Sunday, November 29, 2009


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I am thankful for my wonderful family and extended family. We're blessed to be able to spend this holiday together every year at Jamey's mountain home. This year the guys fixed the turkey, and it turned out perfectly. It was a bountiful feast for everyone there, where we enjoyed each other's company, the crisp mountain air, the beautiful scenery, and the incredible wildlife that was everywhere you looked. I love the mountains.

Church near Boone, NC

Turkey vultures perched nearby

Three little elves waiting for Santa

View of mountains from back of cabin

This little buck walked right up to the car to have his photo taken. If you look closely, you can just see the nubs of his horns coming through.

Watch geese, calling out their alarm

Cows from a nearby farm

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekend Breakfast

I normally don't eat breakfast during the week, partly because who has time when you have to get up at 4 a.m.? I'm not even *awake* then. I stumble to the bathroom to get freshened up, get dressed, put on my makeup so I don't scare the folks at work, and then hop in the car for my 40 minute commute to Arlington. Once I get there, I have to trek up the half mile hill to get to the front door. I'm usually the first one in, so I get the coffee started and sometimes, if I remember, I'll eat the slice of toast I packed for myself before I left.

But weekends -- oh, weekends are a whole other story. There's nothing I enjoy more than having a nice breakfast/brunch on the weekend when the morning's not rushed and I can laze around in my PJ's. One of my favorite things to have is biscuits and gravy. I didn't even realize that there were people who didn't know what biscuits and gravy were until a friend of mine from New Zealand thought I was having cookies with some kind of gravy on them. So I thought I post a picture and a recipe for one of my favorite things.

This recipe calls for hot sausage, but I like mine with just plain sausage. You can add hot sauce if you like it a little more spicy. I like lots of pepper in mine. Just cook it up and pour it over hot biscuits that have been split open.

Recipe from Bobby Flay


* 12 ounces hot bulk sausage
* 12 ounces mild bulk sausage
* 4 tablespoons flour
* 1/2 gallon milk
* Salt
* Pepper
* Biscuits, store bought or homemade


In a large pot, add sausage and cook until browned and cooked through. Drain grease and add flour to sausage. Cook over medium-high heat until the sausage is well-coated with the flour. Add milk and stir until desired thickness and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with biscuits.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Look at the fun I had creating my elf cards "You've been elfed." You can send your own by clicking on the link at the bottom.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Homegrown Traditions, ETC.


As the oldest, I just want to say
Get your Christmas lists out on display

No Mom, it must be said
I do not want a snow sled.

Everyone knows but you
New York, New York equals the flu

Kelly, your list was not first, but don't be sad
We all know this year you were bad bad bad

Be careful not to tell David too much
Because he can't keep secrets n'such

Joe and Allison have nothing to fret
being married to Kelly and David pays off bad Karma debt

Good luck shopping for each other this year
I hope this poem brings JOY GOOD CHEER!

Love Always


See how this got started here!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wine Weekend 2009

A wonderful time was had by all, as evidenced by the photos below. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather. It was warm, sunny, just a perfect day to tour the wineries and have lunch outside at beautiful Veritas.
Mirror over tasting room bar

Vineyard at Veritas

View from the back of Veritas

The party actually began Friday night at enoteca in Charlottesville. The wine was wonderful, the food was great, but the company was best of all. Two families joined together to celebrate a marriage of 10 years between my beautiful daughter and her wonderful husband.

Here they are getting ready to taste the anniversary cake

They opened their gifts and we toasted them again, toasted each other, and toasted to our wonderful grandchildren.

A wonderful time was had by all.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wine Weekend

Every year around the beginning of November, we have a tradition of heading to Charlottesville, VA, to commemorate my daughter's anniversary with "Wine Weekend." We all arrive at different times over the weekend, but the festivities normally begin on Friday afternoon with lunch somewhere, maybe a small wine tasting at a local vineyard, and then a fun dinner together before we head back for a good night's sleep so we can start another day of exploring on Saturday. We may go to some old favorites or maybe try a new winery. What matters most is the company, the laughter, and the heady feeling you get from sipping each brand of a vineyard specialty. The dessert wines are my favorite. The weather is usually crisp and wonderfully cool, and the mountains oblige by putting on a spectacular show of color. I can't really put down everything I feel about this special time. I just love it. I love the mountains. I love the people I go with.

My daughter and her sister-in-law (WW 2008)

The pond at Oakencroft
(photo by Kathryn)

Wine Weekend, the celebration of your love,
Reflects a time of happiness,
Bright and shining
As the sun on the mountains
And the gilded leaves of fall.
The twining vines,
No longer burdened by their fruit
Caper and dance in the wind.
The bounty has long been harvested and
Given up its spirit to honey-colored nectar
And crimson ambrosia.
We trek the mountain tops
Tasting and searching
for our treasures to take home.
Vintners speak of aroma, notes, and finish.
But we take in the beauty around us,
Delight in shared laughter
And somewhat irreverently swill
The wine in happy draughts.
This is our tradition,
Each year’s memories,
Our anniversary celebration of
Each passing year
At wine weekend.


Monday, November 2, 2009


I found the idea for this wonderful photo collage on A New England Life. Then followed her link to Little Red House where you can learn to make a picture mosaic to post on your blog! I love the way this turned out. Thank you, Little Red House!


Homegrown Traditions

One of the yearly traditions I've created with my kids is the annual poem requesting their Christmas lists. I always ask for them in the regular way by phone or e-mail; but somehow, the fact that they're all married with families of their own and full time jobs seems to waylay the requested lists. I usually follow up with a silly short poem I compose and send to them, hoping to jump start the process:

Here is this year's poetic request:

The days are getting shorter,
The leaves have turned to gold
And the wind's begun to bluster
As the temps grow ever cold

Just around the corner,
Christmas lies in wait
And spirits start to wonder
If lists have e'r been made

It's only weeks away, you know
Till Santa Claus arrives
And Christmas trees are all aglow
In little children's eyes.

So send your lists to me, my dears
I don't want to get tough
And have to box your dainty ears
With mother's soft kid gloves.

And last year's:

The weather is weird.
They say we’ll get snow,
And the cold north winds have started to blow.
It’s been howling all day here in VA,
And it’s almost too cold to go out and play.

I went to the store to look for some fixins to
Go along with my turkey and trimmins.
And all the stores along the roads here
Already have Christmas lights hung everywhere.

I couldn’t believe it when I saw wreaths and trees
For sale at the store just bold as you please.
By the time Santa comes near the end of December,
Good Lord, they all be as dry as dead weeds.

And then when I thought of the shopping days left
I thought to myself, hey, where are the lists?
My kids haven’t sent any wishes or wants
Do they think I’m a psychic who can guess their response?

Please send me a list to shop from, I pray
I need your gift list without any delay.
If you can’t help me out
I don’t know what I’ll do.
Don’t make me get tough and use the thumbscrew.

Corny, I know; but hey, I have fun doing it; and sometimes they even respond in prose!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bennington Battle Monument

The Bennington Battle Monument, dedicated to the famous Battle of Bennington that took place during the Revolutionary war in 1777, is a 306' stone obelisk opened to the public in 1891. It is located north of VT Rte 9, about 4 miles east of the New York border. A guided elevator takes visitors to the observation floor for spectacular views of Historic Bennington and three states. There is a diorama and several interpretive exhibits on the ground floor along with General Burgoyne's cook kettle. Statues of John Stark, Seth Warner and other notable monuments adorn the grounds. Tickets can be purchased for a small fee in the gift shop that specializes in historical items relating to the Battle of Bennington and Vermont.

It's quite tall and reminded me of a shorter Washington monument.

General John Stark Statue from the Battle of Bennington

Here is a plaque about the Battle that took place here.

From the vantage point of the knoll, you could see the entire village of Bennington with it's gorgeous fall colors. It was such a quaint and beuatiful little town. I loved it.

Moose standing near monument

Gorgeous fall tree