Snow in Maryland

Well, our little blizzard for 2009 has finished falling, and we got about 15" in our neighborhood. We spent yesterday watching the falling snow and drinking hot Cocoa before it finally stopped. This morning dawned crisp and clear with bright sunshine for a sparkling winter wonderland.

I guess we will have a white Christmas after all due to all the snow (I doubt it will melt by Friday.)


Rush of Parties

It was quiet at home today. After attending and hosting 3 Christmas parties this weekend, I needed the quiet.

Friday, Tim's office had their annual Christmas party and I had to spend the day at the office typing name tags for the expected guests. Saturday, we woke to snow falling. we got about 4 inches but that didn't stop us from hosting our Bridge group's Christmas dinner/party. If that wasn't enough, Sunday morning (after a very late night) I got up to make a Pumpkin praline cheesecake to take to the Christmas party for my ladies golf group.

I really needed a quiet day.


We give Thanks

Plans for Thanksgiving are always so intense - thoughts of all kinds of food.

This year we had plans to visit with John & Ellen in Richmond along with the Derry's from Louisiana bringing our little Jackson north. Unfortunately, plans changed because Fred (Ellen's father) became ill and is in the hospital ( and our prayers) so we headed north to Grammy's rather than south.

Grammy had tasks for the boys to perform (cover the A/C units) before dinner was served and then four generations sat down (minus Tina and Bob who were in Maine) to a scrumptious meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, homemade bread, and a perfect gravy (made by sister #2).

We think about all our blessings but then when we returned home we had a plumbing leak to contend with. Well, at least we have a roof over our heads even if it is a bit damp inside.

We still count our blessings for we are truly blessed with health, happiness, and a family and friends.


Countdown for the holidays has started!

I was just visiting my sister's blog (Tutu's Two Cents) and she confirmed that Beth, over at Beth Fish Reads has given us permission to take a break from our computers for the holidays. YES, the holidays... So blame it on Tutu, she got me starting thinking about the holidays and everything that had to be done. They are coming and with them, many mysteries to be solved with moments of wondering ....
  • who do I invite?
  • what will I wear to that party? Should I take something?
  • when will I fit that into my schedule? Can I get it done in time?
  • where can I get that gift? What color, what size?
  • how will I get it all done?
  • why can't I think of something for her/him?

There are so many decisions to be made each year and sometimes they become overwhelming.

  • The tree - should we get a real one and should it be small or large or huge?
  • Christmas Goodies - Should we cheat on our diets - dah, of course, but when can we start? What should we make and how much of each?
  • What do we get everyone or are we giving gifts at all?
  • Are we sending cards? Should we include a Christmas Letter?
  • Decorations - Same old, same old, or something new and different?
  • When will I see everyone? Do I travel to their house or invite them to mine?
    And what about all my book challenges? Will I manage to squeeze in all the final books I need to finish?

The answers, for me, are pretty simple...

  • Trees - 1 Small, 1 medium, 1 large all fake
  • baking - list decided- all I have to do is schedule what when
  • presents - gift certificates for the out of town kids (I know that's cheating but they love to go after Christmas for all the sales and get exactly what they want) the siblings have ceased to exchange except for nominal items, so that leaves one for Mom and 1 for hubbie
  • Cards are scheduled for the 2nd week in December
  • Parties are all scheduled, invitations have been sent and RSVPs done,
  • and decorations are in progress! (should be finished this weekend)
It's all in the organization and having a calendar that can handle everything - yeah Outlook!

So my advice, take an hour or two and plan it all out, print out your calendar and enjoy this special season...It won't be back again for another 365 days!


Make your own Christmas Cards

If anyone ever wanted to take a photo and make your own cards (christmas or otherwise), its so easy with the people at CrinkledNose.com The son of a friend of mine works there and they are so helpful if you have any problems, but the process is easy and fast. The hardest part, for me, was choosing a picture. I had them last year and they are sensational. Reasonably priced too!


Myrtle Beach Vacation

Let's forget about the troubles in the real world and think about a week of R&R in Myrtle Beach. Tim and I first met up with his sister Kathy and her fiancé, David, for the South Carolina game on Saturday the 24th. Tim went to the game and I sat home (what else is new?). Then Sunday morning we headed to the coast and met up with his sister Mary-ellen and his brother John and wife Ellen.

We had a pleasant time throughout the week. Monday Tim golfed with Mary-ellen and John until the rain came and they quit. Tuesday Tim, Mary-ellen and I golfed and later, after the pool, went to mixology class where we created two mixed drinks - yummy, yummy. Wednesday Tim and Mary-ellen played golf and the afternoon was spent at the pool and wine tasting. Thursday John and Ellen returned from their jobs and the five of us went to the golf course. Ellen is just beginning but she's already better than I am. Afterward we all went to a Martini tasting and scaped(?) a visit via the Internet with Jackson, Christopher and Melanie.

Friday no golf! Since they couldn't get a Tee time early Mary-ellen, Tim and I went shopping, and returned for pool time just before Kathy and David arrived for Ribs on the BBQ.

There were only 4 of the six Derry children together at anyone time, we ate , we drank, we laughed, we cried, but all in all, I still think we managed to have a family gathering of which Bill and Pat would have been proud.

Appliance problems

Well, it appears that October was not a good month for the Derry Home appliances.
Tim and I returned from our week in Myrtle Beach (we had a great time) and thought we would slowly settle into our normal existence - WRONG!

As some of you know the dryer died and the washer was following it shortly, so Tim and I broke down and purchased a new washer and dryer. Because we got it stacked, the laundry room seems much more spacious and now all I have to do is a few decorative items and it will seem like new.
I thought that would be it, but when we came home from our week in Myrtle Beach on Saturday night, we found that the refrigerator was not doing its job and everything was spoiled. We had to throw everything out and clean it thoroughly. Luckily, we have another in the garage, so we figured we muddle through until we could get the repairman this week. Since I am getting older, I forgot that it wasn't working a few hours later and opened the door to get a drink and found that it was cold again. (Okay, I thought, what's going on here?) So we turned on the ice maker to see if it would stay cold, and at dinner we were rewarded with the sound of falling ice. So far, it's still cold. Tim seems to think that something was blocking the thermostat and that it should be fine. Bless the Lord!


A Week of R & R

Tim and I hit the road this morning heading south to Myrtle Beach for a week of rest and relaxation with family. We started today in Columbia SC where Tim went to the University of South Carolina Homecoming game vs. Vanderbilt with his sister Kathy, her fiancé, and his son. Leslie, our nephew Bradley's wife, also came to go to the game. I stayed at the condo which was so close that they all walked to the game and I heard all the cheering while I watched on TV.
How much fun is it to know a great play is coming by the cheers you hear (TV was on a 5 second time delay)? And South Carolina won the game - they won't hold anything against us. We should get invited back sometime.

Tomorrow we head to Myrtle Beach where we will meet up with Mary-ellen (Tim's sister) and get in some golf.

Stay tuned!


Mom turns 85!

Well, today was my mother's 85th birthday.

I stopped by to see her last night since I knew that I wouldn't make it on the actually day. I did send her 85 yellow roses because they are her favorites and I know that my Dad have wanted her to have them. She's a feisty lady and still going strong (though she would probably debate that fact).

I was reminded this week how fortunate I am that my Mom is still with us in both mind and body. We all, as we grow older, don't realize that, until we see a difference that others have to endure with either serious illness, incapacity - mentally or physically - or the loss of that love one. So, if you are fortunate, as I am, give that parent of yours a hug and kiss and tell them that you love them. Lord knows we don't know how long they will be with us.


Change in the household

Things are still tough economically all over, but we should never be in the situation that is facing our friend - he lost his job, and his home has been foreclosed, and now he is homeless - not really. He's moving in with us until he can get back on his feet.

In return for a roof over his head, he'll give Tim a hand with the outdoor chores so Tim will have more time to spend with tailgates, golf, village constrution and bridge... maybe even me. Sometimes, money isn't the answer, just giving a helping hand when you can.


I got an Award!

My beautiful niece, and fellow blogger Leslie presented me with this exciting award! She has so much love for life and the world around her, it's unbelieveable.  Check her out  here at Leslie's Blog!

Here are the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award":

Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So here are my winners in no particular order...

Bella at A Bibliophile's Bookshelf
Andi at Radiant Light
Vera at Luxury Reading
Kaye at Pudgy Penquin Perusals
Caite at A Lovely Shore Breeze
Crystal at My Reading Room
Marie at The Burton Review
Amy at Passages to the Past
BookLogged at A Reader's Journal
Wendi's Book Corner
Kristi at Books & Needlepoint
Darlene at Peeking between the Pages
Park Avenue Princess
Barbara at Everything Victorian
Alaine at Queen of Happy Endings

I enjoy all the blogs that are out there, but these especially cheer my heart!


The Dryer died...

My dryer has finally given up the ghost and will no longer generate any heat to dry clothes. The washer has been on its last legs for several months, so Tim said now was the time to replace them both.  So I spent the entire day hunting down new ones.   The morning was spent on the Internet, from website to website and then this afternoon I went to a few places looking at different features and costs and delivery times and haul away fees.  I finally managed to find a good deal - a Whirlpool Washer/Dryer set normally $1400 for $1000 and then  got another 10% off with a buyer's card so with taxes and delivery and accessories I got away with $1,040 when it should have been close to $1600.   Pat me on the back, I did a great job!

Now all I have to do is pray that they fit in the laundry room.


Big Event!

I'm really excited because I'm hosting my first giveaway on my book blog.
Check out Cheli's Shelves for your chance to win a new book with over 80 recipes that are included with the story.


Good day, Bad day

I woke up this morning and I felt pretty good. It was the first night on my new pillow and I was surprised at how well I slept. It was planned that I was supposed to go to the Country Club where Tim (after playing golf and showering) and I would meet up with Mary-ellen and Molly (after they dropped Bryan at the airport) and head to the Wine Festival in Virginia. However, things didn't run smoothly.
  1. Tim forgot to get gas in my car after using it for the tailgate on Saturday and I wasn't sure that I had enough to get to the Country Club let alone to Virginia.
  2. When I went to put my seat belt on, the connector that I use on the driver side (because I can't feel the place to clip it) was missing.
  3. After gyrating around to hook my seat belt without the connector, I backed out of the garage, only to see that there are bungee cords and duct tape sitting on my hood.
  4. The bus for the Wine Club to go to the Wine Festival, left at 12PM, we left at 2:30PM.
We finally got to the Wine Festival around 3:15Pm and once we got there, had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect and the some of the wines were good.
I'm not sure whether to count this in the good day or bad day category.


Tell me if I'm wrong...

I am terrified of bugs especially spiders so for me to even be able to talk when I see one is a miracle in itself. Two nights ago, I was sitting at my desk playing Farmtown on Facebook (I admit it) and out of the corner of my eye I see something move. I turn and see this giant spider moving across the chair rail toward me. I jumped up and SCREAMED for Tim and he finally came and killed it. Last night, déjà vu - it happened all over again only this time Tim wasn't home. I disconnected my laptop and gathered it up and marched upstairs and told Tim, when he got home from bowling, that when he could guarantee that he had killed all the giant spiders, I would then go back downstairs. Until then, the family room is mine.

So am I wrong?


Can the terps do better?

Well, tailgate season has officially begun. Tim headed out 2:30PM this afternoon to the first Maryland Terrapin home game of the season and I probably won't see him again until midnight. I just hope that they do better ( a win would be great) then last week.


Terps need better luck

Bear and I were just sitting around not doing much. (Uncle Mike has corrupted him into a beer drinking bear.) I'm reading and he's watching the games on TV.

Bear wasn't happy with the Terps results last night. Said he was going to have to get his football jersey out and put it on to bring them some better luck next week. Tim still won't let him go to the games even with his own MD football jersey. Bear said that it doesn't seem fair, Tim doesn't have a jersey.


Golf balls not flying!

I went to Country club today to hit some balls and have lunch with the ladies.

I didn't do very well. My back's been bothering me a bit and when I started hitting balls, it kept yelling at me to stop. The balls weren't getting into the air either. So I putted a few balls and then went to sit on the patio while I waited for the other ladies. What a gorgeous day to just soak up some sun.


A day with Sister #2

In my family, we jokingly always go by number, all our names seemed to run together when we were young, so to keep straight with our parents, we were #1, #2, etc I was daughter #4.

Today I spent with sister #2, Mary-Ruth, who is a floral designer for special events. She wanted some feedback on her website so I went up to her house and we chatted about it. Then I helped her with computer things for special scrapbook items for 2 of the Lady Maryland Terrapins. I had a delightful time helping her ( at least I think I helped her) with some organizational aspects of all her family photos.

It was great to realize that sister #4 can help sister #2 and have great time while doing it.


All of you that know me well, know how much I love teddy bears! Well, I just found this blog that is by a lady who is giving away a special bear in honor of her 25th anniversary as a bear artist. Can you believe that - giving away a bear!

I've entered, you can too at her blog Bear Bits.


Jackson 6 month old!

I can't believe that little Jackson is 6 months old already!
He's changing so fast just in the pictures. I know that Mom & Dad are taking good care of him.
Kisses and Hugs from Nonna to Jackson on his ½ Birthday!


Busy weekend!

Tim and I had a very busy weekend.

First on Saturday, we got together at his sister's (Mary-ellen) house for a barbecue/crab feast. All the members of Tim's Maryland Terrapin tailgate group were there to kickoff the new season. We ate and drank and enjoyed each others' tales of their summer and what was in the offing. After the tailgaters left, the Derrys planned for our October trip to Myrtle Beach.

Sunday, I met Mary-ellen, John and Ellen at the Country Club for breakfast. Tim, of course, was playing golf. Later, Tim, Mary-ellen , and I played bridge at the club with 4 other couples. A busy weekend, but great fun!



Every year, about this time, we get together with friends from college and remember the good old days, when were were young. We think about the number of years that we have been married, and what we did when we were in college and what we looked like back then. We think about the people that we haven't seen in years and wonder what they're up to, are they still on this earth. We all realize how fortunate we are to have such good friends and loved ones. Maybe soon we'll all get together and plan a special event. We talk about it each year. Maybe next year we'll do it.


Nothing special

Well, I'm settling back into the normal existence with the regular chores of laundry and grocery shopping and other errands. I won't say that I have housework to do because those of you that know me, know that I don't do housework. Well, I never used to do housework. Nowadays since we are on the austerity program due to the economy and I do not have a cleaning lady anymore, I do have to vacuum and dust on occasion. I don't do bathrooms or scrub floors since I am allergic to the cleaners and Tim and I still have the kitchen in the "I cook you clean" breakdown mode.

But today Tim was holding his annual Bowling league meeting, so I had to get everything ready for it. First, had to go to the store to get all the sodas and dessert. I came back and rather than let the sodas sit in the hot car all day, I dragged them out and put them in the refrigerator to chill. Then I needed to get the chairs setup and bag ice and order the pizza, so that everything would be ready when the people started to come.

So now I can sit back and relax and read while the meeting goes on downstairs.


Travels over

Well, July has come to an end and so have my travels for the near future. For the month I spent a week in Myrtle Beach with Tim's family,

nearly a week in Maine with my sister and great-niece,
and a few days at Deep Creek Lake with Tim's boss and his wife.

I had a great time at each spot, but I honestly am ready to settle into my own bed for awhile.



Another day in Maine

After a good night's sleep, I woke this morning and prepared for a trip to the General Knox House in Thomaston, Maine.

Tina, Kyla and I went to the Montpelier where we took a tour of the "home" of General Henry Knox. We were informed that the building was not the original, but a reproduction because the house had been badly cared for after the General's death and fallen into disrepair. It was eventually demolished and the DAR worked to have it reproduced on a new site ( the railroad had already taken over the original site).
The ceiling and chair moldings were magnificent, the flying staircase was tremendous, and the reproduced wallpaper patterns were extremely interesting. But the most magnificent part was the oval ballroom with 2 fireplaces and doors that were actually curved. I did pick up a book about the homes of the Founding Fathers in the gift shop.

Afterward we went to lunch in a restaurant that resides in what was an old railway station. As rain began to fall we headed home and spent the rest of the afternoon with a friendly game of Maine Monopoly.



Cheli's escort service to Maine

This morning together with my great-niece Kyla I left home and set out to visit my sister Tina in Maine. I had been enlisted to escort little Miss Kyla to her grandmother's so that she could spend some time in greater New England. We got to the airport early which was a good thing. Kyla dropped her boarding pass after we passed through security, so we had to hunt it down. Then we were ready to go, but the airline wasn't. The plane was late arriving to the airport so we were about 1 hour late leaving. I phoned Tina who had already left and warned her about the delay. By the time were landed and got our luggage, it was 2:30 and we were starving. We stopped at Friendlys and had "lunch" and FRIENDZs were absolutely wicked but left us with no appetite for dinner. Poor Bob, he had to eat alone.



Sunday Salon

Today, while my husband is at the golf course, I am just planning on reading. I have a book that I need to finish before it is due back at the library and this is my opportunity. Then when he gets back, (don't laugh) we are planning on finishing the take down of my Christmas village. Nothing like putting things off.


EBTS rears its ugly(?) head again!

I went to the bookstore - bad idea. I went to buy two things - a blank journal for notes about books so that I could keep with me a list of the books that I wanted when I went out and a copy of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in paperback to complete my collection (I even had a coupon). 2 things was all I wanted....until I was inside and then I couldn't stop myself. I walked out with 10!

I'm starting a new feature on my book blog just to handle this - BOOK BUY BONANZAS!

Check it out!
Book Buy Bonanzas


He stole my Heart!

Well, I'm back from Myrtle Beach. I didn't want to leave the family but had no choice. Everyone had to go their own ways. Little Jackson has stolen my heart. All he has to do is smile that little smile of his and I want to smile too.

I don't know when I'll see him again, but I'm thinking of him every day.


Cheli - Golf Coach

Well, today I went to the driving range with Ellen.
Too bad that I can't follow my own instructions, because Ellen hit her first ball 125 yds. straight up the middle. Gee, I wish I could do that. I think that she is going to do great on the golf course, all she needs is encouragement.


Activities in Myrtle Beach

Things have been very busy here. We have spent precious time with Molly and Bryan before they headed back to Spartanburg, shared laughs with Bradley and Leslie before they went back home and to their jobs this week. This morning at 5AM Sheila, Theresa, Caitlyn and her friend Hannah arrived.

Now, a group of 7 are headed to the golf course for some sun and fun!

Stay tuned!


Myrtle Beach and Jackson!

Tim and I traveled down to Myrtle Beach SC to meet up with 15 others of the Derry Clan and enjoy sun and golf. For the first 24 hours, it's been a blast!

Little Jackson had his first cereal this morning and I got to tape it on my camcorder. Then I got to rock him to sleep for his afternoon nap.
Tomorrow we may head to the pool or just blow up his pool for him.
Just holding him and cuddling is such a treat!


It wasn't me!

Yesterday my husband took me shopping and bought me new golf clubs. We headed to the driving range and miracles!, the new clubs worked! I could hit the ball so much better that it actually went up in the air and double the distance of anything I had ever hit before. Obviously, it wasn't me before, it was the clubs! So, now I have a greater incentive to head to the golf course, to prove to myself that I can break 90 on 9 holes! I'm going to try to hit the course twice this week before we go to Myrtle Beach. Stay tuned!


Time to reflect

Today is Father's Day.

My dad has been gone now for 2½ years and I still miss him. I try to keep myself busy and spend time with my Mom but there is still that void. When I think about him, my eyes still tear up and I realize how really fortunate I was to have such a great man as my father. He wasn't someone who the world knew, but those that did were really lucky. If you were his friend or a member of his family, you were blessed. He showed me what a good man was, so that when I met my husband, I spotted one right off and made sure that I "caught him".

It's funny how it takes the loss of someone you love to realize how blessed you are by their being in your life. So, my friends, hug those in your life that are still with you, hold them close, because there will come a day when you won't be able to and you will regret not taking advantage of the opportunity when it had presented itself.

Hope you were all blessed with a great dad too.