Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fluttering About

Heck with washer and dryer combos, God should have given us women wings! A zillion hours? I think not.

The hub is returning home tonight, yay! I don't even know how long the guy has been gone; but this has been one of his longest trips since we moved to Tennessee. It's a lot easier in the summer months but now that school is right around the corner, I'm happy for him to be coming home. I admire single parents. The kid has been in orientation for his new adventures in high school these past two days. Tomorrow is his "red letter" day where he gets his schedule, picks up books, gets his locker assigned and so on. So exciting--for me, anyway

We head to Riverside on Sunday, giving the hub a long week's break after his travels throughout all of Asia. He's going to really need it. It will be our last summer time hurrah. I'm hoping my girlfriends will be able to come back down in the fall like we did last year. It's so much nicer there when the weather is cooler. What do snakes do when it gets cooler? Hopefully, they go away. I have the heebie jeebies now. In fact, I have never seen one. Thank goodness for that.

When we get back, the kid starts high school and the teenager heads off to college. I can hardly believe it. Seems like just yesterday he was heading to his first little preschool. Sniffle. Of course, he hasn't even begun to pack anything. I'm not doing it for him, I tell you. It will be a rude awakening once he gets there and doesn't have what he needs. And you know, I'll be there, packing things up in boxes and mailing it to him after he calls griping about it, of course. But, until he asks, the boy/man is on his own. Kids. Geesh.

The kid and I are on our way to the dollar store to pick up some little squirt guns and stuff for my nieces who are at camp for the next month. Getting a care package together for them. I never did camp growing up. We couldn't afford it and plus we made our own camp in the car driving to Georgia and Texas each summer. It was always the rich kids that went and would come back singing the camps songs and such. I kind of envied them a little. But we weren't that kind of family. Now that I look at it from a different perspective, I kind of feel sorry for the kids being shipped off. I sent the boys to a day camp when we first moved to Tennessee for a couple of weeks. They liked it ok but only did it the one session. I thought it would be good for them to get used to the area. After the kid came home crying one day after a tornado touched down at CAMP, I never sent them back. I'm not a clingy mom, but I adore having them with me during the summers.

Ok, off to clean the house (swiffer the floor and make the bed) then we're on our way to the dollar store. Then, before I know it, the hub will be arriving home. Will I even recognize the guy? hehe.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


You just never know what you're going to find here on my blog. One day it's Rolls Royces and cottages outside London and the next day it's snakes.

Well, I'm sorry, but it's been snakes, snakes, snakes around here. Last night, for some unknown reason, I stayed up watching that stupid movie Snakes on a Plane. I don't know why. But I watched the entire thing; well, from the middle on, anyway. Thought I would have nightmares, but I was ok.

Just now, I got a phone call from one of the guys who watches our place in Alabama. The idiot workman (are they all idiots? I'm beginning to think so) who started the job and has yet to show up for two months chopped out two holes in the bunker (storage room under the house). The town suggested we do it for flood waters so it can run through and then retreat. So, like I said, the idiot breaks two holes through the cinder block. Leaves them wide open. The phone call from the nice guy asks tonight "Are you going to fill in those holes or what?" He goes on to tell me that while he was there today, one snake was coming out and one (a water moccasin, he thought) was going in. Loverly. Just what I want to hear. Close ears tight-- lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala. Ewww. Heeby jeebies. I go in that bunker several times a day when we're there! EW! Since the idiot doesn't seem to be coming back, this nice guy is going to close the holes up with screening or something. Hopefully, he won't lock any in! OMG! Ssssssssssssss.

Ok, that's my snake story. And no, I couldn't bare putting a picture of a real snake up there. Gross. But I really am feeling especially creepy crawly tonight.

PS I am kinda liking the updating feed on my blog list. I don't like the look, but it is quite convenient, I must say. Still haven't decided yet which format I will go with. Thanks for the input.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Layout Input

I've been playing around with my blog tonight. I've added a new feature in Blogger that allows you to list your favorite blogs with the feed thingy next to it and it updates the name when a new post is made.

It looks a tad messy to me, I think I prefer the look I had (I left the old list up too so you can see). Does anyone even use this on my sidebar except me? The update is kinda nice, but is it worth it when it changes the look of your (my) blog?

Should I update and move on in blogging technology or keep the nice clean look I had before and stay behind the times?

Input please? {Lurkers especially welcomed to pipe in.}

If I Had a Rolls

. . . I would have the interior custom designed by Jane Churchill.

And then I would have her design my living room,

to complement it.

That is, if I lived in London.

Nevermind. I think I'd prefer this little cottage over the Rolls any day.
(Just look at those pineapple porch lights!)

Dream on girlfriend. As always, one thing leads to another in my day. I was looking at fabrics, some of which were Jane Churchill's, I decided to take a peek at her British site. That is where I came upon these pretties. Whatchya think? Go for it? The Rolls or the cottage? I say the cottage, for sure. Probably cheaper. ha.

Monday, July 28, 2008


(Had to give Bella her due. She was jealous of Abby's last spread.)

The kid and I decided tonight that we were having Indian. I have stock piled jars of sauces since I discovered World Market down in Spanish Fort, AL. This was the first time I tried them. I opened three before I found one that tasted anything like the Indian I'm accustomed to and settled on the Tiger Tiger Punjabi sauce. I had a box of Biryani Rice, so I threw that on the stove top too.

Add naan, and voila! instant (almost) Indian! There wasn't quite smoke coming out our ears, but it did have a little bite to it. It was really tasty.

The house smelled so good, I got in the mood for some incense. I have many smokers from Germany that I have collected over the years after a friend who lived there for a short while got me started on them. First I pulled out this little fellow. I had found some incense in Bremen, Germany, several years ago that smell just like church. Yum.

But I couldn't stop at just one smoker. No, I had to find one, my kitchen one, to get smoking in (of course) the kitchen. Then it made me stop and think. Hmmm, I have yet to smudge that nasty kitchen funk those creepy men left while renovating it. I asked the kid to get a shell from his room and the smudge sticks and by golly, we were going to smudge.

I went on line to find the prayer that goes with the smudging and read it's a no no to smudge if you have had alcohol within the past four days. Well, I hardly ever drink. But on Saturday, when I was rummaging through some of my old mags, I found this.

I had previously found this Caipirinha mixer at Williams-Sonoma (half price) which lead to this little display. I keep the mandarin vodka on hand for Cosmopolitans. I have to admit though, it really wasn't a good match.

But one ounce of vodka wasn't going to kill an already made cocktail. No, sir-ee. However, after the ice melted in this, I just added more key lime mixer, leaving the vodka out, and finished with what equaled a limeade. Very refreshing indeed.

More smoking to come later! Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Abby (aka Fabby, Flabby, Phoebe, etc) has been in our family for many years. She was given to us by none-other-than Santa Claus himself; left on the door step with a note attached asking if we could care for her. The season was coming up fast and the winters in the North Pole were too hard on the little kitten. Of course, we gladly accepted her into our little brood. This was way back in 1996. Ab is the only animal from Virginia still with us. She has survived this long only because she has the personality of a door knob. She hardly ever gets involved with anyone or anything; therefore, she will live forever.

I can hardly ever get pictures of her as she is not the friendliest cat in the house. If you go up to her, she will run away. If you look at her, she will turn. That is, unless you have food. She's a food junkie. Any kind of food will do. Then, and only then, she's a little pussy cat.

When Abby first came on the scene, the vet wanted to wait until she was six months old before I could have her spayed. I waited. She got out one day. Shortly thereafter, I took her in for her six-month checkup and the vet proceeds to tell me she is already pregnant. Well, I know it only takes one time, but seriously now, what are the odds? So, we bought kitten food and fattened her up. We kept on fattening her up but she only got fat, never started showing. When we took her back to the vets, he diagnosed it with "false pregnancy." Uh huh. Misdiagnosis, more like it. Poor Abby. She never could lose the weight after that. I feel your pain, child.

But what a plump beauty she is. Look at those eyes, that fur, that face! In actuality, she is lightening up a bit. Of course, I took these pictures as the kid and I were eating lunch and I gave her a bite of chicken, which loosened her up for the camera.

But then the lovefest ended, just about as fast as it began. And she was off again, to hide somewhere no one could bother her. Until more food was brought out.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sausage Biscuits

Sausage biscuits always brings to mind memories growing up. When we would visit my grandma Rosie in Texas each summer, she would always cook up a feast of food. None of which us kids would eat. Well, we didn't want to, anyway. She was already in her 80s, still living by herself and just a jolly ol' soul of a woman. We would all love visiting with her in her little apartment because she was just a hoot. Her food however was not that which kids would eat. We dreaded that part of the visit. Being a Southerner, there was always food. It was always on the stove, sitting there for Lord knows how long. When she would put it on a plate for you, she would slap it all together. Kids don't like things all mixed up in a goop. My mom would whisper to us "You have to eat it" in that gentle voice of hers. I guess we would. I have no memories of eating that "good junk" as grandma would call it. However, when it came time for us to pack the car up and head back North, she would always make us a big batch of sausage biscuits and wrap each one in a napkin and put them in a bucket of some sort, normally a big gallon margarine bucket. (Who buys a gallon of margarine?) To this day, I can think of nothing tasting as good as one of those sausage biscuits on the road when my father would refuse to stop because "we were making good time." Thank you grandma for saving our little bellies so many times.

Then there's Aunt Mary, one of my mom's sisters in Georgia. Every time we would visit, up until several years ago when she was in her 90s and still living on her own, she would cook up a country breakfast each and every morning. Now, Aunt Mary was not one to get up early--suppose I get the gene from that side of the family--but she would when we were there. No matter how many of us bombarded her house, she would cook a country breakfast fit for a king and his castle. The entire castle. If it were just me and the kids, it would still be the same amount at which time we all would stuff ourselves in honor of all the good food she had cooked. I would do the same as my mom before me, "You have to eat it." My voice, probably not so gentle. I remember her in the kitchen cooking that sausage up. Mom would try and help and she was always behind her (as still the big sister 70 years later) showing mom how to squish all the grease out of the sausage. There isn't anything close to waking up at Aunt Mary's smelling the sausage and biscuits cooking. Again, such wonderful memories.

The kid and I were doing a little grocery shopping yesterday and came upon this luscious looking bulk breakfast sausage. The kid and nanna love sausage; so how could I resist? I cooked it up this morning, remembering Aunt Mary's delicious breakfasts and Grandma Rosie's sweet send offs. It was a nice way to start the day with so many memorable moments with loved ones who are no longer with us. I miss having aunts and uncles and grandmothers to look up to.

Guess I'm one of the elders now. Cringe. How scary is that?

Friday, July 25, 2008

What's This?

I was amazed to be awoken by the luxurious sounds of thunder this morning! How utterly delightful! I do love my rain.

I don't remember the last time it rained here. I'm not alone in my excitement.

All I have to say is that all the Flora and fauna is loving it! Once I get my chores done, I'm heading out on the front porch, perhaps even with book in hand, to chill in the cooler weather that has hit Middle Tennessee.

Yesterday, we were bombarded with starlings. I've never seen them around the bird feeders before; but they sure have come in for the kill.

When I went out to shoo them away, I swear there must have been 100 that flew out from my mom's yard below. Kinda scared me. Looked straight out of Hitchcock's "The Birds."

Some of them hid in the trees below, but most of them flew the coop once I started clapping at them. This is towards the end of my clapping, so you can only imagine what it was like before. Ew. Those are crazy looking birds. Their eyes glow green. Scary.

Of course, today was the day I was taking ol' Ollie in to get cleaned up for the trip to Riverside where she is going into semi-retirement. Ollie, as I have lovingly named her only after she went into secondary mode, is part of the family. As much as I hated to move on, she was beginning to show signs of wear and tear and needs to take it easy in her "golden" years, so to speak. She has been in our family since the teenager was five and beginning kindergarten and the kid not quite two years old. They have both Christened the car with their stickers which still stick to their windows (the kid's on the right, the teenager's on the left). I suppose we all have Christened her. My coffee stains are all over the front, seat worn where my big butt has slid in and out a zillion times, etc. Quite frankly, I was surprised not to find an old baby bottle under the seat once I started digging. I did, however, find lots of little Leggo's and various other tiny objet'd kid. It does the heart good knowing she will be in our family for many years to come. There's a special attachment to my Ollie and I am happy to say she is officially the summer car. Wooo hoooo. Well, almost. Let's hope she makes it down to Alabama. (She's been in and out of the shop since March with various ailments--the most serious being the alternator, ouch.) Once there, I will have to store her for the winter. Which brings me back to having her cleaned up. I've been reading up on storing cars, and the number one rule is to make sure there is no remanence of food left behind. Well, when you have a car for 13 years and raise two boys in it, there's going to be remanence of food. With that said, I definitely do NOT want critters crawling in and have a smorgasbord during the winter months while Ollie sits idle. Therefore the day at the spa. Well, even after making the appointment, the spa (shhhh, we won't tell her it's just a car wash) was closed due to rain. Murphy's law, right?

With August quickly approaching, I took all my July 4th stuff down this morning. Don't know what I'm decorating with next. Can you believe the summer is almost over?

Garsh darnit. I think I see the sun peeking through. Have I missed my relaxing moment on the porch. Oooof. If the sun comes out, it's going to be a sauna out there. Loverly. Think I lost my chance to enjoy the cool.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

For the Cuz

Hopefully, the cuz is at camp where there are NO computers so I can put this up. In the meantime, I'll finish these pages and send them to her to add to her "Summer" scrapbook that I started for her last year.

Sorry, but I inked out the faces of the kid and the cuz to protect their innocence. Yea right. These kids these days! Lordy. If I knew half as much as they know at their age, I think I would have hid under the kivers, like, for-ever! Between the music and the internet, it's all out there for them to hear and see. Some of it makes even me, yes moi, a tad uncomfortable at times. I did have a talking to her about some of the lyrics I heard during her stay. Now, I'm not one to put "one's" music down, but I did have to put my 2¢ in that some of that stuff is just down-right nasty. Just hear it, don't do it. Lord have mercy on my soul. She's a sweet little thing, and I want her to stay that way. I told her NO WAY is she ever to go to a Lil' Wayne concert! OMG. To think, last year, when we ran into his posse in New Orleans (and had never even heard of him!) he would be as HUGE as he is today. Garsh.

I've been working on these four pages for several days which has been a real pain in the butt. No, really. My tailbone is still sore from my fall and sitting in this chair doing pages is not helping. I have some more to do, but I probably should not sit here any more. Wonder how long it takes to heal this thing?

(The elements and layouts used in these pages are from: Mo Jackson's Doo Dads, Weeds & Wildflowers Designs and Yin's Designs. I hope that's everyone's stuff. I'm the worst at 'memberin'.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's Happenin'?

Not a whole lot going on here. Being as lazy as lazy can be. Trying to stay inside as it is hotter than you-know-what down here. And if any of us do go outside, we are taking our lives in our hands as the mockingbirds are still on the attack. Not as bad as they were as the chicks are up and flying; but they are still there. Even Dave (above) is staying in more.

As I was watering my mom's flowers yesterday, I had the hose spraying on one of the tall crepe myrtles that are in bloom. I decided to hose the entire bush as it's just been so hot. As soon as I got to the top, birds starting arriving from all around to get a shower! It was the funniest thing I have ever seen. Even the baby mockingbirds where there after momma squawked at them to come and enjoy the coolness of the water. I showered as many as wanted, probably about a half an hour, before they all seemed satisfied and flew away. It was so much fun.

Geesh, I'm almost embarrassed to bring these pysanka up! They have been in the fridge since Lent (like March!) and I have yet to get the egg out and melt the wax off. Now, they're sitting on the counter waiting for me to do this. I am still going to give one away. Stay tuned for that miraculous day, hopefully before NEXT Easter!

Taaaaaa-bul. The kitchen table is also full of papers that have been sitting there since I arrived home last week. Yep, lazy as lazy can be. Growing up, we would visit my mom's sister, Aunt Nita, in Georgia. We'd do the normal stuff like go out and eat and shop and stuff. If Aunt Nita saw something that was kind of funny, she would say it in a long, slow, drawn-out voice. If there was a comical hat a lady was wearing, she'd say (under her breath) "Haaaaa-at." Mom and I would just giggle. When I would visit mom after moving to TN and would arrive at the old house, I'd walk in and see her kitchen table just chock full of stuff. She'd immediately say "taaaaaay-bul." hehe. We would just laugh. The kid picked it up, unknowingly. As we were out one day, this lady had these HUGE, like 1980s, glasses on. He looked at me and whispered "glaaaaa-ses." hehe. We are bad. But all in good fun.

The only thing exciting that has happened around here since the cuz left was a truck tearing my mailbox off its post. It sits, sadly, on the grass. I am thankful that the mailman continues to use it. I'm sure he has to get out of his truck to fill it. I would get a picture of it (later), but I would be attacked by those darn mockingbirds if I stepped foot out front! Maybe at sun down, I'll run out there!

Wish we would get some rain down here. This heat seems like it's never going to break. I think I'm ready for fall, dare I say! You?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer Memories--A Day in the Life

I was horrible at blogging while the cuz was here, so I'll try and catch up. I think this will do it. It was a very quick visit, only nine days compared with her month's stay last summer. We could barely get enough in! This was the sunset in Pensacola on Wednesday night, our last night down south.

Riverside's front door bell. Love it!

Me eating red beans and rice at Oysterella's. Photo by the kid.

The day we got the kayaks, we had a little cloud burst. The kid asked for my assistance in getting the kayak out of the water and as I raced down the porch stairs, I slid on the wet wood and fell! Lord have mercy. I banged up my arms pretty bad and my butt, of course. I look like I was beat up by the look of my arms. The cuz took these pics Wednesday night, the day after. The bruises don't look as bad as they do now. Today, they look like ripe bananas! Loverly. My butt bone is still pretty sore. Owzy.

The cuz is growing up. A teenager in the making. I was surprised to see her show up with makeup on! This young lady has the most gorgeous green eyes and had covered them with black eyeliner! Tisk. I asked her if she wanted to do a little makeup shopping while she was visiting. What teenage girl would say no to that? So we went to M*A*C and had a little re-do. She was so cute sitting in that chair. The kid and I had to walk around because we just giggled the entire time which made her giggle. No giggling allowed when makeup is being applied!

Look at how pretty she looks. She doesn't need makeup, but if she's going to wear it, it should let her look like the beautiful all-American girl next door that she is. Love her and her freckles.

Afterwards, we went out to the local "amusement" arcade and did a little game playing--and go-cart driving! I didn't, mind you. My butt was way too sore to get into one of these things! Not to mention too big! hehe But the kids had a fun time. They never could catch up with one another. The cuz was a speed demon!

Fun times.

Choosing cheap trinkets from their winnings.

Then we went for dinner at The Fish House. The kids wanted to sit outside on the docks. Big mistake. It was so freakin' hot, no one could enjoy their meals or the pretty views. Oh well. Live and learn.

I had to have the Grits A Ya Ya. Oh they were delish.

The kids both had fried shrimp.

We couldn't eat fast enough to get back to the car and have air condition. I tell you, the older I get, the more I rely on the stuff. I just cannot stand the heat and humidity! It's actually the humidity that really gets me. Ooooof. We went to our favorite little spot in Pensacola and watched the sun set.

Then we were off to chase ghost crabs at Orange Beach. We had a beautiful full moon to light the way. With the help of a flash light, we spied this nasty jelly fish. The ones that kept us away from the beach during the day. Nasty little things.

The kids finally spotted a little crab.

I don't know what all the lights were here. Kinda crazy.

We ended the night at Shake's with sweets all around.

Wonderful summer memories.



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