Thursday, November 30, 2006

Need I Say More?

It actually wasn't as bad as in past years. Hmmmm. Has the technology changed in a few short years? They asked me if I wanted the CAD (Computer Aided Detection) mammogram. Of course! What a stupid question. If I'm going to have my boobs crushed to oblivion, I want every type of new-fangled aid they have available to better detect anything out of the ordinary. Duh.

The lady taking all my info was cracking me up. She was "well proportioned" also. She said that the last time she had one, it wasn't as bad. "Well, honey, when I used to look down, it looked just like a big ol' dinner plate! I think I must somehow be related to Dolly Parton!" hehe. The technician doing the "procedure" was just as funny. We were talking about our kids and I told her God had given me two boys because I don't think I would have been able to handle girls. She then proceeded to tell me "Lord, I have a 14 month old girl; and I swear God made a mistake! I told him I didn't want no girls! She came outta the womb crying and sucking! and she still is to this day!" ha. We were both laughing so hard, we were crying, which made the whole experience bearable. I told her as I left the torture chambers, "She'll bless you one day--she'll be the one taking care of you in your old age, not your sons." She smiled and nodded as I'm sure that hit home to her.

When I left the office, I went to the little sandwich shop they have on the way to the parking lot. It was already 3 p.m. and I hadn't eaten anything. I got me a chicken salad sandwich and sat to eat it. All of a sudden, I had an extreme urge to pray for all the poor folks in the hospital who would never leave. It saddened me so. How fortunate I am to have my health and that of all in my family. We're all doing pretty well, with the exception of my brother Johnny who still has a pretty bad pressure sore. He's waiting to get operated on once his protein levels are high enough. I pray for him every day that he will be well enough to get out of bed and back in his wheelchair. I truly don't know how he does it.

As I pulled out of the hospital building, there was a beautiful rainbow just in front of me. I smiled at the sign. Then, as I was pulling onto the highway, there was a little slowing at the merge. A car slowed down and waved me in. I looked back to wave a thank you and it was a nun, dressed in her full habit. I smiled at the sign. I thanked God for my wonderful life.

Isn't it amazing how little signs from above can make you feel so safe and secure. I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

ATC Group's "Southern Chapter" Meets with COO

Miss Jane has been visiting from New York this week. I think it must have been secretary Lottie who called a meeting of the Southern Chapter of this group to be held in a Tennessee locale. In attendance were Miss Jane, COO; Miss Lottie (granny), secretary; Miss Beth, local Tennesseean spokesperson; Miss Jill, Alabama spokesperson and myself, general wannabe. We'll have to check with Miss Lottie to get the specific notes taken at this meeting . . . .

We all met over at the Franklin Michael's, since Jane's NY store seems to be a tiny one and ours is huge. (In actuality, it was Hobby Lobby, for sure. My bad!) A little shopping was done and then we drove over to a little sandwich shop--The Franklin Mercantile--in old town Franklin to have lunch. It was a lot of fun meeting Jane and Jill (I'm just dying to call Jane "Jack so I can say Jack & Jill!). We were then off to my house, a short distance away so Jane could teach us all the art of quilling. I had purchased supplies when I first met up with Beth and Lottie at a paper show in Nashville last month; but I hadn't taken to it. I always do much better when shown something in person.

After sitting and chatting over mulled cider (chilled because it was so hot here today!), we swapped some ATCs (wooohoo!). Jane even gave Jill and I this special little what-not box (above) that she had made for us. Lottie's three ATCs are on the left. Aren't they the sweetest things? Jill's are on the right. She used the laminate chips you pick up at Lowes! How creative is that? Jane's ATC's are below. Look at the one that opens to a 3-D Christmas tree. I think I would have driven myself crazy trying to figure that one out with scissors!!

We set up "shop" in the dining room. Jane was so sweet and brought us each a little kit. Mine and Jill's contained Christmas patterns, Beth's and Lottie's were flowers. After Jane showed us how to quill, we all made one little ATC. Somehow, I missed Jane's after it was finished. How cute are these??

After we finished our "assignment," we all had a piece (or two!) of Mrs. Stagg's wonderful Merryville Chocolates and some French shortbread cookies. Oh, the chocolates were delectable. We all savored each bite. A big ol' thank you goes out to Mrs. Staggs!!

The day ended too quickly and all my new friends had to leave, pout. It was such a wonderful day sharing creativities with one another. I look forward to our next "meeting."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Busy, Busy

Got the aftermath of having company cleaned up today. Last night I stayed up until three finishing a project. I had offered a friend to help out with her son's wedding rehearsal dinner. Our mutual friend, and next-door neighbor, made canned jars of salsa. The rehearsal dinner is at a wonderful Mexican Restaurant. Since I hadn't really done anything for the wedding, I offered to do the labels. Well who am I to stop there? I have seen so many wonderful ATCs and chunky book pages with great adornments on them, I thought I would carry that idea onto the jars. I went out and found all kinds of fantastic pewter charms to put on the different yarns I had also found. (If you click on the pic, you can see them better!) Can you tell the wedding theme is a Christmas one? They turned out nice and I think Sherrie was happy with them. I did 25 of those suckers!

As I said, I was up until 3 a.m. working on the stringing all the charms. My feet were swollen (yes, I admit, I have overdone it with the food because of my brother!). I have never had swollen feet, ever, even when I was pregnant! I guess I have had more than my share of sodium which I'm not accustomed to--and a whole lotta shopping was going on! So, of course, when I crawled into bed, I was too exhausted to sleep and I was a hurtin' gator. I tossed and turned until about 5:30 which is about when my alarm clock went off. I rolled over about 6:15 and asked the hub to make sure the kids got off ok. I was just too tired to move. What is it about always being able to fall asleep once it's time to get up? What is up with that?

My brother had a lot of shopping to send back to him and I even got that off in the mail late this afternoon. That even impressed me! I just wanted to get it done and out! They found two gorgeous vintage formal gowns for my niece who attends all kinds of parties. They were both black. Gee, I wish I had taken a pic of them. Oh well. They fit her to a t!--like they were made just for her. Can't wait to see pics of her dressed to the nines!

Tomorrow is going to be a fun day. Beth and her mom Lottie, who live here in TN, are bringing Jane (who is in from NY) over to Franklin. They are all in the Yahoo ATC group that Beth invited me into. After a little shopping and lunch, we are all heading back to my house so Jane can teach us how to quill. Oh, and another ATC grouper, Jill, is also coming up from AL. I'm hoping they all bring some ATCs to trade with me!

Thursday I have my annual mammogram, which I haven't had in several years. Bad, bad girl. Friday, I have a stocking swap to pull together and get out the door. I found all kinds of goodies at thrift stores for that swap. Fun fun fun! Saturday, uh huh (little dance), we're going to watch our boys at the State Playoffs! Uh huh, they're going all the way again this year!! Wooooohoooo! They play at the MTSU stadium in Nashville, which makes it all that much more fun for everyone. Looks like it's going to turn cold, again. It has been like Indian summer her, AGAIN. While my brother was here, it was in the 70s and 80s every day. Simply gorgeous. Now that we're spoiled, we're all whining about the cold coming! hehe. Of course, I JUST put away all the blankets from last year's game that sat in my garage all summer. Yes, I'm a slob when it comes to the garage! haha.

Having left-over ham for dinner. I'm too tired to do much else. Just what I need, right? More sodium.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Up Early and Off to School

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go . . . Yawwwwwn. It's back to the ol' routine today.

God willing, bruva and his family made it home about 1 a.m. this morning. I bet they'll be feeling the pain this morning too--although the girls don't have school today as we do. It was so sad dropping them off at the airport last night. At least, we had all day yesterday to finish up our Nashville running around. It was a fantastic week having them all here. The kid is already missing the the cousins and I'm definitely missing everyone. The teenager is probably enjoying having his bath back and not having to share it with "girls," and the hub is still asleep.

Here are some last pics of our dinner. sniff sniff.

Sweet Potato souffle

Champagne Gravy (mom stirring)

Mashed Potatoes

Bodie Bird

Bodie Bird Breast

The Table

Chocolate Caramel Cake

Cafe Au Lait with Freshly Whipped Cream

Country Breakfast Post Thanksgiving

My brother Johnny sent us some wonderful cd mixes that made for us. At least I still have them to listen to and remember yet another year of Giving Thanks with my wonderful family. Think I'll just crawl back into bed with the hub and go back to sleep.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Rise and Shine, Look That Turkey in the Eye and Say

"Hit it darlin'!" (Tom Cat Reeder, a country music dj and dear family friend from way back used to say that every Thanksgiving morning on his music broadcast. Mom would always have that turkey in the oven by the crack of dawn. (Jim says, "Yeah, and it was always dry as a bone! She always had the wrath of dad on her to get everything done!" hehe)

We woke up to the brother dressed to kill wielding those Shun knives of his like a crazed samurai. He made us all a wonderful country breakfast. Jim served country sausage, bacon and these wonderful biscuits I had ordered frozen from Williams Sonoma. The kids had freshly baked waffles. Everyone is full and content.

We moved on to starting mom's rolls. I sure hope they turn out as good as hers always were. We're in for a treat if they do.

Now the groovy gravy is on the stove cooking down for a couple of hours before the turkey pan will be "deglazed" with champagne and then added to the base gravy. I swear, my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is bubba's mashed potatoes and gravy. I could make a meal out of just that and turkey!

Hope you're enjoying your day as well. Will keep you abreast of how things are coming along!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Eve Prep

Brutha and I have been prepping tonight. Sure wish you could push an extra button and smell the wonderful aromas going on here in our kitchen. It's luscious. My brother is simply amazing with what he can do with the simplest of ingredients. As I said before, he brings his own supplies--spices, cookbooks, lists and even his personal cutlery; so he's ready to go to town Thanksgiving eve. Which is exactly what we did.

We've finished making the first part of the sweet potato souffle, turkey stock, cranberry sauce and sorbet, and even sangria (which I tested to make sure it was ok--it was.) The brutha then moved to working on the stuffing.

Poor ol' Willie bird never did make it to "Nashvul." We looked and looked for Willie to arrive yesterday; and by about 8 p.m., brutha decided to call Williams Sonoma and find out just what happened to Willie. When he started to call, he had a message on his cell phone from the lady watching their dog, ZuZu. "It's now 6:20," she said, "and I just arrived at your house and there is a turkey on your front porch . . . it's not the one you sent me because mine arrived on my front porch today also." Lord. Poor Willie 'done bypassed Nashville and kept on flying East to Maryland! Daig! My sister-in-law called her sister who lives nearby their house and asked if they had bought their turkey yet. They hadn't. So, at this point, everyone had a bird but us. I told them our butcher had some nice ones earlier in the day. Bet your bottom dollar we were up early and the first ones in the shop to purchase another bird. They had ONE left. It was a beauty too. Phew! A 22 pounder, free-range organic, of course. Since this feller was raised in NC, he has been named Bodie (one of my brother's many nic-names as a child--as in Jim Bodie, go figure?) So California Willie bird has been replaced NC Bodie bird. There he is on the right getting tucked away for the night in his brine solution. I'm praying that bag doesn't pop open in the middle of the night in the fridge!

There was only one casualty this evening. Bubba Jim cut his finger on one of those fancy schmancy knives of his. Just a flesh wound, I was assured. (Picture the Saturday Night Live skit with Dan Akroid dressed as Julia Child--remember the one?) Kidding. It really wasn't bad, but I had to capture the moment for prosperity. Sorry. (Scroll below if you're squeamish!)

Alright, bedtime. We are so far ahead of ourselves, we are going to attempt to make our mom's famous yeast rolls--a feat that has never been duplicated -- yet. I'm so happy we were able to get so much done this evening which leaves nothing for mom to do tomorrow but relax. She's getting too old for this sous-chef stuff! I think I just got hired! Phew. I'm tired! G'nite.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Excuse Me, Do I Know You?

Sometimes, when I come to places such as these, I feel completely out of my element. This place is not one of those. Whenever I hear "spa," I think of waif-like folk walking around in robes showing off their assets as if they're in their own bathrooms. Not here. It is quite nice and none of the snobbery taking place like other "spas" I have visited. I am completely comfortable here. I keep having to pinch myself and looking in the mirror to make sure it's me!

I had forgotten how beautiful the barren wonderland is heading west. As I mentioned, gawd, (I did the calculation on the plane), it's been almost 30 years (!!) since I was here in AZ, mainly Phoenix, Tempe and Yuma. Aw, good ol' Yuma. Pammy, I miss you! (There's a whole other story there to tell. Two seventeen-year olds (Pam told her grandmother I was 18!) having quite an adventure between Yuma and LA.) As we flew into Denver, which I had never been to before, I really had forgotten how different the topography is here. I had that motherly pang that the kid wasn't with us to show the vast difference in the land. It is so beautiful yet so different to what I grew up with on the East coast. The snow-capped mountains were a sight to behold.

We arrived quite early to the resort and the hub left right away for meetings. I was left on my own to wonder the beautiful hotel for a couple of hours until the room was ready. They had beautiful Indian sculptures everywhere which I adored and felt a certain kinship to having a trace of American Indian blood running through the old veins (my maternal grandmother was from the Iroquois tribe). These two were my favorites. I love the one Indian looking up to Camel Back Mountain and beyond.

When I finally was able to check into our room, it was amazing. They had given us fresh fruit (Asian pears, my fav) which was just what the doctor ordered. I then had my first appointment at The Center for Well Being for my Reiki Chakra Balancing. I think I have a way to go for balancing! I have a terrible time meditating and truly need some practice in that department. I think when you're a mother with not a lot of time to sit and concentrate on nothingness, you kind of lose the ability to do so. I have promised myself that I must try harder and learn to meditate again. I did enjoy the session though. I think I learned from the experience.

The grounds were beautiful here. There were koi ponds (note the size of these suckers by comparing them to the normal-sized duck in the lower right-hand corner!) and waterfalls and even a cacti garden--which I missed totally until we were driving off! grrrrr. It truly was a place to relax and enjoy, which I did, thoroughly.

After the hub finished his "bidness," we were off to a wonderful Southwestern dinner at one of the restaurants on the property. It was marvelous. Of course, it started out with a martini--of the girly variety. I even had my first taste of this year's boujoulais nouveau. It was good. I had two glasses with no reaction! No red face (other than that from the sun earlier in the day!).

Our last day, we had the most fabulous brunch. Here are just a few of the highlights (desserts of course). Look at the artwork in each one. I was also amazed at the cold soups display. Look at the top one with the crab claw and cherry tomato in it! I believe the pinky-purpleish one is prickly pear! Everything was out-of-this-world good! It was a wonderful getaway with the hub.

I will be so busy with my bubba this week, I'll see what I can get in blogging wise. I'm glad I finally got this one posted! Phew! They arrived safely this afternoon and all is well.

Hope you all are also enjoying family and loved ones.



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