I’ll Drink To That

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard ….damn near impossible….a monumental task on the weekends..the biggest challenge of my life so far….can we just say only seven days left?…almost over and I have really, really run out of things to saybecome the bane of my existenceworse than I ever imagined it would be…forcing me to dig deep these last few days*sigh* almost over….OVER!


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Well, the month is over, the NaBloPoMo challenge is over and my vacation is over.

We took this photo in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, in Chowning’s Tavern. On the menu, they offered a  Seasonal Brew, that was supposed to give you the authentic experience of drinking a beer in the 18th century, I guess. This mug is what they served the beer in. It was real pretty, but the beer was warm.

Yuck. There is nothing worse than warm beer. But I managed to make the best of it and drink it.

This month was kind of like the warm beer, y’all. Posting on a blog every day is supposed to give you the authentic feeling of being a journalist, I guess. But the main feeling I’ve had all month is, “Oh God! What in the heck am I going to say today?” I managed to make the best of it, but I’m afraid a lot of my posts were kinda like warm beer.

I will admit to being a little intrigued by all the folks who not only have time to post every day, and comment on everyone else’s blogs, but seem to enjoy it. I want to be them. Seriously. I wonder if I will continue to post, not every day, but much more often. Or, maybe I’ll just take a nice long break. I’m sure my husband would be thrilled to have his wife back enjoy having me around a bit more.

My oldest son, bless his heart, has actually started a blog called Daily Computer Tips, to which, unlike me, he posts long, informative and interesting articles each and every day. I don’t know how he does it, but there’s a lot of mysteries about my children that I don’t understand. Anyway, check him out. Today he posted some information about Stumble, which I don’t have time to read because I’m pulling my hair out having too much fun writing this here last blog post of the month.

Jan says she feels a little guilty about all this. She’s southern, so of course she does. I’m southern too, so I feel guilty about making her feel guilty. (It’s our own private hell, y’all. At least we know how to season our vegetables.) It’s OK , Jan. Really. We’re still friends, and I appreciate the fact that you hung in there with me and commented on all of my boring swill delightful daily entries.

And, this gives me a good reason to celebrate with a few drinks! Tomorrow. Which was, incidentally, the NaPoBloMo (damn, I hate typing that!) theme of the month.

Next month’s theme is “Beautiful.” Y’all knock yourselves out. Forgive me if I don’t participate.

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If Tomorrow Comes…

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard ….damn near impossible….a monumental task on the weekends..the biggest challenge of my life so far….can we just say only seven days left?…almost over and I have really, really run out of things to saybecome the bane of my existenceworse than I ever imagined it would be…forcing me to dig deep these last few days.

The theme of this was supposed to be “tomorrow”, but really, how much can you say about something that’s never here, is not guaranteed to arrive, and yet, the whole reason most of us keep getting up every day. See? It’s not like just posting your recipe for making sweet ice tea, y’all.

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This little cutie pie is my granddaughter, Freya. I’m just going to blatantly cheat today and post a poem that my grandmother wrote about baby smiles, miles, gloom, shadows, God, tomorrow and time.

She would have adored this face, God love her.

TIME

Enjoy the times a little child smiles
Or old folks running their healthy miles.
Take time to smell flowers in bloom.
Look into the shadows – cast out the gloom.

Time is precious and time will tell
If its used wisely and used well.
Sometimes its wasted – that is sad!
One life lived is the time we had.

Our God created everything.
Take time to worship – His praises sing.
If tomorrow comes, what will you do?
Waste not the time that comes to you.

Gladys Parker
Sept. 2000

I Heart My Grandmama

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard ….damn near impossible….a monumental task on the weekends..the biggest challenge of my life so far….can we just say only seven days left?

Yesterday was the last day of our Staycation. We spent it at the beach. Last night we went downtown and took some pictures at Battleship Park, where the kids of One Tree Hill practice basketball, and had dinner at Front Street Brewery.

Since I don’t have much time before we leave for New York, to take the girls home today, I decided to participate in this photo meme.

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This week’s photo challenge theme on I Heart Faces is nostalgia. Any photo, with a face of course, that brings back feelings of nostalgia. This photo is my Grandmama Gladys. It was taken on her 94th birthday. Last year, when she was 96, she succmbed to congestive heart failure and died in October. It makes me feel nostalgic when I look at this picture, and remember how happy she was on that day.

I miss her terribly.

The straw hat belonged to my older son, Kyle. I was fooling around, trying to get a good picture of this bent over little lady, who was so dear to my heart, but who didn’t always, at 94, have the energy left to show us that little light inside of her heart. On a whim, I stuck this straw hat on her head. Instead of scolding me for “messing up her hair and acting foolish”, which I expected, she burst into this radiant grin.

I thinks she was happy to be the center of our attention that day. Even if it meant sacrificing her proper hair do.

I Heart Faces is a photography sharing forum that focuses on the art of capturing faces and their various emotions. Each week, people from across the world enter their favorite face photos. A judge picks a winning photo from each category that is displayed on the I Heart Faces page.

Click on the button to check out lots of other nostalgic faces, or to enter a photo of your own.

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The Wiz

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard ….damn near impossible….a monumental task on the weekends.

Sigh.

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Last night we went to see The Wiz at Thalian Hall. The girls were thrilled to be able to get pictures of themselves with the cast member afterward.

Thalian Hall is one of the most significant theatres in the United States and has been in continuous use since it first opened in 1858. It forms the east wing of the Wilmington’s magnificent City Hall and the Thalian Hall Performing Arts Center which hosts over 450 scheduled activities and events annually.

The Cape Fear Segway Tour – Totally Awesome!

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard damn near impossible.

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Yesterday, Day 7 of our Staycation, we wanted to give the girls a chance to see our downtown historic district during the daytime. We decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and book a Segway Tour from Cape Fear Segway. This is the number one rated attraction in Wilmington, according to Trip Advisor, so I hoped it would be interesting enough to keep the girls entertained.

It was one of the most amazing things we have ever done!

First they had us watch a little video about some of the hazards and safety precautions of riding a segway. It was pretty amusing watching the little stick figures on the film, falling around in funny mishaps.

Then they gave us a demonstration of the basics of operating these amazing machines. It’s really pretty simple. Step on the footboard when the light is green, hold on with both hands, keep your balance by standing upright. To go forward,  simply lean your weight on the balls of your feet and to slow down, or stop, lean back on your heels. The machine is very intuitive – it will easily follow the commands of your body’s shifting weight.

IMG_5671We were all a little apprehensive at first. It’s just hard to believe that it really can be as easy as the owner, Rich, and our tour guide, Damond, made it seem.

Jeff volunteered to go first and even he was a little unsteady for the first few attempts. Then it was my turn.

The girls hung back and watched me skeptically. Danielle kept saying, “There is no way I’m going to be able to do this!”

It took a few minutes to become acclimated to the “feel” of it.

But after spending only a few minutes learning how to make it move, I was pretty sure I would be able to make it through the tour, y’all.

The girls, however, were not convinced.

This is Damond coaxing Sella along. Danielle is still biting her nails, and telling us “no way I’m doing this!”

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Now it was Danielle’s turn. She tried her best to get out of it, but I told her that if she didn’t want to go with us, she’d have to sit there in the store and wait for us to come back.

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As you can see, that convinced her.

The tour was awesome, we went all over the historic downtown area, and even I learned a few new facts about the beautiful city I grew up in. The girls were bored out of their gourds a little disinterested in the history parts of the tour, so Damond quickly adapted his routine to include more information about places where One Tree Hill stars lived and locations where scenes from the show have been filmed.

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By the end of the tour, which lasted two full hours, after our half hour training class, we all felt like we were segway experts. We were zipping along the riverwalk, waving and smiling at passerbys. As you can tell from the photo, my handsome husband LOVED it.

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It was extremely hot and humid yesterday, so we took a little water break.

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I’ve been bragging lately about how Wilmington is such a haven for movie stars and film locations. Well, while we were having a water break, y’all will never guess who we met!!

Morgan Freeman!!

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Not really. Sorry. His actual name is Thurman.  But isn’t he a dead ringer for Morgan?

This nice gentleman is another Wilmington native, like me. He owns an interesting business called “Jubilee Snooze and Cruise.” This boat is actually a floating bed and breakfast, and he will also let you book a dinner cruise.

We found him to be so charming. Look for me to be posting about a trip on his boat sometime soon!

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I hope y’all enjoyed reading about the segways as much as we enjoyed learning to ride them. If you are ever visiting Wilmington, NC this is the only way to tour the city.

And the best part of the day? The girls spent two and a half whole hours without sending or receiving a single text! Can you believe it? If that’s not an endorsement for this tour, I don’t know what is!

If Only I Was As Funny As Margaret and Helen

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all.

It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

And it’s damn hard.

I’m still scratchin’ my head y’all, and wondering what it takes to get comments. Well, lots of comments. Apparently, I ain’t got it. There’s this pair of old ladies that blog, Margaret and Helen, and the last time I checked, they had 478 comments on their last post! And no, they do not post every day. And as best as I can tell, they do not leave comments. Shoot. It must take them all day just to read the comments that they get. Nor do they post pictures. At all.

My best guess is that they are popular because they blog about politics. Me, I can’t even spell it. (Seriously, I just had to spell check it.)

That, and well, they’re funny. Yeah, that helps I suppose.

My whining post yesterday seems to have paid off, somewhat. I did get a few comments, although the one from my son calling me pathetic hurt just a little. But it did bring two of my friends, who had started new blogs without so much as a word to me about it ( I know! Can you believe it?) out of hiding. So now everyone (all five of you) run on over to A Tired Wife ( this is Debbie at Buzzin By, she got tired of buzzin’, y’all ) and Sandie Goes To Italy and check them out!

Oh no, wait just a cotton pickin’ minute.

Sandie and Debbie were two of my readers yesterday, so all four of y’all go check them out. While yer at it, check out Margaret and Helen, too. Pretty funny stuff.

Yesterday was day five of our Staycation. We went to Wrightsville Beach. It was one of those perrrrfect summer days. The water was an amazing color of blue.

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The sky was so clear that you could see Carolina Beach from Johhny Mercer’s Pier! In my recollection, that has never happened!

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IMG_5494Of course, Dani is so happy to be spending a few short weeks in North Carolina with her father and stepmom, to be doing all kinds of fun packed activities every single day, like going to the beach,  taking expensive tours, shopping at the mall, having her nails done and going out to eat almost every single night, that she hardly ever has time to even check her cell phone for text messages.

Not.

I swear I’m going to do a post called “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and in it I’m going to post a picture of Dani texting her way through every activity that we have spent our hard earned money on, just to try and entertain her.

Who knew? We could have saved hundreds of dollars by just learning how to text!

That’s it! Next year we’ll just sit around the house for a month and text each other! Oh, and when we’re not texting, we can comment on each others Myspace and Facebook pages. Seriously.

Speaking of Myspace, why do all the kids have to post pictures of themselves with their tongues hanging out, like bad imitations of KISS? And what’s up with the peace sign?

IMG_5646On the way to dinner at my mom’s last night, we decided to try and distract the girls away from the constant texting by goofing around and taking silly pictures.

This is going to be my profile picture on Myspace when I get, you know, like,  cool enough to do cool stuff like text and pose like one of them.

IMG_5647This is Jeff’s attempt at being a cool dad.

I’m not sure they ever actually stopped texting, but at least they laughed.

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Our Annual Family Chicken Spiedie-fest

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Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all.

It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite foods, the Spiedie.

For Day 3 of our Staycation, we had a family dinner. Now this was not just an ordinary family dinner, y’all. This was our annual cooking of the chicken spiedies (sounds like speedie)! Every August, when Dani is here, we cook the spiedies and the whole family gathers at our house to devour them.

If you are unfamiliar with Spiedies (and everyone outside of Binghamton New York is!) then let me introduce you to them. Spiedies are bite sized pieces of meat, marinated in a special sauce for several days (the longer the better!) and cooked on skewers on a grill. They can be made out of any kind of meat, pork, beef, lamb or chicken. We like chicken.

Spiedies are traditionally served on a skewer with a piece of plain Italian bread to soak up the juice. You grasp the skewer with the bread in your hand, using it as an oven mitt and pull the spiedies onto the bread. Then eat it immediately – they are best when they are hot off the grill.

images23Homemade sauce is the best, of course, but if you are in the middle of entertaining two teenage girls, keeping up with their unnecessary, only worn for a few hours, mountains of clothes lovingly washing their cute little outfits, and trying to clean your house good enough to keep your mother from making snarky comments about dust freshen things up a bit for company, you might want to take the easy way out buy the convenient bottled sauce at Harris Teeter.

Just sayin’.

The history of the spiedie is an interesting story. Brought to the Upstate new York area by Italian immigrants in the 1920’s, the word “spiedie” comes form the Italian word, spiedo, meaning “kitchen cooking spit.” Augustine Icacovelli from Endicott, New York is believed to have first introduced them in his restaurant, “Augies”, in 1939. He called his original sauce “zuzu” and it was made from wine vinegar, water, lemon juice, garlic and mint. They were so popular among the local workers of the time that for years every local grocery store in the area had a spiedie stand on the street in front of it.

Today just about the only place you can still get an authentic spiedie is in Binghamton, NY. Our favorite restaurant is called “Sharkey’s.” Located in a working class area of small houses and shops, the restaurant is a wonderful example of Binghamton history. Sharkey’s has been run by the same family for more than 50 years.

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Over the wooden bar are the iconic Shultz and Dooley talking Utica Club Beer mugs now silently looking at the dance floor and ancient bowling game that have done service for decades. The “dining room” has utilitarian wooden tables and booths. The walls are an unrecognizable color of green, the napkins and plates are paper, but the no nonsense ambience is rather charming. You can order clams, pizza, cabbage rolls, pierogis, and cheese fries……..but trust me, get the spiedies and a pitcher of beer.

After you have devoured the spiedies, sit back, swill your beer and think of the generations of workers, students, and families who have come here to eat the famous spiedie.