Friday, November 28, 2008 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
We're stuffed.

Butternut squash soup, turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, fresh asparagus, jello mold, cranberry relish, and, cranberry sauce, chocolate cherry pie, pumpkin pie with streusel topping, apple crisp, mint chocolate brownies...etc.etc.

We had a wonderful dinner and an incredible day...

Owen and Audrey continue to delight me with their "adorableness".

I am in Heaven surrounded by these loves of my life...

I am grateful for so many things...and I sit here filled with joy.

Two more days here in Minnesota.

I hope that they go verrrry slowwwwly....

xoxo, Grammie

Monday, November 24, 2008

Guess what, Audrey????

Grammie's coming tomorrow!

It is finally here....

I will by flying to Minnesota tomorrow morning for a week of love and hugs.....and, of course, lots of picture taking and turkey eating!! : )

I want to wish all of my dear blogging friends a Thanksgiving filled with gratefulness and joy....warmth and family.....and, most especially....a counting of all of your many blessings.

I know that I will be counting mine...



Sunday, November 23, 2008


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It's snowin' in 'Skinnie"!

Skaneateles, New York, (the locals call it 'Skinnie') is my sister's second home....and while she was there this past week....they got 16 inches of snow!

It looks so beautiful!

I am so jealous, I can hardly stand it.

Of course, since I will be in Minnesota this Tuesday....I may get to experience a little of the white stuff!

Time to go pack my long undies!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"What do you all do on a 'Girlies Trip'?"

(I made this heart from my footprints on the sand when I took a walk along the beach!)

Men just don't get it.

When women get away for a few days we talk, talk,talk, talk....and, talk some more.

We never run out of things to say. That is the beauty of a girl's trip.

We open our hearts and souls about everything. Men would never do such a thing. But, for us, it is wonderful to share our 'wisdom' and insight about life together.

My beach trip wasn't all seriousness however...there was lots of laughter...lots of fun...lots of eating.....drinking....and, oh, did I mention, talking?

: )

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hard to leave this peaceful scene!

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Home from the beach and an incredible 5 days...

Mother Nature gave us some beautiful shows each night at are some that I captured on my camera as I stood on the 19th floor patio at my friend's condo.

Breathtaking, aren't they?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All good things must come to an end???

We can't do it.

We were supposed to be heading home tomorrow....but, we have decided to extend our trip one more we won't be leaving until Friday!

It is pure heaven here and we just aren't ready to leave yet!

Tonight we brought home a dinner of stone crabs and steamed crab claws. Add a huge salad to that...and some delicious wine....and it was incredible!!

Savoring every moment.....


Monday, November 17, 2008

sweats, books, and, of course, wine

We're off this morning to head down to the coast for some "Girlie Time".

I have packed all of the necessities for survival...sweat outfits, reading materials that I haven't gotten a chance to get to, lots of snacks, chocolate (of course), my favorite pillow, walking clothes, and, most importantly, WINE. : )

I'll be in touch....

xoxo, Grammie

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A night with Aaron...

A friend offered us two tickets to go to the Alabama Symphony performance last night.

She and her husband were going to be in New York and she didn't want the tickets to go unused.So, Dave and I took her up on this extremely kind offer.

Now, I am sure many of you can identify with this feeling. You are so looking forward to going out until the actual night rolls around...and, suddenly staying home sounds so appealing...especially on a Friday night after a long week. It was a muggy night out...with thunderstorms on the way ahead of a strong cold front. But, despite all of this....and, after a bit of moaning and groaning, Dave and I got all spiffed up headed out for the evening.

First stop was our traditional dinner-out-before-the-Show place, The Fish Market. This local eatery is always filled to capacity and last night was no different. It's not a fancy fact you stand in line, order you food...and then when your little doodad starts to light go to a counter and pick up your food. There are a multitude of seafood offerings...with their Greek snapper being one of their specialties. With your entree, one can order from a variety of side dishes...and, believe me, no one leaves this place without feeling stuffed. The food is always good..

It turns out that there were three events going on at our Civic Center last night: the Symphony, an auto show, and Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson...and the long lines of traffic proved that this was going to be a tough parking night. So, we sat in a line of cars going up and up in a parking deck for, what seemed like, an eternity....finally reaching a spot way up near the top. This was not a great beginning to our evening out...and, I'm sure that Dave would have liked to have just driven right out of there at that point and headed home...but, we plodded on.

Dave got himself a little vodka and soda (probably to calm his nerves at this point!) and we headed to our seats. The tickets from my friend put us four rows back from the stage... smack dab in the center. Nice.

We had talked earlier about maybe just staying for the first half and leaving at intermission. Well, the conductor came out to introduce the evening's program and told us that the first half would be just the Symphony playing....leading up to the second half of the evening where Aaron Neville would be performing. Thus, the plan was off...and, we would "stick it out".

We settled back and the orchestra began to play. It was lovely...and, at times lively....but, very enjoyable. Dave sipped his drink...and, I began to unwind and relax.

After just a few songs, the lights went up and it was already intermission. Before we knew it, Aaron Neville was approaching the stage and the second part of the evening began.

Those of you familiar with this singer already know about his unique atyle of singing. He does this thing with his voice that is hard to describe...but, the results are beautiful. He sang his heart out last night including mellow tunes like: "Tell It Like It Is"--a hit from 1966-the year that I graduated high school...."Everybody Plays To Fool", and, my favorite "Don't Know Much", a song made famous in a duet with Linda Ronstadt.

Neville has been around for a long time and he isn't a youngster by any means...but, he still has "it"...and he belted out his songs for a couple of hours straight...ending with his own version of "Amazing Grace".


It was an incredible show...I am so grateful that my friend gave us this opportunity....and I am glad that we pushed ourselves to go.

Sometimes one has to do that to experience greatness like we did last night...

Friday, November 14, 2008

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Word of the Day for Friday, November 14, 2008

ensconced \en-SKONST\, adjective: 1. sheltered comfortably

2. sheltered safely; hidden

Sometimes when my 'word of the day' arrives in my mail list... it seems to 'speak' of what is going on with me at that time.

As we all go through our daily craziness, we sometimes need to just get away from it all and hide away for a few days.

I'll be doing that this coming Monday as I head to the beach with a few of the Girlies.

As soon as we get in the car to head down for this 5 ish hour drive to the Gulf coast, the relaxation will already begin to happen. It's funny how that happens. The further away from Birmingham that we get, the more relaxed we become...Once there and ensconced in the condo...there will be a lot of deep breathing, sighing, talking, laughing, eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, reading, watching sunsets, listening to the sounds of the ocean...and just 'being' (you know--all of the good "ing" words!)...

What's on the 'must-do' agenda when we get down there?

Absolutely nothing.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

odds and ends....

I'm pooped.

Today was a full day of running errands.

First stop...the eye doctor to try another pair of contact lens. They are trying to switch me from the two week lens to one a day lens that you throw out at the end of the day. It's pretty amazing when I think back to my first contact lens a thousand years ago...they were very hard plastic that you had to almost 'pop' out of your eye to remove them...and, then you had to sterilize them overnight in a little heating thingamajig. We've come a long way...


I was shocked when I filled up my car with gas today...$! That was a pleasant surprise...I hope that the lower prices last for a while.


When I brought in the newspaper this morning, I began to think about how archaic it is becoming. Much of the printed news in the morning has already been online the night before or very early that day.

But, then there is always the comics page.... : )


OK. I am admitting that I have absolutely NO willpower when it comes to chocolate. I gave Dave a bunch of my leftover Halloween candy...but, I still had a bagful here at my house. It was full of M & M's, Hershey crackle bars, Three Musketeers, etc...Because they were all little, teeny tiny packages (ha!), I figured that I could handle having it around without upping my caloric intake too much.


I found myself eating those teeny, tiny packages all day was crazy!

Yesterday, I threw all the rest of the chocolate out in the garbage.

Yes, believe me....I did think about retrieving them...but pushed the bag down deeper into the garbage pail instead.



My dear neighbor, Bob, brought over some fresh tomatoes the other day. I am thinking that I need to use them before they go bad....maybe I will make a little sauce with them and put it over some spaghetti. Sounds good to me... I'm going to go and get started.

Have a nice evening!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh my!

Much to my delight....I just checked through Jeffrey and Janet's web albums and found some brand new pictures of grandbaby Celia! What a cutie...just had to share this latest pix with you all.

: )

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I adore my daughters-in-law love!

They both bring so many joys into my life...each in their own way.

Well, daughter-in-law Jenny works for General Mills in the Betty Crocker division and is always testing new and creative ways to makes wonderful cakes, cupcakes, etc. For Owen's birthday this year, she created an adorable "Thomas, the Train" cake...and she has been known to test out several other ideas including a "too-cute-to-eat" rubber ducky cake for sister-in-law, Janet. My poor son, Adam, has to taste test these delicious creations!! (It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!) : )

Jenny recently made these adorable 'baby rattle' cupcakes (pictured above) for a friend's baby shower and she swears that they were so easy to do.

It seems as if has updated an entire section on their site to cover birthdays and party fact, they have recently added almost 20 new birthday party videos.

So, I decided to visit the site...and was quite inspired. See what you think...

.....and get baking!

(just don't eat all of the test products yourself!) : )

How to make baby rattle cupcakes for a baby shower
Here's the link to the site where you can view this and many more easy 'make-it-yourself' videos.

Have fun!


How to make baby rattle cupcakes for a baby shower

Monday, November 10, 2008

"We try to grab pieces of our lives as they speed past us. Photographs freeze those pieces and help us remember how we were." Gene McSweeney

I love photos.

One look around my house and you will see every available shelf or surface filled with framed pictures of family and friends.

I always feel surrounded by love whenever I enter a room and come face to face with these photos. And, since I don't have any family living here in Birmingham, it truly helps when those feelings of loneliness come into my heart from time to time.

Every once in a while I get down an old album and spend time gazing at the beautiful pictures of times gone by. Today was one of those days.

As the memories began to flood into my brain...I sat and reminisced...and smiled.

So, if you will forgive this old Grammie for today, I have posted one of the many pictures that brought back memories of a funny story from 30+ years ago.

I am guessing that my oldest, Adam, was about 5 years old when this picture was taken. He and his little brother, Jeffrey, were playing in the bathtub when I brought them a little surprise.

I had purchased some "bathtub crayons" that were made to be used in the tub. The directions said that these would wash right off.

I guess that they didn't mean on the human body? HA!

The kids were having a ball with them...marking the tub with drawings and then "painting" their faces and bodies with the various colors.

Well, it turns out that the black crayon was popular with the kids as they began to cover their little bodies in jubilation as evidenced by the picture of Adam posted below.

Oh, how we laughed....

Until we tried to wash it all off.

Unfortunately, a very distinct shadow of the crayon's markings remained on their bodies....especially their faces.....


(I hope that Adam will forgive my posting this picture of him in the tub...but, I couldn't resist.)

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

...of flags and foliage....

When the house was painted several years ago....the flag holder was removed and never put back up. It was one of those things that you keep talking about doing...but, never seem to get around to doing...

Well, Dave did it for me today and it looks great! I don't know about you, but I get the best feeling when I see the American flag flying...and, now I have it right out my front door. Ahh.


Then there are these glorious leaves that are blazing with incredible colors these days. Every time that I see a gorgeous tree adorned with its new fall coat, I always wish that I had my camera with me. Today, I did...and, I snapped some of the splendiferous beauty that is all around me. Then, when Dave and I took a walk this morning, we picked up some of the variety of colors of leaves on the ground (ok, truth be told...we picked a couple off of the actual trees) and I made the heart of leaves above.

I know. I am so corny sometimes....but, I can't help it.


Speaking of Dave, my "part time personal chef" (ha)...he did it again last night as he closed off the kitchen and went to work making dinner for me. The menu this time was pork tenderloin that he rubbed with a home-made dry rub of seasonings and grilled; bowtie noodles cooked with portabello mushrooms in a wine sauce; and, fresh stringbeans with onions and cheddar. Mmmm. Mmmmm. Mmmmmm. Delish. Tonight is leftover night...and I can't wait.


I never posted about the girlie game night last week. It was such fun. I had heard about the game "LCR" and had ordered it online. I waited expectedly for the package to arrive and when it did I couldn't believe my eyes. It was a little tube about the size of a pill container with three dice and 8 chips inside. I kept looking in the envelope for something more...but, that was the game!

Anyway, everyone starts with $3 (or 3 quarters, dimes or pennies...whatever) and takes a turn rolling the dice. Every time it lands on "L" you pass your money to the left, "R" to the right, "C" to the center (the pot), and a dot means that you don't have to do anything. Then it is the next person's turn...and so on and so on. Eventually everyone is out of money except for one person and they win the pot! We laughed a lot (the wine helped!)and had a great time.

It's a lot of "mindless" fun...and easy to pack when you travel!


I'm always with one or both of my sons for Thanksgiving...but, this year things didn't seem to be working out for us all to be together...and, I was feeling pretty bummed about it. We normally do a "rotation" of sorts with everyone traveling to a different place alternating years...but, it was just not going to be this time. Knowing that I would be seeing Jeffrey, Janet and Celia in December...I started to just toy with the idea of making the flight up to MN...took a deep breath....threw caution (and my finances) to the wind...and I made a reservation! I will head up there the Tuesday before Thanksgiving...and Dave will arrive on Thursday morning....with both of us heading home early Monday. As an extra bonus, one of my sisters will be joining us up there.

"Family"......there's nothing like it! : )


Mom turned 86 on the 5th of this month. My two sisters living down in Florida gave her a little birthday luncheon. I was sorry that I couldn't be there...I will see them all in January. I sent her one of those clear bags with places for pictures and filled them with all of her great grandbabies. I figured that she could put her knitting in the bag and show them off to all of the ladies at the "Home".


I hope that you are all having a lovely autumn day wherever you may be.


Grammie : )

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It's raining LEAVES....hallelujah!

As I was raking leaves off of the pool cover today....more were flying out of the trees than I was able to rake up. So, I grabbed my camera and took a little video of the falling leaves. It made me think of that song: "It's Raining Men, Hallelujah"...thus, the title of the post today.

This really is such a beautiful time of the year...falling leaves and all...

Ah, autumn...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Photo overload

All of this photo taking can only go so far! By the last shot Owen had clearly had enough of the hugging and smooching.... !
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Thursday, November 06, 2008

back to my peaceful beginnings...

I have made a decision tonight not to post my personal political views on my blog anymore.

This very emotional election has created a lot of controversy. People feel very passionate about what is going on in the political world right now and have found a forum via blogs and comments.

Unfortunately, some of the comments that I have received have been less than kind concerning my feelings about our next President. While I would be totally open to hearing other points of view...some of these comments have been extremely pointed and judgemental and come across as "angry" and mean-spirited.

I began this blog years ago as a diary of sorts to mark my journey as I was getting ready to become a grandmother for the first time. My hope was that this "journal" could be something that my grandchildren could read some day to learn more about their Grammie. It has been a forum for me to express my incredible joy at each of their births as well as the blessed life that I live. I have been very open about many personal feelings and have not regretted anything that I have written....until now.

For all of you who have found my blog through political comments that I have made, please find another place for your comments. I know that your passions are as important as mine, even though we may disagree. I understand the need to allow time for everyone to find their "footing" again and move ahead. I apologize for my wanting everyone to feel the "haze of optimism" that I was experiencing. I see now that my desires were probably unrealistic as well as unfair.

With all of this being said, I have made a personal decision to remove my posts from the last few days. Some of the comments brought my grandchildren into the discussion...and, that is where I must draw the line.

I want to go back to the original intent of my blog...and, I will do that starting tomorrow.

Life is too short for all of this tension and aggressiveness. I would rather spend my energy on peace and goodwill.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I just decided to put this letter to my grandbabies back on....

"It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today."

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." Barack Obama

To my dear grandbabies: Owen, Audrey and Celia,

As you lay sleeping in your cribs last night... history was made.

I watched with a lump in my throat as Barack Obama, an African-American, was elected President of the United States.

When Obama approached the podium to speak, I welled up with tears as the camera scanned the beautiful rainbow of faces of cheering people who had gathered by the tens of thousands in a Chicago park to get a glimpse of history being made. Young, old, black, white, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish...etc. etc. etc.....all united by the commonality of being Americans and believing in this incredible man.

Barack Obama has given us a feeling of badly-needed hope. We have young men fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the economy is in great trouble, health care is not available for all....I could go on and on. But, many of us have been inspired to dream of better times again through the words of this great leader.

I am one of those people...not just for me, now....but, for the three of you and the world that I will be leaving you in the future. As a mother and a grammie, my hopes extend way beyond my todays...and, this just feels so right.

I wish that I could say that all prejudices have been erased by this election, but I cannot. There is still hate and ignorance in our world. Living in Birmingham, Alabama is a constant reminder of some of that. However, I see this as a step in the right direction towards better understanding and acceptance of our differences....and working together as one.

Millions of Americans felt the motivation to make their voice heard by voting like we have never seen before in this country. Millions of people saw a man who inspired them without being concerned about the color of his skin. "We can do it!" people chanted....and "do it" they did.

Maybe some of the "hate" in the world will now be replaced and defeated by "heart". The hearts of so many people were felt last night.... and today I woke up hopeful and, oh, so proud.

With love always,

your Grammie

"Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." Lin Yutang

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cross-eyed with goofy grins.

Scary eyes with a jagged mouth.

Big eyes with a huge toothy smile....etc. etc.

Today is garbage day in my neighborhood and everyone's pumpkins were out by the street on display. Halloween is just a memory now. Unfortunately it is about a 3 lb. sugar weight gain of a memory for me. Next year I will be buying low calorie apples for the kids...!


I walked to my polling place this morning expecting to see long and winding lines of voters. To my surprise I was able to get right in and vote without any hassles...put on my "I voted" sticker and walked out. Nice.

I am anxiously awaiting the results this evening, even though there is already talk about malfunctioning voting machines...and overseas ballots not received in time...amongst other glitches. I hope that it does not delay the results in that this campaign has gone on long enough. It is no surprise to my regular readers that I am hopeful of seeing history being made tonight as we elect our first African-American President...Barack Obama.

But, however things turn out, I will be supportive and respectful of the winner.


We are getting very spoiled here in Alabama as we have had several days in a row now with the most incredibly beautiful weather! The leaves have begun to show their bright colors...gorgeous. It makes one glad to be alive...


My sister, Karen, and I went to a wonderful art show on Sunday. The emphasis of the show was ecology and many of the artists used recycled materials for their art pieces. Students from various local schools had created projects also out of recycled materials. Many of the booths were set up with some ideas for ways to help conserve energy, water, etc. such as collecting rain water and harnessing solar power. It was fascinating and important...not only to me for my time on this earth...but, especially for my kids and grandbabies. I want to make sure and leave a good, clean world in their future...


At this same show there was a display of very fancy cakes from several of the local bakeries. The cakes were totally edible and truly works of art. It is amazing what one can do with sugar! For a small fee you could buy "tasting tickets" and sample some of their wares. Luckily, we only purchased enough for three tastes...but, left wanting more of course! Yum.


Update on my Mom's Halloween night at "The Home". She ended up dressing like a flapper from the Roaring 20's". She wore a headband and a flapper dress, long pearls, fishnet stockings and heels...put some ringlets in her hair...and, even dotted her cheek with a fake beauty mark! I bet that she turned some heads with that get up.

Well, it turns out that she won second place in the costume contest...her prize was a free massage...which she will probably need after a night in those heels.

Anyway, congrats, Mom....I'm proud of you. Since you have arrived at "The Home" I don't think that it has ever been the same... : )


Dave wrenched his back over the weekend so he spent a good deal of time with a heating pad wrapped around his lower back area. Of course, this did not stop him from playing golf Saturday and Sunday. By Monday morning I wasn't sure if he could get his socks on by himself as I heard groans coming from the bedroom....MEN!!!!


Tomorrow afternoon I am having some of the Girlies over for game night. I purchased this game call "LCR" online after having heard that it was a lot of fun. Well, much to my surprise, the entire game consisted of three dice and a handful of chips. It came in a little tube...and I kept searching in the envelope for something more...but, that was it. You roll the dice and either end up passing a chip (or money if you so choose) to the person on your left (L), your right (R), the pot in the center (C) or do nothing at all (.). Eventually someone ends up with all of the chips and the game is over. It seems rather basic...but, I plan to serve lots of wine, so it should be fun! Stay tuned...


Well, whatever party you belong to...or whoever you feel would make the best leader of this great country of ours....please, please go and vote. It will make you feel good.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Owen at the Orchards!

Adam and Jenny took Owen to an apple orchard....and he ended up on a "cow train" on a cow that he named "Daddy"! Such fun... Missing you....xoxo Grammie

Audrey laughing at Sprout

Oh! How I wish that I could be there to see this in person!!!!!

Hmmmm, I wonder.....

...who's going to eat all of the leftover candy???? : )
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