Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wild Kingdom

This is our Sweet Bird

Red Tail Hawk! Awesome
This is another ....sweet bird!

Hello everyone,

This is the photo I wanted to share...right here in our very own backyard! He is sitting (could be a she?) on top of our empty of seed bird feeder pole. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw him/her and I said, "Hold that pose!" and rushed over to my ever handy sony camera and snapped this pix! I think we have very active hawks in our neighborhood. Birds are so interesting to watch and even a casual "birder" like me, have moments of sheer and total pleasure as we happen upon something this wonderful, quite by accident! I remember one morning I was driving down a stretch of Cary Parkway just before a bridge over a greenway walk, kinda secludid and there, in the middle of the two-lane road was an eagle. He was tall enough to look me eye-to-eye as I drove very slowly past him and he did look me straight in the eye...I couldn't believe it, I felt like I was in some kind of nature movie or theme park, but no, I was on Cary Pkwy....other cars slowed down to pass him on the other lane, it was surreal. A moment to remember. Maybe my life hasen't been all that exciting, but I tell you, seeing that eagle up close like that is a memory I treasure.
Growing up, we had a series of pets, mostly found ones like strays or baby bunnies or squirrels. We did have a very nice parakeet named Auggie. He was a great fellow we all loved and he lived a great long time and so began my fondness for budgies. Paul and I love dogs and we have had a dog for most of our married life. After spending some time visiting my folks and their birds, I wanted birds again I bought Peep and RePeep. A great pair of parakeets....RePeep was with us for 4 years when suddenly he passed....poor Peep...she did miss him. So, my good friend and bird-lover Michelle found a bird in need of adoption. Enter Sweet Bird...well I have posted about him before, so 'nuff said. He is a Prince of a Parakeet. Thought that these two pix of birds would be quite interesting to share. Should of called this post "Birds of a feather" (now isn't that clever????)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A LOT of rainy days and homemade wine

Hello everyone,
First, let me tell you I am sick of the phrase "scattered Tstorms". We have been having that phrase in our weather forecast for the past week and it continues to pop up for the next full week!!! Rain every day. It is very green that is for sure, but not good for camping, which is what I would love to be doing this weekend. We could take our chances, and maybe it would not rain until after we got set up....but it might rain alot after we're all set up and then we would have to put it all away wet which is not good....but still....I want to get out and do something...............summer is quickly passing.
Last night was the book club. We have no name as yet. Very nice ladies. Lovely home. Adorable pets and family. Good book to discuss (The Art of Racing in the Rain). Homemade WINE. My gosh it was awesome. I had to have some cuz I am a good guest. 3 kinds. I had the merlot. All I can say is it was incredible. After 3 sips my tongue was numb (say that 3 times fast). Then, I spilled my soul....I mean I talked talked talked. Told all about my kids, their spouses, my grands, camping (in detail). Would somebody please gag me???? Oh, no, these are nice ladies. Hope they understand I am a very cheap date. I told them I would get up and dance if there was music playing....(I will be at the next bc meeting with a paper bag on my head). I don't get out much and now you know why!
It is raining AGAIN.
I am on Twitter. I don't know why. I am on Facebook. I don't know why. I have about a thousand blogs I follow daily...I think I have an internet dependancy issue. I found a wonderful pastor who is doing a series of sermons on the book of Ruth. Today his sermon actually made me hungry for crusty bread dipped in garlic-flavored olive oil from Macaroni Grill...then he actually mentioned that in the sermon!!! Hello, am I into this or not? I got out two frozen rolls, heated 'em up nice and made my olive oil dip and voila, lunch! All while I listened to the rest of the sermon. Now, don't look up to me as a pillar of sainthood...I also watched the last of the Bachelorette. I love Jillian, she is cute and dresses the best of any of them. I love to see what she will wear and she never lets me down, a class act. I also loved Ed from the very first, so I was happy with the ending, but what I had to go thru to get there...ugh, I hate to admit I even watched it, but, well, I am confessing right here.
There are no pix today, sorry, but I do have a great one to share. I know some of you are out there saying, "Bet she won't post today" so I had to write something just to surprise you....all two of you! (Karen and Joyce)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Miss Eula Part 2

Well, we brought Miss Eula home and let her get comfortable on the sofa in our she is sitting next to Paul as he checks his email....

Look out Paul!!! She is a barracuda...very very friendly. Think I will have to do something about her!

She is now re-located in the great room...cooling her heels

She loves to put her feet up and relax. But she is such a flirt!

Even with that big crack...she is still feeling frisky

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Camping Queen"

The "Cottage"
All inside our wonderful screen room! No place like home!!!

The thrill of it all...see the hose? Makes doing dishes a snap!

Even Paul took a turn at the amazing camp kitchen sink!!!

That's the sweet lil microwave behind my smiling camping queen face! (the left lense of my over-the-counter reading glasses kept falling out all weekend...bummer. came home and glued it back it place!)

Dear folks,
(Remember the song from the BeeGees...."Dancing Queen"? well just substitute "Camping" for "Dancing" and there you have theme song!)
Back from the wilds of Raleigh, otherwise known as Lake Jordan. We had a very nice time camping out...but must admit that it is a big deal to set up and take down and if we go out on a Friday, that means just one real day to relax, then it is back to breaking up camp...too much for a couple of old folks! I like comfort when I camp and that equals....indoor/outdoor carpet, camp kitchen, screen room for cooking and relaxing, toilet, private shower, ac and comfy bed....that takes some time to set up....and to all this add....A MICROWAVE!!! Yep, I got us a cute little one at Target for just $39, how cool is that? Along with our dorm fridge, neat-o hot plate, elec. skillet, and toaster....what else could you want??? Oh, our tremendous fabulous, kitchen! I love cooking now and doing dishes is just such fun. I am the envy of all who tent camp out at the lake and folks are in total awe of our set-up....but all this takes time and patience and fortitude...which we have to have plenty of since we have decided not to go into debt to buy a camper, which would not be half as cool as out tent set-up. I did not visit the campsite shower once, yet took lovely warm showers every single night in our two-room shower tent! even washed my hair! So, all we need is an inflatable pontoon boat (do they make those?) and we will be totally set! We do have the megastation!!!
I love America!
I love the outdoors!
I love my camp kitchen!
I love my hubby for loving this stuff too

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back to the Lake

Hello everyone,
DH and I are headed back to the lake for this weekend. The weather forecast does not look very promising....30% chance thundershowers today, 50% tomorrow and all day on Sunday....and you are probably asking yourself "why?" It is fun for us to be in a tent when it rains....
Stuff dries fast.
We love the "get away from it all" feeling of being out at the lake.
So, I am all packed up in the "W" and Paul is meeting me out there around lunch time to help set up the tents (I will have them all put together ready to raise). He will head back to work, I will go home, get the cooler and dog and head back out until Sunday afternoon....We will set the new camp kitchen is awesome! and I will take photos...I really do enjoy doing this and so does Paul, so we are HAPPY CAMPERS.
Yep, you heard it here.....
What are your plans for the weekend? Harry Potter? BBQ? Relax? Shop? Eat?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Miss Eula

Meet my tea friend, co-worker, confidant and always smiling dear sweet Miss Eula. I bought her 9 years ago for two reasons: 1) Her name is Eula and that was my Grandmother's name and 2)she makes me smile. She has been my trademark during my whole life in tea and we have toted her to teas near and far, she was in my tea room with me, at the flea market every weekend, always positive, always cheerful, always there for me. She had been hanging out in our storage unit for some time and when I opened my little booth at the consignment shop, I thought she would enjoy being out among folks again, plus, I put a price on her and thought perhaps someone might be able to use her in their business....well, folks let me tell you....Fuquay was not nice to my Miss Eula. Someone took her false eyelashes several months back and today I had the worst shock of all...she fell and split her scull! She has a hole in her head now...right at her hairline, but her face is cracked almost in half...oh, let me tell you I was just sick! And do you know what that lady at the Brew 'n Browse did after she told me "sorry" and that she didn't have insurance and was not going to give me any money for the damage and she figured her daddy didn't see or hear anything....she wanted to give me a HUG!!! I have not been so upset in quite a while. Miss Eula is family to me. She doesen't deserve this kind of treatment....I am bringing her home, will pamper her a bit and try to make it up to her with a bit of glue, some new eyelashes and a bit of new make up. She's still smiling. I was in a bad mood, but got over it, finally. All my stuff is out of the B&B and now what??????? There's not much left of the tea business.
Some days are like this.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A "good thing"

Cluttered fridge....a problem

Cork tiles....the solution

Affix adhesive squares to back of tile....(I just love the word "affix")

Back of cabinet door

Affix cork tile to afore-mentioned back of cabinet door

Voila! I use push pins to hold everything on the cork

less is definately best!
Hello everyone,
I must admit that I am a Martha Stewart fan from waaaaaaaaaaay back. I have her Entertaining book, 1st edition. She is undoutably the absolute genius of our time.....culturally speaking at least....and promotionally, marketing, branding, astute, savvy, quality-driven person of the past century and this one too! Whatever short-comings she has, and we all have them, she has become an American Icon and I salute her and enjoy the light she shines. So, here I am, doing a "Martha" way of a blog called Young House Love . You must check them out, they are so talented and charming and live up the road from here in Richmond, VA.
Hope you enjoy this little project. cheap+easy+fast sounds like a bad girl from my high school days!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Two Days in a Row---Way to go!

I am a rolling stone.

I am a dreamer of far-away places.

I am a gypsy. dh is ok with this.

I love our home and being at home makes me happy, BUT....I do get the "wunderlust" and must travel if at all possible, so the short drive to Lake Jordan kinda satisfies me. I am already making plans in my head for our next stay. I have found the absolute ultimate "camp kitchen" accessory so check it out, watch the video. Now you know I am "into" camping in a big way.

There is so much left for me to see and as a grow older I am aware of my time limitations and I am in a hurry to get on the road. But, I have to confess here and now, I have already seen and experienced so much more than I ever dreamed possible that I am so very thankful for and will never feel short-changed. On the other hand, this is a very wide world. I read (skimmed) the 1,000 places to see before you and I had seen maybe 20 of those places, but hey, many of them I really don't care to see. so, there. Don't have a "bucket list" either. Just want to get on the road and see where it goes.

My friend Karen says you should never go back and see a place twice...and she is right to a point. I will always go back to NYC. That is about it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our camping story

The little red truck all packed up
Camp Smallwood loaded and ready for home

The VW has the over-flow

VW packed tight

Inside our cottage

see our "AC" unit?

Lake Jordan

another view of the lake

Fiona likes the "carpet"

this little dorm fridge is a life-saver!

other end of screen room

Camp kitchen inside screen room

Inside the VW headed for camp

Hello everyone,
I have taken some photos to share, but my camera is needing her battery charged before I can, the text will be first!
Paul and I have had a love affair with camping for our entire married life. We took our first trip for a weekend get away while my mom watched Matt. (Matt turns 40 this it was waaaaaaay back!). Our "rookie" trip was a bit of a disaster, but we had enough fun that we didn't abhore the thought of camping, we just didn't do it again for years. While living in Germany we made friends with several couples at our church and these folks camped while site-seeing! They invited us to join them one weekend in May and the rest is history. We had 3 small children and the very best way to travel with them was camping and I was determind to see as much of Europe as we could possible see on a Staff Sargent's salary. We began with a sturdy canvas tent and camp stove and progressed to a "caravan" which is a pull-behind camper. Our Tabbert camper was adorable and would be classified "vintage" as it was made in the '60s, but it was heaven for us. We spent 3 weeks in Italy, a week in Switzerland, a week in Holland (made 5 more trips to Holland in that camper), long weekends in France, and many many trips in Germany. My friend Karen was a pro at organizing and arranging and she advised me on the best way to pack, plan and prepare for 5 traveling for extended periods, what fun we had. Planning was literally half of the fun. I would read about a place to see or an event to attend, then we would put together the itenerary and then plan the food and the clothing needs. Wish I had a photo of that camper to share, I will hunt for one. Seems like another person in another lifetime, but we were all together and having a good time. A dream come true for a girl from the heart of America who never thought she would see such sites!
After 5 years in Europe, we returned to the USA and settled in Idaho of all places! Each summer we would travel to Kansas and then to Ohio to visit our families and we camped for those trips. Back to a tent again. A cooler and sleeping bags (no air mattresses for us). Primitive and kinda uncomfortable, but we were still young and it was cheap.
We camped while stationed in Boston at the military camp site called Fourth Cliff just up the road a bit from Cape Cod, what a beautiful space and so much to see and do while in the area. We tent camped there as well and the view was awesome, but the wind could get fierce too.
Moving to North Carolina kept us busy and our kids were teens and life was hectic so camping was not on the agenda for a while, but we started tent camping to go to the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain and then bought an Aliner camper (a very neat one which we loved). We camped all over in that fellow for a couple of years, then he was totaled by a storm and we were back to tenting it! My tea business kept me too busy to even think of camping, but now that I am not running a shop, I have time to plan and prepare again and Paul and I are camping up a storm. Lake Jordan is just 20 min. from our front door, yet you feel as if you are out in the wilderness when you are there. We have already been out camping there four times this year. We began with a trial run of camping the week before we had our "Camp Lake-In-the-Woods" with the grands, then we had camp, then we met Paul's twin brother John and his wife Ruth out there for a weekend camping and Sarah and Amy and families joined us, then we were back for the 4th.
Well, all this rambling, so sorry but my memories got the best of me for a moment...I once did a talk on camping in Europe for Christian Women's Club and called it " can so much work be so much fun?" that is still true to this day. I told Paul I feel the same after getting all the Christmas stuff down each year....but hope I never tire of doing this as it keeps us in the flow of life. We work hard, but oh it is so enjoyable.
ps pictures will follow!