Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 10/12/16

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.

Moving to the Mountains
1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house?

We recently moved so my memories of the disaster experience are fresh...  
Best thing about moving: A new beginning in a new place, the change of  surroundings has been very beneficial, I'm much happier and healthier! Also, we made a big effort to get rid of "stuff" that had been collecting dust for many years; it was freeing to lighten the load by at least 30%!     
Worst thing about moving: Watching the moving truck pull away with everything we own; my entire life was heading into the horizon without me; would I ever see my things again!?! It was scary! Also, the house we bought was fully furnished. The previous owner just walked away leaving food in the cabinets, junk in the drawers, and dog hair everywhere. We had to make a lot of decisions about what we would keep from both homes and where/how we would move the cast-offs.  We had multiple moving companies (at both locations), consignment shops, donation centers, cleaning crews, and facebook garage sale postings to manage in a very short put my project management skills to the test!  The new house has half the storage of previous homes; that is still a big challenge, we have many boxes still unpacked five months after the move...UGH!

2. What's moved you recently?

Brenda, Belinda, and Lori on the screen one at the new house!

My Bible study group...Lori, Jill, Donna, Susan, Kathy, and Beth.
I miss my BFF's! Moving to the mountains has been great, but I've put many miles between me and my besties.  This weekend one of my best friends and her husband came up for a visit; I was so incredibly sad when they pulled out of the driveway on Sunday afternoon. It made me realize just how much I miss my friends. I need to work on this, I am moved to seek out additional (NOT replacement) girl friends here in the mountains.

3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so?

 Moving forward...I've been working on my handmade jewelry business.  Having done two shows recently has helped me to sharpen my focus on what buyers want right now. My older designs are not selling, the customers in my booth didn't even look at the older stuff. It's time to take apart the old stuff and re-style it into items that will sell today. I've got a lot of enthusiasm right now. 

4. On the move, move mountainsget a move onit's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain.

Definitely "get a move on" I should be packing for an upcoming trip, cleaning the house (I can't stand coming home to a dirty house), I need to do laundry, and I need to finish the jewelry I'm making to go with my anniversary outfit....yes I need to get a MOVE ON!

5. What song makes you want to get up and move?


I have specific songs for different activities...
Song that I just can't sit still when it's playing: Earth Wind & Fire - "September"
Cleaning the House: Steely Dan - "Aja" 
Driving to the Mountains: Santana - "Ultimate Santana" 
Dance Party: Earth Wind and Fire - Anything!

6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'?

Sargento makes a new grab and go snack - "Balanced Breaks"; It's a small serving of cheese cubes, nuts, and dried berries, 8 grams of protein, and 150 - 180 calories...perfect! 

7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home?

I can't pick just one...The double wedding ring quilt that my grandma Nonie made, the cookie jar from the house I grew-up in, the fuzzy throw made from old fleece and pieced together by my step-mother, and the cute stuffed polar bear my husband bought to keep me company when I was in the hospital. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I will miss Hodgepodge next week....this will be our 'ride' for the week....Yippee!

Norwegian Escape


Lori in Blue Ridge, GA
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Thursday, October 6, 2016


As seen on all*you blog
Make a Kittycat Pumpkin Craft for Halloween

Craft this adorable pumpkin overflowing with kitties for the cutest Halloween decoration.

  • Scissors
  • Ribbon in a variety of widths and patterns
  • Large pumpkin, hollowed out
  • Craft glue
  • Thumbtacks
  •  Ear Template
  • Black cardstock
  • Pencil
  • Patterned scrapbook paper
  • 5 small foam pumpkins
  • Hot glue gun
  • 10 black thumbtacks or 10 1/4" black buttons
  • Black floral wire
  • 5 pencils, sharpened
  • Florist foam
1. Cut pieces of ribbon long enough to extend from inside top edge of large pumpkin to the underside. Starting at bottom, use craft glue to attach ribbon pieces one by one to each pumpkin rib (the raised part between the grooves). Secure end inside pumpkin with a thumbtack.
2. Print templates and cut out. Place ear and nose templates on black card stock and trace around, making 5 noses and 5 pairs of ears. Cut out. Place inner-ear template on patterned paper and trace around, making 5 pairs. Cut out.
3. Use craft glue to attach a patterned-paper inner ear to each black-card-stock outer ear. Let dry. Hot-glue one pair of ears to each small pumpkin.
4. For eyes, insert a pair of black thumbtacks into each pumpkin, or use craft glue to attach a pair of black buttons. Attach a nose to each pumpkin with craft glue. Cut four 1½″-long pieces of wire for each pumpkin. Attach two wires on either side of nose with hot glue.
5. Arrange foam in bottom of large pumpkin. Insert sharpened end of a pencil into bottom of each kitten pumpkin and insert other end into foam. Prop top of pumpkin on kittens.
(As seen on all*you blog)
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Lessons Learned at the Georgia Marble Festival...

This past weekend I was a vendor at the Georgia Marble Festival in Jasper, GA.  Jasper is a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain Range.  Most of the early industry revolved around the marble industry.  For decades Georgia Marble has been mined and used to create historic architecture around the world, including the Archives Building in Atlanta, the New York Stock Exchange, the Supreme Court, and the Lincoln Memorial to name a few. The marble is also used for tombstones for the United States Military at Arlington National Cemetery. Most of the marble is white, but there is also very rare pink marble. It is one of the few places in the world where pink marble is found. The town of Jasper celebrates it's marble heritage the first weekend in October each year.

Georgia Marble Festival
With my granddaughters Jade (13) and Aidia (14) at the Georgia Marble Festival
I was selling my handmade jewelry at the festival; the things I learned as a vendor at this festival (my second festival since retiring)....

1. The quality of handmade items at this festival was lower end; my jewelry was expensive in comparison with other artists work.  Having never been to this festival before, I did not know this when I applied to be a vendor.

2.  The festival also allowed "retail" vendors to set-up in amongst the artists. The retail vendors were selling mass produced jewelry at less than half the cost of my handmade items. The jewelry was rubbish, but it was shiny stuff that attracted the low end buyers. Lesson learned... I will never sell at another show that allows retail vendors, only shows that are promoting handmade artists.

3.  Inflatable Bouncy Houses = bad artistic vibe. I learned from other artists that a large children's area is not good for sales.  The majority of families are visiting the festival to amuse the kids, not to purchase handmade items.

4.  I need to work on a better way to pack-up my jewelry, individual ziploc bags was tedious and after a full weekend of working the festival I was tired and not happy with the time and effort it took to tear down my booth.  Any suggestions?

I did get to network with other artists and got some great suggestions for future festivals. Overall the festival was a great learning experience and I did make a larger profit  compared to the last festival. I'm pleased with my results, but I will not be joining this festival again next year. 

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Friday, September 30, 2016

Bats in the Belfry....

I LOVE all things Halloween & Fall ...I saw this light fixture at REJUVENATION. 

Hmmm...where can I put this the stairwell, on the porch, outside in the porte cochere, unfortunately we don't have a belfry…

The Bat and Serpent design originate from Celtic mythology and symbolize the triumph of science and modern medicine over witchcraft....LOVE IT, but don't think my Sweetie would be amused! LOL

Count Down to Halloween: 31 Days!

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Craft Show Alert....

Just a quick reminder...I will be a vendor (selling my handmade jewelry) at the Georgia Marble Festival in Jasper, GA. 


The Festival is this Saturday October 1 and Sunday October 2 opening at 10am - 5pm. The festival will feature artist booths, food trucks, entertainment on two stages, a kids area, a parade, and a 5K race. Hope to see you there!

Some examples of my jewelry....

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 09/28/16

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. Have you ever been to and/or lived near the desert? What did you think? Travel and Leisure lists the 'coolest' American desert towns as-
Palm Springs CA, Virgina City NE, Bend OR, Winslow AZ, Marfa TX, Grand Junction CO, Silver City NM, Moab UT, Taos NM, Yakima WA, Borrego Springs CA, Terlingua TX, and St. George UT, and Tubac AZ

Have you been to any of these? Would you like to visit a desert town? Which on the list would you most like to see?
Desert Sunset
The only desert town I have visited is Tucson, Arizona. I was there touring at the university during my senior year in High School. It was a long time ago and my memories of the trip are faded. I guess I wasn't impressed with the school or location, I went to college in Indiana.
I'd like to visit Moab UT (beautiful scenery) and Taos NM (the art scene and glass studios).

2. What's a plan or project you've deserted in the past year? 

We had planned to go to Sedona, AZ for a yoga retreat this month. We had to abandon the plan when life took several unplanned turns and our path to the future changed directions. Maybe next year we'll get to visit Sedona.

3. Desert-dessert? Share two or three words you find yourself having to think twice about when it comes to spelling.  

Writing does not come easy to me, I have to think about all my words; these give me pause when blogging....
--Where and Were
--Effect and Affect
--Irregardless and Regardless

4. High and dry, like watching paint dry, dry run, dry as dust, not a dry eye in the house...which phrase can you relate to currently? Explain. 
We only love the memory of who you were.... 
"Sucked Dry" -  our adult daughter Kelly has sucked the family dry emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually.  We do not love what she’s become, we only love the memory of someone else, the child that came into our hearts many years ago. We want her to come home, but not as the junkie she’s become, but as the original soul she was before addiction set in, we want to welcome back the human being who once brought such joy and love into our life.  At this point she has lost so much, our trust, her husband, her children, her job, her home, family, and most recently her freedom (jailed).  Yes, we are sucked dry by her lies, thievery, and abuse. Sad.....

5. How often do you frequent the dry cleaners? Starch or no starch? 

Since retiring from the corporate world, I've only been to the dry cleaners once in the past six months...I don't miss the weekly trips one bit!  No starch for me. 

6. What's a food or beverage you enjoy that's named for a place? 
Easy...Chicago Style Pizza!  I grew up just south of the city and enjoyed the doughy goodness frequently.  Then I moved to the south, it's impossible to get a good Chicago Style Pizza here in the North GA Mountains.  I've learned to appreciate a good hand tossed from Cucina Rustica, but it's just not the same!

7. Do you need solitude? 
Blue Ridge, GA
Very much so....I spend a lot of time relaxing on our porch listening to the creek rushing over the rocks in our back yard. It's relaxing and tranquil. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I was challenged (on facebook) to post a nature photo for seven days, below is the photo I posted today.  It's the view from the balcony at my Dad's place in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico. Oh how I miss Bucerias...take a peek.
Sunset in Bucerias, Mexico

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA
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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Final Blooms of the Season....

Just North of our home in Blue Ridge, GA is the expansive Cohutta Wilderness.  Today we took a drive in the Wilderness and found the most amazing wild flowers along the gravel road. I just had to snap a few photos of the late summer blooms, they are so pretty! Soon the blooms will be gone, replaced by the reds and golds of Fall. 

Come on up to the Mountains....the weather is wonderful.

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Mountain Folks LOVE Tractors....

Mercier Orchards, Blue Ridge, GA

Since moving to the Mountains of North Georgia, we've enjoyed all kinds of country festivals, craft shows, barn sales, and other events at the local apple orchards....but the most unusual event so far has been the antique tractor show.  My Grandfather would have loved this...I'm sure he was there in spirit!  

Mercier Orchards, Blue Ridge, GA

Pictured above are some of my favorites from the show.  Overall there were about 30 tractors and many collectors, farmers, and mountain folk milling around shooting the breeze. Seems the weather was the hot topic, but this is probably true whenever farmers gather together.

Mercier Orchards, Blue Ridge, GA

...and no Mountain Event would be complete without a team of cloggers, 
boiled peanuts, and hot kettle corn....

Mercier Orchards, Blue Ridge, GA

We love our new life in the Mountains and the friendly Mountain Folks we've met.  
Life is good!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 09/21/16

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. Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the will you welcome the season? I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now so permission granted. House Beautiful recently listed ten ways to make your home smell like fall (you can read the list here) What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home? 

I always decorate the house for fall....wreath on the door, hay bales, pumpkins, and a Halloween themed mini village.  I love my little village; Halloween has been my favorite holiday for a very long time.  I also celebrate my birthday and anniversary in October. This year we will be going on a cruise to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.  My sweetie is very scent sensitive so we don't add any additional scents to our home.

2. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Apple cake or pumpkin bread? Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte?

Hard Question, I like them all, but if I need to make a choice:
    Pumpkin Pie (with whipped cream of course)
    Pumpkin Bread
    Warm Apple Cider (I never drink coffee...blah)

3. Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump? What helps ward it off before it hits and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once it's here?

Yes, I do suffer from afternoon slump...I usually have a little snack...some nuts, cubes of cheese, dried fruits, or apple slices. It gives me a little sugar boost that jump starts my energy for the afternoon.  I'm usually in the studio working on jewelry in the afternoon.

4. Ladies-how have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person? For the men here today- how have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person?

Brenda Sanders, Lori Dorrington, and Belinda Burke
I cherish my girlfriends and the lifetime relationships we have built. They inspire me to be the best "me" I can be. They make me feel braver than I feel, stronger than I am, and smarter than I give myself credit for. They encourage me to follow my dreams and support my business aspirations.  We've helped each other through good times (weddings, adoption, promotions, adventures) and bad times (illness, loss, disappointment, breakups) with prayer and caring.  I love my girlfriends and would not be the person I am today without them. 

5. Are you a people pleaser? If you said yes, do you think that's a good or bad thing? If you said no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser?

No not really, I've learned that people pleasing puts a lot of extra stress on my health and causes me to overcommit my time and limited energy. Keeping everyone happy causes me to lose sleep, become anxious, and get very grumpy. I now set priorities for myself, if pleasing someone is important today, I do it.  I don't stress if everyday is not filled with people pleasing tasks.  I need to take care of me and then everything else.  

6. The seasons are a-changin'...share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal change, it could be change of any kind).

From the master of change: David Bowie's - "Changes" - R.I.P. 

7. What do you wish would never change? 

My memory! As I age my memory has become less than scares me to think my memories may be lost forever someday.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

This weekend we went into the city to visit two of our favorite restaurants: Bone Garden Cantina and Local Three.  It was so nice to be recognized by the staff, and feeling that we had been missed. We LOVE living in the mountains, but do miss our local favorites in the city.  We decided that at least quarterly we will spend a weekend in the city and enjoy our favorite dining spots. 

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Pig Deal - Hogs, Bourbon and Music...

Fall means it's time for a good old fashioned pig roast at our favorite place ITP (inside the Atlanta perimeter) - Local Three We'll soon be spending the afternoon out on the patio at the annual “Roast a Fatty” pig pickin’ party. Chefs Hall and Muss slow roast a home-grown hog from Gum Creek Farms south of Atlanta.  They'll be using a roaster that I’ve only seen at their roasts, it's called the La Caja China Roasting Box.  The aromas coming out of that box are delectable and the unveiling of the finished fatty is quite the spectacle.  Camera's flash, the crowd of hungry guests "ooh" and "aah", and we all await the first taste of the roasted pork goodness.

Photos from the first "Roast a Fatty" at Local Three
The Local Three staff also whips up a load of the delicious sides and feature a smooth Bourbon like Belle Meade. Their bourbon is an old family recipe that was developed during prohibition in the '20s. It was so....good!  If you like Bourbon, this is the event for you!

And to top it all off, everyone receives a commemorative “Roast a Fatty” T-shirt….love the logo on the T-shirt from the first event, see the design below.  We’ll see y’all out on the patio real soon…November 6th....y'all join us!  Cheers!

I Like Pig Butts
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 09/14/16

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. What's changed in your life, home, or community since your last birthday?

A year from now you'll wish you started today!

Everything has changed since my last birthday!  My birthday is mid-October so it has been just short of a full year... a lot can happen in one year... 
I was very ill this time last year and spent most of September and October going to various doctors and specialists, I missed so much work they put me on temporary leave of absence.  A crystal clear diagnosis was never revealed, but stress, diabetes, and a thyroid problem added to my sickness.  Within six months I lost 30% of my hair, lost 100+ pounds and dropped 4 dress sizes (Yikes!)...the positive: I got a new wardrobe... the negative: I had to clean out three closets (blah!).  

In January our home life was turned upside down when we unexpectedly had to care for our three grandchildren because their parents were unable to provide a safe and nurturing home. This was another drain emotionally and financially. The kids are now living with their aunt and uncle and doing very well, we continue to support them financially.

By March, I was in bad shape physically and the stress from my job and family issues were taking a toll. So, I decided to take early retirement from my Corporate Career. It was sad, but a new chapter was beginning and I needed to get well. I no longer have a regular job.

A change of environment and outlook was needed, so we sold our home in the city and move to a small mountain town. The move has been wonderful! We love our new house and environment. Stress is almost completely gone and my health is improving. Must be the mountain air!

I started my jewelry business in July, I've been selling on Etsy, at local craft shows, and festivals. I've always been a creative person, (I was an art major in college) but never became a struggling artist after graduation. Now I'm using my creative skills and all the knowledge I gained from the corporate world to build my own business.  

It has been a year full of change!       

2. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like/listen to classical music? If so what's a favorite piece and/or who is a favorite composer? 

We listen to classical music on Sunday mornings while driving to church or to Sunday Brunch.  I don't really have a favorite. 

3. Besides The Bible, what's a book that has positively changed your life, relationships, career, or perspective? How so? 

Robert McGee Book

"The Search for Significance" by Robert S. McGee  
This book and workbook truly changed my life about 20 years ago.  During a weekly bible study group, we learned God's system of value compared to the world's system. Instead of finding my value through possessions, performance and other people's opinions of me, I now base my value on my real worth through creation and redemption. Practical daily application tools were provided to help change the negative self-talk mode that I had become trapped in. This is a wonderful book for those battling with significance issues.  It is a very thought provoking book that I highly value and treasure.

4. I read (here) these ten hobbies will make you a musical instrument, read voraciously, meditate regularly, work out your brain (puzzles, sudoku, board games, etc), exercise often, learn a new language, write your feelings down (blog, journal, just write), travel to new places, cook different kinds of meals, participate in sports actively

Are any on this list your current hobbies? Which hobby on the list would you be most inclined to try? 

Can hobbies make you smarter?

Several on the list are regular hobbies: I read voraciously and have since my college days; I do the Sudoku puzzle and crossword at least weekly in the newspaper, I blog a least weekly, and I LOVE to travel to new places, it's my passion! 

Has it made me smarter? Hmmmm....I'm not sure about that, but I do think anything that will slow/halt memory loss after 50 is a good thing.

5. What sports traditions does your family have? 

None - we're just not a sports minded family.  We are more the artsy/musical types. 

6. In a few words, weigh in on the current football/National Anthem brouhaha. Keep it family friendly please. 

In all things I believe "live and let live".  We all have the right to stand, sit, take a knee, or whatever during the anthem.  We are free to express our opinions and beliefs in whatever way we choose too as long as it is not affecting the rights of others. I choose to stand, but sometimes I must sit due to my arthritis; I'm still a loyal American either way and hope that others don't judge me for it.

7. Where do you have loads of patience, and where do you most lack patience?

I have oodles of patience in most all situations except when it come it teenagers...they exasperate me! (Click photo to link to go to the 10 Signs).

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

We are searching for a dog to join our family.  Due to allergy issues we are looking for hypoallergenic breed that is content with a fenced yard, but not much leash walking due to my arthritis. It must be a social breed because we live in a very dog friendly town and we will be taking it out and about with us.  Any suggestions?

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA


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