Monday, December 31, 2007

Last day of 2007

Hello friends,
Another year has come and gone. I will not take a walk down memory lane, bet you're relieved! We have taken down all the Christmas decor, a very big job, and the house is almost back to it's pre-holiday status. Dh and I will be staying in tonight watching Season 3 of LOST....non-stop! I have a couple of lovely little tenderloin filets, 2 great baking potatoes, salad fixings and a bottle of merlot.....what more could you ask for???
As it is the last day of the year, I need to do a bit of "house" cleaning. I was "tagged" a week or so ago and have not responded due to the busy time of year, but really do want to respond as this is my very first time ever to be tagged!!! Way cool, thank you for thinking of me Chaya from kosherwhine and here are my 7 "memes"

1. My aunt Elaine saved my life while still in the hospital nursery she noticed I was turning blue and quickly got a nurse. A close call, thanks always to her quick action.
2. I am a talker. It is my "gift". I can talk anywhere, anytime, about most anything. In the past couple of years I finally figured out I could get paid to talk. THRILLING.
3. My father actually was going to pay me NOT to talk back when I was 13 or so....I went 3 of the 7 days he bet me I wouldn't talk...but broke my silence quite accidentally.
4. I am not jealous of folks with big cars, home, or diamonds....but if you are traveling somewhere, I envy you big time. I love to travel.
5. I married an Air Force man and we spent almost 25 years traveling....what a life!
6. I love people, they are so interesting and complicated and vulnerable. I was fortunate to own a tea room for a while and during that time I was able to really love all kinds of folks and found that God would bring in the most amazing people into my shop for me to be friendly with or serve or just listen to them.
7. I love God.
I worked with a very nice woman for several years and all that while she assumed I was something I was not....when she found that her assumptions were incorrect she was totally astounded! I am a stealth conservative -Republican -Baptist! I don't mind she was confused on those counts, guess I am not the "typical" prototype protrayed by the media.....one thing I did think about tho was....I don't want to be a stealth Christian....I want you to know, not the "in-your-face" way, just the soft loving gentle way....
Happy New year
God bless
ttfn
tts
Cathy

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Our Christmas morning

Hello Friends,
Well, Dec. 25 has come and gone, very quickly, I might add! We had our tradition-packed Christmas morning family celebration. The menu is set in cement....sausage and egg casserole, monkey bread, strawberries and bananas....lately we added mimosas for the grown-ups, oj and cider for the tots...and then there's lots of cookies, candies, breads, and assorted tasties of all varieties to nibble on.....that is a given. Then, a must, are the grocery bag stockings everyone enjoys filled and going through....I make the large pictures of each person with the year on it. We decided not to do gift exchange among adults, altho Paul and I enjoy giving the Snow Village piece to each family....this started with Woody years ago, probably at least 12 years now. He enjoyed my village and I told him when I went to be with Jesus, he would get all my snow village! But, then, I decided why should he wait? So each Christmas he gets another piece! Then I started giving them to our son, then we decided, just to get each family a new piece each year that would add to their collection and they would remember us every Christmas that way! This year...I bought "THE HAT" It is a cone-shaped hat with ermine edging and red ribbon ties and it has a bottle brush Christmas tree on top and wrapped packages all over it...and it says: "The Best Gift Under the Tree is ME!" I just had to have that hat...and I told everyone they could not eat any monkey bread until I took their photo wearing it, so if you click here you can see a new slideshow of our Christmas....some of the photos are from the day before as we were wrapping gifts, one of Paul all pooped, and of course, the families and the "stockings" and the hat. Hope you enjoy and that you had a tradition-filled celebration.
ttfn
tts
Cathy

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Two Days and Counting...

Hello Friends,
Today is the 22nd of December...just two more shopping days to go! I love it when we have agreed...my husband and I....that we are officially finished shopping! We put an end to the trips to the mall, to the book store, to Target...I am even done with groceries for a couple of days! We do need to pick up some champagne and our turkey. THAT'S IT. There is a point you must hit whereby all shopping must end, we have arrived. There is nothing more we can do...it is up to Santa. With 8 grandchildren, 5 adult children and spouses, well our immediate family is a challange. I mean, what do you do??? I can't afford to buy silly things that go unused or unwanted....I hate the thought of adding to someone else's clutter (altho my son and daughter-in-law have a very nice big home so hope they won't mind we got our youngest grands a bit of childish clutter.....) Anywhooooo, won't let the cat out of the bag here, but suffice to say, we tried to gift responsibly and bank on good memories that will last a lifetime...long after the walkman is gone or say the Wii (is that how you spell it?). I love Christmas time, but gifts are low on my list...I enjoyed the Bunco party, our Tot night, the Messiah, Home tours and crafts with our family and dressing the house up was such fun! I love driving around and oooing and ahhing over everyone's lights (is it me, or is everyone decorating their homes outside this year???? it is wonderful !) I love that Merry Christmas is back in style and everyone is making a point of saying it!
I baked more pumpkin bread today along with a batch of fudge and made up a batch of Martha Stewart's Sugar cookies and the best icing to decorate them tomorrow....
No snow here, it is getting cold outside, but dry. My family in Kansas City is getting some bad weather...a white Christmas for them, looks like. Good to be inside and warm, listening to some lovely music and enjoying the Christmatized home!
ttfn
tts
Cathy

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Home Tour Welcome!


Hello everyone!

It is still early...actually 12:01 AM on Wednesday morning....officially! I just finished putting together my slide show on Phanfare and have the link for you... here . I am a relative novice at all this blogging and am sure not nearly as sophisticated as many of you out there, my camera is not all that good either, so please forgive. It was fun to do and I enjoy sharing and am so looking forward to everyone's homes!!!

Merry Christmas one and all,

Cathy, who is Taking tea seriously!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmatizing part two?

Family attends Woody's Winter band concert
Sophia and Olivia were both in their pre-school Christmas Production, which was wonderful!!!

And....Zion's school presented Christmas Around the World!


Hello friends,
It is almost 11:30pm Monday night....I have been baking tea bread at a friends home with several other friends..made delish pumpkin-apple-orange tea bread. Think I might serve some at the virtual home tour Wednesday should be very good with either Nutcracker Sweet Tea or mulled cider---you choose! I decided I had better do a bit of blogging since I have been a bit lax. Just one short week ago our temps were pushing 80 here in NC....not today, we were cold and blustery. Much more like it if you ask me, but boy...it is a shock!
As you can see from above, I have been busy attending a miriad of excellent performances! Still have Jazmine and Camryn's orchestra and band performance tomorrow and of course we also must celebrate our daughter Amy's birthday! Born the 18th of December, Amy's birth gave me new insight on what Mary must have been going through...only I was in a top notch hospital with family and friends around me.
So, tomorrow we will gather for lovely music and then make some birthday music of our own for Amy K!!! and eat some "Once in a Blue Moon" bakery cake!!!
I will also begin taking the photos for the "tour". I am a bit intimidated by those participating as they seem very accomplished at blogging and I am a relative "newbe". But, everyone in genuinely kind and hopefully will at least indulge my ineptness....(is that a word?)
Well, Floretta, at least I posted something new....(smile) thanks to all who check in with me, it is very nice to know you are out there!
ttfn
tts
Cathy

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A first!


I am participating in a Virtual Home Tour! I really do feel a part of the blog community now, it is official. wow

Here is a link to Tracey's blog for more info

THE "BIG" NIGHT....BUNCO PARTY!!!

Bunco Banner on mail box signifies the event of the season is taking place at this location!!!
Step right along and enter the festivities!

The prizes are wrapped and waiting...


The entry to the house is all outfitted for Christmasing



Choose your teacup!




This is the "middle" table





Here's the "Low" table you can see the large "fuzzy" dice and the tin with the holiday pencils..each table had their supplies ready and 4 dice to roll too.






This is the "High" table in the parlor.
Good morning after friends,
We had a very good time and after playing our first "practice" round on Bunco were ready to really play and we sure did have fun along the way! Lots of good food to eat and hot cider, altho the doors to the screen porch were open the entire time as the temps were in the high 60s that night!
Thanks to Summer, Carrie Anne, Michelle, April, Karen, Ruth, Debbie, Amy, Sarah, Joyce and Mary for all showing up and being such good sports as we muddled our way through Bunco. It was a true pleasure to spend some time with you ladies! Thank you for bringing so many good things to eat too...
Now, today is tidy-up and wind down a bit day for me....also tonight is our grandson Woody's Christmas band concert, a real highlight and also his last one as he leaves middle school and moves on to high school next year. Mr. Jackson is a phenominal teacher who inspires his students to excellence in ways I cannot even comprehend...I just see and hear the results and know he is one very gifted teacher. I wish I could give him a million dollars, he is that good and I want him to know how much I personally appreciate all his efforts. Those kids in the band are also amazing. You would never believe you were listening to a middle school band it is just that good. Kids do not leave the band at Apex Middle school...they stay the whole three years because they love it so! I am so proud of Woody and his musical talent. He plays the bass clarinet and does a grand job. So, I am really looking forward to this evening.
Hope you have something good to look forward to
ttfn
tts
Cathy








Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmatize Day 2

A festive serving tray says it all!
I simply could not pass up this wonderful gift bag from none other than the DOLLAR TREE! This is the great room tree. Full of gold and cream and soft green and pink, pretty much.


A lovely angel. After seeing the Angel tree at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, I fell in love with those wonderful baroque angels, so am always on the look-out for similar styles, have asked them to sell reproductions, but so far haven't heard that they do....a moneymaker, in my opinion.



A delightful westie ornament, not too cutsie.




Thought this came out well...seems large glass containers are all the rage. I am on the bandwagon big time...bought 3 apothecary jars and have filled them, you will see.....

Happy Thursday once again friends,
This has been a fast week....Just about finished with the Christmas decorating, haven't even begun the baking....soon....anyway, I will just eat it, so better for me to procrastinate on that (smile). Hermits, sugar cookies and fudge are a must. Anything else is icing!
The weekend promises to be packed full of fun things to do...this Friday evening is our "Tot" night with all our grands. Eight children pile onto Santa's lap at the Mall and we have our photo! Have been doing this every year since Woody and Breana (our 1st two grandchildren who are now 14) were brand new babies (born in Sept. and Oct. right before Christmas!)Breana asked me when would we stop taking the pictures and I told her "When I am dead"....so there will be lots of tot nights in our future. I try to get them something "holiday-ish" to wear, for the girls it is easy, the guys not so....this year the girls get great long-sleeved t-shirts from Target with cute hearts out of candycanes but the guys get just boring green t-shirts. Think I might look for a fun scarf for them to wear around their necks. We eat out and then this year we are going to see a play: "The best Christmas Pageant Ever"...should be fun. We have gone to movies, plays, saw the Polar Express at Imax one year, well, we try to do something fun for all, with ages 14-2 it isn't easy and actually baby Sophia (the 2 year ole) will not go with us....but Olivia (age 3, and very mature and well-behaved for 3) will go this year!
Then Saturday morning we head out for another Christmas parade in Holly Springs, Camryn will be marching in the parade with her Middle School Band. Afterwards, we will meet over at Matt and Jacki's home for a craft afternoon....tons of good stuff to make (will show some photos maybe). Then Sunday, after church, we head to historic Oakwood neighborhood in Raleigh for their Christmas tour. *whew* I am pooped thinking about it, but it will be FUN!
ttfn
tts
Cathy




Monday, December 3, 2007

CHRISTMATIZING

I have to start off with a bit of bragging! This is Izabella Lafferty Chesson, the artist! and her winning self-portrait, isn't it amazing? We are all very proud of Bella, she is very bright and creative. This painting was one of a few displayed during the North Carolina State Fair and someone was interested in buying it!

Now, our home is a "work-in-progress" After getting the carpets cleaned we were able to begin the decorating process....Saturday morning Paul set up the trees.......


He also brought down all the Snow Village, which I un-boxed and began the process of "creating my little world". The space is tight and remember, I have two new ebay purchased pieces to incorporate this year!



I worked for about 4 hours on the display....not quite ready yet...but soon.



Our Christmas Westie, Fearless Fiona!


It is officially Christmas-time in our world! Paul sang in the community Messiah last night, his 15th year, an excellent presentation which is so grand and majestic. Those glorious voices singing the holy scripture to declare God's Grace and Love for mankind..."For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son".....Very powerful after all these years. The Halleluiah Chorus is, of course, the crowning moment, but then this choir adds the Amen, it is heavenly...and I remember that Jesus is God's Amen, and the reason for the season.

My December calendar is filling up with fun things to do....and still I am working on the house to make it warm, cozy, inviting and filled with the holiday spirit!

Plan on beginning my baking this week also. Have several traditional cookies I bake, and a couple of new recipes I am thinking about trying. You may have already seen this sight, but if not, it is a great place to visit for lots of cookie, candy and cake recipes .
Hope you are having fun "Christmatizing" your home....It is always a great idea to invite someone over, that motivates you into cleaning a bit and also decorating, plus you are sharing and being hospitible in the process! A good thing!!!
Now, on to begin my day, hope yours is a good one also
ttfn
tts
Cathy





Thursday, November 29, 2007

A bit of Christmas whimsy

video

Good Thursday!

I have begun "digging" into our Christmas Decor boxes and what treasures I am finding...from year to year I always add a few special items...we have the Fontanini nativity, Old World ornaments, Snow Village and Sabuda Pop-up Books (moveable art) as our collections...then I am always on the look-out for those very special ornaments that seem to "call" to me. (don't laugh, I am very sensitive, really). I am not an HGTV decorator, or into "themes". My life is my theme, there are many things that make me smile...memories of my grandparents, accomplishments of my grandchildren, travel plans, very good tea, my sweet hubby, and watching my dog prance at the end of her leash. ALSO, my Christmas things! Martha Stewart did a very "good thing" when she marketed her wares in KMart. I have been a faithful consumer of all those items for quite a few years and have only good things to say about every item I have purchased. Sadly, each year, there are less and less of them on the shelves and I feel she is backing off and going into the Macy's venue, which is much more expensive. I did check out her Christmas decor at Macy's and bought several very nice ornaments...but they averaged $9 each..some as much as $12. Now, at KMart, her ornaments are $2.99-4.99 and something is always on sale for at least 20% off....do the math, I prefer KMart.

My plan is to take photos of the decorating in process and share with you each day something new that is Christmas-ready. I am getting the house set for a deadline of Saturday, the 8th. Tuesday, the 11 is the Bunco Party.....so everything must be ready....I would have it all done by now except ZeroRes is coming to clean carpets and sofa tomorrow....but after that Katie bar the door....I am Chrismatizing 105 Arrowhead Way Big time!!!

The musical penguins and snow man were purchased last after-Christmas sale at Hallmark's for pennies....they are just adorable and make me smile!

ttfn

tts

Cathy

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More KCMO

SNOW IN KCMO!
Teapot purchased at Halls in Crown Center, isn't he a cutie?

And isn't she angelic?


These snowmen certainly do love sledding...the second one I have this season with a sled!



Two great trees!




All my KC goodies together





Click on the photo to read the sign






A "wedding cake" style Victorian in Independance, MO home of Harry Truman








Very impressive home







We were given a warm welcome and the deluxe tour of the mansion!



Upside down tree copied from Queen Victoria who had a chandelier taken down during Christmas and a tree hung in its place with the glass beads hung on the tree and candles lit on the branches.



A bit of Christmas cheer recorded at the Crown Center. The tree is the Mayor's Christmas tree in Kansas City. The fellow in the video is my husband, Paul, who is a great sportxxxooo!
video
So, now I think I have caught you up with all my KC doings. It was a fun trip and a great home town! Folks are friendly and there's lots to do and see and much good eats too. I left KC in 1966, but it will always be my home town, no matter where I am. I do regret not getting to see more family while in town, but three days is not alot of time and with Thanksgiving in the middle, well, everyone has plans and so we just did a little of this and that on our own. We will be back again soon I am sure.
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tts
Cathy

KC Thanksgiving

The Liberty Memorial in Kansas City

View of Kansas City, Missouri from the Liberty Memorial Tower




We had a good time shopping here...will show my Christmas decor soon....it was a good outting!

My sister, Claudia, who takes many of these photos...that is a huge piece of fried chicken...done the best in the U.S. at this place....




Paul is not a KC native, but he knows good fried chicken and since it has been 10 years from his last visit...he remembered STROUDS and requested dinner there....



Hungry, but patiently waiting....Tricia, our niece, Paul and me...in festive Christmas only sweater!





Family-style and better than gooooooood!






We eat








and eat








All done....








After dinner we walked it off on the Country Club Plaza which is lighted-up for Christmas in a big way. Lots of activity, happy folks, beautiful decorations, so very nostalgic for me as I always loved a walk around the plaza at Christmas. There was a full moon that night too. Wish I could have gotten better photos of the area, but you can get an idea. It is just lovely.



Took two full days of driving to get to KC, but we had a wonderful time with family. No leaves left on the trees in KC area. When we got back to NC, most of the leaves had fallen while we were gone! But, still some remain and are breath-takingly beautiful. It snowed in KC while we were there...I have a photo to prove it!

We took 4 days to travel for 3 days of visit...maybe we will fly next time.....................

ttfn

tts

Cathy











Monday, November 19, 2007

FAMILY

Here's my family...Paul and I are getting ready to visit my family in Kansas City this week, so we met at Golden Corral for brunch, and a photo. It is sad that these cousins might not get a chance to know their other cousins in KC. I grew up with cousins and made life-long attachments.....even tho it is years between visits, we have a history and it keeps us together. At least these NC cousins have that too....our grown children are friends and their children, our grands, have done many things together from day one....so that is good! But, my sister's granddaughters haven't met any of these cousins...they would all get along so well too! Who knows?
Paul and I are making "todo" lists and checking them off. Getting rather excited about our vacation/road trip. I love to travel. More, later
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tts
Cathy

Friday, November 16, 2007

There and Back Again!

Roadside colors were spectacular! I took this as I was crusing in my upgraded rental car...Chrysler Sebring. A very nice auto, if I must say.
View of Pilot Mountain, taken again, as I was driving, not too bad, huh? Andy of Mayberry fame made Pilot Mountain a star.


A bit closer to the mountain, it is very pretty, but you can see it getting cloudier. Began to rain, lots of fog and very dark. Not the best for photos or driving.

Of course, this is the only shot of the event that I took. It was very nice...but lots of mishaps along the way.
Good morning friends! My trip to Knoxville was a success in that I got there AND back here all in one piece and none the better (or worse) for wear! I DID IT! Got the rental car, made it to Knoxville with no problems,(my rental car had Sirius radio...on the Martha channel all the way....except I did not enjoy her daughter's radio program, very un-couth and R rated) found the motel and got settled in my room (HGTV non-stop), got some dinner and back to the room to get a call from the Belk folks saying Lord W was in the hospital and not able to be at the event!!! He is fine, just exaughsted, so a woman from Chicago with Wedgewood china came to do the event in his place. OK, all went very well, Colleen and I did fine and the tea was great and the food was yummy, so, I think they were pleased. The turnout was very poor tho. So, sorry, no photos of me and "the Lord". Maybe in the spring......
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tts
Cathy