Sunday, October 31, 2010

Today is Halloween and my Dad's 74th Birthday!

Today is Halloween and it is also my Dad's 74th Birthday! Last weekend when we were up to NJ we celebrated Dad's birthday. He never has liked parties or a big fuss made over birthdays but he did let us have a cake for him and we gave him presents. When we were little kids my sisters and I thought he was an old ghost because he was born on Halloween. Then as we got older we thought maybe he was the Great Pumpkin. As the years went on we realized that his biggest role was our Dad! Here is a picture of my Dad on his tractor-this is one of the biggest smiles I've seem him give:

My Dad loves his antique tractors, his steer he raises, his farm and life. Dad has Lupus (which is in remission right now) but he keeps on working on his farm, taking care of his rental properties and visiting with his friends and family. We've almost lost my Dad twice over the last 6 yrs. due to his Lupus but he is a fighter and has kept going strong. I can't say my father has been a very loving father, he is a tough man. We were brought up very strictly and yet we know in his way he loves us. Lately though I have noticed he has really mellowed out and is much more caring and sensitive to our feelings. Even though there were some really hard years with my Dad, I'm glad we all stuck in there and he is still with us today! Hope you have many more Dad!! Love you!!

Happy Birthday Dad!! Happy Halloween to all of you!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Secretariat the Movie

Today John and I saw the movie Secretariat. What a lovely movie and this is my favorite for the year!! I love horses and I remember dreaming of riding a horse like Secretariat (which really was quite silly because I'm 5'9" and I don't know any jockeys that are that tall-LOL!!). I was 14 yrs. old when Secretariat won the Triple Crown and a few of my friends watched as he became the Super Horse!! No horse had won all three races in twenty-five years. What a wonderful and beautiful creature he was! He was 31 lengths ahead of all the other horses which was unheard of. Secretariat is no longer with us but his has left a legacy of 600 colts and fillies! Disney did an excellent job with this movie! I loved Diane Lane and John Malkovich in this movie too-they are wonderful actors. When you think about the time period we are talking about Penny Chenery/Tweedy was really a very strong woman in a mans world when she insisted this horse was a true champion and she wanted the world to know this! She says in the movie (to Secretariat the night before the Triple Crown), "I won my race and now you go win yours",she was so right!! If you don't see any other movie this year, go see this one!!

The lovely Diane Lane with Secretariat in the movie. She is such a beautiful woman! I love her beautiful dress!

The portrayal of Secretariat and Ron Turcotte, the jockey in the movie.

This is the real Secretariat-the Super Horse! He was absolutely gorgeous.

Penny Chenery-Tweedy (Diane Lane) and Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich) at the racetrack.

This is a picture of the real Penny Chenery-Tweedy. She lives in Colorado.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Part II Trip to NJ

As promised here are more pictures of our trip to NJ.

This is a cornfield in Warren County, NJ that was just cut for silage.

This is my friend, Kims barn and riding ring. She and her husband have worked really hard to get this farm in shape. This was never a farm, they had the barn built and the ring was done by her husband, Brian who is an excavator.

This is what Kim's barn looks like from the inside. She has 10 stalls, a tack room, feed room and an office/lounge. I'm really proud of her!

This is Kim's 2 wonderful horses, Casey and Julian. Julian was brought to this country when he was a foal-he is originally from England!

John and Montana got along really well.

This cute doggie, is Toby. His knick name is Toby Toes. He is so cute!

This is the beautiful view across the street from Kim's Farm. I love the New England Saltbox house across the street.

This is one of Kim's boarders. She really is a sweet mare.

Montana and Jet out in the field. Jet is a horse Kim rescued from the racetrack. She retrained him and now she has him for sale.

Casey and Julian again.

Kim loves chickens and this is her black and white hen. She was really very pretty!

Here is Kim's rooster. I can't remember his name but he is very loud!

So that is it for tonight. The NJ saga will continue tomorrow night!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shedrow by Dean M. DeLuke

I am so glad this book was offered for review and I am so glad I decided to review it! Here is the review on Pump Up Your Book!

In Lexington Kentucky, on the magnificent, perfectly manicured Midway Farm, a young multimillion dollar thoroughbred stallion dies mysteriously in the early morning hours. While the autopsy report initially points to the Equine Herpes Virus, something about that report doesn’t mesh for associate veterinarian Dr. Steven Highet. When the vet begins to dig deeper, aided by an eager young pre-veterinary student working for the summer at Midway, Highet finds his own life and the lives of others suddenly endangered. Even more endangered is Dr. Anthony Gianni, the prominent Manhattan surgeon who became involved in a racing partnership as a diversion from a thriving surgical practice and an ailing marriage. Now he is unexpectedly thrust into a brush with organized crime that will threaten to destroy his professional career. Chester Pawlak is principal owner of the deceased stallion, and because of his checkered past, he also becomes one of the key suspects in the cryptic death of his prized horse. From rolling pastures in Lexington, KY to darkened alleyways in Newark, NJ, from Manhattan’s posh ‘21′ Club to a peculiar and mysterious landfill in Eastern Kentucky, and from Saratoga Springs, NY to the tiny island of St. Lucia, Shedrow portrays a collision of characters from many divergent worlds. High society and the racing elite, medical and veterinary specialists, mob figures, and Kentucky hill folk become entangled in this unique twist on the medical thriller.
255 pages
You can visit Dean’s website at

About the author:

Dr. Dean DeLuke is a graduate of St. Michael’s College, Columbia University (DMD) and Union Graduate College (MBA). He completed residency training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and also participated in a fellowship in maxillofacial surgery at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, England.

He currently divides his time between the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery and a variety of business consulting activities with Millennium Business Communications, LLC, a boutique marketing, communications and business consulting firm. An active volunteer, he has served on the Boards of the St. Clare’s Hospital Foundation, the Kidney Foundation of Northeast New York, and the Albany Academy for Girls. He has also performed medical missionary work with Health Volunteers Overseas.

Though he had previously published a variety of works related to his profession, he set his mind to a work of fiction after meeting novelists Robert Dugoni, Michael Palmer and Tess Gerritsen. Palmer and Gerritsen, both best-selling authors, also had careers as physicians, and Dugoni was a practicing attorney for many years before he published his first best-seller.

“I did my best to study the craft and learn from three of the best,” DeLuke says of his participation in several writing workshops sponsored by SEAK, Inc. and featuring Palmer, Gerritsen and Dugoni. “As for my longstanding interest in books and writing, I credit a host of inspirational secondary school teachers at the Albany Academy, a school that counts among its alumni Herman Melville, Stephen Vincent Benet and Andy Rooney.”

For the subject matter of Shedrow, DeLuke drew from a history with thoroughbred horses that dates back to his youth, when he worked on his father’s horse farm in upstate New York. Dr. Dominick DeLuke, also a surgeon, raised many champion New York bred horses on their farm in Chestertown, NY. Dean DeLuke would become an owner many years later, as a general partner with Dogwood Stable in Aiken, SC.

The protagonist in Shedrow happens to be a surgeon, so it’s not a stretch for DeLuke to deliver real life drama from the operating room suite as well as the racetrack. The author is also quick to point out that the fictional Dr. Gianni “is really no one in particular, but a blend of several physicians that he has encountered over the years.”

DeLuke has arranged to donate a portion of all sales proceeds to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a foundation whose mission is to save thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete on the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse and slaughter.

My review:

I have always loved horses and mysteries so this book was a perfect review book for me! This is Dean DeLuke's first novel and I hope it will not be his last. There was everything in this book: mystery, intrigue, great story line, tragedy,the Mob, a wonderful cast of heroes and bad guys, etc. I would definitely recommend this book and I'm so glad I read it! I also love the fact that DeLuke is donating a portion of the sales of this book to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. So get out there and pick up your copy of this wonderful book!

Note: I was not paid to present this review on my blog.

Part I NJ Trip

I promised some pictures of our trip to NJ. Here are some pictures before we got to my Mom and Dad live in. Enjoy!

Here is a picture of the mountains in PA-almost to Mom and Dad's. The leaves are pretty but not what they usually are. There has been a drought and that I think has washed out the colors of the leaves this year.

I really love this picture-it shouts patriotism! We were driving along in PA and I spotted this huge flag ahead. As we got closer I just had to take a picture of this beautiful, glorious flag!

Here is a wonderful barn in Warren County, NJ. There aren't many barns left and this one is a great one!

I just love barns!

Shortly after you cross into NJ, there is a little town called Hope. I love this town. The Moravians settled in Hope in 1769. I just love their stone buildings!

Here is another lovely stone building in Hope.

Here are some Fall trees in Fredon Twp., Sussex County, NJ. This is about 25 minutes from my Mom and Dad's house.

Well that's it for tonight. Tomorrow night I'll post pictures of my cousin, her little girl and my friend, Kim's Horse Farm! Hope you enjoyed the pictures so far!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm Back!!

I'm back from my NJ trip! It was a wonderful time, but we are really glad to be home. I will have pictures tomorrow of our trip. John and I got to see alot of our friends and family. We stayed with my parents and it was good to visit with them too! Teddy did wonderful on the ride up and back. He was really happy to be back home though. We brought back lots of home grown beef from my Dad and Mom's farm, we brought a butterfly bush back from my Mom's garden, Dad gave us peppers and tomatoes out of his garden and we were able to buy some shoes and clothes at some outlets near my parents house (no sales tax on clothes-YAY!!). Well off to do some laundry!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'll be thinking of you while I'm away everyone!

Tomorrow I will be heading up to NJ to visit with my parents, my sister, Sue and her family and my cousin and her little girl. I will also be seeing alot of my friends. Hopefully I'll be able to cram all the visiting in and still relax and enjoy myself!! I love visiting with everyone :)! I'm especially excited that I'll be meeting my cousin, Mary's little girl for the first time. Shya is 9 and I have never seen her. Mary is 3 yrs. younger than me and she is a stained glass artist. She also runs the family farm. She is boarding quite a few horses at the moment and trying to run her stained glass business. She also home schools Shya. Mary and I have been e-mailing and come to find out we both love digging into our family geneology and she has found some wonderful things to share with me when I see her! Shya wants to learn how to spin wool, so I am bringing a little bag of fleece for her and I will teach her a simple way to spin without a wheel. She sounds so cute and I'm sure she is!!

We will also be visiting my friend on her horse farm-can't wait to see horses again! No riding for me though-I've given that up for good! We will also see our great friends, Mike and Heidi for breakfast on Saturday-can't wait! My friend, Jean would like us to stop by for tea also. WHEW, I'm getting tired just thinking about it! I'll have plenty of time to rest going up in the car since it is an 11 hr. ride!

I won't be posting while I'm away, so this will be the last post until I get back to Charlotte! Everyone take care!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

White Wednesday

When I was up at Penny's Blogger Brunch on Saturday we all went antiquing. Here are some of the items I saw and they were perfect for White Wednesday!

I love this little white pumpkin tucked in a little nest!

I love this white chair.

I just love this white settee. The French vignette this was in at the Screened Door in Asheville was just wonderful!

I can just see this white tufted chair in a French woman's boudoir! Very lovely!

Table mirrors are wonderful and I just love this white one.

I just love Victorian fences and this white washed one doesn't disappoint!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Today is my Mom's Birthday!

Today my Mom turns 73! I won't be with her to celebrate today but John and I will be driving up to NJ very early Thursday morning to celebrate Mom and Dad's birthdays. Dad's birthday is October 31st. My sister, Sue had my parents and my other sister and her family over for dinner yesterday to celebrate Mom's birthday which I thought was really nice. My Mom's two friends from high school will be taking her out to lunch sometime this week too. So there has been alot of celebrating for her!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wonderful Day Spent with Blogger Friends in Arden, NC!!!

It all started Friday afternoon! One of my blogger friends, Angie came for a visit. We were driving up to Penny's Blogger Brunch (Penny is from on Saturday. We hit if off right away! Angie is a wonderful and very special person.

Saturday we hit the road around 7:10 a.m. with another fellow blogger, Rhondi ( What a lovely ride it was up to Asheville. We were the first ones to arrive at Penny's and what a lovely home tour she gave us! It was so exciting to meet Penny finally and what a wonderful feast she gave all of us. Thank you Penny!!!

Other bloggers started to arrive, we chatted, laughed, ate, shared and just plain enjoyed each other! After our wonderful Brunch we piled into our cars and drove to 3 different antiquing locations. I have never seen so many antiques! Then we all drove back to Penny's, said our goodbyes and then we drove back to Charlotte.

Angie treated my husband and I took dinner at The Big View Dinner, which was another wonderful, delightful treat! Angie stayed with us for Saturday and then unfortunately our wonderful weekend had to come to an end. I really enjoyed meeting Angie and all the other bloggers. Penny what a wonderful thing you did to open your home to all of us, cooking for us and keeping us all straight on the antiquing adventure-thanks so much!!!

Here are some pictures of our adventures (More pictures to come also):

This is the whole group at our Blogger Brunch at Penny's!

Penny, Myself and Diane

Myself, Angie, Diane and Ulrike

All the wonderful Quiches Penny made for us! Thank you Penny-they were delish!!

That is it for now, but I will be labeling and posting more pictures of our wonderful, wonderful Blogger Brunch!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Witch, Bad Witch, Witches, Witches Everywhere!!

I was thinking of Halloween and one of the major figures conjured up in my mind is witches! There are good witches and bad witches. I was thinking about some of the witches I've grown up with and I came up with these:

First off is the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. She harassed and scared the living daylights out of Dorothy and her little dog Toto! She was also mean to Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion and the Tinman too!

But then you have Glinda, the Good Witch from the North also from The Wizard of Oz. She is more like a fairy than a witch. She is absolutely nothing like her sister, the Wicked Witch of the West!!

Then you have Samantha on Bewitched. She could wiggle her nose and make wonderful things happen or get people out of bad situations into good ones. I loved her and her little daughter Tabitha (who was another witch, a baby witch). I spent many hours in my childhood trying to wiggle my nose like Samantha!

Another really bad which was the bad witch in Snow White. Malificient disguised herself as an old hag with apples. She offered the poison apple to Snow White.

I didn't really grow up with the next group of witches, but my girls did. These are those three crazy, funny witches from the movie Hocus Pocus! I loved that movie and so did my girls!

There are many more witches, but these are the ones that have stuck out in my mind at the moment. What witches did you grow up with (and I mean the ones in books, movies, etc-LOL)?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkins, Gourds and Indian Corn

This time of year is a great time to decorate with the lovely colors of Autumn! I love all the bright and rich colors of orange, yellow, gold, rust, brown, maroon, etc. Pumpkins, Gourds and Indian Corn are wonderful ways to bright up a dark spot in your home our even outside. You can mix the pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn with leaves, put them in a cornucopia or favorite basket or display them with mums outside. There are so many different things you can do with these items!

Here are some lovely examples of pumpkins, gourds and Indian Corn:

What a colorful group of gourds!

I love all the rich and bright colors of Indian Corn. There are so many different kinds to buy.

These gourds are just waiting to be bought! Gourds have so many different shapes and colors.

Here are some unusual speckled, striped gourds. They would certainly contrast well with the bright orange of the pumpkin.

You just have to love these little, squat bright orange pumpkins! They just make you smile!

White pumpkins have become very popular in the last few years. I like to place some white pumpkins for contrast when decorating or displaying.

Here are a few ideas to give your home or outside some "pop" during the Autumn and holiday season:

I love this console table in a front hall-it is decorated so nicely and inviting!

I think this table is one of my favorites. I love the handmade table cloth and I just might have to try making something like this for our Thanksgiving table!

This country home entryway is great! Between the stone, the red door, all the country items, along with the pumpkins and Indian Corn what a great combo!

Here is another awesome entryway! I just love this outside vignette!! I love the addition of hay bales and mums-just great!

This is a great way to display little white pumpkins-in a basket!! I love the contrast of the white with the browns in the basket. I would love to put this by my living room fireplace, but you could really display this anywhere even outside on your porch!

What a creative way to display small gourds and pumpkins. I have a glass apothecary jar with a lid and I'm going to try something like this for my counter!

Indian Corn makes a wonderful wreath for your door, an outbuilding, your garage, a tree, etc.

I have always wanted to try this but I always run out of time. I love the little Indian corn clustered around this candle! What a great idea and I bet it would be a great idea to make with your children or grandchildren!

Here is another idea with pumpkins and gourds in a basket.

So I hope this post has inspired all of you to make or display some of the wonderful bounties of nature this time of year! Enjoy!

Ring of Kerry, Ireland
My husband, John and I went to Ireland for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2004. We had an awesome trip and we will never forget it. We actually got to visit our friends who live in Northern Ireland. We spent 3 wonderful days with them! The picture above was taken when we visited The Ring of Kerry. The beauty of Ireland is just spectacular! If you ever get a chance visit there.

Megan is my oldest daughter. She and Ken were married on April 12, 2008. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception!

Jenny and Kevin at their wedding 8/30/08. The wedding was at our home and turned out wonderful! Everyone had such a good time!