Monday, November 30, 2009

Raindrops on Roses

I love going to the mountains.  We've been going there for a long time now.  We go to the same area of Western North Carolina, just outside Bryson City.  We normally rent a cabin named, "Eagles Nest Hideaway."  This time, it was booked, so we went to "Bear Rock Chalet."  (love the names!)

The best part about the mountains is the absolute quiet.  It's still up there.

It's a place where cell phones don't work.  There's no internet.

Entertainment for the day involves tree swings and tree forts and playing in leaves.

We sit in the hot tub and discuss our teen years, our present years, and our future years. 

We eat like it's going out of style:  Party Mix, Spinach Dip, PW burgers, Brie, Gouda, BACON, pizzas, Carne Asada, Pico, Little Debbie Snacks, Cold Beer, Vino Verde

Scrabble Games, The Sound of Music (me and Mary and Griff), and Dominoes for the boys.

Watching this little fella.

Just being together.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One Day

I refuse to think about Christmas until December.

I have one day left.

So, instead of thinking about Christmas and all that needs doing and buying, I am going to think about Dory.   She makes me giggle.

Happy November 29 and 30!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I figure I'm going to be a bit busy tomorrow.  So, I'm going to take a few minutes tonight to reflect on the things for which I'm thankful.  My first is a thanks to you, the reader, for continuing on with this post!

  • I'll just start with the obvious, but never thanked enough---I am thankful for my children, my Steven, my brothers, my sisters in law, my nephews, my grandmother, my aunt and her family.  Even though we aren't together over the holidays, I always count you among my most special blessings.
  • My bed.  Oh, I love my bed.
  • Cream Cheese.  I am thankful for this food of the Gods.
  • Jan.  My friend Jan introduced me to Pioneer Woman, my very first blog.  She also introduced me to NieNie.  These two blogs inspire me daily.
  • Dusti.  Dusti helped me realize I could start a blog, enjoy writing it, and maybe someone would read.
  • The "Next Blog" icon.  Many an evening, I have clicked on this icon, normally just breezing through blogs of which are nice, but they don't grab me.  BUT, through this icon I've found some very special people:  Maryellen, Angie and Sherri---you all enrich my life on a daily basis.
  • Vino Verde. 
  • Anjeanette.  She is my soul 'sister.'  I have worked along side her for 13 years and wouldn't know what to do without her.
  • The Jacksons, the Morris', the Reaves', the Coultas', the Carusos. 
  • Potatoes of any kind.
  • Comments of any kind.
As we are all in the midst of a busy Thanksgiving Eve and holiday weekend, I just wanted to take the time to reflect on the many wonderful people in my life.  Thanks to each and every one of you for being in my life and allowing me to invade yours.  I send you love and blessings now and always.
Happy Thanksgiving 2009!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm not sure this is what the Pilgrims and the Indians had in mind...

Now granted, I wasn't in attendance at the very first Thanksgiving, but I'm thinking that more often than not, we're not portraying it properly in our artwork.  I think we have the right idea in taking time out from our busy lives to reflect on those things for which we're thankful.  I think it's the perfect time for us to remember those who are less fortunate and to do something for them. 

But, I've come across a few pictures tonight that leave me scratching my head just a bit.  Maybe I'm just living in a sheltered world, but some of these Thanksgiving images are boggling my mind.

For example, this lovely lady just doesn't look like a native American.  She looks like a porcelain doll.  And, did she mean to light that fire in her teepee?

Um, what is she doing here?  Is she showing the turkey a mirror?   And, why is the turkey wearing a bonnet?  Did I miss the bonnet wearing turkey tradition somewhere?  I do like the red shoes though.

Okay, this one looks a little bit more normal. Are those her brothers, or her beaus?  The turkey looks good, but I'm not so sure about the sides.  And, how little are their drinking glasses?  That would drive me bonkers.  I don't think she likes that one to her right.

Here's a bit more modern spin on the traditional Thanksgiving celebration.  I am enjoying the perfect family with Dad, daughter, son and Hot Mama.  If I tried to cook in that dress, apron and shoes (although the shoes, again, are HOT!) I'd break a leg!  Apparently, she made that great meal on the table from one pot on the stove.

I have no earthly idea.

Finally, we have the frilly children.   I'm not sure, but I think that little gal has been up to no good.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let's Revisit Some Bad Fashion

1988 was not a good year for me, fashion-wise.  Example #1:

Example #2:  This must have been where my red phase began.  That's me, my acid washed jeans, my red Raybans, Jake, and my mom in all her red glory.

Example #3:  Sigh.

I'm really glad the 80's are long gone.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Thoughts in a Unique Format...

My dear blogging friend, Angie, has inspired me to share my thoughts with all of you in a different manner than just the normal blogging post.  Tonight's thoughts will be brought to you via Haiku. 

Thanksgiving is near
I loathe shopping for the food
Too many shoppers


My house is filthy
Tumbleweeds are everywhere
And my bed sheets stink


Work can make me nuts
So many stupid problems
People are insane


Steven is a champ
Soccer team won finale
Celebrate with beer


Bacon is my fave
I could eat it all day long
Thank you Mister Pig


Going to mountains
Spending time with friends up there
Planning to pig out


Where did this month go?
I just turned back all my clocks
I now dread Christmas


Four cats in the house
Three litter trays on the porch
The odor is foul


Happy Friday Friends
I thank you for your comments
Keep em coming please!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

There's Proof in the Pudding! (or, actually, the trash can)

I really wanted Laura to win ANTM.  I was so excited for this finale. 

I am totally responsible for Laura not winning on ANTM.  Just before the show aired, guess what I did?  I changed the toilet paper roll and threw the empty one toward the trash can.  I say TOWARD, because it didn't make it in there.  Remember my last blog about the power of that empty toilet paper roll?

Laura, I am so sorry I chose THAT moment to change the roll.  Please forgive me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Step on a Crack, Break Your Mother's Back

I play games with myself all the time. When I was younger, I would hold my breath as I passed a cemetery.  (I think this was to keep the spirits from haunting me?)  If I were in a car, I would raise my legs off the floorboards as we drove over railroad tracks. I think this was so my future husband wouldn't die, or something life altering like that?   Life could get a bit tricky if we drove over railroad tracks and a cemetery at the same time!

When I was a teenager, I would grasp my necklace when the clasp turned around, make a wish, and put it to the back of my neck.  (I still do this even today!)  I made a wish as I blew an eyelash off my finger.  I make a wish on a shooting star.  Nowadays, kids make a wish at 11:11.  If I see this on the clock, I'm starting to do it.  I figure I need all the luck I can get?

I've subscribed to another theory for many years now.  I call it the GOOD DAY - BAD DAY formula.  If I have a good day on Monday, then Tuesday will no doubt be a bad day.  Sometimes, it works two days in a row--Two good, then two bad.  I've had good weekends, then bad weekends.  You get the gist of this, I'm sure.  I have found myself lying awake at night, counting the days to see what was upcoming.  A cynic would say that I make the good days good, and the bad days bad.  They might be right.  But, it's amazing how this system plays out for me!!

I have a new one.  And, it's a doozy.  When I sit on the toilet in our teeny tiny bathroom, and all the TP has been used, I am left with an empty roll.  As I replace it, ALWAYS putting the TP over (MEL!),I then toss the empty cardboard roll over to the trash can.  If it goes in, GOOD day.  If it pops out, BAD. You see, with this set up, I'm a bit more in control of the day, or so I tell myself.   The trash can is even lined up next to the wall and the dresser.  All days should be good ones, eh?  Alas, no.  Sometimes my toss is too heavy.  Others, the flip of my wrist is too much, and then PLUNK, onto the floor it rolls.  I tell you, at that point, I really hate to get off the can.

Do you have any crazy superstitions?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bottle Cap Me

Steven and I enjoy our beer.  We always have, and we probably always will. 

One year for my birthday, he told me he was "making me something."  I tried to catch him making my gift, but never could. After awhile, I just forgot about it.  When my day rolled around, he unveiled the most wonderful present.  (to this day, it is STILL my favorite)  He had made a heart mosaic made from beer bottle caps.  The best part?  The caps were all from beers that we had enjoyed together.  He had been keeping them.  This mosaic contained close to 800 beer bottle caps.  He told me that at one point, he had to change the type of beer we were drinking in order to get the right color cap.  (such dedication!)   He made this for me when I was gone from the house, either at work, or taking Taylor to horseback riding lessons.  Each cap was hammered individually.  I can't tell you how much this means to me.

Since that day, we have collected caps.  Our friends collect them.  Friends of friends collect them.  We go to parties, and there is a bowl set out for people's caps.  Friends will come around and bring a baggy filled with caps.  We go to St. Louis once a year, and collect the caps Mike and Rose have saved for us.  Even my little nephews would keep them for us!  I've gotten to the point in my life where I can't throw a cap away.  We have so many caps in our house now, I am guessing into the neighborhood of 10,000?  (Steven, when you read this, please correct my numerical errors!!)  So many people have collected for us, he'll never be able to do enough mosaics to thank them!!

He did, however, make a few for the Charleston Animal Society.  Every year, they have an event called, "Furry Affair."  This is an art show where items can be donated for auction.  Steven has donated photographs and now the bottle cap art. 

Year one of the bottlecap donation, he did a picture of Rockett and one of a cat.  It was great fun to watch them sell.  I love mine, but you never know if folks will find beer bottle caps to be "art."  He spends so much time planning, creating and hammering!  Of course they loved them.  All creations sold and the money benefited our favorite cause!  It feels good to know that our beer drinking has a postive outcome...

Here's the more recent one he's done.  I love how the cat is peeking over the ledge.  It's so darn heavy, they couldn't hang it!

I'm so proud of Steven and his many talents.  I just wanted to share them with you this fine Thursday evening!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Yeah, I'm a big sap.  I literally cheered out loud and applauded when my favorite model made it to the finals of America's Next Top Model. 

She just seems really nice. 

Some days, it doesn't take much to please me. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Jetsons, Medical Center and Salmon Patties

I was doing my crossword this afternoon and came across the clue, "George Jetson works for                 Sprockets. "  I had a little giggle, and the filled in the seven letter word.  I used to love the Jetsons.  I loved their car, their maid Rosie, and their kitchen.  Wasn't that thing cool?  I always hoped when I grew up that I would have that kitchen and look like Jane.  (hasn't happened yet) 

In the tradition of writing down these things before I forget them, here are some other things that always remind me of my childhood:

Wieners and Beans and/or Salmon Patties - My mom used to make these horrible concoctions.  I honestly don't think I'll ever be able to eat either of these meals again.  Salmon Patties were always on Fridays during lent.  W & B?  Well, I'm still trying to block that one from my memory.  The woman was great with appetizers, but daily meals were a challenge to her.

The Velvet Doll - This doll grew hair out of the top of her head.  I used to pull it out, then wind it up in the back to make it shorter.  I can remember this little purple dress she wore and her strangely chunky doll legs.  I used to play Velvet Dolls with Beth Wright before piano lessons. 

Piano Lessons - Practicing piano and the flute occupied a lot of my time as a kid.  I would especially lose myself at the piano.  My mom always had an ugly bowl of plastic fruit on that piano.

Medical Center - I used to think Chad Everett was so cute.  I remember he wore clogs in the Operating Room. Chad was cool before his time.  I also used to love Ironside, All in the Family, The Carol Burnett Show and The Brady Bunch.  TV in the 70's was so bitchin!

Pittsburgh Steelers v. Anyone - I remember their many Super Bowl wins and watching Terry Bradshaw.  I can hardly watch his buffoonery on the Fox Sunday Show now.  But, back then, he was something to behold!

Roots - I don't have a lot of memories of watching anything other than sports with my family, but I do remember watching this with my dad.  Levar Burton.  Awesome.

D&H Drugstore - I used to ride my bike there to buy bubble gum.  I think it was a penny back then?  I would buy the plain bubble gum and the green apple gum.  Then, I would pedal my bike home again.  Small town America at its best!

Things we always had in our house:  footballs, baseballs, potato chips, jock straps, a schnauzer, the color ORANGE, an 8 track tape player, a telephone with a really long cord, shag carpet, strange bread, Suzy Qs, brown paper bags, ugly green carpet, the piano, coasters, and Sports Illustrated.

Oh, life was so easy back then.  We lived all day long and then slept peacefully all night.  We watched Bugs Bunny on Saturday mornings. We gave our neighbors May Day Baskets.  We hung out with our neighbors.  (Ben Bladel is the blonde headed boy in this pic)  We dreamed of our futures.

And that seven letter word?  SPACELY

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fire, Oysters and Thou

They tell us down here that you can eat oysters during any month with an "R" in it.  Well, you can eat oysters year 'round, but oysters are in season during those R months.  Since it is November, we're a good two months into oyster eating season.  Last night's OR was in honor of Jodi's 30th birthday. 

At Brad and Chrissa's wedding two weeks ago, their rehearsal dinner was an oyster roast at a beach house.    Next weekend, we'll be going to Larry and Mary's house for an oyster roast.  Everywhere you look around town, there are oyster roasts being held for various charities.

Besides the fact that oysters are so darn yummy, why so many of these events?

I think OR's are so popular because they promote a
sense of community and camaraderie.  Everyone stands around the oyster table to eat.  (one would never eat them on a plate!)  There's always at least one oyster rookie, and one oyster shucking challenged person at the table.  (usually me)  So what does a good oyster shucker/eater do,  but help pop open the shell.  Then all revel in the joy of the oyster and the cocktail sauce.  And, there's something particularly satisfying about tossing that oyster shell into the hole in the table which leads to the trash can.  It just feels so good and complete.

There was a cornhole game that was played.  Johnny and Steven were the undefeated champions at the point of this picture.  I love this game, because, even an old gal like me can play it.  Dusti and I gave it a good try, but those stinky boys beat us.  It's amazing how this grown up game of "Toss Across" can amuse for hours!

In this picture, you'll find another of my favorite things about ORs:  the fire pit.  I do love sitting around the fire and watching the embers smolder.   Of course, there were S'Mores, and all the joy of cooking and eating them!  (try using a Snickers bar for your chocolate next time you're S'moring!)  I love getting up from the fire, only to feel that autumn chill, and then to return to the warmth of the fire.

Many of our friends are starting to have children (yes, many of our friends are A LOT younger than we are!) and bringing them to these events.  It is a great place for kids. There were all ages last night, from the 5 month old double Swedes to my 17 year old baby.  Kids love OR's as much as adults do.   Not only were the kids there, but the dogs showed.  At one point there were two black labs, a white lab and a little brown Riley.   It's great to have all the loved ones together.

So, if you're having an Oyster Roast any time in a month with an R, you can count on my attendance.  I will never tire of the lovely little sea creature, or the occasion where they are served.  

Nice one Taylor.  :-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Friend in the Garden

Halloween was last Saturday, right?

I let Rockett outside this morning, and I saw that someone had invaded our backyard.  Well, when I say invaded, I really mean that the big boy in the house decided to decorate.  This wasn't decoration for Halloween's sake, this was decoration for decoration's sake.  (we would never do anything the conventional way!)

I have a feeling this might become a trend.  This is what hangs on our birdfeeder...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I've been alive for 46 years now.  Most of those 46 years, I've had some kind of ongoing crush.  I remember being in first grade and thinking a boy named Mark Anderson was the coolest swinger on the playground.  (and by swinger, I do mean using swings!)  I've crushed on obvious people like Robert Redford, Sylvester Stallone as Rocky only, Robbie Williams, Michael Jackson (WAY back in the 80s!), Michael Jordan, Cristiano Ronaldo.... But, there are some special ones out there from my life.

As you all know, my dad was a football coach, so many of my crushes tended to be athletes.  One of my first crushes was on a boy named John Moseley.  He was a punt returner for the University of Missouri.  My dad was coaching there at the time.  He was about 5'7, had red hair and freckles; not your typical football player.  But, he had an uncanny knack for running back punts for touchdowns.  One year for my birthday (probably number 10?) my dad convinced this poor kid to come to our house and wish me a happy day.  EXCITEMENT!  The Tigers went to the Sun Bowl that year, and at that point, families were included in the trip.  I got to sit NEXT to John Moseley on the airplane.  He slept, but I didn't care.  He was my first big crush and he was really nice to me.  How lucky was I?

My next crush was on Jimmy Connors.  I'm not so proud of this one. Whenever I think of him, I think of this cover of Sports Illustrated.  I do remember pretending to write letters back and forth to each other.   He always signed his, "Love, Jimmy."  He must have REALLY liked me.

I had a huge crush on a boy named Barry Kausler when I was in the 8th grade.  He had the hairiest legs I've ever seen. I remember taking a picture of him the last day of school.  What a dork.

Oh Gosh, then came probably the biggest crush in my life:  Pete Grimes.  People, I have so many blogs to share about Pete Grimes.  I used to write on my calendar what he would wear to school every day.  Here was the typical entry:  flannel shirt, jeans.  I came to realize that was what he wore every day.  Please remember this name, you will see it again. 

Remember Roger Staubach, the QB for the Dallas Cowboys?  After he retired, a young man named Danny White filled his shoes.  I had read an article on him in Sports Illustrated, and was inspired to write him a letter, wishing him luck on the season.  I also mentioned that my dad was coaching with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Well, he wrote me back!  It was in HIS handwriting, and he said he hoped to meet me when the Cowboys played in St. Louis.  And, he was true to his word.  He found my dad before the game, introduced himself (ha, like Dick didn't know who he was!) and we met up afterward.  He wore a purplish colored suede blazer.  Not a lot of men could pull off THAT look.

Probably my next big crush was on Greg Maddux.  I used to watch every single Braves game when he played for them.  Friends would buy his baseball cards for me.  I just loved how he always made things seem effortless.  And, those crazy lips of his just drove me crazzzzzy!  I haven't watched baseball since he left the Braves.  That love affair broke my heart.  I had to break it off with the entire sport!

And, now, my current crush is on Dave.  Dave, the man of silly dances, bad scats, and raised eyebrows.  Dave, the man who can't remember his words in concert.  Dave, of receding hairline and gorgeous voice.  He sings with passion, and I really like that.  I have been fortunate enough to meet him twice.  Both times, he was gracious, funny and appreciative.  Do I know how to pick em or what???

Now, share with me some of your crushes?

Billy, Don't Be a Hero

This morning, I heard this classic song on my radio here at work.  (I have satellite radio, and for those of you that don't have it, go get it NOW!)  This song was followed by "Run, Joey Run" and  "American Pie."  Those three songs have completely turned around my previously mentioned PMS.   

I had to go check out the video on YouTube.  Heh heh heh.  It's classic.  Here's some of my favorites from the video:

The color orange.
The VERY LARGE lapels on Bo Donaldson.  HOTT!
The nice job on the lip sync!
Lyrics at the bottom of the screen.
And, most important, the sideways playing piano player! 
Billy, Don't Be a Hero. (WHAT A HOOT!!!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grasping for Breath!!

Do you ever feel like you can't breathe?   I don't mean asthma, or any bronchial disorder, but that feeling when you feel like you need to run away from your situation and fill your lungs with cool fresh air? Your lungs feel so tight, it's like some Two Ton Tessie is sitting on your chest?

Wow, I felt like I just had that experience in the last hour.  All sorts of past memories came flooding back to me; memories that I had pushed down down down into my gut.  It's amazing how fast those feelings come back to the top so quickly. 

Granted, I also have this feeling when my pants are too tight, but I can ease that discomfort by unzipping. 

In times like these, I'm really glad it's a night where I can have my windows open and the fan going on slow speed.  I'm breathing in and out and finding that breath again!  I'm blogging.  I'm safe in my bed. 

PS-it also helps when there's four fat cats, one sweet dog, and  a Steven to make it all better. 

PSS-I promise a more interesting and humorous post next time; or at least an attempt at being humorous.

PSSS-Guess who has PMS?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Monday

Ya know, sometimes things just happen in your day that make you scratch your head.  Today was one of those days for me. 

It was a very dull grey day here in Charleston.  It threatened to rain all day long, and even though I know the sun was out there, I certainly never saw it.

I was going through my Monday routine, and trying to keep my mind from wandering.  This has been tricky of late, as we have folks working on our roof.  (Remember, our roof was stolen at work about a month ago)  For the last few weeks, we've heard banging, sawing, walking, pounding and tapping on the roof.  I don't mind these noises, I rather enjoy trying to figure out what's happening above my head.  I have a small window near the top of my office.  I can see tree tops and the sky, that's about it.  So, I can't see much of what goes on in the outside world.

So, today, I'm trying to stay awake and focused.  All of  sudden, I hear someone above me running, and then I see some form of liquid going past my window. 

I think someone lost their lunch just outside my window. 

The thing is, some "residue" got on my window.  And, now that this residue is on there, it will probably be there for life.  Our firm doesn't spend money on washing second floor windows.  So, unless we get a sideways rain storm, there's every chance I'll be looking at this little human art project on my window for a long long time. 

Can't wait to find out what Tuesday holds for me...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I had a great plan today.  I was going to take pictures of my street, the park around the corner, the strange little church, the grocery store, things in the grocery store.  My thought was to share a Sunday in Goose Creek with Cyberland. 

Well, I did take the photos, I edited them, and saved them.

OKAY, well, I thought I saved them.  Duh.  There was a real neat one of the sky.  The clouds were great in the Creek today!  You'll have to trust me on this, as I've already deleted them from my memory card.

So, instead, let me just share something I love and wish I had:  FRECKLES.  I think they are the cutest, sexiest natural beauty marks. 

I think freckles just scream personality, mischievousness , and sweetness.  Of course, I don't have freckles.  Can I get those anywhere?

Look at Prince Harry.  Those blushing cheeks, adorned with those freckles  make me feel a bit giggly.