Showing posts from 2009

The Spirit of Christmas

It's really beginning to look like Christmas around here.  Inside as well as out.  As I've said before, I hadn't really done any indoor decorating to speak of since we were going to go out-of-town for the Christmas Holidays.  "Change of plans" that I wrote about in my last post changed all of that.  So, back up into the attic (with assistance to lift the boxes and carry the stuff back down the stairs, this time...:) for the Christmas china to set the table.  There's a shot of the result (left).

About the centerpiece...N/M/E's BFF AW sent us a beautiful Lenox china-bowl centerpiece, complete with gold candles, red roses, and green pine and holly, right after Thanksgiving.  The flowers and greenery lasted for nearly three weeks and provided us with the only festive decoration for the dining room.  But, when the plans changed, I realized that we needed to refresh the centerpiece.  Got a red carnation and white daisy-and-mum bouquet at the grocery to replace t…

A Little Change in Plans

First, a report on Handel's Messiah.  Loved it.  Had fab seats in Centenary UMC (photo, left), where the Winston-Salem Symphony and Messiah Festival Chorus, under the direction of the lively Robert Moody, gave their all to give us a stirring performance of the classic. 

Mr. T and I (photo to right, taken in front of the Chrismon Tree at Centenary UMC) were joined for the evening by N/M/E and her BFF AW (photo below, right).  Always a treat! (Not sure who that lady is behind N/M/E...we were waiting in the narthex for the doors to the sanctuary to open.  Lots of folks with us.

So...about those plans we had...

We were planning on spending Christmas in L'ville this year.  Packing up two cars for the trip.  Dogs + presents + luggage + wheelchair & walker + cooler with the Christmas ham and other goodies = TWO CARS. Looking forward to Family Christmas with my brothers and SIL's at Missy M's house on the 19th.  That's the reason I had "only" put up the Sheep T…

Christmas Kitchen: From Chaos to Candy, Cookies, and Cocoa

You know me, right?  Never can do just one thing at a time...gotta multi-task.  It's genetic...or, possibly a character flaw.  Or both.  No matter...not gonna change at this stage of life.

So, (and that's something I picked up from living in the STL area..."they" seem to begin every single sentence with "So...") yesterday was Baking Day here in HPNC.  I got the Family Cookbook out (actually, it's never really "put away"), and gathered the ingredients for a few of our Holiday favorites...and one new addition.

As you can see in the photo (left), I got several goodies going at once:  Louisiana Microwave Pralines (ab fab, only takes 13 minutes to make), Delaware Butter Ball cookies (you may know them by other names like Crescent Cookies, Swedish Sugar Balls, etc. -- they are those yummy cookies that get covered in powdered sugar), and Pumpkin Raisin Muffins (that's the new one for 2009).  The photo to the right shows the Pralines cooling on the…

First, There Was the Music...Then the Ballet...Then the Collection

It's official.  My Christmas has begun!

Mr. T and I went to Winston-Salem last night to attend the University of North Carolina's School of the Arts 2009 production of  The Nutcracker.  With a live orchestra playing the beautiful music of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and the enthusiastic (if not always on pointe...:) dancers telling the sweet story of Clara through their movements, we embraced the Season's spirit.  We (along with most of rest of the audience) loved the Russian dancers in Act II, leaping and posing to their lively part.  Hopefully, if you follow the link, you'll get a taste of it.

We started a Family Tradition of going to see the Nutcracker when Missy M was a little girl, and we were living in Memphis.  That year, our cousin Larry Allen played a couple of parts in the production at the Orpheum (a beautiful theatre, as I recall), including the part of the Grandfather in the opening Act. And, I also remember a family favorite, Jack Eaton, playing a …

Christmas is Coming

As you can see from the photo (right), Lillie Pearl PTC is all decked out for the Holidays.  She's got her Rudolph Red Nose and Antlers all attached in proper style.  When I was in ATL last week (where this shot was my home-away-from-home Homewood Suites/Peachtree Corners), the desk clerk asked me where the tail was?  Swish, swish.  Of course, I wouldn't want to be too authentic as it might still be deer hunting season in GA.

In answer to the question/comments from a couple of you ("what are you working on these days?  You've stopped blogging about your projects..."), I'll have to plead the Fifth, I suppose.  Since Christmas is almost here, there's a good reason why I'm not talking about or publishing photos of my current projects:  all of them are gifts!  But trust me when I say that my needles are still clicking away, late into the night.  And, I'm really excited about one "group" of projects this year...can hardly wait to t…

Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Around Here

Oh boy, oh know how much I love this time of year, right?  And, this year has been even more exciting, as we have a new yard to decorate.  Duke Power rejoiceth!

We started right after we'd begun to digest the turkey and trimmings.  Put away the pumpkins.  Hauled out the holly.  As you can see in the photos, we are well-lit here on Wesseck Road.

We had purchased six 25' strands of C7 lights a couple of years ago during the after-Christmas sale at the O'Fallon True Value (which has since gone out of business, sad to say).  We also got 6 packages of yard stakes as we were trying to avoid having to hang lights on the house. Of course, with the move to NC, we'd never used them...this would be our first year.  Well, amazingly, this yard seemed to be designed perfectly for this scheme.  We lined our natural area (the part of the yard under the trees...mulched in pine straw, without any grass) with the stakes and lights, starting with the lighted reindeer in the front…

Family, Food, and Football...It Must be Thanksgiving!

After a l-o-n-g week of working on the boxes in the garage, we took a break from unpacking to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday.  I hope each and every one of you has been blessed with much to be thankful for this year.  My own list would include:
My family...gathered around our dining room table...and the relatively good health we all enjoy.  This was our first meal in the dining room of our NC home, and we were thrilled to set places for Missy M, as well as Brother and SIL J&J.  We had a lovely day together...and even though Brother T and SIL LaD couldn't join us this year and M had to return home with her pups on Saturday, we were able to meet J&J for a farewell breakfast at Cracker Barrel on Sunday for a bit more fun.  The camera...set on timer...took that photo (right) of us.  I'll be sure to follow Mr. T's suggestion to use the flash next time to even out all those shadows.A bountiful harvest...including the potatoes from Missy M's garden...and groaning …

Another One of Those Busy Weeks

It's the week of Thanksgiving...and the gang's all here!  Check out that shot on the left of the Drool GangDuchess in the lower left, Gus in the center back, and Elmo on the right.  And, can you even see Ella Rae in the upper left?  They are all piled up on the sofa bed in the den.  As they had all tried to sleep on our bed the night before...with us...I finally gave up fighting for some space and made up the sofa bed to finish out the night by myself.  Of course it wasn't long until I had company (Ella Rae and Elmo) join me.  Sigh.  What can I say?  Gotta love 'em!

As I mentioned in my last post, Mr. T and I motored to a half-way meet-up with Missy M in Charleston, WV last Friday.  We brought Elmo and Ella Rae home, while she went back to Huntington, where she had work to do over the weekend.  I took this shot of Pilot Mountain on our way up Highway 52, north of Winston-Salem, NC.  It's a state park, and the origin of the fictional town of Mount Pilot on the And…

See Seven States in Eight Days!

Let's see...what has kept me from blogging lately, you might ask?  Been on the road again, I might answer.

To recap...

Started in North Carolina, where Autumn was in all her glory (see the photo of our Hickory trees in back). Headed to Kentucky via Virginia and West Virginia.  Left Kentucky, returning to NC via Tennessee.  Left NC, going to Georgia via South Carolina.  Returned to North Carolina.  Collapsed on floor from exhaustion.

It all started last week with a call from Missy M.  Elmo, the youngest Basset member of the Drool Gang, who now lives in Louisville with Ella Rae and Missy M, had just been diagnosed with glaucoma in both eyes (a very scary, but fairly common malady to the Basset breed, unfortunately).  As he required three kinds of eye drops, three times a day...and had a couple of follow-up vet appointments during the week...not to mention needing some extra TLC during the work-day hours, M wondered if I could put my Nurse/Nanny hat on and come to KY.  Of course, I was …

Busy Week

Whew! I need to catch my breath. While the washer and dryer are doing their Monday morning thing(s), I’m enjoying a few minutes of relaxation…cup of coffee in hand, here in front of our fireplace. Thought I’d share my view with you, too. Ahhhhh….

Last week was a super busy one for us, starting with our first-ever Carolina Panthers game on Sunday. I had fried some chicken the night before, so we packed up a cooler and the picnic hamper for some tasty tail-gating, then headed off to join the crowd at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. As #34 DeAngelo Williams (formerly of the University of Memphis) is now a Panther, our interest in the team is more than just sharing the same state with them. (Update: DeAngelo scored the winning touchdown in yesterday's game vs. Tampa Bay!) Our seats are in the nose-bleed section AKA Section 520, and we had some interesting (shall we say?) Redskins fans as seat-mates (one of whom caused quite a “stir” near the end of the first quarter)…but they’d l…

My Baby's All Grown Up

I can hardly believe that dear daughter, Missy M, just celebrated such a milestone birthday this past weekend (photo to left). Yes, I put 30 candles on the cake...actually, 31, with one to grow on (right). I reminded her that in just 9 short years, she and I would be the same age...since I stopped having birthdays, per se, and started having anniversaries of my 39th birthday.

Hence, that birthday cake that Mr. T got me back in July ("Happy 39th Birthday Again").


Wasn't it just yesterday that we were riding around in Ol' Blue Car (a twelve year old '68 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 that we'd "inherited" from great-Uncle Smiley when he stopped driving in the late 70's), heading out to the Wally Bahtlett Montessori School? (She couldn't quite manage to pronounce Raleigh-Bartlett...but she nailed Montessori every time!) Who said it first, said it best: tempus fugit.

Here is a photo (right) of her taken at her third birthday party at the Zoo in Me…