Monday, December 29, 2008

Now You See Her.....and Now I Don't!

My lack of holiday blogging was solely due to having Shelby home for the holidays! I just can't tell you how wonderful it was....and how fast the time went by. Now she's back at home, but not after alot of airline craziness!

Her flight from Norfolk to Atlanta was delayed to the point that she missed her connecting flight. They switched her to a different airline, but it would only take her as far as Dallas! I know it must have been so hard for her to be that close to home and not be able to get there. But she's home now and I know that, although she misses this home, she's happy to be back with Justin.

I'm just thankful that we had the time with her that we did. The first night she was home it almost seemed like a dream. I sometimes felt as though I was staring...she has the most beautiful smile.....and my jaw hurt that night from my own smiling!

I found it funny that some of the things I used to fuss about now seem so wonderful! Such as..........all of her life she has loved being in the kitchen with me...and usually she perches herself on the kitchen counter. If I had a nickel for every time I told her to "get down", I'd be pretty well off! So after she got home and dropped her bags on the floor in the foyer, she perched herself on the kitchen counter to was a welcome sight, I'll tell you! My girl was home!

Shelby....thank you for the best Christmas ever. I love you and miss you! Mom XOXOXO

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree......

I'm ashamed of myself......I have cheated myself of quite a few days of staring at our Christmas tree. Normally it goes up the weekend after Thanksgiving, but this year we just couldn't see to get to it. Well, now it's done.....I'm wondering if I could possibly convince Dennis to leave it up a little longer this year......
....after all, it isn't a real tree. Until last year I've always had real trees in our house....and on this particular tree Dennis would throw tons and tons of fake snow on was the most gorgeous tree you've ever seen. He doesn't do that anymore because it could damage our prelit tree lights....geez, what's happening to me????

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.....

....and he's bringing our girl home to us!!! Shelby will be arrive on Monday at Norfolk International Airport for a WHOLE WEEK!!! I am so excited.....I can hardly wait to feel her hug!!! Now I have exactly what I wanted for girl!

Can't wait to see you, Shelby....I love you! Mom XOXOXO

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I've Got Gas!!!!

That's right......I have a full tank and it cost LESS than $1.50 per gallon! Awesome!

It makes me want to drive about San Antonio, Texas!!!?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Not Advertising................

..........well, maybe a little...but not just for me....for you! As you all know, I've just celebrated 35 years since I first worked at a mortgage company. It was a bank then known as Virginia National Bank....which is NOW Bank of America! Isn't it funny that I've come full circle and am now a part of the Bank of America family.

Anyway...let me get to the point has been slow for mortgage bankers. If I had to guess, I'd say that 35% of loan officers are now selling Schwan's steaks and ice cream, Herbalife or they are ringing up your Slurpee at 7-11! Well, I don't mind bragging to say that my clients are not part of this big fat mortgage mess! I have always been very conscientious in advising my clients about the most sound financing options available to them (ok, I'm starting to ramble...let me jump down off of this box!)

What I'm really here to say is that RATES ARE AT AN ALL TIME LOW (hovering right at 5%!!!!!).....HOME PRICES ARE AT AN ALL TIME LOW.....this is a GREAT time to refinance your current mortgage for future savings OR buy a home of your own! I know you may be thinking that the mortgage money is all dried isn't and it never was. Of course, if you have never paid a bill on time and don't have a job, you can't get a mortgage anymore (that was so ridiculous!!!). But there's money here and plenty of it....and it's CHEAP!!!

If you or anyone you know is looking to buy a new home or refinance the mortgage on their current home, please consider calling me or passing along my name...I can lend in all 50 states!!! Everything can be handled via phone, email and need to worry!

Anyway, that's what I came back in here to say...yes, I feel a little guilty, but not completely. If I don't pass the word, who will??

I can be reached 24 x 7 x 365 at (757)718-6424 or at! (slinking away....with a smile...I've done my duty to help get this economy back rolling AND try to help people make/save money!)

Recession Tip!

I don't even think I've shared this one with really didn't seem to be a big deal before. But with today's economy, little savings can add up. When I was refilling my foam hand soap container, I realized that everyone may not know that you don't have to throw out the old one and buy a new one!

They don't match the bath stuff in my bathrooms, but I always peel away the label....and you could always decoupage it with colored tissue paper or pictures! I prefer it what if it doesn't match the soap dish!

I can't remember how I figured it out, but all you have to do is add about two tablespoons of the antibacterial refill soap and fill the rest up with water! I prefer the foam soap because it's not so concentrated, but it's a huge savings over the regular soap pump. I've had this refill container for about a year and we have four foam soap pumps in our house that I keep filled. What a savings!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Be Careful What You Ask For!!

Soooo....while Dennis and his buddies were out fishing "Rock Around the Clock" (the Thanksgiving Rockfish Tournament), Melinda and I decided to head up to the cabin for a "Girl's Weekend"!!! The first night was great.....Jessica and Adam and his Mom and Dad were going to the UVA/VA Tech game the next day, so they came by the cabin right after we got there to spend the evening with us!
We had a rough start to the weekend because a ball valve joint (did I get that right?) had busted and we had no water, but with Melinda's great friends and contacts, it wasn't long that we had running water and started dinner, Cabin Chicken Chili!!! It was a fun evening since I hadn't seen any of them since Graves Mountain!
The next day they left bright and early to do a breakfast tailgate and Melinda and I took our time getting out of PJs before we headed to Floyd to check out some shops that looked kinda cute....we took Shugs with us (Chloe had to stay home cuz she was sick :o( ) and had a great time! The shops were fun!
We went back to the cabin and had more of the chili (can never get enough), then had the neighbors over for a little too much wine.....well, maybe not too much! Then we had ourselves a nice little non-Thanksgiving dinner (filet mignon, asparagus and a nice blue cheese salad!). We got back into our flannels and settled down to watch a little of Oprah's Anniversary collection, but I was OUT before the count of 10!
When we woke up the next morning and pulled back the curtains, this is what we saw!!!!!

Look, all I asked for was a few snow flurries....I just happen to think it's prettier in the mountains! What you're looking at in that picture is ice.....and lots of it! It covered everything!!!! We needed skates to even get to the car! No injuries, but Melin did have one little fall!

So, if that wasn't enough.....not more than an hour later we looked out the window and THIS was what we saw::::

That's right.....fog so thick you almost couldn't see your hand in front of your face! AND to make matters worse, we had the sudden realization that we wouldn't be making a trip back home that day! :o)

Melinda very carefully lowered herself off of the porch and we started an assembly line to get more wood from beneath the porch....we were stuck....oh dang!! We made a pot of French Onion soup and made the best of it....lots of great music, more wine....a couple of gimlets....and we worked on a very secret project we have going on. It actually wasn't so bad!! :o)

On Monday morning we woke up and the temps had dropped a could hear ice cracking and falling up and down the mountain, which drove Shugs nuts! She was sure there were tons of deer up that mountain just waiting for her to come out and play! It wasn't long though that the snow started......and it was coming down pretty good! I finally got my wish......even though I got a little more than I bargained for, it was beautiful!!! What a fabulous weekend............thanks, Melinda!!! I love you!

Here are a few more pics:

And a good time was had by all................................

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Check Your Butt and Turn the Page!!!

Those are two of the tips Shelby has gotten from our numerous phone calls today! I have to tell you that it hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be.....talking her through her cooking has helped's kept me smiling, which I especially needed today.

Sooo....I happened to be prepping MY turkey when I remembered to tell her to check the other end of the turkey.....some turkey people put stuff in both ends. Thank goodness I remembered that....cuz hers had stuff in it!

Then we were talking through her stuffing and I was reeling off what I put in mine and she said, "Mom, your recipe called for two eggs, but the directions never said to put them in, so I didn't!"........she didn't turn the page! Once again, we caught it in time!

So both of our turkeys are in the oven and it's time for us both to sit back and "take a load off"! I have the cell phone on the charger though....and I'm smiling. I love you, Shelby.......I miss you, but I'm so happy you are having a great time cooking your first Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And the Marathon Begins..........Call #1

I've been instructed to carry my phone with me at ALL times! She's only called twice so far, but then again, she's only been home from work less than an hour. She's making her brine and has just set off to the grocery store for what I hope will be the only trip she has to make..........for sugar! I guess I didn't think to tell her that you just can't make an entire Thanksgiving dinner with only Splenda in the house! might be "healthier", but I can't stand the stuff....I'll do without something sweet if I have to, but I can't use the fake stuff!

I hope she remembers that she still needs a meat thermometer. I sent to her the one that belonged to her grandmother (I've been saving it for years!), but I didn't think about the fact that it has mercury in it....and she's marrying a doctor. Sooooo....she needs a new thermometer. OK....her goes MY Call #1!!! This is going to be the most interesting Thanksgiving I've ever had!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Let's Try This Again!!!

I happened to be looking at this morning's video and realized that you could barely tell that snow was coming down....I admit it was light, but it was there! Then Dennis yelled for me to look out the window......this was our lunchtime snowbreak!!!

Look What We Got This Morning!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My First Snowflake of the Year

I didn't see only lasted a couple of minutes, but I saw them! I have to say it was quite odd watching leaves AND snow fall at the same time. I'm not giving up that we'll get another flurry or tow...I'll keep you posted (pun!).

Still Snow Hoping.......but not much...

There isn't a flake in sight! I'll keep you posted!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm Dreaming..........

.......of a White Thanksgiving?? I wasn't really, but I'd love to if I thought it might just be possible! As it turns out, there is a possibility of snow tonight and tomorrow morning. Well, ok........maybe not about flurries??? Click here if you don't believe me! Of course, when was the last time they called for flurries and we actually got them?? Now I can remember a time or two when they didn't call for snow and we got, Jon Cash, Jeff Lawson, Evan Stewart and the rest of you local!!!! I happen to like snow! I'll keep you posted on this wonderous possibility!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Double the Pleasure....Double the Fun!!!

Congratulations, Dan and Lisa!!!
Looks like we may have some future Wrigley's stars!!!
NOTE added 11/13/2008 - I couldn't resist changing the pic from two egg yolks to two limes after seeing Lisa's post on her blog!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like.........

FALL!!! This is my favorite time of the year....Shelby's, too! I love using natural elements in my home so that if I'm stuck indoors, I can still enjoy the outside inside. All throughout the spring my house is filled with the flowers I have planted around my home....the forsythia is the first to bloom and is one of my favorite displays! I also love my tulips, lilies and hydrangeas (gave up on roses a couple of years ago....couldn't fight the diseases and bugs!). Once summer gets really hot the flowers tend to dwindle, but I bring in leaves from my ferns, hosta and elephant ears and just put them in clear glass containers....they look awesome!

But then there's fall......I'm not real big into decorating the whole house for any other holiday than Christmas, but I do like a few touches. Here are a few things I've put around the house to remind me that it's autumn:

I cannot resist the little pumpkins in the grocery stores.....I thought this was a cute way to display them around the house. Simple, but cute!

When we went to Graves Mountain a few weeks ago, we went up on the Skyline Drive and found these huge acorns. I gathered as many as I could (some for Shelby and some for me!) and brought them home. Melinda advised that I put them in the microwave for a minute, just to make sure there weren't any little varmints inside, and them I rubbed them with Old English Oil (the dark colored one). They look awesome! Then I put them in a container with a candle in the middle....this sits in the middle of our table.

While we were up at Baby Graves last weekend, I scoured the mountainside for bittersweet.....I just love it in the foyer...the colors are so autumnal. I did find it, but unfortunately I left it outside and it rained overnight and ruined it! But fortunately, while I was looking for the bittersweet, I found these......I think they look great in these metal vases I have! I have them in the foyer and in the sunroom!

Of course, I can hardly wait to get back up in the mountains.....I found some great pines and firs to make Christmas wreaths with. I'm not so sure that Shelby will be able to get a live Chrismas wreath in Texas, unless it's made with chili peppers, I plan to make one for her and mail it.....I'll post pics of them when they're done!

Happy Fall!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How's the Weather???

Well, it's been raining and blowing around this part of the country! Not that I'm complaining......I happen to love inclement weather. What better excuse could you have to make a pot of soup (recipe to follow on Aprons Required). Since I've finally figured out how I happened to make that video at Graves Mountain of the guy making the apple butter, I decided to give you a little preview of what it's been like here. This one is for Shelby....I thought she might like to see the fall colors and to know that I was thinking about her while I was out and about today running errands!

I miss you, Shelby!


Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Her Birthday!!!!!!!!

We'll be leaving shortly.....heading to the mountains for another glorious weekend at the cabin!! But this trip is special......because we're celebrating her 50th birthday!!

Happy Birthday, Melinda!!

Now you know there's gonna be some cookin' keep an eye on my Apron Strings, because we have one heckuva meal planned to celebrate this occasion!!! See ya when we get back!
Note: There sure are alot of birthday at this time of the year....Shelby, Lindsey, Adam, Diana, Melinda.....dang! Cold winters.........

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm Telling!!!

If they aren't gonna tell, then I am! I'm assuming everyone knows by now that they're having a baby! Yep........Dan and Lisa are expecting a new arrival!!! Imagine.........a Baby Mazz!!

Congratulations to both of you! We're all excited!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Home Sweet Home!!!

Welcome to my new home! Somehow it always bothered me blogging about things that have absolutely nothing to do with a wedding on a blog that was about a wedding! So, I decided to have my own personal blog that had nothing to do with anything.....but me....and my life!

You'll notice that I finally have a pretty "blogskin" isn't the one I want, but it'll do until I can figure out how to get "Notepad Chaos" to work!

Anyway, stop in some time for a visit.....I love having company over! See you around!