Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best Christmas Gift EVER!

My dad was a Marine and he volunteered for the Vietnam War. He was sprayed with Agent Orange and got Leukimia. He came home with it and met me for the first time when I was 6 months old. My Mom was so brave and took such good care of me and then later took such loving good care of Dad. I had 8 years with him before he died. I was lucky....would give anything to have had him longer but the time I had was precious and memorable and a miracle. I was very lucky to have him as my Daddy!

In addition to being a Marine, he was also an accountant and a jeweler / gemologist. He knew how to make jewelry and cut diamonds and any other jewel. I will never forget one night when I was little, Mom and Dad had me come in their room and sit on the bed. Dad had his hand behind his back and he brought it out with the most GINORMOUS bandage on his thumb. He had cut the end of this thumb off while cutting a diamond. They were able to fix it but that has always stuck with me.

In addition to being able to make jewelry, he also had a beautiful eye for other pieces. He bought my Mom a 2 carat tourmaline. So for Christmas, Mom pulled that ring out along with another sapphire ring she had and combined them for my Christmas present. She wanted me to have a piece of both of them. She found a jeweler that made an original piece and can I say how much I cried and how bad my hands were shaking when I opened this gift means soooo much to have them both on my hand representing the family we had and the relationship I have with my Mom today! I love them both so much and I know that Daddy is smiling with what Mom was able to create.....Love you Mom and Dad!

The center tourmaline and setting is the original that Dad gave Mom and the sapphires were added from her ring. They did an amazing job....WOW!

The Sound of Music

Just had to say how much I love this movie! It is on right now and Maria has just arrived and met the children and they put the frog in her pocket.....why can't they make movies like this anymore?

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I can't remember where I first saw this video....but it is gaining steam. They are now playing this song on my fave XM stations and then Dooce just posted it too. I love this song. As Dooce said, give it to 1:35 for it to kick in. I like his look and I like his voice very much and want to hear more from him. His name is pronounced "Gore-tee-yeah". The girl in the video is named Kimbra. Love her voice too. I don't have info on her yet and her music but I will be checking it out. New music makes me happy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Breville Mini-Pie Maker

I can so totally visualize my cousins making mini-pies with their kids and coming up with cool recipes and just having a blast with this! I got my Mom the Breville Mini-Pie Maker for Christmas. Picked it up from Williams-Sonoma with the mini-pie cookbook and pie lifter. She got it early so mini-pies could be made as presents for the neighbors!

We tried it tonight. We made Banana Caramel pies. They turned out great! Pie dough for the bottom and pastry dough on the top. AWESOME and so much fun. We have some tweaking to do but I will be posting pictures next time. I tried to take pics and didn't realize the battery in my camera was dead. UGH!

Here is what it looks like:

It is really can make savory or sweet with so many toppings and crust cutouts.....they are the perfect size! Super fun for entertaining or just for dinner!

Friday, December 16, 2011

R.I.P. Extreme Makeover-Home Edition

I just read yesterday where they have cancelled the show. That is's a great family oriented show that should stay on the air. I love it and I have to schedule when I am going to watch it. This show makes me is the "I am not going to cry, I am not going to cry" show and then I fail miserably. If I have to go to work the next day, then nope...can't watch it. I hate that I am not a graceful cryer....I do not look like this when I cry...not the lonely tear drop with no makeup smudge....nope....not me:

This is pretty much more like it:

I love the joy and happiness and relief these families get. I am going to miss the rallying cry of "MOVE THAT BUS!".

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Potty!!!!

I seriously can't believe I am posting this but I am so happy for Christmas Potty!! Years ago we had to replace the original toilets in the house. They were old and leaky and I replaced more flapper tank balls than I care to remember. Went shopping and found the "pressure assist" toilets. Basically I have called them the "air tank" toilets because instead of water in the back, there are two big air tanks. They have been wonderful for several years now BUT mine died. No pressure in the tanks and of course, the company that made them went out of business years ago so finding replacement tanks....not happening! We had the name of some wonderful plumbers who have done a lot of work in our neighborhood and they replaced the bad. I have had no working bathroom for a week and now all is happy happy joy joy! No traveling downstairs...I am all set! Gotta thank Mom for the Christmas present and the decorations! This is just silly!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Explain Porcupine Sounds to a Toddler - Good Luck! I never had a reason to put this thought in my brain...what sound does a porcupine make? Explain that to a teach them dog sounds, cat sounds, duck sounds, cow throw porcupine at them and see what happens!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For Mom!

Because she knows u proud of you! Thank You! Love you very much! :o)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Calgary Teddy Bear Toss

This is so cool! This is the annual Teddy Bear Toss at a Calgary Hitmen game.....they scored over 25,000 stuffed animals for children at local was 2,000 more than last year!! How awesome!! I would go to a hockey game to throw a teddy bear for that!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Photo Bomb

Christmas Decorations- Old School or Theme

So I have had a couple of days off and I am so thankful for it....gotten most chores done except the whole Christmas decorating thing. Can't wait to get our stuff up! I walked the kids this evening and a ton of our neighbors have all their decorations done. Not to knock anyone, but every single house I saw decorated had nothing but white boring lights. Sorry...I grew up with the big multi-colored bulbs that if one went out, you just unscrew it and replace. You would have boxes of these replacements.

Now you have trees with white lights, themes and ribbons.....bring me back some old school lights and ooooooohhh....silver garland:

Our house is going to be aglow with multi-colored lights and original decorations with NO themes or just bland white lights! each their their own and not to diss....but give me colored lights and silver garland!! Merry Christmas!

Planet Fitness

Member of Planet Fitness and LOVE it! Wonderful gym and so cheap...$10 a month...hello!!! Hate the elliptical just because I hate cardio but try and do it anyway. I LOVE working with the weights and machines more...the treadmill is also boring to me BUT if I could work it like this....for the love...I would totally show out! My hiney would be on the floor in a New York minute if I tried go GIRL!!! She is AWESOME!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE her! And I love the guys filming her....they don't seem to be making fun..they are amazed too! There is no way they could do it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Japanese Maple

My neighbor has the most beautiful Japanese Maple outside their kitchen window. Our kitchen windows face each other and we get all the joy out of their maple. They planted it under their window and for the first time, they are finally able to see it because it has grown tall enough for them to see from their window.

They don't know I have a blog so I feel safe posting a couple of pictures here so I can get some feedback. I wanted to take some shots of their maple and frame them as a Christmas gift so they can put them in their window or whatever since they can barely see their tree. I really waited too long to take them because all the leaves were getting to the point of falling off. Here is one I took and I don't like can see all the holes....all the white stuff are the leaves ready to go:

So then I tried to get a little "artsy" (HA! Like I know what I am talking about!) and do some shots from under the tree....blech..hate it:

So I tried to use my fave setting on my is the one with the flower so you know you are taking pictures of flowers and leaves close up....ain't they smart to put that on there for us photography dummies? The answer is, "YES!!!".....wouldn't have a clue otherwise.....seriously...thank you for the flower picture setting!

Here is my new "artsy" shot:

And this one (which I know looks like the other but it is a little different):

I just wanted to get the richness of the red in the leaves. I also took this one that shows a little green still left in the leaves:

I think I still like the first one the best....they will see it but not realize it is THEIR tree until I tell them and maybe that is good? Any thoughts from my camera people out there? And BTW....I hope one of these works because all the leaves are gone except for one little red leaf at the top. Their tree right now looks like a bunch of sticks.....I only have what I have and as Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work!"

Who's a Pretty Bird?

Made a big turkey for Thanksgiving. Usually we just rub some butter on it and let it go. This year we found a recipe using mayo. You mix a cup or so of Hellman's (the ONLY good mayo) with oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary and rub it all over the outside and inside of the turkey. We filled the cavity with lemons, onions and celery and then let her cook for about 4 hours and then rest for a little over 30 before the carving commenced. This was one of the juiciest made a hot mess carving. There was juice EVERYWHERE! I would like to thank my Aunt Cynthia for the apron she made me because it saved my clothes! The apron is getting a good wash now but I didn't stain stick-it....I kind of like little cooking spots on it....makes me look like a pro....HA!!!!

Oh....and in the pan on the left...that is butter and bacon grease getting ready for the fresh green beans, bella mushrooms and bacon to be all sauteed together....sooooo good!

Coincidence? Maybe....but I think NOT....

This is a happy! Got this off the ABC News website:

Not Photoshopped: Beam of Light Shines on Fallen Soldier’s Miracle Dog

It was an overcast day in Newport, N.H., when a simple “20/20″ shoot turned into something that made me wonder about life after death.

I was filming soldier Justin Rollin’s parents Skip and Rhonda playing with their dog Hero, whose rescue from the Iraq War zone where Justin died was nothing short of a miracle.

Sometimes when Rhonda hugged Hero she would softly pet her face and coo, “Justin, are you in there?” It was Rhonda’s gentle way of remembering their son and his last living connection to Hero. At one point, Hero wandered off and took a stroll in the backyard. All of a sudden, the clouds broke and a light began to solidify in a beam directly down on Hero — a kind of vertical halo.

As this dramatic ray of light was shining on Hero she turned to look at me, and it was all I could do to hold the camera steady and not drop it in astonishment. It was an unforgettable moment, and made me wonder if in fact Justin was in there. Then the light vanished.

I couldn’t wait to check my camera’s playback to see if it caught the stunning beam. When I saw that it did, I was so happy that I burst out dancing. It was a great moment to share with Justin’s parents. We all laughed together, and wondered if perhaps this had been a sign from Justin.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Know There is a Reason I am not a Parent

I love all you parents out friends and cousins and parents of small the kids and hanging out with them but so glad I don't live with them.....Bless this mom....she is keeping her cool while under great shock and awe. I love her and I wish there was a follow up to how this was fixed. You can't be mad at the kids and you can only laugh but for the love.....she is a good mom.....

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Leaves

So this is just a quick shot of the yard between my house and my neighbor's. We lost so many leaves that you can't see the mulch underneath. Our gutters are screaming for a cleaning....that will come soon.....

If you look around the base of the tree on the left, you can see what the mulch did look was such pretty mulch and then it was gone....

Oh....The Brushing

So summer is over....well it is supposed to be even though it was like 76 here today....ridiculous! Only in the South would the football season be one game away from being over (AU and UA game) and Thanksgiving is 2 days away and we are 76 and wearing shorts and t-shirts.....for the love....I need some cold weather! We had to turn on the air conditioning today after having all the windows open. There was no wind and it was just sticky and hot! we supposedly go into winter, we wanted to let the kids' hair grow back out so they have a proper "skirt". If you have schnauzers then you know that their backs and sides are kept a little short but from right above their belly on the sides and their legs, the hair is longer. They had been shaved down for the summer. Now is the time as their "skirt" grows back out, I have to be diligent in making sure they are brushed so they don't get knotted. They are crazy babies that run and wrestle and get knotted. So tonight was a good brushing with a comb. I had to take some scissors to a couple of knots on their chest. They split a slice of cheese and a couple of Wheat Thins as a reward for their patience and then they were done:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Apple Festival

Heads up...this is going to be a long post. Went to Atlanta this past weekend to see my "festival" friends. We love a good festival.....arts and crafts and fair food and fun! YEAH! We drove north to Ellijay, GA for the Apple Festival. We had been before about 3 years ago but we hoped this year was going to be different because between the last time and this time...J had this little buddy:

This was going to be his first big festival but alas.....Jack woke up Friday morning with a 103 fever and strep throat...ugh and bless his heart! Needless to say, Jack was not going with us to the festival...Dad was awesome and took care of him so us girls could go have at it and BTW, Jack was much better on Saturday morning but not quite festival better. We were all looking so forward to taking him but next time it will happen!

So we drove the hour or so up to Ellijay. I took this shot of the mountains on the way...the smudges are not my camera.....they are on the windshield and couldn't be helped but still pretty:

Then there was this church nestled in the trees:

It is amazing how just going a few hours north is so amazing. We are lucky where we live because we are so close to beach and so close to mountains.

Anyway...we had to park UP at the middle school. I saw the drive up the hill to the school and all I could think is that I have not spent enough time on the elliptical and if we buy too much stuff....coming back up....we are dead! Going down...easy peasy...going back up...for the love! Nothing we could do so we parked up and headed down. I took this shot looking back up the hill...we were only about a 1/4 way down when I took was a very bad hill....

Of course the first thing we needed to do after driving an hour and stopping at Chick-fil-a for breakfast and giant drinks is to make THE dreaded pit stop:

I think every female hates the PAP but as far as PAP's go...these were clean. I was so blown away by the portable sinks they had outside!! I have NEVER seen these before...AWESOME!

I didn't get it in the picture, but there is a pump at the bottom that you press with your foot so water comes out of faucet and you have soap and paper towels and it was great! I am a clean hand freak so I just wanted to carry this portable sink with me everywhere...
So the first thing we came upon....the pony cute! I hope these ponies are well taken care of because I am a little bit of an animal freak (not to the PETA crazy animal freak - I LOVE STEAK!) but I don't want animals to be treated poorly either but I digress...these guys were cute:

Then, of course, there was the baby bungee jumping and no problem with that:

THEN we round the corner and REALLY? REALLY? CAMEL RIDES? Camels in Georgia? REALLY? And 3 of them??

There were so many booths of sauces and of course tons of jelly. But I did love the name of this hot sauce:

I am not a huge fudge fan but did sample a little here and it was good! Lots of flavors:

I loved that they had the stage for cloggers and gymnasts and dancers and everyone was waiting for the fun! It was really kind of sweet and small town:

There was, of course, the GIANT pumpkin!

One of the things on my list NOT to do is take helicopter rides at a small apple festival in Ellijay, GA.....BUT if that is up your alley....done:

I kind of wanted this Auburn plate but I couldn't justify $75 for it...really??!!! $75....too much for me especially this football season (love you Auburn! Family All In)...please ignore the ugly plates on each side!:

Now the strangest booth but also the most popular....the booth of fake flower grave joke....this booth was hopping. I remember it from the last time we went and they were busy then too. I don't know if it is so sad because so many died or so happy because the families want to pay respect and show love....

And last but not least was the guy with the chain saw carving logs. He was rocking the Slash hat and doing his thing. Didn't get to see the end product because we were done and hot and ready to go by that point but here he is:

We had a great time and I love my festival one I want to go to is a Renaissance Fair....that is a dream for me....seriously...bring it!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Super Belated Halloween Post

I find Halloween to be fun....are you going to find me going to the Atrox Factory? (you can look that up online....seriously evil scary way going there!) I don't need that in my life. But I do love the little Jim Shore witches we have for Halloween decorations. To clarify....we do not believe or practice witchcraft....just sayin'.........

The detail to me is just awesome:

And this is the new the mouse on top:

Tree of Joy

Went to the Apple Festival in Ellijay, GA. Came across a vendor that had these beautiful glass globes. I bought the one called the "Tree of Joy". I could have bought about 10 more...they were so beautiful....

This is hanging over the kitchen sink....the vendor said I needed 10 lb fishing line to use to hang. No problem....try and find about a foot of 10 lb fishing line....I have about 200 thousand million feet of fishing line just to hang this itty bitty globe. was only about $2 at Wal-Mart! Anybody need to hang delicate you covered...will send you fishing line for free!

ESPN Films: Roll Tide/War Eagle

Watched the documentary tonight that ESPN put together about the football rivalry in this state. I was a bit disappointed. We all look a little crazy. I HATE that they did not focus on the students and that they focused on the crazy rednecks calling into Paul Finebaum. I hated that they didn't show how awesome Alabama was when the Auburn oaks were poisoned. It was a huge thing the Alabama students and fans did to reach out to Auburn and show that they supported Auburn and not the rogue fan. It was an awesome thing that Auburn students and fans were there for Alabama in the aftermath of the tornado. They WOULD do the same for us. It was a little too broad based and did not really show us as how we are.......we are Alabama and we are Auburn but when it comes down to it....we will cross lines and support each other and help and it is a shame they didn't show enough of that.....

My Trees

I love is not just the cool weather (LOVE THAT) and it getting darker sooner (LOVE THAT MORE) but I love when my tree and my neighbor's tree melt together....that is the only way I can describe it...they just melt...

I don't know the types of trees we have but ours is golden and theirs is deep red and very pretty together. In this one you can see the trunks of the trees and they are so small compared to the rest...

Here is their red tree against the most beautiful blue sky:

And here is our gold with a little of their red....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hummingbird 2

Right after I took the first hummingbird pics, I took the kids out for their evening walkie and when we got back, checked the hummingbirds and we went from 2 hummingbirds to at least 8 all duking it out on the deck. I grabbed the camera and set a kitchen chair outside about 5 feet from the feeder and got still. I took some more pics and then I just gave up. I couldn't catch them all....too fast...I just sat there and watched and listened. The humming of their wings.....the chirping and fighting was incredible to just was kind of the perfect end to a 9/11 anniversary day.....we have NEVER had that many....nice.....

Two coming in and one already landed:


It has been hummingbird crazy lately! They are stocking up and getting ready for the big move South or wherever. We started off with the scout and now we have at least 4 fighting over the feeder. We have a couple of males and a couple of females. They are fascinating! I have some pics can double click on the pics to make the bigger!

Some of these are not as clear as I would like....for the love....they move super fast!

Yes it is blurry but I am glad I got the hiney flair!