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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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Kids Can Change the World....New MacDonald Video

I love this video, we should show this to our kids and grandkids; they are the hope for our future. In my opinion, organic farming is one positive step towards healing the planet.  It's not too late to make a difference....

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

North Georgia - "There be gold in them thar hills"...

Did you know the phrase "there be gold in them thar hills" originated in Georgia, not California?  The first gold rush was not in the west, it was right here in Georgia in 1828.  There was so much gold mined here that a US mint was temporarily located in the North Georgia town of Dahlonega to handle the load. Panning for gold is still possible today in the streams and creeks of north GA. You won't get rich on the findings, but you will have a great time...try it, it's fun!  

Gold Panning at Consolidated Gold Mines - Dahlonega, GA

You can also search for gold at one of the many commercial sites offering buckets of river mud, ready for you to search for gold and other gemstones.

I just love the Mountains!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It's a Southern Thing...The Barn Sale!

Yes, I sold my jewelry in a Barn!

The Traveling Bazaar

Since retiring from the corporate world I've been working full time on my Etsy jewelry shop and a traveling jewelry booth setup.  This past weekend I participated in my first Barn Sale at the Old McDonald's Farm in Sale Creek, TN.  It was a "shabby chic" themed event put on by the Traveling Bazaar Group. 

The Traveling Bazaar

Did I make a lot of money? N0.  Did I have a great time? YES!  It was so much fun I'm going to do it again in December.  It was great networking with the other vendors at the event and I learned a lot from them.

Some Craft Show Tips:
1.)  Bring snacks - eating a full meal is impossible if you don't have a friend to booth sit.
2.)  Bring a fan(s) - shoppers will stay longer in your booth if they are cool.
3.)  Bring Backup Supplies - many shoppers wanted to mix and match chain lengths with my sea glass pendants, no one wanted the necklace "as is".  Additional lengths were needed.
4.)  Be prepared for the surge - Serious shoppers arrive within the first two hours of the show.  After lunch was very sluggish for sales.

The Traveling Bazaar

I'm on the standby list for the Jasper, Georgia, Marble Festival; keep your fingers crossed for me to get in this year!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

Craft Show Booth

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 08/24/16

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. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')

I don't "waffle" very often, I'm very decisive and have been that way for a very long time. My corporate career as a project manager has taught me that waffling adds time and usually expense to any task, project, or event.  I do LOVE waffles though!

2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? 

Yes, rushing the seasons does bother me...alot!  But I am also guilty of 'feeding the retail frenzy'; I was looking at Halloween Decorations at Costco in July... Just today I read an article about decorating your mantel for fall...I just can't help myself! Soon I will be planning for Christmas, I'm sure Costco is already stocking the aisles with Red and Green Sparkly things...  

I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 

I live 15 minutes from a beautiful mountain lake...I have not been there yet.  That is the number one thing on our bucket list for the end of summer. We might even rent a pontoon to cruise around the lake.

3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?

Hostas!  I love the texture, the dimension, and the subtlety of these shade loving plants. Here in the mountains we have ample shade from towering Oaks and many other native trees. Hostas thrive here. I find the range of color and texture beautiful!

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 

I judge myself and others for that matter, by actions. Why? because I know others will judge me by my actions and I want them to see the same person that I see.  The person that leads by example and is never accused of her actions speaking louder than her words.  I'm not always successful at this, but I try everyday to hold to that self image.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 

I've been called "the rock of gibraltar" during a crisis situation.  I can hold it all together like nobodies business. I am calm, shy, and quiet under normal circumstances, but I'm also a natural leader. I'm not sure why, but people follow me and believe in me.  I think that is why I was successful as a project manager of very large construction projects and complicated IT project deployments...people trusted in me and my decisions. In a crisis you've got to be organized...luckily, I have that skill in spades!

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?

I don't cook much, my Sweetie does the cooking in our family. So, my favorite go-to-dish is the delicious Chicken Salad sandwich with a bowl of soup at my favorite lunch spot - Cantaberry trackside in my home town - Blue Ridge, GA.

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?

No, I haven't jumped on the current bandwagon, but in my college years I did.  There were not "Adult" coloring books then, but I did have a large poster that was made for coloring. I would take time out from my classes and spend an hour or two coloring; it was very relaxing. The poster was of wild animals in a jungle setting, being an art major, I had every color of marker available so my finished poster was very vibrant.  I wish I still had it, but the many moves after college while I "Found" myself took a toll on the poster.  It was eventually sad.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Thank You for all the prayers, well wishes, healing spiritual thoughts, and love with healing juju! Never underestimate the power of prayer and healing love....I was suffering one of my chronic sciatica attaches and asked for help with healing. After countless messages of healing, I was able to get out of bed and the house for that cuban sandwich I was craving....Ahhhh life is good!

Lori in Blue Ridge, 
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tennessee Craft Show....

I will be a vendor selling my original handmade jewelry at this event.

It will be a FABULOUS Barn Sale with High Quality Arts/Crafts/Handmade Items, Women's Shabby Chic/Boho/Vintage Style Boutique Clothing, Vintage Items & Antiques! 

Vicki MacNeil Hentz Gould will be Performing Live!
Good Ol' Sloppy Top & Music City Blazin' BBQ will Have Their Delicious Food Trucks There!

Old McDonald Farm will have Their Cow Coaster, Offering Rides for the Children for Only $2!
They will also be Selling Their Homemade Lemonade!

Food, Fun & Shopping!

The 1st 100 Customers will Receive a Bag of Coupons to Use at the Sale!

Please stop by my both and mention this blog post for a 10% discount!

Lori Dorrington
Lori's Glassworks

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S'Mores Bars - a fabulous treat without having to build a campfire!

  • 2½ C graham cracker crumbs
  • ¾ C butter, melted
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 C mini marshmallows
  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 C broken graham cracker pieces
  • 2 (1.55 oz) chocolate bars, broken into pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press mixture into prepared baking dish. Spread sweetened condensed milk over the top.
  3. Sprinkle half of marshmallows, all of the chocolate chips, and graham crackers over the top.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining marshmallows. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until marshmallows are browned and edges are golden.
  5. Remove from oven and place chocolate pieces on top. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving. Bars will still be gooey but will hold together. For best results, allow to cool completely.
  6. Enjoy!

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 08/10/16

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. Are you watching the Olympics? Your favorite summer Olympic event? I read recently a list of the most iconic Olympic moments in history...what stands out in your mind as a great moment from some past summer Olympic games?

Torch lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece
Yes I've been watching when I can; I love the gymnastic events. I stayed up way too late watching the team finals last night.

I was at the Atlanta Opening Ceremony in 1996, I watched Mohammad Ali light the Cauldron at the end of the opening ceremony.  It was very touching, I shed a few tears and cheered for his appearance even though his Parkinson's disease was very advanced. His mobility and balance was an issue at the time, but he faced the challenges with grace and strength.    

2. Have you ever been to Rio? How about the place that started it all-Greece? Have you ever been to any of the Olympic Games in person? Is that something you'd like to do? Have you ever met an Olympian in person?

I have not been to Rio.  I have been to Olympia, Greece. I stood on the playing field that the ancient Olympians used for the first Olympics. There are still marble starting blocks, used in the competitions. I was surprised at the fact that women were not allowed to watch the games, the men competed naked!

I attended many of the events in Atlanta 1996 - I worked for The Home Depot, they were the one of the major sponsors,.  Tickets to various events were issued to employees as service awards.  

3. The ball's in their court (tennis), cross the finish line (track and field)on target (archery), make a splash (diving), on a roll (gymnastics)out of one's depth (swimming)...which Olympic-related idiom best applies to your life right now? Explain.

"Make a Splash" - Last weekend we attended my 40th high school reunion in Merrillville, Indiana.  I was responsible for organizing the pre-party on Friday night: Sit down dinner followed by Cocktails at the Pool Bar.  The event was a huge success!  I "made a splash" with a great event for my former classmates.

4. What have you earned a 'gold medal' in recently?

I need a gold medal for keeping my mouth shut during our 10 hour drive to Indiana.  My husband is an aggressive driver and I'm a backseat driver....a bad combination on a long road trip!

5. What is it (or who is it) that motivates you to eat right, exercise, and do what you can to be healthy?

My Husband has been my cheerleader and my rock over the last year...I've lost 100 pounds, been hospitalized twice and spent several weeks with a walker due to a hairline fracture in my hip.  My sweetie was there for the good and the bad, always with a positive word and a smile on his face. He motivates me every day!

6. Are you young at heart or an old soul? Explain.

My outlook on life has always been "young at heart"....but physical challenges with arthritis and diabetes make me feel like an "old soul".

7. It's National S'mores Day (August 10th)...are you a fan? Will you celebrate with a s'more today?

We go tent camping several times a year, s'mores are always on the menu (yummy).  It's just too hot here in Georgia for a campfire tonight, so  s'mores will have to wait until fall.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This weekend at my High School Reunion I realized the most important reason to attend a High School Reunion is:

People do change...

A big reason why people don’t return for their reunions is that they hated being in high school and why return to the scene of four years of misery?  I realized this about myself and everyone else (well almost everyone else), we have long since shed our teenage self-doubt, painful shyness, and clique noteworthy behaviors.  It’s no longer about whom you were then, it’s about who you are today.  Trust me; people do change, they will be interested in your journey and the changes that have taken place over the years. I had a blast reconnecting with my classmates.
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