Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekend Happenings, Mother/Older Daughter Dates, Blog Linkage

Good Friday morning!

Wow! What a week. I would like to report all of my piddling decorating is complete, but, alas... it is not.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Roxie and Company played a team last night (which has quickly become our biggest rival of this basketball season).

From that one sentence, you can assume we lost.

However, there will be payback later in the season, and hopefully, I'll have a different outcome to share in a month or so.

Until then, here are some pics of this week's games. (We won the first two.)

I'll start off with a couple of ponytail "swishing" pics.

I love this one because it looks like Roxie's head is really a basketball. (It takes so little to make me smile.)

"Excuse me. I believe that is MY ball."

This is Roxie's favorite pic so far. The Prayer Huddle.

A little warm-up...

A little chit-chat with her friend, Taylor...

A little cheering with Taylor on the sidelines when the first point was scored...

And then we get some playing time!

I think we'll get them next time!

RANDOMNESS #2 - My Christmas Card order has not arrived on my doorstep (as of yesterday). Most people would not be concerned about four days without a Christmas Card delivery, but I automatically assume I pressed the wrong button on the computer, and not only were my Christmas Cards not ordered AT ALL, but they were completely and utterly destroyed.

Can you tell my cup is half empty today? Can you?

I'll be calling the big-wigs at Shutterfly as soon as I finish this post (because that is what people like myself do in "these" situations). I totally skip the middle-man and find the President of the company's wife. And she totally helps me, because she understands my pain, you see.

I am not kidding.

RANDOMNESS #3 - If you have known me two minutes, you know I do not like to complain. (NOT!) The things I am about to divulge are not complaints.

They are cold, hard, cruel facts.

My "outside" lit reindeer that I've always used INSIDE my house has a broken neck. If you recall, over the years I have enjoyed putting my "outside" lit reindeer in different locales during the Christmas season.

One day, he might be at the end of the hall standing in Austin's doorway.

One day, he might be hiding in Roxie's shower behind the shower curtain.

One day, he might be standing at the top of the basement stairs waiting for an unsuspecting Faulkner Child to open the door to retrieve something I, The Mother Unit, desperately need.

I loved my "outside/inside" lit reindeer.

That's right. I said "loved." Past tense.

Last year his head fell off. You heard correctly. I went upstairs to check on him and his head was hanging to the side of his body... held up by a few dangling strings of lights.

I was devastated.

No one would take responsibility for the beheading, so I am assuming at least three of The Faulkner Five had something to do with it.

Also, all of the lights in my inflatable "JOY" are out. And the plastic base is broken beyond repair from years and years of Alabama wind, rain and even a little ice here and there knocking my "JOY" all over the place.

It is time to let the "JOY" go.

And my my ten-foot inflatable Penguin, you may ask?

The reason my-ten foot inflatable Penguin worked so well was because it had the full support of the "JOY." Without the "JOY," my ten-foot inflatable Penguin tends to lie down... a lot.

Don't tell Mikie, but Saturday will be spent buying a HERD of lit "outside/inside" reindeer AND a new inflatable large enough to support my ten-foot inflatable Penguin.

I know that wasn't in the Christmas budget, but what's a piddling decorator to do?

You can see in this picture taken the FIRST of December last year, the "J" is the only letter which is totally dark. By December 31, 2011, the "OY" bit the dust, too.

Sad, but true.

Blog Linkage

1. Go to The Dating Divas under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "Inspiration From the Divas: Holiday Traditions." Good ideas.

2. Go to Six Sisters' Stuff under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "99 Fun Christmas Gifts for Neighbors." I bet you get a new idea... or two!

3. Go to www.kellehampton.com and read today's post entitled "Winter Terrarium." It's a cute craft idea and it can stay on the dining room table through February in most parts of the world!

Mother/Older Daughter Dates

I found these dates on Pinterest from a website called www.thehilljean.com. I am ALWAYS open for new date ideas for the kids... no matter what their ages.

1. Play Hooky. Yes, school is important. We all know that. But sometimes, you need to make a memory, and your teenage daughter will ALWAYS remember the day the two of you played hooky together.

2. Scrapbooking. This is definitely a hobby that requires a certain amount of patience and commitment, but if you and your daughter are craft-minded, it’s a great way to share quality time. It’s something you can start at a very young age and develop into adulthood.

(Roxie and I tried this, but she isn't "into" scrapbooking right now. Maybe when she's a little older!)

3. Book Club. This Club's total membership is TWO! Share the exciting journey of reading together. My Mom and I have been doing this ever since I was in junior high. We still swap books and never tire of discussing what we’re reading.

4. Bike Ride/Rollerblade/Hike. It’s never a bad idea to go on a bike ride. It’s never a bad idea to go on a hike. Sometimes it’s a bad idea to rollerblade, but it’s still fun.

5. Spa Day. It doesn’t have to be a whole day to count as a “spa day.” It can be manis/pedis, a facial or a massage. In a perfect world, it’s a combination of all three topped with an eyebrow and mustache wax.

6. A Cruise. I met the coolest lady at my Bible Study the other day. She told me she had six daughters. Yes, SIX! When the “youngest” turned 50, she took them all on a cruise to celebrate their fabulous 50s.

(I'm assuming I'll be SO fun to be with when I'm 85, Roxie will jump ALL OVER THIS ONE.)

7. A Half Marathon/Triathlon/Iron Woman. My Mom and sister did a half-marathon together last year. I watched from the sidelines and cheered. I wanna do it next time for sure!

(Roxie is up for adoption for this date.)

8. Pinterest Party. By now, most of us have about 2,000 ideas pinned on Pinterest. Take on a project together by putting some of your pins to practice! Find a few yummy recipes and a project you can start together. After you gather all your supplies, settle in for a night of replicating some fabulous ideas.

9. Take a Class Together. Cooking, sewing, underwater basket-weaving... the possibilities are endless! Learn something new together.

10. Volunteer Together. Spend time together AND save the world. Volunteer at a hospital, nursing home or soup kitchen.

11. Go to a Concert. Music is a great way to draw people together. Whether you want to hear Taylor Swift live or go to the opera, listening to live music is a wonderful way to bond. Plus, you get to wear cute clothes to a concert, so that’s a big plus.

12. Go to a Conference Together. When I went to Bloggy Boot Camp, there was a mom there with her two adult daughters. Each woman had her own blog, but they came together as a family. Find a conference that will fit and benefit both of you, whether it’s for blogging, photography, spiritual growth or life skills.

13. Go Thrifting or Flea Market Hopping. Most of us are bargain hunters at heart, and we ALL like buried treasure. Go on the ultimate treasure hunt by hitting up some garage sales and flea markets. You never know what you’ll find.

The Enchanting Belinda Says - I will go ahead and tell you I like most of these dates... but not all.

As always make them YOUR OWN!

Weekend Happenings

Friday - Okay. Last weekend was a total Christmas BUST, but today at 4:00 p.m., The Faulkner Five and The Lovely Melia are going to the Christmas Tree Farm and we're picking out a tree.

Yes. We are.

After we pick out the tree, pet the reindeer and drink hot chocolate, we're going to my sister's house for our annual Christmas Movie Night. This year, Roxie's name was picked from the Christmas Movie Night Bowl and her movie choice for this season was Home Alone 2.

It will happen. It will happen. It will happen.

Everyone! Say it with me!

Saturday - Because I KNOW Friday night is going to be SUCH A HUGE SUCCESS, I have agreed to jump out of bed and go on a breakfast date with Mikie Saturday morning.

Sunday - I had hoped the Christmas Home Tours in our little town would become a Mother/Daughter Tradition, but after four years, Roxie told me she didn't really want to go this year. And that's okay. It really is. (This might be something she wants to do in her 20s or 30s. I'm willing to wait and see!)

However, I'm not willing to NOT go and enjoy the Tour myself. I like it. I like it a lot.

So Sunday, I'm going to go on the Christmas Home Tour and then head to Christmas in the Pines (a huge Christmas Open House Party at my husband's place of work).

A busy day, but very, very Christmas-like... which is how I like it!

Have a grand and glorious weekend. I know I'm going to try. Really, really hard.

I'll be back Monday morning with pics, Christmas Ideas, Randomness and a little more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you in a couple of days.


The Enchanting Belinda

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Post

Good Friday morning!

I had every good intention of posting a step-by-step description of our Thanksgiving Day, PLUS witty anecdotes, recipes of all the dishes prepared and eaten by our family, new traditions, etc., etc., etc.

How cute was Roxie's contribution to our Thanksgiving Feast? Once again, "Yea Pinterest!

All you're getting today is a Top Ten List of Things I'll Remember About Thanksgiving 2012 and a few pictures.

Sure. I had hoped it would be more, but let's face it. I've got some Black Friday packing to do!

1. Thanksgiving 2012 was our first Thanksgiving celebrated late afternoon. Josh had to work until 4:00 p.m., so we didn't get together until 3:30 and we waited for his arrival before eating.

He was worth the wait.

2. At the beginning of the week, there was a chance MamMa wasn't going to be able to be with us this Thanksgiving because of ruptured discs, bulging discs, etc. in her back. After eight hours spent at the hospital yesterday afternoon with Mom and Bev, she had a successful block and was able to be with us this Thanksgiving 2012.

Here's MamMa with the two "babies" of our family... Roxie and Zac.

3. Katie was sick. However, she was a trooper and came for Thanksgiving dinner and the reading of the Thankful Letters. After the reading, Katie headed home to her nice, soft bed.

Katie's pretty even when she's sickly.

4. The Thankful Letters were touching and sweet and sad all at the same time. I remember when the kids were thankful for the color red and vanilla ice cream. Now they are thankful for girlfriends, boyfriends, good jobs, college educations, etc. (It's more than a little mind boggling.)

5. Not one kid mentioned "Aunt Belinda" by name in their Thankful Letter. Not one. (I might mention not one kid is getting a Christmas present from Aunt Belinda. NOT ONE!)

6. Mom felt well enough to host Thanksgiving Dinner at her house again. It has never been anywhere else (except in the Mountains). It was good to be at Grandmother's house another year.

7. I make an awesome Chocolate Cobbler. Just saying.

8. I loved the movie that just happened to be on television after dinner was Blind Side. Everyone loves Blind Side.

9. We weren't able to play basketball or go for a nice Thanksgiving walk because it was completely and totally dark 60 minutes after we arrived. However, we made the best of it, and still had a pretty good time.

I HATE there is a red car in the background of this picture. I cannot tell you how much this bothers me. (Yes. I have a problem.)

10. We had ham instead of turkey. (We always have ham when we eat Thanksgiving with my family.) However, Mike called Melia and she put aside a slab of fried turkey for him to have later this weekend. Mikie is totally and completely happy now.

I'll be back Monday with a normal post. (Well, normal for me.)

I hope you and yours had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Stay safe, and I'll talk to you the first of the week.

Take care, and I'll talk to you soon.


The Enchanting and Ever-so-Slightly Stuffed Belinda

P.S. And because you've been so understanding about today's "lacking" post, I'm going to share a couple more pics from today's festivities.

Zac and Tommy

The ever-so-lovely Roxie Lee!

Mindless Monday, Blog Linkage

Good Monday morning!

Monday came too fast this time, didn't it? The older I get, the faster it comes.

Well... We need to get busy!

I'll start off today's post with a few more Thanksgiving Day pictures. (I didn't have time to post EVERYTHING.)

Roxie gets really "huggy" on major holidays.

Josh and Brad.

Grandmother and the Grandsons. (Our new rock band.)

RANDOMNESS #1 - I would have to say our Black Friday get-away was a huge success. Thanks to Amy's expert tweaking, our little group has found the way to celebrate Black Friday... and live to tell the tale.

We all arrived at The Wynfrey from our different homes around 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. We left our bags with an employee of The Wynfrey (or a total stranger with a vest, coat and tie) and began our shopping extravaganza.

The four girl cousins (Katie, Roxie, Monica and Abbie) went one way, and after seeing which direction they headed, the three adult cousins (Belinda, Beverly and Amy) went in the opposite direction.

It was 6:00 a.m. and we had a little trouble keeping our eyes open. (Monica was trying extra hard!)

We met for breakfast and lunch (and a couple of times in between). Our room was ready at 11:00 a.m., so we all went upstairs to drop off our luggage and shopping bags, make a plan for the afternoon and talk about what other purchases needed to be made.

We did the "adjoining room" thing this year, and it was wonderful, wonderful.

One of the big differences between the "girl" cousins and the "adult" cousins was our shopping lists.

We discovered the "girl" cousins had bought boots, shoes, scarves, jeans and cute tops... for themselves.

We know Katie has on two different boots. We were trying to help her decide which one was best for that particular outfit.

We know Roxie is only wearing one boot. We didn't know why, but we were aware.

And then Roxie pulled out the Kate Middleton flesh-colored 3" heels... to wear with her Volleyball Banquet Dress... which we haven't purchased yet.

But she assured me these shoes "go with EVERYTHING."

And all I had to say was, "Keep the ticket!"

There are no pictures of outfits Amy, Bev and I purchased because we were doing this crazy shopping thing where we actually buy Christmas gifts for others.

"Roxie. You don't shop for yourself on Black Friday. You shop for others' Christmas gifts."

"Don't worry, Mom. It's just November. I have plenty of time."

"Time, yes. But what about money, Honey?"

It would appear "I worry too much."

I can't wait to show you my Christmas gift from Roxie. I have a feeling it will involve hot glue and my favorite candy bar.

But she'll look marvelous when she gives it to me!

As per the new "plan," we went to the movies in the middle of the day to relax from our strenuous shopping.

After the movie, we shopped some more, ate some more and went to sleep... tired, but very, very happy.

I know I need to talk to Amy and Bev about this, but I think our tweaking days are over.

I think we've got this!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Some of you who receive a Christmas Card from The Faulkner Five may recall two years ago I put all of our ages at the bottom of the card.

Mike (49), Belinda (32), Austin (19), Josh (16) and Roxie (14).

It created quite the buzz among family and friends to discover I was only "32."

Quite simply, I was "in a mood" and I did it to be funny.

Well, last year I wasn't "in a mood," but several people said, "I can't wait to see this year's Christmas card."

I have one word. Pressure.

I finally just decided to do the collage Christmas Card... and I added a picture of a beautiful llama I had taken on a Birmingham Zoo visit earlier in the Fall.

Several people admitted they rode by our house to see if we indeed had a llama in our fence with Copper and Sparkle.

So this year I have two words. Extreme Pressure.

Thankfully, Mikie helped me out, and while it isn't as hilarious as the previous two Christmas cards, it is a little funny.

I went with the collage method again, but I'll show you one of the ten pictures we've decided to use.

Josh took this last night. He did good, didn't he? (And, NO! This isn't the funny part of the card!)

RANDOMNESS #3 - I found this little nugget on Pinterest, and I thought I would share. It comes from www.thestressedmom.com... Ten Habits of a Well-Run Home.

1. Wake up early. I know this one stinks, but it is the best way to get a jump on your day. Otherwise, the day seems to be in control rather than you controlling the day.

2. Waking up early starts with going to bed earlier. I know you like the time after the kids have gone to bed for yourself, or for working on projects, or even for trying to catch up on housework. The fact is, shutting down and turning in earlier will make for a better morning, and you will likely be more productive. This may not be accurate for the true night owls out there, but I urge you to give it a try.

3. Evening preparations. Make sure everything that is needed to leave the house in the morning is prepped and where it should be. Teach your children this habit as soon as you possibly can. It can make your life easier.

4. Institute meal-planning. Whether you have every meal for the week planned out, or you have 6 dinners to pick from each day, find a way to make meal planning work for you. I love Pinterest for ideas for meals! Look at your meal plan the evening before and see if you need to do any prep work.

5. Do one complete load of laundry a day. From start to finish. Build a habit of grabbing everyone’s clothes after bathtime and tossing it in the wash. Then toss it in dryer before bed. Take 5 to 10 minutes to fold and put away that load (or have your kids do it). One load a day may or may not be enough for your family, but doing at least one load every day will help you stay on top of the pile.

6. Do your best to get your dishes done in the evening before going to bed. I know this can be hard sometimes, but think how much better it feels in the morning to come down to a clean sink. Build this habit and you will appreciate it. Again, if your kids are old enough to do the dishes or at least help, let them!

7. Take 5 minutes and buzz through the bathrooms with a damp cloth. Straighten, wipe, and keep a toilet brush handy for swishing the toilet. Take any dirty towels and clothes to laundry room. Some days use a paper towel with Windex to shine things up, including the mirror.

8. A place for everything and everything in it's place. We have heard this all our lives and it is true. It makes life a lot easier. One problem is we have accumulated too much stuff so we have a difficult time keeping things in their places. Work on clearing clutter and designating homes for regularly used items. Teach your children this as well. I know how discouraging it can be to walk into a messy room. On the reverse, think how calming it is to walk into a room where everything is tidy and orderly.

9. Have a bedtime routine that includes putting away toys, books, dishes, trash, etc. and picking out clothes for the next day. Having this routine in place will help your kids learn responsibility and know what is expected of them. We are their mom... not their maid.

10. Do not say "YES" immediately to new requests. Come up with a response, such as “Let me check my calendar and get back with you.” Or if you know you need to say "NO," get it over with immediately. Don’t feel like you have to explain yourself. A simple, “Due to other obligations, I won’t be able to ________."

The Enchanting Belinda says, "I can honestly say I do numbers 5 and 10 very, very well."

Blog Linkage - Today's linkage is ALL about the Countdown to Christmas.

1. Go to "eighteen25" under My Blog List and read the post entitled "[past projects] christmas countdown" for some cute, cute ways to countdown the Big Day.

2. Go to "a little bit of me" under My Blog List and read Susan's post entitled "Our Christmas Book Advent." Excellent, excellent idea.

I hope you have a great week. I'll be decorating. My goal is to be totally finished by December 1. I realize many of you have been "totally finished" for a couple of weeks now, and I wish I lived with you... but the truth is I'm a piddler and piddlers decorate with a piddle here and a piddle there. (Truthfully, my goal today is to decorate the dining room table and put out my Christmas music boxes. And that will be a success!)

I'll be back Friday with Christmas ideas, Randomness, basketball pics and more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you Friday.


The Enchanting Piddling Belinda

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mindless Monday, Quotable Quotes, Blog Linkage, Chocolate Cobbler, Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread, New-to-Me Christmas Ideas

Good Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - We're having trouble with our second Senior Photo Shoot of Katie. On Monday, the weather threw us off schedule and yesterday a fever (Katie's, not mine) cancelled our plans.

(I was more than willing to go, but Katie couldn't get rid of the flushed cheeks, black under-eye circles and half-closed eyes. I just don't think she tried very hard.)

This is from our first (and only) Photo Shoot. It will have to do.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Part of Austin's birthday gift to Melia was a little shopping trip to Charming Charlie to help her pick out a new purse.

After lunch yesterday, they headed to the best purse/accessory store on the planet and found this pretty bag.

Melia said Austin actually picked it by himself. I didn't ask if she helped or not... but I'm thinking she might have pointed him in the right direction.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Roxie decided she wanted to go shopping yesterday, and since we haven't been in awhile, I jumped all over that request.

She drove and I settled back in the passenger seat, closed my eyes and felt the sun's warmth on my face.

I have recently discovered closing your eyes while riding with your kids is much like closing your eyes while riding a roller coaster. It's much more enjoyable if you don't KNOW you are about to go upside down, loop-the-loop or careen around corners at 95 miles per hour.

Ignorance is indeed "bliss."

And obviously Roxie wasn't too concerned.

I'm posting a Christmas tree picture BEFORE Thanksgiving. Do NOT tell Mikie.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Mike and Roxie are headed to JSU tonight to watch the JSU Women's Basketball game with Austin.

Austin misses a lot of Roxie's games because of school, but he loves basketball as much as his sister, so they should have a fun night out.

Quotable Quotes

"If you're not prepared to lose every friend you have over a board game, you're not playing hard enough."

I really, truly believe this with all my heart.

Blog Linkage - Go to www.kellehampton.com and read the post entitled "Reindeer Labels" dated November 17. If you are planning a Christmas Party for your kiddos, having a Reindeer Food Bar is a GREAT activity. Check it out.

Chocolate Cobbler

Pinterest strikes again! Not one, but TWO, Pinterest recipes have been provided for you this beautiful Monday morning.

You will need the following:

Cobbler Layer

2 sticks butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk

Chocolate Layer

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a 9" x 13" glass baking dish, melt two sticks of butter in the oven.

3. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, vanilla and milk.

4. Once the butter is melted, pour the batter over the butter, but do not stir.

5. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa and remaining sugar.

6. Sprinkle cocoa and sugar mixture on top of batter. Do not stir.

7. Pour the 2 cups of boiling water on top of that. Do not stir.

8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve warm. Great with ice cream.

Really, really easy.

Really, really delicious. (Hello, Thanksgiving Day Dessert!)

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

You will need the following:

1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 cup white sugar
1 cup apricot jam
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine cranberries with sugar in a 2 quart baking dish with a lid. Stir well to coat all the berries. Bake in the preheated oven (covered) for about 30 minutes (until the cranberries pop and release their liquid).

3. Remove from oven and stir in the apricot jam and pecans.

4. Refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors.

5. To serve, allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature and pour cranberry mixture over the block of cream cheese on a serving dish. Serve with buttery round crackers or small pretzels.

Behold! New Thanksgiving Dish Number TWO!

New-to-Me Christmas Ideas

1. Create a CD, Pandora station or iPod playlist with your favorite Christmas songs. Have it ready as background music for all the other fun stuff you're going to be doing this season!

2. On Thanksgiving afternoon, start a new tradition of making Christmas ornaments. Imagine trimming your tree when your kids are teenagers and looking back at those little ornaments you made so long ago!

3. Have a Minivan (or SUV) Express! Watch Polar Express. After putting kids to bed early (but before they fall asleep), gather them up and present them with their Golden Ticket while the Conductor (Dad) whisks them off to the car for more lights, Christmas music and milkshakes. (Oh, how I wish I could do this NOW!)

4. Ask the grandparents if they would like to take the kids shopping for Mom and Dad, while Mom and Dad enjoy a dinner out during the busy holiday season.

5. Attend a Christmas play or musical production put on by another church.

6. "Elf" your neighbors and friends! (We are SO going to do this. I'm going to make sure everyone has a tacky "Elf" hat and we'll bake treats to leave at friends' and neighbors' front doors. I'm going to make little tags that read, "You've been ELFED!")

Have a truly magnificent Monday. I'll be back bright and extremely early Friday morning. (I'm going to post BEFORE I leave for Black Friday!) I'll have Thanksgiving pics, Weekend Happenings, Randomness galore and much, much more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you Friday.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekend Happenings, Blog Linkage, Thanksgiving Prayer Circle

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - You may or may not have noticed Bev, Katie, Roxie and I didn't go on a photo shoot Monday. While the rain did indeed stop, hair, humidity and living in Alabama were huge considerations.

We did, however, take a little road trip to the BEST STRIP MALL IN AMERICA. We ate soup and salad at Hart & Soul, walked down the sidewalk until we reached Homewood Antiques and then drove to Steel City Pops for a dessert... because we had been so good just eating lettuce and broth for lunch, you see.

Steel City Pops was closed Monday.

We were not pleased.

Katie and Roxie at Hart & Soul. (It is such a groovy little place.)

I found "JOY" in the Homewood Antique Mall.

I love it when I find "JOY!"

I kept going back to this traffic light.

I asked myself the three important questions:

"Do I need it?"

"What purpose would it serve?"

"Where would I put it?"

The answers were as follows:



"I have no idea."

And yet... I think I need it.

I was surprised when Roxie tried on this little hat. And then I was surprised how cute it was on her. And then I was surprised when she said she wanted it for Christmas.

Can you keep a secret?

I went back Wednesday and it will be under the tree waiting for her Christmas morning. She wants to wear it in the Mountains this year.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Since The Boy didn't come home this past weekend because of intern work, I felt the need to go to him. Mikie, Roxie, Melia and I drove to Gadsden Tuesday night for a Top of the River meal with Austin, and while it FELT like it was 11:04 p.m. riding home on the pitch black highway, we arrived home a little before 9:00... which wasn't bad, at all.

I didn't tell Roxie, Austin and Melia to hold hands while walking through the parking lot.

However, Roxie did turn around at one point to say, "Are you getting a picture of this?"

I'm pretty sure that makes it a "planned" picture and not a "candid" picture.

I still like it.

Mike and Roxie are supposed to go to Jacksonville next Monday night to watch the JSU Women's Basketball Team play Samford. (I may stay home and watch Duck Dynasty re-runs with Joshua Monday night.)

RANDOMNESS #3 - I went to my rheumatologist yesterday for my six-month check-up.

And, no. I did not develop arthritis upon turning 50.

I developed arthritis at the ripe ol' age of 39.

I'm special that way.

Anyway, the receptionist always gives you a picture of a skeleton and you are instructed to shade in the areas which are giving you the most trouble.

Sometimes I shade in the brain area, and my Doctor patiently explains to me I can't have "arthritis of the brain," and I just laugh and laugh because I think I am hysterical.

But this week, I took extra-special care to heavily SHADE IN my big toe on my right foot.

For the past six months, it has been dealing me fits. It feels like it is broken, but unless my "arthritis of the brain" has kicked in, I cannot recall doing anything to break it.

When I sat down with my Doctor, he looked at my "skeleton" and said, "I take it your big toe is bothering you?"

"Uh, yeah!" My Doctor is a genius!

And then he looked at the big toe on my right foot and the big toe on my left foot and there was no noticeable difference.

Then he held the big toe on my right foot in between his hands.

"Your toe is hot. There is fever in that toe."

I thought perhaps my toe had the flu.

And then my Doctor said something that made me feel 100 years old. "You may have the gout."

"Well, that's just peachy," I thought to myself.

But then I immediately thought, "I'm not going to say I have gout. I'm going to say I have 'toe flu.'"

And I felt immediately better.

One X-ray and 15 minutes later, my Doctor informed me I did not have "the gout." Nope. I no longer had toe cartilage in that particular joint.

"Well, where did it go?" I asked.

"It's degenerative. It happens. I can give you a shot which will help with the pain for awhile, OR you can try a topical solution and see if that gives you any relief."

One guess which option I chose.

That's right.

I'm going TOPICAL, Baby.

The idea of giving my poor big toe a shot where it hurts most makes me shudder... just a little.

All of the above to tell you, I DO NOT have the dreaded toe flu... or gout... or brain arthritis.

But my cartilage is mysteriously disappearing.

Bizarre, huh?

The good news... He said I was good to go as far as walking two miles a day and/or Body Pumping.

(Just between you and me, I was hoping to get a Doctor's Excuse for Body Pump.)

Heavy, heavy sigh.

This is the base of my big toe.

It doesn't look feverish... or swollen... or EXTREMELY painful, does it?

My big toe is a trooper, I tell you.

RANDOMNESS #4 - In other news, Roxie played in her FIRST EVER HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY BASKETBALL GAME last night (for a little while)... and they won! Yes, they did.

We are undefeated, Baby!

Roxie's sweet friend, Taylor, started last night. Roxie was SO proud when they called Taylor's name to run on the court. She could hardly contain herself. (And Taylor was awesome.)

This is NOT Roxie's best look... but it made me smile.




When your brothers are 6'4" and 6'5", you learn to R-E-A-C-H at an early age.

Blog Linkage - Go to www.thewiegands.com and read yesterday's post entitled "Coffee Date With Me."

She made me feel right at home.

Thanksgiving Prayer Circle

Of course, I found this on Pinterest.

Of course, I tweaked it a little.

Of course, we're doing this Thanksgiving Day.

Put a picture of a family member on a popsicle stick and put the sticks in a jar. Have each person pick a stick, sit in a circle and take turns going around the room praying for the person they picked. Be sure to say why you are thankful for him/her.

(I'll post a picture of this tradition in action next week!)

Weekend Happenings

Mike is taking Josh to the Original Pancake House Saturday morning... without me... once again. (I'm happy for them. Really. I am.)

The Boy is coming home Sunday morning.

I'm cooking Sunday dinner.

Sunday afternoon, Bev, Katie and I are going to try the photo shoot thing one more time (without wind, rain and humidity).

If you're wondering what happened to my Weekend Happenings List of FUN, it's been thrown by the wayside this particular November weekend as everyone does "their own thing."

Which is fine, because Thanksgiving weekend is MINE! ALL MINE!

Have a stupendous weekend. I'll be back Monday with pics, last-minute Thanksgiving ideas for you and yours and Randomness. Always, always Randomness.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. I have a treat for you. Grandmother wanted a professional portrait taken of my nephew, Zac. However, she said if I got a "good one," he wouldn't have to go to the portrait "place."

Let's just say Zac picked the lesser of two evils... Aunt Belinda.

How cute is this guy?
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