Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin carving essentials

Safety Goggles

Meat tenderizer

Dremmel tool.   Notice the quantity of pumpkin goo on my shirt and hands.  It was also in my hair, on my glasses and on the wall.

But it was fun.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not a good choice

Do not and I repeat do not, go to your department outing have a beer, a couple of diet cokes and some cheese curds and then think you can go home and run 4.5 miles.

I was not anywhere near intoxicated by the beer, but the combination of the three really made miles 2-4 stink.  I didn't really run the last .5 and contemplated calling EB to come and get me. Thank goodness there was no one near me to hear me.  You know, whining and stuff.

And because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided I would add a little fiber into my evening diet by dining on pumpkin seeds.

Tune in tomorrow to see the list of the most important tools for pumpkin carving.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another adventure.

Another beautiful state park.  We even got some keeper family pictures from this one.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Last week, as I was chastising my mother for letting my children have whatever it is they want (like pepsi and chips for breakfast), she reminded again about how our grandparents spoiled us.

I loved all of my grandparents.  Both of my grandma's were great cooks.  You could always count on Grandma Funky (yes that is what we called her) to have a big pot of stew like concoction on the stove.   I loved her boiled dinner.  Great Grandma Aney made these fabulous chocolate cookies, that we can not find the recipe for anywhere.  I have tried several recipes but haven't found it yet.  

I'll say it again, I loved them all, but I miss Grandma Eleanor the most.  I don't know why, I just do.  Grandma Funky passed away when I was 18, Grandma Eleanor passed away when I was in my 30's.  Maybe it takes until you're an adult to really know what it means to have a grandparent around.

I have a picture of her from her 89th birthday on my refrigerator. Occasionally I will walk by and just give her a little kiss.  She died not long after her birthday.   She was a tiny woman with a heart of gold.  I am getting choked up just thinking about her and she has been gone more than 10 years.  My mom reminded me, how she always made me rice pudding.  Every time I asked. She never said no.  They lived just 15 miles from us and we often spent the weekend there or a week in the summer.  Every morning she would make me oatmeal, with toasted homemade bread, for breakfast, .   She would let me eat it in the tv room, sitting in grandpa's recliner.  There were always cookies in the freezer and caramels and butter scotches in candy dish.  When my grandfather was still alive, we would have dinner, watch Lawrence Welk and then go to church on Saturday night.  I don't remember staying there a whole lot after my grandfather died.  I don't know why. 

A few years ago, I bought a bottle of Jergen's lotion and took it to work. The first time I used it, tears came to my eyes and I couldn't figure out why.  Later on that day I realized what it was.  It was Jergen's Cherry Almond and it smelled like my grandma.  There was always a bottle on the shelf in her bathroom, along with a container of Coty face powder .  I can still see every thing in her pink bathroom.   

When she died, my grandfather had died many years before, all of her children and grandchildren split up their belongings.  We had a wonderful time going through their things.  I took the metal bed that had been in the upstairs bedroom/attic.  There were two of them and my cousin Kathy and I used to have the best time when we got to stay at grandma's together.  I can't remember who took the other one.

Sometimes I just miss her so much.  Here's to you Eleanor.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tucker and Becky's

Off to Tucker and Becky's.  There are many signs on the road for Tucker and Becky's.  Why so many signs?  Because Tucker and Becky's is at the bottom of a ravine.  It is a very long, steep and winding road.  You keep thinking, I must be close, there is another sign.  Okay let's face it the only reason we kept going is because we were following my sister and could not have gotten home without her. 

I have decided that Tucker and Becky, must not leave their home between November and May. There is no way.  

Once I recovered from the careening down the ravine, we had a delightful time. (BTW my sister drives like a maniac.) A friend of Tucker and Becky took us on a hayride out to the pumpkin/gourd patch.  The kids picked some beautiful, reasonably priced, pumpkins. We also got a little geological history of the area.  It really is a spectacular back yard view.

Here is a picture of the kids and my niece's son.  What does one call one's niece's son.  If you know, let me know.  I have been posting pictures of my kids, which I said I wouldn't do, but what the heck.  The only people who read this blog know already know my kids.  And puhlease they are so darn cute.

We took a different route home.  Not any slower, but a little less steep.  Who gave you a driver's license anyway, Sister.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Train schedule anyone?

We decided to head to my mom and dad's this weekend.  So nice to be close enough to go Saturday morning and come back Sunday evening, no more 10 hour drives.   Since the weather was going to be good we thought we might stop and take some pictures along the way.  

We took the, much much much longer, scenic route.  The only place we really saw to stop and take pictures was this wayside.  We stopped and I climbed down the path to the river and railroad tracks below to check it out.  I thought that might make a cool picture on the railroad tracks with the lake in the background.  So I climbed back up the hill, in my heeled boots, and brought the rest of the gang down. 

The kids were a bit freaked out about me wanting to take a picture on the tracks. "What if a train comes?"  EB says,"There isn't going to be a train."  So we get everything set up and EB and the kids head out to the tracks and I line up the camera.  Before we get set up around the corner, about 300 yards a way, comes a train.  A couple of, "hurry ups" later and everyone including the camera is off the track.  

Now the kids really don't want to go on the track, but they did.  I get the camera set up and the flash turned on and take a test shot and poop, there go the flash batteries.  One test shot is all I got.  I use the on camera flash, but that just won't cut it for a shot of this distance.  I think the idea was good, but not without a flash. So we'll just take more.  There were a couple of others on the lake that might be keepers.

After lunch at G&G's we headed off to Tucker and Becky's pumpkin patch.  I'll share that, later this week.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not a good view.

I have always wanted a house with a cathedral ceiling. Until now, when I have a house with a cathedral ceiling.  My computer is in the loft area, right next to the wall that over looks the living room.  I don't look down, but I do look out and I don't like the view.  

The &*%^&& beetles and box elder bugs are back and out of reach.  We have sucked them up with the Dyson, but they just keep coming back.  We had a bit of frost Monday am and there were plenty of dead ones right outside the door.  Today it was 60 and the all seem to have reincarnated. It takes a tactical maneuver just to get in the front door.  You must first kick the door and then stomp on as many as you can before you go in.  It really take a team effort.

Then there is all this dangly stuff. I would say it might be a cobweb or two, but if I had cobwebs, I would have spiders and if I had spiders then I wouldn't have &*%^&& beetles and box elder bugs. 

I may have to rethink the whole cathedral ceiling.  I can't even change a light bulb without a ladder.  Amazingly enough, I don't have an indoor one of those.

BTW did anyone else gasp when they opened their 401k statements this month.  I wasn't going to do it, but morbid curiosity got the best of me.  The sad things is, this is from before the crash last week.  Jeez,  I can't wait until 4th qtr.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Beauty that abounds

Although the fall color is a little disappointing this year, there are plenty of beautiful things to take their place.

Today after church, which btw we have gone 4 times and have yet to hear the main pastor speak, we went to this lovely state park just 10 minutes from our house.  We walked a couple of miles, saw a bald eagle circling in the sky, and hiked way down this really big slimy leaf covered hill.  We were not disappointed.  I love the falling water and I saw a fish jump up the waterfall. I, of course, didn't have my camera up.  Still, I could have sat there for hours listening to the water. 

Maybe I sat there a little longer than I needed because of this.

This was just a small portion of it.  It sort of circles around, so you don't accidentally go careening off the side of the hill. It was paved for most of it. That is probably worse when covered with wet leaves.  The kids can't wait to try it out in the snow. 

Let's hope that isn't any time soon.  

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just one minute

What a crazy week.  Sunday I went and stalked my crazy friends who ran a marathon when it was 50 degrees and pouring down rain.  I was the psycho lady in the blaze orange poncho.  They were awesome and I was so jealous of their accomplishment.

Next I was off to Birmingham for a conference.  I was pleasantly surprised by the topography of the city.  I used to live in Florida and I have been to Texas, so I thought the whole south must be that flat, but not Birmingham.  I didn't realize it is the very end of the Appalachian mountains.  Apparently when you get just a bit south of there it completely flattens out.  Anyway it was very pretty and quite warm.

Back at home and feeling like I have spent the last two weeks eating anything and everything in my sight.  Thursday I went out for a run/walk.  EB doesn't like it when I am gone but said he would be supportive of my need to exercise.  Hello if you don't you will just have to continue to watch my fat fanny waddle around the house.   

So it is Saturday morning and I am ready to go at it again.  I know I can get back to it, it just isn't easy.  I said to the wonderful EB, why don't you go with me and the kids can ride their bikes.  I said I am going to go 6.6 miles, but you can just go 1 or so and then turn around.  I am going to walk a minute/run a minute.  You can do it and it would be quality time.  He said, "I can go the whole way with you."  I said, "No, you can't. Besides, the kids can't ride on the highway."  So off we go.  We jog the first minute then, walk the next.  After about the 3 minute of running, EB admits that it is a lot harder than it sounds and probably wouldn't be able to go the whole 6.6 miles. He did go about 1.5, then walked a while and hung out with the kids at the park and then did the whole run/walk thing home.  I was very proud of him.  Myself too, as I made pretty good time.  At least for me.  Gotta go check on plane tickets to JAX.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"The Expo Crashers"

They say having a good title is critical.  I say, it is just plain difficult.  I could title this post many things.

Another great day.

Friends minus one.

I have created a monster.

Oh what the heck am I thinking.

In fact it is hard just to figure out where to start.  I will go chronologically and hope you will stay until the end.  

A friend, T1,  from our old home, came to town for a conference.  I reaped the rewards of her visit. On Wednesday night it was just the two of us and it was lovely. On Thursday another friend, A , came up and joined us for dinner.  It was even more lovely. We headed to the suburbs, picked a restaurant off the street, plopped ourselves down and had dinner, for more than a couple of hours.  We had a pitcher of Fat Tire, great food and great dessert.  T1 headed south with A to spend the night.

On Friday A, T1 and T2 (a newly acquired friend) came back up for a day of shopping, because let's face it, that is what we do best.  Anyway T2 and A are running in a big race tomorrow and they had to go to the Expo to pick up their race packets first.  T1 and didn't mind, we thought we would just wonder around and wait for them to get their stuff.   

Did you know that they give out tons of free stuff and these expos.  I hadn't been to one in a while and forgot how cool they were.  We tried to restrain ourselves, but when Target is there giving out lots of bags of their Archer Farms snacks and Whole Foods was giving out organic milk and mangosteen juice, one must partake.  So we grabbed a lovely pink bag from a radio station and wandered up and down the isles.  We picked up juice, milk, snacks, t-shirts and lots of race info (incase I lose my mind, again). T1 also had a little shock therapy (Sorry T1, I am cracking up just typing about it.) and a rub down with "The stick".  I also picked up this really cool mini fanny pack thing for running, or more likely, walking for me.

They also had some really great running shirts there.
I run so I can eat.
Running is my therapy.
This sounded like a great idea 3 months ago.
Yes I know, I am almost there. 

After indulging in Expo freebies we headed to lunch, because when with friends, one must eat. A and T2 were quite entertained by the fact that T1 and I were divyying (how do you spell that) up our goods.  I am sure we got much better loot than they did and we weren't even running. G was ecstatic about the dill pickle cashews, when I got home.  Going to one of those sure gets you charged up to consider doing something ridiculously crazy .  I said I wasn't doing that again. Maybe just one more time???????  T2 is crazy and wants to run several more in the next year.  A, blames it all on me. Sure it started with a little conversation at our desks a couple of years ago, but there is no way one can blame me.  She said, " I could never run".  I said, "Yes you can".  And she did. Much more than I ever did. We ran her first 1/2 together.  It was awesome.  Then she brought another friend into it, that would be the crazy T2.  So tomorrow, she (A) will run her third marathon and I will be there to cheer her and T2 on.    I am going to be riding my bike.  

The only thing that could have made the day any better would have been if A2 would have been there.  Next time for sure. 

I must say it again, what a great day.  When you don't get to see your friends for a while, it makes it even better when you do.  THANKS T1 for coming to see us!!!!