"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Janet setting the table.
We all gathered at Janet and Nick's in Huntsville for the holiday weekend.  My children are all so scattered it is a rare treat for us all to be together.  A couple of days before we met, we decided to celebrate Christmas as well.  So Thursday was Thanksgiving, Friday was Christmas Eve, and Saturday was Christmas!!!  We were busy.

Homemade rolls - this recipe
was handed down by my grandmother.
A family tradiiont!

Nick was in charge of the turkey.  He and Sarah did some kind of brine, etc.  It was delicious!!!  I've never done anything but the traditional method. The rest of us contributed various things and it was a great meal.

That night we had "game night", etc.
The family!!!!  Leigh Anne set up the timer:)
Friday we pretended it was Christmas Eve.  While Nick was at work, the rest of us baked cookies and more cookies!  Lots of our family favorites including, but not limited to, Chocolate Crinkles, Raspberry Jewels and Pecan Crispies.  We all went home with some:)  We also helped Janet with the Christmas decorating and got the tree set up.  There was even some last minute shopping during the day for stocking stuffers.

Saturday morning it was Christmas:)  We had all decided we were just doing stocking stuffers this year and it was great fun!  Everyone's stocking was filled so we must have all been "good".
Leigh Anne's stocking is full!

Janet and I both got "live" wreaths for our doors!

After a great breakfast, we did some packing, etc. since we were all headed to our various homes after lunch.  Janet got busy in the kitchen and packed a picnic.  We all headed to the park in downtown Huntsville for one last adventure.

Another meal!!

Sarah, Nick, Janet

Leigh Anne and Doug

 It was a great weekend.  I have the best children!!!!

Wishing each of you a Merry Christmas and all the best in 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sarah's Visit!

Sarah arrived in Nashville the Saturday night before Thanksgiving.  Janet and I picked her up and the fun began:)  Cousin Jamie drove down from Kentucky on Sunday in time for lunch and a day of shopping.  They wore me out!!!!  Janet headed back to Huntsville Sunday night- she had to work on Monday and prepare for a houseful of company.  The rest of us headed to Franklin for dinner.

Monday morning Jamie, Sarah and I went to the Loveless Cafe by way of the Natchez Trace.  Had to make sure Sarah hit all the high spots and had some good Southern cooking!!!  Next up was Bass Pro Shop and the Gaylord Opryland Hotel to see all the Christmas lights.  Sarah scored at Bass Pro Shop and my Christmas shopping for her was done:)   Jamie has been to the Opryland Hotel several times and was an excellent tour guide.  Auntie P did show her where to park and save her $16:)

Sarah, Jamie and I at the hotel.

Late in the afternoon we headed to downtown Nashville and the Orchid Lounge for a brew and some live music.  One final meal and Jamie had to head back to Kentucky.  Sarah and I had tickets to see the Charlie Daniels Band at the Ryman Auditorium.   This was a charity performance he does every year and was great fun.  Full day!!!

While Sarah and I were doing some shopping Tuesday morning, we got a call from her aunt and uncle to ask if we could meet them for lunch when they drove through Nashville.  Of course!!  Sarah hadn't seen them for about five years so it was a real treat.  We also got to meet Barbara's sister and her husband.  After lunch, they all headed back to Kentucky.  Sarah and I headed back downtown to the Country Music Hall of Fame and a walk along Broadway.
Barbara, Peggy, Sarah, David

Jack Daniels Distillery was a "must see" for Sarah so we did that tour on Wednesday on the way to Huntsville.  It is always a fun tour and Lynchburg has some cute little shops.  Left my camera in the car so no picks that day.

Wednesday night we met the rest of the family for the holiday weekend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Charleston, South Carolina

1807!!!  Texas wasn't even a state:)
Still traveling!  Saturday morning, October 22, I met my sister, Barbara,  and my good friend, Ann, in Charleston, South Carolina for a long weekend.  You have to love those Southwest Airline sales.

On the beach at Sullivan's Island

Barbara on the beach.
We had a great time seeing the city.  It is as beautiful as everyone says and steeped in history.  Saturday afternoon we ate seafood at Hymen's and then wandered through the market.  Later in the evening we drove out to Sullivan's Island.  We have all read several books by Dorothea Benton Frank so that was a "must do".    Drinks and appetizers followed at a restaurant on the island - Thyme ??

Beautiful ironwork.
Sunday we were 100% tourists and took a bus tour of the city, lunched in the market area, and then took a boat tour of Charleston Harbor.  It was a beautiful day.  Besides seeing the city we got a history lesson.  It is so amazing to see homes and churches that were built before the American Revolution!!  Lots of walking on this day.  We ended the day with dinner at a restaurant on Shem's Creek.

Gorgeous Bridge!  Next time I want to walk across.
Monday we headed out to see the gardens and home at Middleton Place.  The gardens are famous for being the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States.  The plantation house was burned during the last days of the Civil War.  We toured the "addition" that has been restored and saw the ruins of the main house.  We took the short garden tour and then wandered around on our own.  Ann is an avid gardener!!  We ended the day with dinner at another restaurant on Shem Cheek.


City Home
Ann's flight left Tuesday morning.  After dropping her at the airport, Barbara and I headed to the local quilt store and then back to the battery area in downtown Charleston.  It was another beautiful day so we enjoyed walking the streets and toured one of the houses that had been built before the American Revolution.  Its a small world - we ran into a friend of our brother's on the tour.  After a quick lunch, we headed back to the airport to catch our flights.

Everyone raves about the food in Charleston, but we were disappointed.  Growing up on the Gulf Coast and eating fresh seafood (lots of it that we caught) has made us harsh critics.  Or maybe we didn't know which restaurants to try?  Did not disillusion me.  I loved Charleston and want to go again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Its a BOY!!!!

It's a Boy!!!

20 weeks!!!
Doug and Leigh Anne recently found out "its a boy"!!!  We are all excited and will be thrilled to welcome Caden Chance Lionberger to the family.

Reuniting with a Neighbor

Ann Hughes Nolen lived across the street from me when we were children - from about the age of seven until we were both grown.  We had lost contact with each other but recently reconnected.  She came to spend the weekend with me.  Great fun!!!!  It was hard to believe we hadn't seen each other in over 20 years.

The Parthenon at Centennial Park

Ran into Elvis downtown.

At the Orchid
Thursday afternoon we toured Franklin and had a glass of wine at JJ's Wine Bar while we caught up with each other.  Friday we headed out to Centennial Park, went to downtown Nashville for lunch and the Orchid Bar to listen to music, and then to the Grand Ole Opry.  Saturday we spent the day at Fontenal touring Barbara Mandrell's house, walking the trail, and indulged in some shoe shopping on the way home.

 Sunday we spent the day on the Natchez Trace - gorgeous!!!  After our hike, we sat and read and enjoyed the perfect weather before heading to Franklin for the Ghost Tour.  Monday we went by the quilt shop and had lunch at Noshville Deli before Ann needed to catch her flight.  There were some great meals and lots of walking and talking included during the visit BUT we were both good and actually lost weight.  That was a first:)  Wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reconnecting with a friend; Virginia Creeper Trail

Friday morning we said our goodbyes and headed down the interstate to Roanoke to meet a friend for coffee.  Donna and I lived down the street from each other years ago in Sugar Land.  Her daughter, Amanda, is the same age as my girls and they were all in kindergarten together.  Donna found me on FB and we have reconnected!

Donna and I at Starbucks

Our next stop was Damascus, VA so we could ride the Virginia Creeper Trail - seventeen miles DOWNHILL!!!  We rented bikes and were shuttled to the top of the trail.  It was absolutely gorgeous and great fun.  I would love to go again and take a picnic with me.  Lots of great places along the trail to sit and read, relax or nap.

I deserved it!!!

By bedtime, we were back in Franklin!!!  The next morning Ardell went to Huntsville to see Janet and Nick and their new house before heading home to Houston.  The car has been delivered.  Great trip - thanks to Doug and Leigh Anne for letting us drive their car:)

The Drive!!!

We're off!  Like I said - dark thirty:)
The purpose of this NYC trip was to drive Doug & Leigh Anne's car to Houston for them.  This meant DRIVING in NYC!!!  Scary:)  At first, Doug was going to drive it out of the city for me but I finally decided if we left before the NYC traffic I could do it.  That meant getting up at 4:00 a.m. and hitting the road about 5:00.  Even Doug thought we were crazy for leaving that early!!!!  We had a couple of mishaps getting to the Lincoln Tunnel entrance but we made it.  Once we were on the NJ Turnpike it was like driving on an interstate anywhere.

Peggy, Mary, Ardell
Within a couple of hours we had been in four states - New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland!  There is something about Maryland that makes me feel like I am "home".  When I was mentioning that to Ardell, she said she had always felt the same.  Weird!!!  We were both born in Maryland so maybe its some weird connection (like salmon and Ridley sea turtles:)  Our first stop in Maryland was to have lunch with our cousin, Mary.  We had not seen each other in years so it was great fun catching up.   We are hoping to visit each other again now that I live so much closer and we are both retired.  Thanks for lunch, Mary!!!

Just starting to turn colors!  We were too early!

Ardell at Shenandoah NP
After lunch Ardell and I headed south.  We spent the night in Port Royal so we could get an early start at Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive on Wednesday morning.  As always, it was beautiful but we didn't get to see much fall color.  It is late this year.
We headed to Staunton, VA  to visit our Aunt Joyce and our Lamond cousins (my mother's side of the family).  My cousin Bruce and his wife, Linda, had us all over for dinner.  It was so much fun seeing everyone!!!  We then spent the night with Joyce and Sue.  Joyce took us out sightseeing the next day - we visited the quilt store in downtown Staunton and then headed out to the Dayton Market.  Cheryl came for dinner so we to catch up with another cousin.  It was a great visit!!!

The cousins!!!!!

New York City - again:)

Brunch at the Popover
American Girl Store
Saturday, October 1st, I got up bright and early and headed back to NYC!  My sister, Ardell, flew from Houston and met me at the airport in NYC.  We planned our arrival times to match closely so we could share a cab to Doug and Leigh Anne's.  We had a fun filled weeked!    Activities included a visit to the Guggenheim Museum and dinner Saturday night.  Doug and Leigh Anne's friend, Megan, was also in town and joined us.  Saturday we had brunch at the Popover Cafe and headed out to explore.  Ardell, Leigh Anne, and I paid a visit to the American Girl store-fun!!  In the past, I made a lot of doll clothes.  We met back up with Doug and walked through Greenwich Village and that area of the city.

Doug, Leigh Anne & Megan at Washington Square

Add caption

Sunday night we headed to Brooklyn to have dinner with Drue, Andrew and Miriam.  Drue and I are still amazed we both have sons that are attorneys living in NYC.  Both are in the process of moving - Drue was in the city helping Andrew and Miriam pack for their move to California.  It was great fun but the restaurant was too dark for pictures.  We also saw a fireworks display when we were crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

9/11 Museum
Monday morning Ardell and I headed to the 9/11 Memorial Site.  Tickets are really hard to get and you must make reservations weeks in advance.  We did visit the museum and church.  Ten years later it is still a very emotional place to visit.  Following our visit, we had lunch at Shake Shack, did some shopping,  saw our celebrity of the trip, and went back to the apartment to rest.
Ardell with Colonel Sanders - the only
celebrity we saw:)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Reflections - Year 2:)

Another birthday passed last week!  They seem to be coming closer and closer together.   My new friends here made it a special day.  Kathy and Jeff took me out for Mexican food the night before and Cathy and Ted took me out to dinner on my birthday.   When I look back on the last year, I am truly amazed.  It has been a great year!  I love living in Tennessee.    Franklin is such a wonderful town with lots of things to see and do in the area.  And, we have four seasons!!!   Seasons are new to me and I love seeing all the changes.

Janet and Nick are too funny - they recycled
the candles from one of their "26th" birthdays
for my birthday!!!
I have made new friends, learned my way around the area, gotten a part-time job, had my first date in 35 years,  and had lots of fun visits from family and friends.  Living near Nashville is a definite plus in the visitor department.  In the traveling department, I have been to see Doug and Leigh Anne in NYC twice, spent the Christmas holidays in Ireland, been back to Houston several times, biked the Katy Trail in Missouri, and spent many weekends with Janet and Nick.   It is wonderful living close to one of my children again.  They had an Open House at their new home this weekend and it was such fun to be able to go.

The coming year is already full of promise!  The most exciting will be the addition of a baby to our family in February - my first grandchild.   This weekend I'll be going back to NYC to drive Doug and Leigh Anne's car to Houston.  Ardell will be joining me and we will visit a cousin in the DC area and our aunt and cousins in Staunton, Va.  A childhood friend is coming to visit in mid-October.  My sister Barbara, long-time friend Ann, and I have a weekend planned in Charleston, SC at the end of the month.  Janet and Nick are hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner at their new home.  Lots of fun adventures in the days ahead.

I am happier than I have been in a long time!

There is joy,

Biking the Katy Trail - Part 3

I made it!!!!!
Day 6:  Augusta to St. Charles:  Our final day of biking!  Today's ride was only about 28 miles - our shortest day on this adventure.  We took our time this morning over breakfast, coffee drinking and to wait out a passing shower.  By the time we got on our bikes, it was 10 a.m.  We thought our other groups would have left us behind but we saw them all on the trail and made plans for the big celebration in St. Charles.

Octoberfest - my beverage
of choice.

Since it was Saturday, there were lots more bikers and joggers on the trail today.  As we got closer to St. Charles, there were more services available as well.  I think this end of the Katy Trail is used more frequently.  As the three of us approached the end of the trail, Jim and Linda were there taking our picture! We all had such a feeling of accomplishment!!!  WE DID IT!!!

After getting lost in St. Charles, we finally found the Bittersweet Inn B&B.  We left our bikes there and headed back to the Trailhead Brewery to celebrate!!  Jim bought the promised drinks and we had fun talking with them.

We made it!!  Thanks Jim and Linda!!
Jim and Linda had barely left when Kyle shows up.  So, we joined them and celebrated some more!

Peggy, Ardell, Sara, Drue, Andrew, & Kyle

Our motto!!
Day 7:  St. Charles and Getting Home:  Our original plan was to move cars every few days so we would have one at the end.  We quickly figured out we were too tired after a day of riding.  Second plan was to hire a shuttle driver to take us back to our cars.  While we were waiting for a call back from a shuttle driver, we headed over to the Ameristar Casino for a little blackjack:)    Even though all the info we had said it would be easy to find a shuttle driver, that was not the case.  No calls came so over lunch we had to "regroup" and decide how we were getting back to our cars.   We ended up calling Ben (Ardell's husband) and he reserved a rental car for us.  We took a taxi to pick up the car and headed out.  My car was in Herman about an hour away.  Drue's car was still in Sedalia which was over three hours away.   That birthday present Ardell gave me turned out to be the best ever - I was back at the B&B watching the Emmy Awards before they were in Sedalia.  They had an awful trip back to St. Charles in the pouring down rain.  

Monday morning I left St. Charles about 5:30 a.m. to avoid the morning rush hour in St. Louis and was home by noon.

Reflections:  We went into this trip pretty naive.  We all thought we would have time to visit the little towns and site see along the way.  Not:)  The Katy Trail Guide Book says to plan on 8 miles an hour.  We found that was pretty close.    Even though we went faster than that most of the time, with stops and rest breaks, etc. that was pretty accurate.  Riding on crushed limestone is not like riding on pavement - it is definitely slower.  Wednesday when it rained all day, the surface was really sloppy!   Services such as restaurants and bike shops were few and far between - and not always open.  There were more services available at the St. Charles end.  The scenery was probably the prettiest on Wednesday but we missed it with the rain.  Missouri is really scenic and I would like to go back and site see and visit the wineries.  I didn't even know they produced wine in Missouri but the two I had I really enjoyed.  It is amazing how focused you get on "riding the trail".   We all have such a feeling of accomplishment!!!

We liked this!!!

Bikes:  Drue and I both rode hybrids (Trek and Cannondale).  Ardell rode her Bike Friday World Traveller.  All were well suited to the trail.  We had all the supplies we needed.  I'll be adding lights to my bike even though I don't ride at night.  If we had gotten stuck on the trail, we would have needed them.  Also, I am going to practice tire changing!!!  And, yes, I am going to do this again.  I'm thinking next time will be the Pittsburgh to DC Trail!!!