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Showing posts from 2011

Going...Going...Almost Gone

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Hard as it is to imagine, 2011 is almost over. Anyone blame me for saying "thank Heaven for small mercies"? I will be happy to see this year in the rear view mirror of my life, for certain.

The 24/7 Time Warner Cable news channel is telling that today (December 28) is No Regrets Day, with suggestions to write what you want to forget about this past year ("troubling souvenirs of 2011") on a piece of paper...and SHREAD IT! There's even a giant shredder set up in Times Square. Well, I've got a good-size shredder right here, folks. Wonder if there is some limit to how many pieces of paper I'm allowed to use?

OK, moving on...

Speaking of moving on...NO, we are NOT moving...sorry to even put that idea in your head! I was referring to our grand "move" on Monday, from KY back to NC. We reversed the process of ten days ago, loading up two cars with all of our stuff...and the three dogs, and driving back through four states in ten hours. Somewhere betwe…

A Change of Scene

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"You have arrived!" That's what the Magellan voice we call Maggie says when we reach our destination. And our destination for the Holidays is Missy M's house in Louisville.


We got here on Friday night. We were in two cars...with three dogs...driving through four states, which meant the eight-hour drive lasted 10 hours. New math. Anyway, we were exhausted and headed to bed without much hesitation.

Saturday was a busy day, starting early to get ready for The Lunn Family Annual Christmas Party. By 3:00, the two pots of chili (one hot, one wimpy, as Missy M says...:) were bubbling away on the stove, and the Brothers and SILs were arriving.

We made some ornaments (swirling acrylic paints inside of clear globes), ate our fill of chili and fixin's, played reindeer games (guessing what was in Rodney's stocking, etc.), and exchanged gifts. Much love was shared, and a great time was had by all. We placed the Memory Disc we'd received at the Service of Memories o…

It's Working...It's Really Working!

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I am here to tell you:  following the grief counselor's advice is actually working.  Imagine that. Will wonders never cease?

To review, I have been doing what I was told to do (a miracle, in and of itself...) in handling the Holidays during this first year without Momma.   Here are a few of the bullet points:

 * Make or bake all of your holiday gifts. (Check back after the Holidays for photos on those...:)
* Shop by catalog or online in order to avoid the extra stress of the rush and crush of the crowds.
* Try to attend at least one special holiday event; fellowship with others is sometimes the best medicine for a grieving heart.
* Keep as many of the family traditions alive as you can manage.
* Start a new tradition in memory of your loved one. (More on this one in the next post.)
* Take time to be in touch with your feelings...you may find you are actually enjoying the holidays rather than just coping with them.
* Put a smile on your face...and you'll find one in you…

You Can't Believe A Word I Say

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For as long as I can remember, if I would answer one of Missy M's questions...or respond to a request for information...and she would look doubtfully at me because of my answer or response, I would say "of course, you can't believe a word I say, 'cause I lie all of the time."  Say it with the proper amount of sarcasm dripping from each word, and you get the point across:  BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU...

Anyway...

I have said for weeks now (especially since I discovered at Thanksgiving just how painful memories can be during the Holidays after the loss of a loved one), I'm not putting up a Christmas tree this year. I just didn't think it was a good idea, for a number of reasons, not the least of which I couldn't imagine feeling any joy or happiness about the prospect.  Momma loved the Holidays, loved the shopping, loved the songs, loved the traditions, loved the lights and the ornaments.  Why put us through that pain?

First came the bereavement counselin…

An Almost-Perfect Thanksgiving

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Ah.  The week after a Holiday is always an exercise in returning to normal, isn't it? 

We enjoyed a wonderful seven days "at home" with Missy M and our grand dogs, Ella Rae and Dixie.  We traveled to our favorite family places and did some of our favorite family things.  We ate all the traditional recipes on Turkey Day (photo, left), served in the traditional dishes (Meemaw's turkey platter; Mama Stewart's Haviland gravy bowl and cut-glass relish dish; Nana's cranberry sauce server; and our very own silver and china).  We toasted our good health and happiness with chilled Biltmore Estates Riesling (an new tradition...:).  We postponed dessert until Friday because we were too full from the feast on Thursday.  And, I almost made it through dinner without tears.  Almost.

The turkey had been roasting since early morn, causing the dogs...all 5 of them...to be famished and fussy by mid-afternoon.  So, while we were trying to enjoy a lovely meal at the dining room …

Mountain Memories - Fall, 2011

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We're home again...and getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I wanted to take a little break from all the preparations to say "hello," and post an update of our recent adventures.

As I said in my last post, Mr. T has been using up over 3 weeks of vacation days this month - "use 'em or lose 'em."  Of course, if we are in town...at home...near his office, he works anyway.  Taking calls, checking emails, updating information.  Whatever.  He's connected 24/7 and, without some distance between him and his desk, he works.  And, I stew.  Not a great combination.



Hence the reason we hit the road on Wednesday...headed back to the NC Mountains.  I know, I know...we were just there in October.  But I wanted to see the Biltmore all decked out for Christmas and maybe take a side trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway...and we did! 

Going to the Biltmore in the middle of the week was perfect:  the crowds were light and all the folks were unhurried and pleasant.  We also took …

From "Woe" to "Go" in Less Than a Week

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What a beautiful morning!  I was up early, mainly because the Houndz are like Arizona and simply refuse to participate in The Changing of The Time.  Food into their bowls...bowls on the floor...by 8:00 a.m.  While they were eating, I slipped on a jacket, slipped my phone into the pocket, and slipped out the back door.  I grabbed my walking stix as I headed through the garage and was off on my very first morning walk since the time and the season had changed.  I selected the route that took me down to the lake, and I'm so happy that I did.  Check out that picture I took (left).  Could there be anything more perfect than a day that starts out looking like that?!

Hard to believe, but this time last week, I could hardly move without misery.  My back.  'Nuff said.  Lost almost a week of my life to the pain...and to the fog that the pain-relief pills put me in.  Mr. T was "in town," for which I was ever-so-grateful, as he stepped right into the fray to keep things running …

What's a Mess for One?

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I miss my Momma. Oh, not in a bad way, really. No, this past week has just had so many reminders of her as a person…and I miss that person.

First, there was one of those “grief ambushes” that my friend LCM wrote me about. An EMGV friend at a recent training session we were both attending, excused herself to make her daily call to her mom who lives in Virginia. The thought “I wish I could call my Momma,” just popped into my head as she walked off, cell phone in hand. My throat closed up, and I had to dash to the bathroom to keep from making a spectacle of myself.

And then, I worked in the garden all day on Thursday, getting it ready for the cold weather that was a’comin’. Snipped flowers that would be nipped in the frost.  Took more cuttings of coleus and geraniums (see the Electric Lime coleus in the photo to the left.)  Sheared the ferns.  Covered the tender lettuce and spinach with row covers; put straw on the peas and the strawberry plants (which are covered in flowers and be…

Catching Up

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Ah, dear readers, forgive me.  I have been in such a whirl lately that I have neglected my blog...and you.  I can give you numerous excuses, but you've heard them all before.  And, I would rather spend our time together bringing you up-to-date on our adventures.

As you know, Fall brings football...and we have our season tickets to Duke again.  And, once again, their football team, er, struggles to bring a victory home.  It would be frustrating...except it's just so much fun to go to the campus on an Autumn afternoon and see a game. 

We returned home this weekend from a lovely trip to Asheville and the mountains. I attended the NC Master Gardener Volunteer Association'sWestern Regional Symposium, which was held Wednesday at the NC Arboretum...two "firsts" for me right there.  And, since I was already in the neighborhood, so to speak, I signed up for a class the next day at the Arboretum (what a beautiful place!) on Winter Container Gardening.  A real treat!

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It's Fall, Y'all!

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I love this time of the year.  Absolutely. Love. It!  Fall is my fav. Well, until it's a beautiful Spring day after a long, cold Winter...then, I might sing a different song.  But as for now, it's Fall...y'all.

Cooler temps are bringing changes to Casa 3917.  Check out that picture of the hummingbird (right) that was just outside my window this morning while I was having my coffee. He was resting after being at the hummingbird feeder for almost a full minute. He comes regularly to the feeder, now that most of the flowers have stopped producing. Of course, I say that...and then I look out the window at the geraniums on the deck, which are blooming big-time.  They seem to like this reprieve from the heat and humidity that was August.  I'll soon have to give them a severe haircut and bring them in to overwinter.  I did the overwintering part last year...without the cutting back part...and they were too leggy come Spring.  Lesson learned.

The leaves around here are just be…

Changes in the Wind

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Did I read that right?  The thermometer that registers the temperature from the Way Back Garden said 56 degrees this morning when I came into the Morning Room for my coffee.  Yippee!  I love cooler weather!! It also said that it was 72 degrees inside...way too warm to light up the fire. Drat.

Still, outside the wind was blowing in from the northeast for a change, rustling the leaves that have fallen...not necessarily because of the approach of Fall; more probably because they just were too hot and tired, trying to hang on the trees here at the end of Summer. The Tulip Poplar trees are the biggest contributors to the mess on the deck at the moment.

So what to do, on this day of no appointments?  I decided to finish up my Fall garden planting. Yeah, I know...most people did that several weeks ago.  Since my life has been in flux since June, though, I guess I can be forgiven for not following the seed planting calendar exactly in 2011. 

Mr. T had already cleared, weeded, and tilled seve…