Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I am so thankful to my God for allowing me to be here to love and serve Him. He has blessed me in so many ways and I cannot thank Him enough.

I am thankful for my family meaning mine personally and my wife's family. We may be separated by miles but we are still close in many ways.

I am thankful for my health in a time when so many of my friends and extended family are going through painful times suffering loss or some form of illness I cannot remember the last time I was sick.

I am so thankful for Rocky being in our lives. He brings us such happiness and peace and joy. All he wants is to be loved and we have so much of that to give him in large quantities every day. Couldn't imagine a day without him.
I am thankful for my blog friends that I come closer to each day. Who would have ever thought before June that I would know so many wonderful people and have over 60 blogs posted already.
I am thankful that in 18 days my wife and I will finally be boarding the Carnival Glory for a week of complete relaxation.
I am thankful for a new friend I have now in Tanzania, Africa through Compassion International. My first letter to "Jackson" went out this week and I pray it will be a rewarding experience for both of us.
I am thankful for my place of employment. In a time when so many small companies are being taken over by huge companies I work for a family run company and we think of each other like family.
I am thankful for this country we live in that while it seems to be heading in the wrong direction spiritually with priorities that need to redirected it still is, I think, the best place to be on earth.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Comfort Food Recipe

Last night I tried out a recipe I found on friend's blog and it was one of the best I have ever tried. It is called Cheesy Chicken Soup and can be found at: I guarantee you will love it as much as my wife and I did.

Trying to be frugal while shopping for the chicken which called for a couple of chicken breast cooked and cubed, I found a whole chicken for half the price of the two breasts so I pressure cooked the whole chicken and removed the meat for the soup. The combination of white & dark meat made it taste richer I think.

With the weather changing here in NC including rain & cooler temperatures it is time for a warm and soothing soup like this to just make your day. My thanks to sweetpea-recipes for the idea. Have a great day everyone.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Morning Update

In regards to my post about starting my correspondence with my soon to be new friend in Tanzania I realized after having time to think about my comments that I need to adjust something. Even though we now have the technology to instantly translate another language I will be writing in English to follow the guidelines of Compassion International.

I know that they have to be sure everything they receive is proper and not saying something that would cause problems and I would just be complicating things for them if all my content was in Swahili.

Didn't want to throw anyone else off thinking it was a good thing to do. I still like the ability to use the translation device so I can get an idea of how the language works though.

Hope everyone has an awesome Sunday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Compassion International

Today is a very special day for me. I received my packet today from Compassion International introducing me to the young man in Africa that I will be writing to and getting to know. He is 17 years old and lives in Tanzania.

With today's technology I can even correspond with him in Swahili by using the translation services on line. This should help the translators and speed up the process of getting my letter in his hand. He lives with his grandmother and enjoys soccer, volleyball and singing.

I never knew until one of my blog friends said that you could be a letter writer without being a financial sponser. Now that I am an active member of the Compassion team I realize that from time to time I can even help him and his family by including a monitary gift along with my letter.

If any of you feel led to get involved you can contact Compassion at We can make a difference.

Weekend at last

I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far. It is still quite hot here in NC with temperatures in the upper 90's but the forecast last night indicated that tomorrow and monday would only be in the 70's. Time will tell and I am ready for cooler weather.

Was a busy morning grocery shopping and then back home preparing the dishes for the weekend. I have one of Ree Drummonds favorites in the oven. Beer braised beef roast with onions. Also made a batch of make ahead breakfast spread to put on english muffins, also from Ree's blog. Should be really great with chopped up boiled eggs, bacon, dijon mustard, mayo, garlic powder and worchestershire sauce and a couple of cups of shredded cheese. Will be trying it for breakfast in the morning.

Will be doing another dish later that is called Cheesy Chicken Soup that I got off someones blog but can't remember where. Basically it is carrots & onions cooked in butter with milk, flour, chicken broth. When it is thickened you add the already cooked chicken and cheese and heat until the cheese is melted. Should be a real comfort food dish. Instead of using expensive chicken breast I found a deal on a whole chicken for less than $3 and cooked it in my pressure cooker so the cooked chicken is waiting for the rest of it to be put together.

Needless to say I love to cook and also love to share good things

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Odie's Thankful Thursday

One of my new blog friends, Jamie Jo, had a "thankful thursday" on her blog today and suggested that others might do the same to make others aware of how thankful we should be. She is so right and I will try to give you my ideas on the subject.

First of all we should all be thankful for the mighty God we love and serve for it is by His Hand that all we see or experience is made possible.

I am thankful for the special people in my life that enrich mine and cause me to want to be better than I am. One of those is my Aunt Katie who just turned 102 years young on the 21st.

I am thankful for our little dog, Rocky, who brings such joy into mine & my wife's lives. He gives his love unconditionally and helps us find peace in a world that is moving way too fast and stressful. We love him so very much. Wish the picture was not so blurry.

I am thankful for my family and the happy times we can spend together outside enjoying God's beauty.

I am thankful for my job and an employer that truly cares for all his employees which is not the norm in this world today. My family has all the creature comforts to make life bearable.
We are going into my favorite time of the year which is fall. It starts today even though some of the color changing has already started. We are still in the 90's but I am thankful that it will be cooler soon. All you have to do is look around you to see the majesty in God's handiwork and know that it didn't just happen. Especially if you are looking at one of my beloved mountains that I love so much. This morning I was blessed to see a full harvest moon shining brightly on my way into work. I can also expect to see my favorite constellation, Orion, shining in it's majesty in the eastern sky.
I could go on and on and never run out of reasons to be thankful, but you get the idea. I hope I stimulated someone else to do the same.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

102 Years Young

Today is my Aunt Katie's 102nd birthday. She is such a blessing to us all and we dearly love her. This past sunday we had a party for her and as you can see she was looking great. She is truly an amazing lady with a mind still sharp and stays as active as she can.

Ducky Derby

The Ducky Derby was held at the Weldon, NC park by the Roanoke River on saturday the 18th and it was a beautiful day for it. My daughter Rachel was there with my two grandsons, Kaden & Matthew. They are here enjoying one of the rides.

Matthew enjoying a cool piece of watermellon.

My wife and the boys cooling it in the shade.

I don't ride motorcycles but I thought this one was unique.

One of the games that kids could play. Hit the pad making the bell ring to win an inflated huge hammer or bat. Every kid won whether they made it ring or not.

Fun on the swings for my family.

Matthew enjoying the slide.

Kaden enjoying the slide.

The brothers together.

Kaden's favorite event crawling under the car and then sliding down.

The back of the car slide.

Star of the show.

Piles of ducks you could purchase for a chance to win big bucks. The purchased ducks were poured into the river and they floated down to a point where the first one to cross a line won the money.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Air Show In Halifax, NC

These are pictures from an air show that took place in the little town of Halifax, NC back in June.

One Month and Counting

I haven't really been counting days but tomorrow will be exactly one month until we board the Carnival Glory. It has been such a long year waiting for an October vacation but it will definately be worth it.
The experience will be a little different this time because it will be the first time going without a child. My wife and I will be more relaxed and able to take full advantage of the time away from the stressful surroundings we have to deal with on a daily basis.
My blogging friends have been on my mind lately as the cruise gets closer and I know I will not be able to make it a whole week without checking in on everyone. We will have to budget some computer time while out at sea.
Again I will say that if you have never been on a cruise give it a try. There are short 3 day cruises and I guarantee before it is over you will already be thinking about the next one. If anyone ever exceeds your expectations it will be certainly be the employees on a cruise ship.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More From "Mayberry"

Thought I would share some of the pictures of interesting items in the shop windows we saw last weekend during our vacation in Mt. Airy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Good Thoughts

I was thinking on the way in to work this morning how great it felt outside with the cool air bringing with it the promise of fall. Some trees have already started to change colors and that brings on a new form of beauty. God's creations always amaze me.

Also on the way down the interstate this morning I had a wonderful view of my favorite constellation "Orion" from my drivers side window. It was shining so brightly in the dark morning hours reminding me that I don't usually see it that bright except during the colder months of the year maybe giving another indication that the transition from hot to better is not too far away.

We can always find something negative to dwell on but there are so many positives that I prefer to think on them today. Of course one that always comes to mind is Rocky. His unconditional love and the calming effect he has while laying in my lap chewing on a piece of rawhide is so precious. I wonder how we ever got along without him in our lives.

I am so thankful for my blogging friends that add quality to my days. Some are being blessed by new additions to their family and sharing adorable pictures, some having birthdays that we can join in the celebration, some having awesome vacations sharing pictures that make you want to go there and some that are hurting due to loosing a loved one. Being able to share in the joys and sorrows is rewarding and even after only blogging for about 90 days I don't want to think of being without my new friends. If you are reading this, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your world.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mayberry Vacation

Welcome to Mt. Airy, NC. Birthplace of Andy Griffith and final resting place of Eng & Chang Bunker, the famous Siamese Twins from the 1800's.

Couldn't have been a prettier weekend to be in Mt. Airy with temperatures in the 80's and beautiful skys. The bikers were surely out in force this weekend.

Otis was there welcoming visitors as he always does and telling jokes trying to keep everyone happy.

Andy's famous car was parked on Main St. waiting to give folks a ride around the town and they have more that one to take care of tourist's needs.

Floyd's Barber Shop was buzzing with activity and still gives haircuts for $8.

Aunt Bea's Restaurant was a real treat. Linda & I ate there and both had country style steak & gravy, mashed potatoes, slaw, hush puppies & tea for less that $13 total. Amazing and it was soooooooooo good.
Goober's 52 was another great place to eat with awesome food and great service and their stretch limo was on display.

You might find this hard to believe but as you can see from the picture we actually bought Rocky a stroller at Froo Froo's pet store in town. We had forgot his harness and while in there saw the strollers and realized how heavy he can get when we have to keep him under control in crowds. It turned out to be a real blessing and he was the star of the show wherever we went.
One of the pictures above is of 13 Bones. We didn't eat there but oddly enough it has a meaning. Found out that if you order a rack of ribs it isn't really a real rack unless there are 13 bones.

Rest in Peace Andy