Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Cards

Yeah! I got my Christmas cards finished last night! Do you all send out Christmas cards? I still do. Last year I did them all electronically, but decided to send real cards out this year! I like to send a picture of how we look this year and of course use my Creative Memories Storybook 4 program to create my card. I also wanted to write a little bit of what happened in our year with everyone, so I used VistaPrint this year. There are lots of options to create your own cards, but I used the custom option and  uploaded my card saved as a .jpg and was able to write the text I wanted on the back! Exactly what I needed!!
So here I am with my stacks as I was preparing them for stuffing! Also you see the other projects I was working on for gifts too!
 

Here is what the front of the card looked like!
 
And here is my greeting on the back.... It is difficult to digest your entire year into one small paragraph, just hit the highlights!!

 
And I also print labels using my Outlook Address book where I keep all my addresses. I use Avery labels and go to their website and use the templates of the specific label that I'm using. I save a copy of the ones sent and that way I will know next year to whom I sent out cards. And the positive side of that is that if no address changes then it's easy to use that same template again!

I also went to Bethlehem to send out my cards from!! Of course I am speaking of Bethlehem, Georgia, it was basically on my way from my hairdresser and I had an appointment! Love having them stamped from Bethlehem! There are people that drive for many miles to stamp their Christmas cards from Bethlehem.

Hope your Christmas cards and gifts process is going smoothly!! 
Merry Christmas!



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Monday, December 12, 2011

Helping Family!

In Florida again, this time helping out my sister who had surgery. I've been staying at her house and was there the day of surgery, which ended up being the entire day. She was released the next day at noon. One of the nicest benefits of my retirement has been the ability to help out family. Being able to come to Florida when daddy was not doing so well and now that my little sister is having surgery I can come and help. It's nice to not have a specific schedule that prohibits me from being able to assist my family! 
However I've been thinking about possibly working again.....not sure when or what at this point and it's so nice to not have to worry about it either!
Today I baked some cookies that momma always made at Christmas and my sister and I were making observations of each other. We both noted times that either how we sounded or what we did was like mom! So we do become our parents! As we say in our family you can't out run those genes!!!

Check out the recipe on my Cooking Page!! Try it and let me know what you think!!



Monday, November 14, 2011

Merton J. Rashley, Sr.


I haven't written any posts lately because I have been driving back and forth to Florida. It is with sadness that I write this one. My father passed away on Friday, November 4 and while I am sad that he won't be around any more I am thankful because he is a Christian and I KNOW with all my heart that he is in heaven. His body is whole again and he's with my mom! They were married for over 50 years and were such role models for all five kids!
My dad was the 2nd to the youngest of 8 children and he quit high school. However he did later earn his GED and went to Barber school and became a barber! He was a faithful man of God. 
I was actually able to speak of some of my memories at his memorial service without completely falling to pieces. It was such a great service and it was so different from any that I have been to! It was more a celebration than a serious and stoic occasion, which some people may find odd, but it really did suit my daddy! 
Love you daddy! Sure gonna miss you, but happy that you are in heaven with a new body and visiting all your friends and family!
Here are all five kids with one of daddy's old barber poles that my brother Jimmy lovingly restored for display at the service

This is the main display with dad's urn

This was the display we set up on the left with some items that identify daddy: Man of Faith, barber tools, his old bible, letter of deacon ordination, diet Mountain Dew (LCMD), pictures of his grand-kids

This was the display on the right: painting of his first barber shop on Avenue A in Belle Glade, FL, and painting of his last barber shop, the Dad and Lad in Inverness, FL, a Clive Cussler book (which he loved) a blood donation shirt, a set of clippers and brush, a birdhouse with bird plates (he loved feeding and watching the birds) and of course a wedding picture with mom!




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Monday, October 24, 2011

Seafood Festival


Recently we were in Gulf Shores during the Fall break for our condo home owners association meeting. It just happened to coincide with the Seafood Festival! If you have never been to one of these you need to take a weekend and go visit and experience some of that seafood goodness!!
There are tons of vendors to buy handcrafted and unique items, in addition to beautiful fine art that you won't find just anywhere, entertainment that was incredible, and of course all kinds of seafood!! The food was awesome and there is so much to choose from. You need to come hungry!





The entertainment was also great! A local performer that we had heard performs at LuLu's was scheduled two different days and we scheduled our visits near his performances. His name is Brent Burns and his music is similar to Jimmy Buffett's but with a bit more humor!!


Here I am enjoying some of the seafood and listening to Brent Burns.




If you get a chance to go to any of the Seafood Festivals I would highly recommend it. Lots of fun! It was also great weather, in fact hot, but fabulous for October!



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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Scrapbooking

Recently attended ScrapJam Scrapbook Retreat in Covington. I do love to scrapbook, in fact you could say that I'm quite passionate about it. I've been doing this since high school, however not at the same level I am at now. I have gone totally digital now and it's so much easier for me to keep everything together. And the biggest thing is when I attend these retreats I bring my laptop, scanner, external hard drive, and a few extra things and I'm good to go , in essence one bag with my supplies. The others are lugging in all of their paper, stickers, cutting tools, punches, and all sorts of paraphernalia in large rolling carts (I know because I do still have a couple of those!) There is one girl that even brings her own printer now, I do you love you Rhonda, but gosh that's a pile of stuff!!!
There is always a theme to our retreats and this year's was western and they even included a beautiful cake for us to enjoy on Saturday night!! Here are a few pictures from the retreat.
Fun cake

Our room and my buddy Suzanna Zumbro who sat across from me!!

Pegi Henderson helping Judy.

Rhonda Kennedy with some cool glasses with lights.....she bring her own printer!!!

I love it because I do love actually looking at my pictures and remembering the events. I want to remember my families history and preserve it for the future generations as well.
As a result of this love and passion, and finding myself retired at this point, I am considering starting a business that will put together scrapbooks. This is for those that just can't get those photos organized, or get their memories put together into a digital scrapbook that can be shared with family. 

Do you think there is a need or possibility that this type of business would fly?? I've mentioned to a few of my friends and at least two mentioned they wanted one for gifts for family for Christmas! I'm still exploring this option and what prices and services I would offer. Do you have any specific requests/suggestions for what I might include? Please leave a comment and tell me what you think! Then look for future posts announcing plans!!


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Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories.  Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart.  ~Thomas Fuller

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oxymorons

I've been driving by this sign oxymoronic sign for weeks......
wondering how they would do this. Well I stopped today and bought one! I'm not a coffee drinker, but LOVE hot chocolate and thought I would try this out!!
Here it is......
It is definitely hot chocolate, not just chocolate milk, that has been frozen. Not sure whether they use the blender, but it is quite liquidy as well, with bits of frozen hot chocolate that you can crunch on as well. Of course there was lots of whipped topping which added to the concoctions goodness!! I think this may be the next recipe I might try to perfect in my own kitchen!!

Have you seen any oxymoronic* signs that make you want to try something??? Or do you have this recipe already and want to share???


*oxymoron- rhetorical device or figure of speech in which contradictory or opposite words or concepts are combined for effect.

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"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes."
~Charles Swindoll~

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Woodford Reserve....On the Kentucky Bourbon Trail


Visiting Jordan in Kentucky this past weekend was such fun! It's great to visit and see her of course, but beyond that, she is getting to work in one of the most beautiful areas of our country. If you haven't been to the Lexington area in Kentucky, you just must do so. Of course I'm a bit partial and I freely admit it that, but those horse farms are some of the most beautiful places!

There are some other things to do as well and this weekend we decided to visit one of the distilleries that is in Versailles, KY, Woodford Reserve. It is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. ALL of the bourbon available is made within 75 miles of this distillery. Woodford is the smallest of all of the distillery's, but it's one of the older working distilleries in the area. It's nice to see such a small operation doing very well.
We visited on Sunday, which doesn't open until 1pm, however there were enough people there at noon, that they actually opened early! We got in on Tour #1 of the day, and learned all about bourbon making!
Did you know that All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey's are bourbon?? They have been brewing bourbon here on this property since the early 1800's.
Start at the Visitors Center which is where you purchase your ticket and can see the story of bourbon making visually here with some nice displays. Also the history of spirits in the U.S. history which have affected their industry.

 The tour begins in the distillery. The buildings are made of the limestone found all over Kentucky and they are gorgeous! They are on the National Historic Landmark registry as well.





It all begins with the corn.....and grain of choice.
Next is the fermentation process. This is why Woodford Reserve is so small, they only have 4 vats with which to work. They don't mind being small, they prefer and market the quality.
These are the three still used for making the bourbon and this is what makes Woodford Reserve unique. They are the only bourbon makers that still their mash three separate times.
 

Now's it's time for the bourbon to go into the barrels. All barrels are made of white oak by coopers. Do you know what a cooper is??? They are the artisans that make the wooden staved barrels by hand out of the white oak. These barrels are what give the bourbon their flavor. The bourbon will remain in these barrels for a period of years.....not a specified time at Woodford, but must pass the taste test prior to being bottle and available for sale.

This is the barrel storage warehouse!! Again another old beautiful limestone building. It is heated to be a part of the evaporation process of the bourbon flavoring as the temperature heat and cool.



 This is what one section of the barrel storage looks like inside the warehouse!

When the tour is complete it's back to the Visitor's Center and if you are over 21 you get a shot glass of Woodford Reserve Bourbon. We also decided to eat lunch here and they have a number of great lunch choices. They have a great deck outback and wraps around to the front porch so there are lots of places to enjoy your bourbon and lunch!
The views are quite nice as well since they are surrounded by horse farms as well. If you've ever been to Lexington you are aware that you will find horses of all shapes and sizes and made out of or covered with all sorts of items. These are two that were on the Woodford Reserve property.


Very enjoyable tour and learned more about Kentucky as well. Soon I will have to continue on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and compare the other distilleries to Woodford Reserve.



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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Costa Rica Album Complete!!

Finally.......it's done!! I've managed to complete my Storybook album of my Costa Rica trip. 
Wanted to share it here so that family may see it! 
I will not order it until Sept. 1st when Creative Memories as a sale on the Storybook prices. 
I hope you can see things ok.....can't wait to get the finished book in my hands!!!



If you ever get a chance to go to Costa Rica you should go....it's so beautiful and there are so many fun things to do!! Hope you've enjoyed this!!
Some of these pages are best viewed side by side, but can't get that to work, so you get to see them individually!!
Enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Technology and Travel

Have you ever wanted to share your travel pictures with your friends in a cool video. Then you should try Animoto! I only use the free version which gives you 30 seconds, however you can subscribe and pay $5 a month and have more time and options. However the 30 second version works for me! It allows me to share here on my blog or website or faceboook a few of my pics with some background music.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

It's so easy to get started!! Just sign up at animoto.com and select the background. Then you upload your pictures, pick the music and finalize. The options include to share, embed, download, or export your video.
Very easy and fun to share with friends!!
Enjoy!!

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Friday, August 12, 2011

The Big Piano

On the recent trip to New York City we managed to squeeze in a lot of quick little visits and the FAO Schwarz Store was no different! Remember the scene from the movie Big, with Tom Hanks?? They played the BIG Piano in the store....it's very cool!! They do shows highlighting the piano and demonstrate songs. This store really does make you feel like a kid again, there are soooo many things to look at and do, but if you are ever there you have got to stop by and watch them do this!!! I don't know that they liked us three adult women running around all over the keyboard, but it was just so much fun we giggled the rest of the morning!!
Here is a short video of Chopsticks, but I didn't get the entire thing:


And then I got the entire version of Heart and Soul, which I've played on the piano for years, but when you get up in front of this Big Piano, it's a bit more difficult to do it by yourself. They definitely need two people to be able to play both the left and right hand parts.

And you can own that piano for only $250,000.00!!!!! Also would need a big space to put it in, but you could have hours of entertainment!!
Enjoy!!

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Monday, August 8, 2011

New York City

What a whirlwind weekend the girls had!!! New York City is such a great place to visit!! There is such history here in this city in Manhattan. It's just WAY too much for one weekend! There wasn't nearly enough time to see it all, but what I did see was awesome!!
Look for some more posts on NYC soon........here is a tiny portion of the ferry ride over to see the Statue of Liberty! Wow!! I know that this was a gift from the French people, however it makes you swell with pride as an American when you see this site!!! Amazing views and scenery!!


Enjoy!!

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

USS Alabama


Newest adventure in Alabama, close to Gulf Shores, was a trip to the USS Alabama that is permanently on display in Mobile. It is located in the Battleship Memorial Park and your ticket admission gets you onto the ship and you can walk all over the ship, the Submarine USS Drum and the Aircraft Pavilion......well worth the price. And of course you can get discount coupons in all of the tourist guide pamphlets!!


The ship was commissioned August 16, 1942 and fought all during World War II. She earned 9 Battle Starts and shot down 22 enemy airplanes during WWII. Here is the plaque that is displayed on the ship of her journey as a battleship:
I've just recently retired from education and I love these kinds of trips! It's important to remember and to understand our history and these kinds of memorials are just the ticket! There is so much more than the battleship......the displays in the Aircraft Pavilion are just as awesome although not near the scale of the ship, planes, and submarine.
Here are some other pictures that I got while visiting.
Me in front of one of the propellers of the ship!

The big guns that could shoot with accuracy to 21 miles!

 In addition the Battleship Memorial Park is devoted to recognizing all Alabama veterans who have participated in all conflicts of the United States Armed Services, with displays of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and even a small display in honor of 9/11 victims from Alabama.
Loved this quote by a Vietnam Vet that is inscribed on the granite wall honor Alabama Vietnam veterans

When I saw this I thought they have C in sculpture for me!! Not really, it's a life-size example of the MIA/KIA bracelets that were made in honor of those serving in Vietnam. I remember these as a teenager and many of my friends had them. It was inscribed with the name of the individual that was Missing and the date they went missing. The idea was to wear them until the individuals came home, one way or another. This was probably the best promotional idea that came out of the Vietnam War, since there was so much animosity toward the young vets returning to the states, who were only doing their duty, but the war was so incredibly unpopular.

As we were making our last stop into the bookstore and perusing the shelves that mainly contain the ghastly souvenirs, lo and behold there was a book signing going on. Retired Col. Glenn D. Frazier was busy signing his book, Hell's Guest

I was so excited and grabbed a book and had him sign. Haven't read the book yet, but looking forward to it. He lied about his age and signed up for the military at age 16 and within 3 years was sent to Japan and was captured and was an unfortunate participant in the Baatan death march. He was a very big contributor to the Ken Burns documentary, The War. Have a look at his website that is very interesting and has clips of the documentary that he specifically helped advise.

It was such an awesome day to be able to see a little piece of our history and remember the fallen heroes that remind us that liberty is our most important possession and costs us a very precious price.



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