Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Only Treats Here Today!

Is this about the cutest picture ever? I tried to get one that looked like my sister June's puppy but could only find this picture. I have no reason to post it other than it's so cute!

Now here is the cutest little baby. This is my granddaughter Maddie last October 31st and she is dressed as a cow. She could have cared less about Trick or Treat but she sure did look sweet enough to eat.

And this is a picture my kids might pay me to keep off of my blog. It must be around 1984. How do I know that when I did not mark the date on back of the picture? Which by the way, please do because you never do remember the date. Anyway, from the left to right are my kids, Melissa, Christina and Jimmy. I think it's 1984 because Melissa probably started kindergarten then and she has short hair because she and her friend Becky decided to play hair dresser one afternoon at Becky's house. That's the only time I remember Melissa having short hair. She was a princess, Christina was a cowgirl and Jimmy went as Spiderman who he loved for years.

Anyway, Maddie is coming over Grandma's to Trick or Treat tonight and she's going to be a University of Cincinnati cheerleader(Mommy & Daddy are alumni). She doesn't eat candy yet so Grandma has some yummy cookies for her. The scariest thing about Trick or Treat is leftover candy at my house. By the end of the night I am giving out handfuls of the stuff just to get it out of my house. I have no willpower when it comes to sweets! (sigh) Oh and I changed my top and bottom banner just for today. Have a safe and fun day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Travel Tuesday - Napa Valley California

Enjoying a picnic lunch on the winery grounds with our good friends Mike and Vickie. All of these pictures were taken in our last visit in 2003.
My good friend Vickie and I at the Crush Party

This was too much fun. We were crushing the grapes at the Crush Party at V. Sattui Winery
This is my sweetie and I at V. Sattui Winery. Look it how beautiful the grounds are.

Well,what can I say about Napa Valley? It is one of my very favorite places to visit. Even if you don't drink wine it is a great place to see. The restaurants are some of the best and they have wonderful spas and a hot air balloon ride is an exciting thing to do also. Okay, let me tell you about a few of my favorite places to go in the Napa Valley. My sweetie and I have been there a few times, the last time was the Fall of 2003 when we attended the Crush Party at V. Sattui Winery. What is a Crush Party? It's a party that celebrates the harvest of the grapes. And it's a fun time. We had food, wine and also tasted the new wines. I am not an expert on wines by any means but I do not think you can go wrong with any of the wines from Sattui. In fact we like it so much, it's about the only wines we have in our little wine cooler. You can eat on the picnic grounds there also. But there are so many more wineries to go and see and I would suggest you go see at least one of the sparkling wines wineries. The one I would recommend and again this is just from my own experience is Mumm 's sparkling wine. I personally love their Blanc de Noirs, it's a slightly sweeter sparkling wine. We usually get a bottle for New Years Eve to toast in the New Years. They also have one of the best tours of their facility, it was very interesting. There are too many wineries to mention in Travel Tuesday but these are two of my favorites. For a fun time you can also take the tram up to Sterling Winery . To be honest I only drink my red wine on special occasions anymore because for so long I couldn't drink anything because of my acid reflux but it's better now and I can enjoy a glass now and then. Now let's go on to my favorite places to stay, no contest, my favorite places are any of the Four Sisters Inns, I don't know how I found these gems but they are worth it. The Maison Fleurie is probably my favorite because it is in Yountville. I liked staying in Yountville better the Napa. I have also stayed at the Blackbird Inn and it is in the heart of Napa. I could go on and on with all there is to do and see in Napa and these are just a few of my personal favorites. I will certainly go back someday and hopefully to the Crush Party again. I didn't mean to exclude Sonoma and it is also a wonderful place to visit and see but hey I only have so much room to write. I'm lovin' California so let's stay here for a little while and move on down south to Monterey and Carmel next week. Thanks for traveling with me.

Giveaway Fun!

Sandy at Dream Create and Inspire is giving away this beautiful piece of art. It's on a 8 x 10 canvas and she handpainted it in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's so pretty, so fly on over and get yourself entered right now. But do it soon because the giveaway ends on November 1st. This is a talent I do not have and wish I did. By the way Sandy , I love your new music on your site especially the Moulin Rouge songs. I'll be back later on today with Travel Tuesday. We are going to one of my all time favorite places, Napa Valley, California.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Weekend Fun!

People were dancing in downtown Cincinnati on Friday night. We were shopping and noticed there was a party going on at Fountain Square for the Bengals. It was called The Bengals Bash. Tried to get get my sweetie to pose with the Ben Gals cheerleaders but he wouldn't do it. So we just watched for awhile.
We took our daughter Christina out for her birthday on Saturday night, it's getting hard to get a good picture of our granddaughter Maddie anymore because she's mobile all of the time. That's my mother in law, Lynn on the left, my sweetie, the birthday girl and my daughter Melissa and Maddie and my son in law Jamiel. Our son Jimmy and his girlfriend, Allison couldn't make it.
Here's the birthday girl with her brownie and ice cream cake. It was a good time!

We had a great weekend celebrating Christina's 26th birthday and going downtown. And then we babysat Maddie on Sunday while Mommy and Daddy went to the Bengals game, which the Bengals lost. :-( Have a great week

Sunday, October 28, 2007

100 Things About Me

I'm blaming anything that's written below on the monkey. He took over my laptop and he also tried to take my favorite perfume and I-Pod. I also had these things perfectly spaced apart and blogger messed them all up, he really did. :-)

I probably should be embarrass that I've reached this 100 mark so soon after starting blogging but it's been a fun and addicting new hobby. None of these are in any order except for Number 1. So here goes:

1)I love the Lord first and foremost.

2)I went to a Catholic school for 12 years, high school was an all girl school. My sweetie went to the all boy school next door.

3) I still have nightmares about Sister Agatha and her T-stick ruler in grade school. LOL

4)I don't think she liked kids

5)We called her Sister Hagatha(I know we were so mean), we were only kids.

6)I had to work hard to get good grades.

7)On the subject of nuns, I took Latin in high school.

8)Don't know why, everyone else was taking exotic things like French and Spanish

9)My teacher was a 90 year old nun, I don't think she could see or hear. (okay, I might be exaggerating a little) :-)

10) I got an A in that class, I'm not sure she even knew who was in her class.

11) I had a good time in Latin class,

12)I left the Catholic Church and now attend an non-denominational church., but understand it has nothing to do with being Catholic, I was just led in another direction.

13)My church now is one of the biggest churches in Cincy.

14)They messed with Christmas tradition last Christmas

15)You do not mess with Christmas tradition in my humble opinion or Thanksgiving or Easter for that matter.

16)I am all about tradition.

17)My church had a Christmas program called the Lightbulb Man, it was very modern and I know what they were doing but don't mess with Christmas people!

18)I wear contacts , something called mono vision contacts

19)Mainly because I can't read without them, can't read one dang gone thing without my contacts or glasses.

20)Started having trouble seeing in my later 40's

21)Until I started computer work, I had the best eyes.

22) I was a stay at home Mom for about 17 years.

23)Loved it and have never regretted staying home with my kids.

24)That time of my life went by too fast.

25)Spent too much time wishing it would go by faster.

26)Now sometimes I wish I could go back.

27)Love this time of my life (except for the perimenopause thing)

28)Lost one of my best friends and she was also my sister in law way too young.

29)I miss her

30)She was always straight with me, even telling me when she thought I was out of line, but she always did it in a loving way.

31)We should all have a friend like that.

32)She died of a brain tumor.

33)She left two children behind, whom I love dearly.

34)I lost my brother and mom, way too early also

35)They both died instantly of heart attacks

36)I get a little freaked out if I have acid reflux sometimes because it mimics heart attacks

37)I love my husband

38)He tells me daily that he loves me

39)I think I am the luckiest girl ever to have such a wonderful man

40)He's also a great father

41)I also love my Dad

42)I know my Dad loves me.

43)So important for young girls to know thier Daddies love them.

44)I'm putting myself to sleep with this list

45)I grew up on the Ohio River

46)I used to swim, fish and water ski on the river

47)I was a pretty good fisherman(woman) we used wheaties(the cereal) as bait

48)Wouldn't even put my big toe in the Ohio River anymore.

49)Had a Golden Retriever named Claire, best dog ever in the WHOLE world-don't even try to argue with me on that one

50)Haven't had another dog since because I'm afraid no dog would be as good and loving as she was

51)We also had a bunny named Buttercup and another cat named Tiger. The kids begged me for the bunny, told me they would take care of him. Guess who ended up taking care of that bunny?

52)Who knew bunnies live for years and years and years........long after the kids leave....

53)Now we just have our kitty Cleo, she think she's the queen of the house.

54)I love to read, books or magazines. Books were my good friends when I was a young girl.(still are)

55)I also love to read the newspaper every morning drinking my coffee, especially Sunday's paper.

56)I love coffee with coffeemate fat free vanilla creamer and splenda's vanilla flavor sweetener-yummy!

57)I also like to drink Coke Zero and Crystal Lite's Lemonade

58)I lost about 35 pounds on Weight Watcher's last year.

59)It's a constant battle for me to maintain, not because of the program but because I like food.

60)I love sweets, I still miss Little Debbie's Swiss Roll cakes. Can't even have them in my house or I'll eat them all :-(

61)Here's a big surprise, I love to travel.

62) Doesn't even matter where I go to, I love to travel everywhere

63)I don't think I've ever been anywhere that I didn't like.

64)Australia is on the top of my list of places I want to see before I die or get too old.

65)I can't even think of my favorite place I've been too. Maybe Hawaii or it could be anywhere in Europe.

66)I went back to school when I was 40 years old.

67) I was scared to death after being home for so long

68)I was not even sure I was going the morning of my first class, my sweetie convinced me to go and I loved going to Travel school.

69)Now you can't stop me from going away to see new places

70)I'm not afraid of planes, I just get anxious about getting through security and checking in, so I get to the airport really early. Once I'm back at the gate, I totally relax. I don't get that.

71)I totally love my granddaughter Maddie. Never knew grandkids could be so much fun.

72)Can't wait to see my two new grandbabies next year.

73)I was a bank teller for about five minutes, I was not very good at it.

74)I am a girly girl now. I love makeup and clothes and purses.

75)My favorite color is various shades of pink(big surprise!). I do like red alot also.

76)I have three sisters and I had a brother who died last year.

77)I love movies, mostly romantic comedies but I do love a good drama or action also.

78)Friday nights are usually date nights for my sweetie and me.

79)We almost always go to the Coffee house and get a latte. They have happy hour there between 4pm and 6pm. It's funny going to coffee happy hours now.

80)I love the beach. I love walking on it, especially the beach in Hilton Head.

81)I hope we can retire for a few months out of the year by the beach.

82)I love sea bass, it's my favorite seafood.

83)We lived in the house my father in law grew up in and my sweetie grew up in. We were the third generation of the family to live in that house.

84)We brought all of our babies home to that house.

85)It was huge, with a billiard room upstairs and rooms that once were for a maid and butler and a big basement that my kids could ride their big wheels around in.

86)It was also very old and too much work for me and needed too much money to be put into it

87)It had a real crystal chandelier. I wanted to take it with us. The realtor convinced us it was a selling point. Wish I never would have listened to her.

89)We have lived in this home for over 20 years.

90)I love the neighborhood.

91)My eyes are glazing over. Are you guys still reading this stuff

92)I'm not very athletic.

93)Though I used to be pretty good at archery when I went to summer camp.

94)I tried playing golf. I don't play now, but I sure did love to go to the practice range and hit the golf balls.

95)I love my three kids and am proud of each one of them.

96)I love this new hobby of blogging and all the nice people I have "met"

97)It is addicting

98)I like to collect cookbooks but am not much of a cook

99)Only one more to go.

100)Thank goodness this is it. My Dad's probably the only one interested in reading this whole thing! :-)

I am also going to do a small giveaway soon but can't do it just yet. A little hint -- check out my number 98.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Christina!

Christina - The Birthday Girl

I love this letter Christina wrote me when she was little. I keep it in a frame and it is hanging in our hall. If you can't read little kid writing, I'll decipher it for you. It says: To Mom, I love you and this is why I am sending you this to you tonight. Love, Christina Don't you just love this? I will keep and treasure this forever.

This my sweetie and I and Christina on the day she was christened. Oh my, we look so young!
This is classic Christina! If you look really good, you can see she has a black eye! She was always in a hurry and ran into a wall playing with her brother Jimmy.
And I love this picture because it shows her spirit. Christina has always had an adventurous spirit.

Happy Birthday Christina! Our baby is 26 years old today. That's hard to believe. We are so proud of you and all of your hard work. We believe in you and are here for you! Happy Birthday Christina! (I know I got a little carried away with the pictures but couldn't decide which ones to post).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Awesome God

My Mom holding me with my Grandma and my brother Alan , this was probably 1956.

My Mom when she was young, I have no idea the date of this picture.

My Mom and I in Florida probably in 1999

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power and love
Our God is an awesome God

Many of you know this praise song and it is one of my favorites. Let me put together these pictures and why I have this praise song in my post. Today marks six years since my Mom died. This post is not so much about her death but how God showed me his awesome love. So let me go back to the fall of 2001. You all know what happened in September of 2001. Well, there was a European cruise my sweetie and I were supposed to go on in the Fall of 2001 for our 25th anniversary and then 9/11 happened and my Mom(who never asked me for anything) didn't want us traveling overseas, which if you remember alot of people were afraid to travel back then. So we cancelled our trip. Now pay attention the cruise will come into the story later on. On October 25th, 2001 I was working at my office and had a extremely difficult day, a woman was very nasty to me and well the things she said just really upset me. So where does a girl go after a difficult day at work, to visit her Mom & Dad for some love. Let me just say this, I never usually went over my parents on a workday evening because I usually had to go home and get dinner together etc... So I was led to go over and see them and they were in such high spirits. It was one of those beautiful fall sunny days in Ohio and my parents had been out all day, outlet mall shopping , lunch, the casino boats, dinner. They had a wonderful day and my Mom was in such a great mood. My Dad had just bought her a SUV and she took me to the garage and was so excited about it. So I stayed for a few hours just chatting and enjoying the fact they both were so happy. My Mom walked me out on the porch and gave me a kiss and told me she loved me. She was very reserved and didn't do this all the time. Three hours later I received a phone call, my Mom was being rushed to the hospital and wasn't breathing. In fact she had already gone home to the Lord. She died of a massive heart attack. In the days that followed and in my grief, I didn't put things together right away. But I believe I was given a great gift from God. He knew what I needed before it even happened and took care of my needs because He loves me and wanted to ease my grief. He gave me the gift of seeing my Mom totally happy on her last day on earth and of her saying goodbye to me, though I didn't know it at the time. Oh, and to get back about the European cruise, if my Mom didn't ask me not to go, my sweetie and I would have been floating somewhere around the Mediterranean at the time of her death and it would have been a nightmare trying to get home. I know this is a long post and I still miss my Mom and so wish she could have seen her great grandbabies but I know in my heart and soul, I was given a gift from God and I feel so humbled that He loves us so much that he takes care of our needs before we even know that we need them. So yes, I believe our God is an awesome God, and He does reign from heaven above with wisdom, power and love.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blog Friend Forever Award & I won a Giveaway

Karolee has given me this award and I thank her for being a great blog friend and I agree with her idea that everyone on my blogroll that says Friends & Strangers deserve this award. It is so hard sometimes to narrow down an award to just a few so you are all Blog Friends Forever.

Okay people, I WON. No, I don't think you understand I never win, ANYTHING and I was so happy when Mary e-mailed me and told me I was one of the winners for her banner/logo giveaway. You can check out all of Mary's creations at Isabellas Closet . Actually Mary is so sweet she's going to make a banner/logo for everyone who left her a comment on her giveaway post. Thanks Mary, you really are a sweetheart and I love your banners and logos.

And here's a funny story. It's been raining a whole lot here in Cincy and because of that our house phone lines are messed up. I can hear someone else on our line talking. When a phone call comes in to them our line rings and I pick it up (but no caller id comes across and it has static) and I can hear someone else's whole conversation and they can hear me. Well, this afternoon it started again so I picked it up and started to say hello, who's there? Who are you? And it's a young girl, I'm guessing around 12yrs. old or so and she was home by herself. I know this because she heard me talking and totally freaked out thinking someone was in her house with her. She hung up and then my phone rings again and I can hear the young girl talking to her mom telling her about me and her Mom is telling her to call the police. So I'm trying to tell her I'm not in her house and our phone lines are connected somehow and the young girl then says to her mom and listen to this "Mom, can't you hear the old lady on the phone with us?" OLD LADY!!! Hello, I'm trying to help you little girl but if you call me an old lady again, all bets are off. I called the phone company and they are going to fix it. But I've been walking around all night going "Old lady, I can't believe she called me an old lady"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Travel Tuesday - San Francisco

This picture was taken right before the ship went under the bridge. It was so cool coming into San Francisco by ship. Everyone was on the top deck and right as we went under the bridge the captain blew the horns and everyone cheered. It was great!
This picture is for Kari. I've never heard of Menopause The Musical and it just cracked me up. This was playing down at Fisherman's Wharf. Can you just imagine this musical? I really have to go see it if comes anywhere around Cincy.


The Sea Lions at Fisherman's Wharf. They are a crazy bunch and a smelly bunch!
That's me in jail on Alcatrez. Let me out of here!
That's me back in 1999 in San Fran
That's my sweetie walking around Alcatrez

This was my first time coming into San Francisco by ship and it was a really wonderful way to come into this great city. My sweetie and I have been here a few times. It is a romantic city, Tony Bennett left his heart there and I can see why. Does anyone else love Tony Bennett? I love his music. Anyway, I'm off the subject as usual. When we docked in San Francisco, my friend Sherra and I decided to just walk around the city. We had both been here a few times so we took the cable car and headed into town to shop. And we did shop till we dropped but if this is your first time to San Fran, let me tell you a few of the not to be missed highlights.

First off take a cable car ride, especially the scenic Powell-Hyde cable car to Fisherman's Wharf, which goes through ritzy Nob Hill (don't forget to hold on tight). Then go to Alcatrez, it's well worth the trip to the Rock. Okay off the subject one more time. Did any of you see the movie The Rock? Well, then you can get a good idea of what San Francisco looks like including Alcatrez. Take a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Go to Chinatown. My sweetie & I literally walked all around San Fran or hopped on a cable car to get where we wanted to go. While you're at it, don't forget to visit Golden Gate Park. The Blue and Gold Fleet have tours year round on their sightseeing boat and Grayline tours is another tour operator on land. And I haven't even mention the good food, you can find all kinds of seafood to eat in Fishermans Wharf and downtown around Union Square. The shopping is amazing in Union Square, so if shopping is your thing you will not be disappointed. I feel like I am just giving you a quick overview of San Francisco. But really it is one of those places that is a must see and there is so much to see. Okay, I am having so much fun in California let's just stay here a while longer. Let's go to one of the most romantic and beautiful places in Northern California next week. Let's go to the wine country and visit Napa and Sonoma. Remember the old Lucy episode where she was crushing grapes with her feet, well my hubby and I got to do just that. Can't wait to share that fun.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Zoo!

Maddie thought these little guys were so funny! I think they are Lemurs.
Maddie & Mommy at the Gorilla exhibit. I really tried to get the picture of the Mama Gorilla with her baby on her back but she kept moving in and out of the shots.
Maddie just loved the Manatees. I almost got in trouble in here because I couldn't figure out how to get my flash to stop working. You are not allowed to use flash with your camera in here. My camera is kind of complicated, so I keep it on one setting. Look at her face, pure delight.
And just because I think these guys are the cutest! They are some kind of Penguins from Australia.

We had a great day at the Cincinnati Zoo today. Maddie loved all of the animals. I think she thought some of the big cats were like her kitties back at home. But the Manatees were by far her favorite. The weather stayed beautiful until we were leaving the Zoo and then it started to rain, so that was a blessing. If you are ever in Cincinnati, you should make the trip to our zoo, we have a wonderful zoo. And for anyone who really cares, my good hair day ended when the rain started. LOL I'll be back tomorrow with Travel Tuesday but it might not be until later because I have a work thing. Work just keeps interfering with my fun, but isn't that the way it always is? :-)

New Blog Home and Fall Pictures

This is the new home of my blog. I found the picture for my header and just had to build my blog around it and the pink in my old blog just didn't match it the way I wanted it to. Don't you just love the picture of the cornucopia? It just says Fall and Thanksgiving. I've been kind of searching for a home that I could live with and I think this new style will be great. I have the most beautiful pictures picked out for my header for Christmas and can't wait to put them up. Hope you enjoy it!

Those are the hills of Kentucky across the river.
Also, I have to tell you it has been one of the prettiest weekends ever in Southwest Ohio. Sunny and temps in the 70's and cool at night. Best sleeping weather! This is the park that I walk with my sister June most mornings and these are pictures I took this morning on our walk. The park is right on the Ohio river and the leaves are starting to change. If you click on the pictures, you can see the trees better. I love that I live so close to this beautiful park. Today is suppose to be more wonderful weather, so I called my daughter Melissa and we are packing up my little granddaughter Maddie and heading to the Zoo. Days like this are a gift from God and sometimes you need to goof off and enjoy them. I'll be back later today to catch up on all of your blogs and hopefully have some good pics of the zoo. Oh yea, to top off this beautiful day, I am finally having a good hair day, LOL. That's a big deal if you had my hair. One day I'll have to do a post all about bad hair days! Have a great Monday!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Scrapbooks of Alaska

Click to play  Slideshows and scrapbooks - Powered by Smilebox

I finally finished my scrapbook of Alaska. I really enjoyed scrapbooking for the first time and I'm sure it won't be my last.

I've also been wanting to do this virtual scrapbook since I seen it on Kat's blog. Smilebox is alot of fun but it's slow sometimes.

Anyway, it's a beautiful day in Ohio. It really feels like Autumn so enjoy your weekend! We are heading to Saturday evening church services today and some Pumpkin Spice Lattes when we are done. Can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday night.