14 May 2016 – Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park

I’ve always wanted to travel on Skyline Drive, and today Al and I got the opportunity.  The total distance is 109 miles which runs the entire length of the Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  The nearest city to our entrance was Front Royal, VA.  We started at the North entrance at SR 340 and drove about 50 miles to the first exit at SR 211 in Thornton Gap.

It was a beautiful day for the ride – no rain, just blue skies.  The combination of different trees and foliage made the drive colorful and awesome.  Nature is truly amazing!!

Since Al qualified, we were able to avoid the entrance fee of $20 a private vehicle.  We paid $10 for a lifetime membership for all National Parks.  In fact, as long as one person in the car has a lifetime membership, everyone in the car can enter the national park free of charge!

 

skyline_drivelarger

A portion of the Skyline Drive Map, located at http://www.sherpaguide.com

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17-20 Mar 2016 – Miami, FL

 

Welcome to Miami!

 

Trump National Doral, Miami, FL

My oldest daughter invited me to the 2015 AT&T Awards Summit in Miami, FL. She was one of the top VIPs recognized by AT&T for her sales record in 2015.  Imagine spending 4 days and 3 nights at the Trump National Doral and being treated like royalty with an all expense paid trip (flights, hotel, food, activities, and free gifts!).  The gifts consisted of iPads, designer Michael Kohrs purses with matching wallets, kitchen items (dinnerware setting for 4), pots and pans, expresso machines), camping gear, mountain bikes, tablets, cameras, wine storage coolers, jewelry, designer watches and sunglasses.  I could go on and on.  The gifts were just awesome!  I need to be clear that we only got one gift each but my awesome daughter gave me her ticket so I was able to get TWO gifts!

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9 Feb 2016 – First Cousins On My Father’s Side Of The Family

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The picture above includes my first cousins – Rose (on the left) and Diane (on the right) – and my Uncle Charlie (in the middle).  Even though we are first cousins, I haven’t seen them since we were kids…with one exception.  That one exception was when my father died in 1996 at 64 yrs old.  Diane, Rose, and my uncles attended the funeral.  At that time, my parents were divorced so my father’s new wife handled all the arrangements.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but the lines of communication between my father’s side of the family and his children ended when my parents divorced.

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4 Feb 2016 – Update On The Historic Barnes House

 

historic barnes house 4 feb 2016 - front

 

February is Black History month.  It’s a great time to provide an update on the Historic Barnes House – see initial post here.

The Barnes House, home of Eppa and Amanda (Lambert) Barnes, was built in 1797, and originally owned by Moses Copen, a slave owner at the time.  Mr. Copen owned Eppa (born in 1852), his siblings and his mother (Jane).  By the end of the Civil War, Eppa was freed and Mr. Copen had passed.  After Mr. Copen’s death, his daughter Permilia Copen, gave the house to Jane (Eppa’s mother) along with seven acres.  Eppa married Amanda “Mandy” Lambert in July 1875.  Over the years they purchased approximately 160 acres of land, raised 11 children and expanded their home as their family expanded.

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2 Feb 2016 – Chicken Drumstick Soup

My husband loves this recipe and suggested I share it with the world!  It’s very easy to make.  If you like chicken soup, this version includes drumsticks versus chicken pieces which makes it fun to eat!  For our Weight Watcher community, it’s 6 smart points for one cup of soup minus the rice or pasta.  To serve, add soup in a bowl first, and the chicken drumsticks last.  Don’t forget a separate place setting for your chicken bones. 🙂

chicken drumstick soup               chicken soup - meat only with brown rice

Ingredients:

  • 12 Chicken drumsticks
  • 10.5 oz of fat free condensed cream of chicken and/or cream of celery soup
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1-16 oz bag of frozen corn
  • 1-16 oz bag of frozen green beans
  • 1-48 oz container of liquid Chicken broth
  • season to taste with seasoning salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, onions, 2 bay leaves, and celery
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite pasta or rice (optional)

Instructions:

  • Use paring knife and pull back skin to remove from chicken drumstick
  • Place raw chicken drumsticks, water and chicken broth in 6 quart pan and boil until done (can be cooked in a crock pot) about 45 to 60 minutes
  • Add remaining ingredients to pot – corn and green beans (use the vegetables of your choice.  I generally used frozen mixed veggies but I was out.) – simmer for 20 min.
  • Measure out one cup of soup, minus the chicken drumsticks, and pour over rice or pasta (I cook separately).
  • Ensure you have a plate to put the chicken bones while eating.  Enjoy!

Serves 6 (assumes two drumsticks per person)