Thursday, September 30, 2010

Little Cabin in the Woods...

Over the past couple of months I have been conspiring, scheming, planning, plotting, and OH MY HEAVENS white-lying to the Captain (a.k.a. my sweet husband). But alas, a SURPRISE awaits the dear one!

If you are reading this today, we will be traveling, already traveling or maybe have arrived at our destination. Our get-a-away. Our love shack (sorry kids), spectacular and scenic cabin in the woods. You see, our 6 year anniversary is Saturday. I pictured him, sitting on a wood deck, musical instrument in hand, gazing at the wonders of nature surrounding him whilst singing to the birds. Me in the hot tub sitting beside him drinking in the beauty that beholds me. Therefore, I conspired to make all this happen.

Made sure he has tomorrow (Friday) off, Cupcake taken care of, doggies have a reservation at the doggie hotel, cabin reserved and finally bags packed. Whew! The biggest task at hand was/is to keep this thing a secret (thanks for keeping the secret Beanie). Lots of folks knew and they kept things quiet. For those that didn't know, now you know!!

There was one small hurdle that crossed my path. A few weeks back I was listening to the radio and I heard an advertisement for our local symphony. The resident conductor is a big Beatles fan. Well, we all know who else is a HUGE Beatles fan.....yep.....the Captain. I hope, prayed, tried to bring about good karma that the Captain would not hear this ad. He didn't. Whew! But, of course, we are on the mailing list. You guessed it. Since Captain gets the mail, he saw the advertisement in the mail. Oh, we just have to go. I know it's our anniversary but we really have to take Mad Dog (that's his pet name for Cupcake). Will you get the tickets, please, please, please?!?!

Oh golly geez. Yes, I will take care of that on Monday. Sure. I will. Yes, I will. Monday rolls around and HE REMEMBERS. Ugh! He sort of caught me off guard. Now enter "white lie" so I said, sure Cupcake can go and yes I got 3 tickets. His office manager called me. She kept hearing him talk about the symphony. He is so excited she said. I know. But he will be so surprised when he comes home from work and I will be standing there grinning from ear to ear.

Surprise my love! Off to the woods we go! To the little cabin in the woods.

The pained, surprised look that I will probably witness.

He is so debonair.

Above photos courtesy of our recent Hawaii trip.

Have a great weekend all of you. We will, you can count on it!! We'll give the bears a great big howdy from all of you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just Clouds

No explanation needed.






















































Monday, September 27, 2010

Out in the Woods

I grew up playing in the woods in central Alabama. We chopped down small pine trees, then make rooms by nailing the skinny limbs to other trees. We didn’t really call them forts, just rooms. My friend, Ethel Ann, who was a year or so older, could build a mean set of rooms. She even had pine straw carpet and beautiful decorations from nature. Sometimes we would venture down a bit deeper in the woods close to the railroad tracks. Other times by a creek/stream that was about 4 feet wide but only 12 inches deep. Just the right size for jumping.

One time we decided to cross where it was a bit wider, so we had to step on exposed logs or rocks. She found a place to cross over and then she began looking for a spot for me to cross. I found one and just as I was about to put my foot on the log, she said STOP! I was about to step on a big, fat water moccasin! Since she yelled at me I actually hopped right over to the other side, just in time to see that snake swim away. I can still remember my heart racing. Ethel Ann took off running and believe me, I wasn’t far behind.

Playing out in the woods, being out in the woods and smelling those pine trees was a wonderful experience growing up and I never tire of the opportunity to experience that again. I especially love sharing that experience with other folks, both big and small.

This past weekend we decided to take Cupcake Girl to the woods (that’s what we called it growing up “going to the woods”). It was slightly overcast and started misting when we arrived. What better weather to go to the woods.

Here are a few snapshots and yes, that is a Jerry Garcia doll in her backpack.

















































































































And now the parting shot, plus a story…..

Me: I need to cut your fingernails.
Her: Ok.
Her: They sure are long. (as I was cutting)
Me: Yes they are.
As I was making my way to her other hand she said with a serious look…
Her: But NuNu……if you cut off all my fingernails then I can’t pick my nose.
Me: Yep, you’re right, but you’ll just have to figure that one out yourself.

Then we laughed and laughed and laughed, and of course called her GrandBob!

Gotta love that girl! Ice cream mouth and all!














P.S. I’ve been trying out a new collage maker and I’m not sure it keeps my pictures as sharp as they really are. But, I will keep experimenting!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TableTop Thursday

Back in August, while we were dining at one of our favorite eating establishments, Taco Mamacitas, I had my little point & shoot camera sitting on the table. I decided to turn it on, point in any given direction and fire away. I liked what I saw after I loaded them on my computer. Later that week I took a few more and liked them even more. I decided then that I would continue my new found love and turn it into what I will call, TabelTop Thursday.

So, each Thursday, I will post pictures of my “tabletop” experiences from the week. I have decided to put a couple of restrictions on my little project.
1. Do not look in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen when shooting.
2. Do not try not to review the photos until they are uploaded.

It’s kind of sweet, surprising, out-of-focus, in-focus, nice and at times rather funny to see the results. I am tagging these photos as I go and maybe, just maybe, I will turn them into a coffee table book. They just might be good enough to do that.

So, here are a few from the inception of this project.



























































































































































I can’t wait to see where this goes! Try this little technique out. You might be surprised what you get!

And finally, my parting shot…… DSC_5818






















We rode the Ducks today. I love this picture!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eating Ice Cream

I love ice cream. Ice cream on a cone. Chocolate dipped ice cream from Dairy Queen. Baskin Robbins chocolate peanut butter. Stone Cold Creamery, Ben and Jerry’s, well, you get the point.

She loves ice cream. Especially ice cream on a cone. She is becoming quite the little ice-cream-eating-expert.






























And she certainly knows the proper way to sit in a chair and polish off her ice cream.



















She looks like she’s singing into a microphone! And yes, we both LOVE Chick-fil-A. Just good plain ’ole vanilla ice cream. Cupcake Girl thinks the cows are pretty dang funny and giggles every time she sees the posters/ads from there. I’ve got to get a picture of her with those cows.

And here is my parting shot…..


Sunday, September 19, 2010


According to Webster’s Dictionary, neighbor, is defined as:

1.  a person who lives near another
2.  a person or thing that is near another
3.  one’s fellow human being
4.  a person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans

During my early childhood I grew up in a small town. I remember my parents being friends with several of our neighbors and we probably had about 10ish families who lived on our street. Living in that small town for 10+ years, my parents also had many good friends/neighbors whom they played Rook with, were in the Garden Club together, camped with and did home remodeling with. These neighbors were kind and helpful, as were my parents.

We moved to Florida when I was 15 and this new town had a much larger population. We also lived in a rather new concept, as least to me, a subdivision. This subdivision had hundreds of houses, but my parents still became acquainted with the neighbors around our house. They helped them out, cooked for them and always smiled, waved and talked to them if they were out in the yard. To this day, no matter where they have lived, my parents are still acquainted with most of their neighbors and continue to be kind and helpful to them.

Back in the mid-80’s, my own young family lived in a small, new subdivision and I became acquainted with all of my neighbors (about 5 families). We socialized, shared recipes and three of us even had daughters that were all born within 2-4 weeks of each another. We were only there for about 5 years, but I loved my neighbors and my neighborhood. After leaving this neighborhood I haven’t really been a very neighborly person. I have lived in apartments, rental houses and now a house that is situated on a rather busy road. I did make a point to meet the neighbors to the left and right of me, but they have both since moved away. We know one of the new ones, but haven’t seen anyone on the other side.

Recently though, I have had the privilege of meeting the neighbors across the road. We first met right after they moved in, then things got busy, winter set in, etc., etc. When things warmed up, I made a point to reacquaint  myself with them. They are such a sweet family and have 3 beautiful daughters. I also had the privilege of taking their pictures this past weekend and I can’t thank them enough for allowing me to “practice” on them.

I know that we are going to be friends with our “across the road” neighbors. We just seem to hit it off and have a lot in common (War Eagle).

This past Friday evening, I heard a knock at the door and there she was. And she had a little gift in hand. It was a small carrot cake with cream cheese icing!

I had just made this peach cobbler…












But she had this……












YUMMILICIOUS!! And yes, I could not even wait to take pictures. I just had to have a bit (or two or three or four).












My across-the-road-neighbor also decorates her house seasonally. I love that. It is such a joy to look at their front door/stoup as I leave my house. They currently have flowers and pumpkins decorating it. It really makes me smile!

I haven’t had this “neighbor” feeling since I moved from that little subdivision 18 years ago. Although it may only be 1 across-the-road-neighbor, it makes be feel good. I look forward to swapping recipes and stories and watching their beautiful girls grow up. Thank you Jennifer, thank you for sharing yourself and your family with us and thank you for the DELICIOUS carrot cake!

And now, as I usually do, I will end with that adorable Cupcake Girl. She just loves her “mannykins.”



Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Very Happy and Tired GrandBob

He, along with me, got to pick her up from preschool today. He was so excited to meet her teachers and share all of his Booger Baby information. Things like, “So where do you want to go to college? Who is your favorite Beatle? What is your favorite Beatle song?” And of course the best statement of all that his Booger Baby says is, “I’m BobBob’s protégée!”

Her teachers loved meeting her GrandBob. I loved watching him express his love and devotion for her. One of Cupcake’s preschool teachers said to me, “She sure does have lots of folks in her life who love, adore and teach her so much. Thank you.”

I have always loved the statement that it takes a tribe to raise the child. I am blessed to be a part of the community/tribe that is raising Cupcake Girl and I want to tell the rest of the tribe……thank you. We are all blessed to have her in our life. But the biggest thanks goes to her parents for allowing(and trusting us) to take her on lovely adventures, feed her funky foods, surround her with retro/classic music and basically, just be the silly/goofy grandparents that we are in her presence (well, actually at other times too).

I dearly love my husband, my family and my Cupcake Girl!

Cupcake Girl requested to go on a Zoo Adventure for her Wednesday playdate. She was adamant that she “ride the animals” first. So we did. Three times on the merry-go-round before visiting the other animals and twice before we left. She also wanted to see Hank, the resident chimp and she was able to get up close with the jaguars (they came all the way up to the glass).



























In the upper photos, they both made what is referred to as the “BobBob Faces.” The bottom photos are of Hank, one of the resident chimps, who is 41 years young. He is so adorable and it is awesome to see him up close!












Cupcake Girl loves the goats and resident pig. She couldn’t wait to talk to them. Her GrandBob wanted to have his picture taken with the Mouflon Sheep We searched of them on the island of Lanai a few years ago but didn’t find any. Low and behold, there is one at our local zoo!



















































It was a beautiful day. One filled with sunshine, frozen lemonade and a happy Cupcake Girl!














The jaguars were very active and we able to experience them up close and personal. They are so graceful and a magnificent creature!

























Following another couple of turns on the merry-go-round, we took little Cupcake to her house then on to ours so that a very sleepy GrandBob could get his nap in. Between the sunshine, lounging animals and lemon-lime slushie, he just couldn’t stay awake any longer. But before I end, here are two beautiful photos that the sleepy man took before we left the zoo. I don’t give him my camera very often, but when I do, he takes beautiful pictures. Thank you my sweet husband!












Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Parents

I visited my parents this past week for a few days. A few blissful days! Occasionally it is nice to just go and visit them alone. Just me. We talked, laughed, picked on my dad, ate, shopped, ate some more, shopped some more and sat on the porch in the turning-cool evening air. I always feel a sense of calmness/peacefulness/serenity there. They have a home that is beautifully decorated and a yard of the same caliber.

We ate some delicious vegetables (some from their small garden) and went out for some awesome fish & chips and sandwiches. They were troupers as we scoured junk/antique/warehouse stores and we all came home with some terrific purchases.






















I love all of the gorgeous flowers still blooming in their yard.















I happened to be in the right place at the right time and captured this amazing butterfly eating.















I love my parent’s beautiful front door.















And I truly love my parents.




















Aren’t they cute?! And as always, I have to end with a little bit of Cupcake Cuteness!