Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Well, Christmas presents are opened and wrapping paper is cleaned up.  Christmas dinner was prepared and eaten (the standing rib roast turned out very well, even if I do say so myself).  I hope everyone out there in blogland got everything there little heart desired - I finally got my Kitchen Aid mixer that I have been wanting for so very long I don't even want to tell you!  Actually, even if it was a "toned down" Christmas in our household, it was a very nice Christmas - all the family was together for the first time in many, many years!

Yesterday morning the kids headed back to Atlanta, via Cuthburt to see their dad.  Hopefully, they have had good weather all the way back home, but I don't guarantee that one.  However, after they left, and the other two kids, Dan and I went out to breakfast at the Truck Stop (the name of the local restaurant) - actually I was the only one who ate breakfast - everyone else ate lunch since it was 11:45! 

After we got home, Dan and I decided it was time to put Christmas away!  So, we started to take all the decorations down and put them away.  While I took decorations off all the trees, Dan went over to the store room and got the crates.  Well, it took us until about 9 o'clock last night, but everything is back to "normal".

The tree is down and the dining room is back in order.
The entry table is back to it's normal "self".

The kitchen is clean and all is put away.  (See my new mixer????  Isn't it pretty?????)  Oh, Dan got a new toaster oven - aren't we practical?

No matter how much I enjoy decorating for the holidays (for those of you that know me, or that follow this blog know that I LOVE to decorate for the holidays!)- and that includes the holidays in October and November - I am sorta glad to get everything cleaned up and put away after Christmas.

It is nice to have everything "clean" and pared down after all the extra decorations you have out during all the fall decorating and, of course, the Christmas decorations.  Sometimes it looks a little bare after you put everything away, but it is also nice to have that "clean" look.

One other thing - on Christmas Day, while waiting for dinner to cook, my son-in-law went out back to do a little fishing off the dock.  Look what he got ----------------
Yes, it is a little small - and yes, he threw it back - but it was nice to see him catch the little bass!  He had fun and I was able to actually have proof he caught a fish off our dock!!!!

I have One more little thing before I sign off for today - and to me it is a little funny.  When I was younger and my kids were little - I would always leave the Christmas tree up until New Year's Day.  The tradition was I would take the tree down and put everything away while watching the football games on New Year's Day.  So, the house would be all put back "together" before going back to work.  That's what we did when I was growning up and that's what I did when my kids were little.  Now, that I have all the time in the world, I take the tree down and put everything away the day AFTER Christmas!  (If you really want to know what I think is the reason why I do this - I can answer in one little word - DAN.) 

So, when do you take your decorations down?  After New Year's or right after Christmas?  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to take a couple of minutes and wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas!  My family is here and I am going to spend the weekend having a wonderful time with them.  I hope that you all enjoy the time you have with your family where ever they may be.

Remember the reason for the season and may God bless you and yours!


Carol, Dan, Samantha, and Jessie

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Open House

    Last night we had the Christmas Open House for our street. It was a great time and we were able to meet many of our neighbors that we had not had the chance to meet since moving in the house a little over a year ago.  While some of our neighbors have gone back up north to spend Christmas with family, many of our "snowbird" neighbors have arrived and were able to come last night.  One of the advantages to living in south Florida is being able to have your house opened up - have seating outside for a party so people can sit out by the pool in the middle of December. 

Now, I know that some of you that live up north will balk at this statement, BUT we were actually hoping for weather that was a little cooler so we could have a fire in the fireplace, but that was NOT to be.  To be a little off topic, I don't think we will have 'fireplace' weather through the entire month of December and it is not looking good for January or February.  However I'll tell you a little secret (and it doesn't have anything to do with the party) - even if it isn't cold enough for a fire Christmas - we will have one - even if I have to turn on the A/C.  I just HAVE to have a fire on Christmas!

Okay, back to the party.  I took a few pictures before everyone showed up and I'll let you see what everything looked like.

I set up all the food up in the dining room except for the coffee and hot apple cider - I had those two things in the kitchen - Just figured it would be easier.
I did put the punch in the dining room on the buffet. We thought it would easier for people to get to things if we separated the drinks.  We also put the Little Smokies on the hutch in a small crockpot.

Here are pictures of some of the food that we served --------------

I tried to make sure that we had a large variety of food for people to choose from - from sweets to vegetables and a little of just about everything in between.
To make my $.25 punch bowl a little prettier we sat it inside a wreath that we put white lights around.  Then we put another string of white lights under the punch bowl so they made the punch shimmer and shine.
I think that the extra lights just made the punch look a little more special.  (Oh, in case you are wondering, this was BEFORE I added the Ginger Ale to the punch - I really did serve more than just half a bowl of punch!  I just didn't want to add it too early and have it go flat.)

I think everyone had a good time and Dan and I enjoyed spending time with our neighbors at this special time of the year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Garage Sale Punch Bowl

We are having an Open House at our house this Saturday.  One of the things that I have been looking for is a punch bowl.  You know, this is not something that you keep on hand.  Especially when you have been full time RVer's for a couple of years before you go back to "sticks and bricks" a little over a year ago.  Dan and I are slowly getting things together again to entertain with.  When you live in a thirty-eight foot 5th wheel you just don't have room for a punch bowl (but to tell you the truth - I didn't have a punch bowl BEFORE we moved into the RV). 

Well, I thought that I would be able to borrow a punch bowl for the Open House this weekend.  However, even though I put out a S.O.S. to my friends around our neighborhood - it didn't seem that anyone around had one.  My mom had even given the one she had away.  I was really starting to panic.  I have to say that my DSIL's mother did say that I could borrow her punch bowl, but it belonged to her grandmother - and I was just scared to death that something would happen to it.  I just would NEVER forgive myself if it was broken.  (I have told you about the one time I borrowed something valuable before, right?)

I had come to the conclusion that I was just going to have to buy a BIG bowl and just make due.  Until this morning.  Dan and I started to go to the grocery store to pick up the last minute details for the party when we saw a "garage sale" sign.  Lately we just can't seem to resist a garage sale even though, most of the time, we don't buy anything. 

Imagine my surprise when I spied this -------------------

Now, it didn't look like this when I saw it.  It was filthy!  But I saw the potential and I knew that it would work for my Open House.  It didn't have the ladle or any cups, but that's okay - I really didn't want them anyway.  I walked over to it and looked at it - and almost fainted when I saw the price - twenty-five cents.
Yep, you read that right $.25.
T W E N T Y - F I V E   C E N T S !!!!!

Such a deal!  I am so excited.

I brought that sucker home, washed it up and set it up on the buffet.  I think it is going to work out just perfect.

What do you think?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Finally Have a Clean Garage!

For those of you that know me - you know that I can only stand a mess for so long before it absolutely drives me nuts.  Case in point, does anyone remember my blog on the 'pile of dirt' in our back yard? This is the pile of dirt before ---------

and this is where the dirt was after we finally got it all spread - several months later!
Well, a couple of months ago I said that I wanted to get the garage cleaned up.  I have walked through the mess in the garage for months - really ever since we started the remodeling project on the house back in April.  So, in August I said enough is enough - we have to get this cleaned up. 

This is what the garage looked like after a week of work.

The above picture is Dan's work area of the garage.  In case you don't know, Dan does quite a bit of wood working around the house asnd I really do appreciate all the work he does.  However, the problem that I have is, after he finishes a project, he never puts things away.  (Which really doesn't make any sense to me, as he gets really frustrated when he can't find stuff when he starts to work on the next project!)  He even admits that, if he has a flat surface, he feels like it is his duty to cover it up with junk "stuff".  That drives me NUTS!

Anyway, this is the rest of the garage, after a week of work -------
A little better than the "workshop" area, but not what I wanted - and certainly not really CLEAN AND ORGANIZED
Some things we knew would go into the garage sale (which we have NOT had yet).  But, things were starting to get a little better.

Well, these pictures were taken in August - and then things just didn't seem to get any better. 

That is, until this past weekend.  We went to a couple of garage sales and found some shelving units - plus we found some on clearance sales at Walmart.  So, we started working in the garage again - and I must say that things are looking much, much better! 

We still have to have the firewood for the fireplace - although the way the weather has been I don't think we will be using that much of this stack this year!  And we did sell my car - but we have to have a place for Dan's motorcycle - which we have not sold yet - but that's a whole other story!  See our "garage sale" signs - we are ready with the signs - and hope to have that sale in January.

I think you can see that things are sooooo much neater, cleaner, and more organized now then they were in the earlier pictures.  There are still some things here that we will get rid of after the first of the year and I hope to get some more crates that I can label and put on the shelving units.  The crate on the bottom shelf on the left is all baby clothes - so IF the new grandbaby is a girl we have a lot of clothes for the kids to go through.  IF "we" are having a boy - then all these clothes will either go to Dan's great-granddaughter - or the garage sale.  The cardboard box is for a Christmas present - so it will be gone too. 

 I am so happy with the way things are looking!

See how clean everything is?  Doesn't it look pretty?

Well, not everything.

We still have Dan's work area ------------------
I don't think that this area will EVER be clean.  We are still talking about some ways to clean this area up - we still have not gotten his workbench - which will go where the big metal cabinet is.  The metal cabinet will move over to the far wall.  I think that we can get this are a little straighter, but it will never be as clean as the area that is in the other pictures.

I wish that I could have a garage that is as clean as one of my friends, Donna's, garage is - but that will never happen.  Dan uses our garage as his shop because we don't have anywhere else for him to work.  So, I will just have to learn to live with it.  As long as I can keep the other area clean I guess I can learn to live with this part being messy.  That is just a part of life - and I sure do like it when Dan can complete a project for me - so I really shouldn't complain (but that isn't going to happen).

Oh well!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Pictures #2

Okay, I promised I would post some more pictures of the house decorations.  So, I'll do some of the porch.  As you can tell from these pictures, the weather here is warm - so the house is all opened up, so if you look real close you will be able to see some other areas of the house in the background (including Dan watching the news!).

I'll start with the outside tree which is decorated with all of Dan's outdoor ornaments - you know, fish and bears, and even his moose ornaments (okay, that is a family inside joke, sorry!)

Some close ups of some of the ornaments - We even have some ducks, Dan's "trucks" and the schoolhouse that has to be on one of our trees.

Well, that's all of the porch and swimming pool area.  I'll see about doing some of the kitchen tomorrow.

I also promised to show you some of the things that I have been doing - but like I said I can't actually show you any of the Christmas presents, but this should give you a hint about some of the projects that I have been working on.

I will take pictures of the things that I have made, but I won't post them until after Christmas - so if any of you were interested in making some things maybe it will be something that you could do next year.

Hope you enjoy the pictures, and I'll talk to you later.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Well, it's starting to look a lot like Christmas around my house.  The decorating is just about finished - I'm still working on making gifts (I know, I know, I'm running out of time!)  So much to do and so little time.  The Christmas cards are all addressed, but we haven't been to the post office yet.  That is on the agenda for the first of the week.

I'll take you on a quick tour of most of the decorations in the house - I'll save some for a later post.
We'll start at the front door with a welcome to our home.

This is the main tree - we have three in the house (not counting the one that Dan is suppose to put on the dock - he is having problems with the lights on the top half, so it hasn't made it out to the dock yet.)  Anyway, with the location of the tree it can be seen from the front of the house, from the canal, and we can see it from our chairs.  Good location we think.


Entry way table.

Dining room table - I'm still not real happy with this arrangement, but I haven't thought of a better one yet, but I still have time.

Buffet table

Hoosier in the dining room

Guest bedroom
The wall hanging had not been hung over the bed when I took this picture, but it looks much better now.

By the way, this is another home made quilt I got from my mom.

My second tree - it's just a little tree in the guest bedroom and it has all my rocking horse ornaments on it.
                                                          It's a Rocking Horse Christmas!

I'll leave you for tonight - will have the pictures of the kitchen and the pool area on a later post along with a couple of the ideas that I have been working on for Christmas gifts (I can't actually show the gifts, as I think by kids still read the blog and I don't want them to see their presents!)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rocking the Baby Bump

Well, this is my first post of my daughter's "baby bump"!  She has really started to show in the last couple of weeks - actually since Thanksgiving.  At Thanksgiving she just had this little bump - tonight she came over for dinner and pulled up her sweat shirt and I went - "Wow!"  I need to take a couple of pictures and start keeping track of the progress.  She made me promise not to post any of her full body - she says that she doesn't look good after being at work all day - I think she is beautiful!

I think the last time I posted we were talking about her morning sickness - well, we might have that under control.  She still gets sick sometimes, but not every day - and she is hungry all the time.  She is getting to eat a more (and eating strange things!) and I think she is feeling better.  Hopefully, we can keep the morning sickness under control - since we are almost at three months now!  I'll keep you posted - and keep pictures coming.

I've been really busy with getting things ready for Christmas - I'll post pictures of the decorations tomorrow and talk about some of the gift ideas that I have done a little later in the week.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today we had Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  This year was certainly different than last year.

Last year we had twenty something people here at the house - and the house was in it's original shape.  This is a picture of the Thanksgiving table last year. 

This is the same room, just a year later - and a much smaller group for dinner.  (But if you look real close you can see that the same decorations are used in both pictures - just in different ways!)

This year it was just our immediate family, and by 'immediate' I mean the family that lives here in Lake Placid - Mom, Melissa, Justin, Dan and I.  We had a somewhat untraditional dinner as we did not have turkey this year.  Melissa and Justin don't like turkey, and Mom only eats white meat, so we decided that we would have ham this year instead.  Dan put it on the smoker and it turned out GREAT!  Then I fixed candied yams, dressing, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, green beans with slivered almonds, and rolls.  Melissa fixed desserts, as she really enjoys baking.  This year she fixed a pecan pie and an apple pie.  I was so full from dinner that I haven't had any dessert, but the two guys said that both pies were fabulous!

The kitchen is now cleaned up, all the leftovers are put away (there weren't a lot of leftovers this year - except for the ham), and Mom and the kids have headed home.  Actually, Melissa and Justin are driving up to Lakeland this evening to spend the night at Justin's parents house before heading up to Georgia to see Melissa's dad and sisters for a couple of days before heading back home on Sunday.  This is always such a busy time of the year for everyone, I'm just thankful that she was feeling good today and was able to eat dinner without getting sick.  She actually had a pretty good day yesterday until late - and then she got sick again.  Maybe, just maybe, we are getting a handle on this "morning" sickness thing.  I sure hope so, as I feel so bad for her when she is so sick everyday.

Today is the first time I really noticed her little baby "bump".  I guess the clothes that she had worn to school has camoflagued the bump, but she had on a dress today.  I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture above or not, but she is definately showing now.  She is already complaining that she can not wear most of her pants - she says she has one pair of jeans and a couple of pairs of work pants that she can still wear.  I told her that I know she doesn't like my "style", but if she wanted to try some of my jeans that are a size 6 (and I also have a few pair that are size 8) and see if she can wear them she is more than welcomed to them.  I don't know if she will or not, but we shall see (I just think jeans are jeans, but Justin already said my jeans are "mom jeans" which I assume is a very bad thing!).

I don't have much else to say today other than to let everyone know that there are so many things that I am thankful for - from the obvious things - Melissa's preganacy and the finding (and fixing) of Dan's heart blockage to the everyday things - my health, a beautiful home, the love of a faithful man.  There are many times that I worry about money and how things are going to work out, but I know that things will work out somehow.  Sometimes lately, I have had the tendency to "live in the past" and wish we had done some things differently - which would put us in a different position now.  But you know what, IF we had done these things we would not have met some of the people that we have met that I think of as friends and I hope that they think of us as friends.  I know that God took us on the path that He did for a reason and I need to live in the moment and let go of the past - enough said.


Rainy, Dreary Days

Well, I don't know what the weather has been like where you live but here it has been warm, overcast, and rainy.  We are having temperat...