.  They had some shiny Christmas ornaments which captured my attention so got 3 of them. 

My friend called to say she was 10 minutes from Applebees so rushed up front only to wait "patiently" in line for the sole cashier who kept informing us that she had to go to the bathroom and might have to keep us standing in line waiting for her if someone didn't come from the storage room to relieve her.  Well, I snickered but her expression showed she failed to see the humor.  

There was one last stop on my agenda - another friend's house who was having a Mary Kay Open House.  I didn't really need anything but I did make one purchase to help her.  Now, I'm thinking tomorrow will see me hanging out at home.  Might even strip the bed and put on the new mattress pad and sheets.  WoooHooo, the excitement is overpowering!   

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanks to Golden Corral

On my morning errand run this morning I was exiting Wal-Mart and heard some sirens.  I didn't think much about them, but they got louder and closer.  Then as I arrived at my car, a big fire and rescue truck arrived with lights flashing and sirens blaring.  It was followed immediately by an EMS van also with lights and sirens railing.  Men rushed into the store and it gave me pause to think...was a customer having a heart attack when she saw the rising prices on nearly all the food items????

Golden Corral was offering a free dinner to all military veterans tonight in honor of Veterans Day.  They've done this for several years, but for some reason Sweetz decided he'd take them up on it this year.  It was a whale of a scene!  But extremely orderly -- and they were so nice to all the vets.  The food was stacked high on the buffet bar and beverage glasses were kept refilled.  The customers were escorted graciously to their tables by uniformed scouts and their leaders, and dishes were swept away by some of the cutest cub scouts who told the vets that they appreciated their service.  All done in the most organized fashion. There were several military items around in the front of the parking lot, flags everywhere, and numerous signs inside and out thanking the troops for their service. 

A HUGE flag flew above the restaurant attached to the top of an extension ladder on a big piece of machinery.  This HUGE flag rolled majestically in the evening breeze and was beautiful to behold.  Of course, I left my camera home!  Drat.  There was a group of officers, troop leaders, even our sheriff greeting the vets at the doors, thanking each vet and giving them a sticker to wear on their shirts.  The sheriff eventually went inside and continually refilled tea glasses the entire time we were there with a huge smile on his face.  I was impressed!

It was unbelievable to see the support for the vets.  I overheard many of the men discussing their units, their ships, their bases, their line of work, the wars, the trenches, the hardest years of their lives but it was evident each one was proud to serve our country. It was a moving tribute to our vets and I'm proud of my hubby and all the other vets who protect the freedom of our citizens. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Procrastination Revisited

A few months ago I had promised to do some volunteering where I used to work.  Yep, that was AFTER the sheriff left the premises since my tortured body definitely didn't want to see the whites of her eyes again in this lifetime. 

I've done some of this, that, and the other on some projects for Marcia over those weeks.  But one project was a fairly discombobulated jumble of papers that she wanted me to type into one neat set of pages.  I must admit it looked a bit overwhelming to my retirement plans, so had put it away.  You know how that is: out of sight, out of mind.  Well, the retiree mind is a bit tired and retired so it didn't take much to almost completely forget it.  I had made certain all the papers were hidden in an envelope, inserted in a folder, covered underneath a bunch of papers, and finally stored in another room.  Yep, thought it was a goner from my mind. 

This afternoon, I decided I had procrastinated long enough.  Time for action Old Girl.  Well, long story's now neatly typed, saved, and emailed to Marcia.  Won't she be totally BLOWN AWAY Monday morning when she arrives at work to find I have FINALLY completed typing up her notes and clippings to one neat project!  

I have one more incomplete project - a time line...(but she did explicitly tell me that there was no rush on it).  Whew.  BUT, I do need to finish it soon and get this HUGE notebook back to her.  My twelve pages of notes need to be edited down to two typed pages.  Sounds like fun, eh? Wonder what other interesting projects she'll have me working on after this timeline is in the can...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Family Day

Today the family visited and thankfully the weather cooperated.  Brian had some wood from cutting down an oak tree so now we have a fresh stack of firewood.  The guys unloaded the trailer and then we had a bit of time sharing our lives.  The little guys were hungry when they first arrived so I fed them two bowls of cereal to tide them over til lunch.  The big guys grilled the burgers and hot dogs and I fixed the rest of the fixings.  Yummy, yummy.  We don't eat like this often so it was nice. 

This afternoon a neighbor visited and while here was asking me about my camera - so I took a picture of her.  Our children grew up together so we've known each other for years. 

Tonight our church is hosting a BBQ dinner for the church family and we plan to attend.  I don't know where I'm going to put BBQ since I'm still full from lunch...but it sounds too good to turn down.  The house is quiet now that the family has left.  It was nice and I thoroughly enjoyed all the ruckus but everyone will be back on Thanksgiving Day along with my sister-in-law.  

I found out today that Nolan loves to solve Sudoku puzzles too!!  Wow, boy after my own heart. At one point I couldn't find him but there he was in my living room stretched out on my sofa working one. (Jean, don't judge me on my corner Thanksgiving arrangement!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dust Bunnies

Another day dies in the west.  Well, the sun's not down yet but it's on its merry way to the horizon.  Of course, the actual horizon is hidden from my view with trees.  But as the day dies, the trees burst into their last hurrah of golden hour golds and reds which makes this time of day such a treat. 

The weatherman predicts some cold temps tonight and then a nice weekend which might stretch into the first of the workweek. Now, that makes me wonder about something...if the work week is Monday through Friday, then what is it called for the retired?  I'll ponder that awhile.  Of course, I work, just not for a formal boss.  After the one I barely survived, this no-boss working is definitely preferred by whatever name the week holds.  

Linda, my SIL, called this afternoon and we chatted about this, that, and the other.  She will be arriving Wednesday of Thanksgiving week and will be staying several days.  She told mom and me to not plan any fancy meals, stating that sandwiches would be just fine with her.  Also, she didn't want us to go to any trouble doing any extra cleaning.  Does that mean I can now put my cleaning supplies away?  

I was doing a bit of maintenance cleaning since our son and family will be arriving in the morning to spend the day with us.  Surely didn't want them tripping over the dust bunnies that live here.  Anyway, if no one ever came to visit, then I would never clean the house! Sweetz went to the grocery store for a couple of items while I stayed home and finished the rest of the cleaning. Nice to not him underfoot for a few minutes.

There's a BBQ dinner at church tomorrow night and we signed up to attend.  Sounds like a perfect ending to a memorable day.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some Things Fall

Dr. Tooth saw me this morning to insert my new crown.  Wow, no problem at all.  Zip zip and it was done and fits like it was made just for me...well, it was!  And the co$t, well, I won't go there.  You know, the cost is understandable because it was a perfect fit and custom made just for me. I'm still shuddering under the sticker shock. Now that I don't have dental insurance, the payment is all mine too, custom made just for me.  Sigh.

While I was in the big chair, Sweetz was in another chair getting a haircut.  He arrived back at the office just I was finished so we decided to grab some lunch.  We both chose chicken tenders, not exactly on my diet plan, but hopefully the rest of my day's meals made up for it.  Really need to get back to eating healthy at all meals.  That's my goal.  But I know I will sometimes fall off the GoodFoods wagon and won't beat myself up.  I'll just try better tomorrow. 

My friend from NJ sent me some photos today of her fall decorations.  My, what talent of putting a few things together and making it look fabulous.  Her pictures got my decorating juices flowing so gathered a few things, moved and shifted and propped and stood back and looked...well, I tried.  Should I send her a picture of my creation and see what my grade is?  Well, that would take guts!

The fall foliage color changes each day and today's was duller with more oranges turning to browns with an occasional tree brilliant in her reds.  More leaves fell today but after all, that's the gig of this season coming to an end. Could be sad, but I'll try to keep optimistic knowing this too shall pass.

These pictures were taken as the sun was setting so not as bright as earlier today, but I still thought the colors were beautiful. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Over The Hill

If our son turns 40 today, does that mean we're getting older too?  Naaaah.  I can vouch that since I started my healthier eating stage, I eat better and more.  Even though I'm slowly losing weight, I feel sooooo much better.  Unbelievably more energy.  I'm using the WebMD website and really doing well with their help.

We took our son out to eat for his birthday today.  He came from work and met us at a fabulous Italian restaurant north of Greensboro.  Great place.  Wonderful food.  Delightful server.

When we returned home, we changed clothes and headed to mom's to mow her lawn - you remember...the one on a HILLLL.  But we got 'er done.  Looks good.  Mom wasn't home but had gone with a group of people from her church to Wytheville to a dinner theatre.  I think she said they would be seeing "Smoke On The Mountain".  I'm tired but not as much as I was the previous time we mowed the yard.  Not sure why, but I just kept walking away until we had it finished. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Simply Stacked

Today I had lunch with a friend.  We have known each other for more than 15 years and even though there's a difference in our ages, with me being on the geezer end, she is special.  Her birthday was last week but she got sick and was swamped with other responsibilities so it was today that we finally got together.  She was one of the main characters in the play I went to see Sunday afternoon.  Definitely a woman of many talents.

I filled my tank with gas at the local Wal-Mart and grunted as I had to pay nearly $50 for that luxury.  I noticed the fall foliage color is fading and I really hated to see more brown and dull oranges than we had even a few days ago.  Oh well, life is short and we must grab the gusto where we find it. 

Mom called and wanted me to come over and help her with her sewing machine which was locked up.  Originally, she wanted it taken out of the cabinet so she could take it to the Singer shop, but I decided to see if I could work some magic on it, and it was purring in short order.  Soon I produced a beautiful row of smooth stitches in a perfect row.  She was pleased. 

Talked to my son tonight.  We're going to meet him tomorrow for lunch and then the whole family will be coming over Saturday for a family day. Said he'd even work in the yard.  Ummmmmmm, is this the same kid who hated to do his chores when he was growing up?  

I saw this pile of pumpkins on a mailbox during my ride home from lunch.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bad To The Bone

I was baaaaad today.  Went to Pizza Hut with hubby and ate too many calories.  Way too many. I did drink a big glass of water with my meal...but the dessert pizzas just couldn't be ignored. 

Now, I'll be counting calories the rest of the day and evening.  It's time to head to the kitchen for some supper prep.  I do believe I will be fixing everything low-carb, sounds like meat and veggies to me. Okey dokey, Sweetz just told me he didn't want supper, maybe I can just quit eating for the day and I'll be back on track. 

We stopped at Lowes today to check out a few things and to pick up a part for our lawn mower that we'd ordered.  While he did that, I cleaned the inside of our little RV and brought in all the food to overwinter in the house.  Tomorrow we will put the cover on it which will help protect it from the elements.  We had wanted to go out again for a week, but the rainy weather ruined those plans.  But now the weather is turning colder and all thoughts of heading out have been chilled by the thermometer.  I find it surprising that's it's already November, but maybe the winter will pass quickly and spring will be bursting out before we know it. 

Today was beautiful: lovely warm day with beautiful colors on the trees.  The leaves seem to be staying on the trees longer than usual allowing us a showcase of jewels to delight the eyes.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dearly Departed

I don't know how to express the beauty around here in sufficient language to adequately convey the gorgeousness of the fall splendor.  Just beautiful is all I can keep saying over and over again. Makes me completely forget my frustration of DST, doesn't even seem to matter what hour it is, just awesome to admire God's handiwork with his paints of gold, yellow, crimson, bronze, burgundy... Beautiful.

Church was great and so was lunch with some friends we've known for ages.  The regular gang was out of town, so Sweetz and I figured we'd be alone at the table.  But as we were sitting down to eat, the Joneses came in and sat with us.  What a sweet couple they are and we had a ball talking and laughing and sharing our lives with each other.  We haven't seen them for about two years so it was so good to see them again.  They live up in the hills and hollers and are such loving people.  They invited us to visit them anytime now that we are all retired, so we plan to go.  Will be wonderful to see them again. He had an unfortunate accident with a gas grill and had some bad burns on his hands and face, but he's grown some new skin and is healing nicely. 

It was all we could do to leave them, but I had to hurry home to pick up mom and head back out to see the play, "Dearly Departed".  It was real good and the actresses/actors were delightfully funny.  A good friend of mine was in it and she was such a natural.  We're to do lunch Tuesday and I'm looking forward to that.  Always nice to see a friend and enjoy some fun time together.  During the intermission a former co-worker I hadn't seen since I retired came over and we chatted until the warning lights started for the second act. 

When I took mom home, we sat together for hours talking about almost everything under the sun.  There's nothing quite like a good friend and a mom all rolled into one!

Yep, it was a good way to enjoy a beautiful day.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Time For Change

Tonight - seems like it sneaks around about 2am - it's the semi-annual occurrence of DST - Daylight Savings Time.  The fall half includes the time change to reflect an extra hour.  Not my favorite example of how our time should be managed.  I'd vote to eliminate DST.  But no one asks me.

It's not the task of changing the hour on each clock in the house that is the bother.  It's the turmoil it wrecks on my internal clock.  My clocks are now all reset to give me an extra hour.  The task is now physically complete.  All that's left is the ~week required for me to intrinsically adapt... 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Success is Less

I have a success story!!!  Eating more was the secret for yesterday, for I lost 0.5lb.  That means a loss of 6 pounds in the first week.  Actually, that's too much, but maybe not for the first week, as I know loss will slow to a trickle later on. And surely, the plateaus will be depressing, but I'm going to try to stay upbeat and look at the healthy side of life.

I have a list of things to do this morning.  Was going to have lunch with a friend but she called to let me know she has an upset stomach this morning so we rescheduled our lunch date for next week.  So, I'm off to play in the rain as I run a few errands. 

The errands are done: hair cut, groceries purchased, 
scrapbook project delivered, spaghetti supper picked up at Elizabeth's Pizza, day trip to Charlotte with the Senior Center registered and paid - we're going to the Southern Christmas Show mid month.  Don't ask me what it is...I have no idea.  But Sweetz and I will be heading on their van for a mystery trip.  We have to be at the Sr. Ctr at 8am.  Now, that will be a push since that's about the time I like to roll out of bed.  Guess I need to do a bit of research to see what we're going to!  The van will stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, the rest of the day will be a surprise.  Woooo Hoooo.  

Now, after downing almost all of my spaghetti/salad/breadstick supper, I  need to spend some time on the treadmill.  That's the most I've eaten in 4 months and I'm miserable!! It's going to be real cold tonight so Sweetz just passed through to inform me he's on his way out to the garden to cover the plants.  Yep, sounds like we could really use a greenhouse.   

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Online Assistance

I've begun to track my eating online.  I found two free websites that do the math and track the nutrients, cholesterol, fat, fiber, carbs, protein, weight, exercise, etc., all with a few clicks.  Beginning with entering present weight, sex, height, build, desired goal weight, medical conditions, level of exercise, etc., I felt that the questions were fair and produced a good analysis of my situation. 

Each day I'm to enter what I ate, how much, how many glasses of water, etc.  Both websites are fairly easy to navigate.  One of the websites is  The other website is I'll enter my info on both websites for a few days and see which one I like the best and then drop the other.  Surely, the WeightWatchers system is better/easier, especially the ease of keeping up with points rather than calories but at least both WebMD and CalorieCount do the math and they are free.  Free is good! I just click on the food eaten, choose the quantity, and hit add. I even get reminders via email to not forget to enter the info. 

Lunch was 1/2 grilled pork chop, fresh green beans, steamed fresh cabbage, and fresh steamed broccoli.  Per the websites, that amounted to a few hundred calories.   

After only two days of letting these two websites analyze my diet, I can already see I'm eating incorrectly.  Some areas are great.  But I'm supposed to eat 1242 calories a day and I'm not eating anywhere near that.  Would think I'd be skin and bones at that level!  Nope, looking at me I'm not skinny by any stretch of the imagination.  Used to be...not now. So, looks like a few snacks are going to jump into my days, although to be honest, I'm not hungry most of the time but I cook and eat mostly because of Sweetz.  At least this has been the pattern since my brother died.  The day he died my appetite seemed to have died too. 

Looks like some re-ed of my diet is needed.  Probably even some appetite invigoration is needed. How?  I don't know.  But in the meantime, I'm going to try weight loss online.  OK, I'm off for some snacks, then I need to plan supper...whether I'm hungry or not.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An R and R Day

Today was Rest 'n Recoup Day.  I realized I had more energy today but still didn't want to do much.  Perhaps my body was telling me to rest after all the rustling I did yesterday.  Now, now, I didn't just sit in my rocking chair and snooze.  Nope, it was just one of those "normal" days where things get done on an even keel with lots of down time inbetween.  And still time for two of my favorite down time activities.

Our mattress needed flipping so off came the sheets and Sweetz and I twisted and turned Big Bertha to the upside down twist around position.  Now, we'll see if that doesn't make for a comfy night's snoozing.  Actually, it felt ok to me, but Main Guy was thinking it was again time for the switcheroo.  I still need a mattress cover but am still looking.  Not really so much looking as it should be...I mostly forget to look.  More things on my mind than a mattress cover so I forget to check out that section of the store as other things fill my brain and my eyes.  

The pot of beef veggie soup is nearly gone so tomorrow I need to fix something different.  I love soup and could very well enjoy a few days of bean and ham soup, then after that, slurp happily for an additional few days on chicken and rice soup.  My friend, Pat, loves taco soup, so might dig up her recipe and make a pot of that one day.  Can't be enough days in the month to satisfy my love of soup.  Bet Main Guy will be hankering for something to stick to his ribs, but that's the name of the game when one is the designated cook.  Yep, I say, if I'm the one in the apron, then I can fix what I want.  Which I usually do.  He's not hard to please, so meals are fairly easy.  

Today he brought in a big broccoli head plus some beans and tomatoes.  Not bad for a garden enduring temps coming within a fraction of an inch from freezing. 

He'd like a greenhouse and if I knew we would be staying here, we'd get one.  But I still want to move - over the river and through the woods to another place.  Or  take the RV to a warmer place for the winter.  WhoooHoooo, wouldn't that be AWESOME. It's little so we'd probably have the other one strung up on a pole somewhere, but it sounds like a magical time.  

We went to Lowes today and bought a blade for the riding lawnmower.  Sweetz put it on and it worked like a charm.  He even mowed some in the yard to make sure everything was ok.  Talked to my mom and she's doing fine even after yesterday's workday.  She still amazes me with her stamina.  I cannot even fathom being that active at age (a tad short of) 90.  Now, I think I'll grab my book and read for awhile - perhaps Mr. Sandman will come early tonight. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

As The Leaf Falls

Today was the day Sweetz and I went to mom's to attack the leaves.  Those beautiful trees were so gorgeous with the sun illuminating brilliant yellows and reds. If you looked up!  But the dead ones on her lawn were another story:  it was time to get the rake.  Well, the rake didn't see much action today but the push mower and the blower did. 

Her back yard is enclosed in a chain link fence which  doesn't offer an adequate opening to get a riding mower through.  Ok, so I got the push mower.  Sounds easy, but then it needed gas and oil.  It needed the wheels lifted, it needed to be primed, it needed the mulcher attachment, and to top it off - it needed to be started.  But finally all prep was completed and off I went to mow the back yard.  Since I had raked the back yard into piles earlier thinking this step would help, I thought this job would be a piece of pumpkin cheesecake.  Not so.  The leaf piles were wet and globbed so the mower wasn't mulching them very well.  But off I went around and around until it was fairly mulched. Of course, there were lots of new leaves that had fallen on the entire yard, but hey it was fun...of course.  I did rest at the midway point and then after the back was finished. 

Sweetz came with the van packed with our push mower, blowers, rake, gas can, etc. as I was finishing the back. As he began the LARGE sloping front yard, I finished the back.  After a swift rest, I found myself working beside him on the front. And we got 'er done.  Sweetz didn't bring the riding mower this time, but after the workout we got on that lot today, by golly I'll see that the riding mower gets used the next time.  He thought it would be difficult to use a riding mower because of the slope.  Probably so, but a push mower is not the way to do it for this aged geezerly lady. 

The most amazing part of this whole story is that my nearly 90yo mother was out there too.  She had a rake and pushed the mower in the front some when I was doing something else.  Told her not to help, but help she did.  That part was so amazing to see her.  She has always loved to work in the yard, so this was a great day for her to work in her yard awhile.  

I came home exhausted!!  I could barely climb the steps to get in my house. I kicked off my shoes and sat for about 30 minutes to see if I would live.  Four hours of hard labor is alot for my out-of-shape sedentary body. 

Sweetz had made a pot of soup yesterday so it was perfect to just heat and serve tonight for supper.  I guess I'll live, but just barely.  Ummmmmm, wonder how many calories I burned on that lawn???  Surely, I'll notice a lower number on the scales in the morning!  I have no pictures to add today, actually didn't think of taking the camera, but wouldn't it have been neat to see a video of me pushing that mower!!!