A Quick Trip to Georgia and Decorating at the Holidays

The Smokies

We recently took a quick trip down to Georgia to be with family at Thanksgiving. It was kind of last minute. We wanted to get away and then realized we hadn’t been with both of our kids, for this particular holiday, in seven years! So off we went.

Tennesee

The minute we arrived we realized our daughter was very ill. 🤧Honestly, had we known sooner, we probably would not have even travelled down there. She had been to the doctor but like I had guessed, probably was a virus and meds wouldn’t help. So I tried my hardest to help her get some kind of rest, but we were up each night till around 4 AM as her hacking cough just would not quit. (Poor thing, I know how that is…a nagging cough can just drive you completely mad!) She’s still my baby, so me trying to sleep in the next room and hearing her hack away …just not possible. I couldn’t handle it, and kept trying everything I could think of to ease her misery. Nothing worked. 😞 I looked like the walking dead. 🧟‍♀️

Which reminded me of a particular story when she was little, and I had a horrible asthmatic bronchitis with a cough that drug on for over a month. Absolutely nothing would help me sleep. NOTHING! I had even pulled muscles near my ribs from hacking so much. I remember one, long night finally thinking I’m just going to run out in that snow and no one will even find me! 🤪It just drives you crazy, doesn’t it?

And of course driving down to Atlanta the same old scenario, we hit lots of traffic, came to complete dead stops, and again accidents were witnessed. We literally see an accident every single time we drive through there; sometimes I think we’re going to be in one ourselves as people just race by us going 100 miles an hour!

But It was all worth it getting to see little grandbaby Chloe. Oh my, she is so doggone cute! “They’re” all so right when they say a grandbaby is like nothing else! 🤗

We went to a Christmas light show in a park one night and the baby was mesmerized by all the action and bright lights. I’m sure next year it’ll be an even greater level of excitement for her.

I brought matching hats for her and her mom to wear. They both looked so cute! The baby just turned 5 months.

We also had Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s mom and brother now that they have moved down there. She is 81. And his sister, and cousins came over with their younger kids and there was a sort of a “kissin’ cousin” play date going on. 😁



Hey Ma! What the heck is goin’ on?!

Chloe wasn’t quite sure what to think!

My hubs also would turn 56 on our drive home, so while we were there the kids surprised him with a cookie cake.

It was fairly warm, so after dinner we walked downtown Newnan, Georgia and saw more lights. They have a quaint downtown square much like we do here in our town.

We left a day earlier and it’s good we did because as soon as we got home, my poor husband got deathly sick and has been sick ever since. Hes just laid around hacking and tried to work later but ended up having to take off some time. Now he’s counting down the day to retirement come spring. (Too bad it hadn’t been sooner.)

But Yay! 🤗

I recently talked him into letting me re-paint my daughter’s room that has been bright aqua for over a decade! We had an ordeal with the paint store and finding the right paint initially, but now I’m loving how it tuned out. I was actually thinking of more of a BoHo style and painted the walls white. He wasn’t sure about all white walls, but I assured him decorators everywhere were doing it and it’d be fine. Guess what, we BOTH really love it!

But you would not believe how many different shades of WHITE there are! I have a second decorating Instagram account @morgie_and_me where I share decorating ideas AND get ideas, so I am already enjoying this new decorating and photography space.

I couldn’t wait to decorate it for Christmas. I don’t think I’ve ever fully decorated an entire bedroom for Christmas.

And to be real honest, I believe all the decorating helps my mind find rest as I’m forced to think of other things. I’m just not dealing well with what has happened to my mother among other bad news I received this year. It all really affects me. I just can’t turn it off. I think about the suffering my mom is going through, along with missing out on so much life and it just really gets to me! And for my own mental health, I think I decorate to try and force myself to escape because I literally think about her 24/7.

I guess decorating is less damaging than drinking or drugs so that’s how I try to give my mind a break.

But after 20 years in this particular house, I’m now itching to change everything. We’re still not sure what we’re doing in retirement. We actually had our house sold this past summer (we were selling it ourselves) then, at the last minute, we changed our minds and backed out. A long story maybe to share later!

Meanwhile, I’ve been decorating like a crazy woman for Christmas and with this new room, the kids soon to arrive, taking care of the hubs while also trying not to catch any germs from the hubs, it’s kept me pretty busy. And in full hasmat attire. Ha.

My husband actually went to urgent care last night. Poor guy, he is really sick this time. I don’t think I have ever seen him this sick in 32 years of marriage!

Have any of you caught this horrible bug? I’ve been using hand sanitizer and walking around the house grabbing things with my shirt sleeve instead of my hands. 😷

PS Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I was going to share some of my Thanksgiving decor initially, but didn’t get around to it as we headed out the door so quickly.


Items found for home decorating at: #Pier1, #AtHomeStores,#Walmart,#T.J.Maxx, #Menards, #HomeDepot, #HomeGoods #RossDressForLess #Target

Take care!

And have a Merry Christmas!🎄

A Quick White Chicken Chili Recipe

Today, my husband came home early from work because he was down in the back, again. 😞 He had a long drive home, and then I heated up a water bottle and sent him off to bed. Poor guy! I know all about horrible back pain. It ain’t no fun!

Meanwhile, I got busy on a cozy fall meal. A quick white chicken chili for when he woke up. 😊

I had previously shopped at ALDI and this was a last minute dinner idea, but I had everything I needed already on hand. (ALDI is our favorite store!👍🏼)

Here’s what you’ll need:

Olive oil & butter

2 large skinless chicken breasts or 8 tenderloins-cubed

3 stalks of green onions-chopped (I like to use scissors) or 1 small, sweet onion cubed

*8 small sweet peppers-from ALDI-cubed (adds variety of color & sweetness.

Seasonings to your taste: garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, basil & thyme (basically anything you personally like😁)

1 T chicken base (optional)

2- 15.5 oz. cans of great northern beans (Any white bean will do.)

1 can of chicken broth

1 C water (add water according to how thick or thin you like your chili)

1 small bunch of chopped cilantro

1 pint heavy whipping cream

*And if you want it a little spicy, add some chili flakes, jalapeño or green chilis. 🌶

Directions:

Season the cubed chicken very well.

Cook the chicken in a skillet with olive oil and butter. Slightly undercook it so that when you continue cooking it with all the vegetables, it doesn’t get tough.

Remove from skillet and sauté peppers and onions adding a little more oil and butter.

Add the chicken back with water along with the remainder of the ingredients except the heavy whipping cream. You’re going to bring everything to a boil, and you don’t want the cream to curdle. Once roughy to boil, and the chicken is completely done, add in the cream and bring it to a slow simmer. Now you’re ready to serve!

It is so yummy!

I must admit I went back for a couple bowls. 😉 It was a perfect meal for this cozy, fall day. And hopefully it will help the hubby feel better too!

I also made my favorite cornbread recipe to go along with this yummy chili.

Here is the link to that recipe: cornbread

Do you like a white chili? **************************Here’s a little fall video I made for ya to put you in the cozy mood. 🤗🍁

Pathways

You never know what’s just around the bend (good or bad). Refocus to assure you don’t swerve too far off the chosen path you’ve been asked to travel.

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Zion National Park, Utah

We just got back from our 30th, anniversary trip out west.

I was determined to help my husband check off some of his bucket list,✔️ all while revisiting childhood memories.

I was born and raised in California till age 11, and dad would always pack us up in the Jeep, camping as we headed east. I say “camped”, but we really roughed it.

We never stayed in a campground. ⛺️

So, I had remembered Zion as being one of my favorite, places ever.

And once again, she did not disappoint!😍

I’ve been experiencing severe back, leg and shoulder pain for almost two years now, and we almost canceled our trip.

But after some recent deaths in the family, that were SO sudden, we talked of how there is no guarantee in life, and every day is precious…and you have to grab every moment when you can.

Make the memories where you can. ❤️

I re-thought it, and just decided to try and medicate myself and try some of the “easier” trails.

This is a picture from one of them.

Just like a postcard, I tell ya.

Absolutely beautiful!!!

I wouldn’t say the trails were so “easy” and boy did I pay for it once I tried to sleep, but I’m still glad we now have these memories together.

PS I will try to post more pictures of our trip when I finally get back on eastern time 😴 and my body has some time to recuperate.😜

Happy Fall!

Happy fall!

Although, here in Indiana it’s still in the 90s.

I felt so bad for all the men working to replace our roof for the last three days! We noticed all the neighbors were getting their roofs replaced, so we had ours checked as well.

Yep, that’s what happens when you get some pretty large hail.

All the banging and mess made me think of all those in Texas and Florida, Puerto Rico, everywhere it seems…are having to totally gut their homes and rebuild; it is so sad to see everything people are going through.

And then there’s all the fires as well. (My dad used to help fight the fires in California when he was a young Marine.)

We keep praying for everyone affected by these tragedies; it must be so devastating to have to start all over. I can’t even imagine!

If anyone is looking for a place to donate, we feel confident with Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing or Convoy of Hope https://www.convoyofhope.org/donate/.

I have personally worked alongside the founders of Convoy of Hope; they are good people and 100% goes to relief efforts. Many times they are first on the scene with the other organizations I just mentioned above.

Greencastle, Indiana-Home of DePauw University

This past weekend I met my mom, at a halfway point for both of us, in the small town of Greencastle for lunch.

Greencastle is located about 49 miles slightly SW of Indianapolis, 23 min (19.5 mivia I-70 W and US-231 N, and is home to DePauw University.

Growing up nearby, Greencastle seemed to be more of a farming town and less “chic”, but my the times have changed.

Ancient buildings have been remodeled and now cater to the college population and their visitors. Greencastle now offers boutiques and multiple restaurants both on the square and across town. (It seems all Indiana towns have a “town square” with the courthouse located directly in the middle.)

We decided to eat at the quaint, little restaurant Almost Home,  also located on the town square. It had quite the old charm with its exposed old brick, stained glass and painted tin ceilings (shown below).

This is the perfect restaurant for all you HGTV fans.;)

Once inside, the atmosphere was relaxing, with low lighting and white linen covered tables. It seems more upscale; however, I found the wooden seats to be a little uncomfortable.

Prices were reasonable, and we decided on the lunch special, a black and blue hamburger because I love me some bleu cheese and was tired of eating one more salad. (Though, they had some good choices, as well.)

And the side of rosemary french fries…to die for!

Mom and I hadn’t seen each other in a long while, so we were steeped in conversation and somehow I missed getting a picture of our food. So Sorry. 😦

In the end, we were pretty full, so we didn’t partake in any of the truffles this time, but they are just as delightful if you want to stop in to purchase a chocolatey treat or flavored coffee.

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I hope to later share some pictures of the university as well as some of the beautiful trails leading through DePauw’s Nature Park. If you like to hike or cycle, it’s a fun place to go. And the old quarry area looks like something out of a movie. You won’t expect these views!

Here’s a little tidbit: It’s also the college town of Bret Baier and Stephen Hayes (from Fox News) where they were roommates. 😉

Entering the town square.