Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Biltmore I and Monday's Missions

Here is the indoor Winter Garden as they called it.  Just beautiful.  I would love to be the person that plans and decorates the house.  But not on a ladder.  lol

This was a tree in the main banquet hall which was a ball room of sorts.  The table in the room was very long.  I didn't get a pic of it.  The tree is what drew our breath coming into the room.  And it is purposely placed to do that.  

This was, I believe, also in the main banquet hall.  

You will have to forgive me, b/c I cannot and will not be able to recall what all the rooms were called.  But this was a more informal dining area.  And one that I liked very much. It's more cozy and personal.  

The ceilings were amazing pieces of art. 

The lighting not so good always through the house but they try to keep it true to the period.  So it would be much as it was then.  Here was a place setting.  

There were trees all through the house.  Just beautiful.  

Yesterday was Monday, and of course since I was off Friday, then most of the morning was playing catch up with email needs and voice mails and paperwork.  I had a lot of things to follow up on and some decisions to make, after making a few phone calls for info and advice.  I followed up on the service awards and proofed them and so they (the awards) are finally being engraved.  I had several walk in's in the afternoon, and GM's during the day asking questions or answering questions from me. It was a good day.  Not so aggravating.  My heart wanted to be home and play in the Christmas gifts and begin wrapping and doing laundry.

At lunch I went to Wendy's drive through and got a taco salad and drove back to my desk and tallied up my receipts did the following:
1)  Let George know the tip amounts left b/c he records my debit purchase from on line with the bank each day.  But he can't see the tip to get the final total.
2) Figured out who was left to buy for and sent that list to George so we can both be brain storming.

But I did not get to record them on the Christmas app that I have.  Maybe I can do that with today's lunch. lol  Oh the Wendy's taco salad is back.  But, I don't eat it as it is intended.  I put dressing on the lettuce and cheese and eat it like a salad.  I crunch some of the tortilla chips up and eat the chili with it.  And take some of the chips and eat it like chips and salsa, b/c they do give you sour cream and salsa, so dip some of the chips in that.  lol Works pretty good.  Otherwise it just makes for a soggy salad.

I left at 4:30 to go get my nails done.  Traffic was pretty heavy already.  I called Mom and caught up with her on the way.  I got a pedicure and got my nails done too.  Often I like to do them separately at different times b/c it takes so long to do both.  But it just ended up that I needed to do them at once and go ahead and get it done.  So I was in there til closing time at 7.  But there was one more lady behind me.

After that, I went to Walmart b/c I had the company gift card that they gave me for the employee holiday gift.  It was $25.  Somehow my card had been deactivated.  They had to call a supervisor to make it take it.  Really?  lol  I needed breakfast items, snack items, and lunches.  I needed fresh stuff and a few frozen things, bread and sandwich meat.  I bought Christmas cards and some shirt boxes.
I bought candy for my candy dish at work.

So I headed out and it was dark and drizzling rain, but I had a really good parking spot.  Still there were a few odd folks hanging around so I before I went to the car, I stayed in Walmart til those people moved on, acting like I was checking out something on my phone.  And there were other cars coming in and other people so I felt better.  I just felt vulnerable there and not fond of Walmart at night.  Not really too fond of it during the day to tell you the truth.  I usually do my shopping at Publix.

So at home I got home and the garage door would not open.  So I called George to come open it so I could pull in.  And we took the groceries up. I began a load of laundry.   He had cooked us a steak and some prepped up ramen noodles on the side.  It was really good and I was really hungry.  Then I played my Farmville game and felt my eyes grow heavy.  I looked and it was already almost 10.  I don't know why I was surprised.  I had a big evening.  So bed felt wonderful.  But about 1:30 in the morning both arms were asleep and any way I turned it seemed all my limbs wanted to "go to sleep" and had pins and needles.  George was snoring so loud I thought it was rip the room into pieces.  I could not go back to sleep so I got up and played my game on the ipad for an hour and then my eyes got heavy again and at 2:30 I was back to sleep.  The alarm went off at 4:00 and I wanted to rip it from the cord and hurl it.  lol

If I were home today I'd get the laundry going, make a soup for us for dinner and get it in the crock pot,  run out and do some more shopping for the final folks, and come back and do some wrapping.
But no, off to work we go.

I think tonight we will try to go out and get some of the shopping done.

And I am off to reboot laundry, finish getting ready, and head in to work.  Ya'll have a great day.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Rest of our Asheville NC Visit.

Well I am behind a day.  We were on a definite schedule yesterday morning (Sunday) and so all I had time to do was load the pics and not actually blog about Saturday.  

We started the day with breakfast from a place that Katy said she knew I'd love.  And that place is actually what started the whole girls trip thing.  We went to the Sunny Point Cafe.  The food was incredible.  Very hipster.  Many places in Asheville are.  

Look at the size of that Mimosa.  Yes, that WAS a mimosa.  

Angel biscuits and the bacon was the BEST bacon I have ever had....ever on this planet.  It tasted like it had been cooked in maple syrup and perhaps a slight bit of pepper.  And Angel biscuits, real butter.  mmmmmm.

Most of the interstates around Asheville looked like this.  We hopped exits doing the different restaurants and things we needed to do.  

There is actually a fire pit in this thing.  It was a neat experience to shop at the Outlet Mall there.  It's all outsides but goes in circles and has all kinds of stores, and was hopping but NOT NEAR like it would be around here.  I mean check out only had one or two in front of you.  You could totally shop in peace.  There was a Christmas chill and excitement in the air as a cold front had come through.

I tried on some clothes at Dress Barn and quickly became a SOY- bean product, when they mis spelled my name on the dressing room door.  It's OK I'm used to it. 

One of our most anticipated stores was Field and Stream.  Katy bought a couple of small items there but we didn't have the success that we'd hoped.   It was very similar to Bass Pro Shop.  Almost exactly.  

We found a brewery and tap room at what we thought was the end of our shopping day.  Here we decided what to do for dinner.  We wanted seafood but the place received poor ratings on YELP.  The other seafood place had $$$ many dollar signs so we avoided that.  We decided to go down toward The Biltmore exit and see if there was something there.  We found more shopping, The Christmas Shoppe and a Mexican restaurant.

We had chips and salsa and Sweet Potato Tots at the Walk.

The place we settled for Dinner was The Cantina.  Had very good food, I mean really good, but the service was aggravatingly slow.  We were growing tired and wanted to be back at the hotel room in our PJ's. So we sat and ate in silence, as our weary bodies longed to be comfy.  

Before dinner we went on a carriage ride.  Just a $5 10 minute ride around a long block. But it was just what we needed.  I love hearing the "clop, clop, clop".  They had to change the poop bag after us.  hahahahaha.  Things you don't realize that happen on a carriage ride.   

Yes, this was a good place.  But my main memory sadly is the Wait at first mention of it.  But those fish tacos were great. 

Here was my view.  They sat us in the bar area and really we had about 3 waiters.  This place had a lot of tables and a huge crowd, but they just didn't have a way to get them all served.  Asheville needs more restaurants.  Would be a good place to start one.  

Yesterday we did the Biltmore.  We got up, had breakfast at the hotel, checked out.   Drove to the Biltmore, went in at the first building there and bought our audio device tickets.  Then went to the parking area, rode the shuttle over to the Biltmore house.  Then went in and started the tour.  I loved having the audio in my ear.  It gave much more meaning.  I will share pics throughout the next few days a few at the time.  Gives me some pretty photos to share with you during my December blog entries.

After the tour of the house, we ate lunch.  Perfect timing and we were like third in line.  The food was excellent.  I'll have pics of that too.

Then we did the gift shops.  There were several.  Then we took the bus back to our car and took the car over to the winery.  I took some really good shots of the grounds.  The garden was not so pretty this time of year, but I'd like to go back in the summer sometime.

We did the wine tasting and I bought two bottles for George and I to enjoy.  I bought some just with him in mind.  I told him our souvenirs were ones we enjoyed together b/c most of what I bought him was for Christmas.  I did have most of my luck for him.  I would say it was a real successful trip for knocking out George's Christmas, and perhaps a few others.  Katy had some success too.  I still have to list everything on the app and come up with what is still left to get everyone.

This week is going to be busy.  I'm toying with using another vacay day on Friday just b/c I'm NOW feeling some pressure.  lol  It's time to make the final list.  We'll see how I feel about things about Wednesday.

Naturally this morning I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Laundry is piled sky high, kitchen needs my attention, I need to recap the Christmas list, ready to start wrapping, need to test some stockings, need to vacuum, clean bathrooms, do grocery shopping, get my mani pedi done, pick up prescriptions.  On and on.  But off to work we go.  Who has time to work this time of year.  lol  And yes that is a statement, not a question.

Anyway the ride home was not too bad but always longer than the ride there.  It was misty rain most of the way. Took about 4.5 to 5 hours since we stopped to get gas once and then stopped at Cookeville to get Starbucks for the final push.  We made it home about 6 I think.  And unloaded.

George had a pretty big weekend with the dogs.  He had to buy little Findlay a dog collar at the pet store so she wouldn't get away on the leash.  The other two dogs got their trims.  He spent all weekend trying to calm our dogs who was nervous having her around as she is a fireball of energy but as cute as a button.  His job though was tough b/c he had to make sure all dogs got along or were somewhat separated, and keep Findlay from chewing on cords, and such.

I received something back in the mail from my Endometrial Biopsy.  It was fine!  No problems with that.  Thank goodness.

My outpatient surgery is next Friday the 16th which will take me down for 4 days or so.  So I'm a little concerned about getting everything done now since I didn't get finished with everyone in Asheville.

Hopefully I'll get a lot done this week and this weekend.  And like I said, I maybe I have to take off on Friday.  We'll see.

Well, I need to go and get ready.  I don't have anything for breakfast to take to work and nothing for lunch - at least nothing I want.

Take Care and Have a good Monday.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Waynesville and Asheville.....Shopping and Dining!

Hard to blog on iPad, and blogger not working well on iPhone -probably a memory issue.  So I'll save my longer style writing for later.  

Culinary scene is big here in Asheville! Wonderful fresh ingredients with no short cuts. We are eating well. 

Here is my bed!

Lobby fireplace.

Lobby stairs.

Out our hotel window. Left.

Right. Ingles.

Waynesville was our first stop and our main stop all afternoon. A Boojum beer and lunch at Boojum Brewing. And shopped all the shops. Success at Christmas shopping. 

One store's cute decor...

Great dinner out at Stone Ridge Tavern. Excellent food and atmosphere. Rugged look with fireplace. Good service. Had prime rib. 

A day of shopping at outlets which includes Field and Stream and a Dillard outlet and tons of others.  Can't wait. Katy has a special tea room kind of place for breakfast with Mimosa. And seafood tonight. :-) 

Saw out first bear. He was road kill though so I'm pretending that doesn't count. Eeeeew.

Happy Momma! Love my travel. Love hanging with Kate! Biltmore tomorrow!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Heading out Today for our Trip to Asheville, NC

Sometimes when I see Christmas decor that is not red and obnoxious, I will buy it.  And that is why I bought this Snow Man.   He doesn't take up much space and he fits in the decor in our den!  lol 

Well, yesterday went pretty quick, it was a little busier.  But still I managed to get some things done.  There is not many people to enroll in insurance for January so that will give me some more time to work on December projects.  I think we managed to get all of November's done.  At least anything that is in November is pending on someone else.  The day went pretty fast.  

It was nice to come home.  I gathered things for our trip to Asheville and put in the little suitcase, and made a mental note to search for my luggage that I want.  As these suitcases are wearing out.  I still have to pack cosmetics, ipad and charger, and probably a book this morning.   

She is bringing Findlay to stay the weekend with George.  So George will have the 3 dogs over the weekend.  And she is bringing her cage with bed and we will put her cage in the bathroom but of course the door will be open and she'll be able to come and go from the cage, but we will keep her separated from the other dogs so they won't hurt her.  Tugie would snap at her and might bite her if she tried to bother her.  Roger would growl at her, b/c I've seen him do it.  So it's best to keep them separated.  

We are taking my car.  I like driving, especially through the mountains, so I can be in charge.  Katy says she is ok with me driving.  I told her I might need for her to drive at night though in Asheville b/c it'll be a different place and I don't see as well at night anymore.  I'm ok around my normal routes b/w work and home and around here, but being in a different place, without street lights especially, it's harder for me now to see where I'm going and turning and such. It's more of a disorientation than being able to see I think.  Hard to explain, but like exits and entrances, places to turn, signs - the correct lanes to be in when there are so many right together - is just harder for me at night in a different place.  

So I'm excited for our adventures but would appreciate your prayers!  Prayers for safe travel.  Prayers for no forest fires, no hotel fires, or any type of fires. Prayers for no burglaries, no thefts, no car trouble.  Do we need to go down the list?  lol Prayers for just safety all around and for God to be with us, show us his beauty and to help us find some nice gifts for others for Christmas.  

My thoughts continue for those in Gatlinburg.  Such a nightmare regarding the fires in this small town, but big area.  I heard there were 700 structures that were burned or damaged.  There are reports of up to 70 missing possibly.  The death toll up to 11 as they find some of the missing.  People in cabins caught up in the mountains with no escape.  It's terrifying.  I went to bed thinking about those 3 children (older boys I think) who survived but whose parents did not and were found at the cabin.   
My heart just breaks for them.  In reality it could have been ANY of us.  People from our area frequently go up there.  We have been up there.  We have been on the other side of the Smokies in May at our own cabin.  Who was to know that the winds would get up to hurricane force at 80 miles per hour and send the fires through the mountains and blocking people in.  Just so sad.  So sad.  The past few nights when I wake up and toss and turn, I'm thinking of this nightmare.  

So we will be heading into the mountains today and I just pray that all these fires are in control.  I know this was a freakish thing.  Something that has not happened in a long time around  here.  But it did happen and it can happen.  I'm sure it probably won't though as we are not expecting bad weather again like that.  But still - just scary.  So pray for us as we travel. 

I'll try to blog while we are gone, if my ipad and phone will let me.  I'm not taking my laptop b/c George needs it for iTunes.  I just hope he doesn't mess my iTunes up.  lol  

Anyway, ya'll have a great day.  I need to finish getting ready and packing.  Katy will be here in an hour.  We plan to be on the road by 8 and are stopping at Chic Filet and then we are going to Waynesboro to shop a bit and then on to Asheville for a late lunch and check into hotel and shop! 

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Manger Scene, Biltmore, and Being at Home

Our manger scene.  It's becoming quite old.  I guess you could say it's vintage now.  Every year that passes it has even more meaning for me.  It always had meaning spiritually speaking, but just having this same manger scene year after year, is now very special and I enjoy arranging the figures.  I love animals, so I was sure to make sure they were in the stable. lol  The wise men and their camel wouldn't fit but they probably didn't stay too long.  lol Who knows?  They might have spent the night.  If they had traveled. Maybe I should get more hay!! lol  My hay is dwindling over the years.  I need to get some more.   I mean, wouldn't it be neat to be able to go back in time and witness the real manger scene?  How cool would that be?

Well, I overslept yesterday, but it was probably a good thing.  I needed the sleep after staying up Sunday night to win that tournament overnight.  And after all that and winning my dolphin, I see that he gets taken away from me in 3 more days.  I only have him for the week, til someone else wins the next tournament.  Pbhhhhttttthhh.  Made me almost want to quit playing.  If you win you ought to get to keep it.  After all, it's only a graphic and not a real dolphin.  It's not like they can't let you keep it and make another one for someone else.  lol  Again Pbbbbbthhhhhh on Farmville Tropical Paradise for giving an award and taking it back.  Pbbbbbttttthhhhhh!!!!!!!

Well, not a lot to tell really.  I've had pain in my abdomen for about 3 days now.  Just a gentle stabbing pain but yet so annoying.  At first thought it was diverticulitis.  But now think it is related to the fibroid tumors.  Lovely info, right?  But I'll be glad when the surgery is over and all that is gone.  I guess that is what has been hurting me periodically through the last few years and I've been worried it was going to be appendicitis or diverticulitis.  They are huge, and one as big as an orange, so it will be good to get this OUT!

Work has been ok this week.  I have been able to get things done and work on and follow up on the November projects, that are all pending or about to close.  I am waiting on the Holiday schedule to be approved but no one will answer my email.  People (employees and vendors) are asking about the New Year holiday.  I just told them it's probably the 2nd but I don't know yet.  I'm taking the 2nd as my Holiday.  lol  I've decided for me anyway.  lol I mean life goes on and people need to make plans. 

Soon we'll be starting Dec projects.  Next week gonna be busy and pulling my hair out.  Way too much going on.  Both at home and at work.  What shopping doesn't happen in Asheville - remaining gifts will probably be in gift cards.  Because I'll need to wrap next week since I'll be down the 16th through the 19th b/c of surgery.  And then after that, we'll be pretty much in the holidays.  Our first festivities start Dec 10th at a friend's "ornament swap" party.   Still this is the first year, I'm really not stressing.  I'm just planning.  Most of us love gift cards anyway.  But it is fun to unwrap something too even if small.

Katy sent me a text stating that the Biltmore had sold out their tickets for Saturday.  We had not bought in advance b/c I had been told it's never a problem buying at the door.  I could kick myself.  Now we have to rearrange our plans.  I didn't see this text until this morning as I went to sleep last night early.  But supposedly she is getting tickets for us at 9 a.m. to go in on Sunday.  I guess that is ok.  I'm not sure how long it takes to go through.  I'll probably feel more rushed now b/c I'll be wanting to get back home.  But, we'll accept it and go on and let that be a lesson learned.  At least Sunday is not sold out.  (That I know of.)  No news is good news I suppose.  So I guess she got them.  
We'll just focus on shopping Saturday, which suits me fine.  Our fault for believing we could just waltz right in.  

I'm so ready to be off and wish I had today off.  I am a little apprehensive about coming back and not having everything ready for a work week next week, but I'll have to improvise on that too.  I'll just have to go to the store, get my nails done, try to wrap gifts and such at night next week.  I won't get to do my laundry and ironing so I'll have to dress like a hobo next week lol.  Hopefully it will all be worth it.

If I were home today...I'd do what little laundry there is to do, go to the store TODAY, maybe do some shopping excursion, come home clean the kitchen and reboot dishwasher, bless the household with a onceover real quick, WRAP some.  But NO....off to work I go.  

I really like being at home.  I should have listened to Daddy and become just a housewife and stayed in the home.  Well, he didn't really tell me to do that but I know that is what he wanted for me.  He wanted me to be a teacher so I'd have summers off and be home as much as possible.  I suppose he knew I'd not marry into such money that I'd not have to work at all.  But, I went a different route and ended up in HR.  I guess it's been an OK route for me, although it ended up being something totally different than what I intended on it being.  I really thought I was only going to be hiring, training, and scheduling and doing time cards and such - which is all great for someone with an organizing type of personality.  I didn't know I would need to have the mind of a lawyer and have to research cases and laws to be able to make decisions and set up policies.  I didn't know that people could be so......so.....the way they are at times....ugly and rude, smarta$$es, conniving, manipulitive, dishonest....and I've dealt with that so much that it has calloused me to the human race at times.  It has caused me not to trust people or at least to ask more questions before trusting someone.  Once you learn what people can do and see it first hand, you can't help but be enlightened as to what can happen.   And not only is that sad but it makes you mad.  I know every occupation has to deal with that on some realm I guess.  And the earth is not getting less sinful, so it will only get worse. 

I really would love to just be able to be home.  Away from crazy people.  (Except for George, buahahahah.) But we can't really afford that.  Yet.  I would find crafts and other ways to make money, but it wouldn't be the same and steady income.   I write the novels.  But who knows if they would sell.

Oh well.  Off to work I go. 

Have a great day! And I'm smiling as the reminder went off on my phone, just now, telling me I have a vacation day tomorrow!  Woooooot!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Overslept and don't really feel all that great. And no time to blog. But otherwise all going well. Big rains overnight so that was good. Y'all have a great day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gatlinburg Fires, Our Trip, and Severe Storms

Well, the fireplace could use some more "pomp and circumstance" with Greenery and some flowers.  Might just find some on our grounds here - pine cones and such.  But it's still pretty with the stockings.  Not going to thrown money at it.  But I decided to keep all my pics.  One of my projects for after the new year is going to be updating some of my photos here to more up to date.  

The big news this morning is the Gatlinburg fires that are taking over.  Gatlinburg and Seveirville  (not sure if I spelled that correctly) evacuating.  People stuck inside a hotel surrounded by fire.  Too dangerous to escape as the way out is engulfed.   I have a twitter account @bookncoffee if you want to follow.  I retweeted the pics and one incredible video.  Watching the news now as I type this. 

I hope all this is under control and no longer an issue when we go to Asheville Friday.  I guess by tomorrow we'll need to call and see how conditions are and if it is smoky - I don't even want to go.  I can't handle that type of air in my lungs.  So I hope we don't have to cancel our plans.  We have looked forward to it for so long.  If we can't go, I'm tempted to point the car South and go to Destin for the weekend, lol but it's just too far.  I hate we are at least 8 to 9 hours from the nearest beach.  I've got to do something about that!  I guess we can go somewhere for a different place to shop, but it will be a shame to not be able to go and see the Biltmore and do the plans we have planned. 

The main thing though is that there is no loss of life with all these wild fires.  Some of the pics and videos are really scary. 

Well, I slept good last night after only getting half a night's sleep the night before.  Yesterday was a fairly quiet day.  The focus is on the year end, new year, stuff we have to do.  I have a white board full of "to do's".  

Didn't get much done at home last night.  Just laundry, rebooting dishwasher, and then we watched TV while eating dinner, so I didn't finish getting the ornaments done.  I guess we'll try again tonight.  

Just saw on TV that we have some severe storms coming that could cause tornadoes for tonight.  :-O  That makes my mind up not to go to the movies.  I was not wanting to go anyway.  Too much to do with finishing up decorating the trees and such.  

Well, I better get ready and get on my way!  

Note to Jack.  The 1905 Salad is a salad in a cookbook from The Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine.    You should take Sherry and head that way for a great meal!