Saturday, December 01, 2018

The Governor's Mansion and a North Carolina Symphony visit

For approximately the 15th year, I worked at the Governor's Mansion, helping Mel Day (Dogwood Tree Florals) to decorate for Christmas. When we started doing it, many years ago, it took us 4 days straight. We were able to cut that to 3 days a few years ago and this year, it took 2 days for most of it. The large wreaths and garlands for outside had not been delivered yet, so they were done another day by the mansion staff. But I made most of the red velvet bows.

The current governor's wife, Ms. Kristin Cooper, did not want the decorations to be too fancy or over the top - so we toned it down a bit. Each item is more in scale to the mansion and there are not as many arrangements as before. There are 4 very tall trees and they are full of ornaments. There were 5-6 of us doing the decorating.  

I worked briefly at the mansion 2 years ago, but this was the first time I have worked since then, and prior to that before my heart surgery on 2014. To say I am out of practice is putting it mildly! But I enjoyed it and it was nice to try and rediscover the skills I used to have when I was in business. Public tours of the mansion start this Thursday.

Posting photos is difficult from this computer, but I will try later.

On Friday, a group from my current neighborhood went to see/hear the NC Symphony. They played a holiday program; consisting of both Christmas and Hannukah songs. It was lovely. We sat on the 4th row and the violins and violas were so close I could almost reach out and touch them.The sound was so rich and melodic!  There is nothing like live music!

After the music, 5 of us went to Caffe Luna for lunch. I had scallops, which were very good. 3 of the women had lasagna, which was deemed excellent. Afterward, we returned home without incident.....but I was exhausted. It seems as if that is my current state. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Busy Holiday

On Wednesday night, we had two old friends from out of town for dinner. I kept it simple, seeing as how I was hosting 15 for dinner on Thanksgiving - I served homemade soup and a salad and rolls, with pumpkin bread for dessert. We had a nice time; it is always good to see this couple, whom we have known since before they were a couple.  Sally and Sam are fun and interesting people!!

You can see yesterday's post about Thanksgiving.

On Sunday, we hosted 3 friends from "back home"; my high-school class president, David Hart, his wife, Wanda, and their sister-in-law, Nancy, widow of David's brother, Dick. Prior to Dick's passing, we had visited with them here, but David and Wanda had not been here before. Having them visit was on my "bucket list" and we finally made that happen!

My husband has always said the nicest people in the world come from WV, and his opinion only got stronger after meeting David and Wanda, and seeing Nancy again. We had a lovely visit, for which I baked an apple pie and served some pumpkin bread and cookies, with hot tea, their drink of choice.

As I get older, I enjoy entertaining more and more....I wish I could host all of you for pie or cake and tea or coffee!! All I forgot was to take a photo! I guess I was having too much fun!

Tomorrow morning, we start decorating the Governor's Mansion for Christmas. I'll be in my element, so to speak, having fun, I'm sure - but since this is the first time I have worked in two years, I will be exhausted!  I'll be back when I can.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to All!

We had a gathering here yesterday, of our whole family - less a few out-of-towners, fifteen in all, adding a few boyfriends and a girlfriend.   We ordered food from The Fresh Market and it was pretty good. A few extras were made, such as my sausage dressing and someone brought mac and cheese. I also baked a 3 pound turkey breast, and had I not done so, we would have run out of turkey. Add hot rolls, 4 pies, pumpkin bread and cookies, we were well fed and sated!

Everyone seemed to be in a good mood; which is nice, of course. In years past, there always seemed to be one person who had the proverbial red a**, maybe two.

I look at my friend's photos of their lovely families and I am envious. When I try to take pics, I get met with hands over faces, or people who look away. One daughter told me that had she known I was going to want pics, she'd have dressed better and done her makeup. Never mind that she is always beautiful, made-up or not, and what she had on was perfectly acceptable. 

She says if I want a group photo at Christmas, I need to tell everyone ahead of time, and ask them to dress accordingly. Okay, consider yourselves told. At Christmas, I want to take a photo of everyone!!! And yes, I will post it here, as well as Instagram. 

We missed those who were not with us, and hope we will see them soon. I hope you and your families/friends had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Monday Night Dinner Group

The Monday Night Dinner Group, in my new neighborhood, went last night to The Nantucket Grill in Durham, NC.  I have been to that restaurant at least 4 times - the one in North Raleigh.  This one falls far short, in my opinion. It is smaller, noisier and cluttered in appearance. 

Granted, there were about 30 people in the group, and even so the service was fairly good, but the food was not prepared in a good way.  I ordered scallops and shrimp. The breading was too thick, and the seafood was  oily and over-cooked. The side-dish was asparagus (with thick stems) and it was very hard to cut thorough and woody, though soggy on the outer edges. 

They are known for their cakes and desserts, and that didn't fall short. I ordered salted caramel cake and it was very tasty and the slices are large enough to share. Our desserts were on the house, making them taste even better, of course. I brought half of it back to Jim and he was grateful!

Monday, October 29, 2018

My Poor Ears

I went to get my ears checked today, because my husband kept suggesting it. My hearing aids have not worked well for months, and sometimes it is because I have wax in my ears. But lately, even when the wax is removed, I can't hear well. 

The  hearing shop did a good job of evaluating my hearing loss, both with and without my current hearing aids. With my hearing aids in place, I heard only 48% of the test words. 48%. Not acceptable!!

I know it is infuriating to those around me and I get embarrassed when I have to ask someone to repeat something 2-3 times. But I can't help it. 

I am on my second set of hearing aids; and both sets have helped, but they are not helping as much as needed.  There is a remedy: I can buy a new set, costing double what my current ones cost  - or I can get my old ones adjusted.  

I go one Nov. 8th (to the place I bought my current aids, nearly 3 years ago) to get my hearing tested, yet again, and get the old ones adjusted to the new test results.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Rainbows, Waterfalls, Lava flows and Sunsets.....

Those make Instagram worthwhile for me. I joined Instagram so I could see some photos my granddaughters were posting there. Little did I know what a treat for the eyes it can be.

I found out that you have to be careful who you decide to follow, because sometimes a photo pops up that you'd rather not see.....LOL

Eating Out Again...

On Monday, I went out with a group from the new neighborhood, to a place called the Craft Public House. It is yet another "sports" bar, but the fish and chips were very tasty. I didn't remember to get a pic, of course. 

Tuesday, we went to have lunch with a former boss of Jim's, who lives here in the Cypress  (a place for retired people). It's fancy and very nice. I noticed just outside the entrance, someone had lost a sticker. 
I thought it was important to record it for posterity. Such a happy image, and a nice welcome to the premises. I ordered quiche and salad and both were very good. When I was almost done eating, I lifted my water glass and it slipped out of my hand, crashing into my plate. It didn't break, but, of course, water went everywhere. They brought me a new plateful of quiche and salad, and I ate most of that, too. It was not a huge serving, but very tasty.  We topped it off with a small bowl of "rocky road" icecream.    Verrrry good!!  I really must stop eating out so much, since I have no will-power to speak of. I can't afford to buy all new clothing, so I need to insure that I can continue to wear the ones I have.