Monday, July 23, 2012


A.W.O.L.  I've been seriously A.W.O.L.  So Much has been happening over the past month+. Way more than I've had time to blog about, so this is going to be a speed trip through the past month and a half.  No apologies (I'm sure none are expected LOL) Just way too busy living life to write about it... but what fun I've had! 

First on the list was a weekend stay at a nice hotel with the hubs. My oldest daughter watched my younger daughter and all three of my dogs while I was away. Thanks Kiddo! It was a break that was much appreciated! 

A friend of mine noticed that I'd been getting so tired that I was starting to have difficulty holding a normal conversation... She prayed for me and God gave me a weekend away. Thank you Lord!
The Hotel we stayed at, Mission Palms in Tempe AZ
Our Room (how'd they know red and brown were my fav. colors?!)
Ever notice how going through a hallway at a hotel, it feels like you're walking through a hall of mirrors?? Or is it just me???

After that I was off to visit my good friend Helen. We had teen night at her home followed by a work day. The whole church showed up. Men, women, and children. Such a blessing to be part of such a wonderful, loving group of like minded people!! These pics are old ones (Hint: update your blog so I can harvest more current pics from them LOL)

 I wasn't home long and I was off to visit my good friend T.K.!  (Thanks Hubby for the vacay, and thanks again to my Oldest daughter who watched my youngin' and my youngest pup while I was away!!) 
I can't believe how much fun I had while I was there. Did so much that my head spins and don't know which came first and which came last! I do remember my first impression when I saw it from the plane was "There's so much water!" I texted my family and friends "They've got so much water out here they keep it on the ground!"
One of the first things we did together was celebrate the birthday of T.K.'s grand daughter. I got to tag along while they spent special time together. We went to Build-a-Bear where she picked out a bear and a bunny, one for her and one for her baby sister that will be born in October. I debated for the longest time whether to get one for myself or not. They're so cute!! Then I pictured the hubs having to move it off the bed every night to go to sleep and decided to take the memories with me instead of a bear, but come on, they're so cute! especially with their adorable outfits :)
 After so many important decisions we were off again, this time to refortify with a cookie break :)
I HIGHLY recommend the chewy pecan cookies. YUM! Went back to the counter to purchase another to freeze and bring back to the hubs. (Yes, it did make it back home, I didn't eat it first! and yes, he did share it with me ;) While we were at the bakery one of the cashiers told us that she heard the Earth was going to be "Hit by a solar flare, don't know where it's going to hit, but it's going to cause some problems." T.K. and I both got on our phones and we each made a call. "Huh??" We were told to "tell the cashier she can crawl out from under the table, it won't actually "hit" the Earth, just might cause some interference with cell phones".... I tell you, that was an interesting couple of minutes! LOL
While I was visiting I spent some time soaking up the peace and quiet and enjoying spending time with her entire family. loved loved loved the dinner we had of Boudin, crackers, and cheese with a cool peach drink! It was even tastier eating it in her back yard near the water. 

Why is it, do you think, that food tastes so much better when you eat it in a beautiful place? :) I'd never heard of Boudin before, It's a sausage made with rice, meat, and spices. Yummy! Bought 8 of them to freeze and bring home for the hubs as well!
While I was there I was twice invited to her daughter and son-in-law's beautiful home. The first time was to celebrate the birthday once again, this time with the whole family. When I complimented her on how beautiful and tasty everything was, she gave Pinterest all the credit, but I know better... That's talent! The second time I went over it was for a home cooked spaghetti and meat ball dinner. The conversation was as pleasant as the meal was delicious! 

Speaking of food..... Ate some

from Pollman's That's BACON MAPLE DONUTS Ya'all!!
Then there's the morning this arrived just in time for breakfast:
Oh yes, and the day we went out to lunch with another good friend at a wonderful place by the name of "Newks"!
That's a very blurry pic, but the only one I got. You will note, I was being good. That's a salad and there's not a cookie in sight! :)
Another day we went to the docks and snacked on:
Huh??!! Fried pickles? Don't knock 'em to you've tried 'em! :)  
One beautiful evening we were off to Mikato Japanese Restaurant to celebrate T.K.'s birthday with her family and friends. We watched the cook juggle of all things an egg with a spatula... Not to say he juggled both, but used the spatula to juggle the egg. Setting the table on fire... well sort of, the table was also the grill, was another highlight.

T.K.'s Hubby, (also T.K., different person, same initials :) cooked up some steaks that made the heart sing.... ate it all gone before remembering the camera. and T.K. (the wife, not the hubby) made up some Margherita pizza. I watched as she made it and took careful notes. Made it for my family after I got home.... Loved it! This is hers, mine didn't look as nice, I'd like to blame it on the stubborn pizza dough, but honesty makes it necessary to blame it on lack of skills. :-/

Last, but not least on the food trail T.K., two of her friends and I went to LuLu's for lunch. LuLu is Jimmy Buffet's sister. Not quite sure who Jimmy Buffet is, but I like his sister's place! We went to celebrate T.K.'s and my birthday, picking the day right smack dab in the middle of both of them to celebrate them together. In order to fully appreciate the ambiance, you've got to read about it in hot pink ;)

 My three lunch mates :)
I had the Mahi-Mahi tacos. Yum!

Yes, that's a fried oyster on my plate... something I said I'd never eat, but then when it was slipped onto my plate the challenge was made and the challenge was met. I closed my eyes, counted in my head as fast as I could to distract myself, and popped it in my mouth. Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! Would I buy it to eat another day?? Nope! I grinned at T.K. and told her "Now when you come out you have to try Frog's Eye Salad"! With the look of shock on her face I just couldn't tease her. "No, it's not made with real frogs eyes" I'm a wimp... I could have really gotten her good on that one! According to Wikipedia Frog's eye salad is an American cold salad that combines the pasta with whipped topping, marshmallows, pineapple and mandarin oranges. So no worries :)
A view of the restaurant looking back over my shoulder. I just turned my camera backward and shot a pic. (I'm SO sneaky that way!)
Our table was right at the water's edge :)

The four of us ducked thunderstorms and shopped until we dropped, or rather until a power outage had us stranded in a stuff store. My three friends  made use of their time to catch up on their phones until the electricity to come back on.
One of my best shopping finds while visiting
 was a new purse.
As you can see the old one was well used and deserving of rest. It served me well. I bought it for $2 at a local thrift store and carried it for 3 years. But, not sure if it would survive the rest of the trip, decided to look for a new one when I found this: 
Not completely sure it's "me" but it's a lot cuter than the pic shows now that there are things in it and it's not lying there limp and empty! Check out the price tag. Not the reg. price, but the clearance price :) A bit more than $2.00, but hey, desperate times and all that.... I needed a purse!
 And it came with all this wrapping paper! LOL  Okay, lame joke, but it's after 2 in the morning!

 At least I thought it was my best find until we hit a thrift store. I found 3 more purses, a blouse for kiddo, another blouse for me, and two new jean skirts all for just under $20 bucks! I got to admit, I carry my $2.50 purse around a lot more than my $10.48 one. But I REFUSE to feel guilty about the price spent on my "expensive" one! 

Before I left, T.K. presented me with two very special gifts that I will ALWAYS treasure! One is an original painting on canvas. She has entitled it "Tea Time" I've seen it on her art blog many times and fell in love with it the first time I laid eyes on it. Now it's hanging in my dining room, just a couple feet away from where I sit and have tea when I'm sharing with a friend!!! Here is a pic I took of it while still at T.K.'s house.
and here is the cup that inspired it! She still has the cup, while I get to enjoy the painting :)  I'm so happy!!! :D Thank you T.K.!!

 Another gift she gave me a a print that I've admired for quite some time. She's named it Sunrise on Aloe Bay. 
 I just adore it! It makes me feel so peaceful, and reminds me of the verse John 14:2.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. I can just picture me and my best gal friends each having our own "mansion" near each other in total bliss! My house is the red one (of course!)

The evening before I left I went to the island with T.K. and T.K. ;)  How beautiful! A perfect way to spend my last evening there. 

 This adorable house is just about 300 sq. ft.  I could live in it forever soaking up a simpler life with less belongings and my living room and dining room being the dock just outside the back door.
Look familiar?? ;)
 My fav. one is "reality" Don't go thataway!!
 Sittin' on the doc of the bay!

Miss you T.K.!! Thanks for all the fun! I hope I was at least half the blessing you are to me!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Happy Birthday America!!