Friday, May 25, 2012

Time is about up!

Both Dan and I have a case of the "hitch-itch"!  While we are enjoying catching up with friends and hanging out with my kids, we are ready to hit the road!  We have just a few more days in NC before we head north to spend about 7 weeks on the farm that Dan grew up on.

I haven't blogged because we really haven't been doing anything other than hanging out!  I had a really nice Mother's Day with my kids.  They treated me to a nice dinner and we played games afterwards.  Ashleigh made me a very nice painting with the words "Be so happy that the people around you become happy too".  She also made me a CD with a bunch of country songs.  Homemade presents are the best!!
Mother's Day 2012
We played Sequence....
and when Amanda got home from dinner with her mother, we played a game she designed to help her students get ready for the end-of-grade tests.
Ashleigh using a tube of caulk as her microphone!
It was a great Mother's Day!!

We've also been helping Brandon and Amanda with more new house stuff.  Here's the work bench that Dan and Brandon built.....
Acting goofy!

Amanda and I stained and painted a bookcase for their study.
Having fun!
We also christened Brandon's new grill.
Ready to fire up!! 
I'm still looking for those RV hook-ups at their place though!!

There is a new biking/walking trail that we wanted to try out.  The Neuse River trail is part of the Capital Area Greenway.  There are several segments of the trail but the only one that is currently open is Upper Neuse Trail.  It is about 6.5 miles starting at the Falls Lake Dam and ending at the WRAL Soccer Complex.  The budget for this section of the trail was a whopping $3.9m. However, once the entire trail is completed, it is supposed to be about 28 miles long at a total cost of $30m.  Wow!!

Dan and I pedaled the trail  once by ourselves and biked 6.25 miles and turned around. This was before that we knew that it was only 6.5 miles long!  Oops!  Should have read the signs!!

We made plans to go again with my son and daughter.  DIL Amanda had to work. But, Ashleigh was unable to make it as she has been having a heckuva time with allergies and didn't think that being in the woods would help.  So Dan, Brandon, and I set out for a leisurely pedal.
Unloading the bikes from the truck

Stopping along the way to add more air!
Mother/Son picture!
We stopped along the way to take some pictures of things that we thought were neat...
Itty bitty foot bridge to the river

Mushroom carved from a tree trunk

Hmmmm...this is one funny looking bike!  He was just blowing debris from the path! 
Wooden chair carved out of a tree stump!

Standing tall!  This was near the soccer fields!

We stopped and ate a picnic lunch along the way.  I think that we were all very hungry.   From our picnic table, we saw a guy on a bike stop and look at something in the pathway.  Hmmm...we needed to investigate.
One of those slim-no-shoulders things!!
He did not like that we were watching him at all.  He slithered a bit and then Dan decided to get a bit closer. As he did this, Brandon and I backed away a bit!!

This is the kind of wildlife I can do without!  But this is the type of wildlife I like...

There were three deer right at the end of our ride.  All in all we pedaled about 15 miles or so.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside.  Afterwards, Brandon "treated" us to cones at Dairy Queen.  He had a coupon to get four free single dip cones.  And you know how much I like "free"!!

There were only 3 people; coupon was for 4 free cones.  What to do?  Brandon had 2!

Fun times, indeed!  Life is good!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

She's home....and birthday celebrations!!!

One of the reasons we are back in NC is so that I could see my daughter.  She just finished her freshman year at UNC-W and got home yesterday.
Last picture outside her dorm!
I was anxiously awaiting her arrival....
Thumbs up from Ash!!
I practically ran out to see her and we hugged and hugged.  I admit I had happy tears!  Now all of my kiddies are in the same town.
Ashleigh, Brandon, and DIL Amanda
 and one of just brother and sister.....
Notice Ashleigh's's a hoot because UNC-W does not have a football team!  That's why they are undefeated!  Too funny!!

Not only was it Ashleigh's homecoming, we were celebrating birthdays!  Ashleigh's was May 2nd and Brandon's was the 8th.  They requested a Mexican Fiesta and I was all too happy to oblige!   Chicken tacos and spinach enchiladas with a variety of sides including their favorites...guacamole and pico de gallo.  Yum!  We ate outside as it was a beautiful evening.
Making crazy faces at dinner!
After dinner we went inside to open presents....
Stuffed penguin from Harry Potter
Wall hanging for her apartment next year

Family Recipe Book - her favorite gift!!
Brandon took a picture of her birthday loot....
And Dan took a picture of feet!!!

Now it was Brandon's turn to open his gifts.....
No it's really not jello but a little "green" for him to buy tools and stuff!
He had three presents that were numbered...this is #1...he wasn't sure what it was....
He's getting an idea with #2
He is liking what he sees!
It's a hit!!
I had purchased this cross-stitch kit when Brandon was either a sophomore or junior at Appalachian State.  He graduated in 2008 and my intent was to give it to him as a graduation gift.  However, I never seemed to have the time to work on it.  Now, I have tons of time!! He asked how long it took me to cross-stitch it and I probably should have kept track but didn't.  I would estimate at least 100 hours but it may be more!  He really liked it and said it is going to be the first thing he hangs in his man cave.  I have already started looking for a UNC-W kit for Ashleigh but haven't located one yet!  If anyone has any ideas on where I can find one, please let me know!

After gifts, it was time for birthday pie and ice cream.  I got a recipe from a cookbook Gin and Syl have for Nutty Buddy pie and it's already a family favorite.

Happy Birthday to you!
Make a wish!!
It was a great evening and we enjoyed many laughs.  Ashleigh has asked if we could have weekly cook-outs and I think it is a grand idea!

Life is good indeed!


Sunday, May 6, 2012


Saturday we spent most of the day with my son and DIL.  We headed over to their house fairly early (9 am!) and all gathered in one car and headed to "town".  Brandon dropped Amanda and I off at the local library's book sale and him and Dan went off to Lowe's/Home Depot.  Amanda and I were looking for bargains and we found some books for her classroom, a few for me, a few for my daughter and one Harley Davidson book for Dan.   We then headed to the local street fair and walked from booth to booth looking at the various things the vendors were selling.  We didn't buy anything but it was fun looking.

We headed back to their house for lunch and an afternoon of "work-camping".   Amanda gave Brandon and Dan their "honey-do" list and Amanda and I set off to put together a bookcase she had purchased for her cookbooks.
Yep - all parts accounted for!
We read the directions and were successful in putting it together!
Looks like we need to go yard-saling for more cookbooks!
I tried to take pictures of all of the projects that Brandon and Dan worked on....
Getting all the tools together.  Building a workbench for Brandon is a project for another weekend!
Peep hole installed for security!
Yep - it works!
Hanging a mirror above the fireplace was the next task....

Measuring to make sure it was "spot on"!

Amanda had to help finish the task!
The next "to-do" was to hang a ceiling fan.

Unfortunately, they ran into one issue that needed to be addressed before they could proceed and have to call in for back-up this coming week!!  We'll have to come back and finish this later.  We had a fun day with my son and DIL and am glad we could help them with some house chores.  But, we are still trying to find out where that RV hook-up is at their house.  ;-)

In the evening, we headed over to my friend Linda's house for a cook-out with her and Steve.  We grilled kabobs and had corn-on-the-cob.  The guys did a great job grilling despite the rain!  We had a good time hanging out and watching Linda's dog chase her cat.  Cheap entertainment and it made us laugh so much.  We'll be back over there next weekend for Linda's annual Mother's Day cookout.

My daughter has her last exam Monday and will be home from college on Tuesday.  I am looking forward to celebrating their birthdays with them!

Life is good!