Friday, October 2, 2009

Missing Domino

Our wonderful Border Collie, Domino, got run over and killed a few weeks ago. Ken and I are both so sad. Domino was the first house dog we have ever had. He really became part of our family - I didn't know I could love a dog so much. He was so smart - I really believe he knew what we were thinking. I don't think I ever want to let a dog get that close again. It is hard to believe he's gone. Dale and Tristan were upset, but not quite so much. They weren't around Domino as much as Ken and I were.

We had decided we did not want to get another dog for a while. Just needed some time to miss Domino and decide if we wanted to get another one. One week after Domino died, Ken's nephew showed up at our house with a Beagle puppy. The puppy came to his house a couple of weeks ago - collar, but no tags. Larry tried to find where he belonged, but no one seemed to know. Of course we fell in love with him - who can resist a Beagle puppy. Ken named him Bodacious - Bo. He is full of energy. Dale, Tristan and Jeremiah all love him. Becky grew up with a Beagle at here house so she sort of likes him, too. He is very different from Domino - which is probably a good thing. So we have a dog - and the guys have a "shop dog". He goes down with Ken every morning and they all pet him.

I love the change of seasons. Seems I'm always ready for the next one. Our weather has been perfect for a few days. Cool. I kept Jeremiah for a few hours today - he is 14 months old - and having so much fun - learning something new every minute. We took a long walk - didn't ride the Gator today - only because he didn't see it. He thinks it is his - he sees it - he wants to ride it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Way It Was

I'm thinking about how it used to be. Does that mean I'm getting old? Or just that life really was innocent and good when I grew up?

Hard work in tobacco fields.

Delicious meals cooked by Mom, no matter how busy she was.

Fresh strawberries raised close to our house.

Picking wild blackberries - eating the pies Mom made.

Playing with my cousins til dark - catching lightning bugs in jars.

Knowing without a doubt that I was loved.

Three brothers - one who loved to torture us with his temper, one who was the peacemaker, and one who was the baby of the family - more than a little spoiled.

My mom made the best yeast rolls I've ever tasted - and she made them often.

Christmas = tangerines, oranges, apples, candy as well as toys. I still remember Christmas when I smell a tangerine.

Lewis Miller's store - going there on rainy days when my dad couldn't work.

My mom on her Ford tractor.

First trip to the beach - the ocean was so big and so loud!

Things we didn't have and I didn't miss: Cell phones, Ipods, huge tv's, malls, computers (I am glad we have them now). Seems like we had more time.

Remembering Vietnam...

I never know what triggers the memories. Memories of my 20 year old husband leaving for Vietnam. Memories of him returning home wounded in his body and soul. Struggling to return to his life - our life. His nightmares. His injuries. His courage. He never complained, he just put his mind to living his life. He has never talked about Vietnam except a few times with others who were there. It is hard to believe how young we were and how hard it was. He is good and brave and strong. I think the hardest part for him was having so many friends who didn't come home. I think of them often - I can only imagine how often he thinks of them. I didn't know them, but they touched my life - they gave their lives for our freedom. I hope each of us will say "Thank you" to the next soldier we meet.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

A wonderful day! Jeremiah was dedicated this morning - surrounded by family and friends. We had lunch with Josh and Becky - her parents, grandparents and brother were there as well as Perry. I wish Dale and Tristan could have been there, but they were with their Mom.
Josh cooked burgers and hot dogs on the grill. Lots of good food.
Perry's birthday is today - he was born on Mother's Day. I baked a pound cake - especially for him.
Jeremiah was so cute today - and funny. We all laughed so hard. He has a toy that he can hold on to and walk. He must have made 20 laps through the house. He is so thrilled with walking.I know his legs are tired tonight.
We have had so much rain! Good for the garden and grass. Everything is green.
We have Romaine Lettuce, Iceberg Lettuce, Radishes and Spinach ready to eat - delicious.
Becky &I picked strawberries recently. I made jam and froze the rest of the berries.
Becky made this mother's day card for me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Visit to the Amish Store in Yadkin County

Becky, Jeremiah and I took a ride in the country to Shiloh General Store in Hamptonville this afternoon. We had wonderful sandwiches for lunch. They make sandwiches to order - they were really good. It was a little too cool to eat ouside at the picnic tables so we had our picnic in the car. Jeremiah enjoyed looking at everything and smiling at all the people.

We bought homemade bread, cheese, chow chow, raspberry jam, all natural pasta, seasoning meat, navy beans and lots of other stuff. Best of all we got some dried apple fried pies! almost as good as the ones my mom used to make. Oh, and lest I forget - two kinds of fudge.

We talked to one of the young women who worked in the store. She said the Amish only go to school through the eighth grade. We passed a school on the way there - they have their own schools. There were several horses and buggies there. She said there are over thirty families in their community.

Seestah George called today - they're having a wonderful time at Settler's Crossing Bed and Breakfast in Texas. A family vacation.

A cloudy, rainy, cool day. A good day.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Easter Sunday... brings lots of memories of childhood Easters.
Church - Easter egg hunts - new clothes - family dinners - Mom and Dad - spring.

Easter doesn't seem to be celebrated as much as it used to be - or as much as it should be.
For us as Christians, this should be our most celebrated holiday. Maybe the best celebration is simply the acknowledgement in our own heart and mind that Easter marks the resurrection or our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Easter was quiet - Josh, Becky and Jeremiah came by for a while when they got home from Raleigh. Jeremiah looked so cute in his Easter outfit. Perry came while they were here. Dale and Tristan were with Amber. We'll see them in a few days.

Ken and I went to Lowe's to buy flowers for the yard. He bought three fruit trees and planted them this afternoon. Flowers and trees = new life - seems appropriate for Easter.

We checked the garden - watching the plants grow. I think we'll plant some more in a week or so. It's good to be home. Today was a very good day.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Home from Las Vegas

A wonderful few days in Las Vegas.
Spent time with Zac, Debra and Ember.  
Lost a little money at the casinos.
Ate the best meal ever at Fiesta Casino - I think it is in Henderson - a few miles from Vegas.
Today was a long day - got up at 3:30 AM Vegas time - flight left at 6:00 AM.  Good flight to Atlanta - flight from Atlanta to Charlotte was delayed almost an hour.  Ken picked me up about 4:00 PM Eastern Time.  
It's good to be home.  I may not want to travel for a couple of weeks.
Tomorrow is Easter - new beginnings.  Life eternal.  Spring.  Flowers.  Eggs.  Family.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Las Vegas - a new baby in the family

Las Vegas is so beautiful.  We're on the 20th floor of the Sahara - with a spectacular view of the mountains.  The sunset behind the mountains is so beautiful.

Lester and I flew from Charlotte to Dallas then on to Las Vegas yesterday.

We had lunch with Zac and Debra and met little December Siouxsie Diane Carter!!  A big name for a beautiful little girl.  She seems so little to us because our 
babies were so much bigger.  She is such a sweet baby.

Zac is always fun - he is a born entertainer!  Seems like such a short time ago that he, Zeb, Zane and Josh were little boys.  Now Zac has two little girls and Josh has a little boy.

Jeremiah has been sick for a week - not sleeping well, runny nose, coughing.  Becky took him to the doctor Monday and they gave her an inhaler to use on him.  He is breathing too fast and they're concerned about his lungs working efficiently.  He goes back to the doctor on Monday. We're praying that it is just a temporary viral thing and he'll be all well by Monday.  Looks like he's having fun playing in the basket!

Josh called tonight - Ken ate dinner with them.  I'm sure he enjoyed that.  I talked to him earlier today - all is well at home.  He assured me that he covered up our vegetable garden last night so they didn't freeze. 

Of course, I've lost some money in the casino.  I don't lose much only because I don't risk much.  I just look at it as a form of entertainment.  I like Blackjack and wish I knew enough to play Texas Hold 'Em.  Lester is actually winning!

The economy here is hurting - maybe more than most of the country.  The rate of home foreclosures is unbelievably high.  We talked to a man today who said his house was valued at over $300,000 a year ago and now he can't get $150,000 for it.  

I think that the high percentage of people in this country who have lived above their means for the past 20 to 30 years - bought houses and cars they couldn't pay for and ran up tens of thousands of dollars on credit cards - are the major cause of the economic mess we're in.  The sad part is that many people did what they were supposed to - lived within their means, paid their debts and saved money - and unfortunately they are the ones who are suffering through no fault of their own.  My sermon for the day.  I'm afraid our country has changed to the point of being unrecognizable as the America we loved.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Beautiful Family Day

The best days are really the simplest ones.   The weather was perfect today - feels like spring might be here.  

We cooked on the grill and ate on the patio.  Little J enjoyed the swing, the hammock and all the attention he got.

Josh, Becky and Little J, Perry, Dale and Tristan and Lester were all here.  After we ate, we just sat and talked and enjoyed the day while Jeremiah took a nap.  It's fun to see Dale and Tristan with him. 

Becky and I checked our garden.  Several of the plants are up and growing.  Ken is building a wire cover to keep the critters from eating our "square foot garden".  

We even had fresh strawberry cake!  Can't get much better than that.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Monsoon Season

I'm beginning to think we're having our very own monsoon season.  Rain every day.  Our garden is beginning to look like a rice paddy!

Quilting, laundry, cooking, cleaning, knitting, reading - life is full.

Dale and Tristan spent the night with us last night. Grandsons are very special.
Little J is coming tomorrow morning to stay with me for a few hours.   Check out the little worker - he removed the handle from the recliner.  And his most exciting endeaver is "standing" - anytime anywhere.
Ken and I are really enjoying "Dancing with the Stars" and "American Idol" this year.
Lots of talent.  I think American Idol has the best talent ever.

I talked to Seestah George last night - it's rainy in Georgia, too.  I sure do miss her.  Lorraine has given our friendship (Seestah, Lorraine and Me) the very fitting title of "Sistership".  That's us.

Lorraine called yesterday to tell me that she and Jim went to the mountains this past weekend and they really love the bedroom and bath that we painted.  Jim's word was "awesome".  

We have reservations for Las Vegas - leaving Tuesday.  !!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Knit Wits

Knitting with good friends is a great part of my life.  Several of us have been knitting together for several years.  Every Monday night.  We meet at Panera these days - great place to relax, eat, drink, knit and have fun.  

What a group we are: 

Emily who knits but is never quite sure just what she is knitting.  Her projects tend to morph from one thing to another as she knits.  

Tina who makes spreadsheets of her knitting patterns so she has exact, precise instructions for every row!  

Madame Adams who tries to keep us all going in the right direction.  Good luck!

Tracy - our newest knitter.  She considers herself a real knitter now that she oohs and ahhs over the softness of alpaca.

Pam who gets here when she can.  She's the keeper of the cats!

Lisa who is on leave from us right now - think she may be doing something important.

Sharon - one of original knitters who moved away - how could she?  She's the knitter whose stitches are so tight it hurts the needles!  We miss her.

And then there's me...the knitter with numerous projects going at the same time.  This week I knitted two balls for J and now I'm knitting "Sackboy" just because he's so cute.  

There is something really special about spending time with good friends sharing a love for knitting and just having fun.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Square Foot Gardening

After raining all week, the sun finally shone part of the day.  

Ken built another "square foot garden" box for Becky and me!
He and I went to Lowe's and bought the peat moss, compost and vermiculite.
Josh, Becky and Jeremiah came over midafternoon so Becky could help with the planting.

Jeremiah now has a swing hanging in a tree near the garden - I think he likes it!

Perry, Dale and Tristan came for a while.  Jeremiah had lots of fun with them.

I sure hope our vegetables come up!  Can't wait til time to plant okra, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes.  

It's a really good thing when I've spent the day with Ken, Perry, Dale, Tristan, Josh, Becky and Jeremiah.  Doesn't get much better than that.  A very good day.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Triple Coupons - Having fun yet?

I really do hate grocery shopping ... always have.  
But triple coupons are just too good to refuse.  Don't you love triple coupons?
There are so many other things I would rather be doing than searching the aisles of the grocery store for the bargains.  

I knitted a round ball for J last night - and a football tonight.  Domino seems to think they belong to him so I'll have to keep them out of his reach.

Rainy today and cool.  I guess the rain is good for the garden.  Not so sure about the cool!

Watched American Idol last night and tonight.  This is by far the most talented group they've ever had.  It's one of the few things on tv that I really enjoy.  I do like DVR - nice to be able to skip all those commercials.

A good day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vegetable Gardening with Jeremiah

Becky, Jeremiah and I planted vegetables today!
Our "square foot garden" is really cool.  If only I could talk Ken into building some more of the frames.  We planted the "square foot garden" and then some in the other garden.
We planted broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, peppers, radishes, carrots, cauliflower - those are the ones I remember.  

Jeremiah was so good.  He played on a quilt and ate a little grass and a few leaves.  He spent the lunch hour in the shop with Ken and the guys.  They said he ate a little chocolate (NOT!)  Becky took him home about 3:30 and I worked til 4:30.  I'm tired.

It is exciting to have a daughter(in-law) to work in the garden with me.  Can't wait til we get those fresh veggies.

A good day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Too Many Things I Love to Do

I started a new baby quilt.

Started a new string quilt.

Don't even ask how many knitting projects I have going.
I knitted an ear of corn and a pumpkin for Jeremiah.

I'm making an upholstered bench seat for Josh and Becky's hearth - so J won't hurt his head!!

Stained glass project in the works.

Breakfast with Lorraine and Lester at Cracker Barrel this morning.

I bought a Wii today - in the hopes that I'll use the Wii Fit...

Weather is beautiful, so I bought some flowers to plant!

And of course, we're planning a vegetable garden...

Dale is going fishing with Ken tomorrow - getting up at 4:00 AM - glad I'm not going.

In the midst of all this, I did cook dinner - even made cornbread and blueberry muffins!

Why in the world was Obama on the Jay Leno show last night??  

Life is busy, life is good.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 16 - HOME

Took pictures of the only full size replica of the Parthenon in Nashville.  Hit the rode on to Knoxville, then Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Cherokee.  Very quiet on a Monday in January.

Some snow on the ground coming across the Great Smokies - icicles on the mountains.  Roads were clear.  We stopped at Great Smokey Mountain Knife Works - a huge store.  They sell much more than knives.  Really nice store - beautiful waterfall inside.  Home at 6:30 PM.  

It's hard to believe that in 16 days we only had one rainy day and one foggy morning.  The weather in the western part of the country was wonderful - warm and sunny.  Coming home was cold, but no rain or snow.  

Trip of a lifetime!  6,273 miles in 12 on the road - we spent two days in San Diego and three days in Las Vegas for a total of 16 days.

Time to start thinking about our next trip!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 15 - Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee

Not a lot to see on this drive.  We went the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The building is interesting - enough said. 

Crossed the Mississippi River - drove through Memphis - decided not to go to Graceland -   that can be another road trip!  

We're spending the night in Nashville.  Plan to hang here a while in the morning, then head east -  maybe stop  in Pigeon Forge and Cherokee.

First picture is in Memphis - next two are Clinton Library

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Left Gallup, NM at 7:30 AM - Thick Fog for about an hour.  Then blue skies - cold all day thirties.  Albuquerque, Tucumcari - Route 66 - highlight of the day - Cadillac Ranch.  We met a young man there who grew up in High Point!  On to Amarillo - the largest cross in the western hemisphere in Groom.  Shamrock - another Route 66 town.  Wigwam Village - nice old cars.  Wonder what the teepees are like inside?  Our longest mileage day - about 650 miles - not too much to stop for.  Staying in a really nice, new Comfort Inn in Weatherford, OK. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 13 - OLD ROUTE 66 TOWN

Left Vegas at 7:30 this morning - Boulder City - Hoover Dam and the new bridge being built which is awesome.  Kingman, AZ then Oatman - one of my favorites - an old western town. Drove 23 miles on old Route 66 to get there - curves, switchbacks, dips, no guardrails - it was fun.  On to Flagstaff and Williams - didn't stop there - we saw them a couple of years ago. Petrified Forest, Painted Desert.  Spending the night in Gallup, New Mexico.  Today was our first rainy day - in the desert, no less!  

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 11 & 12 - PENN & TELLER - THE RIO

We spent 
yesterday afternoon checking out some of the casinos - then drove to Henderson 
to Green Valley Ranch Hotel and Casino - a really "upscale" area.  It's a shopping areabuilt to look like a city.  
Penn & Teller show at the Rio at 9:00 last night.  It was a great show - combination of comedyand magic.  They definitely have their own style.

The Rio Hotel, Casino and Theater is one of the most beautiful I've seen.

We met a couple from Wilson, NC in the Rio yesterday.  They're also on a Road Trip.

We heard some loud noises this morning - looked out the window and there was the window washer - we enjoyed watching for a few minutes.  What a job.

I may go down to the Casino today to see if I can lose some money - odd that we never quit while we're ahead.  I think I've lost a total of $20 - lots of entertainment for the money.

We're having such a great time, we're going to stay one night longer than we planned.
Our plan is to leave Vegas Friday morning heading to Kingman and Route 66.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I could get used to living like this - maid service is nice!

I tried my hand a the poker machines - more than doubled my money - 
started with $5 - left with $11.75 - you have to know when to quit - big money!!

It was fun - think I'll go back a little later.

In case you wonder, no, I am not going to ride the Stratoshpere rides.  Katia rode them when we were here with her.  I didn't take the two pictures of the Stratosphere - got them on the internet.

After dinner with Zac and Debra - I managed to lose the money I won earlier in the casino - plus a little more.  Maybe better luck tomorrow.


Day 9 & 10 - Monday & Tuesday
 January 19 & 20, 2009

Miles of oil wells and huge refineries.
Miles and miles of orange groves - trees are so full of oranges - must be picking season
Miles and miles of olive groves, strawberry fields, pecan groves and others we didn’t recognize

Sequoia National Park and King’s Canyon National Park - World’s largest tree - General Sherman in Sequoia and the third largest in King’s Canyon Park - General Grant. Pictures don’t do them justice.
Lots and lots of snow on the ground - roads were mostly clear. Sunny in the forties.

More windmills - mountains full.  

Nice drive to Las Vegas - we are staying in the Stratosphere for three nights.  Feels good to unpack and stay awhile.  Can't believe they have a free laundry room so we will have clean clothes!  We are on the 20th floor looking out at the strip.  Busy day.  We’ll see Zac and Debra sometime tomorrow.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 8 - Los Angeles -

Pacific Coast Highway - Newport Beach - Balboa Beach- Huntington Beach
beautiful area.miles of public beach access - bicycling, jogging, beach volleyball, etc.
Huge oil refineries right in the cities - even oil wells.

Los Angeles - traffic unbelievable even on Sunday.  Frank Lloyd Wright - Hollyhock House - really neat h ouse - priceless view.  Forest Lawn Cemetery - hundreds of acres -   fountains, statues, etc. -Hollywood - feels like a small town.

We planned to go to Disneyland  tomorrow - changed our minds when we saw about ten lanes
of traffic lined up forever to get in at 4:00 PM today - then I remembered that tomorrow is a 
holiday - school is out - so we changed our plans - no Disneyland this trip.

Time to escape this place - we drove for hours and hours just escaping Los Angeles.
I thought we were through - then saw a sign saying "Welcome to Los Angeles"!


San Diego - Art and Sculpture everywhere in this city.
A huge statue of the famous WWII couple kissing - on loan from New York.
Coronado and Imperial Beach -  beautiful.
Shopped at at street festival in Old Town.

FIRST BAD DECISION OF OUR TRIP:  Bus tour to Tijuana, Mexico.
Motormouth bus driver - shopkeepers in Tijuana chasing us down the
streets to sell something - children on the street selling things - felt so
sorry for them.  I spent too much money.  Drank a really good margarita!
Free samples of tequila!  Time to go - bus won't start!  Thirty minutes later
bus starts - get to border - a million people trying to get in the U.S.  Had to
get off the bus - have everything xrayed - walk upstairs - then downstairs -
then back on the bus for a slow drive back.  I never want to go to Mexico again.
Very tired.

Friday, January 16, 2009

San Diego - Absolutely Beautiful!

San Diego is definitely one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.  
Point Loma - Cabrillo National Monument - Naval Base area is awesome.
Check the picture.  Weather is more than perfect - about 70 degrees and
blue skies.

We drove by huge sand dunes, mountains that looked like huge piles of rocks
and some of the most productive cropland in the country.  What a great
country we live in.

We're staying on Harbor Drive - can see the huge yachts in the harbor and
walk along the harbor.  Patio on the deck looks out to the harbor - does it
get any better than this?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Should I buy this six door monster truck?  I know my oldest son would love it.  The Barrett Jackson Auto Auction is hard to believe - thousands of cars and trucks and all kinds of vendors.  People with lots of money to spend.  Doesn't cost much to look!

Saguaro National Park this morning - thirty to forty foot tall cactus - millions of them covering thousands of acres.  That's Lester standing beside the cactus.  Kinda big, isn't it?
Then on to Casa Grande Ruins  

Casa Grande Ruins - remains of an ancient Hohokam village and Great House.  How did they manage to build that house?  

Canals used to irrigate crops - I had never seen that.  

Weather is absolutely perfect - around 70 degree high and sunny.  I hear it is really cold in North Carolina right now - I guess we picked a good time to travel.  

We are in Chandler, Arizona for the night - close to Phoenix.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Windmills in Texas

Windmills by the thousands - in Texas.


Tombstone Arizona - Beautiful little town - step back in time!

Carlsbad Caverns
Really amazing.

Day 4 - Carlsbad Caverns, El Paso, Tombstone, Tucson

This has been a long, busy day.

Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. We spent 2 hours walking through it - the size is unbelievable. I'll try to post a picture if I can figure out how!

On to El Paso - hard to know what to say. I'm trying to be positive, but can't think of much positive about it.

Western Texas is so big, so dry, so desolate. We drove for hours and hours at 80 mph with nothing but barrenness. I know there must be beautiful parts of Texas but this was not one of them.

Tombstone, Arizona - a beautiful little town that feels like it is still in the 1800's. Driving to Tombstone while the sun was setting was really pretty - the sun behind the mountains in the west - the eastern sky the most beautiful pink and blue.

We had to go through a Border Patrol check driving back from Tombstone - seemed like an odd place for it. They just asked each of us what state we were born in - said good evening and that was it.

On to Tucson to spend the night. We got here about 7:00 - tired.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 3 - Abilene, Lubbock, Carlsbad

Day 3 - Tuesday, January 13

Breakfast at our hotel.

On the road to Abilene - miles of nothing except thousands of windmills and oil rigs.
Drove to Sweetwater - then headed for Lubbock - the Buddy Holly Museum is awesome.
Lester and I both really enjoyed it. Drove by the statue of Buddy and the home he lived in.
Then on the road to Carlsbad, New Mexico.  Really good dinner at Furr's Family Cafeteria.

It is so fun having my laptop - and wireless internet in our rooms.

Having a great time.  We have our cell phones if you wanna give us a call.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 2 Fort Worth

Left yesterday at 7:00 AM - drove 740 miles
spent the night in Vicksburg, Mississippi in a wonderful hotel casino - Horizon - the casino is a three story riverboat.  Great dinner.

Spent a couple of hours at Vicksburg Battleground - really enjoyed it.  

Drove on to Dallas - went to the JFK museum Texas Book Depository - after seeing it, it is hard to believe one man got three shots off from that position.  Drove on to Fort Worth - had a good dinner. Spending the night at a Best Western.

Tomorrow - on to Abilene and Lubbock to see the Buddy Holly museum.

We're having a great time.