Friday, September 23, 2016

Sisters at the Beach

Well, I've returned from my little birthday excursion to the sea shore and it seems to be taking me a while to get back in the swing of things. I have been trying to get this post ready for days and I've barely looked at a blog since early last week. I've missed ya'll! Being away from my regular routine for several days can certainly make life a little crazy. I must also tell you to be prepared for photo and narrative overload! Consider yourself warned :)
The Lord was blessing our little get-away right from the start and at 64 years young, Sister Barb experienced flying for the very first time! Oh, but I'm pretty sure it won't be her last...she thoroughly enjoyed it and she had a wonderful experience. Any fears that she had were quickly put to rest as she sat next to a pilot who flew for Amazon! His calm assurance made her feel quite secure and she was really able to enjoy her time in the air. She had no doubt in her mind that her pilot friend was Hand-selected to be her traveling companion...put there just for her.

We had been planning this trip for a year or more and we had an absolutely fantastic time together. Barb is one of the most selfless people I know and she is always putting others before herself. Since she retired a little over a year ago, she has found herself possibly even busier than she was before, taking on many "grandma" duties, helping out her two working daughters. If there was ever anyone who needed a little time away, it would be her.
There's something kind of wonderful about celebrating getting another year older but behaving as if you've actually gotten younger! There were moments when we laughed so hard we could barely stop. There were other times when we reminisced about the old days and spoke of serious matters.

I beat the pants off of her in a game of 500 Rummy and we decided to go to 1000 and she turned the tables on me! We took more selfies than we ever have and I even invested in a selfie stick! I said I'd never get one of! How can you pass up a $6.00 selfie stick, especially when it's 50% off and especially when you have short arms?? Never say never! It was just great sister time.

Tropical Storm Julia was looming overhead, stirring things up a bit and she created the most dramatic sky show. What started out looking like a wet four-day weekend, became a beautiful mix of clouds with brilliant blue skies with stunning cloud formations.

We sat on the deck watching a passing rain storm,..

...intensifying it's appearance with a little help from my "UV filter":D

Cooking together played a big part in the fun as well. We had been scanning Pinterest and Facebook for yummy things to cook for months and as it turned out, we only ate out one time during our stay. Our first morning started out with a breakfast pizza.... had a hash brown crust topped with bacon, sausage, cheese and eggs. It was so good and we had the leftovers for breakfast the next day. That was Thursday, my birthday, and we spent the afternoon just sitting on the shore watching the show. There were very few crazy ladies others on the beach and at times it seemed to be just us and the seagulls. 

It was very windy and we knew the beach umbrella didn't stand a chance. There wasn't any sun to keep off of us anyway and then it started to rain. There we sat through about three different showers, getting pelted and soaked. We both agreed that it was reminiscent of times when we played out in the rain as kids. Then it finally stopped raining and this happened....

...oh it was just a glorious sight and we both agreed that only heaven could be more beautiful.

Afterwards, it was blue skies for the rest of the day. Between the wind and a short stint in the pool, we got a On our way out for my birthday dinner, this majestic sunset stopped us in our tracks.

Barb treated me to a fabulous dinner...peppercorn seared tuna with caramelized onions and balsamic glaze, the "house" mashed potatoes along with a great salad and home baked bread. The tuna was cooked to perfection and oh so delicious.

We had baked a pumpkin/pecan dump cake earlier and it was waiting for us back in our room. 
Who needs birthday cake, anyway??

The weather was much improved and the next day we headed out to ride the ferry to Southport. The island is loaded with cool little shops so we browsed a few of them and had some ice cream. Riding the ferry was so relaxing and the skies were brilliant blue.

Before we headed out out, we put our dinner in  my little vintage crock pot that I brought from home. We decided to make a simple chicken and broccoli dish...chicken breasts in the bottom, fresh broccoli added, seasonings and cream of mushroom soup poured over the top. We ate it over a multi-grain rice mix and it was delicious! The lovely aroma of eau de broccoli about knocked us down when we got back, as it permeated every nook and cranny our room. How is it that broccoli tastes so good but smell SO bad???

That was also the night of the Harvest Moon
 and it was a beautiful thing to see as it rose over the ocean.

A few miles down from Carolina Beach is Kure Beach and Fort Fisher, one of my favorite places to visit. I've shared photos of this area before in another post and I always look forward to coming here to this lovely part of the sea shore. It is also quite rich in history as it is the site of a major battle in the Civil War. There is a museum that tells all about it. We have brought the grandsons here many times over the years and they could probably tell you every detail :)

Yes, another selfie :)

So Sunday morning we had a little worship time on the deck before going out to get our feet wet once more before our departure. It had started out cloudy and rainy but soon the sky was blue with white billowy clouds. I recorded this video of us singing a chorus of "How Great Thou Art", a song which always comes to mind when I witness the vastness of the ocean.

We only waded in ankle-deep because the sea was quite rough, but we definitely got what we came for...and a free pedicure to boot! Sand does wonders on those rough heels :)

You know what they say about all good things. It was time to pack up the Jeep and head for home. We had a little more time to visit since her plane didn't fly out until Monday. It was one of the best birthdays I can remember having and I'm so thankful that God blessed our time together.

I'll close by adding these panoramic shots taken from my iphone.
Now that she's got that first flight under her belt, we may just have to make a habit out of this.
Same time next year, Barb???

So now I better get busy and see what everyone's been up to...
...OH...and Happy Fall, Y'all!
Sharing at...

Monday, September 12, 2016

And the winner is...

Yes, that's right.

Two days in a row I was a winner of a couple of giveaways from two different blogging sisters!
First off, sweet Mindy who writes at A Dandelion Diary
had a whole week of fun giveaway items and I won one of them...

...a mini notebook, some colorful calendar clips and fun gel pens.
I always loved getting my new school supplies when I was a kid so I was excited :)
Next, I received an email from Michele over at The Nest at Finch Rest blog.
She was giving away a lovely teacup and creamer set and I threw my hat in the ring.
Funny thing is, I almost forgot I had done so with all that I had going on.
I was thrilled when I received her email telling me I was the winner!

It really is a beautiful set, don't you think?
And I realized when I put it in my cabinet that I had something that matched it...
...well, almost.

Years and years ago, my MIL gave me this vintage china toothpick holder.
If you removed the little violet flowers, it's a perfect match!

Thank you both, Mindy and Michele!!

So anyway, I'm off to the beach in a couple of days.
Did I tell you how excited I am?
You can bet you'll hear (and see) all about it a little later:)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

This and That

Do you ever open up your blog to write a post and nothing comes out?
This has kind of been one of those weeks for's weird.
Oh, it's not that nothing has been going fact, I've been quite busy.
Maybe that alone is the problem.
I've been working on a couple of redo projects for the past couple of weekends
and they both about kicked my butt!
So that's pretty much why I've been neglecting away from blogging this week.
I didn't really want to take the time to blog during the make-overs
so I will just show you a couple of photos...well, maybe more than a couple :)
First up, I painted my already white-washed fireplace bricks to solid white.
I've never been happy with the wall color against the previous paint job.

The original dark brown bricks looked gray after I white-washed them a few years ago
 and I didn't think the two tones went together well.

I like this much better...

...and painting the fireplace was way easier than having to paint the whole room!
By this weekend, I hope to have it all decorated with pumpkins and leaves!
Bring on the fall decor!!
Next on my to-do list was to give a face lift to the hall bathroom.
Now, just so you know, I am still a fan of wallpaper, yes, that's right...
...and this bathroom has had about four different patterns on it in the past 24 years.
So on Labor Day, I was laboring hard, getting this done.

 I heard that wallpaper is making a come-back, although it never really went out of style for me.
GOOD.....that means I'll be on the cutting edge...again!
(hehe....cutting edge....get it???)
I love the look, the feel and even the smell of it.
So off with the old and on with the new!

Actually, I have had this "new" wallpaper in my closet for several years.
I think I paid $2.00 a was in a clearance bin at Lowe's...there were four rolls,
which happened to be just the amount needed to paper this room.
The bathroom is not big but the paper had a 24" pattern repeat...
...that means lots of wasted paper.
Why do they do that??

So here's the finished room...old school and traditional?
Yes, that's me!
And if the Lord is in agreement with our retirement plans,
this will be the last time I ever paper this room as long as I live...
...there is one tiny corner between the sink and the wall that is a bear to get to!

Now I am just trying to decide which lampshade.
This one...

...or this one...both Goodwill finds.
I'm leaning towards the red one...maybe :)
So now that I got these two projects out of the way,
and believe me, there are many more where those came from,
I am counting the hours for next Tuesday to get here.
My sister (next to me in the birth order) from Ohio is flying down...
...her first flight, I might add,
and just the two of us girls will be heading to the beach for a long weekend!
She's coming to help me celebrate my birthday next Thursday.
We've been planning this for nearly a year and just I'm so excited!
That will be another post for another day :)
The weather here has been totally glorious the past several days... in the mornings and evenings and gentle breezes during the day.
As I walked out onto the front porch yesterday morning,
the sun peeking through the woods filtered the light on the ferns in the most beautiful way.

I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots.
The vivid greens will soon be replaced by oranges, reds and golds
It won't be long now.

Let's see...I think that's about it for this week.
Oh more thing...
...I had the joy of getting my long overdue colonoscopy last Friday.

These were waiting on me when I got home :)

What better reason is there to deserve flowers?
Well, I guess that's pretty much it for now.
For someone who didn't have much of anything to say,
I sure said a bunch! :D
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