Wild & Wonderful West Virginia

Monday, October 29, 2007

Jack Scarecrow -

I decided that my scarecrow probably didn't want to be a scarecrow for Halloween, so I bought him a "Captain Jack Sparrow" costume. Since he doesn't look too much like Johnny Depp, I decided to name him Jack Scarecrow instead.

Spent most of the day yesterday cleaning up the yard and getting rid of the pumpkins on my front porch. Unfortunately one had started rotting and it smelled awful! Had to throw my decorations away, but hey at least they lasted this long.

We had a freeze last night and it was only 30 degrees at 9:30 this morning. The puppies didnt seem to mind at all, but I froze my tail off when I took them out at 6:30 a.m. for a potty break. As you can see most of the ivy is starting to fall without even turning red. I suspect the cold weather last night and tonight will finish it off.

Hope you have a good week and I will post again when there is something new to report!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to Heidi!!

It is so hard to believe that my youngest is already 22 years old....that is so scary! They sure grow up fast. The last picture I had made with her was at Christmas last year:

I can't believe that I couldn't put my hands on a baby picture of her to upload on my blog today. I am sure they are all boxed up with the scrapbook stuff in my craft room. Oh well, she is and always will be the baby in my eyes! She is celebrating her birthday today at the Montgomery Zoo with her boyfriend. Hope you have a fun Birthday Heidi! I love you!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's happening.....

I am finally full filling one of my goals - I have painted for three days in a row now in my craft room!! I promised myself I would paint at least one thing a day, but always seem to find other things to keep me busy. Tonight I worked on the Halloween treat bags for my classmates. I filled them with yummy chocolates from Hershey, traditional Candy Korn, and Don's favorite - SweetTarts! I decided to add some Jingle Bell Spiders I picked up back in the summer on sale and this was the final result:

SO much fun and easy to make!

Then I decided I had to paint something. I was looking around and found this small Creative Memories photo album that I had actually made for another event and never used. Each page is completed with the "coffee" themed colors and there are actually vinyl photo slides already on the pages so all you have to do is slide in your pictures and you have a completed album. Found some metallic gold paint and went again with the roses....

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Glass painting...

I played around in my craft room tonight and actually got a few things accomplished! I have been wanting to try out glass etching and painting. I bought two glass candle holders. A small glass candle holder for a taper candle and a short square candle holder for a votive. I etched the votive one and painted a rosebud vine on it. Decided to play with the metal tips that are made for the enamels and added some whimsical outlines. (wished now I hadn't). It was easier to paint the etched glass than the regular glass, in my opinion. Then I glued the two pieces together with E6000. A little more practice with the enamel paints and this would make a great gift and only cost me $2.00! As I look at the picture I think I might like it better if the bottom candle holder was etched as well. Might do that on the next one.

I also bought this small glass vase for a $1.00. I just love the solid white paint on the blue glass. As I uploaded the picture I see somethings I would change about the next one I paint. It was fun to paint with just the white paint and floating medium. I didn't have to worry about blending the colors. It was fun to play with the enamel paints and try somethings I haven't done before.

I also want to get out my HD paints and give them another try. I miss painting on the canvas, although I have absolutely no where to hang another one. I should have plenty time in the next week to get some painting done since the weather is terrible. Cold and rainy. I think the high Monday will barely reach 50 degrees.

I am going to make some cute Halloween candy treat bags that my mother told me about. She got the idea from Martha Stewart (like any true southern belle would!) and I can't wait to put them together:

They are made from two paper lunch sacks, some black string (or jute) and a stick from the yard...how simple! I am going to take them to my fellow classmates at tax school on Tuesday. Hope they enjoy them!


Hate exercise but love to dance? Me too! I found just the thing to get some exercise without it feeling like boring exercise. I love the latin flare, Ricky Martin style music and salsa dancing in general. I found out about this fitness program that is sweeping the country at the local dance studio in Weirton. Go to www.zumba.com to check out the technique and find a certified instructor near you. I challenge all my friends that are trying to loose a few pounds and get fit to give this a try. It is so much fun and the music is exhilerating. Can't find an instructor near you, or prefer to do this in the privacy of your own home, then go to ebay and purchase the dvds. NOW - If I could just paint and dance at the same time!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hey, I am Certifiable...and can prove it!

I am officially a Certified One-Stroke Instructor!! Thanks to Sandy who spent hours teaching me the technique and found artistic value where I didn't always see it, my parents who tended to my daily chores so I could attend certification, my grandmother who paid for the course for my birthday present, my painting friends who encouraged me to sign up, my certification instructor, Kim Barone, and my wonderful hubby who has always supported me and my room full of hobbies!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A great spot...and some tea?

Don is lucky enough to be spending some time in the Caribbean. He sent me these pictures last night. Sure makes me want to go to the beach today! I would love to spend the afternoon in this hammock with a good book.

I sure couldn't afford to eat much at the beach though..check out these menu prices...$12 for a burger? $10 for a chicken wrap? OUCH!

I had a fun day yesterday. I drove over to Washington, PA, about 35 miles from here...southeast. They had Pennsylvania's largest Christmas Arts & Craft Show at the fairgrounds this weekend. I had fun and got to see my friend Carol from certification. Mostly I saw candles, snowmen, food and jewelry. Not much in the way of painted things other than wood. I did get the yummiest pumpkin strudel and got powdered sugar and phyllo dough all over me and the car on the way home! The Trolley Museum is in Washington, and the Trolley stop is right in front of the entrance to the fairgrounds. Would have liked to have taken the $2.00 ride, but decided to wait for Don to join me.

Speaking of "Largest" things...do you know where the World's Largest Teapot is? Yep, in the next town to the North of me - Chester, WV!

See, reading my blog isn't just fun, its educational! He he he

I am headed to the Weirton Cultural Center and Museum to join the Weirton Woman's Club's Art Council for a museum tour and then lunch. Have a great Monday!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Signs of Fall...

Just had to share some pictures I took this morning of the Fall Foilage that is starting to blanket West Virginia. We are far from peak, but I bet by this time next month things will be in full color!

Have you ever noticed that Dogwood Trees have berries in the Fall? I never knew that. I am told that you can actually make jam/jellies from these fall berries. They look beautiful:

My holly bushes are also in full bloom. I have to remember that so I can cut some sprigs during the holidays to bring in the house for a centerpiece:

Lots of you are asking about the Ivy...it is starting to turn, and is mostly deep purple on the north and west sides of the house:

I also found a rose bud a few days ago by the trellis at my kitchen door. I kept meaning to get a picture of it before it bloomed, but forgot. This morning I checked on it and this is what I found:

I have never had much luck with growing roses, but I am told this is the perfect climate for them. I will have to read up on how to care for the rose bush and feed it during the winter.

Not much else to report from West Virginia. Today the high is only in the 60's but starting tomorrow it will be in the low 80's again for the week. The neighbors are very happy that it looks like I brought the Georgia weather with me. I am not complaining either!

Don is busy flying the next couple of weeks so I am going to try and get more organized around the house. I enjoyed a great phone visit this morning with my previous employer in Alabama, Mr. Miller, and it was great to catch up with him and hear things are going well. I sure miss working with him, and maybe one day Don's job will again take us back to Montgomery.

Have a great week!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Going Home...how much do you know about Weirton, West Virginia?

Weirton was first settled as the village of Holliday's Cove in the late 1700s.

The area began to grow rapidly after an industrialist named Ernest T. Weir founded and began to build a large steel operation in 1909.

Weirton Steel grew rapidly as did the communities near the company.

On July 1, 1947, the communities of Hollidays Cove, Marland Heights, Weirton Heights and unincorporated Weirton all joined to become the current city of Weirton.

The city of Weirton now has population of around 20,500 and is home to around 20 different industries.

The steel operation is now owned by the International Steel Group and is known as ISG Weirton Inc. The company has an annual production capability of 2.4 million tons of continuously cast steel.

The city of Weirton is located high in the upper panhandle of West Virginia. To the west is the Ohio River and the city of Steubenville, Ohio. To the east, Pennsylvania and 35 miles away, the city of Pittsburgh. East to west the state is just 5 miles. The city is the only community in the United States that borders two other states on two sides, and its own state on the other two sides.

Now you know a little more about the town where we live. We had a great weekend in Pennsylvania, but are ready to checkout of the hotel and head back to WV. Have a great Columbus Day!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"Life is like a box of chocolates...."

OMGosh, I hope I don't get another piece of chocolate again for a while. I have never in my life been anywhere that handed out chocolate like they do in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We had lots of fun today and learned a lot about Milton Hershey and the history behind Hershey PA.

We started out at Hershey's Chocolate World and saw a cute 3-D movie about the history of Hershey Chocolates. Being in the queing line with the 3-D glasses was like being at Walt Disney World.

We enjoyed the show and when it was over they handed out free Reese's Crispy Crunch bars which is new to the Hershey line of candies. Then, we did some shopping at the gift shop (gotta have a Christmas ornament from everywhere we go) before touring the chocolate factory.

The tour was a theme park like ride through an exhibit that showed us how the candy was made. They started with how the cocoa beans were harvested right down to the packing for the distribution center. Of course, at the end, we were all given a package of Hershey Kissables (Hershey's answer to M&M's)to enjoy while we visited the gift shop. We enjoyed lunch at the "Kit Kat" Cafe and then bought tickets for the Trolley Tour through the town of Hershey.

We boarded the trolley for a 60 minute tour of this wonderful town. We started with the house where Milton Hershey was born:

You won't believe how much I learned about Milton Hershey today...like...he and his wife could not have children so they adopted four orphan boys and started this school. Now the town has a Milton Hershey School for orphans and under priviledged children. Milton Hershey started this school in 1909 and the school has 2000 students grades K-12. Not one cent of tax money was/is spent on this project...only Hershey Trust money. Also, Mr. Hershey was so adamant that these unfortunate children have the upbringing that wealthy children had, so he built homes for "host families" to live in. They are paid employees of Hershey and their sole purpose as an employee is to meet the parenting needs of these children! I would like to have more pictures of the school and the children, but it was against the rules to make pictures of the kids. Milton Hershey did not want these children exploited in anyway.

We also learned how many times he failed in business before he actually developed Milk Chocolate. He actually started by making caramel which wasn't doing so well because of the high cost of sugar and low sales of product. They told the story about in England back in the early 1900's a company actually made chocolate covered caramels using Milton's Caramels. Milton Hershey was told by someone that the kids were sucking all the chocolate off the caramel and spitting the caramel out. The light came on and Milton Hershey started developing milk chocolate. In 1912 Milton's wife Katherine became very ill and the doctor's recommended that the Hershey's get away for a while. Milton booked them on a cruise and fortunately there was a problem at the chocolate plant and they had to cancel their cruise trip. The cruise company refused to issue Mr. Hershey a refund on his tickets so he had to purchase tickets on another ship to get them home quicker. The original ship was the maiden cruise of the Titantic! Had they used their original cruise tickets Mr. Hershey would have perished in the Titantic disaster and had Katherine lived, she would have died of her illness in 1915 anyway. It is scary to think how close the world came to never having Hershey Kisses! They joke on the trolley tour about what happened to the original tickets the Hershey's purchased on the Titantic. As much as the museum in Hershey would like to have those unused tickets, rumor has it that Leonardo Di Caprio won them in a card game! LOL During the one hour tour they handed out Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses, Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses, Hershey's Hugs, Reese cups and the grand finale was a Hershey chocolate bar. The best seller today is the Reese Peanut Butter Cup, number two is the milk chocolate Kiss, and number three is the Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar.

The town is beautiful and it really does smell like chocolate! I have to share a picture of the lamp posts in this town:
How cute is that?

I told you...."Life is like a box of chocolates..." and isn't chocolate great!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Gettysburg picnic and battlefields

We had so much fun today. We left home this morning headed to Gettysburg to check out the battlefield. We were actually headed to our resort in Hershey, PA, and decided to make a stop in Gettysburg to get a glimpse of this historical city and to have a picnic with the puppies. What a great town it turned out to be. We found a fantastic Bed & Breakfast, and are already planning a trip back over to spend a few days and really get to explore all the historical sites.

We drove through the park and found a secluded picnic table in the beautiful fall foliage and stopped to eat lunch.

Lilo spent most of her time foraging in the dirt for a piece of pretzel that I dropped...she was filthy when we finished! Look at all that dirt on her face! Ha Ha Ha

It was a beautiful day and when we got on top of "Little Round Top" and we had an awesome view of the battlefield below!

It was such a great view even Stitch was smiling about it!

Down below to the side of the wheat field are beautiful homes that are being lived in today.
The battlefield fencing is still there, but it is hard to imagine the soldiers, cannons, etc. not to mention the bloodshed that took place on this ground during the war. It is so peaceful now and is such a pretty place!

We will certainly go back and make many more pictures of this Historical City. We could stay a week and not see it all. After we left Gettysburg we found our way to Hershey, PA. After checking into our hotel, Don and I grabbed a bite of dinner at a local diner and did some shopping at Target. Couldn't pass up this Halloween costume for Lilo:

She was so happy to get her costume. Don thought she was prissing around just to show off. I know that she was just glad to get some clothes on her back because it is sub-freezing in this hotel room!

Better get some sleep. Tomorrow is a full day of Hershey's Chocolate World, Resort touring, Outlet malls, and hopefully some taste testing. I can't wait!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Excuses, excuses!

Well, I always keep my promises, but this week I failed. I promised to post some art, however, to finish a project I was working on I didnt' have the color paint I needed. Let me back up a minute...last weekend I decided to purchase some Etchall product from Dewberry Designs so I could start working on some projects. On Monday I checked my order through the tracking number and saw comments that the shipper had damaged the package in transit to me, so they shipped the box back to Rick at the Dewberry Design Warehouse. The next day I ordered 60+ bottles of paint. This morning I realized it was a long weekend and since I was going to Hershey, PA, I didnt want my paint to arrive tomorrow and sit on my porch all weekend. I quickly checked my order online via the tracking number only to be horrified when I realized my paint was being delivered today to a destination address in Las Vegas!!! The street address was similar to mine (3949 and mine is 3941)but this street, city, state and zip code was clear across the country from me! Anyway, I made a call to the warehouse to let them know about the problem (still hoping it was just computer error and the paint really was coming to me) but there was a lightening strike in Leesburg yesterday and the phones in the warehouse were down. Customer Service was nice and Marlene took down all the information and said someone from the warehouse would contact me, but due to the telephone problem it would probably not be until the middle of next week. SO...without the paint to work on my project, I found some older wine glasses, some white and black enamel paint and this is what I did: Wineglass Ghost Candleholders:

I want to get some glass tealight votives to glue on top for the candle to fit in. Hopefully I can find them. Wouldn't they be cute painted orange on the inside and like a jack o'lantern on the outside! Great table decoration for a party! I just have them sitting on a cake plate to make the picture.

Well, I better get to packing for my weekend. The plumber was here all morning and installed gas logs in my master bedroom fireplace. It is going to be so nice during the winter! He took longer than expected so I didnt get things done around here today like I thought I would. Have a great weekend and Columbus Day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tagged by Sandy at Dream, Create, Inspire...

to post seven things about me that you might not know. Hmmm...I am a pretty out spoken person and share my life like an open book so I don't know that I can think of 7 that each of my blog readers wouldn't know. But lets see what I can come up with.

1. I am terrified of Armadillos! Most people are afraid of spiders and creepy crawly things, not me. I don't know where this fear came from, but the thought of an armadillo makes my skin crawl!

2. I met my wonderful husband and love of my life on the Internet at Love@aol.com! He posted an ad and a picture of himself with his son Jacob. His ad was my least favorite of the five I chose to respond to, and he didn't mention what town he lived in in Alabama. Turns out he was my absolute favorite and lived exactly 5.3 miles out my back door. I knew the first time I saw him in person that he was meant to be my husband.

3. The one thing that drives me more crazy than anything else around the house is improper use of trash cans. For example...don't throw your apple core in the bathroom trash can, and don't dump the whiskers from your electric razor in my kitchen trash can. Kitchen trash is kitchen trash, and bathroom trash is bathroom trash...period!

4. I don't like fast food nor do I care much for frozen food. I prefer things homemade and fresh. I also don't like tomatoes and onions!

5. I was an extra in the movie "Big Fish" directed by Tim Burton and starring Ewan McGregor, Danny DeVito, Jessica Lange, Billy Crudup, Albert Finney and Helena Bonham Carter. The movie was filmed in the Spring of 2003 in Montgomery, Alabama.

6. I have each ear pierced twice (two holes) but seldom ever wear one pair of earrings and NEVER wear two!

7. I love to read and my favorite authors are John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks. However, I just finished reading "If I Did It" by OJ Simpson. I am one of the few persons who (until I just read this book) thought OJ was innocent. Now I am not so sure.....

Update on my One-Stroke Certification - I still have not received an official response, but did receive my One-Stroke Certified Instructor Denim Shirt. We were allowed to order the shirt at the end of the certification class, but they informed us that if we did not pass certification the order would not be filled as you must be certified to buy the shirt. Maybe the shirt beat my official certification in the mail, or perhaps it was a generous mistake. I will blog immediately when I find out for sure!