Sunday, June 25, 2006

Art, Music and Beads

Yesterday my DD and I headed to Athens, GA for their 10th Annual Music and Art Fest. I don't know that we actually planned to go because of that or we just lucked up because it was the same weekend. She and I walked the festival and saw some wonderful artist and their wares; and of course, had some tickling of our ears by the famous Athens music scene. I could have kicked myself for not having my camera with me -- normally I have it always.

I was particularly intrigued with the "bead lady". She was making glass beads and it just looked like something I would like to try. She has a website: She also teaches a weekend class. If I ever come up with an extra $195+ I will run right up to Knoxville and sit in her classroom an attempt to avoid catching my hair on fire while learning to make beads. They are just gorgeous. Several years ago I took a beginner beading class to learn something about making jewelry with beads. It was fun but I didn't seem to have the time to fully investigate the art, but hope one day to have the time.

DD and I also ate lunch at a bar/grill on Broadway....Broadway between the Greens? I think??? It was definately dripping with University of Georgia allure. Hanging over the bar was an electronic countdown until football kick off time; in case there was any doubt of was something like 71 days, 12 hours and 56 second when we left. We did enjoy an order of their hot wings and split the 1/2 pound "Big Dawg" burger. The bad thing about places like that for me now is that I no longer feel excited, cool and hip, but rather just feel old when I am there!

We stopped into some of the cute clothing shops along the downtown strip as well. DD started her back to school shopping by purchasing some funky new tennis shoes (though they don't look like any tennis shoes I have ever seen!). DD also got her caffeine fix with her favorite "muccu-latta-swatta something or other" from $4 Bucks!

When I got home yesterday afternoon, DH and I headed out for a night at Blackbear Dinner Theatre and their performance of "The Sound of Music". It was actually a very good performance and the actress who did the Maria part had an amazing vocal range. . It was also funny to see a man known when I did some community as a teen-ager doing one of the parts as well, Bruce Pilgrim (who I knew from some performances I did as a Teen with the Tater Patch Players).

It was nice to have a date with my honey, but even nicer because when we headed home it started to rain! Whooohoooooo....rain, rain, rain! My yard so desperately needed rain. It is still raining today! PTL!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fair Tax for you and me....

Fair Tax! Yeah, that’s what I am talking about. Up until a few months ago I was oblivious to such terminology -- though I wasn’t oblivious to the massive amounts of paychecks that are lost to “taxes”. I also know that there are lots of folks in our country that avoid paying taxes on their incomes...drug dealers (what a paycheck they get!), people who work “under the table”, and illegal immigrants just to name a few...and somehow that just doesn’t seem “fair”. These same non-tax payers do still benefit from the things MY taxes provide and though, I believe in helping others, I got frustrated by the lack of “fairness” in our current system.

Anyway, about a year ago I heard this guy, Neil Boortz,, on Martha Zoller’s,, radio show and his ideas were kind of radical but they made sense to me. I am definitely not a scholar of economics (proven by my recent struggle with my economics class) but what Boortz and the Fair Tax Plan, , presented made perfect sense to me. It offered me and my family a way to control what we paid in taxes. Basically giving us some freedom to make ends meet and a way for us to save for our future; so this did get me kind of interested in researching it further. I was delighted to find out there was already a grass roots movement washing like ocean waves over the nation to push the Fair Tax!!!!

A couple of weeks ago my dh and I were pleased to attend a Fair Tax Rally in our little town. It happened on a Wednesday night at Longstreet Cafe,, and the place was packed!!!! Herman Cain,, was the keynote speaker and I tell you he has it going on. He rips to the center of the issue and spells it out with a message you just can’t ignore.

BTW, here are some really key facts about the FairTax:

Creates jobs where our current system hemorrhages them overseas with hidden federal income taxes and compliance laws which make our products less competitive in the global market and more expensive even here at home.

Gives you your ENTIRE paycheck – NO federal withholding!!!

It Allows homeowners to pay their entire house payment with pretax dollars (not to mention all those other pesky bills that we have to pay post tax!).

Frees up wasted Income Filing!

Requires everyone pay their fair more slipping through the cracks for criminals.

Keeps the Government out of your business -- what, where, with whom you spend your money is not anyone's business...consider how much information the government gathers on you and those in your household and how you spend your money from your Income Tax Return.

Abolishes the IRS!

I encourage you to read up on this and call/write your representatives and tell them you want the FAIR TAX! http://FAIRTAX.ORG

Here is a cool calculator to give you some idea of the difference in your financial outlook with the Fair Tax:

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy 1st Day of Summer!

Today is the offical 1st Day of Summer! Whooohoo! It is somewhere between 95-100 degrees here in my South. The kids and I celebrated by heading northward into the mountains for the day. We had planned a breakfast "pig out" at West Family Restaurant in Cleveland, GA but they were closed for a funeral -- they will reopen at 4:00 pm (after the funeral???). So, in light of West not being available, we headed on northward and stopped in a little place called Wendell's Cafe. Wendells was cute and had a lovely screened porch that we ate on. The food was "alright". Definately not the biscuit experience I had desired but it was adequate. Wendell's is one of those places that was Ok enough that you can't seem to say it was bad but not Ok enough to warrant a return stop. I was really craving a good, southern-style buttermilk biscuit and gravy. I got a thick, dense, and thus somewhat dry, biscuit with gravy that was alright. I have to admit it, I was dissappointed! The waittress was very nice and the place was clean and had nice decor. BUT...I wanted my biscuit! If I had wanted a thick, dense one I could have stayed home and cooked my own! HA!

After stuffing ourselves with breakfast we headed up to the lake and did some swimming and sunning. Then we did some Fall (as in water) looking and rode over to Anna Ruby Falls (just north of Helen, GA). It is such a really lovely place and a reminder of how gorgeous Georgia can actually be.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Care and Keeping of Crepe Myrtles

I will admit it. I love Crepe Myrtles. This love affair started many, many years ago when I lived in Hartsville, SC and I think my desire to garden was just budding. In Hartsville there were Crepe Myrtles that were huge, lovely structural trees...unlike what most people have and call Crepe Myrtles. For some reason people have developed the habit of shearing these lovely trees back every spring under the belief that they will acquire more blooms. I say PHOOEY!

We have several Crepe Myrtles in our yard that we do NOT, I repeat do NOT prune into a an unatural state.
When folks take out their pruning shears and attack their poor Crepe Myrtles they don't allow the tree to develop into its natural form, which is quite a piece of art in itself. The tree has a lovely mutli trunk structure with gorgeous smooth bark....PLEASE, I beg you don't be a Crepe Murderer.

BlueJays in my Backyard

We have had a nest of BlueJays in our back yard this spring and have been watching and waiting for the appearance of the babies. For several weeks we could just spy their little bald heads as they hopped up and down for food when Mom/Dad came to the nest.

A couple of nights ago Dh was outside with our dog and the dog became manic barking at a bush just under the tree where the nest was. Dh took a peek and there was one of the new little peeps.
Cool, huh?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Some of my favorite garden additions

Daylilies by Night

My Daylilies just out did themselves this year
Year 2 for these
2 years ago I didn't have a thing in this bed

Happy Father's Day - 2006

DH & "the other one" -Mohawk Trail-Florida, Mass. 2003
Happy Father's Day, sweetie!

Father's Day was a great day around here! We went to church in the morning and dear husband and I spent the afternoon doing some errands around town. In the evening we (the children and I) treated him to dinner at 'Chez Mommy'. The menu consisted of Ultimate Grilled Steak, Zesty Grilled Veggies, grilled corn on the cob, some cloverleaf rolls and for dessert, dh's recent new favorite dessert....Mango Pie. Unfortunately Dh had to be called in to run the grills as I am not a "griller". The last time I actually tried to grill something (hotdogs on a night when dh was out of town) I burned the hair off my fore-arms. Oh well....I think he enjoyed his grill time. LOL It was cool enough to eat on our newly redone deck so that was nice. After the kiddos were tucked in their beds we took the dog for a walk and then spent an hour or so, snuggling on the front porch in the cool of the evening.
Yesterday wasn't just Father's Day for Dh. He actually had one of those "grown up" moments, as he had to get his 1st eye exam and found out --- not surprisingly--- that he needed some glasses for close up stuff. I have heard this happens in the 40th year! I think he is struggling with the concept a bit but he does look nice in the pair he picked out.
My dear, sweet husband is an amazing Father. He is engaged, involved and shows sacrifical love to our 3 wonderful children. They wouldn't be who they are without him and his guiding hands. He is the kind of Father that I think all children should have. I am such a lucky woman.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Boys and Physics

My boys are home for the summer and the noise level is definately up. Did you know that little brothers make excellent ramps for HotWheels Cars?

Playing cars on stairs...always a good idea...must be the testosterone.

I like to imagine in my best, "Alfa-Mommy" Attitude, that they are learning about physics when they decide to do these things by watching the way the cars fly through the air and land or biology/medical science from the blood gushing from their noses after their faces hit the floor. I truly understand why so many men have less than straight has NOTHING to do with bone structure.

Monday, June 12, 2006

This is for Stephanie ( took your challenge missy!

1- wallet
1 - calendar
1 - coupon
1 - mini-photo album
1 - mini bottle of bubbles
1 - hairbrush
1- bottle of hand lotion
various reciepts
3 tubes of lipstick
Chuck-E-Cheese tickets
4 legos
4 ink pens
1 pack of emergency salt (ya never know!)
1 red paper clip

VBS and dry weather

On Saturday evening my dear husband and I ended up with a rare evening without children. We had a nice drive up into the mountains and stopped at a BBQ place that we had heard lots about....Oinkers in Clayton, GA. It was great. DH actually said it was probably the best BBQ he had ever had. The sauce was a cross between the traditional GA BBQ sauce, which is tomato based and the vinegar BBQ sauce often found in the Carolinas and it was wonderful. It will definately get a repeat visit from us. We also took the scenic route home and cruised around Lake Burton and took in the beautiful sites. If you ever get the chance to spend any time in the Lake Burton area, definately do it. I am hoping for a dear, long lost, rich Uncle to leave me a huge inheritance so that I can have a "cabin" on Lake Burton. Hey, I can dream, can't I???

I also couldn't pass up this gorgeous rock/flower creation as we were riding around (click on it to see how gorgeous the flowers are up close!). It has been soooooooooo dry here I was amazed at how good these flowers look. I love this design and think I might need a rock pile of my own.

This week is VBS at our church. I have volunteered, but not for one of the special positions that require constant involvement with the children. I am not that good! As a child, I never attended VBS but my children always have and they love it. So, if you don't hear much from me it is because this is a busy week...not to mention it is the last week of my [horrid] Economics class!

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Meet the "other one"

No, I am not being cruel to my youngest child...he is, the “other one”.

This whole other one business started on New Years Day. My dear husband and I decided we were not happy with the amount of sibling discord we were having in our home and decided to address it formally. We took our cues from some of the most well respected family therapist and experts and decided to have a “family meeting”. The children were called into the dining room and took their seats. My youngest child sat between his older siblings. The older two had a look of knowing dread. I think they assumed we were going to announce something hideous like I was having another baby!

Dear husband and I were trying to impart the “think of others first” type of mentality to these three little ones. I gave several examples of what that might look like: “let the other one wash their hands first”, “let the other one sit in the prized seat on the sofa”, “let the other one get the ball first”, etc. I really felt I was doing and extraordinary job imparting such wisdom and the world would be a better place because of it.

Then it dear, sweet, adorable youngest child interrupts. He literally raises both hands, palms down, out towards his brother and sister and very solemnly looks them straight in the eyes and says, “Now you know, I AM the other one.”

In case there was any doubt!
Meet the “other one”.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Beauty among the weeds...

"Then God saw everything that He made,
and indeed it was very good."
Genesis 1:31 (NKJV)

I was driving down a road this week and saw this amazing "field" of thistles. Aren't they just beautiful? God is so create such beauty...when all we often see is weeds.