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Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Golden Friend

I am a bit late posting today! Why? Because I have been entertaining an old friend and reminiscing over  times spent at Georgia Baptist School of Nursing back in the mid 70s.  Connie and I met as we were both rooming on the fifth floor of the dorm and we shared the same group of friends.  After almost 40 years, our little group decided it was time for a girls weekend. Who was chosen to plan it? ME. Of course then I volunteered Connie to help as she lives only an hour or so from me.


Here we are....pardon the glare of a picture frame on my cheek. At first I thought I had some sort of disease!! Glad I figured it out!  Nursing School is like the Army....it makes friends for life!!

Connie and I decided we would plan a trip the first weekend in October to Brevard, NC. I had been there recently and I knew we would have  a great time.  So we called first thing this morning to reserve our rooms at the Hampton Inn and we are set for our mini reunion with the girls.  That left us the rest of the day to visit , shop and eat!


We treated Connie to lunch at the Back Alley Bistro, one of our favorite Decatur restaurants.  Our visit was a reminder to make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. Connie and all my GBH friends are truly GOLD.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Our Home

Marvin braved the snow yesterday to get out and get a few snow pictures of our house.


A friend suggested we put up lights and a Christmas wreath and photograph our homes to use for the 2015 Christmas Card.  She is welcome to do so but I am too lazy and I really do not want to think about Christmas right now. I am thinking of Easter, warm temps, a new Easter Dress and singing He Lives!

Our Town Houses are built in units of three. Here we are in the middle with our great neighbors on either side.

We are fortunate to have a lot of pretty trees round about us and they were so beautiful in their snow costumes.

Well the snow is still on the ground but the roads are clear so I will venture out today to get groceries and run a few errands. One of my good friends from Nursing School is coming to spend the night with me. We are planning a little girls get away for the 5th Floor girls as we call ourselves. I have not seen her in YEARS so it will be so fun to be together.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NINE INCHES

Nine inches of snow here in North Alabama!!That is a rarity my friend. Of course everyone is enjoying a snow day!

Here is how it started...

The snow flakes were so big and fluffy!

The snow quickly covered the ground.

And this morning...

No cars are out on my street!

And of course Nana has to share pictures of the grands...

Kendall and Landon out in the snow last night.

Margaret out early this morning. Birmingham only got a dusting.

Baylor was happy to see the snow too!

Elliott was not sure what all the fuss was about!

Southerners get absolutely giddy when it snows here. But this Nana is hoping that this is Old Man Winter's Last Hurrah!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My New Toy

For years I have wanted a Kitchen Aid Mixer! I really could not justify purchasing one when the stand mixer I own was perfectly adequate for my needs.  However, we can all give in to temptation every now and then!


When I saw this model on sale and in the pretty apple green color I was looking for, I could not resist.  Isn't it beautiful??? My kitchen is decorated in white, black and cobalt blue with touches of this apple green for a pop. So my cheery green mixer will add a bright touch on baking days.  And just in case you are wondering, that is Alfred, one time footman at Downton Abbey, who graces today's Downton Abbey Page a Day Calendar.

Included in my purchase were several neat attachments including this one which I feel will be my favorite.



This attachment will be perfect for creaming sugar and butter for cookies and frostings.  Of course, Marvin and I do not need a lot of sweets but I enjoy baking things for friends and neighbors.

And my old mixer will not go to waste as I am giving it to my daughter in law, Katy, who is looking forward to getting a stand mixer. I think my old mixer still has lots of work to do before it is ready for the garbage can! Recycling at its best!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

An Evening with Mr Lightfoot

My Valentine purchased tickets for us to see Gordon Lightfoot in concert in Huntsville. So last night we bundled up and drove to the Von Braun Civic Center for the eight o'clock concert.  Marvin and I had to laugh as we entered the concert hall....the baby boomers were out in force! There were a few younger people there but for the most part it was the Geritol crowd as my sweet husband put it!  There was still a bit of spark in us as we clapped and hooted for our favorite songs.

Gordon Lightfoot was one of our favorite performers when we were dating. So when he sang, Beautiful, we held hands and remembered the good ole days. It was "our song". Of course he did The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and If You Could Read My Mind...probably his best known songs. I am going to be honest and say that his voice at age 76 is not what it was when he was younger but I will give credit to anyone who can still tour and give 2 hour concerts at his age.

In 2002, he suffered a ruptured aortic aneurysm and was in a coma for six weeks, in the hospital for three months. In 2006 he suffered a minor stroke and had to do much rehab to be able to play his guitar again. My hat is off to you Gordon Lightfoot! And several years ago on his way home from a dental appointment, he heard on the radio that he had died.:) He quickly put that rumor to rest.

It is good to think back to your younger days, things have changed in 38 years but the memories are sweet!!

I have a guest post on Kindred Hearts Cafe today. Please stop by and visit this fun blog where kindred hearts gather to visit.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Baby Shower, Snowbirds and a Movie

Our weekend started Friday with a movie...Hitchcock.

Marvin and I came upon this movie while channel surfing for something to watch Friday evening. It was made in 2012 but I had never heard of it.  We really enjoyed this movie about Alfred Hitchcock as he filmed the movie, Psycho. Anthony Hopkins played Hitchcock while Helen Mirren played his wife, Alma Reville.  With such sterling performers as the stars of this movie, how could it be bad?

On Saturday morning I went to a baby shower for a young friend. How I wish I had taken my camera as this shower would have been a good blog post.  The theme of the shower was books and the guests were greeted on the front porch with a table stacked with books and a little chalk board sign with a quote about the importance of books in a child's life.  Inside, the food table was so sweet...hummus and carrots were served next to the book, Peter Rabbit.  Meatballs near Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,  Little Ham sandwiches and deviled eggs tinted green were served next to the book, Green Eggs and Ham. And for Dessert we had Cookies and Milk next to If You Give A Mouse a Cookie.  Books were used through out the home as decoration and as a  reader, I just loved this theme. Each guest brought a book along with their gift and believe it or not, there were no duplicates for the sweet baby. As we left the party, Moon Pies were placed by the door as a little take home...and the book? Good Night Moon of course.

Saturday afternoon, we welcomed Marvin's first cousin, Bill and his wife, Sue. They spent the night with us on their way home from their winter vacation to Florida and Alabama's Gulf Coast.

I had the guest room ready for them with a bowl full of Lindor's truffles. Unfortunately we did not get any pictures of them while they were here. We just enjoyed visiting and eating!  Marvin does not get to visit with his Grimm Family very often so it is always a treat to see them.

We ended the weekend as most people did, watching Downton Abbey.  I am so sad as this series comes to a close and I have read that the next season will be the last.  I can see that Mr. Fellowes is wrapping up some story lines as he prepares to end his saga. I have to say that I am so irritated with the whole Mr Green's mysterious death plotline. It was enough that Bates was in prison, let's not have Anna going there!

We are having more school delays this morning...please spring come soon!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Housekeeping

I do not know about you but I am finding that housekeeping is harder as I get older. In my young days I could clean my house in one day, top to bottom.( Of course my houses were not as big as the one we have now.) In fact my dear husband called my housekeeping, Cleaning Aerobics, as I flew around the house!! Now I clean certain rooms on certain days...and I will admit to resting between chores.  The housekeeping chore that really gives me a challenge is mopping.  With hardwood floors and ceramic tiles in most of the rooms, I have to mop. Swiffering only keeps the mopping at bay!  And with hardwood floors, I try to mop, then use a microfiber mop head to get up all the water so it does not damage the floors. It is quite a task.

So when I saw this advertised on tv, I was intrigued.

When it showed up at a local store, I decided to give it a try. One of the things I liked about it was that I could control the amount of water I used and no wringing out mops.

Here it is ready for duty!!

And the results? I was very pleased with how it worked and I think it will help me to mop more often instead of putting it off with a Swiffer wet pad. And I dare to dream it will replace those swiffers all together.  There are some things you need to be aware of in using this product....

1. Do not fill the bucket above the water level marked on the inside.
2. Practice with the foot pump to determine how wet or dry you want your mop head to be.
3. It takes a moment to get the mop head in "mopping position" after you remove it from the wringer.  I am learning that it is best to just shake the mop a bit before putting it on the floor to mop.

I just hope that the wringing mechanism holds up because that is the genius part of this mopping system.  Over all I am pleased with my purchase and it does make mopping much easier.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Round Two

Well here we sit this morning waiting for more snow and ice. Schools were cancelled and there are lots of happy kiddos, maybe not so happy parents!  We are having some weekend guests so I am taking this day home alone, to cook and clean.  Marvin's first cousin, Bill, and his wife, Sue, are in route from the sunny Gulf Coast back to their home in Chicago.  I am glad that our home is on the way and we can enjoy a visit with our Grimm family.  On the menu, Lasagna and for dessert, Key Lime Cake.  I have given up chocolate for Lent so I decided to make a dessert without chocolate so I would not be tempted. Is that cheating?

Last night I enjoyed a girls outing to a Young Living Essential Oils meeting here in town. Four of us hopped in my van and headed out to Trinity, AL. What a great turn out for Myra's class. I always learn something new and two of my friends are new "oilers" so they really were impressed with all the uses for their YLEOs.  Three of us are old RNs and each of us shared how skeptical we were on hearing about oils and our amazement that they do work!  All I can say is that they have really improved my quality of life and I am not taking lots of OTCs and prescription meds.  As I have shared before, my husband's looming retirement and OBama care motivated me to become healthier and oils have certainly assisted in that plan.  If any of my local ladies are interested in learning more about Young Living, I would be happy to  do a class sharing this product.  I first found out about YLEO from reading Myra's blog, My Blessed Life, and from Jenn's blog, Sweet T Makes Three.  You learn all sorts of things from bloggers!!

Today as I clean, I will be using a new product that I saw on a TV infomercial. I will be doing a review on it tomorrow, pro or con. I am hoping it is a pro!! So be sure and check in to see what Nana bought!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Georgia Winter Wonderland

 A nice chilly view of Fort Mountain in Chatsworth, Georgia. My sister took this picture from my mother's front yard.


And another view of the mountain range.  I know it is beautiful but I think we Southerners are ready for Mr Winter to make an exit. Hopefully the temperatures will moderate on Saturday and Sunday. It was nine degrees here in No Ala when we got up this morning and one of our Grimm cousins who lives in Chicago reported that it 14 below with wind chills of 30 below.  Maybe the besties and I are crazy but we are meeting for a hearty breakfast at 8am then I hope to get to the grocery store as we are expecting more snow and rain tomorrow morning.  I am really hoping that this is the last hurrah for winter and that spring will come bouncing in soon.







Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Love is in the Air

Even though we are experiencing frigid temps here in the South, I am thinking of two spring weddings.  As hard as it is for me to believe, all my nieces and nephews are grown up!( Thanks to Laura and Doug who are still in high school so I do not feel too old!)  Two of my nephews are getting married this spring and while it was cold and shivery outside, I was cozily stitching away on their wedding gifts. I was excited when the frame shop called to tell me that my pieces were framed and ready to pick up. If you are in the north Alabama area and you need a good framer....go to Slate Gallery on Main Street in Hartselle, Alabama. Great service and reasonable prices make this place of business stand out among the others.

I can post photos of my gifts as none of my nieces or nephews read my blog...I know, SHOCKER!! First up is Caleb's gift. He will be marrying his sweetheart, Brittany in March.


My precious late mother in law,Mama G, crocheted GRIMM for all her grandchildren when they were married. Believe me those are treasured heirlooms. But the younger grandchildren did not have the privilege of having their grandma do that for them as their wedding gift.  I cannot crochet but I found this pretty cross stitch alphabet and went to work.   I was very pleased with how it turned out and I will be doing a similar one for Caleb's older brother, Will, when he marries in September.

Nephew Jeff will be marrying Sarah on Memorial Day weekend. Sis in law, Lanier, told me that Jeff had one of Mama G's crocheted names so I had to find something different for him. Wedding samplers leave a lot to be desired in my opinon. Many are too plain, some too cheesy and I have done samplers for all the kids as they marry so I have used up all the good ones! I want every sampler to be unique and different just like my nieces and nephews. I found this pattern and adapted it to be a wedding sampler. I have to admit that it turned out to be one of my favorites.



The linen on this piece is weathered to look antique and I think the colors really make it look elegant. I used a new type of thread which has a subtle variation in the color and I will be using it a lot in the future.  Sometimes my friend, Marlene, who owns The Cross Stitch Peddler, has to talk me into trying new things. I am glad I listened this time!!

I am glad these two projects are done...now I can concentrate on Audrey's birth sampler. Although the date of birth cannot be added until she arrives in May!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Stream

Another Stream of Consciousness post as there is not a specific topic on my mind this morning.

It is COLD here in No Ala...Kendall and Landon have a three hour delay due to weather. So Landon will arrive at school just in time to eat lunch.:)

Now that the new granddaughter has a name, Nana had to run out and get something monogrammed! 

Landon dressed as a Knight in Shining Armor for the kindergarten Fairy Tale Ball celebration at his school for Valentines Day.

I am glad I splurged on one more winter scarf as I am using it this week. I found this pretty gray infinity scarf at Pineapples here in Decatur. I love scarves that are self service!! I just loop it twice and I am ready to go out the door.

This photo is from several years ago. I put it on my Facebook page just to remind myself that spring will come. This has been the coldest week so far this winter and I had to look at the extended forecast on the Weather Channel app to help me get through it. After this week, temps moderate and there were even some 60s and 70s in the forecast for the early part of March. 

I will probably wait until the first part of March to decorate for Easter but oh my goodness, can you believe that we are talking about March already!! I do think time is flying by in 2015.

Stay warm wherever you are and remember that spring will be here before we know it.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Wild

Valentines Day is over, cards will be put away today, candy hidden from grands and decorations taken down. But if you are looking for an interesting read, I have one for you.

Wild is the story of a young woman who felt life had let her down and she had lost her way.  After the death of her mother, Cheryl's extended family fell apart and she reacted to this by acting out, divorcing her husband and trying to lose herself in drugs.  Fortunately she came to her senses and decided that a long walk might do her good. So with no hiking experience, Cheryl decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail which runs along the western coast of the US from Mexico to Canada. It is sometimes called the sister of the Appalachian Trail.  Cheryl reads guide books about the trail. She mails packages to stops along the way. ( There are post offices on the trail at various points just for the purpose of re stocking food and necessities.) She buys a pair of hiking boots, but neglects to break them in. She has a pack that  is of back breaking weight.  Nothing deters Cheryl as she sets off on her trek. She starts in California and plans to hike to the Columbia River in Oregon.

As you hike along with Cheryl, you come to realize what a hard task she has set for herself. She often camps alone in the wilderness. She comes upon rattlesnakes, deer and bears. Like most people who trek for miles, feet become the biggest issue and concern. Cheryl dealt with blisters, aching feet and hiking boots that she finds are too small for her feet. But there are no shoe stores on the trail. Fortunately she is able to have a pair of new boots mailed to her on the trail. Thanks to REI. Her food, while nourishing, becomes boring and tasteless. When she comes upon places where she can get hot food, she finds herself wolfing it down like a starving person.  Hot showers are few and far between on the trail so she gets used to being dirty and smelly.  And don't even think about the trials of finding and keeping water to drink!  Cheryl does come upon other hikers who are very helpful to her. One 60 year old former Eagle Scout helps her lighten her backpack. Citizens of the small towns along the trail, often invite her to come in for a shower and a hot meal.  Cheryl is quite the star of the PCT during her hike as it is seldom that a woman hikes the trail alone. Most hikers prefer to hike with friends for companionship and help in case of sickness or injury.  In her independent fashion Cheryl finds that solitary times on trail allow for reflection of the past and plans for the future.

This book is being made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon and I hope to see it when it is released.  I have always been fans of "hiking" books. It began with Peter Jenkin's best seller, Walk Across America, that I read many years ago and more recently I have been enjoying stories of the pilgrims who hike The Way( Camino de Santiago). The Way is a religious pilgrimage known from the middle ages and the trail runs from France to Italy. If you have not seen the movie, The Way, starring Martin Sheen, I highly recommend it.  I admire anyone who can discipline mind and body for such a journey. I am sure I would make it about an hour before giving up!

Well old man Winter has returned to Alabama this week so no walking journeys for me this week. I will be sitting in front of the fire with a good book!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Hearts!

Happy Valentine's Day. My sweet Valentine purchased tickets for us to attend a Gordon Lightfoot concert in Huntsville.  Hearing Gordon's songs reminds me of when we were a young couple and listened to his "records". I am officially old!  The bad thing about the concert is that it is on a Monday night. We will require lots of coffee to get going on Tuesday!! This was such a thoughtful gift and it made me very happy.

Back to the story of my Valentine's Day error in sending my sweet friend, Linda, two cards! Well yesterday her card for me arrived.

I cannot out do Miss Linda. Notice the postmark!! Loveland Co. Linda always goes the extra mile and that is one of the things that makes her so special. We have been friends since we were little girls and actually we are about fourth cousins as we share the same great great grandmother.  She is very special to me.

And here is my card!

I made a special treat  for Valentine's Day.

The February Southern Living magazine featured this chocolate pound cake and I knew I wanted to make it for Valentine's Day.

Here it is out of the pan...

And here is the final product. The buttermilk glaze did not turn out as it was pictured on the magazine. It was not as thick and white in color as the glaze on the cover.  I plan to slice it today and give pieces to all my neighbors, keeping a slice or two for me and Marvin to enjoy.

I hope all my blog friends have a sweet day!

Friday, February 13, 2015

More Valentines!

Only one more day to get your Valentines in the mail! I have a funny story this morning about mailing Valentines. My dear childhood friend, Linda, is great at sending cards for every holiday. So much so that my adult children have to see which card is from Linda as they know how faithful she is in sending love through the mail.  This year I thought I would mail hers early as I wanted to "beat" her to it this Valentine's Day. Well on Monday I was sending out some more Valentines and I could not remember if I had mailed one to Linda. So I sent another one. Well this morning I had an email from my sweet friend thanking me for her TWO valentines.  Marvin and I had a good laugh this morning over our coffee as I read him her email.

This Valentine is from my bestie, Susan. She also added a cute bucket full of goodies.

This one is from my friend, Terry. You will notice it features Miss Cleo, Terry's new kitty who was a rescue from our local animal shelter.

Kendall gave me the little My Pretty Pony Valentine! And you can see my cute red bucket from Susan along side it.

And here is a cute heart that is hanging on my kitchen ....today I am planning to make a special chocolate pound cake to share with my neighbors for Valentines Day. If you take Southern Living Magazine it was featured on the front of the February issue. I hope it turns out as pretty as the one on the cover!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Movies for Valentines Day

 Looking for a romantic movie for Valentine's Day? I thought I would share my top ten!

1.

 I love Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman is very easy on the eyes as well. What a sweet story of a young woman who finds love and a family all at the same time.

2.

 I love this movie set in a children's bookstore in NYC. The chemistry between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks is so sweet in this love story. They are two of my favorite performers.

3.

 Ok, so it is not a movie but it is my FAVORITE version of Jane Austen's best known love story. Colin Firth really is MR DARCY!

4.

 Ok, I saw this movie at the theater when I was twelve years old as it was being "re released" and I just fell in love with Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. I had read the book and I had heard that Clark Gable played Rhett but I was super disappointed in Leslie Howard who portrayed Ashley Wilkes. Really Scarlett??Really?? You would chose this Ashley over Rhett???

5.
A cottage in Surrey, Christmas, Jack Black in a romantic role? Jude Law and Kate Winslet thrown in for good measure.  And the sweet story of Iris taking an older man under her wing to help him prepare for a major honor in Hollywood is just icing on the cake.

6.
Cary Grant...need I say more?  This is one of my favorite comedies featuring Cary. On the day of his wedding, his first wife who he thought was dead shows up!


7.
Amy Adams and Ireland...I love Amy Adams, maybe because I have always wanted to be a Ginger( red head!).

8.
He Don't Eat Meat??? I love that quote by Tula's crazy aunt.  A very funny movie about the clash of two cultures.

8.
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan again!

10.

Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr! With our Minnesota roots, we enjoyed this movie about a girl who moves to the North to save a company and finds a man too!

Okay Blog Friends...what are your favorite romantic movies???

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Made with Love

I love receiving anything that a friend took the time to make just for me. My talented blog friend, Mrs R, sent me this precious hand designed Valentine card this week.

It is the first Valentine Card I have received this year and has a place of honor on my kitchen hutch.

Here is a close up! Thank you Mrs R for your thoughtfulness!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An Early Valentine

I am going to show off some of my Valentines this week...here is the first one.

My baby sister, Leta, is a teacher. She and her fellow teachers wore this shirt on Casual Friday last week. Leta has taught many autistic children and she knows the challenges that Ben and Katy face on a daily basis as they parent our grandson, Baylor.  Leta mailed a shirt to me and to my daughter in law, Katy.  We are both going to wear our shirts in honor of our sweet, precious Baylor.

A better close up....Puzzle pieces are used to represent Autism because each child who is autistic is different. Each has his/her own strengths and weaknesses just as anyone else does.

And I do LOVE LOVE LOVE my Baylor Boy!  We visited with the Hoova Grimms over the weekend and I was able to get some loving from my big boy. When we were leaving, he told Grandpa, See you Later.  How we love hearing his sweet voice. A big thank you goes to his speech therapist, Miss Lane, who does such a great job with Baylor.

And speaking of Baylor, here he is in all his pant less glory, running from Mom before she could get him dressed. He thinks it is hilarious!!  One of the things that is great about Baylor is his sense of humor. He likes to tease!

Here's to all the families who are affected by Austism...it is a hard path but with God's help, our family is making it!!