Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Looking back on the past year I have to say it was a good one.  I am blessed with my husband, two kids I produced and 5 bonus kids, with several spouses and significant others, and we added our 11th grandbaby. My parents are healthy.  We both have jobs that keep us in what we need.

Hubby with our 11th grandbaby.  She's a girl!

I didn't post as much as I thought I would.  There is always next year.

We went on a couple of fun trips.  We went 4 wheeler riding a couple times.  We went to visit kids and grandkids in Georgia.  Spent a couple of days in the Smoky Mountains.  Went ziplining!  Spent lots of time with family.

I bought a Kindle and love it!  I have more books loaded on there than I can ever read. I joined an online E-Book challenge.  I haven't totalled up my books yet but I think I did well.

We had the invasion of the Cicadas this summer.  That was an experience that I would be happy to never have again.

We celebrated many family birthdays.  My dad turned 70 with a surprise party at the park.

I have wonderful friends that try to get together once a month or so for a girls night out.  We really enjoy those. We have a wide range of ages and places in our lives but we all get along so well.

Tonight will be a fun night at home with kids and grandkids.  We will play games and ring in the new year.  Looking forward, I have no resolutions.  I just hope to continue enjoying life with great family and friends.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hubby and I started off our celebrating early in the month when we traveled a few hours to attend a Christmas wedding.

Hubby and I at the Christmassy wedding of a niece.

My Dad has done it again.  He hand carves an ornament for each couple and child in the family.  It takes him several hours per ornament. It is always one of my favorite gifts of the year.  You can see some of the past ornaments here.

This year's ornament
 Dad always tries to have the ornaments done by Thanksgiving so we have them to hang on our trees each year.  He was successful again this year.  The bear is laying on the black Friday ads as you can tell.

The back of the ornament.
Shopping and wrapping are done. Yay!  Hubby and I are spending a quiet Christmas Eve at home.  I have to cook a couple of dishes for tomorrow's family dinner.  I'm going to try to watch a few Christmas movies and read some Christmas books that I downloaded to my Kindle.  I will make our Christmas Eve dinner of pizza and spend some quiet time in front of the tree.

Tomorrow, we travel to my brother's house to celebrate with my family.  Probably we will spend the night with my son.  Tuesday, Hubby's daughter, husband and new baby will come to celebrate with us.  Wednesday we pick up a cousin from the airport.  He has been out of the country for a month so I'm sure there will be stories to hear.

New Year's Eve plans are not finalized yet.  We have been invited to a cousin's lake house and also my son and family want to come here so I'm not sure what we will pick.

Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Grandbaby!

Our newest granddaughter was born this week.  She is so cute and perfect.  Mom and baby are doing great.

Here is my first time holding her.

Here she is with PaPa

After her bath and some warm clothes.

We are pretty excited grandparents.


Sunday, November 13, 2011


So I had my Tupperware party the other night.  I was really worried that I wouldn't have very many orders but I did pretty well.  I ended up getting about $150.00 worth of free stuff.  My consultant was wonderful.  It was actually her first party.  She did a great job.

We had fun visiting and eating and drinking margaritas.  The consultant made a salsa using the products.  It was kind of chunky but tasted good.  Some of my friends had never been to a Tupperware party and did not own any.  Two of the girls decided to have their own parties.

Tupperware has changed a lot in the many years since I last had a party.  For one thing the prices have gone waaayyyy up.  I guess that happens with everything though.  Also, I remember the orders being sent to the dealer and she delivered to the hostess.  Now it all gets shipped directly to the hostess.  I think that is good in a way but the dealer does not get to check and make sure that the order is correct that way. 

One of the things that really bothered me is the shipping and handling.  There is a 10% shipping and handling fee with a minimum of $4.50 shipping and handling for each individual order.  Even if you only order a $15.00 item.  I had nine orders from my party so that was a total of at least $40 for my order.  Actually it was more because some people ordered enough that their S&H was more than that.  I actually had more orders than that but added a few of them together so each person would not get screwed over the minimum.  I can't see that a box or two of Tupperware should cost more than $50 to FedEx to my home.

All in all it was a good experience and I can't wait for all of my stuff to get here.  I'll try to post photos then.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Random Updates

  • I updated my e-book challenge page today.  I am up to 34 books.  My goal is 50 so I am well on my way.
  • Celebrated my dad's 70th birthday
  • I checked out and read my first Kindle library book.  It was easy except that you have to use wi-fi to download the book and I work primarily on 3G.  I had to park in the local McD's parking lot to download.  I will definatly be checking out more books on my Kindle.
  • Celebrated my birthday.
  • I'm having a Tupperware party in a couple of weeks.  I am excited.
  • New granddaughter is due in less than a month.  Can't wait.
  • Grandson turned 3 this month.  He had a great party with lots of friends and a bounce house.
  • We went a a 4 wheeler ride.  It was fun.  I love going in the fall.
  • Had our 17yo grandson spend a couple of days with us.
  • Hoping to go hike some trails and enjoy the fall weather today.  Hope to have some georgous photos to post soon.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Zipety Do Dah!

A few weeks ago, we got to do something we have been wanting to do for a long time.  ZIP LINE!!  On a recent trip we stopped in the Gatlinburg area for a couple of nights.  We spent the first day exploring the Smoky Mountain National Park.  I'll post about that soon.  The second day we decided to go ziplining.  I did much research online and decided that Smoky Mountain Ziplines was the place to go.  By the way, this is not a sponsored post.  We paid for our experience and the photo CD on our own.

I had read great reviews for them and liked the fact that they have many lines for you to do and not just one like some of the other places.

Once you get there you have the obligatory waivers to sign and then they fit you with safety equipment.  IN this case a helmet, gloves and a harness.  Then they load you up in the back of an army truck and drive you up the mountain.

They are all about safety and make sure you follow all of the rules.  Our guides were Peach and Diesel (Cale).  They gave us instructions and explained why their rules would keep everyone safe.  I was a little nervous at this point hoping I would remember everything.  The first two lines are very short and they are just basically for training.  The lines get longer and faster each time.

Once I got past the second line, my nerves were gone and I had a blast.  Peach and Deisel were very funny and our entire group had a blast.

On one of the lines we were told that the photographer would be taking our pictures.  He got several good pics of everyone in our group.

It was a beautiful day.  Rain was in the forcast and we had been told what to expect if it came but the weather held out for us.

At the end of the lines, we got back in the army truck and they drove us back to the starting point.  There is a store and they provide free beverages for the zipliners.  You can buy pictures of your experience.  They sell them individually or you can buy a CD of all of the pics of your entire group with a photo release.  I think the CD was only $20.  It was a great deal.

We had a great time!!   I would love to go zip lining again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer fun in June

Another trip to the park.

Granddaughter turns 6

Snow cones are good and they turn your mouth fun colors. My favorite is Blue Eagle!!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

I just realized that I posted Father's Day pics but not the Mother's Day ones. We all got together at my Son's house for our first cook out of the year. It was a beautiful day and Son made ribs in honor of my Mom who has been wanting them.
Here is Son and Daughter-in-law.

My Mom.

Hubby, Grandson and my Dad.

Grandson being silly and making faces when I try to take his pic.

He was worn out and ready for a nap.  He does not sit like this unless he is tired.  He is alway on the move.
It was a very nice day!!


Father's Day 2011

Father's Day weekend started out with some fun.  Well, actually the fun came a little later than planned.  My brother spent the night with us Friday night and we got up very early to take off for the country.  We were expected to be there at 9ish for an all day ride.  It is a 3 hour drive.  SEVEN HOURS later we arrived.  First we drove through a huge storm, then we stopped for breakfast at the golden arches.  A few miles down the road we decided to stop for gas at the exit with the lowest gas prices we had seen.  We started to pull off from the pump and heard.. thump, thump, thump.

Luckily we were still in the parking lot so we pulled over and found that there was only one lug nut holding one of the trailer wheels on and the holes on the wheel were all worn out to twice their size.  The wheel had carved a groove in the hub.  God was sooo looking over us because if that wheel had fallen off while we were on the highway it would have been a disaster.

Hubby unhooked the trailer and left me at the Wendy's to keep an eye on it while he and my brother went to look for parts.  It is a very good thing that I had my Kindle in my purse.  They came and went several times and finally got it fixed.  By this time the rain had finally cleared up and we were back on our way.

The rest of the group had decided to wait for us so we got started off on our ride about 1:30 pm.  I think there might have been 20 people all together.  Minutes after taking off, another friend had trouble with her ATV and had to load up and go home.  So that was another delay.  But!! After all of that, we had a wonderful day.  It wasn't too hot.  We stopped to swim in a couple of (cold!) creeks, ate a lot. and enjoyed the ride and the company of friends.  There was only one other mishap.  Hubby's cousin jumped in the creek with his glasses on and lost them.  The creek was clear and you could see the bottom but those glasses were hard to find.  I think it took half an hour or more but find them we did!

It was a long exhausting day and we pulled in our driveway about 1:30 am after getting up at 4:30 that morning.  But we had a great time.

Then, it was time for a Father's Day dinner at my parents house.  My kids went together and got hubby a hammock.  Here is Daughter-in-law and grandson giving it to him.  He is always surprised when my kids give him gifts because his family doesn't do that.  Grandson kept saying, "Open it! Open it!".

Grandson found a tiny little kitten that wanted to play with him.  He liked it for a while and then he was annoyed that it wouldn't leave him alone. 

Here are me and my Dad. 

The next day, Daughter and Boyfriend came over to watch Hubby use the hammock for the first time.  They had to work so couldn't be there when he got it.

Finally time to relax....

I hope everyone had as nice a Father's Day as we did.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cicadas are not fun!

It is the year of the Cicadas.  I have all my life called these things locusts, but apparently I have been wrong.  I have no idea what the difference is but I guess there is one. 

Anyway, here is one of the lovely creatures.  Please notice the red bulging eyes.

Here are several of the shells on one of our trees.  The one in the middle is hatching. Or whatever you call it when it comes out of its shell.
Cicadas come visit in droves once every thirteen years depending on what article you read. Some say seventeen years.  We have lived here for almost 6 years and this is our first experience with them so time will tell.  I have seen some here last year but only a few.  Now there are MILLIONS!  I am not sure that I am exaggerating.  They fly around and land on you.  They are very annoying but I don't think they bite.  If I understand it correctly they come out of the ground as nymphs when the ground temps reach 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  They crawl up and tree and shed their skin.  I have always called these shells. 

Here is another picture of some of the shells.  We have many large trees on our two acre property.  They are this thick on every tree and fence.
After they come out of their shells, they are everywhere.  They fly around, they sit on the deck rails, and they make lots of noise and mess.  Here are some on the tree.

Then, they mate.  The male cicadas make a sound to attract the females.  This sound by itself is not very loud but when you get the hundreds and hundreds of them together it can reach up to 85 decibels.  In case you don't know, that is very loud!!  Louder than a jet airplane. They only make this noise for about 10 hours a day.  The mating period lasts about four weeks.

After they mate, the females lay their eggs in trees and then they die.  Oh my, do they die.  They land dead everywhere.  I sweep hundreds off my front deck every day.  They are all over the yard and guess what?  As they decay... they smell!  It stinks so bad.

The cicadas in this picture of my front deck are alive.  They crawl back and forth down this rail all day long.

About six to ten weeks after the eggs are laid, they hatch into tiny nymphs about the size on an ant.  Then they crawl underground and live for thirteen years until the cycle starts all over again.

I have just the last couple of days been noticing a decrease in the number of cicadas on my porch and also a slight lowering of the decibel level.  I am hoping they are on their way back underground.  I will be marking my calendar for May/June of 2024 so I can go on a long vacation!!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

2011 E-Book Challenge

Wow, I just found this E-Book Challenge.  It is great since I just got my Kindle a few months ago.  I'll use this post and list the e-books I read here.  There are seven levels of the challenge and I think I will fall somewhere between obsessed (read 20 books) and possessed (read 50 books).  Some e-books are short so I'm going to go for Possessed and hope for the best.  Here we go....

  1. The Amersham Rubies by Rhys Bowen
  2. The Bride's Baby by Liz Fielding
  3. Chief Cook and Bottle Washer by Rita Hestand
  4. Cottage by the Sea by Ciji Ware
  5. Divine by Karen Kingbury
  6. Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
  7. Matchmakers 2.0 by Debora Geary
  8. Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell
  9. One True Love by Barbara Freethy
  10. Sweet Baklava by Debby Mayne
  11. Speed Dating by Nancy Warren
  12. A Very Special Delivery by Linda Goodnight
  13. Wild Desire by Lori Brighton
  14. Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins
  15. Don't Make Me Come Up There by Kristen Welch
  16. Stingray Bit My Nipple by Erik Torkells
  17. This Fine Life by Eva Marie Everson
  18. The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
  19. Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley
  20. Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo by Heather Wardell
  21. Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith
  22. American Idol: The Untold Story by Richard Rushfield
  23. Bootscootin' Blahniks by D. D. Scott
  24. Dear Cupid by Julie Ortolon
  25. Ex on the Beach by Lisa Scott
  26. Facebook Fairytales: Modern Day Miracles by Emily Liebert
  27. The Girl who Couldn't Say No: Memoir of a Teenage Mom by Tracy Engelbrecht
  28. How to Dump Your Boyfriend in the Men's Room by Sibel Hodge
  29. My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer
  30. My Sister's Voice by Mary Carter
  31. Oprah Down Under by Brian Lawrenson
  32. Seven Exes are Eight too Many by Heather Wardell
  33. Sisteen Brides Stephanie Whitson
  34. Too Big to Miss by Sue Ann Jafarian
  35. A Boyfriend Before Christmas by Caedem Marquez
  36. Cake Icing, Butt Budder and Tea Lids by Renee Andrews
  37. Christmas Wishes by Debbie Macomber
  38. Colby's Child by Patricia Watters
  39. A Dixie Christmas by Sandra Hill
  40. A Fair of the Heart by Donna Marie Rogers
  41. For Time and Eternity by Allison Pittman
  42. The Journey Home by Michael Baron
  43. On Sparrow Hill by Maureen Lang
  44. Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler
  45. Raising Abel by Carolyn Nash
  46. Safe Harbor by Judith Arnold
  47. Saving Katya by Sandra Edwards
  48. Sweet Heaven by Kate Watts

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Let the summer begin!

School is out!!!!

Yesterday I worked my last day of the school year.  Actually, I worked a couple of more days than the school year required but I was asked to help with an extra project and that made up for a couple of snow days from earlier in the year.

I will be spending this holiday weekend catching up on some cleaning, shopping and relaxing.  Also there will be a couple of trips to the airport.  Wednesday we dropped a relative off at the airport.  Today we drop another relative off there.  Then on Monday and next Saturday will will pick up the returning travelers. I wish I was going on one of those trips.

Next week I also get to spend some time with this guy while his parents go have some fun.

I am looking forward to seeing him.  He will keep us busy and tired for a couple of days.  He loves to play with his motorcycles and the guys that ride them.  He also loves to take rides on our 4 wheeler with Grandpa.  There will probably be a couple of trips to the park.  I hope there will be a few naps too.

More summer plans include a family reunion, a 4 wheeler ride, a trip to visit my daughter and her family and hopefully a lot of time on the back porch with my kindle.  There are also some projects that I hope hubby and I get started.   Summer always seems to go so fast and I never get everything finished that I want to do. 

Let the games begin!!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's on your nightstand ~ May

What's on Your Nightstand is a monthly carnival at 5 Minutes for Books.

Here is what is going on at my house as far as books....

The Land of Painted Caves: A Novel (Earth's Children)I finished reading Jane Auel's Land of Painted Caves this month.  It is the 6th and last book in her Earth's Children series.  The first book was Clan of the Cave Bear.  This book has been a long time coming.  The first book in the series was published in 1980.  I have read all of the other books but it had been a really long time so I went back and re-read books 4 and 5, and then read the new one.  I read then one after another and I think that was a mistake.  I have always enjoyed the books very much but I was really disappointed in this last one.  It seemed to drag on and really didn't have as much of a plot as the previous ones.  These are huge thick books and I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had taken a break between books.

In other book news,  I am thoroughly enjoying my Kindle.  I have downloaded over 100 free books and have read a handful.  Several are short and don't take very long.  I love that you turn it on and it is at the page you left off.  No losing your place when your grandson pulls out your bookmark.  It is easy to put in my purse or lunch box for those few minutes I manage to steal for reading at work or the waiting room, etc.

I did take a break the other day and read a few magazines that are starting to pile up again.  Several months ago I did a nightstand post about my magazine problem.  I have let several subscriptions expire but my drawer was getting full again.  I made a small dent in the pile.

I am looking forward to school being out next week so I can delve deeper into the Kindle list and hopefully clean out that magazine drawer.