Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions

I received an email from my SIL earlier in the week. It contained the following:



HANDBOOK 2010

(origin unknown)


HEALTH

-Drink plenty of water.

-Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

-Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants, and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

-Live with the 3 E's --- Energy. Enthusiasm. Empathy.

-Make time to pray.

-Play more games.

-Read more books than you did in 2009.

-Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

-Sleep for 7 hours.

-Take a 10 to 30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile!


PERSONALITY

-Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

-Don't have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.

-Don't over do it. Keep your limits.

-Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

-Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.

-Dream more while you are awake.

-Envy is a waste of time. You already have all that you need.

-Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.

-Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.

-Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

-No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

-Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply a part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like the algebra class.

-Smile and laugh more.

-You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


SOCIETY

-Call your family often.

-Each day, give something good to others.

-Forgive everyone for everything.

-Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

-Try to make at least three people smile each day.

-What other people think of you is none of your business.

-Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


LIFE

-Do the right thing!

-Get rid of anything that is not useful, beautiful or joyful.

-God heals everything.

-However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

-No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

-The best is yet to come.

-When you awake alive in the morning, thank God for it.

-Your innermost is always happy. So, be happy!


And finally,


ADVICE FROM BHE

-Hug the ones you love. Make peace with the ones you don't. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.





HAPPY NEW YEAR!



Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh, The Weather...

Well-endowed snow woman courtesy of Snow White. Circa 2009.

Looks like we are in for a snowy weekend.
My Christmas shopping is FAR from complete.
Did I mention that I am not a fan of snow?
I'm also not a fan of grocery shopping,
but I've made my list:

Wine
Snow Snacks
Wine
Ginger Ale
Wine

Most people stock up on milk and bread.
I have those at home already.
Is it June yet?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The First Of The Lasts

Last night was the last high school Christmas Concert in which Snow White will perform. It's the first of many "lasts" in her high school singing career. District Chorus, perhaps State Chorus **crosses fingers**, Show Choir Competitions, the Festival of Choirs and the Spring Concert are all on the horizon. It would be impossible to calculate the number of hours that child has devoted to the Choral Program in the past four years.....not to mention every year since fourth grade!!

The Christmas Concert, or Winter Concert, as it is now called, was beautiful. It always is. There is a Freshman Choir, a Jazz Choir, a Men's Choir, a Women's Chamber Choir, a Mixed Chamber Choir and a Women's Show Choir. The songs run the gamut from traditional Christian songs and Negro Spirituals, to German Folk Songs....which are, of course, sung in German!

The Mixed Chamber Choir performed a Hebrew song last night that brought the house down! The song is entitled Bashanah Haba'ah. The Choral Director was kind enough to include the translation in the program, and the lyrics are as follows:

Next Year

Next Year
we will sit on the porch
and count the migrating birds.
Children on vacation
will play tag
between the house and the fields.
You will see, you will see
how good it will be
next year.

Sounds perfect to me!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Menagerie

Animals, wild and domesticated, play a major role in life at Casa de Envy. The cooler temperatures discourage outdoor activities, and we find our pets spending more time indoors. Snuggling. We also find our wild "pets" foraging with a sense of urgency. Their groups become larger, and their pace quickens. It may have something to do with hunting season. It may also have something to do with finding a warm place to sleep before it gets dark at 3:00 p.m..



This year, my kitty has decided that the Christmas tree bores her. She would much rather sit on the window sill and watch for birds and visitors. I'm hopeful that all of the ornaments will make it through the season intact.







This is usually about the time of day that the deer venture into the field. When dusk arrives, they seem to move around a bit more. I'm alright with that, as long as they stay out of the road when I'm driving by!





I found this little guy asleep on my porch early Sunday morning. Poor thing! It was pouring down rain, and he couldn't find his owner. I went outside and fed him, called his owner to let him know where Buddy was, and let my dog out to play with him for a bit. While waiting for his owner to arrive, Buddy curled back up on that soft cushion and slept a bit longer:)



Our cat has been taking over our dog's bed for a couple of months now. Once in a while, he is able to get in there first and prevent her from inhabiting his space. Once in a while, she doesn't care if he's in there or not.....she's going to snuggle in right alongside him!!!






It's a good thing that our pets provide so much entertainment. Snow White will be off to college in less than a year, and the animals will be all we have left to comfort us in our time of grief keep us occupied.


Are you an animal lover?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Retraction

It has come to my attention that the abduction I blogged about a few days ago is being investigated as a false report. While I am THRILLED that there is not a psycho in our midst, I am saddened that a young woman with such promise would resort to something like this. So many questions, so few answers.

Please continue to keep this family in your prayers.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Abduction

I've been trying to decide whether or not to post this, and I've decided that it's too important to let it go untold. While I have grown accustomed to seeing news reports about children being abducted, I never think about the possibility that it could happen close to home. Those stories always seem so far removed from my daily life that I tend to gloss over them. It's easier that way, isn't it?

When Snow White was very small she used to wander off from time to time. I remember telling her once that she HAD to stay with me or a bad person would take her away and hurt her. She was scared, and from that point on she held my hand when we were out in public. As she has gotten older, I have continued to remind her of the dangers that may be lurking. I've gotten the obligatory teenage eye-roll more than once for reminding her for the hundredth time that she should never go to the mall alone, or that she should park in a well-lit area after dark. You get the idea.

I received a phone call from Snow White yesterday morning. She was crying, and bordering on hysteria. She had just been informed that one of her childhood friends had been abducted the night before. In an instant, all of my warnings became a horrible reality for my daughter.

To make matters worse, her friend was abducted from her own church parking lot. Yes, you read that correctly. The psycho took her from a CHURCH PARKING LOT!! I recognize the fact that we live in a mad, mad world right now, but I cannot fathom NOT feeling safe at church. Are we really that far gone?

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Snow White's friend is home safe. I'm not so sure about the sound part. Time will tell. Thank the good Lord she did not end up a mere statistic.

Despite the outcome, I have had cold chills ever since I received that call. We can't always be there to protect our children, but we CAN teach them to be more cautious. After a LONG conversation last night, I believe that my daughter will now be a lot more attentive to her surroundings. We also plan to take a self-defense class the next time it's offered at our gym.

PLEASE talk to your children over and over and over and over about stranger danger and about paying attention to their surroundings at ALL TIMES! Make this your topic of conversation over dinner tonight. I don't care how old we are, we can always use a gentle reminder to be careful out there in that cold, cruel world.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving de Envy

We started off with a nice hail storm.







Then family and friends arrived.



Photo by Chesapeake Bay Woman





After dinner, the shooting began. Cool Breeze supervised.


Photo by Chesapeake Bay Woman





The cleanup took a while.






Despite all of the mayhem, these bloggers managed to spend some quality time together. Wait. Perhaps they CAUSED the mayhem. Either way, a good time was had by all!





Thanks to thoughtful friends, my enjoyment has continued well into this week.



From CBW


From Noe Noe Girl


We plan to do it again next year;)


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving!



My family will be coming over Friday to celebrate. I enjoy being in charge of the turkey. This year, I am going to brine the bird and stuff it before cooking. I got the idea last weekend when I was spending too much time watching the food network. The Neelys inspired me! I will use their brine recipe, and then stuff Big Bertha with onions, garlic, apples, celery, oranges, lemons and an assortment of fresh herbs. I'm also experimenting with an oven roasting bag. Switching it up so drastically for such a big event may indicate that I am psychotic. Please pray that it's edible!!!
What are YOUR Thanksgiving plans? What are your secrets for cooking the perfect turkey? What's your signature dish?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Whirlwind

When I was a little girl, I couldn't WAIT to grow up! Grandma would gently remind me that it would happen soon enough. "Don't wish your life away," she'd advise. I was confident that she had no idea what she was talking about. What I failed to realize was how much faster the earth rotates on its axis once you hit old age your forties. Grandma knew that there are never enough hours in the day to process all of the whining and complaining tend to all that needs tending. Work, home, and family pull you in more directions than you ever thought possible, leaving you a rumpled mess at the end of the day.

Enter - THE HOLIDAY SEASON. The time of year that strikes fear in the hearts of mothers, and leaves small children with unrealistic expectations. Or, is it the other way around?

Those of you who have read my blog for any length of time are aware that the holidays changed for me once my grandmother went on to a better place. Last year was the year of firsts. First Thanksgiving and first Christmas without our beloved Grandma. We started new traditions, and muddled through the best we could. In retrospect, it wasn't bad, just different.

The main thing that changed last year was the pace. The whirlwind of holiday activity slowed a bit, as we focused more on family and food than commercialism. Spending precious time together became more important than exchanging gifts. I'd like to continue that this year. We are all watching our pennies more closely, and this may prove to be a popular plan with the extended family. The added benefit will be the stress reduction. Prepare your favorite dish, and come on over! Simple. Perfect.

We have a house FULL of relatives and friends who will be joining us next Friday for our "Day After" Thanksgiving Feast - Year Two. Our home, although crowded, will be filled with good food, laughter and stories of years past. I know Grandma would be pleased:)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oyster Festival Rewind - Friday

Mullets. Bands. Bike Cops. Firemen's Parade. Cowboy Hats. Laughter. Bloggers. Little Miss Spat. Meat Wagon. Oysters. Family. Friends. Wine. Red Boots.




Firemen's Parade

Notice the porta-potties (on the right) and the moon (top left).



Sirens. WHAT?



One of my favorite places to visit!




Meat Wagon Cupholder.


The beginning of a fun-filled weekend of women behaving badly !

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kindness

It's dark when I get up in the morning, and it's dark when I get home from work. It's been raining for two days, and all signs point to two more days of the blasted stuff. Along with flooding, downed trees and possible loss of power. The beautiful weather we experienced last weekend is a distant memory.
My cat is in a state of weather denial. She's a "stick your head in the sand" kind of gal!!



I'm fortunate to have some amazing friends whose random acts of kindness always get me through the storms. Krissa over at Halfasstic sent me this cute wall hanging. I'd better stock up on Aqua Net and buy a new teasing comb!!
Another friend stopped by the office today and brought this homemade apple pie. I'm going to stop on the way home and pick up some vanilla ice cream to go along with it. Jealous?

I am very thankful for the kindness of friends. They always seem to be there when you need them most.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Favorite Veteran


Photo borrowed from this site.



I call him every year to wish him a Happy Veteran's Day. This year, I decided to thank him publicly.


"Grandaddy" , thank you for serving our country in Vietnam. I cannot imagine the horrors you must have endured.


You are my hero!





Friday, November 6, 2009

Oyster Festival

Picture borrowed from this site.



It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since I posted this, this, this and this about the Urbanna Oyster Festival. Where does the time go?



Well, believe it or not, it's that time again. I'm confident that I will return with a weeks worth of posts that are sure to make you laugh! Go over to Chesapeake Bay Woman's site to find out who is attending this year......you may know some of those crazy ladies;) My family will also be there in full force. They ALWAYS make me laugh......in a good way, of course!



As usual, I am rushing to try to get everything done before I have to leave. I still need to finish laundry, pack, get a cooler together and dig out lawn chairs and gloves. Did I mention that I'm at work right now? Nothing like waiting until the last minute...GAH!



Have a good weekend, and enjoy the eye candy I'm sending your way today;)




Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Birds Of A Feather...Or Not



For a couple of weeks now, Cool Breeze has been telling me that there is an albino turkey living in our woods. I got my first glimpse Saturday morning. It's always exciting to see a large group of turkeys in the field, but the albino added a whole new dimension. A bright spot in an otherwise dreary weekend.


What was the bright spot in YOUR weekend?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Greetings


Have a safe and happy Halloween weekend!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Adventures In Chocolate

Cool Breeze and I have been discussing the fact that our daughter will be attending college in less than a year. We are painfully aware that there has not been nearly enough money set aside for the next phase of Snow White's life. The money tree out back died, and I had to come up with another way to boost the college fund. Enter Grandma J!

Grandma J hosted a giveaway on her blog. The prize? Dove Chocolate. Somewhere in the post, she mentioned that her daughter was a Chocolatier with Dove Chocolate Discoveries. She hosts chocolate tasting parties, and sells Dove products that are only available through these parties. Having been in direct sales before, I recognized a great opportunity when I saw it!

After several weeks of researching the company, trying to decide if I wanted to get back into direct sales or not and discussing the business opportunity with Cool Breeze, I signed up. The products had gotten a big "thumbs up" from Noe Noe Girl, whose husband was the prize winner, and I couldn't imagine a more FUN line of items to market!

Actually, the word "FUN" does not even begin to describe it. Once I received my kit, I started melting, dipping, tasting and creating! My whole family has gotten in on the act. In fact, I had my first tasting party over the weekend, and I couldn't have done it all without Cool Breeze and Snow White. They are my taste-testers, helpers and providers of support:)

I'm not sure where this new road will lead, but I'm looking forward to the journey.

Chocolate, anyone?

Friday, October 23, 2009

State Fair

The Virginia State Fair is VERY popular with the Envy Family. Snow White was a mere seven months old when she attended her first fair. She won a prize for being the best "Pig Rooter" at the Pig Races, and has been hooked ever since!


2009 brought big changes to our beloved fair. A new venue, a new layout, and many new fried foods!


Meadow Farm, former home of Triple Crown Winner Secretariat, is now Meadow Farm Event Park. The new venue is spacious and CLEAN! Well, except for some of the folks working the Midway.










Main Stage entertainment included Blue Grass, Magic and a little Rock 'n Roll.


Secretariat was honored throughout the park, especially in the Farm Area.










These little guys were SO much fun to watch!




No State Fair would be complete without freakishly large fruits and vegetables.






Snow White has ALWAYS loved this singing pig! He appeared to be happy to see her again this year;)



These guys were downright CRAZY!



I found this amusing. Draw your own conclusions.


Billy Goats Gruff? He stood so still that we weren't sure he was real. Then he jumped down and started bossing the other goats around!



I was having an off night, and LOST at Whac-a-Mole. First time EVER!



The night wouldn't have been complete without a trip to our favorite food vendor....Porky's! This is a BBQ Parfait....BBQ, Sauce and Mashed Potatoes. YUM:)



And for dessert? Fried green beans, of course.




Can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Homecoming '09

The Homecoming festivities were held at Small Town USA High School this past weekend. Although we lost the football game, Snow White (far right) and her friends never let their school spirit wane.



The night of the dance, SW and her friends posed for a few photos before heading out to meet their dates. They take Homecoming VERY seriously in these parts!




There is always one mom in every crowd who can rally the teenagers long enough to snap a few group shots. Thank goodness for those moms! I had a hard enough time getting SW corralled for the couples shots:/


**sigh** SO beautiful!


There's nothing better than kids in dress up clothes:)


It made me sad to think that this was the last high school Homecoming that my daughter would attend. However, I felt much better when I realized that no matter how old she gets, she will still love her Mama!!