Friday, January 30, 2009

Things I've Done

Nope, I have NOT done this!

I saw this at Life of a Southern Belle and it looked like fun. Visit . If you haven't read this blog yet, you are in for a real treat. Make sure you read the posts about "Miss Priss" I promise it will brighten your day! This is a list of life experiences. The ones I've done are in red, the rest (at least some of them, believe me you don't want me to sing a solo!) will have to go on my "Bucket List"

1. Started your own blog 2. Slept under the stars 3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii 5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/World 8. Climbed a mountain 9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris - wait, does Paris, Texas count?

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child 16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train 21. Had a pillow fight 22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (I call those mental health days) 24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice 29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset 31. Hit a home run 32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community 36. Taught yourself a new language(unless igpay atinlay counts)

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person 39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David 41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance 47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain 53. Played in the mud 54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia 60. Served at a soup kitchen.

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies 62. Gone whale watching

63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma 65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp 67. Bounced a check 68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar (and promptly spat it out) 72. Pieced a quilt 73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades 75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London 77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book 81. Visited the Vatican 82. Bought a new car

83. Walked in Jerusulem 84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible 86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life 90. Sat on a jury (twice) 91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club 93. Lost a loved one 94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit 98. Owned a cell phone 99. Been stung by a bee

Now, what about your list? Pass this along and have some fun! Kathy

Update: Can anyone out there tell me why numbers 58-60 will only appear in green? Is that God telling me I should do those things right now? Help!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's on my wall Wednesday

Cait at BOA Super Regional, San Antonio TX 2006

Barb at Grits and Glamour has begun this great new event - What's On Your Wall Wednesday! I agree with Barb, the first thing I look at in a person's home is their artwork and photographs. You can tell so much about a person by their choice of art and the photographs they display. Of course, the first thing my DH checks is the framing (he's a picture framer by trade). He even checks out the frames on the art in restaurants, offices, any place we go! The idea here is to post a picture of what you have hanging on your walls at home and tell a story about it. Stop by Barb's blog at to see a list of all the participants in this inaugural event! And if you haven't visited Barb before, you are in for a real treat!

This is my favorite photographic montage of our daughter Caitlin. She was center Drum Major her Senior year in High School. This was also the first year Georgetown High School participated in a Bands of America marching competition. Coincidence? (joking) These photos were taken at the BOA Super Regional Competition held in the Alamo dome in San Antonio, Texas. You can't imagine the feeling seeing her walk out onto the field in such a prestigious event! I just love the look of fierce concentration on her face. Click on the photo to enlarge and look at the individual shots - if that 3rd one isn't a "mom" look, I don't know what is! They did such a wonderful job, and all of the parents were beside themselves with pride. I don't think that people understand the extent of the work and commitment that these kids have, and to have it celebrated in such a setting is just amazing for them. To all of you out there with young children, if they come home and want to join band, RUN, don't walk to the nearest music store and rent them an instrument. Getting your child involved in the arts is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Oh dear I feel a whole 'nother post coming on lol. That will be a subject for another day! Don't forget to stop by Barb's and visit all the participants. I think this will be a really fun way to get to know each other!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday - Retired

Retired Shrimp Boat, Apalachicola, Florida

Susan at A Southern Daydreamer is hosting Outdoor Wednesday again this week. Be sure to visit Susan's blog at to see all of this week's participants. If you haven't visited Susan before, you're going to love her blog!

Yes, another vacation shot from the Florida panhandle. This retired shrimp boat sits beside a great collection of shops called The Grady Market in Apalachicola, Florida. We visit every year. If you remember my Christmas gift post, my favorite photographer is Richard Bickel. We first discovered his work in this shop. He now has a stand alone gallery, but we check every year to make sure that haven't started carrying anyone new that we need to collect lol! Don't you think this old boat has lots of stories to tell? I think it's so fun that as you turn a corner in this little town, there is a boat sitting on a lawn in the middle of the business district. My husband has taken about 20 shots of this boat, but this one is my favorite.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Man Cave Metamorphosis Monday

Hubby's pride and joy

This was the computer/office area before. Holy cow, we need help!

Yes, all of that went into this cute little computer secretary from Ikea!

Yes, all of these books were on the floor before.

Before bookcases and cd storage. What you can't see are the STACKS of books on the floor, there was literally no way to walk in here anymore.

Recording area before, a veritable spaghetti bowl of cords!

Recording area after, everything has a place!

Before, there was no place for the keyboard and more guitars were on the floor

Every man cave needs a big comfy nap chair, right? Excuse the cowhide, part of a new guitar project!

Before installing the slatwall, guitars were hung around the perimeter of the room, so alot of them had to be in racks on the floor. The room is only 10 x 12 so . . .

Guitar display after installing slat wall

I'm exhausted after reliving our kitchen renovation, so this week I'm going to share a quick weekend makeover. It's certainly not a pretty room, unless you are a guitar nut, in which case it's probably the Taj Mahal haha. But at least now it's somewhat functional and I'm no longer afraid to attempt to walk in! This is our spare bedroom, which has become our combination office, music room, guitar collection storage room and whatever else we think we can shove in here! As you can see from the before pictures, it was getting a bit tight in here. It became almost impossible to find anything, much less use the desk and computer. We started by cleaning out the room ( that was fun, NOT) and starting fresh. DH found some slat wall on Craiglist and decided that this would be the most efficient way to display his guitar collection. We then removed the computer desk and replaced it with a small, secretary type unit from Ikea. This freed up space to move the stereo and recording equipment. Install a couple of bookcases and cd storage units and voila, a useable room once again! Now if we can just avoid bringing anything else in! Thanks again to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting this fun event. Don't you just love before and after posts? Hop on over to her place for a list of this weeks participants.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Sweetest Award for Moms

Lynette at Lynettes L.A.M. passed this to me today and I am so honored. This award is for being a great mom and it really touches me. I first met Lynette through RMS and our love of the same bedroom color. She started her blog to help cope with her darling daughter going off to college, and I did the same. I have lots and lots of pictures of our darling Cait, but to me this is what being a mom is all about - allowing her to follow her dreams, and to stand, strong and independent, leading others!

"This is an award for being a wonderful Mom

You do fantastic work

Be proud of your accomplishments!"

This award really means the world to me. I am terribly proud of our daughter and all that she is and is still to be. If I accomplish nothing else in my entire life, I know that I can point to Caitlin and say "see"?

Now I am to pass this along to fellow bloggers who are terrific mothers. I can't think of anyone out there who would not qualify, and so many of you have already received this. I scrolled through recent posts in an attempt to avoid repetition. So I am going to pass this in no particular order to the following. If you've already received this, great! And if I missed anyone, please feel to accept this and pass it along.

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch
Claire at Life of a Southern Belle
KD at Southern Whimsey
and some new blogging buddies:
Christine at Christine's Home and Travels
Cyndi at Life on the Prairies
Linda at Nina's Nest
and once again, the Micasastyle gals, Kathysue, Marty and Jeanette. Maybe if I keep giving them awards they will start blogs so that they can display them tee hee!

Friday, January 23, 2009

6th photo tag

If you only knew the extent of this shoe collection!

Debbie at Confessions of a Plate Addict posted this tag for anyone who wants to play along. Go to your 6th picture folder and then to the 6th picture. Post and tell a story about the photo. I was a little hesitant to take this one on. I lucked out with the 4/4 tag and had one of my favorite photos hiding behind door number 4. Not quite as lucky this time. This was taken after moving Imelda, oh I mean Caitlin, into her new apartment last August. The biggest selling point for her was the HUGE closet, especially after being in a teeny tiny dorm room for 2 years. She was so excited that she actually had room for all of her shoes. I assure you, this is just a tiny fraction of the shoes she owns. Notice that the shoes were the first things she unpacked! Enlarge the picture and you can see my all time favorite, the pink and black leopard print heels (first pair) We call these her jazz diva shoes. Whenever she had a jazz band concert to perform, they were required to wear a black dress. But the band director didn't specify anything about shoes, so these were what she would wear! Quite striking while playing a smokin' sax solo I must say! Anyway, lots of people have already received this tag, so I'm going to leave it out there for anyone who wants to take it and play along. Do you dare to see what's behind door number 6?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A special award from Ann

I received this sweet award today from Ann at Lifeatannsplace . If you haven't visited her yet, hop right over. She is such a sweetheart and always has some interesting tidbits to share. This is the "hugs" award, given for saying the right thing at the right time. This is especially meaningful to me. I try to live by the motto "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all" - credit to Thumper's mom - or was it Flower?. Lucky me, I've yet to see anything here in blogland that doesn't rate something nice to say! There are so many interesting stories, ideas and pictures out there. Some blogs make me think(thank you Muse), some make me smile, some make me spit my coffee out laughing (that would be you Nikki!), but all brighten my day. I truly feel that everyone I have met here deserves this award, so if you are a follower of my blog, or have a blog that I follow, please take this award home and share it! There are three people in particular that I would like to give this award to, none of whom have blogs yet (HINT, HINT!). I met these wonderful ladies on the Micasastyle site and all 3 of them always know exactly what to say.Jeanette, Kathysue and Marty have become so dear to me, as have all of you here in blogland. I appreciate each and every one of you and look forward to reading and hearing from you every day!
And finally, I have to mention Debbie at Confessions of a Plate Addict. She is the one that prodded me (ever so gently) into taking this plunge, and I'll always be grateful that she did!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday


This is especially for all of my blogging buddies who are in a deep freeze right now!
My husband took this beautiful picture during our last family vacation. It was taken on St. George Island, Florida. We have rented a beach house there every year for the past 10 years. My brother and his family rent the house 2 doors down and we have a big family get together. Whoever can make it shows up and we just have 7 days of relaxing and enjoying each other's company. There is basically nothing to do on this little island but swim, sun and eat. To my mind, that is THE perfect vacation! Our cell phones don't even work well - just an added bonus to my mind.

Thanks to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for hosting this event. Please visit her at to see a list of other participants.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday

The culprit

After demo and installation of new window

Old, low ceiling and everyone's favorite, a fluorescent light box

New raised ceiling and track lighting

Old high pass through and little used cabinet. We originally planned to remove this wall altogether, but it contains a large plumbing stack and alot of wiring. We (our budget) chose to remove the cabinet and lower the pass through to give a more open appearance.

The best part of any kitchen, the coffee area! Open shelve where cabinet used to be.

Old stove and pantry area. Lots of wasted space, and just ugly. Notice the lovely formica backsplash. The different paint colors were our attempt to get it right the first time. My husband swears that the rest of the house is held together by layers of paint.

Detail of the new backsplash, as well as the new stove/pantry area. We gained 15 inches of counterspace and a pot/pan organizer cabinet by getting rid of the old pantry "closet" and installing a new, narrower pantry.

The much more appetizing new view from our dining room.

Susan from Between Naps on the Porch is graciously hosting Metamorphosis Monday starting January 19th. Visit her at to find links to all of the participants.

In July of 2008, we returned from a wonderful and relaxing week at the beach. When we arrived home, we noticed a distinctly "musty" odor. Thinking that it was due to the house being closed up for 10 days in the Texas heat, we ignored it for a day. The next day, I went to pull an appliance out of a lower cupboard and discovered lots of wet and (horrors), the beginning of mold. After the initial screaming meemies, we set out to discover the source of the water. At first, we thought the washer had leaked as it was on the other side of the kitchen wall and we found water under the machine. Our trusty appliance repairman came out and gave the washer a clean bill of health. So we pulled the cabinet out (it was at this point totally useless) and discovered that the water was actually coming up through the concrete slab! So, away we went breaking up the concrete around what we thought was the source. Lo and behold, one of the pipes in the slab was set too close to the rebar, and a hole was eventually rubbed through. Apparently whoever built this house knew it was too close, as they had wrapped the pipe in - can I hear an amen - DUCT TAPE! Our plumber came out and repaired the leak, we repaired the concrete and then set out to renovate the kitchen. Our homeowners policy would not cover the repairs, as there was a sneaky little Texas clause in our policy that did not cover "leaks under grade". So, what now? We had been trying to decide what to do with this horrible, dated, UGLY kitchen for years. We just decided to rip everything out and start over! These are some before and after pix. We did all of the work ourselves, with the exception of the new drywall and the quartz countertop installation. It took us about 6 weeks from demo to new kitchen, during which time I discovered 3 important things: 1) It is no fun washing dishes in the bathtub 2) It's hard to have your kitchen and dining room in your living room (except DH loved having the frig next to his chair) 3) You know that you've been eating out too much when the man behind the counter at Wing Stop greets you by name when you come in! Hope you enjoy the change as much as we have. Stop in anytime for a cup of coffee and a chat.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Word is "Think"

You see life as an amazing mix of possibilities, ideas, and fascinations.

And sometimes you feel like you don't have enough time to take it all in.

You love learning. Whether you're in school or not, you're probably immersed in several subjects right now.

When you're not learning, you're busy reflecting. You think a lot about the people you know and the things you've experienced.

What's Your Word?

Thanks Lynette for sharing this fun game!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I've Been Tagged!

My dear friend Debbie at Confessions of a Plate addict has "photo tagged" me. The rules of this tag are as follows:

1. Go to the the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.
2. Post the 4th picture in the folder.
3. Explain the photo
4. Tag 4 fellow bloggers to join in the fun!

These smiling faces were waiting for me in the 4th folder (thank goodness, I was afraid it was going to be the hole in the concrete from our unfortunate plumbing incident lol)
This lovely picture was taken in Feb 07 when we went to Philadelphia for a family christening. My husbands niece Melissa asked him to be her son's godfather, so off we went. Our darling daughter Caitlin made the trip with us, and the lovely young lady l with her is one of her best friends from high school. Karina was attending the University of Pennsylvania, so she drove down to join in the festivities. This was taken in hubby's families favorite Chinese restaurant. We had such a good time visiting with relatives that we had not seen in years, and this is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

The four ladies I would like to tag are:

1. Vanna at Delusions of Grandeur

2. Laurie at Bargain Hunting

3. Ann at Life at Ann's Place

4. Bo at Blinks'n Winks from Brown Eyes

If you haven't visited these great blogs, please do so. You will leave with a smile on your face and some great ideas!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cait Goes to Washington!


Patrick and his mom, Colonel Figures

Feeding the Sea Lion

Panda playing possum
Korean War Memorial

WWII Memorial

For the first time in my life I feel short!

Stained glass at Mount Vernon

View of the Potomac from Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon

The Three Muskateers at the Capitol

The Capitol Rotunda

Stacks at the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress - Mom's idea of heaven on earth
There he is, the blacksheep of Mom's family - Crime and Punishment Museum
Washington Monument

Isn't this view unbelievable?

I promised my friends from Micasa that my darling daughter Cait would do a guest blog about her recent trip to Washington DC. Little did they know that she would agree to it only on the condition that I play Guitar Hero with her! The things I do for my friends, sigh....
So without further ado, here is Caitlin with her travelogue.

Hello everyone! I just got back from the lovely city of Washington DC on Monday night at around 10:00 pm. Needless to say I was exhausted from a very very busy week of activities, but I did get to see some really cool things and experience some....interesting sights. PS-Feel free to skim, this is a LONG post. First of all let me preface this post by telling you a little about who I was going with and why. I went to Washington DC with my boyfriend Patrick and our mutual friend Anthony. We went to visit Patrick's mother, who is Col Figures of the Pentagon....I could tell you what she does....but then I'd have to kill you : ) Anyways, she actually lives in Virginia in a city called Crystal City, but it's a short metro ride into DC. For the first few days Patrick's mother had to work, so we were left to our own devices....oh no right? Patrick had me make an itinerary for the trip, and the first thing on the list....the National Zoo!!

Tuesday-Our first day was supposed to include the National Zoo and one of the Smithsonian' least that was the plan until we walked in, got a map, and realized that the trail was 10 miles in total. My boyfriend then made a very astute observation...."Wait a minute, it took me 2 1/2 hours to RUN a HALF-MARATHON." We were in for a long day. It was a very awesome experience. Besides my feet and back hurting, it was a gorgeous day, not too cold, and all of the animals were out and about. I took close to 50 pictures that day and got a few great shots of some of the animals. The coolest thing we saw there were the sea lions. We got to see them while their trainers were "feeding" them.....aka playing with them. These sea lions were playing fetch and one was even helping the trainer clean his own habitat. It was awesome. After the Zoo it was already 5:00 and if I learned anything while in Washington it was that it has NO night life to speak off. We decided to head back towards Crystal City and hit the Pentagon City Mall. It was HUGE. And what's worse is that my boyfriend and Anthony came out with nine bags and I came out with none.....there's just something wrong with that. Then we went and had dinner with Patrick's mom at a restaurant called Joe Theismanns which was a 5 star restaurant in a sports bar...the food was great, just definitely a strange atmosphere. We called it a night after that and went home and crashed.

Wednesday-Air and Space Museum. We woke up super early this morning and decided to try and hit two of the Smithsonian's starting with the Air and Space Museum. After getting lost a few times and getting blown over by the RIDICULOUS wind we finally stumbled upon the massive building. This place was HUGE. There were about 5 REAL planes hanging from the ceiling on one half of the museum and on the other half there were about 5 missiles hanging from the ceiling. It was definitely a site to see. We ended up spending most of our day there as well. There was just so much to see. We saw an IMAX movie called 3D Sun narrated by Al Roker and my friend Anthony and I jumped into a flight simulator where he was the pilot and I was the gunner....we shot down six enemies which looking around was a pretty pathetic score....oh well, I tried. After the Air and Space Musuem we decided to go out back to the National Mall and get some good pictures of the Capitol and Washington Monument. We then got back early and went and met Patricks mom for dinner. For New Years Eve we went to Alexandria and did First Nights Alexandria which was a huge street there that was shut down with lots of local music artists and activities such as comedy and magic. We had a blast! We went to a church service where Washington and Robert E Lee attended and then we went and saw a Barber Shop Quartet. Since Patrick's mom treated us to a very nice dinner, Anthony and I decided to buy her a nice dessert. We went to this resturant called Cozi where they had mini butane burners so you could make s'mores at your table. We rung in the New Year there.

Thursday-Mount Vernon! Today was the day we traveled out to Mount Vernon and spent the whole day there. It was extremely beautiful, they have done a wonderful job preserving that building. We got a private tour of the manor and we got to travel around the entire property and see all the crops, side buildings, and gorgeous views. We decided to hop the bus back to Crystal City so we could grab dinner and go see Seven Pounds (btw-excellent movie, I definitely recommend it). However the bus was insanely packed. Apparently everyone wanted to leave at the same time and we had to pack in with about 30 people STANDING for 2o was pretty awful. We got a good hearty dinner to recover and walked the 2 miles to the movie theater.....because the metro wasn't running....kill me : ) We survived and hit the bus on the way home.

Friday-White House! I'm not going to lie to you, the White House was the biggest let down of the whole trip. It was pretty boring. We only got to see the ground floor and the 1st floor which were all the historical things you could have seen online. Also it was a self guided tour which made it even more lame. After the White House we went to hang out at the apartment until our Capitol tour at 2:00. We got there a little early and got in an earlier tour group. On the way we spotted the Library of Congress and decided to hit that after the Capitol. The Capitol was super cool! It was a guided tour of the building and we got to see some really neat sights including the center where all the points of DC meet up and the old Senate Chamber. We then took the tunnel to the Library of Congress and we were just amazed. We got there just in time for the last public tour and we were taken aback by the beautiful mosaics and sculptures in the building. It was one of the most beautiful buildings I had ever seen. I got my mom a coffee mug and a "passport" which is essentially a library card. We then went and saw Union Station and headed on home.

Saturday-Today we decided to go to the Eastern Market, get some good seafood and see Crime and Punishment, a museum there with exhibits on criminals, laws, all the torture devices you could imagine. It was pretty gruesome, but super interesting. The Eastern Market was SUPER cool. I got a really beautifull Billie Holiday painting and we bought Patrick's mom a photograph she really liked as a thank you. I also got my dad some pistachios because they are his absolute favorite. The seafood place was called Legal Seafoods and it was EXCELLENT. Definitely best crab cakes in Washington. After that we rushed back to the apartment and got changed to go see an off-broadway production called Next to Normal. It was surprisingly good as well.

Sunday- Our last day : ( We woke up early and went to our Washington Monument tour. The tour itself was kind of disappointing, essentially all you did was go up the elevator and get off but the view was definitely worth the wait. It was incredible to be that high up and see three different states all from one building. Afterwards we went to the National Portrait Museum and had to do a quick skim of that so that we could get back to the apartment with enough time to metro it over to the airport. We got to the airport with plenty of time and realized that our plane was delayed an hour.....which totally killed our layover in Atlanta...only 50 minutes. We were told by Airtran that we would make our flight, buuuuut that didn't happen. We missed it by about an hour. They couldn't get us on another flight confirmed until Tuesday morning. So we got a hotel Sunday night with some meal vouchers and stood on stand by ALL day Monday. The first flight was a no go, and on the second flight only one of us was called. At that point I went and talked to customer service and got Patrick and I's seats upgraded to first class on Tuesday morning just in case we didn't make the last flight, which was not looking promising. However, at 8:50 pm they called our names and even got us seats together! It was a long flight home through extremely bad weather, but we got home safe and sound to meet our friends and our luggage (the most important thing at that point)!

All in all it was a great trip and I would definitely recommend a trip to everyone who is interested in history and beautiful buildings....oh yeah, and GREAT food. Hope this satisified everyones interest in the can tell I'm her daughter right? Can't stop talking : ) Have a great year everyone!


Monday, January 5, 2009

A special award from a special person

Tardevil at Confessions of 40-something Mama Queen graciously sent me this award today. (actually it was the other day, but I've been crazy busy and this was the first day I could sit down and respond!) The purpose of this award is to give it to someone who is showing gratitude or a good attitude ("if life hands you lemons, make lemonade") within their life or blog.

The rules:
1) put the logo on your blog
2) nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude and/or gratitude.
3) have your 10 pass it along to 10 more!

Trying to choose 10 blogs to forward this to is really difficult. I have yet to come across anyone here who does not have a fantastic outlook. I will pass this award on to the following ten, even though I know that some of you have probably received this already.

1) Dawnie at Dawnies Life if by the Sea

2)Lynne at Lynne's Gifts from the Heart

3)KD at Southern Whimsey

4) Debbie at Confessions of a Plate Addict

5) Lynette at Lynette's L.A.M. Blog

6) Vanna at Delusions of Grandeur

7) Gloria at Happy to Be

8) Barb at GritsandGlamour

9) Nikki at Blah,Blah,Blah Blog

10)Cyndi at Life on The Prairie - so far she has only gotten her title page up - hopefully this will give her the kick start she needs! lol

Each and everyone of these wonderful ladies demonstrates a great attitude every day on their blog - go visit them! If you don't leave with a smile on your face I'll eat my hat! Hugs to all of you, Kathy

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Favorite Christmas Surprise

My Favorite Christmas Gift

Lynette at Lynette's L.A.M. blog posted a wonderful gift she received from her mother and asked everyone what their favorite gift was. This gorgeous photograph by my favorite photographer has to be right up there with my all time special gifts. It's not just the photo, it's the story behind it.
We vacation in Florida every year, and discovered the photography of Richard Bickel in an Apalachicola shop several years ago. I fell in love with his work, and every year we would try to buy at least one piece. He has published two books of his photography and I discovered this work in the second book "Apalachicola River, an American Treasure". I was mesmerized by this photograph. Last summer, we discovered that Mr. Bickel had opened a gallery in Apalachicola. Well, I was like a kid in a candy shop. The rest of the family was tired and hot, but indulged me my time in the gallery. I bought one small piece that I have always loved, but could not purchase the piece that I really wanted. The work in his gallery was very large and more expensive than I could afford. So I purchased my small 5 x 7 and went happily on my way.
Little did I know that my dear husband had been corresponding with the artist over the month of November. He made arrangements for the artist to reproduce this piece in a smaller size for a surprise Christmas gift. Now this is where the "Christmas Miracle" comes into play. The last correspondence indicated that the piece could not be ready in time for Christmas, as the framer that the artist uses had been ill. My husband is a picture framer, but Mr. Bickel signs all of his work on the custom cut mat that surrounds them, so that was the hold up.
On Christmas Eve, we received a note in the mailbox that an express mail package was out for delivery. Of course we were not home, but we just assumed it was something DH had ordered from Ebay. Suddenly our daughter grabbed daddy, ran into the music room with the phone, and 2 minutes later they were both running out the front door. What on earth? It turns out that Caitlin had a suspicion that this photo was what was being delivered. She called the post office to find out the senders name and sure enough, she was right. The postal clerk told her that our carrier was still in the neighborhood and that they could probably catch him (sometimes it pays to live in a small town) So off went dear hubby and dear daughter to chase down the mailman! They finally caught up with him and pulled up next to him frantically waving the delivery notice. I'm happy to report that he gave them the package, they went to my husband's shop and framed this and one other photo that they had purchased. Imagine my total surprise when I opened this on Christmas morning.
I will cherish this always, not just because it is one of my favorite photographs, but more because of the love and thought that went into the gift.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Major Award! (for all you Christmas Story fans)

My dear friend Vanna at Delusions of Grandeur has presented me with the special "Proximidade" award. This award is really special to me, because it focuses on the friendships that blossom here in blogland. "Blogs who receive this award are 'exceedingly charming' say its authors.This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award." Thank you Vanna for thinking of me with this award. I would like to pass it on to the following 8 bloggers:

1 Debbie at Confessions of a Plate Addict

2 Barb at GritsandGlamour

3 Michelle at Beautiful Orchids

4 Nikki at Blah, Blah, Blah Blog

5 Lynette at Lynette's L.A.M. Blog

6 Tar at Confessions of a 40-something Mama Queen

7 Laurie at Bargain Hunting

8 Belle at Life of a Southern Belle

Please stop by and say hello! They all have great blogs, but more importantly are all warm, funny "smart cookies" as my grandmother used to say!