Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday with Shelly

Still in Florida and it's beginning to warm up -- slowly.
My dear FIL says that this is the Suncoast because of 365 days there is sun on 370 of them.  I'll take that!  I love the Gulf side of Florida.

After a light breakfast Miss T and I set out for Tampa to visit my dear friend Shelly.  It was just by luck that she didn't have any of her kids (babysitting job) today.  Her youngest daughter (a Sr in HS) and son (6th grade) were home.  We had a wonderful visit.  I also got a surprise when I arrived, a most pleasant surprise too!

She made these just for me from her latest fabric shopping!!  I just love love love these little bags.  They are great for everything!  Even my phone or camera, and boy do I ever need one for my camera and phone from time to time.  Miss T is trying to claim one, so I'm keeping my eye on these!  Shelly is such a talented lady - so smart.

While I was there she walked me through a PSP trick for tagging the blinkies I like to make.  I knew there was one little minor thing I was missing and sure enough.....once she did it, I smacked my head DUH!!

Would you believe I haven't made it over to the water yet?  I know this sounds silly, since I live on the Atlantic Coast, but I do love the Gulf.  I just wish the holidays had been scheduled differently - we would have trekked on down to the Nokomis/Sarasota area.  As it is, we'll have to head home soon to beat out the New Year's traffic.  Don't want to be caught up in that mess!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

No Snow In Florida!!

When I woke up Sunday morning I noticed a bit of snow that had fallen throughout the night.  Then as we began to load the car for our trip, here it came again, in large flakes.  It was quite pretty.
Heading West to I-95 it was heavier, I expected that.
When we got to Pedro's "South of the Border" (SC) poor Pedro had snow on his nose!
Yep, I took pictures along the trip, I'll post them later when Danno isn't busy on his.
I'm typing on Miss T's new netbook!

The snow was light, not rain/sleet....but pretty and cold!
It snowed the whole trip from NC to around Brunswick GA near the FL border. snow on the West Coast!

Still, it's COLD -- in Florida of all things!
That should be against the law, seriously.
Thursday the temps here are to be 72; 78 on Friday.

Even with the snow, it was an easy, lazy drive....not in a rush at all.
The only change in plans was not stopping overnight in Kingsland GA, but heading on out to I-10.  But that got messed up too....we passed the exit for the hotel and I didn't want to turn around.
So we stretched the run on out to Lake City and stopped for the night.
That made the rest of the trip a no brainer, easy and fast.

For some reason, Tom was making himself nervous.  I don't know what it is, if it's the anticipation of being with his Father (and listening to him ask questions and give advice) or....I just don't know.  

Maybe it's because he can't "hide" behind the drink anymore.  Used to that would "calm" his nerves.  But we all know it also lead to more than that.  I'm happy he's sober now 23 months!! 
One day at a time!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Day

"And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12).

"Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14).
 What a wonderful day!
Good food, good friends and a wonderful family all gathered at one table.  Is America great or what??


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Today we are in awe of the season.
There is always a special feeling in the air.  I don't know about you, but I feel it when it is late, and I'm on my way back home from my Nanny's.  It's as if time is still for a few moments, and I always take a moment to take it in and appreciate it and the reason for the season.

Tonight we will gather at my Nanny's for Christmas Eve dinner.  I convinced her that I wanted chicken, rice and gravy (yes, I'm the oldest and I'm spoiled) and I promised that I would fry some chicken. 

I did find a recipe for the "Hungry Boy Cookies" and I'm making those today too.  No telling what else I'll make, maybe some Spritz cookies - the kind you use the cookie shooter for.

For a moment, Christmas Eve is a sad occasion for me - the memories of "Christmas Past" sneak in on me and I remember the promises that were broken by my Father.  I guess he couldn't help it.  I try my best to shake it off and enjoy the family and certainly eat the bounty of food that is prepared.

Nanny told me Thursday that she was making an "artificial" cake for Christmas.....I was confused; no wait, she was confused.  She wasn't going to make it from "scratch", she was going to use a box mix.  Silly Nanny...gotta love her.  I pray that I am as good at 88.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

a Candy Cane Story

This is one version of the Christian candy cane story:
A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy for Christmas that incorporated symbols from the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white candy to symbolize the virgin birth and the purity of Jesus. He then shaped it in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus and the staff of the "Good Shepherd." Finally, he added red stripes to symbolize Jesus' blood and suffering on the cross.

The candy maker hoped that each time someone ate his creation they would be reminded of Jesus and the great love God gave us at Christmas.


What is your favorite...............?

Last evening we had the pleasure of enjoying a dinner with some great friends.  Dinner was a pork tenderlion, mixed veggies, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Dessert was a variety of homemade goodies, cookies, fudge, apple pie and cheesecake.  Cheesecake is Miss T's favorite dessert.

Miss T is the official "little sis" to this family and "adopted grand" to the grandparents.  Such sweet people, the Grandma (68) keeps saying "thank you for your friendship"; the Grandpa had a stroke many years ago, it only affected partially one side.  He's such a hoot!  and so smart too!

We played "scattergories" after dinner....oh the words we came up with!  My hubby is not one for playing games, so Mr Stick In The Mud sat and listened, occasionally chiming in to vote on an answer.  I think this is one of my favorite games.

I received a "Friendship" heart glass ornament from the Grands.  How sweet!

Miss T got a Teal Tinkerbell pendant from their daughter straight from Disney!  I love Disney!  We will be there next June where Miss T will be dancing in the Parade!  This family is also going so it is sure to be a great time!  Once the Holiday's are past, we will get together and plan our trip.  I think we're going to go a day earlier and probably stay a bit longer than the 4 days we are already signed up for.

After dessert, the Mom asked me "of your Mom and Grandma, what are your favorite foods from their table?"  Well, of course from my Nanny's table it is Fried Chicken, and rice and gravy and speckled butterbeans and collards and biscuits!!!!!!

Then she wanted to know what the secret was to the Fried Chicken.....I'd have to kill her if I told her!  After all, she's a Yankee and this was a Southern Recipe!

I struggled with Mom's table.  Not that she's not a good cook....SHE JUST DOESN'T COOK MUCH!  Haha...but overall it may have to be the Country Style Steak....and she learned that one from my Dad's Mom. there an original recipe from her?  Hmmmm YES, her Pot Roast!!!!

Have you ever noticed that you can make the same dish, by the same recipe and it just doesn't come out the same?  What is the trick?  I find that you cannot CANNOT substitute certain items.  Cheese is one and creme cheese, peanut butter, chocolates -- I mean, really, use the real brand, not the store brand!!

I am missing one of my Favorite Cookie Recipes - Hungry Boy Cookies - John, I sent you some one year and I wanted to do it again.  But where's that darn recipe card?????  Time to tear up the house looking!

What is your favorite.............?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Consideration or is it just me?

As a kid, I rambled all around the neighborhood, in the woods and such.  Yes, I was (am) a tomboy.  My friends and I played in each others yards, up trees and riding go carts and bikes.
I like to think that we were pretty courteous of the property owners.
My Nanny said we "like to have worried her to death" running around chasing each other and bouncing the basketball off the roof of her house.
I suppose that was a bit inconsiderate, after all she had worked all day.

Raising Miss T, I've said "thank you" and "please" to her because I felt like if I was going to make her say it to others in respect, that I, too, should be respectful of her.  Maybe I also did that for my baby brother (16 years between us) because he seems to have the attitude of gratitude and doesn't mind helping out if he can.

Now, the "other" brother....the one I've told you that I should have sold when he was born.  Yes, I had a contract for his sale at his birth, but, I chickened out.  Guess I felt guilty about that.....I negated the contract by saying that it probably would be for the best to keep him, after all, the hospital bill was expensive.

But in those years since then.................oh my.  I wondered "what if" and I even said to our Mom, "you should have let me sell him when I had the chance".   Don't get me wrong, he's a good his friends.  The problem is that he takes advantage of our parents too much.  Thinks what's theirs is his also, no questions asked.  That's why when I see some of his friends out here on "the farm" I cringe.  He is telling them "come on over to our shop" and work on that .....or drop off your junk or it's ok to hunt back there.

HELLO it's NOT yours to offer out like that!!

He would not like it if we all just showed up at his place for a "party" without asking, or dumped out our trash
Whatever happened to the golden rule??

I'm ok with you being in my home or on my property if I've invited you.  If you're family you're welcome most anytime.  If you're here and you're thirsty or hungry, help yourself.  You don't need to ask.  My pool is open to the family anytime......clean up your own mess and don't leave your kids crumbs all over my deck.  Well, that's another blog entry entirely.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Winter

Oh I'm tired of this cold and of it being cold.
Poor Miss T was out of school Thurs/Fri sick and most of the weekend.
I kept her on a schedule of tylenol, sudafed, etc and now she's off to school.
Yes, school.
Today and 1/2 of Tuesday are make up days from when we had those hard rains back in September.  Poor kids, everyone else is out enjoying their CHRISTMAS vacation.

Yes, I said CHRISTMAS.
I guess it stared with the Winter Solstice way back in the day.  The preparing for the winter season by making sure there was a fresh supply of meats to hold throughout the cold.

Christmas, Christ's Mass, the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated Dec 25th,  mid-winter, which was according to the Roman Winter Solstice of the Julian Calendar.  Doing good deeds and giving gifts like St. Nicholas (Greek, Christian, saint) soon caught on.  The "12 Days of Christmas" begin on December 25, but really, please, geese make an awful mess.  I'll settle for a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

It is also the shortest day of the year and now the sun will begin its trek back "out" again for longer periods of time, warming the earth.  I am ready for some warming!

As I pack for a trip to Florida, I am concerned about my wardrobe.  I find it offensive to be packing "winter" stuff for "sunny" Florida.  It really hurts my feelings.  The idea of Global Warming somehow fell off the face of the earth for sure!!  Checked on the 10 day forecast....ugh......I'll check it again later this week, hopefully a pleasant change will occur.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

Brrr....I looked at the temperature on my Android this morning and at 9:30 am it said 19 degrees!
Wow....I'm glad the wind wasn't blowing.

I do hate to be cold....I hate to wear a coat.  Guess I should have known I'd dislike cold weather way back when I was about 3 or so when my Granny took me to a Christmas parade.  She tells the story of how when she parked the car, she told me to put on my hat....only I said "I don't want to wear my 'boggin".  Quickly she said "well, if you don't put it on you will have to stay in the car while we go to see the parade"....then I put on my cap with a "Ok Granny I'll wear my 'boggin!".

I still don't like to wear a '  messes up my hair, plus adds the static electricity to boot.
In the South we call those knit hats a "toboggin" - my Yankee hubby reminds me that it's a sled.
He "shuts" the lights....I turn them out.
He "brings" the garbage to the curb, I "take" it to the curb.
Shoulda heard me explaining that one to him....the difference between "bringing" and "taking".

I think "bringing" is bringing something in and "taking" as taking out.  Whatever.'s even too cold to shop.

sNOw...they say that might happen here tonight, after midnight and up until about 8am.  
It won't be much, and here on the coast a lot of times the salt in the air just won't allow for much.  But it is cold -- the sun is shining YAY.    Ahhh 29 now!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Losing my cool - rant

"...the effect of afflictions on the minds of Christians is to make them patient."  Barnes' notes on the Bible
Romans 5:3

Husband and Child...on the way into town this afternoon, of course are not on the same accord.  One hears 1/2 of the others comments and the other one "forgets" he was told what was happening.  I mention to Miss T "after you practice with your dance teacher on Sunday....." and Tom chirps in "what do you want me to do after I finish?"..........??????????????????????????????????????

I say to him...."What?"  He's confused, I say "I was talking to Tara" he says "I thought you were talking to me" and I say "Oh?  Do you have dance practice?"

This goes on constantly my friends, I MEAN CONSTANTLY.

There's never a time when we're all on the same page of remotely the same book.  Therefore, my mind is in a perpetual whirlwind trying to keep everyone on subject.  K-3 classes stand a better chance!
We pull into Taco Bell, he gets out and I say under my breath "God give me patience" and then I quickly rebut that saying "No Lord, sorry, I take it back because I don't want anymore tribulations!"

A couple days ago, dear hubby says "I know what you need -- a pair of Christmas pajama's" and I give him a questionable look and say "No I don't".  Really, I don't.  I have pj's.  I have a favorite night gown and a couple of fave night shirts; 2 pair of pj's that are pants/tops.  I'm set.  I'm hot-natured so I really DON'T NEED anything else.  I especially do not need flannel, red and green plaid sleep pants!  Understand?

Yeah right....we're in Sam's today looking over things, just looking, not on a mission of any sort.  Hubby says he wants to show me something.  (SIGH)  Ok, I follow him and low and behold........
it's a pair of pajama pants!
"These are the ones I want to get for you"
I just mutter "no" and "no" and "no" and "NO".  This lady gives me a knowing smile.
Hubby says "Why can't I buy you something for Christmas?"

As we're leaving the store, Miss T is in a hurry to pick up a friend for the night and states that they were thinking about seeing a movie.  Tom acts like this is the first he's heard of it........round two!  Plus I'm a bit irritated with her too, for acting like it's always all about HER.  

I let them both have it, with both barrels!!!!!!
 I was waiting for this one!

I told Miss T that I was tired of her acting like it is all about her; that it's always whatever is in HER schedule and not giving thought to mine; also that I did not want to drive into town JUST for her and her only; that while I'm here I WILL DO what I WANT TO DO and she will just have to deal with it.  I PAY for the gas and I PAY for the food and I AM NOT WORKING as much as I used to and she needs to keep this in mind.  PLUS I do NOT want to pay for her AND a friend to see a movie - she can spend her money.  You guys think that I get to do whatever I want to do anytime I want and that is just so not true, but here I am in town, with y'all and it's what YOU want.

Well, by now she's in tears and texting her friends that She's Pissed!!  I took her phone away.

Sitting in her friends yard waiting for Miss T and kid, something comes up about the PJ's.
I screamed -- I really screamed


I am ready to run away!

I guess I just got knocked off Santa's "GOOD" list.

Time to make amends.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thank YOU Martha

Been wondering about why you guys couldn't comment.  Then my pal Martha said that I must have my "allow" button turned off.  Well, I came over here and sure enough.......DUH.  Don't know how that happened!!

I miss catching up with my pals from J-Land......oh those were the days!  I am also missing my PSP group....loved that interaction.  I would go back but Christmas is coming and I won't have time after the holiday.  Facebook is great for a quickie, but we all know we can't air our dirty laundry there for all the world to see.

THE OFFICE.....yes, that is a private pool.  In the back of the "Bud-mahal" I call it.  The house is where all MY money went instead of FULLTIME work and a raise.  Grrrrrr....whatever, what goes around...

So here is the picture of what I look at when I go to work:

There are 4 levels to this can clearly see 2 of them.  Yes, that is the main living area there that you walk up those stairs to - kitchen, dining, great room, living, enclosed lani, master bed/bath, laundry.  Above that is the bedrooms (4), 3 or 4 baths, sitting room and boss's home office.  Then up another level is glamorous storage area....and game type room with Xbox stuff.  The BASEMENT, as they called it, is a 6 car garage, mini full kitchen/den, weight room, and theater room complete with 12 leather theater seats and a HUGE TV.  I'll bet there are at least 10 TV's in this house including one in the master bath.

I got the feeling that the boss's wife thought it was way too much - overkill!  I could see her rolling her eyes when we went down to the "basement".   I agree.  What a waste.  There was nothing wrong with the home they were living in.  This one is a carbon copy of it....just BIGGER,

Beyond the house is the Intracoastal Waterway and from the upstairs bedrooms you can see past Wrightsville Beach.  This house sits on a peninsula at the end of a cul-de-sac. 

I'm so glad to get this............ignore the mop.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Office

Well, back in the end of September the boss sold the office and moved me in to this!
The view isn't bad, and I'm greeted by the family pooch each time I arrive.

It's quiet....a nice change.  No luck of solicitors dropping in YAY!!  The crazy thing is I don't have a key.  For whatever reason, I have to have "permission" to work - go figure!  He comes in, gets in the way, and then is gone.  I tune into Pandora, get my work done and head out quickly.

Trouble is, I only go in 1 or 2 days a week.....payroll sucks!
There's still a lot to time to do it all.
I am liking this semi-retirement though.
Wish the benefits were better!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What tha Heck?!

Poor Hubby....first our water heater wasn't working this weekend.  Changed out all the elements and thermostats.  Yay!!

Second....a belt on his car broke.  This meant he had to take mine to go purchase a belt, go next door to the shop and get the jack, etc and repair the damage.

Not as easy as it sounds.  His poor broke up legs are aching so bad from this cold snap.  Plus I know his arthritis is bothering him.  He says the hardest thing is the getting up and down from the floor or ground.

Well, it just meant that I didn't go into work today.  For some reason, I had a crazy feeling that I should stick close to home. 

I went over to Mom's....she likes to write in a journal.  So I said "Howz about starting an online blog?".  She said she'd give it a try.  I set her up!!  Help her get a following!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Smelling Like Christmas

I love the smells of Christmas!

Especially a real Frazier Fir. We have an artificial tree - the real ones aggravate my allergies.

So, I stick to Yankee Candle scents like "Balsam and Cedar" and "Cranberry Chutney". I plugged in the Balsam and Cedar on Tuesday; a couple of days later hubby said "What's that smell?" and I say What smell? He says "It smells like...(sniff, sniff) .... Christmas!"

LOL!! That's been our running joke this weekend!

Old Williamsburg also makes a "Winter Spruce" that smells like a fresh tree.

I also like those scented packets you find in Michael's or AC Moore or a home store. "Pear Spice" is a great scent ...... last year I bought 4 and spread them throughout the house. Mmmm a wonderful fragrance!

And then there's the ultimate Homemade Apple Pie! Oh my! Fresh baked cookies and brownies all around. No wonder we gain so much weight -- the smells alone will pack on the pounds!

Cloves, orange peels, cinnamon and a bit of water simmering in a pot on the stove.

It turned cold yesterday! They even threatened a taste of snow in our area. We didn't get any, but about 60 miles above us did. It's still cold! Cold enough to think about snowing that's for sure. That fresh cold, snow smell is a great scent too!

I've got all my presents wrapped! I've done so good this year (I think) Mom is the only one on my list left to buy for. "Santa" has the list covered....I hope!

Why is it that we go overboard at Christmas? I'm trying to stick to a budget and I've done pretty good....

Except for Miss T. Geesh, what a tough age; however she is very good of pointing out things she'd love to have. I file them in the back of my mind and sometimes right under her nose, I'll get it!

She keeps asking "where do you hide things?" and I say that it's sometimes right out in the open. It's true!