Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Happy Holiday For All

I'm sorry to be away from the blog for so long, but alas, I am still sick. As soon as I "recovered" from the strep throat I caught at Thanksgiving, only days later I came down with pink eye (I got the strep bacteria in my eyes- not fun). I've had it for over a week now and I'm still plagued with a bit of vision issues, so I'll make this post short.

With me being sick for almost a month now, I was never able to get around enough to decorate for Christmas. James offered to take care of everything for me, but since I was always sick and tired, I decided to skip it this year. I know, it's a lame excuse, but after working all day long, hanging Christmas lights in the front yard was the last thing on my list. So I was very much a Scrooge this year- no tree, no decorations, no baking, no cards. Very unlike me, a person who picked out their house just because the ceilings were tall enough to fit the Christmas tree- which makes it even more ironic that I didn't put the tree up this holiday, the first in our new home.

But my parents did come up here for a few days to visit with us and celebrate Christmas, and that lifted my spirits a great deal. Mom was here to cook a wonderful meal, and I don't care how old you are, you always love to eat Mom's home cooking especially at the holidays!

Although the cats got plenty of gifts of their own, they made sure they were always up in the middle of everyone else's goodies.

Grandma Pat got everyone new outfits for Christmas, but no one seemed eager to try anything on. Romeo did stop long enough for me to take a photo. Doesn't he look too cute in his Christmas cape??

Although it was cold, it was beautiful weather for the weekend. My dad and I both couldn't stop taking pictures of the sunset from my back deck. He said it rivaled the sunsets in Florida, although I may have to disagree with him there.

We finished off the holidays by winding down and just relaxing, and General found his new favorite spot in the living room. Any closer and he will burn off his white whiskers!

My parents made it back safely to Florida this afternoon, and tomorrow we are back to work for a four-day week. It will be busy for me, but I am ready to get it going and get it over with. Although we rested and had a quiet Christmas, James and I have quite a big New Year's planned so hopefully I will have more fun stuff to blog about soon.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our Busy Weekend

This weekend started out early for us on Saturday morning, when our friend David and James and I drove down to West Point, Georgia to take a tour of the new Kia manufacturing plant. It just started mass production a month ago, and right now they only have one shift. They are producing the 2011 Sorento, and can make about 500 a day. They plan to add a second shift soon. I think they said there are 1200 employees currently. Eventually they will be able to make over 1000 vehicles a day. Interestingly, the tour guide said 80% of the employees went over to Korea to train. What a huge opportunity and once in a lifetime moment, I'm sure, for a lot of the local folks.

We started off by signing up for a chance to test drive the new cars. David already drives a Kia, and James and I weren't interested, so we only took the tour of the plant, which lasted about an hour. Because it was Saturday, they were not actually making the cars that day. But the cars were right on the assembly lines where they left them on Friday at closing time, in all phases of production. It was actually quite interesting to be able to walk around and get a close up inspection of everything. I wish I could show here the massive size of the plant, it would have taken at least 4-5 panoramic shots to get it all in here. It's enormous. Unfortunately there were no photos allowed inside the plant, I guess in case I was a corporate spy from Toyota.

After the tour we three headed north of Atlanta to Marietta, to pick up our new "Christmas present" to each other. We are finally replacing the old red Ranger we gave away earlier this year. James did a lot of research online before picking out the 2010 F150. He did, however, let me pick out the color! I'm not sure if he wanted a black one or not, but I was afraid if he got the red one he was looking at, people around here would assume we were Georgia Bulldog fans!! And as a diehard Gator, I take offense at that...

We barely had time to get the truck parked in our driveway when we had to get ready for a Christmas party Saturday evening. It was at the house of James' boss, so I tried to be ready on time so we wouldn't be late. But I spent forever in front of the mirror fussing with my hair. I don't know why, because it was raining and, although the temperature was around freezing, it was very damp outside and my hair just fell flat. We had a great time, and before we knew it, five hours flew by and we finally had to excuse ourselves to head home.

Sunday morning I had a super early appointment with the massage therapist, to make up for an appointment I missed while in bed with strep throat. My therapist recently started carrying items from local artists who she's friends with. She has stunning quilts, hand-stitched purses, and artwork. I picked up this original piece from local Newnan artist Georgie Dunn, painted on what looks like handmade paper. She had several beautiful pieces there, and when I go back to my next appointment I may get a mate for this one. This photo doesn't do it justice, it's beautiful.

We ended Sunday with a Falcons game, the last one for me this year. They only have one home game left, and it's Christmas weekend so I'm letting my dad go with James to that one. I think the guys will have fun. We just renewed our season tickets this week, so I'm looking forward to the Falcons having a hopefully better season next year. Today they had a big chance to hand undefeated New Orleans their first loss of the season, but a really stupid play call on a big fourth down ended what could have been an exciting finish!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Part Two

Well, sorry I have been so late in getting this posted, I got sidelined by an ugly bug and have been sick for awhile. But now that I'm back in the land of the living, I'm going to finish up Thanksgiving!

We celebrated our second Thanksgiving over the following weekend, with my side of the family. For the last few years my parents have been renting a cabin in the mountains in either NC or GA, and my sister and her family come up for the holiday. We try to get over there for a few days as well. This year it was just outside of Blue Ridge, GA.

The cabin sat right above a river with stairs heading from the back porch down to the river's edge. And if you were brave enough to go down there, well, you had to be hearty enough to get back up!

Although there were several other cabins in the area, we enjoyed relative peace and quiet for the weekend. On Saturday morning, on our way out to visit the general store at Mercier Orchards, we met Barney the turkey. Barney was either a favorite pet or the farm's guard "dog", because he patrolled his property and was almost aggressive to this lady who was out walking the gravel road in front of "his" house.

This is one of the few times a year I get to see my younger sister Darenda and her family- her husband Doug, her oldest son Tyler, and youngest son Luke. Since they live in Florida, I may only get to see them once or twice a year, so it's nice when we can all spend a few days together hanging out and catching up on life.

As you can see, we did a lot of nothing over the holiday weekend, which was fine by me. We snacked, watched a lot of college football, and did plenty of relaxing and just being a family. We even had a night of making s'mores over the toasty fire in the living room.

On Sunday morning, all the Floridians had to get an early start to head back home, but since James and I were only about two hours from our front door, we decided to take in a few sights. We headed over to Amicalola Falls State Park, where, you guessed it, they have a penny machine! But also a beautiful water fall.

The fall starts out as a simple lazy creek, up at the top of this. But gravity does its trick and turns the quiet still waters into this gusher. It's over 700 feet tall, and worth the drive there and the walk up. Plus, look at the gorgeous views of Chattahoochee National Forest out there, even on a gray day.

We finished off our Thanksgiving weekend with a stop in Atlanta, where we went to the Falcons game. They were playing my poor pathetic Tampa Bay Bucs, who lost a heartbreaker and just made me mad. They stink this year, but I am loyal, every season.