Friday, July 29, 2016

The Big Adventure Day 7

My favorite day of our trip, Disneyland.  It's been 30+ years since our one and only trip to Disney World. I was so excited to see the original Disney.
I bought the tickets online before we left and ah um tried to buy the Photo Pass. That's another story but we will just say it all worked out. 
The tickets clearly state that the ticket does not guarantee admittance. Now if you know my hubby the thought of spending over $200. for a piece of worthless paper does not sit well. I wasn't happy about that thought either. It seems if the walk up traffic exceeds a certain number they suspend admittance to park ticket or not. So I assumed that is code for "get yer butt here early".  So we were up early , thank goodness we were sorta still on Central Time. And also thank goodness my hubby had learned how to travel the back roads  and avoid that gosh awful "freeway". We arrived at the parking lot a little after 8:00. We boarded the shuttle bus for a short ride to Disneyland.  Note take a picture of your parking area. It can be confusing late at night.
We arrived at the entrance, went through the bag search line and into the turn stiles.  I had the printed payment sheet but needed the payment email. Once again I turn on my southern charm and the sweetest girl just tapped my phone to bring up the correct screen, scanned the bar code and gave us paper tickets. Mama was right, "always be nice". 

First selfie picture of the day, I had read no selfie sticks were allowed in the park so I didn't bring mine. I'm not sure if that was true but I don't remember seeing any so maybe it was. 
We then headed to find the photographer and get the Photo Pass card. I am a firm believer in asking 
for help and the Disney staff was very helpful. These are the first pictures. Beware there are a lot of pictures. 
Main Street area. 

These were made by the Disney Photographer with my phone.
As I warned there are lots of pictures but I will just do a mass photo load at the end for the rest of the pictures. 
First stop was the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey, then on to Sleeping Beauty Castle  both were photo ops, first ride was Dumbo the flying elephant.  31 years ago at Disney World we rode Dumbo with Matt. Behind us was an "elderly" couple ( (hindsight I bet they were 55 ha!), they rode Dumbo just the two of them and had the biggest grin on their faces. We said if we ever came as "old folks" we would ride Dumbo. Next ride was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Another oldie but goodie. Then we had to Tomorrowland. First ride was a Star War Ride, oh my we should have rode this one separately, it was cramped and very uncomfortable. But fun!! Next up was Buzz Lightyear's Artic Blasters. Cute ride. Paul out scored me 30,000 to 3,000 points. Next was Space Mountain, although they have renamed it Hyper Space Mountain since Disney bought the Stars Wars rights. 
We had a great day and ended the day watching the parade

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Big Adventure Day 6

Sunday morning we slept a little later, which really helped us to recharge our travel tried bodies. 
 We headed out, grabbed a quick breakfast and maneuvered our way to Pacific Coast Highway or Highway 1. 
We headed south on PCH traveling from LA county to Orange County. The scenery was beautiful, but so many people and so many cars. No place to stop and park.  
We drove all the way down to Laguna Beach and then turned around. We drove down the Balboa Pennisula at Newport and would really have liked to stop and explore but once again our dilemma no parking. 
We finally turned around and headed north for a little ways. We  found a beach side state park and pulled in there. Our plan was if the water was "okay" we would change into our swimming suits. Okay ice cold water is not okay. 
It is not the pretty white sand of our gulf beaches but it was nice.   There was a cute little beach side take out place and we tried the pulled pork tacos. I'd say kinda a South meets West flavor. Ha!
Really good food.  We drove a little farther north to Long Beach but the view was mostly industry so said "let's go home because tomorrow we get to see MICKEY AND MINNIE MOUSE!!!" 
Until next time.
Love ya Di 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Big Adventure Day 5

On Saturday morning we headed to one of the few wineries in Southern California. San Antonio Winery is in the industrial area of downtown LA. 
We pulled in the almost empty parking lot, got out and went inside. Almost as soon as we entered a man welcomed us and soon he offered us a complimentary glass of wine. Stella Rosa Moscato Orange is my new favorite wine. It is very refreshing. We mentioned we wanted to talk a tour, but they didn't start for a few hours. So we just browsed around the store until he returned with a young man to give us a private tour. He was very nice and knowledgeable. We saw areas not usually shown to the public. Then we moved to the tasting room. We each picked 4 wines to sample. While we sampled the wine, Matt shared places we might like to visit. Eventually the first man returned who we now realized was the 4th generation owner.   He stopped and visited with us for a few minutes. He also suggested some places to visit. We asked if the wine could be shipped to Mississippi. That would be a big fat no!!
Underlined and bold letters. Ha! So we bought a bottle to drink while in California and some glasses and a corkscrew. 
We left and headed to Huntington Botanical  Gardens at the suggestion of the winery owner. This was an impressive places. Acres of gardens of all types. 
I could go on forever and I took way too many pictures. I'll share just a few. 

After miles of walking we headed out to see Old Pasadena. 
On our way we found several places from The Big Bang Theory. 
And yes it does have speed bumps. 
Where Penny and Bernadette once worked. 
I almost got run over trying to take this picture. Ha! This was from an episode about telling a lie. 
Next stop The Rose Bowl. 
I was hot and tired so I didn't even get out of the car!  We drove up to the LA Dodgers stadium  and almost wen to the game but the game was halfway over.  
Next stop hotel room to relax. Then out to eat dinner. 
Until next time. 
Love ya, 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Big Adventure Day 4

Instead of arriving later as we had hoped the train arrived almost an hour early. So at 4:00 ish we woke up, dressed and gathered our stuff and detrained. Yep that's s word. We worked our way through Union Station. We had an hour plus wait since the rental car office didn't open until 7:00. Paul grabbed a coffee and we settled in for our wait. The lobby  is beautiful with mahogany ceilings and gorgeous chandeliers. 
At seven we were first in line. Got the rental car and headed out. Well we had to stop and fill up the car with gas. $4.29 a gallon. $$ ouch. 
We headed to Hollywood Blvd to see the Walk of Fame stars. I am glad we arrived early before the crowds showed up. 
Here are just a couple of pictures. 
You could walk for days looking at all the stars.  I  sure there is a list but it was fun just discovering them as we walked. 
We found Graumann's  Chinese Theater and looked at the  hand and footprints. 
Next stop was The Le Brea tar pits (which really translates into the the tar tar pits).  Ha!
Interesting but Lordy it stinks. 
The museum explained the history of the tar pits. It's amazing all the fossils they have found excavating the area. 
Next stop The Hollywood Sign. 
The sky was kinda hazy from the recent fires so it's not super clear to see the sign. 
This picture was actually taken at Griiffith Observatory. And yes the cool wind felt great. 
Panoramic view of LA. 
By now it was a little after 3:00 and we could check into our hotel room. We were less than 25 miles but that journey would take us over an hour on the freeway!  Bumper to bumper going 25 to 35 mph. Geez you can keep the traffic. 
We checked into our room. I had been worried about the hotel. I seriously did a pick one from the list. It met my expectations, clean and safe. 
We rested a bit and then headed out for dinner. We found a local spot and had ribs. Good but nothing on Memphus BBQ. 
After a good shower we were settled in for the night. 
Until next time. 
Love y'all 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Big Adventure Day 3.

Some where in west Texas we woke up around 6:30. We gathered belongings to take a shower. Hmm not as easy as one might hope on a rocking train. 
We survived and dressed for the day. Paul scheduled our breakfast time and we made our way to the dining car. 
Every meal is a community meal meaning since space is like limited they fill up the table. We have enjoyed getting to know Emily, Chuck and Sue, Dawn and David and Margaret. Each had interesting stories to share and somehow we seemed to have a common thread with each one. I love this. 
Breakfast was scrambled eggs and I got potatoes and Paul got grits. Lunch Paul
Tried the park shanks and I liked my burger so I tried it again.
We also spent some time in the observation car where we enjoyed margaritas and a Bloody Mary. 
It's almost dinner time again. 8:30 Central time but 6:30 Pacific time. 
Last night on the train. 

The Big Adventure Day 2

Six o'clock seemed to come awfully early this morning. We dressed and headed downstairs for a quick (but rather $$) breakfast. By seven our cab had arrived, we loaded up and headed to Union Station. Shortly after we pulled out I realized I had left my camera in the car trunk. Oh well. We arrived at the station at 7:30. We now know you don't need the hour you do when you fly. Also there is a separate lounge area for the sleeper car passengers. (we found this out too late). We only had to have our ticket scanned and show our ID's. No inspections. We walked to our car and boarded. Paul took his suitcase up the stairs while I waited. He found our "roomette". Hmm cosy is the word. 
So the two big suitcases go back downstairs to a storage area. ( another lesson learned) 
The Pullman came by and took our lunch reservation time. 
We slowly eased out of New Orleans. 
Did you know this is how the circus travels?  Miles of train cars with Ringlinging Brothers logo.

Crossing the Mighty Mississippi River. 

After about an hour in our room we ventured out to the observation car. 
This is nice. Room to walk around, great views. It's above the cafe car. 
The food on the train has been excellent. 
If you have any type of sleeper car your meals are included. 
Lunch was an awesome black angus burger. Paul tried the ice cream. 
Dinner we had the signature steaks, once again very good. 
The seats convert into two beds, upper and lower. I took the upper. I think I would have slept better if a. I had not had a BC for my headache, b. We hadn't stopped for 2 hours in Tucson and c. I was a little more aware of what was going on. Ha! I dozed on and off all night. 
Until next time, 
Love ya, Di

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The BIG Adventure 2016

Today we are heading out on a great adventure. We left Vicksburg around 10:00, and arrived in New Orleans around 1:00. Luckily we were able to check into our hotel early. We grabbed a quick salad and then headed to Jackson Square and The French Market. 
First we took a selfie in front of Saint Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. 
After 30 days of no sugar I had a major craving for Beignets from Cafe du Monde. 
Unfortunately I couldn't stand all that sugar. Go figure. 
We walked around The French Market but it was way too hot to do much more. 
So we went back to our hotel and relaxed. 
We ate a great dinner at Andy's Bistro. I highly recommend this quaint little place. 
We are back in our room and ready for bed. We board The Sunset Limited at 9:00 am. I hope I can sleep tonight. 
Until the next time. 
Love ya, 

Saturday, July 2, 2016


On June 1st Paul and I embarked on a journey of eating only foods that are natural. We ate lean beef, pork (no bacon or ham) and chicken and eggs, fresh vegetables and fruit. So for 30 days we would eat no grains, no dairy (yikes no cheese), no legumes, no sugars, and no alcohol.  I have to admit the first week and a half to two weeks were rough! I felt like I had the flu (it is actually called carb flu). But by the end of the second week I bounced back, by week 4 I was full of energy. We ate good wholesome meals and had plenty of fruit as our snacks. Other than a brief interlude when I turned 60 we didn't cheat. We may have had to modify a few things but I felt like we did a good job. You are not suppose to weigh yourself during the 30 days but I can't wait, I needed that reassurance that it was working. In the end I lost 11 pounds and Paul lost 15. I plan to continue as much as possible until I lose at least another 5 pounds although 10 would be great. I only had a strong craving once, on my birthday, and it was for ice cream. My clothes fit so much better, and I would like to think my skin and hair look better also.  I think just knowing I would only be strict for 30 days helped me. 
I am much more aware of what is in my "food" or really what is not in my food. When you read the list of ingredients on a label and you have no clue what most of them are then it really makes you think. 
I'll keep you posted on the next phase as I add back the "no no" foods are added to see what my triggers might be causing my health issues. 
Until next time, 
Love ya, 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Big 60!

I woke up Sunday morning just like any other day, except it wasn't just any other day. I would be sixty years old. An age I had long associated with "old age", an age I had dreaded for weeks if not months and possibly even years. Paul and the kids had taken me out to eat the night before. I got to pick the place, so I chose H. D. Gibbes Old Country Store in Learned , Ms. Usually there is a long wait to be seated and with a toddler that doesn't always cotton to changes we arrived early. Mark and Lauren were already seated and Caroline was coloring. We ordered, visited and checked on the MSU baseball score. Caroline fidgeted and fussed, toddlers need naps. Ha! (So do 60 year olds) 
Our salads arrived and Paul ate while holding Caroline and I cut up everyone's tomatoes for her to eat. 
Then the dinner arrived, the steaks were perfect and I had roasted green beans to go with my steak. As one of us would finish eating we would go out on the porch with Caroline. While I was sitting with her on the porch, the family ordered an assortment of desserts. I was trying to "be good" but hey you only turn 60 once right. After we finished eating we lingered to watch more of the game. Then we headed home to pick up the gifts and cards to take to Mark and Lauren's. Caroline feel asleep in Papa's lap. State blew the game, oh well maybe next year. I opened my presents which were so sweet.  It was late and we headed home. 
Sunday was an impromptu family gathering, my favorite kind. Paul made a grocery store run for burgers and fixins, Mark and Lauren picked up chips & dips and a watermelon. 
We ate and swam (actually very little swimming is done in our pool, more like jumping and splashing) then we took a watermelon break. Caroline did get her nap in and I think Lauren was able to relax a little too.  Late afternoon arrived and everyone packed up and headed out. My heart was so full as they all waved goodbye. Paul and I snacked on fruit for supper and then turned in for the day. It was a very good day. Until next time, 
Love ya, 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Day 59 of 60 Days to 60

Well in less than 24 hours I will be 60 years old. Wow, it's hard for me to put my feelings into words. 
The past 58 days have been awesome, my sweet husband has helped me ease into this 60 thing by doing so many wonderful things to keep my mind occupied. We have been to concerts, eaten at new and old restaurants, experienced new adventures including a rodeo and made some wonderful new memorie. But the truth is I don't want to get old. I know I am not Peter Pan, because I  never wanted to stay a child. I wanted to grow up and in doing that I have done all the grown up things. My parents were excellent role models and gave me good, sound advice to guide me through the years. I fell in love and married the world's most wonderful man, we have two sons who are such fine young men, I have the cream of the crop daughter in love and my heart just bursts when I think about sweet Caroline. I have a career that I love (most days but the good ones do out number the bad), a church family I adore, wonderful friends in garden club, bunco, circle, neighbors and school. We have worked hard and are reaping the benefits  but everyday I wake up with a new (or worse) ache or pain, I can't do things like I used to and I really hate that part. Doctor visits are more frequent and while I am so blessed to not have to rely on lots of pills,  I understand they may become necessary. I am grateful for modern medicine and how it can help our bodies continue for a longer time.  I pray that I will grow old gracefully but also that I'll keep a young spirit. I have so many things I want to see and do. 
This week Paul and I went to the pre retirement seminar, another eye opener. Once again I am so blessed that I have a husband that not only has worked and and provided for our family but also planned for our future. So now I will wipe away my petty tears and remember to enjoy the good things in life. My sweet family will celebrate with me tonight and I will feel the best love ever.  I will also eat a wonderful meal while I "try" to avoid sugar, grains, dairy and alcohol. 
The past 60 years are just that, in the past. I certainly don't want another 60 years but 20 or 30 more might be nice.  The future is uncertain but I am not worried. I have faith that it will be just fine, just like the past has been. 
Until next time. 
Love ya,

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Day 45 of 60 days to 60

Well actually only 43 days now but day 45 was awesome. We went to the Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) concert.
It was the most fun I've had in a very long time!
We had time to eat before the concert and since The Mayflower Cafe was just down the street from the Thalia Mara Hall where the concert was held it sounded like a good idea. We weren't super hungry so we each got a cup of the famous gumbo and a salad. Perfect!
We haven't been to a concert in "years" so we weren't really sure how everything worked. We got there early and had time to visit and walk around. Once they opened the doors the show started about 20 minutes later. To say I was blown away would be an understatement.
Perfect night. I just might like this 6 th decade.
I'll be singing their songs for weeks.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

When Life Gives You Limes???

Since Cinco De Mayo is next week I have been craving homemade fajitas.  I bought the closest thing I could find to skirt steak and I had a bag of limes.  So this morning I sliced and juiced about 5 limes and put the juice, the steak and some minced garlic in a zip lock bag so it can marinate all day today in the fridge.
Does anyone else have a juicer Luke this?  I inherited this from my mother. I love it. A few years a Willliam and Sonoma had bright colorful ones for sale but they were quite expensive. 

  I have to run to the grocery store (again) for avocados this afternoon. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday, Monday

Today we started the state testing for Algebra.  Bless these children's hearts.  This is so hard on them.  And it isn't too great for the teachers.  I had my 4th period class an extra 100 minutes so that was a total of 192 minutes.  Yep that is over three hours from 9:20-until 1:40 They (and I) had a short 20 minutes for lunch.  I didn't bring anything for lunch today because I was planning to run out to Wendy's for a salad.  Well thank goodness for my emergency stash of chicken noodle soup and pimento cheese.  It wasn't what I was dreaming about but it filled me up for the day.  I have a few errands to run this afternoon and then I can't wait to get home and see all the yard work Paul has done today.  He has been working so many long hours lately that he hasn't been able to mow or weed-eat the yard. I"ll try to take a picture when I get home.
Until next time,
Love ya,

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lazy But Busy Saturday

Good morning, it is awesome to see the sun shining full force today!  I woke up at my own pace this morning (meaning I turned the alarm clock off last night) it was great!  I am feeling better, I hope that means this sinus stuff is drying up not going into my chest. I went outside bright and early to check on my plants and check the skimmers. I got a wild hair to brush the pool steps and that led to brushing the sides of the entire pool.  I slowly eased into the day, Paul got home about 8:00ish and we had a little while to chat before he was ready to head to bed. Bless his heart. That man works so hard.
I showered and washed my hair and then got dress and headed out for the day. It is so hard to stay home and be quiet.
First stop was my garden club's annual plant sale.
I lucked up and got 3 day lilies, 3 yarrow, 15 red spider lily bulbs, 1 tomato plant, and 2 naked lady bulbs. All for a grand total of $18.00. That is awesome y'all. Since I knew I would be out most of the day I zipped back by the house to drop my plants off. Next stop The Old Court House Flea Market.
I found a great parking place and began to make the round. I saw several neat old "antique" like things but none called my name. I did buy a print of a canon on Fort Hill.  Best of all I got to see my old friend Mr Gordon Cotton.
He was the curator of the Old Court House Musuem when I taught Local Cultures. He didn't recognize me at first but I told him my name and his face just lit up. He is such a great historian and the sweetest man ever. He was so kind to me when I was trying to learn all about Vicksburg. We chatted for a while but more and more people were stopping to talk to him so I said my goodbyes. Except I just wanted to get a picture with him. So I went back and we took a selfie.
He was so sweet. As I was walking away I overheard him tell someone  "she is an amazing teacher and I am just crazy about her. She'd bring all those kids in the Old Courthouse and she'd be running up and down those stairs the whole time."  I thought I would cry right there. He was the best teacher ever at Warren Central and for him to compliment me is the sweetest thing.
I ran a few more errands and picked up a few things. Then the weekly grocery shopping trip. 
I got home about 2:00 and unloaded the groceries. I still had to be quiet until Paul woke up. Big surprise, down power is almost complete so Paul is off tonight. Yay. 
So I suggested we go eat to eat since as Paul said we haven't done that in a while. Ha!  So we headed out but when he didn't turn to go downtown I was a little puzzled. We ended up
At Hime Depot to look for a drill bit for my  fountain/pot. The old fountain pump died last fall and I bought a new pump but never got around to installing it. The new pump has the cord on the side so I need a new hole drilled. The drill bits were over $40 there so he googled and found on on Amazon for a whole lot less. 
Then we headed to Rusty's for dinner except my mood changed greatly when I hit/scraped my leg closing the truck door. Yep it left a mark. There was a group of Prom kids all dressed up.   They ended up eating at the table next to us. They were pretty well behaved. 
Then back home and I stayed up till midnight with Paul (y'all that's monumental for me. Paul stayed up a few more hours. Bless his heart. 
Until next time, 
Love ya,

Friday, April 22, 2016

My Little Garden

If you remember last weekend at the rodeo I purchased 2 pot plants. Each pot had one tomato plant and one cucumber plant along with some herbs. I saw they had blooms on them but that usually doesn't mean much. Well I have checked on them everyday and they are growing so fast. I have 6 baby tomatoes and 5 cucumbers. Really I do.

Reckon I should start frying bacon for my first BLT? Yeah you are right I should wait a little while. 

A Different Type of Countdown...

Today marks my last 2 months to be in my 50's.  Yep the big 60 is coming up soon.  Yikes.  I remember 25 years ago when I started back teaching I thought I will turn 60 the same year I can retire.  At that time it seemed like a really old age, but now hey 60 is the new 40 right??
I've been trying to cook fresh meals lately. So Paul asked for spaghetti one night this week and he asked if I could make a blueberry cobbler. So Monday night I made homemade spaghetti sauce and pasta and a blueberry cobbler.
I packed up the left overs for our Tuesday lunches. One of Paul's co workers commented that "somebody must love you to make you a cobbler". I was so flattered I had to work late on Tuesday so we ate supper at Cracker Barrel. When we got home I mixed up another cobbler just for his office group. 
Here are a few pictures of the process.
3 cups blueberries, 2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
Cream 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar, add 1 egg, and vanilla extract.  Stir in flour and baking powder. 
Then drop in small spoonfuls over the top of the blueberries.  YUM!
I forgot to take a picture when it came out of the oven but here is the pan after they finished.
All gone. 
Glad they enjoyed it. 
Until next time. 
Love ya,