Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 07/27/16

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. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why?
(1=eh and 10=best summer ever)

So far I'll give it a 7 - a good summer; I've had a few health issues this summer so it has been a good summer, not a great summer.  We did have several great moments 4th of July, family and a lot of was a great weekend!

2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

I have several Aunts and Uncles, but none are especially close; I moved away from home at 17 years old and never really looked back.  I do have two beautiful (inside and out) nieces living in Battle Ground, Indiana.  A favorite memory with my nieces was a trip to Walt Disney World (WDW).  Many years ago I worked at WDW; I was able to share many memories with the girls as we toured the theme parks and use all the tips and tricks I knew about getting around the parks and transportation. It was a wonderful week!

3. What's your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What's your favorite food dipped in cheese?

My favorite Chocolate treat is the DQ dipped cone...yummy!  My favorite cheese treat is a hot german pretzel dipped in beer cheese, the Blue Ridge Brewery has the best pretzel and beer cheese. 

4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

After moving to the mountains, I was astonished by all the stars in the sky on a clear night. Living in the city we could not see many stars, even on a clear night.  The city lights faded the stars.  Now I go out to the back porch and gaze at the millions of bright twinkling's so awesome!

5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board...which board have you most recently encountered?

Tiny little chalk clip boards - I've been using these little guys to make price signs for my craft sale booth.  I write the price in chalk so I can reuse them.

6. What's your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?

Not really a story, but ....Romans 8:28 is perhaps my favorite verse, as it reminds me that, no matter what happens, God is always there. "He works all things for the good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes."

7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?
The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

I've traveled extensively in the US during my corporate career, so my stopovers would be cities that I've never visited... 
#1 -  New York City...I've never been there before, I've been in both Kennedy and Laguardia Airports, but never outside of the terminal. I'll need at least a couple of days there to see all the museums and sights.
#2 - Mackinac Island, MI...I'd stay at the Grand Hotel, it's romantic, magical, and timeless. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the island, bicycles and horse drawn carriages are the only on-island mode of transportation...perfect place to relax after the hustle and bustle of NYC!
#3 - Shipshewana,'s an Amish Community with many crafters of handmade goods.  I love items made with love and care, this community is filled with amazing handmade items: quilts, furniture, pottery, baked and canned goods, even holistic remedies.
#4 - Jackson, Wyoming... The Grand Teton National Park, natural wonders at it's best.
#5 - Big Sur, California... Known for stunning views and beautiful sunsets, what better way to end the trip!  Cheers!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Road trip to Cleveland, TN yesterday...the only bad thing about living in the mountains... no Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Costco, or Michael's. The 33 mile drive from Blue Ridge to Cleveland is gorgeous; that eases the pain a bit. The road follows the Ocoee River with jaw dropping scenery along the way....Take a look....beautiful.
Road Trip Hwy 64 in TN

Have a great week!
Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 07/13/16

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. Do you find yourself influencing your world, or is it more the other way around? 

Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA
Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA

At the moment it is more the other way around. Moving recently to a small mountain town from a large city has forced me to slow down and adjust to "mountain time".  Everything moves slower here...traffic, check-out lines, response to phone inquiries, service at the drive-thru, and conversation with the friendly mountain folk. I've had to adjust my thinking and practice patience in this new environment.  

2. July 14th is National Tape Measure Day...the device was patented on this date in 1868. When did you last use a tape measure? Do you always know where to find one in your house? Tell us one way in which you feel blessed 'beyond measure'. 

Last week I used one to measure the space in our reading nook so I could order a low-rise bookcase.  During my career with the Home Depot, I was a project manager working on new store construction sites. I was never without my Stanley tape measure on my hip or my pink hard hat on my head.  A tape measure is never far from reach even today, we have at least a dozen all over the house, I received many as vendor give-away gifts and in goody bags during my career. 

I've been blessed by being able to retire at an early age. I worked hard to achieve this goal.

3.The Plaza Hotel (Eloise), The Land of Oz (The Wizard of Oz), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), or Never Never Land (Peter Pan)...which storybook land (on this list!) would you most like to visit and why? 


Narnia would be my first choice. I've always imagined animals talking and what they would say in various situations.  In Narnia the animals could tell me what they think of humans and the world around them. I'm sure we could learn a lot from their perspective and instinct. 

4. Where and when do you get your best ideas?

Jewelry inspired by nature

I'm at my best in the morning sitting outside on the porch.  I get my best ideas from nature; I'm currently building my inventory for a craft show that I will be a vendor in September.

5.  So what have you been watching on TV this summer? Anything good? 

I've been watching Flea Market Flip on HGTV.  Two teams compete for $5000 by creating repurposed items from Flea Market finds. The team that sells their repurposed items with the biggest return on investment wins. I love the creativity and banter between the teams.

6. 'Don't swim for an hour after you eat', 'Dog days of summer', 'Knee high by the Fourth of July'...choose a summer saying from the list or share one of your own, then tell us what image or memory comes to mind when you hear it spoken.

Flying Pig
My Flying Pig 

"When pigs fly" was heard at family gatherings and on the family farm ...when I hear it today, I think of my Grandmother.  She had many folk art statues inside and outside the farmhouse; many were pigs (flying and dancing).  I have one flying pig in honor of Nonnie's love of pigs.

7. In a single sentence, sum up one life lesson you've learned. 

"You reap what you sow" was a sermon I heard by Dr Frank Harrington, it was a turning point in my life; if you want to have deep relationships, you need to give as much as you receive.  

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

As I said above, I'm getting ready to show/sell my jewelry at a craft fair.  I'm changing the look of my booth this season, I've ordered several display pieces (neck forms, necklace rack, hand forms...etc...).  I'm very disappointed with the quality of the items I've received; bent arms, broken pieces, parts that don't fit, and screws that are too short.  What has happened to quality control? Is pride in workmanship a thing of the past? I wouldn't be mentioning this if it was just one item, I had  an issue with everything I bought. Luckily my Sweetie is a handy guy and was able to fix everything with the exception of one item that was badly dented.  As a crafter of handmade items, I take great pride in creating quality items with the best materials I can find. I wish everyone felt the same way!  

If you are in Tennessee, stop by the show I'm participating in...

The Traveling Bazaar's Barn Sale

Lori In Blue Ridge, GA

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2016

Fellow blogger Rinda, is hosting her annual summertime photography scavenger hunt; below is my second photo entry.  There are a total of 21 items on the list of things to photograph; I'll be posting additional items as I find and photograph them. This is a great way to get to know my new town, Blue Ridge, GA.

Item #3 - A Skeleton

 Our favorite restaurant in Atlanta is Bone Garden Cantina, my photo(s) of a skeleton were taken in the restaurant.  All artwork featured here was created by Michael Benoit.

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA
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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2016

Fellow blogger Rinda, is hosting her annual summertime photography scavenger hunt; I'm joining for the first time today. Below I've shared two of the scavenger hunt items that I've found and photographed so far. There are a total of 21 items on the list of things to photograph; I'll be posting additional items as I find and photograph them. This is a great way to get to know my new town, Blue Ridge, GA.

Item #13 - The Moon

Summer Solstice 2016

This photo was taken from our back deck on the night of the Summer Solstice. It was a clear beautiful night, we toasted the beginning of summer with a glass of red wine and nibbled on goat cheese rolled in cracked pepper, spread on crackers, with blackberry jam. It was a perfect night out on our new the deck!

Item #14 - A Buffet of Food

Fourth of July Buffet

This photo was taken at our Housewarming and Fireworks Party on 07/02/16.  We had friends from our camping adventures, work, church, the Atlanta Tall Club, and our new neighbors join us for dinner, buffet style.  The BBQ came from Joe's BBQ in Blue Ridge, GA. It has been voted best BBQ in north GA several years in a row...Yummy! I love the spicy sauce, it's so good....

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

2016 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt...

This Photo Scavenger Hunt sounds like so much fun! I've just moved to a new town so this will help me get out and about, exploring the sites of Blue Ridge, GA and the surrounding area.  Here are the details if you'd like to join too...

2016 Photography Scavenger Hunt

In the northern hemisphere, summer officially began on June 21st. And, with summer arrives the annual Photography Scavenger Hunt. The idea is simple. Maria "Rinda" Ontiveros of posts a list of 21 items for you to find and photograph before the autumn equinox on Thursday, September 22, 2016. The list is intended to be challenging, but not impossible. Hopefully it encourages you to go on a few outings; always it requires you to be observant. You can read more about how items make the list by clicking on this link

For those of you who have blogs, post your photographs and share your adventures in finding the items. For those without blogs, keep track of your finds in some other way (a flicker account, a shutter fly album, etc.) if you want to be able to share them with the group. (It makes it easier to share if you "label" or "tag" your scavenger hunt posts, as you do them). Once a month, Maria will host a link-up so people can visit your finds, but feel free to post about the Hunt whenever you like. 

There's only two rules: no fair submitting photographs taken before the start of the Hunt and have fun. 

Note from Maria: "Newcomers welcome - the more, the merrier! No special photography skills are required - I love seeing everything from snapshots to fine art photography in response to the list. For pictures I take on my iphone, I'll be posting to instagram using #rindas2016photohunt." There's also a facebook page  (with big thanks to Kathryn Trotter). Ask to join, and she or I will let you in.

So, without any further ado, here's this year's list:
1. A "wild heart" - a naturally occurring heart (like the rock above, but it doesn't have to be a rock)
2. A footprint or pawprint
3. A skeleton, bone or x-ray
4. A book or magazine read during 2016
5. A porch or deck
6. A camper (caravan)
7. A family gathering
8. A drawing, art project, artistic photograph, scrapbook page, greeting card, or art journal page created by you.
9. Someone playing with, in, or around water.
10. A bicycle
11. Fresh produce
12. A window
13. The moon
14. A buffet of food
15. A team logo
16. A map showing a trip taken during the time period
17. Twins
18. A supermarket cart, basket or trolley full of groceries 
19. A seasonal cocktail or beverage
20. Someone laughing
21. A photograph of you with a newspaper or calendar page from the time period covered in the Hunt. Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
Alternatives - if you're having trouble finding any of the above, you may substitute from this list (but you may not substitute for item #21):
alternative 1: a lighthouse
alternative 2: a baby (human or animal)
Maria Said "Let me know if you have any questions. Also, if you're new to my blog or the hunt, let me know. And if you're a blogger, leave a link to your blog so I can add you to my feedly reader".

Have Fun...

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Wednesday Hodgepodge - 07/06/16

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. How did you welcome the month of July, and tell us one fun thing you did to celebrate the 4th. (or the weekend for any non-USA residents playing along today)

From Joe's BBQ in Blue Ridge, GA
BBQ Dinner
Lori and Chuck - July 4th Celebration
My Husband and I
We hosted a housewarming and fireworks party.  Friends from work, church, camping adventures, the Atlanta Tall Club and our new neighbors joined us to celebrate our new home and the Fourth of July.  We had food, fun, and fireworks.  I went to the fireworks store for the first time, it was awesome! I never realized how much I liked blowing things up until I was surrounded by mega heaps of explosives. I had to use the "other" credit know, the one your husband doesn't see right away...hoping that after the party, he would think it was an awesome purchase too! (giggle, just kiddin', he knew how much I spent). You know us southerners "Watch this"--- "KABOOM" --- "Whoops-a-daisy" --- get the garden hose. LOL 

2. Right now..what's your favorite red thing? white thing? blue thing? 

RED - The red barn down the road from our house (I love Barns, see my pinterest board filled with cool barns -  WHITE - Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (my guilty pleasure) with fresh fruit and cool whip.  BLUE - Hydrangea blooms outside the front door.

3. Wave the white flag, raise a red flag, fly your freak flag...which 'flag' have you flown most recently? Explain.

July 4th Celebration - Brookwood Manor

The red white and blue waves over our house since we moved in 8 weeks ago.  Down the road is a house flying many flags that we consider tasteless and some are even racist. We want our new neighbors to know we only fly one flag and we're proud of it.

4. According to Cond Nast Traveler these are the seven best places to visit in July-
a boat safari in Botswanna's Okavango Delta, Riviera Maya Mexico (it's whale shark season and apparently you can swim with them), Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, Pamploma Spain, St. Petersburg Russia, the Fuji Rock Festival at Mount Naeba Japan, the Salzburg Festival in Salzburg Austria
If time and money weren't factors would you want to see any/all of these? Which would you most like to see and why? 

I love to travel and would love to visit them all!  I have been to Riviera Maya Mexico, but never swam with the sharks.  Mexico is one of my favorite destinations, friendly people, wonderful food, and easy access to so many fabulous ruins.  Most of our extra cash is used for travel adventures.

5. Grilled cheese, pimento cheese, or mac and cheese...your favorite from the cheesy treats listed? 

Oh my, I love them all, but I'd have to say my favorite is pimento cheese. I'd only had Kraft Pimento Cheese in the little glass jar before I moved to the south 30+ years ago.  Southern style spread is a little chunky, a little smooth, and a whole lot of yummy!

6. What makes you sweat? 

Party Anxiety

Party Anxiety... I'm basically a shy person; I'm good one-on-one, but large groups of new people can be very uncomfortable for me. I also get anxious when I'm hosting a party; I'm always afraid no one will's never happened and I've been told we have great parties, but I still get anxious.  Parties make me sweat!

7. Your favorite movie with a 'patriotic' theme of some sort?

Apollo 13 (1995) -  ''Apollo 13 grabbed the heart of not only this nation, but the heart of the world.'said Gene Kranz, the  lead flight director for Apollo 13. What a great film!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I want to grow my blog readership; any suggestions on how to go about this? I've had a blog for awhile but I'm just getting serious about writing several times a week.  I just retired from the corporate world and now have time to work on my blog.  Any suggestions or critiques on my content or style? Thanks!  

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Walk in the Cohutta Wilderness....

View from Old Hwy 2 in the Cohutta Wilderness
View from a path in the Cohutta Wilderness, GA

Yesterday we went on an adventure in the Cohutta Wilderness which is just minutes from our new home in Blue Ridge, GA.  Our home is located on the southeast border of the national park. With more than 40,000 acres in Georgia and Tennessee it's the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi. The Cohutta Mountains are part of the oldest known mountains in the world and the southern end of the Great Smoky Mountain Range. As early settlers moved west they avoided these mountains because of difficult access and scant level ground for farming. Only a few hardy Scot-Irish settlers scratched out a meager existence in this section of Appalachia

Cohutta Wilderness, GA

Along the way on our adventure, we stumbled upon the Dyer Mountain Cemetery. The tombstones dated back prior to the Civil War and the most recent burial happened in 2000.  The cemetery was very well maintained and missing monuments have been replaced with beautiful granite headstones. 

Open-Air Church

The cemetery had a very old open-air church; the pews and pulpit had many layers of worn paint and the roof had been replaced with tin.  Imagine how many souls have used this little church to worship, wed, or celebrate the life of dearly departed relatives.  It was a beautiful place to celebrate and worship!

It was a fun day discovering places just down the road from our new home!


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