December 3, 2007

Cookie Exchange Weekend

I love baking cookies this time of year but hate to do it alone. So, I volunteered to help Paige and Ashley bake some cookies for their cookie exchange this past Sunday.

Ashley decided to go with a good old Italian favorite....biscotti. The dough for this confection is not easy to put together, not to mention shelling pistachios. But we managed to get through the hard stuff. First challenge was having no parchment that was the first trip to Publix. All was fine and the first batch came out golden brown just like the recipe said and then we cooled for 30 minutes just as the recipe instructed but would that thing allow itself to be cut cleanly.....oh but no. Then there was the "almost fire" when one batch burned on the bottom. Did ya know that parchment paper should not be touching another pan or the side of the oven? I didn't until Saturday night. We finally called it a night @ 11:30 which meant we had to get up early Sunday and finish them up. And by the way the loaves cut smoothly when they are stone cold! Dip in chocolate and add the sprinkles and yum, yum.

Paige picked a really cool recipe for her cookies named "Boot Tracks". What a neat presentation. They look just like boot tracks with snow on them. Second trip to Publix........ for butter this time. Back from the butter run to find out that we need a non-Belgium waffle and Paige has only Belgium variety. So back in the car to go to Ashley's to borrow her waffle iron and back to Paige's. The girl who is supposed to be sitting down and taking it easy then proceeds to put together the batter while I hand her stuff. The batter has to be dropped by rounded teaspoon onto the waffle iron and only 4 could be baked at one time. It takes 1-2 minutes for them to cook which was a good thing because we ended up making 95 cookies. They were scrumptious....all chocolaty with a hint of coffee. Good stuff.

I got to sample the cookies without having a whole bunch of them sitting around to be munching on which is the greatest thing since I have vowed to try to not overdo this holiday season. Saving those calories for the eggnog that I do so love!

November 26, 2007

Giving Thanks!

Where do I start? Thanksgiving holiday is family reunion time for my loved ones and our numbers just keep increasing every year. This year everyone was able to attend except Paige & Phil (expecting a baby in 3 weeks mol), Seth (visited his parents)and Daniel (had to work). GG'Daddy requested that we meet at the Fort D home this year and we did. At one time we had 32 people in the house and it was crowded to say the least.

Kyle & Todd accompanied me in the "wentel car" that I rented to accomodate all our luggage, car seats, heavy coats, etc. I got a lot of comments from the brothers-in- law about the "grandma car".....Mercury Marquis. It (the car) pretty much convinced me that I don't want one. Comfortable but not my style!

We arrived on Saturday afternoon, had a short visit with the GGs before bedtime. Attended church on Sunday and then went out to Aunt J's for the afternoon. Rode the Kubota back in the woods until dark. Kyle was fascinated with the deer tracks but we didn't find a deer. Got back to GG's, had dinner and a bath and Kyle told me "Pappi, I'm tired and want to go to bed".....what?!? That child has never told me he was ready for bed. Monday we went to Greenville with the GGs to Walmart and had lunch @ Cracker Barrel. Tuesday we went to Montgomery to see Aunt J @ her office. She was kind enough to take us to the flea market so that I could look for Fiestaware that I need. Wednesday we just hung out in Fort D as it was starting to get colder. Rode on the bug for a bit, pulled turnips, and picked up some pecans. Ashley & Kevin got to Fort D late in the afternoon.

Thursday was a busy day once the family started to arrive. Lunch was ready about 12:30 and there was such a feast. Everyone outdid themselves this year. BUT just about everything was gone by the time dinner was over that night. Callie's birthday was on Thanksgiving this year so we had a surprise party for her.I can't believe she is 11. The last of the family left about 9:30 and I went to bed and fell asleep immediately.

Friday we saw Ashley and Kevin off after lunch. They were meeting friends in Gainesville for the UF/FSU game. After naptime we took Callie and Gracie shopping in Montgomery to pick out some birthday duds. They found some cute stuff and we went over to the skating rink to watch the skaters and eat a snack before heading over to the zoo. We met the McCanns, TW & Ellen, Rick & Brooke 2, and the Busbys to take the train tour. What a great time we had. Kyle's favorite turned out to be the singing frogs. They were so cute, they jump up to the lily pads and sing Jingle Bells.

Saturday came all too quickly. We had to leave the GGs standing in the yard as we started our trip back to Florida. Stopped by Aunt J's on the way out of town to let the boys run around a few minutes. They were so good on the trip to Gainesville. Once we got to Gatorland we had dinner @ Steak & Shake and went to the hotel to have a bath and watch the remainder of the game.

We had breakfast on Sunday with Chris, Brent, Meagan & Chris, Steve and Casey and then I had to tell my little boys and their mom and dad goodbye. I miss those little guys after having them with me for a whole week. It's awfully quiet here in my "little house" and GG'mama says her house is just way too quiet.

I am thankful for my family and I hope we will always be as close as we are in 2007. I am thankful for my health and that of all my family. I am thankful that I have been blessed to still have my parents. I am thankful for my children and their children and that they allow me to share their lives in such a big way. God bless each and every one.

November 15, 2007

Almost Time for "Thanksgiving Christmas"

Every year we gather back in Fort D to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one day. This tradition started a lot of years ago when the Biagi kids were small. I missed seeing my family during the holiday season, but did not want to take our kids away from home and Santa @ Christmas, so we started visiting my home town every year for Thanksgiving. Slowly it evolved into everyone making it a priority to be "home" for this day. An impromptu family reunion.

Our family has grown with grands, their special significant others, and the great grands with which we are blessed. My Ed loved this time of celebration and had grown to love my family as his own. I think he looked more forward to this trip than any of the rest of us. Ed has been gone for almost 10 years. Sometimes it seems like yesterday and sometimes it feels like a hundred years. But one thing I know as sure as I am writing this post is that he lives on in spirit and will be smiling down on all of us again this year with joy in his heart.

Paige and PG will not make the trip this year but for the most special reason of all. The newest little family member will be born sometime in December and again our family grows. As far as I know everyone else will be at at GG's house for Turkey Day.

If there is one thing I have learned in living all the years I have under my belt (and no I will not tell how many if you don't know.....) is that nothing is more important in this life than family.

November 13, 2007

Weekend @ Home

It is always nice to be able to spend time @ home (Quiet Water) and this past weekend was no exception. The weather was beautiful and there were no bugs. The driveway entrance is a mess right now but should be all finished by Thanksgiving. One more trip scheduled before the end of the year. The Tennessee folks start arriving the first week of January and will be in residence until the end of March.

Special treat for me was the final day of the Offshore Power Boat Race in KW. Didn't know until I got to KW on Sunday afternoon to do some shopping and saw the helicopters buzzing over the Hyatt. I was able to get a spot on the rail of one of the piers and got some good pictures. Would I ever like to take a ride in one of those boats just once! What a ride that would be.

It has been a wild Monday (on a Tuesday) today at work. Doncha know the rest of this week is going to be about the same. Any time I plan to on vacation for a few days it seems someone tells the gremlins and lots of overtime has to be done in order to take the scheduled vacation days. No matter I will be leaving early Saturday morning for Alabama with my two little guys in tow. I look forward to spending a few days with my family up there.

November 5, 2007

First Weekend of November

The weekend was busy to say the least. Friday night Ashley and the boyz arrived @ about 10:00 pm and the fun began. After a few hello kisses and a snack we all got to bed so that we could be up early on Saturday for the Gator game in Gainesville.

We checked the weather forecast before we left which told us that the high in G'ville would be 73 degrees at game time. When we left Clearwater it was chilly outside so we thought the weather guessers were probably correct. Got the G'ville a couple of hours before game time (we never get there that close to kickoff so we ran into some traffic) and had some lunch at the Orange n Brew. Decided we should buy the little boys some new sweatshirts (for the chilly weather.....remember the forecast??) Then on to the stadium. We were in the sun for a good part of the afternoon so sweatshirts came off quickly. The Gators won and looked good doing it.

Grandpa Ed would have been proud of the little guys @ the game. Kyle used the "noculars" and followed the game play by play for the entire first half. Every time the Gators scored a touchdown he would high five us. Todd is a boy after Ed's heart (he who would never leave a game until the final whistle blew) When we suggested leaving at the beginning of the 4th quarter he told his mama "no, the game not over" I would say we have a couple of football fans on our hands.

Next day I got to spend time with the boys all day. Mama left early to get to FM for the JL Taste of the Town. We left around noon and got to the park, bought lots of tickets and spent most of them playing in the bounce house, on the slides and on ice cream cones. We found mama, daddy, Auntie Paige, and Uncle PG and visited just long enough to say hello then we were off and running. I didn't win the VW convertible .....Kyle had decided it was "cute" and wanted to ride in it... so we left and went home for dinner, bath, stories and bedtime for the boys. Pappi sat in the Queen Chair and put her feet up! Stopped by Paige & Phil's on the way out to say hi and bye.

My trip back to Clearwater was a challenge as there was another bad accident that closed I-75 North. Apparently pretty bad as I found out this morning that the road was still closed and would be until further notice. This is the second time this has happened when I am on the way back. All I have to say is that I am very fortunate that someone is looking out for me and that I was not traveling at the time either of these accidents happened. The detours add more time to the trip but at least when I get back on the interstate I can count myself lucky that I am still on my way home and was not involved in the mishaps.

All in all it was a great weekend. I decided this morning that I definitely must get back to gym. I have to work hard to stay in good enough shape to keep up with my little grands and with another on the way I need to work on that stamina.

October 31, 2007


One thing I miss about no longer living in a home, in a neighborhood with lots of little munchkins, is that no one comes by to trick or treat on Halloween. The first year I was living in an apartment on Halloween I bought bags of candy that I think I still have in a cupboard here somewhere. I hid it well so that I don't eat it.

Halloween has always been one of my most favorite holidays and I think that is because of the kids. It's such a fun day/night as everyone is in a party mood. Even the kids at my office dress up on this special day. There were pirates, biker dudes and "cereal killers"running around everywhere today. And the night belongs to the little ones with lots of laughter and squeals of delight when they get a favorite candy for their goodie bag.

I look forward to seeing the pictures of my little grands all dressed up. My thoughts are with their mom and dad and the sugar high that I am sure has been reached this night. Oh well, Halloween comes around only one day out of 365 and it is so much fun to just have fun.

October 27, 2007

Tis the Season

Seems like every spring and fall I get a full body attack from allergies or "alledries" as coined by my niece Gracie. The latest started a few days ago and this Saturday has been miserable with sneezing and a scratchy throat. The day has been somewhat overcast and rainy so I guess if I had to stay in today it's better there is no sunshine.

It's actually raining pretty much all over the state of Florida today. Probably won't be a thrill killer for Fantasy Fest and I hope the Gators are the ones who survive it in Jacksonville! Is there ever a Florida -Georgia game where it is not raining or just plain cold?

The cats who reside with me (Oreo & Shug) are happy that I am not traveling this weekend. If I am away more than 3 days anymore they "punish" me with "forgetting" how to use the litter box. Did spend a little time cleaning out cabinets and closets today as every once in a while I need to remember just exactly what is in there!!

Time to give this up and go the store for more Advil Cold-Sinus. That's the only thing that seems to make my symptoms subside.

October 23, 2007

My First Post

I have decided to join the blogging community. I have found that blogs are a wonderful way to keep in touch with my family, both near and far.

Except for Quietwater, my favorite place to visit is Fort Myers and I found myself there this past weekend. Apparently, Paige is in the "nesting" phase of her pregnancy as she wanted to clean her house from top to bottom and do a little painting in Ziggy's bedroom and bath. Two days later her house is spic and span and she has new color on the chosen walls. Thank goodness Ashley was able to come over and cut in the paint. I can roll with the best of them but cutting in close to the ceilings, floors and anywhere else I can get paint on something I shouldn't is not my thing.

I got to spend some time with my precious grandboys. They are growing up so fast. Todd doesn't even want me to rock him anymore......"no night, night Pappi" and is now sleeping in a toddler bed. Kyle was watching me read the Keynoter on his mama's computer and asked me if one of the words was! Thinking he probably didn't know what that meant I asked him what the word 'difficult' means and he said it means it's not easy Pappi. He is 4 years old. Well, duh......