Monday, September 26, 2011

Dreams....or Nightmares....

Been having crazy dreams the past couple weeks. Apocalyptic dreams.....Nightmares more.
Being both here and home when it all goes down.
Waking up, being needy and clingy.
Hate those crazy, mixed up dreams...nightmares.......
Hate feeling helpless.

(Artist unknown- but BEAUTIFUL!!!!!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Hero....My Dad.

I Remember…

…I remember when my Dad would let me ‘ride’ on the steering wheel of the old truck we had when I was about 1 ½

…I remember when I thought the best thing ever was standing next to my Dad with my arm around his neck as he spun his tires in the sand driveway.

…I remember my Dad taking us to the Shell station on White Horse road and getting to choose any candy we wanted from the HUGE glass display case.

…I remember my Dad taking us camping in the Pisgah Forest in North Carolina and teaching me to fly-fish even though I was only 7 and a girl.

….I remember making my Dad fudge and him smiling as he took it and asking “And what do you want, now?” I also remember him taking the fudge to his office and locking it in his filing cabinet so he didn’t have to share and could enjoy it in peace and quiet.

…I remember my Dad teaching me to drive a manual transmission car. I remember him telling me that when you slow down to make a turn, you shift down. I remember trashing a transmission (trying to get home before curfew) when I shifted down to first gear and popped the clutch going 40mph because Dad assumed I was smart enough to realize you had to be going slow to do that. I also remember him not laughing at me while we towed the car home at 4am

…I remember Dad walking me down the aisle when I got married. He was trembling more than I was. Now I know why.

…I remember Dad helping me rebuild my car when it was totaled a few years back. I had just put close to $2000 in a motor for it the week before and couldn’t afford to buy a new one, even with the coverage from insurance.

…I remember Dad handing me his hanky when I cried from everything from breakups to bad grades to skinned knees.

…I remember Dad always seemed larger than life - He was always my Hero.

My Hero is gone.

On September 24th in 2005 my Dad passed away, losing an eight year battle with Cancer.

I miss him dearly.
I love you always, Daddy.
xoxox Your Sunshine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Couple More Wedding Pics....

A couple more Photos from the Ellison-Halley Wedding on Saturday!!

Anthony & Paul in their Tux. The two most gorgeous men there, in my opinion!!!

The Happy Little Family........Carlie(The Stunning Bride), Anthony(The Debonaire Groom) and The Most Beautiful Princess Maisy.

Sorry, but I still haven't been able to locate a photo of me & Paul to show y'all!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Question For Fitness Experts.....

Okay- I know there has to be some fitness experts out there and I want your opinion please....

I have been losing weight for about a year and and four months now. I've lost a bit over 80 pounds- and STILL have about 80 more to go. Up to now, I've been concentrating on just losing weight- not toning so much. But NOW I'm wanting to start a toning exercise program as well.

I personally believe/think that even tho I still have a LOT of weight to lose- it's better to start the toning program NOW, because it not only helps burn more calories and therefore accelerates the weight loss- but it decreases the amount of time it takes to first LOSE the weight and then Tone up the muscles.

One of my friends says he thinks it's better to lose the weight and THEN do the toning- that it doesn't do any good to tone if the fat is still on you- so I should continue with the weight-loss and then do the toning AFTER I'm MUCH closer to my goal weight.

So, experts- who is closer to the truth???????? And please be honest- if he's closer to the truth it won't bother me in the least....I just want to KNOW, I don't want it to be a "Female Vs. Male" thing.
Thanks for your input!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wedding Weekend.

Well, this weekend hubby and I went to Carlie and Anthony's wedding. It was beautiful. We completely forgot our camera- so I was only able to take a few of hubby(who was Ant's Best man) and Anthony before the ceremony. After we have time to gather some pics from other sources I'll do a full post on it for y'all. But this is what I have for now. Sorry for the quality of the photos.... there was a lot of jostling in the room.

Carlie looked Stunning in her gown. Ant looked Debonaire in his Tux. Maisy looked like a little Princess in her dress and shoes. And my Hubby looked Yummy, as Always, no matter what he's dressed in.
It was a BEAUTIFUL wedding. Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Halley!!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I've been thinking back....and I've known some people that could suck the fun out of ANYTHING.....even the simplest, most basic things in life.

Let's just call them Hoover.


Monday, September 12, 2011

A Prayer....

Lord, bless each of my gardening friends
who share their crops with me.
Their veggies help me dress my salad
oh, so colorfully!
I love the fresh green peppers
and tomatoes, firm and red.
Lord, bless their homes, their hands, their hearts
for keeping me well-fed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

About THAT Time of Year.....

Around this time every year, my kids start watching the weather every night for the 7-Day Forecast. And they start reminding me that it's getting close to time for the First Frost of the Year.
You see, the weekend after the "First Frost" we have a tradition of the family coming down to our house and me making a HUGE stockpot of homemade chili for all of us. It's always the same menu...

Topped with Grated Cheese and onions.
Served with Cornbread and/or corn-chips.
Lots of sweet tea and cola to wash it down with.

This year I'm passing my recipe down to my family so they can continue the tradition.
I look forward to our First-Frost Chili Get-Together almost as much as I do our Christmases together.

Vada’s First Frost Chili
• 2 pounds ground beef
• 1/2 onion, chopped
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
• 2 smaller cans tomato sauce
• 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
• 1 pkg chili seasoning mix (OR 4 teaspoons chili seasoning and one tablespoon masa flour)
• 2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and kidney beans. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.
Top with lots of grated cheese and serve with cornbread or corn-chips.

Keep the tradition alive, yall. I'll be there in Spirit. xxx

PS- Don't forget the bonfire and the stuff to make S'Mores for dessert!!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Six Month-aversary.......

Well, Today marks the six month mark of our arrival in the UK.

It's been an adventure to say the least and not at all what I had expected, which is neither good nor bad- just different.

It's lovely country here. Everything is so green and lush. I'm still having a problem understanding the local accents, mainly because I'm not out and about nearly enough to begin getting used to them. That will change shortly. The family's accents I can understand- well, apart from Uncle Jim, who has a very thick Scouse (Liverpool) accent.
Of all the family, I understand my Sister-in-law, Marina, the easiest. And she's a Scots lass. I love to listen to her accent. :-)

I've done well with my weight loss here- which I totally didn't expect. I thought for sure I would be doing a LOT of emotional eating the first few months we were here and regain at least 20 pounds or so. But instead I've been losing steadily- until the past few weeks when I've been having some female issues along with the weather turning a bit nasty and it pissing it down quite a lot and so I haven't been walking nearly as much. To make up for it tho, I HAVE been making extra trips up and down the stairs every day to try and make up for it.
I weighed for the first time in about two months and much to my surprise and delight, I've only gained three pounds since my last weigh in. That's after the not walking and the week holiday last week! So beginning Monday- I'm going to just get back to being serious about my diet and exercise regime again. Cut way down on the sugars and starches, and start back walking again every day. And with the exception of Ant & Carlie's wedding next weekend, I can keep it up til Christmas. Then I'll re-evaluate, and adjust as needed to get the rest of my weight off. I'm shooting for my birthday as my goal...but failing that- I can adjust it to our anniversary on May 15th. Our 8th!!!

The food.....Well, My tummy is way better now- thanks to slight adjustments in food and being able to afford my medication so there's no gaps in my taking them. Before, in the states I had to choose between having money for food and gas to get to work and buying my $200 meds for my tummy. Not to mention my $300 blood pressure meds and anything else I/we needed. Remember, Paul was on Diabetes meds, too.God bless the medical system over here. You have no idea how wonderful it is to be able to go to the doctor or hospital and have your problems seen to and not walk out worrying how the hell you're going to pay for it and the basic essentials of life too.

Food.....Nothing really tastes the same. Potatoes, coffee, milk, butter, water- everything tastes very different from home's. Especially bread. You have no idea how much sweeter bread is in the States. Bread here- tastes like you THINK bread should taste. There is practically NO sugar added to bread over here. I made some yeast rolls a few weeks ago-(Jordan Rolls from the Southern Plate website) and compared to the rolls we have been eating from the shops- they tasted like dessert. Seriously. Even their desserts have less sugar in them than in the States. And I'm REALLY beginning to like it a LOT.

My MIL, Joan, makes sure there's loads of veggies and fruits in the house all the time too. Bless her.

What have I NOT gotten used to?

Not being able to drive. It's flippin' killing me, altho I have to admit that I LOVE Paul driving me around. It's just occasionally, I would like the OPTION of doing it myself.
Soon. Soon.
I've gotten totally used to the riding on the "wrong" side of the road. Occasionally, if I'm distracted and I look up I will "jump" before I realize that I'm in England and being in the "wrong" lane is "right" here. I think more than the wrong side of the road, my biggest problem has been sitting on the left side of the car and not having a steering wheel and pedals in front of me. Not being "in control" of the car.

Yeah, I'm dealing with control issues. Not a surprise to those people who know me back home.
Also a problem for me is not knowing where anything is in my area. I have to ask about EVERYTHING. Where is this place...where is that place....can I walk there or is it a drive thing...or is it too far to drive on a daily basis. These little details are what is driving me crazy and giving me the most problems.

The jobs we thought we had lined up- haven't come thru yet. So while we're waiting, we have started looking for other options. And I'm STILL waiting for my former employers to send me my credentials so I can figure out what I need to get into security or law enforcement here. Without those credentials, tho, it's gonna cost me dearly to get re-certified here, so maybe a change in careers will be in my future.
I have faith that whatever is supposed to happen, will happen when the time is right.

I haven't gotten used to not having my family and friends near me. It seems I'm more of a social person than I thought. I crave the stimulation of chats with my family and friends. I'm as curious as a cat- and I'm not comfortable yet with talking with my new in-laws about things I talked with my peeps at home about. I do adore my in-laws and I think eventually, we will be great friends as well....but I realize that gaining that kind of trust takes time. well, I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, so let the getting to know each other begin. Someday, when I get a job and get to get out in the world over here, I'll begin making some more friends.
And you know how I feel about that- you can NEVER have enough trusted Family or Friends.

All in all, It's been a Grand adventure, and it's just beginning. Thank y'all for being here for me. For listening to my highs, and lows, for giving me encouragement and advice, and occasionally, a shoulder to cry on. You have no idea how much it's meant to me!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Food For Thought....

No this isn't gonna be a philosophical post.

It's about cabinets Vs. a Pantry.

I am a pantry kinda girl. I would LOVE to have a huge(or even not so huge) walk in pantry where all my foodstuffs are out on shelves where I can see it all at a glance. And a place for all the special occasion or extra dishes and all the small appliances that you use on a fairly regular basis- but not often enough (nor have room) to have out every day.

My parents old house in Easley had a tiny galley kitchen in it that had a open peninsula bar that opened into the dining-room. In between the kitchen and the living-room was a lovely little pantry where we kept all our boxed and canned food.

It was lovely. (It was also a lovely place to put annoying little siblings when they were being deliberately, especially, annoying....Yeah- we got punished for putting them in there- but for the 5 minutes of peace you got when you did it-not to mention the way they avoided you for the rest of the was well worth it. Heh.)

I just LOVE a pantry- it makes me feel like a kitchen queen surveying my kingdom.

Sigh....I need a life. LMBO!!!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Dinner With Anthony & Carlie

Sunday Tea

Herbed Chicken Breast Fillet
Ranch Potatoes
Southern Green Beans
Glazed Carrots
Dinner Rolls

No-Butter Chocolate Cake with Mocha-Nut Glaze

Sweet Southern Iced Tea