Wild & Wonderful West Virginia

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Early Christmas Presents - Art Work, (but not mine!)

If you know me even a little bit you know that one of my favorite artists is Jim Shore. I have various pieces and here are a few that were exclusive to Avon this year that I picked up for a very nominal cost. You probably also know that Don and I are huge "Disney" lovers!

Anyway, I wanted to share my newest addition to my Jim Shore collection. It was an early Christmas presents from my parents to Don and I. I absolutely cherish it, and it fits perfectly on my piano. The pictures of Jim Shore's work do not really do him justice. They are very detailed and very folk art. Thanks Mom and Dad - we love our new Nativity!

So, another one of my favorite Artists is my Dad - both of my parents are very creative and talented. Check out my tree! Dad scroll sawed an ornament of every State that Don and I ever lived in - isnt it great? The tree topper was scroll sawed to read "Santa - Look Where We Have Lived"! This was another early Christmas present to Don and I.

a few closeups of the ornaments

Well, only a few days until Christmas and I have lots to get done. Hope all of you have a Very Merry Christmas! Don and I will be having Christmas with his family in Illinios this year for the first time in our marriage! We are very excited and can't wait to see everyone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Have a great long Thanksgiving Weekend!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Deja Blue!

The Hockey game was AWESOME!! We had so much fun. The Penguins wore their "throw back" baby blue jerseys from the 70's and the game was the 75th straight sold out game in Pittsburgh.

I was amazed at how quiet it is at a hockey game. (Until the Penguins score that is)You can actually hear the skates and the puck on the ice. Three 20 minute periods separated by a 17 minute break. Most of the action takes place in the last five minutes!
The Penguins won 5 - 2 and scored the last few points in the last five minutes of the game. A must for a hockey game - scarfs and gloves, it was cold in there. Also - COW BELLS!! They ring cowbells instead of clapping. Another cool thing they do is fly a big blimp around the inside of the arena. As it flies around it drops little paper flyers over the top of the crowd. These flyers include free items from the vendors - like free cup of coffee, free piece of pizza, etc. McDonalds flashed up a video on the jumbro tron stating that if the Penguins scored in the next two minutes everyone could use their game tickets as a voucher for a free Big Mac from McDonalds starting the next day. Guess what? THEY SCORED!!
Big Macs all around compliments of the Penguins! LOTS OF FUN! (I decided we need to scrapbook the tickets, so there will be no McDonald's celebration for the Richeys!) I can't wait to go back to another game. Sure would be nice to see them play the Atlanta Thrashers, unfortunately that game is this Thursday night - in Atlanta! GO PENS!!

Don is TDY to Robins AFB this week - lucky him! It snowed all day yesterday and is snowing again this morning. We are suppose to get about an inch or so accumulation today. I can't wait to get back to some warmer weather.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Colder Weather, and PENGUINS!!

I am very excited to tell you that tomorrow night is date night and Don is taking me to a Pittsburgh Penguin v. Buffalo Sabres NHL Hockey game!! I have never been to an NHL game ever and have always wanted to go. Can't wait to post about my experience and let you know how much fun I had.

We are expecting much colder weather this weekend and some snow as well. I will be so glad to get to Alabama for Thanksgiving to see my family and to enjoy the warmer humid weather!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Being Silly!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

The Art Institute, Mamma Mia! & Bahama Breeze.....

What a great weekend I had! Jacob is here visiting colleges and I was so impressed by all his drawings. He really enjoys art and certainly has the drive and the creativity needed to study art. People think you are born knowing art. Art is a skill that is learned, just like math. Some people do better in math because they like it, some people are more artistic - because they like it! He is so passionate about his characters, and his imagination is HUGE! Jacob needs structured instruction to channel his artistic abilities and the Art Institute will be able to provide that for him. Guess we will see if he gets accepted and if he decides to attend the Art Institute. I am delighted that Don and I are able to provide him the opportunity.

Yesterday I saw the Broadway play "Mamma Mia!" in Pittsburgh with two friends, Anna & Christine. What a great musical. It was full of energy, excitement, gogo boots and spandex. We had a blast. I can't wait for the movie to come out on dvd next month.

After the play Anna and I went to Bahama Breeze for dinner. We had great mojitos, jerk chicken pasta and flatbread. I had a great girls day out.

Today Jacob has an appointment to tour West Virginia Northern Community College here in Weirton. It is cold today and we had a lite dusting of snow on the ground this morning. Don and I both took the day off work to spend with Jacob. Touring the Art Institute inspired me to draw...which I havent done since High School! I got out my sketch pad and charcoal pencils and started drawing the human body to scale to give Jacob something to study by! Good luck Jacob - I hope you get to follow your dream! I love you!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New York City, John McCain, Halloween Fun......and a some BIG NEWS....

I have had so many fun things going on since my last blog. I simply cannot spend the time needed to keep this blog updated with everything I am fortunate to experience. Just in the last week I have been to New York City, attended a John McCain "Whistle Stop" in Ohio, and dressed up and attended a Halloween Party! Life moves quickly.......

Last weekend I went with three friends on a "Redeye" motorcoach tour to New York City. We left Weirton, WV at 11:00 p.m. on Friday night and arrived in Manhattan at 7:00 a.m. We had a one hour driving tour of the city and then we were dropped off at Macy's on 34th and Broadway. We did some purse shopping that was quite an experience. Got some "good deals" on merchandise if you know what I mean. Love my new Gucci, Coach and Dolce & Gabanna handbags which I picked up at a fraction of the retail price. We had a great breakfast at "Ellen's Stardust Diner" at 51st and Broadway - home of the singing wait staff! The staff are all kids trying to make it on broadway and they sing and dance while waiting tables. Much fun, great food and I highly recommend the experience. We did some shopping, visited Rockefeller Plaza (the ice rink is much smaller in person!) and experienced the subway!

The tour guide Ronnie, and my friends Patti, Jeannie and Debbie all in front of Macy's just after he dropped us off. 8:00 a.m. on Saturday October 25th. 56 degrees!

This is a picture of Jeannie, Debbie and Me in front of Rockafeller Plaza at the ice skating rink. We also toured Ground Zero, St. Paul's cathedral, saw the Statue of Liberty from across the water and had so much fun just being together and walking around Manhattan for 12 hours! We arrived back in Weirton at 3:15 a.m. on Sunday morning. Very exhausted and tired, but we were all committed to going back and doing it all again in the Spring. I just kept thinking about how much my neice Andrea loves New York City, and how much I would love to take my daughter Alex - she would love it too!

On Thursday I got an email at work from the office manager telling us that John McCain was holding a rally at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio, on Friday at noon, and anybody that wanted to attend was free to take off work with pay to go! How much fun I had! I went with two girls from work (one was Jeannie from the New York trip) and after standing and waiting for 2 1/2 hours for John to get there (he was an hour late) we realized it was worth it. We were dead center and five rows back.

He looks much different in person and you can really feel his sincerity when you are face to face with him more so than on television. I am glad I was able to attend. My first political rally and I am such a McCain/Palin supporter!

That afternoon my friend Anna invited me to attend a Halloween Party with her. Don had to work so I agreed to go. Had to come up with a costume at the last minute and after looking through my closet I remembered my labcoat and scrubs that I was going to use to paint in. I put them on, grabbed a witch's hat and went as a "Witch Doctor".

The theme for the party was Caveman/Cavewoman. It was lots of fun. Thank you to my friends Mike & Karen for holding a great party in their beautiful historical home! Don is sad he had to miss it.

Next weekend will be lots of fun too! We are so excited to have Jacob coming for a visit from Alaska!!! He has applied to attend college at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and is flying down for a campus tour and personal interview with admissions.

NOW...for my BIG NEWS.....

I am going to be a GRANDMOTHER! I know, I know, I can't believe it either!! Congratulations to Heidi & Michael.

They are expecting their first child, a baby boy on April 1st, and have chosen the name "Tristan Michael". We are excited and hope and pray for a healthy pregnancy.

I told you, Life moves fast!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day, and a Birthday Wish!

Happy Labor Day to Everyone! Don and I are enjoying our day off and getting ready for his parents to come for a visit next weekend. The ivy needed a light trimming and the weather was just perfect this morning to get it done.

We returned from the Florida Keys last Wednesday and were quite happy to get back to our home, puppies and normal routine. It was a great birthday present! I enjoyed a "Cheeseburger in Paradise", great rum runners, key lime pie, margaritas and two very luxurious resorts - thanks Donny for being my best friend and always treating me like a Queen!

Happy Birthday to my Dad! Hope your day is great Dad, despite the weather you are probably experiencing from Hurricane Gustav. We miss you and although we are dreading the winter weather, we are looking forward to December because of your visit! Have a great birthday, we love you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blasts from the past?

I found this cool website on friends blog and just had to play with the pictures. I took one picture of me and uploaded it in various yearbook pictures from previous decades. Very funny! Check out my pictures:




1960: I really enjoyed seeing what I might have looked it from 1950 - 2000. Go to http://www.yearbookyourself.com/ and see yourself "in the past"!
By the way, I am still on vacation in the Keys. Just hanging out in the hotel room and surfing the net!

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Happy Birthday to Me...I'm in the Keys"!

I turned 44 yesterday and my wonderful hubby brought me to the Florida Keys for a week long celebration of my birthday. We flew into Miami yesterday. I absolutely love Miami - it was very clean and the people were not only very friendly, but very attractive. Love the latin feel of it all. We arrived in the Keys today and are spending the night tonight in Islamorada before going down to Key West tomorrow. The weather is beautiful. Tropical Storm Fay is way north of here and shouldnt affect the rest of our trip at all.

Don is not liking the hot humid weather, but I am sure some bikini clad women and some rum runner drinks at the Tiki Bar will make it all worth while!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jacob & Alex's 4th of July Visit!

What a busy summer it has been in West Virginia. Alex and Jacob came for a long weekend visit over the 4th of July and we really enjoyed showing them around Pittsburgh. We saw the Zoo/Aquarium, Andy Worhol Museum, the Heinz History Center and The Natural History Museum/Art Museum.

It was great to see them and we wished they could have stayed longer. We are excited about going to Anchorage next May to see Jacob graduate High School and to check out Alex's first home away from home! Speaking of Alex - HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL!

She turns 19 tomorrow. She is getting ready to start her second year at the University of Alaska, and we are very proud of her. Visiting with Jacob & Alex was certainly the highlight of our summer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer Weather and more flowers blooming!

WOW - it was in the 90's today and felt wonderful!! We had a huge storm last night that dropped lots of rain and then the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. I was so excited to come home to more flowers that bloomed!

I just love watching things bloom around this house that I had no idea was even planted!! Don is sharing garden space with the nextdoor neighbor. Don is using about 3/4 of the garden spot in their yard and has been busy planting squash, tomatoes, sunflowers, cucumbers, bell peppers (red and green), jalepeno, marconi peppers and lots of herbs.

He is working on beautiful herb garden on the other side of the house. I will post pictures of the herb garden when he gets finished planting.

Don is enjoying the golf course today and Stitch is at the Vet for a few days having some surgery. Lilo and I are enjoying our walks around the yard and smelling all the wonderful flowers!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day...

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. Now you know!


I went to work today more so to make the time go by. I kept thinking about my family at the lake enjoying the sun, water and each other and was getting homesick. Decided the office would take my mind off it for a few hours. When I got home some more flowers had bloomed. Today is the first day in EIGHT MONTHS that the temperature has been over 75!!

I just LOVE the pink and white ones. My neighbor tells me they are Peonies. I have a row of four huge bushes of them. I hope they stay bloomed all summer!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Last post 4/6?? Where has the time gone!!

I was shocked to see my last post was on April 6th! Probably no one will read this post because they think I have given up trying to keep this blog current. So, if you do stop by and read this, leave me a quick comment so I know I didn't do all this just for my sake.

Lots of things have happened since my last post. Don was sick and hospitalized for almost a week. He is doing better now and is enjoying Germany and getting in some golf games. He is excited as Jacob and Alex are going to make a quick trip to visit in July for four days. Let's see, what else....Don's parents, Pam and Jay, came for a week long visit and we had lots of fun with them, as always. We took them to a Cardinals v. Pirates game and although the Pirates won they still had a good time (they are Cardinal fans!) In fact, Jay caught a foul ball in his "Cardinal" baseball cap, much to the dismay of the Pirate fans. I attended a One-Stroke training camp the Saturday before Mother's Day and had lots of fun painting and playing with clay. Would like to go for my Level 2 OSCI certification if I can get Donna Dewberry to come to Pittsburgh for the seminar. If not, I will try and attend in Orlando maybe next year. I attended the H&R Block annual banquet and had fun seeing my teacher, classmates and co-workers. Should start my second year tax classes sometime next month. Don and I are enjoying our season tickets to the Pirates games every couple of weeks. Tonight we are playing the Cubs and since Don is in Germany I have invited a friend to go with me. Can't wait for that Primanti Bros. sandwich and some hot wings!

I have to say Happy Belated Birthday to my Niece, Andrea, who turned 19 in April. She is a freshman at the University of Alabama and is majoring in early childhood education. Happy Birthday Andrea!

I got myself a Wii video game and the new Wii Fit Balance Board. I love this machine. It is fantastic and now I can run, do yoga, aerobics, strength training, and balance exercises right at home and watch my progress on screen. I highly recommend the Wii Fit! It is so much fun and Don and I enjoy the healthy competition of hitting baseballs, playing tennis, etc. and seeing our Wii ages. The first time we played his Wii age was 45 and mine was 64!! Now my Wii age is 38 (I have been working out a lot while he is in Germany for a month) and I can't wait to see what his Wii age is when he returns.

Okay - updates on my blooming flowers. If you know the names of any of these flowers, let me know! I know the Iris and I think the first one is called a "bleeding heart", but have no idea about the other -

The Iris just bloomed this week and I have an entire bed of them getting ready to bloom. There is also four more bushes on the side of the house that are almost bloomed with the most beautiful pink and white flowers I have ever seen. I will post them when they bloom so you can help me figure out what they are.

Last weekend I saw the play "West Side Story" for the first time. It was a great play and I really enjoyed the afternoon in the City of Pittsburgh. Had brunch at the awesome "Renaissance Hotel" and had a great walk through downtown and a sunny Sunday afternoon. Sure wish Don had been with me. He would have loved brunch and the stroll through the cultural district, but I am afraid he would have hated the musical. To mushy for him....plus, he hates musicals. Tragic love story, but the music was fantastic! Especially if you love Puerto Rico like I do!

Lilo and Stitch are doing better, all things considered. They got their yearly shots and check ups last week and Lilo had a very serious allergic reaction to her shots and they very quickly had to start an IV and administer her some benadryl. No more getting all the shots in one day for her. It shocked her system and she was very sick for a few days. Then, just as she was getting over that, she somehow scratched her right eyeball very badly and could be looking (no pun intended) at loosing her site in her right eye. Back to the vet for more visits and she is now on two drugs, two eye medications (an ointment and drops) and has a funnel on her head.

Stitch is jealous and wants me to take it off of her. She is miserable and I can't believe all this has happened while I am here with them alone. Of course, as any military wife will tell you, things like this ALWAYS happen when the hubby is deployed or on a temporary duty assignment away from home.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Missed Birthdays...NoseArt...and Warmer Weather!

I have to get caught up on all the birthdays in my family since my last post - A VERY HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY goes out to my Nephew J.D., and to all three of my Sister-in-laws Darla, Jodi and Jaimi. J.D. and his Mother Jaimi celebrated their birthdays the last week of March. Darla and Jodi share a birthday on April 1st. Sorry I didn't post these earlier guys, but I hope you all had a great birthday! I have more birthdays to post in April so stay tuned....

The maintenance guys at Don's squadron repainted the nose art on his planes last week. I just loved the new look!
We are very excited about Pirates baseball starting this week!

What a beautiful day we had....65 degrees! Things are starting to sprout from the ground and I can't wait to see what surprises await me in my flower gardens this spring.

Not much else to report. Don and I are working hard and getting ready for his parents to come for a visit the last week of April. We can't wait to see them!