Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Excitement!!

You know I have a tub for every holiday.


Why should this one be any different?

You know I'm digging it all out.  Just crazy fun going on here today.  I've got you a glittery hat or, maybe you might wear a tiara tonight.  Gotta make some noise ~ woo-hoo with some clappers, clackers and horns.  You want some glitz - bring it on, we've got sparklers, disco balls, silver acorns, just everything sparkly silver and gold - you will be BEDAZZLED!  It's time to get out the punch bowl, set up the bar, shine the silver, line up the wine glasses, and crank up the music.   

Have a wonderful and safe evening wherever you are, whatever you do. 

Happy New Year Everyone!
You are such good friends.
I wish for you so many new and exciting things in 2012
   ~ Debi

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Past




It's over for me my friends.  Christmas is out the door.  I don't know what came over me, but yesterday the energy just took over and I was like something tribal packing all the red and green, jingle and jangle, bows and wrap, chocolate and nuts, mints, cakes, and cookies up and out the door.  I grabbed the turkey baster and sucked all the water out of the tree stand, hefted that tree up like some super hero and pulled that thing outside and threw it over the deck for my hunk of burning love to retrieve and do whatever he does with it.  If we were home more, I would leave it up longer, but with no one hardly here, I wanted to get on with it and clean my floors and get things back in order.  I welcome this New Year that is knocking on the door waiting to push 2011 into the past. I'm beginning to think about the Dash Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Weight Watchers, Low Carb..... OMG.  This has to be the year to make some changes for me.  Hello..... anyone else making any changes for a New You??? I'm always out the gate running at the beginning of a new year with fresh motivation and renewed energy, but something happens and I fizzle.  I must find some ways to keep my momentum going. 

Anyway, I only have a few boxes to get back downstairs and I'm pretty much done packing it away.  Last night, after all was done, I felt like I was getting the beginning of a viral thingy ... you know when you get chilled to the bone and feel a little achy.  I thought, oh dear lord, please don't let me be like this in the morning.  I had most of last week off and had to get back to work for the man today.  I went to bed early and felt like a million bucks today.  However, there are so many who have a really bad viral bug in my area, flu-like.  I didn't take the flu shot this year. Where is my Lysol can? 

Back to my thoughts on the New Year.  Dormant winter ~ a time to reflect on what worked and what didn't in my garden and what I want to change.  I know that I definitely want more big bloomers in 2012, more popping colors.  I know that I will cage and stake each tomato from the moment it is planted rather than wait until it's out of control.  I know I will plant more varieties of eggplant.  I never knew how much I would love those little purple things until this past summer.  I will plant some strange thing just for the sake of wondering what it will look like as it lifts its little arms toward the sun.  As for me, I hope to move more (as in exercise) and eat less.

Is your mind-set wiping the slate clean and starting on a new endeavor in the New Year?  I know some folks set a quit smoking date on the first day of the New Year.  It's a good time to set a goal ....  a weight loss challenge to yourself, letting your fingernails grow out, a goal of walking 30-45 minutes each day, etc.                                                                                   
 
Whatever it is about the New Year coming, it's a new chance to do it better, to be better, and accomplish more.  I jot my thoughts down like this in a little spiral bound notebook.  It keeps my focus on what my hopes and goals are.  So, just thinking fresh right now, trying not to get to outrageous with what I wish for myself in the coming 2012.  Wow - Twenty-Twelve, can you believe it??

My mind is full tonight and fingers are all over this new laptop.  Right now I hope all this posts like it should.  I don't think this is going to line up right for some reason.  I've got to get a mouse.  It's making me (bad word) CRAZY.  I've hit something that's taking me to the wrong place.  I'm out of here tonight  ~  Debi                                                                                  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I Must Have Been Good


Oh my goodness ~ Yes sir-e, I was good.  Opened up a lap top early this a.m. and I'm thinking I'm already screwed.  My fingers are all over the place.  I think the break-in from desk top to lap is going to be a little challenging.  I'm so EXCITED.  I loaded that picture up there too!  I know I sound like a kid with a new toy, BUT hey, that's what it's exactly like!! 

We had a great Christmas Eve with my girls and boyfriends and, let's see 7 dogs.  We closed our store when the mall closed at 6:00 p.m.   Had a pretty decent last business day.  We ate  a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner at Spice Street Restaurant.  The atmosphere was so festive and everyone in the Christmas spirit.   Woke up this morning and cooked a tremendously big breakfast for the crew.  The agenda started off a little crazy ~ you know "let the dog in - let the dog out", but we got there.  Everyone here has been happy with their gifts.  It is nap time now for the fam.  Some never went to sleep!!   While they're having their little siesta, I'll throw the ham in the oven for a few ham biscuits later on.  Tradition speaks to a movie together on Christmas night.  Not sure yet what we will see.  Mission Impossible is climbing the totem pole from the guys as a winner; we'll see.    It might be tradition is broken as the house smells so good and it's so warm from the fire burning that we all just lazy-up and stay put.. 

Anyone headed out for after Christmas sales?  There is not one thing I need, but lots that I would like.  I'll probably stay put as there is major clean-up here to do. 

Hope everyone's day was fabulous.  My glass is raised to Christmas 2011. 

                                                           Have a great evening everyone ~ Debi 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Clock is Ticking ...

Merry Christmas each and everyone of you.  You are just tremendously the best out in Blog Land.  I have enjoyed so much reading and learning from you this past year.  You are a great bunch of folks. 

My little computer has had problems for about a month now throwing me off everytime I try to get on.  It's been very frustrating.  I haven't been able to interact with you a lot or maybe you have received partial weird things from me; I'm not sure what you've been getting, if anything.  It has taken too long to try to post any pictures so I gave up on that. 

In any case, just know I'm doing the same as you at this time of year.  The shopping is down to the wire.  I have company coming in today.  We are all back and forth in our store getting those hammocks out.  We've had a lot of rainy weather.  That just makes for a real pretty Christmas look at night, doesn't it? 

We had the girls here last night with boyfriends for a little Hannukah food.  Always drama ..... but always fun too.  Lots of laughs. 

Again, have a wonderful Christmas with you and yours ~ Debi

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Big Tom & Lavender Farm

BIG TOM

I want to tell you about a tomato juice that I have fallen in love with over the past couple of years.  I discovered it in a specialty store when I was served a Bloody Mary over the holidays while browsing the store.  It's called "Big Tom" Spiced Tomato Juice. OMG! The best I have tasted.   This picture is a big bottle of it (for me).  They sell it in small individual bottles also which I have packaged and tied on a small bottle of Smirnoff vodka for a personal little Bloody Mary toddy gift.  It looks really cute wrapped up in red together



You might find it in your local ABC store or a specialty gift shop, or goggle them. http://bigtombeverages.com/   

They list all kind of ways to use it in recipes (Gazpacho, Red Snapper a few to mention).  It has just the right amount of spices and celery, peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and is very low sodium.  Their beverage company is in Bristol, Tennessee (another made in America). 


I have a secret room during the holidays.  Tables are stacked holding the "secret treasures" and packaging with bows and ribbons and bright colored papers for the holidays.  No one is to enter this room until I give the word to begin the transfer to the next room, which will be under the tree.  To say it's a little crazy in there, would be wayyyy  to nice ... it is "Outrageous" in the secret room this time of year. 



I made a trip to the Sunshine Lavender Farm's (http://sunshinelavenderfarm.com/) open house for the holidays yesterday.  Annie, the owner, is just adorable and has the cutest cottage home that was decorated Christmas-adorable. The heavenly smell of her lavender gifts filled the rooms.  You would not believe the taste of lavender infused hot chocolate.  She served that along with some favorite cookies and chocolates.  Of couse, she had sold out of the mix by the time I arrived.  But ... I did bring home her lavender brownie mix.  What a special Christmas treat that will be!! 
I didn't win a darn thing in the gift drawings, so I went home sad about that, but the visit to her lavender farm was Christmas-inspiring.  Her lavender was sleeping for the winter but when summer comes all of this will be full, full, full of those long stems of purple. 

                                                                                               
                                                                                  
Happy Holidays ~ Debi 
                                                                          
                                                           


                                                                           
                                                                       

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

BRINGING IN THE GREENS


Time is moving on whether I like it or not.  I thought I would be further along in my decorating than I am, but I just am not.  I took a ride out on the gator with a couple of the dogs to gather some pine greens and natural looking things to hang around.  Gracie and Potter (2 of the Jack Russell's) love to jump in and jump back out always on a scent and a few deep holes to leave behind. I love gallivanting around in the woods after all the leaves have fallen.  You find all kinds of pods and gumballs, nuts and things that have turned a natural organic, earthy color.  Love to add these with bay leaves and berries to make my own little bowl of potpourri. 


 I bought a Norfolk Island Pine to put in the sun room.  It is very different from the Frasier Fur from the mountains.  The Norfolk Island's boughs are feathery, more ornamental looking.  The larger tree (Frasier Fur) from the mountains is in the living room.  It's hard for me to get any good pictures for you with this little point and shoot camera.  I had asked Santa about a new camera .... and I'm really trying to be a very good girl!! (It's taking a whole lot of effort, trust me).
This little tree actually stands a little over 5 ft.  It is decorated with all these little forest critters  ~ deer, opossum, skunk, fox, etc. 


When I opened up my Christmas tubs, it was like being a kid again.  There were all these things I had purchased the day after Christmas last year from all the sales.  What possesses me to go to these sales, I have no idea.  I certainly don't need anymore decorations.  I told one of my daughters to please come get whatever she wants.  Presently, the only thing on the big tree are the little white twinkling lights and I think I like it like that.  It looks great at night, but WOW in the daytime, it looks like just a green tree in the corner.  Hubs keeps asking "When you gonna decorate that tree"?
Let's see honey bunny - I'm like, uh.... a little tired when I get home and maybe after I do the dog shuffle and fix some home cookin', I'll get around to that tree!

Oh yes sir-e, its a wonderful time of the year. 

It was 70 degrees here today, BUT the Canadian air is blowing down and temps are to drop drastically tomorrow into the 30's tomorrow night.  What a change!!

Anyone invited to any parties or are you having a party?  I need some ideas - New Year's is right around the corner.  
 Gotta scoot friends - Christmas tree is calling for attention - Later, Debi  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI

I know, another chicken recipe.  Hold onto your hat - this is good  AND it's quick BECAUSE you can be sneaky and get a roaster from your grocery store already cooked.  With all that has to be done this time of year and, the weather cool to downright cold, I think this recipe will earn its keep.    

                                              

There are white chicken chili recipes out there, but I BEGGED for this one from the cooks at Southern Seasons in Chapel Hill, NC.  They had to give it to me.  I was there every day eating it, ordering it, making my friends try it, sticking a spoonful in their face "Here, try this, you're gonna love it".   I was their biggest fan.  They saw my face coming around the corner and they already had it ladeled up for me.  I tried breaking down the flavors to make it without having them divulge the secret, but something was missing.  So I asked loudly and they handed it over.   It is quick and it is good.  I will say you can change it up a little bit and not use all that heavy cream and make it more soupy and use a lower fat milk.  I make much larger batches of this and use a whole roaster chicken from Costco, more beans and more everything.   I am happy to share this with you thing. 

Southern Season's White Chicken Chili

Whole Chicken Breast seasoned with salt, pepper, and cumin.  Bake at 350 degrees until done (or use a roaster already cooked). 
1 Red Onion, medium dice
1/2 Cup jalapenos (chopped)
2 Cans Great Northern Beans
1 qt. Heavy Cream
1/2 qt. Milk
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1 bunch cilantro
  • Saute red onions and jalapenos in a little olive oil in a large stew pot
  • Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to vegetables
  • Add beans and cream and hold to a low simmer for 1 hour (this can be adjusted). Add cilantro and cayenne - Ready to serve.
                                            Grab a bowel & enjoy ~ Debi

Saturday, December 3, 2011

EASY Oreo Truffles

I know everyone is busy with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I've been looking at recipes for goodies for several weeks now and still go back to the ones that work and are not so complicated.  These oreo truffles are delicious.  I always get rave reviews and requests for more when I make them.  They're easy to make, package well, and a very pretty presentation when plattered alongside your other holiday sweets. 

OREO Truffles

                                    
                           

1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate
Sandwich Cookies, divided
1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

DIRECTIONS:
1. Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
                             Enjoy ~ Debi
           

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

North Carolina Hammock Company


I normally might not do this, but I'll blame it on Diane Sawyer on the evening news.  She had a segment last night about buying things made in America again.  That campaign has been running since the summer.  Her challenge again is to spend some of your Christmas shopping money on gifts made in America - Support the small guy.

So.... I'm going to throw this out there.  This is our family business ~



This is what we do.  We have had this business for many, many years.  People know us from everywhere.  IF .... you are looking for a gift, or even items for yourself, made in the United States, you might take a look at our web page.  Your choices for items made in America would include our hammocks which include the tried and true everyone knows, Pawley's Island or Hatteras Hammocks, rope swings, etc.  There is also the Cobble Mountain Swing made in Vermont that is a favorite of most folks.  Sorry to say, the beautiful Brazilian furniture is made in Brazil, but still available for sale, and not made in that other country. Remember: It's the quality of the item.


As a self employed business, we ask you support us and all small business out there this holiday season.  We are unique.  I won't play my fiddle and give you the story because you see the news - you know it's tough on us.  

Call Leonard up at the number on the web page.  Tell him you're Debi's friend on her blog between now and December 16th, 2011.  (You do not have to be a follower of my blog).  He will give you an extra 10% off your order. There's also free shipping.  Tell  your friends and family.
FYI:  You get a real person answering the phone during the daytime.   We do sleep friends.  You will get the answering machine in the evenings after 8:00 p.m.   Tell your friends and family to join in the challenge. 

Thanks a bunch little friends ~ Debi

Monday, November 28, 2011

Out of Town Aventure


I made it up to the North Carolina mountains to get my tree over the past couple of days.  I didn't get to take our truck and felt I was going to be in a pretty bad predicament trying to haul a tree around in the Honda.  But, Tim, the owner at Shady Rest Tree Farm in Laural Springs said to bring it on and he would make it work.  When I arrived at the tree farm, he measured the trunk of the car to the front and advised I stick with finding a 6 ft. tree.  I thought "yikes" - that's going to be a little tree.  So....I found a 7 1/2 ft. tree and without having to say a whole lot, the tree was bound so tight and snug, and without an inch to spare, made it inside the Honda.  I spent the night in Blowing Rock, so I had to drive around with the tree hanging at my shoulder.  I was a little nervous a mouse might have made a nest in the tree and might pop out while I was driving, but I was so in the moment of the beauty of the village of Blowing Rock that I really forgot about the possibility. 

The weather was very dreary while I was there, but I didn't give a hoot.  I imagine if you didn't know your way around up there, you might would want to head home.  I went to school up there and so did my daughter, and we have forever camped and vacationed in the North Carolina mountains, so Plan B was working pretty well for me.  I grabbed my umbrella and pranced and danced all over the place.  It was absolutely gorgeous with all their little twinkling lights and holiday music all up and down the sidewalks.  There were bubbles crisscrossing the sidewalks from a hidden bubble machine tucked away secretly adding to the charm of this sweet little town. 


I know my pictures aren't great, but this is a cute little store called Bless Your Heart.  I would say she has mostly antique and vintage things, some modern with an eclectic flare.  I snapped a few photos of her other store down the road. 



It never fails that I always purchase something in this store.  She just "blesses my heart" every darn time I enter the door with all this inspiration just oozing out of every nook and cranny.  She has a big old drink cooler in the store and you just help yourself to a soda (free !!) while you shop.  There are vintage white night gowns with distressed mirrors and vases, and scarves, handbags, OMG .... just so pretty all put together just right.  I love the look of "light-modern" vintage (I call it), but it doesn't go with my house style - which I don't know what that is either ... I just know what works and what doesn't here.


 I visited the Bob Timberlake store while I was in Blowing Rock.  For those of you who might not know, Bob Timberlake is an internationally acclaimed realist painter from North Carolina.  The list is forever with the awards he has received.  I think some of you love the old barns and houses in the countryside - well, that's what he paints, and they are beautiful. 


Bob Timberlake, besides being an artist, also has his own line of home accessories, books, and gobs of other things. 
If you are a fan of his, this is just an FYI - he is having an Open House for Christmas at his store in Lexington, NC on 12/10.   You can probably get all the info on his web site. 
I bought some animal critter ornaments from his store for my twig tree.


This is a living room display in his store.  He has furniture, lamps, rugs ... all the good stuff I hope and wish could be under my tree Christmas morning.  HaHa & Fa,la,la,la!!!



I shopped mostly for things to accessorize with what I already have and to jazz it up a little bit.  I found a small bag of potpourri called "Primitive Fixins" that was put together in West Virginia.  I'll add that to the pinecones and woodland gatherings I found in my woods.  There is this store I visit ALL THE TIME when I go to Blowing Rock called "The Last Straw", (http://www.thelaststrawinc.com/).  I bet I stayed in there for a couple hours, maybe longer.  I feel like I knew the staff by the time I left.  There was just so much stuff for the holidays and they had it displayed just magnificently.  It took a great deal of time to study it all and figure out how I was going to put it together when I got back to my place.  The aromas were out of this world.  I broke down and bought a little spray bottle of Orange Zest - ummmm, talk about a holiday smell!  The staff suggested one of their candles called, Aroma Naturals that has an orange, clove & cinnamon smell.  I bought a 3" x 3.5" pillar candle and the burn time is 60 hours!  Another heavenly Christmas smell!!

I know this post is long ~ I just had a wonderful time and I could write forever about my trip; just know, it was good.  I needed that trip alone, to lounge around in a hotel room, to shop, and to just BE!  Now tomorrow, I'll BE back to the grind, but full of holiday inspiration.   Debi

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Tree

                                              


Thanksgiving meal went off without a hitch.  The turkey was done on time and a delicious bird with everyone's favorite sides.  The day was so beautiful, only blue skys.  It's been one of those family traditions that Thanksgiving night we take in a movie (daughters, boyfriends, anyone who is here gets to tag along).  That sort of kicks off the end of one holiday and jump starts the next.  We knew "Black Friday" was the next morning and everyone had to be at their posts.  One daughter was shopping, one daughter working at the outlet, and hubby in our store, and me left to finish Thanksgiving cleanup and animal duty at home.  One daughter went back out to the outlets which opened Thanksgiving night at 10:00 p.m. and said it was a zoo.  She said parking was a nightmare and they hardly found a spot.  (I'm watching Ace get loaded onto the horse trailer this morning as I write this; he's going for a lesson elsewhere today and he DOES NOT want to load.  Ace is acting an A_ _!).

Adventure calls and I'm headed for the N.C. mountains, back up to Blowing Rock this morning to get my Christmas tree.  I go to the same tree farm every year up in Glendale Springs, NC.  Tim always is just the best helping me load the tree.  I get almost like a kid filled with excitment when I get there.  If I could take all the trees, I would, and I feel so terrible only taking one and leaving the others behind.  My daughter has already been there to get her tree and picked a beauty.  Did you know that the North Carolina tree industry is ranked second in the nation?  Your tree might even come from North Carolina!  Tim does ship his trees.  I saw some last year he was fixing to ship out.  Amazing!!!  I'll put his link at the bottom.  Anyway, I'm staying overnight up there and hope to have a grand time and do a little shopping.  Until then ~ Debi
shadyresttreefarm.com












Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Assistant





This is my Thanksgiving assistant ~ I have no doubt she will pull through for me and assist me with all of my dinner needs.  She will be cooking a chocolate cake and a cheesecake for me, rolls, a cheese tray with crackers, potato salad and goodness knows whatever else she has stashed around her pantry.  By request, I will have to do the turkey, creamed potatos, and the usual other sides.  She has quite a following of people, so I hope she does not tire out or run out of things; I've used her quite a bit and have never seen that happen.  She is quite reliable. 

The turkey recipe is one I saw years ago on a Food Network show.  It's a turkey fixed on one of Tyler Florence episodes.  I'm glad I saw him make it, otherwise it might have been a little crazy on that first try for me. The title of the recipe is a Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread stuffing.  You can find the recipe here:
Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon ... - Food Network.  I have always had good luck with it, so it's always my go-to recipe for Thanksgiving. 

I have company coming to have dinner with us.  I always purchase extra plastic Ziploc containers for left-overs so friends have a little something to take home with them.  There's always so much left, especially those desserts (get them out of the house).  Target already had their "limited edition" containers out; I mean really!  I was at the grocery last night and the deli section was stacked chest high in pumpkin pies - buy one-get one.  It makes me feel guity as all get out, but we just don't eat pumpkin pie here.  I feel I let the pilgrams down a little bit not having it on the table as tradition goes.
                                           
Whatever we all fix, its about sharing and bringing people together.  I don't like the idea some of the larger retailers choosing to open on Thanksgiving day.   People will still shop the next day, they will come whether you open up at 12:00 a.m. or at 9:00 a.m, AND, there will always be a sale. 

Hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week and the day of thanks will be whatever you wish it to be.  I'm thankful for your friendship. 
                                                                                           Debi

                    
                                                   


Friday, November 18, 2011

Empty Nesting



I didn't know what else to do, but just come in here and write down what I'm feeling.  This empty-nesting is for the birds ~ what a statement, for real!!  You know, I wanted my girls to find great guys - men with passion for life, fire and spit, guys who make them melt and their knees buckle.  Daughter #1 has found that kind of fella and has already flown from my coop.  My gal with imagination and drive, left me holding the glue gun and tinsel to figure it out for myself. 


Daughter #2, might have found that fella with the fire (that's yet to be seen).  They just left for the evening, headed out around the pond and on up through the woods out to the main road.  I watched until I couldn't see anymore lights.  My horsey girl who gets under my skin has taken her sweet time, and low and behold has found her a fella and he has taken my place in the barn. Go figure....


I put on my 70's music that THEY had to help me load on all these IPODS, and mini things and wires and such, but I got it going.  I thought it would lift my spirits.  I'm waiting on hubby to come home so we can eat this spaghetti meal.  Daughter #1 and boyfriend are coming by to eat a little too.  I was telling her how empty I was feeling and she just thought this was a hoot.  It's very unlike me to feel like I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, but I do.  I could get started on holiday cleaning this evening.  It looks like Santa came and all the reindeer made a bee-line through every floor in this house and kicked things everywhere on their way out.

I'm thinking I'll just pour myself a little glass of vino and watch the pretty fire and listen to Eric Clayton, Neil Young.. somebody I know the words to.  I remember when they were little girls and I just wanted some time to myself.  How I wished for a babysitter to please just come for a while and I would run around like a chicken with its head cut off running errands - just trying to stay caught up.  


With this new guy taking up my precious daughter's time and me getting the boot, it's just a weird feeling, like I've lost touch with her.  How do you Moms before me do this?  I really don't like this.  Is it about control issues??

Did you know there are just tons of information on "empty nesting" out there.  I googled it just to see what was going on with it and WOW ~ support groups, blogs, help lines, OMG!  I'm not at that point - it's just tonight it feels different.  It's the creepy silence.  We are a loud family when we're together- sometimes organized, but more often unorganized, chaos. Everyone speaks at once, dogs are trying to get in on it, etc.  I know I'll figure it out, but a quiet house is very different house. 
                                                      Thanks for your ear this evening ~ Debi

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jump for the Children


This past weekend, Duke Hospital held a fundraiser for the children's hospital, called Jump for the Children. Included in this was the Grand Prix horse event held in Raleigh, NC which has a $30,000 grand prix prize.   If you are a horsey person, you definitely want to get to this each year, especially if you like stadium jumping.  It is a sight to behold.   Show jumping fences are very colorful and elaborate and artistic in design making this event that much more exciting. These photos are from google images.  I didn't use a camera during the event as you don't want a flash to go off and distract any of the riders or horses.  Spectators should have manners at this event also. 
 
A Grand Prix is the highest level of show jumping.  Jumpers require boldness, accuracy, scope, power and control AND speed.  A horse at this level has to jump big, bravely and fast, but has to be careful to avoid any knockdowns and penalties.  The objective of a jumper class is to jump cleanly over a set of courses within a certain time. A rider and horse get faults if they exceed the time allowance.  They also can get faults if they knock down any poles and/or refuse to take the jump.  The height and width of the jumps is challenging.  

              

There must be well-planned turns and lines and the rider must adjust the horse's stride for each jump and distance.  It does become a little more involved, so I'll just say it can be nail-biting, especially if you know any of the riders.  Our large animal vet rides in the Grand Prix and we, naturally, always want him to do well.  Our business always contributes to the silent auction, so we get to duck in for a little cheese and wine.  It's always fun to see old horsey friends we haven't seen in a while.  Fabulous event. 

Now back in the real world, we are up to almost our knees in leaves!!  There's no point in blowing them away yet as there are plenty left on the trees to fall.  I have to continuously get them off our deck because of the dogs (you know what they're doing ... I don't need to explain that)~!


We had to rearrange the order of the horses in their stalls this week. Ace was beside Jackson.  The pecking order has started I guess.  Ace was being a little aggressive at Jackson kicking the stall and showing his teeth and rearing up.  Jackson was picking up on the behavior and began doing a little of the same back.  So, we nipped that really quick.  Sail is now in the middle stall and Jackson and Ace are on either end.  Ha!!  Sail the babysitter.


Ally works with Jackson during the week doing all kinds of things mainly just trying to teach manners and space.  I will say he is definitely growing.  His rump is all out proportion and high (that will balance out) - I think he is going to be about the size of Ace, about 16 hands, maybe a little bigger.


Get out of my space, you rascal!!

(There were different words screamed, I just can't write them here). 

Other than all of that, I'm up to my neck in recipes figuring out if I'll do the same old stuff for Thanksgiving this year or step out of the box and throw something different out on the table.  I do know that Costco is looking better and better as my Thanksgiving assistant. 
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I'm so pooped that I just have to close this up for now.  We have a slow rain outside tonight and the sound of it on the tin roof will hopefully keep me snoozing like a baby all night long. 
                                                  Nighty-Night Friends ~ Debi