Tuesday, December 26, 2017

It's the day after Christmas...

Christmas has come and gone in a flash.  It seems to do that more and more as we get older, doesn't it?

We had a wonderful Christmas.  We spent Christmas Eve afternoon with Mama and Daddy and enjoyed some yummy barbecue and teriyaki wings, pasta salad, Christmas cookies, Mama's faithful Martha Washington candy (that she has made every Christmas of my memory) and the oven-roasted pecans that she never fails to make for me.  I made rum balls for the first time ever this year and they were such a hit, I had to make two batches to take to work!  They were really, really good.

I'm finding that the older I get, the more nostalgic I get.  I long for Christmases of years past when life was simple, times were hard but love was abundant.  Things just aren't the same anymore.  We're too busy, life is too fast and our loved ones are slipping away from us due to age, distance or hardheadedness.  It's sad, really.

I took an extra day off today but Larry went back to work.  I had plans to start to pack away Christmas but it's afternoon now and I still haven't started.  I'm probably not going to.  It'll keep.  And in the meantime, I can enjoy our beautiful tree and eat a couple more Christmas cookies.

As far as gifts went, we pretty much racked up.  Mama and Daddy had our stockings stuffed and we each got gift cards that will be very happily used!  Larry and I had cheated so bad this month and had already opened up so much of our gifts to each other but we did save a few for Christmas.  Eve.  We so bad.

One of the big gifts we gave each other was hiring somebody to repair our hot tub!  It's been down a long time and when we went to Helen in September and stayed in that cabin with a hot tub, we realized how much we missed ours.  Larry found a guy who sold and serviced Leisure Bay spas exactly like ours for over ten years and we had him come from Alabama to fix ours.  All that was wrong was the motor had died.  That's it.  No lightning strike, no power issue.  Just a worn out motor.  $447 later and it was right as rain.  And we have really, really loved having it back!  

Here are some pics from our Christmas at home.

Larry found a 1950's Pyrex warming plate for me.  I didn't even know they existed!  And he finally got me the 1950's yellow Pyrex Hostess bowl he's been eying for a year or so.  I kept telling him it was too much, that they wanted waaaaay too much for that bowl.  He got it anyway.

We're still playing Pok√©mon (when they make it interesting!) and he got me a Pikachu shirt and bank.  

And a Robins AFB shirt in red that I can wear on Support The Troops Fridays! 

We're replacing all of our cookware so we added these two pieces of All-Clad!  I love to cook and I get really excited about new cookware!  Ha!

This crazy amazing bird.  We saw him at an antique store just before Christmas and I just loved him.  But they wanted $125 for him and that was just insane.  Larry went back later and made a deal and got him for me.  His name is Elton.  Look at that hat!  You can't see them but he's got some kickin' boots on, too. 

Larry got some Duluth Trading Company clothes and some Fox River Army boot socks, along with a new Bluetooth speaker, a cell phone mounting kit for his truck, some military patches to add to his office wall, some cologne and some beard balm.

I got him this, too.  A FrostGuard to cover the windshield of his truck on cold nights.  I keep my car in the garage but he has to scrape his windshield.  Not no more!

Santa came to see our boys, too!  Banjo's tree stump full of squeaky squirrels and Tabbie Hoffman's hamster that records what you say (or purr) and then repeats it back.  And stockings full of toys and treats (and toothpaste!).

Tabbie with his hamster.  I love how it's looking up at him!

 Larry feeding Banjo some treats.  The squirrels forgotten.  

Santa brought a fruit, nut and berry bell for the backyard birdies, too.

This was me Christmas afternoon, with my new fuzzy socks and Christmas blanket Mama gave me.  Calm, quiet, peaceful afternoon.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas Outside!

It's really looking like Christmas at our house!  I mean, so much that at night, it's like daylight out there.  Noon.  I'm sorry, neighbors.  If our lights are keeping y'all up, holla!

I just love this little stable that Larry made for our nativity.  Baby Jesus is toasty warm in his cashmere baby blanket that I wrapped Him in.  :)

Our Tabbie Hoffman and Banjo garden flags.  <3

We picked up a couple of pillows for the porch rockers, too.

I'm really, really diggin' this one.  For more reasons than one.  Hee hee.

And while folks all around us got snow yesterday, we didn't get a flake.  And that's fine and dandy with me.  

Sunday, November 26, 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...Inside Edition!

The Super Fabulous Schneider Christmas Tree of 2017 went up yesterday and we are really proud of how it turned out!  We got a fresh 7-foot Fraser fir and filled it with lights and decorations from our childhoods and vintage things we've picked up here and there at estate sales and antique and thrift stores.  

Here is the rest of the house!  Larry and I went through 14 huge bins of Christmas decorations and downsized to seven, keeping those things that we were sentimental about, of course, but we were really so extra, it was crazy.  We just had so much stuff, we couldn't use it all every year and some things haven't been put out in several years.  So we donated it all to the church's thrift store so somebody else can love on it this year and maybe many years to come. And our attic will be much lighter for it!

This gingerbread tea pot and mugs definitely made the cut!  I've had these for seventeen years!  I used to go to and host House of Lloyd Christmas Around The World parties and these were a host bonus I earned one year.  I don't do that kind of thing anymore but I sure collected some pretty stuff when I did.

I got these super cute Temp-tations Christmas mixing bowls from QVC a month or so ago.  They are soooo sweet!

My favorite vintage Christmas dish towels.  Squeeee!

A tiny little Santa in the kitchen window.

Larry and I made this paper wreath the other night.  We hung it on the kitchen door and he added a couple of birds.

Here's another old sentimental lovey.  I got this Santa more than 20 years ago from ABC Distributing and for years and years and years, Mama and Daddy hung it by their front door and filled his pockets with candy canes for their "Christmas travelers" as Daddy calls them, a nod to our most beloved Christmas movie, The Homecoming.  Now he hangs at our back door, for the same reason.  If Hawthorne and John-Boy show up at our door, they'll be sure to get a candy cane.

We picked up this talking musical Christmas donkey recently (he's really not as sad as he looks!) and I covered the back of the only remaining chair from Larry's parents' first dining room set with a Santa cover.  

My vintage Santa mug collection.

At an estate sale recently, I found this Southern Living Christmas cookbook, dated 1988, the year Larry and I met.  I had to bring it home.

We've got 28 blow molds to check and test and a huge 6-foot Santa lion to go outside with Snoopy and the Santa train and all the rest.  We'll tackle them next weekend!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

It's fair time!

We had a blast last night at the fair!  We had supper of corn dogs, hot dogs and chili fries and we saw Little River Band in concert and they were amazing!  They even started the show with my favorite song of theirs, "Man On Your Mind". We ran into a couple of friends and saw some crazy acrobats who made me lose my breath a couple of times just watching them.  We walked around and looked at all the vendors and exhibits and the rides and I had a chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick and Larry got a soft pretzel with cheese and we brought back a turkey leg for Banjo and Tabbie Hoffman.

Here are a few pics from our night out at the fair!

The sky was cloudy and threatening rain when we got there and there was this cool breeze blowing.  It was sooooo nice!  There was a couple at the gate who GAVE US two extra tickets they had won on the radio!  Their little boys got in free so they had two extras.  Perfect timing for us.  That was so sweet!

These were those two acrobats.  Crazy folks.  CRAYZEE.  Those STICKS they were on were swaying and I was hyperventilating.  I had to look away.  

This is when they switched poles.  Why on earth would they DO THAT?

Let's look away from that foolishness now and look at the pretty cheesecake on a stick!  I mean, heaven.  Heaven on a stick.

When I was a wee girl, my very favorite game to play at the fair was the game where you pick up ducks.  I loved it.  Last night, however, we discovered that this fair's duck game shares my name!  How cool was that??  Larry paid the lady, I picked up my three ducks and I won a stuffed purple unicorn!  

Ain't she so cute??

Little River Band showin' everybody they still got it after all these years.  In this picture, lead vocalist, Wayne Nelson was showing everybody that he had learned "the Georgia wave" waving gnats!  It was hilarious.  Except when we were waving gnats.

My handsome husband, best friend, road partner, provider, my whole heart and the love of my life.

Here we are, in the glow of the concert stage lights.  

See ya next year, Georgia National Fair!  

Monday, October 9, 2017

Old lady eyes

It finally happened, after three years of my eye doctor telling me it would.  I was sitting in my reading chair reading Hillary Clinton's new book when I couldn't see the words on the page!  They were so blurry.  I blinked my eyes a couple of times, looked back down at my book and my vision was still the same.  Ugh!!  I got up, went and got my contact drops, thinking my eyes were dry ('cause I have that, too), put in a few drops, went back to my book.  No change.

My eye doctor has been telling me that I have had the right amount of birthdays to need readers.  So I got me a little cheap pair of readers at Kroger and they made such a difference!  I can see!  I can sit in my reading chair and read my books again. 

But the little cheap pair of readers from Kroger were very plain.  They did the job, no doubt, and Larry said they give me an air of intelligence.  Not sure if that was a compliment or not.  Ha!

I shopped around online and found these by Soolala.  Pink, cat eye and totally me.

These are on the way!  Yay!
There are SO many cute reading glasses out there!  I have ordered a few more pairs so that I can just keep 'em everywhere, at work, at my reading chair and I'm even going to get a pretty beaded chain to fully embrace my little-old-ladyness. It's happening so why not enjoy the ride, right?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A little trip to the mountains

Larry and I spent a few days this week in the Georgia leg of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Cleveland and Helen.  We could not have picked a better time to go and the weather was absolutely perfect.  Crisp, cool mornings and highs in the afternoons in the 70's.  Oh, how welcomed that weather was!

We stopped on the way at Rucksack Military Surplus in Gainesville where Larry was able to find a bunch of patches he didn't already have and I got a pair of gray Army training shorts that I LOVE.  I sleep in 'em.  Then we were off to Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland to see the babies in the cabbage patch!  I've wanted to go there since I was a teenager and got my first CBK, a preemie boy that I named Jory, after a V.C. Andrews character.  I was really, really into V.C. Andrews books back then.  We could see the hospital from the road and it was sooooo pretty!  There were pots and pots of flowers and rocking chairs all the way around the porch.

A sweet nurse offered to take our picture in the famous cabbage leaf chair.  I was more than a little giddy to be there!  Ha!

We walked around the hospital and the gift shop.  I'd already made up my mind that I was taking one home with us and when I saw this little red-haired, green-eyed girl, I knew she was the one.

We took her out of the box (OMG, whoever packages these dolls does NOT want you to be able to get them out.  She was strapped and tied down everywhere.) and Larry took this picture of us.  Awwwww.

Her name is Grace Hannah, named after Larry's grandma, Grace, and my grand-grandma, Hannah.  We paid a little extra for her birth certificate and off we went to Mountain Laurel Antique Mall and walked around in there for a little while.  I found a couple of things I couldn't live without.  :)

I loved this plate!  It's the Helsinki design by One World.  I'd love to have the whole set or at least find more of it.  I've never seen it before.

And this funky little vintage trivet.  I couldn't leave it.  :)

We had rented a cabin at the top of Little Andy Mountain several months ago and it was the most beautiful little cabin in the most beautiful little spot.  We didn't want to leave!  Gorgeous mountain views, sunrises, sunsets from the deck, and the moon and the stars through the huge window across from the bed.  It was just amazing and sooooo romantic.

If anybody would like to stay here, leave me a message and I'll give you the info.  It's got a living room, kitchen, bedroom and bath, Jacuzzi tub, hot tub, gas grill, pool table, TV room downstairs with a leather sectional sofa, washer and dryer so you can do your laundry, a full bath downstairs and a beautiful wraparound deck.  We loved it and will definitely go back!  It's so funny because when I posted the pics of the cabin on Facebook, a friend of mine recognized it as the cabin she and her husband and baby son stayed at years ago! 

We got to Helen around 6:00, starving slap to death and couldn't wait to get our hands on some authentic weiner schnitzel!  We found it at Hofbrauhaus Restaurant and G.I. Germany Pub.  We went all out with schnitzel, German potato salad, sauerkraut, cheese beer dip with a baked pretzel, German black forest cake, German chocolate cake and we even tried escargot for the first time.  They tasted just like stuffed mushrooms.  I still don't understand the big deal with escargot.  Probably won't ever have 'em again but at least I can say I tried 'em!

We made a quick walk through Helen after supper (well, we kinda rolled through Helen after supper), stopped at Hansel and Gretel for some fudge and got a few groceries at Betty's Country Store and called it a night.  Friday morning, we went back to Helen and Larry dropped me off while he went back to Mountain Laurel to get something for me that I couldn't see.  I walked around by myself, had an apple strudel at Hofer's Bakery (if you're in Helen, you HAVE to go to Hofer's!  We went three times!) and waited for him to get back.  It took him a little longer so I went shopping!  I got a Helen t-shirt, a pretty tie-dyed top and some Christmas presents.  So, yes, I have officially started Christmas shopping!  

Once Larry joined me, we had lunch at Hofer's. Reubens with sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese!  Hofer's need to stop.  Really.  Their sweet tea was as good as mine, too.  I heart them so much.

We walked the town again, visiting the toy store, the model train exhibit, the Christmas store, Nacoochee Village Antique Mall (where I got a 1961 promotional Empire Golden Scroll Pyrex casserole dish with the lid AND the cradle!  I also hid a rock that I painted there and a lady visiting from Pennsylvania found it and posted it on Facebook.  Made my day AND hers!), the grist mill and country store and then went back to Betty's for some German beer and coffee and went back to our cabin and crashed.
Saturday morning, early, we had breakfast and then went to Cool River Tubing to tube down the Chattahoochee River.  We signed up, got a push stick (and later on discovered that we needed TWO push sticks) and took a bus ride up the mountain so we could start upriver.  The bus driver was a really sweet elderly man and it was a pleasant ride.  Just him and me and Larry.  Nobody else had signed up yet so we had the river to ourselves.  We got our tubes and off we went.  I probably don't have to tell y'all how awkward it is for a pudgy girl to get into an inner tube in the river.  But I got in there, finally, and got situated.  Kinda.  Larry had the stick and he also held onto to my tube, bless his heart.  His arms would pay for that later on.  We set off down the river and it was really so, so nice.  It was about 55 degrees and there was a little breeze blowing and we just floated.  Most of the way was smooth but there were some areas where the water was rushing (I called it "rapids"...ha!) and there were some areas where the water was so deep the stick wouldn't touch the bottom but for the most part, the water was low and we got stuck on rocks.  A lot.  I was pretty hysterical after a while.  It was just so, so funny. 

There was this one big rock that I got hung up on and I had been trying to help Larry get us unstuck by rocking the tube and I rocked myself up over the rock (this is where two sticks would have been lovely) and the water splashed and filled Larry's tube with water.  With his phone in the bottom of the tube.  He let go of me and I floated away from him while he went to the bank to dump the water out of his tube and he slipped on the slippery rocks and fell into the water, soaking his phone for the second time.  He wrapped it up in his sweatshirt in the only part of it that was dry, the hood, and started out to get me.  I was hung up on a rock by that time, of course I was.  When I drifted away from him, I was a little scared but the dang water was three feet deep right there so I knew I wouldn't drown.  I just liked having him close to me.  So when I got hung up on that rock with no way to get loose since I had no stick, I yelled back up the river, "I'll just wait for you right here!"  I can't even write into words how hilarious this whole thing was.  I guess I could have gotten out and gotten loose but that thought never occurred to me at the time.  I just waited for him.  He got to me and got me loose and off we went, on down the river.  If so much of the river hadn't been shallow, we wouldn't have kept getting stuck on rocks and poor Larry's arm wouldn't have gotten such a workout. 

Larry took this picture of me, with his soaking wet iPhone, as I floated away from him.  He said I look so forlorn in this picture.  Bwah!! 

We got to the end of our hour-long tour and there were the two little Mexican boys who were going to help us get out.  This little skinny kid says, "Be careful, ma'am" and I'm like, "No, honey, YOU be careful!"  I was actually worried for his safety.  A chunky, middle-aged woman desperate to have her feet on solid ground again.  Yeah, honey, YOU be careful.  You might get pulled in here with me.  I got out with his help and my foot completely out of the tube and in the river and then Larry got out of his tube and it slipped out from under him and down he and his phone went again.  We were SOAKED to the bone by then and we just knew Larry's phone was toast.  We'd already talked about going to Verizon and just getting a new one today.  We walked up the walkway and deck to the Cool River store where there were towels and bathrooms and dry clothes.  We got us some dry t-shirts and tried out the phone.  It still worked!  I posted on Facebook that those Otter Box cases are NO joke and that we had one more miraculous story to tell about them.  I had my phone run over at the beach by a Ford F-150 pickup truck and my phone was fine, not even a scratch on it.  Larry's iPhone was in an Otter Box, dunked THREE times in the Chattahoochee River and it still worked.  We took the case off and dried it best we could and got on the bus that would take us back to our truck.  

Oktoberfest kicked off this weekend so the Oktoberfest parade was going on so we got to see that on the bus on our way back.  That was an unexpected treat!

We started home around noon and noticed that Larry's phone was not charging. I've never used it but I've sure heard about the rice trick so we stopped and I went in and got a bag of Mahatma and we tried it.  Worked like a charm!  The phone's working great now.  

We probably had the best weekend trip we've ever had.  The weather could not have been better, the little town and mountains were beautiful and we laughed so much our faces hurt.  

We can't wait to go back.  But next time, there'll be TWO push sticks.