Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fun With Kavi

bubble heaven
sorry I haven't been around lately but My daughter and grandson are visiting with us in Alabama, so we have been having tons of fun! He is such a big boy now (2 years and 4 months old) and is such a sweetheart!
Tomorrow after dinner we plan to go to the summer survival SNO CONE stand and during the day we are going to Wright's Dairy so Kavi can see some cows!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

FunTime in Florida!

Yesterday my husband surprised me by telling me we were leaving for Florida to go stay with my daughter, son in law and grandson early. We were originally going to leave on thursday, so I was totally unprepared on tuesday! Needless to say, I rushed to do laundry and pack and after we left my husband realized that he thought it was wednesday all day and couldn't figure why I was so flustered to get ready! He usually does want to leave a day earlier than planned, but two days earlier threw me for a loop! Anyway, I am glad we did,as it is always nicer to see Kavi sooner than expected :)
We decided to really live it up and stay overnight in Valdosta Florida, with only 3 of the 9 hour trip left to go. We were actually able to arrive at Kavi-Land by 11:30 AM so we had the whole rest of the day to play with our adorable 2 year old grandson. He is talking so much more and is extremely sweet and affectionate. The best part is that when Ray and I leave for Alabama we will have Christina and Kavi coming with us, with my son in law joining us a few days later so we can have an awesome Fourth of July all together! A party in the USA!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"You and Your brother are the apple of my eye.."

me and my dad at my wedding
he looks so serious but he was a very lighthearted guy!

sorry about the poor quality pics
he is holding our oldest girl, Christina!
"and I am so thankful to have you back in my life again"
My father would say this to me fairly often, after being reunited with him at the age of 12. My mother who had severe mental issues managed to keep my father and I separated until my older brother looked him up and found out that he was a wonderful man and telling me that I needed to get to know him. And I did, and my life was changed. At first, we would sit in the living room of my mother's house together, rather awkwardly as every Friday afternoon, we watched "The Edge Of Night" , a soap opera from that time. We both liked the drama , suspense and mystery of that show. Unfortunately that didn't last too long because my mother would be sitting nearby giving my father dirty looks and slamming cabinet doors and such, so we decided to take our Friday visits elsewhere.
We would go to a local diner and eat together, and my favorite thing to order was Nova Scotia Lox on a Bialy with cream cheese and a nice hot cup of tea with milk. In New York diners, this type of food was common, and the tea was always so good because NYC has the best water! It really does, I didn't know that until we moved to Florida and there were weird oil looking slicks floating on the surface which led us to BUYING our drinking water from then on.
During these diner visits, me and my father just talked and got to know each other. He asked me about school and my friends, he told me stories about his cousins or co workers. I became more and more comfortable around him with every visit.
Early in to our getting acquainted time, I never called him dad or anything because it felt weird as I had never called anyone that in my life, so I would just say "Hi, how ya doing?". I remember the first time I did, it just came out naturally, and my father did a double take when I said it. Of course as the years went on, I started to call him "Pop" because it just seemed more affectionate and natural. When I think of "Pop" I think of love, affection, and fun, and he was all those things. He really did say the line about me and my brother being the apple of his eye, and I am amazed at how much it affected me in a good way.
You want to know something funny? Today, I had lox and cream cheese on a bialy for breakfast! In Alabama! (we were at a nearby town in a Publix and found these items!) On Father's Day!! And, it was totally accidental, I didn't realize it was a fathers memory special!
My dad passed away in 1982, so unfortunately it was a too short but extremely meaningful time in my life. I will always love my POP and thank God for having him in my life!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Shady Dell, Brisbee Arizona

OK, so some more vintage trailer stuff!! There is this campground in Arizona that has vintage campers to stay in! You can't drive them away, they are part of the resort and when I clicked on the price chart, they weren't too expensive at all.
click on the link below for more information!
The Shady Dell Resort
here is an excerpt from the website:
Step off the premises and experience the beauty and charm of Bisbee, Arizona, a mile-high historic copper mining town nestled in the Mule Mountains and a stone’s throw from the Mexican border. Founded in 1880, Bisbee was a true hot spot around the turn of the century, known as one of the West’s most roaring towns on the route between St. Louis and San Francisco.
Today, Bisbee is captivating and full of historic buildings, museums, art galleries, antique shops, and hidden walkways. Its close proximity to the Chiricahua National Forest, Cochise Stronghold, and the Ramsey Canyon Nature Conservancy provides numerous opportunities for bird watching, rock hunting, biking, hiking or just leisurely explorations of the wonders of southern Arizona’s high desert area.
Anyone out there looking for vacation ideas? Well here 's one for ya!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lovin The Farmer's Markets and Wright's Dairy

happy grass eatin cows!

Wright's Dairy Old Truck

a calf that you can pet at the Dairy
This week I actually went to three local farmers markets! I was able to get some interesting veggies that I posted about previously, a super sweet small watermelon and some miniature plums! It makes dinner time more fun to be able to cook with some fresh new ingredients.
Today, I made hamburgers out of actual GRASS FED beef that I got at Wrights Dairy, a dairy farm about 20 minutes away that also raises some cows for eating and has organic milk and cheeses that are delicious. If you have never tried organic milk, you should! Even the 1% tastes like whole milk and the cheeses couldn't be more fresh and delicious!
The beef was of course more expensive than the usual corn fed type, costing 5.00 a pound, but just one pound was enough to make a hamburger each for the four of us and the taste made it worth it! There was very little fat in the pan when done cooking and the taste was great!
I saw Food Inc. last summer and learned that the big corporations that own most of the main poultry, beef and pork companies feed an inexpensive corn mix to the animals to make them fatten faster so as to keep productivity high. The documentary doesn't advocate a vegetarian only diet or anything, but just was informative as to how the rich corporations benefit financially while the quality of beef, poultry and pork has gone way down.
Growing your own vegetables or supporting the local farmer's markets helps the real farmers who care about the quality of their crops, make a living. Many farmers in the midwest that were bought out by the corporations, now grow the poor nutritional corn that becomes animal feed and high fructose corn syrup but they are not proud of what they grow, they just do it to make a living. This is not the same corn as the corn on the cob that we eat, but a genetically altered version that has a higher fat and sugar content.
The best quality eggs and poultry come from free range chickens, which can be harder to find, but even Walmart has cage free organic eggs for only a little more than the regular ones.
Of course, I have no way become exclusive to these more expensive organic foods, but I try to get whatever I can at a good price. Try getting your vegetables and fruit at a local farmers market and I think you will get hooked!
click on the link below to find a market in your area!
Local Harvest Framers Markets USA
(There was much more to Food Inc, but it would take forever to tell you in this post! The dvd was very good and I recommend you to see it if you can!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

DIY Russian Stacking Dolls

my little matroyshkas

this is my morning view now :(

As some of you may remember, I love Russian stacking dolls and have had previous posts about them. Unfortunately I don't have too many of them because they can be pricey, especially if they are vintage. So, the other day I was in Hobby Lobby and happened to look down the unfinished wood section when lo and behold, they had one set of "paint it yourself" stacking dolls. They were only 6.99, but I had a 40 % off coupon, so they ended up costing around 4.00! Nice!
I have been painting them over the last few days and realized that it is pretty time consuming to decorate all 6 of them. I finished them today and think that they look nice and festive and want to buy more blank sets to make as Christmas gifts. I am sure that it will get a little easier to paint the more I practice as I found it challenging to put the little details on the faces of the smaller the dolls.
I had no idea how they would come out as I rarely paint, but I have enjoyed doing it and look forward to doing it again!
and...I have been doing the Leslie Sansone 4 quick Miles dvd in my nicely air conditioned house so I have no fun pictures of morning walks to share :(

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Farmers Market and New Do

new short haircut to help me get through summer heat!

this week's bounty from Rainbow City

last weeks goodies from Attalla's Farmers Market
A few days ago, I got most of my hair chopped off so I could manage it better during the hot days of summer! Rachel, who has cut my hair for like 7 years always gives me exactly what I want and I am soooo thankful for her!
Last week I started checking out the local farmers markets and found some fresh, delicious locally grown produce!
I highly recommend checking out your area for these markets. These are not the fancy, seen on TV kind, but the basic local farmer kind with fresh choices and reasonable prices!
(the yellow long veggies are yellow zucchini, and there are purple bell peppers which I am excited to try!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Great Summer Supper

Last night, my daughter Jenny, made a delicious and light sandwich that was perfect for summer. It was:
*roasted garlic hummus
* chopped green olives
* carrot shreds
*cucumber slices
*whole wheat bilillo roll (from walmart)
Delicious accompanied by a Greek salad, made with:
*romaine lettuce,

*red onion

on top of a mound of
*potato salad

with the finishing touches of
* crumbled feta cheese
*pitted calamata olives a
*few shakes of oregano
* red wine vinegar salad dressing or any Italian or Greek type dressing
Healthy, light and delicious, especially during the summer!

Monday, June 14, 2010

60 days of summer

Martha Stewart's website has this awesome 60 summer crafts feature that was so much fun to browse through. I love the handmade drink umbrellas idea and think that they would be great to liven up cupcakes as well! The pictures above are all from that site and there are many more fun ideas to get us through the dog days of summer!
btw, I have moved my exercise to the great INDOORS until this brutal phase of weather is over!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oh for the love of trailers!

If this makes me trailer trash, well I don't care! Poppytalk , which is a blog I follow recently had this post with pictures of awesome vintage travel trailers and I fell in love! I would love to own one of these (with AC of course) so me and my husband could travel around and see the sights. Just a dream of course, because one of these babies all tricked out, must be pretty darn expensive. Click here, to go to visit that wonderful blog, and you can dream too!
Another awesome site with tons of vintage trailers to gawk at is Sisters on the Fly !

it's hot out there!

Wheww, it was a hot and muggy morning today! Only 73 degrees but with 94 % humidity I felt like I was in a sauna! I was disapointed that I let the mugginess get to me because I only managed to muster a 27 minute walk! I plan on doing an exercise dvd today to make up for my lack of outside endurance, but I am sad that I couldn't enjoy the great outdoors for longer. I really have a goal to keep up with walking during the summer so that I will be ready and fit to enjoy fall's cooler weather and I don't want to get psyched out and think that I can't do it. I had planned all along to do dvds when it was too hot, but the neighborhood and downtown walks have been refreshing up to now and I mistakenly thought I could handle the higher temps and humidity better.
I won't discard outside walking though, I will try to do it as much as possible and just supplement it with dvds when I need to! I gotta push through!
Can you see the haziness in the pics?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Today's View

This morning was nice and cloudy and I went through the pretty neighborhoods again. And, I actually passed three walkers throughout my journey. I am really enjoying this and I can't believe I am doing any sort of outdoor activity during the month of June. You just don't even know, it is sooo unlike me :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

what?! third morning in JUNE!

umm....the weather channel said it was only 71!

fellow walker in pink, we waved at each other

My husband suggested I challenge myself to walk this morning even if it wasn't in the oh so lovely 60's. After all, I could just walk back home if I got too hot, and I could also hear Jillian Michaels saying "this won't kill you, being out of shape is what will kill you". I also thought of Tia who lives in Texas, is pregnant and pushes two little kids in a stroller during her humid 70s and 80s mornings. So out I went, water bottle in hand and headed to the downtown area again. The walk isn't shady for a lot of it and it was quite sunny, but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I had a goal to walk to a coffee shop in town and ordering an iced decaf americano to make the second half of the walk more fun. Unfortunately the guy who took my order made me a HOT decaf americano, and I thought, "oh no, this won't do, I am hot, it is hot outside AND I get hot flashes" so HOT was a dirty word to me at that time. So...I asked for a cup of ice that I could dump it all in and the fella brought me a tiny cup of ice assuming I wanted to just add some to my hot coffee, so not much fit in the cup but I didn't feel like asking for another BIGGER cup of ice, so I just took it and added the rest of the ice to my water bottle and went along my way. The ice in my coffee made it weak and I hate weak coffee, and it was still warm and not very refreshing so after a couple of streets I chucked it in the trash! So much for my romanticized idea of walking to my quaint downtown and sipping a lovely iced beverage for the rest of my journey that morning!
And much to my surprise a church sign said it was 83 degrees! And I lived to tell the story! Thanks honey for challenging me to do it and Jillian was right, I didn't die!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sno Cone Heaven!!

Ever since Angela from Pickles on Pizza began posting about her summer goal of sampling every flavor offered in a place in her town, I have been CRAVING sno cones! Her pictures looked so inviting and cool and refreshing, and I thought, "If I had a goal like that, I might just make it through the dog days of summer too!" But when I searched on the internet, nothing came up for this area, but in the back of my mind, I could picture a run down looking place in Rainbow City that I had passed during the winter when it was closed. I knew it was near one of the grocery stores or thrift stores I go to which is in RC but only a few miles away. So today around 11:30 AM, I drove to where I thought I had spotted it and found a veritable oasis of Sno! Rainbow Sno, in a brightly painted trailer, already open, with a sign that listed exotic flavors way beyond cherry, grape and lemon! It was more beautiful than I remembered so they must have spruced it up, or maybe I was just high on the victory of finding what I was yearning for!
I HAD to order one, even though it was before noon and I hadn't even eaten lunch yet. So I ordered the Hawaiian Sunset which was raspberry, banana and orange. A small was only 2.00 and it was huge, but I made mine a cream one for a dollar extra!
Maybe I can get through summer after all!

will wonders never cease?

gazebo in front of City Hall

a shop I have gotten a few cute things at

an old cafe that will soon open as an old fashioned Malt Shop!

it was way busier than this picture shows!

a gorgeous flowering tree of some kind!

OK guys, today I went for another outside morning walk! Yeah, it is still JUNE! I didn't think it would happen today, because the expected high is 93, but when I woke up, I checked the weather and it was still in the 60's and CLOUDY! A good combo for me indeed!
I headed out a little before 8 and went an entirely different route than usual. I usually walk through the scenic residential neighborhoods by my house, but today I headed in the opposite direction and started walking towards our little downtown area. It was a totally different world. Instead of the quiet, empty streets, there was hustle, bustle and people! Still heard the birds singing though, which I especially enjoy. I walked down to the end of Broad Street and back again and it was a good 57 minute walk. No hills, though, just some gradual inclines up Broad Street, but a lovely walk it was! I enjoy taking pictures during my walks because it distracts me from the time and makes it go by faster!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Along Life's Merry Way

you probably can't tell but this little hill has been a challenge for me

Well, today, I actually got up before 7 AM and hit the pavement at 7:25 ! In June!
Of course, I had already checked the weather and saw that it was 64 degrees out, so it was in my "not gonna die from the heat " zone. It was pretty humid, so it didn't feel brisk out or anything. I had taken a week off from my routine because of that thing called the monthly "gift" which renders me useless, but I found I was looking forward to and determined to restart my morning exercise time. I do believe that inside exercise DVDs will be my summertime best friends, since the temp will be in the 90's soon with lows in the 70s, (which feels like 80's when you factor in humidity)
And each time I walk this certain little hill, I feel a little bit less winded at the top. You can't really tell from the picture, and it is only one block long, but I force myself to go that way each time I walk! The first time I did walk it, I was extremely winded at the top and was left in the dust by the girls walking with me!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Martha, You Inspire Me!

Martha's Apple Pie
click above for recipe
Enamel Look Bottles
click above for directions
I just love to watch the Martha Stewart Show! Even though, I am nothing like her. She is classy, I am not. She is organized, I am not. She is a perfectionist, I am not. She is sophisticated, I am not. She is a business woman, I am not. And on, and on, and on... But, she is crafty,so am I . She likes to save money on things, so do I. She likes learning new things, so do I. She likes teaching things, I like learning things!
It was Martha who first introduced me to ETSY, that wonderful handcrafted businesses site where I now have two shops. Martha often has ETSY shop owners on her show demonstrating their handiwork. As a matter of a fact I am not sure what other TV talk show has so much instruction on it! I really think there needs to be a CRAFT network out there in satellite land, and I am surprised Martha hasn't already started one! (hint, hint Martha!)
Last winter, Martha had a huge craft show with her employees doing the selling and I saw some cool scarves made with GIANT knitting needles and that made me immediately go find some huge needles I had purchased and never used and try to conquer my mental block on knitting. ( I find crocheting easier, but always wanted to knit)
Now, Martha obviously has the BEST staff working for her, because her products in craft stores are beautiful, relevant and well made and her household items are just as lovely.
Now, don't you worry and think that I idolize her or anything, she is way too proper for my liking, but I appreciate someone who wants to pass on the old fashioned virtues of cooking, baking, crafting, gardening and such. But starting my day on four hours of sleep is not appealing to me, so I will just let Martha do that!