Friday, October 31, 2008

Photo Phun Phriday - Halloween

Halloween is here . . . .

My very first Halloween as a mom was for Demolition D. He was 2 1/2 months old and was my sweet pea.

I have had fun making and picking costumes for the kids, but they have out grown much of it. I guess this being the 16th halloween as a mom, I am ok going on to this next stage. I think.

For me, as a child, Halloween was always so much fun! Ghost and witches weren't pushed, it was a time to dress up and join all the other kids in the neighborhood collecting candy. Halloween was also my Grandfathers birthday. So every year the very last stop for Halloween was at my Grandparents house. Thy lived 4 blocks away, so we would walk there, my mom would hide to side and we would ring the bell. I am sure after a few years, he knew it was us, no more trick or treaters came after we arrived, but he always played as he was surprised.

We don't surprise my parents, but we always make a stop at their house - every halloween. This year it will be just The Man in his store bought boring mask. Demolition D will be in his flight suit playing drums at a Friday night football game. . .
But here is the photo phun for today . . . Halloweens past!

Candid Carrie is a great host for this . . . go check out her photo and the list of those participating!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Joie De Vivre - Mudbugs!

. . . A joy of life would be these wonderfully delicious meals!

Getting away on a trip like this means:
  1. A chance to eat at new places
  2. Get rest, maybe
  3. A Change of scenery
  4. Great food

Well, I have in fact not ventured too very far with my variety on what we have eaten. Saturday night, cajun, sorta, Sunday, Cajun; Monday, Cajun. But last night we did change up and eat at the Macaroni Grill.

On our way up on Saturday, we stopped in Columbia S.C. at cool looking place called the Crab House. Great building - brick walls, open rafters, great fish tank. We saw immediately they had She Crab Soup and Shrimp and Grits. We ordered one of each to split the meal. Welllll, we should have chosen the cup rather than the bowl. That would have had to have been the worst she crab soup I have encountered. The Shrimp and Grits were unique. The Edisto grits were good, but they had sausage in it (with the shrimp) - large chunks of the really cheap sausage and they used brown gravy in place of the roux (yes, like the powdered kind with water added). Just not that great of choice for dish that can be so good! So, if you happen by the Crab House, skip the shrimp and grits and the soup too. Choose a steak instead!

Sunday, here in Raleigh, after touring the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, we headed to a restaurant called The Big Easy. Another great building! This one was a narrow shop in the older part of downtown, all brick walls and open rafters, great atmosphere. We split a sampler dish and had, again, She Crap Soup, Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya. It was so good!

Then Monday night we headed to a restaurant that I found a great coupon for - The Triangle Grille. Oh wow!! This was a classier restaurant with Italian dishes, German dishes, and of course, Cajun dishes. The Etouffee was fabulous and I finally got some mudbugs – crawfish. Will chose the Jambalaya and it was awesome. Even better was the bill. It was $43 before we used the coupon I found online. After the coupon? $16!! (of course then the tip). has gift certificates to restaurants all over the country. You can purchase a $25 gift certificate for $10. But if you sign up for their email, they send promotions, so I was able to get the $25 certificate for $4. Check it out, I only get to use it when going out of town, since no local businesses participate.

Back to the eating out – why so much Cajun? We have no Cajun restaurants at home. The next time I will have it as an option, will probably be May when Traveler graduates from college. So if you come to Raleigh, I would recommend the Triangle Grille and The Big Easy – great places.

Besides the great food – I had a great time yesterday. I became lost while looking for the Mordecai House (oldest reaming frame house in Raleigh). But being lost brought a great treat - Passages Consignment Shop! I found a beautiful blue and white soup bowl for my sister in law who collects blue and white dishes (and it was discounted –ching, ching). I found a Liz Claiborne purse, which, looks as if it had never been used - $5. And then I found a pair of Ann Taylor Loft pants with the tag thingies still on them - $9!!

I did find the Mordecia House and toured it. They also had Andrew Johnson’s birth home on the same sight. The cold front had moved in as had a brisk breeze. It was so cold walking between the buildings! It was not suppose to be this cold – I should have brought my heavier coat.

Well today we head home. Check out is 11 and hubby is in class until 3. I get to play some more, so I am off to the Farmers Market. Our farmer’s market is pitiful and tiny and, well, really really sad and should not be called a farmer’s market. So I am so excited to go to a real one (you should have seen me in Whole Foods yesterday, something else we do not have at home, like kid in candy store).

I am off - Good Day All!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Signs Of The Times

I am here, in Raleigh, in a quiet hotel room, watching Forest Gump and watching out the window, looking at a wonderfully ripply, cloudy sky. If I could get the pictures off my camera, I would show you – but I can’t. It reminds of the beach, when the tide leaves and the hard sand is full of ripples, that is what the sky looks like now.

I noticed on the way up here all the signs, voting signs, business signs, river signs. Yep, river signs – as we came upon the Lumber River, there was a state sign for it “Lumber River, a natural and scenic river” Made me wonder, aren’t all rivers scenic? And for the most part, aren’t all rivers natural (I know the Ocoee is somehow partially manmade)? Maybe North Carolina has more manmade rivers than other places.

I liked the huge billboard “SHORT MEN CLOTHES HERE . . .exit . . .” Ok I should not laugh, but that was a first. I have seen the tall large men clothing signs, but never one for short men. So does North Carolina have a larger population of short men than other places?

Now voting signs, I have to say they are all about the same, other than the names (well the Bubber Epps was a little more unusual than most). But I started wondering, when did we become so open about who we are voting for? I drove down one road and every house along a stretch had several signs, from local offices to President.

As we indulged in the freebie breakfast yesterday, a very gregarious, now US citizen originally from Switzerland, was speaking to another couple with a European accent. The former Switzerland fella, was pointing out to the visitors that America is not a democracy since there are only two parties. He continued how it needed to change to be more like Switzerland. He continued on about his personal thoughts on McCain and Palin (definitely opposing). I say this to say, it does not bother me, the loudly expressed opinions nor the signs, but I do find it interesting. I grew up being told your pay and your vote is private/personal. This is the first election that I have noticed so much unsolicited opinions on candidates. This is the first election that I have noticed people being downright mean and argumentative and forceful with their political choice. It is an interesting election year. A definite campaign with many firsts . . . and many signs!

I cannot bring myself to put out a sign, it is sorta like hanging out my personals on the clothesline. Of course, maybe some of that is that I don’t have a candidate that impresses me enough to put myself out there to show full support, to decorate my front yard with their names or slogans. Oh, well, maybe the sign makers are at least making a profit.

. . . .and now Forest Gump is now crying at Jennies grave. Outside the window, the sky continues its show, as the ripples change but remain stunning.

Fall Into Flavor and Celebrate - Buffalo Style

I am on business trip with my hubby (Raleigh N.C.), but I still wanted to take part in Linda's Fall Flavor and Tiffanies Celebrate fall (I have left something out of my post I love recipes!!! I am a recipe junkie) . . .

Have a favorite, post it and then surf on over to 2nd cup of coffee, check out the other recipes and Mr. Linky yours!
And then mosey on over to Two Peas In A Pod (or go opposite - but join the fun!)

I had heard several people talk about a great Buffalo Chicken Dip, well, while looking for it, I came across this casserole. Made it for my Hooter lovers (wait, I guess that does not sound very good, but I am going to leave it),
and they gobbled it up.

Easy Easy Dish!
Buffalo Chicken Casserole
1/2 Cup Uncooked Regular Long-grain White Rice
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Thin Strips
2 Medium Stalks Celery, Thinly Sliced {1 Cup}
1 Can {14.5 Oz.} Stewed Tomatoes, Undrained
1/2 Cup Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/4 Cup Blue Cheese Dressing

Cook Rice In Chicken Broth 20 Minutes As Directed On Pkg. Meanwhile, Heat Oven To 350 Degrees. In 12 Inch Skillet, Heat Oil Over Medium-high Heat. Add Chicken And Celery; Cook 5-7 Minutes, Stirring Frequently, Until Chicken Is No Longer Pink In Center. Remove From Heat. Open Can Of Tomatoes; Cut Up Tomatoes In Can {with Kitchen Scissors Or Hands, Is The Easiest Way} Stir Tomatoes And Wing Sauce Into Chicken Mixture. Spray 8-inch Square Baking Dish With Cooking Spray. Spoon Cooked Rice Into Dish. Spread Chicken Mixture Over Rice {do Not Stir} Bake 25-30 Minutes Or Until Hot In The Center. Drizzle Dressing Over Top.

I bought the Hooters Sauce at the grocery store - that worked well. Another time I used the sauce that is sold at Sams Club (Cosco might have it too). Worked just as good.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And May God Bless You

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
Psalm 89:15

Friday, October 24, 2008

Splish Splash I Was Taking A Bath

Such a small room for so many happenings . . .

Photo Phun Phriday - Arrr A Pirates Life Is Hard

It another Photo Phun Phriday . . . Carrie's got a great list - Check it out here. . .

There is a "park" in our area called Pirates Cove. For the most part it is forgotten. As a teenager, this area had a narrow road that meandered through the swampy like area. I remember attending a Halloween party nearby and the parents had arranged a hay ride along Pirates Cove Road. Near the end, some of the other adults came running out with masks on scarying everyone on the hay ride. It a great time and a fun memory.

Since then the road has been closed to traffic, but trails have been cleared joining sections of what is left of the road and turned into a nature park - playgrounds or tennis courts. Just nature - cypress knees, herons, bugs . . .
On the spur of the moment one day I gathered up all the pirate items I could find, made a quick trip to the party store for a few more items. I hid the booty in my bag, grabbed the boys and headed to Pirates Cove.

As we walked through the cove, Demolition D and I would toss treasures to the side of the trail when The Man was not looking.

He would get so tickled when he would find a treasure. At the end of the trail he had his eye patches, beads, a hook and few eye balls to go, and of course some gold coins (chocolate).

It was a Phun Day for us all!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Rain Is Coming . . .

. . . and I am so glad to have been able to see the sunrise this morning!

The "holes" in the clouds with the blue sky shining through were absolutely breath taking.

(wish I had a better photo program at work, would have taken the light pole out!)

Today is much better than yesterday. My doors are still attached - the crowds have not knocked them down, but God did provide, maybe not like my silly little human ways would want, but just enough . . . and I believe more is to come. Thanks for thinking of me on a difficult day!

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Be Still and Know

I was able to visit a few blogs this morning, one of which was Exemplify, where Kristen asked, where are you (spiritually) today? I thought, how would I even begin, I feel like I am in a corner.

See, today has started off challenging for me. I tend to like security and with the small business I own and run, that is not always how it goes – my comfort level is challenged often. Today, this week, is one of those times. I need customers. I need people to come through the door and buy. I need not shed these tears that are so close to the surface. I do need God’s strength! I do need the kind of faith that removes the fear and frustration and desperation that I feel today. As I have prayed as I have moved through my daily routine and I have desperately wanted the peace faith in God brings, to let go of the worry, completely. To smile and know in every fiber that it will be ok.

When I arrived at the shop I sought out my post it note with a verse on it (Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. 1 Chronicles 28:20). My post it note had fallen off and I did not find it. I then hit the internet and headed to Crosswalk in need of being spiritually fed, in need of God’s word.
I love it when He gives me what I was so desperately needing, looking for. This is the first devotion I came to. This “snippet” of a verse is one I so often pull from deep inside. I love the praise song too.

The Context of Stillness
by Katherine Britton, News & Culture Editor
"Be still, and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10

How many times have you heard this verse? A hundred? A thousand? This snippet of a psalm is a pet verse of mine. It constantly pops into my head when I start getting too busy or stressed out. Ironically, I hadn’t taken time to read the whole psalm in months until the other night, and I had no recollection of the verses surrounding my favorite one-liner.

Here’s a sampling of the other verses in Psalm 46:
“Though the earth gives way…” (vs. 2)
“Though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea…” (vs. 2)
“The nations rage, the kingdoms totter…” (vs. 6)
“Be still and know that I am God… I will be exalted in the earth!” (vs. 10)
“The God of Jacob is our fortress.” (vs. 11)

I had been picturing an idyllic, Psalm-23-ish passage as the context for my pet verse, but the context is completely different. The psalm is actually the meditation a man holding back fear with faith. In a setting of uncertainty, war, and all-around “trouble” (vs. 1), the psalmist focuses on the peace that comes from being the presence of God – even though the earth around him threatens to fall apart. The verse holds even more power in this context than in my imagined setting, doesn’t it?

I love the Psalms because of their deep meditations on humanity confronted with God’s holiness and faithfulness. I can see real men writing the lines, reminding themselves of the bigger context for their troubles. I see men who – like me – wondered what would happen next in this life. But every one of them comes to the realization that they serve a God who supersedes their worries and replaces them with worship. These men heard the command to “be still and know” and found that God blew their imaginations.

I often look at the looming election and the financial woes and start getting jittery, wondering about outcomes and impacts. In these times, I slip into this mentality that thinks “being still” and listening to God can only happen in green pastures. But
the real context of Psalm 46:10 tells me otherwise. God’s amazing peace works most powerfully when the world’s craziness reaches a crescendo. Like they say,
context is everything.

The part “a man holding back fear with faith” hit me like a ton of bricks. I know I am not in a war. I know things could be much worse. But for me, the very small number in the bank account, after today’s bills are paid, is difficult for me. I know God will provide, I know His plans are greater than anything I can imagine, but the very real, very human feelings fight for their spot of recognition too, and those I am so earnestly fighting to purge. I am hoping I am at a crescendo, and I can’t wait for God’s amazing peace.

Wordless Wednesday - Spring Flashbacks

What is he doing? See below . . .
Trying to catch a dragonfly. It was impossible to capture, but there
were a good 30-50 dragonflies scooting around
for about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Latte You Say?

Over at Exemplify, Kristen had a link to a little fun . . .so I visited the "test" site. I always interesting to answer a few questions and get a "your type" answer. I like to see how close it comes to who I am. This is pretty close. I don't know about the festive part though - Festive I think of pink feather boas, flashing earings and shoes, loud and bodacious (I am little timid in that respect).

Check out and see what kind of Latte you are . . .

You Are a Pumpkin Latte

You are always up for a celebration. You are a very festive person.

You look forward to every holiday, and you are nostalgic for good times after they're over.

You appreciate the small things that make life special. You love little treats.

You often look at the world with childlike wonder. There's so much to enjoy!

Celebration . . .C’mon and Celebrate

Wondering what to celebrate? Well can I help you out!
I came across one of those calendars that list all the “National {fill in the blank} Month”

Wow is October busy (oh, Happy Pumpkin Cheesecake Day). I was amazed at all the celebrations (Happy National Pasta Week). I have not looked to see if Hallmark has any of these somewhat obscure holidays (Happy Clock Month) covered with cards or if they leave them totally up to us to be creative (Happy Respect Life Week).

So I, out of the many options (Happy Cookbook Month), have decided to honor two off the list:

Happy Pretzel Month and Happy Pet Peeve Week !

Pretzel Facts:
For New Years, children in Germany wear pretzels around their neck for good luck.

A salt-less pretzel is called a “baldie”

Can be used as Christmas Tree toppers. . . well sometimes . . .well, in Austria

The Mid-Atlantic states are sometimes referred to as the “Pretzel Belt of America”


Choking on a pretzel caused President George Bush to briefly lose consciousness.

Happy Pet Peeve Week!

Pet Peeves huh? A whole week to think about and celebrate having them? Hummm . . .

Well here are a few of mine:

Toilet paper upside down on the holder
Bag less trash cans
Salt less pretzels
Misusing the words was and were
Ending words with an “r” that is not there {potato”r”; idea”r”)
Calling the police the “popo” – uggggg
The term “my bad”

So, what about you, what pet peeve do you wish to “celebrate” this week?
Go ahead, unleash them . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colliding In The Blender

I would love to say that our “blended” family has been a do over of the Brady Bunch where the highest point of drama would be the pitiful sing song “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.” But it is not. Thankfully it is our own unique colliding of families and homes. One of the obstacles that came out of this would be between Traveler and me.

Will and I read books on blended families, went to counseling before marrying, made sure we found a house with enough rooms that each child would have their space. We provided time for one on one time with the kids. Worked had trying to ease the transition. We, of course, still have encountered issues that did not respond like the books said and we have had to muddle through on something better – Faith.

Saturday evening was when Traveler came over for dinner. I cannot say that my day was not laced with much anticipation and anxiety.

See, when Will and I married, it was really strange for Traveler to have new people in the home. She was 16, busy, ready for all the activities that come with driving and working toward leaving for college . . . not sharing a bathroom with two more boys, nor probably sharing her dad’s affection.

After the wedding we moved straight into the intolerance stage which was demonstrated by ignoring me. I just wanted to be accepted treated nicely. I was very frustrated and at times angry. I finally gave in and let it play out, I stopped trying to force hellos, how are you’s and gave her space. When she left for college it changed more to indifference, kinda like that of passing someone you do not really know, don’t necessarily want to but do give the hellos, goodbyes and goodnights. Now we fluctuate between polite indifference and friendliness. Thus the anxiousness about visits, will she be open to chatting or will I need to give plenty of space?

So what was Saturday? It was mix . . .it did start off with the indifference, the one word answers with the smile that said “are we done now, can I finish checking my email?” Dinner went well though. She opened up but even more so when MIL stopped by. Then it moved into real, pleasant conversation.

Next stage?

I look forward to the day when conversation flows easily. When there is no undercurrent of tension. When fun chit chat can happen without the prompting of a third party. When we can be friends, no forced niceties, just enjoy the person each of us are, you know, friends. So I will continue to pray, pray for Traveler and pray for myself. Pray for guidance and wisdom for each encounter ~ and jump for joy when that day comes!

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed."

Habakkuk 2:3

Squash Tomato Pie

I made this dish Saturday evening when Traveler came over. It was great with baked snapper!

EVEN Will ate it

(he is not fond of squash casserole).

Check out 2nd cup of coffee for Linda's Monday recipe and even more recipes on her Mr. Linky List. And also join in on the fun at this site Tiffanie and Three Peas in a Pod .

Squash Tomato Pie

3 Yellow squash, peeled and sliced
1/3 Cup plain yogurt
½ cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
1 Cup bread stuffing mix
½ cup onion
½ cup green bell pepper
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 or 3 tomatoes peeled, sliced thin
¼ cup sun dried tomato and feta cheese (or plain)

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Steam squash in steamer basket over boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender (or in microwave). Drain and mash with a fork. Mix the yogurt and egg in a bowl and stir in the squash, stuffing mix, onion, bell pepper, parmesan cheese, salt and cracked pepper.

Spoon the squash mixture into a lightly greased medium baking dish or a 9 inch pie plate. Layer with tomatoes, slightly overlapping and sprinkle with feta cheese and black pepper to taste. bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Broil for a few minutes if desired to brown the top.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Goodies In The Mail

When I came home yesterday I found a surprise in the pile of mail on the table - a large package addressed to me!

A while back Tudor's Desk had a giveaway for her birthday - a selection of books each day for the week leading up to her birthday. I was one of the lucky ones whose name was drawn, and yesterday the goodies arrived . . .

Thank you Jessica at Tudor's Desk!!

Now I guess I will have to get busy with my morning at the shop. Then the weekend begins - Yaaay!

Will will be going to a car show with Ocho this afternoon . . .

Traveler is home for fall break. She and a theatre friend will be coming over for dinner tonight. Gotta figure out which fish dish I am preparing. She is a vegetarian that does eat fish (aren't they called prego or pesto or, hmmm, gotta find that out).

Demolition D and the Man are headed to their dad's for the rest of the weekend.

Tomorrow afternoon - figuring out which book to start, as I add these to about 5 others I hope to jump into.

Oh, and wanted something silly and 80's to watch and have a Saturday chuckle, check out the music video Linda at 2nd Cup Of Coffee has up this morning. Band Montage!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photo Phun Phriday - Wanderlust

I am going old again, vintage if you will! But I love photos like these and they are phun for me . . . and check out more great photos at Candid Candie and join the phun!

This is a picture of my great-grandparents and my grandmother, taken around 1914. I love the outfits and it seems so strange to me that Meme (great-grandmother) was wearing a long skirt - I guess I always thought the style was shorter by then. And think how quickly the styles changed from 1914 to even the 50's, only35 years and how many inches of the skirt?

I knew my grandmother and have vague memories of my great-grandmother.
There are no memories of my great grandfather, though. In fact my dad nor his sisters have memories of him either.

The reason is because he disappeared several years after this picture was taken. Headed off to work I guess, and never came home and was never seen again.

But that was the end . . . The beginning started in a cornfield in Kansas. In the late 1800's a local farmer and his wife headed out to their fields. Gypsies had been camped along edge but had broke camp and moved on out. But they forgot somethin, they left behind a baby. That baby was my great-grandfather, taken in by the farmers and raised as their own child.

I often wonder if wonderlust is genetic. Could he no longer fight the urge to travel? Did he not feel like he belonged? Did he have something to hide? Did something unkind happen to him?
I like to think that wonderlust took over and he set out to see the glories of the world around us. Romancing it all, I like thinking I might have Romanian Gypsy blood. Don't get me wrong, life was not the easiest for those he left, and nothing romantic living through the abandonment, but my great-grandmother was resilient and moved forward living a long life. I am proud to have that "I am woman hear me roar" trait in me too.

No, Meme never did hear from him or receive news of him from anyone else. All that remains, to us, is this photo, the story of a cornfield and the still mysterious disappearance - never explained.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Don't touch the fig leaf

I am driving the Man to scouts the other evening, going along, listening to the radio, when out of the blue, man says"that is just not right" and shakes his head.

Me: What's not?

Man: Those statues back there. I don't see why people would buy them.

(we had just passed a cool garden center with lots of neat garden art)

Me: Well, to decorate their gardens, you know, add some art.

Man: Yeah, but that one was a naked guy with only a towel in front of him. It's just not right.

Me: {{grin}} The statue of David doesn't even have a twel or a fig leaf and it is a work of art . . .

Man: Yeah, but that is ok.

Me: How so?

Man: Because if it is Jesus or someone from the Bible, it is ok to show their junk . Otherwise, they need to cover their junk!

I know God must have a sense of humor, how could you not when kids come out with the most innocent but out there comments.

Hmmm, junk huh?

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Secret Is In The Sauce

Are you a member of the Secret Is In The Sauce?

I noticed the link on many blogs, so I went and checked it out. I lurked for a couple of weeks off and on.

Then last week I joined in the network and I must say, what a bounty!

Comments and blogs to read galore.

New people to meet and greet!

Featured bloggers daily with a few links of their best. Tiffany and Heather do a great job of giving all a quick wonderful introduction to the featured bloggers.


Check it out and see what a great group of bloggers stir the sauce!

Fall Into Flavor - Crockpot Jambalya

Crockpot Jambalya

In crock pot, measure in the following:

24 ounces chicken breast halves
½ lb kielbasa, sliced diagonal into pieces
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup green peppers
1 cup onion
1 cup celery
½ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic

Set crock pot on low and cook for 6 to 7 hours, until bubbly.

This can be cooked on the stovetop – cook until it boils and chicken is cooked through and tender.

Serve over rice.

Check out 2nd Cup Of Coffee for more great recipes and join the fun - add one of your favorites!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

October Hauntings and History Repeated

I have been haunted for 5 years. It is not necessarily a "being" that I am haunted by . . . .

The are no orbs.

No spooky sounds.

Just horrid green wallpapered walls from the Archie and Edith Bunker era . . .

We have worked on one room at a time for the last 5 years. We have made some updates and changes . . . .



See the faux brick carpet squares.

Hubby replaced with wonderful tile and refinished cabinets.

I think this was a the wallpaper in the foyer of "How To Lose a Guy In Ten Days" You know when she went to meet his family . . .


. . . and a few other rooms.

Now this horrible room. Why the big deal? Well, see, the contractor who apparently built this house in 1972 was inebriated or new at the house building thing, or just plain old SHODDY worksmaship! I say that because, you see, the first indication? Was all the old plaster towel rod holders plastered in the wall. They all were not straight, nope each one - four of them , dropped 1/4 of an inch from the left holder to the right the holder. Even the toilet tank was off, at an angle.

The second indication was when we first started taking wallpaper down. We discovered something very disturbing.

NO PRIMER ON THE WALLBOARD BEFORE PAPERING! Oh my does this project overwhelm me! Wallboard not primed before being papered means you get torn wallboard when the paper is removed. It was not put up great anyway, so painting over it does not look good either.

But on the other hand, it makes for great wall art. See:

I think it looks like a bird

So now begins the ridding of Archie and Edith Bunker :

. . . first the wallpaper, then updating the paneling, and then new chair railing . . . hope it gets done before Christmas!
And while on the subject of Archie Bunker. You know they say history repeats itself?
Well, I thought I would add some pics of the Bunkers house, but I sorta ended up on you tube . . . and this is where the history comes in (as much as sitcoms can be historical). In light of the gas/oil situation, the election, the ugliness of those who do not like it when people do not agree with them, and the huge economic issue, I offer this as light humor (disclaimer: the following views do not necessarily represent the views of this blogger [me] - it is strictly offered as view back to the 1970's)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Photo Phun Phriday

I love this picture(s) of a time gone by . . . 1941, I believe, the Georgia Military Academy.

The fellow on the left is my husband's father, Teddy. Teddy's father was a Navy Officer and was on tour much of the time. Thus my husband's father was enrolled in the Georgia Military Academy boarding school, what would later became the Woodward Academy. He graduated from high school and headed straight to college to graduate as an Engineer.

I never got to meet him, he passed away more than a decade before Will and I met.

It sounds as if he was your typical man raised in the 40's and 50's - hard working, probably away from home more than he could have been, but actively pursuing the American Dream kind of guy. He was a planner, a little of a risk taker, and jack of all trades . . .

With the economic crisis we, as a country, are encountering, my husband has enjoyed telling of a time when his dad did what he had to do during a financially rough spell - his dad took a second job. The second job? Delivering Port-o-lets. Will remembers being on the school bus and looking out the window and seeing his dad coming down the street, coming along in the family station wagon with a trailer and the facility on its way to be delivered.

It was viewed upon with pride. I love the story. So many today believe they are entitled to the best jobs . . .best pay. . . owning their own home, no matter what. This is a glimpse into a time when reality was, you did what you did, and you were proud and thankful for the opportunity.

I see the stories of him in his children - in my sister in laws, in my husband and in my mother in law. I see in this family, that I married into, faith, courage, INTELLIGENCE, fiestiness, and determination that was passed to them by both their mom and dad. I see in my mother in law a woman who raised her kids, and now still lives a full life. She loved her husband and he loved her and helped to make the life she lives now possible.

I hate that I did not get to know him first hand . . .but his presence is still "present" in the stories they tell.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Links To Giveaways

Passing on the finds!

Nine Acres is having her first give-away! It is cute notes for lunch boxes or under pillows. It ends tomorrow, so scoot on over and check out her site!

Then I found . . .

Renee at Life With My Special K's has celebrated her first Blogiversary and is giving away some great goodie baskets . . . this one ends on the 16th . . . but don't forget . . .if 200 sign up, she will give away two baskets. And check out her current post too - the D is for Down Syndrome video is very touching.

Vintage Trifles is also having a giveawy - there 100th post giveaway. It is open until the 14th . . .

Win a necklace at The Nesting Place - cute!

And . . . Photshop Elements is being given away at Secrets In The Sauce.

So, instead of retail therapy - Giveaway Therapy!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Town Hall Presidential Debate

I actually watched the debate last night . . .well most of it.

I really, really find it hard to pay attention all the way through . . . my mind wanders way too much.

I did hear McCain mention that "most of you probably had not heard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before . . . " (or something of that nature). . . hmmmm.

I heard Obama say his wife probably had a list of things he did not know . . .

I heard their responses on Russia being an "Evil Empire" or not. . .

I heard them discuss Healthcare and Taxes, which I had heard from their VP picks during that debate . . .

I liked the Town Hall Format much better than the debate style debate . . .

I liked Tom Brokaw and I got tickled at him trying to reign the candidates into the 1 minute time allowance . . . .

I watched it to the end (sorta). . . and I watched the mingling too!

And I am sad to say . . .the biggest ahhh haaaa moment came at the end . . . when I noticed, after having sat very stoically throughout the "debate" . . .

Everyone pulled out identical, possibly Kodak, yellow disposable cameras to take their pictures!!!
Well, except for one fellow, I did not notice he had a digital - how did he get that in there??

Were they allowed to bring their own cameras and everyone else didn't think about it or forgot?

That was funny! Yup, I am easily entertained and yup, I am a registered voter who cannot sit through a political debate . . .Scary huh?

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 6, 2008

The C Man - correction - A Man

Today was a good day - good and busy! But I got to start my day off with breakfast with C Man, my youngest (12). On Tuesdays, Demolition D attends a prayers breakfast with church, so every couple weeks C Man and I go to breakfast too.

Krystals has become the happening place. We enjoy the quick breakfast before school . . .

I haven't shared much about C Man yet. As I said, he is my youngest. He is the youngest of all step siblings too, here and at his dad's house. I am waiting to see how spoiled he becomes!

He has always been the in the moment child. The ham who enjoys to have fun.

He is my skateboarder . . .

He is my fisherman . . . .

Okay, he is NOT my fashion sensed child - nope, the clothes do not match . . .what not to wear! HA

He is a boyscout . . .

He loves the outdoors and staying busy . . .always moving (his teachers are not fond of this, but I admire this in him very much)

Other than the morphing that seems to happen in middle school . . . and among siblings, well with brothers . . . he is one of the sweetest, affectionate cuddly kids I know.

The other evening, as I passed by his door, I noticed a flash of light. I realized while he was suppose to be in bed, going to sleep, he was still up and moving. As I stepped up to his door, slightly aggravated and wondering whether to go in raise cain or just let him suffer being tired the next day, this is what I saw . . .

C Man sitting on his bed with a headband flashlight around his head and turned on. As I watched him, still with aggravation, I glanced down to see what he was looking at in the dark . . .

There on his bed, open in front of him was his Bible. I melted. How can you be aggravated with a 12 year reading his Bible by flashlight?!?

I went in and asked what he was reading about and he shared the story he was reading. He then went on telling me that the Youth Pastor at Church had told the group about a time when he was on the fence (spiritually), and how he was "low" (C Man heard low, but it was "cold") and that when he started reading his Bible everyday and praying daily that he got off the fence and was "high" (hot) . . . so C had started reading his Bible too so he could be "high."

This is the green grass, the delights of a mother's heart

Fall Into Flavor - Mariachi Chicken Bundles

Join the fun . . .
2nd Cup Of Coffee is hosting a homage to comfort foods for fall . . .
who doesn't eat! So share your goodies and get try some new ones!

Mariachi Chicken Bundles

6 chicken breast – flattened

¼ cup diced red peppers, or a mix of colors
¼ cup minced green onion
2 tablespoons chopped black olives

½ cup cream cheese – room temperature
1 cup salsa

Preheat oven to 350 deg.

In a small bowl, mix the veggies. In a separate bowl, stir cream cheese and salsa until combined (I like to zap the cream cheese in the microwave to make this quicker).

Place the flattened chicken breast in your hand, shiny side down (back side up). Place a tablespoon or two of veggies in center. Fold up chicken breast and place seam side down in greased baking dish. After placing all bundles in the pan, spread cream cheese salsa mix over the top. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake, covered, for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through,(internal temperature is 170 deg).


No Rest For The Weary

Last week was a busy one and the weekend ended up not being much different. Will and I had planned to go see Traveler in a kids play she is performing in. We had planned to go on Friday and be back so I could be at the shop on Saturday.

Well, that did not work out. Turns out Traveler's Sorority was having family day on Saturday, and they had all written special letters to their parents.

Demolition D's schedule was full for Saturday too and his dad was working, so I would need to stay to tend to the shop and get Demolition D to his Cross Country Meet and Drumline Show and Football game.

As I said - it was busy!

So Will was up and on his way to North Georgia to see Traveler in her play:

Visit her sorority happenings . . .

I deposited Demolition D at his Cross Country Meet - he P.R.'d (Personal Record)

Worked at the shop . . .

Transported Demolition D to his next stop - the drumline was the opening act for Rockfest 08 . . .

Then to later he was off to the football game (I did not go to this one) . . .

After a long day, Will finally arrived home from his journey around 10:45p.m.

But not empty handed . . . .

He brought me my FAVORITE soup - Crawfish Bisque from Pappadeaux's!!

If you get a chance to go - GO. They have a great Crawfish platter that has Fried Crawfish and Crawfish Etoufee and Dirty Rice . . .Delish!!

It is WONDERFUL but not as wonderful as WILL . . . he is my sweetie and I will have a great lunch today!!