Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Banjo got to come in for a very rare visit this morning. He swears he heard Santa. Merry Christmas everyone...we are opening gifts, having blueberry pancakes and then to church. It's lunch with the Brendles and supper with Mary and her family.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Reindeer Nutter Butters

Fun. Something for Santas reindeer

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

Go Postal loves to be outside, before we were married he would be outside mowing, working on a car etc right until it got black dark in the summer.  With the new barn, he can at least go out and feel productive in the winter now.....he changed the oil last night in his mail car right up until 10pm.  But today is Winter look up DH we have a little bit more daylight every day going forward now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twig Box

Mt friend Pat L saw these somewhere and asked her son to replicate. He used old pickets and it is perfect for the cabin. I just went out and snipped some nandina to mix in with some evergreen. Instant and free Christmas decor!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I love going to the Stevens Center and look at the good company I had. We started off the evening with a pizza from the Mellow Mushroom so it doesn't get much better. Buddy thought he was being dragged to a meeting with his took him a minute to figure out the surprise even after she handed him the tickets. He just thought he had been assigned M24 at the meeting. He had asked to go see the Nutcracker again this year but was told we couldn't fit it in the schedule. Glad we did.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fun Saturday in December

It started walking the Mistletoe 5k with Tree, a half price massage thanks to Living Social, my first flash mob (Robert Moody showed up at the piano in Belks and the store erupted into the Hallelujah chorus), then our work Christmas party at Hanover Park winery.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Getting the cabin ready!

Go Postal brought the Christmas Tree in last night (sadly we don't have room for a real one so decided to use pencil tree I had bought the last year at my house).  Got down the lovely Santa we were made as a wedding gift...he stands about 2 feet high and his coat is made from an old velet and silk crazy quilt (we will just hope that there was a terrible hole in the quilt and this is a great way of preserving some of it). Out came the quilted tree skirt, our quilted stockings and a small quilt draped over the trunk that serves as our coffee table.

The cabin is looking ready for Christmas, now it needs to smell like Christmas....maybe we can cut some pine branches for the mantle and get to baking some spice cookies.  We alwys made these candy cane cookies too, but closer to Christmas so Santa can be left some.

What is your favorite Christma Cookie?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bad Mood Morning

I just woke up in a bad mood this morning.  GP and I don't see eye to eye on our current transportation situation (9 vehicles and not one under 150,000 miles), I have been out of town so much that there is a list of chores a mile long, and I read a few emails before getting out of bed that set me off (not sure reading my messages before I get my first cup of coffee is a good idea).  I was running late, didn't have the right keys with me when I got to the barn....but paused, to hear the most amazing tune from the wind chimes.  Usually these chimes will strike one or two notes at a time and have a very clear sound...but today it was a symphony.  I looked around and thought there wasn't even much of a breeze stirring...then thought is this God/Mom telling me to take a moment and remember every thing I have to be thankful for?  It worked....much better mood now.  Having a great day at work and listening to a little Christmas music over my laptop.  Love this time of year, and I don't want to waste even one hour feeling like this guy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This years Brenner Tree

Thanks to the "Emy, Gina, and Peggy" elves that helped me get our quilt guilds entry all done tonight. And thanks to Anthony, Alden, and Fletcher who got all our wire cut to size. The owls are ready to greet the crowds at this weekend's festival of trees.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What's missing?

About a mile and a half into our ride I tried to shift to an easier gear and heard a Zing......there went the chain! Got to get it fixed quick so we can bike the lights on Friday

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Whoo is ready for Christmas

These guys will be going on the Brenners Festival of Trees entry for our quilt guild next week. And we are just two weeks from hard to believe 🍂

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coffee Woes

Right after I lost my job with Hanes I had a great idea, I needed to soften some butter quickly for baking and thought, the top of the Bunn coffee maker is nice and warm...well needless to say, too warm and melted butter went all down into the water chamber.  After running countless pots of vinegar through it I saw I was never going to get the rancid butter scum out of my coffee.  So, I swallowed hard and paid a ridiculous amount of money for a new one with a great caraffe (made more difficult by the financial predicament I was in).  I justified it by how quickly it would pay for itself if it kept me from buying the $3.50 Latte I was used to while working.  This model will keep coffee hot for GP can make coffee at 5am and its is still great at 7ish when I am ready for my first cup.  But alas, our machine is leaking and the good news is they will send us a new one...the bad, is I now live miles from the nearest McDonalds and we won't even discuss how far I am from Starbucks.  Luckily I am headed to quilting retreat this weekend so won't have to go without.....poor Go Postal, its instant for him.  I have packed up 6 different projects and plan to make a monster effor to finish most!  Pictures when I return!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Yadkin version of American Gothic by Grant Wood.  GP has more hair thankfully than the original.  Mom made me this dress in 1986 I think, at least I could still button it although it was much looser back then.  It was all the rage to wear a dress like this with our Justin Ropers back then.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Finally made the switch....

OK, my pink blackberry that has served me well was slowly dying.  So before I lost everything I decided to do some research.  Everything pointed to either an iphone or droid.  I have to admit, my first computer was an apple and with the recent passing of Steve Jobs this may have made me a little sentimental about having another apple in my life.  I went to Verizon fully expecting to have to order one...but they had two in stock, if I was willing to get the 32Mb version in white.  The white is cool, not everyone has one and GP gave me my first ipod in white.  I will need some time to get used to typing on the screen, it works with the heat from your using your fingernails or a pencil etc.  But.....the camera can shoot from both sides, will make 1080p HD video, and has a flash that can be used as a flashlight (that was the first app I bought for .99, so when I have to get into the cabin at night I should be able to fend off any wild animals!)  And it is set up to work anywhere in the world, so in about a year we can use it to send photos/videos back from China!

Once I get comfortable using it, it will replace my ipod, my phone, my gps...and I can but a latte at Starbucks with their app.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stitching Generations Show Opens Tomorrow!

The opening reception is Friday from 6-7 at the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center.  This will be in conjunction with Arts on Main, they shut down the street...have a few wine if you want!  Come by and say Hi, Go Postal and I should be there until at least 9pm.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stone Mt Sunday

We had an afternoon church service up at Stone Mt yesterday....along with homeade ice cream and desserts.  We started hiking about 4:30 and went about 3.5 miles total.  Here are the boys at the Summit!

Buddy used my camera to take these next two...he is getting pretty good at framing out a picture don't you think....

What a beautiful Fall day, here is the whole crew taking a break at the top!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Two Bucks and a Football Player

I was greeted by these two guys this morning when I cam down the cabin stairs, the actually they startled me because they were almost on the front porch!  The acorns are falling like crazy and they like to eat them!  It sounds like a gun going off sometimes when one hits the tin on the new barn.  This isn't too great of a picture because it was taken on my blackberry and through the glass on the front door.

And here is our football player (#74), he isn't getting a lot of playing time because he isn't very aggressive.  After a lifetime of telling a child "don't hit" I am not sure he gets its ok in this game....
He had just listened to his Dad tell him that he was going to have to show more to the coaches in games before he got to play more, when he turned to me and said "I can't believe I got a blue ribbon at the fair"  Maybe he is meant to be an enginner and not an athlete...and thats ok too.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Next Quilt Show at YAC

The curator at the Yadkin Cultural Arts center called in a  panic...I need  a photo for the next quilt show.  Well I don't have any quilts collected yet, but thought I would hang Chocolate Chickens beside my Mom's Drunkards path (The theme is "Stitching Generations Together").  I was due in WS to meet my bee, and the qult stand was not cooperating with the slope of the Go Postal just drove a couple nails into the old pack house.  We tried to get Banjo to "pose" maybe peeking out the holde in the foundation, but once he drew blood I gave up on that idea.

The show will open Friday October 22nd, and I can't wait to see the quilts and write the stories behind them!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend in the Mountains

Randy and Barbara gave us a night in a B&B up in Blowing Rock as a wedding gift and we were able to "redeem" that gift with them this weekend.  We dodged the rain and were able to hike from the Cone estate on the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Bass lake (you can see in the distance) and back.  It was a great time.

We then headed over to The River House just outside of Jefferson to spend Sunday night.  I had bought a Groupon to stay there and we were so impressed.  We didn't stay near the main house (which has a great restaurant and a wonderful front porch full of rocking chairs).  We stayed in the farm's original Chicken House.  It was unbelievable insde.  Long and skinny it has room for a King size bed, gas fireplace (with hen nesting boxes as a mantle), a jacuzzi tub right in the middle of the floor, and matching bathrooms with pocket doors complete with bidets (which I am sure I have spelled wrong and do not know how to operate).  We didn't get their in time for dinner, but did have dessert on the porch...a fresh apple tart with coconut ice cream....Yummy.  We strolled by the river, met Lady Bear (a cow dog that belongs to a groundskeeper) and just had a great evening.  The owner of this Inn also owns the Salem Tavern.  Breakfast was very good and we were told to look for another Groupon coming soon.  We will, because staying up here is a real treat.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A New Family for my House

Yeah, we signed a two year lease last night with a family moving up from Asheboro.  There is a four year old girl who is delighted with her new room upstairs, and I am glad there will be a family living in my house.  It was just too sad to see it standing empty.  And now I have a lot of help towards that mortgage each month. 

Now I am excited to get our new budgeting software set up...upon big recco's from Lila and Summer we are going to try YNAB (you need a budget).  Give every dollar a job....  Its time to start that travel fund for China.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Los Lonely Boys in Winston Salem

 Thanks to Salem Stitcher for the photos....I didn't even ask first but stole them from her Facebook page. 

We met up at the new Ziggy's last night for the Los Lonely Boys concert.  The new facility is great, my only complaint was it was too loud.  I know it sounds like I am getting old, but when the sound is too loud all the clear guitar riffs become distorted I think.  We sat stood upstairs along the rail (they took our chairs for the gold circle seating that cost another $20) but had a great view.
Henry(Lead Guitar), Ringo (Drums) and JoJo(Bass)  Three bothers from San Angelo Texas

I had teased all night that I was going to do whatever it took to get a pick....but Go Postal wasn't too worried, he knew I wouldn't really get down there with the other groupies dancing in front of the boys.  But as they played their biggest hit Heaven...Henry started tossing picks.  On the very last one he looked up at the balcony and we started yelling and waving our arms...and he flung it.  Surely it bouned back downstairs...but NO, there is was laying at Lisa's feet and I dove down for it.  Good thing she was a friend!!  Look how he had sawed off the tip playing so hard. Guess I won't be able to use it on my Mandolin but what a COOL momento of a great evening. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Camping Near Tsali

Here are photos taken by Ken last weekend on our combo family/ski club trip to Tsali.  This is a wonderful place to mountain bike and we camped nearby at Turkey Creek campground (they have coffee for sale in the waiting on getting it from a camp stove!)
Pat and I just rode one lap on Saturday - 9 miles on Mouse

The guys didn't wait for us...they played on this drop a few times
 Not sure what happened to Go Potal here, he never crashes....but he went over the handlebars but luckily not into the lake....
 See how pretty these trails are, this is from left loop on Sunday overlooking Fontana Lake
 All that rode on Saturday.......

 Dinner after a day of riding is very important!!

Veggie Pakcets and Pork Chops for Dinner

Homeade Ice Cream

McKinley learning the Jelly Fish from Ken

After two nights in the woods!
And a stop on the way home at Jimmy Macks for the burgers raved about in Our State!  They didn't dissapoint.
The only bad part of the trip....I forgot our sleeping bags and pillow.  We realized it about Asheville so we stopped and bought four cheap Fleece throws...4 for $12.  You get what you pay for we about froze.  Luckily Kim and Jared broght us sleeping bags for Saturday night or I would have been looking for a motel.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5 days and 9 States!

We had a great roadtrip.  We left at lunch Wednesday and got to Nashville in time to catch the last show at the Bluebird Cafe.  It is a small venue, but what a treat....we heard four songwriters (one was only 17 and could very well be the next Taylor Swift)  One had written "I love the way you love me" for her wedding, one guy had written Fishin in the Dark, and on and on.  Mike would be at a place like this every weekend if we lived closer to Nashville!  The next morning it was off to Paducah.  I was on a hunt for more Mustard fabric...and it was so funny to me that Hancocks sits right behind a liquor this for the husbands that can't take any more fabric shopping?  We toured the AQS museum (no pictures allowed) and hit two more quilt shops.  I made a pretty good haul, picking up lots of kids fabrics too for nap blankets and baby quilts.  I have to say it was a great shop but Mary Jo's prices are better.  They were cutting orders like crazy and one of the clerks said that probably 60-75% of their business is now online/catalouge orders.

I got nine yards of this mustard fabric with ketchup colored fish bones.  It will be the backing for this new quilt which I am making BIG to fit our bed.  After a mexican dinner and night near the river in Paducah we headed over to St Louis.  I had 11am tickets reserved to take the tram to the top.  You got into these little capsules that only held 5 people at a time and started up the arch.  It was a little like riding a ferris wheel, quite an engineering feat for the mid 1960's,

The purpose of our trip was to visit GP's cousin Johnny.  They were very close growing up and he now lives in Kansas City with his family.  Their son is a freshman at Kansas so we went to the game, he was awarded a scholarship for Petroleum Engineering and was part of a group honored at halftime. 
And we saw a Trader Joes near their house so as we took off Sunday afternoon we stopped in to stock up....we love their cereal, nuts, olive oil, marina, low sugar jelly....and much more.  Hopefully we will get one in the triad area soon.  Its great quality and value!
Then as we mapped our route home we decided to go through Lexington Ky and I realized being a holiday weekend my Aunt and Uncle would probably be at their vacation spot in Augusta.  So sure enough we  contacted them and decided to have lunch.  They live in Colombus, Oh and we haven't seen them since the wedding.  This is my Mom's little sister and it was fun to see them even for a short time.
Then back to NC through the rain bands of tropical storm Lee.  Banjo was very happy to see us.  So if I counted right.....NC, TN, KY, MO, KS, IN, IL, WV, VA.  We would have been in Ohio if we had had time to take this free ferry across the Ohio river here in the background!  Now we are cleaning up the Civic and selling it, able to tell prospective buyers it just had no issues on our trip and got about 35-37 mpg!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Road Trip!

I got out my latest quilt project last night....knowing I will need more mustard fabrics to complete it.  Won't it be fun to search for these at Hancock's!!!  We stop tonight in Nashville to hear a late night session at the Bluebird Cafe then the next day head to Paducah.  I get the rest of the day to shop and tour the National Quilt Museum.  Sounds like a great way to kick off the Holiday weekend!  Anyone need me to pick something up for them?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Welcome Friends

We have had a man work for two days on our gravel road from 601 back to the cabin....and while he was grading, smoothing etc Go Postal had him add a turnaround and a parking spot for our guests out front.  I have a lot of walkway/landscaping plans for down the road...but for now this will be a big improvement!  Come See Us!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Harper Creek Falls

 The ski club went to a fun swimming hole in Linville Gorge on Saturday called Harper Creek Falls.  This location was just written about in last week's Relish.  The hike along the creek was about 1.5 miles and when we got to our desitnation, we used a rope to decend to the creek.  It was pretty slick so the rope was a must.
Here is the group, the water was pretty cold at first...but refreshing!
 There is a moss along this waterfall that is like a green shag carpet from teh 70's.  It made a great natural water slide.  The only problem was it was very slick climbing back up the far side so I only did it once.
But as we were finishing our PB@J's the sprinkles started....we packed in a hurry and scurried back up the rock (I seriously doubt I could have gotten back up if it was wet)  Thankfully Pat had the same poncho Salem Stitcher used a few weeks back with her because I left my rain jacket behind.  We got soaked on the hike out....just look at the run off on the trail.

It is a great location, we will definitely make the journey back