Friday, March 30, 2012

St. Patrick's Day 2012 - Part 1

Stump, Sage, and I planned a St. Patrick's Day getaway to Myrtle Beach, SC back in December. The time had come. It was Friday, March 16. I got off of work at 3:00 PM and hurried home to meet up with the guys who were waiting at my house.

We stopped off for a quick bite at The Back Door Deli in Danville, Virginia since I hadn't eaten that day. While Stump sat inside waiting on our order, Sage and I popped outside for a smoke and a picture or two.

Sage in the porch swing at The Back Door Deli

We were cooped up in the car for a little over 4 hours, so there isn't much story there with this exception: This Shell station at the North Carolina / South Carolina border is a stop that Stump and I always make on the way down. This is the perfect place to stretch your legs, grab something to drink, and use the facilities. As I walked up to the door I spied this sign:


Priceless!

After stopping for a beer in Conway, South Carolina, we finally got to our hotel on the oceanfront. The first thing that Sage spots is a bright orange safety cone! He insisted that I have my picture taken with it. In order to get the "inside joke", read HERE.

(Hi, my name is Diane. I forget and I fall down. That is my purpose in life.)

It had gotten dark (it was about 10:30), and the humidity had fogged up the lens on my iphone so please forgive the next couple of pictures.

Sage protected my from this safety cone for the duration of our stay by throwing his body in front of it to create a human barricade between my and certain disaster.

After getting checked in, we headed to O'Keefe's Irish Pub in Murrell's Inlet for a nightcap. O'Keefe's is one of my and Stump's go-to bars when we are in the Myrtle Beach area. I have sent Sage taunting pictures of myself from O'Keefe's - you can see some of them HERE. He finally got to see it for himself. I snapped this picture of Sage outside the door.

Sage in front of O'Keefe's

We ordered up a couple of drinks and enjoyed ourselves after a long road trip. We would make our way back to our hotel early so that we could spend as much time as we could on Saturday exploring.

Sage and his signature Appletini

I will share more! Stay tuned!







Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bloggerversary Party!



On March 29, 2011, I logged into a website called Blogger and started what you now know as My Friends With Benefits.

Looking back on my older posts, I was a terrible blogger. I am still not the greatest, but over the past year I have learned a little more about how Blogger works, what widgets can do, and how to network with other people.

 I have learned that some topics will gain readers while other topics will run them off in droves. Both sorts of topics are ok with me now, because one of the things I have also learned is not to write for my readers, but to write for myself. (To thine own self be true, huh?)

I have found blogging to be rewarding. I can vent my frustrations here. I can also sing the praises of my great friends. I can suggest fun things for local people to do or I can ask for suggestions from trusted readers.

I have also met wonderful people, some with whom I was fortunate enough to have made friends.

Today I celebrate my one year Bloggerversary!

I have truly reaped the benefits of having great friends - and great readers!

Thanks for a great year, guys!

XOXO

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's All Fun and Games Until...


Stump, Sage, and I headed down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for St. Patrick's Day weekend. What started off as a great time with friends ended with horrible news for Sage.

On Saturday night, while we partied at The Beach House on Ocean Boulevard, Sage received a phone call.

His home was on fire.

No one was hurt; his mother wasn't there at the time, and their dog wasn't inside the house.

The fire began around 9:30 on Saturday night. After it was put out, the house reignited around 3:45 A.M.

They lost everything.

Sage is staying with Stump and me until they have a permenant place.

I am asking that you all send your prayers and positive energy to Sage and his mom.

While we did have a lot of fun and laughter on the trip, I thought I should post this before I post any of the other photos from the trip.

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Celebrations!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! 

Yes, I realize it is tomorrow, but Stump, Sage, and I are leaving town when I get off work and we are heading down to sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! Needless to say I won't be blogging on Saturday.

We celebrated at home on Tuesday night with Irish fare.

I slow cooked corned beef with an amazing sweet glaze.

I made a scrumptious potato soup that even the Irish citizens would toast.

I also made Irish soda bread; which we discovered none of us particularly cared for. 

Two out of three aint bad.

I want to wish the luck of the Irish to all of my readers. I will be back next week with some fabulous pictures of our St. Paddy's Day celebration. 



My friends are the best friends
Loyal, willing and able.
Now let’s get to drinking!
All glasses off the table!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Fever

We have had some really beautiful weather here in Virginia for the past several days. The forecast is showing highs at or near 80 for the next ten days. 

How have I been spending my time?

I went to Lowe's on Sunday and picked up a few things!


Then I took home my finds and put them together!
 

I am starting a small herb garden on my deck. As these plants get too large for the containers, I will transfer them. Being up on the rails of our deck like this is an easy way for me to garden without having to bend down with a herniated disk.

I have planted leeks, rosemary, chives, parsley, cilantro, and oregano. I can't wait to get these beautiful, fragrant herbs into my dinners!

I plan on putting some tomato and green bell pepper plants on the deck as well as a few more herbs.

I'm so glad the weather has begun to change!


Monday, March 12, 2012

A Day at Cedar Hill Gun Range

Saturday was a perfect day to get outside and get some fresh air. After being cooped up for the last few months we were ready to combat cabin fever. Literally.

Stump and I got together with friends, Billy, Sandi, Mike, Sage, and Sandi's mom, Mildred, for a day at the shooting range. We loaded up a van and a car with weapons and ammunition and went to the Cedar Hill Gun Store and Range on Woodlawn Drive in Danville, Virginia.

 Cedar Hill Shooting Range is open Wednesday - Saturday 10-5

 Mildred, Sandi, and Mike paying their admission. Admission is $10 per person.

 I thought this was the perfect target to shoot. Stump, however, refused to stay put.

 Sandi, Mildred, Mike, and Sage unload the pistols and ammo.

 Mildred takes aim...

 Stump looks like he knows what he is doing. Military training didn't go to waste!

 Time for Mike to show his ability.

 Sage amazed all of us with his skill!

 That target doesn't stand a chance!

 Time to reload!

 We moved from the pistol range to the rifle range to hone our rifle skills.

 Those targets are REALLY far away!

Stump was drafted to go hang targets on the range.

 Ready, aim FIRE!

 Sandi isn't playing around!
Billy almost looks like he knows what he is doing!

 My turn!

 My favorite color: Ohhh.. shiney!

 Spent shell casings after a fun day at the shooting range.

We stayed at the shooting range until just after 5, then we headed out for dinner and a few beers at Kickback Jack's  All of us had a great time, and I can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cash Mob Danville!!!

Last night, I participated in the first ever Cash Mob Danville, Virginia!

Cash Mobs are similar to Flash Mobs. A group of people will target a secret, locally owned, business and meet at a given time. All of the participants go into the business and buy something. This gives the store owners needed support and stimulates the local economy.

Cash Mobs are somewhat new in concept. The first one was organized in Cleveland, Ohio on November 16, 2011. Since then they have taken off and Cash Mobs are being organized all over the United States.

I received a Facebook invitation from my friend Deb, loved the idea, and immediately clicked "going". I waited, and on Thursday night, the secret location was announced. The Gourmet Frog in Downtown Danville.

There was a pretty decent turn out for the first Danville Cash Mob. I took several pictures.

















The Gourmet Frog offers a multitude of hard to find culinary treats. They offer a huge selection of specialty beers and wines, herbs, spices, and teas. They have wonderful whimsical kitchen accessories (I loved the knife blocks pictured above). They also carry jewelry, accessories, and bags from local artists.

I found the one thing that I had been looking for and didn't think I could find offline. Among a few other items, I picked up a jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup!!! The flowers are a sweet treat in a glass of champagne. They are an amazing topping on cheesecake. There are several other uses for them. Now I know where to find my little indulgence!

If you are in or around the Danville area, stop in The Gorumet Frog! They are located at 312 Main Street. Tell them MYFWBS sent you!

I encourage anyone in the Danville area to join us for the next Cash Mob, which will be held on March 24th at 7:00. Search Cash Mob Danville under events on Facebook, or click this LINK. This will take you to their event page. Once you join, you will be messaged which business will be the target the night before the mob.

Thank you, Audrey Knight, for organizing this wonderful event! I have invited several of my friends to the next one and look forward to participating again!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who Isn't Creative Now?

I have a treat for you today!


Some of my readers are already aware of what I am going to share. Others have lived their lives, blissfully unaware, that they were even a participant.

Today, my friends, that will change.


Rule 1: You are playing The Game
You, along with everyone else in the world, always is, always have been, and always will be playing The Game. Neither awareness nor consent is required to play.

Rule 2: Every time you think about The Game, you lose.
Loss is temporary; as soon as you forget about The Game, you stop losing. The objective of The Game is to forget that it exists. Good luck.


Rule 3: Loss of The Game must be announced.
Every time you think about The Game, and hence lose, you must say so. This is the only rule that can be broken, but do you really need to cheat?

Now that all of my readers are aware that they are playing The Game... YOU ALL JUST LOST THE GAME!!!



Now, you have to tell someone else! (One great way to tell them is to send them the link to this site!) Get creative. Have fun with it!


The reason that everyone was able to share in this White Bear today is credited to my friend, Sandi, who challenged my creative ability to make her lose The Game yesterday. Being the good friend she is, I know that I was challenged in order to step it up a notch.

Sandi, I hope I did you proud. This is the best I could manage short of buying a $1,000,000 spot during the Super Bowl with nothing but the above lines scrolling across the screen.

Everyone... Let's all thank Sandi together!

***The above rules were taken from http://www.losethegame.com/  There is more information there and I encourage you to have a look!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sneak Peek - The SoVA Wine Trail Passport 2012

Stump and I went to Smith Mountain Lake with friends Billy and Sandi for a weekend getaway last weekend. I posted HERE about the first stop, the Hickory Hill Vineyard & Winery.
While we were there, we sampled some wonderful wines. Donald, who poured our glasses, told us about the new Passport that would be available in just a few weeks! He wasn't allowed to sell them just yet, but we did get to take a look!

The Passport is for the SoVA Wine Trail and includes wineries all over the state of Virginia.

You pay $25 for the passport and it includes a wine glass and tasting fees to every winery on the SoVA wine trail for the 2012 season.



The Passport is really a cool collectable. It works just like a regular Passport. When you arrive at the winery, show your passport. They will stamp it with their own signature stamp to show that you have been there!



There is a place for all of your personal information including a photograph. I also love that the first page even gives you a selection of wine preferences: Sweet, Dry, or Yes, please. I know which I will circle!



Each page in the passport lists their days and hours of operation, and what sorts of wine they make, as well as directions on how to get there.



I think this is a wonderful idea. I may put this on my list of things to do this spring/summer.



You can check out the SoVA Wine Trail page HERE