Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Virginia sweet Virginia

I was born in Newport News, Virginia many years ago.~smile~   It was home to my Mom when my Dad met her while he was in the Navy.  He was stationed in Norfolk not far from Newport News.  My Dad's home was Ft. Smith, Arkansas and soon after I was born that is where we moved.  But, we returned to Virginia every year since that was where my Mom's Mother lived and her siblings.  Visiting our Virginia family was something that I always looked forward to.

Over the years I have continued to go back to Virginia for occasional visits and this year Hubby decided that he would join me.  We made our plans about 3 months ago and of course, never dreamed that a hurricane would be brewing and heading straight to the East Coast.  We found ourselves going back and forth about whether we should go or not. We finally decided that we had put so much planning into the trip and we would just take our chances and go.  We all know that hurricanes have a mind of their own and can change their courses in a minutes notice.  AND, that's exactly what Florence did, she left us alone and we had wonderful weather and only experienced a sprinkling of rain one day.  

I only have one Aunt left and I love her  dearly and am so thankful that I got to have this special time with her.  I also have 5-6 cousins in the area and it was sooooo much fun getting to see them. My two girl cousins and I spent a day with Aunt Mary.  We talked and laughed the entire time. 

I have one cousin who lives in Virginia Beach and we spent a morning with her and her husband enjoying the beauty there.  I had not been to Virginia Beach in many years and I could hardly believe how much it had changed.  Quite a thriving city! 

Another cousin owns a 42' cabin cruiser and we enjoyed seeing it and area where it is housed.  He and his wife go out on the boat for weeks at a time and have done this for years and years.  Nothing about it sounds like fun to me.  I cannot even imagine living on a boat and it is very nice with bedroom, kitchen, living area, TV's, etc.  I think I would just always be concerned about the weather or needing assistance and the list goes on and on.  But, they absolutely love every minute they are on the boat and if I were to go out for an extended stay I would want to go with them.  They are well experienced and take no chances.  But, think I'll just settle for an occasional boat ride. 

Right across from the marina where their boat was docked was this house.  I looked up and saw this window in the chimney and had to scratch my head.  I've never, never seen such and cannot imagine what purpose it serves. 

One afternoon Hubby and I went over to walk around historic Williamsburg.  Even though it was the historic district, they did have many of the popular stores and shops.  I had to chuckle when I saw the Chico's store as Chico's style is so far from what the colonial ladies wore.  

Later that evening we met some of my cousins for dinner at a neat little restaurant called Food for Thought.  One thing for sure, the Tidewater area of Virginia is NOT lacking in great eating establishments.  My cousins all made sure that we dined at many of them while we were there and we enjoyed them all. 

We drove over to Smithfield one morning.  We took the ferry part of the way and then drove through beautiful countryside for the rest of the trip.  When I was 14 years old our family returned to Virginia.  My Dad had entered the ministry when I was 6 years old and a church not far from Smithfield called him to be their pastor.  It was great to be back near my Mom's family. I attended Smithfield High School for 3 1/2 years.

I have not been back to the Smithfield area for probably 45 years and I hardly recognized it.  It has grown by leaps and bounds and many of the old homes have been beautifully restored.  Smithfield is known for it's meat packing plant.  Perhaps you have had a Smithfield ham before, if so, this is where it is processed.

Battery Park is where the church was located that my Dad pastored and just a few miles from Smithfield.  It is just a small quaint little village and when we lived there was known for it's fishing and the local oyster house was located there.  It is quite run down and in need of a whole lot of tender loving care and it really made me sad to see it in such a deteriorated state.  But, that is what often happens when folks move from an area and no one moves in to replace them.  I have the fondest memories of  the time we lived there. 

Our last morning there we drove over to Jamestown and toured the area.  It is so full of history and we could have spent an entire day seeing the outside and inside exhibits.

It was such a awesome trip and I especially the treasure the special time I had with my Aunt Mary.  She was married to my Mom's brother but my Mom (and her sisters) always felt like Mary was their blood sister.  She's more fun than a barrel of monkeys and I'd give anything if I could just run by and see her anytime I wanted to.  She spends the majority of her days cozied up inside her little house and really seems quite content and happy.  I pray the Lord will continue to bless her with good enough health that she can remain in her house all the days of her life.

My heart is full of sweet, sweet memories and I know it would make my Mom so very happy if she knew that I had been back to her "home" to see and visit with her/our remaining family members. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

It's All About Food from Sunday Stealing

It's 30 questions about food and what I like or dislike. Always interesting little tidbits to know about someone. ~don't you agree~

1.   Ever had ramen noodles? How do you fix yours? Do you add anything to them? 
Well, believe it or not, I have NEVER had ramen noodles.  I have almost bought them a few times and feel like I would probably like them, but can't say for sure.
2.   Do you like spicy foods?
Indeed I do, it almost can't get too spicy for this gal.

3.   Crispy or grilled chicken on your salad?

I prefer crispy on my salad.  But, I will gladly eat grilled chicken for a meal.

4.   Do you like corn on the cob?
Oh, I love corn on the cob but all my dental work over the years will not allow me to eat it off the cob.  So, I just cut it off the cob and eat away.

5.   Pumpkin or apple pie?

It would be pumpkin, even though I do like apple pie, I love all things pumpkin.

6.   Dinner rolls or crescent rolls?
I'll gladly take either one but rarely eat either unless we are eating out and then I will indulge in one.

7.   How do you like your eggs?

It would be scrambled with cheese and cooked well done.  I'm picky about my eggs not being gooey, must be cooked through and through.

8.   Most expensive meal you have ever eaten?

I cannot remember, but we have eaten some meals with shocking prices for sure.

9.   Do you like stir fry?

Yes, I do and I use to even do it myself once in a while.  Now, I only eat it if I get it when we are eating out

10.  What kind of pots and pans do you use?

I use stainless steel and they are very old but are still in excellent condition.  I'm a fanatic about cleaning my pans.  I can't stand nasty looking pans. ~chuckle~

11.   Do you like Brussel sprouts?

I do like brussel sprouts and buy them in the frozen packages and have been know to eat a package for lunch and nothing else. 

12.   Canned or fresh tomatoes?

I do not eat tomatoes in any shape form or fashion.  I will use  diced or chopped tomatoes in soup but that's it.  I do like the flavor of tomatoes so I use tomato sauce and I love salsa but I do not like the texture of tomatos.

13.   BBQ Chicken or Ribs?

Chicken, not sure I've ever eaten ribs, they are too messy for me. ~grin~

14.   Do you like coffee?

I LOVE, LOVE coffee!!!  It's the first thing I grab when I get out of the bed.

15.   Cupcakes or ice cream cake?

I'll take a cupcake and maybe a little dip of vanilla ice cream on the side.

16.   Hot dogs or polish sausage?

Definitely a hot dog with mustard, onions, chili and grated cheese on top.

17.   Do you like cinnamon toast?

I love cinnamon toast but rarely eat it.

18.   Do you eat dinner at the table or in front of the TV?

It would probably be about half and half.  I never saw myself eating in front of the TV but it happened and I really sort of enjoy eating and watching the evening news.

19.   Do you like to BBQ?

No, I do grill but I leave the BBQ to someone else.  It's too messy too.

20.   Do you like cold cuts?

Yes, I like several of the cold cuts and like mixing 2-3 of the meats on a sandwich.  I love a smoked turkey and pepperoni sandwich.  Yummy!

21.   Do you like rice?
Yes, I pretty much like rice any way it can be fixed.

22.   Macaroni and cheese?

As long as it is creamy but I never fix it.  Our son loved it when he was growing up and I made it all the time.  But, not so much now.

23.   Key Lime Pie?

Indeed with a cup of hot coffee

24.   Favorite Fair/Carnival Food?

I think it's called "Tater on a Stick."  It's a spiraled potato on a stick, fried to a nice crispness, and salted.  It is so good.

25.   What kind of gravy do you like?

Just a brown medium thick gravy.

26.   Jalapeno Poppers?

Oh, my, I love them!!! Pioneer Women has the best recipe for these.

27.   Broccoli/Chicken Alfredo?

I've never had it but I know I would love it. I love broccoli, I like chicken and I like alfredo sauce.

28.   Do you like cottage cheese?

NO, NO, NO, but I do use it in one of the lasagne's I make and I never even know it's in it.

29.   Do you like lasagna?

I do and I have two good recipes that I use.

30.   Do you like hard boiled eggs?
Not by themselves but it's fine if they are in a dish. 

Well, this really is my last post until I return home from Virginia.
See you when I return.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Gotta Travel On (1959)

Another Saturday, 9 more questions and answers.
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
I can't believe this song is just 7 years younger than me.  Goodness, that is old!😅

I well remember this song.

1) In this song, the Billy Grammer sings that "summer's almost gone, winter's coming on." When you look out your window, do you see any evidence that the seasons are changing?

Well, I'm sad to say, no.  Our yard and landscape is still in beautiful bloom.

2) He admits he has laid around and played around for too long. Do you consider lazy days to be wasted days? 

I can't remember the last lazy day I had, but I do not think they are wasted days. Well, as long as you don't have to many of them and ignore the work at hand.  I'm just much happier being busy, not too busy, just the right amount of busy. ~grin~

3) Billy relaxed by fishing. Tell us about a visit you made to a pier, or a ride you took on a boat, this past year. (Bonus points if you went fishing!)

Well, I'm afraid that I have done absolutely none of the above. Now, we live on a beautiful pond, just steps from our back porch.  I have sat out by the pond and watched the Grans and other family members enjoy fishing this year, but, I was not a participant.

4) Born in 1925, Mr. Grammer was the eldest of 13 children. He and his wife Ruth were childless. What do you think is the ideal size for a family? 

I think the size of one's family is a personal decision but for us, it was 4.  We had a son and a daughter and I never desired more, so we were a happy family of 4.

5) This song was very popular on juke boxes back in 1959. When were you last in a bar or restaurant that had a juke box? Did you play it?
I know there are still places that have juke boxes but I can't remember the last time I was in a place that had one.  It's been a long time ago.

6) In 1959, movie tickets zoomed up in price to $1.00 and Ben Hur was the big blockbuster. What's the last movie you saw in a theater? Do you remember how much the ticket cost?

The last movie we went to was Momma Mia 2 - Here We Go Again. I believe the tickets were $8 because we went to the matinee showing.  Between the cost of the tickets and any concessions you may want, I truly do not know how young families can afford to go.

7) Huckleberry Hound was a hit with the younger audience in 1959. What cartoon did you enjoy as a kid? Image result for images of bugs bunny
No doubt about it, Bugs Bunny.
8) In 1959, continuing dramas (soap operas) were still broadcast each day on the radio. When you turn on the radio, do you listen for talk, news, or music?

The radio in my vehicle stays on XM station 68, Escape.  It is an easy listening instrumental station and I so enjoy it - so relaxing.  I use to listen to talk radio and sometimes news, but they are both just a bunch of noise now and I  simply cannot stand it. 
9) Random question -- Which competition would you rather judge: The Pillsbury Bake Off, The Miss America Pageant, or Dancing with the Stars? 
I would enjoy judging the Pillsbury Bake Off, at least it would taste a whole lot better than the other two choices.  I am not totally on board with the Miss America Pageant and I sure don't know enough about dancing to be a judge.   ~that's the truth~

Alrighty, I'll be outta here and enjoying some time in Virginia next week.  I'll catch up with you when I return.  And, hey, please pray that Virginia can avoid being hit by any of the hurricane or the results of it.  Ugh, could put a real "damper" on our trip.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Fall and Other Things

In case you haven't heard, I am anxiously awaiting Fall.  I love fall, cooler temps, pumpkins, fall foliage, sweaters, and booties. The first official day of fall isn't until Sept. 23rd. So, it's still about 3 weeks away.  But, I am ready!

This past weekend I put out my fall pillows on the front porch.  I love these pillows from Plow and Hearth.

And, I also put a few fall touches out inside the house.  I've really simplified my seasonal decor in recent years but I really like the decor I have.

I now have beaded runners from Pier 1 for all the holidays and season and I especially like this one with the pumpkins.  And, I love my copper pumpkins.  Yes, I'm ready and waiting for fall to make it's grand appearance.

This little guy turned 3 years old last Friday, August 31st.  He is our youngest Gran and he is one more happy little boy and he was beside himself over his birthday.  You can tell from his expressions that he was about to "pop a button."

Stop by tomorrow for The Saturday 9 and have a great Friday and here's wishing for some fall like weather.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joyce took the summer off from the HP but she's back for today.  She will let us know her future plans in due time. 

1. What has been the highlight of your summer so far? (It's still summer people!)

Hands down, when my daughter and I went to Pawhuska, Ok to visit all things Pioneer Woman

2. What do you wish you'd done more of this summer? Less of?
I was pretty content with my summer and not sure I'd change a thing.

3. Something you're looking forward to on your September calendar?
Hubby and I will fly out this coming Monday morning for Virginia.  We will be visiting some of my cousins and my only surviving Aunt on my Mom's side of the family.  I've been looking forward to this visit for months.

4. Best/favorite book you've read this summer?

I have not done a whole lot of reading this summer but I did read this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is caring for or overseeing the care of their aging parent. It is full of encouragement and if you have ever cared for a parent then you know that it can be a tough, tough job.  Yes, the rewards can be great , but you often grow weary and worn.  I have been overseeing the care of my Dad for almost 8 years.  Thankfully he is still able to live in an assisted living facility and I pray will live out his days there.

5. Share something positive, encouraging, or uplifting here.
No matter how dark and dreary our day may be, no matter how distressing the news may be and on and on, God is still on His throne and He is in control.  Obviously the world is full of folks that do not know this and they have missed the mark for sure.  I'm so thankful that I am His and He is mine.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Our Princess spent the afternoon with us this past Sunday.  After she had left I found these two notes that she had written to us.  These are one of the many rewards of Grandparenting.  And, she used such creativity. I was pretty impressed for an 8 year old.

Monday, September 3, 2018

How Do You Cozy - TBB Asks

It's the first Monday of September and that means it's time for The Blended Blog gals to ask us their questions.  It's always such fun to join these gals.

1. Slippers: YES or NO?
Yes, indeed, slippers, not house shoes.  I want to just slip my feet into them, thus slippers.

2. What is your favorite Blanket?
I bought a Peacock Alley blanket a few years ago that is by far my favorite blanket.  It is soft but has a lot of body to it, not flimsy and holds it's shape very well.  I am not sure of the fabric content but it's awesome.  I got it at Tuesday Morning for less than half of what it cost.

3. Thin or Thick Pillow?
Neither, I have used a contour pillow for about 10 years.  I started using it for neck issues and have just kept using it.  My favorite is the one from Brookstones.  Contour pillows are NOT all created equal!

4. Favorite Warm Beverage?
Well, I don't do warm, but rather HOT coffee every morning of my life.  I love coffee, especially in the mornings.  Coffee with my morning devotional is the perfect way to start my day.

5. Robe: YES or NO?
NO, I cannot stand robes!!! I wear Soma lounging tops and pants for my robe.  Robes get in my way.

6. Favorite Comfort Snack Food(s)? would be popcorn or peanut M and M's.  I love the salt of the popcorn and the crunch of the M and M's.

7. Movies or TV Series Binge?
The only series I have ever binge watched was Longmier. One of the best shows I've ever seen.  I'm currently watching The Queen but not binge watching, I just watch it every morning while I'm on my elliptical.

8. Actual PJ’s or Leggings? 
I don't do PJ's in any shape, form or fashion.  I love soft,soft night shirts.

9. Do you cozy up on the couch or a chair?
I rarely sit down during the day but in the evenings I can hardly wait to get to my recliner and cozy up with my favorite afghan.

10. Hoodie, T-shirt or Sweater?
I'm not much of a hoodie or t-shirt kind of gal, so it would be a sweater.  I do have a couple of hoodies that I occasionally wear and I only wear a t-shirt to work out on my elliptical.  But, I love sweaters!

Image result for inspirational new week quotes and images

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sunday Stealing Questions and Answers

I've enjoyed participating in the Saturday 9 and the Sunday Stealing these past few weeks.  It certainly helps to get my sometimes feeble brain in gear and it gives my readers a chance to learn just a little bit more about me. ~since I know they want to~ 

What is one thing that you would change about yourself if you could?
Well, what an interesting question.........I have always wished that I had gone to college, so I'd say I wish that I were a college graduate.  I don't know if my life would have been a bit different if I had gone to college but I still wish I had.

Name three exotic countries you would like to visit:

If I could just snap my fingers and be there I'd like to visit, China, India and Greece

What do you think the secret to life is?

No doubt about it, it is knowing Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and knowing that HE is  always be with me, no matter what.  And, having the assurance of spending eternity with HIM.

Best concert:

I would have to say George Strait.  It was many years ago but he gave a first class concert and I love all of his songs.  It was a most enjoyable evening.

Song you can listen to over and over and not get tired of:

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me   I know every word and loved it the first time I ever heard it many years ago and now that I've seen the movie, I love it even more.

Worst movie music soundtrack or score:

I have no idea

A song you wish wouldn't get stuck in your head but always does:

I really don't get songs stuck in my head or haven't in a very long time.

Who was your FIRST date?

My husband

Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
Every day - I married him.

What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?

I am a teetotaler.  All alcoholics started with a JUST one drink.  I have seen alcohol ruin lives and families and  I made the decision a very, very long time ago that I would not drink in any shape, form or fashion. 

What was your FIRST job?
Other than babysitting (I earned 50 cents an hour back in the day) I worked at a local department store gift wrapping.

What was your FIRST car?

Oh, I didn't have a car until I was married.  I drove our family car after I got my license.  Our first car after we married was a red  Pontiac Firebird.  We were a one car family for quite some time and then Hubby went to work for a company that provided him a company car so the Firebird became "my" car.

Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?

I flew from Virginia to Louisiana to see my husband to be.  I was scared too death but that was the first of many, many flights for me.

Who was your FIRST best friend and do you still talk?

Oh, yes indeed.  It was a girl named Lynette and we became friends in the 8th grade and although for most of our friendship we have lived many miles apart, we stay in touch and visit each other when we can.  She has lived in Florida for 30+ years but she is from here in Louisiana where I live.

Whose wedding did you attend the FIRST time?

I do not recall as I started going to weddings a very long time ago.

Tell us about your FIRST roommate.

I did have a brief stent with college and my roommate and I had nothing in common.  We were just roommates and nothing more.  I wish it had been different as I really looked forward to having a roommate.  

If you had one wish, what would it be (other than more wishes)?

That my Grans would make wise and good decisions as they grow up and never have to live with consequences of bad decisions.

What is something you would learn if you had the chance?

Hummmm, just not sure.

Did you marry the FIRST person you were in love with?

Yes, I did.

What were the first lessons you ever took and why?

I started taking piano lessons when I was around 8 or 9 and took for 7-8 years.  I took because my Mom wanted me to learn to play the piano but I never had my heart in it.  I did learn but really never enjoyed it.  I regret that today.

What is the first thing you do when you get home? 

I take my rings off and put them in a little gold lidded box that sets on my key drop.  I cannot stand to wear my rings while I'm at home.  They are the first thing I put on when I leave the first thing I take off when I get home. 

See you back tomorrow for more questions with The Blended Blog Gals.