Friday, October 31, 2008

And the Winner Is . . . .

The kid kept it honest by holding the tea cozy full of names.

And, the winner of the tea cake is . . . . . Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yums! Yay! Congrats Rosa! (I only hope there will be no problems with customs to Switzerland!!)

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Frost on the Pumpkins

The temps got down into the 30s ƒ last night. We're going right into winter around here! Wait! What happened to the fall?

The kid and hub carved the pumpkins last night. Look at the size of these babies! I still love the traditional wonky jack-o-lanterns. I think the kid almost froze to death. Don't think he is quite ready to say goodbye to the warm weather.

At least the hub was dressed appropriately. Burr doggy!

I broke open one of the bing-chas today. I was dying to taste it. Now that the weather has turned quite nippy, it's the perfect time for tea sipping.The wrapping was impeccable and I hated to undo the beautiful folds. But I did anyway.

How funky is this?

I first steeped it in one of my "pu'er designated" yixing tea pots. These are very small pots made from a certain clay found in China. You're supposed to use different pots for different teas, so that is just what I do.

I then transferred it to another pot where I could add water. I don't like a strong tea.

Raphael's grandfather's demitasse cups are perfect for Chinese tea. Not too much, not too little. At first, I caught a hint of licorice. I'm not a licorice person, so I was weary to taste it. It's actually very good. Very earthy.

Medicinal? I'll let you know if I get the sudden urge to run a marathon! I did, however, put a leaf on my cuts from last week. (I was pulling the blinds up to let the sun in, and the enitre thing fell on me. I put my hand out to keep it from falling on my helper--Bella--and it gashed my hand.) Thought since it looked red today, I'd give the tea a whirl, like the video said. Could be the next best thing after aloe? Or my thumb could fall off.

Overall, I like it very much! So, I'm happy to give one away, now that I know it's not like drinking dirt. teehe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I took this the other day on my way to pick up the kid from school. I love these winding, country roads.

We still have a lot of open country around these parts which is so good for the soul. I have to admit to being a tad nervous driving around Atlanta at first--this coming from a city girl who learned to drive in the mean streets of DC. I pride myself as a city driver. But, I suppose, over the years, the gentle ease of the country roads has taken the place of the exciting hustle and bustle of the crowded inner-city streets. These meandering roads still take my breath away, especially this time of year.

The other day, I found this felted wool bag made by a local artist. I have it hanging on the front door filled with goodies. This is something I would like to learn how to do.

I loved the simplicity of it. The retro pattern. The color.

And the beautiful button.

The hub is coming home early tonight so he and the kid can carve the pumpkins. We found two HUGE ones in Fairhope, so it should be a lot of fun for them. I'll update you on that tomorrow.

I will pull a name on Friday, so don't forget to comment on the Tea Giveaway if you haven't already!

And, if you have early voting available, go do it! What a joy it was to breeze through (half an hour) and vote today! Tuesday is going to be crazy!

Monday, October 27, 2008


We had beautiful weather driving down to Atlanta on Saturday. The leaves are just beginning to turn. (Photo above of Atlanta skyline at night from our hotel room.)

I always enjoy this drive. It's so pretty. I always forget that Atlanta is on Eastern time, unlike Nashville. We're on Central time. Go figure. But, we made it there by 4 p.m. and was able to spend about five hours with Johnny on Saturday. He looks good and was in good spirits.

The Atlanta skyline from our hotel room.

We got a late start for dinner and went to a couple of restaurants where the waits were all over an hour! This was after 9 p.m.! (We're not so used to big-town living any longer.) So we settled in for room service which suited me just fine. I was exhausted. It was nice to crawl into bed with some good ol' Southern magazines.

Sunday, we got up and noticed none of the stores were open until noon so we went and had a late breakfast at the Buckhead Diner. We had a short shopping list of things Johnny needed. Once we got them, we headed back over to the hospital.

There was a Breast Cancer walk-a-thon going on and it was invigorating to see so much pink all over town.

We also passed by the Buckhead Bread Company where I picked up some goodies for us and for the nurses that were all so nice. We don't have many bakeries in Nashville that have this sort of selection. Yum.

Before we knew it, it was after 3 and we had to hit the road. The weekend went by so quickly; but it was so good to see Johnny doing so well. I took some pictures, but they were all on his camera. Sometimes I think I'm losing it. After downloading all my pictures, I was like "where are all the ones of Johnny?" Duh. I forgot to even pull my camera out! Anyway, his second operation is some time this week where they will be closing up the sore. Yuk. But, hopefully, this will make all the difference in the world. Let's hope.

Tonight, I'm making chicken and rice in the slow cooker. I had found this wonderful mix in Alabama. It smells so good cooking! Wish you could smell it!

Don't forget to sign up for the tea giveaway!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oh Atlanta

Heading south to see my brother, family in tow. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Great Bing-Cha (tea cake) Giveaway

The hub always brings wonderful teas back from China. Last year, he was given a special bing-cha (tea cake) of Pu'er tea as a gift. This trip, he was given two more. These are rather large bricks, if you will, of compressed tea. I am including a scraper to go along with it. I think one will last for years! The tea is supposed to get better with age and they are to be stored in its own paper--not in a baggie. I have yet to crack one open, so I don't have any idea of the taste.

I have mine on plate racks as decoration at the moment.

These tea cakes are made from ancient tea trees in the Yunnan Provence of South China. It is said to have medicinal properties that help with digestion, reduce cholesterol, and perhaps even increases metabolism. Hey, perhaps I better pop open one! Quick!

I found these wonderful videos below for you to watch if you want to.

So, all you have to do is leave a comment. You don't have to have a blog to enter. I will pick a name some time next week.

If you're a tea drinker, I think you will love having one of these to try, straight from Beijing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Autumn Brilliance

We're beginning to feel a little nip in the air and the leaves are just now beginning to fall. While the maples are still pretty green, we are having a few glorious red leaves falling off. I found this one on the stoop this morning and had to bring it in.

Is this not the prettiest shade of red ever? I tucked it into my indoor wreath where I can enjoy it each time I walk by.

I've been bringing in some plants as it gets chillier in the evenings. I moved the orchard above my computer and hope it will bloom for me this year. Don't know if I like it here or not. We're supposed to get a little rain which is well needed. I'm hoping it will help the leaves change colors rather than just falling off altogether without a show. I love the rain and I'm loving this sweater weather. Finally, it's beginning to feel like autumn!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

That's about how I feel. I tell you, if I continue to feel so blah, I'm going to have to get myself an appointment and go see my doc. Yuk. I just can't seem to pull out of this funk.

I've been trying to do little things around the house to cheer me up like making these little sets for the kitchen. I found these sweet little faux chocolates (at least, I think that's what they're supposed to be) in 'bama. They were too adorable to resist.

And then, the same store had these cloved lemons that look sooooo real; couldn't resist them either.

Bella found a new spot before leaving Riverside, in the kitchen window. Now I don't normally allow my cats to get anywhere near the kitchen countertops, but she looked so comfy, I didn't have the heart to shoo her away. I felt so sorry for her. Monday morning, when I began my "closing down" chores, she must have sensed that we would be heading home. She hid away in mom's room until it was time to go and fought like a loon as I put her in the kennel. Poor boo. I kept pretty much to the speed limit (just under 80, teehe) and we made it home fine. The hub picked up a cold en route back from China and had to leave again yesterday for a trip to the Carolinas. Is there anything worse than flying with a head cold? Ouch. I remember having a double ear infection flying back from London once. I thought I would die before making it home. Remind me to delay my trip next time.

Took mom in to have her flu shot today. We had to go to two places to find one without the themerosal preservative. I don't know about you, but the thought of putting any amount of mercury in our system doesn't sound good to me, especially when you have the option of a vaccine without it. Easy choice. The walk-in clinic only had the one with themersal. Walgreen's had both, one with the additive and one without. They told me the vaccine without the mercury is used on kids. Now, that has to tell you something right there. Ew. I have yet to get mine. It was so busy, they said they would take mom right in so I didn't even ask to get mine. I'll go back later.

Well, that's about it for now. Hope all is well in Blogland. Need to catch up on my visting, soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


This trip has been therapeutic in so many ways. It's always nice to have the hub fly here into Riverside after an overseas trip so he can rejuvenate himself. That he is doing (sleeping).

There have been several art shows in town, one on the Bay (above) and one right down the road at Big Daddy's. How great is that? And it gets even better. When the kid and I arrived on Thursday, we saw our neighbor, Darlene, walking her dogs. She told us about the art show at Big Daddy's but I didn't know she was an artist! Love it! She was sweet and told us to come over one night after the hub arrived for some wine and to sit and chat. So last night, when she phoned, the hub and I went up river a couple of houses to do just that. What an absolutely delightful time! Both her and her husband are like long-lost friends. We sat on the river and talked about so many things and it was as if we had known each other for years. It's so refreshing to meet people and just click with them. I have found that very hard the older I get. Guess I'm set in my ways. But, what a delight these two were. First of all, their house is full of Darlene's artwork--everything from oil paintings to papier mache to pieces made from driftwood and on and on. I felt like I was in dreamland, everything was so wonderful. We sat on their dock and drank and talked for hours. Dean even had some pork butt smoking and once finished brought it out for an impromptu dinner! I love my bbq, but I have to say this is some of the best I have ever had. I even brought two "butts" home to freeze and have later. I absolutely love these people! As we sat, several turtles popped their heads up from the river, asking for a bite or two. It was so different than our little piece of the river. Their house overlooks the island which makes it private and cozy and oh so quiet. Can you tell I had a wonderful time?

This is at the pier in town. They have a lovely rose garden and the roses were delightful this time of year. The weather has been absolutely perfect. It was so clear, you could see Mobile (bottom, right-hand corner).


Today, we went over to Big Daddy's to see more of Darlene's delightful pieces. I loved the cover of her portfolio. The sun face sits in her house and I just ooh'd and ah'd over it. Isn't it precious? She is unbelievable with paper mache.

Look at these new pieces she just started making. She's trying to come up with names on what to call this type of medium. Canvassed memories? Any ideas? Don't you love it!

She took some old dress up clothes from her daughter's growing years and put them on canvas! If you could see them up close in person, you would be amazed. How fun!

These are antique doll clothes that she used here. I loved this piece. It is covered with wax, and you know how I love wax.

Some of her fabulous paintings.

And she is brilliant with papier mache. Looks like me and the hub! She pointed out the dress shoes and black socks. Love it!!

And mermaids! She has mermaids everywhere in her house and these two were for sale! Well, you know where this is going, don't you?

Yes, I brought "Free Ride" mermaid home with me. She is absolutely perfect on the wall overlooking the river.

And a bonus. As the kid and I were leaving, Dean picked some Meyer lemons off their tree and Darlene some satsumas! Now that's being the best neighbors ever! I wish you could smell them.

Yesterday, I found these things--Bahama (star?) fruit at the local farmer's market. I had never heard of them nor seen anything like it. They are huge! Larger than cantaloupe. Yet, when you cut into them, the fruit is much smaller and quite like sweet pink grapefruit. Yum.

I will take pictures when I do cut into them.

Oh, and Darlene even gave me some of her Spanish moss to drape over our trees.

You know how I feel about that stuff too. I can't wait for it to grow so I can continue tossing it over limbs. It's like Christmastime around here!

Now it's nappy time, at least for some (Bella and the hub). Actually dinner time at this point. I could handle some more of Dean's bbq, let me tell you! Hmmmmmm.

It's starting to feel like home. Just in time to head back to Tennessee tomorrow, right?



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