Monday, December 23, 2013

First Day of Winter & My Christmas Brunch

I awoke to a hot pink sky that faded to yellow and I knew the weather was going to be a problem for my brunch.  Even in the South, 72 degrees in December is unusual.  Flooding rains predicted with tornadoes.  Let the fun begin!

The table was set the night before. Greens and berries all from my trees and bushes, old linens and pinecone candles set the theme for a woodland table.

Since everything I own is packed for a move, numerous stops to the Goodwill helped me provide some wintery glassware.  At the last minute I pulled out some paper reindeer antlers for my guests to wear to get them in the holiday spirit.

That's Jacqui's mom on the left visiting from Boston, April, Bob's sister, me, Sam, Jacqui's boyfriend, and my best friend Jacqui.

Same photo, except with Bob making some goofy facial expressions.  That's anybody's guess!

Also snagged this week at the Goodwill, five Wedgewood-like highball glasses from the '50s for only $6.  Perfect for my eggnog, which has a touch of gingerale and vanilla ice cream.

Last month I found this heavy glass pitcher for only $1.91, which came in handy, too.  Fruit cake sent in a big Harry & David basket from my favorite Aunt Bert!

After brunch we drove to Kathy & Rick's home in a torrential downpour to meet them for the first time.  They adopted Colbie, a chow Jacqui and I saved at the shelter, who then traveled to TN only to return to GA. 

We talked for hours, mostly about chows because this is the first dog Kathy and Rick have ever had.  Good choice getting a chow!  We now have two new friends because of rescue.  That is one of the great benefits!

This is Colbie.  I had named her Ginseng, then she went to her foster in TN whose little girls named her Crystal, then when Kathy & Rick adopted her, they named her Colbie.  She is the one who has brought so many people together!  Next will be Christmas Eve at the new theater with Barcalounger chairs and a bar in the lobby to see the Hobbit in 3D, whoo hoo, driving around to look at lights, then to Jacqui's we go for Christmas dinner!  Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Elusive Barred Owl

We've been listening to this owl at night for years, so close to the house, but we could never see him.

Then yesterday in broad daylight on one of my walks with the dogs, our chow Geisha spied him in the tree.

I ran all the way home to get my camera knowing full well he would be gone with all the dogs staring at him, but by time I got back he was still there!

He sat there for quite some time being bothered by little birds, dogs gazing up at him, and me trying to take a few good shots before the sun went down.

I just love it when I get a present like this from nature!

Monday, December 16, 2013

found it on Pinterest, which I just joined!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

David and his Husky Reindeer!

David got the best Christmas photo of him and his dogs I've seen so far.  The expressions on the dogs' faces are priceless!  David is looking good as usual! (Click on photo to enlarge to get the full effect of his dog on the right!)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ready for the Holidays

The "Princess" tree is up and looking like a large version of a Victorian bottle brush tree.  A friend talked me into unpacking my glass woodland ornaments, and I'm happy I did. 

The tree skirt is a vintage granny square afghan found at a flea market.

The star is from grapevine covered in lots of starry lights.

One of my newest finds, the pileated woodpecker.

Lots of gnomes, crows, mushrooms and feather balls.

One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is to send a gift to unsuspecting people, and this year I have made so many friends in chow rescue, I thought a print of a chow done by what looks like a child would be fun to send to them all, so I copied and framed nearly a dozen to be sent to PA, MD, NC, MA, VA, NY, TN, and FLA!

My family and friends' gifts were wrapped in paper covered in antlers with red or green ribbons.

I will not be hosting a big dinner for friends this year, but instead will be serving a brunch, which I really enjoy doing.  It will be a challenge to set the table with everything in boxes ready for the move, but I'm sure I can pull it off.  I'm actually relaxed this year with so little to do, and it's a nice change of pace!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Next December You Could Be Looking at Ray!

Our friend Ray made the 2014 Kilted Up calendar.  He is "Mr. December" and looking very dapper, if I do say so myself, but no freebie looksies!

Buy it for your friends or yourself at Wild Eyed Southern Celt, a mere $15 bucks!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Home for Thanksgiving!

This is Olive, a rescue chow that drove with me to West Virginia on my way to Pennsylvania. (Blog photo taken in Glenside, Pa.)

I met Amber in Charlotte to pick up Olive.  Amber is a wonderful one-person rescue, and I was happy to help her with transport.  Olive was a sweetie!

Liz came with Buckshot to meet me and Amber.  We have all been facebook friends and in chow rescue, so this was a great opportunity to finally meet.

Buckshot is recovering from a near-fatal veterinary error.  He is nine and very slow, but now that Liz has adopted Firefly,  he is having less seizures.

I met Natalie in West Va.  She has adopted Olive and now calls her Ava.  Natalie is originally from Harrisburg and another "chow person" I have been wanting to meet.  I was happy it all worked out and my trip could accomplish saving another chow!

This is my mom with her heart pillow from Abington Hospital.  They give these out to hold on tight to when they are in pain.  They also use it to put between the chest and seat belt for their ride home.  My mom really needed it as fast as George drove home!
My dad and his sister Annie.  There was a constant flow of relatives coming to the house and I wish I had taken photos of each and every one of them, but most of the time I was busy getting drinks and food and talking.  Also saw my Uncle Jim, Aunt Ethel, and son Jimmy; Uncle Dick, Aunt Bert, son Richard and his girls Heather and Joy with babies; Uncle Art, Cousin Art and his wife Marilyn; met all the neighbors, Rusty and Meg, Karen, John, Phoebe.  It was nice, but tiring.  I think when I have my heart attack I don't want any visitors! 

My Aunt Annie, me (wish my eyes were open!) and Vicky. 

Thank you to Patti and George for doing so much.  George should have been a nurse, he is really good at it and would do all the "nursing-type" things I didn't want to do.  We did have plenty of nurses and physical therapists coming to the home for both my mom and dad, so that was good.  I was more of the "domestic" cooking, shopping, getting prescriptions, cleaning up, keeping the oxygen going and keeping my mom warm and supplied with tea! She is doing really well.  Doctor thought she was 70 years old!  George and Patti had the first 10 days, I did the next 10, and now George and Patti are there every day, but my mom went up to bed this week and that is a big accomplishment.  She had her heart attack three days before she went to the doctor, and surgeon said she only had two hours to live.  Mom, you should play the lottery . . . not dad!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Dreaded Phone Call!

The phone call came Saturday evening from my brother, my mom had a heart attack.  It was minor, though, so no need to worry or hop a plane, he would keep me posted.  Talked to my mom a couple of times, she sounded good.  So as a get well gift I decided to whip up a batch of her favorite soup, an old recipe from Magic Pan, Potage St. Germaine.

Got all of the supplies to ship it UPS, it would be there in two days for her return.  Then the dreaded phone call!  It was not minor, she was going in for open-heart surgery and there would be a long recovery period.  My wonderful brother is taking care of my dad this week, and I'm hopping in the Jeep and headed home for who knows how long to take care of my mom when she gets out of the hospital this weekend.  Jacqui just left for Boston today and I had told her Saturday I may be hitching a ride with her, but the timing was off.  Guess I'll be delivering the soup in person!  Until  I get back . . .

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Peak Leaves in Asheville

Did you know the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC have the longest fall leaf season in the country?  Better get up there soon!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Road Trip to Nashville!

Off Jacqui and I go to visit Rich and Pat and the gang in Nashville, TN!

We met Rich and Pat through transporting dogs and an instant friendship was made.  Byson is getting a nice ear rub from Rich!

This is Chloe, a senior chow who had been in a Texas shelter since April.  I paid her adoption fee, found a wonderful foster named Diana in TX who took good care of her for months until transport was arranged, and Chloe arrived at Rich & Pat's last weekend, one of the reasons for our visit!

This is Mojo, a senior Rich and Pat adopted a few years ago.

Byson is on the left, a dog they are fostering for Jacqui and I, and Frisky is on the right, another we pulled from a Georgia shelter the day she was to be put to sleep.  Rich and Pat adopted Frisky, a senior whose owner had died and family put in the shelter.  She is one lucky girl!

Rich and Pat live on 20 acres surrounded by beautiful vistas!

The night we arrived we could see fireworks in a neighboring town from their front porch.  The town was 30 miles away.  They say on 4th of July, they see a whole skyline of fireworks in all the neighboring towns, so I think another road trip will be in order!

The next morning we all went for a long walk with the dogs.

Everyone who has come in contact with Chloe has loved her.  I wanted to kidnap her and keep her all for myself.  She was just groomed and looked like a little lamb.

This is our boy , Byson.  He's a handful, has to be walked on a leash or off to the cow pasture he goes.  He loves his new buddies and his fosters!

Julie is another friend we have through rescue who lives about 30 minutes from Pat and Rich, so off we went to visit Julie and all of her chows!

Amadeus is yet another chow we pulled from a Georgia shelter who is now living with Julie until adoption.  He is a feral chow, and Julie has done wonders with him.  Julie has three little girls, a job, a huge house and yet does all this rescue work.  She's amazing!

Another of Julie's fosters.

A whirlwind weekend, could have spent many more days with our TN friends just talking and enjoying all these chow-chows, but we had to get back home to our own.  Next time we have to take a photo of Pat (sorry Pat!).  Our boy Byson was worn out and we got a great shot of his black velvet paws.  We'll see you all again soon!