Monday, March 20, 2017

A Best Seller in My Etsy Shop....

My Etsy shop has been a little sparse since my accident in January. My shoulder injury and reconstructive surgery has limited the range of motion in my right arm and hand. Restocking my shop and participating in spring Art Festivals has been put on hold for this season.  

I was also unable to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party which will have it's reveal soon...it's the 9th year for this fun event. If you'd like to see the jewelry designs, the reveal is on March 25th at...

I have had a few Etsy sales, and I'm thankful for that. Below is a photo of one of my best sellers.  I look forward to getting back to work as soon as possible!

Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 03/01/2017

I’m joining the fun this week…. 
Sitting by the fireplace and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. 'Slow and steady wins the race'...tell us about a time this was true in your own life. 


I waited for the right one to come along...it was a slow and steady journey to find the man of my dreams....my true forever love. I had to kiss many, many,  frogs along the way before I found my prince, I was 45 when it finally happened!  My advice to anyone looking for Mr or Mrs right: don't settle for mediocre... wait for your hearts desire.  

2. 'As slow as molasses'...Do you like molasses? How about maple syrup? Caramel? Butterscotch? What's your favorite of the slow moving treats mentioned here, and what's your favorite food made with that sweet treat? 


Straight molasses - no, but I do like it added to other ingredients to add a little flavor. As a teenager I worked at the Dairy Queen and loved a gooey hot fudge and caramel sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top...yummy! I shouldn't, but I still stop by DQ for a sweet treat regularly.     

3. Your favorite slow song? 

The Look of Love preformed by Diana Krall...it's so beautifully arranged.



4. Your favorite thing to make in a slow cooker or crock pot? 


Beef stew in the crock pot, served with mashed potatoes covered with the gravy from the stew.

5. 'You may delay, but time will not.' ~Benjamin Franklin Are you more a hurrier or a delayer when it comes to unpleasant tasks that need doing? What are you currently either delaying or hurrying to get through this week or month?

I will wait until the last minute, but still allow enough time to get the job done. I've been putting off unpacking the last of the moving boxes from our move in May. It's just not a top priority, but the boxes do make me crazy.

6. Tell us three things you encounter regularly or even just occasionally that you find to be annoyingly slow.


I live in a rural community, folks here in the mountains work two and three jobs to make ends meet.  Getting help with things like house maintenance has been a slow and tedious process. Everyone wants the job, but no one has time to actually do the work.  Example: we need a rock retaining wall built, several bids came in for the work in August; we accepted one, and then another, and we still don't have the wall built..not even started yet...don't know if it will ever get done at this rate....everything seems to move at a snails pace in the mountains.

7. March is National Craft Month. Are you crafty? Tell us about something crafty you'll try in the next thirty one days. Or something crafty you'd like to try or wish you had the skill to make happen. 


Craft Festival Booth

I'm very crafty but all projects are on hold.  I had a serious accident on my bicycle 5 weeks ago and shattered my shoulder and upper right arm. I had reconstructive surgery and have a long road of physical therapy ahead before I can use my right arm at all.  They predict a year before I'll be back to normal.  I can read and blog with one hand, so that's what I'm doing now.  My jewelry making business is on hold for the time being. Bummer!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I just want to thank my husband for all his nursing efforts and support; also I want to thank everyone praying for pain relief and healing for me. I am finally out of bed and vertical this week. I do have strong pain meds, but they make me ill and dizzy. Please pray for continued pain relief so I can get off the meds.

Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, Ga
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 01/25/2017

I’m joining the fun this week…. 
Sitting by the fireplace and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.


1. "The cure for anything is salt water-tears, sweat, or the sea." (Isak Dinesan) Would you agree? Of the three, which has 'cured' you most recently? 
Most recently it was the sea that 'cured' me. Two weeks ago I spent a weekend in New Smyrna Beach, FL with my college BFFs.  It was a sad occasion that called me back to Florida; the daughter of one of my dear friends had passed away from a very aggressive cancer. She had just turned 25 and had her whole life ahead of her.  After the memorial service we spent two days on the beach. We shed many tears, but we let the tide carry our sorrow out to sea; I believe in the healing power of the sea!  

2. What's something you can't eat without salt? Do you normally salt your food a lot, a little, or not at all? 
I don't use very much salt on my food, but I can't eat popcorn without it and I need butter on it too.

3. Sands of time, bury your head in the sand, built on sand, or draw a line in the sand...which sandy phrase could best be applied to something in your life right now? 
Built on Sand - my schedule was a moving target today. I had to make many changes to my personal and business calendars.  I'm very organized, but multiple changes on the same day, for one event, drives me crazy.

4. A favorite book, movie, or song with an island setting or theme? 




The book and movie "Eat, Pray, Love" set on the island of Bali. Stunning location and fabulous story.

5. Yesterday-did you run your day or did it run you? How so? 
I ran the day...slept late, stayed in my jammies, worked on my Meetup group communications, planned an upcoming "Glamping" trip for a large group, had dinner in town, and snuggled with my sweetie...I made all the choices! 

6. You're on an island holiday. Will I most likely find you parked in a beach chair, shopping in town, on the back of a jet ski, or snorkeling off the back of a catamaran? 
In the morning you will find me parked in a beach chair (under a umbrella) reading a good book, in the afternoon you'll find me snorkeling off the back of a catamaran, and in the evening you'll find me wining and dinning at a restaurant with a good view of the setting sun.  The photo below is a favorite Beach Club from a recent trip to Tortola Island (yep, I parked it in one of those beach chairs reading my book). 


7. What do you think we humans most take for granted?
We have the freedom to choose what we’ll do today, even if we have some limitations. Sometimes we take it for granted, but what we do on a daily basis truly is our choice.



8. Insert your own random thought here.


Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

WooHoo...I'm Mobile Again...

Check out my new mod of transportation...

This weekend my sweetie and I went to the Recreational Vehicle (RV) Super Show in Chattanooga TN.  We were there doing some window shopping for a small pull behind travel trailer for camping adventures this spring. We didn't purchase a camper, but we each purchased a new bike. Mine is an electric bike! 

For several years I have been struggling with arthritis; this makes riding my standard bike a challenge. When riding up a hill on my old bike, the pressure on my hips was very painful.  I also have a hard time getting on and off the old bike safely due to the crossbar being too high.

My new bike is the Pedego "Boomerang" model, it has a very low 9" step through frame for easy access and a deluxe saddle with a suspension seat post for extra cushioning for my aching bones. It also has wide, swept back handlebars that allow me to sit up straight (my most pain-free position) and premium balloon tires ensuring a nice, smooth ride.

And the best feature is the power assist that helps me out if I get tired (it has 5 levels of assistance) or can't pedal up the hills on my own. The battery is powerful enough to get me moving up to 20 miles an hour and it will last for 30 to 40 miles on one charge.  

The catch-22 with arthritis is that you need exercise to increases strength and flexibility, reduce joint pain and combat fatigue. But when stiff and painful joints are already bogging you down, the thought of walking around the block or riding your bike for 30 minutes can be overwhelming. My new bike will help ease the pain and provide some exercise.

The Pedego company tag line is "hello fun" .... I agree, my new bike is so much fun to ride!  I can't wait to take it on a road trip. 

Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 01/18/2017

I’m joining the fun this week…. 
Sitting by the fireplace and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now? 

Secret Shopper

Right now it stands for... "as secretive as possible"... I've taken a part time job as a secret shopper.  I  audit customer service and product knowledge at retail stores in my area.  I go in as a 'secret' shopper and observe how the store associates respond to my scripted questions and handle out-of-stock situations.  I also audit the overall appearance of the stores, the cash register experience and the cleanliness of the restrooms. I've become very talented at blending in with the crowd.

2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?
When I was in the corporate world I was the first to speak-up as the leader of a project team. This was a learned skill; I'm typically a shy, quiet person outside of the workplace. 

3. What do you remember best about being 12? 
Summer camp at Camp Goodfellow in northern Indiana. I loved going to sleep-away camp for two weeks each summer.  When I was 12 I had been going to camp for five years, so I knew the routine and was no longer homesick, anxious, or uncomfortable with new experiences. I just had a good time swimming, and doing crafts, and honing my archery skills. Life was good.... 

4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration. 
Kanga and Roo

Some days I feel like Eeyore, but the quiz said I'm really more like Kanga...caring and supportive, more adventurous than people might at first realize, and up for anything that's reasonably safe and somewhat sane. Yep, sounds like me....Kanga.

5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way? 
I use "My Fitness Pal" to help count carbs and calories; it makes it easy to figure out what amount of insulin is needed to control my sugar levels.  I just type in the food/drink I'm eating and it does the calculation for me. I don't need to add it all up in my head. I just enter the number into my insulin pump and I'm good to go!

6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL)...you have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?

Del Coronado - San Diego

I've visited all of the cities listed and I'm having a hard time picking one...hmmm...I guess I'll go with San Diego and stay at the Del Coronado; it's an amazing hotel right on the beach. I'd like to stretch out on a lounge chair under an umbrella, with a frosty drink, and a good book. I just started reading "Katherine" by Anya Seton.

7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what? 

In 1970 the group Chicago released the song "Color My World". That summer the camp counselors at Camp Goodfellow would blast this song (and others) over the PA system after dinner and before lights out each night. I remember sitting with my cabin mates cross legged in the grass under the flickering outdoor light; we would sing and sway back and forth to "Color My World". Whenever I hear that song today it takes back to those wonderful summer nights in 1970.
   
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Cheese Head Packer Fan

Did you see the football game between the Packers and the Cowboys? WOW, what an exciting last 2 minutes! I live near Atlanta, but I've been a devoted Packer fan for several years....GO PACKERS!

Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

He's So Cute...Happy Holidays!


Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Crazy Cat Lady Day....

I'm not a crazy cat lady but sometimes cats are the answer to everything. 
Having a bad day? Cats. Having a bad week? Cats. Having a bad year? Cats. 
They can somehow make everything better... How?  Because they're cats, that's how. 

These made me smile today......

"His arrival was foretold in the ancient murals!" 

"The Slippery Struggle of Ice Fishing..."





Hope your week is going well, If not I hope the kittens helped!
Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA



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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 12/14/2016

I’m joining the fun this week…. 
Sitting by the fireplace and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.





1. Are you more task oriented or people oriented? Elaborate.
I'm much more task oriented, I don't warm up to people easily, shyness has been a lifelong challenge for me.  I'm the gal at the party taking photos, serving drinks, picking up empty cups and playing with the cat. I look for tasks to keep me busy so I'm  not obsessing about initiating conversations or coming up with smart responses. Just being myself in social situations is never easy for me...tasks are straightforward and effortless.

2. December 15 is National Wear Your Pearls Day...do you own/wear pearls? If you're a man answering the question, does your sweetheart own or wear pearls? Everyone share a 'pearl of wisdom' with us here today.




I believe pearls are a girls best friend! I have several strands: fake, cultured, and natural. I wear pearls all the time and use them in many of my jewelry designs. The Pearl bracelet pictured above is a best seller in my Etsy shop.


My pearl of wisdom...


3. Speaking of pearls...oysters? Are you a fan or not a fan? If you answered yes, tell us your favorite way to eat oysters? If you said no, be honest-have you ever tried one or does just the idea of eating an oyster make you gag a little?



I lived in Florida for many years and had a roommate who worked at Calico Jack's Oyster Bar... I've eaten my fair share of oysters.  I can't choke down even one of the raw variety, but I can tolerate them in a soup. dip, or stew. They are not my favorite; I think it's a visual thing....ewww!


4. Time Magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump Person of the Year. Let's take presidents and presidential candidates out of the mix for a minute. If a political figure had not been chosen who would you name Man or Woman of the Year for 2016?
I've thought long and hard about this question and could not come up with one person I would chose, so I will nominate theMen and Women who spent countless hours fighting the wildfires near our home and all over the US. We had crews from as far as Oregon right here in our neighborhood. The crew pictured above is from Puerto Rico... god bless them and keep them safe! 


5. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 has been announced, and it's a vibrant green aptly named-greenery. Your thoughts? Is this a color currently in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade for the new year? Click here to see the color.
A previous home we owned in Mid-Town Atlanta was painted a shade very similar to "Greenery"  it was Craftsman architecture with Cream colored trim and a Forest Green door. Loved it! Can't think of one item that color in our new home. We now live in a log home...a lot of wood tones with small pops of color.

6. Today I've had too much of -  
Facebook political view bashing.
Ugh...enough already. I believe in "Live and Let Live" Everyone has a right to their own opinion and the freedom of speech to post it. Just because you have a different opinion or belief , it doesn't give you the right to call the author names, comment on their intelligence, or bash their beliefs. Simply move on, or hide the offensive posts, or better yet unfriend the people who annoy you. Facebook is a social forum, why are some people making it a battleground? I'm over it....moving on.....


7. Share a favorite lyric from a favorite Christmas carol.



The fireside is blazing bright 
We're caroling through the night 
And this Christmas will be
A very special Christmas for me...


8.  Insert your own random thought here.



Next month I'm starting a new Meetup Group - Ladies Bunco Night in Blue Ridge, GA. This is my first Meetup group and my first attempt at organizing a Bunco Night.  Any helpful tips or suggestions to make this group a success?  I need advice on what food and drink the hostess provides. Potluck? Provide the Meat? Just provide appetizers?  I need some help with what has worked for your groups and meetups.

Cheers,
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Wait...You're only Seven?


I had a funny and surprising conversation with my 7 year old Granddaughter this weekend. I asked her to write out her Christmas Wish List so we could complete our shopping. Off she skipped with pen and paper in hand to work on the list. 

About an hour later she returned with a nicely written list containing about 10 items. She announce with an impressive sweep of her hand "You can get me all these things". I think she mistook my look of surprise at her decree as a look of bewilderment, because she launched into a detailed description of each item on the list

She emphasized that she wanted "a lot of this" and "really fast that" and "not the small one, get the large one".  She repeated the word "real" several times when describing a phone and a car; not the toy one mind you, the "REAL" one. 

Since I retired early, our budget for gifts is much reduced this year. To get her expectations in line with our budget, I told her that we would only be getting one item from her list. I also told her that Grandma and Grandpa would decide what to get based on the items on her "Wish" list. 

She thought about that for a minute and then asked for the list back. She scratched everything off the list except for the "real" car, handed it back to me, and skipped off. LOL She's a hand full....but I'm glad she is using her brain to troubleshot a problem. Look out world! 

Cheers and Best Wishes!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 11/30/2016


I’m joining the fun this week…. 
Sitting on the porch and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.


1. Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday (or your most recent holiday gathering if you didn't celebrate Thanksgiving). 
Heart and Soul - Self Control - Casserole


2. When did you last say, 'the more the merrier'? Did you mean it?
Last Tuesday I posted on facebook that I'd have a full house for thanksgiving (8 overnight guests for 5 days). My BFF in Florida kiddingly asked if her family could drive up and join the party...my response was "the more the merrier"...and of course I meant it. I miss my BFF!   Here is a photo of us taken at her wedding... lookin good in the 80's...LOL.


3. What's one piece of advice you'd give someone who is your same age?
"Don't wait until all the stars align to follow your dreams" 
Dreams are important, but they do not come to fruition if you do not take action. Don’t procrastinate. Start living the life you want to live today. There is always a step (even a baby step) you can take toward making your dreams come true.


OR for younger readers....
Lift with your knees, not your back! Injury can lead to a lifetime of pain.



4. You're ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it?
  1. Glazed Carrots
  2. Green Beans with Almonds
  3. Grilled Corn
  4. Pan fried Potatoes 
5. Shop til you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?


My days of shopping until I drop are many moons ago. I don't do well in crowds and walking a mall parking lot loaded down with shopping bags is just not appealing to me anymore.  I do shop early and online to avoid the brouhaha of Black Friday and Christmas Eve shopping.



6. What's your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?
My rocking chair outside on the covered porch. the rocker faces the creek in our backyard and it's in a shady spot. I can hear the water racing over the rocks in the creek and see the forest creatures passing through. I feel at peace with myself and the world on the porch.



7. Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality.


I remember kneeling beside my pink princess bed with all my stuffed animals lined up and kneeling with me as I prayed for a kitten. That week a stray and very pregnant cat arrived at our house...she delivered 5 kittens in our garage.  I knew my prayers had been answered!



8. Insert your own random thought here.
In a previous blog post (go there) I detailed my research on getting a good family portrait without the help of a professional photographer.  During the family thanksgiving event (after 20 shots) I finally did get a photo with everyone smiling and all eyes open! Take a look....what do you think?  


In photo from left to right: Jade (13), Patrick (Marley 9), Grandma Lori (me), Sebastian (7), Grandpa Chuck (my husband), Amanda (Chuck's Daughter), Kyra (7), Aidia (14), Chet (Amanda's Husband), and Jackson (2).

Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Are You Ready...?!?


Heading out to do some shopping, Chuck's Daughter and Son-in-Law and all six of our grandkids are coming up for 5 days, we need "provisions". Yep, I think I'll need a can of jellied cranberry sauce and maybe some vodka too!

Cheers!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 11/16/2016

I’m joining the fun this week…. 
Sitting on the porch and answering random questions about everything under the sun….

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.



1. Let's all think happy thoughts...share one of yours here. 
If plan "A" doesn't work, no worries, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet.  My mantra as a project manager.  😊

2. There's a Chinese proverb that says, "If you want happiness for an hour take a nap, if you want happiness for a day-go fishing...." What say you? If you want happiness for a day GO CAMPING.
I discovered my happy place (camping) late in life. My family did not camp when I was growing up and I traveled extensively for my job after college. When I returned from a business trip, I just wanted to spend time at home, not on the road.  I was in my mid 30's when I was invited to join a camping trip to the Great Smoky Mountains...I loved it! I've been car camping ever since.  I find it relaxing and a great way to recharge. These days we "glamp" (short for glamorous camping), we bring every convenience available to make our campsite comfortable and my Sweetie is a gourmet campfire chef. No hot dogs on a stick for us! I love camping!      


3. Where do you go to decompress from the world around you? 
Same answer as #2...Camping! Some of my favorite places to camp: Cumberland Island, GA; Cloudland Canyon, GA; Big Creek, Great Smoky Mountains, TN; and Kings Canyon, CA.

4. What song never fails to make you happy? 
A new favorite - Can't Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake - I was introduced to this song on a previous Hodgepodge!  Just try to sit still when you hear this tune; I bet you can't. I'm humming it in my head right now -  "I can't stop the feeling, so just dance, dance, dance" - fun!

5. Wednesday is National Fast Food Day. Should that be a thing? Apparently it is, so tell us what's the last 'fast food' you consumed? If you were putting together your own version of a 'happy meal' what would you include? 
I have to ask...just what are we celebrating or honoring?  I'm puzzled on this one.  The last fast food I had was a Dairy Queen chocolate dipped cone...I went through the drive-thru so it was "fast food". My happy meal is a meat and cheese board with complimentary fruits, spreads, warm crusty bread, and a nice bottle of red wine.  

6. In a few sentences tell us why you blog. 
I started blogging to promote my little Etsy jewelry business, but found that I enjoyed writing about life and the world around me much more than I enjoyed marketing my wares. I don't think I'm a very good writer, but I do enjoy it. I also really enjoy reading blogs; I could spend the entire day following links and hopping from one blog to the next.

7. List seven things you're feeling especially grateful for today. 
  1. That God gave me another day here on earth with the one I love.
  2. That I have a brave cat (Buddy) to hunt down that pesky little mouse in the basement (we live in the mountains, cold weather brings them in)
  3. That my Sweetie loves to grocery shop (I don't) and he stocked the cabinets prior to his road trip tomorrow.
  4. That a small family of deer has moved into our yard to wait out the fire. They have been here for several days.
  5. That my creative juices were flowing today, I completed several handmade ornaments for the Christmas Market.
  6. That I opened another moving box and found family photos that I hadn't seen in many, many, years...priceless!
  7. And most of all...that I have so many friends and family praying for our safety from the wildfire.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
The wildfire in the Cohutta Wilderness (Rough Ridge, GA) is steadily moving toward our home. The fire is now 5 miles away and has been burning for just under a month.  Overall it has consumed 20,000+ acres of the National Forest; 200+ firefighters from across the country have arrived to fight this monster fire. There is no end in sight, the winds and drought are fueling the fire which is only 20% contained as of day. We really need a long
drenching rain ( or even snow ) to stop this monster. Please pray with us or if you are not religious, please keep us in your thoughts. We need a lot of rain, protection for the forest creatures that have been driven out of their sanctuary, and a halt to the fire's advancement. On a personal note, we need prayers to save our home. Thank You for your help with this; here is a photo of our favorite day trip road in the wilderness...so sad...it breaks my heart...

Best Regards,
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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