Thursday, October 20, 2016


Yes, we went to Dollywood and it was a very fun day.  October is Southern Gospel month at Dollywood and all of us agreed that it felt like "going home."  It reminded us of our family, both of our parents and our extended family, as well.  We went to four musical performances.  Spending a day at Dollywood was really relaxing - I didn't witness any pushing or shoving or negativity at all.  Lines were definitely doable. It was just a nice atmosphere.

 Below is my sister, Susan, with my 
"little brother" Jeff pushing her.
Susan's husband, Jim, is behind Jeff.
You can catch just a glimpse of Gail,
my sister, in the back (taking a picture).
 It's not a great picture because we were in a hurry
to get to the roller coaster Mystery Mine.
I rode that with Jeff, Susan, and Jim.
Let me tell you - I screamed during the whole ride!
I had to close my eyes a lot.
 The Bake Shop had the most delectable looking pastries
and look at the size of that apple pie!
 The park is all decked out for fall and Thanksgiving.
They really do a beautiful job of decorating.
I was told that Christmas is really a nice time to go
because there are lights everywhere.
 On the way out, I just had to get a shot of the trees
starting to turn their leaves.
Besides visiting with my siblings, that was my purpose
for going to Tennessee - to see a
change in seasons.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

One week in the Smokies!

I just got back from spending a week with four of my siblings in the Great Smoky Mountains!  My sister, Susan and her husband, Jim, left for Tennessee and met my sister, Gail and her husband, Rudy, who came up from Florida.  My youngest brother, Jeff and his wife Joyce, live in Tennessee which is why I selected that place.  I was longing to see the change in leaves.  We actually stayed at a resort in Sevierville. So, on to some of the pictures I took...
 This was taken from our balcony taken on the day of our arrival.
 One of the first things we did was drive Cade's Cove, which is a 
scenic drive through the Smoky National Park.
We saw historical buildings - the one above
is a Methodist church.
 I love this picture of simply a path in the woods.

 I was taking a picture of the creek when I heard my sister say
"Let's see what Jean's taking a picture of - Oh, it's just water."
I cracked up.
My brother said the exact same thing.
But both of them live in states where water is plentiful.
It's not often I get to see a natural creek bed.

I was taken by all of the coins in the aquaduct.
You can't really see it, but they really sparkled.

The weather was absolutely beautiful 
and the scenery was breathtaking.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Caleb's Book

Caleb is my great nephew and during pre-school, they made scrapbooks.  So, as a favor to his mother, I created a cover and bound the pages.
My good friend, Cindy, helped me get this done.  She told me she felt like she knew Caleb from looking at these pages multiple times.
It was really fun to see pictures of him since he was a baby.

I basically made the cover and bound the pages.  Caleb did the rest. 
Something to keep forever.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Yard

As my friends know, when I moved into my home a couple of years ago, the backyard was a big slab of cement and dirt.  It was a mess.  Gravel mixed in with the dirt.  Weeds were terrible.  It was not the least bit inviting.  I recently changed that.
I had the patio re-finished, a small Arizona room 
added, and artificial turf, along with a few other things.

I love it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Smitholater

What do you think a Smitholater is?
Well, I looked it up on the internet and I really
couldn't find anything.  Absolutely nothing.
Why do I ask this?
My friend, Nicole took a cookie
decorating class at Smitholater Bakery in Mesa.
 When I asked her why they called it a Smitholator, 
she didn't really know, but they did show them a machine.
 She decorated the ones inside the box 
and purchased the others.
These cookies are super cute!
Nicole, of course, did a beautiful job and
I know she enjoyed the class.
I wonder how many are still left at her house.
I love the bone hair bow on the girl skeleton.

I think it might be the machine that makes
the impressions on the cookies for decorating.
But honestly, I still don't know.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Sunday was such a beautiful day!  It rained all day long!!
At first it was a steady stream,
then it would pour!
And then... the sun would shine.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Just a photo for today

I just loved the contrast of the old architecture against the high rise in the background.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Many prayers requested

At one of the temples we toured, one area was just bright with red ribbons.  People would pay for the ribbons and then hang them on the temple...
 ... or the tree...  and the monks would pray for your request.
It was such a beautiful, heartfelt sight.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Laundry Day in Beijing

I was truly amazed when we drove through the city of Beijing that people would hang their clothes outside their windows.  They had clothes lines out their windows, and usually no balcony.  They could be on the 6th floor or the 20th floor.  High rises.  It didn't matter.  
Our tour guide, Stone, told us that many people have washers, but not dryers and they had to hang their clothes outside.  Some were fortunate if their had a combination washer/dryer.  I can't imagine life without both.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


In every shopping area we visited in China, we saw jade - of all shapes and colors - every imaginable character and creatures.
At the jade factory, we were shown a picture of the Olympic gold medals that were created just for the Olympics in Beijing.  I wish we could have seen the real thing, because the photos were just so beautiful.  We were told that the lighter the jade is, the higher the value.  You can see that the jade is white, or almost white.
At the Terra Cotta Soldier exhibit, they had jade warriors of different sizes.  So big and heavy!
I thought this jade horse was absolutely beautiful - just no place to put it in my house.