Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rainy Day, New Hangout, Old Friends & An Engagement!

Today started out really rainy and I had to take car pictures at John Johnson. The rain let up while I was taking them, thank goodness he only had 11 new ones. After I finished I went to the new Transylvania County Library. Wow! What a beautiful new place. They offered free wireless internet connection and in no time I downloaded the pictures from the camera onto my computer and uploaded them to the ftp site for Mary Jo to use to make the new ad. I did all that in less time than it would have taken me to drive back to Hendersonville. The extra time gave me the chance to meet with a few more clients than I had been able to the last 4 Thursdays, so that was cool.

At the library, I saw Kris & Kim Newman's mom. We went to school with them at Penrose. She said Kim lived in Hendersonville and Kris in Charlotte. Both had gotten a late start on having children so their children are much younger than mine and Angie's. I think she said they were like 3 and 5. I also saw Nancy - Becky's cousin. She has three sons and they were each born in the same years as my three kids. Matthew, her oldest, is attending Blue Ridge, same as Amanda. She said she thought Beth was, too.

I called Lynelle today and she had some wonderful news. A guy she has been seeing for a couple of months, Brian, gave her a ring last night and ask her to marry him! Isn't that great! She sounds like she is really in love. I am glad to hear her so happy.

Back to the office where the early deadlines for Labor Day continue to keep me off balance. I keep missing them. They seem to be a lot more backed up than I remember the early deadlines for July 4 and Memorial Day being. Maybe I just have more accounts that it is affecting than I did then. I don't know but I am really tired of feeling so behind this week.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Today was Weigh In Day - I did it - I lost 4.4 pounds! And I am thrilled. I think the key has been portion control. No seconds this week!

Now comes the hard part - I need to go shopping!

Also, Frank is cooking this weekend and his cooking his sooooo good, so I will have the challenge of not eating too much of a good thing. Maybe it would be a good weekend for seafood - without the normal 10 pounds of melted butter, of course. LOL

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Remembering Katrina

Today my mind has been on Lynelle a lot because it is the anniversary of Katrina. I remember all the ups and downs and many many tears we shared last year. Lynelle does not have cable so we stayed up most of the night watching the weather channel and talking on our cell phones until they died and we switched to the home phones. I remember how we thought her family was in the clear and the hurricane was going to miss New Orleans only to hear the next day of the levees breaking and the flood beginning - (I have tears now just remembering) - we started worrying again and trying to get in touch with her family members. She heard from Mom and sister, Shelly, who had made their way up to Shreveport before the levees broke. The next few days were heart-wrenching as we waited and called and text messaged and searched online forums and red cross lists for hours at a time searching for any sign that her dad was okay. Every day started the same, "Have you heard anything?" "No," then tears and tears and more tears. I wish I could remember just how many days we waited before we finally heard the news that he had been rescued from a roof top and was walking his way to Baton Rouge - he is in his 60's! I felt so helpless but at the same time so impressed with his resolve to stay and put his life back together in the only place he had ever called home.

Lynelle's mom and sister came here after leaving Shreveport. Her mom is in real estate and she was able to close on a deal that was otherwise falling through, and bought herself a house in an area that hadn't suffered any damage. Her house was on Lake Pontchatrain (?) and was pretty much a total loss. Her mom bought a new car here and made her way back to New Orleans after a few weeks. Sister Shelley stayed here and, though I think she misses her homeland, I believe she really likes it here. She says it is safer and things move a lot slower. It is giving her a chance to spend time with her young daughters. I am sure there are lots of memories being re-lived all over the US tonight. I am glad I can say that even though Lynelle and her families lives were greatly changed by Katrina that at least they are alive and starting over. My thoughts are still with them.

Hey, there's Halle!

A few days ago I posted about how much I was missing everyone from the Town Tooter and put up a picture of Halle, whom I worked with for 4 years. I mentioned to her that we should get together and go to Sandy's and scrapbook so we could see each other. Well today I was getting out of the car to go to Subway in Brevard for lunch and I heard someone call my name, you guessed it, Halle! She had just finished eating lunch at Sora (the Japanese Restaurant) with her daughter who was just finishing up her French vacation with a stop by Mom's. That was so cool to see her. We confirmed that we will try to do the next crop night at Sandy's. Congratulations to her daughter who just got engaged! I hope she and fiance can make their way back south soon.

Well, I have been on my Weight Watchers diet for a week now. I haven't had but about 2 days when I thought I was really hungry so that seems to be positive. Tonight I was really hungry and thought I might "pig out" on the dinner Frank made. It was a recipe from the Weight Watchers site and it was good, though the recipe made about twice as much as it said it would. Frank said if we liked it, he would have to tweak the recipe. I did like it and I was pretty hungry but I stopped with one serving and now I still have 3.5 points left but it is getting late so I might go get a little bit of fruit before I turn in. Wish me luck, I weigh tomorrow for the first time.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Golfing the United Way

Frank played in the Kimberly Clark United Way Golf Tournament on Friday at High Vista. He put together a great team including Mike Cole, a KC Supervisor, Bob Payton, and Steve Brown, two of the fellas I work with. They were the "ringers" - really good golfers. They had a great time and Bob and Steve racked up some door prizes to boot! Following is Frank's "Thank You" note to Jane Stewart, the owner of his company, who was nice enough to sponsor his team:

He writes:

"Just as hard as it is to find the right words to thank you, it is to describe how much fun we had at the United Way/Kimberly Clark golf tournament.

@ 8:30 am ~ It was a hopeful shot into a thick blanket of fog.

@ 9:30 am ~ Clearing up nicely as we track tails left by our golf balls in the dew heavy grass (if there wasn't a tail, then most likely the golf gnomes turned your ball into a mushroom.)

@ 11:00 am ~ Things are heating up as we make our way by the clubhouse for autographs and quick photo op with adoring fans; grab a cold drink, then back to the course.

@12:30 pm ~ Time's running out and with sad looking scorecard, the mulligans were right down the middle as we make our final rush to the finish.

@ 2:00 pm ~ Dragging our bags behind us, we climbed the stairs to the picture perfect Laurel Room, where cool air, sandwiches piled high with ham or turkey, and another icy cold drink were just what we bruised and battered warriors needed after a battle for the history books was waged.

The toasts were made and the speeches were, thankfully, short.

The spoils were divided and distributed.


Walking back to my truck, I couldn't help but think, 'What a great day its been!"

So, "Thank You, Jane, for making it possible to join with others who share my sentiments when I say, 'WHAT A GREAT DAY!'"

(Isn't that a cool thank you note. And he came up with that on very little sleep!)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Grandma's Girl

Here's a really old picture - 18 years old! Amanda has on one of my favorite outfits for her. The top had ruffles in all the pastel colors and little bottoms to wear under it. She matches Grandma Burke in her pastel teal dress.

We were in at Mount Zion Church in Bethel to celebrate my Mamaw & Papaw Burke's Anniversary (I think.) It was the summer of 1988 and Amanda was three to four months old. This has always been one of my favorite pictures so I'm glad it was good enough for me to scan and scrap!

(Digital papers and elements from Two Peas in a Bucket Free July Kit by Anne Langpap)

Do I Hear a Bell Ringing in Heaven?

Tiger is a good golfer, even me, a tried and true Mickelson fan, has to admit that. But lately, I think he has been getting a little help from the gods, or maybe from one of heaven's newest angels ... his father?

Did you see the PGA last week when one of his balls was headed way over the mark and a "fan" knocked it back into play? Of course, he won by a landslide, but still!

And then there's Firestone! Yesterday he hit 9-iron that jumped out of a clump of grass and was headed toward the flag until it kept going - and going - all the way over the grandstand, off the cement path, over fans drinking beer in the balcony and onto the roof. (Reminds me of the Michael Jordan - Larry Bird commercials!) Then get this - it rolls off, hits the cart of a caterer and he picks it up and drives off with it! ROFL! I can't believe this. And neither could half the field. Somehow the ball manages to NOT be out of bounds, Tiger gets a free drop, makes a bogey and still ends the day in the lead.

I think Eldrick, Sr. just got his wings!

(On a side note: I am really going to miss Davis Love at this year's Ryder Cup. I have been following golf since 1995 and this is his first miss since 1993. What is the world coming to?)

Thank you, Halle!

Halle (here with her nephew and two of her sons) and I worked together at the Town Tooter for 4 years and I really miss seeing her (and Clint, Matt, and Shelly) every day! I am grateful that we keep in touch. Today she sent me this quote,

"A friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart!"

Perfect! Thank you, Halle.

Two By Two - A Quiz for You

More from Simple Scrapbooks' Scrapbook Shortcuts with Quizzes and Questions:

Play along by posting your answers as comments ~

1. Two everyday things you couldn't live without

2. Two of your favorite songs

3. Two stores you shop at

4. Two things that scare you

5. Two people you'd be lost without

Have fun!

Tamara FINALLY Responds

Check out this picture! Only 2 1/2 years ago and now the boys are taller than she is. AMAZING!

I know she answers her mail more often than this - I think I made her feel guilty when I posted everyone else's answers! So here we go with more of the quiz about ME! It seems so vain. I think today I will post some questions for you all to answer . . .

Tamara says, "Okay, Now I feel bad.....I didn't respond. But I enjoyed reading your blog so here are my answers...."

1. What expression do I use - way too often? I don't think you have one

2. What do I do or say that makes you laugh? You never get tired of talking...Del and I both laugh about that, but he also says I laugh alot when I am around you.

3. What do you believe comes easy to me? Communications, not just talking either.

4. What do you believe I struggle with? The same two things I do, money and weight. weird huh?

5. If someone was meeting me at the airport, how would you describe me? I wouldn't have to, you know everyone....haha

6.What do I have that I should give to Goodwill? LOL, no, they won't take that. stuff you don't use anymore, like the stuff on that shelf

7. What do I have that I should never let go of? your talents and personality

8. What's the longest we have ever talked on the telephone? good thing we're "IN". I have record of atleast 2 hours.

9. Would I ever jump out of an airplane? I don't know why, but yes, I think so.

10. How do I let you know I care about you? You are always there.

11. What is the funniest story you could tell anyone about me?

12. If I won the lottery what do you think I would do with the money? Throw a porch party in Jamaica?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Savannah Memories

On Memorial Day Weekend, we went to Savannah, Georgia. It was Frank's first trip and I think he had a really good time.

On Friday night, we ate at Despositos - a suggestion from my buddy, Bob. He nailed it - the food was delicious and it was just what we needed after the 5 hour drive.

On Saturday, we toured the city with Oglethorpe and learn a lot of cool things about the town. Our tour guide said her grandfather told her that Savannah got her name when the settlers arrived and one girl was so excited she fell overboard - everyone on board yelled, "Save Anna, Save Anna!" Grandfathers are really good at telling stories!

On Sunday, we spent a beautiful day at Tybee Island. The beach was so clean and the waves were huge! We literally spent HOURS in the water. I had a major sunburn for days after.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Day to Cheer!

Amanda started college and she was so thrilled! She was most impressed by many things ~ calling the teachers by their first name, one teacher was late to class, people were smoking on campus, talking on their cell phones and there were no teachers there to take the phones away. Welcome to the real world~you have just witnessed a school without bars! You are going to love the freedom but remember with freedom comes responsibility!

I also officially started Weight Watchers today! It is going to be a long journey but I am happy to say that the road will be lined with many really cool people cheering me on. Everyone had told me the leader, Julia, was a great inspiration and just a ball of laughs. That was an understatement! She rocks! I laughed the whole time, but she was also very helpful. I am really looking forward to next Wednesday. In the mean time, cross your fingers that I can stick to this. Thanks to Ashley for walking with me at Patton, next time we will go for the whole mile!

As I am writing this, Frank and Nick (and Corey) are playing tennis at Patton Park. It is really cool to see Frank taking so much time to help Nick learn how to play. Nick says he wants to try and play on the team at West. That would be really cool.

Post A Secret

I love that video, Dirty Little Secret by American Rejects. Look at the blog site I just found where you can post your own secrets on postcards. It looks like they post new ones every Sunday. It is prett cool, check it out at

I survived!

For the record, I survived all 7 QVC Scrapbooking shows without buying anything! Yeah! Granted it was all in fast forward and I do already have about 75% of everything they showed. :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stickball Follies

This picture is from last October when Art decided to get out the stickball set we gave him the Christmas before and teach these country boys how to play some city ball!

The little pink balls and broom handle were a blast from Art's past. He had told me about how much he loved playing with them as a kid and how he wished they were still made. In New York, the kids called them Spaldeens - their way of saying Spalding. After hearing his story, I went home and got on the internet, determined to find some of these little pink balls that Art swore would keep him young!

I was thrilled when I found the balls and could hardly wait to give them to him at Christmas. It took 10 months for him to finally take them out and play with them, but I think once he did, we all saw the little boy come out to play. He was indeed a youngin' that day. He pitched, he caught, and he hit! And I think everyone was a little surprised to find that Helen was as good at it as any of them! After everything that Art has gone through since last fall, this quote really says a lot about the life in your years. I am glad that we all got to spend that time with Art on the Rugby baseball field. Our hope is to have many more of those October Sundays with him! We love you!

Will Power? Here today, gone tomorrow!

I just turned on the TV and it was recording QVC and Creating Keepsakes. Ooh they are showing daisies - they look so neat and they are such a good deal! But no, I must find WILL POWER (sometimes he is quite elusive)! I have soooo much scrapbooking stuff it isn't funny and I simply do NOT need anymore. I should just change the channel ... but I can't! I am going to prove to myself that I can watch this whole show without buying anything! I know I can, I know I can, I know I can!

Okay let's recap today (maybe that will get my mind off David and Lisa's hypnotic sales pitch) - Hillary rode with me today to meet a couple of the advertisers I am turning over to her with the changing territories. As of Monday, she will be taking over the Saluda, Tryon and Landrum areas along with 64 East to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. We met with Allyson Landon of Persimmons Bistro in Landrum. Let me tell ya that is a wonderful place to eat - Allyson is a pastry chef and her husband, Steve is the head chef. Together they have turned a shopping strip restaurant into a classy, upscale restaurant. Anyone heading down I-26 should take the Landrum exit and give them a visit! The food is delicious and as Allyson says, "Don't judge a book by its cover," the outside is in no way representative of what you will find on the inside. If you go share it with others, I am sure they will be pleased.

Hillary and I continued up 176 back through Tryon and Saluda, where we were going to stop in and see Melanie at Green River BBQ - but they were slammed. We weren't too hungry and had other appointments to get to, so I gave up my usual chopped chicken bbq sandwich on delicious garlic bread (who knew Will Power was going to be in Saluda today?) and trudged on up the mountain and back down towards Lake Lure where we met with Clay and Becky at Slick Rock Cottage.

Boy these folks are so nice and they have such a lovely shop. Becky & Clay moved here from Houston, bought some land in Bat Cave and opened a great shop filled with local crafters' items and much more. It's right in a curve near an old Apple Stand, so don't miss it. You will be glad you stopped and upon seeing the actual "Slick Rock" with waterfall flowing across their property, you will see while they are so happy to be in WNC.

Ok, so that was a nice distraction. Right now they are pitching QuicKutz II which I have heard many people at Sandy's brag about. I must, I must, I must not give in! Only 20 more minutes. Of course I do have four other scrapbook shows from QVC recorded upstairs - maybe I should just erase them and not even tempt myself. Oh dear, they are showing ribbon ... another weakness. Okay, I am doing fine, the urge is passing ... usually when they promo jewelry and clothes I get upset ... not today! Today, I have found Will Power. I only wish I could keep up with him every day.

Monday, August 21, 2006

What's in Your Garden?

Another picture from my dad's 63rd birthday. I think Mama and Daddy were really pleased to have everyone there for Daddy's birthday. We did miss having Brett there, though.

My dad loves all his grandchildren to pieces and he has spoiled them all at one time or another. They really are his pride and joy. I made sure to list all of them on the page even though the picture of him with Matt and Amy is highlighted, they are really only parts 2 and 3 of seven prides and joys!

I seem to really be into flowers on my pages these days. I think Daddy's vegetable garden and Mama's flower garden must have inspired me. I downloaded these elements from a free kit offered at two peas in a bucket. The kit was by Tia Bennett and called "New Growth" - guess that is why I picked it! Granddaddy's birthday party has always included fresh vegetables that until recently were always bought at the Farmer's Market. This year everything was fresh from his own garden. He is really proud of the garden as well he should be. Guess you might call it another one of his Pride & Joys!

Frank At Original KFC

Here is one of the pictures I promised from our trip to Kentucky and the original Sanders Cafe.

I knew KFC was big but this picture proves just how BIG! Frank looks like a little kid standing next to this larger than life portrait of the Colonel.

That really was a great trip. I hope we can go back soon. Maybe we will go when it is time for the leaves to change. Posted by Picasa

Back to School

Today Amanda bought her books at BRCC and officially declared herself a "college student!" I am glad she is so excited. She will be taking computers, reading, math, and spanish. Definitely sounds like school! I am really proud of her. Her goal is to do one to two years general education close to home and then transfer to Western Carolina to finish her degree in Interior Design.

Amy, Matthew, Nick & Zack start back on Friday at West. Amy got her schedule straightened out and it seems that she and Matthew both will start the day the hard way - with math (ugh!) Amy says she is looking forward to second semester where she will get to go off campus for Childhood Education. Her only "real" class will be English with Mrs. Squires and her Senior Project. We are all happy that we don't have to figure out the subject of that project for a few more months. Amanda did great on hers, using the American Disabilities Act as a basis for redesigning a home. She got an "A." I am sure Amy will do as well. I have already volunteered to be a mentor to Zack's girlfriend, Ashley, who has chosen to do a scrapbook of some kind. Now we just have to figure out what her "dilemma" to write about will be.

Matt is doing some strength training for his winter sports and after his first session he shared with sisters, "I'm sore!" He will be playing a little fall baseball but mostly looking forward to playing JV Basketball for the Falcons! I know that he has been preparing for high school sports for a long time and now he is ready!

Speaking of "back to school," I thought I would give a shout out here to some of my favorite teachers over the years. First and foremost, I salute Ms. Campbell ~ Thank you for giving me the courage to try new things and the encouragement to believe in my self. My self esteem was saved by you and your caring ways. I will never forget the "Raider Review" and all the times I spent with you writing, typing, and pasting that paper together. Remember the gossip part? It is so cool to know that I was in school during a time when we could report who's seeing who without worry about a lawsuit! To think all we did to get that little paper out each month - now it can be done on one machine - computers have brought us a long way. You were my original publisher! I don't do nearly as much writing as I used to, but I am definitely still "in the business." I know without a doubt that I would not being working in my current job without my 7th grade start and my wonderful teacher, Margo Campbell! Thank you.

Along those same lines I have to say a thank you to Mrs. Gorsuch (who is still putting out the BEST high school paper in the land!) I know you thought I messed up a little in my senior year but I got back on track and here I am working for the Times-News just like you did. I know, I know, you were a writer and I just sell ads but I do get to write ad copy and I am not sure, but I think I am better at the sales end as I get to TALK a lot more! Looking back over some old issues of the "Wingspan" I found where I was listed as the Business and Advertising Manager - guess you knew what you were doing to help me even before I did! Thank you for your leadership, guidance and most of all for actually caring what happened to all of your future journalists!

When I was in elementary school at Penrose, I had one teacher two years in a row, Mr. Thorpe. He was the best and he truly made me feel special. I will never forget how he said I was the only kid he knew who could talk through every one of his lessons and then repeat them right back to him. Of course, I didn't realize at the time that I was so distracting to other students who didn't have that same talent - I must I have driven him crazy. Mr. Thorpe was also the one who encouraged me to concentrate on winning Spelling Bees. I remember when I won at the school and got to go to the next level and how disappointed we both were when I missed "pencil."

Anyway, I believe that when my mom tried to take us to the new school in Henderson County that it was Mr. Thorpe who convinced her to let us finish at Penrose. I remember it so vividly. Our last day was to be March 17, a Friday, we said our goodbyes to friends we had known for five years. There were many tears shed, including at least one by Mr. Thorpe. I remember seeing him talking with my mom before we left that day. We went on spring break the next week and when it came time for us to go to our new school, my mom drove us to Brickyard Road where we caught Bus 45 - headed back to Penrose! What a wonderful surprise! Thank you, Mr. Thorpe, for caring enough to know that changing school midstream was not a good idea. When Mr. Thorpe was appointed the new principal at Etowah where my kids were going, I was elated! That is until he started telling stories on me - I thought I was supposed to be the one with the good memory. Oh well, he made my kids laugh and that is all that matters!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Candid Cookin'

A Slice of Frank's life - Sunday, August 20, 2006

Frank is doing what he does best, COOKING, while I ask him these questions. In other words, he is HUMORING me! Gotta love him!

The last person your sent a card to:
I sent my dad an email card

What you ate for lunch today:
Two pieces of baguette with bread dipping sauce and a mountain dew

Something you just learned:
That Tyler Florence puts olive oil in his mashed potatoes; I have also been learning a bit of Spanish

Your favorite song this year:
Nickelback and Santana - Why don't we fly away or something like that

The last book you read:
Whining and Dining by Terry Ruscin; before that the Archie Comics that Paula bought me on ebay

What you are wearing right now:
Blue shorts, read golf shirt, white socks and reeboks (of course)

The last phone call you made:
To Paula after I went to the dentist; from Ingles, "Should I get cash for tonight?"

Inside, you don't feel very different from when you were (how old?):

The last restaurant you ate at was:
Does Earth Fare count? Before that, 2 Guys Pizza and Ribs

Your favorite TV show is:

What They Think ...

I sent this questionairre to my mom, my sister, Angie and my good friend, Angela. I told them to be honest and answer each question - I promised I could take it. Frankly, I think they all did a great job and I have laughed at each answer. I read the questions to Frank and he gave me his answers (but I was too slow to write them down.) I am still waiting for Tamara and Lynelle's responses but I decided to record what I have so far. Following is the quiz and the answers of my first responders (m=mom, s=sister, a=angela):

1. What expression do I use - way too often?
m. "I am so busy I cannot find time to come to Clyde."
s. Talking with your hands (unfortunately for both of us, it is genetic, I think)
a. (I don't think you have one)

2. What do I do or say that makes you laugh?
m. This one is hard for me because we do not spend enough time together to enjoy laughing and enjoying each other like we did in years past. Sometimes I really miss that!!
s. Talking with your hands (sorry for double response)
a. You can pee the fastest of any living human I've ever known! In a restaurant ladies room, you can be done, have your hands washed and dried, and take a phone call and I'd still be in mid-stream! Truly, you are the unofficial world record holder for the Fastest Urinator!

3. What do you believe comes easy to me?
m. Talking, any source of communication.
s. SCRAPBOOKING!!!!! (ugh!)
a. Juggling 80 ga-zillion things at once. From kids to work to friends to family to crafts... shew! You amaze me at all you do!

4. What do you believe I struggle with?
m. Not having a church family as you did as you were growing up.
s. Not talking.
a. Finances. But who doesn't?

5. If someone was meeting me at the airport, how would you describe me? BE HONEST! LOL!
m. Just look for the lady with the biggest smile, and looks like she excited.
s. She will probably be the one wearing overall shorts.
a. I'd say, "She's the tall leggy brunette with tossled hair and no make-up. She'll probably be wearing a long, flowing dress down to her ankles so you might not get to see her legs. She'll be holding the most creatively decorated sign with your name on it, but she won't be holding it too high up 'cuz she's got a bumb shoulder. And watch out, she's likely to make you listen to Bon Jovi on the ride to your hotel."

6.What do I have that I should give to Goodwill?
m. All the "stuff" that is in your house that you do not need or use any more.
s. Good question! (maybe the overall shorts? LOL!)
a. About half of your apartment! Do you really need all that stuff???

7. What do I have that I should never let go of?
m. Thing - Your spoon collection; Personal - your bubbly personality
s. Those BEAUTIFUL children!!
a. Your amazing scrapbooks!

8. What's the longest we have ever talked on the telephone?
m. At least 90 minutes, maybe longer several years ago.
s. An hour or so, maybe?
a. At least an hour, but I can guarantee you talked more than I did. Ha-ha!

9. Would I ever jump out of an airplane?
m. NO, I don't think so.
a. Depends on who is in the airplane with you. Jon Bon Jovi? Never. A NASCAR driver? Probably.


10. How do I let you know I care about you?
m. By being there when I really need you and many ways I just can not put in words.
s. When you listen to me.
a. A thousand different ways. When I'm around you I feel like I can be myself. I know I can share things with you that no one else will understand. Everyone comes into your life for a reason and I couldn't be more blessed to have you in mine!

11. What is the funniest story you could tell anyone about me?
m. How you helped steal a watermelon out of the lake.
s. You once tried to push me off the bed, but I saved myself by biting YOUR nose to hold on. Or how about the "car in ditch" due to a cup of chewing tobacco spit? I'm sure if I weren't so tired, I would think of alot more.
a. One of the first times I ever met you was at the Town Tooter office. You had just gotten back from an Aerosmith concert the night before and swore you'd never wash your hand again.... EEUUWW! Apparently Steven Tyler had touched you and you were acting like a giddy teenage girl. I thought, "And THIS is the person who I've got to ride around with all day? I'm going to need a Tylenol."

(NOTE: I did not help with the watermelon theft, I was hurt from falling on the soap with the lantern, remember? The thieves were Angie, Lloyd's daughters and Lynette and Lisa - I did laugh, though, and I am sure if I wasn't hurt I would have been leading the pack.)

12. If I won the lottery what do you think I would do with the money?
m. Pay all of your bills, really enjoy spending a reasonable amount, put some in some account where it is not readly accessable, then give the rest to your kids.
s. You would BUY Jamaica or buyout a scrapbook store.
a. Split it with your kids, then take your part and retire to Jamaica.

Okay, I guess the recurring theme here is that I talk too much, I wear my overalls ALOT, I love my kids, scrapbooking, and Jamaica. Oh yea, I am a really fast pee-er!

Kids On Vacation

My oldest daughter, Amanda, graduated from West in June and we sent her to stay with her aunt in Baltimore for a week. They went to New York - that was her real present from us for graduating. She was in the crowd on "Today" and she had a sign that said, "Hello Etowah." She stayed at the Hotel Edison, which she said was "like a little box, with barely room to turn around in." She saw all the famous streets, Times Square, where the rockettes perform, and where all the tv shows are produced. Sometime I will get her to write about her journey getting there - it is quite winded!

The next week her brother, Matthew, and sister, Amy, went with their dad to see the same aunt. They basically used the aunt's house as a launching pad. They went over into New Jersey just to say they went and the went to Philadelphia - both kids said this was the most fun they had on the trip. They ate a Philly cheese steak and when Matthew got home he said it was the best ever - now he is craving them! They also got to go to Amish country which Amy thought was quite neat. Amy did a lot of shopping and movie watching with Aunt Debbie and her stepmom, Donna and also her Nana went with them. Matthew and Dad went to a New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles game, they sat right behind home plate and somehow managed to get Jorge Posada's autograph. Needless to say they were in heaven.

Planet Tripping

Yesterday was my day to do "nothing" and it was great! I did agree to go back to the new Earth Fare with Frank. We went over about 5 in the evening, strolled through the cheese section, sampling as we went, and finally made our way to their "hot bar." Window shopping for food really makes the mouth water. We chose the chicken club panini with tortilla chips, bought a small cup of spinach artichoke dip to with the chips and stood sampling the spring rolls while the sous chef prepared chicken satay noodle salad for Frank. We were going to share each of our choices, but the satay noodles were more his style (not much on peanutty tasting noodles) and the chicken sandwich with thick sliced bacon and ham was definitely my style.

Before we left, I filled the buggy with peaches, bananas, and apples. We found a really unique peach - called a
Saturn Peach (isn't that perfect?). They were $8.99/lb. WOW - We got ONE - it was $1.44. I just ate it and it was delicious but I wouldn't say it was any better than one that was less than a dollar. It was cute, though.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Scrapbook layouts

Makes Amy Laugh was taken from the quiz in the post below. Harmony's layout is from our July 4th party and the "works of heart" page is of my nieces at my dad's birthday party.

Taking Quizzes

Recently I purchased Simple Scrapbooks' Scrapbook Shortcuts with quizzes and questions to jumpstart the journaling on some scrapbook pages about myself and my family. I had Amy take # 20 Weird and Wacky; here are her responses (A) and mine (P) and Frank's (F)
1. What food would you like to eat every day, if your mom would let you?
A. Tacos
P. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
F. Cookies

2. What's your favorite joke?
A. When a man asked the teddy bear if he wanted dessert, he said no thanks, I'm stuffed.
P. I can never remember how it goes, but it has something to do with strawberries and jelly.
F. The people I work for, oh, that's the least favorite; the next one I get told.

3. If you could choose a different name, what would it be?
A. I don't want another name.
P. I might like to go by my middle name, Vanessa
F. Mark

4. What would you like on your next birthday cake?
A. Strawberries
P. Icing and absolutely nothing to indicate that I am no longer in my 30's
F. 18!

5. What's the first thing you show friends when they visit your house?
A. My living room
P. My spoon collection
F. My grill

6. What's the scariest thing you have ever done?
A. Go to school; stand up in front of people and give a speech/talk
P. Learned to Scuba Dive
F. Having children

7. Is your room messy or clean?
P. MESSY - duh!
F. What do you think?

8. If you could eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
A. A seafood place
P. Ditto
F. Carrabas

9. If you had a million dollars, what would you buy first?
A. Pay off my parent's credit cards
P. A plane and lessons for Frank to learn to fly it
F. Lunch for everyone at work because I won't be back

10. If your parents let you have any pet you wanted, what would it be?
A. dolphin or polar bear
P. A goldfish that would NEVER die
C. Fish

Saturday, August 12, 2006

License to Drive ... all the way to Dad's

The LICENSE - Blurred of course, nobody needs to know the details. But hopefully this is PROOF that somebody out there thinks ZACK can DRIVE! Congratulations! Now be careful!

Zachary got his driver's license on August 7 and three days later made his way all the way to Dad's without any adults in the car ... well unless you include Ashley. Zack's car is the Thunderbird left by his older step brother, Nathan. He has been working on it for weeks to get it ready to drive on his big day. He said he still needed to replace the power steering hose and Dad suggested power steering fluid could be bought at the new Fred's on 25 North. Undoubtedly this is one of Dad's new favorites (not as high on his list as Big Lots though), he says most things like that are only a $1! Dad also offered Zack some advice about drinking and driving - he said, "Don't ever even start drinking, then you never have to worry about it!"

Thursday, August 10, 2006

3 Generations of the Same Cute Little Face

I swear sometimes I cannot tell the pictures of my mom as a little girl from the ones of my sister as a little girl. The age of the photo usually gives it away, but the resemblance is major.

Now my sister's daughter, Katie, has that same cute face. And thank goodness most of those pictures are in color so I don't have to guess who it is among the three of them.

It is funny, most people say I look just like my mom. I do favor her now, but her younger pictures definitely favor my sister and her crew. I think that is the Lanning side coming out.

Page created using digital papers and elements from and using blackladder font from Word. Scrapbooked 8/10/06. Picture from 1940's.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Yesterday's Digital Page - A Page from Yesteryear

Here is a another page I did the digi way. I did it on Sunday using papers from the delight kit - which was on my Scrapbook Answers CD, but I also found it on the site late last night. This is of my parents from 1963.

I know my dad is in his Navy Blue uniform, but for some reason all of the picture has a purple feel to it. I preferred not to adjust or restore the original colors of it because I like the way it looks old. This is the first digital page I have used this picture on - but I did a traditional one of my mom in her gown from the same day and it ended up on purple paper, too.

A Page A Day - the Digi Way

I am trying to learn a little bit about Digital Scrapbooking each day. Here is a layout I completed about 1 am this morning. I am still experimenting with all the brushes and different free downloads I find on the internet. This is a layout celebrating my daughters, Amy & Amanda.

The papers came from my Scrapbook Answers CD. The flower is from the romantic roses sampler at Fonts are also from the Scrapbook Answers CD. Layout was completed using Photoshop 7.0 for Windows.

A Good Day for a White Squirrel

Today started out pretty well. I met with Donna Stout at the White Squirrel and she agreed to do 13 weeks in the new TNW beginning 9/13. She also had picked up a copy of Mountain Traditions and was impressed enough with it that she decided to advertise in the Fall Edition.

I also met with Blair at Lilly T's. Such a nice lady with a South Carolina accent. Her shop is really nice though not in my size ... maybe I will be able to buy something in there a year from now.

I am planning to attend Weight Watchers with a gang from work this Wednesday. I hope it is something I will be able to do well at. I keep remembering 5 years ago on August 22 (a Wednesday) that I took the first step towards losing 40 pounds. We had just gotten back from the PGA Championship in Atlanta where we had volunteered. I was wore out from carrying about 75 too many pounds. Well that 40 came back during my unemployment following High Vista layoff and it has now grown another 25 pounds. I will need to lose 100 pounds to get to a goal weight that I am sure will be in the 150's (a weight I don't really ever remember seeing.) It is frightening to think of having to change everything about my life - adding exercise and not eating as much of Frank's good cooking, but I know it is something I have to do. I am trying to come up with a reward system for my self that will keep me motivated.

Maybe a new piece of clothing or shoes (or maybe scrapbooking stuff, who knows) for every 10 pounds I lose. That would give me 10 rewards. Maybe I will map it out so they gain in their value with each 10. I will think about that. After all, we know what motivates me - PRIZES - competition - be it with others or with myself.

Here I am going to post my BEFORE Picture - Maybe looking at it will continue to provide motivation as well. Here I am with Frank and my famous overalls. Hopefully these will be too big too wear and I can buy some new ones by next summer's July 4th Party.

I am really proud of Frank. He quit smoking last year and has been quit for quite some time now. He put on a few pounds following that life changing decision but now he has been walking and really trying to watch his calorie and fat intake and has lost about 15 pounds over the last 6 weeks. I hope to have the energy to join him on his walks very soon. I know that all the things we like to do, scuba, traveling, riding the motorcycle, etc., will be much easier and more comfortable if we can both continue to exercise and watch our weight.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My Heritage Layout - Digital

Speaking of grandparents, I also did this page with a few remembrances of my great grandparents, Carl & Pearl Burnette.

I used some graphic elements from the cd that comes with my subscription to Scrapbook answers. The floral print background paper was a part of the free "fenderskirts" line on the cd. The chenille background was one of the free images and gingham ribbon was cut from the gingham paper background. Mats and green ribbon as well as medallion were made using Adobe Photoshop 7 shapes. I used custom brushes that I downloaded from some free digital website ( i am sorry i cannot remember which one) to create the aged look on the paper as well as the ink scrolls on the journaling piece.

Finger Lickin' Good

all week frank had been saying, "whatcha got planned for the weekend?"
"nothing," i said every time, "we're broke!"
but he kept persisting.
before i left for work on friday he had the pouty face on so i told him to perk up, had i ever let him down before?
don't answer that.

so i did what every good girlfriend does ... i raced to plan something as if i had been planning it all along :) !

i got to work and searched "Core" - the friday entertainment section.
piano concert at the porter center? i don't think so.
blues singer in asheville? my style, but not frank's.
movies? definitely not!
well that was no help!

okay so the scuba gear is ready, why not just go to jocassee?
did that four weeks ago, almost did two weeks ago, really just too hot to even think about
putting on a wetsuit.

motorcycle? good idea - cheap on gas and we hadn't been on a good ride in months! now to plan the route. he keeps saying, "i want to go west!" where's the map?

frank had never been to kentucky so i thought we will take that back road (25) through newport, tennessee and up to london, kentucky where "dogpatch" is. dogpatch is a great big souvenir store that was a must stop on return trips from visiting in-laws in my previous life. anyway it is a cool little spot and it gave purpose to the trip.

i mapped it out not realizing there is a 25E and a 25W. it seems weird now that the whole time we were traveling west we were on 25E and traveling east on the return trip we were on 25W, DOT people can really mess with your mind sometimes.

so we left the house around 10:30 on saturday and headed towards unc-a, where we took 25E through northern buncombe county, bypassing my favorite spot on this road, hot springs, and heading into greenville, tennessee. greenville is the home of 17th president, Andrew Johnson. we knew that not because we remembered our history, but because it is displayed so prominently has you arrive in their fair town. we continued through tennessee. we saw a sign that excited us - tunnel - we love tunnels! especially when it is 100 degrees and the thought of getting out of the sun is at the top of every other list running through your mind.

hours and hours and, I really mean hours and hours, later the tunnel finally appears. undoubtedly this was some major project - the cumberland gap tunnel - they built it up all along the way for miles and miles and miles we saw signs warning no class 1 cargo allowed. of course frank new that was for truckers. when we finally made it, boy was it fancy. lights and LCD boards and escorts for anyone going through that might hold hazardous materials. the tunnel really was cool, but it seemed such a big production for such and unpopulated area. i guess the place is a little busier than what we saw today, but if not, why all the expense?

arriving on the other side of the tunnel we were surprised to find we were practically on the campus of LMU - Lincoln Memorial University in harrogate, tennessee. from the road we could see what appeared to be a replica lincoln in his big chair. it was in the museum dedicated to their namesake. we were going to go back after we ate, but time was not on our side. maybe next trip.

we were hungry and frank's hips were starting to fill like he had given birth to an 800 pound cycle. we arrived in middlesboro, kentucky and immediately looked for a restaurant with air conditioning and booths that you could lie down in. we settled for quiznos - no booths but the air was cool and the sandwich yummy. after about a dozen glasses of raspberry lemonade we gassed up the venture and headed west once again.

the roads were good and the scene from town to town was much the same. one sign kept popping up about every three to four houses, it became ominous as if it were trying to tell us something. YARD SALE YARD SALE YARD SALE YARD SALE. it almost seemed a pre-requisite for being allowed to live on the 25E corridor. where did they get all that stuff and furthermore, who bought it? if they were all having a sale today, who was shopping them? it got to be almost laughable like counting doodle-bugs as a bored child. "yard sale," i say, poking frank in the side. he'd giggle and race to be the next on to call out, "yard sale!" i swear it was really freaky.

we rode for a couple more hours and i thought it would be neat to go see where finger lickin' chicken started! colonel sanders' first restaurant still stands in corbin, kentucky. we had to go! it was neat inside - will have pics to support soon. one of the neatest things was the "sample" motel room colonel sanders had built right into the inside of his "cafe." it was a life-size replica of the rooms located just to the right of the cafe in the Sanders Court (motel courts were popular in the 70's.) the room was set up to entice travelers to stay at his motel while passing through corbin on the dixie highway (25W.) what a marketing genius. a real life commercial. sanders' cafe had the good fortune of being at the junction of highways 25, 25E, and 25W on the main road for northerners headed to vacation in sunny florida.

we were not hungry so we just looked over all the historical items in the cafe, sipping our KFC water as we lingered. we took some pictures with the colonel and said our goodbyes.

we went on down the road a ways and i decided it was getting late so we should skip the extra hour it would take to get to dogpatch. instead we headed south-east on 25w (see how the DOT is?) we had been on the road a short while when we saw thunder clouds and about the time we got to the road to cumberland falls recreation park we saw the rain coming. we darted off the road and under a tree where we sat to stay dry. NOT! 15 minutes and bucket loads of rain later, we continued down 25W - soaked and chilled to the bone. i laughed out loud and inside. i can't help it, it was funny. about five minutes down the road we saw other motorcyclists in our same predicament ... well not exactly the same. they had managed to find the only church i have ever seen with a front porch .... covered ... with comfy rocking chairs. again i laughed :)

"do you feel like we ate at that KFC?" frank asked. not really i said, "why?" he swore his burps were flavored with the colonel's special recipe. that's funny. maybe they flavor their water with it.

traveling on down 25W, we started to cross back and forth across I-75. i was afraid that our quaint little road was going to eventually run out and we would be forced to join the hustle and bustle of the interstate highway system. unfortunately, i was right. soon after we left jellico we were forced onto the four lane nightmare. it wasn't too bad and we decided to ride it out till we got to knoxville where we would stop for some eats.

knoxville came and went before our eyes and i just knew we were going to have to wait until we got back to asheville to eat. my memory of interstate 40 exits past knoxville was of closed down gas stations and the two exits to gatlinburg. what i was not expecting was the huge amount of growth that had happened in the 10 years or so since i had traveled westward. i was amazed at all the choices to eat, sleep and gas-n-go along this route. it was incredible how it how grown. still, we were at a loss as to what we actually wanted to eat. frank took the sevierville exit and we ended up at damon's. he had steak after much waiting and taking it back and dealing with a brand new waitress (she be called Amanda.) she was almost too anxious. i think she was sent from above to keep us from arguing ... every time i tried to speak it was her voice i heard, "is everything alright, can i get you something?" everything would be fine if you would just go away i thought as i said, "we're fine, thank you." well, of course, she finally did. we argued and from there we proceeded to get back on the cycle without speaking for the next 10 miles. the good thing about being on a motorcycle at midnight in the mountains of tennessee is that you depend on each other and being mad at each other is NOT a good idea. as frank navigated the curvaceous roads, i slowly gave in and reached around his waist to hold on. you cannot stay made at someone who is keeping you on the bike.

we made our way through the gorge and back into the familiar highway 25 (notice no E or W) we travel every day. as we did i couldn't help but think about all that we had done and everything we had seen in the last 14 hours on our venture. and i laughed. i still couldn't believe all those yard sale signs :)

epilogue: we got home and took a shower - while in the shower i let a small stinky - i swear there was a faint undertone of the colonel's special herbs and spices. (TMI? I hope not!)

guess where we are going for supper tonight?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Attempting Digital Scrapbooking

My first attempt at creating a digital page using Photoshop:

This is my nephew, Luke. I caught him on the little dock at Daddy's throwing fish food and rocks into the pond. It is kind of neat that when Angie's kids visit Grandma and Granddaddy that they have a pond to play at . . . just like we did when we were little and played in the one at Papaw Burnette's house.