Monday, October 31, 2011

More from Helen's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Helen

Wonderful fun and food at Helen's 60th Birthday Celebration!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 294 of 365

294/365 ~ The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Late afternoon and we're sitting on a pontoon in the middle of Lake Lure eating the gourmet dinner Frank spent 7 hours preparing. My eggplant and caramelized onion hoagie, zucchini pie, and zesty gazpacho were almost finished when Frank said, "Hurry, get the camera the sun is setting." I grabbed the camera and shot this photo of him quickly before turning the lens to the mountains behind me. He said, "Not quick enough, you missed the trail on the water." "Shoot," I said, still snapping in hopes of catching a last glance at the disappearing rays. I took 996 photos today. None of them compare to catching the reflection of the sun setting in the eyes of my sweet personal chef. — at Lake Lure, NC.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 292 of 365 ~

292/365 ~ Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve. Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age. ~Terri Guillemets

I know it might seem early and jumping a couple of holidays but today I started my Christmas List. Admittedly, there are a couple people on the list who are always difficult to buy for and then there are some that I've already finished shopping for. Harmony, Xyla, Justin, and Tyler have brought buying toys back into the mix and I love that! I'm considering American Dolls or Cabbage Patch kids for the girls. Last year, the Brookshire family did a cool thing and had a Christmas where everything had to be from NC. For years, Helen has suggested the Conrads get only gifts from thrift stores. I'm thinking about suggesting that everyone has to make their gifts - of course that means everyone is getting photographs from me, haha! Just kidding. Seriously, the best part of our Christmas is having everyone in the house together. I remember our first Christmas in this apartment 13 years ago on Christmas Eve Eve (that's the holiday created when families divorce) - all six kids piled into one room. The boys were true boys back then, pestering the girls, giggling, and playing Mexican music while Frank and I sat in the living room waiting for all six to fall asleep so we could fill the stockings. They finally dozed off but then I couldn't sleep. I couldn't wait for all of them to come down the next morning in their matching pajamas. Christmas morning pictures are the worst!! Frank refuses to come down until he showers which goes against everything I always believed in; but I have to admit, he is the only one in the photos without bedhead! We bought cream colored gold trimmed stockings and put their names on them that first Christmas and Frank made me little shelves with pop out buttons to hang the stockings on. Thirteen Christmases later and those stockings are still the first thing all six of them go for. Christmas morning breakfast usually begins with an appetizer of candy canes and M&M's. I know the true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with what goes on my list each year; but that list reminds me to stop and think about everyone in my family and how much they mean to me. As Burton Hollis said, "The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."

Days 287 - 291

287/365 ~ Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~From the television show The Wonder Years

Even though they were a year behind me in school, I still have fond memories of the kids in the class of 1986. I was happy to capture of few of the memories from their 25th class reunion held at the Cedars. Pictured are members of their reunion committee: Sabrina Porter Lynch, Jon Beck, Staci Watkins Hoxit, Duane Bellamy, Tamara Johnson, Stephanie Hedrick Blackwell, and Kim Smith Pheffer. Great job, everyone!

288/365 ~ Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. ~Chili Davis

It's not his birthday yet but that didn't keep the kids from helping him celebrate tonight. We had all six kids, their plus ones and two grandbabies at the house for pizza and presents. They each brought him an item from one of their favorite meals he has cooked for them. Ethan and Joanna brought adobo chipotle peppers for yummy New Year's Eve Nachoes; their babies brought bacon because they are big fans of breakfast for dinner; Amanda brought the syrup to pour over Frank's famous french toast; Amy added pinto beans to keep us all heart healthy; Sheldon, Matthew, Robin and Nick brought plenty of fixin's to go into a Seafood Boil; and Zack added a bit of Stella because Frank rarely cooks on an empty stomach :)

289/365 ~ Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while. ~Kin Hubbard

What beautiful days we've had so far this fall. It looks like that might change by the middle of the week. I have mixed feelings when it comes to cooler days and nights. If I don't have to be in and out of the car all day, the coolness is okay but wet and cold are not a salesperson's friend - except for the fact that you do tend to have a store owner's undivided attention when no one else wants to brave the weather to shop :) Maybe a cold week is what I need to push me over my sales goal hump!
290/365 ~ "There was a star danced, and under that was I born." - William Shakespeare

Celebrated Frank's birthday at Pomodorro's with Dad & Helen. Yummy Italian food and great company.

291/365 ~ I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things.... I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind. ~Leo Buscaglia

I edited this photo to look a bit like a painting. I took 40 shots of the trees and fence in about 5 minutes while stopped in the middle of the road. It is on the road next to Triangle Stop at 191 and Blythe. Still lots of color left around here and I'm willing to stop and try to "bottle" it while I can!