Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas cards, gifts, postal deadlines

I delivered the last of our photo Christmas cards to the post office today before 5pm closing and also drove the neighborhood delivering to neighbors. Phew!
Oh yeah, and there was that one ebay package to Australia to send out too. We'd already been to the post office this morning and almost every day this week sending out packages to relatives and ebayers.

After about 70 shots, we picked the best one and uploaded to snapfish, our on-line photo printer of choice. They delivered us a big box of cards and envelopes and I sent out my first batch. Then I realized I hadn't ordered enough?! So I had snapfish send our photo to Walgreen's and we picked up another batch within hours. How cool is that?

I'm just relieved they are done and out. I ordered some cool address labels from with the kids picture on them but they only arrived today so the first batch of cards sent out yesterday didn't get them. Oh well, they were the closest relatives so I guess we'll use those labels for their Thank-you cards for the gifts for the kids. Sound good? But that zazzle site is cool. I'll need to check it out closer when I'm not in such a rush.

I also found another personalized shirt site, that I was impressed with and bought a gift on. I uploaded a photo and selected a shirt style and font style and added text and within 2 days I had the shirt here. Again, I need to check them out again when I'm not in a Christmas rush!

I have most all Family Christmas gift packages mailed up North. There may be 1 or 2 that will be there after Christmas but I don't think they'll mind too much.

Now Santa needs to complete her list. There will be a trip or two out to ToysRus, Walmart, Target, Macy's, Kohl's, Claire's and who knows where else. I need to check and see how early these stores will be open Sunday. Maybe I'll be one of those 5am shoppers! I am NOT a morning person so that should be a real treat! As long as I'm home long before showered and properly made up people are out and about. Where to start... Short Pump Town Center? Regency Square Mall?

Wish me luck on that and I wish all the other Santa mommies and daddies all the luck in getting all they want done without doing themselves in this year.

We have a relaxing 4 day weekend ahead of us so it will be a great holiday here! Bill should be doing some cooking too. He's stoppng at the Fresh Market on Parham for some quality meat, seafood and produce. YUMMY.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Britain's National Trust Gardens Show

How do people find time to blog??? I think of things that I want to get in here most every day but haven't sat to type them in over a month!


I am trying to find some information on the web here and cannot find it. This really frustrates me because I am typically REALLY good at finding any info I need pretty quickly on the Internet.

I watched a television program at least once that featured gardens that are managed by the National Trust in Britain. Basically, I want to see if and when more will be televised so I can set the dvr up to record them. I cannot find any reference to these shows anywhere. I cannot remember what channel it was. My first guesses were hgtv, aetv, pbs, bbc but I don't seem to get a hit.

I am pretty sure that the last show I saw was about Hidcote Manor Garden.

I've visited the National Trust organization's site already and the aforementioned cable stations to no avail.


Update--> 12/22/07--> I found it because I am watching another one right now! It is an on going Discovery HD Theater series called Treasures of the Trust or National Trust Gardens.
Amazon has a good selection of books and dvds available.

Check out their selections on: National Trust Gardens
Gardens of the National Trust

Houses of the National Trust

Kingston Lacy Next Showing: February 13, 2009 9am

Biddulph Grange Garden Next Showing: February 20, 2009 9am

Visiting formal gardens, castle, and estate homes is a real treat for me. Since it is not feasible for me to do this often, I devour any television that I can that feature them. I also own some books with photos but the cost of them all is a bit prohibitive as well. It just doesn't seem practical does it?

The local estate garden I've visited in the Richmond area twice now is the historic Tuckahoe Plantation in Goochland County. I've visited it in the Spring during Virginia Garden Week.

I know I need to get to Maymont. It just hasn't happened yet. Another recent garden tour had been the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, NC when we vacation in the Outer Banks. We should be able to make it to the Biltmore Estate in the next year or two. We considered it last year when we went to the North Carolina zoo for a quick Fall vacation, but decided that Eddie was too young to be able to appreciate it. a.k.a. We would be insane to try and take a toddler there.

I used to LOVE the arts and entertainment A&E program America's Castles that ran in the 90's. I don't believe that they still run the shows but they do sell many DVD sets of the series. Amazon has a good selection of books and dvds available on the subject. Check out their selections
My recent search on the Arts and Entertainment store site gave me 65 hits!! I did buy the A&E Home video titled America's Castles Grand Plantations awhile back, probably on ebay but it is still in the plastic wrap. I need to make some time to watch that one day instead of my dvr recordings of my current favorite network shows Cane, House or Desperate Housewives!

I'm also starting to (finally) get into watching the Food Network. Paula Deen's new Christmas show Paula's Party with the Dinner Impossible guy, Robert Irvine, was HILARIOUS!! I say finally because it seems most everyone I know has been watching it for quite awhile now. Besides, when I say I am watching it, anyone who knows me means that means it is running in the backgrund as I do other things but I did watch most of Paula's party becuase it was making me laugh.

I don't like Rachael Ray though. Not exactly sure why but even her voice annoys me?! Some might say it's because her show replaced Ellen last year in the 11am time slot here on the local network? :-)

Merry Christmas you all. I need to go start wrapping some presents!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wed. Nov.7 7:45am

We are back in Goochland from our stay in New Jersey for the viewing and funeral. We stayed at Staybridge Suites in Somerset for 2 nights. We stayed there back in March for 2 nights as well. This past year we've had at least 5 different hotel stays in both NJ and PA and this hotel is the best. The value is incredible. I certainly recommend them highly.
Fortunately, both our 6 hour trip up on Sunday morning and 6 hours back Tuesday afternoon were quick and eneventful. It's about 330 miles each way.

Amanda and Eddie were very happy to see their cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma and grandpa as I'm sure were to see them.
Here is Amanda with Cousin Nate.
We ate at the Firehouse Eatery and Pub on St. Georges Avenue in Rahway after the final prayer service at Saint Gertrude Cemetery / Good Shepherd Mausoleum on Inman Ave in Colonia. That is where Grandma and Grandpa are buried.

We also got to spend alot of time with my sister, Aunt Debbie.
This is a shot of them in the kitchen at Grandma & Grandpa's house after eating some pizza hut delivery.
That's it for now. We need to reschedule a Parent Teacher Conference with Mrs. Kelli Clough at Salem Christian school that we missed on Monday to see how Amanda is going in preschool.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday, November 1, 2007 All Saints Day

Halloween was "the best night" of Amanda's life. Or so she said last night as we were walking through the neighborhood trick or treating. Eddie was a muscle bound Spiderman midget and she Ariel the mermaid princess. Eddie did his best trying to say trick or treat and thank you to each neighbor answering the door. He's talking alot now but not everyione can understand his language.

They are eating their treats for breakfast right now so I'm debating whether or not it is worthwhile to suggest a banana and a bowl of cheerios.

Grandpa McCormack died overnight at John F Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey.
Edward McCormack was born August 14, 1924 in Scotland. Glasgow most likely. He was brought to this country when he was 5 by his mother Harriet. He is my mother's father and our Eddie is his namesake.

Grandma (Theresa Sonntag) Mc Cormack died this past March.

So I am a little sad right now and am writing this to keep occupied for a few minutes while deciding what I should do today.

Inez is coming up today to visit and play with the kids so I'll have some time to myself if I want.
The obit from Asbury Park Press
Edward J. McCormack died Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007, at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison. He was 83.
He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and moved to Elizabeth at age 5 and has lived in Edison for the last 55 years. He was a pipefitter for 40 years, retiring in 1987. He worked at Budweiser in Newark for 19 years. He was a member of Steamfitters Union Local 475. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus 4885 in Edison; and he was a member of the Edison Elks Lodge 2487 where he worked with the handicapped children. He was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran of World War II.
He was predeceased by his wife, Theresa Sonntag McCormack; his parents, John and Harriet McCormack, and a great-granddaughter, Maxine Runiak.
He is survived by his daughters, Kathleen McCormack of Edison, Theresa Farsaris of Piscataway and Maryellen Douches of Scotch Plains; five grandchildren, Chris Greenberg, Colleen Williams, Debbie Brown, Andy Farsaris and Steven Douches, and great-grandchildren, Amanda and Eddie Williams, Nate and Sandy Greenberg, Elena and Ava Farsaris.
Funeral services will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at Boylan Funeral Home, 10 Wooding Ave., Edison, followed by a 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Matthew's R.C. Church in Edison. Entombment will be at Good Shepherd Mausoleum at St. Gertrude's Cemetery in Colonia. Family and friends are invited to visit from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice in Edward's name.

I'd like to post some of my garden pictures and archive my garden diary and blogging it seems to be the best method today so... Wish me luck!
This is a plumeria that we brought back from Maui 6 years ago. We over winter them in the garage and house. This year I successfully rooted the main plant into 6 other plants!!