Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday at Armuchee Bluegrass Festival

It's going to be a hot one.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Labor Day Weekend - that means Armuchee Bluegrass Festival

The Armuchee Bluegrass Festival was first held Labor Day weekend of 1973. My husband and I have been to every festival except two. It is like a family reunion, because we see people at this festival we don't see any other time. We had a wonderful time at the Armuchee Memorial Day Festival where we saw our friends Carl and Buzzy that came down from Kentucky for the event.

I was looking for some pictures from back in the day, when I came across this one. While it wasn't take at the Armuchee Bluegrass Festival it is of New Dixie, the Bluegrass Group Hubs and I were members of back then. This picture was actually taken at the Asheville NC Folk Festival in 1979. The wonderful thing is with one exception everyone one in that picture has kept in touch and are still friends today and I expect to see them this weekend.

Enjoy your weekend, be safe and join the fun for Friday Foto Finish fun at Candid Carrie


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kitchenaid Hand Blender

I have an embarrassing confession to make. I bought a KitchenAid Stand Mixer over a year ago and only used it for the first time two weeks ago. I've always wanted this mixer but once I bought it I couldn't bring myself to bring out this large machine and hookup everything when I was cooking. But once I finally did, wow! Mixing a batch of The Pioneer Woman's Oatmeal Crispies cookies was never so easy. I fell in love with it.

So when I saw the KitchenAid Hand Blender on sale at, I decided I had to have one of those too. Woo Hoo, it arrived today!

I previously had an inexpensive, one piece immersion mixer that drove me crazy because it was so hard to clean.

I am impressed with the quality of the pieces. It feels sturdy in my hand. The attachments fit together snugly and are easy to remove.

This blender contains:
The main body and the speed control dial with 9 settings
Blending Beaker and Lid
Blending Attachment with Stainless Steel Blade
Whisk Adapter
Whisk Attachment
Chopper Bowl, Chopper Adapter and Chopper Blade
Cotton Twill Storage Bag

The instruction booklet also contains several recipes that look interesting and worth making.

I look forward to using this blender.


Torrential Tuesday

I kept waiting for the rain to let up this morning but it didn't.

Note to self: Carry an extra pair of shoes on rainy days.

Thank you Lord for the sweet, wonderful rain.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Monday Moment

I walk past this building most every day without really looking at it. Today it caught my eye and I found it to be beautiful. It used to be a factory that made thread. Today it is an office building that houses some city and county government offices of our small town. It also has several retail shops, a library and offices. Once deserted and in disrepair, now it has a new life and seems rather regal, at least to me.

I hope your Monday has been Marvelous.

Marvelous Monday

Thank you God for the much needed rain!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I've written about our cat Hobbes before, but I came across this picture and just love the intense look on his face. He is 13 years old and while he isn't as active as he once was he still hunts and climbs. He doesn't jump as high or run as fast but then neither can I.

He is a Manx so he has no tail. He is also very vocal and talks to us all the time. I've always been amazed that he will actually come to us when we call his name, well most of the time anyway. When we had the pool open he would come right up to the edge and allow us to pet him, or he would "talk" to us with out showing any fear of the water.

The average life span for a Manx is 10 - 11 years so he is an old man and that probably explains why he and Trixie are not buddies. As a young cat he was not intimidated by dogs and usually was the boss of that type relationship. That is why I was so very shocked when he wanted nothing to do with Trixie when we first brought her home. They do have their moments and I hope as she gets older and a bit calmer that they will actually will get along better.

I don't think I could have another breed of cat after Hobbes. He has so much personality and I do love him a lot.

Do you have any pet stories?
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Miss Trixie's growing up (Friday Foto Finish)

Trixie is now just over 8 months old. I didn't realize how much she has changed until I looked at these pictures. From a scared tiny little pup of one month old the first time we saw her. To a two month old ready to explore and snuggle when we brought her home. Then an excited "teen" as she is growing up. I can't seem to remember what it was like before she came into our lives six short months ago.

1 month old

Two months old and her first day with us.
She was around 2 lbs her first trip to the vet.

So small but a big attitude.

Even so young it was difficult to get her still long enough to get a good picture.

She is growing up. She is a sweetie, but she still has an attitude and a seemingly endless supply of energy. She will chase her ball or rope all evening.

She is a trouble maker. She torments our 13 year old cat Hobbes. She steals paper and other "treasures" from the trash. Mainly she has stolen my heart. She is a love and has made my life better for being in it.

Join us for Friday Foto Finish at Candid Carrie. Tell her Debbie from Just Some Random Thoughts sent you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Faux Fried Potatoes (updated - reduced oil used)

Hubs loves fried potatoes. So do I but I don't need the extra calories from frying. Therefore, I have tried several recipes for Oven Fried Potatoes and have always thought they turned out to "fried" until now.

I last Christmas I found a recipe for Roasted Carrots in a cookbook and the family loved it. Well the son and daughter-in-law and I loved them. Hubs wasn't so enamored. Anyway, this week as I'm trying to figure out a fast and healthy dinner menu, I recalled that recipe, and wondered if it would work as well with potatoes. I thought they turned out great they were crispy and flavorful. Neither of us missed the extra oil at all. That is saying a lot for my husband. He really loves fried potatoes.

4 med red potatoes
olive oil
garlic power
1 small onion

Wash and slice potatoes in half leaving the skin on. Then slice the halves about 3 or 4 times. turn and slice across the potato to make cubes.

Place the cubed potatoes into a Ziploc bag.
chop a small onion and add to bag. (potato to onion ratio should be 4 parts potato to 1 of onion)
Add a tablespoon of olive oil. (I reduced the oil from 2 TB to 1 and found it works just as well.)
Add salt, pepper and garlic power to taste. (You can also use a teaspoon of Paula Deen's house seasoning.)
Seal bag and give it a good shake and coat evenly.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Drizzle a little olive oil into the roasting pan and spread evenly over the pan. (about one tablespoon.) You can also preheat the pan while the oven is heating.

Pour potatoes and onions into pan and spread out evenly.

Bake 18 - 20 minutes or until brown turning at 10 minutes.

The Faux Fried Potatoes were a hit and didn't think to take a picture until after dinner so there is only a small serving remaining.

I use a "Stoneware Bar Pan" from Pampered Chef that impacts the cooking time, so adjust your cooking time accordingly. If you use a metal or glass pan your cooking time may vary.

If you decide to give this a try I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Coconut Macaroons from The Barefoot Contessa

I belong to my church's hospitality ministry and every seven weeks it's my teams turn to provide refreshments for the hospitality room. This is our week. The last two times, I've made The Pioneer Woman's Oatmeal Cookies . I thought it was time to take something different. In surveying my pantry, I found a bag of shredded coconut and thought I'd give coconut macaroons a try. Now I've only made them one other time before and I'm not quite sure what I did wrong but instead of little haystack mounds I had a pan of something similar to a coconut brittle. Everything ran together and it was a mess. Now it tasted OK but the presentation was nothing like a traditional macaroon.

In my search for a fail proof recipe, I went to The Food Network. I quickly found a recipe from Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa. I had all the ingredients so that settled it.

Coconut, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Vanilla, salt and egg whites, is all that is needed. I did add a half teaspoon of almond flavoring as a personal preference. The recipe yields about 20 cookies. The only other difference I found was in the cooking time. The recipe calls for 25 - 30 minutes, my oven cooks a bit hot so I only cooked them 18 - 20 minutes.

Hubs and I liked them and there were enough to take a dozen to church and some to keep at home. Yum.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta - 1989 Mustang

Today is Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

1989 Mustang

When our son was about 17, he talked us into buying him a 1989 Mustang. Why we bought a kid a car like this I can't really say, other than this was a way cool car and his Dad and I love Mustangs and it did sound good rumbling down the road. Guess that lead to a laps in parenting skills.

It had a 4 speed transmission with a short throw shifter (Don't ask me details about this, all I know was it was hard to change gears.) And a racing clutch (Again it was hard to press in the clutch and killed my knee to drive it.) It also had a roll bar and a blaring speaker system.

And did I mention how good the engine sounded?

He had this car for about six months when he was driving in a misting rain and discovered how difficult it can be to control a powerful car, especially when the roads are a bit wet. He came home rather shaken up, and was very lucky he didn't wreck but he wouldn't drive it in the rain any more. I rode in the back seat once. I repeat, one time I climbed into the back seat. I thought they were going to have to get a crane to get me extracted from the car. Needless to say I didn't make a graceful exit.

These are the pictures he took as he detailed it getting ready to sell. I still love Mustangs and wonder what ever happened to this beauty.

But frankly, as much as I love Mustangs I am very glad he sold it. I slept much better knowing he wasn't driving it any more.

Like what we're doing and want to join in? Head on over to Candid Carrie's and tell her you want to be a part of the Friday Foto Finish Fiesta group. Tell her Debbie with Just Some Random Thoughts sent you!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Our 8 mo papillon pup, Trixie, loves to run. We have a fenced backyard and she will zoom around the yard as fast as she can with her tail waving behind her like a flag. If always makes me laugh to see her fun full out.

When I tried to take a picture of her running with my old camera it was always a blur. Since I've gotten the new Canon Rebel, with the "sports" setting, I have actually been able to catch her in action. I love the look of sheer joy on her face as she runs by.

While these pictures aren't in perfect focus, I still love them because she looks so happy and free running full out.

I can't help but smile.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wedding Gifts

Wow, in the last two years we have seen a lot of friends and family get married. So much so I'm running out of ideas for wedding gifts.

I like to get them something from their gift registry, but I'd also like to give them something personal that would also be useful. Recently I was reading Mary Hunt's Everyday Cheapskate newsletter and browsed her web site Tips and found a reader tip for creating a recipe book as a wedding gift. The reader was creating a wedding gift for her granddaughter, by gathering recipes from the family and using her computer to include a picture of person who originated the recipe. She then put the recipe cards in to sheets of a photo album.

What a wonderful way to pass along family recipes but to keep the memory family and friends that may no longer be with us.

I think I'm going to start this process now and have it ready for the next wedding.

Have a great Tuesday.

Why the Smoky Mountains have that name

The day was sunny with a few clouds, yet the mountains had the blue haze that I know so well.
I love the Smoky Mountains.

Monday, August 11, 2008

How Come?

If you're from Georgia, at least my part of the state, when someone asks "Why" often they will say "How Come?" I really have no idea where this originated, however, I can imagine it was between a mother and child. You know the age, when every other word out of a child's mouth is "Why?" I imagine the conversation being something like this:

Mom: "Honey go wash your hands for dinner."
Child: "Why?"
Mom: "Because you should have clean hands when you eat."
Child: "Why?"
Mom: "Because there are germs on your hands and you might get sick."
Child: "Why?"
Mom: "Because germs can make you sick if they get inside your body."
Child: "Why?"
Mom: "I Do Not want to hear the word 'why' come out of your mouth again tonight."
Child: "How come?"

All of the "How come?" wondering came about when I was making dinner tonight I realized I needed to start a new grocery list even though I shopped for groceries last night. Without thinking I said "How come I missed adding mayonaise to my list yesterday?" When I realized what I'd said I had to laugh.

Speaking of mayonaise, if you like Duke's Mayonaise they are celebrating 90 years and offer a free cookbook ($6.50 s&h,) free recipes and a store finder on their web site. It's the only mayo I use.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mom Date

I've mentioned we are expecting our first grandchild. I think about this all the time, and for some reason that led me to thinking about my birthday two years ago, when our son took me on a "Mom Date." He made me feel very special and I'll forever remember our time together that evening.

Looking back I realize he knew that he would be married and on his own by my next birthday and he wanted to make this one special. He completely succeeded in doing exactly that.

He took me to Ted's Montana Grill, it was the first time I'd been there and that makes it stand out in my mind. Then we went to Steak and Shake for desert. While there we ran into the Henry's, from our church, having a family night out. We visited with them for a little while before heading out to see a movie. They asked what we were doing for the evening and when Aaron explained the "Mom Date," Mrs. Henry thought that was a great idea and told her son he should remember this so they could do the same thing when he was older and driving. I'm all for Mom and Dad dates, there is just something very special having this one on one time with your grown child.

I don't recall the movie we saw, but I do remember having thoroughly enjoyed the evening and my "Mom Date" with our wonderful son. We talked about many things. We laughed. I shed a tear or two because I was having a wonderful time.

I am proud of the man he has become and pleased God allowed me to be his mom.

I love you son.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Kroger Plus Card + Additional Coupon Savings

Kroger is the grocery store where I primarily shop and one of the largest retailers in my area. They offer a "Kroger Plus" card which gives discounts on many items in the store. I watch for extra savings by searching the weekly ad on-line before shopping to maximize my potential savings. However, a couple times a year (sometimes more) they send coupons to plus card holders based on shopping history. When these cards were first out, I heard complaints about them tracking shopping history. However, when they give me coupons for items I already purchase I'm OK with that. (Update: I forgot my Kroger Plus card the other day, and I was still able to get my savings by giving them my phone number. Very cool.)

This week I received a new coupon package. There is a coupon to save $9 if I purchase $90 in one transaction. Since I have not purchased groceries since before vacation that will not be difficult.

There are several coupons for $1 and a couple for $2. But some of the coupons in this pack that caught my eye are, $1 off Folgers Gourmet Coffee. $2 off five SmartOnes Frozen Entrees. Additionally, many stores do not offer coupons for "Store Brand" products, however, Kroger does and since I use Kroger brand Vanilla Wafers, Tuna and Salad Dressing I am very pleased to have the additional savings these coupons offer.

The coupons in this pack are for items I purchase each week and represent a significant savings on my weekly grocery bill.

I'm all for saving money.


One Tired Pooch

Trixie was so tired on the trip home that she slept most of the way. She laid on a pillow between the front seats with her head hung over the vent and snoozed away.

She had a very good time on vacation too.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lots Of Fun

While we were away on vacation, I was able to use my new camera and I took lots of pictures. We had many opportunities for pictures taking and I had so much fun while learning to use the new camera.

On Tuesday night we went to Lake Nottley for some fishing. I mostly took pictures and played with Trixie, but managed to get in some fishing. I must report I didn't catch anything and only had some nibbles but lots of fun. One of the funniest things that happened this even was when Trixie discovered shiny objects in the water. I had already taken several small stones out of her mouth when I noticed she was staring intently into the water. Then it was almost as if she took a breath and plunged her head into the water and came up with an old style pop-top in her mouth. You would have thought she had fund a great treasure. Standing there with the ring in her mouth and water dripping from her face. I laughed until I almost cried. Of all times not to have my camera handy.

I completely enjoyed our time away and it was a treasure to spend time with my son and his wonderful wife. With our lives so full of work, church and other obligations I feel fortunate that we are together as much as we are. This time away was a blessing for us all.

On our last day we stopped by the Toccoa River to check out the fishing. We did not have wading boots to go out into the river and did not catch any fish, but the next time we will be more prepared as those that did go out into the middle of the river were catching lots of fish. One gentleman told us he caught 25 fish that morning. There was a mist floating over the water and I found it fascinating to watch the mist move about the river.

I'm already looking forward to our next trip. I'm hoping to be more proficient with the new camera and had a good working knowledge of Photoshop Elements 6 to allow my pictures to have the same vivid colors as the original scene.

When I understand Elements I'll write a review.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Home Again!

We are back home after thoroughly enjoying our stay in the cabin in the mountains. We rented our cabin from Cozy Cove Cabins and they treated us well and had the cabin read for us when we arrived.

We did not have a "plan" for our time away so we took our time and was able to relax and do what we wanted when we wanted. Even so I am still tired today.

The funny thing is, while we did see some wildlife while we were away, like deer, fish, bunnies and a snake, I have seen more this morning at home than I did in the mountains.

So far today, I've seen frogs, a snake and a hawk. The snake is in our pool.
It has been drained and just has leaves and collected rain water from the last two days.
There are always frogs in the pool, empty or not, and today it attracted a snake too.

We also have some hawks that visit our yard from time to time and they were back today. I was able to catch a picture of one of them on our fence.

I'm glad to be home and my own bed, but I sure enjoyed our time away. I do believe I could live in the mountains. Maybe some day...