Category Archives: family

It was a dReAm of a day, really.

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I started off this morning with a dream about Richard Armitage. I kept floating in and out of consciousness. My conscious mind kept telling my unconscious mind to take over again because, quite frankly,  I didn’t want the dream to end. Richard was wearing his Glamour UK photo spread outfit. He never took off a single piece of clothing but it was an incredibly. sexy. dream.  Oh, Richard–you do know how to stir a woman.

Literally, my dream man this morning.

Literally, my dream man this morning.

I’d had a night where pain mimicking an unhappy gall bladder kept me awake longer than I’d hoped (couldn’t have been the gall bladder since I haven’t possessed one for years and the pain was on the wrong side of the body anyway). Let’s say that dream was very, very welcome.

And it was just the beginning of welcome events. I opened up my e-mail and discovered my dear friend Leigh was going to get to see The Hobbit in English after all!  A couple of days ago it appeared as if it just wasn’t going to happen. Now it seems she and Noemi will see Thorin in all his big screen glory in lovely Sevilla next week.  Happy, happy, joy, joy indeed!

And then before you know it ( I had slept in rather late) I was tuning in to the live stream from the red  green carpet in London. And it was working. OK, the picture quality wasn’t great, but the lack of stutters and almost non-existent buffering was simply heavenly for me. I was seeing and hearing what fellow RA aficionados on Twitter were with no delays or missing pieces. Hurray!

Of course, I was simply dying to see our Richard . . . and he was drop-dead gorgeous, too.  I loved his latest designer threads, an impeccably tailored tux with a shawl collar, crisp white pleated shirt and nice, big bow tie (as the latest incarnation of Doctor Who will tell you, bow ties are cool).

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Judiang loved it so much she named the tux Francois. I simply call it devastating. Mr. Movie Star.

We got a nice interview with some new tidbits–a little longer than some of the other actors got, I do believe–with the emcee Alex Dane. And we discovered RA had a dream last night, too, although his was all about getting lost and not being able to find the premiere venue. Bless his heart.

Well, you did find it, RA, and this night was all true. You may not be a great warrior or noble dwarf, but you are an incredible actor, lovely man and undeniably a movie star, my dear.

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And then Richard stood in that long, long line of folks who got to shake hands and chat with royalty–Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

As with everyone else, I longed to know just what the Handsome Prince of Players and the Handsome Prince talked about.

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I was so proud of Richard in that moment I could not resist shedding a few tears. It didn’t help matters any when I realized that sweet-looking white-haired lady standing behind him bore a striking resemblance to Richard. Yup, it would appear his mum was there for that unforgettable moment.

I thought of my mother’s own beautiful silver-white locks, and how I enjoyed taking her to special events with me. Of how proud she was of my accomplishments, which were chicken feed compared to Richard’s. And so I cried some more–tears of remembrance, of joy and gratitude for Richard and his family and this celebratory occasion. I’m just a big ol’ sentimental fool.

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Set created by Morrighan's Muse

Set created by Morrighan’s Muse

Visit http://richardarmitagecentral.co.uk to get a link to a video of RA meeting Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

What an amazing two weeks you’ve had, my dear Richard. You’ve globe-trotted around this world, done umpteen interviews, been asked some of the same questions just a little too often, yet always managed to remain patient, modest, good-humoured and gentlemanly about it all.  And how could you look so fresh at times on what had to be insufficient sleep? And when you’ve shown us your flirtatious side–oh, mercy me!!

You’ve dazzled us with your designer duds, you clotheshorse, you. You’ve worn the clothes, they haven’t worn you, and you were polished, confident, elegant and yet edgy. We couldn’t look away. But then, why would we want to?

Oh, yes, Mr. A, more and more people are taking notice, taking an interest in you. There’s a good reason my viewing numbers shot up more than 45 percent, why your rank at IMDB keeps rising; the world is finally waking up to the gem that is Richard Armitage.

I know your family has to be immensely proud of you. I know I am.

Oh, and one more thing–I also won four IMAX tickets via Twitter and Air New Zealand today and the vouchers don’t expire until Dec. 31, 2013.  So it really has been a great day for this RA fan. I hope yours has been, too.

(And Richard, if you’d like to revisit my dreams tonight, please, be my guest.)

It’s the cat’s pajamas, too.

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Thumper seems to really like my new pajamas, too. She climbed up on my outstretched legs and made herself at home whilst I tapped away on the computer. I happened to have the camera within reach.  Eventually I had to move–my leg was asleep, even if the rest of me wasn’t–but she had a good long nap in a bed of roses, one might say.

My bedjacket arrived today! It’s lovely, a true “classic red” (the color listed online) in person  rather than the raspberryish tone it had in the photo, and it harmonizes beautifully with the pajamas. The velour gives it a rich look and it’s not heavy or bulky–just right for keeping away a chill.  I am going to see a stage production  of A Christmas Carol at Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery Saturday (this will be the fourth or fifth time, I think) and was just saying to Benny I have to figure out what I am going to wear. He smiled and gave a nod towards my bedjacket and waggled his brows.

I chuckled. “Well, with a pair of black dress pants and some jewelry, yeah, it could work.”

“Hmmmmm. I’m thinking now that I should get a smoking jacket,” he said with a definite twinkle in his blue eyes.

I laughed. “Oh, yes. And a pipe. You wouldn’t have to actually smoke it. Oh, and a snifter of brandy . . .”

Wouldn’t he be handsome? 😉

Thankful for Richard. Thankful for all of you.

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Writing in itself is a rather solitary endeavor. When I was writing for the newspaper, there were times when I simply had to take my laptop and notes and retreat to one of the conference rooms in order to block out some of the madness that could be a newspaper office (yes, even in a small town) and get the story “turned around” as rapidly as possible–written and uploaded to the website.

I work on the components of my blog entries by myself, more or less: making the fanart, creating the videos, writing the essays and so on (although, of course, I benefit from your suggestions and the upcoming rearview vid will have lots of fan input, you cheeky wenches).  Still, it’s mostly just me, my laptop and my imagination.

But if I put my time, creativity and energies into doing all of this and no one comes to the party–well, it would be rather lonely, as much pleasure as Mr. Armitage brings into my life.

And so I am thankful for all of you who stop in, whether it’s on a daily basis or just every so often. I truly appreciate it when you leave a comment. It’s encouraging. It lets me know you are reading/perusing and taking an interest in it. Sometimes you tell me that I have helped make your day. Truthfully, that goes both ways. You also help make mine.

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the US, a holiday that marks our remembrance of the first feast held by the Pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth Rock shared with the native Americans who had helped them.

Pilgrim Snoopy and Indian Woodstock extend Thanksgiving greetings to each other in “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”

Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of each November, it means family time, feasting on holiday favorites, watching the famed Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (the same one celebrated in the movie classic Miracle on 34th Street) and football games. For some, it will actually be the kickoff to holiday shopping, as some of our “big box” retailers like K-Mart and Wal-Mart are opening at 8 p.m. offering Black Friday deals early.

From Norman Rockwell’s Freedom series, his famous “Freedom from Want” (fastcodesign.com)

But for me, it is important to also  remember to actually give thanks on Thanksgiving Day. It doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are or whether or not you even have any; an attitude of gratitude is something that we all can practice, surely.

I am thankful for many things. There’s the everyday blessings we tend to take for granted here; a roof over my head with electricity and running water, a comfortable bed, plenty of food, technology that gives me a window on the world out here in the middle of nowhere.

Thankful for the parents who gave me a sold value system, who encouraged me to develop my brain and my talents and not just focus on being a pretty face a la those Toddlers and Tiaras parents.

For loving sisters and yes, for my own wonderful, darling, kind, sweet, funny, sexy hubby, Benny. For pets who think I’m the greatest and give me so much love and companionship and laughter.  For the blessings of a caring RL community and friendships old and new.

And for Richard Armitage, the perfect muse, the incomparable crush, the warm, witty, talented, beautiful, delightful human being. Without him, this blog wouldn’t exist. And again, I am thankful for you all and the kindness, thoughtfulness, fun and friendship you bring into my life each day

Harry Kennedy, the character Richard says is most like the “real” RA. Surely a fellow with a grateful heart.

I made this video last year to celebrate the occasion:

To my fellow American, a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. And to everyone else, a happy, healthy, blessed Thursday.

I’ll just say no to the giblets: TAE Word for the Day

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Giblets: (noun) the heart, liver, gizzard, and the like, of a fowl, often cooked separately.

Giblet gravy with turkey or chicken giblets and chopped hard-boiled eggs is quite popular here in the south as an accompaniment to turkey and cornbread dressing each Thanksgiving. But it will not be on the table chez Fedoralady.

Giblet gravy. Courtesy of simplyrecipes.com

Fedoralady does not do giblet gravy or indeed, giblet anything.  Growing up on a poultry farm, she ate a great deal of chicken. Baked, barbecued, fried, chicken salad, chicken and dumplings, chicken and rice, chicken casseroles.You get the drift.  But when her mama prepared fried chicken livers and gizzards, she beat a hasty retreat. Couldn’t stand the smell, much less the taste. Hubby feels the same way.   We like gravy–white milk gravy, brown gravy. Just no giblets, please.

Fedoralady  hopes if Mr. Armitage ever has occasion to dine at her home for Thanksgiving (she realizes this is highly, highly unlikely but it’s fun to imagine) that he is not an aficionado of said fowl parts.

Now, cranberry sauce? That’s another thing. Love it. Hubby will fight you for the last dinner roll and serving of cranberry sauce.  In fact, he’d much rather have the cranberry sauce and rolls than the turkey and dressing! Better buy extra.  (I’m afraid we tend to go with Ocean Spray’s canned sauce every year instead of the homemade route. It’s what we both grew up eating.)

Now you’re talking. Cranberry sauce, courtesy of simplyrecipes.com.

I just know that I would love to have the chance to (covertly) watch Mr. Armitage eat. I find myself writing scenes where his character is dining because it’s such a pleasure watching him enjoy his food and drink.  So, hey, let’s look at some photos of Richard/his characters eating! See, I can even work him into a giblets post. 😉

Richard and crew members for Spooks chowing down on sandwiches in a behind-the-scenes screencap courtesy of RANet.

John Mulligan snacking at Ellie’s house. Screencaps  courtesy of RANet.

Poor Sweetie John is a bit discomfited as he tries to finish off his breakfast sausage in Sparkhouse.

Fork porn. I love it. That is all.

I am trying to restrain myself, honestly . . .

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As I don’t wish to cram too much holiday cheer down anyone’s throat.  But what can I say, I’ve been watching those darned Hallmark Christmas movies again, and thinking about Christmases past.

My sister S and I used to pore over the Sears & Roebuck Christmas Catalog (the “Wish Book“) after its arrival in mid-October each year. We’d spend hours looking avidly at its colorful images of art supplies, Barbies, board games, books and other delights we hoped to find under the tree come December 25. We’d make our lists, hoping Santa would deem us worthy . . .

This year, I feel as if, to some degree, Christmas has already arrived. I’ve had such pleasure poring over the Hobbit books, the calendar, gazing at the glorious Empire cover, playing with my action figure, knowing there are other goodies still to come. I will see Richard in big screen glory as Thorin a week before Christmas even gets here. And before that will be all the excitement of the movie’s premieres and new opportunities to see Richard dazzle on the red carpet. What a truly stellar holiday season it shall be!

Really, what I want for Christmas is the same sort of present many of you want, I suspect. It’s the wonder and excitement of being part of this very special holiday for our favorite TDHBEW, as the world discovers what we already know–what an extraordinary actor this guy is. And so much more.

Richard Armitage: the gift that keeps on giving.

Look who is waiting to make the season bright for us this year . . .

It’s not December yet–but it’s getting a lot closer . . .

Ouchies lead to another Cuteness Overload . . .

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I managed to injure the middle finger of my right hand in another of those freakish accidents that happens to me–not broken, thank goodness, just very sore–and I need to let it rest a bit.  So responding to the comments will have to wait.  Hopefully it will be better tomorrow. In the meantime . . .

Our sweet Beau disappeared a while back, *sob* but here he is as the cutest part-bloodhound pup you’ve ever seen, enjoying the water in the whiskey barrel planter, accompanied by his brother Elvis. They always seem to prefer water from here much more than they do their water bowls. Dogs!

OK. I am prejudiced. But isn’t our Callie just gorgeous here?

Oh, those wide eyes. What a sweetie!

Elvis on that other southern icon–my late daddy’s old pickup truck.

I’ll be back tomorrow to catch up with you all. Nighty-night!

Zombies, Thorin, and My “Mr. Kennedy”: Sunday night chez FL

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I hope you’ve had a lovely Sunday/Monday. I slept in today and and then spent the afternoon hanging out with Benny and the cats.  We talked, watched TV, cuddled and played.

When I dropped off to sleep whilst watching the charming “Robots” Benny went and baked a fresh batch of brownies ( Guy’s eyes just lit up!) and fixed some supper.

Making sure my Sunday night shows were going to record properly–I am down to “only” three now, Masterpiece Classics: Upstairs, Downstairs, Homeland and Dexter–I continued to do some family bonding tonight with my two fuzzy babies and my own personal Harry Kennedy.

We are now all caught up on The Walking Dead, having had a marathon viewing of the first four eps  of S3 yesterday and the latest tonight.

Danai Gurira (Michonne) Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the Governor (David Morrisey) in a promo pic for S3 of The Walking Dead. courtesy of unrealitytv.com

I have to say Andy Lincoln (RA’s co-star in Strike Back) continues to go from strength to strength as Rick, the former deputy sheriff leading a rag-tag group in Georgia struggling to survive against an infection that turns folks into, well, the walking dead. Rick’s turned into a real bad-ass, take-no-prisoners kind of guy and I am rooting for him all the way. David Morrissey–yet another attractive and talented Brit turning up in an American series and doing a pretty decent job with a southern accent, I might add–is guest starring this season. He is the leader of a secure settlement, Woodbury, which may not be the place of refuge it is presented as being.

And tonight I also pre-ordered my Hobbit tickets!  We will be going to see RA as Thorin Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. at the Promenade Cinema in Prattville.  Squee! Richard in 3D on the big screen! No HFR 3D, but no drive to Atlanta, either. At this point, I will take what I can get.

I would LOVE to see it in IMAX and there is an IMAX theatre in Birmingham, but it appears all the tickets are sold out for the weekend before Christmas (the time our family celebration is set at my oldest sister’s home there).  😦

Now, assuming our local theatre has a midnight showing of The Hobbit on Dec. 13 (they haven’t released the schedule yet) I have already told Benny I want to go by myself.

“You want to see it twice?”

*laughing uproariously in her head–you silly MAN!!–she blinks and gives a hesitant smile*

“Well, yeah–I mean, it’s the first time with a substantial role for Richard in a big movie on the big screen . . . and it might be better if I go–by myself. The first time. You know.” *she pauses, sheepish grin crossing face*

“Don’t want to embarrass you or anything.”

*he sputters with laughter*

“Hey, I am excited about this, OK? To finally see him. And he’d worked so hard for so long. And he’s such a sweet guy. Like you. It’s one of the reasons I love him so much. He reminds me of–you.”

*he cuts a sidelong glance at her, his lips twitching dangerously*

“You’re saying he’s just–swell.”

*she grins*

“Exactly.” *she leans in and kisses his stubbled cheek. She likes stubbled cheeks on the men she fancies*

“Just like you . . .”

Cats! Armitage & Otherwise

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Ah, I would recognize those thighs anywhere, methinks.

Such a cute and charming feline!

Callie said Thumper had gotten quite enough blog space of late, and so I thought better share some artwork featuring our own butterscotch, cream and chocolate confection of a kitty.

Monday musings: Mother Nature, beautiful and terrible

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There’s a chill in the air here and a jacket and shoes do not go amiss when you venture outside. You step out onto the balcony and drink in the morning beauty, always amazed at the ever-changing seascape before youA couple walks slowly down the beach, pausing to watch a bird skipping across the water’s surface as it does a bit of fishing for its breakfast.

The view from the balcony in Orange Beach between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Monday. As Benny said, you get this great ombre effect between the sky and the sea.

Even as I enjoy all the splendid beauty of Mother Nature on this Monday morning, I am reminded that many people are facing a difficult day that may bring more than inconvenience and frustration. This storm could wreak significant havoc on life and property. Remember you are in our thoughts and prayers. I hope these images will lift your spirits, along with the knowledge that people who may live far away from you still care.

I made this video last year after a series of deadly tornadoes took a devastating toll on Alabama and other states in what was called “April’s Fury.”  I share it again now as a reminder we all need to encourage and support one another in times like this.  No man (or woman) is an island . . .

OT: Mother Nature Puts on a Show

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The weather systems are moving. I can feel it in my connective tissues. Well, in my bones, too, as far as my osteoarthritis is concerned. It’s the FMS that really makes me ache tonight.

Still, I am content and wearing a smile on my face.

I  will see Benny again this weekend. I’ve missed him and it seems he has missed me.  If all goes well, we’ll have a few days together in this lovely part of the world. And maybe we’ll get to enjoy the sort of show only Mother Nature can put on . . . such as this spectacular sunset tonight.

Although it will be nice to get back home (be it ever so humble, there is no place quite like it), I will miss the ever-changing beauty of the sky and the sea just outside the door.  I think Monsieur Monet would know just how I feel . . .

Mr. Armitage is really attractive.

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Didn’t get in a nap this afternoon, so I am hoping to get to bed a little earlier. Had a lovely time earlier this evening with my sister. We stretched out on the loungers on the condo balcony, the patio door shutting out the noise of Bill O’Reilly and Fox News so that we could enjoy the peaceful sound of the rolling Gulf waters. The moon was a gleaming silver half-disk in the velvet sky, and we held hands and sang along with the golden oldies on my Kindle Fire, and reminisced about the days gone by.  If my back wouldn’t have kicked up something awful, I would have been tempted to sleep out there . . . alas, it, like the rest of me, is a bit the worse for wear and tear these days.

I hope everyone has a good night and a wonderful Wednesday to come (or that has already arrived for some of you).  Nite, nite, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.

OT: Meet Hannah

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She’s a shy, sweet little girl with big, earnest brown eyes and silky hair. You could say she’s my great-niece of sorts.

Meet Hannah T., former homeless stray taken in by my sister’s kind-hearted stepson, now living happily with her “grandparents,” dividing her time between the house in Foley and the Orange Beach condo. She was curled up on the bed with my sis, and looked so adorable I could not resist taking her photograph. This was the best of the bunch.  My sister will tell you she is a great blessing.  And I think Hannah is blessed to have such a loving, caring home.  Truly, a win-win situation.

OT: Hot brekkie and cool blue of the autumn sky & sea

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After a delicious southern-style breakfast just like Mama used to make (grits, eggs, thick-cut bacon, flaky biscuits and a variety of jellies and jams), Benny and I take a walk on the beach. Via a wooden bridge, we cross the natural habitat area that protect the dunes and sea oats.

(Image courtesy of southernfoodabout.com)

It is another beautiful day here, the loveliest breeze blowing in from the Gulf. The water on the horizon is a deep blue, turning to turquoise and then aqua as it approaches the shore. The sky is pale blue where it kisses the water, transforming into the clear cerulean blue canopy above us.

The sand here is sugar-white, sparkling like crystals where the sun hits it in certain spots. A couple of fishermen in hip waders are angling in the salt water this morning; at a distance, we can seeing a few fishing boats. We take off our sandals and sink our toes in the sand.  Flashes of orange and yellow are glimpsed as butterflies make their way to Mexico.

“The water’s not too cold,” Benny remarks as the surf rolls in and we get our feet wet. Not sure I would want to take a full dip into it, however.

It’s a wonderful time of the year to come to the beach in Alabama, chilly water or not. There’s the beauty of the sky and sea, the refreshing breeze and pleasant temperature, the lack of crowds and noise . . .

The sea oats and dunes that are protected as part of a natural habitat area.

I love those blue umbrellas against the glistening white of the sand.

Some families out enjoying the beach in the beautiful fall weather.

These flock of seagulls (now why am I hearing 80s music playing in my head?) stayed clustered in this particular spot the entire time we were out there. My sister says it’s not unusual for them to do that. Benny said maybe they were waiting to give us a floor show. 😉

OT: A birthday at the beach

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Here I am, sitting in the dark of the condo’s living room, tapping away. I was so tired last night I fell asleep with this computer in my lap while the Alabama-Tennessee football game was on. This is an amazing feat when you consider my oldest sister, ever the enthusiastic Bama supporter, was yelling, leaping, clapping and in general making lots of noise (we won). Even with our own red-haired Mouth of the South lustily cheering her team on, I still zonked out.   I guess you could say I was bloody knackered. 😉

Benny saw I had dropped off and  gently suggested I go to bed. Having already cleaned my face, brushed my teeth and taken out my contacts, I shuffled off to don my PJs and slip between the sheets. I actually fell asleep before 10 p.m., which is a rarity for me. And then I woke up three hours later, which is not–a rarity, that is. *sigh* Oh, well, it’s not as if I have to get up and go to work in a few hours, right?

On a happier note, the weather was beautiful when we arrived here. The condo unit is on the 9th floor, giving you a spectacular view from the balcony of the blue waters of the Gulf and the strip of sugar white beach. Benny filmed the sunset with his videocam.

Benny and I along with my two sisters and BIL enjoyed a delicious supper of Chicken Bruschetta, risotto, (even Gordon Ramsey would approve of my sis’s risotto–perfect texture and perfectly delicious), a Caesar salad and garlic toast, topped off with Mr. Fedoralady’s yummy German chocolate birthday cake for dessert.  Benny seemed to enjoy digging through his bag filled with miniature candy treats, gummi bears, almond crescent cookies and, of course, his Doctor Who DVD featuring the Doctor of his youth, Tom Baker.  Here is some fan art celebrating my favorite fellow in all the world–my dearest Benny.

Back to regularly scheduled programming later this morning. I might be asleep but WP, good Lord willing and the Creek don’t rise, will automatically post Mr. A for me. 😉

That’s Fedoralady’s middle sister checking out the contents of Hubby’s goodie bag.

Happy Monday! Beaches, birthdays & some Richarding

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OK, I had such good intentions. I was going to DVR the rest of the shows I watch on Sunday nights and try to get to sleep on the early side. Instead, it’s 1:05 a.m. and I am still awake. I watched all six of the shows–suspense and surprise plot twists, humor, pathos, sweet romance–and thoroughly enjoyed it all.  I just have one question–why do so many of the shows I like end up on the same night??  *sigh*

I have a lot I want to do tomorrow if all goes well, and it may mean not a lot of time spent Richarding. We shall see. Also, remember my post about wanting to be at the beach but with nice fall weather? Well, I am getting my wish.

Lovely Orange Beach. Imagine Benny and I sitting there hand in hand like that. Awwwwwww . . .

This weekend we are going down to Foley/Orange Beach to my sister and BIL’s and I am staying down there for the entire week, with Benny returning to pick me up the following weekend. My oldest sister is also coming down for a few days so we three musketeers will all be together again–and not for a sad occasion.  As you get older, you realize what a plus that is.

And it’s Benny’s birthday on the 20th, so we are all going to celebrate together. My Foley sister (who is the sweetest woman in the world. I kid you not) is going to make Benny a German Chocolate cake.

A yummy-looking German Chocolate Cake. It doesn’t get its name from any connection to the country of Germany. The people who owned the chocolate making business had a very reliable employee whose last name was German. When they developed a new type of chocolate, they named it in honor of Mr. German. It’s a chocolate cake with a cooked frosting featuring pecans and coconut and it’s quite delicious.

So I have something fun to look forward to. Benny is taking today and tomorrow off to do some much-needed trimming of hedges, etc. and other chores while the weather is nice.

And now— some Richard Armitage eye candy to round things out, ladies and gents. 😀