Monday, July 16, 2018

Because we could

This weekend, we took a mini trip to a city that is about an hour and 45 minutes north of here and stayed in a hotel - just because we could! We ate out. We walked. We enjoyed each other's company. We met friends for lunch. 

Let me tell you about the very first thing we did - we drove over a VERY curvy mountain road (I get motion sick, remember??) to a place on the Sipsey River about 3 miles above the Smith Lake dam. Mark is interested in buying a NuCanoe and Riverside Fly and Float trips is one of two NuCanoe dealers in the state of Alabama. While Mark looked at ALL the stuff and talked to the "man", I spent some time looking at the flies.  I have always been fascinated with hand tied flies - maybe I need to take up that hobby! Aren't they beautiful??

We left the fly shop in Bremen, Alabama and WAZE told us a different non-winding route (thank goodness!!!!) and we drove to Decatur. We did a walking historical self-guided tour and enjoyed seeing a beautiful garden and some cool OLD homes. One of the owners even came out to talk with us and she informed us that the brochure was incorrect. She went on to tell us that the original owner didn't transplant plants from the Sipsey wildlife area . . .she said that she did all of that work. I wasn't quite sure how to respond.

This garden was open to the public and it was lovely. We are always on the hunt for plants for our yard and there was a large variety of plants to admire!

We left Decatur and drove to Madison and our next stop was the Old Black Bear Brewery. I wrote about this place a year ago. Mark loved it so much that we had to return.

Mark loves dark beer and I love a good Moscow Mule. The brewery even makes their own ginger beer and their own vodka!

We ordered an appetizer and it was delicious. It was a huge chicken quesadilla.

We met our friends for lunch on Saturday at Rosie's - a restaurant recommended by a co-worker. He said they have the best Mexican food in THE UNIVERSE! I must admit it was quite tasty and the d├ęcor in the restaurant was awesome. We spent 2 1/2 hours laughing . . .and laughing . . . and laughing!

I ordered a yummy chicken dish with black beans and corn and pinto beans. This was the lunch portion - it was huge.

After spending two hours at the table, we realized there was a line of folks still waiting on tables . . .and it is a big restaurant. We moved out to the courtyard to hang out with the Mariachi band! Hayden decided to play along.

We are thankful for a day filled with sunshine and good friends and good food!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I spy with my little eye . . .

This morning I kept thinking of that phrase "I spy with my little eye." I took a couple of days off from my job and this morning I was able to go on a long walk. What did I spy?

We live in a neighborhood with several parks and trails. I spy with my little eye . . .sunbeams and shadows.

I spy with my little eye crape myrtle and blue sky

I spy a park bench by the pond

In JULY, I spy some orange leaves - what's up with that???

I rarely take selfies because I'm not good at it . . .but I spy a red and sweaty face! It is so hot here!!

I spy a neighborhood library - isn't it cute? I didn't find a book to borrow but I'll keep checking.

What did you see today? anything interesting?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Blogging about the 4th . . .on the 10th!

Most families have traditions and one of our family traditions is to celebrate the fourth of July on the lake as guests of one of Mark's cousins. We've been celebrating together since our kids were little bitties . . .and now our kids have spouses and some of our kids have kids!

We relax and talk and eat and soak up sun.

some of us even soak up some shade!

our sweet girl ended up being the only little one this year due to scheduling conflicts but she had the best time! There were plenty of new to her toys to play with and plenty of outside fun to be had.

I had thought about getting into the little pool with her but within moments the pool was full of dirt and twigs - not my jam.

The weather was spectacular!

There was even some fishing going on . . .not sure how much "catching" was happening.

Some folks went swimming!

sweet girl even got her pops into the water!

Even the dog went for a swim!

He was in the pool as much as our girl!

I imagine this picture was taken during the homemade ice cream eating time!

When we got out to the car, our sweet girl (or her daddy) had left the mermaid barbies in our car doors so they could come home with us for the pool bag!

We only have one picture . . .and this is a screen shot . . . of our little family together. Mark was going to take the picture but it was on video so I grabbed this screen shot!

I am so very thankful for family, for freedom, and for traditions! I'm actually thankful for baked beans, too . . .because I love them and I'm thankful they are always on the menu for the fourth!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Friday Photo dump!

As my hubby said, "this week, we have a Monday and a Friday . . .and a Monday and a Friday." Yep - after a day off, today seems like a Monday again - thank goodness I love my job!

I haven't done a photo dump in quite a while -- So here is the photo dump from the last week:

Last Friday night, we went to our supper club and watched the sun set together. 

We all have glowing eyes! Much fun was had by everyone.

On Saturday night, we went to a party where I knew no one (except for hubby, hubby's twin brother, and sister-in-law). The host cooked a million pounds of beef brisket and I must admit - IT WAS DELICIOUS! Some folks had jello shots! These two folks just happened to be in the band that played all evening. Just in case you are wondering - I still haven't tried a jello shot!

On Sunday afternoon, I went for a much needed pedicure. Yes, I'm spoiled because I get pedicures. I know it and I admit it. I took a picture because I was texting the colors to daughter . . .I need approval - what can I say?

On Monday night, we had a treat for dinner. Our friend went deep sea fishing and shared his bounty - we had grilled red snapper for dinner. I had shrimp from Costco and I made a big spinach salad with strawberries and blueberries and feta - yummy!

We were able to leave work about an hour early on Tuesday before the fourth! I had my suit in the car and stopped at the pool on the way home. I paddled around for some exercise and then sat in the sun to dry off . . .and then a black cloud floated over and rained on us -- look at that blue sky? How could one black cloud appear from out of the blue (literally!)? Speaking of blue . . .look at those blue toenails!

We had a fun day on the fourth but I think I'll write a separate post!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Home of the Red, White, and Blue Hodgepodge

Yesterday was Wednesday . .. which means hodgepodge (thanks Joyce!) and I fell asleep before blogging last night. I'm going to answer the questions anyway!

Before I do that, I must apologize - blogger no longer sends me emails when someone comments on my blog and since I don't check my blog every day . . .I don't always realize that someone has commented. Also, it seems to me that I should be able to comment directly to each comment but for the life of me, I can't figure it out! If you've visited and I haven't acknowledged your comment, I am so sorry! I will try to visit everyone's blog and leave a comment!!

Now to the questions.

1. Security or freedom? Can you have both? Explain.
I'm going totally simple on this answer - of course, you can have both! Just thinking of a "security system" in a home . . .there is still freedom! I can't wait to read all of the deep answers because at this point in the morning, I don't have any deep thoughts!

2. If you could visit any historical American site what would it be? Why?
I've never visited the statue of Liberty (nor have I been to New York!) and I would really like to go there. I just googled top ten historic US places and Yosemite is on that list. We have several friends who have just returned from Yosemite and listening to their stories makes me want to visit. Our young friend who just returned applied through the lottery system and received a ticket to climb this . . . and she did! This picture doesn't do justice for the STRAIGHT up climb. She said that you pretty much have to pull yourself up with upper body strength. Her pictures and other pictures on the internet show how steep the climb is. Needless to say, I would like to go to Yosemite but I have serious doubts about climbing this!

3. Free as a bird, free reign, be free of, free enterprise, free trip, walk away scot free, free for all...which 'free' phrase can best be applied to your life in recent days or weeks? Explain.
Free reign - queen of my household - hahahahahaha!

4. Something in your frig that's red? Watermelon!! Also, I meal prep on Sunday afternoons and a lot of the lids to my containers are red

Something in your house that's white? All of the molding and doors and the tile backsplash right in front of me Something in your view that's blue? a stack of napkins left over from Tuesday night!

5. July 27th is National New Jersey Day. Have you ever visited The Garden State? no (actually, I have flown into and out of Newark - isn't Newark in New Jersey?) If so where did you go? Are there diners where you live? maybe? Have you tried Taylor Pork Roll? no  Do you like to play Monopoly? I used to play but haven't played in years Salt water taffy-yay or nay? ok - neither yay nor nay How do you feel about shopping at the mall? I do most of my shopping on line Springsteen, Sinatra, or Bon Jovi-you have to pick one. Springsteen

Raise your hand if you know why these add-on questions are appropriate on National NJ Day. Are they all "from" the state of New Jersey? I've heard there are some nice beaches there but we compare everything to the white sands and blue water of our gulf coast.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
If you are my friend on facebook, you've already seen this picture but my brother-in-law, Bill, who suffers from Parkinson's and has the best attitude of anyone you have ever seen . . .is riding his "bike" to raise money for cancer. We are so impressed with what he is doing - physically pushing himself to be stronger and live a better life all while doing something for someone else!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Silly Sunday questions and answers

I found these questions over on Sunday Stealing and meant to answer them last night but time ran out as I meal prepped for the week. The writer of that blog scours the internet for questions during the week and compiles the questions into a list for Sundays. Here goes: 
1. When was the last time you went to the doctor? Do you like your doctor?
Which one? I have 3 regular doctors - internist, gynecologist, allergy doctor - and I like all three a lot! I get two allergy shots every month so I'm at least in her office fairly often but I don't always see her. I see the gyno just once a year. She is the kindest doctor. She is one of those folks with whom I would love to be friends! Speaking of friends, my internist is my best friend's husband! I definitely love him. We've raised our children together and we are in the same supper club.

2. My back is itching, will you scratch it for me?
I will if you are my child or maybe my husband . . . other than that, I'll show you how to back up to the door and scratch your back like a bear!

photo credit - borrowed from the internet

3. Do you have nice handwriting?
I have lovely handwriting MOST of the time. I hand addressed all of the wedding invitations for our daughter and I hand address some special correspondence at work. When my hand gets tired though, my writing can get sloppy very quickly!

4. We are sending you to either New Zealand or Canada, which one do you choose?
My first choice would be New Zealand but just yesterday I was in a conversation about a trip to a bed and breakfast in Canada where my husband and his twin brother would like to go. It sounds a little remote for me so I might need to choose a luxury hotel. My hubby has been to Saskatchewan two different times for fishing trips and flew into the area in a tiny float plan.

5. Do you sing in the shower?
Did you mean, "do you croak in the shower"? I don't sing or croak in the shower. I used to be able to sing - was even in All State Choir and in a small ensemble when I was young but it must be true, "if you don't use it, you lose it" because I can't sing anymore!

6. Have you ever been streaking? If so, how far did you streak and did anyone see you?
Does through the house to the laundry room for a towel count? I've been skinny dipping but I don't think I've ever actually streaked. My son does have a story about streaking though!

7. How soon is too soon for Christmas decorations and music playing in the stores?
I would prefer that decorations and music start on the day after Thanksgiving. I definitely think that too early encompasses all of October and November up until Thanksgiving but that is just my personal opinion and I really love Thanksgiving!

8. If you celebrated Halloween as a kid what was the costume you wore at 5?
You want me to remember a costume when I was 5 years old? hahahahaha! Some of the standard costumes were princesses with these weird masks that you could buy at the store and gypsies because it was an easy costume to make. We always went trick or treating in our neighborhood and I LOVE Halloween to this day. We live in a neighborhood where we have about 1200 trick or treaters and it is so much fun!

Weren't these princess masks scary???

photo credit - borrowed from the internet

9. How many cavities have you had in your life?
Maybe 6? All of them were when I was much much much younger and the cavities were in those back teeth on each side.

10.  Is there anyone you regret meeting.

I had to pause and think a moment. I don't think so. Even my worst memories of a few people caused a ripple effect of learning in my life. As I thought about people in my life, my memories flickered over one area. I was abused as a 5 year old and I did sit here and wonder what life would have been like if I had never met that man. If I had never met him, I might not have trust issues still today. If I had never met him, I wouldn't have memories that still haunt me today but I also wouldn't have the empathy that I have for others. I also wouldn't know the power of forgiveness - I never EVER have to forget AND I never EVER have to allow my children or grandchildren (or any other child) be put in that kind of situation but I can know the power of forgiveness. Even the people that I haven't particularly "liked" in my life have shaped me and help me grow in some way or another. 
 too deep!