Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Destin!

Merry Christmas from Destin! We've had a busy week or so. Spent a lovely afternoon at Eden Plantation and Gardens. Unfortunately no relation! As you can see, it is a beautiful antebellum mansion fit for Natchez in Port Washington, FL just up the road from Destin. The sunset is over East Pass in Destin. They are finally starting to dredge the Harbor so the boats can get out.
We are having fun in between wind and rain! The weather this December has been the worst that anyone can recall down here. It hasn't stopped us much. We've still been out and about. A few movies, lots of eating out, a little shopping, a little work for me, lots of reading for Woody. I've spent more time on facebook than updating my blog, but hey...the important people are my facebook friends! If you aren't on facebook, you should try it. It's great to keep in touch with family and people and old friends you haven't thought about in years and some you don't even remember!! besides...isn't if fun facebooking that you just got a shot in your butt? Yes..I'm officially sick and you know how I hate doctors. Woody finally hog tied me and made me go...he was right, although I hate to admit it. This is my first non-annual get my prescriptions refilled visit in years!
As I reflect on 2009, I must thank Marsha and Karen and The Oncology Group for my semi-return to the work force. I have been able to stay intellectually engaged and buy some toys. When you retire, you hoard your money because you don't know how long you'll live. The issue is: spend for fun now and then become a burden to your kids OR watch your pennies now and leave it all to the kids when you die sooner than expected. While I love my kids, they have to earn their own way now and not depend on mom and dad! Tee Hee!! I still love it that my retirement plan was based on taking my savings and dividing it by the number of years I expected to live. I didn't depend on Wall Street and in retrospect that was a good thing. We may not have millions plural, but we are having a million dollars worth of fun in retirement! Spending the winter in Destin, cruising to Canada, going to my first Nascar race at Bristol, gambling in Cherokee and Vegas, and finally going to the Jack Daniels brewery are just some of the highlights of 2009. I'm not bragging, just sharing my blessings! The Lord has blessed us with good health and sufficient wealth to do fun things!
So as we wrap up 2009 and get ready for the pot luck Christmas dinner in the trailer park tomorrow (yes I know it's an RV resort right on the beach next to million dollar mansions, but it sounds better to say trailer park!), Woody and I wish you Merry Christmas, love enough to share, sufficient wealth to meet your needs, and world peace! Life is good! Celebrate it through all the ups and downs and may you be more up than down in 2010!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Cold, Dreary Day in Destin

OK, this is getting ridiculous. I'm sitting here in the coach watching the clouds roll in over the water...but at least the wind is from the south which warms us up! The waves are pretty ok but not like the first week when it was wild. We've now been here two weeks and other than the days I was in Las Vegas, it's been cool but sunny, overcast and cool or rainy! While I was in Las Vegas it was great supposedly. If I can just last through today, it is supposed to be beautiful next week. I come to Florida for the sun...I don't care if it is cool, but I MUST HAVE SUN or I get really crunchy. Poor Woody. At least the clouds make for beautiful sunsets. This was yesterday. Oh's raining again!!!
As always, we're eating too well and went to Callahan's Restaurant and Deli last night with Norm and Bill. The food is fabulous. Not sure where we'll go tonight. We've still not made it to our favorite, Dewey Destin's, but it's just been so cold. I guess we could to the new place that is actually a restaurant, but everyone says the old one on the bay with plastic over the windows and radiant heaters to keep you from totally freezing is still better. It is the one with the kitchen on wheels!
We can't even find a movie we want to go's bad! But if you haven't seen The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw you have to go. It's the best movie I've seen in a long just feel good when you leave. So I've updated my facebook and now the blog...then I think I'll just go read. Finished two books on the flight too and from Las Vegas...Deep Fathom by Rollins and Loitering with Intent by Stuart Woods...both were fabulous reads.
Hope your weekend is better than mine is starting out to be!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I have a Blackberry!

Despite Woody's misgivings, I got a Blackberry today! He really didn't want me to get one, but our IHOP was right next to a Verizon store! Big sign: Free Blackberry with 2 year activation! Now the fun part is I tried to re-sign my contract with Verizon back during the summer and they just were too busy to talk to me so we left. Otherwise I couldn't have gotten this one! So now I'm part of the crackberry generation again.

We've had a great week settling in and eating at our favorite spots. It's really been colder than usual down here in Destin and everyone is complaining. Hopefully in the next few days it will warm up to normal. Today it was in the mid 60's and sunny up until about 3:30P and then it began to cloud up. The sunset should be beautiful...if it is, I'll post pics!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Well now we've been to Buster's and McGuire's Irish Pub! Two of our favorite restaurants. McGuire's has the best prime cut steak in Destin and almost as good as some we had in Montana last year! Not cheap, but incredible! It also has an entire room of Notre Dame memorabilia! and multiple moose...mooses? decorated for Christmas of course. We've had a horrid storm today with up to 60 mile an hour gusts, horizontal rain, and more rain! The beach sand has moved up to the slips on the beach so it will have to be bulldozed back to the beach!
We're staying in until later this afternoon when it's supposed to clear. Then out to more favorite restaurants! The economy down here seems to continue to be slow. Several more restaurants and stores have closed or are closing. Pat O'Briens opened last year and has already closed at HarborWalk. The RV resort where we stay every year, Camping on the Gulf, is very empty although it should pick up closer to Christmas and New Year's. It still won't be full according to the staff....not like 3 or 4 years ago when we were completely full. Not quite as much fun, but I have a better view of the ocean! The seas today were really rough. We'll see what we do next year when Savannah Elizabeth arrives...I may not be able to come down and leave her for 3 months! We may just do a cruise!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hello from Palm Tree Land!

We made it to Florida Monday around 6P after driving in rain all day. Only to get more rain today...lots more flash flooding rain. Near Appalachicola they are expecting 70 mile an hour winds...wonder if an RV can fly? At least it's 60 so the rain is not freezing or turning in to snow! It's supposed to be out of here by tomorrow and back to what we expect of December in Florida. It's still great to see the ocean and the waves...since we're on the beach, we are a bit worried about the 4 ft storm surge...maybe we should move up the hill to a higher spot! Wonder if RV's can float? Oh is what it is.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to take a minute and wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and share with you a little Irish prayer from Saint Patrick:

May the strength of God pilot us.
May the power of God preserve us.
May the wisdom of God instruct us.
May the hand of God protect us.
May the way of God direct us.
May the shield of God defend us.

As we enter the holiday season, I get nostalgic for the old days when family fellowship was more important than presents; when seeing the relatives was fun; when cooking was done with love and not obligation; when the children could play outside and be safe; when the only family arguments were over football-GO IRISH; when we all lived close rather than scattered all over the country; when there was peace-although that hasn't happened much in our lifetime so pray for it; when people cared for the poor; when an apology was more important than a grudge; OMG I sound so Leave it to Beaver!!! Yep...I'm definitely old. I'm sounding like my Dad!

Seriously though...have a great time whatever your traditions and locale...and if you're not with your loved ones...give them a call!!!!! I love all of you and Woody and I wish you happy days!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Now to Florida!

We had a blast at Woody's party on Saturday! Lots of good food, fun and many friends! Libby wants to invite Helen to all our family gatherings and Jane wants Cindy! I think our friends have bonded. Woody got lots of chocolate as you can see from the couch picture...a good book, chocolate and green tea!

Just finished up all my writing and editing work and now get to start packing for the winter in Florida...there will be so much more to write. Dewey Destin's, Buster's, McGuire's...all our favorite restaurants. We start cleaning the coach today and then the house for the house sitter!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Taylor Swift, Woody's BD and Other Goodies!

So delighted that Taylor Swift won the Entertainer of the Year in Country Music! She has certainly "entertained" this year and deserves the recognition. Highest ratings in years for Saturday Night Live and the CMA's and yet the "boo birds" come out just because she's young. Trust me, she's smarter than most 40 year olds when it comes to managing her career. I can't believe that Wynonna and Naomi Judd dissed her! Jealousy anyone? Why is it that people who haven't had a hit in years take pot shots at the hottest thing going. In case they haven't noticed, Taylor has brought an entirely new set of fans to country music. If the genre doesn't change with the times, it will be defunct in no time! There are classic country stations still playing the old guard, but the contemporary country stations are eating their lunch! Now a disclaimer! Taylor lives in my hometown so I have to be protective!

Woody's birthday is coming up and we're going to have a little party for him on Saturday. Just a few friends and 5 pounds of shrimp and two pounds of cajun crab dip and 90 other things! Do I know my friends or what? I've made little presents for the girls and can't wait to give them to them. I'm finally having time to do a little artsy stuff!

Getting ready to head out to Florida for the winter. Can't wait to see the ocean, friends, Dewey Destin's, McGuire's, and Buster's! Destin is the most wonderful city and I so love to be there. I'd give anything if the hurricaines would leave Florida alone. If I could get insurance without mortgaging the house, I'd love to live there. Our niece should be back here soon to house sit! Unless she gets a play in New York! She's auditioning like crazy! Then we go to Plan B!

I'm going to try to do better about keeping the blog up to date! and then on to the gallery! Lots of great new pictures to add. Have a great week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Football Fun in the Fall!

A fabulous football weekend in Tennessee! Ole Miss, Jennifer's team, won...Notre Dame finally beat Boston College, but boooo....Florida beat MS State...but at least MS State was respectable playing the #1 team in the land. We southern girls do love our football. The only problem...a quick trip to Publix for shrimp, brownie mix and $200 worth of exotic junk foods, including garlic stuffed olives! We've eaten all day. You know every now and then you just have to forget you're supposed to be dieting.

Tomorrow the Titans have a bye, but there are tons of great NFL games that we have to watch as we have more food to eat!

Life is good! Go Irish!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall, Facebook and Fun!

I'm having an identity crisis. I have deserted my blog for facebook! I wonder which I should focus on going forward? Facebook is addictive and real time...just messaged back and forth with my fabulous daughter-in-law. We jot thoughts and activities on a daily basis, and don't even get me started on my farm! Maybe I can do both?

This fall has been busy with some work and lots of play. Between trying to get my yard and flower beds under control, lots of football and a little work, I'm tired. Work has eased up a bit so I've been trying to catch up on things I let slide this summer. I'm not complaining about's allowed me to buy my new TV, and most recently, a Frigidare washer and dryer! Hopefully all the hype about saving energy and water is true. The washer and dryer we had was at least 10-15 years old!! There were some even more fancier ones, but these are black and have a gentle cycle which my old one didn't have so I'm so uptown.

We did a wonderful cruise to Canada on NCL in September. The itinerary was perfect..the ship a bit shabby but the staff were wonderful. We love Peggy's Cove, Sydney and Halifax! If it wasn't cold 10 months out of the year, I could live there! Besides, they have healthcare for all...and it appears that we won't unless Washington can get their act together!

October has been busy already! We went to Olivia's soccer game at Trevecca...she plays for Freed-Hardeman...watched Mississippi State beat MTSU, which made Libby not happy with her dad...cried over our horrid Titans as they are now 0-6....does anyone want any tickets?...and visited with tons of friends. We have to visit lots as we leave again for winter in Florida soon.
Not sure what else to tell you other than I'll work harder to keep you updated on my progress through retirement. I swear I had more time when I was working! and if you're truly a friend...come on over to facebook! I'll still hang out there.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Busy Summer!

Things have been a bit hectic this summer! I have been working for The Oncology Group and traveling a good bit. I'm ready for retirement again! At least for a while.

So it's been weeks since we've chatted. Where to start? Probably the most exciting thing is Miss Libby is pregnant!! Keep Led and Lib in your prayers as they begin the exciting trip through parenthood! I was a bit worried though that she asked me what she would do with a baby after it gets here! Everyone just tells her to call Led's mom or me...hope I remember everything.

I finally entered this century and we bought a 52 inch LCD flat screen TV from Best Buy. Woody and I talked to everyone we knew about our purchase as we are both technologically challenged when it comes to electronics. Everyone said LCD over Plasma so that much we knew. We had been looking at TV's at Sam's because they seemed so cheap. Thank heavens we went to Best Buy...we didn't know about all those other things that you should consider over price. Something like HP, speed, digital compression....I don't know. Talking to our little sales guy was a real education and we're glad we didn't jump the gun...We have a Sony Bravia that is fabulous...watching football is a dream!

Saw Bette Midler on one of my work trips to Las Vegas...and yes, we did work! This was only one night. She is at Caesar's and well worth the time if you are a Bette fan like I am. She has lost a bit of her voice and a step or two but she is still hilarious!! After all at 63, she's in better shape than I am at 60!!! I didn't know what to expect since we usually go to the shows as opposed to the entertainers...she did stand-up comedy that was priceless! Including one fall down comedy bit where she forgot one of her jokes...we thought it was part of the show until Marsha talked to her sister! She had been off for a while. Now on to Cher!

Headed to Jackson last weekend to have lunch with my sister Dana (aka Miss Martha or now Miss Paula) and her hubby! Fantastic lunch...and then off to see my beautiful niece play soccer...she's the beauty pageant queen that's a tomboy! go figure. One of her mean coaches made her practice until she had holes in her knees...well, at least til the skin was scraped off. She got in to play for a bit even though she probably should have rested that torn skin! Miss O is in nursing school at Freed-Hardeman following in her cousin and aunt's footsteps! Wilkes is hanging out playing his music...he is an incredible musician! So the Jackson connection is doing well.
September is looking busy with a trip to East TN for Woody's family reunion, a couple of Titan's football games, and our 25th anniversary cruise to Canada!!! Just a few more months until Florida! I'm ready for beach.
Hope you all are having a wonderful back to Facebook which is occupying all my time!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Work! and Play!

I don't even know where to begin! With facebook, I've just drifted away from my blog! I must return....there are so many people and so little time. Where to begin. Since my last entry, I went to Las Vegas for work and to Ohio for work. July and August are really dedicated to The Oncology Group and all our summer work! In between work, we've celebrated Donna's 60th birthday and Holly's whatever day on the Blue Heron, a lovely charter out of Ashland City. A wonderful time was had by all! Holly and Roy went all out on catering this lovely event...I can't believe how much they brought to the boat! But after all, Holly did used to cook on a charter boat! The food was beautiful and tasty...she should cater all the time.
A few friends from Mickey D's headed out to The Catfish House in Springfield for an early bird special...I ate until I was sick! The food was case you're seeing a trend here...I do love to eat. Throw in a few movies with popcorn and chocolate and life is good.
We did just book a cruise to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island for September! Can't wait. We also finally got into the 21st century with a 52" flat screen tv! Can't wait for Notre Dame and Mississippi State games. Can you tell I work for play and fun stuff? Most old retired people don't have the luxury of picking up this kind of supplemental income. Thank you Lord! and my mom for telling me I had to stay at Union in Jackson for college! I figured out a way to get out of Jackson by going to nursing school! Great choice....really wanted to be an archaeologist or astronaut or marine biologist, but girls didn't have those options in the "old days"!
Thanks so much for being patient with can also check out our facebook at Pat Hudson Edens! See you there!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Woody's New Toy!

Well, I've finally lost my mind. After years of listening to Woody wanting a motorcycle, I gave in. Even rock is worn away by a constant drip of water....that's not to say my husband is a drip...well, maybe a little. All I heard is Harley, Harley, I give in and he buys a Honda! His excuse? It had flames! This is just what an almost 65 year old man needs. At least he is taking a motorcycle course this weekend and hopefully it will help keep him safe!

I, on the other hand, have had a delightful week with my BFF Janet. We shopped and ate out and just had all around fun. This is the first time I've done back to back business trips (last week and leaving again Tuesday) but Marsha promises it's just an accident! At least the upcoming trip is Vegas! And you all know how I do love to gamble...unfortunately we're staying at a hotel without a casino! Such trauma! But trust me, I'll find one! We're almost finished with Ohio and Las Vegas will run through September or early October at the latest! Then maybe off for a few months? Hopeful? We'll see!

As you know, we're all on facebook now! Come look for me at Pat Hudson Edens! I have a great farm.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hope you all had a great 4th of July!

Please excuse us...our FaceBook page is taking precedence over the Ready for Retirement! Just a quick update...we've just been enjoying the pool, visiting with friends, and of course, I've been working some. I finally caved in and let Woody start the process toward getting a motorcycle. I have mixed was a pre-nup that he wouldn't get a motorcycle (or donor cycle as I call them) and I would keep my hair red til I the question I have...if he broke the pre-nup does that mean all bets are off? He's such a bad driver and so easily distracted that I'm scared for him! Oh well...retirement is not turning out quite how I pictured it! Woody on a motorcycle and me working!

We did have a ball at Cindy and Lou's on the 3rd of July and watched the Bellevue fireworks. Ate entirely too much. Saturday was yard work which was sorely needed, and Sunday was tennis and golf...watching not playing! Our friends Elroy and Ginny took us out to Shane's Rib Shack for dinner for watching their house...they certainly didn't need to considering all the wonderful things they do for us!

Gotta go work on my farm! See you down the road!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fun in NC!

Just back from a quick Mimi and Grandad babysitting adventure with the grandkids! Will is in town for the summer and Jen needed a little help. We had a blast. Riley is doing well with her riding lessons too...Marbles, her horse, is the pudgiest thing I've ever seen. I asked the stable staff if she was pregnant! I'll post pics later. Grandad took Molly, Sebastian and Riley to see UP and also to play at Monkey Joe's while I worked a bit. I babysat the dog, drove Will to camp at the club and worked! I think I got the better end of the should have seen how pooped Grandad was at the end of the day!

We came home through Lake Lure, NC and had a delightful lunch and walk about. The shops there are precious, but there weren't many tourists. We drove Dragon's Tail again, 19 or so miles of twisting, steep and hilly road! The wild rhododendrons were in bloom finally...this is our third visit to NC in the last month and a half...I thought I was never going to see them. Our drive home was uneventful...I love meandering.

Loving the pool...we're using it a lot with the temps so high! We've found the late afternoon is the best...less sun for my white white self. I just exercise and paddle around and feel so rested. As we say...why did we wait so long!

Stay cool!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

We've been remiss! I can't believe it's been almost a month since I've updated you on the exciting life we lead...tee hee! Part of the issue is that I've discovered FaceBook!!! It's so much fun and all the kids, family and old friends are on! It's a great way to communicate since no one ever calls anymore! Check us out...our page is under Pat Hudson Edens. Hudson of course is my maiden name so all my old boyfriends from high school can find me...don't tell Woody of course.

Memorial Day weekend was great. We headed to Harrah's Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, NC for a Miranda Lambert concert and a little gambling...too bad the losing was big! We had a great time and did a little urban hiking as we like to call shopping. That way we hike but don't get muddy. Certainly not Yellowstone, but we love the area. Once again though we just missed the rhododendrons.

We're finally through with the yard other than continuing to weed the flower pesky neighbor has bermuda grass in his yard and it's infiltrating everyone's yards and beds. Everything is hanging in from our transplanting the roses, although our biggest bush looks a bit yucky. Hope it makes the cut. Last night we harvested one large green tomato and fried that sucker, and two cherry tomatoes for our salad from my porch pot! We've had 90 degree weather lately and I realllllly don't like it! We've spent two years chasing 72 so being back at home in the summer is a shock! And of course, our air conditioner died....but at least this time the repair people figured out we had a freon leak and fixed it...previously they just would fill us up and it would trickle out over the summer! Hopefully, now we'll survive August! If not, we'll gas up the beast and head north.

We still love the pool and are trying to be religious at doing our water aerobics. I'm dieting and Woody is pretending to diet! I am realizing that I'll never be tall, thin and blonde, but I would like to not be mistaken for a beach ball in the pool!

I'm going to be working a bit this summer for The Oncology Group one of the very best consulting groups out there. Woody and I are planning a Panama Canal cruise that won't be cheap so this will take care of the fare! In my case, it's "will work for play"!

Now, I do have one question...just how the heck do I get the DVDs we rent to show full screen without those black bars at the top and bottom? We so rarely rent because we go to first runs we want to see, but we're still catching up from Montana when we could only get one new family movie a week without driving to Bozeman!

This weekend we're embracing our love of country music by going to Fan Fair or whatever the new name is for the concert series at the stadium with all the crazed country music fans from all over the world. Our friends Lou and Cindy got us tickets in a luxury box so we'll be hanging out in air conditioned comfort and watching Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert...are you beginning to see that Woody has a thing for Miranda? Will let you all know how that goes!

Hope you're having a wonderful summer.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grandkids! Graduation! Concert! Family!

We've had a busy two weeks! Off to visit the grandkids in NC and to attend the Princess's Dance Recital. Miss Thang promptly told her Mimi that she wanted to get through with this dance "stuff" and get on with horseback riding lessons on Marbles! She is definitely her Mimi's and Mother's child....and not the least bit girly girl. So enjoy the tutu it's boots and horses! We do have a new granddog...Bella came to live at the Edens' house. She's 6 months old and a delight! Of course, she's a half grown Great Dane, so who knows how big she'll eventually be! Jennifer and Chris were the hosts with the mostest. Molly and her clan came over and the kids played for hours in the yard. Tristan is the typical sullen teenager...or at least he will be on July 4th. He was such a delightful baby when he lived with us...I'm hoping that the Tristan I know and love comes back soon! Sebastian is a doll and a delight to be around. Molly and Leo have done a wonderful job with him...I just hope they survive Tristan! Molly...just remember...payback!
We came back Hwy 64 through Cashiers and Highlands, NC. It was a long drive but beautiful. So many of the rhododendrons were blooming. Once back, we attacked the yard with everything we had. We hacked and pruned and cut and rearranged, but still have miles to go before the yard is back to where we left it two years ago. This traveling constantly has really been fun, but we're paying for two years of neglect. The pool is gorgeous though...we actually got in one day when it was in the 80's and we'd been working in the yard. Today is cold...hopefully it will warm up soon so I can start my water aerobics!
Estelle and David came for Jessica's graduation this weekend. We had a great time even though the boys beat us in canasta! I thought we had won, but then Estelle redid her math...drat! I liked it better when she was off by a 1,000! Our beautiful niece graduated from Belmont on Saturday with high honors. We're so proud as are her parents. We had a great family dinner at The Acorn in Nashville. ..and I thought I knew all the good restaurants. It was Halibut I've ever had. We also had lunch after the graduation at Bosco's....great food and great company.
After a short rest, it was off to the Billy Joel/Elton John concert! Oh my goodness...I've been listening to too much country music. I went crazy singing and dancing and screaming like I was in my 20's...unfortunately for me, I woke up today in my 60 year old body hoarse and screaming from pain and exhaustion!! The concert was incredible and worth the pain! We ate at Blackstone Brewery before the concert and had a blast. Our friends Mike and Donna and Lou and Cindy were just as crazy as we were...of course all of us stood up to help our knees more than the standing ovation Billy and Elton thought we were giving them! It was decidedly an older crowd trying to be rowdy like in our youth...there were going to be some major hangovers this morning....and no lighters, just the flash of digital cameras and phones. Not like the old days.
Today is a day of rest...we're in our comfortable clothes and really kicking back! Tomorrow it's Angels and Demons and more rest! We're too old to have this much fun! Big hugs from us to all of you! Still enjoying retirement, but may have to go back to work to rest up! Glad that The Oncology Group is still willing to keep me working a bit!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rain, Rain and More Rain!

We're just back from Knoxville and Gatlinburg! Met Robert and Laurie, our friends from our Florida winter "home", for dinner at Carinos and then a walking tour of Gatlinburg! Haven't been there for a while to just saunter down the road! Fudge and mango tango ice cream! Yum. We went to Knoxville for the National Association of Hot Rods Show...we saw a few cars and then the rain drove us home early. Woody was soaked! I stayed in the car! He was bummed!

The pool is finally in! Yeah! We've been putting all the chemicals know, Woody makes a great pool boy! It is the perfect size for us. Now it has to get warm, and we have to put in our screen door so we can get in from the porch. When it clears up, I'll post a picture.

I'm on Facebook can teach an old dog new tricks! I still don't quite know how to use it, but we're all working on staying in touch. If you know how to use it, I'm on as Pat Hudson Edens.

Our May is crazy! NC to see the grandkids, Jessica's graduation, David and Estelle coming to visit for the graduation, Elton John and Billy Joel, Harrah's Cherokee Casino to see Miranda Lambert and a little work thrown in for good measure! Thank heaven for wonderful pet sitters! The boys may forget Mommy and Daddy! Tried to rent a car for all our road trips and the big ones were all I went to my friends at CarSmart here in Hendersonville and bought a Volvo S60! That'll show em...can't rent? just buy! We are going to do lots of shorter trips without the RV this summer, so of course we "needed" the car. and yes...we still have the Mustang, the truck and the RV!! We'll probably head out in the RV in August if it gets too hot here, or maybe not. Maybe just hit the pool.

Quiet night in H'ville in the rain...we're watching the NASCAR race from Richmond. Hope you all have a great week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I've been remiss! Updates from H'ville!

I've been so remiss! Since my exciting birthday week, I've just been busy busy busy in fact that I just haven't updated you on our exciting life. So here goes.
First..we went to the Bristol Motor Speedway for my first NASCAR race...that's me by Tony Stewart's truck! I just love Tony...he's a cute little bad boy! As you can see from the actual race picture, our seats were fabulous. Thanks Ticketmaster! We also had lunch with the uncles, and I found this delightful little burro that wanted to come home with me. That would necessitate a farm and I'm not willing to give up travel just yet!
We're still celebrating tons of birthdays! Bill Petty had his very own McDonald's birthday party to celebrate a milestone birthday...just so he doesn't hate me, you figure it out. Cindy was the second of our bunch to turn another milestone birthday after mine in March. Donna is still to come in July! These 39 birthdays are tough!
We also had family day at the Sound's game to celebrate Easter. That's my beautiful Libby with Ozzie the mascot. Led got a little jealous but hey...Libby is a looker! Led's mom and Nick joined us. Other than the New Orleans' Zephyrs beating us in the 10th inning, it was a fabulous day. I'm not fond of baseball, but I love baseball games...especially the Cubs and the Sounds!
This being home is hard work...still no pool, but the yard is looking good. Hopefully if the weather will cooperate we'll get our pool soon. We have some more trips planned to NC for Riley's dance recital and then to Cherokee to see Miranda Lambert, gamble a little and shoot pictures of the Smokies in the spring! In June, we're going to the CMA summer fest to see Taylor's good to have friends! We're in a luxury box with parking on the grounds!
Working a bit...CT and TX are my most recent...have to pay for all this travel! Will write more later!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tap Shoes and Birthday Parties!

I don't know where to start! We've been home since the 20th of February and have been so busy that I've neglected my dear diary of retirement! My most fun things are too numerous to mention, but you know me! I'll try to recapture them for you. I am getting a pool, which you saw previously so we've spent hours working in the yard destroying my beautiful rose garden...hopefully it will arise a bit further back in the yard behind the pool!
Then...tahdah! I had three birthday parties! and I got presents!! and you know how I love parties and presents!!! My first party was with a huge (try full sheet!) cake decorated in Notre Dame colors and presented to me at McDonalds by my favorite husband. The fire marshall wouldn't let them put 60 candles...yes, I'm they had to use the little 6 and 0 candles...thank goodness or I would have singed my hair trying to blow out 60 candles. We fed everyone, including the wonderful staff at Mickey D's who take care of us so well every morning! My loving daughter came for lunch and brought me Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies!! A personal favorite. She does know her mommy. My next party was at Long Hollow Jamboree. Hence the tap shoes from my dear friends Bill and Jane. You must have tap even see taps on cowboy boots!! We've started going to the Jamboree every Friday night to have dinner and dance..or try to dance. The cheeseburgers are devine and Woody loves the always gourmet "half pound of ground round"...he feels so cosmopolitan! Shades of Clinton in the 50's! Ask him about that! We've learned the two step and watch the cowboy cha cha but we're not quite ready to tackle that yet! I do the electric slide with Jane, which for those of you who don't's an old line dance from the disco era countrified.
My third birthday party was with my cohorts in crime..our dinner club...three of the girls are turning 60 this year! Cindy in April, Donna in July and Holly in about 12 or 15 or 18 years! She lies about her age so we really don't know when she'll get around to 60...we do know she's much younger so we keep her around to bring us chocolate when we hit the nursing home! She's promised to visit. We had a wonderful dinner at Macaroni Grill, and then back to Donna and Mike's for cake and ice cream. We had a bonfire in the fire pit and watched Roy play with psycho cat! Psycho cat used to be really sweet until Emily left it too often with Mike! I think he did something to the cat! I got flamingo beach towels for the pool, a wonderful book and chocolates and great accessories for my guest bath! The only problem...I gave up chocolate candy for Lent so it's sitting and waiting for me to open on Easter. The older I get the more compliant with Lent I think I need to I'll just wait on the candy!
Hugs to all of you! I'll try to do better with keeping you updated on the exciting life of Woody and Pat at home...rare though it is!

Friday, February 27, 2009

We're baaaaack!

I've been remiss...we got home from Florida on the 20th of February with snow and sleet in the forecast...luckily it missed us! Since we've been home, we've worked in the yard continuously and visited friends. My rose garden has been so neglected since we were gone all last summer! We lack mulching and then we wait for warmer weather to plant flowers! We are going to put in a pool since we're staying home for a while. That's my 60th birthday present from Woody! I'm thankful to have lived this long...every day is a blessing! We'll still travel, but short trips to places I want to see around Tennessee and Kentucky and NC. For those of you who know me well, I'm a Jack Daniels girl and have never been to Lynchburg, TN where it's made! That's on my agenda for the first sunny and warm day now that the yard is "laid by" as we say in the south. We're also planning a week or two or more in NC at Chris and Jennifer's beach house! Yeah! A free place to stay on the beach!!

I'm also going to work a bit more for The Oncology Group, a consulting group that specializes in oncology. While we're doing well now, if the market doesn't come back in the next 5-10 years, I may have to go back to my original plan for retirement...greeter at WalMart! Hopefully President Obama will get things heading in the right direction...if we can get everyone in Washington, DC to play nice with each other! I thought briefly, very briefly, about going to work for the government since healthcare reform is such a hot topic. It passed. Given that we pay almost $1500 a month for health insurance, I'm counting the days until November 17th when Woody turns 65 and is eligible for Medicare!!!

Since we're home, there is an open invitation to come visit! We have a fabulous guest suite...private bath, cable, pillowtop mattress...the whole 9 yards. So call, make a reservation and come on over to Hendersonville, TN! We'd love to see you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you've all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! This has been a quiet week...Woody had a bit of a virus and was in bed for a few I shopped. Chicos was having a really good sale! There were tons of things I wanted, but not working means you don't need much! I really love the new shopping area in SanDestin. If you haven't been down here for a while, you won't believe all the new construction. HarborWalk is also a blast. Pat O'Brien's...yes, that one, and Commander's Palace have restaurants here in Destin now.

We aren't much into celebrating Valentine's, but we did book tickets for Bristol today! For those of you not in the know...that's a NASCAR race in March in Bristol, TN!! Let's see...Woody has me in a "trailer", living in a "trailer park" most of the time and, now, going to a NASCAR race!!! What is the world coming to? The interesting thing is that getting tickets to Bristol has been like getting tickets to see the Green Bay Packers play at home...apparently the economy is really hitting racing. The race is less than a month away and the tickets we got are really very good. We're going to stay in Rogersville which is where many of Woody's uncles lunch with the uncles and racing. It should be a blast! I'm for Tony Stewart and Woody is for Dale, Jr.

We did manage to go out to dinner tonight, even though it was Valentine's Day...can you say, Taco Bell? seriously!! We just wanted a quick bite and no lines and no makeup. There was a Valentine's party tonight at the club house, but we just couldn't get moving to go. Besides...I don't think they would be playing our music if you get my drift! We're young for snow birds.

Only one more week and then home to Hendersonville...I'm ready to be home, but it better not be too cold! I can't wait to work in the yard. I've about convinced Woody that Canada this summer is not in our future. I just want to stay around home for a while...he's RV'd me out! I've been retired 27 months and have been away from home 20 months of that!! I want some short trips like to Lynchburg...I love Jack and I'm the only one in the world who hasn't been to Miss Mary BoBo's and the distillery. However, if it gets really hot, all bets are off. I do have two jobs in Alaska and one in Connecticut. We'll just have to see how the year goes.

See you soon!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Seaside's Yard Sale

OK...Woody has not completely grown up! After wandering all over Destin looking, he finally got his 3D glasses and he and Harley watched Chuck in 3D and some of the commercials from the Superbowl.

The group pictures are our Mexican Train Dominos night after the Low Country Boil dinner in the "trailer park". We were out til midnite we're on the search for dominos with numbers rather than dots. It's a blast to play. These are all our good friends! We come every year and all of us have already made our reservations for next year. It's a great bunch.

We had a wonderful day today...Seaside was having their annual yard sale. On the way, we stopped at Lily Pad's in Grayton Beach which is one of our favorite shops. There are multiple booths with tons of good stuff! We had lunch at Great Southern Cafe in Seaside and had the best shrimp and grits I've ever eaten! I thought the ones in Ocean Isle, NC were good but these were better. We're getting close to H day...the day we leave for home. We are expecting that Estelle and David will be down in the next week or so. We're looking so forward to their visit. We're taking them to the Great Southern Cafe so we can all have shrimp and grits! I told you they were good.

We are still doing water aerobics three times a week and walking...still gaining weight! The food here is fabulous. We have eaten shrimp every way and last night at Dewey's I had ruby red's which are called "poor man's lobster". With drawn butter, I couldn't tell the difference...other than the fact that I got 1 lb for $15.95!! We still haven't been to Apalachicola for oysters, but are planning on Capt Anderson's next week in Panama City. I remember going there as a little girl with my parents and sisters. I can't believe that I've been coming down here over 50 years..supposedly my mother came down here when pregnant with me so that would be over 60 years! Yes, I'm sneaking up on my 60th birthday on March 6th! I certainly don't feel that old, and I'm not sure who that old woman in the mirror is!
We are so blessed to get to stay in Florida while TN is freezing cold! We've had a few days of cold weather, but for the most part, we have had jeans and sweatshirts and the top down. Life is good. It is a bit sad down here can tell the recession is hitting. There are tons of houses and condos for sale and several of our friends that own shops are hurting. State Farm is completely pulling out of Florida so that just reinforced our decision not to buy a house is impossible to get insurance. If you're down this way, be sure you go to Footprints on Hwy 98 (Emerald Coast Parkway) between the outlet mall and SanDestin on the left. Great stuff! We've also seen some of the high end restaurants close, but that hasn't hurt us too much! We love Dewey's and Buster's and Pompano Joe's. Great food at great prices. Frou Frou is not us since the market's down! Although I did just buy some more GE stock! It's a cinch that we're not getting any interest income so might as well day trade! See you all soon!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Day in Paradise!

Hope you're all having a wonderful week and that the ice storm isn't too bad!

As you can see, Woody is in the water...after a bit of wading, you get used to it. We're seeing tons of beach erosion and I'm not sure it's going to get much better. Currently, Destin Harbor is at 6 feet in depth and a few of the larger sailboats can't get out. The city and state are arguing with the Corps of Engineers and who knows who about funds for dredging. The frightening thing is that on Okaloosa Island they are talking about levying the homeowners to rebuild the beaches! How would you like to spend millions on a beachfront home and then have to pay to rebuild the beach. If you don't think climate is an issue, watch how this evolves! Without the dunes and beach, a hurricane with a storm surge will wipe this region out. Our beach in front of the RV park has been hit hard, and the waves and wind were so bad last week it snapped the beach volleyball pole. It was a big pole!

Did any of you watch The Last Templar on NBC Sunday night and Monday night? I loved the book, but this was the worst miniseries or movie I've ever seen...if what I saw was acting, I'm moving to Hollywood cause even I can do better! You know it was bad when Woody suggested we flip to the Bachelor at commercials! Things have been a bit lazy down here...mostly eating out, shopping, eating out, walking, eating out, water aerobics, and oh, eating out! Donna, you'll love this...I taught one of my friends down here how to knit a scarf!! Of course, that's all I know how to knit! I did buy lots of yarn to work on a blanket for Riley, but it will be next year before she gets it at the rate I'm going. Did break down and buy a new Bramin purse, but it's a small one to replace my wallet on a string like purse from Montana! This one is a bit more upscale.

Sunday we cleaned! Woody washed and waxed the whole coach...he said no one would believe it so I guess I should have taken a picture! Our neighbors have all been cleaning so we were shamed into it! I cleaned the carpets and then read magazines and watched him work. There is something romantic about a man working. My goal today was to update a presentation on international clinical trials but I didn't get too far! I'm trying to read the Final Rule in the Federal Register...boring! I think the government needs new writers so that normal people don't go into a coma trying to decipher their findings! My goal is to write two intellectual articles a year! I did submit an essay to AARP on Beans, Egalitarianism and Obama and an op-ed piece to the NY Times. I'm still blogging to the Washington Post and occasionally other sites on healthcare. Wish I could figure out how to make some of these pay!!

We lunched with Robert and Laurie from MN at a Thai buffet in Ft. Walton on Monday after water aerobics and the food was great. I love Pad Thai...the spicier the food the better. We still haven't found a convenient Thai restaurant near Hendersonville so we'll just save that for our winter solstice. Camping on the Gulf is really slow this year. The usual bunch on the hill still made it, but we beach people have lots of space! I guess the economy has been an issue, although you'd never know it by the restaurants and stores around here. Much of this area has military families, lots of pilots, and senior support staff and, of course, snowbirds! We hear the planes and the helicopters a lot along the beach and occasionally they come right over park. There is a bombing range north of Destin on the other side of Choctawhachee Bay and we can hear them too!

Big plans for tonight...heading to our favorite restaurant, Dewey Destin's, a little dumpy place on the bay! It's been here forever. Supposedly they are opening a more upscale version in HarborWalk, but we like the original too much to change! We go around 4P, early bird special and all; split an appetizer and entree...then have Dippin Dots for dessert! Thursday we're having a Low Country Boil here in the park...$15 for the two of us and someone else does the work! My kind of dinner. Told you we eat alot!

Off we go to eat again...don't look for us to be slim and trim when we come home!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You all know how much I adore my very bright granddaughter! This is from her mommy:

I was taking Riley to school this morning and we were talking about Chris's birthday. She said, "Well Mommy, Daddy wants a fishing party and I think we should have a surprise fishing party." I said, "We aren't having a surprise party because we did that last year. I think we'll just take Daddy to dinner at his favorite restaurant." She said, "Oooohhhh sweet mama. We're going to Taco Bell." I thought you'd find that humorous.

Like all of you, we've had a bit of a cold snap...cold at night but we're still running around in jeans and sweatshirts during the day. In fact, it was cold enough last night that I actually cooked rather than going out! I needed comfort food...we've found the coolest recipe. Beef stroganoff hamburger helper; but instead of ground beef, add a can of roast beef, gravy and all. It makes it much richer in flavor.

I've been remiss at posting pictures. Here are a few for you! The restaurant is Dusty's Oyster Bar in Panama City Beach...fabulous food and we fed the fish! They were a hoot...the minute you walked out on the porch, they swarmed! We'll definitely head back there on one of our meandering trips. The beach shot was a few days ago. They are doing prescribed burns in some of the pine forests so it makes the sunsets interesting.
We're still eating tons! Today was know they are having the all you can eat pancake special! Of course, we're still frequenting the early bird specials...such fun being retired! Stay warm!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Boo Hoo! My Titans Lost!

We are so bummed. Our Titans lost! I think they finally believed their own press that no one thought they could do it. Kerry Collins did a fabulous if our receivers and backs had some superglue on their hands. We also watched Cardinals Carolina last night...At this point, we're solidly behind the NY they don't win, then it's Pittsburgh or Cardinals...NOT the Eagles or the Chargers!! We had planned on unplugging the RV and heading down the road to Tampa! Oh well...

The weather here in Destin, or officially Miramar Beach, has been fabulous until yesterday. We had rain in the afternoon and today it's cooler. Our high is low 60's, but we are expected highs in the 50's and lows in the 30's later this week. I can still live with that! Our friend in West Yellowstone said she went to work at -30 the other day with lots of snow. We're worried about the earthquake swarms in Yellowstone National Park. It would be horrid if there was an eruption of the volcano, but the volcanologists are saying it will probably be a hydro or geothermal event. In other words, a new geyser or geyser field. Problem is, the most activity is under Yellowstone's too pretty to lose! I looked at what it took to be a Park Ranger online last night...I was supposed to be a forest ranger according to my high school testing...maybe it's not too late. Hmmmm.

Woody and I are still doing water aerobics. This is the longest we've stuck with any organized exercise regimen. We're walking more too...unfortunately all it is doing is stimulating our appetites. We ate at PF Chang's Friday night compliments of Libby and Led's gift card. We also love our Starbucks and McDonald's cards from Chris and Jen! Latest movie we saw was Marley and Me...cried my eyes out, but I may have told you that already!

I'm still a knitting fool, so watch out. I'm working on a lavender blanket for Riley so you'll be safe for a's long! Hope you all have a wonderful week. Got to go pay attention to the Giants' game!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Hope you've all had a wonderful New Year's Eve and it's time to get about the business of 2009!
We ate at Landry's for New Year's Eve, but our favorite restaurant for fried shrimp is Dewey Destin! While it doesn't look like much, the food is out of this world. While you're waiting for your freshly prepared seafood, you can watch the dolphins playing and the pelicans and blue herons just hanging out! There are also several cats that hang out...they love shrimp!
New Year's Day was fun at Camping on the Gulf. We had a great pot luck with lots of pork and black eyed peas! We're certainly going to have a prosperous, or maybe just gassy, New Year! For those of you who aren't southern...hog jowls and black eyes guarantee prosperity if eaten on New Year's day! Our resolution for the rest of our time here is to go to water aerobics three times a far so good! We're at 100% compliance! but then it's only the 2nd of Jan! Wish us luck.
Weather remains fabulous and while we miss home and friends, we don't miss the weather!