Sunday, October 30, 2016

Date Night at The Vine....

The Vine Wine Bar and Bistro, Blue Ridge, GA

Last night my Sweetie and I went to dinner at The Vine Wine Bar and Bistro in our hometown of Blue Ridge, GA. I highly recommend this little bistro for a light meal paired with a nice glass of wine. 

The Vine Wine Bar and Bistro, Blue Ridge, GA

The atmosphere is very casual and welcoming, which is refreshing after spending many evenings in the some of the pretentious in-town wine bars in Atlanta.  They have a nice enclosed patio trackside that has an Italian street cafe vibe and live music on the weekends. The weather in Blue Ridge right now is beautiful for dining al fresco. 

The Vine Wine Bar and Bistro, Blue Ridge, GA

The Vine Wine Bar and Bistro, Blue Ridge, GA

The Bistro offers great small plates...flat breads, cheese plates, and several meat and cheese combinations. They even have a wonderful homemade cake of the day for dessert. 

The Vine Wine Bar and Bistro, Blue Ridge, GA

Also, every Friday they have a wine and chocolate pairing starting at 6:00 PM. Reservations are suggested for the pairing because... who doesn't love chocolate and seating is limited!

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 10/26/2016

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. Besides your very own house, describe a place where you feel most 'at home'? 

My other home

Okay, this may sound a little crazy, but inside The Home Depot feels like home. 
Just walking through the big sliding glass doors gives me a sense of  pride, a feeling of belonging and a rush of  nostalgic feelings.  I worked for the Home Depot Corporation for thirty years.  I started as a cashier in the brand new 7th store; when I retired I was third from the top in longevity and had worked my way up to corporate project manager. I helped build this company (literally) working on new store/warehouse construction projects, new systems, training programs, and helping develop the Truck Rental program "Load-N-Go". Walking the aisles today gives me great pleasure, seeing my ideas and implementations in action is rewarding, and knowing that I helped make this company great makes me content; the same feelings I get from our very own home.      

2. When did you last 'hit a home run' with something? Explain. 

Blue Ridge, Georgia

Making the decision to move away from the city and to the mountains of North Georgia was a "home run"....really out of the park on this one. We have been so much happier and healthier here in our new town of Blue Ridge, GA. We've been here for 6 months.

3. Tell us about something you love in your house or kitchen that is 'homemade'. 

My husband made me a rolling cart to pot plants and work on outdoor projects.  It has shelves to hold pots and bags of dirt, baskets to hold tools, and is tall enough that I can comfortably work without stooping over (I'm very tall).  I just love this cart... My sweetie is the best! 

4. 'A man's home is his castle'...which of the world's ten most captivating castles (according to The Travel Channel) would you most like to visit and why-

Mont St. Michel

The breathtaking abbey of Mont St. Michel in France is the castle I would most like to visit. It's been an important pilgrimage center since A.D. 708, when (according to legend) the Archangel Michael told the local bishop to "build here and build high." Saint Michael, whose gilded statue decorates the top of the abbey's spire, was the patron saint of many French kings, making this a favored site for French royalty through the ages. Prior to the modern bridge being built the only access to the castle was on foot at low tide when the mud flats were exposed. Travelers to and from the castle had to be wary of the High Tide which rushes in at an alarming pace, completely covering the foot paths to the castle. I'd so love to visit this amazing place, walk the mud flats, tour the abbey, and experience the view that drew the monks to this beautiful mont!

5. What's a recent or upcoming plan or project that's required you do a little homework before getting started? Did the homework cause you to abandon your plan or adjust it in some way?

We have been researching the perfect dog to join our family. Homework included reading up on hypoallergenic breeds, temperament, exercise needs, and health issues.  We also want to get a rescue pup to ease his or her suffering. We are in the final stages of our 'project', we've applied to adopt a rescue goldendoodle.  PLEASE PRAY for our application acceptance and  future relationship with this special girl. Here is a photo of  the pup we fell in love with...she is a bit shy, but we will work on that.

Adopt a Rescue Dog

6. In your opinion, is homework an unnecessary evil or a valuable practice? Should schools be done with homework? Why or why not? 

I think homework can help prepare students for the demanding requirements of College and professional careers. Often times, students have to read huge chunks of text in just days in preparation for class. They also have to write papers spanning hundreds of thousands of words on their experiences reading a text. As an art major, I also had to create something for my next class, it was homework above and beyond the studio time. Without foundations of juggling homework from an early age, I fear they will not be able to survive the requirements of higher education and the stressful workplace.

7. Share a favorite memory of your childhood hometown. 

I was born in Gary, Indiana, I'm sad to say I don't have many good memories of this place. Gary was, and still is, a dying steel mill city. It's never been a happy place for me. I did come up with one good memory, not really about the town, but about my Grandparents house. They lived on a little farm on the outskirts of town. They had a very large shade tree in the yard that gives me many happy memories whenever I think of it. It was a climbing tree, a picnic spot, a place for hanging flower baskets, and a place for a shy girl to sit and read without distraction. I miss that special tree!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Little Slice of Heaven

Just got home from a Caribbean Cruise...My best day during our cruise was at this private beach club on Norman Island, BVI. The sand was powdery white and the water was crystal clear turquoise blue. Snorkeling was available, but I chose to float in the warm water and relaxed under a shady tree on the was a little slice of heaven! 

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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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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