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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year;s Eve!

This is the last day of 2015 and what a year it was.  We started 2015 out with some crazy weather which included us being snowed in for a couple of weeks.  Last winter was the 2nd coldest winter in Tennessee. We survived the winter and had a beautiful spring.  Tim and I did our first cross country trip without the RV and it was fun.  We were able to travel and stop at areas we could not in the RV. We took a lot of backroads to places instead of the interstate which allowed us to see so much more of this beautiful country.  We visited all of the National Parks in Utah, saw friends and family and celebrated our granddaughter's first birthday in Hawaii.  I learned and helped maintain a garden and even do some canning.  I lost my Mom but I am grateful I was able to be with her.  Tim build some amazing things, a deck, a golf cart and a camper. Last week we got to spend our Christmas with both of our girls and granddaughter.  I know it will be one of many.  All in all it was a busy year and we are ready to see what 2016 has in store for us.  Happy New Year's Eve!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Star Wars - The Force Awakens

We went as saw Star Wars The Force Awakens yesterday afternoon at our local theater in Newport.  We are now among the many who have seen the movie and don't worry I am not going to share anything about it except this:  if you are a Stars Fan then go see it.  If you just like Star Wars, go see it.  If you have only seen one Star Wars movie, go see it.  If you have never heard of Star Wars then go see it.  The movie is very good and you will not be bored!  Our little movie theater only cost $5.00 to see a first run movie.  I don't know how they do it but I am sure glad they do.  It makes it very easy to go to the movies. After the movie we had dinner at Ruby Tuesday, one of our favorite places to eat for two reasons.  Number one we always have coupons for it and number two it is the only one of two nice sit down restaurants that is not fast food.  When we got back to the farm we celebrated Christmas with Lisa and George.  Thank you for our wonderful gifts!  Our first day back at the farm was a good one. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Back At The Farm

We are back at the farm and we are happy to report that our trip back here was uneventful; just the way we like it.  We left Florida where it was a cool 75 degrees at 8:00 am and got home around 5:00 pm where it was a cool 75 degrees.  It is hard to believe that it was December 28.  We were breaking records in Jacksonville, FL with the temperatures and we are breaking them in eastern Tennessee.  I have to say that it has been an interesting December.
We were welcomed back by Lisa, George and Roxy and Lisa was kind enough to fix dinner for us.  She made her delicious Spaghetti and it tasted great!  Thanks Lisa!  It started to rain again and it looks like it will be around for another few days.  Even with the rain it is good to be home and I want to thank everyone in the Jacksonville, Orange Park and Middleburg area for making our stay a great one!  Today we are going to go see the new Star Wars movie so check back tomorrow for my review.  Don't worry, I will not give up anything!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Headed Back To The Farm

We had to say good bye to Carrie, Daniel, Jenny, Nate and Rory yesterday.  We had our last family dinner for a little while but we will be back in February.  The Little Cabin on Wheels worked out well and now we know what we want to add for the next time.  The trial run was a success.  It looks like eastern Tennessee will be getting some more rain tomorrow and tomorrow night so it could be a wet ride once we get into South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.  Of course we are not ready to go but the time has come so I guess it is time to hit the road!  At least Lisa is going to have dinner waiting for us which is really nice of her!  Thank you to everyone here in the Jacksonville, Orange Park, Middleburg and Sanford area of Florida; we have had a great time and look forward to seeing you all soon!  A special thank you to my family for making this a wonderful Christmas.  Dad and I love you!  Rory, Grandma and Bumpa love you so very much!
Today is my sister Pam's birthday and I want to take this opportunity to say Happy Birthday Pam!  You are the best sister I could ever want or wish for and I thank the good Lord everyday for giving you to me.  You are not only my sister but you are my best friend!  Love you Pam!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Rain Has Stopped!

After raining for the past 6 days the rain has finally stopped...for now.  It is suppose to start raining again on Monday which just happens to be the day that we head back to Tennessee.  At least the temperatures were warmer.  That won't be the case when we get back.  It is suppose to get gradually colder as the week goes on.  Let's hope it is gradual since we are so use to high 70s and low 80s temperatures.  We have enjoyed the weather here in Florida but not the humidity.  I guess we have to get back to reality and cooler temps.  Oh well, it is winter!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Wonderful Christmas

While Tim and I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas in warm and sunny Florida George and Lisa got to spend the last few days warm but wet.  Eastern Tennessee has been getting a lot of rain and there are flood warnings now for all the rivers.  Where the farm is we don't have to worry about flooding but we are hoping that the rain will quit for a little while so our road will be good for us to pull the Cabin on Wheels up the hill.  I guess we will just have to wait and see on Monday. 
We had a wonderful Christmas with Rory, our first, and she was so good.  She got some wonderful gifts and so did Tim and I.  It has been a wonderful Christmas and now we get to enjoy the rest of the holiday week end before we head back to Tennessee on Monday.  Merry Day after Christmas or as we use to refer to it in retail, Return Day!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and that Santa brings you some great stuff.  We have enjoyed being  with our girls and look forward to more family time.  Enjoy your day with friends and loved ones.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Shopping Is Completed

I did my last bit of Christmas shopping yesterday and it feels good to be done.  I actually only needed a couple of things and the lines were not bad especially at Dollar Tree.  I am happy I don't have to go out today.  I usecto like shopping on Christmas Eve but not anymore.  At the farm they have been dealing with a lot of rain but the temperatures have stay on the warm side.  There is a huge storm system going through the Midwest and Tennessee got nailed yesterday.  Meanwhile it was a cloudy but very warm and humid day here in Florida. I'll go with the warm and humid right now. This being Christmas Eve I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

To Catch A Thief!

We are on a mission to catch a thief.  Since the Christmas card thief it has bothered us all that someone could stoop so low.  Since stealing mail is a federal offense a game camera has been set up down by the mail box.  We are kind of hope the thief will try once more and this time we are hoping the camera catches the license plate and we can turn it over to the police.  Then again, I hope it was a stupid prank from some stupid teens bored out of their mind!  I guess for now all we have to do is wait!  Thanks George for moving a camera down at the mailbox!  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Back In Florida

Our trip to Florida was a success and it seems strange to be back in warm weather again. While we head down to Florida George and Lisa are heading back up to Tennessee.  They had their Christmas early with their kids and Lisa's family.  Unfortunately their cat Angel cannot travel so someone has to be at the farm.  So while George and Lisa were in Florida I took care of Angel.  Tim can't, he is highly allergic to cats.  We did pass each other around Columbia, SC; we waved!
They enjoyed the warm weather last week that we will be enjoying this week.  Of course while they were gone from the farm we had very cold temperatures and snow but they get to enjoy unseasonably mild temperatures all week. 
We met with Jenny, Nate and our Rory for dinner last night and later Carrie and Daniel came by the campsite to see us.  So, I have seem my kids and Rory and today we are going to the Mall so Rory can see Santa.  I hope she likes him!  Hyvvaa Joulue aka Merry Christmas in Finnish.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Heading South For Christmas

Tim, Shadow and I are headed south to Florida to spend Christmas with our kids, Carrie & Daniel and Jenny, Nate and Rory.  This will be Rory's second Christmas but our first with her.  This will be the first Christmas that I am spending with both daughters in over 5 years.  When your kids are little you never think there will be a Christmas that you won't spend with them but then they grow up and we all go in different directions.  So this will be the first Christmas that we will be with both kids but will be the first Christmas with my Mom being gone.  We will be taking our Little Cabin on Wheels with us and it is the maiden voyage for it.  I will be posting a daily blog on here but for our travels please visit my Travels With Ruth Blog.  Here is the website: travelswithruth-ruth.blogspot.com
Feliz Natal aka Merry Christmas in Portuguese.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Christmas Card Thief

We live in the middle of farm country and the street that leads to our road is a side street to a side street so who would think that out here in the middle of no where we would actually have our mail stolen.  It happened Friday but we did not know about it until yesterday.  We did get mail on Friday but it was bills and magazines.  We did not get any Christmas cards which I thought was a little strange because they have been coming daily.  Our neighbors Reg and Cheryl came by yesterday morning to tell us another neighbor had picked up some of our mail and some of Francisco's mail off the ground by her horse barn.   Tim drove down to the mail boxes and looked along the road and found more mail laying on the ground and all were Christmas cards. We figured that whoever is doing this is getting the Christmas cards and checking for money or gift cards.  I thought stealing packages from the front porches of houses was low but stealing Christmas cards is even lower.  It seems so strange to have to worry about this kind of thing living in the country.  The person or persons who are doing this, STOP IT!  We were able to salvage most of the Christmas cards that we received but it is sad that this kind of thing can happen out here in the middle of nowhere!  Vrolijike Kerst aka Merry Christmas in Dutch.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Our First Snow

It began to snow, flurries, around noon yesterday and continued through the evening.  It started to accumulate around 4:00 and stuck around for a while.  This is our first snow for this winter and it was totally unexpected.  The weather said the higher elevations could get about an inch of snow but we are only at 1414 in elevation.  I guess the weather was wrong but that never happens!  Hahaha. It is cold right now but a warming trend is suppose to begin today and we should be in the 50s on Sunday.  Let's hope so because we leave for Florida on Monday.  It will be our maiden voyage with our little cabin on wheels.  Check out my other blog, travelswithruth-ruth@ blogspot.com for details of the little cabin.  With Chrstmas less than a week away a white Christmas would be nice but not where we will be; Snow would shut down Florida!  Kala Christouyenna aka Merry Christmas in Greek.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Trees

Are you a person that puts their tree up early or do you put it up on Christmas Eve?  I am one that likes it up early so I can enjoy it during the entire Christmas season.  Second question, do you place your presents under the tree or wait until Christmas Eve?  I place them under the tree as soon as I get them wrapped.  Which is why now both trees are getting pretty full with presents.  It looks extra festive now.  So with that said here is a couple of facts about Christmas trees:
Christmas trees usually grow about 15 years before they are cut and sold as Christmas trees.
Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.
Approximately 30 to 35 million real (living) Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S.
Enjoy the last week before Christmas; a week from today is Christmas.  God Jul aka Merry Christmas in Norwegian and Sweden.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Decorating The Fence

I decorated the fence by the sign I made last summer.  It isn't much but it does look a little more festive.  I should of decorated the fence when I did all the decorating of the RV and Crafty Cottage but I ran out of things to decorate it with but the other day I did get some garland.  I decided to also hang the snowflakes I made from clothes pin at the fence.  They would not of been seen at all where I wanted to hang them on the deck.  They do look nice on the fence and makes everything look a little more festive.  Frohe Weihnachton aka Merry Christmas in German!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Trivia Facts - Part One

It is Christmas Trivia Fact time.  When you go to a Christmas party and need something to talk about bring up one of these facts and see how the conversation goes.  So here we go:
Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.
Alabama was the first state in the U.S. to officially recognize Christmas and that year was 1836.
Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday and that was in 1907.
Christmas was not declared an official holiday in the U.S. until June 26, 1870.
In 1962, the first Christmas postage stamp was issued in the U.S.
Christmas purchases account for 1/6 of all retail sales in the U.S.
I will have some more Christmas Trivia Facts over the next few days. Until then, Glaedelig Jul aka Merry Christmas in Danish!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

It's Christmas Movie Time

I love Christmas and I love Christmas movies.  I am a Hallmark Channel junkie during Christmas and it is the first channel I go to when I flip on the TV.  I know some of the movies on that channel are hokey but they always have a happy ending and they make me feel good.  I do watch all the other channels that run Christmas movies because I love Christmas.  With that said did you know that some of the favorite Christmas movies almost had some changes?  I am talking about the traditional movies and some TV shows.  So here we go!

Miracle On 34th Street - Macy's and Gimbel's agreed to have their names used in the film after the movie was made and viewed.  If they didn't agree most of the movie would of been refilmed.
It's A Wonderful Life - Instead of ending the movie with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" it was originally suppose to end with the singing of "Ode To Joy".
White Christmas - The sisters scene where Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye do the song.  Well that was not suppose to be in the movie.  Bing and Danny were just kidding around one day and the director liked it so much that he added that scene in the movie.
Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer - The original version of Rudolph did not have Rudolph return to the island of misfits but so many children were disappointed and wrote letters that a it prompted the added scene and that is the version that has been shown ever since.
A Charlie Brown Christmas - Linus's big speech influenced by the Bible was going to be cut by the producers but Peanut's creator Charles Schulz refused saying "If we don't do it, who will?".
A Christmas Story - Ralphie's dad was almost played by Jack Nicholson.  He was very interested in the role.
Elf - Instead of Will Ferrell playing Buddy the Elf Jim Carrey was originally set to star in the movie.

So while enjoying all of these Christmas movies and TV shows just think what might have happen if these changes would of happened.  I like them just the way they are!  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Creating Snowflakes In 70 Degrees

It is hard to believe that it is in the middle of December and we are wearing short sleeves and have our door and windows open. Last year it was temperatures in the 30s and 40s.  With the warm weather I was still able to create snowflakes.  I didn't use paper instead I used wooden clothes pins.  I bought a package of wooden clothes pins at Dollar Tree and then took them apart.  I needed to get rid of the metal spring.  I then glued them together and then began to create the snowflakes with the glued clothes pins.  They really turned out great and now all I have to do is decide whether to paint them white or leave them natural. Take a look at the pictures and let me know!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Popcycle Stick Sled

In 1979 my Mom made sled ornaments out of Popcycle sticks.  As I was hanging my sled ornament it was hard to believe how old it was and yet it looks exactly the same as when she made it.  Last year it was just an ornament but this year it is a treasure.  I decided to make some sleds out of Popcycle sticks and the first one is for my Mom.  It will hang on my tree every year and even though it is sad to realize my Mom is no longer here she will always be here in spirit and live on with great holiday memories every year through her ornaments.  My mom has given me an ornament every year since 1979.  My trees are loaded with memories!  Merry Christmas Mom!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Gift For Tim's Knife

Last April, when we were in Branson, MO visiting Mom C and Jim, Tim  and  I went to Silver Dollar City. I know I have written about SDC a lot.  There are all sorts of Crafter stores and one we went into was the Knife store.  Tim had been wanting a knife that he could carry on him that would take care of several things that might be needed on the farm; his pocket knife could only do so much.  We purchased a knife and it did come with its own sheath but Tim wanted a really nice one for his belt.  Mom C just happens to work with leather and leather tooling.  So we drew out the shape of the knife so she would have a guide to make him a leather sheath.  Mom C's tooling equipment was down at their Harlingen, TX home so Tim had to wait until she returned to Texas.  Yesterday in the mail Tim received a gift from his Mom and it was a beautiful leather sheath.  Mom C did a wonderful job and it fit the knife perfectly.  Tim actually received two gifts in one; a place for his knife and it was made by his Mom.  Thanks Mom!

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Run Into Knoxville

Tim, George and I drove into Knoxville yesterday for a couple of reasons.  George needed to go to PetSmart to get a specialized cat food for his cat Angel.  When we found out he was going we tagged along and did a little Christmas shopping while we were there.  I cannot say what I got because you may be the person I shopped for. On the way we did stop at Bass Pro and also went to Costco. Since it was lunch time we decided to eat at Costco and I have to say that their prices make eating very easy.  For a piece of pizza, a hot dog, drink and two ice creams we spent a whopping $6.00.  Now that is a bargain!  We were back by 2:00 so I also worked on a few Christmas presents in the Crafty Cottage too.  Today I am headed out on my own to do some more Christmas shopping.  This will be my first solo trip into Greeneville and possibly Johnson City.  Check back and see where I went!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dr Appointment And A Flu Shot

When my Mom got sick and I flew to California I had to cancel three Dr appointments and now I am finally catching back up.  Yesterday's was just a meds check that should of been back in September. Anyway, after going through the regular check in items, i.e. weight, blood pressure, temperature, the nurse asked me about a flu shot and I declined.  Then when it was time to see the Dr. she also asked about a flu shot.  I have never had a flu shot and figured as isolated as I am here I really didn't need one.  Well, that was the wrong thing to say because I then got a lecture as to why I should have one and that it is not full proof but better safe than sorry.  Now here is the kicker and because I am getting older; ouch that hurt.  I realize I just had a birthday but since I am going backwards and never hit 50 I am only 44.  I know, wishful thinking!  Anyway, I gave in and decided to get the flu shot.  I did not realize that I had to sit in the lobby for a little bit after I had one because it was my first time for a flu shot and they wanted to make sure I did not have a reaction...I didn't.  So now, as long as I have the right strain, I should not get the flu.  My fingers are crossed!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Lazy Day For Me

I guess last week finally caught up with me because yesterday I was content to do nothing.  If you know me you know that is not typical.  I am usually busy doing something.  So, what did I do yesterday, well I did some laundry, unpacked my birthday gifts I received while I was in Florida and opened the gifts waiting for me when I got home.  Once again, thank you for all for the birthday wishes, cards and gifts; I love and appreciate them all.  Carrie had given me a popcorn tin full of ornaments that she had but were ours.  The popcorn tin is the ones you can buy around Christmas that usually have three kinds of popcorn.  I have used these tins for years to pack up and store my ornaments.  So I hung some more ornaments on the trees.  I did watch some Christmas movies while doing nothing!
Tim and George were busy.  They loaded up George's Honda CRV and towed it to an automotive shop to have the engine and transmission replaced.  George really loves his CRV!  After that they went and purchased wood to finishing siding George's garage and outdoor deck area.  I guess they will be busy.  Tim also worked on the plumbing for the hot water heater.  He replaced some pipe to repair a leaking issue we were having with the hot water heater and it's hook up to the RV.   It was just another day at the farm!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Driving To Tennessee

My drive to Tennessee was going great until I hit Columbia, SC where all of a sudden traffic on I-26 West came to a complete holt.  After moving at a steady 3-4 miles per hour I finally passed under a DOT sign that was flashing "incident ahead, all lanes blocked at mile marker 111".  Oh yay!  So I decided to get off the highway just before mile marker 111 and after looking at alternative routes I decided it would be less time sitting in traffic then going around and taking an extra three hours to get home.  Well taking the ramp and then getting back on worked to my advantage because the shoulder was opened to traffic and it was my lane that started it.  After a 40 minute delay I was on the open road again.  I got home around 6:00 and it feels good to be home. I had a great time in the Orange Park area and I am looking to return back down there in two weeks!

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Messiah and Christmas Lights Too!

I have sung the Messiah several times through out the years.  In high school and college chorus's, in Church but yesterday was my very first community sings Messiah.  Each year the Messiah sings is a local Orange Park/Jacksonville event where people gather and sing the Christmas portion of the Messiah.  There are soloists and is accompanied by Organ and piano.  The conductor for the past few years has been Dr Mark Stallings.  I finally had the opportunity to participate and I am glad I did.  Over 70 singers came together to sing the Messiah and the audience seemed to enjoy it.  It was a challenging but wonderful experience.
Before the Messiah Sings I went to Church and then lunch with friends.  Thank Debbie for staying a little longer so we could have lunch.  After the Messiah I headed over to see Jenny, Nate and Rory,  there are four house up their street that looks like they are having Christmas lights war so we had to check it out.  The houses were beautifully decorated with lots of lights and Rory loved them!  My pictures did not come out the way I wanted but the lights are still beautiful!  
Today I head back to Tennessee for a couple of weeks but then Tim and I will head back down for Christmas.  It was so good to be with my family and friends and I thank you all.  A big Thank You goes to Sharon and Richard for allowing me to stay with them.  Sharon and I had some great late night talks and I had the chance to meet Richard's Mom Maxine.  Check out Travels With Tuth later this week for Maxine.  Thank you all again!  Here I come Tennessee!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It Was A Good Birthday

I had a wonderful Birthday yesterday and I want to say Thank You to all who made it so special.  It started out great with Birthday wishes on Facebook, text, email and phone calls and all were great but I have to say the best greeting was from Rory when she saw me first thing in the morning and came running to me.  Oh what a wonderful feeling that was!  Of course greetings from my kids were just as special!  Jenny and I spent the day at Jingle Jam, her first craft show for her Salted jewelry, and all I can say is that I am one proud mama! Jenny's set up was very professional and even though we had to fight the wind and the coolness outside it was still a good day.  Jenny did not do as well as she wanted but she did make a small profit and promoted herself and her jewelry.  She had a lot of interested lookers and most took her card especially since she does custom orders.  Jenny I know it wasn't what you expected but I am very proud of you and enjoyed spending the day with you!
After Jingle Jam, which was a well run event, we met up with Nate, Rory, Carrie & Daniel at La Nop for my birthday dinner.  We had a great time and it was good to be with my kids!  We missed Tim and wish he was with us but next year we can celebrate together. This year is the first time Tim and I have ever celebrated our birthdays apart.  Once again, Thank You all for making my Birthday so special!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

I Think We Are Ready

Today is the Jingle Jam on Fleming Island, FL hosted by Watson Reality.  It runs from 10:00 to 3:00 and we are hoping it will be a success.  Jenny has been preparing for this craft show for a while and we are hoping it will be profitable.  She has planned everything and I think she is ready to go.  Even her packaging is amazing.  Way to  go Jen!
I had a wonderful lunch with three of my favorite ladies Debbie, Sharon and Jean.  If you follow my blog you know who they are.  We got together yesterday at our favorite lunch spot, Panera, and got all caught up.  We were last all together in August.  The three ladies are so loving and caring and I am very fortunate to have them as friends.  Thanks Debbie, Sharon and Jean.
Check back tomorrow and see how Jingle Jam goes!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Play Day With Rory

This Saturday, tomorrow, is Jenny's first Craft Show.  It is the Jingle Jam on Fleming Island at Watson Reality.  It runs 10:00 to 3:00 and should be a lot of fun.  Even Santa will be there.  If you are in the Jacksonville,/Orange Park area come by and say Hi!   One of the ways to help Jenny get ready is to help with Rory.  Yesterday I had a great time playing with Rory.  We played in her room with her toys and then we went outside and that is when the real fun began.  She rode her tricycle up and down the driveway, the driveway is longer than a football field, and she loved it.  She rides her trike really well and has no problems maneuvering it.  Then we played the "sit down Grandma" game.  Now Rory being little could sit down anywhere and so when she started the game it began on a bench moved to a stoop and eventually went to landscaping bricks then the ground.  For Rory it was a breeze but for me it was getting tougher the lower she would go.  It's not that I couldn't do it but it was the amount of time. I would literally just sit down and she would get up and move to another place.  Later in the day we took Rory to the park and that was fun.  She loved the swings and climbing around on the playground equipment but her biggest thrill was the slide.  I think it was the first time she could actually go down by herself and her face was priceless and full of huge smiles. Jenny and I took turns at the top and bottom of the slide and Rory loved it.   Playing with Rory was so much fun and I can't wait to do it again today!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Decorating The Tree With Rory

I have decorated several Christmas trees through out the years and I have so many wonderful memories decorating with my girls but last night I got to hang some ornaments with Rory and it was great!  The tree that Jenny and Nate put up is a beautiful tree that sits on a stand that rotates the tree.  I love it and this way all the ornaments on the tree can be seen.  Of course this also means everyone can see it the tree has some decorating flaws. Rory was so cute and so gentle with the ornaments and while putting them on the tree she looked and found the perfect spot.  I am sure it is just a coincidence that all the ornaments hung by Rory were at her eye level!  Another precious memory was made at Christmas and with my Rory!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hello Florida!

Hello Florida, it's good to be back!  Last time I was down here in the Jacksonville/Orange Park area was in August for a friends wedding.  This time I am back to help my daughter Jenny with her first craft show.  We will be working the rest of this week getting ready and then Saturday is the big day.
Lisa and I drove down yesterday and we are happy to report that it was an uneventful drive.  We could tell once we were back in Florida because the fast lanes any place else are just that fast.  Here in Florida the fast lanes are the lanes to drive in and the slow lanes become the passing lanes.  I got to see Rory, briefly but I still got to see her and she knew me too! Oh how I love that little girl! I am staying with my friends, Richard and Sharon.  They own a condo on the river.  What a wonderful place to be and the view is wonderful!  Ah Florida, it's great to be back!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

An Early Surprise Birthday Lunch

I had a nice surprise yesterday.  I thought we were just going to a late lunch early dinner (linner) at Ruby Tuesday with Tim, George and Lisa but when we got there I had a nice surprise to see Larry and Linda waiting for us.  They were all there to celebrate my birthday early.  I will be in Jacksonville for my birthday so Lisa planned this little outing to celebrate before I go.  It was a wonderful surprise.  Thank you Lisa for planning it; what a wonderful surprise.  After Linner we came back to the farm where Lisa made me a birthday cake, yellow cake with Chocolate frosting- my favorite, and I even got some presents.  Lisa and George gave me a beautiful Nutcracker carved out of wood and mounted; Lisa knew I liked nutcrackers.  What made the gift even more special is that is was made by our neighbor Cheryl.  She does beautiful woodwork.  So it was a nice day and a great celebration.  Thanks to all and an extra thank you to Lisa. 
Today Lisa and I are headed south to Jacksonville where I will be spending a week and Lisa is spending three weeks.  I am looking forward to seeing my kids, Carrie, Jenny, Nate and Rory and Daniel.  I am also looking forward to seeing my friends.  Here we come Florida!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Getting Ready For A Craft Show

I mentioned a couple of days ago about Jenny doing her first Craft Show selling her Salted jewelry line and so I have been busy making some items to sell along with her jewelry.  I created several gift tags so that if someone buys some jewelry and Jenny gift wraps it then they will have an option to buy a gift tag to place on the gift.  I also make a few other things to compliment Jenny's creations. 
It was a perfect day to work in the Crafty Cottage because it was a rainy gloomy day.  The only good thing is that is stayed fairly warm for a late November day.  It was in the low 60s all day long.  I got a lot done so that tomorrow I just have to pick up and pack a few things to bring with me especially if my items sell well.  Getting excited to see my kids and, of course, my little princess Rory.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Decorations Are Done!

The Christmas decorations are all up, the tree is decorated and even the outdoor lights are done.  This has been the fastest I have ever put up the Christmas decorations.  Now I don't have a lot of choices where I can put things so everything pretty much goes where it was last year.  Even though I had to scale down my decorations when we moved out of our house I still have quite a few things. What took the most time to decorate were the trees and yes I have two.  When we were shopping for a Christmas tree the first Christmas that we were in the RV we were just going to get a small 3 foot tree until we walked into the Navy Exchange at NAS Jacksonville and saw two trees that were pre-lit and suppose be outdoor entry trees.  Well, they were the perfect size and I could have one on each side of the entertainment center.  They were perfect and between both trees I can get all of my ornaments hung.  I think it takes so long to do the trees because every ornament has a memory attached to it and it allows me to take a stroll down memory lane with each ornament before placing it on the tree.  While I finished up the inside for decorating Tim put up the outdoor lights and hung a few decorations.   I even decorated the Crafty Cottage.  Now that the decorations are up I can enjoy the Christmas season.  I love Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Let The Decorating Begin!

Tim and I ventured out on Black Friday and headed north to Virginia to do some shopping.  We ended up in Bristol, VA and hit every store in the strip mall.  It started with Target and ended with Pet Smart and the best part is that the stores were pretty quiet.  So, my Christmas shopping has begun.  I have a long way to go but at least it is started!
When we got back home we got all of the Christmas decorations out of the basement of the RV and started decorating.  By midnight the trees were decorated, yes I said trees, and almost everything is done except the table and a few odds and ends.  I love Christmas and so I like to get the decorations up so I can enjoy them during the whole Christmas season.  Also because I leave on Tuesday for Florida to spend a week with my kids and friends.  Now we just have to get some outside lights up and we are good to go.  It was a good day.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Now It's Time For The Real Black Friday

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Thank you George and Lisa for a wonderful dinner.  Thank you Travis and Kaitlyn for joining us and a special thank you to Larry and Linda for sharing Thanksgiving with us too.  Lisa worked hard with all the cooking and it paid off; everything was delicious.  The crock pot mashed potatoes turned out great and they were delicious.  If you ever need to make a lot of mashed potatoes and not want to do all the work just before serving them then try the crock pot mash potatoes.  I will share the recipe in a later blog but if you need it now just leave a comment below and I will give you the recipe.
It was a beautiful day so we all enjoyed out Thanksgiving dinner on the sun deck.  The sun was shining brightly  but it was a little windy.  Thankfully it did not get too cold until we finished our meal.  I ate too much but it was worth it because everything was so good.  It was a great Thanksgiving and I am thankful for my friends and family!
Now that Thanksgiving is over it is time to participate in the Real Black Friday.  You know the one that actually happens on Friday and not Thanksgiving.  Tim and I are heading out to do a little Christmas shopping today.  We figure instead of going to Knoxville or Asheville we would head north to the Tri cities or maybe even Virginia.  I am anxious to start decorating for Christmas too since it is another tradition in our family to put the Christmas tree up on Black Friday.  Hopefully we can do it all so check back tomorrow and see what we end up doing!  Happy Black Friday; the beginning of Christmas shopping!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all have a wonderful day.  This year we are celebrating here at the farm.   George and Lisa's kids, Travis and Kaitlyn and their pets Nix and Cato, will be joining us along with Larry and Linda Vanderwilt for Thanksgiving dinner.  Lisa has spent a good part of yesterday cooking away already.  I will be making my pumpkin pies that I have made every year for the past 30 years.  I got my recipe from my boss when I worked at the golf course in Glenview.  It is a great recipe and a crowd pleaser.  I am also going to be making the mashed potatoes but this year I am trying something new and making them in the crock pot.  I will let you know how they turned out.
As usual, I will be watching the Macy's Day parade, a long time tradition, and having cinnamon rolls for breakfast; another long time tradition.  I know my girls will be doing the same thing.  Maybe next year we will all be together for Thanksgiving.  I have so many things that I am thankful for and one is for all of you that have been following my blog.  Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Day In Gatlinburg

We took a chance and went to Gatlinburg to visit the Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Festival at the Convention Center.  Lisa and George had attended the festival years ago and had always raved about it.  I guess in the past few years the festival has changed.  It was a much smaller festival than we thought it would be. We were in and out of there in 30 minutes.  There were a lot of nice things but all were very expensive.   So what do you do when you thought you would be spending a good part of your day at a festival and you don't?  You go to lunch and then visit Old Smokey Distillery.  We went to Five Guys for lunch and then headed over to Old Smokey.  We were surprised and happy that Gatlinburg was not as busy as we thought.  However, that will change today.  I am happy that we do not have any traveling to do in the next couple of days.  It was a nice day with cool temperatures but lots of sun.  Thanks George and Lisa for going to Gatlinburg with us; it was fun.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We Can See Snow!

We woke up to some snowy peaks in the North Carolina mountains.  It's a view that we can see really well during the late fall, all winter and early spring.  Basically once the leaves are gone our view of these mountains is really good.  Yesterday, with sun shining bright, we got a great view of the snow on the peaks.  I still am not sure exactly what the mountains we look at east of us are called but they sure did look pretty with the snow on top.  I am also very happy the snow is there and not here.  Yesterday was a little warmer and with the sun out all day it sure made it feel warmer too.  I know this is just the beginning of "almost winter" for us and I know it is time to just accept the fact that winter is coming.  At least the next few days are suppose to get in the 60's again.  We may even be able to eat Thanksgiving dinner on the sun deck.  I guess we will have to wait and see if the weather predictions are correct.  Today we are headed to Gatlinburg for a Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Festival so check back tomorrow and see what we did.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The First Chilly Day of Fall

Sunday is suppose to be a day of rest and that is exactly what it became due to the weather.  It was our first really cold day this fall and along with it being cold it was cloudy and at times rained and in some areas snow flurries.  The temperature in Parrottsville never got out of the 30's and I know in some parts of the country that is a warm day but here in Eastern Tennessee it is a little cool for this time of year.  The sad part is there was not a lot of sun until late afternoon.  We love the sun out this time of year because it is part of our heating strategy in heating the RV.  Since it was so cold I decided Chili would be great for dinner and it was, yum!  I was warm and cozy in the Crafty Cottage where I had my electric heater on and was working away on Christmas gift tags.  Today the sun is out and it is still going to be a chilly day but at least it is bright outside!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The ATV Is Running!

George purchased a used ATV from a friend knowing that it needed some work done to the engine to get it going.  Tim and George have worked on the engine on and off for the past few weeks and they just finished it yesterday.  The ATV is a 1999 Honda 300X or a TRX 300. It was in really good condition body wise and now that the work is done on the engine it is time to play.  We all took turns riding it around the farm.  It was fun riding around the trails and down in the orchard.  It was the first time being in the orchard since I left in September and it seemed weird to see the beds so flat.  I was tested down in the orchard on the ATV because of the uneven ground and some mud.  I made it through and I had a really great time riding it.  There is one drawback about the ATV; it made the golf cart seem very very slow. I know we will have fun on this ATV and look forward to riding it again soon.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A.M. Mess To P.M. Creations

After spending all morning on a ladder going up and down, up and down, I was able to move around and organize the Crafty Cottage.  Receiving all those boxes on Thursday gave me to opportunity, wait opportunity?  Anyway, I organized the loft in the Crafty Cottage aka storage area and found all my boxes of Christmas craft materials and brought them down.  Now the whole point of reorganizing is to create more space but because it is Christmas time I now have less space due to my Christmas items.  In the afternoon, I was able to start creating and I got a few things done.  Check out the picture.  The boxes that make up a tree is actually the Advent calendar that I created for my sister Pam.  That will be in another blog later on as I can't reveal what else is involved yet.  This means today I should be able to get a lot done.  Why am I so busy?  I am preparing to sell some of my paper creations at a craft fair in Florida next month.  We will see how it goes!  Check back later!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Lots Of Goodies In The Mail

While I was in California I did a bit of shopping with the intentions of creating several things while I was there.  Well, the intention was real but I was unable to because I did not have as much time as I thought I would.  I got all the things that had to be done for the SAS, etc. completed but that was about it.  I did one special project that I will share in a latter blog since it is a gift.  So while I was packing it became very apparent that I had stuff I could not pack.  Pam was nice enough to send it to me (thank you Pam)  and so today I am sure my mail lady was not a happy camper as she had to deliver 6 boxes to me.  Some were light but a couple were heavy.  My sister used the flat rate boxes to send all my stuff.  It wasn't just craft stuff; there were Christmas presents too.  As I was opening the boxes and sorting through everything I realized that I have a lot to do between now and Dec. 24.  Since I will be gone for a week in early December and then leave a few days before Christmas to go to Jacksonville I better get busy now.  Tis the Season!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Linner and A Movie

Wednesday was a day of fun.  We first went to Linner aka Lunch/Dinner and then went to see the movie "Spectre"  the new James Bond movie.  We have a movie theater in Newport that only charges $5.00 for first run movies.  The theater isn't fancy just the movie theater seats and a big screen but for the price who cares.  It is always clean and the staff is friendly.  It is no Cinepolis but we save about $20 a piece.  Add popcorn and a coke and because their prices are good we would still have about $10 left after that.  So, we decided to go to the early movie, 5:00 pm and went to eat a late lunch/early dinner which is Linner.  We went to Ruby Tuesday's and got in right away.  I guess 3:30 pm is not a time to eat.  We then headed over to the movie theater and got great seats especially since we were the first ones.  "Spectre" is a typical James Bond movie; it was good but nothing special.  It was no "Skyfall".  If you like James Bond movies then definitely go see it.  It does have some twists.  It was a nice way to spend the afternoon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ladybugs

When I was growing up we use to think ladybugs were cute and harmless.  I believed that until I moved to Tennessee.  Last year I had my first experience with ladybugs.  At at first they did not bother mean then it began to get cooler and the ladybugs decided it was time to come inside.  Everyday, actually 5 to 10 times a day, we would get out our vacuum cleaner and suck up the ladybugs and some stink bugs but that is another story.  Literally hundreds of ladybugs would come in and even when you think you have a handle on them they would grow in numbers.  The Crafty Cottage would get so many that the floor looked like it was moving.  Well, I am unhappy to report the ladybugs are back and not welcomed; at least by me.  I spent most of my afternoon in the crafty cottage cleaning up ladybugs.  They were everywhere and in everything!  So here's to indoor ladybug season! Right now I hate those "cute" little bugs!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Traffic In Newport?

When I was driving in California and sitting in bumper to bumper traffic in eight lanes I swore I would never complain about any traffic I would come across here at home.  Well that didn't work out because here I go.  Yesterday afternoon I spent 15 minutes to go about a mile.  Yes I live in a small town and yes the roads are only two lanes but still sitting in bumper to bumper traffic at 3:30 pm where there is usually not traffic was getting a little old.  There was no reason for it; no accidents or roadwork so I guess it was just dumb luck.  The sad thing is the traffic jam was only for three blocks long but it felt like an eternity.  I know the traffic here has nothing on California traffic but today it came close.

Monday, November 16, 2015

First Day Home

My first day at home was filled with reorganizing and unpacking. I intentionally did not unpack my suitcase Saturday night because I knew I had to move the summer clothes to make room for the winter clothes because I had left Parrottsville on the second week of September when it was still warm and did not return until the third week of November when it is now cool and chilly.  The unpacking of the suitcase did not happen until mid afternoon because I had to move the clothes around.  Since space is limited and we now have a summer and winter wardrobe we have created space in the RV where we can exchange the clothes for easier access.  Tim had already shifted his clothes from summer to winter so it was my turn.  I took the opportunity to clean out drawers and the closet before I made the switch.  That took more time then I thought but it also gave me a little more storage for the summer and winter clothes.  The actual unpacking of  the suitcase very easy since everything in the suitcase was clean and had a spot to go and so it took me 10 minutes to unpack.  That was after 5 hours of reorganizing. Hmm, I guess in a way that means it took me 5 hours and 10 minutes to unpack; nah!
Lisa made a great welcoming home dinner for me, her famous meatloaf, which gave us an opportunity to get together and get all caught up.  George and Lisa graciously let me talk about my Mom and then we took turns sharing all the things that happened with me and them during my absence.  Thank you Lisa for the delicious dinner and the super yummy triple chocolate cupcakes for dessert and to Lisa and George for a nice evening.
I still have more things to do in the house now that I am home and when I am done with the house I will then be spending time reorganizing the Crafty Cottage especially since Pam is shipping me several boxes of stamping products and craft items that I had received or purchased during my time in California.  Thanks Pam for shipping me my new "toys" and other items to get creative with.
I also want to thank Tim for making the house so nice when I got home.  Oh yeah and to my boy Shadow who was so excited to see me and has pretty much not left my side since I have been home.  He is such a good dog.  It is good to be home!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I Am Home!

I am back home in Parrottsville, TN and it is good to be home.  I enjoyed my time in California, well after the first two weeks, and I was spoiled by Pam and Brian.  It was kind of nice but it did make me feel guilty too.  They could not do enough for me and my thank you's just don't feel to be enough but I will say it one last time; thank you very much.
The flights home were good and uneventful, a great way to fly except for one small incident on the plane except just before boarding my flight in Dallas we had a slight delay because on the flight to Dallas in the plane we were about to board someone got sick and so maintenance had to go in and clean it.  It was announced to us like this.  All American Airlines passengers waiting to board Flight xxxx to Knoxville there is a slight delay due to a maintenance issue.  The passengers all groan in together.  The attendant then announces that someone got sick and the plane needed to be cleaned which was in progress.  The passengers groan and giggle.  The next announcement was, would the passengers in seat 17B and 17C please come up to the check in desk and all the passengers laughed.
It was only about a 10 minute delay and we still got to Knoxville early.
Tim was there waiting for me and it was good to see him again.  I think two months has been the longest that we have been apart from each other since we have been married.  We went to Puello's Grill for dinner on our way back home to Parrottsville.  When I got home Shadow was so happy to see me and he has not left my side since I have been home.  I did come home to some cold weather, low of 25 last night, but it is still good to be home.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Last Day In Cali (California)

Yesterday was my last day in California and Pam took the day off so we could be together.  We went to Cinepolis to see the new movie "Love The Coopers" it was really cute and I am glad we got a chance to see it together.  While I was here I was fortunate to see four movies at Cinepolis; I may be spoiled.  After the movie we went to lunch then headed back to the house so I could pack.  Pam threw me a little "Good bye" party with some neighbors and it was fun.  We had dinner and chatted the night away.  I do want to thank Pam and Brian for EVERYTHING!!!  You both have been wonderful hosts and very generous.  Thank you and I love you!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Girls Night Out

Last night Pam and I met up with our Cali BFFs, Evie and Kendra, for dinner.  We have been friends for several years and we always get together when I am in town.  Last night we had dinner at Sammy's Woodfire Grill.  The food was good but the company I was with was great.  When we get together we do a lot of laughing and we always have fun.  We are not a serious group!  Thanks Pam, Evie and Kendra for a great time last night!  I can't wait to do it again.
Today is my last full day in Carlsbad.  I will be flying home Saturday morning and I think I am ready.  After two months of being here it is time for me to go home!  I came here early because of my mom so this has been a bittersweet trip with some high points and some very very low points.  Soon, I will be back on the farm and sharing our daily life again.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Beach Was Busy

I visited the beach at Camp Pendleton yesterday to check out the waves.  They were pretty big and there were a lot of surfers out surfing.  Being it was Veteran's Day most of the base did not have to work and so I guess some took advantage of the waves and no work to go surfing.  I watch a few of the surfers ride some waves but the majority of the surfers were out in the water waiting for the right wave.  There also a few people checking out the waves from the beach.  I think they were waiting for it to warm up a bit.  At 8:00 am the base played "Anchors Away" and "The Halls of Montezuma" something they don't usually do.  It was nice to hear especially while walking on the beach.  After the beach I took advantage of all the Veteran's Day sales and got some Christmas shopping done.  I also discovered some new Christmas projects to work on.  We ended Veteran's Day at Claim Jumpers for dinner.  It was a nice day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veteran's Day

I want to take the opportunity to thank all of the Veterans.  You served to support the USA and I appreciate all that was sacrificed to do so.  On this Veterans Day several restaurants are offering free meals or apps to ant veteran.  I think it is a well deserve honor and I hope all the veterans take advantage of it.  S special "Thank You" goes to Tim who served 20 years in the Navy; Thank You Tim.  I also want to Thank Nate, my son in law, Jim C., Jim B, and my Dad Edward Winship for your service.  Thank you to all the men and women who have served!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Creating A Space For Memories

I spent a few hours yesterday rearranging a cabinet unit in one of Pam's guest bedrooms.  I did so because I was creating a space to keep my Mom's memories safe.  When Pam, Craig and I were going through my Mom's things on Sunday we came across all of her photo albums with 89 years of memories.  At first we were going to take the pictures out but in these photo albums there were more than just pictures.  There were letters and cards from my Grandma Ruth and my Dad along with other little momentos.  So we decided to keep the albums in tact and Pam volunteered to keep them.  Since she volunteered, thanks Pam, I wanted to help by creating a space for them.  Now we have all of my mom's photo albums, yearbooks, jewelry and other special items safely stored in one of Pam's guest room.  Those albums are now even more important to us because they hold my Mom's memories in them. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Day Of Family

After the SAS on Saturday my brother and sister in law, Craig and Karyn, came to spend the rest of the weekend along with my nephew Pat.  We had a great time Saturday night talking and having fun.  It was a nice but a little cool outside but we sat around the outdoor fireplace and enjoyed the evening.  We did stay up a little late but we had not been all together for a couple of years.  We all slept in on Sunday morning and then we had to say goodbye to Pat who had to get home.  We spent the next several hours going through my Mon's things and selecting things for the grandkids and great grandkids so they will have something that belonged to their grandma.  My Mom wanted this so we went with her wishes.  While sorting through Mom's items we shared lots of stories and memories.  It was really a nice day.  I made dinner and made some of our favorite foods that Mom use to make which seemed an appropriate way to end our afternoon.  Since we were pretty much done we watched Subday Night Football then Jurastic World.  Craig and Karyndecided to stay an extra night so we had more fun together.  Thanks Pat, Craig and Karyn for coming to help through Mom's things and thanks Pam and Brian for hosting it all!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Christmas SAS Was A Success

The Christmas SAS that Pam has every November was a big success.  She had over 50 participants and everyone enjoyed making all the cards and winning some great door prizes too.  I made Chili for the lunches on Friday and Saturday and the dinner on Friday night.  The ladies seemed to like it but if they didn't they wouldn't of told me anyway.  All I can say is that over the last couple of days I made five 7quart crock pots of chili and all we have left is a small Tupperware full.  I will take that as a sign that they liked the chili.  Pam had three sessions at her SAS; Friday morning, Friday night and Saturday morning.  The average session lasts about 4-6 hours so we both have been pretty busy the past couple of days.  Pam, you did  a great job, as always, and I know everyone who came to the November SAS loved it!  Way to go Pam!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pam's Christmas SAS -Day 1

.Pam's Christmas SAS is one of the most popular SASs the she holds.  Attendees get to make 10 Christmas cards, win a door prize and there is always some little extras given out too.  This is my 4th Christmas SAS with Pam and I have to say she does a great job.  This year I made all the cards she is Using and I am glad I could help her.  There were 20 ladies today that came in two shifts; one a 10:00 and one at 3:00.  It was very successful.  I made my homemade chili for lunch and dinner.  Great job Pam!

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Cool Day At The Beach

I was up  and out early yesterday and since I had some time to kill I decided to stop by the beach at Camp Pendleton and check out the waves.  It was a cool morning, about 60 degrees, with some wind.  The sun was shining bright so it did not seem as cool as it was.  The campground at the beach was full and there was a yoga class going on near the beach.  The waves were about 3 to 5 feet high and they were kind of pretty with the white water and blue ocean.  There were not any surfers at the beach but there were a couple of fishermen and some people running on the beach.  It was a nice way to start my day.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Visitors At The Farm

The farm had some visitors that no one knew about until the Game cameras were checked.  There are two game cameras placed out on the farm.  One is down by the pond and the other is out in the orchard.  Both cameras caught the visitors.  The Pond camera recorded two does out grazing during the day. That is something we would never be able to see because the does would of been long gone if we were in the area.  The camera captured some nice shots of both does.  The Orchard camera picked up a lone coyote at night.  Now we know it was not a lone one because you can hear the pack at all hours of the night.  Some nights they sound like they are right outside our door.  Now we have proof they are around.  I will be checking outside before I let Shadow go out at night.  Coyotes be warned.  Does, you are always welcome!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fixing The ATV

Last summer George got an ATV kind of on the barter system.  The ATV was not running but it was in good shape and so he agreed and brought the ATV to the farm.  Tim and George looked at it and determined that it was going to be a project to get the engine fixed and running.  They worked on it a little bit at time when there was nothing else to do on the farm or the weather was too bad to work outside.  Yesterday, after working two full days on the ATV engine they got the ATV running.  There is still more work to be completed but for now a big part of getting the ATV working has been completed.  Great job Tim and George!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Last Harvest On The Farm

While George began tilling up the vegetable beds he came across a few more veggies to harvest.  He got a few more sweet potatoes and a lot of carrots; about three pounds worth.  The sweet potatoes have been harvested the last few weeks but the carrots were a complete surprise as we thought we had picked all there was to be picked.  I guess the carrots wanted to be a surprise.  I am sure George and Lisa will continue to enjoy the sweet potatoes and I know Tim will help George and Lisa eat up the carrots too!  We were truly blessed to have so many fruits and veggies from the garden these past few months and I know that next year will be even better.  Thank you Mother Nature!

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Sunset Stroll

It is hard to believe that we are in the month of November.  A year ago, at the farm, we had our first snow.  It did not last long but it was a surprise because it was not predicted either.  Yesterday, in Carlsbad, it was a warm 79 degrees.  Since it was so warm and we missed the sunset last Friday when we took the dogs for a walk along the beach we decided that we would take the dogs for another walk along the beach so we could watch the sunset.  Carlsbad beach is a nice beach and a perfect place to view the sunset.  We got to the beach around 4:00 and walked along the sidewalk along the beach; dogs are not allowed on the beach.  Gunnar and Maddie attract a lot of attention, especially Gunnar, aw we walk so we have to stop and let people pet the dogs.  When the sun started to set, around 4:58 pm, we stopped and enjoyed the view.  There was not a cloud in the sky which made for a beautiful sunset.  The waves were pretty good so there were still a lot of surfers in the water catching the last waves before it got to dark.  After the sunset we walked a little longer then headed over to Café Panini for dinner.  Pam and Brian have been trying to take me there since last April.  It has always been too crowded but last night we hit it just right.  It is a local sandwich restaurant with a large outside patio that also had live music.  I had a turkey and provolone panini and it was one of the best I have had.  It was a nice way to end a beautiful day.  Thanks Pam and Brian for another great day!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Fun Halloween

It was a fun Halloween.  We started out early to run some errands for the Halloween party we were having.  We had to get liquid smoke for the fog machine and some Vampire Wine.  When we got back we got busy working on the food for the party.  I made Halloween cupcakes half orange and half purple.  We made dips and a few other items too.  The trick or treaters started coming around 6:00 and it never quit until 8:30.  There was a ton of kids and all had great costumes.  We saw some great ones!  Pam bought three huge bags of candy from Costcond gave out but 1/2 bag.  After the trick or treaters friends came by for the adult version of trick or treat.  We had lots of apps for the party followed by baked ziti and dessert.  Everyone had a great time and everyone came with some kind of costume too.  It was a great night and we ended the evening watching "Rocky Horror Picture Show" during the party then watched "Young Frankenstein" to end the night.  What a great day!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween And Carving Pumpkins

Happy Halloween! On Halloween there is something special having a freshly carved pumpkin.  I think it is a combination of my childhood and my childrens.  I do remember carving pumpkins as kids but it was mostly my brothers carving the pumpkins and Pam and I watched.  I think the first time I ever carved a pumpkin by myself  was when I was in college.  After that I carved one almost every year.  When my kids were little we would carve three pumpkins.  One for Carrie, one for Jenny and one for the whole family.  As they grew they eventually got to carve their own pumpkins.  I missed a few Halloweens while Tim and I were on the road traveling.  My kids now get their own pumpkins and carve them which makes me happy that the tradition stays alive.  The best part of carving pumpkins is to get the pumpkin seeds.  I love to roast the seeds and eat them. 
Yesterday I took a step further in my carving and I carved two bats in one of the pumpkins I was carving and then my traditional pumpkin face in the other pumpkin and carving two pumpkins gave me even more pumpkin seeds! 
Here is my public service announcement, Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour when you go to bed tonight.  Daylight savings time has come to an end.  So here's to an extra hour of sleep and getting dark at 5:00 pm.  Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

High Tides Equals Coastal Flooding

The San Diego area has been hit with exceptionally high tides combined with higher-that-average surf that has caused minor flooding in the low lying areas along streets and parking lots at the beach.  In Oceanside a restaurant that sits right on the waterline is getting hammered by the waves.  A high tide of about 7 feet aka the "spring tide" caused when the sun and the moon line up makes the usual surf that is usually 3 to 5 feet to increase the surf to 6 to 7 feet.  The beaches in Oceanside, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, La Jolla and Imperial Beach have been getting particularly hit hard.  It does make for some great wave watching and getting soaked just standing on the roads near the ocean. The tides will be going back down to normal starting today and due to the Santa Ana that is moving in on the area this week end.  Just in time for Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Sweet 16 Birthday Party & A Rainbow

Last night I help celebrate a friend's son 16th Birthday.  We did kid him about his "Sweet 16" but he took it well.  He had a pretty good Birthday.  His Dad let him skip school and the two of them drove up to Temecula to play a round of Golf and have lunch.  We celebrated his birthday last night at King's Fish House. Now if you anything about me you know I don't care for fish of any kind so let's also through in seafood too!  So I enjoyed a nice burger while everyone else enjoyed their fish and seafood.  H got some nice presents and we all got to enjoy the cake too!
Meanwhile back at the farm Tim got to see a beautiful Rainbow today.  After a day long of rain and gloom the sun broke through just before it got dark and Tim took some great pictures of the Rainbow.  As an added bonus the changing colors of the leaves make the picture even better.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Being Creative For Halloween

I was looking at Facebook last week and came across a picture of a young lady and behind her hanging on the wall was a Halloween decoration of pumpkins.  I kind of liked the decoration but knew I could make and make it look cuter.  So I got busy and created one.  I knew I needed some burlap ribbon for the pumpkins to hang from and found it at Dollar Tree.  I then picked out the color paper I wanted to use (I used cardstock) and then found an oval die cut that would cut the ovals I needed to make the pumpkin.  Each pumpkin needed three ovals to make the pumpkin.  I cut the stem from some brown card stock and used a flower punch to create the leaves.  I then used black glitter paper to make the eyes, nose and mouth. After cutting and punching enough paper to make three hangings I got busy and started my design. It took me about 20 to 30 minutes to complete the project.  It was an easy project and it ended up really cute.  I sent one to Jenny and Nate and I sent one to Carrie and Daniel.  The third one I gave to my sister.  It was just another way I could say Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Movie Weekend

I saw two great movies over the week end.  On Saturday night Pam and I went to Cinepolis, like I did last Sunday, to see the movie 'The Intern' starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro.  It was really good and we both enjoyed the movie very much.  It is a comedy about a retired man working in a fast growing company. 
On Sunday night we went back to Cinepolis and saw the movie "The Martian" starring Matt Damon.  It also was very good.  I really enjoyed the movie and we all wondered what it would be like to be so smart that you could figure anything.  Okay maybe my brother in law Brian is that smart since he helped with the Mars Rover computer programming. 
Both movies were great and if you have not seen them I would highly recommend them both. Thanks Pam and Brian for treating me to two great movies at Cinepolis.  I hope I can get use to our little Theater at home.  Of course I will, they only charge $5 for first run movies!

Monday, October 26, 2015

More Halloween Fun

With Halloween only a week away Pam and I spent most of the day on Saturday doing a little more shopping.  In the subdivision Pam and Brian live in the neighbors like to "ghost" each other which means that they give a little Halloween gift to a neighbor and place a ghost on their door.  That shows other neighbors that they have been ghosted.  The ghosting gifts can be candy, baked goods or decorations.  Pam usually ghosts a couple of neighbors each year and she wanted to get the neighbors she was ghosting a little nicer gift.  We headed over to Hobby Lobby and found a couple of cute things.  When we got back to the house Pam went and "ghosted" her neighbors.  When she got back we got busy doing a little more decorating.  We added some decorations to some Mums that we purchased and then decorated some fake pumpkins with some pumpkin face stickers.  It was a nice day and the house looks even more festive.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Witches Party

On Friday night Pam and I went to a Witches party hosted by a neighbor and friend, Lorraine.  She holds the event every year and I was once again invited to attend since I was in town.  Lorraine's home here in Carlsbad is a second home that she comes to stay at twice a year for a few months.  She lives in Long Island.  Her daughter's birthday is Oct. 31 and so she is use to making Halloween extra special.  Since her daughter is grown up now and living in the Chicago she has gone from throwing parties for her daughter to hosting an annual Witches Party.  Lorraine goes all out from decorating her home inside and out to making all the food and desserts.  Lorraine owned a successful bakery in Long Island and so her desserts are the best.  She also is a great cook and all I can say is you do not leave Lorraine's home hungry.  This year there were 10 of us including Lorraine's son who came in for a visit from Australia.  To attend the Witches party there are two requirements you have to wear a Witches had and heels.  The hats that are worn a very elaborate and so are the heels.  I managed to avoid having to wear heels since I am here visiting and do not have any heels.  We all had a wonderful time and Lorraine is a marvelous hostess.  At the end of the evening Lorraine had a wonderful surprise, her husband flew in from New York for the weekend.  I am so glad we were there when he arrived because her face was priceless when the she answered the door.  Thank you Lorraine for including me in this year's Witches party.  I had a wonderful time and it was good to see all who attended.  What a fun annual event!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Happy Birthday TIm!

Today is Tim's Birthday and it is the first one we have not spent together in the 32 plus years that we have been together.  It seems weird not to be with him on his day but I hope he knows that I am there in spirit and will be thinking of him on his day.  The trip to San Diego was planned knowing I would not be there for his birthday.  Sorry Tim but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Tim has been the best husband I could ask for or want.  He always thinks of the girls and I first and only wants the best for us.  We have had a great 32 + years together and we have many more years to be together.  He has been a wonderful father to our girls and is the best Bumpa to Rory. 
Tim I love you and hope you have a wonderful Birthday!  Happy Birthday Tim!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Traffic Jam In Parrottsville

We live out in the middle of cow farms and it does not get much more rural than that so how can there be a traffic jam in Parrottsville.  Well, the traffic was a rafter of turkeys.  Yes, I had to Google that because I was sure there was a name for it but did not know it. Yesterday while Tim was driving one of the roads to the farm he came across several turkeys that were crossing the road.  He said there were even a few really plump ones.  With Thanksgiving a little over a month away that could be dangerous for the turkeys.  The traffic jam did not last long and Tim was on his way again. So a bunch of turkeys all together are called a rafter and  then there is a gaggle of geese, a flock of ducks, a herd of goats and a muster of peacocks.  That pretty much sums up what else could cause a traffic jam in Parrottsville.  It sure beats California traffic where it is bumper to bumper traffic going 75 miles per hour. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Poor Cubs

What a sad day.  I was really hoping that the Cubs were going to be able to win the game and stay in the playoffs but the Mets had another idea.  The Cubs had the third best record in baseball this year and they had just beaten the second and first best record teams, the Pittsburg Pirates and the St Louis Cardinals.  Now all three are out of contention for the World Series.  The Cubs do have a young strong team and I know they will be back next year and ready to win.  Thanks Cubbies for letting your fans have some post season games.  It was fun to dream!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mr Padre Honored

Here is San Diego is the home of the San Diego Padres and one player nicknamed Mr Padre is Tony Gwynn.  Tony Gwynn played 20 seasons with the Padres and is sports hero in San Diego.  He passed away June 16, 2014 after a long battle with cancer of the salivary gland.  While playing with the San Diego Padres he had more than 3100 hits in 2400 games. After his retirement he became the Head Coach of San Diego State University, his alma mater.  This past Monday Tony Gwynn was honored  with a portion of Interstate 15 being named Tony Gwynn Memorial Freeway.  It is a 4 1/2 mile stretch of I-15 from Scripps Poway Parkway to Camino Del Norte. Included in the stretch is Exit 19 Tony Gwynn's number.  Tim and I use to attend the Padres games when we were stationed here in San Diego.  Watch Tony Gwynn play was one reason we enjoyed watching the Padres.  Thank you Mr Padre for all that you did on and off the field.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Let's Go Cubs!

The Chicago Cubs have made it to the National League  Divisional Playoffs and did it for the first time at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs have not been in the playoffs since 2008 when it looked like they were going to make it into the World Series until a Cubs fan interfered in a play and lost the game for Chicago.  Well they are in the playoffs again and yes they are down two games but there are still 5 more games that could be played.  In the movie 'Back To The Future 2' there was a headline stating that the Cubs won the  World Series in 2015.  I like that and still think it could happen.  Game 3 is played tonight at Wrigley Field.  With that said the only way I can end this blog is Let's Go Cubbies!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bridge Of Spies

I went and saw "Bridge Of Spies"  yesterday at Cinepolis with a neighbor friend. The movie starring Tom Hanks is based of a true story during the Cold War in the 50's.  The movie was excellent and kept my interest during the 2 hour and 21 minute movie which did not seem like it was that long.  I had not heard of the story before the movie was released.  Tom Hanks did a great job and Steven Spielberg once again turned out a great movie.  It is definitely a good one to go see. 
Cinepolis is a luxury theater with leather recliner seats, high end food and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, and a wait staff to take your order in the theater and bring it to you.  At $20 a ticket it should be comfortable.  I understand the attraction of seeing a movie there.  It was a nice afternoon!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall Festival Time

It is Fall Festival time again and I know in Tennessee that means a festival every week end.  I miss not going to the festivals but yesterday Tim, George and Lisa went to the Fall Festival in Cosby.  Last year that was one of the best festivals because not only are there a lot of vendors but there is live bands playing, a mill making fresh flour and a car show.  There is plenty of parking which is great because sometimes parking can be an issue.  Tim had a great time and he picked up a few items along with a Christmas present for Rory.  What a good Grandpa! 
Rory attended her first official Orange Park Fall Festival yesterday too with Jenny and Nate and Rory's other Grandma, Robin.  In a matter of fact they enjoyed it so much they are going back again today.  The Orange Park Fall Festival has always been one of our family's favorite things to attend and we never missed it.  I found some great Christmas presents there, ran into lot of friends and ate some great food.  I wish I could of been with Rory today but maybe next year we can all go together.
If you have a fall festival where you live I encourage you to attend.  They are always fun and you never know who you will run into.  Happy Fall everyone!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Looking For A Laser Battery

I was asked by a friend if I could pick up her son at school yesterday.  Since I did not have anything planned I said sure.  Her son, I will call him H, is 15 years old and is going to get his driver's permit today.  I asked him if he studied and he said a little bit.  On our way back H's house he asked if we could make a short errand to get a battery for his laser.  Since I had nothing planned I said sure.  We were not sure where to go.  I thought of Radio Shack but since most of the stores have shut down it is hard to find a Radio Shack.  I then thought of Best Buy but they do not sell anything like that.  Then I remembered Batteries Plus and looked on Google Maps where the closest one was.  Luckily it was only about 8 minutes away.  So we left Best Buy and headed for Batteries Plus.  This was the first time I had been in a Batteries Plus and I have to say they stay true to their name.  They had batteries I didn't even know existed.  H found the battery he needed and so he bought it and the sales people there were very helpful.  H was very appreciative that I ran the errand for and with him.  Good luck today H!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Binge Watching

After watching the Emmys this past September one show that has won an Emmy the last couple of years and has had me curious about is "Orange Is The New Black".  The premise of the show is based on life at a women's minimum security prison.  I had difficulty getting past the language used and the sexual content but what kept me watching were the characters and their story lines.  The show is a Netflix original show so in order to see it you have to have access to Netflix or buy the series on DVD or Blu Ray at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.  There are three seasons and each season has 13 one hour shows.  I started watching the first season and after the first show I was hooked and have managed to watch the first and second season in about a week so far.  I have started the third season and should be finishing up on that season in the next couple of days.  Like I said that once you get past the language and sexual content it is a very funny and clever show.  Thanks Netflix for developing shows that are really quite good. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Halloween Shopping

Yes, I said Halloween shopping. Just because my kids are adults now doesn't mean that I have to give up on doing something for them on Halloween and of course I get to spoil Rory too.  I like to send a small Halloween package to Carrie and Jenny but Rory is the one who will make out for Halloween.  I had so much fun yesterday looking for things for Rory and I found some pretty good items.  I think Rory will like them.  Today I am spending some time with a friend.  We are headed to Temecula for the day.  Check back tomorrow and see what we did.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Is It Indian Summer Or Just A Heatwave?

For the past couple of weeks it has been hot here in Southern California.  The normal temperatures for the Carlsbad area for this time of year is usually high 60's to low 70's.  This year, weather wise, has been weird.  It is summer heat Florida style.  It is usually a dry heat here and at night it gets into the low 60's but as I write this it is still 76 degrees outside.  In Florida and several other parts of the country this would be no big deal because most people have air conditioning.  In the Carlsbad area it usually only gets this warm one or two weeks a year so most people do not have air conditioning.  My sister's home is one that does not so cooling off, especially at night, is not an option.  Everyday the weather people here in the San Diego area say it is the last day of the heat but then the heat advisory gets extended.  I packed more clothes for the cooler temps and now I should have only packed summer things.  So, maybe this is Indian Summer but California style.  Oh joy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Late Post = Busy Morning

Here in southern California it is barely 9:30 and I have already had a busy morning.  I got up early because the cleaning lady, my sister's, was coming at 8:00 and I had a few things that had to be done before she got here not just because she was coming but it is also Garbage day and I wanted to clean out the refrigerator and cabinets before the truck came.  So I have already competed two loads of laundry, bedding and towels, cleaned out the refrigerator and the pantry, got the dogs fed and walked, emptied the dishwasher and ate breakfast.  Not bad for a couple hours of work. 
So what am I going to do with the rest of my day?  Hmmm, maybe go shopping again!  Check back tomorrow and see what I ended up doing.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sports Update Monday

I know I usually only cover football but with my Cubbies (Chicago Cubs) in the playoffs I have two sports I am following.  First, way to go Cubs.  The NL Central Division playoff is tied !-1 with three games left.  The first two games were in St. Louis (the #1 winning team in baseball this year) but today and tomorrow they play in Chicago.  Go Cubs Go!
Now on to  Football - this has been a strange year for the NFL and College Football for me.  My teams in the NFL were sort of predictable but my College teams are all over the board.  First let's go College.  Who would of thought that the Florida Gators would have a 6-0 record.  Due to their winning they are ranked #8 this week.  Go Gators!  Michigan is doing well and have a 5-1 record and are ranked #12 this week.  Missouri lost to the Gators this week end and now have a 4-2 record.  Three teams are at the 500 mark, NIU, NAU and Oregon.  Oregon and NIU are the big surprise here.  Last year neither team lost three times.  Then there is South Carolina who just are not playing well.  They have a 2-4 record.  Who would of thought?
The NFL teams, except the Bears are following a familiar path.  The Broncos are undefeated with a 5-0 record and the Jaguars and Titans who are at 1-4 and 1-3 were expected.  The Bears however have been a disappointment.  They lost their first three games but at least they have won the last two.  Both my 1 or 2 points with a 2-3 record.  Of course being a Chicago sports fan also means supporting your teams win or lose.
So today game three in the NL Central Division, Cubs vs Cardinals, and all I can say is Go Cubs Go!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Community Garage Sale

After dropping off Pam and Brian at the Airport in downtown San Diego I headed north to Craig and Karyn's house in Laguna Niguel to help them with their garage sale.  Their neighborhood holds a community garage sale once a year, usually during the summer months, and this year the date was changed to try and beat the heat.  Well, that didn't work.  Yesterday was one of the hottest days in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties.  It was already in the 90's at 8:00 am and by the afternoon the temperature had reached over a 100 degrees.  It was plain HOT.  The garage sale went pretty good and we managed to stay in some kind of shade but the clean up was brutal.  Anything that was in the sun was hot and in some cases way too hot to even touch.  We all found that out the hard way, ouch!  Craig and Karyn's community did one thing that was genius.  They arranged for a huge dumpster to be delivered and after the event residents could dump all the items they no longer wanted into the dumpster for easy clean up; genius!  I helped Craig and Karyn clean up then we went into their air conditioned home to cool off.  It was a good day and I got to spend more time with Craig and Karyn even if it was a little warm.  I headed back down to Carlsbad where the temperature was a cool 97.  For Carlsbad, that was a record since their normal temperatures in October are high 60's low 70's.   It was hot but it will be cooler today with temperatures in the high 80's; what a relief!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Aloha Pam And Brian

I originally was suppose to fly to San Diego this week to dog sit and house sit Pam and Brian's house while they are in Hawaii.  I had offered last Spring to do so and they agreed.  So today, going to the airport very early, they are headed to Hawaii and I get to stay at their house with the dogs.  I know Gunnar and Maddie will be good for me because they are good dogs.  I just hope they won't miss their Mom and Dad too much.  While Pam and Brian are taking a much deserved vacation I will be busy creating cards for Pam's November SAS and also visiting Craig and Karyn.  Of course Pam's neighbors have all offered help if I need it and some will be keeping me busy while Pam and Brian are gone.  I am just glad everything worked out for all.  Aloha Pam and Brian.

Friday, October 9, 2015

More Visitors At The Farm

George and Lisa's kids have come for a visit to the farm.  They have been there before but they have not seen a lot of the extras that have been worked on during the last visit.  Travis visited in June so he has seen a lot of things but Kaitlyn has not been to the farm since last November so there will be a lot of changes for Kaitlyn to see.  Of course they both get to meet Roxy.  Travis has brought his dog Nyx and Kaitlyn has brought her cat Kato.  So the Francisco home will be full with people and pets.  Have fun this week end!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Go Cubs!

If you have been following either one of my blogs you know I am from Chicago.  This means that not only am I a Chicago Bears Fan but it also means I am a huge Chicago Cubs Baseball fan.  I have loved the Cubs since I was a little girl going to Wrigley Field to watch the games or watching them on WGN TV.  This also means, as a Cubs fan, that I have watched the Cubs lose a lot.  Well this current season they won.  They had the third best winning record in baseball.  Unfortunately the first and second best records were in their same division, the NL Central.  The St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburg Pirates were first and second.  The Cubs made the playoffs this year and last night was the NL Central Wildcard playoffs.  It consisted of one game, winner advances which meant the Cubs(3rd) played the Pirates (2nd).  The game started at 7:08 in the Central time zone which is Chicago time.  7:08 in Military time is 19:08 which the last year the Cubs won the World Series.  Yesterday was 10/7 which the last time the Cubs won the World Series was 107 years ago.  I got these numbers from a High School friend, thanks Jeff.  Last night I watched the game and watched the Cubs beat the Pirates 4 -0; way to go Cubbies!  Now on to the NL Central playoffs against the Cardinals. Go Cubs!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Halloween Decorations

My sister Pam decorated her house for Halloween.  Halloween is one of her favorite holidays and she has some really great decorations.  Most of them she has purchased but some were gifts from her neighbors.  Her neighborhood does this "Ghosting" thing every Halloween season.  Someone will ghost a house (gifts such as a decoration, baked goods, candy, etc will be left at a house and a ghost gets placed on their door.  When the recipient gets the gift then they go "ghost" another neighbor.  I like the idea and wish I started that when we lived in Florida.  Anyway, Pam really wanted to decorate for Halloween before they go on vacation so she spent the last two afternoons decorating.  Brian put the lights up on the house.  Everything looks so good.  Great job Pam and Brian.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Remembering Mom!

On Sunday Craig and Karyn hosted a gathering to remember our Mom.  Friends in the area were invited and it was a nice way to just celebrate my Mom right now.  Our big Memorial service for our Mom will be next summer in Lake Geneva, WI where we had a summer cottage when we were growing up.    My Mom talked a lot about the cottage and Lake Geneva the few weeks before she passed away so we all decided that would be the place to put her ashes.  A Wisconsin girl goes back home.
The gathering was very nice with about 30 people attending.  My brother Craig created a beautiful slide show that he played on his TV through out the house.  My sister Pam and I made some food along with my sister in law Karyn and friend Dori.  Almost everyone who attended brought food so there was plenty to eat.  We displayed my Mom's Dollhouse she built with me along with several pictures of her and a bottle of Crown Royal.  Mom loved to have a cocktail or two at night.
My brother toasted her and several family and friends reminiscent about her.  We played some of her recordings then finished with the song "Gloria" that Craig wrote about Mom.  It was a great way to remember Mom and it allowed some closure for Craig, Karyn, Pam, Brian and me.  Mom would of loved the whole thing and we know she was there in spirit!  Love you Mom!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy Birthday Shadow!

Today is my dog Shadow's Birthday!  Happy Birthday Shadow!  He is the best dog in the world in my opinion and I hope he has a good birthday.  I wish I was home to help celebrate but I know Tim will do something special for him today.  Shadow had a rough beginning as he was found when he was about 6 weeks old behind a Walmart on a cold rainy night.  He was taken in by one of my employees who cleaned him up but could not keep him due to the fact that they had a couple of dogs already and a new baby.  I am not sure how Shadow got into Carrie's hands but for my 50th birthday Carrie gave Shadow to me.  He was a mess covered in fleas and had the mange but once we got him cleaned up and after a couple of vet visits he became the best dog we have ever had.  Shadow got his name because even though he was given to me he really loved Tim and followed him everywhere hence the name Shadow.  Tim trained Shadow really well and we knew he was a smart dog because he learned very quickly.  He loves to travel and he has been the best companion during our travels in the RV.  He was always ready for a new adventure and has enjoyed traveling.  Shadow is a Flat Coated Retriever, looks like a black Golden Retriever, and is a people dog.  He is needs to be with people and is one of the friendliest dogs around.  Happy 6th Birthday to my sweet boy!  We love you Shadow!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The SAS Was A Success

The second day of Pam's SAS was a success and the cards were a hit.  We had a smaller group then we usually do which was nice for a change since most of the time, during Pam's SAS, it is pretty full and busy.  There were extra door prizes so everyone went home with extra goodies.  When the last lady left Pam and I got busy cleaning up and putting everything away.  What took three days to set up took one hour to take down and be put away.  Thanks Pam, you did another great job!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Seting Up For The SAS

This week Pam and I have been busy getting ready for her September SAS (Stamp And Stack).  I know it is October but the SAS had to be postponed due to my Mom's illness and death.  We decided to go ahead with the SAS because my Mom loved them and this one was in honor of my Mom.  We had 14 stampers last night and it was not as busy as it usually is but when it had to be postponed twice we were happy with the turn out.  We have another session today and even though there is only going to be 10 ladies in attendance (there is usually 20 - 25) it will be fun anyway.  I got to participate in it and managed to make all the cards and the Make and Take.  The ladies that attended made 10 cards and a make and take.  Everyone wins a door prize and this time there were some extra "gifts".  All of the ladies were so gracious as to give their condolences about my Mom.  Pam has some wonderful friends and I am lucky enough to know them too.  Nice job Pam!  Let's do it again!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Shopping And A Shower Door

I forgot how much fun it is to just go shopping when there are so many stores available and all in close proximity.  After dropping off Pam at her office I headed over to Target.  I picked up some shorts and a top (on clearance) and a Christmas present for Rory.  I then headed over to Jo-Ann's to get some Cross Stitch floss and an item for my sister.  I then headed over to Michaels to pick up a few more things for Pam.  After Michaels I headed over to Party City to pick up some glasses for my sister in law.  Then it was on to Best Buy and Walmart.  The best part about visiting all these stores is that they are all in a five mile radius.  In some cases they were right next door to each other.  It was a very successful shopping trip and I got every thing I needed to get.
While I was shopping back at the farm it was the third day of rain straight and cool outside.  George did decide to fight the rain and began building a door for the outside shower.  The door is looking good so far.  Tim is weather watching there is a Hurricane in the Atlantic and right now it is headed for his area of the country.  So, the rain and will just might continue. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Outdoor Shower Is Done - Almost!

The outdoor shower is almost done.  All it needs is a door.  The outdoor shower is to be used for washing off after mowing, harvesting or other things that might happen on the farm.  It will also be used to wash the dog, Roxie and maybe even Shadow.  George has planned on this shower since he roughed it out last year so having it almost done has got to be a good feeling.  Now there is one less project to be completed on the farm which is good because Tim and George started looking at the hot tub that George put in last year.  He has had it looked at a couple of times but sometime over the past few months it began to leak in areas that were not expected.  Good luck guys!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rest In Peace Mom!


My mother's obituary which may appear in some papers but thought I would share it here!  She was an incredible person and I was blessed to have as my mother.  Love and miss you Mom!


Gloria B. Winship, aged 89, died peacefully of natural causes Friday, September 25th at her home in Laguna Nigel, California. Born Gloria Ruth Berg to B. Martin and Ruth (Coleman) Berg in Superior, Wisconsin in 1926, she graduated from Superior State College with a degree in music and went on to become a noted Music Teacher, Choir Director and Soprano Soloist, performing on stage, radio, television and recordings during her remarkable career.
Beginning in the late 1940’s she started as a music teacher for the Delavan Public School system in Delavan, Wisconsin.  In 1950, she married Warren A. Colley (deceased) and relocated to Chicago, Ill. Known as Gloria Colley during the 1950’s and 1960’s she was the soprano soloist for Chicago’s Euterpean Oratorio Chorus, Lindberg Chorus, Crescendo Club and Morgan Park Baptist Church, among others.  She was also regularly featured on WTTW’s “Chicago Sunday Evening Club” television program, broadcast weekly from Orchestra Hall.  After the sudden death of her husband in 1967, she began a 20 year career as a music teacher for the Glenview Public Schools in Glenview, Ill.  During this period she also privately taught numerous piano and vocal students, and served as the Choir Director for the St Peter's United Church of Christ in Northbrook, Ill.  In 1970, she married her second husband, Edward P. Winship (deceased).  Retiring from teaching in the mid 80’s, she moved to Florida and spent many wonderful years in Orange Park as a member of the Orange Park United Methodist Church Choir. Talented in the arts beyond music, she was also an accomplished visual artist and her hobbies included painting, crafts and a passion for building and decorating miniature doll houses.  As her health began to decline during her later years, she relocated to California to be close to her daughter and son.
She was mother to Ford Colley (Mary), Craig Colley (Karyn), Ruth Loomis (Tim), and Pamela Gaynor (Brian) and is survived by five grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to a memorial fund set up in her name supporting Norman B. Barr Camp, a non-profit summer camp located on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin that serves economically challenged children and young adults with special needs. Donations by check should be sent to:  Norman B Barr Camp - PO Box 70 - Williams Bay, WI 53191 or can be made online via credit card or PayPal at:  www.normanbbarrcamp.org/donate.html
A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the summer of 2016 in the Bowman Chapel at Norman B. Barr Camp.  Date and time of the service will be announced.  In addition, a song about her life, entitled “Gloria”, has been written, produced and performed in her honor by her son Craig and can be streamed or downloaded at:  www.121netradio.com/Gloria.mp3