Monday, July 26, 2010

I promise Ethel, it was not an impulse buy.

Ethel watches over me and I certainly need watching over.

Do you have friends that watch over you?

That being said one of the most difficult things I have to do as a single woman is to make major purchases. Appliances are pretty tough but I feel really safe doing it at Lowes or Home Depot especially when they haul the old stuff away. Really that is one of the reason I never purchased a new bed was the thought of how I am going to haul it away - pleaassse not any sentimental attachment. Havaerty's told me to bribe the men who brought the new bed to haul away the old. Needless to say I still have the old one.

The hardest major purchase I have to make is getting a car. In fact the last time was in 2002.
My Mazda was starting to show signs of aging, you know arthritis in the wheel joints, unexpected noises and long groaning noises upon start up and exceleration especially first thing in the morning and vertigo when trying to keep a straight line, nevermind the tires and rear brake shoes. I started dreading long trips to visit the grandies and always checked to see if Triple AAA was in affect.
So I will introduce you to Lacie Jones. Lacie Jones actually took care of hauling away my old car and gave me two thousand dollars for him hauling away my old car. If he only knew how worried I was about having this old car rusting away in my yard blocking the view of my new one.

Lacie and I share a similar problem about pictures - He took my advice and I think he looks rather svelte. You will see He turned the tables on me and took a picture of me in the same pose in front of my new car.

Here is the picture of me in front of my new CV-R oopps it is CR-V that Lacie took. The Honda Man is in the back corner of the picture and he is smiling his approval. Now that I see the picture I think that Lacie looks better in the picture then me.

Lacie Jones is a car sales consultant at Cale Yarlborough Honda Dealership in Florence SC. My family has a real history of buying cars at Cale Yarlborough going back over 25 years. I do have one problem with Cale Yarlbourgh, I dont think that he gives turkeys to his employees at Thanksgiving but what I find Unconsciousable and Inexcusable is that he does not give tickets to his employees to see the Darlington 500 on Mother's Day. So Cale, get back on track!

Now down to the nitty gritty of this purchase:

My son J-Man was my cell phone buddy during the entire transaction looking up dealership costs on the internet, calculating car payments and giving me good advice. J-Man said the deal eventually offered was ok and reasonable but I think he would have held out for a better deal. I really thank him for his help. I had spent the week at J-Man's house and he looked up cars and prices for me. The two cars he recommended were the Ford Fusion and the Honda Engines.

This is the second time I was at the dealership in the last year looking at Honda's and I have been checking some comparisons on line. My sister Liz has an older CR-V and loves hers. She travels all over the country (USA ) several times a year. It did seem she was putting a lot of money into repairs but her car has over 250,000 miles and her mechanic said she would get another 200,000 miles. This probably will be the last car I ever buy. I actually checked out cars at the Saturn Dealership before they went out of business. The thing I liked best about the Honda was the Engine. Very Neatly set up. and all fluid containers are clear and have have color coded caps for easy identification in the engine. Lacie told me that it was engineered by the same engineers that did the race cars. I remember seeing some car at the Darlington Racecar Museum that had an engine in it that was so powerful and fast that they actually outlawed it. Dont worry, not a problem, I drive notoriously slow and have a disabled sticker to prove it.

Now I know that Lacie would like a thumbs up for his dealing with me and anyone who has to deal with me deserves a triple thumbs up -- Just ask J-man who disappears everytime I talk to a salesperson. Lacie was very low key and believe you me I dont need any more excitement at my age.

As far as the car is concerned, I will tell you how good it is at 50,000 and at 100,000 cause right now it smells good and runs good but the speedometer reads only 17 miles. Princess barks at the car when she goes outside and I know she does not miss the old one.

Do you name your cars? Do you have a suggestion for a name for my car?


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Princess's Story

Princess's Story
I always loved fairy tales as a child and a little dog named Princess came to live with me.
This is my favorite picture of Princess and my sister Liz who is quite the photographer took most of the pictures in Princess's story that follows.
Princess is a rescue dog and as near as I can figure out Princess has had least 4 owners.
I blame and thank the Dog Whisperer Ceasar Milan for my adoption of Princess. I had started watching the program hoping to overcome my reaction of fear to dogs and ended up adopting this sweet little dog. Cesar Milan says you never get the dog you want, but the dog you need.

I was still working as a teacher and talked about adopting a small dog for about a year when one of the teachers I worked with came up to me as asked if I was interested in adopting her mother's dog. Her sister found the dog under a big ford pickup and all these men were trying to get her out. Princess stayed with Debra's mother for a few years and then her mother sickened with cancer.Princess stayed the next year basically at the vet's office in a small cage waiting for her mother to get better. It was then when I was asked if I would adopt princess.

Princess was brought over and she was walked very daintily on the leash which was important for me as I have problems walking. She also loved to sleep with me in my bed. I loved bathing her once a week. Nowadays I do it once a month.
She is a snow white dog and I believe she is a spitz or minature american eskimo.

I say she has Dr. Seuss feet. She can be quite the circus dog jumping very very high leaps.

She was very nervous and shy of people especially men when I got her. I took her with me and she generally sat on my lap at first. Now she loves to be around people and especially adores children. GG3 is her most special child friend in the whole world. GG3 can hug her death and princess just gives her what Ethel calls flutter fly kisses.
You can see Princess giving the bedroom eyes in this picture and getting ready to give flutter fly kisses with her little tongue.
She has many favorite spots in the house to hang out. She loves the couch in the office, the cool tile floor of the bathroom and of course the white furry rug. She amazes me with all of the doggie emotions she shows: love, loyalty, curiosity, nervousness, resignness, protectiveness are among the many. She snores at night, little doggie snores.
She is very royal about playing. She reminds me of Julie Andrews in the Princess Diaries sliding down the banister on the mattress. She plays for just a few minutes. She loves little balls. Her newest toy is the Stuffing Free Crazy Critter shown her. My son bought the toy for her because she was so good about leaving all the children's toys alone at his house. She carried up the toy to our bed and we slept together.
I call Princess my good luck dog. About a year after I got Princess I needed to retire from teaching after 24 years. My arthritis has gotten very bad. I consulted a Lawyer in Hartsville who specialized in Disability cases. When I was ushered into his office, I met a true Southern Gentleman from the old school. He was surrounded by bookcases full of books, behind a huge dark antique desk and wearing a white suit. He asked about my connections and I had the sweetest one of all. You see Princess was his mother's dog. Mr. Bledsoe spoke to be and offered wonderful advice for over an hour.
I love going places with Princess. Children adore her and she always is quite the conversation starter. I have made wonderful connections with people as she is quite the ambassadoras for her breed. Her favorite people are the ones that I love the most: my daughter, my best bud mike, my best girl friend Ethel, my son and my GG2 who loves her the best of all the children.

Princess is now about 7 or 8 years old in doggie years so about 50 to 60 years in people years and she is slowing up a little. She sleeps more then I do. She has changed my life for the better and taught me that I deserve love and loyalty.

I would love to hear your doggie stories.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sew Much Fun!!!!

Sew Much Fun!!!

I have 3 beautiful Grandies that live in West Virginia. There is GG1 the oldest, GG2 the middlest and GG3 the youngest. Recently I spent several weeks helping to care for them while school was out. GG1 and GG2 learned how to make pillowcases - it was sew much fun!!!!

The girls picked out their pillowcases kits at Wall marts and voila within a few days their very first pillowcase.
(At the end of the post I have included directions for making pillowcases in case you want to make one again.)

This is GG2 sewing on the Janome machine like a pro. She sewed straight for 3 hours.

GG2 got pretty excited about ironing. Nowadays there isn’t much ironing going on because everything is permanent press and grandies don’t have to iron like we did in the old days.

This is GG1 ironing her camouflage pillowcase.

Nana just learned the difference between Pressing and Ironing from one of her quilting buddies at the Swamp Fox Quilters. Ironing for the iron challenged like me is when you push the iron back and forth to get rid of wrinkles. Pressing is placing the iron down carefully as to set a seam. Who knew such differences existed?

GG1 quickly figured out not only how to sew but how to re-thread the machine, but most important how to thread the needle. Nana’s eyes were extremely grateful. I was so intimidated by this machine, but the grandies took to it like ducklings take to water. She is deciding what decorative stitching to use on the pillowcases edging.

Here are the proud grandies with their beautiful pillowcases.
A week after I got home I got texted this picture of GG2’s Pillowcase with the message ..

I made my first pillow GIRLS RULE!!!

Sew many Wonderful Memories!!!!

Here are the directions for the pillowcase.

The Wall Mart kit comes with directions however here are directions that were part of the Million Pillowcase project that my quilting guild is participating in.

Ethel helps Lucy set up a blog

Hello, this is Thursday July 15Th, 2010.

Ethel and Lucy have been trying for several days to set up a blog for Ethel. You can see what finally transpired and what Ethel figured out. So I am going to publish the original post from 2 days ago. Taking you back to:

Wednesday July 14Th, 2010.
Ethel Helps Lucy Set Up Her First Blog
(Little did she know it would be several days later)

Lucy is trying to post her first blog.
Ethel here is trying to help her.

Ethel sends Lucy to cook Frogmore Stew as
Ethel is the Powerhouse Publisher.

Lucy is not the next great American Chef as only having 4 meals she now remembers how to actually cook. One being Frogmore Stew.

When I originally wrote this we were on our second day, it is now into the fourth of Lucy trying to figure out what the problem was.
She did succeed in doing so and straightening out the mess.
Passwords were a very bad sticking point for us. However Lucy finally managed it late into the second day after many hours and many emails back and forth to Google.

In the picture Lucy was in her second day of trying to publish the blog, bogged down so to speak. You might think that this is simple, but things have a tendency to get complicated for us.

You might also be wondering about the Ethel and Lucy Monikers. We have these adventures really that I am not aiming for at all. Ethel seems to just attract trouble and I unfortunately go along with them never suspecting that I am in for it once again. I am still not full recovered from the Farmer in the Dell adventure which I really must blame on my Garmin. Someday I will tell that story. But this is a warning: Garmins do not work in the Hills and Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. I need to amend that They will get you in but God Forbid you want to leave.

Lucy came over for a play date and I made Frog More Stew. There is actually a Frogmore South Carolina and I intend to go to Frogmore, South Carolina.

This is a picture that Lucy took of the table. She always has her camera with her being an exceptional photo journalist.

You can see the Cathedral Window Place mats I made from a kit from Galloping Horse, Ltd. Lucy is selling these kits and taught me how to use the templates. The templates are all made of metal so you can use them to iron the windows closed - How hot is that!

I really got addicted to making the place mats. I made 8 of them - that is why there are so many on the table even though there were only two of us for lunch ....... I put as many out as would fit on the table.

Here is my recipe for Frogmore Stew:
3 quarts water
1 medium onion, halved
Several stalks of Celery
(Optional 2 cloves garlic, crushed and a Lemon)
1 (3 ounce) package dry crab boil
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed ( I leave this out when I make rice to serve with the stew.)
4 ears corn, husk and silk removed (I use frozen corn in a pinch)
1 1/2 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp (I use frozen shrimp in a pinch)
1 pound smoked beef sausage, cut into chunks (I use the smokie wiener sausages)

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 dash hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™), or to taste
1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the water, and throw in the halves. Add onion, garlic, salt and crab boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add the potatoes, Celery and sausage, and return to a boil. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Break the ears of corn in half, and add them to the pot; cover, and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the shrimp, and cover for 5 minutes. Drain off liquid before serving and Remove the crab boil package. It may be reserved for other uses such as soup stock.
3. Stir together the melted butter and hot sauce. Serve with the seafood and vegetables for dipping.

I didn't do this, instead I had fresh fruit desert with whipped cream. Ethel's husband send over fresh blueberries from the garden and they were delicious. I don't stand on ceremony at my table, the can of whipped cream was on the table and you could squirt as much as you wanted.

Its time to try and publish this blog. I wish there was a Saint for lost blogs.
If you are reading this Thank Ethel.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ethel Tries to Get Lucy's Blog Up and Running

Okay, Lucy, the problem is you now have three blogs all named Lucy Disguised....but their url's are all different.

The one you posted on yesterday is located at

if you would like to see it. If you want your blog on this url you will have to write your blogs here.

I know it is confusing and frustrating; but together we can figure it out!!!