Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - The Year In Review


We started the year in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a good start to what turned out to be an extraordinarily long year.

It as still Christmas at the Opryland Hotel...

People were partying on the streets of Nashville on New Year's eve...

I had a wonderful visit with my sister and her family.

When I got home, daughter #1 told us she was moving out...again. Happy New Year!!!!


With daughter #1 and her cat gone, life settled down to a nice routine.

The cold weather kept me inside, so I cooked....

Breakfast Casserole...

Potato Pancakes from the Loveless Cafe Cookbook (sorry, only thing that ever turned out!!!)

Eggs Benedict...poached eggs after decades of fried.....

Okay, so not an ephiany month. That's what you get when you make no New Year's resolutions.....


My youngest child turned 16 years old...

I visited North Carolina,because my mom broke her leg. Their springtime is much earlier than where I live. It snowed back home while I was there.

Nephew Aaden turned two years old while I was there...

Daughter #1 moved back home...with her cat...


We took a trip to North Carolina for Spring Break, which coincided with Easter.

Sunrise service at the Atlantic Ocean on Easter Sunday...It was early, but it was beautiful.

On the way home, we stopped to visit my mom, who was in a rehabilitation center. Her cast was hot pink!!


Forgoing our usual trip to Myrtle Beach on Mother's Day, I opted to stay home and try to score some presents. This year was a homerun. I got a Kindle. It it definately one of my top 3 gifts of all time (not including my children). I absolutely love it, and believe everyone should own one.

My sister Becky and her family came for a visit. It was so wonderful to have them here! We toured Washington, D.C...

And Williamsburg, Virginia. It was such a fun time!

I also planted my very first square foot garden! I did two boxes on the deck...

And one big squash patch in the yard...

That one didn't work out too well (too much shade). I moved it to the deck and they were still was a flop. A squash borer got to the plants and it was game over...

Daughter #1 and her cat moved again...thank goodness Bill has a truck with an 8ft bed.


We headed back to Myrtle Beach for two weeks.

It's actually amazing we could smile in the picture above. We had just discovered that the camper had been delaminating. That happens when water gets under the lamination and causes extreme damage to the walls and roof. So we had to bring the Rolling Turd home with us.

As usual it only took a dozen hours to get home from Myrtle Beach, with Bill only stopping every couple of hours to squirt grease on the axle bearings to keep the wheels rolling.

Daughter #3 moved back home...she and daughter #1 practically bumped into each other as they were moving in/out of the house.


The only thing that really mattered this month was the passing of my mother. It has been very hard, and she is dearly missed.

Janice Lee Bulmer: July 23, 1938 - July 22, 2011


With the help of our RV Dealer (sort of like a drug dealer; you must go back to them if you want a fix), The Forest River Company agreed to fix our RV. They replaced both sidewalls, the roof, and both axles. All that caulking on windows and roof that Bill did over the years were for naught...wash and caulk baby, on beautiful beach days...again.

Hurricane Irene hit our area. She broke trees and caused some flooding. She also caused alot of leaves to land in my happy place...

Daughter #1 and her cat moved again, but not back home this time.


Right after Hurricane Irene, (in the same week, I believe), we had an earthquake that damaged our Nation's Capital. We then had what seemed like 40 days and nights of rain. The flooding caused so much damage it closed schools for a week, and washed out roads. The kids were thrilled about the school closings, till they discovered they'd lost all their half-days and days off till Thanksgiving.


My friend Nadine lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She flew me out (first class!!) for a two week stay with her. We then took a one week road trip by car. It is a breathtakingly beautiful country!


Bill's brother Robert died on November 10, 2011. He was only 49 years old and died in his sleep from Heart Disease. So sad....

Bill and his brother Robert and his highschool graduation.

We went back to Myrtle Beach for Thanksgiving. It was great to skip the holiday this year, since neither one of us was in the holiday mood.

We left the Rolling Turd at home so Bill could have some peace.

Daughter #1 moved back home...with two cats.


The last month of the year always brings the excitement of Christmas with it. This year the excitement wasn't quite there, but we still had a nice holiday. The family was all together as we opened up gifts on Christmas Day.

We always begin with the reading of God's Word.

I'm so thankful we once again have a small child in the house at Christmas. They bring such joy to gift opening!

Bill's joy at his gift was so 27 seconds ago.


So the sun has now set on another year. One filled with happy times and very sad times. God has been faithful to bless us and comfort us during both the good and bad days. May He, who grants all things, be pleased to give us all joy, peace, strength and mercy, in the coming year.

Oh...and Daughter #1 and her two cats have moved out...again!! With all that commotion, she got straight A's on all her courses she is taking for her Master's in Education!!

Cassidy will now, as Tiny Tim once did, will leave us with this: God Bless Us Everyone!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This Past Week At My House

I'm actually a little late writing this, but I'm sure I won't lose any brownie points because of it. We took our annual trek to Williamsburg, Virgina for their Grand Illumination. The weather this year was wonderful. It was very mild outside. We once again toured Busch Garden's Christmas Town.

Carollers greet you in the center square when you first arrive.

This year we made it to the North Pole and saw the live penguins.

The most spectacular light display I saw was this one. It is their log ride in the summer. Now it is decorated with thousands of lights, and so beautiful.

This is the water the logs float on during warm weather, now a lake of lights...

We saw several shows, and they were all spectacularly performed.

Williamsburg was very crowded this year. I imagine the mild weather brought the crowds out. It was hard to walk around, because of all the people. But the fireworks were really grand....

We ended the evening enjoying dinner with our travelling companions, Barry and Sonia.

We went to General Smallwood's house this past Sunday. I just love decorated windowsills, illuminated with candlelight.

Here is an elaborate table centerpiece made with live greenery and fruit. The place setting is simple though, compared to today's tablescapes.

Their forks were only two-tined, which would feel strange to eat with now.

I am not a fan of the green oranges used this year for decorations. They looked moldy to me, but are called osage oranges and are native to certain areas around here.

This is a nice mantle decorated with candles and greenery and fruit. Such creativity is used to decorate this house every year for Christmas. It is always very welcoming and festive.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Queen Cat Meets The Outsider Cat


It has been quite awhile since I've written a blog post. Things in my territory have been going smoothly. Then, as it happens, my life changed without my permission. Pull up a chair, put your Noncat feet up, and let me tell you a story about a feline I like to refer to as "The Outsider Cat."

Now, this particular feline reminds me of myself. I was an outside feral cat in my youth, before I became The Queen Cat of this Noncat Territory. I first spotted this feline outside my territory last summer.

She was a scrawny little thing. I didn't worry too much about her as long as she didn't cross into my inside territory. She was soon taken away by a Noncat and I thought that was the end of that kitty-cat story....

But the other day as I was patrolling my territory, I saw something out of the ordinary.... and those ears do not belong to a Noncat....believe me, I know.

I went on "Full-Alert" ready for battle if needed..

Who had invaded my territory? It was The Outsider Cat!

I flexed my claws, and showed her the full might of my imposing strength, expecting her to tuck tail and run. (It looked much more impressive in person. Think of the Praying Mantis from The Karate Kid, only in feline form)

The Outsider Cat did not run. Had I finally found a cat that was worthy of my attention? I told her to lie down and show me her belly so I would know she was submissive to me. She quickly complied with my request.

Having not met a feline that was worthy of my time, I decided to give her a few basic commands to see if she was truly understanding that I was in control. She followed them willing.

"Queen Cat says, hug and kiss the wooden post."

"Queen Cat says, THINK FAST."

"Queen Cat says, smile pretty."

"Hmmm, The Queen Cat may just smile pretty too. Next I will give her lessons on eating like a Queen Cat and see how she does. I just may have found a feline that is worthy of my time."

Until then, I shall watch her every move. The Queen Cat does not trust automatically. It shall be earned...slowly, oh so slowly.

To Be Continued........